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Since: Nov 07

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#1 Feb 10, 2009
Just was reading up on Zeus, since they found his 'birthplace' and I realized that there are written accounts of Zeus before written accounts of the God of the Bible. I also found out that the Hebrew Scriptures were written only a few hundred years before the time of Christ. As the Jews have a very strong and respected reputation as oral historians-and in fact there are correlations between known written history and Jewish writings that were of later origins, obviously it doesn't leave the historical accounts previous to written words of no account. But it is interesting that pagan Gods have a longer history than the God of the Bible.

Further looking into it, linguistically, the names used for god in the bible are linked to the names of many of the big 'sky' gods of all the ancient traditions. We know that the stories are.

I guess the reason this is coming up is that while I always realized that much of the Bible was written later than the accounts given, finding out that it was never actually WRITTEN until just a few generations before Christ knocked me off my seat. I know I have read it before, but isn't it strange that pagan gods have a longer written history than ours? That you see them in very ancient pagan figures never shocked me much since I knew that pagans made figures and Jews did not. But they predate, by many years, the timeline of humanity if we take the Bible as literally as shown to us by many faiths (incl. the JW religion and many other fundamentalist groups).

How do you all reconcile that? That could simply make Jehovah/Yahweh a sophisticated version of the ancient pagan gods. A more refined idea of our creator. I am looking at this from a bit of a skeptical viewpoint right now. My mind is spinning. Please don't accuse me of heinous things. I am just musing and would like to hear what others have thought of these things when it came across their awareness. So to speak.

Since: Jan 07

Location hidden

#2 Feb 10, 2009
The Hebrew scriptures were NOT written a mere couple of generations before Christ.

What you have is archaeologists SPECULATING as usual but presenting their SPECULATION as fact (as usual).
Reader

Brantford, Canada

#3 Feb 10, 2009
She didn't say a couple, she said a few.

The OT was compiled about 600 or 700 BCE, most likely when they were in captivity in Babylon. But it was compiled from earlier sources, and mixed them together. That is why there are often two account of the same story, like the flood, creation, and so on.
Reader

Brantford, Canada

#4 Feb 10, 2009
Check this out:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bible#Documentar...

Spinoza: "clearer than the sun at noon that the Pentateuch was not written by Moses…."

Since: Jan 07

Location hidden

#5 Feb 10, 2009
Reader wrote:
She didn't say a couple, she said a few.
The OT was compiled about 600 or 700 BCE, most likely when they were in captivity in Babylon. But it was compiled from earlier sources, and mixed them together. That is why there are often two account of the same story, like the flood, creation, and so on.
Moses wrote the Pentatuch before Israel entered the promised land. That would be approx 1500 years BCE.

Most other books were written close to the time they covered. In particular the books of Kings and Chronicles could not have been written very much in retrospect.

Beyond that the prophets had to be written largely IN ADVANCE of the portrayed events in most instances.

Since: Jan 07

Location hidden

#6 Feb 10, 2009
Reader wrote:
Check this out:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bible#Documentar...
Spinoza: "clearer than the sun at noon that the Pentateuch was not written by Moses…."
Its speculation.
Reader

Brantford, Canada

#7 Feb 10, 2009
Gareth wrote:
<quoted text>
Moses wrote the Pentatuch before Israel entered the promised land. That would be approx 1500 years BCE.
Most other books were written close to the time they covered. In particular the books of Kings and Chronicles could not have been written very much in retrospect.
Beyond that the prophets had to be written largely IN ADVANCE of the portrayed events in most instances.
That's speculation.
Reader

Brantford, Canada

#8 Feb 10, 2009
You haven't even read Spinoza, yet you say "Speculation" because it interferes with what you believe. Now that is critical thinking. Good job.

How did Moses write about his death?

Since: Nov 07

Location hidden

#9 Feb 10, 2009
Gareth wrote:
The Hebrew scriptures were NOT written a mere couple of generations before Christ.
What you have is archaeologists SPECULATING as usual but presenting their SPECULATION as fact (as usual).
A few generations. 400-500 years. But it tells the history of humanity as going back 4000 years.

Are you speaking of the archaelogists regarding the 'birthplace of Zeus' or the the ones that date the Bible. Which would seem to be less archaelogists and more-biblical scholars(regarding the Bible, of course).

The actual Bible canon of the Hebrews was compiled around the time of the fall of Jerusalem. AFTER Jesus died. I thought that was interesting too. Incidentally, I read once (before) that one of the apostles or Jesus quoted a part of the Hebrew Bible that wasn't accepted as inspired when the Hebrew canon was compiled. But at the time he was saying it, it had some authority to the community he spoke of it with (another subject, sorry to get off topic).

It says though that the torah(first 5 books) was redacted(edited and compiled) from earlier sources around 450-500 bc. The earlier sources may have been as early as 1000, but probably not that old. Wiki says "The Nevi'im and Ketuvim were partly compiled in the 6th century BC from 8th- and 7th-century BC materials, then expanded in the post-exilic period from the 5th to 2nd centuries BC." The exceptions-"In Late Antiquity and throughout the Middle Ages, neither Jewish nor Christian scholars questioned that the Tanakh, and for Christians the New Testament as well, were accurate historical renditions of the events portrayed, written by the traditionally-attributed authors. The only errors acknowledged were minor ones attributable to copyists. Today, such views are largely confined to Orthodox Jewish scholars and evangelical and/or fundamentalist scholars ... Where events and people are mentioned before they happened or were born, they are explained as evidences of God's ability to tell the future in his communication with mankind."

It was all very interesting, and very speculative. But of course, everyone has to do some speculating with the facts as they are.

I need to clarify. That the God of the Jews was worshiped long before he was written of is not anything I am questioning or doubting. OK? My comments are strictly regarding the historical documentation. The Jewish people have obviously had their tradition and land since long before anything was 'canonized'. Heck, we all give credence to Christ being here 300 years before the NT was canonized.

There were some interesting things historically that give evidence that some books were written long after they are traditionally thought to have been(language usage gives a lot away). But were they compiled from earlier sources? Who knows. I just think this is interesting. The more you look though, the more you realize that (as you said!) there is a LOT of speculation going on:) Certain languages and people are dated to a specific time which gives clues, but ultimately, where the story originated, or the source of the earliest writings (they didn't just pop into existence) can only be speculated.

Wiki is a great first source, so is Google. I think it would be a lot easier to be dogmatic or hardheaded on any of this if you only had 3-4 sources available for you to study. In this world though, we have thousands of pieces of information available in our own homes. Key word, pieces!

Since: Nov 07

Location hidden

#10 Feb 10, 2009
Reader wrote:
She didn't say a couple, she said a few.
The OT was compiled about 600 or 700 BCE, most likely when they were in captivity in Babylon. But it was compiled from earlier sources, and mixed them together. That is why there are often two account of the same story, like the flood, creation, and so on.
Those kind of statements bring up the "was this inspired?" issues. That and flood accountsI(Giglamesh) that predate the biblical ones, and repeat certain elements fairly precisely.

Since: Nov 07

Location hidden

#11 Feb 10, 2009
Reader wrote:
Check this out:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bible#Documentar...
Spinoza: "clearer than the sun at noon that the Pentateuch was not written by Moses…."
Thanks for that link. Now I am clear between "higher" and "lower" criticism. It isn't a judgement on the critic:)

Since: Nov 07

Location hidden

#12 Feb 10, 2009
Gareth wrote:
<quoted text>
Its speculation.
As is plenty regarding the scriptures.
little lamb

Australia

#13 Feb 10, 2009
JeanD_NW wrote:
Just was reading up on Zeus, since they found his 'birthplace' and I realized that there are written accounts of Zeus before written accounts of the God of the Bible. I also found out that the Hebrew Scriptures were written only a few hundred years before the time of Christ. As the Jews have a very strong and respected reputation as oral historians-and in fact there are correlations between known written history and Jewish writings that were of later origins, obviously it doesn't leave the historical accounts previous to written words of no account. But it is interesting that pagan Gods have a longer history than the God of the Bible.
Further looking into it, linguistically, the names used for god in the bible are linked to the names of many of the big 'sky' gods of all the ancient traditions. We know that the stories are.
I guess the reason this is coming up is that while I always realized that much of the Bible was written later than the accounts given, finding out that it was never actually WRITTEN until just a few generations before Christ knocked me off my seat. I know I have read it before, but isn't it strange that pagan gods have a longer written history than ours? That you see them in very ancient pagan figures never shocked me much since I knew that pagans made figures and Jews did not. But they predate, by many years, the timeline of humanity if we take the Bible as literally as shown to us by many faiths (incl. the JW religion and many other fundamentalist groups).
How do you all reconcile that? That could simply make Jehovah/Yahweh a sophisticated version of the ancient pagan gods. A more refined idea of our creator. I am looking at this from a bit of a skeptical viewpoint right now. My mind is spinning. Please don't accuse me of heinous things. I am just musing and would like to hear what others have thought of these things when it came across their awareness. So to speak.
Well actually the Bible tells us the answer to this quandary that has placed your mind in a spin.
First of all it is recorded the first religion in the Bible was founded at Babylon, and all mankind were involved with the building of the Tower
In will cont..
little lamb

Australia

#14 Feb 10, 2009
The study of Babylonian history shows this was the birth place of both religious and political organized structures of men. As this was a time soon after the flood, it was also a time when writing accounts were started and we have the archeological evidence of Gilgamesh and the flood stories, and we have, geometry and astrology and seasonal studies and schooling started . then as god scattered the people a lot of these ideas went with them , and a common thread was the building of pyramid structures ,[ inklings of the tower] which were used for sacrifice , priesthood , and places of learning] see it in egypt , see it in Greece , see it in China [ they have found 100 pyramid structures their- showing a continuation of similar belief structures] how ever God took a man Abraham , away from the structures of city states , because men were trying to recapture their own Eden - the lost city garden of God they lost in the flood] And Abraham waited for the real city of God with real foundations , and he was prepared to live as an alien resident in the land , and wait for God.
Moses was a descendant of Abraham son Jacob, and this people Jehovah chose to reveal his name and his covenant to. Moses remember was brought up in all the wisdom of the Egyptians so he would have learned much about the history of the world up to that stage , because i believe the priesthood class was privy to much information that ordinary people did not have recourse to. but also Moses had private conversations with the God he met in the burning bush. And it was God through Moses that gave us the first few books of the bible.
little lamb

Australia

#15 Feb 10, 2009
Just another thought , It was Shem that sarted the first act of presenting God with a blood sacrifice, after the flood Noah built an altar to give a sacrifice to God. So mankind right from the start have given sacrifice to God. The structures in the altars appears to have become more and more elaborate as time went on, including the 'tower of Babylon' Herodotus reports visiting the Tower in Alexanders time and finding a temple on it. We think that God destroyed the Tower from pictures we see of the scattering of the nations. But God's word says " they left off building it" and that is all. Also we all know from party tricks where you whisper to one person a sentence , and at the end of the time it has traveled to the last person , the sentence no longer resembles what was first said. same with religion, probably started with a lot more accurate knowledge , then what it ended up in, with the different countries the national groups all ended up in. Knowledge of a serpent is so common in all religions that I find that interesting in itself, also knowledge of seasons and planting and studies of the heavens, even over in England with stone henge. So there is common thought patterns showing common ancestry, because even science has found that mankind has common genetical beginnings. great hey! that we have a book that gives us wonderful insights into all these things. praise God Jehovah
By the way, where are all their Gods? Were they able to save them? But hey! we still have the Jews even though the wicked one wanted the name Israel to be eradicated. See God has TWO witnesses . Israel and Jacob..'you are my witnesses' says Jehovah. we can argue over who Israel is but we all agree who Jacob is. Wonderful eh?
little lamb

Australia

#16 Feb 10, 2009
Sorry not city garden before the flood- correction - before the fall of Adam and Eve.
By the way Cain built the first city, and it is believed he did it because he was trying to build his own protection of safety and security, because he had lost God as his secure height.

Since: Nov 07

Location hidden

#17 Feb 11, 2009
Sorry, I glanced at your thoughtful posts LL, but have to run to the market/costco. I will get back and try to remember to respond, if indeed I have any. I thank you for your post. BBS:)
Corey

Salisbury, Australia

#18 Feb 11, 2009
We know the dates the books of the bible were written. Obviously Moses didnt write about his own death because thats impossible, clealy someone else wrote the last few chapters of Deut, there are a few ideas who. Does it really matter though?

2Ti 3:16 All Scripture is God-breathed,

Since: Nov 07

Location hidden

#19 Feb 13, 2009
little lamb wrote:
<quoted text>
Well actually the Bible tells us the answer to this quandary that has placed your mind in a spin.
First of all it is recorded the first religion in the Bible was founded at Babylon, and all mankind were involved with the building of the Tower
In will cont..
I knew that pagans existed before the Bible was written. I was just a little stunned at how much written documentation exists of their belief system so early, and how their pagan beliefs predate the biblical timeline for humanity even existing.
little lamb

Australia

#20 Feb 13, 2009
Jean knowledge of God came with Noah and his three sons. So from the start men have had knowledge of God, we call them pagan, but these were the survivors of a great calamity, and written records were probably unnecessary at first'
Most would have had a common belief at the start.
Once you understand from the bible that it was Nimrod that made a start in becoming a mighty one in opposition to Jehovah. You not only see the beginnings of political and religious monoliths. This is important, because it was also when violence and murder entered the picture for man to dominate man. To become a 'mighty one' is to give oneself God like status , and we know Nimrod was a mighty hunter, Like today men look to 'mighty ones''govt's' to give them their daily bread and they forget to petition God, as Jesus taught us. If you understand from the Bible, the scattering and confusing of tongues , then 'paganism' entered into the scene. Its not for nothing it was called the 'confusing of tongues'.
I believe there is a lot more information hidden in that phrase then we realize, because God says he is going to give the earth a change to a new language.' so interesting. We have been studying the world empires , seeing their outside structures order and Laws as superior to other nations. Their religious beliefs were behind their push for power.They saw themselves as benefiting others by civilizing them. It's interesting how man believes he is superior because of his education, religious and secular which contributes to the order of things. Same with the British very condescending toward India and the 'colonies' Same with America she is going to bring 'democracy' to Iraq.
It's very very interesting , and again the Bible is right ' man dominates man to his injury"
I find all this information of cause and effect from God's Word the Bible. I see it is all about a Kingdom.

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