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Author Topic: How did the god of Judaism, Christianity, and possibly Islam become "the God"  (Read 2945 times)

PrincessKLS

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Okay so in my experience people in the Abrahamic religions tend to say their masculine god is the only true god to the point where they capitalize the g. Also technically like other religions, they all (Abrahamic faiths) started out in a small section of the middle east and was supposed to reflect those people and I know that throughout history Christianity in particular spread but how did this Middle Eastern god become so universal to the point where "he" became the source and the cause of disgruntled atheists and agnostics who are against the extreme proselyzation of this god? Also I know Christians don't always do this but god in the old testament is supposed to separate from Jesus (the technical Christian god) of the new testament, and to be blunt the god of the old testament is quite the bastard, and hateful. In all of mythology I've never heard of such a beloved but feared god that was basically both good and evil. For the most part Jesus is a kinder, gentler soul. So to me they are separate partly for that reason.

Also what is it about the Middle Eastern culture that they've pretty much created vengeful but loving gods (ex: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam)? Was it also part of their polytheistic, pre-Abrahamic society?
« Last Edit: October 01, 2014, 01:26:33 pm by PrincessKLS »
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I started a similar thread awhile back: http://ecauldron.com/forum/showthread.php?9183-How-did-a-tribal-god-(YHWH)-become-God-of-All

Quote from: PrincessKLS;160842
Also I know Christians don't always do this but god in the old testament is supposed to separate from Jesus (the technical Christian god) of the new testament

 
This statement here is actually a heresy known as Marcionism that was vehemently denied by the early Christian Church. In fact, they went so far as to excommunicate Marcion

While there may have been an offshoot of Christians who believed this, the official Church (that is, the Church that existed before the Great Schism in 1054) rejected this notion and did not consider its followers to be members of the Christian Faith.
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Quote from: PrincessKLS;160842
Okay so in my experience people in the Abrahamic religions tend to say their masculine god is the only true god to the point where they capitalize the g. Also technically like other religions, they all (Abrahamic faiths) started out in a small section of the middle east and was supposed to reflect those people and I know that throughout history Christianity in particular spread but how did this Middle Eastern god become so universal to the point where "he" became the source and the cause of disgruntled atheists and agnostics who are against the extreme proselyzation of this god? Also I know Christians don't always do this but god in the old testament is supposed to separate from Jesus (the technical Christian god) of the new testament, and to be blunt the god of the old testament is quite the bastard, and hateful. In all of mythology I've never heard of such a beloved but feared god that was basically both good and evil. For the most part Jesus is a kinder, gentler soul. So to me they are separate partly for that reason.

Also what is it about the Middle Eastern culture that they've pretty much created vengeful but loving gods (ex: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam)? Was it also part of their polytheistic, pre-Abrahamic society?

 
How did the Abrahamic god become the big cheese?

By Christians and Muslims killing and converting their way around the globe, saying their god is the True God and chopping of the heads of disenters, and them forbidding anyone to say otherwise.

Also by sending missionaries backed with steel to other, less developed nations and destroying the local culture and religions and replacing them with European culture  and Christianity, in the case of the Christians.

Sorry, but facts is facts.
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Quote from: PrincessKLS;160842
how did this Middle Eastern god become so universal to the point where "he" became the source and the cause of disgruntled atheists and agnostics who are against the extreme proselyzation of this god?


By getting adopted by the most powerful empire that the European world had ever known as a tool of control.

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Also I know Christians don't always do this but god in the old testament is supposed to separate from Jesus (the technical Christian god)


No.

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of the new testament, and to be blunt the god of the old testament is quite the bastard, and hateful.

 
That, I'm certain, will be a great surprise to the Jews.
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Quote from: PrincessKLS;160842
to be blunt the god of the old testament is quite the bastard, and hateful. In all of mythology I've never heard of such a beloved but feared god that was basically both good and evil.

Man, I'm only that nasty in my description of gods I actually like and worship. ;P
« Last Edit: October 01, 2014, 02:35:36 pm by Jack »
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Quote from: Darkhawk;160848

 
That, I'm certain, will be a great surprise to the Jews.

 
Actually, given that the New Testament (to a point, and its followers more specificaly) introduced the idea of infinite torture in Hell, the New Testament god seems far worse. Old Testament g-daddy threw temper tamtrums, New Testament god sends you straight to Hell.

New Testament also brings us the Apocalypse, which if taken literaly- involves conquest and famine and war and bowls of wrath and endless firey pits and jesus in bloodstained robes killing people with a sword in his mouth...

Really, the whole idea of OT god being meaner than NT god is just wrong.
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Quote from: PrincessKLS;160842
 Also I know Christians don't always do this but god in the old testament is supposed to separate from Jesus (the technical Christian god) of the new testament, and to be blunt the god of the old testament is quite the bastard, and hateful. In all of mythology I've never heard of such a beloved but feared god that was basically both good and evil. For the most part Jesus is a kinder, gentler soul. So to me they are separate partly for that reason.

 
The Emperor Constantine's Council of Nicea defined what Christianity was and produced the Nicene Creed which defined what was needed to be a Christian, one of the tenants is a belief in the trinity, (God the Father, the Son [Jesus Christ], and the Holy Spirit).  

There are those who do and have disagreed with the Nicene Creed.
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Quote from: Darkhawk;160848
By getting adopted by the most powerful empire that the European world had ever known as a tool of control.


Yup. Politics.

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Quote from: Cuthwin Crowe;160850

Really, the whole idea of OT god being meaner than NT god is just wrong.

 
To quote Tosh O:

[dealing with a jerk]...and I thought "what would Jesus do?" So I set him on fire and let him burn for eternity in all damnation!!!
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Quote from: PrincessKLS;160842
how did this Middle Eastern god become so universal to the point where "he" became the source and the cause of disgruntled atheists and agnostics who are against the extreme proselyzation of this god?society?

As far as I know, agnostics and atheists don't give a flying frittata wheather people believe in this or any god but rather what is done in this/a deity's name. And if one of those things is 'extreme proselzation' which becomes invasive, the question answers itself.
« Last Edit: October 02, 2014, 09:58:09 am by HeartShadow »

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Quote from: PrincessKLS;160842
Okay so in my experience people in the Abrahamic religions tend to say their masculine god is the only true god to the point where they capitalize the g. Also technically like other religions, they all (Abrahamic faiths) started out in a small section of the middle east and was supposed to reflect those people and I know that throughout history Christianity in particular spread but how did this Middle Eastern god become so universal to the point where "he" became the source and the cause of disgruntled atheists and agnostics who are against the extreme proselyzation of this god?

You can thank Paul in large part for the spread of Christianity.  He was largely responsible for the conversion of gentiles.   If not for him Christianity might have just been a small Jewish sect and could have been wiped out in 70 AD.


Quote
Also I know Christians don't always do this but god in the old testament is supposed to separate from Jesus (the technical Christian god) of the new testament, and to be blunt the god of the old testament is quite the bastard, and hateful. In all of mythology I've never heard of such a beloved but feared god that was basically both good and evil. For the most part Jesus is a kinder, gentler soul. So to me they are separate partly for that reason.

You can believe whatever you like about the god of Abraham and whether he is the same god Jesus was talking about (and I do think a case can be made that they are separate entities),  but they aren't "supposed" to be separate.  Most mainstream Christian sects believe in the Trinity.  Jesus is just one aspect of the Christian god.
« Last Edit: October 02, 2014, 08:55:17 am by RandallS »

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Quote from: PrincessKLS;160842
Also I know Christians don't always do this but god in the old testament is supposed to separate from Jesus (the technical Christian god) of the new testament, and to be blunt the god of the old testament is quite the bastard, and hateful.

As interpreted by some Christians (e.g. Fundie Christians in the US), that is certainly true. However, you'll find that the average Jew strongly disagrees.

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In all of mythology I've never heard of such a beloved but feared god that was basically both good and evil.

Few deities are all good or all evil. Most in mythology both do things that most humans would see as good and do things that most humans would see as evil. The JCI God is different, at least according to western philosophers who have defined him as "all-good". This, of course, causes all sorts of reality-based issues especially when said philosophers also define him as all-powerful, all-knowing, and perfect which gives you the Problem of Evil.

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Also what is it about the Middle Eastern culture that they've pretty much created vengeful but loving gods (ex: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam)? Was it also part of their polytheistic, pre-Abrahamic society?

There are a lot of gods with a vengeful natures in various world mythologies.
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Quote from: NightQueen;160879
You can believe whatever you like about the god of Abraham and whether he is the same god Jesus was talking about (and I do think a case can be made that they are separate entities),  but they aren't "supposed" to be separate.  Most mainstream Christian sects believe in the Trinity.  Jesus is just one aspect of the Christian god.

 
-nods- Trinitarian monotheism is still monotheism, whether non-Trinitarian Christians* believe (or understand) that or not. It's disrespectful and ignorant to claim that Trinitarian Christians worship multiple gods when clearly they themselves don't believe so.

*- as separate from Unitarian Christians, who do not believe in the Trinity.
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Quote from: PrincessKLS;160842
Also I know Christians don't always do this but god in the old testament is supposed to separate from Jesus (the technical Christian god) of the new testament, and to be blunt the god of the old testament is quite the bastard, and hateful.


It's in the "Old Testament"/Hebrew Scriptures that the God of Abraham hears an enslaved people crying out and is moved to rescue them by their cries; makes laws against abusing people with disabilities; and declares that the ultimate way to serve Him is through caring for widows, orphans, foreigners, and the poor.  It's in the Hebrew Bible that we find, in Isaiah, both explicit reassurances for the holiness of gender-variant people and the promise of a kind and peaceful life on Earth for everyone.  It's in the much-maligned Deuteronomy that we're warned that if we don't get right and make a more just society, we'll always have poverty, and that that's unacceptable.  (Right alongside the smiting of cities and the rules for how to go about slavery properly, etc., yes.)
It's "New Testament God"/Jesus who, alongside healing the sick, says "I came not to bring peace but a sword," tells a woman from another ethnic group begging for help that he didn't come to do miracles for dogs (though he relents when she pushes the issue), and so on.  Both sections have apocalypse books, but the Apocalypse of John of Patmos is, we can all agree, not all cuddles and puppies, even compared to other apocalypse books.  And it's Christians, not Jews, who introduced the notion of eternal damnation, which is not present in what Christians call the "Old Testament."

"Cruel vengeful Old Testament God"/"Kind loving New Testament God" is an erroneous oversimplification introduced as part of a set of ideas called "supercessionism," which dictates that Jews were getting their own religion wrong and Christians inherited chosen-ness by doing better at it, to massively understate the issue.  It's a cultural/interpretive lens most of us in the West have inherited when reading Biblical work and secondary stuff on Biblical work, so it's understandable that you'd have picked this impression up, but it's, put gently, hooey.

Quote
In all of mythology I've never heard of such a beloved but feared god that was basically both good and evil.

Most of us aren't in the business of insisting our Gods aren't all-"good," which is part of it, but ask anyone here and they'll tell you plenty, if they feel like it, about how most Gods that are beloved are also worthy of fear, capable of doing things we humans appreciate and also things that are frightening, violent, or cruel.  Apollo inflicts plagues on the populace and also brings fine arts.  Dionysos is involved in both miraculous, rapturous healing and tearing living people into pieces.  Bast is beloved and also tears the hearts out of sinners.  You really never ever want to be on Odin's bad side.  Kali wears jewelry made out of human body parts and is also adored.  Gods all over the place do plenty of smiting with various implements, or playing favorites among humans and harming others.  What's particular or unique about the God of Abraham?  

Quote
Also what is it about the Middle Eastern culture that they've pretty much created vengeful but loving gods (ex: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam)? Was it also part of their polytheistic, pre-Abrahamic society?

It's just not that special, honestly!  The section of Exodus referred to as the "Canticle of Miriam" or "Canticle of Moses," which scholars agree is one of the oldest bits of what we now call the Bible and which is on its face is henotheistic, not monotheistic, identifies the God of Abraham as a war god.  That may be part of it?  But honestly, I don't see anything that makes Him much different from any contemporary deities, other than later claims of being alone in Godhood and MUCH later political prominence thanks to the Roman Empire.
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Quote from: Valentine;160922
It's in the "Old Testament"/Hebrew Scriptures that the God of Abraham hears an enslaved people crying out and is moved to rescue them by their cries; makes laws against abusing people with disabilities; and declares that the ultimate way to serve Him is through caring for widows, orphans, foreigners, and the poor.  It's in the Hebrew Bible that we find, in Isaiah, both explicit reassurances for the holiness of gender-variant people and the promise of a kind and peaceful life on Earth for everyone.  It's in the much-maligned Deuteronomy that we're warned that if we don't get right and make a more just society, we'll always have poverty, and that that's unacceptable.  (Right alongside the smiting of cities and the rules for how to go about slavery properly, etc., yes.)
It's "New Testament God"/Jesus who, alongside healing the sick, says "I came not to bring peace but a sword," tells a woman from another ethnic group begging for help that he didn't come to do miracles for dogs (though he relents when she pushes the issue), and so on.  Both sections have apocalypse books, but the Apocalypse of John of Patmos is, we can all agree, not all cuddles and puppies, even compared to other apocalypse books.  And it's Christians, not Jews, who introduced the notion of eternal damnation, which is not present in what Christians call the "Old Testament."

"Cruel vengeful Old Testament God"/"Kind loving New Testament God" is an erroneous oversimplification introduced as part of a set of ideas called "supercessionism," which dictates that Jews were getting their own religion wrong and Christians inherited chosen-ness by doing better at it, to massively understate the issue.  It's a cultural/interpretive lens most of us in the West have inherited when reading Biblical work and secondary stuff on Biblical work, so it's understandable that you'd have picked this impression up, but it's, put gently, hooey.


Most of us aren't in the business of insisting our Gods aren't all-"good," which is part of it, but ask anyone here and they'll tell you plenty, if they feel like it, about how most Gods that are beloved are also worthy of fear, capable of doing things we humans appreciate and also things that are frightening, violent, or cruel.  Apollo inflicts plagues on the populace and also brings fine arts.  Dionysos is involved in both miraculous, rapturous healing and tearing living people into pieces.  Bast is beloved and also tears the hearts out of sinners.  You really never ever want to be on Odin's bad side.  Kali wears jewelry made out of human body parts and is also adored.  Gods all over the place do plenty of smiting with various implements, or playing favorites among humans and harming others.  What's particular or unique about the God of Abraham?  


It's just not that special, honestly!  The section of Exodus referred to as the "Canticle of Miriam" or "Canticle of Moses," which scholars agree is one of the oldest bits of what we now call the Bible and which is on its face is henotheistic, not monotheistic, identifies the God of Abraham as a war god.  That may be part of it?  But honestly, I don't see anything that makes Him much different from any contemporary deities, other than later claims of being alone in Godhood and MUCH later political prominence thanks to the Roman Empire.

 

Thank you everyone for your answers. And a special thanks to the lady who sent me a great youtube video this morning. I can see how ancient and middle aged "prophets" helped to spread it but still, to the point where there's still 1/3 of the world who identify as Christian and Muslim, and ironically a very small percentage consider themselves Jewish. I actually took a Soc. of Religion class last semester that had those stats available. World-wide it was below 1%, I was surprised. I guess I find that odd considering there's other religions out there for billions of people to follow as well.
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