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Ch. 10: The Tawdriness of the Miraculous and the Decline... 
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Penelope wrote:
Literature is scripture (writings) isn't it Tom?


Not exactly, Penny. The main purpose of scripture is salvation. The main purpose of literature is expression. Salvation is a relation with The Eternal; expression, how an individual participates in an era. Even high literature -- like the Aeneid, The Divine Comedy, Pilgrim's Progress, and Paradise Lost -- is not scripture. There is too much of the personality of the author in it.

Tom



Tue Apr 21, 2009 4:35 pm
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Post literature and scripture
Thomas Hood wrote:
Quote:
The main purpose of scripture is salvation. The main purpose of literature is expression.


The books of the Bible were written by authors from their own experience and persepective. Please do not get me wrong, I am not suggesting that the prophets from the Bible can be compared to modern authors, Homer is modern in comparison but, is it possible that the books of the Bible were influenced by the personality of the writers? I do believe expression does impact the Bible, and scripture. I say this only because of how different the interpretations are percieved not only be the readers of scripture, but also by the preachers of scripture.

An example, Ham, a son of Noah. According to the Bible, Ham originally was named for the black soil of the Nile River delta, the name Ham was later changed to represent black skin. Ham is accredited with being the father of black skinned people and all black skinned people are his decendants. Subsequently,
Quote:
". . .descendants of Ham are condemned to be servants of servants unto their brethren"
(Genesis 9:25).

Now, this quote is scripture, however, it can be interpratated to represent oppresion, and superiority and it has. This is just one example of how scripture can be used to express opinions. If scripture is not a form of expression, how can scripture have many interpratatons?



Tue Apr 21, 2009 5:56 pm
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Penelope wrote:

I didn't read it like this. This is how I read it:-

Alex, after having been brainwashed, felt sick at the thought of doing a violent act, but he still wanted to do it......and my goodness, I wanted him to do it too......because I wanted him to choose...

Eventually, he married the girl he raped earlier in the book.....and she 'balanced him'. He didn't want his children to be how he was and so, he 'chose' not be be 'nasty'. Maybe there are two endings.


You are quite right! I'd forgotten the very end. :oops:



Tue Apr 21, 2009 6:25 pm
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Post Re: literature and scripture
Suz wrote:
The books of the Bible were written by authors from their own experience and persepective.


Not exactly. Scripture differs from other writings by being inspired by Brahman, God, Allah, the Will of Heaven, the Cosmic Whole, etc. The Bible is only a small part of scripture, and not necessarily the most important part. Persons who write scripture do not claim it as a personal product, as the many POD authors who appear at BookTalk do :)

There is, I think, only one issue in scripture: How can the ephemeral human creature have enduring value? And, so far as I know, there is only one answer: Enduring value comes by accord with the Eternal Moral Order. All else is vanity.

Tom



Tue Apr 21, 2009 8:04 pm
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Tom:

Quote:
The main purpose of scripture is salvation.


Sometimes, if we go back to the original meaning of the words, I find it can serve to clarify, what has become obscured over time.

The word - 'Scripture' just means 'Writing' (Scribes were just writers, but since not many people could write in those days, people thought there was something magical about it.)

The word 'Salvation' means 'Healing' not 'saving' and I envision it as healing our fractured natures. Not 'saving' our souls, which are eternal anyway.

Things do get lost in translation, as words take on different meanings over the centuries, don't they?




;-) ;-)


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Wed Apr 22, 2009 7:04 am
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Post Re: literature and scripture
Thomas Hood wrote:
[There is, I think, only one issue in scripture: How can the ephemeral human creature have enduring value? And, so far as I know, there is only one answer: Enduring value comes by accord with the Eternal Moral Order. All else is vanity.Tom

Certainly in the bodies of writing that have acquired this status of scripture, there are expressions that have a timeless truth. There are also many examples of totally time-bound thinking, thinking that justified the status quo and became outmoded when the society perished or changed. The designation "scripture" in itself does not confer any quality of timeless truth. It is writing that church authorities elevated to official status, an act that was to some degree arbitrary.



Wed Apr 22, 2009 7:30 am
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Penelope wrote:
Sometimes, if we go back to the original meaning of the words, I find it can serve to clarify, what has become obscured over time.


Uh, Penny, you're etymologizing :), which isn't the same as defining, however entertaining a diversion it may be. Scripture isn't 'magical'; it's holy and sacred.

Quote:
The word 'Salvation' means 'Healing' not 'saving' and I envision it as healing our fractured natures. Not 'saving' our souls, which are eternal anyway.


At which point you have lost all the nice atheists at BookTalk, who don't admit to having eternal souls in need of Divine Salvation, it seems.

Quote:
Things do get lost in translation, as words take on different meanings over the centuries, don't they?


I often misread not because meanings have changed but because I don't know the original context.

Tom



Wed Apr 22, 2009 7:33 am
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Post Re: literature and scripture
DWill wrote:
Certainly in the bodies of writing that have acquired this status of scripture, there are expressions that have a timeless truth.


That is a generous admission and leaves the door wide open :)

Quote:
The designation "scripture" in itself does not confer any quality of timeless truth.


True, it is an aesthetic-ethical judgment.

Quote:
It is writing that church authorities elevated to official status, an act that was to some degree arbitrary.


My opinion is that they exercised better judgment than is usually exercised today.

Tom



Wed Apr 22, 2009 7:50 am
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Thomas Hood wrote:
Quote:
you're etymologizing , which isn't the same as defining,


Can't argue with an expert on semantics. Don't care to either.

Quote:
We see what we want to see and hear what we want to hear.


Nielson, The Point

Amen! (one word monologue)
Suzanne



Wed Apr 22, 2009 8:05 am
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Tom:-

Quote:
I often misread not because meanings have changed but because I don't know the original context.


Sometimes, the meanings have been changed deliberately in what seem minor and subtle ways.....but which change the meaning completely.

I am thinking about the JW's who do not believe in the divinity of Jesus. So when Thomas said unto him 'My Lord and My God'......they have changed to capital letter so that it reads 'god'......a minor adjustment one would think.

Also, they place a comma in a different place, so that it reads:

Truely I tell you today, you will be with me in paradise.

instead of:

Truely I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.

It makes me wonder how often in the past, translations have been tampered with to fit in with current doctrine. Which is why I maintain that much of the 'intended' meaning is lost.

I don't think this is etymology....I think it is buggering about with grammar. :oops:

The words themselves cannot be sacred. That would be a bit like going to a restaurant and eating the menu.....not the food???


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Wed Apr 22, 2009 9:49 am
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Suz wrote:
We see what we want to see and hear what we want to hear.
Nielson, The Point


Now, Suzanne, don't be cynical. Most of us, most of the time, try to be objective but are often misled by insufficient evidence, although the Internet is making evidence easier to gather.

When context is unknown, readers do often resort to fanciful etymological explanation. Here is the kind of thing I frequently deal with:

http://www.i-tjingcentrum.nl/serendipit ... am-23.html
Cutting through hexagram 23

Harmen is a generous and meticulous researcher, but misled because of his dependence on etymology. Caro (at the bottom) is correct. Hexagram 23 (Wen's interpretation) refers to the preparation of soil for growing crops.

Tom



Last edited by Thomas Hood on Wed Apr 22, 2009 12:08 pm, edited 2 times in total.



Wed Apr 22, 2009 11:58 am
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Penelope wrote:
I am thinking about the JW's who do not believe in the divinity of Jesus. So when Thomas said unto him 'My Lord and My God'......they have changed to capital letter so that it reads 'god'......a minor adjustment one would think.

Also, they place a comma in a different place, so that it reads:

Truly I tell you today, you will be with me in paradise.

instead of:

Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.


So many interesting things to talk to the Jehovah's Witnesses about, I'm almost looking forward to their next visit :)

Tom



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Post Me, cynical?
Tom:

Oh all right.

Thomas Hood wrote:

Quote:
When context is unknown, readers do often resort to fanciful etymological explanation. Here is the kind of thing I frequently deal with:


Can you please elaborate on how you frequently come across these things? Also, maybe you are the person I'm looking for. Are you familiar with the RongoRongo tablets of Napa Rui? I recently wrote an extensive research paper on the island, but came to a dead end on the tablets. I know they were made for singing, or chanting do you have any information or ideas about the meaning of the symbols?

The web is great I agree, but you do have to watch out for credability. While doing research on Easter Island, (I prefer Rapa Nui), I knew it was time to quit when I started reading about vampires and aliens.

Thanks,
Suzanne



Thu Apr 23, 2009 7:57 am
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"Oh, shut up" could be an acceptable reply to this request, but if people want to continue posting in the current vein (that is, not about Hitchens), it might help if they started a new thread under the religion forum, so that someone, such as CH himself, would not be misled into thinking that his chapter 10 was being discussed. Thanks for considering.



Thu Apr 23, 2009 9:11 am
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DILL wrote:
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"Oh, shut up" could be an acceptable reply to this request,


Hey, he started it! Point taken, my appologies.

Suzanne



Thu Apr 23, 2009 9:19 am
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