Nature of Reality, Will the Real YHWH Please Step Forward, Introduction
Before we get carried away and I am, again, declared to be a heretic, allow me to say that there is more than one meaning to the phrase ‘how to kill god,’ Used below (a different article) The ambiguity is in the use of the word “god.”
All cultures have a similar word which is used for The God, and other lesser things some have called god, false gods, or even putting a higher value on things and making them like a god.
In English it is the word God. In Hebrew it is Elohim. In Arabic it is the word Allah. Again, all representing both things that are not God and also used for the one true and living God. This is only a comment about language, and the use of words in these languages. These three words are positional words, not personal names.
I will say this again below, at least once since so many, especially Baptists and Evangelicals in general are very sensitive to how things are said even when said correctly or for a good purpose.
I say this as person who has spent most of his life associated with those churches and groups, years 1-10 as a Presbyterian, 11-50ish as Baptist, and then more or less non-denominational, I can speak from deep, long experience in that area.
God in the Dead Sea Scrolls
Specifically herein I will use the transliteration of the name used with Moses on the mountain, YHWH (Sometimes we use the German transliteration Jehovah for this word) for a specific reason and not for another reason.
Transliteration means an attempt to recreate the same name in a different alphabet. It was written in Paleo-Hebrew. I am typing using American English with the Latin alphabet, so, attempting to use the same name, which is a tetragrammaton (four letter word) usually ends as YHWH, but there are other variations.)
No, I don’t normally use this name, it is for the purpose of differentiating between the types words herein as god or gods, where YHWH is a personal name of a specific being with specific personality characteristics, this limiting him because he does not and cannot have antithetic characteristics, that is, the opposites of these specific characteristics.
Every single thing you say about any person limits that being. If you say (correctly) that I am 72” tall, it limits me to not being 73” or above, nor 71” and below, well, at least not yet, but give me twenty years.
So, “YHWH” here will mean that person who met Moses on the Mountain several times, not a human person, a spiritual being. A person is some being which has personality. A personality is a set of characteristics making up that person. A statue may be a representation of a person but it is not a person because it does not have personality.
I will also use God for this person from time to time because that is the way most people speak in common parlance, and this is just as distinctly different from “god” as YHWH is, linguistically. Since this is written text YHWH is simply an easier reference to distinguish.
I have made a fairly strong accusation. I am going to tell you in this series of posts how the Evangelicals killed YHWH, that is, how they stripped him of life, removing all vestiges of reality and real living at the same time as they claim this to be YHWH.
It clearly is not, theologians in Christianity often describe something closer to Zeus that YHWH.
Why did I choose the pronoun “it?” I chose to call this being they describe as “it” because that is an appropriate pronoun for an inanimate being describes by the Greeks and which model all theological descendants of Augustine have based they theologies and theodicies on.
Considering that YHWH means he is the self-extant one, or self-existent one, this is an indictment of those theologies, so called.
We will be dealing with very simple logic. There are only four rules, which we will discuss briefly because they are very easy to understand, we use them all the time. The first is the law of identity, written A=A.
Let’s apply this to a neutral object and see if you can figure out which piece of fruit I am speaking about. I have every confidence you will be able to accomplish your first logical test. Here are only options for the fruits:
It's Apples and Oranges
1/4 pound average
1/3 pound average
It's Test Time!
Are you ready for your first logical test using the complex Law of Identity? Here it is: Which of these two fruits is behind my back in my hand? You only have one clue, it is red.
This is easy, but really, that’s all there is to it. I could describe other characteristics not in that list and describe those, and you may or may not get the answer correct, but for these purposes we will deal only with characteristics of identified things, just like this, so I promise this will be simple and straightforward but eminently logical.
The Guessing Game: Which god is it?
My case is built on things absolutely as simple as the logic above, it is as easy as the example above. I will use similar tables below that are just as easy, though longer words might be used which will show you the Evangelicals have killed YHWH and replaced him with an inanimate god of their own making. OK, perhaps with a little help from Plato, et al.
They worship an inanimate god, he is dead, he is not YHWH just as the fruit in my hand in the example is not the orange.
Now, if you are one of the seriously intellectual people who have tried to figure out what this strange god is made of but were frustrated by the absurd idiocy of the answers you got either from the laity or directly from the pastoral staff or pastor himself, take heart, there are real answers to your questions and, yes, this book will prepare you for verbal battles with the Evangelicals when they start to spew out the absurdities I have heard for more than fifty years.
This happens more than you might think, both inside and outside the church.
Sure, there are those who really don't want answers. I had one young man come and tell me he has questions then sit there for twenty minutes asking partial questions before changing the subject to a different objection only to not complete that question before moving to the next. It was really odd.
He was not looking for answer, he was looking for an excuse, and I told him this. He finally came back with whole questions but then he didn't like the answers because he did not want to change his lifestyle.
But there are those who genuinely want answers that Evangelicals have no way to answer in a rational manner.
Just keep reading. Use the search terms from the title: Will the Real YHWH Please Step Forward
© 2015 Ronald A Newcomb