1. Standard memberfrogstomp
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    14 Mar '05 02:28
    The name of the head bull god in ancient Canaan was El . Names that are derived from it are very common in the bible text including israEL GabriEL MichaEL BethEL so my question is.

    Why did the IsraELites call themselves " people of (the father of Canaan's bull god ) EL?
  2. Graceland.
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    14 Mar '05 02:34
    Originally posted by frogstomp
    The name of the head bull god in ancient Canaan was El . Names that are derived from it are very common in the bible text including israEL GabriEL MichaEL BethEL so my question is.

    Why did the IsraELites call themselves " people of (the father of Canaan's bull god ) EL?


    That it indeed dubious. Will need to do some research before I can make a decent rebuttal.

  3. Standard memberfrogstomp
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    14 Mar '05 02:46
    Originally posted by pcaspian
    Originally posted by frogstomp
    [b]The name of the head bull god in ancient Canaan was El . Names that are derived from it are very common in the bible text including israEL GabriEL MichaEL BethEL so my question is.

    Why did the IsraELites call themselves " people of (the father of Canaan's bull god ) EL?
    ...[text shortened]...
    That it indeed dubious. Will need to do some research before I can make a decent rebuttal.

    [/b]
    done the reasearch...
    there is no doubt that EL was what I said ,, and IsraEL means what i said too.
    You won't be able to rebut those facts.

    El was the father of Baal and husband of Astereh ,both of whom are not treated to favorably in the bible.
  4. Hmmm . . .
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    14 Mar '05 02:491 edit
    Originally posted by frogstomp
    The name of the head bull god in ancient Canaan was El . Names that are derived from it are very common in the bible text including israEL GabriEL MichaEL BethEL so my question is.

    Why did the IsraELites c ...[text shortened]... elves " people of (the father of Canaan's bull god ) EL?
    My understanding is that "El" is the basic Hebrew word for "God," (as is Allah in Arabic) and is not a name per se. The Caananites represented their God (their El) by a bull.

    Gods are "Elohim" (pural), although that is also understood in Judaism as a "formal plural," as when the Queen of England refers to her own personage as "We." This sometimes can all get confusing in the text. For example, in the story of Abraham being commanded to sacrifice Isaac, it is ha Elohim (literally "the gods" ) who order the sacrifice and YHVH (Yahweh) who stops it; and yet when ha Elohim speak, it is third-person singular.

    I suppose it is also possible that the Israelites, in settling among the Caananites, and as language developed, adopted the Caananite word "El" as generic for "god."
  5. Standard memberNemesio
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    14 Mar '05 02:56
    Originally posted by vistesd
    My understanding is that "El" is the basic Hebrew word for "God," (as is Allah in Arabic) and is not a name per se. The Caananites represented their God (their El) by a bull.

    Gods are "Elohim" (pural), although that is also understood in Judaism as a "formal plural," as when the Queen of England refers to her own personage as "We." This someti ...[text shortened]... Caananites, and as language developed, adopted the Caananite word "El" as generic for "god."
    Hmmmm...

    I always thought the the early OT stories (i.e., Pentateuch stuff) were the product of
    two major ancient Jewish traditions that were blended together (i.e., the Yahwehists
    and the Elohists) with other minor sources (Priestly and Deuteronomic sources).

    I was always under the assumption that the different 'pronunciations' of the tetragramaton
    (specifically, Yahweh and Elohim) were just the product of those different traditions, the
    former meaning 'Lord' and the latter meaning 'God.'

    Have I misunderstood something, then?

    Nemesio
  6. Standard memberfrogstomp
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    14 Mar '05 03:07
    Originally posted by vistesd
    My understanding is that "El" is the basic Hebrew word for "God," (as is Allah in Arabic) and is not a name per se. The Caananites represented their God (their El) by a bull.

    Gods are "Elohim" (pural), although that is also understood in Judaism as a "formal plural," as when the Queen of England refers to her own personage as "We." This someti ...[text shortened]... Caananites, and as language developed, adopted the Caananite word "El" as generic for "god."
    That seems reasonable , however there are drawbacks.
    The Israelites spoke the same language as the Canaanites.
    In light of the proscriptions against false gods in the 10 Commandments, wouldn't they have been very unlikely to attach EL's name to God.
    And EL was the name of a particular god , not a generic name for gods.
    So that really doesn't answer my question.
  7. Hmmm . . .
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    14 Mar '05 03:131 edit
    Originally posted by Nemesio
    Hmmmm...

    I always thought the the early OT stories (i.e., Pentateuch stuff) were the product of
    two major ancient Jewish traditions that were blended together (i.e., the Yahwehists
    and the Elohists) with other minor sources (Priestly ...[text shortened]... aning 'God.'

    Have I misunderstood something, then?

    Nemesio
    I think you're at least partly right: I forgot about the E, J, P D stuff. Still leaves the question of where "El" came from.

    YHVW does not mean "Lord." It is the name of God derived from Ehyeh asher Ehyeh (I am that I am), and possibly from a form of Havayah ("being" ). There are a number of theories, since it is very archaic Hebrew. Basically, though, it (pretty literally) means "the One who is." YH is feminine and VH is masculine (I might have them turned around, would have to check for sure) so that it contains both elements of gender.

    The word for Lord is Adon or Adonai. When it became prohibited to say the Holy Name, Adonai was substituted in liturgical readings. Other words, most notably HaShem ("the name" are used non-liturgically, for example in an Orthodox Hebrew/English translation of the Tanach that I have). Whenever we see "LORD" in the English OT, it is YHVH, the name of God, in the Hebrew text.
  8. Hmmm . . .
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    14 Mar '05 03:17
    Originally posted by frogstomp
    That seems reasonable , however there are drawbacks.
    The Israelites spoke the same language as the Canaanites.
    In light of the proscriptions against false gods in the 10 Commandments, wouldn't they have been very unlikely to attach EL's name to God.
    And EL was the name of a particular god , not a generic name for gods.
    So that really doesn't answer my question.
    Can you point me toward a linguistic or historic source for El being a name rather than a generic designation? I'm just not familiar with that. Also, I didn't know the language was the same (though I guess I would assume they both spoke semitic dialects). I find this really interesting....
  9. Standard memberfrogstomp
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    14 Mar '05 03:44
    Originally posted by vistesd
    Can you point me toward a linguistic or historic source for El being a name rather than a generic designation? I'm just not familiar with that. Also, I didn't know the language was the same (though I guess I would assume they both spoke semitic dialects). I find this really interesting....
    http://www.pantheon.org/articles/b/baal.html
    http://www.hope.edu/academic/religion/bandstra/RTOT/PART2/PT2_1B2.HTM
    http://www.geocities.com/SoHo/Lofts/2938/majdei.html
    http://www.bible.org/page.asp?page_id=2053
    http://www.infoplease.com/ce6/society/A0805580.html

    Among the more important discoveries at Ugarit are tablets from the 14th cent. B.C. Written in a cuneiform script, in a hitherto unknown language, Ugaritic, they record the poetic works and myths of the ancient Canaanites. They are written in an alphabet that is one of the earliest known. Ugaritic has been identified as a Semitic language, related to classical Hebrew, the language of the Old Testament, and these tablets, the first authentic specimens of pagan Canaanite literature, have been of great importance to students of language and of the Bible. They offer evidence that the stories of the Old Testament were based on written Canaanite documents as well as being passed down orally.".... excerpt from http://www.infoplease.com/ce6/history/A0849912.html

  10. Hmmm . . .
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    14 Mar '05 03:51
    Originally posted by frogstomp
    http://www.pantheon.org/articles/b/baal.html
    http://www.hope.edu/academic/religion/bandstra/RTOT/PART2/PT2_1B2.HTM
    http://www.geocities.com/SoHo/Lofts/2938/majdei.html
    http://www.bible.org/page.asp?page_id=2053
    http://www.infoplease.com/ce6/society/A0805580.html

    Among the more important discoveries at Ugarit are tablets from the 14th cent. B.C. Writ ...[text shortened]... sed down orally.".... excerpt from http://www.infoplease.com/ce6/history/A0849912.html

    Fascinating. Thanks. You've given me some work to do! 🙂 I would still, tentatively, argue that at some point "El," and its derivatives became a more generic designation to the Hebrews. When and why, etc. would be interesting questions.

    Again, thanks.
  11. Hmmm . . .
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    14 Mar '05 04:26
    I have read through your citations, and printed some out. As I find this interesting, I will be doing some more research ( I feel a trip to the bookstore coming on!). A couple comments for now, however:

    1) The geocities site (“The Major Deities in the Myths of Ugarit” ) states: “The chief Canaanite god is ‘El, which simply means “God,” familiar as one of the names of the single god of the Bible. The linguistic root may mean ‘That’ or ‘the One.’”

    That supports my understanding, noted in my post, that El is not a name per se.

    2) Several epithets are ascribed to El, such as thoru Ilu (the bull god), El olam (God the eternal, or possibly, God of the universe, since olam—at least in Hebrew—covers both time and space), El Elyon (God Most High), etc. Thoru (bull) is simply one of the epithets.

    3) As religions evolve, more than one “stream” often develops, and the various streams can become antagonistic (viz., Rabbinical Judaism and Christianity, originally “siblings” that developed out of the first-century complex of several “Judaisms” ).
  12. Standard memberDarfius
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    14 Mar '05 04:46
    Originally posted by vistesd
    I have read through your citations, and printed some out. As I find this interesting, I will be doing some more research ( I feel a trip to the bookstore coming on!). A couple comments for now, however:

    1) The geocities site (“The Major Deities in the Myths of Ugarit” ) states: “The chief Canaanite god is ‘El, which simply means “God,” familiar as one ...[text shortened]... originally “siblings” that developed out of the first-century complex of several “Judaisms” ).
    For a baby Christian who may read this thread, don't let these guys get you down.

    The ancient people worshipped the same God, they just threw in their interpretation of Him (much like most of these guys are doing). Remember, we're all from Adam and Eve, as "mitochondrial Eve" attests to. 😉
  13. Standard memberfrogstomp
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    14 Mar '05 04:551 edit
    Originally posted by vistesd
    I have read through your citations, and printed some out. As I find this interesting, I will be doing some more research ( I feel a trip to the bookstore coming on!). A couple comments for now, however:

    1) The geocities site (“The Maj ...[text shortened]... eloped out of the first-century complex of several “Judaisms” ).
    The linguistis roots could just as easily have come from the name El not the other way around , and even if its just a generic term it's still unlikely that the god of the 10 Commandments would be called just another god, which is the consequence of using a generic name.
    And my understanding is El was used as the proper name of the bull god long before Abraham was taken from Ur to Herat and the beginings of the monotheistic religion..


    edit proof reading
  14. Standard memberfrogstomp
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    14 Mar '05 04:57
    Originally posted by Darfius
    For a baby Christian who may read this thread, don't let these guys get you down.

    The ancient people worshipped the same God, they just threw in their interpretation of Him (much like most of these guys are doing). Remember, we're all from Adam and Eve, as "mitochondrial Eve" attests to. 😉
    Were you there?
  15. Hmmm . . .
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    14 Mar '05 05:56
    Originally posted by frogstomp
    The linguistis roots could just as easily have come from the name El not the other way around , and even if its just a generic term it's still unlikely that the god of the 10 Commandments would be called just another god, which is the consequence of using a generic name.
    And my understanding is El was u ...[text shortened]... to Herat and the beginings of the monotheistic religion..


    edit proof reading
    I wish I knew more about linguistics. At some point way back, I think there may not have been any real difference between a name and a "designator." In fairly recent history, Johnson meant "John's son," but later developed into a family name.
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