OT Stories - Myths,Legends, Parables, or Real

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


caposkia
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KSMB wrote:caposkia

KSMB wrote:

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...?

Is that what you think?  Must keep in mind, it's most likely the same reason that any Christain, Muslim, Atheist etc. wouldn't discuss it.  Though some are willing, others just refuse to do so.  Strange for Jews be it that they are challenged to it in their scripture.


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caposkia wrote:KSMB

caposkia wrote:

KSMB wrote:

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...?

Is that what you think?  Must keep in mind, it's most likely the same reason that any Christain, Muslim, Atheist etc. wouldn't discuss it.  Though some are willing, others just refuse to do so.  Strange for Jews be it that they are challenged to it in their scripture.

The scriptures you claim challenge the Jews to accept Jesus as Messiah are the ones that exclude Jesus from contention.

That's why they're still looking. I wonder why Christians don't see that Jesus was shoehorned into a position ill-suited for him.

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


caposkia
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pauljohntheskeptic wrote:You

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

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.

Simple quote is that Jews expected a king to come in royalty, riches and fame.  OT prophesies different.  The problem with your statement above; "...what you mean from the Nt that supports the views the Jews were wrong..."  is that the NT was written by Jews... Jesus was a Jew.  It was Jews that supported and followed Jesus... so I guess the question that should be asked is what made Jews, who were so sure they knew what they knew, follow this Jesus character that seemed to go against what the Jews were teaching... or was it just the pharasees and their teaching? 

Part of what the NT exposes is how the temple leaders had been manipulating the texts (which most common folk at the time were unable to read for themselves) to benifit themselves and not glorify God.  IT's not that intelligent Jews missed the boat, it's that the ones who knew were most likely manipulating it to their benifit.  When Jesus taught, the reason why His following was strong enough for the Jewish authorities to want to kill him was because he was making too much sense and taking the power away from them.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

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.

That's quite an assumption from someone I'm assuming has not as a Christian confronted a Jew on the topic.  Sadly it is a false assumption on your part and Christians who commit themselves to understanding the difference and confronting it listen and consider everything they are told by a Jew... those Christians also take into consideration that Jews tend to be extremely well versed in the scriptures they are taught.  What it comes down to is pointing out the commonalities that is usually overlooked. 

It's like looking for your car keys in the morning... you've been looking for hours... they were right in front of your face on top of the kitchen table, but because you didn't know they were right there, you didn't see them.  It's not that you saw them, but didn't know they were yours... it's not even that you may not have looked at them... its just that you didn't see them.  does that make sense?

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

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.

That could get quite lengthy... let's take it one page at a time... first link page 1:

First of all, he must be Jewish:   He was

He must be a member of the tribe of Judah : He was.  He was born into a family of the tribe of Judah.  It never said anything about how the birthing mother would get pregnant with Him.  It of course was assumed be it that there was no other comprehendable way that a person from the tribe would have to within wedlock help with that.

He must be a direct male descendant of King David and King Solomon: The NT makes many references to this.  e.g. Jesus, son of David... (see book of Matthew)  it even references Jews questioning the possibility of that.  A book trying to pull the wool over someone's eyes isn't going to point out its own incongruencies unless they in fact are not incongruencies. 

He must gather the Jewish people from exile and return them to Israel: The NT again references to this... Jesus Himself speaks of this and explains how it's suppose to come about.  This is where some of the separation starts.  Jews expected Jesus to do all of it all at once from a position of authority here on Earth during his human lifetime.  This as He explained was not the case.  He explained how he'd have to go away for a while, but then will come back to gather his people. 

If he truly was false, this would have been the perfect time for his Jewish followers to pick up on it and leave him.. yet after his death, they still supported Jesus' teachings. 

He must rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem: If you read the whole chapter, it talks about also how he will gather all his people from all the nations from where they went (not 100% on this, but I don't believe the Jews were very scattered during that time nor during Jesus' time, so what could he have possibly been talking about?  this again was referenced to in the NT and how that was going to come about in detail.

Also, He will bring His people up from the grave... (see the book of Luke)

He will rule at a time of world-wide peace:  Very daring of the NT writers to quote this verse verbatum and discuss in detail this prophesy in regards to Jesus when they were just trying to fool people...

 He will rule at a time when the Jewish people will observe G-d's commandments:  Jews and Christians agree here, though of course Christians see it as Jesus and Jews are still waiting for the messiah. 

He will rule at a time when all people will come to acknowledge and serve one G-d: Referenced directly again in Revelation... Acts?? Hebrews... I think.   Many times anyway.

If an individual fails to fulfill even one of these conditions, then he cannot be "The Messiah: They then go to state that no one to date has fulfilled all the critera mentioned... what they fail to mention is this Jesus character has already fulfilled more criteria than one human being could possibly fulfill on their own. 

It's strange that a false book would make direct references so many times to quotes from the OT that supposedly expose it as being invalid.  Strange and stupid for the NT writers who were trying to fool the Jews to do such a thing don't you think? 

All of the criteria listed above has either been fulfilled by Jesus Christ or has been fully explained as to the process of being fulfilled in detail using direct references to Jewish text therefore eliminating any possibility that what Jesus was was anything less than the long awaited Messiah. 

Ultimately, this starts to reviel how incomplete the NT is without the OT and Jewish teaching.  It is in fact very dependent on Jewish teaching be it that Jesus fulfilled the law, this in direct reference to OT Jewish law.  Any Christian who wants to really understand and be able to explain their following should also be very knowlegeable of the OT. 

this of course is a big tangent from our intended purpose here, but we can discuss if you'd like for a bit. 

if so, we can go from here.  I'll quote more later if necessary.  I feel though be it that you don't even comprehend the existance of a god that this really holds no purpose for our purposes.  It's hard to explain why I'm following God in the way I am to someone who can't even comprehend the possibility of such a being in the first place.  I'm willing to bet most of your skepticism is going to be based on the idea that either Jesus never existed or that both the OT and NT are made up and thus can easily be manipulated anyway. 

I will point out however, all Jews that I've talked to accept the history that Jesus was a real person, just with a very false understanding of the scriptures. 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

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.

I had to look into this a bit.  It was a new one to me.  I can see why through an English reading and out of context why a Christian would say this.  Here are the issues with a Christian using this as a prophesy;
1.  the word Virgin (NASB) here could actually be translated "maiden" which doesn't mean this girl was actually a virgin as we understand it.  This person was also understood to possibly be the 2nd wife of Isaiah.  This comprehension would make it clear right there that this wasn't a prophesy of Jesus.  Beyond that, if you go to the verse in question where she gives birth, it's possible that that woman and this are the same one.  A study Bible I checked seems to think it's the same person. 

There's another Hebrew word here in reference to the woman that suggests she would be soon to be married... I can see how people could parallel this to be a foreshadowing... I can also see how it can be easily refuted as such. 

In both instances, this Christian study Bible doesn't make any direct references to this being a prophesy.  It does suggest a possible foreshadowing of the coming messiah (different than prophesying), but they make it clear that there are vast differences here between this child in reference and Jesus.  a theorized foreshadowing is hardly a basis for reasoning.   I don't think it gives enough detail to use as a reference in the first place and seems to be pretty clear it is in reference to the current story.  The "sign" in reference is understood to be normally filled within a few years.  this again would suggest it's not in reference to Jesus.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

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.

keep in mind just because it's a seminary doesn't mean it teaches well.  In my opinion, any seminary that has a specific denomination in its name is going to always teach biasly based on what is in agreement with their doctern.  I live near a seminary that is neutral in its historical teachings.  The reasoning that you seem to be surprised at on this forum comes from the education some have gotten at this seminary.   

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Among many other mistranslations KJV has.

indeed

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

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.

You might be surprised to hear that there are some out there that dont' teach with blinders.  Though also keep in mind that a secular school is going to teach with secular blinders and ignore any history that might disagree with their understanding of what should be.  Either that or they will teach it with an indication that what they are teaching is history of religious belief and not factual history.   the difference I understand is some seminaries who will teach the whole story will go into detail on why they follow what they do in comparison to the factual history.  Most secular colleges will try to avoid that rout. 

How do you figure out which are teaching with blinders and which are without... well, you ask difficult questions and see how and if they're willing to answer them.  A college without blinders will give you the time of day with good reference ideas and a great place to start.  Some may even connect you with an expert in the field to talk to.. those experts will most likely be professors at the college. 


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jcgadfly wrote:The

jcgadfly wrote:

The scriptures you claim challenge the Jews to accept Jesus as Messiah are the ones that exclude Jesus from contention.

That's why they're still looking. I wonder why Christians don't see that Jesus was shoehorned into a position ill-suited for him.

a shame that the NT doesn't do that to Jesus and in fact puts him in the center fo contention.

It's hard for Christians to see that Jesus was shoehorned because there's no evidence that it was ill-suited for him and it was supported and recorded by Jews who accepted Christ's teachings.    The NT also makes constant direct references to OT teachings and how they tie into the Jesus character. 


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mellestad

mellestad wrote:

 

Functionally, what is the difference between divine and divinely inspired?  Either way, you are saying the Bible is a miracle, right?

for the sake of reference on this forum, divine would be assumed to have been directly written from God. 

Divinely inspired is from God, but it is taught to people who were inspired to write it down in their own words from their own observations. 

The Bible can be viewed as a miracle in many different ways; by how it has survived through all the opposition including book burnings, attempted scrutinizing for thousands of years, among other things.


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caposkia wrote:jcgadfly

caposkia wrote:

jcgadfly wrote:

The scriptures you claim challenge the Jews to accept Jesus as Messiah are the ones that exclude Jesus from contention.

That's why they're still looking. I wonder why Christians don't see that Jesus was shoehorned into a position ill-suited for him.

a shame that the NT doesn't do that to Jesus and in fact puts him in the center fo contention.

It's hard for Christians to see that Jesus was shoehorned because there's no evidence that it was ill-suited for him and it was supported and recorded by Jews who accepted Christ's teachings.    The NT also makes constant direct references to OT teachings and how they tie into the Jesus character. 

That's the shoehorning I was taking about. They tried to write a Jesus to fit the Messianic prophecies in the OT since the one who lived (assuming there was such a one) did not.

It's called reverse engineering, conclusion first research, and other names. Too much distance between the OT, Paul and the Gospels for it to not be simple backtracking to make Jesus fit.

If Jesus fit the Messianic prophecies, the Jews would have no problem with him and (likely) Christianity would either not exist or the gospel writers would have picked someone else and decried Jesus as a false prophet.

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


pauljohntheskeptic
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caposkia

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

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.

Simple quote is that Jews expected a king to come in royalty, riches and fame. OT prophesies different. The problem with your statement above; "...what you mean from the Nt that supports the views the Jews were wrong..." is that the NT was written by Jews... Jesus was a Jew. It was Jews that supported and followed Jesus... so I guess the question that should be asked is what made Jews, who were so sure they knew what they knew, follow this Jesus character that seemed to go against what the Jews were teaching... or was it just the pharasees and their teaching?

I'm aware that Jesus and his followers were Jews. There were several sects of various beliefs in the 1st century, all were Jews. The Jesus believers were one such group. Whether they also had the Pauline slant is extremely unlikely as shown in the Book of Acts when he is confronted by James. I can recommend several books for you to read when I get home from work that will help you understand the various Jewish beliefs prevailing in the early 1st century.

caposkia wrote:

Part of what the NT exposes is how the temple leaders had been manipulating the texts (which most common folk at the time were unable to read for themselves) to benifit themselves and not glorify God. IT's not that intelligent Jews missed the boat, it's that the ones who knew were most likely manipulating it to their benifit. When Jesus taught, the reason why His following was strong enough for the Jewish authorities to want to kill him was because he was making too much sense and taking the power away from them.

The Temple leaders at this time were Sadducee and Herodians who were interested only in staying in power, not the 1st time that happened go back to the 1st and 2nd century BCE and read about Alexander Jannaeus for one. Also when Pompey intervenes in the Jewish conflict.

If Jesus was such a big influence and threat, why is it that major writers including Jews in Judea never took notice of him or his followers?

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

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.

That's quite an assumption from someone I'm assuming has not as a Christian confronted a Jew on the topic. Sadly it is a false assumption on your part and Christians who commit themselves to understanding the difference and confronting it listen and consider everything they are told by a Jew... those Christians also take into consideration that Jews tend to be extremely well versed in the scriptures they are taught. What it comes down to is pointing out the commonalities that is usually overlooked.

Conclusion jumping on your part. My next door neighbors were Jews for 10 years as I grew up. One of my friends in high school as well. We had discussions on many occasions, like over beers.

caposkia wrote:

It's like looking for your car keys in the morning... you've been looking for hours... they were right in front of your face on top of the kitchen table, but because you didn't know they were right there, you didn't see them. It's not that you saw them, but didn't know they were yours... it's not even that you may not have looked at them... its just that you didn't see them. does that make sense?

I see what you are trying to infer, but don't agree.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

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 erroneous prophets in question.

That could get quite lengthy... let's take it one page at a time... first link page 1:

 

 

He was

 

 

: He was. He was born into a family of the tribe of Judah. It never said anything about how the birthing mother would get pregnant with Him. It of course was assumed be it that there was no other comprehendable way that a person from the tribe would have to within wedlock help with that.

Technically only the father's lineage was considered and according to the NT, Jesus had none, though one can argue that God was in the lineage of all. Other thoughts, if Jesus' brother was James the Just, he was of the tribe of Levi as he was a priest.

caposkia wrote:

 

 

The NT makes many references to this. e.g. Jesus, son of David... (see book of Matthew) it even references Jews questioning the possibility of that. A book trying to pull the wool over someone's eyes isn't going to point out its own incongruencies unless they in fact are not incongruencies.

Again, it was to be from the father's lineage.

caposkia wrote:

 

 

The NT again references to this... Jesus Himself speaks of this and explains how it's suppose to come about. This is where some of the separation starts. Jews expected Jesus to do all of it all at once from a position of authority here on Earth during his human lifetime. This as He explained was not the case. He explained how he'd have to go away for a while, but then will come back to gather his people.

If he truly was false, this would have been the perfect time for his Jewish followers to pick up on it and leave him.. yet after his death, they still supported Jesus' teachings.

The problem here is this was supposed to happen while the messiah was alive living amongst the Jews, not at the end of the world as in Revelation.

caposkia wrote:

 

 

If you read the whole chapter, it talks about also how he will gather all his people from all the nations from where they went (not 100% on this, but I don't believe the Jews were very scattered during that time nor during Jesus' time, so what could he have possibly been talking about? this again was referenced to in the NT and how that was going to come about in detail.

If you accept the Jewish myths regarding the 10 tribes of Israel that were relocated by Assyria, they were pretty well scattered. Some of them migrated northwards into Europe and may be interweaved with the Scythians. One thing for sure is this group if you accept the myths of relocation and tribal group relationships they were clearly dispersed as they are generally called the lost tribes of Israel. Also at this time there were large groups of Jews in Alexandria, Cyprus, as well as provinces that are now Turkey, Greece, and the Balkans as well as Rome.

caposkia wrote:

 

 

: Very daring of the NT writers to quote this verse verbatum and discuss in detail this prophesy in regards to Jesus when they were just trying to fool people...

And when did peace come? Seems like not in the 1st century CE.

caposkia wrote:

 

 

Jews and Christians agree here, though of course Christians see it as Jesus and Jews are still waiting for the messiah.

 

 

Referenced directly again in Revelation... Acts?? Hebrews... I think. Many times anyway.

These are future events, not events that happened during the life of Jesus, hence he was not the messiah per Jewish expectations. END He failed on at least one point.

caposkia wrote:

 

 

They then go to state that no one to date has fulfilled all the critera mentioned... what they fail to mention is this Jesus character has already fulfilled more criteria than one human being could possibly fulfill on their own.

At least according to the fantastic myths and stories that don't agree.

caposkia wrote:

It's strange that a false book would make direct references so many times to quotes from the OT that supposedly expose it as being invalid. Strange and stupid for the NT writers who were trying to fool the Jews to do such a thing don't you think?

I know, right, then again people are suckers. Tell them a pretty story with lots of BS and you fill your church, auditorium, or political rally.

caposkia wrote:

All of the criteria listed above has either been fulfilled by Jesus Christ or has been fully explained as to the process of being fulfilled in detail using direct references to Jewish text therefore eliminating any possibility that what Jesus was was anything less than the long awaited Messiah.

You had to morph things to the future as in the world will be at peace later, all will recognize the Jewish God later. This is not what is said, it meant according to the Jews when the messiah was alive.

caposkia wrote:

Ultimately, this starts to reviel how incomplete the NT is without the OT and Jewish teaching. It is in fact very dependent on Jewish teaching be it that Jesus fulfilled the law, this in direct reference to OT Jewish law. Any Christian who wants to really understand and be able to explain their following should also be very knowlegeable of the OT.

this of course is a big tangent from our intended purpose here, but we can discuss if you'd like for a bit.

if so, we can go from here. I'll quote more later if necessary. I feel though be it that you don't even comprehend the existance of a god that this really holds no purpose for our purposes. It's hard to explain why I'm following God in the way I am to someone who can't even comprehend the possibility of such a being in the first place. I'm willing to bet most of your skepticism is going to be based on the idea that either Jesus never existed or that both the OT and NT are made up and thus can easily be manipulated anyway.

I will point out however, all Jews that I've talked to accept the history that Jesus was a real person, just with a very false understanding of the scriptures.

You lose your bet.

No where have I said the OT and NT are made up. Legends and myths have basis. Much may be simply literature or fiction, though it could be stretched really far or as you say embellished. That much is wrongly claimed in the OT and the NT  is from misunderstanding. ignorance, poor record keeping, wars, lost information, and attributation of normal events to gods or God. I hold the opinion that Jesus likely lived and was most likely a form of rebel leader as was John the Baptist. He was clearly a rabbi or a learned scholar, such as a Pharisee. He told parables as they did, he gave advice like they did and more. He may have thought himself to be the messiah, he wouldn't be the first and he's certainly not the last. That he died was not what was expected, never the less the Jesus followers held out waiting for him to come back in their generation, he didn't. That pretty much should have ended it.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

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.

I had to look into this a bit. It was a new one to me. I can see why through an English reading and out of context why a Christian would say this. Here are the issues with a Christian using this as a prophesy;
1. the word Virgin (NASB) here could actually be translated "maiden" which doesn't mean this girl was actually a virgin as we understand it. This person was also understood to possibly be the 2nd wife of Isaiah. This comprehension would make it clear right there that this wasn't a prophesy of Jesus. Beyond that, if you go to the verse in question where she gives birth, it's possible that that woman and this are the same one. A study Bible I checked seems to think it's the same person.

There's another Hebrew word here in reference to the woman that suggests she would be soon to be married... I can see how people could parallel this to be a foreshadowing... I can also see how it can be easily refuted as such.

In both instances, this Christian study Bible doesn't make any direct references to this being a prophesy. It does suggest a possible foreshadowing of the coming messiah (different than prophesying), but they make it clear that there are vast differences here between this child in reference and Jesus. a theorized foreshadowing is hardly a basis for reasoning. I don't think it gives enough detail to use as a reference in the first place and seems to be pretty clear it is in reference to the current story. The "sign" in reference is understood to be normally filled within a few years. this again would suggest it's not in reference to Jesus.

Many Christian see this quote as a prophecy as does the Catholic church. The Jews at Hezekiah's time thought he might be the Messiah, alas no.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

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.

keep in mind just because it's a seminary doesn't mean it teaches well. In my opinion, any seminary that has a specific denomination in its name is going to always teach biasly based on what is in agreement with their doctern. I live near a seminary that is neutral in its historical teachings. The reasoning that you seem to be surprised at on this forum comes from the education some have gotten at this seminary.

OK. Also true in regards to Jesuits actually, some teach ideas that are not exactly Catholic Doctrine.

 

 

 

 

____________________________________________________________
"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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    Part 6 - The

 

 

 

 

Part 6 - The Wandering & Initial Battles

Spies were sent into Canaan and they brought back information that it was indeed a wonderful land.

In Det 2, the god tells the horde to leave the Moabites alone as he has given them the land they possess as the Children of Lot. Perhaps they should have gone with another way as they will regret this later. (Both sides actually)

Then Sihon king of Heshbon of the Amorites was afflicted by the god's interference as in the case of the pharaoh. His heart was hardened such that he went to war against the Hebrew horde, perhaps he considered it self defense? The god saw to it that all of them were killed at Jahaz and all the cities were taken even to Gilead. The horde killed all the men, the women and even the little ones. So Germany and the Aztecs were not the only ones into genocide.

The horde continues to obliterate other kingdoms bringing total destruction upon Og King of Bashan at Edrei. They took all 3 score cities of the king in the region of Argob which were high walled cities fenced with gates and walls as well as many towns that were unwalled. The horde killed all of the inhabitants once again, men, women, and little ones. However, the cattle and booty taken of the cities they kept.

Comments -

As nothing at all attests to these kings or cities we have only the OT as a witness that the Israelites practiced genocide. As the Book of Judges seems to indicate otherwise as does Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles because of the Canaanites that seemed to exist all about, these acts of genocide are likely fiction. One wonders why the Israelites/Judahites would want such a reputation, but it might have been to make the Assyrians/Babylonians think hard about invasion, though it of course could have caused quite the opposite reaction too.

The purpose of these eradication campaigns was to devastate the worship of other gods other than Yahweh. But we have even Jeremiah attesting to the belief in at least Asherah still prevalent in Judah years after as well as her statues and miniature idols found in houses throughout both Israel and Judah as artifacts, somewhat indicates religious Yahweh belief may not be exactly as purported. Not to mention the sacrifices in the high places that is constantly criticized in Kings and Chronicles. More on this later on in 1 & 2 Kings as well as Isaiah and Jeremiah.

Just how big were these cities supposedly at the time that only 600 men of the Exodus you suggest could overwhelm them? If they were as archeology suggests they had no walls and were small towns and villages, so many of them could have been taken by only a few armed men or nomadic settlers who would rather plunder than work for a living.

Continuing -

Let's not overlook this claim in Det 11:4, '

And what he did unto the army of Egypt, unto their horses, and to their chariots; how he made the water of the Red sea to overflow them as they pursued after you, and how the LORD hath destroyed them unto this day;"

Comments -

This may suggest this was written sometime after Alexander conquered Egypt for if not it was in an alternate reality as Egypt many times reasserted its authority in Canaan having the Judahite kings as Vassals even King Josiah. Or is the writer saying that those that were killed by drowning were still dead? Bad translation or misleading or over exuberance on the writer's part.

Continuing -

Then we have this probable error on the part of the god that will also haunt the horde's descendants:

Det 23:7 Thou shalt not abhor an Edomite; for he is thy brother: thou shalt not abhor an Egyptian; because thou wast a stranger in his land.

Apparently the exchange rate for the shekel was established as they wandered the wilderness - Num 3:47 Thou shalt even take five shekels apiece by the poll, after the shekel of the sanctuary shalt thou take them: (the shekel is twenty gerahs: )

Comments - There will be wars between Judah/Israel and Edom /Moab later in the OT that somewhat indicate brotherhood wasn't all that is claimed. Supposedly, Judah/Israel fight Mesha of Moab when Moab refuses to pay tribute and they are utterly destroyed at the battle of Ziz, somewhat disputed by the Mesha Stele which claims victory over Israel/Judah/Edom, we'll talk more about this in Kings. Edom has several wars with Solomon and David and essentially is a vassal afterwords, so much for not killing one's brothers.

We should also not forget, God had the Israelites turn on each other, well at least the tribe of Benjamin.

Then of course Egypt invades and King Josiah is killed by Pharaoh Necho.

Continuing -

In Numbers 13 spies are sent out to survey the Promised Land. They describe a very prosperous land. However 10 of them lie saying they saw the Anak and they were giants and the Hebrews were as grasshoppers in stature. Joshua and Caleb tell another story which is yes the cities are formidable but with the god we will prevail. The spies that lied are expelled from the camp and are eliminated by the Amalekites and Canaanites.

Numbers 16 clearly must be the inspiration for the Earth swallowing scene in the 10 Commandments movie; describes 250 princes or heads over assemblies of tribes in Levi and Reuben rose up against Moses and Aaron. Moses told them the god would show them the next day who was holy and who could administer as priests. Moses then says the god would show he was sent to be the leader by opening the Earth and swallowing them. Immediately after he said this, "32And the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed them up, and their houses, and all the men that appertained unto Korah, and all their goods. "

Comments -

More magic and Sci-Fi, need I say it's legendary or fantastic fictionalized literature?

Continuing -

Next we have an event that is described in:

Num 20:14 And Moses sent messengers from Kadesh unto the king of Edom, Thus saith thy brother Israel, Thou knowest all the travail that hath befallen us:

skip to

18And Edom said unto him, Thou shalt not pass by me, lest I come out against thee with the sword.

19And the children of Israel said unto him, We will go by the high way: and if I and my cattle drink of thy water, then I will pay for it: I will only, without doing anything else, go through on my feet.

20And he said, Thou shalt not go through. And Edom came out against him with much people, and with a strong hand.

21Thus Edom refused to give Israel passage through his border: wherefore Israel turned away from him.

 

Comments -

But wait - there was no Kingdom of Edom at the time. Edom has been shown to not have reached this level of sophistication until the 7th century BCE under Assyria. During the 13th century and clearly the 15th it was no more than sparsely settled with nomadic pastoral population. Archaeologists have expended much effort in searching the area of Edom and the result is apparently the 1st settlers were miners in Egypt's copper mines in Timna. Cemeteries were found and radio carbon dating is from the 9th and 10th centuries BCE. Nothing earlier has been found. Claims by Rames III that he razed their tents, seized their sheep, cattle and carried them away as captives. Doesn't sound like more than nomads however. So we have the horde going around the Kingdom of Edom which did not exist in the 13th or 15th centuries. Kind of discredits just a little more of the Invasion by Josh.

 

Num 21 has a claim that King Arad the Canaanite in the south fought the horde and took captives. The people then took a vow if the god would deliver them they would utterly destroy the Canaanites. So they were delivered and all of their cities were destroyed.

Comments -

No mention of names of the cities destroyed however. Since Judges and the Books of Samuel are very clear the Canaanites were still in existence this is more propaganda or errors on the part of the writer. But why expect any accuracy in this literature at this point, its been mostly exaggeration from the point it began in Egypt with Moses.

Continuing -

Next we have the people whine once more so the god sent fiery serpents to bite the people and many died. They asked the god to save them so he told Moses to make a serpent of brass that whoever was bitten could look upon and would live. Num 21:6-9.

Comments -

Imagine, snakes in the desert! Good thing they weren't in the American SouthWest or the god would have sent diamondback rattlers. This is the brass serpent tossed out in cleansing the Temple by King Hezekiah. The question is was this written after the brass serpent was destroyed or before? Who can say? It is of course more of the legends and fiction based on magical claims that have no support in the real world.

Numbers 21 also discusses invading Moab and seizing the cities of Amorites as in Det.

Then we have the end of the Balaam adventures (yeah, he's the one with the ass, I didn't bother with that narrative) in Num 24:15-25 -

17I shall see him, but not now: I shall behold him, but not nigh: there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel, and shall smite the corners of Moab, and destroy all the children of Sheth.

18And Edom shall be a possession, Seir also shall be a possession for his enemies; and Israel shall do valiantly.

19Out of Jacob shall come he that shall have dominion, and shall destroy him that remaineth of the city.

20And when he looked on Amalek, he took up his parable, and said, Amalek was the first of the nations; but his latter end shall be that he perish for ever.

21And he looked on the Kenites, and took up his parable, and said, Strong is thy dwellingplace, and thou puttest thy nest in a rock.

22Nevertheless the Kenite shall be wasted, until Asshur shall carry thee away captive.

23And he took up his parable, and said, Alas, who shall live when God doeth this!

24And ships shall come from the coast of Chittim, and shall afflict Asshur, and shall afflict Eber, and he also shall perish for ever.

 

Comments -

Note- See all of the claims of occurrences that will happen in the text. Did they? No.

1) The Star out of Jacob - Hezekiah, Josiah, Jesus, or bar Kosiba - you pick.

2)Amalek will be destroyed - nothing like writing a prediction after the event has happened.

3)Edom becomes a vassal state later on. This too dates this material.

4)The Kenites will be carried away by Ashur (Assyrians) - since they lived in the area of Israel, perhaps this helps to date the writing after it happened as well.

4)Ships will come to the coast of Chittim affecting Ashur and Eber perishing forever - Who perished from the visit/attack of the ships? Those on the ships? Or Assyria? Not Assyria.

The way this is written suggests it was from a time after the Assyrians invade Israel or there abouts. Assyria actually was eventually finally dominated by their competitor Babylon and no naval invasion led to its demise.

Continuing -

The people stayed in Shittam and began to commit whoredom with the daughters of Moab.

 

Comments -

Desert Bedouin women must have been hot, Moses hooked up with one.

So the people have taken up with the Midianites and the god Baal-Peor. So the god is vexed (pissed off) and tells Moses to smite the Midianites.

So in Num 31, the horde sends an army of 12000 against them and kills all the males. So Moses is pissed at them for they have brought captive all the women and the young. He tells them to kill all the male children and all the non-virgin women. They are to keep the virgins for themselves.

Comments -Why, just why? I know its supposedly so they have no connection to their former lives, and since most women of the time were not like Deborah or Xena they did as the god commanded. Not a good example of a god that is supposedly loving, but yeah I know it was another time.

 

____________________________________________________________
"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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Part 7 The Invasion

Though Cap hasn't responded to my last few posts I'll put up the next part anyway.

 


Part 7 - The Invasion


Moses dies on Mt Nebo after he sees the Promised Land. He was 120 years old.

Joshua is given charge over the Israelites and is told by the god that from the Euphrates River to the coast of Lebanon all will be their land. His first expedition is to send spies into Jericho. They hid in a hooker's house from the King's men. She told the spies she had heard of their tale how they escaped Egypt and blah..blah... So the next day when the men carrying the ark enter the water of the Jordan river it is dried up or stopped thus allowing the horde to pass over without getting their feet wet, wet swords and armor might rust as they were made of iron supposedly and perhaps still of bronze (no stainless steel as of yet).
 
Josh 4 claims 40,000 prepared for battle against Jericho. In Josh 5 Josh meets the captain of the Lord's host who told him he was on holy ground. In the meantime with the horde outside its city Jericho barricaded itself with no one coming or going. The horde of Joshua sent a group around the outside city walls once a day for 6 days. On the 7th day they went around it 7 times and the trumpets blew and all the people shouted, the walls of Jericho fell down. They took the city and killed all living in it, people, cattle, and sheep. The only survivors were the hooker and her family. Of course they kept the gold, silver, brass and iron that were seized as booty. (It's always about cash in the end with religion isn't it?)

Comments -

However - What walls? Sorry, Jericho did not have any walls at the time nor was it even occupied in the 13th century at the alleged time of the horde's invasion. Cities in Canaan at this time were not fortified as it was an Egyptian province which is thoroughly attested by the Armana Letters. These letters are from cities and towns throughout the area demonstrating they were vassals or provinces of Egypt. Walls and fortifications were not required as Egypt would march in and settle any issue. This is adequately shown for the time period from Sety I to Ramses III (1294 to 1153) and even up to Ramses VI because Megiddo was still under the control of Egypt.

So, with Egypt in control why would they allow a horde of escaped slaves to over run their rich territory? They didn't, because the entire invasion by Josh and his imaginary army never happened.

And if that isn't enough for you to discredit this mythical tall tale then consider what archeology of these cities has actually found. No walls. They were small population centers with a central building and little more. People lived generally in the country side.

If the invasion of non-occupied Jericho wasn't enough how about we invade and kill off all the inhabitants of the ruins of the city of Ai next! Josh 7 has the account of the alleged destruction of Ai. So Ai is reconnoitered and only 3000 are sent to invade. But they have been shown to be ruins dating to over 1000 years before in the late 3rd millennium, so in effect this story is about the horde invading a pile of rocks or a ghost town.

Continuing –

Joshua 9 details the story how the Gibeonites became woodcutters and water carriers in a creative piece of literature. No evidence this story has basis. Supposedly they came to the Israelite camp pretending to live far away. A treaty was made and oaths were sworn to the God. Shortly thereafter Joshua and the leaders find out they live in Gibeon, Kephirah, Beeroth, and Kiriath Jearim. “Josh 9: 26 So Joshua saved them from the Israelites, and they did not kill them. 27 That day he made the Gibeonites woodcutters and water carriers for the community and for the altar of the LORD at the place the LORD would choose. And that is what they are to this day.”

In this from Aesop’s fables? It sure sounds like one.

Josh 10 has the tale how Gibeon is attacked by 5 kings of the Amorites and God intervenes by killing a large number of them with very large hailstones. He even insures the horde has sufficient time to do their own killing by causing the Sun and Moon to stand still. The kings that sent troops to be exterminated were Adonizedec king of Jerusalem, Hoham king of Hebron, Piram king of Jarmuth, Japhia king of Lachish, and Debir king of Eglon. The 5 kings fled from the battle and hid in a cave at Makkedah. Joshua had the cave sealed until the end of the battle. After the battle he had them removed from the cave and slew them and hung them on a tree until evening.

The Israelites then took Makkedah and slew all of the population as they had at Jericho, Josh 10:28. They went on to Libnah and killed all there as well. Next came Lachish which was the same with none surviving. The king of Gezar came to aid Lachish and all of his army was exterminated. On to Eglon the genocidal killers went and killed all of their inhabitants as well. They went on to Debir and killed all there too in Josh 10:38 and took the king and smote them all.

Comments –

Did the Chinese report there was an extremely long day sometime in the 12th or 13th century? No. After Thera was exploded by volcanic action the Chinese wrote how there were no crops and how summers were very short in the 16th century. One would think if the Earth stopped its rotation other cultures would have noticed. Did the Assyrians or Babylonians take notice since they specialized in astronomy? Nope. More embellishment methinks! So what would exactly happen if the Earth suddenly stopped its rotation? Much G forces perhaps causing world-wide destruction, the Earth would perhaps disintegrate? Don't know, but just think about the sudden stopping of the Earth rotating at 1040 MPH at the Equator! Probably not a pretty sight. Stuff would fly, smash, and be tossed. Kind of like when you stop suddenly in your car and everything sitting on your seat flies into the dash. The Sun or  to be correctl the Earth stopping its rotation is bullshit as Penn & Teller would say.

In Josh 10:3 Debir is called the king of Eglon yet in Josh 10:38 Debir is a city. Which is correct? See Wiki, multiple choices, maybe both.

Josh 11 has the account of all the kings loyal to Jabin of Hazor going to war against the horde at the waters of Merom. The claim is they were so many it was as the sand. After they killed all of them, Josh turns back to Hazor and burned it killing all in the city.

 In Josh 11:17 " Even from the mount Halak, that goeth up to Seir, even unto Baalgad in the valley of Lebanon under mount Hermon: and all their kings he took, and smote them, and slew them"
Comments - Again in Judges, Deborah and Barak kill Jabin of Hazor supposedly. So what is this story here supposedly? Embellishment? Confusion?

And while this was going on, the Hittite Empire in the north and Egypt which administered the province Josh was devastating did nothing.

I still know of great land deals in Florida, how about condos?

Josh 12 is a summary of all the kings they slew.

Josh 13 - 19 is the description of allocation to the tribes.

Josh 20 states the refuge cities.

Josh dies at 110 at Shecham in Josh 24.

The Judges will be the next story we will investigate and we get to go over the story of the  Jewish version of Herakles aka Hercules.

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

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


caposkia
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jcgadfly wrote:That's the

jcgadfly wrote:

That's the shoehorning I was taking about. They tried to write a Jesus to fit the Messianic prophecies in the OT since the one who lived (assuming there was such a one) did not.

well, he of course is "supposed' to fit the Messianic prophesies... how would you say he didn't?  I've read through some Jewish links already and have refuted a few claims at this point as to suggesting how he might not, but i want to see what you think specifically.

If you feel this might sidetrack from the progress of this forum too much, we can start another one just for this topic. 

jcgadfly wrote:

It's called reverse engineering, conclusion first research, and other names. Too much distance between the OT, Paul and the Gospels for it to not be simple backtracking to make Jesus fit.

It's an easy out to the dispute to take that point of view.   What support do you have for this claim.  also, be it that the Bible and other texts continuously support that people have been coming and going through the generations trying to claim themselves to be the Messiah, why did just the Jesus story stick?  Why not any of the other thousands, possibly millions who have tried to claim the same role?  Especially with the conflict you're bringing up, what a perfect opportunity for anyone after Jesus' time to come and claim to be the real messiah and draw up a whole new belief system.   I'm confused on why it hasn't been successfully done if what you say is true and could so easily be done. 

jcgadfly wrote:

If Jesus fit the Messianic prophecies, the Jews would have no problem with him and (likely) Christianity would either not exist or the gospel writers would have picked someone else and decried Jesus as a false prophet.

Right, but why is it now (the Gospels cover this thoroughly) that the Jews of the time did not believe he was the one?  why also did so many Jews get so easily duped into believing if he was as you say? 

You make it sound as if it was an explicit grocery list that would make it clear to all whether he was the one or not.  If that was the case, of course most Jews... not just some as described historically, but most would not have followed Him.  Also, most intelligent Christians would pick up on this be it that the OT is so detrimental to understanding our following, and they would not believe.  Yet, educated Christians and even "Jews for Christ" still follow Jesus... Something just doesn't add up here with your claims as they are.


caposkia
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pauljohntheskeptic wrote:I'm

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

I'm aware that Jesus and his followers were Jews. There were several sects of various beliefs in the 1st century, all were Jews. The Jesus believers were one such group. Whether they also had the Pauline slant is extremely unlikely as shown in the Book of Acts when he is confronted by James. I can recommend several books for you to read when I get home from work that will help you understand the various Jewish beliefs prevailing in the early 1st century.


Ok, it is noted however that Jews from many different sects followed Jesus.  I am aware that just like Christianity today, there were many sects of Judaism.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

The Temple leaders at this time were Sadducee and Herodians who were interested only in staying in power, not the 1st time that happened go back to the 1st and 2nd century BCE and read about Alexander Jannaeus for one. Also when Pompey intervenes in the Jewish conflict.

If Jesus was such a big influence and threat, why is it that major writers including Jews in Judea never took notice of him or his followers?

I'm not sure that his ministry during his lifetime went to those parts yet.... did you have any specific names in mind as far as "major writers"?  I'll look into it. 

note:  just because it wasn't put in the Bible doesn't mean it wasn't written down somewhere. 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Conclusion jumping on your part. My next door neighbors were Jews for 10 years as I grew up. One of my friends in high school as well. We had discussions on many occasions, like over beers.

Ok, then if it is as you say, why didn't you try out Judaism before walking away from it all?... or did you...

...and how many beers before the discussion got deep  (just kidding)

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Technically only the father's lineage was considered and according to the NT, Jesus had none, though one can argue that God was in the lineage of all. Other thoughts, if Jesus' brother was James the Just, he was of the tribe of Levi as he was a priest.

Right, though Jesus was born of God, his brothers were all born of Joseph.  It's Mary's liniage I think that matters here.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

 Again, it was to be from the father's lineage.

which was again a logical assumption on their part be it that without a "father", there is no baby. 

Mary's father would have been considered for this lineage then.  In this case, he is still the son of David's lineage because without David, there would have been no mary, and joseph didn't have a part in any of this.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

The problem here is this was supposed to happen while the messiah was alive living amongst the Jews, not at the end of the world as in Revelation.

Revelation says that Jesus returns.  The Gospels claim that Jesus will return.  The "end of the world" is literally "Jesus' return to gather up his people"... seems to be supported be it that they would then be living with Him. 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

 If you accept the Jewish myths regarding the 10 tribes of Israel that were relocated by Assyria, they were pretty well scattered. Some of them migrated northwards into Europe and may be interweaved with the Scythians. One thing for sure is this group if you accept the myths of relocation and tribal group relationships they were clearly dispersed as they are generally called the lost tribes of Israel. Also at this time there were large groups of Jews in Alexandria, Cyprus, as well as provinces that are now Turkey, Greece, and the Balkans as well as Rome.

well granted they weren't all sitting in Jerusalem, but in retrospect of planet Earth, that's a pretty concentrated area still. 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

And when did peace come? Seems like not in the 1st century CE.

according to NT, it's when Christ returns. 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

These are future events, not events that happened during the life of Jesus, hence he was not the messiah per Jewish expectations. END He failed on at least one point.

We've already established what the Jew's expected.  Assuming for a moment they were wrong about him fulfilling everything all at once, he has not yet failed any points.  We believe there's a second coming.   Jews were fooled by many higher ups into thinking something different about their comming messiah. 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

At least according to the fantastic myths and stories that don't agree.

only with support from OT prophesies...  Seems maybe the stories do agree with Jewish scripture. 

 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

I know, right, then again people are suckers. Tell them a pretty story with lots of BS and you fill your church, auditorium, or political rally.

Interesting how many skeptics then came to believing when they sought out to prove the scriptures false.  It wasn't the pretty story that duped them and I don't think the pretty story did it for me either.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

You had to morph things to the future as in the world will be at peace later, all will recognize the Jewish God later. This is not what is said, it meant according to the Jews when the messiah was alive.

 It prophesied what the coming messiah was going to do.  In order to claim what the Jews claim, you'd have to put in an assumed timeframe for the fulfillment.  If you look at all the prophesies, none of them give a timeframe for fulfullment.  It's nothing further than assumption to assume it was suppose to all happen at once. 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

You lose your bet.

No where have I said the OT and NT are made up.

HUH????!!!!

Quote:
 At least according to the fantastic myths and stories that don't agree.

yea, I think you have... or at least implied it with such quotes as above. (see note below for further explanation)

What bet did I lose exactly?

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Legends and myths have basis. Much may be simply literature or fiction, though it could be stretched really far or as you say embellished. That much is wrongly claimed in the OT and the NT  is from misunderstanding. ignorance, poor record keeping, wars, lost information, and attributation of normal events to gods or God. I hold the opinion that Jesus likely lived and was most likely a form of rebel leader as was John the Baptist. He was clearly a rabbi or a learned scholar, such as a Pharisee. He told parables as they did, he gave advice like they did and more. He may have thought himself to be the messiah, he wouldn't be the first and he's certainly not the last. That he died was not what was expected, never the less the Jesus followers held out waiting for him to come back in their generation, he didn't. That pretty much should have ended it.

As many have pointed out, just because they have basis doesn't make them real.  Your statement that they are "fantastic myths" would imply that other than geological basis, there is no reality to the story.  if this is not the case, I'd suggest wording it differently.  A myth is defined as "any invented story".  What you seem to now be implying is "Folk Tale"  where the story exaggerates greatly in parts, but is based on a true person who had a big influence. 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Many Christian see this quote as a prophecy as does the Catholic church. The Jews at Hezekiah's time thought he might be the Messiah, alas no.

The Catholic Church has submerged themselves in doctern.  Since they've done that, they haven't gotten much right. 

Sure, i can see how they'd think that.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

OK. Also true in regards to Jesuits actually, some teach ideas that are not exactly Catholic Doctrine.

Though I'm not too familar with Jesuit teachings, I'm sure they stepped out of their box from time to time, but what did they do to adhere you to their doctern still?  It's my assumption that they would counteract any extra-docternal teaching so as to not lose their numbers in following.

 

 

 


caposkia
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pauljohntheskeptic

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

 

Part 6 - The Wandering & Initial Battles
Spies were sent into Canaan and they brought back information that it was indeed a wonderful land.
In Det 2, the god tells the horde to leave the Moabites alone as he has given them the land they possess as the Children of Lot. Perhaps they should have gone with another way as they will regret this later. (Both sides actually)
Then Sihon king of Heshbon of the Amorites was afflicted by the god's interference as in the case of the pharaoh. His heart was hardened such that he went to war against the Hebrew horde, perhaps he considered it self defense? The god saw to it that all of them were killed at Jahaz and all the cities were taken even to Gilead. The horde killed all the men, the women and even the little ones. So Germany and the Aztecs were not the only ones into genocide.
The horde continues to obliterate other kingdoms bringing total destruction upon Og King of Bashan at Edrei. They took all 3 score cities of the king in the region of Argob which were high walled cities fenced with gates and walls as well as many towns that were unwalled. The horde killed all of the inhabitants once again, men, women, and little ones. However, the cattle and booty taken of the cities they kept.


Comments -


As nothing at all attests to these kings or cities we have only the OT as a witness that the Israelites practiced genocide. As the Book of Judges seems to indicate otherwise as does Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles because of the Canaanites that seemed to exist all about, these acts of genocide are likely fiction. One wonders why the Israelites/Judahites would want such a reputation, but it might have been to make the Assyrians/Babylonians think hard about invasion, though it of course could have caused quite the opposite reaction too.
The purpose of these eradication campaigns was to devastate the worship of other gods other than Yahweh. But we have even Jeremiah attesting to the belief in at least Asherah still prevalent in Judah years after as well as her statues and miniature idols found in houses throughout both Israel and Judah as artifacts, somewhat indicates religious Yahweh belief may not be exactly as purported. Not to mention the sacrifices in the high places that is constantly criticized in Kings and Chronicles. More on this later on in 1 & 2 Kings as well as Isaiah and Jeremiah.

now i thought we had already established that the Bible isn't always... let's say "objective" in its historiography.

Beyond that, all ancient empires talked about how they killed everyone. It's just what they did, though they obviously did not kill everyone they fought. In this regard, Israel is not trying to scare the Babylonians or anything else. They were writing documents like any oftheir neighboring nations might.

Check out documents such as Merneptah Stele, the Mesha Stone, various Assyrian and Babylonian king annals as well as a variety of Hittite documents.

There is nothing strange or unique about this--aside from, of course, the fact that it has been preserved for thousands of years. Also, God plays a more active role
than in some other ANE documents. Oh, and its a bit longer than comparable documents, but that could just be the accident of archeology.

We've mentioned before the lack of archeological evidence for many claimed peoples, including many outside Biblical texts, but that doesn't mean they didn't exist.  It just means we haven't found anything with their name on it. 

HOWEVER, it does mean that the Israelites did NOT conquer the land in the way the book of Joshua describes, as that would leave evidence, and we don't have the evidence, therefore it did not happen in the way Joshua describes.

 

 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Just how big were these cities supposedly at the time that only 600 men of the Exodus you suggest could overwhelm them? If they were as archeology suggests they had no walls and were small towns and villages, so many of them could have been taken by only a few armed men or nomadic settlers who would rather plunder than work for a living.

i think your assumption seems to be congruent with what I've resarched... That being that they were small towns and villages with no walls.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Continuing -

Let's not overlook this claim in Det 11:4, '

And what he did unto the army of Egypt, unto their horses, and to their chariots; how he made the water of the Red sea to overflow them as they pursued after you, and how the LORD hath destroyed them unto this day;"

Comments -

This may suggest this was written sometime after Alexander conquered Egypt for if not it was in an alternate reality as Egypt many times reasserted its authority in Canaan having the Judahite kings as Vassals even King Josiah. Or is the writer saying that those that were killed by drowning were still dead? Bad translation or misleading or over exuberance on the writer's part.

May be translational issues here.  the NASB words it as follows:  "and the Lord completely destroyed them"

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:
 

Continuing -

Then we have this probable error on the part of the god that will also haunt the horde's descendants:

Det 23:7 Thou shalt not abhor an Edomite; for he is thy brother: thou shalt not abhor an Egyptian; because thou wast a stranger in his land.

Apparently the exchange rate for the shekel was established as they wandered the wilderness - Num 3:47 Thou shalt even take five shekels apiece by the poll, after the shekel of the sanctuary shalt thou take them: (the shekel is twenty gerahs: )

Comments - There will be wars between Judah/Israel and Edom /Moab later in the OT that somewhat indicate brotherhood wasn't all that is claimed. Supposedly, Judah/Israel fight Mesha of Moab when Moab refuses to pay tribute and they are utterly destroyed at the battle of Ziz, somewhat disputed by the Mesha Stele which claims victory over Israel/Judah/Edom, we'll talk more about this in Kings. Edom has several wars with Solomon and David and essentially is a vassal afterwords, so much for not killing one's brothers.

We should also not forget, God had the Israelites turn on each other, well at least the tribe of Benjamin.

Then of course Egypt invades and King Josiah is killed by Pharaoh Necho.

was it God's error or people's choice?

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

 

Continuing -

In Numbers 13 spies are sent out to survey the Promised Land. They describe a very prosperous land. However 10 of them lie saying they saw the Anak and they were giants and the Hebrews were as grasshoppers in stature. Joshua and Caleb tell another story which is yes the cities are formidable but with the god we will prevail. The spies that lied are expelled from the camp and are eliminated by the Amalekites and Canaanites.

Numbers 16 clearly must be the inspiration for the Earth swallowing scene in the 10 Commandments movie; describes 250 princes or heads over assemblies of tribes in Levi and Reuben rose up against Moses and Aaron. Moses told them the god would show them the next day who was holy and who could administer as priests. Moses then says the god would show he was sent to be the leader by opening the Earth and swallowing them. Immediately after he said this, "32And the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed them up, and their houses, and all the men that appertained unto Korah, and all their goods. "

Comments -

More magic and Sci-Fi, need I say it's legendary or fantastic fictionalized literature?

I'm not sure, you're the one that claimed I was wrong to assume you thought the stories weren't real.  What do you think?

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

 

 

Continuing -

Next we have an event that is described in:

Num 20:14 And Moses sent messengers from Kadesh unto the king of Edom, Thus saith thy brother Israel, Thou knowest all the travail that hath befallen us:

skip to

18And Edom said unto him, Thou shalt not pass by me, lest I come out against thee with the sword.

19And the children of Israel said unto him, We will go by the high way: and if I and my cattle drink of thy water, then I will pay for it: I will only, without doing anything else, go through on my feet.

20And he said, Thou shalt not go through. And Edom came out against him with much people, and with a strong hand.

21Thus Edom refused to give Israel passage through his border: wherefore Israel turned away from him.

 

Comments -

But wait - there was no Kingdom of Edom at the time. Edom has been shown to not have reached this level of sophistication until the 7th century BCE under Assyria. During the 13th century and clearly the 15th it was no more than sparsely settled with nomadic pastoral population. Archaeologists have expended much effort in searching the area of Edom and the result is apparently the 1st settlers were miners in Egypt's copper mines in Timna. Cemeteries were found and radio carbon dating is from the 9th and 10th centuries BCE. Nothing earlier has been found. Claims by Rames III that he razed their tents, seized their sheep, cattle and carried them away as captives. Doesn't sound like more than nomads however. So we have the horde going around the Kingdom of Edom which did not exist in the 13th or 15th centuries. Kind of discredits just a little more of the Invasion by Josh.

could it be more exaggerated or misunderstood dates as mentioned in earlier texts?

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:
 

Num 21 has a claim that King Arad the Canaanite in the south fought the horde and took captives. The people then took a vow if the god would deliver them they would utterly destroy the Canaanites. So they were delivered and all of their cities were destroyed.

Comments -

No mention of names of the cities destroyed however. Since Judges and the Books of Samuel are very clear the Canaanites were still in existence this is more propaganda or errors on the part of the writer. But why expect any accuracy in this literature at this point, its been mostly exaggeration from the point it began in Egypt with Moses.

Only on exact dates and numbers.  Location name may be different due to lack of historical knowlege of the writer, but we can't at this point assume it's so exaggerated that doesn't fit history.  Everything so far fits somewhere with given light to the numerical exaggerations.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

 

Continuing -

Next we have the people whine once more so the god sent fiery serpents to bite the people and many died. They asked the god to save them so he told Moses to make a serpent of brass that whoever was bitten could look upon and would live. Num 21:6-9.

Comments -

Imagine, snakes in the desert! Good thing they weren't in the American SouthWest or the god would have sent diamondback rattlers. This is the brass serpent tossed out in cleansing the Temple by King Hezekiah. The question is was this written after the brass serpent was destroyed or before? Who can say? It is of course more of the legends and fiction based on magical claims that have no support in the real world.

Numbers 21 also discusses invading Moab and seizing the cities of Amorites as in Det.

Then we have the end of the Balaam adventures (yeah, he's the one with the ass, I didn't bother with that narrative) in Num 24:15-25 -

17I shall see him, but not now: I shall behold him, but not nigh: there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel, and shall smite the corners of Moab, and destroy all the children of Sheth.

18And Edom shall be a possession, Seir also shall be a possession for his enemies; and Israel shall do valiantly.

19Out of Jacob shall come he that shall have dominion, and shall destroy him that remaineth of the city.

20And when he looked on Amalek, he took up his parable, and said, Amalek was the first of the nations; but his latter end shall be that he perish for ever.

21And he looked on the Kenites, and took up his parable, and said, Strong is thy dwellingplace, and thou puttest thy nest in a rock.

22Nevertheless the Kenite shall be wasted, until Asshur shall carry thee away captive.

23And he took up his parable, and said, Alas, who shall live when God doeth this!

24And ships shall come from the coast of Chittim, and shall afflict Asshur, and shall afflict Eber, and he also shall perish for ever.

 

Comments -

Note- See all of the claims of occurrences that will happen in the text. Did they? No.

1) The Star out of Jacob - Hezekiah, Josiah, Jesus, or bar Kosiba - you pick.

2)Amalek will be destroyed - nothing like writing a prediction after the event has happened.

3)Edom becomes a vassal state later on. This too dates this material.

4)The Kenites will be carried away by Ashur (Assyrians) - since they lived in the area of Israel, perhaps this helps to date the writing after it happened as well.

4)Ships will come to the coast of Chittim affecting Ashur and Eber perishing forever - Who perished from the visit/attack of the ships? Those on the ships? Or Assyria? Not Assyria.

The way this is written suggests it was from a time after the Assyrians invade Israel or there abouts. Assyria actually was eventually finally dominated by their competitor Babylon and no naval invasion led to its demise.

1.  ok, still happened, no matter which you pick

2.  you have the exact dates for the writing and happening? 

Then again, be it that the Hebrew has states of time not writable in English, how do you know they weren't talking about it happening or have happened?  I can look into this more.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

 Desert Bedouin women must have been hot, Moses hooked up with one.

don't blame him then

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

 

So the people have taken up with the Midianites and the god Baal-Peor. So the god is vexed (pissed off) and tells Moses to smite the Midianites.

So in Num 31, the horde sends an army of 12000 against them and kills all the males. So Moses is pissed at them for they have brought captive all the women and the young. He tells them to kill all the male children and all the non-virgin women. They are to keep the virgins for themselves.

Comments -Why, just why? I know its supposedly so they have no connection to their former lives, and since most women of the time were not like Deborah or Xena they did as the god commanded. Not a good example of a god that is supposedly loving, but yeah I know it was another time.

 

yea, many times I'll ask the same questions, why...  No rational thinking Christian will ever claim they have all the answers,. 

I think you did answer your own question to a point. 

I know my answers were short, but a lot of information was covered.  Any particular point that you want to spend more time on and I'll be happy to.  I'm looking further into a part of this before responding more thoroughly. 

As far as your next post, i don't have time right now.  I'll try to remember I didn't respond to it when I get on next time.  If i forget, I didn't ignore it, just remind me I missed it. 

 


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pauljohntheskeptic

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Part 7 - The Invasion

Moses dies on Mt Nebo after he sees the Promised Land. He was 120 years old.

Joshua is given charge over the Israelites and is told by the god that from the Euphrates River to the coast of Lebanon all will be their land. His first expedition is to send spies into Jericho. They hid in a hooker's house from the King's men. She told the spies she had heard of their tale how they escaped Egypt and blah..blah... So the next day when the men carrying the ark enter the water of the Jordan river it is dried up or stopped thus allowing the horde to pass over without getting their feet wet, wet swords and armor might rust as they were made of iron supposedly and perhaps still of bronze (no stainless steel as of yet).
 
Josh 4 claims 40,000 prepared for battle against Jericho. In Josh 5 Josh meets the captain of the Lord's host who told him he was on holy ground. In the meantime with the horde outside its city Jericho barricaded itself with no one coming or going. The horde of Joshua sent a group around the outside city walls once a day for 6 days. On the 7th day they went around it 7 times and the trumpets blew and all the people shouted, the walls of Jericho fell down. They took the city and killed all living in it, people, cattle, and sheep. The only survivors were the hooker and her family. Of course they kept the gold, silver, brass and iron that were seized as booty. (It's always about cash in the end with religion isn't it?)

Comments -

However - What walls? Sorry, Jericho did not have any walls at the time nor was it even occupied in the 13th century at the alleged time of the horde's invasion. Cities in Canaan at this time were not fortified as it was an Egyptian province which is thoroughly attested by the Armana Letters. These letters are from cities and towns throughout the area demonstrating they were vassals or provinces of Egypt. Walls and fortifications were not required as Egypt would march in and settle any issue. This is adequately shown for the time period from Sety I to Ramses III (1294 to 1153) and even up to Ramses VI because Megiddo was still under the control of Egypt.

sometimes, the word translated "walls" literally is refering to the city boarder and doesn't necessarily mean there are physical walls around.  In this case, it could be refering to baracades (as would an army have preparing for battle)  What Hebrew word is in question here?  I had to go all the way to Joshua Ch. 6 before I found the word wall in reference to Jericho.  No other part did I see any reference to a physical wall, which further confirms to me that what is being refered to is not a visible physical wall.  Other words in reference to Jericho mentioned "boarder". 

 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:


So, with Egypt in control why would they allow a horde of escaped slaves to over run their rich territory? They didn't, because the entire invasion by Josh and his imaginary army never happened.

i did acknowlege that archeologically, Joshua's rendition of what happened doesn't quite add up. 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:


And if that isn't enough for you to discredit this mythical tall tale then consider what archeology of these cities has actually found. No walls. They were small population centers with a central building and little more. People lived generally in the country side.

again, you hit one bump in the road... the wall thing being translational and you are ready to jump on the whole Bible and God being false.  Or are you referring to this as a true story with major exaggerations.  This I will agree with here.  i believe it was the last post, I hadn't read this post yet and I commented on how Joshua doesn't coenside with facts.  It is however the first book that really doesn't that we've come across in our runthrough yet. 

Some issues with this book is the fact that it is theorized to have been written 800 years after the actual events, which would also conclude that Joshua could not possibly be the author.  There are theories that Samuel had some part in compiling the details of this book, but it is ultimately unknown here.  A fun story to read, tall tale indeed, that touches on factual happenings.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:



If the invasion of non-occupied Jericho wasn't enough how about we invade and kill off all the inhabitants of the ruins of the city of Ai next! Josh 7 has the account of the alleged destruction of Ai. So Ai is reconnoitered and only 3000 are sent to invade. But they have been shown to be ruins dating to over 1000 years before in the late 3rd millennium, so in effect this story is about the horde invading a pile of rocks or a ghost town. 

Keep in mind whoever wrote the book is referencing to whatever is in that location during their lifetime and not necessarily the actual name in the story.  The attack could have happened in any general 100 mile radius of the location as well be it that the book was written so much later and whoever wrote it was probably a normal person with minimal historical reference.  Though there's no evidence of anything existing before Ai, there's nothing to suggest it was just a pile of rocks as well. 

It's hard to take a book that has a history that we can see as not being anywhere near its actual happenings and assume that what is being said is evidence of discrediting the Bible.  My guess is the author took what they knew from stories handed down and put it together to try to paint as accurate of a picture as they could from what they knew by word of mouth and the minimal historical writing that they may or may not have had access to.  Hardly a basis for conclusion here. 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:


Continuing –

Joshua 9 details the story how the Gibeonites became woodcutters and water carriers in a creative piece of literature. No evidence this story has basis. Supposedly they came to the Israelite camp pretending to live far away. A treaty was made and oaths were sworn to the God. Shortly thereafter Joshua and the leaders find out they live in Gibeon, Kephirah, Beeroth, and Kiriath Jearim. “Josh 9: 26 So Joshua saved them from the Israelites, and they did not kill them. 27 That day he made the Gibeonites woodcutters and water carriers for the community and for the altar of the LORD at the place the LORD would choose. And that is what they are to this day.”

In this from Aesop’s fables? It sure sounds like one.

could have been based on the same historical information that they had at the time....  Keep in mind this book is not unique in any aspect to any other documents from any other group such as Merneptah Stele, the Mesha Stone, various Assyrian and Babylonian king annals as well as a variety of Hittite documents other than the fact that it has been well preserved for thousands of years.  It's how most of these types of documentations were written.  nothing ever said they were perfectly historically accurate. 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:


Josh 10 has the tale how Gibeon is attacked by 5 kings of the Amorites and God intervenes by killing a large number of them with very large hailstones. He even insures the horde has sufficient time to do their own killing by causing the Sun and Moon to stand still. The kings that sent troops to be exterminated were Adonizedec king of Jerusalem, Hoham king of Hebron, Piram king of Jarmuth, Japhia king of Lachish, and Debir king of Eglon. The 5 kings fled from the battle and hid in a cave at Makkedah. Joshua had the cave sealed until the end of the battle. After the battle he had them removed from the cave and slew them and hung them on a tree until evening.

The Israelites then took Makkedah and slew all of the population as they had at Jericho, Josh 10:28. They went on to Libnah and killed all there as well. Next came Lachish which was the same with none surviving. The king of Gezar came to aid Lachish and all of his army was exterminated. On to Eglon the genocidal killers went and killed all of their inhabitants as well. They went on to Debir and killed all there too in Josh 10:38 and took the king and smote them all.

Comments –

Did the Chinese report there was an extremely long day sometime in the 12th or 13th century? No. After Thera was exploded by volcanic action the Chinese wrote how there were no crops and how summers were very short in the 16th century. One would think if the Earth stopped its rotation other cultures would have noticed.

There are other cultures in the world that have the extra long day story.  I think some native American tribes hold onto that as well. 

Notice there is a reference to another book right after that claim.  Again, there's a theory that this book was written hundreds of years after its actual occurances.  With this in mind, it's very possible they took what they read in other historical writings and compiled this book.  They obviously viewed the book of Jashar as an accurate historical document.  I think to better analyze this claim, we'd need to look into that book a little more. 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Did the Assyrians or Babylonians take notice since they specialized in astronomy? Nope. More embellishment methinks!

see reference in Bible. Jsh.  10:13

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

So what would exactly happen if the Earth suddenly stopped its rotation? Much G forces perhaps causing world-wide destruction, the Earth would perhaps disintegrate? Don't know, but just think about the sudden stopping of the Earth rotating at 1040 MPH at the Equator! Probably not a pretty sight. Stuff would fly, smash, and be tossed. Kind of like when you stop suddenly in your car and everything sitting on your seat flies into the dash. The Sun or  to be correctl the Earth stopping its rotation is bullshit as Penn & Teller would say.

logically it is.  Though taking into consideration for a moment that God is the true creator of all things, I'm sure if he were to do it, he'd have taken all into consideration, be it that he created it all including the scientific laws we now adhere to if he were to take such drastic measures. 

from the information we have, it's logical to conclude embelishment to emphasize a point...  I'll have more information on this after checking with my resources.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:


In Josh 10:3 Debir is called the king of Eglon yet in Josh 10:38 Debir is a city. Which is correct? See Wiki, multiple choices, maybe both.

either or

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:


Josh 11 has the account of all the kings loyal to Jabin of Hazor going to war against the horde at the waters of Merom. The claim is they were so many it was as the sand. After they killed all of them, Josh turns back to Hazor and burned it killing all in the city.

 In Josh 11:17 " Even from the mount Halak, that goeth up to Seir, even unto Baalgad in the valley of Lebanon under mount Hermon: and all their kings he took, and smote them, and slew them"
Comments - Again in Judges, Deborah and Barak kill Jabin of Hazor supposedly. So what is this story here supposedly? Embellishment? Confusion?

both??  Neither??  I don't know.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:


And while this was going on, the Hittite Empire in the north and Egypt which administered the province Josh was devastating did nothing.

I still know of great land deals in Florida, how about condos?

Josh 12 is a summary of all the kings they slew.

Josh 13 - 19 is the description of allocation to the tribes.

Josh 20 states the refuge cities.

Josh dies at 110 at Shecham in Josh 24.

The Judges will be the next story we will investigate and we get to go over the story of the  Jewish version of Herakles aka Hercules.

sounds good.  i will be looking futher into some aspects of this post and will try to reply to them later.  sorry for the delay on this one.  With your posts, I tend to take a lot more time in replying so as to make sure I'm not just making a blind assumption with my conclusions.  Therefore, instead of giving you a half-assed response to a well researched post on your part, i want to make sure I can really sit down and look into it.  Thanks for your patience. 

 


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caposkia wrote:We've

caposkia wrote:

We've mentioned before the lack of archeological evidence for many claimed peoples, including many outside Biblical texts, but that doesn't mean they didn't exist.  It just means we haven't found anything with their name on it. 

HOWEVER, it does mean that the Israelites did NOT conquer the land in the way the book of Joshua describes, as that would leave evidence, and we don't have the evidence, therefore it did not happen in the way Joshua describes.

We agree, the Joshua account is unsupportable.

 

 

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Just how big were these cities supposedly at the time that only 600 men of the Exodus you suggest could overwhelm them? If they were as archeology suggests they had no walls and were small towns and villages, so many of them could have been taken by only a few armed men or nomadic settlers who would rather plunder than work for a living.

i think your assumption seems to be congruent with what I've resarched... That being that they were small towns and villages with no walls.

We agree again, the towns were small in contrast to the account in Joshua which is unsupportable once more.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Continuing -

Let's not overlook this claim in Det 11:4, '

And what he did unto the army of Egypt, unto their horses, and to their chariots; how he made the water of the Red sea to overflow them as they pursued after you, and how the LORD hath destroyed them unto this day;"

Comments -

This may suggest this was written sometime after Alexander conquered Egypt for if not it was in an alternate reality as Egypt many times reasserted its authority in Canaan having the Judahite kings as Vassals even King Josiah. Or is the writer saying that those that were killed by drowning were still dead? Bad translation or misleading or over exuberance on the writer's part.

May be translational issues here.  the NASB words it as follows:  "and the Lord completely destroyed them"

Probably.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:
 

Continuing -

Then we have this probable error on the part of the god that will also haunt the horde's descendants:

Det 23:7 Thou shalt not abhor an Edomite; for he is thy brother: thou shalt not abhor an Egyptian; because thou wast a stranger in his land.

Apparently the exchange rate for the shekel was established as they wandered the wilderness - Num 3:47 Thou shalt even take five shekels apiece by the poll, after the shekel of the sanctuary shalt thou take them: (the shekel is twenty gerahs: )

Comments - There will be wars between Judah/Israel and Edom /Moab later in the OT that somewhat indicate brotherhood wasn't all that is claimed. Supposedly, Judah/Israel fight Mesha of Moab when Moab refuses to pay tribute and they are utterly destroyed at the battle of Ziz, somewhat disputed by the Mesha Stele which claims victory over Israel/Judah/Edom, we'll talk more about this in Kings. Edom has several wars with Solomon and David and essentially is a vassal afterwords, so much for not killing one's brothers.

We should also not forget, God had the Israelites turn on each other, well at least the tribe of Benjamin.

Then of course Egypt invades and King Josiah is killed by Pharaoh Necho.

was it God's error or people's choice?

That would depend on your perspective wouldn't it. Believers generally consider it to be God, though you have shown yourself to be exceptional and not take these stories at face value.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

 

Continuing -

In Numbers 13 spies are sent out to survey the Promised Land. They describe a very prosperous land. However 10 of them lie saying they saw the Anak and they were giants and the Hebrews were as grasshoppers in stature. Joshua and Caleb tell another story which is yes the cities are formidable but with the god we will prevail. The spies that lied are expelled from the camp and are eliminated by the Amalekites and Canaanites.

Numbers 16 clearly must be the inspiration for the Earth swallowing scene in the 10 Commandments movie; describes 250 princes or heads over assemblies of tribes in Levi and Reuben rose up against Moses and Aaron. Moses told them the god would show them the next day who was holy and who could administer as priests. Moses then says the god would show he was sent to be the leader by opening the Earth and swallowing them. Immediately after he said this, "32And the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed them up, and their houses, and all the men that appertained unto Korah, and all their goods. "

Comments -

More magic and Sci-Fi, need I say it's legendary or fantastic fictionalized literature?

I'm not sure, you're the one that claimed I was wrong to assume you thought the stories weren't real.  What do you think?

I think Cecille B De Mille used it for his 10 Commandment misadventure but since he's dead it's only speculative.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

 

 

Continuing -

Next we have an event that is described in:

Num 20:14 And Moses sent messengers from Kadesh unto the king of Edom, Thus saith thy brother Israel, Thou knowest all the travail that hath befallen us:

skip to

18And Edom said unto him, Thou shalt not pass by me, lest I come out against thee with the sword.

19And the children of Israel said unto him, We will go by the high way: and if I and my cattle drink of thy water, then I will pay for it: I will only, without doing anything else, go through on my feet.

20And he said, Thou shalt not go through. And Edom came out against him with much people, and with a strong hand.

21Thus Edom refused to give Israel passage through his border: wherefore Israel turned away from him.

 

Comments -

But wait - there was no Kingdom of Edom at the time. Edom has been shown to not have reached this level of sophistication until the 7th century BCE under Assyria. During the 13th century and clearly the 15th it was no more than sparsely settled with nomadic pastoral population. Archaeologists have expended much effort in searching the area of Edom and the result is apparently the 1st settlers were miners in Egypt's copper mines in Timna. Cemeteries were found and radio carbon dating is from the 9th and 10th centuries BCE. Nothing earlier has been found. Claims by Rames III that he razed their tents, seized their sheep, cattle and carried them away as captives. Doesn't sound like more than nomads however. So we have the horde going around the Kingdom of Edom which did not exist in the 13th or 15th centuries. Kind of discredits just a little more of the Invasion by Josh.

could it be more exaggerated or misunderstood dates as mentioned in earlier texts?

Don't think it is related to misunderstood dates unless of course the entire Joshua adventure was written around the time of Ezra then of course since Edom existed and had for quite a while what's the difference of 300 or 400 hundred years in the story to the writer? He was trying to make his case how the god supported the Israelite takeover in Canaan to show basis for their claims to perhaps the Persians?

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:
 

Num 21 has a claim that King Arad the Canaanite in the south fought the horde and took captives. The people then took a vow if the god would deliver them they would utterly destroy the Canaanites. So they were delivered and all of their cities were destroyed.

Comments -

No mention of names of the cities destroyed however. Since Judges and the Books of Samuel are very clear the Canaanites were still in existence this is more propaganda or errors on the part of the writer. But why expect any accuracy in this literature at this point, its been mostly exaggeration from the point it began in Egypt with Moses.

Only on exact dates and numbers.  Location name may be different due to lack of historical knowlege of the writer, but we can't at this point assume it's so exaggerated that doesn't fit history.  Everything so far fits somewhere with given light to the numerical exaggerations.

Again perspective has a lot to do with acceptance. If the Joshua account is unsupportable as we have both agreed and Canaanites exist far into the future it pretty much discredits all of it wouldn't it?

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

 

Continuing -

Next we have the people whine once more so the god sent fiery serpents to bite the people and many died. They asked the god to save them so he told Moses to make a serpent of brass that whoever was bitten could look upon and would live. Num 21:6-9.

Comments -

Imagine, snakes in the desert! Good thing they weren't in the American SouthWest or the god would have sent diamondback rattlers. This is the brass serpent tossed out in cleansing the Temple by King Hezekiah. The question is was this written after the brass serpent was destroyed or before? Who can say? It is of course more of the legends and fiction based on magical claims that have no support in the real world.

Numbers 21 also discusses invading Moab and seizing the cities of Amorites as in Det.

Then we have the end of the Balaam adventures (yeah, he's the one with the ass, I didn't bother with that narrative) in Num 24:15-25 -

17I shall see him, but not now: I shall behold him, but not nigh: there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel, and shall smite the corners of Moab, and destroy all the children of Sheth.

18And Edom shall be a possession, Seir also shall be a possession for his enemies; and Israel shall do valiantly.

19Out of Jacob shall come he that shall have dominion, and shall destroy him that remaineth of the city.

20And when he looked on Amalek, he took up his parable, and said, Amalek was the first of the nations; but his latter end shall be that he perish for ever.

21And he looked on the Kenites, and took up his parable, and said, Strong is thy dwellingplace, and thou puttest thy nest in a rock.

22Nevertheless the Kenite shall be wasted, until Asshur shall carry thee away captive.

23And he took up his parable, and said, Alas, who shall live when God doeth this!

24And ships shall come from the coast of Chittim, and shall afflict Asshur, and shall afflict Eber, and he also shall perish for ever.

 

Comments -

Note- See all of the claims of occurrences that will happen in the text. Did they? No.

1) The Star out of Jacob - Hezekiah, Josiah, Jesus, or bar Kosiba - you pick.

2)Amalek will be destroyed - nothing like writing a prediction after the event has happened.

3)Edom becomes a vassal state later on. This too dates this material.

4)The Kenites will be carried away by Ashur (Assyrians) - since they lived in the area of Israel, perhaps this helps to date the writing after it happened as well.

4)Ships will come to the coast of Chittim affecting Ashur and Eber perishing forever - Who perished from the visit/attack of the ships? Those on the ships? Or Assyria? Not Assyria.

The way this is written suggests it was from a time after the Assyrians invade Israel or there abouts. Assyria actually was eventually finally dominated by their competitor Babylon and no naval invasion led to its demise.

1.  ok, still happened, no matter which you pick

2.  you have the exact dates for the writing and happening? 

Then again, be it that the Hebrew has states of time not writable in English, how do you know they weren't talking about it happening or have happened?  I can look into this more.

1-Which  happened to validate this statement? Josiah? Nope. Hezekiah? Nope. Bar Kosiba? Nope. Jesus? Nope. None of them instituted the prophecy as described.

2-No I don't have the exact date of any of the writing in the OT. How about 165 BCE for a date which is likely the oldest copy of any of it? If any manuscripts existed prior to that one can argue you can't ever determine at what point in time they were written as no copy exists any older. Considered from that view all of the OT can be said to have been written 100s and 100s of years after which is a possibility in addition to others we have discussed.

 

 

____________________________________________________________
"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 7 - The Invasion

Moses dies on Mt Nebo after he sees the Promised Land. He was 120 years old.

Joshua is given charge over the Israelites and is told by the god that from the Euphrates River to the coast of Lebanon all will be their land. His first expedition is to send spies into Jericho. They hid in a hooker's house from the King's men. She told the spies she had heard of their tale how they escaped Egypt and blah..blah... So the next day when the men carrying the ark enter the water of the Jordan river it is dried up or stopped thus allowing the horde to pass over without getting their feet wet, wet swords and armor might rust as they were made of iron supposedly and perhaps still of bronze (no stainless steel as of yet).
 
Josh 4 claims 40,000 prepared for battle against Jericho. In Josh 5 Josh meets the captain of the Lord's host who told him he was on holy ground. In the meantime with the horde outside its city Jericho barricaded itself with no one coming or going. The horde of Joshua sent a group around the outside city walls once a day for 6 days. On the 7th day they went around it 7 times and the trumpets blew and all the people shouted, the walls of Jericho fell down. They took the city and killed all living in it, people, cattle, and sheep. The only survivors were the hooker and her family. Of course they kept the gold, silver, brass and iron that were seized as booty. (It's always about cash in the end with religion isn't it?)

Comments -

However - What walls? Sorry, Jericho did not have any walls at the time nor was it even occupied in the 13th century at the alleged time of the horde's invasion. Cities in Canaan at this time were not fortified as it was an Egyptian province which is thoroughly attested by the Armana Letters. These letters are from cities and towns throughout the area demonstrating they were vassals or provinces of Egypt. Walls and fortifications were not required as Egypt would march in and settle any issue. This is adequately shown for the time period from Sety I to Ramses III (1294 to 1153) and even up to Ramses VI because Megiddo was still under the control of Egypt.

sometimes, the word translated "walls" literally is refering to the city boarder and doesn't necessarily mean there are physical walls around.  In this case, it could be refering to baracades (as would an army have preparing for battle)  What Hebrew word is in question here?  I had to go all the way to Joshua Ch. 6 before I found the word wall in reference to Jericho.  No other part did I see any reference to a physical wall, which further confirms to me that what is being refered to is not a visible physical wall.  Other words in reference to Jericho mentioned "boarder".

What's the difference as you have already agreed the Joshua account is unsupportable?

 

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:


So, with Egypt in control why would they allow a horde of escaped slaves to over run their rich territory? They didn't, because the entire invasion by Josh and his imaginary army never happened.

i did acknowlege that archeologically, Joshua's rendition of what happened doesn't quite add up.

Yes you did.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:


And if that isn't enough for you to discredit this mythical tall tale then consider what archeology of these cities has actually found. No walls. They were small population centers with a central building and little more. People lived generally in the country side.

again, you hit one bump in the road... the wall thing being translational and you are ready to jump on the whole Bible and God being false.  Or are you referring to this as a true story with major exaggerations.  This I will agree with here.  i believe it was the last post, I hadn't read this post yet and I commented on how Joshua doesn't coenside with facts.  It is however the first book that really doesn't that we've come across in our runthrough yet. 

Some issues with this book is the fact that it is theorized to have been written 800 years after the actual events, which would also conclude that Joshua could not possibly be the author.  There are theories that Samuel had some part in compiling the details of this book, but it is ultimately unknown here.  A fun story to read, tall tale indeed, that touches on factual happenings.

Actually Joshua isn't the first book that doesn't correspond to the facts we have today none of them have so far.

Summary of some of the major bumps in the road, not including the potholes.

Genesis - Creation account (evolution or Sumerian are alternatives) - strike one; fall of man-(Sumerian alternative or Jewish belief or explanation by ignorant ancients) - strike two. Sons of god cohabiting with daughters of man - strike three-1 out; world wide flood-(at best local floods from weather related issues as in a hurricane) - strike one; Tower of Babel-(unsupported ignorant claim on language development & explanation for Ziggurants) - strike two; Abraham in general & all associated tales (uncorroborated stories many conflicting & using place names of 1000 years or more in the future) - strike three - 2 outs; Sodom & Gomorrah-Lot's wife= salt-(explanation probably for Dead Sea by the ancients)-strike one; Joseph & tales -(again uncorroborated)-strike two; Hebrews enslaved in Egypt-strike 3, 3 outs.

Exodus - Moses as real-strike 1; The Exodus at all-strike 2; 40 years of wandering-strike 3-1 more out; thousands of slaves invading Canaan-strike 1;

Joshua - Jericho-strike 2; Ai-strike 3-3 more  outs; Wiping out Canaanites-strike 1; going around Edom-strike 2; Hazor & Jablin (conflicting stories & conflicts with archeology)-strike 3.

These are just the major points and don't go into the minor fantastic claims and issues prevalent in the books.

Joshua clearly is not my only problem with the stories in the OT it's a continuation of the problems.

Why do you not consider the Sumerian/Akkadian/Assyrian/Babylonian stories to be meritorious in the same way as you do these? They too have fantastic claims and magic. They too claim all sorts of unsupportable stories. And they are far older in the copies we have in our possession.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:



If the invasion of non-occupied Jericho wasn't enough how about we invade and kill off all the inhabitants of the ruins of the city of Ai next! Josh 7 has the account of the alleged destruction of Ai. So Ai is reconnoitered and only 3000 are sent to invade. But they have been shown to be ruins dating to over 1000 years before in the late 3rd millennium, so in effect this story is about the horde invading a pile of rocks or a ghost town. 

Keep in mind whoever wrote the book is referencing to whatever is in that location during their lifetime and not necessarily the actual name in the story.  The attack could have happened in any general 100 mile radius of the location as well be it that the book was written so much later and whoever wrote it was probably a normal person with minimal historical reference.  Though there's no evidence of anything existing before Ai, there's nothing to suggest it was just a pile of rocks as well. 

It's hard to take a book that has a history that we can see as not being anywhere near its actual happenings and assume that what is being said is evidence of discrediting the Bible.  My guess is the author took what they knew from stories handed down and put it together to try to paint as accurate of a picture as they could from what they knew by word of mouth and the minimal historical writing that they may or may not have had access to.  Hardly a basis for conclusion here.

Joshua may well have been written from stories and legends that had been handed down which means it is exactly that no more. I understand that as in the case of Ai he may have known of the stories and decided this was the place that was destroyed in the story. He may have seen Jericho in his time period with walls and constructed the story from what he saw and put together from several story tellers to document it for posterity. That however does not make any of it true or real.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:


Continuing –

Joshua 9 details the story how the Gibeonites became woodcutters and water carriers in a creative piece of literature. No evidence this story has basis. Supposedly they came to the Israelite camp pretending to live far away. A treaty was made and oaths were sworn to the God. Shortly thereafter Joshua and the leaders find out they live in Gibeon, Kephirah, Beeroth, and Kiriath Jearim. “Josh 9: 26 So Joshua saved them from the Israelites, and they did not kill them. 27 That day he made the Gibeonites woodcutters and water carriers for the community and for the altar of the LORD at the place the LORD would choose. And that is what they are to this day.”

In this from Aesop’s fables? It sure sounds like one.

could have been based on the same historical information that they had at the time....  Keep in mind this book is not unique in any aspect to any other documents from any other group such as Merneptah Stele, the Mesha Stone, various Assyrian and Babylonian king annals as well as a variety of Hittite documents other than the fact that it has been well preserved for thousands of years.  It's how most of these types of documentations were written.  nothing ever said they were perfectly historically accurate.

No I realize they aren't unique, there are Greek Stories and myths that explain why people and things are the way they are at the time they were written as well. They aren't true either in general. I have read and investigated many of the steles and historical documents you mention and understand they were using them for boasting and propaganda in all likelihood.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:


Josh 10 has the tale how Gibeon is attacked by 5 kings of the Amorites and God intervenes by killing a large number of them with very large hailstones. He even insures the horde has sufficient time to do their own killing by causing the Sun and Moon to stand still. The kings that sent troops to be exterminated were Adonizedec king of Jerusalem, Hoham king of Hebron, Piram king of Jarmuth, Japhia king of Lachish, and Debir king of Eglon. The 5 kings fled from the battle and hid in a cave at Makkedah. Joshua had the cave sealed until the end of the battle. After the battle he had them removed from the cave and slew them and hung them on a tree until evening.

The Israelites then took Makkedah and slew all of the population as they had at Jericho, Josh 10:28. They went on to Libnah and killed all there as well. Next came Lachish which was the same with none surviving. The king of Gezar came to aid Lachish and all of his army was exterminated. On to Eglon the genocidal killers went and killed all of their inhabitants as well. They went on to Debir and killed all there too in Josh 10:38 and took the king and smote them all.

Comments –

Did the Chinese report there was an extremely long day sometime in the 12th or 13th century? No. After Thera was exploded by volcanic action the Chinese wrote how there were no crops and how summers were very short in the 16th century. One would think if the Earth stopped its rotation other cultures would have noticed.

There are other cultures in the world that have the extra long day story.  I think some native American tribes hold onto that as well. 

Notice there is a reference to another book right after that claim.  Again, there's a theory that this book was written hundreds of years after its actual occurances.  With this in mind, it's very possible they took what they read in other historical writings and compiled this book.  They obviously viewed the book of Jashar as an accurate historical document.  I think to better analyze this claim, we'd need to look into that book a little more.

Good luck with reading The Book of Jasher as no copy is known to exist see - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Book_of_Jasher_%28Biblical_references%29

My point was the Assyrians and Babylonians were studious of astronomy and they kept excellent records as did the Chinese it is clearly not helpful in supporting an activity that goes against what we understand of physics and our solar system. If the American Indians had such an oral tradition please supply such information as to which tribes and exactly what their understanding of it meant.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Did the Assyrians or Babylonians take notice since they specialized in astronomy? Nope. More embellishment methinks!

see reference in Bible. Jsh.  10:13

Are you suggesting this was a localized event only in the valley of Ajalon and no where else on the planet Earth?

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

So what would exactly happen if the Earth suddenly stopped its rotation? Much G forces perhaps causing world-wide destruction, the Earth would perhaps disintegrate? Don't know, but just think about the sudden stopping of the Earth rotating at 1040 MPH at the Equator! Probably not a pretty sight. Stuff would fly, smash, and be tossed. Kind of like when you stop suddenly in your car and everything sitting on your seat flies into the dash. The Sun or  to be correct the Earth stopping its rotation is bullshit as Penn & Teller would say.

logically it is.  Though taking into consideration for a moment that God is the true creator of all things, I'm sure if he were to do it, he'd have taken all into consideration, be it that he created it all including the scientific laws we now adhere to if he were to take such drastic measures. 

from the information we have, it's logical to conclude embelishment to emphasize a point...  I'll have more information on this after checking with my resources.

Perhaps a spaceship with very bright lights parked over the valley of Ajilon and it appeared to be the Sun. Other than that it has to be magic and/or fictional embellishment. The spaceship could have God inside if you want or it can be from the future, the past, another part of the Universe come to help the Hebrews kill their enemies. Or they just wanted to watch all the bloodshed and were betting on who'd win and so made in effect an illuminated stadium so the battle could continue.

You can admit you attribute this impossibility to an act of the god if you want.

 

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:


And while this was going on, the Hittite Empire in the north and Egypt which administered the province Josh was devastating did nothing.

I still know of great land deals in Florida, how about condos?

Josh 12 is a summary of all the kings they slew.

Josh 13 - 19 is the description of allocation to the tribes.

Josh 20 states the refuge cities.

Josh dies at 110 at Shecham in Josh 24.

The Judges will be the next story we will investigate and we get to go over the story of the  Jewish version of Herakles aka Hercules.

sounds good.  i will be looking futher into some aspects of this post and will try to reply to them later.  sorry for the delay on this one.  With your posts, I tend to take a lot more time in replying so as to make sure I'm not just making a blind assumption with my conclusions.  Therefore, instead of giving you a half-assed response to a well researched post on your part, i want to make sure I can really sit down and look into it.  Thanks for your patience. 

 I appreciate the consideration you give to the subject. I will be returning to Florida in about 2 weeks and will have some gaps in my attention to the forum when I do.

 

 

 

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

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


caposkia
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pauljohntheskeptic

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Comments -

But wait - there was no Kingdom of Edom at the time. Edom has been shown to not have reached this level of sophistication until the 7th century BCE under Assyria. During the 13th century and clearly the 15th it was no more than sparsely settled with nomadic pastoral population. Archaeologists have expended much effort in searching the area of Edom and the result is apparently the 1st settlers were miners in Egypt's copper mines in Timna. Cemeteries were found and radio carbon dating is from the 9th and 10th centuries BCE. Nothing earlier has been found. Claims by Rames III that he razed their tents, seized their sheep, cattle and carried them away as captives. Doesn't sound like more than nomads however. So we have the horde going around the Kingdom of Edom which did not exist in the 13th or 15th centuries. Kind of discredits just a little more of the Invasion by Josh.

caposkia wrote:

could it be more exaggerated or misunderstood dates as mentioned in earlier texts?

Don't think it is related to misunderstood dates unless of course the entire Joshua adventure was written around the time of Ezra then of course since Edom existed and had for quite a while what's the difference of 300 or 400 hundred years in the story to the writer? He was trying to make his case how the god supported the Israelite takeover in Canaan to show basis for their claims to perhaps the Persians?

I do believe it's likely that the story of Joshua was written around the time of Ezra.  It is said that the story's authorship took place upwards of 800 or so years after its claimed happenings.  This would fit with the dates you provided previously.

caposkia wrote:
 

Only on exact dates and numbers.  Location name may be different due to lack of historical knowlege of the writer, but we can't at this point assume it's so exaggerated that doesn't fit history.  Everything so far fits somewhere with given light to the numerical exaggerations.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Again perspective has a lot to do with acceptance. If the Joshua account is unsupportable as we have both agreed and Canaanites exist far into the future it pretty much discredits all of it wouldn't it?

The issue with your conclusion is I'm trying to keep perspective out of it.  As I said, though I may be bias to my point of view as you are to yours.  In this forum, I'm trying to keep an open mind which would not allow me to let perspective decide my acceptance. 

We agreed that Joshua's perspective is most likely mistaken.  It doesn't discredit the story necessarily, just the perspective given.   We can't just assume because one person got it wrong that the whole situation is false.  Mistaken perspectives happen all the time.  We know that it didn't happen the wayJoshua describes it.  We can't read into it any further than that without other supporting evidence. 

It's ok to lie in limbo about factual happenings when concrete evidence is unknown.  To pick a side would be only perspecive based acceptance. 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

1-Which  happened to validate this statement? Josiah? Nope. Hezekiah? Nope. Bar Kosiba? Nope. Jesus? Nope. None of them instituted the prophecy as described.

be it that we're talking about a story that was written 800 years after all the supposed happenings, is it possible that the writer just assumed prophesy?  This is why i presented the translational time issues.  It's likely that the report they were getting was that it happened and was recorded... there bias could have assumed the source prophesied it.  In this case, it really could have been prophesy, and then again, it might not have been.  We can't take either side because there's nothing else to support it.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

2-No I don't have the exact date of any of the writing in the OT. How about 165 BCE for a date which is likely the oldest copy of any of it? If any manuscripts existed prior to that one can argue you can't ever determine at what point in time they were written as no copy exists any older. Considered from that view all of the OT can be said to have been written 100s and 100s of years after which is a possibility in addition to others we have discussed.

 

Let's back up for a second.  i think you're jumping the gun here.  Do you really think all the stated dates of authorship are just guesses based on the latest physical peice we have?  I thought you were a historian.

Oldest copy is irrelevent to the date of the texts.   The dates of the texts take into consideration beyond the carbon dating and actual physical peice;  language, reference, culture, location, names (people and places) style (writing and wording) among other things.. i can't remember them all.    Most of the time, the peices of the oldest copies are so fragmented, it's difficult to tell.  The Dead Sea Scrollls brought to light a lot of discrepencies previously assumed by the churches and later corrected. 

The way they can tell if a text was written far after its happenings or not are the locational errors and contextual issues that apply to a person writing it much further down the road rather than right there during that time.  I of course am not thoroughly versed in such research so I dont' know the full detail, but i do know it's quite a process to understand and the actual dating of any of the books of the Bible are not just pulled out of a hat.  To assume that would be ignorant at best. 


 


caposkia
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caposkia wrote:sometimes,

caposkia wrote:

sometimes, the word translated "walls" literally is refering to the city boarder and doesn't necessarily mean there are physical walls around.  In this case, it could be refering to baracades (as would an army have preparing for battle)  What Hebrew word is in question here?  I had to go all the way to Joshua Ch. 6 before I found the word wall in reference to Jericho.  No other part did I see any reference to a physical wall, which further confirms to me that what is being refered to is not a visible physical wall.  Other words in reference to Jericho mentioned "boarder".

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

What's the difference as you have already agreed the Joshua account is unsupportable?

You asked "what walls?".  I answered.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:


Actually Joshua isn't the first book that doesn't correspond to the facts we have today none of them have so far.

say wha?  Unless i missed something before, Joshua is the first book that doesn't 'correspond to the facts we have today'.  

There may have been a lack of evidence to suggest "proof" for the other books, but i do remember offering you suggested scientific and geological explanations for a lot of the happenings in Genesis and Exodus.  We went through them and the migrations, which though smaller than claimed, still are congruent with historical fact.  There was nothing you presented that suggested any of it could not have happened on a smaller scale.  What evidence are you basing your conclusion on? 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Summary of some of the major bumps in the road, not including the potholes.

Genesis - Creation account (evolution or Sumerian are alternatives) - strike one;

I'll respond to this with factual non-bias statements.  This meaning I will only conclude based on the evidence that is there and not on my own understanding of what I think i want to be true:

alternative ideas count as a strike?  Better discount all of theoretical science while you're at it then.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

fall of man-(Sumerian alternative or Jewish belief or explanation by ignorant ancients) - strike two.

Sure, ok, no evidence of any of it.  Darn it, Adam should have written an autobiography.  Why didn't he do that?

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Sons of god cohabiting with daughters of man - strike three-1 out

You have no belief in God, so I'll give you that.  Which leads to... well, strike 1 really with no rational support for the other 2. 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

world wide flood-(at best local floods from weather related issues as in a hurricane) - strike one

translational issues from such an old story and perspective bias don't discredit its happenings.  Strike one, 0 outs.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

; Tower of Babel-(unsupported ignorant claim on language development & explanation for Ziggurants) - strike two;

A big question from new believers has been 'why separate us with languages, isn't God about unity?'  the story comes then about why and how..  Tower of Babel.  Again, you don't believe in a god, but for the sake of the Bible, if God was real, it's a legitimate reasoning to the language barrier and phsychologically, it would have had the same results that we see today.   For an ignorant story writer, that's quite an intelligent approach to the reasoning.   I'll give you strike 2 anyway... 0 outs.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Abraham in general & all associated tales (uncorroborated stories many conflicting & using place names of 1000 years or more in the future) - strike three - 2 outs

uh... we I thought established the reasoning behind the places and names not fitting with the time.  Writers bias knowing that what was written happened much later than the happenings written about.  I will remind you that when you take away the names of the places, but kept the same geographical location, it makes sense historically.  It's like saying; 'right up where that church is, there was a great battle.'  Are you assuming there was a massive bar fight in the church?  Strike 2, 0 outs.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

; Sodom & Gomorrah-Lot's wife= salt-(explanation probably for Dead Sea by the ancients)-strike one

I might not have scientifically explained this one.  The story claims she just turned around and *poof* salt... it is logically theorized that she didn't just "turn around" as in standing in that spot, but actually went back to get something.  When the damage was surveyed later she was a pillar of salt.  it has been recorded in science that objects including people trapped in a volcanic ash storm can result in "pillars of salt" as observed and be preserved in that state.  Strike 2, 0 outs.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Joseph & tales -(again uncorroborated)-strike two

same as before, only strike 2, 0 outs.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:
 

Hebrews enslaved in Egypt-strike 3, 3 outs.

We went through that as well and concluded it makes sense.  We even went through why it might not have been recorded.  Poor excuse for a strike on either side.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Exodus - Moses as real-strike 1

how so?  Evidence something else happened instead?

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:
 

The Exodus at all-strike 2

I believe i eluded to scientific explanations of Exodus type happenigns... not all of them, but the ones geologically based.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:
 

40 years of wandering-strike 3-1 more out

sure, but 40 years migrating... plausible; strike 2, 0 outs still.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:
 

thousands of slaves invading Canaan-strike 1

sure, but 100's of slaves rolling through, pillaging as they go, plausible... still strike 2, 0 outs.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Joshua - Jericho-strike 2; Ai-strike 3-3 more  outs; Wiping out Canaanites-strike 1; going around Edom-strike 2; Hazor & Jablin (conflicting stories & conflicts with archeology)-strike 3.

So I'll give you Joshua due to the lack of support archeologically... that would lead to... 1 out.. and that's with me giving you 2 freebies for not believing in a meta-physical God.  Seems you forgot some of the conversations we've already had here? 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

These are just the major points and don't go into the minor fantastic claims and issues prevalent in the books.

Joshua clearly is not my only problem with the stories in the OT it's a continuation of the problems.

See, I can give it to you that you dont' believe in God, but to conclude as you have with plausible ideas that coenside with geology and science seems illogical to me.  Remember I'm trying to keep bias out of this, so correct me if I'm wrong that it's illogical to conclude as you have based on plausible concepts.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Why do you not consider the Sumerian/Akkadian/Assyrian/Babylonian stories to be meritorious in the same way as you do these? They too have fantastic claims and magic. They too claim all sorts of unsupportable stories. And they are far older in the copies we have in our possession.

I never claimed anything about them.  They very well could hold reasonable basis.  I would have to read through them thoroughly and alalyze them as we have here, which I haven't done in order to conclude either way. 

Considering for a moment a meta-physical existance and the spiritual battles that are said to be happening in that realm, just because there is a claim that goes against Biblical belief (not in reference to historical or scientific congruency) doesn't mean that it's untrue or didn't happen.  It could just be the opposing side's claims or point of view or actual beliefs of that opposing side. 

It's one thing to analyze the Bible based on Historical, geographical and scientific fact, but it's a whole other thing when you focus on meta-physcial interference and try to claim one side to be false as you have with the tower of Bable among others.  Just like duct tape, there is a light side and a dark side with nothing in between.  If they're not for God, they're against Him... no exceptions.  There's no room for fence sitters.  

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Joshua may well have been written from stories and legends that had been handed down which means it is exactly that no more. I understand that as in the case of Ai he may have known of the stories and decided this was the place that was destroyed in the story. He may have seen Jericho in his time period with walls and constructed the story from what he saw and put together from several story tellers to document it for posterity. That however does not make any of it true or real.

it doesn't make it automatically false too.  The question now be it that there are many stories including all of those that used to be a part of the Bible called the Apocripha  that are not a part of it now.  The question we'd need to tackle now is why is it that Joshua, being as is, still a part of the Bible?  Why were the books of the Apocripha originally a part and not now?  There is a reason why the scholars felt this was still factual enough to include as support for the OT.    Thoughts?

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:


No I realize they aren't unique, there are Greek Stories and myths that explain why people and things are the way they are at the time they were written as well. They aren't true either in general. I have read and investigated many of the steles and historical documents you mention and understand they were using them for boasting and propaganda in all likelihood.

agreed... did that make them completely untrue then?.. or just exaggerated.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:


Good luck with reading The Book of Jasher as no copy is known to exist see - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Book_of_Jasher_%28Biblical_references%29

Right, which then makes it ignorant of us to automatically assume anything about the claim.  Until we can analyze a referenced source for the claim, how could we possibly assume anything about it?  It's quite obvious be it that the author felt it necessary to reference, that they didn't observe it themselves and were only going by what they read. 

Logically, i would agree that the Earth didn't stop turning or that the sun moved in such a way to make it day twice in a row.  There are other Astrological possibilities that I haven't researched as well for this explanation such as supernova's or a wolf's moon that could have been drastically exaggerated to be shedding light (as if the sun stood still).. 

Your link brings to light another good point, the fact that there is known to be a numerous amount of missing books of the OT, that might shed more light if ever found on many of the unknowns that are there now.  As I've said, lack of evidence in no way suggests that it didn't happen.  Understanding how the book was written, it's very possible, the way it is explained in the sources the author was using, there is no other explanation for such a success in their understanding.  We could go on all day with assumptions, but there is obviously missing peices to the puzzle.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

 

My point was the Assyrians and Babylonians were studious of astronomy and they kept excellent records as did the Chinese it is clearly not helpful in supporting an activity that goes against what we understand of physics and our solar system. If the American Indians had such an oral tradition please supply such information as to which tribes and exactly what their understanding of it meant.

Some references:

I'm not sure of a source here, but there's said to be a prophet named  Youshe' Bin Noon who was traveling during that time and claimed he was supposed to reach his destination at sunset but was running behind.  He claimed the sun stayed for a few hours so that he'd have daylight... I'm not sure where that's from though.

It is reported by historians that records of the Chinese during the reign of Emperor Yeo, who lived at the same time as Joshua, report "a long day." Also, Heroditus, a Greek historian, wrote that an account of "a long day" appears in records of Egyptian priests. Others cite records of Mexicans of the sun standing still for an entire day in a year denoted as "Seven Rabits," which is understood to be the same year in which Joshua defeated the Philistines and conquered Palestine.

It's possible that i was told about the Native American tribes and it not being true, but i'm pretty sure there was at least one if not a few... I can't seem to find that now, but there's others beyond them as presented above.   Their understandings were from what I remember that there was a double day.  They used to keep track of day and night on makeshift calenders.  I'm sure the evidence is long gone, but supposedly there was  one such calender as told that had special markings for day and special markigns for night.  I don't remember, i think it was a double night on their calender.  This would make sense as far as sun position for Joshua's sake. 

 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Are you suggesting this was a localized event only in the valley of Ajalon and no where else on the planet Earth?

I think it's pretty clear that I'm not.  Unlike the flood idea being localized.  This is one claim that had to be noticed elsewhere if it actually happened.

though the native americans do have a flood story too, though there's tells of a man who climbed way high in a tree and stayed there for 40 days until the flood waters subsided.   Ironic to be the same timeframe and natural happening.

 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Perhaps a spaceship with very bright lights parked over the valley of Ajilon and it appeared to be the Sun. Other than that it has to be magic and/or fictional embellishment. The spaceship could have God inside if you want or it can be from the future, the past, another part of the Universe come to help the Hebrews kill their enemies. Or they just wanted to watch all the bloodshed and were betting on who'd win and so made in effect an illuminated stadium so the battle could continue.

maybe... or could it be without your wild imagination and us Christians makign up a story that there's a simple logical explanation as to the happening or how it got so embellished as to be claiming a double day.  Be it that the evidence for this particular book is minimal, I'm leaning toward embelishment, however, it is odd that there are other claims as referenced above about the sun standing still for a day.  All are completely unrelated to scripture, especially the Chineese be it that they were pretty careful about their documentations.

 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

You can admit you attribute this impossibility to an act of the god if you want.

I could, but it's not going to benifit the conversation.  Your claims against an act of God when claimed in the Bible are just as substantial to the conversation.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:


 I appreciate the consideration you give to the subject. I will be returning to Florida in about 2 weeks and will have some gaps in my attention to the forum when I do.

Of course.  I appreciate you taking the time to go through the Bible with me.  I enjoy this.  Thanks for the heads up.

 


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caposkia wrote:I do believe

caposkia wrote:

I do believe it's likely that the story of Joshua was written around the time of Ezra.  It is said that the story's authorship took place upwards of 800 or so years after its claimed happenings.  This would fit with the dates you provided previously.

I would agree that Ezra is the likely author, editor, revisionist or responsible party for the content that has survived for much of the OT based on Ezra 7:6 & 10, Nehemiah 8:1-12, See Richard Friedman, "Who Wrote the Bible", also see these links:

http://jewishatheist.blogspot.com/2006/01/who-wrote-bible.html

http://encyclopedia.jrank.org/EUD_FAT/EZRA_from_a_Hebrew_word_meaning.html

In the book of 2 Esdras chapter 14 Ezra describes his reconstruction of the scriptures under the influence or inspiration of God, see:

http://www.biblicalproportions.com/modules/ol_bible/King_James_Bible/2Esdras/14/

If there is any truth to this at all it perhaps indicates why the OT is filled with issues and contradictions, not to mention problems with names, dates and places.

See also the following for more on 2 Esdras:

http://www.earlyjewishwritings.com/2esdras.html

 

caposkia wrote:
 

The issue with your conclusion is I'm trying to keep perspective out of it.  As I said, though I may be bias to my point of view as you are to yours.  In this forum, I'm trying to keep an open mind which would not allow me to let perspective decide my acceptance. 

We agreed that Joshua's perspective is most likely mistaken.  It doesn't discredit the story necessarily, just the perspective given.   We can't just assume because one person got it wrong that the whole situation is false.  Mistaken perspectives happen all the time.  We know that it didn't happen the wayJoshua describes it.  We can't read into it any further than that without other supporting evidence. 

It's ok to lie in limbo about factual happenings when concrete evidence is unknown.  To pick a side would be only perspecive based acceptance.

Each piece of perspective issues, unsupportable claims, 1 person accounts, and unrealistic events (magic or miracles) is another brick in the wall or a nail in the coffin discrediting the likelihood of the Jewish belief being based in the real world. This creates skepticism and doubt but not the real story. Doubt is all I need to say, what I was taught is not true. What is? Not what I was taught.

caposkia wrote:
 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

1-Which  happened to validate this statement? Josiah? Nope. Hezekiah? Nope. Bar Kosiba? Nope. Jesus? Nope. None of them instituted the prophecy as described.

be it that we're talking about a story that was written 800 years after all the supposed happenings, is it possible that the writer just assumed prophesy?  This is why i presented the translational time issues.  It's likely that the report they were getting was that it happened and was recorded... there bias could have assumed the source prophesied it.  In this case, it really could have been prophesy, and then again, it might not have been.  We can't take either side because there's nothing else to support it.

Could be he did assume it was prophecy but in light of my comments RE: Ezra you decide your own view, I have already decided what I have said, what I was taught as a Christian is not true nor does it have evidence for basis in reality.

caposkia wrote:
 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

2-No I don't have the exact date of any of the writing in the OT. How about 165 BCE for a date which is likely the oldest copy of any of it? If any manuscripts existed prior to that one can argue you can't ever determine at what point in time they were written as no copy exists any older. Considered from that view all of the OT can be said to have been written 100s and 100s of years after which is a possibility in addition to others we have discussed.

 

Let's back up for a second.  i think you're jumping the gun here.  Do you really think all the stated dates of authorship are just guesses based on the latest physical peice we have?  I thought you were a historian.

Oldest copy is irrelevent to the date of the texts.   The dates of the texts take into consideration beyond the carbon dating and actual physical peice;  language, reference, culture, location, names (people and places) style (writing and wording) among other things.. i can't remember them all.    Most of the time, the peices of the oldest copies are so fragmented, it's difficult to tell.  The Dead Sea Scrollls brought to light a lot of discrepencies previously assumed by the churches and later corrected. 

The way they can tell if a text was written far after its happenings or not are the locational errors and contextual issues that apply to a person writing it much further down the road rather than right there during that time.  I of course am not thoroughly versed in such research so I dont' know the full detail, but i do know it's quite a process to understand and the actual dating of any of the books of the Bible are not just pulled out of a hat.  To assume that would be ignorant at best. 


 

Why I mentioned the 165 BCE date was to show there are other theories out there, not that I agree with them. Another poster who was anti-Semitic takes the view the Jewish religion was made up sometime in the 2nd century BCE. I never saw this as logical at all, though what the real story actually is has never been shown. All we really know is in ancient times there were 2 kingdoms in Palestine, one called Judah destroyed by the Babylonians and one called Israel, destroyed by the Assyrians. As to what either one actually had for major religious beliefs we have little outside the OT for evidence. As I have mentioned before small asherah statues have been found all over Judea dating to the times when Yahweh beliefs are claimed to be the religion of the inhabitants. Belief in Asherah as the Queen of Heaven prevails until nearly the time of Jesus.

I am aware of the way to date material such as we are discussing and I understand the methods employed. As I mentioned earlier in this post, credibility to rewriting the OT by Ezra is a viable possibility thus explaining much of the misinformation, wrong names, and errors we have discussed. That of course puts it all on Ezra for editing together or reconstructing it as 2 Esdras says. So if Ezra is the origin of the current scriptures it all relies on whether one accepts he was inspired by God or just created his view of the past.

 

 

____________________________________________________________
"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:


Actually Joshua isn't the first book that doesn't correspond to the facts we have today none of them have so far.

say wha?  Unless i missed something before, Joshua is the first book that doesn't 'correspond to the facts we have today'.  

There may have been a lack of evidence to suggest "proof" for the other books, but i do remember offering you suggested scientific and geological explanations for a lot of the happenings in Genesis and Exodus.  We went through them and the migrations, which though smaller than claimed, still are congruent with historical fact.  There was nothing you presented that suggested any of it could not have happened on a smaller scale.  What evidence are you basing your conclusion on?

A lack of evidence means there is not proof. A small migration of escapees from Egypt could have occurred. This does not mean that it did so occur. Many things are possible to occur but that does not mean they happen. It is possible Egyptians sailed all the way to Australia in ancient times. A false claim was made a few years ago regarding such and was discredited, yet it was possible. Under the right conditions an ancient ship of Carthage, Rome, Egypt, or Phoenicians could have made it to the New World. If so, they left no proof, but it was possible. When I agreed that a small band of escapees could have done some of the exploits mentioned in the OT it was under the scenario such as I indicate here. It could be, but it's surely not what was described as the claim is majorly exaggerated.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Summary of some of the major bumps in the road, not including the potholes.

Genesis - Creation account (evolution or Sumerian are alternatives) - strike one;

I'll respond to this with factual non-bias statements.  This meaning I will only conclude based on the evidence that is there and not on my own understanding of what I think i want to be true:

alternative ideas count as a strike?  Better discount all of theoretical science while you're at it then.

I was watching a baseball game when I wrote this response.

 

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

fall of man-(Sumerian alternative or Jewish belief or explanation by ignorant ancients) - strike two.

Sure, ok, no evidence of any of it.  Darn it, Adam should have written an autobiography.  Why didn't he do that?

He had a cheap pen made in China?

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Sons of god cohabiting with daughters of man - strike three-1 out

You have no belief in God, so I'll give you that.  Which leads to... well, strike 1 really with no rational support for the other 2.

See 1 Enoch, a really detailed account of Genesis 6, held to be scripture or relevant until later Church fathers dismissed it. Jude and Revelation both show influences from 1 Enoch. Many copies of 1 Enoch were included in the Dead Sea Scrolls. See:

http://www.jacksonsnyder.com/arc/2008/enoch.htm

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

world wide flood-(at best local floods from weather related issues as in a hurricane) - strike one

translational issues from such an old story and perspective bias don't discredit its happenings.  Strike one, 0 outs.

I still vote for the Sumerian Flood story as closer to what may have occurred in ancient Mesopotamia, see Epic of Gilgamesh not including the gods of course.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

; Tower of Babel-(unsupported ignorant claim on language development & explanation for Ziggurants) - strike two;

A big question from new believers has been 'why separate us with languages, isn't God about unity?'  the story comes then about why and how..  Tower of Babel.  Again, you don't believe in a god, but for the sake of the Bible, if God was real, it's a legitimate reasoning to the language barrier and phsychologically, it would have had the same results that we see today.   For an ignorant story writer, that's quite an intelligent approach to the reasoning.   I'll give you strike 2 anyway... 0 outs.

If this story had any basis the gods would have come back to destroy us all for our ventures into space not to mention our skyscrapers, or was that what happened to WTC?

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Abraham in general & all associated tales (uncorroborated stories many conflicting & using place names of 1000 years or more in the future) - strike three - 2 outs

uh... we I thought established the reasoning behind the places and names not fitting with the time.  Writers bias knowing that what was written happened much later than the happenings written about.  I will remind you that when you take away the names of the places, but kept the same geographical location, it makes sense historically.  It's like saying; 'right up where that church is, there was a great battle.'  Are you assuming there was a massive bar fight in the church?  Strike 2, 0 outs.

Outside of the OT, Abraham has no basis in reality other than in the Qu'ran which was clearly influenced by Jewish & Christian beliefs.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

; Sodom & Gomorrah-Lot's wife= salt-(explanation probably for Dead Sea by the ancients)-strike one

I might not have scientifically explained this one.  The story claims she just turned around and *poof* salt... it is logically theorized that she didn't just "turn around" as in standing in that spot, but actually went back to get something.  When the damage was surveyed later she was a pillar of salt.  it has been recorded in science that objects including people trapped in a volcanic ash storm can result in "pillars of salt" as observed and be preserved in that state.  Strike 2, 0 outs.

One or the other of these cities (Gomorrah I think) is mentioned in an ancient cuneiform tablet regarding trade or in effect a bill of lading found in Syria in Akkadian dating to about 2200 BCE. Other than that, no documentation at all. As much of the Mid-East was in the landing path of debris from Thera, all the way to the Black Sea actually, chunks of something could have landed on it giving rise to this story. This is of course conjecture. Also a small comet, piece of one as landed in Russia in the early 20th century. Since space monitoring was 3500 years away no proof of what happened.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Joseph & tales -(again uncorroborated)-strike two

same as before, only strike 2, 0 outs.

Mentioning a name in a book attributed to the ancients but likely to have been rewritten or reconstructed by Ezra does not make Joseph a person in the real world. If other evidence is ever found that corroborates it happened it can upgrade, for now he is an unsubstantiated character that may not be real.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:
 

Hebrews enslaved in Egypt-strike 3, 3 outs.

We went through that as well and concluded it makes sense.  We even went through why it might not have been recorded.  Poor excuse for a strike on either side.

Clearly Asiatics were enslaved, though millions are unsubstantiated as per OT claim.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Exodus - Moses as real-strike 1

how so?  Evidence something else happened instead?

Moses may be a character in a work of literature, a real person who was embellished, or part of a parable. No proof other than OT he ever lived.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:
 

The Exodus at all-strike 2

I believe i eluded to scientific explanations of Exodus type happenigns... not all of them, but the ones geologically based.

You made suggestions, though that doesn't support the embellishments or give it real basis. Proof is required in the way of something to document the escape, events, journey actually happened and were not a parable or literature. Small groups could have been basis for the story but that's conjecture.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:
 

40 years of wandering-strike 3-1 more out

sure, but 40 years migrating... plausible; strike 2, 0 outs still.

Nomadic tribes migrated for 100s or years, some still do. No proof these nomads were those who escaped slavery.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:
 

thousands of slaves invading Canaan-strike 1

sure, but 100's of slaves rolling through, pillaging as they go, plausible... still strike 2, 0 outs.

Not for long as Egypt or the Hittites would send in their soldiers to route them out. Documented actually in some cases, see Armana Letters.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Joshua - Jericho-strike 2; Ai-strike 3-3 more  outs; Wiping out Canaanites-strike 1; going around Edom-strike 2; Hazor & Jablin (conflicting stories & conflicts with archeology)-strike 3.

So I'll give you Joshua due to the lack of support archeologically... that would lead to... 1 out.. and that's with me giving you 2 freebies for not believing in a meta-physical God.  Seems you forgot some of the conversations we've already had here?

I haven't forgotten our conversations, just showing you the lack of actual proof. There is of course plenty of speculation and possibility, but possibilities don't mean they happened.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

These are just the major points and don't go into the minor fantastic claims and issues prevalent in the books.

Joshua clearly is not my only problem with the stories in the OT it's a continuation of the problems.

See, I can give it to you that you dont' believe in God, but to conclude as you have with plausible ideas that coenside with geology and science seems illogical to me.  Remember I'm trying to keep bias out of this, so correct me if I'm wrong that it's illogical to conclude as you have based on plausible concepts.

A skeptic requires something to validate, something I don't see here. Possibilities only mean it could be not that it was. As ancient man has been shown to lack much knowledge and attribute unknowns to gods I require proof with all such claims regardless of culture. Yahweh and Enki are both gods considered to be real by cultures to explain why things were the way they are observed. No proof either has basis in the real world nor which one.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Why do you not consider the Sumerian/Akkadian/Assyrian/Babylonian stories to be meritorious in the same way as you do these? They too have fantastic claims and magic. They too claim all sorts of unsupportable stories. And they are far older in the copies we have in our possession.

I never claimed anything about them.  They very well could hold reasonable basis.  I would have to read through them thoroughly and alalyze them as we have here, which I haven't done in order to conclude either way. 

Considering for a moment a meta-physical existance and the spiritual battles that are said to be happening in that realm, just because there is a claim that goes against Biblical belief (not in reference to historical or scientific congruency) doesn't mean that it's untrue or didn't happen.  It could just be the opposing side's claims or point of view or actual beliefs of that opposing side. 

It's one thing to analyze the Bible based on Historical, geographical and scientific fact, but it's a whole other thing when you focus on meta-physcial interference and try to claim one side to be false as you have with the tower of Bable among others.  Just like duct tape, there is a light side and a dark side with nothing in between.  If they're not for God, they're against Him... no exceptions.  There's no room for fence sitters. 

And it may well be that the ancient Akkadians had the true god and all else has been distorted. Read their stories and history is my point. Maybe their gods were misunderstood and are really the same as yours?

The tower of Babel is illogical for its explanation of language disparity and diversity. Have you tried talking to a teenager lately? Separation by generations, distance, and isolation cause complete distinct languages no god interference required.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Joshua may well have been written from stories and legends that had been handed down which means it is exactly that no more. I understand that as in the case of Ai he may have known of the stories and decided this was the place that was destroyed in the story. He may have seen Jericho in his time period with walls and constructed the story from what he saw and put together from several story tellers to document it for posterity. That however does not make any of it true or real.

it doesn't make it automatically false too.  The question now be it that there are many stories including all of those that used to be a part of the Bible called the Apocrypha  that are not a part of it now.  The question we'd need to tackle now is why is it that Joshua, being as is, still a part of the Bible?  Why were the books of the Apocrypha originally a part and not now?  There is a reason why the scholars felt this was still factual enough to include as support for the OT.    Thoughts?

As a relapsed Catholic I'm familiar with many of these books as they are still part of Canon. Others such as 2 Esdras and Enoch are not. I have studied them all including books titled the Books of Adam & Eve. Esdras causes doubt as to authenticity once more adding a claim of God inspiring Ezra. 1 Enoch presents an interesting view of God, angels and man. Protestants left out the Maccabees but Catholics still have it. Maybe the Jew hatred of Luther contributed to this. These books show much of Jewish belief and dedication to their God and at least the one miracle supposedly, celebrated as Hanukkah.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:


No I realize they aren't unique, there are Greek Stories and myths that explain why people and things are the way they are at the time they were written as well. They aren't true either in general. I have read and investigated many of the steles and historical documents you mention and understand they were using them for boasting and propaganda in all likelihood.

agreed... did that make them completely untrue then?.. or just exaggerated.

It means they are to be held in skepticism as to their claims. Parts of them establish for us what was known though some claims are clearly not true.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:


Good luck with reading The Book of Jasher as no copy is known to exist see - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Book_of_Jasher_%28Biblical_references%29

Right, which then makes it ignorant of us to automatically assume anything about the claim.  Until we can analyze a referenced source for the claim, how could we possibly assume anything about it?  It's quite obvious be it that the author felt it necessary to reference, that they didn't observe it themselves and were only going by what they read. 

Logically, i would agree that the Earth didn't stop turning or that the sun moved in such a way to make it day twice in a row.  There are other Astrological possibilities that I haven't researched as well for this explanation such as supernova's or a wolf's moon that could have been drastically exaggerated to be shedding light (as if the sun stood still).. 

Your link brings to light another good point, the fact that there is known to be a numerous amount of missing books of the OT, that might shed more light if ever found on many of the unknowns that are there now.  As I've said, lack of evidence in no way suggests that it didn't happen.  Understanding how the book was written, it's very possible, the way it is explained in the sources the author was using, there is no other explanation for such a success in their understanding.  We could go on all day with assumptions, but there is obviously missing peices to the puzzle.

Theories abound as to reality versus claims for many things and places. Troy, real but not really as described. Was Thera Atlantis? Were the Minoans the Atlanteans? If not where was it? The ancient Jews are clearly not the only ones with missing history. What occurred, when? Part of the fun and challenge is to research and consider possibilities. Will we ever really know?

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

 

My point was the Assyrians and Babylonians were studious of astronomy and they kept excellent records as did the Chinese it is clearly not helpful in supporting an activity that goes against what we understand of physics and our solar system. If the American Indians had such an oral tradition please supply such information as to which tribes and exactly what their understanding of it meant.

Some references:

I'm not sure of a source here, but there's said to be a prophet named  Youshe' Bin Noon who was traveling during that time and claimed he was supposed to reach his destination at sunset but was running behind.  He claimed the sun stayed for a few hours so that he'd have daylight... I'm not sure where that's from though.

It is reported by historians that records of the Chinese during the reign of Emperor Yeo, who lived at the same time as Joshua, report "a long day." Also, Heroditus, a Greek historian, wrote that an account of "a long day" appears in records of Egyptian priests. Others cite records of Mexicans of the sun standing still for an entire day in a year denoted as "Seven Rabits," which is understood to be the same year in which Joshua defeated the Philistines and conquered Palestine.

It's possible that i was told about the Native American tribes and it not being true, but i'm pretty sure there was at least one if not a few... I can't seem to find that now, but there's others beyond them as presented above.   Their understandings were from what I remember that there was a double day.  They used to keep track of day and night on makeshift calenders.  I'm sure the evidence is long gone, but supposedly there was  one such calender as told that had special markings for day and special markigns for night.  I don't remember, i think it was a double night on their calender.  This would make sense as far as sun position for Joshua's sake.

I just don't buy into a story that goes against physics and what we know. I'd have to see it for myself as with Thomas,

 

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Are you suggesting this was a localized event only in the valley of Ajalon and no where else on the planet Earth?

I think it's pretty clear that I'm not.  Unlike the flood idea being localized.  This is one claim that had to be noticed elsewhere if it actually happened.

though the native americans do have a flood story too, though there's tells of a man who climbed way high in a tree and stayed there for 40 days until the flood waters subsided.   Ironic to be the same timeframe and natural happening.

And yet it still is illogical as Spock would say.

 

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Perhaps a spaceship with very bright lights parked over the valley of Ajilon and it appeared to be the Sun. Other than that it has to be magic and/or fictional embellishment. The spaceship could have God inside if you want or it can be from the future, the past, another part of the Universe come to help the Hebrews kill their enemies. Or they just wanted to watch all the bloodshed and were betting on who'd win and so made in effect an illuminated stadium so the battle could continue.

maybe... or could it be without your wild imagination and us Christians makign up a story that there's a simple logical explanation as to the happening or how it got so embellished as to be claiming a double day.  Be it that the evidence for this particular book is minimal, I'm leaning toward embelishment, however, it is odd that there are other claims as referenced above about the sun standing still for a day.  All are completely unrelated to scripture, especially the Chineese be it that they were pretty careful about their documentations.

If anything is possible than so too are advanced civilizations from elsewhere, I'd give this more probability than unseen gods as we know there is a least one such civilization namely us, though I'm not sure of the advanced part. Keeping in mind the vast distances involved reduces this probability though with knowledge who knows what is possible. Just speculating out loud here.

 

 

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

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


caposkia
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pauljohntheskeptic wrote:I

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

I would agree that Ezra is the likely author, editor, revisionist or responsible party for the content that has survived for much of the OT based on Ezra 7:6 & 10, Nehemiah 8:1-12, See Richard Friedman, "Who Wrote the Bible", also see these links:

http://jewishatheist.blogspot.com/2006/01/who-wrote-bible.html

http://encyclopedia.jrank.org/EUD_FAT/EZRA_from_a_Hebrew_word_meaning.html

In the book of 2 Esdras chapter 14 Ezra describes his reconstruction of the scriptures under the influence or inspiration of God, see:

http://www.biblicalproportions.com/modules/ol_bible/King_James_Bible/2Esdras/14/

If there is any truth to this at all it perhaps indicates why the OT is filled with issues and contradictions, not to mention problems with names, dates and places.

See also the following for more on 2 Esdras:

http://www.earlyjewishwritings.com/2esdras.html

I'm sure that had a lot to do with congruency with it's place in the Bible. 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

 Each piece of perspective issues, unsupportable claims, 1 person accounts, and unrealistic events (magic or miracles) is another brick in the wall or a nail in the coffin discrediting the likelihood of the Jewish belief being based in the real world. This creates skepticism and doubt but not the real story. Doubt is all I need to say, what I was taught is not true. What is? Not what I was taught.

It's gotta be a difficult stance in life to only adhere to what you don't have any doubt about.  The problem with that is doubt rarely is based on facts and usually is based on person perspective.  Most Christians will doubt The Big Bang theory regardless if it can be paralleled to God be it that they understand that God created everything.  An educated Christian could say that the Big Bang Theory is the scientific way of describing God's creation method, but still doubt its credibility due to the fact that God is not taken into consideration for that Theory. 

You doubt because there's not enough supporting evidence.. in this story... others did have congruent possibilities in science and geology that back up the claims yet you still doubted due to lack of specifics in historical recordings (which is congruent to any document from that time).  Everything in 'doubt' was questionable and only based on 'what was normal' type ideals and had nothing further to confirm or deny either side. 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Could be he did assume it was prophecy but in light of my comments RE: Ezra you decide your own view, I have already decided what I have said, what I was taught as a Christian is not true nor does it have evidence for basis in reality.

...and the only one who has control over your understanding of what is real is you.  No one else can decide that for you.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:
 

Why I mentioned the 165 BCE date was to show there are other theories out there, not that I agree with them. Another poster who was anti-Semitic takes the view the Jewish religion was made up sometime in the 2nd century BCE. I never saw this as logical at all, though what the real story actually is has never been shown. All we really know is in ancient times there were 2 kingdoms in Palestine, one called Judah destroyed by the Babylonians and one called Israel, destroyed by the Assyrians. As to what either one actually had for major religious beliefs we have little outside the OT for evidence. As I have mentioned before small asherah statues have been found all over Judea dating to the times when Yahweh beliefs are claimed to be the religion of the inhabitants. Belief in Asherah as the Queen of Heaven prevails until nearly the time of Jesus.

I understand there are many theories out there.  I adhere to my understanding for the same reasons you adhere to yours it seems. 

keep in mind that there were many beliefs out there during those times and to find any evidence of another following in no way nullifies the belief in YHWH during that tiime.  When we get to the book of Job, we will talk about how significant it was for Job to stick to his guns in his time because it was not uncommon for people to change god followings daily due to that they want from their god.  Though the majority of people followed some sort of meta-physical or even physical deity, Job stuck to what is understood by him and his friends to be the one true God.   His conviction of that being the case had to be much more than just perspective understanding be it that the 'holy wars' of the time if you will were much more imminent than now and rationality to change religions was as easy as saying I'm bored with my current god.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

I am aware of the way to date material such as we are discussing and I understand the methods employed. As I mentioned earlier in this post, credibility to rewriting the OT by Ezra is a viable possibility thus explaining much of the misinformation, wrong names, and errors we have discussed. That of course puts it all on Ezra for editing together or reconstructing it as 2 Esdras says. So if Ezra is the origin of the current scriptures it all relies on whether one accepts he was inspired by God or just created his view of the past

I do adhere to the belief that all the books in the Bible were "inspired" by God.  I think understanding of each person comes into question as far as adhering to the facts.  Each was different as far as their level of expertise, but what they did understand was God's influence in the main point of the story.


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pauljohntheskeptic wrote:A

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

A lack of evidence means there is not proof

...of either perspective.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

A small migration of escapees from Egypt could have occurred. This does not mean that it did so occur.

...and it does not mean that it did not occur either.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:
 

Many things are possible to occur but that does not mean they happen.

and it doesn't mean they didn't happen.  i understand this.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

It is possible Egyptians sailed all the way to Australia in ancient times. A false claim was made a few years ago regarding such and was discredited, yet it was possible.

Just because it was possible doesn't mean it did happen either of course.  If there are facts that discredit the possibility then no matter how possible it was, it most likely didn't happen.  When there are lack of facts, it's illogical to pick a side, but an educated theory is appropriate.  With supporting possibilities, it'd more logical to lean in the direction of the supporting possibilities majority.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Under the right conditions an ancient ship of Carthage, Rome, Egypt, or Phoenicians could have made it to the New World. If so, they left no proof, but it was possible. When I agreed that a small band of escapees could have done some of the exploits mentioned in the OT it was under the scenario such as I indicate here. It could be, but it's surely not what was described as the claim is majorly exaggerated.

The thing is, the main point of the story still holds true to each story regardless of the agreed upon exaggerations.  Without the exaggerations, the main focus of the story is still there and the same point gets across... just not to the magnitude in some cases that they claim.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

See 1 Enoch, a really detailed account of Genesis 6, held to be scripture or relevant until later Church fathers dismissed it. Jude and Revelation both show influences from 1 Enoch. Many copies of 1 Enoch were included in the Dead Sea Scrolls. See:

http://www.jacksonsnyder.com/arc/2008/enoch.htm

I'm familiar with the book.  It does go in to quite a bit of detail about the other side.  I think it was dismissed due to lack of support outside of the book... not that there would be outside support for something like that anyway.  He was the only one written in the Bible to have been taken up by God without dying because of his super strong walk with God.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

I still vote for the Sumerian Flood story as closer to what may have occurred in ancient Mesopotamia, see Epic of Gilgamesh not including the gods of course.

ok

If this story had any basis the gods would have come back to destroy us all for our ventures into space not to mention our skyscrapers, or was that what happened to WTC?

not true due to fulfillment of the law and what that really means.  I don't believe God said anything about not venturing into space, not that anyone writing would have understood how to portray that peice of information anyway.  The WTC issue goes into the free will topic and what all that means.  The Bible acknowleges those types of actions from people as well.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Outside of the OT, Abraham has no basis in reality other than in the Qu'ran which was clearly influenced by Jewish & Christian beliefs.

which be it that other than liniage and relationship with the Christian God, Abraham was not a significant influence in history, it's not expected that he would be acknowleged outside writings recognizing the Christian/Jewish God. 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

One or the other of these cities (Gomorrah I think) is mentioned in an ancient cuneiform tablet regarding trade or in effect a bill of lading found in Syria in Akkadian dating to about 2200 BCE. Other than that, no documentation at all. As much of the Mid-East was in the landing path of debris from Thera, all the way to the Black Sea actually, chunks of something could have landed on it giving rise to this story. This is of course conjecture. Also a small comet, piece of one as landed in Russia in the early 20th century. Since space monitoring was 3500 years away no proof of what happened.

Right.  Evidences of such happenings have been recorded as likely possiblilities... this in reference to the volcano of the story.  It's possible a comet too.. haven't heard that one. 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Mentioning a name in a book attributed to the ancients but likely to have been rewritten or reconstructed by Ezra does not make Joseph a person in the real world. If other evidence is ever found that corroborates it happened it can upgrade, for now he is an unsubstantiated character that may not be real.

Right... he may and may not... there's nothing to suggest either way.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:
 

Clearly Asiatics were enslaved, though millions are unsubstantiated as per OT claim.

another exaggerated number?

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Moses may be a character in a work of literature, a real person who was embellished, or part of a parable. No proof other than OT he ever lived.

Which leaves either to be a possibility at this point.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:
 

You made suggestions, though that doesn't support the embellishments or give it real basis. Proof is required in the way of something to document the escape, events, journey actually happened and were not a parable or literature. Small groups could have been basis for the story but that's conjecture.

Be it that there is a logical reasoning for no recorded evidence, a rational reasoning to the happenings elude to the possibility over it not happening at all.  Granted for the hard of heart, only concrete evidence is valid beyond just one document or agreeing documents coensiding with the same following... which pretty much nullifies the majority of world history before Christ's time.

 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:
 

Nomadic tribes migrated for 100s or years, some still do. No proof these nomads were those who escaped slavery.

no proof they weren't either.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Not for long as Egypt or the Hittites would send in their soldiers to route them out. Documented actually in some cases, see Armana Letters.

documentation eludes to more evidence of the happening.  We don't know how many years and repeated attempts either this all happened.  could have been 100's for sure.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

I haven't forgotten our conversations, just showing you the lack of actual proof. There is of course plenty of speculation and possibility, but possibilities don't mean they happened.

just as much as any lack of proof meaning anything didn't happen.  Possibilites don't mean anything, they're just possibilities.  Possibilities with congruencies in Science, history and geology... starts eluding to a likelyhood.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

A skeptic requires something to validate, something I don't see here.

the majority of historical claims cannot be validated to the degree you're eluding to.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:
 

Possibilities only mean it could be not that it was.

which also means they cannot be dismissed without probable cause.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

As ancient man has been shown to lack much knowledge and attribute unknowns to gods I require proof with all such claims regardless of culture. Yahweh and Enki are both gods considered to be real by cultures to explain why things were the way they are observed. No proof either has basis in the real world nor which one.

The difference here is true followers of Christ... and Jews from what I understand, don't adhere to the belief in the Almighty for explanation on why things are or were the way they were. 

It is said that science supports scripture.  This would indicate no dependence on a god to understand why things are or were.  Most believers would say that when they came to know Christ (became a believer after not being one)  they understand less and have more questions about why things were vs. when they didn't know God.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

And it may well be that the ancient Akkadians had the true god and all else has been distorted. Read their stories and history is my point. Maybe their gods were misunderstood and are really the same as yours?

very true.  We as Christ followers looking back into history take into consideration cultural differences in understanding God and know that just because it's not in scripture or even may not coenside completely with the way we understand things to have been doesn't mean they weren't following the same God or at least in knowlege of Him.  There are as I've said, many factors to consider when reading sources.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

The tower of Babel is illogical for its explanation of language disparity and diversity. Have you tried talking to a teenager lately? Separation by generations, distance, and isolation cause complete distinct languages no god interference required.

Talking about programing as we are in the other forum, is it possible that it's not God's interference?  sure it is, but then again, is it logical to assume that the language change happened overnight?  it is written to allow someone to assume so, but that doesn't necessarily mean that's how it happened.

Psychologically, teens want to be separate from the older generations and therefore, purposely differenciate themselves.  We talk about outside influences in the other forum causing choices to be made... what caused the choice in most teens to be made this way?

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

As a relapsed Catholic I'm familiar with many of these books as they are still part of Canon. Others such as 2 Esdras and Enoch are not. I have studied them all including books titled the Books of Adam & Eve. Esdras causes doubt as to authenticity once more adding a claim of God inspiring Ezra. 1 Enoch presents an interesting view of God, angels and man. Protestants left out the Maccabees but Catholics still have it. Maybe the Jew hatred of Luther contributed to this. These books show much of Jewish belief and dedication to their God and at least the one miracle supposedly, celebrated as Hanukkah.

Catholicism is my background as well.  Definitely a church submerged in doctern and losing focus on scripture.  Then again, the origins are based on well thought out research, but misunderstood possibly by the generations of today.  either way...

all likely points of view for the full truth that is hard to grasp when all we know is the physical.  There are a lot of people interference in all of it as you bring light to here.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:


Theories abound as to reality versus claims for many things and places. Troy, real but not really as described. Was Thera Atlantis? Were the Minoans the Atlanteans? If not where was it? The ancient Jews are clearly not the only ones with missing history. What occurred, when? Part of the fun and challenge is to research and consider possibilities. Will we ever really know?

a historian friend of mine eluded to the fact that this claim of the sun standing still is how they described a solar eclipse.  There were a few different ways of describing it, but what it came down to is they didn't understand what was happening and automatically assumed that something was wrong when it did happen.  In this case, it seemed that there was an extra day.. probably 2 very short days or a double night depending on the perspective. 

seeing a solar eclipse myself, it does give the illusion that everything stops for a short time.  I can see that point of view.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

 

If anything is possible than so too are advanced civilizations from elsewhere, I'd give this more probability than unseen gods as we know there is a least one such civilization namely us, though I'm not sure of the advanced part. Keeping in mind the vast distances involved reduces this probability though with knowledge who knows what is possible. Just speculating out loud here.

Sure, taking belief of God out of the picture for a moment and opening it up to everything through a logical means of thought, be it that we have an understanding that without God life happened, it's a very likely possibility that somewhere else out in the vast universe, that of which we still don't know how big, there must be other inteliigent life... even planets that support life that's just starting out.  Of course statistics reveal how unlikely this would be as common events happening throughout the universe, it's very likely without God that it would be if we do exist... however, statistically speaking, we are an anomoly... without a God, the statistics show that our existence is extremely unlikely and basically should not have happened.  To a non-believer however, their defense is that it still happened... as with all statistics, there is always a chance even if the chance is making the powerball jackpot look easy to win.   

some christians hold the view that we don't know all of God's plan and there's nothing in the Bible to suggest that we are the one and only created colony from God and it would ultimately be irrelevent to our existance.  It's possible from their perspective that God made a universe so rediculously huge so that we would not discover the other colonies he created, but so that he could have them still and keep us focused mainly on Him and ourselves. 

 

 


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caposkia

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

I would agree that Ezra is the likely author, editor, revisionist or responsible party for the content that has survived for much of the OT based on Ezra 7:6 & 10, Nehemiah 8:1-12, See Richard Friedman, "Who Wrote the Bible", also see these links:

http://jewishatheist.blogspot.com/2006/01/who-wrote-bible.html

http://encyclopedia.jrank.org/EUD_FAT/EZRA_from_a_Hebrew_word_meaning.html

In the book of 2 Esdras chapter 14 Ezra describes his reconstruction of the scriptures under the influence or inspiration of God, see:

http://www.biblicalproportions.com/modules/ol_bible/King_James_Bible/2Esdras/14/

If there is any truth to this at all it perhaps indicates why the OT is filled with issues and contradictions, not to mention problems with names, dates and places.

See also the following for more on 2 Esdras:

http://www.earlyjewishwritings.com/2esdras.html

I'm sure that had a lot to do with congruency with it's place in the Bible. 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

 Each piece of perspective issues, unsupportable claims, 1 person accounts, and unrealistic events (magic or miracles) is another brick in the wall or a nail in the coffin discrediting the likelihood of the Jewish belief being based in the real world. This creates skepticism and doubt but not the real story. Doubt is all I need to say, what I was taught is not true. What is? Not what I was taught.

It's gotta be a difficult stance in life to only adhere to what you don't have any doubt about.  The problem with that is doubt rarely is based on facts and usually is based on person perspective.  Most Christians will doubt The Big Bang theory regardless if it can be paralleled to God be it that they understand that God created everything.  An educated Christian could say that the Big Bang Theory is the scientific way of describing God's creation method, but still doubt its credibility due to the fact that God is not taken into consideration for that Theory. 

You doubt because there's not enough supporting evidence.. in this story... others did have congruent possibilities in science and geology that back up the claims yet you still doubted due to lack of specifics in historical recordings (which is congruent to any document from that time).  Everything in 'doubt' was questionable and only based on 'what was normal' type ideals and had nothing further to confirm or deny either side.

OK, let's discuss doubt and skepticism for a minute. Imagine a small bridge that goes across a creek. You look at the bridge and it is very weathered and worn, the wood slats are rotting. The bridge in the first case we'll consider is just above the creek, about 6 inches. If you walk over the bridge and it won't hold your weight the worst that happens is you get your feet wet probably. In a strange unlikely event perhaps you could end up with a splintered board through your leg slicing your femoral artery and you bleed out. Probably you don't consider that as likely and you walk over the bridge very carefully as being wrong in your estimate seems to have little consequence.

Now, imagine a similar ricketty bridge going across a creek except this time it is 1000 feet above the creek bed. You evaluate the bridge and you have doubts about it supporting your weight. In my case, I go down the mountain and go the long way across because I have doubts. Perhaps the bridge will support my skinny body of 145 pounds perhaps not.

What do you do?

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Could be he did assume it was prophecy but in light of my comments RE: Ezra you decide your own view, I have already decided what I have said, what I was taught as a Christian is not true nor does it have evidence for basis in reality.

...and the only one who has control over your understanding of what is real is you.  No one else can decide that for you.

 

See above.

Exactly who is taking a risk and who is not? Clearly this is based on understanding and perspective and the individual's willingness to risk it all or not. Believers are hedge bettors, they may or may not really accept the far fetched stories, as you indicate at times, but bet that the final outcome is as propagated. Seemingly unwarranted and illogical to me, but that is of course my opinion.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:
 

Why I mentioned the 165 BCE date was to show there are other theories out there, not that I agree with them. Another poster who was anti-Semitic takes the view the Jewish religion was made up sometime in the 2nd century BCE. I never saw this as logical at all, though what the real story actually is has never been shown. All we really know is in ancient times there were 2 kingdoms in Palestine, one called Judah destroyed by the Babylonians and one called Israel, destroyed by the Assyrians. As to what either one actually had for major religious beliefs we have little outside the OT for evidence. As I have mentioned before small asherah statues have been found all over Judea dating to the times when Yahweh beliefs are claimed to be the religion of the inhabitants. Belief in Asherah as the Queen of Heaven prevails until nearly the time of Jesus.

I understand there are many theories out there.  I adhere to my understanding for the same reasons you adhere to yours it seems. 

keep in mind that there were many beliefs out there during those times and to find any evidence of another following in no way nullifies the belief in YHWH during that tiime.  When we get to the book of Job, we will talk about how significant it was for Job to stick to his guns in his time because it was not uncommon for people to change god followings daily due to that they want from their god.  Though the majority of people followed some sort of meta-physical or even physical deity, Job stuck to what is understood by him and his friends to be the one true God.   His conviction of that being the case had to be much more than just perspective understanding be it that the 'holy wars' of the time if you will were much more imminent than now and rationality to change religions was as easy as saying I'm bored with my current god.

Clearly there were as I mentioned. My point being that Judah especially even during Jeremiah's time has worship of other gods besides Yahweh and even what Yahweh worship meant is unclear as no real religious practices from ancient Jews other than the OT have been found dating to the period prior to the 2 kingdoms that I know about. Israel or the Northern kingdom presents little actual evidence of what gods were worshiped other than Canaanite and if Yahweh was included again, was he part of their pantheon or was he as the OT describes. The OT is about all that supports the claims, and it's reliability should be questioned specifically due to its embellishment of examples we have discussed so far and there is far more coming. How can one trust its reliability when it has clear examples of exaggeration or fiction?

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

I am aware of the way to date material such as we are discussing and I understand the methods employed. As I mentioned earlier in this post, credibility to rewriting the OT by Ezra is a viable possibility thus explaining much of the misinformation, wrong names, and errors we have discussed. That of course puts it all on Ezra for editing together or reconstructing it as 2 Esdras says. So if Ezra is the origin of the current scriptures it all relies on whether one accepts he was inspired by God or just created his view of the past

I do adhere to the belief that all the books in the Bible were "inspired" by God.  I think understanding of each person comes into question as far as adhering to the facts.  Each was different as far as their level of expertise, but what they did understand was God's influence in the main point of the story.

Whether it was inspired or was creative literature attempting to propagate ideas and a philosophy to live by is extremely unclear. How one can claim inspiration for the clearly out of touch with reality works is to have faith, something that puts off examination and scrutiny. You have faith, I have doubts because the claims don't fit the real world as I understand. 

 

 

____________________________________________________________
"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:

A lack of evidence means there is not proof

...of either perspective.

So instead of withholding judgment you conclude your perspective is real?

My point is this, what I was taught is not true as a Christian. What is true, not what I was taught. Is there any possible way to test and verify to determine what is the true story? So far no. My conclusion is to follow what is observed reality not a path of wishful thinking and hopeful conjecture.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

A small migration of escapees from Egypt could have occurred. This does not mean that it did so occur.

...and it does not mean that it did not occur either.

Nor does it mean it is more than literature written to express a way of living.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:
 

Many things are possible to occur but that does not mean they happen.

 

and it doesn't mean they didn't happen.  i understand this.

OK, but acceptance of these stories as meaningful or inspired in some way by a higher intelligence (you call it God) is virtual acceptance that it has real world basis. Kind of difficult to get there from the ancient past of Jewish beliefs and do so without jumping forward into Jesus beliefs isn't it?

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

It is possible Egyptians sailed all the way to Australia in ancient times. A false claim was made a few years ago regarding such and was discredited, yet it was possible.

Just because it was possible doesn't mean it did happen either of course.  If there are facts that discredit the possibility then no matter how possible it was, it most likely didn't happen.  When there are lack of facts, it's illogical to pick a side, but an educated theory is appropriate.  With supporting possibilities, it'd more logical to lean in the direction of the supporting possibilities majority.

Supposedly relics were found in Australia in the 1990s that were ancient Egyptian could have been possible as they did go down Africa and supposedly to India.  A little off course with winds and there you are. However, no mention is ever made in Egypt of this land so very unlikely a round trip ever happened. The case in the 1990s was found to have been faked.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Under the right conditions an ancient ship of Carthage, Rome, Egypt, or Phoenicians could have made it to the New World. If so, they left no proof, but it was possible. When I agreed that a small band of escapees could have done some of the exploits mentioned in the OT it was under the scenario such as I indicate here. It could be, but it's surely not what was described as the claim is majorly exaggerated.

The thing is, the main point of the story still holds true to each story regardless of the agreed upon exaggerations.  Without the exaggerations, the main focus of the story is still there and the same point gets across... just not to the magnitude in some cases that they claim.

Part of the thrust of these stories is how powerful the god is and how he cares for his people. If you remove all the magic and miracles what do you have? Same thing as the Sumerians and their gods. Ancient people making claims regarding that which they were clueless over. Both groups claim they have a very powerful god who cares about them. Neither can produce him.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

See 1 Enoch, a really detailed account of Genesis 6, held to be scripture or relevant until later Church fathers dismissed it. Jude and Revelation both show influences from 1 Enoch. Many copies of 1 Enoch were included in the Dead Sea Scrolls. See:

http://www.jacksonsnyder.com/arc/2008/enoch.htm

I'm familiar with the book.  It does go in to quite a bit of detail about the other side.  I think it was dismissed due to lack of support outside of the book... not that there would be outside support for something like that anyway.  He was the only one written in the Bible to have been taken up by God without dying because of his super strong walk with God.

Probably 1 Enoch dates to 150 to 250 BCE and was not written by Enoch. It was likely held to be non-canonical due to its lack of discussing Lucifer & Satan. It seems all the angels (sons of god) involved in this event were captured, tortured and permanently incarcerated. This doesn't leave room for the mysterious evil one and his devious pursuit of human souls does it? Regardless as it was so well known it was used by St John the writer of Revelation for much of his rant combined with parts of Daniel & Ezekiel.


caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:
 

You made suggestions, though that doesn't support the embellishments or give it real basis. Proof is required in the way of something to document the escape, events, journey actually happened and were not a parable or literature. Small groups could have been basis for the story but that's conjecture.

Be it that there is a logical reasoning for no recorded evidence, a rational reasoning to the happenings elude to the possibility over it not happening at all.  Granted for the hard of heart, only concrete evidence is valid beyond just one document or agreeing documents coensiding with the same following... which pretty much nullifies the majority of world history before Christ's time.

I also have doubts regarding Pandora, Hercules, and whether Enki really could have drank as much as he did and still bang all the goddesses and women as claimed.



caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:
 

Possibilities only mean it could be not that it was.

which also means they cannot be dismissed without probable cause.

The magic and miracles are the probable cause. When unrealistic events are claimed such as the Sun standing still which conflict with reality we observe that's probable cause. Among many others so far.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

As ancient man has been shown to lack much knowledge and attribute unknowns to gods I require proof with all such claims regardless of culture. Yahweh and Enki are both gods considered to be real by cultures to explain why things were the way they are observed. No proof either has basis in the real world nor which one.

The difference here is true followers of Christ... and Jews from what I understand, don't adhere to the belief in the Almighty for explanation on why things are or were the way they were. 

It is said that science supports scripture.  This would indicate no dependence on a god to understand why things are or were.  Most believers would say that when they came to know Christ (became a believer after not being one)  they understand less and have more questions about why things were vs. when they didn't know God.

Good luck with showing science supports scripture.

Perhaps the reasons a Christian understands less is fantasy doesn't blend too well with the real world.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

And it may well be that the ancient Akkadians had the true god and all else has been distorted. Read their stories and history is my point. Maybe their gods were misunderstood and are really the same as yours?

very true.  We as Christ followers looking back into history take into consideration cultural differences in understanding God and know that just because it's not in scripture or even may not coenside completely with the way we understand things to have been doesn't mean they weren't following the same God or at least in knowlege of Him.  There are as I've said, many factors to consider when reading sources.

As did Mohammad. None of which does a thing to validate any of the god claims.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

The tower of Babel is illogical for its explanation of language disparity and diversity. Have you tried talking to a teenager lately? Separation by generations, distance, and isolation cause complete distinct languages no god interference required.

Talking about programing as we are in the other forum, is it possible that it's not God's interference?  sure it is, but then again, is it logical to assume that the language change happened overnight?  it is written to allow someone to assume so, but that doesn't necessarily mean that's how it happened.

Psychologically, teens want to be separate from the older generations and therefore, purposely differenciate themselves.  We talk about outside influences in the other forum causing choices to be made... what caused the choice in most teens to be made this way?

Teens are secretive and don't want parents to understand what is being discussed.

 

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:


Theories abound as to reality versus claims for many things and places. Troy, real but not really as described. Was Thera Atlantis? Were the Minoans the Atlanteans? If not where was it? The ancient Jews are clearly not the only ones with missing history. What occurred, when? Part of the fun and challenge is to research and consider possibilities. Will we ever really know?

a historian friend of mine eluded to the fact that this claim of the sun standing still is how they described a solar eclipse.  There were a few different ways of describing it, but what it came down to is they didn't understand what was happening and automatically assumed that something was wrong when it did happen.  In this case, it seemed that there was an extra day.. probably 2 very short days or a double night depending on the perspective. 

seeing a solar eclipse myself, it does give the illusion that everything stops for a short time.  I can see that point of view.

The text indicates an extended longer day so the Hebrews could continue killing. Pretty hard to turn that into something else.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

 

If anything is possible than so too are advanced civilizations from elsewhere, I'd give this more probability than unseen gods as we know there is a least one such civilization namely us, though I'm not sure of the advanced part. Keeping in mind the vast distances involved reduces this probability though with knowledge who knows what is possible. Just speculating out loud here.

Sure, taking belief of God out of the picture for a moment and opening it up to everything through a logical means of thought, be it that we have an understanding that without God life happened, it's a very likely possibility that somewhere else out in the vast universe, that of which we still don't know how big, there must be other intelligent life... even planets that support life that's just starting out.  Of course statistics reveal how unlikely this would be as common events happening throughout the universe, it's very likely without God that it would be if we do exist... however, statistically speaking, we are an anomoly... without a God, the statistics show that our existence is extremely unlikely and basically should not have happened.  To a non-believer however, their defense is that it still happened... as with all statistics, there is always a chance even if the chance is making the powerball jackpot look easy to win.   

some christians hold the view that we don't know all of God's plan and there's nothing in the Bible to suggest that we are the one and only created colony from God and it would ultimately be irrelevent to our existance.  It's possible from their perspective that God made a universe so rediculously huge so that we would not discover the other colonies he created, but so that he could have them still and keep us focused mainly on Him and ourselves. 

Statistics are only as accurate as the data used to compile them. Getting useful data on even our galaxy to make any assumptions on life elsewhere is purely conjecture. Again, we know we are here so life is possible. What that means in terms of life in our galaxy and the infinitely large Universe is statistically not possible to represent.

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

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


caposkia
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pauljohntheskeptic wrote:OK,

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

OK, let's discuss doubt and skepticism for a minute. Imagine a small bridge that goes across a creek. You look at the bridge and it is very weathered and worn, the wood slats are rotting. The bridge in the first case we'll consider is just above the creek, about 6 inches. If you walk over the bridge and it won't hold your weight the worst that happens is you get your feet wet probably. In a strange unlikely event perhaps you could end up with a splintered board through your leg slicing your femoral artery and you bleed out. Probably you don't consider that as likely and you walk over the bridge very carefully as being wrong in your estimate seems to have little consequence.

Now, imagine a similar ricketty bridge going across a creek except this time it is 1000 feet above the creek bed. You evaluate the bridge and you have doubts about it supporting your weight. In my case, I go down the mountain and go the long way across because I have doubts. Perhaps the bridge will support my skinny body of 145 pounds perhaps not.

What do you do?

well... heheh... you're going to see now how I can become very analytical.  I would take into consideration many factors. 

The question is with a ricketty bridge hanging 1000 feet above a creek bed, would I use it or go around the long way.  Of course the logical answer for anyone out on a casual hike for the day would go around the long way... or if time was a factor, just take an alternative altogether and save teh otherside for another day. 

In the case of an emergency situation, where maybe there was no way around and you absolutely had to get across... maybe there was a time limit, maybe there wasn't, I would obviously exhaust all other possibilities before trying, but then I would carefully test the bridge before venturing out on it.  This could go into a long list of different techniques I would use to assure my safe venture across..  Ultmately if the bridge is deemed unsafe, no matter the emergency, it's not worth making it worse.

If for some irrational and illogical reason, I was being chased by a man-eating squirrel and knew that I had to either cross or face a long and painful death of being eaten alive (squirrels are too small to kill me right off and would probably take their time doing so), I would of course take my chances on the bridge knowing that my fate is death if I stay. 

Me personally, I'd have the proper hiking and climbing gear handy, I'll probably traverse the 1000 ft. cliff and climb the other side rather than risk falling to my death from a faulty bridge.  At least this way, if I fall during the climb, I'll have a failsafe handy so I won't die.... more likely anyway.

To put it in perspective of the topic this derived from.  It again comes down to perspective and experience.  We could both look at that bridge and have to make a decision.  Depending on your expertise and mine, we might come to different conclusions about its safety.  Me, being one who might know more about the structural integrity of this bridge might say that it's safe.  You might say it's not at all safe and you're not going to risk it.  Now here... do we part ways? or do we discuss and stick together on our adventurous hike? 

Anyone who claims something that looks unsafe as safe, I would question immediately why they think so.  Some people wouldn't care and assume that no matter what I say, it's got to be unsafe.  And they would be happy in their conclusion because they know in their head that if they don't go, they're safe.  If you ask, you might find that I hiked across it last week, or know someone who does maintenance on the bridge and therefore, I know it's ok.  Then this could be a situation where i know my architechure and understand the durability and quality of the ropes and wood on the bridge and therefore, know that it must be safe.  Herein, it comes down to a situation where you either trust my knowlege of the bridge, or don't. 

Of course you mentioned too that I had doubts about the bridge to begin with.  Therefore, we should take the long way around... Are you then assuming that we know the path around and have no doubts about the safety or distance of the hike around?  Are you sure there are no cliffs along the way that we'd have to traverse or other obsticles?  You made it sound like there is no doubt about a safe way around... as if you've been there before, but if you've never been there... there has to be doubts on both options... Think about it this way... If we come across the bridge hanging 1000 feet above a creek... My first question is going to be how long is it around?  a 1000 foot drop doesn't just suddenly end 1/4 or even 1/2 a mile away unless you're right there at a huge waterfall... even then, this 1000 ft drop usually spans quite a distance across... Therefore, even if you were right at the waterfall, the creek above would probably span across quite far and might be very deep.  How safe would it be to cross and how far upstream would we have to hike to reach a safe current? 

In conclusion, your "safe way around" might in fact be more dangerous than taking the bridge that could be deemed safe with the proper assessment.  It might be a 20+ mile trecherous hike around either way and would in itself pose its own safety hazards.  So i guess the real question comes, how important is it for you to reach the other side? 

I dont' think there is any choice in your scenario that could completely eliminate doubt.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Exactly who is taking a risk and who is not? Clearly this is based on understanding and perspective and the individual's willingness to risk it all or not. Believers are hedge bettors, they may or may not really accept the far fetched stories, as you indicate at times, but bet that the final outcome is as propagated. Seemingly unwarranted and illogical to me, but that is of course my opinion.

Right... me, I have to have probable cause to deem something illogical.  The sad part is, other than the book we have come to last, the "historical happenings" claimed in the stories are all plausible.  the only thing that pulls this book away from plausibility is the fact that it deviates so far from what history we know supports, that plausibility is scratched.  I never said that the topic of the story wasn't plausible, just the way it was described to have happened.  If there is a plausibility, I cannot deem anything as illogical.  it wouldn't be... for lack of a better term.. logical to do so.

Question though... what exactly am I as a believer 'risking' to believe these stories as true?

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:
 

Clearly there were as I mentioned. My point being that Judah especially even during Jeremiah's time has worship of other gods besides Yahweh and even what Yahweh worship meant is unclear as no real religious practices from ancient Jews other than the OT have been found dating to the period prior to the 2 kingdoms that I know about. Israel or the Northern kingdom presents little actual evidence of what gods were worshiped other than Canaanite and if Yahweh was included again, was he part of their pantheon or was he as the OT describes. The OT is about all that supports the claims, and it's reliability should be questioned specifically due to its embellishment of examples we have discussed so far and there is far more coming. How can one trust its reliability when it has clear examples of exaggeration or fiction?

The same way one can trust history with the same discrepencies.  Again, these exaggerations are not unique and are comparable to any historical document from that time.  I dont' believe we have confirmed any fiction in these stories... only assumed due to the 'magic' as you would call it of God's hand in certain situations. 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Whether it was inspired or was creative literature attempting to propagate ideas and a philosophy to live by is extremely unclear. How one can claim inspiration for the clearly out of touch with reality works is to have faith, something that puts off examination and scrutiny. You have faith, I have doubts because the claims don't fit the real world as I understand. 

I completely understand.  I think if you look back though, some of those scriptural happenings have been clarified and confirmed to plausibly be congruent with your understanding of the world verses what you thought may be claimed at first. 

I'm coming from the perspective that when we started, it seemed that the 'magic' talked about in the books is the only way of explaining how anything could have happened and we elaborated a bit on how these are congruent historically, chronologically and geologically beyond the hand of God moments as in Exodus.  This then put it into the light of the world as you understand it. 

Of course once you adhere to what you think you know, it's faith one goes on to hold onto that understanding in this situation be it that we both agreed that there is such a lack of historical documentation from that time that neither side could rationally confirm any particular happening that didn't have significant impact on every culture of the world or at least in that area even. 


caposkia
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pauljohntheskeptic wrote:So

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

So instead of withholding judgment you conclude your perspective is real?

My point is this, what I was taught is not true as a Christian. What is true, not what I was taught. Is there any possible way to test and verify to determine what is the true story? So far no. My conclusion is to follow what is observed reality not a path of wishful thinking and hopeful conjecture.

I understand your perspective.  Be it that there are scary things promised to those who follow Jesus such as humiliation, torture, death in his name, etc, I don't see how it's wishful thinking and hopeful conjecture that would be keeping one to this following. 

What it has come down to is a complete humbling of the heart.  This is extremely hard for most people, especially if they think they know what's right and don't want to question anything opposing that understanding to the extreme of "trying it on for size".

So many people talk about building a relationship with God.  Believe it or not, that is the big catalyst that keeps people in the true faith.  Most non-believers then come back with...; 'so then I have to believe before I believe.'  That's not what that's saying... but without believing, you can search and study.  The Bible says if you seek God, you will find him. 1 Chron. 28:9 elaborates to you truly seeking him from your heart.

Thus, you can have all the knowlege of the world, but you can always find reason to not believe (or to believe) due to lack of evidences on both sides if that's where your heart is.  Every time that has been presented on here, it has been recieved with ridicule and skepticism... The funny part is, no one took on the challenge as far as I'm aware.

I would not expect anyone to understand that unless they knew God and you won't see it until you truly start looking for God.  I don't expect you to grasp the relationship with God idea, but it sheds light on why I believe and nullifies your reasoning above.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

A small migration of escapees from Egypt could have occurred. This does not mean that it did so occur.

...and it does not mean that it did not occur either.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Nor does it mean it is more than literature written to express a way of living.

in conclusion, we cannot through historical evidences conclude either way on this topic. 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:
 

OK, but acceptance of these stories as meaningful or inspired in some way by a higher intelligence (you call it God) is virtual acceptance that it has real world basis. Kind of difficult to get there from the ancient past of Jewish beliefs and do so without jumping forward into Jesus beliefs isn't it?

I'm not completely sure what you might be trying to get at here, but my quick answer for the moment I believe would be;  no, I don't think so.  Be it that Christian belief and Jesus' teachings are completely rooted in Jewish belief and based off of Jewish belief.  The only reason I'd need to jump forward into Jesus beliefs is to explain why I'm not a Jew. 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Supposedly relics were found in Australia in the 1990s that were ancient Egyptian could have been possible as they did go down Africa and supposedly to India.  A little off course with winds and there you are. However, no mention is ever made in Egypt of this land so very unlikely a round trip ever happened. The case in the 1990s was found to have been faked.

Right... I'm not familiar with this story, but i"m sure there was some very logical evidence that helped them conclude such.  My imediate thought was that when criminals were condemned to the land, some may have aquired some of the items and hid them. 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Part of the thrust of these stories is how powerful the god is and how he cares for his people. If you remove all the magic and miracles what do you have?

plausibilities in science.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Same thing as the Sumerians and their gods. Ancient people making claims regarding that which they were clueless over. Both groups claim they have a very powerful god who cares about them. Neither can produce him.

Be it that God is a meta-physical being with complete control over His own actions, I've always asked to that statement above; 'how would you expect someone to produce this God or show Him to you... or even scientifically experiment and emperacally show His existance through the physical sciences?'

If anything, congruent outcomes of people who try to empirically disprove God have been that they either failed miserably and have come to the same conclusion every other atheist has, or they've actually found God in the process.  Logically, if you're set out to disprove God, no one should come to find God and yet, there are staggering numbers of people in the world who have done just that. 

Statistically speaking, God exists... logically according to our physical and worldly understanding, he couldn't possibly exist... scientifically speaking, God is a plausible theory, but there are theories just as plausible that point away from the existance of a creator... Popular belief says there must be a higher power... What do you hang on to assure that God is in fact fake? 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Probably 1 Enoch dates to 150 to 250 BCE and was not written by Enoch. It was likely held to be non-canonical due to its lack of discussing Lucifer & Satan. It seems all the angels (sons of god) involved in this event were captured, tortured and permanently incarcerated. This doesn't leave room for the mysterious evil one and his devious pursuit of human souls does it? Regardless as it was so well known it was used by St John the writer of Revelation for much of his rant combined with parts of Daniel & Ezekiel.

yea, there are such theories too, be it that it doesnt' make sense that he was shown all of that before taken up... many other factors as well...  The book does talk about how the angels were perminately incarcerated, but they were condemned to Earth according to Enoch, therefore, it does leave room for the devil and his persuit... though it's not of human souls as the movies make it out to be.  He just opposes God and therefore keeps people away from God as much as he can.  He basically challenges the very credibility of God.  Sounds familiar.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:


The magic and miracles are the probable cause. When unrealistic events are claimed such as the Sun standing still which conflict with reality we observe that's probable cause. Among many others so far.

usually there is a logical reasoning behind certain events.  of course I wouldn't expect any non-beleiver to grasp God and his actions as something to consider, but as far as the comment about the sun standing still, I thought I clarified that with you.  

Just in case, after some research, i found out that the 'sun stood still' is actually in reference to a solar eclipse and not that the sun literally stopped in the sky for a few hours.  Ancients of course had minimal understanding of the cosmos and when a solar eclipse happened, they didn't know what it was or how to explain it, they just knew that something was wrong.  most ancients from that time described it as the sun stopping or standing still, or even refer to it as a double day.  I can see be it that i've experienced one how they could assume that.  During one it does seem as if everything stops and that it becomes almost like nighttime at one point. 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Good luck with showing science supports scripture.

good luck showing it doesn't.  My science vs religion forum shows a few examples of how science can support scripture and any effort to suggest otherwise is futile. 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Perhaps the reasons a Christian understands less is fantasy doesn't blend too well with the real world.

good theory... though the magic isn't what I was refering to.   it's not that they understand less than they knew, it's that they realize there's more out there than they understand or are able to comprehend.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

As did Mohammad. None of which does a thing to validate any of the god claims.

Muhammad did homework, but instead of coming to a logical conclusion, he saw what was written and said it was wrong becuase an angel came to him and him alone to explain the truth.  Therefore, only Muhammad had obtained the real truth from God and everyone else who reads it from any other source is wrong.  This would include historical documents and support from what i understand.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

The tower of Babel is illogical for its explanation of language disparity and diversity. Have you tried talking to a teenager lately? Separation by generations, distance, and isolation cause complete distinct languages no god interference required.

Teens are secretive and don't want parents to understand what is being discussed.

But why is the question.  They're secretive, even when they're not doign anything wrong.  They just dont' want parents involved in their life to that degree.  Why?

 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:


The text indicates an extended longer day so the Hebrews could continue killing. Pretty hard to turn that into something else.

As far as they were concerned it was.  It's not like they all had watches on or a town clock to go by and analyze the time, It is understood that it gave an illusion of the day ending, then coming back so as to seem like a longer day.  This understanding is apparently backed up in many other historical writings outside scripture or religion.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

 

Statistics are only as accurate as the data used to compile them. Getting useful data on even our galaxy to make any assumptions on life elsewhere is purely conjecture. Again, we know we are here so life is possible. What that means in terms of life in our galaxy and the infinitely large Universe is statistically not possible to represent.

Statistics in this instance are claimed to not be exact, but life is also proven through what we do understand of the universe around us to be a highly improbable happening... Most stataticians who come up with the estimates claiming that life is highly unlikely... something like 10 to the power of 64 or worse claim that those estimates are generous for life and that it is theorized that the probability of life is in fact much worse.  As you said, we dont' have enough information to say for sure, so they lean on the generous side vs taking an estimate based on an unknown. 

Though these discussions are fun for me and I am enjoying them.  i fear we are losing focus of our intent for this forum which was not to convince each other of our own beleifs, but to have an educated runthrough of scripture.  I'm sure you'll have more comments on what I've said and I will gladly comment on any responses to them.  Let's not lose focus on our intent and purpose here.


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RNA, one of the key complex

RNA, one of the key complex molecules of life, closely related to DNA, has been shown to form spontaneously under conditions highly likely to be present on the early Earth, so if that sort of thing can happen in the time scales of a lab experiment, then it would be insane to say that the spontaneous emergence of life as-we-know-it on at least one of the probable 100's of billions of suitable planets in the Universe at least once in 10's of billions of years is unlikely.

All you need is a collection of self-replicating molecules such as RNA, so evolution can kick in, and away you go.

One would really have to know what exactly were the assumptions involved in those estimates you refer to.

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caposkia

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

So instead of withholding judgment you conclude your perspective is real?

My point is this, what I was taught is not true as a Christian. What is true, not what I was taught. Is there any possible way to test and verify to determine what is the true story? So far no. My conclusion is to follow what is observed reality not a path of wishful thinking and hopeful conjecture.

I understand your perspective.  Be it that there are scary things promised to those who follow Jesus such as humiliation, torture, death in his name, etc, I don't see how it's wishful thinking and hopeful conjecture that would be keeping one to this following.

I was taught he that believes on Jesus and is baptized is saved (his soul that is, whatever that is supposed to mean). The wishful thinking I alluded to is y'all get eternal life and such which is the supposed reward for following his ways. Or do y'all think it was some other promised reward?

caposkia wrote:

What it has come down to is a complete humbling of the heart.  This is extremely hard for most people, especially if they think they know what's right and don't want to question anything opposing that understanding to the extreme of "trying it on for size".

So many people talk about building a relationship with God.  Believe it or not, that is the big catalyst that keeps people in the true faith.  Most non-believers then come back with...; 'so then I have to believe before I believe.'  That's not what that's saying... but without believing, you can search and study.  The Bible says if you seek God, you will find him. 1 Chron. 28:9 elaborates to you truly seeking him from your heart.

Thus, you can have all the knowlege of the world, but you can always find reason to not believe (or to believe) due to lack of evidences on both sides if that's where your heart is.  Every time that has been presented on here, it has been recieved with ridicule and skepticism... The funny part is, no one took on the challenge as far as I'm aware.

I would not expect anyone to understand that unless they knew God and you won't see it until you truly start looking for God.  I don't expect you to grasp the relationship with God idea, but it sheds light on why I believe and nullifies your reasoning above.

All of this goes away from the point I was trying to get you to address.

1-Is there any way to test & verify what is the real true story ? 

2-Observed reality is founded on observation and documented occurrences and has a solid foundation in that it has been shown to occur, at least one time or it wouldn't be observed reality.

3-Wishful thinking & hopeful conjecture of a belief, in this case Christianity is believers will be saved and have an eternal life with the God and his son Jesus. This has not been observed and the truth to the 2,000 year old stories is subject to skepticism and doubt. All that believe these stories as true, do so without validation in observed reality which is hopeful conjecture. If you have "actual proof" than you don't have a need for faith as it has been observed. Do you deny that part of your belief is the hope for an eternal life with Jesus? If this isn't part of your beliefs y'all need to explain what is. 

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

A small migration of escapees from Egypt could have occurred. This does not mean that it did so occur.

...and it does not mean that it did not occur either.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Nor does it mean it is more than literature written to express a way of living.

in conclusion, we cannot through historical evidences conclude either way on this topic.

Exactly. A ancient story regarding escapee slaves from Egypt has as much historical validity as Sumerian stories regarding the actions of Enki and his cohorts. There may be truth hidden in the stories of each but there is nothing that supports them.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:
 

OK, but acceptance of these stories as meaningful or inspired in some way by a higher intelligence (you call it God) is virtual acceptance that it has real world basis. Kind of difficult to get there from the ancient past of Jewish beliefs and do so without jumping forward into Jesus beliefs isn't it?

I'm not completely sure what you might be trying to get at here, but my quick answer for the moment I believe would be;  no, I don't think so.  Be it that Christian belief and Jesus' teachings are completely rooted in Jewish belief and based off of Jewish belief.  The only reason I'd need to jump forward into Jesus beliefs is to explain why I'm not a Jew. 

If one accepts the stories are inspired by a god, it follows they must have real world basis or why even bother inspiring the writing. If the stories could be parables or literature, inspiration is not required therefore neither is the god. I suggest that you use your Jesus beliefs as sort of a decoder ring to decipher what is basically random gibberish and events of purported ancient Yahweh believers thus finding in such method a coherent path which is not obvious without. 

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Part of the thrust of these stories is how powerful the god is and how he cares for his people. If you remove all the magic and miracles what do you have?

plausibilities in science.

Huh? 

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Same thing as the Sumerians and their gods. Ancient people making claims regarding that which they were clueless over. Both groups claim they have a very powerful god who cares about them. Neither can produce him.

Be it that God is a meta-physical being with complete control over His own actions, I've always asked to that statement above; 'how would you expect someone to produce this God or show Him to you... or even scientifically experiment and emperacally show His existance through the physical sciences?'

If anything, congruent outcomes of people who try to empirically disprove God have been that they either failed miserably and have come to the same conclusion every other atheist has, or they've actually found God in the process.  Logically, if you're set out to disprove God, no one should come to find God and yet, there are staggering numbers of people in the world who have done just that. 

Statistically speaking, God exists... logically according to our physical and worldly understanding, he couldn't possibly exist... scientifically speaking, God is a plausible theory, but there are theories just as plausible that point away from the existance of a creator... Popular belief says there must be a higher power... What do you hang on to assure that God is in fact fake?

The OT is filled with visits from the god or his agents. They seem to be out of touch with our area of the galaxy or Universe for the last 2,000 to 2,500 years don't they?

My point remains, what I was taught as a Christian is not true. What is true? I can't prove there is no god but you can't prove there is and even if there is you have no way to prove that the supposed god is not Enki or something else entirely. It may be the entire episodes of the OT were an attempt to have a god just as the other ancients. Egypt had detailed beliefs that are well documented. Are they the real gods?

We already discussed statistics. Unreliable data in, unreliable probabilities out. I have no desire to debate what goes on outside of observed reality because it's conjecture.

Why do you accept stories from an ancient culture called the Jews with similar lack of historical basis to all other ancient culture's stories? Why do you insist that this god is real and is not a misinterpreted high tech alien or even a survivor from the ancient past of this planet? 

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:


The magic and miracles are the probable cause. When unrealistic events are claimed such as the Sun standing still which conflict with reality we observe that's probable cause. Among many others so far.

usually there is a logical reasoning behind certain events.  of course I wouldn't expect any non-beleiver to grasp God and his actions as something to consider, but as far as the comment about the sun standing still, I thought I clarified that with you.  

Just in case, after some research, i found out that the 'sun stood still' is actually in reference to a solar eclipse and not that the sun literally stopped in the sky for a few hours.  Ancients of course had minimal understanding of the cosmos and when a solar eclipse happened, they didn't know what it was or how to explain it, they just knew that something was wrong.  most ancients from that time described it as the sun stopping or standing still, or even refer to it as a double day.  I can see be it that i've experienced one how they could assume that.  During one it does seem as if everything stops and that it becomes almost like nighttime at one point.

Somehow you are reading in between the lines of the text something that is clearly not there.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Good luck with showing science supports scripture.

good luck showing it doesn't.  My science vs religion forum shows a few examples of how science can support scripture and any effort to suggest otherwise is futile.

Maybe later. 

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Perhaps the reasons a Christian understands less is fantasy doesn't blend too well with the real world.

good theory... though the magic isn't what I was referring to.   it's not that they understand less than they knew, it's that they realize there's more out there than they understand or are able to comprehend.

I wasn't referring to the magic. If events are not true and are literature, it doesn't fit well into observations, thus causing confusion and difficulty in comprehension. There is much of this in the NT, not our current subject, perhaps next year. In general, it's clear to even non-believers such as myself that the Universe's vastness and our understanding & knowledge is minuscule. As knowledge increases more pieces fill in the puzzle though we don't even know how many pieces there are and what they all include. This is one of the reasons I don't accept the god concepts because they are far too simplistic and just claim God did it and don't bother with grasping exactly what might have occurred or what is involved.

  

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Teens are secretive and don't want parents to understand what is being discussed.

But why is the question.  They're secretive, even when they're not doign anything wrong.  They just dont' want parents involved in their life to that degree.  Why?

Do you have children? If you do you would know why. They figure you'd interfere or prevent them from doing what they want. They don't always accept the parent knows best especially if the parent has exhibited failure in some way.

 

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:


The text indicates an extended longer day so the Hebrews could continue killing. Pretty hard to turn that into something else.

As far as they were concerned it was.  It's not like they all had watches on or a town clock to go by and analyze the time, It is understood that it gave an illusion of the day ending, then coming back so as to seem like a longer day.  This understanding is apparently backed up in many other historical writings outside scripture or religion.

See comment above. I don't know how you read this between the lines.. 

Joshua 10:12-13 JPS Hebrew Bible wrote:

12 Then spoke Joshua to the LORD in the day when the LORD delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel; and he said in the sight of Israel: 'Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon; and thou, Moon, in the valley of Aijalon.' 13 And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the nation had avenged themselves of their enemies. Is not this written in the book of Jashar? And the sun stayed in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day.

 

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

 

Statistics are only as accurate as the data used to compile them. Getting useful data on even our galaxy to make any assumptions on life elsewhere is purely conjecture. Again, we know we are here so life is possible. What that means in terms of life in our galaxy and the infinitely large Universe is statistically not possible to represent.

Statistics in this instance are claimed to not be exact, but life is also proven through what we do understand of the universe around us to be a highly improbable happening... Most stataticians who come up with the estimates claiming that life is highly unlikely... something like 10 to the power of 64 or worse claim that those estimates are generous for life and that it is theorized that the probability of life is in fact much worse.  As you said, we dont' have enough information to say for sure, so they lean on the generous side vs taking an estimate based on an unknown. 

Though these discussions are fun for me and I am enjoying them.  i fear we are losing focus of our intent for this forum which was not to convince each other of our own beleifs, but to have an educated runthrough of scripture.  I'm sure you'll have more comments on what I've said and I will gladly comment on any responses to them.  Let's not lose focus on our intent and purpose here.

A statistical analysis of relevance requires data. What data? Guesses and interpolation? Making claims RE: life elsewhere based on a single data point (us) is conjecture.

I agree we have gone outside the intent of this forum and I will shortly have a post continuing into Judges in a day or 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.


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Judges Part 1

The Book of Judges

In Judges 1:8 the claim is made that Judah conquered Jerusalem and set it afire. In Judges 1:21 it indicates the Children of Benjamin did not drive out the Jebusites that lived in Jerusalem but lived amongst them to this day (the day this was written I’d guess). In 2 Samuel 5:6-10 David conquered Jerusalem. Perhaps the conquering by Judah and Benjamin is not quite accurate or the David myths are not in compliance with the Judges stories. Another thought may be that Jerusalem was relapsed back to the Jebusites repeatedly though this isn’t mentioned. In other words this is problematic.

The rest of Judges 1 continues the conquests of the land by the other tribes and apparently mutual cohabitation of the lands in many cases. Since the Canaanites continue in the lands obviously the writer needed to show that this occurred even though it was against the wishes of their god which the writer makes clear, again and again.

Judges 2 indicates the god was displeased as he sent a spokes-angel to Israel at Bochim who spoke to all of the children of Israel. His message was since they made treaties & truces with the inhabitants of the land that the god would not aide them in their removal and they would become thorns in their sides causing them to be led astray to worship their gods. Supposedly all the people wept at his words.

Was this a country wide appearance by the angel? Did he just use loudspeakers and broadcast to all of them since the text only indicates the angel spoke to them. The text indicates this was at Bochim, but if there were hundreds of thousands of them some sort of public address system would be needed. This claim doesn’t work for me for these reasons.

Joshua died as did all of the generation that knew the Lord and the next generation knew him not nor the works he had done for them.

They then did evil in the sight of the Lord (a comment that will become extremely boring and repetitive from here on, perhaps we need an abbreviated way to express it – EITSOTL). They forsook the God and served Baalim, one of many of the gods named Ba’al, & of course Ashtaroth – one of the many names for the Queen of Heaven – Yahweh’s consort or Asherah. Payback for being forsaked came in the form of the god working against them allowing their enemies to dominate.

Most people look for an excuse for failure other than taking the responsibility for their actions which is how I see the eternal whining about failure to eradicate the Canaanites.

Though the God was completely miffed at them he sent judges that would come forth to aide the people and bring them back into his fold. The people however choose the gods of the land over him which may have led the god further into his psychotic tendencies as continued rejection seems to induce that effect. The text is repetitive in regards to the Canaanites being allowed to remain within the sphere of influence of Israel. The text mentions repeatedly the god taking a hands off attitude in their regard.

This repetition continues into chapter 3 with detailing of the inhabitants that intermingle with Israel. It continues with a story of the judge Ehud who assassinates Eglon the king of Moab which enables Israel to subjugate Moab for at least 80 years.

Another judge named Shamgar is credited with killing 600 Philistines with an ox goad, apparently a weapon similar to a spear on one end and a heavy flattened chunk of metal on the other. Truly a nasty weapon though I’d think 600 men could just all fall on top of him thus preventing arm motion. Super powers are not mentioned in the short verse, so perhaps he killed them one at a time.

Chapter 4 is the adventures of Deborah & Barak which we discussed previously in regards to its discrediting the burning of Hazor and the death of king Jabin. I personally consider the account here to be more realistic.

Chapter 5 is the Song of Deborah considered to be one of the oldest stories in the Bible by scholars. In it is a retelling of the death of Sisera at the hand of Jael. It also discusses who was involved in the defense of Israel. Groups are mentioned that were not part of the supposed 12 or 13 tribes of Israel in the text. There are 11 groups mentioned: 8 were of the children of Israel: Reuben, Issachar, Zebulan, Naphtali, Asher, Dan,  Joseph & Benjamin; 3 were not: Gilead, Makir (or Machir), & Meroz. Meroz is cursed by the angel of the Lord for their failure of involvement (Judges 5:23) which appears to have worked as they are never mentioned again. As to what relationship they had to Israel isn’t mentioned.

 The tribe of Reuben apparently stayed home with their flocks (Judges 5:15-16). Gilead, not one of the tribes by tradition stayed beyond the Jordan. The tribe of Dan also stayed out of it by remaining on their ships. The tribe of Asher stayed on the coast and had no involvement. A group called Makir (KJV-Machir) also participated though they were not a tribe. No mention at all of the tribes of Simeon, Levi, Judah, Manasseh or Gad.

Perhaps Manasseh was actually represented as Machir (or Makir) is said to be the son of Manasseh. Gilead is said to be the son of Makir (see Numbers 26:29-30) Gilead is also an ancient name for the territory of Jordan.

Since the Song of Deborah is likely far older than the other books that describe the tribes these names may not have been associated with these groups until later on. Scholars consider this a possibility. The tribe of Dan may have had some relationship with the Sea Peoples, or ultimately perhaps the Phoenicians which have involvement with the northern kingdom later. All in all considering the previous stories up to now the Song of Deborah creates more questions than anything.

1-Jablin and Hazor –Is Jablin killed in this episode and Hazor seized or was it under Joshua.
2-Who was Meroz? . What happened to them?
3-What were the names of the tribes of Israel at this point in history?
4-Who was Gilead?
5-Who was Makir (or Machir)?
6-Why did Meroz disappear from reality (or history) and Dan, Asher, and Reuben who also stay out of the conflict continue in existence?
7-What of the tribes of Simenon, Levi, Judah, Manasseh and Gad regarding their lack of mention?
8-Were tribal names still under development and that is the explanation for name disparity?

____________________________________________________________
"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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BobSpence1 wrote:RNA, one of

BobSpence1 wrote:

RNA, one of the key complex molecules of life, closely related to DNA, has been shown to form spontaneously under conditions highly likely to be present on the early Earth, so if that sort of thing can happen in the time scales of a lab experiment, then it would be insane to say that the spontaneous emergence of life as-we-know-it on at least one of the probable 100's of billions of suitable planets in the Universe at least once in 10's of billions of years is unlikely.

All you need is a collection of self-replicating molecules such as RNA, so evolution can kick in, and away you go.

One would really have to know what exactly were the assumptions involved in those estimates you refer to.

So in other words, if yeast can activate itself (which it can under the right conditions)  then given the right amount of time, eventually bread will be baked without any outside help.  and to think, i was doing it the hard way.

Sorry for the sarcasm.  I do see your point there, but it makes just as much sense to me as my example above.  Sure, one part can form, but how does it come together to make a complex being?  Sure, most would say enough time will do it, but I guarantee if I leave active yeast and keep them alive so my GGGGGGGGG grandchildren can have bread, it just won't happen... no matter how many G's I decide it should take.  Someone would have to come by and supply the correct ingredients.  Temperature could be socked to convenience without outside help when given a large enough sample size. 

What many non-believing thinking minds fail to take into consideration is that it is understood by many that God designed "nature" to work on its own and is not dictated like a puppet by God.  This is what I believe along with many non affiliated Christ Followers. 

 

 


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So what brand of yeast

So what brand of yeast formed your god?


BobSpence
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caposkia wrote:BobSpence1

caposkia wrote:

BobSpence1 wrote:

RNA, one of the key complex molecules of life, closely related to DNA, has been shown to form spontaneously under conditions highly likely to be present on the early Earth, so if that sort of thing can happen in the time scales of a lab experiment, then it would be insane to say that the spontaneous emergence of life as-we-know-it on at least one of the probable 100's of billions of suitable planets in the Universe at least once in 10's of billions of years is unlikely.

All you need is a collection of self-replicating molecules such as RNA, so evolution can kick in, and away you go.

One would really have to know what exactly were the assumptions involved in those estimates you refer to.

So in other words, if yeast can activate itself (which it can under the right conditions)  then given the right amount of time, eventually bread will be baked without any outside help.  and to think, i was doing it the hard way.

Sorry for the sarcasm.  I do see your point there, but it makes just as much sense to me as my example above.  Sure, one part can form, but how does it come together to make a complex being?  Sure, most would say enough time will do it, but I guarantee if I leave active yeast and keep them alive so my GGGGGGGGG grandchildren can have bread, it just won't happen... no matter how many G's I decide it should take.  Someone would have to come by and supply the correct ingredients.  Temperature could be socked to convenience without outside help when given a large enough sample size. 

What many non-believing thinking minds fail to take into consideration is that it is understood by many that God designed "nature" to work on its own and is not dictated like a puppet by God.  This is what I believe along with many non affiliated Christ Followers. 

Obviously your yeast analogy is a silly attempt at parody - yeast doesn't form itself out of stuff which doesn't contain DNA/RNA.

We are talking about the formation of a self-replicating molecule, the key ingredient for evolution to work. Evolution is how you get more complex forms, I'm sure you've heard of it. It has been demonstrated to work in decades, where colonies of bacteria have developed new capabilities. 

So whenever evidence is presented that direct intervention is not required, you move the goal-posts back and say God set up the preconditions for the apparently spontaneous emergence. No doubt if we show that those preconditions could arise without assistance from an even simpler, natural environment, you'll claim God was still needed to set up that environment. I see a pattern here, a consistent refusal to acknowledge the implications, that 'God' is not required to explain reality, leaving aside the problem that you have not explained why God exists...

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology


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pauljohntheskeptic wrote:I

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

I was taught he that believes on Jesus and is baptized is saved (his soul that is, whatever that is supposed to mean). The wishful thinking I alluded to is y'all get eternal life and such which is the supposed reward for following his ways. Or do y'all think it was some other promised reward?

No, we believe that is true, that who believes in Jesus is saved (spiritually), but if that's all you were told, then I can understand why it meant nothing to you.  Most who hear that somehow assume that life is supposed to be bliss.. or at least easier once you're saved and it's really the opposite in many ways. 

The Bible elaborates on all that I mentioned including humiliation, torture etc. for following Jesus.  That's only not taught in denominationalism.  why? it would of course scare the uneducated new follower away and those churches aren't prepaired to explain why and what it really means to lead a life following Jesus Christ. 

Part of what a person should be taught when coming into a following of Christ is first that it doesn't make life easier and does come with challenges.  Also that you follow because you understand the gift Jesus gave and not because you're afraid of going to hell because that's not what it's about.  That is a sect teaching and is not Biblical. 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

All of this goes away from the point I was trying to get you to address.

Sorry, that was not my intention

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

1-Is there any way to test & verify what is the real true story ? 

I believe so.  You would need to go out there with the state of "heart" that you truly are going to seek out and find God.  Some have also found God with the heart that they were going to once and for all disprove God, but that's not seeking him out as the Bible describes and so I can't guarantee that method to work even though statistically it has. 

Many assume here I'm saying, ok, start going to church and do everything they say and you'll eventually be convinced of God... no, that's not it at all. 

I would suggest finding someone who is a follower and start asking questions.  Do not take what they say without doing homework on it unless you already understand what they've said to be true.  In your research, your state of mind should be that you're looking for the truth on the matter and not to try and disprove what they're saying.  (that's a hard one most people in general)
You don't necessarily need to find a follower though, you can seek on your own, but if you do, i suggest starting with God in general... not the Christian God or the Muslim God or the Buhddist God, but just God... is there any reason to consider the existance of a higher power out there and why or why not.  Then you can go from there. 

It's not a cut and dry test like gravity where you drop an item, then give it to a friend and see the same result, everyone's approach to the matter will be different, but the result is always the same when their state of heart is to seek out God. 

The true verifcation of a test is the result.  If the results are the same, you can pretty much verify. 

The reason i believe it's not so cut and dry is because the only way a person can come to the same result is if they set their heart on finding God.. .Most non-believers set their heart on proving the opposite and therefore look in every place to find anything that would oppose without ever looking for the truth.  

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

2-Observed reality is founded on observation and documented occurrences and has a solid foundation in that it has been shown to occur, at least one time or it wouldn't be observed reality.

This is true of the Vatican.  They record spiritual miracles and have quite a process they go through in order to verify whether it was a hoax or a true miracle of God.  Regardless of their research in the matter and that they use "observed reality...founded on observation and documented occurrences" most non-believers don't acccept them as a reliable source because they're bias toward what they don't accept. 

therefore would you accept their claims as true based on what you said or because of the source do you dismiss it?  Most non-believers would still dismiss it and ignore it despite that in any other circumstance, they would accept something using the same approach as long as it was from a source they felt was reliable AND coensided with the reality in their own head.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

3-Wishful thinking & hopeful conjecture of a belief, in this case Christianity is believers will be saved and have an eternal life with the God and his son Jesus. This has not been observed and the truth to the 2,000 year old stories is subject to skepticism and doubt. All that believe these stories as true, do so without validation in observed reality which is hopeful conjecture. If you have "actual proof" than you don't have a need for faith as it has been observed. Do you deny that part of your belief is the hope for an eternal life with Jesus? If this isn't part of your beliefs y'all need to explain what is. 

I deny the "hope" because I know I have that eternal life.  There is no hope, but faith of course.  The thing is, you claim that, "Observed reality is founded on observation and documented occurrences and has a solid foundation in that it has been shown to occur, at least one time or it wouldn't be observed reality."  Yet because the source is the Bible... you automatically assume that it can't possibly be, "observed reality founded on observation". 

In this forum, we have already reveiled how the history that we do hold onto does not contradict Biblical claims and that there are other stories that support the understanding while at the same time transformign the occurances to that particular culture. 

I have faith that the Bible is an, "Observed reality founded on observation and documented occurrences."  Be it that the Bible is compiled of 66 separate books, many of which are not affiliated with each other amist supported by other books not put in the Bible.  This faith is the same faith you put in the history you understand to be true of that time.  From what you have expressed to me from our discussions, you understand things to be a particular way.  As we have elaborated, none of your understanding of what should be according to the history you understand contradicts scripture... if anything, it further supported its possibility in most cases with exception of Joshua to which we both agree is exaggerated ot the point of not being congruent with the history we understand to be true. 

As far as proof... yea, i've seen my proof.  none of which I can replicate.. why? because it's not something I tested, but observed and it has been documented and backed up by many others in the world who have observed the same thing or similar situations or miracles if you will.  It's also very ironic that those observed personally are congruent with the actions of the God of the Bible.  This again I would not expect you to accept because you need proof in your hands and until you observe it yourself and are conscious enough fo the happening to research its happening, you will not. 

to ask for a testable option is like trying to prove to me through testable means that I can replicate a star?  You can show me through technology we have today that it's made up of this particular type of Gas, but why should I accept that peice of technology as reliable?  Because everyone else who uses that peice comes up with the same conclusion?   If you give that peice of technology to an amature who has no clue how to use it, I'm willing to bet they will not come up with the same conclusion.  The Bible is the same way.  Everyone who knows how to use it has found God. 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Exactly. A ancient story regarding escapee slaves from Egypt has as much historical validity as Sumerian stories regarding the actions of Enki and his cohorts. There may be truth hidden in the stories of each but there is nothing that supports them.

therefore, it can't be discredited and we must move on.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:
 

OK, but acceptance of these stories as meaningful or inspired in some way by a higher intelligence (you call it God) is virtual acceptance that it has real world basis. Kind of difficult to get there from the ancient past of Jewish beliefs and do so without jumping forward into Jesus beliefs isn't it?

.....

If one accepts the stories are inspired by a god, it follows they must have real world basis or why even bother inspiring the writing. If the stories could be parables or literature, inspiration is not required therefore neither is the god. I suggest that you use your Jesus beliefs as sort of a decoder ring to decipher what is basically random gibberish and events of purported ancient Yahweh believers thus finding in such method a coherent path which is not obvious without. 

Well, in today's day in age, of course the NT is needed to better understand what the OT was saying.  Why?  We must take into consideration who the OT was written for and what time period the OT was written for.  Think about it.  The laws of millenium ago are almost irrelvent for today's cultures.  Some basics still apply (as in scripture) but most is modified to be appropriate for the current time.   

Also Jesus did clarify what was being manipulated and changed by the Pharasees.  There was a reason why the Pharasees so easily manipulated it, because it wasn't clearly understood by the "less educated" individual... which happened to be the majority at the time.  So, Jesus dumbed it down quite a bit so the average joe could understand it. 

Now we all are quite a bit more educated and are expecting it to be much more complicated than it is.  Where the education of today comes in is to understand the transition, why, how and for what purpose it all is put in place.  At the time when the existance of a God was not a question, the important point was why the Christian/Jewish God.  Now it's why a god at all. 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Part of the thrust of these stories is how powerful the god is and how he cares for his people. If you remove all the magic and miracles what do you have?

plausibilities in science.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Huh? 

you asked a simple question, i gave a simple answer.  What were you looking for there? and don't tell me nothing because you should know me better than that by now.  If I didn't have an answer for you to that question, I wouldn't be a believer. 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

The OT is filled with visits from the god or his agents. They seem to be out of touch with our area of the galaxy or Universe for the last 2,000 to 2,500 years don't they?

no, there are still reports around the world of similar visits.  God doesn't come to people like he did Moses in the OT due to Jesus and the new way of things in the NT.  It's not necessary anymore for that type of intervention.  That is clear in scripture.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

My point remains, what I was taught as a Christian is not true.

doesnt' mean God is not real, just might mean that your teachers based their understanding of God off of the unreal.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

What is true? I can't prove there is no god but you can't prove there is and even if there is you have no way to prove that the supposed god is not Enki or something else entirely. It may be the entire episodes of the OT were an attempt to have a god just as the other ancients. Egypt had detailed beliefs that are well documented. Are they the real gods?

What is true is what you need to discover and find out.  If you're set out to prove your own understanding you will never find the truth.  No, you can't using physical sciences prove or disprove a meta-physical being, so obviously other approaches to "prove" anything in this department are needed. 

The Bible elaborates on false gods and who or what they are.  Sometimes they are real people who manipulate the less educated or less fortunate into thinking they are a god. 

Other times it's a fallen angel according to scripture.  So in essence, your question about whether the other gods are real... historically and scripturally they are.  Their purpose as gods are self fulfilling and not for fulfilling the needs and loving their followers.  Their basic function tends to be taking advantage of the less fortunate for their own benifit and pleasure.   The purpose of a fallen angel is to take a persons attention off the true God (the Christian God) according to scripture.  Why?  they oppose the Christian God, he threw them out of heaven?  Of course you see good deeds from those false religions.  But the biggest overlook in that department is just because they oppose the True God doesn't mean they oppose good deeds.  If they can make their own following look good while keeping their followers away from YHWH, then so be it. 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Why do you accept stories from an ancient culture called the Jews with similar lack of historical basis to all other ancient culture's stories? Why do you insist that this god is real and is not a misinterpreted high tech alien or even a survivor from the ancient past of this planet? 

This goes into years of research and growth in my relationship with God.  That growth of course touches on the "non-observable" so I won't go into detail about that, but there are a lot of experiences that have gone along with that growth that aren't credited to just warm fuzzies when I sing or pray. 

In conjunction with God's presence in my life, my research has not allowed me to conclude that God can't be real.  in all my research in the sciences and geography, people groups and history, I have only found reason to further accept that a god must be responsible for all of it. 

When doing research specifically in the history of religions, it is discovered by historians and researchers that most of the larger most successful religions of today derived from a Judeo/Christan background.  They only changed into new religions due to individuals who were able to form their own following on a skewed interpretation of the Judeo/Christian understanding.  These would include geographic locations such as Asia and the middle east. 

In the sciences, it seemed to me through the evidences shown on how things got started or how life formed, it takes more faith to believe that everything came from nothing vs. everything being created by an intelligent designer.  Though there is chaos, there is also a strange organization to the chaos that allows stabilization enough to retain life.  That logically doesn't make sense in a system of complete chaos and a system that was formed by a giant explosion fueled by.... well we just don't know. 

Generally, scientifically speaking, the explanatinos I have gotten that would point away from an intelligent designer seem to need more faith to accept than would be an intelligent designer. 

Seems Einstein would agree be it that even he eluded to the fact that there was an intelligence behind it all and that it didn't happen by chance though he didn't believe in the Christian God;

"I believe in Spinoza's God who reveals himself in the orderly harmony of what exists, not in a God who concerns himself with the fates and actions of human beings." (Albert Einstein)

This person to whom he refers to, namely "Baruch Spinoza" was a Dutch philosopher from a Portugese Jewish origin.  He was understood to be one of the great rationalists of 17th century philosophy. 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Somehow you are reading in between the lines of the text something that is clearly not there.

Are you saying that my claim here that; "the sun standing still" is in fact a solar eclipse is me reading between the lines of text?  That understanding is from research in history by many into when there were actually solar eclipses and what was written about that happening by many cultures all over the world.... I didn't just pull that conclusion out of the air. 

i obviously didn't understand that at first either, but after asking some credible sources and looking into it a bit myself, that is a logical conclusion and seems to be the general understanding of that time of how to describe the annomoly that they really couldn't comprehend. 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Good luck with showing science supports scripture.

good luck showing it doesn't.  My science vs religion forum shows a few examples of how science can support scripture and any effort to suggest otherwise is futile.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Maybe later. 

just responding to your skepticism.  didn't really expect you to look, it's quite off topic really.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

I wasn't referring to the magic. If events are not true and are literature, it doesn't fit well into observations, thus causing confusion and difficulty in comprehension. There is much of this in the NT, not our current subject, perhaps next year. In general, it's clear to even non-believers such as myself that the Universe's vastness and our understanding & knowledge is minuscule. As knowledge increases more pieces fill in the puzzle though we don't even know how many pieces there are and what they all include. This is one of the reasons I don't accept the god concepts because they are far too simplistic and just claim God did it and don't bother with grasping exactly what might have occurred or what is involved.

your claim to fantasy not fitting into the real world suggested to me you were referring to magic. 

Here's the problem with your conclusion.  to "just claim God did it and don't bother grasping exactly what might have occured" is a completely ignorant way of concluding.  It's a dispensational way and is not scriptural. 

it's easy to conclude such because the Bible doesn't give us a scientific rundown of how God did it and pretty much leaves it up to us to decide how to comprehend creation.  When people claim "God did it' and that's it, they fail to take into consideration that  just because the Bible didn't elaborate doesn't mean that there's nothing moer to it.  The Bible is a summary and only elaborates on what is necessary for God's followers to know to get by in a life following Him.  How he created is hardly important information for existing and ti's more important to understand that he did in fact create it all.  That's where it elaborates. 

Christians who take the time to consider "how God did it" conclude 99% of the time that science supports creation.  They accept that there is a vast library of details left out of creation in the Bible adn they understand that its' not necessary for the story's point to get across. 

e.g.  If you notice, right at the beginning of Genesis when it describes creation, it quickly describes the formation of the universe and gets more detailed as it gets into creation that would more directly affect us.  The reason?  the Bible was written for us to understand the world around us and how to live in it in harmony with God's intentions and not to be comprehending the way God did it all. 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Do you have children? If you do you would know why. They figure you'd interfere or prevent them from doing what they want. They don't always accept the parent knows best especially if the parent has exhibited failure in some way.

exactly.  why would parents oppose?  Sure, some of it might be wrong or even illegal.  The other thing is that they are so different that maybe the parents just might not understand their intention no matter how pure.  It's showing change from generation to generation.  a programming if you will.  Kind of eludes to the separation and expansion idea.  Obviously a theoretical observation here, but it's congruent. 

We dont' need to elaborate too much on this, but there are many approaches to this subject, this is just one of probably hundreds.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

 

See comment above. I don't know how you read this between the lines.. 

it's not reading between the lines... just to clarify, I'll say again that it's reasearched and concluded from the experiences of many cultures around the world, congruent with the timing of a historical eclipse.  i hope that's clear.  It's just how they described it... how would you if you had no knowlege or understanding of a timeframe let alone the moon blocking out the sun for a short period of time.  would it be a double day to you?  a short night?  would you conclude that it's just a space anomoly and be scientific enough without the proper resources to conclude and describe it in a manner that an educated scientific world would imediately understand what you experienced? 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Joshua 10:12-13 JPS Hebrew Bible wrote:

12 Then spoke Joshua to the LORD in the day when the LORD delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel; and he said in the sight of Israel: 'Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon; and thou, Moon, in the valley of Aijalon.' 13 And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the nation had avenged themselves of their enemies. Is not this written in the book of Jashar? And the sun stayed in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day.

right... sounds like there could be some exaggeration as we had discussed as well.  We also know that the source this came from is not accessible to us now.  the writer could have embellished a bit to say it was a whole day, maybe it actually said that.  It is clear when you look into it that it was simply a solar eclipse as described and observed by many cultures who experienced that very eclipse whether Jewish or not. 

 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

 

A statistical analysis of relevance requires data. What data? Guesses and interpolation? Making claims RE: life elsewhere based on a single data point (us) is conjecture.

I agree we have gone outside the intent of this forum and I will shortly have a post continuing into Judges in a day or so.

 

not guesses, but they take into consideration estimates of suns, planets, solar systems, galaxies and hwo many there are in the universe also how many suns and planets have the appropriate distances and measurements to possibly support life.  They claim the estimates are generous becasue we have no idea how big the universe is and can only estimate the number of stars and planets based on what we can see.


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pauljohntheskeptic wrote:The

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

The Book of Judges

In Judges 1:8 the claim is made that Judah conquered Jerusalem and set it afire. In Judges 1:21 it indicates the Children of Benjamin did not drive out the Jebusites that lived in Jerusalem but lived amongst them to this day (the day this was written I’d guess). In 2 Samuel 5:6-10 David conquered Jerusalem. Perhaps the conquering by Judah and Benjamin is not quite accurate or the David myths are not in compliance with the Judges stories. Another thought may be that Jerusalem was relapsed back to the Jebusites repeatedly though this isn’t mentioned. In other words this is problematic.

The rest of Judges 1 continues the conquests of the land by the other tribes and apparently mutual cohabitation of the lands in many cases. Since the Canaanites continue in the lands obviously the writer needed to show that this occurred even though it was against the wishes of their god which the writer makes clear, again and again.

Judges 2 indicates the god was displeased as he sent a spokes-angel to Israel at Bochim who spoke to all of the children of Israel. His message was since they made treaties & truces with the inhabitants of the land that the god would not aide them in their removal and they would become thorns in their sides causing them to be led astray to worship their gods. Supposedly all the people wept at his words.

Was this a country wide appearance by the angel? Did he just use loudspeakers and broadcast to all of them since the text only indicates the angel spoke to them. The text indicates this was at Bochim, but if there were hundreds of thousands of them some sort of public address system would be needed. This claim doesn’t work for me for these reasons.

Joshua died as did all of the generation that knew the Lord and the next generation knew him not nor the works he had done for them.

They then did evil in the sight of the Lord (a comment that will become extremely boring and repetitive from here on, perhaps we need an abbreviated way to express it – EITSOTL). They forsook the God and served Baalim, one of many of the gods named Ba’al, & of course Ashtaroth – one of the many names for the Queen of Heaven – Yahweh’s consort or Asherah. Payback for being forsaked came in the form of the god working against them allowing their enemies to dominate.

Most people look for an excuse for failure other than taking the responsibility for their actions which is how I see the eternal whining about failure to eradicate the Canaanites.

Though the God was completely miffed at them he sent judges that would come forth to aide the people and bring them back into his fold. The people however choose the gods of the land over him which may have led the god further into his psychotic tendencies as continued rejection seems to induce that effect. The text is repetitive in regards to the Canaanites being allowed to remain within the sphere of influence of Israel. The text mentions repeatedly the god taking a hands off attitude in their regard.

This repetition continues into chapter 3 with detailing of the inhabitants that intermingle with Israel. It continues with a story of the judge Ehud who assassinates Eglon the king of Moab which enables Israel to subjugate Moab for at least 80 years.

Another judge named Shamgar is credited with killing 600 Philistines with an ox goad, apparently a weapon similar to a spear on one end and a heavy flattened chunk of metal on the other. Truly a nasty weapon though I’d think 600 men could just all fall on top of him thus preventing arm motion. Super powers are not mentioned in the short verse, so perhaps he killed them one at a time.

Chapter 4 is the adventures of Deborah & Barak which we discussed previously in regards to its discrediting the burning of Hazor and the death of king Jabin. I personally consider the account here to be more realistic.

Chapter 5 is the Song of Deborah considered to be one of the oldest stories in the Bible by scholars. In it is a retelling of the death of Sisera at the hand of Jael. It also discusses who was involved in the defense of Israel. Groups are mentioned that were not part of the supposed 12 or 13 tribes of Israel in the text. There are 11 groups mentioned: 8 were of the children of Israel: Reuben, Issachar, Zebulan, Naphtali, Asher, Dan,  Joseph & Benjamin; 3 were not: Gilead, Makir (or Machir), & Meroz. Meroz is cursed by the angel of the Lord for their failure of involvement (Judges 5:23) which appears to have worked as they are never mentioned again. As to what relationship they had to Israel isn’t mentioned.

 The tribe of Reuben apparently stayed home with their flocks (Judges 5:15-16). Gilead, not one of the tribes by tradition stayed beyond the Jordan. The tribe of Dan also stayed out of it by remaining on their ships. The tribe of Asher stayed on the coast and had no involvement. A group called Makir (KJV-Machir) also participated though they were not a tribe. No mention at all of the tribes of Simeon, Levi, Judah, Manasseh or Gad.

Perhaps Manasseh was actually represented as Machir (or Makir) is said to be the son of Manasseh. Gilead is said to be the son of Makir (see Numbers 26:29-30) Gilead is also an ancient name for the territory of Jordan.

Since the Song of Deborah is likely far older than the other books that describe the tribes these names may not have been associated with these groups until later on. Scholars consider this a possibility. The tribe of Dan may have had some relationship with the Sea Peoples, or ultimately perhaps the Phoenicians which have involvement with the northern kingdom later. All in all considering the previous stories up to now the Song of Deborah creates more questions than anything.

1-Jablin and Hazor –Is Jablin killed in this episode and Hazor seized or was it under Joshua.
2-Who was Meroz? . What happened to them?
3-What were the names of the tribes of Israel at this point in history?
4-Who was Gilead?
5-Who was Makir (or Machir)?
6-Why did Meroz disappear from reality (or history) and Dan, Asher, and Reuben who also stay out of the conflict continue in existence?
7-What of the tribes of Simenon, Levi, Judah, Manasseh and Gad regarding their lack of mention?
8-Were tribal names still under development and that is the explanation for name disparity?

I lost my quick response on this originally as i had somehow gotten logged off.

I basically mentioned we can chalk up the questionable details to the same reasons we've brought up in the past about exaggerated details and lack of historical information regarding that time period.  So far I would still agree that none of konwn history contradicts these claims.

 

As far as the questions, it seems you have done a good job answering at least half of them... probably just as good as I could.  I will fwd them anyway to some sources and research them myself a bit to see if we can find out more be it they are good questions to ask.


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I'm afraid I wont be finding

I'm afraid I wont be finding "god" anytime soon. I took my bullshit spiritual -I'm afraid of the unknown- self out back and shot the bitch.

Faith is the word but next to that snugged up closely "lie's" the want.
"By simple common sense I don't believe in god, in none."-Charlie Chaplin


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BobSpence1 wrote:Obviously

BobSpence1 wrote:

Obviously your yeast analogy is a silly attempt at parody - yeast doesn't form itself out of stuff which doesn't contain DNA/RNA.

We are talking about the formation of a self-replicating molecule, the key ingredient for evolution to work. Evolution is how you get more complex forms, I'm sure you've heard of it. It has been demonstrated to work in decades, where colonies of bacteria have developed new capabilities. 

So whenever evidence is presented that direct intervention is not required, you move the goal-posts back and say God set up the preconditions for the apparently spontaneous emergence. No doubt if we show that those preconditions could arise without assistance from an even simpler, natural environment, you'll claim God was still needed to set up that environment. I see a pattern here, a consistent refusal to acknowledge the implications, that 'God' is not required to explain reality, leaving aside the problem that you have not explained why God exists...

I understand what it is.  You may remember me discussing how the Bible supports Evolution.  Evolution is not what is in question here.  my yeast parody still holds be it that the claim is that with RNA, life can form from there without intelligence just as bread could form from working yeast without intervention. 

I have not moved any goal posts... you're smarter than that.  using the analogy, you're claiming bread can expand and rise without outside help as long as the yeast is present.  I don't disagree, what i"m saying is you can't get bread in the first place without an inteligence putting the right ingredients together first and mixing them. 

in other words, sure things can evolve on their own.  The Bible doesn't deny this, but to start without evolving from anything without help is where the question really arises.


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We have not quite nailed

We have not quite nailed down exactly how life started, as you put it how the right ingredients were mixed together. But that does not mean we have to make up a magic woman hating man to blame for it.

Personally I think it probably involves underwater volcanic activity.

Faith is the word but next to that snugged up closely "lie's" the want.
"By simple common sense I don't believe in god, in none."-Charlie Chaplin


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caposkia wrote:BobSpence1

caposkia wrote:

BobSpence1 wrote:

Obviously your yeast analogy is a silly attempt at parody - yeast doesn't form itself out of stuff which doesn't contain DNA/RNA.

We are talking about the formation of a self-replicating molecule, the key ingredient for evolution to work. Evolution is how you get more complex forms, I'm sure you've heard of it. It has been demonstrated to work in decades, where colonies of bacteria have developed new capabilities. 

So whenever evidence is presented that direct intervention is not required, you move the goal-posts back and say God set up the preconditions for the apparently spontaneous emergence. No doubt if we show that those preconditions could arise without assistance from an even simpler, natural environment, you'll claim God was still needed to set up that environment. I see a pattern here, a consistent refusal to acknowledge the implications, that 'God' is not required to explain reality, leaving aside the problem that you have not explained why God exists...

I understand what it is.  You may remember me discussing how the Bible supports Evolution.  Evolution is not what is in question here.  my yeast parody still holds be it that the claim is that with RNA, life can form from there without intelligence just as bread could form from working yeast without intervention. 

I have not moved any goal posts... you're smarter than that.  using the analogy, you're claiming bread can expand and rise without outside help as long as the yeast is present.  I don't disagree, what i"m saying is you can't get bread in the first place without an inteligence putting the right ingredients together first and mixing them. 

in other words, sure things can evolve on their own.  The Bible doesn't deny this, but to start without evolving from anything without help is where the question really arises.

The yeast analogy is still completely missing the point. we know that bread-making requires a special setup, because bread doesn't naturally occur in the wild. You could better refer to the wonderful shapes you see in limestone caves, or the growth of volcanoes, or of the patterns of river deltas, or the shapes of ice crystals, or all the other kinds of emergent structures which arise thru natural processes.

The demonstrated FACT that RNA, which is closely related to DNA, can form from simple non-living materials, under the sort of conditions that could easily have been present on an early Earth shows that a substance capable of evolving can indeed form from stuff which can't evolve. It formed in the lab, with nothing set up to steer it toward that particular molecule. They no doubt tried a number of variations of likely conditions, and in far less than the millions of years available for the original natural emergence, it happened. The environments tested were nowhere near as contrived as a bread-making setup.

Once you have something that can be duplicated, such as RNA, more copies can form, some with the inevitable small changes due to copying 'errors'. This is all you need for evolution.

Sure, we haven't filled in all the nuts-and-bolts of the process, but science continues to fill in the details of abiogenesis. It is not necessary to know exactly the sequence of events that did happen, just that key processes, such as formation of the key molecules such as RNA can happen without requiring really special and unlikely 'setups'. This has now been shown for one very important molecule. The 'ingredients' for RNA are known to be present in nature, and it does not require outside intervention for them to accumulate in some place that allows them to get together like this. The conditions are simply not that special, and there were millions of years and the range of conditions across the entire earth, from equator to poles, from the depths of the seas to the muddy shores, for this key process to start somewhere, sometime. It really isn't that complicated, as has now been demonstrated. No intelligence required, just time and chance.

Just what is your comprehension problem , cap?

And you still haven't explained how God's intelligence formed without outside help.

The scientific explanation shows that complexity can arise from simple precursors, so only requires the simplest possible starting point, whereas the assumption that a God is necessary to 'explain' complex stuff ultimately explains nothing, because you assume that something complex and intelligent can simply exist from the beginning.

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology


pauljohntheskeptic
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caposkia

caposkia wrote:


pauljohntheskeptic wrote:


I was taught he that believes on Jesus and is baptized is saved (his soul that is, whatever that is supposed to mean). The wishful thinking I alluded to is y'all get eternal life and such which is the supposed reward for following his ways. Or do y'all think it was some other promised reward?



No, we believe that is true, that who believes in Jesus is saved (spiritually), but if that's all you were told, then I can understand why it meant nothing to you.  Most who hear that somehow assume that life is supposed to be bliss.. or at least easier once you're saved and it's really the opposite in many ways.

The Bible elaborates on all that I mentioned including humiliation, torture etc. for following Jesus.  That's only not taught in denominationalism.  why? it would of course scare the uneducated new follower away and those churches aren't prepaired to explain why and what it really means to lead a life following Jesus Christ.

Part of what a person should be taught when coming into a following of Christ is first that it doesn't make life easier and does come with challenges.  Also that you follow because you understand the gift Jesus gave and not because you're afraid of going to hell because that's not what it's about.  That is a sect teaching and is not Biblical.


I thought you knew me by now and so I didn't elaborate on all the details that came with being a Jesus follower. Yes, I was aware of the consequences involved for followers, I was raised by my mother a former Lutheran School teacher.

caposkia wrote:


pauljohntheskeptic wrote:


1-Is there any way to test & verify what is the real true story ?



I believe so.  You would need to go out there with the state of "heart" that you truly are going to seek out and find God.  Some have also found God with the heart that they were going to once and for all disprove God, but that's not seeking him out as the Bible describes and so I can't guarantee that method to work even though statistically it has.

Many assume here I'm saying, ok, start going to church and do everything they say and you'll eventually be convinced of God... no, that's not it at all.

I would suggest finding someone who is a follower and start asking questions.  Do not take what they say without doing homework on it unless you already understand what they've said to be true.  In your research, your state of mind should be that you're looking for the truth on the matter and not to try and disprove what they're saying.  (that's a hard one most people in general)
You don't necessarily need to find a follower though, you can seek on your own, but if you do, i suggest starting with God in general... not the Christian God or the Muslim God or the Buhddist God, but just God... is there any reason to consider the existance of a higher power out there and why or why not.  Then you can go from there.

It's not a cut and dry test like gravity where you drop an item, then give it to a friend and see the same result, everyone's approach to the matter will be different, but the result is always the same when their state of heart is to seek out God.

The true verification of a test is the result.  If the results are the same, you can pretty much verify.

The reason i believe it's not so cut and dry is because the only way a person can come to the same result is if they set their heart on finding God.. .Most non-believers set their heart on proving the opposite and therefore look in every place to find anything that would oppose without ever looking for the truth. 


Actually you went completely global in your response and I really meant only what we were discussing in regards to the content of the stories of the OT we were discussing.

I have no intention of going into the details in regards to the subject matter of how to search out and determine if there is a god and if so which one. That would require terabytes to analyze.

 
caposkia wrote:


pauljohntheskeptic wrote:


2-Observed reality is founded on observation and documented occurrences and has a solid foundation in that it has been shown to occur, at least one time or it wouldn't be observed reality.



This is true of the Vatican.  They record spiritual miracles and have quite a process they go through in order to verify whether it was a hoax or a true miracle of God.  Regardless of their research in the matter and that they use "observed reality...founded on observation and documented occurrences" most non-believers don't accept them as a reliable source because they're bias toward what they don't accept.

therefore would you accept their claims as true based on what you said or because of the source do you dismiss it?  Most non-believers would still dismiss it and ignore it despite that in any other circumstance, they would accept something using the same approach as long as it was from a source they felt was reliable AND coensided with the reality in their own head.


As we are both relapsed Catholic heretics in essence, you because you depart from their true way and me because I consider their entire effort to be based in fantasyland neither of us likely have much trust in what the Vatican does.

I have no clue as to what the Vatican's real evidence is in the matter of supposed miracles. As they have an agenda, keep people in the faith, it is helpful to their cause when some events seem to have an origin that can't be explained.

caposkia wrote:


pauljohntheskeptic wrote:


3-Wishful thinking & hopeful conjecture of a belief, in this case Christianity is believers will be saved and have an eternal life with the God and his son Jesus. This has not been observed and the truth to the 2,000 year old stories is subject to skepticism and doubt. All that believe these stories as true, do so without validation in observed reality which is hopeful conjecture. If you have "actual proof" than you don't have a need for faith as it has been observed. Do you deny that part of your belief is the hope for an eternal life with Jesus? If this isn't part of your beliefs y'all need to explain what is.


I deny the "hope" because I know I have that eternal life.  There is no hope, but faith of course.  The thing is, you claim that, "Observed reality is founded on observation and documented occurrences and has a solid foundation in that it has been shown to occur, at least one time or it wouldn't be observed reality."  Yet because the source is the Bible... you automatically assume that it can't possibly be, "observed reality founded on observation".


As I have told you many times, I consider the Bible in the same way as I do all other stories of the ancients that had inadequate knowledge of the world and Universe. I do not consider Egyptian stories any more likely than Sumerian, Celtic, Etruscan or Hebrew. All of them need to be held in skepticism until something can substantiate that the claims in specific regard to gods have merit.

caposkia wrote:


In this forum, we have already reveiled how the history that we do hold onto does not contradict Biblical claims and that there are other stories that support the understanding while at the same time transformign the occurances to that particular culture.


Only in that since no one videotaped the Exodus, the Garden of Eden incidents, Adapa cursing the south wind, Adapa rejecting the bread & water of life offered by the god An, God flooding the world or was it the gods An & Enlil attempting to have quiet once more.

caposkia wrote:


I have faith that the Bible is an, "Observed reality founded on observation and documented occurrences."  Be it that the Bible is compiled of 66 separate books, many of which are not affiliated with each other amist supported by other books not put in the Bible.  This faith is the same faith you put in the history you understand to be true of that time.  From what you have expressed to me from our discussions, you understand things to be a particular way.  As we have elaborated, none of your understanding of what should be according to the history you understand contradicts scripture... if anything, it further supported its possibility in most cases with exception of Joshua to which we both agree is exaggerated ot the point of not being congruent with the history we understand to be true.


There are way more than 66 books that make up Bibles. Apparently you have decided the others are not to be considered supportive, as in Esdras perhaps because it suggests that Ezra rewrote the books as they were destroyed.

caposkia wrote:


As far as proof... yea, i've seen my proof.  none of which I can replicate.. why? because it's not something I tested, but observed and it has been documented and backed up by many others in the world who have observed the same thing or similar situations or miracles if you will.  It's also very ironic that those observed personally are congruent with the actions of the God of the Bible.  This again I would not expect you to accept because you need proof in your hands and until you observe it yourself and are conscious enough fo the happening to research its happening, you will not.

to ask for a testable option is like trying to prove to me through testable means that I can replicate a star?  You can show me through technology we have today that it's made up of this particular type of Gas, but why should I accept that peice of technology as reliable?  Because everyone else who uses that peice comes up with the same conclusion?   If you give that peice of technology to an amature who has no clue how to use it, I'm willing to bet they will not come up with the same conclusion.  The Bible is the same way.  Everyone who knows how to use it has found God.



You know the deal, repetition of an observation by anyone is what will take something out of a theory or conjecture to general acceptance. You might have to go through extended study to gain the knowledge and ability to grasp certain concepts, such as how to make an integrated circuit. You know for example by seeing one it can be done, but you may lack the knowledge to make one yourself,

In the realm of religion however, there is nothing laying on the lab table to analyze and the instruction booklets aren't detailed enough for me to reproduce the claimed results. What exactly is the formula to move mountains again.

caposkia wrote:


pauljohntheskeptic wrote:


Exactly. A ancient story regarding escapee slaves from Egypt has as much historical validity as Sumerian stories regarding the actions of Enki and his cohorts. There may be truth hidden in the stories of each but there is nothing that supports them.



therefore, it can't be discredited and we must move on.


Yes, Enki made the first man out of clay with the help of the goddess Ninmah can't be discredited so we should move on.

caposkia wrote:


pauljohntheskeptic wrote:


OK, but acceptance of these stories as meaningful or inspired in some way by a higher intelligence (you call it God) is virtual acceptance that it has real world basis. Kind of difficult to get there from the ancient past of Jewish beliefs and do so without jumping forward into Jesus beliefs isn't it?

.....

If one accepts the stories are inspired by a god, it follows they must have real world basis or why even bother inspiring the writing. If the stories could be parables or literature, inspiration is not required therefore neither is the god. I suggest that you use your Jesus beliefs as sort of a decoder ring to decipher what is basically random gibberish and events of purported ancient Yahweh believers thus finding in such method a coherent path which is not obvious without.



Well, in today's day in age, of course the NT is needed to better understand what the OT was saying.  Why?  We must take into consideration who the OT was written for and what time period the OT was written for.  Think about it.  The laws of millenium ago are almost irrelvent for today's cultures.  Some basics still apply (as in scripture) but most is modified to be appropriate for the current time.  

Also Jesus did clarify what was being manipulated and changed by the Pharasees.  There was a reason why the Pharasees so easily manipulated it, because it wasn't clearly understood by the "less educated" individual... which happened to be the majority at the time.  So, Jesus dumbed it down quite a bit so the average joe could understand it.

Now we all are quite a bit more educated and are expecting it to be much more complicated than it is.  Where the education of today comes in is to understand the transition, why, how and for what purpose it all is put in place.  At the time when the existance of a God was not a question, the important point was why the Christian/Jewish God.  Now it's why a god at all.


Perhaps this is a subject for later on discussing why you are a Jesus Believer and not a Jew.

caposkia wrote:


pauljohntheskeptic wrote:


Part of the thrust of these stories is how powerful the god is and how he cares for his people. If you remove all the magic and miracles what do you have?



plausibilities in science.
pauljohntheskeptic wrote:


Huh?



you asked a simple question, i gave a simple answer.  What were you looking for there? and don't tell me nothing because you should know me better than that by now.  If I didn't have an answer for you to that question, I wouldn't be a believer.


What you have is stories that are exactly similar to all the other stories of ancients. Remove the ailments of Enki in Sumerian literature and the cure by the goddess which result in the lady of the rib Nina-ti (first woman) and you have a poor attempt at explanation of how man and woman originated. If you do the same to God in Genesis, removing his creation of Eve from Adam (in one of the explanations of how woman was made) you have an inadequate explanation. Perhaps both stories are scientific in some way in that regard.

 
caposkia wrote:


pauljohntheskeptic wrote:


The OT is filled with visits from the god or his agents. They seem to be out of touch with our area of the galaxy or Universe for the last 2,000 to 2,500 years don't they?



no, there are still reports around the world of similar visits.  God doesn't come to people like he did Moses in the OT due to Jesus and the new way of things in the NT.  It's not necessary anymore for that type of intervention.  That is clear in scripture.


There are reports of UFOs and alien abductions as well.

caposkia wrote:


pauljohntheskeptic wrote:


What is true? I can't prove there is no god but you can't prove there is and even if there is you have no way to prove that the supposed god is not Enki or something else entirely. It may be the entire episodes of the OT were an attempt to have a god just as the other ancients. Egypt had detailed beliefs that are well documented. Are they the real gods?



What is true is what you need to discover and find out.  If you're set out to prove your own understanding you will never find the truth.  No, you can't using physical sciences prove or disprove a meta-physical being, so obviously other approaches to "prove" anything in this department are needed.


This also applies to you as well. Whatever reasons you have that cause you to consider the god of the Jews to be real along with his son  versus any other ancient gods has distorted your thinking.

caposkia wrote:


The Bible elaborates on false gods and who or what they are.  Sometimes they are real people who manipulate the less educated or less fortunate into thinking they are a god.


And sometimes it's an invisible god that no one has ever seen except in antiquity.

caposkia wrote:


Other times it's a fallen angel according to scripture.  So in essence, your question about whether the other gods are real... historically and scripturally they are.  Their purpose as gods are self fulfilling and not for fulfilling the needs and loving their followers.  Their basic function tends to be taking advantage of the less fortunate for their own benifit and pleasure.   The purpose of a fallen angel is to take a persons attention off the true God (the Christian God) according to scripture.  Why?  they oppose the Christian God, he threw them out of heaven?  Of course you see good deeds from those false religions.  But the biggest overlook in that department is just because they oppose the True God doesn't mean they oppose good deeds.  If they can make their own following look good while keeping their followers away from YHWH, then so be it.


Other than Genesis 6 and 1 Enoch, I know of no other "fallen angels" in the Bible nor of any "war in Heaven" in the OT. The NT is not the subject here and the supposed war there in Revelation (Apocalypse in Douay-Rheims) is a future event. For there to be "fallen angels" as gods in the OT, point to verses where they fell in the OT, not in the NT. 1 Enoch seems to have captured and eliminated that group so where else?

 
caposkia wrote:


pauljohntheskeptic wrote:


Why do you accept stories from an ancient culture called the Jews with similar lack of historical basis to all other ancient culture's stories? Why do you insist that this god is real and is not a misinterpreted high tech alien or even a survivor from the ancient past of this planet?



This goes into years of research and growth in my relationship with God.  That growth of course touches on the "non-observable" so I won't go into detail about that, but there are a lot of experiences that have gone along with that growth that aren't credited to just warm fuzzies when I sing or pray.

In conjunction with God's presence in my life, my research has not allowed me to conclude that God can't be real.  in all my research in the sciences and geography, people groups and history, I have only found reason to further accept that a god must be responsible for all of it.

When doing research specifically in the history of religions, it is discovered by historians and researchers that most of the larger most successful religions of today derived from a Judeo/Christan background.  They only changed into new religions due to individuals who were able to form their own following on a skewed interpretation of the Judeo/Christian understanding.  These would include geographic locations such as Asia and the middle east.

In the sciences, it seemed to me through the evidences shown on how things got started or how life formed, it takes more faith to believe that everything came from nothing vs. everything being created by an intelligent designer.  Though there is chaos, there is also a strange organization to the chaos that allows stabilization enough to retain life.  That logically doesn't make sense in a system of complete chaos and a system that was formed by a giant explosion fueled by.... well we just don't know.

Generally, scientifically speaking, the explanatinos I have gotten that would point away from an intelligent designer seem to need more faith to accept than would be an intelligent designer.

Seems Einstein would agree be it that even he eluded to the fact that there was an intelligence behind it all and that it didn't happen by chance though he didn't believe in the Christian God;

"I believe in Spinoza's God who reveals himself in the orderly harmony of what exists, not in a God who concerns himself with the fates and actions of human beings." (Albert Einstein)

This person to whom he refers to, namely "Baruch Spinoza" was a Dutch philosopher from a Portugese Jewish origin.  He was understood to be one of the great rationalists of 17th century philosophy.


We see this in very different perspectives.

All I have found in my research is insubstantial support for Yahweh as any more real than any other ancient god of antiquity.

I do not wish to debate evolution or intelligent design, been there done that, the metaphysical god is your way out and you'll surely take that option. No one knows what existed prior to the big bang and all from nothing is not what is claimed. In the world of God did it there is always the problem of his origin too. This is not the place to analyze that subject right now.

caposkia wrote:


pauljohntheskeptic wrote:


Somehow you are reading in between the lines of the text something that is clearly not there.



Are you saying that my claim here that; "the sun standing still" is in fact a solar eclipse is me reading between the lines of text?  That understanding is from research in history by many into when there were actually solar eclipses and what was written about that happening by many cultures all over the world.... I didn't just pull that conclusion out of the air.

i obviously didn't understand that at first either, but after asking some credible sources and looking into it a bit myself, that is a logical conclusion and seems to be the general understanding of that time of how to describe the annomoly that they really couldn't comprehend.


As per the quoted verse, I can only take it to mean what it says and no more. We will have to disagree here.

 

caposkia wrote:


pauljohntheskeptic wrote:


I wasn't referring to the magic. If events are not true and are literature, it doesn't fit well into observations, thus causing confusion and difficulty in comprehension. There is much of this in the NT, not our current subject, perhaps next year. In general, it's clear to even non-believers such as myself that the Universe's vastness and our understanding & knowledge is minuscule. As knowledge increases more pieces fill in the puzzle though we don't even know how many pieces there are and what they all include. This is one of the reasons I don't accept the god concepts because they are far too simplistic and just claim God did it and don't bother with grasping exactly what might have occurred or what is involved.



your claim to fantasy not fitting into the real world suggested to me you were referring to magic.

Here's the problem with your conclusion.  to "just claim God did it and don't bother grasping exactly what might have occured" is a completely ignorant way of concluding.  It's a dispensational way and is not scriptural.

it's easy to conclude such because the Bible doesn't give us a scientific rundown of how God did it and pretty much leaves it up to us to decide how to comprehend creation.  When people claim "God did it' and that's it, they fail to take into consideration that  just because the Bible didn't elaborate doesn't mean that there's nothing moer to it.  The Bible is a summary and only elaborates on what is necessary for God's followers to know to get by in a life following Him.  How he created is hardly important information for existing and ti's more important to understand that he did in fact create it all.  That's where it elaborates.

Christians who take the time to consider "how God did it" conclude 99% of the time that science supports creation.  They accept that there is a vast library of details left out of creation in the Bible adn they understand that its' not necessary for the story's point to get across.

e.g.  If you notice, right at the beginning of Genesis when it describes creation, it quickly describes the formation of the universe and gets more detailed as it gets into creation that would more directly affect us.  The reason?  the Bible was written for us to understand the world around us and how to live in it in harmony with God's intentions and not to be comprehending the way God did it all.



I would agree that the Bible, specifically the OT was a method for those of the belief in Judaism as a means and method to approach life. In that respect, none of it has to be based in reality.

 

caposkia wrote:


pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

 

A statistical analysis of relevance requires data. What data? Guesses and interpolation? Making claims RE: life elsewhere based on a single data point (us) is conjecture.

I agree we have gone outside the intent of this forum and I will shortly have a post continuing into Judges in a day or so.

 



not guesses, but they take into consideration estimates of suns, planets, solar systems, galaxies and hwo many there are in the universe also how many suns and planets have the appropriate distances and measurements to possibly support life.  They claim the estimates are generous becasue we have no idea how big the universe is and can only estimate the number of stars and planets based on what we can see.



I know they do estimates as you describe yet estimates are only that and not data points. Statistics requires actual data points and we have only one so far. Based on the composition of what we see on Earth and in our solar system we can make educated estimates or guesses but making any claim regarding statistical probability is wild ass guessing until you have more data points.

 

 

 

____________________________________________________________
"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:

The Book of Judges

In Judges 1:8 the claim is made that Judah conquered Jerusalem and set it afire. In Judges 1:21 it indicates the Children of Benjamin did not drive out the Jebusites that lived in Jerusalem but lived amongst them to this day (the day this was written I’d guess). In 2 Samuel 5:6-10 David conquered Jerusalem. Perhaps the conquering by Judah and Benjamin is not quite accurate or the David myths are not in compliance with the Judges stories. Another thought may be that Jerusalem was relapsed back to the Jebusites repeatedly though this isn’t mentioned. In other words this is problematic.

The rest of Judges 1 continues the conquests of the land by the other tribes and apparently mutual cohabitation of the lands in many cases. Since the Canaanites continue in the lands obviously the writer needed to show that this occurred even though it was against the wishes of their god which the writer makes clear, again and again.

Judges 2 indicates the god was displeased as he sent a spokes-angel to Israel at Bochim who spoke to all of the children of Israel. His message was since they made treaties & truces with the inhabitants of the land that the god would not aide them in their removal and they would become thorns in their sides causing them to be led astray to worship their gods. Supposedly all the people wept at his words.

Was this a country wide appearance by the angel? Did he just use loudspeakers and broadcast to all of them since the text only indicates the angel spoke to them. The text indicates this was at Bochim, but if there were hundreds of thousands of them some sort of public address system would be needed. This claim doesn’t work for me for these reasons.

Joshua died as did all of the generation that knew the Lord and the next generation knew him not nor the works he had done for them.

They then did evil in the sight of the Lord (a comment that will become extremely boring and repetitive from here on, perhaps we need an abbreviated way to express it – EITSOTL). They forsook the God and served Baalim, one of many of the gods named Ba’al, & of course Ashtaroth – one of the many names for the Queen of Heaven – Yahweh’s consort or Asherah. Payback for being forsaked came in the form of the god working against them allowing their enemies to dominate.

Most people look for an excuse for failure other than taking the responsibility for their actions which is how I see the eternal whining about failure to eradicate the Canaanites.

Though the God was completely miffed at them he sent judges that would come forth to aide the people and bring them back into his fold. The people however choose the gods of the land over him which may have led the god further into his psychotic tendencies as continued rejection seems to induce that effect. The text is repetitive in regards to the Canaanites being allowed to remain within the sphere of influence of Israel. The text mentions repeatedly the god taking a hands off attitude in their regard.

This repetition continues into chapter 3 with detailing of the inhabitants that intermingle with Israel. It continues with a story of the judge Ehud who assassinates Eglon the king of Moab which enables Israel to subjugate Moab for at least 80 years.

Another judge named Shamgar is credited with killing 600 Philistines with an ox goad, apparently a weapon similar to a spear on one end and a heavy flattened chunk of metal on the other. Truly a nasty weapon though I’d think 600 men could just all fall on top of him thus preventing arm motion. Super powers are not mentioned in the short verse, so perhaps he killed them one at a time.

Chapter 4 is the adventures of Deborah & Barak which we discussed previously in regards to its discrediting the burning of Hazor and the death of king Jabin. I personally consider the account here to be more realistic.

Chapter 5 is the Song of Deborah considered to be one of the oldest stories in the Bible by scholars. In it is a retelling of the death of Sisera at the hand of Jael. It also discusses who was involved in the defense of Israel. Groups are mentioned that were not part of the supposed 12 or 13 tribes of Israel in the text. There are 11 groups mentioned: 8 were of the children of Israel: Reuben, Issachar, Zebulan, Naphtali, Asher, Dan,  Joseph & Benjamin; 3 were not: Gilead, Makir (or Machir), & Meroz. Meroz is cursed by the angel of the Lord for their failure of involvement (Judges 5:23) which appears to have worked as they are never mentioned again. As to what relationship they had to Israel isn’t mentioned.

 The tribe of Reuben apparently stayed home with their flocks (Judges 5:15-16). Gilead, not one of the tribes by tradition stayed beyond the Jordan. The tribe of Dan also stayed out of it by remaining on their ships. The tribe of Asher stayed on the coast and had no involvement. A group called Makir (KJV-Machir) also participated though they were not a tribe. No mention at all of the tribes of Simeon, Levi, Judah, Manasseh or Gad.

Perhaps Manasseh was actually represented as Machir (or Makir) is said to be the son of Manasseh. Gilead is said to be the son of Makir (see Numbers 26:29-30) Gilead is also an ancient name for the territory of Jordan.

Since the Song of Deborah is likely far older than the other books that describe the tribes these names may not have been associated with these groups until later on. Scholars consider this a possibility. The tribe of Dan may have had some relationship with the Sea Peoples, or ultimately perhaps the Phoenicians which have involvement with the northern kingdom later. All in all considering the previous stories up to now the Song of Deborah creates more questions than anything.

1-Jablin and Hazor –Is Jablin killed in this episode and Hazor seized or was it under Joshua.
2-Who was Meroz? . What happened to them?
3-What were the names of the tribes of Israel at this point in history?
4-Who was Gilead?
5-Who was Makir (or Machir)?
6-Why did Meroz disappear from reality (or history) and Dan, Asher, and Reuben who also stay out of the conflict continue in existence?
7-What of the tribes of Simenon, Levi, Judah, Manasseh and Gad regarding their lack of mention?
8-Were tribal names still under development and that is the explanation for name disparity?

I lost my quick response on this originally as i had somehow gotten logged off.

I basically mentioned we can chalk up the questionable details to the same reasons we've brought up in the past about exaggerated details and lack of historical information regarding that time period.  So far I would still agree that none of konwn history contradicts these claims.

 

As far as the questions, it seems you have done a good job answering at least half of them... probably just as good as I could.  I will fwd them anyway to some sources and research them myself a bit to see if we can find out more be it they are good questions to ask.

The story of Deborah organizing groups of people, not necessarily tribes of Israel is plausible. There is no actions in the stories where magic is required. The stories are reasonable as well.

The different claims in regard to Jerusalem being taken early in Judges 1, I would agree is an exageration as I pointed out that David takes the city later on in 2 Samuel. There is the possibility the city went back and forth though there is no historical support for that position so the various claims cause a dispute as to what actually was the case.

In regards to why only Meroz was singled out for elimnation from the world and not the tribes of Dan, Asher, and Reuben, one can only guess they weren't a tribe of Israel I suppose and as such were zapped out of reality while the tribes had a get out of jail free card from the god. In the case of Simeon, Judah, Levi, and Manasseh lack of mention in this very old book causes issues. Perhaps Levi being the priestly caste had no business in warfare, but not so the others.

____________________________________________________________
"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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robj101 wrote:We have not

robj101 wrote:

We have not quite nailed down exactly how life started, as you put it how the right ingredients were mixed together. But that does not mean we have to make up a magic woman hating man to blame for it.

Personally I think it probably involves underwater volcanic activity.

The issue is both sides will claim that the other made something up... yet both sides fully believe that they didn't and aren't using their understanding as an excuse for understanding life's origin. 

just food for thought.  The Chrsitian God isn't woman hating, God loves all equally.  Any woman hating or any hate for that matter being portrayed isn't Biblical for Christ followers. 

Ask a well researched believer and they will tell you they can't nail down the exact process that God used to create, but it's not out of the question to assume it was a means that we would understand to be natural and scientific. 


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BobSpence1 wrote:The yeast

BobSpence1 wrote:

The yeast analogy is still completely missing the point. we know that bread-making requires a special setup, because bread doesn't naturally occur in the wild. You could better refer to the wonderful shapes you see in limestone caves, or the growth of volcanoes, or of the patterns of river deltas, or the shapes of ice crystals, or all the other kinds of emergent structures which arise thru natural processes.

The point was to compare a means of creation that we understand needs assistance to do so to a natural means that would require a similar process of combining and mixing ingredients.   

I could use any example you expressed above and I could also come up with a completely logical natural explanation of how that happened without needing to use God in the explanation, so how would those examples really help the point?

Case and point here just in case you decide to take that route.. just because I don't have to use God to explain something doesn't support the absence of a meta-physical being.

BobSpence1 wrote:

The demonstrated FACT that RNA, which is closely related to DNA, can form from simple non-living materials, under the sort of conditions that could easily have been present on an early Earth shows that a substance capable of evolving can indeed form from stuff which can't evolve. It formed in the lab, with nothing set up to steer it toward that particular molecule. They no doubt tried a number of variations of likely conditions, and in far less than the millions of years available for the original natural emergence, it happened. The environments tested were nowhere near as contrived as a bread-making setup.

i see what you're saying with the lab tests, but keep in mind what you're telling me here...

1.  The lab tests are using ingredients that happen to be on our planet and not others in such a way

2.  Under the sort of conditions that COULD EASILY HAVE BEEN present but not necessarily (a number of other conditions could have been as well just as easily)

3.  The tried a number of variations of LIKELY CONDITIONS. 

The point being.  it sounds like there were a set of conditions already put in place and together to allow the situation to take place.  In other words, the ingredients were already put together with the yeast and the oven was set to the right temperature. 

BobSpence1 wrote:

Once you have something that can be duplicated, such as RNA, more copies can form, some with the inevitable small changes due to copying 'errors'. This is all you need for evolution.

Right, just like friendship bread, once you get the base, you can make as many loaves as you want from that base. 

If you're not familiar with it, look up Amish Friendship Bread. 

Just a reminder note as well, the Bible doesn't discount evolution.  it discounts the beginning, or in other words theoretical creation and how it all started. 

BobSpence1 wrote:

 

Sure, we haven't filled in all the nuts-and-bolts of the process, but science continues to fill in the details of abiogenesis. It is not necessary to know exactly the sequence of events that did happen, just that key processes, such as formation of the key molecules such as RNA can happen without requiring really special and unlikely 'setups'. This has now been shown for one very important molecule. The 'ingredients' for RNA are known to be present in nature, and it does not require outside intervention for them to accumulate in some place that allows them to get together like this. The conditions are simply not that special, and there were millions of years and the range of conditions across the entire earth, from equator to poles, from the depths of the seas to the muddy shores, for this key process to start somewhere, sometime. It really isn't that complicated, as has now been demonstrated. No intelligence required, just time and chance.

Right... and just below you ask me to explain how God came into being... yet you haven't filled the nuts and bolts of what we see around us every day.  C'mon. let's think logically.  I'll respond to that futher. 

as far as no intelligence required, sure.  As long as the baker puts the ingredients together, any fool can make a loaf of bread.  Don't mean to keep using that analogy, but it seems to compare well to what you're saying still.

BobSpence1 wrote:

Just what is your comprehension problem , cap?

my comprehension problem is that I allow another dimension of thinking into my brain, namely another existance outside of the physical.  This didn't derive from fairytales, but from many different aspects of research as I have elaborated on in the past.

BobSpence1 wrote:

And you still haven't explained how God's intelligence formed without outside help.

and here... the infamous challenge.  Where did God come from?  It'd be like you trying to explain to me what was before the Big Bang, then me challenging you to prove it.  It just can't be done with our finite understanding as it is right now.

BobSpence1 wrote:

The scientific explanation shows that complexity can arise from simple precursors, so only requires the simplest possible starting point, whereas the assumption that a God is necessary to 'explain' complex stuff ultimately explains nothing, because you assume that something complex and intelligent can simply exist from the beginning.

Most non-believers seem to be stuck on the idea that God is necessary to explain...  maybe some believe that, but it's not why we follow Him.  As I've said, a well researched Christian will admit to not having an explanation for how God created, but would conclude that it may be through a means that we would find to be logically explained in science.


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Judges 6 to 12

The Book of Judges Part 2

There is very little from Judges 6 to Judges 12 that requires a god to be real. There is no magic or divine intervention. One could replace the words God or Lord with the name of any deity worshiped by the ancients and the text would still be appropriate. When the over used comment of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord (EITSOTL) is made it is clearly the view of the writer and is prejudiced.

Summary and comments:

Judges 6 begins with the ever present comment; the children of Israel did EITSOTL so he delivered them into the hand of Midian for 7 years. This results in mass immigration of the Midianites and Amalekites into the area claimed by Israel said to be as grasshoppers where their tents were such a multitude that they and their camels were without number. Eventually the god listens to the whining and sends a prophet.

An angel is dispatched to talk with Gideon. He is told by the angel the Lord is with him. The text gets strange after this and though an angel was supposedly talking to Gideon it suddenly becomes the Lord talking directly to Gideon. Regardless, eventually after seeing signs and verbal exchanges with the angel and/or the Lord Gideon signs on.

Gideon takes a group by the well of Harod to prepare to attack the Midainites. The Lord decided he had too many men and Israel would not give the god any credit for the eradication of their oppressors in the view of the Lord. In the 1st cut of his army all that were afraid departed, 22,000 leaving 10,000. The god said it was still too many. So the god came up with a 2nd way to thin the ranks all that lapped water to drink with their tongues would stay and all the rest would leave. This reduced the army to 300.

Gideon hears a dream that a man of his group had where Gideon delivers Israel from the Midianites by taking his 300 men in 3 groups each with lamps, pitchers, and trumpets. He follows the dream in his plan to eradicate the enemy.  They go into the camp of the enemy and smash the pitchers, blow the trumpets and waved the lamps. The Midianites were so confused they set upon one another and then fled. All the men of Israel pursued them (probably the 32,000 who were behind the lines). In the end Gideon was victorious. After the battle Gideon had a request that the captured gold earrings be given to him. He made an ephod of it and placed it in Ophrah which results in all Israel whoring after it.

After Gideon's death the Israelites once again return to worship of Ba'al-be-rith (a local area god - all Canaanite cities had their Ba'al or Lord, this one was probably near Shecham. Ba'al-be-rith was also sometimes considered to be the Ba'al of the covenant or the Ba'al of flies. Israelite's that worshiped him carried a miniature idol with them at all times).

Gideon had a son named Abimelech from one of his concubines among many children that he had from his many wives, claimed as 3 score and ten sons.

Other than the claim of God involvement, which only involved claims of dialog, this entire episode has possibilities. A group coming into a camp at night as described could cause such disruption that they may have accidentally fell upon one another. After the battle became intense the larger group of Israel that was held back easily could have dispatched the disoriented enemy.

Gideon along with Solomon and some of the patriarchs are examples of polygamy which was clearly practiced in many cultures of the time.

Judges 9 has the son of Gideon, Abimelech become a king. In so doing he kills all of his brethren except for one, Jotham who escaped. He received support from his mother’s relatives who apparently were Shechemites. .Jotham is very upset and goes to Mt Gerizim where he launches into a long dialog, afterwords he ran away to Beer in fear of his brother. No, he didn’t run away to drink beer he went to a place called Beer.

The tale of Abimelech involves no magic of any kind from any god. He appears to be just another man who put himself into a position of power and used warfare and violence as many others did. He meets his end in an attack on Thebez when a woman casts a millstone from a tower upon him. He has his armor-bearer run him through such that men will not speak of his death by a woman.

This story is also possible for the time period and involves nothing that could not have actually occurred. There are no records which discuss it from other sources but it is typical of the period.

Judges 10

After the death of King Abimelech there were several who judged Israel. First was Tola who lived in Shamir in Mt Ephraim who judged Israel for 23 years. Next was Jair a Gileadite who judged it for 22 years. He had 30 sons who rode 30 ass colts and they had 30 cities.

I don’t see what it matters what kind of ride Jair’s sons had, do you?

And of course, the Children of Israel did EITSOTL once again serving Ballim, Ashtaroth etc ….. And the Lord was angered at them and gave them over to Philistines and the children of Ammon who oppressed and crushed them for 18 years. They of course repented and God refused to help them telling them to go cry for help from the gods they had chosen as he would help them no more. They said unto the Lord we have sinned against you and they put away the false gods and served the Lord.

The children of Ammon were encamped at Gilead while Israel was encamped at Mizpah. The people of Gilead decide that whatever man is able to stand up against Ammon will be their leader.

Again, there is no magic here, just an account of oppression from several other groups of people. The claims regarding gods don’t make any difference in any way. Archeology supports that many gods were worshiped throughout the land so this story in some way confirms that.

Judges 11

A mighty man of valor named Jephthah the son of a harlot, which may mean a prostitute or a whore was the son of Gilead. Gilead’s wife also had sons and they threw Jephthah out of his father’s house for he was the son of another woman. Consequently he fled his brothers along with a group of worthless sidekicks to the land of Tob. Meanwhile, the children of Ammon made war against Israel. The elders of Gilead realizing there was no one who was brave or mighty went to fetch Jephthah the whore’s son to become their captain so he might lead them against the enemy. He told them, didn’t you throw me out and now you come to me because you are in trouble. He agrees to do it if the Lord delivers the children of Ammon into his hand that they will recognize him as their head. They agree.

This long winded story has a point about halfway through it.

Jephthah sends a messenger to the king of Ammon asking him why he is warring on the people of Israel. The king sends a message back it is because Israel took their land when they came from Egypt. Jephthah sends an answer claiming they didn’t take the land of Ammon or Moab. Instead they went around and the Amorites attacked them whom Israel defeated and dispossessed them from their land. So since the Lord God did so why should you possess it he asked. He claims Israel did no wrong to them and they had no right to war against them. His appeals to the king are fruitless in the end.

Jephthah makes a vow to God that if he shall successfully defeat the children of Ammon he would sacrifice to the Lord whatever met him when he returned in peace from the war. So Jephthah successfully defeats the children of Ammon in a very great slaughter. He returns home and his only daughter met him. He tells her what he has promised the god and is sorrowful. She asked for 2 months to go into the mountains and lament her virginity with her companions. He agrees. When she returns she becomes a bonfire to the God Yahweh. This results in the custom where the daughters of Israel lament the daughter of Jephthah 4 days a year.

Unlike in the Abraham & Isaac situation, the god wants this one toasted on a spit. No last minute plea deal.

This story has nothing in it that requires magic or a god. Humans had sacrificed their children for many reasons throughout the region and giving up a child to the god was acceptable worship. Today, you get the chair for this. The rest of the story doesn’t really tell you much at all what occurred.

Judges 12

There is internal strife among the Israelites. The tribe of Ephraim feels slighted that weren’t involved in the slaughter of Ammon. They tell Jephthah they will burn down his house with him in it. He explained to them they did not come to the aid of Gilead when they were oppressed by Ammon. So Jephthah gathers together the men of Gilead and fights with Ephraim. After which the Ephraimtes that escaped tried to cross the Jordan they were asked if they were of Ephraim. If they said no, they were asked to pronounce Shibboleth and if he said Sibboleth he was slain. There were 42,000 of Ephraim slain by Gilead at this time.

Jephthah judged Israel for 6 years and died.

Ibzan of Bethlehem followed and judged Israel for 7 years. He had 30 sons and 30 daughters, who he sent abroad for 30 daughters for his sons to wed. This somewhat is strange in normally Jews didn’t send their daughters to foreigners. As we aren’t told anymore. It could be it was to other Jews elsewhere though that leaves much to guess at.

Next came Elon a Zebulunite who judged Israel 10 years.

Next was Abdon, son of Hillel, a Pirathonite who judged Israel for 8 years.
We are told he had 40 sons and 30 nephews that all rode on ass colts. Was this the ride of choice at the time or something?

In this section, there is little that involves magic and/or any god action so there is little to comment. All of it could have been on cave walls or animal skins and copied into the book of Judges.
 

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

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


caposkia
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pauljohntheskeptic wrote:I

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:


I thought you knew me by now and so I didn't elaborate on all the details that came with being a Jesus follower. Yes, I was aware of the consequences involved for followers, I was raised by my mother a former Lutheran School teacher.

I remember you telling me that.  Sometimes a post by a particular person leads me to believe that they're concluding on something else besides the way they were brought up understanding.  Many when leaving a religion they were raised in will discredit every claim no matter what and will assume the popular belief about it.  Just needed to confirm. 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:



Actually you went completely global in your response and I really meant only what we were discussing in regards to the content of the stories of the OT we were discussing.

Sorry, that's what I get for jumping between a focused forum and a random forum.   I'll try harder to keep it separate.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:


I have no intention of going into the details in regards to the subject matter of how to search out and determine if there is a god and if so which one. That would require terabytes to analyze.

I'm glad someone here can see that.  Moving on

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:



As we are both relapsed Catholic heretics in essence, you because you depart from their true way and me because I consider their entire effort to be based in fantasyland neither of us likely have much trust in what the Vatican does.

I have no clue as to what the Vatican's real evidence is in the matter of supposed miracles. As they have an agenda, keep people in the faith, it is helpful to their cause when some events seem to have an origin that can't be explained.

I agree with you there.  I heard a bit on the process they go through and was quite impressed that they never took one claimed miracle at face value.  Despite my disagreements with the Catholic church, they are smart about their approach to claiming miracles it seems.  Even scientific.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:



Only in that since no one videotaped the Exodus, the Garden of Eden incidents, Adapa cursing the south wind, Adapa rejecting the bread & water of life offered by the god An, God flooding the world or was it the gods An & Enlil attempting to have quiet once more.

sure, and if all of history was videotaped, we'd be able to refer back to any tape about any doubt in history and there would be no question as to what is really what happened.  Thus, we're only able to conclude on what we have, which are so far not contradicting each other.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:


There are way more than 66 books that make up Bibles. Apparently you have decided the others are not to be considered supportive, as in Esdras perhaps because it suggests that Ezra rewrote the books as they were destroyed.

I was referring strictly to the book of The Bible as titled and not to any other books, though just for the record I have not discredited any other book at this time.  i am aware of the possible hundreds of Bible books that aren't a part of the book of The Bible. 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:


You know the deal, repetition of an observation by anyone is what will take something out of a theory or conjecture to general acceptance. You might have to go through extended study to gain the knowledge and ability to grasp certain concepts, such as how to make an integrated circuit. You know for example by seeing one it can be done, but you may lack the knowledge to make one yourself,

In the realm of religion however, there is nothing laying on the lab table to analyze and the instruction booklets aren't detailed enough for me to reproduce the claimed results. What exactly is the formula to move mountains again.

the mountain formula if I remember correctly was; faith the size of a mustard seed or (F^M)p=MM

There are specific and recorded claims of congruent miracles from around the world.  When compiled and compared, they are congruent with not only each other, but with the Bible.  What it really comes down to is whehter people find the source credible enough to consider using as a means of conclusion.  This is where most non-believers lose focus. 


pauljohntheskeptic wrote:


Yes, Enki made the first man out of clay with the help of the goddess Ninmah can't be discredited so we should move on.

it can't be discredited that first man was made out of clay, but can it be discredited using like sources that Enki was the creator of man?  or that Enki was really YHwh?

when researching, all angles need to be considered.  Here our focus obviously can't be on how man was created.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:


Perhaps this is a subject for later on discussing why you are a Jesus Believer and not a Jew.

yea, lets' get through the Bible first. 


pauljohntheskeptic wrote:


What you have is stories that are exactly similar to all the other stories of ancients.

Which I believe through the studying I've done futher supports their possibility in reality.  Here-now is where we'd need to decipher where the embelishments and cultural changes were implimented and why in such a way.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Remove the ailments of Enki in Sumerian literature and the cure by the goddess which result in the lady of the rib Nina-ti (first woman) and you have a poor attempt at explanation of how man and woman originated. If you do the same to God in Genesis, removing his creation of Eve from Adam (in one of the explanations of how woman was made) you have an inadequate explanation. Perhaps both stories are scientific in some way in that regard. 

I honestly do believe that's possible and adhere to the idea that God could have created in such a way that we would understand it to be scientifically explainable.


pauljohntheskeptic wrote:


There are reports of UFOs and alien abductions as well.

Of course there have.   There are also people out there claiming to be Jesus Christ returned as prophesied in Revelation.  So how do we decipher the truth from the untruth besides assuming what we think we know is the only truth?


pauljohntheskeptic wrote:


This also applies to you as well. Whatever reasons you have that cause you to consider the god of the Jews to be real along with his son  versus any other ancient gods has distorted your thinking.

I was using "you" as a generic term and not necessarily the 2nd person you.  In other words, i was referring to myself as well and I think you know me better than that.  I will tell you that I have considered the possibility of growing up catholic as distorting my thinking into assuming this God is the only truth and have approached the subject with the state of mind to disolve that likelyhood. 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:


Other than Genesis 6 and 1 Enoch, I know of no other "fallen angels" in the Bible nor of any "war in Heaven" in the OT. The NT is not the subject here and the supposed war there in Revelation (Apocalypse in Douay-Rheims) is a future event. For there to be "fallen angels" as gods in the OT, point to verses where they fell in the OT, not in the NT. 1 Enoch seems to have captured and eliminated that group so where else?

That's what I was referring to and it's not repeated in any other OT books because it was common knowlege to anyone reading or learning of the OT books be it that Genesis was a part of the Torrah.  The NT doesn't meantion it because by that time it's irrelevent to the purpose of Jesus at this point.   It only elaborated on the genesis conversation and flowing into the actions of people in the coming books.  it will be necessary information to comprehend the points in some instances like in Job.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:



We see this in very different perspectives.

All I have found in my research is insubstantial support for Yahweh as any more real than any other ancient god of antiquity.

I do not wish to debate evolution or intelligent design, been there done that, the metaphysical god is your way out and you'll surely take that option. No one knows what existed prior to the big bang and all from nothing is not what is claimed. In the world of God did it there is always the problem of his origin too. This is not the place to analyze that subject right now.

not at all.  I know there are different perspectives on this.  It's why when we started I suggested we both make a valient effort to pull perspective out of the discussion and conclusions and only work with what's there.  Perspective has always been the holding point on all inconclusive debates.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:


As per the quoted verse, I can only take it to mean what it says and no more. We will have to disagree here.

I get what you're saying too, but as a historian, you must be aware of attempted explanations of phenomenon we can now scientifically explain that was very misunderstood at the time.  This from what I'm finding is just another one of those situations.  As someone who is strong in history and has a passion for it, I challenge you to find another conclusion or at least discredit the current one I presented before we just disagree and move on.  

I only say this becasue this falls outside of "religion" and has been recorded in similar manner in a few other cultures that would have experienced it.  it's also congruent scientifically with a time period where there would have been such an astronomical phenomenon.  

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:


I would agree that the Bible, specifically the OT was a method for those of the belief in Judaism as a means and method to approach life. In that respect, none of it has to be based in reality.

it seems to me any guide to life needs to be based in reality in order to grasp how to apply it. 


pauljohntheskeptic wrote:



I know they do estimates as you describe yet estimates are only that and not data points. Statistics requires actual data points and we have only one so far. Based on the composition of what we see on Earth and in our solar system we can make educated estimates or guesses but making any claim regarding statistical probability is wild ass guessing until you have more data points.
 

The data points they are using for the statistics they are basing their estimates off of include distance from a star, atmospheric conditions, moons (distance, size, orbit, etc) planet size and composition, among other things.  In these estimates are also estimates of how many planets out there would even be capable of supporting life let alone have the means of allowing life to form.  

In conclusion here, they are using many data points, and not just a general point of Earth, but compariing this piont to other points and analyzing the differences, then applying the composition of all required conditions as on data point Earth.  It's been intelligently estimated, not just wild guessing as you suggest.

Moving onto more scripture...  I haven't found anything more than what you presented for answers on your other post and haven't yet heard back from my sources.  I should probably soon though, but we can move on.  If I forget to respond with those answers, please just remind me.

I also read your other post and have nothing to add to it at this time.  
 

 

 


caposkia
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pauljohntheskeptic wrote:The

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

The Book of Judges Part 2

There is very little from Judges 6 to Judges 12 that requires a god to be real. There is no magic or divine intervention. One could replace the words God or Lord with the name of any deity worshiped by the ancients and the text would still be appropriate. When the over used comment of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord (EITSOTL) is made it is clearly the view of the writer and is prejudiced.

Understanding the writer would have come from a Jewish thinking or state of mind, that would make sense understanding the Mosaic rules put in place and how they were not following them, but anyone comparing the rules that were said to be put in place for Israel would conclude the same I would think

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:


Summary and comments:

...Other than the claim of God involvement, which only involved claims of dialog, this entire episode has possibilities. A group coming into a camp at night as described could cause such disruption that they may have accidentally fell upon one another. After the battle became intense the larger group of Israel that was held back easily could have dispatched the disoriented enemy.

Gideon along with Solomon and some of the patriarchs are examples of polygamy which was clearly practiced in many cultures of the time.

agreed, moving on.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:


Judges 9 has the son of Gideon, Abimelech become a king. In so doing he kills all of his brethren except for one, Jotham who escaped. He received support from his mother’s relatives who apparently were Shechemites. .Jotham is very upset and goes to Mt Gerizim where he launches into a long dialog, afterwords he ran away to Beer in fear of his brother. No, he didn’t run away to drink beer he went to a place called Beer.

agh... caught me before I could comment on Beer.  mmmmmm, Beeeeeer...

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:


The tale of Abimelech involves no magic of any kind from any god. He appears to be just another man who put himself into a position of power and used warfare and violence as many others did. He meets his end in an attack on Thebez when a woman casts a millstone from a tower upon him. He has his armor-bearer run him through such that men will not speak of his death by a woman.

This story is also possible for the time period and involves nothing that could not have actually occurred. There are no records which discuss it from other sources but it is typical of the period.

Judges 10

After the death of King Abimelech there were several who judged Israel. First was Tola who lived in Shamir in Mt Ephraim who judged Israel for 23 years. Next was Jair a Gileadite who judged it for 22 years. He had 30 sons who rode 30 ass colts and they had 30 cities.

I don’t see what it matters what kind of ride Jair’s sons had, do you?

A few angles could be taken as to why they elaborated on those.  One could be the amount of wealth this person had, sons also would be included in such be it that children were understood to be of value to a family. 

IT also could go along with the whole number code and the significance of those numbers in scripture.   Though there is a number theme throughout the Bible e.g. 3's 4's 7's, it doesn't mean anything as far as our point in this discussion except for the fact that the stories support each other.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:


... there is little that involves magic and/or any god action so there is little to comment. All of it could have been on cave walls or animal skins and copied into the book of Judges.
 

I agree that little involves what you'd say is magic.  Am I to conclude then that as long as no "God magic" is mentioned then and only then the story is plausible? 

It's obviously the hand of God in any situation that you would have an issue with in any story.  That's why i've always suggestd on the plausibility of the happening in the first place despite the magical claims.  I do believe that what seems like magic in the Bible can be scientifically or geologically explained in many ways as well, thus not discrediting God, but allowing an explanation besides magic to God's intervention.  Timing ususally implies God vs. just how it all happened. 


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caposkia

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:


I have no intention of going into the details in regards to the subject matter of how to search out and determine if there is a god and if so which one. That would require terabytes to analyze.

I'm glad someone here can see that. Moving on

you too Cap.

If PJtS really thinks it takes discourse equivalent to a few thousand editions of the Encyclopedia Britannica to disprove God then I'll argue with him about it too.  And I never tried to get you into that discussion, I just wanted to know why your version of theism is better than anyone else's.

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


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mellestad wrote:caposkia

mellestad wrote:

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:


I have no intention of going into the details in regards to the subject matter of how to search out and determine if there is a god and if so which one. That would require terabytes to analyze.

I'm glad someone here can see that. Moving on

you too Cap.

If PJtS really thinks it takes discourse equivalent to a few thousand editions of the Encyclopedia Britannica to disprove God then I'll argue with him about it too.  And I never tried to get you into that discussion, I just wanted to know why your version of theism is better than anyone else's.

My point is the responses from a theist will be voluminous in their attempt to prove their gods exist. Yet, all they have is ancient writings that all make claims, no more. Enki is the Lord & master, no it's Zeus, Ba'al or Ra or Yahweh.  Their other evidence if you can call it that, is the feeling they have inside which they claim is the god affecting them.  All they simply have to do is produce their god on a lab table. So far none has done so.

Until and unless someone can do more than use 3rd, 4th, and 5th hand me down stories all ancient writing in regards to any god is just the culture's desire for there to be something more than what can be seen, touched and observed. 

A god claim requires the answer to where the god came from and why is it hiding. The evasion used that the god is not in our dimension of reality concedes that they have no clue any more than what was there before the Big Bang. It's pointless. What we do have to critique are all the ancient writings that all seem to do the same thing, justify why we are here. Yet, they don't really answer this question at all, they evade it with only the god knows. 

So is there a teapot orbiting Jupiter? Or does the god live on a planet on the far side of the Universe? Which god was that?

This becomes nothing but assertions, voluminous assertions.

 

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

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


caposkia
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pauljohntheskeptic wrote:My

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

My point is the responses from a theist will be voluminous in their attempt to prove their gods exist. Yet, all they have is ancient writings that all make claims, no more. Enki is the Lord & master, no it's Zeus, Ba'al or Ra or Yahweh.  Their other evidence if you can call it that, is the feeling they have inside which they claim is the god affecting them.  All they simply have to do is produce their god on a lab table. So far none has done so.

Of course this particular forum will never detail a scientific understanding of God or existance thereof and should only be focused on the history.  If the history ever touches on the other gods, we might see a difference and an understanding of why the Christian God is different... or not.  From what i've seen there is a difference.  But this will be after our Bible runthrough of course.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Until and unless someone can do more than use 3rd, 4th, and 5th hand me down stories all ancient writing in regards to any god is just the culture's desire for there to be something more than what can be seen, touched and observed. 

Through all my time on this site, I have done more than just hand me down stories.  I have used Geological events and history along with science to explain my understanding of why I believe God is real.  OF course personal account plays a part, but I never use that as evidence because it's only subjective... though I have challenged others to experiement with it and see what happens.  This would coenside with using the scientific method and sociology.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

A god claim requires the answer to where the god came from and why is it hiding. The evasion used that the god is not in our dimension of reality concedes that they have no clue any more than what was there before the Big Bang. It's pointless. What we do have to critique are all the ancient writings that all seem to do the same thing, justify why we are here. Yet, they don't really answer this question at all, they evade it with only the god knows. 

I've tried to explain, it's not that God's hiding, it's that you're not looking for him.  E.g.  There may be a pen sitting on a table when you enter a room.  You went into the room to find a peice of paper.  You looked on every surface of that room for paper then left.  When inquired about what you saw, the pen would probably never enter your list because you were never looking for it, you were looking for paper.  YOur initial response was that there was paper somewhere and maybe a few other larger objects you noticed.  You would never notice everything in that room because you never intended to observe all that.  You only looked for paper. 

My point is, I believe God is there in some way, shape, or form.  You don't notice him because you aren't looking for him, and for someone who doesn't know God, you dont' even know what you're looking for.  It'd be like someone sending you into the far future and asking you to find the temporal flux scanner.  You may notice a lot in the room, but you'll never find the temporal flux scanner because you haven't a clue on what that would look like.  

Most of the time God is not noticed because we aren't trying to look for him.  God is silent when appropriate as well as not present if you will.  The Bible says where 2 or more are gathered in His name, he will be with them.  There's no reason why i should not believe that, but to understand that is to also understand that if people are not gathered in His name, then he probably isn't there... or may not be. 

The extra factor comes in that he is a meta-physical being.  Of course someone who doesn't know God does what to the believer?  Challenges them to "produce God" in some way.  They of course are thinking in the physical sense when the believer understands that the request is completely illogical due to God's meta-physical existance.  A well-in-tune believer if you will could understand that God is present when he is with other people 'in God's name' and may even notice that.  The non-believer with them is still looking for a physical manifestation of God when again that would be an irrational expectation. 

This obviously goes much deeper than just historical claims or even the physical sciences.  its' also way beyond where this particular forum should be going.  I'm willing to discuss this further either on another forum with someone or if the creator of this forum feels it appropriate to do so on here. 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

So is there a teapot orbiting Jupiter? Or does the god live on a planet on the far side of the Universe? Which god was that?

This becomes nothing but assertions, voluminous assertions.

I've heard the teapot orbiting Jupiter example and the skeptcism behind that.  This dives right into the statistical probability of the occurance and the sciences behind the understanding of an intelligence.  I have explained on another forum that the teapot is probable, but unlikely due to the fact that the teapot is a human invention and the only way for that to be the case would be for a human to make it happen, which as far as we all know, no one has tried such a feat.  It's probable though we haven't seen it because of the sheer size of Jupiter and the fact that we don't monitor objects that small orbiting Jupiter nor is Jupiter monitored around the clock or in timed periods.  There's no reason to do so, so if the teapot was orbiting, it's very likely that we'd miss it. 

next step in our history walk?

 


caposkia
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mellestad wrote:you too

mellestad wrote:

you too Cap.

If PJtS really thinks it takes discourse equivalent to a few thousand editions of the Encyclopedia Britannica to disprove God then I'll argue with him about it too.  And I never tried to get you into that discussion, I just wanted to know why your version of theism is better than anyone else's.

just to keep the record strait, I never claimed that mine was "better" than anyone elses.  I believe that we understand God and his intentions for us because it seems that we take more time to second guess ourselves and confirm and reconfirm our understanding of what is being said Biblically and comparing it to historical congruency as well as congruency geologically, geographically, scientifically, and logically.  Its usually us "unafilliated" Christians who take the time to get on sites like these to not only challenge the people on it, but allow them to challenge us so that we can make sure what we think we know actually holds water when challenged with sound, logical comprehensions based on real world research and study.  

This doesn't mean we don't disagree with each other from time to time, but we don't allow a disagreement separate us in any way as with denominations, but rather we allow that to encourage us to further study what we think we understand to be true.  Denominations tend to not second guess themselves be it that their belief is written down in doctrin and whenever a Biblical topic is in question they go to doctrin to settle it and assume that the doctrin has to be right.  They tend to not take ti further than that when more often than not it needs to go much further than that. 

I can say with confidence that my time on here has further confirmed my understanding to be true. 


pauljohntheskeptic
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caposkia

caposkia wrote:

 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

A god claim requires the answer to where the god came from and why is it hiding. The evasion used that the god is not in our dimension of reality concedes that they have no clue any more than what was there before the Big Bang. It's pointless. What we do have to critique are all the ancient writings that all seem to do the same thing, justify why we are here. Yet, they don't really answer this question at all, they evade it with only the god knows. 

I've tried to explain, it's not that God's hiding, it's that you're not looking for him.  E.g.  There may be a pen sitting on a table when you enter a room.  You went into the room to find a peice of paper.  You looked on every surface of that room for paper then left.  When inquired about what you saw, the pen would probably never enter your list because you were never looking for it, you were looking for paper.  YOur initial response was that there was paper somewhere and maybe a few other larger objects you noticed.  You would never notice everything in that room because you never intended to observe all that.  You only looked for paper. 

My point is, I believe God is there in some way, shape, or form.  You don't notice him because you aren't looking for him, and for someone who doesn't know God, you dont' even know what you're looking for.  It'd be like someone sending you into the far future and asking you to find the temporal flux scanner.  You may notice a lot in the room, but you'll never find the temporal flux scanner because you haven't a clue on what that would look like.  

Most of the time God is not noticed because we aren't trying to look for him.  God is silent when appropriate as well as not present if you will.  The Bible says where 2 or more are gathered in His name, he will be with them.  There's no reason why i should not believe that, but to understand that is to also understand that if people are not gathered in His name, then he probably isn't there... or may not be. 

The extra factor comes in that he is a meta-physical being.  Of course someone who doesn't know God does what to the believer?  Challenges them to "produce God" in some way.  They of course are thinking in the physical sense when the believer understands that the request is completely illogical due to God's meta-physical existance.  A well-in-tune believer if you will could understand that God is present when he is with other people 'in God's name' and may even notice that.  The non-believer with them is still looking for a physical manifestation of God when again that would be an irrational expectation. 

This obviously goes much deeper than just historical claims or even the physical sciences.  its' also way beyond where this particular forum should be going.  I'm willing to discuss this further either on another forum with someone or if the creator of this forum feels it appropriate to do so on here.

As you are aware I was brought up as a Christian and thought for years I knew of God. At some point I realized this was only self deception and little more. In years of trying to understand I have come to realize that the god concept fails for many reasons. As you say this might be too big of a sidetrack for this thread and possibly should be done elsewhere. 

I did mention in my statement above that you'd take this way out - "meta-physical being" = not in our dimension of reality. 

The problem of course is the god would have to somehow communicate from his dimension of reality and in so doing would leave behind some evidance of the event. The events in the Bible, specifically the OT are supposed to be part of that evidance, yet so far in our walk through nothing  is any more substantial than in any other ancient writing regarding any god. 

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

So is there a teapot orbiting Jupiter? Or does the god live on a planet on the far side of the Universe? Which god was that?

This becomes nothing but assertions, voluminous assertions.

I've heard the teapot orbiting Jupiter example and the skeptcism behind that.  This dives right into the statistical probability of the occurance and the sciences behind the understanding of an intelligence.  I have explained on another forum that the teapot is probable, but unlikely due to the fact that the teapot is a human invention and the only way for that to be the case would be for a human to make it happen, which as far as we all know, no one has tried such a feat.  It's probable though we haven't seen it because of the sheer size of Jupiter and the fact that we don't monitor objects that small orbiting Jupiter nor is Jupiter monitored around the clock or in timed periods.  There's no reason to do so, so if the teapot was orbiting, it's very likely that we'd miss it.

I understand the teapot is a human invention, how about an ancient artificial satellite not made on Earth?

caposkia wrote:

next step in our history walk?

 

 

Samson, posted shortly

____________________________________________________________
"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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The Book of Judges Part

The Book of Judges Part 3


Part 3 Samson

Judges 13 begins with the ever present and the children of Israel did EITSOTL and he gave them up to the Philistines for 40 years. In response, the god sends an angel to the wife of Manoah of the tribe of Dan telling her she would have a son that would be a Nazarite. He would never taste of the vine or unclean things from the womb until his death. The angel comes again and appears to the wife and she gets her husband. They offer a burnt offering to the god and the angel ascended in the flame off the altar. She gives birth to a son she calls Samson.

The tales of Samson are basically the Hebrew version of the Greek hero Herakles with many similarities.
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Samson wants a wife of the Philistines of the city of Timnath. Her name isn’t given, which is always a suspicious thing in the Bible. When a chapter and a half involve a character, you’d think they could at least have a name. Anyway en route to Timanth he kills a lion by ripping it into. This is a similar event to Herakles and the lion of Nemea.

Samson is an interesting character for a Judge of Israel. He follows emotion, lust and desire as evidenced by his choice of women, his gambling, his hot temper, and his recklessness. Does this make him more real or is it in the same context as the Greek heroes & gods? One doesn’t have to look far to see the Greek gods were petty and emotional and Samson is cast of the same sort.

He attends a feast in honor of his wedding to the unnamed Philistine woman where he tells a riddle as a bet. If they can answer he will pay them each 30 sheets and 30 changes of clothes. The riddle was: “Out of the eater came forth meat. And out of the strong came forth sweetness.” The 30 companions at the feast could not decipher the riddle after 3 days so they threaten Samson’s wife. In fear of her life she gets Samson to tell her the answer which she gives to the blackmailers. They tell the answer to Samson, “What is sweeter than honey? And what is stronger than a lion?” He knew right away they got it from her.

Now consider this, do bees build a nest of honeycomb in a dead animal’s carcass? Why not? Simply because the rotting flesh would ruin the beeswax and honey causing it to spoil. The answer to the riddle given does not fit. What does?

And so the spirit of the Lord came on Samson so he went to Ashkelon and killed 30 innocent men taking their garments and gave them to the 30 who answered the riddle. He then went to see his wife but was informed she had been given to another. Her father offers him her younger sister. He storms out enraged. He caught 300 foxes and tied them tail to tail in pairs attaching a firebrand in the middle. He turns them loose in the fields of the Philistines. The Philistines are angered and demand who did this wanton act of vandalism. And they learn it was Samson because his wife was given to another. So the Philistines seize her and her father and burnt them. Samson in turn takes further revenge by killing a great many in a mass slaughter.

So the god takes advantage of Samson’s emotional instability to wreak havoc among the Philistines. The god came upon Samson to entice him into murder and mayhem of innocent men of another town. There’s no way to cover up the god did this act, at least according to the story of Samson he gets the credit though it’s typical of avoidance of responsibility for one’s own actions and further indicates the mental & emotional instability of the man.

After his actions destroying the fields of the Philistines they went to the territory of Judah and made camp with the intention of seizing Samson. The men of Judah not his own tribe of Dan went to the Philistines to determine why they had come as a war party to their territory. They were told by the Philistines of their intention to bring Samson to justice for all of the evil he had done against them. 3000 of the men of Judah then went to Samson to bind him and turn him over to the Philistines who were in fact their rulers at the time. As Samson had committed murder of innocent men and very significant property damage his incarceration and eventual execution should have been the result. Lawlessness as exhibited by Samson if unchecked would destroy a society, peace treaties, and mutual cooperation. Yet, the story continues with the intent that these actions were what the god wanted Samson to do and were justice in effect for enslavement by the evil Philistines.

So the men of Judah bound Samson with 2 new cords and gave him over to the Philistines. When he has been handed over to the Philistines to face justice for his crimes the Philistines no doubt joyous at the capture of this serial killer shouted at him. The spirit of the god then came upon him such that he tore loose from the bonds as if they were burnt away. He grasped the jawbone of an ass and killed 1,000 of the Philistines. After he had completed his eradication of the posse of Philistines he was extremely thirsty, swinging and smashing 1,000 men left him in need of Gatorade. The god then sent forth a stream of water from the jaw to replenish him.

Since this is the view of history from the perspective of Judah/Israel it is clear they saw all of Samson’s violence and serial killing as a freedom fighter or resistance leader. The other side however saw him as a murderer and a criminal. As the Israelites were invaders of the land regardless of promises to ancient patriarchs the Philistines in some ways were fully justified in their methods. That the Philistines also had invaded the land as well in the sea peoples invasion is not a consideration. The Philistines had displaced Egyptian influence and Canaanites not Israelites therefore I don’t personally see Samson as a legitimate resistance leader. He also exhibited his violence in pursuit of his own selfish agenda and as such was very far from being a holy man of Israel. In that regard he was as many of the Greek gods who exhibited selfish wanton acts upon mankind.

Samson next goes to Gaza and solicits a whore whom he engages. The people of Gaza heard the serial killer Samson was in their city and planned to seize him at the gate in the morning. Samson finished up with the hooker around midnight and ripped the gates off the city carrying them to the top of a hill near Hebron.

Again, this shows Samson is little more than an ancient version of Bonnie & Clyde or any of the 1930s gangs of vicious criminals. He looked after his needs with a whore and then in his desire to not face justice destroyed the gates of Gaza in his escape.

Samson continues to give in to his weakness for Philistine women and falls into lust for a woman named Delilah. The Philistines when then learn of Samson’s latest infatuation go to Delilah offering her a fortune as a reward if she can learn where his great strength originates and further how he can be captured. She tries many times to learn the origin and he tells her fictitious answers. There are 3 accounts of this and 3 times the Philistines attempt to seize him. Since Samson seemed to lose all normal thinking around women when she continued to make demands he eventually tells her the truth that it was his unshaven hair which had never been cut. So Delilah sleeps with him again and has his hair cut. This time when he is seized the strength of the god has left him because he had a haircut. In a brilliant move after he has been captured the Philistines blinded him such that even if he got his great strength back he would not be so formidable.

The Philistines held a celebration to their god Dagon who they believed delivered the murderer Samson to them. During the celebration the crowd desired Samson to be brought out so they could be entertained and see the evil one who had killed so many of their nation. He is brought out and tied between 2 pillars. The place had about 3,000 men & women of the Philistines gathered under the roof of the structure. Samson’s hair had begun to grow back by the time this occurred. He prayed to his god asking for strength such that he could take revenge on them for the loss of his eyesight. He then grasped the two main pillars that were the main load bearing pillars and pushed with all his might bringing down the house on more than he had murdered throughout his life. Afterwords his father and relatives took his body to be buried in Zorah & Eshtaolin. He had judged Israel for 20 years.

And what a pious judge he had been. He was self centered, emotional, given to pursuit of his lust of women. When he didn’t get his way, he took retribution against innocent people. He sounds like a real upstanding person that he should have the power to make decisions as a judge of Israel. I consider this story to be as mythical as many others of the period such as Herakles and Hercules. Perhaps there were very strong men and they did mighty deeds or committed heinous acts (such as serial murder) but that is insufficient to take this story as anything other than a Hebrew version of an ancient hero complete with exaggeration and glorification.


A detailed comparison of Samson and Herakles by H. Steinthal
 See - http://www.masseiana.org/legend_of_samson.htm




 

____________________________________________________________
"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.