Do other gods exist?

Monday Musings for November 14, 2016

Good morning, Musers,

Today’s question is interesting because it looks at “the familiar” with fresh eyes. For example, most of you know this passage:

“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. “You shall have no other gods before me.” (Exodus 20:2–3, NIV)

But doesn’t this passage say that there are indeed other gods? Think about this; if those “other gods” are the focus of God’s restriction, doesn’t that mean that such other gods really do exist? Otherwise, God would be telling us not to revere gods that do not exist… and does anyone identify non-existent entities as objects for restriction? Doesn’t the fact that God warned us about them make them necessarily real?

We’ll explore the power of words today. Language and its logic are funny things. Language has (sort of) standard rules of engagement where what you say does not automatically imply certain other things. A sentence is responsible for the things that directly declared, this is why writers are encouraged to speak directly rather than passively.

These skills cross over into the biblical art of interpretation called hermeneutics. It's amazing what people try to squeeze out of the Bible that is not really there. If there are rules applied, and the Bible could mean anything — depending on who was doing the interpreting! Come and explore these issues today.

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