Monotheism was: "admittedly syncretistic..

Lisbeth S. Fried lizfried at umich.edu
Thu Jan 24 12:37:48 EST 2002



>
> In the past, much was made of Akhenaton's religion and its possible
> influence on the Israelites.But the religion of Akhenaton was lacking the
> idea of the divine suzerain, who makes a treaty - i.e., covenant
> - with his
> human vassals.One of the major stipulations of every ANE
> suzerainty treaty,
> after the self-presentation of the suzerain with all his titles, and the
> history of his relationship with the vassal, is the demand for absolute
> loyality to him, the suzerain. Does any other ANE religion involve such a
> concept?
Edom and Moab each only worshipped one god (Qos and Kemosh, respectively),
we don't know the relationship between these peoples and their gods, but
why wouldn't it have been similar?
>
> The only possibility I can see for the origins of such an idea,
> if it is not
> purely Israelite, is the worship of Baal Berith in Shechem,
> where, according
> to Josh. 24, the Israelites made a covenant with YHWH.
Yes, but when do you date this passage?

Liz
>
> Sincerely,
> Jonathan
>
> ---
> Jonathan D. Safren
> Dept. of Biblical Studies
> Beit Berl College
>
>
>
>
>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Rolf Furuli" <r.j.furuli at east.uio.no>
> To: "Biblical Hebrew" <b-hebrew at franklin.oit.unc.edu>
> Sent: Thursday, January 24, 2002 12:40 PM
> Subject: Monotheism was: "admittedly syncretistic..
>
>
> >
> > Dear Jonathan,
> >
> > As to the concept "monotheism" it depends on what you mean. In 2.
> > Corinthians 4:4 (New Testament) we read about "the god (QEOS)
> of this age"
> > who is identified as Satan. The writer and his audience believed in the
> > *existence* of many  gods, but they did not worship them; so these
> > Christians neither advocated polytheism or henotheism. To abandon
> > monotheism one must, as I understand the concept, both believe in and
> > worship more than one god.
> >
> > I find exactly the same situation in the Pentateuch. The commandment
> > against )E:LOHIM )A:XERIM in Exodus 20:2 implies that other
> (living) gods
> > existed, but it need not necessarily imply polytheism. In
> Deutronomy 32:17
> > and Psalm 106:36,37 the writers tell that behind the carved images were
> > living gods, the $EDIM. We find exactly the same thought in 1
> Corinthians
> > 8:5,6 and 10:20 where the Greek equivalent DAIMONIOIS is found.
> >
> > I am not aware of a single passage in the Pentateuch where the writer
> > writes in favor of polytheism or henotheism (even though angels
> are called
> > "gods" both in the Tanach and in the NT (Psalm 8:6- Hebrews 2:7, Psalm
> > 97:7; 138:1), or where he himself implies that he has abandoned
> monotheism
> > and in reality is a polytheist.
> >
> > I believe that one of the most important sides of the Shema of
> Deuteronomy
> > 6:4 is that it is directed against polytheism , because the most natural
> > translation of YHWH )E:LOHENU YHWH )EXFD is not. "YHWH our God is one."
> but
> > rather "YHWH our God is one YHWH:" The expression "one YHWH" can be
> > directed against Ba`al Peor, Ba`al Berit, YHWH Shomron, YHWH
> Tema etc. So
> > the writer wants to stress: There is just one YHWH for us.
> >
> > Regards
> >
> > Rolf
> >
> > Rolf Furuli
> > University of Oslo
> >
> >
> > >In view of all the studies on ANE suzerainty treaties, does
> anyone still
> > >seriously claim that the Ten Commandments are monotheistic?
> > >Jonathan D. Safren
> > >Dept. of Biblical Studies
> > >Beit Berl College
> > >
> >
> >
> >
> > ---
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> >
>
>
>
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