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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pauljohntheskeptic wrote:As

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

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 remember you saying that.  I there are many examples out there as to why you would have been brought up a Christian then walked away.  many different reasons from many different people, but it always came back to the same thing, what you thought you knew was true, was a lie... That doesn't mean God was a lie, just what you thought you knew. 

You know I grew up catholic.   It took me questioning the whole thing and walking away from the following to come to the conclusion that I did.  Though the belief at first failed for me, I knew that whatever i believed, I'd need to be able to back myself up, so I made sure what I thought was true really was.  Many reasons for that. 

Definitely a topic for another forum though.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

I did mention in my statement above that you'd take this way out - "meta-physical being" = not in our dimension of reality. 

You make it sound like an escape.  If God does in fact exist as described in the Bible... how would you describe his existance?  So far meta-physical is the best word I can find. I would use "spiritual" but you and I both know that wouldn't fly far on here.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

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. 

or any other history from that time for that matter.  Basically it holds as much water as any other writing from history and not just about gods.  Not much in general to confirm many aspects, but nothing to deny except for a few exaggerations which wouldn't nullify the validity of any writing. 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

I understand the teapot is a human invention, how about an ancient artificial satellite not made on Earth?

same logic applies.  We just don't monitor the planet that closely.  if it's there, its likely we'd trip upon it many years down the road, could be tomorrow, could be another few hundred years, but either way if it's there, it's there and we'd likely miss it.


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pauljohntheskeptic wrote:The

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

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.
.
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.

women weren't regarded as important in the bloodline.  nothing to be suspicious about.  Think of the time it was written.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

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.

the stories might be related by retellings over time.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:


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.

so God is a puppet master and there really is no free will? Doesn't sound like that's what's happening to me.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:


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.

I will try to read more carefully and see if i can find your "God puppet master" claim.  Sounds to me as if his actions were justified due to his wifes father giving her away to someone else.  (temporary insanity plea)

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:


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
 

Sure it sounds like a tall tale.  Johnny Appleseed was such as well, but the guy actually existed.  Much about him was greatly exaggerated just as I'm assuming many of those numbers are as well.  I'm sure he probably had great strength.  What in history would suggest that this story did not happen?

I'll have to read the link when I have time to sit down and take it in.  Thank you


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caposkia

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

I did mention in my statement above that you'd take this way out - "meta-physical being" = not in our dimension of reality. 

You make it sound like an escape.  If God does in fact exist as described in the Bible... how would you describe his existance?  So far meta-physical is the best word I can find. I would use "spiritual" but you and I both know that wouldn't fly far on here.

Spiritual also = not in our dimension of reality so it wouldn't matter. 

As to "if God does in fact exist as described in the Bible" :

My grandfather had a saying, "If wishes were horses beggars would ride."

Seriously now, if the god of the OT was real the stories were poorly documented by ignorant unknowing people and misunderstood so bad that that legends developed which in no way really describe what the god is or was. Virtually any possibility would be open such as:

A civil administrator in charge of development for this sector of our galaxy.

A being from an advanced civilization such as is really suggested by the Sumerian or Annuaki gods who aren't really claimed to be gods at all in some of the tablets.

And if he's really the one that made it all and he chose only a subset of humans to be his favorites it indicates no real difference exists between his thought processes and those of his self-centered creations therefore we are made in his image as we demonstrate on a daily basis. The OT especially demonstrates the schizophrenic actions of the god throughout all of the stories which parallels some of the most as-sine actions of mankind.

So, no I do not see how the Bible god has any possibility to really exist as described other than as a human creation to describe what they observed or misunderstood.

 

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

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 evidence of the event. The events in the Bible, specifically the OT are supposed to be part of that evidence, yet so far in our walk through nothing  is any more substantial than in any other ancient writing regarding any god. 

or any other history from that time for that matter.  Basically it holds as much water as any other writing from history and not just about gods.  Not much in general to confirm many aspects, but nothing to deny except for a few exaggerations which wouldn't nullify the validity of any writing.

You are a stubborn one aren't you?

Essentially, the OT is as true as all the other myths but we don't know for sure which parts are real and which parts are fantasy other than the clear exaggerations that can be shown to be false.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

I understand the teapot is a human invention, how about an ancient artificial satellite not made on Earth?

same logic applies.  We just don't monitor the planet that closely.  if it's there, its likely we'd trip upon it many years down the road, could be tomorrow, could be another few hundred years, but either way if it's there, it's there and we'd likely miss it.

This was really a reference to 2001.

 

 

____________________________________________________________
"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:


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.

women weren't regarded as important in the bloodline.  nothing to be suspicious about.  Think of the time it was written.

Possibly, though the writer seems to know Deliliah's name who has no more importance in the plot than the 1st Philistine wife. Later on Ahab's Queen Jezebel is meticulous detailed in Kings and Chronicles. 

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

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.

the stories might be related by retellings over time.

Myths do merge and diverge within groups and with cultural intermingling.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:



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.

so God is a puppet master and there really is no free will? Doesn't sound like that's what's happening to me.

Nope. In these stories, the God takes advantage of a self centered emotional man who is given to lust and desire. Interesting how the spirit of the Lord comes upon Samson whenever he murders or is denied the object of his lust. Really, the god claim is a cop out for Samson as a way to avoid the responsibility of his own lust driven self serving actions. I'm saying the claim of the spirit of the god comes to Samson is BullShit. Samson is a hero to Israel only because he murders people that are ruling over them. As I pointed out, Israelites were invaders to the land and the Philistines had every right to rule them under the circumstances. The displaced Canaanites had more right to fight as an underground or freedom fighters, not the Israelites, unless of course they were really the same people as Finkelstein suggests.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:


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.

I will try to read more carefully and see if i can find your "God puppet master" claim.  Sounds to me as if his actions were justified due to his wifes father giving her away to someone else.  (temporary insanity plea)

Again, the claimed god comes to Samson is Bullshit so Samson the serial killer can be seen as a hero for killing the enemy. The story is no doubt this way as it was written far after the alleged events from myths and legends at a time when Judah/Israel were established as kingdoms. 

And no his actions weren't justified. He kills 30 innocent men to pay a bet. He burns fields of many Philistines who had nothing to do with the father-in-law's actions,  not just the father-in-laws property. Then the Philistines kill the wife & father-in-law which granted was somewhat misdirected, they should have killed Samson, but the father-in-law was directly responsible for Samson's property destruction as an accessory before the fact. 

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:


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
 

Sure it sounds like a tall tale.  Johnny Appleseed was such as well, but the guy actually existed.  Much about him was greatly exaggerated just as I'm assuming many of those numbers are as well.  I'm sure he probably had great strength.  What in history would suggest that this story did not happen?

I'll have to read the link when I have time to sit down and take it in.  Thank you

There is no support from any other source for these tales. There are apple trees throughout the US. 

In the case of Hercules there are these gates as well as the stories. See: http://www.ephesus.us/ephesus/herculesgate.htm

What in history suggests that the stories of Hercules and/or Herakles did not happen?

 

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

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


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pauljohntheskeptic

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Spiritual also = not in our dimension of reality so it wouldn't matter. 

Some people have gotten stuck on the term before, so I avoid it.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

As to "if God does in fact exist as described in the Bible" :

My grandfather had a saying, "If wishes were horses beggars would ride."

Seriously now, if the god of the OT was real the stories were poorly documented by ignorant unknowing people and misunderstood so bad that that legends developed which in no way really describe what the god is or was. Virtually any possibility would be open such as:

A civil administrator in charge of development for this sector of our galaxy.

A being from an advanced civilization such as is really suggested by the Sumerian or Annuaki gods who aren't really claimed to be gods at all in some of the tablets.

Most believers well versed in the Bible seem to have a good understanding of "who" He is.  As far as his purpose for creating us and why things are the way they are, of course that's only speculation for much of it at this point, but we also understand that its' not necessary information for us at this point in time.  Everything in the Bible is understood to be there because it was necessary for us to know as a generality.  As far as the specifics that it doesn't mention... well to cover all of them, we'd need a library bigger than the Library of Congress to hold all the information. 

Therefore, was it poor note taking? or just a well written summary?

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

And if he's really the one that made it all and he chose only a subset of humans to be his favorites it indicates no real difference exists between his thought processes and those of his self-centered creations therefore we are made in his image as we demonstrate on a daily basis. The OT especially demonstrates the schizophrenic actions of the god throughout all of the stories which parallels some of the most as-sine actions of mankind.

So, what part where it says that "God so loved the world" does it mention that God has a select group of humans that he favors?  Granted this is way beyond our current topic. 

We'll keep looking at it.  if at any moment, you want to analyze a story beyond just the historocity of it, I'm game.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

So, no I do not see how the Bible god has any possibility to really exist as described other than as a human creation to describe what they observed or misunderstood.

well, I knew that.  Though it seems you have an unfavorable understanding of this God and that is your justification for Him not existing.  Doesnt' seem like a logical basis for belief.... or disbelief in your case Eye-wink

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

You are a stubborn one aren't you?

Sure.  I won't deny that...

but for the sake of this forum, i like to think.  and in that thinking process, if I'm going to change my understanding of something... just like you... I would need a good reasoning for doing so.  So far, my counter to your justification from what i can see holds water.  Also, just like you, I've done my homework and have a decent understanding of what I think i know. 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Essentially, the OT is as true as all the other myths but we don't know for sure which parts are real and which parts are fantasy other than the clear exaggerations that can be shown to be false.

That's why we would eventually need to start analyzing each story and compare and contrast between the others and their place in history... how they came about, who supported them and why, etc...  That's when one would start to be able to descipher what's real and what's not.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

I understand the teapot is a human invention, how about an ancient artificial satellite not made on Earth?

caposkia wrote:

same logic applies.  We just don't monitor the planet that closely.  if it's there, its likely we'd trip upon it many years down the road, could be tomorrow, could be another few hundred years, but either way if it's there, it's there and we'd likely miss it.

This was really a reference to 2001.

ah.  I see. 


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pauljohntheskeptic

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Possibly, though the writer seems to know Deliliah's name who has no more importance in the plot than the 1st Philistine wife. Later on Ahab's Queen Jezebel is meticulous detailed in Kings and Chronicles. 

Good point.  A few possibilities could come out of that on why... and sometimes the scholars just say they're not sure why.  I'll look into it more.  It could have been as simple as the writer was sure of Deliliah's name, but not of Samson's wife's name.  It is of course personal account that all the Bible stories were written.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Nope. In these stories, the God takes advantage of a self centered emotional man who is given to lust and desire. Interesting how the spirit of the Lord comes upon Samson whenever he murders or is denied the object of his lust. Really, the god claim is a cop out for Samson as a way to avoid the responsibility of his own lust driven self serving actions. I'm saying the claim of the spirit of the god comes to Samson is BullShit. Samson is a hero to Israel only because he murders people that are ruling over them. As I pointed out, Israelites were invaders to the land and the Philistines had every right to rule them under the circumstances. The displaced Canaanites had more right to fight as an underground or freedom fighters, not the Israelites, unless of course they were really the same people as Finkelstein suggests.

Well, this justification likely goes back to the promise God originally made to Israel back in the Moses story.  Granted they might be rightfully ruled over, but in the Bible, a promise is a promise, not broken like we see today. 

Simply, what would the point have been for God to "free his people" just to allow them to be back to where they started yet again a few years down the road?

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:


Again, the claimed god comes to Samson is Bullshit so Samson the serial killer can be seen as a hero for killing the enemy. The story is no doubt this way as it was written far after the alleged events from myths and legends at a time when Judah/Israel were established as kingdoms. 

Keep in mind that he may have been written down as a hero, but not viewed by God as a hero.  understanding the promise that God made to Israel, Samson may have always just been "in the right place at the right time" to help fulfill that promise. 

No one ever said all of his actions were justified.  Many times in the Bible God will use the mistakes of others for good things.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

There is no support from any other source for these tales. There are apple trees throughout the US. 

so.... wait a minute... your justification for Johnny Appleseed being a real person is that there are apple trees throughout the US???? Really???  That seems a bit weak to me no?

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

In the case of Hercules there are these gates as well as the stories. See: http://www.ephesus.us/ephesus/herculesgate.htm

What in history suggests that the stories of Hercules and/or Herakles did not happen?

I'll admit I haven't had time yet to read that link from before and I'm sorry.  i will get to it. 

Before I answer your question here, i'd have to research the stories a bit first and see about what is known.

As far as other stories, many of them were invented and/or expressed by a single person who claims to have a divine inspiration.  They will have no backup support for their story except for their own claim.  The Bible has claims from many people who did not know each other with stories that coenside with each other.  No one person claims to be the divine source either in the Bible...

The Hercules story might be different however.  I'll have to look into it.  I haven't done much research on that i'll admit. 


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caposkia

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

As to "if God does in fact exist as described in the Bible" :

My grandfather had a saying, "If wishes were horses beggars would ride."

Seriously now, if the god of the OT was real the stories were poorly documented by ignorant unknowing people and misunderstood so bad that that legends developed which in no way really describe what the god is or was. Virtually any possibility would be open such as:

A civil administrator in charge of development for this sector of our galaxy.

A being from an advanced civilization such as is really suggested by the Sumerian or Annuaki gods who aren't really claimed to be gods at all in some of the tablets.

Most believers well versed in the Bible seem to have a good understanding of "who" He is.  As far as his purpose for creating us and why things are the way they are, of course that's only speculation for much of it at this point, but we also understand that its' not necessary information for us at this point in time.  Everything in the Bible is understood to be there because it was necessary for us to know as a generality.  As far as the specifics that it doesn't mention... well to cover all of them, we'd need a library bigger than the Library of Congress to hold all the information. 

Therefore, was it poor note taking? or just a well written summary?

As most of the population in antiquity was illiterate these stories come from a subset, the priestly caste who had a vested interest in their propagation, namely support and free food. That there were disagreements among them is well documented from the time of the Maccabees into well into the 1st century CE. Did all of these stories survive? Most likely not as demonstrated from bits and pieces of books not in accepted canons. Did the various groups alter what was ultimately passed on? This is a question that is difficult to analyze but is highly likely since Ezra for one is credited in Esdras as rewriting the Bible under God's direction as I mentioned earlier. Other groups had major disparity and goals in conflict which come out especially under Alexander Janeaus and other high priests which may have changed substantial portions of what is ultimately handed down. One should also recall the eradication campaigns of the Selucids as well.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

And if he's really the one that made it all and he chose only a subset of humans to be his favorites it indicates no real difference exists between his thought processes and those of his self-centered creations therefore we are made in his image as we demonstrate on a daily basis. The OT especially demonstrates the schizophrenic actions of the god throughout all of the stories which parallels some of the most as-sine actions of mankind.

So, what part where it says that "God so loved the world" does it mention that God has a select group of humans that he favors?  Granted this is way beyond our current topic. 

We'll keep looking at it.  if at any moment, you want to analyze a story beyond just the historocity of it, I'm game.

The OT is very clear the children of Israel were the chosen people of the god Yahweh, it is mentioned continuously. The quote, "God so Loved the World" is New Testament claims and is both another subject and is complete hearsay from an unknown writer and is not appropriate to the OT.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Essentially, the OT is as true as all the other myths but we don't know for sure which parts are real and which parts are fantasy other than the clear exaggerations that can be shown to be false.

That's why we would eventually need to start analyzing each story and compare and contrast between the others and their place in history... how they came about, who supported them and why, etc...  That's when one would start to be able to descipher what's real and what's not.

 

You are welcome to put forth a story for discussion to be dissected.

 

 

____________________________________________________________
"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:

Nope. In these stories, the God takes advantage of a self centered emotional man who is given to lust and desire. Interesting how the spirit of the Lord comes upon Samson whenever he murders or is denied the object of his lust. Really, the god claim is a cop out for Samson as a way to avoid the responsibility of his own lust driven self serving actions. I'm saying the claim of the spirit of the god comes to Samson is BullShit. Samson is a hero to Israel only because he murders people that are ruling over them. As I pointed out, Israelites were invaders to the land and the Philistines had every right to rule them under the circumstances. The displaced Canaanites had more right to fight as an underground or freedom fighters, not the Israelites, unless of course they were really the same people as Finkelstein suggests.

Well, this justification likely goes back to the promise God originally made to Israel back in the Moses story.  Granted they might be rightfully ruled over, but in the Bible, a promise is a promise, not broken like we see today. 

Simply, what would the point have been for God to "free his people" just to allow them to be back to where they started yet again a few years down the road?

As Moses clearly pointed out to the god on Sinai when God was going to kill all of them. Point being this, the OT is the history of Judah/Israel from their point of view and is obviously biased towards justifying any and all actions as from either god or because it was so promised by him. The other side of course is those that were wronged in the encounters and events such as the Samson events and as we will see in the next part I will post.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

There is no support from any other source for these tales. There are apple trees throughout the US. 

so.... wait a minute... your justification for Johnny Appleseed being a real person is that there are apple trees throughout the US???? Really???  That seems a bit weak to me no?

John Chapman actually existed there are plenty of sources, see Fort Wayne Indiana newspaper archives for example.

____________________________________________________________
"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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The Book of Judges Part

The Book of Judges Part 4

Samson’s alleged suicide would have read something like this in the Philistine Times – “Serial Killer murders thousands at Festival to Dagon” – Mass murderer Samson has struck once again at a celebration to the great god Dagon who had delivered the killer for justice. He got loose and placed himself in the midst of the arena and with a burst of strength fueled by his insanity pushed down the main load bearing pillars of the public arena which resulted in the entire structure falling upon uncounted thousands. The dead are in the thousands including women, children, and many of the city’s lords and leaders. Injuries have overwhelmed the city and all nearby towns and villages are also swamped with severely injured and the dying. The serial killer Samson also perished, which is the only good news in the entire incident.

Unfortunately no writing of any kind has ever been found of the Philistine side of this story, so the only side of this story we have is the extremely biased version in Judges by those who had been dominated. Philistines have been portrayed as savages and illiterate which is quite unfair but typical of those who write history from the opposition. How many historians have written books praising NAZI Germany or Stalinist Russia (except of course during their dominance)?

See - http://mwillett.org/atheism/philistines.htm and http://www.signonsandiego.com/uniontrib/20070419/news_1c19phil.html


Judges 17-21 is a fairly complicated story that ends with the near eradication of the tribe of Benjamin. It begins with seemingly unimportant details and a hard to correlate narrative discussing a man named Micah. But there is a relationship to these details.

Judges 17 begins with Micah telling his mom that he had the 1100 shekels of silver that were stolen from her. When he gave them back to her she told him she had dedicated them to the Lord for her son to make a graven image and a molten image. She then took only 200 shekels to a founder to make a graven image & a molten image and they were placed in Micah’s home. Micah had a house of gods or God (depending on translation) and made an ephod (an image or sometimes a priestly garment) and a teraphim (an image of human shape usually full size of a god). He consecrated one of his sons to be his priest.

This is very interesting in that it shows the 1st commandment of Moses was clearly not enforced or considered at all. Though mom and Micah are supposedly God believing they have many Canaanite practices in their lives including the teraphim, see Jewish encyclopedia - http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?artid=150&letter=T

A young man from Bethlehem-judah who was a Levite came to the house of Micah and was asked to be his priest. He agreed and Micah knew the Lord would do good for him as he had a Levite as a priest.

Time passes and 5 men of the Danites are sent out to find land they can secure for the children of Dan as they had not been able to dispossess those who lived upon the land given them as their inheritance. They came to Micah’s and met the priest and saw the images and lodged with Micah. The 5 Danites went on to Laish after receiving a positive comment from the priest. When they observed the city they saw the people lived well and were secure in their land after the manner of the Zidonians. However, the people living there were a great distance from others who might support or come to their aid. The 5 returned to Dan and told of the easy pickings they had located at Laish. They spoke of how very good the land was and how there was no want of anything there. The Danites put together a raiding party of 600 armed men and returned to the house of Micah en route.

The men went to the priest and convinced him it would be better for him to be a priest for an entire tribe instead of only one man (and his family). So the priest joined the Danites. The Danites took the images, ephod, and teraphim from Micah’s house. They also looted many of Micah’s possessions, cattle and even the children. Micah and his neighbors went after the children of Dan and confronted them over their looting. Micah told them who have taken my god I made.and even my priest and what do I have now? The children of Dan told him to be silent otherwise they may become angry with him and take his life along with the lives of his household. Micah seeing he was greatly out numbered turned back and went home. The children of Dan left taking that which they had stolen from Micah and went to Laish and destroyed them in battle burning the city. The children of Dan rebuilt the city and called it Dan. The stolen graven images were set up in the house of God that was in Shiloh.

This episode shows the land was filled with lawlessness and the children of Israel turned upon each other. They obviously knew nothing of the laws of Moses as they broke several commandments. They lusted after the goods of Micah, stole his goods, his priest and even children. Granted Micah had graven images or gods but they wanted those as well. This episode casts the period of the Judges in a different light and should be remembered later on when the Book of the Law is discovered in the Temple. Perhaps the children of Dan were just ill informed but so too was Micah.

The story continues with a Levite who lived on Mt Ephraim who took himself a concubine (mistress, 2nd wife, or perhaps a whore). The concubine left him for her father’s house as a whore for 4 months. He went to fetch her along with a servant and several asses. When he got to his father-in-laws house his wife's father rejoiced to see him and detained him for 3 days. On the 4th day he convinced him to eat and time passed so he convinced him to stay another night. Again on the 5th day the father-in-law convinced him to tarry and eat however this time they departed in the afternoon. As the day became late they were near Jerusalem and the servant wanted to go there but the Levite would not stay in the land of strangers but they went to Gibeah a city of the tribe of Benjamin.

When they got to Gibeah no one took them in for lodging. They set themselves up in the street of the city. An old man returning from the fields invited them into his house. He provided for their needs. Now as they were making merry certain men of the city, base fellows (KJV says sons of Belial – an unsupported observation) beat upon the door demanding the Levite be brought out so they could know him (apparently Sodom wasn’t unique). The master of the house refused but offered his own daughter and the concubine of the Levite. The men weren’t satisfied with this never the less the master sent the concubine out. The men raped and abused her all night until morning. The Levite found her upon the doorstep dead with her hands upon the threshold dead. He picked her up and set her on an ass and went to his own home and cut her into 12 pieces and sent her to all the parts of Israel. This had never been done since Israel had come from Egypt.

Again this episode shows Israel seemed to not know of the Laws of Moses. According to the law, the men of the city were guilty of a stoning offense. Even the old man who offered the concubine of the Levite violated the Law. Then consider this, the story is so much like the one of Lot and the angels in Sodom it may actually be a variant. Though the next actions are down a path not taken before. The Levite sends 12 pieces of her body to all the tribes. One wonders why he bothered sending a piece to Benjamin.

The tribes of Israel gathered in Mizpah where the Levite explained what had occurred in Gibeah a city of Benjamin. The tribes decided to send a force consisting of 10% of all the armed men to Benjamin demanding justice. They came and gathered against the city demanding the men be delivered to be put to death. But the Benjamites would not deliver the men instead they came out to battle. The Israelites went to the house of God and asked who should go against Benjamin first. And the Lord said Judah. So Judah went forth against Benjamin and 22,000 of Judah were killed. Once again the tribes went to the house of God once more and asked if they should go against their brother Benjamin. The Lord said go against him. So they did so on the 2nd day and 18,000 of Israel were killed. And a 3rd time they went to the house of God and asked if they should go against Benjamin. The Lord said, go against Benjamin and I will deliver then into your hands. So on the 3rd day they drew out the Benjamites and drew them to an ambush as if retreating and killed of them 25,000. As the city was unprotected the Israelites set upon it and killed all within. The war against their brethren continued even unto other cities where all the men were killed and the cities burned.

So the tribes of Israel killed one another as the God had commanded. Perhaps KJV erred calling them sons of Belial as the entire tribe seems to have supported the actions since they knew not the Laws of Moses as evidenced by their refusals to turn over the rapists/killers.

Now for the reasons for this story come out of the final chapter of Judges. After the war against Benjamin the tribes of Israel had agreed at Mizpah none would allow Benjamites to have their daughters as wives. So they wondered how they might provide wives for those that remained. Never the less a city of Gilead, Jabesh had not sent forces in the effort against Benjamin, so it was decided to go forth and kill all of the men and women who were not virgins and take by force the virgins. A long term solution is found where at the feast at Shiloh held yearly the women who come out to dance would be seized by the Benjamites for wives thus preserving the tribe.

There you have it, a story of how and why the tribe of Benjamin by tradition went to the feast at Shiloh to seize wives.

These chapters do nothing to substantiate God beliefs in Israel showing many Canaanite practices, warfare between tribes, and lack of knowledge in regards to the Law of Moses. Perhaps written more to substantiate several traditions and unknowingly documenting the origins and common connections to Canaanite traditions and gods.

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

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


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pauljohntheskeptic wrote:The

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

The OT is very clear the children of Israel were the chosen people of the god Yahweh, it is mentioned continuously. The quote, "God so Loved the World" is New Testament claims and is both another subject and is complete hearsay from an unknown writer and is not appropriate to the OT.

Anything written in the New Testiment didn't nullify Ot law.  But you're right, it's written in the NT.  Its relevence is Gods point of view...

I guess the question is why is it that God seems to favor this population?  If we look back into Genesis, we will see a promise that God made to a certain person saying how his generation will thrive. 

It's interesting to say that God "favors" this group over others be it that in Exodus he was pretty ready to destroy this "favored" group because of their rebelliousness.  Sounds like he's treating his "favored" just like everyone else making them maybe not so "favored" after all.  God holds true to his promises.  He did favor Abraham and promised Abraham great things for his children of that particular decendence.  All this shows is not favoritism but that God will not break a promise no matter what.

I know what you're saying about the "chosen", but if you look back into the promise made, thats exactly what God was promising.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

You are welcome to put forth a story for discussion to be dissected.

I fear that would require a whole different forum... I would love to do that.  I would probably suggest the book or writing of another large world religion like Muslims or Hinduism, Buhdists, etc...

I feel like we should get through the Bible first. 

Were you thinking of something smaller like a Johnny Appleseed story?  I guess something like that would be fine.  I'll leave that pick up to you. 


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pauljohntheskeptic

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

There is no support from any other source for these tales. There are apple trees throughout the US. 

so.... wait a minute... your justification for Johnny Appleseed being a real person is that there are apple trees throughout the US???? Really???  That seems a bit weak to me no?

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

John Chapman actually existed there are plenty of sources, see Fort Wayne Indiana newspaper archives for example.

I accept this and know that he was a real person.  My point was your reasoning for such originally seemed to be weak... and just like your local newspaper source, there are many local sources supporting the Bible and current day "God sightings" (or miracles/miracle work)


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pauljohntheskeptic wrote:


Unfortunately no writing of any kind has ever been found of the Philistine side of this story, so the only side of this story we have is the extremely biased version in Judges by those who had been dominated. Philistines have been portrayed as savages and illiterate which is quite unfair but typical of those who write history from the opposition. How many historians have written books praising NAZI Germany or Stalinist Russia (except of course during their dominance)?

Missing information has never been rational to conclude on.  Only a reason to keep looking for answers.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:


Judges 17-21 is a fairly complicated story that ends with the near eradication of the tribe of Benjamin. It begins with seemingly unimportant details and a hard to correlate narrative discussing a man named Micah. But there is a relationship to these details.

Judges 17 begins with Micah telling his mom that he had the 1100 shekels of silver that were stolen from her. When he gave them back to her she told him she had dedicated them to the Lord for her son to make a graven image and a molten image. She then took only 200 shekels to a founder to make a graven image & a molten image and they were placed in Micah’s home. Micah had a house of gods or God (depending on translation) and made an ephod (an image or sometimes a priestly garment) and a teraphim (an image of human shape usually full size of a god). He consecrated one of his sons to be his priest.

This is very interesting in that it shows the 1st commandment of Moses was clearly not enforced or considered at all. Though mom and Micah are supposedly God believing they have many Canaanite practices in their lives including the teraphim, see Jewish encyclopedia - http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?artid=150&letter=T

Not enforced or not strongly followed?  If you ask any Christian today, none could honestly tell you they strictly follow all the commandments.  During that time, there were many many gods to choose from and it was commonality to jump from god to god or to worship many gods.  Like Lust is an issue today and most Christians admit to falling to it (which is the adultery commandment for those reading up on it)  Doesn't mean it's not enforced... in fact that is enforced more in a lot of churches today because of the magnitude of Christians falling to it, yet it would look like it's not at all enforced. 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:


A young man from Bethlehem-judah who was a Levite came to the house of Micah and was asked to be his priest. He agreed and Micah knew the Lord would do good for him as he had a Levite as a priest.

Time passes and 5 men of the Danites are sent out to find land they can secure for the children of Dan as they had not been able to dispossess those who lived upon the land given them as their inheritance. They came to Micah’s and met the priest and saw the images and lodged with Micah. The 5 Danites went on to Laish after receiving a positive comment from the priest. When they observed the city they saw the people lived well and were secure in their land after the manner of the Zidonians. However, the people living there were a great distance from others who might support or come to their aid. The 5 returned to Dan and told of the easy pickings they had located at Laish. They spoke of how very good the land was and how there was no want of anything there. The Danites put together a raiding party of 600 armed men and returned to the house of Micah en route.

The men went to the priest and convinced him it would be better for him to be a priest for an entire tribe instead of only one man (and his family). So the priest joined the Danites. The Danites took the images, ephod, and teraphim from Micah’s house. They also looted many of Micah’s possessions, cattle and even the children. Micah and his neighbors went after the children of Dan and confronted them over their looting. Micah told them who have taken my god I made.and even my priest and what do I have now? The children of Dan told him to be silent otherwise they may become angry with him and take his life along with the lives of his household. Micah seeing he was greatly out numbered turned back and went home. The children of Dan left taking that which they had stolen from Micah and went to Laish and destroyed them in battle burning the city. The children of Dan rebuilt the city and called it Dan. The stolen graven images were set up in the house of God that was in Shiloh.

This episode shows the land was filled with lawlessness and the children of Israel turned upon each other. They obviously knew nothing of the laws of Moses as they broke several commandments. They lusted after the goods of Micah, stole his goods, his priest and even children. Granted Micah had graven images or gods but they wanted those as well. This episode casts the period of the Judges in a different light and should be remembered later on when the Book of the Law is discovered in the Temple. Perhaps the children of Dan were just ill informed but so too was Micah.

It is possible and likely they were not educated of the Law as much as they could be.  It could also be possible they were in a generation of rebellious people.   Many hypotheticals, but says nothing about the validity of the story or magnitude fo their belief.  Though of course actions speak louder than words.  Likely, like many people today, they were professing believers yet didn't really follow the teachings.  e.g. holliday church goers...

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:


The story continues with a Levite who lived on Mt Ephraim who took himself a concubine (mistress, 2nd wife, or perhaps a whore). The concubine left him for her father’s house as a whore for 4 months. He went to fetch her along with a servant and several asses. When he got to his father-in-laws house his wife's father rejoiced to see him and detained him for 3 days. On the 4th day he convinced him to eat and time passed so he convinced him to stay another night. Again on the 5th day the father-in-law convinced him to tarry and eat however this time they departed in the afternoon. As the day became late they were near Jerusalem and the servant wanted to go there but the Levite would not stay in the land of strangers but they went to Gibeah a city of the tribe of Benjamin.

When they got to Gibeah no one took them in for lodging. They set themselves up in the street of the city. An old man returning from the fields invited them into his house. He provided for their needs. Now as they were making merry certain men of the city, base fellows (KJV says sons of Belial – an unsupported observation) beat upon the door demanding the Levite be brought out so they could know him (apparently Sodom wasn’t unique). The master of the house refused but offered his own daughter and the concubine of the Levite. The men weren’t satisfied with this never the less the master sent the concubine out. The men raped and abused her all night until morning. The Levite found her upon the doorstep dead with her hands upon the threshold dead. He picked her up and set her on an ass and went to his own home and cut her into 12 pieces and sent her to all the parts of Israel. This had never been done since Israel had come from Egypt.

Again this episode shows Israel seemed to not know of the Laws of Moses. According to the law, the men of the city were guilty of a stoning offense. Even the old man who offered the concubine of the Levite violated the Law. Then consider this, the story is so much like the one of Lot and the angels in Sodom it may actually be a variant. Though the next actions are down a path not taken before. The Levite sends 12 pieces of her body to all the tribes. One wonders why he bothered sending a piece to Benjamin.

The tribes of Israel gathered in Mizpah where the Levite explained what had occurred in Gibeah a city of Benjamin. The tribes decided to send a force consisting of 10% of all the armed men to Benjamin demanding justice. They came and gathered against the city demanding the men be delivered to be put to death. But the Benjamites would not deliver the men instead they came out to battle. The Israelites went to the house of God and asked who should go against Benjamin first. And the Lord said Judah. So Judah went forth against Benjamin and 22,000 of Judah were killed. Once again the tribes went to the house of God once more and asked if they should go against their brother Benjamin. The Lord said go against him. So they did so on the 2nd day and 18,000 of Israel were killed. And a 3rd time they went to the house of God and asked if they should go against Benjamin. The Lord said, go against Benjamin and I will deliver then into your hands. So on the 3rd day they drew out the Benjamites and drew them to an ambush as if retreating and killed of them 25,000. As the city was unprotected the Israelites set upon it and killed all within. The war against their brethren continued even unto other cities where all the men were killed and the cities burned.

So the tribes of Israel killed one another as the God had commanded. Perhaps KJV erred calling them sons of Belial as the entire tribe seems to have supported the actions since they knew not the Laws of Moses as evidenced by their refusals to turn over the rapists/killers.

Now for the reasons for this story come out of the final chapter of Judges. After the war against Benjamin the tribes of Israel had agreed at Mizpah none would allow Benjamites to have their daughters as wives. So they wondered how they might provide wives for those that remained. Never the less a city of Gilead, Jabesh had not sent forces in the effort against Benjamin, so it was decided to go forth and kill all of the men and women who were not virgins and take by force the virgins. A long term solution is found where at the feast at Shiloh held yearly the women who come out to dance would be seized by the Benjamites for wives thus preserving the tribe.

There you have it, a story of how and why the tribe of Benjamin by tradition went to the feast at Shiloh to seize wives.

These chapters do nothing to substantiate God beliefs in Israel showing many Canaanite practices, warfare between tribes, and lack of knowledge in regards to the Law of Moses. Perhaps written more to substantiate several traditions and unknowingly documenting the origins and common connections to Canaanite traditions and gods.

depending on the angle you want to take will depend on the progression of topic with this story.  It sounds to me as if you're looking for the story to support Biblical law.  Many stories in the Bible were written to show the progress of the focus group and also how they messed up.  How much less believable woudl the Bible be if all in it was perfect?  I see it as a way of counting up the reasons for a NT to take place.  We're getting into a section too where the Apocrypha was intertwined pretty thick.  They were stories related to how people followed God or of believers and their stories, but it wasn't congruent with the times and generational flow of the OT stories.  I'm sure there was more to the reasoning for taking those books out, but it's teh basic reasoning I've gotten.  It didn't make the stories taken out irrelevent or false. 

So at this point are you questioning its validity or just why things are the way they are in the book?  or is it a bit of validity because of what's happening int he book?


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pauljohntheskeptic wrote:The

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

The OT is very clear the children of Israel were the chosen people of the god Yahweh, it is mentioned continuously. The quote, "God so Loved the World" is New Testament claims and is both another subject and is complete hearsay from an unknown writer and is not appropriate to the OT.

caposkia wrote:
Anything written in the New Testiment didn't nullify Ot law.  But you're right, it's written in the NT.  Its relevence is Gods point of view...

Except for those parts where Paul canceled out the Law by fiat in his epistles? You know about the time where he turned Jesus into a god?

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caposkia

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

The OT is very clear the children of Israel were the chosen people of the god Yahweh, it is mentioned continuously. The quote, "God so Loved the World" is New Testament claims and is both another subject and is complete hearsay from an unknown writer and is not appropriate to the OT.

Anything written in the New Testiment didn't nullify Ot law.  But you're right, it's written in the NT.  Its relevence is Gods point of view...

I guess the question is why is it that God seems to favor this population?  If we look back into Genesis, we will see a promise that God made to a certain person saying how his generation will thrive. 

It's interesting to say that God "favors" this group over others be it that in Exodus he was pretty ready to destroy this "favored" group because of their rebelliousness.  Sounds like he's treating his "favored" just like everyone else making them maybe not so "favored" after all.  God holds true to his promises.  He did favor Abraham and promised Abraham great things for his children of that particular decendence.  All this shows is not favoritism but that God will not break a promise no matter what.

I know what you're saying about the "chosen", but if you look back into the promise made, thats exactly what God was promising.

Something you should always keep in mind is the Hebrew Bible was written from the POV to support their specific ethnic group. Hence the people are always going to be special to the god they worship just as other ethnic groups were special to their gods. 

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

You are welcome to put forth a story for discussion to be dissected.

I fear that would require a whole different forum... I would love to do that.  I would probably suggest the book or writing of another large world religion like Muslims or Hinduism, Buhdists, etc...

I feel like we should get through the Bible first. 

Were you thinking of something smaller like a Johnny Appleseed story?  I guess something like that would be fine.  I'll leave that pick up to you. 

OK, at a later 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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 caposkia

 

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

There is no support from any other source for these tales. There are apple trees throughout the US. 

so.... wait a minute... your justification for Johnny Appleseed being a real person is that there are apple trees throughout the US???? Really???  That seems a bit weak to me no?

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

John Chapman actually existed there are plenty of sources, see Fort Wayne Indiana newspaper archives for example.

I accept this and know that he was a real person.  My point was your reasoning for such originally seemed to be weak... and just like your local newspaper source, there are many local sources supporting the Bible and current day "God sightings" (or miracles/miracle work)

I'm not sure what you mean by local sources supporting the Bible. What, like Mizpah existed, there was a Sea of Galilee, Hebrew was a language in Palestine, or....what?

As to current day sightings of a god or a miracle anything that is supported by The Catholic Church may have an ulterior motive in mind and should automatically be material for an Episode of Penn & Teller.

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

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


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caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:


Unfortunately no writing of any kind has ever been found of the Philistine side of this story, so the only side of this story we have is the extremely biased version in Judges by those who had been dominated. Philistines have been portrayed as savages and illiterate which is quite unfair but typical of those who write history from the opposition. How many historians have written books praising NAZI Germany or Stalinist Russia (except of course during their dominance)?

Missing information has never been rational to conclude on.  Only a reason to keep looking for answers.

Which is the point I was making here. In the link I referenced it explains the Philistines did have writing and were technologically more advanced than the Israelites as they were of Minoan (Cretan) culture. Writing has been found that is crude but comparative to the writing of others of the time period including Israel. What I was trying to get you to see was only one side of the story has been told that of those who felt they were oppressed. Perhaps true, perhaps not true.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:


Judges 17-21 is a fairly complicated story that ends with the near eradication of the tribe of Benjamin. It begins with seemingly unimportant details and a hard to correlate narrative discussing a man named Micah. But there is a relationship to these details.

Judges 17 begins with Micah telling his mom that he had the 1100 shekels of silver that were stolen from her. When he gave them back to her she told him she had dedicated them to the Lord for her son to make a graven image and a molten image. She then took only 200 shekels to a founder to make a graven image & a molten image and they were placed in Micah’s home. Micah had a house of gods or God (depending on translation) and made an ephod (an image or sometimes a priestly garment) and a teraphim (an image of human shape usually full size of a god). He consecrated one of his sons to be his priest.

This is very interesting in that it shows the 1st commandment of Moses was clearly not enforced or considered at all. Though mom and Micah are supposedly God believing they have many Canaanite practices in their lives including the teraphim, see Jewish encyclopedia - http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?artid=150&letter=T

Not enforced or not strongly followed?  If you ask any Christian today, none could honestly tell you they strictly follow all the commandments.  During that time, there were many many gods to choose from and it was commonality to jump from god to god or to worship many gods.  Like Lust is an issue today and most Christians admit to falling to it (which is the adultery commandment for those reading up on it)  Doesn't mean it's not enforced... in fact that is enforced more in a lot of churches today because of the magnitude of Christians falling to it, yet it would look like it's not at all enforced.

When judges are portrayed not following the Laws of Moses it indicates there is more going on here. I agree the Canaanite gods were being worshiped and Yahweh was a Canaanite god as well.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:


A young man from Bethlehem-judah who was a Levite came to the house of Micah and was asked to be his priest. He agreed and Micah knew the Lord would do good for him as he had a Levite as a priest.

Time passes and 5 men of the Danites are sent out to find land they can secure for the children of Dan as they had not been able to dispossess those who lived upon the land given them as their inheritance. They came to Micah’s and met the priest and saw the images and lodged with Micah. The 5 Danites went on to Laish after receiving a positive comment from the priest. When they observed the city they saw the people lived well and were secure in their land after the manner of the Zidonians. However, the people living there were a great distance from others who might support or come to their aid. The 5 returned to Dan and told of the easy pickings they had located at Laish. They spoke of how very good the land was and how there was no want of anything there. The Danites put together a raiding party of 600 armed men and returned to the house of Micah en route.

The men went to the priest and convinced him it would be better for him to be a priest for an entire tribe instead of only one man (and his family). So the priest joined the Danites. The Danites took the images, ephod, and teraphim from Micah’s house. They also looted many of Micah’s possessions, cattle and even the children. Micah and his neighbors went after the children of Dan and confronted them over their looting. Micah told them who have taken my god I made.and even my priest and what do I have now? The children of Dan told him to be silent otherwise they may become angry with him and take his life along with the lives of his household. Micah seeing he was greatly out numbered turned back and went home. The children of Dan left taking that which they had stolen from Micah and went to Laish and destroyed them in battle burning the city. The children of Dan rebuilt the city and called it Dan. The stolen graven images were set up in the house of God that was in Shiloh.

This episode shows the land was filled with lawlessness and the children of Israel turned upon each other. They obviously knew nothing of the laws of Moses as they broke several commandments. They lusted after the goods of Micah, stole his goods, his priest and even children. Granted Micah had graven images or gods but they wanted those as well. This episode casts the period of the Judges in a different light and should be remembered later on when the Book of the Law is discovered in the Temple. Perhaps the children of Dan were just ill informed but so too was Micah.

It is possible and likely they were not educated of the Law as much as they could be.  It could also be possible they were in a generation of rebellious people.   Many hypotheticals, but says nothing about the validity of the story or magnitude fo their belief.  Though of course actions speak louder than words.  Likely, like many people today, they were professing believers yet didn't really follow the teachings.  e.g. holliday church goers...

It is also possible Jeremiah hadn't written the Law as of yet that was found so dramatically centuries from this point in the Temple. Keep in mind Ezra is attributed to re-writing the Books of Moses in Esdras, at least so he claims. Why conclude the Law already existed at all? When we get to Jeremiah we can discuss the similarities between his writing and Deuteronomy as discussed by scholars.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:


The story continues with a Levite who lived on Mt Ephraim who took himself a concubine (mistress, 2nd wife, or perhaps a whore). The concubine left him for her father’s house as a whore for 4 months. He went to fetch her along with a servant and several asses. When he got to his father-in-laws house his wife's father rejoiced to see him and detained him for 3 days. On the 4th day he convinced him to eat and time passed so he convinced him to stay another night. Again on the 5th day the father-in-law convinced him to tarry and eat however this time they departed in the afternoon. As the day became late they were near Jerusalem and the servant wanted to go there but the Levite would not stay in the land of strangers but they went to Gibeah a city of the tribe of Benjamin.

When they got to Gibeah no one took them in for lodging. They set themselves up in the street of the city. An old man returning from the fields invited them into his house. He provided for their needs. Now as they were making merry certain men of the city, base fellows (KJV says sons of Belial – an unsupported observation) beat upon the door demanding the Levite be brought out so they could know him (apparently Sodom wasn’t unique). The master of the house refused but offered his own daughter and the concubine of the Levite. The men weren’t satisfied with this never the less the master sent the concubine out. The men raped and abused her all night until morning. The Levite found her upon the doorstep dead with her hands upon the threshold dead. He picked her up and set her on an ass and went to his own home and cut her into 12 pieces and sent her to all the parts of Israel. This had never been done since Israel had come from Egypt.

Again this episode shows Israel seemed to not know of the Laws of Moses. According to the law, the men of the city were guilty of a stoning offense. Even the old man who offered the concubine of the Levite violated the Law. Then consider this, the story is so much like the one of Lot and the angels in Sodom it may actually be a variant. Though the next actions are down a path not taken before. The Levite sends 12 pieces of her body to all the tribes. One wonders why he bothered sending a piece to Benjamin.

The tribes of Israel gathered in Mizpah where the Levite explained what had occurred in Gibeah a city of Benjamin. The tribes decided to send a force consisting of 10% of all the armed men to Benjamin demanding justice. They came and gathered against the city demanding the men be delivered to be put to death. But the Benjamites would not deliver the men instead they came out to battle. The Israelites went to the house of God and asked who should go against Benjamin first. And the Lord said Judah. So Judah went forth against Benjamin and 22,000 of Judah were killed. Once again the tribes went to the house of God once more and asked if they should go against their brother Benjamin. The Lord said go against him. So they did so on the 2nd day and 18,000 of Israel were killed. And a 3rd time they went to the house of God and asked if they should go against Benjamin. The Lord said, go against Benjamin and I will deliver then into your hands. So on the 3rd day they drew out the Benjamites and drew them to an ambush as if retreating and killed of them 25,000. As the city was unprotected the Israelites set upon it and killed all within. The war against their brethren continued even unto other cities where all the men were killed and the cities burned.

So the tribes of Israel killed one another as the God had commanded. Perhaps KJV erred calling them sons of Belial as the entire tribe seems to have supported the actions since they knew not the Laws of Moses as evidenced by their refusals to turn over the rapists/killers.

Now for the reasons for this story come out of the final chapter of Judges. After the war against Benjamin the tribes of Israel had agreed at Mizpah none would allow Benjamites to have their daughters as wives. So they wondered how they might provide wives for those that remained. Never the less a city of Gilead, Jabesh had not sent forces in the effort against Benjamin, so it was decided to go forth and kill all of the men and women who were not virgins and take by force the virgins. A long term solution is found where at the feast at Shiloh held yearly the women who come out to dance would be seized by the Benjamites for wives thus preserving the tribe.

There you have it, a story of how and why the tribe of Benjamin by tradition went to the feast at Shiloh to seize wives.

These chapters do nothing to substantiate God beliefs in Israel showing many Canaanite practices, warfare between tribes, and lack of knowledge in regards to the Law of Moses. Perhaps written more to substantiate several traditions and unknowingly documenting the origins and common connections to Canaanite traditions and gods.

depending on the angle you want to take will depend on the progression of topic with this story.  It sounds to me as if you're looking for the story to support Biblical law.  Many stories in the Bible were written to show the progress of the focus group and also how they messed up.  How much less believable woudl the Bible be if all in it was perfect?  I see it as a way of counting up the reasons for a NT to take place.  We're getting into a section too where the Apocrypha was intertwined pretty thick.  They were stories related to how people followed God or of believers and their stories, but it wasn't congruent with the times and generational flow of the OT stories.  I'm sure there was more to the reasoning for taking those books out, but it's teh basic reasoning I've gotten.  It didn't make the stories taken out irrelevent or false. 

So at this point are you questioning its validity or just why things are the way they are in the book?  or is it a bit of validity because of what's happening int he book?

I'm not saying the story supports The Laws of Moses, it's clear it does not. The questions are why not. Did the Laws of Moses exist or not at this point is the question.

I understand stories were written to show how certain groups followed the ways of the god or failed to do so and were to be considered as lessons. Or were they? How can you know if it's a lesson in this case or just documenting events?

In the case of these stories several traditions are evident that have basis in the stories. They may have been told to explain why the tribe of Benjamin grabbed wives at the festival of the feast at Shiloh and for no other reason. It may have been an explanation why the tribes killed off most of the tribe of Benjamin. It doesn't help cast the god Yahweh as very Omnipotent because thousands die in the attempt to extract justice for the death of a single woman. Or perhaps it was a story to show justice was worth any price even for the individual. 

I question absolutely everything and attempt to grasp what possible reasons a story existed not just it teaches lessons about the alleged god but alternatives that are similar to other cultures and legends. I'm not saying that for sure these particular stories were just an attempt to explain why the tribe of Benjamin grabbed wives at a festival but it's a logical possibility when one considers the god Yahweh is a fictional character or a metamorphosed Canaanite god.

 

 

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


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jcgadfly

jcgadfly wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

The OT is very clear the children of Israel were the chosen people of the god Yahweh, it is mentioned continuously. The quote, "God so Loved the World" is New Testament claims and is both another subject and is complete hearsay from an unknown writer and is not appropriate to the OT.

caposkia wrote:
Anything written in the New Testiment didn't nullify Ot law.  But you're right, it's written in the NT.  Its relevence is Gods point of view...

Except for those parts where Paul canceled out the Law by fiat in his epistles? You know about the time where he turned Jesus into a god?

You'd have to point out the verses.  Only according to the Jehovah's Witnesses does the Bible say in any instance that Jesus is a god.  

Though by the sheer definition of a god... that being anything of a higher power than you, you could argue the case, but I'm guessing that's not the issue here.


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pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

 

Something you should always keep in mind is the Hebrew Bible was written from the POV to support their specific ethnic group. Hence the people are always going to be special to the god they worship just as other ethnic groups were special to their gods. 

Understandably so, which is why one would ultimately have to put the story up against the facts.  so far from what we've seen, all is plausible except for the sheer numbers mentioned and the magnitude of effect that seems to be emphasized in each story.  I believe we've established this state of mind already by mentioning that when stories are told the people will usually exaggerate to their benefit.

 


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pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

 

caposkia wrote:

I accept this and know that he was a real person.  My point was your reasoning for such originally seemed to be weak... and just like your local newspaper source, there are many local sources supporting the Bible and current day "God sightings" (or miracles/miracle work)

I'm not sure what you mean by local sources supporting the Bible. What, like Mizpah existed, there was a Sea of Galilee, Hebrew was a language in Palestine, or....what?

depending on the location of course, but there are many "God sighting" claims as they'd be called from many "localized sources from around the world.  Most American news papers if they did publish such a claim would most likely neutralize the claim.  e.g.  "A local man had a miraculous recovery from his cancer.  Doctors are baffled.  

Local man: "I tell you it was by God's will that this happened.  My family was praying for me and I prayed every day.  Praise God."

"This particular type of cancer is usually deadly, but there are few documented cases from around the world of people surviving and even fewer of a complete recovery."  

There-so neutralizing the fact that it may in fact have been God's doing by suggesting that it's not the first time it's happened... not that the others couldn't have been God's doing as well.  This article ultimately allows both sides to be satisfied in their own understanding, believers seeing God's hand in it and non-believers seeing it as another lucky guy who happened to be dealt the right cards in life.  All without bringing up the controversial topic.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

As to current day sightings of a god or a miracle anything that is supported by The Catholic Church may have an ulterior motive in mind and should automatically be material for an Episode of Penn & Teller.

As you know, i don't support the Catholic Church.  but the methodology that this particular group does to decide whether what was witnessed was a miracle of God or not is quite thorough.  Years and years of research goes into all of the serious claims.  most have been dismissed as not authentic.  Despite their doctrinal issues, they still are a group viewed to be on God's side...

though in my understanding, anyone who knows the flaws in its system and does nothing about it is not so much a part of that group regardless of what they claim.  Herein lies the problem with the Catholic Church.  They have ended up being overly indoctrinated and therefore it is a headache of a process to modify or change their understanding of procedure. Some changes have been made, one of them being documenting and researching all claimed miracles.  


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pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Which is the point I was making here. In the link I referenced it explains the Philistines did have writing and were technologically more advanced than the Israelites as they were of Minoan (Cretan) culture. Writing has been found that is crude but comparative to the writing of others of the time period including Israel. What I was trying to get you to see was only one side of the story has been told that of those who felt they were oppressed. Perhaps true, perhaps not true.

I see that.  Logically speaking, there would be more care in handling the more true story.  It's interesting that if there was a written version of the other side, it isn't as easily accessible.  either that or was never written down which is even more suspicious if this story is in fact fiction.  

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

 

When judges are portrayed not following the Laws of Moses it indicates there is more going on here. I agree the Canaanite gods were being worshiped and Yahweh was a Canaanite god as well.

they of course are the ones you'd assume would uphold the law and obey it themselves, but of course throughout history you see corruption in all the court systems.  can't always count on that source for authenticity.  They may know the law, but actions speak louder than words of course.  

 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

It is also possible Jeremiah hadn't written the Law as of yet that was found so dramatically centuries from this point in the Temple. Keep in mind Ezra is attributed to re-writing the Books of Moses in Esdras, at least so he claims. Why conclude the Law already existed at all? When we get to Jeremiah we can discuss the similarities between his writing and Deuteronomy as discussed by scholars.

When you read the Torrah as a whole, and see how it's written in the Bible, you can see that it's a chronological timeline of events following a particular intergenerational family.  Logically, the information would be handed down thoroughly especially when this family obviously understood the laws of Moses to be of utmost importance.

If there was such a break in the law as you seem to suggest there could be, then the bigger question arises down the line.  how did the law, after generations of not being used all of a sudden become the foundation of the Jewish faith?  There would have been little if any basis for support in petitioning that to be the way of life if it was just archival information found from long ago.  

 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

 

I'm not saying the story supports The Laws of Moses, it's clear it does not. The questions are why not. Did the Laws of Moses exist or not at this point is the question.

By the chronological timeline of understanding here.  it would seem to me that it did exist.  Just wasn't well followed by this particular generation.  

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

I understand stories were written to show how certain groups followed the ways of the god or failed to do so and were to be considered as lessons. Or were they? How can you know if it's a lesson in this case or just documenting events?

Well, i do believe it's a documenting of events and not a parable.  The idea at this point of judges is to see just that.  There are multi-leveled meanings to each part of the Bible and the Bible as a whole.  

In this case, we progressively see where corruption in the system stemmed from and how it progressed... which eventually leads up to why did Jesus come and have to do what he did?

Ultimately, the purpose of Judges is documentation of history and to "example the life of Israel in the promised land from the death of Joshua to the rise of the monarchy...  It is an account of frequent apostasy, provoking divine chastening...  It tells of urgent appeals to God in times of crisis, moving the Lord to raise up leaders (judges) through whom He throws off foreign oppressors and restores the land to peace."  (Zondervan)

In other words, it shows a progression of the generations as well as how God handled it and why things are the way they are in the next book.  Kind of a transitional story if you will.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

In the case of these stories several traditions are evident that have basis in the stories. They may have been told to explain why the tribe of Benjamin grabbed wives at the festival of the feast at Shiloh and for no other reason. It may have been an explanation why the tribes killed off most of the tribe of Benjamin. It doesn't help cast the god Yahweh as very Omnipotent because thousands die in the attempt to extract justice for the death of a single woman. Or perhaps it was a story to show justice was worth any price even for the individual. 

Probably your 2nd theory.  the fact that 1000's die for that cause has nothing to do with the omnipotence of God.  
I'm assuming you're talking about the concubine that was cut up into 12 pieces and sent around to the tribes.  

First of all it was choice by man not God.  And it wasn't for the woman, it was seen as an act against Israel.  just as we Americans saw an attack on a single building an attack on our country, the same applies to the person here. 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

I question absolutely everything and attempt to grasp what possible reasons a story existed not just it teaches lessons about the alleged god but alternatives that are similar to other cultures and legends. I'm not saying that for sure these particular stories were just an attempt to explain why the tribe of Benjamin grabbed wives at a festival but it's a logical possibility when one considers the god Yahweh is a fictional character or a metamorphosed Canaanite god.

It's great that you question everything.  you should.  It should be considered why this story still exists as it does today and why it has been decided to be kept in a book of 66 stories when there are many other stories that could have possibly taken its place.  We're getting into the Apocrypha territory now.  

The issue is you automatically assume at this point that the God of the Bible is fictional..  Though we both know what we think we know, I'm taking this without considering Him being real or not. just as is to see how it stands up.  So far, I can't find any sound reason to even consider any of the stories discussed thus far as to not have happened with exception of the clarified exaggerations.  

 


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caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

 

Something you should always keep in mind is the Hebrew Bible was written from the POV to support their specific ethnic group. Hence the people are always going to be special to the god they worship just as other ethnic groups were special to their gods. 

Understandably so, which is why one would ultimately have to put the story up against the facts.  so far from what we've seen, all is plausible except for the sheer numbers mentioned and the magnitude of effect that seems to be emphasized in each story.  I believe we've established this state of mind already by mentioning that when stories are told the people will usually exaggerate to their benefit.

 

I'm not sure what it is you mean by facts in the above quote.

If you mean there were people who lived in the land of Palestine who perhaps worshiped several gods and selected only the god Yahweh as their one true god at some point, yet to be determined in our examination I'd agree.

As to these stories we have examined so far calling them facts is hardly justified as of yet if that is what you mean.

It is certainly plausible that there was once a group of people in Palestine that called themselves the children of Israel.

Later on both the kingdom of Israel and Judah are shown to have once existed.

As to any details especially unsupported 1st person accounts these are not facts.

As I have explained before, these stories have the same claim to reality as Enki and any of the Sumerian Legends.

The cities of Sumer existed. People lived in Palestine. These are facts. Are any of the stories of either one facts? How can you know?

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

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


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caposkia

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

 

caposkia wrote:

I accept this and know that he was a real person.  My point was your reasoning for such originally seemed to be weak... and just like your local newspaper source, there are many local sources supporting the Bible and current day "God sightings" (or miracles/miracle work)

I'm not sure what you mean by local sources supporting the Bible. What, like Mizpah existed, there was a Sea of Galilee, Hebrew was a language in Palestine, or....what?

depending on the location of course, but there are many "God sighting" claims as they'd be called from many "localized sources from around the world.  Most American news papers if they did publish such a claim would most likely neutralize the claim.  e.g.  "A local man had a miraculous recovery from his cancer.  Doctors are baffled.  

Local man: "I tell you it was by God's will that this happened.  My family was praying for me and I prayed every day.  Praise God."

"This particular type of cancer is usually deadly, but there are few documented cases from around the world of people surviving and even fewer of a complete recovery."  

There-so neutralizing the fact that it may in fact have been God's doing by suggesting that it's not the first time it's happened... not that the others couldn't have been God's doing as well.  This article ultimately allows both sides to be satisfied in their own understanding, believers seeing God's hand in it and non-believers seeing it as another lucky guy who happened to be dealt the right cards in life.  All without bringing up the controversial topic.

 

Medical practice is an art not a science. Therefore what works on one person may not work on all. Medical research is scientifically based while medical care is not. Medical care uses trained techniques that generally work on a very large per centage of the population but due to factors that are not understood scientifically will fail in some cases. Conversely, for reasons unknown for the time being some people survive when they have contracted otherwise fatal illness. The development of smallpox vaccine is an example how some people were found to not contract smallpox after they had cowpox or had been exposed to it. For years, many probably thought it was a miracle a single milkmaid did not get smallpox while her entire village died of it.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

As to current day sightings of a god or a miracle anything that is supported by The Catholic Church may have an ulterior motive in mind and should automatically be material for an Episode of Penn & Teller.

As you know, i don't support the Catholic Church.  but the methodology that this particular group does to decide whether what was witnessed was a miracle of God or not is quite thorough.  Years and years of research goes into all of the serious claims.  most have been dismissed as not authentic.  Despite their doctrinal issues, they still are a group viewed to be on God's side...

though in my understanding, anyone who knows the flaws in its system and does nothing about it is not so much a part of that group regardless of what they claim.  Herein lies the problem with the Catholic Church.  They have ended up being overly indoctrinated and therefore it is a headache of a process to modify or change their understanding of procedure. Some changes have been made, one of them being documenting and researching all claimed miracles.  

 

Is what the Catholic Church does research or is it a means to an end?

Perhaps the subject of Catholic validated miracles would be a very good forum topic.

 

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

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


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caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Which is the point I was making here. In the link I referenced it explains the Philistines did have writing and were technologically more advanced than the Israelites as they were of Minoan (Cretan) culture. Writing has been found that is crude but comparative to the writing of others of the time period including Israel. What I was trying to get you to see was only one side of the story has been told that of those who felt they were oppressed. Perhaps true, perhaps not true.

I see that.  Logically speaking, there would be more care in handling the more true story.  It's interesting that if there was a written version of the other side, it isn't as easily accessible.  either that or was never written down which is even more suspicious if this story is in fact fiction.  

If both stories were handed down equally and Palestine was not the war ravaged region it was an argument could be made the more true story survived. Such is not the case. The Philistines cities were decimated by Syria, Assyria, Babylon and others as many were of strategic value (coastal cities). The Hebrew story of Samson was incorporated into Hebrew scripture at some undetermined point and thus preserved. No such parallel event occured in regards to the Philistines.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

 

When judges are portrayed not following the Laws of Moses it indicates there is more going on here. I agree the Canaanite gods were being worshiped and Yahweh was a Canaanite god as well.

they of course are the ones you'd assume would uphold the law and obey it themselves, but of course throughout history you see corruption in all the court systems.  can't always count on that source for authenticity.  They may know the law, but actions speak louder than words of course.  

In our upcoming discussions of 1 & 2 Kings and Chronicles as well as several of the prophets even the Hebrew bible documents Canaanite practices were prevalent in the 2 kingdoms. Archealogy also shows this was the case especially in the case of Asherah.

 

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

It is also possible Jeremiah hadn't written the Law as of yet that was found so dramatically centuries from this point in the Temple. Keep in mind Ezra is attributed to re-writing the Books of Moses in Esdras, at least so he claims. Why conclude the Law already existed at all? When we get to Jeremiah we can discuss the similarities between his writing and Deuteronomy as discussed by scholars.

When you read the Torrah as a whole, and see how it's written in the Bible, you can see that it's a chronological timeline of events following a particular intergenerational family.  Logically, the information would be handed down thoroughly especially when this family obviously understood the laws of Moses to be of utmost importance.

If there was such a break in the law as you seem to suggest there could be, then the bigger question arises down the line.  how did the law, after generations of not being used all of a sudden become the foundation of the Jewish faith?  There would have been little if any basis for support in petitioning that to be the way of life if it was just archival information found from long ago.  

Keep this in mind as we examine 1 & 2 Kings and several of the prophets. 

It is really not much different than how Hitler & Goebbels perpetuated propaganda as real. Constantine also effectively used this method as well in solidification of his power.

 

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

 

I'm not saying the story supports The Laws of Moses, it's clear it does not. The questions are why not. Did the Laws of Moses exist or not at this point is the question.

By the chronological timeline of understanding here.  it would seem to me that it did exist.  Just wasn't well followed by this particular generation.  

Your assumption here is the entire storyline so far existed, big assumption. The OT continues to have issues with the people not following the law throughout, not just at this point in time.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

I understand stories were written to show how certain groups followed the ways of the god or failed to do so and were to be considered as lessons. Or were they? How can you know if it's a lesson in this case or just documenting events?

Well, i do believe it's a documenting of events and not a parable.  The idea at this point of judges is to see just that.  There are multi-leveled meanings to each part of the Bible and the Bible as a whole.  

In this case, we progressively see where corruption in the system stemmed from and how it progressed... which eventually leads up to why did Jesus come and have to do what he did?

Ultimately, the purpose of Judges is documentation of history and to "example the life of Israel in the promised land from the death of Joshua to the rise of the monarchy...  It is an account of frequent apostasy, provoking divine chastening...  It tells of urgent appeals to God in times of crisis, moving the Lord to raise up leaders (judges) through whom He throws off foreign oppressors and restores the land to peace."  (Zondervan)

In other words, it shows a progression of the generations as well as how God handled it and why things are the way they are in the next book.  Kind of a transitional story if you will.

As I suggested earlier, these stories may be little different then Greek or Sumerian stories that attempt to explain why certain things occur, such as the tradition of Benjamin seizing wives at a festival. Perhaps parts of the stories actually do discuss events that occured but which parts and what was the original intent. It is conjecture to consider them as anything more than an ancient unsupported story or legend when no actaul evidence is present documenting their occurance.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

In the case of these stories several traditions are evident that have basis in the stories. They may have been told to explain why the tribe of Benjamin grabbed wives at the festival of the feast at Shiloh and for no other reason. It may have been an explanation why the tribes killed off most of the tribe of Benjamin. It doesn't help cast the god Yahweh as very Omnipotent because thousands die in the attempt to extract justice for the death of a single woman. Or perhaps it was a story to show justice was worth any price even for the individual. 

Probably your 2nd theory.  the fact that 1000's die for that cause has nothing to do with the omnipotence of God.  
I'm assuming you're talking about the concubine that was cut up into 12 pieces and sent around to the tribes.  

First of all it was choice by man not God.  And it wasn't for the woman, it was seen as an act against Israel.  just as we Americans saw an attack on a single building an attack on our country, the same applies to the person here.

I'd agree it most likely was documenting the near erradication of Benjamin for violating tribal taboos.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

I question absolutely everything and attempt to grasp what possible reasons a story existed not just it teaches lessons about the alleged god but alternatives that are similar to other cultures and legends. I'm not saying that for sure these particular stories were just an attempt to explain why the tribe of Benjamin grabbed wives at a festival but it's a logical possibility when one considers the god Yahweh is a fictional character or a metamorphosed Canaanite god.

It's great that you question everything.  you should.  It should be considered why this story still exists as it does today and why it has been decided to be kept in a book of 66 stories when there are many other stories that could have possibly taken its place.  We're getting into the Apocrypha territory now.  

The issue is you automatically assume at this point that the God of the Bible is fictional..  Though we both know what we think we know, I'm taking this without considering Him being real or not. just as is to see how it stands up.  So far, I can't find any sound reason to even consider any of the stories discussed thus far as to not have happened with exception of the clarified exaggerations.  

As ancient history has many gods that were attributed for the many things ancient man did not understand, the Hebrew version so far deserves no more basis in reality than those of Sumer or even the Hindu vedas. Yahweh as a Canaanite god and as the god of the Hebrews is in the same stack with all the other gods and stories in a category titled unsupported legends and myths. I have no more to base this observation than the ancient documents of all the cultures and I have no reason to give the Christian god any more basis to reality than any other god.

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

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


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pauljohntheskeptic wrote:I'm

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

I'm not sure what it is you mean by facts in the above quote.

...by what we know to be true already

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

If you mean there were people who lived in the land of Palestine who perhaps worshiped several gods and selected only the god Yahweh as their one true god at some point, yet to be determined in our examination I'd agree.

yes, that's the understanding at this point

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

As to these stories we have examined so far calling them facts is hardly justified as of yet if that is what you mean.

It is certainly plausible that there was once a group of people in Palestine that called themselves the children of Israel.

well, if we're looking for indisputable evidence of anything from that time period at this point, the best we could do is say all the stories from that time are no more than plausible be it that there is not enough supporting evidence of any story.  It's not like today where we have the means of writing things down as conveniently as reaching in our back pocket to pull out a pen and paper.  Everything that was written down during that time was planned and thought out well because it took time and resources.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Later on both the kingdom of Israel and Judah are shown to have once existed.

As to any details especially unsupported 1st person accounts these are not facts.

 

As I have explained before, these stories have the same claim to reality as Enki and any of the Sumerian Legends.

The cities of Sumer existed. People lived in Palestine. These are facts. Are any of the stories of either one facts? How can you know?

only due to lack of support for specific first person accounts as portrayed in these stories... which is usually the  case with a story written so long ago regardless of validity, so you'd have to look at other means.

How can we know if either story is fact?  You can rationally conclude by comparing congruencies between stories that might otherwise be unrelated or not of the same author.

Despite the fact that we dont' know for sure all the authors by name of all the books in the Bible, there is clear evidence in any story whether it's the same person writing or a different person writing each story.  The details to figure this out include vocabulary, penmenship, terminology and of course point of view amidst others I can't remember at this point. 
It's interesting to note that the pentateuch (first 5 books of the Bible) though assumed by most to have been written first hand by Moses himself are considered to possibly only partially have been written by him and have had future scribes and editors add to or complete the writings by their account. 

We see these as neatly put together books today.  When they were written, they were literally notes or journal entries possibly.  In other words, they weren't written and edited in such a way to be a smooth readthrough.  It is further evidence to suggest that the books were written by honest first person accounts and not just stories made up to impress or entertain or even fool people. another unique feature of the pentateuch.

 


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pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Medical practice is an art not a science. Therefore what works on one person may not work on all. Medical research is scientifically based while medical care is not. Medical care uses trained techniques that generally work on a very large per centage of the population but due to factors that are not understood scientifically will fail in some cases. Conversely, for reasons unknown for the time being some people survive when they have contracted otherwise fatal illness. The development of smallpox vaccine is an example how some people were found to not contract smallpox after they had cowpox or had been exposed to it. For years, many probably thought it was a miracle a single milkmaid did not get smallpox while her entire village died of it.

and by that understanding alone, one wonders why when a "God sighting" is claimed, few will accept it as fact.  It's likely that it happens right under your nose every day and you don't consider it.  Instead, it was an amazing situation that otherwise cannot be "understood scientifically".... but it can't be God.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Is what the Catholic Church does research or is it a means to an end?

it's actual research from what I understand.  They look into the medical history of the individual (usually it seems they are medical recovery stories) as well as family history, the doctors involved and what medical treatment or otherwise this person has been getting and how that might play into the picture.  First and foremost, they make sure the person was actually as ill as claimed, then go from there.  It's quite the empiracle process it seems.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Perhaps the subject of Catholic validated miracles would be a very good forum topic.

nah, miracles in general maybe.  But i think this is it for discussion on that.  I mean you can look into it if you want to, but it is what it is.  The only way to make a forum out of it would be I think to pull out a handful of the claimed miracles as documented and then trace the steps of research they've done to make sure they didn't add or miss any loopholes.   To be honest with you.  I'm not sure how we'd successfully find all the information needed.  most of what we'd need is personal information about each individual... which for the most part i'm sure isn't public record. 


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pauljohntheskeptic wrote:If

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

If both stories were handed down equally and Palestine was not the war ravaged region it was an argument could be made the more true story survived. Such is not the case. The Philistines cities were decimated by Syria, Assyria, Babylon and others as many were of strategic value (coastal cities). The Hebrew story of Samson was incorporated into Hebrew scripture at some undetermined point and thus preserved. No such parallel event occured in regards to the Philistines.

Then I guess the question comes down to who decided to put it into the Hebrew scripture and why.  Also would it stay there if it was generally understood to be incongruent with accurate history?  The ones who compiled the scriptures and allowed them to be are understood to be careful of legitimate historocity.  Of all the libraries of writings that could have possibly been a part of scripture, these stories have been chosen to be over others.  Why these of all stories? 

Let's just assume for a moment the scriptures were compiled literally as a fable or fun story that they wanted to use to fool people into following this particular God.  They would still want to make absolutely certain that the history lined up as accurately as possible to allow teh story to be believable. 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

 

It is really not much different than how Hitler & Goebbels perpetuated propaganda as real. Constantine also effectively used this method as well in solidification of his power.

ah. interesting perspective.  Let's see where this goes in kings before I comment on anything.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

 

Your assumption here is the entire storyline so far existed, big assumption. The OT continues to have issues with the people not following the law throughout, not just at this point in time.

which shows a consistency between stories.  it also leads into why Jesus and what that's all about... eventually of course.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

As I suggested earlier, these stories may be little different then Greek or Sumerian stories that attempt to explain why certain things occur, such as the tradition of Benjamin seizing wives at a festival. Perhaps parts of the stories actually do discuss events that occured but which parts and what was the original intent. It is conjecture to consider them as anything more than an ancient unsupported story or legend when no actaul evidence is present documenting their occurance.

well, let's not lose focus here.  Up until Joshua, where there are obvious signs of incongruency with history, all the stories did have evidences on a much smaller scale.  In other words, exaggerations were obvious, but the actual occurances were likely in smaller numbers and probably in many cases not to the world renound magnitude the story makes it out to be. 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

As ancient history has many gods that were attributed for the many things ancient man did not understand, the Hebrew version so far deserves no more basis in reality than those of Sumer or even the Hindu vedas. Yahweh as a Canaanite god and as the god of the Hebrews is in the same stack with all the other gods and stories in a category titled unsupported legends and myths. I have no more to base this observation than the ancient documents of all the cultures and I have no reason to give the Christian god any more basis to reality than any other god.

The thing with false gods that people followed is they ended up in some way being real.  We keep talking about God and comparing other gods as fake and yet there are 2 sides to the force.  I'm not familiar with all the ancient stories and therefore am not referrign to any particular one, but Satan is known to use any means possible to decieve people or distract them from following the one true God.  This would include allowing demons to become gods to others.  The Bible talks about sacrificing to idols and sorcery.  Stuff like that still happens today in devil worship among other god followings. 

Though the stories in reference might be quite mythical... it's possible their basis was off some sort of actual following and the reasons for those followings might be historically congruent as well.  obviously them being false gods, they could never turn out to be who they claim to be as the Bible also states in Exodus where it talks about false prophets. 


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 caposkia

 

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Later on both the kingdom of Israel and Judah are shown to have once existed.

As to any details especially unsupported 1st person accounts these are not facts.

 As I have explained before, these stories have the same claim to reality as Enki and any of the Sumerian Legends.

The cities of Sumer existed. People lived in Palestine. These are facts. Are any of the stories of either one facts? How can you know?

only due to lack of support for specific first person accounts as portrayed in these stories... which is usually the  case with a story written so long ago regardless of validity, so you'd have to look at other means.

How can we know if either story is fact?  You can rationally conclude by comparing congruencies between stories that might otherwise be unrelated or not of the same author.

Despite the fact that we dont' know for sure all the authors by name of all the books in the Bible, there is clear evidence in any story whether it's the same person writing or a different person writing each story.  The details to figure this out include vocabulary, penmenship, terminology and of course point of view amidst others I can't remember at this point. 
It's interesting to note that the pentateuch (first 5 books of the Bible) though assumed by most to have been written first hand by Moses himself are considered to possibly only partially have been written by him and have had future scribes and editors add to or complete the writings by their account. 

We see these as neatly put together books today.  When they were written, they were literally notes or journal entries possibly.  In other words, they weren't written and edited in such a way to be a smooth readthrough.  It is further evidence to suggest that the books were written by honest first person accounts and not just stories made up to impress or entertain or even fool people. another unique feature of the pentateuch.

I'm aware that there is a specific style and vocabulary to some of the books, which for instance is why many scholars consider Jeremiah to be the major author of Deuteronomy, (see for example Friedman, Who Wrote the Bible). The different threads making up the OT have been also identified as different sources such as J, P, D, and R also mentioned by Friedman and David Rosenberg.

I realize the books were haphazardly written and not in a planned way except in a few cases and weren't conceived as a complete work. Today Jews look at the Bible based on the writing and it's significance, such as the Torah, the Prophets, and the Writings.

Stories all have a reason to be told and part of the issue here is understanding exactly why some ancient writing was done. This is not exclusive to the Ancient Jews but includes all ancient writing. Primarily why I mentioned the Sumerians is their body of work is so ancient and generally surpasses all other cultures in sheer volume for antiquity.

I don't think  there's evidence to support the claim you make the Pentateuch  is unique in being written by honest 1st person accounts and not to impress, entertain people anymore than any other ancient work. You are being judgmental over writing you may have not even read. You have no way to know in the case of some of the Sumerian stories if the strangeness we see is due to translation difficulties for example. This may in some cases be part of the problem as well with scripture causing completely inaccurate accounts that in fact make the Jews look no better than Hitler. In the case of many ancient stories perhaps what the writer was trying to convey is not at all what we understand today. So I think your claim here is unwarranted that the OT origins are unique at all. You are being dismissive unfairly of all other ancient writing.

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

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


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caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Medical practice is an art not a science. Therefore what works on one person may not work on all. Medical research is scientifically based while medical care is not. Medical care uses trained techniques that generally work on a very large per centage of the population but due to factors that are not understood scientifically will fail in some cases. Conversely, for reasons unknown for the time being some people survive when they have contracted otherwise fatal illness. The development of smallpox vaccine is an example how some people were found to not contract smallpox after they had cowpox or had been exposed to it. For years, many probably thought it was a miracle a single milkmaid did not get smallpox while her entire village died of it.

and by that understanding alone, one wonders why when a "God sighting" is claimed, few will accept it as fact.  It's likely that it happens right under your nose every day and you don't consider it.  Instead, it was an amazing situation that otherwise cannot be "understood scientifically".... but it can't be God.

Perhaps you should read what I wrote above one more time because you completely misunderstood and saw God where no god was at all needed.

When we are ignorant in regards to a subject or know that something almost always works we use what we know. When better knowledge is forthcoming because of continued research expalnations then describe why the improbable happened. Such was the case with Smallpox and eventually so will it be with cancer and other things. That which can;t be understood today will be taught in grade school in 100 years.

 

____________________________________________________________
"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:

If both stories were handed down equally and Palestine was not the war ravaged region it was an argument could be made the more true story survived. Such is not the case. The Philistines cities were decimated by Syria, Assyria, Babylon and others as many were of strategic value (coastal cities). The Hebrew story of Samson was incorporated into Hebrew scripture at some undetermined point and thus preserved. No such parallel event occurred in regards to the Philistines.

Then I guess the question comes down to who decided to put it into the Hebrew scripture and why.  Also would it stay there if it was generally understood to be incongruent with accurate history?  The ones who compiled the scriptures and allowed them to be are understood to be careful of legitimate historocity.  Of all the libraries of writings that could have possibly been a part of scripture, these stories have been chosen to be over others.  Why these of all stories?

Samson was the Heralkes of Israel.

And who was verifying only accurate history was preserved. No one.

Why are some stories preserved and others discarded today?

caposkia wrote:

Let's just assume for a moment the scriptures were compiled literally as a fable or fun story that they wanted to use to fool people into following this particular God.  They would still want to make absolutely certain that the history lined up as accurately as possible to allow teh story to be believable.

If you go ask any random people today even with modern technology about certain aspects of history they are clueless. These people though intelligent had a lack of reading writing and libraries. Distortions and inaccuracies are easily passed on in a situation where minimal verification happens.

And no, I have never thought priests on purpose made up stories to fool people into belief.

 

caposkia wrote:

 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

As ancient history has many gods that were attributed for the many things ancient man did not understand, the Hebrew version so far deserves no more basis in reality than those of Sumer or even the Hindu vedas. Yahweh as a Canaanite god and as the god of the Hebrews is in the same stack with all the other gods and stories in a category titled unsupported legends and myths. I have no more to base this observation than the ancient documents of all the cultures and I have no reason to give the Christian god any more basis to reality than any other god.

The thing with false gods that people followed is they ended up in some way being real.  We keep talking about God and comparing other gods as fake and yet there are 2 sides to the force.  I'm not familiar with all the ancient stories and therefore am not referrign to any particular one, but Satan is known to use any means possible to decieve people or distract them from following the one true God.  This would include allowing demons to become gods to others.  The Bible talks about sacrificing to idols and sorcery.  Stuff like that still happens today in devil worship among other god followings. 

Though the stories in reference might be quite mythical... it's possible their basis was off some sort of actual following and the reasons for those followings might be historically congruent as well.  obviously them being false gods, they could never turn out to be who they claim to be as the Bible also states in Exodus where it talks about false prophets. 

If as in my perspective all gods are not real including yours, your last sentence applies to your God belief too. There may be a basis in history for the Sumerian gods, unknown as to what. This may be true for Yahweh as well, beyond the Canaanite origin. Though not as a god at all. Perhaps one of the earliest settlers during the ice age, who knows.

I don't believe in demons or in Satan as anything in the real world.

Ignorance is not a development in the modern age, it's been around awhile.

When people don't know they find a way to reconcile what they have seen or experienced the best way they can.

 

 

 

____________________________________________________________
"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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The Book of Ruth

The Book of Ruth

Ruth is alleged to be an ancestor of David meaning the book was written after his supposed lifetime, Ruth 4:17-22 This story intent is obvious, it establishes part of David’s ancestry. There is a slight problem as a result though, Ruth was from Moab and therefore not of the tribes of Israel. Granted women in the Hebrew Bible are not always considered as very important but Ruth has an entire book named after her. Most scholars date it to after the 10th century since David was mentioned. In addition, the writer considered some customs to be archaic such as mentioned in Ruth 4:4-6. In verse 7, it indicates this was a previous custom. In his book Introduction to the Old Testament, Robert Pfeiffer dates it to about 400 BCE and Bewer dates it to about 500 BCE, most likely a response by someone around the time of Ezra to those who criticized marriage to foreign women.

It does a great job of detailing the customs of ancient Palestine including reaping, gleaning of grain left for the poor. It shows how the Jews handled their responsibilities to kinsmen  in regards to the ga-al or redeemer. The story is mostly a love story and this book is primarily literature.

I have no basic issues to pick with this particular book. Several points to consider though. Since Ruth is a Moab descendent and is shown by genealogy to be David’s descendent it also means the maschiach (Messiah to you) would be of mixed background.

 

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

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


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pauljohntheskeptic wrote: I

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

 I don't think  there's evidence to support the claim you make the Pentateuch  is unique in being written by honest 1st person accounts and not to impress, entertain people anymore than any other ancient work. You are being judgmental over writing you may have not even read. You have no way to know in the case of some of the Sumerian stories if the strangeness we see is due to translation difficulties for example. This may in some cases be part of the problem as well with scripture causing completely inaccurate accounts that in fact make the Jews look no better than Hitler. In the case of many ancient stories perhaps what the writer was trying to convey is not at all what we understand today. So I think your claim here is unwarranted that the OT origins are unique at all. You are being dismissive unfairly of all other ancient writing.

I've read it among many others.  To remember specifics at this point, I'd have to look back into it.  Moreso, I've done a bit of research on such topics and have talked to knowlegeable sources.  The writings of the Bible are unique in many ways from other ancient scripts.  One of them being how they were compiled and written out.  Many people use some of their uniqueness to claim against its validity.  e.g. the date of the Nt books being known to have been written decades or longer after the death of Jesus.  not taking into consideration the form they might have been in before they were compiled into books and when that took place or complete writings nor the process during that time it took to make a formal writing. 

 


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pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Perhaps you should read what I wrote above one more time because you completely misunderstood and saw God where no god was at all needed.

I reread the above.  and come to the same conclusion.  I know you weren't indicating any "God sighting".  What I was pointing out is that due to the fact that we can look at medical science and say "hey, what once was a miracle is now scientifically understood" lead people to conclude, "Therefore, we will eventually figure out everything and there will be no such thing as miracles, thus, God is not necessary and therefore doesn't exist."

The flaw with that understanding is the assumption that because we figure out a cure, God didn't do anything before we discovered the cure.   The thing with someone completely recovering from a disease that is considered deadly is that it's considered deadly because we haven't found a cure.  If we did, it wouldn't be deadly anymore.  Someone recovering before a scientific cure is found is a miracle.  Who knows, it may have been in God's hands.  

The other issue with the conclusion above is the assumption that God would have to use smoke and lightning when he works and never uses the laws in place within his creation to cause something to happen.   A question to that would be then... why wouldn't God work within the limiatations of his creation before taking drastic steps lightning bolt style to cure a problem?    It seems all these scientific minds assume that God has to be completely inefficient and logicless because hes' so powerful.   That surprises me be it that in other instances, these scientific minds are so particular about the details of certain events and how logical things work. 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

When we are ignorant in regards to a subject or know that something almost always works we use what we know. When better knowledge is forthcoming because of continued research expalnations then describe why the improbable happened. Such was the case with Smallpox and eventually so will it be with cancer and other things. That which can;t be understood today will be taught in grade school in 100 years.

I couldn't have concluded this post better myself.  Thank you Eye-wink


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caposkia

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Perhaps you should read what I wrote above one more time because you completely misunderstood and saw God where no god was at all needed.

I reread the above.  and come to the same conclusion.  I know you weren't indicating any "God sighting".  What I was pointing out is that due to the fact that we can look at medical science and say "hey, what once was a miracle is now scientifically understood" lead people to conclude, "Therefore, we will eventually figure out everything and there will be no such thing as miracles, thus, God is not necessary and therefore doesn't exist."

The flaw with that understanding is the assumption that because we figure out a cure, God didn't do anything before we discovered the cure.   The thing with someone completely recovering from a disease that is considered deadly is that it's considered deadly because we haven't found a cure.  If we did, it wouldn't be deadly anymore.  Someone recovering before a scientific cure is found is a miracle.  Who knows, it may have been in God's hands.  

The other issue with the conclusion above is the assumption that God would have to use smoke and lightning when he works and never uses the laws in place within his creation to cause something to happen.   A question to that would be then... why wouldn't God work within the limiatations of his creation before taking drastic steps lightning bolt style to cure a problem?    It seems all these scientific minds assume that God has to be completely inefficient and logicless because hes' so powerful.   That surprises me be it that in other instances, these scientific minds are so particular about the details of certain events and how logical things work.

I see your point. The god could just use normal physics or nature to cure someone is what you are saying. In that case, it wouldn't fit the definition of a miracle would it? We don't need to get hung up on this.

 

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

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


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pauljohntheskeptic

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Samson was the Heralkes of Israel.

And who was verifying only accurate history was preserved. No one.

accurate history wasn't the concern, legitimacy was, especially seeing as there were literally 100's of different gods being followed within a given community, all trying to be better than the next.  Thus, there was critical review done to all the stories.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Why are some stories preserved and others discarded today?

As far as what specifically?  Stories that were a part of the Bible and now aren't?  stories in general? 

If it's books like the appocrypha that you are referring to, it was generally understood (and this is a very general statement fo the reasoning)  that though the stories were of experiences with God and Gods people, they didn't flow with the timing of other stories and thus made the Bible as a whole more difficult to follow generationally.  Also, there weren't any significant events that were relevent to the rest of the Bible seen in those stories.  As the general purpose of the Torah, the Bible was always designed to basically summarize the events but be detailed enough to have a flow and give a good idea of progression and why things were and are the way they went and are happening.

Though I wouldn't say they were discarded, there are a lot of Christians today who own either an old Bible with the appocrypha or a copy of the books somewhere.  you can buy all of them at cbd.com and many local Christian bookstores. 

caposkia wrote:

If you go ask any random people today even with modern technology about certain aspects of history they are clueless. These people though intelligent had a lack of reading writing and libraries. Distortions and inaccuracies are easily passed on in a situation where minimal verification happens.

Which is where the pharasees and such came into play.  This is going way beyond where we are in our discussion at this point, but it's the basis of the whole mission of Jesus Christ and the NT stories.  Basically the pharasees job was to relay accurate informatino and be knowlegeable enough to know the difference, when they were no longer reliable, Jesus came to give the word to the average person and encourage them to study up.  The significance of his missions and "speeches" if you will, was that they were taken directly from Jewish literature, only reworded so that the average person of the time would comprehend what he was saying.  Obviously he added his modifications to them for the purpose of his mission. 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

And no, I have never thought priests on purpose made up stories to fool people into belief.

ok.  many unfortunately use that as an excuse for not believing. 

Sadly the NT does talk about how the pharasees manipulated the texts to benifit themselves and therefore weren't doing anything short of; "making up stories to fool people". 

 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

If as in my perspective all gods are not real including yours, your last sentence applies to your God belief too.

of course it does!

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

There may be a basis in history for the Sumerian gods, unknown as to what. This may be true for Yahweh as well, beyond the Canaanite origin. Though not as a god at all. Perhaps one of the earliest settlers during the ice age, who knows.

so far, speculation has been the best defense against the existance of my God.   The thing with 99% of the gods out there is you can trace back in history to their source.  its funny to note that all the well known religions of the world stemmed off a Jewish/Chrsitian belief, usually by one person who sounded like they knew what they were takling about.  (The Next Christiandom)   Many times, these people were followed after their death and never intended to start a new religion.  Basically, if we didn't have the knowlege we posess as a people today, Bin Ladin would most likely be one of the many new religions made.  Generations later would trace Ladinism back to a skewed Muslim root. 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

I don't believe in demons or in Satan as anything in the real world.

I didn't expect that you did.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Ignorance is not a development in the modern age, it's been around awhile.

Which is how "religion" got started in the first place.  This statement taking into account the definition of relgion being "a way of life agreed upon by a group of people" and that if there was no such thing as a disagreement due to ignorance, then religion would not exist. 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

When people don't know they find a way to reconcile what they have seen or experienced the best way they can.

 

Which is a poor excuse for not believing.  A better one is the one you have, which is you've done a bit of homework and have concluded through that extensive research that there is no God.  At least that's an intelligent approach.


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pauljohntheskeptic wrote:I

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

I see your point. The god could just use normal physics or nature to cure someone is what you are saying. In that case, it wouldn't fit the definition of a miracle would it? We don't need to get hung up on this.

By definition, a miracle doesn't imply that a method of executing the process in the future will never be figured out, it only suggests that it's beyond the abilities of people at that time.   Beyond that, the Bible never claims that Gods work can only be miracles.   It just happens to be that a lot of what he did that's written in the Bible was and still is considered a miracle. 

you're right... we don't need to get hung up on this Smiling


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pauljohntheskeptic wrote:The

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

The Book of Ruth

Ruth is alleged to be an ancestor of David meaning the book was written after his supposed lifetime, Ruth 4:17-22 This story intent is obvious, it establishes part of David’s ancestry. There is a slight problem as a result though, Ruth was from Moab and therefore not of the tribes of Israel. Granted women in the Hebrew Bible are not always considered as very important but Ruth has an entire book named after her. Most scholars date it to after the 10th century since David was mentioned. In addition, the writer considered some customs to be archaic such as mentioned in Ruth 4:4-6. In verse 7, it indicates this was a previous custom. In his book Introduction to the Old Testament, Robert Pfeiffer dates it to about 400 BCE and Bewer dates it to about 500 BCE, most likely a response by someone around the time of Ezra to those who criticized marriage to foreign women.

It does a great job of detailing the customs of ancient Palestine including reaping, gleaning of grain left for the poor. It shows how the Jews handled their responsibilities to kinsmen  in regards to the ga-al or redeemer. The story is mostly a love story and this book is primarily literature.

I have no basic issues to pick with this particular book. Several points to consider though. Since Ruth is a Moab descendent and is shown by genealogy to be David’s descendent it also means the maschiach (Messiah to you) would be of mixed background.

It'd be hard not to be mixed considering.  I'd assume you'd reference then to the NT claim of the "pure bloodline" which if so, i will state that only the male bloodline was considered. 

yea, same here.  It's kind of like the Song of Solomon. 


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caposkia

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Samson was the Heralkes of Israel.

And who was verifying only accurate history was preserved. No one.

accurate history wasn't the concern, legitimacy was, especially seeing as there were literally 100's of different gods being followed within a given community, all trying to be better than the next.  Thus, there was critical review done to all the stories.

You give the ancients a lot of credit for insuring only legitmate ideas were documented. Critcal review? What, a panel of Rabbis in 1100 BCE checked out all the details in regards to the book of Judges which we have already determined has some issues. Guess they couldn't find everything.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Why are some stories preserved and others discarded today?

As far as what specifically?  Stories that were a part of the Bible and now aren't?  stories in general? 

If it's books like the appocrypha that you are referring to, it was generally understood (and this is a very general statement fo the reasoning)  that though the stories were of experiences with God and Gods people, they didn't flow with the timing of other stories and thus made the Bible as a whole more difficult to follow generationally.  Also, there weren't any significant events that were relevent to the rest of the Bible seen in those stories.  As the general purpose of the Torah, the Bible was always designed to basically summarize the events but be detailed enough to have a flow and give a good idea of progression and why things were and are the way they went and are happening.

Though I wouldn't say they were discarded, there are a lot of Christians today who own either an old Bible with the appocrypha or a copy of the books somewhere.  you can buy all of them at cbd.com and many local Christian bookstores.

I wasn't only refering to Bible stories and Appocrypha here. Stories of today are discarded because they are found to be inplausible. Easier to do in a modern society in the information age. Much harder to do in a rural environment with minimal literacy of the majority of the population.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

If you go ask any random people today even with modern technology about certain aspects of history they are clueless. These people though intelligent had a lack of reading writing and libraries. Distortions and inaccuracies are easily passed on in a situation where minimal verification happens.

Which is where the pharasees and such came into play.  This is going way beyond where we are in our discussion at this point, but it's the basis of the whole mission of Jesus Christ and the NT stories.  Basically the pharasees job was to relay accurate informatino and be knowlegeable enough to know the difference, when they were no longer reliable, Jesus came to give the word to the average person and encourage them to study up.  The significance of his missions and "speeches" if you will, was that they were taken directly from Jewish literature, only reworded so that the average person of the time would comprehend what he was saying.  Obviously he added his modifications to them for the purpose of his mission.

The Pharisees were not doing this in 1100 BCE as they weren't established until about the 2nd century BCE. There were learned teachers thoughout Jewish history, mostly considered  prophets by the population. The origins of the pharisees is in the babylobian exile and the Selucid suppressiuon in the 2nd century.

 

 

caposkia wrote:

 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

There may be a basis in history for the Sumerian gods, unknown as to what. This may be true for Yahweh as well, beyond the Canaanite origin. Though not as a god at all. Perhaps one of the earliest settlers during the ice age, who knows.

so far, speculation has been the best defense against the existance of my God.   The thing with 99% of the gods out there is you can trace back in history to their source.  its funny to note that all the well known religions of the world stemmed off a Jewish/Chrsitian belief, usually by one person who sounded like they knew what they were takling about.  (The Next Christiandom)   Many times, these people were followed after their death and never intended to start a new religion.  Basically, if we didn't have the knowlege we posess as a people today, Bin Ladin would most likely be one of the many new religions made.  Generations later would trace Ladinism back to a skewed Muslim root.

As we touched on at some point, Yahweh is in Canaanite mythology and sometimes considered to be Ba'al. Both Canaanite and Jewish mythology and religion come far after Sumerian. Many events of Sumerian legends are incorporated in the OT in one way or the other. We have discussed a few but there are more. For your god to be a true god, Yahweh or your God would have to somehow be one of the Annunaki gods that are part of a dead religion, they aren't necessarily gods anyway in all the literature, depends how you look at it and predate Yahweh belief by thousands of years. Abrahem comes on the scene in about 2,000 BCE +/- a few hundred years but the Sumerian gods had been around for several thousand years by then. Prior to Abe, your god is invisible in ancient history unless he is a remake of an Anunaki god.

caposkia wrote:

 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

When people don't know they find a way to reconcile what they have seen or experienced the best way they can.

 

Which is a poor excuse for not believing.  A better one is the one you have, which is you've done a bit of homework and have concluded through that extensive research that there is no God.  At least that's an intelligent approach.

Actually this was aimed the other way. It's a poor excuse for believing. Why does lightning come from the sky? Because the sky god is throwing bolts of lightning. Why does man die? Because man displeased the gods in some way. Sinned in Genesis or refused the water & bread of Life per Sumer legend. Why did the god flood the world (or part of it)? Because man was evil in Genesis or because man made so much noise they disturbed the gods in Sumerian.

 

____________________________________________________________
"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:You

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

You give the ancients a lot of credit for insuring only legitmate ideas were documented. Critcal review? What, a panel of Rabbis in 1100 BCE checked out all the details in regards to the book of Judges which we have already determined has some issues. Guess they couldn't find everything.

First, i want to say sorry for taking so long to reply to this.  It's been getting busy these past few weeks.  i had responded to the other forum a little over a week ago with every intention of getting back on within the next day to respond to this and I didn't.

Anyway, I never claimed ancients insured that "only legitimate ideas were documented"  many ideas were documented, the critical review came by deciding which documents were to be taken seriously and handed down through the generations as a serious document.

And the issues we have discovered with Judges for example would not necessarily have been picked up by the ancients due to the fact that their basis was consistancy and congruency along with what they already understood to be true.  The lack of knowledge of history would have played a part in them not grasping the flaws in that book.  As you and I have been noticing in all the books, it's timing and location with names and numbers that seem to be incongruent with actual history.  This makes sense from a document of that time.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

I wasn't only refering to Bible stories and Appocrypha here. Stories of today are discarded because they are found to be inplausible. Easier to do in a modern society in the information age. Much harder to do in a rural environment with minimal literacy of the majority of the population.

Very true, which is why scholars and Pharasees were always seen in high regards.  They were the ones that the masses needed to trust for accurate information because they were among the few who were educated enough to comprehend the difference.  

As the Bible pointed out, individuals aren't always reliable... As society points out, neither are the masses.  Therefore, Jesus' mission was to give the knowlege to the average person so that each could make their own decision from the information given.  

Why certain stories were kept and others discarded is due to the general knowledge of the people.  Though people couldn't necessarily read the scripts, they would know whether a book went missing in the teachings of the scholars and therefore it was general knowledge.  Also, throughout history, religions in general have waged war on each other.  Most contradictory writings of others beliefs have been destroyed in some way shape or form.  Who would make an effort to save a copy of the destroyed material unless they were willing to put their lives on the fact that the information they possessed was legitimate?  Though ancient peoples weren't "intelligent" to our standards, they were smart enough to know the difference between something worth dying for and not.  

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

 

The Pharisees were not doing this in 1100 BCE as they weren't established until about the 2nd century BCE. There were learned teachers thoughout Jewish history, mostly considered  prophets by the population. The origins of the pharisees is in the babylobian exile and the Selucid suppressiuon in the 2nd century.

Granted.  It was an example.  Before the named 'pharisees' were still knowledgeable people whom the masses turned to for information.  It was also information passed down from family to family.  Parents at that time were understood to be unquestionable.  What they relayed to their children to hold onto was understood to be important information and accurate.  This tends to get into a game of telephone which is why the numbers/dates as well as location names can be a bit off.  

 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

As we touched on at some point, Yahweh is in Canaanite mythology and sometimes considered to be Ba'al. Both Canaanite and Jewish mythology and religion come far after Sumerian. Many events of Sumerian legends are incorporated in the OT in one way or the other. We have discussed a few but there are more. For your god to be a true god, Yahweh or your God would have to somehow be one of the Annunaki gods that are part of a dead religion, they aren't necessarily gods anyway in all the literature, depends how you look at it and predate Yahweh belief by thousands of years. Abrahem comes on the scene in about 2,000 BCE +/- a few hundred years but the Sumerian gods had been around for several thousand years by then. Prior to Abe, your god is invisible in ancient history unless he is a remake of an Anunaki god.

Your statement about YHWH being Ba'al as well basically counters your question of my God being absent in history before.  The Bible even elaborates to the fact that God is known by many names, but he has always been one and the same.  Just like today for example.  My God is the most well known and followed in the world... now that doesn't mean everyone who knows him and is "following him" is doing it the way God intended  it, but he is.  

Most atheists would now bring up the Muslim religion and say there are more Muslims in the world... or possibly... i don't really know.  I will say that the Muslim God is the same God as the Christian God.  They just follow a prophet who claimed to speak for this God.  The discussion of why my way and not the Muslim way is completely off topic to what this forum is about.  I'm interested in discussing that at some point, but when that happens, understand that this conversation will be done because that one is quite an extensive one by itself.  

So in conclusion, It's my understanding that he was known by a different name at that time.  As far as any Christian is concerned... unless there's other history that I don't know of yet, the first time God was known as YHWH was with Moses when he asked God his name.  Before that, the Bible doesn't elaborate on the name God was referred to.  

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Actually this was aimed the other way. It's a poor excuse for believing. Why does lightning come from the sky? Because the sky god is throwing bolts of lightning. Why does man die? Because man displeased the gods in some way. Sinned in Genesis or refused the water & bread of Life per Sumer legend. Why did the god flood the world (or part of it)? Because man was evil in Genesis or because man made so much noise they disturbed the gods in Sumerian.

Whatever way it's aimed, it works both ways.  Generally speaking, it's a poor excuse to believe or not believe anything.  Our approach to research is definitely... in my opinion... the way to go.  

 


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 caposkia

 

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

You give the ancients a lot of credit for insuring only legitimate ideas were documented. Critical review? What, a panel of Rabbis in 1100 BCE checked out all the details in regards to the book of Judges which we have already determined has some issues. Guess they couldn't find everything.

First, i want to say sorry for taking so long to reply to this.  It's been getting busy these past few weeks.  i had responded to the other forum a little over a week ago with every intention of getting back on within the next day to respond to this and I didn't.

Anyway, I never claimed ancients insured that "only legitimate ideas were documented"  many ideas were documented, the critical review came by deciding which documents were to be taken seriously and handed down through the generations as a serious document.

And the issues we have discovered with Judges for example would not necessarily have been picked up by the ancients due to the fact that their basis was consistancy and congruency along with what they already understood to be true.  The lack of knowledge of history would have played a part in them not grasping the flaws in that book.  As you and I have been noticing in all the books, it's timing and location with names and numbers that seem to be incongruent with actual history.  This makes sense from a document of that time.

I have been busy as well, then I got side tracked into a Daniel thread, sorry for ignoring this one.

As with all information handed down, some is lost, (mentioned in Kings actually) some is forgotten, some is carried forward because someone thought it to be interesting, and errors occur as they don't have a great information system.

We have found many issues, some are minor, some are huge (at least in my view). 

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

I wasn't only referring to Bible stories and Apocrypha here. Stories of today are discarded because they are found to be implausible. Easier to do in a modern society in the information age. Much harder to do in a rural environment with minimal literacy of the majority of the population.

Very true, which is why scholars and Pharasees were always seen in high regards.  They were the ones that the masses needed to trust for accurate information because they were among the few who were educated enough to comprehend the difference.  

As the Bible pointed out, individuals aren't always reliable... As society points out, neither are the masses.  Therefore, Jesus' mission was to give the knowlege to the average person so that each could make their own decision from the information given.  

Priests, scribes, and "learned scholars" (Pharisees later on) did such in all cultures.  Thus what is preserved is what these people considered of importance, not always which was important.

No individuals are always reliable and the masses can be deluded. Whatever Jesus actually did is still a future question, TBD and discussed later on.

caposkia wrote:

Why certain stories were kept and others discarded is due to the general knowledge of the people.  Though people couldn't necessarily read the scripts, they would know whether a book went missing in the teachings of the scholars and therefore it was general knowledge.  Also, throughout history, religions in general have waged war on each other.  Most contradictory writings of others beliefs have been destroyed in some way shape or form.  Who would make an effort to save a copy of the destroyed material unless they were willing to put their lives on the fact that the information they possessed was legitimate?  Though ancient peoples weren't "intelligent" to our standards, they were smart enough to know the difference between something worth dying for and not.  

You give too much credit to people for understanding. Christine O'Donnell has recently shown she didn't listen in her high school Civics & American History classes.

Wars do result in eradication of the various cultures, which clearly happens to Israel too. Most of the gods in ancient times were the same, though cities each had their own city-god or Ba'al.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

 

The Pharisees were not doing this in 1100 BCE as they weren't established until about the 2nd century BCE. There were learned teachers throughout Jewish history, mostly considered  prophets by the population. The origins of the pharisees is in the Babylonian exile and the Seleucid suppression in the 2nd century.

Granted.  It was an example.  Before the named 'pharisees' were still knowledgeable people whom the masses turned to for information.  It was also information passed down from family to family.  Parents at that time were understood to be unquestionable.  What they relayed to their children to hold onto was understood to be important information and accurate.  This tends to get into a game of telephone which is why the numbers/dates as well as location names can be a bit off.  

 

OK.

 

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

As we touched on at some point, Yahweh is in Canaanite mythology and sometimes considered to be Ba'al. Both Canaanite and Jewish mythology and religion come far after Sumerian. Many events of Sumerian legends are incorporated in the OT in one way or the other. We have discussed a few but there are more. For your god to be a true god, Yahweh or your God would have to somehow be one of the Annunaki gods that are part of a dead religion, they aren't necessarily gods anyway in all the literature, depends how you look at it and predate Yahweh belief by thousands of years. Abraham comes on the scene in about 2,000 BCE +/- a few hundred years but the Sumerian gods had been around for several thousand years by then. Prior to Abe, your god is invisible in ancient history unless he is a remake of an Anunaki god.

Your statement about YHWH being Ba'al as well basically counters your question of my God being absent in history before.  The Bible even elaborates to the fact that God is known by many names, but he has always been one and the same.  Just like today for example.  My God is the most well known and followed in the world... now that doesn't mean everyone who knows him and is "following him" is doing it the way God intended  it, but he is.

Perhaps. Or it shows the development of Yahweh from the mythology.

caposkia wrote:
 

Most atheists would now bring up the Muslim religion and say there are more Muslims in the world... or possibly... i don't really know.  I will say that the Muslim God is the same God as the Christian God.  They just follow a prophet who claimed to speak for this God.  The discussion of why my way and not the Muslim way is completely off topic to what this forum is about.  I'm interested in discussing that at some point, but when that happens, understand that this conversation will be done because that one is quite an extensive one by itself.  

Discussing Islam is an entire thread in itself and I agree should be done in that fashion. It matters little to me how many believe in each version of a god or gods, so no, I'd not bother with this to show more believe it than yours.

caposkia wrote:

So in conclusion, It's my understanding that he was known by a different name at that time.  As far as any Christian is concerned... unless there's other history that I don't know of yet, the first time God was known as YHWH was with Moses when he asked God his name.  Before that, the Bible doesn't elaborate on the name God was referred to.  

 

There are artifacts with Yahweh and Ba'al from the area and period especially in the ancient Canaanite culture. In the Hebrew god belief Yahweh is first called that in the time of Moses as you say. Where that exactly came from as we have previously discussed is uncertain, at least from my view.

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

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


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Continuing into 1 Samuel

1 Samuel



The 2 Books of Samuel document the end of the period of the Judges and the start of the monarchy. Whether this is only the hamlets in Judah or includes all of Israel is debatable. I pretty much go along with Finkelstein's assessment of the 2 kingdoms. I'm not convinced Judah and Israel were ever one country and if they were it was a short period due to marriage between royal familes. We can get into that when we get to Kings.

Clearly Samuel did not write all of these books as he was dead during the last 30 to 50 years that is included.

It opens with Hannah praying to have a child whom she promised she would give to the Lord, as what is called a Nazarite (like Samson). Eli the priest heard what she had said thinking her drunk. She told him no, she had poured out her soul to the Lord. He told her God would grant her the petition. Soon thereafter she became pregnant and called her son Samuel as she had asked of God for him. As she had promised when he had been weaned she took him to Shiloh to Eli the priest and reminded him of her promise to the Lord.

I’m sure people pray to have a child and they eventually do. People make promises to their god all the time, this is no different.

We then learn that Eli’s sons were sons of Belial (JPS Hebrew calls them base men) and knew not the Lord. They acted as servants for Eli and took more of the sacrifice than was considered fair, even threatening force to do so. The sons even lay with the women who came to do service at the door (fornicated). Eli had heard of their evil and told them it was wrong to make the Lord’s people and the Lord would slay them. Meanwhile Samuel grew in favor with the Lord and with men.

Eli’s sons are ancient gang bangers, so? JPS is more accurate calling them base men, doing whatever pleased themselves pretty much.

A man of God is sent to Eli to tell him that the Lord would take retribution for the evil of his sons. He tells him both of his sons will die on the same day but the Lord will raise up a priest who will do according to what is in my heart & mind.

Anyone should have stood against Eli’s criminal sons. Angels not required.

Samuel is sleeping and hears someone calling and goes to Eli. Eli told him I didn’t call you. This happens 3 times and on the 3rd time Eli told Samuel to answer, Speak Lord, for thy servant heareth. The text says the “Lord came, and stood…”
The Lord proceeds to tell Samuel he was going to make all those in Israel who hear of it ears tingle. He was going to carry out everything he had said since he had judged Eli and his family forever for the sins of the sons. The Lord had told Eli that he would not allow them to be atoned by sacrifice or offering.

The next day, Samuel is afraid to tell Eli what the Lord said, he eventually does. And the Lord continued to visit Samuel and all those in Israel knew him to be a prophet of the Lord.
1 Sam 1-3.

So far it’s not unreasonable up to the point where the Lord shows up to use Samuel as an intermediary to Eli. This part is subject to questioning. That the sons of Eli used their position for gain and personal enrichment is typical of priests and preachers and is still done to this day.

Israel went in battle against the Philistines near Ebenezer in 1 Sam 4 and they lost the battle including 4,000 men. After the loss they decided to get the Ark and bring it to battle so the Lord would be with them. They fetch it and Eli’s sons Hophni and Phinehas accompany it to the front. Upon it’s arrival the Israelites make a great shout putting fear in the Philistines.

The Philistines however get it together, fighting viciously killing 30,000 of the Israelites and captured the Ark. Eli’s 2 sons are killed in the battle. A messenger runs to Shiloh to inform Eli of the loss telling the townspeople what happened. They cry out in great sorrow. Eli 98 years old & blind hears this and is fearful for the ark. When the messenger tells him his 2 sons are dead and the Ark has been taken he falls backward off his chair breaking his neck and dies.

The wife of Phinehas is in child birth and she succumbs to the delivery and dies. Just before she did she names the child Ichabod saying the glory has gone from Israel because the Ark has been lost.

Why not! People died in battle. Gods and their symbols were taken to the battles and seized by the opposing army. People fall out of chairs. Women die in childbirth.

1 Sam 5 says the Ark was taken to Ashdod by the Philistines to the temple of Dagon and set next to the god’s representation. The next morning they found the idol on the ground face down. They set it upright on the next morning they found it with it’s head and hands cut-off. After this, the priests and all who came to worship Dagon would not go into his temple.

Israelites clearly could have gone in and done the described vandalism.

The Lord proceeded to take his wrath upon the people of Ashdod. The text claims, he destroyed them. After he destroyed them, he smote them with tumors, hemorrhoids, or ulcers. The people though destroyed (KJV), got together and decided the Ark had to go and so decided to take it to Gath, another city of the Philistines. Why not try another place, perhaps the god of the Ark wanted a different view.

In Gath, the Lord made the inhabitants miserable as he had in Ashdod, with tumors and ulcers or hemorrhoids. The people then sent it to Ekron. By now no Philistine city wanted any part of it as they had heard it would kill them. Those who did not die were also affected with tumors or hemorrhoids.

Interesting claim, no proof though. I’m sure people got hemorrhoids then as well as now.

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

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


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pauljohntheskeptic wrote: I

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

 I have been busy as well, then I got side tracked into a Daniel thread, sorry for ignoring this one.

As with all information handed down, some is lost, (mentioned in Kings actually) some is forgotten, some is carried forward because someone thought it to be interesting, and errors occur as they don't have a great information system.

We have found many issues, some are minor, some are huge (at least in my view). 

The many issues that we have found seems to me to have an ongoing theme.  That being a discrepency in time/date or name and numbers.  None from what I've seen so far seem to deter the validity or intent of Biblical teaching, though I am interested in what you feel is a "huge issue" that we've gone over at this point.  We don't need to backtrack or get sidetracked.  I might have some comments, but we'll see where it goes.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Priests, scribes, and "learned scholars" (Pharisees later on) did such in all cultures.  Thus what is preserved is what these people considered of importance, not always which was important.

No individuals are always reliable and the masses can be deluded. Whatever Jesus actually did is still a future question, TBD and discussed later on.

Right.  maybe later on too would be the discussion of why the scriptures stuck in so many different cultures when the initial view was usually oposition... as seen in the world today still.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

You give too much credit to people for understanding. Christine O'Donnell has recently shown she didn't listen in her high school Civics & American History classes.

Wars do result in eradication of the various cultures, which clearly happens to Israel too. Most of the gods in ancient times were the same, though cities each had their own city-god or Ba'al.

Sure, and you might be giving to little credit.  To discredit the ancients as much as it might seem you are for the scriptures is to suggest that all history is just as reliable.  I know you'll mention how other "facts" in history are backed up here and there and I would respond that the Bible is as well in the same manner.  A direction that might deter from the focus at this point.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

 Perhaps. Or it shows the development of Yahweh from the mythology.

ok, but then why Yahweh and not any of the other thousands of gods that existed through time?

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Discussing Islam is an entire thread in itself and I agree should be done in that fashion. It matters little to me how many believe in each version of a god or gods, so no, I'd not bother with this to show more believe it than yours.

ok, moving on...

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

There are artifacts with Yahweh and Ba'al from the area and period especially in the ancient Canaanite culture. In the Hebrew god belief Yahweh is first called that in the time of Moses as you say. Where that exactly came from as we have previously discussed is uncertain, at least from my view.

...and that's where we'd have to draw the line on that topic.  It's no question that there were other names for the Christian God and that He was likely referred to by followers by another name besides Yahweh before the time of Moses. 


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pauljohntheskeptic wrote:1

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

1 Samuel



The 2 Books of Samuel document the end of the period of the Judges and the start of the monarchy. Whether this is only the hamlets in Judah or includes all of Israel is debatable. I pretty much go along with Finkelstein's assessment of the 2 kingdoms. I'm not convinced Judah and Israel were ever one country and if they were it was a short period due to marriage between royal familes. We can get into that when we get to Kings.

Clearly Samuel did not write all of these books as he was dead during the last 30 to 50 years that is included.

It opens with Hannah praying to have a child whom she promised she would give to the Lord, as what is called a Nazarite (like Samson). Eli the priest heard what she had said thinking her drunk. She told him no, she had poured out her soul to the Lord. He told her God would grant her the petition. Soon thereafter she became pregnant and called her son Samuel as she had asked of God for him. As she had promised when he had been weaned she took him to Shiloh to Eli the priest and reminded him of her promise to the Lord.

I’m sure people pray to have a child and they eventually do. People make promises to their god all the time, this is no different.

We then learn that Eli’s sons were sons of Belial (JPS Hebrew calls them base men) and knew not the Lord. They acted as servants for Eli and took more of the sacrifice than was considered fair, even threatening force to do so. The sons even lay with the women who came to do service at the door (fornicated). Eli had heard of their evil and told them it was wrong to make the Lord’s people and the Lord would slay them. Meanwhile Samuel grew in favor with the Lord and with men.

Eli’s sons are ancient gang bangers, so? JPS is more accurate calling them base men, doing whatever pleased themselves pretty much.

A man of God is sent to Eli to tell him that the Lord would take retribution for the evil of his sons. He tells him both of his sons will die on the same day but the Lord will raise up a priest who will do according to what is in my heart & mind.

Anyone should have stood against Eli’s criminal sons. Angels not required.

Samuel is sleeping and hears someone calling and goes to Eli. Eli told him I didn’t call you. This happens 3 times and on the 3rd time Eli told Samuel to answer, Speak Lord, for thy servant heareth. The text says the “Lord came, and stood…”
The Lord proceeds to tell Samuel he was going to make all those in Israel who hear of it ears tingle. He was going to carry out everything he had said since he had judged Eli and his family forever for the sins of the sons. The Lord had told Eli that he would not allow them to be atoned by sacrifice or offering.

The next day, Samuel is afraid to tell Eli what the Lord said, he eventually does. And the Lord continued to visit Samuel and all those in Israel knew him to be a prophet of the Lord.
1 Sam 1-3.

So far it’s not unreasonable up to the point where the Lord shows up to use Samuel as an intermediary to Eli. This part is subject to questioning. That the sons of Eli used their position for gain and personal enrichment is typical of priests and preachers and is still done to this day.

Israel went in battle against the Philistines near Ebenezer in 1 Sam 4 and they lost the battle including 4,000 men. After the loss they decided to get the Ark and bring it to battle so the Lord would be with them. They fetch it and Eli’s sons Hophni and Phinehas accompany it to the front. Upon it’s arrival the Israelites make a great shout putting fear in the Philistines.

The Philistines however get it together, fighting viciously killing 30,000 of the Israelites and captured the Ark. Eli’s 2 sons are killed in the battle. A messenger runs to Shiloh to inform Eli of the loss telling the townspeople what happened. They cry out in great sorrow. Eli 98 years old & blind hears this and is fearful for the ark. When the messenger tells him his 2 sons are dead and the Ark has been taken he falls backward off his chair breaking his neck and dies.

The wife of Phinehas is in child birth and she succumbs to the delivery and dies. Just before she did she names the child Ichabod saying the glory has gone from Israel because the Ark has been lost.

Why not! People died in battle. Gods and their symbols were taken to the battles and seized by the opposing army. People fall out of chairs. Women die in childbirth.

1 Sam 5 says the Ark was taken to Ashdod by the Philistines to the temple of Dagon and set next to the god’s representation. The next morning they found the idol on the ground face down. They set it upright on the next morning they found it with it’s head and hands cut-off. After this, the priests and all who came to worship Dagon would not go into his temple.

Israelites clearly could have gone in and done the described vandalism.

The Lord proceeded to take his wrath upon the people of Ashdod. The text claims, he destroyed them. After he destroyed them, he smote them with tumors, hemorrhoids, or ulcers. The people though destroyed (KJV), got together and decided the Ark had to go and so decided to take it to Gath, another city of the Philistines. Why not try another place, perhaps the god of the Ark wanted a different view.

In Gath, the Lord made the inhabitants miserable as he had in Ashdod, with tumors and ulcers or hemorrhoids. The people then sent it to Ekron. By now no Philistine city wanted any part of it as they had heard it would kill them. Those who did not die were also affected with tumors or hemorrhoids.

Interesting claim, no proof though. I’m sure people got hemorrhoids then as well as now.

After reading through the runthrough up to this point.  You claim that all of it is possible because... well... it happens.   As far as any outside proof of these happenings... I'll have to do some homework.  It's possible that these are so insignificant to a culture... and that even the numbers again are exaggerated so that it might not be thoroughly documented other than what we see in scriptures. 

The main purpose of Samuel and books like it is for a continuous timeline in the geneology detailing events that happened and why the generations progressed to where they are come the NT.  I'll see what I can find on this though


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caposkia

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

 I have been busy as well, then I got side tracked into a Daniel thread, sorry for ignoring this one.

As with all information handed down, some is lost, (mentioned in Kings actually) some is forgotten, some is carried forward because someone thought it to be interesting, and errors occur as they don't have a great information system.

We have found many issues, some are minor, some are huge (at least in my view). 

The many issues that we have found seems to me to have an ongoing theme.  That being a discrepency in time/date or name and numbers.  None from what I've seen so far seem to deter the validity or intent of Biblical teaching, though I am interested in what you feel is a "huge issue" that we've gone over at this point.  We don't need to backtrack or get sidetracked.  I might have some comments, but we'll see where it goes.

The purported Invasion of Canaan is so much fluff as was demonstrated in regard to both Ai and Jericho. I refer you to 2 books, "The Bible Unearthed" by Finkelstein and "The View from Nebo" by Marcus for discussion of these problems.

I realize you agreed to a complete downsizing of the perhaps several million Hebrews escaping from Egypt to dozens or a 100 to give credence to the Exodus. As to the other stories in between the lower numbers are supportable for a few invaders. Again however this is not what is propagated as what occurred in the stories which essentially are propaganda.

 

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

You give too much credit to people for understanding. Christine O'Donnell has recently shown she didn't listen in her high school Civics & American History classes.

Wars do result in eradication of the various cultures, which clearly happens to Israel too. Most of the gods in ancient times were the same, though cities each had their own city-god or Ba'al.

Sure, and you might be giving to little credit.  To discredit the ancients as much as it might seem you are for the scriptures is to suggest that all history is just as reliable.  I know you'll mention how other "facts" in history are backed up here and there and I would respond that the Bible is as well in the same manner.  A direction that might deter from the focus at this point.

We can argue back and forth on this for days with nothing gained. You know my position well by now so there's no point to that. Suffice it to say I have little disagreement that Judah and Israel actually existed as ancient countries once upon a time. As to all of the claimed details, beliefs and events that are claimed in the Hebrew Bible that is something else. As we go through the Saul, David and later kings more issues will come out which we can discuss as they come up.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

 Perhaps. Or it shows the development of Yahweh from the mythology.

ok, but then why Yahweh and not any of the other thousands of gods that existed through time?

Asherah (Ashtoreth) made a good run for thousands of years as well. Others did have far more followers than the god Yahweh who all are  related to the various gods such as Zeus, Jupiter, Enlil who all have similar backgrounds.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

There are artifacts with Yahweh and Ba'al from the area and period especially in the ancient Canaanite culture. In the Hebrew god belief Yahweh is first called that in the time of Moses as you say. Where that exactly came from as we have previously discussed is uncertain, at least from my view.

...and that's where we'd have to draw the line on that topic.  It's no question that there were other names for the Christian God and that He was likely referred to by followers by another name besides Yahweh before the time of Moses. 

I'd suggest you research some Ugaritic god beliefs for more information on this.

 

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

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


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caposkia

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

1 Samuel



The 2 Books of Samuel document the end of the period of the Judges and the start of the monarchy. Whether this is only the hamlets in Judah or includes all of Israel is debatable. I pretty much go along with Finkelstein's assessment of the 2 kingdoms. I'm not convinced Judah and Israel were ever one country and if they were it was a short period due to marriage between royal familes. We can get into that when we get to Kings.

Clearly Samuel did not write all of these books as he was dead during the last 30 to 50 years that is included.

 

~rip~



Interesting claim, no proof though. I’m sure people got hemorrhoids then as well as now.

After reading through the runthrough up to this point.  You claim that all of it is possible because... well... it happens.   As far as any outside proof of these happenings... I'll have to do some homework.  It's possible that these are so insignificant to a culture... and that even the numbers again are exaggerated so that it might not be thoroughly documented other than what we see in scriptures. 

The main purpose of Samuel and books like it is for a continuous timeline in the geneology detailing events that happened and why the generations progressed to where they are come the NT.  I'll see what I can find on this though

As the events cover mostly specific people, Eli and Samuel who had no monuments made of them documenting they actually ever even lived what more can be said? The Ark has never been found and if it actually existed it was melted long ago without deadly killer angels zapping out those pilfering it. One sided war stories never tell the entire event and all we have is the one from a culture who have a purpose in its propagation. It is part of the basis used in an ancient attempt to show that Yahweh was powerful. It is but a claim without substantiation no more able to be verified than Enki and his exploits.

 

____________________________________________________________
"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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1 Samuel- Cont’d Part

1 Samuel- Cont’d Part 2

In 1 Sam 6 the Philistines have had enough of the Ark of Israel. They had it for all of 7 months and every city to which it was taken suffered problems. The priest and soothsayers were asked what should be done with this ark. They came up with the idea to place a “guilt” or “trespass offering of 5 golden emerods & mice inside it equal to the number of Philistine lords. This was a way of giving service to the god of Israel who was obviously taking vengeance upon those who held captive the representative artifact of the god. It was common to seize the gods (idols) of the opposition or losers in a war. Perhaps this is what the Philistines thought they had done.

The story here comes from the Israelites not the Philistines so it should be considered propaganda unless of course the Ark is shown to be real. Since the Ark has disappeared, probably melted down by one of countless invaders that took the treasures from the Temple it’s not going to be found to give credence to this claim.

The Ark is returned to Israel near Beth Shemesh in the field owned by one Joshua of Beth Shemesh. True to his vicious nature about 70 of the town’s people suddenly are killed by the god for supposedly gazing inside the Ark. The people offered a burnt offering to the god of the oxen who bore it to them using the cart as firewood.

IMO, more propaganda. This shows the god will not be merciful to anyone that violates his taboos, and looking inside the Ark was a taboo. You have to assume at some point the Philistines opened said Ark looking for gold to melt down. No mention of course that this occurred. The “guilt offering” from the Philistines was of course put in a coffer next to the Ark on the cart.

Nice myth.

Chapter 7

The Ark is taken to Kiriath Jearim to “Abinadab’s house on the hill and consecrated Eleazar his son to guard the ark of the LORD” (NIV). It is kept there for 20 years. The rest of this chapter makes claims the people all came together at Mizpah & the Philistines came up against them until Samuel called upon the god whereupon  “the LORD thundered with loud thunder against the Philistines and threw them into such a panic that they were routed before the Israelites. 11 The men of Israel rushed out of Mizpah and pursued the Philistines, slaughtering them” (NIV).

The rest of the chapter is much like any discussion of a Judge of Israel and may have been so prior to the creation of the  fable of Saul and David. Specifically read verses 15-17 either JPS or NIV. The quote “And Samuel judged Israel all the days of his life.” Is similar to all of the others in Judges. But, the fable had to start somewhere so it is tacked into the life of Samuel, a likely real person but who details may have been lacking in the original ancient stories. We’ll see where this ends up and why it has many issues, including more exaggerated claims in population, errors even in the text as we get into the story of Saul and the violent dangerous to be around David.
 

____________________________________________________________
"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:The

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

The purported Invasion of Canaan is so much fluff as was demonstrated in regard to both Ai and Jericho. I refer you to 2 books, "The Bible Unearthed" by Finkelstein and "The View from Nebo" by Marcus for discussion of these problems.

I realize you agreed to a complete downsizing of the perhaps several million Hebrews escaping from Egypt to dozens or a 100 to give credence to the Exodus. As to the other stories in between the lower numbers are supportable for a few invaders. Again however this is not what is propagated as what occurred in the stories which essentially are propaganda.

 

So your huge issues have to do with the discrepancy in numbers despite a similar trend in most documents of that time.  We've gone through the details on why it makes sense that they might have been written in the way they have and yet still possibly have happened. (just historically)

If the numbers are still a stumbling block for you.  obviously, there's nothing I can present to you that will deter that as such with any ancient document that would have questionable information regardless of validity.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

We can argue back and forth on this for days with nothing gained. You know my position well by now so there's no point to that. Suffice it to say I have little disagreement that Judah and Israel actually existed as ancient countries once upon a time. As to all of the claimed details, beliefs and events that are claimed in the Hebrew Bible that is something else. As we go through the Saul, David and later kings more issues will come out which we can discuss as they come up.

of course.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Asherah (Ashtoreth) made a good run for thousands of years as well. Others did have far more followers than the god Yahweh who all are  related to the various gods such as Zeus, Jupiter, Enlil who all have similar backgrounds.

And yet, to this day, Yahweh is the god that survived the test of time.  Granted there are other God's that are followed as well today, but at this point, the majority of the population (in reference to all 7 billion people in the world) believe and/or follow Yahweh in some way, shape or form.  e.g.  the 2 largest world religions #1. Christianity and #2 Muslim who combined account for more than half of the world population both follow Yahweh.  Despite the fact that at some point in history there might have been 1 or a few gods that had a bigger following, why is it that Yahweh is the one and only god that truly prevailed?  

Just to excuse another hypothesis about the possibility that this could just be another historical spike as with other gods in history, the statistical trend only shows growth in the following of this particular god all over the world and nothing suggests in any foreseeable future such a trend for any other god... in fact, other gods have an opposite trend prediction.  

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

I'd suggest you research some Ugaritic god beliefs for more information on this.

Ok... I did look into a few websites that detailed information on that place and the scripts they found along with how those scripts detailed the beliefs of its inhabitants.  The general consensus of about 5 different websites that actually took the time to go into detail about research based on the discovery of this place is that it has helped Biblical scholars better understand the difficulties in translating certain Hebrew phrases that were previously hard to comprehend.    They go on to say it's essential to understand the Ugaritic history in order to do a thorough study of the Old Testament.  

I just did a quick bing search for "Ugaritic god beliefs".  

I see that it details literally what we've been talking about for quite while now that there was a combination of beliefs and that a lot of beliefs of other gods namely Ba'al influenced certain passages that were "adapted by the Israelites" by those who had the following.   This apparently not suggesting according to the sites that it invalidates the scriptures, rather it clarifies confusion around certain passages that didn't seem to quite fit into the story at hand.  

My take so far is that we must keep in mind when looking at this history that it was a confusing time as far as understand who was the true god.  It's kind of like a highschool student today trying to figure out which college they want to go to.  Which one is the best for their interest.  Which one really will follow through with their promises of success.  

The jealousy of God mentioned in scripture is clarified in the Ugaritic texts with the understanding that a lot of the Israelites were choosing to follow those other gods and were trying to integrate the teachings of Yahweh and Ba'al into their walk together.  Be it that each had opposing teachings, this of course proved to be a problem.  

All-in-all, I so far only see this to further validate the Bible and not hinder the teachings or historicity of it.   What in particular did you want me to focus on be it that it seems I would almost have to do a complete OT study to cover all the details uncovered in this place and how they were implemented into the scripture/how they influenced the scripture.  


caposkia
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pauljohntheskeptic wrote:1

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

1 Samuel- Cont’d Part 2

In 1 Sam 6 the Philistines have had enough of the Ark of Israel. They had it for all of 7 months and every city to which it was taken suffered problems. The priest and soothsayers were asked what should be done with this ark. They came up with the idea to place a “guilt” or “trespass offering of 5 golden emerods & mice inside it equal to the number of Philistine lords. This was a way of giving service to the god of Israel who was obviously taking vengeance upon those who held captive the representative artifact of the god. It was common to seize the gods (idols) of the opposition or losers in a war. Perhaps this is what the Philistines thought they had done.

The story here comes from the Israelites not the Philistines so it should be considered propaganda unless of course the Ark is shown to be real. Since the Ark has disappeared, probably melted down by one of countless invaders that took the treasures from the Temple it’s not going to be found to give credence to this claim.

The Ark is returned to Israel near Beth Shemesh in the field owned by one Joshua of Beth Shemesh. True to his vicious nature about 70 of the town’s people suddenly are killed by the god for supposedly gazing inside the Ark. The people offered a burnt offering to the god of the oxen who bore it to them using the cart as firewood.

IMO, more propaganda. This shows the god will not be merciful to anyone that violates his taboos, and looking inside the Ark was a taboo. You have to assume at some point the Philistines opened said Ark looking for gold to melt down. No mention of course that this occurred. The “guilt offering” from the Philistines was of course put in a coffer next to the Ark on the cart.

Nice myth.

The ark is something that has plagued historians of all beliefs and purposes.  Though there is sufficient documentation of its existence, there is no physical proof or evidence that it actually existed.  There is also no evidence anywhere that it has either been destroyed or has been protected up to this day. 

According to the Bible, it was to be strictly protected and could only be carried/approached/seen by an elect few.   Therefore, if it does exist today, we logically wouldn't have proof due to the strict guidelines of how its being protected.  there is a group in the right location... I don't remember what they're called, I believe it is a monastery that claim they have the ark.  The only way this group is holding onto that claim is that where its being held, no one but the "elect" are allowed in to that particular part of the building.  

Granted this leaves us where?  Basically non-believers and Christians alike on the fence.  Non-believers automatically claiming they're telling us a story to get recognition and Christians generally agreeing, but also understanding that logically the ark could still exist and would if it did exist still have to be protected under the strict Biblical rules put in place for it.  

In other words, really no need to even discuss it because no one has anything worth noting about the ark, mythical or otherwise.

to me, it would be logical to have some document somewhere detailing its meltdown if indeed it is a myth just to conclude the story and not leave it hanging without evidence.  At least this way, it could much more easily be dismissed as a good myth and nothing more.  But with all the details written about it only to have nothing written about its fate afterwards is suspect to me be it that most myths cover themselves against open ends.  

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:


Chapter 7

The Ark is taken to Kiriath Jearim to “Abinadab’s house on the hill and consecrated Eleazar his son to guard the ark of the LORD” (NIV). It is kept there for 20 years. The rest of this chapter makes claims the people all came together at Mizpah & the Philistines came up against them until Samuel called upon the god whereupon  “the LORD thundered with loud thunder against the Philistines and threw them into such a panic that they were routed before the Israelites. 11 The men of Israel rushed out of Mizpah and pursued the Philistines, slaughtering them” (NIV).

The rest of the chapter is much like any discussion of a Judge of Israel and may have been so prior to the creation of the  fable of Saul and David. Specifically read verses 15-17 either JPS or NIV. The quote “And Samuel judged Israel all the days of his life.” Is similar to all of the others in Judges. But, the fable had to start somewhere so it is tacked into the life of Samuel, a likely real person but who details may have been lacking in the original ancient stories. We’ll see where this ends up and why it has many issues, including more exaggerated claims in population, errors even in the text as we get into the story of Saul and the violent dangerous to be around David.

After looking into some historical books that talk about the books of Samuel I did find that there really wasn't much to say about the book.  Most historians seem to consider this book (whoever wrote it) to be a good historical documentation and that Samuel (or whoever wrote it) could be possibly considered to be the first documented historian.  

In other words, the general conclusion seems to be from historians that the books of Samuel supports factual history well.  
 


pauljohntheskeptic
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caposkia

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

The purported Invasion of Canaan is so much fluff as was demonstrated in regard to both Ai and Jericho. I refer you to 2 books, "The Bible Unearthed" by Finkelstein and "The View from Nebo" by Marcus for discussion of these problems.

I realize you agreed to a complete downsizing of the perhaps several million Hebrews escaping from Egypt to dozens or a 100 to give credence to the Exodus. As to the other stories in between the lower numbers are supportable for a few invaders. Again however this is not what is propagated as what occurred in the stories which essentially are propaganda.

 

So your huge issues have to do with the discrepancy in numbers despite a similar trend in most documents of that time.  We've gone through the details on why it makes sense that they might have been written in the way they have and yet still possibly have happened. (just historically)

If the numbers are still a stumbling block for you.  obviously, there's nothing I can present to you that will deter that as such with any ancient document that would have questionable information regardless of validity.

It's not just the numbers it is also the lack of archeology supporting that there was much of a kingdom of Judah prior to the Assyrian eradication of Israel. See the 2 books I mentioned for supporting correlation. All along in this story we have had far fetched events taken singly that are questionable, taken together are simply indicative of a legendary story being comprised as a basis for the Yahweist believers in later Judah. See both Marcus and Finkelstein' comments. Clearly without evidence to the contrary I will not accept the magic, Sci-Fi and fantasy portrayed throughout the development of the storyline. I can produce equal stories of questionable basis from Sumer or other cultures steeped in just much fantasy without actual evidence. In the case of Sumer, we at least have documents from the time period, which we do not have from the Israelites. Though the possibilities of being based in our dimension of reality of the gods of Sumer in the way as described are equally unlikely as the fantasy storyline of the Israelites with the documents so far examined.

 

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Asherah (Ashtoreth) made a good run for thousands of years as well. Others did have far more followers than the god Yahweh who all are  related to the various gods such as Zeus, Jupiter, Enlil who all have similar backgrounds.

And yet, to this day, Yahweh is the god that survived the test of time.  Granted there are other God's that are followed as well today, but at this point, the majority of the population (in reference to all 7 billion people in the world) believe and/or follow Yahweh in some way, shape or form.  e.g.  the 2 largest world religions #1. Christianity and #2 Muslim who combined account for more than half of the world population both follow Yahweh.  Despite the fact that at some point in history there might have been 1 or a few gods that had a bigger following, why is it that Yahweh is the one and only god that truly prevailed?  

Just to excuse another hypothesis about the possibility that this could just be another historical spike as with other gods in history, the statistical trend only shows growth in the following of this particular god all over the world and nothing suggests in any foreseeable future such a trend for any other god... in fact, other gods have an opposite trend prediction.  

An appeal to masses or should I say to mass delusion is not supportive of a position the god of the ancients was reality based. The RCC enabled by the government of Constantine and the inheriting kingdoms and countries pretty much assured the god beliefs originated in the ancient myths of Israel survived in some kind of morphed manner. 

Knowledge tends to change beliefs in superstition with time. We live over the edge of the known world past the sea serpents where many ancients considered by belief and superstition to not exist. There are countless beliefs that have been shown to be based in lack of knowledge and understanding or even in superstition. That x million or x billion people believe something does not make it true or real and you know it.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

I'd suggest you research some Ugaritic god beliefs for more information on this.

Ok... I did look into a few websites that detailed information on that place and the scripts they found along with how those scripts detailed the beliefs of its inhabitants.  The general consensus of about 5 different websites that actually took the time to go into detail about research based on the discovery of this place is that it has helped Biblical scholars better understand the difficulties in translating certain Hebrew phrases that were previously hard to comprehend.    They go on to say it's essential to understand the Ugaritic history in order to do a thorough study of the Old Testament.  

I just did a quick bing search for "Ugaritic god beliefs".  

I see that it details literally what we've been talking about for quite while now that there was a combination of beliefs and that a lot of beliefs of other gods namely Ba'al influenced certain passages that were "adapted by the Israelites" by those who had the following.   This apparently not suggesting according to the sites that it invalidates the scriptures, rather it clarifies confusion around certain passages that didn't seem to quite fit into the story at hand.  

My take so far is that we must keep in mind when looking at this history that it was a confusing time as far as understand who was the true god.  It's kind of like a highschool student today trying to figure out which college they want to go to.  Which one is the best for their interest.  Which one really will follow through with their promises of success.  

The jealousy of God mentioned in scripture is clarified in the Ugaritic texts with the understanding that a lot of the Israelites were choosing to follow those other gods and were trying to integrate the teachings of Yahweh and Ba'al into their walk together.  Be it that each had opposing teachings, this of course proved to be a problem.  

All-in-all, I so far only see this to further validate the Bible and not hinder the teachings or historicity of it.   What in particular did you want me to focus on be it that it seems I would almost have to do a complete OT study to cover all the details uncovered in this place and how they were implemented into the scripture/how they influenced the scripture.  

You need to spend a bit more time than a cursory inspection. If I can find my links to some sites or books to read on the subject I'll post them. They may be in Florida and I'm in Denver now for the next 4 to 5 months.

 

 

____________________________________________________________
"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:

1 Samuel- Cont’d Part 2

In 1 Sam 6 the Philistines have had enough of the Ark of Israel. They had it for all of 7 months and every city to which it was taken suffered problems. The priest and soothsayers were asked what should be done with this ark. They came up with the idea to place a “guilt” or “trespass offering of 5 golden emerods & mice inside it equal to the number of Philistine lords. This was a way of giving service to the god of Israel who was obviously taking vengeance upon those who held captive the representative artifact of the god. It was common to seize the gods (idols) of the opposition or losers in a war. Perhaps this is what the Philistines thought they had done.

The story here comes from the Israelites not the Philistines so it should be considered propaganda unless of course the Ark is shown to be real. Since the Ark has disappeared, probably melted down by one of countless invaders that took the treasures from the Temple it’s not going to be found to give credence to this claim.

The Ark is returned to Israel near Beth Shemesh in the field owned by one Joshua of Beth Shemesh. True to his vicious nature about 70 of the town’s people suddenly are killed by the god for supposedly gazing inside the Ark. The people offered a burnt offering to the god of the oxen who bore it to them using the cart as firewood.

IMO, more propaganda. This shows the god will not be merciful to anyone that violates his taboos, and looking inside the Ark was a taboo. You have to assume at some point the Philistines opened said Ark looking for gold to melt down. No mention of course that this occurred. The “guilt offering” from the Philistines was of course put in a coffer next to the Ark on the cart.

Nice myth.

The ark is something that has plagued historians of all beliefs and purposes.  Though there is sufficient documentation of its existence, there is no physical proof or evidence that it actually existed.  There is also no evidence anywhere that it has either been destroyed or has been protected up to this day. 

According to the Bible, it was to be strictly protected and could only be carried/approached/seen by an elect few.   Therefore, if it does exist today, we logically wouldn't have proof due to the strict guidelines of how its being protected.  there is a group in the right location... I don't remember what they're called, I believe it is a monastery that claim they have the ark.  The only way this group is holding onto that claim is that where its being held, no one but the "elect" are allowed in to that particular part of the building.  

Granted this leaves us where?  Basically non-believers and Christians alike on the fence.  Non-believers automatically claiming they're telling us a story to get recognition and Christians generally agreeing, but also understanding that logically the ark could still exist and would if it did exist still have to be protected under the strict Biblical rules put in place for it.  

In other words, really no need to even discuss it because no one has anything worth noting about the ark, mythical or otherwise.

to me, it would be logical to have some document somewhere detailing its meltdown if indeed it is a myth just to conclude the story and not leave it hanging without evidence.  At least this way, it could much more easily be dismissed as a good myth and nothing more.  But with all the details written about it only to have nothing written about its fate afterwards is suspect to me be it that most myths cover themselves against open ends.  

There is also documentation for objects carried into battle by other ancient civilizations including their god representations, called idols by Christians. That the Israelites have something similar only indicates they felt a need to have something to represent their "invisible" god which they were not to make as an actual representation by order of the god. Others also had containment vessels in their temples to hold supposed sacred objects as well.

As I recall, there is some legend it is located in an Ethiopian monastery like you mentioned, though no one has brought said article forward to prove it.

caposkia wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:


Chapter 7

The Ark is taken to Kiriath Jearim to “Abinadab’s house on the hill and consecrated Eleazar his son to guard the ark of the LORD” (NIV). It is kept there for 20 years. The rest of this chapter makes claims the people all came together at Mizpah & the Philistines came up against them until Samuel called upon the god whereupon  “the LORD thundered with loud thunder against the Philistines and threw them into such a panic that they were routed before the Israelites. 11 The men of Israel rushed out of Mizpah and pursued the Philistines, slaughtering them” (NIV).

The rest of the chapter is much like any discussion of a Judge of Israel and may have been so prior to the creation of the  fable of Saul and David. Specifically read verses 15-17 either JPS or NIV. The quote “And Samuel judged Israel all the days of his life.” Is similar to all of the others in Judges. But, the fable had to start somewhere so it is tacked into the life of Samuel, a likely real person but who details may have been lacking in the original ancient stories. We’ll see where this ends up and why it has many issues, including more exaggerated claims in population, errors even in the text as we get into the story of Saul and the violent dangerous to be around David.

After looking into some historical books that talk about the books of Samuel I did find that there really wasn't much to say about the book.  Most historians seem to consider this book (whoever wrote it) to be a good historical documentation and that Samuel (or whoever wrote it) could be possibly considered to be the first documented historian.  

In other words, the general conclusion seems to be from historians that the books of Samuel supports factual history well.  

So far in my examination of Samuel I see little that merits it as being "historical". The next few chapters I'm about to post have the basis for selecting Saul and are just as much legend in their presentation as the legends of Arthur. We'll  see where it goes, but if Saul was a king I need to be convinced it was over more than a few thousand people. See Finkelstein and Marcus I referenced earlier.

____________________________________________________________
"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.