Matthew 7:6

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melonkali
 
Reply Fri 5 Feb, 2010 09:10 pm
@Deckard,
I have no clear insight to your question, but have read that Matthew was a very "judaized" gospel with an intended audience of Jews and/or Jewish-Christians. When reading Matthew, be alert for Judaistic redaction.

Most scholars don't place the synoptic gospels in the category of "esoteric", but the Gospel of John does contain the seeds of esoteric Christianity and even gnosticism.

The author of Matthew seems to be selling the idea of the Jews as God's chosen people, but on the other hand, Jesus raled against the Phariseac Judaism of the time. So the negatives in this passage might refer to Pharisees, or the author might be extending them to include gentiles, to appease his Jewish congregation.

Esoteric and Gnostic Christianity flourished, among other places, in the Egyptian Coptic Church (especially at Alexandria) and in some Hellenistic Christian movements.

Examination of New Testament Apocryrpha shows that a few of the writings were widely accepted by the early church, though never canonized -- for example the Shepherd of Hermas, I Clement, the Odes of Solomon. Other apocryphal writings seem written very late and espousing ideas not generally accepted by early Christians sects, and probably were best left out of the canon.

The stickey wicket is the Gospel of Thomas. The first complete extant version of that was discovered in the 1948 Nag Hammadi Library find, from the Coptic Church. Many scholars argue that it is the oldest gospel, and therefore should be included in the canon --actually it's basically "sayings of Jesus" as opposed to the more biographical information contained in other gosels. However, the ideas in Thomas have proven a bit too esoteric, or non-orthodox, for the mainstream church. The debate continues.

Sorry to have rambled and gotten away from your original question. This is a very interesting area of study for me.

rebecca
 
Deckard
 
Reply Sat 6 Feb, 2010 05:59 pm
@melonkali,
melonkali;125340 wrote:
I have no clear insight to your question, but have read that Matthew was a very "judaized" gospel with an intended audience of Jews and/or Jewish-Christians. When reading Matthew, be alert for Judaistic redaction.


Here's another little chestnut from Matthew involving dogs. This one is somewhat Hebrew-centric to say the least.

Quote:
Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. A 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." Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to Him and urged Him, "Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us." He answered, "I was only sent to the lost sheep of Israel."The woman came and knelt before Him. "Lord, help me!" she said. He replied, "It is not right to take the children's bread and toss it to their dogs." "Yes, Lord," she said, "but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master's table." Then Jesus answered, "Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted." And her daughter was healed from that very hour. - Matthew 15:21-27



There's a pretty strong whiff of something there. I guess we're supposed to beg for the crumbs that fall from the tables of these bigots. It kind of makes me hate those Hebrew dogs just a little.
 
Arjuna
 
Reply Mon 8 Feb, 2010 08:51 am
@Deckard,
Deckard;125540 wrote:
There's a pretty strong whiff of something there. I guess we're supposed to beg for the crumbs that fall from the tables of these bigots. It kind of makes me hate those Hebrew dogs just a little.
I'm thinking a resident of the area of Tyre and Sidon would have been a vestige of the Phoenicians... the cultural cousins of the Jews. In a way its poignant that Jesus would help her... maybe like a Israeli Jew reaching out a hand to a Saudi across the chasm of ancestral hatred.

It brings to mind the story of Jesus teaching the Samaritan woman at the well. The Samaritans were even more closely related to the Jews, but were viewed as grubby dogs.
 
Krumple
 
Reply Wed 10 Feb, 2010 02:52 am
@Deckard,
YouTube - 2.4 Deconversion: The Bible (Part 1)
 
Deckard
 
Reply Wed 10 Feb, 2010 03:18 am
@Krumple,
Krumple;126670 wrote:
See video above


In my opinion, the Christians of today are way too attached to the Old Testament. But then, in my opinion, Jesus was way to attached to the Old Testament. Judas is a peculiar character. Perhaps I am prepared to give Judas his due but I am still not prepared (even after Milton) to give the Devil his due. I don't owe the Devil sh*t.

Jesus as a character, Jesus as the idea of a King who earned his crown and my fealty by dieing for me still holds some reverence. I would not insist that this is historical or metaphysical fact, but the idea of that sacrifice, that we should honor those who have died for us is still very powerful to me. As the story goes, the character Judas did not die for me but I can empathize with his remorse, and insofar as he repented, as the bible suggests that he did, I think he was redeemed. However, this empathy would dissolve entirely if Judas, in the name of his remorse, made a claim upon the crown.
 
Krumple
 
Reply Wed 10 Feb, 2010 03:33 am
@Deckard,
Deckard;126675 wrote:
In my opinion, the Christians of today are way too attached to the Old Testament. But then, in my opinion, Jesus was way to attached to the Old Testament. Judas is a peculiar character. Perhaps I am prepared to give Judas his due but I am still not prepared (even after Milton) to give the Devil his due. I don't owe the Devil sh*t.

Jesus as a character, Jesus as the idea of a King who earned his crown and my fealty by dieing for me still holds some reverence. I would not insist that this is historical or metaphysical fact, but the idea of that sacrifice, that we should honor those who have died for us is still very powerful to me. As the story goes, the character Judas did not die for me but I can empathize with his remorse, and insofar as he repented, as the bible suggests that he did, I think he was redeemed. However, this empathy would dissolve entirely if Judas, in the name of his remorse, made a claim upon the crown.


My question is, why is it so necessary to wrestle with your thoughts on this? I mean if god clearly had it spelled out shouldn't it be easy to discover? Why is it necessary to turn these thoughts over and over to try and justify them to make sense to you? We aren't reading a book of poetry that the writer hides hoping the reader will catch a glimpse of what the intended purpose was behind the lettering. Why does it need to be so mysterious? Why is it so challenging? If you are putting together a piece of furniture, you don't want the hardest instructions to understand. If your soul is on the line, why not make it as clear and as pure as it should be, after all god wrote it, it should be easy. It's not, it's convoluted, it's written by men who loved these stories as they are, because they are barbaric, chaotic and brutal. We have grown up, we no longer cherish misery and don't require any blood let a lone a sacrifice.
 
Deckard
 
Reply Wed 10 Feb, 2010 03:45 am
@Krumple,
Krumple;126679 wrote:
My question is, why is it so necessary to wrestle with your thoughts on this? I mean if god clearly had it spelled out shouldn't it be easy to discover? Why is it necessary to turn these thoughts over and over to try and justify them to make sense to you? We aren't reading a book of poetry that the writer hides hoping the reader will catch a glimpse of what the intended purpose was behind the lettering. Why does it need to be so mysterious? Why is it so challenging? If you are putting together a piece of furniture, you don't want the hardest instructions to understand. If your soul is on the line, why not make it as clear and as pure as it should be, after all god wrote it, it should be easy. It's not, it's convoluted, it's written by men who loved these stories as they are, because they are barbaric, chaotic and brutal. We have grown up, we no longer cherish misery and don't require any blood let a lone a sacrifice.


Actually, I do read the Bible as a book of poetry/ fiction to be interpreted. That is how I approach the text. I've let go of the idea that it is more than that. I have also let go of my anger at those who claim that it is. Still, there is something sacred about it and I try to respect that as much as I can. I want to keep it heavy. I want to preserve the gravity of what the Bible has to say. You mentioned the blood sacrifice and that does get to the heart of the matter. Jesus was a sacrificial lamb. It is as if he lived his life to solve the riddle of the Old Testament. That same riddle is presented to us today and not just by religious types. Must we sacrifice to atone for our transgressions? Must we sacrifice to atone for our imperfections? Must we sacrifice? Can we forgive? Can we be forgiven? The sacrifice that Jesus made has meaning and that you see the need for such a sacrifice as absurd suggests that you are the beneficiary of that sacrifice. Can you understand what I am getting at? We must take our lives seriously...including our mistakes...including those areas in which we fell short...but we must also forgive...and not only ourselves...but others as well...and this is a sacrifice that we must make. It may indeed be "the greatest story ever told".
 
Krumple
 
Reply Wed 10 Feb, 2010 03:52 am
@Deckard,
Deckard;126682 wrote:
Actually, I do read the Bible as a book of poetry/ fiction to be interpreted. That is how I approach the text. I've let go of the idea that it is more than that. I have also let go of my anger at those who claim that it is. Still, there is something sacred about it and I try to respect that as much as I can. You mentioned the blood sacrifice and that does get to the heart of the matter. Jesus was a sacrificial lamb. It is as if he lived his life to solve the riddle of the Old Testament. That same riddle is presented to us today and not just by religious types. Must we sacrifice to atone for our transgressions? Must we sacrifice to atone for our imperfections? Must we sacrifice? Can we forgive? Can we be forgiven? The sacrifice that (the character called) Jesus made has meaning and that you see the need for such a sacrifice as absurd suggests that you are the beneficiary of that sacrifice. Can you understand what I am getting at? We must take our lives seriously...including our mistakes...including those areas in which we fell short...but we must also forgive...and not only ourselves...but others as well...and this is a sacrifice that we must make. It may indeed be "the greatest story ever told".


Isn't there a quote to the effect of;

"If I didn't make mistakes I wouldn't have any concern for learning."

I don't care about evil, I don't care about virtue. Both to me are just conveniences that we impose upon each other. We cherish our lives and we expect others will respect our life. This is why we don't like murder, but we can justify it if our lives are at stake. Contradiction solved? No. There are no mistakes in life, if you have learned anything from them. If you haven't learned anything, then that is the only real evil in the world.

"Adults are just tall children who believe they know what is going on."
 
Deckard
 
Reply Wed 10 Feb, 2010 04:06 am
@Krumple,
Krumple;126683 wrote:
Isn't there a quote to the effect of;

"If I didn't make mistakes I wouldn't have any concern for learning."

I don't care about evil, I don't care about virtue. Both to me are just conveniences that we impose upon each other. We cherish our lives and we expect others will respect our life. This is why we don't like murder, but we can justify it if our lives are at stake. Contradiction solved? No. There are no mistakes in life, if you have learned anything from them. If you haven't learned anything, then that is the only real evil in the world.

"Adults are just tall children who believe they know what is going on."


I don't agree. I care about virtue and when I find the strength I am able to forgive evil. They are more substantial than mere impositions. You replace the need for atonement with the need for learning a lesson. But some mistakes are too great to be atoned for by mere education. Life is finite. We die. We may never learn enough by that time to make up for all of our mistakes. Some mistakes lead into a labyrinth that cannot be solved except by destroying the labyrinth itself...by rejecting the necessity that it must be solved to atone for whatever mistake lead you into it. There are limits to what we can learn and beyond those limits we can learn only to forgive ourselves and others. There is Wisdom in knowing ones limits and the only thing that makes that Wisdom bearable is forgiveness. To reject forgiveness is to trample upon a pearl.
 
Krumple
 
Reply Wed 10 Feb, 2010 04:13 am
@Deckard,
Deckard;126685 wrote:
I don't agree. I care about virtue and when I find the strength I am able to forgive evil. They are more substantial than mere impositions. You replace the need for atonement with the need for learning a lesson. But some mistakes are too great to be atoned for by mere education. Life is finite. We die. We may never learn enough by that time to make up for all of our mistakes. Some mistakes lead into a labyrinth that cannot be solved except by destroying the labyrinth itself...by rejecting the necessity that it must be solved to atone for whatever mistake lead you into it. There are limits to what we can learn and beyond those limits we can learn only to forgive ourselves and others. There is Wisdom in knowing ones limits and the only thing that makes that Wisdom bearable is forgiveness. To reject forgiveness is to trample upon a pearl.


Who said anything about rejecting forgiveness. I don't even consider it a problem. I was implying the whole time with my last post that I know people will make mistakes. It doesn't matter how bad or huge it is, if you learn something from it, on both sides then let it be what it was. You can't go back, so why make it impossible to move on? I don't think there is anything unforgivable, ever. Name me something.

If that bible story is true, imagine what the guys who nailed jesus to the cross got? Oh wait, they probably were thanked for doing that, because had they not nailed him to the cross, then the whole thing couldn't have happened. I guess those nails could have just magically ran themselves in I suppose it would have been just another miracle. But anyways, what should those guys been given? Hell? Heaven? Which one? Are they forgivable?
 
Deckard
 
Reply Wed 10 Feb, 2010 04:24 am
@Krumple,
Krumple;126687 wrote:
Who said anything about rejecting forgiveness. I don't even consider it a problem. I was implying the whole time with my last post that I know people will make mistakes. It doesn't matter how bad or huge it is, if you learn something from it, on both sides then let it be what it was. You can't go back, so why make it impossible to move on? I don't think there is anything unforgivable, ever. Name me something.

If that bible story is true, imagine what the guys who nailed jesus to the cross got? Oh wait, they probably were thanked for doing that, because had they not nailed him to the cross, then the whole thing couldn't have happened. I guess those nails could have just magically ran themselves in I suppose it would have been just another miracle. But anyways, what should those guys been given? Hell? Heaven? Which one? Are they forgivable?


I already said I read the Bible as poetry/fiction. Please read my posts before responding. We are basically in agreement. You focus on the absurdities because you can't get over them. Santa Claus isn't real but the Christmas Spirit is.

Corinthians 3:6
He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant--not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.
 
Krumple
 
Reply Wed 10 Feb, 2010 04:51 am
@Deckard,
Deckard;126689 wrote:
I already said I read the Bible as poetry/fiction.


Yeah I had got that, there was no conflict. My response was based around these lines;

"I don't agree."
"I care about virtue and when I find the strength I am able to forgive evil."
"They are more substantial than mere impositions.
"You replace the need for atonement with the need for learning a lesson."
"But some mistakes are too great to be atoned for by mere education."

My second paragraph was more of a rhetorical question. I find it interesting that no one ever mentions the bad people behind an event that is praised. I like the contradiction in the conflict. Like the senetor who gets injured in a car accident because he wasn't wearing his seat belt even though there was a police officer driving him. Later he says that he should have known better. I like when a parent tells their kid not to do something, but they themselves do it. What kind of message are you sending them? I like the fact that you get taught civil liberties in a public place where they don't actually apply.

I would really like to believe that the universe is just. This world has some cruel and life deservingless (yeah I made up a word) people in it. I know that their actions will never fully be equaled or balanced out. Sometimes it can't even be balanced here, so how could we expect it to be balanced later?
 
Deckard
 
Reply Wed 10 Feb, 2010 05:25 am
@Krumple,
Krumple;126692 wrote:


I would really like to believe that the universe is just. This world has some cruel and life deservingless (yeah I made up a word) people in it. I know that their actions will never fully be equaled or balanced out. Sometimes it can't even be balanced here, so how could we expect it to be balanced later?


Perhaps we must even forgive the universe.
 
Alan McDougall
 
Reply Wed 10 Feb, 2010 05:30 am
@Deckard,
Deckard;111502 wrote:
Matthew 7:6

Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.
KJV

This is one of those verses that I struggled with for a while but I am now coming to understand. In the past I have not been a fan of secrecy and reticence. I thought it better for everything to be out in the open. But recently I have come to understand how necessary it is even in matters relatively mundane.

The verse does suggest a sort of esoteric undertone to Christianity which is also intriguing. Perhaps some secret oral tradition existed which is now lost or perhaps it is still being passed along from master to student.

Another interesting verse in the same vein.
Matthew 10:16

Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.
KJV

Does anyone have any insights on the reticent, silent and esoteric side of Christianity? Does it still exist today in the modern churches? Do we really know what Christians are up to? These maxims are likely much older than Christianity. Any insights on the maxims considered apart from Christianity?

What type of person is a dog? What type of person is a pig?


Jesus meant by using a dog analogy that a person who is basically unteachable and returns to his/her own vomit over and over again.

A pig on the other hand is a person who continues to wallow in their own dirt while pretending they are accepting your words of wisdom
 
melonkali
 
Reply Mon 15 Feb, 2010 10:49 pm
@Deckard,
Deckard;126675 wrote:
In my opinion, the Christians of today are way too attached to the Old Testament. But then, in my opinion, Jesus was way to attached to the Old Testament. Judas is a peculiar character. Perhaps I am prepared to give Judas his due but I am still not prepared (even after Milton) to give the Devil his due. I don't owe the Devil sh*t.

Jesus as a character, Jesus as the idea of a King who earned his crown and my fealty by dieing for me still holds some reverence. I would not insist that this is historical or metaphysical fact, but the idea of that sacrifice, that we should honor those who have died for us is still very powerful to me. As the story goes, the character Judas did not die for me but I can empathize with his remorse, and insofar as he repented, as the bible suggests that he did, I think he was redeemed. However, this empathy would dissolve entirely if Judas, in the name of his remorse, made a claim upon the crown.


Regarding Christians' emphasis on the Old Testament, I must indulge in a brief rant. Forgive me -- it's been a difficult week.

Generally I avoid Old Testament text study -- too complicated for me -- but since I still have my old reference books from required courses, I agreed to do an apparently simple, elementary-level semi-historical text analysis for a friend.

The Old Testament in most English language bibles comes from the Biblia Hebraica (Hebrew Bible), which comes from the traditional Masoretic text. I'm not sure about the King James version or any other version originally translated from the Roman Catholic (Latin) Vulgate which was, I believe, based on the Septuagint (Greek Old Testament).

I am now staring at about 50 pages of text criticism notes that are WORTHLESS!!! I've grown weary of intermittently storming around the room, slamming heavy reference books to the floor, screaming "REDACTION" (biased editing) just like Big Daddy hollering "MENDACITY"! :letme-at-em:

I give up. I'll have to start from square-one using other sources. NONE of which will involve Jewish scholarship.

But on the other hand, well, maybe Joshua actually did slaughter God -- and Abraham, upon first entering Canaan, encountered his great-great-grandson Benjamin -- and some unreported tectonic plate shift significantly altered the entire geography of The Levant around 1800 BC -- the list is a long one... :brickwall:

No, it's not just me. I don't entirely trust my judgment in this area. I triple-checked every perceived problem against Jewish and non-Jewish scholarship. Explanations for the discrepancies given by Jewish scholars were (usually) so patently convoluted they were laughable.

End of rant. I fully agree with you about the OT. No harm in being inspired by the wisdom writings, Psalms, Ecclesiastes. There are some beautiful writings, some interesting and colorful accounts, found in the Prophetic books, which tell us a great deal about the beliefs of late 1st millenium BCE Judaism.

How attached was Jesus to the OT? I suppose we can never know the true answer to that question. However, the pragmatic answer is probably "as much as he needed to be for late 1st century AD biblical authors to sell Christianity to Jewish populations".

After reading accounts from the earliest church fathers and third party sources about 1st and 2nd century Judaism and Christianity, I'm "sold", more than ever, on Jesus's (or Christ's) life, teachings, and the ways in which the very early church followed his example and practiced his teachings. These earliest Christians were, indeed, an incredible and inspiring people.

But enough rambling. Time to dig into Samaritan (and a few other) sources -- on cursory examination, they correlate better with archaeology and third party reports than any Jewish sources I found.

I'm OK now. Peace. :flowers:

rebecca
 
Alan McDougall
 
Reply Wed 17 Feb, 2010 10:39 pm
@Deckard,
Hi Rebbecca, Smile

Nice post, Jesus used the Hebrew scriptures all the time example, when tempted by the devil in the wilderness,in the synagogues, and many other places as well

Note please link lost!!

[URL="javascript:void(0)"]Matthew 7:6[/URL]: "Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast you your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you."

This analogy was used by Christ to demonstrate how people whose minds have not been opened by God to understand His truth react when they hear spiritual knowledge. Jesus further stated in [URL="javascript:void(0)"]John 6:44the truths of GodI Pet. 3:15[/URL]). As Christians, one should be prepared to answer questions that others may have, if they are asking sincerely-and not for the purpose of debating. Often, when people honestly desire to understand what the Bible teaches, it can be an indication that God is opening that person's mind.

In [URL="javascript:void(0)"]Matthew 13[/URL], Christ once again compares the truths of God to pearls. This account states, "Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it." Like the merchant, who sold all that he had to purchase a pearl of great price, God expects us to treat

[URL="javascript:void(0)"]Matthew 7:6[/URL]: "Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast you your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you."

This analogy was used by Christ to demonstrate how people whose minds have not been opened by God to understand His truth react when they hear spiritual knowledge. Jesus further stated in [URL="javascript:void(0)"]John 6:44the truths of GodI Pet. 3:15[/URL]). As Christians, one should be prepared to answer questions that others may have, if they are asking sincerely-and not for the purpose of debating. Often, when people honestly desire to understand what the Bible teaches, it can be an indication that God is opening that person's mind.

In [URL="javascript:void(0)"]Matthew 13[/URL], Christ once again compares the truths of God to pearls. This
account states, "Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it." Like the merchant, who sold all that he had to purchase a pearl of great price, God expects us to treat
 
melonkali
 
Reply Thu 18 Feb, 2010 02:50 am
@Alan McDougall,
Alan McDougall;129516 wrote:
Hi Rebbecca, Smile

Nice post, Jesus used the Hebrew scriptures all the time example, when tempted by the devil in the wilderness,in the synagogues, and many other places as well




Blessed are the merciful. In my previous rant I made a few of glaring mis-statements concerning who used what Old Testament text and when they used it, which you (and others) were kind enough NOT to beat me over the head with. Let me see if I've got it right this time.

Before I dive into another dull, dry, pedantic post, I want to say I appreciate that your interest (and the interest of most in this thread) is interpretation vs. nit-picking over which Old Testament text is "most reliable".

Still, I'm discovering there are critical differences between the Septuagint, the Samaritan Pentatuch, the Masoretic text, some Qumran texts, and the Syrian Old Testament texts. It is important, at least to me, to get the best possible idea about what was actually taught by Jesus, and/or written and believed by the Early Christians, relating to the Old Testament. How different was it from the Old Testament found in today's English language bibles?

There were, I've read, seven versions of Old Testament writings floating around during Jesus's time. Which one(s) was/were cited by New Testament authors? It couldn't have been the Masoretic text because, I've learned, the Masoretic text was not the Hebrew text of that period; it didn't even exist back then, at least not in the form known today.

I was dead wrong about the Roman Catholic Latin Vulgate being based on the Septuagint (Greek Old Testament). While the EARLY Roman Catholic Latin Old Testament translations used the Septuagint, it was only the Eastern Orthodox Church that kept the Septuagint (Greek Old Testament) as its standard.

In the 4th century AD, St. Jerome began revising the Roman Catholic Latin Old Testament, using later (post 1st century AD) Hebrew sources (much to the chagrin of St. Augustine, who trusted the Septuagint more than these later Hebrew sources). These translations of Jerome became the core of the Latin Vulgate. Later translators contributed to the Vulgate, which then became the official Roman Catholic Latin Old Testament in the... 16th century AD?

HOWEVER, some Christian scholars argue that Augustine was right in his opinion: early Christians used the Septuagint almost exclusively. Composition of the Septuagint was started in the 3rd century BC and completed by the 1st century BC -- Jewish redaction of Old Testament writings was begun by "Talmudists" in the 1st to 5th centuries AD, who became known as Masoretic scribes in the 5th century AD. The oldest extant copy of the Masoretic text dates back to the 8th century AD, but the standard MT of today apparently dates back to the 10th or 11th century AD.

"Who's on first?"
"I don't know."
"Third base!"

When I get my Old Testament "text" issues straightened out, I want to come back and examine more closely your insightful "pearl" interpretation -- you've made excellent correlations, and I appreciate the thoroughness of your analysis.

rebecca
 
Krumple
 
Reply Thu 18 Feb, 2010 06:18 am
@melonkali,
melonkali;128816 wrote:
Regarding Christians' emphasis on the Old Testament, I must indulge in a brief rant. Forgive me -- it's been a difficult week.


I wasn't going to respond at all to this section of this thread but I changed my mind. I admire you melonkali even if you don't care that I do. I admire you for being the kind of person who is willing to investigate the whole picture rather than to take it at face value or spoon fed to you. After all it is what we owe to truth otherwise we cheapen it, in my opinion.

melonkali;128816 wrote:

Generally I avoid Old Testament text study -- too complicated for me -- but since I still have my old reference books from required courses, I agreed to do an apparently simple, elementary-level semi-historical text analysis for a friend.


I am intrigued by what you say here. "too complicated for me" is something I have struggled with for a long time, and I use it as an argument for truth. Why should the old testament be so difficult to study? The part that gets me is, if it is a work that god intended for humans to have as an understanding of what he wants for them, then shouldn't it be off the shelf easy to comprehend? But it's not, it is just the opposite. The defense to my question is that, language has become the barrier here, and you can't fault the book as being difficult but instead the translates and difficulty with the word usage. I say that is a very weak argument. If god was relying upon this work then by all means it should have easily paved it's way though all that difficulty. Clearly if he could work miracles he should be able to empower a translator to get the translation right? But no, the translations are blamed all the time for getting stuff slightly wrong. That just seems to contradict the purpose of the book.

melonkali;128816 wrote:

I am now staring at about 50 pages of text criticism notes that are WORTHLESS!!! I've grown weary of intermittently storming around the room, slamming heavy reference books to the floor, screaming "REDACTION" (biased editing) just like Big Daddy hollering "MENDACITY"! :letme-at-em:


My absolute case and point. Redaction indeed if you don't mind me stealing your wording for what you didn't intend me to use it against. It is clear to me that something has been happening for a long time, and easily covered up until now. Now that we have a basis to stand on, the light of the situation is starting to emerge. That these books have been doctored, edited to say more than what they originally meant to say. But what is the purpose behind this, or the motivation behind it?

melonkali;128816 wrote:

I give up. I'll have to start from square-one using other sources. NONE of which will involve Jewish scholarship.


I admire your integrity here. I admire your honesty here. I admire your commitment to truth. I feel you have let a truth go unacknowledged here though. That these books were never intended to be fully understood. That they only meant to serve one purpose. That they already accomplished what they were meant for. The power that they have is dwindling and will be consumed by the truth.

melonkali;128816 wrote:

But on the other hand, well, maybe Joshua actually did slaughter God -- and Abraham, upon first entering Canaan, encountered his great-great-grandson Benjamin -- and some unreported tectonic plate shift significantly altered the entire geography of The Levant around 1800 BC -- the list is a long one... :brickwall:


How about the more simple explanation? That these stories are fabricated works of inaccurate history? Why do you make apologies for them? Why do you ignore your own sense of wisdom? Your mind hears the contradiction but your belief disallows you to acknowledge it for the fallacy that they proclaim.

melonkali;128816 wrote:

No, it's not just me. I don't entirely trust my judgment in this area. I triple-checked every perceived problem against Jewish and non-Jewish scholarship. Explanations for the discrepancies given by Jewish scholars were (usually) so patently convoluted they were laughable.


Surely the text MUST be right. You are the flaw. It not the text that is wrong, your understanding is to blame? Are you going to keep defending what you already know? Keep apologizing for your understanding?

melonkali;128816 wrote:

End of rant. I fully agree with you about the OT. No harm in being inspired by the wisdom writings, Psalms, Ecclesiastes. There are some beautiful writings, some interesting and colorful accounts, found in the Prophetic books, which tell us a great deal about the beliefs of late 1st millenium BCE Judaism.


I don't have this same outlook.

melonkali;128816 wrote:

How attached was Jesus to the OT? I suppose we can never know the true answer to that question. However, the pragmatic answer is probably "as much as he needed to be for late 1st century AD biblical authors to sell Christianity to Jewish populations".

After reading accounts from the earliest church fathers and third party sources about 1st and 2nd century Judaism and Christianity, I'm "sold", more than ever, on Jesus's (or Christ's) life, teachings, and the ways in which the very early church followed his example and practiced his teachings. These earliest Christians were, indeed, an incredible and inspiring people.


melonkali;128816 wrote:

So even if they were made up, they are valid? If the whole thing was a gimic it's alright since what is written you agree with?


But enough rambling. Time to dig into Samaritan (and a few other) sources -- on cursory examination, they correlate better with archaeology and third party reports than any Jewish sources I found.

I'm OK now. Peace. :flowers:

rebecca


It's good to know that you can be fine with the convoluted collogue that has made up this belief system.
 
Arjuna
 
Reply Thu 18 Feb, 2010 06:41 am
@Krumple,
I learned a lot about the Bible from Isaac Asimov's guide to the Bible... even though I grew up reading it to the point that I knew it pretty well. Asimov is really cool because he's not trying to stuff any viewpoint, he's just reporting on the viewpoints of religion scholars. He does a good job of laying out a skeleton you can flesh out later with more reading.

Also about the OT during the 1st century, remember there were several different kinds of Jews at the time: Pharisees (old-school), Sadducees (helenized Jews), Essenes (more apocolyptic)... they all used the Torah. It was partly a law book.
 
chad3006
 
Reply Fri 19 Feb, 2010 12:24 pm
@Deckard,
It presumes the teacher is wise enough to recognize students who are fit enough to hear the word, and at the same time, the teacher is wise enough to understand that all who are labeled swine are not necessarily unfit.

But hey, I may be wrong.
 
 

 
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