My Christian grandmither sent me this link claiming that she was shocked that I actually did all of these things. Take a look:

http://www.tencommandments.org/heathens.html

Tags: anti, atheist, idiot, propaganda

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You got it!

To be more precise, Barry, Chapter 1 of Genesis, according to the Documentary Hypothesis, which is accepted by most reputable biblical scholars, up to, and including, the Catholic Church, was written by a group of Priests in captivity in Babylon, sometime after 722 BCE, known as the Priestly (P) Source, and was originally intended to replace Chapter 2, written about 950 BCE by the Yahwist (J) Source, on the grounds that the Yawist group depicted their god as to anthropomorphic, too human-like, and the Priests felt he should be more ethereal, not sewing together loin cloths for Adam and Eve. But the Redactor (R), who pieced together all four sources that went into the making of Genesis, said, "Hey, I'm not getting' god pissed at ME for throwing out the wrong chapter, I'll just put 'em both in there and let god sort it out!" And so it was --

It is for this same reason that we have two accounts of how many animals went into The Minnow - sorry, Noah's Ark.

I discuss it in great detail on my website.

Then you are more than familiar with it.  And to be more precise, I bet "the Redactor (R), who pieced together all four sources that went into the making of Genesis" did not say, "Hey, I'm not getting' god pissed at ME for throwing out the wrong chapter..." But rather: "Hey, I am not getting the High Priests pissed at me who can't tell their asshole from their elbow, but nonetheless are my bosses!"  "I'll just put 'em both in there and let god sort it out!" And so it was -- 

Unity for the Jews during their exile was an imperative importance for their culture to survive, and more importantly for the priests to maintain their status in the power structure of the Jewish culture and identity.  After all, once exile was over, many Jews were called upon to return to Jerusalem, and if you happened to be involved in a mixed marriage, you were expected to leave your wife and children or your husband.  If you did not, you were banished from Jewish culture and considered trash in the name of "Jewish purity." As a result, a sub-Jewish culture arose known as the Samaritans. Thus, ALL of Genesis in this light (a cultural context exclusively Jewish) is a woven together as a sociopolitical narrative of the Jewish culture with theological propaganda.

RE: "Hey, I am not getting the High Priests pissed at me who can't tell their asshole from their elbow, but nonetheless are my bosses!"

I think you may have misunderstood the situation - it was the priests, his bosses in your analogy (though they lived 300 years earlier), who wanted Gen 1 to replace Gen 2, so if the Redactor was concerned with displeasing the priests, Gen 2 would have disappeared.

Actually, the Jewish elders petitioned the Persian conquerors to be allowed to return to Jerusalem, and about 50,000 went, while a great many chose to remain in Iraq - they had been there for 55 years, and had established new lives for themselves, in fact, most, if not all, had been born there, and Judea was a foreign land to them, familiar only because of tradition.

I think you may have misunderstood the situation - it was the priests, his bosses in your analogy (though they lived 300 years earlier), who wanted Gen 1 to replace Gen 2, so if the Redactor was concerned with displeasing the priests, Gen 2 would have disappeared.

That is a matter of debate within theological circles.  You obviously subscribe to one particular view point, based off of what you read.  However, there is s a diversity of opinion.  After all, there is a camp that says none of it is redacted - that there is no such thing as to Creation Stories in the Genesis, though they are mostly fringe now.

All I am doing is trying to look at it from another angle. I am not disagreeing with you, just thinking outside the box of what your sources claim

Actually, the Jewish elders petitioned the Persian conquerors to be allowed to return to Jerusalem, and about 50,000 went, while a great many chose to remain in Iraq - they had been there for 55 years, and had established new lives for themselves, in fact, most, if not all, had been born there, and Judea was a foreign land to them, familiar only because of tradition.

Tell me something I don't know here.  When I said that "many Jews were called upon to return to Jerusalem/Judea, I meant the Jewish elders called upon the Jews living in exhile to return home.  Not all of them did, and I didn't think I implied that they did.  Many of them, as you say, stayed put.  Some did go, and even some brought their families with them - mixed or not.  But they were not seen as "pure and loyal Jews" - at least not to those who wrote Ezra and Nehemiah.  There is a great deal of xenophobia in those books.

Oh, as for the Samaritans remark I made.  I fell into error on the general detail.  The Samaritan sect primarily arose out of a religious dispute between two groups within the Semitic culture of Jewish faith - not because they were of the population of Jews who remained out of Judea.  However, this said, they did become a sub-culture of Judaism, and they were not seen as pure Jews, but trash during the Second Temple Period.  

RE: "Oh, as for the Samaritans remark I made." - I didn't even critique that statement, as I felt I had done enough already.

I know, I was making a self correction.  Surprised that a human can admit making a mistake?  I can make a mistake and admit to it, you know - an ability a lot of people lack in this world.  Oh, and to be fair, I was never debating you.  

"as I felt I had done enough already."  Is this an "intellectual" slap?  If so, it doesn't serve you. If not, then carry on.

I am not here to prove whose dick is bigger.

I think you're getting a bit over-defensive.

I think you would be right.  I hadn't slept well the past few nights, but had an opportunity to get in a nap a couple of hours ago, so everything is good.  :)  The lack of sleep must have made me a bit edgy.

Basically, you and I are not in disagreement, we just seem to be a tad out of sync with each other.

Number 1:  Any theist worth their salt in understanding Genesis will tell you that it is not a literal book of literature and it is redacted and edited by a series of unknown authors at different points in the history of the book existing.  None of it is literal history.

You haven't met very many evangelicals and fundamentalists have you?  Yes there are plenty of more "liberal" theists out there who would agree with what you say here, but there are many, many, many serious Xians who insist the the entire Bible is the literal truth and the word of god.  And many have gone to seminary and devoted years of study to the bible and know it backwards and forwards.

I'd certainly agree that any theist scholar with a shred of objectivity and sanity would have to conclude what you said there and in your subsequent points.  (And they'd have to admit that any simple declarative statement in the book cannot simply be assumed to be true.)  But any theist? Fraid not.

What's worse is those more enlightened theist scholars will often get into the pulpit of their church and preach as if it were literal, and teach the stories in Sunday School as if they were true.  One truth for them, a "safer" truth for the unwashed.  Lovely.

That's why is say "worth their salt."  I don't consider evangelical/fundamentalist theologians, theists, etc. worth their salt because they refuse to see things beyond their own nose.  You could spend a lifetime in the halls of any library and still learn nothing.  So, any theist worth their salt - absolutely.

"What's worse is those more enlightened theist scholars will often get into the pulpit of their church and preach as if it were literal, and teach the stories in Sunday School as if they were true.  One truth for them, a "safer" truth for the unwashed.  Lovely."

Unfortunately, I confess guilt to this from my experience at my last church - and never again will I do it.  It was a duality I wish I could erase.  I was never overt in the practice; in fact, I tried to avoid it, but the subtlety in which I allowed it was difficult enough.  I could not live with myself for it; but I can tell you why this happens: fear.  Fear based off of coercion, threats, bullying, and loss of livelihood. 

Eventually, some like me, can't take it any more and finally break those chains that some churches lock their pastors in - even if it means an end to the vocation in which they felt strongly connected.  My experience only lasted four months until I could not bear the burden anymore, for many others, it lasts years. 

Though this is a deep wound for me - one I will have to live with for the rest of my life - I at least saw my error, broke free, and now have taken a stand that will never allow me to return to such a sorry state.  It's been very liberating and I know that anyone in that church who condemns me to Hell only condemns themselves.  I cannot live two lives.

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