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Was Jesus of Nazareth a Crypto-Atheist or an Enemy of (Lesser) Yahweh?

“Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” (“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”)

Mark 15:34

The synoptic gospels record that Jesus of Nazareth lamented that he was abandoned by his God. If this God could abandon Jesus despite affirming through theophany that Jesus is his son (as recorded in Matthew 3:17 and Matthew 17:5), can this God be trusted to not abandon followers of this Jesus? Was the lamentation of Jesus a warning to Jews (and his followers) not to worship the God of Abraham and David?

Weak theology argues that the God chosen as the God of Jesus of Nazareth is weak and incapable of saving human beings. In Death of God theology, this God died when Jesus made the above-quoted lamentation in which Jesus points out that the God of the Hebrew Bible is meaningless or undependable, and thus not fit to be worshiped or revered. In Gnosticism, the crucifixion of Jesus marked the end of Judaism as valid monotheism and the ushering in of a new monotheism. It thus argued that the above-quoted lamentation by Jesus was a complaint about the flight of the God of the Hebrew Bible as he abandoned his worshippers. The Gnostics argued that the God of Abraham ran away to make room for the incoming of a new more powerful God – the Christian God. It is for this reason that early Jewish Christian communities described the God of Abraham and Moses as the Lesser Yahweh and the God of Christianity as Greater Yahweh.

In the Gospel of Judas – a Gnostic Gospel – Yahweh incarnates on earth as Judas Iscariot and works to ensure that Jesus (who was sent by the Pleroma) does not achieve his mission in the world. We will come to this Gospel later. For now, let us consider the arguments made in Christian Atheism.

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