Register | Sign In


Understanding through Discussion


EvC Forum active members: 64 (9164 total)
2 online now:
Newest Member: ChatGPT
Post Volume: Total: 916,824 Year: 4,081/9,624 Month: 952/974 Week: 279/286 Day: 0/40 Hour: 0/0


Thread  Details

Email This Thread
Newer Topic | Older Topic
  
Author Topic:   If there is a God .. is there only 1?
Mister Pamboli
Member (Idle past 7604 days)
Posts: 634
From: Washington, USA
Joined: 12-10-2001


Message 3 of 29 (38719)
05-02-2003 1:05 AM
Reply to: Message 2 by amsmith986
05-01-2003 11:47 PM


quote:
(if you believe the Bible,which I do),there is only one God by nature.
I think by the time we get to Isaiah Judaism has indeed developed into a monotheistic religion. But the earlier books are clearly polytheistic - not in worship, but in recognition of the existence of other Gods.
"For the LORD your God is God of gods, and Lord of lords, a great God ..." Deut.10:17
"God standeth in the congregation of the mighty; he judgeth among the gods." Psalm 82:1
"Among the gods there is none like unto thee, O Lord" Psalm 86:8
The clear, plain meanings of these texts show that the writers believed in the existence other Gods - they are just not like the Lord God and worthy of worship.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 2 by amsmith986, posted 05-01-2003 11:47 PM amsmith986 has not replied

  
Mister Pamboli
Member (Idle past 7604 days)
Posts: 634
From: Washington, USA
Joined: 12-10-2001


Message 5 of 29 (38730)
05-02-2003 2:21 AM
Reply to: Message 4 by amsmith986
05-02-2003 1:56 AM


quote:
Notice the reference to each other god. It is lowercase god,lord,etc., infering that these (as I said before) were man made gods ( Baal, Ashteroth,Molech,etc).
This inference is only available to you in the translation.
In Deuteronomy 10:17 the phrase "Lord your God is God of gods" uses exactly the same word for god in each case and their is no significant grammatical difference like that introduced by the translators - the distinction is not of the class of being but of supremacy within a class of being.
Similarly in the Psalms quoted, the word for God is the same. I wasn't trying to pull the wool over your eyes by not comparing like with like.
I have no doubt that Isaiah is making the point that only one God exists. But equally, I have no doubt that these examples I quoted are explicitly describing God as one amongst other existing gods.
As with so many things in Biblical study, this only represents a problem if you hold that every verse of the Bible must be factually true in its plain sense.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 4 by amsmith986, posted 05-02-2003 1:56 AM amsmith986 has not replied

  
Mister Pamboli
Member (Idle past 7604 days)
Posts: 634
From: Washington, USA
Joined: 12-10-2001


Message 8 of 29 (38768)
05-02-2003 12:25 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by amsmith986
05-02-2003 2:47 AM


quote:
Anything a human exalts can be a god to that person. But it is not a god by nature.
This is fine, but is not the plain meaning of the examples I gave - it is an exegetical reading, resolving a discrepancy with later, explicit references to the existence of only one God.
That's fine by me. The plain interpretation remains, however, that the writer of Psalm 82 and the writer of Deuteronomy believed in the existence of other gods, but equally believed in the supremeacy of their god. That they may have been mistaken in this belief, and that this mistake is made clear in later texts such as Isaiah or the Gospel of John, is a different matter. And, as I said, it's only a problem if you want all passages to be factually correct and perfectly reconciled to each other.
The difficulty with taking a word like elohim to mean "anything a human exalts" is that this leaves open the possibility that its use in over 2750 places in the old testament may also be open to this interpretation. Now these myriad citations can be teased apart by the use of the article and the grammatical context, but you will still be left with plenty of contexts where this use could be applicable. Elohim in its use clearly refers to a being.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 6 by amsmith986, posted 05-02-2003 2:47 AM amsmith986 has not replied

  
Mister Pamboli
Member (Idle past 7604 days)
Posts: 634
From: Washington, USA
Joined: 12-10-2001


Message 10 of 29 (38782)
05-02-2003 2:47 PM
Reply to: Message 9 by amsmith986
05-02-2003 2:40 PM


quote:
Pamboli, I kind of get what you are saying. There may be other super natural beings, but they would of been created by God, although they would not hold the same power as he does.
yes, and I think this is what the OT is showing us - the development and growth of the Jewish people from a pretty vague polytheism to a situation where one God is seen as supreme, and where eventually one God is seen as fulfilling all the necessary requirments - if I can put it so "contractually."
I think sometimes Biblical literalists get themselves in knots because they want the writings from these earlier Jewish thoughts to have exactly the same factual import as later writings - as if there never had been any growth or change in the nature of Judaism. This is, of course, a problem they get in to because they see the Bible as the stenographic word of God, rather than the inspired and prophetic word of God living through His relationship with mankind.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 9 by amsmith986, posted 05-02-2003 2:40 PM amsmith986 has not replied

  
Newer Topic | Older Topic
Jump to:


Copyright 2001-2023 by EvC Forum, All Rights Reserved

™ Version 4.2
Innovative software from Qwixotic © 2024