The Misadventures of Quinxy truths, lies, and everything in between!

19Mar/111

Reasons I Don’t Believe in God #5: Old Testament God Versus New Testament God

One trouble I have accepting Christianity as truth-based is the stark differences between the God of the Old Testament and the God of the New Testament. These differences seem peculiar to me. I would not have imagined an omniscient God would experience dramatic shifts in expressed personality over a span of a mere few thousand years. Our human personalities evolve greatly over our short lifespans because we acquire knowledge, we come to understand that knowledge, and we struggle with hormonal fluctuations that accompany the delicate process of growing and dying. God would have seemed immune to those issues, being both omniscient and omnipotent. And yet He seems to change.

This Old Testament God did a lot of punishing. For their disobedience Adam & Eve were cast out of Eden with all of us now suffering decay and death as a result. For man's growing wickedness all but Noah and his kin were killed in the flood. For their impenitent sin, everyone in Sodom and Gomorrah was killed except Lot and his two daughters. And for their enslavement of the Jews, all the first born males in Egypt were killed. And beyond all the punishment there is an awful lot of testing of men, including the horrible tale of Job and Abraham's near sacrifice of Isaac. And there are ever so many rules laid down in the Old Testament about the behavior we adherents are required to keep lest be kept out of heaven or deserve to be stoned to death. And of course there is the curious fact that Old Testament God is not described as a trinity.

The New Testament God is markedly different. God does not engage in widespread punishment, does not kill those who transgress upon Him or His son, Jesus. And God seems little interested in testing people's faith, except perhaps that of His son. And the New Testament seems to relay a doctrine primarily about love, tolerance, and the need to focus on the core Biblical principles (e.g., love thy neighbor) and less on the minutiae (e.g., don't eat shellfish). And somewhat surprisingly, God also revealed Himself to be a trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

How can these two very different experiences of God be reconciled, without either admitting God Himself radically changed over a period of a few thousand years, or if God is the same then admitting that man's account of God must be wildly inaccurate? Both possibilities strongly discourage my belief.

^ Quinxy

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  1. I personally don’t believe in the Old Testament. Since the Bible is old and has been in so many hands, I don’t think God radically changed, but rather man’s account of God must be wildly inaccurate (in the OT, I’m not talking about the NT). The Bible is like putting two different books together in this day and era, and then having people more than 2000 years from now believe that they are one whole book (even when it doesn’t make any sense). I think the OT and the NT are not one book, but actually two different books. Of course there is a lot of debate that can be done on this subject (wasn’t Jesus supposed to fulfill the law? etc.).

    Again, I don’t know the absolute truths of the universe; but I think for myself. Since the NT is the real book that talks about Jesus and his teachings, and I follow Jesus (not the OT), I feel good about my faith. I feel good believing that God loves us, that we should love our enemies, that we should not judge others, etc. Jesus was ahead of his time, even the way he treated Mary Magdalene shows that he also respected women and loved them. Jesus commanded his disciples to spread out and teach his Gospel (not the OT). You are a free thinker yourself, so it’s up to you what you want to believe. I believe in what feels right in my heart. At the end of the day, you are the one who chooses what to believe (look into science, other religions, atheism, etc; and nowhere will you find absolute explanations about the many questions we have, so you rely on what you ultimately believe is true or makes more sense).

    Just want to add that taking history into context (not only during Jesus’s time, but the few following centuries), maybe it was a “good move” at the time for some people to package the OT and NT together to get more followers (which now is backfiring). This is only an idea, but would be interesting to try and find out more about the history of early Christianity and the history of the regions to where early Christianity spread.


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