Tough Questions for the Bible

Discussion in 'Comparative Studies' started by ReligionAnalyst, Jul 13, 2010.

  1. bananabrain

    bananabrain awkward squadnik

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    and in my synagogue, we hold up the Torah (pentateuch) scroll and say "this is the Torah which moses laid upon the children of israel" - which it is. however, this is hardly a statement of historically verifiable fact; it is a declaration of faith.

    a lot of your objections appear to stem from the idea that something "could not have possibly happened", as you put it - but this assumes, of course, that G!D either doesn't Exist, G!D Forbid, or that Divine Intervention or Communication, let alone Revelation simply couldn't happen. this is, of course, a valid point of view, but if one doesn't share it, then of course something like the flood, or, frankly, a flock of flying pink elephants appearing in the sky, could also have happened. if you a priori reject anything supernatural or miraculous, then obviously you're going to have problems with the bible. however, many - including many people here - also have problems with the unverifiable assertions that these things are not possible.

    er... i don't really understand this. of course it's a text to be pored over in the smallest detail and understood, but this is not the same as *dissection*. dissection is what you are doing. it is like taking a radio apart to try and understand the musicians you are listening to on it.

    it is a *teaching*. and what is wrong with that?

    it is questions like this which, in judaism, understanding halakhah or religious law revolves around. can't work on the Sabbath? what do we mean by work, then? what happens if you do? when do you have to stop by? ...and so on.

    not if noah's dependents numbered more than 50, which is implicit in the text. besides, if you go back far enough, we do all descend from one person.

    i find it a bit surprising that you think you can identify "tough questions for the bible" without having enough familiarity with what it contains and how it works to not know whether father christmas is mentioned in it.

    b'shalom

    bananabrain
     
  2. China Cat Sunflower

    China Cat Sunflower Nimrod

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    Don't know what I can add to what's already been said. I don't believe that the RCC's official position is that the mythology of the Pentateuch, that's the first five books of the Bible, is literally historical. I suppose I could Google it and give you a specific link, but I'll leave that simple exercise for you, RA. And really, contrary to what evangelicals may believe, reading the Torah as mythology doesn't lessen it's import one way or the other.

    Chris
     
  3. shawn

    shawn New Member

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    IMO, you can argue that the bible is full of untruth, but to do so with religious folk is like arguing about who killed JFK with the power structure who did him in.
    It is a fruitless exercise and will get you nowhere.
    There is no salvation, nor damnation.
    There is only alive or dead/ ignorant or awake.
    :)2c:)
     
  4. China Cat Sunflower

    China Cat Sunflower Nimrod

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    I'll give you a real "tough" Bible question: Why do you suppose the "Jews" in the New Testament hate the "Samaritans" so much? Form a historically based answer to that and you'll have all the empirical fodder you need to figure out what's really going on in the Bible.

    Chris
     
  5. Saltmeister

    Saltmeister The Dangerous Dinner

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    I don't think science is really that important to God. God is more interested in his relationship with humanity than in scientific truth. If you're a computer geek and you give your son a computer, you don't have to tell your son how the machine works to "love" and care for him. You can fix it if it stops working. Your son doesn't need to know how the machine works.

    I don't think the 72 virgins thing is even in the Quran at all. It was suggested somewhere that it came from the hadiths. I can't read Arabic so I have no way of verifying except to speak to an expert on the Quran. But I couldn't be bothered.

    According to the Text, many of the people in Noah's day were descendants of angels who had sex with humans. As a consequence of being descendants of angels, many of them became superhuman. Imagine what it would be like to have so much power.

    Also, civilisation as we know it today didn't exist. There were no borders, no countries, no legal system, no statecraft. "People" were just people.

    Today we live under the authority of legal systems that require us to follow their laws and try to be "virtuous members of society." People back then would not have had that commitment or dedication. If you were a descendant of an angel and therefore superhuman (and somewhat immortal) it would probably make you somewhat reckless. The superhumanness would make your narcissistic and arrogant. This is what led to the wickedness in Noah's day.

    You're assuming that human physiology has always been the same and also that human existence is purely physical. But Adam and Eve didn't come into existence by natural means. Their creation was a miracle. So Adam and Eve came into existence by supernatural means.

    But apart from just "coming to be" by supernatural means, could we also be supernatural beings with a connection to something in another plane of existence? According to Genesis, angels had sex with humans. Sex involves two creatures that are sexually compatible. The angels who had sex with humans would have done it both naturally and supernaturally. The product of their procreation would have been both a natural and supernatural being (as the angel was). But for the humans and angels to be sexually compatible on these terms, there had to be a part of the humans that was supernatural (a part existing in another plane).

    So the humans had to be supernatural beings too to be able to act as the other partner during sex. If humans beings are supernatural beings then before the Flood we must have had some ability to slow the aging process, allowing us to live up to 1,000 years. After the Flood, we lost some of our powers.:D

    Exactly, that was how God was able to create a flood of worldwide proportions. The land sank down and when God finally let go of all the water, it reached the tops of mountains!!!

    He manipulated molecules of H2O. It was just a reorganisation of matter.

    What makes you think the people were so "inferior," considering that some of the people at the time were actually superhuman? They probably understood physics and ship design. They just wouldn't have had the tools to make a high-tech vessel.
     
  6. shawn

    shawn New Member

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    By what evidence or logic do you conclude that:
    ?????????????????????????
    The only effort anyone can see for all of recorded history is man seeking God.
    Never the other way around.
    Really, it is a one way street situation.
    We want the relationship, God could care less. Apparently.
     
  7. shawn

    shawn New Member

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    Since we are just speculating wildly here:
    I claim that we were genetically fabricated by ET's who wanted workers and we were intentionally made with genetic flaws to make our lives short and difficult.
    This is no miracle.
    This is subjugation.
    That god is a farce and not worthy of any respect.
    Kicked mankind out of "the garden" for learning his true situation so that he could not have easy access to remedy the built in genetic flaws.
    Languages confused as we made progress in spite of god's damnable interference and malicious manipulations.
    We are still in this handicapped, deformed situation thanks be to god.
    It is directly those entities responsibility.
    How can they presume to sit in judgement when they are guilty of the crime?
    (for example: in the MK ULTRA program where they made assassins via brainwashing technologies (manchurian candidate types), who then is guilty of the crime???the assassin who is doing what they were programmed to do or the ones who did the programming??)
    That bunch of gods are more like devils than righteous beings.
     
  8. Saltmeister

    Saltmeister The Dangerous Dinner

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    Miracles don't have to be good luck. They don't have to make your life better. Miracles are simply a defiance of the natural laws of the universe.

    With power comes responsibility. Unfortunately, this concept isn't always honoured, with CEOs getting salaries in excess of $400,000 and not sharing their hard-earned wealth with the least fortunate in society.

    It was an educational technique. Humanity needed to learn how to handle conflict.

    I think we have made progress. We have learnt from adversity.

    Their crime? That's just your perspective. Crime is just a word with a negative connotation. If I can form an alternative perspective it means that it wasn't really a crime. Some people simply see it that way. The word simply labels something as "good" or "bad."

    Judgment? If there is no injustice in the world, then why do we have laws and courts? It's almost like you're denying the existence of evil.

    A bunch of mischievous American bankers lends hundreds of thousands of dollars to people who don't have a job and could never pay back the mortgage. Millions of people who don't have a job get deep into debt because they feel "entitled" to home ownership, see their friends doing it and decide to do it too. It's called greed. That is what I call injustice and the greed that drives it deserves judgment.

    Look what Amergin is doing in one of the other threads. In this one it is ReligionAnalyst. He/she is passing judgment on religious fundamentalists. Judgment? We do it all the time. Your mother does it. Your father does it. The media does it. Journalists do it. Judgment is abundant and common. Very often it has consequences. I believe there is little point complaining about the judgments of God if our own judgments of other people aren't fair.

    The wrath-driven judgments of an angry God are likely to be indicative of whatever unfair judgments we made as mere mortals. Judge fairly and you will be judged fairly.

    Adam and Eve would have been brainwashed when they were in the Garden of Eden. But God allowed them to choose freedom, to choose freethought and think for themselves. I think the God in the Garden wanted them to choose.

    It is quite likely that before eating the fruit, they were more like wild animals. They were not "human" by our standards. They were more like pets in God's garden. But God made it possible for them to become more than pets, to rise above pethood to humanhood. Imagine if your pet dog decided that he was more than just a dog.

    How much freedom does your dog receive from you? Would you allow your dog to wander in the streets in the city? Do you trust that your dog will be able to find his way back home? What about the farm animals that we use to make some of our food and milk? They have obviously been brainwashed to live the farm life, to allow us to use them to make food, milk and clothing.:) They are not allowed the freedom to become super-farm-animals. Does your average farm animal know how to write novels?

    What freedom do we bestow on these lower life forms? The more we exploit others, the more we should expect God to exploit us and I think we are responsible for most of the exploitation that happens on this planet.
     
  9. bananabrain

    bananabrain awkward squadnik

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    or, alternatively, like arguing with someone tone-deaf about whether a particular type of music is worth listening to.

    i'm not sure i entirely understand the thrust of this question, but there is a hell of a lot of anti-samaritan stuff in the Talmud as well. but then again, we always thought that lot were duplicitous buggers, all very nicey-nicey when there was something to be made out of being jewish and nowhere to be seen when the going got tough.

    i think, shawn, you ought to take a look at a.j. heschel's seminal book on jewish theology, "G!D in Search of man", which takes precisely the opposing view to yourself.

    exactly - just ask pharaoh!

    EXACTLY!!

    b'shalom

    bananabrain
     
  10. ἔρως-φιλία-ἀγάπη

    ἔρως-φιλία-ἀγάπη New Member

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    There is evidence, if I remember, of a local flood that devastated much of the Mesopotamiac region. It would add much to the credibility of the story of Noah's ark. Also, the word used for world most probably means the known world. People were not spread at everywhere. The global flood is a myth. The story, in it's proper context, makes sense. The Babylonians also had a story of a "worldwide" flood.

    I believe in theistic evolution, so your statement on Adam and Eve doesn't apply. The story of the garden is an allegory. By the way, allegory doesn't mean myth. It is more closely related to a metaphorical story. It is a story that contains a basic truth. It is more like poetry, really.

    I will refrain from commenting on Mary being a virgin. It seems rather irrelevant to the legitimacy of the Bible. I will not deny that things were added and changed. It was written by men. That is why I can't consider the Bible as the 100% word of God. But I believe it is mostly true and untarnished.

    How well have you researched the birth of Christ, from a Biblical and other standpoints? You should know that it was not necessarily three wise men, but it is assumed to be because three gifts were brought. Matthew 2:16 indicates that Jesus was about 2 years old when the wise men came to him. Also, another fun fact, Jesus was likely born in spring, Christmas lies on about the same date as a pagan holiday dedicated to the winter solstice.

    Who knows? For whatever reason, no one recorded it, or we have not yet found the records. Perhaps the writers simply found that such information was not relevant. But it by no means prove the illegitimacy of the Bible.
     

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