The Bad God vs The Good God
Copyright 2005 VVeasey Publishing Inc.
If you see what appear to be contradictory portrayals of the Old and New Testaments depictions of God, it's because there are contradictory portrayals of the old and new testaments depictions of God!
First of all, the Old Testament (originally The Hebrew Bible) has nothing to do with Christianity. It’s all about the history of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and the children of Israel and how the Jews and the Kingdom of Judah come onto being in the book of Kings.
In 400AD, the Roman Catholic Christians annexed the Hebrew Bible to their New ttestament writings to create the first Christian Bible, the Latin Vulgate. They presented it as foretelling the coming of their Christian Messiah, Jesus.
That said, let’s deal with some of the contradictions;
In Exodus, God talks against the killing of the innocent and the righteous. “Keep thee far from a false matter; and the innocent and righteous slay thou not: for I will not justify the wicked.” Exodus 23:7
But in Genesis, Abraham has to talk the Lord out of destroying the righteous people with the wicked in Sodom and Gomorrah.
‘And Abraham drew near, and said, Wilt thou also destroy the righteous with the wicked? 24 peradventure there be fifty righteous within the city: wilt thou also destroy and not spare the place for the fifty righteous that are therein? 25 That be far from thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked: and that the righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from thee: Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” Genesis 18:23-25
This is amazing!
Really let the meanings of “Shall not the judge of all the earth do right?” sink in!
Can you believe it!
Abraham has to coax “the judge of all the earth” into doing the right thing.
“And the LORD said, If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare all the place for their sakes 27 And Abraham answered and said, Behold now, I have taken upon me to speak unto the LORD, which I am but dust and ashes: 32 And he said, Oh let not the LORD be angry, and I will speak yet but this once: Peradventure ten shall be found there. And he said, I will not destroy it for ten's sake. 33 And the LORD went his way, as soon as he had left communing with Abraham: and Abraham returned unto his place.” Genesis 18:26-33
With fear and trepidation, Abraham had to talk the Lord out killing innocent people!
So is this a being of justice and fairness?
Moses even had to talk the Lord out of killing his own "Chosen" people after they made the golden calf after leaving Egypt.
"Now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may wax hot against them, and that I may consume them: and I will make of thee a great nation". 11 "And Moses besought the LORD his God, and said, LORD, why doth thy wrath wax hot against thy people, which thou hast brought forth out of the land of Egypt with great power, and with a mighty hand? 12 Wherefore should the Egyptians speak, and say, For mischief did he bring them out, to slay them in the mountains, and to consume them from the face of the earth? Turn from thy fierce wrath, and repent of this evil against thy people". Exodus 32:10-12
Moses tells the Lord to repent of his evil against his people!
Let that sink in.
God has to repent of evil?
"Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, thy servants, to whom thou swarest by thine own self, and saidst unto them, I will multiply your seed as the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have spoken of will I give unto your seed, and they shall inherit it for ever". 14 "And the LORD repented of the evil which he thought to do unto his people." Exodus 32:13-14
Wow and double wow!
The Lord repented of the evil he thought about doing to his people!
The Lord is thinking evil thoughts?
Weren't you told that the Lord was the author of good not evil?
How do you account for these discrepancies?
The English word God was translated from the Hebrew word Elohim. So when you read God you should really read Elohim.
The English word Lord was translated from the Hebrew word Yahweh, a substitution for the Tetragrammaton (meaning four letters), YHWH or YHVH representing the unpronounceable name of God.
So you’re being lead astray when you read God or Lord instead of Elohim or Yahweh in the Old Testament because then you think that lord and God are God’s names when they’re not.
In contrast to how the Old Testament refers to God, Jesus never refers to the God as the Lord (Yahweh) or as the Lord God (Yahweh Elohim) in the New Testament.
It's always the Father, my Father, our Father (as in the Lord's Prayer) or your Father.
The word translated as Father in the New Testament is from the Greek Pater meaning father not God, which brings us to another contradiction between the old and new Testaments
Jesus says that the Father doesn't judge at all.
For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son: John 5:22
But in Genesis18:25 the lord is called the judge of all the Earth.
"Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?
In Matthew Jesus says, ” But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust” Matthew 5:44-45
And in Luke he said, “But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you Luke 6:27
But in Exodus God says, “And my wrath shall wax hot, and I will kill you with the sword; and your wives shall be widows, and your children fatherless.” Exodus 22:24
Deuteronomy says this, “Know therefore that the LORD your God, he is God, the faithful God, which keeps covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations; 10 And repays them that hate him to their face, to destroy them: he will not be slack to him that hates him, he will repay him to his face” Deuteronomy 7: 9
And, “Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; 6 And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments” Exodus 20:5
There’s no loving your enemies, or doing good to them which hate you with this God. Contrast God’s attitude about punishing children into the third and fourth generations with Jesus' attitude toward children,
“Then were there brought unto him little children, that he should put his hands on them, and pray: and the disciples rebuked them.14 But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 19:13
Jesus says little children are of the kingdom of heaven but they are the very ones the God of the Old Testament is willing to punish into the third and fourth generation for the iniquities of their ancestors.
Is this "the father in heaven" that Jesus is talking about who's willing to punish innocent children into the third and fourth generation for the iniquities of their ancestors?
If this is Jesus’ father he's nothing like his son is he?
He’s a being of anger and jealousy.
He even says his name is Jealous. And he seems to be proud of his jealousy; he emphasizes it.
“For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God:” Exodus 34:14
Jesus and the Genesis writer are obviously talking about two different Gods because in contrast to Jesus’ statements there is no loving or doing good to those who hate you with this God, he only shows mercy to those who love him and keep his commandments.
Thus you have the source of the religious conflict between Jesus and the orthodox Jewish religion of his day. In the orthodox Jewish tradition their father was Abraham and their God was the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
“Moreover he said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God.” Exodus 3:6
Jesus referring to God as the Father or our Father etc. wasn't part of Jewish religious tradition and brought a new vision of God and his relationship to mankind that religious officials didn't want the common people to see.
A Glaring Contradiction
Another glaring contradiction is in Exodus where the writer has the Lord God prohibiting the worship of graven images.
"Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth 5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God ". Exodus 20:4
But the writer of Numbers has the Lord ordering Moses to make a brass serpent to heal anyone bitten by a snake!
"And the LORD said unto Moses, 'Make thee a fiery serpent and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live'. 9 And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it on a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived”. Numbers 21:8-9
Now what are we to make of this obvious about face on a commandment that God obviously stressed was a serious issue for him? If this was done by anyone but the God of the Old Testament what would you say about them?
Shouldn’t you should say that about the God of the Old Testament as well?
Here’s another contradiction.
There are obviously two writers writing in Genesis about two different Gods. From Genesis 1:1 through Genesis 2:4 the first writer uses the singular word God when referring to the creator.
The word translated as God is Elohim which is the plural of the word El, meaning God. So the Elohim should be translated as Gods instead of God, God would be translated from the word El (Strong's Lexicon).
But starting at Genesis 2:5 the second writer suddenly starts referring to the creator as the Lord God to make it appear as if these two beings with different names are one in the same.
The words translated as Lord God are Yahweh (Lord) and Elohim (Gods). When the second writer says the Lord God said or did something he's really saying Yahweh Elohim or the Lord of the Gods did it, whereas the first writer is saying that it was Elohim or the Gods who did it!
The writer of Matthew identifies Jesus with the name of one of these Gods.
"Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us". Matthew 1:23
El means God. Emanuel means El or God with us. (Strong's Lexicon)
The writer is referring to a prophecy that the prophet Isaiah gave in the Old Testament that the early Roman Christians said prophesized the birth of Jesus. But the clincher is that the child wasn’t named Emanuel he was named Jesus. So if this prophecy was about Jesus it didn’t pan-out because his parents named him Jesus instead of Emanuel.
Jesus said that his message was only for the lost sheep of the house of Israel, "But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel". Matthew 15:24 Israel means, " God (El) prevails. (Easton's Bible Dictionary) This suggests that the original name of the God of Israel was El not Yahweh.
Does Jesus mean he was only sent to the remnants of the so-called ten lost tribes of the kingdom of Israel who established a kingdom separate from, Judah, the kingdom of the Jews?
Or was he referring to the Jews as the lost sheep of the house of Israel, who he was trying to return to the worship of their original God, El? (House means kingdom or nation) (Strong's Lexicon)
In the Garden of Eden story, the Lord God is depicted as referring to himself in the plural: "And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:" Genesis 3:22
And later in, Genesis 1:26 “And God said," Let us make man in our image, after our likeness."
He also refers to himself in the plural in the tower of Babel tale.
Genesis 11:7 "Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech."
Now if there is only one God why is he saying let us and one of us?
If Elohim which was translated into English as God was a singular word the plural word, “us” following it in the sentence above should be the singular word me” not “us” as in "let me create man" not the plural "let us create man", but that’s not the case.
There are only plural words following the plural word Elohim, showing that it should be translated as Gods instead of God, rather than the singular word God, because that logically coincides with all the plural words following it.
The word God should be the word Gods. This would explain why in Genesis, God says, “let us make man in our image after our likeness”. And “Behold man has become like one of us”, but the way it’s written, makes it appear as if God were the only one doing the creating or acting, which obviously doesn’t seem to be the case.
“God said let us make man in our image after our likeness” should be “The Gods (the Elohim) said let us make man in our image after our likeness.”
Which leaves no mysteries about why God said “us” instead of “me”, although some will say, he was talking to himself as the trinity or to his angels or that “his ways are past finding out" or just gloss over these contradictions all together as many believers tend to do.
Apparently the writers translating the text into English were so indoctrinated with the idea of there being only one God, that they translated the plural word Elohim, meaning the Gods, as the singular word God, even though it was in glaring contraction to the use of the plural word, us, immediately following it!
To recap Lord is translated from YHVH, the Tetragrammaton (meaning the four letters) with vowels added (ancient Hebrew didn’t have vowels) it’s pronounced Yahweh, Yahveh or transliterated, Jehovah.
God is translated from the word Elohim and which is the plural of the word El (God) and means Gods. The phrase "the Lord God should read “Yahweh-Elohim" or “The Lord of the Gods".
The phrases "let us" and "like one of us" make perfect sense, when they're translated using the original plural word Elohim as Gods, rather than the singular word, God (El). So the text should read:
"And the LORD of the Gods (Yahweh-Elohim) said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil:” Gen 3:22
And this should read,
"And the LORD of the Gods (Yahweh-Elohim) said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. 7 Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech". Genesis 11:6-7
Don't those phrases make perfect sense now as compared to before?
Even the first commandment doesn’t say there aren’t any other gods. It just says don’t have any gods before me.
"Thou shalt have no other gods before me". Which implies that there are other gods or there would be no need to say have no other gods before me or a reason to say "the LORD thy God am a jealous God" Exodus 20:5. The Lord (Yahweh) just wanted to be the only God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and the children of Israel. Exodus 20:3-5. You might want to ponder why a being who independent of all things and who created all things, could be jealous of anyone or anything.
So the whole concept that the God of Old Testament is the only one true God is ostensibly false, unless we limit it to the context of the only one true God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and the children of Israel!
But we have to question that assumption as well because in Exodus 20:2 the Lord had to tell Moses to remind the children of Israel that he was their God because they obviously didn't know who he was
Exodus 3:15 “ And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name forever, and this is my memorial unto all generations.’
The writer indicates that the Israelites didn't really know Moses either and refers to him as "this man Moses."
Exodus 32:1 "And when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down out of the mount, the people gathered themselves together unto Aaron, and said unto him, Up, make us gods, which shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him."
One of the reasons Moses had to wander around the desert for forty years was because the tribes kept reverting to their old Gods, while Moses tried to train them to accept his new God, Yahweh. The golden calf Moses’ brother Aaron created for Israelites was a representation of the Apis Bull, the symbol of the Egyptian God, Osiris or the calf of the Egyptian Goddess Hathor.
Suggesting that the children of Israel were really more Egyptian than Israelite and had never heard of this new God that Moses was attempting to force on them.
God Is Spirit
And here's another contradiction for you to ponder, in John 4:24 Jesus said, "God is a Spirit" (the Basic English Bible says God is Spirit).
John 4:24 “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth”
But the writer of Exodus says that Moses and seventy elders of Israel saw God as a physical being!
“Then went up Moses, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel: 10 And they saw the God of Israel: and there was under his feet as it were a paved work of a sapphire stone, and as it were the body of heaven in his clearness. 11 And upon the nobles of the children of Israel he laid not his hand: also they saw God, and did eat and drink”. Exodus 24:9
God eats and drinks?
I know it seems like the text may be saying the nobles "did eat and drink". But I think it’s saying they saw God did eat and drink! But whether that's true or not there's no doubt the text says they saw God as a physical entity, which supports the idea that they also saw him eat and drink.
But the clincher is;
“And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live. 22 And it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a clift of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by: 23 And I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts: but my face shall not be seen.” Exodus 33:20
The God of Israel tells Moses he will be able to see his back parts as he passed by. Wouldn't you say this is saying that God is a physical being if he’s going to allow Moses to see his back parts?
At the risk of boring you (if I haven’t already) here's the last contradiction.
In Exodus 33:20 God says " Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live”. But in Exodus 24:10 Moses and the nobles had already seen God and saw him eat and drink without dying! If they saw him eat and drink didn't they also see his face?
To tie this all up,
Jesus' concept of God is fundamentally different from Moses' concept. Jesus’ God is a spirit not a physical being: John 4:24.
Moses' God is a physical being: Exodus 33:23. So what are we to make of these little discrepancies?
These are some of the contradictions between the Old and the New Testament’s views of God. Which one is right? Is God a spirit or a physical being? Is he a God of Justice and Love or a jealous tyrant? Are the Old and New Testaments Gods the same or not?
The Old Testament God is an ethnic God the God of the Children of Israel. He states many times in the Old Testament that he is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and their descendants: Jacob’s name was change to Israel.
“Moreover he said, I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look on God.” Exodus 3:6
“And God said moreover to Moses, Thus shall you say to the children of Israel, the LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you: this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial to all generations.” Exodus 3:15
“Go, and gather the elders of Israel together, and say to them, The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, appeared to me, saying, I have surely visited you, and seen that which is done to you in Egypt” Exodus 3:16
“That they may believe that the LORD God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has appeared to you.” Exodus 4:5
The Old Testament God is clearly the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and their descendants. So how did this ethnic God become the God of everybody?
A Point U May Find Startling
Another point that you may find startling if you’re a Christian or Jewish is that some of the early Christians didn’t believe the god of the Old Testament was the “Heavenly Father” of the New Testament.
One of these early Christians, considered the compiler of the first New Testament, was Marcion of Sinope, who lived during the second century AD.
“The first New Testament that ever appeared was compiled and published by Marcion. It was in the Greek language. It consisted of "The Gospel," and "The Apostolicon." No Acts--no Revelation, and but one gospel.
The Apostolicon comprised ten of Paul's Epistles, as follows: Galatians, 1st and 2d Corinthians, Romans, except the 15th and 16th chapters, 1st and 2d Thessalonians, Ephesians, Colossians, Philemon and Philippians ; arranged in the order as here named.[ Also part of the Epistle to the Laodiceans.].
This canon of the New Testament was prepared and published soon after his arrival at Rome; probably about A. D. 145”. (Outline Of The Gospel Of Marcion, Charles B. Waite, Marcion Library
“The teaching of Marcion that irritated the established church most was his teaching that Israel's god Jehovah was not the Heavenly Father, the God of Jesus”. (The Antitheses, Dr. Carroll Bierbower, Marcion Library
Marcion’s New Testament contained a commentary called the “Antitheses” where he contrasted moral character of the Old and New Testament Gods similar to what I’ve done.
“Marcion's 'Antitheses' began by quoting the words of Jesus as recorded in Marcion's 'The Gospel' IV 17, and is in Luke 6:43 & 44, "For a good tree does not bear bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. For every tree is known by its own fruit."
He then quoted Isaiah 45:7, "I am Jehovah, and there is none else. I form the light and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I Jehovah do all these things."
Marcion understood Jehovah to be the creator of darkness and evil and to represent the tree that bore bad fruit and good tree to represent the Heavenly Father the God of Jesus”. (The Antitheses, Dr. Carroll Bierbower, Marcion Library
A Quirk Of History
This came about through a quirk of history; when Christianity was made the official religion of the Roman Empire under Constantine the Great in the 4th century AD. This Jewish ethnic God was made the God of all European countries under Roman domination and this was further solidified by the proselytizing efforts of the early Roman Christian church.
All European countries were made to accept Roman Catholic Christianity until the religious reform known as the Reformation started in Germany by Martin Luther during the Middle Ages created Protestant Christianity.
Before that, they all had their own indigenous religions with Gods and Goddesses, but were made to give up their Gods and religions and accept Roman Christianity.
The European Christians who “discovered” the Americas brought along with them their belief in the Old Testament God as the only God of all people, transmitting that belief to their religious descendants in the United States, Canada, South and Central America.
That’s the condensed version of how he became the God of all people and if you are a Christian how he came to your God too.
The main reason there are contradictions between the Old and New Treatments views of God is because the Old Testament which was originally, Hebrew Bible, was only about Israelite and Jewish history and was appropriated by the early Roman Christians and incorporated into their new bible to support their writings about their new God, Jesus.
Their religious intellectuals labored hard and long to make this ethnic bible, appear historically and spiritually connected to their new writings about their new God, Jesus. But as you can see from some of the contradictions I’ve pointed out, that they had a hard time doing this, but they ultimately succeeded in making millions of believers, believe that they had accomplished this task. Now you know how it was done.
Not The First To See These Contradictions
So you see I’m not the first person to point out the contradictions between these two Gods.
In fact, if you look at the character of the Old Testament God realistically and in an unbiased way, you’ll see that he has all the characteristics attributed to Satan or the devil. As shocking as this may seem, the biblical text backs this up.
If you delete the name, God or Lord, from the Old Testament and inserted the Devil or Satan, you may find that those names a better fit with the character of the Old Testament God, as well as some of the atrocities he commits or allows to be committed by his “Chosen People”.
But some people will probably make excuses for his devilish behavior or gloss over it altogether, so they won’t be shaken to the core by the revelation, that all this time, you may have been worshiping the, Devil, instead of the good God, as Marcion clearly pointed out.
One Last Point
One last point about the portrayal of God as the “Heavenly Father”
If God is the Heavenly Father, who is the “Heavenly Mother”?
There can be no concept of father without the corollary concept of mother, and no concept of father and mother without the concept of son, daughter or children.
We’ve all heard of the “Father, the son and the holy ghost or spirit” but father and son have no meaning unless there is a mother. So where is she?
This may seem odd or even discomforting for some of you to think about but let’s take a stab at it.
We have father and son, two of the components of a family along with something called the “Holy Ghost”. Well which one do you think is a symbol for the “Heavenly Mother”? That’s right!
You get the golden cookie!
It’s the Holy Spirit. The Holy Ghost is the symbol for the “Heavenly Mother”.
“ But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatever I have said to you”. John 14:26
The writer of John has Jesus saying the comforter is male, but the Jews lived in a patriarchy, a male dominated society, so God and the Holy Ghost had to be male. The mother is symbolic of comfort and is the one who gives comfort while the father symbolizes discipline, and metes out punishment for those who disobey his authority.
Because the Jews were a male dominated culture, I think the writers and intellectuals of that culture disguised the “Heavenly Mother” as the “Holy Ghost or spirit”.
When the Romans took over Christianity under the Roman Emperor, Constantine the great in 325 AD they carried over this male dominate view of God into Christianity even though the Romans had Gods and Goddesses in their religion.
The Original Trinity
The Christian trinity should be the “Father, Son and the holy Mother”. The original model for this trinity existed thousands of years before Christianity in ancient Egypt. This was the trinity of the ancient Egyptian God, Osiris, his wife, the Goddess, Isis, and their divine son, Horus.
If you don’t believe it, research it for yourself.
And that brings us, finally (whew!) to end of a somewhat circuitous ride in our examination of some of the contradictions between the Old and New Testaments views of God.
Hopefully you found it worth the price of admission.
VC L Veasey (author) from Detroit,MI on October 12, 2012:
Yep I agree
Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on October 12, 2012:
Just like mother and father should be.
VC L Veasey (author) from Detroit,MI on October 12, 2012:
Yin And Yang are complementary not contradictory
VC L Veasey (author) from Detroit,MI on October 12, 2012:
as usual thanks for commenting.
No I'm not saying Mother Mary is the holy spirit incarnate. I'm just illustrating how male chavanistic societies devalue the feminine element in life.
The Faith of a true believer can never be broken.
But "and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32
"God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth". John 4:24
Holding on to the Truth seems to be the key whether it's examining the Bible or anything else.
Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on October 12, 2012:
Interesting yin and yang. I ponder if the terms "father" and "mother" are merely symbolic and not meant literally. You give some credence to the Mother Mary as though she was it (Holy Spirit) made incarnate.
Nice to be in a space where pondering such matters does not affect my faith.