April 29, 2012 at 5:32 pm #16332akashdanMember
Dr. J mentioned the controversy in the beginning, but also said his primary source for Hebrew history and religion is the Bible. I am wondering how far outside the mainstream this is. Not that the mainstream is always right, obviously, but there is probably an inherent bias on this issue — can you really be properly skeptical?
I saw that he is the associate editor of the Journal of Faith and the Academy, which says “It is devoted to research and reflection on how the Christian faith shapes and informs the study and teaching of all academic disciplines as well as how the Christian faith unites all fields of learning and teaching.”
There’s nothing wrong with learning about the Bible, but I’m not interested in a Christian agenda for teaching history. Maybe there are a lot of religious Christians on here, so I hopefully didn’t offend anyone. Anyway, hopefully this isn’t an issue for most topics.April 29, 2012 at 6:20 pm #16333
Can you clarify what it means to be “properly skeptical”?April 29, 2012 at 6:48 pm #16334akashdanMember
Meaning you may not evaluate the Bible as a source the way would another document, because your faith tells you it is a reliable source.April 29, 2012 at 7:05 pm #16335
I’m sure I evaluate the Bible differently from secular scholars in some ways, but for the purposes of these two lectures, it really doesn’t matter. The things I lay out are things that there’s broad agreement on. (Plus, you might consider the possibility that a Christian’s faith stems from his coming to the conclusion that the Bible is a reliable source. In other words, the cause and effect could be different from the way you’ve framed them.)
Secular scholars will use the Bible to teach Hebrew history as well. As I said in the lecture, there’s not much else to go on for most of Hebrew history.
The purpose of the two lectures is to help establish the importance of the Hebrews in the history of Western civilization, I think the conveying of the Biblical narrative is the best way to accomplish that. Whether or not the stories are authentic, the simple fact is that for about 1,500 years nearly everyone in the West accepted them as true, and they helped to shape the way the civilization developed in a number of important ways. So it’s important for a student of Western civilization to be familiar with them.
I hope this helps to explain why the lectures are structured the way they are.May 24, 2012 at 1:01 am #16336vmessinaMember
Hello Dr. J
I just started watching your lecture on Hebrew history. Within the first couple minutes you made a statement that I know is not true. This is really disappointing since I just became a member this evening and this is the first lecture I am watching.
You said that the Hebew religion of Moses is now the same as Judaism. You apparently have not studied the history of Judaism. Judaism is based on the Talmud which originated in Babylon. In fact the followers of Judaism were referred to by Jesus Christ as those who call themseves Jews (tribe of Judah) who are not, but are of the synagogue of Satan. The followers of Judaism are the ones responsible for the crusifiction of Jesus.
If this is an example of the accuracy of the lectures in this course, I would like a refund. I am deeply disappointed.May 24, 2012 at 11:04 am #16337
Hi, Marc. I’ve just reviewed the section you reference. My exact words on the video are “The Hebrew faith, which later became known as Judaism . . .” I do not say that modern-day Judaism is the religion of Moses. If you inferred that as my meaning, you are incorrect, and I apologize for not being clearer.
If you watch my lecture on the New Testament, you’ll see that scholars talk about multiple “Judaisms” at the time of the first century. The Talmudic Judaism you talk about in your post is one particular strand of Judaism that eventually became dominant after the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem in A.D. 70.May 24, 2012 at 1:57 pm #16338vmessinaMember
Dr. J, I beg to disagree. The Hebrew faith did not later become known as Judaism. Judaism started after the capture by the Babylonians and completely corrupted the Hebrew faith. The Hebrews also inter-married with the Babylonians and other peoples (such as the Kenites) and lost not only their religious but also their ethnic heritage. One of the missions of Jesus Christ was to expose this corruption. As I said, he called them the synagogue of Satan.
The Hebrew faith is still the Hebrew faith practiced by some who are truely descendants of the 12 tribes and have not been corrupted. So called Judaism was further developed by the Khazar kingdom when they converted to Judaism in the 7th century A.D. They are the Ashkenazi Jews. These people never were related to the 12 tribes and never set foot in the land of Israel until they established the phoney Zionist movement. Here is a link that may help you understand what really happened: http://www.biblestudysite.com/factsarefacts.htmMay 25, 2012 at 11:21 am #16339woodsParticipant
This discussion thread is now at an end. I add only a few things: the Talmud did not originate in Babylon, and the Jerusalem Talmud is in fact older than the Babylonian Talmud. There is no NT evidence that Jesus was attempting to restore a pre-Babylonian exile Hebrew faith, although he certainly differs in his teachings from many of the contemporary Pharisees. The Khazar theory of Ashkenazi origins is not generally accepted, although there are reputable people who take it seriously.
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