barre at c-zone.net
Tue Feb 23 00:50:34 EST 1999
Here are the concluding paragraphs from my latest essay:
The realization that Israel was comprised two peoples holds deep and far reaching ramifications for both ancient Israelite research and for Jewish and Christian theology. This new understanding of Israel's social constitution amounts to a radically different definition of the very object of our research. Nothing else could more disturb our present understanding, and nothing else could expose so much of our previous research to be either partially or fatally flawed. In the terms of Thomas Kuhn, the realization is at once the death of an old paradigm and the birth of a new one. However, unlike the usual course of a paradigm shift in which the old chips and cracks before it fails, in this case the new, because of its sheer simplicity and self-evident nature, instantly and completely decimates the old.
Because this thesis holds such profound ramifications for both the academic and the religious study of the Bible, the power of its self-evident truth will collide with the more powerful force of scholarly and ecclesiastical tradition, generating the most powerful manifestation of cognitive dissonance to appear in the history of civilization. The problem--most of Judaism and Christianity will not be able to tolerate the conclusion that two gods were venerated in Israel. The many necessary revisions to the scholarly understanding of ancient Israel pales in significance when compared to the theological changes that are demanded. It will make many pretend and cause many to cope.
In spite of the extreme psychological discomfort that it will initially generate, the realization marks a tremendous leap forward for both history and theology. Scholarship will be liberated from a skewed understanding of object of its investigation. We can expect that a myriad of perennial problems will virtually evaporate, that the pieces of the puzzle will fall into place, that our dearth of knowledge about pre-monarchic Israel will become a thing of the past, that our efforts to construct a historical synthesis will become a realistic expectation. All of these things we can predict provided that we have truly uncovered an accurate definition of one Hebrew word--Israel.
The entire essay is found at:
Submitted for your approval,
Lloyd M. Barre, Ph.D.
barre at c-zone.net
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
More information about the b-hebrew