The other day in a religions class I'm taking, we watched a video where John Romer went through Israel looking for the ancient Israelites. The whole point of the movie was that in his opinion, the Israelites don't appear archaelogically until King David. Before then it was simply Canaanite peoples.
One place he went to was a "Canaanite" village, with a temple set up almost just like Soloman's Temple in Jerusalem.
Big deal. The Bible clearly states that Solomon relied on the skill and expertise of Hiram the Phonecian king's men to build the Temple. Even the Masons know that.
In another video I've seen, he tries to prove that Christianity borrowed the use of "images" from Pagans, and that before they became a recognized faith, there weren't very much use of images. Even though we know the use of images was a Jewish practice, and the Early Christians simply "Christianized" the pagan images.
Case in point: Dura Europas in Syria. The Church, which predates Christianity's "recognition" has images all over it, as does the ancient synagogue down the street.
Is it fair to claim that the Israelites weren't just an offshoot of the pagan Canaanite religions, and that instead they chose to "Christianize" the pagan practices?
I'm specifically speaking of the Canaanite idea of the god "El" as well as the way they built their temples. Is it fair/accurate to argue that the Israelites already had one God, and simply "Christianized" the local pagan religions after they had moved in?
-Also, this isn't something that I'm suggesting to be completely true or accurate, it's just an idea.
Israel didn't have a Temple, it had a Tabernacle. And it stands to reason that the "language of Canaan" i.e. Hebrew would have vocabulary in common with the non-Israelite Canaanites.