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  1. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by oberon View Post
    Eh. I don't care about the archaeology of Jericho (or, rather I am, but that's not what I was getting at in my post). What I was asking sub about was the record in Joshua of a divine mandate to put every living thing in the city to death.

    I presume sub would see this as one of those cases where the history was invented as an apology for genocide.
    Yeah, that too. I suspect that some of those things might also be exaggeration. Like, they didn't really put everything to death and there was no divine mandate. It was more like a case of, generations after the event, what with their major 'purity' complex, they were getting a bit tetchy about who was descended from whom, so it might've been a convenient sorta leveller of kind, or serve some purpose socially anyway, to pretend that their ancestors killed everyone in the city when they came there, so therefore everyone here is still a 'son of Abraham' and we don't need to worry about who is and who isn't, or something like that.

    pure speculation on my part, but the point being I can see several different reasons why people would write that, or have a vested interest in attributing something to 'divine mandates'... it's just the old trick of having an 'official history' written by the victors, sorta thing... and I find it odd to think that a God who Isaiah claims is fed up with the Jews because of their unrighteous ways and who prefers a contrite heart and a humble and meek spirit to animal sacrifices, would be the same God who said "Yep, that's it, go in and murder every single one of them, and if you're merciful and spare a single one then I shall smite thee! Yes, even the little children! They're evil and sinful because their parents are pagans, so kill them too!"

    Hmmm....
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  2. #72
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    I'm having trouble when I start overlaying my own parenting experience with descriptions of God in the OT.

    My parenting experience much more closely resembles that of the "patient father" in The Prodigal Son NT story.

    And God is supposed to be an even better, more loving parent than I am... and He is supposedly the source of all people and thus their parent.

    I'm sorry, but I can't identify with Jehovah anymore, who found it necessary and even preferable to slay his own children because of his "wrath."

    Perhaps the God depicted in the Jonah story is a little better, because he spares Ninevah when they momentarily repent, but he decides against it 80 years later or so.

    I don't quite know what to do with it, and all this stuff about, "Well, at some point you just have to kill people before their sin makes life worse for everyone" or "God knew they'd never repent" or whatnot just really sounds like hedging around the issue to me.

    It doesn't change the relationship between parent and children: Either the parent is the perfect parent, long-suffering, always willing to sacrifice to bring the child home despite their reaction, or the parent is fallible and has limits and at some point exercises them to the point of hatred.

    God's definitely not a God of endless love... not unless hell is something that is chosen by the prodigal child, not inflicted on him by God. Which rather than blows holes in the sails of Jehovah, the loving but "wrathful" and punishing deity.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

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  3. #73
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    I've many thoughts on that... but unfortunately it's time for bed. Hopefully I'll get around to sharing them with you tomorrow

    But basically I don't think the punishment for disobeying God comes from God. I think it's basically us punishing ourselves... sorta like karma, in a way. He just tells us how to live in a way that's best for us, but when we rebel against it, we meet with the inevitable consequences of our folly, and that's all it is... sorta like if you tell your kid not to eat that 6lb bar of chocolate all in one go, and if they eat it anyway, and get sick, y'know, it's not you making them sick as a punishment, is it? But if they'd listened to you, it wouldn't have happened.

    But then, I tend to disregard most of the Bible when it comes to theology, but especially the earlier OT books and many of the epistles. I do have good reasons for that, but, as I said... time for bed right now!
    Ils se d�merdent, les mecs: trop bon, trop con..................................MY BLOG!

    "When it all comes down to dust
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  4. #74
    homo-loving sonovagun anii's Avatar
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    Not at all literally. Besides it can't be... how many conflicting 'literal' interpretations are there, anyway?
    Last edited by anii; 12-12-2007 at 12:39 PM.

  5. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by anii View Post
    Not at at literally.
    That's not possible. Some things were clearly intended to be taken literally. For example, the decalogue was intended literally, and was (and still is) interpreted as such by observant Jews and most Christians.

    And when for example the Torah instructs its adherents to take a male child on the eighth day after his birth and cut the foreskin off his penis, that means that on the eighth day after his birth observers of the law were to cut the foreskin off the child's penis.

    You can certainly argue whether such instruction is the word of God or the work of men, and you can certainly argue whether it should apply to people today or not, but one cannot argue that the language of the instruction was symbolic or allegorical. The act of observing these points of the law may have had symbolic resonance, but the instructions themselves were intended to be taken literally.

  6. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by oberon View Post
    And when for example the Torah instructs its adherents to take a male child on the eighth day after his birth and cut the foreskin off his penis, that means that on the eighth day after his birth observers of the law were to cut the foreskin off the child's penis.
    I always thought that penises were metaphorical.

    In any case, it's a good reminder. And it does depend on the book, on how it should most likely be read.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  7. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    I always thought that penises were metaphorical.
    me too!!!!

    *hi five*
    Ils se d�merdent, les mecs: trop bon, trop con..................................MY BLOG!

    "When it all comes down to dust
    I will kill you if I must
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  8. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by oberon View Post
    That's not possible. Some things were clearly intended to be taken literally. For example, the decalogue was intended literally, and was (and still is) interpreted as such by observant Jews and most Christians.

    And when for example the Torah instructs its adherents to take a male child on the eighth day after his birth and cut the foreskin off his penis, that means that on the eighth day after his birth observers of the law were to cut the foreskin off the child's penis.

    You can certainly argue whether such instruction is the word of God or the work of men, and you can certainly argue whether it should apply to people today or not, but one cannot argue that the language of the instruction was symbolic or allegorical. The act of observing these points of the law may have had symbolic resonance, but the instructions themselves were intended to be taken literally.
    What is it with the Hebrews and all these ridiculous rules?

  9. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uberfuhrer View Post
    What is it with the Hebrews and all these ridiculous rules?
    Paul had an answer for that. You can find it in the book of Romans, if you're interested. He was a Hebrew, so he can speak to this with some authority.

    Other writers, of course, have other opinions.

  10. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uberfuhrer View Post
    What is it with the Hebrews and all these ridiculous rules?
    They had a big thing about making themselves stand out as different to the other tribes and peoples around them, so sought to define themselves by these convoluted laws and customs and whatever that distinguished them from others. And the purity complex thing too, they believed doing these things made them 'purer' or kept them pure.

    Like say, if they moved in next to a tribe called the Rotisserons, who ate mutton with gravy but also happened to worship idols, they'd make a point of not eating mutton with gravy to show they were different to the Rotisserons.

    (IMO of course)
    Ils se d�merdent, les mecs: trop bon, trop con..................................MY BLOG!

    "When it all comes down to dust
    I will kill you if I must
    I will help you if I can" - Leonard Cohen

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