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Were Children Sacrificed to God? II

Discussion in 'NonChristian Help Forum' started by Tim TP, Jan 20, 2014.

  1. Tim TP

    Tim TP New Member

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    I'm not allowed to post on most of this forum so I have to do this to reply.

    The religion of Baal was big in the Mediterranean lands. They had many names; the sea peoples, the Phoneticians, which were called the Philistines in the Bible, the Carthaginians were a colony of these people.

    They seem to have been very focused on human sacrifice. Particularly the sacrifice of the first born son as the ultimate sacrifice. Like the Jesus story.

    The miracle of the burning bush is the story which marks the break between the coastal Philistines and the hill tribes who did not have the numbers of spare sons needed to do this. That is the basis for the ceremonial sacrifice in circumcision.
     
  2. Dodo_David

    Dodo_David Melmacian in human guise

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    Tim, what is the purpose for starting this thread? Are you seeking information about Christianity? That is the purpose of this forum.
     
  3. Tim TP

    Tim TP New Member

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    I was attempting to be involved in the conversation about human sacrifice/the old testament.
     
  4. horsecamp

    horsecamp New Member

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    you would have to show proof of that .. sounds MORE like ATHEISTIC BULLS MANURE. you've accidently stepped in.
    scrap it off .. while holding nose


    and find and GIVE US THEIR ACTUAL WRITINGS and proof they are their actual writings

    he wanted to hear you say urban legend !!

    because

    Sacrifices by pagans were done again and again to there false gods. any time some thing bad would happen.

    Suesy Q AND little Billy to------- had to bite the dust...

    on a more serious note do to the law written in all peoples hearts or do to the skies that proclaim his glory why should we be surprised that pagans tried to make atonement
    for sin.. it would be a natural thing to be afraid of god, do to their sin .. they didn't have the real god so they worshiped his creation or made a god out of materials.. they could try to appease..

    I also wanted to add there are a lot of flood stories that people from allover the world have ..because it happened..

    and in the boat only 8 were saved and from them came all the rest of the people

    there a feller now claiming the ark story in the bible came from another source .. Actually bible believers know its just the other way around if any part of this fellows story is true..

    God used people to write his bible yet these people also had mouths and they talked about it..to other's ..and the others talked about to those they knew....not surprising at all another ancient person had written some. things down
    to pass on..
     
  5. Madad21

    Madad21 Boast in Christ

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    There was a time in the reign of Manasseh whereby after all his wickedness he made himself humble before God and received forgiveness, after he was released by his captives he began worship in the proper way in the Temple of God and commanded the rest of Jerusalem to do likewise. However he did not remove the High places (Shrines) and it is said that instead of the people sacrificing and burning incense to other gods they would do so as offerings to God.
    But it is not made clear as to the type of sacrifices offered. the only time Child sacrifice is alluded to is when wicked kings including Manasseh had made their sons "Pass through the fire" in the worship of the Ammonite idol Molech. but this was only recorded as being done with in the Valley of Bin Hinnom otherwise called the Valley of Slaughter, named by God himself never on the high places.
     
  6. michaelvpardo

    michaelvpardo Well-Known Member

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    2nd Chronicles 28:3 also mentions this practice under Ahaz king of Judah and as an abomination practiced by the caananites. The tribes of Israel were ordered to put all the caananites to the ban (to death) because in time they would be drawn away to do the same abominations as the people God was driving out before them. They failed to obey the ban and they failed to remain true to God and were judged accordingly.
     
  7. We have to be careful not to simply assume that "Baal" and "Molech" are the names of specific deities worshipped by specific tribes. Neither is actually a proper name - "Baal" (or "Ba'al") simply means "Lord" and "Molech" simply means "King". They're titles that could be applied to any deity (in fact the title "Baal" is even used as a title for Yahweh at one point).

    So talk about what "Baal worshippers" do as if they are a specific religion is fairly meaningless. It's as meaningless as lumping Sikhs, Christians and Muslims together as a single religion called "God worshippers" because they all use the same title ("God") for their object of worship. It's technically true, but doesn't tell us anything meaningful about the people being described or how similar their religious practises are.

    I think when it comes to child sacrifice in Canaan, there almost certainly was some going on, but probably a lot less of it than has popularly been imagined. Much of the polemic against it has been based on Roman propaganda which has been shown to be fairly unreliable, and the archaeological evidence seems to suggest that what may once have been thought to be child "sacrifice" is likely to be mostly just special funerary rites for children who had already died of natural causes. That's not to say there was no child sacrifice. It was obviously something that happened enough that neither of the authors of the Abraham/Isaac story thought it was so outrageous that they had Abraham protest or show surprise in any way when he is asked to sacrifice Isaac. It might not have been something that Yahweh worshippers commonly did, but it clearly wasn't something that was totally outside the experience of the author and their intended audience. But not every mention of rites to "Baal" and children being "passed through the fire" should be taken as an indication that there was a specific deity called "Baal" to whom the mass sacrifice of children was dedicated. Mostly that type of reference is merely talking about children who have died naturally being cremated and in ceremonies dedicated to a deity with the title "Lord".
     
  8. Angelina

    Angelina Prayer Warrior Staff Member Admin

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  9. That's a rather interesting article. It agrees that "Baal" means "Lord" and gives the plural - "Baalim" meaning "Lords", and points out that the title is used to refer to different deities (e.g. "Baal of Peor" meaning "(The) Lord of Peor" and "Baal Berith" meaning "Lord Berith". So far so sensible.

    But then it inexplicably insists that this is because there is a single deity called "Baal" who is worshipped in different forms in different places.

    That's like saying that because the British are ruled by Queen Elizabeth and the Dutch are ruled by Queen Beatrix and the Danish are ruled by Queen Margarethe then there must be a single person called "Queen" who rules each country in a different aspect.

    It also fails to mention "Baal Jah" (i.e. "Baal Yahweh", or "Lord Yahweh") after whom one of David's heroes is named (it's transliterated as "Bealiah" in the KJV 1Chr 12:5). Does this mean that the Hebrews worshipped the deity "Baal" in the form of Yawheh? Of course not. It means that "Baal" is an appellation that is applied to many different deities rather than a single deity worshipped in different forms.

    I also love the way the article tries to separate out the Yahweh worship of the Hebrews from the general Canaanite pantheon as if they were always separate things (i.e. the Hebrews were always monotheistic). When it talks about the children of El in Canaanite mythology it conveniently misses out the fact that Yahweh was one of the Canaanite gods and considered to be part of that pantheon, and was one of the children of El too. There's even archaological evidence that Yahweh and Asherah were not just siblings but also considered to be a couple (not unusual in ancient mythologies). But the article doesn't mention Yahweh when talking about the Canaanite pantheon because it wants to push the simplistic but inaccurate notion that Yahweh was always separate from the pantheon and the Hebrews were always separate from the Canaanites.

    This is even mentioned in the Bible itself, in Deu 32:8-12, where we have the incorporation of an old story of El dividing up the people of the world between his offspring and giving Yahweh the people of Israel (beginning with Jacob, who is Yahweh's and belongs to no other). The English translations of this passage mask this somewhat by not translating the name of either deity mentioned in the passage, but that's to be expected.

    Similarly, Psalm 82 is very interesting in this respect. It's clearly an old piece of text and it talks about El sitting in his council and accusing his children (the sons of El) of not looking after their people properly. Of course, once again the English translation masks this somewhat. In verse 1, El is translated as "the mighty" and "God" rather than left as the name of Yahweh's father, and similarly in verse 6 "El-most-high" is translated as simply "the most high".

    There's a pretty clear progression from Yahweh being worshipped by Canaanites as one of the sons of El as part of the pantheon to Yahweh being worshipped by the Hebrews as their special patron (and there is some conflation of Yahweh and El at this point*), to Yahweh being worshipped by the Hebrews as the only one of the Canaanite gods who is worthy of worship, to Yahweh being worshipped by later Judaism as the only god that exists.

    This, of course, is matched by the archeological evidence which shows the Hebrews having been a sub-group of the Canaanites who gained prominence rather than an invading force from outside, but that's a whole other topic to itself!




    *See for example Psalm 95:3 "Yahweh is the great El, and king** over all the sons of El" (the usual English translation of "El" to "God" and "sons of El" to "gods" masks Yahweh's connection to the Canaanite pantheon but doesn't quite mask the inherent polytheism).

    **The Hebrew word for king here here is "Molech", which ties nicely back to the previous post about "Molech" being a title rather than a name; unless the psalmist is asseting that Yahweh is Molech of course!
     
  10. lforrest

    lforrest Well-Known Member Staff Member Admin

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    OK, so the cannanites thought God was part of their pantheon of God's. The people of Israel thought as much themselves at one point. That changes nothing, God let people continue in their ignorance because they didn't believe his words in deut 32:21
     
  11. Oh, I wasn't trying to imply that it does change anything, other than that statements about "Baal worshippers did X" tend to be inaccurate because there was no unified group of "Baal worshippers".

    The stuff about Yahweh being part of the Canaanite pantheon was just me getting distracted by the laughably poor quality (as always) of the "gotquestions.org" website, and correcting it because doing so is an interesting way to pass the time while work is slow.
     
  12. michaelvpardo

    michaelvpardo Well-Known Member

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    High again village atheist,
    I'm not planning on any long discussion here, but there are still worshippers of Molech today, though they undoubtedly are worshipping a new iteration (an owl god rather than some bull like creature) and it could just be for jollies. Perhaps you're familiar with the private club called Bohemian grove. If not, you'll find a good amount of speculation about them on the internet as well as photographs of rituals (they refuse investigation of the grounds or the practices upon them for the sake of the privacy of those who participate.) The place is one of the haunts of the rich and shameless. Politicians and "captains of industry" have frequented such places for hundreds of years. I saw one documentary on television about Benjamin Franklin's own adventures at one such place in France over two hundred years ago (while serving as an ambassador of our newly forming nation.) The actual location for the debauchery that he partook in was some cave that is now still being used as a restaurant (and history is always a draw to such places for some people.)

    I forgot to mention that in photographs captured of the Bohemian grove rituals, there appear to be mock sacrifices of infants. This apparently appeals to the minds of some very influential people.
     
  13. Yes I am familiar with it. It has nothing to do with "Molech" though, outside the paranoid fantasies of the conspiracy theorist Alex Jones - and frankly he's so unreliable as a source of truth that if he told me the sky were blue I'd go out and check.

    Again, the claim that there's some kind of child sacrifice going on (either mock or real) is from Alex Jones.

    More reputable sources who have seen the ritual (called the "Cremation of Care") have said that what actually goes on is the burning of an effigy symbolising the cares and worries of the outside world before the partying starts. It's all rather childish and immature in my opinion, but doesn't seem any closer to being an actual religious rite than the burning of effigies of Guy Fawkes thoughout England on November 5th do.
     
  14. r4hnsn

    r4hnsn New Member

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    Hi VA, I assume you dont view the bible as the inerrant words of God, but for me its enough what the bible says about any subject.
    I was an atheist raised by atheist`s until i called out to God at age 28, i came to faith in Christ without indoctrination and my bible knowledge is without indoctrination, having come to my own conclusions from many different sources.

    It would be very strange for God to condone the killing of the 450 prophets of Baal, if in fact they were His prophets or a benign people minding their own business. The bible does record these ones as guilty of human sacrifice, and that this still exists in certain tribes today, makes the claim most plausible.
    God on the other hand has never allowed human sacrifice, not even His own Son, for Christ went to the cross under His own compulsion and it says "for the joy set before Him". Previous to the cross there were two attempts to end His life, but He used His power to save Himself by miracle events. Even at His arrest, He utter the words "I Am He" and his enemies all fell backwards.
    Baal is another name ( or title if you insist) for Satan, and anyone not serving God is actually serving Satan. That`s why Jesus said whoever is not for Him, is against Him.

    But if you get your facts from non biblical sources, they may be helpful, but they may be errant too.
     
  15. That's right. Like the majority of Christians I think that it's a collection of different works written (and edited!) over a number of centuries by a number of people for a variety of different personal, religious and political reasons.

    My mind is still open about the Elijah story. It was almost certainly written a couple of hundred years after the events allegedly happened, but whether Elijah was a real person or a character invented for the story to make a political/religious point is something I reserve judgement on for the moment. Of course the two aren't mutually exclusive. Elijah could have been a real person about whom stories were invented for religious/political purposes.

    The accusations about Ahab being a "Baal" worshiper - the text is almost certainly referring to worship of Haddad, also known as "Baal Haddad" ("Lord Haddad") or simply "Baal" ("Lord"); and is referring to the religion of Aram-Damascus (Israel's neighbour at that time) which was ruled by King Hadadezer ("Haddad is my helper") - is almost certainly an invention of the Deuteronomic Historian.

    I think that a good case can be made that the authors of the Torah were familiar with human sacrifice and didn't find it outrageous to suggest that Yahweh might ask for it. In fact I'd go further and suggest that one of the authors at least includes it in the text (although it is later masked by an editor trying to match up two different versions of the same story).

    How remarkably Manichean of you.

    Naturally, I would say the same thing about Biblical sources (although I don't get too hung up on Biblical "errors" or "contradictions" because such things beg the question of the Bible being intended to be an accurate historical record in the first place).
     
  16. michaelvpardo

    michaelvpardo Well-Known Member

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    I've never heard of Alex Jones. Do your more reputable sources explain the purpose of dressing up as Knights Templar for the ritual?
    I spent my youth out on Long Island, New York, less than a half hour drive to Sagamore Hill. I visited the Roosevelt house/museum a number of times and was always interested in the photo displayed on a wall of Teddy dressed up in some middle eastern garb and standing boldly in front of a large bovine looking idol. That one appeared more like the depictions in archeological books of Molech, but without the extended arms positioned to hold the sacrifice. Do any of your reputable sources know the story behind that one?
     
  17. I'm not familiar with the picture you describe and I can't find any references to it, but it doesn't sound like it's anything to do with the Bohemian Grove.

    My guess is that it's probably a picture of him dressed up for a Freemasonry rite.

    Are you sure it's Teddy and not Franklin? While they were both Freemasons, Franklin was also a Shriner - and they're the ones who tend to dress up in middle-eastern garb.
     
  18. michaelvpardo

    michaelvpardo Well-Known Member

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    I've never seen the photo anywhere except on the wall of Teddy Roosevelt's private museum at Sagamore Hill (and I don't know if its still there after all these years). I guessed that it was probably taken at some Masonic gathering, but it seems that many other organizations are closely associated with them, including the Shriners.
    I previously mentioned a photo that I'd seen from Bohemia Grove with ritual participants dressed in crusade knight costume. They may have been Knights Templar, another organization associated with free masonry. One source claims that a person must first be a master Mason in order to become a Templar (Christianity is also a requirement for that organization). I once came into possession of an old out of print book called "The religion of the presidents" which was published back around the Garfield presidency (as he was the last one mentioned). That particular book claimed that all the presidents from Washington to that time were members of the Knights Templar, though the Free Masons don't claim them all.
     
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