Those of you who are interested in pagan idol-worship and it’s history, the above book by Yehezkel Kaufman is a great investment. Reading it only once won’t help too much, as it is one of those books, you can read over and over again and always discover something new.
Yehezkel Kaufman refers to the major differences between Judaism and idolatry. To be precise, “ancient idolatry”. However, you will notice that the facts the author lists, also apply to Christianity and not only to ancient cults of the Romans, Babylonians or Greeks.
One of the major differences between paganism and Judaism: Paganism doesn’t accept an incorporeal G-d. Such an idea just doesn’t exist. In Judaism, however, the incorporeal G-d is one of the major principles.
Furthermore, in paganism, there is always some kind of a connection to a god (or G-d) and men. Either a god is a man or vice versa. Just look at the ancient Greeks whose gods were also men or had a human shape. They even ate, drank, had sex, etc.
Until today, many people are very interested in G-d’s Names. No matter whether Jews or Christians but G-d’s various Names seem to be very important to some people. Personally I don’t understand why but whatever …
Yehezkel Kaufman comes to the conclusions (and I couldn’t agree more) that G-d’s Names don’t need to be involved. Not even the highest Name Yud-Heh-Vav-Heh. G-d can do anything He wants and He doesn’t need to use any Name. It is Him being in power. For instance, He can heal by any means and is not bound to ritual procedures or rites. G-d can do things by the manifestation of His Divine Will. What we humans can do in order to receive His help or mercy: We can pray, we can cry out or we can do Teshuva (repent) but we don’t need to refer to His Names.
People can try using G-d’s Names as much as they want. In the end, it is only G-d acting and reacting.