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2009-07-30

Passages like Genesis 1:26 really make you question the modern interpretation of the bible. Judaism and Christianity are strictly monotheistic religions based on the principle that there is one single god; yet, there are several passages in the bible that make references to multiple gods (i.e., polytheism). The reason for these contradictions is probably related to earliest Jews being henotheists. While they only worshiped their own god, they still believed that other gods existed.

 

Comments

haileris writes:

 

hm. i don't know exactly, but there are some major translation issues with the bible... going from Hebrew to greek and latin before reaching modern european languages...
is there something like Majestic Plural in Hebrew? Because it would still be a proper way of talking about himself for the LORD.
Just my two cents on that. xD

Keep this comic going! I love it!

TheAlmightyGuru writes:

 

There are indeed major translation issues with the bible. Although we have various early sources, those sources don't neatly mesh.

We've known for a long time about the differences between the Hebrew Masoretic text, the Septuagint, and the Samaritan Pentateuch. More recently, the Dead Sea scrolls were discovered (which predate the aforementioned sources) and have several discrepancies with the others as well.

Your comment about the majestic plural is a great point, I'll see what I can find on that. There are several other theories for the use of plural "gods" in the bible, and they will be addressed in more detail in the upcoming panels.

Winterset writes:

 

Forgive my interjection, but the majestic plural doesn't change the problem. The majestic plural is a statement using "we" to indicate the entire throne and the descendants/subjects thereof. In this case there is only one on the throne, no descendants and not yet any subjects as he's about to create some. The "royal we", as it's called, would still indicate the existence of multiple gods.

Besides, what's the difference between that god making angels and another creator god making other gods? It's still a self-denying pantheism.

HeebAnon writes:

 

Could be the royal "we". Also, Judaism was originally not monotheistic but rather monolatrous (the difference between not recognizing other gods and not worshipping them).

Also, the various text sources are all pretty similar (not by any means identical) about the earlier stuff in the bible, IIRC.

DoubleU writes:

 

I've heard his name was "Elohim", which means "The Gods". I'm not sure what that means, although I've heard it taught before that it IS a plural group.

TheAlmightyGuru writes:

 

"Elohim" is indeed plural. The singular form is "eloah".

Katy writes:

 

There is actually nothing in the bible to deny the *existence* of other gods - it is only forbidden for Yahweh's pet people to *worship* other gods ... Also, those who aren't Israelites are not bound to follow the Laws, so all the crazy "thou shall nots" and "do this" stuff in the Old Testament is not relevant to anyone else ...

TheAlmightyGuru writes:

 

It may not even be wrong for the Hebrews to worship other gods. The first commandment reads, "Thou shalt have no other gods -before- me." Some people have interpreted this to mean that you can worship other gods, but you must treat Yahweh as the most important god.

Katy writes:

 

That is certainly true - I've used that argument myself a time or two, just for fun
:-)

TallyHo writes:

 

Or, He could be referring to the other two parts of the Holy Trinity, or the Trinity as a collective.

TheAlmightyGuru writes:

 

@TallyHo: That seems unlikely since the idea of the Trinity is never presented in the bible, and certainly was not a part of any of the Jewish texts.

Bahookee writes:

 

If we being one are three body soul ( mind and emotions ) and spirit ( our essence of our life force.mthem why can't our creator be three yet one. The substance tha makes al that exist atoms are three separate and opposite energies yet ONE... Everything in life goes to a primary number of what 3 how is it that God say the two shall become one THIS is a great mystery! God is ONE GOD in three distinctive separate entities the Father Son and Holy Spirit.. The son doesn't mean born of but one of relationship

TheAlmightyGuru writes:

 

Humans are not body, mind, and spirit, they are body alone. The mind is an emergent property of the brain and there is no such thing as spirit or soul. Also, atoms are not made of up three energies. I'm assuming you're referring to protons, neutrons, and electrons, but there are actually hundreds of subatomic particles in an atom. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subatomic_particle)

It is a logical absurdity to say that something has more than 100% or is made up of 100% of two or more over-lapping or contradicting properties. Saying that Jesus was 100% human and 100% God is like saying that a color is 100% black and 100% white.

Guest writes:

 

What are these "atoms" of which you speak? It sounds as though some forgettable idiot stumbled into some sort of small particle and had a desperate need to compensate for something so they started screaming about it being indivisible even though the consistent variation between them makes it pretty clear that they are working off of some systemic variation drawn forth from variations in their constituents...

Next thing you know there will be abject morons of obscene incompetence talking about multiple universes as though fundamental concepts of the composition of existence are toys that the first half-baked idiot that stumbles into an embarrassingly immature concept can just tear down thousands of years of gradual progress because they want to big-note themselves...

I mean, how are we supposed to discard god if we throw away the concept of the universe? I mean, the vast majority of god-worship is based upon "it created us so whatever it says is exactly what we deserve" but it is obvious that there are no external influences to the universe, thus there is nothing external to justify its existence and everything internal is a product of its nature and thus subordinate to it and thus irrelevant to its justification. Therefore the universe exists because it "just does" and thus and gods that exist are, at best, products of "just happened to be a component of the single scenario of all of existence that just happened to be the one that happened to exist" and thus, ultimately, any form of creator-worship must inherently be subservient to the ultimate creator: Dumb luck!(no, not fate, fate would have properties, and thus couldn't exist without the universe, dumb luck can only impart properties to the universe because dumb luck is a fictional concept to describe valid justifications that are not justified...)


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Oh the irony!