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Author Topic:   Message of the Bible
Member (Idle past 3702 days)
Posts: 4659
From: Scotland
Joined: 10-22-2002

Message 3 of 213 (68559)
11-22-2003 3:02 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Cold Foreign Object
11-22-2003 2:52 PM

When the absolute reliability of His word is ascertained through its demon-stration

Gotta love the good ol' Freudian slip!

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 Message 1 by Cold Foreign Object, posted 11-22-2003 2:52 PM Cold Foreign Object has not yet responded

Member (Idle past 3702 days)
Posts: 4659
From: Scotland
Joined: 10-22-2002

Message 60 of 213 (71286)
12-05-2003 7:29 PM
Reply to: Message 57 by Zhimbo
12-05-2003 1:00 PM


Brian = drunken bum!

[This message has been edited by Brian, 12-05-2003]

[This message has been edited by Brian, 12-06-2003]

This message is a reply to:
 Message 57 by Zhimbo, posted 12-05-2003 1:00 PM Zhimbo has not yet responded

Member (Idle past 3702 days)
Posts: 4659
From: Scotland
Joined: 10-22-2002

Message 70 of 213 (71606)
12-08-2003 2:25 PM
Reply to: Message 62 by Yaro
12-05-2003 9:39 PM

Hi Yaro,

In preparing for a seminar on the OT concept of 'Holy War' I came across this reference regarding instructions for Holy War in Deuteronomy 21:10-14

10 When you go to war against your enemies and the LORD your God delivers them into your hands and you take captives, 11 if you notice among the captives a beautiful woman and are attracted to her, you may take her as your wife. 12 Bring her into your home and have her shave her head, trim her nails 13 and put aside the clothes she was wearing when captured. After she has lived in your house and mourned her father and mother for a full month, then you may go to her and be her husband and she shall be your wife. 14 If you are not pleased with her, let her go wherever she wishes. You must not sell her or treat her as a slave, since you have dishonored her.

I find this reference horrendous too. The authors attempt to justify these actions by the language they are using, but, while this may take attention away (for the believer) from the atrocities of the Israelites, there are some obscene practices here.

Granted, we are talking about a very long time ago, and in a much different society where owning women was an acceptable part of that society, so perhaps we should not expect these people to have the same moral values that we do. Perhaps their morality is simply an example of the general state of society of the time these texts were written?

We also have to remember that these atrocities recorded in the Bible may be pure fiction, an ideological view of history.

When you consider that the bloodiest battles, and the most horrendous atrocities, (IMO) are found in the Joshua conquest narratives, and these narratives have been totally contradicted by the material evidence, then that these stories did not happen is a distinct possibility.

Of course these laws would apply if the Israelites ever conquered any town, but I don't think the Israelites were really that much of a force in the ancient near east, there is certainly no evidence to support the Conquest narratives or the King David exploits.

The Israelites made a rather peaceful entrance on to the world stage, emerging from within Canaanite society and not arriving from Egypt as a massive army.

So I think these claims are more ideological than historical.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 62 by Yaro, posted 12-05-2003 9:39 PM Yaro has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 71 by Yaro, posted 12-09-2003 12:52 AM Brian has responded

Member (Idle past 3702 days)
Posts: 4659
From: Scotland
Joined: 10-22-2002

Message 72 of 213 (71841)
12-09-2003 10:29 AM
Reply to: Message 71 by Yaro
12-09-2003 12:52 AM

Hi Yaro,

I have some spare time at work so I thought you might be interested in some information from a couple of overheads I have produced for a seminar this week and next week.

Regarding the exaggerated victories of Joshua in the Bible, there are many similar examples from non-biblical texts, here are two that actually refer to Israel.

The first one is from the Merneptah Stele dated to c. 1207 BCE, the Israel mentioned in the stele may not be the biblical Israel but the majority of scholars believe it is and this is usually referred to as the first mention of Israel as an ethnic group outside of the Bible.

The princes are prostrate, saying: "Mercy!"
Not one raises his head among the Nine Bows.
Desolation is for Tehenu;
Hatti is pacified;
Plundered is the Canaan with every evil;
Carried off is Ashkelon;
seized upon is Gezer;
Yeno`am is made as that which does not exist;
Israel is laid waste, his seed is not;
Hurru is become a widow for Egypt!
All lands together, they are pacified;
everyone who was restless has been bound
by the king of Upper and Lower Egypt;
Be-en Re Meri-Amon; the Son of Re;
mer-ne-Ptah Hotep-hir-Maat, given life
like Re every day.

You can see that the claim that Israel’s ‘seed’ is not, and that it has been laid waste is an over exaggeration. There is debate over the meaning of ‘seed’ it could be offspring or it could be grain, but you can get the idea from the complete text that utterly destroying the enemy was a common claim.

It is repeated again in the Mesha Stele/Moabite Stone.

I will just post a few extracts from this inscription because it is a fairly large text, a couple of examples will suffice anyway. The Mesha Stele is actually a very good text for understanding Near Eastern society in general and it has a few examples that are useful for understanding the worldview of the Bible authors. The complete text is accessible at many websites if you are interested.

And I made this high-place for Kemosh in Qarcho . . . because he has delivered me from all kings,

This is the same sort of idea that we find in the Bible with the Israelites giving credit to God for victory over an enemy. If a king triumphs it is only because God is with them, and this belief was the same for the Moabites, also the mention of ‘high-place’ is very common in the Bible.

Omri was the king of Israel, and he oppressed Moab for many days, for Kemosh was angry with his land.

Again a reflection of a concept fond in the Bible, a set back is explained by the Nation’s particular deity being upset for one reason or another, Israel is consistently informing us that she deserves everything she got from YHWH because of her transgressions. They deserved to wander the desert for forty years because they made a Golden Calf, and the generation that left Egypt did not deserve to enter the Promised Land. (Of course Joshua earned his right)

But Kemosh restored it in my days.

The god gets credit again, a common theme in near eastern society, it isn’t the armies that gained victory it is the god who won through.

And Kemosh said to me, "Go, take Nebo from Israel." And I went in the night and fought against it from the daybreak until midday, and I took it and I killed the whole population: seven thousand male subjects and aliens, and female subjects, aliens, and servant girls. For I had put it to the ban for Ashtar Kemosh.

This is particularly relevant to the discussion, not only did the God of the Bible give horrendous instructions for war, the ‘ban’ was simply an accepted tactic of the day.

And the king of Israel had built Yahaz, and he stayed there throughout his campaign against me; and Kemosh drove him away before my face.

A final quote that reinforces the fact that many societies, other than Israel, credited victories to their God. Many Bible verses support this idea that victory is not because the armies fought so well, it is because God was with them that they won, ultimately God delivers the enemy into the hands of the victor.

Here are some examples from Joshua 10:

30 And the LORD delivered it also, and the king thereof, into the hand of Israel; and he smote it with the edge of the sword, and all the souls that were therein; he let none remain in it; but did unto the king thereof as he did unto the king of Jericho.

32 And the LORD delivered Lachish into the hand of Israel

42 And all these kings and their land did Joshua take at one time, because the LORD God of Israel fought for Israel.

It should be remembered that YWHW was also seen as a warrior,

Exodus 15:3 The LORD is a warrior; the LORD is his name.

Psalm 124:8 Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle.

Exodus 14:14 The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.

The idea of a Warrior God played an important role in Israel’s settlement period. There is a collection of Israelite poetry that has been lost called ‘the Songs of the Wars of Yahweh, which may have contained songs of praise to the great divine warrior who drove out the inhabitants of the lands that Israel came up against.

So you can see that slaughtering of what appear to be innocent victims was not unique to the God of the Bible.

I would agree with your conclusion that these references in the Bible are more a cultural product rather than a direct communication from God. Indeed, if Israel had ever had an army to be reckoned with then these actions would really have been expected of them and would not have been a surprise to anyone living in that area.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 71 by Yaro, posted 12-09-2003 12:52 AM Yaro has not yet responded

Member (Idle past 3702 days)
Posts: 4659
From: Scotland
Joined: 10-22-2002

Message 96 of 213 (77011)
01-07-2004 3:25 PM
Reply to: Message 93 by Rand Al'Thor
01-07-2004 4:03 AM

Re: Does God do what he says, or whatever he wants?
God put the tree there to test his creation, he wanted to see if they would obey Him or not.

God constantly tested His chosen people throughout the Old Testament, this is one reason why God sent false prophets to the Israelites, He wanted to test their loyalty.

I know there are horrendous errors in logic with this explanation, but this is supported by scripture:

Deuteronomy 13:3 you must not listen to the words of that prophet or dreamer. The LORD your God is testing you to find out whether you love him with all your heart and with all your soul.

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.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 93 by Rand Al'Thor, posted 01-07-2004 4:03 AM Rand Al'Thor has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 100 by Rand Al'Thor, posted 01-08-2004 12:38 AM Brian has responded

Member (Idle past 3702 days)
Posts: 4659
From: Scotland
Joined: 10-22-2002

Message 104 of 213 (77135)
01-08-2004 10:29 AM
Reply to: Message 100 by Rand Al'Thor
01-08-2004 12:38 AM

Re: Does God do what he says, or whatever he wants?
But if god is Omnipotent then he would have already known whether Adam and Eve would take the bait, so what is the point of testing them?

There is no point in testing them, it is a story, a folk tale, the point of the folk tale is to explain how evil entered the world, and everything else is immaterial. If you read the story as folk lore then you can see why it was written, the author wasn’t trying to cover all the bases, he only had one purpose and the story achieves that purpose.

I know, and you know, that this story makes a mockery of God’s omniscience, but this wouldn’t have entered the mind of the author as it was not why he wrote it. The Israelites needed a reason to explain how God can say at the end of each creation day that everything was ‘good’ and that He was ‘pleased’ (which also negates omniscience) yet we all know that world contains a lot of evil. How can this be so if God was pleased with His creation? Well since God cannot be at fault it then has to be someone else’s fault, and the author shows us that it is our fault not God’s. The author achieved his purpose, the additional problems did not concern him.

Also if god made humans then it is his fault that Adam and Eve disobeyed him.

If there is a God then of course everything that happens is His fault, but you will not get a Bible believer to agree with you. They want their cake and they want to be able to eat it as well. But you may want to think about God perhaps being an evil entity and that the Fall was part of His overall plan, this is contrary to what believers think but it is consistent with the text. What else but an evil entity would create beings the He knew He would eventually send to a place of eternal damnation? The God of the Bible is not really omniscient, if you read the stories about God in the Bible YWHW is actually rather thick, he appears to be unable to anything right.

If he wanted humans to do everything he wanted then why not create them that way?

Why bother creating humans at all, it makes no sense?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 100 by Rand Al'Thor, posted 01-08-2004 12:38 AM Rand Al'Thor has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 105 by Rand Al'Thor, posted 01-08-2004 5:38 PM Brian has responded

Member (Idle past 3702 days)
Posts: 4659
From: Scotland
Joined: 10-22-2002

Message 106 of 213 (77196)
01-08-2004 6:09 PM
Reply to: Message 105 by Rand Al'Thor
01-08-2004 5:38 PM

Re: Does God do what he says, or whatever he wants?

This is one of the things that I find very interesting about the Bible. We all have access to the same text, the same information, yet some people can clearly see that it is a collection of folk tales, legends, etiologies, poems, songs, ideologies, propaganda, etc, yet many others look at the same texts and see it as a perfect work passed on by prophets straight from God, they cannot entertain for a minute that a single word may not be 100% true. For example, they will even ignore every single piece of evidence that provess a human cannot live for 969 years, they know it is impossible but they will believe that pre-flood people couls live for nearly a thousand years.

I think it is fairly obvious that these figures are fictional, to the dating system used cannot be the same as ours, the years have to be a different timespan. But I get the impression that some people believe that if they admit that a single thing in the Bible is not 100% accurate, like the 969 years example, then the whole Bible is worthless, which is nonsense.

I personally think the Old Testament is a wonderful colection of texts, I read some of the Old Testament almost every day and I read it as literature. I personally feel that this is the best way to read it and some people go through the most horrendous intellectual contortions to maintain a fantasy that the Bible is an accurate recollection of past events. That is up to them of course, they are entitled to believe what they want to believe. What does bug me is when certain people do not apply the same criteria to the Bible as they do to other 'historical' texts, they will say that the miracles in the Qur'an or the Vedas could not have happened, there must be a rational explanation for them, yet they accept every miracle in the Bible without question.

Willowtree will give an answer, that answer will satisfy him, which is fine, but I doubt very much whether his answer will satify us but we should at least consider what he has to say.


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
 Message 107 by Cold Foreign Object, posted 01-08-2004 10:48 PM Brian has responded

Member (Idle past 3702 days)
Posts: 4659
From: Scotland
Joined: 10-22-2002

Message 152 of 213 (77706)
01-11-2004 6:19 AM
Reply to: Message 107 by Cold Foreign Object
01-08-2004 10:48 PM

Hi, thanks for the reply

Let me quickly repeat, the Bible claims to be the Eternal Word of God. I use the word "claim" because I believe I am generally debating with people who do not believe the claim.

OK, can you support this statement, where does the Bible ‘claim’ this?

I ask the claim to be assumed, that what is written in the Bible to be what God wants known. Now, if anyone wants to debate the claim, then fine. Make your argument. I have in previous posts stated why I believe the Bible to be the word of God.

I still don’t believe you, but for the purposes of this thread I will ‘assume’ that the Bible is the word of God.

In Christian debate arenas this issue is always assumed. I really do not want to debate this issue here because the title of this topic reveals the debate parameters to be "the message" of the Bible.

Fine, no problem.

As to your comments about the Garden of Eden being folk-lore ? Please scroll back a little ways and read my response to the arguments of EvC member Stormdancer……

I see nothing at all in that post to negate my belief that the Fall is nothing more than folk-lore, I see plenty to support my belief though. All you are doing is using one myth to support another myth

These are logical assumptions ascribed to God.

These are parts of the definition of what God is, if He isn’t all of these things then He isn’t a God.

However, the Bible, which is my source of information about God clearly portrays God's omniscience to have ONE exception.
Yes, you read correctly. There is one exception to God's omniscience.

This is very convenient for your interpretation of course, however, it is impossible for a God to not know anything, you can have your one exception but it proves that the God of your Bible does not exist.

Basic theology 101 :

This should be interesting since it comes from a theologian who thinks that God can be omniscient AND not know that something was going to happen.

Again I will ‘assume’ that your theology is accurate, however, I would suggest that you really do take a basic theology course at a local college or other educational establishment because in reality your theology needs an awful lot of work to improve it. The following explanation is really not even basic theology, it is Sunday school theology for 5 years olds. Sorry to be so blunt, but if you are going to talk about theology then you need to raise the standard of your explanation a little.

But on with the show….

Originally, Satan was Lucifer the Highest Arch-Angel created by God. Lucifer lead worship of God in heaven, that was his primary function. However, over time, he became disatisfied with his position and organized a rebellion against God. Lucifer had free-will and he used it to rebel. God allowed this to go on for some unknown amount of time.

OK, omniscience exception number one?

God should have known that Lucifer would rebel against Him, if he didn’t know then this is the first exception, if He did know then it was part of God’s plan as he allowed it to continue.

Where does the Bible say that Lucifer was given free-will?

Then, at one particular moment during musical worship of God in heaven, Lucifer believed the worship he lead to suddenly be directed at him instead of God "I will be like the Most High and ascend the mountain of God..."

I take it that you are on about Isaiah 14? If so, I do not see where the rest of your information comes from.

In fact, could you give scriptural references to support this story about Lucifer/Satan?

God, having withdrawn Himself from the situation, suddenly decided He had had enough. He cast Lucifer down out of heaven with the angels that directed the worship at him.

God suddenly decided He had had enough! This is omniscience nullifying example two. God would know that some time in the future he would ‘suddenly decide’ yet He still ignored the problem, must be part of God’s plan I take it?

Lucifer and his angels are now irrevocably judged. They are God-damned forever. In fact, God became so angry with this betrayal that He created a place called Hell and committed the mutineers to dwell there for all of eternity.
But Lucifer, (now called Satan) vehemently protested this judgement. He begged God for another chance. God told him that there would be no more chances - that his judgement was final. God also told Satan that he would not even allow this subject to be brought up ever again and that their physical being would have to always exist in this fiery place of torment forever and ever.

Then God cast them into this Hell for an unknown amount of time.

Any scriptural references to support your ‘theological’ musings?

I have heard your explanations when I was at Sunday school 30 years or so ago, I am now 40 and these very over-simplified explanations have no place in an adult debate. What I would like to see you doing is employing some type of theological methodology to support these children’s tales.

I personally would like to examine these texts with you in a more formal theological discussion. Rather than just assuming that your story validates the Bible I think that we both could learn a lot from sharing ideas on such things as (since the Bible appears to be your only source of literary evidence) literary criticism, form criticism, source criticism, textual criticism, and perhaps some philology. Even if you do not wish to discuss your texts in this manner, I do suggest that you employ some of these techniques as they would help you to make much stronger arguments to support your beliefs.

For example, you state that ‘But Lucifer, (now called Satan)’ and you leave it at that, you do not say why the sudden name change. What do the names ‘Lucifer’ and Satan’ mean, is there a reason for the name change, when, in a literary context, would the name change have happened, does the Bible explain the name change, why do you attribute many different things to Lucifer yet there only one reference to Lucifer in the entire Bible (Isaiah 14:12)?

There are many problems with your ‘basic theology’ you need to start employing real theological methodologies if you really so wish to understand the Bible.

I will skip almost all of the rest of your ‘Fall’ explanation as I am familiar with it anyway.

Now, IF trust/faith is the issue (and it is) then just like in the Garden, God does not know for certain which way you/I will choose to go.

Omniscience nullifying example number three.

Sorry but this is pure nonsense, this makes the God of the Bible into a nothing. ‘God does not know for certain’! Come on WT this is not the message of the Bible at all, you are making it up to try and get God off the hook so to speak. God is guilty of horrendous atrocities against mankind, and you are making things up to try and prove God’s innocence and your explanation is not remotely connected to the Bible.

He is prepared to respond if you trust Him and He is prepared to react if you/I don't. But He does not know for certain what you will do when faced with the option to trust what He says or not.

You keep proving that the God of the Bible does not exist.

This is WHY God "repented" over choosing Saul. After Saul revealed his true colors by living a life that did not trust God, he became rejected by God - given up on. God didn't know what Saul would do UNTIL he actually did it.

Omniscience nullifying example number four!

Can God predict what a person will do ? OF COURSE. The issue is what a person will do IF they have the freedom to trust God or not.

Sorry but you appear to have no idea what a God is.

One of the greatest examples of the exception to God's omniscience is in Genesis 22.
Abraham was at least 120 years old when God said to him in the 12th verse : "....NOW I KNOW that thy fearest God ..."
Finally, after 120 years and Isaac bound for sacrifice with Abrahams arm stretched out with the knife ready to kill Isaac, God stops the drama and declares that He is NOW convinced that Abraham fears Him.

Again, your God is not the God of the Bible. You keep proving that He is not omniscient, you are the first Christian I have met that claims this. I was a Christian until I was 20, attended church a couple of times a week, sunday school, bible classes, and Honours degree, almost a master of theo, and have met countless Christians and not a single one would accept your belief that there is something that God cannot know. Your idea of God contradicts what a God is.

If you fear God then you want to make Him happy and trust is what makes Him happy.

Why should I fear Him, the relationship is supposed to be built on love and trust. You make it sound like a threat.

Abraham passed his test, but that drama was a type a play so to speak of what God would do to His own Son on that exact spot. Only in God's case He would not spare His own hand and spare His Son who offered His life as the Second Adam to give God the means to fellowship and save sinning man from the hands of Satan.

You do know that God let this little play run its course, He has a very sick and twisted mind this God of yours, of course your God is not the God of the Bible.

The only thing God does not know, is the one thing He cannot create (exception to His omnipotence) IF man will trust what He says or what the sepent/Satan says. God cannot create trust, it must be freely given.

This is wild. Your God is not omnipotent either, what exactly is it that you are following? Creating trust in a human has nothing at all to do with God’s omniscience, God should still know EVERYTHING, if He doesn’t then He isn’t a God. Omniscience is a quality that is characteristic of God, it means that He has total knowledge, your God is not a God at all. You cannot pick and choose what you want, I will concede that the God of the Bible is not omniscient, no problems at all, the reason I concede it is because it supports my belief that there is no such thing as God. God is a character that was dreamed up by man, and your example just supports this.

That is the message contained in the Bible. Now you know.

This is the message contained in your perverse imagination, it is nowhere to be found in any Bible.

The message of the bible is:

God created the universe and everything in it, it was all good and God was pleased with it. One of God’s creations, man, spoiled this golden age by disobeying the one rule that God had given to them, they ate from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. As a result, the bond between man and God had been broken, the trust was taken away, God then banished mankind from the garden that He had created for them. However, all is not lost. God provided a way for Man to reconcile himself with God. He sent his only begotten Son to suffer for mankind, to suffer and die on the cross so that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

That is the message of the Bible. Now you know.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 107 by Cold Foreign Object, posted 01-08-2004 10:48 PM Cold Foreign Object has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 170 by Cold Foreign Object, posted 01-11-2004 7:54 PM Brian has responded
 Message 181 by Cold Foreign Object, posted 01-12-2004 11:56 PM Brian has not yet responded

Member (Idle past 3702 days)
Posts: 4659
From: Scotland
Joined: 10-22-2002

Message 175 of 213 (77930)
01-12-2004 6:14 AM
Reply to: Message 170 by Cold Foreign Object
01-11-2004 7:54 PM

Hi WT.

Thanks for your reply.

There is no hurry for a reply to my message, I fully understand how difficult it is to find the time to reply when you are dealing with quite a few people here.

I am dreadfully busy here too, so there really is no hurry.

Take care.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 170 by Cold Foreign Object, posted 01-11-2004 7:54 PM Cold Foreign Object has not yet responded

Member (Idle past 3702 days)
Posts: 4659
From: Scotland
Joined: 10-22-2002

Message 199 of 213 (78660)
01-15-2004 12:25 PM
Reply to: Message 198 by Yaro
01-15-2004 12:12 PM


So the knife cut both ways, you sleep with a girl, your stuck with her. etc.

Not exactly. A man could divorce a woman whenever he wanted to, he just needed two people to witness him saying to his wife 'I divorce you' three times and he was divorced.

Of course, it was only a man who was allowed to divorce, a woman could not divorce a man.

Oh, and remember Deuteronomy 21:14 And it shall be, if thou have no delight in her, then thou shalt let her go according to her desire; but thou shalt in no wise sell her for money; thou shalt not treat her as a slave , because thou hast humbled her.

So if you are not happy with her, you can get rid of her.

YHWH is so worthy of our praise, how can someone not worship this all loving God?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 198 by Yaro, posted 01-15-2004 12:12 PM Yaro has responded

Replies to this message:
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