A little more clear? If they were written by God (Im not saying they were or not) they were written over 3000 years ago and you think they should be clear enough so that you, in the 21st century should clearly understand them?
Its about understand the context.
We're talking about a set of instructions allegedly given to human hands directly by an omniscient deity. Is it really too much to ask that those instructions be relevant to all humans for all time?
If a deity is too short sighted to see the changes in language and culture that will occur in his creation then why should we think of him as a god? Is it not more likely, given history, that the commandments were penned by man - and that is why they reflect their time?
Judaism is a montheistic religion. The majority of the world was polytheist so 'God' (If He did tell them) told them to only worship YHWH, there are no other gods before me, this statement still makes proves that they were montheist, you couldnt have any other gods, no baal, no dagon, no zeus etc. Only YHWH, the God of the Jews.
I am going to start a discussion about the trinitiy later on so I do not want to clarify how it does not make sense.
According to Pascal as long as I behave "as if" I believe in the one true faith of Yahweh I can ponder any construal of "devine being" I need or want. As long as my subjective experience of supernatural does NOT lead me to an outcome of open defiance I am just super awesomely saved. Since this is so often cited as the secret backdoor of faux faith that satisfies "Pascal Faith" you can pray to an orange or a camel as long as you say "Yahweh" out loud.
'Q: What were we 'saved' from?'
Good question. I dont know. I havent thought that through yet.
Well of course I make some of my own judgments; everyone has their own bias. Another way to see what is true or not is to try and understand how a Jew would of read the OT/Bible. For example did Joseph live to 70? Fundamentalists would bet their lives he did but in Ancient Egypt living to 70 was what nobles and honored people lived too.
Another question one has to ask; did God smite the Jews and other people who did not obey Him? Perhaps, but we have to remember that the Bible was written by people who put God in everything! God was even blamed for making Saul go made! Making the people loose battles and sending snakes to kill people because they were complaining! When you put all the pieces together it is hard to say where God is actually literally doing something and where the people are putting God there or using to symbols to show something incredible (like Genesis 1).
'in what "context" is slavery ever okay? When is that ever the morally right choice?
What do you mean? Your laptop/computer was created by slaves...
Slaves were acceptable back then, its fact, it still is, we should not expect the Bible to up 21st century moral. However saying that slaves actually had rights back then and could be educated or adopted into the family.
You wrote "Slaves were acceptable back then, its fact, it still is." Referring to paying taxes and thus being slaves. This is true we are all still slaves.
But, while we may be slaves physically to and for the government, we here are not mental slaves like you are to your church.
So, you're one up on us.
'I'm interested in your references that allued to the early semitic tribes NOT being polytheists.'
Well the Torah says there is only one God.
'Q: What theology did Abraham subscribe to prior to his 'calling' by YHWH?'
Paganism and he was a pagan Jew BUT to my understanding Judaism was/is a montheistic religion.
Go back and read Exodus 34 that gives ALL the Commandments.
How many do you count?
How many do YOU still consider relevant?