OT Stories - Myths,Legends, Parables, or Real

pauljohntheskeptic
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OT Stories - Myths,Legends, Parables, or Real

In discussions with Caposkia on his thread regarding his recommended book (New Atheist Crusaders) we have mutually agreed to open a discussion on the OT discussing reality versus myth for stories in the OT. My position is that the OT is largely myths and legends with little basis in reality. There may be stories that may be considered literature as Rook has suggested though it still incorporates myths and legends as well in my opinion. The intent is to examine major stories and discuss the mythical components versus the interpretations by Christians and Jews that these events were real. Caposkia has indicated in many of his posts that he agrees that some of the stories are reality based and in those areas I'm interested in understanding his reasoning or any other believer for acceptance versus others where he does not consider them to be. It may be there are a few where we may find agreement as to a story being a myth or it being real though my inclination is little more is reality based other than kingdoms existed in Palestine that were called Israel and Judah and they interacted with other nations in some fashion.

Since the basis of Christian beliefs started with creation and the fall of man we'll begin there and attempt to progress through Genesis in some sort of logical order sort of like Sunday School for those of you that went. I’m not particularly concerned about each little bit of belief in these stories but I’m more interested in the mythology aspects. We could for pages argue over original sin or free will but that isn’t even necessary in my opinion as the text discredits itself with blatant assertions and impossibilities. Instead consider for example Eve is created in one version from Adam’s rib which can be directly compared to the Sumerian goddess of the rib called Nin-ti which Ninhursag gave birth to heal the god Enki. Other comparisons can be made to the Sumerian paradise called Dilmun to the Garden of Eden as well. These stories predate the OT by thousands of years and tell the tale of the ancient Annuna gods that supposedly created the world. Visit www-etcsl.orient.ox.ac.uk/# for more information and some of the translated stories, click on corpus content by number or category.

In order for salvation through Christ from our supposed sins against the God the events of Genesis must have occurred in some fashion. If the Genesis stories are largely mythical or they are simply a parable then this basis is poorly founded and weakens the entire structure of Christian belief. Caposkia claims I error at square one because I don't acknowledge a spiritual world. I suggest that he and other followers error by accepting that which there is no detectable basis. This is done by interpreting parables and myths by the ancients to be more than inadequate understanding by unknowing people that looked for an answer to why things were in the world they observed.

In Genesis 1 is the supposed creation of the world by God. In this account illogical explanations start immediately with the description of the Earth being without form and darkness was upon it. Light is then created and explained as day and night. Next God molded his creation into better detail by creating Heaven above meaning the sky and waters on the earth. He then caused dry land to appear calling it the Earth and the waters the Seas. On this same day he created vegetation with the requirement that it bring forth after its kind by duplication through seeds. The following day he created the heavenly bodies to divide day from night and to be signs for seasons and for years. He made the great light to rule the day and the lesser light the night as well as all the stars. On the 5th day he created all the life in the seas and air with the requirement they reproduce after their own kind. The 6th day he created all the land animals including man both male and female. The gods in this case made man after their image as male and female in their own likeness. He commanded them to multiply and replenish the earth.

Problems start with this account immediately. The Earth according to science is leftover material from the forming of our star, the Sun. This material would have been a glowing mass of molten material. The land in any event would emerge first before water could exist as a liquid upon it due to the extreme heat.  Light would already exist in the form of the Sun which according to current science is not as old as other stars in our galaxy not to mention in the Universe. The account mentions that day and night were made but this is not so except for a local event on the planet. An object not on the Earth would have no such condition or a different form of night and day. The account further errors in claiming the Sun, Moon, and stars were all formed following the creation of the Earth. In theories of planet formulation the star is formed first and planets afterwords. In the case of the moon multiple theories occur though not one where it zapped into the Universe suddenly. The statement that the heavenly bodies were created for signs and seasons is more evidence of a legend. The other planets and stars are purposeful in ways that aid in life existing or continuing to do so on Earth. Jupiter for example is a great big vacuum cleaner sucking into its gravitational field all sorts of debris that could eradicate life on Earth. Is this then a design by the god or just part of the situation that helped to allow life to progress as it did on the Earth? The observation of specific planets or stars in specific areas of the sky is just that, an observation no more and not placed there by a god to indicate the change of seasons.

One can also see some similarity between Genesis 1 and the Egyptian creation myth Ra and the serpent, see http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/~humm/Resources/StudTxts/raSerpnt.html . In this myth Ra is the first on the scene and he creates all the creatures himself doing so before he made the wind or the rain. Ra does not create man but the gods he created gave birth to the people of Egypt who multiplied and flourished.

Some Jewish sects as well as Catholic belief allow for evolution to have been the method for creation of life on Earth. This however is in contradiction to Genesis in that all vegetation and animals were to reproduce only after their own kind. If this is so, then evolution is not compatible with the creation story. Simply put the life could not alter and produce different versions not after its kind. Since obvious examples exist for variation in species such as evolution even as simple as fish in caves without eyes or color versus those that are in streams outside there is obvious adaption thus discrediting this part of Genesis as myth.

The creation of man in Genesis 1 also suggests multiple gods as man was created in their likeness male and female thus following Canaanite gods such as Yahweh and his Asherah or Ba'al and Athirat that may be a reflection of an older tradition from either Egypt or Sumer. Genesis 2 on the other hand has a slightly different version from a variant I'll discuss in a later post.

I consider Genesis 1 to be a myth, legend or a parable based on all the problems discussed with basis in ancient stories from Sumer and Egypt. I leave it to Caposkia and other believers to indicate where they accept parts of Genesis 1 as reality and to indicate their reasoning if they do so.

____________________________________________________________
"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.


caposkia
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Topher wrote: They were

Topher wrote:

 They were without knowledge of good and evil, otherwise why the hell did god expressly forbid them this knowledge.

I think I need to understand how you're defining good and evil.  I have a feeling you're taking it out of context of the story.  Keep in mind, due to the fact that translating from the Hebrew to English is not a flawless art.  In fact, there are many instances where the words cannot be directly translated.  Even if they are, usually the Hebrew word sheds better light on what is being talked about.   Context clues are also important in critical analyzation of any document.  For this, it's important to understand that you can't always use the broad definitions of the English words and expect them to apply due to the translational discrepencies.

Topher wrote:

You're working backwards...assuming that the story must make sense/be true, rather than looking at what they story actually says, and then assuming that any analysis which reveals contradictions and other errors must be false. Have you not read the Bible before? It is full of outright errors and contradictions, so the contradictions in Genesis shouldn't really be such a surprise.

yea, all those "contradictions" that have been brought to my attention on this site thus far have either been taken out of the context of the story or were just misunderstood and were clearly refuted.

Topher wrote:

You say if this story were not real, it wouldn't have been in the Bible. Does this mean you think the story is historical?

yes.  There are reasons why the particular books that are a part of the whole Bible are such today and why others aren't.

Topher wrote:

Sources for what? My suggestion that interpreting Genesis is based on projecting a moral system onto Adam and Eve? This is just basic psychology. Adults (excluding psychopaths and sociopaths) have knowledge of good and evil, therefore it seems obvious that Adam and Eve (who were adults in Genesis) would also have such knowledge, yet realise that the Genesis story explicitly rules this out; they were adults without any understanding of morality because of this lack of knowledge.

You seem so sure you know exactly what knowlege and abilities these 2 in the story posessed.  There must be a source for such a matter of fact conclusion.  psychology has nothing to do with assuming what's not there.  This again might go into your understanding of what "Good and Evil" are representing here.

Topher wrote:

caposkia wrote:
The more you quote from Todd, the less reliable he seems.

Why is that?

From the quotes you've presented, it makes Todd look ignorant to the point that it seems as if he skims through the book, finds words that stand out to him and then analyzes them by themselves without considering context or translation.  It is possible he has been quoted out of context as well.  There could be more to his conclusions than what is presented here.

Topher wrote:

This still does not change the fact she had no knowledge of good and evil.

k

Topher wrote:

 Not necessarily. We can use a child to illustrate that we don't hold children morally culpable, even though they do possess some basic moral development, so it seems ridiculous to hold someone like Adam and Eve morally culpable when they were without ANY moral knowledge.

You're going against what you said earlier.  I mentioned that because you said children and Adam and Eve aren't comparable.  That obviously was a general reiteration.  At least that's what I understood from you.

Topher wrote:

According to the Genesis myth!! Please keep up! God expressly forbid them knowledge of good and evil. Why the hell would god forbid them this knowledge if they already had it?

I'm keeping up.  i'm wondering if you are.  Context implies more knowlege than you're suggesting.  Again, definition of good and evil could be the breaking point here. 

To suggest that lacking the comprehension of good and evil "knowlege", you're taking it to the extreme to say they have no capabilities of understanding opposing points.  It's obvious if you take it into context that your conclusion can't be the case.

Topher wrote:

 

Yes, it is relevant. It illustrates how we don't hold a child morally or legally culpable despite the fact that they have more moral knowledge that Adam and Eve did! It is absurd to place more moral responsibility on Adam and Eve than we place on a child when Adam and Eve have LESS moral knowledge than the child.

This is what I was looking for.  You seem to know exactly where the mental state of Adam and Eve were.  There must be some sort of source you're getting that information from... unless you're doing the research yourself, in which case I would request to see your notes.

Topher wrote:

todangst includes the references in his essay.

in the part you quoted?   I'll have to try and find it.

Topher wrote:

What am I inserting into the story?

You clearly are. You are trying to suggest that they were not without moral knowledge despite god expressly denying them this knowledge. If they had moral knowledge why would god forbid them moral knowledge?!?

You are.  You're definitely taking the words good and evil to the most extreme possibility of their meaning.  You've turned it into a comprehensible knowlege of opposing points to moral understanding.  It's taking it way out of context of what's there.  Context clues are key in critical analyzation of the Bible. 

Topher wrote:

How? By forbidding them from eating from the tree! If they had moral knowledge it would make no sense for god to forbid them from having something which they already have!

alright.  Let's use this defense in context then.  What other context clues can you provide for me for your conclusion besides the specific words "good and evil"?

Topher wrote:
  

Again, your are inserting details into the story that do not exist.

and yet are implied by context...

Topher wrote:

You are taking the line that although they didn't have explicit knowledge, but they did have implicit knowledge. This is refuted on two grounds:

(a) implicit moral knowledge leads to explicit moral knowledge, ergo, if they had implicit moral knowledge, they had moral knowledge. The former necessarily leads to the latter.

(b) why would god forbid them something which they already had.

You accuse me (and todangst) of failing to understand what the text means. Why don't you explain what it means then? And be specific.

ok.  Simply put.  The punishment was death.  Simply put, regardless of what knowlege you're talking about, they understood the ramifications of disobeying God, namely 'death'.  This is understood by looking at Gen 2:17, 3:3-4.  The knowlege they gained from eating the fruit had nothing to do with them comprehending death.  It was understood.  Otherwise the serpant wouldn't have had to assure them they wouldn't die. 

The good and evil here is understanding the 'forces in nature that give rise to wickedness or evil', not the moral act of doing wrong.  definition cited from the dictionary.  Comprehension cited from Zondervan.  In other words, they understood what was wrong or right.  They didn't understand the forces that might cause them to do wrong or right.  It's why a lie was so easily pulled over on them.   

I fear too you might be losing focus.  Remember that the issue is whether they understood what it meant to die... which was the consequence given for eating the fruit.

Topher wrote:

Where exactly in the myth does it differentiate between the two?

in the Hebrew and context in general from what I understand.

Topher wrote:

This isn't a response. Why would god forbid them from gaining moral knowledge if they already has moral knowledge to begin with?! You cannot just say god has a plan and think you've dealt with the problem. If you wish to maintain that they had moral knowledge the you must solve this conundrum, not throw it to one side. 

A specific question was asked, I answered it.  If you want to get back to the morals thing, it's in the context.  You fail to realize I'm trying to work with you, not pull one over on you.  You can ask my biggest opposers on here.  I'm not here to run away from the issues.  I challenge people on here to question what I understand to be Truth.  That way I can either correct myself where I'm wrong, or be stronger in what I know.

Topher wrote:

1. Cite the part of the story where it shows they had moral knowledge. And this doesn't mean there they recite the command from god, since that does not require moral knowledge; it means show that they actually had moral knowledge.

2. Deal with the aforementioned conundrum.

alright, how about the general quote that they were given specific commands?  (Gen 2:15-17, 3:1-5,)  You can try to conclude via the myth assumption or lack of direct implication thereof, but it's clear that if they didn't have such knowlege, the specific commands would have been pointless and useless to give.  It's in the context. 

and the 2nd quote wasn't because she recited, it also shows the command was questioned and shows that she needed some convincing in order to think it was ok to eat the fruit.  Otherwise, why not just hand it to her and say 'here, trust me, eat it.'? 

Topher wrote:

This begs the question. You understanding/interpretation requires a coherent story, therefore you are assuming that the stories in the Bible must be coherent, otherwise it would not have been included.

yes

Topher wrote:

You're taking my comments out of context and making a straw man of what I said!

I'm just reiterating what I'm understanding from you.  This is why specifics are important when you're going to so critically analyze something.  Apparently analogies aren't goign to work between us at this point.  How about plain comprehensions.  I've done my part above.

Topher wrote:

Age is relevant when people HAVE moral knowledge, because the moral understanding develops over time. A baby/child fits this situation.

In other words, no matter how long Adam and Eve were walking around, their state of mind was constant even if it was 100 years...  that's hard to comprehend.  They must have drooled a lot too. 

Topher wrote:

What exactly have I inserted into the story?

their exact state of mind as completely oblivious. 

Topher wrote:

Sure, but I'm skeptical of Christian scholars, who tend to have a lot to gain from particular conclusions. In fact I wouldn't regard them all as scholars, at least the likes of Strobel, WLC, etc. 

well, just to set myself right on here.  i have nothing to gain from anything that happens on here.  I don't win a medal or score church points or get a plack for "converting" someone.  If you never told me you converted....(if that ever happens) it wouldn't be any different for me than if you did.   

Topher wrote:

Yes, I am, because without moral knowledge they would not be able to comprehend the moral ramifications of disobeying.

How do you explain then the command that was given to them?  

Topher wrote:
 

Again, they could not comprehend the moral ramifications of disobeying.

Then why bother lie about it to get them to eat it?  If they didn't understand, there was no reason to lie, or to assure them they wouldn't die in the first place.  Remember, they can't comprehend it. right?

Topher wrote:

Who knows, but there was not moral intent involved, because that would require moral knowledge.

oh, come on.  You're so sure that there was no moral intent, there must have been an alternative intent then.  It has to be implied... unless you're trying to prove a negative.....

Topher wrote:

Not true. They were aware that it went against god request, but they had no understanding of the moral ramifications of disobeying that request.

explain why God bothered to tell them of the moral ramifications then.  There has to be a reason for it to be said.

Topher wrote:

caposkia wrote:
What would you define the "Good and evil" in this case?  I think we fall short with exactly what that implies.

What does it imply and why do we fall short of it? And what bearing does this have to the story?

I never got far on this site answering questions with questions.  I'm willing to work with you on it though.

It would clarify where you are coming from.. e.g. what you think the 'good and evil' is specifically refering to and shed light on what knowlege they did have according to your theory.  I understand you think it's moral, but specifically what would they have understood then.  They knew wrong... but not moral wrongs.  They were told of death... but didn't comprehend death.   They didn't know it would be bad to disobey God... so why bother following through with obeying in the first place.  Why didn't they just go for it?  What held them to the conviction that it might be bad before they were lied to?  If nothing, then why didn't they eat it until they were lied to?

Topher wrote:

I clearly distinguished between them understanding the command and them understanding the moral ramifications of disobeying that command.

ok.  goes back to above.

Topher wrote:

If you're and/or the Bible are defining sin without moral intent then you remove all justice from the morality.

moral is simply distinguishing right and wrong by definition.  There would be no need for anything or anyone to come by and convince them if they had no moral understanding what-so-ever.

Topher wrote:

 Do you think everything in the Bible is historical/factual? If not, then clearly untrue things did make it into the Bible.

I will say yes to this... and you will find something that was written metaphorically as suggested in the context and ask me how it happened.  Even if it's literal, I will not be able to explain to you how many things happen without using God as an explanation. 

Topher wrote:

One problem with the Genesis story is that there are two mutually exclusive accounts of the creation of Adam Eve and the animals.

Clearly inaccuracies, falsehoods, errors, and contradictions made it into the Bible, so the problems with the Genesis myth shouldn't be surprising. 

As I explained, the most likely reason for the problems with the Genesis myth was that the writer simply didn't think things through!

yet.... i still don't see the inconsistencies you're presenting.  I think I see where you're coming from.  In order to conclude what you have, I would have to ignore some pretty obvious context clues that were referenced above.  The only other way I could conclude it is to blindly say... it has to be myth without any evidence to support that other than me not fully understanding what the state of mind of the characters were.   Tell me what you think of the forces definition.  Does that clarify the difference?

If you're wondering how Zondervan got the conclusion they came up with, it's most likely from the literal Hebrew context that implies it.


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BobSpence1 wrote:Hmm - I

BobSpence1 wrote:

Hmm - I would like caposkia to explain why he does not see 'moral discernment', and 'knowledge of good and evil',  as meaning pretty much the same thing...

And just what does he see as the distinction between 'ethical discernment' and 'moral discernment'? 

These seem to be fundamental to the the debate here.

I have studied the context from which it came and have studied it.  It is understood by context and language that it was the source of good vs. evil in nature... e.g. lies, greed, etc.  

Many seem to forget that I'm not the only one that has come to these conclusions and that it has been intensely studied by many.  I embrace these conclusions because they seem to make the most sense at this time.

 


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pauljohntheskeptic wrote:No

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

No implication at all, it claims in Genesis 11:8 "So the Lord scattered them abroad from thence . . " Though scattering of everything is evident for millions of years as indicated by fossil records so no god was needed to do the scattering.

unless God's been doing it the whole time in accordance to Him wanting the world populated.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

After the Babel event Genesis begins its major story line, the development of Abraham and his descendants. Abe and his relatives came from Ur of the Chaldees which tells you when this part of Genesis was written as in Babylonian times in the 1st millennium BCE. When one attempts to date it to 2000 BCE, there were no people known as Chaldees. Anyway, Abe's dad Terah took his family from Ur to the city of Haran. Both of these cities were worship centers for the Sumerian or Akkadian god Sin, or simply called the moon god. They could have gone from Ur to any place, why pick another city centered on moon god worship? The Bible never claims that Terah or any of Abe's ancestors were believers in Yahweh or El as Abe called him.

I never dispute specific dating of books.  I know there are a few theories.  I have argued that they are amidts the oldest of manuscripts we have to date.  Some older than others.  Many written much later than they were told.    It is also understood that Genesis is actually one of the newest Old Testiment books.

Nor did it need to.  It was just a geneology.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Abe moves his family to the land the god promised him in Genesis 12:1-3. It doesn't indicate whether the god left Abe a post-it on his tent or came to him in a dream but according to the story Abe and his family including Lot packed up all their stuff and relocated to Canaan. When they arrived on a mountain East of Bethel Abe built an altar to the god. This place becomes of later importance during the time of the 2 kingdoms. Abe knows this god as El, which is the same name used by the Canaanites for the main god in their pantheon.

El or Elohim is a Hebrew reference to "Lord" and could reference any god of importance to any people just as Adonai could.  Most people of the Bible didn't reference much to God by his name.  When questioned however, they were able to say who it was they followed.


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jcgadfly wrote:No and

jcgadfly wrote:

No and neither do you.

of course, and this is where I use a little bit of logic

jcgadfly wrote:

Maybe God would have had another purpose for the tree. The snake, however, had one job only - to do the will of God and make sure that God's plan to bloody up Jesus would have to be implemented.

Right.  That was the whole purpose from the beginning.. uh.. can you cite your source for that conclusion please?

jcgadfly wrote:

Still leaves God as a sadist with a massive blood boner.

if your conclusion is true, than of course it does.  I'll have to check your source and how they came to that conclusion.


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caposkia

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

No implication at all, it claims in Genesis 11:8 "So the Lord scattered them abroad from thence . . " Though scattering of everything is evident for millions of years as indicated by fossil records so no god was needed to do the scattering.

unless God's been doing it the whole time in accordance to Him wanting the world populated.

Conjecture and unprovable. What is proved is the Earth has been here for billions of years and man for millions. 

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

After the Babel event Genesis begins its major story line, the development of Abraham and his descendants. Abe and his relatives came from Ur of the Chaldees which tells you when this part of Genesis was written as in Babylonian times in the 1st millennium BCE. When one attempts to date it to 2000 BCE, there were no people known as Chaldees. Anyway, Abe's dad Terah took his family from Ur to the city of Haran. Both of these cities were worship centers for the Sumerian or Akkadian god Sin, or simply called the moon god. They could have gone from Ur to any place, why pick another city centered on moon god worship? The Bible never claims that Terah or any of Abe's ancestors were believers in Yahweh or El as Abe called him.

I never dispute specific dating of books.  I know there are a few theories.  I have argued that they are amidts the oldest of manuscripts we have to date.  Some older than others.  Many written much later than they were told.    It is also understood that Genesis is actually one of the newest Old Testiment books.

Nor did it need to.  It was just a geneology.

We already have argued over how ancient the OT manuscripts are, the oldest is the DSS, see previous posts. No older than 165 BCE and likely to be from about 60 to 70 CE.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Abe moves his family to the land the god promised him in Genesis 12:1-3. It doesn't indicate whether the god left Abe a post-it on his tent or came to him in a dream but according to the story Abe and his family including Lot packed up all their stuff and relocated to Canaan. When they arrived on a mountain East of Bethel Abe built an altar to the god. This place becomes of later importance during the time of the 2 kingdoms. Abe knows this god as El, which is the same name used by the Canaanites for the main god in their pantheon.

El or Elohim is a Hebrew reference to "Lord" and could reference any god of importance to any people just as Adonai could.  Most people of the Bible didn't reference much to God by his name.  When questioned however, they were able to say who it was they followed.

The only place this is done is in the OT itself which is a circular argument. Canaanite documents suggest El was someone else, see Ugaritic records.

The problem here is it's the same geographic area and completely different gods are claimed, including Yahweh is a son of El in the Canaanite pantheon. Asherah is Yahweh's consort as is she also mentioned as Ba'al's consort. It is possible that Yahweh and Ba'al are the same god. I'll have to look up the links for this but I think Richard Crappo in Utah has written much on this.

 

 

____________________________________________________________
"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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speaking of the genesis creation stories

In the course of other research I have come across mention of how the early church and in fact up to the Reformation viewed these stories. They were not taken literally. A discussion of how god might have started things (always a god) would give a short review or mention and then a dismissal on some grounds of impossibility, very like the kind people would give today. Thus having shown it was not a literally true story their speculation began. Not that their speculation was any less fanciful and not that they rejected everything around and about the story but they had no problem with trying to come up with a better story.

Before the Reformation the Roman church had a get out of jail free card by claiming both scripture and tradition as a source for the faith. What we do is not found in scripture? contrary to scripture? No problem. We have always done it therefore it is correct under the tradition clause.

The Reformation started abandoning traditions which were in favor of Rome. At first they only got rid of as few as possible to set up their own fiefdoms in place of Rome. But a good idea was taken to extremes and scripture only became the rule for the extremist cults which congregated in the American colonies and later in the US proper.

At times the tradition was used against Rome such as the early writings, the records of traditions, were used against Rome and the mainstream Reformation churches like the COE and Lutherans. Seems in all the early writings there is no mention of priests, bishops and presbyters and deacons but no priests. Where did the priest tradition come from?

Jews stole the land. The owners want it back. That is all anyone needs to know about Israel. That is all there is to know about Israel.

www.ussliberty.org

www.giwersworld.org/made-in-alexandria/index.html

www.giwersworld.org/00_files/zion-hit-points.phtml


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.

Christos wrote:
Um, all of the above. The OT contains myth, legends and reality. I don't think many people here will disagree that the Genesis creation narrative is fictional. However, 1-2 Kings probably contains some real history about first monarchs of Israel. And other books like Ezra contains real history about the Babylonian Exile. Books like Job and Daniel 7-12 don't seem to refelct history, but instead reflect parable and apocalypticism. Daniel 1-6 seems to be historical fiction.

There is zero archaeological evidence found in all of bibleland in support of anything in the OT stories about bibleland. Probably does not matter. There is nother there to support the stories. What is found is in direct contradiction to the stories. As physical evidence rules the stories are bullshit. Similarly with the Babylon exile story and everything associated with it. There is no evidence for it having happened. There is no evidence or any civilization in bibleland it could have happened to. There is no evidence of it in Babylon. Therefore it is also bullshit.

Christos wrote:
This really isn't a question you can answer without significant study and probably a decent knowledge of ancient Hebrew. For example, we know that Deuteronomy was written hundreds of years later than Exodus because of the changes in the Hebrew language. 

Another problem is there is no evidence Hebrew was ever a spoken language in bibleland. When the Judeans first appear in history in the mid 1st c. BC they are speaking Aramaic. The squared script called Hebrew is the Aramaic script. The mere handful of inscriptions facetiously called proto-hebrew use Phoenician script.

The case against the OT stories all of which is based upon physical evidence or the lack thereof is overwhelmingly against the religious tradition that there is any element of real history in them.

Jews stole the land. The owners want it back. That is all anyone needs to know about Israel. That is all there is to know about Israel.

www.ussliberty.org

www.giwersworld.org/made-in-alexandria/index.html

www.giwersworld.org/00_files/zion-hit-points.phtml


A_Nony_Mouse
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caposkia wrote:Topher wrote:

caposkia wrote:
Topher wrote:
They were without knowledge of good and evil, otherwise why the hell did god expressly forbid them this knowledge.
I think I need to understand how you're defining good and evil.  I have a feeling you're taking it out of context of the story.  Keep in mind, due to the fact that translating from the Hebrew to English is not a flawless art.  In fact, there are many instances where the words cannot be directly translated.  Even if they are, usually the Hebrew word sheds better light on what is being talked about.   Context clues are also important in critical analyzation of any document.  For this, it's important to understand that you can't always use the broad definitions of the English words and expect them to apply due to the translational discrepencies.

Let us review the bidding here. We know some unknown charlatans invented the story at some unknown date for unknown reasons. We have no reason to assume there is some serious meaning in this story. We do not even know how literate the creators were. Nor do we have any idea if the creators intended it to make any more sense than Hubbard intended his Xenu story to make or the golden plates of Smith to make.

So it is really going off the deep end to bring an basketful of unfounded religious traditions to the story and then pretend there is a problem making sense of it. And that is before going into what the plain words of the story say instead of the traditional religious assertion of what it means which is absolutely absurd.

Jews stole the land. The owners want it back. That is all anyone needs to know about Israel. That is all there is to know about Israel.

www.ussliberty.org

www.giwersworld.org/made-in-alexandria/index.html

www.giwersworld.org/00_files/zion-hit-points.phtml


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caposkia wrote:
BobSpence1 wrote:
Hmm - I would like

caposkia

to explain why he does not see '

moral discernment'

, and

 'knowledge of good and evil',  

as meaning pretty much the same thing...

And just what does he see as the distinction between 'ethical discernment' and 'moral discernment'? 

These seem to be fundamental to the the debate here.

I have studied the context from which it came and have studied it.  It is understood by context and language that it was the source of good vs. evil in nature... e.g. lies, greed, etc.  

Many seem to forget that I'm not the only one that has come to these conclusions and that it has been intensely studied by many.  I embrace these conclusions because they seem to make the most sense at this time.

Should anyone actually read the story without bring an shitload of religious traditiona to it, it is a much different story.

We read clearly there are many gods. Like us means like US unless a religious tradition tells you it does not. All we know is that tradition has been around as far back as we can find mention of it without the idiot who invented it being identified must less why he invented it.

We read clearly these gods were into creating plot devices. They create all the animals in pairs and then "discover" Adam needs a pairing. Ya think? Plot device one, a subservient women unlike the females among the animals.

Plot device two. They are created to be subservient to the gods. The lack two things be gods. They do not know good and evil and they do not live forever. Enter dramatic theme, forbid one tree but not the other. Ignore the fact they did not head straight for the Tree of Life and become gods immediately and bring on the snake!

The snake is a wilely creature. Had he/she/it really been interested in helping the people they would have been sent direct to the banana tree and they would have become gods straight away and lived happily ever after quite literally. But no he sends them to the apple tree to learn good and evil first so they started wearing clothes. Maybe the snake owned a Gap franchise.

Anyway there is a nasty side effect of knowing good from evil. They get the odd idea that naked is evil. [cue Old Navy theme] Where in the hell did that come from? That is irrelevant to the story so far.

But then the gods get all upset about the banana tree and Adam and Eve becoming gods and kick them out of the entire Garden instead of simply removing the god-making tree. A classic case of over-reaction if there ever was one.

Wherever they got the story it is clearly related to stealing the secret of fire from the gods. It represents man rising above the animals and getting half-way to godhood. They are clearly heroes yet somehow a semi-literate savage converted it into some kind of sin narrative.

You have to wonder why people WANT to bring such nonsense ideas to the story.

Jews stole the land. The owners want it back. That is all anyone needs to know about Israel. That is all there is to know about Israel.

www.ussliberty.org

www.giwersworld.org/made-in-alexandria/index.html

www.giwersworld.org/00_files/zion-hit-points.phtml


caposkia
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pauljohntheskeptic

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Conjecture and unprovable. What is proved is the Earth has been here for billions of years and man for millions. 

understood.  It is just as "provable" as your statement that "no god was needed"

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

We already have argued over how ancient the OT manuscripts are, the oldest is the DSS, see previous posts. No older than 165 BCE and likely to be from about 60 to 70 CE.

I said specifics, not generalities.  Again, it is understood that Genesis is one of the newest OT books.  

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

The only place this is done is in the OT itself which is a circular argument. Canaanite documents suggest El was someone else, see Ugaritic records.

When in reference, it's always going to represent someone or something..  If they didnt' follow God Almighty, of course it had to reference to someone else specifically unless it was a general reference to many gods.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

The problem here is it's the same geographic area and completely different gods are claimed, including Yahweh is a son of El in the Canaanite pantheon. Asherah is Yahweh's consort as is she also mentioned as Ba'al's consort. It is possible that Yahweh and Ba'al are the same god. I'll have to look up the links for this but I think Richard Crappo in Utah has written much on this.

I'm don't know too much about that tie.  Haven't researched it.  It does make sense for non-followers of Yahweh to lessen His authority.  Otherwise, they'd have no excuse for following another exept for rebellion.


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A_Nony_Mouse wrote:There is

A_Nony_Mouse wrote:

There is zero archaeological evidence found in all of bibleland in support of anything in the OT stories about bibleland. Probably does not matter. There is nother there to support the stories. What is found is in direct contradiction to the stories. As physical evidence rules the stories are bullshit. Similarly with the Babylon exile story and everything associated with it. There is no evidence for it having happened. There is no evidence or any civilization in bibleland it could have happened to. There is no evidence of it in Babylon. Therefore it is also bullshit.

On the contrary.  I suggest you pick up an "Archeological Study Bible".  Let me know what you find.  Haven't actually read through all of it myself, but know of a few things it must reference to.

A_Nony_Mouse wrote:

Another problem is there is no evidence Hebrew was ever a spoken language in bibleland. When the Judeans first appear in history in the mid 1st c. BC they are speaking Aramaic. The squared script called Hebrew is the Aramaic script. The mere handful of inscriptions facetiously called proto-hebrew use Phoenician script.

...therefore, God must not exist!   What if I told you Biblical scholars know the discrepencies in language already?  What if I told you the English language isn't really English?

A_Nony_Mouse wrote:

The case against the OT stories all of which is based upon physical evidence or the lack thereof is overwhelmingly against the religious tradition that there is any element of real history in them.

Do some homework next time, then come to me with that claim.


caposkia
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A_Nony_Mouse wrote:Let us

A_Nony_Mouse wrote:

Let us review the bidding here. We know some unknown charlatans invented the story at some unknown date for unknown reasons. We have no reason to assume there is some serious meaning in this story. We do not even know how literate the creators were. Nor do we have any idea if the creators intended it to make any more sense than Hubbard intended his Xenu story to make or the golden plates of Smith to make.

So it is really going off the deep end to bring an basketful of unfounded religious traditions to the story and then pretend there is a problem making sense of it. And that is before going into what the plain words of the story say instead of the traditional religious assertion of what it means which is absolutely absurd.

wow, you came in unprepaired!

I despise religion and therefore avoid using that as an excuse.  Sorry, I'm taking what is there.  You need to understand what it meant in context and the languages of the times in order to so closely critique it.  Unfortunately, most are illprepaired for such critical critique of the scriptures and yet still try to argue the point.  I hope you're smarter than that.


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A_Nony_Mouse wrote:Should

A_Nony_Mouse wrote:

Should anyone actually read the story without bring an shitload of religious traditiona to it, it is a much different story.

most religions over the years have tried to manipulate it to meet their needs and wants.

A_Nony_Mouse wrote:

We read clearly there are many gods. Like us means like US unless a religious tradition tells you it does not. All we know is that tradition has been around as far back as we can find mention of it without the idiot who invented it being identified must less why he invented it.

You're generalizing tradition.  Tradition isn't the culprit, it's religion forming unbiblical traditions and claiming it's Biblical. 

A_Nony_Mouse wrote:

We read clearly these gods were into creating plot devices. They create all the animals in pairs and then "discover" Adam needs a pairing. Ya think? Plot device one, a subservient women unlike the females among the animals.

so it is in scripture then that the animals did have other sexes!  Please reference.  Or were you just assuming again.

The problem is, the story is old, the reference point in the story is much older... at least for what we're talking about at this time.  Both of us can continually make assumptions about what really happened, but is that really going to get us anywhere?  Both would not be able to prove either way the validity of each assumption and therefore, we are back to square 1.

A_Nony_Mouse wrote:

Plot device two. They are created to be subservient to the gods. The lack two things be gods. They do not know good and evil and they do not live forever. Enter dramatic theme, forbid one tree but not the other. Ignore the fact they did not head straight for the Tree of Life and become gods immediately and bring on the snake!

I think you're pretty close to starting your own religion.

A_Nony_Mouse wrote:

The snake is a wilely creature. Had he/she/it really been interested in helping the people they would have been sent direct to the banana tree and they would have become gods straight away and lived happily ever after quite literally. But no he sends them to the apple tree to learn good and evil first so they started wearing clothes. Maybe the snake owned a Gap franchise.

That must be it.

A_Nony_Mouse wrote:

Anyway there is a nasty side effect of knowing good from evil. They get the odd idea that naked is evil. [cue Old Navy theme] Where in the hell did that come from? That is irrelevant to the story so far.

is that what you get from that?  Explain to me why nakedness in public is frowned upon in the first place.  Is it really because it's evil? 

A_Nony_Mouse wrote:

But then the gods get all upset about the banana tree and Adam and Eve becoming gods and kick them out of the entire Garden instead of simply removing the god-making tree. A classic case of over-reaction if there ever was one.

wow! it's like you know more than God himself!!! 

A_Nony_Mouse wrote:

Wherever they got the story it is clearly related to stealing the secret of fire from the gods. It represents man rising above the animals and getting half-way to godhood. They are clearly heroes yet somehow a semi-literate savage converted it into some kind of sin narrative.

You have to wonder why people WANT to bring such nonsense ideas to the story.

Makes them feel better.  Where do you get the idea that there was a "rise in power"?  From what I understood, the fact that God; "made man in His image" suggests the "power" was already there in man. 

To support your conclusion, we must be no better than animals today though, right???


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caposkia wrote:A_Nony_Mouse

caposkia wrote:

A_Nony_Mouse wrote:

Let us review the bidding here. We know some unknown charlatans invented the story at some unknown date for unknown reasons. We have no reason to assume there is some serious meaning in this story. We do not even know how literate the creators were. Nor do we have any idea if the creators intended it to make any more sense than Hubbard intended his Xenu story to make or the golden plates of Smith to make.

So it is really going off the deep end to bring an basketful of unfounded religious traditions to the story and then pretend there is a problem making sense of it. And that is before going into what the plain words of the story say instead of the traditional religious assertion of what it means which is absolutely absurd.

wow, you came in unprepaired!

I despise religion and therefore avoid using that as an excuse.  Sorry, I'm taking what is there.  You need to understand what it meant in context and the languages of the times in order to so closely critique it.  Unfortunately, most are illprepaired for such critical critique of the scriptures and yet still try to argue the point.  I hope you're smarter than that.

Don't you mean you despise the established versions of religion? You have no problems practicing your own version, I trust.

Why do the "I have a relationship not a religion" folks seem to be unable to have this relationship except within the rules of the religion?

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


pauljohntheskeptic
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caposkia

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Conjecture and unprovable. What is proved is the Earth has been here for billions of years and man for millions. 

understood.  It is just as "provable" as your statement that "no god was needed"

OK. So in your opinion why is no god needed unprovable?

The Universe seems to exist. Many different stories exist from ancient times how it happened. None seem to correlate with science. You can go to the Catholic view, God used evolution and science to create the Universe but a hole is left. The hole is other than stories from ancient times no god has been documented. 

My opinion is no god has been adequately shown to exist above myth and superstition. The stories you accept as documenting a relationship between Yahweh and mankind have much in common with myths of the Canaanites. Stories that are thousands of years old do nothing to present proof, only that ancient people had working imagination just as people today. Proof is the god in person or on a lab table, Brian's request for God-Sperm in nicer terms. 

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

We already have argued over how ancient the OT manuscripts are, the oldest is the DSS, see previous posts. No older than 165 BCE and likely to be from about 60 to 70 CE.

I said specifics, not generalities.  Again, it is understood that Genesis is one of the newest OT books.  

Our friend A nony mouse will tell you all of the OT books were generated about 1st century BCE and hence is nothing but a con job to control a group of people in Palestine. I see it as documenting ancient beliefs/myths incorporated from others into a story. It is not exactly possible to date when this actually happened, hence the discussion we are having.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

The only place this is done is in the OT itself which is a circular argument. Canaanite documents suggest El was someone else, see Ugaritic records.

When in reference, it's always going to represent someone or something..  If they didnt' follow God Almighty, of course it had to reference to someone else specifically unless it was a general reference to many gods.

Consider that Canaanite and Sumerian traditions can be shown to be far older than the Hebrew god myths for instance. Then what does that do to the situation? It indicates the Hebrew traditions derived from other god beliefs into Yahweh the sole god. But when? As indicated, Jeremiah ranted against Asherah and statuettes of her are found throughout Judah especially during the periods when God is supposedly the only one being worshiped, as during Hezekiah's reign. Even up to Roman times she was worshiped in Judea, check it out.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

The problem here is it's the same geographic area and completely different gods are claimed, including Yahweh is a son of El in the Canaanite pantheon. Asherah is Yahweh's consort as is she also mentioned as Ba'al's consort. It is possible that Yahweh and Ba'al are the same god. I'll have to look up the links for this but I think Richard Crappo in Utah has written much on this.

I'm don't know too much about that tie.  Haven't researched it.  It does make sense for non-followers of Yahweh to lessen His authority.  Otherwise, they'd have no excuse for following another exept for rebellion.

If you utterly dismiss a point without researching it you are being closed minded. I don't think you are close minded so you need to research the possibilities that El of the Bible is the Canaanite god and Yahweh of the Bible is a Canaanite god that were in myth before the Hebrew god is made the sole god of the Jews. This of course may change your view of your beliefs, though you claim to be objective so you should be fair about this and spend an adequate amount of time before you assert anything regarding motivations of the ancient non-Jewish people of Canaan. Such as saying that the Canaanites who seem to be non-followers of the Jewish god use similar name to denigrate the god is conjecture and biased by your beliefs in Yahweh. Take another look. You need to spend a lot of time researching Ugaritic gods, gods of Canaan, gods of Sumer and show how they weren't already using El and Yahweh first. There are many, many similarities.

 

 

____________________________________________________________
"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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caposkia wrote:
A_Nony_Mouse wrote:
There is zero archaeological evidence found in all of bibleland in support of anything in the OT stories about bibleland. Probably does not matter. There is nother there to support the stories. What is found is in direct contradiction to the stories. As physical evidence rules the stories are bullshit. Similarly with the Babylon exile story and everything associated with it. There is no evidence for it having happened. There is no evidence or any civilization in bibleland it could have happened to. There is no evidence of it in Babylon. Therefore it is also bullshit.

On the contrary.  I suggest you pick up an "Archeological Study Bible".  Let me know what you find.  Haven't actually read through all of it myself, but know of a few things it must reference to.

What I have been through is the archaeology itself as conducted in bibleland and there is nothing which supports the OT stories beyond the region being populated. The archaeology covers only what was in fact found. Believers are always "interperating" things with the bible open. Things which contradict the bible stories are explained away on the assumption the bible stories are fact.

For example there are some coins found around Jerusalem dated to the 6th c. BC with images of living things which is forbidden in Judaism. Without opening the bible one conclude Judaism did not exist at the time. So instead of using the find to narrow down the time of the invention of Judaism believers explain them away saying that aspect had not developed at that time.

For more than a century the absense of any evidence of Exodus in all of Egypt was sufficient for rational people to discredit the idea of Exodus. Believers like Cecil B. DeMille, invented an order to destroy all the evidence. It is a fundamentally dishonest approach.

caposkia wrote:
A_Nony_Mouse wrote:
Another problem is there is no evidence Hebrew was ever a spoken language in bibleland. When the Judeans first appear in history in the mid 1st c. BC they are speaking Aramaic. The squared script called Hebrew is the Aramaic script. The mere handful of inscriptions facetiously called proto-hebrew use Phoenician script.

...therefore, God must not exist!   What if I told you Biblical scholars know the discrepencies in language already?  What if I told you the English language isn't really English?

Therefore the OT was created in the late 2nd BC at the earliest and was created to impress the Greek rulers. Hebrew was invented for writing later. The archaeology and even historical documents show the locals worshiped Astarte and Yahweh into the 2nd c. AD. The Yahwist cult is best likened to the Taliban or Wahahbist version of Islam. The Yahwist cult thing does not show up again in history until the 6th c. AD with the Mishna in Aramaic followed by the Babylonian Talmud some centuries after that also in Aramaic.

caposkia wrote:
A_Nony_Mouse wrote:
The case against the OT stories all of which is based upon physical evidence or the lack thereof is overwhelmingly against the religious tradition that there is any element of real history in them.
Do some homework next time, then come to me with that claim.

I have done quite a bit. Enough to know about the temple of Astarte in Jerusalem until Rome rebuilt the city in the 2nd c. AD and that it was where the Muslim Dome of the Rock stands today. The Yahweh temple was below it.

Jews stole the land. The owners want it back. That is all anyone needs to know about Israel. That is all there is to know about Israel.

www.ussliberty.org

www.giwersworld.org/made-in-alexandria/index.html

www.giwersworld.org/00_files/zion-hit-points.phtml


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caposkia wrote:
A_Nony_Mouse wrote:
Let us review the bidding here. We know some unknown charlatans invented the story at some unknown date for unknown reasons. We have no reason to assume there is some serious meaning in this story. We do not even know how literate the creators were. Nor do we have any idea if the creators intended it to make any more sense than Hubbard intended his Xenu story to make or the golden plates of Smith to make.

So it is really going off the deep end to bring an basketful of unfounded religious traditions to the story and then pretend there is a problem making sense of it. And that is before going into what the plain words of the story say instead of the traditional religious assertion of what it means which is absolutely absurd.

wow, you came in unprepaired!

I despise religion and therefore avoid using that as an excuse.  Sorry, I'm taking what is there.  You need to understand what it meant in context and the languages of the times in order to so closely critique it.  Unfortunately, most are illprepaired for such critical critique of the scriptures and yet still try to argue the point.  I hope you're smarter than that.

The least rational thing to do is to assume there is an honest purpose in the creation of the stories. It does not matter what the words meant in context. The purpose of the OT was to establish a theocratic tyranny over the populace. Think Taliban. Think Ayatollahs. Think Maccabes.

Jews stole the land. The owners want it back. That is all anyone needs to know about Israel. That is all there is to know about Israel.

www.ussliberty.org

www.giwersworld.org/made-in-alexandria/index.html

www.giwersworld.org/00_files/zion-hit-points.phtml


caposkia
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jcgadfly wrote:Don't you

jcgadfly wrote:

Don't you mean you despise the established versions of religion? You have no problems practicing your own version, I trust.

By definition a religion is any following agreed upon by a group of people.  This would then include Atheism among others.  By that literal definition, you are right.  I dispise established religions.  Basically any religion that says you're wrong because I'm right, therefore, we must be separate. 

I guess I dispise separatism.  I'll respect any religion that does not discriminate another belief or put themselves on a pedistal above others because they think they've got it right.  It doesn't mean I'll agree with them, but I'll have respect for them and I won't despise them. 

jcgadfly wrote:

Why do the "I have a relationship not a religion" folks seem to be unable to have this relationship except within the rules of the religion?

depends on what "rules" you are referring to.   There are characteristics that define what a person follows.  Are those also religious rules?  E.g. an atheist will deny the existance of God.  That is a characteristic of that following.  I guess you could get technical and say that you can't be an atheist unless you deny the existance of God (as is by definition) in turn making it a "rule". 


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caposkia wrote:jcgadfly

caposkia wrote:

jcgadfly wrote:

Don't you mean you despise the established versions of religion? You have no problems practicing your own version, I trust.

By definition a religion is any following agreed upon by a group of people.  This would then include Atheism among others.  By that literal definition, you are right.  I dispise established religions.  Basically any religion that says you're wrong because I'm right, therefore, we must be separate. 

I guess I dispise separatism.  I'll respect any religion that does not discriminate another belief or put themselves on a pedistal above others because they think they've got it right.  It doesn't mean I'll agree with them, but I'll have respect for them and I won't despise them. 

jcgadfly wrote:

Why do the "I have a relationship not a religion" folks seem to be unable to have this relationship except within the rules of the religion?

depends on what "rules" you are referring to.   There are characteristics that define what a person follows.  Are those also religious rules?  E.g. an atheist will deny the existance of God.  That is a characteristic of that following.  I guess you could get technical and say that you can't be an atheist unless you deny the existance of God (as is by definition) in turn making it a "rule". 

Except that your definiton of religion doesn't square with reality. Atheism doesn't attempt to explain the origin of the universe or provide a moral code. Atheism is the lack of a belief in a deity - that's all.

You despise separation and yet you follow a religion found in a holy book that has separation as the focal point? Interesting.

I'm talking about the rules found in your Bible - or don't you use the Bible?

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


caposkia
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pauljohntheskeptic wrote:OK.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

OK. So in your opinion why is no god needed unprovable?

If you take both sides from a non-bias perspective.  There is just as much evidence (or lack thereof depending on your approach) for both points.  You can't base your belief off either idea without other reasons to support it beyond that topic.  It would be ignorant to do so.

To answer your question simply, you can't emperically prove that God was not needed.  

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

The Universe seems to exist. Many different stories exist from ancient times how it happened. None seem to correlate with science. You can go to the Catholic view, God used evolution and science to create the Universe but a hole is left. The hole is other than stories from ancient times no god has been documented. 

The stories, though different, tend to coenside with each other.  Why would an in depth scientific approach to the conclusions of the stories be included in any of them at that time?  Was that even possible at that time?   Are you also taking into consideration translational discrepencies?

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

My opinion is no god has been adequately shown to exist above myth and superstition. The stories you accept as documenting a relationship between Yahweh and mankind have much in common with myths of the Canaanites. Stories that are thousands of years old do nothing to present proof, only that ancient people had working imagination just as people today. Proof is the god in person or on a lab table, Brian's request for God-Sperm in nicer terms. 

As humans, our minds can only comprehend what we see inside the box we live in... and inside this box we only have time, space and matter.  All that's in this box is understood to be physical.  Anything that might fall outside this box is understood to be metaphysical or beyond the physical.  Because we live inside the physical box, our minds can't comprehend metaphysical. 

Now, both you and Brian have requested physical evidence of what is understood to be metaphysical.  That is not only against any logic of science, but it is irrational thinking. 

Your opinion, nothing has been presented to you that would make you consider the existance of God.  It seems the only reason is because you won't even consider for a moment the possibility of anything outside the box you live in.  How are you suppose to fit a God inside a box that He is said to be much bigger than? 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Our friend A nony mouse will tell you all of the OT books were generated about 1st century BCE and hence is nothing but a con job to control a group of people in Palestine. I see it as documenting ancient beliefs/myths incorporated from others into a story. It is not exactly possible to date when this actually happened, hence the discussion we are having.

be it that the dates are not of major importance.  As I presented earlier, there are sources dated much earlier than the first century BCE credited to the OT.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

If you utterly dismiss a point without researching it you are being closed minded.

I mearly explained a logical conclusion that has been proven through historical understanding of opposing beliefs in a community.  I was not being close minded or dismissing the topic.  As you stated after that, you do know me better than that.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

I don't think you are close minded so you need to research the possibilities that El of the Bible is the Canaanite god and Yahweh of the Bible is a Canaanite god that were in myth before the Hebrew god is made the sole god of the Jews. This of course may change your view of your beliefs, though you claim to be objective so you should be fair about this and spend an adequate amount of time before you assert anything regarding motivations of the ancient non-Jewish people of Canaan. Such as saying that the Canaanites who seem to be non-followers of the Jewish god use similar name to denigrate the god is conjecture and biased by your beliefs in Yahweh. Take another look. You need to spend a lot of time researching Ugaritic gods, gods of Canaan, gods of Sumer and show how they weren't already using El and Yahweh first. There are many, many similarities.

As I've said, I hadn't taken much time to study those.  It didn't mean I wasn't going to.  I have my knowlegable sources for things I don't know.  I will find out.

btw, they are non-biased. 

 


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A_Nony_Mouse wrote:What I

A_Nony_Mouse wrote:

What I have been through is the archaeology itself as conducted in bibleland and there is nothing which supports the OT stories beyond the region being populated. The archaeology covers only what was in fact found. Believers are always "interperating" things with the bible open. Things which contradict the bible stories are explained away on the assumption the bible stories are fact.

all of it?  You must be quite old!  Beyond that, I have not yet seen the contradictory claims you reference to.  The funny thing is, I've had archeological conversations with people on here before. 

A_Nony_Mouse wrote:

For example there are some coins found around Jerusalem dated to the 6th c. BC with images of living things which is forbidden in Judaism. Without opening the bible one conclude Judaism did not exist at the time. So instead of using the find to narrow down the time of the invention of Judaism believers explain them away saying that aspect had not developed at that time.

From what i remember, the Bible references to currency that had the picture of Ceasar on it. 

A_Nony_Mouse wrote:

For more than a century the absense of any evidence of Exodus in all of Egypt was sufficient for rational people to discredit the idea of Exodus. Believers like Cecil B. DeMille, invented an order to destroy all the evidence. It is a fundamentally dishonest approach.

yet, rational people still believe it happened there.  Wonder why that is? 

A_Nony_Mouse wrote:

Therefore the OT was created in the late 2nd BC at the earliest and was created to impress the Greek rulers. Hebrew was invented for writing later. The archaeology and even historical documents show the locals worshiped Astarte and Yahweh into the 2nd c. AD. The Yahwist cult is best likened to the Taliban or Wahahbist version of Islam. The Yahwist cult thing does not show up again in history until the 6th c. AD with the Mishna in Aramaic followed by the Babylonian Talmud some centuries after that also in Aramaic.

Unfortunately scientific dating of the OT does not coenside with your first statement above.  Read earlier in this forum the understood timeframes of OT writings.  Not always the copies we have, but the origins.

A_Nony_Mouse wrote:

I have done quite a bit. Enough to know about the temple of Astarte in Jerusalem until Rome rebuilt the city in the 2nd c. AD and that it was where the Muslim Dome of the Rock stands today. The Yahweh temple was below it.

That information is well known among Christian scholars as well.  What does it have to do with the belief other than the fact that many in that location didn't follow Judaism or Christianity... which is stated in the Bible. 


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A_Nony_Mouse wrote:The least

A_Nony_Mouse wrote:

The least rational thing to do is to assume there is an honest purpose in the creation of the stories. It does not matter what the words meant in context. The purpose of the OT was to establish a theocratic tyranny over the populace. Think Taliban. Think Ayatollahs. Think Maccabes.

Yet you have shown no support for your conclusion beyond the fact that not everyone in those locations followed which is not support for your conclusion. 

 

We've lost focus.  Where were we in the walkthrough of Genesis?


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caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

OK. So in your opinion why is no god needed unprovable?

If you take both sides from a non-bias perspective.  There is just as much evidence (or lack thereof depending on your approach) for both points.  You can't base your belief off either idea without other reasons to support it beyond that topic.  It would be ignorant to do so.

To answer your question simply, you can't emperically prove that God was not needed.

In a situation where you look at and analyze data and have no concept of the cause,  all data is sorted to determine a pattern. If one has the understanding of physical reality meaning what one can see and measure, one puts or tries to put the patterns and data into understandable cubbyholes so to speak. Things that do not fit into the physical knowledge or seem to be unmeasurable are parked in a file or cubbyhole  called Unknown or I Don't Know. There is no need to make up anything until one can see how the pieces go together. Perhaps new areas of physics and understanding will be found at some point in the future to explain the files called unknown. What is not a very good idea is to make up fantasy or conjecture about the unknown and conclude that just because you can not explain it today that it must be from a force outside reality which is many times attributed to some kind of supernatural entity. 

You and other believers are biased in the direction of attributing unknown files to be outside reality and see it as somehow validation of the god you think is out there someplace. This is simply a theory on the part of the believer and has as much validation as the theory all human life on Earth came from a crashed alien space vehicle. Both are theories and neither have adequate proof or evidence but take many unknown files and link them to make the claim and do so without systematic evaluation in the only place that it can be done at this point in our technology,  namely in physical reality.

To put this simply, where you are researching and trying to understand, jumping to conclusions usually result in an error. I see no need to ascribe unknowns to anything other than unknown. When more is understood one can move the unknown to an appropriate place of knowledge in the physical world that we exist within. 

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

The Universe seems to exist. Many different stories exist from ancient times how it happened. None seem to correlate with science. You can go to the Catholic view, God used evolution and science to create the Universe but a hole is left. The hole is other than stories from ancient times no god has been documented. 

The stories, though different, tend to coenside with each other.  Why would an in depth scientific approach to the conclusions of the stories be included in any of them at that time?  Was that even possible at that time?   Are you also taking into consideration translational discrepencies?

I wasn't criticizing that the stories did not include scientific analysis in their approach to describing the world they knew only that the stories whether it be from Genesis, Sumer, or Ugaritic writing do not correlate with reality as we currently understand.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

My opinion is no god has been adequately shown to exist above myth and superstition. The stories you accept as documenting a relationship between Yahweh and mankind have much in common with myths of the Canaanites. Stories that are thousands of years old do nothing to present proof, only that ancient people had working imagination just as people today. Proof is the god in person or on a lab table, Brian's request for God-Sperm in nicer terms. 

As humans, our minds can only comprehend what we see inside the box we live in... and inside this box we only have time, space and matter.  All that's in this box is understood to be physical.  Anything that might fall outside this box is understood to be metaphysical or beyond the physical.  Because we live inside the physical box, our minds can't comprehend metaphysical. 

Now, both you and Brian have requested physical evidence of what is understood to be metaphysical.  That is not only against any logic of science, but it is irrational thinking. 

Your opinion, nothing has been presented to you that would make you consider the existance of God.  It seems the only reason is because you won't even consider for a moment the possibility of anything outside the box you live in.  How are you suppose to fit a God inside a box that He is said to be much bigger than?

If there is something outside the reality we perceive and it interfaces in some way to our dimension of reality then eventually we should be able to understand and measure or even communicate to that dimension.

This applies to the idea of M theory or string theory as well. If there are dimensions of reality or parallel universes as these theories suggest, perhaps either your god lies there or is just misconstrued as one that communicated at some point from another dimension. As of yet though, M theory remains conjecture and unproved just as claims of a god outside our present reality. Neither the god idea or M theory should be relied upon as factual until learning and knowledge advances. It's not that I can't consider the possibility of something outside of my perception, I do such as with M theory, it's that I understand it's in the file called unknown or insufficient information available.

 

 

____________________________________________________________
"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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caposkia wrote: We've lost

caposkia wrote:

 

We've lost focus.  Where were we in the walkthrough of Genesis?

 

We had entered the world of Abraham. The last point was he and his family moved from Ur to Canaan.

The problem I have with Abraham and the stories of his descendants is they are all accounts which are written in the same manner as all other myths, legends, and stories from the ancients. There is absolutely no validation Abraham was a real person any more than Herakles (Greek Version) ended up on Mt Olympus in the end and was a son of Zeus. Stories of Abe are just as unsupported as occurring in the real world as are stories of Herc.

 

You can pick anything you like about Abraham to discuss and we'll go from there.

____________________________________________________________
"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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pauljohntheskeptic wrote:In

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

In a situation where you look at and analyze data and have no concept of the cause,  all data is sorted to determine a pattern. If one has the understanding of physical reality meaning what one can see and measure, one puts or tries to put the patterns and data into understandable cubbyholes so to speak. Things that do not fit into the physical knowledge or seem to be unmeasurable are parked in a file or cubbyhole  called Unknown or I Don't Know. There is no need to make up anything until one can see how the pieces go together. Perhaps new areas of physics and understanding will be found at some point in the future to explain the files called unknown. What is not a very good idea is to make up fantasy or conjecture about the unknown and conclude that just because you can not explain it today that it must be from a force outside reality which is many times attributed to some kind of supernatural entity. 

The point I was trying to make is neither is the case.  Christians make up a fantasy to explain an unknown just as much as a non-believer makes up the same.  If it's unknown, it's unknown and thus no conclusions should be made... period. 

The catch is both sides understand and agree on evidences that lead them to believe their conclusion is sound and thus it's not "completely unknown", just not fully understood.  Thus the "theory" evolves.

This is getting way beyond the purpose of the Forum you started, but if you really want to see a scientific approach to why someone would believe there is a God, I'd say the book; "God according to God" is a good start.  It was written by a renowned Scientist.  It's fairly new.  Hopefully there's a library somewhere that picked it up or has access to it.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

You and other believers are biased in the direction of attributing unknown files to be outside reality and see it as somehow validation of the god you think is out there someplace.

you forget that I have expressed that I have seen enough "evidences" in my life to conclude that there must be a God.  I've been waiting for someone on this site to challenge that understanding................................ 

There are many evidences within the known that have helped me conclude what I have.  Unless you're claiming the non-believers have done the same thing, I don't believe that's a valid defense.  If all the information regarding the topic is as you've said, unknown... then the non-believer is just as guilty of concluding anything.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

This is simply a theory on the part of the believer and has as much validation as the theory all human life on Earth came from a crashed alien space vehicle. Both are theories and neither have adequate proof or evidence but take many unknown files and link them to make the claim and do so without systematic evaluation in the only place that it can be done at this point in our technology,  namely in physical reality.

speaking of evidences, I've heard that excuse many times... (or excuses like it) from the non-believer, but when challenged to support that with emperical reasoning, few have responded accordingly.  The responses I have gotten were rooted in cultic claims and therefore were not relevent to the Biblical following. 

Are we done with the OT walkthrough?  If so, I suggest you pick up the suggested reading and we can continue with that.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

To put this simply, where you are researching and trying to understand, jumping to conclusions usually result in an error. I see no need to ascribe unknowns to anything other than unknown. When more is understood one can move the unknown to an appropriate place of knowledge in the physical world that we exist within. 

What unknowns are you referring to? 

If what you say is truly how you feel, then anyone on here who concludes that there is no God is just as suseptible to error and just as illogical for concluding on an unknown.   Would you agree with that statement?

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

I wasn't criticizing that the stories did not include scientific analysis in their approach to describing the world they knew only that the stories whether it be from Genesis, Sumer, or Ugaritic writing do not correlate with reality as we currently understand.

I see that.  The thing is, if your ultimate goal is to conclude whether there is a God or not, then Genesis is not the place to start.  If you still want to walk through like we were, I'm game.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

If there is something outside the reality we perceive and it interfaces in some way to our dimension of reality then eventually we should be able to understand and measure or even communicate to that dimension.

Millions around the world claim to be able to communicate with that dimension.  Billions perceive this other dimension... not necessarily through the Christianity belief, but generally speaking. 

In order to measure something that's metaphysical, we would need 'theoretically' a metaphysical means of doing so.  This would require first the acceptance of such a realm.  Then some major progress from there.  Strange though that most people who become aware of this realm feel no dire need to measure it.  Maybe because they understand the measurements would be beyond our comprehension as far as measurement goes.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

This applies to the idea of M theory or string theory as well. If there are dimensions of reality or parallel universes as these theories suggest, perhaps either your god lies there or is just misconstrued as one that communicated at some point from another dimension. As of yet though, M theory remains conjecture and unproved just as claims of a god outside our present reality. Neither the god idea or M theory should be relied upon as factual until learning and knowledge advances. It's not that I can't consider the possibility of something outside of my perception, I do such as with M theory, it's that I understand it's in the file called unknown or insufficient information available.

 This is where I actually want to work with people on here if they're willing.  Just as much as I want to show them what i understand, I want them to show me what they understand and why.  This way I can keep challenging my own understanding and learn more at the same time. There is a huge amount of information available.  The problem here is I am only one person.  Still learning as I go.  Therefore, I may not have exactly what you need to understand.  My belief though is that it's out there.  If you're willing to work with me and tell me what might be a way for you to comprehend this metaphysical world, I may be able to point you in the right direction. At the same time, I'm willing to work with you in figuring out why there might not be this metaphysical world. So where do we go from here?  From what I see in your logic, that book I recommended might be a great start.  

 


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pauljohntheskeptic wrote:We

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

We had entered the world of Abraham. The last point was he and his family moved from Ur to Canaan.

The problem I have with Abraham and the stories of his descendants is they are all accounts which are written in the same manner as all other myths, legends, and stories from the ancients. There is absolutely no validation Abraham was a real person any more than Herakles (Greek Version) ended up on Mt Olympus in the end and was a son of Zeus. Stories of Abe are just as unsupported as occurring in the real world as are stories of Herc.

 

You can pick anything you like about Abraham to discuss and we'll go from there.

It is my understanding that there are extra-Biblical stories that support the story of Abraham.  I'd have to get  back to you at some point on sources.  Either way, I don't have anything specific to talk about with Abraham. 

Other stories that coenside with this might have been derived from it or support the same story line from a different perspective.  Names, dates and even locations can differ from story to story even though both stories might be talking about the same thing.  Obviously there is a line between error and obvious misinformation or myth.


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caposkia

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

We had entered the world of Abraham. The last point was he and his family moved from Ur to Canaan.

The problem I have with Abraham and the stories of his descendants is they are all accounts which are written in the same manner as all other myths, legends, and stories from the ancients. There is absolutely no validation Abraham was a real person any more than Herakles (Greek Version) ended up on Mt Olympus in the end and was a son of Zeus. Stories of Abe are just as unsupported as occurring in the real world as are stories of Herc.

 

You can pick anything you like about Abraham to discuss and we'll go from there.

It is my understanding that there are extra-Biblical stories that support the story of Abraham.  I'd have to get  back to you at some point on sources.  Either way, I don't have anything specific to talk about with Abraham. 

Other stories that coenside with this might have been derived from it or support the same story line from a different perspective.  Names, dates and even locations can differ from story to story even though both stories might be talking about the same thing.  Obviously there is a line between error and obvious misinformation or myth.

 

I would like to continue with the journey through the OT and I will shortly address your other post which diverges somewhat from the main thrust of this forum as you have so pointed out.

I'd like to see what extra-Biblical stories you feel support the single person accounts in Genesis regarding Abraham even being a real person of history.  Please supply a link to whatever source you feel gives these stories any credibility to be more than the legends of a supposed ancestor much like Greek mythology. I see no difference between them.

The first story deals with Abraham's arrival in Canaan and his construction of an altar. Later, the Northern Kingdom is alleged to use this as an indication of where the god should be worshiped, at least according to the accounts though it's just as likely more fantasy.

Abraham then visits Egypt due to a famine. An unnamed Pharaoh becomes enamored with Sarai and is consequently cursed. An indication of the time frame for this writing occurs with the mention of camels in the account. Camels were not extremely useful or utilized in trade routes until well after 1000 BCE. Not specifically naming the Pharaoh is a technique utilized in the Exodus account as well. If no name is attached to the account, verification of the single person perspective becomes impossible allowing only conjecture and belief. Though claims are made throughout the OT that this or that occurred in regards to a verified person of history but evidence of interaction is almost always lacking. One exception is in regard to Ahab of Israel mentioned by Shalmaneser III. He does not of course make any mention of what religious fantasies Ahab may have subscribed to, so it supports nothing in regard to what dogma was accepted as far as gods worshiped.

____________________________________________________________
"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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We know next to nothing about the Old Testament. We do not know who wrote, where it was written, when it was written or why it was written. The best we can say from the evidence is that it first appeared in Alexandria in the mid to late 2nd c. BC in Greek as the Septuagint.

We do know in that century a significant population of Palestine-Syrians was living in Alexandria. Certainly they were exposed to both the Greek and Egyptian gods and were likely adopting them. They largely spoke Greek although they kept some usage of the Aramaic of Palestine. If there was ever a population needing the old men to scare them back to Yahweh and Ashara of Palestine it was them.

With only a few deviations the Septuagint is a collection of cautionary tales telling of the benefits of following the old gods, one of them at least, and the dangers of not worshiping him. Think Tales from the Crypt. It is a story telling style. We have no reason to believe these stories were intended to be other than fictional cautionary stories. In fact they follow the norm of ancient stories when the gods are figuratively involved they are intended to be telling true stories. When the gods are literally involved the story is intended as fiction. Athena may figuratively grant victory in war or Poseidon send to storm to deflect an enemy fleet it is no different from the figurative involvement of the Christian god in war. But when Zeus impregnates someone what follows is a wholly fictional work that was taken as fiction by the audience. So it is most likely most of these stories were intended as fiction and were originally read as fiction.

Very early in the collection of stories written for the Palestinians in Alexandria is a cautionary tale about the Egyptians. Their ancestors benefitted and the king initially rewarded Joseph and Alexander was good for them as they did not go home. As soon as their ancestors benefitted too much from being in Egypt they were enslaved -- treacherous Egyptians. The rest of the cautionary tale is what it took to free them.

The most common theme of the rest of the stories is the penalty for doing what they likely were doing, worshiping other gods. Even kings are not immune from punishment even the most powerful like Solomon.

As there is no archaeological evidence for these stories or the culture of these stories having existed in Palestine nor any version older than the Septuagint it is reasonable to ask where the story tellers got the inspiration for their stories. Alexandria had this little library. Alexander had started its collection by literally stealing all the historical and philosophical material he could get his hands on and sending it there. Most of its contents are lost to us. Certainly there would be enough inspiration for all the OT stories and then some.

But really, where do preachers get their ideas for their stories? Do we need a special explanation for instructional story which starts with a wholly fictitious event? Preachers have a million of them. They are taught to tell them in preacher school.

Why were they not created in Aramaic or Phoenician, the only known languages of Palestine at the time? The target audience was in Alexandria and spoke Greek. There is no evidence Hebrew was ever a spoken language. At most it was an invented liturgical language.

I am digressing here. My point is the stories contain the direct invervention of gods and that was taken as a work of fiction in ancient times. When did people start thinking they were supposed to be literally true? And why?

Once it is assumed the stories are literally true everything changes. Answers are needed for why they were created. They became chronicles of real events. As the stories had all the common storytelling faults including there being no observer of the recorded events in the stories then someone invents the idea they were inspired by that god. Are they infallable? Are you saying god could inspire error you heretic?

When did they they start being taken literally? The first usage of a word which can be translated as Judaism in the modern sense is Josephus in the late 1st c. AD. It is the first time the god, beliefs, people and customs are subsumed by a single word. Why Josephus did this we can only speculate. Whenever one thinks Christianity got started there were other groups who defined their members as separate based upon this grouping. He may simply the oldest surviving example of its use. The point to take from this is the idea of Judeans as a distinct group based upon the god and customs did not exist before this. When it came to the Jews it would not do that their beliefs were merely cautionary tales. They became real stories. This is no more than speculation.

Jews stole the land. The owners want it back. That is all anyone needs to know about Israel. That is all there is to know about Israel.

www.ussliberty.org

www.giwersworld.org/made-in-alexandria/index.html

www.giwersworld.org/00_files/zion-hit-points.phtml


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Christos wrote:

 Um, all of the above. The OT contains myth, legends and reality. I don't think many people here will disagree that the Genesis creation narrative is fictional. However, 1-2 Kings probably contains some real history about first monarchs of Israel. And other books like Ezra contains real history about the Babylonian Exile. Books like Job and Daniel 7-12 don't seem to refelct history, but instead reflect parable and apocalypticism. Daniel 1-6 seems to be historical fiction. 

This really isn't a question you can answer without significant study and probably a decent knowledge of ancient Hebrew. For example, we know that Deuteronomy was written hundreds of years later than Exodus because of the changes in the Hebrew language. 

Even the most dedicated believers can only find six or so possible points of congruence between external finds and the bible stories. Abraham, Moses, David, Solomon, biblical Israel and Judea are not among them. If archaeology can't find the evidence in bibleland it is reasonable to take them as the fiction they were intended to be.

Jews stole the land. The owners want it back. That is all anyone needs to know about Israel. That is all there is to know about Israel.

www.ussliberty.org

www.giwersworld.org/made-in-alexandria/index.html

www.giwersworld.org/00_files/zion-hit-points.phtml


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A_Nony_Mouse wrote:Christos

A_Nony_Mouse wrote:

Christos wrote:

 Um, all of the above. The OT contains myth, legends and reality. I don't think many people here will disagree that the Genesis creation narrative is fictional. However, 1-2 Kings probably contains some real history about first monarchs of Israel. And other books like Ezra contains real history about the Babylonian Exile. Books like Job and Daniel 7-12 don't seem to refelct history, but instead reflect parable and apocalypticism. Daniel 1-6 seems to be historical fiction. 

This really isn't a question you can answer without significant study and probably a decent knowledge of ancient Hebrew. For example, we know that Deuteronomy was written hundreds of years later than Exodus because of the changes in the Hebrew language. 

Even the most dedicated believers can only find six or so possible points of congruence between external finds and the bible stories. Abraham, Moses, David, Solomon, biblical Israel and Judea are not among them. If archaeology can't find the evidence in bibleland it is reasonable to take them as the fiction they were intended to be.

Though I can't reference to them all, I know there have been many more than that.  What six are you referring to? 


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pauljohntheskeptic wrote:I

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

I would like to continue with the journey through the OT and I will shortly address your other post which diverges somewhat from the main thrust of this forum as you have so pointed out.

I would like to apologize for my not getting back sooner.  Life has been hectic lately.  

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

I'd like to see what extra-Biblical stories you feel support the single person accounts in Genesis regarding Abraham even being a real person of history.  Please supply a link to whatever source you feel gives these stories any credibility to be more than the legends of a supposed ancestor much like Greek mythology. I see no difference between them.

As far as general accounts, the book I have referenced... "God according to God" has been quite the interesting read to me.

As far as specific person accounts, from what I've seen, names change, but the storyline stays the same.  I haven't had much time at this point to find specific sources.  I'll keep note of what you're looking for.  Please understand I'm not ignoring your request.  I've just been quite swamped with things this past month.  Lemme see if some of my friends have any sources.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

The first story deals with Abraham's arrival in Canaan and his construction of an altar. Later, the Northern Kingdom is alleged to use this as an indication of where the god should be worshiped, at least according to the accounts though it's just as likely more fantasy.

Abraham then visits Egypt due to a famine. An unnamed Pharaoh becomes enamored with Sarai and is consequently cursed. An indication of the time frame for this writing occurs with the mention of camels in the account. Camels were not extremely useful or utilized in trade routes until well after 1000 BCE. Not specifically naming the Pharaoh is a technique utilized in the Exodus account as well. If no name is attached to the account, verification of the single person perspective becomes impossible allowing only conjecture and belief. Though claims are made throughout the OT that this or that occurred in regards to a verified person of history but evidence of interaction is almost always lacking. One exception is in regard to Ahab of Israel mentioned by Shalmaneser III. He does not of course make any mention of what religious fantasies Ahab may have subscribed to, so it supports nothing in regard to what dogma was accepted as far as gods worshiped.

I see what you're saying here.  I think I should ask what sources you'd accept as evidence that would, "support the single person accounts in Genesis regarding Abraham even being a real person of history."

I'm assuming congruencies in other (as you would say) mythical stories wouldn't suffice.  I'm not sure if beyond congruencies from unconnected and unrelated sources there would be much be it that at the time of course Abraham wouldn't have been known as anyone of much significance. 


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caposkia

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

I would like to continue with the journey through the OT and I will shortly address your other post which diverges somewhat from the main thrust of this forum as you have so pointed out.

I would like to apologize for my not getting back sooner.  Life has been hectic lately.

I agree. Thanks to the economy ruined by years of stupidity I have to spend far more time eeking out a living too. 

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

I'd like to see what extra-Biblical stories you feel support the single person accounts in Genesis regarding Abraham even being a real person of history.  Please supply a link to whatever source you feel gives these stories any credibility to be more than the legends of a supposed ancestor much like Greek mythology. I see no difference between them.

As far as general accounts, the book I have referenced... "God according to God" has been quite the interesting read to me.

As far as specific person accounts, from what I've seen, names change, but the storyline stays the same.  I haven't had much time at this point to find specific sources.  I'll keep note of what you're looking for.  Please understand I'm not ignoring your request.  I've just been quite swamped with things this past month.  Lemme see if some of my friends have any sources.

You might look in your book and see if there are footnotes referencing anything in particular that might be helpful or relevant. As a graduate  alumni of a Jesuit University, I can drag myself across town to their library while I'm in Denver. I'll be here for a few months before I go home to Florida so if anyone has anything of merit they will buried on dusty shelves.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

The first story deals with Abraham's arrival in Canaan and his construction of an altar. Later, the Northern Kingdom is alleged to use this as an indication of where the god should be worshiped, at least according to the accounts though it's just as likely more fantasy.

Abraham then visits Egypt due to a famine. An unnamed Pharaoh becomes enamored with Sarai and is consequently cursed. An indication of the time frame for this writing occurs with the mention of camels in the account. Camels were not extremely useful or utilized in trade routes until well after 1000 BCE. Not specifically naming the Pharaoh is a technique utilized in the Exodus account as well. If no name is attached to the account, verification of the single person perspective becomes impossible allowing only conjecture and belief. Though claims are made throughout the OT that this or that occurred in regards to a verified person of history but evidence of interaction is almost always lacking. One exception is in regard to Ahab of Israel mentioned by Shalmaneser III. He does not of course make any mention of what religious fantasies Ahab may have subscribed to, so it supports nothing in regard to what dogma was accepted as far as gods worshiped.

I see what you're saying here.  I think I should ask what sources you'd accept as evidence that would, "support the single person accounts in Genesis regarding Abraham even being a real person of history."

I'm assuming congruencies in other (as you would say) mythical stories wouldn't suffice.  I'm not sure if beyond congruencies from unconnected and unrelated sources there would be much be it that at the time of course Abraham wouldn't have been known as anyone of much significance. 

Single person accounts always require proof or evidence they actually occurred in the real world and were not simply legends or myths someone transcribed. As far as I can tell Abe is as real as Hercules. I know of no ancient documents at all that suggest either one were real persons. But as always, I'm open to actual proof Hercules was the son of Zeus and eventually ascended to Mt Olympus and Abe was the real forefather of all the Jewish and Arab people.

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"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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pauljohntheskeptic wrote:You

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

You might look in your book and see if there are footnotes referencing anything in particular that might be helpful or relevant. As a graduate  alumni of a Jesuit University, I can drag myself across town to their library while I'm in Denver. I'll be here for a few months before I go home to Florida so if anyone has anything of merit they will buried on dusty shelves.

One source has confirmed with me that there is no historical documentation of Abraham, which doesn't surprise me.  Other religious documents in the world tend to have congruent stories like the Quran for example. 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Single person accounts always require proof or evidence they actually occurred in the real world and were not simply legends or myths someone transcribed. As far as I can tell Abe is as real as Hercules. I know of no ancient documents at all that suggest either one were real persons. But as always, I'm open to actual proof Hercules was the son of Zeus and eventually ascended to Mt Olympus and Abe was the real forefather of all the Jewish and Arab people.

Unless you look at some extremely extensive geneologies, I don't believe you'd find him historically because he was not understood to be a significant being, just another person among the many at the time. 


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Seems more than a little

Seems more than a little convenient, that. The only sources are those that venerate him?

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jcgadfly wrote:Seems more

jcgadfly wrote:

Seems more than a little convenient, that. The only sources are those that venerate him?

Convenient how?  Why would there be other sources that would venerate an "average person"?  The only significance of Abraham besides his walk with God was his geneology.  There would be no excuse for another source to venerate him.... except of course the Quran... which it did. 


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caposkia wrote:jcgadfly

caposkia wrote:

jcgadfly wrote:

Seems more than a little convenient, that. The only sources are those that venerate him?

Convenient how?  Why would there be other sources that would venerate an "average person"?  The only significance of Abraham besides his walk with God was his geneology.  There would be no excuse for another source to venerate him.... except of course the Quran... which it did. 

The only proof of his existence is in the books that show him reverence. I am an ordinary person, I have loads of paperwork on me that can be accessed.

Nothing so much as a receipt for grain with Abram/Abraham's name on it. The only proof of his existence are the books that show him reverence.

It throws up a red flag for me.

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caposkia

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

You might look in your book and see if there are footnotes referencing anything in particular that might be helpful or relevant. As a graduate  alumni of a Jesuit University, I can drag myself across town to their library while I'm in Denver. I'll be here for a few months before I go home to Florida so if anyone has anything of merit they will buried on dusty shelves.

One source has confirmed with me that there is no historical documentation of Abraham, which doesn't surprise me.  Other religious documents in the world tend to have congruent stories like the Quran for example.

 

The Quran took the story of Abraham as fact but that was the original or a tranlation into Greek from an older Hebrew version if it existed. (A_nony-Mouse argues the Greek was the original, he has points for this but I'm undecided as yet.  So other documents coming after the story in the Bible are proof of nothing.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Single person accounts always require proof or evidence they actually occurred in the real world and were not simply legends or myths someone transcribed. As far as I can tell Abe is as real as Hercules. I know of no ancient documents at all that suggest either one were real persons. But as always, I'm open to actual proof Hercules was the son of Zeus and eventually ascended to Mt Olympus and Abe was the real forefather of all the Jewish and Arab people.

Unless you look at some extremely extensive geneologies, I don't believe you'd find him historically because he was not understood to be a significant being, just another person among the many at the time. 

Therein lies the problem. If someone like Abraham can't be shown to be a real historical person and so much of Jewish belief is founded on him, what then? A person using the scientific method can not accept Abe to be more than myth as the stories have many issues and as even you have found so far there is no proof he was a real person. 

The only genelogies I know about that discuss Abraham are in the Bible or the Quran. Not helpful.

Abraham is extremely important in Jewish belief. God made a covenant with him which is basis for nearly everything else other than the promise made in Genesis which as we have discussed likely was created way leter. If Abe is myth there are holes that can not be patched.

 

 

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"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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jcgadfly wrote:The only

jcgadfly wrote:

The only proof of his existence is in the books that show him reverence. I am an ordinary person, I have loads of paperwork on me that can be accessed.

Nothing so much as a receipt for grain with Abram/Abraham's name on it. The only proof of his existence are the books that show him reverence.

It throws up a red flag for me.

Just so you understand my point of view.  I completely understand your perspective.  To me, that doesn't run a red flag up.  Most information on a person is not accessible except from the sources that venerate them.

Beyond that, sure, in today's world, you could find out everything you want to know about me on the internet with some basic information.  How about your grandfather from the generation of Abraham?  Do you have any information on him?  Do you have a source to find that information? 

Yes, anyone can find information about pretty much anyone through a geneology.  Other than the story of Abraham (Bible or Quran or other source of spiritual influence) all it is is geneology.  That's really the point in knowing him in the Bible.  He was pulled out of the geneology in the Bible because of his relationship with God and because there was a major geneological split at his children.  Otherwise, he'd be one among many listed in the Bible's geneology and we wouldn't be having this conversation. 


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pauljohntheskeptic wrote:The

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

The Quran took the story of Abraham as fact but that was the original or a tranlation into Greek from an older Hebrew version if it existed. (A_nony-Mouse argues the Greek was the original, he has points for this but I'm undecided as yet.  So other documents coming after the story in the Bible are proof of nothing.

Just to clarify some language issues.  After some research myself and asking some seminarians as well a professors, neither the Hebrew or Greek are considered to be the "original".  It's not completely known what it was, but it is theorized that Aramic could be one among many possibilities. 

I know this because it is one main question I had. 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Therein lies the problem. If someone like Abraham can't be shown to be a real historical person and so much of Jewish belief is founded on him, what then? A person using the scientific method can not accept Abe to be more than myth as the stories have many issues and as even you have found so far there is no proof he was a real person. 

Amidst any ancestor you may have as well.  Let's just say the sources I am aware of and some seminarian friends don't have a reference to historical information on him.  I guess there's a possibility there are sources out there, but it wouldn't make sense that unless it was a geneology you were researching, that you'd find him. 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

The only genelogies I know about that discuss Abraham are in the Bible or the Quran. Not helpful.

I figured as much

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Abraham is extremely important in Jewish belief. God made a covenant with him which is basis for nearly everything else other than the promise made in Genesis which as we have discussed likely was created way leter. If Abe is myth there are holes that can not be patched.

yea, some major ones.  It's generally accepted that he's not due to the extensive geneologies that follow.  The sources for the Biblical geneologies are understood to be historical.  (I haven't even begun to look into that but it's what I understand at this point.)

 

 


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caposkia wrote:jcgadfly

caposkia wrote:

jcgadfly wrote:

The only proof of his existence is in the books that show him reverence. I am an ordinary person, I have loads of paperwork on me that can be accessed.

Nothing so much as a receipt for grain with Abram/Abraham's name on it. The only proof of his existence are the books that show him reverence.

It throws up a red flag for me.

Just so you understand my point of view.  I completely understand your perspective.  To me, that doesn't run a red flag up.  Most information on a person is not accessible except from the sources that venerate them.

Beyond that, sure, in today's world, you could find out everything you want to know about me on the internet with some basic information.  How about your grandfather from the generation of Abraham?  Do you have any information on him?  Do you have a source to find that information? 

Yes, anyone can find information about pretty much anyone through a geneology.  Other than the story of Abraham (Bible or Quran or other source of spiritual influence) all it is is geneology.  That's really the point in knowing him in the Bible.  He was pulled out of the geneology in the Bible because of his relationship with God and because there was a major geneological split at his children.  Otherwise, he'd be one among many listed in the Bible's geneology and we wouldn't be having this conversation. 

Interesting how we have writings for and against most figures in history (if I recall, that is a requirement for historicity) but only have writings about the figures in the Bible from those who worship them.

Why is that?

As for my granddad from Abraham - no proof Abraham existed so no place to start. I can't count the Biblical genealogies as they haven't been proven to be non-fiction.

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
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caposkia

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

The Quran took the story of Abraham as fact but that was the original or a translation into Greek from an older Hebrew version if it existed. (A_nony-Mouse argues the Greek was the original, he has points for this but I'm undecided as yet.  So other documents coming after the story in the Bible are proof of nothing.

Just to clarify some language issues.  After some research myself and asking some seminarians as well a professors, neither the Hebrew or Greek are considered to be the "original".  It's not completely known what it was, but it is theorized that Aramaic could be one among many possibilities. 

I know this because it is one main question I had.

MY actual point here is simply the Bible in whatever language was most likely the first written story of Abraham and his exploits. The Quran added somewhat to this story but it still originates with the Jews (or those following Yahweh prior to 165 BCE) Books found in the Dead Sea Scrolls were in Greek, Hebrew, & Aramaic. As we have discussed, the DSS is the oldest copies of the Bible that currently exist in the 21st century. Whether it was written in ancient Sumerian on clay tablets (not likely as we probably would have found at least one) or in stick figures on goat skins originally,  we have no clue today. All we know for sure is at the time the DSS were written and stored,  the books found in the cave existed at that time period. I have discussed this endlessly with A_Nony_Mouse and see some of his points. Still I'm unwilling to date the origination of the stories as he does to the 2nd century BCE.

The stories and content give clues as to when they were written or at least redacted by the types of metal use, form of transportation, names of places and names of foreign rulers. The errors in the Bible regarding place names and rulers also suggest poorly done research on the writers part or the redactors part. Specifically Daniel has these problems in nearly every chapter and verse  throughout the entire book. It is by no means the only book with these issues, it is the easiest one to observe.

It is no different than trying to date the Greek myths regarding Zeus, Ares, and Herakles. A specific date cannot be established. Language more or less but no date.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Abraham is extremely important in Jewish belief. God made a covenant with him which is basis for nearly everything else other than the promise made in Genesis which as we have discussed likely was created way later. If Abe is myth there are holes that can not be patched.

yea, some major ones.  It's generally accepted that he's not due to the extensive genealogies that follow.  The sources for the Biblical genealogies are understood to be historical.  (I haven't even begun to look into that but it's what I understand at this point.)

 

As was the case with other societies and stories that most people consider mythological today. The Greeks seemed to consider that some of their kings were descended from the god Zeus. The Sumerians also have stories with kings related to the gods using genealogies. So to think the inhabitants of Palestine would not have similar occurrences is unlikely.

____________________________________________________________
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"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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jcgadfly wrote:Interesting

jcgadfly wrote:

Interesting how we have writings for and against most figures in history (if I recall, that is a requirement for historicity) but only have writings about the figures in the Bible from those who worship them.

compare the time frame for the ones in history that have many writings about them to the timeframe of those who are only known through scriptures.  Keep in mind there are many characters in the Bible that are backed up in many many other writings.  Extra religious writings as well.  This would include Jesus Christ. 

Also keep in mind that "the Bible" isn't just a book that was written in history,  It's actually a compilation of many books written during many different times.  You keep saying the Bible is the only source as if it's only one book.  All of the 66 books of the Bible support each other.  When you say "only the Bible" you're referencing to 66 separate sources.  Some of which are pieced together from many sources within themselves which concludes that you're ultimately referencing to the fact that there are only hundreds of sources backing up ________'s existance.   yes, those sources have a specific focus, but it's the same for any other historical figure you're researching. 

I've talked to many non-believers who accept that Jesus was a historical character, but describe him as a radical individual either seeking political power or just delusional to begin with.  I'm sure someone on here could give you better references for sources on his existance than I could.

jcgadfly wrote:

As for my granddad from Abraham - no proof Abraham existed so no place to start. I can't count the Biblical genealogies as they haven't been proven to be non-fiction.

They are accepted as legitimate be it that they were found among many legitimate geneological records and not in some special hidden place away from (the real world).  I think there are further evidences, but as I've said, I haven't even begun to study that.

You can find the timeframe of when it is understood that Abraham existed fairly easily.  You can go from there.


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pauljohntheskeptic wrote:MY

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

MY actual point here is simply the Bible in whatever language was most likely the first written story of Abraham and his exploits. The Quran added somewhat to this story but it still originates with the Jews (or those following Yahweh prior to 165 BCE) Books found in the Dead Sea Scrolls were in Greek, Hebrew, & Aramaic. As we have discussed, the DSS is the oldest copies of the Bible that currently exist in the 21st century. Whether it was written in ancient Sumerian on clay tablets (not likely as we probably would have found at least one) or in stick figures on goat skins originally,  we have no clue today. All we know for sure is at the time the DSS were written and stored,  the books found in the cave existed at that time period. I have discussed this endlessly with A_Nony_Mouse and see some of his points. Still I'm unwilling to date the origination of the stories as he does to the 2nd century BCE.

It's very possible it's the first.  As I just said to jgadfly, keep in mind that the Bible as you reference is sourcing hundreds of sources, not just one.  The books were just put together. 

I don't see logic in concluding that because the Bible would be the first to claim something, that it can't be true.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

The stories and content give clues as to when they were written or at least redacted by the types of metal use, form of transportation, names of places and names of foreign rulers. The errors in the Bible regarding place names and rulers also suggest poorly done research on the writers part or the redactors part. Specifically Daniel has these problems in nearly every chapter and verse  throughout the entire book. It is by no means the only book with these issues, it is the easiest one to observe.

It is no different than trying to date the Greek myths regarding Zeus, Ares, and Herakles. A specific date cannot be established. Language more or less but no date.

It's logical to find human error in dates.  Keep in mind there is also descression between translators on what dates  or locations were intended be it that the languages don't always even make those clear in English.  There are a lot of specifics claimed in the Bible that when you look at the original languages, aren't written as specifically. 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

As was the case with other societies and stories that most people consider mythological today. The Greeks seemed to consider that some of their kings were descended from the god Zeus. The Sumerians also have stories with kings related to the gods using genealogies. So to think the inhabitants of Palestine would not have similar occurrences is unlikely.

right, and from what I understand, most of those geneologies were found to be written by the king they were talking about or another close source.   


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1. When you write " the

1. When you write " the Bible as you reference is sourcing hundreds of sources, not just one" are you including the books that made it into the canon? If so, you own a circular document. If not, it is interesting that these books no longer exist. Wouldn't such vital references be better protected?

2. So now the fact that the authors were not closely connected is an advantage? Yet when it comes to the Gospels, Jesus' chroniclers are considered to be more valid because they were closer to their subject.

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caposkia wrote:It's very

caposkia wrote:

It's very possible it's the first.  As I just said to jgadfly, keep in mind that the Bible as you reference is sourcing hundreds of sources, not just one.  The books were just put together. 

I don't see logic in concluding that because the Bible would be the first to claim something, that it can't be true.

If hundreds of sources were used to compose the Bible then how is it anything but the word of man?

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

The stories and content give clues as to when they were written or at least redacted by the types of metal use, form of transportation, names of places and names of foreign rulers. The errors in the Bible regarding place names and rulers also suggest poorly done research on the writers part or the redactors part. Specifically Daniel has these problems in nearly every chapter and verse  throughout the entire book. It is by no means the only book with these issues, it is the easiest one to observe.

It is no different than trying to date the Greek myths regarding Zeus, Ares, and Herakles. A specific date cannot be established. Language more or less but no date.

It's logical to find human error in dates.  Keep in mind there is also descression between translators on what dates  or locations were intended be it that the languages don't always even make those clear in English.  There are a lot of specifics claimed in the Bible that when you look at the original languages, aren't written as specifically.

Yes errors can clearly be attributed to humans when the books were written or redacted. Again, how does that support the Bible being anything more than a book by men?

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

As was the case with other societies and stories that most people consider mythological today. The Greeks seemed to consider that some of their kings were descended from the god Zeus. The Sumerians also have stories with kings related to the gods using genealogies. So to think the inhabitants of Palestine would not have similar occurrences is unlikely.

right, and from what I understand, most of those geneologies were found to be written by the king they were talking about or another close source.   

It's unclear who wrote the Sumerian Kings List and the stories regarding Akkadian kings as well as early tales of the ancient Assyrians.

My next post will go past Abraham into Issac, Jacob and the early stories of Moses pre-Exodus.

 

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"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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jcgadfly wrote:1. When you

jcgadfly wrote:

1. When you write " the Bible as you reference is sourcing hundreds of sources, not just one" are you including the books that made it into the canon? If so, you own a circular document. If not, it is interesting that these books no longer exist. Wouldn't such vital references be better protected?

I was referencing to the books in the current Bible setup. 

There are many ways you could look at it.  It could be that they were so well protected, that we have yet to find them.  It also could be that they've been so precisely translated from generation to generation that what we see it the careful protection of the books.  The fact that what we do have was preserved so carefully suggests they took the best precautions they could at that time to keep them just as any considerably important document of that time. 

jcgadfly wrote:

2. So now the fact that the authors were not closely connected is an advantage? Yet when it comes to the Gospels, Jesus' chroniclers are considered to be more valid because they were closer to their subject.

Depends on how you look at it.  from the "not so closely connected" perspective, it's harder to claim fiction when they were so distant but still came up with congruent stories.  Yet it's also hard to claim fiction when the authors had personal experience with the source of the information. 


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pauljohntheskeptic wrote:If

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

If hundreds of sources were used to compose the Bible then how is it anything but the word of man?

It is widely accepted that it was written by man.  The perspective is understanding the inspiration.  It is said to be divinely inspired.  Each source was used because it was understood to have divine inspiration.  The Bible was compiled by man which definiely leaves many followers concluding that there's more information beyond the Bible as we know it relevent to the following.  The understanding is everything that is pertinent to know in order to be a follower of Jesus Christ is written in the Bible as is.  If you want to know extra information for congruency and personal satisfaction, it is widely accepted by a true follower to consider other texts.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Yes errors can clearly be attributed to humans when the books were written or redacted. Again, how does that support the Bible being anything more than a book by men?

That statement was in reference to you claiming error in dates written in some of the books of the Bible.  Dates don't support anything beyond congruency with historical information.  My point was that you can't use that information to prove or even suggest that the Bible isn't divinely inspired.  Keep in mind God was never said to have "dictated" anything to any of the writers.  They either had a vision or dream and wrote in their own words that experience, or experienced something in their conscious life that they again wrote in their own words. 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

It's unclear who wrote the Sumerian Kings List and the stories regarding Akkadian kings as well as early tales of the ancient Assyrians.

My next post will go past Abraham into Issac, Jacob and the early stories of Moses pre-Exodus.

True.  I believe what i heard was theoretical, but makes sense if such a claim was made.,

looking forward to your next post. 


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Cap, did "divine

Cap, did "divine inspiration" work then the way it works now?

You know, "It sounds good to me/It benefits me in some fashion so it must be divine inspiration"?

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Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph are

Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph are three of the main characters in the ultimate development of Jewish belief as well as Christianity. Yet, there is no historical evidence any of the them were any more than mythical heroes.

Isaac leaves home and goes to Abraham's relatives to ultimately seek a wife. Issues of technology occur in Genesis 24:10-11, 32-35, 44-46, and 61, where camels are used for transport, an unlikely event prior to 1000 BCE. Then we have references to Assyria, which will be an immense power later, but not likely at the time of this story supposedly occurring which is generally proposed by theists to be around 1800 BCE. The Kedarites are mentioned being descendants of Kendar a son of Ishmael though nothing is found of them until Assyrian records of the 8th century BCE. They are mentioned extensively by Assyrian king Ashurbanipal in the 7th century BCE. Their habitat was the Fertile Crescent of Mesopotamia far out of the area of ancient Palestine. Other sons of Ishmael are named which are unknown in history in the 2nd millennium BCE and don't have any relevancy until the 6th and 7th centuries BCE.

The point being, this part of Genesis is an attempt to write a legacy based on mythical tales far later in time, such as at the time the Kingdom of Judah has arisen in the 6th and 7th century BCE.

Isaac has 2 sons, Jacob and Esau where deception and trickery are involved in inheritance of the blessing of Isaac. Seems unneeded, but Yahweh always has done tricky things, oh, wait it Satan that's supposedly does that, my confusion here. Jacob then spends many years working for Laban to gain his 2 wives. Yahweh appears to Jacob at Beth-el making the promise to make a great nation of his seed in Genesis 28:10-22. Jacob sees a ladder  that went from the earth to heaven with angels coming and going. He erects a place of worship using the stone upon which he had slept and seen God. He called this place the house of God and the gate of heaven. Later on, this is where altars are built supposedly by the Northern Kingdom of Israel. A possible explanation rooted in legend. Jacob has 12 sons, which are the forebears of the 12 tribes of Israel according to the stories. Later in Judges, we will go into further discussion about what tribes were and were not.

Joseph is the favorite son of Jacob and ultimately ends up in Egypt after his brothers sell him off as a slave. In the end, Joseph becomes an important Egyptian governmental official and all of the sons of Jacob relocate. This then is the reason given for the Hebrews being in Egypt and their eventual redirection by Egypt into slave labor.

Except, there is nothing to substantiate Hebrews were ever slave labor in Egypt or were there at all.  The only Asiatics in great number in Egypt were the Hyskos who ruled lower Egypt for nigh near 100 plus years until they were driven out by Pharaoh Ahmrose in 1570 BCE. The Hyskos ruled from Avaris also called Tell ed-Daba. There are artifacts that are similar to construction of those attributed to Hebrew origins found here, even amid ash dust from the explosion of Thera, which aides in the dating. Many religious historians try to fit the supposed enslavement of the Hebrews ending at the time of Rameses II, though there are problems with that. We'll discuss that in detail with Moses.

In summary, there is nothing to support Isaac, Jacob or Joseph ever existed by physical evidence. There is nothing to support Hebrews were made slaves in Egypt. There is nothing to suggest that other Asiatics other than the Hyskos ever resided in vast quantities in Egypt during any part of the second millennium BCE.

 

 

 

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"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.


pauljohntheskeptic
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caposkia

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

If hundreds of sources were used to compose the Bible then how is it anything but the word of man?

It is widely accepted that it was written by man.  The perspective is understanding the inspiration.  It is said to be divinely inspired.  Each source was used because it was understood to have divine inspiration.  The Bible was compiled by man which definiely leaves many followers concluding that there's more information beyond the Bible as we know it relevent to the following.  The understanding is everything that is pertinent to know in order to be a follower of Jesus Christ is written in the Bible as is.  If you want to know extra information for congruency and personal satisfaction, it is widely accepted by a true follower to consider other texts.

Be careful with the"true follower" statement, it sounds like "no true Scotsmen".

I'm aware that many consider the Bible to be divinely inspired though they have but conjecture as support and evidence. One can peruse the Bible and find inconsistency in every book not to mention outright gross errors and ignorant statements. So, one is to ignore the problems and only use the parts that fit within the framework of belief in Jesus the savior? Seems to be what is done by Christians when they ignore what Jews consider to be evidence found within scripture. Just saying,  misconstruing  things to benefit  perceptions or desires in support of outlandish claims in the NT beyond that which was accepted by Judaism seems likely to be suspect to say the least. Not that Judaism isn't suspect as well.  Obviously, I understand the scripture as something not divinely inspired but derived from legends and mythology instead. As we continue down the OT road there appear many more places where claims meet head on into historical documentation that contradict assertions made in the Bible. Of course, these problem areas can be not inspired as a way out right?

 

 

____________________________________________________________
"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.