I see it as either terribly misguided or a bit deceptive. My feeling is that it makes as much sense to take that passage as talking about hate as it does to interpret the passage attributed to Jesus saying "I am the good shepherd" as if he is saying he is a really good at taking care of flocks of wooly sheep as a career.
to take that passage as talking about hate
to take that passage as talking about hate
Right, we all know "hate" is a common synonym for "love".
More of them in this video.
A valid comment Shay even if you didn't intend it that way. Christians and Atheists alike tend to take passages out of context. If you all need to, get a commentary and learn the literary meaning. It is basic understanding to any secular scholar such as Paigels or Ehrman that Jesus employs literary devices in the synoptic gospels. Anyone who actually has an academic education on this, will not make the mistake of calling this a contradiction.
You may get annoyed that Christians tell you that you are taking it out of context, but odds are that you are doing that very thing. Atheists generally suck at reading the bible, because like KOrsan here, they are so uninterested in learning the literary meaning of passages, that they make the failure of assuming the passage itself is dumber than it really is. They practice no benefit of the doubt capacity and fail to exercise healthy skepticism toward new biblical critiques to which they are introduced. They do the same thing Creationists do. If some critique of science sounds good, it must be true and damning to all evolutionism/if some critique of the bible sounds good, it must be true and is damning to all Christianity/Judiasm. It is if they toss out their brains in this department. Yes, supernatural claims are dumb. Great we get that, but that does not mean that systematic intelligence and literary creativity did not go into the formation of these ancient pieces of philosophy.
It should be painfully obvious because hyperbole is common, because a single author is not likely to drastically contradict himself. Joshua and Judges contradict each other because they are from different authors. The synoptics contradict the book of John because of different authorship traditions.
If you want to know contradictions, I can provide them for you. They are there, and there is little getting around them. This, is not one of them. You guys need to start being healthy skeptics regarding attacks on the bible, just as you are with most other things. That will enable you to possess valid critiques in the future. I don't think you guys practice the reasonable due diligence that you would with other kinds of informational claims. This is sloppy. Treat it like any other claim you would get that you need to fairly investigate. Be consistent with your skepticism. Be open-minded, and above all, don't be self assured. Instead, stand on the shoulders of the scholars who have investigated the data.
This is what one of the foremost secular biblical commentaries says about this passage. It is clearly identified as Semetic hyperbole, but that it was hyperbole ought to have been obvious:
The language of hate is typical Semitic hyperbole (Prov 13:24; 2 Sam 19:6; cf. Gen 29:30–33 [does halm lhrAta bhayw , wayye<eðhab <et-raµheµl mileµ<aµh mean “and he loved Rachel rather than Leah”?]; Mal 1:2–3; Deut 21:15–17) that has been toned down by Matthew, but it is probably not right, as is often said, that the Semitic idiom actually means “love less than” (the language of hate is intended with all seriousness in Ps 139:21–22; 1QS 1:10; 9:21). The point here is that where there is hate no “ties that bind” limit one’s freedom of action (cf. 9:59, 61). There is likely to be an allusion to Deut 33:9 with its link in turn to Exod 32:27–29, where the Levites demonstrate that they are on the Lord’s side by carrying out the required slaughter with a single-mindedness that disregarded their own family ties. Hommel (ZNW 57  1–23) is surely right to compare the strand in the Greek philosophical tradition reaching back to Socrates that, in the name of a single-minded devotion to truth, devalued family loyalties and concern for one’s own bodily life and its needs (see Epictetus, Diss. 3.3.3–5; Xenophon, Memorabilia 1.2.49–55). Against Hommel (20–21) there is no sufficient basis for claiming a common source (but it is just possible that Luke’s addition of “and even his own life” is motivated in part by a desire to point up the parallel with Socrates).
Nolland, John, Word Biblical Commentary, Volume 35b: Luke 9:21-18:34, (Dallas, Texas: Word Books, Publisher) 1998.
Seriously John - why not just blog it?
That is a misguided mindset Tom. It is easy to tell it is hyperbole. It is as easy as telling that someone isn't needing medical attention when they say they are starving.That argument that you are using is good, but it is irrelevant and mild in terms of convincing due to how human mental processes work in terms of assimilating conflicting information.
And at the moment it doesn't change the fact that this criticism, and others like it, are completely invalid. Saying "It doesn't matter because it is wrong" is irrelevant. Since it is wrong, find valid criticisms and use those.
You can use invalid logic to try to show why someone else is using invalid logic, but it really is quite senseless to do that. And it really matters when you are trying to be a good skeptic, whether or not your logical thought patterns are properly aligned from start to finish.
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