This blog is a reviewed and revised version of a 2017 blog of similar name..
This question arose in mind when I came across a video where Kent Hovind, the supreme Christian fundamentalist-evangelist answered the question, “where does God come from” by a slip-shod answer that God of the Bible exists outside time, space and matter. Kovind won thunderous applause for this answer.
Hovind pointed out that the Bible began with “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” which means time, space (heaven) and matter (earth) were created together, and the God of the Bible exists outside all the three. Like man who created the computer does not exist within the computer, nor is he a part of the computer, so does God exist outside time, space and matter.
Good argument. Never forget for a moment that Hovind is talking specifically about the God of the Bible; that his proof lies in the first holy sentence in the Bible. He quotes the Bible verbatim because that is the authority, full and final. There is no allegory here, just a statement of divine truth. God created the heaven and earth, which is the same as space and matter, and therewith began Time. Just as, to repeat, a person could create a computer its software and built-in calendar but would remain outside all the three.
“Outside space time and matter” is a phrase pirated from modern science that virtually denies God. Let us say Bible did mean the entire space by heaven and all the matter by earth. Let us pretend there is no matter outside the earth and for the moment take sides with the evangelist,
Now, God of the Bible had the shape of man, for it was in his form that he made man.
Gen 1:27. So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.
So God has nose, which couldn’t be for a show -but to smell (a sweet aroma of burnt flesh – Ex 29:18) and needs fresh air to breathe. He cannot bear anything unwashed or unhygienic – or even suffer one malformed like a hunchback or a dwarf near his altar. For whatsoever man he be that hath a blemish, he shall not approach: a blind man, or a lame, or he that hath a flat nose, or anything superfluous. He has eyes, so he has to have matter to see and to discriminate the perfect from the defective and the good from the bad (Lev. 21:16–23). Unlike a pagan god who might have eyes all around his head, this god has the same kind of eyes as man has – and hence can’t see behind him or beyond his line of vision – which is why he didn’t notice Eve being tempted. He actually fashioned man from dust like a piece of sand-art and breathed into his nostrils (Gen 2:7), again showing that God has lungs, windpipe and a mouth; he breathes, hence needs air and hence needs to live within an atmosphere pegged down by gravity.
God of the Bible surgically fashioned the woman from one of the man’s ribs, so he has hands to work with matter. He worked for six days, which means he was not outside of time because work is a function of time. There was no one out there to count the number of days; even the sun and the moon were created on the fourth day only although time came into being on day one. God counted the days abstractly without the movement of the sun for a benchmark. On the sixth day, just after ordering all the background stage, He created man with his own hands, by blowing breath into him, and surgically implanting a woman by his side. He made them both stark naked and ignorant. God got so tired that he had to take rest and decided that, as a strict norm at the risk of immediate murder, no man will work on that day. When God rested, he wanted man to rest and called the day the Sabbath. When an ignorant villager picked up sticks for firewood on a Sabbath, He had him killed for the crime (Numb. 15:32–35). You cannot find a more material God than the God of the Bible.
Quran, no doubt an off-shoot of the Bible, confirms that God sits on a throne on waters. (Q.11:7). While Quran does not say explicitly that God has the same form of man, A Hadith confirms it was so.
Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Allah created Adam in His image, and he was sixty cubits tall. When he created him he said, ‘Go and greet that group of angels who are sitting and listen to how they greet you, for that will be your greeting and the greeting of your descendants.’ So he said, ‘Al-salaamu ‘alaykum (peace be upon you),’ and they said, ‘Al-salaamu ‘alayka wa rahmat-Allah (Peace be upon you and the mercy of Allah.’ So they added (the words) ‘wa rahmat-Allah.’ Everyone who enters Paradise will be in the form of Adam, but mankind continued to grow shorter until now.” (Bukhari and Muslim)
Though Quran proclaims that We have sent down to you the Book as clarification for all things and as guidance and mercy and good tidings for the Muslims. (Q.16:89), Hadiths, which occasionally goes against the Quran itself, are supposed to further clarify matters and to set down laws which are not mentioned in the Quran itself.
Quran also tells us how Allah is carried on a throne on the judgment day:
Then on that Day, the Resurrection will occur, And the heaven will split [open], for that Day it is infirm. And the angels are at its edges. And there will bear the Throne of your Lord above them, that Day, eight [of them]. (Q. 69;15-16)
An all-pervading God would not need to be carried around.
The Biblical God also decided that man should have no knowledge of good and evil.
“Gen. 2:17 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”
God lies that they would die when they ate the fruit of knowledge, or perhaps He had not dared to try out the fruit himself. Perhaps God meant that the man would die someday. A wily serpent knew for sure that they would not die ‘if they ate the fruit of knowledge’. Alternatively, God exaggerated about the consequence being death because was He so jealous and possessive of his own knowledge of sexual pleasure. Why else would he furnish differential but complimentary and simultaneously excitable genitalia to Adam and Eve?
God knew, or at least believed, that man would become equal to him if he acquired:
- The knowledge of good and evil.
- Ate the fruit from the tree of eternal life.
Genesis 3:22 And the LORD God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat and live forever.”
Note the words “like one of us.” Who are us? Did God mean us as the royalty addresses itself? If that’s what God intended, then what did he mean one of us? God was one of the many Gods of his time. This God, tells the Holy Book, also had sons. (Gen.6: 1–4). That by sons Bible meant angels or some other entities wouldn’t wash: nowhere else in the Bible are angels or any other beings are described as sons of God in the Old Testament. In the New Testament, Jesus says God is the father of all, but refers to himself Son of Man. Jesus is the Son of God from Joseph descended by 75 generations from Adam (Luke 3:22–38).
God needed space and time for his movements. He discovered the disobedience of Adam and Eve only when he came to the garden of Eden to enjoy the cool breeze and found them decent. To protect his soldiers, he needed to patrol the surroundings of their camp to deliver them and to defeat their enemies – being a hands-on God, he couldn’t do it while sitting in his throne in the sky. God is prone to making mistakes (as creating man which he regretted – Gen 6:6, and then cursing the ground on account of man, which he promised never to do again Gen 8:22.
God is not above stepping on shit while he walks on night patrol like any human guard (Deut: 23–13).
As part of your equipment have something to dig with, and when you relieve yourself, dig a hole and cover up your excrement.
12″You shall also have a place outside the camp and go out there, 13and you shall have a spade among your tools, and it shall be when you sit down outside, you shall dig with it and shall turn to cover up your excrement. 14″Since the LORD your God walks in the midst of your camp to deliver you and to defeat your enemies before you, therefore your camp must be holy; and He must not see anything indecent among you or He will turn away from you.
All these sacred passages show that the God of the Bible has his limitations within space, matter and time. He was walking in the evening cool of the day in the garden of Eden (Gen 3:8) when he discovered that the duo had acquired the knowledge of good (nudity) and evil (sex). Incidentally, God is susceptible to the ecological elements – he loved the cool breeze in the garden he created.
God loved food, and till the day he got his own secretly begotten Son killed as a cannibal offering, he wanted goats, oxen and other animals fed to him as burnt offering and piece offering. Burnt offering is a sweet savor to God ((Num. 29:2) He appreciated Abel’s supply of butchered goods, but disliked Cain’s healthy and ethically produced vegetables and fruits. God is a carnivore (Gen 4: 3–5) who needed matter (meat) for his gourmet pleasure. God of the Bible is just a carnivorous glutton, a very earthly being.
God as a muscular, bearded old man surrounded by feminine angels (or actual females) might be a wild imagination of Michael Angelo, but the God that Isaiah saw was a human dictator seated on his royal throne, surrounded by cheer-leading underlings.
1 In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. 2 Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. 3 And they were calling to one another: “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.” (Isaiah, 6: 1-4)
God of the Bible, who is supposed to have dictated his own eulogies and the history of man to Moses never mentioned the millions of galaxies, of the difference between stars and planets or anything beyond the sun and the moon which He hung up in the sky for light in the day and night respectively. Instead he threatened that stars would fall on earth (Mark 13:25) when the end time comes which is an absolute impossibility; so he was woefully ignorant of cosmic facts. God was not aware that it was microbes that caused most diseases. God thought that the sky is a hard firmament and put his throne and 24 Elders above this sky (Revelation 4:4) , and actually rides astride a winged Cherub (Psalms 18:10). He did not even know that there was little or no gravity for him to sit firmly on his golden throne, nor air to breathe in the sky above – all of which, I’m sorry to say, are the signs of a primitive ignoramus who belongs to this very earthy matter and primitive time.
God was, of course, trying out Jacob whom he renamed Israel for winning over him in a night-long wrestling match, but the fact remains that he confessed he was not omnipotent.
He said, “Your name shall no longer be Jacob, but Israel; for you have striven with God and with men and have prevailed.” (Gen. 32:28).
God of the Bible emerges as a mean, jealous, vengeful, murderous, abusive, sex-obsessed vile human all through the Old Testament. Jesus, who was obviously man and suffered and cried (for he did not know that he was being sacrificed for his father’s pleasure and future redemption of believers the likes of Kent Hovind the flawless shepherd and his trusting flock of sheep) did try to correct the stupidity of his father by going over to the other side, demanding that his followers to turn the other cheek, not to fight injustice but wait till heaven arrives, to stay meek and poor for inheriting the kingdom and not to marry divorced women.
No, Mr. Kent Hovind, God of the Bible is not identical to the man who made a computer and lived outside it. He was a mean, mean human who was supposed to have built a house (earth) with a ceiling (heaven above) and lived on top of it, proudly proclaiming that “I’m a jealous God, my name is Jealous” (Ex. 34:14).
A God outside time space and matter could be the ‘formless, devoid of attributes and emotions” (Nirvana Shatikam, Adi Shankara) god of ancient Hindu philosophers who, for a living, soon yielded that lofty concept to those who built and worshiped thousands of gods and goddesses.
God of any religion is a creation of man – a vicious creation full of hatred and vengeance, promising to put enmity between man and his wife and between his children and her children (thereby expecting multiple marriages for both) and the son striking man and the man hitting the son (Gen.3;15), hence as fallible as man’s imagination. If there is one god, there is no reason why there can’t be several – the job of creation, maintenance and replacement should be unimaginably huge. The sole advantage of Monotheism – one lonely jealous God – is that, as Richard Dawkins once famously quoted, you need to knockout just one God and not too many gods to get at sensible, scientific and humanistic atheism.