There's at least a dozen questions I could preface, infer, or imply with this. One of the prevalent ones being xians' belief that the Bible proves the existence of Yahweh. Also worth mentioning is xians' belief that only Yahweh is real, and that all other gods are fake. There are more, but I'm going to focus on these two for now; please feel free to add to the mix if you feel so inclined.

Does the Bible ever actually say the others are fake gods? This might just be arguing technicalities, but as I recall the Bible refers to them as false gods. In fact most of the time the Bible doesn't even imply that much, sometimes just referring to them as gods. This seems to indicate that Yahweh (or at least the Bible authors) knew these other gods existed. Yahweh does mention that he is jealous, and that his people should worship no other gods before him. The theme seems to repeat often through the Old Testaments: acknowledgment of other gods, and then reinforcing that they are the wrong gods.

If the Bible provides repeated 'proof' of Yahweh, doesn't this same argument work as proof of other gods? Especially when you consider that Yahweh himself acknowledges the existence of these other gods.

So based on this information, couldn't we imply that anyone who believes in the existence of Yahweh should thus believe in the existence of these other gods? Even if they don't worship these other gods, wouldn't it make sense to concede they exist?

But how many other gods are there in the Bible? Probably more than you think, and definitely more than most xians think.

Some of the Gods Mentioned in the Bible
*not an exhaustive list
Adrammelech II Kings 17:31 Sepharvite God.
Anammelech II Kings 17:31 Sepharvite God.
Ashima II Kings 17:30 Samaritan Moon Goddess.
Ashtoreth I Kings 11:05 Canaanite Goddess.
Baal I Kings 18:19 Canaanite God ("Lord") of fertility, vegitation, and storms.
Baal-berith Judges 8:33 A regional variation/aspect of Baal.
Baal-peor Numbers 25:03 Moabite regional variation/aspect of Baal.
Baal-zebub Luke 11:19 Philistine/Ekronian regional variation/aspect of Baal.
Baalim I Kings 18:18 Canaanite Gods ("Lords"), a collective of the different aspects of Baa.
Bel Isiah 46:01 Assyrian/Babylonian/Sumerian God ("Lord").
Chemosh I Kings 11:07 Moabite war God.
Dagon I Samuel 05:02 Philistine/Ekronian/Babylonian God of agriculture.
Diana of the Ephesians Acts 19:35 Ephesian moon and nature Goddess, ("Divine/Brilliant").
Jehovah Exodus 6:03 Hebrew God
Jupiter Acts 14:12 Roman God (possibly derived from 'Zeus-pater', Father Zeus).
Lucifer Isiah 14:12 ("Light-Bearer")
Mercurius Acts 14:12 Otherwise known as the Roman God Mercury, God of communication and travel, and messenger of the Gods...which is probably why Paul was called this at Lystra.
Milcom I Kings 11:05 Ammonite God
Molech I Kings 11:07 Ammonite God, also called Moloch, most probably Baal-Hammon of Carthage.
Nebo Isiah 46:01 Assyrian/Babylonian/Chaldean God of wisdom and writing, also called Nabu.
Nergal II Kings 17:30 Cuth/Assyrian/Babylonian war and underworld God, also called Meshlamthea.
Nibhaz II Kings 17:31 Avites God
Nisroch II Kings 19:37 Assyrian God
Rimmon II Kings 05:18 Babylonian/Syrian storm God involved (as Ramman) with the Deluge, according to Hebrew texts; also known as Ramman/Rammon.
Succoth-benoth II Kings 17:30 Babylonian fertility Goddess ("She Who Produces Seed"), also known as Zarpanitu/Zerpanitum.
Tammuz Ezekial 8:14 Assyrian/Babylonian God
Tartak II Kings 17:31 Avites God

I'm well aware of course that most xians would never take this conversation seriously; they are so set on their god being real and all others being make-believe.

Another side thought while we're here... Is Yahweh even a monotheistic god? You really could argue that he is more polytheistic. This is something Dawkins briefly touches on in God Delusion; but also take a look at some of these Bible verses.

Thanks to Norbert Sykes for the table.

Views: 1355

Tags: fake-gods, false-gods, other-gods, yahweh

Comment by Misty: Baytheist Living! on April 30, 2009 at 1:39am
I never understood that way of thought. I read the Bible.. a few times.. even as a child in Sunday school. I always wondered what happened to all the other gods when no one believed in them anymore....which lead to some awkward questions.
I'm forever amused at the identity crisis of Lucifer/Satan/Beezlebub/The Devil.
Hmm.. I might blog on that soon.
Comment by Morgan Matthew on April 30, 2009 at 5:12am
great post

Comment by Pam on April 30, 2009 at 8:20am
Interesting post Johnny!

I'm not trying to side with Christians or anything, but it could be argued that the Genesis verses from the Skeptic's Bible are either talking about "the Trinity", or are referring to the host of Heaven. The trinity argument would be pretty weak, though, because the doctrine itself was developed from this very polytheistic-seeming language. (You could also argue that the trinity is a polytheistic concept. But the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are treated as three extensions of the same god, so that case might not fly. I don't know.)

The rest of the verses, coming from the OT, were probably written in reaction to the treatment of the Jewish people by the Egyptians. It's not unlike commentary we'd see today, if, for example, the Hindus enslaved and then exiled the Christians of some other nation. "You're gods are fake." "My god is a god above your gods." etc. etc. The authors of these texts aren't necessarily saying these other gods exist, but that their god is #1, and what better way to piss people off than to say "my X is better than your X" or "your X is just a fake X."?

But for a text that is supposed to be the divinely inspired, if not THE, word of god, that's a petty, childish way of making your presence known. Why not just say, "I am the only god anywhere that ever has or ever will exist. There are no other gods at all. Just me."? Or better yet, if you were an omnipotent god that really did exist, just make all your creations believe in and know of your existence, and implant in them the moral behaviors you expect them to follow. Cut out the middle man. Leave no room for misinterpretation.

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