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Source: (consider it) Thread: Kerygmania: This is in the Bible - but it stinks! IMHO...
Barnabas62
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Kiwimac

Welcome from me too. And applause for spotting Psyduck's origins. This is both for you and the Pokemon character. [Biased]

<tangent>
Confession time - I'm way off the pot on the most up to date archeological understandings. So here are a couple of questions.

1. Which authors do you recommend on gradual infiltration?

2. On the basis of this theory, how historical is the exile in Baylon?

Although not a historical argument, I tend to work on the general understanding that the great "events" in Judaic history were the crucible which created the distinctive Israelite identity, rather than the notion that the search for identity was the myth-generator of Israelite identity and biblical histories. Not so much that I reckon it is all good history - I'm sure there are camp-fire stories in there - but there is probably some sort of core of core events which provide the basis for the OT.

But I'm happy to have my stupidity exposed - and certainly wouldn't mind a push in the right direction on the archeology. Don't think its worth a separate thread at this stage - it may turn out to be quite a good additional illuminator of this one.
<end tangent>

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Yakov
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I read in a few liberal Jewish commentaries that Joseph can't possibly be meant to be taken literally, because in subsequent books the Hebrews are dealing with the same people that they supposedly extinguished in Josh.

-ya.

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Freddy
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quote:
Originally posted by Yakov:
I read in a few liberal Jewish commentaries that Joseph can't possibly be meant to be taken literally, because in subsequent books the Hebrews are dealing with the same people that they supposedly extinguished in Josh.

I assume you mean that it is Joshua that can't possibly be meant to be taken literally. But I'm not aware that any entire people were extinguished in the book. Except perhaps the Anakim, and, almost, the tribe of Benjamin (in Judges 20 & 21).

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Choirboi
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I'm surprised that in a thread of this title, no one has mentioned the latest book(2005) by the retired bishop of Newark, John Shelby Spong, entitled The Sins of Scripture . He addresses precisely the issues adressed in this thread. I think he does a fairly good job at addressing the biblical text from its historical context, explaining how culture affects how people understand God's presence and working in their particular age.

I suggest anyone interested in this topic have a read.

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Yerevan
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I once heard a sermon which insisted that "we have to like ALL the Bible, even the bits about genocide" (I'm quoting it from memory, but the preacher literally said that sentence).

[Mad]

I first read the Bible as a curious teenager (with a vague assumption that you had to think it was all literally true to be a C) and was so irritated by passages like 1 Timothy 2.11-15 that I wanted nothing more to do with it. Which has implications for the 'Just give them a Bible' school of evangelism...

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infinite_monkey
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Can someone take a crack at redeeming this one? I'm a bit more troubled by New Testament "stinkage" than by Old Testament babies-against-rocks stuff--I can buy that the latter connects to prophecies and ways of being which were "explained" and "fulfilled" in Jesus (thanks, previous poster!), but I can't get over thinking Jesus was just, well, a bit MEAN in this one:

Matthew 15:22-26 (New International Version)

New International Version (NIV)
Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society


22A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, "Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is suffering terribly from demon-possession."

23Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, "Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us."

24He answered, "I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel."

25The woman came and knelt before him. "Lord, help me!" she said.

26He replied, "It is not right to take the children's bread and toss it to their dogs."


Okay, it's true that she snaps right back at him and he (contritely?) does end up healing the daughter, but I have a hard time getting over feeling, um, a little pissed at the "dogs" reference.

Are we to understand that Jesus initallly DID believe it wouldn't be right for him to help the daughter, and if the woman hadn't pestered him further the girl would have died, or that the whole thing was a rhetorical flourish since Jesus knew in the beginning that the woman wouldn't give up that easily and wanted to use her faith as an example?

PS 1: sorry i couldn't figure out how to link or bold.
PS 2: those who derail this into the seemingly obligatory squabble about the nature of "demon possession" (see Purgatory and Hell) will find their inboxes cluttered with grow-a-penis spam. [Smile]

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And now we have to live with what we did with what we saw.

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Scholar Gypsy
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I think the plagues visited on Egypt during the time of Moses stink.
Not only does all Egypt suffer for something they had little part in (i.e. Pharoah's decision not to let the slaves go), but it's not Pharaoh's fault either.
Every first born son in the land dies because God hardens Pharoah's heart so God's wonders are made plainer.
(See particularly:http://bible.oremus.org/?ql=14539054 )

I can just about see that if Pharoah had just let them go (pretty unlikely IMO) the Israelites might not have realised God had saved them, etc.
But why do there have to be so many plagues?

ETA - I tried to make the link work [Frown] Off to the practice thread!

[ 13. May 2006, 16:57: Message edited by: xSx ]

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The Machine Elf

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quote:
Originally posted by infinite_monkey:
Are we to understand that Jesus initallly DID believe it wouldn't be right for him to help the daughter, and if the woman hadn't pestered him further the girl would have died, or that the whole thing was a rhetorical flourish since Jesus knew in the beginning that the woman wouldn't give up that easily and wanted to use her faith as an example?

I think how else she might have answered - if she had kept 'shouting after' Jesus and demanding - instead of replying as she did. I read this as her humility being rewarded - she didn't have a right to healing, but acknowledged that it was a small thing compared to Jesus' authority she was asking (like a scrap of food that falls to the floor) - not her tenacity.


TME

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Nigel M
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quote:
Originally posted by Barnabas62:

Which authors do you recommend on gradual infiltration?

I found a useful summary of the 'creep' theory in the following book:

John Bright, A History of Israel, 3rd edn. London: SCM, 1980.

More recently you may have heard of the "New Chronology" theory that attempts to revise the dating of events at the time and - if correct - would pull the archaeology into line with the biblical data. The argument is that the evidence is there in the archaeology, so to speak, but we have been looking at the wrong time. This theory is still hotly contested, though.

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infinite_monkey
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quote:
Originally posted by The Machine Elf:
she didn't have a right to healing, but acknowledged that it was a small thing compared to Jesus' authority she was asking (like a scrap of food that falls to the floor) - not her tenacity.


thanks for that, Machine Elf--you're right, the woman was, in her approach, more humble than snappish, and i can definitely see an interpretation where Jesus would appreciate and reward that.

but i'm still cranky about it, for two (and probably other) reasons:

1) given that we commonly understand Jesus's mission as ultimately involving ALL of humanity, and indeed one of the more attractive aspects of his mission in his own time was his radical acceptance of people typically rejected by polite Jewish society, why is Jesus initially so small-minded (my gloss, not necessarily the case) about whether it's worth the two words to heal the Samaritan's child? basically, i guess i take issue with the idea that the woman didn't have a right to healing, and i have a hard time getting behind a Christ who initially expresses that idea.

2) the woman wasn't asking for her own healing--she wanted it for her child. how can I get behind a Christ who predicates the survival of a child on either A) the mother's regional affiliation or B) whether the mother hits the right note of humility, persistance, and/or faith? i'm a special education teacher of students with severe special needs: i've worked with parents who love me to pieces and parents who make my life a living, breathing hell. when i go in a room with a severely autistic child, i don't care WHO's mother's son that child is or what that mother's been up to lately: i see a child i need to help. i can't get behind a God or a Christ figure who comes across as doing any less than that. "if you then, being evil..." etc.

i really want to understand these verses in a way that doesn't make Jesus seem either small-minded (if he honestly changed his mind) or manipulative (if he knew all along that he'd heal her in the end). I hope that folks can bear with me as i try to figure it out.

--------------------
His light was lifted just above the Law,
And now we have to live with what we did with what we saw.

--Dar Williams, And a God Descended
Obligatory Blog Flog: www.otherteacher.wordpress.com

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Niënna

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infinite_monkey,

Sometimes putting things like those scriptures into context can help (maybe sometimes it doesn't help at all).

In Matthew 15, the verses before this story, Jesus talks to his disciples and the Pharisees about what comes out of the heart makes a person unclean, "For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. These are what make a man 'unclean'; but eating with unwashed hands does not make him 'unclean.'" (Matthew 15:19-20).

In the context, I think, culturally - the Canaanites were seens as low-life, unclean, no-gooders (please, bible people who know much more than me - correct me if I'm wrong).

And when Jesus says to this woman (who is considered an unclean, lowlife) "You have great faith," - I think he is really validating her.

If I had to make one observation, I think maybe the way the Rabbis told stories and tried to makes points are definately strange to us 21st century audience.

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Nino: Now... tell me. Who started the war?
Chiki: [long pause] We did.
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Moo

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quote:
Originally posted by Niënna:
If I had to make one observation, I think maybe the way the Rabbis told stories and tried to makes points are definately strange to us 21st century audience.

I think this is the heart of the problem. We see our manners and customs as the norm.

There is a saying, "The past is another country; they do things differently there." This episode happened in the past and in another country. If the Canaanite woman had interpreted Jesus's words in the way that's obvious to us, she would have gone away in tears. The fact that she didn't indicates to me that their culture was different.

Moo

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Gextvedde
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My Biblical studies teacher recently made the comment “human anger is usually egocentric whereas Gods anger is always about injustice” and I thought to myself “In the Bible? Really”? So my bits for dumping are Numbers 11 (and plenty of other parts in the same book) where God keeps having a paddy, bursting into flame and killing loads of people in the process. See also the test for an unfaithful wife in Ch 5 where she has to drink “bitter waters” and if she dies, she was guilty. Try suggesting that to Relate and see how far it gets you.

(Ps My first attempt at providing a link so appologies if it doesn't work).

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"We must learn to see that our temperament is a gift of God, a talent with which we must trade until he comes" Thomas Merton

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GrahamR
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quote:
Originally posted by Nigel M:
I found a useful summary of the 'creep' theory in the following book:

John Bright, A History of Israel, 3rd edn. London: SCM, 1980.

More recently you may have heard of the "New Chronology" theory that attempts to revise the dating of events at the time and - if correct - would pull the archaeology into line with the biblical data. The argument is that the evidence is there in the archaeology, so to speak, but we have been looking at the wrong time. This theory is still hotly contested, though.

William Dever is more up-to-date than Bright: What Did the Biblical Writers Know and When Did They Know It? and Who Were the Early Israelites and Where Did They Come From? I don't entirely agree with him, but they're pretty good summaries. He argues that whilst a minority of Israelites may have come from Egypt most were disaffected Canaanites- and draws a parallel between modern US citizens celebrating thanksgiving, whether or not their ancestors were on the Mayflower.

Rohl's "new chronology" doesn't stand up to the archaeological evidence, as he needs to move Egyptian chronology by about 300 years, which you just can't do (it's better dated than that). Prof Finklestein from Tel Aviv university has got his own "Low Chronology", but about the only archaeologists who think he's right are his grad students... [Snigger]

Also, although the Book of Joshua tries to give the impression that the Israelites got rid of all the non-Israelites, the book of Judges (3:5-6) gives a rather different impression:
quote:
The Israelites lived among the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. They took their daughters in marriage and gave their own daughters to their sons, and served their gods.
Of course, this also raises the question of how, archaeologically, you'd be able to spot the Israelites in the first place... [Eek!]

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leo
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quote:
Originally posted by Psyduck:
Sorry - I thought copying automatically included the link. Here's the charmoing bit in Question: Ps. 137
quote:

[7] Remember, O LORD, against the E'domites
the day of Jerusalem,
how they said, "Rase it, rase it!
Down to its foundations!"
[8] O daughter of Babylon, you devastator!
Happy shall he be who requites you
with what you have done to us!
[9] Happy shall he be who takes your little ones
and dashes them against the rock!



This expresses genuine human emotion and is better uttered than censored.

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My reviews at http://layreadersbookreviews.wordpress.com

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Gextvedde
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I must admit, I find this less difficult because it’s a person expressing their utter anger and despair. Someone once told me that the key is in the word “their” which can imply the meaning “they have done this to us, let it happen back to them”. Ok so it doesn’t quite fit with loving ones enemies but I can’t imagine many of us having watched our own children dashed against rocks thinking too differently (or maybe I’m just a crap person). Anyway, as I said, personally I find this less troubling than instances where God directly commands some pretty appalling things.

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infinite_monkey
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quote:
Originally posted by Moo:


There is a saying, "The past is another country; they do things differently there." This episode happened in the past and in another country. If the Canaanite woman had interpreted Jesus's words in the way that's obvious to us, she would have gone away in tears. The fact that she didn't indicates to me that their culture was different.

Moo

Thanks--that makes a lot of sense. I still think the quote is kind of jarring and not much in keeping with the spirit of Jesus in every other word he said, but I can absolutely see the possibility that something in that exchange must have "softened" it for the original audience.

Now, can you justify Jesus' wanton attack on the defenseless fig tree? matthew 21:19
I have insanely high standards of conduct for messianic figures. [Smile]

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His light was lifted just above the Law,
And now we have to live with what we did with what we saw.

--Dar Williams, And a God Descended
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Pine Marten
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quote:
Originally posted by infinite_monkey:
quote:
Originally posted by Moo:


There is a saying, "The past is another country; they do things differently there." This episode happened in the past and in another country. If the Canaanite woman had interpreted Jesus's words in the way that's obvious to us, she would have gone away in tears. The fact that she didn't indicates to me that their culture was different.

Moo

Thanks--that makes a lot of sense. I still think the quote is kind of jarring and not much in keeping with the spirit of Jesus in every other word he said, but I can absolutely see the possibility that something in that exchange must have "softened" it for the original audience.


Just to add another bit to the Canaanite woman’s story: David H. Stern, in his ‘Jewish New Testament Commentary’ has some interesting comments on this, including pointing out that the word used by the woman translates as ‘little dogs’ or ‘pet dogs’, being fed under the table. He also says that Jesus’s words are in effect ‘a straightforward Middle-Eastern style friendly joke’ (bit complicated to go into here, but it sounds reasonable as he explains it).

I think it is right that we project our own assumptions and reactions on the past, as Moo has said. This is why I find commentaries such as Stern’s so fascinating, as he illuminates stories and actions which we sometimes fail to understand, because our culture is not that of Jews living in 1st century Judea.

I'll have to check and see what he says about the fig tree....

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Freddy
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quote:
Originally posted by infinite_monkey:
Now, can you justify Jesus' wanton attack on the defenseless fig tree? matthew 21:19
I have insanely high standards of conduct for messianic figures. [Smile]

Jesus appears to have been obsessed with fruit. Maybe He had an unhappy encounter with fruitless trees as a child. He often pledged violence against trees without fruit:
quote:
Matthew 3:10 Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.

Matthew 7:19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.

Matthew 12:33 “Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or else make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for a tree is known by its fruit.

Matthew 21:41 “He will destroy those wicked men miserably, and lease his vineyard to other vinedressers who will render to him the fruits in their seasons.”

Matthew 21:43 “Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a nation bearing the fruits of it."

John 15:2 Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.

So the attack on the fig tree is in keeping with His frequent threats. The tree should have expected it. [Disappointed]

I don't think, though, that He was hasty or irrational in this vendetta. Earlier He had the same problem with another fig tree, but He gave it a second chance:
quote:
Luke 13.6 He also spoke this parable: “A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it and found none. 7 Then he said to the keeper of his vineyard, ‘Look, for three years I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree and find none. Cut it down; why does it use up the ground?’ 8 But he answered and said to him, ‘Sir, let it alone this year also, until I dig around it and fertilize it. 9 And if it bears fruit, well. But if not, after that you can cut it down.’”
It is easy to conclude that He is the master who owned the tree. He gave the tree another chance. [Tear]

By the end of gospels, however, it should be obvious to everyone that the tree was out of chances. [Frown]

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"Consequently nothing is of greater importance to a person than knowing what the truth is." Swedenborg

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Pine Marten
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Freddy: [Overused] [Killing me]

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Keep love in your heart. A life without it is like a sunless garden when the flowers are dead. - Oscar Wilde

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infinite_monkey
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Thanks much, Amethyst and Freddy, for the wonderful blend of insight and chuckles I've come to love about this crazy ship.

Jesus seems equally unpleased with goats--perhaps there's a connection somewhere.

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Rosa Winkel

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A lot in the Bible is very dodgy. That's why a lot of people steer away from it, especially when the dodgy texts and other ones are abused.

Nearly all of the Bible is written from a viewpoint of persecution and a desire to have land. Therefore all sorts of violent things got attributed to God. And I'm not just talking about the Old Testament.

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Twilight

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The same passage that bothers Infinite Monkey bothers me. (Gentile mother of demon-possessed child gets ignored and called a dog.) Wonder why?

A new problem just came to me today. A friend who is new to Christianity and an alcoholic told me that his one problem with Jesus was, "He was a drinker." I'd never thought of Jesus in just those terms. Are we even sure that he did drink regularly?

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Lyda*Rose

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I'd bet just about everyone drank regularly- that or get dysentery from nasty water.

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"Dear God, whose name I do not know - thank you for my life. I forgot how BIG... thank you. Thank you for my life." ~from Joe Vs the Volcano

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Twilight

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That's pretty much what I told him, Lyda*Rose -- that wine was used, even in the children's water, as a disinfectant. It was only later that I wondered about it.

Wasn't John the Baptist an abstainer? I thought there was a sect at that time that avoided all wine, women and barbers.

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Moo

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quote:
Originally posted by Twilight:
Wasn't John the Baptist an abstainer? I thought there was a sect at that time that avoided all wine, women and barbers.

I think John the Baptist was a Nazirite. He seems to have followed the rules for Nazirites.

Moo

[ 20. May 2006, 23:21: Message edited by: Moo ]

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Twilight

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Thank you, Moo. That's what I was trying to think of.
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Twilight

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# 2832

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quote:
Originally posted by Moo:
quote:
Originally posted by Niënna:
If I had to make one observation, I think maybe the way the Rabbis told stories and tried to makes points are definately strange to us 21st century audience.

I think this is the heart of the problem. We see our manners and customs as the norm.

There is a saying, "The past is another country; they do things differently there." This episode happened in the past and in another country. If the Canaanite woman had interpreted Jesus's words in the way that's obvious to us, she would have gone away in tears. The fact that she didn't indicates to me that their culture was different.

Moo

It could be said of everything in the Bible that it happened in the past and in another country -- yet we still try to understand it.

I don't think we can conclude that if the Canaanite woman felt insulted she would have gone away in tears. Quite often, mothers put up with insults and derision from doctors and teachers for the sake of their children. This woman had been following Jesus for some time. She had been crying out to him over and over, trying to get his attention even though he was pointedly ignoring her. It would seem that she had heard that he was a true healer, perhaps she had actually witnessed healing miracles. I think most mothers would put up with almost any amount of insult and follow for miles if they truly believed the healer could cure their sick child.

Jesus' words seem fairly clear to me. He says he is ignoring her because he
"was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel."
and

"It is not right to take the children's bread and toss it to their dogs."

In short, he has been ignoring her all day because she is not Jewish. If she had committed a breach of manners or custom then he would surely have mentioned that as a reason rather than state the reasons he did give.

He does grant her wish and heal her daughter because she had great faith in him. If she had given up after only an hour or so of pleading she would have gone home and her child would not have been healed -- because she wasn't Jewish.

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craigb
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# 11318

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I think there is some past history being dealt with here about the Cananite woman, regarding whom the cananites worshipped as God. It sounds like she is saying, yes you are lord, and I don't need much of your time, just a crumb of your power is all it takes.

There is a test of her faith, and I don't think Jesus is knocking her at all, and the lesson we learn from it is that when heaven seems quiet to keep knocking, to keep asking because we shall recieve if we don't give up.

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Amazing grace! How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me!I once was lost, but now am found; Was blind, but now I see... The Lord has promised good to me,His word my hope secures;He will my shield and portion be,As long as life endures.

Posts: 993 | From: Tahmoor | Registered: Apr 2006  |  IP: Logged
Lamb Chopped
Ship's kebab
# 5528

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Infinite_monkey, I once wrote a sermon about the Canaanite woman and Jesus' dealings with her. In my opinion, nothing Jesus said or did (before the very end, at least) was on the "straight." It was a test. NOT a test of the woman--he knew her type already--desperate, gutsy, good sense of humor, never-say-die. He knew that she could handle what he was about to do, especially from the perspective of the final result. No, it was a test of the DISCIPLES, who failed it totally.

Basically, on this one single occasion Jesus behaved exactly as the small-minded bigoted disciples wanted him to--ignoring the foreigner, walking past the beggar, refusing to waste any more precious time or energy on the no-hopers. He did everything they wanted. And he watched them out of the corner of his eye to see whether they had learned anything during their time with him--anything at all about compassion, love or mercy.

They SHOULD have spoken up for the woman. Even a simple, "Uh, Lord, there's a woman following you, aren't you going to stop for her like you usually do?" would have been a passing grade. But no--they were too darn pleased to see him behaving like a proper Jew and rabbi for once. They egged him on, even when he became totally outrageous by calling her a dog.

So finally he gave up on them, turned to the woman, and showed his true face of love and mercy. He reverted to type. How disappointed the disciples must have been! But how much more disappointed Jesus must have been in them.

And the woman? Perhaps it WAS hard on her to have to wait a few extra minutes for the happy ending. But I doubt she even thought of that in the end. And in a very real sense, Jesus honored her and her great faith by using her as a teaching partner in his effort to educate the disciples. I think she would have felt it was worth it in view of his purpose. What an honor--to know that God thinks you are tough enough to stand a little adversity in order to work in partnership with him to help others.

Though I doubt the disciples saw it that way. [Devil]

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Twilight

Puddleglum's sister
# 2832

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Thank you Lamb Chopped! You've been an instrument of prayer for me. I've been wrestling with that one for the past three days and nights.

I'm sure you're right. If you put, even the slightest hint of a question into the reading of verses 24 and 26 then it's even more obvious that Jesus is teaching a lesson.

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JimS
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# 10766

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Surely the natural way to read this passage is that it shows Jesus learning about his mission. He is focused on his role as the suffering servant, there to redeem the Jews and in this passage he realises that his ministry is to gentiles as well.

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Jim:Confused of Crewe

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Twilight

Puddleglum's sister
# 2832

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JimS, I tried on that view for a bit the other night but finally rejected it, because I thought that things I'd read over the years from the more Learned Shipmates, tended toward the belief that Jesus understood his own mission very well.

However, since I am decidedly not one of the LS -- I could have that wrong.

[ 23. May 2006, 11:02: Message edited by: Twilight ]

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Moo

Ship's tough old bird
# 107

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quote:
Originally posted by Twilight
If she had committed a breach of manners or custom then he would surely have mentioned that as a reason rather than state the reasons he did give.

I didn't mean that the Canaanite woman had committed any breach of customs. I meant that we, in our culture, cannot readily understand the meaning of Jesus's words because we do not know the cultural context.

Amethyst made this point above,
quote:

Just to add another bit to the Canaanite woman’s story: David H. Stern, in his ‘Jewish New Testament Commentary’ has some interesting comments on this, including pointing out that the word used by the woman translates as ‘little dogs’ or ‘pet dogs’, being fed under the table. He also says that Jesus’s words are in effect ‘a straightforward Middle-Eastern style friendly joke’ (bit complicated to go into here, but it sounds reasonable as he explains it).

I think it is right that we project our own assumptions and reactions on the past, as Moo has said. This is why I find commentaries such as Stern’s so fascinating, as he illuminates stories and actions which we sometimes fail to understand, because our culture is not that of Jews living in 1st century Judea.

No way can I see Jesus's words as "a straightforward Middle-Eastern style friendly joke", but if someone who knows the culture says so, I'll take his word for it. (I trust David Stern's accuracy.)

Moo

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Twilight

Puddleglum's sister
# 2832

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My Harper Collins study Bible says: "lit. small dogs, puppies or house dogs, but still a very uncomplimentary term for Gentiles."

I think it really doesn't matter whether the dogs were pets or strays and if Jesus had been making jokes about the inferiority of Gentiles it makes the passage even worse. Just imagine if the "pets" were house slaves to the whites and you'll see how offensive the passage might seem to some people. Likewise, the idea that Jesus was prissily ignoring her because her voice was strident, was also making the passage seem worse to me.

I'm sorry to keep going on about this, Moo, but Lamb Chopped's version is the only one I can entertain and not have my faith shaken a bit.

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PaxChristi
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# 11493

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Lamb Chopped. I think I borrowed that sermon last year!

Jeff

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For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. (I Corinthians 2:2)

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Lamb Chopped
Ship's kebab
# 5528

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Gosh, [Hot and Hormonal] [Yipee]

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Er, this is what I've been up to (book).
Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down!

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PaxChristi
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# 11493

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Being a newbie here, I'm reluctant (but not sufficiently to keep me from posting this) to risk violating the integrity of the thread here, but I have a take on the whole "it stinks" thing.

I think it's awfully important for those of us who cringe at the word "inerrant" to be able to talk about Scriptural authority with those for whom that word is important. I have come to a place that gives equal authority to all the texts of Scripture, seeing them all as equally revelatory.

Since they are all revelatory, they are all inspired and intended, and in some sense, "inerrant." Now, what they reveal is not always God. In many cases, what they reveal is my penchant for creating God in my violent self-image, but this is also God's intent. To show me myself. How I separate the two is by measuring the texts against Jesus. ("Philip, if you have seen me, you have seen the Father...)

This means I use Jesus as a "lens" by which I read the texts, both his life and his own manner of reading Scripture. This way of reading is supported by the Biblical text itself. Second Corinthians 3 bears this out.

This permits me to speak to "inerrantists" in a way that permits, even encourages conversation, and it still preserves the reality that much of what I read up to and including Malachi is not about God.

Hope this isn't out of place here.

Jeff

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For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. (I Corinthians 2:2)

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infinite_monkey
Shipmate
# 11333

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quote:
Originally posted by Lamb Chopped:
Infinite_monkey, I once wrote a sermon about the Canaanite woman and Jesus' dealings with her. In my opinion, nothing Jesus said or did (before the very end, at least) was on the "straight." It was a test. NOT a test of the woman--he knew her type already--desperate, gutsy, good sense of humor, never-say-die. He knew that she could handle what he was about to do, especially from the perspective of the final result. No, it was a test of the DISCIPLES, who failed it totally.

Thanks, Lamb Chopped--that's a good way to look at it.

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His light was lifted just above the Law,
And now we have to live with what we did with what we saw.

--Dar Williams, And a God Descended
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Pyx_e

Quixotic Tilter
# 57

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Welcome aboard PaxChristi: We have a special board on the ship for the more regular/thorny issues. Innerancy is one of them. The thread dealing with this issue is here.

Pyx_e, Kerygmania Host.

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It is better to be Kind than right.

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Moo

Ship's tough old bird
# 107

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{bump}

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pimple

Ship's Irruption
# 10635

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Thanks for bumping. I think I may find Pax Christi's comments useful wandering around the ship as well as round the bible. I'd always thought of Dead Horses dismissively - the issues there aren't dead at all, however smelly some of the older arguments may be getting. How about a new thread: This is in Dead Horses, but it doesn't stink! [Two face]

[ 06. January 2007, 08:28: Message edited by: pimple ]

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In other words, just because I made it all up, doesn't mean it isn't true (Reginald Hill)

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justlooking
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# 12079

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quote:
Originally posted by LutheranChik:
I recently had the opportunity to read the Book of Hosea, and I was struck by some of the misogynistic images/language in it. That isn't the tone of the whole thing, of course -- you've got God cast as the crazy Lover absolutely besotted by love for Israel, the Bad Girl -- but I can see where parts of it would be very troubling to, say, a woman who has been the victim of domestic abuse.

Hosea's wife was unfaithful - apparently she had been a Baal worshipper and a temple prostitue and several times returned to these practices. Despite everything he never stopped loving her and always took her back. He didn't divorce her. It can read very diferently in the light of this understanding. Hosea is using his personal experiences to show God as a wronged husband - heartbroken, but still loving and always willing to forgive and take the unfaithful wife(Israel) back. It shows that we can abandon God but God will never abandon us.

[ 06. January 2007, 10:52: Message edited by: justlooking ]

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Moo

Ship's tough old bird
# 107

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quote:
Originally posted by justlooking:
Hosea is using his personal experiences to show God as a wronged husband - heartbroken, but still loving and always willing to forgive and take the unfaithful wife(Israel) back. It shows that we can abandon God but God will never abandon us.

The way I read it, God told Hosea to marry a prostitute so that his experiences would be an illustration for Israel.

Hosea is not just using his own experience to show what the relationship between God and Israel is. At God's behest he set himself up for experiences that would reflect this relationship.

This kind of "enactment" is done by other OT prophets also. I always forget which prophet it was who was told by God to lie on one side for a very long time, then lie on the other side for a very long time.

Moo

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Nigel M
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# 11256

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quote:
Originally posted by Moo:
I always forget which prophet it was who was told by God to lie on one side for a very long time, then lie on the other side for a very long time.

Moo

That would be me when asleep, Moo.

Either that, or Ezekiel.

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Freddy
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# 365

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quote:
Originally posted by Moo:
Hosea is not just using his own experience to show what the relationship between God and Israel is. At God's behest he set himself up for experiences that would reflect this relationship.

This kind of "enactment" is done by other OT prophets also.

This is exactly the way that my denomination views these peculiar events. They then take this a step further and suggest that this was also true of what happened to Jesus:

To quote:
quote:
The prophets represented their church's condition relative to its teachings from the Word and its life according to them, as the following stories from the Word make clear:
  • Isaiah the prophet was commanded to take the sackcloth off below his waist and the sandals off his feet and go naked and barefoot for three years as a sign and a wonder (Isaiah 20:2, 3).
  • Ezekiel the prophet was commanded to represent the state of the church by making travel bags, moving to another place before the eyes of the children of Israel, taking out his bags from time to time, going out in the evening through a hole in the wall, and covering his face so he could not see the ground. In this way he would be a wonder to the house of Israel. He was told to say, "Behold, I am your wonder. As I have done, so it will be for you" (Ezekiel 12:3-7, 11).
  • Hosea the prophet was commanded to represent the church's condition by marrying a promiscuous partner, which he did. She bore him three sons, one of whom he called Jezreel, the second No Mercy, and the third Not My People. At another point he was commanded to go love a woman who already had a lover and who was committing adultery, and buy her for himself (Hosea 1:2-9; 3:1, 2).
  • One prophet was commanded to put ashes over his eyes and let himself be beaten and whipped (1 Kings 20:35, 38).
  • Ezekiel the prophet was commanded to represent the condition of the church by taking a brick and sculpting Jerusalem on it, laying siege to it, building a rampart and a mound against it, putting an iron frying pan between himself and the "city," and sleeping on his left side and then on his right side. He also had to take wheat, barley, lentils, millet, and spelt and make bread out of them. He also had to make a cake of barley with human excrement; but because he begged not to have to do that, he was allowed to make it with cow dung instead.
[2] By these actions the prophet Ezekiel carried the injustices done by the house of Israel and the house of Judah; but he did not take away those injustices or atone for them, he only represented them and made them visible.

The same thing is meant by the statement about the Lord that says, "He bore our diseases, he carried our pains. Jehovah put on him the injustices committed by us all. Through his knowledge he justified many as he himself carried their injustices" (Isaiah 53:4, 6, 11).

From all this it is clear that "bearing iniquities" or "carrying injustices" does not mean taking them away; it means representing the desecration of the Word's truth. (True Christianity 130)

To me this seems like a reasonable explanation, not only of why the prophets did such strange things, but of why such terrible things happened to Jesus.

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"Consequently nothing is of greater importance to a person than knowing what the truth is." Swedenborg

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Jenyt
Apprentice
# 8800

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I'm not sure whether this really requires a separate thread, but here goes:

There are many passages and issues in the Bible which we are often taught to ignore these days, for example church leaders often say that creationism isn't true, and that we should also ignore Paul's prohibition of women preachers in 1 Timothy 2:11-15. My question is essentially how far can we ignore certain passages of the Bible without simply picking and mixing what we choose to believe. I'm really primarily interested in what the NT says on certain issues.

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Teufelchen
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# 10158

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quote:
Originally posted by Jenyt:
I'm not sure whether this really requires a separate thread

I think it does, and moreover, the issue of creationism is a Dead Horse and ought to be discussed on the appropriate thread.

Additionally, I'm not sure we are taught to disbelieve the creation story - rather, by using our God-given intelligence, we can tell for ourselves that it cannot be literally true.

T.

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Little devil

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The Great Gumby

Ship's Brain Surgeon
# 10989

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quote:
Originally posted by Nigel M:
quote:
Originally posted by Moo:
I always forget which prophet it was who was told by God to lie on one side for a very long time, then lie on the other side for a very long time.

That would be me when asleep, Moo.

Either that, or Ezekiel.

Which is strange enough, but not quite as bouncing-off-the-walls crazy as the cooking requirements that went with it:
quote:
God: Cook on a fire of your own poo

Ezekiel: Erm, isn't that a bit, you know, unclean? I know you're quite hot on the whole clean/unclean thing, isn't there another option?

God: OK. Special favour, just for you. You can cook on cow dung instead. Now don't say I never give you anything!

(Ezekiel 4:12-15, New Gumby Version)

Which is actually one of my favourite passages, just because it's so daft, but I can seamlessly link it to the OP by mentioning the smell (or stink) it would have caused. [Big Grin]

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The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. - Richard Feynman

A letter to my son about death

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ken
Ship's Roundhead
# 2460

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quote:
Originally posted by Jenyt:
for example church leaders often say that creationism isn't true

Not really. What is more likely is that they say that creationism IS true, but that some people misread the Bible as saying it took six days of twenty-four hours is a misreading of the Bible.

What the Bible actually says is true - what some people say it says might not b,

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Ken

L’amor che move il sole e l’altre stelle.

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