I've always felt that the Old Testament God was much cooler. This is mostly due to the following:

Yes, God is actively engaged in taking bribes from people, in exchange for entry into Heaven! Blasphemy!

Well, my carpal's acting up again... feel free to /msg me with corrections, thoughts, praise, worship...

This proves the dichotomous nature of Christianity. Which God do you worship? I have to say I'm partial (while still taking the Old Testament into account) to the New Testament God myself, as embodied by Christ. Plus, I think God is on a different track right now. I've fucked up many times in my life, and done un-Christian things but have not been killed or horribly punished.

I was thinking about this recently in my philosophy class. My professor pointed out how bizarre George W. Bush was when answering Barbara Walters question of: "Will your faith interfere with policy decisions?" His response was something along the lines of, "I am a Christian, and will use that when governing, but no I won't let it interfere with decisions like war and peace."

Setting aside the fact that Bush appears to not think before he speaks, how can this make sense? The only way I could rationalize his statement was to think that Bush must believe in both Gods, Old Testament and New Testament equally. How does he do it? Or maybe he just doesn't think about it.

The idea that the God of the OT and that of the NT are markedly different in character is not new. Which you personally think is "cooler" is, of course, conditioned by your own preferences. This assumes, as I think is safe given the title of this node, you define the word "cool"in the sense of "excellent" and not as "lacking heat." A discussion involving the latter definition would prove quite interesting indeed. In any event, I present two viewpoints for the noder interested in making up his/her own mind on the topic.

  1. The Gnostics believed (believe) that the god of the OT is, in fact (and in short), an insane yet powerful spirit named Yaldabaoth, who has selfishly called creation into being for the purpose of amusing himself. Christ, the sort of second in command of the actual God (a kind of Neoplatonic ideal deity who does not get his hands dirty) was sent to infiltrate creation for the purpose of informing people (in reality, trapped souls, ripped maliciously from the pleroma) of their true, divine origin. Armed with this knowledge, the Gnostic faithful will depart from existence upon their deaths, instead of being recycled into new bodies. Given this schema, we must assume that the NT god is cooler, as he is infinite in all things, while Yaldabaoth must, by definition, be less cool.
  2. Friedrich Nietzsche takes the opposite view, as he explains in Beyond Good and Evil, section 52. To his mind, the OT is the superior work because it represents a powerful expression of divine justice, while the NT is full of things for the "small-souled" man--the concept of grace, for example. He says, for example, "With terror and reverence one stands before these tremendous remnants of what man once was, and will have sad thoughts about ancient Asia and its protruding little peninsula Europe, which wants by all means to signify as against Asia the "progress of man." To the Nietzschean, postmodern mind, then, the NT god offers a contemptible, sickly sweet avenue of man's redemption; while the OT god metes reward to the deserving and punishment for the lacking. The OT god is thus the cooler of the two.
I’d certainly say that the Old Testament God was more macho, which seems to associate well with being cool. Gangsta-rappers are cool. The Salvation Army may be good, but it ain’t cool.
The OT God was very much aware of the coolness level of his homeboys, and didn’t let them take any shit from no one. In Kings 2 Chapter 2, when Elisha, an Old Testament prophet, was walking in the direction of Bethel, the following happened:

23 : And he went up from thence unto Bethel: and as he was going up by the way, there came forth little children out of the city, and mocked him, and said unto him, Go up, thou bald head; go up, thou bald head.

Now, as we said, The Lord don’t let his homies take no such crap (for being called a bald-head was probably very offensive), so:

24 : And he turned back, and looked on them, and cursed them in the name of the LORD. And there came forth two she bears out of the wood, and tare forty and two children of them.

This seems to imply that calling one of The Big Guy’s gang a baldhead entails terrible punishment. Just to make sure, however, I went to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary and checked what to “tare” means. It reads:

to ascertain or mark the tare of; especially : to weigh so as to determine the tare

Where Something’s tare seems to mean:

a deduction from the gross weight of a substance and its container made in allowance for the weight of the container; also : the weight of the container

So I figure that is really cool – some kids offend your friend, so you get two she bears to walk out of the woods and weigh them to see what they’re lacking to make room for their containers. Sounds like an exciting metaphor to checking the children’s supplication to the temptations of their flesh, or something. Alas, checking the original text (Hebrew) seems to show that the person translating Kings 2 (in this case, King James Version) did not surf to www.m-w.com before using the term “tare”, and that the kids did get ripped to shreds.

Yes blaaf, I know The Bible both in English and in Hebrew, I knew where to find these blessed quotes, and I needed to go to Merriam-Webster to find out what "tare" meant here. Exactly :-)

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