Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
November 27, 2014, 02:48:29 PM

Login with username, password and session length
Search:     Advanced search
We have a new board! Pop on over to the Game Journals section and tell us what you've been playing!
338633 Posts in 13861 Topics by 2215 Members
Latest Member: RPGtourguide
* Home Help Search Login Register
+  RPGFan Message Boards
|-+  The Rest
| |-+  General Discussions
| | |-+  something thats been bugging me for a while.
« previous next »
Pages: 1 2 [3] 4 Print
Author Topic: something thats been bugging me for a while.  (Read 7988 times)
Takezo
Posts: 329


Member
*


View Profile

Ignore
« Reply #30 on: September 30, 2009, 11:11:05 AM »

The Torah is is the old testament of the bible. It was written mostly in hebrew with a little bit in aramaic. The difference is that in Judaism, a tiny bit of the page of their book is the actual text. The rest of the page is taken up by different rabbinical arguments and interpretations of that text.
Logged
kyuusei
Mr. Lightning Bolt
Administrator
Posts: 9420


Blame the dragoon.

Member
*


View Profile
« Reply #31 on: September 30, 2009, 11:12:36 AM »

I meant the term for God in the Quran. The Bible and the Torah were originally written in different languages though (Hebrew for the Torah, not sure about the Bible). I wonder if God was referred to as male in the original texts or if, like Arabic, there is a non-gender term for God in those languages? Sometimes I feel like so much gets lost and manipulated in translation.

Not to mention 2,000+ years of time.

And yeah, I was about to say - the Bible was written (mostly?) in Hebrew too from what I'd been told.
Logged

NANOMACHINES, SON.
CastNuri
AMG A GIRL
Posts: 1287


There are no coincidences.

Member
*

CastNuri
View Profile

Ignore
« Reply #32 on: October 03, 2009, 05:24:32 AM »

Tricky thing, time.

So googling the Hebrew terms for God just confused me further. There are an awful lot of names for God in Judaism; but seeing that (as Takezo pointed out) the Torah's been written by more than one individual, I guess this makes sense. God has lots of names in Islam too but they're all more like titles and nowhere near as widely used as 'Allah'.
Logged

"It is a silly game where nobody wins. " ~ Thomas Fuller ~

http://castnuri.tumblr.com
Alexander
Easy Bake Covenant
Posts: 228


Member
*


View Profile Email

Ignore
« Reply #33 on: October 03, 2009, 01:13:02 PM »

I'll try and remain as neutral in my answer as possible.  :P

There's a Catholic theologian named Peter Kreeft who has an intriguing answer.  He says God is masculine in that He is the one pursuing humanity like a suitor would be pursuing a mate.  (Think of the reference in Revelation to the church being the "bride of Christ").  Kreeft also goes on to state that Jesus came to instruct us to be more feminine, in that we need to adapt ourselves to being pursued God and not the other way around.  If anything, Jesus rebuking us (in that we are not to reach God's favor built on our own effort but to receive His attention simply because of His own love) could possibly turn the criticism about the faith being chauvinistic in a male sense into into one of a female sense, as women are the ones who "get it right".  But that's a side argument altogether, heh.
« Last Edit: October 03, 2009, 01:57:01 PM by Alexander » Logged

Behold, the greatest taco in the history of the world! http://tacostothelimit.ytmnd.com/
[Previously known as Miilou Suede]
acornthief.tumblr.com
Hidoshi
RPGFan's Open Source Field Agent
Posts: 2901


Built This House

Member
*

clothothespinner@hotmail.com BrandingRune
View Profile WWW

Ignore
« Reply #34 on: October 04, 2009, 11:46:07 AM »

Tricky thing, time.

So googling the Hebrew terms for God just confused me further. There are an awful lot of names for God in Judaism; but seeing that (as Takezo pointed out) the Torah's been written by more than one individual, I guess this makes sense. God has lots of names in Islam too but they're all more like titles and nowhere near as widely used as 'Allah'.


It's aided by the fact that Judaism started out as a polytheistic religion. At some point, when the purported Kingdom of Israel had fallen and the Kingdom of Judea had come into being, monotheism was enforced with Yahweh becoming extremely important, and all other divinities within the Jewish community relegated to the status of either mythological figures, attendants of some kind, or in the case of less-favoured deities, demonised.

For instance: It's important to note that while Judaism has widely condemned Ba'al as an "evil god", Ba'al was a title referring to many gods. When Judea consolidated its own monotheism, Ba'al was transformed into a demonic entity in the eyes of the Jewish community, owing to the title often being used by less-favoured divisions of the Judaic community. Yay politics.
Logged
Tooker
RPGFan Editor
Posts: 9657


Member
*

king_friday@hotmail.com PeopleJohnT bigfatusername@yahoo.com
View Profile
« Reply #35 on: October 04, 2009, 02:35:30 PM »

That reminds me of both American Gods by Neil Gaiman and of the Incarnations of Immortality series by Piers Anthony... for whatever that's worth.
Logged

Those who believe in telekinetics, raise my hand.
—Kurt Vonnegut
CastNuri
AMG A GIRL
Posts: 1287


There are no coincidences.

Member
*

CastNuri
View Profile

Ignore
« Reply #36 on: October 06, 2009, 04:43:27 PM »

It's aided by the fact that Judaism started out as a polytheistic religion. At some point, when the purported Kingdom of Israel had fallen and the Kingdom of Judea had come into being, monotheism was enforced with Yahweh becoming extremely important, and all other divinities within the Jewish community relegated to the status of either mythological figures, attendants of some kind, or in the case of less-favoured deities, demonised.

For instance: It's important to note that while Judaism has widely condemned Ba'al as an "evil god", Ba'al was a title referring to many gods. When Judea consolidated its own monotheism, Ba'al was transformed into a demonic entity in the eyes of the Jewish community, owing to the title often being used by less-favoured divisions of the Judaic community. Yay politics.

It's amazing how much politics have changed the Holy books. I really didn't know about the polytheistic origins of Judaism; it's not a very popular discussion topic over here. On that note, I now know a lot more about the Bible and the Torah than I would've found out on my own initiative. :P

I guess that's good. Christianity and Judaism are technically the two religions I have the strongest ties to, aside from my own.
Logged

"It is a silly game where nobody wins. " ~ Thomas Fuller ~

http://castnuri.tumblr.com
Redeemed
Posts: 196


Member
*


View Profile

Ignore
« Reply #37 on: October 06, 2009, 06:28:07 PM »

It's aided by the fact that Judaism started out as a polytheistic religion. At some point, when the purported Kingdom of Israel had fallen and the Kingdom of Judea had come into being, monotheism was enforced with Yahweh becoming extremely important, and all other divinities within the Jewish community relegated to the status of either mythological figures, attendants of some kind, or in the case of less-favoured deities, demonised.

For instance: It's important to note that while Judaism has widely condemned Ba'al as an "evil god", Ba'al was a title referring to many gods. When Judea consolidated its own monotheism, Ba'al was transformed into a demonic entity in the eyes of the Jewish community, owing to the title often being used by less-favoured divisions of the Judaic community. Yay politics.

It's amazing how much politics have changed the Holy books. I really didn't know about the polytheistic origins of Judaism; it's not a very popular discussion topic over here. On that note, I now know a lot more about the Bible and the Torah than I would've found out on my own initiative. :P

I guess that's good. Christianity and Judaism are technically the two religions I have the strongest ties to, aside from my own.


Eh, don't believe everything you read on a message board on a site dedicated to RPGs :P It's hardly a "fact" that Judaism started out as Polytheistic. There are lots of theories and views out there.
Logged
CastNuri
AMG A GIRL
Posts: 1287


There are no coincidences.

Member
*

CastNuri
View Profile

Ignore
« Reply #38 on: October 07, 2009, 04:26:36 AM »

I'll keep that in mind. Don't worry, I'm no gonna accuse the local Rabai of his faith's probable polytheistic beginnings. ;-)

Logged

"It is a silly game where nobody wins. " ~ Thomas Fuller ~

http://castnuri.tumblr.com
Hidoshi
RPGFan's Open Source Field Agent
Posts: 2901


Built This House

Member
*

clothothespinner@hotmail.com BrandingRune
View Profile WWW

Ignore
« Reply #39 on: October 07, 2009, 05:59:04 AM »

Eh, don't believe everything you read on a message board on a site dedicated to RPGs :P It's hardly a "fact" that Judaism started out as Polytheistic. There are lots of theories and views out there.

First: http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Judaism/premo.html

Second: It is a fact that Judaism was almost certainly polytheistic and animistic at its roots.

While there are many theories and views on how it may have started, polytheism has a very (and I emphasise very) strong case as the foundation of almost every religion. Even a religion which did away with polytheistic symbols rather heavily, that being Zoroastrianism, has much of its symbolism and doctrine incorporated from existing cultural mores. The names of Fravashi (re: Archangels) throughout the Gathas are similar to, if not the same as those of deities from the older pantheon.

The exact same thing occurs in Tanakh, the Judaic account of the Bible. While Orthodoxy holds that all the names of God in the text refer to the same God, it's rather difficult to frame as a legitimate argument.

The issue is that nearly all the names are similar to, if not the same as those of Gods from pre-monotheistic times. A large number of them aren't even Semetic, or at least not "Judaic" in a proper sense of the word.

I would wager that eighty percent of serious religious studies point to Judaism as having polytheistic roots. Those that argue against this are usually from an Orthodox point of view (therefore very biased), or by Christian and Islamic orthodoxy (similarly biased). The worst are by young-earth creationists, whose arguments collapse at the mere mention of the city of Ugarit (more than 6000 years old) or just about any record of Egyptian and other cradle-of-life civilisation.

What exact shape Judaism took before monotheism became important is up for debate, but the actual fact as to Judaism once having been polytheistic is well established.

Polytheism as a root is actually rather common. Sikhism's address of God can be polytheistic if the worshipper so desires. Indeed, most of the Hindu names for Brahman's many manifestations were added as names for God. Satnam being the appropriate name in scripture, Sikhs do address God as "Ram" or "Ishwara" as they may prefer.

In the case of Islam, even there we see polytheism's symbols still active. From the start, Medina was originally the direction designated for worship. It's unclear exactly why the Prophet Mohammad designated Mecca later on, but most scholars believe it to be a political decision. The "Rub el Hizb", the eight-pointed star of Islam is actually an ancient Arabic and Persian symbol for mother goddesses, and the Crescent Moon is largely derived from ancient Persian symbols.

Further, consider that "Allah" as a term was originally used to refer to a creator god proper, and not a supreme god. When Islam was established, Allah was elevated as a title to mean the supreme God. Now, I preface my next statement in that I don't wish to tread on any sensibilities here. It was however most likely that the Judaic concept of Yahweh, being compatible with the figure of Allah, was merged with it into one notion of supreme deity.

There's also the notion of 99 names of God in Islam, which is very close to the Hindu concepts of 99 names of Sri Vishnu, and 999 names of Sri Mahesvara.

Etc etc... and cutting this short, polytheism is pretty much a constant in culture.


« Last Edit: October 07, 2009, 06:16:26 AM by Hidoshi » Logged
Redeemed
Posts: 196


Member
*


View Profile

Ignore
« Reply #40 on: October 07, 2009, 05:32:50 PM »

Eh, don't believe everything you read on a message board on a site dedicated to RPGs :P It's hardly a "fact" that Judaism started out as Polytheistic. There are lots of theories and views out there.

First: http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Judaism/premo.html

Second: It is a fact that Judaism was almost certainly polytheistic and animistic at its roots.

While there are many theories and views on how it may have started, polytheism has a very (and I emphasise very) strong case as the foundation of almost every religion. Even a religion which did away with polytheistic symbols rather heavily, that being Zoroastrianism, has much of its symbolism and doctrine incorporated from existing cultural mores. The names of Fravashi (re: Archangels) throughout the Gathas are similar to, if not the same as those of deities from the older pantheon.

The exact same thing occurs in Tanakh, the Judaic account of the Bible. While Orthodoxy holds that all the names of God in the text refer to the same God, it's rather difficult to frame as a legitimate argument.

The issue is that nearly all the names are similar to, if not the same as those of Gods from pre-monotheistic times. A large number of them aren't even Semetic, or at least not "Judaic" in a proper sense of the word.

I would wager that eighty percent of serious religious studies point to Judaism as having polytheistic roots. Those that argue against this are usually from an Orthodox point of view (therefore very biased), or by Christian and Islamic orthodoxy (similarly biased). The worst are by young-earth creationists, whose arguments collapse at the mere mention of the city of Ugarit (more than 6000 years old) or just about any record of Egyptian and other cradle-of-life civilisation.

What exact shape Judaism took before monotheism became important is up for debate, but the actual fact as to Judaism once having been polytheistic is well established.



Huh? Do you know what the definition of "fact" is? You admit yourself that there is still debate about it, even if it comes from what you claim are biased sources. I could just as easily say that the other sources are "Liberal" sources, and therefore equally as biased. The article you link to even states that "all these conclusions are brilliant but tentative, for we'll never know for sure much of anything substantial about Hebrew history and religion during the age of the patriarchs or the sojourn in Egypt." Bottom line: there's still debate, it hasn't been irrefutably proven, and therefore you can't call it a fact.
Logged
Hidoshi
RPGFan's Open Source Field Agent
Posts: 2901


Built This House

Member
*

clothothespinner@hotmail.com BrandingRune
View Profile WWW

Ignore
« Reply #41 on: October 07, 2009, 06:41:24 PM »

Facts do not need 'irrefutable' proof, merely substantial proof. There exists substantial proof. The debate is not over whether or not Judaism was indeed polytheistic, but the details as to how it was, and how it became monotheistic. There is no religion in the world that does not have polytheistic, if not animistic roots. Denying that is just sheer ignorance.
Logged
Redeemed
Posts: 196


Member
*


View Profile

Ignore
« Reply #42 on: October 07, 2009, 07:29:46 PM »

I'm sorry, but I think you're making some pretty big claims that you can't back up so definitively. The source you cited doesn't even speak in such absolutes!
And really, "denying that is just sheer ignorance?" Is that really necessary? Name calling doesn't win you argument points.
« Last Edit: October 07, 2009, 07:31:31 PM by Redeemed » Logged
Hidoshi
RPGFan's Open Source Field Agent
Posts: 2901


Built This House

Member
*

clothothespinner@hotmail.com BrandingRune
View Profile WWW

Ignore
« Reply #43 on: October 07, 2009, 11:07:13 PM »

It's not a matter of absolutes. It's a pretty darned good /fact/ that polytheism is at the root of most, if not all religions. And it is wilful ignorance to deny it. No name calling there, I'm going to point out a demonstration when I see it. Equally I could say that your accusing me of speaking in absolutes is "name-calling", but that's silly.

I would like to know, however, what you're basing your own views on? Even on the outside chance that Judaism started somehow monotheistically, it's most certainly been influenced by polytheism, in both its terminology and many of its stories. The story of Esther for instance, was almost certainly Babylonian.
Logged
CastNuri
AMG A GIRL
Posts: 1287


There are no coincidences.

Member
*

CastNuri
View Profile

Ignore
« Reply #44 on: October 08, 2009, 03:52:13 AM »

In the case of Islam, even there we see polytheism's symbols still active. From the start, Medina was originally the direction designated for worship. It's unclear exactly why the Prophet Mohammad designated Mecca later on, but most scholars believe it to be a political decision. The "Rub el Hizb", the eight-pointed star of Islam is actually an ancient Arabic and Persian symbol for mother goddesses, and the Crescent Moon is largely derived from ancient Persian symbols.

Further, consider that "Allah" as a term was originally used to refer to a creator god proper, and not a supreme god. When Islam was established, Allah was elevated as a title to mean the supreme God. Now, I preface my next statement in that I don't wish to tread on any sensibilities here. It was however most likely that the Judaic concept of Yahweh, being compatible with the figure of Allah, was merged with it into one notion of supreme deity.

There's also the notion of 99 names of God in Islam, which is very close to the Hindu concepts of 99 names of Sri Vishnu, and 999 names of Sri Mahesvara.

I think that polytheism goes back so far that it's presence in the historical origins of most religions is a constant. But I don't think that the polytheism is necessarily a part of the religion. The eight-pointed star and the crescent aren't in the Quran (in my opinion, the only valid source of reasoning in Islam; I don't invest my faith in the Hadiths quite as much) and it is usually associated with Islam because of the original culture that surrounded the beginnings of the religion. The term' Allah' being promoted doesn't bother me much-- I mean, they had to use an existing word that people could understand to mean 'God' instead of creating a whole new term for Supreme God. It's all semantics.

The 99 names of God are titles, describing 99 of Allah's characteristics (The Merciful One, the Beneficient one, etc). I've always believed that Hiniduism has had ties to the Abrahamic religions, or at least that is what my Hindu friends and I figure. Islam is very clear about it's monotheism but it's history is peppered with the 'idol worshipers' that its prophets were instructed to discourage. So I think it's okay to say that polytheism has influenced most if not all religions.
Logged

"It is a silly game where nobody wins. " ~ Thomas Fuller ~

http://castnuri.tumblr.com
Pages: 1 2 [3] 4 Print 
« previous next »
Jump to:  



Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.20 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!