Jane, your magic decoder ring is certainly shiny. It’s even shinier than the magic decoder rings that other Christians use. But it’s not showing your version is any better or more accurate than theirs. You cite “context” and claim that this “context” makes your interpretation the right one. Alas, your claims that the laws Moses got were only ceremonial and ritual and don’t inconveniently apply to you fails. If you actually read the OT, you would see that there is no difference between the first ten (and the few more that you’ve decided you like) and the rest that you don’t like. All are given by your god with equal emphasis. You make up what you want your god to have “really” meant.
I was a Christian once. And I know that Christians all have their own version of what they really want to be god’s law. I’ve read the bible myself, as a believer and as not, as have seen what Christians love to leave our and to claim is in there. JC never said that all of the laws given to Moses were to be cherry picked. Indeed, he said that those who follow all of those laws get better seats in heaven. Your supposed messiah repeatedly says that his fathers laws are not to be ignored. And again, that’s all of them, not the ones that modern Christian find “icky”.
The laws of your god in the OT does say indeed love thy neighbor
Leviticus 19: 17 ‘You shall not hate your fellow countryman in your heart; you may surely reprove your neighbor, but shall not incur sin because of him. 18You shall not take vengeance,nor bear any grudge against the sons of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself; I am the LORD. - NASB
You see here, it’s not about everyone but just one’s tribe. Your god was all about murdering lots of people constantly in the wars he commanded. And your god is all about stealing too, forcing by his divine will the Egyptians to give up all of their wealth to the Israelites. There are no “minium requirements, Jane, one must fulfill all of the commandments, which can be *summarized* by the two that JC gives, not replaced. JC says that the Pharisees have obeyed the word and not the spirit of the law, not that the laws should be ignored.
Then we have your typical excuse that the ancient world was different so how could we possibly expect your god to do anything different. Oh look the Romans did it so that’s okay that my god does it. Funny how your god, for being so immutable, changes constantly and is beholden for humans to get more humane and decent morals. and it’s hilarious tm
that you want to try to claim that it wasn’t an obligation. Isn’t that convenient! Just ignore that it was an obligation in the OT. That you “don’t think so” means nothing against the facts. And hmm, shall we take parables as demonstrations of how people acted then? So, we can be sure that people were indeed told to bring non-beleivers before Jesus and kill them if they don’t accept him as king? (Luke 19, the parable of the 10 minas: 27 But these enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here and slay them in my presence.”)
Well, I don't think that is true. Context trumps all. Reading either passage in isolation is going to yield different results. The answer to that is not ignore context but to read the whole and see what it tells you. Jesus talks many times about the law. He talks a lot about love. What does it all mean? What explanation/interpretation makes sense of the whole?
I think what you mean here is what explanation/intepreration makes me feel best? The bible is a mess, full of contradictiosn, outright lies and much xenophobic intolerance and primitive violence. It is in no way some magical book.
Err, no. God gave us free will, which means the ability to make moral choices. We can either follow God or follow a path or our own devising. Anyone who goes to hell, chooses to do so. God will respect your decision. We are told very little about hell and so the imagination, particular of Renaissance artists, has run wild. Physical torment seems unlikely, since we are not told that those in hell will have physical bodies, as the redeemed will. But I have no particular expertise on this subject and so will say no more.
Err, no. Your bible says not one thing about free will and repeatedly shows your god interfering with human decisions. Any miracle that changes a battle, any forcing of your god’s will on others (the pharaoh, the Egyptians), any murder by your god removes free will. And yrou bible says directly, by JC and by Paul, that some people will never be allowed to accept this god of yours and will be damned. No free will at all. I’m guessing you are a Roman Catholic and may not have read the bible. I suggest you do so for yourself. As for hell, your book sure seems fond of claiming it will have flames and worms. Are those more “metaphors” from your magic decoder ring, Jane?