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.


mellestad
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caposkia wrote:mellestad

caposkia wrote:

mellestad wrote:

caposkia wrote:

When a person comes to know Christ, the Exodus and Genesis stories tend to come later in their learning and understanding. 

It'd be like me describing to you a cousin of mine who not only is a brain surgen, but also is an olympic snowboarder yet he can't spell the simplest of words (or add in your own extreme cases).  The point is, until you actually get to know him in other ways, it seems a bit far fetched to assume he does both and yet cant' spell.  Right now you could be thinking, how could he possibly be a certified brain surgen and yet not spell.  There's no way he could have earned the degree.  yet when you get to know him, you find out that it was a terrible snowboarding accident that damaged part of his brain so he can't spell but still remembers his degree skills.  Now it's all making sense. 

 

And you will until you start seeking God.  You will see what you know to be true and nothing more and there are many reasons for that.

Maybe you should write more carefully next time, because twice in this thread you have said 'you won't understand until you believe'. 

Also, you just used an analogy that compared Christ to a brain damaged snowboarder, which is something I can get behind.

I appreciate you actually taking the time to quote me.  Most would say that, then I'd have to ask them where not understanding what they were referencing to and it would never get resolved. 

Looking at the statements you quoted above, you're a perfect example of why there are 5000 or more different Christian denominations in our country today.  You will interpret it the way you want it to be and fail to look at the context.  Sorry, but that's exactly what happened here. 

On the second part, you looked only at "and you will until you start seeking God" and ignored "you will see what you know to be true and nothign more and there are many reasons for that" which leaves it open to me actually haveing reasons beyond your claims if questioned, but i didn't get into that detail because it wavers from the focus of this forum and would take some time to discuss.  Also to start seeking God doesn't mean you're believing in God.  You're just sincerely looking for reason to believe and not trying to hold your ground on what you think you might know as truth right in the moment.

For the first part.... did you read the example?  I think the point was quite clear and even more clear was that I wasn't saying you won't understand until you believe.  the point was actually the perfect opposite, in order to believe you have to understand. 

Also, I didn't realize I was comparing Christ to a brain damaged snowboarder.  It was just an analogy of understanding a situation.  I see that's where the misinterpretation came about. 

Conclusion:  I wrote very carefully and clearly.  Stop trying to look between the lines because there's nothing there.  you will find that I will say exactly what I'm intending to get across unlike many assumptions that I'm like the religious sects out there who will try to beat around the bush. 

mellestad wrote:

One thing I don't get though...you are willing to accept that something like 600,000 might actually mean 600 or even 60, but the miracle claims must be true and Jesus really did die and get necro'd back to life, then sucked up into the clouds?  To me, that seems contradictory, like you are only willing to bend your view for reality when it is not central belief.  Or am I misrepresenting your position?

I think again you're missing my position and misunderstanding the focus of this forum.  Evidence suggests that the number is greatly exaggerated for the time.  Support for miracles in the Bible are a completely different topic and focus than what this forum is about and has little to do with historical congruencies where  my support for the 600,000 not being a reasonable number comes from.  There is a Science vs. Religion forum out there that discusses some Biblical miracles through a scientific and geological standpoint. 

Your rebuttal does not significantly change my point.  You are saying it won't make sense unless we *want* to believe.  Why should I walk into a decision wanting to believe one way or another?  Isn't it better to attempt a neutral starting point and see both sides clearly?  Either way you seem to be saying bias in favor of your brand of theism needs to be present before true understanding can appear.

I understand your analogy of the snowboarder, I was poking fun at it, so don't take that part too seriously.  Jesus, if he existed, may have been nuts but saying he was brain damaged is just speculation.

And I don't think it is a different issue.  You are credulous about non-central points and standing firm on the central tenants of faith.  Both should be analyzed with the same level of scrutiny.  No, I take that back, the main parts should be handled with more skepticism because they are about magic, which as far as I know, does not exist.

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


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Part of the reason I even

Part of the reason I even raise the point is my general lack of understanding about the field of apologetics.  I don't think I have ever seen a theistic debate that does not eventually lead to a root cause of faith where belief is concerned.  If you are willing to believe that you'll live in eternal bliss because a deity killed part of itself then turned that piece into a member of the living dead to ward of a punishment laid out by the deity against you for parts of your nature that the deity created in the first place, because he loves you so much he needs a blood sacrifice of himself to stop himself from torturing you....and take that all on faith, why spend a significant portion of study about little things like historical fact? 

Seriously, what is the point besides personal edification?  You already believe so you don't need more proof.  Whether or not there were 60, 600 or 60,000 people won't convince anyone that a zombie will save them from eternal torture either, either they swallow it or they don't.

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


pauljohntheskeptic
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caposkia

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

So if you think that it's a poor excuse to say the Moses story didn't happen or to hold it in a state of suspension,  it's also a poor excuse to say you don't know or dismiss the Sumerian creation story of Enki. How do you know for sure that it wasn't badly translated or misunderstood and Enki really existed doing many of the activities described? Enki could be from an advanced civilization who started life or Earth and those who finally wrote about it did so with poor understanding.

Be it that my knowlege of that is somewhat limited, sure it could be.  I'd have to look into it more.  Though question.  Are there at least 65 other books that would support the happenings and existence along with other outside sources futher confirming its possibility?

There are thousands of clay tablets from Sumer with stories not just 65 books, visit the site I mentioned earlier in this thread, ETCSL to see what I mean. That doesn't mean they are based in the real world either, but they could have basis in real events that have been misunderstood. That doesn't mean I'm suddenly convinced the gods of Sumer are real and I'm going to start building ziggurats which is how I perceive those who believe in the God of Abe.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

You're welcome to consider the OT and its supposed occurrences as a theory. You're also welcome to attempt to prove it as well. Show me your parallels and connections that support the Exodus and the invasion of Canaan if you have any sources.

I'm not sure what you'd be looking for as far as 'proof' be it that any 'proof' of anything happening in history is subjective to the observer as far as reliable sources.  I'll look into what is out there and check with my sources.

I'm looking for verification, which you explain somewhat in a later post that perhaps it's an insignificant number of Hebrews involved in the Exodus thus leaving no trail to track.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Science evolves as more understanding occurs. Theories are refined and some are abandoned. We still have much to learn and understand. Moses and much of the OT should be considered in the same way. As far as I see, the beliefs based on Genesis up to this point, they have little support to show they are any more likely to be part of our reality than do the stories from Sumer. Neither one has me convinced that they are little more than ancient myths or story telling so far.

As does our following as Christians.  Any true follower will tell you that they are 'growing in Christ until they die'.  In other words, they are constantly refining their understanding of God and his intention for their lives and is always trying to improve on their understanding generally as well as their actions in life in reflection of that understanding.  As for me, this includes further confirming what i understand to be true through those who will dispute it.

And since the growing in Christ is all internal and involves nothing measurable this does what in the way of supporting the belief has any basis in the real world?

caposkia wrote:

you say these stories so far aren't any more likely to be a part of our reality from what you've seen.  We seem to be in similar boats, though on the other side of the river.  I feel the same way with what I understand of the stories through the historical information you have presented me.  The fact that we concluded any discrepencies in congruency was due to lack of understanding from the writer suggests your only support is poor to conclude mythical to me.  Granted my support goes beyond just the speck of what we have covered so far in our forum.  We shall continue and see where it leads and I will continue to have an open mind to what you have to say.

Clearly writing from ancient sources can't be enough to support a belief in an invisible unknowable god. Since, all gods of antiquity were invisible except for the idol representations which were a likeness not thee god it seems somewhat erroneous to consider any of the ancients had enough understanding to grasp what was real and what was fabrication (or literature if you will).

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

What time period do you suggest for the events of Moses including the Exodus and invasion of Canaan?

I don't understand how timelines have anything to do with a source for the following.  Regardless of when it happened, there must be something specific in history that it stemmed from.  i fear that through a timeline, you're going to list of a few assumed sources that might have been the cause during that time, though if they were confirmed as such, a timeline would be irrelevent.  Assuming sources is completely different than confirming sources.  Most major religions of the world have a known source in history.

Since you won't commit to a date as to the alleged occurrence of the Exodus I'll have to show why it was unlikely for nearly 2,000,000 slaves to escape and wander for 40 years without running into conflict or being enslaved. Though, I notice in a later post you somewhat take this position yourself, or your sources do.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

I've read some of the arguments regarding how such things as the fiery pillar occurred as well as how they crossed the"reed sea" not the Red Sea. Pretty much conjecture.

Geology and archeology would be a good step in proving that any of these events happened. So far I'm unaware of anything that indicates this in  either field.

As far as I'm also aware there's nothing elsewhere that supports Moses and the Exodus.

As to the history suggested by the Bible how can I tell if an event was real. Only by comparative support. So, in the case of Ahab I know he existed because he was discussed by other cultures. In the case of Israel being invaded by the Assyrians I know this occurred because of supporting history of others. What I don't know from this support from Assyrian sources is what exactly were the religions in Israel for example. I know that there were at the time discussed 2 countries, Judah and Israel. But, I can not tell from supporting sources exactly which god or gods were worshiped. Concluding that it was only Yahweh isn't even supported by the OT, so how can one even know?

When a person comes to know Christ, the Exodus and Genesis stories tend to come later in their learning and understanding. 

It'd be like me describing to you a cousin of mine who not only is a brain surgen, but also is an olympic snowboarder yet he can't spell the simplest of words (or add in your own extreme cases).  The point is, until you actually get to know him in other ways, it seems a bit far fetched to assume he does both and yet cant' spell.  Right now you could be thinking, how could he possibly be a certified brain surgen and yet not spell.  There's no way he could have earned the degree.  yet when you get to know him, you find out that it was a terrible snowboarding accident that damaged part of his brain so he can't spell but still remembers his degree skills.  Now it's all making sense.

Unfortunately, I'm an engineer and engineering manager made even worse with a MBA in Finance and Accounting. This means I will dissect and follow audit trails from the start of an event or what appears to be a starting position. Since Hebrew/Jewish beliefs were around for many years prior to Christianity the proper place to begin is where the God 1st shows up, not in its modified version of Christianity. If we were only analyzing Christianity and how it began we could start with the belief structure in place in the late 1st century BCE and progress from that point. However, my position is that the foundations of God of Abe beliefs lie in the original Hebrew and Judahite beliefs (note how I don't say Israelite). First one must show what the Hebrew people believed and where it originated. If you can't support this position, then the entire structure falls down as it has no foundation.

I really take issue with the idea that Christians have any foundation to their belief when they know nothing about where their God originated and why the original believers who followed the god Yahweh for supposedly several thousand years missed the real understanding of their own prophecies and writers. One should not need the NT to explain where they missed the boat.

As to your cousin, I understand that quite well, it is a reasonable explanation as I have seen it in others.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

My disbelief started early in the myths of Genesis and all that happened following does nothing to add much that suggests any of it was in our dimension of reality at all. I can't say that Adam wasn't a real man, but the first man, I think not. Maybe the 1st Hebrew of Yahweh believing ancestors, but I'm not sure even if that has any basis in reality. Canaan also had a god named El as was the name of Abraham's god as well. How can one know it isn't the same El of the Canaanite myths?

Personality and actions play a roll in belief as well.  Think about it.  The Jesus of evangelical Christians is not the same Jesus that the Jehovah's Witnesses believe in, yet they hold onto the same God and the same names with a completely different following.  El could have been the same God in reference, but the following may have been different.

Maybe, or maybe the original god EL of the Canaanites is the fantasy god that is the origin for Jewish myths and then it morphed through Paul into Christianity.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

The problem with your acceptance of Christianity over Jewish views is you don't understand what the Jews actually accept and why. Christianity from a Jewish point of view has completely warped and misunderstood what the promised messiah was all about and through Paulinity has developed into something that was never understood to be expected in Jewish understanding. Isaiah clarifies it adequately for the Jews as well and can show you exactly where you misunderstand what the moshiarch was supposed to be. Jews have abandoned using messiah generally because the Christians have adopted it as meaning Jesus which is not at all what the moshiarch was about at all.

The NT is all about what the Jews actually accepted and why.  What do you feel Christians are misunderstanding about the Jews?

The prophecies that Christians use to claim Jesus is the messiah are twisted to mean things that were not the original intentions of the passages. The Jews have a well understood expectations and prophecies of what the mosharch was/is supposed to do and Jesus does not fit the description.

See : http://www.jewfaq.org/mashiach.htm

and: http://www.jewfaq.org/looking4.htm

and: http://www.jewsforjudaism.org/

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

So are you saying that you studied Judaism and Jewish understanding of the moshiarch in your quest for following your new path and rejected what they believe? If so please detail what it was in Jewish interpretations and prophecies that you saw as errant. If this is not what you mean we can discuss this more when we get to the prophets.

There's so much to cover, it might make more sense to cover it as we go through it.  I have looked into it.  I have studied a lot of other followings to get a better understanding.  It's why I was able to confidently reference the notion that most followings have a source in history. 

The group; Jews for Christ would be a great people to start with as far as misunderstandings be it that they're from a Jewish background and hold onto their heritage yet accept Christ as the messiah.  I'd be curious with all the knowlege they basically have to know through their youth how they can still misinterpret the scrolls to think that Jesus is the messiah. 

I'd also be curious as to why Muslims are more likely to convert to Christianity vs. a Jewish following be it that their Quran is more congruent with the Jewish following than the Christian following.

OK, as we encounter issues we'll continue to thrash them over.

Jews for Christ is thoroughly gutted by this Jewish web site mentioned above called jewsforjudaism

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

The Greek and Roman gods were followed for a considerable time as were Oracles especially the Oracle at Delphi. What then were the sources for the acceptance by even larger groups of people than the Hebrews for such beliefs?

Did they eventually fade away though?  That's where the difference lies.  No credible source leaves open suspicion of legitimacy.  Yet Christianity and Jewdaism have thrived.  keep in mind it was common during Biblical times also to have a belief in may gods or to regularly change beliefs when one following wasn't working to your favor.  Therefore, it's not out of the question to suggest a large following in history. The question comes in to which stood the test of time.

Many pagan religions were driven underground or viciously attacked by Christians and faded away by way of fire and swords wielded by Christians. This is another subject for another day in another thread, Christians as Killers.

____________________________________________________________
"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 wrote:Some sources

caposkia wrote:

Some sources got back to me early. 

They suggest as supported with other sources that historically the Exodus is plausible.  Yes, there is an abundant lack of evidence for it in history.  We can deduce through what we know about the history of the period that it is not impossible, given the cultural and political situation of the times, that an Exodus-like event could have happened. By that I mean, it is not impossible that a Hebrew could have risen to a politically powerful position in Egypt, brought his family there, whose descendants were later enslaved, and then a small group of which along with others who joined them, escaped with some guy named Moses who led the whole group. There is no way to prove something like this happened or didn't happened, but it is historically plausible.

I say "Exodus-like" because what is not historically plausible is the number of people the Bible claims left Egypt. 600,000 male Israelites (over 2 million people once women and children are included--to say nothing of animals!) who left Egypt and then wandered in the wilderness for 40 years is just too many to be plausible for that time. Not only are there no physical artifacts left behind by this massive movement of people in this region, but it's just too many. Our estimates of the population of Canaan are no where near that many. They just didn't have armies that large back then.

You take all the fun out of this discussion by more or less agreeing with what I was about to post. As this number was a very large city for even our times and greater than the entire population of Canaan in the 2nd millennium BCE it was unsupportable in so many ways. When I was in 6th or 7th grade in parochial school I was made to stand in the corner because I asked the question of my fundie Lutheran Schoolteacher, "where's the trash." I was considered a smart-ass for this.

If a small group of 60 to 600 escaped then possibilities exist for not much evidence or none in fact.

Archeology of Egypt especially in the city built by Ramses II, Pi-Ramesse, show that the people who built it generally were paid and lived all their lives in very community type settings. There were prisoners of war who also labored there as well until they saved enough to buy their way out. See a recent book by writer Amy Docker Marcus, "The View from Nebo" p65 or several PBS/Discovery Channels programs.

caposkia wrote:

As far as the invasion of Canaan goes, there is also no evidence to support a whole-sale conquest of the land. In fact, in this instance, the evidence can be used against the record in Joshua. If something like this occurred, there might be a plethora of destruction layers throughout Canaan around the same time, evidencing an invading army (assuming they burned the cities). There are a couple here and there, but nothing like would be required for this. On the other hand, if they didn't burn the city, then once again there is no evidence either way. The book of Judges is a better picture of the settlement of Canaan by the Israelites. If you compare Joshua and Judges, you'll find that Joshua presents this massive conquest during which the Israelites wiped out all the Canaanites. Judges, on the other hand, makes it quite clear that the Israelites left many (most?) of the Canaanites alive, because they continued to plague them throughout their history.

Pretty much what Israel Finklestein says in his book, The Bible Unearthed, that the archeology does not support a sudden invasion by hordes of Israel lites, that many cities claimed to be destroyed, Ai for one was already a ruin for nearly 1000 years prior to the late 2nd millennium and Jericho had no walls at the time that would be required for Joshua to blow down.

caposkia wrote:

That's obviously going into other books far beyond our position in this forum right now, but its' a good point to see that what I believe is relative to what else is there and not solely what we've covered.

That's OK, we'll be there shortly.

caposkia wrote:

Your issue I believe with this is that the Bible "ought" to present a realistic, factual picture of exactly what happened, and there should be evidence to back this up, and if not evidence, certainly there should not be counter-evidence. This is a belief that many Christians hold to and are shocked to find out doesn't match up with what the Bible actually presents when they do some study.

At this, many are unable to reconcile this in their mind and will ultimately walk away.  Others will stick their head in the sand and ignore it, and yet others find creative ways (that I don't think are very convincing) to work around the evidence, which basically amounts to sticking their heads in the sand.

It certainly shouldn't be based in the land of fantasy and Sci-Fi as the account of Exodus seems to be. I understand that the ancients wrote much that was literature or fiction, but unfortunately too many have taken this to be real and used such as part of their religion or for validation of it.

caposkia wrote:

Another option is to re-evaluate how we think about the Bible. What it is, is literature very at home in its Ancient Near Eastern context, where history was purposefully shaped to present truths that go beyond historical "fact." Joshua is very at home within ancient near eastern "conquest" narratives - where the king would exaggerate his claims of conquest in his records of war, in order to make himself or his god look good. Exaggeration of conquest is common, and it wasn't "deceitful" - people were familiar with what was going on and would have understood the truth trying to be portrayed behind the narrative (which, in secular contexts, is that the king is a great king, or his god(s) is awesome and mighty). Joshua has its own spin on things in an Israelite, Yahwistic context. As far as the Exodus goes, either somewhere along the line someone made an error in the number (I doubt it), it was purposefully inflated for some theological purpose, or they really, honestly, didn't know how many people came out of Egypt when the author wrote down the narrative, and so they picked something impressive sounding. Once again, this is only "deceitful" or "untrue" to us moderns, who don't understand that fact does not always equal truth. They would have understood perfectly that this is an outrageous number for their time, but it was part of their tradition, and so there it is. The truth remains that their God is an awesome, delivering God who redeemed them from slavery in Egypt and made them his own.

Yes it was very common for the ancients especially kings to over state what really occurred. Yet, claiming an invasion of any kind into Canaan at the time is not supportable at all. Simply slipping into the country and establishing your homestead in the highlands as did many nomadic tribes doesn't give the tribe much of a glorious heritage. Making the claim their ancestors invaded the country and for example burned Ai to the ground would be quite impressive to an unknowing young person and they could even see that it was rubble to this day. Unfortunately, it had been so since about 2000-2100 BCE and had nothing to do with Hebrew invasions.

Your concessions that the Exodus was very small and insignificant as too was the invasion of Canaan if any occurred at all is a good step. Though I'm not sure you completely take the position the Israelite/Judahite ancestors were just nomadic settlers as Finklestein suggests.

caposkia wrote:

This does not mean that we can just throw out all the narratives as myth. There must be some historical fact behind them if the truth of God being a delivering God is to be at all substantiated. But the fact is, the "facts" don't have to match exactly what happened. They weren't concerned with presenting factual historical narrative, they were concerned with shaping history in such a way that it got across the theological truths they needed to get across. Remember, these narratives were not written to modern, 21st century, scientific Americans. They were written by and to ancient semites, who had a very different worldview. To do justice to interpreting Scripture, we must as much as possible seek to understand their worldview, rather than imposing our own on Scripture. Only then can we understand the supra-cultural truths that God intends for all believers, including us. We need to allow Scripture to speak on its own terms, rather than impose our own values and worldview on it.

This gives to much credibility to something that may have no more basis in reality than the stories of Enki or Jason and the Argonauts. Maybe their stories need to be considered in the same exact methods you suggest of the Israelite sagas. Yet, you may consider these stories to be without merit and if so quite unfairly held to another standard you have imposed.

caposkia wrote:

If you can agree that there were in fact not 600,000 Israelite men who left Egypt, for the reasons stated above, I would have to ask what evidence would you expect there to be? It's highly unlikely that the Pharaoh would have mentioned in his "journal" this embarrassing incident when this unknown god basically defeated his gods. Besides that fact the Egypt is difficult, because most of what we have is monumental inscriptions. I seriously doubt some king would have inscribed on his tomb, "Oh yeah, and there was this group of Hebrews who left Egypt during my reign." The fact is, in this case, we wouldn't necessarily expect evidence. If we had it, it would be surprising. Exciting, yes, but surprising. Even if such a thing did exist, there's no guarantee it survived the ravages of time. We're talking about thousands and thousands of years of history, much of which is completely lost to us forever. Absence of evidence is only important when we would expect to see evidence (such as if there were 600,000 Israelite men).

Understanding that, I'll try to find more information, but it sounds like what is said above is most of what is for or against the writing and therefore cannot be concluded either way logically through history.

 

Clearly 600,000 men and families did not depart Egypt and wander the Sinai for 40 years. The excrement and debris would have been noticed by others, such as the Hittites or Assyrians for example and they would have made short work of the slaves. The Sinai would be a very difficult place to march a city of 2 million people plus animals for 40 years without leaving substantial evidence, most likely 2,000,000 corpses. Of course God could have vaporized all the evidence just so you and I could argue over this point 3000 years later, right. Tsk Tsk!

I have a post I was getting ready which was discussing these very points that I will have to rewrite based on your position expressed in this post.

____________________________________________________________
"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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mellestad wrote:Your

mellestad wrote:

Your rebuttal does not significantly change my point.  You are saying it won't make sense unless we *want* to believe.  Why should I walk into a decision wanting to believe one way or another?  Isn't it better to attempt a neutral starting point and see both sides clearly?  Either way you seem to be saying bias in favor of your brand of theism needs to be present before true understanding can appear.

uh.. not *want* to believe, but want to understand whatever the real truth might be (of course in my mind that's God, in yours it might be the absense of a god).  Which in turn it seems we are in agreement that the neutral starting piont is a great place to go from. 

I have expressed an open mind and a neutral approach to the issues from the beginning.  I have charged everyone to challenge what i know so that I may better my understanding.  You have misunderstood me, though I apologise, I dont' always explain as clearly as I'd like. 

If you want to continue further with this discussion, this isn't the forum for it.  The Atheist Crusaders and their quest for the unholy grail forum is the place for it.  I'll see you there.

mellestad wrote:

I understand your analogy of the snowboarder, I was poking fun at it, so don't take that part too seriously.  Jesus, if he existed, may have been nuts but saying he was brain damaged is just speculation.

Don't worry.  I joke around a lot with people on here.  sometime's it's hard to tell though and i apologise.  didn't want to offend you if you were being serious.

mellestad wrote:

And I don't think it is a different issue.  You are credulous about non-central points and standing firm on the central tenants of faith.  Both should be analyzed with the same level of scrutiny.  No, I take that back, the main parts should be handled with more skepticism because they are about magic, which as far as I know, does not exist.

Again, a good topic for the other forum.  On there I have expressed that I never coined it magic and have in fact elaborated on theories from science and geology as other sources that might explain how some of this so called "magic" may have happened.


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mellestad wrote:Part of the

mellestad wrote:

Part of the reason I even raise the point is my general lack of understanding about the field of apologetics.  I don't think I have ever seen a theistic debate that does not eventually lead to a root cause of faith where belief is concerned.  If you are willing to believe that you'll live in eternal bliss because a deity killed part of itself then turned that piece into a member of the living dead to ward of a punishment laid out by the deity against you for parts of your nature that the deity created in the first place, because he loves you so much he needs a blood sacrifice of himself to stop himself from torturing you....and take that all on faith, why spend a significant portion of study about little things like historical fact? 

I will first say I'm not so up on the apologetics.  The more I learn about it, the more it seems to be a way of 'explaining yourself out of an answer you might not have an answer to'. 

Beyond that, it seems to me that I can't give you a satisfactory answer in just this response.  Again, this would need to be something we discuss be it that your rendition of the Christian God is definitely missing some key points and is skewed from what is really going on.  The reason for discussing historical fact at least on this forum is to discuss the possibility of something like the bible stories actually taking place in the history or whether history sufficiently suggests otherwise. 

keep in mind believers of course hold the notion that the Bible is based on truth.  Therefore, it would make sense that there would be a place in history for the stories of the Bible.  Even though there is a lack of information in general from taht time period as far as specific event happenings, it would be generally understood that if it didn't happen, there'd be something to suggest so in recorded history. 

mellestad wrote:

Seriously, what is the point besides personal edification?  You already believe so you don't need more proof.  Whether or not there were 60, 600 or 60,000 people won't convince anyone that a zombie will save them from eternal torture either, either they swallow it or they don't.

I think I'd have a hard time accepting your rendition of the Christ story as well. 

The Bible teaches to always challenge your own understanding.  Quite a statement from a book that is so claimed on this site to be myth.  Therefore, i come on here to challenge what i know as I said in the previous post.  Ironically, after more than 2 years on this site, I am stronger now in my walk than I was when I first started.  I guess God is on to something there. 


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Fair enough.When I describe

Fair enough.

When I describe the Christian God I try to boil away the BS and use modern language to describe what many actually think happened.  When I was deeply into theism, it never occured to me how silly it was to take so many Bible stories literally, and I think part of that is because no-one ever used honest language.

I'll check the grail thread.

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


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pauljohntheskeptic

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

There are thousands of clay tablets from Sumer with stories not just 65 books, visit the site I mentioned earlier in this thread, ETCSL to see what I mean. That doesn't mean they are based in the real world either, but they could have basis in real events that have been misunderstood. That doesn't mean I'm suddenly convinced the gods of Sumer are real and I'm going to start building ziggurats which is how I perceive those who believe in the God of Abe.

of course not.  You would be ignorant to base your belief on just that.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

And since the growing in Christ is all internal and involves nothing measurable this does what in the way of supporting the belief has any basis in the real world?

Changes on the inside of any person will reflect who they are on the outside.  This you can research in any medical or psychological journal and has nothing to do with religion.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Clearly writing from ancient sources can't be enough to support a belief in an invisible unknowable god. Since, all gods of antiquity were invisible except for the idol representations which were a likeness not thee god it seems somewhat erroneous to consider any of the ancients had enough understanding to grasp what was real and what was fabrication (or literature if you will).

Random question.  How can anyone believe in anything that is unknowable? 

Anyway, let's consider for a moment the skepticisms of ignorance.  Even though there was scientific evidence presented about the Earth being round let alone older scripts and sects claiming such, how long did it take before people actually accepted that truth?  I'm guessing it would have taken less time today due to more access to resources.

Also, people at that time would tend to hold closer to their own understanding of the world and would take drastic measures to avoid any change to that comfort zone as seen in history as well as the Bible and many other writings. 

My point being, in order for them to consider anything to be real, it would either first have to coenside with what they already believed (which Judaism and Christianity didn't) or they would have to have more than probable reasoning to consider such.  Their lack of understanding made it more difficult to convince them of something that they didn't understand than what they already knew. 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Since you won't commit to a date as to the alleged occurrence of the Exodus I'll have to show why it was unlikely for nearly 2,000,000 slaves to escape and wander for 40 years without running into conflict or being enslaved. Though, I notice in a later post you somewhat take this position yourself, or your sources do.

we agreed that the number is greatly inflated and that it is normal for that to be the case in such writings. 

I was afraid because I didn't give you an answer on a timeline that you would automatically assume I wasn't going to commit to a date.  For someone who is basing so much of their belief on facts, you really do make quick assumptions. 

As discussed in the past with dates, there are many assumptions to exactly when the Exodus took place, but none for sure.  Traditionally, it's understood that the Exodus could have happened somewhere around 1450 B.C.  This is because the 300 years of judges fits comfortably within this time span. 

Keep in mind too, our focus wasn't why it was unlikely at this point, but what the source for the following could have been. 

If you do want to explain why it is unlikely, I think we agree that the inflated numbers would not be a reasonable place to start be it that we agree that it is highly unlikely that such a large number even existed at that time, let alone escaped to wander the desert.  \

Just to clarify, I do talk to other Christians as my sources.  i will not post anything on here that I disagree with myself.  I will usually question them further or do more research before posting if I am unsure. 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Unfortunately, I'm an engineer and engineering manager made even worse with a MBA in Finance and Accounting. This means I will dissect and follow audit trails from the start of an event or what appears to be a starting position. Since Hebrew/Jewish beliefs were around for many years prior to Christianity the proper place to begin is where the God 1st shows up, not in its modified version of Christianity. If we were only analyzing Christianity and how it began we could start with the belief structure in place in the late 1st century BCE and progress from that point. However, my position is that the foundations of God of Abe beliefs lie in the original Hebrew and Judahite beliefs (note how I don't say Israelite). First one must show what the Hebrew people believed and where it originated. If you can't support this position, then the entire structure falls down as it has no foundation.

no, I agree with you.  Talk to some Christians, and they will tell you that it started in Genesis.  All I'm saying is if someone in general is persuing Christ.  We don't tend to school them on the Exodus and Genesis first.  They need to eventually know those stories along with a lot of other information, but it'd be like me telling each person who asks me questions about my belief to go to a seminary first, then come talk to me.  They don't need to know all of that information up front to understand the sacrifice that Christ made for them.  To fully understand it yes, they do, but to comprehend the gift, no. 

Of course, don't get me wrong.  If they ask and want to know, I'll be more than happy to sit down with them and go through it.  I would of course have to warn them that it will take a long while to get through.

The sacrifice Jesus gave us of course has a lot to do with the laws of Moses and so that is touched upon and summarized.  Details come later as they want to learn more. Please don't take this statement either as a systematic way we go about 'converting people' because that's not at all what we do or what it's about.  Sects will do that, we don't.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Maybe, or maybe the original god EL of the Canaanites is the fantasy god that is the origin for Jewish myths and then it morphed through Paul into Christianity.

Either could be possible without support on either side.  Is there something in history that would suggest this?

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

The prophecies that Christians use to claim Jesus is the messiah are twisted to mean things that were not the original intentions of the passages. The Jews have a well understood expectations and prophecies of what the mosharch was/is supposed to do and Jesus does not fit the description.

See : http://www.jewfaq.org/mashiach.htm

and: http://www.jewfaq.org/looking4.htm

and: http://www.jewsforjudaism.org/

I'll try to note as I skim through these:

First thing I came to on the first link.  They seem to think Christians think Mashiach is savior.  It is widely accepting in the Christian following that we coined the "savior" term and that the Mashiach or Messiah as most would say today means "annointed one".  That is not disputed in the general Christian following.  It doesn't mean that the true messiah isn't going to be considered a savior, because he is described as such in the OT. 

Claim that he would be well versed in the Jewish law.  Pharasees were amazed at a 12 year old Jesus as he sat in the temple talking of his knowlege of the law. I think that was the book of Matthew?

They go on to say that God was going to raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he will reign as king and act wisely And do justice and righteousness in the land.(quoted from Jeremiah 23:5 and referenced)  They referenced this as it saying he was going to be a political leader. 

I looked at the other links and they seem to make similar assupmtions about Christianity and their following.

This response could take a while and I did only skim those pages at this point. 

From what i understand at this point is that they are right, though it's not against Christian belief for Jesus Christ.  The Jews were expecting Jesus to be born and raised in a royal family as decendents of David. (Nowhere does it say that.  Only that a riteous branch will be lifted up) They fail to take into consideration other prophesies of their messiah as in Isiah 53, 'the suffering servent'.  Which suggests he will be born as Jesus was and pretty much paints a picture of the Jesus we see in the NT.

What of his kingly stature?  The NT goes on to say that Jesus will come back to completely fulfill the OT prophesies.  he will come back as reigning king, not in an Earthly political view, but as God is viewed by the Jews as the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. 

Revelation covers a lot of what they seem to think Christianity is missing in their belief.  Many christian sects will avoid focus on Revelation and thus it will not be seen as paert of the belief. 

It seems the Jews have not taken into consideration that their prophesies might not be fulfilled over night or even in one lifetime.  We believe that Jesus isn't done yet and still has to return again for his second and final coming according to prophesies in the OT.   

I of course at this point could discuss for the next few pages of this forum what we believe and compare it to Jewish belief in the Messiah.  i have left a lot of gaps, but it seems pretty clear to me at this point that the prophesies are congruent with Jesus and what he is to do as well as what he has done. 

One more quick note, it was mentioned that it was not the focus of the Jews to be redeemed of their sins. Though it wasn't focused on, it was still prophesied of the Mashiach in Isaiah.

Jews also were followers of Christ and Jesus himself reiterated what will still need to be accomplished in order to fulfill prophesies. e.g. wars famines, etc. will still have to come to pass before this time... as mentioned on one of the links. 

This ultimately would need a whole other forum to discuss. 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

OK, as we encounter issues we'll continue to thrash them over.

Jews for Christ is thoroughly gutted by this Jewish web site mentioned above called jewsforjudaism

I'll have to search that site. 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Many pagan religions were driven underground or viciously attacked by Christians and faded away by way of fire and swords wielded by Christians. This is another subject for another day in another thread, Christians as Killers.

Most followings were driven underground or viciously attacked by many different followings at many points in history including Christianity.  why did christianity not die out, especially seeing as historically it seems to have the most opposition of all followings.


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pauljohntheskeptic wrote:You

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

You take all the fun out of this discussion by more or less agreeing with what I was about to post. As this number was a very large city for even our times and greater than the entire population of Canaan in the 2nd millennium BCE it was unsupportable in so many ways. When I was in 6th or 7th grade in parochial school I was made to stand in the corner because I asked the question of my fundie Lutheran Schoolteacher, "where's the trash." I was considered a smart-ass for this.

lol, sorry for ruining your fun.  Shall I try to be more ignorant in my postings? jk. 

You were a smart-ass for asking that!  My gosh man, what were you thinking.  I mean c'mon, everyone knows that the trash is where God intended it to be.  therefore you should have just thrown your trash across the room and where it lands is where it was divinely intended to land.  Who knows what chain of events you caused to happen now because you asked such a dumb question.  

moving on!

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

It certainly shouldn't be based in the land of fantasy and Sci-Fi as the account of Exodus seems to be. I understand that the ancients wrote much that was literature or fiction, but unfortunately too many have taken this to be real and used such as part of their religion or for validation of it.

therein lies the question of what made them decide this particular peice of writing was real?  What suggests its not beyond the 'magic' as coined here mentioned?

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Yes it was very common for the ancients especially kings to over state what really occurred. Yet, claiming an invasion of any kind into Canaan at the time is not supportable at all. Simply slipping into the country and establishing your homestead in the highlands as did many nomadic tribes doesn't give the tribe much of a glorious heritage. Making the claim their ancestors invaded the country and for example burned Ai to the ground would be quite impressive to an unknowing young person and they could even see that it was rubble to this day. Unfortunately, it had been so since about 2000-2100 BCE and had nothing to do with Hebrew invasions.

Your concessions that the Exodus was very small and insignificant as too was the invasion of Canaan if any occurred at all is a good step. Though I'm not sure you completely take the position the Israelite/Judahite ancestors were just nomadic settlers as Finklestein suggests.

I believe amidst all the exaggeration, the baseline of the story is true for that was the point of writing it in the first place.   Their perspective may have been invasion while due to such a small number, others may have viewed them as aggressive settlers.  I guess the question comes, how many does it take to call it an invasion? 

e.g. we have 1000's of Mexicans coming into our country consistently, yet if China decided to do the same, I think we'd view it as an invasion rather than immigration.  Obviously an assumption, but volume speaks volumes.....

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

This gives to much credibility to something that may have no more basis in reality than the stories of Enki or Jason and the Argonauts. Maybe their stories need to be considered in the same exact methods you suggest of the Israelite sagas. Yet, you may consider these stories to be without merit and if so quite unfairly held to another standard you have imposed.

why not consider them with the same methods? 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

 

Clearly 600,000 men and families did not depart Egypt and wander the Sinai for 40 years. The excrement and debris would have been noticed by others, such as the Hittites or Assyrians for example and they would have made short work of the slaves. The Sinai would be a very difficult place to march a city of 2 million people plus animals for 40 years without leaving substantial evidence, most likely 2,000,000 corpses. Of course God could have vaporized all the evidence just so you and I could argue over this point 3000 years later, right. Tsk Tsk!

now that wouldn't seem congruent now would it... hmmm

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

I have a post I was getting ready which was discussing these very points that I will have to rewrite based on your position expressed in this post.

looking forward to it


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caposkia wrote:mellestad

caposkia wrote:

mellestad wrote:

Part of the reason I even raise the point is my general lack of understanding about the field of apologetics.  I don't think I have ever seen a theistic debate that does not eventually lead to a root cause of faith where belief is concerned.  If you are willing to believe that you'll live in eternal bliss because a deity killed part of itself then turned that piece into a member of the living dead to ward of a punishment laid out by the deity against you for parts of your nature that the deity created in the first place, because he loves you so much he needs a blood sacrifice of himself to stop himself from torturing you....and take that all on faith, why spend a significant portion of study about little things like historical fact? 

I will first say I'm not so up on the apologetics.  The more I learn about it, the more it seems to be a way of 'explaining yourself out of an answer you might not have an answer to'. 

Beyond that, it seems to me that I can't give you a satisfactory answer in just this response.  Again, this would need to be something we discuss be it that your rendition of the Christian God is definitely missing some key points and is skewed from what is really going on.  The reason for discussing historical fact at least on this forum is to discuss the possibility of something like the bible stories actually taking place in the history or whether history sufficiently suggests otherwise. 

keep in mind believers of course hold the notion that the Bible is based on truth.  Therefore, it would make sense that there would be a place in history for the stories of the Bible.  Even though there is a lack of information in general from taht time period as far as specific event happenings, it would be generally understood that if it didn't happen, there'd be something to suggest so in recorded history. 

mellestad wrote:

Seriously, what is the point besides personal edification?  You already believe so you don't need more proof.  Whether or not there were 60, 600 or 60,000 people won't convince anyone that a zombie will save them from eternal torture either, either they swallow it or they don't.

I think I'd have a hard time accepting your rendition of the Christ story as well. 

The Bible teaches to always challenge your own understanding.  Quite a statement from a book that is so claimed on this site to be myth.  Therefore, i come on here to challenge what i know as I said in the previous post.  Ironically, after more than 2 years on this site, I am stronger now in my walk than I was when I first started.  I guess God is on to something there. 

Cap,

The book says to challenge your own understanding. It doesn't say challenge the authors or challenge the precepts within it. Both of those have to be taken as truth (without question) in so may sects of Christianity. Is it so in yours?

It reminds me of those who say "If science contradicts scripture, science is wrong". I know that this is not you but they are out there.

Is it that hard to challenge your understanding with what you accept unequivocally as known truth? It's not surprising that your belief has gotten stronger - you can't allow it to be otherwise.

 

"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


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caposkia

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

You take all the fun out of this discussion by more or less agreeing with what I was about to post. As this number was a very large city for even our times and greater than the entire population of Canaan in the 2nd millennium BCE it was unsupportable in so many ways. When I was in 6th or 7th grade in parochial school I was made to stand in the corner because I asked the question of my fundie Lutheran Schoolteacher, "where's the trash." I was considered a smart-ass for this.

lol, sorry for ruining your fun.  Shall I try to be more ignorant in my postings? jk.

Sometimes you surprise me with what you accept and don't accept.

Maybe you and I need to have a few beers together sometime. I do drive across the country at least 2 or 3 times a year. I live in Florida but I spend several months a year in Colorado as well which is where I am right now. If you are anywhere in between I can stop for a day to convert you to the dark side. I'll bring cookies.

 

____________________________________________________________
"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

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

And since the growing in Christ is all internal and involves nothing measurable this does what in the way of supporting the belief has any basis in the real world?

Changes on the inside of any person will reflect who they are on the outside.  This you can research in any medical or psychological journal and has nothing to do with religion.

The pious priests of the Catholic Church as well as Haggard and Jim Bakker showed outward signs that didn't reflect  their hidden personalities at all. Clearly not so much growing in Jesus belief but deceitful and dishonest. I personally don't care that Haggard liked gay sex and drugs but his elitist attitude and hypocrisy is what disgusted me. This also applies to Catholic priests that bless you and then destroy the young lives of children maybe 10 minutes after they tell you to go and sin no more.

I'm aware of the different personalities that people exhibit and the true self is hardly ever shown.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Clearly writing from ancient sources can't be enough to support a belief in an invisible unknowable god. Since, all gods of antiquity were invisible except for the idol representations which were a likeness not thee god it seems somewhat erroneous to consider any of the ancients had enough understanding to grasp what was real and what was fabrication (or literature if you will).

Random question.  How can anyone believe in anything that is unknowable?

Seems they do all the time.

Scientology is a good example. Mormonism. Christianity. Basically all religions.

All will go through life making claims regarding the belief and how they just know its true and real. In the end when they take their last breath, they still are believing in the unknowable. If after you die there is more, you will know. If there is not then you won't as a brain without power is unable to process data.

caposkia wrote:

Anyway, let's consider for a moment the skepticisms of ignorance.  Even though there was scientific evidence presented about the Earth being round let alone older scripts and sects claiming such, how long did it take before people actually accepted that truth?  I'm guessing it would have taken less time today due to more access to resources.

Also, people at that time would tend to hold closer to their own understanding of the world and would take drastic measures to avoid any change to that comfort zone as seen in history as well as the Bible and many other writings. 

My point being, in order for them to consider anything to be real, it would either first have to coenside with what they already believed (which Judaism and Christianity didn't) or they would have to have more than probable reasoning to consider such.  Their lack of understanding made it more difficult to convince them of something that they didn't understand than what they already knew.

People require a 2 x 4 hit to the head at times to get past assumptions made on poor understanding or on beliefs. Since communication was terrible in the medieval world the fact Vikings had found North America never made it to other parts of the world. Many believed that the world consisted of what they knew and didn't venture past certainty.

In respect to the Judeo-Christian god who is invisible and the only thing documenting his existence is poorly translated archaic writing that is filled with literature, narratives and impossibilities it is an extremely difficult sale to a skeptic and logical mind.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Since you won't commit to a date as to the alleged occurrence of the Exodus I'll have to show why it was unlikely for nearly 2,000,000 slaves to escape and wander for 40 years without running into conflict or being enslaved. Though, I notice in a later post you somewhat take this position yourself, or your sources do.

we agreed that the number is greatly inflated and that it is normal for that to be the case in such writings. 

I was afraid because I didn't give you an answer on a timeline that you would automatically assume I wasn't going to commit to a date.  For someone who is basing so much of their belief on facts, you really do make quick assumptions. 

As discussed in the past with dates, there are many assumptions to exactly when the Exodus took place, but none for sure.  Traditionally, it's understood that the Exodus could have happened somewhere around 1450 B.C.  This is because the 300 years of judges fits comfortably within this time span. 

Keep in mind too, our focus wasn't why it was unlikely at this point, but what the source for the following could have been. 

If you do want to explain why it is unlikely, I think we agree that the inflated numbers would not be a reasonable place to start be it that we agree that it is highly unlikely that such a large number even existed at that time, let alone escaped to wander the desert.  \

Just to clarify, I do talk to other Christians as my sources.  i will not post anything on here that I disagree with myself.  I will usually question them further or do more research before posting if I am unsure.

Thanks, I can work with 1450 BCE. My PTL Bible, one of many I own, suggests that date as well. I'll respond in the next post where I progress through the Exodus into the Invasion of Canaan.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Maybe, or maybe the original god EL of the Canaanites is the fantasy god that is the origin for Jewish myths and then it morphed through Paul into Christianity.

Either could be possible without support on either side.  Is there something in history that would suggest this?

El is described in stories from Ugaritic writing, "The Ba'al Cycle" for example which is pre 2nd millenium BCE.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

The prophecies that Christians use to claim Jesus is the messiah are twisted to mean things that were not the original intentions of the passages. The Jews have a well understood expectations and prophecies of what the mosharch was/is supposed to do and Jesus does not fit the description.

See : http://www.jewfaq.org/mashiach.htm

and: http://www.jewfaq.org/looking4.htm

and: http://www.jewsforjudaism.org/

I'll try to note as I skim through these:

First thing I came to on the first link.  They seem to think Christians think Mashiach is savior.  It is widely accepting in the Christian following that we coined the "savior" term and that the Mashiach or Messiah as most would say today means "annointed one".  That is not disputed in the general Christian following.  It doesn't mean that the true messiah isn't going to be considered a savior, because he is described as such in the OT. 

Claim that he would be well versed in the Jewish law.  Pharasees were amazed at a 12 year old Jesus as he sat in the temple talking of his knowlege of the law. I think that was the book of Matthew?

They go on to say that God was going to raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he will reign as king and act wisely And do justice and righteousness in the land.(quoted from Jeremiah 23:5 and referenced)  They referenced this as it saying he was going to be a political leader. 

I looked at the other links and they seem to make similar assumptions about Christianity and their following.

This response could take a while and I did only skim those pages at this point. 

From what i understand at this point is that they are right, though it's not against Christian belief for Jesus Christ.  The Jews were expecting Jesus to be born and raised in a royal family as descendants of David. (Nowhere does it say that.  Only that a riteous branch will be lifted up) They fail to take into consideration other prophesies of their messiah as in Isiah 53, 'the suffering servent'.  Which suggests he will be born as Jesus was and pretty much paints a picture of the Jesus we see in the NT.

What of his kingly stature?  The NT goes on to say that Jesus will come back to completely fulfill the OT prophesies.  he will come back as reigning king, not in an Earthly political view, but as God is viewed by the Jews as the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. 

Revelation covers a lot of what they seem to think Christianity is missing in their belief.  Many christian sects will avoid focus on Revelation and thus it will not be seen as paert of the belief. 

It seems the Jews have not taken into consideration that their prophesies might not be fulfilled over night or even in one lifetime.  We believe that Jesus isn't done yet and still has to return again for his second and final coming according to prophesies in the OT.   

I of course at this point could discuss for the next few pages of this forum what we believe and compare it to Jewish belief in the Messiah.  i have left a lot of gaps, but it seems pretty clear to me at this point that the prophesies are congruent with Jesus and what he is to do as well as what he has done. 

One more quick note, it was mentioned that it was not the focus of the Jews to be redeemed of their sins. Though it wasn't focused on, it was still prophesied of the Mashiach in Isaiah.

Jews also were followers of Christ and Jesus himself reiterated what will still need to be accomplished in order to fulfill prophesies. e.g. wars famines, etc. will still have to come to pass before this time... as mentioned on one of the links. 

This ultimately would need a whole other forum to discuss.

The Jews were looking for 'the annointed one' to bring their nation together and institute "The Kingdom of God" on Earth. He would essentially be a king but didn't need to be brought up in a royal house. Then if you consider after Judah was obliterated by Babylon and how the royal house was all removed by Nebuchadnezzar, few would have survived to be clearly seen as of the royal house, though anything is of course possible.

Jews don;t consider redemption to be anywhere as important as correcting the offenses you do to others and God. They essentially believe that you are born a pure soul and can return it to God in the same condition. This is quite different than the idea of 'original sin' Christians advocate.

The suffering servant you mention from Isaiah is not Jesus but is in fact the nation of Israel, see the web sites I mentioned for more.

I'll add more to this later when we get to Isaiah or if I have more time today.

**Edit** Added

Jesus if he was the brother of James the Just in fact would be of the house of Levi, not of Judah as James was a priest and priests had to be of the Tribe of Levi. Of course Jesus and James may not be blood related and thus not an issue.

After the messiah came all war and crime would cease after the kingdom of God was instituted on Earth. War and crime are still here.

All nations would recognize the God of the Jews as the only true god. Doesn't seem to be the case yet.

Please objectively read when the Jewish web sites discuss regarding the prophecies they see of the messiah. Also read what they say of Christian misinterpretation of scripture and why certain passages essential to Christianity are clearly misused. They explain in detail how Christianity has misread scripture and applied it incorrectly. Their are many paths in the Jefaq web site some hidden under FAQ that should show you will the differences are. As you have said in this thread you see the Suffering Servant in Isaiah as discussing Jesus but its very clear its the nation of Israel as it even says as such. Please read all of about Isaiah 43 to 55 in a Hebrew Bible Translation such as JPS, not KJV.

**Edit** End

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

caposkia wrote:

Many pagan religions were driven underground or viciously attacked by Christians and faded away by way of fire and swords wielded by Christians. This is another subject for another day in another thread, Christians as Killers.

Most followings were driven underground or viciously attacked by many different followings at many points in history including Christianity.  why did christianity not die out, especially seeing as historically it seems to have the most opposition of all followings.

I'm thinking about the period after Christianity is adopted by Constantine as the religion of the Roman Empire. Systematically over the next 1200 years all non-believers were eliminated or as in the case of Jews and Muslims driven out of the land. Jews were given protection by the popes and put into ghettos to confine them as they would be required according to Catholic belief at the time of the 2nd coming.

 

More later, out of time for now.

____________________________________________________________
"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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jcgadfly wrote:Cap,The book

jcgadfly wrote:

Cap,

The book says to challenge your own understanding. It doesn't say challenge the authors or challenge the precepts within it. Both of those have to be taken as truth (without question) in so may sects of Christianity. Is it so in yours?

yes, we believe that the Bible is truth.  We also hold the understanding that though the original scripts are truth, we are most likely missing or misunderstanding a lot of information it represents.  So we take what we know from it and always check and recheck our understanding of it. 

jcgadfly wrote:

It reminds me of those who say "If science contradicts scripture, science is wrong". I know that this is not you but they are out there.

yes, unfortunately there are those out there like that. 

What I've found is when science contradicts scripture (at least in my research up to this point), it's not science that's contradicting scripture but science showing me where I misunderstood scripture.   This statement applies to other aspects such as history, geology etc. as well. 

jcgadfly wrote:

Is it that hard to challenge your understanding with what you accept unequivocally as known truth? It's not surprising that your belief has gotten stronger - you can't allow it to be otherwise.

I see what you're saying... but think of it this way.  You know that the truth is that there is no God.  I know that the truth is that there is a God.  Are you saying that you  can't allow your understanding to be otherwise?   To suggest that about me would also imply that about you and many others here right?

It seems so hard for people to grasp the concept that i'm actually on here with an open mind... I mean completely open.  Sure, I know what I know and I believe it's the truth, but I'm also taking everything everyone tells me on here seriously and taking honest consideration into my research on what is presented.  If I find a flaw in my understanding, I check both sides for better understanding and don't solely resort to scripture as my 'comfort zone' if you will. 

So many people have assumed that.  It really makes me wonder how many are on here honestly seeking real truth and how many are on here trying to prove their own truth to everyone else. 


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pauljohntheskeptic

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Sometimes you surprise me with what you accept and don't accept.

Maybe you and I need to have a few beers together sometime. I do drive across the country at least 2 or 3 times a year. I live in Florida but I spend several months a year in Colorado as well which is where I am right now. If you are anywhere in between I can stop for a day to convert you to the dark side. I'll bring cookies.

Awe Beer and cookies.  ya sold me!

Unfortunately I'm a little out of the way.  If ya ever swing by Massachusetts, let me know. 

 


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caposkia

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Sometimes you surprise me with what you accept and don't accept.

Maybe you and I need to have a few beers together sometime. I do drive across the country at least 2 or 3 times a year. I live in Florida but I spend several months a year in Colorado as well which is where I am right now. If you are anywhere in between I can stop for a day to convert you to the dark side. I'll bring cookies.

Awe Beer and cookies.  ya sold me!

Unfortunately I'm a little out of the way.  If ya ever swing by Massachusetts, let me know. 

 

Massachusetts is a little out of the way I currently have no plans to head up there. I will be in Orlando from May until October at least if you come down to help our economy by going to Disney World let me know.

____________________________________________________________
"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:The

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

The pious priests of the Catholic Church as well as Haggard and Jim Bakker showed outward signs that didn't reflect  their hidden personalities at all. Clearly not so much growing in Jesus belief but deceitful and dishonest. I personally don't care that Haggard liked gay sex and drugs but his elitist attitude and hypocrisy is what disgusted me. This also applies to Catholic priests that bless you and then destroy the young lives of children maybe 10 minutes after they tell you to go and sin no more.

shows that they don't really practice what they preach.  Changes on the inside reflect on the outside, it's obvious their changes weren't Biblical or Christ centered.  anyone can say anything and do the complete opposite, but to live out what you claim.  Well now, that's a whole other story.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

I'm aware of the different personalities that people exhibit and the true self is hardly ever shown.

sadly.  Which is why it's hard to really tell who's who in today's world. 

Another trate of true followers is being genuine.  You will see someone "good", then when you get to know them better, you'll still see as the saying goes "a good soul" vs. someone who does good, then behind closed doors is... well... not.

Most true followers in my experience have nothing to hide, better yet, many will bring their flaws out in the open.  Some use it as accountability toward their actions and weaknesses, others to show that they really are genuine and aren't trying to pull the wool over others eyes. 

Relationships are a key to a true follower showing others Christ.  If someone's coming to your door and trying to "sell you Christ", I don't blame you for questioning their walk.  Those who walk with Christ tend to try and build a relationship with you.  A real relationship with you and never force scripture or their lifestyle on you.

Sorry, this is getting off topic a bit.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Seems they do all the time.

Scientology is a good example. Mormonism. Christianity. Basically all religions.

All will go through life making claims regarding the belief and how they just know its true and real. In the end when they take their last breath, they still are believing in the unknowable. If after you die there is more, you will know. If there is not then you won't as a brain without power is unable to process data.

Very true.  Though you can't assume what they believe is unknowable.

I agree with you about religion in general though.  Most will hold on to a belief they know nothing about. 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

People require a 2 x 4 hit to the head at times to get past assumptions made on poor understanding or on beliefs. Since communication was terrible in the medieval world the fact Vikings had found North America never made it to other parts of the world. Many believed that the world consisted of what they knew and didn't venture past certainty.

exactly why there is so many divided beliefs in the world from what I understand.  Most people hold the state of mind that "I know what is true and your wrong because you disagree."  Yet they never want to step up to the plate when it's time to defend their understanding.  Or if they do, they're fowling the whole time and not really making any progress. 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

In respect to the Judeo-Christian god who is invisible and the only thing documenting his existence is poorly translated archaic writing that is filled with literature, narratives and impossibilities it is an extremely difficult sale to a skeptic and logical mind.

yet this one still believes amidst many other logical thinking minds.  Even skeptical ones.  Which leads me to the next point that belief and faith at least in the Christian God goes beyond what is written down.  The scripture is only to understand who God is, not to prove that he really exists.  The proof I feel comes in the relationship. 

Of course, I'll sway those "so I have to believe in order to believe" intelects right now.  Building a relationship with someone who walks with Christ and reading the scriptuers for what they really are is understood to be enough to get one either curious or suspicious enough to look deeper into God.  It's from that point that belief starts.  Until then, it's understanding and thinking.  (this is what i've seen and experienced anyway)

quite contrary to what many try to claim about my following. 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Thanks, I can work with 1450 BCE. My PTL Bible, one of many I own, suggests that date as well. I'll respond in the next post where I progress through the Exodus into the Invasion of Canaan.

Ok.  I'm going to double check that date to see what other assumptions might be for it's time. 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

El is described in stories from Ugaritic writing, "The Ba'al Cycle" for example which is pre 2nd millenium BCE.

...and as you know, I've had to rely on sources mostly for my historical understanding be it that it's my weakpoint in knowlege, what was the general belief if you don't mind me asking?  About El that is...

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

The Jews were looking for 'the annointed one' to bring their nation together and institute "The Kingdom of God" on Earth. He would essentially be a king but didn't need to be brought up in a royal house. Then if you consider after Judah was obliterated by Babylon and how the royal house was all removed by Nebuchadnezzar, few would have survived to be clearly seen as of the royal house, though anything is of course possible.

Jews don;t consider redemption to be anywhere as important as correcting the offenses you do to others and God. They essentially believe that you are born a pure soul and can return it to God in the same condition. This is quite different than the idea of 'original sin' Christians advocate.

yea, it's similar to the true-Christian following, though it's understood and accepted by Christians that we are redeemed through Christ becasue no matter how hard we try, we're still going to screw up.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

The suffering servant you mention from Isaiah is not Jesus but is in fact the nation of Israel, see the web sites I mentioned for more.

I'll add more to this later when we get to Isaiah or if I have more time today.

That is true, though when you get into the Hebrew, you start seeing words that hold double meanings (not just in translation, but as the original word is concerned as well).  This would imply that though it was written about the nation of Israel, it also is prophetic.

This generally is well known and understood to those who make it their point to study scripture in depth.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Jesus if he was the brother of James the Just in fact would be of the house of Levi, not of Judah as James was a priest and priests had to be of the Tribe of Levi. Of course Jesus and James may not be blood related and thus not an issue.

After the messiah came all war and crime would cease after the kingdom of God was instituted on Earth. War and crime are still here.

...but when Jesus returns as king (Revelation) it will cease.  It seems somewhere it was missed, what would need to take place first and the process thereof.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

All nations would recognize the God of the Jews as the only true god. Doesn't seem to be the case yet.

Again Revelation

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Please objectively read when the Jewish web sites discuss regarding the prophecies they see of the messiah. Also read what they say of Christian misinterpretation of scripture and why certain passages essential to Christianity are clearly misused. They explain in detail how Christianity has misread scripture and applied it incorrectly. Their are many paths in the Jefaq web site some hidden under FAQ that should show you will the differences are. As you have said in this thread you see the Suffering Servant in Isaiah as discussing Jesus but its very clear its the nation of Israel as it even says as such. Please read all of about Isaiah 43 to 55 in a Hebrew Bible Translation such as JPS, not KJV.

That was just one of many examples.  It's the one I pulled out and have not cross referenced with the Hebrew yet.  Therefore, I won't stand on that particular scripture yet.  I'll have to take more time to read those sites.

I did point out so far some misunderstandings of what Christians believe.  So far, they're not fully credible, but I'll look further of course.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

I'm thinking about the period after Christianity is adopted by Constantine as the religion of the Roman Empire. Systematically over the next 1200 years all non-believers were eliminated or as in the case of Jews and Muslims driven out of the land. Jews were given protection by the popes and put into ghettos to confine them as they would be required according to Catholic belief at the time of the 2nd coming.

 

More later, out of time for now.

There's a reason why Martin Luther rewrote the Bible into the "people's language"

I'm not promoting any particular following here, but an example of how anyone who knew the scripture knew that the Catholic view of the time was quite flawed.

 


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pauljohntheskeptic

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

 

Massachusetts is a little out of the way I currently have no plans to head up there. I will be in Orlando from May until October at least if you come down to help our economy by going to Disney World let me know.

Will do.


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Exodus dates

Hey, if you're going to do more research into what happened around the aleged time of Exodus, I should bring to light what more research has led me to understand.

It seems that the dates estimated range anywhere from the mid 1200 B.C. to as far back as 1660 B.C. 

The 1450 date that I gave you is based on Kin 6:1 claiming the Exodus took place 480 years before the fourth year of Solomon's reign over Israel.  Since that year was 966 B.C.  They did the math. 

However, archeology would suggest another date.  Archeological evidence of the destruction of numerous Canaanite cities in the 13th Century B.C. has been interpreted as proof that Joshua's troops invaded the proimsed land in that century.  These and similar lines of argument lead to a date for the Exodus of more like 1290 B.C.

My Christian sources agree that the date for an Exodus-type event as they say, should be somewhere around 1250 ish... It seem to be the only viable date that the archeology from both Egypt and Canaan supports. 

They also feel that a much later date is based more on theological concerns and not the facts. 

 

 

 


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caposkia wrote:Hey, if

caposkia wrote:

Hey, if you're going to do more research into what happened around the aleged time of Exodus, I should bring to light what more research has led me to understand.

It seems that the dates estimated range anywhere from the mid 1200 B.C. to as far back as 1660 B.C. 

The 1450 date that I gave you is based on Kin 6:1 claiming the Exodus took place 480 years before the fourth year of Solomon's reign over Israel.  Since that year was 966 B.C.  They did the math. 

However, archeology would suggest another date.  Archaeological evidence of the destruction of numerous Canaanite cities in the 13th Century B.C. has been interpreted as proof that Joshua's troops invaded the proimsed land in that century.  These and similar lines of argument lead to a date for the Exodus of more like 1290 B.C.

My Christian sources agree that the date for an Exodus-type event as they say, should be somewhere around 1250 ish... It seem to be the only viable date that the archeology from both Egypt and Canaan supports. 

They also feel that a much later date is based more on theological concerns and not the facts. 

 

*Edited and added more information*

I'm aware of the claim in 1 Kings 6 regarding the elapsed time period of 480 years. Archeology does suggest something else alright, that the Israelites and Judahites were actually Canaanites themselves. The claimed destruction that some feel is proof of Joshua's invading horde is in fact invasions by the Sea Peoples, warring city states, and civil strife. Examples such as Lachish, which  was destroyed somewhere between 1184-1153 BCE as a fitting for the main gate bearing the seal of Ramesses III was found it its ruins. Meggiddo  another great city of the Canaanites had to have been destroyed during the reign of Ramesses VI 1143-1136 BCE as the base to a statue bearing his name was found in its ruins.

Excavations at Hazor suggest a destruction in the mid 13th century BCE.  Hazor also has multiple destruction claimed even in the OT. Joshua is said to have destroyed it in Josh 11:13 where he burned it. Then in Judges 4  Deborah and Barak deliver Israel from Jablin King of Canaan who ruled in  Hazor. Judges 4 and 5  including The Song of Deborah is considered to be one of the oldest written records of the Bible. That being said it directly conflicts with the account of the hero Joshua might lead one to question just how much story telling there really was in the account of Israelites invading Canaan.

Excavations at Aphek had artifacts  suggesting destruction sometime after 1230 BCE to 1200 BCE based on a cunneform tablet bearing the names of officials in Ugarit and Egypt which have been cross dated.  Just discussing these few cities, the destruction was over a 100 year  time period, 1230 BCE to sometime after 1136 BCE, yet the Bible records Joshua's army destroyed these cities. This is certainly not in the 1250s and does not support the claims in the OT at all.

I have the next few posts about ready and we will go into more discussion on the problems with a sudden Israelite invasion shortly.

____________________________________________________________
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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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Moses- Exodus Story



I’ve broken up the Exodus/Moses story into several parts. I have problems seeing any of it as anything other than a fictional ancient story similar to any other storytelling episode from antiquity. I have summarized the major points from the text which I'd like to discuss. I skipped over most of the laws and rules as well as the detailed construction for the Ark & the Tabernacle. If you would like to discuss these areas bring them up appropriately as we go through it. Based on your comments and the views you have expressed it seemed to me that you don't consider them generally applicable to your beliefs as the New Covenent in Jesus supposedly replaces them.

Using either 1450 BCE or 1250 BCE the episode portrayed in the Exodus has problems with archeology and documented historical occurrences not to mention the unrealistic magical events described.

 

Part 1 - The calling

In continuation of the Moses story after he killed the Egyptian he flees the country to Midian. Eventually the pharaoh who wished to slay Moses dies. The children of Israel cried due to their bondage and God heard it remembering his covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. God looked upon them and had respect for them. Ex: 2-11-25

Comments

It certainly took the god a long time to notice his people were being mistreated. Long vacation, took a nap for 100s of years? In another Galaxy, Far, Far Away.

In 1490 BCE the Pharaoh was Thutmose II who ruled from 1492 to possibly1479 BCE. Some scholars consider only a short reign of only about 3 years. He would have to be the one that instituted the building projects that the Hebrews supposedly were forced to construct. After his death his wife Hatshepsut ruled as regent and Queen for years along with her nephew Thutmose III. There was very little building activity in the reign of Thutmose II but a tremendous amount under Hatshepsut.

In 1290 BCE the Pharaoh was Sety I who ruled from 1294 to 1279 BCE. He is generally given credit for most of the temple restoration which repaired the damage done under Akhenaten. He used the old quarries in Sinai for material and raided Nubia for captives for cheap labor. In addition active mining of gold in Nubia and the Eastern Desert financed the building. Sety I also reasserted Egyptian authority throughout Palestine and Syria during his reign. He went as far north as the Hittites territories conquering Qadesh. Sety I was followed by Ramses II in 1279 BCE. Ramses II is generally considered by mainstream Christians to be the Pharaoh of the Exodus. He ruled for 66 years from 1279 to 1213 BCE. After Ramses II his son Mereneptah is the Pharaoh that claimed in a stele that "Israel's seed is not" following campaigns in Syria/Palestine.

Continuing -

Moses was taking care of the flock that was owned by his father-in-law and was on the backside of Mt Horeb. The angel of the Lord came unto him out of the midst of a bush and appeared as a flame of fire though it was not consumed. So Moses decided to check out this bush that burned but was not consumed. When the Lord noticed Moses was inspecting the burning bush he called out to him. He called Moses by name and he answered him. He was told to remove his shoes because he was upon holy ground. He informs Moses that he has seem the affliction of his people and he has come down to deliver them from the hand of the Egyptians to a land of milk and honey currently inhabited by the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites.

God tells Moses he has been selected to the task of leading his people from Egypt. Moses expresses doubts and God tells him he'd be with him. Moses asked him his name and God replies, I that I am, tell the people I am has sent me. Ex 3:1-17

Comments-

So far this is again 1st person unsupportable storytelling with one thing of note, Jerusalem was still in the hands of the Jebusites and the Hittites were still apparently in existence. No names are given of kings or pharaohs and God doesn't personally just zap away the Egyptians and transport his people to an uninhabited Canaan, no the tale must fit in with the current environment when it was constructed. Bushes that are in flame but not consumed nice Sci-Fi touch. Sounds like fabrication to me.

The mention of the Hittites in this account suggests this had to occur before 1160 - 1180 BCE when the Hittite’s Empire collapsed from invasions by the sea peoples as well as internal strife and civil war.  While petty kingdoms and city states would continue for centuries as a major entity they were no longer after this period. If it is the mid 15th century, they were all there as were the Mitani and the Egyptians.

Continuing -

God tells Moses that when they leave Egypt that will do so with much spoils and riches. (Fairy tales need to impress) Moses needed a magician’s tool so God made his rod into one so he could perform demonstrations. More 1st person unsupportable allegations and miracles are shown to Moses by God. He is told of some of the plagues which he would put upon Egypt to convince the pharaoh to let the people go. Moses makes many excuses and upsets God. He claims he can't speak well but God tells him his brother Aaron is approaching and he will help in that respect. In God's description of what was to come about he tells Moses that he would harden the heart of the pharaoh such that he wouldn't let the people go. Ex 3:18 – 4:18

Comments –

And Lucifer and Loki get criticized for deception quite unfairly. If God can on purpose cause hardship by influencing a person (harden their heart) what does that say about his motivations. Sounds a bit psychotic to me or he's into S & M. It's certainly not free will. This also occurs with Saul and others.

Apparently God was away on a very long vacation and finally noticed his people were in dire straits after some 430 years, certainly not very dependable to his chosen people.

Funny, apparently Aaron had no problem leaving Egypt.

This part is no better than any Greek myth in its description and story and clearly not as fun.

 

____________________________________________________________
"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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Continunig with the Exodus/Moses Story

Continuing with the Exodus/Moses story.
Part 2 - The Confrontation with Pharaoh
If this was in the 15th century BCE after the pharaoh died it would be during the reign of Hatshepsut who was regent and Queen until about 1458 BCE when Thutmose III began to rule on his own. Since Exodus makes no mention of a Queen ruling Egypt it can’t be this period though she was a major builder of temples far exceeding all other rulers in their ambition. This surely is adverse to the claim in Kings that 480 years elapsed between the Exodus and the Temple construction.


If the Exodus occurred in the 13th century BCE, the new pharaoh would be Ramses II. He became ruler in 1279 BCE and ruled until 1213 BCE. He was also an ambitious builder. In addition he was also a campaigner and once again reasserted authority in Syria/Palestine. This resulted in a major battle with the Hittites at Qadesh in 1275 BCE. In about 1263 BCE the Hittites and Egyptians sign a peace treaty and both dominated and ruled Syria/Palestine. This will be a problem for any Hebrew invading horde of hundreds of thousands as it would have been noticed. However, if we are talking about 60 or 600, perhaps they could have settled in the highlands with little notice by either Egypt or the Hittites. More on this when we get to the invasion by the Hebrew horde.


Continuing -
Moses and Aaron arrive in Egypt & tell the people their story and they all worshiped the Lord. They then somehow got an audience with the pharaoh and present their request or demand. The Pharaoh tells them he knows not the Lord and won't let the people go. Originally it was only asked to go in the wilderness to worship the Lord for 3 days. In response to the people not working due to Moses' influence and demands, the Pharaoh orders they now make brick without straw. Moses and Aaron get blamed for causing this hardship upon the people, so Moses prays to the Lord for help.
Moses tells the people again that the Lord will free them but with the increased burdens caused by Moses they don't listen. So God sends Moses to another audience with the Pharaoh. The Pharaoh demanded a miracle, so Moses cast down his rod which became a snake. The Egyptian magicians did likewise but Moses rod (snake) swallowed the others. The next day Moses returned when the Pharaoh was on the waters edge and smote the water with his rod turning it into blood. And the water of the river remained of blood for 7 days and yet the Pharaoh would not let the people go.
Next Moses brings upon Egypt a plague of frogs which infest even their beds. The Pharaoh relents and agrees to let the people go if Moses gets rid of the frogs. After the frogs were gone the Pharaoh reneged on his agreement because Satan, I mean God was still causing him to refuse. And so it is plague after plague, flies, cattle death, boils, hail, locusts, darkness, and finally the death of the 1st born Egyptians. Satan, I mean Loki; I mean God continued to cause the Pharaoh to harden his heart and refuse. Ex 4:19 – 12:36


Comments –
Moses with no trouble at all looking as a nomad peasant or tribesmen, probably dirt encrusted needing a haircut and a shave easily gets in for an audience with the Pharaoh the God-King of Egypt. He then returns again when the Pharaoh is at the water's edge with no mention of confrontation or issues with the guards.


Jedi mind tricks perhaps?


The water turning into blood for 7 days would be significant enough to have been recorded; probably even non-observant people would notice that. Just as in Greek myths we have all sorts of calamities occur ending just after the 1st born of all Egypt die which is somehow not mentioned in Egyptian records either.


The Lord showed he can do whatever it takes to have his way by causing the Pharaoh to refuse to release the people. This is what is said of Satan and other evil gods, so what does this say of Yahweh? A really sick puppy. Free will, not at all.


Can we just write off this part as creative fiction or do you want to try to defend it?

 


 

____________________________________________________________
"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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Continuing with the Exodus/Moses story. Part 3

 

Part 3- The Departure


And so it was, the 1st born of the Egyptians die including the pharaoh's 1st born. In all the Children of Israel were in Egypt 430 years. When they departed from Egypt they took many spoils by simply asking the Egyptians who willing gave them gold, silver, jewels and expensive clothes. In all 600,000 men left besides the children. So God when the people were released from Egypt did not have them take the shortest route available, through the land of the Philistines because if they got into warfare they might change their minds and return to Egypt. Instead they were lead through the wilderness of the Red Sea. The Lord led the way by day with a pillar of cloud and by night with a pillar of fire. In the meanwhile God again hardened Pharaoh's heart so he would pursue them which he did with 600 chariots of war and all the chariots of Egypt, all his horsemen and all his army and overtook the Israelites at Pihahiroth.


The people see the Egyptian army and begin one of many whining episodes to Moses. Moses tells them the Lord will deliver them. And the pillar of cloud came between them and the Egyptians as a cloud of darkness to them but giving light to the Israelites. Moses stretched out his rod over the sea and a strong east wind made the sea dry and the waters were divided. The Israelites went into the dry land of the sea and crossed over. The Egyptians then followed into the sea including all of the Pharaoh’s horses, chariots, and army. The Lord in the morning came upon the Egyptians and troubled them causing chariot wheels to come off and they began to flee for they knew the Lord was fight for the Israelites. And God told Moses to stretch out his hand once more and the waters came upon the Egyptians and covered all the host of Pharaoh such that there remained not one of them. Ex 12:37 – 14:31


Comments -

Earlier I suggested it's not very likely that 600,000 men plus women and children departed and wandered for 40 years as they left no traces at all in their journey. This suggests about 2 to 3 million when you add a couple of kids each and women not to mention livestock. Show me the artifacts is what I have always asked of proponents of this legendary story.


As I have made well known, I live in Florida. I know what high winds will do as in a wind strong enough to part a sea or a lake. Have you ever watched the footage of the stupid newscasters standing out in a 100 mph hurricane, grasping on to whatever so they don't get blown away? Think of an even stronger wind to part a very deep sea. Can you imagine the carts, people and stuff being blown all over? It would make the idiot newscasters hanging on to a light pole seem mild. No way to a strong east wind that parted the sea with out blowing the Hebrews all the way across Africa.


After seeing your posts you too have agreed that it couldn't be a fairly large city left Egypt and wandered for 40 years. A small group of people perhaps hundreds may have, though being lost for 40 years still is illogical. I guess that's what happens with a dead battery in your GPS and having a schizophrenic as a god.


During this period Egypt had forts in the area mentioned in the Exodus account called Migdol which was a common name for them. The remains of these forts were discovered in expeditions by Elizer of Ben-Gurion University; feel free to look it up. So if there were large bands of Hebrew slaves departing Egypt with booty, they would easily have been cut off by soldiers from the fort who guarded the border. This is also true for smaller groups of 100s.  Also, no artifacts have been found in regards to a large band of people leaving Egypt at all. In further support of how closely the Egyptians watched the border crossing, consider this late 13th century BCE papyrus that was found which translated says, "We have completed the entry of the tribes of the Edomite Shasu (Bedouins) through the fortress of Mereneptah-Content-with truth, which is in Tjkw, to the pools of Pr-Itm which are in Tjkw for the sustence of their flocks" from Finkelstein Bible Unearthed p 59.


Further complicating a date in the 13th century, the trade route into Canaan was heavily defended and of extreme importance to Egypt as it had been even at the time of the great battle between Egypt and the Hittites in Qadesh in 1274 BCE. Following a peace treaty between them they both administered this area until the Hittite Empire disintegrated in about 1180 BCE as earlier discussed. This does not provide much of a window for a large band or horde of Hebrews attempting to invade the important area of Egyptian influence in Canaan. There is also the Assyrians to consider as well who would have been more than interested in either enlisting them in overpowering a weakened Egypt or enslaving them and taking all the booty they supposedly had removed from Egypt.


If all of Pharaoh's army were destroyed why then did no other superpower of the time, sea peoples or even small city states not conquer Egypt?


You indicated the Exodus was likely in about 1450 BCE as does my PTL Bible. Perhaps so for a hundred people though Canaan was under the influence of not only Egypt at this time but also the Hittites and the Mitani and the occasional incursion by Assyria. None mention an invading horde of Hebrew escapees from Egypt.


The Pharaohs of late 16th century BCE and 15th century BCE were: Ahmose (1550-1525); Amenhotep I (1525-1504); Thutmose I (1504-1492); Thutmose II (1492-1479); Thutmose III (1479-1425); Queen Hatshepsut (1473-1458); Amenhotep II 1427-1400)


The date you picked follows Queen Hatsheput's co-regency with Thutmose III. Hatsheput outstripped her predecessors in building projects and ruled in the stead of Thutmose III who began as a child king. She ruled with him for 22 years making all of the major decisions. Her building projects are attested to in Thebes, Karnak, the Temple at Deir el-Bahri, and traditional building sites favored by her father and grandfather. Perhaps the Hebrews were forced not by a Pharaoh but by a Queen to do harsh labor if this is the period just before they leave Egypt. If so, it was made out to be a king because if a woman did so it was even more degrading to the Hebrews. But we are only talking about a few hundred Hebrews anyway aren’t we.

The promised land of Canaan in the 15th century had been conquered by Egypt in about 1480 BCE and they ruled the coastal strip of Lebanon and Syria as well as the Sinai and most of what is Modern Israel. North of them were both the Hittites and the Mitani who Egypt battled until about 1425 BCE when lasting peace between them occurred. Egypt and the Mitani would share peaceful coexistence until disruption by the Hittites most notably in the 13th century BCE.


Then off to the East were the Assyrians and the Babylonians who generally were not involved in major wars during this period. It is thought that the kings of Assur were vassals of the Mitani and largely were at peace as a result.


In the 13th century as mentioned, Ramses II was Pharaoh from 1279 to 1213 BCE. He has left major building projects behind and many monuments. If his army had been lost in the Red Sea perhaps curtailment of his ambitious construction would have been the least occurrence as an indication of such an event. No such luck. Ramses had a Hittite princess as one of 7 wives that attained the title of 'great royal wife' during his 67 year reign thus indicating the level of cooperation between the two empires. After Ramses II, his son even sent aid to the Hittites in the form of grain when extreme crop failures were occurring. During this time period, the invading Sea Peoples were attacking the western parts of the Hittite Empire and had also reached the coast of North Africa.


As you mentioned, the Bible in 1 Kings 6:1 claims the Exodus occurred 480 years before the Temple of Solomon alleged to be in 966 BCE. As we approach the 12th century without a window of opportunity for a Hebrew invading horde, time is becoming very short for this to have any merit as a basis for the Exodus. In the early 12th century before the collapse of the Hittite Empire, less then 250 years remain before the Temple is supposedly built.

 

____________________________________________________________
"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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Continuing with the Exodus/Moses Story Parts 4 & 5

 

Part 4 - The Early Journey


After watching the entire Egyptian army be destroyed by the Lord you'd think these Hebrews would have some respect for his power but alas no. Every time hardship was found they continued to whine how they were better off in Egypt. When water becomes scarce and they are at the waters of Marah and it was unfit to drink they of course whined. Moses does what the Lord tells him and the water is made fit to drink. Next stop in the journey is at the wells of Elim with 12 wells and 70 palm trees. This is likely the oasis of Wadi Gharandel about 60 miles south of Suez. They then went into the wilderness of Sin (aka Moon god of Akkad). It is here where manna and quail began appearing. The next stop is Rephidim where there is no water and the whining begins once again. The Lord told Moses to strike a rock with the magician’s rod and water would come out.


Amalek fought a war against the Egyptian escapees at Rephidim. Supposedly when Moses held up his hand with the rod the Amalekites would lose and when his hand came down they prevailed against the Israelites. This will be costly to the Amalekites in later days when the Israelites kill them all (allegedly).  Next stop Mt Sinai. Ex 15:22 – 18:27


Comments -

Since you don't consider a large scale Exodus to be reality based I would guess you don't think the entire Egyptian army was drowned in the Red Sea either. However, Egypt does not appear to mention such destruction and they weren't suddenly invaded by any of their enemies so it's likely pure fiction and glory promotion of see how powerful the Hebrew’s God is.


As with other legendary stories of the Israelites the Mt Sinai adventure is filled with preconceptions and misunderstandings, thanks to Cecil B DeMille and Charlton Heston more than any other.


Did manna appear in vast quantities along with quail to feed 2 million or was it just 600 persons?

Does anyone have a recipe for manna?

 

Part 5 - Mt Sinai & the Commandments

About 90 days into their escape from Egypt the Hebrews camped at Mt Sinai. They were told God would come to the Mt and they would all see his presence there and hear his words (Ex 19:9) and forever believe. They were told to stay off the Mt or they would be put to death (stoned or shot with an arrow-no God zapping them mentioned). Moses goes up the Mt and the Lord speaks the commandments to him, which I count in this account as 12, though one can construe it to be 10 as the 1st 3 all deal with false gods etc.


Exodus has many more laws given by the God to Moses on the Mt in Ex 21-23 detailing everything from slaves to repayment for thieving. Apparently the Lord had plenty of time to come up with all these rules. Moses then returned to the people and told them all of the laws the god had given and they said they would do all that was asked. Moses and 70 elders plus Aaron then returned to the Mt. Later apparently, Moses went again to the Mt and the god was to make tablets of laws to give to the people. Moses was gone 40 days. In addition Moses gets detailed instructions for the Tabernacle and the Ark of the Covenant.


After 40 days the people had not heard anything of Moses and decided they needed a gold god. So they asked Aaron to make one. Aaron who had just seen God on the Mt 40 days ago more or less goes along with this, what a pussy.  So he told them to bring gold and he'd make one. So Aaron fashioned a calf, so appropriate in that it was as the Canaanites might do in worshipping El, who was shown as a bull on occasion, see Ugarit literature and myths.


Aaron declares a feast day to the Lord, interpreted to be the gold calf. They start early the next day making burnt offerings to the false god. The Lord takes note and decides to consume them all with fire and make a new nation from Moses. Moses then guilt trips God by saying, what will the Egyptians say, you brought the people out of Egypt just to kill them. So the Lord repented of the evil he thought to do.  Ex 19 – 32:18


Comments -

So clearly the order to stay off the Mt was manmade as it was enforced with a bow and rocks. After Moses returns the 1st time the people are already given the commandments and the other rules prior to being etched in stone by 'the finger of the god'.


Aaron sees the Lord yet he is the one that makes the idol and arm twisting is really not indicated. The Lord decides to kill them all and has his mind changed by Moses and God repents of the evil. Well, that certainly shows this god liked to kill 1st and ask questions later. Moses guilt trips him and he changes his mind. He gave in after Moses made comments in regards to his image (meaning media hype today) it appears he didn't want to be trashed on ET or the Fox News equivalent in ancient Egypt.

Continuing


Moses went down the Mt and found the people partying. He was pissed and broke the tablets on the Mt. He then burned the golden calf idol and ground it up and made the people drink it. Aaron took no blame and made it like he went along with it and the calf just popped out of the fire. Moses asked who was on the Lord's side and all the Levites came to him. He told them to slay all of their brothers. 3,000 were slain that day. Ex 32:19 -35


Comments-

Unlike a Cecil B De Mille production, the Earth doesn't open and suck up the idol worshipers; no it's killing done by man. Only 3,000 men are murdered of the 600,000 so it's really only a small percentage.

Just how did Moses get the people to drink the gold dust in their water?


God tells Moses he will send an angel ahead and drive out the Canaanites, Amorites, Hittites and Jebusites. If this was so, the angel didn't do a good job as all of these people were still there when the invading horde (or small band of nomads) arrives.All in all this part was creative writing by the scribes or priests that came up with all the rules and regulations found in Ex 21-23. A cover story was needed to justify where the rules came from and so this myth was expounded upon and creatively written as either literature or just complete Sci-Fi.


If we consider there were a few hundred that left Egypt and they went to Canaan after wandering for 40 years, it's possible it could be they were actually the nomadic herders taking their flocks from place to place. After 40 years they settle in the highlands like many other groups had done. This group was different; they had a story written by the tribal medicine man that interacted directly with the God Yahweh or his fantasy/drug vision of the god. Maybe they just had better hallucinogens available at the time.

Exodus ends with detailed descriptions of the Tabernacle and the ceremonies involved. The journey of the Hebrews continues in other books such as Deuteronomy and Numbers. Many Bible scholars attribute Deuteronomy to Jeremiah written many centuries later because of the similar styles of writing and even virtually identical wording. See for example, 'Who Wrote the Bible' for more.
 

____________________________________________________________
"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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That was fun, you should do

That was fun, you should do more!

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


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mellestad wrote:That was

mellestad wrote:

That was fun, you should do more!

We're just getting to the fun parts so more to come soon.

 

____________________________________________________________
"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:I'm

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

I'm aware of the claim in 1 Kings 6 regarding the elapsed time period of 480 years. Archeology does suggest something else alright, that the Israelites and Judahites were actually Canaanites themselves. The claimed destruction that some feel is proof of Joshua's invading horde is in fact invasions by the Sea Peoples, warring city states, and civil strife. Examples such as Lachish, which  was destroyed somewhere between 1184-1153 BCE as a fitting for the main gate bearing the seal of Ramesses III was found it its ruins. Meggiddo  another great city of the Canaanites had to have been destroyed during the reign of Ramesses VI 1143-1136 BCE as the base to a statue bearing his name was found in its ruins.

Excavations at Hazor suggest a destruction in the mid 13th century BCE.  Hazor also has multiple destruction claimed even in the OT. Joshua is said to have destroyed it in Josh 11:13 where he burned it. Then in Judges 4  Deborah and Barak deliver Israel from Jablin King of Canaan who ruled in  Hazor. Judges 4 and 5  including The Song of Deborah is considered to be one of the oldest written records of the Bible. That being said it directly conflicts with the account of the hero Joshua might lead one to question just how much story telling there really was in the account of Israelites invading Canaan.

I believe we established that the claim of "invasion" may have been such a small number that it was insignificant and may hardly even be able to be considered an invasion.  Moreso a rolling through if you will of a small people group.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Excavations at Aphek had artifacts  suggesting destruction sometime after 1230 BCE to 1200 BCE based on a cunneform tablet bearing the names of officials in Ugarit and Egypt which have been cross dated.  Just discussing these few cities, the destruction was over a 100 year  time period, 1230 BCE to sometime after 1136 BCE, yet the Bible records Joshua's army destroyed these cities. This is certainly not in the 1250s and does not support the claims in the OT at all.

Do you claim it didn't happen at all, or just that the dates were wrong?

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

I have the next few posts about ready and we will go into more discussion on the problems with a sudden Israelite invasion shortly.


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pauljohntheskeptic

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:



I’ve broken up the Exodus/Moses story into several parts. I have problems seeing any of it as anything other than a fictional ancient story similar to any other storytelling episode from antiquity. I have summarized the major points from the text which I'd like to discuss. I skipped over most of the laws and rules as well as the detailed construction for the Ark & the Tabernacle. If you would like to discuss these areas bring them up appropriately as we go through it. Based on your comments and the views you have expressed it seemed to me that you don't consider them generally applicable to your beliefs as the New Covenent in Jesus supposedly replaces them.

It's accepted that Jesus fulfilled OT law.  I'm not sure where it says he replaced them.  Either way.  Up to you.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:


Using either 1450 BCE or 1250 BCE the episode portrayed in the Exodus has problems with archeology and documented historical occurrences not to mention the unrealistic magical events described.
 

Be it that the conquering would have taken place over a long period of time through gradual growth, it makes sense that archeology wouldn't be congruent date wise.  Also that the dates weren't the focus fo the authors and therefore were probably not thoroughly researched especially with the lack of resource during that time anyway.

There is evidence of slow Israelite population growth during that time, which over many years and small wars here and there, fits the picture of Exodus.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

 

Part 1 - The calling

In continuation of the Moses story after he killed the Egyptian he flees the country to Midian. Eventually the pharaoh who wished to slay Moses dies. The children of Israel cried due to their bondage and God heard it remembering his covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. God looked upon them and had respect for them. Ex: 2-11-25

Comments

It certainly took the god a long time to notice his people were being mistreated. Long vacation, took a nap for 100s of years? In another Galaxy, Far, Far Away.

Is it that he didn't notice? or was there something more.  Sure, why would God allow his people to suffer... well... how big would the Exodus story have been without that time period and how would God prevent it without affecting the free will He has allowed everyone?

Usually when God "rescues his people", he's going to make sure everyone knows about it... otherwise, what's the point, he's just going to be doing it all the time?  I find He tends to be resourceful when working. Eye-wink

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:


Moses was taking care of the flock that was owned by his father-in-law and was on the backside of Mt Horeb. The angel of the Lord came unto him out of the midst of a bush and appeared as a flame of fire though it was not consumed. So Moses decided to check out this bush that burned but was not consumed. When the Lord noticed Moses was inspecting the burning bush he called out to him. He called Moses by name and he answered him. He was told to remove his shoes because he was upon holy ground. He informs Moses that he has seem the affliction of his people and he has come down to deliver them from the hand of the Egyptians to a land of milk and honey currently inhabited by the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites.

God tells Moses he has been selected to the task of leading his people from Egypt. Moses expresses doubts and God tells him he'd be with him. Moses asked him his name and God replies, I that I am, tell the people I am has sent me. Ex 3:1-17

Comments-

So far this is again 1st person unsupportable storytelling with one thing of note, Jerusalem was still in the hands of the Jebusites and the Hittites were still apparently in existence. No names are given of kings or pharaohs and God doesn't personally just zap away the Egyptians and transport his people to an uninhabited Canaan, no the tale must fit in with the current environment when it was constructed. Bushes that are in flame but not consumed nice Sci-Fi touch. Sounds like fabrication to me.

Sure it does. I would expect anyone who doesnt' know God to assume so.  Be it that it's first person account, regardless if it was representing God or not, i'd expect more information beyond that to support such a claim.  Thus the OT rolls on.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:


Continuing -

God tells Moses that when they leave Egypt that will do so with much spoils and riches. (Fairy tales need to impress) Moses needed a magician’s tool so God made his rod into one so he could perform demonstrations. More 1st person unsupportable allegations and miracles are shown to Moses by God. He is told of some of the plagues which he would put upon Egypt to convince the pharaoh to let the people go. Moses makes many excuses and upsets God. He claims he can't speak well but God tells him his brother Aaron is approaching and he will help in that respect. In God's description of what was to come about he tells Moses that he would harden the heart of the pharaoh such that he wouldn't let the people go. Ex 3:18 – 4:18

Comments –

And Lucifer and Loki get criticized for deception quite unfairly. If God can on purpose cause hardship by influencing a person (harden their heart) what does that say about his motivations. Sounds a bit psychotic to me or he's into S & M. It's certainly not free will. This also occurs with Saul and others.

Hardening the heart as in this situation is the same as me telling you... "I know you're going to hate me for this, but you need to know that..." 

It's not that I made you get mad at me or hate me for what I said, it's just that I knew that you would be upset with me about it.

In the case of God and the pharoah, God knows the pharoah better than anyone and knows already how the pharoah is going to react to such an approach/demand. 

If you're going to analyze scripture to that degree, I suggest you learn the Hebrew and understand the dialect of the time before going further.  There are many parts of the bible that I've seen people try to "demonize" if you will, but to any educated Christian it only shows they don't know much about what it says and probably have no clue about the languages and how they're translated.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:



Apparently God was away on a very long vacation and finally noticed his people were in dire straits after some 430 years, certainly not very dependable to his chosen people.

Funny, apparently Aaron had no problem leaving Egypt.

This part is no better than any Greek myth in its description and story and clearly not as fun.
 

If this is the case, then why would people follow such an ureliable god?  Keep in mind during that time, there were many choices for gods to follow and the people could have chosen a god that would have reacted more imediately... or even appealed to the pharoah by following whatever god the pharoah believed in thus possibly freeing them instantly... 

Also, it's where the faith factor comes in.  Also, if you're going to conclude such, there are many other factors one would have to take into consideration...

if god even had it planned from the beginning,... I think it's only the New Earth creationists that believe God works instantaniously on a grand scale and thus created the earth in 6 days as we understand it. (I don't follow this belief)

I find it intreguing that you seem to grasp the same belief that God would have had to work just as fast.  If he does in fact use natural means to intervene, then it would take some time for God to line up the effects just right.

Obviously one theory among many.  I have presented another earlier in this post. 

One more theory is behind God's plan for us.  We're his children.  How do you think a child would grow up if given everything they wanted imediately and were sheltered throughout their life from anything that might not be good.  I feel they'd be spoiled little brats and have no respect for their parents let alone anyone else and they'd be screwed when it came time to fend for themselves.

Just some thoughts though. 

Either way, your conclusions are poorly supported no?  We'll see historically where we go from here.  Though your strong in history, your belief seems to stem off opinion of the world around you vs. the facts.  Religion supports that state of mind


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pauljohntheskeptic

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Continuing with the Exodus/Moses story.
Part 2 - The Confrontation with Pharaoh
If this was in the 15th century BCE after the pharaoh died it would be during the reign of Hatshepsut who was regent and Queen until about 1458 BCE when Thutmose III began to rule on his own. Since Exodus makes no mention of a Queen ruling Egypt it can’t be this period though she was a major builder of temples far exceeding all other rulers in their ambition. This surely is adverse to the claim in Kings that 480 years elapsed between the Exodus and the Temple construction.

Just because Exodus doesn't mention something doesn't mean it  was not happening during that time.  How would a mention of the Queen ruling Egypt be needed or even relevant to the story?  Do you really expect a thorough historical record with each story? 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:


Continuing -
Moses and Aaron arrive in Egypt & tell the people their story and they all worshiped the Lord. They then somehow got an audience with the pharaoh and present their request or demand. The Pharaoh tells them he knows not the Lord and won't let the people go. Originally it was only asked to go in the wilderness to worship the Lord for 3 days. In response to the people not working due to Moses' influence and demands, the Pharaoh orders they now make brick without straw. Moses and Aaron get blamed for causing this hardship upon the people, so Moses prays to the Lord for help.
Moses tells the people again that the Lord will free them but with the increased burdens caused by Moses they don't listen. So God sends Moses to another audience with the Pharaoh. The Pharaoh demanded a miracle, so Moses cast down his rod which became a snake. The Egyptian magicians did likewise but Moses rod (snake) swallowed the others. The next day Moses returned when the Pharaoh was on the waters edge and smote the water with his rod turning it into blood. And the water of the river remained of blood for 7 days and yet the Pharaoh would not let the people go.
Next Moses brings upon Egypt a plague of frogs which infest even their beds. The Pharaoh relents and agrees to let the people go if Moses gets rid of the frogs. After the frogs were gone the Pharaoh reneged on his agreement because Satan, I mean God was still causing him to refuse. And so it is plague after plague, flies, cattle death, boils, hail, locusts, darkness, and finally the death of the 1st born Egyptians. Satan, I mean Loki; I mean God continued to cause the Pharaoh to harden his heart and refuse. Ex 4:19 – 12:36


Comments –
Moses with no trouble at all looking as a nomad peasant or tribesmen, probably dirt encrusted needing a haircut and a shave easily gets in for an audience with the Pharaoh the God-King of Egypt. He then returns again when the Pharaoh is at the water's edge with no mention of confrontation or issues with the guards.


Jedi mind tricks perhaps?


The water turning into blood for 7 days would be significant enough to have been recorded; probably even non-observant people would notice that. Just as in Greek myths we have all sorts of calamities occur ending just after the 1st born of all Egypt die which is somehow not mentioned in Egyptian records either.

I think this thought was mentioned before, but why would an Egyptian Pharaoh take time or suggest even to scribe into a wall his defeat against a lowly people?  The god-king of Egypt I don't think would want anything like that on his record.  Makes sense that such events wouldn't have been recorded in such a way as to be preserved through history.

Also, are you saying every epidemic ever has been recorded in history?  This dying of the first borns was a small scale virus if you will in the scheme of all of Egypt. 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:


The Lord showed he can do whatever it takes to have his way by causing the Pharaoh to refuse to release the people. This is what is said of Satan and other evil gods, so what does this say of Yahweh? A really sick puppy. Free will, not at all.

opinion again is basing your belief.  What is free will to you?  Is it only having choices that benefit you, or being allowed to think for yourself.  it is said that if you've always had it, you wouldn't understand what it is to not have it.  I don't think you understand free will.  It's on a much larger scale than freedom. 

 

If God wants something to happen in his creation..  does it not make sense to you that it's going to happen?  I'm not sure if i get your logic here.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:


Can we just write off this part as creative fiction or do you want to try to defend it?

 

 I'm here to discuss with you stories of the OT.  If something you tell me doesn't seem to jive with logic or is something I might disagree with, I'm going to challenge it.  It's not that I'm defending anything on this forum.  I'm just going to make sense of it all.  If you're going to conclude something, I want to make sure both our facts are strait. 

So far, any conclusion you have made on this forum that what we have gone through is myth or "creative fiction"  has been based on your opinion of what you think it should be without sufficient historical support or date/pop. incongruencies.  Understanding that dates weren't of major concern and numbers tend to be exaggerated, that basis no longer holds water. 

If you want to conclude myth or creative fiction on this forum, i feel you should stick to the facts and leave opinion out of it.  If God happens to exist, it's logical to conclude that such happenings can unfold in such a way and that God would know and understand his creation far better than we would thus leaving us clueless to analyze how or why He did what He did in the way He did it

I understand you don't hold to the belief that such a being exists, but taking the mindset for a moment that there is a god, would you disagree with that statement?  Reasoning behind either answer.   Then we should move on.  We don't need to tangent on that.


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pauljohntheskeptic

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

 

Part 4 - The Early Journey


After watching the entire Egyptian army be destroyed by the Lord you'd think these Hebrews would have some respect for his power but alas no. Every time hardship was found they continued to whine how they were better off in Egypt. When water becomes scarce and they are at the waters of Marah and it was unfit to drink they of course whined. Moses does what the Lord tells him and the water is made fit to drink. Next stop in the journey is at the wells of Elim with 12 wells and 70 palm trees. This is likely the oasis of Wadi Gharandel about 60 miles south of Suez. They then went into the wilderness of Sin (aka Moon god of Akkad). It is here where manna and quail began appearing. The next stop is Rephidim where there is no water and the whining begins once again. The Lord told Moses to strike a rock with the magician’s rod and water would come out.


Amalek fought a war against the Egyptian escapees at Rephidim. Supposedly when Moses held up his hand with the rod the Amalekites would lose and when his hand came down they prevailed against the Israelites. This will be costly to the Amalekites in later days when the Israelites kill them all (allegedly).  Next stop Mt Sinai. Ex 15:22 – 18:27


Comments -

Since you don't consider a large scale Exodus to be reality based I would guess you don't think the entire Egyptian army was drowned in the Red Sea either. However, Egypt does not appear to mention such destruction and they weren't suddenly invaded by any of their enemies so it's likely pure fiction and glory promotion of see how powerful the Hebrew’s God is.

To say the entire army is definitely in my opinion exaggeration.  I think it's possible there was a small group chasing them, but first why send the whole army out after a group of slaves.  That doesnt' make sense. 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:


As with other legendary stories of the Israelites the Mt Sinai adventure is filled with preconceptions and misunderstandings, thanks to Cecil B DeMille and Charlton Heston more than any other.


Did manna appear in vast quantities along with quail to feed 2 million or was it just 600 persons?

Does anyone have a recipe for manna?

What, your point is we can make manna?  Yea, it wasn't some magical bread that turns you into He-Man or anything. 

I think we've established the logical number here.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

 

Part 5 - Mt Sinai & the Commandments

About 90 days into their escape from Egypt the Hebrews camped at Mt Sinai. They were told God would come to the Mt and they would all see his presence there and hear his words (Ex 19:9) and forever believe. They were told to stay off the Mt or they would be put to death (stoned or shot with an arrow-no God zapping them mentioned). Moses goes up the Mt and the Lord speaks the commandments to him, which I count in this account as 12, though one can construe it to be 10 as the 1st 3 all deal with false gods etc.

Everyone knows there are many more than 10.  It was Catholicism I think that narrowed it down.  I don't remember off hand.  The 10 were chosen to summarize the rest and are understood to be the basis for all to follow that would be relevant through time.  No need for most of us Americans to worry about when to harvest.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:


Exodus has many more laws given by the God to Moses on the Mt in Ex 21-23 detailing everything from slaves to repayment for thieving. Apparently the Lord had plenty of time to come up with all these rules. Moses then returned to the people and told them all of the laws the god had given and they said they would do all that was asked. Moses and 70 elders plus Aaron then returned to the Mt. Later apparently, Moses went again to the Mt and the god was to make tablets of laws to give to the people. Moses was gone 40 days. In addition Moses gets detailed instructions for the Tabernacle and the Ark of the Covenant.


After 40 days the people had not heard anything of Moses and decided they needed a gold god. So they asked Aaron to make one. Aaron who had just seen God on the Mt 40 days ago more or less goes along with this, what a pussy.  So he told them to bring gold and he'd make one. So Aaron fashioned a calf, so appropriate in that it was as the Canaanites might do in worshipping El, who was shown as a bull on occasion, see Ugarit literature and myths.


Aaron declares a feast day to the Lord, interpreted to be the gold calf. They start early the next day making burnt offerings to the false god. The Lord takes note and decides to consume them all with fire and make a new nation from Moses. Moses then guilt trips God by saying, what will the Egyptians say, you brought the people out of Egypt just to kill them. So the Lord repented of the evil he thought to do.  Ex 19 – 32:18


Comments -

So clearly the order to stay off the Mt was manmade as it was enforced with a bow and rocks. After Moses returns the 1st time the people are already given the commandments and the other rules prior to being etched in stone by 'the finger of the god'.

Enlighten me, what would the words "I'm going to zap you" mean to a person of that time?  You really need to do some homework in languages.  I see you're going to take that approach a lot.  Therefore it would be important for you to know what would make sense to a person of that time. 

People were killed with bows and stoned with rocks.  What would you have said to them? 

For someone with a mindset of the tangable, it's surprising you'd expect otherwise in this case be it that what they understood needed to be even more tangable than what we need today. 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:


Aaron sees the Lord yet he is the one that makes the idol and arm twisting is really not indicated. The Lord decides to kill them all and has his mind changed by Moses and God repents of the evil. Well, that certainly shows this god liked to kill 1st and ask questions later. Moses guilt trips him and he changes his mind. He gave in after Moses made comments in regards to his image (meaning media hype today) it appears he didn't want to be trashed on ET or the Fox News equivalent in ancient Egypt.

Sure, God has a reputation to protect.  What would it have looked like if he freed his people then killed them?  You know how the media works.  They won't tell the part about how the people were warned and clearly knew what they were doing was in direct violation of the law God put in place.  They also were aware of the consequence. 

The news broadcast would be something like this:

"...and so the first born calf this time, was spared...

In other news, YHWH freed his people only to kill them.  here's Sarai Habib with a live report from the temple...

Thanks J.. it seems that YHWH tortured the pharaoh and went to great lengths to make sure his alleged followers were freed from slavery only to be put into a much worse scenario eventually resulting in the end of their existance all together.   Why wouldn't YHWH just kill them in slavery if that was his plan all along?  We went to Pharaoh for answers, but The pharaoh refused to comment at this time.  Back to you..."

What it comes down to is they knew what they were doing and the consequence for doing so.  Moses also had a good point.  God got angry and would have justly punished them.  You call it evil.  It must be evil then to put anyone in jail for breaking laws.  Eye-wink

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Continuing


Moses went down the Mt and found the people partying. He was pissed and broke the tablets on the Mt. He then burned the golden calf idol and ground it up and made the people drink it. Aaron took no blame and made it like he went along with it and the calf just popped out of the fire. Moses asked who was on the Lord's side and all the Levites came to him. He told them to slay all of their brothers. 3,000 were slain that day. Ex 32:19 -35


Comments-

Unlike a Cecil B De Mille production, the Earth doesn't open and suck up the idol worshipers; no it's killing done by man. Only 3,000 men are murdered of the 600,000 so it's really only a small percentage.

Just how did Moses get the people to drink the gold dust in their water?

don't know, i wasn't there.  many logical theories can stem off that including Moses telling them the story about how he saved their lives and they owed him.  Who knows, not really relevant to the validity of the story.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:


God tells Moses he will send an angel ahead and drive out the Canaanites, Amorites, Hittites and Jebusites. If this was so, the angel didn't do a good job as all of these people were still there when the invading horde (or small band of nomads) arrives.All in all this part was creative writing by the scribes or priests that came up with all the rules and regulations found in Ex 21-23. A cover story was needed to justify where the rules came from and so this myth was expounded upon and creatively written as either literature or just complete Sci-Fi.


If we consider there were a few hundred that left Egypt and they went to Canaan after wandering for 40 years, it's possible it could be they were actually the nomadic herders taking their flocks from place to place. After 40 years they settle in the highlands like many other groups had done. This group was different; they had a story written by the tribal medicine man that interacted directly with the God Yahweh or his fantasy/drug vision of the god. Maybe they just had better hallucinogens available at the time.

Exodus ends with detailed descriptions of the Tabernacle and the ceremonies involved. The journey of the Hebrews continues in other books such as Deuteronomy and Numbers. Many Bible scholars attribute Deuteronomy to Jeremiah written many centuries later because of the similar styles of writing and even virtually identical wording. See for example, 'Who Wrote the Bible' for more.
 

So far all seems to be congruent and sufficient for Exodus to happen.  It's possible I missed something.

Also, excuse my extreme sarcasm in parts during these last few posts.  I dont' know why, just feeling extra-sarcastic today.  No anger or disrespect intended. 

Looking forward to more.


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caposkia

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

I'm aware of the claim in 1 Kings 6 regarding the elapsed time period of 480 years. Archeology does suggest something else alright, that the Israelites and Judahites were actually Canaanites themselves. The claimed destruction that some feel is proof of Joshua's invading horde is in fact invasions by the Sea Peoples, warring city states, and civil strife. Examples such as Lachish, which  was destroyed somewhere between 1184-1153 BCE as a fitting for the main gate bearing the seal of Ramesses III was found it its ruins. Meggiddo  another great city of the Canaanites had to have been destroyed during the reign of Ramesses VI 1143-1136 BCE as the base to a statue bearing his name was found in its ruins.

Excavations at Hazor suggest a destruction in the mid 13th century BCE.  Hazor also has multiple destruction claimed even in the OT. Joshua is said to have destroyed it in Josh 11:13 where he burned it. Then in Judges 4  Deborah and Barak deliver Israel from Jablin King of Canaan who ruled in  Hazor. Judges 4 and 5  including The Song of Deborah is considered to be one of the oldest written records of the Bible. That being said it directly conflicts with the account of the hero Joshua might lead one to question just how much story telling there really was in the account of Israelites invading Canaan.

I believe we established that the claim of "invasion" may have been such a small number that it was insignificant and may hardly even be able to be considered an invasion.  Moreso a rolling through if you will of a small people group.

We established that the Exodus from Egypt was such a small number if it occurred no one would bother to notice. I don't write this just for your benefit but those that observe without commenting. I did note in your previous posts you also meant the Invasion by Joshua was also a very small number and thus just a settling in the highlands and eventually the resettling in the rest of Judea over the years. That position agrees with the general consensus of archeology that has determined the settlement occurred over a long time period thus rendering most if not all of the account in Exodus and Joshua a piece of literature or a retelling of events in a very exaggerated tale. In essence the only difference between the Canaanites and the Israelites is the religious idealogy each follows. Both groups first were nomadic and settled in the highlands. Over time they migrated to the lowlands and the coast.  That is exactly what Finkelstein and Silberman have suggested as well as other archaeologists.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Excavations at Aphek had artifacts  suggesting destruction sometime after 1230 BCE to 1200 BCE based on a cunneform tablet bearing the names of officials in Ugarit and Egypt which have been cross dated.  Just discussing these few cities, the destruction was over a 100 year  time period, 1230 BCE to sometime after 1136 BCE, yet the Bible records Joshua's army destroyed these cities. This is certainly not in the 1250s and does not support the claims in the OT at all.

Do you claim it didn't happen at all, or just that the dates were wrong?

 

If Exodus and Joshua are extreme storytelling how can one know where the fiction and exaggeration end and events that may be real world begin? This same problem occurs with all ancient literature, stories and supposed myths. What's real and what isn't? I choose to either suspend judgment or consider them to be largely mythical based on content containing fantastic tales and unrealistic occurrences. If a story contains events of magic and ignorant explanations for occurrences, I consider it to be mythical or severely distorted storytelling.

The dates claimed for "an invasion" by Israelites cannot be supported in the 12th and 13th century as described in the OT. If it was a very small group they could have settled just like all the other nomadic tribes, yet the events cannot be real world as described especially in the attribution to destruction of cities such as Jericho, Ai, Hazor, Lachish and others as the stories are contradicted by observed archeology and documented history of Egypt, the Hittites and others. You too have expressed this in a previous post with the conditions that if a city was burned one might consider it or not. The problem explicitly with Jericho is it was not ocupied in the 13th century and had no walls. Ai had been ruins for nearly 1000 years in the 13th century thus rendering the destruction claimed in Joshua a fairy tale.

____________________________________________________________
"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

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:



I’ve broken up the Exodus/Moses story into several parts. I have problems seeing any of it as anything other than a fictional ancient story similar to any other storytelling episode from antiquity. I have summarized the major points from the text which I'd like to discuss. I skipped over most of the laws and rules as well as the detailed construction for the Ark & the Tabernacle. If you would like to discuss these areas bring them up appropriately as we go through it. Based on your comments and the views you have expressed it seemed to me that you don't consider them generally applicable to your beliefs as the New Covenent in Jesus supposedly replaces them.

It's accepted that Jesus fulfilled OT law.  I'm not sure where it says he replaced them.  Either way.  Up to you.

Fulfilled. replaced either way you wear clothes made of multiple fabric, don't sell your daughter into slavery, don't offer animal sacrifices to the god (not that PETA would let you get away with it without a lawsuit anyway), and don't stone people for violating numerous laws of the OT.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:



Using either 1450 BCE or 1250 BCE the episode portrayed in the Exodus has problems with archeology and documented historical occurrences not to mention the unrealistic magical events described.
 

Be it that the conquering would have taken place over a long period of time through gradual growth, it makes sense that archeology wouldn't be congruent date wise.  Also that the dates weren't the focus fo the authors and therefore were probably not thoroughly researched especially with the lack of resource during that time anyway.

There is evidence of slow Israelite population growth during that time, which over many years and small wars here and there, fits the picture of Exodus.

When an area is developed over a long period of time by slow growth it's not considered conquering.

The OT authors may actually be in the time of Jeremiah, Ezra, or even later. Moses even if real was not the author of the Torah, see Who Wrote the Bible for reasons.

My arguement in regards to the Exodus and invasion is that archealogy etc demonstrate "the exact detailed story" did not occur. As to a very small group instead as you have suggested that is concession in regards to the OT's description and accuracy in regards to the events. As a very small group would be unnoticed and certainly would not have the resources to perform sieges and erradication as described you pretty well have conceded these stories are storytelling and mythical. That you continue to grasp at some possibilities of relevance is due to your non-objective position as a believer whether or not you have an extreme liberal interpretation of these stories or not.

 

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

 

Part 1 - The calling

In continuation of the Moses story after he killed the Egyptian he flees the country to Midian. Eventually the pharaoh who wished to slay Moses dies. The children of Israel cried due to their bondage and God heard it remembering his covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. God looked upon them and had respect for them. Ex: 2-11-25

Comments

It certainly took the god a long time to notice his people were being mistreated. Long vacation, took a nap for 100s of years? In another Galaxy, Far, Far Away.

Is it that he didn't notice? or was there something more.  Sure, why would God allow his people to suffer... well... how big would the Exodus story have been without that time period and how would God prevent it without affecting the free will He has allowed everyone?

Usually when God "rescues his people", he's going to make sure everyone knows about it... otherwise, what's the point, he's just going to be doing it all the time?  I find He tends to be resourceful when working. Eye-wink

Clearly everyone does not know about this god rescuing his peiople from Egypt. There aren't stories or comparative support from others in that regard.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:


Moses was taking care of the flock that was owned by his father-in-law and was on the backside of Mt Horeb. The angel of the Lord came unto him out of the midst of a bush and appeared as a flame of fire though it was not consumed. So Moses decided to check out this bush that burned but was not consumed. When the Lord noticed Moses was inspecting the burning bush he called out to him. He called Moses by name and he answered him. He was told to remove his shoes because he was upon holy ground. He informs Moses that he has seem the affliction of his people and he has come down to deliver them from the hand of the Egyptians to a land of milk and honey currently inhabited by the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites.

God tells Moses he has been selected to the task of leading his people from Egypt. Moses expresses doubts and God tells him he'd be with him. Moses asked him his name and God replies, I that I am, tell the people I am has sent me. Ex 3:1-17

Comments-

So far this is again 1st person unsupportable storytelling with one thing of note, Jerusalem was still in the hands of the Jebusites and the Hittites were still apparently in existence. No names are given of kings or pharaohs and God doesn't personally just zap away the Egyptians and transport his people to an uninhabited Canaan, no the tale must fit in with the current environment when it was constructed. Bushes that are in flame but not consumed nice Sci-Fi touch. Sounds like fabrication to me.

Sure it does. I would expect anyone who doesnt' know God to assume so.  Be it that it's first person account, regardless if it was representing God or not, i'd expect more information beyond that to support such a claim.  Thus the OT rolls on.

Again, no better than stories of Enki.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:


Continuing -

God tells Moses that when they leave Egypt that will do so with much spoils and riches. (Fairy tales need to impress) Moses needed a magician’s tool so God made his rod into one so he could perform demonstrations. More 1st person unsupportable allegations and miracles are shown to Moses by God. He is told of some of the plagues which he would put upon Egypt to convince the pharaoh to let the people go. Moses makes many excuses and upsets God. He claims he can't speak well but God tells him his brother Aaron is approaching and he will help in that respect. In God's description of what was to come about he tells Moses that he would harden the heart of the pharaoh such that he wouldn't let the people go. Ex 3:18 – 4:18

Comments –

And Lucifer and Loki get criticized for deception quite unfairly. If God can on purpose cause hardship by influencing a person (harden their heart) what does that say about his motivations. Sounds a bit psychotic to me or he's into S & M. It's certainly not free will. This also occurs with Saul and others.

Hardening the heart as in this situation is the same as me telling you... "I know you're going to hate me for this, but you need to know that..." 

It's not that I made you get mad at me or hate me for what I said, it's just that I knew that you would be upset with me about it.

In the case of God and the pharoah, God knows the pharoah better than anyone and knows already how the pharoah is going to react to such an approach/demand. 

If you're going to analyze scripture to that degree, I suggest you learn the Hebrew and understand the dialect of the time before going further.  There are many parts of the bible that I've seen people try to "demonize" if you will, but to any educated Christian it only shows they don't know much about what it says and probably have no clue about the languages and how they're translated.

Hardening the heart by a god is interference and influencing the outcome of the situation for a desired result. Since the god is supposedly all-powerful, clearly he can do far more than make a statement like, "I know you are going to hate me for this, but..."

I wasn't demonizing the god exactly, I was criticizing the action described. Comparing the Exodus god's actions to characters generally held to be less than upstanding is fair game. Besides, I think Satan has a bad rep unfairly based on misconstrued actions. In Job for example he seems to be doing the work for the god, and very little else that indicates he's not just the accussor or prosecutor angel. We can beat that to death in Job.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:



Apparently God was away on a very long vacation and finally noticed his people were in dire straits after some 430 years, certainly not very dependable to his chosen people.

Funny, apparently Aaron had no problem leaving Egypt.

This part is no better than any Greek myth in its description and story and clearly not as fun.
 

If this is the case, then why would people follow such an ureliable god?  Keep in mind during that time, there were many choices for gods to follow and the people could have chosen a god that would have reacted more imediately... or even appealed to the pharoah by following whatever god the pharoah believed in thus possibly freeing them instantly... 

Also, it's where the faith factor comes in.  Also, if you're going to conclude such, there are many other factors one would have to take into consideration...

if god even had it planned from the beginning,... I think it's only the New Earth creationists that believe God works instantaniously on a grand scale and thus created the earth in 6 days as we understand it. (I don't follow this belief)

I find it intreguing that you seem to grasp the same belief that God would have had to work just as fast.  If he does in fact use natural means to intervene, then it would take some time for God to line up the effects just right.

Obviously one theory among many.  I have presented another earlier in this post. 

One more theory is behind God's plan for us.  We're his children.  How do you think a child would grow up if given everything they wanted imediately and were sheltered throughout their life from anything that might not be good.  I feel they'd be spoiled little brats and have no respect for their parents let alone anyone else and they'd be screwed when it came time to fend for themselves.

Just some thoughts though. 

Either way, your conclusions are poorly supported no?  We'll see historically where we go from here.  Though your strong in history, your belief seems to stem off opinion of the world around you vs. the facts.  Religion supports that state of mind

*Edit corrected error of assumption*

1-Many assume that this story actually was written during and immediately after the supposed events in Egypt, hardly a good assumption. You don't take that position from what I've seen in your posts. Yes, there were many gods to pick from and people readily traded or modified them throughout time to suit their needs and perceptions. Why is Yahweh any different? He's not, as he too was unreliable, just look at the described events in the OT. Usually, the response to this, is we don't understand his purposes, which is an excuse for the unreliable support that god has for his people, usually none, since he is fictious.

2-Since I do not accept impossiblities as part of the real world any that contain magical events must have a way to validate the event. Yeah, I know then it won't be magical anymore. I'd settle for comparative support that some of these events occured to even consider it more than storytelling, which also is how I consider Hercules and Herakles. Did he or they exist? Was he or they a half god? Should I buy into the stories as part of history when the stories have magical events? Perhaps Herc was a super strong guy who lived in the ancient past, attributed to somewhat in Genesis 6 for example, the men of renown.

3-Through you are liberal in interpretation you still use belief as an excuse to accept unrealistic events. Your conclusions are extremely weak without real world validation drawn on misunderstanding and the desire for the belief to have basis.

____________________________________________________________
"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:

Continuing with the Exodus/Moses story.
Part 2 - The Confrontation with Pharaoh
If this was in the 15th century BCE after the pharaoh died it would be during the reign of Hatshepsut who was regent and Queen until about 1458 BCE when Thutmose III began to rule on his own. Since Exodus makes no mention of a Queen ruling Egypt it can’t be this period though she was a major builder of temples far exceeding all other rulers in their ambition. This surely is adverse to the claim in Kings that 480 years elapsed between the Exodus and the Temple construction.

Just because Exodus doesn't mention something doesn't mean it  was not happening during that time.  How would a mention of the Queen ruling Egypt be needed or even relevant to the story?  Do you really expect a thorough historical record with each story? 

Since you and your sources suggest mid 13th century is more likely a Queen in mid 15th century not a pharaoh would somewhat eliminate the period anyway. Since Queens reigned infrequently it would be significant and likely to have been mentioned. Hatshepsut reigned openly unlike at least one other so I would expect it to be mentioned if the 15th century was the period.

No I don't expect an actual historical record from the literature that is called the OT.

caposkia wrote:
pauljohntheskeptic wrote:


Continuing -
Moses and Aaron arrive in Egypt & tell the people their story and they all worshiped the Lord. They then somehow got an audience with the pharaoh and present their request or demand. The Pharaoh tells them he knows not the Lord and won't let the people go. Originally it was only asked to go in the wilderness to worship the Lord for 3 days. In response to the people not working due to Moses' influence and demands, the Pharaoh orders they now make brick without straw. Moses and Aaron get blamed for causing this hardship upon the people, so Moses prays to the Lord for help.
Moses tells the people again that the Lord will free them but with the increased burdens caused by Moses they don't listen. So God sends Moses to another audience with the Pharaoh. The Pharaoh demanded a miracle, so Moses cast down his rod which became a snake. The Egyptian magicians did likewise but Moses rod (snake) swallowed the others. The next day Moses returned when the Pharaoh was on the waters edge and smote the water with his rod turning it into blood. And the water of the river remained of blood for 7 days and yet the Pharaoh would not let the people go.
Next Moses brings upon Egypt a plague of frogs which infest even their beds. The Pharaoh relents and agrees to let the people go if Moses gets rid of the frogs. After the frogs were gone the Pharaoh reneged on his agreement because Satan, I mean God was still causing him to refuse. And so it is plague after plague, flies, cattle death, boils, hail, locusts, darkness, and finally the death of the 1st born Egyptians. Satan, I mean Loki; I mean God continued to cause the Pharaoh to harden his heart and refuse. Ex 4:19 – 12:36


Comments –
Moses with no trouble at all looking as a nomad peasant or tribesmen, probably dirt encrusted needing a haircut and a shave easily gets in for an audience with the Pharaoh the God-King of Egypt. He then returns again when the Pharaoh is at the water's edge with no mention of confrontation or issues with the guards.


Jedi mind tricks perhaps?


The water turning into blood for 7 days would be significant enough to have been recorded; probably even non-observant people would notice that. Just as in Greek myths we have all sorts of calamities occur ending just after the 1st born of all Egypt die which is somehow not mentioned in Egyptian records either.

I think this thought was mentioned before, but why would an Egyptian Pharaoh take time or suggest even to scribe into a wall his defeat against a lowly people?  The god-king of Egypt I don't think would want anything like that on his record.  Makes sense that such events wouldn't have been recorded in such a way as to be preserved through history.

Also, are you saying every epidemic ever has been recorded in history?  This dying of the first borns was a small scale virus if you will in the scheme of all of Egypt. 

Apparently Merenptah took the time to do so against a group called Israel as did other pharaohs over those they conquered.

Since the OT is the only source for the calamities it should be considered as reliable as the events of the Sumerian kings of legend, suspiciously and as propaganda. Egyptians documented many mundane things, as in the admitting of nomads to the delta, requests for 50 soldiers to support a vassal in Canaan, food shipments to allies, and losses in battles.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:


The Lord showed he can do whatever it takes to have his way by causing the Pharaoh to refuse to release the people. This is what is said of Satan and other evil gods, so what does this say of Yahweh? A really sick puppy. Free will, not at all.

opinion again is basing your belief.  What is free will to you?  Is it only having choices that benefit you, or being allowed to think for yourself.  it is said that if you've always had it, you wouldn't understand what it is to not have it.  I don't think you understand free will.  It's on a much larger scale than freedom. 

 

If God wants something to happen in his creation..  does it not make sense to you that it's going to happen?  I'm not sure if i get your logic here.

 

I personally don't really consider free will. How can you make a choice different than what you did. If you process the data and conclude such and such, if you went back in time to do it again without feedback why would your choice be any different? So, I guess I don't really consider free will to be viable anyway. All choices are influenced by your knowledge at the time of your decision, influenced subconsciously as well. Whether or not man has free will or not makes little difference in whether the OT has any basis in reality or not.

My logic here is as follows: God from the beginning of this story is clear that he will make the Pharaoh difficult to deal with such that he will repeatedly refuse to release the people. Dictatorial rulers and kings understand one thing above all, a greater force or destructive power. Ramses II upon fighting the Hittites to a draw at Qadesh in 1274 BCE negotiated and became allies with them because there was no way to win. Ancient kings became vassals of others when it was clear they were faced with destruction if they resisted. The plagues in the Exodus are an irritation up to the point where the first born are killed. The god would understand that an extreme use of power would be needed to convince the god-king to respect the demand, flies and frogs aren't such a demonstration.

 

caposkia wrote:
pauljohntheskeptic wrote:


Can we just write off this part as creative fiction or do you want to try to defend it?

 

 I'm here to discuss with you stories of the OT.  If something you tell me doesn't seem to jive with logic or is something I might disagree with, I'm going to challenge it.  It's not that I'm defending anything on this forum.  I'm just going to make sense of it all.  If you're going to conclude something, I want to make sure both our facts are strait. 

So far, any conclusion you have made on this forum that what we have gone through is myth or "creative fiction"  has been based on your opinion of what you think it should be without sufficient historical support or date/pop. incongruencies.  Understanding that dates weren't of major concern and numbers tend to be exaggerated, that basis no longer holds water. 

If you want to conclude myth or creative fiction on this forum, i feel you should stick to the facts and leave opinion out of it.  If God happens to exist, it's logical to conclude that such happenings can unfold in such a way and that God would know and understand his creation far better than we would thus leaving us clueless to analyze how or why He did what He did in the way He did it

I understand you don't hold to the belief that such a being exists, but taking the mindset for a moment that there is a god, would you disagree with that statement?  Reasoning behind either answer.   Then we should move on.  We don't need to tangent on that.

I know why you are here, I was being satirical. I do enjoy our discussions.

My opinion is nothing in ancient story telling should be generally accepted as reality based without substantial proof and evidence. The Exodus described in the OT has none. It has no names. It has nothing to support it in archeology. It is no different than any other unsupported tale of the ancients. I can use the word legend or legendary exploits if you like to describe unsubstantial stories if you want. You admit that the stories have been exaggerated as in the invasion of Canaan by Joshua. You admit only a few Hebrews at most left Egypt. Why these few are considered important is the question. You have not shown Moses and those that left with him actually were real. You take the position it's true though you can't show through any historical record it is. The pertinent books relating to these stories are generally dated many years after the alleged event. This truly can affect content as in numbers and dates but can it also simply be literature or a tale such as a parable? There are those in Judaism that consider it as such though not all. Even if the story is a parable or a cover story for the Book of the Law it could have worthwhile basis if there was something else of basis for the belief. So far, nothing presented stands on its own without belief in the god.

You on the other hand consider that some part of these stories have merit with nothing other than the story as basis. And of course your belief and faith. If you want to conclude this was a real event on this forum try presenting something that is evidence that the story is real world based. All of your conclusions that you consider to support the events have nothing at all other than the story itself. This is like reading about Pandora and concluding or having faith if you will that she really released all the bad things into the world. In which case, can I at least see the box. I get from you, it's real I know it is because I have faith. You tell me I just don't understand or it's because of dates, numbers, the authors didn't care to include that information or didn't have Google available to even know. Talk about lack of historical support, you have none other than a book of unattributed authors written in an undetermined period by those who believed in the religion.

If there is a god, why would I conclude it is the god of the Mt and the burning bush? Many other choices to consider including high tech aliens that are as gods. A god that made stuff and went elsewhere. If a god exists clearly he could have mystery regarding his actions. Of course so too could a high tech alien civilization who might have a purpose they choose not to reveal. That does not mean I consider either one to have merit. The god could keep the knowledge from us or in fact propagate disinformation if he so chose as could a high tech civilization.

 

____________________________________________________________
"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:

 

Part 4 - The Early Journey


After watching the entire Egyptian army be destroyed by the Lord you'd think these Hebrews would have some respect for his power but alas no. Every time hardship was found they continued to whine how they were better off in Egypt. When water becomes scarce and they are at the waters of Marah and it was unfit to drink they of course whined. Moses does what the Lord tells him and the water is made fit to drink. Next stop in the journey is at the wells of Elim with 12 wells and 70 palm trees. This is likely the oasis of Wadi Gharandel about 60 miles south of Suez. They then went into the wilderness of Sin (aka Moon god of Akkad). It is here where manna and quail began appearing. The next stop is Rephidim where there is no water and the whining begins once again. The Lord told Moses to strike a rock with the magician’s rod and water would come out.


Amalek fought a war against the Egyptian escapees at Rephidim. Supposedly when Moses held up his hand with the rod the Amalekites would lose and when his hand came down they prevailed against the Israelites. This will be costly to the Amalekites in later days when the Israelites kill them all (allegedly).  Next stop Mt Sinai. Ex 15:22 – 18:27


Comments -

Since you don't consider a large scale Exodus to be reality based I would guess you don't think the entire Egyptian army was drowned in the Red Sea either. However, Egypt does not appear to mention such destruction and they weren't suddenly invaded by any of their enemies so it's likely pure fiction and glory promotion of see how powerful the Hebrew’s God is.

To say the entire army is definitely in my opinion exaggeration.  I think it's possible there was a small group chasing them, but first why send the whole army out after a group of slaves.  That doesnt' make sense.

Once more you liberally interpret the story, though I'd agree for the reasons I gave. The question of course is did even a small group escape from slavery in Egypt or was the tale just literature as part of a parable? Historically one sees as I said, Egypt was not suddenly invaded by any of the other superpowers of the period so the large scale destruction in the Red Sea really cannot be. Since a small number of slaves could escape, who can say if it inspired this tale or not.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:


As with other legendary stories of the Israelites the Mt Sinai adventure is filled with preconceptions and misunderstandings, thanks to Cecil B DeMille and Charlton Heston more than any other.


Did manna appear in vast quantities along with quail to feed 2 million or was it just 600 persons?

Does anyone have a recipe for manna?

What, your point is we can make manna?  Yea, it wasn't some magical bread that turns you into He-Man or anything. 

I think we've established the logical number here.

No, my point is satire. Maybe I need to watch comedy shows with better jokes.

We have established that a small insignificant number of slaves could have left Egypt. Of course they could have also bought their way out of slavery as was done at the time and weren't even escapees.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

 

Part 5 - Mt Sinai & the Commandments

About 90 days into their escape from Egypt the Hebrews camped at Mt Sinai. They were told God would come to the Mt and they would all see his presence there and hear his words (Ex 19:9) and forever believe. They were told to stay off the Mt or they would be put to death (stoned or shot with an arrow-no God zapping them mentioned). Moses goes up the Mt and the Lord speaks the commandments to him, which I count in this account as 12, though one can construe it to be 10 as the 1st 3 all deal with false gods etc.

Everyone knows there are many more than 10.  It was Catholicism I think that narrowed it down.  I don't remember off hand.  The 10 were chosen to summarize the rest and are understood to be the basis for all to follow that would be relevant through time.  No need for most of us Americans to worry about when to harvest.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:


Exodus has many more laws given by the God to Moses on the Mt in Ex 21-23 detailing everything from slaves to repayment for thieving. Apparently the Lord had plenty of time to come up with all these rules. Moses then returned to the people and told them all of the laws the god had given and they said they would do all that was asked. Moses and 70 elders plus Aaron then returned to the Mt. Later apparently, Moses went again to the Mt and the god was to make tablets of laws to give to the people. Moses was gone 40 days. In addition Moses gets detailed instructions for the Tabernacle and the Ark of the Covenant.


After 40 days the people had not heard anything of Moses and decided they needed a gold god. So they asked Aaron to make one. Aaron who had just seen God on the Mt 40 days ago more or less goes along with this, what a pussy.  So he told them to bring gold and he'd make one. So Aaron fashioned a calf, so appropriate in that it was as the Canaanites might do in worshiping El, who was shown as a bull on occasion, see Ugarit literature and myths.


Aaron declares a feast day to the Lord, interpreted to be the gold calf. They start early the next day making burnt offerings to the false god. The Lord takes note and decides to consume them all with fire and make a new nation from Moses. Moses then guilt trips God by saying, what will the Egyptians say, you brought the people out of Egypt just to kill them. So the Lord repented of the evil he thought to do.  Ex 19 – 32:18


Comments -

So clearly the order to stay off the Mt was manmade as it was enforced with a bow and rocks. After Moses returns the 1st time the people are already given the commandments and the other rules prior to being etched in stone by 'the finger of the god'.

Enlighten me, what would the words "I'm going to zap you" mean to a person of that time?  You really need to do some homework in languages.  I see you're going to take that approach a lot.  Therefore it would be important for you to know what would make sense to a person of that time. 

People were killed with bows and stoned with rocks.  What would you have said to them? 

For someone with a mindset of the tangable, it's surprising you'd expect otherwise in this case be it that what they understood needed to be even more tangable than what we need today.

The point being, as with all other man made religions, (all religions actually) the force or threat of force is from those who are in control of the dogma. What is it in reading this in Hebrew that would improve it? I know that the priests or servants of the god are those that enforce the will of the god (their interpretation of that will anyway) so obviously would those who worshiped it at the time. This is no different than any other god belief where the priests did the killing for the god was the point.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:


Aaron sees the Lord yet he is the one that makes the idol and arm twisting is really not indicated. The Lord decides to kill them all and has his mind changed by Moses and God repents of the evil. Well, that certainly shows this god liked to kill 1st and ask questions later. Moses guilt trips him and he changes his mind. He gave in after Moses made comments in regards to his image (meaning media hype today) it appears he didn't want to be trashed on ET or the Fox News equivalent in ancient Egypt.

Sure, God has a reputation to protect.  What would it have looked like if he freed his people then killed them?  You know how the media works.  They won't tell the part about how the people were warned and clearly knew what they were doing was in direct violation of the law God put in place.  They also were aware of the consequence. 

The news broadcast would be something like this:

"...and so the first born calf this time, was spared...

In other news, YHWH freed his people only to kill them.  here's Sarai Habib with a live report from the temple...

Thanks J.. it seems that YHWH tortured the pharaoh and went to great lengths to make sure his alleged followers were freed from slavery only to be put into a much worse scenario eventually resulting in the end of their existance all together.   Why wouldn't YHWH just kill them in slavery if that was his plan all along?  We went to Pharaoh for answers, but The pharaoh refused to comment at this time.  Back to you..."

What it comes down to is they knew what they were doing and the consequence for doing so.  Moses also had a good point.  God got angry and would have justly punished them.  You call it evil.  It must be evil then to put anyone in jail for breaking laws.  Eye-wink

Even in antiquity we have propaganda and realization that an image is everything. If the god of the people killed all of them who else would ever want to serve it? Kind of the point, which your faux interview shows very well.

Going to jail for breaking laws of a community is one thing, defying an unseen god that has priests doing the killing is another. Did the 60 to 600 people all agree to the pages of laws and rules. Was it put to a voice vote? According to the text they all agreed, dissent is seemingly dealt with harshly. Typical for this type of society.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Continuing


Moses went down the Mt and found the people partying. He was pissed and broke the tablets on the Mt. He then burned the golden calf idol and ground it up and made the people drink it. Aaron took no blame and made it like he went along with it and the calf just popped out of the fire. Moses asked who was on the Lord's side and all the Levites came to him. He told them to slay all of their brothers. 3,000 were slain that day. Ex 32:19 -35


Comments-

Unlike a Cecil B De Mille production, the Earth doesn't open and suck up the idol worshipers; no it's killing done by man. Only 3,000 men are murdered of the 600,000 so it's really only a small percentage.

Just how did Moses get the people to drink the gold dust in their water?

don't know, i wasn't there.  many logical theories can stem off that including Moses telling them the story about how he saved their lives and they owed him.  Who knows, not really relevant to the validity of the story.

You weren't there for a whole lot of scenes that you seem to have an argument to support.

The drinking of the gold was a form of symbolism actually, showing the power of the true god by completely destroying the idol and having it consumed.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:


God tells Moses he will send an angel ahead and drive out the Canaanites, Amorites, Hittites and Jebusites. If this was so, the angel didn't do a good job as all of these people were still there when the invading horde (or small band of nomads) arrives.All in all this part was creative writing by the scribes or priests that came up with all the rules and regulations found in Ex 21-23. A cover story was needed to justify where the rules came from and so this myth was expounded upon and creatively written as either literature or just complete Sci-Fi.


If we consider there were a few hundred that left Egypt and they went to Canaan after wandering for 40 years, it's possible it could be they were actually the nomadic herders taking their flocks from place to place. After 40 years they settle in the highlands like many other groups had done. This group was different; they had a story written by the tribal medicine man that interacted directly with the God Yahweh or his fantasy/drug vision of the god. Maybe they just had better hallucinogens available at the time.

Exodus ends with detailed descriptions of the Tabernacle and the ceremonies involved. The journey of the Hebrews continues in other books such as Deuteronomy and Numbers. Many Bible scholars attribute Deuteronomy to Jeremiah written many centuries later because of the similar styles of writing and even virtually identical wording. See for example, 'Who Wrote the Bible' for more.
 

So far all seems to be congruent and sufficient for Exodus to happen.  It's possible I missed something.

Also, excuse my extreme sarcasm in parts during these last few posts.  I dont' know why, just feeling extra-sarcastic today.  No anger or disrespect intended. 

Looking forward to more.

The story so far can be either literature or a story of a much smaller event that has been embellished. You even agree that it has been exaggerated, at least in the quantity of the Hebrews and the number of the Egyptian Army that may have been drowned. In order to take this position you ignore many instances of the large group that is claimed to have escaped, not just the original claim of 600,000 men, but over and over from the initial escape all the way through the Book of Joshua. I agree it's embellishment and exaggeration, or just a complete piece of literature with a minimal connection to reality.

____________________________________________________________
"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.


mellestad
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I don't get it Cap.  If you

I don't get it Cap.  If you accept that the story is embellished, what reason do you have to believe in the truly supernatural claims?  Why accept that they exaggerated the number of people in the story, but assume Moses really communed with God on top of a mountain?  There is plenty of evidence throughout history that when people make fantastic claims they are not telling the truth.

Doesn't it make more sense to start from a position of skepticism, since parts are definitely false or exaggerated?  You are saying, "Ok, there is no evidence that 600k-6 million people traveled across the desert, so I will interpret that liberally.  But I will believe God almighty smote Egyptian citizens directly even though there is no proof whatsoever. 

It just seems like a double standard.

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


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pauljohntheskeptic wrote:If

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

If Exodus and Joshua are extreme storytelling how can one know where the fiction and exaggeration end and events that may be real world begin? This same problem occurs with all ancient literature, stories and supposed myths. What's real and what isn't? I choose to either suspend judgment or consider them to be largely mythical based on content containing fantastic tales and unrealistic occurrences. If a story contains events of magic and ignorant explanations for occurrences, I consider it to be mythical or severely distorted storytelling.

As a theological researcher.  it is in those moments that you need to take all related "stories" and evidences that seem to stem off or stem to such an occurance to come to a reasonable conclusion on reliability. 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

The dates claimed for "an invasion" by Israelites cannot be supported in the 12th and 13th century as described in the OT. If it was a very small group they could have settled just like all the other nomadic tribes, yet the events cannot be real world as described especially in the attribution to destruction of cities such as Jericho, Ai, Hazor, Lachish and others as the stories are contradicted by observed archeology and documented history of Egypt, the Hittites and others. You too have expressed this in a previous post with the conditions that if a city was burned one might consider it or not. The problem explicitly with Jericho is it was not ocupied in the 13th century and had no walls. Ai had been ruins for nearly 1000 years in the 13th century thus rendering the destruction claimed in Joshua a fairy tale.

So then we're assuming the dates mentioned in Joshua were accurate? or that the suggested timeframe of an Exodus like event somewhere between 1200 BC-1600 BC doesn't fit the picture?


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pauljohntheskeptic

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Fulfilled. replaced either way you wear clothes made of multiple fabric, don't sell your daughter into slavery, don't offer animal sacrifices to the god (not that PETA would let you get away with it without a lawsuit anyway), and don't stone people for violating numerous laws of the OT.

Though this gets quite off topic, it comes down to why all of that was said.  Was it that it was replaced or changed? or fulfilled?  There is a grand difference in this context. 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:



When an area is developed over a long period of time by slow growth it's not considered conquering.

We know this.  Though when stories get handed down from generation to generation in a people group, why not embelish a bit to make it sound like your people had a victorious conquering?

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

The OT authors may actually be in the time of Jeremiah, Ezra, or even later. Moses even if real was not the author of the Torah, see Who Wrote the Bible for reasons.

It's not disputed in the following of Christ.... well ok.  most educated Christ followers don't dispute the understanding that Moses most likely didn't write the Torah.  The disagreement comes in with lack of evidence to support either side at this point.  

It is said that literary congruencies suggest different authors.   

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

My arguement in regards to the Exodus and invasion is that archealogy etc demonstrate "the exact detailed story" did not occur. As to a very small group instead as you have suggested that is concession in regards to the OT's description and accuracy in regards to the events. As a very small group would be unnoticed and certainly would not have the resources to perform sieges and erradication as described you pretty well have conceded these stories are storytelling and mythical. That you continue to grasp at some possibilities of relevance is due to your non-objective position as a believer whether or not you have an extreme liberal interpretation of these stories or not.

The conclusions of the stories i present to you here are based on extensive research done on the history of the people groups along with literary styles and understanding of the languages and ancient script methodology parallell to progression of historical happenings that may have been either referenced to or might have had an impact on references in the stories.  You're basing your research off of an English literal reading of a random (I say random becuase i'm not sure what version you usually reference to.) version of the Bible parallel to historical happenings leaving your conclusions open to possible error.   I had to smile to be honest with you at the idea that you feel by what I described, I "pretty well have conceded these stories are storytelling and mythical." 

Forgive me, maybe I'm missing something.  Please correct me here if I'm mistaken. 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:


Clearly everyone does not know about this god rescuing his peiople from Egypt. There aren't stories or comparative support from others in that regard.

To suggest that everyone should have known is to suggest it would have been relevent to everyone.  I think we can both agree this wasn't the case. 

When i used "everyone" I was intending reference to relevent people groups.  sorry for the confusion.

There are other stories from different cultures unrelated to anything Biblical that have stories (in reference to their own culture) that paralell such stories that we have covered thus far.  See the Mayan heretage and stories amidst other people groups including some Native American cultures.  Though different, congruent according to outcome and observable happenings. 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:


Hardening the heart by a god is interference and influencing the outcome of the situation for a desired result. Since the god is supposedly all-powerful, clearly he can do far more than make a statement like, "I know you are going to hate me for this, but..."

That's a written law in ancient texts? 

So you're saying regardless if it was just words that was going to harden the pharaoh's heart or not, because God is so powerful he had no choice but to use the full extent of his power and interfere with free will? 

Of course he can do more than just make a statement, but in this situation, are you saying more was needed to harden the pharaoh's heart? 

You can try to read into it as much as you want, but it is what it is.  No one has ever presented effective reasoning to suggest a true impeding of free will here.  Understanding the context and terminology used, there is nothing to suggest that it was anything more than words from what I understand.  Do you know something I don't? 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

I wasn't demonizing the god exactly, I was criticizing the action described. Comparing the Exodus god's actions to characters generally held to be less than upstanding is fair game. Besides, I think Satan has a bad rep unfairly based on misconstrued actions. In Job for example he seems to be doing the work for the god, and very little else that indicates he's not just the accussor or prosecutor angel. We can beat that to death in Job.

Ah.  Again lack of understanding of the languages leads you to another possible misunderstood conclusion. 

What if i told you that "the accussor" in Job and "Satan" as mentioned in Genesis and the NT are 2 different beings? 

That's a long way off in our forum though.  Let's not get going on this quite yet, but just as a quick reference if you do research the languages, you will find that the words used in reference to each are different.

Many other interesting points about that story when we get there as well. 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:


1-Many assume that this story actually was written during and immediately after the supposed events in Egypt, hardly a good assumption. You don't take that position from what I've seen in your posts. Yes, there were many gods to pick from and people readily traded or modified them throughout time to suit their needs and perceptions. Why is Yahweh any different? He's not, as he too was unreliable, just look at the described events in the OT. Usually, the response to this, is we don't understand his purposes, which is an excuse for the unreliable support that god has for his people, usually none, since he is fictious.

Yes, i do not take the position that these stories were written imediately after. 

Yahweh is different for a few reasons:

1.  He didn't appeal always to the human ideology unlike most other gods.

2.  He had unrealistic expectations of his followers (reasoning is a topic we can discuss later if you'd like)

2.5  He was not moldable unlike other gods could be.

3.  Especially going into the NT, the Earthly promises for his followers weren't exactly glamorous... in fact, quite the opposite.  Eternal life yes, but instead of 50 virgins or your very own planet (complete with waterslide)... physical torture, humiliation, shunning, etc.  how appealing.

Tell me, what was the motivation to follow Him? Especially seeing as He only existed to appeal to the human ideology.  (the basis for god following according to most non-believers I've talked to)

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

2-Since I do not accept impossiblities as part of the real world any that contain magical events must have a way to validate the event. Yeah, I know then it won't be magical anymore. I'd settle for comparative support that some of these events occured to even consider it more than storytelling, which also is how I consider Hercules and Herakles. Did he or they exist? Was he or they a half god? Should I buy into the stories as part of history when the stories have magical events? Perhaps Herc was a super strong guy who lived in the ancient past, attributed to somewhat in Genesis 6 for example, the men of renown.

Sure.  a while back I had started a forum... I think called science vs. religion or science and religion.  Covered some attempts at explainging what most here call magic. 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

3-Through you are liberal in interpretation you still use belief as an excuse to accept unrealistic events. Your conclusions are extremely weak without real world validation drawn on misunderstanding and the desire for the belief to have basis.

It's like magic.  The only way a magician keeps their job is to make you think they've done the impossible.  You see them as unrealistic only because you dont' understand how it could have happened. 

I have to admit, my conclusions weren't any less sound than your own from the focus of this forum.  Sure, many non-believers will disagree with my statement and many believers will agree.  Therefore supporting the statement further. 

The thing is, you originally had a basis of belief (so it seemed) on dates and numbers being accurate.  this we have since agreed is not the case.  Though evidence beyond that is weak at best against the happenings, your conclusion is still myth based on events you and i can't emperically explain with appropriate supporting evidence.  lack of evidence doesn't allow conclusion on either side and the Exodus story is a terrible basis for concluding your belief.  It would be a terrible basis for me to conclude my belief only based on the evidences we have to support or hinder this story. 

There are reasons based in scripture, but that go beyond scripture as to why I and others are still believers.  Keep in mind we are only having a fun runthrough of the Bible and... from what I understand aren't concluding either way due to the idea that we both agreed that we are fully accepting of our own understanding.  right?  I have allowed myself to consider all evidences even in this forum and put them up against my belief, but I respect your intention for this forum to be just for fun and am trying to keep my opinion neutral. 


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pauljohntheskeptic wrote:I

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

I personally don't really consider free will. How can you make a choice different than what you did. If you process the data and conclude such and such, if you went back in time to do it again without feedback why would your choice be any different? So, I guess I don't really consider free will to be viable anyway. All choices are influenced by your knowledge at the time of your decision, influenced subconsciously as well. Whether or not man has free will or not makes little difference in whether the OT has any basis in reality or not.

The key here is "choice".  You can't call it choice if you didn't have a concious decision to make.  Sure, you could make a choice, then go back in time with no understanding of the outcome or feedback and most likely make the same choice, but does that mean you were unable to choose otherwise?  Or is it that you saw no reason to do so.  Free will is being able to do something by means of understanding  and deducing. Without free will, you would notice your action may not be congruent with your deductive thinking. 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

My logic here is as follows: God from the beginning of this story is clear that he will make the Pharaoh difficult to deal with such that he will repeatedly refuse to release the people. Dictatorial rulers and kings understand one thing above all, a greater force or destructive power. Ramses II upon fighting the Hittites to a draw at Qadesh in 1274 BCE negotiated and became allies with them because there was no way to win. Ancient kings became vassals of others when it was clear they were faced with destruction if they resisted. The plagues in the Exodus are an irritation up to the point where the first born are killed. The god would understand that an extreme use of power would be needed to convince the god-king to respect the demand, flies and frogs aren't such a demonstration.

The first misunderstanding is that your logic assumes that God somehow physically forced the pharaoh to choose the words he chose.  There is nothing to indicate that was so.  What is understood and widely accepted is that God knew what is reaction to such a demand would be. 

The examples you use are not examples of lack of free will, but a logical choice. 

To have no free will is to say that regardless of what the outcome might be, they were going to take a particular action.  In reference to some of your examples, with no free will, andient kings would not have to consider an outcome because a choice would not be an option.  They would have had to move forward with whatever action was decided for them and it wouldn't matter if the king saw certain destruction in their path or freedom.  What would matter is the puppet masters decision.  Be it that no outcome for the puppet would ever hurt the puppet master, they may make a king choose to walk into certain destruction just for the sheer entertainment of it. 

Notice you mentioned "an extreme use of power would be needed to convince"  right there indicating that a choice had to be made that was outside of God's chosen control suggesting that even after the worst of it, the pharaoh still had a free will choice to say 'no'.  Logically at this point after such terrible distruction, it was going to be in his best interest to go along with the demand. 

Just because choices are manipulated doesn't mean free will is not there.  Your computer doesn't have free will.  It cannot think for itself.  The only way I'm on this site and typing on this forum is because I made the choice.  My computer not only can't think or reason, but it can't do anything without the decision of another making it happen.  that's what it is to be without free will. 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:


I know why you are here, I was being satirical. I do enjoy our discussions.


 

I know.  You of course knew I wasn't going to leave a statement like that hanging :p  too tempting.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

My opinion is nothing in ancient story telling should be generally accepted as reality based without substantial proof and evidence. The Exodus described in the OT has none. It has no names. It has nothing to support it in archeology. It is no different than any other unsupported tale of the ancients. I can use the word legend or legendary exploits if you like to describe unsubstantial stories if you want. You admit that the stories have been exaggerated as in the invasion of Canaan by Joshua. You admit only a few Hebrews at most left Egypt. Why these few are considered important is the question. You have not shown Moses and those that left with him actually were real. You take the position it's true though you can't show through any historical record it is. The pertinent books relating to these stories are generally dated many years after the alleged event. This truly can affect content as in numbers and dates but can it also simply be literature or a tale such as a parable? There are those in Judaism that consider it as such though not all. Even if the story is a parable or a cover story for the Book of the Law it could have worthwhile basis if there was something else of basis for the belief. So far, nothing presented stands on its own without belief in the god.

The stories that proceed and lead up to it explain their importance.  You take the position that it's false, though you can't show through any historical record how it is.  Not suggesting you prove a negative here, only that you fill in the gaps.  Your belief is now based only on what science or history cant' seem to explain which focusing on the history of the Exodus is hardly the place to come to such a conclusion.  We shoudl get through the Nt before we do that.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:
 

 

You on the other hand consider that some part of these stories have merit with nothing other than the story as basis. And of course your belief and faith. If you want to conclude this was a real event on this forum try presenting something that is evidence that the story is real world based. All of your conclusions that you consider to support the events have nothing at all other than the story itself. This is like reading about Pandora and concluding or having faith if you will that she really released all the bad things into the world. In which case, can I at least see the box. I get from you, it's real I know it is because I have faith. You tell me I just don't understand or it's because of dates, numbers, the authors didn't care to include that information or didn't have Google available to even know. Talk about lack of historical support, you have none other than a book of unattributed authors written in an undetermined period by those who believed in the religion.

easy there killer.  The parts I see you not understanding is the terminology of the languages and people groups.  I see you basing your conclusion off of strictly an English version of the scriptures... and a very literal reading of it as well.  It's good to do so, but to critique it as you have, it's reasonable to consider the times, understanding, methodology, but especially the terminology and translational discrepencies and why they are such. 

I understand you want to hold Moses' staff in your hand and turn it into a snake, but with the volume of history from that time, it's just not logical to come up with such clear evidences of such a small movement so far in history.  I understand it to be written in the Bible because it was significant to the future of things... something ancient writers and scribes wouldn't have taken into consideration either. 

There are bits and peices that point to the possibility of such an event occuring and it seems that you agree, but disagree with the specifics which are lacking on both sides.  Let's not get stuck on that.  Please don't get too concerned with my belief.  I'm not with yours.  I'm using what you give me and what I'm learning from the research to challenge my belief and see if what I think I know still holds water.  So far from what you've presented, it does.  Just like you, I need reason to believe otherwise and you have not shown it too me yet.  Skepticism of my belief will be just as effective on me as it would be on you. 

Remember, just like you, i have concluded my belief from fact.  From that fact, i grew in faith and understanding... also experience and built a relationship with my God.  Same as you except instead of faith and relationship with a god, it is faith and relationship with the world around you. 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

If there is a god, why would I conclude it is the god of the Mt and the burning bush? Many other choices to consider including high tech aliens that are as gods. A god that made stuff and went elsewhere. If a god exists clearly he could have mystery regarding his actions. Of course so too could a high tech alien civilization who might have a purpose they choose not to reveal. That does not mean I consider either one to have merit. The god could keep the knowledge from us or in fact propagate disinformation if he so chose as could a high tech civilization.

 

That question my friend goes way beyond our study at this point in time.  It's not avoidance, it's just a question that would end up way off topic.


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pauljohntheskeptic wrote:You

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

You weren't there for a whole lot of scenes that you seem to have an argument to support.

The drinking of the gold was a form of symbolism actually, showing the power of the true god by completely destroying the idol and having it consumed.

a little bit of religion I didn't know.  sounds to me like you've answered your own question here. 

I believe that I have understanding of these "scenes" which is why I have an argument to support them.  I of course expect a challenge to that argument and as I always said, i will take the challenges and put them to my belief. 


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mellestad wrote:I don't get

mellestad wrote:

I don't get it Cap.  If you accept that the story is embellished, what reason do you have to believe in the truly supernatural claims?  Why accept that they exaggerated the number of people in the story, but assume Moses really communed with God on top of a mountain?  There is plenty of evidence throughout history that when people make fantastic claims they are not telling the truth.

Doesn't it make more sense to start from a position of skepticism, since parts are definitely false or exaggerated?  You are saying, "Ok, there is no evidence that 600k-6 million people traveled across the desert, so I will interpret that liberally.  But I will believe God almighty smote Egyptian citizens directly even though there is no proof whatsoever. 

It just seems like a double standard.

You're comparing here a historical focus on the Exodus event to a belief not based on this story alone.  The exaggeration in numbers is pretty clear as well as missteps in claiming timeframes or even exact locations existing in certain periods of time. 

Those conclusions aren't blindly based, but based on the understanding of the cultures of the times and the intent of the stories written.  The conclusion that God acted in those stories and is real is far beyond this forum.   The focus here is intended from what i understand to be strictly history.  to  understand how the story took place, you need to understand the history of it. 

The congruencies in history based solely on this story suggest its plausible considering the progression of the peoplegroups in history.  To suggest a double standard at this point is to assume history alone is where I base my belief.  Not the case.   it's also blindly concluding that I have not just as carefully considered an array of logical basis for my belief in God.  Again, not the case.  

So many people have tried to cry wolf for me on this site and they fail to take into consideration that the forums have a focus and are not my sole basis for understanding or following. 


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caposkia

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

If Exodus and Joshua are extreme storytelling how can one know where the fiction and exaggeration end and events that may be real world begin? This same problem occurs with all ancient literature, stories and supposed myths. What's real and what isn't? I choose to either suspend judgment or consider them to be largely mythical based on content containing fantastic tales and unrealistic occurrences. If a story contains events of magic and ignorant explanations for occurrences, I consider it to be mythical or severely distorted storytelling.

As a theological researcher.  it is in those moments that you need to take all related "stories" and evidences that seem to stem off or stem to such an occurance to come to a reasonable conclusion on reliability.

So it's your best estimate based on what you think you understand?

In the Sumerian Kings list kings are indicated as ruling for thousands of years. Since other than in Science Fiction as in Heinlein's character Lazarus Long or in Asimov's robot Daneel no one lives more than about 100 years one can reasonable consider it not true. So when I read about events in an ancient book that have water coming forth from a rock, the Sun standing still, food being left in the mist overnight (for several million), the sea being parted, and other events that defy science it's logical to consider the story as unreliable and an ancient legend based on the writer's misunderstanding. Somehow I don't think there was a guy named Atlas that held the Earth or a guy throwing lightning bolts, whether it be Zeus, Ba'al or Yahweh. Lightning seems to have a scientific explanation not an origin in any god. And so far in our missions in Outer Space, no one has seen a gigantic guy holding the Earth.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

The dates claimed for "an invasion" by Israelites cannot be supported in the 12th and 13th century as described in the OT. If it was a very small group they could have settled just like all the other nomadic tribes, yet the events cannot be real world as described especially in the attribution to destruction of cities such as Jericho, Ai, Hazor, Lachish and others as the stories are contradicted by observed archeology and documented history of Egypt, the Hittites and others. You too have expressed this in a previous post with the conditions that if a city was burned one might consider it or not. The problem explicitly with Jericho is it was not occupied in the 13th century and had no walls. Ai had been ruins for nearly 1000 years in the 13th century thus rendering the destruction claimed in Joshua a fairy tale.

So then we're assuming the dates mentioned in Joshua were accurate? or that the suggested timeframe of an Exodus like event somewhere between 1200 BC-1600 BC doesn't fit the picture?

I'm agreeing that people based on the archeology moved into the highlands and then moved down into the lowlands about this time period. I'm not saying that there was a guy named Joshua that led an invading horde of any size.

See my posts on the invasion coming in a day or two that will go into more of the issues of what's wrong with the Joshua Israelite Invasion.

*edit error*

____________________________________________________________
"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

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Fulfilled. replaced either way you wear clothes made of multiple fabric, don't sell your daughter into slavery, don't offer animal sacrifices to the god (not that PETA would let you get away with it without a lawsuit anyway), and don't stone people for violating numerous laws of the OT.

Though this gets quite off topic, it comes down to why all of that was said.  Was it that it was replaced or changed? or fulfilled?  There is a grand difference in this context. 

Slight detour since you opened the door. We can come back to this when we get to the prophets.

If it was fulfilled then the Jews are wrong about their own understanding of their own prophecies. This means the Christian must explain how and where the Jews misunderstood their scripture for 100s of years. Do you read enough Hebrew to adequately explain how they misunderstood each and every instance that Christians claim have been met. Can you explain how the Jews see something else in their scripture that you see differently? And why they don't see what you claim to meet their expectations of the moshiarch?

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:



When an area is developed over a long period of time by slow growth it's not considered conquering.

We know this.  Though when stories get handed down from generation to generation in a people group, why not embelish a bit to make it sound like your people had a victorious conquering?

As have done all cultures. The problem is people not of the original culture take these stories to be the literal truth and then have done some really evil things. William Wallace was 7 feet tall and farted fireballs out of his ass (not Lamborghini). Robin Hood robbed the rich and gave to the poor. Romulus and Remus founded Rome and were raised by wolves. Helen's face launched a thousand ships.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

The OT authors may actually be in the time of Jeremiah, Ezra, or even later. Moses even if real was not the author of the Torah, see Who Wrote the Bible for reasons.

It's not disputed in the following of Christ.... well ok.  most educated Christ followers don't dispute the understanding that Moses most likely didn't write the Torah.  The disagreement comes in with lack of evidence to support either side at this point.  

It is said that literary congruencies suggest different authors.   

It's more than just literary congruencies. Again, see the Book Who Wrote the Bible and also read Misquoting Jesus for the NT.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

My arguement in regards to the Exodus and invasion is that archeology etc demonstrate "the exact detailed story" did not occur. As to a very small group instead as you have suggested that is concession in regards to the OT's description and accuracy in regards to the events. As a very small group would be unnoticed and certainly would not have the resources to perform sieges and erradication as described you pretty well have conceded these stories are storytelling and mythical. That you continue to grasp at some possibilities of relevance is due to your non-objective position as a believer whether or not you have an extreme liberal interpretation of these stories or not.

The conclusions of the stories i present to you here are based on extensive research done on the history of the people groups along with literary styles and understanding of the languages and ancient script methodology parallell to progression of historical happenings that may have been either referenced to or might have had an impact on references in the stories.  You're basing your research off of an English literal reading of a random (I say random becuase i'm not sure what version you usually reference to.) version of the Bible parallel to historical happenings leaving your conclusions open to possible error.   I had to smile to be honest with you at the idea that you feel by what I described, I "pretty well have conceded these stories are storytelling and mythical." 

Forgive me, maybe I'm missing something.  Please correct me here if I'm mistaken. 

I use the JPS Hebrew Bible in English as well as Douay-Rheims. When I'm lazy I use the very poor translation called KJV, sometimes just to show how illogical Protestant views really are that use it as literal. As I don't read Hebrew, Greek, or Latin I can only read in languages that I understand, English and Spanish. If believers wish to properly promote their belief that is based in a book, it is on them to provide an adequate translation that fairly presents the information. If the translation is similar to Chinese assembly instructions enclosed with a product that you need to finish assembly then it is a poor presentation and should be ripped to pieces for its inadequacies.

As the Exodus of a small group could not be responsible for the claimed destruction in Canaan what then are you trying to claim is real?

Jericho? Ai? Hazor?

If the group was so small while the OT says it was large, in many places throughout Exodus, is that not conceding storytelling? You even said this, "Though when stories get handed down from generation to generation in a people group, why not embelish a bit to make it sound like your people had a victorious conquering" 

Do you expect that with all of the creativity these stories show with embellishment that it's logical to deduce it is true but there were only 600 men. And at Sinai only 3 were killed (not 3,000). And later when 12,000 attack a city, it's only 120. And the large Tabernacle described was carried by these 600 men in addition to all of the other camping gear they had. Just how much gold did these 600 men have to make the gold calf? Enough that it was 6" high or more? I mean, what ratios do I use to make the Exodus fit in reality? How do I know I'm not accepting an embellishment as real? As questions mount, why not see it as all a legend since there is no way to verify. That Jews believed that some of these stories as true is not support any more than Greeks believing some of the legends of their culture. Just saying.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:



Clearly everyone does not know about this god rescuing his people from Egypt. There aren't stories or comparative support from others in that regard.

To suggest that everyone should have known is to suggest it would have been relevent to everyone.  I think we can both agree this wasn't the case. 

When i used "everyone" I was intending reference to relevent people groups.  sorry for the confusion.

There are other stories from different cultures unrelated to anything Biblical that have stories (in reference to their own culture) that paralell such stories that we have covered thus far.  See the Mayan heretage and stories amidst other people groups including some Native American cultures.  Though different, congruent according to outcome and observable happenings. 

No, the Assyrians could care less about the beliefs of those in Canaan. They were interested in how much booty and tribute they could demand.

I know that other cultures have stories, as I have cited to you regarding the Sumerians. The Mayans, ancient China, ancient India, and even the Incas have lots of interesting histories.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:


Hardening the heart by a god is interference and influencing the outcome of the situation for a desired result. Since the god is supposedly all-powerful, clearly he can do far more than make a statement like, "I know you are going to hate me for this, but..."

That's a written law in ancient texts? 

So you're saying regardless if it was just words that was going to harden the Pharaoh's heart or not, because God is so powerful he had no choice but to use the full extent of his power and interfere with free will? 

Of course he can do more than just make a statement, but in this situation, are you saying more was needed to harden the Pharaoh's heart? 

You can try to read into it as much as you want, but it is what it is.  No one has ever presented effective reasoning to suggest a true impeding of free will here.  Understanding the context and terminology used, there is nothing to suggest that it was anything more than words from what I understand.  Do you know something I don't? 

I see your point. Since I really don't care about free will as in its more a processed decision through your mind that concludes an action based on its available data I guess I'm saying the god fed data to the pharaoh in whatever way to lead him to an incorrect decision. Incorrect as in the end supposedly a number of his citizens die. In that respect it is interference. But since there is no god to do this it makes no difference.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

I wasn't demonizing the god exactly, I was criticizing the action described. Comparing the Exodus god's actions to characters generally held to be less than upstanding is fair game. Besides, I think Satan has a bad rep unfairly based on misconstrued actions. In Job for example he seems to be doing the work for the god, and very little else that indicates he's not just the accussor or prosecutor angel. We can beat that to death in Job.

Ah.  Again lack of understanding of the languages leads you to another possible misunderstood conclusion. 

What if i told you that "the accussor" in Job and "Satan" as mentioned in Genesis and the NT are 2 different beings? 

That's a long way off in our forum though.  Let's not get going on this quite yet, but just as a quick reference if you do research the languages, you will find that the words used in reference to each are different.

Many other interesting points about that story when we get there as well. 

Surprise, I agree that Satan in Job is not the tempter in Genesis. See JPS Hebrew versions of both where it's very obvious.

 

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:


1-Many assume that this story actually was written during and immediately after the supposed events in Egypt, hardly a good assumption. You don't take that position from what I've seen in your posts. Yes, there were many gods to pick from and people readily traded or modified them throughout time to suit their needs and perceptions. Why is Yahweh any different? He's not, as he too was unreliable, just look at the described events in the OT. Usually, the response to this, is we don't understand his purposes, which is an excuse for the unreliable support that god has for his people, usually none, since he is fictitious.

Yes, i do not take the position that these stories were written imediately after. 

Yahweh is different for a few reasons:

1.  He didn't appeal always to the human ideology unlike most other gods.

2.  He had unrealistic expectations of his followers (reasoning is a topic we can discuss later if you'd like)

2.5  He was not mold-able unlike other gods could be.

3.  Especially going into the NT, the Earthly promises for his followers weren't exactly glamorous... in fact, quite the opposite.  Eternal life yes, but instead of 50 virgins or your very own planet (complete with waterslide)... physical torture, humiliation, shunning, etc.  how appealing.

Tell me, what was the motivation to follow Him? Especially seeing as He only existed to appeal to the human ideology.  (the basis for god following according to most non-believers I've talked to)

1-Actually, he allegedly rewarded the Israelites supposedly by giving them the promised land of Abraham. He supposedly aided and helped them in battle as did all other ancient gods.

2-Other ancient religions also had unrealistic expectations.

2.5-Mold-able as in being cast in metal? If so, the idol was a representation not "thee god".

3-Especially in the OT, there was no real promise other than he would back them up if they were loyal. As an afterlife is not exactly universally supported that's about it. Eternal life is not exactly universally supported by the Hebrew Bible.

The motivation to follow him was he would support them if they obeyed his rules. If they didn't do so, all the bad things that happened to them were a result of abandoning the Law of the god. As only Hezekiah and Josiah came anywhere near meeting the standards set, at least for kings, generally they had problems. Then again, Ahab and the other Omride kings were very successful as was the Northern Kingdom under their rule.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

2-Since I do not accept impossibilities as part of the real world any that contain magical events must have a way to validate the event. Yeah, I know then it won't be magical anymore. I'd settle for comparative support that some of these events occurred to even consider it more than storytelling, which also is how I consider Hercules and Herakles. Did he or they exist? Was he or they a half god? Should I buy into the stories as part of history when the stories have magical events? Perhaps Herc was a super strong guy who lived in the ancient past, attributed to somewhat in Genesis 6 for example, the men of renown.

Sure.  a while back I had started a forum... I think called science vs. religion or science and religion.  Covered some attempts at explainging what most here call magic. 

It seems that all ancient cultures have these events regarding things impossible for humans to do, fly, create things, control the weather, and even rage war with weapons of unimaginable power (Reg Veda). That very big strong guys could have lived in ancient times is likely, that they were gods or something is not.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

3-Through you are liberal in interpretation you still use belief as an excuse to accept unrealistic events. Your conclusions are extremely weak without real world validation drawn on misunderstanding and the desire for the belief to have basis.

It's like magic.  The only way a magician keeps their job is to make you think they've done the impossible.  You see them as unrealistic only because you dont' understand how it could have happened. 

I have to admit, my conclusions weren't any less sound than your own from the focus of this forum.  Sure, many non-believers will disagree with my statement and many believers will agree.  Therefore supporting the statement further. 

The thing is, you originally had a basis of belief (so it seemed) on dates and numbers being accurate.  this we have since agreed is not the case.  Though evidence beyond that is weak at best against the happenings, your conclusion is still myth based on events you and i can't emperically explain with appropriate supporting evidence.  lack of evidence doesn't allow conclusion on either side and the Exodus story is a terrible basis for concluding your belief.  It would be a terrible basis for me to conclude my belief only based on the evidences we have to support or hinder this story. 

There are reasons based in scripture, but that go beyond scripture as to why I and others are still believers.  Keep in mind we are only having a fun runthrough of the Bible and... from what I understand aren't concluding either way due to the idea that we both agreed that we are fully accepting of our own understanding.  right?  I have allowed myself to consider all evidences even in this forum and put them up against my belief, but I respect your intention for this forum to be just for fun and am trying to keep my opinion neutral. 

If you hear the story of Exodus for the very first time and you also hear the adventures of Gilgamesh or the god Enki why would any of them on their own have a claim to reality? If then you study the cultures and history of Mesopotamia, Canaan, and Egypt and find even more stories of gods and unrealistic events what are you to think? Next you study the archeology of the areas and find nothing that substantiates many of the stories as being real. Where is proof Gilgamesh was the son of a goddess? It seems he was a real king around 2700 BCE but did he do all that is said? Was he a demi-god 2 parts god and 1 part human? Or was this just the way the ancients described a man who was far above the rest in his abilities?

If we hold Gilgamesh and the god Enki to this standard should not the god Yahweh be subject to the same standards along with all the tales?

____________________________________________________________
"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:

I personally don't really consider free will. How can you make a choice different than what you did. If you process the data and conclude such and such, if you went back in time to do it again without feedback why would your choice be any different? So, I guess I don't really consider free will to be viable anyway. All choices are influenced by your knowledge at the time of your decision, influenced subconsciously as well. Whether or not man has free will or not makes little difference in whether the OT has any basis in reality or not.

The key here is "choice".  You can't call it choice if you didn't have a concious decision to make.  Sure, you could make a choice, then go back in time with no understanding of the outcome or feedback and most likely make the same choice, but does that mean you were unable to choose otherwise?  Or is it that you saw no reason to do so.  Free will is being able to do something by means of understanding  and deducing. Without free will, you would notice your action may not be congruent with your deductive thinking. 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

My logic here is as follows: God from the beginning of this story is clear that he will make the Pharaoh difficult to deal with such that he will repeatedly refuse to release the people. Dictatorial rulers and kings understand one thing above all, a greater force or destructive power. Ramses II upon fighting the Hittites to a draw at Qadesh in 1274 BCE negotiated and became allies with them because there was no way to win. Ancient kings became vassals of others when it was clear they were faced with destruction if they resisted. The plagues in the Exodus are an irritation up to the point where the first born are killed. The god would understand that an extreme use of power would be needed to convince the god-king to respect the demand, flies and frogs aren't such a demonstration.

The first misunderstanding is that your logic assumes that God somehow physically forced the pharaoh to choose the words he chose.  There is nothing to indicate that was so.  What is understood and widely accepted is that God knew what is reaction to such a demand would be. 

The examples you use are not examples of lack of free will, but a logical choice. 

To have no free will is to say that regardless of what the outcome might be, they were going to take a particular action.  In reference to some of your examples, with no free will, andient kings would not have to consider an outcome because a choice would not be an option.  They would have had to move forward with whatever action was decided for them and it wouldn't matter if the king saw certain destruction in their path or freedom.  What would matter is the puppet masters decision.  Be it that no outcome for the puppet would ever hurt the puppet master, they may make a king choose to walk into certain destruction just for the sheer entertainment of it. 

Notice you mentioned "an extreme use of power would be needed to convince"  right there indicating that a choice had to be made that was outside of God's chosen control suggesting that even after the worst of it, the pharaoh still had a free will choice to say 'no'.  Logically at this point after such terrible distruction, it was going to be in his best interest to go along with the demand. 

Just because choices are manipulated doesn't mean free will is not there.  Your computer doesn't have free will.  It cannot think for itself.  The only way I'm on this site and typing on this forum is because I made the choice.  My computer not only can't think or reason, but it can't do anything without the decision of another making it happen.  that's what it is to be without free will. 

As an engineer that understands digital computer logic I see the thought processes in a human brain to be somewhat analogous. As I have had discussions with both theists and atheists on this subject suffice it to say that no one agrees on exactly how the human brain actually operates. If all the data that is processed is the same no other outcome is possible other than the one that is made if no other conditions change. If a different outcome happens then a piece of added data was given more priority or was processed in a different order thus causing a different result, which means its not exactly the same situation. As there is nothing that adequately simulates a human brain at this point it is conjecture on everyone's part when they discuss human free will.

If data is suppressed or modified to a computer or a human a decision will still be made but it will lack all information to make the 'best decision'. Not that the computer or human won't make the 'best decision' possible, at least to it or him with the data they have. It may result in an obvious stupid decision to another human that has more data or information than the human or computer that made the original choice. In the case of the Exodus and Pharaoh since the ancients thought the heart was where decisions occur, the hardening of the heart infers that data was held back or modified in the processing by the god. That's really all I'm saying. Since, I don't really see a god as real it's pointless to beat this to death.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

My opinion is nothing in ancient story telling should be generally accepted as reality based without substantial proof and evidence. The Exodus described in the OT has none. It has no names. It has nothing to support it in archeology. It is no different than any other unsupported tale of the ancients. I can use the word legend or legendary exploits if you like to describe unsubstantial stories if you want. You admit that the stories have been exaggerated as in the invasion of Canaan by Joshua. You admit only a few Hebrews at most left Egypt. Why these few are considered important is the question. You have not shown Moses and those that left with him actually were real. You take the position it's true though you can't show through any historical record it is. The pertinent books relating to these stories are generally dated many years after the alleged event. This truly can affect content as in numbers and dates but can it also simply be literature or a tale such as a parable? There are those in Judaism that consider it as such though not all. Even if the story is a parable or a cover story for the Book of the Law it could have worthwhile basis if there was something else of basis for the belief. So far, nothing presented stands on its own without belief in the god.

The stories that proceed and lead up to it explain their importance.  You take the position that it's false, though you can't show through any historical record how it is.  Not suggesting you prove a negative here, only that you fill in the gaps.  Your belief is now based only on what science or history cant' seem to explain which focusing on the history of the Exodus is hardly the place to come to such a conclusion.  We shoudl get through the Nt before we do that.

Again, if so please show why the Sumerian stories are false as they too have stories that lead from one to another in logical order. You accept the Yahweh stories but not the Enki stories. It may be as in Exodus the names, numbers, and dates have just been wrongly interpreted. The stories from Sumer may be only literature or they may have been attempts by the ancients to explain what they didn't understand. It could be that the Sumer stories are metaphorical just like other cultures. As in the story of An and Ki and creation which really could be a metaphorical way of explanation.

I find all ancient stories to be interesting and consider them to be largely legend or embellishment until proved otherwise. I hold all stories of antiquity to that level.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:
 

 

You on the other hand consider that some part of these stories have merit with nothing other than the story as basis. And of course your belief and faith. If you want to conclude this was a real event on this forum try presenting something that is evidence that the story is real world based. All of your conclusions that you consider to support the events have nothing at all other than the story itself. This is like reading about Pandora and concluding or having faith if you will that she really released all the bad things into the world. In which case, can I at least see the box. I get from you, it's real I know it is because I have faith. You tell me I just don't understand or it's because of dates, numbers, the authors didn't care to include that information or didn't have Google available to even know. Talk about lack of historical support, you have none other than a book of unattributed authors written in an undetermined period by those who believed in the religion.

easy there killer.  The parts I see you not understanding is the terminology of the languages and people groups.  I see you basing your conclusion off of strictly an English version of the scriptures... and a very literal reading of it as well.  It's good to do so, but to critique it as you have, it's reasonable to consider the times, understanding, methodology, but especially the terminology and translational discrepencies and why they are such. 

I understand you want to hold Moses' staff in your hand and turn it into a snake, but with the volume of history from that time, it's just not logical to come up with such clear evidences of such a small movement so far in history.  I understand it to be written in the Bible because it was significant to the future of things... something ancient writers and scribes wouldn't have taken into consideration either. 

There are bits and peices that point to the possibility of such an event occuring and it seems that you agree, but disagree with the specifics which are lacking on both sides.  Let's not get stuck on that.  Please don't get too concerned with my belief.  I'm not with yours.  I'm using what you give me and what I'm learning from the research to challenge my belief and see if what I think I know still holds water.  So far from what you've presented, it does.  Just like you, I need reason to believe otherwise and you have not shown it too me yet.  Skepticism of my belief will be just as effective on me as it would be on you. 

Remember, just like you, i have concluded my belief from fact.  From that fact, i grew in faith and understanding... also experience and built a relationship with my God.  Same as you except instead of faith and relationship with a god, it is faith and relationship with the world around you. 

So far I have agreed only that a small number of people could have left Egypt and migrated to the highlands of Canaan. That nomadic tribes did this is shown in archeology. That this particular group led by Moses and then Joshua is not. That this small group is responsible for the mass migration and displacement in Canaan is also not supported by archeology from both the time period over a 100 years and that others were involved in such destruction as shown by archeology.

____________________________________________________________
"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:mellestad

caposkia wrote:

mellestad wrote:

I don't get it Cap.  If you accept that the story is embellished, what reason do you have to believe in the truly supernatural claims?  Why accept that they exaggerated the number of people in the story, but assume Moses really communed with God on top of a mountain?  There is plenty of evidence throughout history that when people make fantastic claims they are not telling the truth.

Doesn't it make more sense to start from a position of skepticism, since parts are definitely false or exaggerated?  You are saying, "Ok, there is no evidence that 600k-6 million people traveled across the desert, so I will interpret that liberally.  But I will believe God almighty smote Egyptian citizens directly even though there is no proof whatsoever. 

It just seems like a double standard.

You're comparing here a historical focus on the Exodus event to a belief not based on this story alone.  The exaggeration in numbers is pretty clear as well as missteps in claiming timeframes or even exact locations existing in certain periods of time. 

Those conclusions aren't blindly based, but based on the understanding of the cultures of the times and the intent of the stories written.  The conclusion that God acted in those stories and is real is far beyond this forum.   The focus here is intended from what i understand to be strictly history.  to  understand how the story took place, you need to understand the history of it. 

The congruencies in history based solely on this story suggest its plausible considering the progression of the peoplegroups in history.  To suggest a double standard at this point is to assume history alone is where I base my belief.  Not the case.   it's also blindly concluding that I have not just as carefully considered an array of logical basis for my belief in God.  Again, not the case.  

So many people have tried to cry wolf for me on this site and they fail to take into consideration that the forums have a focus and are not my sole basis for understanding or following. 

That is fine, I'm not crying wolf.  Most Christians use the Bible as some sort of 'proof' to their belief.  It is refreshing that you don't claim it is the divine word of God, even if I don't think your personal revelations are worth much.

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


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pauljohntheskeptic wrote:So

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

So it's your best estimate based on what you think you understand?

Well, not just me.  I go by what people who dedicate their lives to the study conclude and agree on.    I'd say it's a little more than just an estimate.  I am only one person and history isn't my strength, therefore I have deduced through what I've seen and compared conflicting views to see what makes more sense to me in cases like this.  I also see agreements between different historians on these topics as well.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

In the Sumerian Kings list kings are indicated as ruling for thousands of years. Since other than in Science Fiction as in Heinlein's character Lazarus Long or in Asimov's robot Daneel no one lives more than about 100 years one can reasonable consider it not true. So when I read about events in an ancient book that have water coming forth from a rock, the Sun standing still, food being left in the mist overnight (for several million), the sea being parted, and other events that defy science it's logical to consider the story as unreliable and an ancient legend based on the writer's misunderstanding. Somehow I don't think there was a guy named Atlas that held the Earth or a guy throwing lightning bolts, whether it be Zeus, Ba'al or Yahweh. Lightning seems to have a scientific explanation not an origin in any god. And so far in our missions in Outer Space, no one has seen a gigantic guy holding the Earth.

Sure.  I get your point of view.  The issue here is, you base your understanding just like other religious people on one study.  in your case you mentioned science.  Sure, religious views are flawed, but ask any scientist.  Our scientific understanding, though we understand a lot more now than 100 years ago is still severely lacking.  I have covered scenarios in certain situations that might explain scientifically and geologically how the "seas could have parted".  or at least appeared to part allowing a group of people to cross, then to have a splash of water take out a later group.

not justifying your examples above either, just comparing your justification to that of any other religion at this point. 

no need to tangent here.  it is slightly off topic.. sorry.  I understand you probably disagree with my statement. 

 


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pauljohntheskeptic

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Slight detour since you opened the door. We can come back to this when we get to the prophets.

If it was fulfilled then the Jews are wrong about their own understanding of their own prophecies.

Which is exactly what the NT talks about.  The whole reason why Jesus was crucified is because he was claiming to be the person that their texts prophesied about and he was in fact fulfilling those prophesies, but because he didn't end up coming in the way they pictured him coming, they didn't want to believe him.  The other big reason was he was taking them out of power and they didn't like that either.  Too many Jews were starting to turn from the pharasees and follow Jesus. 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

This means the Christian must explain how and where the Jews misunderstood their scripture for 100s of years.

That is precisely it.  You will find too that most devout Jews won't even consider discussing it.  I wonder why they still don't see it....???

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Do you read enough Hebrew to adequately explain how they misunderstood each and every instance that Christians claim have been met. Can you explain how the Jews see something else in their scripture that you see differently? And why they don't see what you claim to meet their expectations of the moshiarch?

I think the New Testiment paints that picture better than I could.  I dont' know if I could say confidently that I could explain how they misunderstood each and every instance be it that I'm not sure if I even know each and every instance they don't agree with Christians.  i do know the Hebrew, but being that Jews use the Hebrew to study their texts, I don't believe it's a translational issue just as it wasn't back in Jesus' time. \

 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:


As have done all cultures. The problem is people not of the original culture take these stories to be the literal truth and then have done some really evil things. William Wallace was 7 feet tall and farted fireballs out of his ass (not Lamborghini). Robin Hood robbed the rich and gave to the poor. Romulus and Remus founded Rome and were raised by wolves. Helen's face launched a thousand ships.

right.  and herein lies the problem and why there are so many different denominations of Christianity out there.  What is really important to take from the story, the details you mentioned above, or their cause?   Most people would get caught up in the details and through that question the validity of the whole story.  Some take into consideration the "telephone effect" and understand that what seems a little stretched might be so, but that the outcome or story plot still took place. 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

It's more than just literary congruencies. Again, see the Book Who Wrote the Bible and also read Misquoting Jesus for the NT.

Right, it's also perspective, timeframe, narration among other things.   I'm not doubting you here.   It's hardly relevent to why I follow.  Regardless of authorship, I still see reasonable evidences as we discussed to consider them historical happenings.

 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

I use the JPS Hebrew Bible in English as well as Douay-Rheims. When I'm lazy I use the very poor translation called KJV, sometimes just to show how illogical Protestant views really are that use it as literal. As I don't read Hebrew, Greek, or Latin I can only read in languages that I understand, English and Spanish. If believers wish to properly promote their belief that is based in a book, it is on them to provide an adequate translation that fairly presents the information. If the translation is similar to Chinese assembly instructions enclosed with a product that you need to finish assembly then it is a poor presentation and should be ripped to pieces for its inadequacies.

I get where you're coming from.  Let me give you a brief rundown of why "translational issues" are usually of concern when analyzing scripture. 

Unlike Spanish to English as you understand where not only are there still people who speak it, but most words or phrases can be traslated almost verbatum, ancient Hebrew cannot be and has no living people with that native toung.  Therefore, there are no people to double check with on translation.

Also, there are words in the Hebrew that we don't have in English.  The only way to describe some of them is to use a phrase in English.  Many times the Hebrew words are so unique (e.g. such as some words that represent a past, present and future time frame) that it can be debatable to exactly what was being said and how.  Though we're not there yet, if you have some time  Sit down with your KJV and the JPS and read the book of Job.  It tends to be a book with a lot of those discrepencies.  compare the differences.  I dont' remember exactly where they are. 

In conclusion, it's not that any certain translation is bad.  Yes I do believe some are better than others, it's just that it's extremely difficult to be precise in many instances with words in one language that don't exist in the other and no one to be able to converse with to assure translation to be accurate enough to English. 

this is also why i always say context is very important when analyzing scripture as closely as we are.  Some sentences in Hebrew are translated by a whole paragraph in English or vise versa due to the repetitive wording that the Hebrew can sometimes have. 

If you don't feel like looking at all the discrepencies in Job, one particular spot that's fun to compare is Isaiah 18:2 where it says;"...even in papyrus vessels" (NASB) and down further to: "...whose land the rivers divide(NASB)"

the first phrase from that verse, take "papyrus vessels"  If you want to look at the word that was translated from and get a literal rendition of it, the word in English literally says; "water drinking vessels"  It's interesting to comare Bible translations to see how they translate it.

the second phrase, the word; "divide" is actually a Hebrew word that references to splitting into quarters as they did sacrificially when sacrificing animals to atone for their sins.    You could never get that information from just reading an English Bible.  You may look at a few and think, these people don't know what they're talking about, when in fact it's just practically impossible to accurately translate. 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

As the Exodus of a small group could not be responsible for the claimed destruction in Canaan what then are you trying to claim is real?

Jericho? Ai? Hazor?

If the group was so small while the OT says it was large, in many places throughout Exodus, is that not conceding storytelling? You even said this, "Though when stories get handed down from generation to generation in a people group, why not embelish a bit to make it sound like your people had a victorious conquering" 

Do you expect that with all of the creativity these stories show with embellishment that it's logical to deduce it is true but there were only 600 men. And at Sinai only 3 were killed (not 3,000). And later when 12,000 attack a city, it's only 120. And the large Tabernacle described was carried by these 600 men in addition to all of the other camping gear they had. Just how much gold did these 600 men have to make the gold calf? Enough that it was 6" high or more? I mean, what ratios do I use to make the Exodus fit in reality? How do I know I'm not accepting an embellishment as real? As questions mount, why not see it as all a legend since there is no way to verify. That Jews believed that some of these stories as true is not support any more than Greeks believing some of the legends of their culture. Just saying.

Those are very good questions.  there's a reason why they have whole semesters at seminaries dedicated to particular questions such as those you've asked above. 

i think it's logical to really sit down and study them close if they are what is inhibiting you from knowing God.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

I see your point. Since I really don't care about free will as in its more a processed decision through your mind that concludes an action based on its available data I guess I'm saying the god fed data to the pharaoh in whatever way to lead him to an incorrect decision. Incorrect as in the end supposedly a number of his citizens die. In that respect it is interference. But since there is no god to do this it makes no difference.

Or... He already knew the pharoah's decision and told Moses that though He'll demand it, the pharoah will be angry and not comply. 

Sure this could go back and forth more.  We don't need to.  I already know you don't think there is a God, we can move on.  

where'd that conclusion come from btw?  So far we have discussed your understanding of discrepencies and I have discussed why those are in fact stretched a bit and dont' inhibit the validity of the story.  i see no basis for either of us to conclude yet. 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

1-Actually, he allegedly rewarded the Israelites supposedly by giving them the promised land of Abraham. He supposedly aided and helped them in battle as did all other ancient gods.

sure

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

2-Other ancient religions also had unrealistic expectations.

yes, but would repay them with many glamorous things

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

2.5-Mold-able as in being cast in metal? If so, the idol was a representation not "thee god".

k

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

3-Especially in the OT, there was no real promise other than he would back them up if they were loyal. As an afterlife is not exactly universally supported that's about it. Eternal life is not exactly universally supported by the Hebrew Bible.

It wasn't really understood or explained at all what happened when you die.  If you look into the scriptures, it was clearly understood that people didn't just fade away when they died.  In fact, many would casually recognize a ghost of a person at times.  They also knew that the dead went somewhere.  Sheol was the general term.  It humors me that kjv tends to translate it as Hell even though in most cases it's not. 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

The motivation to follow him was he would support them if they obeyed his rules. If they didn't do so, all the bad things that happened to them were a result of abandoning the Law of the god. As only Hezekiah and Josiah came anywhere near meeting the standards set, at least for kings, generally they had problems. Then again, Ahab and the other Omride kings were very successful as was the Northern Kingdom under their rule.

I wasn't going to get into it yet, but quickly, the point that God was trying to make was that you really can't meet those ideals.  Notice in Exodus those 'rules' didn't come into play until after the Hebew people were complaining a lot.  it was simply to show them they're not as high and mighty as they thought.  Quick summary.  We can get into it more when we get to that part. 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

It seems that all ancient cultures have these events regarding things impossible for humans to do, fly, create things, control the weather, and even rage war with weapons of unimaginable power (Reg Veda). That very big strong guys could have lived in ancient times is likely, that they were gods or something is not.

Again, they have semesters dedicated to understanding these discrepencies.  Sometimes it's a series of classes.  A masters in divinity is more than 30 credits. 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

If you hear the story of Exodus for the very first time and you also hear the adventures of Gilgamesh or the god Enki why would any of them on their own have a claim to reality? If then you study the cultures and history of Mesopotamia, Canaan, and Egypt and find even more stories of gods and unrealistic events what are you to think? Next you study the archeology of the areas and find nothing that substantiates many of the stories as being real. Where is proof Gilgamesh was the son of a goddess? It seems he was a real king around 2700 BCE but did he do all that is said? Was he a demi-god 2 parts god and 1 part human? Or was this just the way the ancients described a man who was far above the rest in his abilities?

If we hold Gilgamesh and the god Enki to this standard should not the god Yahweh be subject to the same standards along with all the tales?

I agree with you here.  if you solely took the story of Exodus and compared to the others you mentioned without any other basis besides the historical support... I think some of them would be more discredited than others due to supstantial plot, but ultimately, it would be hard to conclude a following.  Which is why i stated there's much more to it. 


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pauljohntheskeptic wrote:As

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

As an engineer that understands digital computer logic I see the thought processes in a human brain to be somewhat analogous. As I have had discussions with both theists and atheists on this subject suffice it to say that no one agrees on exactly how the human brain actually operates. If all the data that is processed is the same no other outcome is possible other than the one that is made if no other conditions change. If a different outcome happens then a piece of added data was given more priority or was processed in a different order thus causing a different result, which means its not exactly the same situation. As there is nothing that adequately simulates a human brain at this point it is conjecture on everyone's part when they discuss human free will.

The difference here though is the fact that in a human brain, it is the brain itself that is making the decision or inputing the data for the action.  For a computer, it is completely dependent on an operator (or a separate brain) to make it work in any form.  Some christians will claim that God does that for our brains, but I dont' agree with that point of view. 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

If data is suppressed or modified to a computer or a human a decision will still be made but it will lack all information to make the 'best decision'. Not that the computer or human won't make the 'best decision' possible, at least to it or him with the data they have. It may result in an obvious stupid decision to another human that has more data or information than the human or computer that made the original choice. In the case of the Exodus and Pharaoh since the ancients thought the heart was where decisions occur, the hardening of the heart infers that data was held back or modified in the processing by the god. That's really all I'm saying. Since, I don't really see a god as real it's pointless to beat this to death.

I'm having fun with this, but we don't need to get stuck on it.  It comes down to the fact that God already knew the pharoah had no intention of freeing the people and no matter what was said to him, he was going to stick by it. 

Let's move on.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Again, if so please show why the Sumerian stories are false as they too have stories that lead from one to another in logical order. You accept the Yahweh stories but not the Enki stories. It may be as in Exodus the names, numbers, and dates have just been wrongly interpreted. The stories from Sumer may be only literature or they may have been attempts by the ancients to explain what they didn't understand. It could be that the Sumer stories are metaphorical just like other cultures. As in the story of An and Ki and creation which really could be a metaphorical way of explanation.

I find all ancient stories to be interesting and consider them to be largely legend or embellishment until proved otherwise. I hold all stories of antiquity to that level.

rightfully so.  I have done the same at this point.  I dont' know if I said right out that I don't accept anything about the Enki stories or Sumerian.  I'd have to study them closer.  I'll get back to you on more details.  I'll check with my sources as far as their validity as generally understood by the studied followers. 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:
 

 

So far I have agreed only that a small number of people could have left Egypt and migrated to the highlands of Canaan. That nomadic tribes did this is shown in archeology. That this particular group led by Moses and then Joshua is not. That this small group is responsible for the mass migration and displacement in Canaan is also not supported by archeology from both the time period over a 100 years and that others were involved in such destruction as shown by archeology.

it was understood and I thought supported that it could have been over a very long period of time, which then would suggest other possibilites for displacement than just this small group moving in and growing.  I can double check if you'd like. 


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mellestad wrote:That is

mellestad wrote:

That is fine, I'm not crying wolf.  Most Christians use the Bible as some sort of 'proof' to their belief.  It is refreshing that you don't claim it is the divine word of God, even if I don't think your personal revelations are worth much.

Not to be confused, i do believe it's inspired by God.  I could claim divine, but on here, that can be misconstrued in so many ways.


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caposkia

caposkia wrote:
pauljohntheskeptic wrote:
This means the Christian must explain how and where the Jews misunderstood their scripture for 100s of years.

That is precisely it.  You will find too that most devout Jews won't even consider discussing it.  I wonder why they still don't see it....???

Because they think it is preposterous...?


pauljohntheskeptic
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caposkia

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Slight detour since you opened the door. We can come back to this when we get to the prophets.

If it was fulfilled then the Jews are wrong about their own understanding of their own prophecies.

Which is exactly what the NT talks about.  The whole reason why Jesus was crucified is because he was claiming to be the person that their texts prophesied about and he was in fact fulfilling those prophesies, but because he didn't end up coming in the way they pictured him coming, they didn't want to believe him.  The other big reason was he was taking them out of power and they didn't like that either.  Too many Jews were starting to turn from the pharasees and follow Jesus. 

You really need to put the NT in a box that hasn't been opened and then consider the Jewish expectations or detail exactly what you mean from the NT that supports the view the Jews were wrong for 100s of years and only the Jesus believers that wrote the NT got it correct.

1- Jesus could have been crucified by the Romans for rebeling against authority or insurrection just for disruption of the Temple money changer concessions. The Temple was the finance centor of Judea and this action was more than enough to have him executed. They did not have community service.

2-The Herodians and high priests in power corroborated with the Romans and were opposed by the Pharisees and others because of this. Many such as the Zealots also wanted the high priests removed from power due to the pagan influences and corruption with Rome.

3-Jesus does not fit the expectations of the Jewish messiah, I have given you links for this before.

One more time - http://www.jewsforjudaism.org/questions-a-answers-primary-234/68-the-jewish-messiah/374-messiah--the-criteria

and - http://www.moshiach.com/questions/faq/jesus-as-the-messiah.php

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

This means the Christian must explain how and where the Jews misunderstood their scripture for 100s of years.

That is precisely it.  You will find too that most devout Jews won't even consider discussing it.  I wonder why they still don't see it....???

Because Christians won't listen to what their expectations of their moshiach is supposed to do and try to fit Jesus in using misapplied scripture. They see your morphing as ridiculous and as false teaching.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Do you read enough Hebrew to adequately explain how they misunderstood each and every instance that Christians claim have been met. Can you explain how the Jews see something else in their scripture that you see differently? And why they don't see what you claim to meet their expectations of the moshiarch?

I think the New Testiment paints that picture better than I could.  I dont' know if I could say confidently that I could explain how they misunderstood each and every instance be it that I'm not sure if I even know each and every instance they don't agree with Christians.  i do know the Hebrew, but being that Jews use the Hebrew to study their texts, I don't believe it's a translational issue just as it wasn't back in Jesus' time. 

Go to the provided links above and come back with an explanation how Jesus fits into it. If he does not fit, explain why their prophecy is incorrect and how the same prophets you accept could be in error on this and how that is significant to your own interpretations of the erronous prophets in question.

caposkia wrote:
 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

I use the JPS Hebrew Bible in English as well as Douay-Rheims. When I'm lazy I use the very poor translation called KJV, sometimes just to show how illogical Protestant views really are that use it as literal. As I don't read Hebrew, Greek, or Latin I can only read in languages that I understand, English and Spanish. If believers wish to properly promote their belief that is based in a book, it is on them to provide an adequate translation that fairly presents the information. If the translation is similar to Chinese assembly instructions enclosed with a product that you need to finish assembly then it is a poor presentation and should be ripped to pieces for its inadequacies.

I get where you're coming from.  Let me give you a brief rundown of why "translational issues" are usually of concern when analyzing scripture. 

Unlike Spanish to English as you understand where not only are there still people who speak it, but most words or phrases can be traslated almost verbatum, ancient Hebrew cannot be and has no living people with that native toung.  Therefore, there are no people to double check with on translation.

Also, there are words in the Hebrew that we don't have in English.  The only way to describe some of them is to use a phrase in English.  Many times the Hebrew words are so unique (e.g. such as some words that represent a past, present and future time frame) that it can be debatable to exactly what was being said and how.  Though we're not there yet, if you have some time  Sit down with your KJV and the JPS and read the book of Job.  It tends to be a book with a lot of those discrepencies.  compare the differences.  I dont' remember exactly where they are. 

In conclusion, it's not that any certain translation is bad.  Yes I do believe some are better than others, it's just that it's extremely difficult to be precise in many instances with words in one language that don't exist in the other and no one to be able to converse with to assure translation to be accurate enough to English. 

this is also why i always say context is very important when analyzing scripture as closely as we are.  Some sentences in Hebrew are translated by a whole paragraph in English or vise versa due to the repetitive wording that the Hebrew can sometimes have. 

If you don't feel like looking at all the discrepencies in Job, one particular spot that's fun to compare is Isaiah 18:2 where it says;"...even in papyrus vessels" (NASB) and down further to: "...whose land the rivers divide(NASB)"

the first phrase from that verse, take "papyrus vessels"  If you want to look at the word that was translated from and get a literal rendition of it, the word in English literally says; "water drinking vessels"  It's interesting to comare Bible translations to see how they translate it.

the second phrase, the word; "divide" is actually a Hebrew word that references to splitting into quarters as they did sacrificially when sacrificing animals to atone for their sins.    You could never get that information from just reading an English Bible.  You may look at a few and think, these people don't know what they're talking about, when in fact it's just practically impossible to accurately translate. 

This is also what the Jews say about Christian misinterpretation of Jewish scripture, you have taken it out of context and misunderstood, for example Isaiah 7:14 which many Christians use for the virgin birth but Jews claim it's a young woman, who delivers several verses later Hezekiah.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

As the Exodus of a small group could not be responsible for the claimed destruction in Canaan what then are you trying to claim is real?

Jericho? Ai? Hazor?

If the group was so small while the OT says it was large, in many places throughout Exodus, is that not conceding storytelling? You even said this, "Though when stories get handed down from generation to generation in a people group, why not embelish a bit to make it sound like your people had a victorious conquering" 

Do you expect that with all of the creativity these stories show with embellishment that it's logical to deduce it is true but there were only 600 men. And at Sinai only 3 were killed (not 3,000). And later when 12,000 attack a city, it's only 120. And the large Tabernacle described was carried by these 600 men in addition to all of the other camping gear they had. Just how much gold did these 600 men have to make the gold calf? Enough that it was 6" high or more? I mean, what ratios do I use to make the Exodus fit in reality? How do I know I'm not accepting an embellishment as real? As questions mount, why not see it as all a legend since there is no way to verify. That Jews believed that some of these stories as true is not support any more than Greeks believing some of the legends of their culture. Just saying.

Those are very good questions.  there's a reason why they have whole semesters at seminaries dedicated to particular questions such as those you've asked above. 

i think it's logical to really sit down and study them close if they are what is inhibiting you from knowing God.

There's also a very good reason there are courses in ancient history as well since studying only at a seminary is like driving with blinders. Remember, I went to a Jesuit University.

 

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

3-Especially in the OT, there was no real promise other than he would back them up if they were loyal. As an afterlife is not exactly universally supported that's about it. Eternal life is not exactly universally supported by the Hebrew Bible.

It wasn't really understood or explained at all what happened when you die.  If you look into the scriptures, it was clearly understood that people didn't just fade away when they died.  In fact, many would casually recognize a ghost of a person at times.  They also knew that the dead went somewhere.  Sheol was the general term.  It humors me that kjv tends to translate it as Hell even though in most cases it's not. 

Among many other mistranslations KJV has.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

It seems that all ancient cultures have these events regarding things impossible for humans to do, fly, create things, control the weather, and even rage war with weapons of unimaginable power (Reg Veda). That very big strong guys could have lived in ancient times is likely, that they were gods or something is not.

Again, they have semesters dedicated to understanding these discrepencies.  Sometimes it's a series of classes.  A masters in divinity is more than 30 credits. 

There are also classes in ancient history you can take from a secular school that might help you see past the blinders or firewall you erect here and there.

As I in fact took a few of these courses in my Grad program at a Jesuit University, I'm aware of the bias involved.

The reference in the quoted post had nothing to do with Christianity or even Judaism and a course at a divinty school would certainly not include study of the Hindu vedas other than a course in comparative theology, which I did take in college.

____________________________________________________________
"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.


mellestad
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caposkia wrote:mellestad

caposkia wrote:

mellestad wrote:

That is fine, I'm not crying wolf.  Most Christians use the Bible as some sort of 'proof' to their belief.  It is refreshing that you don't claim it is the divine word of God, even if I don't think your personal revelations are worth much.

Not to be confused, i do believe it's inspired by God.  I could claim divine, but on here, that can be misconstrued in so many ways.

 

Functionally, what is the difference between divine and divinely inspired?  Either way, you are saying the Bible is a miracle, right?

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.