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Messages - lapwing

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Quote from: HolyMoly
But how is proving what the Bible says with the Bible any less circular?
This is not exactly constructive is it. Aren't you using the Bible (or at least a few favoured passages) to try to establish your thesis?!

Q "How do you know the early Israelites were polytheists?"
A "Because these few obscure Bible passages, which I claim to be older than other passages which don't fit my thesis, indicate it according to my own interpretation."
Q "But how do you know they are older and reliable?"
A "Because this fits my thesis"

The evidence of polytheism in ancient Israel is quite abundant.
"Abundant?" This is just an empty sound-bite that sounds good but has no substance to back it up.
How does one measure "abundant" except by personal opinion?

Other Ancient Near East Texts
A general caveat. It is intellectually dishonest to treat the Bible with a huge dose of scepticism yet accept other ANET without question. #justsaying One should also note that the Bible is far more realistic about the leading characters - even heroes like David have their faults described rather than whitewashed.

records of Sargon II, who took booty from Samaria which included 'the gods in whom they trusted', obviously referring to idols
I don't think anyone is denying that some ancient Israelites worshipped other gods. This is why they paid the price of defeat by Assyria and Babylon. However, they were going against their own monotheistic religion.

Nowhere in Psalm 82 are the Elohim "gods" equated to the gods of idols that were worshipped. And you know full well that Elohim has a range of meanings (e.g. the Heiser video). Here Heiser shows that, amongst other things, Elohim is used for demons (Dt 32:17) and angels (Gen 35:1-7). Psalm 82 isn't about worshipping other gods, it's about a divine council. To say this means polytheism is to put together disparate Bible passages and ideas in a presumptuous fashion. Psalm 82 says nothing about gods being worshipped, either by the other nations or the Israelites.

Micah 4:5
Although Micah may have been based in Judah his message was to both Judah and Israel. I wonder if you are putting in such irrelevancies so that if I don't respond to them you will then say "you didn't respond to all my points". Could that be because some of them don't merit any response?

Why would Yahweh need to be jealous if these other beings didn't actually exist?
God is "jealous" because he's jealous for the hearts and minds of His chosen people Israel. This is about as basic an aspect of the OT as there could possibly be. The creator of the universe is not threatened by idols that need to be carried about and fixed so they don't fall over!

Kuntillet Ajrud and Khirbet el-Qom
Given the location and evidence of other languages, this could well be a case of non-Israelites worshipping Yahweh. Remember no one is denying that at times the Israelites worshipped other gods. The nation of Israel began at Mt Sinai and Yahweh made clear to them there that such worship was not to be done. Ditto Taanach cult stand etc.

The first Israelites were in fact Canaanites.
Disputed. There have been threads about this in the past.

Verse 39 may be a later redaction that reflects post-exilic beliefs
A classic example of "because this fits my thesis"

And can you demonstrate that the name Isra-El is not in reference to the Canaanite head god El?
Just because Canaanite "El" and Hebrew "El", "Elohim" etc are cognate forms doesn't mean they refer to the same god. Elohim and El in the Bible are generic terms for God, gods, divine beings etc. (see above). I've already made this point in the thread.

You seem to be unwilling to admit that its nonsensical for people to worship something that they don't actually believe exists.
No I haven't said that. What I have said is that the OT is mostly silent on what people actually believed. From classical sources we know that their worship of gods and the accompanying rituals was mostly done as a matter of form to try to ensure good fortune, rather than any particular belief in the gods themselves. (Tradition). If you say X believed Y when the text does not say so, you are making an assumption.

Ironically, this just happens to be the same name of the head Canaanite god just a few kilometers away. Coincidence?
No, because in Hebrew "El" just means god amongst other things. It's a generic term.

El is equated with
a. YHWH in Num. 23:8; Ps. 16:1-2; 85:8; Isa. 42:5
b. Elohim in Gen. 46:3; Job 5:8, "I am El, the Elohim of your father"
c. Shaddai in Gen. 49:25; Num. 24:4,16
d. "jealousy" in Exod. 34:14; Deut. 4:24; 5:9; 6:15
e. "mercy" in Deut. 4:31; Neh. 9:31
f. "great and awesome" in Deut. 7:21; 10:17; Neh. 1:5; 9:32; Dan. 9:4
g. "knowledge" in 1 Sam. 2:3
h. "my strong refuge" in 2 Sam. 22:33
i. "my avenger" in 2 Sam. 22:48
j. "holy one" in Isa. 5:16
k. "might" in Isa. 10:21
l. "my salvation" in Isa. 12:2
m. "great and powerful" in Jer. 32:18
n. "retribution" in Jer. 51:56

I'd really like to hear your justification for choosing a translation that was made over 1,000 years later than the DSS and LXX
"Translation" ?!?!? The MT was written in the same language as the original autograph: Hebrew!
The LXX is a translation (from Hebrew to Greek).

The date and character of the witnesses. In general, earlier manuscripts are more likely to
be free from those errors that arise from repeated copying. Of even greater importance, however,
than the age of the document itself are the date and character of the type
of text that it embodies, as well as the degree of care taken by the copyist while producing the
from Metzger's Textual Commentary on the Greek NT (general principles apply to other texts as well).
This is just one of the criteria. Other being: geographical distro of witnesses, genealogical relationship of texts, internal factors e.g. generally prefer more difficult reading (sons of Israel is also difficult), generally prefer shorter reading etc. This section by Metzger is well worth reading as a brief intro.

By the way, Samuel Rolles Driver died before the DSS were discovered so his opinion is automatically disqualified.
Wrong since he knew about the Septuagint reading.

You listed 5 scholars but never quoted their arguments, evidence, or refutations
I prefer to make my own arguments rather than hide behind "scholars".


Choose Your Own Topic / Re: Supposed Bible Contradiction #5
« on: September 04, 2015, 09:39:12 AM »
So Archelaus was a chip off the Herod block.

Quote from: Caesar_Augustus
I would rather be Herod's pig (Greek: ὑς) than Herod's son (ὑιος).

Quote from: HolyMoly
This only became "orthodox" after the Babylonian Exile.
This is still in the realm of the circular argument. Any verses that emphasise monotheism are proclaimed as late because they emphasise monotheism. You are yet to prove otherwise. Empty assertion is not proof. For instance there are monotheistic statements within the Song of Moses which is the passage you are using to try to establish early Israelite polytheism.

He will say: “Now where are their gods, the rock they took refuge in,
38the gods who ate the fat of their sacrifices and drank the wine of their drink offerings? Let them rise up to help you! Let them give you shelter!
39“See now that I myself am he! There is no god besides me. I put to death and I bring to life, I have wounded and I will heal, and no one can deliver out of my hand.

(Note the irony about the waste of good food and drink!)

This passage does not deny that other races worshipped other gods. It denies that such gods can actually do anything because they aren't real. I think you have got confused between other "gods" being worshipped and other gods actually existing. The former does not guarantee the latter. The best illustration was Elijah's test of the sacrifices on Mt. Carmel. The gods of the false prophets did not light the fire of the sacrifice. Reason - the false gods did not actually exist.

Why does God need a name? You only need a name to distinguish yourself from someone else. The fact that God had to have a name implies other gods existed because names were used to differentiate between them.
This is too simple minded. The names are for our sake and not God's. Hebrew names are not just identifiers but convey meaning and understanding of different aspects of God. They provide the means of the biblical authors to emphasise the different aspects of God's character.

The fact that the Bible says that they "went and worshiped other gods" obviously means that they believed they existed.
Given you have your pet theory you want to defend you're bound to want to leap to conclusions without proof and this is a case in point. Note there is a difference between saying "we are not told whether or not X believed Y" and "X did not believe Y". Do you understand the difference?

the author of the Exodus passage is relating the truth that Abraham worshiped Canaanite El.
That's the mother of all distortions!
I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, as God Almighty (el sadday), but by my name the Lord (Yahweh)I did not make myself known to them
Firstly there is no indication that this is the Canaanite el. That's just an assumption. Secondly Yahweh is clearly saying that it was He (Yahweh) that appeared to Abraham. Are you saying that it wasn't Yahweh who appeared to Abraham, it wasn't Yahweh who destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, that Jesus was wrong about that in the NT. Pretty soon you won't be left with anything in the Bible except your own pet interpretations of your favourite verses! Selective scepticism taken to the nth degree.

The MT dates to 9/10th century CE. Obviously, if the edit was made this late then it's clear the Holy Scripture has been tampered with
You still don't seem to understand that just because the MT mss we have are later than the DSS that doesn't mean that it must be the case that the DSS version was changed to the MT version. Qumran was a sect so it's unlikely its mss were used in Jerusalem. The original autographs predate both so it's quite possible that it was the DSS version was changed from the original, not the MT version.

And scholars are unanimous in agreeing that the DSS is the superior rendering.
This is plainly false as I've already given you a list of 5 scholars who disagree. Also, many Bible versions do not use the DSS version, or they footnote it as less likely. Are you seriously saying that there are no scholars who work on those Bible translations. Really?!

Finally, I think you have mistakenly conflated polytheism with the divine council of Ps 82 etc. The divine council may be heavenly beings but that doesn't make them gods which were worshipped with idols.

Holy Moly,

So lemme get this straight, you believe that the Israelites worshiped other gods but didn't actually believe they exist right? Exactly how does that work?

I've already explained this and I fail to see why you didn't understand. I think you must be so wrapped up in your own thoughts to pay proper attention to what others write.

The orthodox belief of the ancient Israelites was that there was only God. He had various names in the Bible but the most important was Yahweh. Only Yahweh was to be worshipped. The surrounding nations worshipped other gods and some Israelites worshipped these instead. We're not told their inner motives but we are told this is regarded as sinful and will have bad consequences for the nation e.g. defeat by Assyria and Babylon and consequent exile.

This means that Abraham worshiped the Canaanite deity El. Yahweh was unknown to the patriarchs
Wrong yet again. All this means is that Yahweh had other names during Abraham's time.

You ignored some of my main points in the last post such as
I thought you understood that I think your "my scholar is bigger than your scholar" game is pointless. It only proves there is a variety of opinions. It doesn't prove who is right.

But we all know that the book of Deuteronomy already had authoritative status before ending up in the DSS and LXX copies. We absolutely know that it had authoritative status well before the MT was written
We don't know when the edit was made do we. It's not likely to be at the time of our oldest MT ms since there will have been many copies made over centuries before that.  The Qumran community didn't just make stuff up since they had copies of earlier scriptures e.g. Isaiah. How would an individual copyist in any of the separate communities (Qumran, Jerusalem, Galilee, Babylon, Alexandria etc) know he had the definitive copy?

The canonical status of Dt is not the issue. What is the issue is what was thought to be the correct wording.

Choose Your Own Topic / Re: Motivation of the skeptics
« on: September 03, 2015, 02:51:16 PM »
Seems unfair on God to blame Him for what people like Bush and Blair do.

The One Ring that binds them and the story about it
Mozart and his music
Shakespeare and his plays

Donald Trump - that's enough

Choose Your Own Topic / Radio programme on role of religion in World War One
« on: September 03, 2015, 01:06:01 PM »
As a corrective to abstruse discussions of polytheism in the Bible and a reminder of what is more important in life.

I agree with the presenters that when the soldiers put their own words to hymn tunes they knew, they weren't being disrespectful - just the opposite in fact. Interesting piece on the role of church magazines as a two way communication medium and a reminder of the days when nobody wanted to receive a telegram.

Holy Moly,

There's a difference between saying

Ancient Israelites believed many gods existed.

and citing individual examples of Israelites worshipping other gods.

Maybe you should change the above to  "At times some Israelites worshipped other gods"

But why would they worship other gods if they didn't believe they actually existed? That doesn't make much sense does it?

"Hey Abraham what are you doing?"

"Oh, I'm just worshiping this god that I don't believe exists"


Well you should know that the Bible is mostly silent on people's inner thought and beliefs.

However, the problem here is that you are confusing the orthodox belief of the Israelites as a whole (the nature of the religion of the Israelites now known as Judaism) and what individual Israelites did. Abraham is not a good example since I don't think he ever worshipped false gods.

Have you given up responding to the rest of my posts?

Quote from: HolyMoly
The verse obviously implies that Yahweh (Elohim) is standing in the council of El, making Yahweh subordinate in this instance

Quote from: HolyMoly
No, that passage is to be understood as Yahweh speaking, not El.
Quote from: lapwing
Do not bow down before their gods (El) or worship them or follow their practices. You must demolish them and break their sacred stones to pieces. 25Worship the Lord (Yahweh) your God (El), from Ex 23
So Yahweh=El tells the Israelites to destroy images to Himself according to you. Your thesis can only be described as faulty (and that's being kind).
So, on the one hand, the name Yahweh doesn't even appear in Ps 82 yet Elohim is taken to imply Yahweh.
On the other hand, when "Yahweh your El" tells the Israelites to destroy images to "El" that's Yahweh, not El, speaking! You are being self-contradictory Holy Moly.

Holy Moly,

There's a difference between saying

Ancient Israelites believed many gods existed.

and citing individual examples of Israelites worshipping other gods. It's a common theme of written prophecy that the Israelites prostituted themselves to other gods (esp. Hosea). The first statement is about orthodox belief i.e. what was their belief system. The second is what actually happened. The OT is for the most part a description of the failure of the Israelites to keep the covenant pointing forward to Jesus as the true Israel. David was only reporting someone else's speech!  Saying "the gods of Egypt" does not mean you think they exist but that the Egyptians had (false) gods who will be exposed as such. If they existed why do they allow the death of the firstborn?

Shout louder!” he said. “Surely he is a god! Perhaps he is deep in thought, or busy, or traveling. Maybe he is sleeping and must be awakened.”

Maybe you should change the above to  "At times some Israelites worshipped other gods"

Deut. 4 is post-exilic while the Song of Moses hymn preserved in the DSS version of Deut. 32:8-9 is pre-exilic
It's going to be more and more problematic for you if you have to rely on such disputable opinions about dating OT passages. Didn't you notice that some Kuenen and Driver think the Song of Moses was written at the end of the exile. "Why is Dt 4 late? Because it emphasises monotheism." You haven't shown me any of this nuance yet. Lexical considerations are not going to be certain are they?

Actually this passage confirms that Yahweh acknowledges the existence of other gods
Mistake. All it shows is that the surrounding nations worship other gods.

Quoting opinion as if it were fact. This opinion is disputed as you well know.

You haven't listed all theologians. Why does only 4 provide a consensus? Time and space only allows listing a few but it's not enough to claim consensus is it? I've already listed names above: Driver, Hall, Kalland, Merrill and Ridderbos. That's 5. Does that mean I win? This is a pointless game.

Samuel Rolles Driver was born at Southampton. He was educated at Winchester and New College, Oxford, where he had a distinguished career, taking a first class in Literae Humaniores in 1869. He was awarded the Pusey and Ellerton scholarship in 1866, the Kennicott scholarship in 1870 (both Hebrew), and the Houghton Syriac prize in 1872. From 1870 he was a fellow, and from 1875 also a tutor, of New College, and in 1883 succeeded Pusey as Regius Professor of Hebrew and canon of Christ Church, Oxford.[1]

He was a member of the Old Testament Revision Committee of the Revised Version (1876-1884) and examining chaplain to the bishop of Southwell (1884-1904); received the honorary degrees of doctor of literature of the University of Dublin (1892), doctor of divinity of the University of Glasgow (1901),[2] doctor of literature of the University of Cambridge (1905); and was elected a fellow of the British Academy in 1902.[1]

Dr. Gary H. Hall
Professor of Old Testament and Hebrew, Lincoln Christian Seminary

B.A., Milligan College, 1964
M. Div., Lincoln Christian Seminary, 1969
Th. M, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, 1972
Ph.D., Union Theological Seminary of Virginia, 1980

Kalland Professor of Old Testament and Semitic Languages was on the NIV Committee on Bible Translation

Merrill attended Bob Jones University, where he earned his B.A. (1957), M.A. in Bible (1960), and Ph.D. in Old Testament interpretation (1963 After moving to New York for his wife to complete her doctorate, Merrill earned an M.A. in Jewish Studies at New York University (1970), and his M.Phil. (1976) and Ph.D. (1985) in Middle East languages and culture at Columbia University. He also completed post-doctoral research (1989–1990) at Tyndale House in Cambridge. Merrill taught at Bob Jones University from 1963 until 1966, then at Berkshire Christian College from 1968 until 1975.[1] He joined the faculty of Dallas Theological Seminary in 1975, where he remains active in teaching and writing.[2] He is a member of the American Oriental Society, the Near East Archaeological Society, the Society of Biblical Literature, and as of 2010 serves as president of the Evangelical Theological Society.[3]

Jan Ridderbos, was an ordained minister in the Reformed Churches in the Netherlands, a biblical commentator, and professor of Old Testament at the Theological School of the Reformed Churches of the Netherlands in Kampen. Ridderbos belonged to the professors who have put a clear stamp on the Reformed Churches of the Second World War.  The synod's decision Assen in 1926 on the authority of the Bible was largely drafted by him and greatly influenced by him. Ridderbos doctorate in 1907 with a thesis on the theology of Jonathan Edwards.  He served the congregations of Oosterend, Meppel and Bussum.  In 1912 he was appointed by the Synod of the Reformed Churches professor at Kampen.  He showed himself a capable Old Testament scholar.  He has published a biblical statement on the Minor Prophets.  He also wrote a study about Abraham and Paul.  He was a contributor to the Christian Encyclopedia

But of course you will claim these aren't proper qualifications or that evangelicals can't be proper scholars!

No, it's the fact that Yahweh is cast as a "son of El" in Deut. 32:8-9
No  it doesn't. The parallelism equates Yahweh with Elyown.
it consists in a remarkable correspondence in the ideas expressed in two successive units

I could find just as many scholars who argue for an earlier date
Then why provide the list of 4 "scholars" above (Tov et al).

If they altered it when it had already reached authoritative status
Unfounded assumption about authoritative status and you are dodging the fact that you don't know what direction the change was made or the reason for it - that is only supposed, not known.

Are you using the Bible to prove the Bible?
Shallow non sequitur.

No, that passage is to be understood as Yahweh speaking, not El.
In very many places Yahweh and El/Elohim are equated. See

Maybe now you understand why I don't take the Bible or any other texts to be "inspired".
I never assumed you believed in inspiration. Please quote where I said I thought that.

Your question was: "How does textual criticism get one to the conclusion that a book is divinely inspired? "

But inspiration only applies to the original autographs. So textual criticism cannot affect a belief in divine inspiration. What it can do is enable the recovery of the originals to a high degree of accuracy.

Quote from: GRWelsh
For example, do you accept that the early Hebrews were most likely polytheistic,
Israel, as a nation, first comes into existence at Mt Sinai. At that time the monotheistic nature of their God is made obvious to them.

Holy Moly,
Ancient Israelites believed many gods existed.
Existed? There's a difference between being aware that surrounding nations worshipped other gods, and thinking such gods actually exist.

Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Dt 6:4
You were shown these things so that you might know that the LORD is God; besides him there is no other. Dt 4:35

Yahweh just eventually became their favorite one.
Hey guys you ought to have me as your god 'cos I'm the best or
I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. “You shall have no other gods before me
That doesn't sound like "became their favourite one" does it!

Well it's not a "conspiracy" when we have empirical evidence that the verses were altered.
You should realise that the DSS are older mss because of how and where they were stored (in a very dry place). But that doesn't necessarily make them correct compared to, say, the MT. Neither are the original autographs are they? Not all textual critics are agreed about which is the correct reading for Dt 32:8,9.
Driver, Hall, Kalland, Merrill and Ridderbos prefer the MT reading. Rather than a consensus it's fairer to say that both readings have their supporters and detractors. And remember that the MT reading is not without its theological difficulties.

Also your model that the MT version was deliberately changed to avoid theological embarrassment is not necessarily the case. Copyists generally didn't have the original autographs. So rather than changing something they knew was the same as the original, they would more often think they were correcting something back to the original version.

Moreover, that the verse was altered to avoid polytheism is the scholarly consensus view.
This is an empty sound-bite of no value. What makes a scholar? How many scholars are there? How many have stated an opinion on this? Have you collected ALL opinions on the matter and counted them?

The other "sons of God" verses don't depict Yahweh as one of El's sons as in the DSS version of Deut. 32:8-9. We don't have variations in the manuscripts for the other verses either so this is just a red herring to avoid the verses that we know were changed.
Isn't your point that "sons of God" means gods means polytheism. So why weren't these texts fiddled as well according to your thesis?

The other "sons of God" verses don't depict Yahweh as one of El's sons as in the DSS version of Deut. 32:8-9
Neither does Dt 32:8,9. You are yet to show that it does. This passage equates Yahweh to the Hebrew El as does many other Bible passages.

Also, I hope you know that most verses in Genesis were written after the Song of Moses from Deut. 32 and they come from an entirely different source/s
I know that such theories (there are several) are disputed. So it's wrong to give the impression that this is established fact. There are scholars who place the Song of Moses as late rather than early!
and note the comment: "the form-critical analysis of the Song of Moses has not resulted in any consensus"

Quote from: Wikipedia
When all of Deuteronomy 31:14–23 was referred to JE, the poem was believed to be anterior thereto, and was believed to be contemporary with the Assyrian wars under Jehoash and Jeroboam II (c. 780 BCE). To this period it is referred by August Dillmann, Schrader, Samuel Oettli, Heinrich Ewald, Adolf Kamphausen and Edouard Guillaume Eugène Reuss. Kuenen and Driver, who believe that the expression "those which are not a people" in verse 21 refers to the Assyrians, assign the poem to the age of Jeremiah and Ezekiel (c. 630 BCE); while Cornill, Steuernagel, and Bertholet refer it to the closing years of the Exile, i.e., the period of the second Isaiah.
Before you look down your nose at Wikipedia note that you can check the opinions of these people outside of Wikipedia.

So if we have evidence of editing and omission in a text that already had authoritative status it,
Firstly you can't prove in what direction the verse was edited and you certainly can't assume that the editors knew what the correct (i.e. original) version was. You're making the mistake of oversimplifying textual analysis.

So far, you're just denying that it is and denial is not an argument.
No, because the Israelite God had told the Israelites to destroy the images of the Canaanite gods - that would include El.
Do not bow down before their gods (El) or worship them or follow their practices. You must demolish them and break their sacred stones to pieces. 25Worship the Lord your God (El), from Ex 23
So Yahweh=El tells the Israelites to destroy images to Himself according to you. Your thesis can only be described as faulty (and that's being kind).

The straightforward reading of this passage has Elyon (epithet for Canaanite El) giving Yahweh (one of the sons of El) the land of Israel
The problem with this faulty interpretation is that it makes the mistake that the nations includes Israel. But the list of nations in Gen 10,11 does not include Israel (it did not as yet exist). "Most high" is attributed directly to Yahweh in Ps 7:17. The Most High and Yahweh are both allotting inheritances. This is because Yahweh is the Most High.

Also you are not facing up to the danger of dating the Bible according to whether or not it can be interpreted as being polytheistic.

1. How do you know this passage is ancient? Because it can be read as indicating polytheism?
2. How old is this apparently polytheistic passage? It's ancient because of 1 above.

As it is you who are making a case it's up to you do the work to establish it.

How does textual criticism get one to the conclusion that a book is divinely inspired?
This question betrays a shallow misunderstanding of textual criticism and inspiration. You need to do some work on this first.

Allah, Arabic name for the Supreme Being, from Arabic Allahu, contraction of al-Ilahu, from al "the" + Ilah "God;" related to Hebrew Elohim.

So Islam is polytheistic as well according to Holy Moly's logic. Maybe a trip to Mecca is in order. I'm sure the Saudi authorities won't mind if Holy Moly paints something like "Islam is a polytheistic religion according to the Koran" on the Kaaba.

Holy Moly,

Elohim, though a plural form, is used frequently for a singular God in the Bible. I don't think anyone seriously disputes that.

The other verses may not have been seen by the scribes as threatening to their monotheistic theology as Deut. 32:8-9 was.
To establish your conspiracy-to-change-the-Bible thesis you need to expain why these other "sons of God" verses (I gave you a link to them) do not threaten monotheistic theology whereas Dt 32:8,9 does. What's the difference?

More accurately, ’el without a definite article is to be rendered simply as “El,” the name of a proto-Israelite/Canaanite deity
You're still making this huge assumption that because the Hebrew "el" is a cognate form to the Canaanite "el" it must be the same God, rather than just a linguistically related cognate form. This ignores the straightforward message of the Bible that the God of the Hebrews was different from the "gods" of other nations. A key difference is that the Hebrew God is real and alive whereas the gods of the nations are false and non-existent.

How about the fact that Deut. 32:8-9 and Psalm 82 depict the God of the Bible (Yahweh) subordinate to Canaanite El?
Well how about you're making the unfounded assumption that the Hebrew el is a Canaanite god! You're treating your pet assumption as if it were established theological fact.

Subordinate? Not in this passage.

When the Most High (=elyown) gave the nations their inheritance, when he divided all mankind, he set up boundaries for the peoples according to the number of the sons of Israel/God (Elohim)
For the Lord’s (=Yahweh) portion is his people, Jacob his allotted inheritance

Here Yahweh and Elyown are equated.

I wonder how these "scholars" are dating passages such as Gen 3:8, Gen 28:13, Ex 4:5 etc. I think I detect a danger of circular reasoning here.

Since we have evidence of editing how can we be sure of what's "divinely inspired" vs what comes from human imagination? What mechanism do you use to determine this?
You need to find out how textual criticism is done e.g. books by McCarter and Wegner and there are dedicated journals e.g.

The original god of Israel was El and according to Deut. 32:8-9 Yahweh was one of his sons.
Mistake. Yahweh is being equated to the Most High in this passage. This is the parallelism found commonly in Hebrew poetry. This not saying that Yahweh is one of the sons of God.

Choose Your Own Topic / Re: Olivet Discourse
« on: September 02, 2015, 05:30:50 AM »

Could Lynn47 be a member of a sect like the JWs? That's certainly not orthodox Christian belief Lynn47 has presented.

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