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Featured The crimes of the Bible

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by 20bluebirds, May 31, 2017.

  1. rvalin

    rvalin New Member

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    I would like to make the case that there is a very different way of understanding the Bible then the one you indicate here. First, it is my understanding, within the Jewish tradition, that the scriptures were never meant to be taken only literally. It was understood that the written scripture was to be understood by relating it to the oral tradition. Secondly it was understood that there was a hidden level of meaning and even a deeper mystical level of meaning. It is my position that the Bible is a map for the spiritual journey from human limitation to human apotheosis. Within every religion there are tribal thinkers - "My tribe is better than yours". It is fear based and therefore threatened by other tribes. But there are also universal thinkers rooted in understanding, compassion and love who approach each of the scriptures of the different religious traditions as dealing with the same issues and mapping a path to human apotheosis but couched within the traditions of different cultures and times. The Bible can be interpreted within this context as providing a map for the journey from bondage to freedom. Within this approach all the conflicts, wars, killings can be understood as parables or metaphors for the struggles and battles that happen inside individuals as they travel a spiritual path to total inner peace and freedom. I describe such an interpretive framework and apply it in my book "Perennial Psychology of the Bible: Vol 1 The Creation Stories - A developmental spiritual psychology". I believe that I demonstrate that this interpretive framework reveals a deeper more universal meaning for what many see as the ethically flawed and morally reprehensible passages in the Bible. In my understanding your rejection of the surface or more literal interpretation and the refusal to rationalize it indicates a connection to some deeper level within yourself.
     
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  2. kepha31

    kepha31 Active Member

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    Because God is Creator He also has the prerogative to judge. This is analogous to our experience. Society takes it upon itself to judge the criminal and punish him if he supersedes the “just” laws that govern the society, in order to prevent chaos and suffering. If that is true of human society (one man to another), it is all the more of God, because He is ontologically above us (Creator and created). God directly commanded these wars.

    So it is perfectly sensible and moral to posit (apart from the data of revelation) a notion of God judging both individuals and nations. God’s omniscience is such that He can determine if an entire nation has gone bad (“beyond repair,” so to speak) and should be punished. And He did so. Now, even in a wicked nation there may be individuals who are exceptions to the rule. So some innocent people will be killed. But this is like our human experience as well. In wartime, we go to war against an entire nation. In so doing, even if it is unintentional, some innocent non-combatants will be killed.

    But it’s also different in God’s case because He judged nations in part in order to prevent their idolatry and other sins to infiltrate Jewish (i.e., true) religion. He also judged Israel at various times (lest He be accused of being unfair). In any event, it is not true that nations or individuals were punished because of what their ancestors did. There is a sense of corporate punishment, just described, and it is also true that the entire human race is a fallen race. We all deserve punishment for that fact alone, and God would be perfectly just to wipe us all out the next second. No one could hold it against Him.

    He decides to be merciful and grant us grace to do better, but He is under no obligation to do so, anymore than the governor is obliged to pardon convicted criminals. Again, the societal analogy is perfectly apt. If someone rebels at every turn against every societal norm and law and appropriate behavior and so forth, is society to be blamed? Say someone grows up thinking that serial rape is fine and dandy and shouldn’t be prevented at all. So he goes and does this. Eventually, the legal system catches up with him and he gets his punishment. He rebelled against what most people think is wrong, and more than deserved his punishment.

    But it’s also different in God’s case because He judged nations in part in order to prevent their idolatry and other sins to infiltrate Jewish (i.e., true) religion. He also judged Israel at various times (lest He be accused of being unfair). In any event, it is not true that nations or individuals were punished because of what their ancestors did. There is a sense of corporate punishment, just described, and it is also true that the entire human race is a fallen race. We all deserve punishment for that fact alone, and God would be perfectly just to wipe us all out the next second. No one could hold it against Him.

    He decides to be merciful and grant us grace to do better, but He is under no obligation to do so, anymore than the governor is obliged to pardon convicted criminals. Again, the societal analogy is perfectly apt. If someone rebels at every turn against every societal norm and law and appropriate behavior and so forth, is society to be blamed? Say someone grows up thinking that serial rape is fine and dandy and shouldn’t be prevented at all. So he goes and does this. Eventually, the legal system catches up with him and he gets his punishment. He rebelled against what most people think is wrong, and more than deserved his punishment.

    We don’t say that there should be no punishment. We don’t blame society for his suffering in prison. We don’t deny that society has a right to judge such persons. So if mere human beings can judge each other, why cannot God judge His creation, and (particularly) those of His creation that have rebelled against Him at every turn? What is so incomprehensible about that? One may not believe it, but there is no radical incoherence or inconsistency or monstrous injustice or immorality in this Christian (and Jewish) viewpoint (which is what is always claimed by the critics).
    "How Can God Order the Massacre of Innocents?" (Amalekites, etc.)
     
  3. David T

    David T Well-Known Member
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    Apparently you believe like the faithful that the bible is something other than ink on paper!!!! We should arrest the bible for it's crimes that dastardly bible.
     
  4. Prestor John

    Prestor John Well-Known Member

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    God is an all-powerful Being who keeps His promises.

    He has made many promises to Man concerning their free will and their ability to make decisions, including those that He would not want us to.

    We are free to do as we please, either Good or Evil, and He will not intervene up to a certain point.

    However, once a person achieves a certain point of righteousness (based on personal worthiness and obedience to His commands) He cannot withhold key blessings from them; such as receiving revelation, seeing/performing miracles, etc.

    Also, once a person achieves a certain point wickedness (based on the choices they have made contrary to the enticements of the Holy Spirit) the Lord cannot withhold the punishments that that person must receive.

    For example, the Lord flooded the planet to destroy all Man (save those on the Ark) because the people had become so wicked that all future peoples who would eventually be born into such a wicked world would inevitably themselves become wicked due to the actions of their mortal parents.

    Once a person's evil actions starts to affect the possible salvation of others the Lord will intervene in some way.
     
  5. stevevw

    stevevw Member

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    I began to be concerned about your understanding and intentions when I seen the title of your thread "crimes of the Bible". How would they be crimes when the law back then did not regard the acts as a crime. It is no good saying they are a crime today 4000 years later as times and context change. What we regard as law now will be wrong in the future but it is rightly justified in some cases at that time. Also war is not a crime accoding to most people in the western world. What is the difference between an army going through and wiping out an enermy with swords and one that does it with bombs. In fact I would saybombs are more indescriminate. But the allied armies claim they take their action in the name of God and the free world.

    The list you link has no reference as to where it comes from who is behind it and no backing historical or academic research. I am always sus of sites like that which show little regard for the truth and investigating things properly. There is no context and it is seems it is intended to just be a one sided attack on something for all we know the author is personally biased against.
     
    #45 stevevw, Jun 5, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2017
  6. Shaul

    Shaul Well-Known Member

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    Well I glanced at your link. I want my wasted time back. Yet another regurgitation of anti-Jewish slanders that have been debunked so many times before. No, Jews don't: 1)practice cannibalism, 2)condone raping three year old girls, 3)consider non-Jews fodder for killing or exploiting. Nor the many others disgusting slanders and libels from your link.

    This prattle doesn't merit the dignity of a response. Be gone.
     
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