You are a bad man/woman in God's eyes!

Cino

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Clearly, the above shows that the revered "God" [ Gott ] did not used to be Odin .. it is more about language,
and how the use of words evolve.
Those with a motive of showing that scripture is "not what it appears to be", seek to confuse by claiming YHWH is/was one of many gods etc.
The etymology of the modern English word "god" is one thing, agreed, but the ancient near East had polytheists worshipping deities with the same names, letter for letter, as the divine names mentioned in the Hebrew Bible. That would be as if "Woden" were literally mentioned in the Books of Moses.

For examle, the deity El (with epithets like "Elyon") appears in polytheist texts from Ugarit in the Levante, just north of Israel: A father figure in the pantheon, parent of Baal, among others. And El is also one of the divine names in the Hebrew Bible. So, quite without saying that the Bible is not what it appears to be, the question is still valid whom the worshippers of Ugaritic El were paying homage to? Were they praying to the God of Abraham and Moses?

(edited for spelling and clarity)
 

muhammad_isa

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The etymology of the modern English word "god" is one thing, agreed, but the ancient near East had polytheists worshipping deities with the same names..
It matters not. :)
There is no difference in principal.
Arabs used to worship Allah along with other gods, before Muhammad was born..
What people knew about their gods in time goes by is irrelevant .. ignorance was widespread,
and polytheistic tradition the norm.

For examle, the deity El (with epithets like "Elyon") appears in polytheist texts from Ugarit in the Levante, just north of Israel: A father figure in the pantheon, parent of Baal, among others. And El is also one of the divine names in the Hebrew Bible. So, quite without saying that the Bible is not what it appears to be, the question is still valid whom the worshippers of Ugaritic El were paying homage to? Were they praying to the God of Abraham and Moses?
They were praying to whoever they thought they were praying to. :)
The discovery of texts including any name/word does not categorically prove anything..
..other than the existence of polytheistic communities who had many gods.

The Arabs and Hebrews were no exception .. the Bible tells us that the "children of Israel" were punished for
reverting to their polytheistic ways.
..as does the Qur'an.

The times we live in are unique in that respect. Education and communications are vastly improved,
and billions of people know that God is One, and most have not reverted to pagan ways .. yet. ;)

God does not have any "Divine names" as such .. they are related to a specific language and meaning.
Meanings can evolve and change, unless they are preserved for some reason.
..such as in classical Arabic or Hebrew, for example.
 
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Thomas

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To me the broader question remains: How do believers integrate such historical findings?
An ongoing drama ... not necessarily melodrama ... just a journey ...
Modern Christianity, working off translations of translations, tends to convey these ancient divine names more like titles or epithets: They all get collapsd into either "God + something" or "Lord + something", which is very different from the way the texts read in literal translation, keeping the names intact (or in the original).
I don't think Christianity was necessarily the first to do that, I think the Jews had established that pattern long before – there is ample scholarly evidence of how astrological entities were incorporated into Hebrew thought – not without contention – and how various deities were demoted to the angelic orders.

I see it as grappling with the idea that if God is God, then in the end there cannot be two Absolutes, two All-Powerfuls, etc. I think the Hebrews walked this path, as did the Hellenists, in their way. Christianity then might be the fruit of the best of their knowings. It wasn't an attempt at deception, rather it was understood that there can only be One God, and that therefore all these various aspects must be facets of the One.

Like St Paul standing in Athens, basically telling the Greeks, "All your gods, I can explain that ..." The man had some neck, you gotta give him credit for that.
Getting back to my question, what is it like for believers? Did God reveal himself through all these local gods prior to the rise of Monotheism?
From my armchair scholar pov, I think we can trace polytheism, then an intermediate stage of neighbourly monotheisms, a people believing in one God, aware of others who believed in their one God. El Shaddai – He's the go-to deity on this mountain.

Whether defeat by a neighbouring power was because their God was better than ours, I'm not sure, but certainly I think the Jews established a pattern of defeat by them meant not that their God was strong, but that we'd let our God down and were bing punished. But the Scriptures offer plenty of evidence of Jewish backsliding towards other deities ... hedging their bets, as it were ...

Then, of course, is what does your grass-roots believer believe? Difficult question. The dialogue moves on with the theologians, but the people are usually a long way behind that. Simple faith, and all that ... so while Britain, for example, was a Christian country, popular folk beliefs are in evidence all the way along. The Church poo-poo'd such superstitious notions, but nevertheless chimney carvings to prevent entry by evil spirits, carvings on lintels and under doorsteps, etc. tell a different story.
 
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