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arachnophilia
Member (Idle past 495 days)
Posts: 9069
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.


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arachnophilia
Member (Idle past 495 days)
Posts: 9069
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.


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 Message 64 by damoncasale, posted 12-13-2010 12:58 PM damoncasale has responded

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 Message 67 by damoncasale, posted 12-13-2010 9:31 PM arachnophilia has responded

  
arachnophilia
Member (Idle past 495 days)
Posts: 9069
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.


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arachnophilia
Member (Idle past 495 days)
Posts: 9069
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

  
arachnophilia
Member (Idle past 495 days)
Posts: 9069
From: god's waiting room
Joined: 05-21-2004


Message 76 of 82 (596380)
12-14-2010 4:46 PM
Reply to: Message 75 by damoncasale
12-14-2010 4:34 PM


Re: personal commentary
well, there is a genesis 1 vs. genesis 2 thread going on right now: http://www.evcforum.net/cgi-bin/dm.cgi?control=msg&t=14597 if you would like to share your thoughts on the subject there. i only mentioned it as an example because i had just come from posting there. i'm currently discussing the not-so-fine points of translation with ICANT.


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This message is a reply to:
 Message 75 by damoncasale, posted 12-14-2010 4:34 PM damoncasale has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 77 by damoncasale, posted 12-14-2010 5:29 PM arachnophilia has not yet responded

  
arachnophilia
Member (Idle past 495 days)
Posts: 9069
From: god's waiting room
Joined: 05-21-2004


Message 78 of 82 (598169)
12-28-2010 9:33 PM
Reply to: Message 64 by damoncasale
12-13-2010 12:58 PM


structure in isaiah
damoncasale 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

hi damon, i know you haven't participated in a while, hope everything's okay and you haven't completely disappeared from the board.

anyways, while we were discussing isaiah in another thread, regarding prophecy, i stumbled across this doctoral thesis. chapter 5 discusses the parallel (chiastic, if you like) structure within proto-isaiah.

i haven't had the opportunity to read that far into it, but i thought you might be interested.

Edited by arachnophilia, : No reason given.


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This message is a reply to:
 Message 64 by damoncasale, posted 12-13-2010 12:58 PM damoncasale has not yet responded

  
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