Wright's introductory statement, 'I was once denounced from the pulpit of my mother's church . . . [by] the pastor of the first Baptist Church in Santa Rosa, California . . . ' (pg.3), becomes the under-girding for on of the most laughable, apostate and blasphemous works to date.
Moreover, the book itself is over 500 pages, thus, it is not possible to address the plethora of theological error contained therein.
While it is plausible that Wright's fairy-tale may have some historical value with regard to primitive tribes, at best, even that seems marginal.
When reading Chapter two, "polytheism, the Religion of Ancient Israel", subtitle, "God in the flesh" (pg.103), Wright begins by displaying his ignorance of Scripture application with a glaring attack on the Word of God as found in the King James Authorized Holy Bible. In Wright's quest to prove the God of Israel and Christianity "evolved" over a vast period of human history, Wright argues, "The Bible . . . talks more than once about a "divine council" in which God takes a seat . . ." (pg,105). Thus the Almighty God of Israel and Christianity (Bible Believers), is one among many gods.
Wright depicts God as a member of some heavenly council, based upon Gen. 1:26-27, specifically, "And God said, Let us make man in our image . . .' (vs.27).
Wright doesn't get it, and asks his readers, "Us? Who is Us?" (pg.105). Wright doesn't get it. He won't get it. He can't get it because, well, let the Apostle Paul explain, " . . . the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they spiritually discerned" (1Cor. 2:14). Thank you Apostle Paul!
Another reason why Wright does not get the "Us" of Gen. 1:26 and 17, is his use of apostate biblical sources. Because Wright does not speak Hebrew, Greek, or Arabic, Wright relied on the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible. And there you have it in a nut shell, the blind leading the blind (Lk. 6:39).
Wright's alleged scholarly thesis is derived from a Bible translation which relies upon two of the most corrupt manuscripts known to mankind, Codex Sinaiticus (Aleph), and Codex Vaticanus (B). Both manuscripts were available and rejected by the King James Bible translation Committee(s), (See: "A Note on Translation," pg.484, Wright).
Let us examine the "Us" of Gen. 1:26 and 27, that has Wright in a tailspin. The "Us" of Gen. 1:26 and 27 is, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. The God of Israel, Jehovah, is understood right from the beginning verse of Gen. 1:1 as a plurality. I am not refuting the fact that the nation of Israel strayed and worshipped "gods" which were idols. If fact, people worship all kinds of man and demonic made "gods", from money, homes, automobiles, to planets and people. Merely because one labels them "gods" does not make them the true God (". . . we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God but one." 1Cor. 8:4. See vss.3-6).
The Bible opens with, "In the beginning God . . ." (Gen. 1:1). The Hebrew word for God is "Elohim", a plurality. The "im" in Hebrew signifies a plural use of a word, e.g., Cherub (singular), and Cherubim (plural). Thus, Gen. 1:1 opens the Bible by giving notice to the reader that God is a plurality from the "beginning" when God created the heaven and earth. Not many "gods", but one who is plural in His divine nature, a tripartite God.
To further understand the plural nature of the one true God, a look at the Hebrew "Shema" will help. Deu. 6:4 reads, "Hear O Isreal: the LORD our God is one LORD." The Hebrew word used here for "one" is Echad = plural. However, the singular word for the Hebrew word is Yachid. One only need to compare the use of Echad (one), "plural" in Gen. 34:16; Ex. 24:3; 25:36; Jer. 32:39; Ez. 37:17; Gen. 1:5; Ezra 2:64; with the use of Yachid (singular) in Gen. 22:2,16; Judges 11:34; Prov. 4:3; Jer. 6:26; Amos 8:10; and, Zech. 12:10.
This same plurality of the divine Godhead can be seen in Zech. 12. In vs. 4 "saith the LORD" (Jehovah), the Lord speaking. Vs. 6 "I will". Vs. 7 "the LORD". Vs. 8 "the LORD". Vs. 9 "I will" the LORD. Vs. 10 "the Lord whom they have pierced" (Jn. 19:37 (See: Rev. 1:7)).
Never, ever, did a sound doctrine Jew or Christian ever believe Jehovah God was one of many gods who sat with other gods in a heavenly council. Isaiah prophesied, "Thus saith the LORD [Jehovah] the king of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God" (Isa. 44:6). How spiritually enlightening to know that Jesus Christ is God manifest in the flesh. Jesus Christ said, ". . . Fear not, I am the first and the last:" (Rev.1:17); (See: 1Tim. 3:16).
This concise critique of Wright's fairy-tale is well justified with a conclusion quoted from Wright's own introduction, as follows:
"How far I have fallen! . . . Now, nearly three decades
later, another Baptist Minister [is] placing me in the
general vicinity of Satan" (pg. 3).
Notes: This article first appeared in the Bethany Christian Digest, UK: 2010, authored by Brother Peter Paul Ventura, Jr. B.Th., M.Th.
Robert Wright, The Evolution of God (Little, Brown, Co., NY. 2009)