A human history of God, Canaanite god El, God is All of Sufism, God the Trinity of Christianity, Islamic Sufism, Pantheism, Prophet Muhammad, Reza Aslan, The humanized god, Yahweh the One God of Judaism
Seated statue of El from Megiddo (1400-1200 BCE)
Photo Credit: Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago
The final post of my three-part series covers “Part Three: What is God?” of Reza Aslan’s book, God: A Human History. The author traces the evolution of the nature of God from God is one, to God is three, and later to God is all.
The ancient Israelites worshiped the Canaanite god El as their chief god presiding over a pantheon of lesser gods. The very word Israel means “El perseveres.” The god who became known as Yahweh first appeared to Moses in the form of a burning bush. Around 1050 BCE when they established the Kingdom of Israel, Yahweh became their patron God. In the capital, Jerusalem, they built a temple to house the Ark of the Covenant, Moses’s covenant with Yahweh: the highest and strongest god over all other gods.
Moses and the Burning Bush – Saint Catherine’s Monastery, Sinai, Egypt
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons
In 586 BCE, the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar II breached the walls of Jerusalem, plundered the capital, and burned the temple to the ground. Survivors suffered a humiliating exile in Babylonia. That the Babylonian god, Marduk, was more powerful than Yahweh caused an identity crisis. Rather than accept the possibility of a defeated god, Israelite religious leaders rationalized that Yahweh was the one and only god who created light and darkness, brought peace, and created evil.
Yahweh of Judaism became the singular, eternal, and indivisible God who exhibits both the good and bad of human emotions and qualities. Continue reading