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View Diary: Biblical Archaeology (208 comments)

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  •  This has been the really interesting piece for me (12+ / 0-)

    to explore lately.  I teach a (required) Western Humanities course that spends a fair amount of time on the monotheistic traditions, and until this term we've unfortunately used a very old humanities textbook that lays out "established" dates for all the Old Testament milestones, e.g.:

    1900 BC: Abraham migrates to Canaan
    1600: Joseph leads the tribes to Egypt
    1300: Moses leads exodus out of Egypt
    1300-1100: conquest of Canaan
    1100-1000: establishment of United Kingdom of Israel
    after 933: split into Northern and Southern Kingdoms
    722: conquest of Northern Kingdom of Israel by Assyria
    580: conquest of Judea by Chaldeans
    etc

    Whereas, as I now understand the scholarship, the Pentateuch that comes into being in the 5th-3rd centuries essentially invented (or appropriated earlier texts that had invented) everything up to and including the United Kingdom, and the whole idea of the Israelites as distinct from the Canaanites--so also Abraham and Moses.  And the idea of a 'Abrahamic' monotheism existing in the Bronze Age...

    It almost makes the Mormons seem disciplined in their historical narratives, by contrast.   And it certainly becomes interesting to teach the History of Monotheism, in a few hours of classroom time.   To a class of usually literal-minded Christians...
     

    •  There is nothing monotheistic about the Penteteuch (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ojibwa

      The deities used as Toponyms are often given names that are feminine plural such as the sacred groves or Teraphim, the tall straight cedar or oak trees suitable for masts or the pillars of a temple viewed as consorts to male gods who epitomized power by having for example the strength to make the tall trees sway; In Exodus Elim and Elat plus Pi Ha Haroth in the chain of Aphrodite have sacred groves of palm trees . In Genesis, the story of Abraham and Sarah lists covenants with El Shaddai (Samsi Adada of Mari, the lord of the land); Yahwah (the power of the air), El Roi (Hagars spirit of the well - the power of water), and Moloch,( the power of fire).

      Live Free or Die --- Investigate, Incarcerate

      by rktect on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 05:19:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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