I think it is uncontroversial that the way God is characterized in the Bible is different in different places. The model of God, if you will, is different. Is it evolving?
I’ve written about the differences in the creation stories, but consider these two passages:
And God said, “Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: livestock, creatures that move along the ground, and wild animals, each according to its kind.” And it was so. God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.
Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”
So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.
Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. But the LORD God called to the man, “Where are you?”
He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”
And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?”
I don’t know if the creation myths are contemporaneous or not, but the God who calls things into being is clearly different then a God from whom you can hide from in a tree. God from the story of Jonah seems more like the God of the first creation myth. All powerful, all knowing. Although, capable of changing his mind.
Bargaining with God happens frequently in the Bible. Read how the author of Genesis characterizes Abraham’s relationship with God Almighty in the days before the destruction of Sodom & Gomorrah:
The men turned away and went toward Sodom, but Abraham remained standing before the LORD. Then Abraham approached him and said: “Will you sweep away the righteous with the wicked? What if there are fifty righteous people in the city? Will you really sweep it away and not spare the place for the sake of the fifty righteous people in it? Far be it from you to do such a thing—to kill the righteous with the wicked, treating the righteous and the wicked alike. Far be it from you! Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?”
Genesis 18. Abraham does a good job and gets God all the way down to 10 righteous men. Compare to Mohammad getting the daily prayer requirement down to 5. Similarly, we learn of God bargaining with Satan in the story of Job. I think these stories are much more like the image of God in the second creation myth.
God also starts out as the best god among the gods:
“On that same night I will pass through Egypt and strike down every firstborn—both men and animals—and I will bring judgment on all the gods of Egypt. I am the LORD. The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are; and when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt.
Exodus 12 And, here
Jethro was delighted to hear about all the good things the LORD had done for Israel in rescuing them from the hand of the Egyptians. He said, “Praise be to the LORD, who rescued you from the hand of the Egyptians and of Pharaoh, and who rescued the people from the hand of the Egyptians. Now I know that the LORD is greater than all other gods, for he did this to those who had treated Israel arrogantly.” Then Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, brought a burnt offering and other sacrifices to God, and Aaron came with all the elders of Israel to eat bread with Moses’ father-in-law in the presence of God.
When Paul writes about God, you start to see the that-than-which-nothing-greater-can-be-conceived idea of God from the middle ages.
The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.
So, any argument that the God model is different in different parts of the Bible? Do you see an evolution or a confluence of different traditions? Could this mean that God changes? The idea of a changing God is championed by process theologians. There is a link on the right. (WARNING:Site contains academia not suitable for persons without a doctorate, and not some silly trade school doctorate like a Juris Doctorate or Medical Doctorate. A real PhD doctorate.)