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Are Voldemort, YHWH and Jesus One and the Same?

November 27, 2010

Though Lord Voldemort is the villain of the series and is present in every book except the third one, he is seldom named by the characters, except Harry and Dumbledore. Instead, he is called, You-Know-Who and He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. He is so evil a wizard that people are afraid of his very name. They call him by obvious appellations. Only Dumbledore calls him by his proper name and later on Harry learns to do it from him.  By the fifth book, Ron and Hermione also start calling him Voldemort.

We first hear the phrase, You-Know-Who quite at the beginning of the first book, as Mr. Dursley is hurrying home. He knocks off a wizard, who instead of being mad at him congratulates him for You-Know-Who is dead.

On their first meeting, Hagrid tells Harry about Voldemort but asks him never to make him say his name again. Similar is Ron’s reaction, when he first hears Harry taking Voldemort’s name.

Later on, when Dumbledore and McGonagall leave Harry at the home of his relatives, the Dursleys, Dumbledore tries to convince McGonagall to call Voldemort by his proper name.

“As I say, even if You-Know-Who has gone —”

“My dear Professor, surely a sensible person like yourself can call him by his name? All this ‘You-Know-Who’ nonsense — for eleven years I have been trying to persuade people to call him by his proper name: Voldemort.” Professor McGonagall flinched, but Dumbledore, who was unsticking two lemon drops, seemed not to notice.

“It all gets so confusing if we keep saying ‘You-Know-Who.’ I have never seen any reason to be frightened of saying Voldemort’s name.”

“I know you haven’t,” said Professor McGonagall, sounding half exasperated, half admiring. “But you’re different. Everyone knows you’re the only one You-Know- oh, all right, Voldemort, was frightened of.”[1]

Dumbledore considers it absurd to be afraid of the name of Voldemort. Later on he instructs Harry to call him by his proper name, as the fear of the name increases the fear of the thing itself.

“Sir?” said Harry. “I’ve been thinking . . . Sir — even if the Stone’s gone, Vol-, I mean, You-Know-Who —”

“Call him Voldemort, Harry. Always use the proper name for things. Fear of a name increases fear of the thing itself.[2]

Rowling makes a very important point here: an authority which rules by instilling fear in the hearts of its subjects is evil. A wizard who does not even allow his name to be taken is necessarily evil and such a force should be opposed in practice as well as in theory.

There is a very interesting comparison to make here. Yahweh, the Biblical God is also a character whose name is taken with fright and sometimes not taken at all. Peter Watson makes this point in his book Ideas:

Many scrolls of scripture were regarded as sacred, especially the early ones that contained the name of God. YHWH. Later texts excluded this name, for fear that gentiles might use it in spells. Not mentioning the name also implied that God could not be defined or limited.[3]

The God of the Bible instills fear in the hearts of its followers. The monotheistic God of the Jews and the Christians is an entity which inspires awe by striking fear.

Jews believe that taking the name of their God is bad. They believe that taking his name is akin to blaspheming it and so it should not be taken irreverently. They support their argument by the Scripture:

And God spake unto Moses, and said unto him, I am the Lord: And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name JEHOVAH was I not known to them. And I have also established my covenant with them, to give them the land of Canaan, the land of their pilgrimage, wherein they were strangers. And I have also heard the groaning of the children of Israel, I am the Lord, and I will bring you out of their bondage, and I will redeem you with a stretched out arm, and with great judgments: And I will take you to me for a people, and I will be to you a God: and ye shall know that I am the Lord your God, which bringeth you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. And I will bring you in unto the land, concerning the which I did swear to give it to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob; and I will give it you for an heritage: I am the Lord.[4]

The Ten Commandments also command the followers not to take the name of the God in vain. The third commandment says:

Do not take the name of the Lord in vain.[5]

The Catechism of the Catholic Church describes it and supports its arguments from the Bible.

You shall not make wrongful use of the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not acquit anyone who misuses his name.[6]

The similarities between Voldemort and YHWH are striking.

  • Voldemort wants to purify Hogwarts and the wizarding world of the Muggle-borns and Half-bloods. YHWH wanted to purify Israel of the worship of false-gods.
  • Voldemort does not like many ways of Gryffindor, Slytherin, Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff. He wants wizards to follow just the way of Slytherin. YHWH wanted his subjects to follow just him and banish other gods and other ways of worship.
  • Voldemort instills fear in the hearts of his followers. So does YHWH.

There is another chilling similarity between a Biblical character and Voldemort: that character which is similar to Voldemort is Jesus itself. Dumbledore warns again and again that the primary quality of Voldemort is to sow discord among his opponents and then reap its benefits. He first expresses it in the fourth book:

“I say to you all, once again — in the light of Lord Voldemort’s return, we are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided. Lord Voldemort’s gift for spreading discord and enmity is very great. We can fight it only by showing an equally strong bond of friendship and trust. Differences of habit and language are nothing at all if our aims are identical and our hearts are open.”[7]

Hermione reminds Ron and Harry of this warning in the Order of the Phoenix.[8] The Bible contains a verse in which Jesus is revealed to have the similar quality: the ability to sow discord between friends and family.

“Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man’s enemies will be the members of his household. He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake will find it.”[9]

The character of Jesus described above is strikingly similar to that of Voldemort described by Rowling. For a new ideology to take seed it is necessary for the population to be divided. Jesus understood the necessity and acted accordingly. Prophets heralding new religions have repeatedly followed the same tactics.

Since J K Rowling has not spoken on the matter, we may not know whether she intentionally made the connection or it is just a coincidence that the villain she is describing and the god of the Bible and Christ are similar in their attributes. More likely it is unintentional. Tolkien talked of applicability. He claimed that he did not put hints in his works intentionally. A writer has a worldview of good and bad and the mythology erected on that view has some parallels in the real world. This coincidental overlapping of the ethics of the fictional and the real world is called as the ‘applicability’.

We may take similar view here. Rowling may not have intentionally put the allusion that Voldemort is YHWH or Jesus, but it is applicable. The qualities attributed to the three are essentially the same.

The God of the Bible and Christianity is a tyrant, who imposes his authority by force on his followers. Similarly Jesus sowed discord among the population, in order to gain new converts. Voldemort is a similar figure. The villain of the Harry Potter series, the God of the Bible and the Christ are one and the same.


[1] Rowling, J K. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. New York: Scholastic Inc. 1997. p. 11.

[2] Ibid. p. 298.

[3] Watson, Peter. Ideas: A History of Thoughts and Invention, from fire to Freud. New York: HarperCollins. 2005. p. 152

[4] Good News Bible. New York: American Bible Society. 2001. Genesis 6: 2-8

[5] Ibid. Genesis 20: 7

[7] Rowling, J K. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. New York: Scholastic Inc. 2000. p. 723.

[8] Rowling, J K. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. New York: Scholastic Inc. 2003. p. 223.

[9] Good News Bible. New York: American Bible Society. 2001. Matthew 10: 34-39.

 

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77 Comments leave one →
  1. November 27, 2010 1:19 AM

    Oh what nonsense. The God of Abraham and of Moses and of Jesus a tyrant, who imposes his authority by force on his followers? It is beyond imagination to even state such complete and utter lack of truth in that statement. That does sound like the God of Islam with all the violance, subjegation of people, death, cruelty and compulsion of Islam, but even then there is no relationship to Lord Voldemort .

    Another rediculous statement is that Jesus sowed discord among the population, in order to gain new converts. There was some disruption due to the truth of God being unwelcome by the forces of darkness that oppose the light of God, but Jesus’ intent is clear in this statement: “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” – John 14:27

    It is a shame you put in so much work and came to such an erroneous conclusion.

    • December 7, 2010 12:04 PM

      I agree that the God of Islam sounds like that, but then YHWH is a similar being. Allah is a derivative of YHWH. Islam seldom made any innovation. Quran sloppily copied the Bible, lacing itself with some local stories from the life of Muhammad.

      YHWH of the Old Testament is a cruel god, who is jealous and is often vindictive, essentially the same as Voldemort. Its not about feelings; its about the facts.

      I am not a believer; I believe in science and rationality and I scan the Bible as would a rational person. And Jesus does say some really violent things in the New Testament. He is not a YHWH figure, but he does reflect some of his qualities…

      • masterg permalink
        December 12, 2010 7:48 PM

        this is the real name jahahahah

      • February 12, 2013 4:17 AM

        I think it’s fair to say that all religion through the ages save Buddhism, are in fact founded on the backs of violent manipulative men, the philosophies however were corrupted by men. Religion is a tool to control people, spirituality however, is a tool for an individual to give purpose to their own life. This article was stimulating thank you. I believe in Yahweh, most of the interpretation are open to mixed ideas and perspectives, after years of research though and personal visions, my views have changed through that duration. Many will not analyze it to much or do their own research, and just accept what truth is to them or someone else, when we should all seek our own personal truths and share, but not preach or belittle or worst of all judge.

        Good Stuff

    • masterg permalink
      December 12, 2010 7:52 PM

      is mean life,breath and power you see the real name wanna bout the pronoun of the name

  2. December 7, 2010 7:32 AM

    re : “Voldemort instills fear in the hearts of his followers. So does YHWH.”

    Personally, having worked w the name YHWH as well as inscribing the hebrew letters energetically on my body, I have experienced profound opening and expansion… to me the name YHWH does not instill fear in my heart – it in fact opens it.

    • December 7, 2010 12:05 PM

      Personal experiences can be different. I do not talk about personal experiences in my post. Its what the Bible says and what the early believers thought about the God.

    • February 12, 2013 4:19 AM

      I have YHWH tatted to my back in ancient aramaic

    • July 18, 2015 4:15 PM

      I respect your personal devotion to a particular God or Godhead. However, I am speaking about the historical and Biblical YHWH and not the subjective one of your or my heart. Hope you understand. Thank You.

  3. Knoffelkop permalink
    December 9, 2010 1:01 AM

    Jy rook te veel dagga.

  4. Attie permalink
    January 13, 2011 9:18 PM

    Only someone with an absurd lack of knowledge regarding GOD/YHWH, would be able to write something like this article, it makes me laugh although very sad for them!

    • May 15, 2011 8:39 AM

      It would have been nicer still if someone well-versed in the meaning of GOD/ YHWH would enlighten me about its true nature…

  5. January 30, 2011 10:47 AM

    I was taught that those words by Jesus referred to the inevitable discord that would follow his sacrifice, not a war he was inciting. For Christians, since that sacrifice, God has had only love for all his creations, even those who don’t know him. But to receive full redemption, one must accept it. This often does create strife within a household, a community, even a nation. This is what He meant, the earthly cost one might incur for following Him. Despite these costs, however, He assures us that being with Him for eternity is a whole lot better than not being with Him.

    • May 15, 2011 8:39 AM

      Round-about ways of explaining away that passage in the Bible won’t do. It means what it means.

  6. EnioATM permalink
    February 3, 2011 8:05 PM

    Read the Bible more carefully and you will not see any similarity between Voldemort, YHWH. Briefly: God is love and Jesus came to bring salvation, not destruction. God bless you. =D

    • May 15, 2011 8:40 AM

      Oh no! God is so not love! I will suggest you to read it at least once and you will find out for yourself. God is the exact opposite of that…

      • November 27, 2011 6:08 AM

        You sir have appear to have read the Old Testament only. Things changed in the Gospel.

        • December 28, 2012 12:34 PM

          Yes, things did change with the Gospels, but even in the Gospels Jesus is not entirely peaceful. You remember the passage where he clearly says that he has come to make war and not peace? Matthew 10:34-40

  7. Rob permalink
    March 13, 2011 1:29 PM

    All Authority is tyrannical when viewed by those who wish to usurp that power. When I discipline My children, They view me as a tyrant. When I defend my children, they view me as as gracious loving Father. Every Household, Every business, is a dictatorship. Rules and discipline are required to maintain order and relative stability. If the Majority set the rules, The majority will be happy, while the minority are repressed/oppressed. If the minority sets the rules, the Majority will be unhappy/oppressed. So regardless of who makes the rules, there will always be a rebellious segment sewing discord. To help quiet consciences, Those who oppose or reject divinity, have suggested that rights are merely privileges granted by those in power. Because if there is a creator, then he has the right to impose rules and grant rights that no man can alter or take away.

    • May 15, 2011 8:42 AM

      I talk of situations when one is already out of the Biblical creationism…

    • Franck permalink
      May 3, 2013 5:40 AM

      Well put Rob…lest we also not forget that the Catholic movement hijacked all or most authentic Scriptures since it’s establishment 326 Ad, and as estimated, have made more that 14,600 changes to the original Scripture wordings and even destroyed a number of books. Can we therefore really say we have the complete or correct ‘Word of God’? Can we afford to waste our time arguing if many issues like our Father’s apparent cruelty may probably have been created to purposely portray Him as an unfeeling ruler? This seems a plausible probability against the backdrop of the Catholics’ intentions at the time, to sway sentiment toward their own gospels as apposed to our Messiah’s teachings.

      Many scholars and scientists through the ages, even at Nasa and skeptics like Freud concluded we have a powerful Creator. Focus then rather on the truths we have and leave the senseless arguments to those who seek to mislead His kids…
      ‘Do not throw the pearls to the swines.’

      • March 16, 2014 11:00 AM

        No one, ever, ever at NASA claimed we had a creator! That’s just plain bullshit! And not Freud either!

  8. Angel permalink
    September 23, 2011 12:47 AM

    I found myself in this post just for the picture, but after reading all your words i only can tell you this….
    You came from a very religious family, maybe muslims, you are tired of your parents so … you become against them by being atheist… try to convince yourself about the loneliness life of humanity without God… just to check this…
    if you say that God is cruel automatically you believe in the existence of God… so you are not atheist….
    I found many people… that say “I read the bible” but all this people just read a few lines and in the bathroom… i dare you to read Exodus chapter 20 and try to remember as is….. word by word…. and then pray in the secret… to the God of Abraham, Issac and jacob and you should get your answer… if you want to talk send me an email…

    • December 28, 2012 12:39 PM

      Angel, how sweet of you to profile me 🙂 But you are wrong on most counts. I did not come from a very religious family. And I am not a Muslim. I am a Hindu. My parents never forced me to go to temple or read scriptures, or perform worship at home, and by the time I was 10, I barely used to go to temples. But you are wrong on another count. I do not hate religion per se. Hinduism is very different from Christianity. Though it has many deities, there are many interpretations in which there is no deity, just consciousness, and that is why I do not hate Hinduism. I respect and prize it.

      And when I say that God is cruel, I mean the fictional character of the greatest fiction of all time, The Bible. I also comment that Harry did this, or Harry did that. So do I mean that he is a real character too? Angel, you are desperate, clutching straws…

  9. 1WhoComments permalink
    November 25, 2011 11:20 PM

    @Pankaj said “Quran sloppily copied the Bible, lacing itself with some local stories from the life of Muhammad.” – Really?

    @Pankaj, Kiddo, You need to read and learn the Holy Quran before making any statement. It seems like you barely have a glimpse of what Quran is all about.

    @paul said “That does sound like the God of Islam with all the violance”

    @paul -Muslims ruled Spain for about eight hundred years – later on the Crusaders came, and they wiped out the Muslims. There was not a Muslim who could openly give the Adhan… the call for prayers – We did not use any force. You know, we Muslims, we ruled the Arab lands for about fourteen hundred years – for a few years the British came, for a few years the French came – but overall the Muslims were the lordship of the Arab land, for fourteen hundred years.

    Do you know, today there are fourteen million Arabs, who are Coptic Christians? ‘Coptic Christian’ means, they are Christians through generations since generations. If the Muslims wanted, they could have converted every Non-Muslim at the point of the sword – we did not do it. The fourteen million Arabs, who were Coptic Christians, are giving witness, that Islam was not spread by the sword.

    India was ruled for hundreds of years by the Muslims – We did not use the sword… we did not use the power. If few people do a wrong thing, you cannot catch up those people, and blame the Religion for that… If few people do not follow the Religion.

    But we Muslims, we ruled India for hundreds of years – If we wanted, we could have forced every Non-Muslim to convert, at the point of the sword. We did not do it – The Non-Muslims of India today… more than eighty percent – they are giving witness – all the Non-Muslims of Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, are giving witness that Islam was not spread by the sword.

    Ask them, they are giving witness – we had the power… we did not do it – Islam does not believe in that. Today the country which has the maximum number of Muslims is Indonesia – Which Muslim army went to Indonesia? Which Muslim army went to Malaysia… which has fifty five percent of population of Muslims? Which Muslim army went to the east coast of Africa? – Which Muslim army? Huh.

    You cannot say that Christianity is bad, because Hitler insinuated six million Jews. If Hitler insinuated six million Jews, burnt six million Jews, Are we blame Christianity for that – There may be black sheep in every community.

    • December 28, 2012 12:50 PM

      Spain is the favorite argument of those who claim Islam spread in peace. But against Spain, may I quote the other 57 Islamic countries where Islam completely wiped out native religions? May I quote the death of Sassanid Empire and the wiping out of Zoroastrianism? May I quote the gradual massacre of Byzantine Christian Empire? May I quote millions and millions of dead in India? The list is endless. Spain has no Muslims, because in Spain the Islamic conquistadors met their match.

      You talk about Arab world? Well, Arabs were confined to that deserted sorry peninsula before the spread of Islam. Arabs rode out and changed the religion of everyone in their vicinity and colonized them so much that they forgot even their language and race and started calling themselves Arabs. You call that peaceful??? Seriously, I am surprised.

      About, Copts, actually the 14 million Christians are living example of Islam’s intolerance. May I remind you, that the word Copt means Egypt and before the coming of Islam, Egypt was 100% Christian? So what about the other 90%? That tolerance for you?

      And don’t even start me on India. The history of India is bloodier than any other country, thanks to Islam. India is today more than 30% Muslim, including Pakistan and Bangladesh, what accounts for it? And if you care to read, then read Baburnama, or Ain-e-Akbari or any other journal kept by the Mughals, you will find the massacres done by themselves, and the glee with which they record it.

      And yes, Arab armies did go to Indonesia and Malaysia. The conversions were of course not peaceful. In fact, one of the two places where there are still pirates, is the Makassar Straits in Indonesia. The other one, (oops) is Somalia, another Muslim country 🙂

      And, even while Hitler said that he was an atheist, he took his inspiration from religion, from Christianity. Many churches even collaborated with him. So yes, we can blame Christianity very safely for any kind of anti-Semitism.

  10. carol permalink
    November 26, 2011 11:14 PM

    I agree with you completely. A few years ago I would have argued that god is a god of love, but since I have read the bible I am no longer able to do that. It’s mind boggling to hear people defend the biblical god, but its mostly people that have never read the Old Testament. And for those of you that insinuate that “He” is just disciplining people as a parent would, is totally deceived! I would NEVER order my child to be STONED to death for simply gathering firewood on the sabbath, nor would I have her mauled to death for calling a prophet “Baldy”. Nor would I order her to be allowed to be captured for raping, oh the list goes on and on. That is NOT loving discipline, but rather disgusting cruelty. Read the Old Testament before posting ridiculous claims that this was discipline!

    • November 27, 2011 6:05 AM

      If not for the New Testament and the whole Jesus-dying thing, you would be justified. However, a true Christian believes that all sins are ultimately forgiven, if that forgiveness is accepted. As a Lutheran, I think that God has powerful emotions, and many of them. He is capable of great anger, certainly, as you have seen in the Old Testament. However, I believe His love is even greater. Ever since the Son shouldered the blame for every sin of all time, sin does not warrant death for us. If you’ve read C.S. Lewis, recall Aslan dying in Edmund’s place. In so doing, he nullified the death penalty for treason.

      Yes, there is some terrifying stuff in the OT, but I do not believe it was for the victims’ sake. Perhaps it was to remind His people who He was. If Aslan did not give the occasional almost-angry roar, Narnians might have begun to take advantage of his deeper, loving nature.

      • December 28, 2012 12:53 PM

        Nobody can atone for anyone else’s sins, especially since when he is dead for 2000 years. This Jesus having atoned for my sins, has led to many sins. Christianity put a serious dent in world morality. Before it, people judged others on the basis of their actions, post-Christianity they started judging them on the basis of their beliefs. So if you are a Christian and going on doing sins, doesn’t matter, you will go to heaven ’cause Jesus has already atoned for you. But if you are not a Christian, then no matter what you do, you are going to Hell, isn’t it correct?

        • Uriah permalink
          November 12, 2015 8:21 AM

          Well to answer your last question, I don’t know Pankaj, I can’t speak for God in saying who goes to heaven and who goes to hell. You’re a Hindu, right? So you believe that anyone can believe anything they want? Well, I once heard of an old lady who slowed down at a stop sign and kept going without stopping. A police officer pulled her over and asked her why she didn’t stop, to which she replied: “Well I slowed down.” The officer then pulled out his night stick and started hitting her with it repeatedly and asked: “Do you want me to stop, or slow down?” There has to be an absolute. A stop sign means cease all motion for a brief period of time and then keep going. God is God, that’s it!

    • December 28, 2012 12:51 PM

      @Carol. I completely agree. You put it nicely.

  11. carol permalink
    November 30, 2011 12:51 AM

    Dear Bernreuter,
    When I read the bible and all of the cruel things that god supposedly did, it bothers me tremendously. I try to really think about the actions the biblical god took, and try to put myself in the shoes of his victims. Maybe I’m too empathetic. I try to envision how I would feel if god stoned me to death for simply making my bed or doing dishes on the sabbath (which is actually on Saturday, and not Sunday), just like he did to the man that gathered firewood. Maybe the man was wanting to provide warmth for he and his family. It doesn’t say. I completely understand the need for punishment for sin, but have you ever thought, REALLY thought about what it would feel like to be stoned to death? It’s not a quick death. And this was ordered all the time by this biblical god, with him watching this happen. You know the thousands of people that were stoned through the ages, had to beg and plead for their life. Where is the mercy in that? I couldn’t even watch a rabid dog be stoned to death! My question is, if god felt the man really deserved death for this, why by such a horrible, torturous way? He could have just stopped the man’s heart. And this is just but one example. And why would he order Moses and his army to take the virgin little girls for themselves? One doesn’t need to be a rocket scientist to figure out what is meant by this. It’s sick. How would we feel, truly feel, if somebody came into our home and slaughtered our whole family and took our daughter for later raping? And this was supposedly ordered by a compassionate god??? I have a 9 year old daughter and this truly bothers me. This is just a tad bit of what bothers me. I could spend hours pointing out all of the horrible things supposedly done by this god. He even threatened people with cannabillism of their own children! It’s scripture.

    And I know what a “true christian” believes. I thought of myself as being a “true christian” for 12 years, until my mind got exhausted from all of the mental gymnastics that I had to do to justify this biblical god. Believe me, I tried, and extremely hard, to hold onto my faith of a loving god. I went through a dark period when I realized this god that I thought I knew all my life turned out to be nothing like I was always taught. And there was no “person” that changed my mind. It was the bible, god’s own supposed “Word”.

    I wish you well, and I truly hope none of my words seem harsh, because I certainly do not mean to offend you in any way. I’m just being honest about how and why I feel the way that I do.

    Peace,
    Carol

    • December 1, 2011 10:22 AM

      I don’t disagree that being stoned to death would be awful. But in the grand scheme of things (as in eternity), is dying in itself all that bad? For one who believes in life after bodily death, the only lasting death is damnation.

      I believe that God has a certain reluctance to act directly in the affairs of humans (or else, anyone with eyes would believe He exists, making faith pointless). For example, He gave the Hebrews a moral code, but He told them how to enforce it themselves. The stoning penalty is definitely a harsh one. But a direct command from the creator of the friggin universe deserves to be obeyed, and one who disobeys justly deserved punishment.

      Not that I don’t feel for the poor guy who gets stoned, but he definitely would have had options if he ran out of wood/food/whatever: 1) he knows when the Sabbath is, it doesn’t sneak up on him so quickly he can’t prepare, 2) he probably has neighbors, honor-bound to aid him, and 3) he could bundle up for a night. He would have known the consequences of disobedience before the fact. At any rate, if he was truly forced by circumstance to disobey, I’m sure he would be able to appeal to the leadership.

      As for the raping and pillaging…Israel’s conquest was part of the plan for the history of the world, and needed to happen. But I don’t believe rape was ever a command (unless you can point out a verse), and I think that would have been filed under “adultery.” Such action would have been the fault of the person who disobeyed, not the God that commanded the people to police themselves.

      And which verses command cannibalism? I’ve never heard of that, and now I’d like to make sure.

      • December 28, 2012 12:56 PM

        @Bern If you think stoning to death should be obeyed. I have nothing more to say to you on that matter. You are a fanatic, who will strap a bomb to his chest and go blow himself up if your ‘God’ orders you to do so, just like the terrorists.

  12. carol permalink
    December 3, 2011 10:17 AM

    Here are a few of the scriptures you asked about:

    Killing of the Midianite children: Here the Israelites are allowed/ordered to take the Midianite virgin girls as sexual plunder. (There were instructions on how to “test” to see if a girl was a virgin, not a pleasant visual, but I cant find it right now). Numbers 31:17-18 “Now therefore, kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman who has known man intimately. But all the girls who have not slept with a man, keep for yourselves.”

    Rape: “Their children shall be dashed to pieces before their eyes. Their houses spoiled, and their wives raped (some bibles have ”ravished”), Dash the young men to pieces, have no pity on the fruit of the womb, the children shall not be spared.” Isa 13:16-18.

    Cannibalism:
    He threatens his people that if they did not serve him, he would cause them to be attacked on all sides, and in starvation, have to eat their children. Leviticus 26:29 “And ye shall eat the flesh of your sons, and the flesh of your daughters shall ye eat.”

    Deuteronomy 28:53 “And thou shalt eat the fruit of thine own body, the flesh of thy sons and of thy daughters, which the Lord thy God hath given thee.”

    Cannibalism occurred in the bible, so I cannot shrug this off as “figurative.” But, everyone has a right to their own opinion. An example: After invading Samaria, the Israelites are attacked by Syrians, such that a famine occurs. “This woman said to me, ‘Give your son, that we may eat him today, and we will eat my son tomorrow.’ So we boiled my son, and ate him. And on the next day I said to her, ‘Give your son, that we may eat him’; but she has hidden her son.” When the king heard the words of the woman he ripped his clothes and said, “This trouble is from the Lord!”

    These are just but a few of the verses that bother me. I could point out hundreds just like these, but I won’t unless I am asked. I don’t want to hurt anyone’s faith (even though it’s actually god’s “Word”, and not mine).. One only needs to read straight through the Old Testament to find hundreds just like these.

    Take care, and it’s been nice conversing back and forth with someone that has opposing beliefs, but yet is still able to conduct themselves in a friendly manner. I respect and appreciate that. 🙂

    • December 5, 2011 9:41 AM

      Sorry this reply is long, but I had a lot of thoughts.

      As I understand it, Hell is not a torture chamber as much as an isolation chamber. To be separated from your creator, and to know the separation will be eternal, and that creator did not wish it to be so, is its own torture, torture of the soul, beyond any comparison.

      You are describing what philosophers have for years called the Problem of Evil. Why not simply invite everybody into Heaven? Why have this entrance exam called life? Once again, as I understand it, sentience requires free will. Not in the sense that an organism can go where it pleases, or do what it wants, but that the soul can freely oppose or submit to the will of its creator. Why give us free will? Well, why have a child, when you can play a recording of one saying “I love you”?

      According to Christian beliefs, humans were created untainted, and were allowed to choose: trust God when He gave an order with little justification (besides being God), or trust their own judgement and defy Him. After failing, they were condemned to the separation from God I described (philosophers call it “Cosmic Justice”, I think). However, not wanting His work to go to waste, He planned to shoulder the blame Himself. A blameless man, falsely accused and tortured to death without a struggle, upended the system, in a sense. The terms of this “new deal” extend to a soul if it submits to the will of God. Everyone else remains on the “old plan”, by their own choice.

      Why does He value faith? A soul that is incapable of it would similarly be unable to submit to His will, as I described. Perhaps we are lab mice in the maze of the Universe, on whose walls are written directions to an exit that might exist. But exiting is not the victory condition; rather, the ability to follow these directions gets you taken out of the maze by its architect.

      One has to see the bigger picture when trying to understand God. I believe His earthly punishments were to discipline those who witnessed them, by reminding them who’s in charge. I’ll say again: bodily pain, even enough to kill, is nothing, compared to eternity without God. I can’t pretend to know the circumstances of each “victim,” but if they were repentant at their core, they soon forgot what pain was. Those who were not…also forgot what pain used to be. You’re right, we don’t agree on justice, but perhaps justice varies with scale. Society’s definition is based on earthly justice, as it should be. But zoom out far enough, and there is only God’s will to obey or defy.

      Every command He gives, every action He takes in the Universe, is part of His plan for it. I have no doubt he had moments of unparalleled wrath, but I doubt he took pleasure in destroying His children(‘s bodies). I cannot pretend to know the mind of God, but existing outside of space and time must make a lot of decisions justifiable by their ends.

      • September 21, 2016 6:14 AM

        “I believe His earthly punishments were to discipline those who witnessed them, by reminding them who’s in charge.”

        That’s even worse. Torturing people as punishment is bad enough, but torturing people as a show of force to keep other people in line is so far off of the moral deep end that it terrifies me to no end that people think this way. This isn’t how a good being acts; this is how brutal dictators and violent gangs maintain power.

        ” I’ll say again: bodily pain, even enough to kill, is nothing, compared to eternity without God. I can’t pretend to know the circumstances of each “victim,” but if they were repentant at their core, they soon forgot what pain was. Those who were not…also forgot what pain used to be.”

        This is a ridiculous justification. The fact that you could have done worse to a person does not lessen the crimes you committed against them. A rapist is not acquitted because the victims were not murdered also.

        “You’re right, we don’t agree on justice, but perhaps justice varies with scale. Society’s definition is based on earthly justice, as it should be. But zoom out far enough, and there is only God’s will to obey or defy.”

        This is the poisonous idea at the root of your deranged ideology. Your justification for your god’s absolute power is just that: power. Having the power to do something or creating the environment that you could do something in has nothing to do whatsoever with whether or not that something is good or evil.

        Your ideology creates the perfect storm of rationalizations that can be used to justify anything. Within this framework, there is nothing keeping you from doing great evil if you believe that it is the will of God. For thousands of years, people like you have used this exact line of thinking to excuse countless atrocities, committing acts of mass violence and suffering on an unimaginable scale. Your religion undermines the basis for real morality in a toxic way that substitutes lists of rules and tyrannical rule for real concerns about well-being and suffering.

        I do not believe in any God, but I argue against these ideas because other people do hold these beliefs, and you behave accordingly. I defy your god because your god (that is, the idea you have of him) is evil. Fortunately, your ideas are dying. The world is moving rapidly out of the Dark Ages into the enlightenment of reason and compassion. Slowly but surely, this great evil will soon be just a terrible memory. I will never stop fighting this ideology until I am dead because I can choose something else. I choose life over death; I choose truth over fiction; I choose kindness over cruelty; I choose compassion over indifference; I choose freedom over slavery; I choose humanity over dogma. I choose good over evil.

    • December 5, 2011 9:43 AM

      sorry, that was meant for your next reply

    • December 28, 2012 12:57 PM

      @Carol. Thanks for all the references. Its nice to have it in one place here.

  13. carol permalink
    December 3, 2011 11:23 AM

    P.S. To answer your question…..”Is dying in itself all that bad”? I would have to answer a big YES on that one, if it is by stoning!! That would be a long, painful death. But I do understand what you are saying, and I agree, death in itself isn’t all that bad when compared to god’s eternal torture chamber he has prepared for unbelievers and the unrepentant. No doubt! But what I don’t understand is….why would god allow there to be unbelievers???? People say because he requires faith so he won’t reveal himself openly for the world to see. I just don’t understand *why* faith would be more important to him than the eternal abode of someone’s soul. Especially since the alternative to heaven is an eternity of torture? But then again, I don’t understand a lot about this biblical god’s character, and this would be a whole other tangent, and I’m trying to wrap this up. LOL!

    And also, we agree that wrongful behavior justly deserves punishment. I certainly do believe there should be consequences to our actions. As I have stated before, I have a 9 year old daughter, and I discipline her when she needs it. But the difference is; it’s always out of love and her punishment fits the crime, so to speak. You and I just don’t agree on “what” qualifies as justice. A less painful and less cruel death other than stoning would be more “just”. Just my opinion, of course. Especially since the god of the friggin universe has the ultimate power to carry out his death sentences any way he sees fit. 🙂 He just prefers the stoning method. Good night….

  14. permelia permalink
    May 30, 2012 11:04 AM

    Part of the idea behind a “stoning” was that everyone in the community was responisible and culpable for the death. Would we even have capital punishment today if we all were required to participate in delivering the death sentence? It was a way to hold the community responsible and was seen as a last resort for maintaining order and stability. These extreme examples stand out as horrors to us not because they were commonplace but because they were so rare, vivid, and extreme. What kid truly is persuaded not to run with scissors until they actually hear a horror story of someone doing that and losing an eye? Those type of things are real, they do happen, and there are alot of people who don’t take any lesson seriously until they hear of a truly dire consequence. I am grateful to God for providing these vivid word pictures so that I don’t have to learn through personal tragic experience.

    • doodle permalink
      July 7, 2012 11:17 AM

      It’s a great idea, except for one or two little things – if you didn’t follow the mob you could be deemed a heretic and next in line so that the mob could make an example of you for the sake of order and stability, and hey, stoned to death for collecting firewood? That’s a vivid word picture I could do without.
      @ Pankaj: I’m sure the parallels aren’t intentional.. fun read though

      • December 28, 2012 12:59 PM

        @Doodle. I also think they maybe un-intentional. But it is what it is. The similarities are there. And thanks 🙂

    • carol permalink
      July 17, 2012 9:19 AM

      @ Permelia…..I’ve read the bible…..unfortunately stoning was not used as a “last resort”. In fact, it was used frequently and for very ludicrous reasons, (not just for gathering firewood on the Sabbath). Actually, I’ve wondered how anyone even managed to survive through this period.

      General comments…not directed to you personally, Permelia.
      God supposedly ordered parents to take their disobedient children to the gates of the city and stone them!!! Yes, it’s scripture. What child doesn’t disobey at some time or other??? If not often? Can you imagine having to stone your child? The town people would have to stone me first, that’s for sure!! I don’t care how out of line my daughter gets…..I could never stone her, and parents were expected to throw the first stone. Just craziness…And the excuse that Christians use: “That was the Old Testament, it’s different now”, is absurd, in my opinion. God’s rules should be universal and transcend time…..Just because the people of that time were barbaric doesn’t mean the Creator of the universe should be also. So the fact that God *ever* allowed/ordered stoning repulses me. What about the 42 children that called the bible God’s prophet “Baldy” and God supposedly sent a she-bear that mauled them? WOW! For taunting? Isn’t that typical childhood behavior? I’m sure every child has taunted/name-called someone one time or other. And just because it was God’s prophet does not excuse that. It’s hard for me to even hear the song “Jesus Loves The Little Children’, after reading those scriptures. How’s that love???

    • December 28, 2012 12:58 PM

      @permelia. They are not just pictures, some people actually do it.

  15. August 7, 2012 11:24 PM

    What the hell is wrong with you, dude?
    JHVH is almighty God, and Voldy it´s only a mortal being.
    I am not afraid of God, but I think he is a God of Marvels.
    Everybody will knee before him, even the little Voldy, and he doesn’t need a magic wand.

    • December 28, 2012 1:01 PM

      @ David. You know what David? You are just so cute, I am not even gonna say anything else 🙂

  16. Lorenzo permalink
    November 17, 2012 5:39 AM

    I agree with your assessment. I was on the same line of thought for years and decided to see if anyone online had similiar thoughts. Very surprised to see the religious nut jobs so angry over this article. One in particular that caught my eye was that post by the fella suggesting Exodus 20. A line from 21…

    “21 The people remained at a distance, while Moses approached the thick darkness where God was.”

    Dont know about you but anything cloaked around thick darkness seems really similiar to voldemort to me. The exodus 20 describes Voldemort to a tee.

    Oh well, I guess we subscribe to one fantasy or other to make this life adequate.

  17. mthim permalink
    November 25, 2012 8:47 PM

    Carol

    ” In the begining Veldemort created the heavens and the earth”…
    “For God so hated humans gave His son, so that He may punish them” Interesting thought.

    THE PROPHET CURSED IN THE NAME OF THE LORD, Not what you are saying.

  18. Carol permalink
    December 28, 2012 8:22 AM

    Mthim

    So just exactly “where” or from “whom” did the prophet get his power to send the she bears to maul the children????? Did he possess his own magical powers????

  19. Greg Thom permalink
    January 29, 2013 10:31 AM

    It makes more sense to think of Jesus as Harry. The chosen one who must die to save everyone else? Then he conquers death?

    • September 28, 2013 11:23 PM

      The parallels are there yes. But the there are more glaring differences than there are similarities.

  20. Grace Day permalink
    May 28, 2013 3:01 AM

    Hi Pankaj,
    I’m looking for the book you listed in your blog. YHWH it’s white and it’s a hardback..I use to have it and let a friend borrow it and I was just talking about it..can you tell me who prints it please? Thanks in advance, Grace

    • July 18, 2015 4:52 PM

      I am sorry, I have not read that particular book. I just used the cover for illustration purposes.

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  28. Mark permalink
    August 19, 2014 11:09 PM

    I haven’t read all the Potter books, but the obvious word play between YHWH and “You know who” led me here. The similarity between the response of the death-eaters when Voldemort is quasi-resurrected with the scripture on Christ’s disciples reaction to his resurrection is striking. Hard to deny the parallels. What it means is difficult to guess, as the Lord works in mysterious ways, his wonders to perform.

    • July 18, 2015 4:11 PM

      I appreciate that a believer can calmly take in the similarities pointed out by me and others. However, the Lord, if there is one, also reveals the secrets from his mysteries, now and then. 🙂

  29. July 12, 2015 8:27 PM

    YOU WENT WRONG WHEN YOU EVEN COMPARED THE ALMiGHY YHWH WITH HARRY POTTER”S Voldemort???? lol

    • July 18, 2015 4:17 PM

      When you have LOL’ed enough, please come contact me with a non-All caps coherent sentence. 😉

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