Author Topic: Question for Christians about Judas  (Read 15273 times)

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Offline SimpleCaveman

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Re: Question for Christians about Judas
« Reply #319 on: April 02, 2012, 10:42:42 PM »
Hi kcrady,

Thanks for the response.

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.  . . .   It may not be possible to provide a minutely-detailed and meticulously proven history of how the stories originated. 
No it’s not, and your response is a cop-out. I did not ask for a “minutely-detailed and meticulously proven history.” I asked for “how you think things happened.” I think that’s a very fair request. I have no problem with him waving his hands a little, but so far he’s making windmills, just as you are. If Brakeman can’t do it, then he can say so and take back his claims. By the way, you point to scholarship later on, but your dismissal of oral tradition is not scholarly at all.

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.
Yes, the Documentary Hypothesis (DH) was popular and some still subscribe to it, but you have to keep up with the scholars. About half a century ago, Umberto Cassuto, a Jewish scholar, reviewed the valid observations of the DH. He pointed out problems with the DH and asked the question, “Is there an easier way to explain the difficulties?” His approach is a simpler way of explaining the questions the DH brought up without some of the problems that came with it. You can read about it in his book, The Documentary Hypothesis and the Composition of the Pentateuch. His is a valid alternative to the DH without the DH’s problems that is gaining popularity among scholars.

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. 
I see your hands moving, but nothing behind them. How did these lies get pulled over the eyes of all the people? They were that gullible? A tribal leader told his children about the story of the Exodus and the other tribes around there just went along with it?

You say in the Divided Monarchy and post-Exile periods. Does that mean that in David’s time these stories weren’t around? Why do the books about those times include Exodus stories? Why are the Psalms replete with Exodus references?

Again, paint me a picture that gives just a little bit of rationality in this giant conspiracy theory.

There is an entire body of scholarship in archaeology and critical analysis of Biblical texts that has studied the question of the stories' origins. 
Maybe so, but it’s certainly not the only “body of scholarship.” If you want to read research from another perspective, “A History of Israel” by John Bright is a good example. He is the Cyrus H. McCormick Emeritus Professor of Hebrew and the Interpretation of the Old Testament at Union Theological Seminary. He gives honest and well reasoned arguments for his conclusions with references to the research literature he bases it on.

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.
Really? Every Israeli thinks that the reason they have claim to the land is because of the Torah? Isn’t that just a little racist?

Then I say
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).
And you respond with
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:
And then you fall back on the example of his death. Ahh, you’re quite the character.

We can also note how the authors refer to "Pharaoh" as if that were a personal name. . .   "Pharaoh" comes from the ancient Egyptian word Per-a'a, meaning "Great House," i.e., the royal palace.  . . .

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.
Yes, we can note that, but we also have to note the rest of the opening paragraph from Wikipedia which says
Quote
The title of Pharaoh started being used for the king during the New Kingdom, specifically during the middle of the eighteenth dynasty.
Or even the next paragraph which says,
Quote
Pharaoh, meaning "Great House", originally referred to the king's palace, but by the reign of Thutmose III (ca. 1479-1425 BC) in the New Kingdom, had become a form of address for the person of the king.
These time periods, the Eighteenth Dynasty which includes the reign of Thutmose III, are about when the Hebrews were in Egypt and before the probable date of the Exodus.

So, you can note that all you want, but I’m not sure what it gets you.

Offline sun_king

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Re: Question for Christians about Judas
« Reply #320 on: April 03, 2012, 02:04:32 AM »
<snip>

SC, I appreciate the long and detailed answer given to my one-line post.

Let us summarize, as per the bible: (Till Day 1, small steps at a time  :))

Till Day 1: God, holy spirit, Jesus, angels, archangels, cherubs, dominions, powers, seraphs etc just existed. Time may have flowed, but there was no defined space.[1] All the above entities existed nowhere. And there was utter darkness, but that probably didnt matter, the divine entities probably didnt need optical spectrum. This is logical because all of them would have been one, extremely dense atom. Phenomenal cosmic powers, itty bitty living space.

Day 1: God creates heaven and earth. Finally the supernatural have some space to set foot on. Visible light is active.[2]. Big Bang is not an explosion, its an expansion[3]

So 24 hours after the biblical big bang, we have heaven and an earth without form, but full of brine. There was a day and night, but no sun, moon and the stars.[4]. Heaven is above the Middle East, a solid mass of unspecified shape, at an unspecified distance. Can't compromise on the length of of a day, day has to be 24 hours, we dont have sabbaths millions of years long, right. One unit needs to have one standard definition, in the science we use. It just wont be science if we define day at our convenience!

I think you should filter out the science and identify what may have been added by pagans sneaking into the copy rooms. You are welcome to correct me if you find mistakes in my inference.
 1.  A viable alternative is that god came to existence just prior to Day 1.
 2.  Having some experience in electro-optics I would love to ask god how light was seperated from darkness. Darkness is absense of light, you cannot seperate it, seperation is applicable for heterogenous items. But saying god reduced light wont make him sound impressive.
 3. Listen to the song by Barenaked Ladies.
 4. Doesnt it make you wonder if the planets, satellites and the stars are redundant.

Offline screwtape

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Re: Question for Christians about Judas
« Reply #321 on: April 03, 2012, 07:16:45 AM »
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.

I just want to add to this.

It is not as if the hebrews had libraries or history books where someone could look up history prior to his lifetime and call bullshit on an outrageous story.  "Oh, you say we annihilated the Egyptians with plagues?  Well, it says right here in this history book that we were never in Egypt...!"  Didn't happen.  All they had was what the priests told them.  And if the priests came out with some new story about how your people so awesomely wiped out the people of say Jericho, you had no way (or reason) to refute it.

 
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Offline jaimehlers

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Re: Question for Christians about Judas
« Reply #322 on: April 03, 2012, 07:24:26 AM »
Even with history books, we still have silly tales like George Washington and his cherry tree.  And, to put it bluntly, oral traditions are not a very good way of remembering history, though they're better than nothing.

Offline screwtape

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Re: Question for Christians about Judas
« Reply #323 on: April 03, 2012, 07:34:47 AM »
God said let there be light. ....The Big Bang has been described as an explosion of light.

However, yhwh's creation is not described in the same way. It is only described in that "there wasn't light, now there is".  No expansion of space.  No expansion of matter.  No cooling.  No thermodynamics. No nothing.  Just a primitive's understanding, "god turned the lights on".  It really does not parallel reality.

God made a firmament and divided the waters that were under the firmament from those above. . . .  and God called the firmament, Heaven.

do you know what "firmament" is?  Here is the definition from Strong's Concordance:
http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H7549&t=KJV
Quote
1) extended surface (solid), expanse, firmament
  a) expanse (flat as base, support)
  b) firmament (of vault of heaven supporting waters above)
    1) considered by Hebrews as solid and supporting 'waters' above

Got that?  They sky is a solid and supported waters above it.  Not much like reality, is it?

The “heavens” were created before the earth was formed.

myeah.  No.  That's not what those words meant.  And you know it.  Otherwise you would not have put "heavens" in scare quotes.


And God made two great lights: a greater light to rule the day; and a lesser light to rule the night: and the stars.

So, the sun and moon came after plants.

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.

Ah, so it is no longer about how this mythology fits reality, but about religious truths.  It is too bad it is inconvenient for you to be consistent.  I understand.  I was there once myself.  Once you give up Genesis As Analogy and understand it is the creation myth of a primitive people and nothing more, it is much easier.  It is a simpler idea and one that is easier to be consistent about.  If you can find a way to detach that belief from your god beliefs, then perhaps you could try it out for a little while and see how it fits.

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Offline velkyn

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Re: Question for Christians about Judas
« Reply #324 on: April 03, 2012, 09:15:12 AM »
BTW, a reminder that SC has told me he refuses to acknowledge any in my posts. So if someone wants to see something I’ve mentioned addressed by SC, you’ll have to mention it yourself.  I am enjoying watching everyone bring up the hard questions, and adding to them myself so we can watch SC do his usual thing.
Very thought provoking questions. Some think that God uses “faulty” means for communicating with us, but He’s really using appropriate means.
again with the magic decoder ring.  Since SC can claim that *he* understands it, he must know the magic “appropriate means”.  Poor SC, the problem is that Christians kill each other and other people over who has the “right” interretation so your excuse would mean that your god wants people killed out of confusion.  What a good god! 

Quote
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.
Oh golly and now we get the usual lies about how “everyone” but SC is misreading the bible and not doing it “properly”. Of course, SC can’t show his version is any more correct than the rest. 

Oh and we even get SC’s claim that the Jews were misunderstanding god, they only had a “pagan” understanding of what this god “really” was.  Hilarious.  Poor God, just can’t make anyone truly understand him.  SC also seems to think that no one but him has read the bible “as a whole” and that if one did, everyone would agree with him.  Alas, I have read the bible as a whole and disagree.  I guess that prayer to god for his claims to be supported failed too.  Oh and the claim that “god is love” when this god fails the definition of love offered in its magic book.  I do like that a lot.  Oh and the claims that god respects our free will, when that’s not supported in any way by the claims about god in the bible or by “church fathers”.  But as always SC will ignore that.   
Quote
Do you disagree that rape is a crime of violence?
Why yes it is and your god is all about letting it happen to women and makes laws that women who are raped have to marry their their violent attackers.  Again, what a good god! 

It’s always amusing to see SC sure that his version of Catholicism is the only real one. We have the claim that the Genesis story is “really” about Jesus but that again is simply retconning the story to excuse the problems in the OT and NT.  The snake story is nothing more than a ‘just-so’ story about snakes and mankind.  There needs to be no other interpretation, and its always amusing to watch Christians disagree on whether it was a real snake or if it was Satan. In any case, it shows a god that either intentionally let its creations be deceived so it could make up this little shadow play, needing to give forgiveness for something it intentionally allowed to happen (rather like a firefighter who is an arsonist so they get lots of praise), or a moronic god that couldn’t keep out supposed “pure evil” from its magical garden.  I even like this better when Revelation points out that JC supposedly gets to rule over a planet of good people since all the evil people were killed but then his daddy simply “must” allow pure evil out again to corrupt more people.  Seems that for an omnipotent, omniscient god, this god sure can’t do much for itself or for the people that it supposed “loves”. 

Oh then SC has to lcaim that there is no problem between the two different origina stories in Genesis.  I do love how he then claims that his version of Christianity is the only right one and of course has no evidence to support that.  Nope, we’re just supposed to look at his posts in awe and nod our heads. Golly, SC you’re right!  Oh and SC, science does not claim that the BB was an “explosion of light”.  Nice lie there.

As usual no evidence for his claims. No dates, no archaeology, nothing.
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Offline SimpleCaveman

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Re: Question for Christians about Judas
« Reply #325 on: April 03, 2012, 12:22:52 PM »
Hi sun_king,

SC, I appreciate the long and detailed answer given to my one-line post.
You’re welcome.

Let us summarize, as per the bible: (Till Day 1, small steps at a time  :))
. . .
I think you should filter out the science and identify what may have been added by pagans sneaking into the copy rooms. You are welcome to correct me if you find mistakes in my inference.
While I found your post funny (I hope in the parts that you meant it to be), I’m not sure what you’re trying to say. Are you trying to make fun of Genesis as science? If you are, then I’m not sure you read my post or at least understood it.

If you’re not, then what is your point?

Offline SimpleCaveman

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Re: Question for Christians about Judas
« Reply #326 on: April 03, 2012, 12:24:04 PM »
Hi screwtape,   

How’s it going? I hope all is well. I see your boxes (?) are all blue now. I’m guessing that in the view of the forum that’s a good thing. And were you “Global Moderator” last time we “talked”? 

It is not as if the hebrews had libraries or history books where someone could look up history prior to his lifetime and call bullshit on an outrageous story.  "Oh, you say we annihilated the Egyptians with plagues?  Well, it says right here in this history book that we were never in Egypt...!"  Didn't happen.  All they had was what the priests told them.  And if the priests came out with some new story about how your people so awesomely wiped out the people of say Jericho, you had no way (or reason) to refute it.
As I said to kcrady, dismissing Oral Tradition and written documents in the Ancient Near East is not scholarly. Your, and others, description of how information was kept and passed on in the Hebrew culture, or any culture in that time, are at great odds with the science. I realize that this perception is an important one for your viewpoint and not likely to be challenged but encouraged by most posters on this forum.

However, I suggest, being the lover of science that you are, that you do some research into the current understanding of “information management” in the Ancient Near East. I don’t imagine that it will change your viewpoint, but at least your understanding of the period will be a more accurate one.

Offline SimpleCaveman

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Re: Question for Christians about Judas
« Reply #327 on: April 03, 2012, 12:25:38 PM »
God said let there be light. ....The Big Bang has been described as an explosion of light.
However, yhwh's creation is not described in the same way. It is only described in that "there wasn't light, now there is".  No expansion of space.  No expansion of matter.  No cooling.  No thermodynamics. No nothing.  Just a primitive's understanding, "god turned the lights on".  It really does not parallel reality.
You didn’t get the point of my post either. Oh, well. Never mind.

Offline sun_king

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Re: Question for Christians about Judas
« Reply #328 on: April 03, 2012, 12:40:07 PM »

While I found your post funny (I hope in the parts that you meant it to be), I’m not sure what you’re trying to say. Are you trying to make fun of Genesis as science? If you are, then I’m not sure you read my post or at least understood it.


Spot on SC, I am making fun of Genesis 1 (1) for the audacity to call it science and (2) the abysmally dumb creation narrative. I read your post and tried to understand what it meant, didn't make much progress, hey but that is not my fault. I dismiss whatever Wolper is trying to state, science doesn't have flexible measuring tapes. A day is 24 hours, you can't extend or compress it to match some fairytale. That is why we took extensive pains to define each unit of measurement. ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Units_of_measurement)

And I summarized the "scientific" narration of the universe till day 1 and it was good. You are still free to correct me if you find errors in my inference. Since the word "science" is in use, please adhere to a clearly defined and universally accessible measurement system.

Any endeavors to further explain the "point" is welcome.

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Re: Question for Christians about Judas
« Reply #329 on: April 03, 2012, 12:50:06 PM »
You didn’t get the point of my post either. Oh, well. Never mind.

If otherwise intelligent people are missing the point of your post, then perhaps you should lower yourself to explicitly stating the point of your post.
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Offline velkyn

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Re: Question for Christians about Judas
« Reply #330 on: April 03, 2012, 12:53:56 PM »
with SC, Genesis isn't supposed to be science (since it's frankly ridiculous) but oh-ho when it comes to magic flood and divine parthenogenesis, then it's true, all true! ;D
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Re: Question for Christians about Judas
« Reply #331 on: April 03, 2012, 01:00:13 PM »
with SC, Genesis isn't supposed to be science (since it's frankly ridiculous) but oh-ho when it comes to magic flood and divine parthenogenesis, then it's true, all true! ;D

This is why I'm glad I'm an atheist. From an impartial PoV, we can see the myths for what they really are.
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Offline Brakeman

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Re: Question for Christians about Judas
« Reply #332 on: April 03, 2012, 04:56:51 PM »

As I said to kcrady, dismissing Oral Tradition and written documents in the Ancient Near East is not scholarly. Your, and others, description of how information was kept and passed on in the Hebrew culture, or any culture in that time, are at great odds with the science. ..

Joseph Smith told a wild story about Israelites living in the United states with Jesus visits and great wars between two Semitic peoples. Do modern day information passage modes have weaknesses where the ancients are flawless?  Were the Ancient Shinto, Hindu, and Muslim information modes more faulty than the Hebrew? Is that scientific?
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Re: Question for Christians about Judas
« Reply #333 on: April 03, 2012, 05:26:45 PM »
Why wouldn't Jesus, who supposedly loves each one of us ever so much, try to stop Judas from betraying him when he knew the consequence would be spending an eternity in hell?
I have heard it told like this, and I could see how it would seem correct to a Christian. Without the betrayal, the most important Christian event would not have taken place. So Judas had to betray Jesus for God's plan to work out. Satan wouldn't have wanted God's plan to work out, so he wouldn't have been interested in furthering that plan. Assuming he was smart enough to forsee the consequences of tempting Judas (And come on, how could he not have known? What, he thought God himself could be executed by crucifying the human form he had temporarily taken on? He couldn't imagine that a man could be made a martyr by such a betrayal and subsequent execution?), he should have gone out of his way to not cause the betrayal. Therefore, it's quite logical that in order to further the plan, Jesus would have actively coerced Judas to betray him.
I can't remember where I heard or read this. But it was copyed in one of my files.

one hypothesis is that Jesus wanted his beloved follower to betray him.  The gospels dont agree on Judas, which is understandable, given the different opinions they held regarding the purpose and point of Jesus in the first place.

Oh, and to deny the blatantly obvious multitude of contradictions amongst the NT writers is to silence their individual voices.  Never understood why Christians insist on denying what their pastors know - the gospels dont agree on much.
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Re: Question for Christians about Judas
« Reply #334 on: April 03, 2012, 06:43:54 PM »
Hi screwtape,   

How’s it going? I hope all is well. I see your boxes (?) are all blue now. I’m guessing that in the view of the forum that’s a good thing. And were you “Global Moderator” last time we “talked”? 

It is not as if the hebrews had libraries or history books where someone could look up history prior to his lifetime and call bullshit on an outrageous story.  "Oh, you say we annihilated the Egyptians with plagues?  Well, it says right here in this history book that we were never in Egypt...!"  Didn't happen.  All they had was what the priests told them.  And if the priests came out with some new story about how your people so awesomely wiped out the people of say Jericho, you had no way (or reason) to refute it.
As I said to kcrady, dismissing Oral Tradition and written documents in the Ancient Near East is not scholarly. Your, and others, description of how information was kept and passed on in the Hebrew culture, or any culture in that time, are at great odds with the science. I realize that this perception is an important one for your viewpoint and not likely to be challenged but encouraged by most posters on this forum.

However, I suggest, being the lover of science that you are, that you do some research into the current understanding of “information management” in the Ancient Near East. I don’t imagine that it will change your viewpoint, but at least your understanding of the period will be a more accurate one.
Please explain about us Indians in North America,if you will. I bet all you can come up with is regurgitations from history books,written by the victors. To most Americans Gen. Custer is a war hero,to me he is a murderer.again history is written by the victors.

 Your belief that only ancient hebrews tell the truth and Islam,and other religions are false is laughable
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Re: Question for Christians about Judas
« Reply #335 on: April 03, 2012, 08:42:08 PM »
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.
Sounds good to me.
Quote
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 depends. I think that it does my son a disservice to dumb things down too much. Kids are clever and are learning machines, or as I have heard before, "information sponges". They can soak up a lot of info, and understand it better than we often think. Therefore, while I discuss things in a matter that my son can understand, I also use some more mature language (not swear words, duh!) so that he has an opportunity to ask questions and gain some more knowledge. I explain things in a way that is meaningful and helps him to learn and discover more about the world. I'm honestly not sure how a book that insists that insects have 4 legs could add anything to the knowledge or understanding of the world.
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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. :))
That would be over the top, but that is not what I am asking of the Bible. 
Quote
If a kid were bullying your son, would you run him down with your car just because you can? .
No, but if it was God, he would send bears after them to rip them apart. Like God does to children who "bully" Elisha. I'm afraid you will have to come up with a better analogy than that, considering that God probably WOULD run them down with a car.[1]
Quote
If you can’t sincerely answer yes to those questions, then you have to re-evaluate the logic and legitimacy of your questions.
Here's another problem with this. I am not all powerful. I am not all seeing and all knowing. God should be able to do better than anything I could ever possibly conceive, yet he does not. God solves his problems by violence, murder and human sacrifice. I do not. I am better than God.

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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.
A loving father would never bear a son only to have him tortured and murdered, and would not ignore his pleas while this was occurring. The loving father analogy is really a pretty twisted thing to use here.

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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.
I think that it is only fair to say that "Believers have no problem with the Bible, because they make broad generalizations based o a narrow reading of certain parts of the Bible. If Believers were to look at the Bible as a whole, they would better see the movements of violence, death and slavery history that has all been done for the sake of the Savior, Jesus Christ".  You are doing exactly this. You are portraying God as a loving father figure, while ignoring the violence and brutality which this loving father has to use in order to get his way.


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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.
The fact that Augustine saw the new belief system as an excellent way of exploiting people and ruling with an iron fist also helped a little. A system that demands servitude on the threat of eternal punishment is really good for doing that.

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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.
God's covenants are worthless. Just ask Job. Not content with honoring his side of the agreement (worship me and be prosperous) God is tempted with the possibility of undeserved praise and worship. God, being power hungry, accepts the dare, and allows Job's life to be ruined, in violation of the covenant. Then, when Job rightly asks why, God proceeds to tell him that he is not to question God, God can do whatever he wants, etc etc. What a loving father figure indeed.

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It follows logically from the premises, starting with “God is love”
Do you have anything that supports this premise? Besides error laden documents of questionable origin written by multiple and often unknown authors over the span of thousands of years?
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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.
But what he wants changes. In the OT, he wants people to serve him or die now. There is no talk of punishment after death. Then Jesus comes along, and now it's not good enough for people to suffer and die in this life, they have to do it for all eternity. Only by accepting torture and human sacrifice can we be saved from something that isn't even our fault. Again, not exactly my idea of a loving, wise father.
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At the same time he respects our free will, which was part of what started this! :)
What free will? God has had our destinies set since before the Creation. No room for free will in a set destiny, especially when God hardens peoples hearts as he sees fit.

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Yes, I do see that this is an issue for you. Your compassion is clear.
Considering that you think that God is loving, doesn't the fact that he can only get what he wants through threats and violence an issue for YOU!?!

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Do you disagree that rape is a crime of violence?
I do not disagree, however no such thing is ever stated or even implied in the Bible. Thou shalt not kill does not mean though shalt not rape, or thou shalt not commit violence, or anything other than "Don't kill people". Note that throughout the next few books of the Bible, rape, violence, murder and death are the flavor of the day as the Israelites set out to fulfill their destiny. God approves of them killing and committing all manner of crimes of violence. In fact, he commands them to do so, on pain of death. To suggest that God does not approve of crimes of violence is to suggest that he doesn't approve of his own orders.

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That’s good. I actually find very few people on this forum who can accurately describe Catholic teachings.
It only takes one word: Rubbish.

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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.
You can't honestly be serious here. There would have been no need for a savior if God hadn't done all of the things he did. You can't have an all powerful, all knowing, all seeing creator who has no idea what the hell is going on and doesn't have a part in it, and then eventually comes to realize that maybe he ought to do something.  That's just silly. Also note that no Jewish people (at least, that I have ever heard of) consider Jesus to be their savior.
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Each of the covenants brought them closer to this understanding.
How did God breaking his covenant with Job accomplish this?
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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.
Hard to know a dude as a person when he's been dead for so long.

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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.
In other words, they came to understand that God is a liar who can't be trusted. OH wait, that doesn't happen, because the primitive (even by the standards of the day) followers of God didn't even have enough sense to realize that God doesn't live up to his promises.
 1. On second thought, perhaps not. After all, God's plan for his son were to suffer and die
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 Brakeman

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Re: Question for Christians about Judas
« Reply #336 on: April 03, 2012, 10:29:33 PM »
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.
A loving father would never bear a son only to have him tortured and murdered, and would not ignore his pleas while this was occurring. The loving father analogy is really a pretty twisted thing to use here.
Even if god declared his own morals to be perfect, mankind still sees problems with them.
Slavery, misogyny, Genocide, torture, and other "god" morals that mankind do not agree with now pose a problem. If god is the "creepy" boogyman you can no longer trust to treat you with human compassion on this earth, how can you be comfortable in signing up to live with him for billions and billions of years that start eternity. I'd be creeped out having him for an overnight roommate yet the theists make their god up to be someone whom they would be comfortable with, yet by his word he is certainly not that sort of god.  Would you feel comfortable sending your daughter or son to spend the summer with a guy who thinks stoning women to death is an appropriate punishment for loving outside of a forced marriage to her rapist? Would you worry if they were to spend time with someone who has the blood of millions of innocent children on their hands and thinks that throat slitting is an appropriate punishment for childhood gluttony? Would you send your kid to spend the week with a dictator that would kill his own faithful servant because he touched something of his, even if it was only to save it from damage? 

If not, how could anyone tearfully rejoice and take comfort when their loved one dies, under the belief that they are committing them to eternity with the madman?
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Offline screwtape

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Re: Question for Christians about Judas
« Reply #337 on: April 04, 2012, 07:07:10 AM »
Hi screwtape,   

How’s it going? I hope all is well. I see your boxes (?) are all blue now. I’m guessing that in the view of the forum that’s a good thing. And were you “Global Moderator” last time we “talked”? 

It is a recent thing.  I now get to pester people about quoting etiquette anywhere on the forum instead of just General discussion, Science and WWGHA boards.  Pretty soon I'll be King of the Internets.

As I said to kcrady, dismissing Oral Tradition and written documents in the Ancient Near East is not scholarly. Your, and others, description of how information was kept and passed on in the Hebrew culture, or any culture in that time, are at great odds with the science. I realize that this perception is an important one for your viewpoint and not likely to be challenged but encouraged by most posters on this forum.

O ye of little faith.  I want to believe what is true.  If it is true, acknowledging it will not make it worse.

Where do you recommend I find such information?

My perspective is based on the fact that the OT is full of all sorts of lies of history.  Yet, later, when the same people had an opportunity for all sorts of other fantastical fables, tall tales and *ahem* historical creativity - ie the era of jesus H  - they scaled it back several orders of magnitude. 

They did small miracles - multiplying fish, walking on water in front of a dozen people, appearing after death to a select few.  No more biggies like parting the sea, rescuing a nation from bondage, or eradicating their enemies wholesale.  Given the hebrews penchant for self promotion in the OT, you'd think the jesus story would have ended with the utter destruction of Rome[1] after a dozen or so plagues. 

But it didn't because it couldn't.  There was too much evidence for anyone to get away with a lie that big.  The Romans actually kept records and those records were accurate.  Unlike the hebrews, whose primary records were their national myth which was full of magic, romance and, let's face it, big gigantic lies about how awesome they were.

So, if there is something that indicates the jooz were sophisticated and reliable record keepers in the iron age, I'd be interested to see it.


You didn’t get the point of my post either. Oh, well. Never mind.

sorry.
 1. as I understand was predicted in Revelation
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What's true is already so. Owning up to it does not make it worse.

Offline SimpleCaveman

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Re: Question for Christians about Judas
« Reply #338 on: April 05, 2012, 12:45:10 AM »
Hi sun_king,

Spot on SC, I am making fun of Genesis 1 (1) for the audacity to call it science . . .
First, I did not “call it science.” I said. . .

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.
“Coinciding with science” is a long way from “calling it science”.

I also said. . .
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.

How much they intended to write as “science” I don’t know, probably little.

So, obviously it’s not a scientific paper and it’s not intended to be, but I hope that explains what I meant.
Please explain to me where I “called it science”.

I read your post and tried to understand what it meant, didn't make much progress, hey but that is not my fault.
Really? How old are you?

I dismiss whatever Wolper is trying to state, science doesn't have flexible measuring tapes. A day is 24 hours, you can't extend or compress it to match some fairytale.
So you take a literalistic reading of the Bible?

Offline SimpleCaveman

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Re: Question for Christians about Judas
« Reply #339 on: April 05, 2012, 12:46:12 AM »
Hi Brakeman,

Joseph Smith told a wild story about Israelites living in the United states with Jesus visits and great wars between two Semitic peoples. Do modern day information passage modes have weaknesses where the ancients are flawless?  Were the Ancient Shinto, Hindu, and Muslim information modes more faulty than the Hebrew? Is that scientific?
I’m not sure why you’re going down this path except to distract from the other.

And Joseph Smith was an entirely different situation than Exodus. I look forward to an explanation of how they’re the same.

Offline SimpleCaveman

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Re: Question for Christians about Judas
« Reply #340 on: April 05, 2012, 12:47:06 AM »
Hi 12 Monkeys,

Please explain about us Indians in North America,if you will. I bet all you can come up with is regurgitations from history books,written by the victors. To most Americans Gen. Custer is a war hero,to me he is a murderer.again history is written by the victors.
You’re trying to equate an event that a few people were part of, most people only heard about through a limited source, and does not define us as a nation to an event that thousands of people were part of, had many sources of information and defined them as a people, a religion and as a nation. Please explain. Also, please take into account the Jewish concept of truth and covenant in your explanation.

Your belief that only ancient hebrews tell the truth and Islam,and other religions are false is laughable
I understand what you’re saying. To an atheist the idea that any of them are the truth is laughable. Since none of them are true it’s only hubris for a person to say that any one of them is true.

Offline SimpleCaveman

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Re: Question for Christians about Judas
« Reply #341 on: April 05, 2012, 12:49:28 AM »
Hi kaziglu bey,

Happy Wednesday!

Therefore, while I discuss things in a matter that my son can understand, I also use some more mature language (not swear words, duh!) so that he has an opportunity to ask questions and gain some more knowledge. I explain things in a way that is meaningful and helps him to learn and discover more about the world.
And if your son were to describe those conversations would he see them in the same way you do? I assume he’s pretty bright, but he probably doesn’t understand why you do all the things you do and he probably sees your interactions from a different perspective.

Two other things to think about. . .  If I want my kids to really learn something, then I’ll let them try it their way, figure out the problems with it and then talk them through a better way. Also, I allowed my son when he was 2 to “act out” in ways that were unacceptable at 15. We see these kinds of things in the Bible, but on a grander scale.

Here's another problem with this. I am not all powerful. I am not all seeing and all knowing. God should be able to do better than anything I could ever possibly conceive, yet he does not.
Look at what you say again and tell me that’s not contradictory. If you are not all powerful, all seeing or all knowing, then how are you at all qualified to judge someone who is?

Let’s use the father analogy again (even though I am far from perfect). Suppose I am truly a good and loving father and I tell my 2 year old son that he can’t have something he wants or that he has to do something in a particular way different than the way he wants. How is he qualified to judge my parenting? He’s not and the distance between God and us is infinitely farther than between my son and me.

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.
A loving father would never bear a son only to have him tortured and murdered, and would not ignore his pleas while this was occurring. The loving father analogy is really a pretty twisted thing to use here.
Are you talking about Jesus? I thought you understood Catholic teaching. Please at least argue against an accurate representation of the Catholic teaching.

You are portraying God as a loving father figure, while ignoring the violence and brutality which this loving father has to use in order to get his way.
Hmm, let’s not rehash where we’ve already been. Please look at the bottom of this post again. It was a violent and brutal world in ways that are foreign to us. You can’t judge that world by our standards. That’s like judging my 2 year old by the standards of a 20 year old.

God's covenants are worthless. Just ask Job. Not content with honoring his side of the agreement (worship me and be prosperous) God is tempted with the possibility of undeserved praise and worship. God, being power hungry, accepts the dare, and allows Job's life to be ruined, in violation of the covenant. Then, when Job rightly asks why, God proceeds to tell him that he is not to question God, God can do whatever he wants, etc etc. What a loving father figure indeed.
First off, the story of Job (which is a literary composition and not meant as a transcript of historical events and conversations) does not violate the idea of the covenant. If Job were an Israelite, (cf Ez 14:14, 20) then he would fall under the covenant (which covenant by the way? Maybe you’re talking about the Davidic covenant? I'll assume so.), but the covenant does not address the situation of Job one way or another.

On the other hand, the story of Job does go along with what we’ve been discussing above. Job teaches the Israelites about the suffering of innocent people when their thinking was the opposite, i.e. that if a person suffers it was because they sinned. Yes, God does say that he can do “whatever he wants” (as you put it) because he is God who created everything. It’s the lesson that you and I are discussing.

“The lesson is that even the just may suffer here, and their sufferings are a test of their fidelity. They shall be rewarded in the end. Man’s finite mind cannot probe the depths of the divine omniscience that governs the world. The problems we encounter can be solved by a broader and deeper awareness of God’s power, presence and wisdom.” (New American Bible)

It follows logically from the premises, starting with “God is love”
Do you have anything that supports this premise? Besides error laden documents of questionable origin written by multiple and often unknown authors over the span of thousands of years?
My own experience.[1]

But what he wants changes. In the OT, he wants people to serve him or die now. There is no talk of punishment after death. Then Jesus comes along, and now it's not good enough for people to suffer and die in this life, they have to do it for all eternity.
Ignoring the particular spin you put on the story, I agree that (in a different way than you describe) what the Bible says God wants does in some ways change from the Old Testament to the New, and even from the beginning of the Old Testament to the end. You say it’s because God changes. I say it’s because the people changed and God’s interaction with them changed accordingly. Just as my 2 year old becomes a man and my relationship with him changes.

What free will? God has had our destinies set since before the Creation. No room for free will in a set destiny, especially when God hardens peoples hearts as he sees fit.
We spent quite a while in this thread discussing free will. I don’t want to re-hash what we’ve done. We have free will and I gave clear explanations of why. So far people ignore the explanations and find something else to bring up. I’m sure they didn’t do it to purposefully avoid the topic. That’s just how people are here. Except for some individuals there’s no interest in actually debating a topic to come to a conclusion or at least a mutual understanding. People just want to argue. I could say the sky was blue and they’d argue the point. See the other posts here about Genesis and science, as an example. If you want to go back to those earlier posts about free will and start this conversation from there, we can do that.

Considering that you think that God is loving, doesn't the fact that he can only get what he wants through threats and violence an issue for YOU!?!
If that’s what the Bible was actually saying, then yes, that would be a very strong issue for me. But the Bible is not like the “Wrath of the Titans.” God does not punish out of spite or envy, he punishes us for disobeying him. He has many, many reasons to wipe us off the face of the earth and start over because of our recurring disobedience against him, both as a race and as individuals. However, each time he corrects us and builds us up again. He even goes so far as to come to earth himself to make things right.

I do not disagree, however no such thing is ever stated or even implied in the Bible. Thou shalt not kill does not mean though shalt not rape, or thou shalt not commit violence, or anything other than "Don't kill people". Note that throughout the next few books of the Bible, rape, violence, murder and death are the flavor of the day as the Israelites set out to fulfill their destiny. God approves of them killing and committing all manner of crimes of violence. In fact, he commands them to do so, on pain of death. To suggest that God does not approve of crimes of violence is to suggest that he doesn't approve of his own orders.
I realize our previous conversation was over two months (my fault) so staying with the conversation is tough. I have to go back and look at six different posts to catch up with what each piece of this post is referring to! We’ve been over this one before. The last place we left this was me asking why Mt 5:21-22 (posted here) doesn’t cover “any form of violence”. You then said here “Not being angry with someone does not mean ‘don’t rape them’.”

However, if rape is an act of violence, as you agree, and the verse from Matthew takes “Thou shall not kill” even to the level of not being angry with one’s brother, then that commandment does cover rape. Frankly, I’m not sure why you’re still arguing this.

That’s good. I actually find very few people on this forum who can accurately describe Catholic teachings.
It only takes one word: Rubbish.
 1. I know you’re not going to start telling me about my experiences. I was yelled at more than once when I first started for telling people about their experiences.
Anyone know why my footnote shows up here ^^^^ instead of at the bottom of the post? Is it because it’s so long?
You know, one of these days I’d like to do a bit of reverse role-playing. I would play the atheist role and someone else play the Catholic role. I’ll bet that no one I’ve met yet could convincingly play the Catholic role. Not because they disagree with it – I disagree with the atheist role, but can do it convincingly – but because no one so far has shown that they know the Catholic position. Albeto has come the closest on a couple of things, but even that was off the mark.

You can't honestly be serious here. There would have been no need for a savior if God hadn't done all of the things he did. You can't have an all powerful, all knowing, all seeing creator who has no idea what the hell is going on and doesn't have a part in it, and then eventually comes to realize that maybe he ought to do something.  That's just silly. Also note that no Jewish people (at least, that I have ever heard of) consider Jesus to be their savior.
Hmmm, can we stay on topic? If you’re tired of the topic or something, just say that. Honestly, chasing others all around is only fun for a while.

In other words, they came to understand that God is a liar who can't be trusted. OH wait, that doesn't happen, because the primitive (even by the standards of the day) followers of God didn't even have enough sense to realize that God doesn't live up to his promises.
Again, you’re going off topic. Let me just say that God’s promises were thought of in a worldly way, but he meant them in a greater way. They were looking for someone to save them from their earthly oppressors and give them a promised land on earth. He was sending someone to save them from their eternal oppressors (sin and death) and give them a promised land for eternity. It’s not God that changes, it’s us.

I don’t want to go on with these many, many topics in each post, especially if we’re re-hashing old points. You’re very good to talk to, but they take way too long. I realize I am to blame as well. However, I don’t want to do it going forward. I’ll let you pick one to respond to and we’ll go forward with that.

Offline SimpleCaveman

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Re: Question for Christians about Judas
« Reply #342 on: April 05, 2012, 12:52:55 AM »
Where do you recommend I find such information?
Google is a beautiful thing. :) You can search on ancient libraries. Wikipedia has a page that takes you to some of their other pages about the libraries. You’ll see that large libraries have been found dating back long before 1200 BC. If you google some of those libraries you’ll find other references. While obviously not everyone was literate, the ancient world was much more literate than this forum takes it to be. For example, relative to this discussion, since Moses grew up in the Pharoah’s home he would certainly have been able to read and write and there’s no reason to think that he couldn’t compose the Pentateuch.

You didn’t get the point of my post either. Oh, well. Never mind.
sorry.
That’s alright. Azdgari said I should be more explicit. I think he was being facetious, but either way, I think I was very explicit, as my followup post to sun_king shows. Not sure how it could have been clearer. I think people just get into the habit of reading posts in a certain way.

Offline Brakeman

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Re: Question for Christians about Judas
« Reply #343 on: April 05, 2012, 06:04:14 AM »

It is not as if the hebrews had libraries or history books where someone could look up history prior to his lifetime and call bullshit on an outrageous story.  "Oh, you say we annihilated the Egyptians with plagues?  Well, it says right here in this history book that we were never in Egypt...!"  Didn't happen.  All they had was what the priests told them.  And if the priests came out with some new story about how your people so awesomely wiped out the people of say Jericho, you had no way (or reason) to refute it.
As I said to kcrady, dismissing Oral Tradition and written documents in the Ancient Near East is not scholarly. Your, and others, description of how information was kept and passed on in the Hebrew culture, or any culture in that time, are at great odds with the science. I realize that this perception is an important one for your viewpoint and not likely to be challenged but encouraged by most posters on this forum.

Joseph Smith told a wild story about Israelites living in the United states with Jesus visits and great wars between two Semitic peoples. Do modern day information passage modes have weaknesses where the ancients are flawless?  Were the Ancient Shinto, Hindu, and Muslim information modes more faulty than the Hebrew? Is that scientific?
I’m not sure why you’re going down this path except to distract from the other.

And Joseph Smith was an entirely different situation than Exodus. I look forward to an explanation of how they’re the same.
Screwtape made the comment that the people of the ancient mid east at the time of the supposed Exodus had few informational sources in which to contrast against the claims of their local priests. You then claimed that this was contradicting the Oral Tradition and the written documents of the era, implying that the Biblical histories would have been kept accurate by those. I replied that the modern examples of religious historical rewrites that show that the Oral Tradition and writings that are very clear and evident today are not sufficient to keep religious stories accurate, and that Screwtape was very correct in that local churches can mislead their flock easily into believing stories that are historically and factually untrue.
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Offline screwtape

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Re: Question for Christians about Judas
« Reply #344 on: April 05, 2012, 07:31:34 AM »
Anyone know why my footnote shows up here ^^^^ instead of at the bottom of the post? Is it because it’s so long?

I've noticed that too.  It seems to happen if you have a nested quote anywhere in your post after the footnote.



Where do you recommend I find such information?
Google is a beautiful thing. :) You can search on ancient libraries.

You are a real help.  I thought you had some specific tidbit in mind that lead you to believe the hebrews were big on accurate history as opposed to history that made them appear more grandiose.

Wikipedia has a page that takes you to some of their other pages about the libraries. You’ll see that large libraries have been found dating back long before 1200 BC.

I assumed some civilizations had libraries, just not the iron age jooz.  They were barely a civilization, afterall.  The ONLY thing they gave to modern culture is monotheism. No math.  No science.  No architecture. No art.  If you want to count the bible as literature, okay, fine, but understand that is a function of the popularity of their religion.  The greeks added nearly as much in the field of literature and their religion has been defunct for nigh 2000 years.  So if reformed judaism (aka xianity) had not caught on, no one would be reading the torah and regarding it as great lit other than jews.

...since Moses grew up in the Pharoah’s home he would certainly have been able to read and write and there’s no reason to think that he couldn’t compose the Pentateuch.

Had there been a moses and had events occurred as written in the OT, then sure, he probably would have been literate.  But that puts the cart before the horse in a lot of ways, doesn't it? 

Hey, you want to read something funny?  I looked up torah in wiki.  Here is an interesting point I found:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Torah#The_Torah_and_Judaism.27s_oral_law
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According to classical rabbinic texts this parallel set of material was originally transmitted to Moses at Sinai, and then from Moses to Israel. At that time it was forbidden to write and publish the oral law, as any writing would be incomplete and subject to misinterpretation and abuse.

However, after exile, dispersion and persecution, this tradition was lifted when it became apparent that in writing was the only way to ensure that the Oral Law could be preserved. After many years of effort by a great number of tannaim, the oral tradition was written down around 200 CE...

bold mine.  Two points.  First, they thought it was less reliable to write it down.  The primitive rubes!  They had no idea just how faulty human memory is.  Then, when they got around to writing it down, it was 200 years after jesus H.  Oh man.

As often happens when I peruse wiki, that lead me to an article titled "Moasic authorship".  The first paragraph:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mosaic_authorship
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Mosaic authorship is the traditional attribution of the first five books (Torah or Pentateuch) of the Old Testament to Moses. The tradition is first definitively stated in the Babylonian Talmud, an encyclopedia of traditional Jewish learning compiled around the middle of the 1st millennium CE.  The Torah, however, does not name its author, and the tradition seems to be founded largely on the fact that it does contain five, somewhat vague, references to Moses writing various things. Other elements which went to form the tradition include the practice among later writers of referring to the "laws of Moses", (although it is not clear just what this meant), and the general sense that authoritative writings should be attached to the names of authoritative figures.

bold mine.  So this whole business about Moses writing the Torah is ambiguous and a relatively late invention.  What is a good catholic like you arguing over jewish traditions for?  If you read on, you see that a lot of the "traditions" around this question were entirely created by the fantasies of rabbis in the Common Era.  And it seems like some of them found it to be a dubious claim as well:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mosaic_authorship#Text_of_the_Torah_in_Talmud_and_rabbinic_tradition
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In the Middle Ages, Rabbi Abraham ibn Ezra (ca. 1092 - 1167 CE) and others observed that some phrases in the Torah present information that people should only have known after the time of Moses.
...
In the 15th century, Rabbi Yosef Bonfils, while discussing the comments of Ibn Ezra, noted: "Thus it would seem that Moses did not write this word here, but Joshua or some other prophet wrote it. Since we believe in the prophetic tradition, what possible difference can it make whether Moses wrote this or some other prophet did, since the words of all of them are true and prophetic?"

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Offline kaziglu bey

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Re: Question for Christians about Judas
« Reply #345 on: April 05, 2012, 09:18:39 AM »
Hi kaziglu bey,

Happy Wednesday!

And if your son were to describe those conversations would he see them in the same way you do? I assume he’s pretty bright, but he probably doesn’t understand why you do all the things you do and he probably sees your interactions from a different perspective.

 This is likely true. Of course his perception of it is different than mine, how could it not be? The difference is that my son actually has the opportunity to ask questions and get immediate feedback. I'm also not in a position that I have to justify all of the heinous acts committed by God. Nor is my son being threatened with eternal suffering if he does not immediately and unquestioningly accept what I say. I encourage him to ask questions to be sure that he understands what is going on. He is pretty bright, and I think that challenging him a bit in reasonable ways (and not by ordering him to kill someone to show his obedience). He has a remarkably strong grasp of language for his age, a good vocabulary, and even has a pretty sharp wit to him already. He's able to see through a lot of BS, and has a skeptical and inquiring mind. He trusts me and listens to me, and I rarely have any behavioral issues with him. He gets compliments from people all of the time as to how well mannered, polite and well spoken he is. He often thinks of others, and is willing to share things and help others out without any thought for himself. All of this without the threats and violence that God uses. All without even having a belief in God forced upon him, or being taught that religion is necessary for morality and good.

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Two other things to think about. . .  If I want my kids to really learn something, then I’ll let them try it their way, figure out the problems with it and then talk them through a better way. Also, I allowed my son when he was 2 to “act out” in ways that were unacceptable at 15. We see these kinds of things in the Bible, but on a grander scale.


There's quite a difference between tolerating a two year old tantrum vs a 15 year old tantrum, and ordering people to throw a tantrum, ad even having tantrums yourself (God) and ORDERING the “2 year old” Israelites to do horrible and atrocious things. Please tell me how a two year old throwing a fit because they can't get a toy on the trip to the store today is equivalent to the Israelites following God's orders to slay the Amalekites. The parent may put up with the tantrum, but they certainly haven't commanded their 2 year old to have a tantrum. Whereas God routinely demands death, rape, destruction and violence. He's nnot just putting up with it. He is saying that it is a necessary part of his plan. “A 2 year old throwing tantrums” is not a necessary part of a trip to the store. This is not a minor difference. It also does not serve to explain why God, as the loving father figure, didn't do more to help cure them of their ignorance and need for violence, instead of encouraging these behaviors to thrive.


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Look at what you say again and tell me that’s not contradictory. If you are not all powerful, all seeing or all knowing, then how are you at all qualified to judge someone who is?
Seeing as when Adam and Eve allegedly ate from the tree, they gained knowledge of Good and Evil, to such an extent that God actually fears that if they eat from the tree of life, they will become all powerful. If I, as an allegedly descendent of Adam, are possessed of such knowledge, I think I am perfectly right to judge God.

Additionally, if God says that you shouldn't kill, this would presumably be because God thinks that killing is immoral. Yet it is his choice method of dealing with everything. His own personal creation irretrievably screwed up? Kill em ALL, except some really old drunk and his family. That means, that given all of the options available to an Omnimax God, God CHOOSES the ones that he himself deems as evil. I don't see how that could ever be misconstrued as Good or Loving or moral. I am not questioning God's judgment, in a sense anyways, I am only asking that he reserve the same (or more strict, considering the vast power difference) judgment for his own actions. A father doesn't tell his son that killing is wrong, and then take him to the mall with a gun and start shooting people and putting a gun in the son's hand and telling him to kill people too. I think it's only fair to expect at least the same from “God the Father”. If we can't reserve similar judgment for God as we would any father, then you should refrain from using the analogy or making any such comparison altogether.

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Let’s use the father analogy again (even though I am far from perfect). Suppose I am truly a good and loving father and I tell my 2 year old son that he can’t have something he wants or that he has to do something in a particular way different than the way he wants. How is he qualified to judge my parenting? He’s not and the distance between God and us is infinitely farther than between my son and me.
If your parenting is far from perfect, who is he NOT to judge your parenting? Though you could certainly be in the right, suppose you say “Let's go outside and play”and he screams “NO!!!” and tell him not to contradict you. The problem is that you are facing away from the window, and looking towards it, and he can see the bear wandering around outside. I realize that is a rather extreme and unlikely example, but lets extend the God as Father analogy, if you commanded your son to kill people, and told him that it was his destiny to do so, and that he would take their land and their women my any means of violence necessary, would you expect him to do that without question? That is what God the Father asked his “2 year old children” to do. Again, if we can not reserve the same judgment for God as we would for a good father, then don't use the analogy.

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Are you talking about Jesus? I thought you understood Catholic teaching. Please at least argue against an accurate representation of the Catholic teaching.
I'll admit that I am a little lost. I'm quite sure that the Catholic Church teaches that God sent his only son to die for us. I really am not sure how I am missing the mark there.

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Hmm, let’s not rehash where we’ve already been. Please look at the bottom of this post again. It was a violent and brutal world in ways that are foreign to us. You can’t judge that world by our standards. That’s like judging my 2 year old by the standards of a 20 year old.
I can if the standards are set and commanded by God. His 2 year old people behaved exactly the way he told them to behave. If Jesus is God version 2.0, why not have another update? It's been a few thousand years, just like before. God told his two year old children to kill people, to take their land, to rape their women. It's not a random standard, it's a standard that God set, and a standard that the Church has stubbornly refused to abandon. Sure, Pope John Paul II made a whole bunch of apologies for the reprehensible behavior of the Church over the millenia, but the problem is, they were saying the whole time that they knew God's will and was acting it out, and violently punished and oppressed anyone who dared to question their authority. Why would any thinking person think that now, all of a sudden, after having gotten it wrong since Constantine, they suddenly really are in tune with God's will? The Catholic Church got a lot of things wrong over a long period of time, and continue to get things wrong, even today (like, telling people in Africa,, where millions are infected with AIDS, that condom use increases the risk of AIDS). That was from the current dictator of Vatican City. To quote Stephen Fry:”What is the point of the Catholic Church if it says “Well we couldn't know any better because nobody else did”. THEN WHAT ARE YOU FOR!?!?!?” Note that a lot of the evil things that the Catholic Church did, like burning people alive for being “witches” or “heretics” or torturing and killing people in other ways, as well as slavery, maltreatment of women, killing infidels, conquering the Americas, was all down to the teachings of the Bible and it was certainly used as justification for all of these things, which the Church supported in God's name.


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First off, the story of Job (which is a literary composition and not meant as a transcript of historical events and conversations) does not violate the idea of the covenant. If Job were an Israelite, (cf Ez 14:14, 20) then he would fall under the covenant (which covenant by the way? Maybe you’re talking about the Davidic covenant? I'll assume so.), but the covenant does not address the situation of Job one way or another.
I have examined the link you posted. It asserts, as you do, that it is not meant to be taken as a literal account of any historical event. I have to ask, on what basis is this assertion made? At what point in Job does it say  “Disclaimer: This story is meant as a metaphor only, and is not meant to be taken literally?” If it does not say that, how do we establish that it is so? I can see the problem you pose, and I concede that Job is not an Israelite, and so had no covenant with God, but I think that this poses a bigger problem, in that someone who has not even entered into a covenant with God, and is not among his chosen people, would be considered by God himself to be “perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil” as well as “this man was the greatest of all the men of the east”. A man more perfect, righteous, and dutiful in his worship of God than any of God's personally chosen people? And this is the guy that God decides to mess with, just so he might have the possibility of undeserved praise? Guess you're damned if you do, damned if you don't. I really don't think that demonstrates a loving father either. I wouldn't kill the rest of my son's family just to see if he will would still like me after the fact.

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On the other hand, the story of Job does go along with what we’ve been discussing above. Job teaches the Israelites about the suffering of innocent people when their thinking was the opposite, i.e. that if a person suffers it was because they sinned. Yes, God does say that he can do “whatever he wants” (as you put it) because he is God who created everything. It’s the lesson that you and I are discussing.
So, in other words, God is entirely free to do evil stuff, and get away with it, because, hey, he's God, man. If he feels like using you for a guinea pig in one of his cruel experiments, yay God!

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“The lesson is that even the just may suffer here, and their sufferings are a test of their fidelity. They shall be rewarded in the end. Man’s finite mind cannot probe the depths of the divine omniscience that governs the world. The problems we encounter can be solved by a broader and deeper awareness of God’s power, presence and wisdom.” (New American Bible)
Just people may indeed suffer, but that doesn't mean that we should cause or permit it that to happen, which is precisely what God did. 


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My own experience.[1]
 1. I know you’re not going to start telling me about my experiences. I was yelled at more than once when I first started for telling people about their experiences.
I am not going to tell you about your experiences, suffice to say that the reason being obvious, I can't know anything about them. However, I think that given specifically that nature, you ought to realize that “your experience” is not a very useful tool to me or anyone besides you in determining the validity of the claim “God is love”. You seem to want me to take your experience entirely on faith that it means what you think it means, and you should know that I just can't really do that.


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Ignoring the particular spin you put on the story, I agree that (in a different way than you describe) what the Bible says God wants does in some ways change from the Old Testament to the New, and even from the beginning of the Old Testament to the end. You say it’s because God changes. I say it’s because the people changed and God’s interaction with them changed accordingly. Just as my 2 year old becomes a man and my relationship with him changes.
But as I've said before, the 2 year old children were only doing what God told them to do. It wasn't just God putting up with their behavior because they didn't know any better. He told them to do it. Again, this is not a minor distinction.


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We spent quite a while in this thread discussing free will. I don’t want to re-hash what we’ve done. We have free will and I gave clear explanations of why. So far people ignore the explanations and find something else to bring up. I’m sure they didn’t do it to purposefully avoid the topic. That’s just how people are here. Except for some individuals there’s no interest in actually debating a topic to come to a conclusion or at least a mutual understanding. People just want to argue. I could say the sky was blue and they’d argue the point. See the other posts here about Genesis and science, as an example. If you want to go back to those earlier posts about free will and start this conversation from there, we can do that.
I think you are slightly confused as to what I am saying. I am referring to Eph.1:4-5 "He hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestined us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will."  Based on this, free will is pretty meaningless, since those who were to be called to him were predestined before the foundation of the world. It is a bold, but unambiguous statement. Naturally, I'm guessing that means that it should not be taken literally.


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If that’s what the Bible was actually saying, then yes, that would be a very strong issue for me. But the Bible is not like the “Wrath of the Titans.” God does not punish out of spite or envy, he punishes us for disobeying him.
What of the “two year old” people in the OT who were punished by God? I thought he was more tolerant back then and was only going along with the standards of the day? Should a loving father punish a 2 year old as severely as God does for disobedience, when they couldn't have known any better?
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He has many, many reasons to wipe us off the face of the earth and start over because of our recurring disobedience against him, both as a race and as individuals.
I think you are missing the point though. Why is that that violence, as in “wiping us off the face of the earth” an acceptable punishment for beings who were created by God and expected to follow standards that God himself can't live up to? If God thinks that killing is bad enough to be one of his Big 10 Commandments, why is it his preferred method for dealing with disobedience? Furthermore, if this God as a Father figure is one that we should try to live up to, why is it that killing is not your preferred method of dealing with disobedience?
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However, each time he corrects us and builds us up again.
Except for when he did destroy nearly everyone and everything. But I guess that the cruel euphemism “corrects us and build us up again” makes it easier to justify God's cruelty and vengefulness.
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He even goes so far as to come to earth himself to make things right.
With a human sacrifice. Really not surprising, considering the Viking Berserker level of blood lust displayed by God. Only through more unnecessary suffering and death can God “make things right”.


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I realize our previous conversation was over two months (my fault) so staying with the conversation is tough. I have to go back and look at six different posts to catch up with what each piece of this post is referring to! We’ve been over this one before. The last place we left this was me asking why Mt 5:21-22 (posted here) doesn’t cover “any form of violence”. You then said here “Not being angry with someone does not mean ‘don’t rape them’.”

However, if rape is an act of violence, as you agree, and the verse from Matthew takes “Thou shall not kill” even to the level of not being angry with one’s brother, then that commandment does cover rape. Frankly, I’m not sure why you’re still arguing this.
Because it certainly didn't mean that in the OT. God's children in the OT are ordered to kill, rape and steal. I have a hard time accepting that is what it means, when in the context of when the commandment was actually given, that was clearly not what it meant. If we do better than that now, it's because we have turned away from God's teachings, from his commands to kill nonbelievers, and take their virgins as war booty. If morality comes from God, which I am guessing you would probably assert that it does, then it shouldn't be changing depending on what PEOPLE think is right and wrong. God established rules beginning in the OT, and only through the enlightenment and secular/scientific advances have we been able to rise above the primitive drudgery of the Bible.


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Anyone know why my footnote shows up here ^^^^ instead of at the bottom of the post? Is it because it’s so long?
I am afraid I don't have an answer for that one, never incurred such a problem before myself.
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You know, one of these days I’d like to do a bit of reverse role-playing. I would play the atheist role and someone else play the Catholic role. I’ll bet that no one I’ve met yet could convincingly play the Catholic role. Not because they disagree with it – I disagree with the atheist role, but can do it convincingly – but because no one so far has shown that they know the Catholic position. Albeto has come the closest on a couple of things, but even that was off the mark.
Again I admit that I am not sure what you mean. IF you could please point out to me what part of Catholic teaching I am getting wrong, I would be happy to correct myself, however I am going based on what I learned at the RC church I was raised in. If it somehow deviates from the norm, I am not aware of it, seeing as it is not some fringe, schismatic Catholic Church, but part of an official diocese.


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Hmmm, can we stay on topic? If you’re tired of the topic or something, just say that. Honestly, chasing others all around is only fun for a while.
Completely lost as to how Jesus, Jewish people or God would be off topic in a conversation about Christianity.


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Again, you’re going off topic. Let me just say that God’s promises were thought of in a worldly way, but he meant them in a greater way. They were looking for someone to save them from their earthly oppressors and give them a promised land on earth.
Yes, that is precisely what God promised them, and indeed destined them to, in the OT. The OT doesn't mention a thing about what you say next.
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He was sending someone to save them from their eternal oppressors (sin and death) and give them a promised land for eternity. It’s not God that changes, it’s us.
No, because suddenly a violent exit from this life is not Good enough, and Jesus has to come to give us the wonderful opportunity of eternal suffering. Just as God liked the idea of undeserved praise for himself, he had to make that undeserved praise never ending, or else eternal suffering and pain and torment. Are these the choices a loving father gives his children?

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I don’t want to go on with these many, many topics in each post, especially if we’re re-hashing old points. You’re very good to talk to, but they take way too long. I realize I am to blame as well. However, I don’t want to do it going forward. I’ll let you pick one to respond to and we’ll go forward with that.

Just one? Couldn't do it sorry, especially since I read through and replied to everything before I read this last part :P I think it is suffice to say that there are a few things (the ones I suspect that you think we are re-hashing) that I just simply disagree with you about, and you with me, and I am not sure that such a point will be reconciled, so we should each assume that the opponent holds that position.
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 #346 on: April 05, 2012, 09:32:17 AM »
And Joseph Smith was an entirely different situation than Exodus. I look forward to an explanation of how they’re the same.
Oh, both being stories with no evidence to support them. Just like yours, SC.
You’re trying to equate an event that a few people were part of, most people only heard about through a limited source, and does not define us as a nation to an event that thousands of people were part of, had many sources of information and defined them as a people, a religion and as a nation. Please explain. Also, please take into account the Jewish concept of truth and covenant in your explanation.
  Hmmm, your bible claims that there were hundreds of thousands of people involved in events and golly, no evidence to support those events at all.  I’m fascinated by your claims that the jews has some special definition of “truth” and “covenant”.  What are they? And where are these “many sources of information” you claim that the Israelites/Jews had?   
Your belief that only ancient hebrews tell the truth and Islam,and other religions are false is laughable
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I understand what you’re saying. To an atheist the idea that any of them are the truth is laughable. Since none of them are true it’s only hubris for a person to say that any one of them is true.
I don’t see that SC understands 12 Monkeys’ point at all.  To a theist who doesn’t believe in the stories of other theists, the idea that any of them are true is laughable.  It does indeed take hubris and lies to claim that one of them is true with no evidence.
If I want my kids to really learn something, then I’ll let them try it their way, figure out the problems with it and then talk them through a better way.
Funny how your bible doesn’t have your god doing this much at all. The only times he lets people figure out things on their own, he comes back and harms them for daring to do such a thing (see: Noah (doing without god is wrong, kill you all!), Babel(looking for god in that way is wrong; make you speak different languages), Jesus(being a jew and believing the prophecies as they are is wrong, you’re all damned!)
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If you are not all powerful, all seeing or all knowing, then how are you at all qualified to judge someone who is?
evidence that it exists at all please.  and considering the stories told of your god in the bible, it is not all-powerful, all-seeing or all-knowing. 
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Are you talking about Jesus? I thought you understood Catholic teaching. Please at least argue against an accurate representation of the Catholic teaching.
  Let’s see, the real Catholic version about what happened in the supposed cruxifiction: the son of a god was tortured and murdered so that this would pay for the sins that this god has declared we all do since this god has decided that everyone is responsible for the “original sin” (oh, except Mary of course, she was made without sin. Funny how this can’t be done for everyone).  If this god had simply wanted to, no one would have had sin and no one would need a violent messy sacrifice to pay for this sin. 

And I find it’s hysterical that SC must use the “but it was a different world so we can’t understand it as it was”.  Really does a number on his claims of how all-powerful, all-knowing etc, his god is.  This argument makes his god dependent on humans, and this god cannot advance beyond them ever.

and golly, the magic decoder ring is out again and suddenly Job is only metaphor.  I guess that the resurrection of JC is only metaphor too.  But say that the story in Job is only a story, not a real event; this god is still portrayed as making a bet with his supposed greatest enemy and allows innocent people to be murdered in the process.  This god then admits that it was wrong an tries to make up for it by paying blood money and giving Job a “new” family.  Still not a great image of this god, so needing of respect (what else?) from its enemy, not caring about people being killed, and then trying to cover it up with gifts.  It also has that this god is a moron since, if it already is omniscient, it doesn’t need to test people.  This testing is only sadism.  Your moronic god should know that Job is and will be faithful and souldn’t have to show off.  But we know it loves to show off, from the story in Exodus.

You’ll see that large libraries have been found dating back long before 1200 BC.
And not one by the Israelites and not one containing any contemporary information about the supposed events in the bible.  The Egytptians have no record of your Israelites, SC, so there’s no Moses to write anything. As my thread on information management there is nothing that shows the Israelites did anything like other civilizations at all.
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Offline 12 Monkeys

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Re: Question for Christians about Judas
« Reply #347 on: April 05, 2012, 11:26:55 PM »
SC To the last point Velkyn made....we have libraries dating back 12 to 15 thousand years....they are the stories our totem poles have told over all those generations.  Each family has a history lesson in the totems standing in front of their houses. Then you barbarians came along and destroyed it as devil worship

 12,000 plus years and 90% of the population gone by 1862,and you call us heathens
There's no right there's no wrong,there's just popular opinion (Brad Pitt as Jeffery Goines in 12 monkeys)