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-   -   The Forbidden Tree (https://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=1447394)

CVShooter 05-11-2018 10:06 AM

The Forbidden Tree
 
I'm not a Christian or Jew or Muslim. But I am a believer that, on the whole, ancient wisdom is superior to modern knowledge. I see them as largely metaphorical and not literal but I also believe metaphor and story to be a vastly superior way to pass on wisdom. So here's something to ponder & discuss. For those of you who have read D. Quinn's book, ISHMAEL, then this will sound familiar.

In the Genesis myth (myth = explaining story, not just a fanciful tale), Adam and Eve were forbidden to touch or eat of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. In rabbinic literature, as I understand it, "knowledge of good and evil" are often used as shorthand for "knowledge of everything, even up to what is good and evil" the same way that "40 days and 40 nights" is shorthand for "a very, very long time." After eating the fruit, Adam & Eve gained some knowledge (their nakedness -- vulnerability, perhaps?) and were cast out of the garden, cursed to live by farming and distance from God. We call this "The Fall of Man."

Yet we, as a culture, consider knowledge (science, for example) sacrosanct. Farmers, doctors and scientists are a sort of secular priesthood in our culture. But farming was the curse and the sin was a thirst for knowledge of all things. We tell the story of the dawn of agriculture and the age of science, not like it's "The Fall" but like it's "The Ascent." We tell a story of progress and achievement of our destiny but Genesis seems to tell a story of tragedy and the rejection of our destiny.

The theme is repeated in the stories of Cain and Abel. Cain, the farmer, kills his brother Abel, the shepherd. Again in Jacob and Esau. Jacob, the one who stays at home in the tents, steals the inheritance of his brother, the hunter, whom his father loved more (those darned city folk!). The author of Genesis has a consistent theme but it doesn't seem to me that we, as a culture, talk about it at all.

Don't get me wrong here. I'm become quite comfortable living in paradox and contradiction. I work in finance, do some light farming and enjoy reading and learning a lot. I go to the doctor, eat food grown from farms, drink wine and otherwise enjoy all the benefits that civilized life in the age of science can provide. And why not? It's not like we can go live in the forest eating nuts and berries. Heck, it's illegal anyway.

Yet, I puzzle over what it would mean to spit out the forbidden fruit -- to give up the endless search for knowledge of everything. To live life in full dependence on God (Allah, Wakan Tanka, whatever) and what it means for our culture that we so readily adopt with pride the very thing that the author of Genesis attempted to convey with shame.

So my question to the board is how do you see the Genesis myth. How do you enact your version of this story? How do our cultural values influence how we see the myth and how would you reinterpret the myth in our modern, American life?

No right or wrong answers here -- just looking for good, though-provoking discussion.

mossy 05-11-2018 1:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CVShooter (Post 21629322)

So my question to the board is how do you see the Genesis myth.

.

God left 2 children and a devious talking snake alone in a house with a burning stove after telling the kids not to touch the amazingly awesome burning stove. They do what ignorant kids do and touch the stove because they are dumb kids. God comes back and kicks the kids out of the house for touching the stove then because he is a loving God he decides all future generations of humans need to be punished because the 2 original kids touched that stove.

And, no...i don't believe any of it.

louie 05-12-2018 8:34 AM

The moral of the story, "Avoid talking snakes at all costs"! I have dealt with many talking snakes in work enviroments and they never give you anything but grief!
P.S. Snakes that rattle are also to be avoided.

TrailerparkTrash 05-13-2018 5:29 PM

Rattlers taste good! We just had one for Hors d'oeuvres today!

DoubleA 05-13-2018 5:35 PM

IBZJ and “tastes like chicken”!


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro

Garand Hunter 05-15-2018 8:49 AM

You wiped out everything to consider when you wrote " in the Genesis myth " in the 2nd paragraph. Genesis IS NOT a myth. I have no further comment.

Psalm 1

sfpcservice 05-15-2018 12:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mossy (Post 21630007)
God left 2 children and a devious talking snake alone in a house with a burning stove after telling the kids not to touch the amazingly awesome burning stove. They do what ignorant kids do and touch the stove because they are dumb kids. God comes back and kicks the kids out of the house for touching the stove then because he is a loving God he decides all future generations of humans need to be punished because the 2 original kids touched that stove.

And, no...i don't believe any of it.

What do you believe?

CVShooter 05-15-2018 1:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Garand Hunter (Post 21643402)
You wiped out everything to consider when you wrote " in the Genesis myth " in the 2nd paragraph. Genesis IS NOT a myth. I have no further comment.

Psalm 1

You're funny.

From Google:
Myth, noun:
1. a traditional story, especially one concerning the early history of a people or explaining some natural or social phenomenon, and typically involving supernatural beings or events."

Of course it's a myth. Even if you believe it to be factually true (history in the modern sense), it is still a myth. But since it is not modern history, you're missing out on a lot of depth if you believe it to be factually true. That is, of course, just my opinion.

So I'm guessing that you take it at face-value with no deeper complexity than that?

Kokopelli 05-15-2018 2:36 PM

Take God at His word
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by CVShooter (Post 21629322)

Adam and Eve were forbidden to touch or eat of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.

That was the beginning of error. Adam & Eve’s error.

In Genesis 2:17 God told the man, “But from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat...”. Nothing was said about TOUCH.

Fast Forward to Genesis 3:3 and Eve says, “...God has said, ‘you shall not eat from it or touch it..’” to the serpent. Why did she add “touch it”? When Adam received the command, did he misinform Eve? Did Adam “elaborate” to stress the point to Eve? We do not know. But we do know that it is wrong to add or take away from The Word of God.

A couple of reference verses...

Deuteronomy 4:2 2Do not add to what I command you and do not subtract from it, but keep the commands of the LORD your God that I give you.

Deuteronomy 12:32 32See that you do all I command you; do not add to it or take away from it.

Revelation 22:18-19 18I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this scroll: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to that person the plagues described in this scroll. 19And if anyone takes words away from this scroll of prophecy, God will take away from that person any share in the tree of life and in the Holy City, which are described in this scroll.

mossy 05-15-2018 4:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sfpcservice (Post 21644135)
What do you believe?

I'm a buddhist, I dont believe in the idea of "original sin" and a god punishing all of humanity for the actions of 2 people.

Humans are not born evil and sinful, we are born ignorant. Some choose to seek out and follow the correct path while others choose to delight in their ignorance and remain in the cycle of Samara.

RAMCLAP 05-15-2018 5:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mossy (Post 21644975)
I'm a buddhist, I dont believe in the idea of "original sin" and a god punishing all of humanity for the actions of 2 people.

Humans are not born evil and sinful, we are born ignorant. Some choose to seek out and follow the correct path while others choose to delight in their ignorance and remain in the cycle of Samara.

This is most incorrect. Babies only care about themselves. As they grow they will continue in this way until it is corrected out of them. They lie, chat and steal until they are completely taught not to. It is perfectly natural for humans to be bad. Unless there is anoth path pointed out to them they do not know there is another path. Therefore, humans are born evil.

CVShooter 05-16-2018 9:08 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RAMCLAP (Post 21645348)
This is most incorrect. Babies only care about themselves. As they grow they will continue in this way until it is corrected out of them. They lie, chat and steal until they are completely taught not to. It is perfectly natural for humans to be bad. Unless there is anoth path pointed out to them they do not know there is another path. Therefore, humans are born evil.

If that were true, then humans wouldn't be social creatures. We'd all live as hermits, either attacking or mating (or mating then attacking, or attacking then mating) with little in between. But here we are, as tribal and cooperative as ever. Babies are selfish little creatures, for sure. But they're surprisingly cooperative and empathetic as well. I don't think our nature lies in one extreme or the other. We are all squarely both at the same time.

billvau 05-16-2018 11:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RAMCLAP (Post 21645348)
This is most incorrect. Babies only care about themselves. As they grow they will continue in this way until it is corrected out of them. They lie, chat and steal until they are completely taught not to. It is perfectly natural for humans to be bad. Unless there is anoth path pointed out to them they do not know there is another path. Therefore, humans are born evil.

Nothing worse than a baby that "chats" too much! :) I know what you meant, but it made me smile! :)

God bless,
Bill

RAMCLAP 05-16-2018 11:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CVShooter (Post 21647375)
If that were true, then humans wouldn't be social creatures. We'd all live as hermits, either attacking or mating (or mating then attacking, or attacking then mating) with little in between. But here we are, as tribal and cooperative as ever. Babies are selfish little creatures, for sure. But they're surprisingly cooperative and empathetic as well. I don't think our nature lies in one extreme or the other. We are all squarely both at the same time.

No. We quickly break down into tribes. The strongest meanest one always becomes the leader. And that tribe looks to dominate all of the other tribes. The Europeans did the same after they had made civilizations in different ways. But when they came to the new world it was quickly recognized in the natives. Chiefs striving to be chiefs took war parties to savage other tribes and back and forth. Humans don't have a good track record. We are quite evil.

RAMCLAP 05-16-2018 11:44 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by billvau (Post 21647870)
Nothing worse than a baby that "chats" too much! :) I know what you meant, but it made me smile! :)

God bless,
Bill

Yeah. Fat fingers and auto correct are a bad team.

njineermike 05-16-2018 11:56 AM

It was never about knowledge. It was about who should make decisions. The tree was a symbol of rulership and ownership. In the same way the tree was not man's to touch, much less eat from, so was rulership not man's. The point being that the "knowledge" was not that they would know anything more than they already did, it was that they would make independent decisions as to morality. The "nakedness" was shame, because they had never had a reason to be ashamed prior to that. God wasn't upset they were no clothing before this. They decided nakedness was shameful. Eating of the tree in the garden was usurpation of authority.

CVShooter 05-17-2018 8:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by njineermike (Post 21648028)
It was never about knowledge. It was about who should make decisions. The tree was a symbol of rulership and ownership. In the same way the tree was not man's to touch, much less eat from, so was rulership not man's. The point being that the "knowledge" was not that they would know anything more than they already did, it was that they would make independent decisions as to morality. The "nakedness" was shame, because they had never had a reason to be ashamed prior to that. God wasn't upset they were no clothing before this. They decided nakedness was shameful. Eating of the tree in the garden was usurpation of authority.

That is a very top-down, authoritarian point of view. Interesting. Thanks for sharing.

njineermike 05-17-2018 12:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CVShooter (Post 21651236)
That is a very top-down, authoritarian point of view. Interesting. Thanks for sharing.

Jeremiah 10:23

nedro 05-17-2018 12:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CVShooter (Post 21647375)
If that were true, then humans wouldn't be social creatures. We'd all live as hermits, either attacking or mating (or mating then attacking, or attacking then mating) with little in between. But here we are, as tribal and cooperative as ever. Babies are selfish little creatures, for sure. But they're surprisingly cooperative and empathetic as well. I don't think our nature lies in one extreme or the other. We are all squarely both at the same time.

And thus is born the, "Millennial".:oji:

Wordupmybrotha 05-17-2018 1:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CVShooter (Post 21647375)
If that were true, then humans wouldn't be social creatures. We'd all live as hermits, either attacking or mating (or mating then attacking, or attacking then mating) with little in between. But here we are, as tribal and cooperative as ever. Babies are selfish little creatures, for sure. But they're surprisingly cooperative and empathetic as well. I don't think our nature lies in one extreme or the other. We are all squarely both at the same time.

Humans were created in the image of God, so we share his characteristics such as desire for fellowship and relationships. Original sin didn't make humans totally evil, but it corrupted what was good.

Wordupmybrotha 05-17-2018 2:03 PM

My take on eating from the tree is man's desire to be greater than God. A creation having the arrogance to be greater than the creator. Thinking he's better and knows better than the creator. That's still our defining struggle even to this day.

CVShooter 05-18-2018 7:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Wordupmybrotha (Post 21652602)
My take on eating from the tree is man's desire to be greater than God. A creation having the arrogance to be greater than the creator. Thinking he's better and knows better than the creator. That's still our defining struggle even to this day.

No dispute there.

CVShooter 05-18-2018 7:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nedro (Post 21652277)
And thus is born the, "Millennial".:oji:

So many assumptions...

njineermike 05-18-2018 8:06 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Wordupmybrotha (Post 21652602)
My take on eating from the tree is man's desire to be greater than God. A creation having the arrogance to be greater than the creator. Thinking he's better and knows better than the creator. That's still our defining struggle even to this day.

This is the entire point of the bible. It's a court case. Genesis 1 and 2 are where man (and satan) decided they knew how to rule as well as the creator. Most of the rest is the prosecution's evidence proving they are wrong. Once the case is settled beyond doubt, Armageddon. After that, 1000 years where the creator rules through his son. After, all who still disagree have no footing to further argue and will no longer exist.

The real issue is the question raised. Namely, who will rule best. Satan first raised the question about rulership, and Job indicates he was able to take his defiance directly to the creator's throne. He is very influential. Consider this: angels saw the creation of the universe, and Satan was still influential enough to convince many angels to defect.

When man defected, he could simply have destroyed all those who opposed, but the question would not have been settled. If even one entity still had doubts, the question remains, and this will be repeated if not resolved.

All we see around us is the oral arguments and evidence being presented by both sides. I don't think we have much longer before the gavel comes down.

CVShooter 05-18-2018 10:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by njineermike (Post 21655242)
This is the entire point of the bible. It's a court case. Genesis 1 and 2 are where man (and satan) decided they knew how to rule as well as the creator. Most of the rest is the prosecution's evidence proving they are wrong. Once the case is settled beyond doubt, Armageddon. After that, 1000 years where the creator rules through his son. After, all who still disagree have no footing to further argue and will no longer exist.

The real issue is the question raised. Namely, who will rule best. Satan first raised the question about rulership, and Job indicates he was able to take his defiance directly to the creator's throne. He is very influential. Consider this: angels saw the creation of the universe, and Satan was still influential enough to convince many angels to defect.

When man defected, he could simply have destroyed all those who opposed, but the question would not have been settled. If even one entity still had doubts, the question remains, and this will be repeated if not resolved.

All we see around us is the oral arguments and evidence being presented by both sides. I don't think we have much longer before the gavel comes down.

You're definitely right about the "heavenly court" motif. Canaanite mythology has the same motif as does Greek, Roman & many other mediterranean religions. But keep in mind that the Hebrews weren't even monotheists yet -- recognizing the existence of other gods quite readily though themselves favoring only one -- YHWH.

But it wasn't until after the Babylonian exile that the Hebrews/Judeans saw Satan as an opposing force against God. Rather, at the time of Genesis, he was the prosecuting attorney, not the leader of some rebel faction or organized criminal gang. In other words, Satan conceded authority to God, the judge, and simply presented his case to make sure it was all working the way it was supposed to. He was there to challenge & test God's assumptions and the Hebrews' commitment to him, not challenge God's authority directly. After all, if God could be usurped, then he wouldn't have been God. Satan served God in this court. He wasn't the friend of God's people since he was always making his case against them. But he was a servant of God just the same.

After the Judean priesthood spent some time in exile in Babylon, they were influenced by Zoroastrians and changed their belief system a bit. Now (looking at the latter half of Isaiah and the postexilic prophets), Satan was completely separate from the heavenly court. He was a "fallen angel" or dark force in the world & at war with him.

But the author of Genesis would have had no concept of this dualistic spirituality. Genesis was written at least several hundred years before the exile. And most of what we read from the exile wasn't written for a quite while after that.

Genesis was written under the influence of the Canaanites. Canaanites were the ones who built the Solomonic temple, after all, and they readily intermarried with the invading Hebrews after the warring tensions calmed down, as the pre-exilic prophets complained about all the time. There was so much mixing and borrowing of cultures that some temples were built to "YHWH and his Asherah" (God + his female consort). There are plenty of other examples of Canaanite mixing (Daniel's apocalyptic vision, later is actually an older Canaanite tale of Ba'al and Yam's great battle, fertility cult practices all over the place at the time) but that has filled many books & I couldn't hope to do it justice.

I'll summarize by saying that a single, coherent theme across the entire Bible about a great spiritual warfare might be visible to you but you're going to have to twist the words of the authors quite a bit since many of them never had such a perspective themselves. Some of them didn't even agree with each other (the book of Judges vs Kings, Kings vs Chronicles, etc.).

I suppose you could say that God still intended what you think, regardless of what the human authors thought. But that's a tougher case to make.

**Edit**
I should add that Ba'al & Yam aren't the Canaanite equivalent of God & Satan. Ba'al is the son of El (God, often represented as a bull). Yam is the challenger in the court (often represented as a dragon). Ba'al was usually in human form, though sometimes he was wheat, barley or some other grain that died and rose again each year. El always remained the chief deity but Ba'al, being the prince (and staple food crop), was more favored. Ba'al and Yam fought for the right to rule, as princes often do. But it was always up to El.

The Bible says we were made in God's image. I became convinced long ago that we make God in our image. Again, just my opinion. Believe whatever you want.

njineermike 05-18-2018 11:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CVShooter (Post 21655994)
You're definitely right about the "heavenly court" motif. Canaanite mythology has the same motif as does Greek, Roman & many other mediterranean religions. But keep in mind that the Hebrews weren't even monotheists yet -- recognizing the existence of other gods quite readily though themselves favoring only one -- YHWH.

But it wasn't until after the Babylonian exile that the Hebrews/Judeans saw Satan as an opposing force against God. Rather, at the time of Genesis, he was the prosecuting attorney, not the leader of some rebel faction or organized criminal gang. In other words, Satan conceded authority to God, the judge, and simply presented his case to make sure it was all working the way it was supposed to. He was there to challenge & test God's assumptions and the Hebrews' commitment to him, not challenge God's authority directly. After all, if God could be usurped, then he wouldn't have been God. Satan served God in this court. He wasn't the friend of God's people since he was always making his case against them. But he was a servant of God just the same.

After the Judean priesthood spent some time in exile in Babylon, they were influenced by Zoroastrians and changed their belief system a bit. Now (looking at the latter half of Isaiah and the postexilic prophets), Satan was completely separate from the heavenly court. He was a "fallen angel" or dark force in the world & at war with him.

But the author of Genesis would have had no concept of this dualistic spirituality. Genesis was written at least several hundred years before the exile. And most of what we read from the exile wasn't written for a quite while after that.

Genesis was written under the influence of the Canaanites. Canaanites were the ones who built the Solomonic temple, after all, and they readily intermarried with the invading Hebrews after the warring tensions calmed down, as the pre-exilic prophets complained about all the time. There was so much mixing and borrowing of cultures that some temples were built to "YHWH and his Asherah" (God + his female consort). There are plenty of other examples of Canaanite mixing (Daniel's apocalyptic vision, later is actually an older Canaanite tale of Ba'al and Yam's great battle, fertility cult practices all over the place at the time) but that has filled many books & I couldn't hope to do it justice.

I'll summarize by saying that a single, coherent theme across the entire Bible about a great spiritual warfare might be visible to you but you're going to have to twist the words of the authors quite a bit since many of them never had such a perspective themselves. Some of them didn't even agree with each other (the book of Judges vs Kings, Kings vs Chronicles, etc.).

I suppose you could say that God still intended what you think, regardless of what the human authors thought. But that's a tougher case to make.

**Edit**
I should add that Ba'al & Yam aren't the Canaanite equivalent of God & Satan. Ba'al is the son of El (God, often represented as a bull). Yam is the challenger in the court (often represented as a dragon). Ba'al was usually in human form, though sometimes he was wheat, barley or some other grain that died and rose again each year. El always remained the chief deity but Ba'al, being the prince (and staple food crop), was more favored. Ba'al and Yam fought for the right to rule, as princes often do. But it was always up to El.

The Bible says we were made in God's image. I became convinced long ago that we make God in our image. Again, just my opinion. Believe whatever you want.

I buy absolutely none of this.

CVShooter 05-19-2018 12:01 PM

Njineermike - no worries on my end. It would take you years of study to verify all that anyway.

billvau 05-19-2018 12:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CVShooter (Post 21660252)
Njineermike - no worries on my end. It would take you years of study to verify all that anyway.

I agree with Njineermike. And, I've done decades of biblical study. Sorry, but your biblical interpretation isn't Christian, i.e. isn't correct.

njineermike 05-19-2018 1:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CVShooter (Post 21660252)
Njineermike - no worries on my end. It would take you years of study to verify all that anyway.

I've already done years of study, which is why I buy none of it.

CVShooter 05-20-2018 7:55 PM

The Bible is a good start. Lots more out there.

Most of the people I studied under, both here in the US and in Israel were/are Christians. They kept the faith. I didn’t. But they wouldn’t disagree with any of the cultural and historical context I gave you. Not a bit.

njineermike 05-21-2018 12:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CVShooter (Post 21665649)
The Bible is a good start. Lots more out there.

Most of the people I studied under, both here in the US and in Israel were/are Christians. They kept the faith. I didn’t. But they wouldn’t disagree with any of the cultural and historical context I gave you. Not a bit.

That's nice. I've also seen valid references that say the exact opposite.

johnthomas 05-21-2018 12:43 AM

The Jewish version of creation, the flood and the second coming was copied from what was taught way before their religion. Animals live for the moment, humans live to believe they will exist in one form or another for eternity. I suspect, just like any other living creature or plant, we live, we multiply to keep the species going and then we die. One thing is certain, we all will die, if there is an afterlife, we will find out, if not, the lights goes out and nature takes care of the rest.

Burble74 05-22-2018 8:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by billvau (Post 21660367)
I agree with Njineermike. And, I've done decades of biblical study. Sorry, but your biblical interpretation isn't Christian, i.e. isn't correct.

A agree with Billvau. People understand that One must study Shakespeare, or poetry, or art , or even film theory in order to properly understand the context of information expressed in literature and art, and glean what is being stated using the the conventions of those particular disciplines.

The Bible is especially difficult to truly understand unless one has studied the history, learning about the authors, the audiences, the times in which they were written and for whom in particular and the reasons behind them. Not to mention the number of languages they were originally written in (spoken in Aramaic, and typically ancient Greek) as they were passed down through writing, with actually little significant change due to the fact that whole community made sure that the Tradition of teaching Scripture isn’t lost or changed because it would destroy the meaning. Subtleties will change here and there, as they gain further understanding of scripture, and for the most part is relatively the same....since there are historical facts or cultural indications of the time that corroborate certain details within scripture.

It is the interpretation that can be subject to change if one reads scripture blindly with one eye closed to its context, which is why one must do proper study of it as Billvau has mentioned. It’s quite dangerous to simply guess the meaning or to read INTO the writings, considering the specificity of the authors. Like one needs two eyes to have depth perception, one needs to see scripture from two places in history, now because it remains significant, and then because truth as an axiom remains true for all time.

The Bible is not all written with the same conventions. There are letters, there is what’s called Hebrew poetry, there are parables, lessons and stories, eye witness accounts, prophecy, etc etc....including symbolic numbers, symbolism, and specific literal meaning both found in scripture, and having access to parallel historical writings, and facts help to discern meanings as well.
There’s even Greek words that are specific to the point that they are only used to refer to one thing or person like “kecharitomene” in reference to the the Virgin Mary, basically meaning full of God’s Grace, as the Angel Gabriel said, when he greeted her.

The Bible is not meant to be taken literally in its entirety unless for example, it is in terms of Jesus’ life in the Gospels, or in terms of moral teaching...in fact to take the entire Bible literally is a relatively new convention that came about 1500 years after the death of Christ. Most bible scholars agree that there is both literal and figurative meaning in the Bible, but just because something defies nature or science doesn’t necessarily mean it is figurative or symbolic. There are many miracles in the Bible, and as we know historically, many witnesses, due to the number of people who first hid from the Romans when faced with their association with Jesus after His torture and execution, and then the number of people who openly identified themselves as His followers AFTER aHis resurrection, willingly dying as martyrs at the hands of the Roman Empire.

The testimonies of Jesus’ miracles and teachings and life in general are from several points of view including the youngest of the apostles but the miraculous events are intended to be the actual account of His life, death and resurrection. Plus there are historical Roman accounts of Jesus, and records of His existence from numerous other sources, especially from one of the oldest institutions (older than the Incan and Aztec societies, the Church)


The Bible is an account of our Relationship to God. It is not a history, science, or rule book. But it is meant for us to learn about God and our purpose since we are His Children according to scripture made in His image and likeness and therefore are given the free will to accept Him or Reject Him.

People call the Bible the word of God. As scripture we believe that it is the inspired word of God, but the capital W
Word of God is reserved for Jesus, Who is the Word made Flesh.
The Human embodiment of God as His Son.


When Jesus came, He said that he was not here to abolish the Law but to Fulfill it.
That alone shows that there are prophecies, not yet facts and not just parables, which He fulfilled which is found in scripture. The messiah in scripture referred to Christ who was to be put to death on a cross, and when that prophecy was made, crucifixion was not yet even invented. (In fact I believe Jesus’ life alone fulfilled 800 or so prophecies, not to mention that it paralleled stories found in mythology itself, but here He is as a historical person whose life reflects elements mythology from even Egypt or Greece.

In that way there are readings in the New Testament that can easily be paired with readings from the Old Testament wherein Jesus qualifies or reiterates scripture. And that’s one of the bases for the Liturgical celebration of the Mass in the first half, with the rememberance of Christ’s ultimate Laying down of His life for us in Love, the Eucharist in the second half, as Jesus said that there’s no greater love than to lay down ones life for another, which is what God Himself did for us.


...historically, or scientifically obviously no one knows for sure if Adam and Eve were specific people, (“Adam”means man after all) because we do not have empirical answers, (even though the geography supports many biblical stories, including garden of eden, which was likely in between the Tigris and Euphrates, the area even science believes the first men came from....but the teaching itself is basic, that because of original sin, we have the ability to reject Gods Love, and reject His Grace, a gift, or to accept it.
(), but I guess this is where we just must have Faith that whatever the origin, if parable, or actual, that the message still ring true in practical ways ....
Even then, The term “days” in genesis could mean periods longer than a 24hour day.
As we know through our scientific studies, the earth is millions of years old, and Truth doesn’t contradict truth.

I guess what I am saying, is that whether or not ithe Story of the Garden of Eden, was actual, the lesson rings as true as ever, and teaches us that to willingy reject God is to willingly reject all that is of God, Love, not the emotion, but the action of Love. As a Jesus said , He did not come to abolish the law but to Fulfil it, and He said the greatest of Commandments was to Love as He love us...

Sorry so long, I Was leisurely writing half contemplating some discussions I’ve had recently on this topic, so the tangents are included, but it all boiled down to the idea of the stories being hypothetical, morality tale, or accounts, the Bible, of course contains all of them, since the goal of Supernatural messages are to teach us the way God wants us to be, not necessarily to tell us the secrets of the universe or give us cheat sheets for power and money.

The irony of course is that for us to be the best versions of ourselves, (which is usually the interior need for most characters in movies and stories) means to abandon ourselves and selfishness completely to God.
It’s like we are a glove that can try to act on our own will and direction, but if we are humble enough to let God enter our lives and let Him work through us with our full will, we Do become the best versions of ourselves with our specific talents and personality, doing what He created us for, which is what we all seek in the deepest parts of our souls, which only God knows as our creator— and most intimate friend.

(*the opposite of abandoning ourselves to God with all of our free will, of course, is to abandon ourselves to the Devil, in which case the phenomenon of perfect possession can be the result. But in cases of perfect possession, one knowingly gives up god-given free will and allow an alien presence to take over-
Scripturally it is a sin to give up our free (to intoxication...or possession) will because it can lead us to wrong-doing, problems or more sin. Thus we are also asked to stay away ffrom I’m occult (secret) things because we do not have the full awareness to deal with those things can can be spiritually detrimental and can lead to things like possession, ....so stay away from Ouija and tarot because the influences push our Faith out of the way....you can’t Be loyal to God if you are loyal to the ways of the secular world only.

As scripture makes clear, God’s ways are not our ways, therefore we need scripture to buide us even if it is in our nature to want to be good, we still need our Faith and acceptance of Grace, and our willingness to reject sin, and repent by following Christ, practicing what we preach as Christians.

CVShooter 05-23-2018 1:37 PM

Burble74 - thanks for sharing your thoughts. It takes a lot of time to write something like that. At least, it would if I wrote it.

I'm with you... Then I'm not... I agree for a time... Then the logic goes circular. Then I feel like I'm reading a response to a different question entirely. So I'm unclear if you are just sharing your thoughts on the Bible and Christianity in general or if I completely missed your point. The latter is entirely possible.

Are you addressing my initial question about an alternative interpretation of the forbidden tree in Genesis? Are you addressing the short history lesson I gave? Or are you simply establishing yourself as having some level of knowledge and, therefore, showing some support for those who disagree with me? Seriously -- I can be pretty dense so you'll have to spell it out.

Burble74 05-23-2018 2:21 PM

Bottom line is we don’t know for sure if we are to prove it in a court of law.

The purpose of scripture is to teach God’s people about our relationship to Him and how we are to interact with each other in light of our relationship to God.

I do touch upon other things knowing that some dont consider Catholics to be Christian, which is ironic considering that the Bible was first printed under the Catholic Church ...and other Protestant denominations were rooted in the Universal Church Christianity until the reformation...but that’s the reason Sola scriptural came about in the first place...when Martin Luther left the Church, he didn’t take anything else with him...he couldn’t take anything else with him, because he can’t take the history or Tradition of the Church...just the book...thus nothing additional to support his biblical views which would obviously result in more dissension thus the 40k denominations.

Like I said I had a bit of time and i just type as I think, I didn’t plan a perfectly edited document ...

Also as a Catholic, I already know there are lots of folk who would question the fact that I am Christian in the first place,....so I’m simply adding context to my response

CVShooter 05-23-2018 2:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Burble74 (Post 21676964)
Bottom line is we don’t know for sure if we are to prove it in a court of law.

The purpose of scripture is to teach God’s people about our relationship to Him and how we are to interact with each other in light of our relationship to God.

I do touch upon other things knowing that pastor Bill doesn’t consider Catholics to be Christian, which is ironic considering that the Bible was first printed under the Catholic Church ...

Like I said I had a bit of time and i just type as I think, I didn’t plan a perfectly edited document ...

Also as a Catholic, I already know there are lots of folk who would question my claim to be Christian in the first place,....so I’m simply adding context to my response

Gotcha! Thanks for clarifying. Nothing to disagree with on that note.

I grew up in a Baptist church that believed that they were the original church & that the Roman Catholics & Orthodox Christians split off of them. Heck, I believed it, too, because that's what we were told. After learning a bit more (it doesn't take much), I started to question that. Once I had enough Catholic friends who were as sincere and ardent in their faith as I was at the time, I changed my mind completely.

Later, while studying in Israel, people would laugh at you if you told them that Catholics weren't Christians. You'd be dismissed as if you just said that the earth isn't round. The Mormons got plenty of eye rolls from the locals but they considered them as just weird American Christians. There, if Jesus is your God, you're Christian. If Mohammed is God's prophet, you're Muslim. If your family is Jewish (regardless of your beliefs), you're Jewish. Anything else is just in-fighting and sectarian splits. Simple enough for me.

Burble74 05-23-2018 3:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CVShooter (Post 21677038)
Gotcha! Thanks for clarifying. Nothing to disagree with on that note.

I grew up in a Baptist church that believed that they were the original church & that the Roman Catholics & Orthodox Christians split off of them. Heck, I believed it, too, because that's what we were told. After learning a bit more (it doesn't take much), I started to question that. Once I had enough Catholic friends who were as sincere and ardent in their faith as I was at the time, I changed my mind completely.

Later, while studying in Israel, people would laugh at you if you told them that Catholics weren't Christians. You'd be dismissed as if you just said that the earth isn't round. The Mormons got plenty of eye rolls from the locals but they considered them as just weird American Christians. There, if Jesus is your God, you're Christian. If Mohammed is God's prophet, you're Muslim. If your family is Jewish (regardless of your beliefs), you're Jewish. Anything else is just in-fighting and sectarian splits. Simple enough for me.


I agree. And I appreciate that you took the time to make sure that the Catholics with whom you spoke to knew more about their faith than most.

I’m just gonna speak from the POV of a Catholic for anyone else who is not familiar or more familiar with the typical straw men arguments that we worship statues etc...
so that it’s not misrepresented For anyone who questions this I highly suggest watching Lizzie Answers since she was sincerely out to basically explain and thus disprove the Catholic world view, only to learn about the early Church and realize the objective history of it all. Needless to say against her perceived life goals, she wound up converting.
She is incredibly well read about the early church and scripture.

Catholics are pretty easygoing in terms of accepting other Christians because we know that as long as you believe God is a Trinitarian God, and that Jesus was truly man and truly God, and that He died and rose from the Dead in payment of our sins, you are Christian.

Also one reason Catholics s don’t typically memorize the Bible is that IN ADDITION to the Bible, we have the Tradition that led to its compilation,
we have the Mass which is entirely scriptural,
we have the Saints who were examples of conversion or repentance, we look up to as imperfect heroes of Christianity and ask for intercession like are part of the mystical Body of Christ...
we have Mary who Christ gave to us,
we have the Rosary which is a meditation of Christ’s life with scriptural prayers, the Celebration of the Mass*

*(which is NOT RESACRIFICING JESUS...WE BELIEVE GOD LIVES OUTSIDE OF PERCIEVED TIME AND THUS WHEN WE REMEMBER THE SACRIFICE OF THE MASS, WE ARE PRESENT WITH HIM AT EVERY MASS IN REMEMBERANCE.)

And we kneel and bow in respect like the Orthodox Church which is our eastern counterpart of The Church,
ALSO we believe that the consecrated Eucharist is truly a COMMUNION with Christ as He asked us to chew (in the biblical Greek) his flesh and drink His Blood and that his flesh is Real food and Blood Real drink...40% of the early Jews, /Christians thought this was too much to handle and abandoned Jesus and Jesus did not correct them that it is symbolic, because it is not symbolic...we take the sacrament of the Eucharist very seriously


This is where some might think it’s too x-Filesey, but I know for a fact that these things exist.
For those who know that there is a REAL powerful satanic institution in the modern world that is intrinsically tied to the globalist powers and the trafficking and abuse and murder of humans for satanic human sacrifice:
In fact when Satanist infiltrate a Mass, they typically get a consecrated Host and defile it by urinating, defacating, or otherwise destroying it because they know it is the Body of Christ. In fact a true witch or satanist who is under perfect (willing) possession, can pick out a consecrated Host out of a thousand ...reason being, a possessed person typically gets sick around blessed objects or Holy things whether or not they are aware they are around them...

To explain using human objects or paintings, or pictures for rememberance, Physical things for assisting worship, Tradition remember Christ used mud to heal a blind man, not because he needed it, but used material things like Tradition for OUR BENEFIT as rememberance or practice of our belief in Him...a sign of our Faith, like using water for baptism.

World satanists actually target the baptists and Catholics the most.
They also infiltrate both churches with regularity to destroy from the inside out, by creating havoc. Has done so for generations. That also push atheism and new age spirituality because it removes GOD FROM THE EQUATION OF RELIGION.

when you do that, you no longer have objective truth but moral relativism which is what those who try to take away our gun rights use to justify their agenda.....back to guns BOOM ;)

A little slow at work
Matthew mconaghey and snoop dog LITRALLY just walked into the room promoting their beach bum movie in an episode of Carpool Karaoke.

jarhead714 05-23-2018 3:16 PM

I always remind my wife that it was the weaker Eve who was first tempted...:p

Burble74 05-23-2018 3:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jarhead714 (Post 21677165)
I always remind my wife that it was the weaker Eve who was first tempted...:p

Hahahahahahaha so do I. And then she tempts me to prove me wrong ;p

billvau 05-23-2018 5:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jarhead714 (Post 21677165)
I always remind my wife that it was the weaker Eve who was first tempted...:p

Yes, but who sinned first? Adam :)

WASR10 05-24-2018 3:03 PM

Op, you state that story and metaphor is a superior way to pass on wisdom. I don’t know if that is true, but it certainly was the practice for millennia, and in many ways, still is. The phrase in which you question is, “da’ath towb ra,’ meaning “knowledge of (physically and spiritually) good and (physically and spiritually) evil.” The knowledge, according to the story, that Eve and Adam received by eating of the fruit, was the ability to discern what is good and what is bad; they became aware of the consequences of their actions. Vulnerability doesn’t exactly describe the new found awareness. They were cast out, not for this knowledge, but for the disobedience. They lost paradise by sin (disobedience) and suffered the consequence. (It is important to note that I do not believe this accounts for the doctrine known as ‘Original Sin’)

There is no negative commentary of the nobility of farming because of this story. The Bible never describes farming as a tainted profession because of the fall of man; many notable people within the scriptures are farmers. The implication is the consequence of sin. The invention of agriculture, and more significantly irrigation, was a huge step forward for mankind. It allowed time for thought and progress. That is not averse to the welfare of man on a moral basis.

The story of Cain is not an indictment of the farmer; both Cain and Abel were farmers. The indictment is that the offering of Cain was not a true sacrifice. He gave of his bounty, but it meant nothing to him. Abel’s offering was a detriment to him. He had loved and cared for the animals he offered. It literally hurt him to give them up, making it a 'sacrifice.' Thus began the practice of ‘blood sacrifice,’ a true offering that left the person in deficit. This ultimately became the significance of the death of a Nazarene named Jesus. I fear the themes you are searching for in Genesis may not be there, or may be misunderstood.

The core of the Adam and Eve story, whether literal or metaphorical, is obedience. Gaining knowledge is not a bad thing, and is never expressed so in the scriptures. Dependence on God is a very specific issue. Dependent on what? On happiness? On success? On acquisition of physical means? Or is it on spiritual matters? Is it on forgiveness despite our weaknesses? Is it on grace in the face of our own delusion of superiority? Is it on how to make better decisions for our welfare and our peace?

How do I view the story of Genesis? Or do you mean the story of Adam and Eve? Well, I will say that Moses put in to writing the oral history of his people, as they related to God. As with Native Americans, Intuit people, African tribes… they were stories to explain the world around them. Moses wrote them down. Yet I believe God is the ultimate author of the scriptures, and while these stories may or may not be taken literally, it is He who wanted us to know them and they therefore have value to how we live our lives and how we practice our religion. Adam, Eve, the spirit as Satan, the tree.. the story tells us to trust in the Lord, to remain obedient, to know that we don’t know everything, and to trust in that in which we are commanded. There is plenty of reason to believe that this leads to a beneficial life - and plenty of room for faith that this leads to a wonderful life afterwards.

Our current cultural values are not a reflection, necessarily, of the values we can extract from the scriptures. If anything they are a reflection of our separation from such values. The current culture climate certainly has had an influence on some forms of Christianity, Judaism, and other religions today, but they don’t have to. You can study, you can know what was written, and you can know what was meant by these writings, apart from any modern cultural influence.

Thanks for asking.

CVShooter 05-24-2018 3:34 PM

WASR10 - Thank you for your thoughts. Seems pretty universal among folks here to view the primary sin as disobedience to authority, not a hunger for knowledge that belongs to God alone.

Personally, I would view Cain & Abel as practicing two very different forms of agriculture. Cain was a farmer (planter of crops) and Abel was a herder. These differences are huge to me. One is settled and manipulates the environment while the other reacts to the environment by moving (nomadic or semi nomadic). I also wouldn't put them as actual individual people so much as groups or tribes in the area. There is certainly nothing in the text to suggest that. But stories work best when they're simple and metaphorical rather than literal. It's an oral form of data compression, if you catch the analogy.

I would also put the stories of Adam/Eve, Cain/Abel, Jacob/Esau as part of the same narrative -- not intended to be separate at all.

All the same, these are only my thoughts. I appreciate reading yours & your willingness to share.

WASR10 05-24-2018 3:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CVShooter (Post 21681602)
WASR10 - Thank you for your thoughts. Seems pretty universal among folks here to view the primary sin as disobedience to authority, not a hunger for knowledge that belongs to God alone.

Personally, I would view Cain & Abel as practicing two very different forms of agriculture. Cain was a farmer (planter of crops) and Abel was a herder. These differences are huge to me. One is settled and manipulates the environment while the other reacts to the environment by moving (nomadic or semi nomadic). I also wouldn't put them as actual individual people so much as groups or tribes in the area. There is certainly nothing in the text to suggest that. But stories work best when they're simple and metaphorical rather than literal. It's an oral form of data compression, if you catch the analogy.

I would also put the stories of Adam/Eve, Cain/Abel, Jacob/Esau as part of the same narrative -- not intended to be separate at all.

All the same, these are only my thoughts. I appreciate reading yours & your willingness to share.

Thanks. I would disagree with some of these points, but I am happy to exchange thoughts on the matter. Its an interesting subject to explore, to be sure. Thanks again for challenging us with it.

njineermike 05-24-2018 10:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CVShooter (Post 21681602)
WASR10 - Thank you for your thoughts. Seems pretty universal among folks here to view the primary sin as disobedience to authority, not a hunger for knowledge that belongs to God alone.

Personally, I would view Cain & Abel as practicing two very different forms of agriculture. Cain was a farmer (planter of crops) and Abel was a herder. These differences are huge to me. One is settled and manipulates the environment while the other reacts to the environment by moving (nomadic or semi nomadic). I also wouldn't put them as actual individual people so much as groups or tribes in the area. There is certainly nothing in the text to suggest that. But stories work best when they're simple and metaphorical rather than literal. It's an oral form of data compression, if you catch the analogy.

I would also put the stories of Adam/Eve, Cain/Abel, Jacob/Esau as part of the same narrative -- not intended to be separate at all.

All the same, these are only my thoughts. I appreciate reading yours & your willingness to share.

This is another point that gets twisted. Neither Cain nor Abel was looked on as disapproved for what they did to obtain livelihood or specifically what items they offered. In fact, the command given was to make the earth a garden, not herd animals, therefore one could rightly argue, based on the context, that Cain was more correctly following the command. But that's not how it worked out. One offered what he grew, one offered his animals. It was about intent. The story of Cain and Abel is about giving out of gratitude vs giving out of obligation. Abel had a more thorough understanding of the context and gave because he wanted to. Cain is warned before killing Abel about his thought process and internal motivations being wrong and leading him down a dark path. Abel evidently also had a better understanding of the import of the sacrifice itself, but that's a different discussion.

This story is, at its core, about mans' main driving factors and motivations. Does one do good things because they're the right things to do, or does one do good things because of fear of punishment or hope of reward and recognition? As we can see around us every day, those who do good things, treat others well, follow moral codes that benefit their neighbor simply because it IS right, much more often do this longer and better than those who do good because doing bad is punished or somehow more detrimental to THEM than doing good. Does the good come from caring more about the benefit to another, or is it about the benefit to ourselves? We see the eventual outcome of these motivating factors in the results. Cain killed his brother because his entire motivation was wrong from its core. Jealousy over the perceived lack of approval, based on incorrect thinking patterns, led Cain to kill Abel. Whether one sees this as a true story, allegory, tribes, or any other literary allusion, the core concept is the same.

It's the core concept of the entire bible. Does one do things for selfless reasons or selfish reasons? It was the question raised in Eden. If one wants to actually understand the entire bible, read Job. It explains everything. The lie to told Eve was about selfishness. Satan's argument has always been that man is a flawed creation that will only serve the greater good when it benefits man. That has never changed.

CVShooter 05-25-2018 9:35 AM

njineermike - I get it. We see things differently. No harm in that.

I have an obvious flaw in my point of view in that I lack direct evidence. But I've learned enough about the ancient world, mythology, story & such to know that themes and meanings are often presented indirectly. And that the intended meaning isn't always known by those who transmit the story. Often, the intended meanings are lost even if the stories endure. To me, this is fascinating. One culture starts the story and a different one picks it up, changes it and passes it on. A good example is the Ba'al/Yam battle I've mentioned before. The Canaanites started it. The author of Daniel changed it to their cultural beliefs & deities. Then John adapted it yet again in Revelation. Each had a message that had nothing to do with the details of the story. Each was trying to soothe the pains and ills of their people during difficult times.

Similar things happened with Job -- it's a tale much older than the historical man of Job could have been and was widespread among ancient Semitic cultures. I realize that this flies in the face of many folks' beliefs about the infallible word of God and the supremacy of Christianity. But I don't share that belief anyway.

Clearly, if I wanted to PROVE my thesis scientifically or something, I'd be up the creek without a paddle. You've got me there. But I'll also challenge the notion that an absence of evidence isn't evidence of absence. Our scientific method and our rules of courtroom proof have little street cred in the interpretation of ancient mythology. It's a world of its own with its own rules and codes of conduct. I wouldn't rely on the Bible to PROVE that an event happened historically (some of the details are just flat wrong after all). But it's worth a look as a good starting point.

So if you're hoping to convince me that I'm wrong, it's going to take a different point of view than what you have since I don't hold the Bible to be the infallible word of God. I see it as a lot of valuable ancient wisdom with a ton of mystery and even some problems of its own. Near Eastern history, anthropology, archaeology, language, mythology, etc. are far more convincing to me than a collection of writings spanning 1300 years of massive changes in a country the size of New Jersey. When the all gel together, I'm inclined to pay attention. When they diverge, I remain skeptical of anything being definitive one way or another.

So I'm open to some challenges of the interpretation I've given -- I'm not married to it. But I also don't need to convince you I'm right either. Ultimately, I'm a man of action. Words, thoughts and beliefs, to me, are just the ways that we rationalize our behavior. And only what we do matters. If our words contradict our behavior, then our words are meaningless. So, since I do a little bit of farming and live a my life in the benefits of civilization, it's all just BS anyway -- mere thought experiments and nothing to get upset about one way or another. Again, just my 2-cents.

njineermike 05-25-2018 11:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CVShooter (Post 21684526)
njineermike - I get it. We see things differently. No harm in that.

I have an obvious flaw in my point of view in that I lack direct evidence. But I've learned enough about the ancient world, mythology, story & such to know that themes and meanings are often presented indirectly. And that the intended meaning isn't always known by those who transmit the story. Often, the intended meanings are lost even if the stories endure. To me, this is fascinating. One culture starts the story and a different one picks it up, changes it and passes it on. A good example is the Ba'al/Yam battle I've mentioned before. The Canaanites started it. The author of Daniel changed it to their cultural beliefs & deities. Then John adapted it yet again in Revelation. Each had a message that had nothing to do with the details of the story. Each was trying to soothe the pains and ills of their people during difficult times.

Similar things happened with Job -- it's a tale much older than the historical man of Job could have been and was widespread among ancient Semitic cultures. I realize that this flies in the face of many folks' beliefs about the infallible word of God and the supremacy of Christianity. But I don't share that belief anyway.

Clearly, if I wanted to PROVE my thesis scientifically or something, I'd be up the creek without a paddle. You've got me there. But I'll also challenge the notion that an absence of evidence isn't evidence of absence. Our scientific method and our rules of courtroom proof have little street cred in the interpretation of ancient mythology. It's a world of its own with its own rules and codes of conduct. I wouldn't rely on the Bible to PROVE that an event happened historically (some of the details are just flat wrong after all). But it's worth a look as a good starting point.

So if you're hoping to convince me that I'm wrong, it's going to take a different point of view than what you have since I don't hold the Bible to be the infallible word of God. I see it as a lot of valuable ancient wisdom with a ton of mystery and even some problems of its own. Near Eastern history, anthropology, archaeology, language, mythology, etc. are far more convincing to me than a collection of writings spanning 1300 years of massive changes in a country the size of New Jersey. When the all gel together, I'm inclined to pay attention. When they diverge, I remain skeptical of anything being definitive one way or another.

So I'm open to some challenges of the interpretation I've given -- I'm not married to it. But I also don't need to convince you I'm right either. Ultimately, I'm a man of action. Words, thoughts and beliefs, to me, are just the ways that we rationalize our behavior. And only what we do matters. If our words contradict our behavior, then our words are meaningless. So, since I do a little bit of farming and live a my life in the benefits of civilization, it's all just BS anyway -- mere thought experiments and nothing to get upset about one way or another. Again, just my 2-cents.

Wrong or right isn't my judgement to make. I look at it this way: Just because other cultures had similar stories doesn't make those from the bible less legitimate. Take the flood. Many cultures all over the planet have very similar flood stories. Does the fact that they have one invalidate any other? Could something be rooted in fact, but spread through migration?

CVShooter 05-25-2018 4:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by njineermike (Post 21684937)
Wrong or right isn't my judgement to make. I look at it this way: Just because other cultures had similar stories doesn't make those from the bible less legitimate. Take the flood. Many cultures all over the planet have very similar flood stories. Does the fact that they have one invalidate any other? Could something be rooted in fact, but spread through migration?

Yea, we agree there. The deluge is a perfect example, too -- good call there. Yes, stories spread via migration, via conquest, via assimilation, etc. They also change via context, time, language, etc. And they mean different things to different people and it's not always what the teller of the story intended.

A good example of that is Jesus's triumphant entry into the Eastern Gate of Jerusalem. Here in America and most of the west, we tell the story to emphasize Jesus's humility. Yet the opposite would have been understood by anybody in the ancient Near East. Nobility rode donkeys. Servants walked. Few would have rode horses because stirrups weren't used outside of the far east until the middle ages. Horses pulled chariots in warfare but without stirrups, they're uncomfortable to ride, mount and dismount. So Jesus rode in on a donkey through the Eastern gate as a show of power, not humility. And it's no wonder the authorities came after him shortly after that -- he had to have known what to expect from such a gesture of political rebellion. Details aside, we tell the story here to emphasize what we like about Jesus -- his humility. Yet the story was intended to show his growing political strength just before his subsequent arrest and execution. The story is likely true. There's no reason to think otherwise. But the meaning has changed to be the exact opposite of what was intended. More importantly, nobody seems to care and the story remains changed.

There are other examples, such as the parable of the talents (taking interest was illegal under the Torah yet it is encouraged by the parable as a minimum effort of stewardship). But I think you get my point.

To answer your question, I wouldn't say that it makes the Bible any less legitimate than all the other stories. But neither would I say that it is more legitimate either. It's just a piece of the puzzle to me. It's a heck of a good piece in that puzzle. But still limited. Again, just my opinion.

So going back to my original post, I am curious if others have seen any similar themes from Genesis. But it appears that nobody in this group has any other interpretations other than the traditional ones or just an outright rejection of it all together.

Perhaps a good follow up post would be one to explore alternative interpretations in other parts of the Bible. I'm not as well-versed in the scriptures of other religions so I can't speak to those. But it would be fun to read, nonetheless.

mif_slim 05-26-2018 5:02 AM

CVS, you. brought up Jesus and the donkey. What are your thoughts on the resurrection?

Dezrat 05-26-2018 7:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CVShooter (Post 21685954)
Yea, we agree there. The deluge is a perfect example, too -- good call there. Yes, stories spread via migration, via conquest, via assimilation, etc. They also change via context, time, language, etc. And they mean different things to different people and it's not always what the teller of the story intended.

A good example of that is Jesus's triumphant entry into the Eastern Gate of Jerusalem. Here in America and most of the west, we tell the story to emphasize Jesus's humility. Yet the opposite would have been understood by anybody in the ancient Near East. Nobility rode donkeys. Servants walked. Few would have rode horses because stirrups weren't used outside of the far east until the middle ages. Horses pulled chariots in warfare but without stirrups, they're uncomfortable to ride, mount and dismount. So Jesus rode in on a donkey through the Eastern gate as a show of power, not humility. And it's no wonder the authorities came after him shortly after that -- he had to have known what to expect from such a gesture of political rebellion. Details aside, we tell the story here to emphasize what we like about Jesus -- his humility. Yet the story was intended to show his growing political strength just before his subsequent arrest and execution. The story is likely true. There's no reason to think otherwise. But the meaning has changed to be the exact opposite of what was intended. More importantly, nobody seems to care and the story remains changed.

There are other examples, such as the parable of the talents (taking interest was illegal under the Torah yet it is encouraged by the parable as a minimum effort of stewardship). But I think you get my point.

To answer your question, I wouldn't say that it makes the Bible any less legitimate than all the other stories. But neither would I say that it is more legitimate either. It's just a piece of the puzzle to me. It's a heck of a good piece in that puzzle. But still limited. Again, just my opinion.

So going back to my original post, I am curious if others have seen any similar themes from Genesis. But it appears that nobody in this group has any other interpretations other than the traditional ones or just an outright rejection of it all together.

Perhaps a good follow up post would be one to explore alternative interpretations in other parts of the Bible. I'm not as well-versed in the scriptures of other religions so I can't speak to those. But it would be fun to read, nonetheless.

Zech 9:9- Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, Lowly and riding on a donkey, A colt, the foal of a donkey.

Prophesy concerning the triumphal entry penned at the hand of an ancient Near Easterner, but then what would he have known about ancient Near Easterners....... But what's amazing is that this prophetic depiction of the event was penned hundreds of years prior to the event, so the meaning of the story had been morphed into something it wasn't supposed to mean, by an ancient Near Easterner, before the event ever even took place. The mind boggles!

njineermike 05-27-2018 3:06 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dezrat (Post 21690189)
Zech 9:9- Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, Lowly and riding on a donkey, A colt, the foal of a donkey.

Prophesy concerning the triumphal entry penned at the hand of an ancient Near Easterner, but then what would he have known about ancient Near Easterners....... But what's amazing is that this prophetic depiction of the event was penned hundreds of years prior to the event, so the meaning of the story had been morphed into something it wasn't supposed to mean, by an ancient Near Easterner, before the event ever even took place. The mind boggles!

The donkey riding was symbolic of the Jewish royalty. Kings rode on a donkey to symbolize peace and humility, in that weren't supposed to be above the people, but one with the people. Kings of other lands rose horses, indicating superiority. The bible indicates there was never supposed to be a king. Man chose that for themselves (seems to be a pattern here), and that is also why the kings were commanded to write the law (torah) in their own hand, also symbolizing adherence to the religious law as a guideline. The law was supposed to encourage a humble attitude. Jesus riding the donkey wasn't to display humility, he was already humble. It was a sign he was the promised king arriving. The people misunderstood how his rule would be implemented. They expected a military leader.


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