Thursday, March 10, 2011

He said I said, but I didn't

I think I'll go fishing this morning. But first, here is a little bit of editorial writing amusement. A creationist, Mr. Paul James, wrote a guest editorial for the Palm Beach Daily, published Feb. 9, 2011. After I made a few remarks in the discussion, I emailed the editor of the paper to offer a counter-point. After a couple of weeks, they ran my piece on Feb. 27. Just a few days later, Paul James is back with his response.

That isn't the "good part." The good part was that Mr. James has attributed to me a bigoted opinion written by another creationist. Mr. James took the quote from this blog entry, "ID Creationism in Minnesota," where I am critical of creationist Joe Cap.

But even better is the fact that a childish atheist called "Human Ape," AKA "bobbyxxxx" tried to join James in attacking me. (All of bobby's posts were deleted, BTW). Irony is not dead: A creationist (James) quoting a creationist (Cap) because he wants to embarrass a scientist (me) is supported by an atheist twit (bobby).

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Scientific American nannybot objected to the following

ZebulonJoe wrote in comment #60, “I have yet to find anyone here who has actually looked at those chapters in the book of Job, 38-41.”

We might as well take this up, and then call it done vis a vis Joe’s arguments.

The book of Job is indeed an interesting text as it is a very ancient in its source, and interpolated with more recent material. In particular, ZebulonJoe’s request to study chapters 38-41, begins with a theologically rich boasting of the southern storm god, Yahweh. The parallel texts are from the Ugarit creation myth (a Northwestern Semitic tradition), and the defeat of the sea god Yammu by the god Ba’lu (biblical Baal). In Job 38, the sea (biblical Hebrew Yam) is conquered by Yahweh (8- 11). Yahweh in the common storm god tradition is clothed in whirlwind and clouds, and speaks through the wind and thunder, causes rain, and lightening 38:1, 9, 22, 25-30, 35-38 (v.36 is emended).

Of additional interest is mention of the “B'nai HaElohim” in verse 7, commonly translated in the KJV as “sons of God,” or occasionally “hosts of God.” In late biblical texts this is recast as “angles,” or even human saints. The chief god of Ugarit, El, presides over his “council of gods” or “elohim.” It is this identical use we find in Job, beginning in Chapter 1 verse 6. (Elsewhere we find “el elohim Yahweh” or “Yahweh, the God of the gods”). Also give attention to the fact that “the satan” (biblical Hebrew il’shatan, God’s Satan) is appearing at the command, and under the direction of the God El in Chapter 1. This provides a rather amusing world play in 1:7 since Satan says he was “wandering about” and the name Satan derived from the Akkadean verb “sh-uut” = to wander, and later consonant shifts yield, "satan" = to accuse.

I would suggest that anyone interested in the Book of Job read;

Dahood, Mitchell
1965 Psalms I, 1-50: Introduction, Translation and Notes New York: Anchor Bible- Doubleday

Jewish Publication Society
2004 “The Jewish Study Bible: TANAKA translation” Oxford University Press.

Matthews, Victor H., Don C. Benjamin
2006 “Old Testament Parallels: Law and Stories from the Ancient Near East” New York: The Paulist Press.

Pardee, Dennis
2002 "Writings from the Ancient World Vol. 10: Ritual and Cult at Ugarit" Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature

Pope, Marvin H.
1965 “Job: A new translation with Introduction and Commentary” Anchor Bible Vol. 15, New York: ABRL/Doubleday

Smith, Mark
2003 “The Origins of Biblical Monotheism: Israel's Polytheistic Background and the Ugaritic Texts” Oxford University Press.

And be sure to keep a handy copy of Brown, Driver, and Briggs.