A Bedford Road Bible Study
Idolatry: Worship Gone Wrong
Beginning on January 13, this weekly Bible study (Wednesdays, 7-8pm) is focused on developing a Biblical theology of idolatry. Why would we want to study something like idolatry? Because it is a common human problem - more common than we like to admit. Human beings have an innate desire to worship something, and as a result, we are always hunting for a locus - a center, a symbol, an image - that we can focus on. By exploring the Scriptures, we can identify the dangers of idolatry and find a path to avoid this sin and its inevitable results. We can instead find true worship.
Image already added
Image already added
Studies are conducted via Zoom Call for our members and attenders every Wednesday.
Previous sessions will be posted here once the study begins.
Answering Questions that Come Up During the Study
Someone asked whether the god Dagon was the source of our modern myth of mermaids. That's a difficult question to answer, because we really do not know a whole lot about Dagon.
The association with fish comes from the similarity with the Hebrew word for fish, dāg. Many writers assumed that this was the derivation of the name Dagon, but really there is no reason to assume this. It is what is called a folk etymology. It comes from medieval commentaries and not from any evidence of the period when Dagon was actually worshiped.
The earliest reference to him is an inscription from Sargon of Akkad, who conquered the ancient cities of Sumer around 2330 BC. Sargon credits Dagon for giving him victory over the cities of Ebla and Mari, in what is today Syria. Several ancient documents refer to the god Baʿal as "the son of Dagon" (KTU2 1.46.3; 1.48.5), but this may be tied more to the way that Baʿal kind of took over the role originally reserved for Dagon.
We do know he was a storm and fertility god. The name may be connected to the Assyrian verb dagana, which means "to be cloudy." Eventually, Dagon came to be identified with grains, particularly the corns of grains. This probably had to do with the similarity of the Hebrew and Canaanite word for grain, dāgān.
So, Dagon really only became associated with the sea because he was associated with rain and agriculture, which then got transferred to the sea at some point, since rain is a terror there.