Friday, April 17, 2020

Among the gods

Because it is God’s free decision to become a god among gods, the equation of YHWH and God (“YHWH—he is God!”) is sealed with the tensile strength of God’s own volition. It is thus not like the association of divinity and YHWH in the “ray of truth” approach, which does not embrace the fullness of God’s coincidence with this one, specific god, instead imagining a divine being that YHWH only partially concretizes–and which other gods partially concretize also! This third theological way of addressing YHWH’s ancient look-alikes also improves on the “ray of truth” approach in that it can full-heartedly praise YHWH’s incomparability. It does not divert that praise solely to an all-transcending One who connects only tenuously back to the biblical God. Rather, like Israel, it wonders at the singularity of God’s act of drawing near—in Deuteronomy, by exodus and fire: “Has any people ever heard the voice of a god speaking out of a fire? . . . Or has any god ever attempted to go and take a nation for himself from the midst of another nation?” (4:33–34a)—but also, on this line of thinking, by taking on human form, and even by accepting a human artifact as true divine self-disclosure.—Collin Cornell in Divine Doppelgängers: YHWH’s Ancient Look-Alikes, p. 113

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