No Other Gods "On My Face." Rook, care to comment?

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No Other Gods "On My Face." Rook, care to comment?

Reposted from the James Randi Bulletin, Dec 28

 

There Are Other Gods Out There

commandments

Reader and frequent commentator Avital Pilpel has sent me a 334-word message that I will give you here in full, not only because it’s interesting and from an expert, but because it’s brief enough for you to handle easily. Had it been 350 words… Referring to the item at randi.org/joom/content/view/142/27/#i2, Mr. Pilpel writes:

In your discussion with Jay Roessler, both of you are – slightly – wrong, due to translation problems.

The original Hebrew says, "Lo ihyu lachem elohim acherim al panay" – you shall have no other Gods al panay. Literally, "al panay" means "on my face." It is an Hebrew idiom, meaning "in preference to me." It is often used elsewhere in the Bible in matrimonial matters, i.e., when someone divorces one wife and marries another al paneyha – "over her face" – that is, in preference to her.

The ten commandments, like many other interactions between Jehovah and the Israelites (or their patriarchs) in the Bible, are written in the language of a marriage contract. The Israelites promise to "worship no other God in preference" to Jehovah, while He, in return, agrees to "only recognize you from all the families [i.e., tribes, nations] of the Earth." The treaty concludes, "You shall be my Nation and I shall be your God." There is no implication in those parts of the Bible that other gods do not exist, or that Jehovah is necessarily the most powerful God of some pantheon (let alone all-powerful), any more than there is a claim that the Israelites are the only nation on earth or the most powerful one.

This type of belief, which assumes other gods exist but demands a special relationship a specific god and a specific tribe – in particular, that preference (or exclusivity) in “worship” be given to that god – is known as henotheism. It can be seen as a stage between full polytheism (when other gods may be worshipped freely) and monotheism (when it is denied that other gods exist at all, and not merely forbidden to worship them). Some of the most important parts of the Bible – Jehovah's appearance in Mt. Sinai to give the Israelites the ten commandments, the pact between Abraham and Jehovah that makes Palestine the "promised land," etc. – are henotheistic. The Jews only became monotheistic, for complicated reasons, long after these parts of the Bible were written.

Okay, and I see that this comment only supports even more my contention that there is nothing in the Bible that says the God they endorse and so admire, is the only deity…! Is this a “find,” or what?

Several of those who posted comments on last week’s page also reflected these observations of Mr. Pilpel, though less specifically. Thank you!

 

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Interesting. I've noticed

Interesting.

I've noticed other verses in the bible where it mentions other gods.  I think it is odd that the bible often speaks of these gods and yet rarely seems to call them "fake".

More indications that christianity is an evolved form of polytheism.

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I love the linguistic

I love the linguistic acrobatics to avoid the obvious tyrany.

This is what they want to twist the hebrew into dispite the tribalism of all cultures which was do or die.

"I will not be a party to to you if you chose not to follow me"

NICE ATTEMPT BUT NO DICE!

This is the same pathetic jelouse rage Bush has for political oposition,

"You are for or against"

Tell me, even in this lame attempt to downplay human jelousy from a diety which is supposed to be above that, tell me, where is the oposition able to walk away without getting their head chopped off over a dissagreement?

Name me one holy book where the head character "deity" says, "If you dissagree, or love someone else, I wont blow a gasket, I will let you go your own path without animosity or punishment" 

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   Hambydammit ,

   Hambydammit , That IS a good find. I think I am maybe to forgiving of the Bible.

I've been saying "No God before me" means  "I AM GOD, AS YOU" as meaning all is god.

I read that Moses asked god (in his head ) how should I say what god is , and god replied, "say I am what I am. Hey yeah, I am god as you are god !

Seems this wasn't the original meaning.

Oh well , I like mine better, It's more buddha like !

Damn religion, it's killing us ..... thanks for that Hamby


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I read this earlier today,

I read this earlier today, and was going to post it.

 

I am interested in Rook's thoughts as well. 


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bump   Rook?  

bump

 

Rook?

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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Older chapters of the

Older chapters of the Genesis were composed of mythology that existed before the Hebrew settlement of Israel and a careful reading can find plentiful similairities to polytheistic or pantheistic religions.  Although Exodus was written much later, along, I believe with the later chapters of Genesis, it remains a polytheistic work. 

I doubt that either of these books were written by a single person.  Genesis reads as if several books were simply packaged together and some Jewish historians claim that Exodus was written by committee at some point during the Greek period.

Between the two books we encounter several references to god;  God the Creator, the God of the Garden of Eden, the God of Noah, the God of Abraham, and finally, at the end of Exodus we meet the fire God Jehova who makes a covenent with Moses.  These may be the same God in different forms, and certainly different practice, or they might be seperate beings entirely.

One point to note for sure:  Jehova, the fire god of Exodus is a totally new spin on the gods we see in the earlier chapters of the Bible.  Exodus does not claim any link between Jehova and the before mentioned god(s).  Jehova lives on Mount Sainai and Moses goes up to meet him and they cut a deal.  Jehova will no longer be trapped on a mountain with nobody to worship him, and in return, the Jews can stop wandering in the wilderness. 

The modern scholars believe that the Jews of the Kingdom of Israel worshiped the Jehova in their Temple and that Exodus was a later attempt to make a "prequel" to the later books of laws.  It was perhaps a literary attempt to create a national mythology for Israel, which could compete with Greek culture.

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henotheistic?

If anyone has read the story of the Israelites, you'll note that they were called out of an existing nation as a people.  the God who called them was the God "I am" an ontological statement necessarily referring to the only existent diety.  God speaks of other nation's supposed deities in speaking to Israel and the miliue out of which Israel was called was polytheistic.  This by no means supports the notion that the Bible supports the actual existence of other deities.  One should only refer to the shema of Israel Deut. 6:4-6 which starts at the very beginning "Hear O Israel, the Lord your God, the Lord is One."  Which has been recited day and night by every good Jew since the giving of the Law.  Monotheism is a foundational concept to the Hebrew worldview.


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spumoni wrote: If anyone

spumoni wrote:
If anyone has read the story of the Israelites, you'll note that they were called out of an existing nation as a people.  the God who called them was the God "I am" an ontological statement necessarily referring to the only existent diety.  God speaks of other nation's supposed deities in speaking to Israel and the miliue out of which Israel was called was polytheistic.  This by no means supports the notion that the Bible supports the actual existence of other deities.  One should only refer to the shema of Israel Deut. 6:4-6 which starts at the very beginning "Hear O Israel, the Lord your God, the Lord is One."  Which has been recited day and night by every good Jew since the giving of the Law.  Monotheism is a foundational concept to the Hebrew worldview.

Monotheism may be foundational but doesn't seem to be Biblical without the extra gymnastics you're doing.

Why should Deuteronomy (the Second Law) exist unless they were trying to fix the mistakes they made in the first?

Not that they fixed anything... 

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Not really. God made a

Not really. God made a covenant with a new people.  he established the conditions of the covenant.  No gymnastics, its quick straightforward.  The conditions were designed from the beginning from within the ancient near eastern polytheistic milieu.  Deuteronomy was a restatement of the covenant.  The fact that Israel always struggled to fulfill their end of the bargain does nothing to change the initial conditions.

 


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   You can read that

   You can read that bible a zillion ways ....

Can't you see ?,  it was the early realization of Atheism , geezzz people ??? Read it again, better yet BURN that book for Jesus , he'd like that .... !!!


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Got to love atheist logic. I

Got to love atheist logic. I don't like something, therefore it doesn't exist.  Brilliant!!


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   YUP , All we have is

   YUP ,

All we have is logic .... that would not be god ?

God is Logic , NO ? God is a fool ? Who are you ?


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I apologize for taking so

I apologize for taking so long to reply, I did not know this topic existed.  For starters I agree with this subject above, although I'll have to defer to the expert on the translation here.  It is correct that in the Old Testament that there is no monotheism - the concept was put to rest actually by the discover of Ugarit.  Ugarit not only showed the archaeological community that the Hebrews during the persian period and before worshipped one God out of a Pantheon of them (called the Ugaritic Pantheon), but that Yahweh was the son of El'yon - Professor Mark Smith has written many books on Ugarit. 

When the Hebrew scriptures were written (probably during the late Persian period - early Hellenistic age), the Hebrews were already immersed in cultures outside of their own in the Diaspora, and seems unlikely that they would have been solely monotheistic throughout the early stages of this period.  Throughout their time in the Diaspora, it is certain that the fondness for this singular God, Yahweh, would have been a beakon, much like Zeus, the all powerful.  But even during the Hellenistic and Roman periods the Jews did partake in worshipping other Gods and joining mystery religions - likes the Pythagoreans, the Orphics, the Dionysiacs, etc...

The concept of monotheism really didn't take until after Constantine abolished all other religions making Christianity the official Roman religion - this is simply because the previous religions were based on polytheism, where as Christianity in the 4th century was monotheistic - as in only one God (three parts) - and that is where our concept of mootheism comes from today.  

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spumoni wrote: Got to love

spumoni wrote:
Got to love atheist logic. I don't like something, therefore it doesn't exist. Brilliant!!

Can't not like God - We've never met.

Then again, I'm not sure you have either. I think, like many theists, you find what you want to do/think is right and put God's imprimatur on it. 

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
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spumoni wrote: Not really.

spumoni wrote:

Not really. God made a covenant with a new people. he established the conditions of the covenant. No gymnastics, its quick straightforward. The conditions were designed from the beginning from within the ancient near eastern polytheistic milieu. Deuteronomy was a restatement of the covenant. The fact that Israel always struggled to fulfill their end of the bargain does nothing to change the initial conditions.

 

So all that crap he did in Exodus doesn't apply anymore? Which set of laws gets followed? Exodus or Deuteronomy?

Then again, if you take the words of Paul of Tarsus seriously, neither applies to you - you're under grace and there is no sin for the believer.  

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
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Rook_Hawkins wrote:I

Rook_Hawkins wrote:

I apologize for taking so long to reply, I did not know this topic existed.  For starters I agree with this subject above, although I'll have to defer to the expert on the translation here.  It is correct that in the Old Testament that there is no monotheism - the concept was put to rest actually by the discover of Ugarit.  Ugarit not only showed the archaeological community that the Hebrews during the persian period and before worshipped one God out of a Pantheon of them (called the Ugaritic Pantheon), but that Yahweh was the son of El'yon - Professor Mark Smith has written many books on Ugarit. 

When the Hebrew scriptures were written (probably during the late Persian period - early Hellenistic age), the Hebrews were already immersed in cultures outside of their own in the Diaspora, and seems unlikely that they would have been solely monotheistic throughout the early stages of this period.  Throughout their time in the Diaspora, it is certain that the fondness for this singular God, Yahweh, would have been a beakon, much like Zeus, the all powerful.  But even during the Hellenistic and Roman periods the Jews did partake in worshipping other Gods and joining mystery religions - likes the Pythagoreans, the Orphics, the Dionysiacs, etc...

The concept of monotheism really didn't take until after Constantine abolished all other religions making Christianity the official Roman religion - this is simply because the previous religions were based on polytheism, where as Christianity in the 4th century was monotheistic - as in only one God (three parts) - and that is where our concept of mootheism comes from today.  

This statement is so laughable its not even worthy of response.  Read a book for heavens sake. 


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"Monotheism" is at the

 "Monotheism" is at the root of the early atheistic concept , and are the greatest oral translations of the Jesus philosophy writers and interpretations.  ( as in the gnostic books, not included in your XIAN  Pauline bible EDIT ..... why not ??????   )

Who the hell needs an ancient book to form a god concept ? ALL IS ONE ! We are on our own. We are GOD !  sheeezzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz , said Jesus/Buddha .....

"Jesus" was atheist !  (too)....  read the Thomas version ! Religion sucks said Jesus.   

    Damn sick Xains messing with my Jesus  


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spumoni wrote:Rook_Hawkins

spumoni wrote:

Rook_Hawkins wrote:

I apologize for taking so long to reply, I did not know this topic existed.  For starters I agree with this subject above, although I'll have to defer to the expert on the translation here.  It is correct that in the Old Testament that there is no monotheism - the concept was put to rest actually by the discover of Ugarit.  Ugarit not only showed the archaeological community that the Hebrews during the persian period and before worshipped one God out of a Pantheon of them (called the Ugaritic Pantheon), but that Yahweh was the son of El'yon - Professor Mark Smith has written many books on Ugarit. 

When the Hebrew scriptures were written (probably during the late Persian period - early Hellenistic age), the Hebrews were already immersed in cultures outside of their own in the Diaspora, and seems unlikely that they would have been solely monotheistic throughout the early stages of this period.  Throughout their time in the Diaspora, it is certain that the fondness for this singular God, Yahweh, would have been a beakon, much like Zeus, the all powerful.  But even during the Hellenistic and Roman periods the Jews did partake in worshipping other Gods and joining mystery religions - likes the Pythagoreans, the Orphics, the Dionysiacs, etc...

The concept of monotheism really didn't take until after Constantine abolished all other religions making Christianity the official Roman religion - this is simply because the previous religions were based on polytheism, where as Christianity in the 4th century was monotheistic - as in only one God (three parts) - and that is where our concept of mootheism comes from today.  

This statement is so laughable its not even worthy of response.  Read a book for heavens sake. 

Which part would you like to be taken to task on first?

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