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Author Topic:   Research for a book - Survey of various dating methods
Theodoric
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Posts: 5765
From: Northwest, WI, USA
Joined: 08-15-2005
Member Rating: 3.6


Message 61 of 82 (596129)
12-13-2010 11:39 AM
Reply to: Message 60 by damoncasale
12-12-2010 11:17 PM


Re: Sidebar: Babylonian "Moral Relativism"
I form the light, and create darkness, I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord that do all these things. --- Isaiah 45:7

This is a direct reference to Isaiah 10:5. "Oh, Assyrian, the rod of my (god's) anger, and the staff in their hand is my indignation (against Judah)."

Please explain your point here. Since you do not explain your meaning I am not sure whether I disagree with you or not.
These throwaway lines do nothing to forward the debate, you need to explain yourself and support your arguments. That is the purpose of a debate site. If you do not want your comments scrutinized and debated you probably should not post here.

Also, I do not see how the rest of this post has any effect on your argument for Babylonian "Moral Relativism", which has been the subject of the posts of Dr. Adequate.


Facts don't lie or have an agenda. Facts are just facts
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arachnophilia
Member (Idle past 141 days)
Posts: 9068
From: god's waiting room
Joined: 05-21-2004


Message 62 of 82 (596131)
12-13-2010 12:11 PM
Reply to: Message 60 by damoncasale
12-12-2010 11:17 PM


Re: Sidebar: Babylonian "Moral Relativism"
this is all incredibly off-topic. you should make a new thread about it.

quote:
I form the light, and create darkness,
I make peace, and create evil:
I the Lord that do all these things.
--- Isaiah 45:7

This is a direct reference to Isaiah 10:5. "Oh, Assyrian, the rod of my (god's) anger, and the staff in their hand is my indignation (against Judah)."

"direct" reference might be the wrong word. since isaiah 45 is directed at "cyrus", we're likely dealing with a completely different group for the context.

remember, there was a fairly high degree of turn over in that part of the world at the time. assyria conquered israel, but babylon conquered judah. when persia (under cyrus the great) took over, they let judah go.

The early parts of Genesis were apparently originally written as a series of clay tablets, around the time that it was set. There are literary artifacts, called toledoth, marking the divisions between these original sections. They're normally translated as "these are the generations of (X)" in the text itself, and each of these marks the end of its respective section. Parallels to this can be found in the genealogical and literary tablets found at Ebla and Mari.

toldot as suggestions of earlier writings? yeah, i dunno about that. start a thread, we'll discuss it.


אָרַח

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Dr Adequate
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Posts: 15927
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 3.8


Message 63 of 82 (596135)
12-13-2010 12:29 PM
Reply to: Message 60 by damoncasale
12-12-2010 11:17 PM


Re: Sidebar: Babylonian "Moral Relativism"
To sum up, though, just as later parts of the bible use a polemical approach to describe ethically distasteful practices of the surrounding nations, I propose that Genesis 1-3 is simply doing the same thing, using a different literary style than what is used later on in the bible, but one common to the ancient Near East at that time.

But what was morally distasteful to the Jews in Babylonian practices is not best described by the phrase "moral relativism". Unless you have evidence to the contrary, it seems that the Babylonians, like other primitive peoples, believed in the objective correctness and superiority of their own religion, customs, moral standards, and taboos.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 60 by damoncasale, posted 12-12-2010 11:17 PM damoncasale has responded

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damoncasale
Member (Idle past 2234 days)
Posts: 41
From: Seffner, FL, USA
Joined: 12-09-2010


Message 64 of 82 (596144)
12-13-2010 12:58 PM
Reply to: Message 63 by Dr Adequate
12-13-2010 12:29 PM


Re: Sidebar: Babylonian "Moral Relativism"
But what was morally distasteful to the Jews in Babylonian practices is not best described by the phrase "moral relativism". Unless you have evidence to the contrary, it seems that the Babylonians, like other primitive peoples, believed in the objective correctness and superiority of their own religion, customs, moral standards, and taboos.

Of course the Babylonians believed their views were superior. And what I'll do in my book is attempt to give an objective view of the cultures and beliefs of Egypt and Sumer/Babylon, in order to give a background to the biblical creation story. As far as the correct usage of the term "moral relativism" goes, it's used today in basically the same way. Those who believe in a higher standard of ethics and morality use this term to describe others who don't aspire to that same standard. Naturally, those others wouldn't see it that way.

From Arachnopihilia's message:

This is a direct reference to Isaiah 10:5. "Oh, Assyrian, the rod of my (god's) anger, and the staff in their hand is my indignation (against Judah)."

"direct" reference might be the wrong word. since isaiah 45 is directed at "cyrus", we're likely dealing with a completely different group for the context.

There is an overarching, double structure to the whole book of Isaiah:

Ruin and Rebirth - chapters 1-5 and 34-35
Rebellion and Compliance - chapters 6-8 and 36-40
Punishment and Deliverance - chapters 9-12 and 41-46:13b
Humiliation and Exaltation - chapters 13-23 and 46:13c-47:15
Suffering and Salvation - chapters 24-27 and 48-54
Disloyalty and Loyalty - chapters 28-31 and 55-59
Disinheritance and Inheritance - chapters 32-33 and 60-66

I excerpted this structure from a book called "The Literary Message of Isaiah" by Avraham Gileadi, page 15. In the book, he refers to it as the "Bifid structure."

The book of Isaiah was written in such a way that the contrasting sections would not only reinforce one another, but in many cases, explain one another and add more details. The reference in Isaiah 45:7 to "creating good" and "making peace" was through the work of Cyrus, in sending the Jews back to their own land. It was contrasted with the work of the Assyrian king Sennacherib who destroyed Judah except for Jerusalem itself. Whether or not the name of Cyrus was in the book originally, what Isaiah basically did was to use this structure to foretell a time in his future when the Jews would be restored to their own land.

Dr. Adequate's original point in bringing up Isaiah 45:7 was to show that there was a parallel between the bible and Sumerian literature, because both deities seemed to claim responsibility for both good and evil. I'm not so sure that that was the intended meaning, here. Inana seems to revel in herself and her followers doing both good and evil, whereas the biblical account explains that "evil," or rather destruction, is a result of wickedness.

As far as starting a new thread to discuss these secondary subjects, you guys can if you want (but link this thread to whatever thread(s) you start, of course). I already got the answers I needed regarding dating methods I should cover in my book, so the purpose of this thread is already fulfilled, for me at least.

Damon


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arachnophilia
Member (Idle past 141 days)
Posts: 9068
From: god's waiting room
Joined: 05-21-2004


Message 65 of 82 (596194)
12-13-2010 6:54 PM
Reply to: Message 64 by damoncasale
12-13-2010 12:58 PM


Re: Sidebar: Babylonian "Moral Relativism"
damonscale writes:

There is an overarching, double structure to the whole book of Isaiah:

Ruin and Rebirth - chapters 1-5 and 34-35
Rebellion and Compliance - chapters 6-8 and 36-40
Punishment and Deliverance - chapters 9-12 and 41-46:13b
Humiliation and Exaltation - chapters 13-23 and 46:13c-47:15
Suffering and Salvation - chapters 24-27 and 48-54
Disloyalty and Loyalty - chapters 28-31 and 55-59
Disinheritance and Inheritance - chapters 32-33 and 60-66

I excerpted this structure from a book called "The Literary Message of Isaiah" by Avraham Gileadi, page 15. In the book, he refers to it as the "Bifid structure."

considering that those don't break in the same place as textual analysis observes marked stylistic shifts (and thus, different authors), i'm highly skeptical of that point. the second group contains a group of chapters that actually spans proto- and deutero-isaiah.

Dr. Adequate's original point in bringing up Isaiah 45:7 was to show that there was a parallel between the bible and Sumerian literature, because both deities seemed to claim responsibility for both good and evil. I'm not so sure that that was the intended meaning, here. Inana seems to revel in herself and her followers doing both good and evil, whereas the biblical account explains that "evil," or rather destruction, is a result of wickedness.

yes, and no. some parts of the bible -- and isaiah 45:7 is clearly one of them -- do portray god as "doing evil". jeremiah is positively filled with references to god doing or bringing evil. however, the argument is that this evil is deserved. delineating -- creating -- good and evil is in fact the job of yahweh. it is not a condemnation of god to say that he created evil as well as good. it is also not to say that this meant his followers were encouraged to do the same. and i don't know that it follows regarding inana as well. but i am not that well versed in sumerian mythology.

however, the last part of statement is inaccurate, in that it assumes a monolithic bible. rather, you will find at least one portrayal of an unjust god in the bible, one who brings evil or destruction upon his faithful for no good reason. this is precisely the argument for the book of job, and it's important to mention it in contrast to books like isaiah and jeremiah.


אָרַח

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Dr Adequate
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Posts: 15927
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 3.8


Message 66 of 82 (596202)
12-13-2010 7:17 PM
Reply to: Message 64 by damoncasale
12-13-2010 12:58 PM


Re: Sidebar: Babylonian "Moral Relativism"
As far as the correct usage of the term "moral relativism" goes, it's used today in basically the same way. Those who believe in a higher standard of ethics and morality use this term to describe others who don't aspire to that same standard.

To be more precise, the term is misused by idiots to describe people with a different morality from them.

But the proper meaning of "moral relativist" is not "someone with a different moral standard from me" or even "someone with a lower moral standard from me", but "someone who thinks that the concept that some moral standards can be 'higher' or 'lower' than others has no objective meaning."

To take an example, Moses and Hammurabi alike would doubtless be shocked at our moral laxity in not putting adulteresses to death. But it would be incorrect for them to call us "moral relativists" on that account --- because we refrain from doing so because we think it would be wrong to do so. Actually wrong. If we were asked: "Why is it not your custom to kill adulteresses?", we would not simply reply: "Because it is our custom not to kill adulteresses".


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damoncasale
Member (Idle past 2234 days)
Posts: 41
From: Seffner, FL, USA
Joined: 12-09-2010


Message 67 of 82 (596228)
12-13-2010 9:31 PM
Reply to: Message 65 by arachnophilia
12-13-2010 6:54 PM


Re: Sidebar: Babylonian "Moral Relativism"
considering that those don't break in the same place as textual analysis observes marked stylistic shifts (and thus, different authors), i'm highly skeptical of that point. the second group contains a group of chapters that actually spans proto- and deutero-isaiah.

It's the thesis of Avraham Gileadi that this overall structure demonstrates the unity of the book, as opposed to the book being written at different times by different authors. Until I started attending Torah study at a local synagogue a couple of years ago, I really hadn't looked closely at the issue of the authorship of Isaiah. (They decided not to stop at the end of Deuteronomy one year, and kept going. Now they're studying Isaiah.) They did an excellent job of presenting the view of multiple authorship, so I decided to compare it with the best possible scholarship on the unity of the book. I found reviews of this book (The Literary Message of Isaiah) online and ordered it about a month ago. It turned out to be an incredibly good choice.

As far as there being stylistic differences, there likely are. The book of Isaiah appears to be the work of Isaiah himself, as well as members of his family -- his two sons in particular. (I didn't get that idea from Gileadi, tho. That's from my own research.)

Looking at the chapter break you're referring to, though, you're right in that it looks like the break is supposed to be 36-39 for Rebellion and Compliance and 40-46:13b for Punishment and Deliverance. Isaiah 6-8 illustrate the rebellion of King Ahaz to God's will, whereas Isaiah 36-39 illustrate King Hezekiah's compliance to God's will. Chapter 40 isn't really connected with the subject of compliance to God's will, but more the subject of deliverance from the punishment of captivity.

you will find at least one portrayal of an unjust god in the bible, one who brings evil or destruction upon his faithful for no good reason. this is precisely the argument for the book of job

I see Job differently. The premise of the book of Job appears to be that Job was obeying God out of fear of what would happen if he didn't (Job 3:25), rather than because he simply desired to do good. When Job attempted to judge God for unrighteousness, Elihu argued on God's behalf, and then God picked up the argument towards the end of the book.

You're right, though, that books like Isaiah and Jeremiah have a different view of God creating good or evil. The premise of the Mosaic covenant was that if one kept the Law, one would have long life, prosperity, a guaranteed inheritance in the land of Israel, etc. (That's what Job was expecting, and complained when he got exactly the opposite.) On the other hand, the Assyrians were attacking the Israelites and Jews indiscriminately. God *did* view them as his rod of correction (Isaiah 10:5), but they no doubt killed the righteous along with the wicked.

Therefore, Isaiah 26:14-19 compares the fate of the wicked with that of the righteous. Since the wicked are receiving the just rewards of their actions, but the righteous are being denied the rewards of the Mosaic covenant because the Assyrians killed them, the wicked will die but the righteous will be resurrected to mortal life.

Isaiah 26:20-21 is interesting in that it uses the analogy of the Passover in Egypt, when the Israelites went into their homes until God's wrath on the firstborn of Egypt passed them by. Their "chambers" are likened to the graves the righteous Israelites were buried in, from which they will arise once God's indignation upon the wicked is past.

Naturally this didn't occur historically, but Isaiah's view was of "the day of the Lord" and not simply the near term. The day of the Lord is one symbol among many that derives from the biblical creation account. (Isaiah basically took quite a bit of symbolism from creation as well as drawing parallels with Abraham, the Exodus, etc., and updated it for a then-modern audience.) It's a symbolic reference to the Sabbath day, the day when man dwells in the presence of God. Therefore, his prophecies were concerned with how the day of the Lord would come about. He used near term historical events as types of later events or symbolism connected with this ultimate goal of history.

Thus, he (or rather his sons) had this motivation when they wrote Isaiah 40-66, even though it appears, from a historical perspective, to have originated at the end of the Babylonian exile.

As an aside, note that this is where the concept of an afterlife first entered into Jewish theology -- although most modern Jews would disagree. (Most either think it was always there, or think it started with Daniel.) Other than an obscurely written promise to King David regarding an everlasting dynasty that later writers apparently believed included eternal life (compare 2 Kings 7:10-17 with Ezekiel 37, especially verses 24-25), it started with Isaiah and eventually developed into a resurrection to eternal life, not just mortal life (Daniel 12:1-2).

Damon
PS. This is definitely wandering very far from the original subject. I don't quite know how to define what topic(s) you guys might want to continue discussing, if any, for the purpose of starting a new thread. The only reason I'm responding is to attempt to answer the issues you all have been raising.

Edited by damoncasale, : Added postscript

Edited by damoncasale, : Named book in question

Edited by damoncasale, : Clarified sentence


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arachnophilia
Member (Idle past 141 days)
Posts: 9068
From: god's waiting room
Joined: 05-21-2004


Message 68 of 82 (596245)
12-14-2010 12:22 AM
Reply to: Message 67 by damoncasale
12-13-2010 9:31 PM


Re: Sidebar: Babylonian "Moral Relativism"
damoncasale writes:

It's the thesis of Avraham Gileadi that this overall structure demonstrates the unity of the book, as opposed to the book being written at different times by different authors.

indeed. however, it does not address the concerns raised by the documentary hypothesis of isaiah, and thus isn't a particularly good rebuttal. it doesn't adequately explain the observations of the text in a way that even comes close to the documentary hypothesis, let alone in a superior way. thus, i see it as of little use.

As far as there being stylistic differences, there likely are. The book of Isaiah appears to be the work of Isaiah himself, as well as members of his family -- his two sons in particular. (I didn't get that idea from Gileadi, tho. That's from my own research.)

prophets would have had disciples; followers to write things down. much like jesus had. the "three isaiahs" would have been followers. the thought is that the third likely represents someone who wanted to continue the work of isaiah, as it represents such a marked shift. these followers might be sons, but i see no reason to think that.

Isaiah 6-8 illustrate the rebellion of King Ahaz to God's will,

yeah, i'm just not seeing it. were is ahaz's rebellion, exactly? he's only present in chapter 7, and the whole point there is to reassure him that it'll be okay -- israel and aram, his current enemies, are about to disappear into assyria.

I see Job differently. The premise of the book of Job appears to be that Job was obeying God out of fear of what would happen if he didn't (Job 3:25), rather than because he simply desired to do good.

err, no. that's what the satan charges. i believe you'll find that he loses that bet.

When Job attempted to judge God for unrighteousness, Elihu argued on God's behalf, and then God picked up the argument towards the end of the book.

You're right, though, that books like Isaiah and Jeremiah have a different view of God creating good or evil.

similarly, job's friends suggest that he is being cursed because he has done some evil. compare this to the mentality of isaiah and jeremiah. i think you'll find that job's friends are really the three major prophets -- and that god himself shows up at the end of the book to rebuke them, stating that job spoke correctly, and his punishment was unjust.

The premise of the Mosaic covenant was that if one kept the Law, one would have long life, prosperity, a guaranteed inheritance in the land of Israel, etc. (That's what Job was expecting, and complained when he got exactly the opposite.)

job was not an israelite. rather, he is a metaphor for judah. the story is parable, designed to make an argument about the babylonian exile. jeremiah says they deserved it. job says, now hang on a second, i did nothing wrong here.

As an aside, note that this is where the concept of an afterlife first entered into Jewish theology -- although most modern Jews would disagree. (Most either think it was always there, or think it started with Daniel.)

or an overly literal reading of ezekiel.


אָרַח

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damoncasale
Member (Idle past 2234 days)
Posts: 41
From: Seffner, FL, USA
Joined: 12-09-2010


Message 69 of 82 (596272)
12-14-2010 7:08 AM
Reply to: Message 68 by arachnophilia
12-14-2010 12:22 AM


Re: Sidebar: Babylonian "Moral Relativism"
indeed. however, it does not address the concerns raised by the documentary hypothesis of isaiah, and thus isn't a particularly good rebuttal. it doesn't adequately explain the observations of the text in a way that even comes close to the documentary hypothesis, let alone in a superior way. thus, i see it as of little use.

Well, without outlining specifically which observations you're referring to in the book of Isaiah itself, there's little I can do to answer that. In any case, I doubt we're going to come to a firm conclusion on that here. We seem to be widely divergent in terms of religious perspective, to say the least.

prophets would have had disciples; followers to write things down. much like jesus had. the "three isaiahs" would have been followers. the thought is that the third likely represents someone who wanted to continue the work of isaiah, as it represents such a marked shift. these followers might be sons, but i see no reason to think that.

Compare Isaiah 7:14-16, Isaiah 8:1-4, and Isaiah 49:1. The former are records of two sons of Isaiah who were known by name before birth. The third is a personal statement of the author that he was known by name from the womb. It's my personal opinion that this was Immanuel writing this part of the book of Isaiah. Also compare Isaiah 51:17-20. Isaiah 51:19, normally rendered "these two *things* have come to you," actually has the word "things" in italics, meaning that the word was inserted by the translators in an attempt to make sense of the text. IMHO, a better rendering would be "these two *sons* are come to you...by whom shall I comfort you?" because the subject of the surrounding two verses, verses 18 and 20, is "sons".

Yes, I'm aware that Isaiah 49 and 51 refer to a time after the end of the Babylonian captivity. However, it seems apparent to me that Isaiah was using his own two sons as prototypes to refer to two special individuals in the future who would do these things. Zechariah 4 picks up on the same theme of two anointed ones, and he likely got the inspiration for doing so from the book of Isaiah.

As far as Isaiah having disciples, yes, I believe he had disciples too. There were schools of the prophets around since the time of Elisha, probably since even the time of Samuel. It looks like Isaiah headed one of them, so certainly he would have had a long, ongoing tradition afterwards.

Anyway...the "marked shift" you're referring to seems to be Isaiah 40 onward. (Tritio-Isaiah, as I understand, is thought to encompass either 56 onward or 54 onward, depending on who one asks. But I don't see the significant difference you might be referring to, compared to the rest of Isaiah. So I can only assume you meant 40 onward.) But that marked shift seems to be adequately explained, to me, by positing that Isaiah and his sons were writing about things yet in the future -- hence the absence of any purely historical interludes -- and they were writing specifically about the aforementioned subjects -- the deliverance of the Jews from the punishment of captivity, etc. So just based on this one comment, I don't see any overwhelming evidence for the documentary hypothesis of Isaiah as opposed to having his sons write about things yet in the future for them.

yeah, i'm just not seeing it. were is ahaz's rebellion, exactly? he's only present in chapter 7, and the whole point there is to reassure him that it'll be okay -- israel and aram, his current enemies, are about to disappear into assyria.

What do you mean, you're not seeing it? Isaiah warns King Ahaz about the plot by the northern kingdom of Israel to overthrow the throne of Judah and put a puppet king on it, in order to form an alliance between Judah, Israel and Syria (Aram) in an attempt to withstand the advances of Assyria. Isaiah says not to be afraid of this plot, but instead to rely on God. God will honor his promise to David that a descendant of his would remain on the throne of Judah. But instead of relying on God, King Ahaz deliberately seeks out Assyria and makes an alliance with them to take care of his problem with Israel. But unfortunately, Assyria turns on Judah and destroys nearly the whole country except for Jerusalem itself.

King Ahaz refused to trust in God to take care of his problem. In contrast, King Hezekiah prayed to God to save him and all of Jerusalem from Assyria.

Regarding Job 3:25:

err, no. that's what the satan charges.

Umm...but this is a direct statement by Job himself?

The rest regarding Job and Jeremiah, I'd rather not continue. It seems like we see things way too differently here, so we likely won't get anywhere. (And yes, I'm aware that Job was not an Israelite, but I don't think the book of Job was written at such a late date.)

Damon


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Percy
Member
Posts: 15616
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 4.4


Message 70 of 82 (596281)
12-14-2010 8:45 AM


What about dating methods?
So you're satisfied with the information you received about dating methods and this thread is done?

--Percy


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damoncasale
Member (Idle past 2234 days)
Posts: 41
From: Seffner, FL, USA
Joined: 12-09-2010


Message 71 of 82 (596284)
12-14-2010 9:00 AM
Reply to: Message 70 by Percy
12-14-2010 8:45 AM


Re: What about dating methods?
Yes, I'm satisfied. It was very helpful.

I guess the thread is done, although if the topic's going to be closed I'd rather have Arachnophilia and Dr. Adequate get in the last word, assuming they want to.

Damon


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 Message 70 by Percy, posted 12-14-2010 8:45 AM Percy has responded

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Percy
Member
Posts: 15616
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 4.4


Message 72 of 82 (596288)
12-14-2010 9:07 AM
Reply to: Message 71 by damoncasale
12-14-2010 9:00 AM


Re: What about dating methods?
Why not just resume the discussion about Isaiah in a thread where it's on topic? There's an ancient thread that never really took off that looks perfect: The Authorship of Isaiah

--Percy


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damoncasale
Member (Idle past 2234 days)
Posts: 41
From: Seffner, FL, USA
Joined: 12-09-2010


Message 73 of 82 (596304)
12-14-2010 9:49 AM
Reply to: Message 72 by Percy
12-14-2010 9:07 AM


Re: What about dating methods?
I'm not so sure the topic is the authorship of Isaiah, rather than just miscellaneous bits of information concerning Isaiah. It started with the assertion that Isaiah 45:7 provided a view of God as being the author of evil as well as good, and sort of branched out from there. Authorship did come into play, but that was only one of several things we discussed.

So whatever. It just seems to me that Arachnophilia and Dr. Adequate approach Isaiah (and the bible as a whole) from the position of biblical minimalism -- or at the very least, Reform Judaism. (I'm not sure what the Hebrew word in Arachnophilia's sig is, but I'd make an educated guess that he's Jewish.) I'm more of a questioner, weighing things and trying to come up with the most reasonable conclusion that doesn't destroy the intent of the text. I think it's unlikely that we'll see eye to eye on much. *shrugs*

What I mean by that is, I don't know that continuing this discussion is going to be very productive. If either one of them feels that it will be, though, that's fine.

Damon
PS. The interlibrary loan copy of Chronometric Dating in Archaeology that I requested just arrived today! I'll flip through it tonight and see how useful it is...

Edited by damoncasale, : Elaboration

Edited by damoncasale, : Book arrived


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arachnophilia
Member (Idle past 141 days)
Posts: 9068
From: god's waiting room
Joined: 05-21-2004


Message 74 of 82 (596378)
12-14-2010 4:19 PM
Reply to: Message 73 by damoncasale
12-14-2010 9:49 AM


personal commentary
So whatever. It just seems to me that Arachnophilia and Dr. Adequate approach Isaiah (and the bible as a whole) from the position of biblical minimalism -- or at the very least, Reform Judaism.

perhaps. my views on the bible are quite complicated, and informed (at least in part) by jewish sources of various denominations, including secular.

(I'm not sure what the Hebrew word in Arachnophilia's sig is, but I'd make an educated guess that he's Jewish.)

i am not, but i probably should have been. it was, after all, jewish stories from the old testament that prompted me to convert to christianity. the word in my signature is a name from the bible, "arach". not pronounced the same way, but, hey.

I'm more of a questioner, weighing things and trying to come up with the most reasonable conclusion that doesn't destroy the intent of the text. I think it's unlikely that we'll see eye to eye on much. *shrugs*

i think you will be surprised. i do not approach the bible from any particular standpoint, although i do try to understand the intent, purpose, and function of each text individually. for some texts, such as the torah, dissecting the text into individual sources goes a long way towards explaining things, and often allows for a story to be examined independently of outside influences it must be rectified against. see for instance the discussion on genesis 1 v. genesis 2: it's quite handy to understand that they are different, and have different goals. mashing them together detracts from their independent meanings. call that "minimalism" if you like.

for instance, regarding job, above,

The rest regarding Job and Jeremiah, I'd rather not continue. It seems like we see things way too differently here, so we likely won't get anywhere. (And yes, I'm aware that Job was not an Israelite, but I don't think the book of Job was written at such a late date.)

job has two primary sources, and they differ in age. there is also likely a secondary source, an oral legend. he's mentioned in genesis and ezekiel, though not much said except that he is righteous.

the standard christian rhetoric is that the book of job is very, very old, based on the assumption that it was written by job, when it actually happened. instead, it is far more useful to look at its date of canonization, and realize that it was one of the last books added to the tanakh, or group it with the rest of old testament scripture at the earliest. this puts it firmly in a context of babylonian captivity. that, plus basic stylistic analysis, will tell you that it's basically an extensive philosophical argument against the prevailing wisdom movement of the day. job's friends basically argue the position of the wisdom movement: god punishes the wicked and rewards the just -- thus it's possible to infer the moral quality of a person based on his status in life.

this logic, of course, was used in first (and second) temple judaism to exclude those that truly needed help (cf; jesus and the lepers), and to justify the wealth of the levitical priests. it was also used by prophets like jeremiah to conclude that judah must be wicked and following false gods, or god would not have abandoned them. that's the fundamental logical assumption of the major prophets, who like job's friends also number three, and job effectively argues against them.

i don't think it's possible to understand the book of job without contrasting it to the major prophets. further, i think that contrast specifically demonstrates what you were going for above -- the difference between the "evil" of isaiah 45:7, and actual injustice carried out by god.

i think it's also important to understand the bible from a jewish perspective in regards to fighting with god. "israel" was so named for his struggle with god, and the best leaders of the hebrew people have been willing to question and challenge god. consider abraham's challenge to god regarding sodom:

quote:
That be far from Thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked, that so the righteous should be as the wicked; that be far from Thee; shall not the Judge of all the earth do justly?'

the word used here, repeatedly, is chalilah, the same word you use for desecration, and for a person who is never allowed to become a rabbi. it's basically the hebrew word for heresy. abraham charges god with considering heresy.

and god agrees.

Regarding Job 3:25:
err, no. that's what the satan charges.
Umm...but this is a direct statement by Job himself?

yes, but i think it's insufficient to demonstrate that job was only following god out of fear.


אָרַח

This message is a reply to:
 Message 73 by damoncasale, posted 12-14-2010 9:49 AM damoncasale has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 75 by damoncasale, posted 12-14-2010 4:34 PM arachnophilia has responded

  
damoncasale
Member (Idle past 2234 days)
Posts: 41
From: Seffner, FL, USA
Joined: 12-09-2010


Message 75 of 82 (596379)
12-14-2010 4:34 PM
Reply to: Message 74 by arachnophilia
12-14-2010 4:19 PM


Re: personal commentary
In any case...personal sharing is nice (and I'm inclined to do so myself), but I think we've diverged very far away from the original intent of the topic. I really don't see any easy way to shoehorn our conversation into a particular topic on this forum, but if you want to continue this conversation via email (since the local moderator seems to be nudging this topic to find a better niche), I'd be happy to. I do have some thoughts regarding Genesis 1 vs Genesis 2, and the ethical approach of the prophets. I'm out of my depth regarding the date of Job's composition, although I do wonder why it was necessary to mention constellations in it (Job 38:31-33).

I turned on my email address visibility for now. (Normally I prefer to leave it hidden in order to not attract spam, but it's there if anyone wants to grab it for right now.)

Damon


This message is a reply to:
 Message 74 by arachnophilia, posted 12-14-2010 4:19 PM arachnophilia has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 76 by arachnophilia, posted 12-14-2010 4:46 PM damoncasale has responded

    
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