I would like to address Willows statement regarding the garden of Eden and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
Willows quote," you will NEVER understand until you understand what happened in the Garden of Eden ."
Yes, Delve more deeply into other ancient societies that also have the tree or axis mundi or sacred pole to understand this more clearly, You state we need to understand the happenings in the Garden of Eden in order to fully understand God.
I say you need to more fully understand the ancients and where this distorted myth comes from.
Lets say there is a God, this supernatural being or creative force of the universe is above mankind and capable of creating the universe so this supreme being must be beyond our human short comings, yet, the Bible seem to make God human with humans emotions as in,
Anthropomorphism, In the history of religion, anthropomorphism refers to the depiction of God in a human image, with human bodily form and emotions, such as jealousy, wrath, or love.
I also found something of interest in the book ,"The Sacred And The Profane."
To understand the mind set of ancient man perhaps this will make their view of the world around them more understandable.
One of the outstanding characteristics of tradition in societies is the opposition that they assume between "their "
inhabited territory and the
"unknown space" that surrounds them.
The former is their world, cosmos.
Everything outside it is no longer a cosmos but a sort of "other world" a "foreign chaotic space" peopled by ghosts, demons, and souls of the dead.
The space they occupy becomes sacred in a sense, it fixes the limits and establishes the order of the world.( they) inhabit).
Then we must perform the consecration of a place a cosmic axis, the sacred pole then the territory becomes inhabitable and transformed into a world.
According to the [the Achilpa] stories, their world was created by a deity named Numbakula. He not only made the world; he also created the ancestors of the people and lived with them for a time in order to establish their way of life.
When he had finished his work of creation, Numbakula made
from the trunk of a gum
Upon anointing the pole with blood, he climbed it and disappeared into the sky.
The Achilpa kept the pole as their most sacred possession and it stood at the center of their lives, reminding them of the ways that had been established for them by Numbakula.
They used the pole to direct their nomadic movements.
When they were ready to move to a new location, they consulted the pole and moved in the direction in which it leaned.
It was always taken with them and carefully protected. Baldwin Spencer and F. J. Gillen, who lived among the Achilpa for a time, described what happened once when the sacred pole was broken.
The people were very disturbed and confused and seemed to wander about aimlessly for a time until finally they all lay down on the ground to await the death they thought was to come. . . .
The Achilpa, by carrying their sacred pole with them and by erecting it wherever they camp, are asserting the meaning and order revealed by the deity Numbakula upon the temporary space in which they live.
It is the point from which all their activities gain orientation. It signals the basic distinctions which give them identity and by which they cohere. It is the channel through which they may continue to communicate with Numbakula, who lives in the sky. And through it Numbakula can communicate with the people, telling them, among other things, which way to travel. Even though it moves with them, the pole is the fixed point, the point of origin, the point giving meaning about which their lives are ordered.
Seen in this way it is little wonder the Achilpa were so upset and even submitted to death when their sacred pole was broken.
Symbolically they were
cut off from their deity,
from their heritage, from the order and orientation of their world. Without this center, they were symbolically in a state of chaos. Their aimless wandering and submission to death show the degree to which they found the meaning of their lives and livelihoods linked to their sacred pole. It was no ornament, no vacuous symbol, no superstition. It was the center and source of meaning in their whole way of life.
The axis Mundi or cosmic pillar can be found in other cosmological images and religious beliefs. Holy sites and sanctuaries are believed to be situated at the center of the world, temples are replicas of the cosmic mountain "link" between heaven and earth. Foundations of temples descend deep into lower regions.
The ziggurat was probably not the place of public worship or ceremonies, but rather the house of God. Through the ziggurat, the gods could be close to mankind. The cults performed in the ziggurats were limited to the priests, and their assignments were to provide for all the needs of the gods. There are several ideas about the symbolic meaning behind the ziggurats. One is that they were reconstruction's of the mountain temples that the new inhabitants to Mesopotamia used to erect while they lived in either the Taurus (now Turkey) or the Zagros Mountains (now Iran). Another theory tells that the ziggurat was a reconstruction of the cosmic mountain from the creation myths. A third theory tells us that the ziggurat was built as a bridge between heaven and earth. All three theories can be true at the same time, at least in part. The same tradition is found among the Hebrews, The rock of the Temple in Jerusalem reaches deep into the "Tehom" the Hebrew equivalent of the Babylonian Apsu. and just as Babylon had the Gate of Absu the temple had the "mouth of the tehom.
"They symbolize chaos of waters, Our world is always situated at the center.
Palestine and Jerusalem all present an imago mundi, the holy place represents the earth, the Holy of Holies, the heavens.
The imagined heavens has its counterpart as this center sacred space on earth, the image of the universe in the center of the world , the religious man sought to live as close to this center as possible, but then where ever that man is then there must be his center.
His living in this center assured his communicating with the gods.
So as the wandering Achilpa carried their sacred pole so where ever they lived there was their center.
A universe comes to birth from its center a core, a central point, like an embryo grows from the navel, so God created the world from the navel, and from there it spread out in all directions. The Hebrew traditions state and "so the world was created beginning with Zion."
I was reading this web page and a thought occurred to me........ http://www.northpark.edu/history/WebChron/Africa/Palestine.html King Shoshenq held tremendous power, and the accounts of his massive invasion represent the first recorded use of cavalry in battle (Sassoon 291, 710). The aggressive attack also resulted in the permanent removal of Jerusalem's sacred temple treasures (including the Ark of the Covenant), which had a tremendous impact on the nation. Notice, attack also resulted in the permanent removal of Jerusalem's sacred temple treasures (including the Ark of the Covenant)
This reminds me of the story of the Achilpa, by carrying their Sacred pole with them
(not unlike the Hebrews,
who carried there sacred Ark everywhere with them)
. And by erecting it wherever they camp, are asserting the meaning and order revealed by the deity Numbakula upon the temporary space in which they live. It say it had a tremendous impact on the nation, in like manner I remember the impact it had on the Achilpa.
The Achilpa were so upset and even submitted to death when their sacred pole was broken. Symbolically they were cut off from their deity, from their heritage, from the order and orientation of their world. Without this center, they were symbolically in a state of chaos. Their aimless wandering and submission to death show the degree to which they found the meaning of their lives and livelihoods linked to their sacred pole.
I just thought that I saw some similarities here.
The Sun Dance Ceremony Held annually in the summer the central pole is erected, representing the world axis, atop is a buffalo skull.
Everything is the sacred geography of the sun dance is significant and aligned directionally on an east-west axis. It is based on the concept of sacrifice, not unlike,
The warrior dancer attached skewers through their chest muscles thus manifesting the link to the heart of the sacred pole or cosmic axis. "The center pole contains all the power of the universe and the dancers are connected to the pole by an invisible cord coming from the tree and penetrating into their heart. "Now it is important to note that their ancient myths represented links to the Celestial world.
This is in response to Willows comment," you will NEVER understand until you understand what happened in the Garden of Eden ."
When a tribe cleared the land for a settlement, they always left a great tree in the middle, known in Ireland as the "crann bethadh," or Tree of Life, that embodied the security and integrity of the people. Chieftains were inaugurated at the sacred tree, for, with its roots stretching down to the lower world, its branches reaching to the upper world, it connected him with the power both of the heavens and the worlds below. One of the greatest triumphs a tribe could achieve over its enemies was to cut down their mother tree, an outrage punishable by the highest penalties.
While reading the book." When the Drummers Were Women," it stated that when nomadic tribes would clear the land they would always leave one tree, a tree that had been struck by "lightning," from this tree the shaman would also make a drum, when you look at lightning what do you see?
Lightning also has branches like the tree.
This speaks to me of a Lightning/god making contact with the earthly tree, a connection of sorts. God communicating.
It is also interesting to note that ancient man saw the Gods as storm gods, Thunder and lightning were the anger of God
Prometheus, the lightning-god appears as the originator of civilization.
In Norse mythology, also, the gods were said to have made the first man out of the ash-tree Yggdrasil.
anthropomorphism ,gives human traits to aspects of nature, such as thunder, lightning, and the universe itself.
Anthropocentrism is the basis for the theistic religions, those which assume a personal deity or deities. At the core of anthropocentrism is the view that there exists a human-like intelligence (or intelligences) behind the universe.
[This message has been edited by Stormdancer, 01-03-2004]
Genesis 1:31 And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.
Genesis 6:6 And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.
The first of these that I wish to deal with is the account in Judges 20. He is particularly concerned about two verses, 18 and 23, in which Israel asked counsel of God. God first told Judah to go against Benjamin, and they were defeated. They then asked God if they should persist in their actions. God told them to continue, and again they were severely defeated. This, we are told, is proof that God lies.
Does God Lie? Or encourage it?
1 Kings 22:19-23
19 Micaiah continued, "Therefore hear the word of the LORD : I saw the LORD sitting on his throne with all the host of heaven standing around him on his right and on his left. 20 And the LORD said, 'Who will entice Ahab into attacking Ramoth Gilead and going to his death there?' "One suggested this, and another that. 21 Finally,
a spirit came forward, stood before the LORD and said,
'I will entice him.'
22 " 'By what means?' the LORD asked.
" 'I will go out and be a
lying spirit in the mouths of all his prophets,' he said.
" 'You will succeed in enticing him,' said the LORD .
'Go and do it.'
23 "So now
the LORD has put a lying spirit in the mouths of all these prophets of yours.
The LORD has decreed disaster for you."
It says the LORD, YES?
In 2 Thessalonians 2:10-11, we read, "And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion,
that they should believe
Well, that is FAIR, YES?
In this passage, we read that God will send strong delusions so that people will believe a lie, yet in James we are told, "Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: but every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust and enticed" (James 1:13-14).
How is this being just and righteous?
Willow you said,
If the Bible records that God keeps His word to the hurt then the same is true in the good that is what He wants known.
Please why would the ALMIGHTY creator of heaven and earth have to resort to such tactics?
The creator must be above all other things, LOGICAL, These actions are unnecessary and illogical and not necessary at all, a supreme being can keep us in line without all the HEAD GAMES, manipulations and control dramas.
Willow you said, Nobody is innocent!
I say YES they were innocent
You said, Whoever gets killed in the Bible is because God decided that He was fed up with their rebellion/sin.
I say what sin have innocent childen commited?
You say, Only a called preacher of God can take you into the specific text and explain it.
I say, I have heard many preachers preach the Biblical texts subject to their owm interpretation of the scripture in question, they don't even agree, why do you think there are so many denominations?
I don't know how to put things in quotes yet. gulp, I will work on that.
[This message has been edited by Stormdancer, 01-05-2004]
Objective truth Number 1 : Righteousness IS whatever God does or says.
Willow says, IF God IS God THEN by definition whatever He does/says is righteous.
A question Willow,
What if an entity proclaiming to be your God descends from the clouds tomorrow, lets say about 12:00, and this entity said,
"Willow, hearken unto me, I command you to gather all the people that believe in me like you do, gather them together from the four corners of the earth and then I want you to destroy every man women and child saving not the beasts of the fields nor the fouls of the air and Slay them everyone that believes not in me.
Because I am God and I am right and no matter what I do it is OK cause I am right, period.
Would you be able to kill if this entity told you to?
[This message has been edited by Stormdancer, 01-07-2004]
Genesis 2 17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
Satan says, ... Genesis 3:4,5 "And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened ...and ye shall be as "gods" knowing "GOOD and "EVIL."
OK, trick question, who Lied?
God says, Gen 3:9 And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where [art] thou? Wait a second here....... God says where art thou Adam? God being all seeing and all knowing should know exactly where Adam is and what Adam has done.
God says, Gen 3:22 And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever: ,
To know good and Evil? Now think about it........isn't that what Satan said in the first place?
[This message has been edited by Stormdancer, 01-07-2004]
Adam and Eve at a metaphorical level had attained consciousness of themselves as individuals, and of each other.
The story of our ancestors being thrown out of the garden by an insecure "storm God" is the story of a Goddess-oriented society thrown into disequilibrium by successive episodes of drought that affected the carrying capacity and climate of the pastoralists' Saharan Eden.
The retreat of the glaciers from the Eurasian landmass and the simultaneously acceleration of aridity in the African grass lands brought about the "casting out of Eden."
What we have to remember is that the Old Testament was written by people who were only interested in explaining Israel's relationship with God, logic did not come into it. The 'Fall' was an explanation for why evil exists in the world, and the deuteronomy quote is an example of self-preservation.
The 'Fall of man' is a myth, a folk tale for an ancient culture, it is good literature and very interesting but not to be taken as a real event.
Brian, true, very true, but I have a sneaky suspicion that there is a grain of truth hidden in the myth.
Located in a strange lunar landscape of great geological interest, this site has one of the most important groupings of prehistoric cave art in the world. More than 15,000 drawings and engravings record the climatic changes, the animal migrations and the evolution of human life on the edge of the Sahara from 6000 B.C. to the first centuries of the present era.
Willow you say God is righteous because he is God, so no matter what god does it is ok because he knows best ....or something like that.
Well, then if God is always right why did he have to repent to Moses and how did the prophets get the message wrong, the prophets being Gods mouth piece are the source of the Bible writings that say God said so.
Exodus 32:14 - And the LORD repented of the evil which he thought to do unto his people -
SO IF GOD REPENTS THEN HE *******IS NOT "ALWAYS RIGHT"**********
32:11 And Moses besought the LORD his God, and said, LORD, why doth thy wrath wax hot against thy people, which thou hast brought forth out of the land of Egypt with great power, and with a mighty hand?
Moses has to advise God .
32:12 Wherefore should the Egyptians speak, and say, For mischief did he bring them out, to slay them in the mountains, and to consume them from the face of the earth? Turn from thy fierce wrath, and repent of this evil against thy people.
The bible is the inerrant words of God ?
Now the Bible would not have the words of God in it if it were not for the men of God.
So these men of God are called prophets .....
So if the prophecies did not come to pass then the prophecies recorded in the Bible being FALSE cannot possible be the word of GOD?
The Bible itself states, a prophet's that prophecy does not come to pass shall be put to death.