[L]et us remark that the very ancient world was entirely religious and godless. While men still lived in close physical  unison, like flocks of birds on the wing, in a close physical oneness, an ancient tribal unison in which the individual was hardly separated out, then the tribe lived breast to breast, as it were, with the cosmos, in naked contact with the cosmos, the whole cosmos was alive and in contact with the flesh of man, there was no room for the intrusion of the god idea. It was not until the individual began to feel separated off, not till he fell into awareness of himself, and hence into apartness; not, mythologically, till he ate of the Tree of Knowledge instead of the Tree of Life, and knew himself apart and separate, that the conception of a God arose, to intervene between man and the cosmos. The very oldest ideas of man are purely religious, and there is no notion of any sort of God or gods…

The Bible is full of the gods. Nay, even, the Jahveh of the Old Testament is all the gods, except the dying and redeeming gods. But surely the Jehovah of Genesis and Numbers, Samuel, Psalms, Isaiah, Ezekiel, surely he is all the gods in turn, Dionysic, Apollo-like, strange like Ra, and grim like Baal or Bel. You can’t make an idol to Jehovah because he has the qualities of all the ancient gods in turn, Ouranos or Kronos or Saturn, even the old Osiris, or the mysterious gods of the first Sumerians. He is One because he is all of them, not because he is different from any of them.  He does not sit absolute and apart, while all the other gods topple, mere fallen idols. He is in himself all the gods and all the idols, savage and fertile, and even he is all the unknown gods that are yet to come.

To me, it was an intense relief when I read a new translation and realised this. We have been brought to believe: If this God exists, One and Eternal, than none of the other gods exist, and all the rest is hollow. – But now, having really read the Bible as a book, not as a one-sided pronouncement, I realise the very truth of the Bible: If this God exits, One and Eternal, than all the other gods exists too. For all the gods are only ”sides” of the One God. We say of a man: Oh, you only know one side of him! – We can say the same of God. We only know one side of him, and a  very small side. If we are to know God well, we must know all the gods: which means knowing God on all possible sides.