Jacob Dunn has been published in the Journal for the Study of the Old Testament: A God of Volcanoes: Did Yahwism Take Root in Volcanic Ashes?
Exerts from paper abstract: "This study combines the southern geographical placement of Yahweh's sacred mountain in Midian with biblical descriptions of the theophany at Sinai-Horeb—descriptions which have prompted scholars to interpret the events at the ‘mountain of God’ as volcanic in nature. this study next advances an interdisciplinary approach and a new reformulation of the Midianite–Kenite hypothesis, combining geography, geology, and volcanology with the textual element that deals with ancient Midian and the Sinai-Horeb tradition. Finally, this study seeks to offer a scientific analysis of the texts, both poetic and narrative, which seem to indicate Sinai-Horeb was a volcanic mountain and pilgrimage site in northwest Saudi Arabia."
In the NIV Achaeological Study Bible, Mount Sinai is said to be a volcano.
On page 96 of The Urantia Book Yahweh is said to be just one of hundreds of nature gods but with a volcano as its deity.
In 'Moses and Monotheism' by Sigmund Freud, Yahweh is said to be a volcano god.
In 'Mount Sinai a Volcano' by Charles beke, Mount Sinai is said to be a volcano.
In 'The Invention of God' by Bill Lauritzen, the role of volcanoes is highlighted in the establishment of 'god'.
In 'Mythology's Last Gods', William R.Harwood describes Yahweh as a volcano god.
In 'The Christ Conspiracy', Acharya S describes Yahweh as a volcano god.
In 'The Woman's Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets by Barbara Walker, Yahweh is said to have been a volcano god.
In 'The Masks of God Volume 3 Occidental Mythology' by Joseph Campell, Yahweh is described as an Arabian volcano god.
In 'The Jews: Story of a People' by Howard Fast, Yahweh was described as a volcano.
In 'Mass Psychology', Sigmund Freud says Yahwey was a volcano god.
In 'Atheism in Christianity' by Ernst Block, Yahweh was said to be a volcano god.
In 'The Oxford Companion to the Bible' by M.Coogan and B.Metzger, Yahweh is described as a volcano god.
In 'Psychoanalysis and Religios Experience' by W.W.Meissner, Yahweh is described as a volcano god.
In 'All About Adam and Eve' by Robert Gillooly, Yahweh is described as a volcano god.
In 'The Genesis of Misconception' by Paul John, Yahweh is described as a volcano god.
In 'The Autobiography of God' by William Harwood, Yahweh is described as an extinct volcano god.
In 'Adieu to God' by Michael Power, Yahweh is described as originating from a volcano god.
In 'Freud and Moses' by Emauel Rice, Yahweh is described as a volcano god.
In 'Moses the Egyptian' by Jan Assman, Yahweh is described as a volcanic demon.
In 'Eschatology in the old Testament' by Donald E. Gowan, Yahweh is described as a volcano or storm god.
In 'Water for a thirsty land' by H.Gunkel and K.C.Hanson, Yahweh is described as a volcanic deity.
In 'The Divine Invasion' by Philip Dick, Yahweh is described as probably a volcanic deity.
From here...If we are to take the biblical description of the natural phenomena accompanying said procedure seriously, one has to presume the mountain to have been a volcano. History: Fiction or Science? Chronology 1 By Anatoly Fomenko
The Egyptian Moses was murdered and his religion was abandoned, but he had an Egyptian retinue with him, the original Levites. A fair number of them survived the massacre and the putting down of the Aton worship. The Levites became the elite of the Jewish people. The Jewish people emerged out of the confluence of the Jewish tribe which had come from Egypt under the leadership of Moses and the other tribes which had never been in Egypt. The latter had adopted in the desert the cult of the volcano god and their leaders was a Midianite priest, ;et us say Jethro. The decisive event was a compromise. The Levites adopt the volcano god but insist on circumcision as a price, circumcision being an Egyptian institution. Everything else was abandoned except circumcision. What happens later on can be said in a few words. The story of the Exodus from Egypt was rewritten from a volcanistic point of view, just as the sun god became overlaid by the volcano god. And Moses is overlaid by the Midianite priest, the original worshiper of the volcano god. We know nothing, however, about this other Moses. He is entirely obscured by the first, the Egyptian Moses. The only opening might be the clues provided by the contradictions to be found in the bible's charaterisation of Moses. 'He is often enough described as masterful, hot-tempered, even violent, and yet it is also said of him that he was the most patient and meek of all men'. Jewish Philosophy and the Crisis of Modernity by Leo Strauss.
'[The Hebrew God] was, through and through, a mythic-level production: a geocentric, egocentric, anthropocentric local volcano god...' READ MORE
'Jahve [i.e. Yahweh] was certainly a volcano-god.' READ MORE
'It is very clear from descriptions in the Hebrew Bible, that Yahweh, the god of the ancient Hebrews is a raging volcano god.' READ MORE
'The title "Jealous/Zealous" is also appropriate for a god represented by a volcano, as was Yahweh by the smoky and fiery Mt. Sinai.' READ MORE
'Yahweh was the god of the southern Palestinian tribes, who associated this concept of deity with Mount Horeb, the Sinai volcano. Yahweh was merely one of the hundreds and thousands of nature gods which held the attention and claimed the worship of the Semitic tribes and peoples.' READ MORE
'Yahweh was originally a volcano god, a god of thunder, lightning, and earthquakes who often manifested himself in fire (viz. the burning bush).' READ MORE
'Several generations later, the Jews came under a new religion devoted to the worship of Yahweh, a blood thirsty and demonic volcano God.' READ MORE
Quote from article......In Exodus, it states that the Israelites, while under the guidance of Moses, had many gods, many of which they represented by gold and silver idols. It was not until Moses and the Israelites had their encounter with a dynamic, smoke covered and potentially retributional, mountain, that they adopted its local god as their own God, Yahweh. He was too good to be true - a god with a thunderous voice, of trumpets and fiery tantrums that proved him far more powerful than all of their other gods put together. But most importantly, a thunderous cloud covered the mountain - a feature that Moses' god had possessed throughout Exodus.
As Salibi points out in Secrets of the Bible People, it doesn't take much imagination to realise that Yahweh's mountain home was in fact a volcano, summit engulfed in smoke. Later we find Yahweh as a 'devouring fire' on top of the mountain, and some weeks later, after Moses had returned from his second stint on the mountain, he warns his people that whoever touches the mountain it shall stone to death, be it beast or man. Three days later we find the mountain quaking. There were thunder and lightning. The mountain was all in smoke. Yahweh had descended on it in fire, and smoke rose as the smoke of a furnace. A better description of a volcano is hard to imagine.
For the conventional biblical scholar, the major shortcoming of these passages is that Palestine, the conventional setting for all of these events is, and was not, a volcanic area! Salibi, on the other hand, is handed Mount Elohim ['mountain of the gods'; which the bible mentions in relation to Moses, and is located in volcanically active area of Yemen] on a plate, as the home of Yahweh. A river having essentially the name of Sinai still exists in the vicinity, not far from a ridge (possibly biblical Mt. Sinai) where the Israelites watched the 'fireworks'.
When the Israelites headed back into what is now western Arabia, such an omnipotent god - the undisputed creator of the entire world - was too good to leave behind. Moses therefore 'persuaded' him to leave his volcanic home and join them, which he did, deposing the original pantheon of Israelite gods [making them the first monotheists in recorded history] and travelled with them in unheard-of luxury, as described in Exodus 25-31. To this day, Jews, Christians and Muslims still worship Yahweh, even though He has been an invisible God since being divorced from His once mighty volcano.
The tribe of the Levites, with whom Moses was associated, was another matter altogether. They worshiped a thundering, fierce god, whose location was either
The Israelites had to physically leave
Then, to fully prove this assumption, they gathered around this mountain, and were told that they were never to climb or touch it, on danger of death. "Take heed to yourselves, that ye go not up into the mount, or touch the border of it: whosoever touchesth the mount shall be surely put to death (Exodus )." The mountain must have been dangerously hot to the touch. The passage continues: "And mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because the Lord Yahweh descended upon it in fire: and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly." Another clear description of an active volcano. And at this emotionally impressive location Moses gave the Israelites a Code of Law, and reforged a covenant which was to become the basis for the development of monotheism.
Time passed. Judges, kings and prophets presided over the Israelites. Yahweh continued side by side with the other gods. The first attempt to create pure monotheism, one God without an image, was conceived by the prophet Isaiah. Philosophically inclined, Isaiah was extremely advanced in his views about monotheism, well ahead of his time. His vision could not tolerate other gods next to the one, universal God.
Two other prophets continued to develop the concept. Habakkuk claimed that Yahweh was a righteous, loving God, not the fierce volcano God of fire and war, and the God of all men. There was no war between Yahweh and other gods, because no other gods could exist.
What happened in the seventy years of the Babylonian diaspora shaped the change in Yahweh. Until then, the Israelites, like all other nations, believed that each god had a locality. A god belonged to a country, a city, a mountain, a river. He or she dwelled in a temple built in this special location. Any captive, merchant, immigrant, or traveling physician worshiped in the town or village where he now lived, because his former gods were simply out of touch.
The Israelites, who were treated quite well in
Instead, an equally unthinkable, unprecedented religious revolution took place. The Jews transformed God. They made him omnipresent, liberated Him from His location, and made him a universal God. They no longer really needed a temple, though eventually a new temple would be built, as a national symbol. Instead, they built synagogues, where people could congregate and pray together to a God that was omniscient, omnipresent, had no location, no shape or form, and no rivals. As a result, the Jews had to accept the fact that He must be the God of every other person on Earth. The Jews were still God's chosen people -- but only chosen to spread His word and suffer for the sake of the rest of the nations so that the world can be redeemed, an honor and a burden given to them by God. With such immense presence, He also had to mature psychologically. Obviously, he was no longer a warrior God, a fierce volcano God, fighting for his chosen people. The vision of Isaiah, Habakkuk and Jeremiah took the final stride toward a merciful, righteous God, whose love permeated the entire universe.
Yahweh the volcano god.
S. B. Segall on Mt. Sinai in Understanding the Exodus: And Other Mysteries of Jewish History:
When Moses went up the mountain he expected to see God. When he came down from the mountain he told the Israelites that no one could see God's face and live, but that by shielding himself behind a rock and looking through a crack in the rock he cold see the dazzling light of the Lord's presence (Exodus, Chapter 33). Moses wanted to stand at the rim of the volcano to see God, but the heat from the red-hot rock and swirling ash would have killed him. The closest he could get to seeing inside the volcano was to see the light from the volcano while he was shielded by a boulder.pages 87-96
What Moses saw on the mountain matched what he thought God would be--a spirit without form; a pure source of energy radiating heat and light; a being so powerful that no one could face him directly and remain alive. When Moses saw the light radiating from the volcano, he truly believed that he had seen God.
The description of Mount Sinai given in the Bible is an unambiguous description of a volcano. Not recognizing this almost requires a mental block. The pillar of cloud and fire leading the Israelites to Mount Sinai is easily understood in terms of the column of hot ash rising from the top of the volcano. Thunder and lightning accompanying a volcanic eruption is a phenomenon that anyone who has witnessed a volcano would be able to confirm. The burning bush is consistent with what one might expect to observe in the vicinity of a volcano in the gas rich Arabian Peninsula. Moses' description of God is also consistent with an attempt to try to see into the top of a volcano. It is incredible, with such an accurate description of Mount Sinai, that a non-volcanic mountain in the Sinai Desert is generally identified as the location of the biblical Mount Sinai, even though the Book of Deuteronomy describes a route to Mount Sinai that is not at all consistent with that choice.
One we have identified a physical phenomenon described in the Bible, it is possible to begin to distinguish fact from embellishment. The description of a pillar of cloud and fire separating the Israelites and Egyptians at the Red Sea is clearly fiction as well as descriptions of the pillar of cloud and fire appearing in any situation not directly connected with Mount Sinai. To claim that fact and fiction are so intertwined that it is impossible to distinguish one from the other is nonsense in this case. To claim that the eruption of Mount Sinai never happened and that it is the invention of a person with no knowledge of volcanic eruptions is equally untenable.
Knowing that the whole region was volcanically and seismically active during this period of history makes it possible to understand other supposed miracles. There is, however, no evidence that the scribes writing down these stories in their final form had any inkling that these types of physical phenomena could occur naturally or that they had ever experienced anything remotely similar to these phenomena.
This book is available direct from the author's website here and from Amazon here.
Academic papers covering related subjects.....
- Thomas Mann, “The Pillar of Cloud in the Reed Sea Narrative,” JBL 90 (1971)
- G. Hort, "Musil, Madian and the Mountain of the Law" in Jewish Studies: Essays in Honour of the Very Reverend Dr. Gustav Sicher, Chief Rabbi of Prague (Prague, 1955)
- Foster, Ritner and Foster, "Texts, Storms, and the Thera Eruption," JNES 55 (1996)
- K. Polinger Foster, “Volcanic Landscapes in Lugal-e” in L. Milano et al., eds., Landscapes: Territories, Frontiers, and Horizons in the Ancient Near East, Proceedings of the XLIV Rencontre Assyriologique, vol. III (Padua, 1999), pp. 23-29.
- the volume Cultural Responses to the Volcanic Landscape: the Mediterranean and Beyond (esp. papers like "Volcanic Echoes in Ancient Near Eastern Texts")
- Barbara Sivertsen, The Parting of the Sea: How Volcanoes, Earthquakes, and Plagues Shaped the Story of Exodus (Princeton Univ. Press 2009)
- P. D. Miller, Jr., “Fire in the Mythology of Canaan and Israel,” CBQ 27 (1965), 256-61