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firstfloor
01-22-2014, 02:16 AM
Is it physically possible for The Bible or any part of its content, even in the autographs, to be inerrant?

God as Editor – if God proof reads scripture and makes corrections then we can be sure that it accurately represents His history, diary and opinions. Alternately, He could write scripture in His own hand like He did with the Ten Commandments.

God as Inspiration – if God inspires the writer, human fallibility is a factor. Anyone reading this could be similarly inspired and so you can ask yourself what God’s word would sound like. What is inspiration? How do you know when you are inspired? What stops people from writing God inspired literature in the present day? Is it possible that modern God inspired literature does exist but it is not recognised as such because of conservative opinions in The Church?

My own view is that the Bible authors thought they were inspired by God, said so in their writings, and Christians take them at their word, as a matter of faith. This process could be repeated many times and it is purely tradition and conservatism that prevents more revelation. The important thing about revelation is that the person receiving it believes that it is Divine in nature. Your comments and opinions would be most welcome?

seer
01-22-2014, 05:03 AM
Is it physically possible for The Bible or any part of its content, even in the autographs, to be inerrant?

God as Editor – if God proof reads scripture and makes corrections then we can be sure that it accurately represents His history, diary and opinions. Alternately, He could write scripture in His own hand like He did with the Ten Commandments.

God as Inspiration – if God inspires the writer, human fallibility is a factor. Anyone reading this could be similarly inspired and so you can ask yourself what God’s word would sound like. What is inspiration? How do you know when you are inspired? What stops people from writing God inspired literature in the present day? Is it possible that modern God inspired literature does exist but it is not recognised as such because of conservative opinions in The Church?

My own view is that the Bible authors thought they were inspired by God, said so in their writings, and Christians take them at their word, as a matter of faith. This process could be repeated many times and it is purely tradition and conservatism that prevents more revelation. The important thing about revelation is that the person receiving it believes that it is Divine in nature. Your comments and opinions would be most welcome?

First, I don't know if scripture is inerrant. Or that it needs to be, to be generally accurate and reliable. I suppose that an all powerful Creator could cause the writers to be perfectly accurate. But I don't know if that is how God worked. As far as inspiration today, I think it is possible, but I would have to look at specific texts - if it contradicts the Bible then I would reject it. The Catholic Church has added non-biblical doctrines over the years like the assumption of Mary that are not found directly in Scripture but do not contradict scripture. I'm not Catholic but I don't believe that such doctrines really bear on the core message of practice and faith, so are rather harmless.

Catholicity
01-22-2014, 07:03 AM
where's the amen button when you need it?

seer
01-22-2014, 07:18 AM
where's the amen button when you need it?

AMEN!:wink:

firstfloor
01-22-2014, 07:25 AM
First, I don't know if scripture is inerrant. Or that it needs to be, to be generally accurate and reliable. I suppose that an all powerful Creator could cause the writers to be perfectly accurate. But I don't know if that is how God worked. As far as inspiration today, I think it is possible, but I would have to look at specific texts - if it contradicts the Bible then I would reject it. The Catholic Church has added non-biblical doctrines over the years like the assumption of Mary that are not found directly in Scripture but do not contradict scripture. I'm not Catholic but I don't believe that such doctrines really bear on the core message of practice and faith, so are rather harmless.
I am beginning to think that the whole New Testament is based on a misunderstanding of the Genesis story of Adam and Eve. I don’t think Adam falls but instead is a heroic figure that actually comes out on top having acquired wisdom that he did not previously possess. Was this in fact a challenge deliberately set for him by God? All mythical heroes do the very thing that is forbidden to them – there is no story otherwise.

God acknowledges Adam’s new power by saying that he has become like one of us and before he can grow even stronger by eating of the tree of life, expels him from the garden. God fears Adam so much that He has to protect the tree of life from capture. What do you think?

Cerebrum123
01-22-2014, 07:29 AM
The following was the only part of the post that really had something substantial to be answered.


God as Inspiration – if God inspires the writer, human fallibility is a factor.

No, this is a non sequitur. The OT and NT show that this isn't the case if one pays attention. First off, all Scripture is God breathed, meaning that it's as good as if it came directly from God.

2 Timothy 3:16
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,

All of God's words are perfect.

Psalm 18:30
As for God, his way is perfect: The Lord’s word is flawless; he shields all who take refuge in him.

Jesus took Scripture as the ultimate authority in every dispute, even against Satan who was misusing it.

Matthew 4:3 The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”

4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’[b]”

For a Christian this should be more than enough to accept Scripture as inerrant, although I know many don't.


Anyone reading this could be similarly inspired and so you can ask yourself what God’s word would sound like.

Well, that's the thing, certain things were considered to be inspired that were not Scripture, nor inerrant. That's not really the point of this post is it? Let's put it this way, it would agree with what's already been revealed.


What is inspiration?

Biblical inspiration would be when the Holy Spirit is indwelling the author, guiding, but not in a mechanical way(they aren't being used like puppets), what is being written. Allowing the person's style to come through, but preventing error and falsehood from entering what's being written.


How do you know when you are inspired?

I'm not sure a person can truly know that.


What stops people from writing God inspired literature in the present day?

Nothing. Of course He likely wouldn't be doing the writing, only the inspiration.


Is it possible that modern God inspired literature does exist but it is not recognised as such because of conservative opinions in The Church?

I'd say it's only the lesser form of inspiration exists. I'd say this is merely when timeless truths are being relayed. I really don't think it's opinions of the Church stopping such a recognition. If inspiration on the Biblical level was happening, those who know the voice of their Lord would recognize it.

John 10:3-5
New International Version (NIV)
3 The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5 But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.”

Cerebrum123
01-22-2014, 07:35 AM
I am beginning to think that the whole New Testament is based on a misunderstanding of the Genesis story of Adam and Eve. I don’t think Adam falls but instead is a heroic figure that actually comes out on top having acquired wisdom that he did not previously possess. Was this in fact a challenge deliberately set for him by God? All mythical heroes do the very thing that is forbidden to them – there is no story otherwise.

So you think Jesus mistakenly died to save us from nothing? That Adam is the real hero? This shows an immense lack of understanding of both the OT and NT.


God acknowledges Adam’s new power by saying that he has become like one of us and before he can grow even stronger by eating of the tree of life, expels him from the garden. God fears Adam so much that He has to protect the tree of life from capture. What do you think?

Nope. God still loving Adam promised a way out of the sinful state(the seed of the woman that crushes the head of the serpent). Death being both a punishment, and a mercy. It would be the only way Christ could come and undo the curse.
You are misunderstanding the text on a profound level. God has nothing to fear. Certainly not Adam. Especially since Adam would only gain eternal life by eating from the tree of life. He would have had that anyway had he not eaten from the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

seer
01-22-2014, 07:37 AM
I am beginning to think that the whole New Testament is based on a misunderstanding of the Genesis story of Adam and Eve. I don’t think Adam falls but instead is a heroic figure that actually comes out on top having acquired wisdom that he did not previously possess. Was this in fact a challenge deliberately set for him by God? All mythical heroes do the very thing that is forbidden to them – there is no story otherwise.

God acknowledges Adam’s new power by saying that he has become like one of us and before he can grow even stronger by eating of the tree of life, expels him from the garden. God fears Adam so much that He has to protect the tree of life from capture. What do you think?

I think what I always think - you are daft.

firstfloor
01-22-2014, 09:01 AM
I think what I always think - you are daft.
Well, I wasn’t expecting immediate concurrence but I am pretty sure it is not so outlandish. I must find out about the Jewish perspective on this story.

seer
01-22-2014, 09:13 AM
Well, I wasn’t expecting immediate concurrence but I am pretty sure it is not so outlandish. I must find out about the Jewish perspective on this story.

Really FF, no Jewish or Christian scholar is going to agree that God somehow feared Adam...

Cerebrum123
01-22-2014, 09:38 AM
Well, I wasn’t expecting immediate concurrence but I am pretty sure it is not so outlandish. I must find out about the Jewish perspective on this story.

Your only hope for finding such an interpretation is from those who were clearly heretics. Even then, your probably not going to find much.

37818
01-22-2014, 09:39 AM
Is it physically possible for The Bible or any part of its content, even in the autographs, to be inerrant? . . .

Inerrancy goes with God being Himself inerrant. So therefore His words would be inerrant.

What inerrancy is not:
1) It is not the ability of the reader to inerrantly read God's word.

2) It is not inerrant translation of God's word.

3) It is not the known variants in the hand copies of God's word.

"Every word of God is pure: . . ." -- Proverbs 30.5.

"The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple." -- Psalm 19:7.

"For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven." -- Psalm 119:89.

The problems called Biblical errancy have 3 causes:
1) Is always an issue of interpretation.

2) Can be a problem do to translation.

3) Can be a problem do to a known textual variants.

Without exception, one or any combination can be shown to be at issue.

37818
01-22-2014, 09:53 AM
I am beginning to think that the whole New Testament is based on a misunderstanding of the Genesis story of Adam and Eve. I don’t think Adam falls but instead is a heroic figure that actually comes out on top having acquired wisdom that he did not previously possess. Was this in fact a challenge deliberately set for him by God? All mythical heroes do the very thing that is forbidden to them – there is no story otherwise.

God acknowledges Adam’s new power by saying that he has become like one of us and before he can grow even stronger by eating of the tree of life, expels him from the garden. God fears Adam so much that He has to protect the tree of life from capture. What do you think?

A short answer:

The fall of Adam and Eve was do to Adam disobeying (Genesis 1:17, " . . . the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: . . . ." Romans 5:19, ". . . For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, . . . ")

And it was the acquiring of God's knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 3:22) which causes mankind to have a sinful nature. Man created good, only being finite being (Genesis 1:26, 31). The knowledge of evil corrupts mankind, and the knowledge of good condemns mankind before God. God being infinite good.

firstfloor
01-22-2014, 11:10 AM
A short answer:
The fall of Adam and Eve was do to Adam disobeying (Genesis 1:17, " . . . the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: . . . ." Romans 5:19, ". . . For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, . . . ")
And it was the acquiring of God's knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 3:22) which causes mankind to have a sinful nature. Man created good, only being finite being (Genesis 1:26, 31). The knowledge of evil corrupts mankind, and the knowledge of good condemns mankind before God. God being infinite good.
Genesis is hundreds of years older than the New Testament so it is not appropriate to look for an explanation of it in the New Testament.

Cerebrum123
01-22-2014, 11:37 AM
Genesis is hundreds of years older than the New Testament so it is not appropriate to look for an explanation of it in the New Testament.

Why not? IIRC Jews weren't into theological innovation. For them, if it was new, it wasn't good, and if it was good, it wasn't new. Much of the ANE felt the same IIRC.

firstfloor
01-22-2014, 12:29 PM
Why not? IIRC Jews weren't into theological innovation. For them, if it was new, it wasn't good, and if it was good, it wasn't new. Much of the ANE felt the same IIRC.
The NT distorts your understanding of it.

Adam is set up with a choice between immortality at the cost of eternal innocence (the innocence of a child who runs around naked in public) and becoming a mortal god. He makes the heroic choice. He does not fall, he becomes godlike. The flame that burns twice as bright burns half as long.

Cerebrum123
01-22-2014, 12:57 PM
The NT distorts your understanding of it.

Evidence?


Adam is set up with a choice between immortality at the cost of eternal innocence (the innocence of a child who runs around naked in public) and becoming a mortal god. He makes the heroic choice. He does not fall, he becomes godlike. The flame that burns twice as bright burns half as long.

Nope, he's set up with the choice of obeying God, and living as he was. or disobeying, and dying. Having knowledge of good and evil is not useful, it only condemns. He was not a hero, he condemned all mankind to death. He, Eve, and the serpent were all cursed for their evil actions. You miss the point of the account entirely.

firstfloor
01-22-2014, 01:16 PM
Evidence?
Nope, he's set up with the choice of obeying God, and living as he was. or disobeying, and dying. Having knowledge of good and evil is not useful, it only condemns. He was not a hero, he condemned all mankind to death. He, Eve, and the serpent were all cursed for their evil actions. You miss the point of the account entirely.
Genesis exists before the New Testament and therefore its meaning can be discerned without reference to the New Testament. There is no Christianity when Genesis is written down so if you read it as a Christian is supposed to read it you are at risk of changing its original meaning. I think that is what you are doing. There is no real disobedience because God very deliberately gives Adam a free choice by providing the tree of knowledge in the first place and his choice is a plot twist that is essential for the myth to work.

JohnnyP
01-22-2014, 01:34 PM
There is no real disobedience because God very deliberately gives Adam a free choice by providing the tree of knowledge in the first place and his choice is a plot twist that is essential for the myth to work.

By that reasoning if you tell your kid not to drive your car and he does anyway, there is no real disobedience because you provided the car?

37818
01-22-2014, 02:04 PM
Genesis is hundreds of years older than the New Testament so it is not appropriate to look for an explanation of it in the New Testament.The NT quote was supplemental, if it bothers you ignore it. It does not change the truth of the answer I gave. Adam was told, "" . . . the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: . . . ." And did so any way.


And it was the acquiring of God's knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 3:22) which causes mankind to have a sinful nature. Man created good, only being finite being (Genesis 1:26, 31). The knowledge of evil corrupts mankind, and the knowledge of good condemns mankind before God. God being infinite good.

Cerebrum123
01-22-2014, 02:30 PM
Genesis exists before the New Testament and therefore its meaning can be discerned without reference to the New Testament.

No disagreement there, but that doesn't equate to the NT "distorting" the meaning either.


There is no Christianity when Genesis is written down so if you read it as a Christian is supposed to read it you are at risk of changing its original meaning.

False, since a Christian should aspire to read it in the way the original author intended.


I think that is what you are doing. There is no real disobedience because God very deliberately gives Adam a free choice by providing the tree of knowledge in the first place and his choice is a plot twist that is essential for the myth to work.

I call BS. Only by allowing an option at all can there be true obedience anyway. It's pretty clear from the Biblical texts both OT and NT that God did not intend to create mindless robots that follow His every whim. He wanted something closer to Himself, that He could truly express His love to, and receive in return.

Darth Executor
01-22-2014, 02:35 PM
Genesis exists before the New Testament and therefore its meaning can be discerned without reference to the New Testament.

It was also probably written in a high context society, so while it's theoretically possible for its meaning to be discerned without additional data, it's also very unlikely.


There is no Christianity when Genesis is written down so if you read it as a Christian is supposed to read it you are at risk of changing its original meaning.

That's only true if Christianity isn't true. Of course, this isn't particularly relevant because:


I think that is what you are doing. There is no real disobedience because God very deliberately gives Adam a free choice by providing the tree of knowledge in the first place and his choice is a plot twist that is essential for the myth to work.

God explicitly forbids Adam from eating from the tree. Adam eats from the tree. How is that not disobedience?

firstfloor
01-22-2014, 02:43 PM
I feel that the purpose of the story is to explain why mankind is both godlike in his dominion over nature and yet still mortal.

Cerebrum123
01-22-2014, 02:47 PM
I feel that the purpose of the story is to explain why mankind is both godlike in his dominion over nature and yet still mortal.

And given that you have no evidence for your position, and a LOT against your position, there's no reason for us to take your "interpretation" seriously.

firstfloor
01-23-2014, 12:26 AM
God explicitly forbids Adam from eating from the tree. Adam eats from the tree. How is that not disobedience?
It is not disobedience because God wants Adam to choose. God provides the tree of knowledge precisely so that a choice would have to be made and He forces the issue by ordering Adam not to eat it. In other words, Adam can have the tree of life and remain innocent like a child or have the tree of knowledge and be like God, only mortal. If God is upset at Adam’s choice He is not so upset that He kills anyone. In fact, God even makes garments for the couple – this is not a hostile act but a loving one. The expulsion from the garden hints at panic and fear of Adam’s new godlike power. Adam is now empowered; determined to be his own man and not be the possession of any god. The various curses are there to explain why something like childbirth is so dangerous.

It is a wonderful story but it was never written with the intention of being the first instalment in a much greater narrative as in the Christian tradition. It has been adopted and reinterpreted by Christianity. Christianity, unfortunately, is obsessed with very negative emotions like sin and punishment. I put it to you that if you abolish the idea of sin you will not see The Fall in the Genesis story.

Cerebrum123
01-23-2014, 06:45 AM
It is not disobedience because God wants Adam to choose.

It still is disobedience because a direct order was broken. Do you even understand the concept of obedience?


God provides the tree of knowledge precisely so that a choice would have to be made and He forces the issue by ordering Adam not to eat it. In other words, Adam can have the tree of life and remain innocent like a child or have the tree of knowledge and be like God, only mortal.

Allowing a choice is not the same as forcing one. This is downright moronic.


If God is upset at Adam’s choice He is not so upset that He kills anyone.

False, Adam and Eve both die because of this, and so does an animal that they might be clothed.


In fact, God even makes garments for the couple – this is not a hostile act but a loving one.

Yes, God loves us even when we sin. The killing of an animal to provide clothing shows the seriousness of sin, and the need of sacrifice to cover it.


The expulsion from the garden hints at panic and fear of Adam’s new godlike power.

No, that's not hinted at at all.


Adam is now empowered; determined to be his own man and not be the possession of any god.

False, Adam just lost nearly every good thing he had, and both he and Eve are awaiting the fulfillment of God's promise for the serpent's head to be crushed. This is not empowerment, and Adam and Eve clearly portrayed their fear in this event.


The various curses are there to explain why something like childbirth is so dangerous.

Why do you feel the need to make up so much garbage? Why not actually study the text instead of giving your uninformed opinion?


It is a wonderful story but it was never written with the intention of being the first instalment in a much greater narrative as in the Christian tradition.

Evidence?


It has been adopted and reinterpreted by Christianity.

Evidence?


Christianity, unfortunately, is obsessed with very negative emotions like sin and punishment. I put it to you that if you abolish the idea of sin you will not see The Fall in the Genesis story.

Again, evidence?

One good assertion deserves another. Atheists are obsessed with getting a reinterpretation because they fear the consequences just may be real, and that Christians just might have it right.

firstfloor
01-23-2014, 07:09 AM
C123,
If I said any more on that story at the moment and I would just be repeating myself. I think Joseph Campbell saw it as being about the transition from innocent, carefree childhood to responsible, hard working and hazardous adulthood. I can see why. It helps when reading it to remember that it is pre-Christian mythology. After Genesis, Jesus would not be even a twinkle in his mothers eye until several hundred years had passed.

Cerebrum123
01-23-2014, 07:19 AM
C123,
If I said any more on that story at the moment and I would just be repeating myself. I think Joseph Campbell saw it as being about the transition from innocent, carefree childhood to responsible, hard working and hazardous adulthood. I can see why. It helps when reading it to remember that it is pre-Christian mythology. After Genesis, Jesus would not be even a twinkle in his mothers eye until several hundred years had passed.

It's not mythology, it's history. Second, it doesn't matter the amount of time passing between Jesus and Genesis, the promise had already been made. It's part of the curse. Also, there's no historical warrant for Joseph Campbell's bizarre interpretation, nor yours for that matter. Like I said, perhaps you should study the text rather than spout your uninformed opinion.

firstfloor
01-23-2014, 02:09 PM
It's not mythology, it's history. Second, it doesn't matter the amount of time passing between Jesus and Genesis, the promise had already been made. It's part of the curse.
What you are talking about here is not history but magic (as in the adventures of Harry Potter).

Cerebrum123
01-23-2014, 02:11 PM
What you are talking about here is not history but magic (as in the adventures of Harry Potter).

Umm, no. I specified what I meant. I have no reason to trust your assertion on this. You obviously don't understand "magic" either. Why am I not surprised. :sigh:

firstfloor
01-24-2014, 12:21 AM
Umm, no. I specified what I meant. I have no reason to trust your assertion on this. You obviously don't understand "magic" either. Why am I not surprised. :sigh:
But you are still wrong. The truth is so obvious:
As we have seen, God deliberately tests Adam with the choice of the two trees. His question to Adam is whether he is mature enough to challenge his father and go into the world alone. The challenge does have consequences, as it must. At the end of the story, Adam has achieved godlike maturity and his Father proudly gives his parting gift. Adam did not fall.

MaxVel
01-24-2014, 06:25 AM
But you are still wrong. The truth is so obvious:
As we have seen, God deliberately tests Adam with the choice of the two trees. His question to Adam is whether he is mature enough to challenge his father and go into the world alone. The challenge does have consequences, as it must. At the end of the story, Adam has achieved godlike maturity and his Father proudly gives his parting gift. Adam did not fall.


Yeah, losing his immortality, his innocence, his place in the most beautiful garden there ever was; and gaining a limited lifespan, a broken relationship with God, trouble and strife is surely not a fall.

Adam and his descendants exhibit their godlike maturity until this very day. Just look at Professional wrestling, or Japanese game shows, or Thai soap operas, or football hooligans, or... ...yourself in the mirror.


</sarcasm>

Cerebrum123
01-24-2014, 06:31 AM
But you are still wrong. The truth is so obvious:
As we have seen, God deliberately tests Adam with the choice of the two trees. His question to Adam is whether he is mature enough to challenge his father and go into the world alone. The challenge does have consequences, as it must. At the end of the story, Adam has achieved godlike maturity and his Father proudly gives his parting gift. Adam did not fall.

Yes, the truth is obvious. You are being deliberately inflammatory, aka a troll.

firstfloor
01-24-2014, 06:41 AM
Yes, the truth is obvious. You are being deliberately inflammatory, aka a troll.
In case you hadn’t noticed, this is an Atheism/Agnosticism v. Theism forum, so why would it not be inflammatory? There are no disagreements quite like religious ones.

Tassman
01-28-2014, 02:05 AM
But you are still wrong. The truth is so obvious:
As we have seen, God deliberately tests Adam with the choice of the two trees. His question to Adam is whether he is mature enough to challenge his father and go into the world alone. The challenge does have consequences, as it must. At the end of the story, Adam has achieved godlike maturity and his Father proudly gives his parting gift. Adam did not fall.

Even some Evangelicals acknowledge that the Adam and Eve story cannot be literally true:

http://www.opposingviews.com/i/religion/christianity/even-evangelicals-question-existence-adam-and-eve

It's value in my view, as with much scripture, is as analogy or metaphor. Your analogizing of it makes a lot of sense I think, i.e. it's a 'coming of age' story.

Tassman
01-28-2014, 02:16 AM
Yeah, losing his immortality, his innocence, his place in the most beautiful garden there ever was; and gaining a limited lifespan, a broken relationship with God, trouble and strife is surely not a fall.

Adam and his descendants exhibit their godlike maturity until this very day. Just look at Professional wrestling, or Japanese game shows, or Thai soap operas, or football hooligans, or... ...yourself in the mirror.


</sarcasm>

You mean as opposed to the godlike maturity of God Himself, as depicted in the OT:

http://commonsenseatheism.com/?p=682

It rather leaves "professional wrestling, or Japanese game shows, or Thai soap operas..." in the shade doesn't it? BTW: My wife loves Thai soap operas. They might be banal, but hardly decadent.

firstfloor
01-28-2014, 03:09 AM
Even some Evangelicals acknowledge that the Adam and Eve story cannot be literally true:
http://www.opposingviews.com/i/religion/christianity/even-evangelicals-question-existence-adam-and-eve
It's value in my vew, as with much scripture, is as analogy or metaphor. Your analogizing of it makes a lot of sense I think, i.e. it's a 'coming of age' story.
There is a good article here.
http://advocatusatheist.blogspot.co.uk/2011/03/adam-and-eve-whats-meaning-of-myth.html
I first read about this in one of Joseph Campbell’s books.
Christians tend to miss the lie and the sexual aspect and focus instead on disobedience because they are utterly obsessed by Sin, especially other people’s sin.
I’m just having a quick rant.

Shadow Templar
01-28-2014, 10:19 AM
The truth is so obvious: [...]Adam has achieved godlike maturity and his Father proudly gives his parting gift. Adam did not fall.

This is completely true, except for the small fact that it's contrary to the entire book of Genesis. Just out of curiosity, have you even read it? That might be a good start before throwing out wild theories.


I feel that the purpose of the story is to explain why mankind is both godlike in his dominion over nature and yet still mortal.

Cool story, bro. I feel hungry, so genesis was actually about how humans crave food, just as Adam ate from the tree. Feelings don't play into what Genesis is. Provisions of rational evidence to back up a point is what counts.


It is not disobedience because God wants Adam to choose. God provides the tree of knowledge precisely so that a choice would have to be made and He forces the issue by ordering Adam not to eat it. In other words, Adam can have the tree of life and remain innocent like a child or have the tree of knowledge and be like God, only mortal. If God is upset at Adam’s choice He is not so upset that He kills anyone. In fact, God even makes garments for the couple – this is not a hostile act but a loving one. The expulsion from the garden hints at panic and fear of Adam’s new godlike power. Adam is now empowered; determined to be his own man and not be the possession of any god. The various curses are there to explain why something like childbirth is so dangerous.

There are countless assertions like this one that are completely without merit, and you make no effort to back them. If you think you can sneak them in there without us noticing their bogus nature, you were wrong.


It is a wonderful story but it was never written with the intention of being the first instalment in a much greater narrative as in the Christian tradition. It has been adopted and reinterpreted by Christianity. Christianity, unfortunately, is obsessed with very negative emotions like sin and punishment. I put it to you that if you abolish the idea of sin you will not see The Fall in the Genesis story.

This statement is it's own defense against it. Nothing more needs to be said.


I think Joseph Campbell saw it as being about the transition from innocent, carefree childhood to responsible, hard working and hazardous adulthood. I can see why. It helps when reading it to remember that it is pre-Christian mythology.

No words can describe how fail this is.


Christians tend to miss the lie and the sexual aspect and focus instead on disobedience because they are utterly obsessed by Sin, especially other people’s sin.
I’m just having a quick rant.

Apart from the long ones, is anything you say NOT a quick rant?

I honestly can't tell if everything you say is intentionally as wrong as possible for the sake of trolling, or just wildly mislead to the point of amusement.

Cerebrum123
01-28-2014, 10:26 AM
@Shadow Templar, firstfloor is a :troll:. He thinks that anyone identifying him as such has been "stumped" by him, despite arguments given that show his assertions to be invalid. He said I was a "stumped Christian" as soon as I decided to quit playing his troll games.

firstfloor
01-28-2014, 10:36 AM
.............. I honestly can't tell if everything you say is intentionally as wrong as possible for the sake of trolling, or just wildly mislead to the point of amusement.
Does that mean you disagree? That's okay. It is a strange idea at first sight if you have been brought up in the Christian tradition.

Cerebrum123
01-28-2014, 10:43 AM
Does that mean you disagree? That's okay. It is a strange idea at first sight if you have been brought up in the Christian tradition.

No, it's a strange idea for anyone who's actually read Genesis.

Shadow Templar
01-28-2014, 10:45 AM
It is a strange idea at first sight if you have been brought up in the Christian tradition.

It is indeed a strange sight. I'm guess my Christian tradition didn't have enough horribly mislead people. I'll have to tell them to introduce a few trolls to effectively train us rational Christians, so it's not so much a shock when we see someone who can't figure out how logic works.

Tassman
01-28-2014, 09:33 PM
No, it's a strange idea for anyone who's actually read Genesis.

What’s “strange” is not accepting that that the Genesis story cannot possibly be true in a literal sense. It’s utterly contrary to the well established genomic evidence. Even many Evangelical Christians concede this nowadays. By adopting your rigid stance you are left with the option of either discarding the Adam & Eve story altogether as quaint, but ultimately silly, mythology OR of analogizing it as FF has done. The latter course is more useful.

Shadow Templar
01-28-2014, 10:25 PM
What’s “strange” is not accepting that that the Genesis story cannot possibly be true in a literal sense. It’s utterly contrary to the well established genomic evidence. Even many Evangelical Christians concede this nowadays. By adopting your rigid stance you are left with the option of either discarding the Adam & Eve story altogether as quaint, but ultimately silly, mythology OR of analogizing it as FF has done. The latter course is more useful.

There's a stark difference between accepting Genesis as not a literally account and accepting whatever FF is making up. One of them can still hold true to the rest of the bible. FF's fantasy is just that: a fantasy. It has no basis in any part of the bible, and fits nothing more than his imagination. Genesis being not a literal account does not reflect poorly on the legitimacy of the rest of the bible, nor contradict it, so I would hardly call that strange.

Tassman
01-28-2014, 11:43 PM
There's a stark difference between accepting Genesis as not a literally account and accepting whatever FF is making up. One of them can still hold true to the rest of the bible. FF's fantasy is just that: a fantasy. It has no basis in any part of the bible, and fits nothing more than his imagination. Genesis being not a literal account does not reflect poorly on the legitimacy of the rest of the bible, nor contradict it, so I would hardly call that strange.

Once you accept that the Adam & Eve story is not to be taken literally, then is open to various interpretations, as we have seen with FF's ingenious interpretation. This doesn't diminish the traditional interpretation that's been in place since Paul first equated Jesus to the second Adam.

firstfloor
01-29-2014, 01:47 AM
There's a stark difference between accepting Genesis as not a literally account and accepting whatever FF is making up. One of them can still hold true to the rest of the bible. FF's fantasy is just that: a fantasy. It has no basis in any part of the bible, and fits nothing more than his imagination. Genesis being not a literal account does not reflect poorly on the legitimacy of the rest of the bible, nor contradict it, so I would hardly call that strange.
I was using Scripture to make the argument. An important part of the interpretation is having respect for the chronology. Genesis is pre-Christian. Christo-think spoils the story. The argument I have given is scattered over the forum. Would you like a review?

JohnnyP
01-29-2014, 08:03 AM
Once you accept that the Adam & Eve story is not to be taken literally, then is open to various interpretations, as we have seen with FF's ingenious interpretation. This doesn't diminish the traditional interpretation that's been in place since Paul first equated Jesus to the second Adam.

I take most of Genesis 2 literally, in that it takes place in a Heavenly realm, the Serpent and others created to help Adam are cherubim not regular animals on Earth, fruit of the Trees may be a spiritual energy not literal fruit, etc. While life in Genesis 1 focuses on about evolution of regular animals and other humans on Earth over millions and billions of years, each command for evolution given on a specific day, and days not required to be consecutive. Thus not "utterly contrary to the well established genomic evidence" and with no reason to wildly embellish on what is stated.

I asked FF what the Serpent's curses have to do with it symbolizing sexuality HERE (http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?292-A-Plea-for-Understanding&p=5867&viewfull=1#post5867) but I don't see a reply: I am open to considering other interpretations as long as they make sense and aren't full of holes, however FF's idea that disobeying God equates to maturity and growing up doesn't make sense.

shunyadragon
01-29-2014, 09:15 AM
No, it's a strange idea for anyone who's actually read Genesis.

I have read Genesis and the Canaanite and Babylonian tablets where Genesis came from. Genesis is simply the reworking of ancient legends.

whag
01-29-2014, 09:41 AM
There's a stark difference between accepting Genesis as not a literally account and accepting whatever FF is making up. One of them can still hold true to the rest of the bible. FF's fantasy is just that: a fantasy. It has no basis in any part of the bible, and fits nothing more than his imagination. Genesis being not a literal account does not reflect poorly on the legitimacy of the rest of the bible, nor contradict it, so I would hardly call that strange.

Surely, it's very difficult for many of your brethren to process their relationship to the animal kingdom. Strangeness is therefore in the eye of the beholder. A widespread and peculiar misinterpretation of teleology among Christians makes genesis look very strange to skeptics. And the quasi-literal force fitting of religious events into the natural history doesn't make it look any less strange to us.

Cerebrum123
01-29-2014, 09:53 AM
I have read Genesis and the Canaanite and Babylonian tablets where Genesis came from. Genesis is simply the reworking of ancient legends.

:ahem:
The idea that Genesis was borrowed from things like the Epic of Gilgamesh have been thoroughly refuted. The differences are far more vast than any similarities. It's on the same level as the Christ Myth theory. http://christianthinktank.com/gilgymess.html

Basically, it takes "parallels" that are so loose that, with the right amount of twisting, can be applied to pretty much anything.

Shadow Templar
01-29-2014, 02:24 PM
Once you accept that the Adam & Eve story is not to be taken literally, then is open to various interpretations, as we have seen with FF's ingenious interpretation. This doesn't diminish the traditional interpretation that's been in place since Paul first equated Jesus to the second Adam.

Open to various interpretations, sure. But whatever interpretation you have, it has to correlate with the rest of the bible. If it doesn't, it's a sham, and you need to rework it. The interpretation FF has isn't sound: it's ridiculous, and anyone who knows about any of the rest of the bible knows it.


I was using Scripture to make the argument. An important part of the interpretation is having respect for the chronology. Genesis is pre-Christian. Christo-think spoils the story. The argument I have given is scattered over the forum. Would you like a review?

You aren't using scripture to make an argument, you're twisting scripture to make it say whatever you want. It's easy to do, and even "christians" do it to make their points "stronger". That doesn't means what you're saying is true, it means you can lie convincingly.

Also. Genesis is not "pre-Christian", just pre-modern-Christian. There were Christians before 0 A.D. and Adam and Eve is the story used to convey who God is (the creator and sustainer of life, the universe, and everything).


I take most of Genesis 2 literally, in that it takes place in a Heavenly realm, the Serpent and others created to help Adam are cherubim not regular animals on Earth, fruit of the Trees may be a spiritual energy not literal fruit, etc. While life in Genesis 1 focuses on about evolution of regular animals and other humans on Earth over millions and billions of years, each command for evolution given on a specific day, and days not required to be consecutive. Thus not "utterly contrary to the well established genomic evidence" and with no reason to wildly embellish on what is stated.

This.

whag
01-29-2014, 02:47 PM
:ahem:
The idea that Genesis was borrowed from things like the Epic of Gilgamesh have been thoroughly refuted. The differences are far more vast than any similarities. It's on the same level as the Christ Myth theory. http://christianthinktank.com/gilgymess.html

Basically, it takes "parallels" that are so loose that, with the right amount of twisting, can be applied to pretty much anything.

The similarities aren't because of direct copying. The authors of Genesis appropriated the Sumerian myths by turning them into their own stories. This is the consensus view.

Shadow Templar
01-29-2014, 02:55 PM
The similarities aren't because of direct copying. The authors of Genesis appropriated the Sumerian myths by turning them into their own stories. This is the consensus view.

Um, evidence? This is definitely the consensus view of people who want it to be true. It's also the consensus view that Aliens are among us... to a bunch of conspiracy theorists.

Rational Gaze
01-29-2014, 06:32 PM
Genesis is simply the reworking of ancient legends.
False.

whag
01-29-2014, 10:15 PM
Um, evidence? This is definitely the consensus view of people who want it to be true. It's also the consensus view that Aliens are among us... to a bunch of conspiracy theorists.

that it's widely agreed the latter borrowed from the former is certainly not on par with conspiracy nutterism. =) it's widely agreed because the similarities are evident. it's like the "borrowing" Lucas did. mythical tropes in the Star Wars series are evident and undeniable. no shame in that.

the funny thing with you is how the reality threatens to collapse your rickety scaffolding. you should have built it stronger.

firstfloor
01-30-2014, 12:39 AM
I asked FF what the Serpent's curses have to do with it symbolizing sexuality HERE (http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?292-A-Plea-for-Understanding&p=5867&viewfull=1#post5867) but I don't see a reply: I am open to considering other interpretations as long as they make sense and aren't full of holes, however FF's idea that disobeying God equates to maturity and growing up doesn't make sense.
It helps to understand these things if you know you are reading a fable. The serpent has symbolic meaning that includes, but is not restricted to, fertility, life and healing. The serpent is described as ‘crafty’ because he knows that God lied to Adam. The lie really means – Adam, you are an innocent child, this knowledge is not for you (yet) – but God knows that Adam will grow to maturity, as will Eve. The serpent speaking to Eve indicates the onset of sexual maturity.

The curses explain the harsh realities of adult life. The connection with the disobedience is there but it is offset with the wonderful ending to the story in which God makes a gift of garments, dresses both of them Himself and confirms Adam’s new godlike power – most likely a reference to the ability to make new life. In the marriage ceremony at the end, if that is what it is, the curses are perhaps what the priest says to the happy couple – don’t play with snakes, get a good midwife, work hard to support your family.

I dare say that there are many other subtle complications in the story but that is my sense of the main thrust of the narrative.

Tassman
01-30-2014, 03:24 AM
Open to various interpretations, sure. But whatever interpretation you have, it has to correlate with the rest of the bible. If it doesn't, it's a sham, and you need to rework it. The interpretation FF has isn't sound: it's ridiculous, and anyone who knows about any of the rest of the bible knows it.

You are assuming, without evidence, that the bible is the Word of God and therefore coherent throughout. It is demonstrably not. Therefore FF's interpretation of the Adam and Eve fable is perfectly legitimate.

Shadow Templar
01-30-2014, 08:19 AM
You are assuming, without evidence, that the bible is the Word of God and therefore coherent throughout. It is demonstrably not. Therefore FF's interpretation of the Adam and Eve fable is perfectly legitimate.

Interpretation, yes, but not an interpretation that any Christian (who is going to believe that the bible is the Word of God) is going to give a second thought to.

Rational Gaze
01-30-2014, 08:53 AM
You are assuming, without evidence, that the bible is the Word of God and therefore coherent throughout. It is demonstrably not.
Aside from be demonstrably false, this statement is nothing more than a red herring and a bare assertion. Whether the Bible is the 'word of God' or not is simply irrelevant as to the meaning of the ancient documents the Bible is made up of.


Therefore FF's interpretation of the Adam and Eve fable is perfectly legitimate.
So, according to you, anyone can make whatever interpretation they like? Odd, that's not how people who possess the capacity for rational thought engage in textual exegesis. No, we prefer engaging in actual textual analysis, utilising evidence, and reason.

whag
01-30-2014, 02:21 PM
False.

it would be more accurate to say Jews knew the legends and adopted the major tropes into a new story. this is the consensus view of scholars. few scholars think genesis preceded Sumerian stories, and few scholars believe the similarities arose independently. the oral tradition was too familiar.

Tassman
01-30-2014, 08:50 PM
Aside from be demonstrably false, this statement is nothing more than a red herring and a bare assertion. Whether the Bible is the 'word of God' or not is simply irrelevant as to the meaning of the ancient documents the Bible is made up of.

One’s belief about the nature of the bible is directly affected by how one views it. If it is seen as the Word of God, then by definition it must be coherent.


So, according to you, anyone can make whatever interpretation they like? Odd, that's not how people who possess the capacity for rational thought engage in textual exegesis. No, we prefer engaging in actual textual analysis, utilising evidence, and reason.

It depends where you are coming from. If the Creation Narratives are understood as the ancient fables they manifestly are, then yes they can. If one is attempting to harmonize the Creation Narratives with the much later Jesus story then probably not.

JohnnyP
01-30-2014, 09:20 PM
The curses explain the harsh realities of adult life. The connection with the disobedience is there but it is offset with the wonderful ending to the story in which God makes a gift of garments, dresses both of them Himself and confirms Adam’s new godlike power – most likely a reference to the ability to make new life.

If Adam is driven away from the Tree of Life and immortality, did you ever consider that those skins weren't a gift of animal skins, but a curse of taking on mortal human flesh so they could die?


In the marriage ceremony at the end, if that is what it is, the curses are perhaps what the priest says to the happy couple – don’t play with snakes, get a good midwife, work hard to support your family.

On the contrary, if the Serpent represents sexuality, why would a priest say not to have sex (play with snakes) to a married couple? That doesn't make sense. Are you saying God called for celibacy?


I dare say that there are many other subtle complications in the story but that is my sense of the main thrust of the narrative.

Can you explain what the following curses to the Serpent have to do with it symbolizing sexuality?



Genesis 3:14 And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:

Genesis 3:15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.


You are assuming, without evidence, that the bible is the Word of God and therefore coherent throughout. It is demonstrably not. Therefore FF's interpretation of the Adam and Eve fable is perfectly legitimate.

The implication that God called for celibacy -- not playing with snakes -- is ridiculous, when FF also claimed the story would not go on without sex and children, and that's why God placed the Serpent in the first place, so they could have sex and continue the story. It's circular nonsense, making stuff up as you go along.

Tassman
01-31-2014, 01:12 AM
The implication that God called for celibacy -- not playing with snakes -- is ridiculous, when FF also claimed the story would not go on without sex and children, and that's why God placed the Serpent in the first place, so they could have sex and continue the story. It's circular nonsense, making stuff up as you go along.

I didn't read the admonition to not play with snakes as a call for celibacy. Quite the reverse! FF comments that part of Adam’s new "godlike power" was his ability to make new life.

firstfloor
01-31-2014, 07:40 AM
Can you explain what the following curses to the Serpent have to do with it symbolizing sexuality?
The disobedience is not really sinful because Adam and Eve are childlike innocents incapable of deliberate wickedness. Consequently, the punishments are not really punishments but simply descriptions of the real world. God, the father figure in the story, knows exactly what must happen. The fruit of the tree of knowledge is intended for them – why else would it be in the garden with Adam if God did not want him to eat it? If you think it is a test – why would it be just to apply that test to an innocent childlike being?

JohnnyP
01-31-2014, 01:02 PM
I didn't read the admonition to not play with snakes as a call for celibacy. Quite the reverse! FF comments that part of Adam’s new "godlike power" was his ability to make new life.

If the Serpent represents sexuality, why would the curses be like what a priest says to the happy couple -- don't play with snakes meaning don't mess with sexuality? Is sex wrong for couples? Still makes no sense.


The disobedience is not really sinful because Adam and Eve are childlike innocents incapable of deliberate wickedness. Consequently, the punishments are not really punishments but simply descriptions of the real world. God, the father figure in the story, knows exactly what must happen. The fruit of the tree of knowledge is intended for them – why else would it be in the garden with Adam if God did not want him to eat it? If you think it is a test – why would it be just to apply that test to an innocent childlike being?

I suspect that the Tree of Knowledge served a real purpose, not with literal fruit, and not simply to tempt Adam. Some Jews believe it is Kabbalah. Another idea is that it was there for cherubim to have knowledge of the best ways to help Adam spiritually.

Whatever it is, asking why it was in the Garden if not intended for Adam is like asking why streets exist if they aren't meant for children to run out into traffic.

There's always the danger children may get hurt, but because we don't lock them in cages so they won't get hurt, doesn't mean we are tempting them. At any rate I don't believe they had minds of toddlers or infants, but rather were capable of adult reasoning. And, that the knowledge they gained from the tree was knowing what it was like to sin, where before God didn't sin, but being omniscient He knew what it would be like to sin. No mention of any special powers.

Tassman
02-01-2014, 02:26 AM
If the Serpent represents sexuality, why would the curses be like what a priest says to the happy couple -- don't play with snakes meaning don't mess with sexuality? Is sex wrong for couples? Still makes no sense.

Again: I don’t think the serpent represents sexuality (in a bad sense). If I understand FF correctly, he is interpreting the story as a metaphor which suggests that Adam & Eve have reached maturity. A metaphor, as I'm sure you're aware, is merely a figure of speech in which a phrase is applied to something so as to convey an idea. It doesn't survive close parsing. E.g. “He is fishing in troubled waters” or “She is the apple of my eye “are metaphors to enhance meaning in a striking way and not to be taken literally.

firstfloor
02-01-2014, 02:51 AM
If the Serpent represents sexuality, why would the curses be like what a priest says to the happy couple -- don't play with snakes meaning don't mess with sexuality? Is sex wrong for couples? Still makes no sense.
Whatever it is, asking why it was in the Garden if not intended for Adam is like asking why streets exist if they aren't meant for children to run out into traffic.
The last bit looks ceremonial just before the couple have sexual intercourse for the first time. I imagine that if God’s words are spoken, they would be spoken by a priest at a religious ceremony. I am speculating about that. Remember that you are not reading history here.

For the story to be meaningful the details of the story have to be meaningful. God is already knowledgeable so He does not need the tree of knowledge to be there, and likewise, the snake is made crafty from the start. The two people lacking knowledge are Adam and Eve. So the tree must be provided for them. As they grow to maturity, they acquire that knowledge and go on to start a family. It is a very simple fable about the natural process of growing up.

JohnnyP
02-01-2014, 04:27 PM
Again: I don’t think the serpent represents sexuality (in a bad sense). If I understand FF correctly, he is interpreting the story as a metaphor which suggests that Adam & Eve have reached maturity. A metaphor, as I'm sure you're aware, is merely a figure of speech in which a phrase is applied to something so as to convey an idea. It doesn't survive close parsing. E.g. “He is fishing in troubled waters” or “She is the apple of my eye “are metaphors to enhance meaning in a striking way and not to be taken literally.

#1: "the awakening of sexuality in the young adults – that is the symbolic meaning of the serpent"
#2: "the tree must be provided for them (so) they acquire that knowledge and go on to start a family"
#3: "the curses are perhaps what the priest says to the happy couple – don’t play with snakes"

What I'm saying about FF's theory is that if #1-2 are true and God wanted Adam to have sex and start a family by way of the Serpent awakening sexuality, why would God in #3 tell the couple not to play with snakes which would avoid awakening that sexuality to have sex and start a family? It's contradictory and doesn't make sense. I still haven't seen what the following had to do with being a symbol of awakening sexuality, how does sexuality eat dust?



Genesis 3:14 And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:


The last bit looks ceremonial just before the couple have sexual intercourse for the first time. I imagine that if God’s words are spoken, they would be spoken by a priest at a religious ceremony. I am speculating about that. Remember that you are not reading history here.

For the story to be meaningful the details of the story have to be meaningful. God is already knowledgeable so He does not need the tree of knowledge to be there, and likewise, the snake is made crafty from the start. The two people lacking knowledge are Adam and Eve. So the tree must be provided for them. As they grow to maturity, they acquire that knowledge and go on to start a family. It is a very simple fable about the natural process of growing up.

If the Serpent and/or other cherubim were created in Genesis 2:19-20 to help Adam spiritually and were allowed the Tree of Knowledge to do this, it somewhat mirrors how only the High Priest was allowed into the Holy of Holies to make atonement to help the people. Anyone else entering it would die, as anyone else eating the Tree of Knowledge would die.

In fact Ezekiel alludes to the Serpent in the Garden of Eden performing something like Temple functions, being anointed as a High Priest is, and also being a covering cherub:



Exodus 25:20 And the cherubims shall stretch forth their wings on high, covering the mercy seat with their wings, and their faces shall look one to another; toward the mercy seat shall the faces of the cherubims be.

Exodus 25:22 And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubims which are upon the ark of the testimony, of all things which I will give thee in commandment unto the children of Israel.

Ezekiel 28:13 Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created.

Ezekiel 28:14 Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire.

Ezekiel 28:15 Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.

So of course, God may not have needed the Mercy Seat, or a High Priest to be a middleman, but that was the system regardless. And instead of the Serpent helping Adam have spiritual life, he helped Adam to die.

37818
02-01-2014, 06:08 PM
There are a number of "facts" regarding the garden account. Prior to the garden detail, Adam and his woman were made good. (Genesis 1:26-31.) Prior to Adam's woman, God gave instructions. Can eat of all the trees except one. There is nothing that says it was a test for Adam. Adam was good, so what caused Adam to disobey? He stood there watching his woman be deceived. And failed to stop it. (Genesis 2:15-17; 3:6.) Why did this happen? And it not saying it is a test for Adam. Not anywhere. Except human interpreters, who are not inerrant in their reading and understanding the text.

". . . the devil, . . . He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it." -- John 8:44.

Rational Gaze
02-01-2014, 06:41 PM
it would be more accurate to say Jews knew the legends and adopted the major tropes into a new story. this is the consensus view of scholars. few scholars think genesis preceded Sumerian stories, and few scholars believe the similarities arose independently. the oral tradition was too familiar.
False. It would be accurate to say that the Jews used the same literary genres, devices, structures, and so on... because they were a part of the same culture as those around them. Anything more than that is simply going beyond what the actual evidence suggests.

Rational Gaze
02-01-2014, 06:45 PM
One’s belief about the nature of the bible is directly affected by how one views it. If it is seen as the Word of God, then by definition it must be coherent.
One's beliefs about the Bible does nothing to change the correct interpretation of the text.


It depends where you are coming from. If the Creation Narratives are understood as the ancient fables they manifestly are, then yes they can. If one is attempting to harmonize the Creation Narratives with the much later Jesus story then probably not.
False. The correct interpretation of the Bible is not mind dependant.

Tassman
02-02-2014, 02:57 AM
One's beliefs about the Bible does nothing to change the correct interpretation of the text.

Who decides on the “correct” interpretation of the text?


False. The correct interpretation of the Bible is not mind dependant.

You are assuming that there is a “correct” interpretation. The mere existence of numerous Christian denominations, mostly based upon differing interpretations of the Bible, is testament that this is not the case.

Rational Gaze
02-02-2014, 03:12 PM
Who decides on the “correct” interpretation of the text?
Nobody, since the correct interpretation of the Bible is not mind dependant. The correct interpretation is determined by the evidence.


You are assuming that there is a “correct” interpretation.
As do all textual critics.


The mere existence of numerous Christian denominations, mostly based upon differing interpretations of the Bible, is testament that this is not the case.
False. Truth isn't mind dependant.

Tassman
02-02-2014, 05:41 PM
Nobody, since the correct interpretation of the Bible is not mind dependant. The correct interpretation is determined by the evidence.

Who makes the ruling when there is conflicting interpretation of "the evidence" among textual critics?


As do all textual critics.

And yet many disagree.


False. Truth isn't mind dependant.

Biblical "truth” is subject to differing interpretations as evidenced by the many Christian denominations, ALL believe their interpretation to be the correctt interpretation. So to which "truth" are you referring?

NotSoHumblePie
02-02-2014, 09:53 PM
Isn't it the case that "interpretation" is inherently "mind-dependent"? Otherwise, it would just "be", and would require no interpretation.

JohnnyP
02-02-2014, 10:13 PM
Who makes the ruling when there is conflicting interpretation of "the evidence" among textual critics?

Even non-believers can help make a ruling through reason of what the Bible says...like you don't have to be Asian to know what good Asian food is, or how to make it correctly (I watch Chopped :smile:). Of course not everyone accepts rulings, as that goes...


Isn't it the case that "interpretation" is inherently "mind-dependent"? Otherwise, it would just "be", and would require no interpretation.

Something like we are discussing in the Islam forum...

(A) "X killed Y"

It may just be, in black and white. Or it may be interpreted as:

(B) "X destroyed the reputation of Y"

"B" may have been what really happened, and could just "be," but requires interpretation to determine that, ideally based on other sources, precedents, etc.

NotSoHumblePie
02-02-2014, 10:23 PM
Something like we are discussing in the Islam forum...

(A) "X killed Y"

It may just be, in black and white. Or it may be interpreted as:

(B) "X destroyed the reputation of Y"

"B" may have been what really happened, and could just "be," but requires interpretation to determine that, ideally based on other sources, precedents, etc.

This is interesting. I am currently typing up a response to you for a post in another thread. The reason I say it's interesting, is here we seem to have about the same problem as we do in the other thread.

You seem to have some sort of separate dictionary. One where words mean things completely different from their standard definition. The similarity to this situation, is where you attempted to alter the definition of the word "inherent" to mean something which can be "turned on or off", even though that is a direct contradiction of the definition of "inherent".

I'd be interested to hear, what is your definition of the word "interpretation" which would allow "interpretation" to be mind-INdependent. I'm very, very curious...since the very definition of "interpret" seems to include the mind as a fundamental part of its identity.

firstfloor
02-03-2014, 12:41 AM
What I'm saying about FF's theory is that if #1-2 are true and God wanted Adam to have sex and start a family by way of the Serpent awakening sexuality, why would God in #3 tell the couple not to play with snakes which would avoid awakening that sexuality to have sex and start a family? It's contradictory and doesn't make sense. I still haven't seen what the following had to do with being a symbol of awakening sexuality, how does sexuality eat dust?
The talking snake is symbolic. The curses explain the characteristics of actual snakes. There is a very full discussion of the story here:
http://advocatusatheist.blogspot.co.uk/2011/03/adam-and-eve-whats-meaning-of-myth.html

Tassman
02-03-2014, 02:29 AM
Isn't it the case that "interpretation" is inherently "mind-dependent"? Otherwise, it would just "be", and would require no interpretation.
This is the point I’m questioning. It seems to be implied that Biblical Truth is beyond mere human interpretation and exists as absolute “truth” in its own right.

JohnnyP
02-03-2014, 02:51 PM
This is interesting. I am currently typing up a response to you for a post in another thread. The reason I say it's interesting, is here we seem to have about the same problem as we do in the other thread.

You seem to have some sort of separate dictionary. One where words mean things completely different from their standard definition. The similarity to this situation, is where you attempted to alter the definition of the word "inherent" to mean something which can be "turned on or off", even though that is a direct contradiction of the definition of "inherent".

Where inherent = belonging to the basic nature of someone or something -- for example I could have the inherent ability to murder but never exercise that ability. I'll reply more over there...


I'd be interested to hear, what is your definition of the word "interpretation" which would allow "interpretation" to be mind-INdependent. I'm very, very curious...since the very definition of "interpret" seems to include the mind as a fundamental part of its identity.

I'm not saying interpretation is independent of the mind, but that it may not always be necessary, as far as making sense of what is stated. Where interpretation = the act or result of explaining or interpreting something -- from the earlier example: "X killed Y" requires no real interpretation if we take it at face value, "killed" may really mean causing someone's death. But context around and elsewhere may suggest that it really means, "X destroyed the reputation of Y" -- in that case interpretation is required to explain the true meaning.

One reason there are so many different interpretations among Christians is that some force interpretations on things that are plainly stated in order to support their own agendas, as they may also take things too literally to do the same where they should have gone further to interpret what is stated.


The talking snake is symbolic. The curses explain the characteristics of actual snakes. There is a very full discussion of the story here:
http://advocatusatheist.blogspot.co.uk/2011/03/adam-and-eve-whats-meaning-of-myth.html



The snake gets off Scot-free (since his only punishment was to slither on his belly the rest of his days—but as a snake which already slithered on his belly, I’m not sure it was actually that much of a punishment).

If you take the Serpent's curses literally, what sense is there in cursing a symbol of sexuality to be like a snake? If you say humans shouldn't play with snakes and be afraid of them, does that mean they should be afraid of sex? Still doesn't make sense.

This is also a case where further interpretation would have helped: "First they become aware of their own nakedness, an obvious allegory for puberty." -- are we only aware of our nakedness when we hit puberty? I don't remember ever running around naked in kindergarten with no shame. Rather, "nakedness" is an allegory for being in a state of sin and not being able to hide it, like, "the criminal stood naked before the judge." Doesn't always mean literally naked. Anyway...


This is the point I’m questioning. It seems to be implied that Biblical Truth is beyond mere human interpretation and exists as absolute “truth” in its own right.

For example, if God's Laws are given accurately in the Bible, like no adultery, that biblical truth exists with God, could have existed from eternity long before humans were around to interpret it and before there was a Bible. Etc...

Tassman
02-03-2014, 09:16 PM
For example, if God's Laws are given accurately in the Bible, like no adultery, that biblical truth exists with God, could have existed from eternity long before humans were around to interpret it and before there was a Bible. Etc...

There’s no credible evidence to support such a notion. They more likely evolved naturally to best maintain the cohesive society necessary for us to flourish as social animals. This is reinforced by the observation that precursors of human moral behavior are evident in closely related social animals such as the higher primates. Human morality most probably grew out of primate sociality. The Biblical strictures merely codified existing evolved behavior of humans.

firstfloor
02-04-2014, 12:08 AM
If you take the Serpent's curses literally, what sense is there in cursing a symbol of sexuality to be like a snake? If you say humans shouldn't play with snakes and be afraid of them, does that mean they should be afraid of sex? Still doesn't make sense.
You are far too literal. Understanding fables requires a bit more imagination and freedom of association than that.

JohnnyP
02-04-2014, 11:54 AM
There’s no credible evidence to support such a notion. They more likely evolved naturally to best maintain the cohesive society necessary for us to flourish as social animals. This is reinforced by the observation that precursors of human moral behavior are evident in closely related social animals such as the higher primates. Human morality most probably grew out of primate sociality. The Biblical strictures merely codified existing evolved behavior of humans.

Now you are venturing into existence of God or not, rather than staying within the hypothetical of, if God and His Law existed before humans, then it existed beyond mere human interpretation.

You can shut down the discussion by saying there's no evidence God exists if you want, but then we can't discuss logic of other things like omniscience vs. free will, etc.


You are far too literal. Understanding fables requires a bit more imagination and freedom of association than that.

I'm not the one saying that the Serpent was a literal talking snake in the story, I say he was a cherub.

Anyway, your understanding doesn't make sense: saying the Serpent is a symbol of sexuality that God wanted humans to explore, yet also saying God warned humans not to play with snakes and thus sex is a contradiction. And saying that a symbol of sexuality was cursed to slither as a snake and eat dust, what does that even mean? How does a symbol of sexuality do that?

You have to explain these things in order for your idea to make sense, it's not a problem of being too literal or not. The pieces need to fit together.

Tassman
02-04-2014, 08:34 PM
Now you are venturing into existence of God or not,

The end result regarding ‘free-will’ is much the same in my view.


rather than staying within the hypothetical of, if God and His Law existed before humans, then it existed beyond mere human interpretation.

You can shut down the discussion by saying there's no evidence God exists if you want, but then we can't discuss logic of other things like omniscience vs. free will, etc.
We exist in a determined universe whether or not it was predetermined by an omniscient deity OR whether it is simply an unbroken chain of prior occurrences stretching back to the origin of the universe, i.e. 'causal determinism'. In either case free-will is an illusion, although it is seemingly completely “real” to us. Compatibilism modifies this position to a greater or lesser extent but not convincingly in my view.

JohnnyP
02-04-2014, 08:54 PM
The end result regarding ‘free-will’ is much the same in my view.

We exist in a determined universe whether or not it was predetermined by an omniscient deity OR whether it is simply an unbroken chain of prior occurrences stretching back to the origin of the universe, i.e. 'causal determinism'. In either case free-will is an illusion, although it is seemingly completely “real” to us. Compatibilism modifies this position to a greater or lesser extent but not convincingly in my view.

I think I asked before but not sure if you weighed in, your opinion here:


On the basis of these results, some researchers concluded that free will is an illusion.
(BUT)
We have free will to abort an action. So, we may better think of volitional action in this case not as free will, but as "free won't." We can stop an action initiated by our brain nonconsciously. -Psychology Today (http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/dont-delay/201106/free-wont-it-may-be-all-we-have-or-need)

Tassman
02-05-2014, 02:28 AM
I think I asked before but not sure if you weighed in, your opinion here:

This is grounded in the ‘compatibilist’ view of free-will, namely that there is a ‘window’ in the overall determinist universe whereby genuine free will can be exercised. I personally don’t find the argument convincing but many do and it is supported by several eminent figures such as philosopher/cognitive scientist Dan Dennett; he refers to the 'window' as "elbow room". OTOH: this view is opposed in favor of determinism by the likes of physicist Stephen Hawking and neuroscientist/philosopher Sam Harris.

FYI re Harris and Dennett:

http://www.samharris.org/blog/item/free-will-and-free-will

JohnnyP
02-05-2014, 03:02 AM
This is grounded in the ‘compatibilist’ view of free-will, namely that there is a ‘window’ in the overall determinist universe whereby genuine free will can be exercised. I personally don’t find the argument convincing but many do and it is supported by several eminent figures such as philosopher/cognitive scientist Dan Dennett; he refers to the 'window' as "elbow room". OTOH: this view is opposed in favor of determinism by the likes of physicist Stephen Hawking and neuroscientist/philosopher Sam Harris.

FYI re Harris and Dennett:

http://www.samharris.org/blog/item/free-will-and-free-will

I think where he mentions, “red apples” and "I think that free will is an illusion and that analogies to phenomena like color do not run through" is kind of a clever way around the idea that if two people see pink and what is really there: one person can decide it is red added to white, and another can decide it is white added to red, and each are different free will decisions that don't really change either the cause or result of red. Thus I think he is focusing more on causes and results, rather than what may happen in between. In a way you could try to argue free will is an illusion if it doesn't change anything, but in another way free will doesn't have to change anything, if it is a decision to express causes and results in a different way.

Doug Shaver
02-05-2014, 09:46 AM
Is it physically possible for The Bible or any part of its content, even in the autographs, to be inerrant?
I can't think of any reason to say it's impossible. I don't see what "physical" possibility has to do with it.


if God proof reads scripture and makes corrections then we can be sure that it accurately represents His history, diary and opinions.
I have no problem with the conditional. I have a problem with the antecedent.


Is it possible that modern God inspired literature does exist but it is not recognised as such because of conservative opinions in The Church?
If God exists, I don't see why not.


My own view is that the Bible authors thought they were inspired by God, said so in their writings
That seems to be true in Paul's case, and maybe some of the OT prophets. I don't remember any of the other writers expressing such thoughts.

firstfloor
02-06-2014, 02:24 AM
If God exists, I don't see why not.
I don’t think you need a real God to have God inspired literature. Scripture does exist. In a way, even God exists in the limited sense that He exists in the imagination. And Scripture flows from that imagination. Christians are people who pretend that when they speak to God in prayer they are not speaking to themselves. The pretence spoils their privacy a bit which is why it must be intensely annoying to be a Christian and why sin is such an overpowering obsession for some of them.

Doug Shaver
02-12-2014, 03:11 AM
I don’t think you need a real God to have God inspired literature.
So, you think a non-existent god can inspire literature?


Scripture does exist.
I'm not sure what you mean by scripture. Obviously, there exist writings that certain religious groups call scripture; and, within those groups, certain subgroups believe that their scripture is inspired by God. I don't argue over the labeling of scripture, but I do argue about its being inspired by God.

firstfloor
02-12-2014, 11:52 AM
So, you think a non-existent god can inspire literature?
I'm not sure what you mean by scripture. Obviously, there exist writings that certain religious groups call scripture; and, within those groups, certain subgroups believe that their scripture is inspired by God. I don't argue over the labeling of scripture, but I do argue about its being inspired by God.
It seems to be a matter of what you think God is. The sense of the divine is a real human emotion. The credit given to the invisible hyper-being for one’s own efforts at persuasion is mainly salesmanship. We are God (by elimination of other possibilities). Scripture is simply a static tradition of the divine in print – and the tradition kills it and distorts its meaning until it is like a cancer.

Doug Shaver
02-13-2014, 06:19 AM
It seems to be a matter of what you think God is.
I don't think God is anything real.


The sense of the divine is a real human emotion.
Human emotions are certainly real, but that doesn't make any of them God.

If you want to stick the "God" label on somebody's emotion, I can't stop you, but I'm not obliged to mimic you, either.

robrecht
02-13-2014, 06:35 AM
I don't think God is anything real. ... John Scottus Eriugena, one of my favorite theologians, would agree with you!

Doug Shaver
02-14-2014, 09:56 AM
John Scottus Eriugena, one of my favorite theologians, would agree with you!
Sounds like some version of apophatic theology. I think I understand it, but it still doesn't quite compute for me.

Eriugena was briefly mentioned in the Intro to Philosophy course I took about 10 years ago, but his name never came up again in any subsequent course I took. I'm afraid I can't remember a thing the textbook said about him.

robrecht
02-14-2014, 10:14 AM
Sounds like some version of apophatic theology. I think I understand it, but it still doesn't quite compute for me.

Eriugena was briefly mentioned in the Intro to Philosophy course I took about 10 years ago, but his name never came up again in any subsequent course I took. I'm afraid I can't remember a thing the textbook said about him.Yes, he was an Irish theologian who translated Pseudo-Dionysius from Greek for the West in the so-called Dark Ages, but he also added his own creative 'system', wherein Nature consisted of everything that is and is not. God is spoken of both as what is and what is not and as immanent in all things. One of the things I like about him is the lack of separation of the supernatural and his focus on reason and immanence. Worth checking out if you're interested: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/scottus-eriugena/

Doug Shaver
02-14-2014, 12:27 PM
Thanks for the link. That was fascinating.

That Intro course I mentioned was essentially a historical survey, sort of an introduction to all the major thinkers from Thales to the postmodernists. The textbook was only 436 pages, including glossary and index, so you can imagine how much good stuff had to be left out. It has to say something about Eriugena that he made that sort of cut.