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Old 10-16-2011, 11:51 PM
 
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Judges 3:31

After him [Ehud] came Shamgar son of Anath, who slew six hundred Philistines with an ox-goad. He too was a champion of Israel. (NJPS)

This brief mention is about all we get about Shamgar son of Anath, except for another reference in Judges 5 in the Song of Deborah. In it it says:

In the days of Shamgar son of Anath
In the days of Jael, caravans ceased,
And wayfarers went
By roundabout paths.
Deliverance ceased,
Ceased in Israel,
Till you arose, O Deborah,
Arose, O mother, in Israel!
When they chose new gods,
Was there a fighter then in the gates?
No shield or spear was seen
Among forty thousand in Israel!
(Judges 5:6-8,ibid)

Most scholars have determined that the Song of Deborah is the oldest piece of writing in the Bible, so it is probably the closest to the monolatrous days of Israel. His inclusion in Judges 3:31 is felt to be a result of his original mention in the Song of Deborah. We find a theophoric name with Shamgar son of Anath (Shamgar ben Anat) - the Ugaritic goddess of fertility and war. He was probably not considered the actual "son" of Anath, of course, but merely one who went in her ways, or worshipped her. The following section on the war fought by Deborah (the prophetess), Barak (who refused to fight without her) and Jael (who is the woman who drives a pent teg into Sisera - the enemy commander - seems closely allied to the ideas of Anath being a goddess of war and fertility.

DDD (Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible) has this to say about Anath:

[LEFT]The available evidence indicates that Anat was originally a north-west Semitic
goddess. The main source of information about her in this context is the Ugaritic corpus of texts. The predominant view among
scholars is that the Ugaritic texts present Anat as a "fertility goddess" who is the consort of the god Baal.

It is also often stated that she is the mother of Baal's offspring. Some scholars funher allege that[LEFT]the texts present her as acting like a prostitute, either to entice Baal specifically, or in
her general conduct. Even when she is described in what seems to be more respectful
terms as Baal's sacred bride, this carries overtones of illegitimate sexuality because [/LEFT]
implies cultic enactments of the so-called sacred marriage. which is also referred to by
[/LEFT]

many scholars as ritual prostitution....Anat is depicted in the Ugaritic mythological
[LEFT]
[LEFT]texts as a volatile, independent, adolescent warrior and hunter....[/LEFT]

Her epithet btlt indicates that she is (as defined by her culture)

[LEFT]a marriageable adolescent female, but t is precisely because she "refuses to grow up" and take her place in the adult, female sphere of marriage and reproductivity that she can remain active in the male spheres of combat and hunting. As a warrior she vanquishes both human and supernatural (KTU 1.3 iii:38-46) foes, employing typical weapons of combat such as thc bow (KTU 1.3 ii:16) and sword (KTU 1.6 ii:31).[/LEFT]


[LEFT]Her bloodthirsty nature is shockingly explicit in one well-known text (KTU 1.3 ii:330) in which she is described as joyously[/LEFT]


wading thigh-deep in the blood of slain warriors.

Quite a goddess, eh? KTU, by the way, refers to a work that catalogues the available cuneiform tablets recorvered from Ugarit and gives a handy reference guide to finding specific works - kind of like how the Bible was eventually given chapters and verses by a medieval scholar. Anyways - I won't repeat the Song of Deborah here (which is a poetic version of the prose narrative in the preceding chapter, which comes directly on the heels of the Shamgar son of Anath reference) : I merely point out that this is the base for finding parallels between the behavior of Anath and the behavior of the two heroines Deborah and Jael. If I haven't said it before: Judges, is by far, the most monolatrous books of the Bible, and the one with the most Canaanitish influences
[/LEFT]

Oh this stupid formatting.... why does this forum use such weird things.

Last edited by whoppers; 10-17-2011 at 12:03 AM..
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Old 10-17-2011, 12:02 AM
 
Location: University City, Philadelphia
22,583 posts, read 11,859,470 times
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Just a very brief mention about the earlier discussion about the "Golden Bull" or "The Golden Calf": we are all aware of the importance of bull worship in Egypt, with the Apis Bull and all that.

So strong was the devotion to the bull deity to the Egyptians, that with the Macedonian conquest of Egypt by Ptolemy I Soter, a new "god" was introduced that would unify Ptolemy's Greek and Egyptian subjects: Serapis. Greeks were rather contemptuous of the Egyptian animal-headed deities, so Serapis is portrayed as a beared Zeus-like father figure but is supposed to be the reincarnated Apis/Osiris god arisen from the dead and consort of Isis. The cult of Serapis continued right up to the 4th century CE.
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Old 10-17-2011, 05:39 AM
 
Location: New York City
5,556 posts, read 6,740,134 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clark Park View Post
Just a very brief mention about the earlier discussion about the "Golden Bull" or "The Golden Calf": we are all aware of the importance of bull worship in Egypt, with the Apis Bull and all that.

So strong was the devotion to the bull deity to the Egyptians, that with the Macedonian conquest of Egypt by Ptolemy I Soter, a new "god" was introduced that would unify Ptolemy's Greek and Egyptian subjects: Serapis. Greeks were rather contemptuous of the Egyptian animal-headed deities, so Serapis is portrayed as a beared Zeus-like father figure but is supposed to be the reincarnated Apis/Osiris god arisen from the dead and consort of Isis. The cult of Serapis continued right up to the 4th century CE.

There is some indication the Serapis cult had some influence on the later Christian cult also.
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Old 10-17-2011, 06:50 AM
 
3,488 posts, read 3,168,632 times
Reputation: 738
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clark Park View Post
Just a very brief mention about the earlier discussion about the "Golden Bull" or "The Golden Calf": we are all aware of the importance of bull worship in Egypt, with the Apis Bull and all that.

So strong was the devotion to the bull deity to the Egyptians, that with the Macedonian conquest of Egypt by Ptolemy I Soter, a new "god" was introduced that would unify Ptolemy's Greek and Egyptian subjects: Serapis. Greeks were rather contemptuous of the Egyptian animal-headed deities, so Serapis is portrayed as a beared Zeus-like father figure but is supposed to be the reincarnated Apis/Osiris god arisen from the dead and consort of Isis. The cult of Serapis continued right up to the 4th century CE.
Quote:
Originally Posted by InsaneInDaMembrane View Post
There is some indication the Serapis cult had some influence on the later Christian cult also.

Very good observations!

Now, maybe we can start linking the concepts of the Golden Bulls, the Golden Calves, the Bull of Jacob, Apis (related to Ptah - the creator god of Egypt), Bull 'El of Ugarit and this famous picture discovered recently - which has the words:

Yahweh and his Asherah - see a familiar animal?



Yahweh is the figure in the middle, flanked by Asherah on his right. A figure to the far right plays music. Notice the strange, horned cow in the foreground giving suck.
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Old 10-17-2011, 02:40 PM
 
Location: New York City
5,556 posts, read 6,740,134 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whoppers View Post
Very good observations!

Now, maybe we can start linking the concepts of the Golden Bulls, the Golden Calves, the Bull of Jacob, Apis (related to Ptah - the creator god of Egypt), Bull 'El of Ugarit and this famous picture discovered recently - which has the words:

Yahweh and his Asherah - see a familiar animal?



Yahweh is the figure in the middle, flanked by Asherah on his right. A figure to the far right plays music. Notice the strange, horned cow in the foreground giving suck.
Yes, this is the type of stuff you're not going to learn or hear about in Sunday School 101. In fact, you won't hear it in bible study either, as it would be considered counter-productive.
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Old 10-17-2011, 05:47 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InsaneInDaMembrane View Post
Yes, this is the type of stuff you're not going to learn or hear about in Sunday School 101. In fact, you won't hear it in bible study either, as it would be considered counter-productive.
Well, it depends on where you do your Bible Study.
In most reputable colleges and seminaries, you will learn about this.
Even in the Jewish Study Bible, which contains the New Jewish Publication Society's translation of the Hebrew Bible - the copious footnotes make numerous references to Ancient Near Eastern parallels and mythologies. Even it's extensive essay-section is a wealth of good, reliable, scholarly information - information that would fry the ears and eyes off of a typical orthodox believer.

The Anchor Bible series, which has been churning out new translations of individual books of the Bible with commentary, has been releasing volumes since the 1960s under the editorship of David Noel Freedman - a consummate scholar in his field. The entire initiative is a multi-faith initiative engaged in by jewish, christian scholars. If you read my posts carefully, you will probably see the abbreviation AB used - that is what I am referring to. They have also released a series of scholarly works in the Anchor Series, as well as the acclaimed Anchor Bible Dictionary - which is chocked full of non-devotional, scientific, scholarly articles on the subject.

It used to be that archaelogists, when the field was young, literally dug with a spade in one hand, and a Bible in the other. They were trying to prove the Bible, in other words - or use the Bible as a guide in interpreting finds. The field was once called Biblical Archaeology and much of it's initial funding, that led to great discoveries, was based on the public's interest in finding out more about the Bible. Now, scholars tend to focus not just on the Biblical aspects of archaeology - but on the other aspects, as well.

The unfortunate thing in all of this is - the public is almost never made aware of this. The scholarly field is notoriously difficult to navigate, with a typical work referencing hundreds of others that one must hunt down and read. When the rare scholar does try to make their work more accessible to the general public (such as in Richard Eliott Friedman's Who Wrote The Bible?) they are usually criticized by their peers for 'dumbing it down' for laypeople. This is stupid, as it reduces funding for their field in the end, and the public IS able to appreciate the work with the proper preparation. The backside to this is when scholarly information is taken out of context, and used in an agenda or innapropriately: this can get many Biblical scholars in trouble with their institutions, because they sometimes walk a fine line between trying to educate their students, and not getting busted for turning away possible preachers. One famours Biblical scholar resigned after he said that his position was meant to prepare students for the ministry, and instead he was teaching them proper Biblical Criticism and thus unpreparing them to serve as pastors and ministers. Most pastors who go to a reputable seminary are well aware of Biblical scholarship - but they must make a decision: make money and teach the old, hard line to their flock or risk educating them, at the chance that their devotion wavers in the end.

Once one knows the proper avenues of research, a whole new world opens up. Most Biblical scholars today are expected to be fluent in Ancient Hebrew, Akkadian, Greek, Ugaritic, and a host of other languages besides. They are also expected to be extremely well-informed on the Ancient Near East and Mediterranean Area to be able to properly contextualize the information they are learning. Only in the fundamentalist or devotional schools will you find a resistance to scholarly methods. I, myself, still study Hebrew, Akkadian, Ugaritic whenever I have the chance,

Now this doesn't mean one must lose his faith over all of this - it just has to change, that's all. And change it will, if the student is truly a student. Sometimes it changes into something better, sometimes into nothing at all, something it never changes and nothing is learned.

What you say, though - about Sunday School is true, though. SOME Sunday Schools, for adult students, will indeed deal with this information, however. Again - it depends on where you go. The important thing, I think, is not to present it as an attack on someone's faith, however - because hostility automatically breeds resentment and suspicion of a person's motivations. It is what it is, but sometimes it's all in how you say it. I admit, I have been guily of being a little hostile at times, but I usually regret it because it accomplishes nothing except make me feel superior - as if I know something someone else doesn't, and that's not a good attitude.
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Old 10-17-2011, 05:52 PM
 
Location: OKC
5,426 posts, read 5,592,951 times
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Whoopers, I can't thank you enough for bring all this information out. Insane has also been very helpful, as well as Micah. These new threads are some of the best in this sub-forums history.
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Old 10-17-2011, 05:54 PM
 
3,488 posts, read 3,168,632 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boxcar Overkill View Post
Whoopers, I can't thank you enough for bring all this information out. Insane has also been very helpful, as well as Micah. These new threads are some of the best in this sub-forums history.
Thanks!
I really do love the subject, so hopefully that comes out in some of my posts heh heh! Sometimes it may come out TOO much!
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Old 10-17-2011, 06:54 PM
 
Location: New York City
5,556 posts, read 6,740,134 times
Reputation: 1351
Quote:
Originally Posted by whoppers View Post
Well, it depends on where you do your Bible Study.
In most reputable colleges and seminaries, you will learn about this.
Even in the Jewish Study Bible, which contains the New Jewish Publication Society's translation of the Hebrew Bible - the copious footnotes make numerous references to Ancient Near Eastern parallels and mythologies. Even it's extensive essay-section is a wealth of good, reliable, scholarly information - information that would fry the ears and eyes off of a typical orthodox believer.

The Anchor Bible series, which has been churning out new translations of individual books of the Bible with commentary, has been releasing volumes since the 1960s under the editorship of David Noel Freedman - a consummate scholar in his field. The entire initiative is a multi-faith initiative engaged in by jewish, christian scholars. If you read my posts carefully, you will probably see the abbreviation AB used - that is what I am referring to. They have also released a series of scholarly works in the Anchor Series, as well as the acclaimed Anchor Bible Dictionary - which is chocked full of non-devotional, scientific, scholarly articles on the subject.

It used to be that archaelogists, when the field was young, literally dug with a spade in one hand, and a Bible in the other. They were trying to prove the Bible, in other words - or use the Bible as a guide in interpreting finds. The field was once called Biblical Archaeology and much of it's initial funding, that led to great discoveries, was based on the public's interest in finding out more about the Bible. Now, scholars tend to focus not just on the Biblical aspects of archaeology - but on the other aspects, as well.

The unfortunate thing in all of this is - the public is almost never made aware of this. The scholarly field is notoriously difficult to navigate, with a typical work referencing hundreds of others that one must hunt down and read. When the rare scholar does try to make their work more accessible to the general public (such as in Richard Eliott Friedman's Who Wrote The Bible?) they are usually criticized by their peers for 'dumbing it down' for laypeople. This is stupid, as it reduces funding for their field in the end, and the public IS able to appreciate the work with the proper preparation. The backside to this is when scholarly information is taken out of context, and used in an agenda or innapropriately: this can get many Biblical scholars in trouble with their institutions, because they sometimes walk a fine line between trying to educate their students, and not getting busted for turning away possible preachers. One famours Biblical scholar resigned after he said that his position was meant to prepare students for the ministry, and instead he was teaching them proper Biblical Criticism and thus unpreparing them to serve as pastors and ministers. Most pastors who go to a reputable seminary are well aware of Biblical scholarship - but they must make a decision: make money and teach the old, hard line to their flock or risk educating them, at the chance that their devotion wavers in the end.

Once one knows the proper avenues of research, a whole new world opens up. Most Biblical scholars today are expected to be fluent in Ancient Hebrew, Akkadian, Greek, Ugaritic, and a host of other languages besides. They are also expected to be extremely well-informed on the Ancient Near East and Mediterranean Area to be able to properly contextualize the information they are learning. Only in the fundamentalist or devotional schools will you find a resistance to scholarly methods. I, myself, still study Hebrew, Akkadian, Ugaritic whenever I have the chance,

Now this doesn't mean one must lose his faith over all of this - it just has to change, that's all. And change it will, if the student is truly a student. Sometimes it changes into something better, sometimes into nothing at all, something it never changes and nothing is learned.

What you say, though - about Sunday School is true, though. SOME Sunday Schools, for adult students, will indeed deal with this information, however. Again - it depends on where you go. The important thing, I think, is not to present it as an attack on someone's faith, however - because hostility automatically breeds resentment and suspicion of a person's motivations. It is what it is, but sometimes it's all in how you say it. I admit, I have been guily of being a little hostile at times, but I usually regret it because it accomplishes nothing except make me feel superior - as if I know something someone else doesn't, and that's not a good attitude.
My girlfriend and I discuss this all the time. I surely realize this is stuff you will hear about in many seminaries and other schools of higher learning but it often stays in those halls. The average Joe out there often only stumble into this stuff via the internet or by stumbling into some book. Ironically, the 'average Joe' who attends a fundamentalist church has already heard his pastor scoffing at those evil, liberal schools of higher learning that reject the "word of god" for the wisdom of men. This type of stuff is seen as "devices of the devil" designed to undermine one's faith.

Bart Ehrman deals with this is one of his books, where he tells of leaving a fundamentalist seminary like Wheeler (I think) for Princeton where he learned things about biblical history that he never knew about. As a result, in the face of indisputable evidence, he had to relinquish his Christian faith but exchanged it for a more honest conclusion to things biblical. On the other hand, there are ministers who know all of this and the bible takes on a different meaning to them on a far less literal interpretation.
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Old 10-17-2011, 07:11 PM
 
Location: New York City
5,556 posts, read 6,740,134 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boxcar Overkill View Post
Whoopers, I can't thank you enough for bring all this information out. Insane has also been very helpful, as well as Micah. These new threads are some of the best in this sub-forums history.
Thanks Boxcar! As whoppers said, I REALLY love this type of stuff. If you look around, you will see that I started a few threads on the subject of Yahweh, but they were often met with resistance and scorn from [some] of the Christians on the forums. I find the subject very interesting and it helps me to place the bible and the Abrahamic faiths in a proper perspective and I find it a very beautiful thing. Even though I am an agnostic (theist) as of now, I don't necessarily have a strong bias to prove the bible as something I should discard. I simply treat it as an interesting piece of literature that sheds light on history and giving sense to some of our present.
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