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 Post subject: Baal and the Baby
PostPosted: 12 Mar 2008, 22:12 
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Neighbor of the Beast

Joined: 03 Nov 2007, 09:17
Posts: 667
OK, first some background. I am doing a little research on the Phoenician goddess Tanit and I keep running into the debate of whether that ancient culture did or did not practice child sacrifice. So far, my limited resources have turned up a number of articles on the subject, but I am not really sure of the
validity of the statements made.

So far the "No" they did not argument seems to be winning. There are a number of references to the biblical passages that all come down to what seem to be translation issues. There are a number of references to the Greco-Roman historians as well, though my personal experience with classical authors doesn't endear me to those resources...

Any comments or suggestions?


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 Post subject: Re: Baal and the Baby
PostPosted: 13 Mar 2008, 08:18 
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First Circle Initiate
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Joined: 11 Dec 2007, 00:23
Posts: 173
Just like the myth of the "sacred prostitute", this stuff seems to be bunk as well. Not that there weren't *any* sacred whores or that there weren't *any* child sacrifices (we do know that human sacrifices existed), but where's the archaeological evidence?


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 Post subject: Re: Baal and the Baby
PostPosted: 13 Mar 2008, 08:39 
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Neighbor of the Beast

Joined: 03 Nov 2007, 09:17
Posts: 667
Most of the pro-child sacrifice articles I saw were based on the literary "evidence" indicated in the Bible and the Greco-Roman histories, and from the urns and inscriptions at the Tophet sites that have been uncovered. The literary evidence is (at best) suspect in my mind because it was essentially written by the enemies of the culture. Was it war time propaganda? I mean the French accused the Prussians of eating babies during the Great War after all.

The other cites the remains found and claims that there is no evidence that there was any evidence found in the charred bone remains that indicated that the children so interred had died young. Which is, of course, proof positive that they were sacrificed on the basis of there being no contrary evidence...

OK, I may not be the smartest guy on the Earth, but the whole argument seems to be circumstantial.

I am, of course, an open minded individual, and prepared to check out any compelling evidence to the contrary.

Two articles I found at http://www.phoenicia.org/childsacrifice.html support the cases in side by side essays. The most compelling argument (for me) so far against child sacrifice is the issue of infant and child mortality. Why sacrifice children when you are already losing so many?


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 Post subject: Re: Baal and the Baby
PostPosted: 13 Mar 2008, 20:10 
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Joined: 31 Oct 2007, 18:47
Posts: 194
Location: Colorado
I'm not knowledgeable on the subject, and you've probably already seen this if you've been looking at biblical references, but I thought it odd that I just happened to read a passage about this in the book of Jeremiah earlier, so I thought I might share on the chance that you haven't seen it.

The passage is Jeremiah 19, primarily verse five mentions child sacrifices to Baal in Tophet.


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 Post subject: Re: Baal and the Baby
PostPosted: 13 Mar 2008, 21:05 
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Neighbor of the Beast

Joined: 03 Nov 2007, 09:17
Posts: 667
Interesting though the lines are, it is the translation that bothers me. Is that translation accurate to the original Hebrew? I read it and I do not see that the passage specifically accuses them of sacrificing children, but rather of burning them.

According to one article I have read:

"The Bible does describe the Phoenicians as "those who have been through the fire", but the wording clearly indicates that they have not died in the process." (http://www.cedarseed.com/water/childsacrifice.html).

Jeremiah 19:5 seems to indicate that the children undergo a burning ritual. Is it one of adulthood that involves a fire ceremony?

Of course, not being a biblical scholar, I do not know which biblical passages the above reference is about. Anyone know?

Jeremiah 19:6 seems to indicate not that the place called tophet is currently a place of "Slaughter" but that "the days come" when it will so be known. Is that a piece of war propaganda in which the messenger sent to this place is threatening the sacred place with battle and slaughter.

Similarly, in Jeremiah 19:3 the person is supposed to inform the people of the Valley of Hinnom that the "LORD of hosts" will "bring evil upon this place". Does that also not seem to indicate that it is not currently a place of evil, but only one offensive to the "LORD"?

Does my logic follow?

I really need to talk to a biblical scholar...

According to the JewishEncyclopedia.com (http://jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp? ... rch=Tophet), the Tophet is described in Jeremiah 7: 31-32 as well. Again, in a phrasing which translates suspiciously like a repetition of the other phrases, they do not say that anyone dies there, but that they are "burned" there.

BTW: Biblical quotes taken from: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?se ... version=9;
(http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=JER%207-8)

So am I being a literalist in my readings? Am I missing something here? Am I going to be burned as a heretic for not falling for the company line?


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 Post subject: Re: Baal and the Baby
PostPosted: 13 Mar 2008, 21:43 
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Joined: 31 Oct 2007, 18:47
Posts: 194
Location: Colorado
Well, I'm no biblical scholar and can say nothing of the original Hebrew (one of these days maybe :) ), but the verse above it, vs 4 does say the "blood of innocents". If you've read much of the rest of the book, you'll see that Jeremiah is one of those fire and brimstone prophets, who travels around telling everyone of their wicked ways and the destruction which is to come. In fact in the next chapter, 20, he is put in stocks for his speeches. So, just from familiarity with his tone and message, I get the idea that he is literally accusing them of child sacrifice, but again, as you said above, this may be another instance of a nation so willing to demonize another that they accuse them of things like baby eating.

In verse three, when god says "I will bring evil upon this place", going from the message of the rest of the book, he is saying that he will punish them for the evil they have already committed, which he demonstrates by saying that they already have "filled this place with the blood of innocents" and "burn their sons with fire for burnt offerings unto Baal". When he says the place will be known as the valley of slaughter, in vs 6, it seems to me that this is from their past deeds, not deeds undone. Verses 7-9 go on to explain what god's punishment will be, referencing the evil he says he will bring upon them.

Hope it helps :)


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 Post subject: Re: Baal and the Baby
PostPosted: 14 Mar 2008, 07:11 
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Neighbor of the Beast

Joined: 03 Nov 2007, 09:17
Posts: 667
Interesting. I will go back and reread the book.

When I am not headed out the door to work... :(

Any other observations?


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 Post subject: Re: Baal and the Baby
PostPosted: 14 Mar 2008, 11:15 
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First Circle Initiate

Joined: 31 Oct 2007, 18:47
Posts: 194
Location: Colorado
Not at the moment, I'll be finishing it slowly over the next month though, and get back to you if anything else comes up. :salute:


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 Post subject: Re: Baal and the Baby
PostPosted: 15 Mar 2008, 11:36 
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Grand Poobah
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Joined: 18 Sep 2007, 11:26
Posts: 5793
Location: Buffalo, NY
I'm under the impression that passing throught hte fire is mroe of a babtism by fire--- like when the holy spirit came down at Pentecost.

Look at the numbers--- 50% of children died in infancy/childhood, many women died giving birth/due to complications---

If you killed off that many of your own first born, you'd shoot your own community in the foot.

_________________
Chloride and Sodium: Two terribly dangerous substances that taste great together!


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 Post subject: Re: Baal and the Baby
PostPosted: 23 Jul 2017, 09:47 
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Joined: 08 Jun 2017, 04:30
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