Uncommon Sense

July 27, 2021

The Conundrum of A Chosen People

Filed under: Culture,History,Reason,Religion — Steve Ruis @ 8:22 am

When I was young I wondered, just a little, about the idea of a chosen people. In the Jewish-Christian narrative Adam and Eve were “the first people” but then there were those folks off where Seth and Cain found wives, so it is a bit confusing, but these are not the “chosen people” per se as they are all wiped out in the Great Flood, which is roughly 1600+ years after Adam and Eve’s birthing. Yahweh makes a covenant with Noah that he will not again wipe out all of humanity, but that doesn’t make Noah and his offspring Yahweh’s chosen people, I think that doesn’t happen until Abraham comes along about 420 years later. The Abrahamic covenant is the one that makes Abraham and his descendents Yahweh’s chosen people. But then, I could be wrong.

Still, the idea of a chosen people seems wrong. Two thousand years of the 6000 year history of people (according to the Biblical narrative) pass before Yahweh decides to implement the policies regarding the Hebrews being his chosen people? Why? Why then and why the Hebrews?

If I were going to pick a people to concentrate my effect upon from 4000 years ago it wouldn’t be an obscure people in an obscure corner of the world. What was Yahweh’s point? Did he not want to rule over the entire world? Did he not want to be recognized as the one and only god? Why the Hebrews? Better would have been the Egyptians or the Chinese. More developed, more of them, better in every way to spread the word of the powerful and mighty god, Yahweh.

Is great puzzlement!

But fundamentally, why a chosen people? How does it make you feel that you are not one of the chosen? How does it make you feel when you find out that the chosen people has two sets of rules: one for insiders, one for the rest of us. The chosen people are forbidden to kill insiders, but Yahweh orders the Hebrews to kill all of the outsiders where he wants to plant his chosen people. They not only can kill them without penalty, but Yahweh rewards them for doing so! Yahweh created almost an entire world of second-class people, by adopting the Hebrews as his chosen people.

The really perplexing thing is: why just the one? Why not dozens of chosen peoples? Surely and all-knowing, all-powerful being with tens of thousands of supernatural messengers could handle a dozen chosen people. But then why not all of us, why exclude anyone from his favor?

A “Jesus character,” for example, could show up and work his wiles in many, many places. If Jesus is actually god, as Trinitarians claim, Jesus could perform that role all over the world himself.

This is so perplexing, it almost seems as if the chosen people came up with the idea that they had been chosen to bolster their own egos (yes, Church Lady, they are “Special”). But if those people made that up, well religions all over the world would show signs of being made up by the people who felt special to have the attention of a god. And if that were true, surely human one-upmanship would result in some groups having more than one god, eventually leading to other groups having many gods. (I have more gods than you, neener, neener.) Wouldn’t it? Gosh, it does seem kind of like that, doesn’t it?



  1. The same thoughts danced through my head as a young kid, and then when I thought about how far Australia was from everything I figured we’d be lucky if Yhwh even knew we existed.

    Liked by 5 people

    Comment by john zande — July 27, 2021 @ 10:37 am | Reply

  2. Reblogged this on Nan's Notebook and commented:
    Steve asks some GREAT questions. Anyone care to offer some insights?

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Nan — July 27, 2021 @ 12:01 pm | Reply

  3. We are not Jewish, but my mother always said Jews must be the chosen people as they are so good at everything! Even after losing such great potential in the holocaust it does seem many great scientists, doctors and musicians are Jewish, to the benefit of all of us. Perhaps a very long term plan by God!

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by tidalscribe.com — July 27, 2021 @ 12:59 pm | Reply

    • Uh, that cultural result is probably from a centuries long ban on European Jews from owning property, the #1 aspect of wealth. Since they were banned from owning property and even herded into neighborhoods they couldn’t live outside of (the original ghettos), Jews wishing to succeed, took up trades (tailor, grocer, etc.), professions (doctor, lawyer, professor, etc.), and bankers/money lenders. Since these were the only avenues to success, adaptable Jews made a virtue out of their pursuits (My son, the doctor!)

      If this were the plan of a deity, using racial prejudice and discrimination is a poor action plan. Couldn’t a little nudge do? (Yahweh wants you to go into law, Schlemihl. Yes, Rabbi, sounds good to me.)

      Liked by 3 people

      Comment by Steve Ruis — July 27, 2021 @ 1:06 pm | Reply

  4. No god was ever in advance of the nation that created him.
    Robert Green Ingersoll. The Gods / From ‘The Gods and Other Lectures’ (Kindle Locations 142-143).

    I also read that “If a triangle invented a god it would be triangular.” I don’t remember who to blame for that, but it is true. Every nation creating their god gives it all the attributes of their best people: physical, emotional, intellectual, and moral.


    Comment by cagjr — July 27, 2021 @ 1:26 pm | Reply

    • Mr. Ingersoll is ever so quotable. There was also a line that if horses had gods they would appear as horse. Don’t remember who said it first.


      Comment by Steve Ruis — July 29, 2021 @ 11:45 am | Reply

  5. (presumes to be the Devil’s Advocate against Steve…)

    Oh Steve… Steve, Steve, STEVE!!!

    When will you learn that after some 4,000–6,000 years since the first traces of a Monotheistic God—that later Fathered the names Yahweh, God, and Allah and their THREE distinct natures—is MORE THAN enough time for their Followers to invent never-ending “rebuttals” to the never-ending plethora of theological holes, contradictions, fictions, and flaws… to REINVENT the imperfect religion back into a perceived “perfect,” one-and-only “True” religion. Well, until the next theological hole, contradiction, fiction, and flaw needs repair, AGAIN!

    ColonStrom, whoops, or rather ColorStorm (meowing) is one of MANY prime examples of an eternally perpetual game of theological Whack-A-Mole and non-stop hop-scotch jigs to plug their own leaks & holes. (Crack! “Oh no! There’s another one!”) 😄

    But that circus merry-go-round they consciously and unconsciously play with us can never gain what’s needed: pure empirical truth that secular humanity constantly finds in science. Questioning everything, until a century (or less) all necessary answers & truths are found, tested, retested, and established. Then we move on to the next set of solvable mysteries and achieve more higher knowledge. We see this to be the case, for the most part, for the last 200,000 years of history, albeit very slow at times. But nonetheless, transgenerationally for the secular scientific minds… truth, facts, and tested/retested knowledge become more and more refined. This stronger enlightenment leads to further intellectual expansion. 🙂

    The problem humanity STILL HAS, sadly enough, is in this day and age Earth has too many blind-faithers who still cling to antiquated, ancient myths, legends and fairy-tales that are stagnating, impeding, humanity’s faster progress. Period. Let’s meditate together that those ancient, antiquated paradigms go extinct soon, VERY SOON! 😉

    Great stuff though Steve! Great questions!

    Liked by 4 people

    Comment by Professor Taboo — July 27, 2021 @ 1:38 pm | Reply

    • I just seem to see questions that I haven’t encountered before and want to share them with you all. :o)

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by Steve Ruis — July 28, 2021 @ 1:40 pm | Reply

  6. So who chose God to choose a chosen people when most of the world’s unchosen never heard of the chooser? It seems to me that something that arbitrary is more accurately called FATE.


    Comment by mistermuse — July 27, 2021 @ 1:54 pm | Reply

  7. If the Jews are the chosen people how come the most famous Jew of the lot is never mentioned in their own history?
    It’s like talking about basketball and omitting any mention of Michael Jordan, or discussing the Civil Rights Movement and not mentioning Martin Luther King.

    As far as THAT Jew is concerned it’s like having a Where’s Waldo book and he simply isn’t there.

    Liked by 5 people

    Comment by Ark — July 27, 2021 @ 4:18 pm | Reply

    • If the Jews are the chosen people how come the most famous Jew of the lot is never mentioned in their own history?

      Because that “most famous Jew of the lot” (by Greco-Roman standards and its own Canonical manuscripts was umm, surprise surprise, ROMAN)… not at all Jewish/Hebrew and merely a radical Rabbi/Reformer. Christ (which is purely Greek/Hellenistic) was not Messianic in the true Second Temple Period sense. This is proven by the fact that there exists no Mishnaic-Hebrew or Syro-Aramaic testaments of what Yeshua bar Yosef actually taught or spoke publicly. No surprise, there are only Greco-Roman (Hellenistic) scriptures remaining. Well, until the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered and other later time-period papyrus. 😉

      Your Michael Jordon and Martin Luther King metaphors are excellent Ark! Where’s Waldo-the-Christ? Nowhere. He never existed. Where is Yeshua bar Yosef? Well, now THAT is a most OUTSTANDING question and search all modern Christians should constantly ask! They should also resiliently go find him… because he and his 1st-century CE Jewish Sect can indeed be found! 😁

      Liked by 2 people

      Comment by Professor Taboo — July 27, 2021 @ 6:03 pm | Reply

      • Saul of Tarsus is another one conspicuous by his absence.

        Meanwhile … somewhere in Jerusalem…..

        ”Oi! Are you the People’s Front of Judea? Have any of you bunch of pathetic reprobates seen some bloke called Marcion around ‘ere? We’ve got a bone to pick wiv ‘im!”

        Liked by 1 person

        Comment by Ark — July 28, 2021 @ 3:40 am | Reply

        • Hah! Another great point Ark. 😉

          You may remember my 5-part series Saul the Apostate where I address exactly this Roman hijacking of a Second Temple Period Jewish Messianic concept. Remember? Especially in Part IV I wanted to convey Saul’s/Paul’s Herodian & Hellenistic background being victorious over Palestinian Judaism & Jesus’ (Yeshua bar Yosef’s) reforms for a truer Temple worship, something that often clashed with Roman Provincial norms for Syria-Palestine.

          The title “Saul of Tarsus” doesn’t really get to the heart of describing “Paul’s” origins, nor WHY he suddenly becomes THE singular MAIN protagonist of the Roman Canonical New Testament and the newly growing movement of the Greco-Roman Catholic Church.

          Using strictly a Greco-Roman lens to examine all the evidence of his very mysterious, DUBIOUS origins will not provide an exhaustive, accurately contextual background of Saul’s/Paul’s entrance into the Greco-Roman narrative—versus the truer one of Jewish Late Second Temple Period origin—of the NEW rising Roman Catholic Church. If one sticks biasedly and strictly to Greco-Roman sources, as most modern Evangy-Fundy Faithers constantly choose to do, then the wider, truer, more factual “Saul of Tarsus” will never manifest. To deny the wider extant historical sources, i.e. multiple Jewish sources of the time-period as well as earliest Roman Catholic sources,* we only see what the later Roman Catholic Church Fathers wanted us to see. But going outside of Greco-Roman sources we discover why Saul of Tarsus was actually deeply loathed (hated?) by Palestinian Jews and even the new reformed group of Judeo-Christians outside of Jerusalem (Qumran-influences?, John the Baptist, etc.) at the time, e.g. James the Brother, Peter, and Barnabas.

          Furthermore, there is more that cannot be ignored about Saul’s/Paul’s origins, background, and 1st-century associations at the time of and soon after his presumed/supposed “Conversion to: “The Way” by the Christ-Movement,” on the road to Damascus. Next, his Benjamite lineage is untraceable—no evidence at all the Tribe of Benjamin was in Cilicia or near Tarsus. Next, how and why he obtained Roman Citizenship and most dubiously his connections with Roman aristocracy in Cilicia (today Turkey) and Palestine, particularly Jerusalem and Caesarea all contribute to why Palestinian Sectarian Jews (opposed to contamination of their Temple) simply hated Saul/Paul. Consider his own words, that are not 100% unanimously considered verbatim, precisely Paul’s words through layers of translations:

          10 Drishat Shalom to Apelles, approved in Moshiach. Drishat Shalom to those from the household of Aristobulus.

          11 Drishat Shalom to Herodion, my kinsman. Drishat Shalom to those of the household of Narcissus who are in Adoneinu.

          –Romans 16:10-11, Orthodox Jewish Bible

          Here, Paul refers to his “kinsman Herodion,” i.e., “The Littlest Herod” (the son of the Roman Governor Felix and the Herodian Princess Drusilla, killed in the eruption of Vesuvius at Pompeii)—whom he introduces with an allusion to another person with a name popular among Herodians, “Aristobulus,” i.e., “the Household of Aristobulus” in Romans 16:10. The “Aristobulus” referred to here may or may not be the “Aristobulus the son of Agrippa I’s brother Herod of Chalcis”—the husband of that Salome who plays such a key role, according to Gospel portrayals, in the death of John the Baptist—both of whom advertise themselves on the reverse of their Lesser Armenian Kingdom coinage in “Asia” what “Great Lovers of Caesar” they were! Plus, there’s more…

          That Paul has powerful relatives of this status in Jerusalem with a direct entree to the Roman Governor and their Praetorian Soldiery is made crystal clear too in Acts 23:16 which refers—following his rescue by Roman Troops at the Temple preceding this—to the role his “nephew” (“his sister’s son”) played in this quick rescue while declining to specifically name him in order to cloak his Herodian ties!

          Connect all these dots and you have to seriously ask the question “Was Saul A Herodian-Jew and NOT AT ALL a Pharisaic-Jew as the canonical New Testament portrays?” Personally, I say yes. There’s sufficient evidence to conclude how and why Saul/Paul suddenly becomes Christianity’s singular protagonist and the Father of Rome’s form of an Empire’s religion, and nothing at all what a Jewish rabbi-reformer Yeshua bar Yosef intended.


          * – Sources: Pseudoclementines, The Ascents of Jacob (Kabbalah), Epiphanius of Salamis’ work Panarion, and key parts of Josephus’ Antiquities

          P.S. Apologies Steve for the length here, but I feel this is critical info to reflect not just the unreliability of the later created Greco-Roman Canonical New Testament, but also to differentiate the chasm between Saul of Tarsus (Paul) and the actual Yeshua bar Yosef (Jesus). This turns upside down the very foundation of Christendom. Period. 🙂

          Liked by 2 people

          Comment by Professor Taboo — July 28, 2021 @ 3:55 pm | Reply

          • Is it possible that he is a fabrication from ‘Whole Cloth’ or a psuedonomynous character for Marcion to play off?
            I’ve read that ‘Paul’s’ letters were originally ‘found’ (collected) by Marcion and handed to the church.
            I realise this creates other issues regarding dating etc, but I think Robert Price has speculated he may have simply been a made up character. (I haven’t read his book on Paul).

            Liked by 1 person

            Comment by Ark — July 30, 2021 @ 6:40 am | Reply

            • I have and it is possible that Paul was fabricated. Possible doesn’t mean probable, of course. I find it amazing that people are so offended by the idea that these characters may be imaginary when, there are so very many examples of just that: Odin, Zeus, Asherah, etc. This is the “All of their gods are imaginary, mine is real” syndrome.

              Liked by 3 people

              Comment by Steve Ruis — July 30, 2021 @ 7:45 am | Reply

              • Well, history is so often about probabilities, is it not? 🙂

                Many adults who have been raised in this stuff must find it difficult to shrug off and walk away from.
                It is, in effect, like admitting one has been made to look and sound like a chump .

                Seth Andrews has a great video out titled Christianity made me talk like an idiot.
                Worth a watch of you haven’t seen it.

                Liked by 1 person

                Comment by Ark — July 30, 2021 @ 8:45 am | Reply

                • Saw it, very good.

                  I admit to finding all of this stuff fascinating. My partner shakes her head at the level of my interest, but as an educator, I find large numbers of people believing nonsense to be problematic. I need to have a polo shirt (I don’t wear tee shirts) made up with the logo: Religion–Together We Can Find a Cure.

                  Liked by 3 people

                  Comment by Steve Ruis — July 30, 2021 @ 8:59 am | Reply

                  • I suspect wearing it out in public would quickly attract some of those who ‘don’t read so good’ and before you know it someone will ask you: ”Do you know Jesus?”
                    The correct response should be: ”My gardener? Yeah, of course I do!”

                    Liked by 2 people

                    Comment by Ark — July 30, 2021 @ 9:05 am | Reply

            • Ark —

              Fabrication? Definitely possible; perhaps probable. Many if not most all of the “Greco-Roman” version of Yeshua bar Yosef, i.e. the Greek-Hellenistic Jesus Christ of the Greek manuscripts, are Greco-Apotheosis paradigms anyway. To say that is no stretch at all if one fully understands the long history of Greek Apotheosis that Romans eventually incorporated into their socioreligious lives as well. But say that to a radical Evangy-Fundy Faither and they’ll immediately have an aneurysm. 😄

              Why a conniption fit? Because 1) they take their Greco-Roman canonical New Testament literally as Direct Revelation from God’s own mouth, and 2) they rarely, if at all, examine ANYTHING of the time-period that isn’t Early Roman Catholic Patristic in name, authority, and nature. In fact Ark, and you probably already know this, ask a modern day Christian Faither™ “Who was Marcion?” and they cannot tell you anything at all about him. Yet, Marcion was a HUGE integral part of earliest Judeo-Christianity; however, Marcion is primarily responsible for the eventual rupture from and antithesis of any further Jewishness in the NEW purely Greco-Roman religion. IOW, Marcion is the son (or grandson) of full-on Roman anti-Semitism that was already present & simmering in the Eastern Empire. Astonishingly, today’s Christians have no real clue about this critical history of their own Faith! 😯🤦‍♂️

              Sorry for going a bit tangent there Ark, but yes, your question is quite plausible when one also fully understands Saul’s/Paul’s background and origins—which in my studies & research are NOT at all Pharisaic (of the tribe of Benjamin), but instead more likely Herodian Jew, as I alluded to above and in my 5-part Saul series. When equitably examining ALL of the relevant evidence (multiple disciplines), Marcion’s ego fits perfectly with the character of Saul/Paul of Tarsus, which begat the entire distortion and hijacking of Late Second Temple Sectarian Judaism (i.e. Syro-Palestinian Judaism vs. Overseas Hellenistic (Diaspora) Judaism), Yeshua’s/Jesus’ rabbinical reforms… and making it wholly Greco-Roman so more & more Gentiles would recognize it and embrace it—which further unites, solidifies an already destabilizing, volatile Roman Empire.

              Hope that all makes sense. 🙂

              Liked by 1 person

              Comment by Professor Taboo — July 30, 2021 @ 1:36 pm | Reply

              • I don’t mean to take away from Steve’s blog, but PT, you really should visit Jim’s blog (The Common Atheist) — in particular the post entitled Facebook and Friends. There is a “know-it-all” totally sold-out “Godly” Christian (TEP) that I think you would love to spar with.

                Liked by 1 person

                Comment by Nan — July 30, 2021 @ 1:53 pm | Reply

                • Mmmm, some fresh Chrissian shark-chum to nibble on, tear, and devour, huh? 😉

                  I will hop over there at some point. Given 2020 & COVID, then the ripple-effects from that global nightmare caused… in which it carried over into this year—not to mention that if an American lives in a deeply entrenched Red State (typically in the South or Midwest) as I do—many life priorities and “free-time” shift in MAJOR ways. 🥴 As a result of this widespread politicized denialism by non-experts in power/authority positions… if the Delta variant infections keep trending skyward, a repeat of 2020 and 5-6 different COVID infection waves, my free-time to spar with those “Godly” people with horse-blinders has become null and void for me. It just isn’t a priority in the much bigger picture, if you get my drift.

                  But I’ll try, though short as it might be. 🙂 ❤️


                  Comment by Professor Taboo — July 30, 2021 @ 2:53 pm | Reply

                  • T’was just a suggestion. You can only do what you can do.

                    Liked by 1 person

                    Comment by Nan — July 30, 2021 @ 2:59 pm | Reply

                    • I know Ma’am. My heart and hunger for expanded enlightenment and historical education OUTSIDE of 2,000 year old antiquated traditional norms… wants to do it and do it often! :/ But as much as my impulses tell me “Go do it! Go do it!” like a fine brandy or stout margarita (with Presidente brandy in it) sit in front of me within arms reach, HAH!… my brain and discipline say otherwise. I will indeed try though. Thank you Nan. 🙂

                      Liked by 1 person

                      Comment by Professor Taboo — July 30, 2021 @ 3:04 pm

                    • Ahh, I see now you are indeed following my discussion with TEP336. Now… is our infamous friend Arkesatan following as well? Ya know, he too gets me thrown into the oceans of Evangy-Fundy hurricanes with no swim-trunks on!!! 😉

                      Liked by 1 person

                      Comment by Professor Taboo — July 31, 2021 @ 2:42 pm

              • It would be nice if there were something more concrete regarding Marcion/Paul to latch on to, but I suspect one would be slapped with the old absence of evidence trope if one were to wave such a heretical theory among the faithful.
                T’was ever thus!
                However, if you fancy a good old toe to toe with a bunch of Catholic Philosophy wannabes I know just the place! 🙂
                Just say the word.

                Liked by 1 person

                Comment by Ark — July 30, 2021 @ 2:26 pm | Reply

                • Haha! Ark, between you and Nan throwing me in with no swim-trunks on I could swim in an OCEAN of Christian-theolgian-wannabes! 😛 Talk about an eternal loop of Whack-A-Mole…. Jebus H. Christmas and all the squealing animals I’d never get anything done!!! 😉


                  Comment by Professor Taboo — July 30, 2021 @ 3:50 pm | Reply

  8. More like this: [image: image.png]

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by gfbrandenburg — July 27, 2021 @ 4:38 pm | Reply

  9. Nice to know I am not the only one with the same questions. To many questions, and I feel not enough answers………..

    Liked by 2 people

    Comment by Rhonda — July 27, 2021 @ 11:41 pm | Reply

    • I was shocked when I began to research my religion and found that many of the questions I had were stated many, many centuries ago . . . and still haven’t been answered. I am trying to take a step back and look at things with fresh eyes. For example, the Great Flood story is clearly not possible, so it is a fictional account (whether it was based in a real flood or not, is irrelevant). The fictional aspects were written by people who felt that the murder of 99.999999% of all humans, and all of the animals, fished, plants, trees, etc. somehow put their god into a good light. You think a real god would have better PR.

      Liked by 3 people

      Comment by Steve Ruis — July 29, 2021 @ 11:47 am | Reply

  10. There you are, a tiny unnoticeable human being, wanting to be better than others will allow you to be. They all have pantheons of gods, a god for this and a god for that. So how do you make yourself noticeable, standing out amongst the crowds. You invent a god who can do everything, one who needs no help, one who can count the flappings of a butterfly’s wings while at the same time counting the grains of sand on the shore of the Mediterranean Sea and the number of stars in the night sky all at the same time. Obviously this one God is far better than the rest, no matter how good they are. And, of course, this God is your god. You are his chosen person, because you invented him. But if you die, what then? No, you have to give this God a whole bunch of people so he will always be around. So you of course choose the people who are like you, your friends and relatives, to be the chosen people. How could it be otherwise!
    Your question about the biblical world being in such a tiny part of the entire world, which is an infinitesimal bit of the the enire universe, is the biggest proof there is that God is man-made. That world was only as big as what was known at the time by the people He choose to represent. Funny, that! An all-knowing God not knowing about Europe, or Asia, or especially not the Western Continents which had to be discovered by a mere mortal! How could any self-respecting God not know about Aztecs and Apache and Inuk peoples? And how the hell did they become Indians when they were nowhere near India.
    That was a crock of shit, just as was the One True God.

    Liked by 2 people

    Comment by rawgod — July 28, 2021 @ 11:25 am | Reply

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