God is not a god

God is not a god
Richard_Mcnair
Russophile
Avatar

Usergroup: Sponsors
Joined: Nov 12, 2010
Location: London

Total Topics: 20
Total Posts: 553
#11 - Quote - Permalink
Posted Mar 6, 2012 - 8:35 PM:

Mars Man wrote:
Yes, I am aware of that, and, at the same time, I am aware of why that is; which by cross-referencing and intertextual research, can be determined. This is the way it works:



Since Christendom's creation (and we can primarily think Charlemagne here) it had been emphasized upon people that there was only one true god. Well, that is exactly the notion that we find in the Jewish theist-based religious belief system; and in fact in the Hebrew in the textual documents themselves, so, no big hairy monster of a surprise.



Up until some relative point in time of around earlier late Christianity, that single, true god--the creator and ruler supreme of all things--had been exactly the Jewish god model. (that is, it had been YHWH as per the Hebrew system, but simply with a reduction of demanding obedience to the Mosaic Law in the Christian system modified as above, as opposed to any other god model





I have shown you that the Christians of the early second century did not hold to a crude anthropomorphic Yahweh, by the writings of one of their foremost spokespeople, Justin Martyr. Here is some more JM for you:

Justin Martyr wrote:
Chapter XXI.—The namelessness of God.
For God cannot be called by any proper name, for names are given to mark out and distinguish
their subject-matters, because these are many and diverse; but neither did any one exist before God
who could give Him a name, nor did He Himself think it right to name Himself, seeing that He is
one and unique, as He Himself also by His own prophets testifies, when He says, “I God am the
first,” and after this, “And beside me there is no other God.”2548 On this account, then, as I before
said, God did not, when He sent Moses to the Hebrews, mention any name, but by a participle He
mystically teaches them that He is the one and only God. “For,” says He; “I am the Being;”
manifestly contrasting Himself, “the Being,” with those who are not,2549 that those who had hitherto
been deceived might see that they were attaching themselves, not to beings, but to those who had
no being. Since, therefore, God knew that the first men remembered the old delusion of their
forefathers, whereby the misanthropic demon contrived to deceive them when he said to them, “If
ye obey me in transgressing the commandment of God, ye shall be as gods,” calling those gods
which had no being, in order that men, supposing that there were other gods in existence, might
believe that they themselves could become gods. On this account He said to Moses, “I am the
Being,” that by the participle “being” He might teach the difference between God who is and those
who are not.2550 Men, therefore, having been duped by the deceiving demon, and having dared to
disobey God, were cast out of Paradise, remembering the name of gods, but no longer being taught
by God that there are no other gods. For it was not just that they who did not keep the first
commandment, which it was easy to keep, should any longer be taught, but should rather be driven
to just punishment. Being therefore banished from Paradise, and thinking that they were expelled
on account of their disobedience only, not knowing that it was also because they had believed in
the existence of gods which did not exist, they gave the name of gods even to the men who were
afterwards born of themselves. This first false fancy, therefore, concerning gods, had its origin with
the father of lies. God, therefore, knowing that the false opinion about the plurality of gods was
burdening the soul of man like some disease, and wishing to remove and eradicate it, appeared first
to Moses, and said to him, “I am He who is.” For it was necessary, I think, that he who was to be
the ruler and leader of the Hebrew people should first of all know the living God. Wherefore, having
appeared to him first, as it was possible for God to appear to a man, He said to him, “I am He who is;” then, being about to send him to the Hebrews, He further orders him to say, “He who is hath
sent me to you.”


Also there is St.Paul from whom we also do not read about any crude anthropomorphic Yahweh, so would you like to back up your claim that the earliest Christians held to such an idea of God?
Richard_Mcnair
Russophile
Avatar

Usergroup: Sponsors
Joined: Nov 12, 2010
Location: London

Total Topics: 20
Total Posts: 553
#12 - Quote - Permalink
Posted Mar 6, 2012 - 8:40 PM:

Mars Man wrote:

Mars Man responded: Again, a very good point. It was not until sometime in the third (or at earliest, late second) century, that Yeshua, the to-be messianic king under his father's (YHWH) rule, was suddenly raised to the office of godship.

I have shown you a passage from Justin martyr from the early second century that clearly speaks in trinitarian terms. His father wasn't held then, or after to be called 'YHWH'.
Richard_Mcnair
Russophile
Avatar

Usergroup: Sponsors
Joined: Nov 12, 2010
Location: London

Total Topics: 20
Total Posts: 553
#13 - Quote - Permalink
Posted Mar 6, 2012 - 8:45 PM:

Mr. Gorbag wrote:

Let me see... What about the god from genesis or the book of Job? Seem to be childish, revengeful and very human to me, completely without those ethical values you should expect from the supposed creator of the universe. Thats also my general impression about the biblical god, the Jesus character seem to be a better and more humble person than his fierce father though...

It depends what you mean when you say 'the book of genesis or the book of Job'. You see, you read genesis, and in your mind's eye you see an oversized chap with a beard and a toga, who raises up his physical arms and says 'let there be light', who takes a minute to stroke his beard before casting adam and eve from the garden. I read it and see God proclaiming to the devil how good Job is, and then God's acceptance of the devils bet that he can't 'turn' Job as an allegorical metaphor of the interplay between good and evil, being and nothingness.
Yallery Brown
Trapped in his own beard.
Avatar

Usergroup: Members
Joined: Jan 13, 2011
Location: In the mools.

Total Topics: 2
Total Posts: 395
#14 - Quote - Permalink
0 of 1 people found this post helpful
Posted Mar 7, 2012 - 1:30 AM:

Richard_Mcnair wrote:
A common way of discussing the God of Christianity and Islam is to compare this God to the likes of Zeus, Wotan, Jupiter etc, in short the gods of what has come to be called the polytheistic religions. Arguments against God come often come in the form, 'don't you think it is stupid to believe in Zeus or Wotan, then it is equally stupid to believe in the God of Christianity'.

God is simply not a god however. The God of Christianity and Islam, or at least the God of theology is simply nothing to do with such anthropomorphic individual agents. Zeus and Wotan occupy the same ontological status in Christianity and Islam as the angels and demons; angels and demons are 'the gods', God is something completely different. Sure, the materialistic belief system of many modern Christians hold God pretty much to be 'a god', as with probably most muslims today around the world, but this is simply not what Christianity or Islam (or at least the highest Islamic theology) historically has held God to be. Comparing God to Zeus is legitimate if you are arguing against a baptist, however, if you are arguing against Christianity itself, such arguments are strawmen. Also the montheistic/polytheistic way of looking at and analysing religions is also fallacious, and simply an unhelpful way of thinking if you wish to understand such things.


What they share in common is that they are all described as powerful supernatural agents whose will and/or actions are deemed responsible for our state of affairs and for whom the only evidential support is anecdotal.

So we can all quibble about whether or not Wotan really was the one-eyed wizard god of the sagas, or the more abstracted principle of 'Od' of contemporary norse paganism.

Just a Christians do not all agree on the properties of their God.

So the important aspect they have in common is that wotanics will credit Wotan for the mysteries of our existence (to a lesser or greater degree depending on their sect) on anecdotal evidence - just as Christians are wont to do with God.

So whilst there might be a difference in the reported degree of power wielded by Wotan and those wielded by God, or whether or not God tends to be more abstracted than Wotan in the minds of his worshippers - it's pretty irrelevent.

They are both fictional magical beings used to explain our state of affairs - however hard certain christians try to 'de-being' their magical being.
Mars Man
PF Addict
Avatar

Usergroup: Sponsors
Joined: Sep 27, 2006
Location: Matsumoto, Japan

Total Topics: 63
Total Posts: 1390
#15 - Quote - Permalink
0 of 1 people found this post helpful
Posted Mar 7, 2012 - 1:46 AM:

Richard_Mcnair wrote:

I have shown you that the Christians of the early second century did not hold to a crude anthropomorphic Yahweh, by the writings of one of their foremost spokespeople, Justin Martyr. Here is some more JM for you:
I am afraid that you have completely missed the boat, Richard Mcnair san, and I have shown how that is so to a degree already, and am still doing so. However, I will credit you with not having gotten used to my style and chronological segregating just yet, so will make an effort to expound on it further. The only catch is that I don't have much choice but to do it on my schedule. Additionally, I will do it in the more correct location, not here.

First of all, I ask, please, that you go back and carefully re-read my post from which you had quoted, and catch the time frames for the stages of Christian development. It is a continuum, but there are stages. While we can only infer from the concurrence with, and juxtaposition with, the earliest documents extant, the general thrust of the very start up of Christianity had been very much in lines with what can be seen from Essene material (in the non-ritual aspects). In Paul's authentic extant works, we have no problem also seeing that YWHW was the model held in mind. With the passage of time, that changed.

Justin Martyr published in the later late Christian time span; well into the second half of the second century. Even before then, however, the Christian standard was the LXX. It is known that they not only altered some areas of those texts, but also most likely altered their copies of Joshephus as well (not to mention a number of documents related to Christianity--although that was perhaps a bit later. Justin Martyr, like most of the early Church Fathers, came into Christianity from the Greek religio-philosophical position. That, as it can be seen, had a great bearing on how he had taken the basic doctrine he had received, and had worked it into his already existing framework. Additionally, he had not received the earlier early Christian knowledge.

In Justin's work entitled 'Justin's Hortatory Address to the Greeks' from which you had quoted, we can easily see some grave misgivings that would in no way fit the better understanding of what the earlier early Christian leaders would have accepted at all. I mean, after all, it is directed towards an educated Greek direct and immediate audience, and it does work to not only appease them enough to, but to actually work to convince them of Justin's form of Christian doctrine to be true. We also find some problems. For example, in chapter 10, Training and inspiration of Moses, we will find the following mention of Josephus:

These things, ye men of Greece, have been recording in writing concerning the antiquity of Moses by those who were not of our religion; and they said the learned all these things from the Egyptian priests, among whom Moses was not only born, but... as the wisest of the historians relate, who have chosen to record his {that is Moses' [my note]) life and actions, and the rank of his descent, --I speak of Philo and Josephus. For these (Philo and Josephus; [my note]), in their narration of the history of the Jews, say...


While Philo does not give us much history of the Jews at all, Josephus does. Of course, Josephus was exactly a Palestinian Jew, unlike Justin who was a not Jewish at all, and somewhat unlike Philo too. Josephus explicitly and exactly tells us that the god of the Jews had a personal name. If one studies the Hebrew texts and documents, this becomes so clear that to think that the Jewish god did not have a personal name would render a person hopeless lost--as, most obviously Justin had been.

In another chapter of that same work, that of 'History of the Septuagint' (chapter 13) Justin almost exactly copies Josephus. I do not have the Greek of Justin's work (if it even had been in Greek), so cannot compare it word per word--but the English is quite close enough to say that the information had come straight from Josephus.

That then brings us back to the LXX. There is a copy with the Tetragrammaton used, which was used by the Qumran community. The fable of there being Hebrew texts in Alexandria, is of course a good possibility; only, what texts is completely unknown. As the story goes, in that Hebrew scribes had been called to do a translation, and as the facts go, that there were many variances among the many copies (and Christian scribe' efforts to alter their copies so as to make Christianity look like it had been predicted in the past), we cannot be sure of a number of points in the several scrolls. We can be sure, however, that even though the name of the Jewish god was fully given in the tanakh (and even there we have evidence of scribal effort to erase some of it), that nonsensical superstition which (as best can be understood from the evidence) said it was bad luck to pronounce the name, worked to remove transliteration of it into the Greek language of the LXX. That the god of the Jewish system had a name, is a fact. That the earlier early Christians worshipped that god, is a fact; although we have no evidence of them pronouncing the name, or of writing it (beyond the early Matthew exemplars in the Hebrew language).


Richard_Mcnair
Russophile
Avatar

Usergroup: Sponsors
Joined: Nov 12, 2010
Location: London

Total Topics: 20
Total Posts: 553
#16 - Quote - Permalink
1 of 2 people found this post helpful
Posted Mar 7, 2012 - 5:25 PM:

Yallery Brown wrote:


What they share in common is that they are all described as powerful supernatural agents whose will and/or actions are deemed responsible for our state of affairs and for whom the only evidential support is anecdotal.

So we can all quibble about whether or not Wotan really was the one-eyed wizard god of the sagas, or the more abstracted principle of 'Od' of contemporary norse paganism.

Just a Christians do not all agree on the properties of their God.

So the important aspect they have in common is that wotanics will credit Wotan for the mysteries of our existence (to a lesser or greater degree depending on their sect) on anecdotal evidence - just as Christians are wont to do with God.

So whilst there might be a difference in the reported degree of power wielded by Wotan and those wielded by God, or whether or not God tends to be more abstracted than Wotan in the minds of his worshippers - it's pretty irrelevent.

They are both fictional magical beings used to explain our state of affairs - however hard certain christians try to 'de-being' their magical being.

I think the word supernatural is not much more than a propaganda term, unless you want to define what you mean by 'the natural'. I really don't know what you mean by 'de-being' God. You really don't seem to know what you're talking about.

Edited by Richard_Mcnair on Mar 7, 2012 - 5:48 PM
Richard_Mcnair
Russophile
Avatar

Usergroup: Sponsors
Joined: Nov 12, 2010
Location: London

Total Topics: 20
Total Posts: 553
#17 - Quote - Permalink
1 of 1 people found this post helpful
Posted Mar 7, 2012 - 5:48 PM:

Mars Man wrote:
I am afraid that you have completely missed the boat, Richard Mcnair san, and I have shown how that is so to a degree already, and am still doing so. However, I will credit you with not having gotten used to my style and chronological segregating just yet, so will make an effort to expound on it further. The only catch is that I don't have much choice but to do it on my schedule. Additionally, I will do it in the more correct location, not here.

First of all, I ask, please, that you go back and carefully re-read my post from which you had quoted, and catch the time frames for the stages of Christian development. It is a continuum, but there are stages. While we can only infer from the concurrence with, and juxtaposition with, the earliest documents extant, the general thrust of the very start up of Christianity had been very much in lines with what can be seen from Essene material (in the non-ritual aspects). In Paul's authentic extant works, we have no problem also seeing that YWHW was the model held in mind. With the passage of time, that changed.

You keep going on about 'the YHWH god model', pease define what you even mean by that.

Mars Man wrote:

Justin Martyr published in the later late Christian time span; well into the second half of the second century.

Justin Martyr died around 160-165AD, if he was published later, that is irrelevant, he clearly speaks in trinitarian terms, and of the namelessness of God.

Mars Man wrote:

Even before then, however, the Christian standard was the LXX. It is known that they not only altered some areas of those texts, but also most likely altered their copies of Joshephus as well (not to mention a number of documents related to Christianity--although that was perhaps a bit later. Justin Martyr, like most of the early Church Fathers, came into Christianity from the Greek religio-philosophical position. That, as it can be seen, had a great bearing on how he had taken the basic doctrine he had received, and had worked it into his already existing framework. Additionally, he had not received the earlier early Christian knowledge.

From what I can gather Justin Martyr came from Palestine, although it is true he came to Christianity from studying greek philosophy. Let me repeat from another thread that the Christians themselves claimed that Plato, and other greek philosophers had learnt alot from esoteric Jewish philosophy, and that the neo-platonic/platonic views Christianity came to adopt were already present in esoteric jewish philosophy.

Mars Man wrote:

In Justin's work entitled 'Justin's Hortatory Address to the Greeks' from which you had quoted, we can easily see some grave misgivings that would in no way fit the better understanding of what the earlier early Christian leaders would have accepted at all. I mean, after all, it is directed towards an educated Greek direct and immediate audience, and it does work to not only appease them enough to, but to actually work to convince them of Justin's form of Christian doctrine to be true. We also find some problems. For example, in chapter 10, Training and inspiration of Moses, we will find the following mention of Josephus:

These things, ye men of Greece, have been recording in writing concerning the antiquity of Moses by those who were not of our religion; and they said the learned all these things from the Egyptian priests, among whom Moses was not only born, but... as the wisest of the historians relate, who have chosen to record his {that is Moses' [my note]) life and actions, and the rank of his descent, --I speak of Philo and Josephus. For these (Philo and Josephus; [my note]), in their narration of the history of the Jews, say...


While Philo does not give us much history of the Jews at all, Josephus does. Of course, Josephus was exactly a Palestinian Jew, unlike Justin who was a not Jewish at all, and somewhat unlike Philo too. Josephus explicitly and exactly tells us that the god of the Jews had a personal name. If one studies the Hebrew texts and documents, this becomes so clear that to think that the Jewish god did not have a personal name would render a person hopeless lost--as, most obviously Justin had been.

I don't doubt that many of the Jews held to YHWH being a personal name of God... You said before that Flavius Josephus wrote about the earliest Christians holding to a crude anthropomorphic idea of 'YHWH', from what I understand he mentions the Christians only three times in his works, and doesn't say any such thing. Please post the relevent passages.
Mr. Gorbag
Beyond good and evil
Avatar

Usergroup: Members
Joined: Oct 30, 2010
Location: Chimborazo, Ecuador

Total Topics: 16
Total Posts: 1916
#18 - Quote - Permalink
Posted Mar 7, 2012 - 5:52 PM:

Richard_Mcnair wrote:
I read it and see God proclaiming to the devil how good Job is, and then God's acceptance of the devils bet that he can't 'turn' Job as an allegorical metaphor of the interplay between good and evil, being and nothingness.

OK, an allegorical metaphor, but hey! - that can be claimed about Greek mythology and the Norse religion too, we can also read and interpret them allegorically, so what makes Yahweh that special compared to Wotan?

Richard_Mcnair
Russophile
Avatar

Usergroup: Sponsors
Joined: Nov 12, 2010
Location: London

Total Topics: 20
Total Posts: 553
#19 - Quote - Permalink
Posted Mar 7, 2012 - 5:57 PM:

Mr. Gorbag wrote:
OK, an allegorical metaphor, but hey! - that can be claimed about Greek mythology and the Norse religion too, we can also read and interpret them allegorically, so what makes Yahweh that special compared to Wotan?

I agree you can interpret such mythologies allegorically. As I've just been explainging to MarsMan, Christianity doesn't hold to a god called 'yahweh'.
Metaphysician Undiscovered
PF Addict

Usergroup: Sponsors
Joined: Jan 12, 2010

Total Topics: 21
Total Posts: 7035
#20 - Quote - Permalink
Posted Mar 7, 2012 - 6:06 PM:

Mars Man wrote:


As general social understanding developed, and cultural overlap and influence and linguistic matters played along, the understanding that there were three gods which were held to be the actual and true gods, creators and rulers supreme of the entire cosmos, came to the forefront. These were those of the Jewish system, the (later late) Christian system, and that of the Muslim system. However, that there were other gods that were still worshipped, and some other gods which were even held by their worshippers to hold that office, the West, would not admit to such at all!



I do not understand this idea that there are three gods, each of them the creator and ruler of the cosmos. As there is only one "God", and this God is considered to be creator and ruler of the universe, on what principles do you argue that there are three gods, each considered to be the creator, and not one God, as is the "general social understanding".
locked
Download thread as
  • 70/5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5


Recent Internal Replies
On Apr 30, 2012 - 5:54 AM, Mars Man replied internally to Metaphysician Undiscovered's Well, when you com....
On Apr 28, 2012 - 5:01 AM, Metaphysician Undiscovered replied internally to angslan's That is, one of ....
On Apr 26, 2012 - 1:36 AM, Mars Man replied internally to Metaphysician Undiscovered's You do not need to....
On Apr 25, 2012 - 8:47 PM, jeeprs replied internally to jeeprs's I should provide a f....
On Apr 24, 2012 - 5:25 PM, Metaphysician Undiscovered replied internally to Metaphysician Undiscovered's Well, to model a squ....
On Apr 24, 2012 - 3:34 PM, jorndoe replied internally to Metaphysician Undiscovered's Well, to model a squ....
On Apr 24, 2012 - 10:24 AM, Metaphysician Undiscovered replied internally to Metaphysician Undiscovered's Well, to model a squ....
On Apr 23, 2012 - 9:29 PM, jorndoe replied internally to Metaphysician Undiscovered's Well, to model a squ....
On Apr 23, 2012 - 11:07 AM, Metaphysician Undiscovered replied internally to FrankLeeSeaux's I believe it is....
On Apr 23, 2012 - 9:15 AM, Sapientia replied internally to FrankLeeSeaux's I believe it is....

This thread is closed, so you cannot post a reply.