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Source: (consider it) Thread: What has the Bible become
Unum Solum
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I was listening to a podcast today discussing how the Bible has become a ‘weapon’ fo those who wish to assert their positions/beliefs.

I don’t know a lot about the formation of the OT, actually not a lot about the NT either, but I do understand that the Bible is not a book but a collection of letters and epistles etc. That the writers maybe never envisaged that their works would be collated with others or that they would become ‘holy’. They probably never envisages Systematic Theology.

I accept I am pretty ignorant on things theological but I do have enough understanding to sense that the Bible has become for some a means to control others, that for some they have moulded it in their own hermeneutic, that for some it is a convenient means (verses in isolation) to affirm their view of God etc.

I have grown up with all this taking place and of late have started to wonder if the Bible is something I can ever read (for whatever reason) with an open mind, and with any sense of what it was ever intended to originally convey.

Can the Bible be redeemed (maybe not the right word) or is it lost and of limited value?

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I will not say do not weep for not all tears are an evil. - Gandalf

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Arethosemyfeet
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Is "what it was originally intended to convey" always the goal? It seems to me that the New Testament regularly quotes from the Old in ways that would likely have come as a surprise or even a blasphemy to those who first wrote them down. God can speak to us through the Bible, but that does not mean the Bible contains God and one must only read it to know what God wants. God speaks within us. He can use the Bible to support and guide us to Him but it is only God whom we follow.
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Unum Solum
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Yep I agree with that, the Bible it would appear to remain relevant must be ever re-read and ever understood in the context of ever evolving humanity. However the message that we have in Jesus words and actions are ones of love and inclusiveness and I would want to believe as timeless.

Maybe its just me but Jesus seems to be conveniently forgotten if the message does not suit.

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I will not say do not weep for not all tears are an evil. - Gandalf

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SusanDoris

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There are, of course, many other books deemed to be the words of a god, or the words of a certain person in ancient times. Do you think the Bible should be taken as the most important?

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I know that you believe that you understood what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.

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Unum Solum
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quote:
Originally posted by SusanDoris:
There are, of course, many other books deemed to be the words of a god, or the words of a certain person in ancient times. Do you think the Bible should be taken as the most important?

Nope

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I will not say do not weep for not all tears are an evil. - Gandalf

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by SusanDoris:
There are, of course, many other books deemed to be the words of a god, or the words of a certain person in ancient times. Do you think the Bible should be taken as the most important?

It's more important to me.

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lilBuddha
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The problem of losing the message through the writing is not unique to Christianity, it is the way we humans are.
IMO, one should evaluate the parts by the goal/purpose.
Is the Bible redeemable? It either never has been or always will be.
quote:
Originally posted by SusanDoris:
There are, of course, many other books deemed to be the words of a god, or the words of a certain person in ancient times. Do you think the Bible should be taken as the most important?

But this is a sort of silly statement.
A Christian will, of course, think it is the most important and rightly so.
That other people think the same of their own holy books should give people pause. Not necessarily to disbelief, but from arrogance in their belief.

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SvitlanaV2
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quote:
Originally posted by Unum Solum:
quote:
Originally posted by SusanDoris:
There are, of course, many other books deemed to be the words of a god, or the words of a certain person in ancient times. Do you think the Bible should be taken as the most important?

Nope
In reality, very many self-confessed Christians neglect to read the Bible, although I don't think they turn to other ancient literature instead!

It seems a bit strange to me to make a song and dance about Christians who emphasise the significance of the Bible when most don't seem to do so.

OTOH, if the Bible offers nothing special then why claim to follow Christ in particular? Unitarianism would be a better choice.

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Caissa
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The books are simply reflective of the time and culture in which they are written. They are often used as cudgels in the 21c. for situations that none of the authors could have imagined.
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Honest Ron Bacardi
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Honestly, you're not going to get rid of that effect whatever you do.

And the bible is hardly the only book used for this purpose. Any kind of work regarded as authoritative in any way is liable to get weaponized at some stage by someone or other, and it isn't just religious texts alone this happens to.

No doubt there is some profit in studying what sort of people do this, but that's for another day.

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Anglo-Cthulhic

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SvitlanaV2
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Well, the problem is that it's a living text. People re-interpret it for their own times.

If this weren't the case then the Bible would only be of interest to specialists. It would be of very little use to the ordinary laywoman.

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Brenda Clough
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Consider a less fraught work. Hamlet, let us say. It says, we must assume, what Shakespeare wanted it to say. But can it say more? It is often reworked for modern audiences -- costumes from WW2, or casting women or persons of color in the title role. Other works (perhapsRosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead) carry the work in a new direction or say something that Shakespeare never imagined. But the author would not really be surprised -- not Shakespeare, the inveterate repurposer of other people's writing.

This is an ancient literary phenomenon. It happens to all popular texts; we could have a similar discussion about Homer or Gilgamesh. It is a desirable thing, because it shows the work is really alive and speaks to new generations. There is a Mesopotamian legend, concurrent with Gilgamesh, about Lugalbanda and the Anzu Bird. You don't know it: why? Because it was boring. Nobody cared. Nobody restaged it with goose-stepping actors and fake blood, because it was not read and enjoyed.

So: it's not a problem, our rehashing the Bible. The word of God ought to be popular, and if it is then all the attendant tsouris has to follow along. I am certain God wants it this way. It's either that or the fate of the Anzu Bird.

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Caissa:
The books are simply reflective of the time and culture in which they are written. They are often used as cudgels in the 21c. for situations that none of the authors could have imagined.

And realities the authors could never have understood.

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L'organist
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posted by Svitlana 2
quote:
Well, the problem is that it's a living text. People re-interpret it for their own times.

If this weren't the case then the Bible would only be of interest to specialists. It would be of very little use to the ordinary laywoman.

Well - yes and no.

A "living text": hmm, I suspect those two words mean different things to different people. Certainly to some of those who speak of "biblical values" they mean that the absolute letter of whatever bit they want to use are sacrosanct, and its very unfortunate that to many they use words handed down in oral tradition, then written down, of a bronze age nomadic tribe to opine on complex matters of private and public morality in the 21st century.

Yes, I agree there are some basic strands that ca have relevance for the 21st century layperson but as a one-size-fits-all societal guide it is of limited value. Further, that value is lessened by modern-day zealots who choose a particular interpretation to suit their own (usually) reactionary purposes.

Which is thy the very people who say they "believe in" the bible the most are those who cause so many who don't believe to become positively hostile to it: they see that the bible has become a stick to beat others into submission.

[ 13. February 2018, 16:00: Message edited by: L'organist ]

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Rara temporum felicitate ubi sentire quae velis et quae sentias dicere licet

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quetzalcoatl
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Interesting points by Brenda about Hamlet. Indeed, there may be stuff in Hamlet that Shakespeare wasn't aware of, as well as new ideas we can extract from it. I recall the famous production which was staged behind barbed wire, (after Jan Kott). I saw a Macbeth where most people were dressed in modern military uniform, there was a lift on stage, which they used.

But then modern criticism has been opposed to the intentional fallacy - that is, what the author intends. Irrelevant! I'm not sure how this works with the Bible.

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Honest Ron Bacardi
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The intentional fallacy - the triumph of 20th century egotism! Sod the author - he's dead anyway.

Seriously though, shouldn't that rather depend on the genre of the communication?

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Anglo-Cthulhic

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Honest Ron Bacardi:
The intentional fallacy - the triumph of 20th century egotism! Sod the author - he's dead anyway.

I don’t think it is necessarily egoism or disregard for the author. The work is alive and open to new expressions or it is dead and the theatre is the equivalent of a mausoleum.
quote:

Seriously though, shouldn't that rather depend on the genre of the communication?

How so?

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SvitlanaV2
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quote:
Originally posted by L'organist:
[b]I agree there are some basic strands that ca have relevance for the 21st century layperson but as a one-size-fits-all societal guide it is of limited value. Further, that value is lessened by modern-day zealots who choose a particular interpretation to suit their own (usually) reactionary purposes.
[/QB]

Well, whatever reading of the Bible one could pick has value to those to whom it has value!

What's unfortunate, IMO, is not so much that small numbers of reactionary zealots wish to impose their reading on the majority, because in a democracy their attempts will be largely unsuccessful.

It's rather that nuanced readings are having a hard time being heard in a society that's basically indifferent.

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quetzalcoatl
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quote:
Originally posted by Honest Ron Bacardi:
The intentional fallacy - the triumph of 20th century egotism! Sod the author - he's dead anyway.

Seriously though, shouldn't that rather depend on the genre of the communication?

I think it was more like sod the author's conscious intention, since depth psychology had indicated that works of art are beyond the creator's control. Or to put it another way, the author is not in control of the material.

Famous example is Milton's Satan, who is often reckoned to be a magnificent creation (in literary terms, I mean). But maybe Milton consciously admired him, I don't know. There's also the well-known trait that good characters tend to be dull, and bad ones, interesting.

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Brenda Clough
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And the fact is that you can find a text in the Bible to back up nearly any atrocity you care to commit. Stacking up foreskins? Genocide? Raping pre-teens? Bashing in the skulls of babies? There's a verse somewhere (probably in the OT) to support your intention.

So at some point we all have to say yes to some verses, and no to others. Everything depends on where you draw that line.

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Honest Ron Bacardi
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lil'buddha asked:
quote:

(Seriously though, shouldn't that rather depend on the genre of the communication?)

How so?

The intentional fallacy (AIUI) suggests that the response to a work is to be prioritised over authorial intent.

How am I to interpret the Northampton telephone directory? As a masterful and exhaustive - albeit obsessive-compulsive - conspectus of number pattern recognition in the East Midlands? - perhaps providing a living echo that cunningly recognises the echoes of long-gone shoe-making craftsmanship, yet sunk to levels of obscurity that only the cognoscenti may recognise the fore-speakings of that which was yet to come? As Luce Irigaray so masterfully (if I may use the word in this context, which I probably shouldn't) put it -
quote:
Your silence exists as does my self gathering. But so does the almost absolute silence of the world's dawning. In such suspension, before every utterance on earth, there is a cloud, an almost immobile air. The plants already breathe, while we still ask ourselves how to speak to each other, without taking breath away from them.
How true that is. And even yet not so much.

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Anglo-Cthulhic

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Honest Ron Bacardi
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quetzalcoatl wrote:
quote:
I think it was more like sod the author's conscious intention, since depth psychology had indicated that works of art are beyond the creator's control. Or to put it another way, the author is not in control of the material.

Famous example is Milton's Satan, who is often reckoned to be a magnificent creation (in literary terms, I mean). But maybe Milton consciously admired him, I don't know. There's also the well-known trait that good characters tend to be dull, and bad ones, interesting.

Honestly, I'm all spoked out now. I blame the pancakes.

But my immediate reaction is that some good ideas taken from the consideration of poetry were then subjected to colossal rhetorical over-reach, which rendered them absurd.

Restricted as you say, I have no quibble. The problem is that in the chase for quotable edginess (the sine qua non of academic 15-minutes-of-fame), the idea got stretched beyond its elastic limits.

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RdrEmCofE
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quote:
I don’t know a lot about the formation of the OT, actually not a lot about the NT either, but I do understand that the Bible is not a book but a collection of letters and epistles etc. That the writers maybe never envisaged that their works would be collated with others or that they would become ‘holy’. They probably never envisages Systematic Theology.

I accept I am pretty ignorant on things theological

There is no need to remain that way. Imagine that you are in a library filled with books of all kinds. There is a helpful librarian willing to answer awkward questions on any book you choose, without ever being irritated at the simplicity, irrelevance or even irreverence of your questions, and willing to point you to the accumulated writings and discoveries of generations of people who have read the books before you.

That is exactly the situation you are in when sitting before a Bible of a thousand pages.

If you want to start with the raunchiest publication then take Song of Songs off the shelf and find a quiet corner to sit in and work out the pornographic metaphorical meanings.

If you fancy a bit of adventurous fictional satire, poking fun at Xenophobic, Elitist, Exclusive, National Religion, try The Book of Jonah.

If you want to study Building Regulations, sanitary instructions and hygiene 2000BC try Leviticus or Numbers.

If you want to blow your mind with enigmas, puzzles, mysteries, symbolism and double meanings, try John's Gospel. But be warned John wrote for the express purpose of introducing you to the Mystery of The Christ. He intends that you become a Christian by the time you finish his book.

What ever you do though avoid Revelation. No one understands it or knows what it all means, (except perhaps the guy who wrote it), and everyone who claims to is stark raving mad.

[ 13. February 2018, 19:50: Message edited by: RdrEmCofE ]

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Raptor Eye
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quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
And the fact is that you can find a text in the Bible to back up nearly any atrocity you care to commit. Stacking up foreskins? Genocide? Raping pre-teens? Bashing in the skulls of babies? There's a verse somewhere (probably in the OT) to support your intention.

So at some point we all have to say yes to some verses, and no to others. Everything depends on where you draw that line.

Context is everything. Each book is of its time and its genre.

It is probably true that all aspects of life are written about in the books we call the Bible. It is not true to say that whatever is contained in it is OK for people to do in this age.

If I were taken into captivity and my captors had killed my children in front of me by dashing their heads upon the rocks, I might hope that they were treated the same way so that they knew the agony of it, and I might sing a song about it.

The Old Testament contains some brilliant stories. King David's story would make a great serial on TV, for adults only. But the OT is hard work, and best left to one side until familiar with the NT.

The New Testament is worth reading over and over, including Revelation when ready for it. It is like a work of art dream containing elements of all the other Biblical scriptures.

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SvitlanaV2
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quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
And the fact is that you can find a text in the Bible to back up nearly any atrocity you care to commit. Stacking up foreskins? Genocide? Raping pre-teens? Bashing in the skulls of babies? There's a verse somewhere (probably in the OT) to support your intention.


You say that, but even in the history books it's rare to come across Christians justifying whatever horrible thing they've done by reference to the Bible. Most of them know it's not going to wash.

Can you imagine Mr Trump arguing that if King David could get all the 'pussy', why shouldn't he??

[Eek!]

[ 13. February 2018, 22:01: Message edited by: SvitlanaV2 ]

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Dafyd
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quote:
Originally posted by Honest Ron Bacardi:
The intentional fallacy (AIUI) suggests that the response to a work is to be prioritised over authorial intent.

It was a move in the history of theories of literature.
Once upon a time, before the nineteenth century, people thought that the justification for poetry and literature was to teach and give pleasure. The emphasis was on the subject matter or upon the effect on the audience.
With the Romantic movement, the justification came to be that poetry was the expression of the author's feelings. The emphasis was on the poet or writer. Biblical criticism got in on this early with Schleiermacher (apparently).
In the twentieth century, the justification is that the poem has a significant form, or similar. The emphasis is on the poem itself or on its genre.
The intentional fallacy was initially an argument against treating the poem merely as an expression of the author's feelings or as a starting point for an exploration of the author's biography in favour of looking at the poem in itself. It then became a way of opening up approaches to the document for its subject matter again.

Tthinking about what the author intended rather than what the author actually did is a way of going off into speculations about the author's biography. This may be worth doing, but it does close off other approaches.
C.S.Lewis, yes that one, argued against the emphasis on the author on the grounds that we are interested in the author only because of what the author wrote; looking at the author's intentions or sensibility is putting the cart before the horse. We're not interested in the play Hamlet because it tells us about Shakespeare; we're only interested in Shakespeare if at all in so far as that tells us something about Hamlet.

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we remain, thanks to original sin, much in love with talking about, rather than with, one another. Rowan Williams

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Bullfrog.

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It's a tool. It's all about how you use it.

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Some say that man is the root of all evil
Others say God's a drunkard for pain
Me, I believe that the Garden of Eden
Was burned to make way for a train. --Josh Ritter, Harrisburg

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W Hyatt
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quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
So at some point we all have to say yes to some verses, and no to others. Everything depends on where you draw that line.

Yes, unless you're willing to consider the possibility that there's more to it than the literal meaning of the text.

quote:
Originally posted by RdrEmCofE:
What ever you do though avoid Revelation. No one understands it or knows what it all means, (except perhaps the guy who wrote it), and everyone who claims to is stark raving mad.

So if someone at some point works out a reasonable approach to interpreting it, you won't even stop to consider it? It sounds like you're determined not to get anything out of it for yourself and like you're encouraging everyone else to do likewise.

Maybe you don't see a shark, but why insist that it means no one can?

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A new church and a new earth, with Spiritual Insights for Everyday Life.

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RdrEmCofE
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quote:
So if someone at some point works out a reasonable approach to interpreting it, you won't even stop to consider it? It sounds like you're determined not to get anything out of it for yourself and like you're encouraging everyone else to do likewise.
I was exaggerating of course. [Two face]

That shark might have been a dolphin, the dorsal fin is rounded enough.

[ 13. February 2018, 22:29: Message edited by: RdrEmCofE ]

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Revelation barely made it into the Cain. I have read many commentaries by reasonable historical- critical scholars who’ve managed to squeeze out some useful insights from the text — the irony of “ Lamb power,” made manifest in weakness, proving victorious over the powers of evil in the end; the idea of hope in the midst of turmoil, that history is moving toward an end, a positive end, not a constant cycle of misery -/ but personally, I don’t feel I get a lot of return for my reading investment in Revelation.

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Simul iustus et peccator
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Posts: 6462 | From: rural Michigan, USA | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Brenda Clough
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# 18061

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quote:
Originally posted by SvitlanaV2:
quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
And the fact is that you can find a text in the Bible to back up nearly any atrocity you care to commit. Stacking up foreskins? Genocide? Raping pre-teens? Bashing in the skulls of babies? There's a verse somewhere (probably in the OT) to support your intention.


You say that, but even in the history books it's rare to come across Christians justifying whatever horrible thing they've done by reference to the Bible. Most of them know it's not going to wash.

Can you imagine Mr Trump arguing that if King David could get all the 'pussy', why shouldn't he??

[Eek!]

It was done, only a few months ago, but not for the execrable Lyin' Don. You remember Roy Moore, Senate candidate notorious for chasing 14-year-old girls. An evangelical who surely should have known better assured us it was all right, because King David married girls much younger than himself. It's statements like this that have made Christianity a declining religion in this country.

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Science fiction and fantasy writer with a Patreon page

Posts: 6378 | From: Washington DC | Registered: Mar 2014  |  IP: Logged
Gramps49
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# 16378

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Depends on how you approach the Bible. If you believe it is the inerrant and infallible Word of God that is God-breathed, then, yes, you will use the Written Word of God as a weapon.

Just the other day, I called a Christian fraternal insurance company I am associated with and asked why I could not donate some money that I can send a charity to a particular organization The person on the other end claimed what I wanted to do was not Christian and proceeded to use seven "clobber" verses to prove his point. I could easily counter the verses, but he would not hear of it

On the other hand, if you feel that the Scriptures were written from faith for faith by fallible authors (men and women) which testify to the work of God in their world, that they were written in a time with a timeless message, then it becomes much more fluid.

When someone tries to clobber me with eisogetics (the use of individual verses to prove their point) I usually walk away. They often are taking the verse out of context and have no understanding of what the verse really means, There is no chance they are going to change their mind, so why try,

[ 14. February 2018, 01:15: Message edited by: Gramps49 ]

Posts: 2193 | From: Pullman WA | Registered: Apr 2011  |  IP: Logged
no prophet's flag is set so...

Proceed to see sea
# 15560

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I thought the bible is, in part wisdom literature. Part of the foundation of western society. Things which provide the framework for us to understand perennial philosophy (which use in the original Renaissance sense).

Things like forgiveness, what death and life might mean, why we do and have done what we do. There are some pretty good examples in the bible, and some pretty foul and despicable ones. In univ philosophy of religion classes 3½ decades ago, we were led to think of it as a bit of a library, a collection of newsletters and pamphlets, some moderately authentic versions of campfire and shaggy dog stories. The walloping of people of people with it was thought of as something that idiots and zealots with torches and pitchforks did (and apparently today's evangelicals do: is there nothing new under the sun?)

Might be better to talk to about what are our favourite parts of the thing, perhaps that's a tangent, but if I think of what the bible has become for me I'd say it's become a comfort (some of the Psalms) and something to contemplate as wisdom poetry (Ecclesiastes, particularly the first 3 chapters.) But maybe this is due to the deaths of friends - are any of you also running out of old friends? - the health challenges I also face, and seeing the terror and despair of my father as he loses his remaining vision and feels the diminishment of his sight and mind: "The wise man's eyes are in his head; but the fool walketh in darkness" (Ecc 2:14).

[ 14. February 2018, 03:02: Message edited by: no prophet's flag is set so... ]

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Ohher
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# 18607

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I confess to some confusion over the notion that the Bible has "become" a weapon, or irrelevant, or indeed anything else. Aside from getting translated, with varying degrees of conformity to its fragmentary and possibly disordered and possibly incomplete and possibly misunderstood originals into assorted languages, it's just what it's always been: a collection of ancient manuscripts written down by a bunch of humans with a range of concerns and agendas for a variety of audiences.

The uses to which contemporary people put this set of documents has little or nothing to do with the collection itself. I've grown less and less sure, over the years, that Christians do themselves any favors by paying either detailed or fervent attention to it. It's an elephant, and all we blind fools seem able to do is insist, with ever-rising vehemence, that it's a snake or a tree or wall.

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From the Land of the Native American Brave and the Home of the Buy-One-Get-One-Free

Posts: 374 | From: New Hampshire, USA | Registered: Jun 2016  |  IP: Logged
RdrEmCofE
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# 17511

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quote:
[ Brenda Clough ] An evangelical who surely should have known better assured us it was all right, because King David married girls much younger than himself. It's statements like this that have made Christianity a declining religion in this country.
I agree. He kind of also completely ignores, is ignorant of, or perhaps even approves of the fact that David led a plundering protection racket gang, and arranged the murder of the husband of the wife David committed adultery with to hide the fact that the illegitimate child was Davids.

Such Bible believing literalists as the bloke you mention fail to understand that most OT examples of behaviour are examples of bad behaviour, meant to demonstrate God's tolerance of bad human behaviour and educate us in better ways of managing our emotions and desires. Not examples for us to copy and then use as divine justification for our own wickedness.

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Love covers many sins. 1 Pet.4:8. God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, not holding their sins against them; 2 Cor.5:19

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Brenda Clough
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Such a lousy witness too, since most secular people are not going to grasp those nuances.

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Science fiction and fantasy writer with a Patreon page

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RdrEmCofE
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Ahh but what are secular people doing reading Ancient Literature without instruction or understanding. Surely the Bible should be read by those already knowing of its origins and history or at least willing to learn about them.

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Love covers many sins. 1 Pet.4:8. God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, not holding their sins against them; 2 Cor.5:19

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cliffdweller
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quote:
Originally posted by LutheranChik:
Revelation barely made it into the Cain. I have read many commentaries by reasonable historical- critical scholars who’ve managed to squeeze out some useful insights from the text — the irony of “ Lamb power,” made manifest in weakness, proving victorious over the powers of evil in the end; the idea of hope in the midst of turmoil, that history is moving toward an end, a positive end, not a constant cycle of misery -/ but personally, I don’t feel I get a lot of return for my reading investment in Revelation.

(Bunny trail: try Eugene Peterson's Reversed Thunder

It helps a lot if you approach it with an inaugurated eschatology rather than futurist-- Iow, rather than seeing it as a magic ball to see into the future, if you read it as both "now and not yet"-- grand epic themes, both beautiful and horrible of the way things are and have always been, with glimpses of hope for the future

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"Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don't be afraid." -Frederick Buechner

Posts: 11242 | From: a small canyon overlooking the city | Registered: Jan 2008  |  IP: Logged
SusanDoris

Incurable Optimist
# 12618

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quote:
Originally posted by RdrEmCofE:
Ahh but what are secular people doing reading Ancient Literature without instruction or understanding. Surely the Bible should be read by those already knowing of its origins and history or at least willing to learn about them.

That is a bit precious, isn't it? How would you define a 'secular person'? The Bible is a book with printed pages in, so anyone can read it, including atheists like me. They can read into it whatever they want and interpret it as they choose. I read a lot of it once. I also, some years ago, listened, over a couple of days, to the whole of the NT, King James version, which, believe me, provides a most interesting view of it!

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I know that you believe that you understood what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.

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SvitlanaV2
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quote:
Originally posted by RdrEmCofE:
quote:
[ Brenda Clough ] An evangelical who surely should have known better assured us it was all right, because King David married girls much younger than himself. It's statements like this that have made Christianity a declining religion in this country.
I agree. He kind of also completely ignores, is ignorant of, or perhaps even approves of the fact that David led a plundering protection racket gang, and arranged the murder of the husband of the wife David committed adultery with to hide the fact that the illegitimate child was Davids.

Such Bible believing literalists as the bloke you mention fail to understand that most OT examples of behaviour are examples of bad behaviour, meant to demonstrate God's tolerance of bad human behaviour and educate us in better ways of managing our emotions and desires. Not examples for us to copy and then use as divine justification for our own wickedness.

But surely, most biblical literalists don't suppose that every Bible story is somehow an account of what one ought to do. Perhaps some stories are accounts of what one ought not to do! After all, it's quite clear that God gets angry with the Israelites on a regular basis.

With regards to this guy, I assume that he wasn't offering marriage to these girls, only lewdness. That being the case, surely he now expects their fathers and brothers to slay him (and perhaps his tribe too) for disrespecting them? How could he complain if they did??

[ 15. February 2018, 19:12: Message edited by: SvitlanaV2 ]

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