- The very curious tale of the lie to Adam about the consequences of acquiring knowledge and the irritation with the 'serpent' who tells Eve the truth, suggests a god who doesn't want mankind to have 'knowledge' and who will lie to prevent it.
- The equally curious tale of the casual destruction of two cities with all their inhabitants by a god who doesn't seem to know what's going on, has no concept of justice and who is perfectly okay with virgin daughters being offered to a mob as a bargaining ploy, drunkenness and incest between father and daughters, suggests a malignant god indistinguishable from an evil one.
Of course, we are dealing with a developing mythology which was working for the rulers and priest class as well but the god they were using is clearly based on an amoral and far from omniscient one.
The reason this is so intriguing is because of the way Gnosticism presented this god. First a little about Gnosticism which was itself a major contributor to the medieval 'heresy', Catharism, also called Albigensianism, the persecution of which I described in Feel That Christian Love!
A common characteristic of some of these [Gnostic] groups was the teaching that the realisation of Gnosis (esoteric or intuitive knowledge) is the way to salvation of the soul from the material world. They saw the material world as created through an intermediary being (demiurge) rather than directly by God. In most of the systems, this demiurge was seen as imperfect, in others even as evil. [my emphasis] Different gnostic schools sometimes identified the demiurge as Adam Kadmon, Ahriman, El, Saklas, Samael, Satan, Choronzon, Yaldabaoth, or Yahweh.So, the question is, were these stories originally written to show the 'creator' as an imperfect, malevolent lesser god whose motive is to prevent mankind acquiring knowledge?
Jesus is identified by some Gnostics as an embodiment of the supreme being who became incarnate to bring gnōsis to the earth. Others adamantly deny that the supreme being came in the flesh, claiming Jesus to be merely a human who attained divinity through gnosis and taught his disciples to do the same. Among the Mandaeans, Jesus was considered a mšiha kdaba or "false messiah" who perverted the teachings entrusted to him by John the Baptist. Still other traditions identify Mani and Seth, third son of Adam and Eve, as salvific figures.
The Christian groups first called "gnostic" a branch of Christianity, however Joseph Jacobs and Ludwig Blau (Jewish Encyclopedia, 1911) note that much of the terminology employed is Jewish and note that this "proves at least that the principal elements of gnosticism were derived from Jewish speculation, while it does not preclude the possibility of new wine having been poured into old bottles."
The movement spread in areas controlled by the Roman Empire and Arian Goths, and the Persian Empire; it continued to develop in the Mediterranean and Middle East before and during the 2nd and 3rd centuries. Conversion to Islam and the Albigensian Crusade (1209–1229) greatly reduced the remaining number of Gnostics throughout the Middle Ages, though a few Mandaean communities still exist. Gnostic and pseudo-gnostic ideas became influential in some of the philosophies of various esoteric mystical movements of the late 19th and 20th centuries in Europe and North America, including some that explicitly identify themselves as revivals or even continuations of earlier gnostic groups.
Source: Wikepedia - Gnosticism
In other words, were these stories derived from ones designed to show Yahweh as an evil god? Have they been changed and adapted to try to conceal that message? It certainly suggests a reason for the otherwise strange story of John the Baptist where, inexplicably, Jesus seems to have needed a human to 'prepare the way' and 'baptise' him. With John as a Gnostic teacher, 'baptism' could be merely a metaphor for teaching 'the knowledge'. If so, it's a shame that later writers changed Jesus into something else, especially since Jesus seems to have hinted that we should ignore Yahweh's laws when he talked about them only being administered by 'those without sin', which renders them all unenforceable, if you subscribe to the 'original sin' idea, that is (=created by Satan?).
So, Christians, three simple questions for you.
- How do you know Satan didn't create the world?
- How do you know Satan hasn't re-written the Bible to fool you?
- How do you know the real god didn't give you science so you can discover Satan's lies?
I'm glad I'm not superstitious so I don't have these sorts of problems to keep me awake at night wondering if I've been deceived by the 'Great Deceiver'.