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Thou shalt have no other gods before me

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by IceFire, Jul 31, 2004.

  1. IceFire

    IceFire Member

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    The first of the ten commandments. Does it admit that there are other gods or is it a warning against false deities?
     
  2. Bryan X

    Bryan X Member

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    No, there are no other gods. That verse you quoted simply means that you shall not worship any gods other than God the Father in heaven. It does not mean that other gods exist. You DO know that there are people nowadays that worship other gods. Little do they know, those gods don't exist. Not to mention, some people make images out of carved wood or stone, and they worship these images and look at them as gods.

    And when you use the word "admit", are you saying that the Bible lied(or something to that extent) about some part or another and then finally admitted to it?
     
  3. IceFire

    IceFire Member

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    Oh sorry admit was a bad word to use there, maybe imply would be a better word? I am very aware that many people don't recognize the christian god as the only god.
     
  4. Jayhawker Soule

    Jayhawker Soule <yawn> ignore </yawn>
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    Nascent Israelite henotheism/monolatry is well established by scholars. The sentence means exactly what it seems to mean: membership in the cult of yhwh demanded loyalty to yhwh.
     
  5. Linus

    Linus Well-Known Member

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    I believe it is a warning against false gods. Since there is no other indication of any other real gods within the Bible, I would assume that it is a commandment for the Israelites not to put false deities before their real and only one.
     
  6. Ardhanariswar

    Ardhanariswar I'm back!

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    this is a debate rite? eek, i wont get into it.
     
  7. Rex

    Rex Founder
    It's My Birthday!

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    [font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]KJV [/font][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]- 3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me. [/font]

    [font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]NRSV - 3 you shall have no other gods before me.[/font]

    [font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]TEV -3 "Worship no god but me.[/font]
     
  8. IceFire

    IceFire Member

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    You are perfectly welcome to if you wish.
     
  9. Bryan X

    Bryan X Member

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    No harsh feelings. I prefer the word 'teach'.

    "Does it teach that there are other gods or is it a warning against false deities?"

    That sounds much better.
     
  10. Ardhanariswar

    Ardhanariswar I'm back!

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    God is God is God. everyone worships Him in His numerous forms. i suspect that the 'no other gods' thing was probably made for people who worshipped different forms of Him without knowing it. hmm, i dunno.
     
  11. Pah

    Pah Uber all member

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    When Moses come down from the mountain carring the first tablets, he came across his tribe worshipping a God (Baal, I beleive) in the form of a golden calf. Exodus 32 1:6

    The commandment is in two verses in Exodus 20:3 and 20:23 and, of course in Deuteronomy 5:7 and conveys that God would not share a space with other Gods. So they, the others, must have existed if God said so. Right?

    -pah-
     
  12. Runt

    Runt Well-Known Member

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    That, or the verses convey that God doesn't want anyone imagining that there are other Gods... perhaps he means that there shall be no space in humanity's heart/mind for other (imaginary) Gods. I mean, if I had kids, I wouldn't want them thinking they owed their loyalty to a bunch of imaginary parents that they made up in their heads!

    That is, of course, assuming the Christian God exists, or actually ever said anything in the Bible. My opinion is that, no, he doesn't and didn't... but there ARE other ways of looking at those verses regardless.
     
  13. Pah

    Pah Uber all member

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    Well, I'm certainly not going to argue with you, Runt. Without an an analysis of the Hebrew (which is beyond me) either one of us could be right - in the interests of an academic issue.

    But do allow me to present a further bit of information. The commandment was delivered to the "chosen" following their time in Egypt.


    Now if you had a Christian or Jewish bias, you might call these Gods imaginary but then it would be difficult to explain why the God of Abraham was real and not the others. One who reads the bible literally would have to say that if named, the god existed.

    -pah-
     
  14. anders

    anders Well-Known Member

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    I find it obvious that the command means "There are lots of gods, but you, Israel, must only have me". Other gods are mentioned in the OT. The examples pah quoted should be more than enough.

    My favourite argument is that God declares that he is a "jealous God" (Ex. 20:5). What could he possibly be jealous of? The only solution would be a god who is even mightier. This seems to be the view of the Gnosticists, who called the creator god "Samael" (the god of the blinded), clearly inferior to his boss: Jaldabaoth is the chief ruler, and later on the Demiurge [the Great Artificer or Fabricator, the Architect of the universe] par excellence. (last sentence from the Catholic Encyclopedia's articles Gnosticism and Demiurge).
     
  15. Jayhawker Soule

    Jayhawker Soule <yawn> ignore </yawn>
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    Perhaps all things are possible, but there is absolutely no basis, beyond wishful thinking, to doubt the monolatry of the early Israelites. Even my username points to remnants of belief in the West Semitic Divine Council, as does Biblical references to the "Sons of God".

    There is scholarship in the field for those who are interested in pursuing it. I noted a number of books elsewhere, and the list could easily be extended. An overview can be found here.
     
  16. Ronald

    Ronald Well-Known Member

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    Elohim is one, the one and only creator, He says "Beside me there is no other god."
    Elohim created Adam in his image, male and female He created them. My opinion and the opinion of countless Rabbis, Elohim is/has attributes of both male and female/Elohim.
    The second commandment is the prohibition of idols, four negative injunctions (1) forbids belief in idols. (2) forbids possession of idols. (3) forbids worship (prostration, sacrifice, offerings, libations) (4) forbids worship, by means unique to it.
    references TaNaCH.
     
  17. Pah

    Pah Uber all member

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    It is serendipitious that you used Elohim rather than another name for the god of the Old Testament. From one of the same sites, I quoted earlier


    It seems the name is not unique to the Jews and would be further indication that there are other gods recognized by God and the Jews.

    -pah-
     
  18. Ronald

    Ronald Well-Known Member

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    :) Serenedipity!!! ;)
     
  19. Zadakiel

    Zadakiel New Member

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    This is officially my first post; I hope I will offer some wisdom though I doubt it. It seems everyone on this website are rather bright. I only hope I can offer the best I have to offer. With that, let us move on to my post.

    The debate of Many Gods or but one supreme deity? To what might I add to this debate would be quite little indeed. All I can say is what I believe and have experienced and come to know as Truth for me. Then again, Truth is Truth and can neither be proven nor disproven. It merely is. The only way to find Truth is through experience, and no experience shall be placed above another. Truth is subjective, or absolute, or not. Maybe both, who knows? Sometimes truth is not found outside of Contradiction but through it.

    Take the matter of gods and God. There are many gods, as there is only One God. "Is it not written that Ye are Gods?" The essence of YHVH is in all. Would it not be then understood that bearing the divine spark of The Mighty Ones (Elohim), that we, too, must be gods? If we deliniate such things as Father, Son, Holy Spirit, and that it is written "Ye Are Gods," how much futher of a step is it to proclaim a Pantheon? Gods are not just made of mortal philosophical humans, but if indeed creation of all was done by the Alpha And Omega, The Created Creator, The Beginning and The End, the Great AHYH-ASR-AHYH, then would not these too bear this same spark of divinity? If not, then Humanity (whom was given Dominion over all things on Earth) surely would have created Gods by their own powers bestowed unto them by the Father Most High. There is, on the other side of the coin, only ONE GOD.

    I say there is only one God because there is but one supreme source of all that is and is not. Even if Odin were real, and if Okainos did mate with his wife to give birth to Gaia and Oranos, and that all the Gods were brought forth when the Ancient Ones had already removed themselves from the swamps of Babylon and Marduk slayed Tiamat to claim these thrones for his brothers and sisters, there is still a beginning to it all. There is a point where even Okainos came from, in which he was made. Odin was still brought forth from a place that already existed. Of this great source, we are all a part of. Mere notes in the great orchestral piece of Existence. To the Christians we are the Body of Christ, thus of God and are God and are gods, as it is written. To the Lions of Juda, the great YHVH has made it quite clear that we are ONE. To the Athiest, well I suppose it comes down to Super String theory, which I don't want to get into right now. Side Note:"I will go before my Father who is Heaven and make ready a great Mansion for you within the Kingdom of Heaven." "Surely I say unto you that the Kingdom of Heaven is within you." Heaven inside, then we are heaven manifested, and are not, yet are; and are masters of Heaven, yet are not, yet are. We are God, and we are not, yet are. So the Game plays on.

    As for the Ten Commandments, I see it as this, if you absolutely must worship something, worship that which created you. This "entity" created all that is was and ever will be, yet did not, yet has. It's kind of convoluted, and ironically funny. Several times it is referenced that God would rather be your friend, but "filters" continually depict a Desert God of Wrath and Vengence. I could get into that matter a little more, but not here. I am far too lazy for that right now. Suffice it to say, I believe there are many gods and only One God. We are All One, in my eyes atleast. I do not believe I have helped significantly in this debate, but I do hope I have offered some place to look at the situation. Thank you for taking the time to read over my entire post.

    Sincerely,
    Zadakiel
     
  20. Linus

    Linus Well-Known Member

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    The israelites were worshipping a god that they apperently created themselves (or at least a god that Aaron had created) according to Exodus 32:4. This does not imply that other gods truly exist, but rather that people can create other gods besides that of the Jews' one, true God. I think that what is meant by the commandment is not only shall you not worship other gods (that you or anyone else has created) but also you shall not make anything more important than God.
     
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