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The Many Gods Of The Bible

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posted on Jun, 5 2011 @ 02:22 PM
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I believe many of you know that the Biblical word "Elohim", sometimes mis-translated as "God", actually is plural of "Eloah", which is one of several names for "God" in the Bible.

Genesis 1:26 is most often cited :

"And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth."

There are many different explanations for why God is often mentioned in plural form in the Bible, some grammatical (Hebrew nouns sometimes being uni-plural) some interpretational (God is one and all, etc).

But, it is not the only indication of the existence of a community of "Gods" in the Bible. Let's take a quick look at the most evident ones.

Psalm 97:7 :

All who worship images are put to shame, those who boast in idols--worship him, all you gods!

Here we have another example of the use of "Elohim", or "Gods". It becomes interesting when we look at one of the ten commandments, Exodus 20:3 :

"You shall have no other gods before me."

The commandment clearly states that you should put no other god before God. It does not tell us to not worship images or idols, which in a sense would be false gods if there was only one God. It tells us not to worship any of the 'other' Gods more than Yahweh.

Exodus 23:11 :

"Who among the gods is like you, O LORD? Who is like you--majestic in holiness, awesome in glory, working wonders?

Good question. Which one of the 'other' Gods can really compete with Yahweh? Apparently the god El Elyon. Among the Dead Sea Scrolls was an older and slightly different version of Deuteronomy. The King James version of verses 32:8-9 goes like this :

"When the Most High divided their inheritance to the nations,
When He separated the sons of Adam,
He set the boundaries of the peoples
According to the number of the children of Israel.
For the LORD’s portion is His people;
Jacob is the place of His inheritance."


Here's the Dead Sea Scroll version :

"When El Elyon gave to the nations their inheritance,
when he separated the sons of men,
he fixed the bounds of the peoples according to the number of the sons of God.
For Yahweh's portion is his people,
Jacob his allotted inheritance."


The older text tells us that El Elyon supersede Yahweh. El Elyon divides up the various nations and allocates a portion to Yahweh. The later version of the text simply merge these two gods into a single being.

Psalm 82:1 sets the record straight :

God presides in the great assembly;
he renders judgment among the “gods”


God is once again 'the God of gods', ruling the others.

There are more examples of the existence of other Gods, but you get the picture. The bits and pieces tells us about a polytheistic background to the Bible. There's nothing embarrassing about it, because the monotheistic thesis of the Hebrews grew out of a predominantly polytheistic world, with Babylonian gods on one side, Egyptian gods on the other, and Assyrian gods on yet another (all these gods are now out of a job, and their CV:s have been sent to the Mythology-section).
If the Muslims can live with the fact that Mohammed the Prophet once sucked up to the polytheists in Mecca and compromised on his hard-line monotheistic 'message from God' (the famous satanic verses, google it. It's good that Satan's there when you need him), then Judaism should be able to live with that it was once polytheistic, then henotheistic (we prefer this one god before the others), then monotheistic (there is but ONE God).

This means that religions are evolving, that they can be rather corporative in their structure. When the economy of God swings, you either adapt to the market or die. The crux here lies in what it does to the 'divine message'. The writings closest to the divine appearance should be the ones more reliable, and the further you go in time the less reliable in interpretation they become.




posted on Jun, 5 2011 @ 02:35 PM
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A point about your idea that religion is evolving: it indeed seems to be evolving towards Oneness. Now when people learn to set their dogma aside and embrace one another, then we can really progress.
edit on 5/6/11 by AdamsMurmur because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 5 2011 @ 02:44 PM
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en.wikipedia.org...

I hope you will research before stating that Gods word is not correct,Elyon stands for "most high",or the LORD.
Yahweh is the one and only God for you.You need him.

Peace brother



posted on Jun, 5 2011 @ 03:28 PM
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After much research, I was satisfied that the plurals referred to the Trinity of God...Father, Son, Holy Ghost.

As for other gods...a car or a football team can be worshipped or become an idol or a god....pagan, wooden, totem, etc. Some folks worship movie stars, pop stars, sports stars...etc.

The view of God changing or evolving...I liken that to the evolving view one may have of their father or mother.... our relationship and understanding of them is different at age 5 vs age 45....likewise, our understanding of God through history and our own walk changes also.



posted on Jun, 6 2011 @ 04:36 AM
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First of all, thank you all for participating and contributing with your point of views.


Originally posted by LicentiaEstVox
en.wikipedia.org...

I hope you will research before stating that Gods word is not correct,Elyon stands for "most high",or the LORD.
Yahweh is the one and only God for you.You need him.

Peace brother


If you read through the whole article on Elyon that you posted (from Wikipedia), you will find that it actually supports what I'm saying. It is not as simple as to say that El Elyon (god on High) is but a an epithet for 'God'.
Elyon's appearance in the Ugarithic bronze Age culture (Syria) shows that the god (or gods) has pre-Mosaic roots.

The article also refers to the mentioned verse in Deuteronomy, and concludes that "This passage appears to identify ʿElyōn with Elohim, but not necessarily with Yahweh.". In that case, we have the Elohim (the community of gods) setting the stage for mankind, and Yahweh getting his allotted part (as God of Israel).

Researching or questioning the origins of the Bible is not equivalent to "stating that God's word is not correct". It is an epistemological approach. You may consider that God is one, or one in all, or all in one, it makes no difference to me. I'm interested in the origins and the evolution of the text.


Originally posted by AlreadyGone
After much research, I was satisfied that the plurals referred to the Trinity of God...Father, Son, Holy Ghost.


You're looking at it from a Christian point of view. The idea of Trinity grew from concepts presented in New Testament passages (notably Matthew), and is not compatible with the Old Testament or Judaism (Deuteronomy 6:4 : "Hear O Israel, Yahweh is God, Yahweh is ONE." . You can IMO not use Christian theology to explain Judaic or pre-Judaic theology.



posted on Jun, 6 2011 @ 05:33 AM
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Originally posted by LicentiaEstVox
en.wikipedia.org...

I hope you will research before stating that Gods word is not correct,Elyon stands for "most high",or the LORD.
Yahweh is the one and only God for you.You need him.

Peace brother


Your input of self-proclaimed absolute 'truth' is highly appreciated, but with the risk of being declared an intolerant theist-hater, I would like to draw attention to a recent (the last few centuries or so) very populat concept: Communicable 'evidence'.

As it is, you may risk being accused of being an ignorant propagandist, just preaching. So please, less preaching and more dialogue-friendly material.

With options of some 3.500 'gods' SOME kind of consenting sorting-mechanisms wouldn't be a bad idea, no matter how deep we have to dig to find them.



posted on Jun, 6 2011 @ 07:36 AM
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reply to post by bogomil
 


The way i see it, the problem with you bogomil is that you come time and time again to a forum about God.
This makes it 'your' problem if you do not like the subject. You may call it propagandist but some understand what is being said even if you don't.
The subject on this forum is about 'God'.
The subject is not about 'bogomil and proving absolutes'. You say you do not like preachers and that it is your business to correct people.
I say it is you who are the one preaching because the subject is 'God'.

I don't think you would walk into a ghetto bad mouthing black people and their beliefs.
What you are doing is no better than that though.

It amazes me that you tell us that it is religion and Christians with their beliefs that cause wars, yet all i see is the ones who hate religion and the word God or Christ that can't help sticking their noses in to threads about God and stirring it up. These type of people are the torturers, they annoy sleeping dogs just to get a reaction, it gives them power (the illusion of power for a brief instant). They need to feed off the reactions of others because they have no real power of their own.
edit on 6-6-2011 by Itisnowagain because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 6 2011 @ 09:00 AM
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reply to post by Itisnowagain
 


You wrote:

["The way i see it, the problem with you bogomil is that you come time and time again to a forum about God. This makes it 'your' problem if you do not like the subject."]

I DO like the subject (as a concept). I DON'T like the self-proclaimed absolute 'truths' often deriving from it.

Quote: ["You may call it propagandist but some understand what is being said even if you don't."]

It's not difficult to spot propaganda (from whatever ideology). And disagreeing doesn't automatically imply ignorance/lack of understanding. Such a vague accusation (of ignorance/no-understanding) is just a way of trying to impose censorship on opposition.

Quote: ["The subject on this forum is about 'God'."]

And of many 'gods'.

Quote: ["The subject is not about 'bogomil and proving absolutes'."]

So why are 'absolutes' introduced on the thread? And why is it then wrong to point 'absolutes' out.

Quote: ["You say you do not like preachers and that it is your business to correct people."]

I do not like preachers ..... a/ it's a non-dialogue form, b/ they usually push absolutes. It's my (chosen) 'business' to present criticism of that.

Quote: ["I say it is you who are the one preaching because the subject is 'God'."]

a/ I actively join dialogues, b/ I don't push absolutes: I don't preach (I'm querulous, but that's different from preaching).

Quote: ["I don't think you would walk into a ghetto bad mouthing black people and their beliefs."]

Very bad allegory..I'm not suicidal. But I would oppose e.g. positions of 'black supremacy' on a forum (Similarly to opposing claims of christian supremacy in the form of 'absolutes').

Quote: ["It amazes me that you tell us that it is religion and Christians with their beliefs that cause wars,"]

They DO cause wars. But not all wars and not the biggest ones recently.

Quote: ["yet all i see is the ones who hate religion and the word God or Christ that can't help sticking their noses in to threads about God and stirring it up."]

Such statements as this should have been buried a long time ago. But here we go again: Who are the ones 'hating religion' and what 'god' do you refer to? And I 'stick my nose' where it pleases me on a public forum. Those wanting censorship would be better off on a site WITH censorship.

Quote: [" These type of people are the torturers,"]

Oh yes, you're persecuted.

Quote: ["they annoy sleeping dogs just to get a reaction, it gives them power (the illusion of power for a brief instant). They need to feed off the reactions of others because they have no real power of their own."]

The second time this week-end some pro-theist gives psychological amateur-diagnosing a shot. Above you demand competence to join a thread: So are you a qualified psychiatrist/psychologist?



edit on 6-6-2011 by bogomil because: typo



posted on Jun, 6 2011 @ 09:52 AM
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reply to post by bogomil
 


What do you consider a self proclaimed absolute truth?
If there is a definate answer (absolute) do you have it?
If not, then this is a good place for you and others to mindstorm, if you like.
By declaring everything that you read as postulate, self proclaimed absolute truth, ignorant propaganda and demanding evidence is not exploring anything, it adds nothing but resistance.
LicentiaEstVox was not even talking to you and you have accussed him of being a preaching ignorant propagandist, because he was enlightening.
You say you like the subject but i think you are deluded. It is not the subject that interests you it is the mind games.



Do you have anything to add?
edit on 6-6-2011 by Itisnowagain because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 6 2011 @ 10:20 AM
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reply to post by Itisnowagain
 


You wrote:

["What do you consider a self proclaimed absolute truth?"]

E.g. seriously claiming, that the flying spaghetti monster exists and that he's 'god'.

Quote:["If there is a definate answer (absolute) do you have it?"]

I'm a philosophical scepticist. We don't hold with 'absolutes'. Though personally I can very well operate from 'lesser truths' in certain circumstances. E.g. science/logic and egalitarian, liberal, secular democracy (but not magicked into existence from a tophat or a self-contained book).

Quote: ["If not, then this is a good place for you and others to mindstorm, if you like."]

It's not all about ivory-towers and abstractions. Theistic absolutes can have quite a lot of practical consequences.

Quote: ["By declaring everything that you read as postulate, self proclaimed absolute truth, ignorant propaganda and demanding evidence is not exploring anything, it adds nothing but resistance."]

You mean, that I on a general principle of tolerance sometimes should agree; just to appear 'positive'?

But I actually DO agree, when I meet things to agree with.

Quote: [" LicentiaEstVox was not even talking to you and you have accussed him of being an ignorant propagandist, because he was enlightening."]

And MY post to him was not addressed to YOU (but you comment on it anyway): So where's the problem? Lack of SELECTIVE censorship directed at me and my likes?

Quoted: ["You say you like the subject but i think you are deluded."]

Deluded about my own motives, or about the subject? And how would you know that; is this a combined claim of a psychological diagnosis AND of my incompetence?

Quote: ["It is not the subject that interests you it is the mind games."]

Another postulate.

Quote: ["Do you have anything to add?"]

Less interest in a character analysis of me and more on 'god'/'gods', ofcourse with some communicable evidence included.



posted on Jun, 6 2011 @ 10:45 AM
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reply to post by bogomil
 

You wrote this:
I'm a philosophical scepticism. We don't hold with 'absolutes'. Though personally I can very well operate from 'lesser truths' in certain circumstances. E.g. science/logic and egalitarian, liberal, secular democracy (but not magicked into existence from a top hat or a self-contained book). End quote.

This says you are not interested in God.
I know there is no censorship and without you my life would be incomplete, however:
ALL MEMBERS READ - Moving Past Religion 101 and Staying on Topic,
does state that we do not have to provide evidence to talk about the spaghetti monster (God).

As you do not know God, you would not understand that you do not 'have' to agree or disagree. Because it already is.
I am not trying to censor you, i, like ScientiaEstVox, am pointing you toward God.


I, too like mind games, i like to watch them.
Cheeky little mind always playing tricks, the great illusionist.


edit on 6-6-2011 by Itisnowagain because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 6 2011 @ 01:25 PM
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reply to post by Itisnowagain
 


Not believing in 'god' is not the same as not being interested in the concept of 'god'.

Quote: ["ALL MEMBERS READ - Moving Past Religion 101 and Staying on Topic,
does state that we do not have to provide evidence to talk about the spaghetti monster (God)."]

Staying on topic here is to relate to OP's thoughts on how religion has evolved. Not giving the sermon I criticised in my post, this post of mine ending with a reference to 3.500 'gods' (the 'many gods of OP).

Quote: ["As you do not know God, you would not understand that you do not 'have' to agree or disagree. Because it already is."]

Self-contained statement, probably referring to some extra-ordinary talent you possess.

Quote: [" I am not trying to censor you, i, like ScientiaEstVox, am pointing you toward God."]

Yeah, ......preaching. I know.

Quote: ["I, too like mind games, i like to watch them. Cheeky little mind always playing tricks, the great illusionist."]

Some of us try to use rational reasoning. If you want to redefine it in your terminology......

Can we NOW go to topic?



edit on 6-6-2011 by bogomil because: (no reason given)



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