Flintstoneism

Discussion in 'Belief and Spirituality' started by apexcone, Jan 2, 2019.

  1. apexcone

    apexcone Trackdayguy

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    I came across this word several years ago and its been a real tool in helping me to read and understand the Bible.

    1. When we read the Bible we are reading it unknowingly through the grid of our own world view, experiences and cultural norms. If I read the word marriage in the Bible and fail to understand the values and the underlying world view & cultural norms in and around the time period I'm reading, I will almost certainly come away from the text with a wrong picture of whats being discussed.

    2. So I read about marriage regarding the life of King David, and then unknowingly overlay my 21st century world view of marriage over those comments. That's called Flintstoneism. The same with the word adultery, we must understand that the meaning of many words have changed and so has the culture, which is why reading the Bible literally is total nonsense.

    We read the story of King David and see that he committed adultery, so we conclude he had sex with another mans wife, (this is bad right, having sex with another women who isn't your wife)

    The issues for us are
    1. He had sex
    2. It was someone else's wife.

    The real problem was he had sex with someone else's wife without the husbands permission. She was his property and David took what wasn't his. Had David had an arrangement with Uriah that it was OK for him to sleep with Bathsheba whist he was away fighting this would not have been a problem.

    The Biblical understanding of Adultery is taking what isn't yours. Its steeling. The majority of Bible believing people read that story and all they see is sex, because they are reading the text through a 21st century shame centered world view of human sexuality, reinforced by main stream Christianity.

    Flintstoneism
     
  2. Cino

    Cino Big Love

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    (edited to add: Even in a flinstonian reading, the "David and Batsheba were adulterers" reading does not really work.)

    Solomon could not have become king if he had been the child of an adulterous couple - something like this I remember being told. (Christians who value Jesus' pedigree but think the founder of the line was an adulterer, and Solomon an illegitimate son, seem to be missing a point here). And that Uriah died in battle before David and Batsheba got intimate. And that by his death they were divorced, not sure about the details here. And that Uriah had been a rebellious man (he said something disrespectful), and David could have had him executed for rebellion, but chose to go the "arrange his death in battle" for all the wrong reasons.

    And the prophet who confronted David about this did indeed tell a story about theft, not adultery.

    Anyway, these old texts and traditions can be a lot of geeky fun to play with.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2019
  3. apexcone

    apexcone Trackdayguy

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    He didn't need to tell a story about theft because it was already understood that was what he did, steal another mans wife.
     
  4. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

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    I'm not sure the 'stealing' is supported by the evidence. Nor, really, is David's adultery the point of the story.

    The Jews at this time were polygamous. David had wives and concubines. Polyandry however — one wife with two husbands — was forbidden, to such an extend that all parties, wife and husbands, were guilty and subject to capital punishment. So was adultery.

    But the David and Bathsheba story is far bigger than this.

    David should have been leading his troops into battle, but instead he's at home in Jerusalem and has committed adultery with Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah the Hittite. Bathsheba has become pregnant. Once the news is out, Bathsheba will be found guilty of adultery and executed, and technically so should the king.

    David's first attempt to cover up his crime is to recall Uriah from the front. He gives him gifts, a meal, all manner of inducements, in the hope he'll go home, relax, and have sex with his wife. He would then assume the child is his own.

    Uriah is a soldier, and there's a prohibition against serving soldiers going on home leave when the country's at war. In fact Uriah makes no bones about it, bluntly reproving his king that he was not one for enjoying the comforts of home (v 11).

    David sends Uriah back to the front with a message to the army commander: 'Put Uriah in the front line where the fighting is fiercest. Then withdraw from him so he will be struck down and die' (v 15).

    Joab sees the desperation of David's plan, and it's stupidity. If he sends the men forward, it's unlikely that Uriah's men will abandon their comrade on the battlefield. Also the order will reflect badly on Joab. There's even the chance that David could have Joab executed for the murder of Uriah!

    Joab attacks the besieged city, and sends Uriah to where the fighting's fiercest and, as hoped, Uriah is killed. (v 16-17)

    Joab instructs a messenger to take news of this failed and reckless attack to the king:
    “When you have finished giving the king this account of the battle, the king’s anger may flare up, and he may ask you, ‘Why did you get so close to the city to fight? Didn’t you know they would shoot arrows from the wall? Who killed Abimelech son of Jerub-Besheth? Didn’t a woman throw an upper millstone on him from the wall, so that he died in Thebez? Why did you get so close to the wall?’ If he asks you this, then say to him, ‘Also, your servant Uriah the Hittite is dead’” (v 19-21).

    +++

    Apparently scholars regard the skilful use of dialogue throughout the narrative as one of the finest in the entire Hebrew corpus. It is through dialogue that the narrative is brought to life.

    But the fact is that Bathsheba plays a minor role in the story, it's all about David and one sin leading to a succession of sins, which ends in the senseless slaughter of his men to assure getting one man killed.

    It also goes on to show that no matter how steeped in sin, true repentance is rewarded with forgiveness. Forgiven, some Jewish commentaries note, but not forgotten, David's sins recorded in Scripture.

    Others have defended David on the grounds that there was a practice of soldiers divorcing their wives before battle — thus Bathsheba would be free to sleep with David — and that Uriah fell in a failed attack.
     
  5. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    Fun times! The bible is something else when it comes to books. If it wasn't the Bible it would be panned, banned, and burned by biblical folk.
     
  6. apexcone

    apexcone Trackdayguy

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    Great commentary, my point was that Adultery isn't about sex.
     
  7. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

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    I would have thought the accusation of adultery is contingent upon sex?
     
  8. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

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    Would you?
     
  9. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    Rhetorical, or sarcastic?
     
  10. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

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    I'm just questioning the premise. I thought you are counted among 'biblical folk'?

    I can think of maybe one or two extreme US preachers who've burned the Qran, can't think of any 'Biblical folk' who've burned Hindu or Buddhist texts, not even atheist diatribes against religion, so I'm not sure who these 'Biblical folk' are you're referring to?

    I don't mean to pick on you, I just react against extremism ...
     
  11. apexcone

    apexcone Trackdayguy

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    Stealing is the issue, the sex seals the crime.
     
  12. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

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    Nope. If the intention was stealing, it would be kidnap.
    If sex is the issue — the wife hasn't been stolen, she remains in place — then it's adultery.

    I think you're looking back with a contemporary outlook on gender issues?

    A significant factor on the prohibition issue, not withstanding that wives, children, farms and fortunes, etc., were deemed property of the husband, was the impact of sexual jealousy on communities, and the fear or cuckoldry, specifically that one is bringing up another man's children, which has an impact on inheritance rights, etc.

    Abraham saw Uriel's wife and it was lust. Simple as that — whether or not she was married was secondary, at the time he didn't know. All he knew was what his dick was telling him. So the issue rises in the dick, it's a sex thing, and as she's married, it's classified as a sex crime.
     
  13. Cino

    Cino Big Love

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    They still had Nephilim in those days?

    (I think you meant Uriah)
     
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  14. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

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    Whoops! :D
     
  15. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    The bible as my goto onestop shopping for inspirational and thought yes... A bible thumping the end is coming, we are all doomed sinners, Satan is taking over society... Nah
    But you did do surprisingly well to drive that home!
     
  16. RabbiO

    RabbiO הרב יונה בן זכריה

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    Cite?
     
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  17. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

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    What percentage of biblical folk think that way, d'you know? Just wonderin'. I'd guess the figure is significantly more in the US than anywhere else in the world.

    I'll back off. but sometimes I just can't help jumping to the defence of the silent, innocent majority who so easily and so often get lumped in with the guilty few, who distort the image in so many eyes.
     
  18. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    Biblical folk? We have the bones increasing but the percentage who believe in a literal interp staying near 30%. Which makes it around 50% of biblical folk.
     
  19. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

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    Here's the thing.

    Lots of people read these threads. Lots of people pick up things from the internet. So when we make claims about the book burning habits of 'biblical folk', in reinforces those who are only too predoisposed to believe anything that fits their agenda.

    Who are these Biblical Folk?

    Historically, the burning of books and other media was a common device used throughout the world in clashes between 'them' and 'us', such as the burning of books and burying of scholars in China (210-213BC), The burning of the Library of Alexandria (49AD). Neither of these was by 'biblical folk'.
    In Acts, Paul performed an exorcism in Ephesus. Those who sought and failed to perform the same feat many gave up their "curious arts" and burned the books because apparently they didn't work (Acts 19:18-20). Paul didn't make themn burn their books.

    After Nicea (325AD), Constantine issued an edict against Arians which included a prescription for systematic book-burning. According to Elaine Pagels, "In AD 367, Athanasius, the zealous bishop of Alexandria... issued an Easter letter in which he demanded that Egyptian monks destroy all such unacceptable writings, except for those he specifically listed as 'acceptable' even 'canonical' — a list that constitutes the present 'New Testament'". As ever, Pagels exagerates. Paschal letter 39 does indeed list the canon, but nowhere does it demand the destruction of books.

    But she said it, so it becomes an accepted fact that the early Church was responsible for the widescale burning of books, even though there's no material evidence to that end. It's just a re-inforcing of a prejudice that people readily accept.

    And today?

    The Nazis, of course. Book burning in Chile followed the 1973 coup that installed the Pinochet regime. In the 1950s, over six tons of books by William Reich were burned in the US under judicial orders. In Denmark, a comic book burning took place 23 June 1955. It was a bonfire consisting of comic books and on top of that a life size cardboard cutout of The Phantom. None of them 'biblical folk'.

    In 1984, Amsterdam's South African Institute was infiltrated by an organized group bent on drawing attention to the inequality of the apartheid. The group systematically smashed microfiche machines and threw books into the nearby waterway. Rare editions of travel books, documents about the Boer Wars, and contemporary materials both for and against apartheid were destroyed. Not 'biblical folk'.

    The Jaffna Public Library in Jaffna, Sri Lanka was burned down by Sinhalese police and paramilitaries in 1981 during a pogrom against the minority Tamil population. Not 'biblical folk'.

    It is estimated that during 1990s in Croatia over 2,8 million books were destroyed by the Croatian government. Those were the books written in Cyrillic, written in Ekavian version of Serbo-Croatian, written by the Serbs or by "unsuitable" Croats. Ditto.

    In 2010, the self-styled Pastor Terry Jones, of the Christian Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville, Florida (a "tiny fringe group and an embarrassment to our community" according to Gainsville mayor Craig Lowe) announced he would burn 200 Qurans on the 2010 anniversary of the September 11 attacks, but chose not to in the face of a public outcry. On March 20, 2011, Jones held a 'trial of the Quran' in his Gainesville church. Finding the scriptures guilty of 'crimes against humanity', the Quran was burned in the church sanctuary.

    In the UK, two teenagers, a 15-year-old girl and a 14-year-old boy, each burned a Quran citing Jones as their inspiration.

    So, as far as I can see, from a contemporary viewpoint, your 'biblical folk' amounts to one fantasist in Florida, and a couple of kids. That's it.

    But when we make statements like that, people with unconscious dispositions are all too ready to jump on the bandwagon. It's the dissemination of fake facts that feeds prejudice.

    And you're telling me it's 50%.

    That's why I challenge.
     
  20. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    So remind me never to say it is raining cats and dogs.

    Yes, with all the adultery, sex, rape, offering of daughters, murder mahem, If it wasn't the Bible it would be panned, banned, and burned by biblical folk.

    I stand by my exageration
     

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