Idea of God and the historical impossibility: biblical authors didn’t write about God
“In the Old Testament there is no God, there is no worship to God, there is only fearful obedience to an individual named Yahweh who belongs to the group of Elohim, beings in flesh and blood who are never defined as ‘gods’ in spiritual terms.” –
Content in a flash
4.Idea of God: the historical impossibility – Polytheism being at the origins of the creation of the Bible and the lack of spiritual topics in the strongly support the dissonance between God and Elohim;
3. Certainties or lack of them?
It is important to be aware that when we speak of ancient languages such as Hebrew, it is possible, and in fact, common, to come across terms whose original meaning remains simply unknown to all living beings.
Now, this does not mean that philologists have no clue of their possible meaning. Very often they have some clues, they manage to trace back the general or approximate idea of what the term could have meant originally, but they cannot be sure. This is the case with the Hebrew word Elohim: אֱלֹהִים
Scholars tell us that the Hebrew words אל(‘el), אלה(‘eloah) and אלהים(‘elohim) are part of a range of words so vast that today no one knows what was the divine concept entailed for the ancients.
Religions were probably born long before massive collective identities established rules and codes of conduct, so we do not know how the concept of divine was conceived before societies were centralized and religions started to suffer political influence.
However, – this is the subject of discussion – for reasons that we will analyze in detail in the upcoming articles, theology (Not philology) has arbitrary decided that Elohim means God.
In reality the original, concrete meaning of the term Elohim: אֱלֹהִים is unknown to everyone today and will never be known by anyone. That is, until aliens reveal themselves or land again on our planet. Until then, its true meaning will remain a mystery. There is no doubt about this and we will see why in the next paragraphs.
Theologians have passed off as certainties what certainties were not, like the arbitrary idea that Elohim means God. Not only that, but they have apparently managed to convince everyone that it is the Bible itself carrying those certainties.
If theologians were intellectually honest, they would at least clarify that there is no philological certainty about the Hebrew word which would mean “God”, Elohim (אֱלֹהִים). Why don’t they say that?
Well, because they can’t keep power with ifs and buts. Power needs to dispense certainties. And this is what theology did: it flaunted false certainties in a vain attempt to hide the truth from itself and from others.
Allow us a final observation: it is rather curious how a God who handed down his knowledge and his will to mankind through this book (The Bible) did not bother to clarify these details about the very term that would indicate him.
Could God ever tolerate confusion and uncertainty about the very term that indicates him, in the guide book he himself inspired?
4. Idea of God: the historical impossibility
As mentioned above, theology (Not philology) has arbitrary decided that Elohim means God.
Below, five reasons why this is not true:
- At the beginning of history God did not exist.
In modern Western culture we assign a rather precise value to the word “God”. This word is defined, shared and agreed upon by the majority of humanity and at its core it indicates a supreme and benevolent entity who created the Universe.
In fact the as:
“God : the supreme or ultimate reality; the Being perfect in power, wisdom, and goodness who is worshiped as creator and ruler of the universe.”
Now, such an idea of God at the time when the Bible was written, simply, did not exist. Such idea of God was born and consolidated much later with Greek thought, in particular with the and post-Platonic schools of thought. We will explore this in detail in the next article of this series.
At the beginning of recorded history humans never spoke about“God”,, in the plural form and the concept of “divine” it was always linked to the idea of superhumans arriving from elsewhere. Sumerian-Akkadian gods, Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Norse, Hindu and Japanese deities all have origins beyond our planet.
In brief, the ancient Sumerians who started writing the Bible, did not think of God but of the gods, they did not tell us about God in the Bible but about the , “those who from heaven to earth came”
- In gods we trusted
The ancient Semitic cultures, namely the ones that produced the first books of the Bible were in fact not monotheists but polytheists since as we have just mentioned the ancient Semitic people of those times (let’s say from 4000 BC to the in 538 BC)
Early Judaism was in fact not monotheistic, but rather polytheists or henotheist. The Jews of the origins believed in the existence of many gods, but they also thought they had to worship only one, , and they kept this notion for centuries.
Today Judaism is strictly monotheistic, but the transition from henotheism to monotheism is widely recognized, and we know that was presumably triggered by the catastrophic events of the .
It is very clear from the biblical stories how Jews of the origins did NOT perceive Yahweh as the universal, unique and absolute God, neither they ever wondered about the possible existence of a God endowed with modern neo-platonic attributes such as omnipotence or eternal life.
Yes, we are literally saying that in the (Hebrew) Bible there is no God, now or never. How is this possible if it is enough to open one of the many bibles we have at home to see God splashed everywhere?
The reason is, from a certain moment on, the monotheistic thought imposed itself on the previous polytheistic religions, and both Jews and Christian theologians and philologists started to falsely and arbitrarily translate “Elohim” with “God”.
It is enough to repeat a lie often and aloud for it to turn into truth.
- The Bible doesn’t care about transcendence
Nothing could be further from the truth. The Old testament, to start with, is a very concrete text, written by authors who never deal with those topics. In it there is no form of transcendence, mysticism or sacredness whatsoever. It never speaks of redemption, never elaborates “divine” or “sacred” attributes as understood since the Greek thought onwards, never speaks of an eternal and transcendent divinity or life; it doesn’t even approach topics like the afterlife.
The Old Testament simply tells the story of a Hebrew family(Jacob’s one) and its vassalage relationship with one of the , Yahweh(יַהְוֶה).
- Is Christianity really monotheistic?
Indeed, the First Council of Nicea defined the Roman Apostolic Catholic three hundred years after Christ. During those three hundred years many different versions of Christianities circulated and not all of them were strictly monotheistic.
Not only that, but it was actually himself, apostle and father of the Church who speaking about Jesus took the same henotheistic Jewish positions of the origins when, in his first letter to the Corinthians clarified that there are other gods but the Christians only have one, Jesus:
“And in reality, even if there are called gods both in heaven and on earth , and in fact there are many gods and many lords, but for us there is only one.” –
…to be continued
What you can expect from the next section:
In our next section we will reflect on the Church’s role in handling the term “Elohim”, we will study its etymology to support our thesis and bring examples to show that Elohim mentioned in the bible are several beings and not a single almighty one.
“The question that arises[about the existence of God] is a question that in Judaism is actually quite recent. This question, in the Jewish tradition, at least initially, does not exist.” –