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TomL
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PostSubject: How Many Gods?   Sun Oct 11, 2015 2:03 pm

HOW MANY GODS
by Tom Lineaweaver

It has wondered me for some time why people believe the Bible teaches there is only one God.  That clearly is not the case.  And I am not talking about the gods we make.  I am talking about heavenly gods.  

Let me show you what I mean.  In the very first verse of the Bible, "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth."  And this is how all English Bibles translate this verse.  But, it is an imprecise translation.  This translation makes it seem like that one God created out of nothing the heavens and the earth.  But, we will see that is not the case.

In the first chapter of Genesis the word "God" is translated  out of the Hebrew word, Elohim, which is plural.  And, we know that plural means more than one.   Then you have the word, "created."  While I don't remember the specific Hebrew word, it means "fashioned, or made."  So, the precise translation should be, "In the beginning, gods fashioned the heavens and the earth."    Now that makes the rest of Genesis 1 make sense.  In verse 2, we are told the earth was shapeless and empty or void.  So, gods made the earth out of available material.  

Now we come to verse 26, "Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness..."  ISV; bible gateway .com.  Once again we have Elohim saying, "Let us, not "let Me,"  "in our image, in our likeness," not "in My image, in My likeness."  It is plain according to this verse there was more than one god.  And it was mankind that was made, not man as in one man.  However, keep in mind, this is Genesis, so gods made the beginning of mankind.  All of mankind was not created, if it was, I would have been their, and I assure you, I am not that old.  

Then we go to Genesis 2 where for the first time a singular God is mentioned, and even his name is used.  That's why I like the American Standard Version.

First, let's look at the first three verses....

"And the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.
2 And on the seventh day God/Elohim finished his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.
3 And God/Elohim blessed the seventh day, and hallowed it; because that in it he rested from all his work which God/Elohim had created and made."

Up to this point we find Elohim.  The same as we saw in the first chapter.  From verse 4 on we don't just see "God," as we have up to this point.  Now we see "Jehovah God."  In other translations we see LORD God.  

Now forward to Exodus 20, verses 2 and 3,
"I am Jehovah thy God, who brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me."

Look at the wording of verse 3.  It does not say there are no other gods, as many people perceive.  But it says to have "no other gods before me."  Before me, ahead of me, above me, to out rank me."  This tells us, there are other gods, but Jehovah God comes before, ahead, above and out ranks all the others.  He is the Supreme God.  

What many churches teach today is called exclusive monotheism, which simply is that there is only one God, and that's it.   But I am not sure that is the case.  We have the language of Genesis 1 that clearly leads to more than one god.  Then we have Jehovah saying "have no other gods before me."  He does not say to have no other gods period.  He says "before me."  

Also, nowhere in the Bible do we see the term "only God."  We do see "Most High God."   https://www.biblegateway.com/quicksearch/?quicksearch=most+high&qs_version=ASV

I am coming to the point of believing in what is called inclusive monotheism.  That there is one supreme God, but perhaps many lesser gods.  That the supreme or most high God sits on his throne telling the lesser gods what to do and they do it.  That to me elevates Jesus beyond what I already believed of him.  He is the only begotten Son of the Most High God.  It is possible that the lesser gods have had children with human women.  In fact we see that concept in Genesis 6 where we are told that the "sons of God," saw the "daughters of men," that they were very beautiful and they mated with them, and had children.  So maybe the concept of Hercules isn't a myth after all.   And perhaps the lesser gods were the sons of God in Genesis 6.  

Here's the thing, I do not see what is termed as exclusive monotheism taught in Scripture, for the reasons I gave above.  What I see is one supreme God worthy of worship and adoration, while there are lesser gods that carry out the will of the supreme God.  Therefore the name Jehovah becomes important, because if we just say "God," some lesser god, even a rebellious lesser god, could pick up on what we pray and use our requests in ways that ought not be.  Oh, yes, I do believe there are rebellious gods.  Perhaps Satan is one.  But, that's a whole other discussion.  

This is the direction I see my beliefs going in.  What say you?  And please say it without being nasty or vulgar.  

Very Happy

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study - Do your best to present yourself to God as an approved worker who has nothing to be ashamed of, handling the word of truth with precision. - 2 Timothy 2.15; ISV, isv.com


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PostSubject: Re: How Many Gods?   Mon Oct 12, 2015 12:26 pm

American Standard Version : God Presides in the Great Assembly

Psalm 82

1  God standeth in the congregation of God; He judgeth among the gods.

2  How long will ye judge unjustly, And respect the persons of the wicked? Selah

3  Judge the poor and fatherless: Do justice to the afflicted and destitute.

4  Rescue the poor and needy: Deliver them out of the hand of the wicked.

5  They know not, neither do they understand; They walk to and fro in darkness: All the foundations of the earth are shaken.

6  I said, Ye are gods, And all of you sons of the Most High.

7  Nevertheless ye shall die like men, And fall like one of the princes.

8  Arise, O God, judge the earth; For thou shalt inherit all the nations.

Harmonious Gospel of St. John the Evangelist, 10:31-39 :

31  The Jews took up stones again to stone him. 32  Jesus answered them, Many good works have I showed you from the Father; for which of those works do ye stone me? 33  The Jews answered him, For a good work we stone thee not, but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God. 34  Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, ye are gods? 35  If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came (and the scripture cannot be broken), 36  say ye of him, whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the son of God? 37  If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not. 38  But if I do them, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father. 39  They sought again to take him: and he went forth out of their hand.

Much like we read later of "Father, Son, and Holy Spirit" to see "ELOHIM" as plural, I show that a crime committed in 1955 A.D. in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has roots of conspiracy as early as the 1535 A.D. printing of the Coverdale Bible.

The Wycliffe and Douay-Rheims are the only two versions that are correct concerning Daniel 11: 20 & 21.  The American Standard Version clumps the word "vile", originally an attribution to the king of Daniel 11:20, with "despised", originally a description of the king of Daniel 11:21, and uses the word "contemptible" to describe the king of Daniel 11:21, totally omitting, like most versions, the original attribute of "vile" to the king of Daniel 11:20.

Much like the weighing of exclusive and inclusive to monotheism do I find the juxtaposing of such description.

In the definition of the Holy Trinity, however, as Three Divine Persons in One Supreme Being, we can see both Singular and Plural.


Last edited by Edward Palamar on Sat Oct 17, 2015 9:39 am; edited 1 time in total
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TomL
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PostSubject: Re: How Many Gods?   Tue Oct 13, 2015 1:34 am

Very Happy Thanks.

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