All ancient religions were astral in nature. Primitives in our world trying to devise an astral religion from scratch would end up worshiping the sun and moon; the two chieftain gods of all ancient religion were Jupiter and Saturn.
You can convince yourself that "El" meant Saturn by doing google searche on the three terms [ saturn el babylon] and you need to include the term 'babylon' in that to weed out the hits for Saturn car dealerships. The name Yahveh is basically the same word as Jove. 'Baal" meant Saturn.
At some point, Israelites figured out that they didn't need to be worshiping dwarf stars and began worshiping the God (capital G) of the universe who created our living world. Lithuanians, at the opposite extreme, were Still worshiping Odin at the time of the crusades.
The most major Roman religious festival was called Saturnalia; our sabbath is still called Saturns-day.
The three biggest problems most people have with Judaism and/or Christianity are the problem of evil, the theory of evolution, and the book of Joshua.
The story of the Israelite destruction of the city of Ai and the story of the Mongol destruction of Lioyang (Genghis Khan's general Chebe) in North China are baically the same story, tactics all but idential. There's no way to believe that the children of Ai had it coming.
If I thought Joshua was going to show up at the city limits of my own city tomorrow morning, I would in fact be there to greet him, but not with flowers; more like a FAL rifle and all the 308 ammo I could carry...
Religions have evolved, just as human society has.
As you said, our God evolved from a dark star to a creator beyond our ability to even comprehend.
We accept that our religion is the ‘truth’ , and for each of us it is. However, none of our religions contain the absolute truth. They are all different, and that isn’t really important.
Those who sweat the details are missing the big picture.
If Lot had of been there he would have probably got out before Joshua got there.
re: “. . . The name Yahveh is basically the same word as Jove.”
Not exactly. “Yahveh” is a best guess as to the Hebrew word for God’s name. In the original Hebrew, there were no vowels in the written language, only the consonants. The vowels sounds in the text were passed down orally. So, the only written name for God is “YHWH”. His name was considered too holy to pronounce out loud. Because of this, the oral tradition of what the vowels were is somewhat fuzzy. The vowel points used in the Hebrew scriptures today were added after 1000 AD.
My point is that no one knows for certain which vowels were used and so no one knows for certain the correct pronunciation of God’s name. Therefore, the name “jove” has little or no connection to “YHWH”, the Hebrew consonants for God’s name.
re: “. . . The three biggest problems most people have with Judaism and/or Christianity are the problem of evil, the theory of evolution, and the book of Joshua.
The story of the Israelite destruction of the city of Ai and the story of the Mongol destruction of Lioyang (Genghis Khan’s general Chebe) in North China are baically the same story, tactics all but idential. There’s no way to believe that the children of Ai had it coming.”
I agree with you that for many people, the problem of suffering/evil is a big issue, even for Christians. It essentially comes down to human freedom. If man is not free to reject God and embrace His opposite, evil, then man is just a robot. God wants the genuine love of His creation and allowing evil to exist is the price for that love. Remember that according to the New Testament, God became man and willingly endured human evil Himself to pave the way for human salvation.
As to the Canaanite judgement, the children being killed is a tough one for me, too. I have children and now grandchildren of my own and I cannot imagine them suffering for my guilt. But, remember that according to the Old Testament, God had been warning the Canaanite peoples for over 400 years to change their ways or that complete destruction in judgement was coming their way. They never changed and the practices mentioned in the article are pretty accurate. They sacrificed their own children to their gods, sexual perversion was commonplace (homosexuality, bestiality, pedophilia, etc.) - all these things have been attested to not only in Scripture, but also in archeological findings.
Also, if God is creator and the giver of life, then it follows that He does have the right to take life as He sees fit.
So, as unpleasant as it seems, there are consequences to sin that affect not only those who commit it but also to our loved ones as well. I don’t blame God for the death of those children - I blame the parents and generations of Canaanites who rejected God’s call to repentance.
It therefore wasn’t just land acquisition that was going on when the Israelites invaded Canaan, they were the instrument of a centuries long proclaimed judgement pronounced against the Canaanite peoples by God.
“Do I take any pleasure in the death of the wicked? declares the Sovereign Lord. Rather, am I not pleased when they turn from their ways and live?”
Varmint — good synopsis, but note that Lithuanians didn’t worship Odin. Odin was a Norse god, while the Baltic peoples were infinitely more primitive.
The problem of evil is not a real problem, unless you treat God as a subject of varying form of superior atheistic morality. As said, as the author of life and morality, God can justly take it in being consistent with Himself, and in so doing He allows evil to be done, and effect others, but punishes the former for it, while making evil work for good for those who love the God and the good.
As for evolution, that itself is a problem for evolutionists, who have yet to explain how matter came to be without attributing powers of deity to it, an uncaused Cause that is eternally self-existent. This is too high for me (Ps. 131) but you could discuss it here .
As the book of Joshua and Ai, what is your source? Relative to this type of issue, see here .