Author Topic: Question for Christians about Judas  (Read 17015 times)

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Offline SimpleCaveman

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Re: Question for Christians about Judas
« Reply #290 on: January 22, 2012, 10:04:27 PM »
Hello screwtape, Brakeman and Omen, Gentlemen all,

Thank you for the responses. Good, challenging posts. I look forward to this discussion. Contrary to what screwtape says, I am all ears. That expression, by the way, means that I’m eager to hear what you have to say. I am also very interested in believing what is true. On the other hand, I’m as ready to believe what you say as you are to believe what I say.

I hope you don’t mind my responding to all three of you as one. You rightly bring up similar and related objections. I will give explicit references to your posts as possible, but if I try to put all of your comments in it will get too cumbersome.

As I see it, there are two main points to address. If I missed any main point, let me know.
  • The analogy between the Israelites + Old Testamanet and Mormons + Book of Mormon is first. I think the other two examples are similar enough, right? I think even the U.S. national myth will be covered here.
  • The biblical and extra-biblical evidence, such as it is, for the events.
First, let’s look at the analogies. I think, though I’m not sure, that the reason these analogies seem so attractive (and I assume it’s not because you want them to be) is because in comparing them you take a very high level view of the events. Let’s look at how they’re being compared.

You weren't there! You believed all of that just like they did, because somebody wrote a book that some con man said was the historical word of god.
We’re not talking about my beliefs. We’re talking about the beliefs of the people of Israel. With Joseph Smith, no one was there. He was the only one who saw the tablets and no one saw what, if anything, happened those thousands of years ago.

On the other hand, the people of Israel would have experienced or not experienced these things either first hand or in the previous generation. Comparing Joseph Smith and Moses is not at all the same. Comparing Moses and the Steve Martin bit (wasn’t that funny?) is much closer. The national myth doesn’t hold either. We’re not talking about the childhood of one individual and his tree or the “advertising spin” that gets put on events. You’re trying to claim that Moses, Aaron, Joshua etc added whole national level events. It’s one thing to tell people today that we were innocent victims at Pearl Harbor, to use screwtape’s example, and it’s another thing entirely different to say that Pearl Harbor didn’t happen, or to tell people that the Japanese attacked San Francisco at the same time. You try it. They’ll laugh at you. That’s the same reaction that Israel would have had to Moses or Aaron, if the events weren’t true.

The other end of the analogy is this statement by screwtape. . .
"the mormons weren't a bunch of people who listened to Joe Smith and said we like you Joe. We talking about a bunch of people who, as a group, experienced some powerful things."
But they didn’t experience powerful things as a group. It was all Joseph Smith. The analogies don’t hold.

Omen claims
The actual writing of the old testament occurs centuries after the events it is supposed to describe and only isolated to a singular cultural frame. 
Unfortunately, at best you can say that this is an open question. However, historians do not agree with you. Not that they all agree amongst themselves, but the majority are closer to each other than you are to them. The compilation may have been later, but the original writing is much, much older. In fact, there is little to argue against Moses having written most of the Pentateuch. Deuteronomy might be suspect, but even if Moses didn’t write it, it’s what he said.

No other civilization that would have existed at the time the Exodus was to have occurred made any mention of the event,
And who would that be that would have mentioned it?

nor do the events in the bible accurately line up with historical narratives from the records of other civilizations that existed in that period.
Please share the discrepancies.

Offline SimpleCaveman

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Re: Question for Christians about Judas
« Reply #291 on: January 22, 2012, 10:14:26 PM »
Hi Omen,

Welcome back to the thread. I wondered where you’d gone. No big deal, just wondering. Things come up for me a lot and I can’t get back to here for weeks (or even months) at a time. I hope everything’s going okay for you.

Long post here and I apologize. However, your question is a good one and deserves an adequate response.

However, what kind of moron would base the credibility of a religious cultural movement based on how many people believe it?
Are you saying that’s what I’m doing? That’s the argument I made?
Yep, that is EXACTLY the implication you just made, otherwise you responded with a red herring that has no impact on any point to be made.
Really? I think you may have lost track of the conversation. Here is the beginning of it. . .

So .. Judas didn't find jesus very convincing did he?
Jesus was very convincing. Many, even thousands of people, followed him. Billions of people still follow him today.
Do you think that “convincing” is the same as “credible” or did you just lose track of the conversation? That certainly happens to me.

Is it really your assertion or counter claim that Judas just happened to be around the corner every time Jesus was doing something magical and miraculous? 
“Every time”? No, probably not. Really I have no idea how often Judas was with Jesus. There were times in the Bible when Jesus went off by himself to pray and times when he was with just some of the Apostles. Judas handled the money, so he would have gone off to transact business as necessary. However, Judas was a disciple of Jesus and more importantly an Apostle of Jesus. Disciples would leave their family and follow the rabbi to learn not only what they taught, but to learn their heart. And we’re talking about three years here. If Judas wasn’t there for a particular miracle or teaching, then he would have had opportunities to witness many others. But then again, maybe he didn’t. Maybe he wasn’t a very good disciple.

But that is beside the point. I said you made assumptions that are not supported by the Bible. I asked you to show me where they are. Please do.

What were the assumptions? Things like he was “immediately impressed with the reality of what was going on.” The Bible gives no indication (other than the betrayal, I suppose) about how Judas reacted to the miracles and teachings. It does say how others specifically reacted, so those verses don’t work. There are places where it tells how the Apostles in general reacted to some of the events, and so maybe you’re saying we take those as evidence of Judas’ reaction?

The other assumptions were about how quickly and easily Judas betrayed Jesus “as if the events never really occurred at all.” Does the Bible say that? I’m sure you know it better than me. Where does it say that?

But even more importantly, by using the phrase “counter claim” you imply that in saying that the assumptions are not founded on the text, I’m contradicting you. Far from it. I allowed that you might be right. I also allowed that you might be wrong. We don’t know. Unless of course, you explain where in the text you get your assumptions. You say that it’s in the text, and I’ve been proven wrong before. I’m willing to be proven wrong again.

Is it really your assertion that the plagues of egypt, the giant column of cloud by day and fire by night, mana raining from heaven, the waters splitting before half a million jews in exodus.. didn't have any impact on their sensibilities?
. . .
You have to deal with the reality that in 40 days and nights, half a million jews.. simply 'forgot' that all the amazing things they experienced occurred and began worshiping pagan idols again like it wasn't anything out of the ordinary. 
Let’s look at the chain of events as the Bible relates them. (Ex 15-32) I realize this is long, and I’m not sure if you’ll read it. I hope so. It helps advance the discussion if we’re specific.

First we start with a people who had lived in the land of Egypt their whole lives. They had worshiped the Egyptian gods along with or instead of their own. They were very comfortable with these gods. These people, the Israelites obviously, had just walked through the sea as on dry land. They saw Pharaoh and his chariots and charioteers killed when the waters returned. They danced and they sang. (And there was much rejoicing.)

They then traveled for 3 days without finding water. They eventually did find some, but it was too bitter to drink, and so the people started grumbling against Moses. After finding water, they then moved into the desert one month after they left Egypt. Here they grumbled against Moses and Aaron again. Why? In Egypt “we sat by our fleshpots and ate our fill of bread” and now “the whole community [would] die of famine.” They were already looking back at Egypt. They were hungry and thirsty where they were and Egypt was “the good old days.” Their hearts were already hardened against Moses and Aaron. All they wanted was food in their belly. Then the Lord sent them bread from heaven, the manna and the quail. (And there was much rejoicing.)

They traveled on to another place without water to drink. And again they grumbled. What ungrateful people! They eventually arrived at Sinai 3 months after leaving Egypt. Among the things that happened there, the people witnessed thunder and lightning, trumpet blast and the mountain smoking. They feared and trembled. The Israelites saw the cloud cover the mountain for six days. On the seventh day, Moses passed into the midst and stayed there for forty days and forty nights, just as you said. Then Exodus says that when the people became aware of Moses’ delay in coming down from the mountain, they gathered around Aaron and said to him, “Come make us a god who will be our leader; as for the man Moses who brought us out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what happened to him.” So the full forty days and nights hadn’t even passed before the Israelites looked for Aaron to make them a god. When Aaron made the calf, he said to the people “This is your God, O Israel, who brought you out of the land of Egypt.”

So that’s the chain of events. I think it’s helpful to be specific or we get lost in the ambiguities. What do we have? We have a people who were very comfortable with statues of animal gods because they lived all their lives in Egypt. They are delivered from Egypt, but like in any group, we can easily imagine that some were happy and some not. Some probably didn’t like Moses being in charge and some were very happy with him. They start grumbling right away because they don’t have water and food. They think they’re going to die. They get to Sinai and see something that scares the daylights out of them. Moses goes up there and they don’t hear from him for a long time. They then ask for a god, because they know that a god brought them out of Egypt, and they get a calf because they’re familiar with it.

Why did the people “immediately fall back on the worship of golden statues”? Was it because they “forgot” the events? I think we have some very strong indications that it wasn’t. Your post even supports them when you correct me and say that after 9/11 people weren’t all working together after all. Some never stopped worshiping golden statues. Some were foes of Moses and Aaron. Some only wanted their belly full. Some believed God had done all those things, but wanted a god they could see. It clearly wasn’t everyone, though, or we wouldn’t be talking about this! All of this is supported in the text. I can give specific references, if you want.

Offline SimpleCaveman

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Re: Question for Christians about Judas
« Reply #292 on: January 22, 2012, 10:27:14 PM »
Good Morning kaziglu bey,

Good cold morning that is. We had spring like weather through the new year. Now it’s making up for it!

Oh come on, your post to 12 monkeys assumes that God always has a perfectly functional plan that takes all things into account. Given that he is Omnimax, that SHOULD be what happens. But in the Bible, God is seen as being surprised, and having plans that don't work out the way he intended (example: creation).
That certainly could be true. It could also be true that these are the ways people understood God. It makes sense that if a people anthropomorphized (wow, that is a word!) God, who they believed was not human and did not have a body, then they would also anthropomorphize his behavior. They might see something that was planned by God and interpret that as reactionary. People do that to each other. Why not to God?

If they did, then God wanted it to be in the Bible that way. But why would he do that? Why would he want to give an impression that he is something he isn’t? Well, if we allow the Christian paradigm, then every impression that we have about God is not what he is. He is something outside of our universe, our existence. We can’t understand what it means to be omniscient, omnipotent, eternal, etc. Even to say those words is inadequate because, as we’ve discussed, our understanding of those words is necessarily incomplete.

But why those impressions and those images? If we look at the Bible as a whole, we see that those images are scattered mostly through the Old Testament and the first parts of the Old Testament. Those are the images because that’s how the people thought. That is the world they lived in. It makes sense that God would use what he had to teach the people, and that he would relate to them on their level. God’s been doing that all along. The greatest example is when Jesus was made flesh and God became man. There are also places in that part of the Bible where God is understood as eternal and unchanging. There are more as time in the Bible goes on, indicating a maturity of thinking.

Some of those examples seem to have been teaching moments. When God told Abraham what he was planning with Sodom, Abraham bargained with God for the lives of the people in Sodom. Did God change his mind along the way? No. Rather he was teaching Abraham the value of life and the magnitude of sin.

I think that this is taking a terribly liberal interpretation of Jesus' words.
Please explain how the verse does not give that interpretation.

But if Jesus salvation was necessary to enable an Original Sin Loophole, then all who came before Jesus would have, by default, gone to hell. Even the good people. Also, how could you possibly have any idea what exists outside of "this existence"? Sounds like an Argument from Amazing Familiarity.
“Argument from Amazing Familiarity”? I have to learn these names. They seem like fun.

Your logic about them going to hell seems sound, the early Church Fathers even wrestled with this topic. But, as they found, it’s not sound when you look at the big picture. Jesus taught the great mercy and love of God. In fact, God is love. That’s his very nature. Starting from there, it’s logical that he would have accounted for the good people who went before him. I haven’t read these parts of the Church Fathers recently, but it’s there if you’d like to.

Then why bother spreading Christianity? We would be better off not knowing anything at all, because we could avoid Hell without all of the guilt and shame. Also, it's worth noting that a lot of believers think that not accepting Jesus means going to hell, even if you aren't aware. Who's right and who's wrong, and how do we tell?
I guess we’ll find out at the end, won’t we. :)

Why bother spreading Christianity? Because knowing God and loving God is so much better than ignorance of him. The logic in that paragraph is like saying that it’s better to not love at all, than to love and have your heart broken. I don’t believe that. It seems that those who do have closed their heart to other people.

Forgive me, but it's not clear to me what you are asking for here. Would you be able to rephrase/clarify?
Sure. Sorry about that. (Actually, I had to go back and read the last few posts because I had forgotten where I was going! You gotta love it.) We’re talking about Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden and punishment or consequences. I wanted to show the logic within the Catholic framework of what I’m saying. However, you have to be able to assume the Catholic framework. I know you don’t and I’m not asking you to believe it or agree with it or even to assume it for very long. I’ll go ahead, though.

Our ancestors were going along, evolving quietly in their natural earthly life, when God picks two proto-humans and gives them souls, i.e. makes them in his image and likeness. They now have not only their natural life that they already had, but also have a supernatural life of divine presence and grace. Amazing thing. They “walk with God” and he is very close to them. These two then have their obedience tested and, unfortunately, they fail the test. Because they failed, i.e. disobeyed God, God removes himself from them, or removes them from himself, same thing. Now they don’t have the divine presence or the original grace that they once enjoyed. They are returned to their previous state, almost. They still have their immortal souls and are still elevated above the animals.

You could call it punishment. I see that. I also see it as a consequence of failing the test of character. They lost part of what they had gained. Have you heard of the parenting theory of “natural and logical consequences”? You probably have. That’s how I think of it. It’s like if I give my son a new iPhone and tell him that he can keep it as long as he takes care of it. But then he doesn’t take care of it and so I take it away. I understand calling it punishment. That’s just not the way I think of it.

However, should we follow God's example? Should we be vengeful, wrathful, punish those who don't obey us, order rape and genocide, murder children, drown an entire planet of living beings? These are all terrible things, yet when God does them, it's YAY GOD! Again, that is just twisted.
Two things. First, it’s a clear distinction between what we can do on our own, what we can do when commanded by God, and what God can do. The three are not the same. Second, and I think this is one of the biggest things that posters in this forum miss, Jesus, as the Son of God, is the fullest revelation of the Father. All of God’s revelation is to be read in the light of Christ.

We start then with Jesus and his message of repentance, forgiveness, love, mercy, and his actions of, for example, allowing himself to be crucified for our sake. Given that, we look back at the Old Testament and ask if our reading of the OT coincides with our understanding of the Father as revealed to us by Jesus. Where it doesn’t, we then ask how our reading of the OT is incorrect, and we try to gain a deeper understanding of what the OT reveals to us. (We discuss this again below.)

You guys keep bringing up these parts of the OT that are troublesome, and I agree that they are when you do not look at them through the revelation of Christ. That’s why your complaints don’t bother me. On the other hand, if the way you read the OT (without Jesus) were the right way to read the OT, then I’d be on your side, but it’s not and it never has been.

Wish granted, says the blonde, bearded Genie.
Thank you. :)

The freethoughtpedia article you gave got its information from “Denise Golumbaski, Research Analyst, Federal Bureau of Prisons, compiled from up-to-the-day figures on March 5th, 1997.” I can find lots of pages that cite her, but not anything that actually shows the original study. Being a statistician I want to see the methods, variables, raw data, etc. I also went to the Bureau of Justice Statistics and tried to find statistics and couldn’t. I find it very interesting how much discussion there is on the topic, but very little actual data out there.

Assuming that Denise Golumbaski’s data is real and correct, I will gladly concede the point to you. Thank you for sharing the information.

Let’s not make conclusions based on faulty data.
I did no such thing.
I sincerely apologize. You made your conclusion based on the best data we have. I should not have jumped to my own conclusion.

OK. so how then does one read the old testament in respect to Jesus in regards to the slaughter of Midianites and the mass rape of their young women/girls? How is Jesus love and sacrifice present in that situation?
Hmm, let’s be accurate. The text (Numbers 31) does not say there was a mass rape of their young women/girls. To be honest, I don’t know the answer. As far as I know, no one does. That doesn’t mean there isn’t an answer; we just don’t understand it yet. To read the text from our perspective it is very difficult to reconcile. But we have to take a few things into account. You’ve likely heard these before, but let me list the ones I know of here.

We have to understand that the Bible books are a history, but not the kind of history we understand today. The actual events that, for example, established Israel on the soil of Palestine were much more complex than we read in the Bible. John Bright’s book, “A History of Israel” is a fascinating coverage of the many schools of thought on this topic.

Another thing for us to understand is the character, behavior and standards of the people in the Ancient Near East, particularly with regards to war and conquest, rules and laws. We have to look at the Israelite behavior with respect to the context of the times. What looks barbarous to us may have been a moral improvement. When God reveals himself to humans, he is understood in the terms of the times. To Bronze Age people he will likely be understood in Bronze Age terms. For example, herem – the ancient Semitic practice of slaying everybody and everything in a village may be seen as, ironically, a pious act (“See Lord! I’m keeping nothing for myself!” or “I’m keeping our faith and our culture pure.”) Horrible in our time, but not then.

With our children, we choose to reveal certain things about life to them a little at a time. As they grow older and learn more, then we reveal more. I don’t teach my 3 year old how to run a household, but my 17 year old knows more. I don’t teach calculus or Shakespeare to a second grader. In the same way God has revealed more and more of himself over time. Back then it was one thing, later on it was more, and so on.

Offline velkyn

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Re: Question for Christians about Judas
« Reply #293 on: January 23, 2012, 10:26:21 AM »
We’re not talking about my beliefs. We’re talking about the beliefs of the people of Israel. With Joseph Smith, no one was there. He was the only one who saw the tablets and no one saw what, if anything, happened those thousands of years ago.
  Hmmm, no one was there when Moses supposedly got the tablets, nor is there any evidence that anyone was anywhere in the Sinai wandering around for 40 years, tablets or not.  Again, no evidence to support any of your claims, SC.   No evidence that the Israelites even existed in Egypt much less experienced any powerful event. 

It’s always sad to see someone try to claim how funny they were.  Tsk.  Poor SC, has to baselessly claim that his analogy to Steve Martin is the bestest, but again with no evidence.  And ah, the unilateral clkaim that the national myth doesn’t hold either but again, no reasons why, just that SC doesn’t like it.  I’d add another national myth that some people try to promulgate, the lie that the US is based on Judeo-Christian beliefs. That tries to add wholesale events that never happened and we have idiots who believe it just like willfully ignorant Jews who want to believe that their ancestors were somehow chosen by some god.   

Since we don’t have any evidence of the exodus, and we don’t have any evidence that the Japanese attacked San Francisco on the same day as Pearl Harbor, that means that neither happened!  And yep, SC, I’m having a great time laughing at you as you destroy your own arguments. 
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Unfortunately, at best you can say that this is an open question. However, historians do not agree with you. Not that they all agree amongst themselves, but the majority are closer to each other than you are to them. The compilation may have been later, but the original writing is much, much older. In fact, there is little to argue against Moses having written most of the Pentateuch. Deuteronomy might be suspect, but even if Moses didn’t write it, it’s what he said.
Historians do agree with Omen, SC.  There is no evidence that anyone named Moses existed, much less wrote anything.  If you think so, please do present the evidence. 
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And who would that be that would have mentioned it?
The Hittites, Assyrians, etc.  Always amusing to see you depending on your ignorance, SC.  Gee, SC, when did the Exodus occur, the exact date?  Like so many other events in the bible, poor Christians can’t seem to ever agree on any actual dates for them.  They have to try to retcon the events into known happenings, which always fails so laughably. 

There is no evidence that any other kingdoms heard of any massive destruction of the Egyptian armies.  No evidence of any knowledge of any massive death in Egypt.  No messages about plagues haunting Egypt.  No sudden respect for any foreign god in any of these other kingdoms.  No surprise at the exodus of hundreds of thousands of people.  You can find information here on the ludicrous claims of Exodus: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Exodus#Numbers_and_logistics   It’s so fun to watch apologists try to figure out what their god “really” meant, with their trying to claim that the numbers presented in their magic book aren’t what is written down, since it makes so little sense.  Oh those magic decoder rings are just being used constantly, to get all sorts of conflicting claims of what “really” happened. 

As always, SC attempts to ignore any posts that show him to be wrong and blithely proceeds as if no one notices.   Unfortunately for him, he just shows himself to be one more Christian who isn’t concerned with learning anything at all, simply content to repeat easily disproved lies. 
"There is no use in arguing with a man who can multiply anything by the square root of minus 1" - Pirates of Venus, ERB

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Offline Brakeman

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Re: Question for Christians about Judas
« Reply #294 on: January 23, 2012, 05:56:21 PM »

You weren't there! You believed all of that just like they did, because somebody wrote a book that some con man said was the historical word of god.
We’re not talking about my beliefs. We’re talking about the beliefs of the people of Israel. With Joseph Smith, no one was there. He was the only one who saw the tablets and no one saw what, if anything, happened those thousands of years ago.

No, I'm talking about your beliefs, not the beliefs of long dead people. The Exodus story was recorded hundreds and hundreds of years after the supposed event. So you can't place importance of the event or the number of witnesses the story says it had. If a harry potter movie claimed to have 3 million witnesses to a magic event, would that be evidence that the book series is not fictional?

You have heard the story in a similar way that the Jews of a couple of thousand years ago heard the story, second hand from a man claiming to be a witness for god, telling you what the magic book says. 

Joe Smith claimed to have seen and performed miracles and his followers agreed and claimed witness to his miracles as well. Were they all liars? How many liars does it take to equal one truth?

Help find the cure for FUNDAMENTIA !

Offline kaziglu bey

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Re: Question for Christians about Judas
« Reply #295 on: January 23, 2012, 06:36:56 PM »
Good Morning kaziglu bey,

Good cold morning that is. We had spring like weather through the new year. Now it’s making up for it!

It has been a crazy winter here too. Normally, we would be buried under snow right now, but it was like 50 degrees today. Booo. I like my seasons to occur when they are supposed to dammit!
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That certainly could be true. It could also be true that these are the ways people understood God. It makes sense that if a people anthropomorphized (wow, that is a word!) God, who they believed was not human and did not have a body, then they would also anthropomorphize his behavior. They might see something that was planned by God and interpret that as reactionary. People do that to each other. Why not to God?

If they did, then God wanted it to be in the Bible that way. But why would he do that? Why would he want to give an impression that he is something he isn’t? Well, if we allow the Christian paradigm, then every impression that we have about God is not what he is. He is something outside of our universe, our existence. We can’t understand what it means to be omniscient, omnipotent, eternal, etc. Even to say those words is inadequate because, as we’ve discussed, our understanding of those words is necessarily incomplete.
If we are not even able to understand such qualities, how are we able to assign them to anything? How an we recognize these as characteristics of God, if we are so hopelessly incapable of even understanding what they mean?

Also, I disagree. Words exist because people make and use them to describe things, places, events, etc. Our understanding of those words is complete, because we made the words up.[1] I have a pretty good idea what all powerful is. It's really not that ambiguous. And if such language is not adequate to represent or understand God, why did God choose it as the primary means of communicating his message?[2]This goes back to my original point. Why would God have planned that so badly? Of course, you will likely say that god planned it perfectly, and that I, being imperfect, am not able to comprehend his perfection in doing so (even though it obviously didn't work well, or there wouldn't be so many different versions of the Bible, not all saying the same thing) or some other fiddle faddle. Fine, then how do you KNOW that God's plans, though apparently at times flawed, are in fact perfect? You are saying that humans anthropomorphize characteristics onto God (we agree on something!) but aren't we supposed to be created in his image? Wouldn't any characteristics that we then possess also be possessed by the God who created us in his image? Shouldn't we hold God to a slightly higher standard?

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But why those impressions and those images? If we look at the Bible as a whole, we see that those images are scattered mostly through the Old Testament and the first parts of the Old Testament. Those are the images because that’s how the people thought. That is the world they lived in. 
A better question in my opinion would be "Why is an all powerful entity limited to the pathetic means of some tribal herdsmen in the Bronze Age?" Sure it was the world they lived in. But God would obviously not be bound by any limits as to how he could operate. I've said before, why didn't God send Stealth Bombers to take out pharaoh and his chariots? There are so many other ways God could deal with situations, but he chooses to deal with them on the barbaric, inhumane, blood thirsty, and primitive level as his followers. Which leads me to believe that God is an INVENTION of his alleged followers, as a means for the tribal elders to maintain control and power.
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  It makes sense that God would use what he had to teach the people,
Come on, for an all powerful dude, given his behavior as described in his book, he doesn't try very hard. He teaches the people vengeance, genocide, misogyny and division.
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and that he would relate to them on their level. God’s been doing that all along. The greatest example is when Jesus was made flesh and God became man.
But why did he wait SO long? Aften Adam and Eve, and Abraham and Isaac, and Moses, Joshua, Aaron, etc etc, how many thousands of years did it take God to come up with a fairly mundane way of "saving" mankind from God? Did a light bulb suddenly go off in God's head, and say 'Aha! that's it! I can make myself in human form and offer myself as a sacrifice (to myself, to appease my own anger, wrath and vengeance all because two people ate off of a tree that they weren't supposed to, even though I, in my perfect wisdom, lied to them about it). How original and inspired. No God had ever done such a thing before Jesus became flesh. Oh wait.... divine birth, death, resurrection and redemption have been religious themes like, since the beginning of religion. It's not even something that it unique to Yahweh. 
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There are also places in that part of the Bible where God is understood as eternal and unchanging. There are more as time in the Bible goes on, indicating a maturity of thinking.
But if God was inspiring the bible writers, why did it have to wait for a maturity of thinking? Was God's thinking immature? Or was he not able to over-ride the ignorance of the writers? Can you see where I am having issues here? I just don't get how something would be God inspired, and yet increasing in maturity, if God is unchanging. If God's influence moved the pens of the writers, he could have assured that his unchanging wisdom were present from the beginning, rather than coming around later as an afterthought. God's word should start with the same perspective as it ends, if the ultimate author is unchanging.

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Some of those examples seem to have been teaching moments. When God told Abraham what he was planning with Sodom, Abraham bargained with God for the lives of the people in Sodom. Did God change his mind along the way? No. Rather he was teaching Abraham the value of life and the magnitude of sin.
SO God is like a mafia boss, showing a new recruit what happens to those who cross his path. Death, destruction, punishment. Always punishment, always something bad has to happen to make God happy. The only way for God to combat evil is by committing greater evil. Again, don't you see why this is an issue for me?

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Please explain how the verse does not give that interpretation.

Not being angry with someone does NOT mean "don't rape them". Rape is an important issue. Yet Jesus does not say "Thou shalt not rape". He doesn't even condemn slavery. He doesn't say that Moses et al were wrong for the mass rape of the Midianite females. Also, suppose you are right, and it prohibits any form of anger, violence, etc against anyone (again, I don't agree with this position, just for example sake). Why does God exhibit these behaviors and characteristics in abundance? God is Jealous, god is angry, god is wrathful, god commits violence and murder and genocide and orders rape and enslavement. It's all there in the Bible. No person has ever murdered the entire population of the Earth (except one family). Only God is that evil.


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“Argument from Amazing Familiarity”? I have to learn these names. They seem like fun.
Indeed, they are. Here are a few links for your consideration. http://www.don-lindsay-archive.org/skeptic/arguments.html, http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/  Amazing familiarity is when the person is arguing something from a position that they can't possibly know. Anything outside of "this existence" is outside of your existence, meaning that it is entirely unknown to you. You can't even know THAT it exists or not, let alone that it exists "outside of" this existence.

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Your logic about them going to hell seems sound, the early Church Fathers even wrestled with this topic. But, as they found, it’s not sound when you look at the big picture. Jesus taught the great mercy and love of God. In fact, God is love. That’s his very nature. Starting from there, it’s logical that he would have accounted for the good people who went before him. I haven’t read these parts of the Church Fathers recently, but it’s there if you’d like to.
But no where does it say that all people who lived before Jesus DIDN'T go to hell. There's no reason to believe they didn't. Honestly, if they didn't, what would be the point of Jesus coming, if not to provide a means to prevent that? Even if those in Hell who were worthy ascended with Jesus, they still had to suffer a lot more than your average Christian, and they DIDN'T HAVE A CHOICE. They couldn't believe in a savior Jesus that wasn't yet known. They couldn't even reject him. And if it's logical to believe that God would have accounted for the good people who came before Jesus (in other words, judge them for their being good rather than having faith) then it is also logical that God could just continue that arrangement since it already rewards the just and punishes the evil, no blind subservience or human sacrifice required. Yet AGAIN we see a case where God had to come up with a cruel way involving suffering bloodshed and death, instead of doing something that would be more just. Because now, even if you are a good person, if you don't believe in Jesus, you go to hell. 3,000 years ago you would have got a get out of jail free card. So much for your "unchanging" god.

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I guess we’ll find out at the end, won’t we. :)
  I can't accept that at all. If believer's can't even come to a consensus about their own stuff, why should I buy into it? Especially since, so far, the only reason believers in any region come to a consensus is bloodshed and eliminating the opposition. Even though, it develops into a denomination, and is not united with the rest of their sheep brethren.

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Why bother spreading Christianity? Because knowing God and loving God is so much better than ignorance of him.
Really? How could we demonstrate that statement in the real world? Are staving children with HIV in primitive regions of Africa "better off" if they are aware of Jesus? A lot of the current problems in Africa are BECAUSE Christianity came there and claimed it as its own? Are they better off than they would have been if Christian nations hadn't colonize and subjected them?
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The logic in that paragraph is like saying that it’s better to not love at all, than to love and have your heart broken. I don’t believe that. It seems that those who do have closed their heart to other people.
If God is love, why does he kill SO MANY PEOPLE!?!?! God is not necessary for love. Are you saying that those who are not Christians have never experienced love? I really hope not, that would just be lunacy.

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Sure. Sorry about that. (Actually, I had to go back and read the last few posts because I had forgotten where I was going! You gotta love it.) We’re talking about Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden and punishment or consequences. I wanted to show the logic within the Catholic framework of what I’m saying. However, you have to be able to assume the Catholic framework. I know you don’t and I’m not asking you to believe it or agree with it or even to assume it for very long. I’ll go ahead, though.
 
Actually having been raised Catholic I can "assume" the Catholic Framework. It's not foreign to me, I just don't agree with it. But if you wish to argue from that perspective, I would be familiar.

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Our ancestors were going along, evolving quietly in their natural earthly life, when God picks two proto-humans and gives them souls, i.e. makes them in his image and likeness. They now have not only their natural life that they already had, but also have a supernatural life of divine presence and grace. Amazing thing. They “walk with God” and he is very close to them. These two then have their obedience tested and, unfortunately, they fail the test. Because they failed, i.e. disobeyed God, God removes himself from them, or removes them from himself, same thing. Now they don’t have the divine presence or the original grace that they once enjoyed. They are returned to their previous state, almost. They still have their immortal souls and are still elevated above the animals.
I don't remember the Catholic church I went to ever teaching that there were a bunch of people, and that God just gave Adam and Eve a part of himself, making them special. It was always my understanding that having created the heavens and earth and all that jazz, God wanted something representative of himself on earth, and made man from the dust, and woman from his rib. They were the pride of his creation. I don't remember anything about "our ancestors" walking around with Adam and Eve before God gave them some upgrades. Furthermore, God says that because of this, all will be cursed with original sin (again, this is all according to what I was taught in church, and yes, I payed attention!). It's not until Jesus' time that God chills out and decides to give us an escape clause. Also, if Adam and Eve failed, and God created them, doesn't that mean that God himself failed? If I design a car, and it doesn't work, do I blame the car, or myself for not designing it properly?

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You could call it punishment. I see that.
Yes I do, especially when all of the rest of the people have to experience the consequence of the failures of two people. God could have given any one of your proto humans a chance to see if they could get it right. He could have judged each individual based on their own merits.
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I also see it as a consequence of failing the test of character.
A test that only two people failed. Again, why not give the rest of us a chance? Let me guess, you will say that with Jesus, we all have a chance.
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They lost part of what they had gained. Have you heard of the parenting theory of “natural and logical consequences”? You probably have. That’s how I think of it. It’s like if I give my son a new iPhone and tell him that he can keep it as long as he takes care of it. But then he doesn’t take care of it and so I take it away. I understand calling it punishment. That’s just not the way I think of it.
But responsible behavior is something learned from experience. I hardly consider one chance as qualifying for experience. Your son also has a reasonable expectation that he might one day, whether through good behavior or by becoming old enough, acquire another iPhone. Adam and Eve didn't get that chance, did they?

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Two things. First, it’s a clear distinction between what we can do on our own, what we can do when commanded by God, and what God can do. The three are not the same.
SO what is "right" depends on whether or not God is having a tantrum today? Again, I need to know then, how do we discern the difference between who is being commanded by God to do evil, who is doing evil of their own accord, and what evil is wrought directly by God?
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Second, and I think this is one of the biggest things that posters in this forum miss, Jesus, as the Son of God, is the fullest revelation of the Father. All of God’s revelation is to be read in the light of Christ.
Ok then, mass rape, slavery and murder is read... how?

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We start then with Jesus and his message of repentance, forgiveness, love, mercy, and his actions of, for example, allowing himself to be crucified for our sake. Given that, we look back at the Old Testament and ask if our reading of the OT coincides with our understanding of the Father as revealed to us by Jesus. Where it doesn’t, we then ask how our reading of the OT is incorrect, and we try to gain a deeper understanding of what the OT reveals to us. (We discuss this again below.)
Again, in what way does being crucified for our sake bring any understanding to the motives of a violent murderer? We miss that on this forum because it doesn't make sense. Jesus talks about love and forgiveness and repentance. Is this God's repentance for the evil he has committed? Why did God not show forgiveness when he killed every living thing on earth (except the alleged contents of the ark)? Why does God have such high expectations of us, but he can't meet them himself? When does God turn the other cheek? He pursues his enemies with blood lust. What kind of example is he setting? The do as I say, not as I do, kind.

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You guys keep bringing up these parts of the OT that are troublesome, and I agree that they are when you do not look at them through the revelation of Christ.
Please then explain to us how mass rape, genocide and slavery are not troublesome with the revelation of Christ.

 
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That’s why your complaints don’t bother me. On the other hand, if the way you read the OT (without Jesus) were the right way to read the OT, then I’d be on your side, but it’s not and it never has been.
But the participants in the OT did not have Jesus, why shouldn't we read it without Jesus? Why is Jesus an afterthought? Did God say "Oh gee, I've been a dick, maybe I should try to do something about it so I can play the victim?" It sure seems like it.

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Thank you. :)
welcome

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The freethoughtpedia article you gave got its information from “Denise Golumbaski, Research Analyst, Federal Bureau of Prisons, compiled from up-to-the-day figures on March 5th, 1997.” I can find lots of pages that cite her, but not anything that actually shows the original study. Being a statistician I want to see the methods, variables, raw data, etc. I also went to the Bureau of Justice Statistics and tried to find statistics and couldn’t. I find it very interesting how much discussion there is on the topic, but very little actual data out there.

Assuming that Denise Golumbaski’s data is real and correct, I will gladly concede the point to you. Thank you for sharing the information.
I will have to see if I can find anything else.

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I sincerely apologize. You made your conclusion based on the best data we have. I should not have jumped to my own conclusion.
Hey, we all make mistakes.

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Hmm, let’s be accurate. The text (Numbers 31) does not say there was a mass rape of their young women/girls.
Oh sure, it doesn't explicitly say there was. Just says that the men were to take the virgins for themselves as spoils of war. That really doesn't imply good intentions, if you ask me.
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To be honest, I don’t know the answer.
Then how can you tell us our interpretation is wrong? If by accepting Jesus and all that, you are still no nearer an answer to as painful of a question as this, what better off are you than a non-believer, who doesn't even think it likely that such events actually happened as depicted?
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As far as I know, no one does.
Doesn't that bother you at all? If NO ONE knows, in spite of all of the billions of people who have Christ in their corner, then what difference does it make?
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That doesn’t mean there isn’t an answer; we just don’t understand it yet.
You're sounding like a scientist here. The problem for me is that the method you have proposed to understanding such texts (interpreting them in the light of Jesus) fails, by your own admission, to explain such texts.
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To read the text from our perspective it is very difficult to reconcile. But we have to take a few things into account. You’ve likely heard these before, but let me list the ones I know of here.

We have to understand that the Bible books are a history, but not the kind of history we understand today. The actual events that, for example, established Israel on the soil of Palestine were much more complex than we read in the Bible. John Bright’s book, “A History of Israel” is a fascinating coverage of the many schools of thought on this topic.

Another thing for us to understand is the character, behavior and standards of the people in the Ancient Near East, particularly with regards to war and conquest, rules and laws. We have to look at the Israelite behavior with respect to the context of the times. What looks barbarous to us may have been a moral improvement. When God reveals himself to humans, he is understood in the terms of the times. To Bronze Age people he will likely be understood in Bronze Age terms. For example, herem – the ancient Semitic practice of slaying everybody and everything in a village may be seen as, ironically, a pious act (“See Lord! I’m keeping nothing for myself!” or “I’m keeping our faith and our culture pure.”) Horrible in our time, but not then.
I'm seriously laughing out loud. Please explain to me how the situation in the Current Near East is any different than the situation in the Ancient Near East, except with Grenade Launchers and AK-47's instead of Iron chariots and spears. Also, this contradicts your unchanging God hypothesis, as God apparently changes to fit whatever standard exists at the time. Convenient. Isn't it more likely that people created God, and that his morals have instead evolved along with our own?

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With our children, we choose to reveal certain things about life to them a little at a time. As they grow older and learn more, then we reveal more. I don’t teach my 3 year old how to run a household, but my 17 year old knows more. I don’t teach calculus or Shakespeare to a second grader. In the same way God has revealed more and more of himself over time. Back then it was one thing, later on it was more, and so on.

Why would God wait? why reveal himself simply in the context of the times, even if it was primitive and barbaric, when he instead could have taught the primitive and barbaric people how to NOT be primitive and barbaric?
 1. By "we" I mean people in general forming a language.
 2. Going on the assumption that the Bible is "God Inspired'
Seriously though... What would happen if the Great Green Arkleseizure didn't fram up the rammastam before the hermite curve achieved maximum nurdfurdle velocity? Now THAT would be something. AmIrite?

Offline 12 Monkeys

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Re: Question for Christians about Judas
« Reply #296 on: January 23, 2012, 06:42:30 PM »
SC you sir are lame,,,The Raven,where I came from,Haida Gwaii was told to me that he discovered the beginning's of man inside a giant clamshell  on a beach. This story of my "creation" has been told for some 12,000+ years. Do I have any evidence to back this story up,NO.

 It is also told that the Raven released the Sun,stars and moon,do I have evidence,NO,eyewitness testimony,yes. The man who held sun,moon,stars in a box to keep the world dark because he was afraid that if the light escaped into the world his daughter may be ugly. He held the items in a box till The Raven stole them and released it into the world.

 Now your creation story is similar,but different  the world is flat and the sun moon and stars appear on the dome covering the world. Science has explained both the stories can't be really true,but somehow you hold on to these MYTHS to be true,while dismissing mine as only MYTH,why

 Why do you believe your stupid stories from a bunch of stupid goat herders over mine. Both of these stories have the same amount of evidence,NONE. The funny thing about your story is that it was not written down at the time it happened,no evidence of the people or what happened to them,if they even existed. Just stories based on folklore,that's it,written down and used by con-men.

 Would I like the stories of the Raven to be true,it would be nice. Do I have evidence the stories are true,oral tradition and the cerimonial statues of the stories of creation. Would you like your Jesus story to be true,of course. Evidence to back it up,,,,,as much as I have for my Raven stories,a book,not very well written or explained. If you include the OT in that,the books contain the stories of a homicidal maniac seeking revenge on his creation.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2012, 06:54:49 PM by 12 Monkeys »
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Offline velkyn

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Re: Question for Christians about Judas
« Reply #297 on: January 24, 2012, 09:59:35 AM »
 
Some of those examples seem to have been teaching moments. When God told Abraham what he was planning with Sodom, Abraham bargained with God for the lives of the people in Sodom. Did God change his mind along the way? No. Rather he was teaching Abraham the value of life and the magnitude of sin.

Unfortunately for SC, if one actually reads Genesis 18, this isn’t supported at al.  This god appears as a human.  Then this god says he’s going to tell Abraham about his plans and says that he has no idea if the claims about S&G are true and he has to go look (rather ruins the idea of omniscience).  Abraham already knows that it’s wrong to kill everyone in a city for the sins of others.  This god seems to not know this (supported by his commandments and promise to damn the children for the sins of the fathers) and has to be taught about justice himself.  There is no teaching moment, no god saying “yes, Abraham, I was testing you”.  Nope, there’s just Yahweh, agreeing with the opinion of a human, after declaring his intentions.  Then we have the two “men” from Genesis 18, who are now “angels”, coming to Sodom and of course the usual good story about how Lot cares so little about his daughters that he offers them to a rapacious crowd (actually a good precedent for loving this god more than your family that JC supposedly said in the NT).  Another problem with this is that Abraham is asking for the city to be spared if there are righteous people in it.  God agrees that if there 10 he won’t destroy it.  I guess 4 isn’t enough?  Or 6 if you count the husbands/fiancées that this god fearing man Lot agreed to give his daughters to?  It’s curious how this story contradicts the story of the lost lambs in the NT and shows how this god really doesn’t care about any collateral damage.  What does it matter a few innocents killed?  Heck at this point, if this god has to go look, how does he know who is who anyway?  God’s power gets increased and decreased by the speed of plot.

And of course, there’s no archaeological evidence at all for any god created disaster.


and nice post, 12 Monkeys.  Much prefer Raven over some pale Galilean.
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Offline 12 Monkeys

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Re: Question for Christians about Judas
« Reply #298 on: January 24, 2012, 10:29:45 AM »
Thanks Veykyn

 Ever notice how a theists will ALWAYS dismiss other creation stories from around the world as myth all the while holding their stories as true. The Bible,both OT and NT full of contadiction and so full of holes,niether can stand if examined.
There's no right there's no wrong,there's just popular opinion (Brad Pitt as Jeffery Goines in 12 monkeys)

Offline velkyn

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Re: Question for Christians about Judas
« Reply #299 on: January 24, 2012, 01:55:13 PM »
Thanks Veykyn

 Ever notice how a theists will ALWAYS dismiss other creation stories from around the world as myth all the while holding their stories as true. The Bible,both OT and NT full of contadiction and so full of holes,niether can stand if examined.

that makes me wonder, do you know of any similar contradictions in Haida myth?  Im a bit more familiar with the mythos of the Greco-Roman gods and the Egyptian ones and they seem to be pretty internally consistent, quite unlike the claims of the bible.
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Offline Hatter23

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Re: Question for Christians about Judas
« Reply #300 on: January 24, 2012, 03:20:40 PM »
Thanks Veykyn

 Ever notice how a theists will ALWAYS dismiss other creation stories from around the world as myth all the while holding their stories as true. The Bible,both OT and NT full of contadiction and so full of holes,niether can stand if examined.

that makes me wonder, do you know of any similar contradictions in Haida myth?  Im a bit more familiar with the mythos of the Greco-Roman gods and the Egyptian ones and they seem to be pretty internally consistent, quite unlike the claims of the bible.

They only seem more intentionally consistent because you've been exposed to the watered down, translated and most popular of each mythos. Flaws and variations become more apparent the closer one studies a mythos; we only notice the flaws of Christianity more readily because we are close enough to notice the scotch tape and cracks.
An Omnipowerful God needed to sacrifice himself to himself (but only for a long weekend) in order to avert his own wrath against his own creations who he made in a manner knowing that they weren't going to live up to his standards.

And you should feel guilty for this. Give me money.

Offline 12 Monkeys

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Re: Question for Christians about Judas
« Reply #301 on: January 24, 2012, 03:35:57 PM »
Thanks Veykyn

 Ever notice how a theists will ALWAYS dismiss other creation stories from around the world as myth all the while holding their stories as true. The Bible,both OT and NT full of contadiction and so full of holes,niether can stand if examined.

that makes me wonder, do you know of any similar contradictions in Haida myth?  Im a bit more familiar with the mythos of the Greco-Roman gods and the Egyptian ones and they seem to be pretty internally consistent, quite unlike the claims of the bible.

Well,women,much like Eve were an afterthought,as clamshells clamped on to their dangly bits and woman was created. As far as the "creation story",not really much contradicts anything. The Raven found us,was used by others to make the land we live on,what he throws away usually benefits humanity. He is like God in the way he likes to play with his "toys"(humans and other animals). The way he comes across things may be a little out of the timeline that is set out but hardly contradictory.....if something comes along that can't be explained "Ravendidit" works where"Goddidit" works for theists
« Last Edit: January 24, 2012, 03:45:27 PM by 12 Monkeys »
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Offline 12 Monkeys

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Re: Question for Christians about Judas
« Reply #302 on: January 24, 2012, 03:43:29 PM »
Thanks Veykyn

 Ever notice how a theists will ALWAYS dismiss other creation stories from around the world as myth all the while holding their stories as true. The Bible,both OT and NT full of contadiction and so full of holes,niether can stand if examined.

that makes me wonder, do you know of any similar contradictions in Haida myth?  Im a bit more familiar with the mythos of the Greco-Roman gods and the Egyptian ones and they seem to be pretty internally consistent, quite unlike the claims of the bible.

They only seem more intentionally consistent because you've been exposed to the watered down, translated and most popular of each mythos. Flaws and variations become more apparent the closer one studies a mythos; we only notice the flaws of Christianity more readily because we are close enough to notice the scotch tape and cracks.

Yet like the other myths that have faded into history,this single God based religion(in all its denominations) has managed to keep its head above the dammned water.

 The "other" mythos's have been watered down only because to the victors go the stories,,,and the religous dogmas of God are gonna be the first to fall victim without a major war....as athieism slowly takes over the planet.....the watered down version of this God based religion will be just another story...1000 years or so from now :laugh:
There's no right there's no wrong,there's just popular opinion (Brad Pitt as Jeffery Goines in 12 monkeys)

Offline SimpleCaveman

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Re: Question for Christians about Judas
« Reply #303 on: January 28, 2012, 11:57:46 AM »
Hello All,

As I PM'd the posters last week, this has been a busy week and I could not get back to the thread. Unfortunately, this next week is just as busy if not more so. I sincerely apologize for the delay in getting back here, and will as soon as I can.
 

Offline kaziglu bey

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Re: Question for Christians about Judas
« Reply #304 on: January 29, 2012, 04:37:34 PM »
Hello All,

As I PM'd the posters last week, this has been a busy week and I could not get back to the thread. Unfortunately, this next week is just as busy if not more so. I sincerely apologize for the delay in getting back here, and will as soon as I can.

No problem, I figured that you were probably busy. Life happens. Take care. I look forward to your response.
Seriously though... What would happen if the Great Green Arkleseizure didn't fram up the rammastam before the hermite curve achieved maximum nurdfurdle velocity? Now THAT would be something. AmIrite?

Offline SimpleCaveman

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Re: Question for Christians about Judas
« Reply #305 on: April 01, 2012, 09:30:08 PM »
Hi kaziglu bey,

How’s it going? Surprised to hear from me? I completely understand. Thanks to you also for being patient with me. I think that I’ll have some time this week. It’s Spring Break and I’m taking the week off to do some stuff around the house. We’ll see how well that goes. :)

Since it’s been two months (wow, I am very sorry for it being that long! The forum actually warned me that I might not want to reply here since it had been so long), I had to go back and refresh my memory on some of these. I encourage others who read our posts to do the same, i.e. back up a few and catch up on the conversation.

You’ve got a lot of good stuff in this post. However, if you don’t mind, I’m not going to respond to everything. Would you like to pick a couple of points for me to address or would you like me to?

Offline SimpleCaveman

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Re: Question for Christians about Judas
« Reply #306 on: April 01, 2012, 09:31:08 PM »
Hi Brakeman,

Long time no talk to. Thanks for your patience waiting for me to come back. We’ve had many different things going on over the last few months. I’m not guaranteeing that I’ll be regular going forward, but I am taking some time off and should be able to carry on a conversation for a week or so, if that’s okay.

No, I'm talking about your beliefs, not the beliefs of long dead people. The Exodus story was recorded hundreds and hundreds of years after the supposed event.
It’s easy to make claims when we gloss things over. Please be specific in how you think things happened. Hundreds of years later someone wrote a story that falsely injected into the Hebrew’s history a description of the Exodus, the Sinai events, the desert wanderings, etc. Everyone believed them even though there was no, according to you, tribal traditions, no stories handed down, etc. They believed these suddenly fabricated stories so much that it became the central aspect of their entire culture. Is that what you’re trying to say happened?

Please also tell me why the author of these books could not have been Moses as tradition states (other than the part about his own death maybe).

You can’t just wave your hands without giving logical arguments as to why your side is correct and the other is not. You can stick just to the Exodus story.

Offline SimpleCaveman

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Re: Question for Christians about Judas
« Reply #307 on: April 01, 2012, 09:33:26 PM »
Hi 12 Monkeys,

I apologize for the delay in responding to you.

Now your creation story is similar,but different  the world is flat and the sun moon and stars appear on the dome covering the world. Science has explained both the stories can't be really true,but somehow you hold on to these MYTHS to be true,while dismissing mine as only MYTH,why

 Why do you believe your stupid stories from a bunch of stupid goat herders over mine.
First, flat worlds and such are not the Bible’s creation story. I understand that you don’t like the Bible’s creation story, but let’s get the references right. Flat worlds with domes was the Hebrew understanding at the time, as it was the understanding of their pagan neighbors.

Second, I do not hold that flat worlds with domes must be true.

Third, Genesis was not written with a scientific viewpoint, but a spiritual one. It is religious poetry intended to teach religious truths necessary for our salvation, which it does very well.

Fourth, the Genesis story, unlike the Raven and the box story, does a pretty good job, as far as it goes, of coinciding with what science tells us.

Offline sun_king

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Re: Question for Christians about Judas
« Reply #308 on: April 01, 2012, 10:12:16 PM »
Fourth, the Genesis story, unlike the Raven and the box story, does a pretty good job, as far as it goes, of coinciding with what science tells us.

To be on the same page, to which science does genesis story coincide with?

Offline Azdgari

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Re: Question for Christians about Judas
« Reply #309 on: April 01, 2012, 11:04:43 PM »
To this "science", sun_king:  http://www.answersingenesis.com
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Re: Question for Christians about Judas
« Reply #310 on: April 02, 2012, 05:42:10 AM »
Judas' "betrayal" is complex on many different levels. On the surface it seems simple. Some guy gets thirty silver for ratting out his mentor. But if you dig a little deeper a few facts/points bear light that reveals the intricacy. First is the temple law of Jesus' time period. During that era to condemn someone required witnesses and testimony before the council of priests. In addition if someone was to come to the council and admit that they had commited sin they could simply make offerings and be absolved of that sin. So, in order for Jesus to be condemned to death someone had to bear witness against him, then he had to be tried. It helps whenever reading biblical passages and stories to bear in mind the time period in which they were written and the customs of the characters in them and the customs of the author.

Additionally the Gospel of Judas is quite different from the biblical version and suggest that Jesus singles Judas out to perform this service for him. Not that Judas betrays Jesus but rather that he does his will. Evidence to support this is the kiss that Judas betrays him with. He loves Jesus, and Jesus' admoniton "Betray me with a kiss?" can be seen in the light of him asking Judas, "Is this how you would normally betray people? Why not just point your finger and say seize him!" That's my take anyway.

I think that Judas' story is almost promethian, in that Judas does what we knows is wrong for himself to advance a greater good for all of mankind. It is as a previous poster said, a kind of sacrifice on Judas' part. I think that the authors of the biblical gospels perhaps missed this point or could not conceive of the idea or simply did not want to have two figures in their narrative with so noble a character (willing to sacrifice themselves for others) and they instead villified Judas and the accounts of his suicide become muddled.

Offline kaziglu bey

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Re: Question for Christians about Judas
« Reply #311 on: April 02, 2012, 06:00:08 AM »
Hi kaziglu bey,

How’s it going? Surprised to hear from me? I completely understand. Thanks to you also for being patient with me. I think that I’ll have some time this week. It’s Spring Break and I’m taking the week off to do some stuff around the house. We’ll see how well that goes. :)
welcome back! Hopefully you have been able to keep things under control, I know you were really busy.

Quote
Since it’s been two months (wow, I am very sorry for it being that long! The forum actually warned me that I might not want to reply here since it had been so long),
no need to apologize, you said you would likely be gone for a bit.
Quote
I had to go back and refresh my memory on some of these. I encourage others who read our posts to do the same, i.e. back up a few and catch up on the conversation.

You’ve got a lot of good stuff in this post. However, if you don’t mind, I’m not going to respond to everything. Would you like to pick a couple of points for me to address or would you like me to?

Looking at my last relevant post, I can see what you mean. It's pretty long. I'd be interested to hear your response to any of it, so choose what you like. If I feel that your response brushes over something major, I will let you know.

Glad to hear that things are settling down a little bit for ya, look forward to your next post!
Seriously though... What would happen if the Great Green Arkleseizure didn't fram up the rammastam before the hermite curve achieved maximum nurdfurdle velocity? Now THAT would be something. AmIrite?

Offline velkyn

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Re: Question for Christians about Judas
« Reply #312 on: April 02, 2012, 10:08:15 AM »
oh, the part of writing about his own death isn’t enough evidence that Moses didn't write all of this down?   ;D  Oh such a "little” detail.  There is also that problem with writing as an omniscient narrator, where Moses suddenly now knows what the Pharoah says but is supposedly miles away?  Oh of course, God told him didn’t he?  :D  What a convenient answer!   

No evidence for the Exodus at all.  None in Egypt, none anywhere on the Sinai, nothing.  Supposedly hundreds of thousands of Israelites were supposedly “slaves” in Egypt.  NO evidence of this or the economic problems there would be if they did exist and lef.  There is no evidence that the Israelites left Egypt, carrying all of the treasure of Egypt because this god supposedly forced the Egyptians to give it up.  Supposedly the army of the Pharoah, every chariot in Egypt, was completely destroyed and the civilization was decimated by the murder of the first born of every living thing.  But Jews and Christiansn can’t show *when* this actually happened.  And we see no evidence in any time period where the kingdoms around Upper and Lower Egypt attacked Egypt because it was supposedly so weakened. There have been no encampments ranging over a 40 year period in the Sinai.  And hundreds of thousands of people do have to poop, do have to get rid of garbage (heck they had quail a foot deep), etc and magically there are no latrines to be found anywhere from such a group.   

And the same problems exist for the myths about the global flood, the tower of Babel, the magical battles that god interfered in, the existence of Jesus son of god, the events around the supposed cruxifiction, and the claims of the apostles.

It’s such utter nonsense.  Just more myths indistinguishable from any other religion’s.
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Re: Question for Christians about Judas
« Reply #313 on: April 02, 2012, 04:10:28 PM »
It’s easy to make claims when we gloss things over. Please be specific in how you think things happened.

This is an illegitimate demand.  We're talking about the distant past, about a society that produced no enduring stone monuments.  The only records we have are translations of translations of copies of copies of copies of perishable scrolls that were probably written-down versions of even more perishable oral tales.  All throughout this long, long game of Telephone, there were kings and priests and holy-men with various agendas who were all in a position to alter or redact the writings.  It may not be possible to provide a minutely-detailed and meticulously proven history of how the stories originated.  That doesn't mean we should believe in talking bushes.

If you are interested in this issue, you ought to at least look into what mainstream scholarship has to say about how what we call "the Bible" was compiled.  In the case of the Torah, scholars have been able to analyze content and word-use, and deduce that there were at least four main sources, the Jehovist, Elohist, Deuteronomist, and Priestly writers (JEDP), and a Redactor (possibly Ezra, who is portrayed "discovering" a scroll of the Torah and mandating that it be publicly read to the people).  These sources in turn were writing down older national folklore.  Those original stories don't have to be any more true than tales of Paul Bunyan, or George Washington chopping down the cherry tree.

It is possible that dissidents and/or runaway slaves from Egypt could have found refuge with the Canaanites who were, from what the archaeological evidence tells us, the original Israelites; there was no Israelite "invasion" of Canaan.[1]  However the Exodus narrative is fiction.  If Egypt had been laid waste by a Hebrew sorcerer, the Egyptians would have noticed.

Hundreds of years later someone wrote a story that falsely injected into the Hebrew’s history a description of the Exodus, the Sinai events, the desert wanderings, etc. Everyone believed them even though there was no, according to you, tribal traditions, no stories handed down, etc. They believed these suddenly fabricated stories so much that it became the central aspect of their entire culture. Is that what you’re trying to say happened?

This is a strawman argument.  Nowhere in the post by Brakeman that you cited, does he suggest that anyone just abruptly made up the Exodus story and inserted it into ancient Israelite history.  There were "tribal traditions, stories handed down" that were incorporated into the narrative and crafted into nationalistic propaganda during the time of the Divided Monarchy and post-Exile periods.  There is an entire body of scholarship in archaeology and critical analysis of Biblical texts that has studied the question of the stories' origins.  If you really want to know the truth, you would do well to avail yourself of it.  The Bible Unearthed by Israel Finkelstein and Neil Asher Silverman[2] is a great place to start.  If it's not in your library and you don't want to drop money for a book, then watch the video documentary I linked to in my first footnote.

Please also tell me why the author of these books could not have been Moses as tradition states (other than the part about his own death maybe).

What is your evidence that Moses did write them?  I have to say, I do get a kick out of the way you say "maybe" at the end there.  As if you don't quite want to dismiss the possibility that, after clutching his chest and collapsing to the ground in death, Moses' corpse managed to crawl back to his scribe's table and write "And then, I died" to the end of Deuteronomy.

Evidence that Moses was not the author is abundant.  First of all, the stories are written about Moses, in the third person.  The texts are full of anachronisms (references to places, events, etc. that existed after the alleged time of Moses) and explicit statements of later authorship.  For example:

Quote
Then Moses, the servant of the Lord, died there in the land of Moab, at the Lord's command.  He was buried in a valley in the land of Moab, opposite Beth-peor, but no one knows his burial place to this day...Never since has there arisen a prophet in Israel like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face.

--Deuteronomy 34:5-6, 10, emphasis added.

Verses like these are clearly written by an author for whom Moses was a figure of the distant past.  We can also note how the authors refer to "Pharaoh" as if that were a personal name (as in, "Pharaoh, king of Egypt").  "Pharaoh" comes from the ancient Egyptian word Per-a'a, meaning "Great House," i.e., the royal palace.  It's basically the same sort of thing we do when we refer to "the White House" when we're talking about a Presidential administration: "the White House announced today that the United States will seek to tighten sanctions against Iran."

If someone were to write a book that said, "And Whitehouse, President of the United States, said..." it is a very safe bet that this person is not someone who ever knew any American President personally, lived during the time of American preeminence, or had any but the most dim understanding of the United States government and culture.

You can’t just wave your hands without giving logical arguments as to why your side is correct and the other is not.

Translation: "Pot to kettle, pot to kettle, you're black, over."
 1. For a free video documentary of these findings, see .
 2. Note the Jewish names.  These are Israeli archaeologists who would have every reason to try to uphold the Exodus narrative if it were possible, since it is the basis for their nation's claim to its land.
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Offline Ambassador Pony

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Re: Question for Christians about Judas
« Reply #314 on: April 02, 2012, 04:49:54 PM »
bm
You believe evolution and there is no evidence for that. Where is the fossil record of a half man half ape. I've only ever heard about it in reading.

Offline jaimehlers

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Re: Question for Christians about Judas
« Reply #315 on: April 02, 2012, 05:25:26 PM »
As an addendum to kcrady's post, I think it's important to point out that we want proof, not words.  It's all well and good to talk about the Bible, but the fact is that for all the reverence that Christians give it, it's still a collection of words.  Remember the old saying, a picture is worth a thousand words?  If a single picture is worth a thousand words, a single piece of hard evidence is worth at least a million.  Pictures can be faked, but it's a lot harder to fake something that can be tested, like an ancient piece of pottery, or a clay tablet, or bones.  And the thing is, the actual evidence we have contradicts a lot of what's in the Bible.

For that matter, the words put down by other civilizations contradict some of what's in the Bible.  There were quite a few cultures elsewhere in the world at the time the Noachim Flood was believed to happen, yet their histories continue through that time period, unbroken.  As kcrady pointed out, the plagues supposedly spread by Moses in Egypt were never so much as mentioned in Egyptian histories, even though the Egyptians were fairly well obsessed with keeping records.  And there were no Roman records of a Jewish miracle-worker during the time frame of Jesus's ministry.  Even given Roman cosmopolitanism, they would have seen the miracles that Jesus supposedly performed as the equivalent of a god walking the Earth.  They would certainly have written about them to their friends and families; the Roman overseers in Palestine would have included them in their reports to Rome, even if they hedged their bets; there would have been some records made.  For that matter, why didn't the Romans bring up the bright star that would have appeared in the sky over the Mediterranean?  I mean, whether it was a nova, a planetary conjunction, or something else, either way it would have been an extremely rare event and would have been written about by the Romans, since they named the planets after members of their pantheon.

I'm sure there's lots more that could be said regarding this, but I believe I've made my point.

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Re: Question for Christians about Judas
« Reply #316 on: April 02, 2012, 07:44:50 PM »
Judas' "betrayal" is complex on many different levels. On the surface it seems simple. Some guy gets thirty silver for ratting out his mentor. ... So, in order for Jesus to be condemned to death someone had to bear witness against him,
which, allegedly is what Judas did and walked out with money.
Quote
Additionally the Gospel of Judas is quite different from the biblical version and suggest that Jesus singles Judas out to perform this service for him. Not that Judas betrays Jesus but rather that he does his will. Evidence to support this is the kiss that Judas betrays him with. He loves Jesus, and Jesus' admoniton "Betray me with a kiss?" can be seen in the light of him asking Judas, "Is this how you would normally betray people? Why not just point your finger and say seize him!" That's my take anyway.
What was said and what might have been said are different things.

Quote
I think that Judas' story is almost promethian, in that Judas does what we he knows is wrong for himself to advance a greater good for all of mankind.
He did it on the orders of a man he believed to be the Son of God. How did he die? According to the Gospel of Judas, he was to be stoned by the other disciples - yet a third way of death.
Quote
I think that the authors of the biblical gospels perhaps (i) missed this point or (ii) could not conceive of the idea or (iii) simply did not want to have two figures in their narrative with so noble a character
(i) They certainly did that. I suspect that no one would have believed them. (ii)which accounts for why they missed it - and they are not looking for ideas, they are looking totell what actually happened. (iii) The Bible is filled with patriarchs, one more would not make a difference - and was he so noble? All he did was "follow orders." for which he was paid.
Nobody says “There are many things that we thought were natural processes, but now know that a god did them.”

Offline SimpleCaveman

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Re: Question for Christians about Judas
« Reply #317 on: April 02, 2012, 10:00:29 PM »
Hi kaziglu bey,

Looking at my last relevant post, I can see what you mean. It's pretty long. I'd be interested to hear your response to any of it, so choose what you like. If I feel that your response brushes over something major, I will let you know.
Thanks for the flexibility. I appreciate it. I picked just some of the topics that seemed to be “bigger,” though the post is still quite long. Maybe someday we can come back to the others.

. . .  why did God choose it as the primary means of communicating his message? . . . Why would God have planned that so badly?  . . . Why is an all powerful entity limited to the pathetic means of some tribal herdsmen in the Bronze Age?" . . .  why didn't God send Stealth Bombers to take out pharaoh and his chariots? . . .  Was God's thinking immature? Or was he not able to over-ride the ignorance of the writers?
Very thought provoking questions. Some think that God uses “faulty” means for communicating with us, but He’s really using appropriate means. When you are discussing things with your son, does it help for you to use language that he can’t understand? That is, assuming he’s young, would you use the phrase “conjectural variations approach” to teach him how to handle his allowance? (I found that phrase online. :)) If a kid were bullying your son, would you run him down with your car just because you can? If you can’t sincerely answer yes to those questions, then you have to re-evaluate the logic and legitimacy of your questions.

God uses appropriate language and means to communicate to us. God is like a father who lovingly guides his son to manhood, though the son may not always understand what the father is doing or why.

And we see that in the Bible. People have problems with the Bible because they make broad generalizations based on a narrow reading of certain parts of the Bible. If instead, they were to look at the whole Bible they would better see the movements of salvation history that culminate with Jesus Christ.

But why did he wait SO long? Aften Adam and Eve, and Abraham and Isaac, and Moses, Joshua, Aaron, etc etc, how many thousands of years did it take God to come up with a fairly mundane way of "saving" mankind from God?
Once we see that God was “guiding us to manhood” then the answer to your question is clear. The Jewish people grew from the pagan understanding of god as vengeful, mercurial and requiring child sacrifice to one who is a suffering servant and who is love. It could be that some of the Greek ideas were also necessary. One could easily guess that the Roman Empire was beneficial as well. It’s breadth, peace and longevity made it a good era for Christianity to spread.

If God's influence moved the pens of the writers, he could have assured that his unchanging wisdom were present from the beginning, rather than coming around later as an afterthought. God's word should start with the same perspective as it ends, if the ultimate author is unchanging.
I’m glad that you see this. And a look back on the Bible as a whole shows this. The people had to grow, yes, but they don’t grow without something to grow to and without someone to guide them. God did that by a series of covenants with humanity that culminate in the covenant of Jesus Christ.

Fine, then how do you KNOW that God's plans, though apparently at times flawed, are in fact perfect?
It follows logically from the premises, starting with “God is love” so that He made us out of love and wants only what’s best for us. Then from omniscience, omnipresence, etc. we know that what he wants, he can make happen. At the same time he respects our free will, which was part of what started this! :)

SO God is like a mafia boss, showing a new recruit what happens to those who cross his path. Death, destruction, punishment. Always punishment, always something bad has to happen to make God happy. The only way for God to combat evil is by committing greater evil. Again, don't you see why this is an issue for me?
Yes, I do see that this is an issue for you. Your compassion is clear.

Not being angry with someone does NOT mean "don't rape them".
Do you disagree that rape is a crime of violence?

Actually having been raised Catholic I can "assume" the Catholic Framework. It's not foreign to me, I just don't agree with it.
That’s good. I actually find very few people on this forum who can accurately describe Catholic teachings.

But the participants in the OT did not have Jesus, why shouldn't we read it without Jesus? Why is Jesus an afterthought?
Good question. The answer is two-fold. First, He’s not an afterthought and, secondly, that way of reading fits with the Jewish way of reading the Bible. Let me explain.

In the book of Genesis we have the proto-evangelium, the early version of the gospels, when God said to the serpent, “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; He will strike at your head, while you strike at his heel.” God developed the idea of a Savior for the Jewish people through the things that happened to them. Each of the covenants brought them closer to this understanding. So Jesus was not an afterthought and God’s plan for the Jewish people culminates in the person of Jesus Christ. It is critical to the understanding of God to understand Jesus and to know him as a person.

Secondly, when new things happened to them, the Jewish people would interpret those events in light of their scripture and would reinterpret their scripture in light of the new events. One example is when they were taken into exile in Babylon, they had to rethink their scripture and the promises of God in light of the fact that they didn’t have a land anymore! That rethinking took their understanding of the covenant of God to a new level.

Offline SimpleCaveman

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Re: Question for Christians about Judas
« Reply #318 on: April 02, 2012, 10:13:58 PM »
Hi sun_king,

It’s a pleasure to “meet” you, so to speak.
Fourth, the Genesis story, unlike the Raven and the box story, does a pretty good job, as far as it goes, of coinciding with what science tells us.
To be on the same page, to which science does genesis story coincide with?
Thanks for asking the question first. Many people would just go right in with an attack. I appreciate that you sought to understand first. Note that these are my own thoughts and others more scholarly than I may have thought this through more. Actually, I did a quick search and found a comparison on Huffington post by David L. Wolper. Go figure. He produced a lot of great movies, though I’m not sure that makes him a science expert. By the way, I’m not defending what he says, just thought I’d share.

As I had said, Genesis has a different purpose than teaching science. For one thing the Hebrews did not think of religion and science as two different things. Everything was related to religion. So, first let’s look at some of the structure of Genesis.

The first story of creation, Genesis 1, is written for the entire world. God is called Elohim, a name which the other nations would understand. The second story is for the Jewish people. God is called Yahweh and the first covenant that I mentioned in another post is established.

In the first story, we start with the Earth without form and empty. The first 3 days give the Earth form and the second 3 populate it or set “rulers” over the world. God first creates the “structure” of the world and then fills it with living things. The sets of days match up. For example, in Day 1 we have day and night, and then in Day 4 those realms are populated or they are given their “rulers” (two different ways to think of it).

God then rests and blesses His creation, establishing a covenant with creation and especially with us, by establishing the Sabbath. This is referred to in other books later on, as well. In fact, the Hebrew word for “oath-swearing,” which establishes a covenant, is sheba, which is a word based on the Hebrew word for the number “seven.” We see that connection later in the Bible as well.

If we compare the creation account with the accounts of the building of the tabernacle and the Temple, we’ll see that both of these holy dwellings are described in terms very similar to those used to describe the creation of the world. The world is the Temple and the Garden of Eden is the sanctuary or holy of holies where God dwelled. There are other things, too, but that’s enough to show that there’s quite a bit going on in the first few books of Genesis.

How much they intended to write as “science” I don’t know, probably little. However, there are some parallels that I see that are worth mentioning. They’re not rocket science, but they beat a Raven and a box. :) I won’t go into the ones that Wolper has in his post and I didn’t think of. Some of his points do seem logical with what I know about cosmology. I put them into a table hoping that would make it easier to follow, however the table tags don’t seem to allow a border. Maybe if the admins added the mod, Table Plus BBCodes? I made some extra formatting to help keep things straight.

    The Bible
    Science
    • In the beginning, when God created the heavens and the earth.
    First, the author states that the universe had a beginning. It wasn’t around forever.
    • God said let there be light.
    The Big Bang has been described as an explosion of light.
    • God made a firmament and divided the waters that were under the firmament from those above. . . .  and God called the firmament, Heaven.
    The “heavens” were created before the earth was formed.
    • And God called the dry land, Earth; and the gathering together of the waters, he called Seas.
    The bare earth and the oceans would have formed first.
    • the Earth brought forth the green herb, and such as yieldeth seed according to its kind, and the tree that beareth fruit having seed each one according to its kind.
    Wolper points out that this is out of order and that the creatures of the sea would have formed first. However, this order fits with the form and void structure of the story.
    • And God made two great lights: a greater light to rule the day; and a lesser light to rule the night: and the stars.
    Whether the “explanation” given by others is right or not, I don’t know. This order fits the structure of the story that tells the religious truths, which were more important.
    • God also said: Let the waters bring forth the creeping creature having life, and the fowl that may fly over the earth under the firmament of heaven.
    Life in the sea would have been created first. I’m sure the fowls were secretly added by a pagan who sneaked into the copy room.
    • And God said: Let the earth bring forth the living creature in its kind, cattle and creeping things, and beasts of the earth, according to their kinds.
    The creatures on the earth would have been created next.
    • And God created man to his own image: to the image of God he created him: male and female he created them.
    Humans evolved last.

    So, obviously it’s not a scientific paper and it’s not intended to be, but I hope that explains what I meant.
    [/list]