Two articles with opposing conclusions about Yahweh appear below:

1   How God was Invented
2   Regarding God


HOW GOD WAS INVENTED

Brian de Kretser

(Investigator 157, 2014 July)


From time unknown all gods were invented by man, not the other way about.

Monotheism was invented in 1380 BC by Pharoah Akhenaton, known as the mad pharaoh. He was also known as Amenhotep IV but changed his name in 1380 BC. His son was Tutankhamen.

1000 years after Pharoah Akhenaton the Jews re-invented monotheism. They replaced the Egyptian god Aton with their own invention the god Yahweh. This god is now the Christian God.

Other deities who existed before were Brahma, Horus, Osiris, Isis, Marduk and Ahuramazda. Others came later — Allah in the 6th century AD.

The Devil was created in the third century BC and was also called Satan from the Greek "Pan". Hell was invented in 600 BC by the Jewish priestly author of Levitcus.

The Devil and evil is critical to the religions — one must have a "bad guy" to counter the "good guy". The Devil is depicted in many forms such as a serpent, dragon, etc.

Christianity claims that the Devil was a fallen angel; therefore he must have been created by God.

The concept of good and evil predates Christianity. All older religions had it. Without the "bad guy" the religions would fall flat.

The Adam and Eve story was written by the Yahwists about 920 BC. It was borrowed from the Greek story of Prometheus.

The Gospels were not written by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. These names were used for the anonymous authors.

The creation myth: Zarathustra (Babylon) was the originator of the original creation myth by the god Marduk More than 1000 years later it was recycled by the Jewish Priestly author of the Levite cast who wrote Genesis.

The Genesis Flood story is a recycled story from a Sumerian story and a Babylonian version of the same story, hundreds of years before the Bible was written.

The fruits of temptation: God is said to be omni everything. If his knowledge was so good, he must have known that by planting that Tree followed by his warning, Eve would eventually eat of it.

Questions:

•    Why did he plant it in the first instance knowing well that Eve would eat the fruit?
•    After this error why did God blame Adam and Eve and kick them out of the Garden?
•    He placed a "Cherubim with a flaming sword" to prevent access. Are the Cherubim and flaming sword still there?

The Serpent had a talk with Eve in which he gave his opinion about the fruit, and assured her that it was good and would make her wise. She tried it and also gave some to Adam. When God found out he cursed the snake and condemned it to henceforth crawl on its belly and east dust.

Questions:

•    From where did the Serpent come from? God with his omni everything could have stopped it.
•    After the event the Serpent was cursed, so before the curse it would have walked erect on two feet and been able to speak. For Eve to understand, it must have spoken fluent Hebrew. It had the outward appearance of a gentleman, seductive, plausible and polite in a manner to deceive Eve. Or was it the Devil (as some suggest)?
•    Why did God permit him to prevail over Eve? This Snake (the Devil) teaches the man and woman first to doubt like skeptics, then by degrees make them atheists. The old Snake benefits the world more than God ever did.

Noah's Ark:
450-500 feet long
75-80 feet broad
45-50 feet high

With one door shutting from the outside (for God to close the door), one window 20-22 inches square, this would house 100,000 insects, 40,000 mammals, 1600 reptiles, mastodons, dinosaurs, etc.

The Bible has 66 books by 42 independent authors representing 22 occupations, living in 7 countries during a span of around 750 years.

The Bible is the biggest book of lies and fairy tales. It is a mess of contradictions and confusion and has an estimated 150,000 variant readings. The "Infallible word of God" what a joke! Jesus was voted in as a God by 161 votes to 157 against at the Council of Nicaea in 325 AD.


 



REGARDING GOD

Response to "How God Was Invented" (#157)

(Investigator 158, 2014 September)


INTRODUCTION

Brian de Kretser has again shared misinformation which I'll now correct.


MONOTHEISM and ISRAEL

Did Pharoah Akhenaten (reigned 1351-1334 BC) invent Monotheism which the Jews re-invented 1000 years later?

Akhenaten's so-called "monotheism" was Sun-worship whereas the Bible regards the Sun as a creation of God i.e. of Yahweh (Psalm 8:3; 74:16; 136:7-9) and its worship idolatry. A big difference!

Moses promoted the worship of one God (Yahweh) after such worship had long been neglected and, according to biblical Chronology, Moses preceded Akhenaten by over a century. (#157 "Bible Chronology and Egypt")

Since 1896 the oldest extrabiblical reference to Israel was the Merneptah Stele, now located in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. Its hieroglyphic reference to Israel is dated to 1210 BC.

In 2012 Biblical Archaeology Review discussed a gray granite slab 18 x 5 inches in size, with a probable reference to Israel 200 years older than on the Merneptah Stele. The reference is probable rather than certain because part of the word is missing. If confirmed it would make both Israel and worship of Yahweh more ancient than Akhenaten.

Wikipedia says: "The earliest putative reference to Yahweh in the historical record occurs in a list of Bedouin tribes of the Transjordan made by Amenhotep III (c.1391-1353 BC) in the temple of Amon at Soleb."

This is over 900 years older than claimed by de Kretser.

The Bible teaches that the name "Yahweh" is as old as humankind and the first humans knew the name and spoke it — Genesis 4:1. After that Yahweh was repeatedly forgotten and remembered. (Genesis 4:26) At the time of Moses the custodians of the name may have been the Midianites of NW Arabia — Wikipedia says: "The 'Kenite hypothesis' supposes that the Hebrews adopted the cult of Yahweh from the Midianites via the Kenites."

In investigating the Bible we have the problem that much history was unrecorded or deliberately destroyed, and a lot still awaits discovery. In "Bible Chronology and Egypt" (#157) I concluded:

Critics who deny the Exodus and other biblical events … put their trust in priests and pharaohs who removed from historical records kings, cities, dynasties, kingdoms and even empires.

Furthermore, infrared images taken by satellites indicate that "less than one per cent of ancient Egypt is known." (Bonin 2011)

Already, however, archaeology suggests that both Israel and Yahweh were known prior to Akhenaten's time. I expect that future discoveries will extend this back even further.
 

The DEVIL and PAN

De Kretser claims that the biblical Devil is based on "Pan" an idol of ancient Greece.

Pan was a lecherous god with the horns, legs and rump of a goat. He had a revival of sorts in Europe from the 18th century with festivals in his memory, his appearance in theatre and novels, and use of his name in the Peter Pan fairy tale.

Some see a connection between Pan's goatish appearance and the common depiction of the Devil with horns. But this is a medieval development and the Bible nowhere attributes horns to the Devil.

The Israelites and Old Testament had the "Devil" independently of any devil-like figure the Greeks may have had. In #155 I wrote on "The Devil, The Ten Lost Tribes and Zoroaster". I argued that Genesis implies the existence of a supernatural opposer to God, and this idea may have spread from the Lost Tribes to the Persian religion of Zoroastrianism. There was, however, no equivalent contact of Israel with Greece.


ADAM and PROMETHEUS

Did the so-called "Yahwist" borrow the Adam and Eve story from Prometheus (a mythical god-like Titan of Greece) in 920 BC as De Kretser claims?

The "Yahwist" who supposedly edited the books of Moses has never been identified and is a figment of the Documentary Hypothesis of which scores of versions have already been discarded. In 1903 Wilhelm Möller, an opponent of the hypothesis, was basically correct:

“I myself was immovably convinced of the Graf-Wellhausen hypothesis, so long as I allowed it alone to have an effect on me. But after my attention was once directed to its weaknesses (first by Köhler in Erlangen), after I had studied with some thoroughness the scientific literature on the other side, this hypothesis seemed to me more and more monstrous." (See: #153)

The Wikipedia article on Prometheus says: "The Prometheus myth first appeared in the late 8th-century BC Greek epic poet Hesiod's Theogony." Further reading reveals little similarity of Prometheus with Adam and Eve or anything in Genesis. It is also virtually certain that Genesis was composed before Prometheus.


MARDUK

What about Marduk? The "creation myth" or “Enuma Elish” about Marduk was not re-invented by the Jews to write Genesis. The Enuma Elish of Babylon has very little about creation. It is mainly about gods (including Marduk) born in the primeval ocean warring for supremacy. (Sproul 1980) The differences with Genesis are so great that it’s more plausible to claim the Battle of Britain (1940) is myth based on Caesar's attack on Britain (55 BC). To note a few words in common such as "creation" or "battle" or “god” and cry "reinvention" and "myth" while ignoring differences is nonsensical.

The claim that the Genesis Flood is based on a Sumerian legend was answered in #135 and #139. Oceanographers and geologists have identified many great ancient floods, and more will probably be discovered. We need to wait.


FORBIDDEN FRUIT AND FOREKNOWLEDGE


De Kretser went on to ask theological questions.

Why did God plant the forbidden fruit knowing Eve would eat it?

Firstly, although the Bible says God planted the Garden and forbidden tree in Eden it does not say he knew in advance Eve would eat.

Aside from this point, consider:

1.    Some believe God exercises foreknowledge selectively: He knows all possible outcomes of every possible decision in the world (just as I know all outcomes in simple situations such as the game of Noughts and Crosses) but does not look ahead to see which free decisions free agents will choose. From His position of knowing all possibilities but not knowing which possibilities free agents will choose, God allows for all contingencies. [Again, it's like Noughts and Crosses — I know every choice my opponents can make, without knowing what specific choices they will make, but this is enough to assure I never lose.]

2.     Alternatively, God knew Adam and Eve would initiate death and pain for all humankind, and knew all possible consequences, but also planned an outcome so grand as to make it all worthwhile. (See "God, Tsunamis and Evil" in #104)  


DEVIL'S ORIGIN

De Kretser's next question — "Where did the Devil come from?"

The Bible indicates that the rebellion against God began in the supernatural realm. One "angel" wanted to displace God and gain all worship for himself — this is based on Ezekiel 28:11ff. Another motive was that humans threatened his status. The human race when united can do virtually everything that God can do — nothing will be impossible. (Genesis 11:6) This includes rule of the Universe and authority in the supernatural realm. (I Corinthians 6:3) To preempt this sharing of power the "Devil" organized a rebellion and deceived humans into joining him.    


NOAH'S ARK

De Kretser is wrong regarding dinosaurs boarding Noah's Ark. Dinosaurs died out 65 million years earlier. Nor were insects invited on board. The creatures saved in the Ark numbered hundreds, not millions. (#145 "Noah's Ark Insects Not Invited")


FAIRY TALES OR TRUTH?

Is the Bible "fairy tales"? Of course not. Of geographical locations and people named in the Bible probably over 600 are already confirmed. Smaller numbers of statements in many scientific disciplines are also confirmed and reported in Investigator.

Until 1980 the idea that fire can come from the sky and destroy the world (II Peter 2:6; 3:10-13; Genesis 19:24-25) was contrary to Uniformitarianism which taught that Earth and its geology change only slowly. Carl Sagan discussed asteroid impacts in his book Comet (1985) and today the whole scientific world believes in the threat.

Opposition to the Bible kills people in millions every year. Just three areas of opposition — Nazism, Communism and sexual promiscuity — killed probably over 400 million people in the 20th century besides hurting billions more.

Acceptance of the Bible in contrast saves lives. Genesis announced God would use the descendants of Abraham to "bless all the nations of the earth". (Genesis 18:18) This began with Jesus (Acts 3:25-26) and led to many barbaric laws and practices being abandoned; the establishment of universities, modern science and medicine; and thousands of Christian ministries and charities around the world. (See: #132 "Canaanite Apocalypse"; #138 "The Canaan Connection"; #143 "God Is Good"; #153 "Barbarity Is Unbiblical")


CONCLUSION

I've answered De Kretser's Bible points, but actual proof of God is elsewhere. I suggest he consult debates about God's existence in Investigator Magazine.

De Kretser has regularly repeated his mistaken anti-Bible notions and seems impervious to evidence. This makes his attitude religious, a form of worship. He needs to get real and accept that the Bible is reliable.


REFERENCES:

Biblical Archaeology Review, January/February 2012, Volume 38 No1, "When Did Ancient Israel Begin?"

Bonin, L. Hidden Egypt, Science Focus, July 2011, 51-55

Investigator Magazine 104; 132; 138; 143; 153; 157

Möller, W. 1903 Are The Critics Right? Historical & Critical Considerations Against The Graf-Wellhausen Hypothesis, Second Edition, Religious Tract Society, p. xvi

Sagan, C. & Druyan, A. 1985 Comet, Michael Joseph publisher

Sproul, B.C. 1980 Primal Myths, Rider and Company, 91-113

bibleandarchaeology.blogspot.com.au

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yahweh


Bible defenders versus atheists and skeptics many debates on this website:

http://users.adam.com.au/bstett/

http://ed5015.tripod.com/