All this is beside the point. Do you know of any other group besides
people from Judah and Israel who worshipped YHW(H)? Who cares where the
original settlers came from, but some of them called themselves yhdy' and
I can hardly think of any other place more suited to these people's origin
than Judah. I don't know what "mainstream" Judaism was then, but you are
talking like an Orthodox Jew who thinks that anything but Torah True
Judaism as interpreted in the Art Scroll Siddur and Torah Tidbits is not
Judaism. It's amazing how truly orthodox critical scholars can be in
denying diversity. As I said, you should be focusing on what unites these
and not what divides them. As for Maclaurin's statement cited here, I must
confess that it is incomprehensible to me. And why do you say with
certainty that prior to 419BCE they appear not to have celebrated
Passover? Is the so-called Passover papyrus so well preserved and so well
understood that we can make such a definitive statement? You're demanding
too much of these people and reading too much into what we don't really
On Mon, 4 Jan 2010, featherrobert wrote:
> Dear Victor,
> I don't doubt the people on Yeb followed a form of Judaism and worshipped YHW, in association with other associates, rather reminiscent of the Kuntillet Ajrud phenomena. The real point is can you use what we know of their experience to correlate experience in Canaan? I think only to a limited extent. To say they `maintain contacts with Jerusalem' is not strictly true. Both Reuven Yaron, of the Hebrew University, and G.W.Anderson, University of Edinburgh, conclude we just don't know when or how the original Aramaic speaking settlers came to Elephantine. When Cymbyses and the Persians marched into Egypt, c525 BCE, they found a long-established priestly colony that worshipped YHW and Astarte the Egyptian version of Anathbethal. They also followed Egyptian legal, fiscal, and social precedents which conformed to Egyptian practice of many centuries earlier.
> Prior to 419 BCE they appear not to have celebrated Passover. How do you explain this?
> We have to be very cautious about using evidence of their practices as even sub-streams of mainstream Judaism. The common denominator between the streams of modern Judaism you mention is that they all believe in only one G-d. E. Maclaurin's extensive study of their form of worship concludes it `could not have existed in a Hebrew group which had been exposed to the influences of Sinai and Canaan after the settlement.'
> Robert Feather , London.