Parable of the Ten Minas?

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Parable of the Ten Minas?

 Someone help me out with this one. I've read the parable of the ten minas before, but this time I actually tried to understand the point of telling other people this story. Here's my problem: you would have to have a reason to tell this story to people, and then to write it down, and then to continue to copy it over and over until the invention of the printing press. That's a lot of motivation to preserve a story, so you'd think the meaning would pop right out at you. Instead, I'm left with confusion.

For those who aren't familiar, it's about a king who leaves his money with 10 servants, and tells them to "put it to work" (in the new international version). So here we have a king entrusting his financial planning to slaves. Wow. Somehow, "retarded" doesn't cover it.

Anyway, he gives them all one "mina" each (let's say for the sake of argument that it's one gold coin). Here's the miracle: when the guy comes back, one of his slaves got a 10000% return on his one gold coin by making ten more. Fantastic! So the king gives this guy ten cities. A smart king would have put him in charge of his finances and paid him a shitty wage, but remember, this guy is dumb as a bag of hammers.

Another one of his slaves comes up with a 5000% return, and so the king gives him five cities. At this point in the story, I'm thinking the moral is "collect at least 5000% interest on money that isn't yours and a king will give you cities" Yeah, I figure that's pretty applicable to my life.

A different slave comes up and says he basically kept the money under the mattress. The king goes ballistic and gives the money to the guy he just gave ten cities to. So I'm thinking now the moral is "those who charge the maximum possible interest are going to get rewarded no matter what, and that 'save your money' guy from ING doesn't know what he's talking about" But wait! There's more.

Someone objects, and says, "but he already has ten!" and the king says that more will be given to those who have more, and those who have nothing will have their shit taken away.

Oh, and another thing, if anyone doesn't want me to be king, just round up the motherfuckers and kill them right here.

...

Sorry, what? Is this about finances or unreasonable dictatorial oppression?

Seriously, besides the suddenly violent punchline, I have no idea why you would tell people this story. It's not a good story, and the moral seems to be that being stupid combined with being a hard-ass is condoned by Jesus. Or is it sarcasm? As in, greedy violent bastards rule the earth, and that's just the way it is. I'm honestly at a loss.

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HisWillness wrote: Or is it

HisWillness wrote:
Or is it sarcasm? As in, greedy violent bastards rule the earth, and that's just the way it is. I'm honestly at a loss.
I think you hit the nail on the head there. If nothing else, that's a pretty good discription of most of human history. We tell stories about that which is, after all.

There's just one thing wrong with your analysis: It's probably not meant sarcastically.

It's meant to be a straight faced statement of: "greedy violent bastards rule the earth, and that's just the way it is, because that's the way it should be"

Just think about all the republicans trying to block Obama's stimulus package right now.

If greedy, violent bastards don't rule the Earth then society will colapse!

That's basically the argument they are using to try and opose the stimulus.

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Nikolaj wrote:There's just

Nikolaj wrote:
There's just one thing wrong with your analysis: It's probably not meant sarcastically.

That's kind of what scares me. I think of the poor souls copying this story for literally over a thousand years, and for what?

Nikolaj wrote:
If greedy, violent bastards don't rule the Earth then society will colapse!

That's basically the argument they are using to try and opose the stimulus.

... which is hilarious because it's just other greedy bastards who are using the stimulus package to leverage power over the banking system. If this story could be used as an excuse in the bible belt, well ... I don't know how to deal with that, mentally. That's just a group of people who have made their bed, and will have to sleep in it.

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Parables are not meant to be

Parables are not meant to be taken literally, and this one is no different. (BTW: I've heard this one called the Parable of the Talents. When you called it the Parable of the Ten Minas, I thought you were going to tell a story about "ten minas diggin inna mine, an' tha mine collapses, killin nine a' tha minas, an' tha last one survives, jus' barely, an' tha townfolk say 'It's a miracle!' But then tha last one dies of injuries, an' tha townfolk don't say nuthin'. An tha's tha story of tha ten minas." )

Anywho. The parable you mentioned is not about a real king and real slaves and real money. It's about "Whoever is the most holy will have the most rewarding life."

People are born in different circumstances, which is why one guy gets ten minas to start, and the other guy only gets one. But regardless of your circumstances, you should put all of your efforts into living the best life you can (like the guy who spends all ten of his minas), rather than desparately holding on to the little you have in fear (like the guy who only has one mina). If you do that, not only will you get a reward in this lifetime (the guy with ten turns it into twenty), but god (the king) will reward you greatest in the afterlife (the ten cities). If you cling desparately and live in fear, not only will you barely survive in this life (he just manages to keep his one mina), but god (the king) will take away your life and you'll be left with nothing (the king takes away the guy's only mina).

The guy with five minas to start is used to contrast. He has less than the guy with ten, but he also spends it, and he is also likewise rewarded. This just goes to show that it is not what you start with that's important, it is what you do with it that counts. And even if you have only one mina and you spend it, you will probably get a whole city in heaven. Don't be so materialistic, as that will just leave you miserable. Be free and giving, and you will have a rewarding life.

And, by the way, it's a good story to retell if you happen to be somebody preaching religion to the poor. How else are you going to convince them to give up their last mina to you in the collection plate? You've got to tell stories like this to bilk them of their last dime. Just check out those Baptist churches in poor neighbourhoods in the US. I'm sure this parable is one of the most popular ones told there.

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natural wrote:(BTW: I've

natural wrote:
(BTW: I've heard this one called the Parable of the Talents. When you called it the Parable of the Ten Minas, I thought you were going to tell a story about "ten minas diggin inna mine, an' tha mine collapses, killin nine a' tha minas, an' tha last one survives, jus' barely, an' tha townfolk say 'It's a miracle!' But then tha last one dies of injuries, an' tha townfolk don't say nuthin'. An tha's tha story of tha ten minas." )

That's a much better story, to be honest.

natural wrote:
Anywho. The parable you mentioned is not about a real king and real slaves and real money. It's about "Whoever is the most holy will have the most rewarding life."

Okay, it's the holiness that we're talking about here. I didn't know what the most usual interpretation was - that's why I asked.

natural wrote:
People are born in different circumstances, which is why one guy gets ten minas to start, and the other guy only gets one. But regardless of your circumstances, you should put all of your efforts into living the best life you can (like the guy who spends all ten of his minas), rather than desparately holding on to the little you have in fear (like the guy who only has one mina).

Sure, but they're not really spending, they're investing in trade. If it's normally interpreted to mean "you did the best with what I gave you", then that's fine.

natural wrote:
The guy with five minas to start is used to contrast. He has less than the guy with ten, but he also spends it, and he is also likewise rewarded. This just goes to show that it is not what you start with that's important, it is what you do with it that counts.

I think you may have misread that one - all ten servants get one mina each, so it's not about one guy starting with one, and another starting with five. Either way, though, your original point still stands, just not the "everybody starts out different" part.

natural wrote:
And even if you have only one mina and you spend it, you will probably get a whole city in heaven. Don't be so materialistic, as that will just leave you miserable. Be free and giving, and you will have a rewarding life.

Wait, they weren't giving, they were putting it into the bank or investing specifically for their king. Or would that be our metaphorical "goodness bank"? So everyone starts off with one goodness mina, and if you can spread that goodness mina around and get more back, that's what it's about?

natural wrote:
And, by the way, it's a good story to retell if you happen to be somebody preaching religion to the poor.

Yeah. And how anyone would sleep at night after doing that is beyond me.

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HisWillness wrote:I think

HisWillness wrote:
I think you may have misread that one - all ten servants get one mina each, so it's not about one guy starting with one, and another starting with five. Either way, though, your original point still stands, just not the "everybody starts out different" part.

Okay, that must be the difference between the Parable of the Talents and the Parable of the Ten Minas. In the Parable of the Talents, one guy gets 1 talent, and the other guy gets 10. I was going by my memory at that point; I thought they were basically the same parable.

Quote:
natural wrote:
And, by the way, it's a good story to retell if you happen to be somebody preaching religion to the poor.

Yeah. And how anyone would sleep at night after doing that is beyond me.

Oh it's easy. You just tell yourself you're doing God's work.

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natural wrote:Okay, that

natural wrote:
Okay, that must be the difference between the Parable of the Talents and the Parable of the Ten Minas. In the Parable of the Talents, one guy gets 1 talent, and the other guy gets 10. I was going by my memory at that point; I thought they were basically the same parable.

Shit, so did I. Now I'm going to have to find the parable of the talents.

natural wrote:
Quote:
natural wrote:
And, by the way, it's a good story to retell if you happen to be somebody preaching religion to the poor.

Yeah. And how anyone would sleep at night after doing that is beyond me.

Oh it's easy. You just tell yourself you're doing God's work.

That always gives me a chill.

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 Wait just a minute! Okay,

 Wait just a minute! Okay, so I read the other one, which is in Matthew, and it's a slightly different story. What the fuck is this? The inerrant word of the Lord is reported differently depending on the source? The stories have totally different meanings! That, and the king kills the slave in the Matthew version.

Holy shit, what a stupid story. At least now I can see where natural's original interpretation came from, but how does that work when the two versions of the story don't even mean the same thing? Maybe there's a real version of the story where it was good, and Matthew and Luke are just humourless bastards.

This leads me to the idea that Jesus was actually a stand-up comedian. That's right, a stand-up comedian. And he was so good that people came from far and wide to see him "preach" and perform "miracles" and it was all a joke, and the thing about him tipping over the tables was a drunken rage. That, and it would explain why he was always hanging out with the fringe elements of society. Anyway, I figure these guys start taking him seriously, so he adds some material to his act to lead them on a bit, having fun with them. When people really start to take him seriously, he starts telling people the stuff like, "uh, just be nice to one another ... ya fucking morons" and so only about 1/10th of what Jesus said is actually good advice.

It completely explains the confusion about the virgin birth. You can't see Jesus getting the audience to laugh with "Yeah, my mother had a 'virgin birth' (bunny quotes with the fingers), at least that's what she told my dad." Bah-dum-bum.

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Another way to read the

Another way to read the various parables is to assume that god jr. was speaking in a correct historical context. Specifically, he was addressing the audience right in front of him and not people who would come many centuries after. If you do that, then the differences between the versions is much less important.

 

So the way that I would look at those two versions is that the man is a thief of world class proportions. He takes up what he has not laid down and so on. He also rewards the people who participate in his schemes in proportion to how well they perform for him and he takes away anything from anyone who does not help him to get richer.

 

Also if you read the stories in the KJV, the word for interest is usury. That right there could be telling as the Torah specifically forbids the charging of interest between Jews. So basically, Jesus is saying to his followers “This is a very bad man and these are bad things that he has done.”

 

If you reread the stories but make the cast into Ken Lay as the nobleman, Jeff Skilling as the ten talents guy and Andy Fastow as the five talents guy, the message is clear: Don't act like a prick of world class proportion.

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HisWillness wrote: Wait

HisWillness wrote:

 Wait just a minute! Okay, so I read the other one, which is in Matthew, and it's a slightly different story. What the fuck is this? The inerrant word of the Lord is reported differently depending on the source? The stories have totally different meanings! That, and the king kills the slave in the Matthew version.

Holy shit, what a stupid story. At least now I can see where natural's original interpretation came from, but how does that work when the two versions of the story don't even mean the same thing? Maybe there's a real version of the story where it was good, and Matthew and Luke are just humourless bastards.

It tells you that these stories morphed as the legend of Jesus spread around the ancient world. People did what they do with stories and jokes yet today, they told it their own way adding bullshit content as it was spread about.

Probably it was originally:

There was this tyrant who was a total prick. He loved to torture his servants both mentally and physically as he was the all-powerful leader. The king planned an adventure in a far off land where he was adding another kingdom to his rule. Just for fun he decided to drive his servants mad. He called ten of them  together and gave each of them a pound (KJV). He told them to occupy. Not knowing for sure what the prick wanted 8 of them didn't invest the money but looked for ways to increase it. One of them just stashed the cash and told the others he had lent it out.   In an attempt to subvert the king they sent a message after him telling the people in the new land they did not want him to rule. In the meantime, one servant realized the other 7 still had the pound killed each one and buried them in the desert. He now had 8 pounds with little effort. He simply loaned out some of them and easily made 2 more pounds. The second servant loaned his money out with outrageous interest. Upon default the 2nd servant simply killed the borrowers and sold their property. The king returned and was so pleased with the 1st 2 servants and so pissed at the one that had hid the money he automatically assumed the other 7 were his enemies and ordered their death not realizing the sneaky servant who gained 10 had already done so.

Luke apparently didn't think it was important to tell what had happened to the other 7 servants as it added nothing to the story of what a prick the king was and diverted attention to the sneaky ass servant.

HisWillness wrote:

This leads me to the idea that Jesus was actually a stand-up comedian. That's right, a stand-up comedian. And he was so good that people came from far and wide to see him "preach" and perform "miracles" and it was all a joke, and the thing about him tipping over the tables was a drunken rage. That, and it would explain why he was always hanging out with the fringe elements of society. Anyway, I figure these guys start taking him seriously, so he adds some material to his act to lead them on a bit, having fun with them. When people really start to take him seriously, he starts telling people the stuff like, "uh, just be nice to one another ... ya fucking morons" and so only about 1/10th of what Jesus said is actually good advice.

It completely explains the confusion about the virgin birth. You can't see Jesus getting the audience to laugh with "Yeah, my mother had a 'virgin birth' (bunny quotes with the fingers), at least that's what she told my dad." Bah-dum-bum.

You may have something there Will.

Consider this. "Yeah, me and the boys we went over to the Temple the other day, yeah the one with 400 Temple guards. We stole past them and went to the money changers and tossed them. Not one of the guards noticed a thing. They were so busy checking out the group of unclean beggars and sick that we sent in front of us." The crowd is heard roaring in laughter in the background.

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the parables are working. glory to God!

As a preliminary matter, parables are stories, not histories, and the fact that Jesus told two similar parables is not evidence of inconsistency in the Bible.  Also, why do so many athiests pepper their posts with swear words?  Don't you think you'd make your points much better if you used civil language?

HisWillness wrote:
Someone help me out with this one. I've read the parable of the ten minas before, but this time I actually tried to understand the point of telling other people this story. Here's my problem: you would have to have a reason to tell this story to people, and then to write it down, and then to continue to copy it over and over until the invention of the printing press. That's a lot of motivation to preserve a story, so you'd think the meaning would pop right out at you. Instead, I'm left with confusion.
That is exactly the point of the story, to leave you confused.  I mean that in all seriousness.  Jesus explained this very clearly in Matthew 13:

And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath. Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive.... Matthew 13:10-14

If anyone who claims to be a Christian offers up one of Jesus's parables as an example to you for how you should lead your life, he or she is misinterpreting the Bible, and you should immediately ask him/her to explain Matthew 13:10-14.  Real Christians know better than to follow Jesus's parables.

 

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RespectfulButBelieving

RespectfulButBelieving wrote:
If anyone who claims to be a Christian offers up one of Jesus's parables as an example to you for how you should lead your life, he or she is misinterpreting the Bible, and you should immediately ask him/her to explain Matthew 13:10-14.  Real Christians know better than to follow Jesus's parables.

Okay. So the point of the parable is to confuse people, in your opinion?

And don't mind the swearing, it's like punctuation to some people. It isn't an indication of any deficiency.

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HisWillness wrote:Okay. So

HisWillness wrote:
Okay. So the point of the parable is to confuse people, in your opinion?
Yes, but it's not my opinion, it's Jesus's opinion, as recorded by Matthew.  The text of the Gospel that I quoted above is crystal clear on this point.  Jesus did what he had to do to fulfill the Old Testament prophesies.  Thus He told confusing parables to persons not predestined to be Saved, just as He healed only enough people to cover the prophecies of Isaiah that the Messiah would heal the sick:

When the even was come, they brought unto him many that were possessed with devils: and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick:  That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.  Now when Jesus saw great multitudes about him, he gave commandment to depart unto the other side.  Matthew 8:16-18

Quote:
And don't mind the swearing, it's like punctuation to some people. It isn't an indication of any deficiency.
Although I'm a Christian, I think what you guys do is incredibly important--we Christians should be challenged, and Heaven help us if we can't stand up to those challenges.  We can hardly fulfill our duty to preach the Gospel if we can't defend that Gospel from the arguments of non-Christians.  But when people use language like that, a lot of Christians (and a lot of athiests) tune out, which doesn't lead to a healthy intellectual debate.

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RespectfulButBelieving wrote:
Yes, but it's not my opinion, it's Jesus's opinion, as recorded by Matthew.  The text of the Gospel that I quoted above is crystal clear on this point.  Jesus did what he had to do to fulfill the Old Testament prophesies.  Thus He told confusing parables to persons not predestined to be Saved, just as He healed only enough people to cover the prophecies of Isaiah that the Messiah would heal the sick:

If I understand you correctly, the point, then, of recording the parables was to demonstrate how Jesus confused those who were not destined to be saved?

RespectfulButBelieving wrote:
We can hardly fulfill our duty to preach the Gospel if we can't defend that Gospel from the arguments of non-Christians.  But when people use language like that, a lot of Christians (and a lot of athiests) tune out, which doesn't lead to a healthy intellectual debate.

You figure the prostitutes and derelicts that Jesus would hang out with spoke only words pure as the driven snow? If that's all it takes for you to tune out, I imagine you're not focusing on the intellectual debate.

N.B. Asking someone to change their language in your presence is a subtle power play, one which I find as offensive as you find swearing. So we'll have to agree to an impasse. Of course, I haven't found any need (or desire) to swear, just yet, so I suppose your problem isn't with me.

But to the question: why would it be important to make a record of Jesus confusing people?

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HisWillness wrote:If I

HisWillness wrote:
If I understand you correctly, the point, then, of recording the parables was to demonstrate how Jesus confused those who were not destined to be saved?
You understand me correctly.

Quote:
You figure the prostitutes and derelicts that Jesus would hang out with spoke only words pure as the driven snow?
No.  Is that the standard that you seek to uphold at Rational Response Squad?   If so, perhaps you should sprinkle the words fuck and shit liberally on the RRS homepage so all of your visitors can see how cool and serious you guys are.  I mean, why hide your light under a barrell?

Quote:
N.B. Asking someone to change their language in your presence is a subtle power play, one which I find as offensive as you find swearing.
I think using foul language in the first place was the power play, and I'm the one who threw the BS flag.   And I actually think that on this one point, you really agree with me.

Quote:
I suppose your problem isn't with me.
That's right.  You've treated me, and as far as I've seen everyone else, with complete respect.  Anyway, I've dealt with a lot worse than a few swear words in my day.

Quote:
But to the question: why would it be important to make a record of Jesus confusing people?
Well, the paramount importance was actually doing it.  The Messiah could hardly come and not fulfill the Messianic prophecies, could He?  If Jesus hadn't fulfilled the prophecies, then people would have been fooled into thinking that He wasn't in fact the Messiah, and then how would we get Saved?

As for why the writers of the Gospels reported the parables, imagine what would have happened if they had not done so:  How could Jesus have confused you athiests with His parables over the last 2,000 years if nobody had written them down?  God has to do something to keep you from being Saved if you're not predestined to salvation, and this is the way he chose to accomplish that goal.  Remember, the Bible isn't just for the people who lived in ancient times, it was written for us as well.

If you're asking why Jesus revealed (and Matthew recorded) the fact that the parables were meant for God's misinformation campaign, the reason is simple.  He didn't want Christians to be fooled by His parables, so he had to tell us!

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RespectfulButBelieving

RespectfulButBelieving wrote:
Well, the paramount importance was actually doing it.  The Messiah could hardly come and not fulfill the Messianic prophecies, could He?

I guess not. That would look pretty bad on the Messianic resumé.

RespectfulButBelieving wrote:
If Jesus hadn't fulfilled the prophecies, then people would have been fooled into thinking that He wasn't in fact the Messiah, and then how would we get Saved?

But I thought the people who were saved were the only people that Jesus wouldn't tell the parables to. He only wanted to confuse the people who weren't going to be saved anyway, right? Okay, so he just has to show up and fool a certain number of unworthy people, and that fulfills that part of the prophecy. It's weird, but I get the mechanics of it.

RespectfulButBelieving wrote:
How could Jesus have confused you athiests with His parables over the last 2,000 years if nobody had written them down?  God has to do something to keep you from being Saved if you're not predestined to salvation, and this is the way he chose to accomplish that goal.  Remember, the Bible isn't just for the people who lived in ancient times, it was written for us as well.

I guess so! It's all so clear now. If all the "Saved" are already chosen, then why exactly do you preach? Is it like gloating? Or are you not Saved? Also ... how do you find out if you're Saved? 

RespectfulButBelieving wrote:
He didn't want Christians to be fooled by His parables, so he had to tell us!

I'm fairly comfortable with this interpretation. Actually, I really like the poetry of it. The Bible has suddenly become much more entertaining.

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parables and the athiest catch 22

HisWillness wrote:
But I thought the people who were saved were the only people that Jesus wouldn't tell the parables to. He only wanted to confuse the people who weren't going to be saved anyway, right? Okay, so he just has to show up and fool a certain number of unworthy people, and that fulfills that part of the prophecy. It's weird, but I get the mechanics of it.
That still leaves him with the problem of how to fool those destined not to be Saved.  Slipping the parables into the most widely read book on Earth is an elegant solution.

Quote:
If all the "Saved" are already chosen, then why exactly do you preach?
OK, this gets to the crux of the athiest catch 22.  Whenever God does something miraculously, people like you say that it is ludicrous, that it violates natural law, that it is irrational, etc.  God created Adam by breathing on dust from the ground, but when I tell you that, or the Bible does, you laugh.  I understand, this is hard to believe, and I used to laugh at it too, even though I now know it to be the truth.  I think it's part of the human condition.  Consider the Israelites wandering in the desert--God delivered them from Egypt with 10 plagues, parted the Red Sea, killed an entire Egyptian army to save them yet again, dropped mana from Heaven for them to eat as they wandered in the desert, caused water to emerge from rocks to quench their thirst, and yet, when Moses disappeared up a mountain for three days, what did they do?  Construct an idol.  People just reject the miraculous even when it happens right in front of them.

But this leaves God in a difficult position.  If He doesn't want to be mocked (and trust me, He doesn't), He can't do everything by miracles.  He can't just say X, Y, and Z go to Heaven but A, B, and C go to Hell without having people like the Rational Response Squad go around saying it just isn't so.  So God needs to find a way to accomplish His purposes through normal, everyday human activities, such as telling a story or inspiring someone to write a book or instructing Christians to preach the Gospel to every creature.  So you can laugh at us for believing in miracles, or you can laugh at us for believing that God acts through non-miraculous means, but you really should chose one and stick with it.

Quote:
Is it like gloating?
The purpose is to Save souls, not to gloat per se, but, to be honest, yes, there is a lot of gloating involved.   Consider, for example John's letter to Gaius (the shortest book in the Bible).  John tells Gaius I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not.  Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth them out of the church. 3 John 1:9-10  That is gloating, with no way to sugarcoat it.  On the other hand, was John wrong?  John's letters still Save souls, but nobody cares what Diotrephes had to say anymore.

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Or are you not Saved?
I know the truth, so yes, I have been Saved.

Quote:
Also ... how do you find out if you're Saved?
There are several methods.  For example, the Gospel of Mark tells us that ...these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.  Mark 16:17-18  So, if you can do any of those things (and, BTW, it doesn't count if you learned the foreign language in school before you speak it), you are Saved.  A less extreme method is found in Mark 16:16:  He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. 

As Jesus taught in the parable of the sower, When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side. But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it... Matthew 13:19-20

The best way of all, however, is simply to ask Jesus.  You should try it. 

RespectfulButBelieving wrote:
I'm fairly comfortable with this interpretation. Actually, I really like the poetry of it. The Bible has suddenly become much more entertaining.
If you think that's entertaining, you should read the Song of Solomon.

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RespectfulButBelieving wrote:
That still leaves him with the problem of how to fool those destined not to be Saved.  Slipping the parables into the most widely read book on Earth is an elegant solution.

First, Christians and Muslims are always arguing about which of their books is the most widely read on earth. Not that I think it matters, but let's just say "one of the most widely read books on earth". Second, I thought you just said he had to fool them because it was in the Old Testament. No problem there, he just has to do what is written in the Old Testament.

RespectfulButBelieving wrote:
OK, this gets to the crux of the athiest catch 22.  Whenever God does something miraculously, people like you say that it is ludicrous, that it violates natural law, that it is irrational, etc.

Yeah. That's because it does violate natural law, and there's no evidence that it happened. I don't see the catch 22.

RespectfulButBelieving wrote:
God created Adam by breathing on dust from the ground, but when I tell you that, or the Bible does, you laugh.  I understand, this is hard to believe, and I used to laugh at it too, even though I now know it to be the truth.

Oh, well then. Look, I'm not laughing. I just can't take your word for it.

RespectfulButBelieving wrote:
People just reject the miraculous even when it happens right in front of them.

Actually, if the miraculous happened right in front of me, I wouldn't have a problem. It's that the miraculous doesn't seem to happen in front of anyone who isn't in the Bible -- that's the tricky part.

RespectfulButBelieving wrote:
If He doesn't want to be mocked (and trust me, he doesn't)

I don't have to trust you, I recall it says so somewhere in the book.

RespectfulButBelieving wrote:
So you can laugh at us for believing in miracles, or you can laugh at us for believing that God acts through non-miraculous means, but you really should chose one and stick with it.

Why? They're both equally weak hypotheses for what's happening. In one case, you're claiming that supernatural things happen, and in the next, you're claiming that a supernatural something affects your actions. Why should I pick one of those?

RespectfulButBelieving wrote:
On the other hand, was John wrong?

What, that he didn't get an appointment? No, he was right about that.

RespectfulButBelieving wrote:
Quote:
Or are you not Saved?
I know the truth, so yes, I have been Saved.

Great. I guess I'm not. I'm the guy that Jesus would be talking parables to. I'd probably say, "Jesus, what was with the story?" and then he'd say something like "they listen without hearing" and I'd probably think he was screwing around and ask him if he wanted to go for a beer.

RespectfulButBelieving wrote:
In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

Sweet! I've done that. I can handle serpents, I've drank poison and gone unharmed, I speak new tongues all the time (I study languages in university, and often guess correctly what words will be in new languages) AND I cast out devils. Well, I demonstrate to others that the devils were never there in the first place. Saved!

RespectfulButBelieving wrote:
So, if you can do any of those things (and, BTW, it doesn't count if you learned the foreign language in school before you speak it), you are saved.

I'm in. And now I know the secret about the parables. I'm practically part of the club.

RespectfulButBelieving wrote:
The best way of all, however, is simply to ask Jesus.  You should try it.

What? Why? I'm already Saved. I don't want to screw it up!

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Quote:OK, this gets to the

Quote:

OK, this gets to the crux of the athiest catch 22.

Do you actually know what a catch-22 is? I ask because what you described is not a catch-22. A catch 22 is a very precisely defined concept, first elucidated by Joseph Heller in the novel called...um...Catch-22. It comes up sometimes in formal logic. A catch-22 is a situation where two mutually exclusive premises are required for a conclusion to be true.

 


 

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

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HisWillness wrote:First,

HisWillness wrote:
First, Christians and Muslims are always arguing about which of their books is the most widely read on earth. Not that I think it matters, but let's just say "one of the most widely read books on earth".
Since a good portion of Muslims are illiterate, I think I'm right, but fine.  There are plenty of misleading statments in the Koran, too.  For all I know, God put those there to fool the Muslims, too.  To tell the truth, it's harder to fool atheists than it is to fool Muslims, they believe some real batguano crazy stuff.

Quote:
Second, I thought you just said he had to fool them because it was in the Old Testament. No problem there, he just has to do what is written in the Old Testament.
You're right, he didn't have to keep doing that after He ascended to Heaven just to satisfy Old Testament prophecy.  Nevertheless, He has to get the non-elect to disbelieve, otherwise they wouldn't be the non-elect, so why not go with a proven plan?

Quote:
Yeah. That's because it does violate natural law, and there's no evidence that it happened. I don't see the catch 22.
It would hardly be a miracle if it didn't violate natural law, now would it?  I need to go to bed now, but there is evidence for miracles which I'll get to eventually.  I'm not sure this is the right forum for that, but, if not, I'll post a link.  But think about this--are you confident that you understand what is natural law and what isn't?  Physicists (a fraternity to which I'm proud to belong) are changing our views of natural law all of the time.  So a bald assertion that something violates physical law ought to be tempered by a little skepticism about the proposition that we understand physical law, just as I am personally skeptical that I understand God.  I just have glimpses into both.

The catch 22 is that you attack us for being non-naturalistic when we say something happened miraculously, but when we say that God achieves something through ordinary means that violate no physical law, such as asking Christians to minister to their fellow men, you (I mean many atheists generally, not you in particular) use the Christian assumption that God doesn't need to use physics when He can just perform a miracle as a proxy for the dubious proposition that God would not stoop to using naturalistic means to achieve some of His ends.

Quote:
Oh, well then. Look, I'm not laughing. I just can't take your word for it.
It's God's Word, not mine.  But I do understand, I was an atheist once, too.  You shouldn't believe my blind assertions any more than I believe all of the self-congratulatory blind assertions that atheists post on the RRS forums--and there are a lot of those.

Quote:
Actually, if the miraculous happened right in front of me, I wouldn't have a problem. It's that the miraculous doesn't seem to happen in front of anyone who isn't in the Bible -- that's the tricky part.
Maybe it hasn't happened in front of you, but it has happened in front of me.  But yes, I don't expect you to take my word for that, either.

Quote:
I don't have to trust you, I recall it says so somewhere in the book.
Hopefully not in a parable.

Quote:
Why? They're both equally weak hypotheses for what's happening. In one case, you're claiming that supernatural things happen, and in the next, you're claiming that a supernatural something affects your actions. Why should I pick one of those?
I'm not saying you have to believe any particular statement that I make or that the Bible makes.  But the atheist position seems to be (a) if Christians claim its a miracle, they're wrong because that's not natural and (b) if Christians claim it's not a miracle, they're wrong because they claim that God can do everything with miracles, so why would He bother actually asking people for favors.

[quoteI'd probably say, "Jesus, what was with the story?" and then he'd say something like "they listen without hearing" and I'd probably think he was screwing around and ask him if he wanted to go for a beer.

It was His disciples who asked him why He spoke in parables, and they probably did enjoy a brewski with Jesus every now and then.

Quote:
I'm in. And now I know the secret about the parables. I'm practically part of the club.
Funny thing is, it's no secret.

deludedgod wrote:
Do you actually know what a catch-22 is? I ask because what you described is not a catch-22. A catch 22 is a very precisely defined concept, first elucidated by Joseph Heller in the novel called...um...Catch-22. It comes up sometimes in formal logic. A catch-22 is a situation where two mutually exclusive premises are required for a conclusion to be true.
Thank you Captain Obvious, I'm glad to see the... um... Cliff's Notes you read in high school covered this ground.

Here is the formal logic elaboration for you:

(A) The truth of the Bible (Yossarian being excused from flying) implies that God must be both omnipotent (Yossarian must be insane) and use non-miraculous means to achieve some of His ends (Yossarian must request a psychiatric evaluation).

(B) The fact that God uses non-miraculous means to achieve some of His ends (Yossarian requests a psychiatric evaluation) implies that God is not omnipotent (Yossarian is sane).

Invert using the De Morgan law, and you reach the conclusion that the Bible is not true (Yossarian must fly).

Proposition (A) is certainly true, the Bible clearly states that God is omnipotent and uses non-miraculous means sometimes.  Thus, for the Bible to be true, (B) cannot be true.  That's the Atheist Catch-22.  My point is that in this particular logical system there is no basis for premise (B), so it's time atheists stopped using this particular logical system to claim that the Bible is false.

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Quote:I'm glad to see the...

Quote:

I'm glad to see the... um... Cliff's Notes you read in high school covered this ground.

That would be funny if my formal education was less than yours.

Quote:

My point is that in this particular logical system there is no basis for premise (B), so it's time atheists stopped using this particular logical system to claim that the Bible is false.

I see. I hadn't read the paragraph entirely. That was my fault, for which I apologize. Not that it matters because I don't make this argument (I don't think I've ever made an arugment pertaining to scripture. It does not interest me). In discussions about God, I almost never allow theists to talk about scripture at all before they get over fundamental epistemological and ontological hurdles which they usually fail to get over.

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

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I thought it was worth a chuckle or two

Quote:
That would be funny if my formal education was less than yours.
Were less than yours, not was less.  Subjunctive mood. 

Quote:
I don't make this argument
Great!  You have no idea how often people do.  I was getting ahead of myself anticipating an argument that nobody made yet.  But we were edging close to that territory with the (quite valid) question about why God needs to fool people with parables.  The real answer is that He doesn't have to, He just found it expedient.

Quote:
In discussions about God, I almost never allow theists to talk about scripture at all before they get over fundamental epistemological and ontological hurdles which they usually fail to get over.
FWIW, I've never claimed that God answers any ontological arguments about the Universe.  Just as science has no evidence for where the Universe came from (string theorists say they do, with membranes touching, but they never explain where the membranes came from, and if you want to see epistemological issues, try reading some string theory papers), I have no evidence where God came from.  Still, since none of us has a handle on where anything came from pre-creation/Big Bang, we need to soldier on in the midst of our uncertainty.

Anyway, a forum dedicated to Biblical Errancy would hardly be of much use if we never addressed scripture.

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Quote:Were less than yours,

Quote:

Were less than yours, not was less.  Subjunctive mood.

Shit. I have to mark this on my calender. This is the first time I've been owned like that.

Quote:

FWIW, I've never claimed that God answers any ontological arguments about the Universe.

That's not what I meant. I was talking more about problems that invariably result from the stolen concept fallacies which invariably result when theists talk about their supernatural God.

Quote:

(string theorists say they do, with membranes touching, but they never explain where the membranes came from,

This is where my expertise comes into play. I hate the term "string theory" because theory is not a word employed lightly in science. It is currently the most successful candidate for UFT but it's a candidate. Also, brane collision is not the only proposed mechanism for the formation of a membrane.

Quote:

and if you want to see epistemological issues, try reading some string theory papers

I have.

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

-Me

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deludedgod wrote:I have to

deludedgod wrote:
I have to mark this on my calender. This is the first time I've been owned like that.
In all seriousness, you're obviously extremely intelligent, and I really don't want to drive you away with my snarkiness, so I'll try to keep it under wraps.

Quote:
This is where my expertise comes into play. I hate the term "string theory" because theory is not a word employed lightly in science. It is currently the most successful candidate for UFT but it's a candidate. Also, brane collision is not the only proposed mechanism for the formation of a membrane.
Yeah, I know, vaguely, though cosmology theory isn't my primary area of interest.  We can call it M Theory if you'd like.    The math in string theory is too elegant to ignore, but so was the math of Ptolomaic epicycles.  As an experimentalist, I sometimes wonder what motivates the theorists, though they claim to feel the same way about lab work.  Anyway, I'd call string theory the most worked on candidate for a UFT, but until there's evidence supporting one over another, it's hard for me to consider it the most successful by any measure other than ability to attract research grants. 

Are you a physicist, too?

Quote:
and if you want to see epistemological issues, try reading some string theory papers
Then you have my sympathy.  Unless you're a mathematician. 

Quote:
I was talking more about problems that invariably result from the stolen concept fallacies which invariably result when theists talk about their supernatural God.
Then you will find me a refreshing change of pace, since I claim that the Christian concept of God does not answer the question how did the Universe come to be in any meaningful way, because that just begs the question how did God come to be.  I think the problem here is that too many Christians read Aristotle and Augustine and not enough read the Bible.  There isn't a single word in Scripture that tells us why God exists or why He created the Universe.  I also don't believe the Christian concept of God explains why God is good.  Not a word on that in the Bible, either.  There are lots of why questions about God that we Christians can't answer with the Bible.  We all just wind up sounding like Objectivists trying to explain what's so all-fired wonderful about Ayn Rand when we try, and that's pretty pathetic.

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RespectfulButBelieving wrote:
But think about this--are you confident that you understand what is natural law and what isn't?  Physicists (a fraternity to which I'm proud to belong) are changing our views of natural law all of the time.  So a bald assertion that something violates physical law ought to be tempered by a little skepticism about the proposition that we understand physical law, just as I am personally skeptical that I understand God.  I just have glimpses into both.

I'm going to have to ask for credentials when you say "physicist". You mean you have an undergraduate degree in physics? Also, if something happens, how is it not natural? It's the happening/not-happening problem that I'm presenting. Either something happened or it didn't. If it did happen, then it's physical. All I would want (and all any physicist would want) is evidence that the claimed event actually happened.

Let's just avoid your catch-22 altogether. I'm not suggesting anything like that anyway: you did. "Miraculous", is to me, not a scientific description of anything. Let's just agree that anything that happens in the physical world is physical. K? We can stick to reasonable hypotheses that way.

RespectfulButBelieving wrote:
You shouldn't believe my blind assertions any more than I believe all of the self-congratulatory blind assertions that atheists post on the RRS forums--and there are a lot of those.

Yeah, I give them a hard time, too.

RespectfulButBelieving wrote:
Proposition (A) is certainly true, the Bible clearly states that God is omnipotent and uses non-miraculous means sometimes.  Thus, for the Bible to be true, (B) cannot be true.  That's the Atheist Catch-22.  My point is that in this particular logical system there is no basis for premise (B), so it's time atheists stopped using this particular logical system to claim that the Bible is false.

At this point, I really don't care if this is a catch-22, I have to say. I consider A and B to be equally ridiculous propositions. You can manipulate them any way you like.

Honestly, to me you're describing the behaviour of something that doesn't exist, so I'm sure you can imagine that you've lost me. I don't think the Bible is "false", I think the Bible is a book written by some guys who espoused certain values. Thinking a book is "false" ... actually, I don't know what that could mean.

"Hey, Jim, have you read the new Harry Potter book?"

"Yeah, it was false."

"What?"

"False. The book was false."

"Jim, did you take your meds today?"

"False."

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RespectfulButBelieving wrote:
Then you will find me a refreshing change of pace, since I claim that the Christian concept of God does not answer the question how did the Universe come to be in any meaningful way, because that just begs the question how did God come to be.

That's a boring argument, too. Here's something, though: I'm not an atheist because there are no gods. No. I'm an atheist because there are so many. You have the one, I understand, and it's specifically Christian, and it's kind of mischievous (like Loki). It's also omnipotent (like Zeus), jealous (like Hera), etc, etc.

There are so many gods that I wonder why you'd settle on just the one.

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deludedgod wrote:Quote:Were

deludedgod wrote:

Quote:
Were less than yours, not was less.  Subjunctive mood.

Shit. I have to mark this on my calender. This is the first time I've been owned like that.

Yeah, because nobody ever uses the present when the subjunctive would be appropriate in modern English. Ever. 

deludedgod wrote:
This is where my expertise comes into play. I hate the term "string theory" because theory is not a word employed lightly in science. It is currently the most successful candidate for UFT but it's a candidate.

I'd actually be more bold than that. It's the most popular candidate for unifying the forces, but I'd say we're a looooooong way from something testable. Long way. I'm sure a physicist would appreciate that. (Alternately, "I'm sure a physicist appreciates that." )

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HisWillness wrote:I'm going

HisWillness wrote:
I'm going to have to ask for credentials when you say "physicist". You mean you have an undergraduate degree in physics?
Yes.  I also have a PhD in Physics and currently am an associate professor in a physics department at an Ivy League school. 

Quote:
Also, if something happens, how is it not natural?
You won't get an argument from me, there.  I think that everything God does is perfectly natural.

Quote:
Let's just avoid your catch-22 altogether. I'm not suggesting anything like that anyway: you did. "Miraculous", is to me, not a scientific description of anything. Let's just agree that anything that happens in the physical world is physical. K? We can stick to reasonable hypotheses that way.
Fine with me.  That saves a lot of time we'd otherwise waste arguing about definitions.

Quote:
Yeah, I give them a hard time, too.
Good for you.

Quote:
I don't think the Bible is "false", I think the Bible is a book written by some guys who espoused certain values. Thinking a book is "false" ... actually, I don't know what that could mean.
That means it states a proposition that is not true.  If I were to say that George W. Bush was once the President of Iran, that would be false.  If I wrote a book that said that, that book would be false.  Harry Potter does not purport to be historically accurate.  The Bible does, and it is therefore subject to falsification in the same way that any other history would be.

Quote:
There are so many gods that I wonder why you'd settle on just the one.
Zeus's record of prophecy is less than impressive.

Quote:
Yeah, because nobody ever uses the present when the subjunctive would be appropriate in modern English. Ever.
Were they better educated, they would. 

Quote:
I'd actually be more bold than that. It's the most popular candidate for unifying the forces, but I'd say we're a looooooong way from something testable. Long way. I'm sure a physicist would appreciate that. (Alternately, "I'm sure a physicist appreciates that." )
I have no idea how long it will take to test string theory, but I don't see any evidence it will happen soon, either.  Anyway, I'll bet you a dollar that if some string theorist proposes a testable hypothesis that would distinguish string theory from the standard model and string theory is validated, some other theorist within three weeks will publish an entirely different theory that makes the same prediction, then we'll get to badger him (or her) for a testable hypothesis.  Unified field theory occupies the time of maybe 2,500 physicists in the world.  The vast majority of us work in condensed matter physics laboratories studying things that (we hope) will lead more directly to new technologies, and we do tend to shake our heads every now and then at the antics of the theorists.

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The Parable of the Ten Minas

          The parable is also known as the story of the “Throne Claimant.”  (I spent all day working on this and wanted to post it somewhere.  It's only slightly modified from my original.)
          The parable is necessarily understood on its own terms, historically and in light of the full teaching of Scripture and its eschatology.  "Jesus was crucified for our sins.  He died and went to Heaven.  He will return, struggle with and conquer evil, and inaugurate the Millenium, his thousand-year reign before Judgement Day when all souls are called before God.  The Millenium will be the return of paradise to Earth when the lion will lie down with the lamb, the rose will blossom with no thorn, and there shall be no bad thing whatsoever."  This is the context in which understanding of the parable must be placed.  We know it by the explanation Luke gave for why Jesus told his audience the parable: “They thought the Kingdom of God should immediately appear” (Verse 11).  Jesus was believed by some at that time to be the Messiah, a subject he always skirted when asked directly in the New Testament.
          Chapter 19 in Luke began with Jesus passing through Jericho on his way to Jerusalem.  An eager crowd had gathered in anticipation of his arrival.  When he arrived, he invited himself to the home of Zacheus, a publican, which surprised the crowd because publicans were despised.  They were tax farmers, privatized tax collectors who received contracts from the ruling authorities allowing them to keep a percentage of what they collected for the government.  Publicans were strong-arm collaborationists.
          The Judeans were oppressed by centuries of conquest, foreign armies occupied their land, and Jewish establishment figures collaborated with new masters.  At this time, it was the Romans who were occupying their land.  Herod Antipas was the king of Judea whose authority was granted by Rome.  Judeans were oppressed in that their tax burdens were heavy and their traditions and customs were under assault from foreign cultures who didn’t respect their religion.  After Jerusalem was rebuilt when the Jews returned from the Babylonian captivity, the Greeks under Alexander conquered, followed by the Romans who had conquered the Greeks.  For centuries it was one disaster after another, and the Judeans were desperate.  Forty years after Christ, Judea would be smashed by the Romans tearing down Herod the Great’s Temple and driving the Jews from their land to be dispersed to the four corners of the Earth.  Although that event was yet to come, times in Judea were nonetheless very hard during the ministry of Jesus.  Judeans were so desperate as to expect help that could only come from Heaven.
          Yearning for the Messiah, their national savior, some Judeans eagerly hoped he was Jesus.  This is the context for the occasion of the telling of the parable.  Because his audience had an expectation that Jesus would immediately alleviate their woe (but he couldn’t do that), he told the parable in order to maintain their hope yet forestall their expectation.
          Verse 12: “He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return.”  The nobleman is intended to be understood as representing Jesus.  The far country is supposed to be Heaven, and the kingdom is Earth, to which prophecy says Jesus will return and claim his throne and inaugurate the Millennium, the thousand years of his reign.  These are the symbols in this verse.
          Verse 13: “And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come.”  The servants are meant to be understood as his disciples, his followers who must serve him.  The ten pounds (or minas, as they were originally known) are Christ’s wealth, which isn’t really money but rather, people.  Christ’s wealth was his church, those followers remaining after his death.  “Occupy till I come” is an interesting statement.  On one hand it’s straightforward to mean “Take care of things until I get back.”  On the other hand (though irrelevant to this discussion) it may be found to be a source of contradiction to Rapture Theology.  As is plainly evident here, Jesus had no expectation the faithful would be taken bodily into Heaven before he returned.
          Verse 14: “But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us.”  “His citizens” are to be understood as those Judeans who refused to grant Jesus theological legitimacy, the religious establishment and others who resented  or mocked the challenge from a charismatic upstart.
          Verse 15: “And it came to pass, that when he was returned, having received the kingdom, then he commanded these servants to be called unto him, to whom he had given the money, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading.”  When Jesus returns, he will hold his followers responsible for their work to increase his church that they have done in his absence.
          Verse 16: “Then came the first, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained ten pounds.”  The first servant began with a congregation of a certain size and grew it tenfold.
          Verse 17: “And he said unto him, Well, thou good servant: because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities.”  He is well rewarded.
          Verse 18: “And the second came, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained five pounds.”  The second grew his church five times greater.
          Verse 19: “And he said likewise to him, Be thou also over five cities.”  We see here, in his reward, that it will be commensurate with achievement.
          Verse 20: “And another came, saying, Lord, behold, here is thy pound, which I have kept laid up in a napkin”: This servant has done nothing to grow the church.
          Verse 21: “For I feared thee, because thou art an austere man: thou takest up that thou layedst not down, and reapest that thou didst not sow.”  He was afraid that his effort would be in vain since it was not in his own interest, so he was lazy.
          Verse 22: “And he saith unto him, Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee, thou wicked servant. Thou knewest that I was an austere man, taking up that I laid not down, and reaping that I did not sow”:  Jesus was saying, “You admit you knew what I expected.”
          Verse 23: “Wherefore then gavest not thou my money into the bank, that at my coming I might have required mine own with usury?”  “Why didn’t you do it so that I would prosper?”
          Verse 24: “And he said unto them that stood by, Take from him the pound, and give it to him that hath ten pounds.”  “Your authority is forfeit.”  The lazy servant is punished and the best servant is rewarded over again.
          Verse 25: “(And they said unto him, Lord, he hath ten pounds.)”  “Wow, you’re really heaping it on this guy!”
          Verse 26: “For I say unto you, That unto every one which hath shall be given; and from him that hath not, even that he hath shall be taken away from him.”  Success will be rewarded; laziness, punished.
          Verse 27: “But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.”  Resisters must be met with deadly violence.
          This explanation coheres with itself, with the parable, and with what we know about Christian prophecy.  The only obstacle to a wider acceptance of the exegesis is not really one of a charge of inaccuracy but that it’s morally repugnant to our modern sensibility which has led the church into ever more watery exegeses of what God’s justice really means in order to avoid horrifying us.

 [mod edit to correct huge font]


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weevee wrote:But those mine

weevee wrote:

But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.”  Resisters must be met with deadly violence.

 

Thus was born the Crusades and the Inquisition justifying murder and blood in the name of the Lamb of God. See St Augustine and St Ambrose for more on how force, violence and coercion is justified in bringing and keeping converts. 

weevee wrote:
This explanation coheres with itself, with the parable, and with what we know about Christian prophecy.  The only obstacle to a wider acceptance of the exegesis is not really one of a charge of inaccuracy but that it’s morally repugnant to our modern sensibility which has led the church into ever more watery exegeses of what God’s justice really means in order to avoid horrifying us.

 

 

Nice try but it only shows that hidden desire below the surface that if you can't convert us it's OK to kill us.

There is no way the lord is Jesus as you wrongly claim. It is the god Yahweh that has shown by his past history in the scriptures that he is a murderer and a schizophrenic. He truly is vindictive and has so been demonstrated in the OT. He has no loyalty from his servants, the Jews and they don't want him as their king. This as you say was adequately shown by Sci-Fi Luke in several places such as in 10:1-24. Luke has so much inconsistency and fantasy in his versions in both the gospel and  Acts the other book attributed to him it makes a sailor's stories believable.

Consider in Luke 2 the fiction over the tax decree which  happened around 6 CE resulting in a Zealot rebellion. Herod was dead about 10 years by then.  Consider in Luke 4 the fantasy of the devil tempting the god who supposedly in a thought could disappear him from reality as if he never was. I call it fantasy when in Luke 7 the centurion's servant is healed when he sends people to ask of Jesus yet in Matthew 8 he goes in person giving a multiple choice of stories.  Luke has the people of Nazareth attempting to toss Jesus off a hill in Luke 4:29. The only problem is there are no hills near where Nazareth is supposedly.  There are many more. Lest we forget the fantasies Luke writes in Acts regarding Paul. The worst screw up by Luke the bad Sci-Fi writer is in Acts 22:25-29 when Paul has been captured by the Romans and they plan to beat him but find out he is a Roman. Yet, in Acts 23:27 it states the reason the Romans saved Paul from the mob was because they knew him to be a Roman citizen. So, if there is a bit of skeptical doubt over the fantasies Luke wrote there certainly is enough basis for it.

As a final thought, there were 10 servants in this parable and the outcome of only 3 are discussed. The other 7 likely took their money to hire assassins to kill the cruel lord.

 

____________________________________________________________
"I guess it's time to ask if you live under high voltage power transmission lines which have been shown to cause stimulation of the fantasy centers of the brain due to electromagnetic waves?" - Me

"God is omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, - it says so right here on the label. If you have a mind capable of believing all three of these divine attributes simultaneously, I have a wonderful bargain for you. No checks please. Cash and in small bills." - Robert A Heinlein.


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HisWillness wrote:Seriously,

HisWillness wrote:

Seriously, besides the suddenly violent punchline, I have no idea why you would tell people this story. It's not a good story, and the moral seems to be that being stupid combined with being a hard-ass is condoned by Jesus. Or is it sarcasm? As in, greedy violent bastards rule the earth, and that's just the way it is. I'm honestly at a loss.

Those familiar with the historical context of the story, as well as the old testament narratives and scripture Jesus is drawing from would understand real quick that Jesus is not condoning the actions of the King. The Luke narrative makes it clear the King is an allusion to Herod Archelaus, with a reference to an actual historical event, that every Hebrew at the time would have known about:

"After the death of Herod the Great, his son Archelaus traveled to Rome to receive the title of king. A delegation of Jews appeared in Rome before Caesar Augustus to oppose the request of Archelaus. Although not given the title of king, Archelaus was made ruler over Judea and Samaria (NAB)."

In fact the third servant alludes to the condition of the Hebrews during their oppression in Egypt, such as in Exodus 5, where the Hebrew foreman speaks out against Pharaoh:

 "Why do you treat your servants in this manner? No straw is supplied to your servants, and still we are told to make bricks. Look how your servants are beaten! It is you who are at fault."

Pharaoh answered, "It is just because you are lazy that you keep saying, 'Let us go and offer sacrifice to the LORD.' Off to work, then! Straw shall not be provided for you, but you must still deliver your quota of bricks."

The Israelite foremen knew they were in a sorry plight, having been told not to reduce the daily amount of bricks.[...]

"Pharaoh and his servants and have put a sword in their hands to slay us."

As we can see, Jesus is not condoning the action of the Master in this passage, but rather the opposite. What the passage does is  in Luke at least, it reveals Jesus' sympathy and understanding of the anger and resentment the people felt towards the tax collector Zacchaeus, who himself was resented for the same reason the servant resented his master in the parable. 

And Jesus as the Messiah, as the supposed savior of their roman oppression, reveals in his encounter with Zachauees how he sought to free them from it. The tension between the tax collector on those he cheated, is relieved not by Jesus putting a knife up to Zaccheus throat demanding that he give their money back, but rather by love. While the people resent Zack, and out casted him, Jesus brought him in and showed compassion towards him, and received him with joy, claiming that Zack is still a beloved child of God. 

In the Luke passage, Jesus in some sense is claiming he has freed them for the oppression of the tax collector, and he will also free them from the oppression of the tyrannical ruler of the parable but not by their ways of the resentment, but by his ways of love.

 

 

 

 

 


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Quote:As an experimentalist,

Quote:

As an experimentalist, I sometimes wonder what motivates the theorists, though they claim to feel the same way about lab work.

Hey now, that's just not fair. As an undergraduate I studied theoretical and mathematical physics, and despite the name of the discipline, we were constantly told: "Don't just churn the mathematics out. Show me the physics!". There are very fine, albeit very, very expensive, institutions which are dedicated to the experimental verification of the propositions of theoretical physics.

Quote:

Are you a physicist, too?


 

I have physics credentials, but as they are not doctorate level, I can't call myself a "physicist". I am a molecular biologist.

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

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I didn't notice that you

I didn't notice that you responded, here, RespectfulButBelieving. My bad.

RespectfulButBelieving wrote:
You won't get an argument from me, there.  I think that everything God does is perfectly natural.

Haha! That's good - I like that.

Quote:
Harry Potter does not purport to be historically accurate.  The Bible does, and it is therefore subject to falsification in the same way that any other history would be.

Well it would be if it were easy to falsify. I'm not saying it's impossible to falsify claims in the Bible, but it sure isn't easy.

RespectfulButBelieving wrote:
Zeus's record of prophecy is less than impressive.

So prophecy is what draws you to a god?

RespectfulButBelieving wrote:
Quote:
Yeah, because nobody ever uses the present when the subjunctive would be appropriate in modern English. Ever.
Were they better educated, they would.

Let's not confuse being a prescriptive grammarian with being more educated. That's just ign'ant.

RespectfulButBelieving wrote:
I have no idea how long it will take to test string theory, but I don't see any evidence it will happen soon, either.  Anyway, I'll bet you a dollar that if some string theorist proposes a testable hypothesis that would distinguish string theory from the standard model and string theory is validated, some other theorist within three weeks will publish an entirely different theory that makes the same prediction, then we'll get to badger him (or her) for a testable hypothesis.

Hehe. That would be after the book tour, during which the theorist could expand his/her sexual activity to include another person.

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fabulae! nil satis firmi video quam ob rem accipere hunc mi expediat metum. - Terence


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theacrobat wrote:In the Luke

theacrobat wrote:

In the Luke passage, Jesus in some sense is claiming he has freed them for the oppression of the tax collector, and he will also free them from the oppression of the tyrannical ruler of the parable but not by their ways of the resentment, but by his ways of love.

Okay, but then does the parable only serve to illustrate the mistreatment of the unfortunate? Now I really don't get the parable. Before I was just being a jerk to get a rise out of someone, but that became legitimate curiosity once I heard all these interpretations. I didn't know about the context and the other story -- thank you for that.

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HisWillness wrote:Okay, but

HisWillness wrote:

Okay, but then does the parable only serve to illustrate the mistreatment of the unfortunate? 

That, and also a sympathy towards the unfortunates reaction to their mistreatment with out condoning it. In a way what Jesus is saying with the parable is that he understands their frustration and their resent, but the resent for their oppressors is not going to liberate them. Being resent full towards Zack and outcasting him is not going to liberate you, only by love even for those that mistreated you, can you ever be free. 

The parable appears in a large context, in the surrounding events with Zack, and then with the Pharisees, the contrasting view of how Jesus is treated as the desired king, and the Ruler in the parable treated as the undesired one. Even from here, it appears in the larger context of the gospel itself. So all parables, their purpose and intention to be correctly understood needs to be read within their context. 

In the Matthew passage  a reduced form of the parable is present, but what appears after that is Jesus denouncing those who treated the least unfairly, a clear renouncement of the actions of the Master in the parable. 

 


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What does it really mean?

 

I was wondering what that parable meant, myself, and your article turned up in a Google search.

This link should help explain it.

http://gracethrufaith.com/selah/the-parable-of-the-ten-minas-luke-1912-26/

Of course, this is from a Christian point of view, but having an open mind cuts both ways.

If you want to understand something, it generally requires looking at it from a contextual perspective.

 

 


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Ya'll DISGUST me.

 Wow, I wonder if you people actually think that this junk-heap of a website really makes any sense! If you're purpose in putting up this website was to gratify yourselves by  silencing your guilty consciences and blaspheming God, then, wow, you've accomplished your goals!  But, if your purpose was to make people lose their faith in the one true and only God than hah!!- You've certainly failed with me!  The only think you've done is made my blood boil!!! Let's hope you bow before a Holy, Sovereign God before it's too late!  I pray that you will...If you don't than you're in for a life of dissatisfaction and an after -life of pain and misery in HEll!! I don't say these things to verbally abuse, I say these things because they're true. My life is under the leadership of Christ. If it weren't then I would have a reason to fear as well. We are all sinners and wicked and are in need of a loving, godly, creator who will sustain and forgive us. Live to glorify Him alone!!!! True happiness is only found in Him! Smiling 


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Esther Bowman wrote: The

Esther Bowman wrote:

 The only think you've done is made my blood boil!!!

At least we had some affect on you.  The reason it makes your blood boil is because you are one of religions victims, you are trained to be opposed to anything that disagrees with the nonsense you were taught.  You're a good sheep.  BAAAAAAAHHHH

 

Quote:
Let's hope you bow before a Holy, Sovereign God before it's too late!  I pray that you will...If you don't than you're in for a life of dissatisfaction and an after -life of pain and misery in HEll!!

It's too late, most of us have taken the Blasphemy Challenge.

 

Quote:
I don't say these things to verbally abuse, I say these things because they're true.

No you say them because you've been trained to disagree with any view that disagrees with the bible.  

 

Quote:
My life is under the leadership of Christ. If it weren't then I would have a reason to fear as well. We are all sinners and wicked and are in need of a loving, godly, creator who will sustain and forgive us. Live to glorify Him alone!!!! True happiness is only found in Him! Smiling 

We don't fear things that don't exist.  You can drop your fear, there is no hell.  Relax, live your life for you and things that you can prove.  Don't waste the only life you get living a lie, you don't get a second chance.

 

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RespectfulButBelieving

RespectfulButBelieving wrote:

  Also, why do so many athiests pepper their posts with swear words?  Don't you think you'd make your points much better if you used civil language?  

   What surprises me even more is that lately we have a few theists who come to this forum who have no problem using exactly the same language.

  The irony of a Christian theist coming to this forum and dropping the F Bomb and then proceeding to defend the virtues of holy living seems to escape them...

   WTFWJD ?

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natural wrote:People are

natural wrote:

People are born in different circumstances, which is why one guy gets ten minas to start, and the other guy only gets one. But regardless of your circumstances, you should put all of your efforts into living the best life you can (like the guy who spends all ten of his minas), rather than desparately holding on to the little you have in fear (like the guy who only has one mina). If you do that, not only will you get a reward in this lifetime (the guy with ten turns it into twenty), but god (the king) will reward you greatest in the afterlife (the ten cities). If you cling desparately and live in fear, not only will you barely survive in this life (he just manages to keep his one mina), but god (the king) will take away your life and you'll be left with nothing (the king takes away the guy's only mina).

UNHOLY LIBERAL BIAS!

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I feel you are missing the

I feel you are missing the point.  Read the versus prior to the parable.  Jesus had just converted Zacchaeus  and makes the statement" For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.  This a a parable to teach us something about saving the lost and the time of judgment. Christ has given us the gift of salvation.  If we use that and take that message to others our reward in heaven will be greater. (That theme is consistent through out the Bible) For those who do not confess Jesus as Lord or do not seek and save the lost will be judged. 

 


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T.D. wrote:I feel you are

T.D. wrote:

I feel you are missing the point.  Read the versus prior to the parable.  Jesus had just converted Zacchaeus  and makes the statement" For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.  This a a parable to teach us something about saving the lost and the time of judgment. Christ has given us the gift of salvation.  If we use that and take that message to others our reward in heaven will be greater. (That theme is consistent through out the Bible) For those who do not confess Jesus as Lord or do not seek and save the lost will be judged. 

 

So if you accept Jesus' gift of salvation and don't preach/witness/proselytize, you're still condemned? Odd.

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All your sins have been paid

All your sins have been paid for. You have been saved from God's wrath (Romans 6:23,Romans 3:23-24) You just need to accept the free gift.


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HisWillness wrote: Someone

HisWillness wrote:

 Someone help me out with this one. I've read the parable of the ten minas before, but this time I actually tried to understand the point of telling other people this story. Here's my problem: you would have to have a reason to tell this story to people, and then to write it down, and then to continue to copy it over and over until the invention of the printing press. That's a lot of motivation to preserve a story, so you'd think the meaning would pop right out at you. Instead, I'm left with confusion.

For those who aren't familiar, it's about a king who leaves his money with 10 servants, and tells them to "put it to work" (in the new international version). So here we have a king entrusting his financial planning to slaves. Wow. Somehow, "retarded" doesn't cover it.

Anyway, he gives them all one "mina" each (let's say for the sake of argument that it's one gold coin). Here's the miracle: when the guy comes back, one of his slaves got a 10000% return on his one gold coin by making ten more. Fantastic! So the king gives this guy ten cities. A smart king would have put him in charge of his finances and paid him a shitty wage, but remember, this guy is dumb as a bag of hammers.

Another one of his slaves comes up with a 5000% return, and so the king gives him five cities. At this point in the story, I'm thinking the moral is "collect at least 5000% interest on money that isn't yours and a king will give you cities" Yeah, I figure that's pretty applicable to my life.

A different slave comes up and says he basically kept the money under the mattress. The king goes ballistic and gives the money to the guy he just gave ten cities to. So I'm thinking now the moral is "those who charge the maximum possible interest are going to get rewarded no matter what, and that 'save your money' guy from ING doesn't know what he's talking about" But wait! There's more.

Someone objects, and says, "but he already has ten!" and the king says that more will be given to those who have more, and those who have nothing will have their shit taken away.

Oh, and another thing, if anyone doesn't want me to be king, just round up the motherfuckers and kill them right here.

...

Sorry, what? Is this about finances or unreasonable dictatorial oppression?

Seriously, besides the suddenly violent punchline, I have no idea why you would tell people this story. It's not a good story, and the moral seems to be that being stupid combined with being a hard-ass is condoned by Jesus. Or is it sarcasm? As in, greedy violent bastards rule the earth, and that's just the way it is. I'm honestly at a loss.

HW

Luke 19:11-28 follows on the heals of the passage that talks about Zaccheus. We are told that Zaccheus was a tax collector and was also very rich.  After his encounter with Jesus Christ he is moved to sell half of his possessions to the poor and repay anyone he has defrauded up to 4-times as much.  After this Jesus tells the parable which you refer.  A parable, by definition, is a story that places one thing beside another with a view to comparison. In the Bible, parables place the physical and spiritual beside one another with the aim being to explain the spiritual.

Those that Jesus was talking to had an expectation that the kingdom of God was going to appear sometime very soon.  So Jesus tells this parable.  Yes, we have a king and 10 servants.  As you correctly note, the king leaves 1 mina with each of the servants and tells them to do business with them until he returns.  A mina in those times was equal to approximately 3-months wages. What I see here immediately is a king who entrusts his wealth to his servants - cool.  And if I were one of those servants I would think, "wow, he trusts me with his money!"  At this point, the person entrusted has a decision to make: Do the kings bidding or don't do the kings bidding.  The king here, as all kings thought they were, is sovereign.  Sovereign meaning a person who exercises supreme, permanent authority.

Prior to the king's return a delegation is sent to him saying, "We do not want this man to reign over us" because they hated him.  The king returns.  He calls for an accounting and we see one servant brings in a 1000% return, another 500%, and one more hid his mina.  He rewards the servants who diligently worked with his money in like manner: rulership over 10 cities for 10 minas and 5 cities for 5 minas. This is quite a reward.  Three months wages turned into ruling 10 or 5 cities!  Seems to me that if I'm one of the servants who did do the kings bidding I would have been richly rewarded.

The servant who hid the kings mina is punished for disobedience and the mina is taken away and given to the one who did the greatest work.  The one who hid the mina is rebuked and told that if he didn't want to work, why didn't he just put the mina in a bank so that it would collect interest - that would have sufficed: But he didn't, he hid it.  As you correctly note, some bystanders object not seeing the fairness of it all.  The sovereign king replies, "I tell you that to everyone who has, more shall be given, but from the one who does not have, even what he does have shall be taken away."

The king entrusted his wealth to his servants and commanded them to increase what they had been given.  The servants would have to obey their king and be held accountable.  I don't know about you, but I don't mind being held accountable.  It's like a friend loaning you his car while yours is in the shop.  The right thing to do is take really good care of that car loaned to you.  It's not yours and you should return it undamaged and maybe in better condition than when it was provided to you.  It was a favor you didn't deserve and a favor that was provided through trust and friendship.

I can understand your objection to the fate (death) of those who didn't accept the kings sovereignty.  In one way, this was reality for many under this kind of rule.  However, we must not look at this parable in isolation:  a mistake made by many.  We can discuss this new thread later if you like.

So, the parable addresses these things:  Trust, Accountability, and Reward.  I'm entrusted with something I don't own or deserve, I'm being held accountable, and (although it isn't mentioned whether the servants knew there was a reward) I'm rewarded for increasing the kings wealth by faithfully putting his money to work.

How do I apply this today?  Well, for me I have realized that what I have is a blessing.  I am also thankful for being born in a country that allows success and is successful.  Allowing freedoms that are foreign to other countries.  I recognize that what I have is abundance and I, in turn, give back.  I don't give back frivolously - I make sure that what I do give goes in the right place.  An example of this is when I am approached in the city by one asking for money, I offer a meal.  Most times that person will accept, but there are those that just want the money and will probably spend it on an addiction.  This might be a wrong assessment by me.  Having a meal with that person allows me time, if they accept, to sit with them and listen.  I have pointed people to places where they can begin to get their feet on the ground, get a job, learn new skills, and begin to experience confidence and self-respect.  This isn't always the case:  people are free to choose.  The old adage, "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink" comes to mind.

Anyway, that's it from me.  I hope you can see this parable a bit better.  And, again, it is a BIG mistake to look at the Bible with a narrow lens.  Exegesis is the process of approaching Bible interpretation with a humble spirit, and an open mind.  In order to gain a true understanding of the Bible, one must be willing to allow the Bible to speak for itself in context and as a whole meaning allowing Scripture to interpret Scripture.

- me

Greater love has no man than this, that he lay down his life for a friend.


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 The mina represents the

 The mina represents the word of God and the gaining is by telling others the word and not hiding as the one slave did questioning the king and his works. The killing of those that didnt want him to be king is the death to those that do not earn eternal life due to disbelief or not following . 


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Anonymous1 wrote: The mina

Anonymous1 wrote:

 The mina represents the word of God and the gaining is by telling others the word and not hiding as the one slave did questioning the king and his works. The killing of those that didnt want him to be king is the death to those that do not earn eternal life due to disbelief or not following . 

It really is an evil, jealous, prideful, selfish God who would kill someone just for not accepting him. Especially when he had deliberately created man 'imperfect'.

Of course it is all just a story based on the ideas of that time, where the idea of individual human rights and democracy was a long way off, even for the imaginary God.

 

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Sure

I'll take that from here. The parable is about the propagation of his church/religion. Bear in mind, he "is the religion". There are no true Christians in the world presently and haven't been since about 50 Ad. , but, this is a parable about when one becomes one of his kind they are to go out and evangelize. The money represents the amount of knowledge each is given and his ability to propagate--"the word". It also represent each servant's ability to change themselves to the specifications of his world. A failure brings about judgement--not to be allowed in---he blew his chance. He did not do according to what he was given.

The only possible thing the world needs saving from are those running it.


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You mad bro?

It is good to be a King.  Rank has it's  priviledge.  One of the coolest things about kingship is the absolute power, no higher court of appeal, no ACLU.  The King does what the King wants and the King does what the King says.  And the Kings owns everything in his realm.  So anytime you give anything to the King you are only returning what is already His.   And yes, the King can say, "KILL THEM ALL" and well.... He is King.  You are not.  No ACLU... sucks to me you.


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Up until his kid kills him

Up until his kid kills him to take the throne for him/herself. Or the population revolts and cuts his head off. Or the military takes over and throws him into a cell or exile. Or a neighbouring nation attacks and defeats him. Or...

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HisWillness wrote: Someone

HisWillness wrote:

 Someone help me out with this one. I've read the parable of the ten minas before, but this time I actually tried to understand the point of telling other people this story. Here's my problem: you would have to have a reason to tell this story to people, and then to write it down, and then to continue to copy it over and over until the invention of the printing press. That's a lot of motivation to preserve a story, so you'd think the meaning would pop right out at you. Instead, I'm left with confusion.

For those who aren't familiar, it's about a king who leaves his money with 10 servants, and tells them to "put it to work" (in the new international version). So here we have a king entrusting his financial planning to slaves. Wow. Somehow, "retarded" doesn't cover it.

Anyway, he gives them all one "mina" each (let's say for the sake of argument that it's one gold coin). Here's the miracle: when the guy comes back, one of his slaves got a 10000% return on his one gold coin by making ten more. Fantastic! So the king gives this guy ten cities. A smart king would have put him in charge of his finances and paid him a shitty wage, but remember, this guy is dumb as a bag of hammers.

Another one of his slaves comes up with a 5000% return, and so the king gives him five cities. At this point in the story, I'm thinking the moral is "collect at least 5000% interest on money that isn't yours and a king will give you cities" Yeah, I figure that's pretty applicable to my life.

A different slave comes up and says he basically kept the money under the mattress. The king goes ballistic and gives the money to the guy he just gave ten cities to. So I'm thinking now the moral is "those who charge the maximum possible interest are going to get rewarded no matter what, and that 'save your money' guy from ING doesn't know what he's talking about" But wait! There's more.

Someone objects, and says, "but he already has ten!" and the king says that more will be given to those who have more, and those who have nothing will have their shit taken away.

Oh, and another thing, if anyone doesn't want me to be king, just round up the motherfuckers and kill them right here.

...

Sorry, what? Is this about finances or unreasonable dictatorial oppression?

Seriously, besides the suddenly violent punchline, I have no idea why you would tell people this story. It's not a good story, and the moral seems to be that being stupid combined with being a hard-ass is condoned by Jesus. Or is it sarcasm? As in, greedy violent bastards rule the earth, and that's just the way it is. I'm honestly at a loss.

 

Hi Hiswillness,

 

To be honest, no one really knows exactly what the pseudonemous author of "Luke" meant by this occult styled riddle, however, that is the beauty of parable.  It cannot easily be undermined, because it is hard to grasp, or pin down, to begin with.  It is like the vague ass prophecies, both biblical and those of Nostradamus. 

I understand this particular parable, or occult (hidden) teaching to mean that those that increase my wealth, in Jesus' case, message, will be rewarded more than those who just sit on it and do not try to spread it.  It seems to be relating to missionary style activity.  What I find most disturbing about this parable, is that it ends at Luke 19:25, and is directly followed by this disturbing and often overlooked statement from Jesus: 

 

For I say unto you, That unto every one which hath shall be given; and from him that hath not, even that he hath shall be taken away from him.  But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.                                                                Luke 19:26-27

Clearly, the parable is finished, and in that parable, Jesus is the King who leaves his subjects to increase his estate (money).  It seems quite clear that those who increase the number of Christians the most will be rewarded the most, and those that do not submit will be killed!  I guess this would be of some comfort to Charlemagne, who in the 8th century beheaded 4500 Saxons in one day, for the crime of reverting to the religion of their ancestors. 

 

 

You can always trust a person in search of the truth, but never the one who has found it. MANLY P. HALL


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