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Author Topic:   Why read the Bible literally: take two
Chiroptera
Member
Posts: 6617
From: Oklahoma
Joined: 09-28-2003
Member Rating: 4.9


Message 286 of 306 (247352)
09-29-2005 3:59 PM
Reply to: Message 284 by Steve8
09-29-2005 3:50 PM


Re: Flood
quote:
Why do we need to interpret the Flood in any other way, in your view??

Well, it didn't happen.


"Intellectually, scientifically, even artistically, fundamentalism -- biblical literalism -- is a road to nowhere, because it insists on fidelity to revealed truths that are not true." -- Katha Pollitt
This message is a reply to:
 Message 284 by Steve8, posted 09-29-2005 3:50 PM Steve8 has not yet responded

purpledawn
Member (Idle past 1620 days)
Posts: 4453
From: Indiana
Joined: 04-25-2004


Message 287 of 306 (247353)
09-29-2005 4:00 PM
Reply to: Message 280 by Steve8
09-29-2005 2:38 PM


quote:
I felt message 232 was my answer re. why take the Flood literally.
Except that Message 232 was off topic. I'm not discussing whether one should take the flood as a literal happening. I am discussing the written story and the process by which you determine that what is written is to be taken as an actual happening or not, just as you do in anything else you read supposedly.

You still haven't helped me to understand your criteria for determining that the story of Noah and the flood is to be read literally as an event that happened as written. Help me to see that you use that same criteria in reading other writings, such as the one I provided, as you do the stories in the Bible.


"The average man does not know what to do with this life, yet wants another one which lasts forever." --Anatole France
This message is a reply to:
 Message 280 by Steve8, posted 09-29-2005 2:38 PM Steve8 has not yet responded

ringo
Member
Posts: 16621
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 3.0


Message 288 of 306 (247356)
09-29-2005 4:44 PM
Reply to: Message 283 by robinrohan
09-29-2005 3:43 PM


Go ahead. Make my day.
robinrohan writes:

Fear is the most powerful motivator.

Take a look at my avatar. Do I look like a person who is motivated by fear, even a tiny bit?

Seriously, though, fear is not even close to being the "greatest motivator". I learned to be kind to other people from my mother's good example, and from empathy toward their feelings - not from fear.

Fear is more likely to motivate us to do bad things.


People who think they have all the answers usually don't understand the questions.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 283 by robinrohan, posted 09-29-2005 3:43 PM robinrohan has responded

Replies to this message:
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ringo
Member
Posts: 16621
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 3.0


Message 289 of 306 (247359)
09-29-2005 4:53 PM
Reply to: Message 284 by Steve8
09-29-2005 3:50 PM


Re: Flood
Steve8 writes:

Why do we need to interpret the Flood in any other way, in your view??

For one thing - as Chiroptera said - it never happened (and if you think it did happen, feel free to take your evidence over to the appropriate thread).

The point that I have been trying to make is that the story means more - not less - if it is taken as a lesson rather than as a mere news story. Yesterday's news is only good for lining birdcages.

If taken literally, it seems to be telling us that God is an evil bastard who will kill us at the drop of a hat if we step out of line. If taken figuratively, it tells us to be good and we'll be saved. Hmm... do unto others as you would have others do unto you.

The "evil God" concept that you are pushing just makes me want to fight back.


People who think they have all the answers usually don't understand the questions.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 284 by Steve8, posted 09-29-2005 3:50 PM Steve8 has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 292 by Faith, posted 09-29-2005 5:02 PM ringo has responded

purpledawn
Member (Idle past 1620 days)
Posts: 4453
From: Indiana
Joined: 04-25-2004


Message 290 of 306 (247361)
09-29-2005 4:56 PM
Reply to: Message 284 by Steve8
09-29-2005 3:50 PM


Comparison
quote:
Well, I have the same view of the Flood as the NT writers did. Christ likens the unexpectedness of His Second Coming to the days before the Flood, when people went about life's normal activities totally unaware that judgment was imminent (Mt. 24).
Peter, in an extended analogy, portrays salvation by likening it to the Flood (1 Peter 3).
Using the story to illustrate their point doesn't automatically mean they took the story as an actual happening as written. It is a story within their culture.

Just as when I say someone is being a Scrooge, it doesn't mean I accept the Dicken's Christmas Carol as an event that happened as written.

The book of Job is a dramatic poem and yet in the book of James it speaks of the endurance of Job. That doesn't mean the author is saying that he feels the story of Job was an actual happening as written.

So far you still haven't shown me how you discern as to whether an author is making the reference as an illustration or actually feels the event was real.


"The average man does not know what to do with this life, yet wants another one which lasts forever." --Anatole France
This message is a reply to:
 Message 284 by Steve8, posted 09-29-2005 3:50 PM Steve8 has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 291 by Chiroptera, posted 09-29-2005 4:59 PM purpledawn has not yet responded

Chiroptera
Member
Posts: 6617
From: Oklahoma
Joined: 09-28-2003
Member Rating: 4.9


Message 291 of 306 (247362)
09-29-2005 4:59 PM
Reply to: Message 290 by purpledawn
09-29-2005 4:56 PM


Re: Comparison
quote:
Using the story to illustrate their point doesn't automatically mean they took the story as an actual happening as written.

Heck. Even I will use a Biblical story to illustrate a point that I am trying to make. And I'm an atheist, so it surely does not indicate that I believe in the literal truth of the story!


"Intellectually, scientifically, even artistically, fundamentalism -- biblical literalism -- is a road to nowhere, because it insists on fidelity to revealed truths that are not true." -- Katha Pollitt
This message is a reply to:
 Message 290 by purpledawn, posted 09-29-2005 4:56 PM purpledawn has not yet responded

Faith
Member
Posts: 31616
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001
Member Rating: 1.1


Message 292 of 306 (247363)
09-29-2005 5:02 PM
Reply to: Message 289 by ringo
09-29-2005 4:53 PM


Re: Flood
If taken literally, it seems to be telling us that God is an evil bastard who will kill us at the drop of a hat if we step out of line. If taken figuratively, it tells us to be good and we'll be saved. Hmm... do unto others as you would have others do unto you.

The "evil God" concept that you are pushing just makes me want to fight back.

OK, are you then a believer, and is this because you deny that God did such things as the worldwide flood, and drawn to follow Jesus?

This message has been edited by Faith, 09-29-2005 05:26 PM


This message is a reply to:
 Message 289 by ringo, posted 09-29-2005 4:53 PM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
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robinrohan
Inactive Member


Message 293 of 306 (247370)
09-29-2005 5:30 PM
Reply to: Message 288 by ringo
09-29-2005 4:44 PM


Re: Go ahead. Make my day.
Fear is more likely to motivate us to do bad things.

Fear can motivate us to do very bad and very good things. There are many subtle versions of fear.

ABE: Perhaps the most common fear in the world is fear of poverty.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

This message has been edited by robinrohan, 09-29-2005 04:31 PM


This message is a reply to:
 Message 288 by ringo, posted 09-29-2005 4:44 PM ringo has not yet responded

ringo
Member
Posts: 16621
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 3.0


Message 294 of 306 (247375)
09-29-2005 5:51 PM
Reply to: Message 292 by Faith
09-29-2005 5:02 PM


Re: Flood
Faith writes:

OK, are you then a believer..."

Used to be - not so much any more.

No offense, but it was people like you with the "vengeful God" bit that made me decide that's not the side I'm on.

"If God be for you, who can be against you?" If God was who you say He is, I'd be against Him.

... and is this because you deny that God did such things as the worldwide flood...

I don't "deny" the flood. I can be pretty sure, using my eyes and my brain, that it never happened. Therefore, if the story has any value at all, it can not be as history.

... and drawn to follow Jesus?

Depends on what you mean by "following" Jesus.

If you mean believing that he was the son of God, not so much. If you mean doing what he told us to do - love thy neighbour as thyself, etc. - then that isn't exactly rocket science, is it? Every religion teaches that.


People who think they have all the answers usually don't understand the questions.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 292 by Faith, posted 09-29-2005 5:02 PM Faith has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
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arachnophilia
Member (Idle past 141 days)
Posts: 9069
From: god's waiting room
Joined: 05-21-2004


Message 295 of 306 (247529)
09-30-2005 4:17 AM
Reply to: Message 271 by Faith
09-29-2005 5:23 AM


Re: technicalities
Well, I'm not committed to that popular interpretation of prophecy. It may have some truth in it or it could be all wrong. I am more persuaded to the view that the rapture will occur at the second and final return of Jesus. The rapture in the popular scenario DOES, however, explain how believers are saved while unbelievers endure wrath.

i'm pretty certain that if you're going read revelation as a literal prophecy, there's only one order it goes in.

No boat needed.

the boat bit was supposed to be a joke.

I can't believe that anyone who is not saved in the rapture will be saved afterward, however. That doesn't fit anything in the gospel as I understand it. Nobody was saved besides those on the ark, so nobody will be saved besides those who already believe on the Last Day. But that's a side issue here.

well, the flood and endtimes are not exactly analogous -- which WAS the point. revelation says there will be a chance for those who have NOT heard the gospels to hear. which i think occurs after the rapture. but i could be wrong, it's been a number of years since i last read revelation as a whole.

Oh you mean because some are saved? Are you just quibbling with the term "annihilation" then?

what i'm saying is that 1 religious group > 1 family. god's not destroying ALL of mankind. just some.

It's not genocide either, however, technically speaking, as believers from all races and tribes are to be saved, and unbelievers from all races and tribes will suffer wrath.

yes, i suppose, technically. but i didn't have a better word for it.

God has provided sacrifice for forgiveness of sins, yes, and Jesus is the Ultimate Sacrifice. What is your point though? Living the repentant life, even living by the Proverbs, can restore life too ("It is health to the bones"), whenever one begins to do so. God said He gave His laws as a means to life -- follow them and you will be blessed in all kinds of ways, disobey and the curse is your lot. "Choose life" He said, that is, choose obedience.

Jesus is the Sacrifice that ended all other sacrifices.

which is of course not true. sacrifice went on in solomon's temple well after jesus's death. but if we should quibble about this bit... you're going to say that the foundation of the new christian religion is what counts. sure, but we still sacrifice.

tithing is a form sacrifice. under the levitical standards, sacrifices did not serve primarily to attone for sins -- most served to feed the preistly caste. some were burned up whole for certain things, the serious things. but most were food, such as the flour. see, the levites only worked in the tabernacle by tradition. they didn't farm or shepherd. so they needed to be fed.

if you pay money out of your own pocket in church, you are making a sacrifice. jesus did not end that, did he? although i think he probably intended to.

There is an eternal death besides the bodily death. The death of the soul. It is this death He saves us from.

uh huh. but you just made a speach about how god punishes sin with PHYSICAL death: the flood.

But also in that statement He is simply claiming that He has power over death, can raise people from the dead. He did that when He was on earth, and He will do it on the Last Day when all will be resurrected to face the Judgment.

not what he said. he said: " If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death."

he's not saying "i can raise people from dead" he's saying "you won't die."


אָרַח

This message is a reply to:
 Message 271 by Faith, posted 09-29-2005 5:23 AM Faith has not yet responded

arachnophilia
Member (Idle past 141 days)
Posts: 9069
From: god's waiting room
Joined: 05-21-2004


Message 296 of 306 (247530)
09-30-2005 4:37 AM
Reply to: Message 273 by ringo
09-29-2005 11:29 AM


Re: ארצות
I agree with your take on it, that the word eretz refers to a local area (but the writers probably thought the flood was "global" - if they had such a concept at all).

it was certainly meant to be massive. maybe it equates to "global" in a modern sense: it did wip out everyone on the planet according to the story. i just don't think the authors had a strict concept of globality, and it would have been very easy to mix up what they meant where. the literal wording does not demand a global flood, but it is the accepted reading.

My point was that the topic is (or should be, in my opinion) about why a literal reading of the Bible is preferred by some.

well, i'll be honest. i prefer a literal reading of the bible (even if it's wrong). the reason i prefer to read it that way is because it makes a lot more sense. the people who wrote it weren't thinking in terms of disguising stuff we only know now into some kind of code language. they were interested in recording their culture -- and that include some folk tales.

the thing is that we should be able to read it literally in a detached sense. this is what it says, these are the events of the story. we shouldn't be worried about how to make it literally true, either. we can read homer's odyssey literally for instance without trying to justify odysseus' 10 year journey home as a factual account. and we can read good works of fiction from today literally as well. things are written literally...

...even when there's more to them. gulliver's travels clearly reads as a literal story. but there's obviously more to it than that. i think there's more to the bible as well, but we have to get the literal story down first. i am by no means adovocating ignoring the rest of it. read it literally, understand it according to application and context, and remember it symbolically.

I just wish we could discuss why we can't learn as much from fiction as from history.

to be honest, at a certain point i don't even differentiate the two anymore. even as a work of COMPLETE fiction (which i'm sure it's not) the bible tells us a great deal about who the ancient hebrews were. there's a good deal we can learn just from reading it. just like beowulf could help us understand anglo-saxons, and the iliad ancient greeks.

certainly books like psalms tell us very little as historical account, but in some sense they themselves are history. it's a look into what religious song was like 2600 years ago in israel and judah.

i'm also completely for reading the bible as fiction. i wish the religious people would really put down what they believe and what they think they know about it and just read it for what's there. it's a really interesting collection of books, and there's a lot to be learned when you actually want to learn it.


אָרַח

This message is a reply to:
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arachnophilia
Member (Idle past 141 days)
Posts: 9069
From: god's waiting room
Joined: 05-21-2004


Message 297 of 306 (247531)
09-30-2005 4:43 AM
Reply to: Message 275 by Steve8
09-29-2005 1:15 PM


Re: ארצות
I think it's important in reading Genesis 1-11, that there is even more time covered in that period, than in the rest of the OT combined (excepting prophecy of the future of course).

yeah, i think you're right. moses to exile is only about 700 years. (not counting the huge discrepency in judges.) noah's birth to babel is about 700 years.


אָרַח

This message is a reply to:
 Message 275 by Steve8, posted 09-29-2005 1:15 PM Steve8 has not yet responded

arachnophilia
Member (Idle past 141 days)
Posts: 9069
From: god's waiting room
Joined: 05-21-2004


Message 298 of 306 (247533)
09-30-2005 4:47 AM
Reply to: Message 276 by Faith
09-29-2005 1:47 PM


Re: Flood
Well, I wouldn't disagree with that. I'd just ask how much reason we have to trust that God will protect us if we obey Him if His threats don't amount to anything anyway?

this is a pretty common christian idea of the jewish god. orthodox jews are very concerned with the law, yes. but their god does not govern with fear. in fact, their god doesn't govern at all.

following the law or not following the law is entirely a choice. the people who obey do it out of duty and love. not fear of death.

when jesus came, his ideas were radical especially because alot of people thought in the same way you do. they had been told to fear god. jesus explained that god loves his children, and provides for them.

this is clearly still a revolutionary idea, but if you look for it it's all over the bible.


אָרַח

This message is a reply to:
 Message 276 by Faith, posted 09-29-2005 1:47 PM Faith has not yet responded

arachnophilia
Member (Idle past 141 days)
Posts: 9069
From: god's waiting room
Joined: 05-21-2004


Message 299 of 306 (247534)
09-30-2005 4:52 AM
Reply to: Message 278 by Faith
09-29-2005 2:24 PM


Re: Flood
God's punishments are not real, why should anything else He says be real either?

were you ever punished as a child? did it kill you?

must not have been a real punishment then, right? the fact is that god isn't an authoritarian ruler -- he's a FATHER. if you kill your children, they're not going to learn to do better next time.

How on earth is the story of a worldwide cataclysm of any value in teaching obedience

because, like i explained, it's not about teaching obedience. where on earth did you get the idea that it was?


אָרַח

This message is a reply to:
 Message 278 by Faith, posted 09-29-2005 2:24 PM Faith has not yet responded

arachnophilia
Member (Idle past 141 days)
Posts: 9069
From: god's waiting room
Joined: 05-21-2004


Message 300 of 306 (247535)
09-30-2005 4:54 AM
Reply to: Message 279 by ringo
09-29-2005 2:38 PM


Re: Flood
As I said, Noah was never threatened. He did what was right because it was right.

i'll go a step further. noah didn't have anything to obey in the first place. it's not he followed the ten commandments or anything. god kills mankind because:

quote:
Gen 6:5 every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

nothing to do with following rules or obeying god -- it was about the content of their hearts. the stuff jesus spoke about, not the law.


אָרַח

This message is a reply to:
 Message 279 by ringo, posted 09-29-2005 2:38 PM ringo has not yet responded

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