The God of Gods
God: the all-purpose, irrefutable
for hating and killing and feeling good about it.
The word "God" has no objective meaning. This explains why there have been so many religions throughout the ages. In this report I show that the God which we currently know as the only God of the universe was originally thought of as being one of many gods. If believers wish to accept the Bible as the word of God, then we have his own admission that he is not the only god.
Early religions were polytheistic. In the Bible, God started out as a Jewish tribal god. By the early first century BCE, the definition changed to a Jewish God of the universe. In the early centuries CE there were many schools of thought at odds with each other. Modern Christianity arose through the efforts to unify God under one secular authority. There is more politics to religion than meets the eye.
One could argue that the modern definition reflected a growing awareness among religious authorities that God was more encompassing than earlier thought. The counter to that argument is that by making the definition of God universal, it expanded Church authority. It is because the Church set itself as the medium for knowing about God, that it is, in effect, marketing itself.
Without God's minions campaigning on his behalf, he would have become a forgotten relic. God needs your support because the organizations behind him need your patronage. In effect, faith in God translates to faith in Church authority.
To make my point, what is wrong with this picture? God, the creator of the universe, the super-intelligent being who is omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent and perfect in every way, can't get his message across without guidance from religious organizations.
In contrast, scientific discovery presents an opposing view of Nature as being devoid of any conscious activity. For argument's sake, if there was a creator God, his first laws have proven to be the inviolable laws of Nature. It is only within human imagination that such laws can be violated.
Joshua explains that Abraham's ancestors served other gods.
Jeremiah notes that for as many cities there are gods.
In biblical days, it was a hard and fast rule for kingdoms to have their own god as a symbol of political prestige.
The term Elohim is plural for god and is used 216 times in the Old Testament for "gods" and 2366 times for "God." The singular form of Elohim is Eloah and is used 55 times in place of "God." This mistranslation hides the pluralistic nature of the Hebrew god. To the Israelites, Elohim encompasses all supernatural beings: spirits, angels, demons, semi-gods and so forth. So whenever they appealed to Elohim, they were inferring the entire pantheon.
That these lesser beings are not gods is a matter of semantics. By pagan definition, they are all gods. For example, the Greek God, Mercury, was seen as a messenger god. To the ancient Jews, he would be the equivalent of an angel.
According to the Hebrew translation, there were many gods involved in creation. There was not one single god all by himself.
Gen. 1:2 explains the true meaning of Genesis 1:22, "Let us make man in our image."
26"Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth." (Gen. 1:26)
We have evidence that many gods revealed themselves to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Moses.
2"I am the LORD.
3I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, as God Almighty, but by my name the LORD I did not make myself known to them.(Ex. 6:2-3)
Only 216 or about ten percent of the time, Elohim is properly interpreted as gods.
A good example of how the English translations mislead can be found in Genesis 3:5. In the King James, the Serpent tells Eve she will be like the gods, knowing good from evil.
5(Gen. 3:5 KJV)
Modern translations convert to the singular God to hide a critical embarrassment.
Out of 55 times when the singular form of God, eloah appears, it appears 40 times in the book of Job. God is never addressed directly as eloah. The term is always applied indirectly.
If there were no other gods, Yahweh would have no reason to be jealous.
1415 (Deut. 6:14-15)
God was so frustrated by the Israelites disloyalty that he grew to hate them. In reality, it was Jeremiah expressing his own hatred.
8My heritage has become to me like a lion in the forest, she has lifted up her voice against me; therefore I hate her .(Jer. 12:8)
God of Israel
The term, God of Israel, appears almost 200 times in the Old Testament. Simply, the phrase, God of Israel, designates the name of a national god, not the god of the universe.
The God of Israel vows to enlarge the borders of Israel.
times in the year shall all your males appear before the LORD God, the
God of Israel.
24For I will cast out nations before you, and enlarge your borders; neither shall any man desire your land, when you go up to appear before the LORD your God three times in the year. (Ex. 34:23-24)
God of spirits
In this context, the God of spirits means the God of the dead.
God of gods
We see some braggadocio here. The Israelites claim their God is the supreme God of all gods. There can be no denial here that the biblical world is infested with deities and demons. See Alien Gods and God's Pantheon.
In the Ancient Near East, a number of deities were known be several names. For example, the Babylonia deity Marduk had 50 names, the Egyptian deity Re had 74 names, and Osiris had 100 to 142 names. Such deities also had hidden or secret names known only by certain priests who knew the proper way to invoke them without offense. The second reason was that it was believed that these hidden names were believed to give the speakers access to and influence with-and sometimes magical powers-over the named.
7"You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain. (Ex. 20:7)
This passage tells us about an Israelite woman who turned in her son to Moses for blaspheming God's name. We are not told what he said, but he was stoned to death shortly thereafter.
1011 12 13 14 15 16 (Lev. 24:10-16)
Yehovah or Yahweh
"Lord" translates to Yehovah over 6,400 times in the Old Testament. Yehovah was originally conceived of as a local weather God, responsible for rain and fertility. Yehovah is now translated to "Yahweh."
It wasn't until the rise of the monarchy in Judah and Israel, did Yehovah rise to the status of a supreme god and universal weather god.
Far from being friendly, ancients had to fear the Lord (Yahweh), who was more powerful than all the other deities.
Jehovah can be found in the King James four times, translated from the Hebrew Yehovah. Other English versions typically translate to God. Yahweh is now the favored translation in place of Yehovah.
3And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name JEHOVAH was I not known to them. (Ex. 6:3 KJV)
18(Ps. 83:18, KJV)
2(Isa. 12:2, KJV)
4(Isa. 26:4, KJV)
Lord translates to Adonay to denote the god of Israel. It is used 430 times in the Old Testament, with Ezekiel counting for over 200 times. Elsewhere, Lord is substituted for Yehovah over 6,400 times.
Lord translates to Adon 211 times.
Adonis originally meant lord, which is translated that way 211 times.
Lord of Hosts
The word "hosts" is a euphemism for the stars.
3(1 Sam 1:3)
Who is the Creator?
To Jews, the one God of creation is Yahweh. To Christians, he is the Trinitarian God embodied in Jesus Christ. But according to Scripture, it is none of the above. In fact, both religions are as polytheistic as their pagan predecessors. Here is why.
The word God is not a proper noun such as John. With a capital G, it designates a title, like Mister or Sir. The same can be said of the word Lord. It is within these two title words, Lord and God, where the original definition is disguised by the translators.
In the ancient Near East all theistic religions believed in a supreme God who reigned above lesser gods; Judaism and Christianity were no exceptions. For example, to the ancient Egyptians, the supreme god was Ra. To the Greeks, he was Zeus. According to the pagan definition of all immortal beings as gods, Christianity is just as polytheistic. It is all a matter of semantics.
The question before us is what god or gods caused creation as defined by the first two verses of Genesis?
By mistranslating the true Hebrew name, Elohim, from the original texts for the generic name, God, readers are deceived into thinking of God as a singular entity. To repeat, the God of creation is not a Jewish or a Christian God. Elohim, in Hebrew means gods, spirits or lords. In the singular, it is El, meaning the supreme Canaanite god. Thus the early Hebrews worshipped the same God or gods as their heathen neighbors. So let's revise Gen. 1:1 to what it honestly says.
The plurality of God gives true meaning to when the gods agreed to, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness." If the gods made man in their image, then it stands to reason that the gods are in the image of men and women. Not some three headed ethereal freak as the Christian god seems to be portrayed.
26"Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; (Gen. 1:26)[the]
In the English translations, the word that denotes Yahweh is Lord. Another term we see in Genesis 2 is Lord God, which means Yahweh Elohim or Yahweh of the gods. As events turn out, Yahweh is nothing but a mythological tribal God among others which the heathen Israelites worshipped.
Several passages tell us that Jews did not claim Yahweh as their only God; he was merely the supreme to other gods. Other statements attest to this fact. Moses' father-in-law, Jethro, is made to say:
Moses and the Israelites are credited with this next statement.
In the passage below, Yahweh is the most fearsome among a council of gods.
7 (Psalms 89:6-7)
Even in the Ten Commandments, God recognizes the existence of other gods. There is a big difference between, "you shall have no other gods" verses "there are no other gods."
3"You shall have no other gods before me. (Ex. 20:3)
Bear in mind that Christianity is on even shakier grounds in maintaining the existence of only one God. First, by canonizing Jewish Scripture, the Christian Fathers gave recognition to Yahweh and the pantheon of lesser gods mentioned by name throughout the Old Testament.
The supreme God El has been traced to the Amorite kingdom of Ugarit, located in North Syria. He was known as the creator, the supreme authority in all matters human and divine, the father of gods and men.
Associated with El is the young male God, Baal, the storm god. Associated with El and Baal were two female figures, Ashera and Anath, goddesses of fertility. The Ugarit (Babylonian) myths also feature two adversaries of Baal, Yam, the sea, and Mot, the destructive power of drought and sterility. In another interesting parallel with the biblical sea monster Deep, Yam is personified as dragon, serpent and Leviathan, representing the forces of chaos.
The Canaanite influence on the early Hebrews can be found by tracing the origins of the Hebrew language. The father of Jews, Abraham is said to come from "Ur of the Chaldeans" (Gen. 11:31). It's a safe bet that the Chaldean Abraham was an ordinary idol-worshipping heathen Syrian who never heard of Yahweh. Additionally, the Chaldeans were known for their expertise in astrology.
31. (Gen. 11:31)
Abraham's son Jacob erected an altar to El of the gods.
And El said to Jacob he is the supreme god of gods of his father.
According to the appendix of the American Heritage Dictionary, the Hebrew language branched off from the Canaanite language. Abraham spoke the dialect of his region in the days when Canaan was under Egyptian domination. Even Isaiah admits to that fact.
What kind of leader was the God of Abraham? Exodus 15:3 tells us he is, "the Lord is a man of war"-Yahweh is a war god. Drawing from Sarah and El, we get Israel, meaning a nation who worships a war god by the name of El. The marriage of Abraham and Sarah was the Bible's way of introducing the Jewish race by way of pun.
Abraham is said to be married to Sarah (Gen. 17:15). Sarah comes from the Hebrew, Sar, meaning prince, ruler, leader, chief, chieftain, official, captain.
Certainly, Yahweh was not the god of creation.
Instead, what we learn is that the Jewish Patriarchs and the Israelites were Chaldean (Babylonian) speaking heathens until the time of the Exodus when Moses was first introduced to Yahweh during the burning bush incident. The colloquy between God and Moses demonstrates that Moses never knew or heard of Yahweh when he lived in Egypt.
Since Moses grew up in Egypt, it can be understandable that he never heard of Yahweh until this time. But in these next passages we find out that the Chosen People never heard of Yahweh either.
Curiously, God tells Moses that his one true name is I AM, and it is to remain that way forever. As we shall see later, he gives Moses a different name.
am who I am. This is what
you are to say to the Israelites: 'I AM WHO I AM has sent me to you.'"
15"Say this to the people of Israel, 'The LORD, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you': this is my name for ever, and thus I am to be remembered throughout all generations. (Ex. 3:14-15)
A case of pious mistranslation
Knowledgeable students of the Bible would probably agree with the above statements, arguing that God purposely did not reveal his true name before the time of Moses. In support, they cite Exodus 6:1-3, when God said he withheld his true name from Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. So let's examine.
I am the LORD:
3And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name JEHOVAH was I not known to them. (KJV, Ex. 6:2-3)
Modern revisions such as the Revised Standard Version, which I normally cite, substitute Lord for Jehovah. To clear up this name confusion, Jehovah comes about as the English translation for the Hebrew YHVH. Traditionally, vowels are inserted to make the consonants pronounceable interchangeably as Yahveh or Yahweh.
2"I am the LORD.
3I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, as God Almighty, but by my name the LORD I did not make myself known to them. (Ex. 6:2-3)
Now that we have positive affirmation that the true name of the one true God is known interchangeably as Jehovah, Yahweh, Yahveh or YHVH, it would be reasonable to expect any of these names to be used throughout the Old Testament. Almost none of the English translations do this.
In the Hebrew versions, the word Jehovah appears 6,528 times. In the King James Version, it can be found four times: Ex. 6:3, Psalms 83:18, Isaiah 12:2 and 26:4. It contains none of the other iterations. The English revision to follow the King James was the American Standard Version which contains Jehovah 5,763 times.
4(Gen. 2:4 ASV)
Throughout all English translations, the name for the Canaanite God pantheon, Elohim, appears 2366 times as God and 216 times as gods. The name for the Canaanite supreme God, El, appears 224 times in Hebrew, but nowhere in the English translations.
In conclusion, if the English translators stuck to the original god names, they would not be able to deceive their readers into believing that Judaism was always a monotheistic religion.
Was Jesus at the Beginning?
Three passages in the New Testament stand out as claiming Jesus was the same God of Creation.
John claims he was at the beginning with God.
the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was
2He was in the beginning with God;
3all things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made. (John 1:1-3)
John has Jesus claiming he was "I am" in reference to God's name in Genesis 3:14. The following passage tells us his audience was so offended they threw stones at him. Jews never accepted him as their leader.
said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to
you, before Abraham was, I am."
59So they took up stones to throw at him; but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple. (John 8:5-59)
Paul tells us Jesus was the Creator.
17He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. (1 Col. 1:17)
The Moody Handbook of Theology offers two Old Testament proofs to support the New Testament. But when we examine them, we see that they are taken out of context and don't refer to Jesus.
First, Micah predicts a child from Bethlehem Ephrathah will come forth as ruler of Israel to rescue him. So this can't be Jesus because he never ruled over Israel, and because Micah was dead hundreds of years before Jesus' time.
Second, Isaiah tells us a child is born, meaning he was born during Isaiah's time, hundreds of years before Jesus.
This is only a sampling of how disconnected the Old Testament is from the New Testament. Christian apologists have no scruples about taking Old Testament Scripture out of context to "prove" that their Jesus is the same God of the Old Testament. Even the Old Testament is replete with errors, false translations and self contradictions. It can't even prove itself much less prove the false claims of the New Testament.
An excellent book that covers the evolution in ideas about God from early biblical days to the twentieth century is entitled A History of God by Karen Armstrong. Although in my view a more accurate title would be, "A History of the Marketing of God."