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Author Topic:   A Problem With the Literal Interpretation of Scripture
PaulK
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Posts: 10806
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 1.3


Message 226 of 304 (654962)
03-06-2012 1:22 AM
Reply to: Message 225 by creatorsknight
03-05-2012 10:18 PM


Re: I like Greg's thinking on this
quote:

So to tie in the topic I will say that in order for God to get his message out to everyone then he needs to have people trust in what his word says.

But this is simply your opinion of what God wants and the methods He ought to use. It's not much of an argument in itself.

quote:

PaulK seems to think that the word is fallible because fallible man wrote it. So he will never take anything in it literally.

Of course this is a misrepresentation. In reality I simply pointed out that the Bible itself seems to contradict Greg Koukl's opinions.

If you think that Greg Koukl's opinions are more important than the Bible - as you clearly do - why not be honest enough to admit it ?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 225 by creatorsknight, posted 03-05-2012 10:18 PM creatorsknight has responded

Replies to this message:
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creatorsknight
Junior Member (Idle past 847 days)
Posts: 5
From: Dallas, TX
Joined: 03-05-2012


Message 227 of 304 (654971)
03-06-2012 6:14 AM
Reply to: Message 226 by PaulK
03-06-2012 1:22 AM


Re: I like Greg's thinking on this
How could I be misrepresenting you when you are going against what Greg says in his article. Which basically states that the word of God is infallible. You are taking the position that Greg is wrong. Hence you think the Bible is fallible and can't be taken literally. I am simply deducing your stance based on your actions. If I am incorrect then I apologize.
You sir are misrepresenting. I would never put the word of man over what the Bible says. You see the Bible only points out the flaws of man. It never points out that it has flaws. It never says not to trust it. On the contrary several times throughout the new testament Jesus...The Son Of God ... points to the scriptures and says have you not read. Which clearly means that if you believe that he is the Son of God that you should trust what was written before. 1 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness. So the Bible basically calls itself Holy in a sense.
This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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AdminPD
Inactive Administrator


Message 228 of 304 (654972)
03-06-2012 6:45 AM
Reply to: Message 227 by creatorsknight
03-06-2012 6:14 AM


Topic
Welcome to EvC. Since you're new, just a reminder to read the Forum Guidelines and notice #5.

Bare links with no supporting discussion should be avoided. Make the argument in your own words and use links as supporting references.

The article you linked to does not deal with the topic of this thread and you provided no argument of your own as to why you thought it dealt with the topic of this thread. You're still not on topic for this thread.

Please read the opening post Message 1 to understand the point of the topic.

I would like to hear the views of literalists/fundamentalists regarding what seems to me to be an inconsistent view of Yahweh and in the passages I have just cited. If it isnt viewed as inconsistent it IMHO, makes Yahweh duplicitous, as well as brutal, and I have to wonder why anyone would want to worship a God like that.

If you and PaulK wish to discuss the article you linked to, I suggest starting a new topic.

Thanks
AdminPD


This message is a reply to:
 Message 227 by creatorsknight, posted 03-06-2012 6:14 AM creatorsknight has not yet responded

  
Cat Sci
Member
Posts: 9446
From: near St. Louis
Joined: 01-27-2005
Member Rating: 1.6


Message 229 of 304 (655764)
03-13-2012 12:27 PM
Reply to: Message 210 by Lone77Star
03-04-2012 1:56 PM


Re: Hidden Wisdom -- The Literalists' Nightmare
Hi Rod,

I think your post exemplifies a real problem with a literal interpretation of scripture. When confronted with the fact that we know from science that Noah's Flood didn't happen as described in the Bible, your answer is basically: "Well, it could have happened, we wouldn't really know if it did or not, you haven't proven that it didn't."

The problem is that this need to maintain a literal interpretation causes people to deny reality and factual information, to doubt things that any normal person would have no trouble accepting. Basically, it holds you back. if you didn't have to cling to that interpretation, you could accept the truth of the matter and move on.


If you want to argue about proving the Flood wrong you can go here:

No genetic bottleneck proves no global flood

.

Edited by Catholic Scientist, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 210 by Lone77Star, posted 03-04-2012 1:56 PM Lone77Star has not yet responded

  
GDR
Member
Posts: 3735
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005


Message 230 of 304 (655815)
03-13-2012 5:48 PM
Reply to: Message 227 by creatorsknight
03-06-2012 6:14 AM


God is bigger than the Bible
creatorsknight writes:

You sir are misrepresenting. I would never put the word of man over what the Bible says. You see the Bible only points out the flaws of man. It never points out that it has flaws. It never says not to trust it. On the contrary several times throughout the new testament Jesus...The Son Of God ... points to the scriptures and says have you not read. Which clearly means that if you believe that he is the Son of God that you should trust what was written before. 1 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness. So the Bible basically calls itself Holy in a sense.

The trouble is as I have stated in other places you are putting your faith in the Bible instead of in God as represented in Jesus. Yes we learn about Jesus in the scriptures. Yes, I agree with what Paul says in Timothy 3, but Paul is not saying that the Bible is to be read as a string of facts. The Bible is God breathed in that God speaks to us through the scriptures. Of course it is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness. That however does not mean that the Bible is essentially God dictated.

Your view of Christianity is based on the Bible and not on Jesus. You are turning faith into a work. How much time is spent arguing about whether the flood really happened or not? Frankly, what does it matter unless it is critical to your faith that the Bible essentially becomes a fourth addition to the Trinity as opposed to a vehicle that the Trinity uses to help get through to us. Let's understand from the flood that God cares about us and how we live. God is faithful to those that truly seek to follow his message of peace, love and forgiveness. Whether the flood actually happened or not is immaterial, so why waste the gift of time we have been given worrying about it.


He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8


This message is a reply to:
 Message 227 by creatorsknight, posted 03-06-2012 6:14 AM creatorsknight has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
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frako
Member
Posts: 2402
From: slovenija
Joined: 09-04-2010


Message 231 of 304 (655816)
03-13-2012 6:09 PM
Reply to: Message 230 by GDR
03-13-2012 5:48 PM


Re: God is bigger than the Bible
Of course it is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.

Ofcourse if you follow the teachings of the bible you will be as righteous as righteous can be.

You will find yourself beating fools because what is more righteous then that

A fool's lips enter into contention, and his mouth calleth for strokes. Proverbs 18:6

Judgments are prepared for scorners, and stripes for the back of fools. Proverbs 19:29

A whip for the horse, a bridle for the ass, and a rod for the fool's back. Proverbs 26:3

Or kill Children

He that smiteth his father, or his mother, shall be surely put to death. -- Exodus 21:15

He that curseth his father, or his mother, shall surely be put to death. -- Exodus 21:17

For every one that curseth his father or his mother shall be surely put to death: he hath cursed his father or his mother; his blood shall be upon him. -- Leviticus 20:9

God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death. -- Matthew 15:4

Stone people

For touching Mount Sinai

Whosoever toucheth the mount shall be surely put to death. Exodus 19:13

For taking "accursed things"

Achan ... took of the accursed thing. ... And all Israel stoned him with stones, and burned them with fire, after they had stoned them with stones. ... So the LORD turned from the fierceness of his anger. Joshua 7:1-26

For cursing or blaspheming

And he that blasphemeth the name of the LORD, he shall surely be put to death, and all the congregation shall certainly stone him. Leviticus 24:16

For adultery (including urban rape victims who fail to scream loud enough)

If a damsel that is a virgin be betrothed unto an husband, and a man find her in the city, and lie with her; Then ye shall bring them both out unto the gate of that city, and ye shall stone them with stones that they die; the damsel, because she cried not, being in the city. Deuteronomy 22:23-24

For animals (like an ox that gores a human)

If an ox gore a man or a woman, that they die: then the ox shall be surely stoned. Exodus 21:28

For a woman who is not a virgin on her wedding night

If any man take a wife, and go in unto her, and hate her ... and say, I took this woman, and when I came to her, I found her not a maid: Then shall the father of the damsel, and her mother, take and bring forth the tokens of the damsel's virginity unto the elders of the city in the gate: And the damsel's father shall say ... these are the tokens of my daughter's virginity. And they shall spread the cloth before the elders of the city. ... But if this thing be true, and the tokens of virginity be not found for the damsel: Then they shall bring out the damsel to the door of her father's house, and the men of her city shall stone her with stones that she die. Deuteronomy 22:13-21

For worshipping other gods

If there be found among you ... that ... hath gone and served other gods, and worshipped them ... Then shalt thou ... tone them with stones, till they die. Deuteronomy 17:2-5

If thy brother, the son of thy mother, or thy son, or thy daughter, or the wife of thy bosom, or thy friend, which is as thine own soul, entice thee secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which thou hast not known, thou, nor thy fathers ... thou shalt stone him with stones, that he die. Deuteronomy 13:5-10

For disobeying parents

If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother ... Then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city ... And they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard. And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die. Deuteronomy 21:18-21

For witches and wizards

A man also or woman that hath a familiar spirit, or that is a wizard, shall surely be put to death: they shall stone them with stones: their blood shall be upon them. Leviticus 20:27

For giving your children to Molech

Whosoever ... giveth any of his seed unto Molech; he shall surely be put to death: the people of the land shall stone him with stones. Leviticus 20:2

For breaking the Sabbath

They found a man that gathered sticks upon the sabbath day. ... And the LORD said unto Moses, The man shall be surely put to death: all the congregation shall stone him with stones.... And all the congregation brought him without the camp, and stoned him with stones, and he died; as the LORD commanded Moses. Numbers 15:32-56

For cursing the king

Thou didst blaspheme God and the king. And then carry him out, and stone him, that he may die. 1 Kings 21:10

......

A perfectly righteous book indeed.

OFF TOPIC - Please Do Not Respond to this message by continuing in this vein.
AdminPD

Edited by AdminPD, : Warning


Christianity, One woman's lie about an affair that got seriously out of hand

Click if you dare!


This message is a reply to:
 Message 230 by GDR, posted 03-13-2012 5:48 PM GDR has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
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AdminPD
Inactive Administrator


Message 232 of 304 (655822)
03-13-2012 7:19 PM
Reply to: Message 231 by frako
03-13-2012 6:09 PM


Off Topic
Frako,

You're off topic. If you wish to participate, please read Message 1 and stay on topic.

Thanks
AdminPD


This message is a reply to:
 Message 231 by frako, posted 03-13-2012 6:09 PM frako has not yet responded

  
purpledawn
Member
Posts: 4453
From: Indiana
Joined: 04-25-2004


Message 233 of 304 (655881)
03-14-2012 10:51 AM
Reply to: Message 231 by frako
03-13-2012 6:09 PM


Sometimes A Literal Interpretation Misses the Lesson
While your post didn't address the topic of the thread, it is an example of why a literal reading can miss the mark.

Righteousness is basically conforming to what is considered morally upright or good and, as we learned through many discussions on EvC, systems of moral conduct can vary from culture to culture and change over years and centuries.

A proverb is a simple and concrete saying popularly known and repeated, which expresses a truth, based on common sense or the practical experience of humanity.

I assume you were reading the Proverbs quotes literally since your conclusion is that the lesson was to beat fools. If you had read more of Proverbs, you might have noticed that these aren't telling people what to do to fools, but are describing what usually happens to fools. The lesson: Don't be a fool. Don't behave like a fool. The consequences aren't pleasant.

There are two types of Bible Literalism: Letterism and Historical-Grammatical Method.

Letterism attempts to uncover the meaning of the text through a strict emphasis upon a mechanical, wooden literalism of words. This approach often obscures the literary aspects and consequently the primary meaning of the text.[6]

The historical grammatical method is a hermeneutic technique that strives to uncover the meaning of the text by taking into account not just the grammatical words, but also the syntactical aspects, the cultural and historical background, and the literary genre.

I'm not sure why you feel the Exodus laws deal with killing children, which to me means minors. Adults also have living mothers and fathers. If we look at the beginning of Chapter 21 we see that these are part of the laws supposedly put before the Hebrews in the wilderness. They reflect the punishment system of ancient times. We see the same type of consequences in the Code of Hammurabi.

The lesson is to not smite or curse one's parents. The lesson isn't about killing those who do. We have legal avenues in place today that deal with those who do smite their parents or anyone else.

It is best to try and avoid eisegesis which is the process of misinterpreting a text in such a way that it introduces one's own ideas, reading into the text.

IMO, some lay people tend to use a smattering of various techniques to interpret the Bible writings, but I feel that letterism will probably miss the meaning of a text due to ignoring literary devices.

As for 2 Kings 10 and Hosea 1:4, if one really reads Hosea 1:4 it may not be referring back to what Jehu did to the House of Ahab. I've used Young's Literal Translation because I feel other translations may have made assumptions.

and Jehovah saith unto him, 'Call his name Jezreel, for yet a little, and I have charged the blood of Jezreel on the house of Jehu, and have caused to cease the kingdom of the house of Israel;

It may be more symbolic in nature than actually making reference to the killings in 2 Kings 10. I will make a more in depth post concerning this as a response to GDR since I doubt you're really interested.


This message is a reply to:
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purpledawn
Member
Posts: 4453
From: Indiana
Joined: 04-25-2004


Message 234 of 304 (655900)
03-14-2012 1:03 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by GDR
11-29-2011 7:24 PM


God Character
quote:
My contention again is that the OT is the story of Gods relationship with His people. It is told with the cultural and personal biases of the individual writers who had been inspired to write their stories. My belief is that when the Bible is read that way, as a narrative made up of numerous styles of writing, then it becomes a much more powerful and meaningful story. Gods message of truth, love, justice and forgiveness, mercy etc is all there if we dont keep trying to deify the Bible, which IMHO only detracts from the God that the Bible is actually about.
Basically I agree with you, but I feel you're bothered by the violence in the OT. Ancient writings are going to reflect ancient practices. They want to depict a strong god. A god for enemies to fear and followers to respect.

quote:
How does a person who loves humble kindness and justice, the qualities of Yahweh that we see in Jesus Christ, worship the God that we see in those two passages if we take them as being literally true. Does it not make a whole lot more sense to understand that it is a part of Jewish history where they went off the rails, and then justified it by saying that Yahweh was in favour of what they had done?
If you look at the text that way, how can one discern what Yhwh actually condoned and what he didn't? Then you're just cherry picking what you like. One could easily say that everything that happened was done by man or nature and attribution was given to God as served their purpose.

I don't feel this is truly a literal interpretation issue. If I've missed something, please explain how this deals with literal interpretation.

As for Hosea 1:4, I don't think he's really referring back to Jehu's killings. Remember that Hosea was a prophet. Whether the article is correct or not, I don't know; but IMO, the plain reading doesn't clearly take us back to Jehu.

Hosea 1:2-5
2When the LORD first spoke through Hosea, the LORD said to Hosea, Go, take to yourself a wife of harlotry and have children of harlotry; for the land commits flagrant harlotry, forsaking the LORD. 3So he went and took Gomer the daughter of Diblaim, and she conceived and bore him a son. 4And the LORD said to him, Name him Jezreel; for yet a little while, and I will punish the house of Jehu for the bloodshed of Jezreel, and I will put an end to the kingdom of the house of Israel. 5On that day I will break the bow of Israel in the valley of Jezreel.

Solution to the Jehu Problem
The solution is simply that there is no contradiction between 2 Kings 10:30 and Hosea 1:4 because "the blood of Jezreel" is not a reference to those killed by Jehu in Jezreel; such an interpretation does not fit the context of this phrase. Rather, Hosea 1:4-5 pronounces judgment against both the house of Jehu and the house of Israel for idolatry. Gomer's first son is symbolically named Jezreel (meaning "God sows") to signify that God will end the kingdom of Israel by Assyria and scatter (or "sow") the Israelites among the heathen nations, as a token of which he will break Israel's military power in the valley of Jezreel.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by GDR, posted 11-29-2011 7:24 PM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 235 by GDR, posted 03-15-2012 2:01 PM purpledawn has responded

  
GDR
Member
Posts: 3735
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005


Message 235 of 304 (656009)
03-15-2012 2:01 PM
Reply to: Message 234 by purpledawn
03-14-2012 1:03 PM


Re: God Character
Sorry to be slow replying but I just haven't had the time.

purpledawn writes:

Basically I agree with you, but I feel you're bothered by the violence in the OT. Ancient writings are going to reflect ancient practices. They want to depict a strong god. A god for enemies to fear and followers to respect.

Sure I'm bothered by the violence in the OT just like I'm bothered by violence in the newspaper. The ancient practices are, although less prevalent, still with us. The idea of a strong god that would win wars for them was an example of the cultural biases of the writers and their cultures. It is an example of man trying to make god in his image. However mixed in with all that are revelations of a God who loves and forgives and wanted that to be the characteristic of the ancient Jews as well.

GDR writes:

How does a person who loves humble kindness and justice, the qualities of Yahweh that we see in Jesus Christ, worship the God that we see in those two passages if we take them as being literally true. Does it not make a whole lot more sense to understand that it is a part of Jewish history where they went off the rails, and then justified it by saying that Yahweh was in favour of what they had done?

purpledawn writes:

If you look at the text that way, how can one discern what Yhwh actually condoned and what he didn't? Then you're just cherry picking what you like. One could easily say that everything that happened was done by man or nature and attribution was given to God as served their purpose.
I don't feel this is truly a literal interpretation issue. If I've missed something, please explain how this deals with literal interpretation.

Jesus is the fulfillment of the Hebrew Scriptures. He is the climax of the Israel story in which he embodies the return of Yahweh to His people and as part of that brings clarity to their beliefs. If Jesus is truly the embodiment or incarnation of God then it is clear that we can understand the nature of God and his desires by using the teachings of Jesus to bring clarity to the OT.

Hell say it is written but I say, and then go from there. (For example in the sermon on the mount referring to an eye for an eye etc.) He doesnt say that Yahweh said that for the people then but its different now, he just said that that was what had been written. He doesn't say that God said it. He is saying that isnt what God wanted at all so here is the truth of what God wants. When he talks about divorce in the "Sermon on the Mount" he says that Moses said that it because of the hardness of their hearts. He does not say that Yahweh/God said that. He then clarifies God's position.

Jesus also says that love of God and neighbour is the fulfillment of al of the law and the prophets. It isnt a matter of cherry picking, it is a matter of discernment. I would venture to say that the stoning to death of people for various misdemeanours is not consistent with the idea of love of neighbour. The idea of genocide is not consistent with loving your neighbour. (By the way, the story of the Good Samaritan makes it clear that your neighbour is not just your fellow Christian or Jew.)

purpledawn writes:

As for Hosea 1:4, I don't think he's really referring back to Jehu's killings. Remember that Hosea was a prophet. Whether the article is correct or not, I don't know; but IMO, the plain reading doesn't clearly take us back to Jehu.

Hosea 1:2-5
2When the LORD first spoke through Hosea, the LORD said to Hosea, Go, take to yourself a wife of harlotry and have children of harlotry; for the land commits flagrant harlotry, forsaking the LORD. 3So he went and took Gomer the daughter of Diblaim, and she conceived and bore him a son. 4And the LORD said to him, Name him Jezreel; for yet a little while, and I will punish the house of Jehu for the bloodshed of Jezreel, and I will put an end to the kingdom of the house of Israel. 5On that day I will break the bow of Israel in the valley of Jezreel.
Solution to the Jehu Problem
The solution is simply that there is no contradiction between 2 Kings 10:30 and Hosea 1:4 because "the blood of Jezreel" is not a reference to those killed by Jehu in Jezreel; such an interpretation does not fit the context of this phrase. Rather, Hosea 1:4-5 pronounces judgment against both the house of Jehu and the house of Israel for idolatry. Gomer's first son is symbolically named Jezreel (meaning "God sows") to signify that God will end the kingdom of Israel by Assyria and scatter (or "sow") the Israelites among the heathen nations, as a token of which he will break Israel's military power in the valley of Jezreel.

Im sorry but I just cant buy that. According to Hosea the house of Jehu is to be punished for the bloodshed in Jezreel. It is clear IMHO that Hosea is saying, at least in his view, that God is not happy with what Jehu did at Jezreel. This is in contradiction to what the scribe(s) in Kings recorded. The fact that Hosea was a prophet only makes the point more clearly. A prophet is one who accurately portrays the heart and mind of God whether it concerns the future or not. (That isnt to say that the prophets were always right or that there werent false prophets.)

Edited by GDR, : typo


He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8


This message is a reply to:
 Message 234 by purpledawn, posted 03-14-2012 1:03 PM purpledawn has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 236 by purpledawn, posted 03-16-2012 9:47 AM GDR has responded

    
purpledawn
Member
Posts: 4453
From: Indiana
Joined: 04-25-2004


(1)
Message 236 of 304 (656049)
03-16-2012 9:47 AM
Reply to: Message 235 by GDR
03-15-2012 2:01 PM


Yizreel (yiz-reh-ale') or Yisrael (yis-raw-ale')
P'shat - The p'shat is the plain, simple meaning of the text. The understanding of scripture in its natural, normal sense using the customary meanings of the words being used, literary style, historical and cultural setting, and context. The p'shat is the keystone of Scripture understanding. If we discard the p'shat we lose any real chance of an accurate understanding and we are no longer objectively deriving meaning from the Scriptures (exegesis), but subjectively reading meaning into the scriptures (eisogesis).

Just as letterism can allow one to miss the primary meaning of the text eisegesis can also interfere with understanding the primary meaning of the text.

I'm not sure if your "technique" falls under eisegesis or not. You seem to be saying that anything depicting God as violent or condoning violence wasn't really God, but it was instead just mankind attributing their actions or approval for such actions to God; but if the actions are good, then it was actually God. I haven't seen any standard for this type of interpretation. So your problem with literal interpretation (not letterism) is that it conflicts with your view of God.

quote:
It is an example of man trying to make god in his image.
I don't see that that's any different than what you're doing. You have a personal image of God and wish to shift anything contrary to that in the Bible on human bias. It could just as easily be the other way around or no supreme being had any input and it's just how one civilization evolved.

quote:
However mixed in with all that are revelations of a God who loves and forgives and wanted that to be the characteristic of the ancient Jews as well.
Where in the OT is God shown to demonstrate love and forgiveness? I don't see that the text itself gives any clues that God didn't really sanction what Jehu did. I assume that's where you feel Hosea 1:4 comes in.

quote:
Jesus also says that love of God and neighbour is the fulfillment of al of the law and the prophets. It isnt a matter of cherry picking, it is a matter of discernment. I would venture to say that the stoning to death of people for various misdemeanours is not consistent with the idea of love of neighbour. The idea of genocide is not consistent with loving your neighbour. (By the way, the story of the Good Samaritan makes it clear that your neighbour is not just your fellow Christian or Jew.)
Those laws were for mankind, not God. God put a legal system in place. There are consequences for wrong behavior. The consequences were in line with the times as we can see from the Code of Hammurabi

The Good Samaritan story is geared towards individuals, not nations.

We would need to look at actual history to see the practical application of these laws. I think if we researched Jewish history we would find the application of the consequences probably weren't as common. There was a process.

Stoning
There are only scarce mentions of such a punishment being actually legally inflicted. There are three cases in the Bible (see list below) in which a person was stoned to death as a punishment. But there are also five or six cases where someone was stoned by a mob, or not in a legal fashion. A detailed recorded case of stoning occurs in the Book of Joshua (7, 24) when a man named Achan (עכן) was found to have kept loot from Jericho, a conquered Canaanite city, in his tent. Under the mores reflected in that book, massacring the Canaanites was an acceptable and indeed praiseworthy act, but disobedience to God's command by taking loot to oneself was an act heinous enough that not only Achan himself but also his entire family were stoned to death by the gathered Hebrews, as a punishment.

As God alone was deemed to be the only arbiter in the use of capital punishment, not fallible people, the Sanhedrin made stoning a hypothetical upper limit on the severity of punishment.[4]
The Punishment of Korah and the Stoning of Moses and Aaron (1480-1482), by Sandro Botticelli, Sistine Chapel, Rome.

Prior to early Christianity, particularly in the Mishnah, doubts were growing in Jewish society about the morality of capital punishment in general and stoning in particular. The Mishnah states:

A Sanhedrin that puts a man to death once in seven years is called destructive. Rabbi Eliezer ben Azariah says that this extends to a Sanhedrin that puts a man to death even once in seventy years. Rabbi Akiba and Rabbi Tarfon say: Had we been in the Sanhedrin none would ever have been put to death. Rabban Simeon ben Gamaliel says: they would have multiplied shedders of blood in Israel.[5]

In the following centuries the leading Jewish sages imposed so many restrictions on the implementation of capital punishment as to make it de facto illegal. The restrictions were to prevent execution of the innocent, and included many conditions for a testimony to be admissible that were difficult to fulfill.

Philosopher Moses Maimonides wrote, "It is better and more satisfactory to acquit a thousand guilty persons than to put a single innocent one to death."[6] He was concerned that the law guard its public perception, to preserve its majesty and retain the people's respect. He saw errors of commission as much more threatening to the integrity of law than errors of omission.[7]

So by the time Jesus came around, the Jewish leadership already had doubts about the morality of capital punishment.

We also have to understand the difference between what a government does to maintain order and an individuals behavior in the community. IMO, the OT is mostly a national view and the NT relates to individual behavior.

quote:
Im sorry but I just cant buy that. According to Hosea the house of Jehu is to be punished for the bloodshed in Jezreel. It is clear IMHO that Hosea is saying, at least in his view, that God is not happy with what Jehu did at Jezreel. This is in contradiction to what the scribe(s) in Kings recorded. The fact that Hosea was a prophet only makes the point more clearly. A prophet is one who accurately portrays the heart and mind of God whether it concerns the future or not. (That isnt to say that the prophets were always right or that there werent false prophets.)
Since we're dealing with a translation we can see in the parallels of Hosea 1:4 that they don't all say "at". Also check out the Interlinear reading.

Young's Literal Translation
and Jehovah saith unto him, 'Call his name Jezreel, for yet a little, and I have charged the blood of Jezreel on the house of Jehu, and have caused to cease the kingdom of the house of Israel

Prophetic writings don't tend to be as straightforward as we would like. That's why people can manipulate them to fit their own scenarios.

In looking at the Book of Hosea, I think God did approve of what Jehu did, but was disappointed that neither Jehu nor his descendants brought Israel back on track. Quite the opposite. From what I can find, the blood of Jezreel would make more sense referring to the blood shed in the Valley of Jezreel by the dynasties of Ahab and Jehu. Blue Letter Bible - Jezreel

The reference to Jezreel later in the book supposedly has a symbolic meaning referring to Israel. The Twelve Prophets

Apparently in Hebrew the word Jezreel sounds like Israel. Symbolic names of Hosea's Children

Given that, I think Mr. Jayawardena's solution has merit.

In this solution, "Jezreel" in "the blood of Jezreel" refers to the children of Israel as it clearly does in Hosea 1:4a, 1:11, and 2:22, and "blood" refers to the blood of the children of Israel shed by their enemies (in particular the Syrians) during the Jehu dynasty as a result of their idolatry. This "blood" is avenged upon the house of Jehu because they continued and promoted the cult of calf worship introduced by Jeroboam (and so "made Israel to sin"), which was the chief cause of divine judgment on the northern kingdom by enemy nations such as Syria. Starting from Jeroboam, all the kings of Israel were, in addition to being culpable for their own idolatry, responsible for the blood of the people of Israel in leading them in idolatry--and paid for it by the assassinations and massacres accompanying the numerous coups in Israel's history (see 1 Kings 14:14-16). Because he did not depart from the sins of Jeroboam, i.e., calf worship, Jehu had been warned of divine judgment against his house, the execution of which was postponed to the fourth generation in consideration of the fact that he served God in the matter of the destruction of the house of Ahab (2 Kings 10:29-31).

Hosea's audience probably understood the play on words better than we do today.

Overall, I don't feel a literal translation (P'shat) misses the point of either text. I also don't see any basis within the text to justify claiming that Jehu wasn't doing God's will.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 235 by GDR, posted 03-15-2012 2:01 PM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 237 by GDR, posted 03-16-2012 3:18 PM purpledawn has responded

  
GDR
Member
Posts: 3735
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005


Message 237 of 304 (656102)
03-16-2012 3:18 PM
Reply to: Message 236 by purpledawn
03-16-2012 9:47 AM


Re: Yizreel (yiz-reh-ale') or Yisrael (yis-raw-ale')
purpledawn writes:

Just as letterism can allow one to miss the primary meaning of the text eisegesis can also interfere with understanding the primary meaning of the text.

I'm not sure if your "technique" falls under eisegesis or not. You seem to be saying that anything depicting God as violent or condoning violence wasn't really God, but it was instead just mankind attributing their actions or approval for such actions to God; but if the actions are good, then it was actually God. I haven't seen any standard for this type of interpretation. So your problem with literal interpretation (not letterism) is that it conflicts with your view of God.

quote:
It is an example of man trying to make god in his image.

I don't see that that's any different than what you're doing. You have a personal image of God and wish to shift anything contrary to that in the Bible on human bias. It could just as easily be the other way around or no supreme being had any input and it's just how one civilization evolved.

I disagree. It isnt my view of God that I espouse it is Jesus view of God. I worship Jesus as the embodiment of God the Father. Yes, if the text of the Bible is contrary to the teachings and life of Jesus I have to assume it is not of God. As I have said elsewhere it is Jesus that I worship and not the Bible.

purpledawn writes:

Where in the OT is God shown to demonstrate love and forgiveness?

The story of David would be the best example. In addition the ancient Jews were always asking for forgiveness so they certainly anticipated that would be one of Gods attributes. Again, when we look at the Gospels we even see Jesus saying that we will be forgiven as we forgive which is a fairly clear example of it being demonstrated that God embodies the same moral code that He wishes for us follow.

purpledawn writes:

I don't see that the text itself gives any clues that God didn't really sanction what Jehu did. I assume that's where you feel Hosea 1:4 comes in.

Im not saying that the text does give us the answer. Both texts in question are written with the cultural biases of the authors and as a result they contradict one another. To bring clarity to it we simply look at Yahweh as embodied in Jesus and it is clear that God does not advocate mass murder.

purpledawn writes:

Those laws were for mankind, not God. God put a legal system in place. There are consequences for wrong behavior. The consequences were in line with the times as we can see from the Code of Hammurabi.

It seems to me that this is the big mistake. It isnt about laws as such. It is about the heart. God wants us to have hearts that forgive easily, that love always, that truly seek justice and fairness so that there is no need for laws. To paraphrase Paul - there is nothing wrong with me sitting down with a beer and buying one for a friend, but there is if the friend is alcoholic. It isnt about laws, it is about love.

purpledawn writes:

The Good Samaritan story is geared towards individuals, not nations.


The principle is the same.

purpledawn writes:

So by the time Jesus came around, the Jewish leadership already had doubts about the morality of capital punishment.

Well researched and I agree. God working through human imagination and human conscience will over a period of time change human hearts.

purpledawn writes:

We also have to understand the difference between what a government does to maintain order and an individuals behavior in the community. IMO, the OT is mostly a national view and the NT relates to individual behavior.

Not at all. The principle always remains the same as I said earlier. Much of Jesus talked about was how the Jews were to deal with the Romans on both a nationalistic and individual basis. The state is just a conglomeration of individuals, and ideally should reflect the collective view of the individuals.

purpledawn writes:

Given that, I think Mr. Jayawardena's solution has merit.

It may have merit, but again it is someone twisting what is written to fit his predetermined POV that it should be read literally. I am saying that these were men who were inspired to write their stories but they did not have it dictated to them. We have to look elsewhere, (Jesus), to determine Gods POV. Again, Jesus fulfilled the Hebrew Scriptures.

purpledawn writes:

Overall, I don't feel a literal translation (P'shat) misses the point of either text. I also don't see any basis within the text to justify claiming that Jehu wasn't doing God's will.

I guess well agree to disagree on that, however what Jehu did is certainly in contradiction to what we learn about Gods desires for us from Jesus.


He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8


This message is a reply to:
 Message 236 by purpledawn, posted 03-16-2012 9:47 AM purpledawn has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 238 by purpledawn, posted 03-16-2012 6:22 PM GDR has responded

    
purpledawn
Member
Posts: 4453
From: Indiana
Joined: 04-25-2004


Message 238 of 304 (656154)
03-16-2012 6:22 PM
Reply to: Message 237 by GDR
03-16-2012 3:18 PM


Re: Yizreel (yiz-reh-ale') or Yisrael (yis-raw-ale')
This is the science side and you need to show some sort of support for your position.

quote:
I disagree. It isnt my view of God that I espouse it is Jesus view of God. I worship Jesus as the embodiment of God the Father. Yes, if the text of the Bible is contrary to the teachings and life of Jesus I have to assume it is not of God. As I have said elsewhere it is Jesus that I worship and not the Bible.
Please provide scripture that supports what you're saying. The New Testament was also written by many men (some anonymous or pseudonymous) several decades after the fact and the source for the life and teachings of Jesus. Jesus didn't leave any writings of his own. It is part of the Bible. Pseudonymity and the New Testament

This isn't about who you worship, it is about the text. You're saying that bias is in the text, but you haven't shown that the text is actually bias. How do you determine which text is bias and which isn't. They are all written by men for their culture.

quote:
The story of David would be the best example. In addition the ancient Jews were always asking for forgiveness so they certainly anticipated that would be one of Gods attributes. Again, when we look at the Gospels we even see Jesus saying that we will be forgiven as we forgive which is a fairly clear example of it being demonstrated that God embodies the same moral code that He wishes for us follow.
Scripture please. Where in the OT does God actually demonstrate love and forgiveness?

quote:
Im not saying that the text does give us the answer. Both texts in question are written with the cultural biases of the authors and as a result they contradict one another. To bring clarity to it we simply look at Yahweh as embodied in Jesus and it is clear that God does not advocate mass murder.
Again, please provide scripture that supports this. Besides you, what supports the idea that there is bias in the OT, but not the NT or bias when God is doing something unJesus like.

quote:
It seems to me that this is the big mistake. It isnt about laws as such. It is about the heart. God wants us to have hearts that forgive easily, that love always, that truly seek justice and fairness so that there is no need for laws. To paraphrase Paul - there is nothing wrong with me sitting down with a beer and buying one for a friend, but there is if the friend is alcoholic. It isnt about laws, it is about love.
You're wandering. We are discussing God's actions, not ours. Like it or not, God gave out laws and some had a death penalty. Civilizations still have laws today.

quote:
Not at all. The principle always remains the same as I said earlier. Much of Jesus talked about was how the Jews were to deal with the Romans on both a nationalistic and individual basis. The state is just a conglomeration of individuals, and ideally should reflect the collective view of the individuals.
Scripture please.

quote:
It may have merit, but again it is someone twisting what is written to fit his predetermined POV that it should be read literally. I am saying that these were men who were inspired to write their stories but they did not have it dictated to them. We have to look elsewhere, (Jesus), to determine Gods POV. Again, Jesus fulfilled the Hebrew Scriptures.
The NT is also written by men and not dictated. You're not supporting your claims.

quote:
I guess well agree to disagree on that, however what Jehu did is certainly in contradiction to what we learn about Gods desires for us from Jesus.
Scripture please.

I can't really make a counter argument since you haven't provided scripture or supported your position. I don't see that your method of interpretation of the text is a valid method.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 237 by GDR, posted 03-16-2012 3:18 PM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 239 by GDR, posted 03-16-2012 9:10 PM purpledawn has responded

  
GDR
Member
Posts: 3735
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005


Message 239 of 304 (656190)
03-16-2012 9:10 PM
Reply to: Message 238 by purpledawn
03-16-2012 6:22 PM


Re: Yizreel (yiz-reh-ale') or Yisrael (yis-raw-ale')
purpledawn writes:

Please provide scripture that supports what you're saying. The New Testament was also written by many men (some anonymous or pseudonymous) several decades after the fact and the source for the life and teachings of Jesus. Jesus didn't leave any writings of his own. It is part of the Bible. Pseudonymity and the New Testament
This isn't about who you worship, it is about the text. You're saying that bias is in the text, but you haven't shown that the text is actually bias. How do you determine which text is bias and which isn't. They are all written by men for their culture.

Yes it is about the text. It is about how we understand about how the text is to be understood. In the end, regardless of our position it is an article of faith. Nothing can be proven by the text except for the fact that it exists. My approach is fairly straightforward.

Paul writes the following in 1st Corinthians:

quote:
14 And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. 15 More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. 19 If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men.20 But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. 22 For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. 23 But each in his own turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him. 24 Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power.

I think that we can reasonably assume that Paul actually wrote this in which case we can assume that he actually believes in the resurrection of Jesus. All accounts of his life also support that view. Essentially Paul is saying that if Jesus was not resurrected then the followers of Jesus are not only wrong but are to be pitied. The essential question then is did the resurrection actually happen or not, and if so then what can we infer from it.

Personally I have read a considerable amount on the subject and if one doesnt start with the belief that it is impossible, and that miracles dont happen, then I find the argument for much stronger than the argument against the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

However, that does not make it fact. It is an article of faith as to whether it happened or not. I take it on faith that it did happen essentially as the gospel writers describe it. On that basis I then give credibility to the accounts of Jesus life as told in the gospels. I then use the gospels as a lens through which to view the OT and to understand it.

purpledawn writes:

Scripture please. Where in the OT does God actually demonstrate love and forgiveness?

The whole story is about Gods faithful love and forgiveness. Consider all the brutality of the OT and yet God faithfully loved and forgave by giving us Jesus. He keeps hanging in there with us.

purpledawn writes:

Again, please provide scripture that supports this. Besides you, what supports the idea that there is bias in the OT, but not the NT or bias when God is doing something unJesus like.

First off you want me to use a literal reading of scripture to prove my point when I am arguing against a literal reading. The story of Jehu as told by the scribes in Kings as compared to Hosea is still the example I give for cultural bias. You dont have to accept that but it seems pretty clear to me. I am not saying that there isnt bias at times in the NT either but the NT is written in a different style than was the OT. The gospels are written as an account of what had actually been observed in the life of Jesus. Yes, we are dependent on them getting it right and I have no doubt that some details arent 100% but I dont see that as a problem. There is no reason for them to make that stuff up.

The gospels were written decades later but it is pretty obvious that there were pre-existing written sources for them as well as the oral tradition. In addition there still would have been eye witness when the gospels came out in their current form.

purpledawn writes:

You're wandering. We are discussing God's actions, not ours. Like it or not, God gave out laws and some had a death penalty. Civilizations still have laws today.

Im not wandering. The point is that all the so called laws hang on the concept of love of God and neighbour. It is my contention that the laws that you say are God given actually were instituted by man who used God to justify them. It is all about the heart and not about keeping a set of laws. If we love our neighbour we will not murder him or steal from him.

GDR writes:

Not at all. The principle always remains the same as I said earlier. Much of Jesus talked about was how the Jews were to deal with the Romans on both a nationalistic and individual basis. The state is just a conglomeration of individuals, and ideally should reflect the collective view of the individuals.

purpledawn writes:

Scripture please.

Love your enemy. Turn the other cheek. Go the extra mile.

purpledawn writes:

The NT is also written by men and not dictated. You're not supporting your claims.

I agree that the NT was not dictated either. There is no proof for my position just as there is no proof that the Bible is to be understood literally. In my view it is impossible to take the Bible as dictated by God as there are discrepancies in the very nature of God as well as direct contradictions in as simple a thing as genealogies. As I said, it is the Christian faith. However I put my faith in what I understand of Jesus as opposed to putting my faith in a collection of books.

purpledawn writes:

I can't really make a counter argument since you haven't provided scripture or supported your position. I don't see that your method of interpretation of the text is a valid method.

I have gone into this in more detail in other threads. Read Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount. He say that it is written or that Moses said before quoting and correcting the scripture.

What is the justification for understanding the Bible to be dictated by God a valid method and what is it that makes my method invalid?


He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8


This message is a reply to:
 Message 238 by purpledawn, posted 03-16-2012 6:22 PM purpledawn has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 240 by purpledawn, posted 03-17-2012 6:51 AM GDR has responded
 Message 241 by Nuggin, posted 03-17-2012 11:16 AM GDR has responded

    
purpledawn
Member
Posts: 4453
From: Indiana
Joined: 04-25-2004


Message 240 of 304 (656233)
03-17-2012 6:51 AM
Reply to: Message 239 by GDR
03-16-2012 9:10 PM


Eisegesis
quote:
What is the justification for understanding the Bible to be dictated by God a valid method and what is it that makes my method invalid?
Literal (P'shat) interpretation of the Bible text doesn't mean the text was dictated by God or that there are no mistakes in the text or inconsistencies between manuscripts. It simply means we read the book the same way we do any other book in its natural, normal sense using the customary meanings of the words being used, literary style, historical and cultural setting, and context.

The idea that the Bible is dictated is a tradition of mankind and not supported by the text.

You seem to use eisegesis which means you're putting your own subjective interpretations into the text, but those interpretations aren't supported by the text itself.

Basically, you're preaching your own version of your religion. IOW, your own brand of bias. You have nothing to support that your arguments are right or viable. You could be leading people down the wrong path.

When we reference scripture it is common courtesy to provide book, chapter, and verse. We don't make our opponents go search and hope they are on the same page.

quote:
First off you want me to use a literal reading of scripture to prove my point when I am arguing against a literal reading. The story of Jehu as told by the scribes in Kings as compared to Hosea is still the example I give for cultural bias. You dont have to accept that but it seems pretty clear to me. I am not saying that there isnt bias at times in the NT either but the NT is written in a different style than was the OT. The gospels are written as an account of what had actually been observed in the life of Jesus. Yes, we are dependent on them getting it right and I have no doubt that some details arent 100% but I dont see that as a problem. There is no reason for them to make that stuff up.
Maybe you need to explain what you understand a literal reading means to you. I've shown you several meanings.

None of the New Testament writers were eye-witnesses to the life of Jesus. Writing a story in the style of a journal doesn't make the information any more valid. You have no way of knowing whether any of the writers did or didn't have a reason to make stuff up. You're making stuff up by claiming bias for no other reason than it conflicts with your view of God. I know, you said it wasn't your view but that of Jesus. How do you know what Jesus' point of view is without reading the text? So you don't seem to mind the literal interpretation in some cases. You're being selective about what you accept as unbias.

If this is the way you want to create your own personal belief system, more power to you; but in a debate it doesn't float. It's easy to say stuff if one doesn't have to support it.

God didn't say love him because he's the nicest deity.
Abraham didn't do what God said because he was a nice deity.
Favor is more what God gave in the OT. Something that God could give and take away at his pleasure. (See God's promise to David 2 Samuel 7:15)
God had no problem with David killing his enemies, but was enraged when David sent Uriah out to die.
God may have forgiven David, but he also killed Bathsheba's baby.

Of course all this could just be bias and David was just a very lucky man and they attributed his great leadership to God. It could also have been a myth.

If you love God, you love him warts and all.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 239 by GDR, posted 03-16-2012 9:10 PM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 242 by GDR, posted 03-17-2012 5:39 PM purpledawn has responded

  
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