Other Gods: What the Bible Thinks about Other Nations’ Deities

Date: Feb 01, 2021 - Feb 01, 2021

Time: 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm

Sponsor: Online Learning

Location: Online

Category: Online Learning

Other Gods: What the Bible Thinks about Other Nations’ Deities (Or: Is the Bible Really Monotheistic?)

February 1, 2021, 2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. ET

Part of our series “The ‘Other’ in Jewish Text and Tradition”

This session is generously sponsored by the Messer family in memory of Susan Kortsen.

The Bible frequently instructs the nation Israel not to worship “other gods” (אלהים אחרים). But the Bible never actually states that these other gods do not exist. Praying to other gods would be an act of disloyalty for an Israelite, but not an absurdity—there are apparently other gods who would hear the prayers in question. In fact, the Bible regards it as perfectly appropriate for other nations to worship them, because the “other gods” are simply the gods of other nations. In this session, we will examine the biblical attitude toward these other gods and what their existence implies about other religions. We will see, paradoxically, that the Bible remains monotheistic, even though it acknowledges the existence of many deities. 

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Dr. Benjamin Sommer is professor of Bible and ancient Semitic languages.

If you have previously registered for another session in this series, your registration admits you to all sessions in the series, and you may attend as many as you’d like.

Note: The Zoom link for this session will be in the confirmation email that you will receive after you register.

Learn more about this series