Try to reconcile Numbers chapter 31 to God the benevolent

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Dichanthelium
 
Reply Tue 13 Jan, 2009 08:17 am
@xris,
xris wrote:
The old testament is the jewish faith story and their relationship to God before the arrival of christ..the new testament in the main is supposed to be factual reports of christs life by the disciples and the extras such as St Pauls letters etc.


Okay, and you are aware that the OT was written by a lot of different authors over a long period of time? And that this collection of material isn't really a "story" in the sense of one big long novel, but, rather, a collection of a lot of different kinds of literature, e.g., historical accounts, legal documents, poetry, "short stories," lists of aphorisms, "sermons," personal reflections, etc.?
 
xris
 
Reply Tue 13 Jan, 2009 11:29 am
@Dichanthelium,
Dichanthelium wrote:
Okay, and you are aware that the OT was written by a lot of different authors over a long period of time? And that this collection of material isn't really a "story" in the sense of one big long novel, but, rather, a collection of a lot of different kinds of literature, e.g., historical accounts, legal documents, poetry, "short stories," lists of aphorisms, "sermons," personal reflections, etc.?
Yes ok but is it inspired by man or god?Is it gods book?
 
Dichanthelium
 
Reply Tue 13 Jan, 2009 02:23 pm
@xris,
xris wrote:
Yes ok but is it inspired by man or god?Is it gods book?


Surely you know that people who are committed to one or another of the traditions that honor the Bible have various concepts of inspiration. Some view it as if it were a virtual direct transmission from God to humans. Is that the point of view that you are reacting to? If so, I can tell you that I don't find that to be a tenable position either.

But there are other ways of looking at the idea of "inspiration," and one might also argue that God has inspired many writings throughout history, in many different places. Maybe parts of the Bible are inspired and parts are not, or maybe there are varying degrees of inspiration. Personally, to the extent that a piece of writing puts me in touch with profound truth, I consider that to be inspired writing.

What's your idea of "inspiration"?
 
xris
 
Reply Tue 13 Jan, 2009 02:40 pm
@Dichanthelium,
Dichanthelium wrote:
Surely you know that people who are committed to one or another of the traditions that honor the Bible have various concepts of inspiration. Some view it as if it were a virtual direct transmission from God to humans. Is that the point of view that you are reacting to? If so, I can tell you that I don't find that to be a tenable position either.

But there are other ways of looking at the idea of "inspiration," and one might also argue that God has inspired many writings throughout history, in many different places. Maybe parts of the Bible are inspired and parts are not, or maybe there are varying degrees of inspiration. Personally, to the extent that a piece of writing puts me in touch with profound truth, I consider that to be inspired writing.

What's your idea of "inspiration"?
So where is god to be found if his not in the bible ,its your only evidence . Inspiration is not faith , i can be inspired by this man Jesus or any man of insight, of knowledge.A throw away comment can give me food for thought, a child's innocence a mothers sacrifice.
 
Solace
 
Reply Tue 13 Jan, 2009 02:54 pm
@xris,
xris wrote:
So where is god to be found if his not in the bible ,its your only evidence . Inspiration is not faith , i can be inspired by this man Jesus or any man of insight, of knowledge.A throw away comment can give me food for thought, a child's innocence a mothers sacrifice.


I don't see the Bible as evidence of God. In fact, I would say that there is a certain inherent danger in saying that the Bible, or anything else, is inspired by God. It's similar to the notion of Divine Right to Governance, through which many tyrants have abused countless people. Saying God inspired something is basically advocating that one should not question it, because who are we to question God? In such case the value of the context shifts away from the wisdom of it. So no book should be valued on the basis of inspiration, but rather on what the words within the book have to say, in and of themselves, without attention to authorship.
 
xris
 
Reply Tue 13 Jan, 2009 03:04 pm
@Solace,
Solace wrote:
I don't see the Bible as evidence of God. In fact, I would say that there is a certain inherent danger in saying that the Bible, or anything else, is inspired by God. It's similar to the notion of Divine Right to Governance, through which many tyrants have abused countless people. Saying God inspired something is basically advocating that one should not question it, because who are we to question God? In such case the value of the context shifts away from the wisdom of it. So no book should be valued on the basis of inspiration, but rather on what the words within the book have to say, in and of themselves, without attention to authorship.
Whats that? not the book but what it tells us:perplexed:
 
Alan McDougall
 
Reply Tue 13 Jan, 2009 03:53 pm
@Alan McDougall,
Getting back to Numbers chapter 31, Please!! I most carefully make this point; hopefully I am not being blasphemous or sacrilegious

The Father that Jesus communicate with was as unlike Yahweh as one is to infinity

Take numbers 31 and use the replace facility of word. Replace Hitler for God the army of Hebrews for the SS and Aaron for one of Hitler's cronies, Rudolf Hess etc etc


No one would dispute that you are relating a true story of Nazi madness

Hitler did exactly what Moses did. Take the Ukraine or Poland where they raped and pillaged, destroyed and murdered men woman children, but in Moses case it was OK because God ordered him to take revenge and totally eliminate the Midianites

But elsewhere in the Bible God said "I will revenge and I will recompense"

Sound familiar, Hitler also thought there was a people that must be eliminated namely at least six million Jews and six million subhuman Russian prisoners. Hitler's philosophy was that that the German people were special and chosen by god to do what they did
 
Solace
 
Reply Tue 13 Jan, 2009 04:01 pm
@xris,
xris wrote:
Whats that? not the book but what it tells us:perplexed:


No, xris, what I said was that we shouldn't care where the book came from, (any book, the Bible or otherwise) whether it be of God or man, rather we should care about what the book says.
 
xris
 
Reply Tue 13 Jan, 2009 04:06 pm
@Solace,
Solace wrote:
No, xris, what I said was that we shouldn't care where the book came from, (any book, the Bible or otherwise) whether it be of God or man, rather we should care about what the book says.
But thats the same thing..it claims gods word..gods law..It has authority for the faithful.
 
Solace
 
Reply Tue 13 Jan, 2009 04:07 pm
@Alan McDougall,
Well, Alan, we've been through this and there's really not much else I can say on the topic. I don't think my views on the subject satisfied you in the least, which is okay. But I guess we're at a standstill, so we'll just have to wait and see if someone can offer some new insight.
 
Solace
 
Reply Tue 13 Jan, 2009 04:12 pm
@xris,
xris wrote:
But thats the same thing..it claims gods word..gods law..It has authority for the faithful.


It may be the same thing to some, but it sure isn't the same thing for me. I don't believe in any part of the Bible (or anything else) because someone said it's God's word, (or anybody's word) I believe it because it makes sense to me. And for what doesn't make sense to me, I don't believe. That's the difference between faith and blind faith.
 
Dichanthelium
 
Reply Tue 13 Jan, 2009 04:39 pm
@Solace,
I think there are enormous differences between what Hitler did, why and how he did it compared to what the children of Isreal did (according to the record we have).

But to me, Alan's proposal boils down to how do we interpret the documents that have come to be known as the Old Testament? Alan's observation of the contrast between our (apparently somewhat cohesive) modern concept of a compasionate God (assuming one exists, for the sake of the argument) and the god of Numbers 31 is but one example of many challenges that anyone faces if they choose to look into these issues.

Bible scholars have been debating such things for centuries. No opinions that we may offer "off the top of our heads" are likely to be competent ones. It would be like me spinning off a medical diagnosis without any training in medicine. I am free to do that, but what would be the value?

I would suggest that we might go back to square one and ask ourselves, what exactly is the Old Testament, who wrote it, at what time, and within what cultural context. Surely there will be someone out there who can help us answer these questions.
 
Alan McDougall
 
Reply Tue 13 Jan, 2009 05:35 pm
@Solace,
Before we close this topic I would like to point out that fundamentalists believe every word in the bible, Old Testament and New Testament are literal perfect an unalterable and to be obeyed exactly

The earth and the universe are exactly six thousand and forty eight years old. God made the universe in six literal days. :perplexed:

After the flood God showed Noah the rainbow as a reminder that he will never destroy the world will water again. :perplexed:

If this in correct then before the deluge clouds or water vapor could not create a rainbow by the normal separation of the color spectrum's. :perplexed:

So on and so If someone gave us a book teaching us how to pass our drives licenses and it was full of contradiction and based on this we went on the test of proficiency and thought the green light meant you must stop and the red light meant you could go.

What chaos , but the bible is supposed to speak of eternal things There is a scripture where Jesus tells his disciple's , if you eye offends you pluck it out and if you hand offends you cut it off

One crazed fundamentalist did exactly that!! :perplexed:

There is this literal fundamental crazed idiot, trying to explaining the enigma of how of the dinosaurs did not drown in the deluge, as he could not negotiate himself about the reality of the fossilised bones of these huge beasts

How did Noah fit these huge beasts into the arch. Noah being a very clever chappy overcame this dilemma with great ease, he just collected two baby dinosaurs Problem solved. :bigsmile:

How he got the marsupials and monotremes from Australia still baffles my tiny mind :perplexed:
 
xris
 
Reply Wed 14 Jan, 2009 04:19 am
@Alan McDougall,
I dont want to drag my reasoning out for ever but i must repeat why can you accept certain articles to support your faith and reject others. If we could go all through the bible and discount one after another what would you be left with? a myth in my opinion and it no more proves a god than looking at a new born child, its in the eyes of the faithful.I can not find god, i can see many lessons, moral guidance and good laws but not god.
 
Solace
 
Reply Wed 14 Jan, 2009 09:40 am
@xris,
Ya wanna know something xris, if more people took to heart the lessons, moral guidance and good laws of the Bible, rather that touting their God (and their agenda) with it, then Bible believers would have better lives. So you've already figured out the important part. As for God, you don't need to find him. Just live your life and actually, honestly, enjoy it. Do that and you'll be as successful as the wisest theologian.
 
Alan McDougall
 
Reply Wed 14 Jan, 2009 09:28 pm
@Alan McDougall,
XRIS AND Solace

Quote:

I dont want to drag my reasoning out for ever but i must repeat why can you accept certain articles to support your faith and reject others. If we could go all through the bible and discount one after another what would you be left with? a myth in my opinion and it no more proves a god than looking at a new born child, its in the eyes of the faithful.I can not find god, i can see many lessons, moral guidance and good laws but not god.


So we still have a book in the Holy Bible admittedly containing beautiful truths The great theologian



But we have to read in a discrimination way and extract what we think is true and dismiss what we think is of having no relevance to us

And this is what I do. For instance I believe Jesus is who he said he was.

A great Christian theologian and author of many books of reason so rightly said

Jesus was either who he said he was a madman or the greatest liar the world has ever seen, or worse, "there is no gray in this just black and white , you accept him in total or reject him .

And if he is who he said he was then we should listen to his truths and live them very carefully

I have often read and had preached to me, that the bible is the word of God and you must accept all it contains or throw in the away.
 
xris
 
Reply Thu 15 Jan, 2009 04:05 am
@Alan McDougall,
Alan McDougall wrote:
XRIS AND Solace



So we still have a book in the Holy Bible admittedly containing beautiful truths The great theologian



But we have to read in a discrimination way and extract what we think is true and dismiss what we think is of having no relevance to us

And this is what I do. For instance I believe Jesus is who he said he was.

A great Christian theologian and author of many books of reason so rightly said

Jesus was either who he said he was a madman or the greatest liar the world has ever seen, or worse, "there is no gray in this just black and white , you accept him in total or reject him .

And if he is who he said he was then we should listen to his truths and live them very carefully

I have often read and had preached to me, that the bible is the word of God and you must accept all it contains or throw in the away.
How do answer the claims that he was created by man .How do you consider the various anomalies of christ.If we could debate Jesus for a thousand years you could never overcome these problems.The message is the only important thing in the bible, look to deeply and it fades.
 
Solace
 
Reply Thu 15 Jan, 2009 05:54 am
@Alan McDougall,
Quote:

I have often read and had preached to me, that the bible is the word of God and you must accept all it contains or throw in the away.


This is the instruction of men about (what they claim is) the word of God. What gives any man the right to tell you that you must accept all of what is promoted as divine or else none of it? By making such a claim men make void the notion that any of it is the word of God, because men make the word subject to their proclamation and their determination. The all or nothing attitude is a sure sign that men do not trust God, and in turn, don't truthfully trust God's word, because they take away from God the ability to guide the reader.

It's fine to take all of it as God's word, if that is your prompting, but if such is going to be your acceptance, then you'd best be able to understand and reasonably collaborate the many conflicting nuances of the various scriptures. Such is the fundamentalist view, and it is why fundamentalists can rarely make any sense of the Bible. Accept it all or throw it away is just another form of control; it's shut up and get in line. They claim to be concerned for your immortal soul, but when their authority is in the least ways challenged, they show that they couldn't care less for you. If they did care at all, they would say, "Well, don't frustrate yourself worrying over what you do not understand. Forget those parts that trouble you, dismiss it if you must, but don't throw away the whole book because some of it bothers you. Rather keep to the scripture that you do accept and God will still open your eyes and guide the way to eternal life."
 
xris
 
Reply Thu 15 Jan, 2009 06:53 am
@Solace,
Solace wrote:
This is the instruction of men about (what they claim is) the word of God. What gives any man the right to tell you that you must accept all of what is promoted as divine or else none of it? By making such a claim men make void the notion that any of it is the word of God, because men make the word subject to their proclamation and their determination. The all or nothing attitude is a sure sign that men do not trust God, and in turn, don't truthfully trust God's word, because they take away from God the ability to guide the reader.

It's fine to take all of it as God's word, if that is your prompting, but if such is going to be your acceptance, then you'd best be able to understand and reasonably collaborate the many conflicting nuances of the various scriptures. Such is the fundamentalist view, and it is why fundamentalists can rarely make any sense of the Bible. Accept it all or throw it away is just another form of control; it's shut up and get in line. They claim to be concerned for your immortal soul, but when their authority is in the least ways challenged, they show that they couldn't care less for you. If they did care at all, they would say, "Well, don't frustrate yourself worrying over what you do not understand. Forget those parts that trouble you, dismiss it if you must, but don't throw away the whole book because some of it bothers you. Rather keep to the scripture that you do accept and God will still open your eyes and guide the way to eternal life."
Thats Ok if you dont doubt the majority of it. What if there is nothing left to believe ? Who has guided my understanding ? if its god, he has told me the bible is completely wrong so what should i believe..:perplexed:
 
Solace
 
Reply Thu 15 Jan, 2009 07:08 am
@xris,
xris wrote:
Thats Ok if you dont doubt the majority of it. What if there is nothing left to believe ? Who has guided my understanding ? if its god, he has told me the bible is completely wrong so what should i believe..:perplexed:


I doubt this by what you have said in previous posts, xris. You have extolled the Bible's message. You may doubt that the Bible was a message from God perhaps, but you have expressed, and I quote, "i can see many lessons, moral guidance and good laws." If such is your belief, then you can't see the Bible as completely wrong. Perhaps you see the interpretation of it as the word of God as wrong. But you wouldn't be the first to make such an assessment yet still see many lessons, moral guidance and good laws upon which to believe in. To quote a favorite movie of mine, "I don't care what you believe, just believe it."
 
 

 
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