Combat Myth: The Curious Story of Yahweh and the Gods Who Preceded Him

The Combat Myth is a supernatural battle between order and chaos (or good and evil) that we see in mythologies of civilizations throughout the Ancient Near East, culminating with Judaism. Yahweh isn’t a remarkable god, different from the made-up gods in surrounding cultures. Instead, his story is just one stage in a long line of mythology. If the Akkadian god Anzu or the Babylonian god Marduk are obvious myths, Yahweh is the same.

While the Mesopotamian myths are unfamiliar to most of us, we see a hint in Greek mythology. Zeus wasn’t always the chief god of the Greek pantheon but took that role from his father Cronos. And Cronos succeeded his own father, Uranus. Though there are important differences, this succession is common to the Combat Myth.

1. Akkadian myth: Ninurta defeats Anzu

The Akkadian Empire followed Sumer as the main Mesopotamian civilization. This myth is about a thousand years before the Yahweh story in the Old Testament.

In the Akkadian pantheon, Enlil was the king of the gods. Kingship was invested in the god who possessed the Tablet of Destinies, which showed all that has happened and all that will happen.

The griffin-like Anzu, assistant to Enlil, steals the Tablet and flies away. Chaos threatens the order of the gods. Kingship will go to the god who restores order, but none steps up to respond to the challenge. Finally, Ninurta, an unimportant god to that point, volunteers.

Besides being able to fly, Anzu has two useful powers. One is that he can make all his feathers fly out and then come back, which distracts his opponents. The other is that he can disassemble things (such as arrows shot at him) into their component parts. And, of course, he has the Tablet, which is handy for seeing what an opponent is about to do.

The first battle is a stalemate. Anzu is able to disassemble Ninurta’s arrows. But Ninurta enters the second battle with a new stratagem. He shoots an arrow disguised as a feather at just the right moment so that it’s lost in Anzu’s cloud of feathers. Anzu pulls the feathers back in and is killed by the arrow. Order is restored, and Ninurta ascends to become the king of the gods.

The Combat Myth

From this, let’s distill out the Combat Myth. It begins with a chaotic threat to the council of the gods. None of the gods from the older generation is willing to face the challenge, but one young god steps up. He defeats the monster and becomes the new chief god. This structure is constant, though the details are customized in subsequent civilizations.

Two features are not common to all examples. In some, we see the hero god dying and being reborn in the process. Also, our human world is sometimes created from the carcass of the slain chaos monster.

2. Babylonian myth: Marduk defeats Tiamat

This story comes from the Enuma Elis, the Babylonian creation epic. In the beginning were Tiamat, the female serpent or dragon who was salt water, and Absu, the male god who was the fresh water.

(I’ve written more about how the Genesis story parallels the Mesopotamian myth of a saltwater dome above the primordial earth and a fresh water ocean underneath.)

Tiamat and Absu create a generation of younger gods who become too noisy for Absu’s liking. He plans to kill them all, but they learn of his plan and kill him first. Tiamat is furious.

Marduk the storm god steps up to respond. He kills Tiamat, forms the universe from her body, and installs himself as king of the gods.

3. Ugaritic myth: Baal defeats Yam and then Mot

This myth comes from Ugarit, just north of Israel. It’s dated to roughly 1300 BCE. This is the environment from which Judaism emerged.

Our historical record is fragmentary, but El is the chief god, and Baal (“Lord”) volunteers to fight the chaos threat. (Yes, the same El and Baal mentioned in the Old Testament.) He uses a supernatural club to kill Yam (“Sea”), the serpent-like sea god. Some variations give Yam seven heads and use Lotan and Leviathan as synonyms.

Next, Baal fights Mot (“Death”), another threat to order. Baal dies in this battle but is brought back to life to finally overcome Mot.

4. Israelite myth: Yahweh defeats Leviathan

Early Judaism had the same council of the gods as in Ugaritic mythology. (I’ve written more on Israelite polytheism here.) Yahweh is a son of El (also called Elyon) and was just one of many in the council of the gods.

When Elyon divided the nations, when he separated the sons of Adam, he established the borders of the nations according to the number of the sons of the gods. Yahweh’s portion was his people, [Israel] his allotted inheritance. (Deut. 32:8–9)

Yahweh was assigned Israel, and other gods in the council were given their own tribes to rule.

We see the Bible’s version of the Combat Myth in Ps. 89:5–12. First, Yahweh has taken his place as king of the council of the gods.

The heavens praise your wonders, Yahweh, your faithfulness too, in the assembly of the holy ones. For who in the skies above can compare with Yahweh? Who is like Yahweh among the heavenly beings? In the council of the holy ones God is greatly feared; he is more awesome than all who surround him.

Yahweh has slain the chaos monster Rahab (yet another name for the sea monster).

You rule over the surging sea; when its waves mount up, you still them. You crushed Rahab like one of the slain; with your strong arm you scattered your enemies.

Finally, Yahweh created the earth.

The heavens are yours, and yours also the earth; you founded the world and all that is in it.

We read a similar retelling in Psalms 74, where Yahweh is credited with creation. But first, he defeated the monster(s):

It was you who split open the sea [Yam] by your power; you broke the heads of the monster in the waters. It was you who crushed the heads of Leviathan and gave it as food to the creatures of the desert. (Ps. 74:13–14)

We see this multi-headed dragon both looking back as Lotan in Ugaritic mythology and looking forward as the sea dragon in Revelation 13.

With Yahweh as just one more step in the evolution of the Combat Myth, little besides wishful thinking supports the idea that he alone is for real.

And that’s the point about beliefs—they don’t change facts.
Facts, if you’re rational, should change beliefs.
— Ricky Gervais (The Unbelievers movie trailer)

My primary source for this post was a podcast episode by Dr. Phil Harland (York University, Toronto) “Podcast 7.2: Origins part 1 – Ancient Near Eastern Combat Myths.” I recommend his “Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean” podcast.

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  • Jason

    I’m teaching Bible right now at a university and have been discussing this topic with my students. We just looked closely at the evidence in Job for early Israelite polytheism and I think many were surprised. In the book of Job, Satan is not the devil or Lucifer or the Serpent. In fact, “Satan” is not even a personal name; it just means “Accuser” and he is described as one of the sons of god in the heavenly council. Thus it’s at least clear that Job’s god was the head of an array of various divine beings he was related to (not so different from Zeus and the Olympians). Many many OT passages make much more sense when read in this light (e.g. in Gen 1.26, God says, “let us make humankind in our image…”)

    • Yes, Satan as God’s Mr. Fix-it is an odd concept for many people.

      I was having a similar conversation with some Christian friends who weren’t aware of the Documentary Hypothesis (the JEPD thing). Simply as a way to make sense of the Bible, this kind of unfettered thinking is essential.

      Of course, they have an agenda and can’t do that. Weird.

      If your research shows areas where I’ve made a mistake or need to go further, please point that out.

    • Steve Willy

      You have no right to be teaching at a university you neck bearded megadouche.

      • Pattrsn

        Neck bearded? I smell a Poe.

        • Felix Galvan

          I smell a troll, are Poe’s similar?

        • Pattrsn

          Well I’ve poe’d trolls before. I guess by poeing them I was engaging in trollery. And just now I trolled a troll by calling it a poe.

        • Steve Willy

          If this person is actually a university professor and they truly honor the gods of reason and logic half as much as they claim — indeed, if they believe in anything beyond their own solipsistic hedonism — then they would recognize a moral obligation to place their face into their palm, IMMEDIATELY resign from their position, find a quiet place, and rethink their life. His or her comments here demonstrate beyond a shadow of a doubt that they cannot possibly be doing a service to their students nor can they possibly be doing legitimate scholarship. They are nothing but a sophomoric, Hitchens-Dawkins parroting basement dwelling megadouche who happens to wrap his or her pseudo-intellectual musing in some sort of a degree, and are using that degree to force their neck bearded ‘values’ on people who are not in a position to disagree.

        • Pattrsn

          Resign? I don’t think that goes nearly far enough. The man has offended your religious beliefs. He has opened tiny crack in your wall of self delusion, firings too good for the prick, he needs to be put up against a wall. I’d shoot him myself but as a Canadian I’m afraid that’s illegal.

          I like your analogy of the other gods as being rays of light shining through the true god, but I think there may be some problems with it as some of those rays were doing things like screwing their sisters and murdering each other. I think a more appropriate analogy might be say raisins on a bran muffin. People at first can’t see the muffin because it’s so covered in raisins (it being god it would be so rich and tasty and simply covered in raisins, it would be the most perfect bran muffin) until god reveals himself “Here I am” and they see him for the muffin he is. Or perhaps a banana covered in chocolate chips, I had one of those the other day, I said to myself “god this is a good”, coincidence? Or maybe a donut with sprinkles, the hole kind of adds an element of mystery. Anyway feel free to run with it.

        • Jason

          My local grocery store has this pistachio muffin that’s awesome.

        • Golly, Steve. What religion do you subscribe to? ‘Cause it sounds awesome. And your arguments are real deep. I wanna be just like you.

        • Jason

          Instead of trying to insult me, why don’t you explain how my comments are wrong? All I did was point out the evidence we find in Job. Nothing speculative going on here. It’s just what the text says.

      • Huh? Is this your way of saying, “Stop attacking my religion”?

        • Steve Willy

          It is manifestly immoral for you to use this child’s image to advance your neck bearded agenda.

    • JohnH2

      The LDS view of God and the Godhead explicitly has what you are talking about.

      • Jason

        Actually, that’s very interesting and I didn’t know that. Are you saying the LDS view is that the serpent in Genesis, the Accuser in Job, and Lucifer are three different entities?

        • JohnH2

          No, (I assume) they are all the same being who is a son of God, as are we all, created in the image and likeness of God. In the council in heaven Lucifer rebelled against God and was cast out of heaven. Elohim is a titular name for God the Father being the head of the council in heaven or council of the Gods.

          Satan or the accuser is likewise a titular name for Lucifer, the son of the morning that fell.

          I think it is very important when reading what I wrote to throw out completely the christian orthodox understanding of God, Satan, angels, and those are just the most obvious ones for me to point out.

        • The LDS view is more in sync with the polytheism found in the Old Testament than the traditional Christian view is.

        • JohnH2

          Most Isrealites in the Old Testament were polytheist but Mormons and the Israelite prophets follow Monolatry. (many gods but worship only one God).

        • It’s just that most modern Christians attempt to find some way to spin the OT to pretend that they always knew there was only one god.

          Did Mormonism develop to deliberately be more in sync with the OT on this matter, or was that just a happy accident?

        • JohnH2

          Obviously the first vision of Joseph Smith already implies quite a bit and blows away the creeds of Christendom both by there being two personages; one declaring the other to be His Beloved Son and by the other declaring the creeds to be an abomination.

          Then there is the book of Abraham, whatever what was being translated as its source, it is very explicit about all this and contains details found in Gnostic texts that which texts were only discovered recently, not had in Joseph Smiths day.

          So the doctrine was already there prior to it being made completely explicit in the King Follett Discourse and the sermon in the grove; both of which do tie it into the New and Old Testament. I believe Mormonism to be true so I believe that God set it up to be more in sync with the truth; which the Old Testament does contain portions of the truth as well.

          If it were not true then I would have to say it was a happy accident: if one rejects the three-in-one answer of the creeds then already one is left with really only two options: either one takes the route of the Jehovah’s Witnesses and Islam in claiming that Jesus is not Jehovah and not God; or one has to reject the entire proposition of marrying the Bible and belief with the philosophy coming from Athens (What has Athens to do with Jerusalem?). Mormonism is based on that complete rejection of the creeds and the philosophy the creeds were founded on so there is only one logical direction to go and it so happens that it is also the older direction from which Christianity and Judaism has departed from.

        • Obviously the first vision of Joseph Smith already implies quite a bit and blows away the creeds of Christendom both by there being two personages; one declaring the other to be His Beloved Son and by the other declaring the creeds to be an abomination.

          Wait … what book are we talking about here that has these contradictions?

          Then there is the book of Abraham

          The one that was later rediscovered and translated by actual experts and found to be nothing much after all?

          if one rejects the three-in-one answer of the creeds

          I see very little to support the idea of the Trinity in the New Testament. If you went back in time to get Paul’s take (or Jesus’s), it seems pretty clear that they’d stare at you blankly.

          either one takes the route of the Jehovah’s Witnesses and Islam in claiming that Jesus is not Jehovah and not God; or one has to reject the entire proposition of marrying the Bible and belief with the philosophy coming from Athens

          Well, another option leaps to mind. You could conclude that the Bible looks most like yet another book of ancient mythology.

        • JohnH2

          Wait … what book are we talking about here that has these contradictions?

          The first vision? Joseph Smith History in the Pearl of Great Price; you can check the Joseph Smith paper’s site for all other accounts.

          The one that was later rediscovered and translated by actual experts and found to be nothing much after all?

          Which is why I worded it as I did; while not everything was rediscovered the facsimiles were for sure. I don’t know what or how Joseph Smith was translating to get the book of Abraham but it isn’t a direct translation of what has been found of the papyrus but also has things which weren’t knowable to Joseph Smith from other gnostic texts. I believe he really was getting revelation on a real ancient document the alternative, I guess, is that he managed to come up with all the similarities to documents that he didn’t have on his own, which seems just as improbable to me.

          another option leaps to mind.

          I should have prefaced with the assumption that one believes in the Bible, I suppose.

        • Jason

          “Satan or the accuser is likewise a titular name for Lucifer, the son of the morning that fell.”

          But the original texts of the Hebrew Bible do not say this. You have to distinguish between the original context of a text and how it is interpreted later. Yes, later Christian interpretation connects all three of these characters. But there’s no evidence that the authors of Genesis, Job, and Isaiah identified these three entities as the same being. Most people are so familiar with the later interpretations they have heard all their lives that they don’t even notice what the original texts say. In Genesis, the serpent is never described as anything other than a misbehaving talking snake (think Aesop’s fables!) who is forced to slither on the ground without legs for tempting Eve. In Job, the Accuser is a son of god who roams around on the earth, with no connection to Hell, the devil, Lucifer, or any kind of embodiment of evil. In Isaiah, “Lucifer” is also not a proper name, just a reference to the planet Venus (the morning star), an image that invokes Canaanite mythology to insult the king of Babylon. Again, this is not an interpretation, just what the texts themselves say.

        • JohnH2

          For your comment on Genesis; that is what is in Genesis, but not what is in the rest of my scriptures.

          For your comment on Job; you clearly didn’t throw out your understanding of Christianity when trying to understand what I said, your mention of Hell and embodiment of evil proves that. The Accuser is a son of god that roams around on the earth.

          I agree that Isaiah is referring to Venus, and that Isaiah is talking about the king of Babylon. Isaiah though is great at putting in allusions and double meanings of things in his book; which is what he did here.

    • Daniel

      You Sir are wrong… and I really hope you are joking about having students…

      The character “Satan in the Text, had you bothered to research it any, is presented in the Hebrew as Ha-Satan (with the Definite article) and is inf-fact this characters given name.
      Just… Just… NO! I can’t believe I have to correct something like this, but the word Satan does NOT in ANYWAY translate to mean “Accuser” in any known universe. “Satan” is Hebrew and means an “ADVERSARY” or “OPPOSITION”. With the “Ha” Prefixed in the Hebrew it gives the PROPER NAME SATAN, as he is Gods CHIEF RESISTER or Opponent.
      WHY ELSE do you think IT’S TRANSLITERATED as the Name “Satan” in the English Bible instead of simply TRANSLATING IT as a “A RESISTER”, like all English Bible do when a character who is NOT Satan and has no “Ha” as a Prefix acts to OPPOSE another person, as in such verses as:
      ((1 Kings 11:25)) “And he became a RESISTER of Israel all the days of Solʹo·mon, adding to the harm done by Haʹdad, and he abhorred Israel while he reigned over Syria.”

      ****Oh, and in all these Scripture Verses as Well… ((1 Samuel 29:4)) ((2 Samuel 19:21-22)) ((1 King 5:4)) ((1 Kings 11:14, 23, and 25))****
      Because these instances do not present as “Ha’Satan” but the normal “Satan” the PROPER NAME SATAN is not used in those verse. SATAN is the DEVIL’S NAME…

      Now, lets move on to your self serving statement that Satan is some kind of Accuser in a Heavenly Council. Where are you getting this? The text says NOTHING like that at all. It says the Sons of God, or the Angels, are Having an Angelic Congregation Meeting, and Satan enters in to crash it and cause trouble By slandering BOTH Jehovah and Job in front of all the remaining Faithful Holy Angels. There is no legal proceedings occurring. God already pronounces Job a faithful, and Satan attempts to manipulate GOD and prove him wrong by confronting him in front of all his remaining faithful Sons by manipulating JOB and bringing about a horrible death for the man. It is probable that Satan is here fishing for recruits from among the Assembly.

      Satan Accuses God of basically BRIBERY when it came to Job and makes the claim that Job, and later that ALL HUMANS merely serve God for selfish reasons and blessings. God allows Satan to meddle with Job, but at every step there is Jehovah warning him not to dare overstep,even a little and then later prevents Satan from killing Job.
      Satan is shown to be a LIAR (Devil) and an OPPONENT (Satan) of both God and His faithful Human and Angelic servants.
      Satan here cruelly STRIVES with ALL HIS MIGHT to CAUSE Job to develop an unrighteous state of mind, and goad him into committing Unforgivable Blasphemous Sins… He is in NOT WAY Testing Job…
      In fact if you read the text carefully you will see that Satan would just simply KILL JOB, were it not for Jehovah’s prohibitions. (Job 2:6)
      Satan in no way poses any real threat to Jehovah, and cannot even act at all without God’s consent. He thus deploys his signature lying maneuvers and makes false claims about Both God and Job throughout. Just as He Lied to Eve in the Garden of Eden and convinced Her that God was the Liar, and Withhold-er of good from his creations.

      **** And as far as your comment that ‘Celestial Heavenly and Divine Beings’ are in some sort of council… You COMPLETELY misunderstand and misinterpret what is even happening here. There is NO COUNCIL convening. No Cosmic Convention filled with “Beings” of any kind. These are CREATED ANGELIC SPIRIT SONS OF GOD… They depend on God for their Existence, just as we Humans do****

      *THEY ARE NOT BEINGS, THEY ARE CREATURES*

      ((Job 1:6)) Describes a “Congregation Meeting” of all the SONS OF GOD i.e. The Angels of Heaven are meeting together before Jehovah as they frequently do, as it is said to be a specifically DESIGNATED Day to do so…
      It Happens ALL THROUGH OUT the Bible, every time “THAT DAY” CAME AROUND AGAIN. ((Job 2:1))
      On Specific Days all the Angels congregate Before God to Humbly learn more about his WILL, and to get the Privilege of Carrying out assignments given them by God.

      It is kind of the Same principal as Humans Congregating together on specifically Allotted Days to learn about and Worship their God. Yes, FAITHFUL ANGELS Congregate for spiritual nourishment and activities Just like Faithful Humans are do here on Earth.
      A very interesting and insightful Angelic Congregation meetings recorded in the Bible can be read about in ((1 Kings 22:19-23)) If You care to investigate. You won’t be disappointed.

      ((1 Kings 22:19))
      19 Mi·caiʹah then said: “Therefore, hear the word of Jehovah: I saw Jehovah sitting on his throne+ and all the army of the heavens standing by him, to his right and to his left.
      20 Jehovah then said, ‘Who will fool Aʹhab, so that he will go up and fall at Raʹmoth-gilʹe·ad?’ And one was saying one thing while another said something else. 21 Then a spirit* came forward and stood before Jehovah and said, ‘I will fool him.’ Jehovah asked him, ‘How will you do it?’
      22 He replied, ‘I will go out and become a deceptive spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.’+ So he said, ‘You will fool him, and what is more, you will be successful. Go out and do that.’
      23 And now Jehovah has put a deceptive spirit in the mouth of all these prophets of yours,+ but Jehovah has declared calamity for you.”

      If you really are a teacher, which I really doubt for obvious reasons, I hope that this tid bit you dropped here is not an actual example of your abilities of researching subject matter, comparing all available materials, and “Doing a Good Job”…

      As Dry, bland, shallow, and remarkably lacking in any educational value what-so-ever this is, It no more or less the kind of nearsighted Atheistic garbage I run across frequently on the web.

      It is understandable… I mean, your obviously not going to put in the needed amount of effort needed to even be capable of an educated opinion on the subject because you don’t really care, and have your mind made up before you even begin that “”””All religions are the same in one way or another, and so a Smart and Insightful person like me can easily skim through some material for a little familiarity and then just jot down the rest from my own awesome and intelligent conclusions on the matter.””””

      “”””I Mean, if they are all the same, and I absolutely know everything there is to know already about one ancient god myth, then I basically know them all”””” Is the kind of lazy half brained attitude that causes sooooo much misinformation.

      All you do is slow down real, scientific progress and cripple the minds of the Uneducated ones who are coming to you for accurate information, by dropping this caliber of apathetic nonsense in their laps and proclaiming them ‘educated’…

      I am serious… If you are going to pretend to have an educated opinion on a subject why not actually go ahead and study it and learn, and all that professional stuff that educational authorities are supposed to do, BEFORE you allow your biased and colorful mind shed these kinds of ideas into you personal point of view nap sack, so that you don’t look like a complete fool when you share that point of view with someone who has…. Even one percent more effort….

      You should know that Ha-Satan and Satan mean different things, and should know that Hebrew is the language your dealing with here, so learn a little about it maybe…

      It concerns me that you are possibly an educator after seeing the kind of broad, and vague generalizations you seem to make when it comes to subjects that you don’t know, rather then just admitting you are ignorant of them or not bringing them up to begin with…

      Divine “Beings”???
      Heavenly Council???

      Did you just read a BATTLE STAR GALACTIC comic book and mistake it for your homework?

      When one Character of a story is actively trying to KILL other of that story they are NOT CONTEMPORARIES working together in an imaginary High Council…

      There is a council of the gods in the Bible… but this isn’t referring to it,, nor does Job’s account even resemble it from other passages, AND YOU SHOULD KNOW THIS…

      But, hey… I get to read them and let you guys know how special they are in a Short -Bus kind of way 🙂

  • Greg G.

    In Egyptian mythology, there is the Ogdoad, four pairs of deities representing deep waters (Nu and Naunet), air and invisible forces (Amun and Amunet), eternity and chaos (Huh and Hauhet), and darkness and the unknown (Kuk and Kauket). The males were frog men while the females (those whose names end with “et”) were snake women. They gave rise to Ra, the sun. Then they rested.

    Genesis 1:2 Now the earth was formless and empty (Huh and Hauhet), darkness (Kuk and Kauket) was over the surface of the deep (Nu and Naunet), and the Spirit (the literal translation is wind) of God (Amun and Amunet) was hovering over the waters.

    Nu was depicted in Egyptian art as holding a boat over his head. The boat contained seven people and some animals (usually just a scarab). “Noah” is pretty much a transliteration of “Nu”.

    Ahkenaten and his priests favored monotheism. They figured that all the other gods were just manifestations of the one god, Atum-Ra. The stories of other gods remained but were stripped down to being elemental forces or they became humans in the stories.

    The stories of Jacob and Esau match up with Osiris and Set, until God knocks Jacob’s hip out of joint to make him limp like Horus.

    • I’d only vaguely heard of this story. Thanks for adding to our collection of mythology.

      • Steve Willy

        I think you tacitly know that it’s time for you to stfu. Search your feelings, you know it to be true.

  • Steve Willy

    Since the Judeo-Christian tradition teaches that God was God long before anyone formulated a theology, one would expect certain commonalities to emerge that presaged Abrahamic monotheism. These other ‘gods’ were rays of light, if you will, shining through from the one true God. Stories like this actually reinforce monotheism – God was there all along, it just took man a while to develop that understanding. The fact that you could take such stories and “neck beard” them up into somehow weighing against Gods existence perfectly illustrates Hitchens-Dawkins parroting basement dwelling megadouchery. Yours is a petty, trivial, localized, earth bound philosophy, unworthy of the universe.

    • Greg G.

      Hey Steve! You’re parroting Ahkenaten and his priests when they adapted Egyptian polytheism to monotheism. Their idea was that there was only one god and the others were just different manifestations of the one.

      Your last sentence applies to yourself better.

      • Steve Willy

        Wow, this comment really opened my eyes. I mean, this is mind blowing stuff. You make some powerful points, except … let’s put the Hitchens-Dawkins Kool-Aid down for a while and look at reality: Kalaam Cosmological Argument, the Argument from Reason, Fine Tuning of Universal Constants, irreducible biological complexity, the argument from morality…. Your entire world view lies shattered at your feet. If you truly honor the gods of reason and critical thinking half as much as you claim, you would plant your face firmly into your hand, step away from the device, find a quiet place, and rethink your life. Indeed, why are you even bothering to comment at all? No atheistic position can be taken seriously until two threshold questions can coherently be answered. 1. Why is the atheist even engaging in the debate. On atheism, there is no objective basis for even ascertaining truth; there is no immaterial aspect to consciousness and all mental states are material. Therefore, everyone who ever lived and ever will live could be wrong about a thing. By what standard would that ever be ascertained on atheism? Also if atheism is true, there is no objective meaning to existence and no objective standard by which the ‘rational’ world view of atheism is more desirable, morally or otherwise, to the ‘irrational’ beliefs of religion. Ridding the world of the scourge of religion, so that humanity can ‘progress’ or outgrow it, is not a legitimate response to this because on atheism, there is no reason to expect humanity to progress or grow. We are a historical accident that should fully expect to be destroyed by the next asteriod, pandemic, or fascist atheist with a nuke. In short, if atheism is correct, there is no benefit, either on an individual or societal level, to knowing this or to spreading such ‘knowledge.’ 2. Related to this, why is the atheist debater even alive to participate. If there is no heaven, no hell, no afterlife at all, only an incredibly window of blind pitiless indifference, then the agony of struggling to exist, seeing loved ones die, and then dying yourself can never be outweighed by any benefit to existing. As rude as it way sound (and I AM NOT advocating suicide) the atheist should have a coherent explanation for why they chose to continue existing. Failure to adequately address these threshold questions should result in summary rejection of the neckbeard’s position.

        In the end, we all know you can’t answer these questions because yours is a petty, trivial, localized, earth bound philosophy, unworthy of the universe.

        Finally, is there a basement dwelling troll left in the multiverse who doesn’t drag themselves out of the primordial ooze and logged onto this site in order to announce our collective atheism towards Thor, that gardens can be beautiful without fairies (a powerful rebuttal to fairy apologetics, by the way, but it leaves a lot unanswered about the Gardener), and that we cling to Bronze Age skymen due to our fear of the dark? Let me translate that to neckbeard: you are unoriginal, you are wrong, and you are an ass.

        • Greg G.

          Nice strategy. You post a bunch of PRATTs, then run away by intentionally getting yourself banned so you don’t have to defend your silly statements.

          The Kalaam makes no sense at all. If something that begins to exist is caused in an existing universe, it couldn’t be extrapolated to the universe. What begins to exist and is caused anyway? Causes act on things that already exist by changing forms. A cause acting on nothing has no effect. Things that begin to exist, like virtual particles, are not caused unless you give up the arrow of time and then you don’t need a god that didn’t begin to exist.

          We have evidence without certainty. Theists have certainty without evidence. That leads to Dark Ages.

          You have it backwards. When you know there is no eternal life, each day of life has greater meaning. If you think you will live forever, what meaning does a minute, a day, a year or a century mean? Every second of life is precious when they are limited.

        • Kalaam Cosmological Argument, the Argument from Reason, Fine Tuning of Universal Constants, irreducible biological complexity, the argument from morality…. Your entire world view lies shattered at your feet.

          You simply utter the magical incantations, and presto! Is that how it works?

          Ridding the world of the scourge of religion, so that humanity can ‘progress’ or outgrow it, is not a legitimate response to this because on atheism, there is no reason to expect humanity to progress or grow.

          Yeah. If there is no objective reality, there can be no reality. Or something.

          the agony of struggling to exist, seeing loved ones die, and then dying yourself can never be outweighed by any benefit to existing.

          Must suck to be you. This doesn’t describe my life. (Maybe you should become an atheist?)

          you are unoriginal, you are wrong, and you are an ass.

          And you are a waste of time.

        • JohnH2

          Bob,

          Steve Willy has copied and pasted that comment at least a half dozen times that I have seen. My main reason for thinking that he isn’t a bot is that I think a bot would make more sense.

        • OK, thanks. There certainly are some nuts in our blogging/commenting ecosystem.

        • Michael

          Can you say sophistry Steve?

    • I’ve heard this “progressive revelation” idea before and I’m having a hard time seeing how it’s convincing. I mentioned to a Christian friend of mine that early Judaism sure looked like just another Canaanite religion, and he agreed that indeed it was.

      How one’s faith withstands that (unless you’re super progressive, like John Dominic Crossan or Karen Armstrong), I sure don’t know.

      If you want to say that you can squint at the evidence and still preserve your faith, okay, I’ll accept that. But don’t pretend that this isn’t devastating evidence against the Christian claim.

      • Steve Willy

        Thanks for this steaming pile of regurgitated pseudo-intellectual blather, you basement dwelling megadouche.

        • Bye

        • Without Malice

          God, believers, they’re such nice folks. Guest probably wishes he could still burn us atheist at the stake.

      • ctcss

        Bob

        I am not familiar with progressive revelation, but the simple fact is that if God exists, He exists whether or not anyone knows or understands who and what He is, just as pi exists whether or not anyone perceives it and grasps what it is about. In other words, God isn’t holding back info, humans are just taking their sweet time dropping their misconceptions about God and perceiving God properly (IMO). In the meantime, however, God is not going anywhere, just as pi isn’t going anywhere. The “information” is there, it just needs persistent investigation and work, just as it does in any field of endeavor.

        Regarding your post, the interesting similarities between various human mythologies could be viewed as simply keying off the fact that humans have a particular outlook regarding human life and relationships. Thus the commonality between them is the human origin of the stories, not the “truth” of the stories. In a similar way, no matter how many variations of Lamarck’s musings on evolution held by other humans looking at things in a “just so” sort of way would have no bearing on the actual fact of evolutionary theory perceived and put forth by Darwin. Darwin wasn’t building on Lamarck. His investigations gave him a very different way of perceiving what was going on.

        In essence, humans often bumble along until someone perceives something more solid and useful. Then finally humanity can adopt that more helpful view. The things that came before that are not necessarily going to form an unbroken chain of logical progression. Heck, in 1983, Derek Bok the president of Harvard wrote to the Harvard Board of Overseers in his report “Needed: A new way to train doctors” that “Dean Burwell was only partly facetious in stating to Harvard medical students: ‘Half of what we have taught you is wrong. Unfortunately, we do not know which half.'” That’s kind of scary, but it still rings true.

        So the fact that a lot of human stories relating to concepts regarding the divine seem somehow related to each other doesn’t bother me at all. The question is, do any of them actually describe God as God exists? If they don’t, I am not going to worry about them as somehow degrading what it is that I consider to be a more helpful way of understanding God. The fact that someone, sometime, thought about God in another way doesn’t force me to adopt any of their views. I was raised as a non-mainstream Christian, so I have no problem with the fact that I disagree with many “standard” Christian views, just as as I have no problem disagreeing with other different-believing or non-believing views about God.

        I don’t see any dilemma here, just a call for each person to persist in their search until they find their needed answers.

        • God isn’t holding back info, humans are just taking their sweet time dropping their misconceptions about God and perceiving God properly (IMO). In the meantime, however, God is not going anywhere, just as pi isn’t going anywhere.

          God’s just chillin’, watching us stumble through life as he drinks a cold one? Sure, that’s one explanation, but what about God being desperate for relationship?

          This is God playing hard to get. Why would he? Or maybe he’s just a trickster.

          The “information” is there, it just needs persistent investigation and work, just as it does in any field of endeavor.

          But “God’s not there” is looking like a pretty compelling alternate explanation.

          Thus the commonality between them is the human origin of the stories, not the “truth” of the stories.

          Yes, I agree. And what does that tell us about the OT stories?

          Darwin wasn’t building on Lamarck.

          But the early Jews were building off of the other myths of the region. Given that those other myths were false, what does that make of the Yahweh story?

          The things that came before that are not necessarily going to form an unbroken chain of logical progression.

          This is what someone adhering to a false religion would say. He’s say, “You haven’t proved my religion false” or “When the facts don’t add up, just have faith.” When your religion has the hallmarks of a false one, perhaps you should question it.

          So the fact that a lot of human stories relating to concepts regarding the divine seem somehow related to each other doesn’t bother me at all.

          “Ya missed me! I’m able to reform my immutable clay religion so that it is impervious to any argument you care to level at me.”

          Yes, I’m sure. But is this religion worth believing in? Is this where the evidence points?

          I don’t see any dilemma here, just a call for each person to persist in their search until they find their needed answers.

          I understand that you don’t see a problem, but I’m trying to figure out why.

          You agree to the mythological origins of your religion. Is your religion based on nothing? Is there anything that would overcome your faith, or is it impervious to all?

        • ctcss

          Bob

          “what about God being desperate for relationship?

          This is God playing hard to get. … Or maybe he’s just a trickster.”

          To the best of my knowledge, God isn’t desperate for a relationship. He already has one with His creation, just as Beethoven had a relationship with his 3rd symphony. That beautiful music reflected Beethoven’s musical nature. God’s kingdom (His entirely spiritual creation) is an expression of God’s nature. Such relationships between creator and that which is created (expressed) do not cease. They are ongoing. And God isn’t playing hard to get any more than a complex musical composition is the composer playing hard to get. Effort is always going to be required on the student’s part in order to grasp a greater idea than the student currently has of the subject matter. And also, since I am not a misotheist, I don’t subscribe to the “evil God” hypothesis either.

          “But “God’s not there” is looking like a pretty compelling alternate explanation.”

          Personally, I’m not buying that, just as I consider “currently unknown concept X isn’t there” is also a bit shortsighted when it turns out that “X” will be known later on.

          “And what does that tell us about the OT stories?”

          That many of them may have been myths adopted and preserved because they were intriguing or spiritually suggestive. However, that doesn’t mean that the more insightful Jews didn’t have a glimmer of spirituality that beckoned them on, even if they didn’t fully understand what it was that they were witnessing.

          “But the early Jews were building off of the other myths of the region. Given that those other myths were false, what does that make of the Yahweh story?”

          No, the Jews recorded what they knew (or interpreted) about the stories just so whatever truth they contained wouldn’t be lost. The more spiritually minded Jews were rather persistent in wanting to understand God more. Just because they didn’t understand everything didn’t mean that they didn’t think there wasn’t something to understand. People who have encountered what they believe to have been divine have a hard time just chucking that very compelling concept. They want to know more. (I certainly can vouch for that sentiment.)

          “When your religion has the hallmarks of a false one, perhaps you should question it.”

          When I come to that conclusion, you’ll be the first to hear of it.

          “I’m able to reform my immutable clay religion so that it is impervious to any argument you care to level at me.”

          Nope. I just don’t find materialism or hypotheses based on it to be very compelling foundation to build a religion focused on that which is spiritual (i.e. divine). You keep focusing on the material. Naturally such materialistic barbs are going to miss. They aren’t even aimed at the correct target.

          “I understand that you don’t see a problem, but I’m trying to figure out why.”

          Because I am not worshiping a book. Rather, I am trying to more fully grasp what it is that the book is referring to. For instance, a less than ideally crafted news story may be missing facts, or may have some facts wrong. That doesn’t mean that there isn’t something interesting for someone reading that story to want to investigate further until they find the real facts about it.

          “You agree to the mythological origins of your religion.”

          Actually, no I don’t. You do, but I don’t.

          “Is your religion based on nothing? Is there anything that would overcome your faith, or is it impervious to all?”

          Of course it isn’t based on nothing. But seeing that you are focused on that which is material and I am focused on that which is spiritual, just how much common ground (common points of reference) do you think that we would share? Basically, I consider the human view of things (the human mental framework) to be largely inadequate and inaccurate when it comes to directly discerning that which is spiritual (i.e. divine). So my focus is to gain a different viewpoint (a spiritual one) to learn to discern more about God and God’s kingdom, which I understand to not be material in any way. So even though you and I both currently perceive ourselves as human and material, I am guessing that you are content with such a view, whereas I am not.

          That’s no judgement on you BTW, nor is it a condemnation of you. (I was taught universal salvation.) It’s also no automatic elevation of me, since I could be wrong about these things. But your main religious interest seems to lie in the historical, the literary, and the archeological end of things. The actual pursuit of the spiritual you seem to feel is a pointless endeavor. And although I also have an interest in the historical, the literary, and the archeological end of things, I am not basing my religious beliefs solely on such things. Religious practice, as I understand such things, is more than a dry rehearsal of religious texts and statements, and a blind faith that somehow God is real. Religious practice is supposed to be a profoundly transforming effort. It is, in essence, what appears to be meant by the word “repent” (to rethink, reconsider). Thus, I am interested in rethinking and reconsidering everything (that is, perceiving everything) as God knows it to be.

          The simple fact of the matter is that I consider there to be “something there” in the concepts taught about God and Jesus Christ. Thus, I want to investigate further. And until I am done and have found nothing (and thus have wasted my time) or have found something (and thus have spent it well), I am not likely to be put off by speculations similar to yours. I find that there is enough evidence in my own experience that I want to pursue my path further. If I reach a dead end, then I may find myself concluding that your take was correct.

          However, I have not reached that dead end yet. Thus my journey continues.

        • To the best of my knowledge, God isn’t desperate for a relationship.

          Given his aloofness, I can buy that. Doesn’t he at least want to meet us halfway? Vague enigmas don’t make for a good relationship.

          Sounds like you’re a deist.

          And God isn’t playing hard to get any more than a complex musical composition is the composer playing hard to get.

          I guess. But in the realm of “relationships” (and we define those in human terms), he’s the most frustrating girlfriend ever. Heck, I don’t even know if he exists. With a conventional relationship, this is never a question.

          Personally, I’m not buying that, just as I consider “currently unknown concept X isn’t there” is also a bit shortsighted when it turns out that “X” will be known later on.

          Might unicorns exist? Sure, but there’s no evidence to support such a belief. Ditto with God.

          No one’s claiming that “I see minimal evidence of God, so therefore I’ve proven that he doesn’t exist.”

          That many of them may have been myths adopted and preserved because they were intriguing or spiritually suggestive.

          The lie that tells the truth? Problem is, when we see the origin of the Yahweh story as just mythology, that’s pretty slam-dunk evidence that Yahweh is no more real than Ninurta or Marduk.

          However, that doesn’t mean that the more insightful Jews didn’t have a glimmer of spirituality that beckoned them on, even if they didn’t fully understand what it was that they were witnessing.

          Your belief seems impervious to refutation.

          No, the Jews recorded what they knew (or interpreted) about the stories just so whatever truth they contained wouldn’t be lost.

          Yes, that’s possible, but why pretend that the evidence points us there?? Your argument seems to be, “You can’t prove it wrong.” Granted, but is that really a belief that you want to hold?

          You keep focusing on the material.

          Sure–the material is what we all agree exists. And the supernatural is that clay that I was talking about.

          Natural explanations do a pretty good job. You seem to have a god-of-the-gaps approach—you’re happy with the scientific consensus, I’m guessing, but your god resides in science’s unanswered questions.

          Naturally such materialistic barbs are going to miss. They aren’t even aimed at the correct target.

          Why should I think that that target exists?

          Actually, no I don’t. You do, but I don’t.

          Then I’m confused about your easy acceptance that Yahweh was just the culmination of a long chain of mythological stories.

          I consider the human view of things (the human mental framework) to be largely inadequate and inaccurate when it comes to directly discerning that which is spiritual (i.e. divine).

          That gives you a pretty difficult challenge, constrained as you are as a human. How do you know you’re not deluding yourself?

          The actual pursuit of the spiritual you seem to feel is a pointless endeavor.

          How about you and alchemy? Do you feel that that is pointless? But I bet you’d change your mind if we suddenly found that it actually worked.

          That’s me and the spiritual. Give me a reason to believe that it exists. You seem focused only on your beliefs from your perspective, not in trying to show the rest of us that they’re compelling and worth believing in.

          until I am done and have found nothing (and thus have wasted my time) or have found something (and thus have spent it well), I am not likely to be put off by speculations similar to yours.

          I don’t flatter myself that my insights are especially profound or novel. I can easily believe that my posts don’t dissuade you. Still, being here is part of this journey of yours, right?

        • JohnH2

          “How about you and alchemy? Do you feel that that is pointless?”

          No, it gave us Chemistry which gave us Chemical Engineering which does regularly turn lead and other base elements into valuable currency, as well as curing illness, and extending peoples lives by a few years.

        • Yes, the process of seeking alchemy gave us good things but, of course, that’s not what I was talking about.

          What about alchemy itself? Is there actually a philosopher’s stone or fountain of youth? Can you, through chemical means, turn base metals into gold?

          No. Not even a little bit. These were fool’s errands. Alchemy doesn’t work. Not 10%, not at all.

        • Nox

          Do you consider the stories about god in the old testament to be among those misconceptions about god? Was that just an earlier view that had to be grown out of?

        • ctcss

          If you mean a vengeful, petty, tribal concept regarding God, yes, I do think it required further growth on the part of many believers of that time, as well as of our own time. People are way too quick to be self-righteous and regard the “other” as dangerous, and thus worthy of destruction, and therefore assume that God would approve of such humanly/tribally acceptable actions.

        • Nox

          I kind of just meant the old testament’s portrayal of god in general (though primarily all the parts where god speaks to people). The nice parts and the not so nice parts. Freeing the slaves and instituting slavery. Dicking the israelites around in the wilderness and protecting the israelites in the wilderness. Killing Job’s family and giving Job a new family. It’s all part of one interwoven picture.

          Vengefulness and pettiness are elements of that picture. He is certainly tribal in the sense of appearing to have been primarily written to rationalize behavior we would now call “tribalism”. More to the point here, he is tribal in the sense of being mostly concerned with one tribe. This is the god who created the Universe and everything in it as nothing more than a backstory for the israelites coming out of Egypt.

          But none of that is what I was asking about.

          The question is about where these misconceptions came from.

          At every stage the biggest impediment to dropping our misconceptions about god seems to have been that those misconceptions came from previously established doctrine. Things we are already committed to believing. Doctrine which is often said to have been revealed to us by god.

          So the question is, was it.

          Humans evolve. Human ideas evolve. Human ideas about god evolve. But does god evolve?

          Essentially, you seem to be saying that we are just coming to a greater understanding of what was there all along. That all these conflicting stories are attempts to discover or convey the same truth.

          This makes sense if god is a human concept, subject to change as human understanding changes. Or some underlying natural force, subject to revised understanding as our observations expand. Or even if you are proposing that god “exists” as a symbol, something which helps us explain reality, or something which we may gain wisdom by meditating upon, but not a real thing that literally exists in the material sense.

          But god as a concept is a very different concept than god as an entity.

          With most concepts we start with zero knowledge and build cumulatively through observation. With gods who manifest in reality to reveal stone tablets or sacrificial lambs, we theoretically start with what that god tells us about themself.

          You reject the idea that god could be giving us bad information, but if god was behind these tribal revelations, then giving us bad information (information that you yourself would consider bad) is exactly what god was doing.

          If humans are getting their misconceptions about god from genuine divine revelation then god is actively moving us further from understanding.

          If god was not the one revealing this misinformation to humans, then at what point does god enter the process of humans figuring out god?

          Babylonians make up gods in a failed attempt to understand what god is. Jews rip off the babylonian gods and modify them in a failed attempt to understand what god is. Christians rip off the jewish god and modify him in a failed attempt to understand what god is. Later christians rip off the earlier christian god and modify him further in a failed attempt to understand what god is…and then at some point that story becomes true.

          Does god ever enter the process at all? Or are all human understandings of god entirely based on a purely human process of bumbling around until we get it right?

          These stories do not merely say “these are our ideas about god”. They often say “this is what god told us directly”. Either god did say those things, in which case god is responsible for what was revealed (or at least it could be said that what was revealed tells us something about who that god is), or those people lied/hallucinated about god talking to them.

          Was there anyone on the mountain giving those commandments to Moses? Did the word come from god or was it just somebody’s guess about what god would say?

          At what point does theology move beyond just being some guy’s guess about what god would say?

      • JohnH2

        To me it is the opposite, I don’t know how one can not have faith when seeing the fallen echos of the gospel taught throughout the world by cultures utterly separated in time and space. God truly loves all His children and gives to each that portion of knowledge that He sees fit in wisdom to give to each.

        • Wait–we see a hodge podge of incompatible religious claims throughout history and throughout the world and that’s confirming evidence for you?

          Let me put forward another explanation: humans’ imperfect brains tend to see agency where there is none–the unseen rustling in the grass, for example. And we extrapolate that up to cosmic things. What causes plague? earthquakes? the Big Bang?

          Gotta be something huge, right, like a god?

    • Nemo

      Interesting idea, Steve. Now then, since you believe in progressive revelation, tell me, what is your opinion of Joseph Smith? Did the angel Moroni give him the next step of revelation?

      • Steve Willy

        Saying that a phenomenon can happen is not the same as saying that every alleged instance of it is true. Certainly as a big-brained atheist, you understood the logical fallacy of this comment before you made it.

        • Nemo

          The reason I bring up Joseph Smith is the fact that Christians often criticize the Book of Mormon for containing stuff which contradicts the Bible. But if you believe that God progressively revealed himself, first by being the patron god of Israel and the most badass of the sons of Elyon, then as the only God, is that latter revelation not a contradiction of the first? Besides, the rationale given for progressive revelation is that God didn’t think we could handle the whole truth. The Old Testament included commands to kill people for trivial offences. I highly doubt the authors were concerned with whether people could handle what they wrote or not.
          I never made any claims about my intelligence. The fact that you went there says more about you than I.

        • Besides, the rationale given for progressive revelation is that God didn’t think we could handle the whole truth.

          That’s hard to imagine. Moses came down with the Ten Commandments, and they went into effect immediately. No 20 generations of warning tickets; the penalty was death on day 1.

          I don’t think there’s any kind of moral training wheels in the Bible, just in the minds of Christian apologists.

        • JohnH2

          Bob,

          It is much easier to die for a cause then to live for one. It is much easier to live by a strict set of rules of what one should or should not do then to be told that ones inner motivation should be to Love God and Love’s one neighbor as oneself. It is really easy to not kill a person, but it is much harder to love a person or even to not be angry at the person. It is really quite easy to not steal from someone, it is much harder to serve them. It is easy for most people to not commit adultery, harder to not look on someone to lust after them.

          It is easier to follow a set of rules knowing that punishment is the result for disobedience then it is to do and be good of ones own volition with primarily pain of conscious being the only punishment other than natural consequences of ones actions.

        • It is easier to follow a set of rules knowing that punishment is the result for disobedience then it is to do and be good of ones own volition

          Which is why I find the atheists’ moral actions to be more laudable.

        • JohnH2

          It is certainly laudable when those that know not God show by their works the law written in their hearts (Romans 2:13-15). As, Paul further says in Romans those that have a knowledge of God and behave poorly are judged much worse; as God judges our actions based on what we know to be right.

          That doesn’t mean that atheism is right or that theists that behave morally for what they know to be right is not necessarily equally laudable.

          Neither the claim of ignorance, for the atheist, nor the claim of following what those in authority said was right, for the theist, are correct as, barring special cases, no one is ignorant of some measure of good and evil; making both atheist and theist guilty for wrong action, given what they do know to be right (and not answerable for what one doesn’t know to be right). The theist may have and should have more knowledge to answer for.

          Also, you just demonstrated, at least based on my understanding of what Jesus taught, that Jesus really did present a higher law.

        • SparklingMoon

          if you believe that God progressively revealed himself…..
          then as the only God,is that latter revelation not a contradiction of the first?
          ————————————————————–
          In the time of the Prophet Adam, it seems, human beings lived together in one part of the world; one teaching, therefore, was enough for them Possibly even up to Noah’s time they continued to live in this way. According to the Bible, human tribes continued to live together in one part of the world up to Babylonian times. The Bible is not a book of history.But there is evidence which supports the Biblical account.As among all nations of the world, even among savages inhabiting lonely islands, we find traces of the story of Noah’s Flood. It seems unlikely that the whole of the world was first engulfed in a universal deluge, and then knowledge of it spread in all parts of the world. It seems more likely that in one part of the world there was a deluge which resulted in the dispersion of the population in different directions. If it is not proved that the world was one up to Babylonian times, history lends support to the view that it was one up to Noah’s time.

          After Noah’s time the population dispersed into different countries. The influence of Noah’s teaching began to decline, because means of communication were so poor. A Prophet in one country could not communicate his Message to other countries. It was but appropriate then that God should have sent a Prophet to each country,so that no country should be without His guidance.This made for division between religion and religion,because the human mind had not yet fully developed. As human intellect and understanding lacked the development to which they were to attain later, every country had a teaching sent to it appropriate to the level of development to which it had attained.(For example,in India Krishna as a prophet of Law and many others as a reformer(Buddha e .g)to bring people back to original teachings of krishna. In middle east Abraham and later Moses and as a Prophets of law and many others as Reformers Ezekiel, Daniel and Jesus e.g.).

          But when the human race began to advance, and more and more countries began to be inhabited, and distances between them began to be annihilated, and means of communication began to improve, the human mind began to appreciate the need of a universal teaching, covering all the different situations of man. Through mutual contact men came to have insight into the fundamental oneness of the human race and the Oneness of their Creator and Guide. Then in the desert of Arabia, God sent His final Message to mankind through the Holy Prophet of Islam (as before him all prophets appeared and claimed their teachings for their own area and own nation) No wonder, this Message of Prophet of Islam begins by praising God: ”the Lord of the worlds”. It speaks of God to Whom all manner of praise is due, Who sends His sustenance to all peoples and all countries, and in an equitable measure. He is not partial to any country or any people.Therefore the Message which begins thus inevitably ends by invoking: ”the Lord of all mankind, their King and their God. If this world has been created by One God, and if God is equally interested in all peoples and all countries, it is imperative that ultimately these different peoples and different religious traditions should unite in one belief and one outlook.( Introduction to the study of the Holy Quran by Ahmad Bashiruddin)

      • JohnH2

        Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, and like all prophets, and all of us, he was a flawed individual. He did restore a knowledge of the council in heaven of the sons of god and why calling God as our Father actually makes sense.

        The Book of Mormon though isn’t usually criticized for contradicting the Bible, not that I have ever experienced, and I am a Mormon who spends a decent chunks of my free time debating religion online. .

        • [Joseph Smith] was a flawed individual.

          But how far do you take this? Once you go from flawless to flawed, what stops you from acknowledging that he might well have been a charlatan treasure hunter who stumbled on a religion as a cool way to get power and chicks?

        • JohnH2

          Jesus was flawless, everyone else is very flawed. Jonah wanted to see Nineveh destroyed by fire, Moses was a murderer and proud, Jacob’s sons did lots of bad things, Peter denied Christ thrice as well as was impulsive, Paul persecuted Christians and then was fairly proud as well as having, apparently, odd ideas about women. If you are expecting flawlessness from anyone you are going to be disappointed.

          Joseph Smith knew he was going to die when he went to Carthage, he did the sacrifice that was required of him for his transgressions (D&C 132:60), which do appear to be related to misapplications of polygamy given the context (and history). That doesn’t appear to me to be the actions of someone that was in it for power and women, claiming he was crazy like David Korash would make more sense. I know he was a prophet of God via knowledge that comes from God, though he does meet the requirements for a prophet as given in the Bible.

        • Jonah wanted to see Nineveh destroyed by fire…

          And God supported slavery and wanted to see the Amalekites destroyed to the last infant. That “flawed” thing kind of applies to everyone, I guess.

          If you are expecting flawlessness from anyone you are going to be disappointed.

          Which doesn’t answer the question. Was Smith so flawed that he made the whole thing up? We’ve already agreed that he wasn’t perfect.

          which do appear to be related to misapplications of polygamy given the context (and history).

          How is that possible? God told him that polygamy was OK. Or are you saying that Smith was lying?

        • JohnH2

          “Was Smith so flawed that he made the whole thing up?”

          I don’t believe so.

          “How is that possible?”

          Adultery was still wrong and polygamy was supposed to happen in a certain way and not in other ways. The default is that polygamy is wrong, except if the Lord commands for the purpose of having children.

        • God makes clear in the Old Testament that polygamy is A-OK in his book. It wasn’t like a ritual abomination (mixed fabrics, ham sandwiches, homosexuality) that you could say was instantly no longer bad.

        • JohnH2

          I was referencing the Book of Mormon, primarily, and the D&C, secondarily.

        • Ron

          The Book of Mormon isn’t usually criticized for contradicting the Bible? You may want to re-examine that claim, because agent google returns with thousands of hits and multiple apologetics websites devoted to highlighting those contradictions.

    • Don Gwinn

      “Hitchens-Dawkins Parroting Basement-Dwelling Megadouchery” would be a great name for an album.

    • Plutosdad

      But which is more plausible? That stories were copied from other cultures (just as those cultures copied stories) or that one single being put thoughts into people’s heads, but each person only had a small inkling of the thought?

      If you believe the second, then you also have to start questioning that being’s omnipotence and goodness. After all, he could have revealed the law and how to be good and get into heaven to everyone, but he only revealed bits and pieces that confused everyone around the world, most of whom -including the Israelites, were confused into believing in multiple gods.

      And of course, if you didn’t start swearing and insulting people we might be more inclined to argue further, even though this is an old worn out argument that has been addressed time and again.

  • I find Order versus Chaos to be a far more interesting dynamic than Good versus Evil myself.
    Also, the Akkadian myth’s fight sounds pretty badass.

    • Obazervazi

      Honestly, I find that dynamic even more boring. The only difference between order and chaos is that we don’t understand chaos. The distinction is wholly arbitrary. It’s a narrative device only SMT can get away with without bugging me.

  • Nemo

    Not just Ancient Near Eastern. In Norse mythology, the giant Ymir is slain by Odin and the gods, and his corpse is used to create the world. I’ll have to take a look at some of the Far Eastern and Native American myths to see what they say about the subject.

    • I wrote about prior dying-and-rising gods (with a picture of Odin) here.

    • JohnH2

      Maya and Aztec both had dying-and-rising gods; not sure about the rest of Native American religions.

      • Maybe that’s a Joseph Campbell-type archetype common to all cultures. It seems like a straightforward idea–this god is so powerful that you can kill him and he comes back to life! How cool is that??

        Given that, imagining that the early Christians invented the resurrection is hardly startling. When you add that they lived in a stew full of many such myths, it becomes almost mandatory.

  • katiehippie

    The more than one god thing fits with the 1st commandment nicely. “Thou shalt have no other gods before me” In my former church that was understood to mean that other gods were things like the flesh, the world and the devil. I always thought it made much more sense that there were actually other gods but this one demanded to be first.

    • Sure–make offerings to other gods if you want to, just make sure that I’m your main squeeze.

      • katiehippie

        “But no more burnt offerings, I can’t get the smell out anymore” I just can’t imagine how bad that would smell…

        • Your lady says, “No more chocolate,” and your god says, “No more burnt offerings.”

          Ah, the difficulties of keeping everyone happy in Canaan long ago.

  • I was shocked to learn how similar some ancient stories were to the Bible when reading from my kids Christian world history books. The Code of Hammurabi was quite an eye opener.

  • $22643681

    The problem with this argument is that religion is no longer defined by where it came from. We all have our own unique idea of what God is, and it has nothing to do with what ancient people thought. Indeed it’s because of this isolation that articles like these have to “remind” us.

    Except that it isn’t reminding, because the space in which this putative memory resides is as mythical as the narratives themselves. We can talk about God however we want, and call It whatever we want, without any reference to our ancestors — who may not even be our ancestors anyway. And if someone tries to stop us, it’s no longer heretic vs. priest; it’s thinker vs. terrorist.

    • My point is that if there is no grounding for the beliefs, then we have nothing but calcified tradition, built on nothing, for modern Christianity.

      • Andrew

        I think this argument falls into the same type of literalist fundamentalism that it tries to critique. If you think that the text is foundational truth, then you have misunderstood what text does. It can only point to something outside it or create an imaginary that enhances the hallucinatory function of our frontal lobes. The best representations do both. But I still don’t see why pointing out that the idea of Yahweh and Satan evolves in the bible would indicate that these stories don’t still point toward an ontological being or beings (I’m a Satan agnostic). It’s basically sunday school 101 to understand that beliefs in Israel and the early Church, and the golden age, and the medieval period and the reformation and beyond have always been in flux. I actually really enjoyed your article, I just didn’t think the atheist deus ex machina made much sense at the end.

        • An unchanging God doesn’t change. He doesn’t change his plan of salvation, he doesn’t change his perfect character, and so on.

          You could say that humans’ perceptions changed, which I agree with, but then we have God as a bungler who can’t clearly convey the most important message of all.

          The Christian story looks precisely like any other ancient religion or mythology. Sure, this could be the one that’s actually true, but there’s no good reason to imagine that.

  • bee

    so I have spent the last few days searching the internet reading blogs, letters, websites, excerpts from books regarding basically the idea that the Bible was derive from other previous stories/myths. most people in the discussion holding a position to discredit the Bible and it’s beliefs. I looked at it with an open mind because I have always been “WHY” guy I want to do right by my creator. the one thin I fond to b needing more investigation or that people are just assuming and making up their own philosophy on which becomes “truth” in the academic/ atheist world is the assumption I guess that from what w have found/un earthed is what we are taking as time line makers. this thought process seems like if it was written on clay it happened before I was written on paper. and I just wonder is that the scientific process w assume happened in history. lets assume God created the earth and people and things wet bad and was destroyed by God and rebuilt. that story would have ben given to the fist people. how would they have conveyed that story? Verbal reproduction, which has a tendenacy to be distorted through people’s perception, imagination of how the events would have looked and so forth. so a that stage the “truth” is still the truth and being passed on. Then you have the tower of babel which further distorts peopl’s perception, imagination, transfer of info, etc. the reason I believe these things happened is because of the 200-300 accounts of various tribes/groups of people across the globe including people of other continents including amricas and mexico and people who till recent have never been in contact with outside world. this is HUGE I my mid and it tells me the same story with many same details was given t humanity at some point. IF humanity just “felt” a connection to a higher being of creation we would not see the same details as a creator, as a boat to survive floods, as the birds and animals on the boat, as the tower to reach to the heavens; we instead would see creation stories tat would vary greatly and most likely the chance of the same story pieces being used not possible at all. looking back at history people have created a timeline back to 3000-4000 bce. upon reading genealogies and timelines from Bible it puts humanity creation something like 600 bc and tower of babel 3500ish bce. the most important thing here is without exquisite dating like we have today there is undoubtly time frame lapses in there regardles of who you talk to. then I was reading a story about horus I believe (it’s all starting to run together after all this mythogy searching these last day) or maybe I was Gilgamesh where the story about him was written on clay some 100 years after his death and when the actual story took place. but ome have assumed that came first since it was written on clay. now we know groups of people don’t all evolve at same time frame….people wrote on clay when others were writing on papyrs in other areas, further I history people used buggies when other used carts, ten people drove cars while others still sue carts at same time. from this I think anyone might think too much of theirselves if they assume to be able to know what happened 6000 years ago exactly, but my end proposal isthis….with the same story being passed on with such similarities it is absolutely probable that it all origionated from one source, and I think that should make sense to all who study it. now the Bible….I hink it is totally plausible that the Bible is those stories from one source. is it through the perception of those people possibly. isit the truth of history, I believe so. I do not think that since they wrote it on a substrate that teir are had at a later date meant that they didn’t use verbal communication then wrote it instead of copyrighting someone elses thoughts. plus my other two big areas of persuasion are the prophesies in the Bible with such exactness and the population of the earth today. sure people say others have prophesies,exactly, if they origionated from one source then they would have the same vision of the future. I can without a doubt disregard though evolution simply with science. the events that have to take place in order for earth to be formed from dust in space, evolving to reproducing agets needed for ife at the same time millions of years ago is impossible, then if old earth theorists are right and humans started some 2 mill or even 1 mill years ago, earth would be swarming wth an innumerable amount of people today…..ifyou follow the geanology and timeline from creation in the Bible it is more consistent and nearly accurate t todays population on earth.

    • Or the whole thing could be just human imaginings. Humans do that.

      Vague elements of the flood story are common among many people. I don’t think we need to go to supernatural explanations.

      • Bob Randall

        Bob Seidensticker is a myth.
        Signed
        GOD

        • And this is to boost my confidence that God exists? Or what?

        • Bob Randall

          Answer not a fool according to his folly.

        • Greg G.

          Soooo… you’re saying we shouldn’t respond to you?

        • You know what the Good Book says: never cast pearls before swine.

        • Bob Randall

          In the good book which you don’t believe you are the swine.

        • Are you able to actually “give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have … with gentleness and respect”?

          Or are Bible-based insults the best you can come up with?

          If you have an argument for why the gospel story is anything more than myth and legend, I’d like to hear it.

        • adam

          “Or are Bible-based insults the best you can come up with?”

        • Dys

          And in reality, it’s quite often the exact opposite.

        • MNb

          Swine are noble animals. It nicely confirms your arrogant ignorance that you use them as an insult. Of course your big hero behaved like a piece of shit when he drowned (Marcus 5:13 ao) a bunch of totally innocent swine. Yeah, I know it’s a metaphor – with pigs he meant Roman soldiers. He’s still a piece of shit when he uses noble and innocent animals like those pigs for making look Romans bad.

        • Greg G.

          How is it a good book when it doesn’t say “Thou shalt not own others” while condoning the beating those who are owned?

        • adam

          “In the good book which you don’t believe you are the swine.”

          Good book?

        • Without Malice

          All knowing and all powerful god gets pissed because his creation didn’t turn out the way he thought it would. Hey, wait a minute. Somethings wrong about that statement.

        • Bob Randall

          And I thought you were an educated man.

        • Greg G.

          Matthew 5:22 NIV
          Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.

          In light of this verse, I thought it would be safer to assume that you probably weren’t calling other people fools.

        • Bob Randall

          Greg you are dumber than balaam’s a-s. Jesus called his disciples FOOLS so since you don’t know what yiu are talking about and know absolutely nothing about a book you don’t believe I suggest you shut your big mouth because you are making all your atheist brothers and yourself look like very ignorant FOOLS. PS you are in danger of the judgment and if you actually would have read the book you don’t believe in you would remember GOD said, “THE FOOL HATH SAID IN HIS HEART THERE IS NO GOD.” Enjoy Hell that is where you are going if you don’t repent.

        • Greg G.

          God and Jesus are “Do as I say, not as I do” gods. God can kill whomever he wants but it’s OK, but Thou Shalt Not Kill. It is OK for Jesus to call people fools, but he said, “And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.”

          Are you going to obey Jesus or imitate him? Make your choice. You can’t do both.

        • Bob Randall

          Once again you show your ignorance of a book you don’t believe in. GOD included in the Law rules for murder accidental death, self defense and war. Jesus interprets Thou shalt not kill as thou shalt do no murder in the new testament. Your problem is you love your sins and are addicted to your sins so you deny GOD and his words. You think if you ignore them they don’t exist. You can ignore gravity but they still exist and you still obey it. Again you will pay for your own sins in the lake of fire if you reject GOD’s payment for your sin. It is YOUR choice.

        • MNb

          “Your problem is you love your sins and are addicted to your sins so you deny GOD and his words.”
          BWAHAHAHAHA!
          My dear silly christian, we are atheists. The word sin is meaningless to us.

          “Again you will pay for your own sins in the lake of fire.”
          Booooo! I have never been so scared since there was a boogeyman underneath my bed when I was a kid!

          “It is YOUR choice.”
          No, it isn’t. It’s a false dilemma. There is a third option: return to nothingness. That’s what atheists think. And it’s the vastly preferable option.
          Quite an ignorant guy, you are, which is funny given your accusations.

        • Bob Randall

          When you draw your last breath SIN will mean everything to you. As it is appointed unto man once to die and after this the judgment.

        • Greg G.

          Oh, quit fantasizing about death and enjoy life while you have it.

        • Dys

          That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence.

        • MNb

          Cheapo.
          Shrug.
          Using capitals only makes it worse.

          Plus it does nothing to contradict your stupid and ignorant “atheists love their sins”, which is about here and now, not about our last breaths.

        • Greg G.

          Jesus also interprets getting angry with somebody as being equivalent to murder but it’s still OK for God to get angry with somebody which is like murder in Jesus’ book.

        • Pofarmer

          Heck, it’s O.k. for God to murder the whole world.

        • Dys

          I’ve got some bad news for you Bob-o…just because the bible says it, doesn’t make it true.

          Your problem is that you’re a gullible rube who thinks he can defend Christianity by mindlessly quoting from the bible.

        • Greg G.

          a gullible rube who thinks

          It’s quite a mean insult to accuse a Christian like that of thinking.

        • Bob Randall

          It is true whether you believe it or not you are obeying right now and are too ate up with your hatred of GO and your sins to realize it. Hell is your choice.

        • Dys

          Prove it. Oh, you can’t? Well, I guess you’re just voicing your beliefs then, and not demonstrable reality. But please, continue lying about why atheists don’t believe in God. It’s amusing to watch you repeatedly violate the commandment against lying while inanely ranting about your imaginary friend.

        • Bob Randall

          Demonstrate there is no GOD. Prove it.

        • You’re making the extraordinary claim. The burden of proof rests on your powerful shoulders.

          Go.

        • Greg G.

          Prove that invisible pink unicorns don’t exist.

          What a silly person you are. Your God is harder to find than visible pink unicorns. You have nothing but a warm fuzzy feeling when you imagine he exists, the same feelings ancient Egyptians got with their gods.

        • Dys

          Why? The burden of proof is yours. Asking someone to prove there is no god is like asking someone to prove leprechauns don’t exist.

        • MNb

          Define proof.
          Given your ignorance and dishonesty I’ll otherwise assume that you set the bar impossibly high for “demonstrate there is not god” but ridiculously low for “there is a god”. The only way you can refute this assumption is by providing a definition of proof.
          I am not going to play your game if you, dishonest as you are, have set the rules in such a way that you can’t lose.

        • Without Malice

          That’s like asking someone to prove there isn’t a monster under their bed that disappears every time they look.

        • adam

          “with your hatred of GO and your sins to realize it.”

          I have no hatred of IMAGINARY characters in a book.

          Hell?
          Why does a ‘loving god’ need hell?

        • Greg G.

          your hatred of GO and your sins to realize it.

          Who hates GO? you get $200 every time you pass it.

        • Bob Randall

          Just because you say the Bible is not true does not mean it is false. I lose nothing if I am wrong and you lose it all if your wrong including your soul.

        • Pascal’s pathetic wager? We ask for evidence and this is what you’ve got?

          Think about it, doofus. It applies to you just as much as to anyone else. You err when you imagine that the options are just your version of Christianity vs. atheism.

        • Greg G.

          1 Corinthians 15:19 says that if you are wrong, you are to be the most pitied.

        • Dys

          Pascal’s Wager is a terrible argument – it reduces your faith to a shallow gamble. Plus the notion that you don’t lose anything is wrong – you waste plenty of time believing nonsense. Oh, and there’s no evidence that there’s any such thing as a soul.

          And there’s plenty of untrue things in the Bible. For one, there was never a global flood, there wasn’t a census that would have required Mary and Joseph to go to Bethlehem for Jesus to be born…there’s plenty more.

        • Greg G.

          I can think of a plausible scenario. Quirnius was sent to take account of the holdings in Judea, apparently for tax purposes. If Joseph had a business venture in Bethlehem, say he leased out the family farm, he might have had to register it. I don’t know what would have happened if the owner couldn’t be found but I doubt it would work out in the owner’s favor if he didn’t state his case.

        • Dys

          You mean during that mythical previous governorship Quirinius had before the one in Luke that Christians invented in order to resolve the 4 BC/6 AD issue?

          There’s just no two ways around it – one of the gospels has to be wrong. None of the scenarios to try and explain away the discrepancy hold up.

        • Greg G.

          I mean the one described at the beginning of Antiquities of the Jews, Book 18 .

          I think Luke rejected Matthew’s Nativity story because of God allowing all those babies to be killed and letting Jesus escape. Luke just went to the beginning of the book and wrote something around the first events.

          I think Matthew had used Antiquities of the Jews 2 and modified Josephus’ account of Moses escaping the Pharaoh’s killing of Hebrew babies plus Antiquities of the Jews 17 for Herod being provoked by fear into killing members of his own family.

        • Dys

          Ok, I think I understand your point. There are plausible scenarios to get Joseph to Bethlehem (although I don’t think anything is more plausible than the story being an invention in order to claim a fulfillment of the prophecy in Micah), but it’s still not going to harmonize the gospel accounts.

        • Greg G.

          Matthew tried to solve the conundrum of John 7:41-42 by having Jesus descended from David, born in Bethlehem, as in Micah, but from Nazareth by creating a Nativity story and a genealogy.

          Luke liked Matthew’s approach but rejected his attempts. Luke rewrote the Nativity using his fourth source, Josephus, for the reasons I gave and rejected two-thirds of the genealogy because Matthew omitted four names and included one who was curse plus Matthew claims there were three sets of 14 generations but one set has only thirteen names as if the Exile was a generation. Luke’s genealogy has 77 generations with God as #1 and Jesus as #77. Neither seem to have had records for the generations after the Exile but many of the names in Luke’s are similar to names in Josephus’ genealogy.

        • MNb

          BWAHAHAHAHA!
          I don’t have a soul, so I can’t lose it.
          If I’m wrong I’ll suffer from eternal punishment in Heaven – spending eternity in the company of fools like you is a terrible prospect. If I’m right though I get what I want after I die – return to nothingness.
          Finally you already have lost – you have lost your honesty and that’s something I value high.

        • Without Malice

          The bible is nothing but myths, legends, fairy tales, and lies from beginning to end, and the God therein the most vile creature in all of fiction.

        • adam

          “Again you will pay for your own sins in the lake of fire if you reject GOD’s payment for your sin. It is YOUR choice.”

          Fear mongerer

          And you know if you are bad, Santa wont bring you presents next year…..

        • You’ve given a bunch of blather from your own interpretation. Any reason we should consider this authoritative?

        • Without Malice

          Yep, all us atheists get thrown in the lake of fire that burns for ever and ever, because that the best your rather mentally challenged God could come up with. A god that can’t create a world that pleases him is not a god worth worshipping.

        • Bob Randall

          You are the sinner, GOD gave you a choice. YOU WILL PUT YOURSELF IN THE LAKE OF FIRE. You won’t blame GOD., but YOU WILL BOW YOUR KNEE TO HIM AND AGREE WITH YOUR OWN DAMNATION. You see your god every morning when you look into the mirror. The FOOL hath said in his heart there is NO GOD. The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked who can know it. Your problem is a heart problem. Enjoy the rest of your puny miserable little life that GOD allows you to breath of his air, because when you draw your last breath your a-s belongs to GOD. He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh he shall have the heathen in derision. Hahahahahahahahaha

        • epeeist

          You are the sinner, GOD gave you a choice. YOU WILL PUT YOURSELF IN THE LAKE OF FIRE.

          Ah, an argumentum ad litteras maiusculas, colour me convinced.

          And as ever when someone like you is unable to provide a response we get the threat of force.

        • adam
        • adam
        • Is this just your little fantasy, or is there evidence behind it?

        • MNb

          There is no god, so I am no sinner.

          “YOU WILL PUT YOURSELF IN THE LAKE OF FIRE.”
          Boooh, GOD the boogeyman. Don’t forget to check what’s underneath your bed before you go to sleep tonight.

          “Enjoy the rest of your puny miserable little life.”
          The sure knowledge I won’t have to bear your terrible company after I die only improves it.

        • Michael Neville

          If (and that’s a BIG if) your god exists and I’m brought before him, I won’t be explaining myself to him, I’ll insist that he explain his sins and crimes to ME. If he’s so big and powerful then why does he allow evil in the world? I’ll tell him to his face that he’s a sadistic bully who deserves nothing but my contempt. If he sends me to hell for not respecting him, that’ll be evidence that I’m right.

          Sorry, Bob Randall, but you worship an asshole who doesn’t deserve worship.

        • Bob Randall

          Hey there monkey man mikey I am going to do you a personal favor. I am going to ask GOD that keeps the breath in your lungs to manifest himself to you in a way that you can’t mistake it for anything else. I don’t care if he puts you in a wheel chair, gives you cancer, takes your eyesight, takes your kids, your dog, your parents, your wife, your girlfriend but when he is through you will know there is THE GOD. You have a nice day, smile Jesus loves you monkey man. You are the FOOL you do not even listen to scientific facts. I will be praying for you, fool.

        • Michael Neville

          Hey there stupid godtwit bobby I am going to do you a personal favor. I won’t tell you to take your prayers and stick them up your rosy red rectum. Nor will I tell you to fuck yourself with a rusty garden fork or even to eat pig shit for the rest of your miserable life. See what a nice guy I am?

          So, got any evidence that your god or any other gods exist? Of course you don’t. If you did you’d be telling me all about that evidence instead of telling me you’ll talk to yourself about me.

        • Bob Randall

          Gen 1, 4000 BC GOD said there is water in outer space, Psa 148 1000 BC GOD said there is water in out space, Science just proved that in last 40 years, Isa 40:22, 1000BC, God said the earth was round, science proved that in 1492 AD. Isa 11:11 1000BC, GOD said Israel would be brought back into their land a 2nd time. when this was written they had not been removed the first time. They were brought back in their land the 2nd time in 1948. Job 37, 1800 BC, God said he sealed up the hand of every man that man may know his work. ow did Job know every man had a different set of fingerprints? Gen 3:15 God prophesied the seed of the serpent would bruise the seed of the woman which happened 4000 years later on the cross of Calvary. Job 37 1800 BC Job said electricity talks Alexander Graham Bell proved that around 1900. Daniel 8 600 BC during the reign of Nebuchadnezzar Daniel tells you the next 4 kingdoms coming up, media persia, alexander the great, his 4 generals and Rome. Joseph in Genesis has 130 things in his life that matches the life of Jesus Christ. Science just proved there is brimstone in the core of the earth, God toid you that 3000 years ago, The earth is the only planet with volcanic activity all the other planets are geologically dead. 10 major ancient cultures have a record of a universal flood. So mikey I have and will continue to pray for GOD to get your attention in such a way that you can’t mistake it for anything else. The fool hat said in his heart there is no GOD. Prepare to meet thy GOD. Since you can type, I assume you can read, get God’s book and read it.

        • Show me one bit of new science we got from the Bible first.

          More here:
          http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2015/11/the-bibles-confused-relationship-with-science/

        • Bob Randall

          4 years ago a genetics lab in Europe proved the human race started with ONE MAN. There is NO transitional fossils, and Leakey’s Lucy was proven to be an ape. Leakey lied. The Bible has proven science wrong many times. Physicists found a sub atomic particle that holds the atom together, they do not know what it is so they call it the GOD particle, how ironic. You can read, you obviously have access to the internet and I have given you ample examples of hundreds. So look it up for yourself. You are a sinner as all men are, you are going to die and GOD is going to hold you accountable for your sins. Jesus Christ died for your sins. Now either you are going to pay or you can trust him who has already paid for the sins of the world. You can see the bones of mohammed, buddha, ghandi, and all the popes, but there are on bones of Jesus Christ on this earth for he is risen. He left you and empty tomb. ind me his bones and I will become an atheist. Otherwise the ball is in your court and the your clock of life is ticking. When, where and how will you die? Do you have any soul insurance? Jesus Christ paid for your soul insurance.

        • Greg G.

          4 years ago a genetics lab in Europe proved the human race started with ONE MAN.

          Come on, Bob. Real Christians aren’t this dumb. Y-chromosome Adam is just tracing the line of fathers back to one great-great…great-grandfather. He wasn’t the only father we are descended from, but most of them are related to us all but through a mother. Mitochondrial Eve is like that, too, but it is based on the mothers back through time, and she was thousands of years before y-chromosome Adam.

        • Michael Neville

          4 years ago a genetics lab in Europe proved the human race started with ONE MAN.

          We know about Y-chromosome Adam and mitochondrial Eve and the study doesn’t “prove” what you’re pretending it does. This article in Live Science [LINK] talks about the study you’re possibly referring to:

          Despite their overlap in time, ancient “Adam” and ancient “Eve” probably didn’t even live near each other, let alone mate. “Those two people didn’t know each other,” said Melissa Wilson Sayres, a geneticist at the University of California, Berkeley, who was not involved in the study.

          By assuming a mutation rate anchored to archaeological events (such as the migration of people across the Bering Strait), the team concluded that all males in their global sample shared a single male ancestor in Africa roughly 125,000 to 156,000 years ago.

          In addition, mitochondrial DNA from the men, as well as similar samples from 24 women, revealed that all women on the planet trace back to a mitochondrial Eve, who lived in Africa between 99,000 and 148,000 years ago — almost the same time period during which the Y-chromosome Adam lived.

          Did you notice that the creationists’ “Genesis happened 6 to 10 thousand years ago” is shown to be false by the dates in the study? Explain that, slime.

        • MadScientist1023

          There are an absurd number of transitional fossils. Transitional fossils have been found constantly, ever since Darwin first predicted we would find them. Not two years after he published On the Origin of Species, the first Archeaopterix fossil was found showing a perfect transitional form between dinosaurs and birds. Hundreds, even thousands of transitional fossils have been discovered. Creationists constantly lie by saying none have been found.

        • Show me a fossil, and I’ll show you a transitional fossil.

        • MNb

          Yeah, creacrappers are not even capable and/or willing to formulate their criticism properly. The proper formulation would be sometling like “the fossil record does not show nearly enough clear lines of descent”, but that one is not only thoroughly unsexy, it’s a sitting duck for any skeptic. It’s well documented by TalkOrigins – every single creacrap attempt to criticize Evolution Theory is either a strawman or straightforwardly false.

        • And then there’s the problem of a new fossil nicely fitting into a time gap, as requested … thereby creating two new time gaps.

        • Pascal’s Wager? Fail.

          You are a sinner as all men are, you are going to die and GOD is going to hold you accountable for your sins.

          Romans 5:19. You lose.

        • MNb

          “4 years ago a genetics lab in Europe proved the human race started with ONE MAN.”
          Link to a reliable source, please (so no, no creacrap site will ever suffice).
          Until then MNb’s Law applies: you are a creationist, hence lying. Granted, you may believe your own lies, but a lie it remains.
          Especially given this lie of yours:

          “Physicists found a sub atomic particle that holds the atom together,”
          The fact that you don’t even know its famous name demonstrates your ignorance. The fact that you don’t even care to do a search on internet demonstrates your stupidity. Then you would have known that the higgs-boson does not hold the atom together.

          “they do not know what it”
          They have known for about 50 years what it is, because the guy who gave its name to it, already predicted in in the 1960’s.

          “is so they call it the GOD particle, how ironic.”
          You are at the butt end of this irony. See, it was not the physicists who gave it this nickname. They generally dislike it, especially Peter Higgs, who predicted it. It’s not even the reporter who popularized this elementary particle in the 1990’s – he wanted it to call the Goddamnit Particle. It was the publisher of the reporter’s book who changed that nickname. Reason: money. That’s what your god is these days, a moneymaking scheme. And you are stupid and willfully ignorant enough to fall for it. The only question remaining is that this con-scheme turned you into an arrogant jerk or that you fell for it because you are an arrogant jerk. In either case you wallow in stench and call it parfum.

        • epeeist

          Physicists found a sub atomic particle that holds the atom together, they do not know what it is so they call it the GOD particle, how ironic.

          The one and only reason for this is that Lederman’s publisher wouldn’t let him call his book “That God Damned Particle”, nothing to do with your god.

        • Rudy R

          Physicists found a sub atomic particle that holds the atom together, they do not know what it is so they call it the GOD particle, how ironic.

          Actually, they DO know what it is…the Higgs Boson. And it wasn’t a “they” who called it the God Particle, it was the atheist Nobel prize winning physicist Leon Lederman, who named it out of a joke and never thought his publisher would use it in the title of his book. Publishers like catchy title names, don’t cha know.

        • Greg G.

          The Bible doesn’t say anything about outer space so it can’t be saying there is water in outer space. Their model was a flat earth with the sky above it and a store of water above it. Isaiah does not say the earth is a sphere, it says the earth is a circle and circles are flat. The ancient Greeks knew the world was a sphere and were able to calculate the size of the sphere even before New Testament times.

          Isaiah 11:11 is the second time God raised his hand. The first time was in Isaiah 5:25 when he was pissed off at the Israelis which dispersed them. The second time was to bring them back. The accurate Bible prophecies are those written after the fact.

          Job 37:7? Did a Christian tell you that? You can’t trust a Christian, especially when they talk about he Bible. Start reading at Job 37:6 for context that shows that it is rain and snow falling on a person’s hand that proves godidit. That shows just how desperate people have been for God for centuries. Job 37:4-5 is not about electricity and voices, it is saying that thunder is God’s voice.

          Gen 3:15 is a story about why people don’t get along with snakes.

          Daniel 8 is how we know that Daniel was written in the second century BC. The “prophecies” are detailed and precise before 167 BC and completely wrong after 164 BC when the person prophesied to die, died elsewhere by other means.

          Joseph in Genesis has 130 things in his life that matches the life of Jesus Christ.

          I bet none of the gospels has all 130 things. I bet many are regular story tropes. The gospels are fictional stories that rely on the OT for ideas.

          Science just proved there is brimstone in the core of the earth, God toid you that 3000 years ago,

          Do you have a citation? Brimstone is melted sulfur. The earth’s core is primarily molten iron. Brimstone becomes a gas at 444.6°C. The temperature of the earth’s core is 6,000 C, so even at those pressures, there is likely no brimstone in the earth’s core. Even if we were to assume you read the verse right, it would be wrong. From http://geology.com/articles/active-volcanoes-solar-system.shtml :

          Based upon observations from Earth and from space vehicles, only four bodies in the solar system have confirmed volcanic activity. These are 1) Earth; 2) Io, a moon of Jupiter; 3) Triton, a moon of Neptune; and, 4) Enceladus, a moon of Saturn. Evidence for possible volcanic activity on Mars, Venus, and Europa has been observed, but no direct eruption observations have been made.

          You don’t even have your modern facts right, either. Even the moon shows that there was volcanic activity long ago, which means it is much older than 6000 years.

          There are many myths around the world. Floods were a problem for many cultures. Naturally they needed a myth to provide perspective that things could be worse. Many of the flood myths of the Mediterranean area are built on each other. The Noah story is built on the story of Gilgamesh with some Egyptian influence.

          Everything you tried to say is wrong.

        • Michael Neville

          You “prove” that bullshit by twisting those verses completely out of shape. Bronze age priests who didn’t know where the Sun went at night and thought that the Earth was flat were not making scientific predictions.

          I notice that you didn’t even attempt to justify worshiping a sadistic, narcissistic asshole. We both know that’s because you can’t rationalize it.

          As for your threats, and yes, you motherfucking piece of slime, you threatened me, I’m not impressed. Come back when you’ve got something more than bullshit predictions and “my imaginary friend can beat you up” threats.

        • Bob Randall

          enjoy hell foolish monkey man GOD will be getting your attention soon. Prepare to meet thy GOD

        • Scary.

          Does it work both ways? Can I scare you with visions of Buddhist hell?

          What’s that? You say Buddhist hell is bullshit? Yes, yes, that’s true. Guess what I think about Christian hell.

        • Michael Neville

          Are threats and lies all you have? I stopped worrying about the boogeyman when I was six and I got a decent education which included real science so your threats and lies are boring. Come up with something new.

        • MNb

          Ah, still you have nothing but your god the boogeyman.
          Look, christian jerk, christians like you have been saying this for 2000 years now. Little secret: it doesn’t work anymore. You are promoting unbelief with every single comment of yours.

        • Greg G.

          OMG! You used vowels in G*D’s name. He hates that. You will feel his wrath forever!

        • epeeist

          Well at the risk of getting dirty here is my take on some of your points:

          Gen 1, 4000 BC GOD said there is water in outer space

          There are undeniably water molecules in outer space. Indeed some two hundred molecules have been detected in interstellar and intergalactic space, so why doesn’t the bible mention these? Of course the bible has no concept of “outer space”, no idea that that it is a vacuum, no idea that there are multiple elements and that water is a compound of these.

          God said the earth was round

          Actually the bible says that the earth has corners (Isaiah 11:12 and Revelation 7:1), it also says it has ends (Job 38:13, Jeremiah 16:19 and Daniel 4:11). Matthew 4:8 says that the devil showed Jesus all the countries of the world from the top of a mountain. In other words, according to the bible the world is flat.

          science proved that in 1492 AD

          Wrong again, the ancient Greeks had established that the world was (roughly) spherical at least as early as 200BCE, they had even estimated its diameter to within a few percent of the modern value. As well as this they had also estimated the distance from the earth to the moon and sun and their sizes.

          Science just proved there is brimstone in the core of the earth, God toid you that 3000 years ago

          But we have already established that the earth described in the bible is flat, how can it have a core?

          The earth is the only planet with volcanic activity

          Wrong again, there are a number of bodies in the solar system that exhibit volcanism or have exhibited it in the past. Of course some of these bodies are moons of planets, something that is strangely omitted in the bible. Also missing from the bible are the several thousand exo planets that have so far been discovered some of which will surely exhibit volcanic activity. But there again the bible says nothing about the stars being other suns.

          10 major ancient cultures have a record of a universal flood.

          So 10 myths about something that never took place.

        • Greg G.

          I don’t care if he puts you in a wheel chair, gives you cancer, takes your eyesight, takes your kids, your dog, your parents, your wife, your girlfriend but when he is through you will know there is THE GOD.

          That sounds like a country song. Do you mean those things specifically or just anything bad that happens to people of all religions all the time? Shit happens. Do you think God causes all shit to happen?

        • Pofarmer

          I’m sorry, but a God that would do that doesn’t deserve to be worshipped even if it does exist.

        • So the only tricks your god can do are evil tricks? Wow–where do I sign up to worship this asshole?

        • MNb

          You wouldn’t recognize a scientific fact if it danced in front of you naked while wearing a hat.

        • epeeist

          I don’t know what the comparison would be like in the Netherlands but Bob and the other creotards we get show less knowledge and understanding of science than the average 11 year old here in the UK.

          Now Bob might be a special case in that he is a moron, but given that we get a number who are similar one has to wonder at the state of education in at least some parts of the US.

        • MNb

          Evolution Theory is mandatory even if you are homeschooling, which is very difficult to do in The Netherlands. There are 2000 homeschooled kids at the max (possibly just 200) on a population of 960 000 pupils.
          Still Dutch relinuts manage to deny its facts.

        • epeeist

          Still Dutch relinuts manage to deny its facts.

          We get this in private religious schools (Christian, Muslim and Jewish), our school inspection system tends to crack down on those in the public sector.

          The fact that exam syllabuses are set by domain experts rather than politicians and that those from organisations like ACE are not accredited is also a help.

        • MNb

          Religious schools in The Netherlands are also funded by government. That makes it rather easy to make the curriculum (which indeed are set by domain experts) mandatory. The few private schools there are still have to use the same curriculum or they will be closed in the end, indeed by school inspectors. It also helps that there is a central exam system; no university or other academy can have its own allowance system (they are funded by government as well).
          Many Americans will detest it, but teaching Evolution Theory in the end is forced by law (just like writing, reading etc.). It makes my previous comment (the part you quoted) all the more amazing. At least it shows how utterly dishonest creationism is.

        • epeeist

          The few private schools there are still have to use the same curriculum
          or they will be closed in the end, indeed by school inspectors.

          Private schools are much more prevalent in the UK and are given somewhat more latitude. They can indeed use syllabuses like those from ACE, however I am not aware of many doing so.

          The critical thing is that such syllabuses are not accepted in higher education, Durham University is fairly typical in requiring good results in national examinations or the International Baccalaureate even for its degree in divinity.

          At least it shows how utterly dishonest creationism is.

          My aphorism used to be “one can be honest, intelligent and a creationist; just not all three at the same time”. However I now take your point of view, to be a creationist is to be dishonest.

        • MNb

          Syllabuses a la ACE are disallowed by the Dutch school inspection system, private or not, homeschooling or not. All textbooks have to match the curriculum as formulated by the domain experts. Different competing textbooks are possible, because schools are free to choose didactics. In Suriname (a small and poorer country) the situation is even more radical. The choice of textbooks is also centralized (though teachers and other experts have to be consulted).
          I suppose that especially at orthodox protestant schools creationism is taught in religion class.

        • Greg G.

          Bob Randall is so over the top, I suspect he is a Poe.

        • epeeist

          I suspect he is a Poe

          Possibly, though I have come across a few who are just as bonkers as Bob. On the Richard Dawkins site we had a Muslim convert, Joe Morreale, who was an acolyte of the fraudster Harun Yahya. After sufficient poking he descended to calling me “ugly, wretched, atheist scum” (though without the commas). I nearly wet myself laughing.

        • adam

          “The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked who can know it. ”

          Which is why atheists think with their brains.

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/83047a7aa5747127154bedf74dfe00d9ece20e2e809db3b4b2225d5ec8df3a70.png

        • adam
        • Why did God make the lake of fire in the first place? Have you noticed that he’s kind of a jerk?

        • Greg G.

          Not only that, Jesus needs a breath mint.

          2 Thessalonians 2:8 (NRSV)8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will destroy with the breath of his mouth, annihilating him by the manifestation of his coming.

        • You’ve shown us nothing but empty bravado. You say there are reasons to believe the Christian argument? Then show us.

          My bet: you’ve got nothing. I hear baby Jesus crying in the distance.

        • MNb

          But it’s of course beneath you to explain to us what we don’t understand.

        • Dys

          Bob, considering you haven’t really bothered to explain what you’re going on about once, you should probably just take your own advice and stop commenting.

        • Bob Randall

          Dys to you and the rest of yuour buddies who call yourself atheists (there is no such thing as an atheist for you all see your god every morning when you wake up and look into the mirror) you criticize a book of which you have never read, YOU quote the scriptures you do not understand and profess you know what GOD (whom you don’t believe in) meant. You are the fools, GOD himself called you fools. Now when all you atheists draw your last breath of his air that GOD allows you to breath your free will that GOD allows in this life ends and you belong to GOD and you will bow the knee to him and you will pay for your sins because you turned your nose up to the Truth. Hell is a choice and you will make it and GOD already paid for your sins. You will and your buddies will only have yourselves to blame. Again you criticize me because I don’t give you some lengthy philosophical explanation but had you read Jesus whom you think you know and quote when he dealt with the educated people of his time did not give them an answer either. You and your buddies really know very very little about Jesus or GOD or his words. Now FAITH COMETH BY HEARING AND HEARING BY THE WORD OF GOD. So if you want to know what I am talking about then read every word in the Bible and ask GOD to show you and I guarantee he will. As far as bob s and his site he insulted my GOD so if he nor you can’t take the heat then get out of the kitchen and close your sight down. Atheism is a myth just like all atheists are a myth, they don’t exist. They do not want to admit they will pay for their sins so they like little bottle sucking babies who don’t want to obey their parents Pretend GOD and his laws do not exist. Now that is foolish. So since you and your buddies are thin skin sissies I am sorry I hurt your feelings I should have known I was dealing with a bunch of children. Hell is your choice and you will put yourself there.

        • Dys

          Are there any stupid Christian apologist tropes you don’t fall into Bob?

          Plenty of atheists have read the bible, and considering your rather infantile method of commenting, I daresay most have a better understanding of it than you.

          And, as we all know, just because something’s written in a book, doesn’t make it true. That includes the bible. All you’re doing is confusing what you believe with actual knowledge. They aren’t the same thing.

          You’re being attacked because you’re incapable of defending your beliefs against criticism.

          Now run along. Maybe when you grow up, you’ll be capable of adult conversation. You’re obviously just another ignorant troll who can’t adequately defend his religion.

        • Bob Randall

          No dys the problem is i gave the key to fool why one would be in danger of the judgment when Jesus called his disciples fools. Now a really intelligent man who really is interested in truth and not just running his mouth parroting something other ignorant fools said would actually think about that and learn the reason. So dys you run along and enjoy what you have left of your life GOD allows you to live, because all of heaven you are ever going to see is right here. Jesus Christ died for your sins and if you reject GOD’S payment for your sins then you will pay. Be sure your sins will find you out.

        • Greg G.

          You are quoting people who didn’t know where the sun went at night.

        • Dys

          No, the problem is that you’re incompetent and can’t defend your beliefs. So you’ll just continue making assertions that you can’t and won’t back up, because at the root of this, you’re an intellectual coward.

        • MNb

          “Now a really intelligent man who really is interested in truth and not just running his mouth parroting something other ignorant fools said.”
          BWAHAHAHAHA!
          Well, you are parrotting other ignorant fools – the ones who wrote the Bible and the ones who believe(d) them hence you are not a really intelligent man and not really interested in the truth.
          Thanks for disproving your own belief. That saves us the effort.

        • Phil

          Mythical Jesus just had a bad weekend for our sins. He wasn’t dead for long. How is it even possible to kill a god in the first place? Where did he go when he was in this dead state? What happened to all the zombies that were unleashed when he ‘died’. Why weren’t the devastating earthquakes reported elsewhere? I am just interested in the truth of the matter.

        • adam
        • Without Malice

          Well, of course God cannot die, which is why the church had to come up with the rather idiotic two natures dogma which says that Jesus was 100% God as well as 100% man. So while the 100% man part of Jesus could die the God part could stay alive. It’s bizarre, it’s idiotic, it makes no sense whatever, but that’s Christian dogma for ya.

        • adam

          ” (there is no such thing as an atheist for you all see your god every morning when you wake up and look into the mirror)”

          No that is what theists do,

          Definition of atheism

          2 a : a disbelief in the existence of deity

          Atheists dont believe in gods.

        • Bob Randall

          Hey there monkey man, you believe you came from a monkey right, which came out of the ocean right, which came from the rocks right which came from NOTHING right? Now there is the definition of a fools religion if I ever saw one. hey there monkey man I got a bridge I want to sell you real cheap. Enjoy hell that is where you are headed. Science just proved about a year ago there is BRIMSTONE in the core of the earth. IT is nice that science YOUR god caught up with GOD’S BOOK because he told you that 3000 years ago. See you monkey man. Here is laughing at you! Hahahahahahahahaha The FOOL hat said in his heart there is no GOD.

        • adam

          “Hey there monkey man, you believe you came from a monkey right, ”

          No, but I understand now how IDiot you are.

          “which came from NOTHING right?”

          Define NOTHING

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/637bfeb32fe76da958e611fbfd841246baeabb7b96c48f9a41144e316ea0e22d.jpg

          ” Enjoy hell that is where you are headed. ”

          Hell is an IMAGINARY PLACE for IDiots

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/474299198fa468cb412454dc5c43a24444b671b390af392fb7d2e088f0031e1d.jpg

          ” Science just proved about a year ago there is BRIMSTONE in the core of the earth.”

          Actually BRIMSTONE is merely sulfur.

          Science has known about sulfur for some time.

          Doesnt prove a Hell

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/0448eba69db49e807bec179970f830b0e42028a0c8c2c1ffa23cfab9dba3693e.jpg

          ” IT is nice that science YOUR god ”

          I am an atheist, I have no god, so you are a LYING IDiot

          ” The FOOL hat said in his heart there is no GOD.”

          Hypocrite

          Matthew 5:22

          “But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/681785c573e0e941d7e81f66dd2e305bc7671f7e9b41f0b84b263f098be05d79.jpg

        • Or you could learn about evolution from somewhere besides Answers in Genesis.

        • epeeist

          Hey there monkey man, you believe you came from a monkey right, which came out of the ocean right, which came from the rocks right which came from NOTHING right?

          You know if you had the intelligence of a stunned mollusc you might just realise how much crap you have packed into a single sentence. But no, creotards never rise to such a high level of understanding.

        • Greg G.

          I am glad to see that you survived your trip.

        • Greg G.

          FAITH COMETH BY NOT THINKING.

        • MNb

          “there is no such thing as an atheist for you all see your god every morning when you wake up and look into the mirror,”
          BWAHAHAHAHA!
          No, I’am not as arrogant as you. Whenever I look into the mirror (no matter what time) I only see MNb, who is 100% human.

          “Hell is a choice …..”
          Pssst … I have news for you.
          There is no hell.
          There is no heaven either.
          No matter how often you repeat this nonsense, they remain imaginary.
          Just like your god.

        • adam

          “Hell is a choice and you will make it and GOD already paid for your sins.”

          So why do I need to ‘believe’ in anything if it is ALREADY PAID FOR?

          And sin?

        • Dys

          Well, it’s certainly foolish to come to an atheist page, spout of a few trolling responses, and expect to be taken seriously Bob. So in this instance, you’re most definitely the fool.

          And really, until you actually demonstrate some ability to have an intelligent conversation, you’re not in any position to criticize someone else for dismissing your infantile replies. You get what you dish out.

        • Greg G.

          deleted. Hit wrong Reply.

        • Dys

          Instead, just repeat things out of the bible and pretend you’ve answered the critic successfully, instead of just employing a deflecting tactic. Because critical examination of religion is scary to some believers (because so little of it withstands serious scrutiny).

          I’m sure that if Jesus was actually alive, he’d be very proud of your incompetent trolling.

        • Greg G.

          Bob Seidensticker is a legend.

          Signed,
          God Dammit

        • Dys

          Tsk tsk…Bob is falsely attributing words to God. Isn’t that a sin?

  • Daniel

    Quite an uneducated point of view… Very opinionated, and inaccurate… Any specifics are wanting…

    • Daniel: You seemed to have been trying to make this comment:

      This is one of the most inaccurate representations of what an Atheist would DREAM up after NO research, with the agenda of lumping all religions into one big massive lump…
      The writer of this article obviously has no experience with the subject at hand. In one hand you see the writer obviously Bashing the Bible’s Text, and in the other hand literally using a Bible Text to try and ‘Prove’ their point… I will give an example.
      Laughably, the Author states that a god names Elyon was the father of Yahweh (correctly ‘Yehowah’) and when apportioning the world out to all the othe gods, gave Yahweh (Yehowah) his portion…
      ****First of all there is NO such Canaanite god as Elyon (what a religious scholar we have here)… Lol… Elyon is an epithet of the God of the Israelites in the Hebrew Bible, Not a deity of the Canaanite pantheon.
      ****Secondly, Elyon is a Hebrew word meaning “The Most High”. So Then our ‘Scholar-of-a-writer’ here cites Deuteronomy 32:8-9, implying that ‘The Most HIgh’ in verse 8 is somehow different from Yahweh in verse 9…
      To Identify who Elyon ‘The Most High’ is we need look no further then:
      (Psalms 83:18) “May people know that you, whose name is YeHoWaH (YHWH)
      You alone are the Most High over all the earth”
      Hmmm, so the Bible text states definitively that Yehowah (YHWH) IS ‘The Most High’, in many places throughout the Bible, and not that the two are separate.
      Why even pretend to know anything about a collection of writings that you are completely ignorant of? Is it that Atheist dream of lumping all ‘gods’ in together with one another? The entire article is so far fetched, I cannot believe the writer was not ashamed to show their immense lack o f education in this subject by writing down His/Hers Obviously biased and own personal opinion, which is clearly a bunch of Atheist garbage. Nothing presented here is anywhere near original, as each whack at the Bible Text is nothing but regurgitation of some other Atheist slant…
      Perhaps someone with actual interest in this subject should do the writing, as they probably paid more attention while learning then they did dwelling on how cool it is to be an Atheist, and how much more ‘intelligent’ they are and ‘Objective they can be because of their cool Atheist-ness…
      ****Third, I would LOVE to where (other than your Atheist friends) is you information coming from? Please, I challenge YOU to provide even one single Tale, Epic, or Myth of Canaanite religion that even MENTIONS YahWeh (Yehowah)??? You seem so confident that Yahweh is just one god out of a hundred, and that his Father is ‘Elyon’ (Lol!) Seriously??? Where, and from WHAT ancient writings do you Justify a god named Elyon and Yahweh being one of his sons? What is the source for your claims?
      ****Finally, I Just want to ask… Why? Why even try? You are obviously very uneducated in religion in general, and even worse with specifics. You clearly have no desire to present any of the subject matter accurately, only seeming to give attention to you Atheist dream of all religio ns being pretty much just like any other. Do you need praise and worship from your Atheist buddies that bad? Are you that Sad with you lot?
      Where, and from what myth or Epic do you claim th
      The next time you endeavour to write about something, perhaps a little more research, and allot less of your personal attitude would make for a better read. A far more interesting one, regardless. All you do here proclaim over and over: “”Hey, look at me, I’m smart because I don’t believe In any gods, and I am an Atheist, RIGHT?!?! Aren’t I cool now for repeating what YOU guys always say about religion in my smart Writing here???!!!””.
      You’re not being ‘Objective’ or ‘Detached’, and you’re not providing any ‘fresh’ or ‘original’ input on the subject. It’s not clever, it’s not witty, and it’s so incorrect that and off target that it is incredibly Obvious that you really know NOTHING about any of topics of the subject on which you write. Keep up this kind of work and I’m sure it’ll ‘get you somewhere’.
      Learn to learn, and learn to study, then learn to learn some more… You’ve got a long road ahead of you…

      • Christopher Laurent

        well according to Jewish scholars as you can see by following this link and if you actually researched things. There was an ancient canaanite god called El and worshiped by many people.
        https://thetorah.com/who-was-balaams-god/

        • That stuff up there wasn’t me. I was publishing a comment that had been lost. Blame Daniel, not me.

    • Your long screed had too high an insult-to-comment ratio, so I won’t bother responding. Thanks for playing.

    • Joe

      Quite an uneducated point of view… Very opinionated, and inaccurate… Any specifics are wanting

      The irony of this post is quite breathtaking.

  • Daniel

    The author of this poorly researched article has allot to explain given they have chosen to represent themselves as ‘Author’ of this subject… This entire piece is more like the imaginary desire of an atheist, rather than an accurately researched subject… The writer states that Yehowah (YHWH) is the son of Elyon. From what source do you even suppose this to be the case???
    While down playing and pretty much bashing the biblical text in one hand, this writer simultaneously attempts to draw on it to prove their absurd and far fetched ideas, in the other. I dare not call them theories… An Example Follows:

    The writer posts Deuteronomy 32:8-9 as evidence that a pagan god named Elyon (The Most High) is Yehowah’s subordinate, and that Yehowah in verse 9 is separate from the Most High.
    THE FACTS SAY:
    Yehowah IS THE MOST HIGH (Elyon in Hebrew) and is NOT the son of any god named Elyon. In fact the title Elyon is NOT EVEN a CANANNITE god! Itis an epithet of the God of the Israelites in the Hebrew Bible…

    On what grounds do these so called atheist ‘scholars’ base the nonsense that YHWH is in any way a canaanite god, or even related to them. The Canaanite myths are NOWHERE NEAR similar in any way to the Bible Narrative, yet these wanna be ‘experts’ simply throw them all together into one as if to say ” ‘Duh’ of course they are the same, their idiot religious myths/tales and are all equal…”

    The Bible itself says that Yehowah (YHWH) is Elyon, or Yehowah is the Most High God. No other. Not GIVEN to Him by another, but CHOSEN by Him and for Him.

    (Psalms 83:18) May people know that you, whose name is Jehovah, (Yehowah…YHWH)
    You alone are the Most High (Elyon) over all the earth.

    Where do you get off? There is no ancient source for your imaginary pantheon that split off into different gods… I ask, quite loudly actually, that you provide the Canaanite Myth or Epic wherein Yehowah does ANYTHING! YHWH was NOT a Canaanite god, and there is not one shred of proof to the atheistic claim that He is.
    When will you learn that simply reading an inaccuracy written by some so-called scholar and then elaborating on it until you could write a whole book on the ideas expressed in a incorrect sentence does not make it true, or even interesting…

    YHWH was NEVER a Canaanite god… Elyon was NEVER a Canaanite god… but your entire view here depends on it being so…

    When you go to school to learn something… LEARN instead of skimming and adding your own opinions to it… This entire article is no more or less than completely ignorant of Theology, Religious Concepts, Comparative religion, either modern and main stream or ancient and little known…
    Hey Atheist… Grow up… The Bible’s God is Yehowah, and he is real… Your ‘theories’ are baseless and outrageous… Next time, write about something you know… Write about imaginary cultures, and their religions… Write about how to ‘make up’ and ‘falsify’ information and then present it as true…

    Get real…

  • Daniel

    This is one of the most inaccurate representations of what an Atheist would DREAM up after NO research, with the agenda of lumping all religions into one big massive lump…
    The writer of this article obviously has no experience with the subject at hand. In one hand you see the writer obviously Bashing the Bible’s Text, and in the other hand literally using a Bible Text to try and ‘Prove’ their point… I will give an example.
    Laughably, the Author states that a god names Elyon was the father of Yahweh (correctly ‘Yehowah’) and when apportioning the world out to all the othe gods, gave Yahweh (Yehowah) his portion…

    ****First of all there is NO such Canaanite god as Elyon (what a religious scholar we have here)… Lol… Elyon is an epithet of the God of the Israelites in the Hebrew Bible, Not a deity of the Canaanite pantheon.

    ****Secondly, Elyon is a Hebrew word meaning “The Most High”. So Then our ‘Scholar-of-a-writer’ here cites Deuteronomy 32:8-9, implying that ‘The Most HIgh’ in verse 8 is somehow different from Yahweh in verse 9…
    To Identify who Elyon ‘The Most High’ is we need look no further then:

    (Psalms 83:18) “May people know that you, whose name is YeHoWaH (YHWH)
    You alone are the Most High over all the earth”

    Hmmm, so the Bible text states definitively that Yehowah (YHWH) IS ‘The Most High’, in many places throughout the Bible, and not that the two are separate.

    Why even pretend to know anything about a collection of writings that you are completely ignorant of? Is it that Atheist dream of lumping all ‘gods’ in together with one another? The entire article is so far fetched, I cannot believe the writer was not ashamed to show their immense lack of education in this subject by writing down His/Hers Obviously biased and own personal opinion, which is clearly a bunch of Atheist garbage. Nothing presented here is anywhere near original, as each whack at the Bible Text is nothing but regurgitation of some other Atheist slant…

    Perhaps someone with actual interest in this subject should do the writing, as they probably paid more attention while learning then they did dwelling on how cool it is to be an Atheist, and how much more ‘intelligent’ they are and ‘Objective they can be because of their cool Atheist-ness…

    ****Third, I would LOVE to where (other than your Atheist friends) is you information coming from? Please, I challenge YOU to provide even one single Tale, Epic, or Myth of Canaanite religion that even MENTIONS YahWeh (Yehowah)??? You seem so confident that Yahweh is just one god out of a hundred, and that his Father is ‘Elyon’ (Lol!) Seriously??? Where, and from WHAT ancient writings do you Justify a god named Elyon and Yahweh being one of his sons? What is the source for your claims?

    ****Finally, I Just want to ask… Why? Why even try? You are obviously very uneducated in religion in general, and even worse with specifics. You clearly have no desire to present any of the subject matter accurately, only seeming to give attention to you Atheist dream of all religions being pretty much just like any other. Do you need praise and worship from your Atheist buddies that bad? Are you that Sad with you lot?

    Where, and from what myth or Epic do you claim th

    The next time you endeavour to write about something, perhaps a little more research, and allot less of your personal attitude would make for a better read. A far more interesting one, regardless. All you do here proclaim over and over: “”Hey, look at me, I’m smart because I don’t believe In any gods, and I am an Atheist, RIGHT?!?! Aren’t I cool now for repeating what YOU guys always say about religion in my smart Writing here???!!!””.
    You’re not being ‘Objective’ or ‘Detached’, and you’re not providing any ‘fresh’ or ‘original’ input on the subject. It’s not clever, it’s not witty, and it’s so incorrect that and off target that it is incredibly Obvious that you really know NOTHING about any of topics of the subject on which you write. Keep up this kind of work and I’m sure it’ll ‘get you somewhere’.
    Learn to learn, and learn to study, then learn to learn some more… You’ve got a long road ahead of you…

  • Daniel

    This is one of the most inaccurate representations of any actual religious, and cultural beliefs of ANY peoples at all, much less the Hebrews or Canaanites. Exactly what an Atheist would DREAM up after NO research, with the agenda of lumping all religions into one big massive lump…
    The writer of this article obviously has no experience with the subject at hand. In one hand you see the writer obviously Bashing the Bible’s Text, and in the other hand literally using a Bible Text to try and ‘Prove’ their point… I will give an example.
    Laughably, the Author states that a god names Elyon was the father of Yahweh (correctly ‘Yehowah’) and when apportioning the world out to all the othe gods, gave Yahweh (Yehowah) his portion…

    ****First of all there is NO such Canaanite god as Elyon (what a religious scholar we have here)… Lol… Elyon is an epithet of the God of the Israelites in the Hebrew Bible, Not a deity of the Canaanite pantheon.

    ****Secondly, Elyon is a Hebrew word meaning “The Most High”. So Then our ‘Scholar-of-a-writer’ here cites Deuteronomy 32:8-9, implying that ‘The Most HIgh’ in verse 8 is somehow different from Yahweh in verse 9…
    To Identify who Elyon ‘The Most High’ is we need look no further then:

    (Psalms 83:18) “May people know that you, whose name is YeHoWaH (YHWH)
    You alone are the Most High over all the earth”

    Hmmm, so the Bible text states definitively that Yehowah (YHWH) IS ‘The Most High’, in many places throughout the Bible, and not that the two are separate.

    Why even pretend to know anything about a collection of writings that you are completely ignorant of? Is it that Atheist dream of lumping all ‘gods’ in together with one another? The entire article is so far fetched, I cannot believe the writer was not ashamed to show their immense lack of education in this subject by writing down His/Hers Obviously biased and own personal opinion, which is clearly a bunch of Atheist garbage. Nothing presented here is anywhere near original, as each whack at the Bible Text is nothing but regurgitation of some other Atheist slant…

    Perhaps someone with actual interest in this subject should do the writing, as they probably paid more attention while learning then they did dwelling on how cool it is to be an Atheist, and how much more ‘intelligent’ they are and ‘Objective they can be because of their cool Atheist-ness…

    ****Third, I would LOVE to where (other than your Atheist friends) is you information coming from? Please, I challenge YOU to provide even one single Tale, Epic, or Myth of Canaanite religion that even MENTIONS YahWeh (Yehowah)??? You seem so confident that Yahweh is just one god out of a hundred, and that his Father is ‘Elyon’ (Lol!) Seriously??? Where, and from WHAT ancient writings do you Justify a god named Elyon and Yahweh being one of his sons? What is the source for your claims?

    ****Finally, I Just want to ask… Why? Why even try? You are obviously very uneducated in religion in general, and even worse with specifics. You clearly have no desire to present any of the subject matter accurately, only seeming to give attention to you Atheist dream of all religions being pretty much just like any other. Do you need praise and worship from your Atheist buddies that bad? Are you that Sad with you lot?

    Where, and from what myth or Epic do you claim th

    The next time you endeavour to write about something, perhaps a little more research, and allot less of your personal attitude would make for a better read. A far more interesting one, regardless. All you do here proclaim over and over: “”Hey, look at me, I’m smart because I don’t believe In any gods, and I am an Atheist, RIGHT?!?! Aren’t I cool now for repeating what YOU guys always say about religion in my smart Writing here???!!!””.
    You’re not being ‘Objective’ or ‘Detached’, and you’re not providing any ‘fresh’ or ‘original’ input on the subject. It’s not clever, it’s not witty, and it’s so incorrect that and off target that it is incredibly Obvious that you really know NOTHING about any of topics of the subject on which you write. Keep up this kind of work and I’m sure it’ll ‘get you somewhere’.
    Learn to learn, and learn to study, then learn to learn some more… You’ve got a long road ahead of you…