Changing the Name of God
This week (Sept 23) on Shabbat Night Live, the Greeks needed to change a few things when Christianity came their way. They needed a Greek god, a Greek Jesus, and less of anything in the Bible that was Hebrew — including the name of YeHoVaH.
Dr. Miles Jones shares where this came from and how the Name has changed since the original inscriptions at the Exodus.
Watch the episode — included on this blog post.
While you watch, consider the questions below. The timeline for each discussion topic in the video is noted on each question. Post your answers in the comments section, and let’s get some discussion going!
- (VIDEO TIMELINE – 16:00) What is the relevance of what Lipkin refers to as the Zionist-Christian world with regard to the ongoing threat of Islamic terrorism in the West? Might this dynamic become a bulwark against sectarian conflict, or will it simply enlarge the focus of resurgent antisemitism that has arguably taken its place in Western nations?
- (VIDEO TIMELINE – 20:00) Similarly, how can this vast community of believers be viewed as more prescient than many secular political leaders or brokers of information with regard to the dangers of radical Islam? How do the auspicious intelligence failures that preceded the attacks of 9/11 demonstrate the comparable risks of dismissing both spiritual prophecy and the passions engendered by theocratic movements?
- (VIDEO TIMELINE – 24:00) How does the resistance of the academic community to such concepts as the invasion of the Hebrews into Canaan demonstrate a pervasive unwillingness to justify the history of the Jews? How does this entrenched attitude betray an element of political motivation that has resulted in a reluctance to conduct such common practices as thoroughgoing surveys of this region?
- (VIDEO TIMELINE – 28:00) How does the discovery of the foot imprint in the environs of the West Bank demonstrate an ironic assimilation of ancient Egyptian symbolism of conquest for the Hebrews’ claim to the Promised Land? In light of Deuteronomy 11:24, how can this be viewed as part of a larger pattern that is illustrated by persecuted individuals and subjugated peoples who become vindicated through the will of YeHoVaH?
- (VIDEO TIMELINE – 32:00) Similarly, how does the further discovery of sites of worship and processional routes within these foot-shaped structures underscore the fundamental orientation of the ancient Hebrews toward ceremonial in their devotion to YeHoVaH? What eventual effect might this recognition have upon many denominational churches that strive to adopt contemporary, secular structures and imagery in the name of relevance?
- (VIDEO TIMELINE – 38:00) As suggested earlier, the Hebrews’ appropriation of their slave masters’ imagery may serve as an illustration of divine approval for their ancient settlement. How does this also demonstrate the weakness of “woke” politicized arguments that accuse Western Civilization of cultural theft from oppressed peoples? Should the foot symbolism be viewed as thievery, borrowing, or influence?
- (VIDEO TIMELINE – 42:00) How does the linguistic distinction between the “heavy” or “hardened” heart of Pharaoh suggest the continuity of YeHoVaH’s plan for our salvation? How has the former phrase’s connotation of eternal punishment been allowed to encompass the importance of affirmation of belief and obedience, as expressed by David in Psalm 95 or by Yeshua’s words to his disciples in Mark 8:17-19?
- (VIDEO TIMELINE – 46:00) How does an awareness of the historical and geopolitical context of many biblical narratives serve to answer the challenges of agnostic scholars who would dismiss such figures as Moses or Josiah as fictional creations? Why are such secular paradigms as outlawry, military conquest, and imperialism essential to our recognition of the plausibility of scripture and the profundity of our doctrine?
- (VIDEO TIMELINE – 50:00) Similarly, how does the prospect of an ancient Israelite colony on the eastern side of the Jordan River call into question the received notion of Palestinian sovereignty in this region, one that continues to roil the peace process in Israel and the West Bank? Could Gilead and the Golan Heights conceivably become sites of renewed Jewish influence, or are they destined to remain flashpoints in a seemingly endless conflict?
- (VIDEO TIMELINE – 54:00) If indeed the cryptic words of Deuteronomy 29:15 refer to an absent faction of Israelite settlers who preceded Moses into Canaan, how does this interpretation underscore YeHoVaH’s desire for unity among his disparate children? How might the establishment of modern Israel as a gathering of Jews from throughout the world and its unexpected survival in the wars of 1948, 1967, and 1973 be justly viewed as a prophetic fulfillment of this text?