History is not about the knowledge of the events, it is about the ability to recognise the continuum of the resulting influences on our consciousness, carried through to the present day.
I have been reading a book, Civilised to death, recommended by my good friend, Mary and it occurred to me that maybe, just maybe, the bible considered not as god speak but as a response to a changing a world. Consider the garden of Eden as the natural habitat of the first humans where they lived as hunters and gathers and the fall as the beginning of agriculture.
The many wars are not really about god’s chosen ones but intertribal wars over land and watering points.
The book of kings can then be seen as state formation with their rigid rules and demands. For example taxes and all. In this way, the author of kings is not writing about things to come but things already experienced.
Jesus, then represents the archetype of the socialist or anarchist opposed to big government (here I kid) but you see where this is going.
I think Schopenhauer, that pessimistic philosopher, already tried to give the bible a very generous reading. Devoid of the claims of god inspiration and what nots, the bible begins to make sense as a response of those living in the crescent to the changes in lifestyle from hunters ad gatherers to farming and all.
What are your thoughts? Am i making any sense?
I am reading this interesting novel titled job, a comedy of justice. You can see it on the goodreads sidebar of this blog. In some place he writes
Many people seem to believe that the ten commandments forbid lying. Not at all. The prohibition is against bearing false witness against your neighbour- a specific, limited, and despicable sort of lie. But there is no biblical rule forbidding simple untruth. Many theologians believe that no human social organization could stand up under the strain of absolute honesty. If you think their misgivings are unfounded, try telling your friends the ungarnished truth about what you think of their offspring- if you dare risk it.Job, A comedy of justice
that it didn’t matter whether the gospels had mistakes? I know you didn’t but now you know. It is important for you to know that Jesus died for your sins but you are still going to hell for that tattoo or for the shrimp you ate.
I don’t think there are mistakes in the gospels; but even if there were, it wouldn’t affect the core of the Gospel: Jesus died for our sins, defeated death by rising again, and is coming back in glory to establish the Kingdom of God. Those truths stand firm forever!
I am glad we have this cleared up.
Thank goodness for apologists.
This piece below is not my own work but I couldn’t help but share it. It is what we call brilliant.
Laura Schlesinger a radio host who herself waxes and wanes in and out of Orthodox Judaism. “Agnosticism is to orthodoxy what a wild bull is to a China shop.” This letter is a testament to the above statement.
In her radio show, Dr Laura Schlesinger said that, as an observant Orthodox Jew, homosexuality is an abomination according to Leviticus 18:22, and cannot be condoned under any circumstance.
The following response is an open letter to Dr. Laura, penned by a US resident, which was posted on the Internet. It’s funny, as well as informative:
Dear Dr. Laura:
Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God’s Law. I have learned a great deal from your show, and try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination … End of debate.
I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some other elements of God’s Laws and how to follow them.
Leviticus 25:44 states that I may possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighbouring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can’t I own Canadians?
I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?
I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of Menstrual uncleanliness – Lev.15: 19-24. The problem is how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offence.
When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odour for the Lord – Lev.1:9. The problem is my neighbours. They claim the odour is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?
I have a neighbour who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself, or should I ask the police to do it?
A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination, Lev. 11:10, it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don’t agree. Can you settle this? Are there ‘degrees’ of abomination?
Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle-room here?
Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev. 19:27. How should they die?
I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?
My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev.19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? Lev.24:10-16. Couldn’t we just burn them to death at a private family affair, like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)
I know you have studied these things extensively and thus enjoy considerable expertise in such matters, so I’m confident you can help.
Thank you again for reminding us that God’s word is eternal and unchanging.
Your adoring fan.
James M. Kauffman, Ed.D. Professor Emeritus, Dept. Of Curriculum, Instruction, and Special Education University of Virginia (It would be a damn shame if we couldn’t own a Canadian)
I know this is old news but the way it is being reported uncritically baffles me.
So god allowed the church building to burn so she could save a few bibles. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I think there is something really unstable about such a mind and those who praise her, but that’s just me.
The author of this post in making a case for Jesus H Christ tells us there were five hundred witnesses to the resurrection, and some of them famous. I for my case, would want to know the name of one eye witness among the five hundred.
He also says there were witnesses to the resurrection. Now, all my reading of the bible tell me all the people who went to the tomb found an empty tomb and Mary Magdalene did not observe the resurrection event.
He also claims as support for the resurrection story, that several names are given. How this builds the case for the resurrection when we don’t have independent accounts of these various witnesses I don’t see.
I am not a lawyer, but I think the claim that
The life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ would stand up in a court of law.
Is untrue. There are few Bible stories, if any, that would stand in a court of law. Unless of course, that court was one that ruled based on miracles.
Happy Sunday everyone.
Here Nan has an excellent post that there is nothing yours truly can add to. But borrowing from her line of thought, how do the people who take the bible as god inspired deal with the injustice in it?
Take for example Isaac’s blessing to Jacob. He says
May peoples serve you and nations bow to you be your brothers’ superior, and may your mother’s sons bow to you may those who curse you be cursed and those who bless you be blessed.
And shortly afterwards, from want of extra blessings to pass around, he tells Esau
Here, away from the fat of the earth will be your home, and from the dew of the skies from above and you will live by your sword. And you will serve your brother and it will be that when you get dominion you’ll break his yoke from your neck.
Some people argue that this was the way the authors of the bible explained conflict between nations or beginning of strife that still plague the world.
To imagine that these fellows were living at a time when YHWH would drop by for visits and they did not seek his advice! Shortly we have Esau planning on dispatching his brother to the netherworld following a botched blessing ceremony. Maybe this is why lawyers insist on everyone being present during the reading of wills and final testaments.
He was right who said a god who drowned his children cannot teach me how to raise mine.
Is making a case for there being a single author of a story spanning genesis all the way to the David’s court history. It does make for interesting reading. I have not finished it yet and I think it will take some time since I may need to look up some verses in my bible as I read along.
In a different story, is it possible the whole town of Sodom and Gomorrah had wind of the visitors who had sought lodging from Lot and all boys and men wanted a piece of the action? Were they all sexually starved? Who did the poster back then? Or the whole town was on telegram and someone sent nudes?
And still on this Sodom business; is it possible that in a town of several hundred, every damn person was involved in debauchery? Is it not more convincing that this is taking liberties with fact?