As we slowly move toward a proposal for why the God of the Old Testament commanded the Israelites to engage in warfare against the the Canaanites, I am laying out some of the views that people have on this tough issue.
One rare view is that the name “Yahweh” in the Hebrew Scriptures represents two different beings: Jesus and Satan. When reading the Bible, the word “Yahweh” can sometimes refer to Jesus Christ and other times depicts Satan. See this article for a more complete explanation: Forgotten Key to Old Testament.
Apparently, one of the basic premises of this view is that ancient Israel cosmology had not yet developed to the point of being able to discern the difference between Yahweh and Satan. Ancient people, it is taught, believed that God was behind everything that happened, and so sometimes wrongly attributed the works of the devil to Yahweh. Today, since we know the difference between God and Satan, we can use the revelation we have received in Jesus Christ to tell the difference.
So according to this view, whenever we see Yahweh mentioned in Scripture (translated as Lord in most Bibles), we should use the revelation of Jesus Christ in the Gospels to determine whether Yahweh is referring to Jesus or to the devil. If Yahweh is doing, saying, or commanding something that appears evil, then Yahweh is the devil, but if Yahweh is doing, saying, or commanding something that looks like Jesus, then in these cases Yahweh is Jesus.
Proponents of this view do not argue that Yahweh is both good and evil, but that the term Yahweh represents two different beings, Jesus and Satan, and we must use later revelation in Scripture to determine when Yahweh refers to one or the other. God Himself, of course, is always loving and just, but sometimes the human authors of Scripture confused the true God as revealed in Jesus Christ with the actions of Satan in history, and referred to the actions of both as coming from “Yahweh.”
I, frankly, am opposed to this view.
This would seem to create a lot of confusion about the text. It would seem that some would attribution certain actions of Yahweh to Satan while others would attribute them to God. If this position were true, it would be difficult to tell when “Yahweh” was referring to Satan and when it referred to Jesus. This could lead to lots of confusion about the nature and work of Jesus Christ.
Besides, this view also contains a rejection of the inspiration and inerrancy of Scripture, both of which I would like to retain. Though it might be true that the ancient Israelites had undeveloped cosmology, this is not true of God, and so for this view to be correct, we must either deny inspiration, or have God inspiring the authors of Scripture to write about Himself in inaccurate ways.
Have you ever run across this view? What do you think of it?
Other Posts on the Violence of God in Scripture
- Introduction: God is Guilty
- Common Solutions to the Problem of Violence in the Old Testament
- God, Violence, and Atheism
- Allegorical Genocide
- Is God Bipolar?
- God-Inspired Error
- The Kingdom of God vs. The Kingdom of God
- Divine Accommodation to Violence
- Bible Violence is Exaggerated
- Sometimes Death is Merciful
- Descriptions of a Violent God are Inspired and Inerrant
- Jesus Rules
- Read the Bible Backwards
- Jesus Reveals Israel
- Why Did Jesus Come to Earth?
- Destroy the Devil's Work
- Cruciform God
- The Love and Horror of the Cross
- Jesus Became Sin for Us
- God Pleads Guilty
- God the Sin Bearer
- God is NOT Violent
- Is God Lying about Violence in the Old Testament?
- Let the Condemned God Die
- Violence of God and the Love of Jesus
- Chaos Theory and Violent Scriptures
- God's Policy of Non-Intervention
- God is Not Absent
- Why Nature is Destructive
- Storms are Not From God
- Incarnation of God in the Old Testament
- God Appears Guilty; Just Like Jesus
- Incarnation of God in the Violence of Israel
- Satan seeks only to Destroy
- God Sometimes Withdraws Protection
- Bloody Jesus
- Is the Flood a Beautiful Story about Rainbows?
- Translations of Genesis 6:13
- Context of Genesis 6-8 and the flood
- The Flood and ANE Cosmology
- How Genesis 8:21 reveals God's Purpose in the Flood
- The Flood According to Job 22:15-18
- The Flood According to Isaiah 54:7-9
- The Flood According to Jesus (Matthew 24)
- The Flood According to 2 Peter 2:5-7
- More Coming Soon! Subscribe to the Blog to Keep Updated!
- The Violence of God and Evil
- Did Jesus Condemn People? No!
- John Piper on the Violence of God
- Is God Lying About His Involvement in Violence?