Your least favorite scripture passage

Discussion in 'Comparative Studies' started by Cino, Apr 25, 2021.

  1. Cino

    Cino Big Love! (Atheist mystic) Admin

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    If your faith has scripture, what is the passage you like the least, that you struggle with the most? Why is that so?
     
  2. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens Admin

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    I’ve never been too keen on this bit:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lot's_daughters
    … while Lot and his family are in Sodom, two angels arrive and Lot shows them hospitality. However, the men (and boys) of the city gather around Lot's house and demand that he give them the two guests so they could ‘know’ them. In response, Lot offers the mob his two daughters instead, noting that they are virgins. The mob refuses Lot's offer, and the angels strike them with blindness, and then warn Lot to leave the city before it is destroyed.

    Genesis 19:1-9

    And there came two angels to Sodom at even; and Lot sat in the gate of Sodom: and Lot seeing them rose up to meet them; and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground;

    And he said, Behold now, my lords, turn in, I pray you, into your servant's house, and tarry all night, and wash your feet, and ye shall rise up early, and go on your ways. And they said, Nay; but we will abide in the street all night.

    And he pressed upon them greatly; and they turned in unto him, and entered into his house; and he made them a feast, and did bake unleavened bread, and they did eat.

    But before they lay down, the men of the city, even the men of Sodom, compassed the house round, both old and young, all the people from every quarter:

    And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know them.

    And Lot went out at the door unto them, and shut the door after him,

    And said, I pray you, brethren, do not so wickedly.

    Behold now, I have two daughters which have not known man; let me, I pray you, bring them out unto you, and do ye to them as is good in your eyes: only unto these men do nothing; for therefore came they under the shadow of my roof.

    And they said, Stand back. And they said again, This one fellow came in to sojourn, and he will needs be a judge: now will we deal worse with thee, than with them. And they pressed sore upon the man, even Lot, and came near to break the door.

    Genesis 19 Read Full Passage
     
  3. stranger

    stranger wolfwing, a feral angel

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    It's the book of Hosea, it is very painful. The anguish hidden in the words is terrible, devastating. It is God's anguish for his Israel. I'm hesitant... It's heavy, we are lucky it only comes to us in a measure we are able to handle. He is kind to us, not allowing us to experience too much of the depth of grief contained within his great heart. I guess I must post this bit, I'm sorry...

    1. The Lord said to me, “Go, show your love to your wife again, though she is loved by another man and is an adulteress. Love her as the Lord loves the Israelites, though they turn to other gods and love the sacred raisin cakes.”

    2. So I bought her for fifteen shekels of silver and about a homer and a lethek of barley.

    3. Then I told her, “You are to live with me many days; you must not be a prostitute or be intimate with any man, and I will behave the same way toward you.” -- Hosea 3:1-3
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2021
  4. muhammad_isa

    muhammad_isa Save Our Souls

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    The story of Lot is in the Qur'an. It is very similar to that account, except the details.
    Basically, Sodom was a lawless sort of place where Prophet Lot,
    [a nephew of Abraham, peace be with him] was trying to reform.
    Men were robbing and raping strangers, and Lot was eventually told to leave, but his wife wasn't saved.

    Conversely, Pharaoh was drowned with his army while pursuing 'Bani Israel', but his wife was saved.

    Genesis is an ancient scripture, and its accuracy is questionable. I love the Psalms of David :)
     
  5. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens Admin

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    I'm not always happy with questioning the accuracy of the Biblical passages that we don't like, while accepting those we do like. In a way I think the fact the 'difficult' bits are still allowed in there indicates the transmission is authentic, because a lot of people would have found it more convenient just to remove them?
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2021
  6. muhammad_isa

    muhammad_isa Save Our Souls

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    Up to you..
    Some people take the Bible, particularly Genesis, in an allegorical way .. including some Jewish sects.

    I, of course, don't have to worry so much about interpretation as I have the Qur'an to help me :)
    Naturally, there is a lot that I don't know, but overall, it confirms much of the OT as being true stories of
    "the men of old" .. and not just anecdotes or hearsay.

    What I don't understand, is why many Christians take the OT to be literal / accurate, while the NT says that Jesus
    was accusing the scribes of corruption. Naturally, a scripture that applies to before the flood of Noah would be
    hard to preserve, along with the various language issues over time.
     
  7. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens Admin

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    Being an accurate translation and transmission doesn't mean what it says is literally true? It could still be a fable? Or fact mixed with fable? It preserves the way people thought and lived at the time it was written?
     
  8. ScholarlySeeker

    ScholarlySeeker Active Member

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    I have been trying to read the Psalms more in the Hebrew, and they are really beautiful. I remember it was one of the most incredible moments when I came to realize that Hallelujah was actually Hebrew! I know, I know, everyone knows that. Well, that includes me now too - LOL!
     
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  9. ScholarlySeeker

    ScholarlySeeker Active Member

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    This is actually very important. For instance, we have no real choice but to conclude Israel is literal. Now what kind or how much or where Israel is might be contested, but Israel itself, we usually take that literal. And yes there are things that are symbolic, and other things are described rhetorically, even poetically. It's difficult sometimes to figure out which is which.
     
  10. muhammad_isa

    muhammad_isa Save Our Souls

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    Excellent .. I'm glad to hear it :)
     
  11. Cino

    Cino Big Love! (Atheist mystic) Admin

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    So is the a chapter or verse in the Qur'an which you struggle with, or find hard to understand? Or from the Hadith perhaps?
     
  12. muhammad_isa

    muhammad_isa Save Our Souls

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    Nothing from the Qur'an, I don't think.
    However, it depends how spiritually receptive one is when they are reading it.
    I never cease to learn some new concept.

    Hadith .. very likely. I don't completely trust them, and am wary of taking them as "absolute truth",
    even if deemed sahih ( sound ).
    However, I have no problem with the vast majority. They don't contradict the Qur'an.

    Some of them seem very rude towards Jews. I suppose it's because they deny Jesus.
    However, I don't believe everything I read. :)

    I personally believe that the righteous from amongst the whole of mankind will accept him when he returns.
    ..including Jews. What is there not to like, about a true messiah?
    A true messiah will not be a racist. He will be for all nations .. not just Muslim or Jew etc.
     
  13. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens Admin

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    And perhaps even more beautiful sung:
    Psalm 104 sung in ancient Hebrew



    This may seem to be rocking it up a bit too much for some, but it's possible to Google lots of other stuff.
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2021
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  14. muhammad_isa

    muhammad_isa Save Our Souls

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    29 Thou hidest thy face, they are troubled: thou takest away their breath, they die, and return to their dust.
    30 Thou sendest forth thy spirit, they are created: and thou renewest the face of the earth.
    31 The glory of the Lord shall endure for ever: the Lord shall rejoice in his works.

    - Psalm 104 -

    Sorry @Cino .. I actually like those verses. I was just following up on @RJM Corbet's post.
     
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  15. RabbiO

    RabbiO הרב יונה בן זכריה

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    Of course it is important to note that the story says nothing about "boys" or any other small children. It is also important to note that Lot's behavior vis-a-vis his daughters is not considered exemplary by the text.
     
  16. SufiPhilosophy

    SufiPhilosophy Evolution by mutation has never been observed

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    From what l gather it is not condemned in the Bible.
    Nor is it even possible. A man literally blind drunk, to be able to sexually perform?
    Twice?
    And each time, to initiate a successful pregnancy?
    It doesn't seem fact to begin with, so l personally wouldn't try to justify it post fact. But yeah, the Bible doesn't condemn it. If you inject meaning into it, and inject hard, then you might find condemnation, but if you go by the text, there is none. Sorry.

    By the way you'll notice l refrain from even repeating the story using that prophet's name as l believe l will have to face him one day if l do, and that would be very grave.
     
  17. SufiPhilosophy

    SufiPhilosophy Evolution by mutation has never been observed

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    I reproduce here a defence of that prophet (peace be upon him) by a commenter l presume to be of Judaic background:

    https://jwa.org/encyclopedia/article/lots-daughters-midrash-and-aggadah

    Scroll down to the comment by "Pinto" (l have edited out the mention of that prophet's name as l don't want a share in what may perhaps happen on the day of judgement to whoever maligns him so l want to distance myself as much as possible):

    Wow... how many errors could those rabbis fit into their analyses?

    "The Rabbis observe that a man usually allows himself to be killed in order to save his wife and children, while [that prophet] was willing to allow the townspeople to abuse his daughters."

    Genesis 19:6 says "[That prophet] went outside to meet [the Sodomite rape gang] and shut the door behind him. [emphasis mine]" If anyone was going to get gang-raped and murdered that night, [that prophet] would surely have been the Sodomites' first victim, since he was standing between them and his guests and his daughters with the door shut behind him. Sounds to me like those rabbis owe [that prophet] an apology for their unduly harsh assessment of his character; he didn't offer up his daughters to the would-be rapists without implicitly offering up his own life first.

    "[That prophet] thought that if he were to dwell in Sodom, he could engage in licentious behavior without anyone’s knowledge."

    Pure speculation, and not a word of valid reasoning or canonical basis for it. Considering that the Sodomites practiced their licentious behavior pretty brazenly in trying to gang-rape [that prophet]'s guests, I dare say a whole lot of them would surely have known if he was doing anything licentious. When he pleaded with them not to attack his guests, they didn't say "You've had plenty of fun with our women; now we want our turn with your men." Instead, Genesis 19:9 tells us they said "Get out of our way! This fellow came here as a foreigner, and now he wants to play the judge! We’ll treat you worse than them." Also, the only reason for [that prophet]'s decision to live near Sodom given in the actual Torah is (according to Genesis 13:10) that the plain of the Jordan where the cities stood had lots of water and vegetation for his animals; Scripture accuses [that prophet] of no sin other than the sloth of complacency. To make up wild accusations of the kind these rabbis did is to libel him without cause, and for that they again owe [that prophet] an apology.

    "Another Rabbinic view was that [that prophet] secretly lusted after his daughters. He was intoxicated when the elder sister lay with him, but he was sober when she rose, as is indicated in the Torah by the dot over the word u-ve-komah (“when she rose”)."

    Rubbish. Genesis 19:33 clearly states "He was not aware of it when [his older daughter] lay down or when she got up [emphasis mine]." Genesis 19:35 likewise clearly states "Again he was not aware of it when [his younger daughter] lay down or when she got up [emphasis mine]." While one might wonder what bizarre dreams he was having in his drunken delerium to be able to perform for his daughters while they were raping him, it's clear he didn't do it of his own free will. The only wrong he committed was letting them repeatedly get him drunk, and since he didn't know what they were doing to him while he was drunk, he may simply have thought they were spending those nights drowning their sorrows in wine the same way he was drowning his. Once again, the rabbis' accusations against [that prophet] are pure speculation with neither any sound logic nor any canonical basis for them whatsoever.

    "The daughters’ true intent was not to lie with their father, on whom they had no sexual designs, but to save the world from total devastation. The daughters thought that the entire world had been laid waste, as had happened during the Flood, since they saw no living souls wherever they went; they did not know that only Sodom had been destroyed."

    Wrong on all counts: while it's entirely plausible that the daughters were acting out of deemed necessity rather than from lust, they could not have thought all the people of all the world destroyed, since Genesis 19:30 clearly states they had lately emigrated from the little town of Zoar; they must have been aware that other people still lived in civilization's remnants, though [that prophet]'s being afraid to stay in Zoar suggests they justifiably believed these other people were hostile to them. Genesis 19:24-29 states that God destroyed not only Sodom, but Gomorrah, and all the cities of the plain. While the devastation of that fiery deluge on the land certainly would remind them of the watery deluge in Noah's time, the daughters were surely aware that there were other survivors later on too, though they wanted nothing to do with them; as the older daughter states in Genesis 19:31, "Our father is old, and there is no man around here to give us children—as is the custom all over the earth [emphasis mine]."

    What they most likely feared was specifically the end of their family line: with their only other prospects for having children (specifically sons to protect them and provide for them) being the apparently hostile people of Zoar and maybe a few desert raiders who'd prefer to use them for sex slaves, the daughters figured they'd have to get their children from the only non-hostile and non-predatory male to be had, namely their father [that prophet].

    "This also explains the midrash... that [that prophet]’s daughters had no wine."

    Considering that Abraham and [that prophet] had both been able to procure food and drink for themselves before, there's no reason to believe [that prophet] and his daughters hadn't continued to do so, though the destruction of so much of their wealth along with Sodom and Gomorrah and all the cities of the plain had surely impoverished them. Still, with vegetation (including wine grapes) immediately springing up in the rich plains of the Jordan (recently fertilized with ash) and people being able to round up the occasional surviving stray animals now drifting ownerless in the aftermath of the apocalypse, the suggestion that [that prophet] and his daughters needed some miraculous source for their wine (or anything else) is pure fanciful speculation and nothing more.

    "An additional wonder: a virgin does not become pregnant from her first intercourse, while [that prophet]’s daughters, who were virgins, did become pregnant from this initial act..."

    Oh, come on! Even the most prudish cultures have always known that nothing magically protects a girl from getting pregnant her first time, much as she might wish something did. I'm starting to think these rabbis must be pulling our legs. If anything, my suspicion is that [that prophet]'s daughters had figured out how their fertility cycles worked and simply used an inversion of the Catholics' beloved rhythm method to ensure that they were inseminated on their most fertile days.

    That's assuming each of them really did only rape their father one time apiece. While Genesis 19:33-35 certainly only mentions the one time, it's entirely possible it's simply indicating how their scheme typically went by telling us about the first time they pulled it and then leaving us to figure (without having to have it all described to us again) that they took turns with their father in the same manner every time they pulled this same scheme after that until they were both certain they were pregnant.

    As to their legacy, it's true that Ruth the Moabite later did go on to sire David's line with Boaz (and through that lineage, ultimately the Messiah). However, the Israelites' prescribed enmity with the Ammonites and Moabites did pretty much continue with everybody else in those nations. If anything, Ruth's reconciliation to God through marrying Boaz merely demonstrates that God was already working toward the abolition of collective historical culpability for ancestral sins: as prophesied in Jeremiah 31:28-30 and Ezekiel 18:1-3, Ruth was no longer going to be held responsible for the sins of [that prophet]'s daughters with their father (nor, for that matter, for the other sins the nation of Moab had committed against Israel in chapters 22-25 of Numbers).

    All these wild digressions from Biblical canon and the sheer absurdity of some of these speculations are one reason why the rabbinical writings of the Talmud will never rank much higher in my estimation than (rather poorly written) fan fiction. While it's worthwhile to know what ancient Israelites thought about various odd passages of Scripture, honoring these fanciful scribblings as anything more than the dubious opinions of fallible men would be subordinating the Scriptures to mere human traditions as God warned us against doing in Isaiah 29:13.
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2021
  18. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    Least favorite passage.... I have always enjoyed....

    First reading it literally....err...as if it were gospel.

    Then looking at when it was written, by whom, and to whom and contemplating motive based on current events.

    Then as a parable or allegory and what I myself could benefit in my decision making by twhat I have read.

    And the a trip down the metaphysical bible dictionary...replacing the words with potential meanings and definitions and seeing what I glean.
     
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  19. Tone Bristow-Stagg

    Tone Bristow-Stagg Active Member

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    That is a tricky question, needs much contemplation.

    My first thoughts are I would have no Writing that is from God that I do not like, it may be more correct to say that there are passages I am yet to understand. As I am yet to understand, I do not struggle with them, I am still able to meditate as to what the wisdom may be. My personal conflict is that I know others do struggle and find difficulty with many passages, so in that light I wish to offer them the same peace of mind, but I can not.

    An example in the Baha'i Writings is that of the Equality of Men and Women and then there is a law that the election of the Universal House of Justice is confined to men, but only the Universal House of Justice.

    This is not a struggle in my mind, we are assured the future will see that wisdom, but in this age of transition, many struggle to understand why this Law has been given.

    This passage, shows me part of that wisdom,

    ".the principle of religion has been revealed by Bahá’u’lláh that woman must be given the privilege of equal education with man and full right to his prerogatives. That is to say, there must be no difference in the education of male and female in order that womankind may develop equal capacity and importance with man in the social and economic equation. Then the world will attain unity and harmony. In past ages humanity has been defective and inefficient because it has been incomplete. War and its ravages have blighted the world; the education of woman will be a mighty step toward its abolition and ending, for she will use her whole influence against war. Woman rears the child and educates the youth to maturity. She will refuse to give her sons for sacrifice upon the field of battle. In truth, she will be the greatest factor in establishing universal peace and international arbitration. Assuredly, woman will abolish warfare among mankind.

    (The Promulgation of Universal Peace: Talks Delivered by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá during
    His Visit to the United States and Canada in 1912, p. 108)

    Regards Tony
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2021
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  20. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    Not my scripture, but one I struggle with just the same:

    "Do what thou wilt" shall be the whole of the Law
     
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