Talk:Yahweh

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Wikipedia:Manual of Style (lead section)[edit]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MOS:BOLDTITLE#Format_of_the_first_sentence

The lead section (also known as the introduction, lead, or lede[1]) of a Wikipedia article is the section before the table of contents and the first heading. The lead serves both as an introduction to the article and as a summary of its most important aspects.

The lead should be able to stand alone as a concise overview of the article. It should define the topic, establish context, explain why the subject is interesting or notable, and summarize the most important points— including any prominent controversies. The emphasis given to material in the lead should roughly reflect its importance to the topic, according to reliable, published sources, and the notability of the article's subject should usually be established in the first few sentences.

While consideration should be given to creating interest in reading more of the article, the lead nonetheless should not "tease" the reader by hinting at—but not explaining—important facts that will appear later in the article. The lead should contain no more than four paragraphs, must be carefully sourced as appropriate, and should be written in a clear, accessible style with a neutral point of view to invite a reading of the full article.

Yahweh as a storm god or volcano god[edit]

Making the definitive statement 'Yahweh is a storm-god' in the introductory paragraph is making an unsubstantiated claim. Nowhere in the Bible does it say this and therefore a difinitive statement cannot be made. Possible types of god can be offered but 'storm' is only one possibility. Why is this the only one stated when others have been put forward, for example a volcano god? May I suggest the much fairer statement 'Yahweh is either a storm god or a volcano god'? (VolcanicBrimstone (talk) 02:04, 12 March 2015 (UTC))

Wikipedia goes by WP:DUE weight. If dozens of mainstream sources say one thing, and only one or two fringe sources say a second thing, we'll go with the first thing. If we mention the second idea at all, it'll be noted that as a fringe minority position. It does not create artificial balance between two ideas if one is mainstream and the other is not.
Did you choose your username because you are here specifically to address the claim that Yahweh was a volcano god? Ian.thomson (talk) 02:11, 12 March 2015 (UTC)

The definitive statement 'Yahweh is a storm-god' is not factual but presumptuous. A more factual statement would read 'Yahweh is often referred to as a storm god but also as a volcano god'. Surely that is more acceptable. http://jot.sagepub.com/content/38/4/387.abstract Joacob E.Dunn's recent paper on the subject. I chose my username because a username says a thousand words (VolcanicBrimstone (talk)) — Preceding undated comment added 02:19, 12 March 2015 (UTC)

No, that's artificial balance. "The Oxford History of the Biblical World" repeatedly mentions storm imagery, and doesn't mention volcanoes once. A single paper doesn't change. Think of it like a pool filled with blue paint. A single speck of yellow isn't going to turn the whole pool green. Ian.thomson (talk) 02:26, 12 March 2015 (UTC)

'mentions storm imagery' does not make Yahweh 'a storm god'. I am sure it also repeatedly mentions fire imagery too plus a mountain god imagery, smoke, balls of brimstone (which is sulfur...from volcanoes), mountains callapsing, the lake of fire, Moses meeting god in the fire......etc, etc. You can have a pool full of wind and rain but throw in one bit of fire and brimstone and a storm god is not what you've got. Using your own very sensible logic there. Now, can we agree that the statement 'Yahweh is a storm god' is a sweeping statement and not a fact and is therefore out of place in Wikipedia? The statement 'Yahweh is often referred to as a storm god but also as a volcano god' is an accurate statement. Here is another speck of brimstone in the storm pool... (VolcanicBrimstone (talk) 12:22, 12 March 2015 (UTC))

“According to Exodus 19 … Mount Sinai blazed with fire, was enveloped by a huge plume of cloud or smoke and shook violently as in an earthquake. Flashes of lightning and sounds like trumpet blasts also occurred. The description fits a a volcanic eruption. The emission of hot gases from fissures can produce trumpet-like sounds, and observers have reported seeing massive electrical displays emanatin...g from volcanic clouds. No volcanoes are known to have erupted during that period in the Sinai Peninsula, but Arabia has many volcanoes. One volcanic mountain in the western Arabian Peninsula, Hala al Bedr (Mount Bedr), is according to this theory a particularly promising candidate for ancient Mount Sinai.” NIV Archeological Study Bible, p. 123. (VolcanicBrimstone (talk) 12:22, 12 March 2015 (UTC))

As I explained to your previous account, the idea that Sinai might have been a volcano does not make Yahweh a volcano god. Ian.thomson (talk) 14:58, 12 March 2015 (UTC)

Yes, and Hawaii having lots of volcanoes does not make Pele a volcano god with long flowing golden lava....oops...hair. Moses may very well have met with a real god on the top of an erupting volcano. There's always hope! That is beside the point here though. My point is that it is not right to state 'Yahweh is a storm god' in an encyclopedia when that point is not universally or even widely believed. No academic sources were cited to back that statement up. If it was a widely believed fact then most academics in the field would state it but that is not the case at all. If you are going to say what type of nature god he may have been then you have to state what types are on the table, those including storm god and volcano god. You should either remove this statement or make it accurate by including the other possibilities because right now it is a fringe theory in itself selected lazily with little regard for actual Biblical text.. (VolcanicBrimstone (talk) 17:52, 12 March 2015 (UTC))

VolcanicBrimstone: I only just noticed this discussion. The line in the lead describing Yahweh as as storm god is from the book by Hackett cited at the end of that line. Additional descriptions of Yahweh as a storm god can be found in books by Day, Smith, Dozeman and many others. All of this is just to say that the idea is pretty well represented in the scholarly literature. On the other hand, Yahweh is also described as a volcano god, though in far fewer secondary sources - but look at the book by Keel in the bibliography, it's quite interesting on the volcano-god associations. Summarising the general debate, the idea seems to be that Yahweh was firs a warrior-god, the champion of Israe, with an attendant train of stars etc (the Heavenly Host); Baal was the storm god, but Yahweh gradually absorbed him, just as he also absorbed El the father-god. And so Yahweh ended being a god of just about everything. It's really difficult to put all this into a few sentences in our article. PiCo (talk) 10:59, 16 March 2015 (UTC)


I think that it is vey easy to put this into a few sentences, as that is exactly what you have done here.Theredheifer (talk) 20:14, 17 March 2015 (UTC)

I just wanted to clarify to passersby that this is very much a fringe theory. It hasn't gained any ground aside from the virtue of being called "interesting conjecture" by a few scholars. The originator of the theory actually agrees with that assessment. If any other scholars were to embrace the theory, I'd be all for a brief mention... But I don't think it's really given any consideration in the relevant fields, given that it's simply based on coincidental imagery, rather than any archaeological or textual evidence. The user who suggested it is an editor who is apparently obsessed with the theory, and has been trying to insert it into articles, even quite peripheral ones, for years; they've been repeatedly blocked for disruptive editing and abusing multiple accounts. Quinto Simmaco (talk) 03:21, 18 March 2015 (UTC)
Yahweh as a storm g-d, (which came from Baal) is not fringe, it is accepted academic belief, though Yahweh as volcano g-d might beTheredheifer (talk) 07:41, 18 March 2015 (UTC)
I was talking about the latter "volcano god" theory. No worries. :) Quinto Simmaco (talk) 06:10, 19 March 2015 (UTC)

"Unique to Israel" and inclusion of YHWH[edit]

Prinsgezinde, can you explain what your concern is? I honestly don't follow. PiCo (talk) 23:32, 21 March 2015 (UTC)

My issue with "Unique to Israel and Judah" was simply that it seems to mispresent what it says in the source. You've changed it since then and I don't know if that was related to it, but the problem would be that an uninformed reader will believe Yahweh only played a role in Judaism, whereas the related source explained how that is highly disputed. "Southern Palestine" came up a few times. I know it's a copy from the source, I just think it doesn't accurately summarize the reference to say he/it was "unique to" Judah/Israel. But deal with that as you see fit, I'm not too bothered. Why delete the YHWH inclusion though? It's already in a note but I think it would be better to show right away. Many people look up that name Prinsgezinde (talk) 06:51, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for the explanation. On "unique to Israel and Judah," unlike you I think that's what the source is saying - he does say that new evidence might turn up in the future and we should keep an open mind, but future possiblities aren't present facts. Anyway, I expanded it slightly to make the statement a little more tentative. On the explanation of YHWH as Yahweh, I was uneasy with it being so high up in the article when the article isn't about pronunciation (there's another article, YHWH, that can handle that), but I can reinsert it into the last para of the lead.PiCo (talk) 08:56, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
I think that the pronunciation does not belong in the lead.Theredheifer (talk) 10:12, 22 March 2015 (UTC)

Biased Article[edit]

I thought that this article was biased. It talks about Yahweh entirely from the pagan god perspective, and is completely delirious from the common usage of Yahweh, which means Lord (God) or Jehovah. The article should begin from that perspective, and then may talk about Yahweh is also a name for pagan Canaanite god. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Knowledge spouse (talkcontribs) 16:42, 23 March 2015 (UTC)

delirious? don't understand. please note that WP is a scholarly project, not a religious one. Jytdog (talk) 17:01, 23 March 2015 (UTC)
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This article is inevitably controversial, since it involves matters of deeply held belief. Just to clarify for the OP, who seems to want a discussion of Yahweh from a theological perspective, there probably will be something on that, when I can find it, but it will be about the theology of Yahweh in Iron Age Judah and Israel, not as seen today - Wikipedia already has plenty of articles on modern theology. (By the way, I think the article makes clear that was no Canaanite god called Yahweh).PiCo (talk) 02:28, 24 March 2015 (UTC)

Jehovah[edit]

The rendering "Jehovah" was removed with the edit summary "never Jehovah". Yet just two paragraphs later in the lead, we say:

By early post-biblical times, the name of Yahweh had virtually ceased to be pronounced and it was replaced when reading scripture with the word Adonai, meaning Lord. Many Christian Bibles follow the Jewish custom and replace it with "the LORD".

This certainly falls into the range of "Jehovah". — kwami (talk) 18:02, 28 March 2015 (UTC)