Re: [ANE-2] RE: Judaism vs YHWHism
- Check GE Nickelsburg, Jewish Literature Between The Bible andThe
Mishna, for a good discussion of the develpment of the canon? He
provides good evidence for you question!
Sent from my iPhone
On Jan 3, 2010, at 11:06 AM, Graham Hagens <rgrahamh@...> wrote:
> --- On Tue, 12/29/09, Lisbeth S. Fried <lizfried@...> wrote:
> > If I understand you correctly, you are arguing that the
> > Pentateuch was composed during the Persian period
> Well, this is position is not only mine of course, it goes back
> several decades at least (Blenkinsopp, Grabbe and others, some of
> whom contribute to this list). But the cumulative arguments do make
> sense. Possibly even early Hellenistic.
> >and during that time Judaism changed from being YHWHism (which I
> assume >you to mean temple centered) to Judaism (which I assume you
> to mean torah >centered). Is this correct?
> >This sounds odd to me, because if so, these Persian period> torah
> >centered Jews put the priestly instructions for the sacrificial
> cult at >the very center of their torah.
> Two separate issues here, only the first of which relates to the
> questions which started this string: (i) can YHWHsm and Judaism be
> differentiated, and if so (ii) is possible to identify when this
> might have happened.
> It appears from the exchanges that followed that may have some
> distance to reach consensus on both points.
> However I would suggest that the evidence does suggest that 1st
> century BCE/CE Judaism was significantly different from what we
> understand - say - pre-monarchic YHWHsm to have been.
> So if this is accepted, the next question becomes: can one identify
> a transition point before which YHWH worshippers might be described
> as YHWHsts and after which they were Jews?.
> Even if just for the sake of authors who might like know what these
> words mean.
> My 2 cents (Canadian) would vote for that 'ceremonial reading' of
> the Torah referred to Ezra/Nehemiah the transition point. (Now the
> absolute chronology - whether or not Ezra was a literary construct,
> and whether that reading took place in the 5th or 4th centuries is
> different again, and unrelated to the concept).
> Your second main point: "(YHWHsm which I assume you to mean temple
> centered) to Judaism (which I assume you to mean torah centered)",
> may not be answereable, because the word 'centered' is undefined.
> Judaism like all religions is multifaceted, and what may appear to
> be central to one individual, might not be to another. So no, I
> would not argue that after the ceremonial reading Judaism became
> 'torah centered' rather than 'temple centered' or even that for all
> worshippers YHWHsm ever was temple centered - except perhaps in the
> minds of the biblical authors. But then we really don't know.
> Graham Hagens
> Hamilton, Ontario
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
--- On Mon, 1/4/10, richfaussette <RFaussette@...> wrote:
>May I suggest that the Torah as it has come down to us is both temple and diaspora >oriented. Genesis is diaspora oriented with archetypes for establishing diaspora. The rest >of the Torah (E,L,D,N) is temple oriented (establishment of the nation/temple) .
Perhaps all of that and more?
One of the interesting things about the 'very low' chronologies of the Torah is that it places that composition in period of time when the ANE was awash with both Persian and Greek ideas, and when one of the dominant themes was the relationship between 'Wisdom' and 'Law.' (Archaic Greece where some of the earliest examples of writing were legal documents, may have been the first example of individuals designing civic laws, as opposed to great kings inscribing edicts on rock faces. The Greek philosophers (probably inspired by earlier templates), then proposed the existence of 'natural laws.'
By the 5th & 4th centuries ideas of Law, Order and Wisdom appear to have been au courant from the Indus to Attica. Within this same timeframe we have a Judaic Persian diaspora in Babylon, Susa and Persopolis exposed to this flood of novel concepts, and authorities in Jerusalem with a clear responsibility to refocus their people on their core traditions. Enter the Torah in which - among other things - the popular concept of universal law becomes interpreted in a uniquely novel theological form which does not conflict with the remembered history of YHWHsm. And incidentally, including ideas of charity and compassion to the poor which might have had ancient YHWHstic antecedants
Blenkinsopp (Sage, Priest, Prophet 1995) has some interesting comments related to this subject of syncretism during the time of Ben Sira (mid 2nd c. BCE):
Blenkinsopp 1995: 18... we note indications in [Ben Sira’s] book of a deliberate distancing from contemporary Hellenistic ideas of wisdom in favour of the traditional Israelite view first clearly enunciated in Deuteronomy, that all wisdom derives from the God of Israel and finds its supreme expression in the observance of God’s laws
Blenkinsopp 1995: 19 – Ben Sira ...conscious distancing from the Greek intellectual tradition …similar in Josephus who …contrasts the ‘myriads of inconsistent books of the Greeks produced without quality control, with the twenty two ‘justly accredited’ books of the Jews
Blenkinsopp 1995: 20 ... [Ben Sira’s] identification of the law with wisdom, and so with the principle of cosmic order, comparable to Greek logos or dike entails the claim that this uniquely Jewish construct is no less intellectual than the Greek philosophical tradition ….several of the tasks [Ben Sira] felt called upon to perform overlapped significantly with priestly assignments.
Blenkinsopp 1995: 22 – [re the idea of the Torah as a way of defining Israelite culture] …the need to preserve some semblance of historical identity did result in a rather consistently negative attitude toward the intellectual traditions of neighbouring lands
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]