Posted by NT Wrong on November 19, 2008
Jim West summarises the contents of PBS’s The Bible’s Buried Secrets (first screened Nov 18, 2008), composed during a ‘live blog’.
The program is available to watch in its entirety on the PBS website.
It sounds as though the program by-and-large followed the Bible’s own story of a opposition between “our” monotheism and “pagan”, “foreign” polytheism, painting polytheism as a corruption of the “serve Yahweh only” ideology of “early Israel”. That is, the program simply repeats the Bible’s own ideology. Whereas, historically, worship of only one God came relatively late in the Levant, after Yahwistic polytheism (ca. the fifth century BC). Polytheism is not a corruption of monolatry in Judea, but its antecedent. Polytheism is not “foreign”, let alone (the ridiculously inappropriate term) “pagan”, but polytheism is authentic ‘Israelite’ and Judahite religion. And monotheizing tendencies are in evidence everywhere amongst Judea’s neighbours, when it finally does happen. The “foreign corruption” may have been “corruption” towards worshipping Yahweh alone.
Here’s a segment about God’s wife, Asherah, which displays this same (biblical) bias:
Posted in Historiography, Yahweh | 2 Comments »
Posted by NT Wrong on October 14, 2008
* Safe for Jews, too.
Posted in Humour, Yahweh | Comments Off on Yahoo! Announces New Website for Catholic Users
Posted by NT Wrong on July 27, 2008
Neil Godfrey at Vridar has commenced an in-depth summary of Margaret Barker’s book, The Great Angel: A Study of Israel’s Second God (1992). Margaret Barker is always good to think with, innovative, iconoclastic, challenging of presuppositions, and utterly debatable — as good scholarship should be.
Posted in Books, Jesus & Christ, Yahweh | Comments Off on The Great Angel – Israel’s Second God
Posted by NT Wrong on July 24, 2008
The pronunciation and meaning of The Name of YHWH has been a mystery for 2000 years. But, Rabbi Mark Sameth of Westchester now claims to have cracked it! And it turns out that God is a hermaphrodite …
“Rabbi Mark Sameth contends in a soon-to-be-published article that the four-letter Hebrew name for God – held by Jewish tradition to be unpronounceable since the year 70 – should actually be read in reverse.
When the four letters are flipped, he says, the new name makes the sounds of the Hebrew words for “he” and “she.”
God thus becomes a dual-gendered deity, bringing together all the male and female energy in the universe, the yin and the yang that have divided the sexes from Adam and Eve to Homer and Marge.
“This is the kind of God I believe in, the kind of God that makes sense to me, in a language that speaks very, very deeply to human aspirations and striving,” Sameth said. “How could God be male and not female?”
Sameth, 54, the spiritual leader of Pleasantville Community Synagogue in Pleasantville, first hit on his theory more than a decade ago when he was a rabbinical student.
Since then, he has pieced together clues and supporting evidence from the Hebrew Bible, or Old Testament to Christians, and the vast body of rabbinic literature.”
– Solving a biblical mystery
Now that’s been solved, what will Madonna and the other kabbalists do? And where did the alephs go?
Rabbi Mark Sameth’s article will appear in CCAR Journal, published by the Central Conference of American Rabbis.
Posted in Hebrew & Semitics, Yahweh | 6 Comments »
Posted by NT Wrong on May 21, 2008
There’s some interesting reviews in the latest Review of Biblical Literature:
John Piper, The Future of Justification: A Response to N. T. Wright (2007)
Apparently there’s this guy in England called N. T. Wright who thinks that eveybody has got Paul wrong. For Wright, Paul is better understood as a first-century anti-apartheid demonstrator than as a purveyor of new religious doctrines. He just wanted everybody to get along, black and white, Jew and Gentile. But John Piper disagrees, and spends a whole book preaching the Gospel according to Luther.
Piper’s book is available for free here. So it beats me why you’d want to buy it.
John J. Collins, A Short Introduction to the Hebrew Bible (2007)
John J. Collins’ Introduction to the Hebrew Bible is given the Reader’s Digest treatment in this 324-page abridged version. It could be handy for planning a short introductory course to the Hebrew Bible.
Sharon, Diane M. and Kathryn F. Kravitz, editors, Bringing the Hidden to Light: The Process of Interpretation: Studies in Honor of Stephen A. Geller (2007)
Mark Brettler’s piece in this collection looks interesting: ‘The Poet as Historian: The Plague Tradition in Psalm 105’. Apparently Brettler concludes that the poet drew on J and P before their combination. In another piece, F. M. Cross reads Jonah as a parody on religious self-righteousness. And Edward L. Greenstein has a look at the types of knowledge in the book of Job.
Othmar Keel, Die Geschichte Jerusalems und die Entstehung des Monotheismus (2007)
Keel gives an overview of the central elements and processes which shaped biblical monotheism.
Posted in Books, Historiography, Paul, The Bible, Writings, Yahweh | Comments Off on New Reviews in the Review of Biblical Literature – May 21, 2008
Posted by NT Wrong on May 15, 2008
A startling new theory suggests that Yahweh may have been a computer designed by an ancient civilization:
“If you look at the way the people of a few thousand years ago interacted with their God, the similarity to interacting with a computer is inescapable.
Consider the behavior of a computer when you try to interact with it and it’s feeling uncooperative. The obstinacy, the perverse malevolence, the capriciousness, the dictatorial edicts telling you to do this certain thing, when this certain thing doesn’t exist, its snide little windows telling you how stupid you are and how badly you’ve screwed up. The computer is unapproachable except on its own terms. You have to do precisely what it says, and then it perversely tells you that was the wrong thing to do. You must pay obeisance to it and its procedures to gain access to communication with it, and even then, it smugly refuses to answer, or answers another, unrelated question altogether.”
– Ed Martin, ‘Was the God of the Ancients a Computer?’
Posted in Humour, Yahweh | 2 Comments »