Friday, April 04, 2014

It ain't there, so why fight it?

When considered in light of the flimsy material from Ugarit, it seems to me most likely that Israel did not have an indigenous form of celestial divination (§4.1.3). Supporting this is the biblical testimony, which neither depicts Israel engaged in the practice nor outlaws it. The Israelites did not practice celestial divination, simply because there was no such practice in their Canaanite religious heritage (except for evidence of some unsophisticated mantic experimentation at Ugarit). Furthermore, there is no evidence that they adopted any such foreign tradition before the exile.—Poetic Astronomy in the Ancient Near East, page 259

<idle musing>
In other words, it ain't a problem, so why even address it? We might do well to remember that when we go looking for answers in the Bible. There's a lot of stuff that we need answers to that isn't addressed—because it wasn't relevant to them! But, we can extract an overarching theme from the biblical text (yes, Virginia, there is a metanarrative!). Based on that theme, we can make informed (and humbly held, I might add!) decisions. But always be aware that we might be wrong—but that we definitely are called to love those who differ from us. That is a non-negotiable—love covers over a multitude of sins.
</idle musing>

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