I have heard OT scholars claim that the original God of Israel was the Canaanite deity “El” and that this could even be seen in the name “Israel” itself. They go on to say that somehow, the Israelite adopted Yahweh as their national God in about the 11th century, and that by the 9th century there were a small group of Israelite’s advocating the sole worship of Yahweh (what became the minor prophets). El and Yahweh were combined, and by the time of the exile, the Israelite established Yahweh as sole God of the universe and thus monotheism began among the Israelite’s. What does the Church have to say about this? What implications does this have for our faith? Are there any counter arguments?
Nothing. It is probably true that the national god of Israel became conflated with the Canaanite supreme god El and eventually, this strict postexilic monotheism became Second Temple Judaism. Previously, Israelite Yahwism was henotheistic.
It’s of no concern or worry to us because we know divine revelation was gradual. The Church has no pronouncement on the hypothesis and it is not contrary to the Catholic faith.