origins of Judaism
I heard a jewish person say this and can you refute it ;
The vast majority of Biblical Scholars don’t assert that Judaism began as a polytheism, this is misnomer
They assert that it evolved from a polytheism
Judaism, to those scholars, is still inherently a monotheistic model
With covenant doctrine features that require the Torah
They instead say that the earliest Israelite religions were not Judaism, but various levantine Canaanite cults, one of which transitionted and transformed into Judaism over time
This again is not the same thing as saying Judaism “began” as a polytheism since these scholars acknowledge that whatever system existed previously is not actually Judaism
Dr Sledge begins his analysis by proposing that the subject of the origins of HaShem has no scholarly consensus, and that this is a subject still rife with extreme disagreements and debates in academia, positions which Dr Sledge does not auto discredit as invalid.
In terms of his analysis, I take issue with his argumentation that HaShem originates as a war god or storm divinity, and this is because the Torah was formed pre-exile (a central problem for his theory of origination of HaShem) as demonstrated by various Neo Documentarian Hypothesis scholars, who argue for a compiled Torah pre-Exile.
There is no evidence in inscription forms either to demonstrate that HaShem was not always believed to have the name “El”; the notion that HaShem originates as a local manifestion of the Canaanite god El is merely speculation, as there is no actual cultic evidence to demonstrate that this term applying to Him evolved, and is likely a linguistic feature instead.
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