"admittedly syncretistic Kuntillet Ajrud fragments"

Jonathan D. Safren yonsaf at beitberl.ac.il
Thu Jan 24 04:38:01 EST 2002

Ian Hutchesson writes:
> The pundits must realize that the earliest recognisable biblical text is
> Qumran. Was any biblical text written long before that?

Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.
The earliet manuscripts of the Classical Greek and Roman authors, poets,
philosophers and playwrights date from the Middle Ages. Are we to conclude
from this that the dialogues of Plato, the histories of Xenophon and
Herodotus, and the plays of Sophocles and Aristophanes were not written long
before that?
BTW, the Nash Papyrus was written long before Qumran. Isn't that a biblical

> >
> Syncretism is the equating of one god with another, or at least the
> of traits from one to another. Polytheism is visible, but is syncretism?

There seems to be an artificial limitation here of the theological
possibilities: monotheism, polytheism, syncretism. I haven't seen
henotheism, or monolatry, mentioned. True, henotheism isn't monotheism; but
then it isn't syncretism either.

Jonathan D. Safren
Dept. of Biblical Studies
Beit Berl College

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