Can someone enlighten me about SA's argument, please?

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ABuddhist
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Re: Can someone enlighten me about SA's argument, please?

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Secret Alias wrote: Wed Jan 18, 2023 9:01 pm What "archaeological evidence" am I refusing to admit identifies the "kingdom of Judah" as "the kingdom of Israel"?
You ignore this archaerological evidence. It is not archaeological evidence which identifies the "kingdom of Judah" as "the kingdom of Israel", but it is relevant to any discussion about how accurate the traditions of either Jews or Samaritans are. Traditions can be wrong despite being old. You seem to be replacing trust in Jewish accounts with trust in Samaritan accounts - while ignoring that archaeology suggests that neither account is true.
neilgodfrey wrote: Sat Jan 07, 2023 7:29 pm
John2 wrote: Sat Jan 07, 2023 6:48 pm
Do you agree that the Kingdom of Israel ceased to exist in 722 BCE? If not, what is your evidence to the contrary?

I know this isn't addressed to me, but you (Neil) aren't saying that there weren't any Israelites (by which I mean former citizens of the Kingdom of Israel and their descendants) living in "the land of Israel" (by which I mean anywhere "from Dan to Beersheba," as the OT puts it) after 722 BCE, are you? And if not, then what does it matter if the Kingdom of Israel no longer existed? "Am Yisrael Chai," as the song goes.

But if you aren't saying this, then do you see the Jews and Samaritans that were living in Judea in the 400's BCE (as per the Elephantine Papyri) as descendants of these earlier Israelites?

I don't think I'm understanding the significance of the fall of the Kingdom of Israel in this discussion and am seeking some clarification.
The question is what we mean by the term "Israel".

The archaeological evidence (citing Finkelstein and others in works by Whitelam and Thompson) is that the population in the highland regions that we call Samaria, the region of the Iron Age kingdom of Israel that ceased to exist in 722, ... that population continued, even increased again some-time after 722. People were living there but they identified more likely as Samarians after their city Samaria. We have no evidence that there was an ethnic identity of "Israel" among those people. We don't know what they called themselves -- or even if they thought of themselves as anything other than "from a place outside Samaria" or some other village or market area.

The name of "Israel" itself disappears after 722 only to re-emerge in theological writings with ten different meanings as I listed above. And from at least one of those theological meanings and that theological literature in which Israel held a key position, the people of Judea took on the identity of Israelites by the time of Bar Kochba most clearly.

It appears that there was some kind of connection between the Samarians and the people around Jerusalem because many from the north fled south to escape Assyria in the eighth century. I suspect that sense of connection came from a common language and worship of Yahweh as one of their chief gods. But I suppose like any groups of people, there are periods of rivalry, cooperation, friendship, war --- usually depending on changing fortunes in trade and economy, common enemies, family power struggles, special religious festivals, etc. Nabateans and Edomites also worshiped Yahweh but the Judeans didn't always treat them very nicely.


Does that make sense? I'm refreshing and clarifying my own thoughts as I type so I hope I haven't added to any confusion.
Secret Alias wrote: Wed Jan 18, 2023 9:01 pm My point is just to say why not take a step back and ask why do the Jewish people get the right to define the term "Israel" for everyone.
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Secret Alias
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Re: Can someone enlighten me about SA's argument, please?

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So the "archaeological evidence" that I am ignoring ... is that there is no archaeological evidence after the conquest. And? What is does this prove with regards to "Israel" being identified only with the northern region rather than southern region. I am still waiting for evidence that the south was ever called Israel. Surely if there were atomic bombs dropped on America and we sifted through the rubble two thousand years later we might not find references to the various names of the regions associated with native tribes. Still "Algonquin" "Navaho" "Sioux" would be identified with specific areas. The descendants of the Sioux to this day identify themselves as living here:

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The same situation existed with Samaritans or any people that never gained independence from colonial masters. What does it matter that "Jews" learned to ignore the descendants of the kingdom of Israel and started calling themselves with the name originally associated with the northern kingdom? I am really not getting you. You are sticking with theological names and inventions. The Samaritans are like the Sioux. I think a lot of this thinking bandied around here develops from European cultural imperialism.
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Secret Alias
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Re: Can someone enlighten me about SA's argument, please?

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And this is not a map of the Surui who don't have a right to self-identity because they were conquered. It's a map of Brazil with a bunch of meaningless words scribbled over a certain region where deluded people have pretended to associate themselves with land that was never theirs and a name that was never theirs.

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The winners always have the right to determine who is right.
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Secret Alias
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Re: Can someone enlighten me about SA's argument, please?

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And all these aboriginals are make believe people too. It's properly only a map of Australia because in 2000 years nothing will be left to identify any of these people. Their identity is all made up in their heads unless the white man agrees to sanctify their understanding. There's some "time limit" associated with making a link between a name and the land associated with it.

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So fucking stupid. As long as I learn (a) when a geographical association with a name disappears and (b) who makes up these rules. I assume that you will become arbiter and participant as is usually the case at this forum.
Finkelstein regards the biblical account on the Conquest of Canaan in the Book of Joshua as an ideological manifesto of the Deuteronomistic author/s of the late 7th century BCE, describing a "conquest to be" under King Josiah of Judah rather than a historical event at the end of the Bronze Age. He proposed that the original Conquest Account may have originated in the Northern Kingdom of Israel in the early 8th century BCE; it could have been influenced by memories of the turmoil that had taken place in the lowlands in the late Iron I (10th century BCE), rather than the end of the Late Bronze Age (late 12th century BCE).
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Re: Can someone enlighten me about SA's argument, please?

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Secret Alias wrote: Thu Jan 19, 2023 12:48 pm So the "archaeological evidence" that I am ignoring ... is that there is no archaeological evidence after the conquest. And? What is does this prove with regards to "Israel" being identified only with the northern region rather than southern region. I am still waiting for evidence that the south was ever called Israel. Surely if there were atomic bombs dropped on America and we sifted through the rubble two thousand years later we might not find references to the various names of the regions associated with native tribes. Still "Algonquin" "Navaho" "Sioux" would be identified with specific areas. The descendants of the Sioux to this day identify themselves as living here:
Neil Godfrey has directed you to discussions of post-conquest archaeological evidence which you are ignoring.

You cite various indigenous groups, but in those cases we have evidence from multiple time periods that they referred to themselves and their homelands with a given name.

For Israel, we have accounts from later times claiming that in earlier centuries the land and its people were always called Israel, and we have archaeological evidence from those earlier centuries claiming otherwise. The Merneptah Stele does not link Israel with any land but with a people.
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neilgodfrey
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Re: Can someone enlighten me about SA's argument, please?

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ABuddhist wrote: Thu Jan 19, 2023 6:16 pm
You cite various indigenous groups, but in those cases we have evidence from multiple time periods that they referred to themselves and their homelands with a given name.

I finally got the stomach to return to this thread -- Yes. Prior to 722 BCE there was a kingdom of Israel but then it ceased to exist and its name vanished from the record for centuries. There is no evidence of any kind of national consciousness or self-identification as "Israelites" -- none whatever. People accepted the new political arrangements and names of administrative centres insofar as they had little do to with their everyday lives -- there was no "ethnic struggle" of "Israelites" against Assyrians, for example, as there was among Judeans against Rome at a later time. The people -- whom we can just as correctly label "Canaanites" -- presumably understood themselves as members of family groups and local regional areas dominated by a market centre or temple or administrative site -- e.g. Samaria. (compare Babylonians, Sidonians, Shechemites, Athenians, Romans). The origins of the people in the region were varied, different groups arriving at different times over centuries, settling, mixing with others already there .... they were not a single "ethnic blood group" and there is not an ounce of evidence to suggest they ever thought of themselves that way.

When we first encounter the term Israel as an identifier of certain people it is in religious literature and has a variety of connotations that are sometimes contradictory -- it clearly did not originate as a neat ethnic reality.

As for indigenous groups, we can locate where some of these predominantly lived on a map but I don't think they generally referred to their land area as named after themselves. Certainly not so with Australian aboriginal groups. Nor did they identify solely with "tribal" groupings -- they had many more complex relationships that extended across different regions and by which they might identify, often being free to travel to cement those identifications across different regions.
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Re: Can someone enlighten me about SA's argument, please?

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neilgodfrey wrote: Mon Jan 30, 2023 10:02 pm When we first encounter the term Israel as an identifier of certain people it is in religious literature and has a variety of connotations that are sometimes contradictory -- it clearly did not originate as a neat ethnic reality.
The Merneptah Stele identifies Israel as a people, but it is not religious literature, being rather propaganda for Pharaoh Merneptah.
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Secret Alias
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Re: Can someone enlighten me about SA's argument, please?

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Prior to 722 BCE there was a kingdom of Israel but then it ceased to exist and its name vanished from the record for centuries.
I too grew tired of this thread. In dealing with you I come face to face with egoism, unbridled. As noted you have constant double standards. With Christianity the "mythicist" Christian tradition "died out." But it must have been original! Why? Because you like. Neill is the measure of all things.

You're more than happy to waste everyone's time inventing a certain kind of non-existent "mythicism" to satisfy your antipathy toward one religion. But in the Samaritans, because you have fetish with Judaism being invented in the latest possible date imaginable and seeing that the Samaritans figure prominently in Konrad Schmid's "defense" of a Pentateuch-based religion in the Persian period you turn the tables around completely. Now everything comes down to "documentation." There's place called "Samaria" that dates back to the Persian period. It's on the land formerly known as "Israel." And I go on and on and then you play dumb. And so on and so on.

Either (a) Christian mythicism needs to be "documented" or have ancient evidence for its existence or (b) Samaritans without documentation can be granted to have some relationship with the kingdom of Israel. This is so fucking stupid.

You know in America there is a whole kind of people called "undocumented workers." They are in the country. They have no "papers." But they exist, they work. The point is that not everything is documented.

1. There was a cult of Yahweh at Shechem that is very old.
2. There are people who claim the be the descendants of those people who are called "guardians" of the Yahwehist tradition.

Why is this doubted when there are people called "Jews" who have more of a genetic link to Italians for the most part than any thing Middle Eastern?

I accept that Jews are "descendants of Judah" and Samaritans are "descendants of Israel." What's the problem? What's the massive deal with this? I accept that a young man who believes he's a woman is whatever gender he wants to be? Who among us is the final arbiter of personal identity?

Let the Jews be sons of Judah. Let the Samaritans be sons of Israel. Everyone happy?
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Re: Can someone enlighten me about SA's argument, please?

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Secret Alias wrote: Tue Jan 31, 2023 2:36 pm
Prior to 722 BCE there was a kingdom of Israel but then it ceased to exist and its name vanished from the record for centuries.
I too grew tired of this thread. In dealing with you I come face to face with egoism, unbridled. As noted you have constant double standards. With Christianity the "mythicist" Christian tradition "died out." But it must have been original! Why? Because you like. Neill is the measure of all things.

You're more than happy to waste everyone's time inventing a certain kind of non-existent "mythicism" to satisfy your antipathy toward one religion. But in the Samaritans, because you have fetish with Judaism being invented in the latest possible date imaginable and seeing that the Samaritans figure prominently in Konrad Schmid's "defense" of a Pentateuch-based religion in the Persian period you turn the tables around completely. Now everything comes down to "documentation." There's place called "Samaria" that dates back to the Persian period. It's on the land formerly known as "Israel." And I go on and on and then you play dumb. And so on and so on.

Either (a) Christian mythicism needs to be "documented" or have ancient evidence for its existence or (b) Samaritans without documentation can be granted to have some relationship with the kingdom of Israel. This is so fucking stupid.
With all due respect, we do have documents which can be interpreted as supporting mythicism within early Christianity, such as the Revelation to John - with its heavenly Jesus who is never referred to as preaching upon the Earth - and the Letter to the Hebrews, with its talk about Jesus as a heavenly high priest in a heavenly sanctuary. We also have evidence conbsistent with the model which Neil is proposing, both written and archaeological.
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Secret Alias
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Re: Can someone enlighten me about SA's argument, please?

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This is where you guys compromise yourselves. Mythicism is laughed at precisely because there is no first hand evidence of a non-existent Jesus. In order to create evidence you have to massage the reporting of the Church Fathers. That a document somewhere speaks of AN INTERPRETATION of a particular heretical group having beliefs that MIGHT IMPLY that Jesus didn't exist is not strong evidence. It's not as strong as the evidence that the Samaritans are descendants of the residents of the kingdom of Israel. First of all there are actual Samaritans. It is not clear that the various groups mentioned by the Church Fathers actually existed or not or that the evidence cited by the Church Fathers actually existed (cf. the Greater Questions of Mary). Second of all, the Samaritans have genetic markers which identify them as typical of the people of the region. The Samaritans have a stronger connection to the residents of Canaan than let's say the Italic-originating Jews. On and on, it goes.

When debating someone or someones there has to be at least a pretense of fairness. It is clear that you are a group that have strong emotional desires as motiving factors in your positions. You "want" there to be a non-existent Jesus so voila "there is a strong case for the mythicist Jesus." You "want" there to be no Torah in the Persian period so that you can move the start of the Torah to some period which makes it look like a foolish religion. Voila the Samaritans are exactly the mongrel people describes in Josephus and Jewish material. But that's not a fair assessment of the evidence. That's just desire run rampant.

Let's let the Jews be "sons of Judah" and let the Samaritans be "sons of Israel." That's a fair starting point.

My point was if we are going to go strictly on the "weight of evidence" as the fundamental criterion for determining the "facts." You'd say a. there was a historical Jesus and b. there is no evidence for "Israel" as a geographical name after the Assyrian conquest. But you don't do that. You're selective about when you allow yourself to "rehabilitate" people, places, things. I am more consistent.
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