Board index Christianity

What is Christianity

Re: Zoroaster should be an old testament prophet and is part

Postby YC Christian » Thu Mar 21, 2019 3:14 pm

> Judaistic monotheism appears as early as 2000 BC (Gn. 12.1)

Genesis wasn't written in 2000 BC and is hardly an accurate historical document. Monotheism in Israel seems to emerge in the sixth and seventh centuries BC.

> and starts to appear in writing as early as 1300 BC

Also far too early, what text are you dating to 1300 BC?
YC Christian
 

Re: Zoroaster should be an old testament prophet and is part

Postby jimwalton » Thu Mar 21, 2019 3:16 pm

> Genesis wasn't written in 2000 BC and is hardly an accurate historical document.

Actually, it is unknown when Genesis was written, but the evidence is strong that Moses is the tradent behind it, if not its actual author. It is the consistent historical documentary record that Moses was the author (Joshua 8.31-32; 1 Ki. 2.3; 2 Ki. 14.6; 2 Chr. 23.18; 25.4; Ezra 3.2; 6.18; Neh. 3.1; Dan. 9.11, 13). The Jews and Samaritans of the 5th c. BC attributed all five books of the Torah to Moses. Recent computer analysis of the Pentateuch point to a single author:

* The 5 books recount a single story
* The 5 books share a central theme: the covenant and the land
* The 5 books share the theme of faith in YHWH
* The poetic texts of the 5 books suggest a single author
* The laws are purposefully arranged as a textual strategy (with the Golden Calf debacle at the center).
* The 5 books share the promise of a coming eschatological king

There is no competing theory through history (until modern secular skepticism) promoting a different author.

It is probably best to understand Moses as the authority whose words are represented in the 5 books, though he may have authored them as well. That Moses is the authority whose words are represented and that he was generating documents can be readily accepted. Moses was generating information (sermons, rulings, narratives) that would be considered important enough to preserve in written documents. Some undoubtedly would have been recorded in his time and under his supervision. Others may have been produced by later generations after some time of oral transmission. It matters neither how much material is in each category nor which portions are which; the authority derives from Moses and he is inseparable from the material.

There's every reason to believe what we know as Genesis came from the 1300s BC and was finalized sometimes before the 6th century.

> Genesis ... is hardly an accurate historical document.

There is nothing in Genesis that has been proved to be untrue. And, in contrast to your statement, the historical details in Genesis indicate that it accurately preserves information from the times it describes: The Early Bronze Age (2000-1500 BC), or about 1700 years earlier than the oldest surviving manuscripts of Genesis. It’s reasonable to believe that some of this information had changed or would no longer have been known during the exile, so there is credible reason to believe an early source of this information.

> Monotheism in Israel seems to emerge in the sixth and seventh centuries BC.

This is an impossible position to substantiate since (1) the shelf life of papyrus makes it implausible that we would be able to find documents as old as 600 BC, let alone 1300 BC. And therefore, it is quite impossible (at present) to put the books in chronological order by the date it was written. The compositional histories of most of the books of the OT are too complex for you to be able to have confidence in your statement. (Well, you can have confidence, but you can't support it.)

Monotheism was always part of Israelite theology. No passage anywhere in the OT conveys anything less than the uniqueness of YHWH, notwithstanding the penchant for modern interpreters to impose a whole battery of "history of religions" presuppositions. As I said in another post, there is no clear and definitive evidence of monotheism's origins, so you are taking stands that cannot be substantiated.

> Also far too early, what text are you dating to 1300 BC?

    * The text of Genesis uses a pronoun for "she", which appears in the Torah as hiw' instead of the usual hi', which is a term distinctly known only to the 2nd millennium. Another example is the word young girl, spelled na'ar instead of na'ara (the feminine form). It would be like us spelling the way Wm. Shakespeare did, or actually more like the author of Beowulf.
    * The text and details of Genesis 14 have been analyzed to be from an ancient, non-Israelite source, but with an uncanny accuracy to what we (in the 21st century) know of history. The geographic details and language form speak to a text from the 2nd millennium BC.
    * There are parts of the Book of the Covenant (Ex. 21-23), according to Brevard Childs, that reflect the antiquity of the text. "During the era of form criticism, this text was originally assigned to J, while others attempted to assign it to E. Since then, a growing consensus has emerged that the Book of the Covenant is an older collection of laws that are independent of and preceding the usual critical sources. ... All of these indicate a historical setting for this section prior to the rise of the monarchy."
    * Some spelling and grammar from Genesis are from much later than the 13th c. BC, but the age of the present form doesn't determine the age of its contents. Modernizing works was common in the ancient Near East.
    * The absence of Aramaic, Persian, or Greek influences in the grammar and vocabulary of the sort visible in the books that are dated by obvious criteria after the Babylonian Exile (6th c. BC) makes it likely that the Genesis text is earlier than 6th c. BC.
    * As I already mentioned, the historical details in Genesis indicates that it preserves accurate historical information from the eras it describes.
    * Every source of evidence we actually have points to Moses as the author (starting at Deut. 31.24), as if at least a body of work was written rather than merely passed on orally from its historical context of roughly 1300 BC.
jimwalton
Site Admin
 
Posts: 5814
Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2012 2:28 pm

Re: Zoroaster should be an old testament prophet and is part

Postby YC Christian » Thu Mar 21, 2019 3:38 pm

> The Jewish concept of Messiah predates the Israelite exile. David, Isaiah, and Micah, as well as others, all spoke of the Messiah before the exile in Babylon.

Despite pious tradition, David didn't write any of the biblical books, just as Moses didn't write the Torah. The difference between the two figures is that David was almost certainly historical, but this does not mean the narratives about David in the Bible are historical, just that there was a Judahite chieftain named David.

The books of Isaiah and Micah contain pre-exilic material, but they were completed after the exile.

> the Tanakh which predates both Zoroastrianism and the Jewish exile in Babylon

It doesn't. There is plenty of post-exilic material in the Tanakh. Zoroastrianism didnt emerge out of thin air in the 5th century BC, it just entered the written historical record at this time, which is still earlier than the codification of the Tanakh and the completion of some books within the Tanakh. The book of Daniel makes an obvious references to Antiochus IV Epiphanes, who desecrated the temple in 167 BC.
YC Christian
 

Re: Zoroaster should be an old testament prophet and is part

Postby jimwalton » Thu Mar 21, 2019 3:38 pm

> Despite pious tradition, David didn't write any of the biblical books, just as Moses didn't write the Torah.

I addressed Moses's authorship and the date of Genesis/Pentateuch in another post, so I won't re-address that here.

As far as David, again—you cannot claim this, because you have no substantiation of it. The elements of many Psalms are clearly of the era of David. We have no justification to question his authorship because there is only speculative evidence to the contrary.

> The books of Isaiah and Micah contain pre-exilic material, but they were completed after the exile.

Speculations about the authorship and date of Isaiah are very complex. They are certainly not as clear cut as you state them to be. The ancient community attributed all of Isaiah to the 8th-c. prophet. And again, recent analyses of the textual material, contrary to previous assessments, are that Isaiah had a single author. Witherington says 1-39 is from the hand of Isaiah, 40-55 are exilic, and 56-66 are post-exilic. Other scholars disagree (obviously) and claim differently. In other words, your position that the books of Isaiah and Micah were completed after the exile (1) may be true, but may not, (2) their completion after the exile doesn't speak to their origin, authorship, or authority. We can't know for sure, even though you claim to know for sure.

> It doesn't. There is plenty of post-exilic material in the Tanakh.

The presence of some post-exilic material in the Tanakh has no bearing on its source, author, or date of writing. It was not uncommon in the ancient Near East for texts to be updated by later generations. So what?

> Zoroastrianism didnt emerge out of thin air in the 5th century BC, it just entered the written historical record at this time, which is still earlier than the codification of the Tanakh and the completion of some books within the Tanakh.

It's correct that Z had a history long before the writing emerges. So did the Tahakh. You just can't claim with accuracy and substantiation that Z predates the Old Testament. You just can't. The facts don't support you, because we have so few facts. And, as I mentioned in another post, it's a logical fallacy to presume that the lack of evidence supports the negative position.

And if the codification of the Tanakh reaches back into 1300 BC, or even to 1000 or 800 BC, it still predates Z.

> The book of Daniel makes an obvious references to Antiochus IV Epiphanes, who desecrated the temple in 167 BC.

This is not so obvious. You habitually claim that a certain strain of scholarship is the proven position, and it's not. He makes references to Antiochus prophetically, and it is a matter of no small debate whether he could have done that prophetically or whether it betrays an "after the fact" writing. There is little in the book that leads us to a definite "after the fact" conclusion except blatant bias against the possibility of accurate prophecy.

The author and dating of the book of Daniel is highly debated and quite uncertain. There are reasonable cases for Daniel in 600 BC, but also cases for the Maccabean times (165 BC). The Septuagint contains Daniel, however, and is allegedly from 300-250 BC (but, of course, no copies from that era exist). What we CANNOT conclude, however, if that Daniel was written in the mid-2nd century. That jury is still out, and there is a reasonable case against it.
jimwalton
Site Admin
 
Posts: 5814
Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2012 2:28 pm

Re: Zoroaster should be an old testament prophet and is part

Postby YC Christian » Sun Mar 24, 2019 8:19 am

> And it's a truth that there is no hard evidence to support that [Moses and the Exodus] aren't historical.

You're wrong in thinking that this is just "absence of evidence" (which in itself is remarkable, if you think the human migration figures are anywhere near what Exodus claims). There is evidence against the Exodus- namely the impossibility of fleeing Egypt into Canaan, a region that was controlled by Egypt at the time the Exodus would have occurred. So the Israelites were escaping Egypt by fleeing to... Egypt.

> is a matter of no small debate whether [the author of Daniel] could have done that prophetically or whether it betrays an "after the fact" writing.

I can't really argue against supernatural explanations.
YC Christian
 

Re: Zoroaster should be an old testament prophet and is part

Postby jimwalton » Sun Mar 24, 2019 8:19 am

> You're wrong in thinking that this is just "absence of evidence" (which in itself is remarkable, if you think the human migration figures are anywhere near what Exodus claims).

The same root word that means "thousands" also means "clans" (if different vowels are inserted). Since the ancients didn't use vowels in writing, it's plausible to think that the Masoretic text popped in the wrong ones. If it means "thousands," we end up with an Israelite fighting force of 603,000 and a total population of 2.5 million. If it means "clans," (600 divisions, not 600 thousand) we end up with a total population of 25,000.

The traditional figure (from the MT) of Israel being 2.5 million doesn't make sense on any level.

* The total population of Egypt at the time was between 1.6-5 million, including slaves. 2.5 million Israelites isn't a reasonable number.
* The Egyptian army was no more than 20,000 soldiers. If Israel was 2.5 million people, with a fighting force of 600,000, why would they be afraid (Ex. 14.10)?
* The land of Goshen could support survival for only about 25,000.
* Israel crossed the sea in one night (EX. 14.42)—a complete impossibility if they were 2.5 million, complete with elderly, children, animals, and possessions.
* The path to Sinai is rugged, with some narrow places where only a few abreast can pass at a time. It would create a line over 100 miles long
* Numbers 3.43 says there were 22,273 firstborn males. A previous list gave 1,207,100 total males. This means each father had 54 sons, plus an equivalent of daughters.
* Ancient Jericho was only 10 acres—about 650' per side. The entire population of 2.5 million couldn't fit around it, let alone march around it 7 times on the 7th day (Josh. 6.5)

There's more, but you get the idea. The MT figures are implausible and reflect a copying mistake.

> There is evidence against the Exodus- namely the impossibility of fleeing Egypt into Canaan, a region that was controlled by Egypt at the time the Exodus would have occurred. So the Israelites were escaping Egypt by fleeing to... Egypt.

By the era of the exodus, Egyptian control over Canaan was far weaker than it had been. The country, therefore, was in a bit of political and military disarray, with some infighting and competitions for power to fill the void of the weakening Egyptian rule.

Riccioti, in his "History of Israel," says, "If the Exodus occurred under Rameses-Mernaptah, the settling of Israel in Transjordan about 40 years later approaches the time of Rameses III (1198-1167 BC). It is the time in which the sovereignty of Egypt, at grips with the “Peoples of the Sea”, was felt slightly or not at all in Canaan. To the north the Hittites were on the decline; the same waves of peoples which had pushed the Peoples of the Sea back to the eastern Mediterranean were now battering a breach in the Hittite Empire, which was destined to fall at the end of that century.

"Unchecked by a strong overlord, the little kings and local princes must have torn each other to pieces in their rivalries. The struggles were numerous. In Joshua 12 alone there are enumerated 31 kings (the territories of several of these kings were limited to a few square miles) who were overthrown by the victory of Israel."

4. Egyptian occupation of Canaan continued until the end of the Late Bronze Age (circa 1200 BC), and then it waned. At Lachish, Megiddo, and Beth-Shean there are some indications of at least partial Egyptian occupation of these sites. The presence of sherds, inscribed in hieratic, at least indicates that a system of Egyptian taxation remained in place during this time. The Late Bronze Age, therefore, continued to be a period of some Egyptian presence and occupation. One possible explanation is that the Exodus took place in the Middle Bronze age. It is not impossible that the Egyptians may have invaded Canaan to counter Israel’s successes.

Egypt had prevented the city-states from developing strong defenses in order to prevent rebellion, and their lack of strong defensive forces made them vulnerable to Israelite attack. Under Joshua’s leadership, the Israelites defeated the armies of Canaan, but the Israelites initially burned only Hazor. When Joshua left the Canaanite cities intact, he also left the basis for Canaanite culture intact.

In other words, Canaan may just have been ripe for an invasion right at the time the Israelites came. We don't have enough information to put the entire picture together. But it's neither as dire nor as "impossible" as you claim. Remember when the Israelites first came to Canaan, they refused to enter because of the apparent strength of the cities, armies, and population. But 40 years later it was a different picture. It was a changing scene, and since we don't know the exact era, it's tough to pin down. It's impossible to firmly conclude that the conquest was an "impossibility."

> I can't really argue against supernatural explanations.

That's true. Since we don't know when Daniel was written, it's tough to take firm stands.
jimwalton
Site Admin
 
Posts: 5814
Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2012 2:28 pm

Re: Zoroaster should be an old testament prophet and is part

Postby Excited Guy » Sun Mar 24, 2019 8:26 am

> The Jewish concept of Messiah predates the Israelite exile.

i didnt know there were even any historical sources for pre-babylon
Excited Guy
 

Re: Zoroaster should be an old testament prophet and is part

Postby jimwalton » Sun Mar 24, 2019 8:26 am

The chronology of the Old Testament is hotly debated. There are "evidences" to support many different positions. The scholars mount their evidences and stake their positions, and it depends whom you talk to what dates they give.

The traditional dates for the Pentateuch go back to 1300 BC, and there are credible reasons to support that position, as long as one entertains the plausibility of some future editing by future generations down into the exilic period, which biblical scholars can't deny. It's a position that can be sustained, but it's neither proved nor inarguable.

We don't know when the historical books were written (1 & 2 Sam, 1 & 2 kings). We do know that 1 & 2 Chronicles were written late (400s?). Some of the psalms are very old, yet the Psalms is honest about different writers from different epochs of time.

Ezra, Nehemiah, & Esther were exilic.

There is good evidence for Isaiah, Micah, and Jeremiah as pre-exilic. The other minor prophets are mostly exilic.

That's a quick overview.
jimwalton
Site Admin
 
Posts: 5814
Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2012 2:28 pm

Re: Zoroaster should be an old testament prophet and is part

Postby Conga » Sun Mar 24, 2019 8:43 am

> It cannot possibly be true that everybody received revelation from God.

Everybody receives revelation from God, but they are in form of aspirations and regret. Only appointed messengers receive messages to be shared with the world. All messages are expected to be shared with the rest of humans. Israelites had a lengthy experience but since they didn't share it, they couldn't benefited it much, because wisdom out of written text, as decreed can be brought forward only by people who have an experience in told subjects.

So, teamwork is necessary.

> Jesus certainly knew the Torah, but the Midrash were not around until after his death, so Jesus didn't know midrash.

Midrash and written Torah contain God's revelations and wisdom. Torah on the paper carries one side of revelation and Midrash collection exemplifies and displays the wisdom. What Jesus displayed is not mere education of written Torah.

Trouble with Christian theology is they have focused on trinity or other versions of it. If God were to carry such feature, that would be evident in all the revelations He sent, like Gatha, Ginzah, Torah, Quran and evidently Gospel, obviously they couldn't find it and events tended to unfold in a different way. But we need to read what God says with His name, as He advised. Moreover the letters from Paul are taken as part of Bible, which actually enables certain people to elevate Jesus to deity level.

From today's NT, I have to admit I am not a strong researcher, but references between what Jesus said in Gospels and what said in Midrash looks like he had a backup or support.

> What Jesus said was above and beyond of Torah teaching, because it includes detailed references to Midrash.

one iota of Sanhedrin 2:6, Matthew 5:18

out of many one. Quran has more sections backing Midrash collections apparently than of Gospel.
Conga
 

Re: Zoroaster should be an old testament prophet and is part

Postby jimwalton » Sun Mar 24, 2019 9:00 am

> Everybody receives revelation from God, but they are in form of aspirations and regret.

The Bible distinguishes between general revelation that everyone receives (looking at the beauty, orderliness, predictability, design, and purpose of creation) and special revelation that only goes first-hand to a few (prophetic revelation). What I mean by my statement ("It cannot possibly be true that everybody received revelation from God.") is special revelation. It cannot possibly be true that everyone receives the prophetic word, because the prophets of these religions contradict each other.

" but they are in form of aspirations and regret." Of course we all have aspirations and regrets. I would consider these part of the human condition, not special revelation from God.

"Only appointed messengers receive messages to be shared with the world." True.

> Israelites had a lengthy experience but since they didn't share it, they couldn't benefited it much, because wisdom out of written text, as decreed can be brought forward only by people who have an experience in told subjects.

They did share it, in the form of the Old Testament. We still have it. But I'll agree they didn't share it as widely as they could have or perhaps should have. But I believe this is true of all cultures. The Hindu Scriptures stayed pretty much in Hindu populations. Same with Buddhism. But the Muslims shared their Scriptures via military conquest: "read and believe our book or we will kill you." Islam spread by soldiers and the threat of death.

> Midrash and written Torah contain God's revelations and wisdom. Torah on the paper carries one side of revelation and Midrash collection exemplifies and displays the wisdom.

Yes, but this was after Jesus.

> What Jesus displayed is not mere education of written Torah.

This is correct. He seems to have an otherworldly understanding of the text, its author, and its intent.

> Trouble with Christian theology is they have focused on trinity or other versions of it. If God were to carry such feature, that would be evident in all the revelations He sent, like Gatha, Ginzah, Torah, Quran and evidently Gospel, obviously they couldn't find it and events tended to unfold in a different way.

It would be my perspective that God did NOT send the alleged revelation like Gatha, Ginzah, and Qur'an. God sent the Torah, and there are hints of the Trinity in it, but only shadows. The Gospels and Epistles are full of it, being the full revelation of what was only preceding (the Tanakh).

> Moreover the letters from Paul are taken as part of Bible, which actually enables certain people to elevate Jesus to deity level.

Jesus always proclaimed himself as God, and the Gospel writers intent is to proclaim him as God. Jesus as deity is consistent in the Gospels and in Paul's epistles, as well as the general epistles and Revelation.

> one iota of Sanhedrin 2:6, Matthew 5:18

I don't understand. Jesus said Matthew 5 between AD 24-30. The Sanhedrin Midrash were written after AD 200-400. How can Jesus have quoted the Midrash? You need to explain. And I can't find "Sanhedrin 2:6". Sanhedrin 2 is "A" or "B". The Mishnah Sanhedrin only goes to 2.5. Please clarify what you're talking about so I can read it. Thanks.

> Quran has more sections backing Midrash collections apparently than of Gospel.

Of course the Qur'an can quote the Midrash. The Qur'an was written in the 600s AD.
jimwalton
Site Admin
 
Posts: 5814
Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2012 2:28 pm

PreviousNext

Return to Christianity

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


cron