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May 17, 2006

Comments

Sean

I actually did know the part about the two different accounts of creation... many historians take it to mean that Genesis was a compilation of writings by two or more authors, although the story of Lilith, Adam's first wife, was created to allow a literal interpretation. If memory serves, Lilith was kicked out of Paradise for the crime of considering herself Adam's peer. Then she went off and mated with various demons, giving birth to Djinn. Funny how I went to a Christian church for 18 years and managed to miss these details, only learning about them in recent years. So I think this Bible-blog project is a good idea.

blewsdawg

Very interesting. I was thinking about blogging 'Atlas Shrugged' in much the same manner. Knowing that this is out there, I'm even more motivated to do so.

el polacko

i guess a fisking of the bible could be entertaining, especially for those of us raised with that particular book of fairytales, but aren't we at least a little bit tired of hashing and re-hashing that same book yet after all these centuries ? maybe it's time to move on.

Kevin

Having grown up in Evangelical Land, let me assure you that literalist Christians are VERY familiar with the good, bad and ugly stories of the "Old Testament". When life's journey took me into more "main stream" houses of faith, I was often surprised by the limited knowledge that adherents, other than the clergy, seemed to have about the written source of their faith. Of course, they seemed to be a much happeir sub-set of believer than the literalists who tend to use scripture as weapon. Hmmm...sounds like I'm advocating ignorance. Let's just say, faith should be simple; It's people who make it very, very complicated.

el polacko

we catholics were told specifically to NOT read the bible.. we should leave that to the hierarchy to interpret it for us. .. and now they're suprised by da vinci code stories and such ?
pretty funny.

Kevin

El Polacko, that is funny. In Evangelical Land, we could read the Bible, but diversity of views and interpretation were not encouraged. Who knows what thinking and reasoning might lead to!

el polacko

i have memories of being a smart-ass first and second grader and asking the 'wrong' questions of the nuns. their pat answer, when they had no answers, was to say it was "a mystery of the church" and smack me with a ruler.. hahaha.. yes, they actually used to do that.

North Dallas Thirty

Did you know there was not one, but two versions of Creation? Among other differences, the two stories place gender roles on very disparate footing.

Well, first off, the difference in creation, especially the male/female part, is a bit easier; Genesis 1:27 is the executive summary of what happened, while Genesis 2 is the details of how exactly it was done.

As for the whole "where did the light come from, when there was no sun?", well....that's explaining it in a human context. All we know is the sun, but it's entirely possible that God created a divine flashlight.

Interestingly enough, the Greek myth of the creation begins exactly the same way.....blind chaos, followed by the creation of Love, then Light and Day, THEN the celestial bodies appear.

God does not always follow through on promises, like the one about killing Adam and Eve as soon as they eat the Forbidden Fruit.

The key interpolation there is "as soon as".

In the King James version, God's command is as this (Genesis 2: 16 - 17):

16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:

17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

But in the original, the word "day" is not precisely rendered to the point where you can define it as one standard "day". An equivalent translation could as easily be, "in the age"; or, as the Revised Standard translation does, merely "when". In that context, all that is required is that Adam and Eve will die; the question of "how quickly" is left open.

And as for hating vegetarians, Cain's problem, it seems, was not that God hates vegetables, but that God hates being given leftovers. Genesis 4 makes emphasis that Abel gave God the BEST of his flock (v. 4); in v. 7, God tells Cain, "Look, do it right, and you'll be fine."

In my belief, the Bible IS the inspired Word of God. However, we Lutherans see it as being interpreted in context of the words in John 1, which speaks of Christ Himself as "The Word". The Bible is a locus of revelation inasmuch as it points to Christ.

el polacko

egad. my point exactly. when do we stop beating these myths and allegories to death ? quibbling over translations and interpretations and what the meaning of 'is' is ... it's nutty.

John S.

I Corinthians 1:23
"...but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles..."

I'm sure the Bible probably seems like silly stories to some people, and that's fine. But please don't insult the intelligence of those of us who choose to believe in them. Perhaps they don't make sense to you, but if everything made sense equally to everyone, we wouldn't have our two political parties.

blewsdawg

...neither of which make any sense at all to me.

blewsdawg

...And please don't confuse 'insulting your intelligence' for recognizing your refusal to apply your intelligence and ability to reason where matters of religion are concerned. It may be a fine line, but there is a difference.

So, please excuse me if I roll my eyes at all the 'my magic book is better than your magic book' nonsense. I've heard every posible version of it, and at some point my eyes glaze over.

el polacko

whether or not the old man on a cloud who runs everything disliked vegetables or just didn't care for their presentation is not something i can be expected to seriously discuss just because someone "believes" it.
i was taught this same stuff. i'm just not going for it anymore.
if you dig it, great..go for it.. but for me, enough is enough already.

raj

It's interesting that Plotz has taken it upon himself to try to discern the internal inconsistencies in the Wholly Babble. More than a few other people have already done so, and their work is available over the internet. Do a little rooting around at the http://www.infidels.org web site. You might be surprised what you find. There are others of similar import.

As far as I'm concerned, if the Skye Pixie is really as omniscient as he is purported to be, he would be able to afford a better editor--which might avoid the internal inconsistencies. And a better translator. There are numerous translations of the Wholly Babble into English alone.

Kevin

No, no Mal! Bad Mal! Starting a debate on religion! Where is El Polacko's Catholic ruler?

In the end, matters of faith are stuff of the heart. This is not to say that reason is disengaged, but for most of us, our reasoning becomes tempered at some point in life when we hope that we are not the highest power in all of the universe. A bonus blessing is when you can be at peace with the fact that not everyone may agree with you and its not your job to change their minds.

Aatom

a divine flashlight? interesting...

look, i don't have to believe in the Bible as the divine Word to know that it is one of the greatest pieces of literature ever written. As an English Lit major, I'm required to at least respect it on that level. I find the Old Testament much more compelling than the New testament, as it contains all of the passion, fire and pique that I would expect from a truly righteous G-d. For a genuinely fascinating interpretation of the first five books of the Bible, read the Book of J, which convincingly posits that a royal Hittite woman of the Court may have written the first stories of the Old Testament as a type of chick lit novel. Riveting stuff.

The New Testament strikes me as a bit too hippy-ish before its time, but I can see why the modern mind finds more to relate to in it. It's just a shame the whole 'love' message got lost for so many people along the way.

Sean

I think it's great when people get benefit from reading the Bible, no matter how silly I may consider it... (see http://www.theonion.com/content/node/28532 )

And I generally abstain from bringing up how silly I might find it to those who disagree, just bc that would be as pointless as them trying to convince me to feel differently. Live 'n let live and all that.

anapestic

I don't think that most of us would have any trouble allowing people to suspend rigorous intellectual and logical analysis of their faith if so many people of faith didn't insist upon imposing their faith-based values on us.

I honor the right of everyone to worship as he sees fit, but if someone decides that the Bible is a legitimate basis for an infringement of my rights, I have no trouble pointing out its inconsistencies.

anapestic

The first time I hit "Post" on that last comment, it took me to another site entirely, ran me through a comment verification screen and then left me at that other site, apparently losing my comment. Weird.

Malcontent

See why I want to leave TypePad? But nobody has responded to my plea for help. Not a single person, at any price.

I spent several hours last night trying to import content into WordPress and to be able to administer and make changes to the new site. For various reasons, both of those attempts were colossal wastes of time.

I am a certified net-tard, and nobody cares. :-(

Kevin

But we DO care, Mal. Sadly, in this case, most of us are impotent. This makes us net-tardlings.

Tommy

sorry, i still can't italicize

Queer Conservative

I like C. S. Lewis' take on the scriptures. It's myth, it's based on other myth. It's not to be read literally and isn't so much that it is "THE WORD OF GOD" as that it carries the Word of God, and so do all the myths that came before.

The fact that it shouldn't be taken as literal and inerrant in no way minimizes it for me. I rather think a literal interpretation cheapens it's meaning; in much the same way I abhor those "Christian" t-shirts and bumper stickers with cutesy slogans. Faith is a personal thing though, as others here have said, and it's pointless to debate it.

The only people I find annoying on the issue are those who come at it with an obvious and painful chip on their shoulder (tedinla), with only the intention to ridicule and insult (tedinla).

Oscar

Great he is doing that. I want to know that when he gets to the New Testament, to tell me the Chapter and Verse where Jesus condems homosexuality. It is not anywhere. Only frustated Saul of Tarsus does it in Corinthians. By the way Saul better known as Paul never met Jesus or follow him, so he really is not a true apostle in the complete sense of the word. An opportunist, that he was. 14 years of Catholic School teaches you a lot. Also do you guys know that there are only 2 Popes left before the end of the world. Ain't that something!!!

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