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Author Topic:   Writers of Scripture carried along by the Spirit?
Mr. Ex Nihilo
Member (Idle past 4713 days)
Posts: 708
Joined: 04-12-2005


Message 1 of 43 (300759)
04-03-2006 11:39 PM


Only respond if you believe the authors believed their writings were given from God.
As part of my research from Message 275 in this thread into the mythology of the serpent in ancient pre-Judaic religions, I've come across a few key points that I felt I should inquire further.

1) If you believe that the authors of the Scriptures were moved by the Spirit of God, then what does the passage found in II Peter below mean to you?

2) In other words, what were the dynamics involved-- whether culturally, spiritually, or historically for example?

II Peter writes:

We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received honor and glory from God the Father when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory, saying, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased." We ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven when we were with him on the sacred mountain.

And we have the word of the prophets made more certain, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet's own interpretation. For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

In general, Christianity and Judaism regard the Holy Scriptures as the revealed word of God. However, widespread variation on what this revelation means (or to what extent or what books) it applies to can become very confusing. For example, although Orthodox Jews generally believe that the Torah was given to the Children of Israel at Sinai "Min Hashamayim", from the heavens -- that is, that God actually dictated the words of Torah to Moses atop Mount Sinai -- most Conservative, Reform and Reconstructionist Jews, as well as many Christian scholars, now accept the documentary hypothesis.

From my own perspective, as is prerequisite for response in this thread, I'll say that I do believe that the Scriptures are in some way authored by God. Refining this more clearly in my own Christian perspective, I believe the authors of the Scriptures wrote as they were directed by the inspiration of the Spirit of God.

However, when I say that I believe this, I'm not saying that I believe that the individual books of the Scriptures were penned at one time as a whole. I believe the Scriptures were, for example, subject to expansion and editting by the Holy Spirit as the times and cultures changed around the Hebrew culture which embraced them-- permitted so long as the editting did not contradict the primal revelation. As another example, I also believe that God allowed a remnant of a primal revelation in man's distant past to disperse via the Holy Spirit thoughtout the cultures of humanity. This is to say, I believe the naratives of ancient religions carried a distant memory of the primal revelation -- albeit, a distant memory distorted over time. In addition to this, in confirmation with the Scriptures themselves, I believe that, since the creation of the world, God's invisible qualities -- his eternal power and divine nature -- have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.

In other words, in my own opinion, I think there are different levels of revelation. And although all levels, each with their own corresponding level of responsibility, are inspired by the Holy Spirit, I still nonetheless believe that the Holy Spirit can communicate to us by various mediums and peoples, including other monotheists, polytheists, and atheists. He most especially, notwithstanding their religious or non-religious background, presents himself to us through the the poor. He indwells us by his Holy Spirit, allegorically speaking, bringing about birthpangs in our soul much like a woman bearing a child. And, manifesting the primal sacrament of Christ on the cross like a tesseract transfigured thoughout time and space, he is truly present to us in the Eucharist.

Acts 7:22 writes:

Moses was educated in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was powerful in speech and action.

Coming back to the initial composition of the Scriptures during the time of Moses, however, my own personal opinion is that when Moses was called by God in Egypt, God allowed Moses to be educated within the cosmopolitan philosophies of Pharaoh's court for a unifying reason. In Egypt, Moses had access to an extensive body of ancient writings by which God brought together the most primal themes of humanity's distant past. Orally, I believe that Moses carried with him the traditions from the time of Abraham -- so he was most familiar with this information. Academically, when the Israelite traditions were coupled with the distant memories contained within the written archives of humanity's ancient past, he was also familiar to a lesser degree with our primal origins. Spiritually, as moved by the Holy Spirit, he was in communion with the Lord Jesus and placed firmly within a position whereby he could clearly grasp the Lord's will and unify all these sources.

Rabbi Elijah writes:

The world will exist six thousand years. The first two thousand years were those of chaos [without the Torah]. The second two thousand years were those under the Torah. The last two thousand years are the messianic years.

Although I don't believe the world has been around for merely 6,000 years, in the scope of recent human history since the last ice age, this quote noted above does somewhat capture what I believe as far as the earliest peoples of the world rising out of am initial period of darkness. I believe God inspired Moses to whittle away the multiple layers of alternative thinking to recapture -- whether by poetic utterances, prophetic statements, or moral instruction -- the primal historical revelation of man's common origins once again. And this is the dialectic that I believe the Holy Scriptures have undergone over the course of human history.

In other words, although I don't believe the Scriptures are a gradual invention of humanity's collective "unconscious" religious thinking over time, they still nonetheless appear to be a progressive "dialectic" revelation of God's original will by the Holy Spirit-- the same Spirit which has been calling all of humanity from the very beginning.

This message has been edited by Mr. Ex Nihilo, 04-05-2006 07:56 PM


Replies to this message:
 Message 2 by AdminPhat, posted 04-04-2006 6:35 AM Mr. Ex Nihilo has responded
 Message 8 by Faith, posted 04-05-2006 8:42 AM Mr. Ex Nihilo has responded

    
AdminPhat
Administrator
Posts: 1911
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-03-2004


Message 2 of 43 (300787)
04-04-2006 6:35 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Mr. Ex Nihilo
04-03-2006 11:39 PM


Scripture in light of culture and intentions
This is a controversial issue and a long-winded opening topic.

In my non-admin mode, I would likely get involved in such a discussion with you, Mr. Ex! :) As an administrator, however, I have to judge the promoteability of a topic such as this in light of how it is likely to be perceived by others.

We doubtless have our in-house creationists who will use a thread such as this to go on and on about why the Bible is literal and why it is true and why the plain text reading of the script is plain.

Now...in regards to Message 275 in this threadI want to ask you a question.

Your debate was, briefly, as follows:

Mr.Ex-Nihilio writes:

I'm no expert, but I have studied these things a lot. I can pretty much guarantee you guys that there's very little left in regards to my faith that I haven't examined in-depth. Besides that, I'm not actually into homiletics that much (not that this would be bad). But, technically speaking, I'm actually more of a dialectic type researcher than anything else.


Ringo writes:

How can a plain text reading "capture the full range of Jewish thought"? A plain text reading is what the words say, not every conceivable implication of what they say.


Mr.Ex-Nihilio writes:

But that's my point: there's no such thing as a 'plain text' reading of the Genesis acount.

My question is this: Are you attempting to discuss the zeitgeist of the times surrounding 2 Peter?

Mr.Ex writes:

In other words, although I don't believe the Scriptures are a gradual invention of humanity's collective "unconscious" religious thinking over time, they still nonetheless appear to be a progressive "dialectic" revelation of God's original will by the Holy Spirit-- the same Spirit which has been calling all of humanity from the very beginning.

  • Explain to the reader what you mean by progressive "dialectic' revelation in regards to 2 Peter. Leave the OT out of this one!

    Get back to me, answer this, and DO edit the opening post a bit. You can gradually introduce some of your concepts and beliefs as the post unwinds through interaction.

    (revise and respond by April 10th)

    This message has been edited by AdminPhat, 04-04-2006 04:46 AM



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  • This message is a reply to:
     Message 1 by Mr. Ex Nihilo, posted 04-03-2006 11:39 PM Mr. Ex Nihilo has responded

    Replies to this message:
     Message 3 by AdminPhat, posted 04-04-2006 6:59 AM AdminPhat has not yet responded
     Message 4 by Mr. Ex Nihilo, posted 04-04-2006 9:00 PM AdminPhat has not yet responded

        
  • AdminPhat
    Administrator
    Posts: 1911
    From: Denver,Colorado USA
    Joined: 12-03-2004


    Message 3 of 43 (300790)
    04-04-2006 6:59 AM
    Reply to: Message 2 by AdminPhat
    04-04-2006 6:35 AM


    Purpledawn? Jar? Christian? Help me on this one
    I need some other admins to look at Mr. Ex-Nihilios opening post. It is good, but I think it a bit long. Can any of you help me shed some light on Mr. Ex's extremely detailed efforts??
    This message is a reply to:
     Message 2 by AdminPhat, posted 04-04-2006 6:35 AM AdminPhat has not yet responded

        
    Mr. Ex Nihilo
    Member (Idle past 4713 days)
    Posts: 708
    Joined: 04-12-2005


    Message 4 of 43 (301001)
    04-04-2006 9:00 PM
    Reply to: Message 2 by AdminPhat
    04-04-2006 6:35 AM


    Re: Scripture in light of culture and intentions
    AdminPhat writes:

    This is a controversial issue and a long-winded opening topic.

    I realize it's long. But I was trying to cover all the general topics that would be involved in this discussion.

    Admittedly, this section could probably come off from the OP:

    Mr. Ex Nihilo writes:

    In other words, in my own opinion, I think there are different levels of revelation. And although all levels, each with their own corresponding level of responsibility, are inspired by the Holy Spirit, I still nonetheless believe that the Holy Spirit can communicate to us by various mediums and peoples, including other monotheists, polytheists, and atheists. He most especially, notwithstanding their religious or non-religious background, presents himself to us through the the poor. He indwells us by his Holy Spirit, allegorically speaking, bringing about birthpangs in our soul much like a woman bearing a child. And, manifesting the primal sacrament of Christ on the cross like a tesseract transfigured thoughout time and space, he is truly present to us in the Eucharist.

    As far as potential controversy is concerned, however, I have attempted to treat the topic with as much respect as possible.

    AdminPhat writes:

    In my non-admin mode, I would likely get involved in such a discussion with you, Mr. Ex! :)

    And I would welcome your input.

    AdminPhat writes:

    As an administrator, however, I have to judge the promoteability of a topic such as this in light of how it is likely to be perceived by others.

    Hmmm...

    I have to admit that I've never seen this topic as being overly controversial. Certainly more sensitive topics have been brought up here.

    AdminPhat writes:

    We doubtless have our in-house creationists who will use a thread such as this to go on and on about why the Bible is literal and why it is true and why the plain text reading of the script is plain.

    I've never seen this being an objection to other potential threads being started. Taking your point and putting it in regards to the topic of evolution, one could just as easilly retort, "We doubtless have our in-house creationists who will use a thread such as this to go on and on about why evolution is a lie and why it is false and why the plain understanding of the geological record and fossil evidence of the earth is plain."

    AdmiPhat writes:

    Now...in regards to Message 275 in this threadI want to ask you a question.

    Your debate was, briefly, as follows:

    Mr.Ex-Nihilio writes:

    I'm no expert, but I have studied these things a lot. I can pretty much guarantee you guys that there's very little left in regards to my faith that I haven't examined in-depth. Besides that, I'm not actually into homiletics that much (not that this would be bad). But, technically speaking, I'm actually more of a dialectic type researcher than anything else.

    Ringo writes:

    How can a plain text reading "capture the full range of Jewish thought"? A plain text reading is what the words say, not every conceivable implication of what they say.

    Mr.Ex-Nihilio writes:

    But that's my point: there's no such thing as
    a 'plain text' reading of the Genesis acount.

    My question is this: Are you attempting to discuss the zeitgeist of the times surrounding 2 Peter?

    Yes. But with a catch.

    The authors of the Scriptures apparently did not believe they were carrying mythical traditions. At least the Scriptures themselves never seem to make this claim about themselves. My inclusion of the II Peter passage was placed there to capture a thought that many Jewish people over the millennia indeed felt were true as well. It jives very easilly with a passage from the Hebrew Scriptures such as this...

    Psalm 105:5 writes:


    Remember the wonders he has done, his miracles, and the judgments he pronounced...

    Or again...

    Psalm 143:5 writes:


    I remember the days of long ago; I meditate on all your works and consider what your hands have done.

    Clearly, those Israelites who carried the traditions of Moses did not believe they were following cleverly invented stories. Consequently, in a Christian context, this is precisely what the II Peter passage is saying as well.

    Mr.Ex writes:

    In other words, although I don't believe the Scriptures are a gradual invention of humanity's collective "unconscious" religious thinking over time, they still nonetheless appear to be a progressive "dialectic" revelation of God's original will by the Holy Spirit-- the same Spirit which has been calling all of humanity from the very beginning.

    AdminPhat writes:

  • Explain to the reader what you mean by progressive "dialectic' revelation in regards to 2 Peter.
  • I kind of already did-- as breifly as I could without going more overboard than I apparently already did...

    Mr. Ex Nihilo writes:

    Coming back to the initial composition of the Scriptures during the time of Moses, however, my own personal opinion is that when Moses was called by God in Egypt, God allowed Moses to be educated within the cosmopolitan philosophies of Pharaoh's court for a unifying reason. In Egypt, Moses had access to an extensive body of ancient writings by which God brought together the most primal themes of humanity's distant past. Orally, I believe that Moses carried with him the traditions from the time of Abraham -- so he was most familiar with this information. Academically, when the Israelite traditions were coupled with the distant memories contained within the written archives of humanity's ancient past, he was also familiar to a lesser degree with our primal origins. Spiritually, as moved by the Holy Spirit, he was in communion with the Lord Jesus and placed firmly within a position whereby he could clearly grasp the Lord's will and unify all these sources.

    When I refer to a progressive "dialectic' revelation, I'm proposing a kind of inverse dialectic where the end is already known from the beginning-- even if those who carry the traditions do not actually realize this. It seems to me that TS Eliot expressed this best when he said:

    TS Eliot writes:

    "We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time."

    In a nonchronological theory of literary history, T.S. Eliot proposes a simultaneous existence and order of all written art. This manifests itself in the evolution of a continuous string of exposition so that earlier work is always being altered through the introduction of later work.

    Coming back to Hegel's dialectic, Jim Meskauskas notes in his article:

    Simply put, the dialectical method involves the notion that the form of historical movement (process or progress), is the result of conflicting opposites. This area of Hegel's thought has been broken down in terms of the categories of thesis, antithesis, and synthesis. Hegel's philosophy of history embraces the concept that a conflict of opposites is a struggle between actual and potential worlds.

    A thesis can be seen as a single idea. The idea contains a form of incompleteness that gives rise to the antithesis, a conflicting idea. A third point of view, a synthesis, arises from this conflict. It overcomes the conflict by reconciling the truths contained in the thesis and antithesis at a higher level. The synthesis is a new thesis. It generates a new antithesis, and the process continues until truth is arrived at.

    Whereas Hegel proposed his dialectic as a synthesis between thesis and antithesis leading ultimately toward greater perfection, an inversed dialectic would likewise contend that there is a synthesis between thesis and antithesis-- but it's ultimate synthesis would be the result of returning toward the primal conditions from the beginning.

    AdminPhat writes:

    Leave the OT out of this one!

    But that's the main starting point of the Scriptures composition. :confused:

    In fact, I specifically started the inquiry exactly at Moses because he is precisely where many believe that the scribing of the Scriptures from oral traditions began. The main thrust of my research is to examine the cultures, religious beliefs, and philosophies of the nations that came prior to, alongside with, and departed from Judaism.

    In other words, I want to find out what the human authors of the Torah were thinking when they were guided by the Spirit of God to use their human intellect and choose the most appropriate symbolism for the first five books of the Bible.

    If I can't begin my inquiry with Moses, then any examination of what the 'plain text' of the Genesis account meant seems to be funadmentally uselsss.

    AdminPhat writes:

    Get back to me, answer this, and DO edit the opening post a bit. You can gradually introduce some of your concepts and beliefs as the post unwinds through interaction.

    (revise and respond by April 10th)

    I've given my feedback. What do you suggest I do from here?


    This message is a reply to:
     Message 2 by AdminPhat, posted 04-04-2006 6:35 AM AdminPhat has not yet responded

        
    AdminPhat
    Administrator
    Posts: 1911
    From: Denver,Colorado USA
    Joined: 12-03-2004


    Message 5 of 43 (301016)
    04-04-2006 11:46 PM


    Thread moved here from the Proposed New Topics forum.
        
    Mr. Ex Nihilo
    Member (Idle past 4713 days)
    Posts: 708
    Joined: 04-12-2005


    Message 6 of 43 (301036)
    04-05-2006 5:32 AM


    Refining the starting point...
    Although this thread assumes that the authors of the Scriptures were inspired by God when penning the words of the Scriptures (a view that was indeed considered essential to the Israelites themselves), it has been nonetheless admitted that the Israelites most likely communicated their messages using the popular phrases, concepts and vernaculars of their time.

    Just as Christianity seems to be influenced by previous cultures when scribing their ideas (such as the Stoics for example), so too does it seem to me that the Israelites were more than likely influenced by cultures which existed prior to them.

    Starting with Genesis, this thread has been ignited in an attempt to critically examine which ideas were borrowed from other cultures when the Israelites penned their words.

    I have some ideas, but I would like to hear what others have to offer before I get into the nitty gritty. For example, concepts very similar to the Judeo-Christian concept of angels seem to have existed well before the Israelites appeared within the scope of human history.

    Since it has been admitted that the Israelites, like all other cultures, were not immune to synthesis with other cultures that surrounded them or came before them, it needs to be asked, "What influence, linguistically speaking, do you feel was passed onto the Israelites by these previous cultures?"

    This message has been edited by Mr. Ex Nihilo, 04-05-2006 05:55 AM


    Replies to this message:
     Message 7 by Legend, posted 04-05-2006 7:48 AM Mr. Ex Nihilo has responded

        
    Legend
    Member (Idle past 3171 days)
    Posts: 1226
    From: Wales, UK
    Joined: 05-07-2004


    Message 7 of 43 (301040)
    04-05-2006 7:48 AM
    Reply to: Message 6 by Mr. Ex Nihilo
    04-05-2006 5:32 AM


    Re: Refining the starting point...
    In the OP you state 'respond only if you believe that the Scriptures were authored by the Spirit.

    However, in your last post you're asking about cultural influences on the Israelites.

    Is your OP statement still valid ?


    "In life, you have to face that some days you'll be the pigeon and some days you'll be the statue."
    This message is a reply to:
     Message 6 by Mr. Ex Nihilo, posted 04-05-2006 5:32 AM Mr. Ex Nihilo has responded

    Replies to this message:
     Message 9 by Mr. Ex Nihilo, posted 04-05-2006 4:42 PM Legend has responded

      
    Faith
    Member
    Posts: 31656
    From: Nevada, USA
    Joined: 10-06-2001
    Member Rating: 1.1


    Message 8 of 43 (301050)
    04-05-2006 8:42 AM
    Reply to: Message 1 by Mr. Ex Nihilo
    04-03-2006 11:39 PM


    Trying to get down to your main point
    It is hard to answer this OP, Mr. Ex because I'm not sure what you are saying. You are apparently trying to ask something about the relation between God's inpiration of the scriptures and the instrumentality of the human beings who wrote it, with their personalities and cultural influences.

    I definitely believe the scriptures were inspired by the Holy Spirit. I don't think any of the scriptures were "edited" over time, if that implies a change in meaning. I think it's clear, though, that there were many different cultural contexts in which they were written, and that God's revelation was given progressively, in stages, from generation to generation. Nevertheless, the message itself has come down to us unchanged.

    This message has been edited by Faith, 04-05-2006 08:49 AM


    This message is a reply to:
     Message 1 by Mr. Ex Nihilo, posted 04-03-2006 11:39 PM Mr. Ex Nihilo has responded

    Replies to this message:
     Message 10 by Mr. Ex Nihilo, posted 04-05-2006 4:56 PM Faith has responded

        
    Mr. Ex Nihilo
    Member (Idle past 4713 days)
    Posts: 708
    Joined: 04-12-2005


    Message 9 of 43 (301264)
    04-05-2006 4:42 PM
    Reply to: Message 7 by Legend
    04-05-2006 7:48 AM


    Re: Refining the starting point...
    Legend writes:

    Is your OP statement still valid ?

    Yes. I think so.

    The reason why I say this is because the people who carried these traditions apparently did believe that God conveyed these messages to them in some way.

    In other words, they didn't seem to think that that they were just 'making stuff up' to explain things they didn't understand-- so the initial point still seems valid.

    Maybe I should rephrase the original statement from 'respond only if you believe that the Scriptures were authored by the Spirit' to 'respond only if you believe the authors of the Scriptures believed their own writings were given to them by God'.

    Would that make it clearer?

    This message has been edited by Mr. Ex Nihilo, 04-05-2006 07:27 PM


    This message is a reply to:
     Message 7 by Legend, posted 04-05-2006 7:48 AM Legend has responded

    Replies to this message:
     Message 15 by Legend, posted 04-06-2006 7:01 AM Mr. Ex Nihilo has responded

        
    Mr. Ex Nihilo
    Member (Idle past 4713 days)
    Posts: 708
    Joined: 04-12-2005


    Message 10 of 43 (301274)
    04-05-2006 4:56 PM
    Reply to: Message 8 by Faith
    04-05-2006 8:42 AM


    Re: Trying to get down to your main point
    Faith writes:

    You are apparently trying to ask something about the relation between God's inpiration of the scriptures and the instrumentality of the human beings who wrote it, with their personalities and cultural influences.

    This is spot on good Faith.

    I've set this thread in motion for this exact reason, to examine the relationship between God and those who believed they received his message. I'm also examining, however, the infusion of other cultures that may have influenced the language they employed when conveying what they believed to be God's message.

    Faith writes:

    I definitely believe the scriptures were inspired by the Holy Spirit. I don't think any of the scriptures were "edited" over time, if that implies a change in meaning.

    Can the initial meaning be expanded upon so long as the initial message is not contradicted?

    Faith writes:

    I think it's clear, though, that there were many different cultural contexts in which they were written, and that God's revelation was given progressively, in stages, from generation to generation. Nevertheless, the message itself has come down to us unchanged.

    What cultures do you think might have influenced the Israelite's thinking? Can these progressive stages of revelation be linked up successfully with their interaction with other cultures around them, such as Egypt or Babylon for example?

    This message has been edited by Mr. Ex Nihilo, 04-05-2006 08:24 PM


    This message is a reply to:
     Message 8 by Faith, posted 04-05-2006 8:42 AM Faith has responded

    Replies to this message:
     Message 12 by Faith, posted 04-06-2006 12:43 AM Mr. Ex Nihilo has responded

        
    Mr. Ex Nihilo
    Member (Idle past 4713 days)
    Posts: 708
    Joined: 04-12-2005


    Message 11 of 43 (301388)
    04-05-2006 10:23 PM


    The Etymology of Religion...
    Some seem to be having some difficulty understanding what I'm getting at, so I've decided to follow up on the concept of 'plain text' readings as applied to dialectic research. In my opinion, this leads me to an investigation of the etymology of ancient Hebrew, the "true sense" of the very words used by the Hebrews themselves.

    Some of my etymological inquiries probably begin well with a portion of this article...

    Etymology by William E. Umbach writes:


    The study of the origin and development of words, their forms and meanings, may strike the layman as an esoteric pursuit, perhaps of dubious value. It was not always so. In seeking the "true sense" of a word, the Greeks were engaging in no idle quest; they, like much earlier primitive man, sensed a myterious relationship between the word and that for which it stands. To know how to pronounce the word correctly could give the user power over the thing or being, a principle of great importance in the exercise of witchcraft. But conversely it could also be dangerous to pronounce the names of certain beings, for to do so might arouse the anger of the immanent spirit. Thus some taboo names eventually dissapeared through silence or substitution. The English name bear, for example, is derived from the ancient term meaning "the brown one", used to avoid calling the beast by its true name. Other peoples used similar evasions: the ancient Hindus and Slavs called the same animal "the honeyeater" (Sanskrit: madhvad-, Old Slavic medvedi). and the Celts knew him as "the honey pig" (Welsh melfochyn). Still other names were perhaps felt to be too sacred to pronounce; thus the name of the God of the Hebrews were replaced by Adonai, literally "my Lord", and since it was conventional in ancient Hebrew manuscripts to write only the consonants and skip the vowels, the modern names are at best only scholarly conjectures.

    Key points to note:

    1) Ancient peoples tended to consider it dangerous to pronounce the names of certain beings, for to do so might arouse the anger of the immanent spirit.

    2) Some taboo names eventually dissapeared through silence or substitution, because ancient peoples tended to avoid calling things, beasts for example, by their true names.

    3) Other names were perhaps felt to be too sacred to pronounce and likewise fell into disuse-- leading at times to a loss of the true meaning of the word (or, at least, leading to a loss of the proper pronunciation of the word).

    This message has been edited by Mr. Ex Nihilo, 04-06-2006 01:24 AM


        
    Faith
    Member
    Posts: 31656
    From: Nevada, USA
    Joined: 10-06-2001
    Member Rating: 1.1


    Message 12 of 43 (301415)
    04-06-2006 12:43 AM
    Reply to: Message 10 by Mr. Ex Nihilo
    04-05-2006 4:56 PM


    Re: Trying to get down to your main point
    I've set this thread in motion for this exact reason, to examine the relationship between God and those who believed they received his message. I'm also examining, however, the infusion of other cultures that may have influenced the language they employed when conveying what they believed to be God's message.

    That suggests that they were some kind of intellectual scholars searching for useful concepts from other cultures somehow. Maybe that isn't what you mean to imply. I would assume that neutral things like expressions and figures of speech could have influenced them but only because they had already been made part of their own culture, so it doesn't seem important what the source of a given way of speaking might have been. They would use whatever said best what they heard from God.

    Faith writes:
    I definitely believe the scriptures were inspired by the Holy Spirit. I don't think any of the scriptures were "edited" over time, if that implies a change in meaning.

    Can the initial meaning be expanded upon so long as the initial message is not contradicted?

    You'd have to give a specific example. I see no need for this in principle, or any reason to believe it occurred. I don't have a problem with there having been different scribes for some books though, or a book's having been written in stages over time. In fact I'd expect that for most of them. Anything that comes direct from God couldn't be "expanded upon" except by God Himself. But again, I suppose you'd have to give a specific example where you think this could have occurred before I'd know what I really think.

    Faith writes:
    I think it's clear, though, that there were many different cultural contexts in which they were written, and that God's revelation was given progressively, in stages, from generation to generation. Nevertheless, the message itself has come down to us unchanged.

    What cultures do you think might have influenced the Israelite's thinking? Can these progressive stages of revelation be linked up successfully with their interaction with other cultures around them, such as Egypt or Babylon for example?

    I don't think culture contributes anything at all to the Israelites' "thinking" -- at least not those who wrote the scriptures. Modes of expression, figures of speech, customs that were shared or appropriated, all that may be part of the historical picture and the way it is presented, but the substance of the scriptures was all either historical fact or revelation from God and His dealings with His people, not influenced by anything extraneous at all.

    This message has been edited by Faith, 04-06-2006 12:49 AM


    This message is a reply to:
     Message 10 by Mr. Ex Nihilo, posted 04-05-2006 4:56 PM Mr. Ex Nihilo has responded

    Replies to this message:
     Message 13 by Mr. Ex Nihilo, posted 04-06-2006 1:16 AM Faith has responded
     Message 14 by Rainman2, posted 04-06-2006 1:26 AM Faith has not yet responded

        
    Mr. Ex Nihilo
    Member (Idle past 4713 days)
    Posts: 708
    Joined: 04-12-2005


    Message 13 of 43 (301419)
    04-06-2006 1:16 AM
    Reply to: Message 12 by Faith
    04-06-2006 12:43 AM


    Re: Trying to get down to your main point
    Faith, I'm talking about the etymology of ancient Hebrew, and the linguistic concepts that may have been borrowed, exchanged, and dispersed between the Israelites and the other cultures they passed through throughout their historical development.

    In my opinion, this doesn't undermine the value or authority of the Scriptures at all-- because God's still the source of the inspiration. As I'll try to demonstrate in this thread, it simply compliments the very things that have traditionally been held as historically valid interpretations since well prior to the emergence of the Hebrew peoples.

    I realize that you might think my employing a kind of "higher criticism" places me within the more liberal camps in regards to Christian thinking-- but it really doesn't.

    We might approach the Scriptures from very different perspectives academically speaking. But, in the end, I think you'll see that I'm actually quite in agreement with you concerning certain traditionally held views regarding Christianity.

    Please have faith, bear with me, and allow me to present my thoughts. The main point of my presentation is not to undermine the Scriptures. Rather, the main point of my presentation is to present considerable evidence against those who might think our traditional ideas are preconceived notions introduced after the decline of Judaism of the Biblical era.

    This is an investigation into the 'plain text' of the Hebrew language as it developed over the millennia.

    This message has been edited by Mr. Ex Nihilo, 04-06-2006 01:22 AM


    This message is a reply to:
     Message 12 by Faith, posted 04-06-2006 12:43 AM Faith has responded

    Replies to this message:
     Message 16 by Faith, posted 04-06-2006 10:20 AM Mr. Ex Nihilo has responded

        
    Rainman2
    Inactive Member


    Message 14 of 43 (301420)
    04-06-2006 1:26 AM
    Reply to: Message 12 by Faith
    04-06-2006 12:43 AM


    Re: Trying to get down to your main point
    What's up fellow Christian-type people,

    The time and place where and when each revalation was given was probably for a reason. For instance when Jesus asked Peter "who do you say I am". They were by this huge shrine of God's carved out of the rock at Caesarea Phillipi where there was also a pagan temple. Jesus is standing there in front of the worlds gods with Peter saying "thou art the Christ the son of the living God." It also makes his statement "upon this rock will I build my church" more significant.

    This message has been edited by Rainman2, 04-10-2006 09:12 PM


    This message is a reply to:
     Message 12 by Faith, posted 04-06-2006 12:43 AM Faith has not yet responded

      
    Legend
    Member (Idle past 3171 days)
    Posts: 1226
    From: Wales, UK
    Joined: 05-07-2004


    Message 15 of 43 (301453)
    04-06-2006 7:01 AM
    Reply to: Message 9 by Mr. Ex Nihilo
    04-05-2006 4:42 PM


    Re: Refining the starting point...
    quote:
    respond only if you believe the authors of the Scriptures believed their own writings were given to them by God.

    much clearer, thanks Mr Ex.

    I think many of the original authors would have thought they were divinely inspired. However, I can't help but notice the lack of originality in the OT myths and also in the Pauline mythification of Jesus. I'm not too familiar with Jewish / middle eastern history and mythology but I am familiar with GrecoRoman one. First thing I thought when I first read Genesis was that all the Greek myths were right there : Deucalion and Pyrrha , Pandora's box, Hephaestus, Titans, the lot.

    IMHO, there are two possibilities here:
    either, the Greeks were as divinely inspired as the Hebrews so thet they both described the same divinely-imparted facts from different points of view, OR they were both influenced by preceding civilizations and similar cultural and environmental stimuli to develop resembling mythologies.

    that's my two cents anyway.


    "In life, you have to face that some days you'll be the pigeon and some days you'll be the statue."
    This message is a reply to:
     Message 9 by Mr. Ex Nihilo, posted 04-05-2006 4:42 PM Mr. Ex Nihilo has responded

    Replies to this message:
     Message 18 by Mr. Ex Nihilo, posted 04-06-2006 8:10 PM Legend has not yet responded

      
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