Matthew 7:6

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melonkali
 
Reply Sun 21 Feb, 2010 03:07 am
@Krumple,
Krumple;129626 wrote:
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 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? 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.

Are you going to keep defending what you already know? Keep apologizing for your understanding?

It's good to know that you can be fine with the convoluted collogue that has made up this belief system.


Wow, thanks. Why would you think I didn't care about a compliment from you? Have I been mean to you before?

The complexity of the Old Testament -- consider the length of time it covers, with influences from several West Semitic cultures, Egypt, Mesopotamia, Persia. No one really knows who wrote what or when it was completed and how much it was changed by Hebrew scribes to reflect their changing theology. I'm not convinced that God had a lot to do with it -- and that Yahweh character, whew! Not my kinda God.

But New Testament scholarship, at least as practiced by many, is moving along with good integrity and is proving most interesting. Clearly Jesus didn't get some of his ideas from Judaism, and I'm curious, where did they come from?

Thanks again for you kindness.

rebecca
 
Krumple
 
Reply Sun 21 Feb, 2010 03:33 am
@melonkali,
melonkali;130605 wrote:
Wow, thanks. Why would you think I didn't care about a compliment from you? Have I been mean to you before?


I said it that way because it is possible to get the impression that I might just be giving an empty compliment. It wasn't empty but how can you convey that in a forum post? I don't think you have ever or anyone on this forum, been mean to me.

melonkali;130605 wrote:

The complexity of the Old Testament -- consider the length of time it covers, with influences from several West Semitic cultures, Egypt, Mesopotamia, Persia. No one really knows who wrote what or when it was completed and how much it was changed by Hebrew scribes to reflect their changing theology. I'm not convinced that God had a lot to do with it -- and that Yahweh character, whew! Not my kinda God.


Well isn't there a contradiction here then? Is Jesus the god of the old testament? Or is the god of the old testament replaced by the new god, Jesus?

melonkali;130605 wrote:

But New Testament scholarship, at least as practiced by many, is moving along with good integrity and is proving most interesting. Clearly Jesus didn't get some of his ideas from Judaism, and I'm curious, where did they come from?

Thanks again for you kindness.

rebecca


There are a lot of gaps in his history for being such a prominent importance, I would think it would have focused just a tad more on his life. The things he did in his youth for one. Or where he spent most of his time or what he did for all that time? To me it leaves his character flat, one dimensional and quite frankly, unbelievable. To easy to fabricate such a character.
 
SammDickens
 
Reply Sun 21 Feb, 2010 12:02 pm
@Deckard,
Krumple, I am melonkali's insignificant other and wanted to respond to a couple of points in your previous post. I'm a neopagan myself, but like many neopagans I come from a Christian heritage, Southern Baptist in my case (before they took their fundamentalist path).

"Is Jesus the god of the old testament? Or is the god of the old testament replaced by the new god, Jesus?" you ask.

I believe that Jesus was very familiar with the Jewish scriptures and teachings of his culture, but this was clearly not his image of God. He always spoke of God the father and a new theology of Love, not Law, of doing good to others, not obeying commandments about what you must not do. The God of Jesus clearly is a god of Love.

You close by saying, "There are a lot of gaps in his history for being such a prominent importance, I would think it would have focused just a tad more on his life. The things he did in his youth for one. Or where he spent most of his time or what he did for all that time? To me it leaves his character flat, one dimensional and quite frankly, unbelievable. To easy to fabricate such a character."

I share your disappointment in the lack of knowledge about the early life of Jesus. It appears he was not forthcoming on such matters with his disciples. Much if not all of his early life as referenced in scriptures is fabrication, including the nativity stories. A lot of this is an effort to make Jesus appear to be the Jewish messiah, the fountainhead of the ancient prophecies, which he was not. The Jewish messiah was clearly expected to be a great king and conqueror who would establish the authority of the divine state of Israel. Yeah, well they're still waiting on that one.

But Jesus appears to the disciples only as a grown man, coming out of the desert (fabrication) to be hailed by John the Baptist as the chosen one, the son of God (probable fabrication). We know that he began his teachings and acquired a band of disciples who followed in his path. We know that he taught a very intimate and loving God, a father of all. We know his message necessarily must have been nuanced to address the understanding of people steeped in Jewish culture. But he clearly has a refined vision of deity.

The Jewish God is a collection of many gods from a pagan history and exposures to other pagan cultures, like Babylon, Egypt, and the west semitic tribes like the Hittites. It seems in particular to evince a dichotomy between stern, authoritarian lords who issue commandments and call upon Israel as a military force to attack and kill those who displease him, and alternatively, a god who strives to aid mankind and the Jewish people rather than use them, and who shows up in the prophets (parts of Isaiah), some of the Psalms and Proverbs. This dichotomy reflects a conflicted view of God by the Jewish religious leaders, and the conflict is blatant in the scriptures of the Old Testament.

The tendency of Jewish theology of the time was to favor the commanding lord who expects his commandments to be obeyed and his enemies to be destroyed. How convenient it was for the land-grabbing Jews to have this Yahweh to lead them into battle against their neighbors!

Jesus brought a new vision of God, one of forgiveness and love and sacrifice, who asked that we do good to each other. He taught that the world is ruled by an evil power and all who live in the world will die. He promised salvation from death to any who believed in his teachings and his new vision of God. He saw the Jewish religion of his day as corrupt and given over to the way of the world. He knew where the path he followed would lead, but he proceeded with courage to its end...and perhaps a little further yet.

Samm
 
Krumple
 
Reply Sun 21 Feb, 2010 02:04 pm
@SammDickens,
Samm;130760 wrote:
Krumple, I am melonkali's insignificant other and wanted to respond to a couple of points in your previous post. I'm a neopagan myself, but like many neopagans I come from a Christian heritage, Southern Baptist in my case (before they took their fundamentalist path).

"Is Jesus the god of the old testament? Or is the god of the old testament replaced by the new god, Jesus?" you ask.

I believe that Jesus was very familiar with the Jewish scriptures and teachings of his culture, but this was clearly not his image of God. He always spoke of God the father and a new theology of Love, not Law, of doing good to others, not obeying commandments about what you must not do. The God of Jesus clearly is a god of Love.

You close by saying, "There are a lot of gaps in his history for being such a prominent importance, I would think it would have focused just a tad more on his life. The things he did in his youth for one. Or where he spent most of his time or what he did for all that time? To me it leaves his character flat, one dimensional and quite frankly, unbelievable. To easy to fabricate such a character."

I share your disappointment in the lack of knowledge about the early life of Jesus. It appears he was not forthcoming on such matters with his disciples. Much if not all of his early life as referenced in scriptures is fabrication, including the nativity stories. A lot of this is an effort to make Jesus appear to be the Jewish messiah, the fountainhead of the ancient prophecies, which he was not. The Jewish messiah was clearly expected to be a great king and conqueror who would establish the authority of the divine state of Israel. Yeah, well they're still waiting on that one.

But Jesus appears to the disciples only as a grown man, coming out of the desert (fabrication) to be hailed by John the Baptist as the chosen one, the son of God (probable fabrication). We know that he began his teachings and acquired a band of disciples who followed in his path. We know that he taught a very intimate and loving God, a father of all. We know his message necessarily must have been nuanced to address the understanding of people steeped in Jewish culture. But he clearly has a refined vision of deity.

The Jewish God is a collection of many gods from a pagan history and exposures to other pagan cultures, like Babylon, Egypt, and the west semitic tribes like the Hittites. It seems in particular to evince a dichotomy between stern, authoritarian lords who issue commandments and call upon Israel as a military force to attack and kill those who displease him, and alternatively, a god who strives to aid mankind and the Jewish people rather than use them, and who shows up in the prophets (parts of Isaiah), some of the Psalms and Proverbs. This dichotomy reflects a conflicted view of God by the Jewish religious leaders, and the conflict is blatant in the scriptures of the Old Testament.

The tendency of Jewish theology of the time was to favor the commanding lord who expects his commandments to be obeyed and his enemies to be destroyed. How convenient it was for the land-grabbing Jews to have this Yahweh to lead them into battle against their neighbors!

Jesus brought a new vision of God, one of forgiveness and love and sacrifice, who asked that we do good to each other. He taught that the world is ruled by an evil power and all who live in the world will die. He promised salvation from death to any who believed in his teachings and his new vision of God. He saw the Jewish religion of his day as corrupt and given over to the way of the world. He knew where the path he followed would lead, but he proceeded with courage to its end...and perhaps a little further yet.

Samm


Thank you for the post Samm. You pretty much covered everything and added in a good part at the end. The good part that I have a problem with. I'm sure you weren't expecting anything less.

I don't see the reason why I need to atone for anything. I was not there when the incident occurred, so why am I held liable? I could understand if I had a choice in the matter, but I was tossed into the game without being asked if I wanted to play. On top of that, I am told, I must play the game or be tossed into the pit. So I am actually forced to atone for a crime I never committed. Have I committed any crimes? Yes, but I don't need to atone for them either, they have already been answered for. As far as I am concerned this is a crime against me, and not the other way around.

On the other hand, if the world has been taken over by evil, how do you know that Jesus wasn't a part of the evil plot? Doesn't it say somewhere that evil has the most cleverest and deceitful methods? I surmise that Jesus would be the ultimate wool pulled over the eyes tactic. What better method? Perhaps it is not shocking for you to hear that from me, but I do not see love as so perfect as most people label it as. Love tends to cause a lot of problems in its wake, something so nice shouldn't be so dark shrouded.
 
SammDickens
 
Reply Sun 21 Feb, 2010 05:19 pm
@Deckard,
Krumple, I can't give you any final answer to those questions. I'm a neopagan, a devotee of the Goddess Moon. I can only tell you that it is always possible to choose doubt rather than faith. I have no idea how an evil God came to rule the Earth, unless you refer back to the Sumerian gods, where Ea (Enki) and Enlil are the two borthers who are sons of Anu, the great God. Enlil the elder is given rule of the Earth and the work to be done there. Enki though is the wiser God upon whom the body of gods depend for direction, and he is the primary creator of man and his friend among the gods. It is Enki who saves man when Enlil decides to flood the Earth. This conflict between two gods is, in Judaism, combined into a single deity whose angel, the Satan, is necessary to explain the apparent schizoid nature of a good and evil being.

Samm
 
Deckard
 
Reply Mon 22 Feb, 2010 02:27 am
@SammDickens,
Samm;130839 wrote:
Krumple, I can't give you any final answer to those questions. I'm a neopagan, a devotee of the Goddess Moon. I can only tell you that it is always possible to choose doubt rather than faith. I have no idea how an evil God came to rule the Earth, unless you refer back to the Sumerian gods, where Ea (Enki) and Enlil are the two borthers who are sons of Anu, the great God. Enlil the elder is given rule of the Earth and the work to be done there. Enki though is the wiser God upon whom the body of gods depend for direction, and he is the primary creator of man and his friend among the gods. It is Enki who saves man when Enlil decides to flood the Earth. This conflict between two gods is, in Judaism, combined into a single deity whose angel, the Satan, is necessary to explain the apparent schizoid nature of a good and evil being.
Samm


Just to play with the myth. What if Enki who was both the creator and the would be destroyer of man? Suppose Enlil was the savior even though he was not the creator.

My point being: Why this equation between creator and savior? Is there some suggestion of property here? The creator owns us and therefore has the right to destroy us if he wanted to? I like the idea of separating the two: creator and savior. Perhaps we were the mistake of an evil god and we were saved by a good god. Just an idea. You have to admit, it would make an intriguing myth.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Mon 22 Feb, 2010 02:50 am
@Deckard,
Deckard;126675 wrote:
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.


I've only been able to enjoy the Satanic myth first-person. Satan as the numinous symbol for individualism. Viewed this way, Luther was a proto-Satanist. From every man a priest to every man a god. (Democracy? Where Gods consent to vote?)

---------- Post added 02-22-2010 at 03:52 AM ----------

Krumple;130785 wrote:

I don't see the reason why I need to atone for anything. I was not there when the incident occurred, so why am I held liable? I could understand if I had a choice in the matter, but I was tossed into the game without being asked if I wanted to play. On top of that, I am told, I must play the game or be tossed into the pit. So I am actually forced to atone for a crime I never committed. Have I committed any crimes? Yes, but I don't need to atone for them either, they have already been answered for. As far as I am concerned this is a crime against me, and not the other way around.

On the other hand, if the world has been taken over by evil, how do you know that Jesus wasn't a part of the evil plot? Doesn't it say somewhere that evil has the most cleverest and deceitful methods? I surmise that Jesus would be the ultimate wool pulled over the eyes tactic. What better method? Perhaps it is not shocking for you to hear that from me, but I do not see love as so perfect as most people label it as. Love tends to cause a lot of problems in its wake, something so nice shouldn't be so dark shrouded.


Have you seen Wide Blood? I bet you would love this movie.
YouTube - Wise Blood 3

---------- Post added 02-22-2010 at 03:53 AM ----------

Deckard;130941 wrote:
Perhaps we were the mistake of an evil god and we were saved by a good god. Just an idea. You have to admit, it would make an intriguing myth.


I think this is how Blake sees Nobodaddy and Jesus.
Quote:

Why art thou silent & invisible
Father of jealousy
Why dost thou hide thyself in clouds
From every
Eye

Why darkness & obscurity
In all thy words & laws
That none dare eat the fruit but from
The wily serpents jaws
Or is it because Secresy
gains females loud applause

To Nobodaddy / Blake
Quote:

Love is God's grace. Love is God. But who is God? In A Vision of the Last
Judgment
, Blake writes: "Thinking as I do that the Creator of this World is a
very Cruel Being, & being a Worshipper of Christ, I cannot help saying: 'The
Son, O how unlike the Father!'" As Love, as "balm," Jesus gives Christians
the Beatitudes in the Sermon on the Mount and the example of his patient
innocence and shameful crucifixion. He is the embodiment of loving kindness
and forgiveness, the existential exemplar of hope. Opposed to Jesus ( "The
Son"
) is "the Father," the Lord God of Hosts (armies) who is cruel, jealous,
meddling, demanding the slaughter of unarmed women and children. The
"Father" reflects the "Poetic Genius," "the Spirit of Prophecy" ( All Religions
Are One
). Under the law of Moses, the Father's representative, people might
be put to death for hundreds of reasons. The Father was a "furor bellicus"
(Kluger 36, 43-44)-capricious, jealous, an almost diabolical trickster, petty,

Blake's the Garden of Love
 
Krumple
 
Reply Mon 22 Feb, 2010 03:24 am
@SammDickens,
Samm;130839 wrote:
Krumple, I can't give you any final answer to those questions. I'm a neopagan, a devotee of the Goddess Moon. I can only tell you that it is always possible to choose doubt rather than faith. I have no idea how an evil God came to rule the Earth, unless you refer back to the Sumerian gods, where Ea (Enki) and Enlil are the two borthers who are sons of Anu, the great God. Enlil the elder is given rule of the Earth and the work to be done there. Enki though is the wiser God upon whom the body of gods depend for direction, and he is the primary creator of man and his friend among the gods. It is Enki who saves man when Enlil decides to flood the Earth. This conflict between two gods is, in Judaism, combined into a single deity whose angel, the Satan, is necessary to explain the apparent schizoid nature of a good and evil being.

Samm


Sounds fascinating. It would make a whole lot more sense if there were more deities involved in the whole mess of things. I can envision children in the sand box fighting over dominance or a simple misunderstanding. One builds something up, while the other, perhaps jealous wants to tear down what has been built. Why would gods be any different? Just because they are gods, it doesn't mean they have to be perfect nor generous, nor kind. Well at least not in my opinion anyways.

Thanks again for sharing that. I should study it more.
 
SammDickens
 
Reply Mon 22 Feb, 2010 09:30 am
@Deckard,
It's an interesting point, Deckard, but of course I'm not at liberty to change Sumerian mythology, and in Sumerian mythology Enlil is in charge of the Earth and younger brother Enki is the smarter of the two. When the lesser deities laboring on the Earth complain that they are over-worked, the Anunnaki (the high gods) determine that they will create something to ease their labors. Enki, not Enlil, is the clever god who plans the creation of man to work in the mines of Earth. And when Enlil undertakes to wash away all trace of humankind in a massive flood, it is Enki who secretly aids Utnapishtim and his family to survive. By the way, when Anu the great god found out about the flood he was furious. Mankind had been providing food to the gods from their fields on the Earth, and Enlil's thoughtless flood had washed away those fields too.

I pick this stuff up from my wife (melonkali here) who has devoted considerable studies to Mesopotamian mythology and religion. The Sumerian gods walked with man on the Earth and directed the actions of man. It is impossible for me not to imagine them as an other-worldly race with a ship orbiting the Earth while a major mining operation was being conducted on the surface below. The Igigi (lesser gods) were the miners and grunts who worked with the man creatures while the Anunaki were the ships crew and high officers who stayed in orbit. Sitchin's books suggest something of this sort, but he goes a little far afield in his work. Given the great leaps of agriculture and civilization that occurred in these early years of human (oral) history, it is certainly possible. Certainly, tablets of quadratic equations and sines squared all in base-60 math require further explanation than we have been able to provide for them yet.

Anyway, the Jews would surely have been exposed to this mythology during their Babylonian captivity, and probably at other times through commerce with Mesopotamian merchants and travelers. It is clear from analysis of the Bible stories like the creation of man in the garden of Eden and the flood mythology that Judaic mythology is strongly influenced by Mesopotamian myth. But stories involving different gods in other myths are attributed to the one God of Judaic religion. This contributes significantly to the schizoid nature of God in the Old Testament and also accounts for the device of a Satan to act as a tester of mankind. It's not the whole story, but its a significant factor.

Samm
 
Krumple
 
Reply Mon 22 Feb, 2010 09:46 am
@SammDickens,
Samm;131012 wrote:
It's an interesting point, Deckard, but of course I'm not at liberty to change Sumerian mythology, and in Sumerian mythology Enlil is in charge of the Earth and younger brother Enki is the smarter of the two. When the lesser deities laboring on the Earth complain that they are over-worked, the Anunnaki (the high gods) determine that they will create something to ease their labors. Enki, not Enlil, is the clever god who plans the creation of man to work in the mines of Earth. And when Enlil undertakes to wash away all trace of humankind in a massive flood, it is Enki who secretly aids Utnapishtim and his family to survive. By the way, when Anu the great god found out about the flood he was furious. Mankind had been providing food to the gods from their fields on the Earth, and Enlil's thoughtless flood had washed away those fields too.

I pick this stuff up from my wife (melonkali here) who has devoted considerable studies to Mesopotamian mythology and religion. The Sumerian gods walked with man on the Earth and directed the actions of man. It is impossible for me not to imagine them as an other-worldly race with a ship orbiting the Earth while a major mining operation was being conducted on the surface below. The Igigi (lesser gods) were the miners and grunts who worked with the man creatures while the Anunaki were the ships crew and high officers who stayed in orbit. Sitchin's books suggest something of this sort, but he goes a little far afield in his work. Given the great leaps of agriculture and civilization that occurred in these early years of human (oral) history, it is certainly possible. Certainly, tablets of quadratic equations and sines squared all in base-60 math require further explanation than we have been able to provide for them yet.

Anyway, the Jews would surely have been exposed to this mythology during their Babylonian captivity, and probably at other times through commerce with Mesopotamian merchants and travelers. It is clear from analysis of the Bible stories like the creation of man in the garden of Eden and the flood mythology that Judaic mythology is strongly influenced by Mesopotamian myth. But stories involving different gods in other myths are attributed to the one God of Judaic religion. This contributes significantly to the schizoid nature of God in the Old Testament and also accounts for the device of a Satan to act as a tester of mankind. It's not the whole story, but its a significant factor.

Samm


Fascinating. I would love to sit and listen to these kinds of stories. I have also read bits and pieces of similar ideas. Dealing with extraterrestrials being involved in actually creating humans to be miners. Taking the biology of the hominids messing with the dna and genes giving us certain traits and characteristics that would make us into workers. Certain attractions to precious metals and jewels to later collect them.

It sounds interesting but I can't help but think, if they had such ability to fly thousands of light years, genetically alter animals, surely they should have some easy way to collect minerals for themselves. The whole process of waiting for humans to get to the point of digging up enough gold, by the time you actually had enough you probably wouldn't need it anymore.

It would be like needing some firewood so you can cook your dinner, but find it too difficult to collect the wood yourself, so you train some ants to do the work for you. But by the time you get them trained up enough five months have passed. You might be able to get some fire wood but you were no better off. Now you just have some smarter ants that will probably beat you over the head while you sleep with a piece of firewood.
 
SammDickens
 
Reply Mon 22 Feb, 2010 10:13 am
@Krumple,
Krumple, that's a funny metaphor with the ants and the firewood!

I don't think the Sumerian texts say what in particular was being mined or how it was being mined. It just says that mining operations were conducted and man was created as a laborer in the mines. I think that there are many texts still being translated from the cuneiform tablets. Of course, it is not my point that these gods were in fact an other-worldly race. I only mention that to note how the Sumerian myths describe their gods as living and working among men, in a manner that is rather unique to mythology.

My point is that Sumerian and other Mesopotamian mythology had a pronounced influence on the mythology of the Old Testament scriptures, contributing to the appearance that God has multiple personalities, at times vengeful and authoritarian and at other times loving and protective.

You'll have to admit it would make a good storyline for Star Trek - Time Miners, or some such space soaper. ...or maybe not. :-)

Samm
 
Krumple
 
Reply Mon 22 Feb, 2010 12:02 pm
@SammDickens,
Samm;131024 wrote:
Krumple, that's a funny metaphor with the ants and the firewood!


Thank you.

Samm;131024 wrote:

My point is that Sumerian and other Mesopotamian mythology had a pronounced influence on the mythology of the Old Testament scriptures, contributing to the appearance that God has multiple personalities, at times vengeful and authoritarian and at other times loving and protective.


So does it say anything about them being currently with us? Or if they would return at some time if they were not currently among us? Does it say what the ultimate reason for farming and mining for them? What is it they need?

Samm;131024 wrote:

You'll have to admit it would make a good storyline for Star Trek - Time Miners, or some such space soaper. ...or maybe not. :-)

Samm


Or maybe a good X-files.
 
Pyrrho
 
Reply Mon 22 Feb, 2010 04:37 pm
@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.



If the Bible is a work inspired by an omniscient being, evidently the being wished to confuse people rather than enlighten them. In other words, the being is evil, wishing to lead people into error rather than guide them to the truth.
 
Krumple
 
Reply Mon 22 Feb, 2010 04:44 pm
@Pyrrho,
Pyrrho;131181 wrote:
If the Bible is a work inspired by an omniscient being, evidently the being wished to confuse people rather than enlighten them. In other words, the being is evil, wishing to lead people into error rather than guide them to the truth.


Although I would agree with your assessment here, it makes it too easy for the believer to take what you have said here and turn it around. They will say, that the devil is to blame for this thing you have pointed out. That is why there is this other thing or something to that effect.

I think what we are witnessing, is humanity growing up. We are entering probably the early teens or so. A point where we think we know stuff but are still highly gullible like a child. A little arrogant that we got it all figured out but get surprised from time to time when something happens we can't quite figure out how it happened. A few more centuries and maybe we will be old enough to drive. Not looking forward to eighteen though because that will mean humanity will have to move out and get a job.
 
Pyrrho
 
Reply Mon 22 Feb, 2010 05:11 pm
@Krumple,
Krumple;131184 wrote:
Pyrrho;131181 wrote:
If the Bible is a work inspired by an omniscient being, evidently the being wished to confuse people rather than enlighten them. In other words, the being is evil, wishing to lead people into error rather than guide them to the truth.


Although I would agree with your assessment here, it makes it too easy for the believer to take what you have said here and turn it around. They will say, that the devil is to blame for this thing you have pointed out. That is why there is this other thing or something to that effect.

I think what we are witnessing, is humanity growing up. We are entering probably the early teens or so. A point where we think we know stuff but are still highly gullible like a child. A little arrogant that we got it all figured out but get surprised from time to time when something happens we can't quite figure out how it happened. A few more centuries and maybe we will be old enough to drive. Not looking forward to eighteen though because that will mean humanity will have to move out and get a job.



In that case, the god is not omnipotent, as it cannot keep control of its own message. The devil is only a problem for a being that is not omnipotent.
 
melonkali
 
Reply Mon 22 Feb, 2010 05:32 pm
@Krumple,
Deckard;130941 wrote:
Just to play with the myth. What if Enki who was both the creator and the would be destroyer of man? Suppose Enlil was the savior even though he was not the creator.

My point being: Why this equation between creator and savior? Is there some suggestion of property here? The creator owns us and therefore has the right to destroy us if he wanted to? I like the idea of separating the two: creator and savior. Perhaps we were the mistake of an evil god and we were saved by a good god. Just an idea. You have to admit, it would make an intriguing myth.


Krumple;130957 wrote:
Sounds fascinating. It would make a whole lot more sense if there were more deities involved in the whole mess of things. I can envision children in the sand box fighting over dominance or a simple misunderstanding. One builds something up, while the other, perhaps jealous wants to tear down what has been built. Why would gods be any different? Just because they are gods, it doesn't mean they have to be perfect nor generous, nor kind. Well at least not in my opinion anyways.

Thanks again for sharing that. I should study it more.


Samm and I started studying ancient Mesopotamian mythos hoping to find some "great mystery" at this foundation of all known world religions (with the exception of "primitive animism"). Discovering that, per these first known historical religious accounts, we (mankind) were created as slave labor -- period -- was a really big disappointment.

We (Samm and I) remain standing in that long, long line, from esteemed scholars to rank amateurs to lunatic fringe dwellers, trying to figure out what happened when ancient Mesopotamian mythos was borrowed by the West Semitic tribes, including the Hebrews (particularly during their Babylonian captivity circa 7th century BC).

Now that it's confirmed ancient Sumeria was connected with ancient Egypt and the Indus Valley, a whole new can of possibilities is opened.

My personal best interpretation would be that the Galaxy Discount Planet Design, Engineering and Colonization Company assigned the Annunaki crew to planet earth, and they botched the job.

To learn more about those crazy complex cuneiform sexagesimal math tablets, which do include quadratic equations, cube and square roots, and perhaps secants squared, the work of the late Dr. Otto Neugebauer remains, I believe, the academic standard. Personally, I don't "do" math. That's Samm's department.

For the ancient pantheon, especially the big three (Anu, Enlil and Enki a.k.a. An, Ellil and Ea) I like the combined creation and flood Myth of Atrahasis -- it makes great reading (and it's 1000 years older than the Babylonian "Enuma Elish" creation account, which was evidently written to establish Babylon's Marduk as the chief god of the pantheon). The flood Epic of Gilgamesh, too, never grows old.

As Samm has noted, Anu was the distant chief god, not involved with day to day operations -- just popping in for the occasional supervisory visit, or carelessly rubber-stamping divine decrees.

So you have to love the part in Atrahasis when, after Enki's been sneakily undermining Enlil's anti-humankind directives, Enlil puts his foot down, takes charge, and floods the land -- only to realize he's overlooked the food (and beer) supply problem. There are several missing lines in the tablet, immediately followed by "Anu went berserk".

Meanwhile, the birth goddess, who helped Enki create mankind, is lamenting the loss of her human children, but when she finds out there's no beer, she bursts into inconsolable sobbing.

And Gilgamesh has its moments, too. Toward the end of this LONG epic, after an exhausted Gilgamesh has sacrificed and suffered and journeyed through some pretty bizarre places (some of them vaguely reminiscent of the night journey of the sun in Egyptian mythos), he is not granted the gift of immortality. However, as a consolation prize, he is given directions to the place of the plant of eternal youth (?).

Gilgamesh sets out yet again on an arduous journey, dives to the bottom of the deep waters, finds the plant, brings it back, sets it down -- then "pffft", a little wee snake comes crawling along, picks up the plant and carries it away, to a stunned Gilgamesh's incredulous horror. Boy, when things go wrong...

The flood story is an interesting one, I think, as it has been found in nearly every culture inhabiting or directly affected by ancient Mesopotamia, from an early Sumerian version to Akkadian, Old Babylonian, NeoSumerian, NeoAkkadian, Middle and NeoBabylonian, Western Semitic and Assyrian (though the Assyrians generally borrowed -- they were better at making war than creative writing).

As regards creator -- I'm not aware of an early Mesoptamian "creation ex nihilo" account, or "creation" account before the later Enuma Elish. There may well be one or more, but the early accounts I remember sounded more like design, engineering and labor. Digging riverbeds and canals, putting up sea-bolts, irrigation, creating mankind -- very mundane.

As regards savior -- the god in Atrahasis who was slain so that his flesh and blood could be used (by mankind's creator and friend, Enki) to give mankind "intelligence" was "Gesh-tu-e". Then the gods decided that Gesh-tu-e's "ghost" should remain so he would always be remembered. Weird, eh? And this dates back to at least 2000 BC, probably closer to 2500 BC.

I don't even try to interpret this stuff anymore -- can't make heads nor tails of it -- I just enjoy it.

rebecca
 
Krumple
 
Reply Mon 22 Feb, 2010 06:04 pm
@melonkali,
melonkali;131195 wrote:
Samm and I started studying ancient Mesopotamian mythos hoping to find some "great mystery" at this foundation of all known world religions (with the exception of "primitive animism"). Discovering that, per these first known historical religious accounts, we (mankind) were created as slave labor -- period -- was a really big disappointment.


Perhaps we are also the disappointment? Hard to get any work done when we are sitting around etching symbols on things instead of working.

"Oh look, they're doing it again, please get them to stop doing that or else we will have more problems than the occasional cave in."

melonkali;131195 wrote:

My personal best interpretation would be that the Galaxy Discount Planet Design, Engineering and Colonization Company assigned the Annunaki crew to planet earth, and they botched the job.


Doesn't sound very god like to always be one step behind your goal all the time. There's only so many times you can mess up before someone can start to question your competency. Maybe they didn't care about getting it right, or perfect, maybe it was sort of a rushed task. Just get the ball rolling sort of speak and hopefully things will turn out. Maybe they had other places to "harvest" as well so it didn't really matter to them if they got this one right because it was a job of quantity not quality?

melonkali;131195 wrote:

To learn more about those crazy complex cuneiform sexagesimal math tablets, which do include quadratic equations, cube and square roots, and perhaps secants squared, the work of the late Dr. Otto Neugebauer remains, I believe, the academic standard. Personally, I don't "do" math. That's Samm's department.


You just peeked my interest too. One language that we all understand as separate societies is math. It is probably the language of the universe.

melonkali;131195 wrote:

As Samm has noted, Anu was the distant chief god, not involved with day to day operations -- just popping in for the occasional supervisory visit, or carelessly rubber-stamping divine decrees.


So a hierarchy, but I wonder, what exactly do they do to obtain a rank or position. It really keeps telling me that they are not gods but probably just alien military personnel sent to do some covert operation under some time constraints and often held up by their bureaucracy or chain of command.

melonkali;131195 wrote:

So you have to love the part in Atrahasis when, after Enki's been sneakily undermining Enlil's anti-humankind directives, Enlil puts his foot down, takes charge, and floods the land -- only to realize he's overlooked the food (and beer) supply problem. There are several missing lines in the tablet, immediately followed by "Anu went berserk".


Maybe he didn't really go berserk but instead there was something he didn't like about the "mission". A sort of last minute protest thinking the flood would terminate the "project" and solve perhaps his conflict?

melonkali;131195 wrote:

Meanwhile, the birth goddess, who helped Enki create mankind, is lamenting the loss of her human children, but when she finds out there's no beer, she bursts into inconsolable sobbing.


In the past, I had similar sad days like that. I was never sad until the beer ran out.

melonkali;131195 wrote:

And Gilgamesh has its moments, too. Toward the end of this LONG epic, after an exhausted Gilgamesh has sacrificed and suffered and journeyed through some pretty bizarre places (some of them vaguely reminiscent of the night journey of the sun in Egyptian mythos), he is not granted the gift of immortality. However, as a consolation prize, he is given directions to the place of the plant of eternal youth (?).


Doesn't sound all that bad of a thing, unless it's the eternal youth of being two years old for ever. Wouldn't that be terrible? Ha! I know, knee slapper.

melonkali;131195 wrote:

Gilgamesh sets out yet again on an arduous journey, dives to the bottom of the deep waters, finds the plant, brings it back, sets it down -- then "pffft", a little wee snake comes crawling along, picks up the plant and carries it away, to a stunned Gilgamesh's incredulous horror. Boy, when things go wrong...


Man the snakes never get a break do they? I think next to women, snakes always get blamed for all the stuff that goes wrong. Look at that, two in one shot. And what the heck, a snake carried off, while he just stood there and watched? Did he have to go dry out his divine garb and while he went to check on the plant, he saw squiggly lines in the sand? I don't remember the last time a snake took off with anything I owned and I've been in some pretty snake infested places.

melonkali;131195 wrote:

The flood story is an interesting one, I think, as it has been found in nearly every culture inhabiting or directly affected by ancient Mesopotamia, from an early Sumerian version to Akkadian, Old Babylonian, NeoSumerian, NeoAkkadian, Middle and NeoBabylonian, Western Semitic and Assyrian (though the Assyrians generally borrowed -- they were better at making war than creative writing).


I guess they didn't get the memo that the pen is mightier? Perhaps they weren't any good at reading either.

melonkali;131195 wrote:

As regards creator -- I'm not aware of an early Mesoptamian "creation ex nihilo" account, or "creation" account before the later Enuma Elish. There may well be one or more, but the early accounts I remember sounded more like design, engineering and labor. Digging riverbeds and canals, putting up sea-bolts, irrigation, creating mankind -- very mundane.


Yeah the first one's into country have the hardest jobs. Nothing you really want to write home about either.

melonkali;131195 wrote:

As regards savior -- the god in Atrahasis who was slain so that his flesh and blood could be used (by mankind's creator and friend, Enki) to give mankind "intelligence" was "Gesh-tu-e". Then the gods decided that Gesh-tu-e's "ghost" should remain so he would always be remembered. Weird, eh? And this dates back to at least 2000 BC, probably closer to 2500 BC.


Wow, I never knew we actually had something that old in writing. That is pretty remarkable.

melonkali;131195 wrote:

I don't even try to interpret this stuff anymore -- can't make heads nor tails of it -- I just enjoy it.


Oh I can give the interpretation a shot, as you can tell, I'm not too bad at it. Heh. When it comes down to it, stories are really only about one thing. The climax. If there is no climax what's the point?

Thank you so much Rebecca.
 
melonkali
 
Reply Fri 26 Feb, 2010 11:48 am
@Krumple,
Krumple;131212 wrote:
Perhaps we are also the disappointment? Hard to get any work done when we are sitting around etching symbols on things instead of working.

"Oh look, they're doing it again, please get them to stop doing that or else we will have more problems than the occasional cave in."

Doesn't sound very god like to always be one step behind your goal all the time. There's only so many times you can mess up before someone can start to question your competency. Maybe they didn't care about getting it right, or perfect, maybe it was sort of a rushed task. Just get the ball rolling sort of speak and hopefully things will turn out. Maybe they had other places to "harvest" as well so it didn't really matter to them if they got this one right because it was a job of quantity not quality?

You just peeked my interest too. One language that we all understand as separate societies is math. It is probably the language of the universe.

So a hierarchy, but I wonder, what exactly do they do to obtain a rank or position. It really keeps telling me that they are not gods but probably just alien military personnel sent to do some covert operation under some time constraints and often held up by their bureaucracy or chain of command.

Maybe he didn't really go berserk but instead there was something he didn't like about the "mission". A sort of last minute protest thinking the flood would terminate the "project" and solve perhaps his conflict?

In the past, I had similar sad days like that. I was never sad until the beer ran out.

Doesn't sound all that bad of a thing, unless it's the eternal youth of being two years old for ever. Wouldn't that be terrible? Ha! I know, knee slapper.

Man the snakes never get a break do they? I think next to women, snakes always get blamed for all the stuff that goes wrong. Look at that, two in one shot. And what the heck, a snake carried off, while he just stood there and watched? Did he have to go dry out his divine garb and while he went to check on the plant, he saw squiggly lines in the sand? I don't remember the last time a snake took off with anything I owned and I've been in some pretty snake infested places.

I guess they didn't get the memo that the pen is mightier? Perhaps they weren't any good at reading either.

Yeah the first one's into country have the hardest jobs. Nothing you really want to write home about either.

Wow, I never knew we actually had something that old in writing. That is pretty remarkable.

Oh I can give the interpretation a shot, as you can tell, I'm not too bad at it. Heh. When it comes down to it, stories are really only about one thing. The climax. If there is no climax what's the point?

Thank you so much Rebecca.


ROTFL. I like your interpretation. A plant of eternal youth restoring someone to the terrible twos? Why not?

The text is what it is. The best and brightest experts are the first to admit we understand very little about ancient Mesopotamian "religion"; we're not even sure they had what we'd consider a "religion".

Dating of the clay cuneiform tablets is a fairly reliable process, unrelated to any "self-dating" within the text. The clay tablet itself is scientifically dated, then the cuneiform linguistic experts (god bless them every one) go through painstaking, anal-retentive processes to ascertain whether or not the tablet is an extant original (rare) or a copy, and if a copy, the most likely date of composition of the original. Not to mention editing -- REDACTION!!

The following is a sample from the latest accepted (albeit 20 years old) translation of Atrahasis (a new translation is in the works based on relevant archaeological findings at Sippar).

NOTE: It's much more fun to read these texts aloud. When reading cuneiform translations aloud, where there are lacunae (representing a small area of missing text), the accepted tradition is to fluidly insert a motorboat or push-lawnmower sound. Keeps the continuity flowing. Samm believes the ideal neutral-motorboat sound comes out like a "bwwwwwwwuuuuu" with German umlauts over the u's, but it will, of course, vary according to the emotion being expressed (depending upon the context).

IMO, "the emotive motorboat sound" is a greatly under-appreciated art form.

SCENE I: After Enki has once again thwarted Enlil's destructive plans for mankind by opening the seabolt and releasing fish for the starving populace, a meeting of the council of the gods:

"Enki grew anxious as he sat,
In the gods' assembly worry gnawed at him."

THREE LINES MISSING

"They were furious with each other, Enki and Enlil."

ENLIL: "We, the great Anunnaki, all of us, agreed together on a plan.
Anu and Adad were to guard above,
I was to guard the earth below.
Where you went,
You were to exercise control by holding the balance!

The warrior Enlil........... "

GAP OF THIRTY LINES

ENLIL STILL SPEAKING: "You imposed your loads on man!
You bestowed noise on mankind!
You slaughtered a god together with his intelligence!
You must...............and create a flood!
You agreed to the wrong plan!
Have it reversed!
Let us make far-sighted Enki swear .......... an oath!

"ENKI made his voice heard:
Why should you make me swear an oath?
The flood that you mention to me,
What is it? I don't even know!
Could I give birth to a flood?
That is Enlil's kind of work!
Let him choose................."

GAP OF 31 LINES

"The assembly.............................."

SCENE II: The flood begins.

"No one could see anyone else.
The darkness was total, there was no sun.
.................................like white sheep.
.................................of the flood.
.............................................
............................................
..................................the noise of the flood.
..............................................................(x unknown # of lines)
Anu went berserk.
The gods............his sons..........before him."

SCENE III: post flood, Anu and Enlil, both angry, suspect Enki is responsible for the flood's human "survivor".

"ENKI made his voice heard
And spoke to the great gods,
I did it! In defiance of you!
I made sure life was preserved......
..................................
..................................
..................................
..................................
..................................
Exact your punishment from the sinner!
And whoever contradicts your order,
.................................................. (x12 lines)
I have given vent to my feelings!"

So there it is. 2400 BC, and very likely based on older traditions. One of the foundation stones of all known human (non-aboriginal religions). Kind of makes one reconsider primitive animism, eh?

Traditional "myth proper" develops later on, and "mystical, transcendent" thinking begins with Persians and/or Greeks.

Maybe one day I'll find an excuse to post some of the earliest "war" myths, although "war" is not really an appropriate term -- the very early Sumerians were clearly unfamiliar with "The Art of War".

The importance of these delightful early myths, IMO, is that they evidence how "out of place" the brilliant but naive early Sumerian settlers were in the world of their time. Archaeology evidences how they gradually learned "the ways of the world" from the semitic Akkadians, who were either already inhabiting the land or arrived shortly after the Sumerians -- and how, at least at first, these Sumerians may have influenced Akkadian thinking.

rebecca
 
HexHammer
 
Reply Fri 26 Feb, 2010 04:47 pm
@Deckard,
Deckard;111502 wrote:
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.

I belive it's an early attempt for psycology.

Dogs = people driven by their inner selfish desire, who are brutish, wild and doesn't care for etiquette and such, as they would not appreciate art, wine and all such refined things, they'll just whipe their butt in it ..so to speak.

Swine = people full of selfness, that will defile what you do good for them, and demand more, if they doesn't get more they will attack you, because of their selfness, because they take things for granted.

Deckard;111502 wrote:
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
As someone else mentioned, christianity had it's infancy amongst Romans that didn't care for christianity, prosecuted them and blamed them for all bad things. Therefore those precaucious words.
 
Alan McDougall
 
Reply Sun 28 Feb, 2010 11:02 pm
@Deckard,
To me this verse means that a human hypothetical dog listed to the gospel ignores it and immediately returns to his old depraved ways.The pig listens to the Gospels absorbers it and mixes the whole lot in earthly depravity
 
 

 
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