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2 hours ago, JW Insider said:

Some have tied this idea of each nation getting a guardian angel to the "watchers" of the books of non-canonical Enoch and canonical portions of Daniel. This is why Michael is the guardian archangel of Israel, and other nations have their own guardian angels. This relates to a question that @Anna asked recently on this forum . https://www.theworldnewsmedia.org/topic/47150-why-do-we-understand-the-prince-of-persia-in-daniel-1013-to-be-a-wicked-angeldemon/?tab=comments#comment-69704

Thanks for drawing my attention to that question as I forgot all about it and never even noticed an answer there from @Gone Fishing

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Just had to comment on the point at 23:55 in the video: "In a well-known Bible translation we can read, 'I shall prove to be what I shall prove to be.' " The video won't say, of course, what translati

Most (perhaps all?) of the known people associated with the sponsor of the video (Reibling Foundation) are Witnesses, too. If they are trying to hide this fact they have not done a good job. Obviously

-----Found it (from a private conversation)... No. It's a common vowel pointing. It showed up this way sometimes in the Masoretic texts about 1,000 years ago. I know you already know that ther

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4 minutes ago, TrueTomHarley said:

There! It was a like. A real genuine grade A honest-to-goodness like. Don't ever say it wasn't.

See, there you go again, always weaseling your way out! Because that like doesn't count.And have you watched the video yet?

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17 minutes ago, TrueTomHarley said:
31 minutes ago, Anna said:

And have you watched the video yet?

Well, no. But I'll get to it.

That's good. I'm interested in how you understand it, since we already have several people's take on it. Of course you need to be fair and unbiased, and there is no need to be diplomatic and defensive, since this is not from the society. Not officially anyway.

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On 10/26/2017 at 11:31 AM, Anna said:

, Nehemiah Gordon is a Karaite Rabbi (never heard of the Karaite Jews, very interesting)

Hi Anna!   Just a friendly correction to the above statement.  Nehemiah Gordon is indeed a Karaite Jew (Kara means scripture) but not a Rabbi.  His father is an orthodox Rabbi but Karaites do not recognize the Rabbinical system.  They would be considered fundamentalist using scripture only and they do use God's name as required by scripture.  I have enjoyed listening to his point of view and have learned quite a lot from him and have read his book:  The Hebrew Yeshua vs the Greek Jesus.  He has a likable personality and remains quite neutral in discussions cautious of not promoting one religion over another.  He is well educated in the Hebrew language (both ancient and modern) but remains a humble man.   He was associated with an American pastor named Keith Johnson but I think they have gone their separate ways now (which is good).  Wishing you blessings - SuziQ1513

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1 hour ago, AllenSmith said:

I mentioned this already, so, what problem do you see with the Watchtowers rendition of known facts?

I don't see any problem with the Watchtower's rendition of known facts. The Watchtower has never addressed the arguments that some scholars bring up with respect to Elohim as it has been related to a Divine Council. I thought you were saying you had addressed this with scholars, so I was interested. What you responded to above is not the same issue. I suspect we agree on all most issues related to God's name -- assuming you agree with the Watchtower's general view on the topic.

Probably the only area where we might differ is how we defend the inconsistent method of the NWT using Jehovah for kyrios in the Greek when it is not a quote or direct allusion to the Hebrew Scriptures.

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10 hours ago, AllenSmith said:

I find the Watchtowers research in the matter of “El/Elohim” to be satisfactory. There’s NO reason to go beyond the research conducted by the Watchtower, that many “modern” scholars have come to the same conclusion.

The Watchtower never mentions the Canaanite or Ugaritic texts with respect to ELOHIM, or the Divine Council of EL, although it does refer to these texts with respect to EL (the Bull; or "Father Bull"). Our references never mention that YAHWEH was considered to be one of the sons of EL, just as BAAL was another son of EL. A couple of intriguing points are made in the Insight book, however:

*** it-1 pp. 976-977 Gods and Goddesses ***

  • Canaanite Deities. Extrabiblical sources indicate that the god El was considered to be the creator and sovereign. Although El seems to have been somewhat remote from earthly affairs, he is repeatedly shown as being approached by the other deities with requests. . . . In the Ras Shamra texts El is referred to as “father bull” and is represented as having gray hair and a gray beard. His consort was Asherah, who is referred to as the progenitress of the gods, whereas El is placed in the role of progenitor of the gods. . . . Most prominent of the Canaanite gods, however, was the fertility god Baal, a deity of the sky and of rain and storm. (Jg 2:12, 13) In the Ras Shamra texts, Baal is often called the son of Dagon, though El is also spoken of as his father. Baal’s sister Anath is shown referring to El as her father and he, in turn, calls her his daughter. Hence, Baal probably was regarded as the son of El, though he may also have been viewed as El’s grandson. In the mythological accounts Baal is depicted as assaulting and triumphing over Yamm, the god who presided over the water and who seems to have been El’s favorite or beloved son. But Baal is slain in his conflict with Mot, who was viewed as a son of El and the god of death and aridity. Thus, Canaan, like Babylon, had its god who died a violent death and thereafter was restored to life.—See BAAL No. 4. . . . Hence, at times Asherah and then again Ashtoreth may have been regarded as wives of Baal.—Jg 2:13; 3:7; 10:6; 1Sa 7:4; 12:10; 1Ki 18:19

We spoke of the Mesha stele as being the oldest extant mention of YHWH from about 890 B.C.E. Some of the next oldest extant mentions of the divine name YHWH are from Kuntillet Ajrud about which Wikipedia says the following:

  • (Arabic: كونتيلة عجرود‎‎) is a late 9th/early 8th centuries BCE site in the northeast part of the Sinai peninsula.[1] It is frequently described as a shrine, though this is not certain.[2]

    The inscriptions are mostly in early Hebrew with some in Phoenician script.[4] Many are religious in nature, invoking Yahweh, El and Baal, and two include the phrases "Yahweh of Samaria and his Asherah" and "Yahweh of Teman and his Asherah."[5] There is general agreement that Yahweh is being invoked in connection with Samaria (capital of the kingdom of Israel) and Teman (in Edom); this suggests that Yahweh had a temple in Samaria, and raises a question over the relationship between Yahweh and Kaus, the national god of Edom.[6] The "Asherah" is most likely a cultic object, although the relationship of this object (a stylised tree perhaps) to Yahweh and to the goddess Asherah, consort of El, is unclear.[7]

    An image on the piece of pottery (belonging to a pithos vase) found at Kuntillet Ajrud is adjacent to a Hebrew inscription "Berakhti etkhem l’YHVH Shomron ul’Asherato" ("I have blessed you by Yahweh of Samaria and [his] Asherah").

The connection to the false gods of Canaan and surrounding areas are to be expected, based on the Bible's continuous warnings to the Hebrews about the influence of false gods. The shared language of the region probably facilitated such syncretism, too. For example, the Insight book mentions Yamm, the god of the Sea. The Hebrew word for sea was also Yam. The Insight book mentions Mot as the god of death. The Hebrew word for Death is also Mot. The Mesopotamiam Sun-god was Shamash, the Hebrew word for sun was Shemesh.

But there is also a sense that gods could rise to the Most High of the "Council of Gods" (ELOHIM) and effectively replace EL. EL himself supposedly killed his father to reach this position, per the Insight book. Insight implies what some scholars have said: DAGON for a time might have been seen as the new EL making BAAL the son of DAGON rather than just the son of EL. This may also be an indication that as any god was seen to be the most powerful and ascendant, he became the "ONLY GOD" and that GOD becomes the MOST HIGH, therefore the ruler of the COUNCIL. Even in the Bible, the term MOST HIGH, does not just imply "The Most High over all the earth" but over all the other [non-existent, imagined] gods of other nations. (Psalm 77:13) ". . .What god is as great as you, O God?"  Poetically, at least, the Hebrews could still imagine a heavenly scene reminiscent of the common view of a "Divine Council of Gods."

  • (Psalm 82:1-8) God [ELOHIM] takes his place in the divine assembly [literally, "Council of EL"]; In the middle of the gods [ELOHIM] he judges:  2 “How long will you continue to judge with injustice And show partiality to the wicked? (Selah)  3 Defend the lowly and the fatherless. Render justice to the helpless and destitute.  4 Rescue the lowly and the poor; Save them out of the hand of the wicked.”  5 They do not know, nor do they understand; They are walking about in darkness; All the foundations of the earth are being shaken.  6 “I have said, ‘You are gods, All of you are sons of the Most High.  7 But you will die just as men do; And like any other prince you will fall!’”  8 Rise up, O God, and judge the earth, For all the nations belong to you.

It's possible, of course, to make these "gods" simply powerful men who are judges, but then you have the problem of verse 7 which says that these "men" are going to die just as "men" do. And, of course, Jesus invokes verse 6 as a way of showing that he has every right to call himself the "Son of God" because the Father sanctified him and sent into the world from heaven. The Christian view is, of course, clarified here:

  • (1 Corinthians 8:4-6) . . ., we know that an idol is nothing in the world and that there is no God but one. 5 For even though there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth, just as there are many “gods” and many “lords,” 6 there is actually to us one God, the Father, from whom all things are and we for him; and there is one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things are and we through him.

So, our position on all of this is very clear, and I'm sure we are in agreement about it. I was only asking if you had found points that are useful in countering the claims of too much similarity. I think Mormons have embraced some of these similarities, but they are obviously foreign to core Hebrew and Christian concepts.

The points you copied above that are found on the site: http://www.garshin.ru/linguistics/historical/author-comparisons/jehovah_eng.htm are very interesting. I see that this source is in agreement with some of the points we have brought up before, but the source also takes some liberties that might not be warranted.

The book you have pictured deals with a very similar theme of syncretism in early Christianity. In both cases these questions are likely dealt with improperly by most authors. The book you reference apparently treats the subject in a way that I find awkward based on a publisher's description (below). I know nothing about this book, except from excerpts I have just looked at today, but wonder what relevant information you might have learned from it. There is nothing relevant or useful on the pages you chose to copy. (I'm assuming you might have read more of it.)

  • In Kyrios Christos, Wilhelm Bousset argues that the Hellenistic Church's declaration of "Jesus as Lord" is a transformation of the pre-Christian Judaic community's understanding of Jesus as the Son of Man. This unique distinction between the primitive Palestinian community and Hellenistic Christianity reveals how the earliest Christian beliefs were informed by existing religious influences.
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On 10/26/2017 at 1:37 PM, Anna said:

You have to watch the video @TrueTomHarley

As stated, such things interest me only to a degree. I will eventually get to it, once a project or two is out of the way.

I could spin this all in 'self-righteous' mode if I wanted to - that I am actually applying Christianity while others merely endlessly debate over it. Sometimes in my heart of hearts I entertain that thought. But a scenario just as likely is that they are smarter than me and are able to do both without breaking a sweat.

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2 hours ago, AllenSmith said:

It seems you want to slow walk me into an epiphany, your point being is?o.O

Same as always. As I said: I thought you were saying you had addressed this with scholars, so I was interested.

I was interested in whether you had run across some useful information that either debunks the connections that several scholars have made, or perhaps put them in a more understandable light. You quoted from some sources that, as far as I can see, just take us further down into the same connections I was hoping to avoid, so I have my doubts that any of these sources can help. But I try keep an open mind. Which is why I was interested in your take on this.

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    • That was convoluted and strange. I assume it was that way on purpose. I have not tried to refute anything from VAT 4956. My "acceptance" of the evidence from VAT 4956 is not the same thing as "refuting" it. Unless you are doing that thing again where you say you can use words to mean whatever you want. Now you are doing that thing again where you hope to imply that the stance of 100% of the current "authorities" and "experts" the Watchtower has quoted just happen to agree with COJ. So, in order to make it easier to dismiss the conclusions of all those experts, you need to point out that those experts agree with COJ, therefore you can dismiss their conclusions.  This is not just stupid. It's dishonest because you have done it before. It's also hypocritical because you have never once ever been able to point out even one sentence from his GTR book that was wrong. When you finally did attempt to prove he was wrong about something, you picked his reference to Nabopolassar's years mentioned in the "Chronicles," you ended up inadvertently showing that COJ was perfectly accurate. That must have been embarrassing. As you know, COJ has nothing to do with this discussion. From now on, instead of referring to COJ directly, I think we should just refer call him, "the person that George88 has shown to be accurate." In fact, until you can show even one inaccurate sentence, that's how I will refer to "COJ, the person that George88 has shown to be accurate."
    • Try not to manipulate my words with your usual tactics. I said: "I’m sure you know by now that there is absolutely nothing in the diary indicating the year 588." I said this in direct response to your claim that the events on the tablet indicated 588. You said that the events on the tablet indicated 588. You said: "You can reference VAT 4956." . . .  "Why is this so significant? Pay extremely close attention to the language inscribed on this tablet" . . . "Year 37 of Nebukadnezzar, King of Babylon. Month I," . .  "Additional reports in this Diary include . . . Borsippa, . . . .This indicates that the conflict in that region in 588 . . . " No, you didn't actually say that. Besides I have no argument about 587. I only point out that ALL the astronomical evidence from the entire period shows that this was Nebuchadnezzar's 18th year. You have never made an argument (either valid or invalid) that "my argument about 587 can also be interpreted as 588."  Not that it matters in the least, but Borsippa is NOT way further in distance from Jerusalem. It's about 10 miles CLOSER "as the crow flies" and nearly the same distance using the usual travel routes of the time. Perhaps that's why no one mentioned it before. However, even here, I have already posted the entire contents of the tablet, including the reference to Borsippa. Not that it matters.  I certainly hope so!
    • That's completely false. You invariably attempt to weasel your way out of your false statements by claiming that someone has distorted your words. You make false claims about them and claim that they are the ones in the wrong. Then you bluster with some barely-related material hoping it impresses someone (or yourself) into thinking you are some kind of expert or authority. That barely-related material you make use of invariably says nearly the opposite of what you had claimed, which you should have known had you just read the context, or understood what you were reading.  I'll get to the specifics at a later time on this particular point, but it is nearly the same as with almost all these matters. I have learned to expect you to NEVER admit an error, no matter how much evidence is shown. I don't expect you to admit your error on these recent points, but your "style" provides a revealing display of the lengths people will go to, in order to support a pseudo-chronology.   
    • In response to your email, it is important to note that the Watchtower chronology begins at 4026, adhering closely to the numerical indications in scripture. The significant distinction lies in the fact that not everyone begins at 4026; some might commence their chronology at 4004, for instance. Consequently, this creates a noticeable gap between those who employ different starting points for their chronologies. Consider that the new Bible Students have rejected Russell's starting point and instead adjusted it to align with Modern Israel. They have suggested a year around 3954, or something like that, I can't remember, but it seems unfounded. Some of their sects started Criticizing Russell about this matter, and it appears unjustified, as their own knowledge may be limited. Following the Watchtower's guidance is straightforward: align events with their corresponding numerical values. It is important to remember that the Watchtower does not view its chronology as an absolute, unlike secular chronology which seeks to impose its perspective. According to the Watchtower, the pivotal date for the divided kingdom is 997. Look it up in our archives and publications.  The Watchtower's chronology will always diverge from conventional chronology due to its distinctive starting point. The organization holds steadfast to the numbers in the Bible, guided by faith in scripture rather than human interpretations. Despite persistent challenges, the unwavering stance of the Watchtower remains unchanged, as it is grounded in divine guidance, not the opinions of anonymous and faithless individuals.
    • Consider this: if we assume that the tablet dated back to 568 refers to Nebuchadnezzar, and that the king issued an order for Borsippa, a city 12-15 miles from Babylon, then it suggests that King Nebuchadnezzar might have been in his palace giving that order, since logically it would have taken weeks or a month or so for a runner to dispatch such an order from Judah that was for Borsippa in 588/587, as historically suggested, since we can use the same date 588/587 for that event.
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