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Author Topic:   If there is a God .. is there only 1?
Peter
Member (Idle past 1455 days)
Posts: 2161
From: Cambridgeshire, UK.
Joined: 02-05-2002


Message 1 of 29 (38567)
05-01-2003 7:41 AM


I know that in the bible God says:
'Thou shalt have no other God but me'
Although probably not in English , but does that
mean that he is just one of many Gods, but does not
want his followers worshipping any others ... or
is there some qualification that makes it clear
that (biblically speaking) He is the only God in existence?

  
amsmith986
Inactive Member


Message 2 of 29 (38706)
05-01-2003 11:47 PM


Read the latter part of Isaiah 44:8.
Men can make a god out of anything, but(if you believe the Bible,which I do),there is only one God by nature.

Replies to this message:
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Mister Pamboli
Member (Idle past 7553 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.

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amsmith986
Inactive Member


Message 4 of 29 (38728)
05-02-2003 1:56 AM


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).

Replies to this message:
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Mister Pamboli
Member (Idle past 7553 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.

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amsmith986
Inactive Member


Message 6 of 29 (38732)
05-02-2003 2:47 AM


Read John 1:3
Any supernatural being came into existence by God.
Read what happened in the contest between Elijah and the Baal worshipers.
Anything a human exalts can be a god to that person. But it is not a god by nature.
I believe that demons can manifest themselves, and when someone exalts
them, they become, in the man-made sense, gods.
The Bible excplicitly states there is only one all-powerful, supreme
God.

Replies to this message:
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 Message 8 by Mister Pamboli, posted 05-02-2003 12:25 PM amsmith986 has not replied

  
crashfrog
Member (Idle past 1443 days)
Posts: 19762
From: Silver Spring, MD
Joined: 03-20-2003


Message 7 of 29 (38735)
05-02-2003 3:03 AM
Reply to: Message 6 by amsmith986
05-02-2003 2:47 AM


Read what happened in the contest between Elijah and the Baal worshipers.
Honestly? That's not much to stand on. "History is written by the victors", as they say. Let me put it another way, assuming it's a true story - if Elijah hadn't won do you think the story would have been included in the bible?

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Mister Pamboli
Member (Idle past 7553 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.

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amsmith986
Inactive Member


Message 9 of 29 (38781)
05-02-2003 2:40 PM


There are lots of places in the Bible where Israel didn't win,
not in contests of who's God/god was supreme, but in battles with other nations.(And you will notice, it was always their fault, not God's).
So history is not always written by the victors.
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.
(angels,demons)

Replies to this message:
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 Message 15 by funkmasterfreaky, posted 05-05-2003 12:45 PM amsmith986 has not replied

  
Mister Pamboli
Member (Idle past 7553 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.

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amsmith986
Inactive Member


Message 11 of 29 (38785)
05-02-2003 3:00 PM


I see what you mean there too, but I think that the Jewish people were always monotheistic.

Replies to this message:
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 Message 23 by Peter, posted 05-14-2003 6:35 AM amsmith986 has not replied

  
amsmith986
Inactive Member


Message 12 of 29 (38792)
05-02-2003 4:08 PM


I see what you mean there too, but I think that the Jewish people were always monotheistic.

  
amsmith986
Inactive Member


Message 13 of 29 (38793)
05-02-2003 4:08 PM


I see what you mean there too, but I think that the Jewish people were always monotheistic.

  
amsmith986
Inactive Member


Message 14 of 29 (38796)
05-02-2003 4:11 PM


Ooops! Triple post!Sorry .

  
funkmasterfreaky
Inactive Member


Message 15 of 29 (39012)
05-05-2003 12:45 PM
Reply to: Message 9 by amsmith986
05-02-2003 2:40 PM


Victor's History
The bible is actually seems to be pretty honest about even it's hero's. Their mistakes, sins, and blunders are recorded, alongside their success. It would be a pretty discouraging thing if the bible didn't show that all mankind was imperfect. If we only read about Elijah as a powerful man of God, not being told that he fled in terror from a human adversary, we would have a flawed view that Elijah was perfect. What about Moses, David, Solomon? The list goes on and on, imperfect men that by the grace of God, were used for God's purpose inspite of their imperfections.
I do not think it fair to say that the bible is a case of the victor's history. Men of God fall, the nation of Israel falls more than a few times. Doesn't sound that victorious to me, yet it is recorded.
------------------
Saved by an incredible Grace.

This message is a reply to:
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