Paganism Three

(NOTE: Some of the themes of these articles may not be appropriate for young readers. Please keep that in mind when sharing this information).

It is written:

“Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel, And his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts: ‘I am the First and I am the Last; Besides Me there is no God.” (Isaiah 44:6).

Many passages of Scripture teach that there are other gods besides Jehovah (i.e., the God of the Bible). Yet some passages teach that there are no other gods besides the God of the Bible.

Is this a contradiction here?

Not at all.

Very simply, different words can carry different meanings and definitions. We are able to tell what a word means by the context in which it is found.

We recognize this principle and apply it to our lives daily.

For example, does the word “gay” exclusively mean homosexual? Of course not! Depending on context, it can mean “bright,” “happy,” “ridiculous,” or any number of things!

When the Bible talks about there being no god “besides” the God of the Bible, it means that there is only one TRUE God, not that other “gods” do not exist. Michael Heiser explains this very well:

“Another misguided strategy is to argue that statements in the Old Testament that have God saying “there is none besides me” mean that no other elohim exist. This isn’t the case. These phrases do not contradict Psalm 82 or others that, for example, say Yahweh is above all elohim or is the “God of gods [ elohim ].” I’ve written a lot on this subject—it was a focus of my doctoral dissertation. 12 These “denial statements,” as they are called by scholars, do not assert that there are no other elohim . In fact, some of them are found in chapters where the reality of other elohim is affirmed. We’ve already seen that Deuteronomy 32:17 refers to elohim that Paul believed existed. Deuteronomy 32:8–9 also refers to the sons of God. Deuteronomy 4:19–20 is a parallel to that passage, and yet Deuteronomy 4:35 says there is no god besides Yahweh. Is Scripture filled with contradictions? No. These “denial statements” do not deny that other elohim exist. Rather, they deny that any elohim compares to Yahweh. They are statements of incomparability. This point is easily illustrated by noticing where else the same denial language shows up in the Bible. Isaiah 47:8 and Zephaniah 2:15 have, respectively, Babylon and Nineveh saying “there is none besides me.” Are we to believe that the point of the phrase is to declare that no other cities exist except Babylon or Nineveh? That would be absurd. The point of the statement is that Babylon and Nineveh considered themselves incomparable , as though no other city could measure up to them. This is precisely the point when these same phrases are used of other gods—they cannot measure up to Yahweh. The Bible does not contradict itself on this point. Those who want to argue that the other elohim do not exist are at odds with the supernatural worldview of the biblical writers.” (Michael S. Heiser, Unseen Realm: Recovering The Supernatural Worldview Of The Bible, 571-595 (Kindle Edition); Bellingham, WA; Lexham Press)

There is one true God, Who has revealed Himself to mankind.

Yet can we be sure that this is the case?

How do we know that we can trust the Bible?

And who are these gods and goddesses that the Bible talks about? If they are gods, should they not be worshiped?

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