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Old 12-06-2018, 09:26 PM
Status: "Behold! A Great Red Dragon!" (set 1 day ago)
 
Location: Chicagoland area
219 posts, read 71,238 times
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I didn't want to post this in the religion forum because I wanted an unbiased answer. From what I've gathered from Wikipedia it's implied that most scholars of archeology and history believe their never was a United Monarchy of Israel and Judah. But, that the United Monarchy of the two was a later construction.

I'm Catholic with Polish-Jewish ancestry. So, I believe in the United Monarchy. But, why does it seem believers in the historical United Monarchy are in the minority?
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Old Today, 10:24 AM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
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In the context of religion, belief is usually equated with dogma. Dogma may be factual or non-factual. When non-facts are treated as facts, strange ideas pop up and interpretations of events can get particularly colorful, just as can occur in popular "histories" of countries. The English were trounced by the Spanish Armada prior to a later defeat of them. Only one event is remembered in popular literature. The American Liberty Bell never rang out freedom at the signing of the Declaration of Independence, but a poem and its use as a symbol by abolitionists made people venerate it as such. We commonly say that a person who is in the water but not really swimming is TREADING water. An inaccurate translation might say the person was walking on water.

The myths and archetypes of civilizations hold importance to the members by holding up heroes and stories that unify and provide sources of pride and patriotism and even spiritual goals. A search of history can be crushing to people invested in dogma, and attempts to cite fact over fiction often rebuffed, sometimes cruelly so, as with Galileo.

If you have arrived here seeking unbiased confirmation of belief, that is unlikely. If you ask an historian about the popularity of a claim not being trumped by the veracity of a competing claim, you may elicit a long sigh and then silence.

Although somewhat out-of-date, "Asimov's Guide to the Bible" is a fairly concise and readable telling of the historical events of the period. The book "Who Wrote the Bible" summarizes the scholarly studies of who and when various passages were written, placed in the context of the times of the various authors. Have fun in your explorations.
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Old Today, 11:38 AM
 
Location: western East Roman Empire
6,179 posts, read 10,237,055 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlwaysByChance View Post
I didn't want to post this in the religion forum because I wanted an unbiased answer. From what I've gathered from Wikipedia it's implied that most scholars of archaeology and history believe there never was a United Monarchy of Israel and Judah. But, that the United Monarchy of the two was a later construction.
My understanding is that the earliest non-Biblical record of Israel and Judah are from the Assyrian and then the Babylonian archives (clay tablets?), plus a few stone stele with references to some kings of the two realms. Any archaeological references are sketchy and anyone's interpretation (guess) is as good as anyone else's.

That doesn't mean that there wasn't a United Monarchy, but that there is no corroborating historical evidence for it in the modern European/American sense of that terminology.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlwaysByChance View Post
I'm Catholic with Polish-Jewish ancestry. So, I believe in the United Monarchy. But, why does it seem believers in the historical United Monarchy are in the minority?
Not sure what one has to do with the other.

The Bible text itself - in Hebrew or Greek - makes no pretension of being "history", certainly not in the modern European/American sense of the word. People much later indulged in various arguments over "historicity". Fruitlessly.

I know plenty of Christians, maybe plenty of Jews too, as well as other people from other cultural traditions, who take the Bible as literature whose purpose is to serve as mashal and maskil, proverb and wise teaching, for understanding and for rules for secure life, so historical fiction - to use modern terminology - for instructive purposes. Nothing to be embarrassed about or afraid of. On the contrary, it should be embraced.

To my knowledge there is no historical evidence that the wisdom traditions which modern Europeans/Americans label as "Hebrew", "Jewish", "Egyptian", "Avestan", "Hindu", "Buddhist", etc. were committed to written form - whether papyrus, parchment, birch bark, palm leaves, etc. - any time before around 400 BC, which also roughly corresponds to the time of well known "Greek" philosophers, down to around 200 AD, over a geographical area spanning from the Indus/Ganges Valley regions as far north as parts of what are today's "-stans", and to the eastern Mediterranean (Egypt to Greece), with epicenters in Bactria/Gandhara and Syria.

It might also be worthwhile to study, or at least have basic understanding of, the economic and political history of that period and geographical area as a whole, including trade relations and routes.

Very few actual manuscripts, or fragments thereof, date to that time period, including bits and pieces of the Old Testament in Greek translation, the Qumran texts which include vast sections of the Old Testament in the original Hebrew in Aramaic script, and the Gandhara texts containing the earliest known Buddhist literature written in Gandhari language (related to Sanskrit) in Karoshthi script (akin to Aramaic).

Finally, most of the oldest surviving manuscripts of the literature from that period date to around 1000 AD.

Hope this helps.
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Old Today, 12:45 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
17,007 posts, read 51,817,024 times
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"To my knowledge there is no historical evidence that the wisdom traditions which modern Europeans/Americans label as "Hebrew", "Jewish", "Egyptian", "Avestan", "Hindu", "Buddhist", etc. were committed to written form - whether papyrus, parchment, birch bark, palm leaves, etc. - any time before around 400 BC, which also roughly corresponds to the time of well known "Greek" philosophers, down to around 200 AD, over a geographical area spanning from the Indus/Ganges Valley regions as far north as parts of what are today's "-stans", and to the eastern Mediterranean (Egypt to Greece), with epicenters in Bactria/Gandhara and Syria. "

Not entirely accurate.

10 Oldest Religious Texts in The World | Oldest.org
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Old Today, 01:29 PM
 
Location: western East Roman Empire
6,179 posts, read 10,237,055 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harry chickpea View Post
"To my knowledge there is no historical evidence that the wisdom traditions which modern Europeans/Americans label as "Hebrew", "Jewish", "Egyptian", "Avestan", "Hindu", "Buddhist", etc. were committed to written form - whether papyrus, parchment, birch bark, palm leaves, etc. - any time before around 400 BC, which also roughly corresponds to the time of well known "Greek" philosophers, down to around 200 AD, over a geographical area spanning from the Indus/Ganges Valley regions as far north as parts of what are today's "-stans", and to the eastern Mediterranean (Egypt to Greece), with epicenters in Bactria/Gandhara and Syria. "

Not entirely accurate.
It wasn't meant to be.

Quote:
Originally Posted by harry chickpea View Post
Very interesting, but I don't have the impression that all the representations shown in that website are entirely accurate either, they seem like a mix of archaeology and oral tradition.

For example, some of those texts appear to be on papyrus and palm leaves or birch bark and the composers of the site present no evidence that those materials with the text on them are actually some 3,500 years old as they appear to claim. Not saying that they are not, but I would demand to see some hard scholarly evidence and this obviously is not a scholarly site.

One scholarly book that I have in my possession, copyrighted 2007, claims that the earliest traceable "manuscript" tradition in India dates to around the 200s BC, about 2,200 years ago.

Do 1,300 years of difference count? Actually 2,300 years, because extant manuscripts, according to what I have read, date to around 1,000 AD.

Have there been major manuscript discoveries over the past 10-11 years?

I am not saying that the works were not originally composed - mind, orally or otherwise - some 3,500 or even some 13,500 or 30,000 years ago - it's certainly possible - but that based on scholarly evidence as per "western" standards, the traceable "text" tradition is much more "recent".

Perhaps we are splitting hairs for no discernible purpose.

Anyway, thanks.

Last edited by bale002; Today at 01:52 PM..
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Old Today, 05:23 PM
 
Location: Ohio
18,310 posts, read 13,432,534 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlwaysByChance View Post
I didn't want to post this in the religion forum because I wanted an unbiased answer. From what I've gathered from Wikipedia it's implied that most scholars of archeology and history believe their never was a United Monarchy of Israel and Judah. But, that the United Monarchy of the two was a later construction.

I'm Catholic with Polish-Jewish ancestry. So, I believe in the United Monarchy. But, why does it seem believers in the historical United Monarchy are in the minority?
Because there's no evidence of it.

All the evidence shows they were two separate distinct kingdoms that acted independently.

The Kingdom of Israel was incredibly wealthy, while the Kingdom of Judah was incredibly poor. That's why the Kingdom of Israel was in constant conflict with other States who sought to subjugate the Kingdom of Israel and extract its wealth, usually by forcing the king to pay a tribute as a vassal-State.

You need only read Genesis to see that.

Genesis contains doublets -- two versions of the same story -- and triplets -- three versions of the same story. Why? Because the Kingdom of Israel had its own separate religious text, and the Kingdom of Judah had its own separate religious text which was different from the text used by the Kingdom of Israel, and then the priests in the Levite Clan had their own separate religious text which was different from the other two.

How did Joseph get to Egypt?

There are two conflicting stories in Genesis. One story says Joseph's brothers sold him as a slave to a passing caravan, but another story says Joseph's brothers threw him into a well and abandoned him. Alone and afraid, Joseph keeps crying out hoping someone will hear him, and eventually a passing caravan does hear him and rescues him, only to sell him as a slave in Egypt.

Both stories cannot be true. One story is false; a lie.

How did the Hebrews acquire Shechem?

One story says they bought, while another story says they murdered for it. They went into the city at night and killed all the men.

Both stories cannot be true. One story is false; a lie.

Why are there so many doublets and triplets?

Jerusalem is a back-water podunk town with a population not more than 1,200 people. But, after the Kingdom of Israel is over-run, refugees pour into Jerusalem and the population swells to 12,000 to maybe as much as 20,000 people. We know this, because it's archeologically proven. You can see the expansion, and the dating coincides with the destruction of the Kingdom of Israel.

Now that all these refugees are in the Kingdom of Judah, what do you do?

To the E writer and the people of Israel, Judah is a nobody. Joseph is a hero to them, but Judah is not. On the other hand, Judah is a folk-hero to the people of Judah, and the J writer always does damage control and tries to spin stories to cast Judah in the most favorable light.

But, you can't just omit the mytho-histories and heroes the people of Israel have come to know, love and cherish over the last several centuries. That would be political and religious suicide, especially since politics and religion are one in the same, so the editor combines and crafts all three texts from the Kingdom of Israel, the Kingdom of Judah and the priests into one seamless text.

Having a unified kingdom also means having unified religion, and not separate religious ideologies, but you don't have a unified religious ideology, in part because the kingdoms were never unified at any point.

Note that the Kingdom of Judah never came to the aid of the Kingdom of Israel as it was being over-run, and in a unified kingdom, that shouldn't have happened.

Claims of a unified kingdom are just romantic wishful thinking and not based on any reality or evidence.
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Old Today, 06:19 PM
 
9,565 posts, read 2,621,918 times
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The only thing we can be sure of is that there was a lot of tribalism, war and gore....with some peaceful times in-between.

I found it interesting that the "missing link" culture seems to have been found.....that is, the older culture to the Palestine/Israel/Syria area.

My guess is these are some of the ancestors of all the ME tribes.....
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natufian_culture

Using scripture as a guide is difficult, especially when the major stories (Jews built pyramids, moses existed, etc.) have been disproven.
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