Lucretia Garfield. Library Of Congres

The identity of God

We may live inside a virtual reality created by an advanced humanoid civilisation for the personal entertainment of an individual who we can call God. God could be like us in many ways and use an avatar to appear as an ordinary human in this world. The entertainment thus could be playing roles in the story God have written. And we may best understand God from this perspective. Hence, the deities and religions humans have imagined probably tell us little about God. Still, Judaism stood at the cradle of Christianity and Islam, and that may not be a mere historical accident. And so, avatars of God may have been present in the birth of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

Archaeological evidence does not support the narrative in the Hebrew Bible from before the kingdoms of Israel and Judah. Jesus has lived and preached even though there is not much else that is certain. According to the Gospel, Jesus had a close personal bond with God. We can infer this from writings that allegedly reflect his own words. And so, Jesus may have known the avatar of God.

Jesus stood at the cradle of Christianity, nowadays a global religion with more than two billion followers. The message of Christianity is that God loved the world so much that God sent Jesus to sacrifice himself for our sins. And this can save us from damnation if we accept him as our saviour. That begs for an explanation. Six centuries later, in an astounding turn of history, a small band of Arab warriors created an empire stretching from the Atlantic to India, spreading Islam. Nowadays, Islam has close to two billion followers. And God allegedly promised Abraham that all peoples on Earth are to be blessed through him.1

Apart from the Son of God, Jesus was also called the Bridegroom, but the identity of the Bride is unknown. Being the Bridegroom appears to have been his mission and the Kingdom of God is compared to a wedding banquet. Christians believe that the Church is Jesus’ bride. There was no Church at the time Jesus was preaching so this is an anachronism. Perhaps Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene and maybe a wedding of the Son of God to an ordinary woman was deemed inappropriate. Another explanation is that Mary Magdalene was the avatar of God. She may have convinced Jesus that She was the reincarnation of Eve and that Jesus was the reincarnation of Adam, and that they were an eternal couple from the beginning of creation until the end of times.

That makes sense if you presume that this universe is created by an advanced humanoid civilisation for entertainment. It would have led to immense controversy as it is at odds with the theology Judaism. Christianity, including its dogmas and scriptures, could be shaped by dealing with this theological problem. The evidence of a controversy is still visible in the Gospels. The Gospel of John has a very distinct character and theology that is absent in the other Gospels. Scholars agree that the Gospels and the letters of the Church Fathers are edited.2 The Gospel of John adds a few insights into the nature of this controversy. Christians are born of God.3 Hence, God could be a Mother. And Jesus felt that he had an eternal bond with God and that he existed from the beginning.4

Jesus may have believed that he was a reincarnation of Adam, that Mary Magdalene was a reincarnation of Eve, and that Eve did not come from Adam’s rib, but that Eve gave birth to Adam. There is evidence for these claims in the scriptures. Eve is called Mother of All the Living,5 Adam is named Son of God6 while Jesus is the Firstborn of all Creation.7 And so, Adam may have been born. It makes no sense that the woman came from the rib of the man. It is more natural that the woman gave birth to the man. It makes sense but the Jewish scriptures and Greek thought provide us with alternative explanations.

Initially Christianity might have been about the marriage between Mary Magdalene and Jesus representing the Kingdom of God. The love of God Jesus was speaking of8 may have been the love of a Goddess for her husband. This could explain why Christians believe that God is love.9 It sheds another light on Jesus’ assertion that he is one with God10 as marriage is the way to become one with another person.11 It can clarify why Christian marriage is a sacred union between one man and one woman. Judaism and Islam do not sanctify the institution of marriage the way Christianity does.

Christianity probably at first had a distinct creation myth and fall story. It may not be an accident that the Quran differs from Genesis on these matters. The Quran describes the creation of Adam extensively but tells little about how Eve came into being. The Quran claims that Jesus and Adam were both made from dust.12 As the Quran corroborates that Mary, the mother of Jesus, was a virgin,13 Adam may have been born from a virgin too. The Quran further blames Adam for the Fall while leaving Eve out of the picture.14 It does not include the account of Eve convincing Adam to eat from the forbidden fruit. It is however merely a matter of emphasis. The Quran does not contradict the Bible on these matters.

Abraham, the mythical founder of Judaism, was married to Sarah. In family affairs, God consistently sided with Sarah, the Hebrew Bible tells us. And Egypt was beset by plagues when the Pharaoh tried to make Sarah his wife. There is no evidence that Abraham has ever lived, but even if he did, the story about his life is probably a myth, as it was written down over a thousand years after he allegedly had lived. But at least this myth is consistent with God being a woman who can have human avatars. Sarah could have been an avatar of God. And we cannot know that Mary Magdalene was an avatar of God either, even though She, unlike Sarah, probably has lived. At this point, Islamic accounts come to the rescue, making it a more convincing case.

The stories about the life of Muhammad probably are reliable, at least for the purpose at hand. At the age of twenty-five, Muhammad married his boss, the merchant Khadijah Bint Khuwaylid. She was a widow and fifteen years his senior when She proposed to him. Their marriage was both happy and monogamous. Only after Khadijah had died did Muhammad marry other women. Khadijah was the first to convert to Islam immediately after Muhammad received his first vision, which is odd as She was still his superior to the point that Muhammad depended on Her rather than the other way around. Her support was invaluable to Muhammad’s mission, and Islam would not have existed without Her. One can imagine no plausible political or religious agenda for misrepresenting the facts in this way. So, if God did have human avatars, then Khadijah probably was one of them. Women hardly ever were boss over their husbands in seventh-century Arabia, so the odds that the founder of Islam has found himself in this position by accident appears close to zero. Avatars of God may have played a significant role in world history. And God could still be dwelling among us today.

Featured image: Lucretia Garfield. Library Of Congres.

1. Genesis 12:3 [link]
2. Jesus Before the Gospels: How the Earliest Christians Remembered, Changed, and Invented Their Stories of the Saviour. Bart Ehrman (2016). Harper Collins Publishers.
3. John 1:12-13 [link]
4. John 14:6 [link]
5. Genesis 3:20 [link]
6. Luke 3:38 [link]
7. Colossians 1:15 [link]
8. John 17:23-26 [link]
9. John 10:30 [link]
10. Mark 10:8 [link], Matthew 19:5 [link]
11. 1 John 4:16  [link]
12. Quran 3:59 [link]
13. Quran 3:47 [link]
14. Quran 10:115-121 [link]

10 April 2018 6:22

One thought on “The identity of God

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