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Old 05-16-2010, 12:33 PM
 
Location: SC Foothills
8,830 posts, read 9,751,670 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katzpur View Post
Yes, that seems to be the general consensus. In the Old Testament, though, it says He will do nothing without communicating to us through His prophets. It doesn't say He intended to stop after He sent His Son. Heaven knows, we could use a little personal direction in this day and age, particularly since we can't seem to agree on what the Bible is telling us.
Yes, Heaven knows!! God help us!
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Old 05-16-2010, 12:35 PM
 
Location: Oxford, England
1,266 posts, read 950,308 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InsaneInDaMembrane View Post
And it certainly is NOT a pretty story.

When I was a Christian, I just took it for granted that the Bible was miraculously preserved and passed down to us by the providence of god. Nothing could be further from the truth, but I realize that is not a popular opinion around these parts.

Speaking of mistranslations, my favorite has to be Deuteronomy 32:7-9. Now, in the KJV, the passage is not just mistranslated...it appears to have been deliberately done so for a reason you will soon see after I give this brief history.
I wouldn't call it a mistranslation so much as a textual emendation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by InsaneInDaMembrane View Post
Contrary to popular belief, the early Hebrews/Israelites (collectively) did NOT believe in one god or at least, did not believe only one god existed.

What happened under Moses was that he swore them to the WORSHIP of one god (YWH or Yahweh) even though it was believed other gods existed who governed the surrounding nations. This, however, did not stop the Israelites from worshiping other gods as we are told in the middle Old Testament but after centuries of internal religious wars and purges (notably in the days of the Judean king, Josiah),
Actually most of the religious purges took place before Josiah. There was still plenty of monolatry left over after his time, but the multiple temples and other cultic installations dedicated to Yhwh and to other deities, had largely been destroyed during the campaigns of Sheshonq and Sennacherib. The claim that Josiah tore down "high places" all over Israel is anachronistic. There were few, if any, high places left. What remained were much smaller, often private, local shrines like gate shrines and small cultic centers. These don't seem to have been affected by Josiah's putative reforms, either.

Quote:
Originally Posted by InsaneInDaMembrane View Post
the cult of Yahweh emerged as the royally mandated god/religion of choice.
That cult was more likely given primacy at the foundation of the monarchy. The inscriptional and archaeological evidence from the north and the south in the 9th-7th centuries BCE show a largely tolerant Yahwism. The main objects of the purges were likely physical representations of Yhwh and dedications to his consort, Asherah.

Quote:
Originally Posted by InsaneInDaMembrane View Post
Remember, under king Ahaz, Josiah's grandfather, the temple was shut down and the priests of Yahweh was effectively put out of commission, but under Josiah, who ascended the throne as a young impressionable king who fell under the influence of Yahwehists like Jeremiah, ALL other "religions" were purged from Judah.
I wouldn't say other "religions" were purged. I would say aspects of Yahwism were excised.

Quote:
Originally Posted by InsaneInDaMembrane View Post
Take note how similar this is to the later religious purges by Roman Emperors like Theodosius who paved the way to make Christianity the ONLY accepted religion in the Roman Empire.

By the time the Jews were exiled in Babylon, they had become monotheists, believing only ONE god existed - their god, Yahweh.
I disagree. Texts like Ps 97:7 show an explicit belief in other deities is a part of the biblical tradition. What monotheism entails is the relegation of the several deities of the early pantheon to the angelic realms. This protects the taxonomical uniqueness of Yhwh, asserts the ontological inferiority of the other deities, and preserves their mention in the biblical text. I discuss this on my blog in these two spots:

On Monotheism and Other Gods in the Hebrew Bible « Daniel O. McClellan

Conflating Angels and the Sons of God « Daniel O. McClellan

Quote:
Originally Posted by InsaneInDaMembrane View Post
By New Testament times, monotheism became synonymous with Judaism.

Why do I point these things out? Well, about 1,000 years ago (give or take), the Jews decided to sit down and write out their scriptures in Hebrew. Up to that time, the only record of their scriptures they had was the Greek-translated Septuagint (also known as the LXX) which was done during the days of Greek domination in the eastern and southeastern Mediterranean under the Greek-Egyptian king Ptolemy I who ordered it.
This isn't quite accurate. Hebrew manuscripts of the Hebrew Bible were far more common than the Greek, even during the Hellenistic Era. They did not sit down and write out their scriptures a thousand years ago. What happened then was the standardization of a single manuscript tradition and the incorporation of a system of vocalization by Jewish scholars. Numerous different Hebrew manuscripts from before that time period have been discovered. Also, the "Greek-Egyptian king" did not order the translation of the Hebrew Bible. The legendary Letter of Aristeas claims that the king Ptolemy II ordered the translation at the suggestion of his librarian, Demetrius, but this is not an historical account. The texts were translated at the initiative of Jewish scholars.

Quote:
Originally Posted by InsaneInDaMembrane View Post
That version became known as the Masoretic Text (MT), named after the sect of Jews who wrote it up. Keep in mind that at this time, the Jews were fierce monotheists. The flipping back and forth between various gods was far in their distant past. Also, keep in mind that the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls (DSS) was still over 900 years in the future. Thus, it was the Masoretic Text that the King James Version translated from as the basis for its compilation.
The KJV also incorporates Septuagint readings, but it is largely based on MT.

Quote:
Originally Posted by InsaneInDaMembrane View Post
Now to put all of this together by getting back to Deuteronomy 32:7-9. If you read that passage in the Masoretic Text/KJV, at first glance it seems to make sense, but upon closer observation, you will realize it really doesn't. The "on the surface" interpretation of Verse 8 and verse 9 basically says that the Most High divided the nations and (Jacob) Israel was his portion (inheritance/allotment). This makes no sense when you think about it. How does god inherit something from himself? This is the conclusion the MT and KJV forces a person to come up WHEN the passage is read.
The conjunction כי at the beginning of v. 9 is usually pointed to as an adversative conjunction: "Elyon divided the nations . . . however, Yhwh's portion was . . ." This argument presupposes that Elyon is understood as an epithet for Yhwh, and that's clearly how the author of the rest of Deuteronomy understood it, since in Deut 4:19 he claims that it was Yhwh who divided the nations to the deities. The reading of LXX, however, shows the כי is secondary. The verse originally began with ויהי: "Elyon divided the nations . . . and Yhwh's portion was . . ."

Quote:
Originally Posted by InsaneInDaMembrane View Post
An additional problem comes in when the MT and KJV says the nations were divided according to "Children of Israel." A casual glance of the Table of Nations (dividing of the nations) in Genesis shows us that Israel was NOT a nation at the time the nations were divided.
But the table of nations was not composed until the 8/7th century BCE. Many of the nations mentioned are eponyms for groups that first pop up in the historical records around that time period. I don't think the ancient Israelites bothered much with that issue.

Quote:
Originally Posted by InsaneInDaMembrane View Post
Interestingly enough, the older LXX says that the nations were divided according to the angels which is different from the LATER MT and KJV. The even OLDER DSS (the Revised Standard Version stays true to this manuscript) says something different and says the nations were divided according to "the sons of God." When this is realized, Deuteronomy 32:7-9 makes better sense even though it completely blows up the common understanding of the biblical god. What Deuteronomy 32:7-9 is really saying is this (paraphrased):

Youngsters, consult your elders and let them tell you how things happened. When the Most High (El Elyon) divided the nations amongst his [70] sons, our nation (Jacob/Israel) was alloted to OUR god ("the LORD" = Yahweh/Jehovah). Yes, Israel was HIS portion/inheritance.

Note CAREFULLY that El Elyon and Yahweh are two distinct and separate deities despite the later amalgamation of the two.
This reading was known well before the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, however. The Septuagint translates "Sons of God" as "angels of God" in several places, and so most scholars concluded that's what the Vorlage of LXX read.

Additionally, when this text was incorporated into Deuteronomy the conflation of the two deities had already taken place. Thus Deut 4:19. This means a few things. First, Deut 32:7-9 are preserved accurately from a much older tradition; second, that tradition was pre-exilic; and third, the editor felt the text was understandable according to the conflated deity. Deut 4:19, already having been read by anyone going through the book, would have contextualized it. We see other efforts to equate the two in other late editions, like MT Gen 14:22, where Yhwh is interpolated before "El Elyon, Begetter of Heaven and Earth." His name is not found in the Greek, the Syriac, or in Qumran's Genesis Apocryphon. This shows us the manuscript tradition upon which MT is based was still concerned about conflating the two, even though the interpolation was likely executed during the Hellenistic Period.
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Old 05-16-2010, 12:38 PM
 
Location: New York City
5,556 posts, read 6,714,521 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katzpur View Post
Yes, that seems to be the general consensus. In the Old Testament, though, it says He will do nothing without communicating to us through His prophets. It doesn't say He intended to stop after He sent His Son. Heaven knows, we could use a little personal direction in this day and age, particularly since we can't seem to agree on what the Bible is telling us.
And who tells us this? Amos, one of those said prophets. We would not expect him to say otherwise. A little circular logic here.
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Old 05-16-2010, 12:39 PM
 
Location: SC Foothills
8,830 posts, read 9,751,670 times
Reputation: 58198
Yay! Here you go Insane, someone who can properly go toe to toe with you intellectually.
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Old 05-16-2010, 12:44 PM
 
Location: Salt Lake City
21,278 posts, read 20,889,434 times
Reputation: 9959
Quote:
Originally Posted by InsaneInDaMembrane View Post
And who tells us this? Amos, one of those said prophets. We would not expect him to say otherwise. A little circular logic here.
Who better to have said it? Someone who was not a prophet? That would eliminate the circular logic, I suppose, but If you can't trust a prophet of God to give you direction, you might as well throw away your Bible. Anyway, even if he hadn't said it, to me it's just common sense. God spoke to His children through prophets for 4000 years. Then He sent His Son, left mankind to gather up all the writings of the previous four millenia, and told us we were on our own? That makes no sense to me, although it seems to make a lot of sense to most people. Yeah, I know... we have the Holy Ghost. But look how much confusion there still is! Look at this forum alone. We have beliefs all over the spectrum and everybody is insisting that if everybody else would just listen to the Holy Ghost, all of our disagreements would be settled.
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Old 05-16-2010, 12:48 PM
 
Location: New York City
5,556 posts, read 6,714,521 times
Reputation: 1351
Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel O. McClellan View Post
I wouldn't call it a mistranslation so much as a textual emendation.



Actually most of the religious purges took place before Josiah. There was still plenty of monolatry left over after his time, but the multiple temples and other cultic installations dedicated to Yhwh and to other deities, had largely been destroyed during the campaigns of Sheshonq and Sennacherib. The claim that Josiah tore down "high places" all over Israel is anachronistic. There were few, if any, high places left. What remained were much smaller, often private, local shrines like gate shrines and small cultic centers. These don't seem to have been affected by Josiah's putative reforms, either.



That cult was more likely given primacy at the foundation of the monarchy. The inscriptional and archaeological evidence from the north and the south in the 9th-7th centuries BCE show a largely tolerant Yahwism. The main objects of the purges were likely physical representations of Yhwh and dedications to his consort, Asherah.



I wouldn't say other "religions" were purged. I would say aspects of Yahwism were excised.



I disagree. Texts like Ps 97:7 show an explicit belief in other deities is a part of the biblical tradition. What monotheism entails is the relegation of the several deities of the early pantheon to the angelic realms. This protects the taxonomical uniqueness of Yhwh, asserts the ontological inferiority of the other deities, and preserves their mention in the biblical text. I discuss this on my blog in these two spots:

On Monotheism and Other Gods in the Hebrew Bible « Daniel O. McClellan

Conflating Angels and the Sons of God « Daniel O. McClellan



This isn't quite accurate. Hebrew manuscripts of the Hebrew Bible were far more common than the Greek, even during the Hellenistic Era. They did not sit down and write out their scriptures a thousand years ago. What happened then was the standardization of a single manuscript tradition and the incorporation of a system of vocalization by Jewish scholars. Numerous different Hebrew manuscripts from before that time period have been discovered. Also, the "Greek-Egyptian king" did not order the translation of the Hebrew Bible. The legendary Letter of Aristeas claims that the king Ptolemy II ordered the translation at the suggestion of his librarian, Demetrius, but this is not an historical account. The texts were translated at the initiative of Jewish scholars.



The KJV also incorporates Septuagint readings, but it is largely based on MT.



The conjunction כי at the beginning of v. 9 is usually pointed to as an adversative conjunction: "Elyon divided the nations . . . however, Yhwh's portion was . . ." This argument presupposes that Elyon is understood as an epithet for Yhwh, and that's clearly how the author of the rest of Deuteronomy understood it, since in Deut 4:19 he claims that it was Yhwh who divided the nations to the deities. The reading of LXX, however, shows the כי is secondary. The verse originally began with ויהי: "Elyon divided the nations . . . and Yhwh's portion was . . ."



But the table of nations was not composed until the 8/7th century BCE. Many of the nations mentioned are eponyms for groups that first pop up in the historical records around that time period. I don't think the ancient Israelites bothered much with that issue.



This reading was known well before the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, however. The Septuagint translates "Sons of God" as "angels of God" in several places, and so most scholars concluded that's what the Vorlage of LXX read.

Additionally, when this text was incorporated into Deuteronomy the conflation of the two deities had already taken place. Thus Deut 4:19. This means a few things. First, Deut 32:7-9 are preserved accurately from a much older tradition; second, that tradition was pre-exilic; and third, the editor felt the text was understandable according to the conflated deity. Deut 4:19, already having been read by anyone going through the book, would have contextualized it. We see other efforts to equate the two in other late editions, like MT Gen 14:22, where Yhwh is interpolated before "El Elyon, Begetter of Heaven and Earth." His name is not found in the Greek, the Syriac, or in Qumran's Genesis Apocryphon. This shows us the manuscript tradition upon which MT is based was still concerned about conflating the two, even though the interpolation was likely executed during the Hellenistic Period.
I really appreciate this far more scholarly explanation. I wrote mine entirely from memory, however, I see that overall, we may agree that there is far more than meets the eye.

Thanks
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Old 05-16-2010, 12:56 PM
 
Location: New York City
5,556 posts, read 6,714,521 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katzpur View Post
Who better to have said it? Someone who was not a prophet? That would eliminate the circular logic, I suppose, but If you can't trust a prophet of God to give you direction, you might as well throw away your Bible. Anyway, even if he hadn't said it, to me it's just common sense. God spoke to His children through prophets for 4000 years. Then He sent His Son, left mankind to gather up all the writings of the previous four millenia, and told us we were on our own? That makes no sense to me, although it seems to make a lot of sense to most people. Yeah, I know... we have the Holy Ghost. But look how much confusion there still is! Look at this forum alone. We have beliefs all over the spectrum and everybody is insisting that if everybody else would just listen to the Holy Ghost, all of our disagreements would be settled.
I'm just being anal here, but that is exactly what Muhammad did and what Ilene raised. He claimed to hear a voice representing god and as a result, billions consider him a prophet of God.

Interesting that you touch on the holy ghost because Jesus prayed that his Disciples (some interpret this to mean ALL Christians) be led in ALL truth by said holy spirit, but you rightfully point out that the massive confusion within Christendom says otherwise.
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Old 05-16-2010, 01:00 PM
 
Location: Rapid City, SD
723 posts, read 858,692 times
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God does speaks to us all on a daily basis!!! Do you have a conscience?? This guilty feeling when your about to do something wrong. Or even after you have already done something wrong. Why do you feel so guilty?? Maybe because in our carnal nature we are just so kind hearted as to actually feel bad. Or possibly that little voice in your head is telling you over and over that you were wrong. Again, mankind must be so caring, and loving that our nature is to only love each other!! Yes, we are good people. It is satan who makes us do these things!!

We are only tempted by satan, as was Jesus!! We were not made to do anything!! And God almost always intervenes with that little voice. It is up to us to stop it, or to not do it again. Do you watch the news?? We are a sick race of people!! The reason is nobody listens to the Holy Spirit (that little voice) anymore. They think the way that most do. It is only OUR conscience, and has nothing to do with God. God has always spoken with us from the beginning. Talk about being labeled a wacko, I was labeled just that by my own Dad. Why?? Because I believe in the word of God, and His Holy Spirit. I will not let this bother me, instead, I will show my Dad by example how wacko I am. Being happy, showing love, kindness, patience, and most of all concern for everyone around me regardless of their actions or attitudes. Only then will he see that I am not crazy. I must go for now. This thread has gotten a little off topic so I will not continue this subject on this thread.


GOD BLESS!!!
DALE
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Old 05-16-2010, 01:05 PM
 
Location: New York City
5,556 posts, read 6,714,521 times
Reputation: 1351
Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel O. McClellan View Post
I wouldn't call it a mistranslation so much as a textual emendation.



Actually most of the religious purges took place before Josiah. There was still plenty of monolatry left over after his time, but the multiple temples and other cultic installations dedicated to Yhwh and to other deities, had largely been destroyed during the campaigns of Sheshonq and Sennacherib. The claim that Josiah tore down "high places" all over Israel is anachronistic. There were few, if any, high places left. What remained were much smaller, often private, local shrines like gate shrines and small cultic centers. These don't seem to have been affected by Josiah's putative reforms, either.



That cult was more likely given primacy at the foundation of the monarchy. The inscriptional and archaeological evidence from the north and the south in the 9th-7th centuries BCE show a largely tolerant Yahwism. The main objects of the purges were likely physical representations of Yhwh and dedications to his consort, Asherah.



I wouldn't say other "religions" were purged. I would say aspects of Yahwism were excised.



I disagree. Texts like Ps 97:7 show an explicit belief in other deities is a part of the biblical tradition. What monotheism entails is the relegation of the several deities of the early pantheon to the angelic realms. This protects the taxonomical uniqueness of Yhwh, asserts the ontological inferiority of the other deities, and preserves their mention in the biblical text. I discuss this on my blog in these two spots:

On Monotheism and Other Gods in the Hebrew Bible « Daniel O. McClellan

Conflating Angels and the Sons of God « Daniel O. McClellan



This isn't quite accurate. Hebrew manuscripts of the Hebrew Bible were far more common than the Greek, even during the Hellenistic Era. They did not sit down and write out their scriptures a thousand years ago. What happened then was the standardization of a single manuscript tradition and the incorporation of a system of vocalization by Jewish scholars. Numerous different Hebrew manuscripts from before that time period have been discovered. Also, the "Greek-Egyptian king" did not order the translation of the Hebrew Bible. The legendary Letter of Aristeas claims that the king Ptolemy II ordered the translation at the suggestion of his librarian, Demetrius, but this is not an historical account. The texts were translated at the initiative of Jewish scholars.



The KJV also incorporates Septuagint readings, but it is largely based on MT.



The conjunction כי at the beginning of v. 9 is usually pointed to as an adversative conjunction: "Elyon divided the nations . . . however, Yhwh's portion was . . ." This argument presupposes that Elyon is understood as an epithet for Yhwh, and that's clearly how the author of the rest of Deuteronomy understood it, since in Deut 4:19 he claims that it was Yhwh who divided the nations to the deities. The reading of LXX, however, shows the כי is secondary. The verse originally began with ויהי: "Elyon divided the nations . . . and Yhwh's portion was . . ."



But the table of nations was not composed until the 8/7th century BCE. Many of the nations mentioned are eponyms for groups that first pop up in the historical records around that time period. I don't think the ancient Israelites bothered much with that issue.



This reading was known well before the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, however. The Septuagint translates "Sons of God" as "angels of God" in several places, and so most scholars concluded that's what the Vorlage of LXX read.

Additionally, when this text was incorporated into Deuteronomy the conflation of the two deities had already taken place. Thus Deut 4:19. This means a few things. First, Deut 32:7-9 are preserved accurately from a much older tradition; second, that tradition was pre-exilic; and third, the editor felt the text was understandable according to the conflated deity. Deut 4:19, already having been read by anyone going through the book, would have contextualized it. We see other efforts to equate the two in other late editions, like MT Gen 14:22, where Yhwh is interpolated before "El Elyon, Begetter of Heaven and Earth." His name is not found in the Greek, the Syriac, or in Qumran's Genesis Apocryphon. This shows us the manuscript tradition upon which MT is based was still concerned about conflating the two, even though the interpolation was likely executed during the Hellenistic Period.
Hey Daniel, I REALLY loved that piece in your blog. Great work! The link you posted is busted, so I corrected for you.

Conflating Angels and the Sons of God « Daniel O. McClellan

EDITED TO ADD: I see you fixed it.
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Old 05-16-2010, 01:19 PM
 
Location: Oxford, England
1,266 posts, read 950,308 times
Reputation: 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by InsaneInDaMembrane View Post
Hey Daniel, I REALLY loved that piece in your blog. Great work! The link you posted is busted, so I corrected for you.

Conflating Angels and the Sons of God « Daniel O. McClellan

EDITED TO ADD: I see you fixed it.
Here's another more recent post based on an abstract for a paper I'm working on. It deals with the similar emendation in Deut 32:43:

http://danielomcclellan.wordpress.co...gods%E2%80%9D/

EDIT: The links don't seem to be posting correctly, and I don't see anything in the toolbar that helps.
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