Wesley Rose begins this article with a question: Did the Bible borrow stories from pagan beliefs?
Then he goes on to set some ground rules before attempting to answer the question.
There is an explanation, but first a couple of points that need acceptance, if for no other reason that for the sake of discussion. Those are 1. That God does and has always existed; 2. That certain people and their worship practices are and were pagan - that is a false religion that worshiped anything except God.
If we can agree on these then a true exploration of the question is possible. If there is no agreement on these two premises then stop reading here.
By setting up these ground rules, a TRUE exploration of the question is NOT possible. It seems that most Christians want to set these rules up before ever exploring similar questions. By setting up the conclusion before examining the evidence is not proof of anything, instead it is wishful thinking.
The hardest thing for people to grasp is that the Old Testament is based on the writings of a one-time "Pagan" tribe. Reading the Bible, we see that Abraham was the first to follow the God of the Bible and it wasn't until Moses that the entire nation of Israel became followers of this God. In fact, it was through Moses that God, this YHVH, said (paraphrased, of course), "Tell ya what, if the people who you are leading out of the land of Egypt that I will help them set up their own nation and protect them in it if they follow me alone. They turn their backs on me and I will let their nation turn to dust." A brief look at the stories of the Bible show that this is exactly what happened. Oh, and this God was called "El" as well, who else was known as "El"? Baal, Zeus, Osirus, you name the God and they could be called "El".
What we have here is a Semite God that be came the only God this tribe followed, forsaking all others. But did they really? You have heard that there are many names for God, but they are all the same. Is that what was really happening? Something to think about.
- If you are Pagan, you must be evil. (baedonwebz.com)
- Half The Bible, No Hell (pastorron7.wordpress.com)
- Is it okay for Christians to... (reneamac.com)
- The Bible: An Exposé: The Bible and Science (arizonaatheist.blogspot.com)