[b-hebrew] God vs gods

Heard, Christopher Christopher.Heard at pepperdine.edu
Tue Aug 23 12:23:52 EDT 2005

On Aug 22, 2005, at 3:23 PM, Ben Crick wrote:
>  This depends of course upon one's interpretation of the visions of  
> Daniel
>  chapter 11. If the "kings of the north and south" respectively are  
> Antiochus
>  and Ptolemy, then some commentators link this passage with 1  
> Maccabees
>  1:41ff. The king is Antiochus, and he promoted atheism for all  
> that he was
>  worth.

Antiochus IV was no atheist, nor a proponent of atheism. He styled  
himself "Epiphanes," and had pictures of Zeus and Nike minted on his  
coinage; these are not the actions of an "atheist." Judging by the  
narratives in 1 Maccabees and Josephus, when Antiochus IV defiled the  
temple in Jerusalem, it was not by promoting atheism, but by  
promoting the worship of Zeus Olympius/Baal Shamayim. Persecuting a  
"rival" religion is unusual in the history of antique polytheism, but  
it is not atheistic.


R. Christopher Heard
Assistant Professor of Religion
Seaver Fellow in Religion
Pepperdine University
Malibu, California 90263-4352
Professional Web Page: http://faculty.pepperdine.edu/cheard
Internet Resource Index: http://www.iTanakh.org
Personal Web Page: http://www.heardworld.com

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