More fun things about the OT

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More fun things about the OT

    The difficulty in presenting material like this is there are so many different nonsense things that people know what are not true. People really do want to believe in these stories in this culture. It is part of belonging. It is part of our group identity.

    The problem with asking honest questions is that preachers are trained in glib answers and to give the ones most likely to be accepted by the questioner. There is no pretext to there being only one answer. There is no question their glib answers are often mutually exclusive. When I say trained I mean that literally. They spend years in sky pilot school learning to this and much more as part of fulfilling their pastoral duties. And when preachers get together they talk shop.

    That means I have no idea which glib answer each reader has internalized nor do I have an exhaustive list of them to address individually. Addressing all the possibilities is a waste of time as believers may accept them all and be in doubt until they come across one not on the list and they are back to certainty about their religion.

    The Old Testament is always discussed as though it were special and thus anything said about it regardless of supporting evidence of which in most cases is zero is considered correct because it fits the assumption going into the discussion.

    But in doing this it is never compared to other religions as the only known reason for the differences all trace back to a matter of faith that is was in fact different. This way the assumed differences do not need be discussed.

    For no good reason we consider the Yahweh cult members of bibleland to have an intrinsically different view of religion than everyone around them.

    A religious tradition holds the Judeans treated their god stories different from the way every other people treated their god stories. It holds the Judeans believed them as literal truth in particular the regular and direct involvement of gods, particularlly their god, in the affairs of men.

    Because the similarities and differences are not examined these things  are never said explicitly. There are the good guys and the pagans. The difference between them is the good guys worship the real god and the pagans do not. That is the beginning and end of it.

    Yet we can list the ways in which they were the same and not find much in the way of differences. Details were different but animal sacrifices, burned partly or completely, officiating priests, songs, rituals, prayers. In all the ways they were variations on the same basic principles of worship. There were no significant differences.

    Nor was there a difference in the variety of gods available. The Yahwists clear refer to Yahweh as one of many gods, Yahweh Elohim, Yahweh of the Gods. To suggest they did not understand a plural is to say Christians are really polytheists it is just that they did not really believe god singular means singular.

    As there is no known intrinsic difference between this Yahwist cult and the cults of other gods there is no known difference, period. Yet when it comes to the stories about the gods, it is taken as axiomatic, one might say taken as gospel, that Jews alone believed their god stories to be literal truth when no one took the stories about other gods as literally true.

    Other god stories were not taken as literally true which is perhaps ag good thing as contradictory stories about the same god circulated at the same time and much bloodshed would be avoided. Which brings up the next major assumed difference, that Judeans would fight and die for the truth of the STORIES about their cult god. There is no such thing in evidence.

    This leads to another assumption, that because the stories about the members of the Yahweh cult do not mention any other cults of other Elohim, gods, there were none. We have clear evidence of an Ashara cult existing in Jerusalem until Judeans were prohibited from entering the city. We know for certain there were at least cults to two of the Elohim among the Judeans. We also know of a variation upon the Judean Yahweh cult among the Samaritans which is still around today. The Nabateans also worshiped a mountain god and fertility goddess under different names.

    We know the Judeans, the Jews, did in fact worship more than just Yahweh. In this having more than one god makes them the same in all respects to the so-called pagan religions.

    We are left with no basis to assume there were any differences. The Judeans were as pagan as all the others; the others were just as jewish as the  Jews.

    We have no basis for assuming there was any intrinsic difference between these religions. A belief there was a difference is worthless unless supported by evidence.

    Without intrinsic difference we have no reason to think they took their god stories, those in the OT and many others since vanished, any more seriously than anyone else. Did they believe Yahweh created the world? Not likely and gods sure do like flattery. Judeans flattered Yahweh just as all the "pagan" gods were flattered.


    This is intended to set off believers, apoplexy is coming. At least one reader has been screaming "no graven images" into the screen. What a graven? Carved stone. In Greece, Rome, and Egypt they carved stone to make images of their gods. East of there there were sacred stones which represented their gods. These stones were not carved. Gabelius brought his to Rome for his short stint as emperor. The Koran mentions the stones representing gods. There is a stone in the Qab. They were uncarved. Carved images were forbidden. Stones au natural representing gods were not.

    It fits into the norm of the region. It conforms to the assumption all peoples are the same unless demonstrated to be otherwise. The fact that Gabelius and the pre-Islam tribes are known to have used unworked stones shows  us all we are reading is, do not imitate the West existed long before 9/11.

    But in this prohibition we can date the rise of the prohibition, after the arrival of the Greeks. The Greeks were the first to export their culture. Greek culture included graven images of their gods. One does not prohibit what is not an issue.

    Again the date of the creation of the OT stories is after the Greeks come to rule the region. Believers do not have to like this as it is only an indicator.

    Believers must recognize Elohim means they were polytheists as being as literal as the meaning of the word graven. That is why we have the words graves and gravestones. They are carved in stone. That is what the word means.  

    Perhaps a better question is why people who have spent entire careers looking at these same words I am remain silent on such obvious points. What else are they not saying? I will keep posting this material.

    Remember, I do NOT claim I am correct. I only claim it makes more sense than things based upon unprovenanced religious traditions.

Atheism dignifies theism. There is no special name for
those who do not believe in faeries.
    -- The Iron Webmaster, 4190 a14
Thu Sep 24 05:00:21 EDT 2009

Jews stole the land. The owners want it back. That is all anyone needs to know about Israel. That is all there is to know about Israel.