In one place of the Hebrew Scriptures, the God of Israel forbids his followers from mentioning the name of other gods («Don’t call on the names of other gods. Don’t even mention them»- Exodus 23:13). But, elsewhere, the Hebrew authors freely mention the names of other gods (1 Samuel 7:3; 1 Samuel 12:10; 1 Kings 11:5; Amos 5:26; Judges 6:25; 1 Kings 16:31; 1 Kings 18:26-27; 2 Kings 10:18; Jeremiah 7:7; Hosea 13:1-2; etc). In fact, the Hebrew Scripture states that God himself commanded Eliyah to make mention of other god: «But the Lord’s messenger said to Elijah from Tishbe, “Go, intercept the messengers of Samaria’s king, and ask them, ‘Is it because there’s no God in Israel that you are going to question EKRON’S GOD BAAL-ZEBUB?»- 2 Kings 1:3. How do we explain this [apparent] contradiction? The answer, is very simple: Exodus 23:13 means that a person cannot claim to follow the Hebrew religion, while at the same time placing his trust in any other God besides יהוה [the God of Israel, blessed be He]. It is indeed true that Eliyah is quoted acknowledging that Baal was a pagan god («And they took the bullock which was given them, and they dressed it, AND CALLED ON THE NAME OF BAAL from morning even until noon, saying, O BAAL, HEAR US … and it came to pass at noon, that Elijah mocked them, and said, CRY ALOUD: FOR HE IS A GOD; either he is talking, or he is pursuing, or he is in a journey, or peradventure he sleepeth, and must be awaked»- 1 Kings 18:27); but Eliyah never acknowledged Baal as his personal God! [in other words, Eliyah’s trust wasn’t placed in Baal, but in יהוה]. So, the Hebrew believers can indeed make mention of other gods (Krishna, Jesus, Allah, etc). What they can never do, is to make then their own gods; How? by calling upon their names for help, for comfort, or for deliverance. Why can’t they do it? Simply because there’s no true deliverer, other than יהוה, as it is written: «I, even I, am יהוה (Adonai Yah); and BESIDE ME, THERE IS NO SAVIOUR»- Isaiah 43:11.
“First, make sure you get rid of the big swine that spoils your faith; then, you can begin boasting about how strict you are in getting rid of the little mosquito”
If the Hebrew Scripture (the Law) teaches something, and the Gospel teaches the opposite, then it is the Gospel [and not the Law] the one who is at fault. Why? Simply because it is the Gospel, the one claiming to be the fulfillment of the Law [and not the other way around]. Thus, if the Law teaches that God is no man (Numbers 23:19), and the Gospel teaches the opposite (that God is indeed the man named Jesus, according to Titus 2:13), then the Gospel is wrong; as it doesn’t “fulfill” what was previously said [and taught] by the Law [which is the argument upon which the alleged validity of the Gospel stands].
The message contained in the Hebrew Scriptures, isn’t any Man, any Nation, nor any Religion. It isn’t the Nation of Israel, nor is it the Jewish, the Christian, or the Muslim religion. It isn’t he Gentile Nations, nor Abraham, Moses, Jesus, nor Muhammad (peace be upon them all). Neither it is some particular prophet. The Hebrew Scriptures message, is that God made the universe, and arranged it so as to follow the law of “sowing and reaping” (“measure for measure”, or “action and reaction”). In practical terms, this law means that every single man will eventually reap the same measure of goodness (or evil) he has sown. Therefore, man must depart from all sort of evil, and start doing unto his fellow human beings, the same goodness he would like others do unto him. And the Hebrew Bible summarizes this idea in the verse that goes on to say: “Depart from evil, and do good, and you will abide forever (that is, you will earn everlasting life)”- Psalm 37:27
The Hebrew Scripture says: “Thus saith the Lord, the King of Israel, and his redeemer the Lord of hosts; I am the first (because I have no father), and I am the last (because I have no Son); and beside me there is no God (because I have no brother)”- Isaiah 44:6. And it says in another place: “See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god with me (in other words, there’s no one inside of me, who could claim to be my equal)”- Deuteronomy 32:39
Things are not madness just because they don’t make sense; they are madness because they are disconnected from reality [even if they are absolutely logical!]. For example, if a lady claims she wants to protect her hair from the rain that is currently pouring, she makes a logical claim. But, if she makes that claim while traveling inside an airliner, during a commercial flight from NY to Paris, her claim should be considered a sort of Hallucination.
Something similar happens when the apostle Paul (peace and blessings be upon him) claims that the Almighty expected the perfect obedience to the 613 commandments comprising the Law. Why is this a deranged idea? Simply because the Law forbids most Jews from keeping dozens of it’s own commandments. In other words, many of the commandments where aimed at specific individuals. Some of them were meant to be obeyed only by the members of the Sanhedrim (the Jewish Supreme court); others only by the High Priest [and the Levites]; Some of them were meant to be obeyed only by the current King [like the King’s duty to write his own Torah scroll]; others were meant to be obeyed by the judges, as they were instructions concerning the destruction of the 7 nations from Canaan, as well as the details regarding who should [and who shouldn’t] be banish into a city of refugee; others commandments were instructions to the High Priest, concerning the rites and sacrifices he ought to performed during the Yom Kippur [day of atonement] service; still another group of commandments, had to do with the food allowed to the members of the High priest family; or the kind of women the high priests could legally marry [the Law allowed the levite to marry a widow, but it prevented the High priest from doing so]; Yet another set of commandments, had to do with the high court’s duty to perform the intercalation of an additional month into the Jewish year [so that the Holydays would always fall in their proper seasons].
Thus, only a highly ignorant person [or a seriously deranged individual] would dare to suggest that the Lord expected the perfect obedience to each and every single command of the Law; performing the Yom Kippur rites and sacrifices [as if he were in fact the High priest]; deciding who would be executed, and who would be banished into a city of refugee [as if he were in fact a judge, or a member of the High court]; or sitting on the King’s throne, in order to write his own Torah scroll [just as if he were the actual King of Israel]. The mere attempt to perform any of these Law commandments, would have cost the life of this mad [and very foolish] person!
The Hebrew Scripture says: “The Law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul”- Psalm 19:7. The God of Israel (blessed be He) teaches us that His Law is perfect. And, what is already perfect, cannot be replaced by anything else; nor can it be improved, or annulled [as these would imply that there’s something better than perfection, which is plain nonsense].