I will try not to raise these particular questions again with you.
No probs, I was just saving you a lot of time for future discussions, I really do not discuss science. I will discuss anything to do with the OT and/or archaeology, so I hope we can have some profitable chats regarding these topics.
With regard to your last question, I guess the bottom line is, Jesus and the apostles (in particular Peter) believed that the Flood had occurred millennia after the fact.
If Jesus said the world was flat would you believe that?
I guess I haven't found a better reason to view it as a non-historical event in the millennia since then.
I haven’t found any reason to view it as an historical event at all, leaving science aside, the basic chronology of the event essentially proves that it didn’t happen as the Bible describes it.
I guess I just feel that history will repeat itself if we don't remember the lessons of the past,
Do you include in this the fact that Christianity led us into the Dark Ages and therefore we must learn a lesson from that?
that we will be gradually converted to paganism without even being aware of it (like a frog in a kettle of water gradually being heated up) by a 'science' that says nature is all there is.
quote:OK, Purp, sorry if I 'lumped' you in with everybody,
Now that you are "listening" to me and not lumping me in with everybody else, I'll try again.
When people say they read the Bible literally, I do find it hard to believe that they don't recognize parables, metaphors, humor, etc.; which you confirmed in Message 223.
My, my, you honestly think that I believe there are NO parables, figures of speech, metaphors and other things in the Bible that aren't meant to be taken literally. I use the same criteria to determine these things as anyone who has been taught in an English (or any language) class does.
I guess the bottom line is, Jesus and the apostles (in particular Peter) believed that the Flood had occurred millennia after the fact. I guess I haven't found a better reason to view it as a non-historical event in the millennia since then.
in Message 191 is what prompted my original question, which is what I want to address.
When reading the story of Noah and the flood, I read it on its own merits. While an area flood is quite probable, I don't find a planetary one that destroys all, plausible. The story has many mythical qualities. Only one man is good enough to save, animals turned evil, all animals on the boat, and extreme age to mention a few.
In any other book, I would not consider this an accurate historical rendition of an event. While an ancient area flood may have inspired this foundational myth, I would not consider it an event that happened as written.
In the way that you stated your comment, I take it to mean that you consider the flood to be an event that happened just as it was written. (If I am wrong I apologize.) Your reason for believing this is because of what two other authors wrote centuries later. IOW, because Jesus and Peter believed.
In studying the Jewish religion, I find that they don't necessarily hold to a literal meaning of the myths, but do use them as teaching aids or to make points. (I may have expressed this poorly, sorry if it is unclear)
So given that knowledge, I would consider Jesus using the flood as an illustration of how quickly the end days would happen, not an example of judgment.
Matthew 24:38 is not quoting from the OT.
For in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day Noah boarded the ark.
It is a reasonable assumption, but not written.
So when reading a book by one author with possible historical events, what I read as actual or not is done on the book's own merit. I have read many books that present actual historical events within a fictional setting. If it makes difference in my life as to which parts are actual and which are fiction, then I have to check actual historical records to see which parts were actual events and which are part of the fictional story. I do the same with the Bible.
Is that what you do?
"The average man does not know what to do with this life, yet wants another one which lasts forever." --Anatole France
The advice of those Commandments are an excellent quide to having a better society, and living a better life in general. But forcing the ideas on non-believers is immoral. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> I find this contradictory. Perhaps it isn't. I stumbled over the words excellent/forcing/immoral. I don't see any of this happening, although I know it would, if - what calls itself Christian - had the opportunity. That is why this country must never be a theocracy and all Christians should do all to prevent this event. Personally, the thought horrifies me. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
No laws against adultery, yet adultery is a legitimate cause for divorce.
False witness - you have addressed it - and also lying under oath, on applications, and many other instances. False witness is lying.
Coveting may and can lead to many acts against humanity, to stealing, lying, killing. Coveting is, therefore, covered in many laws that are not immediately plain. Does the drug dealer covet?
I, personally, believe that basic human rights are well-protected within the framework of the commandments. It is just unpleasant for many to acknowledge and I have no problem with that. I see it as such, you do not see it as such. There is much animosity against that which calls itself Christian. If I understand nothing else, I understand this completely. Under the cloak of Christianity, many ills have been perpetrated against human beings, leaving a permanent misunderstanding of who Christ is. Most people stop right here and do not comment on the good things done in Christ's name.
I think we agree, especially on the thoughts that Christianity must not be enforced. Sadly, there are those who would and have a history of doing so and have not given up trying. Enforcing religion is not a new thing and not indigenous to Christianity. It has been around forever, and is around still and still kills and oppresses.
Despite it's humble origins, Christians have made more changes on Earth for the good than any other movement or force in history. To get an overview of some of the positive contributions Christianity has made thru the centuries, here are a few highlights: - Hospitals - Universities - Literacy and education for the masses - Capitalism and free enterprise - Representative government - The separation of political powers - Civil liberties - The abolition of slavery, both in antiquity and modern times - Modern science - The discovery of the New World by Columbus - Benevolence and charity - The elevation of the common man - High regard for human life - The codifying and setting to writing of many of the world's languages - Greater development of art and music Not saying there were no negatives, but you guys sure do go back along ways to find them (i.e. the Dark Ages), in fact, you have to go back to a time when the Roman Catholic Church was forbidding people to read the Scriptures in their own languages...be careful how you denigrate the Scriptures! Forgive me if I'm wrong, but you seemed to suggest that you are a pagan. Can you tell me what, in your view, paganism has contributed to the world?
Let's look at your list. The *s have been added by me and a key below explains them.
- Hospitals * - Universities * - Literacy and education for the masses * - Capitalism and free enterprise *** - Representative government * - The separation of political powers * - Civil liberties * - The abolition of slavery, both in antiquity and modern times ** (b) - Modern science ** - The discovery of the New World by Columbus *** (a)(b) - Benevolence and charity * - The elevation of the common man * - High regard for human life **** - The codifying and setting to writing of many of the world's languages * - Greater development of art and music *
Key - * - Brought to us not by Christians but by the Greeks and the Romans. ** - Actually opposed by Christians, especially by the Bible. *** - Not brought to us by "Christianity" though participants may have been Christian. (a) - Additionally, there are many many people that would argue that not only didn't Columbus discover America, but that that wasn't a particularly "positive" thing. (b) - Columbus being the single largest slave trader the world has ever known counter indicates your suggestion about the abolition of slavery. **** - I'll give you "high regard for human life" but only if you can show me that the Cruisades and Inquisition were both non-Christian events.
Getting way Off Topic. This is on Why read the Bible Literally, not flood stuff. Please do not reply to this message
Thank you for your civil reply. Re. the Flood and whether it was local or global, let's consider some context in Genesis -
1) The need for the Ark
If the Flood were local, why did Noah have to build an Ark? He could have walked to the other side of the mountains and escaped. Traveling just 20 km per day, Noah and his family could have traveled over 3,000 km in six months. God could have simply warned Noah to flee, as He did for Lot in Sodom.
2) The size of the Ark
If the Flood were local, why was the Ark big enough to hold all the different kinds of land vertebrate animals in the world? If only Mesopotamian animals were aboard, or only domestic animals, the Ark could have been much smaller.1
3) The need for animals to be on the Ark
If the Flood were local, why did God send the animals to the Ark to escape death? There would have been other animals to reproduce those kinds even if they had all died in the local area. Or He could have sent them to a non-flooded region.
4) The need for birds to be on the Ark
If the Flood were local, why would birds have been sent on board? These could simply have winged across to a nearby mountain range. Birds can fly several hundred kilometers in one day.
5) The judgment was universal
If the Flood were local, people who did not happen to be living in the vicinity would not have been affected by it. They would have escaped God’s judgment on sin. It boggles the mind to believe that, after all those centuries since creation, no one had migrated to other parts—or that people living on the periphery of such a local flood would not have moved to the adjoining high ground rather than be drowned. Jesus believed that the Flood killed everyone not on the Ark (Matt. 24:37–39).
Of course those who want to believe in a local flood generally say that the world is old and that people were here for many tens of thousands of years before the Flood. If this were the case, it is inconceivable that all the people could have fitted in a localized valley in Mesopotamia, for example, or that they had not migrated further afield as the population grew.
6) The Flood was a type of the judgment to come
What did Christ mean when He likened the coming world judgment to the judgment of ‘all’ men (Matt. 24:37–39) in the days of Noah? In 2 Peter 3, the coming judgment by fire is likened to the former judgment by water in Noah’s Flood. A partial judgment in Noah’s day would mean a partial judgment to come.
7) The waters were above the mountains
If the Flood were local, how could the waters rise to 15 cubits (8 meters) above the mountains (Gen. 7:20)? Water seeks its own level. It could not rise to cover the local mountains while leaving the rest of the world untouched.2
8) The duration of the Flood
Noah and company were on the Ark for one year and 10 days (Gen. 7:11, 8:14)—surely an excessive amount of time for any local flood? It was more than seven months before the tops of any mountains became visible. How could they drift around in a local flood for that long without seeing any mountains?
9) God’s promise broken?
If the Flood were local, God would have repeatedly broken His promise never to send such a Flood again. There have been huge ‘local’ floods in recent times: in Bangladesh, for example, where 80% of that country has been inundated, or Europe in 2002.
10) All people are descendants of Noah and his family
The genealogies of Adam (Gen. 4:17–26, 5:1–31) and Noah (Gen. 10:1–32) are exclusive—they tell us that all the pre-Flood people came from Adam and all the post-Flood people came from Noah. The descendants of Noah were all living together at Babel and refusing to ‘fill the earth,’ as they had been commanded (Gen. 9:1). So God confused their one language into many and scattered them (Gen. 11:1–9).
There is striking evidence that all peoples on earth have come from Noah, found in the Flood stories from many cultures around the world—North and South America, South Sea Islands, Australia, Papua New Guinea, Japan, China, India, the Middle East, Europe and Africa. Hundreds of such stories have been gathered.3 The stories closest to the area of dispersion from Babel are nearest in detail to the biblical account—for example, the Gilgamesh epic.
I have a bunch more stuff re. specific terminology in Genesis about the Flood but I think this post is big enough. Will send more tomorrow.
This message has been edited by AdminJar, 09-15-2005 08:17 AM
There is striking evidence that all peoples on earth have come from Noah, found in the Flood stories from many cultures around the world—North and South America, South Sea Islands, Australia, Papua New Guinea, Japan, China, India, the Middle East, Europe and Africa. Hundreds of such stories have been gathered.
As we discussed in other threads. The presence of water in myths in many cultures is not evidence for a Flood event. The "floods" of Egyptian mythology are seasonal, like the floods of the Nile. The "Flood" of Norse mythology is a period of water which predates all of creation (more akin to one of the days of creation, than to Noah's flood).
While the differences are not always trivial, the common essence of the stories is instructive as compiled below:
1. Is there a favored family? 88% 2. Were they forewarned? 66% 3. Is flood due to wickedness of man? 66% 4. Is catastrophe only a flood? 95% 5. Was flood global? 95% 6. Is survival due to a boat? 70% 7. Were animals also saved? 67% 8. Did animals play any part? 73% 9. Did survivors land on a mountain? 57% 10. Was the geography local? 82% 11. Were birds sent out? 35% 12. Was the rainbow mentioned? 7% 13. Did survivors offer a sacrifice? 13% 14. Were specifically eight persons saved? 9%
Putting them all back together, the story would read something like this:
Once there was a worldwide flood, sent by God to judge the wickedness of man. But there was one righteous family which was forewarned of the coming flood. They built a boat on which they survived the flood along with the animals. As the flood ended, their boat landed on a high mountain from which they descended and repopulated the whole earth.
Of course the story sounds much like the Biblical story of the great flood of Noah's day. The most similar accounts are typically from middle eastern cultures, but surprisingly similar legends are found in South America and the Pacific Islands and elsewhere. None of these stories contains the beauty, clarity, and believable detail given in the Bible, but each is meaningful to their own culture.
Anthropologists will tell you that a myth is often the faded memory of a real event. Details may have been added, lost, or obscured in the telling and retelling, but the kernel of truth remains. When two separate cultures have the same "myth" in their body of folklore, their ancestors must have either experienced the same event, or they both descended from a common ancestral source which itself experienced the event.
The only credible way to understand the widespread, similar flood legends is to recognize that all people living today, even though separated geographically, linguistically, and culturally, have descended from the few real people who survived a real global flood, on a real boat which eventually landed on a real mountain. Their descendants now fill the globe, never to forget the real event.
But, of course, this is not the view of most modern scholars. They prefer to believe that something in our commonly evolved psyche forces each culture to invent the same imaginary flood legend with no basis in real history.
I guess you and I just have to agree to disagree on this one.
Where did you get your information? The statistics don't seem to work for lists of actual flood stories that I have seen.
quote:None of these stories contains the beauty, clarity, and believable detail given in the Bible, but each is meaningful to their own culture.
Why should your opinion of "beauty, clarity, and believable detail" be considered as evidence of the veracity of any particular story?
quote:Anthropologists will tell you that a myth is often the faded memory of a real event.
I hear this mostly from people who aren't anthropologists.
quote:The only credible way to understand the widespread, similar flood legends....
The only reasonable way to understand the utter lack of any physical signs of a global flood -- a flood, by the way, with no source for water, nor no method of its elimination -- during historical times in the geological and archaeological record is to accept that there was no global flood.
quote:But, of course, this is not the view of most modern scholars.
Not surprising, since most modern scholars are trained to examine actual evidence and try to figure out how it fits into what is known about reality.
quote: -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Anthropologists will tell you that a myth is often the faded memory of a real event. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I hear this mostly from people who aren't anthropologists.
And, speaking as someone with a degree in Anthropology, he's just wrong.
I don't know if I can communicate this clearly, so bear with me.
Do you see that you have moved from explaining how you use the same criteria for discerning if the event described in the Bible happened as written as you do for other works of literature to defending why the events could have happened as they were written in the Bible?
When you read any other work of literature and find parts that could be actual events, do you use the same tactic of "ifs" and "whys" to discern if the event actually happened as written?
Maybe we can try a neutral story.
Story of Bear Rock Well, long, long ago, two young boys found themselves lost in the prairie. You know how it is. They had played ball and whacked it a few hundred yards out of the village. And then they had heard a small animal make a noise and had gone to investigate. They had come to a stream with many colorful pebbles and followed that for a while. They had come to a hill and wanted to see what was on the other side. On the other side they saw a herd of antelope and, of course, had to track them for a while. When they got hungry and thought it was time to go home, the two boys found that they didn't know where they were. They started off in the direction where they thought their village was, but only got farther and farther away from it. At last they curled up beneath a tree and went to sleep.
They got up the next morning and walked some more. They were still heading the wrong way. They ate some wild berries and dug up wild turnips, found some chokecherries, and drank water from streams.
For three days they walked toward the west. They were footsore, but they survived. Oh how they wished that their parents, or aunts and uncles, or elder brothers and sisters would find them. But nobody did.
On the fourth day the boys suddenly had a feeling that they were being followed. They looked around and in the distance saw the bear. This was no ordinary bear, but a giant grizzly so huge that the boys would make only a small mouthful for him, but he had smelled the boys and wanted that mouthful. He kept coming close, and the earth trembled as he gathered speed.
The boys started running, looking for a place to hide, but here was no such place and the grizzly was much, much faster than they. They stumbled, and the bear was almost upon them. They could see his red, wide-open jaws full of enormous, wicked teeth. They could smell his hot evil breath.
The boys were old enough to have learned to pray, and they called upon the Creator: "Grandfather, have pity, save us."
All at once the earth shook and began to rise. The boys rose with it. Out of the earth came a cone of rock going up, up up until it more than a thousand feet high. And the boys were on top of it. The bear was disappointed to see his meal disappearing into the clouds.
Have I said he was a giant bear? This grizzly was so huge that he could almost reach to the top of the rock when he stood on his hind legs. Almost, but not quite. His claws were as large as a tipi's lodge pole. Frantically the bear dug his claws into the side of the rock, trying to get up, trying to get those boys. As he did so, he made big scratches in the sides of the towering rock. He tried every spot, every side. He scratched up the rock all around, but it was no use. They boys watched him wearing himself out, getting tired, giving up. They finally saw him going away, a huge, growling, grunting mountain of fur disappearing over the horizon.
The boys were saved. Or were they? How were they to get down? They were humans, not birds who could fly.
Some ten years ago, mountain climbers tried to conquer Devil's Tower. They had ropes, and iron hooks called pitons to nail themselves to the rock face, and the managed to get up. But they couldn't get down. They were marooned on that giant basalt cone, and had to be taken off in a helicopter.
In the long-ago days the Indians had no helicopters. So how did the two boys get down? The legend does not tell us, but we can be sure that the Great Spirit didn't save those boys only to let them perish of hunger and thirst on the top of the rock.
Well, the eagle has always been a friend to our people. So it must have been the eagle that let the boys grab hold of him and carried them safely back to their village.
So when you read the story above, do you accept that the event happened as written?
If not, what within the story causes you not to accept the story as an actual event that happened as written?
"The average man does not know what to do with this life, yet wants another one which lasts forever." --Anatole France
You say, "The only reasonable way to understand the utter lack of any physical signs of a global flood -- a flood, by the way, with no source for water, nor no method of its elimination -- during historical times in the geological and archaeological record is to accept that there was no global flood."
Oh, really??? Well, much as I would love to argue that with you, it has already being pointed out that scientific evidence re. a Flood, does not belong on a 'why take the Bible literally' thread. I guess I'm going to have to make my way over to the 'Flood' thread at some point, after I'm done with a couple of other threads.
Re. modern scholars, I find many of them tend to work within the presuppositions with which they have been taught, and rarely bother to question them. Of course, you fail to mention the fact that many of the originators of their ideas from the 18th & 19th century were doing so on the basis of trying to undermine Biblical authority. I think if that were more widely known, I think more scientists would take a more critical view of what they've been taught.
OK, I'll humor you. The things that stand out for me are - 1) If I read correctly, this story suggests a bear of almost a 1000 feet high while standing...which would be fine, except, I haven't heard of any fossilised bears that big lol! 2) If the boys died at the top of the tower, who witnessed their story? What are his credentials?... unless the boys survived, but if so, why not say so? The author doesn't seem to be sure of that either. 4) If the author isn't even sure of the story, why should anyone else be?
I think one of the problems with this story is, it stands alone, without any real historical context, making it hard to take seriously (giant bear aside lol) unlike the Biblical stories we have been talking about here. I could say more, but my time is short this weekend.