Reading and Talking About Other People's Scriptures

Discussion in 'Politics and Society' started by Cino, May 29, 2019.

  1. Cino

    Cino Big Love

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    What do you think about reading other people's scriptures?

    How should they be approached? What level of cultural/traditional background knowledge should be acquired prior to the reading?

    How should it be discussed? How important is it to align with traditional interpretation or exegesis?

    What no-go areas do you see? Where are the lines not to cross, into cultural appropriation, or colonial condescension, or hate speech, or misrepresentation?
     
  2. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens

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    Definitely not in an offhand way. They should be treated with respect?
     
  3. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens

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    For example:
    Sorry, I know that is from another thread. But ...
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2019
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  4. Cino

    Cino Big Love

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    Thanks, I actually wanted to continue this discussion here.

    So you consider the word choice inappropriate, or even disrespectful.

    What would a more respectful choice of words be?
     
  5. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens

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    It's pretty obvious to me that warning someone about a bad consequence of certain action (sin), is not the same as wanting that to happen?
     
  6. Cino

    Cino Big Love

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    One person's sin could be permissible to the next one; take Jesus' stance on divorce for example.

    So what within certain churches would be a warning against the consequences of sin, would in other churches, religions, and ways of life be a threat to do as the preacher says, or else...

    What comes across as caring for another's welfare in one context can come across as meddling or bullying in another.

    As a non-believer, how can I respectfully point out that Jesus comes across as a rather narrow-minded person intent on scaring his opponents into agreeing with him by threatening the most terrible torture imaginable?
     
  7. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    There is a meme floating around...something to the effect

    RIGHT:

    I can't do that, because of.my religion.

    WRONG:

    You can't do that, because of my religion.
     
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  8. A Cup Of Tea

    A Cup Of Tea An ordinary cup of tea

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    I think it can be written out in a more respectful way, but since the idea itself is portraying a central and infallible figure as a not very good dude is hard to get around.

    Personally I don't know if that idea is worth putting out in an off-hand discussion, but only when it's central to the discussion.
     
  9. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    I'd say with specifics. But I'd like you to refer to which words of Jesus you glean this from.
     
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  10. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

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    Always a risky venture.

    With the traditional commentaries close at hand. As for background, there can never be enough.

    Discussed with respect. The traditional interpretation is the starting point, then you can trace developments.

    The lines not to cross are those which repurpose a given scripture to serve the local cultural or ideological paradigm, which is a form of appropriation and misrepresentation. This inevitably (it seems) gives rise to the descending scale of condescension down to hate speech?
     
  11. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

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    Well you can preface your opinion with 'respectfully', but then you should expect that the answer is, respectfully, that opinion is not held by all.
     
  12. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    I thought all opinions were alike!
     
  13. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens

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    Yes. Jesus was on Earth to do the Father's will. Not to party. He didn't pull his words to suit the idea of the times. That's why they have lasted all this time. More studied than any other words.

    So a person don't like what he said about divorce? Doesn't mean he was wrong. Just that person disagrees. He had a few things to say to the religious professionals of the time too.

    But the poor and the weak and the oppressed flocked to him. Not because he threatened them. It is quite easy to take a few words of the Christ out of context and in a shallow way.

    If you were not as clever as you are I might put it down to ignorance, but you are a clever person, much too clever not to read between the lines. As someone here said: a(nti)theists sometimes seem to be the most stubborn of all Bible literalists.
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2019
  14. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens

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    Just to clear-up the wailing and gnashing of teeth in outer darkness particular parable:

    https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+22&version=NIV

    The Parable of the Wedding Banquet

    Jesus spoke to them again in parables, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son. He sent his servants to those who had been invited to the banquet to tell them to come, but they refused to come.

    Then he sent some more servants and said, ‘Tell those who have been invited that I have prepared my dinner: My oxen and fattened cattle have been butchered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding banquet.’

    But they paid no attention and went off—one to his field, another to his business. The rest seized his servants, mistreated them and killed them. The king was enraged. He sent his army and destroyed those murderers and burned their city.

    “Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding banquet is ready but those I invited did not deserve to come. So go to the street corners and invite to the banquet anyone you find.’ So the servants went out into the streets and gathered all the people they could find, the bad as well as the good, and the wedding hall was filled with guests.

    “But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing a wedding garment. He asked, ‘How did you get in here without wedding clothes, friend?’ The man was speechless.

    “Then the king told the attendants, ‘Tie him hand and foot, and throw him outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

    “For many are invited, but few are chosen."


    Sorry. I hope it's not too long? Of course I don't want to saturate the discussion with long scripture passages. But it demonstrates how the parables of Christ can be taken on many levels, imo?
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2019
  15. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens

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    The Christ did not incarnate to dance for comfortable urban westerners, to satisfy their metro curiosity. Imo?
     
  16. Aussie Thoughts

    Aussie Thoughts Just my 2 cents

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    I'd say first, park any preconceived notions at the door. Don't pull individual verses out of context in order to support ideals or agenda. Don't confuse differences in cultural and regional interpretation with deliberate false teaching and bear in mind, difference of opinion or perspective doesn't mean the other guy's wrong, only that you see things differently.

    I remember when I were a lad asking me dad why one man believes one way, the next another and a third not at all. We were in the car on our way to town at the time. He told me, from inside this car the road looks one way, but the folks in the houses and in the fields we're passing see something very different. To us they're a blur. To them we're a blur and a blind man only hears noise.
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2019
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  17. Cino

    Cino Big Love

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    Thanks, food for thought.

    One thing is a tough one to swallow for me, I must say: Critique of the old texts is only permissible within the traditional commentary framework and received interpretation?

    And another one: I have a hard time deciding when it is permissible to ignore the face value of a passage in favor of a symbolic reading, while at other times it is the other way around that's appropriate.

    Example from a recent thread: Symbolic interpretation of Judas' motives for being a snitch and his subsequent suicide: not the right way to read it. Literal reading of the Jesus quote about him not coming to bring peace: that's symbolic, actually.

    But I have the same issues with reading Buddhist, Muslim, and Jewish scripture, and I had endless fights in literature class back in school...
     
  18. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens

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    Nope. They are both to taken IN CONTEXT and also in spirit of the passage. Oh c'mon @Cino, you're much too smart for this sort of deliberate misunderstanding, imo.

    Re-read the complete 'with a sword' passage? Matthew 10 ...
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2019
  19. Aussie Thoughts

    Aussie Thoughts Just my 2 cents

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    Reading scripture can be tricky. Literal vs symbolic meanings and mistranslations aside, ofttimes you can't even tell what a particular verse actually refers to without reading the rest of the chapter.

    At the risk of oversimplification: Suppose the word pear/pair had but one spelling. If a verse read, "There's a pear/pair in the corner" You wouldn't know if it referred to fruit or 2 of something and could easily get the wrong idea. Whereas reading further, something like, I love shoes. "There's a pear/pair in the corner" -or- "There's a pear/pair in the corner" It's from the tree in our backyard, tells you exactly what the verse refers to.
     
  20. Bhaktajan II

    Bhaktajan II Active Member

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    Is that a 12th commandment?
     

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