The Fruits of Monotheism

HILR Fall 2018

SGL: B Ruml

2. Monothesim; Theodicy

Books of the Hebrew Bible
Contents of the Torah
Torah Sources (all of Deuteronomy from D)

Smith: Palestinian Parties, ch 1

What's the takeaway?

"in their present form, date from 500 to 100 BCE"

(no further intentional changes)

Primary consolidations:

D during Josiah's reign (610s)

Deuteronomic history: Judges, Samuel, Kings, Joshua


Maccabeans (Daniel, etc.)

Pharasees (as rabbis): final canonization ~100 CE

"The partial preservation of the evidence may be explained by the partiality of those who preserved it."

Takeaways from week one:

The Hebrew Bible contains views from many periods

They often conflict (older views left in place)

Little concern for consistency

We can trace the evolution of ideas!


What was distinctive about monolatry: the prohibition.

"idol worship"

pagan worship was cumulative;

2nd Isaiah (ch 40-56)

The consequence of religion as behavior and not belief is that it's hard to discern changes in belief on the ground.

Changes during the 300s and 200s:


canonization of Torah (by 250; Septuagint)

scribes: learned in the sacred traditions;


conversion; ban on intermarriage;

Beginning of private worship:

study of scripture;

daily prayer;


Theodicy; Divine Justice:

reward the righteous (law abiding); punish the wicked;

pre-exile: consequences were collective; Israel or family; occured during lifetime;

post-exile: consequences were individual; unclear when they would occur;

change follows from notion of personal piety;

Divine Justice when?

"Second temple Judaism therefore elaborated complex schemes of reward and punishment after death or at the end time."

Escatology (concerning the end times)

outgrowth of sin, repent, redemption cycle;

Angels and Spirits; Divine Court

as YHWH becomes more transcendent and prophets fade, intermediaries are needed;

Kaufmann's monotheism

What was Kaufmann's distinction between polytheism and (Jewish) monotheism?

Kaufmann's monotheism 2

Does Kaufmann's monotheism make dualism more appealing?

Evil in Genesis 1

Is human-caused evil enough?

The End