Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Plurality of the Gods

At the declaration that one believes in more than one God, one is branded a heretic, lunatic or a pagan.  However, in this brand of theology, the word “God” no longer carries the connotation that it has held throughout church history. 

If one believes that the God of the Old Testament is a saucerian, it is logical to suppose that He is not the only being who developed to that point of eminence.  Therefore, one can surmise that there are also other gods of like nature.  This thought brought to its conclusion is the basis on which “Spaceship Theology” rests.

Other Writer's Ideas

For the benefit of those astronomers who are searching outer space for signs of intelligent life;  for scholars, and sceptics, who say there is no evidence that extra-terrestrials have ever visited our planet, let me quote, people throughout the Early World believed that E.T’s, from the Pleiades, civilized their people and that these beings were worshipped as gods. 
Alien contact – Fact or Fiction. By: Leonard Farra

Concerning the multiplicity of the gods, the Epic of Gilgamesh tells us that the gods are created beings. When on high the Heavens had not been named, firm ground below had not been called by name...when no gods whatever had been brought into being, uncalled by name, their destinies undetermined - then it was that the gods were formed within them.
Archaeology and The Old Testament, James B. Pritchard, (Princeton University Press, Princeton, N.J.)

Here we might insert one of the verses Mr Meek mentions, Thus says the Lord God of Israel: ‘Your fathers, including Terah, the father of Abraham and the father of Nahor, dwelt on the other side of the River in old times; and they served other gods. the most we can claim for Moses in it, (Joshua 24:2), is monolatry. Neither here nor anywhere else does he deny the existence of gods other than Yahweh, nor does he assert the sole existence of Yahweh. 
Hebrew Origins. Theophile James Meek, (Harper Torchbooks. 1960)

Monolatry means, worship of only one God, although others may be believed to exist.

Mr Asimov agrees with Mr Meek by saying, It is clear from the Old Testament that the early Hebrew religion was a very primitive one… The religion was polydaemonistic (many demons) and polytheistic (many gods), so the Old Testament explicitly affirms.
Guide To The Bible. Isaac Asimov, (Avenol Books. New York)

What The Bible Says

In the beginning God. Gen.1:1.  Even fundamentalist believers accept that the word, God, is a plural form of the word.  Dr James Strong, a Methodist Theologian, in his Dictionary of Hebrew Words of the Old Testament gives this definition of the word "God".  The plural form of the Deity, in English, especially used with the article.  So we should really read Gen.1:1 like this, in the beginning, the gods created the heaven and the earth.

The word, God, according to Dr Strong was the same word, at the time the Old Testament was being written, as the word that was used in speaking to or about magistrates.  Therefore, the word, God, is not as majestic a word as Bible teachers have told us to believe it is. 

Then God said, “Let us make man in our image”. Gen. 1:26    The obvious questions are; 

  1. to whom was God talking when he said, let us make man in our image?  He must be speaking to more than himself.  
  2. Why would He say our image if there were only one God?  If these gods were only one God, why would he speak to Himself?  
  3. Why not just think, “I will make man in my own image”, and then proceed to do it?
About the plurality of the gods, Mr Roop, in his commentary on Genesis, wrote, God speaks to a group, stating that the man and the woman have become ‘like one of us.’  …Yahweh sits in the company of other divine beings. 
Believers Church Bible Commentary – Genesis. Eugene F. Roop, (Herald Press. Scottdale, Kitchener, Ontario.)

Then, it seems that, almost as an afterthought, because that statement does not fit church theology, he adds, for example, angels.  Surely, no traditional or evangelical Bible student believes that angels are divine beings.  His study led Mr Roop to state that there is a plurality of Gods, but then he tries to diminish that finding by calling those other gods, angels.  It seems, that Mr Roop is trying to cover up the truth he uncovered in his Bible study; not that this is unusual among Bible students!  

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.  Gen. 1:27  Again, changing the singular to the plural, as Dr Strong says we need to do, we read it like this, So the gods created man in their own image, in the image of the gods created they them; male and female created they them. 

I will pass through the land of Egypt...and I will smite all the firstborn...and on all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment.  Ex. 12:12.  Mr Strong says that the definition for the word, gods, in, gods of Egypt, is the same as the definition for, God, in the phrase, in the beginning God created heaven and earth.  If the Egyptians called on Ra, Isis or Osiris by name; and if they believed that their gods heard them; are we really in any position to say that their gods were only idols and not real forces?  In this instance, are we going to take the Bible literally, or are we going to say, as the church at large does, “it doesn’t mean what it says”?

This argument, of course, does not diminish the fact that the Bible very clearly speaks of idols; those things made of inanimate objects that are worshipped as gods.  The prophets of the Old Testament, speaking to the Jews, made it a point to denounce the worship of such items because Jehovah, their God, had told them not to make any graven image to worship.  That simple fact indicates that some other real, living gods, did not mind if their followers made images of them.

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