Wednesday, November 06, 2019

A dynamic deity …

… What Kind of God Is the God of the Jews? — Mosaic. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Diamond’s argument is spelled out most explicitly in a dense chapter on the meaning of God’s name. Here he points to Moses’ first encounter with God at the burning bush, where the prophet asks to be told His name and God answers with a Hebrew phrase that in its usual translation—“I am that I am”—seems to imply His transcendence and immutability.
But the Hebrew verbs, as Diamond points out, are cast in the future tense, “I shall be what I shall be,” suggesting a deity who “evolves” along with “His creation and His creatures.” This adumbrates a conception of God much closer to the mystical view later promoted by medieval kabbalists and their successors than to Maimonides’ perfect, immutable being; in fact, the two are almost complete opposites.

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