Why does God have drastically different temperaments between the Old and New Testament? When Marcion (85-160 AD) asked this question there was not a Christian Old Testament and there was certainly not a New Testament. It was actually Marcion who put together the first Christian Bible; which was of course rejected by the Church. Marcion was a student of Paul and looked upon the Apostle and his teachings in high regard. Maybe these very teachings led Marcion to ask the question; are these two different deities? How can we assimilate the God found in the Hebrew Scriptures with the God who sent Jesus?
Was Marcion on to something, but snuffed out because this idea would not sit well with the Church? The early church was a Jewish invention. Marcion was living during a time when presumably the Apostle John was still living. The Romans were killing members of the new cult of Christianity. It would be another 200 years before the Church would be considered Roman Catholic. While many of the leaders of the early Church were not Jewish; the Jewish founders were held in high esteem. This would be common sense as Jesus was a Jew along with his Apostles. Essentially Christianity was a new Jewish religion which eventually gave invitation to all people. To then say that there was two different Gods was blasphemy, and not for consideration.
I am not trying to be a Marcion apologist. Yet I do like to question everything. I do not want to focus so much on the Old Testament God rather specific verses which give us some clues as to the possibility of a universe with a variety of deities. It is obvious to any reader that the Old Testament God is one that uses violence and destruction without hesitation. Adam and Eve ate a cookie from the cookie jar and the penalty was death. I think most people find the story of the of Israel’s exodus from Egypt and their journey to the promise land to be the most vital in this examination of godly traits.
Was Yahweh the demiurge? Was he possibly in a spiritual war himself with the God of the New Testament? Humanity sure must be special that multiple God’s find us attractive. As the Old Testament states maybe we have become “like them.” “The man has now become like one of us.” (Genesis 3:22). Oops, that was a cosmic mistake to say the least; almost akin to humanity creating A.I. then realizing that we cannot put the cat back in the box.
We can look back a bit further and see the use of the plural word for God, when the plan to create humanity was hatched. “Let us make man in our mage” (Genesis 1:26) and of course the story of the tower of Babel, “Come, let us go down, and there confound their language.” (Genesis 11:7). Christians say that this is alluding to the Trinitarian God which the Roman Catholic Church decided upon during the First Council of Constantinople in 381 A.D. Jews will point to the plural representing the vast attributes of God. It took over 200 years pass the death of Marcion for the church to finally came to a conclusion on the Trinity. I think it is always good to remember that it was humanity that gave God most of his or her attributes.
Being a heretic is not always a bad thing. Jesus was a heretic to many Jewish leaders, Paul was a heretic to some within the early church, and Marcion dared to question the unquestionable and the label of heretic was placed upon him. Maybe the Romans and their plurality of Gods and the Jewish sons of God’s; Elohim and their half god half human offspring the Nephilim (Genesis 6:1-4) have more in common than we think. Monotheism is a new strange idea in the grand scheme of things. If Marcion is correct in some of his observations maybe he is the greatest monotheist of them all. He believed in one superior God among many lesser gods; the great El; after all, many Christians today worship, a King of Kings and Lord of Lords.