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Not just any god, but the god that created Adam and Eve; the god of Abraham, the god of the Jews; the god of the Christians; and the god of Islam---without a doubt, the most influential figure in the history of human civilization. But what do we really know about him? Who is he? Where did he come from? What does he look like? What sort of character does he have? What, if anything, does he eat? Does he have a family? In what ways can he be said to even exist at all?
Alexander Waugh has been asking questions like these for as long as he can remember. Now, having drawn from an enormous range of sources, from the sacred books of the Torah, the Christian New Testament, and the Islamic Qur'an, from the Greek Apocrypha and the ancient texts of Nag Hammadi to the Dead Sea Scrolls, he has sought out the answers. Using material gleaned from the diverse writings of saints, rabbis, historians, prophets, atheists, poets, and mystics, he has molded his findings into a singular, striking biographical portrait of God.
Erudite, perceptive, and entertaining, God reveals many startling and unexpected characteristics of the divine being. From the simple stories of Genesis and Job, explored from God's own viewpoint, to the prophecies of Muhammad and Sybil and the intricate philosophies of Newton and Nietzsche, Alexander Waugh has left no stone unturned in his compulsive mission to create a fascinating and complex portrait of God, as humans have claimed to understand him.
George Sale (1734) The Book of Mormon (Salt Lake City, 1830) A Companion for the Festivals and Fasts of the Church of England (London, 1717) The Dead Sea Scrolls, ed. Geza Vermes (Harmondsworth, 1962) Doctrine and Covenants (Salt Lake City, 1835) Enuma Elish, tr. A. S. Heidel in The Babylonian Genesis: The Story of Creation (Chicago, 1946) The Mishnah, tr. J. Neusner (Yale, 1988) New Testament Apocrypha, ed. Wilhelm Schneemelcher (2 vols, Cambridge, 1991) Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, ed.
males, generation after generation must be circumcised, including slaves born within the household or bought from a foreigner not of your descent. My covenant must be marked in your flesh as a covenant in perpetuity. The uncircumcised male whose foreskin has not been circumcised must be cut off from his people for he has broken my covenant. (Gen. 17:11–14) Abraham removed his foreskin that very day, as well as the foreskins of all his household. 70 Circumcision. – Egyptian boys are depicted
men who have ejaculated (by whatever means) must immerse themselves in a mikveh before studying the Torah, and strict Jews are also of the opinion that a wife must count seven ‘clean days’ after her menstrual period has ended, followed by a total mikveh immersion before she may entertain herself and her husband in any further acts of sexual intercourse. These things are done in order to please God. 105 Major offence. – Tamar had a husband called Er who offended God, so the good Lord killed him.
preferred 60 to 10 has to do with their ancient way of counting. Using the fingers of the right hand they counted the joints, or phalanges, of each finger by pointing with the thumb. Thus the Sumerian was able, on market days, to haggle his way up to 12 using only his right hand. If a higher number were required he could raise the fingers of his left to count off the twelves. In this way, the number 39, for instance, could be shown by waving 3 fingers of the left hand (36) while the thumb of the
between Baghdad and the Persian Gulf) and may even have been their descendants. In the Babylonian Epic of Gilgemesh, Hell (Hades) is divided into seven sections, the pit of the interior was the seventh. In 597 BCE, the Babylonian King, Nebuchadnezzar, captured Jerusalem dragging thousands of Jews (Judaeans) back to Babylon. For several generations Jews were held there and forced to work on seventh days. Not surprisingly they detested the Babylonians, dreaming ruefully of one day smashing their