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Ben Masada

Personification of Attributes - Genesis 1:26

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PERSONIFICATION OF ATTRIBUTES - GENESIS 1:26

"Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. Let them have dominion over... the whole earth."

The above passage of Genesis has been for years the trump card in the hands of Trinitarians to drop at the right time in the assumed thought that it will guarantee them to clean up the table, so to speak. Well, let them think again, because I have news. It's no longer that easy.

Elohim is incorporeal, and incorporeality reflects no image. But then again, how to harmonize the use of the pronouns in the plural form? The attributes of God, which are part of His essence, were impersonately involved in the formation of man.

Bear in mind that only in the creation of man was the statement issued: To make man in God's image. Since God has no visible image, and man does, it's only obvious that man's image would be according to God's attributes. Therefore, His attributes in a relative portion, were the active agent in the formation of man.

Now, it's imperative to focus on the pronouns used by the sacred writer, since the pronouns are anyways what Trinitarians use to think they have made their day. "Let US make MAN in OUR image and likeness. And let THEM have dominion over everything on earth."

Now, focus on the word MAN. It is in the singular form. Nevertheless, the purpose is for THEM to dominate the earth. If THEM were a reference to man, a clarification would be in order to explain the discrepancy in the Grammar. I mean, that it would be a reference to all men. This lack of clarification was not a lapse of the author, but intentional will to direct our minds to the attributes of God, which took part in the formation of man.

It's interesting and just convenient for Trinitarians to rapidly refer "us" and "our" to God Himself and hide any word of explanation on the plural pronoun "them," which could not be a reference to man. I hope they do not do this on purpose because it would be spiritual cruelty to hide the truth.

I hope we have settled this issue. Since "them" is not a reference to man but to the attributes of God, it's only obvious that "us" and "our" are not references to God Himself but to His attributes. Therefore, the Creator of the Universe is He Who has dominion over the whole of the Universe through man by way of His attributes.

Conclusion:

It's more than obvious that Israel could not uphold the banner of absolute Monotheism in God, and start the Scriptures with statements of plurality in God. The whole issue therefore, was personification of attributes.

Ben

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Most scholars nowadays know that the reference to "Us and "Our" is a reference to the Divine Council and NOT a reference to any plurity of God.

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Most scholars nowadays know that the reference to "Us and "Our" is a reference to the Divine Council and NOT a reference to any plurity of God.

All scholars have their own right to interpret the Scriptures as they please. "the Divine Council" of what, a plurality of council members? I see the attributes of God according to the thread as parts of God's essence which in us take the characteristic of plurality but as God is concerned they are all parts of His essence which means that "God Is" without specification. As we have several divinely granted attributes, in God they are one in His essence.

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All scholars have their own right to interpret the Scriptures as they please. "the Divine Council" of what, a plurality of council members? I see the attributes of God according to the thread as parts of God's essence which in us take the characteristic of plurality but as God is concerned they are all parts of His essence which means that "God Is" without specification. As we have several divinely granted attributes, in God they are one in His essence.

Yes, a plurality of council members, who are also mentioned in Psalm 82 and Genesis 6 as the Bene Elohim. As is well known, Monotheism as it is known today did not exist until the return of Israel from its exile in Babylon. A form of it did exist yes, but it was not strict monotheism, it was a form of Monolatrism and before that a form of Henotheism existed, Psalm 82 and a few other places demonstrate this to be self evident.

While I do not accept that what we have is an evolution of belief systems until arriving ar Monotheism, I do believe that strict monotheism as we classify it tody is not an Abrahamic, Jewish or even a christian belief.

Strictly speaking only the muslims have strict monotheism, the bible does not advocate it.

Actually the bible from the beginning to the end is quite serious about the existence of other gods, which rules out monotheism completely. The bible advocates from beginning to end a form of Henotheism, with one basic difference between the classical definition and the biblical evidence and that is that God not only created the other gods (bene elohim) but they serve him in his heavenly council. But while these gods may share many attributes of God, God himself is species unique and uncreated.

See: Monotheism, Polytheism, Monolatry, or Henotheism? Toward an Assessment of Divine Plurality in the Hebrew Bible

Edited by Jor-el

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Yes, a plurality of council members, who are also mentioned in Psalm 82 and Genesis 6 as the Bene Elohim. As is well known, Monotheism as it is known today did not exist until the return of Israel from its exile in Babylon. A form of it did exist yes, but it was not strict monotheism, it was a form of Monolatrism and before that a form of Henotheism existed, Psalm 82 and a few other places demonstrate this to be self evident.

While I do not accept that what we have is an evolution of belief systems until arriving ar Monotheism, I do believe that strict monotheism as we classify it tody is not an Abrahamic, Jewish or even a christian belief.

Strictly speaking only the muslims have strict monotheism, the bible does not advocate it.

Actually the bible from the beginning to the end is quite serious about the existence of other gods, which rules out monotheism completely. The bible advocates from beginning to end a form of Henotheism, with one basic difference between the classical definition and the biblical evidence and that is that God not only created the other gods (bene elohim) but they serve him in his heavenly council. But while these gods may share many attributes of God, God himself is species unique and uncreated.

See: Monotheism, Polytheism, Monolatry, or Henotheism? Toward an Assessment of Divine Plurality in the Hebrew Bible

Sorry Jorel, but I must say you are totally wrong on this one. The issue in Psalm 82 is a reference to the Judges in Israel who would judge the People on behalf of God. and since there was corruption in their judgment. Probably the Prophet here was trying to correct that sinful trend among the Judges of Israel who were acting as gods; hence on behalf of God in the role of judges among God's People. Strict Monotheism exists from the time Abraham himself started with the concept. The lack of Monotheism deduced from individuals even kings throughout History had nothing of itself to justify the charge that strict Monotheism was not a fact among the learned ones of Israel, especially the Prophets. The only thing you are absolutely right is that strict Monotheism has never been a Christian choice right from its onset and until this very day.

Now, with regards to your statement that "strictly speaking only Muslims are monotheistic" you have taken too large an step. Therefore, let us make a deal. You quote to me in the Tanach what you see as not being Monotheism and, if I fail to explain that you have missed the point, I'll admit it so. You must take my challenge because what you have asserted above is too serious.

Now, if by "bene Elohim" you are referring to the text in Genesis 6 about the Nephilim, I would like to share with you that when Ezra codefied the Tanach so that it became easily available to all he, for some reason, included just prior to the Flood that fragment from Babylonian Mythology to enhance the reason why Mankind had to go except for Noah and his family. Nothing at all in the text had to do with a divine counsel in assistance before God.

Edited by Ben Masada

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Sorry Jorel, but I must say you are totally wrong on this one. The issue in Psalm 82 is a reference to the Judges in Israel who would judge the People on behalf of God. and since there was corruption in their judgment. Probably the Prophet here was trying to correct that sinful trend among the Judges of Israel who were acting as gods; hence on behalf of God in the role of judges among God's People. Strict Monotheism exists from the time Abraham himself started with the concept. The lack of Monotheism deduced from individuals even kings throughout History had nothing of itself to justify the charge that strict Monotheism was not a fact among the learned ones of Israel, especially the Prophets. The only thing you are absolutely right is that strict Monotheism has never been a Christian choice right from its onset and until this very day.

Oh is that so?

Psalm 82

A Psalm of Asaph.

1 God (elohim) stands in the divine council (literally, council of El); among the gods (elohim) He pronounces judgment.

2 How long will you (plural) judge unjustly, showing favor to the wicked? Selah.

3 Judge the wretched and the orphan, vindicate the lowly and the poor,

4 rescue the wretched and the needy; save them from the hand of the wicked.

5 They neither know nor understand, they go about in darkness; all the foundations of the earth totter.

6 I said, “you (plural) gods (elohim), sons of the Most High (beney Elyon), all of you (plural); 7but you (plural) shall die as men do, fall like any prince.

8 Arise (the command is singular), O God (elohim), judge (the command is singular) the earth, for you (singular) shall inherit all the nations.

Can you tell me how a human being can be threatened to "die like a human being" if he is already a human being and destined to die like any other human being? How exactly is that a threat?

Example:

Ben you must do as I say or you will die like a human being!!!! :whistle:

It is quite clear to any individual that this only makes sense (unless you are willing to suppose that God was having a bad day here) is that it is talking of beings that are NOT human, as it happens that is exactly what it says in the 1st line (gods).

Now, with regards to your statement that "strictly speaking only Muslims are monotheistic" you have taken too large an step. Therefore, let us make a deal. You quote to me in the Tanach what you see as not being Monotheism and, if I fail to explain that you have missed the point, I'll admit it so. You must take my challenge because what you have asserted above is too serious.

Psalm 95:3

For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods.

Psalm 86:8

There is none like you among the gods, O Lord, nor are there any works like yours.

Exodus 18:11

Now I know that the Lord is greater than all gods, because in this affair they dealt arrogantly with the people.

Exodus 23:13

Pay attention to all that I have said to you, and make no mention of the names of other gods, nor let it be heard on your lips.

2 Chronicles 2:5

The house that I am to build will be great, for our God is greater than all gods.

Other gods literally exist beside God himself at no time does the bible refute the existence of other gods, it strenuouly exhorts us not to follow them or worship them.

Gods titles include the term God of gods and El Elyon (The most High God) suggesting that there are other lesser gods.

Deuteronomy 10:17

For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes

Deuteronomy 32.8

When the Most High gave to the nations their inheritance, when he divided mankind, he fixed the borders of the peoples according to the number of the sons of God.

To say that these gods are false and do not exist is to challange the bible itself and God cannot be jealous of the imaginary...

Exodus 34:14

Do not worship any other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.

Want me to go on?

There are literally hundreds of verses that refer to the other gods in a very real way. Strict Monotheism DOES NOT admit the existence of other gods (of any type).

Hence Henotheism is called for in the bible, NOT Monotheism.

The multiple references to the Divine Council are another indicator of Henotheism as well...

Job 15:8

Have you listened in the council of God?

And do you limit wisdom to yourself?

Psam 82:1

God has taken his place in the divine council;

in the midst of the gods he holds judgment:

Psam 89:7

a God greatly to be feared in the council of the holy ones,

and awesome above all who are around him?

Jeremiah 23:18, 22

18 For who among them has stood in the council of the Lord

to see and to hear his word,

or who has paid attention to his word and listened?

22 But if they had stood in my council,

then they would have proclaimed my words to my people,

and they would have turned them from their evil way,

and from the evil of their deeds.

God has a Divine Council it is so attested by scripture itself. We even have a scene depicting the divine council in action...

2 Chronicles 18:18-21

18 Micaiah continued, “Therefore hear the word of the Lord: I saw the Lord sitting on his throne with all the multitudes of heaven standing on his right and on his left. 19 And the Lord said, ‘Who will entice Ahab king of Israel into attacking Ramoth Gilead and going to his death there?’

“One suggested this, and another that. 20 Finally, a spirit came forward, stood before the Lord and said, ‘I will entice him.’

“‘By what means?’ the Lord asked.

21 “‘I will go and be a deceiving spirit in the mouths of all his prophets,’ he said.

“‘You will succeed in enticing him,’ said the Lord. ‘Go and do it.’

Now, if by "bene Elohim" you are referring to the text in Genesis 6 about the Nephilim, I would like to share with you that when Ezra codefied the Tanach so that it became easily available to all he, for some reason, included just prior to the Flood that fragment from Babylonian Mythology to enhance the reason why Mankind had to go except for Noah and his family. Nothing at all in the text had to do with a divine counsel in assistance before God.

You may becorrect regarding Ezras use of the text but totally incorrect regarding Ezras knowledge of a Divine Council of God. It was one of the most universally accepted ideas in Judaism during his time and before his time. Scholars who study this agree, the bible demonstrates it and even ancient documnets found in Ugarit who bear very close parallels to the biblical cosmology of the time refer to this expicitly.

History and archaeology and the Bile are on my side on this.

Edited by Jor-el

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]Psalm 82 [/b]A Psalm of Asaph.

1 God (elohim) stands in the divine council (literally, council of El); among the gods (elohim) He pronounces judgment.

2 How long will you (plural) judge unjustly, showing favor to the wicked? Selah.

3 Judge the wretched and the orphan, vindicate the lowly and the poor,

4 rescue the wretched and the needy; save them from the hand of the wicked.

5 They neither know nor understand, they go about in darkness; all the foundations of the earth totter.

6 I said, “you (plural) gods (elohim), sons of the Most High (beney Elyon), all of you (plural); 7but you (plural) shall die as men do, fall like any prince.

8 Arise (the command is singular), O God (elohim), judge (the command is singular) the earth, for you (singular) shall inherit all the nations.

Here is my understanding of Psalm 82 verse by verse:

1. HaShem stands in the congregation of great ones of Israel and pronounces judgment among the judges.

2. How long will you judge unjustly and accept the persons of the wicked. Here we perceive references to bribes.

3. Stop going for the bribes of the powerful and defend the poor and fatherless by doing justice to the afflicted and needy.

4. Deliver the poor and needy from from the hand of the wicked.

5. But they do not understand as they themselves walk in darkness. Hence Hosea 4:6 "My People perish for lack of knowledge."

6. Although I have said that you are gods in the role of gods as judges over the congregation of God...

7. ...I must remind you that you shall die like men which is what you are.

8. Then the Psalmist addresses God Himself the Supreme Judge of the earth who inherits all nations as there is no other god.

Can you tell me how a human being can be threatened to "die like a human being" if he is already a human being and destined to die like any other human being? How exactly is that a threat?

The Psalmist was not picturing God threatening humans but reminding them of their real selves that they were nothing but humans that although in the role of gods whom judgement was given, that they would die as they were: Humans.

Ben you must do as I say or you will die like a human being!!!! :whistle:

There is no such a thing "Do as I say or..." The implication is of reminding them their human nature although performing their job as gods..

It is quite clear to any individual that this only makes sense (unless you are willing to suppose that God was having a bad day here) is that it is talking of beings that are NOT human, as it happens that is exactly what it says in the 1st line (gods).

It is quite clear only to pagans taken with preconceived notions or people completely unaware of metaphorical language.

]Psalm 95:3 [/b]For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods.

Claimed by the nations.

]Psalm 86:8 [/b]There is none like you among the gods, O Lord, nor are there any works like yours.

Claimed by the nations. (Isa.46:5)

]Exodus 18:11 [/b]Now I know that the Lord is greater than all gods, because in this affair they dealt arrogantly with the people.

Claimed by the nations.

Exodus 23:13

Pay attention to all that I have said to you, and make no mention of the names of other gods, nor let it be heard on your lips.

2 Chronicles 2:5

The house that I am to build will be great, for our God is greater than all gods.

Other gods literally exist beside God himself at no time does the bible refute the existence of other gods, it strenuouly exhorts us not to follow them or worship them.

Gods titles include the term God of gods and El Elyon (The most High God) suggesting that there are other lesser gods.

Deuteronomy 10:17

For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes

Deuteronomy 32.8

When the Most High gave to the nations their inheritance, when he divided mankind, he fixed the borders of the peoples according to the number of the sons of God.

To say that these gods are false and do not exist is to challange the bible itself and God cannot be jealous of the imaginary...

Exodus 34:14

Do not worship any other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.

Want me to go on?

There are literally hundreds of verses that refer to the other gods in a very real way. Strict Monotheism DOES NOT admit the existence of other gods (of any type).

Hence Henotheism is called for in the bible, NOT Monotheism.

The multiple references to the Divine Council are another indicator of Henotheism as well...

Job 15:8

Have you listened in the council of God?

And do you limit wisdom to yourself?

Psam 82:1

God has taken his place in the divine council;

in the midst of the gods he holds judgment:

Psam 89:7

a God greatly to be feared in the council of the holy ones,

and awesome above all who are around him?

Jeremiah 23:18, 22

18 For who among them has stood in the council of the Lord

to see and to hear his word,

or who has paid attention to his word and listened?

22 But if they had stood in my council,

then they would have proclaimed my words to my people,

and they would have turned them from their evil way,

and from the evil of their deeds.

God has a Divine Council it is so attested by scripture itself. We even have a scene depicting the divine council in action...

2 Chronicles 18:18-21

18 Micaiah continued, “Therefore hear the word of the Lord: I saw the Lord sitting on his throne with all the multitudes of heaven standing on his right and on his left. 19 And the Lord said, ‘Who will entice Ahab king of Israel into attacking Ramoth Gilead and going to his death there?’

“One suggested this, and another that. 20 Finally, a spirit came forward, stood before the Lord and said, ‘I will entice him.’

“‘By what means?’ the Lord asked.

21 “‘I will go and be a deceiving spirit in the mouths of all his prophets,’ he said.

“‘You will succeed in enticing him,’ said the Lord. ‘Go and do it.’

You may becorrect regarding Ezras use of the text but totally incorrect regarding Ezras knowledge of a Divine Council of God. It was one of the most universally accepted ideas in Judaism during his time and before his time. Scholars who study this agree, the bible demonstrates it and even ancient documnets found in Ugarit who bear very close parallels to the biblical cosmology of the time refer to this expicitly.

History and archaeology and the Bile are on my side on this.

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Oh is that so?

Psalm 82

A Psalm of Asaph.

1 God (elohim) stands in the divine council (literally, council of El); among the gods (elohim) He pronounces judgment.

2 How long will you (plural) judge unjustly, showing favor to the wicked? Selah.

3 Judge the wretched and the orphan, vindicate the lowly and the poor,

4 rescue the wretched and the needy; save them from the hand of the wicked.

5 They neither know nor understand, they go about in darkness; all the foundations of the earth totter.

6 I said, “you (plural) gods (elohim), sons of the Most High (beney Elyon), all of you (plural); 7but you (plural) shall die as men do, fall like any prince.

8 Arise (the command is singular), O God (elohim), judge (the command is singular) the earth, for you (singular) shall inherit all the nations.

Here is my understanding of Psalm 82 verse by verse:

1. HaShem stands in the congregation of great ones of Israel and pronounces judgment among the judges.

2. How long will you judge unjustly and accept the persons of the wicked. Here we perceive references to bribes.

3. Stop going for the bribes of the powerful and defend the poor and fatherless by doing justice to the afflicted and needy.

4. Deliver the poor and needy from from the hand of the wicked.

5. But they do not understand as they themselves walk in darkness. Hence Hosea 4:6 "My People perish for lack of knowledge."

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Here is my understanding of Psalm 82 verse by verse:

1. HaShem stands in the congregation of great ones of Israel and pronounces judgment among the judges.

One cannot be in the midst of one.... One can only be in the midst of many. If these are humans, you are saying that God is in the midst of men... as in actually there. The text does not mention Israel at all, so why do you? The text also says "elohim" in the Hebrew, that is either "God" or "gods". There is no reference to humans at all unlike other verses where such a parallel is quite clear.

2. How long will you judge unjustly and accept the persons of the wicked. Here we perceive references to bribes.

3. Stop going for the bribes of the powerful and defend the poor and fatherless by doing justice to the afflicted and needy.

4. Deliver the poor and needy from from the hand of the wicked.

What bribes, wher in the text does it reference bribes? No such word appears in the text or even has such a meaning. Rather it refers to the unjust handling of humanity by their own gods, who do not defend the just but show partiality to the wicked.

5. But they do not understand as they themselves walk in darkness. Hence Hosea 4:6 "My People perish for lack of knowledge."

Let me ask you a question that begs answering... why would "all the foundations of the earth be shaken" if we are merely dealing with humans who by their very nature are self seeking and corrupt?

I'm used to your views that cannot admit the evidence before you, this is one more blatant example in that trend. The thing is, your view is actually shared by many christians, who, like you cannot stand to see words that could possibly mean what they have to say.

Thus you add words to the text and so dilute it, but I suppose, that for you it's better than facing the obvious.

Here, read this little essay, if you are as objective as you think, you can only come to one conclusion...

http://www.thedivine...2010Psalm82.pdf

As for the rest of the post there is not a single rebuttal to the evidence that the bible views other gods as real entities... and as such there is no real Monotheism in the bible since the very definition of Monotheism is that there are NO OTHER GODS, they simply do not exist.

Edited by Jor-el

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One cannot be in the midst of one.... One can only be in the midst of many. If these are humans, you are saying that God is in the midst of men... as in actually there. The text does not mention Israel at all, so why do you? The text also says "elohim" in the Hebrew, that is either "God" or "gods". There is no reference to humans at all unlike other verses where such a parallel is quite clear.

What bribes, wher in the text does it reference bribes? No such word appears in the text or even has such a meaning. Rather it refers to the unjust handling of humanity by their own gods, who do not defend the just but show partiality to the wicked.

Let me ask you a question that begs answering... why would "all the foundations of the earth be shaken" if we are merely dealing with humans who by their very nature are self seeking and corrupt?

I'm used to your views that cannot admit the evidence before you, this is one more blatant example in that trend. The thing is, your view is actually shared by many christians, who, like you cannot stand to see words that could possibly mean what they have to say.

Thus you add words to the text and so dilute it, but I suppose, that for you it's better than facing the obvious.

Here, read this little essay, if you are as objective as you think, you can only come to one conclusion...

http://www.thedivine...2010Psalm82.pdf

As for the rest of the post there is not a single rebuttal to the evidence that the bible views other gods as real entities... and as such there is no real Monotheism in the bible since the very definition of Monotheism is that there are NO OTHER GODS, they simply do not exist.

Jorel, the problem with you is that you think you can teach Judaism to the Jews and are frustrated that you are not succeeding wiyh this one. Just read Isaiah 46:5 and try to understand that our God is absolutely One and that there is no other god. I am sure I was clear enough with you but for some reason you have to insist that there are other gods. Is it not enough that Christianity has produced the three that already constitute the Trinity?

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Jorel, the problem with you is that you think you can teach Judaism to the Jews and are frustrated that you are not succeeding wiyh this one. Just read Isaiah 46:5 and try to understand that our God is absolutely One and that there is no other god. I am sure I was clear enough with you but for some reason you have to insist that there are other gods. Is it not enough that Christianity has produced the three that already constitute the Trinity?

^_^ I assure you that my intent has nothing to do with teaching Judaism to the Jews, my intent is to show you how the rest of the world reads the texts and to show you that once upon a time, the Jews themselves believed in accordance with what I have said and continue to say. Archaeology bears me out, the Bible, is replete with instances you cannot deny of this, hence your move to radical metaphorism of the text, something the ancient Jews would have frowned upon.

And lastly many of the extra-canonical texts we have from the dead sea scrolls and even from places like Ugarit completly demolish your defense that Jewish though has not changed on these issues over the ages. You may say.. So What?

And I say, it is the roots that give a tree life, not the branches.

yes God is absolutely ONE, did I somehow deny that?

Now do you deny that God did indeed create what are known as the sons of God, and to hold this title is to transmit the notion of deity? Thus God created the other gods, just as the bible says?

This doesn't lessen Gods uniqueness in any way whatsoever no matter what you may think.

Why invent the excuse that the text does not actually mean what it says when it does not change the status of the uniqueness of God nor any of his attributes?

Edited by Jor-el

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^_^ I assure you that my intent has nothing to do with teaching Judaism to the Jews, my intent is to show you how the rest of the world reads the texts and to show you that once upon a time, the Jews themselves believed in accordance with what I have said and continue to say. Archaeology bears me out, the Bible, is replete with instances you cannot deny of this, hence your move to radical metaphorism of the text, something the ancient Jews would have frowned upon.

And lastly many of the extra-canonical texts we have from the dead sea scrolls and even from places like Ugarit completly demolish your defense that Jewish though has not changed on these issues over the ages. You may say.. So What?

And I say, it is the roots that give a tree life, not the branches.

yes God is absolutely ONE, did I somehow deny that?

Now do you deny that God did indeed create what are known as the sons of God, and to hold this title is to transmit the notion of deity? Thus God created the other gods, just as the bible says?

This doesn't lessen Gods uniqueness in any way whatsoever no matter what you may think.

Why invent the excuse that the text does not actually mean what it says when it does not change the status of the uniqueness of God nor any of his attributes?

Have you heard about Moses Maimonides? He was from the early 13th Century. He wrote a masterpiece of a book entitled "The Guide for the Perplexed." I am mentioning him just to show you that I am not pioneer with metaphorical language. I have learned with him so much about the Tanach by using metaphorical language than you can imagine. That's where the real Truth is to be found and not in the letter of the text. True that literal interpretation teaches precious truths but of the worth of silver. The Truth found in what the letter points to is worth gold. Again, that's where the real Truth is. If a person like you opened that book to read, he or she would throw the book away before half of it either for lack of understanding or horrified with what he or she would never be able to agree with.

Edited by Ben Masada

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Have you heard about Moses Maimonides? He was from the early 13th Century. He wrote a masterpiece of a book entitled "The Guide for the Perplexed." I am mentioning him just to show you that I am not pioneer with metaphorical language. I have learned with him so much about the Tanach by using metaphorical language than you can imagine. That's where the real Truth is to be found and not in the letter of the text. True that literal interpretation teaches precious truths but of the worth of silver. The Truth found in what the letter points to is worth gold. Again, that's where the real Truth is. If a person like you opened that book to read, he or she would throw the book away before half of it either for lack of understanding or horrified with what he or she would never be able to agree with.

I well acquainted with Rambam, more so since my interaction and debates with you, but although highly respected, his word is not Gods word, it what is called a considered opinion and is not unanimous throughout Judaism as you well know.

His work rather reminds me of a christian theologian in the 3rd century, called Origen who is credited to being the father of the allegorical method of interpretation.

Either way, it is not how the ancient Jews viewed their scriptures, they were quite the literalists and had no problem with this...

In Origen's system of interpretation, he often denied the ordinary sense of the text, and replaced it with allegories which he made up. These allegories then became the real meaning of the text. There was no way to challenge the allegories on the basis of the text, since what the text actually said was no longer what it meant. It was, therefore, no longer necessary that the allegory actually come from the text, because it was the allegory that was authoritative. The theology which the allegory illustrated was imposed upon the text.

In this allegorical system, when the text said, "Israel," it meant "the Church" and not the Jews, so long as the promise or comment in the text was good. If the promise or comment in the text was not good, then "Israel" still meant "the Jews," and not "the Church." His theology determined how the text was to be understood, rather than the text determining what should be understood and believed.

Rambams thoughts are much the same in their attitude toward the text.

There is absolutely no possible way to accept this type of interpretation since it is so individualistic that it defies rationality. as I said above, his theology determined how the text was to be understood rather than the text speaking for itself. This type of imposition does not respect the text because I can then make it say whatever I want it to say irrespective of whether the text supports me or not. For me that is as bad as actually manipulating the text itself, like adding or subtracting verses.

Either way it doesn't answer this basic question, why would an acceptance of the text somehow change the status of the uniqueness of God or any of his attributes?

It does not... It allows us to understand the greatness of our creator and a little of his plan for humanity.

Edited by Jor-el

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Exodus_20:3

Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

Exo_23:24

Thou shalt not bow down to their gods, nor serve them, nor do after their works:

but thou shalt utterly overthrow them, and quite break down their images.

Joshua_24:20

If ye forsake the LORD, and serve strange gods, then he will turn and do you hurt, and consume you,

after that he hath done you good.

John_10:34

Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?

John_10:35

If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken;

Gods is only mentioned over 200 times. I'm sure Ben can explain them all.

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Jorel, the problem with you is that you think you can teach Judaism to the Jews and are frustrated that you are not succeeding wiyh this one. Just read Isaiah 46:5 and try to understand that our God is absolutely One and that there is no other god. I am sure I was clear enough with you but for some reason you have to insist that there are other gods. Is it not enough that Christianity has produced the three that already constitute the Trinity?

1Jn_5:7

For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.

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Edited by Ben Masada

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Exodus_20:3

Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

Exo_23:24

Thou shalt not bow down to their gods, nor serve them, nor do after their works:

but thou shalt utterly overthrow them, and quite break down their images.

Joshua_24:20

If ye forsake the LORD, and serve strange gods, then he will turn and do you hurt, and consume you,

after that he hath done you good.

John_10:34

Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?

John_10:35

If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken;

Gods is only mentioned over 200 times. I'm sure Ben can explain them all.

As we have in Psalm 82:6, "gods" in John 10:34 is a reference to the children of the Most High which was understood by Jesus himself to be a reference to the Jewish People from the stem of Judah whom Isaiah referred to as Immanuel which means God with us the Gentiles. (Isaiah 8:8) But all the other references to the gods of the nations are negative references to gods that are no gods. These texts were dealt with in the Scriptures at a time when pagans would worship mythological gods. The Jews were referred to as gods but gods who die like men and never to be compared to the true God. (Isaiah 46:5)

Edited by Ben Masada

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1Jn_5:7

For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.

According to Christian preconceived notions. Interesting that one of the three said that heaven is not a place to be in but a peaceful state of mind supposedly to be within our own selves. Read Luke 17:21.How do you see that?

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As we have in Psalm 82:6, "gods" in John 10:34 is a reference to the children of the Most High which was understood by Jesus himself to be a reference to the Jewish People from the stem of Judah whom Isaiah referred to as Immanuel which means God with us the Gentiles. (Isaiah 8:8) But all the other references to the gods of the nations are negative references to gods that are no gods. These texts were dealt with in the Scriptures at a time when pagans would worship mythological gods. The Jews were referred to as gods but gods who die like men and never to be compared to the true God. (Isaiah 46:5)

Actually jesus did not "understand" that reference to be the Jewish People, or even Jewish Elders. For Jesus to have meant that it would effectively be belitteling his own statements in that text, when he categorically states that "I and the Father are one." (verse 30).

This irritated his fellow Jews to such a degree that, according to the same text: 31The Jews picked up stones again to stone him.

Now, if Jesus was in fact saying that Psalm 82:6 was the Jewish People, why would they do that?

No Jesus is saying, just as there are other gods (Is it not written in your Law,'I said, you are gods'? and they (the Jews) realized that he is making himself to be divine but more than that that he is stating that he is "The Hashem", "The Divine Presence".

As is demonstrated in Exodus 23:20-33:

20 “See, I am sending an angel ahead of you to guard you along the way and to bring you to the place I have prepared. 21 Pay attention to him and listen to what he says. Do not rebel against him; he will not forgive your rebellion, since my Name is in him.

That is why the Jews further state in the same text: 32 Jesus answered them, “I have shown you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you going to stone me?” 33 The Jews answered him, “It is not for a good work that we are going to stone you but for blasphemy, because you, being a man, make yourself God.”

If Psalm 82:6 were a reference to the Jewish people my dear friend, Jesus use of it would not have evoked such consternation.

Let us ask some pertinent questions regarding context here...

Question: What is the conflict about?

Answer: Jesus Divinity

What do the Jews say about Jesus Divinity?

Answer: That there is only ONE God and that Jesus was claiming to be God.

Who is the "Them" in the phrase: "I have said you are “god?

If he called them ‘gods,’ to whom the word of God came—and Scripture cannot be set aside— what about the one whom the Father set apart as his very own and sent into the world?"

Answer: Since this is a direct reference to Psalm 82:6, then it cannot be talking about human beings for the simple reason that nowhere in the entire bible does the term "elohim" refer to human beings of any kind... ever!

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Enki, and Ninmah is who "Lest us" really are.Atleast the Sumerian version inwhich the later Genesis writers ripped from is more interesting, and goes into more detail i.e. making mistakes with humans created with birth defects for example.

http://etcsl.orinst.ox.ac.uk/cgi-bin/etcsl.cgi?text=t.1.1.2#

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enki

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/En%C3%BBma_Eli%C5%A1

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Enki, and Ninmah is who "Lest us" really are.Atleast the Sumerian version inwhich the later Genesis writers ripped from is more interesting, and goes into more detail i.e. making mistakes with humans created with birth defects for example.

http://etcsl.orinst....gi?text=t.1.1.2#

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enki

http://en.wikipedia....ki/Enûma_Eliš

Contrary to popular perception, the Old Testament writers did not rip/copy/usurp/plagiarize or any other particular verb in keeping with that thought, when they wrote down Genesis or any other books of the bible.

The cosmology of the Ancient Near East was shared by everybody, including the ancient writers of the bible. While Israel, was a nation called apart, it was still contextually a nation within the Ancient Near East and thus shared much of its world perceptions with the surrounding populations.

What they did have was a particular outlook that looked at the entire cosmolgy in a way that created a declared anagonism with the popular views of the era such as Enki and his brtheren. The same slant can be found in much of the ancient literature found in Ugarit for example.

So what we have here is a common background, but a decidedly antagonistic slant toward the gods of the nations surrounding Israel. Some very subjective people in the early parts of the last century preferred to call it copying... and it stuck because we didn't know enough then to contradict their views, but that my friend has changed.....

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So what we have here is a common background, but a decidedly antagonistic slant toward the gods of the nations surrounding Israel.

It's a simple matter of what came first? The Chicken, or the Egg?

Please give me the earliest documented evidence/proof of israelites as an established people.Thanks

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It's a simple matter of what came first? The Chicken, or the Egg?

Please give me the earliest documented evidence/proof of israelites as an established people.Thanks

That is irrelevant, if you know your history, the Israelites didn't pop out of nothing into existence, they are part of the local middle eastern population which is generally referred to as the "Semitic people", of which the Hebrews (Israelites) are merely a part. Why the surprise that they would share the cosmology accepted by the entire middle east?

This is confirmed in multiple ways...

Common Language roots, http://en.wikipedia..../Semitic_people and Genetics, http://en.wikipedia....f_the_Near_East and a shared Cosmological view of the Universe and the World they inhabited, http://tatania.phsx.ku.edu/phsx594/ancient-links.html

Edited by Jor-el

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That is irrelevant, if you know your history, the Israelites didn't pop out of nothing into existence, they are part of the local middle eastern population which is generally referred to as the "Semitic people", of which the Hebrews (Israelites) are merely a part. Why the surprise that they would share the cosmology accepted by the entire middle east?

This is confirmed in multiple ways...

Common Language roots, http://en.wikipedia..../Semitic_people and Genetics, http://en.wikipedia....f_the_Near_East and a shared Cosmological view of the Universe and the World they inhabited, http://tatania.phsx....ient-links.html

Thanks for the info you provided for it shows the true origins of the Semites.

The first mention of Israel is with the Merneptah Stele in Egypt within the last line as

an after thought in 1208 BCE.The Torah was mainly compiled between 1,000-500 BCE, and is

very obvious to those without faith based tunnel vision it borrows elements of older

mythos going back atleast 3000 BCE.Even during the time the Torah was being written

Polytheism is evident in the archeological record of the Judaen community it came out

of.The Torah is aimed at solidifying a displaced people thru myth, and parables.

The mythos of eating forbidden fruit, confused languages, creation of man, a flood etc

etc comes from ancient Sumer as evidenced in the cuneiformed clay tablets.Anyone that

follows the Old Testament does so on pure faith than actual evidence.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Merneptah_Stele

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Israel

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asherah (see In Israel and Judah)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sumerian_creation_myth

I suggest you watch this.

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Thanks for the info you provided for it shows the true origins of the Semites.

The first mention of Israel is with the Merneptah Stele in Egypt within the last line as

an after thought in 1208 BCE.The Torah was mainly compiled between 1,000-500 BCE, and is

very obvious to those without faith based tunnel vision it borrows elements of older

mythos going back atleast 3000 BCE.Even during the time the Torah was being written

Polytheism is evident in the archeological record of the Judaen community it came out

of.The Torah is aimed at solidifying a displaced people thru myth, and parables.

The mythos of eating forbidden fruit, confused languages, creation of man, a flood etc

etc comes from ancient Sumer as evidenced in the cuneiformed clay tablets.Anyone that

follows the Old Testament does so on pure faith than actual evidence.

http://en.wikipedia....Merneptah_Stele

http://en.wikipedia....story_of_Israel

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asherah (see In Israel and Judah)

http://en.wikipedia....n_creation_myth

I suggest you watch this.

[media=]

[/media]

Seriously, what are you trying to say here because I simply don't get it, a little clarity in your argument would help us all...

The bible is quite clear as to the shared cosmology of the Ancient Near East, only a person unfamiliar with that History would be surprised.

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