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Featured God of Abraham monotheistic?

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by Jim, May 6, 2019.

  1. Jim

    Jim Nets of Wonder

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    The God of Abraham doesn't look monotheistic to me. He looks like He doesn't have any number. Not one. Not three. Not many. Not even zero. Not even imaginary. Complex ... maybe. Different numbers at different times, with real and imaginary parts. I think that calling the religions in the line of Abraham "monotheistic" misses the whole point of scripture passages denouncing worship of other gods. It isn't about how many gods He is. It's about Who He(she/they/it/zir) Is(are). I learned that in a forum where people were debating about Trinity doctrines.
     
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  2. JJ50

    JJ50 Well-Known Member

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    The god featured in the Bible seems like a very human construction to me with all the worst of human characteristics.
     
  3. Brickjectivity

    Brickjectivity Veteran Member
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    Traditionalists insist God is omnipresent but of one being, that everything else is within God. One NT author states God is not the author of any confusion. Another NT author has visitors to a church bowing to its members, because God is among them (I Corinthians 14:24-25) "NIV ...if an unbeliever or an inquirer comes in while everyone is prophesying ... as the secrets of their heart are laid bare. So they will fall down and worship God, exclaiming, 'God is really among you!' " I must at this point treat a tangent to avoid confusion: This particular verse is very difficult I realize, because many people view prophecy here as a miraculous power. In fact I think these people prophesying are speaking the Torah not revealing personal life details. These are religious men, and the miracle here is the conviction of the heart *only* while miraculous powers are nothing. Those who read this verse thinking Christians should be able to tell you your dark secrets are totally missing the conversation. Psalm 19 is taken very seriously by these men. What we are seeing here is outreach to gentiles by Jews of that time, people who until then had the Torah exclusively but were sharing it. What they have is the Torah but also an extended concept of the Torah which in Christ is sometimes called Logos. They view themselves as the people of Jeremiah 31:around 33 "(NIV) ...I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts..." Thus it is an extended concept of Torah which nevertheless has the same power to reveal the secrets of the heart -- end of digression.

    Ergo proxy proctor froggy hocto opolis nevim
     
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  4. FragrantGrace

    FragrantGrace If winning isn't everything why do they keep score

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    There is a school of thought that says the god depicted in the Hebrew OT, Torah, was a demigod that arrived after humanity was created by God.
    That's why that god in the OT scriptures is so violent and compels his Hebrew armies to violence and mass slaughter at his whim.
    Then there is the other idea that the OT god is Lucifer. And that then is why there is a contradiction in the behaviors and acts of that god to the New Testament God that acted within and through Yeshua, Emmanuel, Jesus the Christ.

    These all could have their origins in the fact that Judaism was at first Polytheistic.
    The Birth and Evolution of Judaism

    It's all very interesting regardless of one's personal thoughts.
    Especially when Jesus talks about retribution that conflicts with the OT passages. The eye for an eye scriptures.
     
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  5. shmogie

    shmogie Well-Known Member

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    Christ spoke about and clearly understood that there would be a new covenant, replacing the one that God had with the Jews. He spoke about it.

    This new covenant is for all people, and is complete with new laws replacing those of the first covenant,

    The first covenant was given to a ragtag group of people, and was designed to preserve and separate them from other people. They were a nomadic group required to conquer others and establish a nation. Many first covenant laws were given to aid this process.

    They failed over and over again in completing the tasks God gave them.

    By the time of Christ they were insignificant on the world stage, and their religion had turned inward and was corrupted.

    Failure to recognize the Messiah was the final act in the first covenant.
     
  6. JJ50

    JJ50 Well-Known Member

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    Jesus was no sort of god, just a flawed human like the rest of us.
     
  7. Brickjectivity

    Brickjectivity Veteran Member
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    That is a very good account, however what is confusing here is the term 'Worship' when taken in a modern sense. Do not assume it means bowing, requesting, speaking kindly about an entity or anything like Krishna worship or the adoration of gods. I think at the core is a treaty where the worship consists of peace sacrifices shared together and as such is monotheistic though it is pre-exilic. As descendants of pagan religion we tend to think of worship very differently and can get confused about this history. Your link explains how God is discovered rather than invented. He/she/it is discovered through Jewish practices. One NT author gives a clue to this when he says the prophets searched intently to understand the grace to come to us. (1 Peter 1:10) They searched in the Torah through the fusion of peace offerings which revealed to them God's nature. This is the service and the worship which today has become confused with the adoration given to anthropomorphic beings. They learned to serve God through serving one another and in doing so revealed God to the world, through their cautious and tedious recording and refining and self discipline and their pacifism.


    Eye for an eye is part of the law protecting laborers with extensive implications for all. Compare it to our own laws which allow you to sue if you are injured on the job but which also allows you to sue a neighbor who injures you. The injury could be your eye, but that doesn't mean you're actually going to poke your neighbors eye out. It means they must compensate you.

    That is the school of ignorance. Don't listen to them.

    That is a complete mischaracterization. "The weapons of our warfare are not carnal" is not originally Christian but reveals Jewish practice. Again the school of ignorance cannot know about it, but we are informed about it by the NT authors. Effective war is not fought with swords but through peaceful means. Jesus says those who live by the sword will die by it, and that is Jewish thinking right there. It is not, as put forward by the school of ignorance, a Christian invention.
     
  8. FragrantGrace

    FragrantGrace If winning isn't everything why do they keep score

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    You don't know a thing about Christianity.
    There aren't new laws that replace the OT laws.
    And Christ never said what you claim in your first statement there.
     
  9. shmogie

    shmogie Well-Known Member

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    Really ? You think not ? Didn´t Christ say ¨ I give you a NEW law"? What is ¨the law of Christ¨ that John talks about ? Have you never read where Paul specifically talks about the two covenants ?

    You have read the Bible, haven´t you ? Itś all there
     
  10. shmogie

    shmogie Well-Known Member

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    You can believe that if you want. I don´t.
     
  11. Spartan

    Spartan Well-Known Member

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    Plurality in personal pronouns (such as "us" and "our") when used in reference to the Lord, lends documentary evidence for the plurality of God. A good case in point is Genesis 1:26:

    "Then God said, 'Let us make man in our image, in our likeness,
    and let him have dominion over the fist of the sea, and over the birds
    of the air, and over the livestock, and over all the earth."

    Here, we see a conversation that is taking place prior to the creation of man. Who is this person or persons with whom God is conversing? First, this 'person' or 'persons' is able to communicate with God in His own realm of timeless eternity. Because man had not yet been created, He was not speaking to someone of earthly intelligence, but someone in the heavenly, supernatural and eternal realm.

    Secondly, this person or persons with whom God is communicating apparently has the same kind of creative ability as God ("Let us make"). This clearly implies a cooperative effort between God (Elohim - plural) and the person or person with whom God is speaking.

    And finally, the person or persons with whom God is speaking is comparable, or identical, with God ("Let us make man in our image, after our likeness").

    When confronted with this passage, skeptics often claim that God is speaking with angels. However, this explanation fails to address a number of problems. First, there is no indication found anywhere in the Bible that says angels can create life. Secondly, nowhere is it indicated that angels were ever made in the image and likeness of God. And finally, there is no indication from scripture that mankind was ever made in the likeness of angels.

    Just one more example. In Genesis chapter 11, God is looking down at man's attempt to build the Tower of Babel to make a name for themselves. In verse 7 God states:

    "Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand one another."

    Once more, the personal pronoun "us" is used as a reference to God. Note that in verse 11:5 it is "the Lord" that is referred to when "us" is later used ("The Lord came down to see the city").

    So, God is more than just one individual.
     
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  12. IndigoChild5559

    IndigoChild5559 Loving God and my neighbor as myself.

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    The God of Abraham was always a singular being, always ECHAD (one). Abraham knew him as El Shaddai, God almighty. The Israelites knew him by name, the yad hey and vav hey (too sacred to even type out). "Elohim" is like the word deer: one deer many deer. You know which it is via context and grammar.

    The one thing that does evolve is whether the God of Abraham is the God of Israel among many heavenly beings or gods, or whether he is the only God.

    In the early years, many scholars would say that he is one among many gods, but he is THE God of Israel, or the chiefest among the gods, being the creator. Often Israel would get into trouble, because it would combine the worship of God with the worship of these other gods, the gods of other peoples, whom we of old often came to know through intermarriage. (Much like today when we marry Christians, and then find Christmas trees in our homes.)

    However, in the later years, our prophets spoke of there being no other God, no other Savior. For example, in a contest between Baal and God, Baal is completely impotent to rain down fire upon the alter -- he does not exist. The psalmists begin to write of other gods being mere stone and wood aka idols that have no real power because the gods don't really exist.

    This transition helps Israel to survive in captivity in Babylon. Had captivity occurred much earlier in history, it is likely that Israel would have concluded that the god of the conquering nation was stronger than the God of Israel. But at the time of the Babylonian captivity, because the gods of Babylon "didn't exist," reasons were found why the God of Israel would allow such captivity, and worship of God continued despite captivity.

    The same resulted during the 2000 year diaspora. Rather than converting to the Christian god of Jesus, Jews were willing to die for faithfulness to the God of Israel and obedience to our covenant. In this way, we maintained our identity as Jews.
     
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  13. Spartan

    Spartan Well-Known Member

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    For most Jewish people, the "Shema" is the foundational verse for the concept of a monotheistic God. It is the very heart of Judaism, and serves to confirm, in the Jewish mind, that there cannot be anything other than one God. The Shema verse is found in Deuteronomy 6:4, and says:

    "Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord."

    In Hebrew it reads, "Shema Yisrael Adonai Elohenu Adonai Echad." The word Shema is the first Hebrew word in the passage and means "hear." At first glance this seems to support the Jewish concept of a monotheistic God. However, a careful examination of Deuteronomy 6:4 actually establishes, rather than refutes, the plurality of God. In fact, the Shema verse actually presents one of the strongest arguments for the tri-unity of God in the entire Bible. Here's why. The last word of the Shema verse is echad, which is translated into English as the word "one." This is what is known as a compound-unity noun - that is to say, a noun which demonstrates oneness or unity, but at the same time can contain two or more entities. A number of scriptural examples will help make the point.

    Genesis 2:24, speaking of the union of Adam and Eve, reads: "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become ONE flesh." Here, the Hebrew word that is used for "one" (one flesh) is the same word for "one" that is found in the Shema verse - echad. It clearly speaks of the unity of more than one person into a united, or singular, entity.

    In Genesis 1:5, Moses used this same word when he described the first day of creation: "And God called the light day, and the darkness He called night. And the evening and the morning were the first day." This "one" day, or "first" day is the Hebrew word echad. The one day referred to was comprised of both light and darkness - evening and morning.

    And still another example is found in Jeremiah 32, verses 38-39 which reads, "And they shall be my people, and I will be their God; And I will give THEM ONE HEART." Here, the many people are given "one" (echad) heart. A unity of two or more individuals into oneness.

    Interestingly, however, there is another Hebrew word which signifies an absolute oneness, or singleness. That word is yachid. It is found in such scriptures as Genesis 22:2 (only son - one son), in Proverbs 4:3, in Judges 11:34, in Jeremiah 6:26, Amos 8:10, and in Zechariah 12:10 - "....and they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for an only son." So considering that the Old Testament is the inspired word of God, Jehovah had a choice of using a word that implies singularity (yachid), or plurality in oneness (echad). He chose echad to make his point, so that it might be understood there is a plurality in union.

    "Deuteronomy 6:4 does not deny the Trinity but rather establishes one of the planks of the Trinity: there is one God.

    God bless!
     
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  14. IndigoChild5559

    IndigoChild5559 Loving God and my neighbor as myself.

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    You must be joking if you think One means anything other than One. It is true that Echad can be either communal or absolutely one -- oral Torah preserves the knowledge of which is meant, just as oral Torah tells us which vowels are used for the words which in Hebrew are only consonants. ONLY Christians go on about this so-called "plurality" in the Shema.
     
  15. siti

    siti Well-Known Member

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    If "Let us make man in our image..." is evidence of plurality of God, presumably "we are not amused" indicates that Queen Victoria was more than one person...we think not! :D
     
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  16. IndigoChild5559

    IndigoChild5559 Loving God and my neighbor as myself.

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    This is God talking to the angels.
     
  17. Jim

    Jim Nets of Wonder

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    I see it as confirmation of my view that God is above and beyond being numbered, not that there are three of Him. One, meaning that He is undivided, not that he can be numbered with the number “1.”
     
  18. siti

    siti Well-Known Member

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    How do you know that - the argument seemed to be based on the use of plural pronouns was evidence that God is more than one - its a common enough Trinitarian argument, but the reality is that languages (including ancient Hebrew I believe) sometimes use plurals to denote greatness and grandeur rather than plurality of persons (e.g. at Ecclesiastes 12:1) - in a manner analogous the royal "We" as in "we are not amused" when only one person (who happens to be the Queen) is expressing lack of amusement. Not saying that God can't be a plurality but one has to be careful using linguistic devices as evidence in theological discussions.
     
  19. Spartan

    Spartan Well-Known Member

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    So you're comparing Queen Victoria to scripture?

    LOL!
     
  20. Spartan

    Spartan Well-Known Member

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    I'll stick with what I presented, which is correct. I even provided scriptural examples to confirm what was noted.

    Perhaps God should have anticipated your uneasiness with echad and used yachid instead. Unfortunately for you he didn't.

    You should also review the post I did where plural pronouns are used for God. Here's the link to that: God of Abraham monotheistic?
     
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