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
|Adrammelech||II Kings 17:31||Sepharvite sun god (day to Anammelech's night).|
|Anammelech||II Kings 17:31||Sepharvite lunar goddess (night to Adrammelech's day).|
|Asherah||II Kings 23:6|
& Jeremiah 7:18
|Yahweh's consort; the mother goddess and "queen of heaven."|
|Ashima||II Kings 17:30||Samaritan lunar goddess.|
|Ashtoreth||I Kings 11:05||Canaanite goddess (version of Ishtar).|
|Baal or Ba'al||I Kings 18:19||Canaanite god ("lord" or "master") of fertility, vegetation, and storms.|
|Baal-berith||Judges 8:33||A regional variation/aspect of Baal.|
|Baal-Peor||Numbers 25:03||Moabite regional variation/aspect of Baal.|
|Baal-zebub||Luke 11:19||Philistine/Ekronian regional variation/aspect of Baal.|
|Baalim||I Kings 18:18||Canaanite gods ("lords" or "masters"), a collective of the different aspects of Baal.|
|Bel||Isiah 46:01||Assyrian/Babylonian/Sumerian god ("lord" or "master") aspect of Baal.|
|Chemosh||I Kings 11:07||Moabite war god.|
|Dagon||I Samuel 05:02||Philistine/Ekronian/Babylonian god of grain and agriculture.|
|Diana of the Ephesians||Acts 19:35||Ephesian moon and nature goddess, (equivalent of the Greeks Artemis).|
|Jupiter||Acts 14:12||King of the Roman gods.|
|Mercurius||Acts 14:12||Roman god of communication and travel, and messenger of the gods. Also known as Mercury.|
|Milcom||I Kings 11:05 & 07||Ammonite god of fire (also known as Moloch, Molech, Molekh, or Molek).|
|Nebo or Nebu||Isiah 46:01||Assyrian/Babylonian/Chaldean god of wisdom and writing (Some scholars think Moses may be a humanized adaption of Nebu).|
|Nergal||II Kings 17:30||Cuth/Assyrian/Babylonian war and underworld god.|
|Nibhaz||II Kings 17:31||Avites god.|
|Nisroch||II Kings 19:37||Assyrian god of agriculture; also called Dagon, and could be a different version of Nusku.|
|Rimmon||II Kings 05:18||Babylonian/Syrian storm god; also known as Ramman or Rammon, and most likely an alternate version of Baal.|
|Succoth-benoth||II Kings 17:30||Babylonian fertility goddess ("she who produces seed").|
|Tammuz||Ezekial 8:14||Assyrian/Babylonian/Sumerian god of food and vegetation.|
|Tartak||II Kings 17:31||Avites 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.