How Many Gods Are In The Bible?


Let's start with what is probably the most famous and most used excerpt from the Bible: the ten commandments. Actually all we really need is the first commandment. Exodus 20 verses 2-4 are typically what comprises the first commandment: "I am the Lord thy God. Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image." I think the second sentence (Exodus 20:3) says it all; Yahweh admits there are other gods, but tells his people he is number one.

Christians vehemently subscribe to the view that the Bible proves the existence of Yahweh. They also view all other gods as fake or myths.

Does the Bible ever actually say the others are fake gods? This might just be arguing technicalities, but as I recall the Bible refers to them as false gods. In fact most of the time the Bible doesn't even imply that much, often just referring to them as gods.

This seems to indicate that Yahweh (or at least the Bible authors) knew these other gods existed. Yahweh does mention that he is jealous (who would he have to jealous of besides other gods), and that his people should worship no other gods before him. The theme seems to repeat often through the Old Testament: acknowledgment of other gods, and then reinforcing that they are the wrong gods.

If the Bible provides repeated 'proof' of Yahweh, doesn't this same argument work as proof of other gods? Especially when you consider that Yahweh himself acknowledges the existence of these other gods.

So based on this information, couldn't we imply that anyone who believes in the existence of Yahweh should thus believe in the existence of these other gods? Even if they don't worship these other gods, wouldn't it make sense to concede they exist?

But how many other gods are there in the Bible? Probably more than you think, and definitely more than most Christians think.

Some of the Gods Mentioned in the Bible
not an exhaustive list
AdrammelechII Kings 17:31Sepharvite sun god (day to Anammelech's night).
AnammelechII Kings 17:31Sepharvite lunar goddess (night to Adrammelech's day).
AsherahII Kings 23:6
& Jeremiah 7:18
Yahweh's consort; the mother goddess and "queen of heaven."
AshimaII Kings 17:30Samaritan lunar goddess.
AshtorethI Kings 11:05Canaanite goddess (version of Ishtar).
Baal or Ba'alI Kings 18:19Canaanite god ("lord" or "master") of fertility, vegetation, and storms.
Baal-berithJudges 8:33A regional variation/aspect of Baal.
Baal-PeorNumbers 25:03Moabite regional variation/aspect of Baal.
Baal-zebubLuke 11:19Philistine/Ekronian regional variation/aspect of Baal.
BaalimI Kings 18:18Canaanite gods ("lords" or "masters"), a collective of the different aspects of Baal.
BelIsiah 46:01Assyrian/Babylonian/Sumerian god ("lord" or "master") aspect of Baal.
ChemoshI Kings 11:07Moabite war god.
DagonI Samuel 05:02Philistine/Ekronian/Babylonian god of grain and agriculture.
Diana of the EphesiansActs 19:35Ephesian moon and nature goddess, (equivalent of the Greeks Artemis).
JupiterActs 14:12King of the Roman gods.
MercuriusActs 14:12Roman god of communication and travel, and messenger of the gods. Also known as Mercury.
MilcomI Kings 11:05 & 07Ammonite god of fire (also known as Moloch, Molech, Molekh, or Molek).
Nebo or NebuIsiah 46:01Assyrian/Babylonian/Chaldean god of wisdom and writing (Some scholars think Moses may be a humanized adaption of Nebu).
NergalII Kings 17:30Cuth/Assyrian/Babylonian war and underworld god.
NibhazII Kings 17:31Avites god.
NisrochII Kings 19:37Assyrian god of agriculture; also called Dagon, and could be a different version of Nusku.
RimmonII Kings 05:18Babylonian/Syrian storm god; also known as Ramman or Rammon, and most likely an alternate version of Baal.
Succoth-benothII Kings 17:30Babylonian fertility goddess ("she who produces seed").
TammuzEzekial 8:14Assyrian/Babylonian/Sumerian god of food and vegetation.
TartakII Kings 17:31Avites god.

Then there is Yahweh, how many names can one god have? Besides Yahweh (YHWH) there's the mistranslated Jehovah, the coincidentally plural Adonai, the name given to Moses as Ehyeh-Asher-Ehyeh, then Elohim and El with all their sub-forms, the poetic combination of El and Yahweh Elyon, the name given to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as Shaddai (and there are more).

There was even a time when he was referred to as The Seven: Eloah, Elohim, Adonai, Ehyeh-Asher-Ehyeh, Yahweh, Shaddai, Zebaot.

I've run down a side tangent a little now, but think about this for a moment: Is Yahweh even a monotheistic god? You really could argue that he is almost polytheistic. From the Jewish take on him, look at all these different aspects and versions; seems more like multiple gods they tried to cram into one. Then from the Christian take, look at the father, the son, and the holy ghost; seems like its just taking multiple gods and forcing them all into a single being.

Just a final note, check these contradictions on Skeptics Annotated Bible; seems the verses for multiple gods far outweigh the verses for a single god.

Thanks to Norbert Sykes for the original list.


  1. The ancient Israelites were not monotheists, they were monolatrists. They acknowledged, and believed in, other gods, they only actively worshipped one. Basically, the ancient Israelites believed they had picked the winning pony in Yhwh.

  2. Good point PF. I do recall reading something to that effect somewhere. I didn't think of pursuing it when I was writing this, because I was more focused on how Christians view Yahweh. That kind-of provides another example of how differently Christians and Jews interpret the old testament. Thanks for the comment.

  3. Awesomeness! Thanks for this post. Oh, I'm SOOO going to use that information in my next discussion with theists. ;-)

    I remember reading one or two verses with other gods in them, but this list is great.

  4. Yeah! I agree with Dan, this list is awesome.

  5. Well, Johnny IS our resident superhero, after all. So of course, we only expect the best from him :P No pressure, Johnny, I'm just sayin'... :D

  6. That's cool to know, PF. I'd never heard the term monolatrist before. I totally have to look that up. Thanks for the explanation! :D

  7. Hey Dan, feel free to point those other verses out if you happen upon them or something. :D

  8. Personal Failure is right; historically, it isn't until Christianity becomes really dominant that the idea of monotheism takes hold.

    The doctrine of the trinity is also problematic, since it seems to require God-As-Jesus crying out for mercy to God-As-God at one point (this would be in the garden of gethsemane - not sure of the spelling, and I don't have the verse handy... sorry). It also requires God-As-God to sacrifice God-As-Jesus to God-As-God, which doesn't make a lot of sense if they're basically the same entity. The alternative - that they're actually two very different entities - doesn't hold up well, either; in that case, worshipping Jesus would appear to violate the first commandment.

    ::shrugs:: My take on it, anyway.

  9. Thanks for this most excellent first post, Johnny. I think this never really sunk in so clearly as it does now, seeing the verses all together before. I love this kind of information. You really ARE a superhero! :D

  10. When God speaks of gods in the Bible, He never says they are real or have any power. In fact, He says the opposite. When the Bible says “gods” it is not admitting they exist in real form, but rather that they are worthless things that people turn to yet they have no power. It would be the same as me saying “I have more power than the unicorns you believe in.” I am not saying unicorns exist, or that they have any power. The follow verses show this in scripture:

    1. God is referring to gods as hand-made things:
    Exodus 20:23: You shall not make gods of silver to be with me, nor shall you make for yourselves gods of gold.
    Exodus 32:4: And he received the gold from their hand and fashioned it with a graving tool and made a golden [1] calf. And they said, “These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!”
    Leviticus 19:4: Do not turn to idols or make for yourselves any gods of cast metal: I am the Lord your God.
    Jeremiah 1:16: And I will declare my judgments against them, for all their evil in forsaking me. They have made offerings to other gods and worshiped the works of their own hands.

    The gods have no power
    1 Chronicles 16:26: For all the gods of the peoples are idols, but the Lord made the heavens.
    Jeremiah 2:11: Has a nation changed its gods, even though they are no gods?
    But my people have changed their glory for that which does not profit.
    Jeremiah 2:28: But where are your gods that you made for yourself? Let them arise, if they can save you, in your time of trouble; for as many as your cities are your gods, O Judah.

    3. God has power
    Isaiah 36:18: Beware lest Hezekiah mislead you by saying, “The Lord will deliver us.” Has any of the gods of the nations delivered his land out of the hand of the king of Assyria?
    (Now read the rest of the passage, how God destroys the boastful Assyrian king who said God had no more power than all of the other powerless gods). ‘

    Isaiah 37:19: and have cast their gods into the fire. For they were no gods, but the work of men's hands, wood and stone. Therefore they were destroyed.
    Isaiah 42:17: They are turned back and utterly put to shame, who trust in carved idols,
    who say to metal images, “You are our gods.”

    Thus, the volume of verses mentioning gods does not prove anything about the gods’ power or existence as real beings. The Bible is clear that they are man-made, powerless, and not to be worshiped. You don’t have to believe the Bible, but at least know that the Bible does not offer evidence for the existence of other god-like beings.

    Note: All of the “We” and “Us” passages quoted on the linked site are referring to the Trinity, the 3 beings of God in one. Do you buy the doctrine? You don’t have to. But do know that the Bible teaches that all 3 Beings are the same entity. It is not saying there are three equal gods.

    I hope that clarifies some things and adds to the discussion.

  11. I agree with you, Michael. The whole trinity thing is pretty strange no matter how you look at it. Maybe it's one of those enigmas, and you can't become a ninja unless you understand it, like the sound of one hand clapping? :P

  12. This, of course, assumes that you count the hits, where your almighty god did what he said he'd do, and ignore the misses, when in the intervening eons, he has basically done nothing. It also assumes that your god even exists and that this is a true and accurate account of men talking to this supposed god. I contend he doesn't and probably never did. It also assumes that this god was being honest that he did everything he said, and that his rivals were powerless. Sounds like bragging to me. Not that it matters because, there is zero evidence that this god existed then and zero evidence that he exists now. So it's really just an exercise to show people that the bible is simply a poorly written bunch of books that is full of contradictions, murder, hate, and nonsense, with a bit of history added to the mix. Of course, that's just my take on it.

  13. Remember, we are not arguing whether or not God exists. Only trying to point out that the Bible itself, based on its own account of how things are, does not contradict itself by mentioning "gods." I am not trying to defend the ultimate truth of the Bible. Only that what was pointed out about gods is not a contradiction.

  14. So for "graven images" and all that... What's with all the depictions of the Jesus and of the crucifix? The way some people worship Jesus through the crucifix is really not any different than the people worshiping Baal through the golden calf.

    Why would Yahweh go to so much trouble to keep mentioning the other gods, and name so many of them throughout the Bible if they didn't exist?

    What would Yahweh have to be jealous of in a god that doesn't exist, or an idol?

    As for the trinity, you miss the point. It is a almost a cliche the way so many other gods throughout mythology start as multiple gods/aspects and somehow become one god over time. Besides there is no logic in Yahweh sending himself (the spirit) to impregnate a woman so that she can give birth to him (Jesus) and then sacrifice himself to himself to forgive mankind for a sin he created and condemned mankind for.

    But that's all mumbo-jumbo anyway because Yahweh is a mythological figure just like Zeus, Odin, Baal, Ra, and Krishna. Neece is right, this is an exercise of illustrating inconsistencies and contradictions in the Bible; and pointing out how Christians pick and choose what they believe from a primitive bronze age text.

  15. I would contend that the "gods" referred to in the bible are considered actual gods (except when referring to statues or something). Of course the biblical god will say they are powerless. He wants to be the only one. If they were just powerless "things," why even refer to them as gods? In many of the verses, it seems the people believe in the gods, not just the idols. And, of course, as Johnny said in his post, the first commandment pretty much puts the argument to rest. Why even HAVE the first commandment if there weren't other gods? :-)

  16. Well, I never! Ninja Warrior is the best show on tv. I'd never mock the ninja. They are way too badass. :D

  17. I totally agree with you, Dan. :)

  18. I agree one hundred percent, Johnny. Just another strange bit of biblical lore, really. And you're right, the way people worship jesus and the crucifix is quite hypocritical.

    I think yahweh had an inferiority complex about other gods. Why else would he be so bitchy about them?

    And you mention the ultimate irony of christianity: god sending himself to get a human pregnant so he can be born and then sacrifice himself to forgive humans for sin which he created in the first place. Or something convoluted like that. Your explanation was better. :P

  19. One of my favorites...

    edit: oh! can't put pictures in the replies.

  20. Johnny, small world! I stumbled onto this blog and see your familiar avatar from thinkatheist! Fantastic post, especially with the verses laid out to see. The idea of monolatrism is new to me as of a week or so ago, and I think your post is a good illustration of why it's a fair theory for the Hebrews.

  21. GodlessGirl! Thanks for the feedback, I'm glad you enjoyed it. And glad you found HDC.

  22. [...] The Christian god isn’t the only real god according to the Bible.  He just thinks he’s better. [...]

  23. I love that one. It's so awesome. Thanks for sharing it. :)

  24. Neece, Im gonna pray for you! Who am I gonna pray to for you? GOD ALMIGHTY, YAHWEH, THE GREAT I AM, JEHOVAH, well you get the picture.
    God Bless:)

  25. Didn't even read the article did ya? No, or maybe you missed that "Jehovah" is not your god.

    Take your pride and haughtiness elsewhere. Are you actually going to pray for her or any of us for that matter? No. And even if you did would it do anything? No. You come here with an arrogance, ignoring everything that is said, without any backing behind you, just assume your right and the rest of the world is wrong.

    Note: Stop praying now. It didn't work. It never worked, it never will. In fact, how about you follow your teachings and do it silently instead of coming on here and posting it to the world. What? You need some kind of reward? Want a cookie? Hypocrite.

    "Looking at those people who do claim ignorance of morality except via the teachings of long dead charismatic cult figures I see nothing to be jealous of. These people do not strike me as especially moral. Why would I want to be a smug religious git? I don't need consolation in regards to death, I am quite comfortable with the idea that death is the permanent end of all subjective experience. I am not scared of being dead. I value my own life, but not infinitely. I don't see how being part of somebody else's big plan is of value to me. I don't need anybody else to define a meaning or a purpose for my life. Meanings are for words. Purposes are for tools. I'm nobody's tool. My life is my life, I live for whatever purposes or follies I choose for myself, and if I don't get around to making any that's my lookout. Nobody else has the right to determine what my life is for and nobody else has the right to define a meaning for my death either. I'm open to suggestions but if you have any holy orders you can stick them where the sun doesn't shine."

  26. Well I guess I hit a nerve:))))) And ALL I said was that Im gonna pray for Neece! Wow, God Almighty is AMAZING isnt he? And if you can have an opinion on YOUR life, then why cant I? Im not being arrogant. I just stated that I would pray for the girl! Can I do that? Thank you!! I will pray for YOU and the others on this site, because prayer does work- ALWAYS HAS< ALWAYS WILL!!! THANK YOU FATHER GOD IN HEAVEN!!!

  27. You seem to be unable to read... at all.

    You are being extremely arrogant. You sit there and are basically claiming your prayers are almighty, that you are all-powerful by proxy. And why are you praying for us? Huh? Did you read the link at all? No? Of course not.

    How many people do you think have said that? "I'll pray for you"... you avoid the argument. You expanded on NOTHING from the original article. You assume you're just right, no matter what anybody else says. Yes, that is arrogance. Don't worry, embrace your arrogance, it is a tenant of your religion. After all, knowledge is what threw you out of Eden. Knowledge, will set you free of your religious shackles, you don't want that.

    Furthermore, why the hell are you praying for us and not somebody who needs it, uh, let's say the starving children all over the world. Also, I already called you out, and you failed. You hadn't prayed for Neece yet did you? Of course not, otherwise you would have stated it, "Too late GM, already prayed for her"... but no, you keep on rambling on how you are going to.

    Prayer never helped the starving children. Prayer has never done... anything really. You have no situations in which you can clearly state with proof that prayer has done anything at all. In fact, why won't god heal amputees?

    "In other words, what your common sense tells you, and what statistical analysis of disease and prayer tells you, and what the overwhelming evidence in the world all around us tells you, and what your own personal health insurance policy tells you, is that God does not answer medical prayers."

    You see, prayer doesn't "always has, always will" work. In fact, it never has, never will. Everybody who has "prayed" before you, everyone failed. And so will you, just like everybody else.


    But again, why post it? Why post that you are praying for someone? Doesn't that ruin it? What, you don't have faith in your god? Certainly if you had true faith, you wouldn't have said anything at all, your prayer would do the talking.

    And why a ":))))))" if you hit a nerve? So are you trolling? Again, quite hypocritical.

    And that's exactly why I'm bothering to reply to you. You're trolling. You come here with a total non-sequitur, and expect a warm welcome to your insult?

    That's exactly what you are doing, insulting her. I won't stand for it, you will certainly get a piece of my mind.


    You know what? How about you put your faith and mouth on the line. Go pray, go pray for us. Come back, and if nothing has changed, drop your pathetic faith like the lie it is.

    What, won't do it? Don't you have faith? You're going to give me some excuse right? Right.

  28. Um I accidently went on this site looking for something about angels. It was an accident. I'm sorry for hurting you- for real. I AM gonna pray for you. And if prayer doesnt work then you have nothing to worry about. Your life will continue to be the way it is, as well as your way of thinking.
    And if prayer does work, then your life WILL change. May God bless you. Please dont be angry with me, Im just doing and saying what I believe in, just as you have done.

  29. Here's a question for you, did you ever take our feelings or consideration into mind in this?

    And again, what was the point of declaring it out loud?

    And if you're not going to stand behind your beliefs enough to change them when shown untrue, what is the point?

  30. No, I have a question for you- WHY ARE YOU SO ANGRY??? Im standing by my beliefs in that Im praying for YOU.
    Someone who obviously doesnt believe in prayer, so if thats not me standing by my beliefs- I dont know what is.
    And you havent proven ANYTHING to me! The reason I've declared it out loud is simply because I CAN! I have apologized to you for hurting you if I have, was that not enough? What else can I do to make it better? UNPRAY?? I cant unpray, so what do u want me to do or say? I told you it was an accident that Im even on this site! But I really dont believe in accidents for real- God made this happen for some reason and only time will tell what that reason is. GOD BLESS!!!

  31. Who said I was angry? That's your mistake, I'm not. It's your mistake for assuming that. Also, I'm not hurting. Your post, is annoying, and insulting. An insult doesn't necessary cause pain, or injury, or anger; it still doesn't change that it's an insult cleverly disguised as some thoughtful action.

    Well, it isn't thoughtful. It's arrogant, it's deceptive, and it's downright nasty. Your intentions are not pure, coming into here and stating you'll pray for us is no act of kindness. Why didn't you answer the really easy question I posted? Because giving the answer would put you into a bad light. So instead, you ignore it, and make that long BS post to hide that.

    So did you ever take our feelings or consideration into mind in this? The answer is no, you didn't. Because quite honestly, you just didn't care before making an action you thought would intrude and change our lives. And what if we just quite frankly didn't want that change?

    Considerate Christians ask first. I know, I've met them. You aren't one of them.


    You're not standing by your beliefs. A person who stands by their beliefs, is one who will put them on the line. I already posed the problem. If your prayer does not work, why won't you give up your belief of prayer?

    I already proved prayer doesn't always work. Amputees, are never healed by prayer. Proof enough, prayer doesn't always work. But you still seem to want to think they always work. Well no, your actions here are fruitless, praying for me, didn't do anything.

    So your prayer didn't work. Are you going to change your belief now that you have direct proof it didn't work? No? Then what's the point?

    Why pray for me if it won't work? Did you think it would work? Well, it didn't. So now stop thinking it will work. Simple.


    Here, I'll answer the question for you. You declared that you would pray for us out-loud for personal approbation.

    It comes like this:
    1) First, you wanted to make it look like you were the better person by supposedly wishing good will to the other.
    2) Second, by doing this, you feel better ignoring what was said. It's mute, after all, you just showed you're a good person supposedly.
    3) Third, you now feel good that you think you wished good will to others. You really didn't, but you think you did.

    Your praying for another, was very much, a personal approbation. In actuality, all you did was insult the author.


    What I want you to do? I don't really care. Perhaps actually read and comprehend what is being said, perhaps just quit blabbering yourself into a deeper mess, or perhaps for you to realize how absolutely inconsiderate you just were, especially to Neece.

    I mean, do you even understand at this point that "Jehovah" is not your god?

  32. If my post was insulting- I apologize! Will you please forgive me? I dont agree with what you are stating, and you dont agree with me. Can we leave it at that?

  33. I apologize if my post was insulting!

  34. I think one of the problems here is that you don't understand why or how your post was insulting. And as long as you don't understand, the apology is just empty courtesy with nothing genuine behind it.

  35. Thanks for replying, I will add you to my prayer list!

  36. LOL! You really don't get it at all do you?

  37. Oops, sorry about the troll! Hopefully it's taken care of now.

  38. LOL! They're always funny for a bit.

  39. Nope! She don't git it! LOL

  40. this message is to GMNightmare you were talking about the female who said she would pray for you and you got defensive and said and i quote "you just didn’t care before making an action you thought would intrude and change our lives. And what if we just quite frankly didn’t want that change?" are you implying that you believe in the power of prayer and that our god jehova is real and you rather stay and continue to sin rather than have god change and renew your mind? why did you say then that " what if we just quite frankly didnt want that chnage" i think your getting mad because you know theres power in prayer but want to continue to live in sin and don't want to change.

  41. Whew, this is 2 years old, I'm kind of amazed that I instantly knew what you were talking about.

    I'm not implying that I believe. If she truly believes, then she is doing an action that she thinks will force her will upon me. Not some god's, hers.

    But hello! 2 years later, she has supposedly prayed and guess what? Her prayer failed. I think that's telling in and of itself. You now have proof, that prayer doesn't work (like you really didn't know that), so what are you going to do now?

    Where are the prayers that "work" and are "powerful" for all the amputees? Why won't god heal them?

    And god will change and renew my mind? I am a better person than 99% of the religious people I meet. You ever think maybe it was gods plan to not have me believe, and that each time you try to pray is going against his will? I am less "sinful" then nearly every single religious person I meet. Why? Probably because I don't just get a free pass for the despicable actions, so I don't do them.

    But here it is, with all the trouble, problems, and downright horror in the world, what does she pray for? Right. I don't think I ever want to think like the two of you. What a horrible, downright disgusting, completely self-centered way of thought.