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Sunday, February 17, 2008

Happy Easter!

The dogs ate my pencil the other day. I got a new one but it's not 'right' so I'm hoping to find another one like my last one today. Wish me luck:)

So a few weeks ago I decided to see what all the hullabaloo was about this book I keep hearing will change my life, is the greatest book ever written, will make me see the light. I'm talking, of course, of the Bible. As I was reading it, I've come across a few things that I'm not sure of or want clarification of.

1. What's the difference between the Tree of Knowledge and the Tree of Life?

2. There are 2 different creation stories, which one is considered the more accurate on?

3. God created light on the first day but didn't create the Sun and moon until later, what is this light?

4. Why did God punish everyone for being evil and bad with the flood, but he has yet to give them any commandments?

5. Are the Nephillum the 'Giants' or are they more like Demigods, human size but great warriors? I read it as the latter.

6. If everything on the earth was killed except the animals/humans on the arc, how are there still Giants later on?

7. After the flood, Noah kills a bunch of the pure animals? Why would you go to all the trouble of saving these animals and then kill them before they can reproduce?

8. IF god is omnipotent why didn't he know what Adam and Eve did when they did it?

9. Adam and Eve have just eaten the fruit (no mention of apples I'm afraid) Now they suddenly see they are naked and are ashamed. So what? I mean they've been wondering around naked for how long?

10. The Lord is mentioned as the highest god. DOes that mean there are others?

11. It appears that Egypt has been around for a lot longer than Man, what's up with that?

12. Why does god punish the humans for making the Tower of Bable? We've been to outer space, no heaven there, I doubt a big tower would have gotten 'higher'.

13. Where does Cain get his wife from? There are only 4 people on the planet at that point?

I'm not exactly looking for answers, it's just my tendency to question things:) But if you have a few let me know.

That's all for now.




Warmaiden said...

LOL Brett...your too cool. You always have the best topics.

I've asked this crap my self plenty of time, even asked a few Jehovah Witness' and got that wonderful response "well, we can't answer all your questions but the bible can."

Like I said before, the bible is just a book filled with mythological stories with some facts. Most of the stuff can be explained, like the flood which most cultures have one is because duh, when did the human race begin? At the end of the last big Ice Age. What do you think you would have thought if a giant wall of water was racing towards you, being a simple cave man? Oh and also love how the bible doesn't make any mention of the old civilizations that predate the Egyptians or the fact that dinos and other creators older then them walked the Earth for eons before man. The big one of me is, why would the western world follow a faith created by Arabs? Christ wasn't a white guy yet all his pictures are.

As for your questions....

1. Don't know, their both plants. Tree of life is actually in numerous cultures.

2. Didn't really know there was 2 different creation stories. Again, as the bible is from different cultures told over several hundred years, they all have their own beginning stories.

3. Yeah, what is up with that. Maybe his flashlight went out so he created the sun. But again, the moon is way younger then the sun and the could they have both been created at the same time. And our sun is little more then a teenager compared to other stars out there.

4. LOL, your under arrested for not commenting a crime today. Maybe he is phyhic too and new man would be bad.

5. Sounds more like the Titans to me...Another rip-off of other mythologies. Again too, if the devil is super powerful too, wouldn't he be a god too...if not, then what is there to worry about?

6. Sounds like an oversight in the writing...maybe the bible's writers lost their cliff notes. I know i forget about things when i write my books.

7. I've always wondered, how can you repopulate the world with two of every animal? You need more genetic material to insure that a species will survive.

8. I've always wondered that my self. Maybe he was on the can. I've always asked too, why would a superior being hide the greatest gift of all from a people, Knowledge? Its like not sending your kids to school. Many kinds and rulers have withheld knowledge to control their subjects.

9. That one is funny. Before Christians, Vice was a big thing for most of the world, then Christians come about and suddenly we have to all feel guilty for being nude.

10. I guess maybe they are talking about the other gods, like Ra and Zues and stuff.

11. Egypt is a big ??? on history as no one really knows how old they are. But we do know that they aren't the first culture to exist. But yeah, how can a nation be older then the men that create it...Maybe they are talking about the land.

12. For real. But even Bable wasn't the tallest building of the time, nor was it the first ziggurat within Babylon.

13. My mother always asked that same question...maybe one of the 4 men on the planet became a cross dresser :p

I am sure there a million more. Lets just face it, the Bible is a badly written book that is so inconsistent that any editors today would pull his or her hair out trying to sort it all out.

Just remember, if you do die and are facing the big guy, make sure to ask him these questions.

Brett said...

It seems the only time I get comments is when I mention religion.

I'm not trying to be mean or anything, these are just things that I wanted clarification on.

As for the giants here is the text:

Genesis 6:4
'There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.'

It sounds to me that the giants aren't actually the children of men and Angel but something else entirely.



Mountaineer_Elf said...

Ha ha ha...too true. I've wondered a couple of these things myself, but you asked a couple more questions that I could think of. :)


Mountaineer_Elf said...

Forgot to mention by the way, love the new carcharodontosaur.

Warmaiden said...

I try to comment on most of your post...but yeah, you seem to get the most when you bring up religion...maybe you should try some others, like comics or your art...but i guess you don't want to talk about that.

Like I said, they sound more like Titans. They were here on earth before the Greek gods and ruled longer. They existed after and went to war with the gods. I guess the bible could have named them or gave more explaination, but you can't have a religion that gives you answers can we?

Brett said...

Thanks Erin:)It's a little colorful but in a fun way:)I have more probative questions but I appear to have chased off one guy already;)

Chris, I've noticed that. I don't talk about comics much because I don't read them I have literally have no idea what is going on in that world. Plus I do have some inside info that I should probably keep to myself. As for art, it's so subjective one mans masterpiece is anothers trash.

I can talk some scifi, but so much of it is crap in my eyes I don't want to piss everyone off;)

I'm pretty sure that all the religions from those days derive from each other. At least from that area. I do like mythology quiet a bit. I used to have books and books on it.



Anonymous said...

Hi! Remember me? I’m the funny guy. I’m back with a vengeance! Today’s lesson shall bash the Holy Bible. Lesson number one: always keep a small copy in your jacket pocket. It’ll stop a bullet. Trust me.

First of all, I was taught in a Catholic school where religion was considered mandatory. I was taught the ‘meaning’ behind those passages in the book. That’s right. THEY ARE ALL MEANINGS. In other words…DO NOT take the Holy Bible Literally. I mean it. A fanatical religious teacher taught me that. You’d be surprised how much people actually ‘worship’ the bible. Think of it as a guideline. A different approach. The idea with the Holy Bible is you read it…make your own interpretation…then set out to be a good man. That’s all.

You still want answers to your questions? You want MY interpretations? Read on.

1) The Tree of Knowledge is similar to Skynet in the movie, “The Terminator.” Basically, it anyone consumed fruit from the tree of knowledge…people would become ‘self aware.’ Another way of describing it is like Star Wars; the Tree of Knowledge is similar to the Dark Side of the Force. According to that story, God banned Adam and Eve from the garden before they could consume fruit from another Tree of Life. If that happened, they would’ve become immortal and rivaled God like Satan (devil).

2) There are actually hundreds upon thousands of different religious depictions of Genesis. In the end, most of them relate to the same lesson. Not one is considered to be more ‘accurate’ than another…but I believe what you’re really asking is “Which one is more popular?” Honestly, my favorite is the one with the trees and stuff. Which is yours?

3) When God created the universe…think of an artist painting on a canvas. At first, there was nothing. God grabbed a piece of white paper (light) then drew a sun in the corner, a moon in the other, water, fish, land, animals and people. Think of everything existing in God’s canvas/light.

4) I like your question about the flood punishing all evil people in the story with, ‘Noah’s Ark.’ You’re an artist right? How many times did you draw something that you didn’t like? You crumbled up the unfinished sketch and threw it into the garbage. It happens. God decided to ‘start over’ and erased certain parts of the picture. Noah’s Ark is a story meant to represent how a deity would restart. How would God fix a mistake? Drown all the imperfect people? Find a way to keep all the good ones? DON’T TAKE IT LITERALLY. People are only drawing conclusions about the imperfections of God by using this story.

5) 6)Now imagine you were drawing a picture and there were certain key features you liked. In the story with, “Noah’s Ark,” there were a couple of prophets that were spared from the flood by God. They were depicted as giants. They are not heavily emphasized in the story…they’re just a representation of perfect elements that were spared by God.

7) There are many different interpretations as to why Noah killed pure animals after the flood. Some stories speculate that Noah brought pure and impure animals onto his ark and he sacrificed some of the pure ones afterward. The act of sacrificing a pure animal entails that there is no longer ANY sin left in the world, therefore, only pure animals may die before God. The impure ones would beget different races of animals in the future. My interpretation? You can’t get rid of evil without sacrifices. Sacrifices are a major theme throughout the Bible, especially the one with Jesus. Learn what you can and move on; don’t sweat the details.

8) If you’re referring to Adam and Eve consuming fruit from the Tree of Knowledge…some versions of the Genesis Story depict God looking unknowingly at Adam and Eve becoming ‘self aware.’ My interpretation of this is to show how evil can exist, even when nobody knows it. Ignorance; the opposite of self-awareness. If you’re referring to Adam and Eve doing their business BY a tree…I can see why God would purposely NOT want to know about it…

9) Adam and Eve were ashamed when they discovered they were naked after they became ‘self aware.’ After consuming the fruit…they realized their actions deliberately disobeyed God and felt guilt. They felt ashamed when they saw each other’s naked body, because they realized their sins were going to spread to their children and future generations forever. That’s my interpretation anyway.

10) Whenever you read about ‘God being the Highest,’ it means HE wants to be the best of the competition. There are other gods being made by man everyday…but the REAL God wants to be the most worshipped of them all.

11) In the old days, people didn’t have a solid unit to measure time. Therefore, you’ll end up hearing stories about people like Noah who lived to be over hundreds of years old, while Jesus roamed a desert for 40 years without water or the like. Essentially, you DON’T TAKE THE BIBLE LITERALLY because people weren’t even capable of measuring time accurately. You’ll read things like Egypt being around before man and stuff. God created the world in 6-7 days…when an actual day hadn’t been invented yet!

12) The Tower of Babel is one of the funniest stories in the Bible. It’s another story that basically represents humankind’s “self-awareness” again. People were trying desperately to become better than God, so they wanted to build a tower to reach further than God could. Once again, punishment was bestowed upon the people for thinking so stupidly.

13) In the section with Cain getting a wife and suddenly populating the entire world…I hope you finally understand what I said earlier. The Bible is comprised only of Stories. Some people believe Cain and his wife REALLY did it. Others (like myself) believe it really happened, but not our plane of reality. Others don’t believe anything about it at all.
What do you think ‘really’ happened?

Brett said...

Well going by the big red A on the front page, that makes me an evil Atheist;)

I have my personal ideas, but in the case of reading the bible I went by literal facts, as I've been told the bible is. I guess I should have put that in the initial post, all my questions are from accepting the bible as fact based.

I do agree that it is and should be used as a guide. But the problem is so many hard liners hold it as as the truth, when is reality it holds no more truth and Aesop's fables.



Brett said...

That should say THAN Aesop's Fables.

Anonymous said...

Here's a funny story:

A Franciscan priest approached us one day and asked, "What is the most important book in the world?"

Everyone said of course, The Bible.

Later on, that same priest told use the most important book in the world is a… Dictionary. You can't understand any other book without one.

Anonymous said...

Cool, sometimes people ask these types of questions to mock the Bible, but I get the feeling Brett is actually curious.

I’ll answer what I can, when I can (I have pretty limited internet access); of course these are my humble opinions along with some explanations from Biblical studies which seem plausible. Some of these questions have been argued between Theologians for decades. People forget that the Bible can be true and also not explain everything. The writers of the Bible seemed more interested in maintaining an element of mystery to God and his ways rather than to try to explain His character and methods in cold clinical terms.

1. What's the difference between the Tree of Knowledge and the Tree of Life?

I believe the Tree of Knowledge was part of God’s plan for allowing for freewill. If you can’t sin can you really be said to be obedient? The Tree of Knowledge allowed for the choice to serve God. God said that Adam after eating of the tree of knowledge had become like God in the aspect that he now knew good and evil. God not only is self-existent, but He alone is autonomous (Self-law). Adam chose to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil so he could independently choose what he thought was right and wrong. He tried like the cast down angel Lucifer to be autonomous, a law unto himself. For those of you who are philosophically inclined, Adam chose an epistemology apart from, or at least in addition to, God's Word.

The Tree of Life’s fruit would grant eternal life to physical man. After the fall Adam was in a state of sinful rebellion and separated from. It can be surmised If Adam would have eaten of the Tree of Life, he would have lived forever separated from God, physically, in this horrible, corrupted fallen state, and creation would have been eternally contaminated.

The good news is the Book of Revelations again presents the Tree of Life and the opportunity for eternal life to those who have been born again.

Anonymous said...

2. There are 2 different creation stories, which one is considered the more accurate on(e)?

The problem arises if you read the stories as linear narratives rather than using the guidelines for studying ancient texts. Ancient people wrote narratives to illustrate a central point and then wrote outward in concentric circles to emphasize the central point. In the "first" account God's creative power is highlighted, in the second account we are introduced to the fall of man and the beginning of the redemptive plan of God to save the lost from sin. The creation story actually appears 4 times total in the Bible, each time narrated from a different perspective, but all stories are complimentary, not contradictory. In fact it would be a major red flag if the stories were written in a modern 21st Century English fashion. Brett you are making the mistake of not reading the books as they were written and taking into account the people and culture of the time. Here is an even more detailed account:


Brett said...

The tree of life....IF it grants eternal life, well WHY was it there? Man had eternal life, which he supposedly forefit when he ate from the Tree of Knowledge.

Does it mention later what The Tree of Life does?

As for #2 (I'm not sure who wrote the tree stff.) I think you Christians SHOULD get together and using all the available texts, rewrite the bible so there is ONE version that's easily readable. The fact that I have to take into account that this is really only so they did things differently means it doesn't really apply in it's present form. It also means that Moses wasn't a very good historical writer (although he's not considered the author anymore) BUT he was great at flashbacks!

Seriously though, I'm told to take this book as fact by the hard core EVIL Christians, but when something doesn't make sense I'm told it's more a guide. That's a red flag for me.

To be honest, I dropped the book after Genesis 26. I just can't buy any of it. Sorry I tried but this was worse than Bitten for me. I can't figure out why so many people actually believe this book. I like mythology but I never read the original texts just what others have rewrote for the modern world.

Ah well, back to work:)



Anonymous said...

3. God created light on the first day but didn't create the Sun and moon until later, what is this light? Not sure what exactly this light is. A major theme of the Bible is God brings light to darkness. He illuminates darkened hearts with his love, he saves people from dark situations (slavery, death, etc.) This is an important principle and it is one of the first things attributed to God. Science also agrees that light would have to be one of the earliest components of existence to allow for any type of matter to exist.

4. Why did God punish everyone for being evil and bad with the flood, but he has yet to give them any commandments? The Bible states that man sinned and turned away from God. Cain killed Able when there was no written law or stone tablet, but just like his parents he tried to play dumb when God asked him about his actions. The actions of Adam, Eve, and Cain show from the earliest man that God’s law is written in our hearts. We know when we do wrong and we try to conceal our sin. The people in Noah’s time were aware of what was right and wrong but chose a path of self centered pleasure rather than serving God. They even mocked Noah for his obedience to God, I guess they really couldn’t use the “I didn’t know any better” excuse.

5. Are the Nephillum the 'Giants' or are they more like Demigods, human size but great warriors? I read it as the latter.

This has always perplexed me and I wish I knew for sure what the answer was. There are three proposed interpretations:
1. "Sons of God" refers to fallen angels who lived on earth and married human women. The Nephilim are giants of extra-human strength who were the offspring of these marriages.
2. "Sons of God" refers to descendents of Seth, who were godly men who sinned by marrying descendents of Cain, who would have been pagans. The Nephilim were simply "heroes", not giants, and may or may not have been the offspring of the mixed marriages.
3. "Sons of God" is better translated as "kings" or "sons of nobles" and "Nephilim" is best translated as "princes" or "great men." That is, the "sons of God" were royalty or aristocrats who were generally immoral and married common women, possibly against their will or despite their already being married.

Arguments for view 1:
• The phrase "sons of God" is used in Job 1:6 and 2:1 to describe angels, and apparently early Jewish writers interpreted this passage as referring to angels.
• In support of the idea that angels came to live on earth and married human women, Jude 6 refers to "angels who...abandoned their own home," and other passages describe angels as being able to assume human form (Heb 13:2, Gen 19:1-3).
• In Numbers 13:33, the Nephilim are described as giants.
Arguments against view 1:
• "Sons of God" in the Job passages refers to "good" angels, and distinguishes them from Satan, the fallen angel. Since only fallen angels would be marrying humans, they wouldn't be referred to as "sons of God."
• Mark 12:25 and Matthew 22:30 state that angels don't marry. (Supporters of this view respond that these passages say that angels don't marry in heaven, not that they can't marry on earth.)
• Num 13:33 could be an exaggeration of the faithless spies.
• God seems to condemn mankind for the intermarrying in Gen 6:3, but says nothing about the angels, though they were at least as responsible for it as the humans.

Arguments for view 2:
• Humans are referred to as children of God elsewhere in the Bible (Deut 14:1, Is 43:6, etc.)
• Genesis 5 describes godly descendents of Seth (Enoch, Noah), while Lamech, one of Cain's descendents, was also a murderer (Gen 4:23).
• To support the "Nephilim weren't offspring of the marriages" view: Gen 6:4 doesn't explicitly say the Nephilim were offspring, only that they showed up at the same time the intermarriage was happening.
Arguments against view 2:
• The Sethites don't sound very godly, since only Noah and his family were spared from the flood. (However, "sons of God" may refer to generations previous to those whose sin brought about the flood.)
• This interpretation requires that the phrases "men" and "daughters of men" have two different meanings within the same sentence. "Men" and "daughters of men" in v.1 would refer to all mankind and their daughters, but "daughters of men" in v. 2 would refer to Cainite women.

Arguments for view 3:
• Contemporary rulers referred to themselves as sons of God - the Egyptian king was called "son of Re."
• The Hebrew word in the phrase "sons of God" is Elohim, which is elsewhere in the Bible translated as "judge" or other human authority (Ex 21:6, Ps 82:1)
• Early translations of "sons of Elohim" rendered it as it as "sons of nobles" or "sons of kings"
• The word "Nephilim" is associated in Gen 6:4 with "gibborim", which means "mighty man of valor, strength, wealth, or power."
Arguments against view 3:
• While pagans referred to royalty as sons of God, Israelites did not, and nobles were not referred to as "sons of God."
• This interpretation seems "forced" - a stretching of the meaning of the text.
1 seems unlikely to me, especially considering the last argument against it. Also it seems clear that "sons of God" does not have to refer to angels, fallen or not. 2 seems the most natural, but the arguments against it do present legitimate problems. 3 does seem rather strange, but the arguments against it aren't very strong.
6. If everything on the earth was killed except the animals/humans on the arc, how are there still Giants later on?
Regardless of which interpretation one accepts, there is no contradiction in the Nephilim appearing both before and after the Flood. Genesis 6:4 does say, "The Nephilim were on the earth in those days - and also afterward." If the Nephilim were giant offspring of humans and fallen angels, the fallen angels could have come back after the Flood and had more offspring. If the Nephilim were heroes or nobles, society after the Flood could produce heroes and nobles just as well as society before the Flood.

7. After the flood, Noah kills a bunch of the pure animals? Why would you go to all the trouble of saving these animals and then kill them before they can reproduce? They probably were reproducing on the arc, plus Noah took 7 pairs of clean animals so he could offer up a sacrifice to God. If he only took one pair of clean beast, then he would not have anything to offer to God.
8. IF god is omnipotent why didn't he know what Adam and Eve did when they did it?
God did know. Confession is a major part of retribution. Adam and Eve’s words were evidence of their knowledge of their own sin.

9. Adam and Eve have just eaten the fruit (no mention of apples I'm afraid) Now they suddenly see they are naked and are ashamed. So what? I mean they've been wondering around naked for how long?
They were ashamed because they were no longer innocent. My kids will run around naked and not think twice about it, but I on the other hand realize the value of discretion. Adam and Eve seemed to be ashamed because they were naked before God and they no longer had a perfect relationship with their creator, they did not want Him to see them as they truly were. Either that or Eve had a stupid tattoo she no longer liked.

10. The Lord is mentioned as the highest god. DOes that mean there are others?
Yes, the Bible constantly warns against false gods. God created man; all other “gods” are the creation of men. Many people in our day and age treat money, power, and fame as gods, but they are not sentient deities, they are false gods.

11. It appears that Egypt has been around for a lot longer than Man, what's up with that? Not really following you here, which verse are you talking about?

12. Why does god punish the humans for making the Tower of Bable? We've been to outer space, no heaven there, I doubt a big tower would have gotten 'higher'. Babel was a city dedicated to human ambition to glorify man rather God. Apparently if left unchecked the actions of these people would become even more blasphemous so God used this occasion to scatter the people and create separate languages. Man’s achievements since then still mainly are self centered, but the scattering of people also allows for the just and God fearing people not to have to live in a culture controlled exclusively by one overpowering anti-God regime.

13. Where does Cain get his wife from? There are only 4 people on the planet at that point?
No one knows for sure. Popular tradition holds that Adam and Eve had daughters which their sons married. No one knows for sure what the earliest man’s DNA code was, but it is theorized that early marriage to relatives would not create the same risk of birth defects seen today. You’ve got to remember be it evolution, or creation; we are all marrying our distant relatives.

That list is pretty cool. Lots of good questions there Brett, hopefully I adequately answered some of them for you.

There have been several versions of the Bible adapted into novel form, I believe the best I've seen is one called "The Story." You may want to check it out if you are looking for only a narrative version of Bible events. Also I would suggest you get a copy of the Message, it is a great translation written in simple modern English.

While there are parts of the Bible that are very difficult to understand, it is important to note that objective interpretation is possible. Remember God wrote this book to be studied and pondered, not as some light reading for an afternoon.

Also, it is more important to realize that the essential messages of the Bible are very clear, and without dispute. Mark Twain is often quoted as saying, "It's not the parts of the Bible I don't understand that bother me, it's the parts I do understand."


Brett said...

Damn Steve, you have too much time on your hands;)

Thank for the info. I still disagree with the Nephillim, at least the first appearance of them.

As for the Egypt thing. It's the first mention of it. It's fairly early on. It seemed odd that everyone else was fairly primative and Egypt already had a nation. As I said I only managed to get to 26 before I could stands no more.

It sounds to me that this is SPECIFICALLY the Jewish origin story and not the story for everyone else. IT was later adapted to make it include everyone, but that's just me.

I honestly can't see what you see in this book, I agree with Twain;). I might look up the modern version but really, the mythos in the bible isn't as interesting to me as the angel demon stuff. Maybe I'll look into some of the other texts when I have time, but the way these are written is a pain in the butt.

You wouldn't happen to be the Steve who caused all the hubbub on Pharyngial? It was late so I don't think it was you, but I figured I'd ask.

One more question, was the bible originaly set to music? I'm wondering if it sung, jut curious



Brett said...

-He illuminates darkened hearts with his love, he saves people from dark situations (slavery, death, etc.-

If God is again slavery why did it take 300 years before we abolished slavery in the south, they are a God fearing people;)? Abraham owned slaves, in fact he raped and then kicked her out on the whim of his wife. He didn't get punished for this in fact the became Gods favored son.



Anonymous said...

Abraham did not rape Hagar, but that story is included to show what not to do. Abraham paid a terrible price for his indescresion with Hagar, one we are still reaping today. Slavery in Biblical times could mean everything from hardcore lifelong "build me a Pyramid" to basic indentured servanthood with a set time for service and a release clause at the end. Christianity was instrumental in abolishing slavery (William Wilberforce.) Abraham paid a terrible price for his indescresion with Hagar, one we are still reaping today. The South was incorrect for supporting slavery, but thanks to racism and some sciences which taught blacks were less human than whites it staggered on for way too long. Obviously not God's plan, but Christians and Jews have endured slavery more frequently and for greater periods than blacks did in the South.

I don't know what a Pharyngial is.

Parts of the Bible are poetry and parts are song, but not the whole thing.

Brett said...

Sorry Steve but that doesn't fly, the Jews/Christians kept slaves all the time in the bible and are not punished. It was common practice in those days to keep slaves.

I've never hear that Christians ended slavery. Just because some people who helped ended slavery might have been Christians doesn't mean you can claim that. It was an enlightend people who releized that keeping slaves was wrong. Nothing to do with religion. If you take the bible at it's word keeping slaves is allowed, so the South was just following orders, although economics played a large role as well.

Pharyngula (I spelled it wrong what a surprize!) is an embrionic stage, and also a blog.

Maybe if they went back to the rhyming it would be more enjoyable to read:)



Anonymous said...

I sais Christians were instrumental in ending slavery, and it is a fact. All historians credit William Wilberforce with being one, if not the main, force behind ending slavery in England. Those principles eventually spread to the abolishinists in the US Government. Not really a matter of opinion here, just historical fact.

You would have to do a study of cultural slavery in Biblical times to understand what the term means. It was not race based, but economical. You know anyone who is poor and deep in debt? They have to work and therefore have becomes slaves to their creditors. I think our own miopic understanding of slavery comes from the way we identify it almost solely to movies like Roots.

What many people fail to understand is that slavery in Biblical times was very different from the slavery that was practiced in the past few centuries in many parts of the world. The slavery in the Bible was not based exclusively on race. People were not enslaved because of their nationality or the color of their skin. In Bible times, slavery was more of a social status. People sold themselves as slaves when they could not pay their debts or provide for their family. In New Testament times, sometimes doctors, lawyers, and even politicians were slaves of someone else. Some people actually chose to be slaves so as to have all their needs provided for by their master.

The slavery of the past few centuries was often based exclusively on skin color. Black people were considered slaves because of their nationality – many slave owners truly believed black people to be “inferior human beings” to white people. The Bible most definitely does condemn race-based slavery. Consider the slavery the Hebrews experienced when they were in Egypt. The Hebrew were slaves, not by choice, but because they were Hebrews (Exodus 13:14). The plagues God poured out on Egypt demonstrate how God feels about racial slavery (Exodus 7-11). So, yes, the Bible does condemn some forms of slavery. At the same time, the Bible does seem to allow for other forms of slavery. The key issue is that the slavery the Bible allowed for in no way resembled the racial slavery that plagued our world in the past few centuries.

Brett said...

Slavery is usually about economics I never said anything differently. But just because some of the people who helped end it are Christians doesn't mean you can claim that Christians ended it. I've never heard on a story were got saves the slaves. There is no historical/physical evidence of the Exodus, yes Egypt did have some Hebrew slaves, BUT they were freed but Ptolomey they 2nd. Hebrews could hold office and had rights in Egypt, that's not slavery. Abraham had slaves and was not punished for it. I don't know where you got that from but it's not in what I read. Slavery is slavery, the fact that some people treat their slaves better than others doesn't change the facts that they have no right and are forced to do others bidding under pain of death/torcher or even being kicked out in the wilderness to fend for themselves with a small child. Your trying to sugar coat it. It's an ugly, ugly thing to do reguardles who is doing it.

I still find it odd that Christians kept slaves for hundreds of years in recent history but when a few of them change their minds and help put a stop to it, it's like look what we Christians did. And I know that some Africans sold their people,captives into slavery too.

I know you'd say that slavery was different back then...common Steve you know that's not true.