Old Testament on The Jerusalem Temple

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Jero
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Old Testament on The Jerusalem Temple

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Has the Old Testament Been Economical With the Truth?

Robert Crotty, the eminent Australian Emeritus Prof. of Religion and Early Christian History, in his work wrote: In fact, a case can be made that literary Israel, as contained in the biblical text, originated after the exile in the sixth-century BCE and was completed in written form much later.

To substantiate this claim, we need to look at some ancient history.  This will be based on Mesopotamian documents and archaeology.

The number of Jerusalem citizens (and others living around the city) involved in the exile into Mesopotamia after the destruction of the city by the Babylonians in 586 BCE; could not have been as extensive and drastic as depicted in literary Israel.  The removal of almost an entire population to the east would have been logically an impossible task.  In reality, the majority of people must have been left where they were.  Archaeology indicates that this was exactly the case; there was no sharp decline in population.  However, the ancient Near East was to change, In 539 BCE the Babylonian Empire was taken over by the Persians who had moved inexorably towards the west, taking all in their path.  During the fifth century BCE, it would seem that there had been transfers of population in the opposite direction to that taken by the exiles—from Mesopotamia to Judah, now known as the Persian satrapy or province of Yehud.4

This administrative area of had been constructed as a satrapy comprising Jerusalem and the area adjacent to it, militarily under the control first of the Babylonians and then by of the Persians.  We can presume that the Persians, according to accepted colonial practice, next transplanted a new population with a mandate to build a temple and rebuild the city.  These immigrants might not have had genealogical descent from the earlier exiled group taken from the same area by the Babylonians.

The fact has to be faced that the Temple of Jerusalem may have been originally a Persian Temple.  It could have received its focus of worship from Mesopotamia.  It would seem the hypothesis that the newcomers did not have genealogical descent from Jerusalem exiles has the stronger case.  Yehud shows an increase (by 25%!) of the newly occupied settlers, in the form of unwalled villages, around this time.  This archaeological data points to new settlers who were not of the same stock as the earlier exiles; former residents on their return would have been expected to go back to where they came from…

4 From what we can gather, the name of the area around Jerusalem from the eighth century BCE was called Judah.  The Babylonians translated the Hebrew into Aramaic as Yehud Medinata (‘the province of Judah’) or simply ‘Yehud’ and made it a Babylonian province.  This was inherited by the Persians.  Under the Greek, Yeduh was translated as Judaea and this was taken over by the Romans.  After the Jewish rebellion of 135 BCE, the Romans renamed the area as Syria Palaestina or simply Palestine.  The Area described by these land titles differed to some extent in the different periods. [Robert Crotty (2017), The Christian Survivor: How Roman Christianity Defeated Its Early Competitors, ch. 2, p.25, Springer, Gateway East, Singapore]

Crotty added: The newly immigrants would have been required to make the land their own; their purpose was to carry out Persian directives and to ensure that the native population, which had in the main never left the land, concurred… The immigrants would have had instructions from the Persians to establish themselves as an elite social enclave, setting up temple authorities, tax collectors, local managers and entrepreneurs… Within the city of Jerusalem, restored for their use, the newcomers must have established the cult of a new High God, Yahweh.  There is an important, and possibly to some a disturbing, distinction to be made here.  Previously, there was evidence of several cults in both Israel and Judah dedicated to the fertility and war god of the same name, Yahweh. [ibid p. 26]


Furthermore. It would seem that the Jerusalem Second Temple, built  by command of the Persians in about 515 BCE, was constructed hastily and without ornamentation.  It was functional.  By this stage, any remaining archaeological outline of a building or buildings, the so-called First Temple of Solomon as depicted in Literary Israel, supposedly destroyed by the Babylonians some seventy years earlier, would have  been conjectural… However, the Second Temple, in literary Israel, was accepted as replacing an earlier magnificent First Temple of Yahweh built by Solomon.  In short, there is no historical evidence for any First Temple in Historical Israel. [ibid p. 27]

Scholars have known that the Pentateuch or Torah (the five books of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy). Books supposedly written by Moses, that were written after the exiles return from Babylonian captivity circa 538 BCE.  Probably a thousand years after the supposed Moses lived.  From this above information, we have to assume that the historicity of the Old Testament (OT) is in question.  Especially the deportation by the Assyrian of the population of the Northern Kingdom of Israel, and its ten lost tribes in 721 BCE.  Furthermore, the deportation by the Babylonians after the conquest of the Kingdom of Judah in 586 BCE, of the Jews to Babylon, is also a historic deception by Jewish scribe of yore.  Moreover, for the Samaritans Israelites, who are probably the true descendants of the so-call Exodus.  Maligned by their southern brothers for nearly three millennia.  According to documents, and the archaeology, Crotty, is implying that  the OT scribes were being more than economical with the truth of Israel's history.  What of the so-called Temple of Solomon, did it really exist?  Did the exiled Jewish scribes, falsely, bestow unwarranted benevolence on the Persians.  Making them seem philanthropic, especially the Persian king, Cyrus the Great, whom they lavish so much praise on.  After he is said to free the Jews and said to be the benefactor of the rebuilding of the Jerusalem Temple.  Which, according to Crotty, the Solomon Holy Place did not exist, as the 2nd Temple in Jerusalem was a Persian Temple.  I liken this to the Christians lavishing all sorts of Godly praise of Emperor Constantine I (306-337) for falsely making Christianity the sole religion of the Roman Empire.  Nothing can be further from the truth, Constantine I, only decreed religious toleration in 313, it was Emperor Theodosius I (379-395), along with two other emperors in 380, who decreed that Catholic Christianity was to be the sole religion of the Roman Empire.  
What do you say?


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neilgodfrey
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Re: Old Testament on The Jerusalem Temple

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Jero wrote: Sat Jan 07, 2023 1:59 am Has the Old Testament Been Economical With the Truth?

Robert Crotty, the eminent Australian Emeritus Prof. of Religion and Early Christian History, in his work wrote:
What work is that?
Jero
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Re: Old Testament on The Jerusalem Temple

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Hi
If you had read the discussion you would have found the citation for R. Crotty.[Robert Crotty (2017), The Christian Survivor: How Roman Christianity Defeated Its Early Competitors, ch. 2, p.25, Springer, Gateway East, Singapore]
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Re: Old Testament on The Jerusalem Temple

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Jero wrote: Sat Jan 07, 2023 2:00 pm Hi
If you had read the discussion you would have found the citation for R. Crotty.[Robert Crotty (2017), The Christian Survivor: How Roman Christianity Defeated Its Early Competitors, ch. 2, p.25, Springer, Gateway East, Singapore]
Cofion
I generally prefer to know the source before I read anything of length. ;-)
Jero
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Re: Old Testament on The Jerusalem Temple

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I know I gave just a few extracts from Crotty's book his sources are ancient documentations, and archaeology. If you are unwilling to read, to know what going on, how can you get the facts!
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neilgodfrey
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Re: Old Testament on The Jerusalem Temple

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Jero wrote: Sun Jan 08, 2023 2:34 am I know I gave just a few extracts from Crotty's book his sources are ancient documentations, and archaeology. If you are unwilling to read, to know what going on, how can you get the facts!
Cofion
Hey -- peace, brother. I'm glad you posted what you did. I'm just an impatient soul who likes to get the context sorted out before he reads.

Much of what you have quoted sounds very similar to the view of Philip R. Davies whom he lists several times in his bibliography. I began to post an outline of the main points of Davies' book at http://vridar.info/bibarch/arch/index.htm

Yes -- the archaeological evidence is consistent with all of what he says there, as we'd expect, of course.

There was no Solomon temple, probably not even a Solomon. That story is a late invention. The archaeological evidence tells us that Judea around 900 BCE was so undeveloped that there could have been little more than rival warlords carving out territories then.

Davies adds -- and Crotty says much the same thing as you quote -- that it was the indigenous population who were looked down upon by the newly arrived deportees. They were later deemed the "sinners of the land", the "pagan Canaanites".

As for the temple, yes, there was a temple in Jerusalem in the Persian era and Yahweh was its god -- along with a bunch of other gods, including his wife Asherah.
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Re: Old Testament on The Jerusalem Temple

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Neil Godfrey wrote, in part, just above:
"....I'm just an impatient soul who likes to get the context sorted out before he reads...."

I do understand that one can't read everything--but one post that included the requested book reference?

Among the publications and postings I read by RE Gmirkin are his 2006 Berossus book. Later, I saw that his Plato book Intro began:
"This book is a sequel to _Berossus...."
To me, perhaps only to me, that was not encouraging.
Jero
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Re: Old Testament on The Jerusalem Temple

Post by Jero »

Hi
No offence intended, my friend. Thanks for the link of Philip R. Davies, as more and more scholars are now citing Jewish OT history as myth. Which is par for the course on early Christianity.
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Re: Old Testament on The Jerusalem Temple

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StephenGoranson wrote: Mon Jan 09, 2023 6:14 am Neil Godfrey wrote, in part, just above:
"....I'm just an impatient soul who likes to get the context sorted out before he reads...."

I do understand that one can't read everything--but one post that included the requested book reference?

Oh dear. I've long lost count of the number of times you, SG, have been caught out telling porkies about a book or article because you evidently did not read much more than its title or abstract, so I do wonder how you came to know that one had to first read the post before discovering the source that would tell you if you wanted to read the post in the first place! ;-)

But yes, I'm bad, very bad. You have made it abundantly clear here that if one entertains ideas such as are expressed by Russell Gmirkin, or even merely attempts to defend his ideas against gross misrepresentation, then it follows that one is necessarily bad in all other ways imaginable (in your imagination) -- guilty of anti-semitism of course, and of culpable laziness too, and every other defect in between. You are far from the first person I have encountered in the field of discussions of things biblical who assumes and publicly accuses a person with "wrong academic views" of being a thoroughly corrupt and despicable person in every other way, too.
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