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Yahweh in Christianity


In the article "Yahweh" one sees how Yahweh advanced from a tribal god of the Israelites to a dominant god of the Western world. Part of this advancement resulted from the development of Christianity. Christianity may be seen as a natural extension of Judaism, Hebrew beliefs built upon.

However, beliefs along did not give rise to Christianity. The majority of the early Christians were Jews predominantly believing in Yahweh. This alone would establish Yahweh as the dominant god. Jesus himself was a Jew. Jesus was to be the son of god, Yahweh, which later presented a problem. Eventually this was solved through the biblical interpretation of God Yahweh saying, "Now they know right and wrong as we do. (Genesis 3:22) This was after Adam and Eve had sinned and "they" thus referred to Adam and Eve. The term "we" is interpreted as meaning Yahweh is speaking to other gods who are with him. Within the Christian sense this is assumed to mean that Yahweh is speaking to Jesus and the Holy Spirit.

However, when considering the article "Yahweh" such an interpretation may not be accurate. Remember initially Yahweh was a tribal god sharing the patronage of Israel with six-nine other gods within the Canaanite pantheon headed by El and his consort Asherah. Even though within the post-Exilic area Yahweh was considered the dominant god of the Israelites other interpretations were plausible, but none were forthcoming because Yahweh was their God, they considered themselves his children, and therefore they would not consider Yahweh speaking with false gods of other nations.

Another tie in for Christians was Yahweh's anger toward the Serpent,


And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel (3:15). This passage is interpreted as the foretelling of the birth of Jesus Christ to the Virgin Mary; Christ was to be conceived of God's seed and is the son of God, Yahweh.

The pivotal doctrine that Jesus is the son of God is that of the virgin birth which was declared in the second century. The biblical references are Matthew 1:18 and Luke 1:28-35. The apostle Luke gives the most description of this event. Christ himself never speaks of it. In fact, once Christ seemed to dismiss his mother. Those around him told him that his mother and brethren were outside seeking him. He replied, "Who is my mother and brethren…For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brethren, and my sister, and mother" (Mark 3:33-35). Here Christ said only if you did the will of God were you kin to him. One sees at times he paid her little, if any, respect treating equal to his followers.

This again raises questions concerning the virgin birth. As noted Luke is the only biblical writer who thoroughly describes it. Matthews mentions it (Matthew 2:16-25). So this miraculous birth is recorded in the Books of Matthew and Luke, notably Luke. The authorship and dating of both books prove critical to the question of Christ's birth. As noted in the article "Matthew' most Christians believe the apostle wrote it but critics think the author used the Book of Mark and a lost section of Q (from the Dead Sea Scrolls) to complete the book. There is an indication of the destruction of the Jewish Temple in 70 CE (verse 22:7) dating the writing between 60 to 100 CE. Also as mentioned in the article "Luke" the Bok of Luke was written around 61 CE. Given the possible dating of the writing of these books one experiences a lapse of twenty-eight to seventy-seven years after Christ's death. It is also known that Luke was not among the original apostles, he never personally met Christ.

Especially concerning Luke the question is from where did he get his information, especially pertaining to the virgin birth? The answer is from word of mouth as it is with almost everything in the Bible. Even if part of his information came from the Dead Sea Scrolls this answer still applies, word of mouth. In conclusion, the bulk of the New Testament was initially memorized. Thus it is not hard to see how objective readers and skeptics conclude Christianity to be another myth. This is true because of the inaccuracy of the human memory demonstrated by the incident of the teacher who told the first student in class something and by the time it reached the last student who told the teacher what he had been told the thing was entirely different than the teacher first relayed. A.G.H.


Sources:

God in Christianity. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yahweh_%28Christianity%29>
Virgin Birth of Jesus. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virgin_birth_of_Jesus
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