Yora asked in #34:>>Ich habe mal gehört dass Gott sich in der Urfassung im Plural auf sich bezieht ("Wir sind der Herr, dein Gott") ... weiß da jemand etwas?
I'm not an expert, but here's my understanding as a layperson.
Some of the texts that were put together to form the Hebrew Bible, which most scholars now attribute to (at least) four different authors/compilers, use different names for God. (That's one of the key clues that led scholars in the 19th and 20th centuries to conclude that the whole first part of the Bible, which had traditionally been attributed to Moses, couldn't actually have all been written by the same person or at the same time. There are many other differences in historical and linguistic content, starting with the two different creation stories in Genesis. One classic book on the background is Who Wrote the Bible?
(1987), by Richard Elliott Friedman, and there are probably now others that include more recent scholarship.)
The Jahwist (J) strand uses the name Yahweh (the English spelling; the J is from German), whereas the Elohist (E) and, IIRC, Priestly (P) strands use the name Elohim. (Can't remember about the Deuteronomist (D) strand, sorry.) The ending -im
in Hebrew seems to have been originally grammatically plural, but evidently also came to be used for certain abstractions, including the idea of deity or divinity.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elohim
By the time when the Bible stories and laws were recorded in writing, that abstract sense was usually used with a singular verb, so we translate it as God (and usually 'I' rather than 'we,' albeit with some exceptions), rather than (the) gods, even though it's the same noun in both cases.
However, we can guess that at some far more primitive time before written history, when the creation narratives were first told around a campfire, it was probably originally conceived of as plural, 'the gods,' because we know from anthropology and archaeology that monotheism was a later development in human history, that primitive humans didn't really have the concept of a single god (or for that matter, of deity or divinity in the abstract). The Wiki article above, which I only skimmed, doesn't seem to make that connection immediately clear. (Perhaps in part because the people who are the most avid editors of Wikipedia on religious topics, and the most widely represented elsewhere on the internet, tend to be conservatives who have a stake in a more literal reading; or perhaps just because Wiki tends to be gappy by nature.) But it does discuss the Hebrew grammar and some English translations, with several specific textual examples. The German Wiki might also be helpful, I didn't check.
Hope that answers your question; I realize it too goes beyond the scope of this forum, but since the thread includes several digressions that I've enjoyed, I thought others might find this one interesting too.