posted on Dec, 3 2005 @ 03:55 PM
Merka's got it right.
The early religions were shamanic in nature... people talked with spirits, and the spirits "told" them their names. As religions became more
formalized and groups of worshippers became larger, organizations of priesthoods arose. Worship became formal and names became formal.
When tribes conquered another tribe, they would often adopt the conqurered tribe's main god by making that god a "son" or "wife" or other
relative of their god. Sometimes they would merge two gods, saying 'your god is the same as mine' (Heru-Ra, for example.)
Most gods have a very complex history. It's an interesting study, really. Pick one (Horus is a good one, because he's one of the oldest as is Bast
and Hathor) and look up all the scholarly references. It's a fun little armchair detective exercise, and you'll learn a lot!