The religion of the old testament and the role of god

Personal use only; commercial use is strictly prohibited.

The religion of the old testament and the role of god

Though such is often the unconscious belief of many, nothing could be farther from the truth. Even the points in the OT which appear to come closest to the idea of mechanical dictation e. Israel was in constant contact, in both positive and negative ways, with her neighbors. While there is always the danger of leaving the text in history, this should not detract us from seriously engaging the historical data we have, lest we fall off the other side of the hermeneutical horse and modernize the text to our own peril.

The following paper attempts in a cursory way to present the Ugaritic pantheon and its relationship to a few passages from the Old Testament.

The Covenant, Old and New

The paper is divided up into three main sections: Sources for Understanding the Canaanite Pantheon There are several sources for understanding Canaanite life and religion, and in particular the Canaanite pantheon, of which Baal is certainly among the preeminent gods. Further, the OT makes reference to other Canaanite deities including the goddess Asherah 40 times as well as the goddess Ashtoreth 10 times.

While the information contained in the OT is helpful in attempting to understand Canaanite religious practices, especially as it concerns Baalism, it is nonetheless, according to many scholars, limited in at least two ways.

First, most of the references to Baalism do not attempt to explicate a complete picture of the beliefs or the cult, but only mention it in passing. Second, and in connection with the first limitation, the OT writers maintain a polemical stance towards Baalism and therefore present an extremely pejorative viewpoint.

For a long time our primary source for Canaanite religion was simply the presentation of it in the Old Testament. This, as is well known, is of a polemical nature, and can therefore not be expected to give an objectively correct picture of the religion.

Furthermore, it is not an ordered presentation but one consisting of individual remarks made in passing. The fact that so much of what the OT says regarding Baalism corroborates descriptions found in the Ras Shamra texts is proof enough that when the OT writers denounced Baalism for certain practices, they were indeed accurate and justified.

Having said this, however, it is clear that the OT is not giving a complete, "blow by blow" description of the religious practices of the Canaanites.

The religion of the old testament and the role of god

In the end, then, it is fair to say that the OT is accurate in what it affirms on this subject, but limited in what it says. His work, On the Syrian Goddess, although late and influenced by Hellenistic ideas, nonetheless remains a valuable source for relaying information regarding the temple and cult of Astarte in the Syrian city of Hierapolis.

In terms of religious sites, there has been the identification of places of worship, temples, smaller shrines, and open-air sanctuaries. Also, open-air structures at Megiddo and Tell en Nasbeh have been excavated.

There have also been religious altars found at Zorah and Megiddo. Further, cult objects have been found including libation bowls, pottery incense stands, steles representing deities, as well as other artifacts relating to pagan worship.

Relying heavily upon the sources listed above, we possessed no clear firsthand knowledge of these people and their customs. The entire story of their discovery—involving a peasant farmer who accidentally plowed up a flagstone covering an entrance to a burial chamber—as well as the history of their excavation, has been well documented.

There was also one unknown alphabetical cuneiform language which was later deciphered and became known as Ugaritic. Much was written in this language including texts relating the customs of ancient Syria and Canaanite religion e.

Ugaritic has also proven helpful in vocabulary studies relating to the OT. In general they are either poetry or prose, but they deal with a wide variety of subjects including legal matters, personal issues, religious issues e.

The tablets that deal strictly with the Baal cycle appear to be about 6 in number though not all portions of the texts i. The story of Aqhat is recorded on 3 tablets and the story of Kirta is preserved on three tablets as well.

There are also three tablets that preserve what is probably a sequel to Aqhat, namely, the record of The Healers.

The religion of the old testament and the role of god

Thus there are about 15 tablets which deal with Ugaritic religious deities and all of them were found in the library of the chief priest of Baal in the city's main temple complex. They are also the work of the same scribe—a certain individual named Ilimilku.

The 'Gods' of the Canaanite Pantheon and the Names of Baal The Gods of the Canaanite Pantheon The Canaanite pantheon included a vast array of deities many of which remain enigmatic to us and the information about which is reduced simply to a name.

The essence and identity of Christianity

El There is no little discussion in the literature regarding the position and role of El among the Canaanite gods, and in particular his relationship to Baal.

Before considering this, however, we must first say a word about El as the creator and father of the gods. There is no "creation account" per se in the Ugaritic texts published to date, but there are epithets in both the Ras Shamra texts and other Canaanite materials that indicate that El was viewed as the creator.

He is called bniyu binwti "creator of the created things" in CTA 4. In order for the gods to see him they had to travel to the place referred to as the "source of the two rivers, the fountain of the two deeps. In the Ugaritic pantheon she is the consort of El. She is referred to as the "mother of the gods" or "procreatress of the gods.

She is also referred to as "Lady Athirat of the sea" and by the Semitic word qd i. She figures prominently in the Ugaritic texts in which Baal and Anat are requesting from El a palace for Baal to live in CTA 4texts concerning Shahar and Shalim CTA 23 and in another wherein she is said to receive a sheep offered in sacrifice.Jesus.

Bible in Urdu The Canaanite storm god Ba'al and the background of Ba'al the religion of the old testament and the role of god worship in the Old an analysis of a still photography project Testament Old Testament in the New Testament.

Enrichment Section A: Who Is the God of the Old Testament-Old Testament Student Manual Genesis-2 Samuel. a God of wrath and low religion who would destroy people with floods and plagues. one must study the Old Testament, for in His role as Jehovah He permeates the whole record.

Jesus Christ is the God of the Old Testament just as He is. The term "old testament" thus refers to the covenant which God entered into with Abraham and the people of Israel, and "new testament" refers to the covenant the earliest Christians believed God has entered into will all believers through Jesus Christ.

In the next stage the Yahweh religion separated itself from its Canaanite heritage, Yahweh as God of Israel. Solomon dedicates the Temple at Jerusalem (painting by James Tissot or follower, Prayer played little role in official worship.

The God of the Old Testament is, after all, first and foremost, according to the description above, complex and complexity of God’s portrayal in the Old Testament is the direct result of the diversity of the Bible itself—a term that derives from a Greek plural, ta biblia, “the books.”.

Communicating the role that the law played in God’s overall plan of salvation was one of the New Testament church’s biggest challenges. As Jews accepted that Jesus was the long-awaited Messiah, they struggled to understand how to bring their Jewish roots into this new reality.

The Old Testament - The Religion of Islam