Online reading group and book discussion forum
  HOME ENTER FORUMS OUR BOOKS LINKS DONATE ADVERTISE CONTACT  
View unanswered posts | View active topics It is currently Sun Dec 08, 2019 1:37 am





Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 132 posts ] • Topic evaluate: Evaluations: 1, 5.00 on the average.Evaluations: 1, 5.00 on the average.Evaluations: 1, 5.00 on the average.Evaluations: 1, 5.00 on the average.Evaluations: 1, 5.00 on the average.  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ... 9  Next
Have you read the whole Bible? 
Author Message
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Reading Addict


Joined: May 2011
Posts: 1369
Thanks: 1471
Thanked: 680 times in 551 posts
Gender: None specified

Post Re: Have you read the whole Bible?
Gnostic Bishop wrote:
I see more than one Jesus in scriptures. One moral, the other not so much.

I also have some problem with it, especially his no divorce stance and his substitutionary punishment endorsement.

The stance of Jesus against divorce, whether or not he really took it (Matthew should always be considered suspect on legalism) is usually seen today to have been a rejection of husbands abandoning their dependent wives. Accepting divorce in such an economically imbalanced society could be seen as putting all the pressure on wives to please their husbands (there were no alimony arrangements, at least for peasants without powerful clans behind the wife).

It is a problem for many topics, including divorce, if we take it as a "once for all time" pronouncement. We have to make allowances for cultural differences, and different meanings in different times.

The current scholarly view is that Jesus did not endorse substitutiary punishment. "My body, broken for you" and "my blood, shed for you" or even "for the remission of sins" has many possible interpretations besides the substitutiary version in Hebrews (and even there atonement is not presented as "taking the place of someone deserving to die" as we tend to hear it today). Up until Augustine the most common view of atonement was that it healed the relationship between God and humans by demonstrating divine love and sanctifying a new covenant.

It helps to understand that the Jewish view of atonement, informing the Day of Atonement in the high holy days, was that a sacrifice is a way of sanctifying the encounter of repentance, rather than a payment for a debt owed on account of sin. Sacrifice to seal a pact (or covenant - same thing) was very common in that part of the world going back more than a millennium. The common meal eaten from the sacrificed animal was as important as the death of the animal.



Sat Jan 20, 2018 11:37 am
Profile Email
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Just realized BookTalk.org is awesome!


Joined: Nov 2014
Posts: 790
Thanks: 93
Thanked: 131 times in 116 posts
Gender: None specified

Post Re: Have you read the whole Bible?
Harry Marks wrote:
Gnostic Bishop wrote:
I see more than one Jesus in scriptures. One moral, the other not so much.

I also have some problem with it, especially his no divorce stance and his substitutionary punishment endorsement.

The stance of Jesus against divorce, whether or not he really took it (Matthew should always be considered suspect on legalism) is usually seen today to have been a rejection of husbands abandoning their dependent wives. Accepting divorce in such an economically imbalanced society could be seen as putting all the pressure on wives to please their husbands (there were no alimony arrangements, at least for peasants without powerful clans behind the wife).

It is a problem for many topics, including divorce, if we take it as a "once for all time" pronouncement. We have to make allowances for cultural differences, and different meanings in different times.

The current scholarly view is that Jesus did not endorse substitutiary punishment. "My body, broken for you" and "my blood, shed for you" or even "for the remission of sins" has many possible interpretations besides the substitutiary version in Hebrews (and even there atonement is not presented as "taking the place of someone deserving to die" as we tend to hear it today). Up until Augustine the most common view of atonement was that it healed the relationship between God and humans by demonstrating divine love and sanctifying a new covenant.

It helps to understand that the Jewish view of atonement, informing the Day of Atonement in the high holy days, was that a sacrifice is a way of sanctifying the encounter of repentance, rather than a payment for a debt owed on account of sin. Sacrifice to seal a pact (or covenant - same thing) was very common in that part of the world going back more than a millennium. The common meal eaten from the sacrificed animal was as important as the death of the animal.


It is hard to speak of what Jesus taught if you reject what scriptures say he taught before even entering the discussion.

Let's go with straight logic and common sense then. Not a bad idea.

It is immoral to prevent anyone who wants a divorce from having it as that would prevente people, male and female, from seeking a loving partner to live life with. This would be regardless of what one is seeking a divorce for, from abuse to just the realization that they are living in a loveless relationship.

To deny someone love, for any reason, be it religious or cultural is immoral.

As to substitutionary atonement, regardless of what we might think the Jews thought, we have to recognize that Yahweh/Jesus initiated that policy even before the world was created and is an immoral policy. We have to assume that the Jews who wrote the O.T. were supporting that injustice or they would not have put it in the O.T.

Having another innocent person suffer for the wrongs you have done, --- so that you might escape responsibility for having done them, --- is immoral. To abdicate personal responsibility is immoral.

Regards
DL



Sat Jan 20, 2018 11:53 am
Profile Email
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Reading Addict


Joined: May 2011
Posts: 1369
Thanks: 1471
Thanked: 680 times in 551 posts
Gender: None specified

Post Re: Have you read the whole Bible?
Gnostic Bishop wrote:
Harry Marks wrote:
The current scholarly view is that Jesus did not endorse substitutiary punishment. "My body, broken for you" and "my blood, shed for you" or even "for the remission of sins" has many possible interpretations besides the substitutiary version in Hebrews (and even there atonement is not presented as "taking the place of someone deserving to die" as we tend to hear it today). Up until Augustine the most common view of atonement was that it healed the relationship between God and humans by demonstrating divine love and sanctifying a new covenant.

It helps to understand that the Jewish view of atonement, informing the Day of Atonement in the high holy days, was that a sacrifice is a way of sanctifying the encounter of repentance, rather than a payment for a debt owed on account of sin. Sacrifice to seal a pact (or covenant - same thing) was very common in that part of the world going back more than a millennium. The common meal eaten from the sacrificed animal was as important as the death of the animal.

It is hard to speak of what Jesus taught if you reject what scriptures say he taught before even entering the discussion.
Well, whether or not it makes things "difficult" the evidence says we have texts which are not straight journalistic history, if only based on the internal differences. They are efforts to present a religion through a story of a life, and we can guess which sayings actually reflect Jesus' words, but we cannot be sure.

You may be familiar with non-canonical gospels such as the Gospel of Thomas, and the Gospel of Mary Magdalene. If we go with those Gnostic texts as having the same authority as the canonical Gospels, the result is a rather different picture of Jesus. Likewise you may know that John 8 features a story not present in the most ancient texts, namely the woman caught in adultery ("He who is without sin may cast the first stone.") Unfortunately there is no reason to think it is an authentic saying. We just have to guess the best we can.

Gnostic Bishop wrote:
It is immoral to prevent anyone who wants a divorce from having it as that would prevente people, male and female, from seeking a loving partner to live life with. This would be regardless of what one is seeking a divorce for, from abuse to just the realization that they are living in a loveless relationship.
Well, I might tend to agree in a country with a social safety net and pretty good wages for women. And even in the context of Jesus' day, I suspect it would have made more sense to say a man had to continue supporting his wife even if he didn't want to live with her. (Of course, given the times, when women were expected to please their husbands as a matter of his rights, that might have seemed wildly impractical).

But I also think it might be a good idea to consider the relative frequencies of people thinking they have found a new love when all they have really found is the novelty of a new relationship. Christianity tends to emphasize the rewards to making things work with the old relationship, and nowadays we try to offer coaching in the skills needed to keep love alive. But if divorce is what is called for, and sometimes it is, then it ought to be an option.

Gnostic Bishop wrote:
As to substitutionary atonement, regardless of what we might think the Jews thought, we have to recognize that Yahweh/Jesus initiated that policy even before the world was created and is an immoral policy.

Umm, why do we need to recognize something which has not been established? Sure, some people have believed it, but Christianity includes an enormous breadth of different beliefs.

What I was saying is that the early Christians probably did not believe in a substitutiary penalty. That is a later theory read into the texts, and probably not the best interpretation of the texts. The closest any of them come is the book of Hebrews with its "without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins." Now try how that sounds through our understanding of ancient practice, in which the "shedding of blood" was to consecrate a pact, rather than to pay a penalty for a crime.

Gnostic Bishop wrote:
We have to assume that the Jews who wrote the O.T. were supporting that injustice or they would not have put it in the O.T.

Having another innocent person suffer for the wrongs you have done, --- so that you might escape responsibility for having done them, --- is immoral. To abdicate personal responsibility is immoral.
As far as I know, there is no text in the OT that even seems to say sacrifice is in place of a penalty. Perhaps I am missing something.



Sat Jan 20, 2018 2:48 pm
Profile Email
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Just realized BookTalk.org is awesome!


Joined: Nov 2014
Posts: 790
Thanks: 93
Thanked: 131 times in 116 posts
Gender: None specified

Post Re: Have you read the whole Bible?
Harry Marks wrote:
Gnostic Bishop wrote:
Harry Marks wrote:
The current scholarly view is that Jesus did not endorse substitutiary punishment. "My body, broken for you" and "my blood, shed for you" or even "for the remission of sins" has many possible interpretations besides the substitutiary version in Hebrews (and even there atonement is not presented as "taking the place of someone deserving to die" as we tend to hear it today). Up until Augustine the most common view of atonement was that it healed the relationship between God and humans by demonstrating divine love and sanctifying a new covenant.

It helps to understand that the Jewish view of atonement, informing the Day of Atonement in the high holy days, was that a sacrifice is a way of sanctifying the encounter of repentance, rather than a payment for a debt owed on account of sin. Sacrifice to seal a pact (or covenant - same thing) was very common in that part of the world going back more than a millennium. The common meal eaten from the sacrificed animal was as important as the death of the animal.

It is hard to speak of what Jesus taught if you reject what scriptures say he taught before even entering the discussion.
Well, whether or not it makes things "difficult" the evidence says we have texts which are not straight journalistic history, if only based on the internal differences. They are efforts to present a religion through a story of a life, and we can guess which sayings actually reflect Jesus' words, but we cannot be sure.

You may be familiar with non-canonical gospels such as the Gospel of Thomas, and the Gospel of Mary Magdalene. If we go with those Gnostic texts as having the same authority as the canonical Gospels, the result is a rather different picture of Jesus. Likewise you may know that John 8 features a story not present in the most ancient texts, namely the woman caught in adultery ("He who is without sin may cast the first stone.") Unfortunately there is no reason to think it is an authentic saying. We just have to guess the best we can.

Gnostic Bishop wrote:
It is immoral to prevent anyone who wants a divorce from having it as that would prevente people, male and female, from seeking a loving partner to live life with. This would be regardless of what one is seeking a divorce for, from abuse to just the realization that they are living in a loveless relationship.
Well, I might tend to agree in a country with a social safety net and pretty good wages for women. And even in the context of Jesus' day, I suspect it would have made more sense to say a man had to continue supporting his wife even if he didn't want to live with her. (Of course, given the times, when women were expected to please their husbands as a matter of his rights, that might have seemed wildly impractical).

But I also think it might be a good idea to consider the relative frequencies of people thinking they have found a new love when all they have really found is the novelty of a new relationship. Christianity tends to emphasize the rewards to making things work with the old relationship, and nowadays we try to offer coaching in the skills needed to keep love alive. But if divorce is what is called for, and sometimes it is, then it ought to be an option.

Gnostic Bishop wrote:
As to substitutionary atonement, regardless of what we might think the Jews thought, we have to recognize that Yahweh/Jesus initiated that policy even before the world was created and is an immoral policy.

Umm, why do we need to recognize something which has not been established? Sure, some people have believed it, but Christianity includes an enormous breadth of different beliefs.

What I was saying is that the early Christians probably did not believe in a substitutiary penalty. That is a later theory read into the texts, and probably not the best interpretation of the texts. The closest any of them come is the book of Hebrews with its "without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins." Now try how that sounds through our understanding of ancient practice, in which the "shedding of blood" was to consecrate a pact, rather than to pay a penalty for a crime.

Gnostic Bishop wrote:
We have to assume that the Jews who wrote the O.T. were supporting that injustice or they would not have put it in the O.T.

Having another innocent person suffer for the wrongs you have done, --- so that you might escape responsibility for having done them, --- is immoral. To abdicate personal responsibility is immoral.
As far as I know, there is no text in the OT that even seems to say sacrifice is in place of a penalty. Perhaps I am missing something.


I know of none either. Even if there were, it would likely not be for a person to be sacrificed but an animal to be consumes at the party given to celebrate the Jews forgiving each other.

They used two lambs in their sacrifice. One to release and carry the sins away and the other to eat.

1Peter 1:20 0 He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake.

That quote is the only one I know of that hints at human/Jesus being chosen as sacrifice.

It is also God saying that he is subject to asking for and accepting a bribe to change his usual desire to punish the guilty and accept the punishment of the innocent.

I wonder how many would vote for such a vile criminal judge.

Regards
DL



Sat Jan 20, 2018 3:19 pm
Profile Email
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
BookTalk.org Hall of Fame

BookTalk.org Owner
Diamond Contributor 3

Joined: May 2002
Posts: 16172
Location: Florida
Thanks: 3495
Thanked: 1326 times in 1045 posts
Gender: Male
Country: United States (us)

Post Re: Have you read the whole Bible?
How would an abbreviated bible work as a BookTalk.org discussion? Also, I have to wonder where we'd put such a discussion forum. Non-Fiction, Fiction or in our "Special Forums" section?



Sat Jan 20, 2018 10:04 pm
Profile Email WWW
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
pets endangered by possible book avalanche

BookTalk.org Moderator
Platinum Contributor

Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 4396
Location: NC
Thanks: 1866
Thanked: 1937 times in 1450 posts
Gender: Male

Post Re: Have you read the whole Bible?
Harry Marks wrote:
. . . As far as I know, there is no text in the OT that even seems to say sacrifice is in place of a penalty. Perhaps I am missing something.

I'm not following too closely, and there may be something I'm missing, but the very term "scapegoat" has its etymological roots in the book of Leviticus.

Quote:
And Aaron shall cast lots upon the two goats: one lot for the LORD, and the other lot for Azazel.

— Leviticus 16:8


The idea—and practice—of scapegoat goes back thousands of years. The Greeks sacrificed animals to the gods and there are many (mostly unconfirmed) reports of sacrificing a king (or stand-in), allowing him to don the robes of whatever king or god for a period of time, and then kill him in a ritual sacrifice to keep the good times going. Even if human sacrifice was rare, the idea of it pervades many of our myths.

Quote:
"They take one of the prisoners condemned to death and seat him upon the king's throne, and give him the king's raiment, and let him lord it and drink and run riot and use the king's concubines during these days, and no man prevents him from doing just what he likes. But afterwards they strip and scourge and crucify him."
- Dio Chrysostom, a Greek orator, philosopher, historian


The resemblance of Jesus's crucifixion to the earlier ritual sacrifices is glaringly obvious. The idea that Jesus died for our sins is strangely compelling to us, even today, many centuries later.


_________________
-Geo
Question everything


Sun Jan 21, 2018 10:32 am
Profile
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Just realized BookTalk.org is awesome!


Joined: Nov 2014
Posts: 790
Thanks: 93
Thanked: 131 times in 116 posts
Gender: None specified

Post Re: Have you read the whole Bible?
Chris OConnor wrote:
How would an abbreviated bible work as a BookTalk.org discussion? Also, I have to wonder where we'd put such a discussion forum. Non-Fiction, Fiction or in our "Special Forums" section?


Non-fiction for sure, otherwise, follow your bliss.

Regards
DL



Sun Jan 21, 2018 11:32 am
Profile Email
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Just realized BookTalk.org is awesome!


Joined: Nov 2014
Posts: 790
Thanks: 93
Thanked: 131 times in 116 posts
Gender: None specified

Post Re: Have you read the whole Bible?
geo wrote:
Harry Marks wrote:
. . . As far as I know, there is no text in the OT that even seems to say sacrifice is in place of a penalty. Perhaps I am missing something.

I'm not following too closely, and there may be something I'm missing, but the very term "scapegoat" has its etymological roots in the book of Leviticus.

Quote:
And Aaron shall cast lots upon the two goats: one lot for the LORD, and the other lot for Azazel.

— Leviticus 16:8


The idea—and practice—of scapegoat goes back thousands of years. The Greeks sacrificed animals to the gods and there are many (mostly unconfirmed) reports of sacrificing a king (or stand-in), allowing him to don the robes of whatever king or god for a period of time, and then kill him in a ritual sacrifice to keep the good times going. Even if human sacrifice was rare, the idea of it pervades many of our myths.

Quote:
"They take one of the prisoners condemned to death and seat him upon the king's throne, and give him the king's raiment, and let him lord it and drink and run riot and use the king's concubines during these days, and no man prevents him from doing just what he likes. But afterwards they strip and scourge and crucify him."
- Dio Chrysostom, a Greek orator, philosopher, historian


The resemblance of Jesus's crucifixion to the earlier ritual sacrifices is glaringly obvious. The idea that Jesus died for our sins is strangely compelling to us, even today, many centuries later.


True, but it is quite an ego trip to think that a God would die just to reverse his unjust condemnation instead of his just forgiving us outright without that farcical situation that ignores that God cannot die in the first place.

Regards
DL



Sun Jan 21, 2018 11:36 am
Profile Email
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Reading Addict


Joined: May 2011
Posts: 1369
Thanks: 1471
Thanked: 680 times in 551 posts
Gender: None specified

Post Re: Have you read the whole Bible?
geo wrote:
Harry Marks wrote:
. . . As far as I know, there is no text in the OT that even seems to say sacrifice is in place of a penalty. Perhaps I am missing something.

I'm not following too closely, and there may be something I'm missing, but the very term "scapegoat" has its etymological roots in the book of Leviticus.

It is a constant problem to go back to the original social setting and try to make sense of writings which have been given particular interpretations later. For example, we use "scapegoat" to refer to someone who is abused in place of the truly guilty party, with everyone pretending it is the scapegoat's fault. Clearly that is not exactly what is going on in Leviticus 16, but it colors how we hear the passage.

Perhaps it is meant to say that killing the scapegoat takes punishment meant for the community? Well, no, that is not what is said. The scapegoat is clearly stated to "carry the sins" of the community away from them. It is a transport mechanism for cleansing (also clearly stated) the community of impurity.

Note that there is no implication that the sacrifice is in proportion to the sin, or otherwise corresponds to the penalty. The focus seems to be on impurity. With a little imagination that makes sense - sins build up a nasty atmosphere of injury, resentment and defensiveness in the community. "He got drunk and vomited on my garden!" "That man has been eyeing my wife! I saw it!" So the community has a ceremony to repent, ask forgiveness and "send away" all the sins.

geo wrote:
The idea—and practice—of scapegoat goes back thousands of years. The Greeks sacrificed animals to the gods and there are many (mostly unconfirmed) reports of sacrificing a king (or stand-in),
Yes, sacrifice was a pervasive practice. At least some were human sacrifices - Moloch seems to have preferred the child of the one sacrificing, the Celts seem to have preferred burning criminals, and the Minoans probably expected the bulls to do a number on the young people from tributary cities that they put into the arena with them, although eventually bull-dancing turned the confrontation into an art form.

I am not well-enough read on the subject to categorically state that the Hebrews did not consider the sacrifice to be a substitute payment. However, I do know that we read that into early church NT texts based mainly on theologizing by later readers. If it is in the NT texts (with the possible exception of the Epistle to the Hebrews) it is implicit, being understood by everyone but not actually stated.

And I know that sacrifice to sanctify an agreement was pervasive in the Bronze Age, with many references to attest it. The equally prevalent idea that a sacrifice would "please the gods" and influence them to act favorably is surely embedded in much of the Hebrew practice, but it is surprisingly absent from the "theory" presented there. Perhaps it was edited out by the one who pulled the material together in the histories, often thought to be Ezra or his followers. Perhaps the two views of sacrifice were closely intertwined, with some sense that gods enforce oaths and so a sacrifice at a ceremony of mutual commitment made perfect sense.
geo wrote:
Quote:
" no man prevents him from doing just what he likes. But afterwards they strip and scourge and crucify him."
- Dio Chrysostom

The resemblance of Jesus's crucifixion to the earlier ritual sacrifices is glaringly obvious.
Not to me. I think it is much more like the case of Spartacus, whose followers were crucified in their hundreds along the roads of Italy, bodies left as a warning to slaves not to rebel. Crucifixion is mainly just a cruel death with its cruelty on display.
geo wrote:
The idea that Jesus died for our sins is strangely compelling to us, even today, many centuries later.

Substitutiary death is compelling in whichever story it is found. Damon and Pythias, Horatio at the bridge, Leonidas at Thermopylae, Tale of Two Cities, the Ghanaian-American who recently died trying to rescue a fifth person from a fire after having rescued four already from the fire, well, you get the idea.

What bothers me about it is that the pathos of this compelling notion took over, in part due to the influence of the church which created a system of supernatural mechanism under its control. If you just read the early part of Acts you will see that to the early church, resurrection was the meaningful phenomenon, and the crucifixion is mainly meaningful in its light: Jesus died a horrible and humiliating death at the hands of authority, and then love won after all. Once you have seen that, the gospels never read the same again.



Sun Jan 21, 2018 12:53 pm
Profile Email
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Just realized BookTalk.org is awesome!


Joined: Nov 2014
Posts: 790
Thanks: 93
Thanked: 131 times in 116 posts
Gender: None specified

Post Re: Have you read the whole Bible?
Harry Marks wrote:
Jesus died a horrible and humiliating death at the hands of authority, and then love won after all. Once you have seen that, the gospels never read the same again.


Love won?

Perhaps, but moral action certainly lost when people are told to shed their responsibility for their own sins and let an innocent man suffer for them.

No moral person would teach that to their children today.

They would be taught that having another innocent person suffer for the wrongs you have done, --- so that you might escape responsibility for having done them, --- is immoral. To abdicate personal responsibility is immoral.

That is more like what you would teach your children. No?

Regards
DL



Sun Jan 21, 2018 2:07 pm
Profile Email
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
BookTalk.org Hall of Fame

Gold Contributor

Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 5481
Thanks: 1302
Thanked: 889 times in 763 posts
Gender: None specified
Country: United States (us)

Post Re: Have you read the whole Bible?
I love The Great Courses and have close to a hundred lectures covering various topics.
The series Biblical Wisdom Literature, by Joseph Koterski, S.J. Phd is excellent, particularly his discussion of Job and the suffering of the innocent.

Reading the bible superficially with preconceived notions and biases can be a terrible experience. No question about that.

Koterski's doctorate is in philosophy, which is what attracted me to the course. His philosophical expertise is a great compliment to his biblical analysis.



The following user would like to thank ant for this post:
Harry Marks
Sun Jan 21, 2018 4:18 pm
Profile Email
Years of membershipYears of membership
Droppin' Knowledge

Silver Contributor

Joined: Nov 2017
Posts: 385
Location: New Jersey
Thanks: 196
Thanked: 175 times in 141 posts
Gender: Male
Country: United States (us)

Post Re: Have you read the whole Bible?
ant wrote:
I love The Great Courses and have close to a hundred lectures covering various topics.
The series Biblical Wisdom Literature, by Joseph Koterski, S.J. Phd is excellent, particularly his discussion of Job and the suffering of the innocent.

Reading the bible superficially with preconceived notions and biases can be a terrible experience. No question about that.


My preconceived notions were of a just and merciful God who loved people and watched over them. That's what I was taught by priests and nuns at school. Then I read the Bible. They lied to me.


_________________
You loved Fake News. You raved over Fake Weather. Coming soon... Fake Sports!
Any Competent Adult 2020


Mon Jan 22, 2018 7:32 am
Profile Email
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Reading Addict


Joined: May 2011
Posts: 1369
Thanks: 1471
Thanked: 680 times in 551 posts
Gender: None specified

Post Re: Have you read the whole Bible?
Chris OConnor wrote:
How would an abbreviated bible work as a BookTalk.org discussion? Also, I have to wonder where we'd put such a discussion forum. Non-Fiction, Fiction or in our "Special Forums" section?

I can't see myself participating in any effort to slog through the whole bible. If we wanted to work on a commentary on a book, or a modernist "new look" at Christianity, I think that might be more practical. Isaiah is certainly the best bridge between NT and OT, but Job has its good points also. Has anyone here looked at Archibald Macleish's "J.B."?

May I suggest the late Marcus Borg's "Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time"?

Alternately, I am still eager to look at the Tillich text suggested by Robert Tulip. I will probably be reading it this year whether BT undertakes it or not.



Mon Jan 22, 2018 8:07 am
Profile Email
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Reading Addict


Joined: May 2011
Posts: 1369
Thanks: 1471
Thanked: 680 times in 551 posts
Gender: None specified

Post Re: Have you read the whole Bible?
Gnostic Bishop wrote:
Harry Marks wrote:
Jesus died a horrible and humiliating death at the hands of authority, and then love won after all. Once you have seen that, the gospels never read the same again.


Love won?

Perhaps, but moral action certainly lost when people are told to shed their responsibility for their own sins and let an innocent man suffer for them.

The message that Resurrection means love wins is pretty clear. Without any supernatural assertions at all, the simple fact that his disciples carried on his message of love and forgiveness, passing on the baton of merciful action to others through thousands of years, is an argument that love wins. And whether or not you believe in a bodily resurrection, the triumph of moral truth over violent power is the real message.

There is no volition involved in Jesus' sacrifice, or in God's love. We don't "let" Jesus suffer for us, he just did it. In a properly developed theology, we do not thereby skip away as one released from punishment because we have a whipping boy we can put it on. Rather, we perceive an action as one of ultimate commitment to love, and we are challenged to respond from the love within us.

As you may have gathered, I would not agree with a substitutiary penalty interpretation of the meaning of the cross. I never taught that to my children, and never taught it in many years of Sunday School. I have no doubt the church came to teach it that way - I have heard such things myself. But I think they got it wrong, and for the ugly reason of wanting to control "access" to this supposed transaction on our behalf.

Since, in my view, your real beef is with the religious leaders who teach it that way, I see no reason to criticize you for your objections. I just want to clarify, for those who might come to the conclusion that Christianity has to be that way, that there are alternatives out there and they are fully mainstream.



Last edited by Harry Marks on Mon Jan 22, 2018 8:39 am, edited 1 time in total.



Mon Jan 22, 2018 8:22 am
Profile Email
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Reading Addict


Joined: May 2011
Posts: 1369
Thanks: 1471
Thanked: 680 times in 551 posts
Gender: None specified

Post Re: Have you read the whole Bible?
Litwitlou wrote:
My preconceived notions were of a just and merciful God who loved people and watched over them. That's what I was taught by priests and nuns at school. Then I read the Bible. They lied to me.

They did. Sort of.

As observed in Kushner's "When Bad Things Happen to Good People" it is difficult to square an omnipotent God with an all-loving God. The option seems to be "it is a great mystery why this suffering is allowed by God, and we will have it explained to us over on the other side." When I faced this myself, I came to the same conclusion Kushner did, which is that omnipotence is a crock.

It was like the scales falling from my eyes. Suddenly I could see that the whole trajectory of faith makes sense if you don't try to make God into an all-controlling force in charge of everything, whose job therefore is to keep us from suffering deeply, but who is, for unfathomable reasons keeping the reason from us why we end up suffering anyway.

So who is God? The spirit of love in human community. Maybe there is some separately existing entity "behind" that spirit, but we are told even in the Bible that "God is Love" and the Spirit is given equal relationship within God by ancient Trinitarian doctrine.

That's my current understanding of the key questions in Christian theology. It makes it difficult, in many ways, to connect with Christian tradition when you, as I do, subtract notions of "Creator" from your ideas about who God is. But not as difficult as one might think.



Mon Jan 22, 2018 8:34 am
Profile Email
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 132 posts ] • Topic evaluate: Evaluations: 1, 5.00 on the average.Evaluations: 1, 5.00 on the average.Evaluations: 1, 5.00 on the average.Evaluations: 1, 5.00 on the average.Evaluations: 1, 5.00 on the average.  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ... 9  Next



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 13 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:



Site Resources 
HELPFUL INFO:
Forum Rules & Tips
Frequently Asked Questions
BBCode Explained
Author Interview Transcripts
Be a Book Discussion Leader!

IDEAS FOR WHAT TO READ:
Bestsellers
Book Awards
• Book Reviews
• Online Books
• Team Picks
Newspaper Book Sections

WHERE TO BUY BOOKS:
• Great resource pages are coming!

BEHIND THE BOOKS:
• Great resource pages are coming!

PROMOTE YOUR BOOK!
Advertise on BookTalk.org
How To Promote Your Book





BookTalk.org is a thriving book discussion forum, online reading group or book club. We read and talk about both fiction and non-fiction books as a community. Our forums are open to anyone in the world. While discussing books is our passion we also have active forums for talking about poetry, short stories, writing and authors. Our general discussion forum section includes forums for discussing science, religion, philosophy, politics, history, current events, arts, entertainment and more. We hope you join us!


Navigation 
MAIN NAVIGATION

HOMEFORUMSOUR BOOKSAUTHOR INTERVIEWSADVERTISELINKSFAQDONATETERMS OF USEPRIVACY POLICYSITEMAP

OTHER PAGES WORTH EXPLORING
Banned Book ListOnline Reading GroupTop 10 Atheism Books

Copyright © BookTalk.org 2002-2019. All rights reserved.
Display Pagerank