Democrats & Liberals Archives

The Hinge of The Door

During my Baylor Years, we were required to take some survey classes about the bible. I did so without too much reservation, though I was an agnostic and thoroughgoing humanist at the time. It’s interesting to read the bible itself, in a fuller fashion, rather than just hear about it from others. It’s true of the New Testament, and also true of the Old. In the survey class on the old testament, I had an epiphany about the bible and other works of its kind.

We were having a class about Exodus and Genesis, when the subject of the splitting of the Red Sea came up.

The name Red Sea is fairly recent, and does not date back to the times when the work was written. Some folks translate the words there as Reed Sea, portraying the space the Israelites crossed as a marsh. This is a favorite position of many modern scholars on the subject, since it clears the way for the writers of the bible to be speaking of a natural cause, like a Tsunami drawing back the water.

It all depended, though, on a translation of Hebrew. Ancient Hebrew lacks for vowels, so different words can be translated out of the same letters. He showed us an interesting change in translation: Reed Sea can become Chaos Waters. Why is this significant? For the purposes of the lecture, it was to see the unifying ideas in those first books of the bible. The crossing of the Red Sea becomes one more instance of God controlling the primal chaos that is water. In creation, he separated the waters above from those below to begin his creation. In the flood, he unleashes those waters again in what can be seen as a second creation. In Exodus, we see him once more harness the forces of chaos and make a clear way for the Israelites to escape the wrath of pharaoh.

For my purpose here, it is the crucial epiphany that struck me right there. Both the flat literal interpretation, and the overdone rationalizations of some modern scholarship on the subject would miss the poetic strength of God's dominance over the primeval chaos as demonstrated in those works, and the meaning that would have for the people of that time.

The hinge of the door was not my understanding or my interpretation by itself. It was not what could be verifiably known to be true in my day and age, but how this work was situated in its own time and among its own people.

The door to the Middle East hinges on more than our willpower, or our interpretations of things. It hinges greatly on the perspective of the people in the Middle East. it is a mistake to look at the Middle East with condescension. They have centuries of history backing their points of view, and any quest to bring the people there out of the morass of tyranny and religious fanaticism will depend greatly on victories of persuasion. We must understand their religion and their notions of government for what they are, and anticipate some of the questions we might be confronted with. The reality of the Middle East is not the only thing that motivates people. Cultural mythology plays a part where history can only serve as background.

If we want to inspire friendship and peace in the region, we must bring them to identify with our cause through the pathways of their own culture. The alternative simply doesn't work. It's like insisting that a friend who lives across town take the same roads into the city that you do, even though others are closer and more direct. Let us aid the Middle East by bringing it into the modern world along the shortest, easiest road- the one that starts where they now dwell.

Posted by Stephen Daugherty at March 13, 2006 2:22 PM
Comments
Comment #133108

Stephen-

I totally agree with you, for a change. We cannot bring any kind of stability to the Middle East by force. We may impose our will for a short period of time, but that would disappear as soon as our presence was removed. The old hatreds and prejudices are just too deeply ingrained for a short term solution.

The two biggest problems are Israel and the fundamental wing of Islam. Israel because it firmly believes that it has the right to the area for historic and religious purposes and radical Islam because it believes that all people other than Muslims are infidels to be converted or destroyed.

For the West to think that it can change this overnight is delusional. It has taken centuries for the situation to get to where it is, and it will take years, perhaps decades, to resolve it.

One step would be for the Israelis to put aside their extreme xenophobia. They have been coddled by the West, primarily the U.S., almost since 1948. We support them financially, militarily, and in other ways without asking for anything in return. If we made our continued support contingent of improved relations with the Palestinians and the other Arab countries, some of the animosity might be reduced.

On the other hand, if a way could be found to get the Arab countries to acknowledge the right of Israel to exist, and mean it, that could be a giant step. Unfortunately, we are extremely dependent on OPEC for our oil. This gives them a great way to tell us to back off and leave them alone.

Perhaps, someday, we will be able to reduce or eliminate our dependence on foriegn oil. When we do, we will have more leverage. Until then, I’m afraid we are destined to repeat the mistakes of the past.

Posted by: John Back at March 13, 2006 3:40 PM
Comment #133110

I’m not entirely sure I follow your whole post, but I’ll comment on your final paragraph. Religion is clearly a major dividing point in the Middle East and within single countries. It would be interesting for someone to determine what the cause of the lack of peace is. Religion is divisive but might be more of an excuse rather than a reason.

Generally, the reason for in-fighting (or fighting at all) is over resources. Someone has something you lack, or is holding back something you want, or is taking away something you have. So you fight for it. Land, oil, liberty, money, voting rights, equal opportunity, to remove your 2nd-class citizenship, etc.

Whether you fight with guns or words might determine how desperately you want it, or how uncivilized either side is by being unwilling to compromise.

There is true sadism, I think, but I’m guessing it’s rarer on a large scale than some might think.

Posted by: Thomas R at March 13, 2006 3:44 PM
Comment #133113

What I think we need in the Middle East is a small black bear that drinks Dr. Pepper!


(Shot a recruitment video for Baylor U. in ‘92. I remember driving from Dallas Airport to Wacco, and being the only DEM in the car - election night 1992. What FUN that was! )

Posted by: tony at March 13, 2006 3:49 PM
Comment #133114

I do agree that we must approach Democracy in the Middle East from the perspective of those in the Middle East. How can we ever expect that what works for us would be immediately accepted as truth or even as a good thing in that area of the world. Our cultures are radically different - so our understanding and interpretations will be radically different.

Also, how do we instill the love of Democracy through violent means? You can force anyone to believe what you want them to - while you hold a gun to their head. But, you can be sure that they will revolt as soon as you take the gun away.

Posted by: tony at March 13, 2006 3:54 PM
Comment #133120

tony-
fun facts: I lived across the street from the bear pit. I have a credit as a Production Assistant on the Baylor promo video A Most Significant Journey, as well as a brief cameo in one shot. You’d know it if you saw it.

Thomas R-
On the internet, there are any number of files that use codecs to compress or encrypt information. Without the right set of codecs, a message can come out garbled and distorted.

I used the epiphany about Exodus to more clearly spell out such a failure- that I did not understand the work well enough because I insisted on applying an anachronistic set of practices to the authors of the day.

Relating to the Middle East, we must recognize the alien nature of their culture, and further understand that any successful communication and translation of our modern western principles must deal with the pre-existing mindset.

With Germany, we appealed to historic commonality in our traditions. With Japan, we used the influence of the emperor and the cultural mindset as a starting point for Democratic reforms and social reconstruction.

In Iraq and other countries, we would do well to start things from a point at or within the frontier of their political, cultural, and religious attitudes, and then draw things slowly towards Democracy and moderation by playing upon the favorable aspects of their culture. This, I feel, is a superior direction to take in comparison to an assault against their values and the moral opprobrium they’re bound to resist.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 13, 2006 4:40 PM
Comment #133155

Wow - what a small world. That was a bizarre shoot. I left Raleigh when it was 75 degrees… got into Dallas and it was snowing. I have lots of Baylor garb - cause i only brought t-shirts and shorts… I figured it was Texas - had to be warmer than Raleigh. DOH!

Posted by: tony at March 13, 2006 6:25 PM
Comment #133166

Actually - I had a huge (HUGE) “crucial epiphany” while taping a history class in the library at Baylor. I was just setting a few lights, listening on the class conversation - and the professor mentioned the fact that Isreal was not always there… that it had been set up by Britan and the US.

BAM! I had no idea orunderstanding of the Middle East conflicts until that moment.

Not all epiphanies make you feel good.

Posted by: tony at March 13, 2006 6:42 PM
Comment #133167

Nice piece. However I must disagree with your ending premise. “…to identify with our cause” Cause? What cause? A rapaceous demand for their resources? Support and even installation of brutal dictatorships(the Sauds,shah of iran etc?)The after the fact attempt at justification for the invasion of Iraq,to bring democracy,is transparent bulls—- to the rest of the world,especially the Arab world in light of history,especially comming from an administration that does not even have a commitment to democracy in Florida.
Your basic idea of what amounts to leaving the Arab world alone sounds like a good idea. A real and radical turn away from oil dependance is a historical and enviormental imperitive to any logical ,coherent global plan and the only way to fulfill that.
Your admirable,high minded approach is commendable I suppose but I am happier with the idea (same thing) of letting them rot in hell but we(the west) bear a resposibility because our support for their despots have held them back for a very long time.

Posted by: BillS at March 13, 2006 6:47 PM
Comment #133171

BillS

What about the idea of alternative (getting tired of that phrase) energy. We keep our money and put into the pockets of people here… and let them deal with their issues on their own. Take away the money that finances a lot fo the issues we face now.

…except the fact that we absolutely crushed their infrastructure. It’d be kind of cruel to leave now without fixing the mess we made, but our guys over their with guns is not moving things forward at all.

Posted by: toyn at March 13, 2006 6:56 PM
Comment #133210

>>Cause? What cause? A rapaceous demand for their resources? Support and even installation of brutal dictatorships(the Sauds,shah of iran etc?)

BillS,

Our rapaceous demand for a fourth of the worlds oil reserves aside, our ‘cause’ has been stability in the region. Our greed has caused more instability than our ‘cause’ has stability, but that does not change the fact that our ‘cause’ was honorable and necessary.

It took Cheney/Bush to turn it dishonorable, and perhaps unattainable.

Posted by: Marysdude at March 13, 2006 9:20 PM
Comment #133263

Well, I hate to crash this party where everyone is shaking hands with their left … oh, who am I kidding, I love to crash parties.

Last I heard we didn’t take our constitution, make 200 copies, send it over to Iraq and say “You guys have to do this!” We are very much letting them form their version of democracy.

Stephen’s paragraph “If we want to inspire friendship and peace in the region, we must bring them to identify with our cause through the pathways of their own culture.” is troubling because it lacks understanding.

Moderate Muslims in this country who have experienced the freedoms of self-determination may be onboard, but I find the statement nearly laughable when applied to most mainstream and extremist Muslims in the Middle East. I continue to hope Iraq is progressive and educated enough to figure their way through their own style of democracy, but I doubt the majority of the Middle East has a desire for peace and friendship. Let me clarify, they may have a desire for peace and friendship with other Muslims, but not with the rest of the infidel world.

People like the folks on this BLOG continue to bash the fact that we buy their oil. I find that comical . . do you routinely bash your #1 customer in a business with only one product and say things like “You’re stealing our product!!! Arrghhh!!!” . . even though they’re actually spending good money for it?

I simply don’t believe they want to be our friends. I don’t believe they want a state of peace with us. And, more than anything, I definitely don’t believe they have the slightest inkling to identify with our cause. Does anyone with the most elementary of educations or just a remote understanding of current events really think otherwise?? I know it’s wishful, admirable thinking … but do you really think that goal applies to reality?

Posted by: Ken Cooper at March 14, 2006 2:23 AM
Comment #133264

And I know copy and pastes don’t work well on these sites but, since everyone is mimicking the standard doomsday Iraq forecast … here’s a story from someone who’s not writing their Baghdad by-line from a hotel room:

March 5 2006 — BAGHDAD
I’M trying. I’ve been trying all week. The other day, I drove another 30 miles or so on the streets and alleys of Baghdad. I’m looking for the civil war that The New York Times declared. And I just can’t find it.

Maybe actually being on the ground in Iraq prevents me from seeing it. Perhaps the view’s clearer from Manhattan. It could be that my background as an intelligence officer didn’t give me the right skills.

And riding around with the US Army looking at things first-hand is certainly a technique to which The New York Times wouldnt stoop in such an hour of crisis.

Let me tell you what I saw anyway. Rolling with the “instant Infantry” gunners of the 1st Platoon of Bravo Battery, 4-320 Field Artillery, I saw children and teenagers in a Shia slum jumping up and down and cheering our troops as they drove by. Cheering our troops.

All day - and it was a long day - we drove through Shia and Sunni neighborhoods. Everywhere, the reception was warm. No violence. None.

And no hostility toward our troops. Iraqis went out of their way to tell us we were welcome.
Instead of a civil war something very different happened because of the bombing of the Golden Mosque in Samarra. The fanatic attempt to stir up Sunni-vs.-Shia strife and the subsequent spate of violent attacks caused popular support for the U.S. presence to spike upward.
Think Abu Musab al-Zarqawi intended that?

In place of the civil war that elements in our media declared I saw full streets, open shops, traffic jams, donkey carts, Muslim holiday flags - and children everywhere waving as our Humvees passed. Even the clouds of dust we stirred up didn’t deter them. And the presence of children in the streets is the best possible indicator of a low threat level.

Southeast Baghdad at least was happy to see our troops.

And we didn’t just drive past them. 1stLT Clenn Frost, the platoon leader, took every opportunity to dismount and mingle with the people. Women brought their children out of their compound gates to say hello. A local sheik spontaneously invited us into his garden for colas and sesame biscuits.

It wasnt the Age of Aquarius. The people had serious concerns. And security was No. 1. They wanted the Americans to crack down harder on the foreign terrorists and to disarm the local militias. Iraqis dont like and dont support the militias, Shia or Sunni, which are nothing more than armed gangs.

Help’s on the way, if slowly. The Iraqi Army has confounded its Western critics performing extremely well last week. And the people trust their new army to an encouraging degree. The Iraqi police aren’t all the way there yet, and the population doesn’t yet have much confidence in them. But all of this takes time.
And even the police are making progress. We took a team of them with us so they could train beside our troops. We visited a Public Order Battalion - a gendarmerie outfit - that reeked of sloth and carelessness. But the regular Iraqi Police outfit down the road proved surprisingly enthusiastic and professional. It’s just an uneven, difficult, frustrating process.

So what did I learn from a day in the dust and muck of Baghdad’s less-desirable boroughs? As the long winter twilight faded into haze and the fires of the busy shawarma stands blazed in the fresh night, I felt that Iraq was headed, however awkwardly, in the right direction.
The country may still see a civil war one day. But not just yet thanks. Violence continues. A roadside bomb was found in the next sector to the west. There will be more deaths including some of our own troops. But Baghdad’s vibrant life has not been killed. And the people of Iraq just might surprise us all.

So why were we told that Iraq was irreversibly in the throes of civil war when it wasnt remotely true? I think the answers are straightforward. First of course some parties in the West are anxious to believe the worst about Iraq. They’ve staked their reputations on Iraq’s failure.

But there’s no way we can let irresponsible journalists off the hook - or their parent organizations. Many journalists are indeed brave and conscientious, yet some in Baghdad - working for “prestigious” publications, aren’t out on the city streets the way they pretend to be.
They’re safe in their enclaves protected by hired guns complaining that it’s too dangerous out on the streets. They’re only in Baghdad for the byline, and they might as well let their Iraqi employees phone it in to the States. Whenever you see a column filed from Baghdad by a semi-celeb journalist with a “contribution” by a local Iraqi, it means this: The Iraqi went out and got the story while the journalist stayed in his or her room.

And the Iraqi stringers have cracked the code: The Americans don’t pay for good news. So they exaggerate the bad. And some of them have agendas of their own. A few days ago a wild claim that the Baghdad morgue held 1300 bodies was treated as Gospel truth. Yet Iraqis exaggerate madly and often have partisan interests. Did any Western reporter go to that morgue and count the bodies - a rough count would have done it - before telling the world the news?
I doubt it.

If reporters really care it’s easy to get out on the streets of Baghdad. The 506th Infantry Regiment and other great military units will take journalists on their patrols virtually anywhere in the city. Our troops are great to work with. (Of course there’s the danger of becoming infected with patriotism …)
I’m just afraid that some of our journalists dont want to know the truth anymore.

For me though memories of Baghdad will be the cannoneers of the 1st Platoon walking the dusty, reeking alleys of Baghdad. I’ll recall 1st Lt. Frost conducting diplomacy with the locals and leading his men through a date-palm grove in a search for insurgent mortar sites.
I’ll remember that lieutenant investigating the murder of a Sunni mullah during last week’s disturbances, cracking down on black marketers, checking up on sewer construction, reassuring citizens and generally doing the job of a lieutenant colonel in peacetime.

Oh and I’ll remember those “radical Shias” cheering our patrol as we passed by.

Ralph Peters is reporting from Forward Operating Base Loyalty where he’s been riding with the 506th Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division.

Posted by: Ken C. at March 14, 2006 2:34 AM
Comment #133293

Stephen,

Good post. I like it when we talk about God and the Bible. However, while I believe God involves Himself in the affairs of humans, your solution falls short. The problem in the Middle East is not just a politcal one. It is also a spiritual one. Your readings in Genesis and Exodus should have made this apparent.

Kingdoms and regions are changed not necessarily by guns and money but changed human hearts. Peace in the Middle East or any part of the world will not come from more dollars and military might. Peace will come when the human heart is at peace with God.

BTW, one of the respondents mentioned “moderate Muslims”. What is a “moderate Muslim”? I have yet to meet one.

Posted by: ILIndCon at March 14, 2006 9:37 AM
Comment #133325

Ken Cooper-
Your idea of things, in its way, is more defeatist than mine is. My notion is that other broadly influential ideas are present already, and their presence can operate for or against a new idea or set of ideas.

My advice is for us to discern this pattern, and then figure out a way to make their culture work for our interests rather than against it.

This approach, I feel is much more realistic. Your approach suffers from the problem that the nations and peoples who would make for quick friends with us are most likely already that way now. So taking that approach to the Middle East is naive at best. So is the idea of trying to bully and threaten people into being friendly. We could, under military auspices, make a friend out of a former enemy, but we have to be willing to go the extra mile and improve things in a country if we want that to work.

In the end, we can’t avoid the problem of improving relations with countries in the Middle East, especially if we are intent on denying our enemies their victory. We have to look at this as a dynamic process, and that means beginning from a place that will best allow positive change.

Ken C. (if not the same as Ken Cooper)-
Two issues are raised immediately: one, he may be right as to exaggerations of the violence and how its working. That said, the second issue is that those who arranged his trip may have made sure that he travel along a safer route than customary.

I think y’all should be more critical either way. Wishful thinking doesn’t win a war. Y’all confuse our disdain for that baseless optimism for defeatism. We want to win, and believe we can, we’re just not sure your people are getting the job done.

ILIndCon-
I’ve never met a Russian, so far as I know, but I’m assured by other sources that they exist. I find little trouble in believing that there are moderate Muslims too. I don’t allow the loudmouthiness of our enemies in that region deafen me to their quiet presence, any more than I let the Jerry Falwells and Pat Robertson deafen me to my fellow Christians.

I don’t think we can appeal to those people with pessimism about whether they really exist, anymore than people over there can make easy friends with us while chanting “Death to America”.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 14, 2006 12:35 PM
Comment #133398

///
Baylor bible babble bubbas

The bible was not written as long ago as people think it was written. The first three books of the Bible are probably Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel. People who claim that other books were written before that are misinformed, and pretending that the book is older and larger than it really is, to impress gullible people.

When Islam conquered India, any people who not have a book which described their religion were exterminated. Buddhist monks moved to Tibet, and Hinduism became the dominant religion again among Indians who did not convert to Islam. Buddhism originated in India, and spread into Tibet, but the Tibetans had reverted back to the native Bon religious practices.

The distinction that Islam made was between People Of The Book, and others. If you did not believe in a magic book, they believed they had the right to murder you. Now the murder happens without even that kind of justification. Many Muslims are killed because they just happen to be at a place where extremists have decided to stage an auto de fe.
///

Posted by: orhealy at March 14, 2006 5:55 PM
Comment #133399

Big surprise! Seems they just found out Afganistan has huge oil and gas reserves.1.2 billion barrels up for grabs.

Posted by: BillS at March 14, 2006 6:03 PM
Comment #133403

Typical Bush apoligist balderdash. Blame the media for reporting facts that do not fit with your dreamland hopes . I suppose finding 85 bodies killed by execution is just focusing on the negative. Damn liberal press making such a big deal out of it. If that is normal where you live I am glad I am not there.

Posted by: BillS at March 14, 2006 6:27 PM
Comment #133429

First Stephen, your statement about the name of the Red Sea seems to be false. I would encourage each of you to do your own Google Search on the subject and discover the subjectivity of the statement and the facts that surround it. Second, it seems that you missed the news in the recent years about how the Red Sea has a shelf under it that would drastically divide the waters if a wind from the East that was at least 70mph came a blowin’. This has been covered more than once by the discovery channel and was even carried by the mainstream media. amazing that the Bible, even if written only 100 years ago states that “God sent a great wind from the East to divide the water.

Exo 14:21 And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the LORD caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided.

Again, all should do their own goole search. Don’t just trust what I say or anyone else. It is easy. Look it Up!

Science seems to each year get better and better at proving the authenticity of God. It is amazing that all living organism have a unique architectural drawings. DNA. and it all happened by accident.

If you would like a place to go to find lots of scientific evidence tha is unbiased and based on fact after you do your own google search, a couple of great places to go are:

http://www.bible.ca/
lots and lots of proven, doccumented evidences.

http://www.doesgodexist.org/
John Clayton went studying science to prove God did not exsist and wound up finding the opposite!

Posted by: Scott at March 14, 2006 9:36 PM
Comment #133437

Scott,

Are you saying God is windy?

Let’s play ‘what if’…what if Moses had previously witnessed a great wind parting the Big Red, and later, knowing a storm was a brewing, headed out to the area to see if it was going to happen again. The rabble, seeing Moses so close to the parting waters, determined that he must have Godly powers…Geez, I must be a scientist…maybe I’ll turn Christian…Christian??? Well, maybe Hebrew? I don’t know…what do you think I should turn? Careful now, remember you’re a Christian…

Posted by: Marysdude at March 14, 2006 9:58 PM
Comment #133440

Lets, play,
Lets play “what if” Moses did already see the effects of a wind from the east. He sure had some good timing to get all those Isrealites there at the shore with Egypts army right behind him right at the exact time that an act of nature was going to occur. And even better timing to have it stop as Pharohs army was in the middle. Must have watched The Weather Channel and checked out the doplar radar.

What if you go find the other evidences and do the same thing. Can you dismiss all the same way.

Posted by: Scott at March 14, 2006 10:06 PM
Comment #133441

Again I encourage all to look for your selves. You Decide!

Posted by: Scott at March 14, 2006 10:08 PM
Comment #133444

Here, I’ll help:

Scientific evidence makes a believer out of atheist!
December 2004
“Professor Antony Flew, a prominent British philosopher who is considered the world’s best-known atheist, has cited advancements in science as proof of the existence of God.” (Insight On The News)
“British professor Antony Flew, for decades one of the world’s leading philosophers of atheism, publicly announced that he now affirms the existence of a deity.” (Dallas Morning News)
Google it!

Posted by: Scott at March 14, 2006 10:23 PM
Comment #133450

OK. One more and I’ll quit.

Mt. St. Helens
The new lava dome (dacite) from the at Mount St. Helens was formed in 1986. In 1997 five specimens were taken from this dome at five different locations and subjected to conventional Potassium-Argon dating. The results indicated ages of less than one half to almost three million years old, all from eleven year old rock.

Again, look it up yourselves.(google provides over 500 places to look at when you search just half the paragraph.) It is not as hard as when we had to search through the card catalogue drawers at the library.

Posted by: Scott at March 14, 2006 10:49 PM
Comment #133456

///
People who are actually familiar with ancient religions would point out that Moses would have been a Druid-like priest, trained by his father-in-law, and practising a religion totally unrelated to modern Judaism, Christianity, or Islam. Column of smoke by day, pillar of fire by night, kiss my onanger.
///

Posted by: ohrealy at March 14, 2006 11:05 PM
Comment #133457

///
People who are actually familiar with ancient religions would point out that Moses would have been a Druid-like priest, trained by his father-in-law, and practising a religion totally unrelated to modern Judaism, Christianity, or Islam. Column of smoke by day, pillar of fire by night, kiss my onanger.
///

Posted by: ohrealy at March 14, 2006 11:05 PM
Comment #133468

That would make very good sense ohreally!

Since judaism was not established until after Moses crossed the red sea and went up MT. Sinai and recieved the law! Kudos!

Posted by: scott at March 14, 2006 11:49 PM
Comment #133532

ohrealy-
What I’ve heard is that the first five books date to around five hundred years B.C., and that it is likely based upon oral accounts that came before it. As for people’s motivations, I think you’re being unfair to folks. I’m saddened that some of my fellow liberals see the need to ascribe sinister motives to people trying to preserve what they see as tradition. I like it no more than the opposite being done to us. Personally, I have no quarrel with authorship being recent, the sources being redacted together, or the books not being literally dictated to the author. Why? Because I see God as being fairly subtle about the way he operates.

Scott-
I just wonder why you think that proves me wrong. My point wasn’t that there was no way to find a natural explanation, my point was that this wasn’t what the people of the time were looking for or needed. Even if what you said did happen that way, the people of the time would have interpreted what they saw in terms of the ancient cosmogony, not unlike what we find in Genesis 1. Then, later storytellers, authors, and interpreters would have added their own gloss on things.

This is an RSV translation that I got off of this site:

Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the LORD drove the sea back by a strong east wind all night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided.


[22] And the people of Israel went into the midst of the sea on dry ground, the waters being a wall to them on their right hand and on their left.
[23] The Egyptians pursued, and went in after them into the midst of the sea, all Pharaoh’s horses, his chariots, and his horsemen.
[24] And in the morning watch the LORD in the pillar of fire and of cloud looked down upon the host of the Egyptians, and discomfited the host of the Egyptians,
[25] clogging their chariot wheels so that they drove heavily; and the Egyptians said, “Let us flee from before Israel; for the LORD fights for them against the Egyptians.” [emphasis mine]

Clearly, the writer is describing what we today would find impossible: stationary walls of water. This isn’t merely a shelf of rock being cleared of water by near hurricane force winds. This is imagery more akin to what we see in the movie versions of this account.

The liability of trying to prove the bible correct is that it was never written to with our modern sensibilities in mind. In the time it was written, one had both oral and written traditions, and those had been passed down through the ages with little of the emphasis on factchecking that we today expect of a work. The difficulties of verifying a document in that time were extraordinary in comparison to our time. First your original source would have had to have kept written records, something by no means guaranteed in that time. Second, if you wanted to communicate with those places, you or somebody you employed would have had to actually go there. Third, and most important, people took a view of history that was adapted to the facts of the age. It was all about who you trusted and who you didn’t.

History and Mythology, therefore, were often indistinguishable. As those familiar with Joseph Campbell would tell you, there were often implicit and explicit meanings in the text that related to common problems, rites of passage, and interests of people in their culture and in general. History, over time, became more generalized, more symbolic of things outside of literal events. The telephone tag of oral transmission then might exaggerate what the subjective ancient awe at large scale natural events hadn’t already made larger than life.

In terms of the authenticity of events in the bible, we can only say: “who knows?” Some obviously have historical context. Others, though, are more uncertain. We shouldn’t mourn the fact, I think. In our hyperrational times, we often miss the point that there can be truths in stories beyond the literal, beyond the factual. That is not to say we should be uncritical, but instead to apply our critical thought knowing that communicating what we consider to be literal factual truth is not always the point of works like the bible. It’s got other, more complex issues that its interested in, and getting those is more important than trying to prove or disprove the events within those pages.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 15, 2006 10:18 AM
Comment #133546

S.D., no offense, but what you are describing is magic, which is a primitive form of religion. Read the story of Our Lady of Loretto, patron saint of aviation, and see if you think anyone should believe any of it. 3 other towns before Loretto would not believe it, even in that superstitious age. People are basing their belief on whether or not a magical story is included in a bible written by the inspiration of a god.
I am saying that there have been many other similar claims in history, and all should be rejected equally or David Copperfield will eventually be worshipped. People in Iraq today believe that the American soldiers have magic xray glasses and use them to see through womens clothing. Does that make it true because it is believed?

Posted by: ohrealy at March 15, 2006 11:21 AM
Comment #133547

S.D., no offense, but what you are describing is magic, which is a primitive form of religion. Read the story of Our Lady of Loretto, patron saint of aviation, and see if you think anyone should believe any of it. 3 other towns before Loretto would not believe it, even in that superstitious age. People are basing their belief on whether or not a magical story is included in a bible written by the inspiration of a god.
I am saying that there have been many other similar claims in history, and all should be rejected equally or David Copperfield will eventually be worshipped. People in Iraq today believe that the American soldiers have magic xray glasses and use them to see through womens clothing. Does that make it true because it is believed?

Posted by: ohrealy at March 15, 2006 11:21 AM
Comment #133590

Stephen

“What I’ve heard is that the first five books date to around five hundred years B.C.”

You heard wrong. You are about 1000 years off.

Google- “genesis”+”date written”

“my point was that this wasn’t what the people of the time were looking for or needed.”

And your evidence? This is even far from speculation. This point can only hardly be taken if there was no God. So you are saying the people needed to remain slaves in Egypt?


“Even if what you said did happen that way, the people of the time would have interpreted what they saw in terms of the ancient cosmogony,”

Even after watching one man and his brother get pharoh to let all his slaves go? After watching the wrath of God through the 10 plagues? Even if there was no God, the people would have atributed this to Moses’ God.

“Then, later storytellers, authors, and interpreters would have added their own gloss on things.”

That is based on your belief that there is no God. If there is, then you are false. My point is modern science is proving there is and disproving things like how far off things of the past like carbon dating have been.


“the waters being a wall to them on their right hand and on their left. “

again only if there is no God does your point make any sense.

“Clearly, the writer is describing what we today would find impossible”

Who is “we”? 82% of the American public believe there is a God.

“The liability of trying to prove the bible correct is that it was never written to with our modern sensibilities in mind.”

But you see, again that is the point. Science is on the road of proving God exsists and disproving old thoughts like carbon dating, man came from monkeys etc.

Examle:
The cowboy leg inside this boot is fossilized. This dramatic example demonstrates that it does not take millions, thousands or even hundreds of years to form fossils.
See
http://www.bible.ca/tracks/rapid-fossils-rapid-petrifaction.htm

Then Google it yourself to make sure it is accurate.

I could give a multitude of examples. But again I say: Look it up!

OK OK again I have to post this:

Mt. St. Helens
The new lava dome (dacite) from the at Mount St. Helens was formed in 1986. In 1997 five specimens were taken from this dome at five different locations and subjected to conventional Potassium-Argon dating. The results indicated ages of less than one half to almost three million years old, all from eleven year old rock.

Google it! Do an investigation!

The rest of your post relies on there either being no God ot that the Words he gave to us are infalible(the why would thge creator of the universe go to so much trouble to get them to us?) or just don’t matter!(Agin then, why bother?)

Posted by: Scott at March 15, 2006 2:03 PM
Comment #133593

By the way all,

You do know that Charles Darwin late in life recanted his own theory of evolution and stated that he was wrong. Google it!

Rom 1:20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

Just think for a few minutes about: DNA, an acorn and an oak tree, the intricacy of the human brain, and tell me that it just came together by accident, with no creator. My common sense tells me that it would be easier to win the lottery 10 times in a row.

Posted by: Scott at March 15, 2006 2:10 PM
Comment #133645

Where did everyone go? Speechless I guess. Googling I hope!

Posted by: Scott at March 15, 2006 5:05 PM
Comment #133670

Scott, you are very confused in your dating of the bible. The sources you are quoting are worthless. No respectable biblical scholar claims those books were written before 500 BCE.
Isaiah, Jermiah, and Ezekiel are the beginning. Everything else was written backwards from there, primarily as a biography of King David. Those books wer written to prefigure the coming of King David.

Posted by: ohrealy at March 15, 2006 6:27 PM
Comment #133673

ohreally

“Scott, you are very confused in your dating of the bible. The sources you are quoting are worthless.”

How funny,
I didnt quote any sources. I said to google it and search for your selves. If people do they will find out for themselves that you are absolutely wrong. The 5 books of law were written by moses right before crossing the Jordan into what would become Isreal.
Every one just do a quick google. you will soon see who is correct

Posted by: Scott at March 15, 2006 6:37 PM
Comment #133677

BTW a quick bit of investigation will also show the oldest known book as Job.

Posted by: Scott at March 15, 2006 6:42 PM
Comment #133679

In fact a quick google will show that 500 bc is when the last books were written. I really dont understand where you are getting this info. This is all commonly accepted. Can you maybe give me some sources? Id really like to see them ohreally

Posted by: Scott at March 15, 2006 6:53 PM
Comment #133680

One more thing,
In searching for your sources ohreally, I found an interesting fact. maybe you are confusing these two things. The 5 books of law were “recognized as cannon” about 400 bc. Is this maybe what you are talking about?
again dont just take my word for it. look it up yourselves. It is a rather interesting investigation.

Posted by: Scott at March 15, 2006 6:57 PM
Comment #133683

Oh I noticed something else in you post i missed.

“Those books wer written to prefigure the coming of King David.”

King David himself was around 1000 bc.

Posted by: Scott at March 15, 2006 7:02 PM
Comment #133719

Scott-
I believe, to put it simply. I believe in a God who could very well do the things described in Exodus, and I don’t put it past him to have actually done things as it is described. I believe miracles are possible and that God can intervene in the world.

What I do not believe is that human science can prove things one way or the other, or that the literal truth of the bible is necessary for their to be a God, or for the bible to be a meaningful, necessary work of divine intervention. Jesus himself preached by way of fictional stories and metaphors. I think God knew how lousy communication was in the ancient world, so he made his messages mythological, letting men tell tales of his real exploits on his behalf in such a way that they would inspire others in later years, and so that it would survive the depredations of time and translation. If there were no facts to back up events in the Bible, I would feel there was a credibility problem, but since there are facts to base the legends on, then I feel God simply did the best he could with unreliable human authors.

As for all that stuff about Potassium Argon Dating? Well, I know from my previous studies that generally this is used to date rocks and things that are billions of years old. So, naturally it raised my suspicions. There’s a reason you hear more about radiocarbon dating in archaeology than this kind.

So, I looked it up.

As the simulation of the processing of potassium-argon samples showed, the standard deviations for K-Ar dates are so large that resolution higher than about a million years is almost impossible to achieve. By comparison, radiocarbon dates seem almost as precise as a cesium clock! Potassium-argon dating is accurate from 4.3 billion years (the age of the Earth) to about 100,000 years before the present. At 100,000 years, only 0.0053% of the potassium-40 in a rock would have decayed to argon-40, pushing the limits of present detection devices. Eventually, potassium-argon dating may be able to provide dates as recent as 20,000 years before present. [emphasis mine]

In short, testing a recent flow of lava is like trying to use a stopwatch to time a single operation in your microprocessor. It’s too recent to give you an accurate reading.

As for the fossilized boot? Well, the trouble is, your people have failed to established that it’s fossilized in the first place, and not just a regular bone with dirt and mud molded around it in a boot.

Fossilization involves the replacement of natural bone minerals from minerals outside of it. They have not proven that this occured. The material in the boot, which they claim to be fossilized flesh seems to have molded to the boot rather than to the former flesh of the decedent, indicating the flesh rotted away and left the bone there, with sediment filling in around it. They have not proved that it is indeed rock, and not just hardened sediment, and they have not answered the question of why leather, an organic material, would not decay long before the bone fossilized.

On the walls of water to the sides, I’m telling you that you can’t have it both ways. You’re trying to justify things in terms of a shelf of rock laid bare by high winds. That’s going to look much different than two walls of water to either side. As for what’s impossible, I’m clearly not speaking of impossible for God. I believe he very well may have done that, or maybe just cleared the shelf. Either way, I still believe in God. I don’t need proofs or evidence or a Young Earth to believe all that.

As for man from monkeys, you clearly have your evolution wrong. We had common ancestors, like you and the children of your uncle or aunt did. Secondly, this was hardly any recent things. Thirdly, I hardly think it is any more embarrassing to be made from monkeys than to be made from clay and mud. It’s enough for me that God made me. I don’t care whether he snapped me into existent just the moment before my last keystroke fell, or whether he began this world 4.5 Billion years ago.

The Deathbed recanting of evolution by Darwin is at best a myth. It’s one you no doubt would like to hear, but its hearsay.

As for probability, that’s a deceptive measure for things. In this world, so many probabilities depend on circumstances. Your probability for falling apart decreases or increases based on whether you’re dead, in a vat of acid or other corrosive fluid, infected with Ebola, or even exposed to hard radiation. Otherwise, you remain pretty cohesive.

Evolution does not occur in an instant, nor do all the mutations that bring about the change. It’s not random. Chance is a small part of a system that also includes the non-random variables of geography, chemistry, and even the quantum physics of how proteins fold.

As for accidents themselves, maybe you should consider for a moment how accidents could be beyond the control of a God who created all things. Metaphysically speaking, what we regard from our perspective as accident and happenstance can be nothing of the sort from God’s perspective. It’s just that our science isn’t able to tell the difference. And why would it? How can we creatures of creation distinguish an intervention of God from the course of nature, when nature itself is a result of God’s laws? I submit that God’s creation of the world was so perfect that we’re simply not capable of seeing the seams.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 15, 2006 8:34 PM
Comment #133728

///
Scott, your statements are so confused and contradictory that I can not make any sense out of them. You are stating that things that are false are commonly accepted. Whatever your source is for that, they are lying to you, so you need to seek wisdom and truth instead.

Robert Thurman is a great source on the history of Buddhism, and His Holiness, The Dalai Lama has a series on The Four Noble Truths. Both are available on DVD for easier understanding. Om Mani Padme Hum.

Posted by: ohrealy at March 15, 2006 9:05 PM
Comment #133727

///
Scott, your statements are so confused and contradictory that I can not make any sense out of them. You are stating that things that are false are commonly accepted. Whatever your source is for that, they are lying to you, so you need to seek wisdom and truth instead.

Robert Thurman is a great source on the history of Buddhism, and His Holiness, The Dalai Lama has a series on The Four Noble Truths. Both are available on DVD for easier understanding. Om Mani Padme Hum.

Posted by: ohrealy at March 15, 2006 9:05 PM
Comment #133736

Ohreally

“Scott, your statements are so confused and contradictory that I can not make any sense out of them. You are stating that things that are false are commonly accepted. Whatever your source is for that, they are lying to you, so you need to seek wisdom and truth instead.”

again i say google it! I didnt give any source. But i did say i looked and looked for the dating system you gave and I find no reference. Find one for me and I will check it out.

But a simple goole search will give you tons of sources dating the books of law around 1400bc give or take.

“Scott, your statements are so confused and contradictory that I can not make any sense out of them.” -
Can you explain further why you are confused? I just had two friends read through this post and one is rather liberal and always ready to argue with me. They both dont understand why yuou are confused.

“You are stating that things that are false are commonly accepted. Whatever your source is for that”

Google it and take the first ten to start out with

Genesis+date written

Posted by: scott at March 15, 2006 9:43 PM
Comment #133738

ohrealy-
A lie is something people believe to be wrong, yet say is true anyways. If you really believe it, untrue or not, it’s not a lie when you say it. From the sound of it, you have at least some familiarity with Buddhism. While Buddhism does not have a God per se, it is deeply steeped in mysticism and notions of the supernatural. Anyone believing in Buddha, especially in terms of the legends surrounding his birth, his attainment of enlightenment, and the doctrines of what happens to one and what one seeks will recognize supernatural elements present.

Elements you might say are lies. Me? I say I don’t understand the supernatural, that it is beyond me, as I am part of nature. I believe God, as creator, permeates the essence of his Creation, and is with us always. I believe Christ represents the ultimate inversion, of the infinite other made finite us, which makes for a Moebius loop of divinity that blows my mind anytime I think of it. I believe the promise of the holy spirit and immortality dwells in each one of us, touching and inspiring us with grace.

The relationship, I believe, is a complex one, one that the bible only hints at- and can only hint at, being a work of language, divinely inspired as it is.

I believe both strongly in a rational natural world, and the metaphysical supernatural world that permeates it beyond our senses, beyond our capability of figuring it out.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 15, 2006 9:45 PM
Comment #133750

///
S.D.
Buddhism is more like mathematics than religion. It is a process for improving your life by getting you on the right path.

Scott,
The internet is a great source of misinformation. Most sites just repeat the same information that they got from some other site.

The dates I have mentioned are the commonly accepted ones among Biblical scholars of all religions. No part of the bible was written before the Babylonian Captivity. People that claim otherwise have some additional agenda that they are trying to promote.

Many books in the bible are there just to add size to the book, and to pretend to greater antiquity. At the time of Jesus, people were still writing Psalms that they wanted to insert into a part of the bible that you are claiming was written 1000 years before.

Think intellegently and examine the motives of the people who are telling you that Moses ever wrote a book. He belonged to a different religion, and writing it down in a book would have been considered very wrong. They would have been worried about their magic secrets being stolen.

You even seem confused about who came first, Moses or Abraham, the father of Isaac, the father of Jacob, who had to marry Rachel to become Israel, which actually means husband of Rachel. etc.etc.

Posted by: ohrealy at March 15, 2006 10:26 PM
Comment #133752

You have to take for granted the authorship of Moses to date Genesis back that far. Otherwise, the scholarship tends to settle around 2500 years ago.

It seems sometimes to me that the people who insist on these traditional authorships and times are composing lists of necessary tests for God’s credibility, even as they intend to present the world proof that he exists. I think the ability to prove God is as much beyond us as our ability to be God is. All the scientific proofs you can muster can be explained away, or shown to be wrong. Your faith? No-One can tke that away. Just as science cannot prove God, it has no power to disprove him.

I think to try and prove God by the things of the world is not only overanalyze things, but to do so with no hope of actually managing to prove anything. Heaven will always remain out of our grasp in that fashion, no matter how high we build the Tower of Babel.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 15, 2006 10:34 PM
Comment #133792

///
S.D., I use Aaron Sorkins definition of faith as the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen.

The moses thing is really irritating, the people pretending that he wrote the first five books of the bible obviously did not know that moses is not a real name. What moses, Ahmose, Thotmoses, Ramoses, etc.

It is nonsense, and in the period they are talking about, vowels were not yet used, and they were writing in hieroglyphics anyway, where the same glyphs can be used for more than one language, like in Asia today. Not very exact.

I see you went to Baylor. Unfortunately, because of Waco, it is now associated in many peoples minds with strange religions. I guess they have a facility in Dallas. I know someone who went there for an experimental medical treatment years ago.

I went to Northwestern. They have 2 theological seminaries, one Methodist, Garrett, and one Episcopal, SeaburyWestern.

I went to a Roman Catholic high school in Chicago, where we were taught world cultures, studying eastern religions, and the detailed histories of parts of the world not usually taught in most schools.

I have a history blog and 2 popular culture blogs, with music lyrics and television script excerpts, as well as the political one.

Posted by: ohrealy at March 16, 2006 12:29 AM
Comment #133793

///
S.D., I use Aaron Sorkins definition of faith as the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen.

The moses thing is really irritating, the people pretending that he wrote the first five books of the bible obviously did not know that moses is not a real name. What moses, Ahmose, Thotmoses, Ramoses, etc.

It is nonsense, and in the period they are talking about, vowels were not yet used, and they were writing in hieroglyphics anyway, where the same glyphs can be used for more than one language, like in Asia today. Not very exact.

I see you went to Baylor. Unfortunately, because of Waco, it is now associated in many peoples minds with strange religions. I guess they have a facility in Dallas. I know someone who went there for an experimental medical treatment years ago.

I went to Northwestern. They have 2 theological seminaries, one Methodist, Garrett, and one Episcopal, SeaburyWestern.

I went to a Roman Catholic high school in Chicago, where we were taught world cultures, studying eastern religions, and the detailed histories of parts of the world not usually taught in most schools.

I have a history blog and 2 popular culture blogs, with music lyrics and television script excerpts, as well as the political one.

Posted by: ohrealy at March 16, 2006 12:29 AM
Comment #133808

“You even seem confused about who came first, Moses or Abraham, the father of Isaac, the father of Jacob, who had to marry Rachel to become Israel, which actually means husband of Rachel. etc.etc.”

confused? Abraham the father if Isaac the father of Jacob (Isreal) had 12 sons one of which was joseph who was sold by his brothers and ended up in Egypt 2nd in command. Then predicted the famine at which time his brothers came to egypt to get food. Joseph brings his family to egypt and over a period of three pharohs they become slaves. then moses leads them out. Then mt saini where moses recieves the law and judaism is born.

Abraham recieved the promise and was the father of the great nation (Isreal) but judaism, the law of moses did not arrive until well after Abraham was dust in the ground.
You seem the one confused.

So where is one source that says that 500 bc was the writing date for the pentatuch (Law of Moses)
Im waiting for one.
here are some that state otherwise:

Date of Genesis
Genesis. Date Written - c. 1440 BC The date of the Exodus can be arrived at from 1 Kings 6:1 and calculated at around 1446 to 1406 BC The Exodus preceded …
http://www.abu.nb.ca/ecm/Gen00d.htm - 9k - Cached - Similar pages

When was the Bible written and who wrote it?
Date Written. Genesis, Moses ? - 1445 BC. Exodus, Moses. 1445 - 1405 BC. Leviticus, Moses, 1405 BC. Numbers, Moses. 1444 - 1405 BC …
http://www.carm.org/bible/biblewhen.htm - 91k - Cached - Similar pages

Mystery Babylon Revealed: Article-Overview Of The Bible
(1) Genesis Author: Moses Time Period: From creation to about 1805 BC Date Written: 1450 – 1410 BC. Theme: Creation, fall of humanity into sin, …
http://www.mystery-babylon.us/bible.html - 31k - Cached - Similar pages

The Grace Institute: Genesis: Introduction
Author: Moses. Date Written: 1450-1410 BC. … Genesis is also structured around several genealogies, or in the Hebrew “toledoth.” The term literally means …
http://www.gcfweb.org/institute/torah/genesis-a.html - 7k - Cached - Similar pages

[PDF] Life App Samples 2/16/03
File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat - View as HTML
DATE WRITTEN:. 1450–1410 BC. SETTING:. The region presently known as. the Middle East … That’s where Genesis begins. All at once we see him creating the …
http://www.zondervan.com/media/pdfs/0310919797.pdf - Similar pages

Bible Data - Chapters, Verses, Words, Dates and Authors
Chapters. Verses. Words. Date written. Author. Genesis (OT - 1). 50. 1533. 38267. 1450 - 1410 BC. Moses. Exodus (OT - 2) …
http://www.wagoneers.com/LivingByFaith/Bible-DATA.html - 44k - Cached - Similar pages


All fro the first two pages of a google search of
“genesis”+”date written”

I went through the first 10 pages and found nothing even close to 500 BC


So Give me your source or cry uncle. Love ya!

“The dates I have mentioned are the commonly accepted ones among Biblical scholars of all religions.”

I also just went to the appendecis in each bible in the house. All say from 1450-1410 aproximately and none even refer to any argument of such.

So again unless you can provide a source then either cry uncle or keep repeating that you are right without any source.


Stephen.

Let me ask you. Two choices. There is a God. There is no God. If there is no God the Bible is a myth. If there is a God, Why would He who created all go to the trouble to provide a Bible and have it not be an Inspired word that was based on truth. What in the world would be the purpose.Why would it include:

2Ti 3:16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

3Jo 1:4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.

Gal 1:8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
Gal 1:9 As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.

and I could go on. If he was big enough to create the universe why would he allow a bible to be floating around his creation for little to no purpose. Why?


Posted by: scott at March 16, 2006 2:07 AM
Comment #133810

A source ohreally, or cry uncle!

Posted by: scott at March 16, 2006 2:18 AM
Comment #133862

ohrealy-
Our modern Documentary Hypothesis (hint: google precisely those words) is just that: modern. it comes as a result of a rise in sophistication of disciplines relating to literature. Many traditions were wrong, and many people still hold on to those traditions. They may be wrong, but they’re not holding onto those beliefs out of some wrongheadedness. It’s what’s been taught, what they believe, and what makes the world feel right to them. The worst that it is is a crutch that only treats the symptoms of the problems of modernity, rather than confronting the problem.

In terms of writing systems, cuneiform probably predates heiroglyphics. Personally, I think we’re dealing with later documents that recorded oral traditions. To me that doesn’t impair the notion of divine inspiration. In fact, if you think about it, it provides more opportunities for it, allowing God to guide the shaping of the tales over time, rather than have to force feed it to one person. I believe in a subtle God, not one that whacks people in the head with an inspiration stick all the time!

In terms of Baylor, I’d tell you that it is a mainline Baptist institution, and as conservatives as it is (so much so that the political disputes are between two different conservative groups!), it is also religiously moderate. When the former President, Robert Sloan, tried to found an Intelligent Design institute, the faculty pitched an awful fight about it. A contextualist point of view is taught on Christianity. This college broke from the Southern Baptist Convention when they started going Fundamentalist, and aligned itself with a more moderate alliance. What I find refreshing about the place is that they were open about their faith, but people seemed suitably open-minded about things.

Scott-
You define truth in a very limited way. Were Jesus’s parables truth? I believe they are, though they are obviously just stories. They take their meaning not from being provably factual true, but being true to the spirit of things as they are. The best fiction starts from such truth.

Through my studies I’ve come to believe that stories can help us see generalizable truths that nonetheless connect to specific things in our lives. Jesus can assure us with a mustard seed that even if our faith is little at first, it can grow into something much greater than itself. With the Good Samaritan, he can show the outcast, unclean person doing God’s will better than the appointed representatives of God. I believe God knew how flawed the human represenation of the facts was at the time, so he guided people to essentialize and encode his divine truth in a mythological fashion. with the multiple layers of meaning that allowed, it made God able to densely pack the meaning.

As for whether things really happened? For certain books, there is probably much correspondence to fact, and for others, we have to realize that it was unlikely that people were going to pass it on perfectly, for men make mistakes even with God’s help. I think God, though, allowed for that from the start, by taking a mythological approach. With that approach, the very archetypal nature of the stories reinforces them. And what would cause those stories to be passed on in the first place? I would submit that there was likely something about the deeds that formed the basis for this that merited that they be passed on in this way, even if they didn’t have the absolute grandeur of what was eventually written down.

I think the Bible is divinely inspired. Since the ability to gather and interpret precise facts in those days was so difficult in those days, I don’t see the problem in God using the more robust storytelling practices of the time to preserve his message, and to get out something of the truth.

Of course, nowadays, I expect more from those who report on events, but we have the benefit of having the support structures to encourage the saving of records, the quick and timely communication of information, and corrections to that information. Still, it’s something I feel that man is getting use to, a bit at a time. We’re adapting to some of the most profound changes human society has ever experienced. Not all of us are doing so at the same pace. The Middle East of today, in fact, is in many ways close to the Middle East of the past in that respect. Ultimately, we can’t simply assume that people take on their points of view just to piss us off. We have to be willing to understand, like God has, that it is important that we honor the choice that people have in believing or not believing what we say. Though some try to play God themselves and push people towards beliefs, others understand that faith is a choice. I made mine freely. I won’t begrudge anybody else theirs.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 16, 2006 11:05 AM
Comment #133948

///
This discussion points clearly to why there are red states and blue states, and why more states need to get out of the red column before they are sucked down into ignorance and confusion.

People from the red states quote themselves, and people who agree with them, as sources for divine inspiration, and think that repeating the quotations makes them even more true.

I do not have to quote anyone, since I actually know what I am talking about, not quoting others from internet googlesearches. Other search engines are available besides them, I usually use Yahoo, but Alltheweb and Dogpile are probably the best.

Scott, bible is a word that just means book in another language, try reading another book, like Illusions by James Sully. You are confusing dates in the timeline of ancient history, with the date that the bible was actually written. THEY ARE UNRELATED.

It was written much later. No honest person claims otherwise. That is like saying I can write a history book now, and later on, people will be dumb enough to think it was written when the historical events occurred. You are reading spam, and believing it. The internet is full of it.

This book, makes about as much sense as your quotations, and is of equal historical value. It is available on line for free at the Gutenberg project or else at manybooks at

http://manybooks.net/pages/anonetext96hhohg10/16.html

excerpted:

The High Book of the Graal beginneth in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. These three Persons are one substance, which is God, and of God moveth the High Story of the Graal. And all they that hear it ought to understand it, and to forget all the wickednesses that they have in their hearts. For right profitable shall it be to all them that shall hear it of the heart. For the sake of the worshipful men and good knights of whose deeds shall remembrance be made, doth Josephus recount this holy history,

End except.


S.D., your logic also qualifies Robert de Boron, Chrétien de Troyes, Wolfram von Eschenbach, and Sir Thomas Malory, as divinely inspired.

I was right when I labelled this the Baylor bible babble bubbas thread.

Posted by: ohrealy at March 16, 2006 4:22 PM
Comment #134011

My Logic? It isn’t the narrative nature of the work that makes it divinely inspired. I see divine inspiration in any work that leads us towards good, towards wisdom, towards knowledge and its right uses. I just don’t assume that all such works are created equally. With the bible, we get a collection of some of the most insightful literature ever written about human nature. It doesn’t flatter us by suggesting that we human beings are all perfect creatures, but it is as much about God’s understanding and sympathy for our condition, and his willingness to reconcile with us again and again.

Take the example of Paul in the bible. Here is a guy who experienced the prototypical Damascus Road conversion, going from a persecutor of Christians to being one of its greatest apostles.

Or look at Peter. When faced with the consequences of Jesus’s condemnation, this rock that the church was built upon denied Jesus.

People criticize Christians for obsessing over religious rules. They criticize them for being two-faced about their religion. They criticize them for making a big show out of their worship, out of their charity, for putting their piety out on display and expecting that everybody praise them for it.

What people don’t realize are two things. First, most crucially, Christ and his apostles speak of many of the same problems within the New Testament. Second, these are not flaws their critics are immune from.

There’s no reason to condescend to the red states. If poll numbers are any indication, they regret their support of Bush for President. Our problem here is one of what to believe, and if we’re not willing to bridge gaps of misunderstanding, if we succumb to the temptation to gloat over what great wisdom we have, the best we can hope for is that we humble ourselves before we too overreach and make our own errors.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 16, 2006 9:25 PM
Comment #134060

Ok Ohreally,

Do you have any Bibles in the house? you find one of them that doesnt date the books of law in the 1400’s.

“You are confusing dates in the timeline of ancient history, with the date that the bible was actually written. THEY ARE UNRELATED.”

Genesis itself spanss over 2000 years of history and it is generally accepte that Abraham is at about 2167 bc and ending with Joseph’s death in 1805bc

exodos covers about 1915 for joseph to 1406 with the wanderings. That places moses writing them at about 1400 before they enter what would become Isreal.

As for more sources? Look in any bible!

How about Smiths Bible history. or a number of other books. they all say aproximately the same thing.

you are refering to an obscur non mainsteram writing and declareing that it is “commonly accepted” Even if I was totally wrong and they were written yesterday. They are “commonly accepted” to be written in the 1400’s bc

” not quoting others from internet googlesearches. Other search engines are available besides them, I usually use Yahoo, but Alltheweb and Dogpile are probably the best.”

So Google yahoo whatever. I use yahoo also. same thing 99.9% say 1400’s Ive googled yahoo’d and even just dogpiled. just for you. I find no one putting them written anywhere near 500bc.

“I do not have to quote anyone, since I actually know what I am talking about” That would fail you in college if you didnt include your sources and in a court of law they would laugh you out of town with no evidence.
So im done. Im going on to the next blog. Ive given tons of evidence and Ive investigated.

iTS UP TO EVERYONE TO SEARCH FOR THEM SELVES.

How about this. Anyone searches and finds 500bc as the date the first five books of the bible were written? Post the source. ill be happy to investigate.

Until then, every sourc I found on the internet and in my own library, Including my neices World Book Encyclopedia, date them around 1450 to 1410bc

Posted by: scott at March 17, 2006 2:57 AM
Comment #134062

Stephen,

I really do appreciate your debate. You are well spoken and I believe you are sincere. I just wanted to say that.


“we have to realize that it was unlikely that people were going to pass it on perfectly, for men make mistakes even with God’s help.”

“I think the Bible is divinely inspired.”

“so he guided people to essentialize and encode his divine truth in a mythological fashion.”

the flaw is that the word translated “inspired in the new testament is “theopneustos” which literally means “God-breathed”

Of course Christ used illustrations, some based on fact and I’m sure some of which were only for the purpose of illustration. (The parable of the sower for example)

But the histories must be accurate.

Let me give you an example.
Why did the ark have one window and one door?
It was foreshadowing something.

1Pe 3:20 Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.
1Pe 3:21 The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:

How many doors?

Joh 10:9 I am THE door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved,

How many sources of light?

Joh 9:5 I am the light of the world.

other examples from the book of Hebrews

Old New
Sacrifice Christ
High Priest Perfect High Priest (Christ)
Tabernacle Tent Not Made with Hands (Church)

I do have a very narrow view of how the Bible treats truth. Because thats what the words in it say. Now again I say, either i am wrong, there is no God and the bible is a myth, or I am right and he has provided me a true document that I Can rely on as well as I can rely on him. Thats why I take it in its entirety.

Eph 4:4 There is one body and one Spirit, even as you have been marked out by God in the one hope of his purpose for you;
Eph 4:5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism,
Eph 4:6 One God and Father of all, who is over all, and through all, and in all.


Posted by: scott at March 17, 2006 3:26 AM
Comment #134086

You confuse the colloquial meaning of myth with the sense of the term as used by mythologists. Myths are meaningful stories passed down by tradition. Because truth in the accuracy of details was so difficult in the days before photography, telecommunications, the printed word, and large scale infrastructures were in place, and because people weren’t the rationalist heirs to the Enlightenment that we are today, folks treated their experiences differently. These were the stories people told then, and that was the way they viewed the world.

I believe it is part of the human condition, now, and in the ancient world, that our perspectives and knowledge are always limited. Technology and scholarly disciplines including science have helped us to be more precise and accurate in our accounts. They didn’t have the benefit of that.

The fact that divine inspiration is explained in terms of God breathing it into the authors changes little, for God was said to breath life into Adam and Eve, and because of the choices that those two made in that story, the results came out imperfectly. It’s in our nature to err. I believe that with God’s guidance, the bible was refined to be a very truthful examination of spiritual, psychological, and existential matters, regardless of what errors were made in terms of factual accounts.

I know a lot about the frailties of the mind in dealing with information. Memory is reconstructive, imagination inconstant, ephemeral, and human knowledge and language imperfect and uncertain. This is the filter through which any divinely inspired text must be delivered. Now one could argue that the scriptures were written with God more or less guiding the pen, but I’m inclined to believe that inspiration preserves choice, and as such, takes on the liabilities inherent in man’s imperfection. Heck, I believe that some meaning was lost even in the setting down of the biblical accounts in words, for languages is uncertain, ever-changing, and the meanings expressed oh so malleable. I believe in a God who makes the best of a problematic situation, rather than destroying man’s free will to get things perfect.

You might fear that such an paradigm opens up the bible to wrongful and opportunistic interpretation.

It already is, though. Literal interpretation encourages a certain measure of arrogance, a belief that one has the received word and all other interpretations are invalid. However, if you look at all the churches who believe in literal interpretation, you’ll find a myriad of different versions of what happened, and how things are supposed to unfold. Literalism to me seems to represent more an attitude towards one’s own interpretation than any real capability to come up with the one true, eminently provable interpretation.

I see that as falling into the trap of the law, as Paul describes it. While I think people should be careful about how they come to a conclusion, they must acknowledge that this is their conclusion, and that it can be wrong. You can pray to God for guidance on the matter, but even then you will remain imperfect. The Law becomes death, because one seeks an impossible peace with it, rather than the grace of God.

God knows we’re imperfect. I don’t think he planned the world so that innocent people would become hellbound for not having the right religion or interpretation of a written work. I believe the dividing line is between the recognition of one’s imperfections and failings, and the denial of them.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 17, 2006 10:06 AM
Comment #134177

“You confuse the colloquial meaning of myth with the sense of the term as used by mythologists.”

I am not confusing either one. I do not believe that the bible is a myth in either sense of the word. What you say about human falability is correct. That’s why God is in charge.

You can go to the prophesies in the book of Ezekiel about the city of Tyre. You can then go to actual occurences in history. They all came true. Hundreds of years later. This proves only God could have a hand in it. You can find references to the “Circle” of the earth, written thousands of years before man discovered that the world was round.

“The fact that divine inspiration is explained in terms of God breathing it into the authors changes little, for God was said to breath life into Adam and Eve, and because of the choices that those two made in that story, the results came out imperfectly.”

That is apples and oranges. God breathed life into Adam, then GAVE him free will. No where does the bible say that God gave the writers free will.


“It already is, though. Literal interpretation encourages a certain measure of arrogance, a belief that one has the received word and all other interpretations are invalid. However, if you look at all the churches who believe in literal interpretation, you’ll find a myriad of different versions of what happened, and how things are supposed to unfold. Literalism to me seems to represent more an attitude towards one’s own interpretation than any real capability to come up with the one true, eminently provable interpretation.”


2 Peter 1:20 Knowing this first, that no prophesy of scripture is of any private interpretation.

21 for the prophesy came not in time by the will of man, but by holy men of God who spoke who were moved by the Holy Ghost.
The bible was not designed to be interpreted. It was designed to be followed. Would you interpret a car owners manual? How about Rules governing conduct at a University?

Yes, many have tried to make the bible “fit” into their own belief. the bible says “Eat, drink, and be merry….” Taken out of context, you can make that say what you want.

You are also correct about many taking a literal position and being wrong. I think you will find most instances of that to be when a faith or religion is trying to combine the creed or doctrine of man with that of the scriptures.

“God knows we’re imperfect. I don’t think he planned the world so that innocent people would become hellbound for not having the right religion or interpretation of a written work.”

Matthew 7:13-14 (The words of Christ)
Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the way which leads to destruction and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow is the road that leads to life, and only a few will find it.

Christ said this, not a man who could be confused. Is it harsh? Was it harsh when God struck Uzzah dead for steadying the ark? 2 Samuel 6:3-8

Thats why Christ died. so that all could have access to his blood and be “Justified” in the sight of God. Romans 6.

The bible is written at a fifth grade reading level. The man who loves God, “this is love for God, walking in obedience to his commands, and His commands are not burdensome” 1 John 5:3, and strives to do his will, and is justified through the blood of Christ, does not have anything to worry about.

“I believe the dividing line is between the recognition of one’s imperfections and failings, and the denial of them.”

I gave lots of scripture. Can you give one supporting this belief?


Posted by: scott at March 17, 2006 4:09 PM
Comment #134184

PS I associate with a group of Christians who leave out all the doctrines of man. Luther, Calvin, Joseph Smith, Russell, the Pope, all men and many others all have churches based on their beliefs. We dont refer to any mans teaching. We worship as they did in the book of Acts. We dont add, we dont take away. We dont interpret. We just try real hard to follow. and in 38 years I have never found it real difficult. The bible always seems to be easy to understand.

Posted by: scott at March 17, 2006 4:31 PM
Comment #134263

Scott-
I’m saying the bible is imperfect, incomplete, a part of creation, not its sum or it’s inerrant map. That doesn’t mean it’s not an excellent reflection of truth, or even the the best. That’s especially not to say that God shares the bible’s limitations, anymore than he shares in ours. I’m saying that we shouldn’t make an idol of the Bible. It is the Word of God, but it isn’t the Word Made Flesh, nor is it God Himself.

God breathed life into Adam, then GAVE him free will. No where does the bible say that God gave the writers free will.
So the authors of the bible were born mindless automatons? I hardly think that’s what you would say. They were born free like all humans, and I hardly think God would revoke his gifts for the purpose of the authorship. First, it would do no good, since he would have to revoke free will on the part of the readers to gain anything from it. Second, such a violation would be an evil unworthy of the God who even gave his son the Choice of whether to die on the Cross. I think God succeeds with the bible in spite of who we are, not by cheating our free will and error out of the equation.
The bible was not designed to be interpreted. It was designed to be followed. Would you interpret a car owners manual? How about Rules governing conduct at a University?
First and foremost, interpretation is inherent in reading a manual or dealing with the rules of any institution, including a University.

It is an inherent feature of language and writing. By the time you reach the end of this sentence, your brain will have processed it on multiple levels. One area will have worked out the pronunciation of the words, the other meanings. other parts will retrieve and evoke memories. You might not know a word, or its precise definition. You might not have had an experience crucial to understanding this. The result may change much about the interpretation.

The story of the Good Samaritan is an important illustration of this. In today’s language, if one doesn’t remember what being a Samaritan meant, and what attitudes about them were at the time of the authorship, then one will miss a great deal of the point of the story. If you look at the parables of Jesus in a literal fashion, without understanding the underlying figurative nature of the stories, you might miss the point there, too. The Kingdom of God is not a literal Mustard Seed. It’s not a party, a farm, or any number of things. It’s something deeper that which our language can only hint at, and which we are perhaps not prepared to deal with in its literal truth. Some things are simply so far beyond words, beyond our knowledge as human beings that we must go beyond literal facts to understand them.

Yes, many have tried to make the bible “fit” into their own belief. the bible says “Eat, drink, and be merry….” Taken out of context, you can make that say what you want. You are also correct about many taking a literal position and being wrong. I think you will find most instances of that to be when a faith or religion is trying to combine the creed or doctrine of man with that of the scriptures.
Has it occured to you that no interpretation of man’s is perfect? That is not to say that they are all equal. That is to say that no interpretation is made with full knowledge and wisdom. If you were to say careless or counterfactual interpretation were problematic, I’d agree with you, but then you have to confront the frightening possibility that yours is not correct.

I think the literal and overly loose interpretations of our time share a flaw in common- they reflect the ego of their interpreters better than the complex, dangerous material that would force both to consider truths beyond their zones of comfort. When I talk about the mythological approach, I do so with the understanding that mythological stories appeal to the deeper, more complicated realities of life, and that we ourselves are confronted with these issues day in and day out.

We like to hermetically seal many of our beliefs behind a wall of our own making, supposing that by doing so, we keep ourselves on the right track, and avoid the flaws we so hate in others. Truth is, though, many of mankind’s flaws are common, and one can no more wall oneself off from them than people in the middle ages could guaranteed their continued health by fleeing. As they would often bring the disease with them, so too do we bring our flaws with us inside our bubbles of isolation.

There’s no escaping being human on this side of the divide from eternity, though we can at least make the effort to fight back against the worst parts of our nature with God’s help and guidance.

As for my scriptural support for that view I expressed?

Well, let me preface it by saying that I’m not one for chapter and verse. I remember stories and passages more than those numbers.

My main support would be Jesus’s warnings concerning adherence to law over adherence to spirit and conscience (The Good Samaritan parable, multiple confrontations about the Sabbath), and the integrity of spirit with worship.

Paul’s exhortations in Romans are important to my point of view there. Did he not speak of all being unrighteous, all being unworthy? Logically, then, one must recognize one’s error to gain the grace to repent of it. Otherwise, one blithely continues on that path of wrong deeds, words and thoughts, with no thought than one is doing evil. We must realize that we are as capable of evil as the next guy, if we are to catch ourselves when we stray over the line.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 17, 2006 9:11 PM
Comment #134289

///
Confusion, confusion, confusion:

scott, yes I own many bibles and shorter books with just Psalms and New Testament books.

Opening up one small KJV I find a page maked for Psalm 24, The earth is the lords, and the fulness therof, the world and they that dwell within.

Opening up a pulpit sized KJV to John 11 v 35 Jesus wept. The shortest verse in the bible.

These are works of literature, written by William Tynale, published in 1534.

Opening up the Cambrige New American Standard Bible, I find a passage marked

Psalm 24 The earth is the lords and all it contains. The world and those who dwell in it.

and Matthew 6v14
For if you forgive men for their trangressions, your hevenly father will also forgive you v15 But if you do not forgive men, then your father will not forgive oyour transgressions.

and John 14v2 In my fathers house are many dwelling places, if it were not so, I would have told you, for I go to prepare a place for you.

since the 16th century, more good literature has been writen, like Margaret Mitchell, Gone With the Wind, quote Rhett Butler: I apologize again for all my shortcomings.

and
Robert F Kennedys last words
1968 Presidential Campaign
“I think we can end the divisions within the United States. What I think is quite clear is that we can work together, in the last analysis. And that what has been going on with the United States over the period of the last three years, the divisions, the violence, the disenchantment with our society, the divisions - whether it’s between blacks and whites, between the poor and the more affluent, or between age groups, or in the war in Vietnam - that we can work together. We are a great country, an unselfish country and a compassionate country.
June 4, 1968

and
Commencement Address at American University
President John F. Kennedy
Washington, D.C. June 10, 1963
… Our problems are manmade—therefore, they can be solved by man. And man can be as big as he wants. No problem of human destiny is beyond human beings. Man’s reason and spirit have often solved the seemingly unsolvable—and we believe they can do it again. ….. history teaches us that enmities between nations, as between individuals, do not last forever. However fixed our likes and dislikes may seem, the tide of time and events will often bring surprising changes in the relations between nations and neighbors.. ….So, let us not be blind to our differences—but let us also direct attention to our common interests and to the means by which those differences can be resolved. And if we cannot end now our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity. For, in the final analysis, our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children’s future. And we are all mortal….It is the responsibility of the executive branch at all levels of government—local, State, and National—to provide and protect that freedom for all of our citizens by all means within their authority. It is the responsibility of the legislative branch at all levels, wherever that authority is not now adequate, to make it adequate. And it is the responsibility of all citizens in all sections of this country to respect the rights of all others and to respect the law of the land. …..And is not peace, in the last analysis, basically a matter of human rights—the right to live out our lives without fear of devastation—the right to breathe air as nature provided it—the right of future generations to a healthy existence?

and
Hemingway: A Farewell to Arms
If people bring so much courage to this world, the world has to kill them to break them, so of course it kills them. The world breaks everyone, and afterward, many are stronger at the broken places. But those that will not break it kills. It kills the very good and the very gentle and the very brave impartially. If you are none of these you can be sure that it will kill you too but there will be no special hurry.

and from
DUNE by Frank Herbert
A world is supported by four things, the learning of the wise, the justice of the great, the prayers of the righteous, and the valor of the brave….

and from
TEXASVILLE by Larry McMurtry
A lot of people think soap operas are successful because they’re like life, but that’s horseshit. Game shows are what’s really like life. You win things that look great at the time but turn out to be junk, and you lose things you might want to keep forever just because you’re unlucky….

Scott, there has been as lot of good literature written since William Tyndale wrote the bible you are reading in 1534 CE, read more, learn to understand the English language better, and grow up.

Posted by: ohrealy at March 17, 2006 10:58 PM
Comment #134336

>>Scott, there has been as lot of good literature written since William Tyndale wrote the bible you are reading in 1534 CE, read more, learn to understand the English language better, and grow up.

Posted by: ohrealy at March 17, 2006 10:58 PM

ohrealy,

Wow! Wish I’d said that…

Posted by: Marysdude at March 18, 2006 3:28 AM
Comment #134450

Ohreally,

You still dont give proof for your ascertation that the books of law were written in 500bc.

You might also look up either Genesis, exodos, leviticus, Numbers or Deuteronomy in Encyclopedia Britannica. I did that today and it was amazing it said. And it didn’t say 500bc.

“These are works of literature, written by William Tynale, published in 1534.”

It is amazing how the dead sea scrolls matched up so well with this literary work.

“Scott, there has been as lot of good literature written since William Tyndale wrote the bible you are reading in 1534 CE, read more, learn to understand the English language better, and grow up.”

It is always fun to debate with someone who can’t help the occasional putdown. But does this mean you are changing your date of 500bc to 1534ce?

Thanks

Posted by: scott at March 18, 2006 11:18 PM
Comment #134453

BTW 4 days out and you still have no source for your ascertation that the books of law were written in 400 bc.

Cry uncle or provide at least a source that we can argue with. Changing the subject and or quoting pieces of American History just dont get with it.

Posted by: scott at March 18, 2006 11:23 PM
Comment #134454

Excuse me, 500bc.

Posted by: scott at March 18, 2006 11:25 PM
Comment #134462

stephen


“I’m saying the bible is imperfect, incomplete, a part of creation, not its sum or it’s inerrant map.”

1Th 2:13 And for this cause we still give praise to God, that, when the word came to your ears through us, you took it, not as the word of man, but, as it truly is, the word of God, which has living power in you who have faith.

And I am saying the the Bible says otherwise. I just have to trust it. It has yet to do me wrong.


Eph 1:13 In whom you, having been given the TRUE
word, the good news of your salvation, and through your faith in him, were given the sign of the Holy Spirit of hope,

2Co 11:10 As the true word of Christ is in me

Rom 1:25 Because by them the true word of God was changed into that which is false, and they gave worship and honour to the thing which is made.

And with that for now I guess we just have to agree to disagree. I am getting ready for a very busy week and will probably be offline for a few days. I would just encourage you to do what I did.
Put aside previous ideas and teachings, get in and just let it say what it says. I have lived both ways. Ignoring the word and its precepts. There was never true happiness that way. A few fun drunk times. But a fun life? No.

Stephen, I hope to continue our discussion at a later time. I HAVE ENJOYED IT. Your points have a basis of belief and you do not just make your statemnts from thin air. I appreciate that in a mans character. I dont always have time to participate in this blog but I keep track ofg it often and even when I disagree I like what you have to say and how you say it. If more liberals took that attitude, the right would have not done so well in recent years.

SO NO ONE FOLLOW HIS LEAD! HA!
Just kidding.

Thank You,
Scott

For those of you who read this post who hate religion and the bible, sorry for taking so much time.


1Co 1:18 For the word of the cross seems foolish to those who are on the way to destruction; but to us who are on the way to salvation it is the power of God.

2Co 4:2 And we have given up the secret things of shame, not walking in false ways, and not making use of the word of God with deceit; but by the revelation of what is TRUE, as before God, we have the approval of every man’s sense of right and wrong.


2Co 13:11 Let this be my last word, BROTHERS; be glad; be complete; be comforted; be of the same mind; be at peace with one another: and the God of love and peace will be with you.

Posted by: scott at March 18, 2006 11:56 PM
Comment #134465

and one last thing Marysdude.

Wow! Wish I’d said that…

I wish you had responded to my last post. The one about the timing and The Weather Channel.

It would have been fun to have you involved in the debate. Maybe next time.

See Ya!

Posted by: scott at March 19, 2006 12:13 AM
Comment #134600

Cry uncle Grow Up! What kind of expression is that, something from high school?

Scott, you repeat this over and over again.
I do not have to provide proof to you that I know what I am talking about. The bible actually interest me less than any of the other books that I have quoted to you.

1534 CE is when the bible most in use was translated into English by William Tyndale. Phrases like The powers that be, and Let there be light, are his.

The old testament books in Hebrew were written when I have previously stated, and by that time the people who were writing them were completely ignorant of the Egypt where your moses spent his time.

They were writing in Babylon, and also decided to write a biography of King David, their favorite figure in history. That is what comprises the bulk of the rest of the old testament.

Ultimately you will find out the truth, and I hope you are able to get a refund from whatever educational institution taught you the misinformation that you repeat so often.

Posted by: ohrealy at March 19, 2006 4:27 PM
Comment #134627

I have 10 minutes before work so I will make this short

Ohreally
“Cry uncle Grow Up! What kind of expression is that, something from high school?”

I must really be getting under your skin to keep the insults coming.

“I do not have to provide proof to you that I know what I am talking about”

No, You are free to show proof or not. This is America. But the fact that I have looked and looked and cannot find any rescource that backs up your position puzzles me. Where did you get this set of facts? Did it just come to you in a prophesy? This is a blog, and blogs are generally used for debate. Debate generally rests on facts presented by those blogging. If you just expect everyone to believe you are just “all knowing” you can. I don’t believe many will though. Why, If you are right, don’t you just let us all know where you are getting this information? The fact that you cannot really effects your credibility.


“1534 CE is when the bible most in use was translated into English by William Tyndale.”

I agree with you entirely.

“They were writing in Babylon, and also decided to write a biography of King David, their favorite figure in history. That is what comprises the bulk of the rest of the old testament.”

Ruth is a story about Davids Grandmother.
1-2 Samuel - the story of David

1 Kings 1-11 The story of Solomon

1 Kings 12- The begining of the divided Kingdom starting under Solomons sons, Rehoboam and Jereboam

2 Kings continues The divided kingdom until the fall fo Jerusalem

1-2 Chronicles is a repeat of the above 1 samuel to 2 Kings

David wrote most of the Psalms

He is mentioned in Isaiah Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Hosea, Amos and Zecheriah in reference such as:

Isa 38:5 Go to Hezekiah, and say, The Lord, the God of David, your father, says, Your prayer has come to my ears, and I have seen your weeping: see, I will give you fifteen more years of life.

(definately not in any kind of biography form)

So that really leaves the biography of david to 1 and 2 Samuel, and 1 and 2 Chronicles.

Out of 39 books in the Old Testament I would hardly call 4 books the “BULK” of the old testament. You however can I guess, if you wish.

“Ultimately you will find out the truth, and I hope you are able to get a refund from whatever educational institution taught you the misinformation that you repeat so often.”

I dont think I refered to any institution as the source of my information. I do think I refered to encyclopedias Britanica and World Book. A quick and easy search of whatever search engine you prefer on the internet. The any information about the date written in any version of any bible on anyones shelf. Any bible dictionary or survey book.

I am not having a problem finding publications of any kind to give me the dates of 1450-1410bc. I even found some for a little later and a little earlier.

The problem I am having is that I cannot find even ONE giving me a date of 500bc as the date of authorship. And believe me, Ive been searching.

I wish you would help!

Cry uncle!

Posted by: scott at March 19, 2006 6:35 PM
Comment #134646

I wish you would help

That is called being disingenuous. I gave my academic background in a previous post which you obviously did not read. I went to real schools, with academic standards.

The fact that you can not find any information about when the bible was actually written, except to repeat endlessly that it was written when the historical events occurred, indicates a deficit in your education and experience, not in my knowledge of the subject.

My only purpose in continuing this discussion is to determine the source of your misinformation, and why you have come to this particular political forum to discuss your fundamentalist religious views. Did someone send you here? Is this an assignment from some religious or political group?

Searching for a religious reference on the internet would be pointless. You have to read books, in addition to the bible. Will those who control your thoughts allow you to read anything else? It is clear from your posts, that you did not even understand most of what I wrote.

Another reason that I would never provide a person such as yourself any source information, is that I do not consider you trustworthy and would not want to subject others to the kind of spamming or worse, which bible believing people like to commit.

The bible is a weapon that people have used for centuries to justify the murder of millions. When Atahualpa, the last Inca, was handed a bible at Cajamarca, he did not know what it was and threw it on the ground. Thousands were murdered in cold blood. That is the faith you are defending today.

Posted by: ohrealy at March 19, 2006 8:24 PM
Comment #134708

“I wish you would help

That is called being disingenuous.”

disingenuous
1. Unfair; not open, frank and candid; meanly artful; illiberal; applied to persons.

I don’t see how I was being disingenuous. Believe me the only one that fits is meanly artful and if thats how tyou took it, I apologise. I just want to know your source.

“I gave my academic background in a previous post which you obviously did not read. I went to real schools, with academic standards.”

What does your acamemic background have to do with this. It makes you all knowing? You still had to learn your information somewhere.

“The fact that you can not find any information about when the bible was actually written,”

I have found a multitude including your common encyclopedia They all give approximately the same date.The dates I found just don’t come close to your date.


” except to repeat endlessly that it was written when the historical events occurred,”

I havent repeated that endlessly as anyone can see for them selves. I have endlessly asked where you are getting your info.

“indicates a deficit in your education and experience, not in my knowledge of the subject.”

Again, why do you resort to put downs?

“My only purpose in continuing this discussion is to determine the source of your misinformation, “

have you been reading or skimming? I have given you ENDLESS SOURCES including the common encyclopedia that is prefered by 9 out of 10 kindergarten to college teachers. World Book.(“Offering high-quality, current, accurate information in an attractive package, World Book continues to be a first choice for libraries, schools, and homes.”
Booklist, Sept 15, 2004


“and why you have come to this particular political forum to discuss your fundamentalist religious views.”

“During my Baylor Years, we were required to take some survey classes about the bible.” —Stephens 1st sentence in the first paragraph of his article.”


“Did someone send you here? Is this an assignment from some religious or political group?”

Conspiracy theory? I have been participating in this blog for quite a while and this blog just happens to have started with the word bible in the first sentence.

“Searching for a religious reference on the internet would be pointless. You have to read books,”

It is amazing how many books can be accessed online but none of the books stating your “commonly accepted view” can be found. But.. so.. any way. Give me a title of three or four books. I’ll buy them.

“It is clear from your posts, that you did not even understand most of what I wrote.”

Would you care to elaborate?


“Another reason that I would never provide a person such as yourself any source information, is that I do not consider you trustworthy and would not want to subject others to the kind of spamming or worse, which bible believing people like to commit.”

Subject who to spamming? The book title? The reference material? I didnt ask for the name of an organization or a person. I asked for a source for the
“commonly accepted” position-your march 15 @ 9:05pm posting.
As this whole thing started when you said
I dont think I even asked for an e-mail.

I don’t know why you would consider me untrust worthy.

“The bible is a weapon that people have used for centuries to justify the murder of millions.”

The bible hasn’t been used. Perverted interpretation of it has though. And it has also gone the other way. There have also been many millions killed for their faith. And I agree with you entirely. This is and always will be wrong.
There are also millons of people have treated those around them including their enemies better than could ever be expected. You seem to be throwing your anger on an inatimate object, throw it instead on the people who have commited the actions. People have been miserably cruel throuout the ages for millions of different reasons.

So without giving me a source that I can “spam”,
Give me a source that I can read. For some reason, I can’t “just take your word for it” as after looking for 5 days I cannot find even a book that I could buy on the internet that has the “comonly accepted” facts you and your “academic credentials” state are true.

You ready to cry uncle?

Now that was disenginuous!

Posted by: scott at March 20, 2006 1:53 AM
Comment #134709

I know I said I was done. I am having a busy week. Can’t help myself. I want a source.

Stephen, maybe you could provide me with one.

Posted by: scott at March 20, 2006 2:01 AM
Comment #134723

Scott, thank you for finally providing me with some useful information. You came into this forum because the word bible is in the first line of SDs post. So the baylor bible babble bubba is at fault.

I am sorry that I did not provide you with sources or references, since it is not a priority for me. I research history constantly, and biblical history is not the area that I intend to concentrate on in the near future. Flavius Josephus is the closest that I will get to that for a long time.

Right now I am concentrating on 1491, by Charles Mann, checking his sources and references, and two biographies of Christopher Columbus. Posting on this site is just entertainment for me.

Good Luck and please be more skeptical. You need to learn how to learn. Googling on the internet is not research.

Posted by: ohrealy at March 20, 2006 8:30 AM
Comment #134724

Scott, thank you for finally providing me with some useful information. You came into this forum because the word bible is in the first line of SDs post. So the baylor bible babble bubba is at fault.

I am sorry that I did not provide you with sources or references, since it is not a priority for me. I research history constantly, and biblical history is not the area that I intend to concentrate on in the near future. Flavius Josephus is the closest that I will get to that for a long time.

Right now I am concentrating on 1491, by Charles Mann, checking his sources and references, and two biographies of Christopher Columbus. Posting on this site is just entertainment for me.

Good Luck and please be more skeptical. You need to learn how to learn. Googling on the internet is not research.

Posted by: ohrealy at March 20, 2006 8:31 AM
Comment #134725

Scott, thank you for finally providing me with some useful information. You came into this forum because the word bible is in the first line of SDs post. So the baylor bible babble bubba is at fault.

I am sorry that I did not provide you with sources or references, since it is not a priority for me. I research history constantly, and biblical history is not the area that I intend to concentrate on in the near future. Flavius Josephus is the closest that I will get to that for a long time.

Right now I am concentrating on 1491, by Charles Mann, checking his sources and references, and two biographies of Christopher Columbus. Posting on this site is just entertainment for me.

Good Luck and please be more skeptical. You need to learn how to learn. Googling on the internet is not research.

Posted by: ohrealy at March 20, 2006 8:32 AM
Comment #134726

Scott, thank you for finally providing me with some useful information. You came into this forum because the word bible is in the first line of SDs post. So the baylor bible babble bubba is at fault.

I am sorry that I did not provide you with sources or references, since it is not a priority for me. I research history constantly, and biblical history is not the area that I intend to concentrate on in the near future. Flavius Josephus is the closest that I will get to that for a long time.

Right now I am concentrating on 1491, by Charles Mann, checking his sources and references, and two biographies of Christopher Columbus. Posting on this site is just entertainment for me.

Good Luck and please be more skeptical. You need to learn how to learn. Googling on the internet is not research.

Posted by: ohrealy at March 20, 2006 8:39 AM
Comment #134727

Scott, thank you for finally providing me with some useful information. You came into this forum because the word bible is in the first line of SDs post. So the baylor bible babble bubba is at fault.

I am sorry that I did not provide you with sources or references, since it is not a priority for me. I research history constantly, and biblical history is not the area that I intend to concentrate on in the near future. Flavius Josephus is the closest that I will get to that for a long time.

Right now I am concentrating on 1491, by Charles Mann, checking his sources and references, and two biographies of Christopher Columbus. Posting on this site is just entertainment for me.

Good Luck and please be more skeptical. You need to learn how to learn. Googling on the internet is not research.

Posted by: ohrealy at March 20, 2006 8:39 AM
Comment #134778

I apologize for the quintuple post above. That is what happens early in the morning when I am in a hurry and my coffee has not kicked in yet.

Scott, much information on the bible is available at the public library. I got finished early today and went there and easily found a book:
Richard Elliot Friedman
Who wrote the bible?

Historically, there were different stages in the development of biblical scholarship. First, people thought that moses wrote the first five books of the bible. You are stuck in this stage.

Secondly, people thought that moses wrote the books, but there were later additions by editors.

The third stage started with Thomas Hobbes in the 17th century, Isaac de la Peyette, and Baruch Spinoza who said: It is clearer than the sun at noon that the Pentateuch was not written by moses.

Henning Bernhard Witter, Jean Astruc, Johannn Gottfried Eichhorn, and 40 other authors began the development of a more modern era of biblical dating by textual analysis of the actual authorship of the books. Julius Wellhausen 1844-1918 developed a system indicating the sources of the material, usually referred to as J for Judah, E for Israel, and P for priestly.

The period of biblical authorship is after 587 BCE, people actually familiar with the history of Jewish religious practice do not claim otherwise. Moses is claiming knowledge of things that did not even exist at the dates you are claiming.

Jeremiah, for example, was written at the same time and by the same authors as Deuteronomy, levitical priests from Shiloh.

That is the extent of my willingness to provide you with information on this subject. This is absolutely standard. Whoever is telling you otherwise is fraudulent, with no actual knowledge of the subject.

Please do not drink any Kool-Aid that these people might want to give you. Please do not spam or otherwise attack any Jewish person. It is their religion that you are talking about, and pretending to have knowledge of. Please do not commit any other hate crime against people who do not agree with you.

This is the end of my participation in this particular thread. Good luck and Take care of yourself.

Posted by: ohrealy at March 20, 2006 3:21 PM
Comment #134779

“Good Luck and please be more skeptical. You need to learn how to learn. Googling on the internet is not research.”

Some times I wonder about you.

let’s help:

Card catalogue is to library as
Search box is to information on the internet.The only difference is sometimes the internet has inacurate info.
You, however cannot even provide me that.


Just as you dont research from a card catalogue you dont research from a google. You use it to find the sources.

Every student in most universities in the world (that have internet access.)research on the internet.

“Right now I am concentrating on 1491, by Charles Mann, checking his sources and references, and two biographies of Christopher Columbus. Posting on this site is just entertainment for me.”

You have spent almost 7 days on this. You are wrong. And you have no source to prove that you are right.


You dont have a source because you are wrong!

Posted by: Scott at March 20, 2006 3:22 PM
Comment #134816

Finally, A source!

I will check them all out. This is what I found so far in response:

Note the word HYPOTHESIS- In the froward to the interview with Friedman:

“Richard Elliott Friedman is a leading proponent of the Documentary HYPOTHESIS, which maintains that the the biblical texts traditionally known as the Five Books of Moses are actually the synthesis of many different sources from different time periods. The conclusions drawn in his earlier bestseller “Who Wrote the Bible?” are the basis for his new work, a translation of the Bible’s first five books which uses color coding to separate different sources.”
Found at:
http://www.beliefnet.com/story/139/story_13986_1.html

AND here is someone who is just as well respected in “academic circles” who disagrees and why.

“Having received his Ph.D. in mathematical logic at Brandeis University, Rabbi Dr. Dovid Gottlieb went on to become Professor of Philosophy at Johns Hopkins University. Today he is a senior faculty member at Ohr Somayach in Jerusalem. An accomplished author and lecturer, Rabbi Gottlieb has electrified audiences with his stimulating and energetic presentations on ethical and philosophical issues.”

http://www.dovidgottlieb.com/comments/Who_Wrote_The_Bible.htm

I have never doubted that you got this HYPOTHESIS from somewhere. However your ascertation that it is proven and comonly accepted fact is not true. at least we can have an educated discussion about the facts instead of repeated putdowns because I have a faith in God.

So what we have now is a source for your hypothesis that you are trying to prove as mainstream accepted fact. And an equally respected acedemic who totally disagrees.

Posted by: scott at March 20, 2006 5:42 PM
Comment #134822

Now that I have had a chance to read some of Dr.Elliots reasoning and Dr. Gotleib’s rebuttal I find it rather interesting. Here are the three failures he points out. Also in searching I found very few who support this Hypothesis and quite a few who disent. Each can do his own searching to decide.

From:
http://www.dovidgottlieb.com/comments/Who_Wrote_The_Bible.htm

A. Failures of scholarship/reading – Friedman claims that passages have a certain content while in fact they do not.
B. Failures of scholarship/interpretation – Friedman’s interpretation of passages violates the meaning of the language, or contradicts itself, or there is a more plausible alternative interpretation etc.
C. Failures of logic – begging the question, creating a straw man, disregarding counter-evidence etc.

Posted by: scott at March 20, 2006 6:11 PM
Post a comment