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  1. #41

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    I've always felt that divinity was of God and the Bible was of man. I tend to see the Bible as a mishmash of history, narrative, memoir and impressionism. I think it's best taken as a whole rather than deciding political positions and the disposition of souls based on obscure individual passages that have been overtranslated and taken out of context. Didn't anyone play the telephone game when they were younger?

    Of course, my opinion could be shaped largely by the fact that I was raised Catholic instead of evangelical.

  2. #42
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    6 original versions of the Old Testament! And those were written by a large group of Jews who were hired to translate the ideas into Greek? That is a scary thought, and now I'm almost certain that the Bible has met some alteration at the hands of man, if not complete fabrication.

  3. #43
    Senior Member wildcat's Avatar
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    If you want to learn Aramaic do not go to Maaloula. They call it Aramaic and the language of Jesus blah blah. Sure. If you want to learn the language of Jesus get a Greyhound to New York and find yourself a Rabbi. If you are loaded you can enter an Ulpan in Israel. There you learn the holy script, and mighty quick, too.
    If you want to read the Bible in original, that is.
    Of course it makes a difference to read any text in the original.
    Modern Greek is just the last phase of Koine.

    Aramaic has been influenced by Arabic in Syria. Hebrew and Koine are true living languages. Let the Pope have his Vulgate. Koine changed Latin to Italian.

  4. #44
    Senior Member wildcat's Avatar
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    The Canaanite was but one race, one culture and, as long as it existed, one language.
    The Ugarit, the Phoenician, the Hebrew and the Canaanite Aramaic were never diverse languages.

    The semantics create a lot of confusion. They say Akkad gave way to Aramaic; on the other hand they say Hebrew gave way to Aramaic.

    A double error. The Canaanite Aramaic should not be confused with the language of Babylonia/Assyria.

    The Canaanite Aramaic is in no way a descendant of Hebrew. All languages consist of close knit dialects. The fact that Aramaic attained literary expression later does not make it another language.

    The Ugarit, the Phoenician, the Hebrew and the Aramaic were not the only Canaanite dialects. There were half a dozen other dialects. Some of them attained literacy, some did not. The secrets lie under the sand.

    Anyone who can read maps can see that even the later Canaanite names do not differ from each other.

    The Ugarit tablets do bear a close resemblance to the Hebrew texts. You see the echo of the Bible in the Ugarit texts, or rather the other way around.
    At the outset El was but one of the Canaanite deities. When El rose to prominence it did not take place only among the Hebrew subtribe.

    The flood took place NE to the land of Canaan. It is mentioned in the earliest historical record found. The Gilgamesh Saga.

    The Akkadians to the north incorporated the Sumerian culture. They preserved the records. Most of them have never been found.

    It is said the Egyptian records do not mention the Hebrews in Egypt.
    They do.

    The story of Joseph is relatively accurate.

    The Church maintains the records that depict the later dates were written prior to the records that depict the earlier dates. Another fallacy.

    The order of the manuscripts found is not the order of the original texts not found.

    The books of the Bible are records of history.
    In the way of all the other records of history, they consist of an admixture of myths, politically motivated tales, gossip, sagas and the truth.

    But of course you can interpret them literally if you want.

  5. #45
    Glowy Goopy Goodness The_Liquid_Laser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiddo View Post
    Perhaps I am mistaken, but I thought that Aramaic was the language the Bible was originally transcribed in, and then translated to Hebrew, and finally to Greek.

    From what I understand, Aramaic versions can differ considerably from their Hebrew and Greek counterparts.
    The OT translation from for most bibles comes from the masoretic text which is the Jewish (i.e. Hebrew) Old Testament. The New Testament was written in Greek. At least one book, Daniel, was written in Aramaic. (There may be a couple others written in Aramaic too. That I can't remember.) There may be some OT translations that actually come directly from the Latin or Aramaic texts, but these essentially come from the masoretic text. Some translations look at all the sources when translating and give foot notes over the various ways the text can be translated.

    6 original versions of the Old Testament! And those were written by a large group of Jews who were hired to translate the ideas into Greek? That is a scary thought, and now I'm almost certain that the Bible has met some alteration at the hands of man, if not complete fabrication.
    It's all a plot by the Illuminati! :rolli: Actually the Dead Sea scrolls have shown two things about this. The first is that there is an amazing amount of conformity between the Dead Sea scrolls and all of the other OT texts like the masoretic text which is really the source of most OT translations. The second thing is that the few places where there is a discrepancy between the masoretic text and the Dead Sea scrolls, the Dead Sea scrolls match the Septuagint (the Greek Old Testament).

    In other words the Dead Sea scrolls have shown the Septuagint to be the most accuate text. There is no reason to doubt the accuracy of the Greek Old Testament (which also happens to be the oldest text).
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Liquid_Laser View Post
    It's all a plot by the Illuminati! :rolli: Actually the Dead Sea scrolls have shown two things about this. The first is that there is an amazing amount of conformity between the Dead Sea scrolls and all of the other OT texts like the masoretic text which is really the source of most OT translations. The second thing is that the few places where there is a discrepancy between the masoretic text and the Dead Sea scrolls, the Dead Sea scrolls match the Septuagint (the Greek Old Testament).

    In other words the Dead Sea scrolls have shown the Septuagint to be the most accuate text. There is no reason to doubt the accuracy of the Greek Old Testament (which also happens to be the oldest text).
    That still doesn't mean that the Bible hasn't been altered through interpretive translation. There were 6 different versions of the Greek Old Testament and I bet they could all be translations of the Dead Sea Scroll. But they differed in how they were translated and interpreted by the Jews who did the work.

    For example, Leviticus describes Priestly Code and ritual cleanliness, but that doesn't stop Evangelicals from interpreting homosexuality to be a "mortal sin". If homosexuality is akin to eating shellfish and some fowl, then they look like mighty stupid bastards right now. Those aren't sins punishable by eternal damnation but things that may endanger the health of the body. Considering mercury and bird flu, there might be something to those claims about shell fish and fowl. Especially considering the spread of HIV and STDs among homosexual men. In that case it only makes sense to say that homosexuality is unclean.

    But certainly not "Fags are going to hell" like the heavily conservative interpreters of the Bible claim. But I'm sure they can say the Dead Sea Scrolls support their claim that "homosexuality is an abomination" but how to interpret the "abomination" part of that is proving to be interesting. So whether or not the Bible is perfect is debatable, but the people who follow it certainly aren't, so taking anything literally in that text with a limited grasp of what it could mean is down right dangerous and idiotic.

  7. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiddo View Post
    For example, Leviticus describes Priestly Code and ritual cleanliness, but that doesn't stop Evangelicals from interpreting homosexuality to be a "mortal sin". If homosexuality is akin to eating shellfish and some fowl, then they look like mighty stupid bastards right now. Those aren't sins punishable by eternal damnation but things that may endanger the health of the body.
    Actually, here is where I am not understanding where you're getting your conclusions from.


    1. Those who committed homosexual acts were stoned to death.

    2. Jews didn't have a "hell" at the time. You just were sent to this shadowy place called "Sheol" or "the grave." Death was death, for good AND bad people... there were just this hope that, somehow, God would still be able to restore the GOOD dead people to real, authentic, tangible life at SOME point in the future. (See the story of Ezekiel and the dried bones, for example.) The evil dead would stay "dead."

    3. Being killed for a crime, thus, was getting sent to their equivalent of "hell" and "removed from the community."


    So yes, "clean/unclean" in OT times very much seems to me to be tied to "sin/not sin." Homosexuality was a capital crime, resulting in death and thus "condemnation to the afterworld."

    There were other "crimes" involving clean and unclean (such as having sex with a woman during her menstrual period) that involved not death as a punishment but simply certain rituals to make one clean again. So there were various degrees of uncleanliness.

    In the NT, we see the residual popular effects of this sort of thinking. Like when Jesus was asked, "Well, why was this person born blind? Did he or his parents sin?" Sin = physical deformity/uncleanliness. The prostitutes were unclean AND sinful. People who were lepers and thus unclean were judged as as sinners. Clean/unclean = pure/sinful.

    This is the big problem -- it's where those who are dangerous to homosexuals are getting their ammunition from.... because they try to apply the law of that time and its punishments to today's day and age.

    (My personal opinion is that I think many of the OT clean/unclean laws, such as the shellfish and those involving communicable diseases were created not as some sort of holy mandate but as a way to protect the community's health and prevent epidemics from wiping them out. Back then, the lack of medicine meant that once an epidemic started, things would get VERY ugly. Even the sexual mandates were meant partially to prevent the spread of disease. But it got couched in moral terms or connected to morality in many instances, and that began to dominate.)
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  8. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    Actually, here is where I am not understanding where you're getting your conclusions from.


    1. Those who committed homosexual acts were stoned to death.

    2. Jews didn't have a "hell" at the time. You just were sent to this shadowy place called "Sheol" or "the grave." Death was death, for good AND bad people... there were just this hope that, somehow, God would still be able to restore the GOOD dead people to real, authentic, tangible life at SOME point in the future. (See the story of Ezekiel and the dried bones, for example.) The evil dead would stay "dead."

    3. Being killed for a crime, thus, was getting sent to their equivalent of "hell" and "removed from the community."


    So yes, "clean/unclean" in OT times very much seems to me to be tied to "sin/not sin." Homosexuality was a capital crime, resulting in death and thus "condemnation to the afterworld."

    There were other "crimes" involving clean and unclean (such as having sex with a woman during her menstrual period) that involved not death as a punishment but simply certain rituals to make one clean again. So there were various degrees of uncleanliness.

    In the NT, we see the residual popular effects of this sort of thinking. Like when Jesus was asked, "Well, why was this person born blind? Did he or his parents sin?" Sin = physical deformity/uncleanliness. The prostitutes were unclean AND sinful. People who were lepers and thus unclean were judged as as sinners. Clean/unclean = pure/sinful.

    This is the big problem -- it's where those who are dangerous to homosexuals are getting their ammunition from.... because they try to apply the law of that time and its punishments to today's day and age.

    (My personal opinion is that I think many of the OT clean/unclean laws, such as the shellfish and those involving communicable diseases were created not as some sort of holy mandate but as a way to protect the community's health and prevent epidemics from wiping them out. Back then, the lack of medicine meant that once an epidemic started, things would get VERY ugly. Even the sexual mandates were meant partially to prevent the spread of disease. But it got couched in moral terms or connected to morality in many instances, and that began to dominate.)
    I don't exactly understand where we differ in opinion here. I was stating the idea that homosexuality would have been considered unclean (a sickness) in the OT. Of course they would stone homosexuals to death in order to stop the spread if they considered it an epidemic back in the old days. But I wasn't referring to Jews in my example, only Evangelicals when I talked about their interpretation. Not to mention I don't see Jews on TV holding signs saying that homosexuals should be put to death. Ultimately, my argument was that most people don't have the tools necessary to interpret the Bible accurately. Would you disagree with that assertion?

  9. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiddo View Post
    I don't exactly understand where we differ in opinion here. I was stating the idea that homosexuality would have been considered unclean (a sickness) in the OT.
    No, it wasn't considered a "sickness." It was actually considered sinful, idolatry, and whatnot because it violated the apparent natural order and was representative of the Canaanite "cults," which were hedonistic and idolatrous, I think.

    Of course they would stone homosexuals to death in order to stop the spread if they considered it an epidemic back in the old days. But I wasn't referring to Jews in my example, only Evangelicals when I talked about their interpretation.
    I do find it interesting that fundamentalist Christians seem more hung up on following aspects of the OT Law more than Jews do. Many of these denominations would consider the Jewish rabbis "liberals."

    Not to mention I don't see Jews on TV holding signs saying that homosexuals should be put to death.
    That is a very interesting point to bring up. I wonder if it's because Judaism is both a culture AND a religion? (So you can be Jewish and uphold many of the cultural traditions, without necessarily following some of the moralistic-sounding laws.)

    Coupled with the fact that the Jews did not even have a nation they felt was their own until the mid-1900's ... and once a group of people goes through the horrors of persecution in WWII, well, I doubt you'll see them stoning homosexuals at any point in time soon. They know what it's like to be oppressed and disenfranchised and murdered.

    Ultimately, my argument was that most people don't have the tools necessary to interpret the Bible accurately. Would you disagree with that assertion?
    No. No, I do not [disagree]!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    No, it wasn't considered a "sickness." It was actually considered sinful, idolatry, and whatnot because it violated the apparent natural order and was representative of the Canaanite "cults," which were hedonistic and idolatrous, I think.
    Well this is one point where we seem to disagree. It was considered an "abomination" which could also be translated as "unclean" or "unproductive". Put into context, it sounds like they felt that homosexuality was a way of making the body "unclean" just as the female body was considered "unclean" for seven days after giving birth to a child or a man was "unclean" if he spilled his seed anywhere but inside a women. When the body was unclean, it was not suitable for ritual purposes. As far as being sin, hedonistic, or idolatrous, those seem to be personal interpretations of being "unclean". They clearly didn't want homosexual practices in the temple/church and were willing to stone or put to death any priest who took part in such an activity.

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