Dr Jim’s Thinking Shop is too quiet lately, but when it speaks it makes up for ages of silence with a good belly laugh with a dash of cerebral acuity.
His photo of the atheist BBQ [Link //drjimsthinkingshop.com/2010/10/11/a-snap-from-this-summers-atheist-bbq/ and blog is no longer active… Neil, 23rd Sept, 2015] is a must-see, and his previous article Cooking the Book . . . how not to do religious studies [Link //drjimsthinkingshop.com/2010/07/03/cooking-the-book-on-the-bible-and-how-not-to-do-religious-studies/ and blog is no longer active… Neil, 23rd Sept, 2015] is a perfect companion to my earlier posts on the historicism of much Historical Jesus scholarship:
I’ve run completely out of patience with the almost impossible to avoid rubbish that Livingston repeats here (he certainly did not invent this idea!). “Yawheh was revealed to Israel through her historical experience” What frikkin’ theistic religion (other than deism) DOESN’T think that their deities show their power in historical events? And didn’t the Israelites think that big storms, famines, locust swarms, etc. were the will of their God? Didn’t Babylonians interpret their military history as being influenced by their deities?
And as for the “uniqueness” of the Israelite religion:
Certainly, the ancient Israelite and Judean worldviews were NOT identical to that of their neighbours, but then the Babylonians’ were NOT identical to that of the Assyrians, Hittites, Egyptians, Persians and so forth. Too often, scholars construct lump together non-Israelite cultures and religions as one part of a dichotomy with Israel and the Bible on the other. This polarity does not help the cause of understanding any of these ancient people, religions or texts. “All non-biblical religions look the same” and “All god are created equal but Yahweh is more equal than that others” are biases that biblical and world religions scholars must overcome.