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Lot - Why he wasn't such a bad guy.

Discussion in 'Biblical Debates' started by Bishka, May 23, 2006.

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  1. Bishka

    Bishka Veteran Member

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    I was actually quite surprised to see this thread http://www.religiousforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=32721 (Lot, the Incestuous Rapist)

    Many people I've met (LDS and non-LDS) seem to think the story of Lot and the men that came to visit him is a horrible story.

    I've actually come to refute that claim. Apparently there many of you
    http://www.religiousforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=32658
    who thought that the Bible was not in it's complete form and that there was additions and removals, etc.

    Another item I must address, is yes, many of you do not believe that Joseph Smith was a prophet, seer and revelator, but nonetheless, I would like you to look at this.

    This is part of what the LDS Church calls the Inspired Version of the Bible. Joseph Smith knew there were things that were wrong with the Bible, additions, removals, etc. so he went through and with God's help helped restore some plain and precious truths to the Bible.

    The Lot story happens to be one of those. So those who do believe there is much missing out of the Bible, why can't this story be the way Joseph received it?

    (Joseph Smith Translation in red, KJV version of the Bible in Black.)

    9 . And they said unto him, Stand back. And they were angry with him [Lot].
    10 . And they said among themselves, This one man came in to sojourn among us, and he will needs now make himself to be a judge; now we will deal worse with him than with them.
    11. Wherefore they said unto the man, We will have the men, and thy daughter also; and we will do with them as seemeth us good.
    12. Now this was after the wickedness of Sodom.
    13. And Lot said, Behold now, I have two daughters which have not known man; let me, I pray you, plead with my brethren that I may not bring them out unto you; and ye shall not do unto them as seemeth good in your eyes;
    14. For God will not justify his servant in this thing; wherefore, l may plead with my brethren, this once only, that unto these man ye do nothing, that they may have peace in my house; for therfore came they under the shadow of my roof.
    15. And they were angry with Lot and came near to break the door, but the angels of God, which were holy men, put forth their hand and pulled Lot into the house unto them, and shut the door.

    As you can see this is in a bit of a different order then the KJV. So why couldn't this have been the story? There are many of you who said that the Bible was incomplete or missing or added to.

    First, I had no clue of this until the other day I was studying the Old Testament and I looked in the Joseph Smith Translation.

    So what do you think? Excluding that you don't believe that Joseph Smith was a prophet. That's not part of this discussion, let's just say that this was found in another manuscript, would you discredit it, would it make much more sense then the original.

    To me, many people believe that the Bible has been changed, and the story of Lot is just one thing that sticks out to me.





     
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  2. Bishka

    Bishka Veteran Member

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    Anybody have any thoughts on this?
     
  3. MdmSzdWhtGuy

    MdmSzdWhtGuy Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I do, but I doubt that you would want to hear them. But just in case, here goes. I see that your religion's founder changed the story of Lot and the Angels/daughters/rape victim. By changing the story, you change everything behind the original story. In other words, by going with the inspired version, if that is the correct term, then we have almost a complete turn around of the event, rendering the discussion almost completely meaningless.

    For instance, if I told the story of the 9-11 hijackings, but decided to tell an inspired version of the events, in which the hijackers were all captured by the passenger and crew of the respective planes, beaten savagely, sodomized with beer bottles, and forced to wear a yamulka, then I am pretty sure my listener is not getting the original story or meaning of the actual 9-11.

    Now, before we go any further, 9-11 happened, and I saw it happening on TV, as it occured, I am in no way equating the story of Lot to any historical, factual account. I am merely illustrating that when you change certain details of a story, you render a comparison null and void.

    B.
     
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  4. Bishka

    Bishka Veteran Member

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    But what if this was this original, and it was changed in the Bible. That's what I'm getting at. What if this is what actually happened. Many people (not just LDS) believe that the Bible has been changed, what if this is one change? Why couldn't it be this way?
     
  5. angellous_evangellous

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    So Lot offering his daughters is missing from the story? You also did not mention the incest. These are the points that cause people to hate the story...
     
  6. angellous_evangellous

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    Honestly, I've never placed much importance on the story of Lot other than his greed and need to be redeemed by Abraham... more than once I think. Lot is not portrayed as the best guy IMO - God was going to destroy him along with everyone else in Sodom, and it appears to me that he deserved what he was going to get - at least that's how I see him portrayed in the story.

    How people stupidly use the story is another matter entirely (eg, justification for incest or rape if anyone actually is that perverse).
     
  7. Bishka

    Bishka Veteran Member

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    Yep if you read what I wrote. Lot does not offer his daughters, he refuses to. Somehow I think that got mixed up in translation. Anywho.

    Incest is another part of it, but I believe that it wasn't Lot who did his daughter, it was his daughter that did Lot.
     
  8. angellous_evangellous

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    Well, there can be evidence for editing in the ancient texts. If someone can prove that the LDS version, appearing in the 20th century, can be back-translated into Hebew and fit seamlessly into the context, then it would be convincing that someone took out a section and placed the LDS version in.

    I don't think that is even remotely possible, and seriously doubt that any serious scholar would begin to consider it.
     
  9. Bishka

    Bishka Veteran Member

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    Probably not, but I'm saying what if?
     
  10. angellous_evangellous

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    I don't see any serious impact in the story. Lot offering his daughters to the Sodomites is an illustration of the Sodomites' lust for only men and can be read as either further illustrating Lot's wickedness or his good hospitality. Either way is honest to the story, but the lust of the Sodomites and Lot's poor morality are still preserved, provided that the story still has the dialog between Abe and God as well as the fact that Lot was a leader in such a bad city that was condemned entirely by God, and that Lot chose to live there out of greed.
     
  11. angellous_evangellous

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    That will be difficult to prove. I don't think that the story has been translated from another language to Hebrew in ancient times, and if it was, there would be traces of evidence in the text that would lead us to believe that. The text may have been copied several times, but there are trails even then... I am more familiar with the NT, but my point is that there would be evidence in our oldest text of possible copy/compilation errors. It is possible that the story was told wrong from the beginning before the writing of the text in the first place... but we would never know.
     
  12. Bishka

    Bishka Veteran Member

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    I agree, the main message of the story doesn't change, but it doesn'tg show Lot in that poor of a light anymore. Lot did choose to go to Sodom and did choose to live there. In explaining this story with the inspired version, my old testament teacher explained that it was more like Lot was 'attracted the the lights of the big city'. Sort of drawn to sin, but not entrenched in it.
     
  13. MdmSzdWhtGuy

    MdmSzdWhtGuy Well-Known Member

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    Well Becky,

    first off, what evidence is there that this text dreamed up within the last 200 years is more likely to be accurate than the other text dreamed up over 2,000 years ago?

    IF the newer text is more accurate, and I don't for one instant think that either story is remotely accurate to any actual events, but IF this new story is more accurate, then I would, personally think of Lot as less of a scumbag, other than that, not much would change.

    Problem with playing the "what if" game is that you are changing the rules of the game on a whim, absent some factual reason for the change. It would be as if I played Tiger Woods in a golf match for a million dollars then on the 18th green said, "What if the highest score, rather than the lowest score wins the match?" Such "What if"ing is just this side of worthless in most debates, especially in one such as this, where we have no factual basis for either the original story, or the inspired story.

    I know of no reason other than good sense why this inspired version of events couldn't reflect reality, instead of the KJV of the events, but given that, I don't know where that puts us.

    Frankly I think the Book of Mormon has some serious legitimacy problems, but then, so does every other version of any holy book you want to talk about, so whether the inspired version of events is "true" or more true than the Bible, which has equally big legitimacy defecits (i.e. lack of independant evidence for the claims therein) probably makes no real difference at the end of the day.

    To me its kind of like one person arguing that the Angel Gabriel can outwrestle the Angel Micheal, or vice versa. There is no way to prove that the characters involved even exist, or existed, no way to test whether either story (to bring it back to this thread) is accurate, and ultimately, what difference does it make which, if either, version is more likely to be true? (that last question is not rhetorical, if you think it makes a difference, then I would love to hear what that difference is, and why).

    B.
     
  14. anders

    anders Well-Known Member

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    is something that isn't in the text. The people want to see the men, no more, no less. There is no verse in the OT where the narrator uses "see" in any other way than just plain looking. No wonder that the Sodomites want to have a look; they had recently been at war and the foreigner Lot admits some strangers in the city. Do you really think that there was anything sexual brewing, when all citizens were there, old and young? Do you really think that the grandmas would allow sex before the children?

    (I'd like to add that the "all citizens" bit comes from my reading several translations and looking at the Hebrew text. "Old and young" is a direct quote.)
     
  15. Bishka

    Bishka Veteran Member

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    Yes, I believe Sodom and Gommorah was an awful wicked bit of cities.
     
  16. FFH

    FFH Veteran Member

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    Becky, you are right on with your evaluation of the story of Lot.

    Lot did refuse to give up his daughters to those evil men and women of Sodom, and the angels honored that desire, and struck the people with blindness.
     
  17. FFH

    FFH Veteran Member

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    Lot's daughters were the initiators in the plot to become pregnant by their father. Getting him drunk made him powerless to stop it.
     
  18. Bishka

    Bishka Veteran Member

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    But this also doesn't mean that Lot wasn't completley put off from the blame. In Jewish tradition, if when he woke up he knew that which had been done, and then allowed himself to get drunk again.
     
  19. FFH

    FFH Veteran Member

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    I'm looking at the story again, right now, to see if there were any things left out of this part of the story, like you have shown in the opening post, by using the Joseph Smith translation.
     
  20. FFH

    FFH Veteran Member

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    Okay, I read the story again and it clearly says that Lot "perceived not when she lay down nor when she arose", both times, with the older daughter, and then with the younger the next night.

    Clearly Lot is clear of any guilt.
     
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