WHDL - 00014641
WHDL - 00014641
The raison d’etre fo this thesis is due to the apparent lack of systematic and exegetical treatment of celestial councils in the Canaanite and Biblical corpora. While the former has generated a sea of literature, the latter has been neglected especially in the Old Testament theological books.
The question of Israelites’ dependence on the Canaanites for their theological framework is still hotly debated with the scholarly pendulum swinging in both directions.
This thesis has been written to explore the Weltanschauung of both corpora and also the concept of the celestial councils with special attention to their roles and relationships, their composition and characterization.
Textual data and complex nuances will be analyzed and their underlying theological concepts will be carefully brought out.
My research started with a panoramic survey of the ancient Canaanite civilization with reference to the Ugaritic city, and its culture, language and literature. Then I proceeded to line up and characterize that pantheon of major and minor deities which comprised each of the councils and undertook to elaborate their various functions.
Using semantic field study for words like sod, ‘eda, qahal and mo’ed, I have substantiated the occurrence of Israelites’ celestial councils in the Old Testament itself, and proceeded to analyze those selected texts that are germane to the council. This required a careful exegetical treatment in setting up an appropriate grid dealing with these councils and defining their significance.
A case will be made for careful analysis of the contexts (textual, intratextual and intertextual), by means of cross references, concordant study and cognate terms as a sine qua non for accurate exegesis.
The formation and function of the celestial council of YHWH and His celestial being will also be elaborated.
Several proposals suggested by scholars to solve grammatical and syntactical conundrums of YHWH SB’WT, will be critically scrutinized. In the end, the traditional rendition and explanation have been retained because they seem to have solved more problems than the newer interpretations evoke, and do so without creating new ones.
The issue of dependence upon pagan sources will be dealt with by a comparative and contrastive study of the Weltanschauung and councils of the traditions involved so as to demonstrate a strong case of non dependence, upon any extra-Biblical influences, even though a certain measure of cultural solidarity and literary affinity will be taken into account.
Finally, a paradigm will be set up to enable better categorization of scholarly opinions.