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Thread: Does "Thou Shalt Have No Other Gods Before Me" Imply Other Gods Exist?

  1. #1 Does "Thou Shalt Have No Other Gods Before Me" Imply Other Gods Exist? 
    Forum Ph.D. Double Helix's Avatar
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    Considering the literal interpretation of The Bible that evangelicals and other religious zealots adhere to, it came to my attention that the 1st Commandment, as noted in the title, surely implies that there are, or were, other gods in play prior to the final selection of the "one God" they have today. There seems no other way to interpret such a command from an all-knowing God.

    According to this "last-God-standing" concept, he is the true and only God, and all others are false. But how is one to know this, and that these teachings are the right ones to be be followed? If there were other gods to choose from, how can they be sure they picked the right one? Their Bible tells them they need to fear this God they have selected. Is that rational? This God, who loves all his children, and created them in his own image, is to be feared? One supposes this fear is from the "Wrath of God". Could they have made the wrong choice?

    It all seems rather confusing and contradictory, which is not surprising for some of us. This God they chose is supposed to be:

    A. Feared due to eternal damnation, and the wrath of this God knows no bounds.

    B. This God is all loving and all forgiving, which is of course in conflict with A.

    And this is just one of the 10 commandments, many of which are broken on a daily, if not hourly basis. One must conclude from this that the love and forgiving nature of this God supersedes the fear and wrath that he can inflict on those who fail to obey him. It seems it is all a big mishmash of feel-good/feel-bad brainwashing. Is this really the best they could do?!

    One can find such contradictions in many of these Holy Proclamations. It is a testament to the ignorance of so many humans who fall into this drivel and accept it as their life's path. Perhaps it is all the apparent wiggle-room of love and forgiving which provides for its great popularity. You can basically get away with anything as long as you repent, even with your fingers crossed. Perhaps one of those other gods should have been chosen as the one and only true God, and things would not seem so complicated.


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  3. #2  
    exchemist
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    Quote Originally Posted by Double Helix View Post
    Considering the literal interpretation of The Bible that evangelicals and other religious zealots adhere to, it came to my attention that the 1st Commandment, as noted in the title, surely implies that there are, or were, other gods in play prior to the final selection of the "one God" they have today. There seems no other way to interpret such a command from an all-knowing God.

    According to this "last-God-standing" concept, he is the true and only God, and all others are false. But how is one to know this, and that these teachings are the right ones to be be followed? If there were other gods to choose from, how can they be sure they picked the right one? Their Bible tells them they need to fear this God they have selected. Is that rational? This God, who loves all his children, and created them in his own image, is to be feared? One supposes this fear is from the "Wrath of God". Could they have made the wrong choice?

    It all seems rather confusing and contradictory, which is not surprising for some of us. This God they chose is supposed to be:

    A. Feared due to eternal damnation, and the wrath of this God knows no bounds.

    B. This God is all loving and all forgiving, which is of course in conflict with A.

    And this is just one of the 10 commandments, many of which are broken on a daily, if not hourly basis. One must conclude from this that the love and forgiving nature of this God supersedes the fear and wrath that he can inflict on those who fail to obey him. It seems it is all a big mishmash of feel-good/feel-bad brainwashing. Is this really the best they could do?!

    One can find such contradictions in many of these Holy Proclamations. It is a testament to the ignorance of so many humans who fall into this drivel and accept it as their life's path. Perhaps it is all the apparent wiggle-room of love and forgiving which provides for its great popularity. You can basically get away with anything as long as you repent, even with your fingers crossed. Perhaps one of those other gods should have been chosen as the one and only true God, and things would not seem so complicated.
    Your remarks strike me as rather facile and uninformed.

    It is plain that the theology of the Jewish people evolved, during the hundreds of years over which the different parts of the Old Testament were constructed. In the earliest times they had a concept of various peoples each having their own gods, so it was a question of "our god is better than their god", as encapsulated in the expression "the God of Israel". Later, it changed to the idea that their god was the only true god and all the others were not real, i.e. "false gods". When Jesus came along, much later, what he preached in the New Testament takes things on quite a bit compared to the Old Testament, supplanting the Law of Moses with new thinking. Most of the ideas of a loving and forgiving god come from the New Testament. The commandment you refer to comes from Exodus, which was the early part of the OT (the Pentateuch).

    Different books of the bible need to be read with at least some basic awareness of the evolution of religious thought over a period of several hundred years.


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    Forum Ph.D. Double Helix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post
    Your remarks strike me as rather facile and uninformed.
    This is a superficial observation ignoring the inherently simplistic definition of gods, and those of which the commandment clearly refers to since there were many gods in those days, from near and far. The people who selected this final god were exposed to many others from a considerable variety of cultures, and indeed incorporated some of these aspects into their own religion as it evolved.

    The thread was never meant as a historical treatment on the development of the modern religions to which it refers, but rather to the strict interpretation of the commandment, regarding the existence of other gods. Who they might be and if they even existed is not facile based on the history of the period, but asking for answers to such questions is by default uninformed.
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    ox
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    There is no doubt that the Bible is a book of mythology from beginning to end.
    Most of it is second hand mythology.
    Believers only focus on what they want to hear.
    It can be interpreted in any way you like.
    I take your point that there is no god other that God (or Allah) does imply other gods.
    But it's all human invention, interpretation, rather misinterpretation.
    Each church works off its own interpretations, but the whole idea of God is man-made,

    You see now the demise of the Catholic Church (like in Brazil) and the growth of the evangelists.
    Strange how the Jews know nothing of Jesus.
    They only know the likes of Abraham and Moses.
    Where did those ideas come from?
    The answer is found to the east, and most of it from Hinduism with its thousands of gods.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ox View Post
    I take your point that there is no god other that God (or Allah) does imply other gods.
    But it's all human invention, interpretation, rather misinterpretation.
    This was the only intention of the post, to point out yet another glaring problem for the interpretation of the Bible, and the one God that it proclaims. Many of us do not have the background on how this selection process worked its way out.

    But if it comes "from Hinduism with its thousands of gods", those who penned the commandments had some serous convincing to do. There must have been a large number of skeptics to convert from all the various gods and religious customs. Must be quite a story when you consider that so many deities got ditched during the course of this religious evolution.
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    Hinduism seems a little far-fetched. Communication would be very difficult. Egypt could be a better source. As far as Jews and Jesus - Jews were aware of him and his followers, but we never deified him. Abraham and Moses may be legendary, but they remain human.
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    ox
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    Quote Originally Posted by mathman View Post
    Hinduism seems a little far-fetched. Communication would be very difficult.
    Ideas were very likely to have been spread along the trading routes from east to west.
    Egypt could be a better source. As far as Jews and Jesus - Jews were aware of him and his followers, but we never deified him. Abraham and Moses may be legendary, but they remain human.
    Egypt was a favoured source for Gerald Massey (Egypt Light of the World). They had their trinity where Horus was the son.
    However, the similarities between Hinduism, Buddhism and Christianity are remarkable. Krishna was the Hindu Christ.

    ABRAHAM. What do you get by moving the leading A to the rear - BRAHMA.
    Slight conflict but no vowels then in Hebrew.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ox View Post
    However, the similarities between Hinduism, Buddhism and Christianity are remarkable. Krishna was the Hindu Christ.
    There are indeed close links between the two religions*. The 1st commandment was put into place to strictly define a monotheistic belief in order to suppress all those other gods who did not fit into the evolving religion of Judaism.


    "Hinduism and Judaism"

    * https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hinduism_and_Judaism
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    The root of ancient religion (Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity) relies on roots.
    Mind altering drugs from plants such as sacred mushrooms.
    Buddha was a codename and so was Christ.
    "If you see Buddha on the path kill him." From the Buddhist texts.
    "The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross." Book by John Allegro, the scholar given the task of translating the Copper Scroll.

    Going further back the standing stones of Britain were almost certainly put there as dispensaries.
    The ring of Stonehenge even suggests a ring of mushrooms. The lintels are the caps.
    https://www.english-heritage.org.uk/...of-stonehenge/

    Humans, the only species to be aware of their sickness and mortality, have always been desperate to conceal the pain.
    This explains the gods. Each of them a different concoction of drugs from plants.
    Stonehenge was a super pharmacy. They could improve your medicine by your astrology.
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