Creator of all things.
Judge of all things.
Alpha and Omega.
Taking another look at these epithets, we can tease out the core, or "kernel," of Yahweh's nature.
Creator of all things--translation: "I put you in this world, I can take you back out!"
Judge of all things--translation: "I'm watching you, and I have the authority to evaluate you for purposes of punishment or reward."
Alpha and Omega: First and last letters of the Greek alphabet, metaphorically, "the First and the Last"--translation: "I'm bigger than you!"
What all these have in common is connotations of great hierarchical status.
Initially, one might think that the first title at least, could be interpreted in another way. An artist, architect, craftsperson, etc. can be a "creator" who is not out for power and domination. The joy of the creative work itself, and/or appreciation of the work by others can be a creator's motivation.
However, in the Bible, Yahweh's act of creation is not important in itself, except as a justification for him to give orders to humans. The Bible contains no great paeans to the wonders of Creation. Yahweh's dialogue never takes on the sense of wonder of a Carl Sagan or David Attenborough as he leads a guided tour of his magnificent masterpieces. To the contrary, the description of the creative act is extremely terse, dispensed with in only a couple chapters
of one book, which leads immediately to giving orders, backed by death threats, to humans. He then spends the rest of the Bible engaging in destruction or threats/"prophecies" thereof. In the Book of Job, the point is made even more clearly that Yahweh's claim to the title "Creator" exists solely for the purposes of intimidating humans into submission. In the New Testament, Yahweh's followers are called upon not to "love the world, nor the things of the world," but to eagerly look forward to their destruction.
The other two epithets above are more obviously boasts of status and power, as is the way John 316 used them. Hierarchical status is the one core attribute of Yahweh without which all else vanishes. His claim to the title of Creator can be set aside, so long as he is assumed to be in charge now
. It would be possible to have a theology in which he did not create the Cosmos, but took over later (see Psalm 82
), or, for moderate Christians, to leave the "dirty work" of making the Cosmos and the world to the Big Bang and scientific models of cosmic and biological evolution. His much-vaunted "love" extends only to those who obey him and worship him above all else.
The omnimax claims? They exist only to establish the invincibility of his power. They're just the literary/propagandistic equivalents of the statues of Ramses II at Abu Simbel. No believer or Biblical author ever expected Yahweh to actually behave
as an omnimax. Modern believers rarely expect him to do
anything at all, and Biblical writers regularly portrayed him as a character in a story, with limited powers, knowledge, and abilities. They would all be quick to assure their readers that he's the biggest, baddest mofo on the block (as would, say, the courtiers of Ramses II...), but they still portrayed him needing to come down and have a look before he could find out that the antediluvian world had gone bad, or that the King of Shinar was building a tower that could reach his heavenly realm.
And so on, through all of his claimed attributes. Now, imagine that Yahweh were to decide to abdicate the throne, turn the Kingdom of Heaven over to, say, the Blessed Virgin Mary and renounce all claims to authority and rule. What's left of him? Apart from dominating humans, he has no interests, desires, loves or hates. Pagan deities had lives independent of humans; relationships and biographies lived in the divine realm, wars with rival classes of divine beings, and so on. If Zeus abdicated the throne of Olympus, he would still have his lightning bolts, his philandering ways, his angry wife, and so on. Apart from lording over other beings, there's still a character there. Not so with Yahweh.
Yahweh is, at root, a boiled-down essence of hierarchical status, personified authoritarian rule. For his followers (especially clergy, politicians, and others who gain power as his "spokesmen"), he is, in the words of Peter J. Carroll, "megalomania by proxy." In the act of boasting of Yahweh's power, a believer gets to vicariously revel in that power, establishing their own superior status vs. those who will be judged and punished when Father finally comes home. Yet, they do not take the risks inherent in being the dictator themselves. Instead, they are "but humble messengers" of the great, invisible, invincible, unstoppable, Eternal Dictator who rules on high. As his courtiers, they can claim the right to exercise power on his behalf, without having to worry that their King might be assassinated and replaced by someone else with his/her own retinue of hangers-on.