Author Topic: Biblical quotes preferences and fads.  (Read 2253 times)

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Offline Mr. Beagle

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Re: Biblical quotes preferences and fads.
« Reply #30 on: March 04, 2019, 09:07:50 AM »
Not exactly. They pick and choose which parts of the Old Testament to believe.

In my experience it's not about "believing" some bits and "not believing" others. Christians "believe" the whole Bible. But they take away different things from different bits. Some bits provide a good moral lesson. Others illustrate an important part of history. This is why simplistic impressions like "oh, they just don't believe this bit" are misleading. Again, in my experience.

Christians run the gamut on what they believe is literal and what they believe is allegory or myth.

Example. Fundamentalists see Genesis as literally "videotape" true, but see the Song of Solomon as allegory of the love of God for his church.

Episcopalians would see Genesis as religious myth or allegory, but would see the Song of Solomon as early erotic literature (e.g., when the writer "fawns" over his lover's breasts, he means exactly that).

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Song of Solomon 4:5 New International Version
Your breasts are like two fawns, like twin fawns of a gazelle that browse among the lilies.
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Offline arthwollipot

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Re: Biblical quotes preferences and fads.
« Reply #31 on: March 04, 2019, 08:00:09 PM »
Not exactly. They pick and choose which parts of the Old Testament to believe.

In my experience it's not about "believing" some bits and "not believing" others. Christians "believe" the whole Bible. But they take away different things from different bits. Some bits provide a good moral lesson. Others illustrate an important part of history. This is why simplistic impressions like "oh, they just don't believe this bit" are misleading. Again, in my experience.

Christians run the gamut on what they believe is literal and what they believe is allegory or myth.

Example. Fundamentalists see Genesis as literally "videotape" true, but see the Song of Solomon as allegory of the love of God for his church.

Episcopalians would see Genesis as religious myth or allegory, but would see the Song of Solomon as early erotic literature (e.g., when the writer "fawns" over his lover's breasts, he means exactly that).

Quote
Song of Solomon 4:5 New International Version
Your breasts are like two fawns, like twin fawns of a gazelle that browse among the lilies.

That passage literally uses the word "like". That's the defining feature of a simile. No-one - not even the most inflexible of literalists - thinks that the author of the Song is saying that her breasts are literally baby deer.

That's the thing, see. There are bits of the Old Testament that are regarded as history, bits that are regarded as poetry, and bits that are regarded as prophecy. You don't "believe" in the literality of poetry like you "believe" in the literality of history. And you don't "believe" in the literality of prophecy like you "believe" in the literality of history.
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Re: Biblical quotes preferences and fads.
« Reply #32 on: March 04, 2019, 08:42:32 PM »

Christians run the gamut on what they believe is literal and what they believe is allegory or myth.


I would argue the same is also true of the New Testament, and even of Jesus' words. They simply disregard what they don't want to believe.
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Offline arthwollipot

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Re: Biblical quotes preferences and fads.
« Reply #33 on: March 04, 2019, 08:52:50 PM »

Christians run the gamut on what they believe is literal and what they believe is allegory or myth.


I would argue the same is also true of the New Testament, and even of Jesus' words. They simply disregard what they don't want to believe.

*sign* No, again, they just take different bits of the New Testament differently, with regard to context.
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Re: Biblical quotes preferences and fads.
« Reply #34 on: March 04, 2019, 09:14:53 PM »

Christians run the gamut on what they believe is literal and what they believe is allegory or myth.


I would argue the same is also true of the New Testament, and even of Jesus' words. They simply disregard what they don't want to believe.

*sign* No, again, they just take different bits of the New Testament differently, with regard to context.

I think we disagree. They will completely dismiss Jesus's words. The clearest example is when Jesus said it would be harder for a rich man to get into heaven that a camel to pass through the eye of a needle.

That doesn't sit well with modern US evangelical christians so they simply say that's not what he meant. (Seems pretty clear to me and there's not reasonable interpretation that is consistent with those words that they wouldn't reject.)

If that's what you mean by "just take different bits of the New Testament differently" then we agree. But I'm saying they don't take it differently, they flat out disregard or deny it's meaning. 

and Donald Trump is President of the United States.

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Offline arthwollipot

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Re: Biblical quotes preferences and fads.
« Reply #35 on: March 04, 2019, 09:42:48 PM »

Christians run the gamut on what they believe is literal and what they believe is allegory or myth.


I would argue the same is also true of the New Testament, and even of Jesus' words. They simply disregard what they don't want to believe.

*sign* No, again, they just take different bits of the New Testament differently, with regard to context.

I think we disagree. They will completely dismiss Jesus's words. The clearest example is when Jesus said it would be harder for a rich man to get into heaven that a camel to pass through the eye of a needle.

That doesn't sit well with modern US evangelical christians so they simply say that's not what he meant. (Seems pretty clear to me and there's not reasonable interpretation that is consistent with those words that they wouldn't reject.)

If that's what you mean by "just take different bits of the New Testament differently" then we agree. But I'm saying they don't take it differently, they flat out disregard or deny it's meaning.

How about this:

Rich people have more responsibilities to their society than poor people do. The hurdles they need to jump are higher, because their opportunities have been greater. Jesus said that it would be harder, not that it would be impossible. Remember the context. Jesus said these words to a man after first telling him to sell all his possessions and come follow him, and the man being unwilling to do that. Jesus was exhorting the man to use his wealth for good, otherwise the Kingdom of Heaven would be harder for him to enter. It requires a greater strength to break away from the temptations and pleasures that wealth allows. Also, the "eye of the needle" is a metaphor that is used several times in the Bible and other texts of a similar age, and it represents not a literal needle, but an idea that is difficult to bring to mind. It would be more difficult to push an elephant through the eye of a needle, than for Trump to strike a deal with Kim Jong Un.

Furthermore, the Prosperity Gospel is considered if not outright heretical then certainly a nonstandard teaching by a majority of Christians, despite many highly prominent American politicians following it. Prosperity Gospel teaches that accumulation of wealth is a virtue and a sign of God's favour. Mainstream Christianity views accumulation of wealth as a temptation to be overcome. Remember, it's not "money is the root of all evil", it's "love of money is the root of all evil".
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Offline The Latinist

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Re: Biblical quotes preferences and fads.
« Reply #36 on: March 04, 2019, 11:53:03 PM »
That passage literally uses the word "like". That's the defining feature of a simile. No-one - not even the most inflexible of literalists - thinks that the author of the Song is saying that her breasts are literally baby deer.

I wouldn't put much faith in people's ability to discern figurative language.  There are people who will swear that Balrogs have wings.
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Offline arthwollipot

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Re: Biblical quotes preferences and fads.
« Reply #37 on: March 05, 2019, 12:03:06 AM »
That passage literally uses the word "like". That's the defining feature of a simile. No-one - not even the most inflexible of literalists - thinks that the author of the Song is saying that her breasts are literally baby deer.

I wouldn't put much faith in people's ability to discern figurative language.  There are people who will swear that Balrogs have wings.

Well, Tolkein does describe the Balrog spreading its wings at the Bridge of Khazad-Dûm, but he also describes the shadow about it reaching out like wings, so it's ambiguous whether the Balrog had literal wings or figurative wings of shadow. Now, in the Silmarillion...

What? I... uh... sorry. Back to the topic at hand.
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Offline The Latinist

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Re: Biblical quotes preferences and fads.
« Reply #38 on: March 05, 2019, 06:11:48 AM »
That passage literally uses the word "like". That's the defining feature of a simile. No-one - not even the most inflexible of literalists - thinks that the author of the Song is saying that her breasts are literally baby deer.

I wouldn't put much faith in people's ability to discern figurative language.  There are people who will swear that Balrogs have wings.

Well, Tolkein does describe the Balrog spreading its wings at the Bridge of Khazad-Dûm, but he also describes the shadow about it reaching out like wings, so it's ambiguous whether the Balrog had literal wings or figurative wings of shadow. Now, in the Silmarillion...

What? I... uh... sorry. Back to the topic at hand.

I rest my case.
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Offline amysrevenge

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Re: Biblical quotes preferences and fads.
« Reply #39 on: March 05, 2019, 12:15:32 PM »
"His enemy halted again, facing him, and the shadow about it reached out like two vast wings."

"...the elf-horse speeding as if on wings, passed right before the face of the foremost Rider."

One of those is a Balrog.  The other is Glorfindel's horse.  Either both have actual wings, or neither do.
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Re: Biblical quotes preferences and fads.
« Reply #40 on: March 05, 2019, 01:37:44 PM »
Rich people have more responsibilities to their society than poor people do. The hurdles they need to jump are higher, because their opportunities have been greater.

Yes, that's what Christians say. But, none of that is in the bible. That's not what Jesus or Paul or any of the Disciples said. That's simply their own justification for disregarding what he says.

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Jesus said that it would be harder, not that it would be impossible. Remember the context. Jesus said these words to a man after first telling him to sell all his possessions and come follow him, and the man being unwilling to do that. Jesus was exhorting the man to use his wealth for good, otherwise the Kingdom of Heaven would be harder for him to enter.

Harder to enter, right, isn't that a bit of an understatement? Is it harder for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than a string of sewing thread?

Jesus is often quoted as speaking in metaphors and parables, and this metaphor makes it clear that he himself was saying that it would be virtually impossible for a rich man to get into heaven.

He didn't tell the guy to sell his earthly possessions to be mean, that was his advice for getting into heaven. (That part was no metaphor and is much harder to explain away).

And that's exactly the concept Christians ignore and equivocate and deny.

Just as the rich guy in the story was sad and the disciples were shocked, the very concept makes today's christians sad and shocked, to the extent that they actually deny that Jesus' words mean what he said.

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It requires a greater strength to break away from the temptations and pleasures that wealth allows. Also, the "eye of the needle" is a metaphor that is used several times in the Bible and other texts of a similar age, and it represents not a literal needle, but an idea that is difficult to bring to mind.

Again, the eye of the needle is the metaphor Jesus used, and he's not using it in that context, and again the passage where he uses it contains advice that is not a metaphor whatsoever. It's actually one of the few times where Jesus actually answers a direct question directly.


Quote
It would be more difficult to push an elephant through the eye of a needle, than for Trump to strike a deal with Kim Jong Un.

The reason this comparison doesn't work is the perspective. Jesus, according to Christian theology, was not a pundit observing the situation and making a comment (as your comparison would suggest) but Jesus was the decider. It was up to Jesus who gets in and who doesn't.  He wasn't talking in the third person about what the rules were. He was talking in the first person about how he decided who would get in and who wouldn't.

And his word was, literally, Gospel.


Quote
Furthermore, the Prosperity Gospel is considered if not outright heretical then certainly a nonstandard teaching by a majority of Christians, despite many highly prominent American politicians following it. Prosperity Gospel teaches that accumulation of wealth is a virtue and a sign of God's favour. Mainstream Christianity views accumulation of wealth as a temptation to be overcome.

There's really not much daylight between American Christians and other Christians on this. (Even some of those who take a vow of poverty live very comfortably and luxuriously)

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Remember, it's not "money is the root of all evil", it's "love of money is the root of all evil".

Right, and that is from the bible, but it's not Gospel. It's not the word of Jesus. That's someone else (Paul?) explaining to someone else their interpretation of the Gospel.

The word of Jesus is supposed to carry more weight among Christians, and it usually does, but it can be disregarded when inconvenient.
and Donald Trump is President of the United States.

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Offline The Latinist

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Re: Biblical quotes preferences and fads.
« Reply #41 on: March 05, 2019, 01:49:52 PM »
Jesus said that it would be harder, not that it would be impossible.

He said that it would be harder than an impossible thing.  It's a figure of speech called adynaton, and it is most definitely meant to express impossibility.
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Offline Tassie Dave

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Re: Biblical quotes preferences and fads.
« Reply #42 on: March 05, 2019, 02:20:25 PM »
I think we disagree. They will completely dismiss Jesus's words. The clearest example is when Jesus said it would be harder for a rich man to get into heaven that a camel to pass through the eye of a needle.

That doesn't sit well with modern US evangelical christians so they simply say that's not what he meant. (Seems pretty clear to me and there's not reasonable interpretation that is consistent with those words that they wouldn't reject.)

There is an alternate meaning for this passage that I heard over 40 years ago, (Though a quick look on the internet tells me there is no proof for it), that would put a different spin on that.

Quote
The "Eye of the Needle" has been claimed to be a gate in Jerusalem, which opened after the main gate was closed at night. A camel could only pass through this smaller gate if it was stooped and had its baggage removed. This story has been put forth since at least the 15th century, and possibly as far back as the 9th century. However, there is no widely accepted evidence for the existence of such a gate


I was raised in a religion that believed that every word in the bible was literal truth. How they explained the mistakes and contradictions I can't remember?  ???

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Re: Biblical quotes preferences and fads.
« Reply #43 on: March 05, 2019, 02:49:39 PM »
I think we disagree. They will completely dismiss Jesus's words. The clearest example is when Jesus said it would be harder for a rich man to get into heaven that a camel to pass through the eye of a needle.

That doesn't sit well with modern US evangelical christians so they simply say that's not what he meant. (Seems pretty clear to me and there's not reasonable interpretation that is consistent with those words that they wouldn't reject.)

There is an alternate meaning for this passage that I heard over 40 years ago, (Though a quick look on the internet tells me there is no proof for it), that would put a different spin on that.

Quote
The "Eye of the Needle" has been claimed to be a gate in Jerusalem, which opened after the main gate was closed at night. A camel could only pass through this smaller gate if it was stooped and had its baggage removed. This story has been put forth since at least the 15th century, and possibly as far back as the 9th century. However, there is no widely accepted evidence for the existence of such a gate

Interesting. First I've hear the gate in Jerusalem thing before, but there is no evidence that existed when Jesus spoke. Nor is there any evidence that's what he referred to; nor does that discount contradict his advice to the rich guy to get rid of all of his earthly possessions.

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I was raised in a religion that believed that every word in the bible was literal truth.

How exactly do they do this, when Jesus spoke in parables?

And, how exactly do they do this when Jesus himself said his parables have multiple meanings? That is actually loophole Christians use to disregard things they don't like.

And it makes it impossible for every word to be the literal truth when Jesus himself said his words were not the literal truth.
and Donald Trump is President of the United States.

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Offline Mr. Beagle

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Re: Biblical quotes preferences and fads.
« Reply #44 on: March 05, 2019, 03:52:41 PM »
I once asked a fundamentalist whether the story of the Good Samaritan was literally true, or just a story used to make an important point. He insisted that there must have been a real Samaritan who acted as in the parable, because "Jesus wouldn't lie."
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