The god of the Bible displays all the
traits of folklore, legend, and mythology.
Why assume he's anything else?
A god is defined as a conscious and supernatural being/deity that intervenes with the natural world. Despite many false assumptions, proven false for reasons described below, there is no actual reason to believe that a god exists. This should be enough to cease belief but based on modern discoveries we also know that a god does not exist and could not possibly exist, especially the character God from the Bible.
Nitpicky'ness with the wording
True, you technically can't say with absolute certainty that something does not exist... just as you can't say with absolute certainty that something does exist. Obviously when a person says something "does not exist" it means that there is no evidence suggesting it exists and only evidence suggesting it is just made up. Saying that "God does not exist" is as equally valid of a statement as saying, "the Smurfs do not exist."
A small amount of Christians will argue "but you can't prove something doesn't exist with absolute certainty" in an attempt to discard all evidence that is not in their personal favor. At the same time they continue to live life as if they do know with absolute certainty that the character God does exist.
There Is No Intervening
In ancient times we assumed that nature was controlled in the same manner which we controlled objects. If we saw a spear thrown down from a city wall we knew there had to be a thrower. When we saw lightning thrown down from a cloud we assumed there was a being doing the throwing.
We now know better. Occurrences such as lightning, rain, earthquakes, and tornadoes are not controlled by any sort of conscious being. The weather is also not influenced by which god we worship or which rituals we perform.
Consciousness Was Not Consciously Created
It is now known that the universe was not created by a god... and couldn't have been created by a god. The well established explanation of how the universe was formed, through natural means, has long dismissed the supernatural explanation for its formation. Now, thanks to a firm understanding of consciousness, we know God was never a possible option.
Consciousness, thought, memory, and even personality are 100% based and dependent on the physical structure of the brain. They are the results of that structure, much like the results of a circuit board's structure. Consciousness is something that was created by the material world so it obviously could not have created the material world. Learn more about consciousness in 2:4 Souls & the Supernatural
The Creation Of God
By looking at the history of any particular god you can easily see that he or she is nothing more than mere folklore. For example, the god written about in the Bible is vastly different from the earliest tellings of him. The god worshiped by the early Israelites was very different from the version worshiped by those who later wrote down the stories we commonly know of today.
Thanks to archaeological discoveries we can trace God's history. As with many gods the god of Abraham was simply an adaptation of an early god. In this case refugee slaves fleeing Egypt adapted a Canaanite god as their own. Early Israelites even incorporated a Babylonian mother goddess into their religion as the wife of Abraham's god.
Yahwe to Yahweh,
Adapted From An Earlier God
Certain clues have led biblical scholars to reinterpret the Exodus story to include the Shasu people, who lived in the deserts of southern Canaan from around 1500 BCE until 1100 BCE. Egyptian texts place the Shasu people in a place called YHW around 1375 BCE. The name YHW (Yahwe), which likely refers to the Shasu's patron god, bears a striking similarity to the name of the Israelite god, YHWH (Yahweh). Another clue is that, according to the Bible, Moses encounters the burning bush in the region of Midian (Exodus 3:1), which also lies in southern Canaan. Scholars now believe a band of refugee slaves from Egypt passed through Midian, including a place called YHW, and adopted the Shasu god as their divine deliverer.
"God" Is Not A Name
The name of the god of Abraham is Yahweh, not "God." The reason most Christians today think that the word "God" is the name of their god is due to Greek translations. In Jewish tradition one is not allowed to verbally speak the name of the god of Abraham so in conversation or when reading scripture the Hebrews would say "Adonai" (Lord) instead of Yahweh. This is what's meant by not taking Yahweh's (the lord's) name in vain. This however did not apply to writing. Jews still wrote their god's name when referring to their god Yahweh, which is spelled YHWH, without vowels.
This verbal tradition was carried over into the Greek translation of Hebrew Scriptures (The Septuagint) where YHWH was translated to the Greek word for Lord, "Kurios". Our English Bibles are based on the Greek scriptures, hence why modern Bibles say Lord instead of Yahweh. Despite translations the letters YHWH do not mean "Lord" or "God," they are the specific formal name of a specific god, the god of Abraham.
Asherah, the Wife Of YahwehHow could a god be married to another god if there is only one god? Well much like Christianity and every other religion, Judaism evolved over time into its current state from piecing together old ideas with new ideas. The early Israelites were not monotheist like those who eventually wrote the scriptures we know but rather polytheists who believed in many gods. Modern archaeological findings confirm this, an excavation at Tel Rehov unearthed thousands of pagan idols throughout Israel dating from the 10th to 6th century BCE. As it turns out most Israelites did not adhere strictly to the official state concept of monotheism.
Asherah is a Mother Goddess who was the wife of El, the head deity of Canaanite mythology. In the earlier stages of what is now Judaism Asherah was believed to be the wife of YHWH, the head deity of Israelite mythology. In the 1970s, Israeli archaeologists digging in Kuntillet Ajrud in the Sinai found a little desert fort containing the Hebrew inscriptions "Yahweh and Asherah" all over the place. In 1968 archaeologist William Dever discovered an inscription in a cemetery at the site of Khirbet el-QÃ´m, a Hebrew inscription of the 8th century BCE. It gives the name of the deceased, and it says "blessed may he be by Yahweh and his Asherah." It is clear from these findings that early Israelites during Abraham's time believed in multiple gods. Good thing the Israelites changed the story about Yahweh having a wife before later storytellers had him impregnating a young woman named Mary.
Sources include http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/bible
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