[b-hebrew] God vs gods

George Athas gathas at hotkey.net.au
Wed Aug 24 23:37:20 EDT 2005


Dictionary of Deities and Demons (DDD) has a good article on "Zeus", with an extensive bibliography. For the identification with Baal Shamaim (or Baal Shamem), see:

J. Teixidor, The Pagan God: Popular Religion in the Greco-Roman Near East (Princeton, 1977), 27.
Cf. Josephus, Antiquities 8.145-147.

I note the article also says that some associated Zeus with YHWH, including some diaspora Jews.

Best regards,

GEORGE ATHAS
Lecturer in Biblical Languages
Southern Cross College
Sydney, Australia
(Moving to a post at Moore Theological College from Jan 1)


  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Yitzhak Sapir 
  To: Heard, Christopher 
  Cc: b-hebrew 
  Sent: 24 August 2005 12:47 pm
  Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] God vs gods


  On 8/23/05, Heard, Christopher wrote:
  > 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.

  Hello, 

  Is there any specific reason you associate Baal Shamayim with Zeus, as
  opposed to say, Baal Zephon or Baal Hadad?  Might you have references
  that I could read about Baal Shamayim?

  Thanks,
  Yitzhak Sapir
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