About Toru El
First of all, I am not an ex-JW. But I have lived on the borders of the Jehovah’s Witnesses all my life. I used to say that about half my family are Witnesses but I can happily say that percentage is now much lower thanks to some freethinking family members who saw through it.
I myself have been a Protestant Christian for most of my life. That is until about May of 2015 when, during a quest to strengthen my faith through devoted scholarly research, reading and objective analysis, realized that I had no reason to even accept my own beliefs any longer. In hindsight I realize that my faith had been slowly eroding for years as I made more observations of the world around me, both from the world of science and my own personal experience. Ironically, the Witnesses played a part in my own path to skepticism.
Since rejecting my faith I have embarked on a new journey. I am what you might call an armchair biblical historian and even a historian of religion in general. I read the bible more now than I did as a believer and find it more interesting. Part of my interest is simply wanting to know what the bible really is now that I no longer consider it the Word of God.
I am most fascinated with the origins of Judaism, YHWH and the Old Testament. I enjoy exploring how other religions and beliefs influenced the bible that so many consider divine. I believe that traces of ancient Israelite polytheism are to be found all throughout the Old Testament and that these connections are truly fascinating.
That’s not to say I’m not interested in the New Testament. I happen to be a “Jesus Mythicist”, which is to say I don’t think there is sufficient evidence to believe that a historical Jesus ever existed. This is one of a very few areas where I disagree with scholarly consensus, mostly because I’ve yet to see an argument for historicity that measures up to the magnificent work of Richard Carrier and Robert Price.
I hope that by showing the human origins of Judaism and Christianity it may help those who are questioning. It certainly was a big part of my own path away from religion.
Note on my username: I am not yet “out” as an atheist, so for the time being I’ve opted to use an obscure name of El, the head of the Canaanite pantheon of deities, who also happens to be the “God of Israel”. “Toru El” means “Bull El”, as he was often envisioned as a bull god by the Canaanites.