On myth

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John Wilkins

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Feb 4, 2010, 3:58:40 AM2/4/10
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In the ongoing discussion about whether those who wrote the Bible were
goatherders and primitive, a few points occur to me.

1. It is not surprising that those who were thinkers of *any* kind at
an early time were engaged in the economic activities of the day.
Imagine if someone in two thousand years says of our best narratives,
"Well, if you want to believe the stories written by a bunch of
automotive makers". Goatherding is actually a complex activity (I once
had one of the buggers, and they make sheep look like robots). To do it
well takes skill and knowledge. Granted, not knowledge of astrophysics,
biology and geography, but then neither does car manufacture.

2. To claim that the myths of the past were intended to be read as
literal history presumes that they had a notion of literal history.
Arguably (at least it was argued to me when I did historiography in
university) such a notion wasn't invented until Herodotus and
Thucydides wrote their investigations with an attempt to get it right
rather than to get it politically or religiously acceptable. Nobody
even *knew* about history until then. The annalists and chroniclers of
the ancient and more recent periods were largely engaged in presenting
political and religious myths for the purposes of propaganda than
presenting objective histories. We have to reconstruct the past
histories rather than simply read them. Even as late as the mid-20th
century, histories were being written to do this, as a result of which
each generation has to critically examine the histories of the past as
myths, to correct any interpretations that are local to the period and
culture. Even the idea that one might give correct details is a late
addition.

3. To understand a narrative, one has to treat it with respect. Genesis
and the patriarchal histories must be read *as if you were one of the
intended audience* if you are to grasp it. Once that is done, of course
you "re-enter" your modern persona, but to interpret the past in terms
of today is a specific historical sin called "Whiggism":

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whig_history

and it does nothing worthwhile other than make you feel all warm and
cozy about yourself. If that is what you want from history and other
cultures, fine, but do not expect the honest scholar to find that all
that attractive.

The Bible was not written as history (with the possible exception of
Luke-Acts, as the author of that work seems to have read his
Thucydides) and to critique it for not being what it was never intended
to be, or to be read as, is simply dishonest. I say that of the
literalists as well as the scientism of our disputants. You can't
understand those texts by sitting in a 21st century western mindset;
although of course you want, whether you are a believer or not, to
interpret the results in your own terms.

This is called "exegesis"; and it is a canon of historical
interpretation that before you can impose an interpretation on a text,
you must understand it in its own terms. Genesis is not a scientific
text, and sensible people know this because even the very notion of
"science" was absent when it was written. Not until the late classical
period do people start to interpret the Old Testament in scientific
terms, which is when the problems begin.

Now how a modern "Abrahamic" theist reconciles their scriptures with
the knowledge we have from science is their own problem and not mine,
but at the very least a sensible theist must realise this is not a
science text, a history text, nor even, I would suggest, a particularly
deep psychology text. It is, however, and was always intended to be, a
set of myths around which a tradition clusters. Some of it may also be
true.

JTEM

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Feb 4, 2010, 4:57:00 AM2/4/10
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John Wilkins <j...@wilkins.id.au> wrote:

> In the ongoing discussion about whether those
> who wrote the Bible were goatherders and
> primitive, a few points occur to me.

Generally speaking, reading & writing where not
left to the goat herders. Were they primitives?
Sure. The city of Ugarit, for example, was
destroyed more than 2,000 years before the invention
of the button, and in their writings we find many
of the original Pagan sources for the bible.

No, they weren't "Israelites" or "Hebrews" or "Jewish"
or even monotheistic. But, they recorded many of the
Pagan tails which would later be adopted by the
writers of the bible -- altered just enough to fit
into the (somewhat) monotheistic narrative.

> 2. To claim that the myths of the past were intended
> to be read as literal history presumes that they had
> a notion of literal history.

Well... sort of. That's certainly true from the perspective
of the writers, but it's a bit of a stretch to claim that
for the masses.

And it just so happens that Herodotus is known as "The
Father of History," and he was writing at least a century
before the oldest known copy of the bible:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herodotus

The bible itself would be roughly contemporary (perhaps
even a little younger than) Manetho's history of Egypt:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manetho

Now, you've got to remember: When I say the bible I don't
mean the various pieces. After all, I already explicitly
stated that could find writing which would eventually be
included within the bible at Ugarit, and, if you didn't
know, Ugarit was destroyed some time before the first
millennium B.C.

Many -- if not all -- of the stories found in the old
testament predate the bible by a good many years. Problem
is, they weren't part of any culture or religion as
described by the bible. They weren't written by "Israelites"
or "Hebrews," and they certainly weren't written by
anyone who believed in one and only one God.

> Arguably (at least it was argued to me when I did
> historiography in university) such a notion wasn't
> invented until Herodotus and Thucydides wrote their
> investigations with an attempt to get it right
> rather than to get it politically or religiously
> acceptable.

Wow, you're just *Way* off base here.

There is no "Bible" prior to Herodotus. None. Individual
stories, traditions -- some of which would later find
their way into the bible, many which would not -- sure.

But no "Bible."

As late as "Herod the Great" -- into the time of Jesus --
the people & culture as described in the bible was a VERY
poor match to the reality. Go back a few centuries and it
was nonexisting.

Even the oh so great "Second Temple" of Herod was one, huge,
screaming violation of the Ten Commandments, adorned as it
was with at least one Pagan Eagle (a depiction of a bird
WITHOUT any Pagan associations is a biblical no-no), and it
ONLY accepted donations in the form of a coin decorated
with a Pagan god.... and Eagle.

http://www.coinlink.com/News/world-coins/israeli-archaeologists-discover-rare-second-temple-coin/

> The Bible was not written as history (with the possible
> exception of Luke-Acts, as the author of that work seems
> to have read his Thucydides) and to critique it for not
> being what it was never intended to be, or to be read as,
> is simply dishonest.

Fact of the matter is, you're not in much (if any) better
shape than the next guy, when it comes to deciding how
the bible should be read.

It seems clear enough to me how it should be read, and that's
within the social-political context of the day it was written.

They had the example of Herodotus and Thucydides, and in
all probability they had Manethos, too. It's absolutely,
positively NOT a mistake or a coincidence that it is written
like a history -- as a history. The people of the Levant
were suffering from some cultural penis envy. They had first
been conquered by and then dominated by the Greeks. Greek
culture was devouring them and their identity, while at
the same time they were not (and never could be) Greeks
themselves.

Sure, we like to think of the oh so noble, open-minded
Greeks, but they were a pack of snobs. They viewed their
own culture as valuable, everyone else's as shit, and
non-Greeks were, for the most part, barbarians.

Anyhow, the bible is a whopping big proclamation -- "We
are as big, as ancient and as important as any other culture
on this earth, if not more so" -- and a rejection of the
Hellenistic culture.


Dan Listermann

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Feb 4, 2010, 5:30:16 AM2/4/10
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"JTEM" <jte...@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:47314106-9b70-4478...@a5g2000yqi.googlegroups.com...

>
> Sure, we like to think of the oh so noble, open-minded
> Greeks, but they were a pack of snobs. They viewed their
> own culture as valuable, everyone else's as shit, and
> non-Greeks were, for the most part, barbarians.

An interesting parallel could be drawn between Western culture today and the
Islamic world.


.

JTEM

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Feb 4, 2010, 7:09:48 AM2/4/10
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"Dan Listermann" <d...@listermann.com> wrote:

> "JTEM" <jte...@gmail.com> wrote in message

> > Sure, we like to think of the oh so noble, open-minded


> > Greeks, but they were a pack of snobs. They viewed their
> > own culture as valuable, everyone else's as shit, and
> > non-Greeks were, for the most part, barbarians.

> An interesting parallel could be drawn between Western
> culture today and the Islamic world.

It could, but it works both ways. The Islamic world loves
the technology and certainly the strength of the western
world, but it never had a very flattering view of
western culture.


All-seeing-I

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Feb 4, 2010, 8:20:03 AM2/4/10
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1Chronicles starts with the Historical Birth Records From Adam to
Abraham. 2Chronicles ends describing the first year of Cyrus king of
Persia and how he was going to help rebuild the temple in Israel.
Everything in between the two books describes such things as who
became king, when they ruled, their age, members of their family, how
they came to power, how their rule ended, when people lived and died,
how they lived, what they ate and what life was like during that time
perod... etc etc.

The same with the Books of Kings. Judges, Ezra, Ruth, etc,,,. They all
describe events, people, places, attitudes, dates, locations, and even
things like the names of towns being changed.

Most of the bible is history. It is the history of one man's family
from Adam to Jesus written in story format. That man was Abraham.

Any idiot that can read at a 6th grade level should be able to
understand that the bible is filled with the facts and events
surrounding the family of Abraham, beginning with Adam, and ending
with Jesus. That makes the bible a "history of the Hebrews"

To claim otherwise is simply propaganda and intended as fodder for the
modern day atheists to soothe their minds..

----


Vend

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Feb 4, 2010, 8:54:10 AM2/4/10
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Actually I think that pretty much any culture does the same with other
cultures of the same age.

The point is that we still view the ancient Greek culture as valuable
respect to the culture of their contemporaney neighbors.

R Brown

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Feb 4, 2010, 8:51:41 AM2/4/10
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"All-seeing-I" <ap...@email.com> wrote in message
news:madman-3301a5c1-512f-...@m31g2000yqd.googlegroups.com...
The salient point as far as this group is concerned is that if any
individual (you for example) say that the contents of the Bible cause you to
reject the reality of evolution then either the Bible has it wrong or your
interpretations of its contents are faulty.

The merits of who, what, when, where and how of any religious writing are
best left to those who believe and worry about such things. If they don't
reflect reality then don't take them as fact. Their stories might provide
meaningful lessons or even be entertaining. Some of them are bloody
horrific. One could be as fruitfully occupied debating the merits of the
collective works of the brothers Grimm.
> ----
>
>

Dan Listermann

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Feb 4, 2010, 9:11:54 AM2/4/10
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"JTEM" <jte...@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:e6efcb89-a84d-4a98...@r24g2000yqd.googlegroups.com...
I don't doubt that the non-Greeks loved the technology despite not thinking
much of their culture too.


.

Mitchell Coffey

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Feb 4, 2010, 9:57:45 AM2/4/10
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On Feb 4, 3:58�am, John Wilkins <j...@wilkins.id.au> wrote:
> In the ongoing discussion about whether those who wrote the Bible were
> goatherders and primitive, a few points occur to me.
>
> 1. It is not surprising that those who were thinkers of *any* kind at
> an early time were engaged in the economic activities of the day.
> Imagine if someone in two thousand years says of our best narratives,
> "Well, if you want to believe the stories written by a bunch of
> automotive makers". Goatherding is actually a complex activity (I once
> had one of the buggers, and they make sheep look like robots). To do it
> well takes skill and knowledge. Granted, not knowledge of astrophysics,
> biology and geography, but then neither does car manufacture.

To beat this baby to death a bit, it might be noted that one
grandfather of the current President of the United States included the
keeping of goats among his several enterprises, and Pres. Obama's
father, in his youth, helped herd them.

Also, I dispute your claim that circa 600bce the herding of goats, as
a broad economic activity, did not require knowledge of astrophysics,
biology and geography, as such subjects stood at the time. How else
were they to precisely time their procedures based on the seasons,
breed, raise and treat their stock, and get flocks to, from and among
pastures and markets?

Mitchell

Mark Evans

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Feb 4, 2010, 9:56:06 AM2/4/10
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On Feb 4, 3:58�am, John Wilkins <j...@wilkins.id.au> wrote:

There is a difference between writing the bible and writing down the
bible. Much of the early part of the bible seems to predate writing
per se. It was "written", which is to say made up, long before it was
written down.

Mark Evans

Mitchell Coffey

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Feb 4, 2010, 10:03:34 AM2/4/10
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On Feb 4, 3:58�am, John Wilkins <j...@wilkins.id.au> wrote:

el cid

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Feb 4, 2010, 10:16:12 AM2/4/10
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I might second it on a second draft. I want more references
and specifics. It should also expand some beyond Greek and
Hebrew references. Don't tell me I can't be choosy and don't
call me a beggar.

Kermit

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Feb 4, 2010, 10:27:59 AM2/4/10
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Seconded.

Kermit

el cid

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Feb 4, 2010, 10:26:11 AM2/4/10
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On Feb 4, 8:51�am, "R Brown" <bro...@hotmail.com> wrote:


> ... One could be as fruitfully occupied debating the merits of the


> collective works of the brothers Grimm.

Nothing wrong with doing so. Rather well respected universities
include course that would do so (you know, in that 'liberal arts'
part of a university education). Even physical biochemists can find
use for such things if you have an interest in modern anthropology.

You may be making the mistake of too readily dismissing that which
you do not yet understand.

el cid

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Feb 4, 2010, 10:32:18 AM2/4/10
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That is a heavily disputed notion in scholarly circles. Literist
tradition
has it that way, agreed. Analysis of the text suggest major redaction
and remodeling in the synthesis of the Pentateuch, consult for example
the Documentary Hypothesis.

Burkhard

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Feb 4, 2010, 10:44:21 AM2/4/10
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On Feb 4, 3:26�pm, el cid <elcidbi...@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Feb 4, 8:51�am, "R Brown" <bro...@hotmail.com> wrote:
>
> > ... �One could be as fruitfully occupied debating the merits of the
> > collective works of the brothers Grimm.
>
> Nothing wrong with doing so. Rather well respected universities
> include course that would do so (you know, in that 'liberal arts'
> part of a university education).

My first law exam ever was: What crimes have been committed in Snow-
white and the seven dwarfs. I got marked down for not discussing
"practising medicine without a license" and "bringing foodstuff into
circulation unfit for human consumption".

See also: Karen Hicks, Jordan Austin; Social Studies, Vol. 85, 1994:
Experiencing the Legal System: Fairy Tale Trials for Fifth Graders.

As teaching tools for ethical and community standards they are
extremely efficient.

r norman

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Feb 4, 2010, 10:46:23 AM2/4/10
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And thirded.

I have just got back from almost a month travelling and find myself
absolutely overwhelmed by the incredible inanity of most of what gets
written here. After a constant dose of it, you become hardened and
can't see it. But the constant "Did not!", "did so!", Am not!" "Are
too!" exchanges are really striking (and appalling) when viewed
afresh. To see an intelligent, well composed, well thought out little
essay is really a ray of sunshine.

And, contrary to JTEM, I don't think it is "way off base" but rather
right on the mark, hence excellent POTM material.

Dan Listermann

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Feb 4, 2010, 11:03:15 AM2/4/10
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"el cid" <elcid...@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:051e633f-d91a-4013...@b10g2000yqa.googlegroups.com...

Can you yet bring yourself to admit that the"core idea" of Genesis is a
deity creating the world?


.

Mitchell Coffey

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Feb 4, 2010, 11:02:09 AM2/4/10
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On Feb 4, 10:16�am, el cid <elcidbi...@gmail.com> wrote:
> I might second it on a second draft. I want more references
> and specifics. It should also expand some beyond Greek and
> Hebrew references. Don't tell me I can't be choosy and don't
> call me a beggar.
[snip]

You can't be choosy and you're a beggar.

Mitchell Coffey

el cid

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Feb 4, 2010, 11:21:17 AM2/4/10
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Just what I expect from a Shirley like you.

bobsyo...@yahoo.com

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Feb 4, 2010, 11:31:12 AM2/4/10
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"John Wilkins" <jo...@wilkins.id.au> wrote in message
news:040220101858405579%jo...@wilkins.id.au...

> In the ongoing discussion about whether those who wrote the Bible were
> goatherders and primitive, a few points occur to me.
>
> 1. It is not surprising that those who were thinkers of *any* kind at
> an early time were engaged in the economic activities of the day.
> Imagine if someone in two thousand years says of our best narratives,
> "Well, if you want to believe the stories written by a bunch of
> automotive makers". Goatherding is actually a complex activity (I once
> had one of the buggers, and they make sheep look like robots). To do it
> well takes skill and knowledge. Granted, not knowledge of astrophysics,
> biology and geography, but then neither does car manufacture.

Neither does any religious bellower.
It's a FAIRY TALE.
If the car makers could not come up with a bible - does NOT mean the
goatherders did.

The bottom line - NONE of the three groups mentioned has provided ANY valid
evidence or facts for the whole delusion.

It is a fairy tale, and should never be treated as anything else.

Ernest Major

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Feb 4, 2010, 11:30:38 AM2/4/10
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In message <2b06e$4b6aefc1$4a53bf9f$65...@FUSE.NET>, Dan Listermann
<d...@listermann.com> writes

>
>Can you yet bring yourself to admit that the"core idea" of Genesis is a
>deity creating the world?
>
From what I know there seems to be room for argument whether the core
idea of Genesis 1 and the first few verses of Genesis 2 (Genesis as a
whole contains some quite varied material) is that a deity created the
world, or that there is just one deity.

However I am not aware that any of your colocutors has been denying that
meaning of Genesis 1 etc includes the divine creation of the world. The
person who is furthest from accepting that as the "core idea" of Genesis
1 etc may be yourself - your position seems to effectively be that the
"core idea" is that YECs are correct.

Basically you're indulging in a strawman - you're taking the position
that the intended meaning is not that the humans were created separately
from other animals, and changing that into the position that intended
meaning is not that the world was created.
--
alias Ernest Major

el cid

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Feb 4, 2010, 11:38:46 AM2/4/10
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On Feb 4, 11:03�am, "Dan Listermann" <d...@listermann.com> wrote:
> "el cid" <elcidbi...@gmail.com> wrote in message

This little scare quoted phrase you have, "core idea" is ill defined.
Do you actually have a coherent point to make?

There's no question that both creation myths in Genesis claim "god
did it". But you might as well reduce MacBeth to "Murderer is slain".

If your whole point in attacking creationists is to say "ha ha, you
believe in god", then make your little schoolyard chant and run
away with the other little boys. If you have something more
substantial to say, put something more substantial together.


Dan Listermann

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Feb 4, 2010, 11:50:01 AM2/4/10
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"Ernest Major" <{$to$}@meden.demon.co.uk> wrote in message
news:9CIb7$wuYva...@meden.invalid...

> In message <2b06e$4b6aefc1$4a53bf9f$65...@FUSE.NET>, Dan Listermann
> <d...@listermann.com> writes
>>
>>Can you yet bring yourself to admit that the"core idea" of Genesis is a
>>deity creating the world?
>>
> From what I know there seems to be room for argument whether the core idea
> of Genesis 1 and the first few verses of Genesis 2 (Genesis as a whole
> contains some quite varied material) is that a deity created the world, or
> that there is just one deity.

It is a cosmogic myth. Please explain to us what you think that might mean.


.

Dan Listermann

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Feb 4, 2010, 11:51:09 AM2/4/10
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"el cid" <elcid...@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:3439759e-b853-435f...@3g2000yqn.googlegroups.com...
Do you deny that it is a cosmogic myth? Can you bring yourself to explain
to all of us what you think that means?


.

Kalkidas

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Feb 4, 2010, 12:20:25 PM2/4/10
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"John Wilkins" <jo...@wilkins.id.au> wrote in message
news:040220101858405579%jo...@wilkins.id.au...
> In the ongoing discussion about whether those who wrote the Bible were
> goatherders and primitive, a few points occur to me.

[snip faux-scholastic smoke and mirrors designed to lull us to sleep so that
we uncritically accept the following...]

> .....at the very least a sensible theist must realise this is not a


> science text, a history text, nor even, I would suggest, a particularly
> deep psychology text. It is, however, and was always intended to be, a
> set of myths around which a tradition clusters. Some of it may also be
> true.

So the Bible was "always intended" to be a set of myths, eh? Intended by
whom? And where in the Bible is that intention expressed? And if not in the
Bible, then where is that intention expressed? Are there other works by the
Biblical authors where they express that intention?

Where did you get your information about the "intention" of the Bible?
Through channelling?


raven1

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Feb 4, 2010, 12:24:41 PM2/4/10
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On Thu, 04 Feb 2010 08:46:23 -0700, r norman <r_s_n...@comcast.net>
wrote:

Fourthed. (And hearing that JTEM thought it was "way off base" only
increases my appreciation for the article).

Ernest Major

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Feb 4, 2010, 12:33:19 PM2/4/10
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In message <14aaf$4b6afab7$4a53bf9f$10...@FUSE.NET>, Dan Listermann
<d...@listermann.com> writes
>
>"Ernest Major" <{$to$}@meden.demon.co.uk> wrote in message
>news:9CIb7$wuYva...@meden.invalid...
>> In message <2b06e$4b6aefc1$4a53bf9f$65...@FUSE.NET>, Dan Listermann
>> <d...@listermann.com> writes
>>>
>>>Can you yet bring yourself to admit that the"core idea" of Genesis is a
>>>deity creating the world?
>>>
>> From what I know there seems to be room for argument whether the core idea
>> of Genesis 1 and the first few verses of Genesis 2 (Genesis as a whole
>> contains some quite varied material) is that a deity created the world, or
>> that there is just one deity.
>
>It is a cosmogic myth. Please explain to us what you think that might mean.
>
Look, you idiot, no one here is disputing that Genesis 1 etc is a
cosmogenic myth, or that it is highly likely that the divine creation of
the world was part of the intended meaning.

It was you who introduced the idea of a "core idea", presumably as a red
herring, as it has nothing to do with your position that Genesis 1 etc
were intended to be "read literally", but when you've done that you have
to consider the possibility that the core idea is not that the world was
divinely created. For comparison the core idea (the moral) of the fable
of the boy who cried wolf is not that the wolf ate the boy, but that
repeated false alarms reduce the effectiveness of real ones. That core
idea can be applied to concepts like smoke detectors - a too sensitive
smoke detector is of lower utility, because people will learn to ignore
it.

My opinion is that we can't identify the intended meaning, or core idea,
of the creation myth in Genesis 1, etc. as this remove, but I'm open to
being convinced otherwise by people more familiar with the field.
However, this creation myth is (I'm told) based on other, earlier,
creation myths from the ancient Near East, but cast in a monotheistic
mold, to the extent, as someone has pointed out of using periphrasis to
denote the moon and sun to avoid the appearance of referring to other
gods. I don't see that there are ground to reject outright the
hypothesis that it was the monotheism, not the creation, that the
authors considered the core point.

>>However I am not aware that any of your colocutors has been denying
>>that meaning of Genesis 1 etc includes the divine creation of the
world.

>>The person who is furthest from accepting that as the "core idea" of

Jenny6833A

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Feb 4, 2010, 12:56:51 PM2/4/10
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I don't find anything to disagree with in John's essay, but I also
don't find a relevant point. I don't criticize the bible, its
authors, or their scribes for what the bible is, or for what the
authors/scribes were or may have been. The bible is just another
collection of myths, and not very worthwhile or well written ones, so
I'd normally have no interest.

Were it not for the ludicrous claims of Jews and Christians, I'd not
even be aware of its existence.

I criticize the bible only in reaction to those who claim the bible is
true in one sense or another -- that it's the infallible word of some
unlikely and unappealing god. Even then, my criticism would be rare
and mild were it not for the fact that others try to force me to
accept _their_ view of it and live by _their_ interpretations of it.

:-)

Jenny

Mitchell Coffey

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Feb 4, 2010, 1:04:24 PM2/4/10
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Finally! someone who knows I prefer to be called "Shirley."

Mitchell Coffey

Mark Evans

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Feb 4, 2010, 1:24:25 PM2/4/10
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On Feb 4, 10:32嚙窮m, el cid <elcidbi...@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Feb 4, 9:56嚙窮m, Mark Evans <markevans1...@gmail.com> wrote:
> > > interpret the results in 嚙緙our own terms.

>
> > > This is called "exegesis"; and it is a canon of historical
> > > interpretation that before you can impose an interpretation on a text,
> > > you must understand it in its own terms. Genesis is not a scientific
> > > text, and sensible people know this because even the very notion of
> > > "science" was absent when it was written. Not until the late classical
> > > period do people start to interpret the Old Testament in scientific
> > > terms, which is when the problems begin.
>
> > > Now how a modern "Abrahamic" theist reconciles their scriptures with
> > > the knowledge we have from science is their own problem and not mine,
> > > but at the very least a sensible theist must realise this is not a
> > > science text, a history text, nor even, I would suggest, a particularly
> > > deep psychology text. It is, however, and was always intended to be, a
> > > set of myths around which a tradition clusters. Some of it may also be
> > > true.
>
> > There is a difference between writing the bible and writing down the
> > bible. 嚙瞎uch of the early part of the bible seems to predate writing
> > per se. 嚙瘢t was "written", which is to say made up, long before it was

> > written down.
>
> That is a heavily disputed notion in scholarly circles. Literist
> tradition
> has it that way, agreed. Analysis of the text suggest major redaction
> and remodeling in the synthesis of the Pentateuch, consult for example
> the Documentary Hypothesis.

But even with major redaction, remodeling and even editing it looks as
if the basis of what is called the bible is an oral tradition, most
likely from multiple sources. I have seen how oral traditions can
persist for a long time without writing. My mother's family has a
pooka tale that goes back several centuries to when they were in the
British Isles.

Mark Evans

el cid

unread,
Feb 4, 2010, 1:21:41 PM2/4/10
to

At least we both picked the right day to not quit taking Peyote.

Dan Listermann

unread,
Feb 4, 2010, 2:25:39 PM2/4/10
to

"Ernest Major" <{$to$}@meden.demon.co.uk> wrote in message
news:qO0e4M9f...@meden.invalid...

> In message <14aaf$4b6afab7$4a53bf9f$10...@FUSE.NET>, Dan Listermann
> <d...@listermann.com> writes
>>
>>"Ernest Major" <{$to$}@meden.demon.co.uk> wrote in message
>>news:9CIb7$wuYva...@meden.invalid...
>>> In message <2b06e$4b6aefc1$4a53bf9f$65...@FUSE.NET>, Dan Listermann
>>> <d...@listermann.com> writes
>>>>
>>>>Can you yet bring yourself to admit that the"core idea" of Genesis is a
>>>>deity creating the world?
>>>>
>>> From what I know there seems to be room for argument whether the core
>>> idea
>>> of Genesis 1 and the first few verses of Genesis 2 (Genesis as a whole
>>> contains some quite varied material) is that a deity created the world,
>>> or
>>> that there is just one deity.
>>
>>It is a cosmogic myth. Please explain to us what you think that might
>>mean.
>>
> Look, you idiot, no one here is disputing that Genesis 1 etc is a
> cosmogenic myth, or that it is highly likely that the divine creation of
> the world was part of the intended meaning.

Great. It is the primary reason the story is told. It is what it is all
about. The rest is filler and propaganda.


>
> It was you who introduced the idea of a "core idea", presumably as a red
> herring, as it has nothing to do with your position that Genesis 1 etc
> were intended to be "read literally", but when you've done that you have
> to consider the possibility that the core idea is not that the world was
> divinely created. For comparison the core idea (the moral) of the fable of
> the boy who cried wolf is not that the wolf ate the boy, but that repeated
> false alarms reduce the effectiveness of real ones. That core idea can be
> applied to concepts like smoke detectors - a too sensitive smoke detector
> is of lower utility, because people will learn to ignore it.
>

It was no tme who introduced "core idea." I can't remember which strawmen
builder did it, but he did it with Genesis in mind IIRC.

> My opinion is that we can't identify the intended meaning, or core idea,
> of the creation myth in Genesis 1, etc. as this remove, but I'm open to
> being convinced otherwise by people more familiar with the field. However,
> this creation myth is (I'm told) based on other, earlier, creation myths
> from the ancient Near East, but cast in a monotheistic mold, to the
> extent, as someone has pointed out of using periphrasis to denote the moon
> and sun to avoid the appearance of referring to other gods. I don't see
> that there are ground to reject outright the hypothesis that it was the
> monotheism, not the creation, that the authors considered the core point.

Well if it is, that is not obvious and will require work. Show it.


.

Dan Listermann

unread,
Feb 4, 2010, 2:28:54 PM2/4/10
to

"Mark Evans" <markev...@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:aba5aaa8-eb5e-489a...@c10g2000vbr.googlegroups.com...
> On Feb 4, 10:32 am, el cid <elcidbi...@gmail.com> wrote:
>> On Feb 4, 9:56 am, Mark Evans <markevans1...@gmail.com> wrote:
>> > > interpret the results in your own terms.

>>
>> > > This is called "exegesis"; and it is a canon of historical
>> > > interpretation that before you can impose an interpretation on a
>> > > text,
>> > > you must understand it in its own terms. Genesis is not a scientific
>> > > text, and sensible people know this because even the very notion of
>> > > "science" was absent when it was written. Not until the late
>> > > classical
>> > > period do people start to interpret the Old Testament in scientific
>> > > terms, which is when the problems begin.
>>
>> > > Now how a modern "Abrahamic" theist reconciles their scriptures with
>> > > the knowledge we have from science is their own problem and not mine,
>> > > but at the very least a sensible theist must realise this is not a
>> > > science text, a history text, nor even, I would suggest, a
>> > > particularly
>> > > deep psychology text. It is, however, and was always intended to be,
>> > > a
>> > > set of myths around which a tradition clusters. Some of it may also
>> > > be
>> > > true.
>>
>> > There is a difference between writing the bible and writing down the
>> > bible. Much of the early part of the bible seems to predate writing
>> > per se. It was "written", which is to say made up, long before it was

>> > written down.
>>
>> That is a heavily disputed notion in scholarly circles. Literist
>> tradition
>> has it that way, agreed. Analysis of the text suggest major redaction
>> and remodeling in the synthesis of the Pentateuch, consult for example
>> the Documentary Hypothesis.
>
> But even with major redaction, remodeling and even editing it looks as
> if the basis of what is called the bible is an oral tradition, most
> likely from multiple sources. I have seen how oral traditions can
> persist for a long time without writing. My mother's family has a
> pooka tale that goes back several centuries to when they were in the
> British Isles.
>
The cosmogic myth of a powerful god creating the world from nothing is very
probably very old. It would not surprise me that it goes back beyond
hunters and gathers to the beginning of language itself. It is quick,
simple and it does its purpose.


.

Mitchell Coffey

unread,
Feb 4, 2010, 2:38:59 PM2/4/10
to

No day is not the right day to not quit taking Peyote.

Mitchell

Ernest Major

unread,
Feb 4, 2010, 2:40:27 PM2/4/10
to
In message <d8af3$4b6b1f30$4a53bf9f$22...@FUSE.NET>, Dan Listermann
<d...@listermann.com> writes

>> My opinion is that we can't identify the intended meaning, or core idea,
>> of the creation myth in Genesis 1, etc. as this remove, but I'm open to
>> being convinced otherwise by people more familiar with the field. However,
>> this creation myth is (I'm told) based on other, earlier, creation myths
>> from the ancient Near East, but cast in a monotheistic mold, to the
>> extent, as someone has pointed out of using periphrasis to denote the moon
>> and sun to avoid the appearance of referring to other gods. I don't see
>> that there are ground to reject outright the hypothesis that it was the
>> monotheism, not the creation, that the authors considered the core point.
>
>Well if it is, that is not obvious and will require work. Show it.

As usual you are missing the point. (Can't you understand a single
paragraph of moderate length as a unity?) I am not claiming that is
obvious or even true. I was saying that it is not indisputable that the
core idea of Genesis 1 etc was the divine creation of the world, and
presenting an alternative which has been offered.
--
alias Ernest Major

Steven L.

unread,
Feb 4, 2010, 2:45:20 PM2/4/10
to
"Jenny6833A" <Jenny...@aol.com> wrote in message
news:2d244a36-96bb-4ad1...@g29g2000yqe.googlegroups.com:

> I criticize the bible only in reaction to those who claim the bible is
> true in one sense or another -- that it's the infallible word of some
> unlikely and unappealing god. Even then, my criticism would be rare
> and mild were it not for the fact that others try to force me to
> accept _their_ view of it and live by _their_ interpretations of it.

Can you elaborate? How can Christians possibly have forced you to
accept belief in God, in this country?

There seems to be this paranoia on the part of atheists that there are
all these Christians chasing them and oppressing them and demanding that
they convert to Christianity. Where is that happening, exactly?

All they are doing is advocating for their beliefs, and they have every
right to do that as long as it doesn't violate laws and the
Constitution.


--
--
Steven L.
sdli...@earthlinkNOSPAM.net
Remove the "NOSPAM" before sending to this email address.

Ray Martinez

unread,
Feb 4, 2010, 3:04:45 PM2/4/10
to
On Feb 4, 12:58�am, John Wilkins <j...@wilkins.id.au> wrote:
> In the ongoing discussion about whether those who wrote the Bible were
> goatherders and primitive, a few points occur to me.
>
> 1. It is not surprising that those who were thinkers of *any* kind at
> an early time were engaged in the economic activities of the day.
> Imagine if someone in two thousand years says of our best narratives,
> "Well, if you want to believe the stories written by a bunch of
> automotive makers". Goatherding is actually a complex activity (I once
> had one of the buggers, and they make sheep look like robots). To do it
> well takes skill and knowledge. Granted, not knowledge of astrophysics,
> biology and geography, but then neither does car manufacture.
>
> 2. To claim that the myths of the past were intended to be read as
> literal history presumes that they had a notion of literal history.

The Bible, like any other source, **claims** literal history. The
claims are either true or false.

The comment above assumes Atheism ideology true, that is, the idea
that the Source which says the Atheism worldview is false, is myth.

The physical evidence contained in the British Museum alone,
confirming Biblical history, is staggering.

http://www.padfield.com/acrobat/history/British_Museum.pdf

> Arguably (at least it was argued to me when I did historiography in
> university) such a notion wasn't invented until Herodotus and
> Thucydides wrote their investigations with an attempt to get it right
> rather than to get it politically or religiously acceptable. Nobody
> even *knew* about history until then. The annalists and chroniclers of
> the ancient and more recent periods were largely engaged in presenting
> political and religious myths for the purposes of propaganda than
> presenting objective histories.

More assumptions based on Atheism ideology (as explained above).

> We have to reconstruct the past
> histories rather than simply read them. Even as late as the mid-20th
> century, histories were being written to do this, as a result of which
> each generation has to critically examine the histories of the past as
> myths, to correct any interpretations that are local to the period and
> culture. Even the idea that one might give correct details is a late
> addition.
>
> 3. To understand a narrative, one has to treat it with respect. Genesis
> and the patriarchal histories must be read *as if you were one of the
> intended audience* if you are to grasp it. Once that is done, of course
> you "re-enter" your modern persona, but to interpret the past in terms
> of today is a specific historical sin called "Whiggism":
>
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whig_history
>

Who wrote the Wiki piece; Britney Spears or Ronald McDonald?

> and it does nothing worthwhile other than make you feel all warm and
> cozy about yourself. If that is what you want from history and other
> cultures, fine, but do not expect the honest scholar to find that all
> that attractive.
>

Here "honest scholar" means those who are Atheists and Darwinists. The
concept of "scholar" excludes Atheists and Darwinists because they are
in the business of suppressing and misrepresenting the Source which
says their worldview is false. This is seen in the fact that the
commentary asserts all of the Bible to be myth, having no evidence in
support. The British Museum alone proves that Atheists and Darwinists
are brazen liars.

> The Bible was not written as history

No one disputes the fact that the Bible **claims** to convey history.
The comment above, for the second time, simply says the history is
false in a very dishonest way.

> ....(with the possible exception of


> Luke-Acts, as the author of that work seems to have read his
> Thucydides) and to critique it for not being what it was never intended
> to be, or to be read as, is simply dishonest.

Re-stating the claim of fact in the dishonest way: Biblical history is
false.

Hundreds of millions of Christians, of course, disagree. Scholars have
shown the Bible 100 percent true: scientifically and historically.
Only Atheists and Darwinists refuse to accept for obvious reasons.

> I say that of the
> literalists as well as the scientism of our disputants. You can't
> understand those texts by sitting in a 21st century western mindset;
> although of course you want, whether you are a believer or not, to
> interpret the results in �your own terms.
>

We recognize that Atheists and Darwinists do not want to understand
the Bible because there is nothing in it for their worldviews. Their
minds are poisoned by the anti-reality concepts of Naturalism-
Materialism-evolution. They only want revenge on a Text that says they
are going to hell.

The Bible makes perfect sense when a Gift Minister, that is, a person
with a calling, explains its content. Atheists and Darwinists do not
have a spiritual IQ or sense. This explains why they do not understand
the Bible; and it explains why they do not want to understand the
Bible. The Bible is very complex, which reflects the Mind of its
Author.

> This is called "exegesis"; and it is a canon of historical
> interpretation that before you can impose an interpretation on a text,
> you must understand it in its own terms. Genesis is not a scientific

> text,....

Genesis makes scientific claims since it makes claims about how the
world, mankind and animals came and come to be. The claims are either
true or false.

> ....and sensible people know this because even the very notion of


> "science" was absent when it was written.

The writer has apparently forgotten that the claim of the Canon is
Divine inspiration, which in this context means 'Master Scientist.'

> Not until the late classical
> period do people start to interpret the Old Testament in scientific
> terms, which is when the problems begin.
>
> Now how a modern "Abrahamic" theist reconciles their scriptures with
> the knowledge we have from science is their own problem and not mine,
> but at the very least a sensible theist must realise this is not a
> science text, a history text, nor even, I would suggest, a particularly
> deep psychology text. It is, however, and was always intended to be, a
> set of myths around which a tradition clusters. Some of it may also be
> true.

Again, could one expect Atheists and Darwinists to say anything else
about the Bible; or misrepresent it to the degree seen?

The Bible is full of scientific and historic claims, they are either
true or false.

Both science and history have confirmed the Bible. Anyone can see for
them self by doing a little research. The Atheist and Darwinism
propaganda machine has a firm grip on education and information. This
is why self-research is necessary. And I have shown in this reply how
pro-Atheism assumptions are framed as "settled fact."

It is Darwinism that contradicts the Bible, not science.

Ray

Burkhard

unread,
Feb 4, 2010, 3:38:15 PM2/4/10
to
It was me, and you used it ever since in a totally different meaning
from the one I had intended. I had the distinction from copyright law
in mind between "idea" or "plot" and "expression of an idea".

Devils Advocaat

unread,
Feb 4, 2010, 3:54:58 PM2/4/10
to
On 4 Feb, 20:04, Ray Martinez <pyramid...@yahoo.com> wrote:
>
> It is Darwinism that contradicts the Bible, not science.
>
Okay, in Genesis 1:16 it "And God made two great lights; the greater
light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night" and in
Isaiah 13:10 "and the moon shall not cause her light to shine".

These two verses suggest that the moon is a source of light, which we
know is not the case, so tell me Ray how is this contradiction one
between "Darwinism" and the Bible and not between science and the
Bible?

Kermit

unread,
Feb 4, 2010, 4:11:17 PM2/4/10
to
On Feb 4, 12:58�am, John Wilkins <j...@wilkins.id.au> wrote:
> In the ongoing discussion about whether those who wrote the Bible were
> goatherders and primitive, a few points occur to me.
>
> 1. It is not surprising that those who were thinkers of *any* kind at
> an early time were engaged in the economic activities of the day.
> Imagine if someone in two thousand years says of our best narratives,
> "Well, if you want to believe the stories written by a bunch of
> automotive makers". Goatherding is actually a complex activity (I once
> had one of the buggers, and they make sheep look like robots). To do it
> well takes skill and knowledge. Granted, not knowledge of astrophysics,
> biology and geography, but then neither does car manufacture.

I certainly have never suggested that goatherds were stupid by nature.
But I think it is reasonable to point out that authorities often
referenced as a source of knowledge about science were bronze age
(goatherds or not), and unlikely to know most of the things we find
interesting now in science.

My wife and I often speculate that late paleolithic humans were
*smarter than we are on the average.
1. It was not only the nearsighted who are weeded out in such a
merciless environment. The dull witted would have had their moment
sooner or later, and it wouldn't have been pretty.
2. Domesticated animals tend to be less intelligent than their feral
cousins. Who is more domesticated by humans than ourselves?
3. The hunter gatherers generally did those things which we now
recognize as contributing to intelligence - they didn't smoke; they
exercised, they ate healthy food... OK, they got eaten by smilodons,
too, but that may have been a beneficial culling of the herd.

>
> 2. To claim that the myths of the past were intended to be read as
> literal history presumes that they had a notion of literal history.

> Arguably (at least it was argued to me when I did historiography in
> university) such a notion wasn't invented until Herodotus and
> Thucydides wrote their investigations with an attempt to get it right
> rather than to get it politically or religiously acceptable. Nobody
> even *knew* about history until then. The annalists and chroniclers of
> the ancient and more recent periods were largely engaged in presenting
> political and religious myths for the purposes of propaganda than

> presenting objective histories. We have to reconstruct the past


> histories rather than simply read them. Even as late as the mid-20th
> century, histories were being written to do this, as a result of which
> each generation has to critically examine the histories of the past as
> myths, to correct any interpretations that are local to the period and
> culture. Even the idea that one might give correct details is a late
> addition.
>
> 3. To understand a narrative, one has to treat it with respect. Genesis
> and the patriarchal histories must be read *as if you were one of the
> intended audience* if you are to grasp it. Once that is done, of course
> you "re-enter" your modern persona, but to interpret the past in terms
> of today is a specific historical sin called "Whiggism":
>
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whig_history
>

> and it does nothing worthwhile other than make you feel all warm and
> cozy about yourself. If that is what you want from history and other
> cultures, fine, but do not expect the honest scholar to find that all
> that attractive.
>

> The Bible was not written as history (with the possible exception of


> Luke-Acts, as the author of that work seems to have read his
> Thucydides) and to critique it for not being what it was never intended

> to be, or to be read as, is simply dishonest. I say that of the


> literalists as well as the scientism of our disputants. You can't
> understand those texts by sitting in a 21st century western mindset;
> although of course you want, whether you are a believer or not, to
> interpret the results in �your own terms.
>

> This is called "exegesis"; and it is a canon of historical
> interpretation that before you can impose an interpretation on a text,
> you must understand it in its own terms. Genesis is not a scientific

> text, and sensible people know this because even the very notion of
> "science" was absent when it was written. Not until the late classical


> period do people start to interpret the Old Testament in scientific
> terms, which is when the problems begin.
>
> Now how a modern "Abrahamic" theist reconciles their scriptures with
> the knowledge we have from science is their own problem and not mine,
> but at the very least a sensible theist must realise this is not a
> science text, a history text, nor even, I would suggest, a particularly
> deep psychology text. It is, however, and was always intended to be, a
> set of myths around which a tradition clusters. Some of it may also be
> true.

Kermit

Kermit

unread,
Feb 4, 2010, 4:21:13 PM2/4/10
to
On Feb 4, 5:20�am, All-seeing-I <ap...@email.com> wrote:

> On Feb 4, 2:58�am, John Wilkins <j...@wilkins.id.au> wrote:
>
>
>
> > In the ongoing discussion about whether those who wrote the Bible were
> > goatherders and primitive, a few points occur to me.
>
> > 1. It is not surprising that those who were thinkers of *any* kind at
> > an early time were engaged in the economic activities of the day.
> > Imagine if someone in two thousand years says of our best narratives,
> > "Well, if you want to believe the stories written by a bunch of
> > automotive makers". Goatherding is actually a complex activity (I once
> > had one of the buggers, and they make sheep look like robots). To do it
> > well takes skill and knowledge. Granted, not knowledge of astrophysics,
> > biology and geography, but then neither does car manufacture.
>
> 1Chronicles starts with the Historical Birth Records From Adam to
> Abraham. 2Chronicles ends describing the first year of Cyrus king of
> Persia and how he was going to help rebuild the temple in Israel.
> Everything in between the two books describes such things as who
> became king, when they ruled, their age, members of their family, how
> they came to power, how their rule ended, when people lived and died,
> how they lived, what they ate and what life was like during that time
> perod... etc etc.
>
> The same with the Books of Kings. Judges, Ezra, Ruth, etc,,,. They all
> describe events, people, places, attitudes, dates, locations, and even
> things like the names of towns being changed.
>
> Most of the bible is history. It is the history of one man's family
> from Adam to Jesus written in story format. That man was Abraham.
>
> Any idiot that can read at a 6th grade level should be able to
> understand that the bible is filled with the facts and events
> surrounding the family of Abraham, beginning with Adam, and ending
> with Jesus. That makes the bible a "history of the Hebrews"
>
> To claim otherwise is simply propaganda and intended as fodder for the
> modern day atheists to soothe their minds..
>
> ----

The collection of Greek myths also establish the founding of many
families, the establishment of cities, the history of ancient wars,
the reason for the existence of many species (narcissus, pegasus), the
cause of diseases (Pandora's box), the mechanism behind lightening
(Zeus), the process leading to the four seasons (Demeter, Persephone,
and Hades). How do we reconcile apparent conflicts between the
Pentateuch and the oral tradition of the Greeks? The Greeks, after
all, knew how important this stuff was and had no reason to lie.

I get all the history I need from the Illiad.

Kermit

All-seeing-I

unread,
Feb 4, 2010, 4:23:55 PM2/4/10
to
On Feb 4, 8:57�am, Mitchell Coffey <m.cof...@starpower.net> wrote:

> On Feb 4, 3:58�am, John Wilkins <j...@wilkins.id.au> wrote:
>
> > In the ongoing discussion about whether those who wrote the Bible were
> > goatherders and primitive, a few points occur to me.
>
> > 1. It is not surprising that those who were thinkers of *any* kind at
> > an early time were engaged in the economic activities of the day.
> > Imagine if someone in two thousand years says of our best narratives,
> > "Well, if you want to believe the stories written by a bunch of
> > automotive makers". Goatherding is actually a complex activity (I once
> > had one of the buggers, and they make sheep look like robots). To do it
> > well takes skill and knowledge. Granted, not knowledge of astrophysics,
> > biology and geography, but then neither does car manufacture.
>
> To beat this baby to death a bit, it might be noted that one
> grandfather of the current President of the United States included the
> keeping of goats among his several enterprises, and Pres. Obama's
> father, in his youth, helped herd them.
>
> Also, I dispute your claim that circa 600bce the herding of goats, as
> a broad economic activity, did not require knowledge of astrophysics,
> biology and geography, as such subjects stood at the time. �How else
> were they to precisely time their procedures based on the seasons,
> breed, raise and treat their stock, and get flocks to, from and among
> pastures and markets?
>
> Mitchell

Going back several thousand more years, we find that Jacob understood
the principals of "selective breeding". Which is how he was able to
gather quite a large herd of goats for himself.

But let's face the truth. Anyone that would call the author's of the
bible's books "goat herders" is not as smart as a goat.

Kermit

unread,
Feb 4, 2010, 4:26:40 PM2/4/10
to
On Feb 4, 9:20�am, "Kalkidas" <e...@joes.pub> wrote:
> "John Wilkins" <j...@wilkins.id.au> wrote in message

Myths are a collection of related stories which give a people purpose
and meaning, tell them how they should be living, and explains where
they came from. It gives them tribal identity. You don't think these
books do that?

This is how the prophets turned a subset of Canaanites into Jews -
they gave them new myths. (This is surely not the only thing they did,
but it was a necessary one.)

Kermit


Ernest Major

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Feb 4, 2010, 4:28:08 PM2/4/10
to
In message
<983a817c-c31b-4c9e...@g29g2000yqe.googlegroups.com>,
Kermit <unrestra...@hotmail.com> writes

>
>I certainly have never suggested that goatherds were stupid by nature.
>But I think it is reasonable to point out that authorities often
>referenced as a source of knowledge about science were bronze age
>(goatherds or not), and unlikely to know most of the things we find
>interesting now in science.
>

It depends on what date you put on the stories in the Bible, but I have
the impression that the Old Testament was put together in the Iron Age.
--
alias Ernest Major

JTEM

unread,
Feb 4, 2010, 4:34:38 PM2/4/10
to

"Dan Listermann" <d...@listermann.com> wrote:

> I don't doubt that the non-Greeks loved the
> technology despite not thinking much of their
> culture too.

But I do seriously contest the notion that the
conduct of France and (especially) the U.K. in
the middle east taints all of the western world.

...and I laugh at the ridicules notion that
Bush's invasion of Iraq could ever come close to
matching their history.

And that whole "Crusades" nonsense has GOT to be
a joke! Islam was spread by the sword. That's
how it got from Saudi Arabia through all of north
Africa (not to mention into Europe). If the
crusades were evil, the spread of Islam was twice
as evil.

Kermit

unread,
Feb 4, 2010, 4:35:15 PM2/4/10
to
On Feb 4, 11:45�am, "Steven L." <sdlit...@earthlink.net> wrote:
> "Jenny6833A" <Jenny68...@aol.com> wrote in message

>
> news:2d244a36-96bb-4ad1...@g29g2000yqe.googlegroups.com:
>
> > I criticize the bible only in reaction to those who claim the bible is
> > true in one sense or another -- that it's the infallible word of some
> > unlikely and unappealing god. �Even then, my criticism would be rare
> > and mild were it not for the fact that others try to force me to
> > accept _their_ view of it and live by _their_ interpretations of it.
>
> Can you elaborate? �How can Christians possibly have forced you to
> accept belief in God, in this country?
>
> There seems to be this paranoia on the part of atheists that there are
> all these Christians chasing them and oppressing them and demanding that
> they convert to Christianity. �Where is that happening, exactly?
>

Well, here's some in the field of teaching biology:

2 professors fired, Bitterman (SW CC Iowa) and Bolyanatz (Wheaton)

1 persecuted unmercifully Richard Colling (Olivet)

1 persecuted unmercifully for 4 years Van Till (Calvin)

1 attempted firing Murphy (Fuller Theological by Phillip Johnson
IDist)

1 successful death threats, assaults harrasment Gwen Pearson (UT
Permian)

1 state official fired Chris Comer (Texas)

1 assault, fired from dept. Chair Paul Mirecki (U. of Kansas)

1 killed, Rudi Boa, Biomedical Student (Scotland)

Death Threats Eric Pianka UT Austin and the Texas Academy of Science
engineered by a hostile, bizarre IDist named Bill Dembski

Death Threats Michael Korn, fugitive from justice, towards the UC
Boulder biology department and miscellaneous evolutionary biologists.

Death Threats Judge Jones Dover trial. He was under federal marshall
protection for a while

http://democracyforamerica.com/blog_posts/27752-texas-teacher-suspended-for-being-liberal-and-an-atheist
Mr. Richard Mullens a (US history, government, and economics) school
teacher in Brookeland Tx, fired for being too liberal and an atheist

> All they are doing is advocating for their beliefs,

Sure, most of 'em.

>and they have every
> right to do that as long as it doesn't violate laws and the
> Constitution.

In the school my daughter went to - the children of a high percentage
of scientists, in a town sympathetic to the nearby government nuclear
reservation (our main source of income), they barely mentioned
evolution in biology class. She said she learned most of her
evolutionary science by listening to me or her mom ranting...

>
> --
> --
> Steven L.
> sdlit...@earthlinkNOSPAM.net


> Remove the "NOSPAM" before sending to this email address.

The anti-evolutionary theory activism we see on this newsgroup is part
of a larger anti-reason movement threatening rational and informed
decision making in a world where understanding science is becoming
more and more important. Creationists, Moon Hoax Conspiracists, anti-
vaccers, New Age Woo, are threatening the lives of my grandchildren
and theirs.

Kermit

raven1

unread,
Feb 4, 2010, 4:45:33 PM2/4/10
to
On Thu, 4 Feb 2010 17:33:19 +0000, Ernest Major
<{$to$}@meden.demon.co.uk> wrote:

>My opinion is that we can't identify the intended meaning, or core idea,
>of the creation myth in Genesis 1, etc. as this remove, but I'm open to
>being convinced otherwise by people more familiar with the field.
>However, this creation myth is (I'm told) based on other, earlier,
>creation myths from the ancient Near East, but cast in a monotheistic
>mold, to the extent, as someone has pointed out of using periphrasis to
>denote the moon and sun to avoid the appearance of referring to other
>gods. I don't see that there are ground to reject outright the
>hypothesis that it was the monotheism, not the creation, that the
>authors considered the core point.

I'd be a bit skeptical of that; the first verse refers to God as
"Elohim", which is a plural, dual-gendered word. The creation of Adam
then introduces "Yahweh", presumably an individual of the Elohim.

Dan Listermann

unread,
Feb 4, 2010, 4:58:23 PM2/4/10
to

"Ernest Major" <{$to$}@meden.demon.co.uk> wrote in message
news:SC5QrLHr...@meden.invalid...
Silly.


.

Dan Listermann

unread,
Feb 4, 2010, 4:59:04 PM2/4/10
to

"Burkhard" <b.sc...@ed.ac.uk> wrote in message
news:hkfb7l$9o$2...@news.albasani.net...

Na, you recognize a strategic error.


.

raven1

unread,
Feb 4, 2010, 4:55:58 PM2/4/10
to
On Thu, 4 Feb 2010 12:04:45 -0800 (PST), Ray Martinez
<pyram...@yahoo.com> wrote:

>On Feb 4, 12:58�am, John Wilkins <j...@wilkins.id.au> wrote:
>> In the ongoing discussion about whether those who wrote the Bible were
>> goatherders and primitive, a few points occur to me.
>>
>> 1. It is not surprising that those who were thinkers of *any* kind at
>> an early time were engaged in the economic activities of the day.
>> Imagine if someone in two thousand years says of our best narratives,
>> "Well, if you want to believe the stories written by a bunch of
>> automotive makers". Goatherding is actually a complex activity (I once
>> had one of the buggers, and they make sheep look like robots). To do it
>> well takes skill and knowledge. Granted, not knowledge of astrophysics,
>> biology and geography, but then neither does car manufacture.
>>
>> 2. To claim that the myths of the past were intended to be read as
>> literal history presumes that they had a notion of literal history.
>
>The Bible, like any other source, **claims** literal history.

Where? Chapter and verse, please.

> The
>claims are either true or false.

"Darth Vader is Luke Skywalker's father".

Is that claim true or false, Ray?

>The comment above assumes Atheism ideology true, that is, the idea
>that the Source which says the Atheism worldview is false, is myth.

Atheism is neither an ideology nor a world-view. But you already knew
that.

>The physical evidence contained in the British Museum alone,
>confirming Biblical history, is staggering.
>
>http://www.padfield.com/acrobat/history/British_Museum.pdf

I'm interested in what way you think this supports the Bible as an
historical document. Does the existence of the City of Troy validate
Homer's account that Eris rolled a golden apple into a banquet of the
gods on Olympus, leading to the Trojan War?


Ernest Major

unread,
Feb 4, 2010, 4:58:55 PM2/4/10
to
In message <rqfmm5p9kfjjbd5j2...@4ax.com>, raven1
<quotht...@nevermore.com> writes
That is a counter-argument. But considering the royal/editorial we in
English and nouns like trousers, scissors and sheep, I'm not going to
take it as a slam dunk. Does anyone know enough about Biblical Hebrew to
be able to say whether the grammatical plural form should be taken
literally here, or has some other import?
--
alias Ernest Major

Kermit

unread,
Feb 4, 2010, 5:11:30 PM2/4/10
to
On Feb 4, 12:04�pm, Ray Martinez <pyramid...@yahoo.com> wrote:
> On Feb 4, 12:58�am, John Wilkins <j...@wilkins.id.au> wrote:
>
> > In the ongoing discussion about whether those who wrote the Bible were
> > goatherders and primitive, a few points occur to me.
>
> > 1. It is not surprising that those who were thinkers of *any* kind at
> > an early time were engaged in the economic activities of the day.
> > Imagine if someone in two thousand years says of our best narratives,
> > "Well, if you want to believe the stories written by a bunch of
> > automotive makers". Goatherding is actually a complex activity (I once
> > had one of the buggers, and they make sheep look like robots). To do it
> > well takes skill and knowledge. Granted, not knowledge of astrophysics,
> > biology and geography, but then neither does car manufacture.
>
> > 2. To claim that the myths of the past were intended to be read as
> > literal history presumes that they had a notion of literal history.
>
> The Bible, like any other source, **claims** literal history. The
> claims are either true or false.

The Harry Potter books describes recent history. Are they lies?

>
> The comment above assumes Atheism ideology true, that is, the idea
> that the Source which says the Atheism worldview is false, is myth.

Myths give a people purpose and meaning. Does the bible not do that?

>
> The physical evidence contained in the British Museum alone,
> confirming Biblical history, is staggering.
>
> http://www.padfield.com/acrobat/history/British_Museum.pdf

I didn't see any evidence confirming the Garden of Eden. I *did see
evidence confirming the existence of Horus (A statue! From Egypt!). Of
course there was an old Israel. There's pretty good evidence they
found the palace of David. I noticed as a kid that from about David
on, the stories in the Jewish bible became pretty light on miracles.

>
> > Arguably (at least it was argued to me when I did historiography in
> > university) such a notion wasn't invented until Herodotus and
> > Thucydides wrote their investigations with an attempt to get it right
> > rather than to get it politically or religiously acceptable. Nobody
> > even *knew* about history until then. The annalists and chroniclers of
> > the ancient and more recent periods were largely engaged in presenting
> > political and religious myths for the purposes of propaganda than
> > presenting objective histories.
>
> More assumptions based on Atheism ideology (as explained above).

How is the general belief among scholars history and science are
fairly recent concepts an atheistic idea?

>
>
>
> > We have to reconstruct the past
> > histories rather than simply read them. Even as late as the mid-20th
> > century, histories were being written to do this, as a result of which
> > each generation has to critically examine the histories of the past as
> > myths, to correct any interpretations that are local to the period and
> > culture. Even the idea that one might give correct details is a late
> > addition.
>
> > 3. To understand a narrative, one has to treat it with respect. Genesis
> > and the patriarchal histories must be read *as if you were one of the
> > intended audience* if you are to grasp it. Once that is done, of course
> > you "re-enter" your modern persona, but to interpret the past in terms
> > of today is a specific historical sin called "Whiggism":
>
> >http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whig_history
>
> Who wrote the Wiki piece; Britney Spears or Ronald McDonald?

What specifically did you find wanting in the article? Perhaps you
could give an example of an error or something important missing.

>
> > and it does nothing worthwhile other than make you feel all warm and
> > cozy about yourself. If that is what you want from history and other
> > cultures, fine, but do not expect the honest scholar to find that all
> > that attractive.
>
> Here "honest scholar" means those who are Atheists and Darwinists.

Ray, I'm afraid that nearly every time you assert something which is
verifiable in principle, it turns out to be wrong.

> The
> concept of "scholar" excludes Atheists and Darwinists because they are
> in the business of suppressing and misrepresenting the Source which
> says their worldview is false.

This is an example. Many atheists are scholars, some of them
recognized as such by the majority of people in their field.
Darwinists don't exist; if you mean evolutionary scientists, then you
should know that several are Evangelical Christians, and many more are
theists of various stripes.

>This is seen in the fact that the
> commentary asserts all of the Bible to be myth, having no evidence in
> support.

That's not what myth means, And archaeological support for the
existence of King David is hardly support for the special creation of
the species. Most archaeologists agree that Troy was real, but that is
not evidence for the existence of the Greek gods.

> The British Museum alone proves that Atheists and Darwinists
> are brazen liars.

Ummm... no. There was nothing in that link you provided that even
suggests this. It was a travel diary by an enthusiastic Christian
describing and categorizing some of the displays he saw at the museum.

>
> > The Bible was not written as history
>
> No one disputes the fact that the Bible **claims** to convey history.

Where does it claim this?

> The comment above, for the second time, simply says the history is
> false in a very dishonest way.
>

No, it says that people like you who try to fit it through your own
understanding and time are making errors in interpretation.

> > ....(with the possible exception of
> > Luke-Acts, as the author of that work seems to have read his
> > Thucydides) and to critique it for not being what it was never intended
> > to be, or to be read as, is simply dishonest.
>
> Re-stating the claim of fact in the dishonest way: Biblical history is
> false.

So, when Jesus said he was the bright and morning star, are you
calling him a liar, or agreeing that he is the planet Venus?

>
> Hundreds of millions of Christians, of course, disagree. Scholars have
> shown the Bible 100 percent true:

No they have not, nor have most ever made that claim.

>scientifically and historically.

Most would agree with Wilkins on this.

> Only Atheists and Darwinists refuse to accept for obvious reasons.

There are no Darwinists; they went the way of the Lavoisierians, the
Newtonists, and the Galileoans.

>
> > I say that of the
> > literalists as well as the scientism of our disputants. You can't
> > understand those texts by sitting in a 21st century western mindset;
> > although of course you want, whether you are a believer or not, to
> > interpret the results in �your own terms.
>
> We recognize that Atheists and Darwinists do not want to understand
> the Bible because there is nothing in it for their worldviews.

Many evolutionary scientists are believers. Why do you lie all the
time?

Some atheists are very motivated in understanding the bible; they
think it is interesting or important.

> Their
> minds are poisoned by the anti-reality concepts of Naturalism-
> Materialism-evolution.

A peculiar claim - the notion that unwilling to accept unverifiable
claims are somehow anti-realist.

> They only want revenge on a Text that says they
> are going to hell.

As an atheist, I can tell you that I am every bit as worried about
Yahweh's wrath as I am the disappointment of Zeus that I have offered
him no sacrifices.

>
> The Bible makes perfect sense when a Gift Minister, that is, a person
> with a calling, explains its content. Atheists and Darwinists do not
> have a spiritual IQ or sense.

Atheists and scientists tend to be skeptical, yes, and would not give
money to, say, a foul-mouthed, cigar-chompin' horse gambler because he
said that God wanted them to.

> This explains why they do not understand
> the Bible; and it explains why they do not want to understand the
> Bible. The Bible is very complex, which reflects the Mind of its
> Author.

My Creative Writing professor in college said, "If someone asks if you
meant this or that in your writing, nod your head sagely and agree.
They will think you ever so clever for it."

Folks who look at Rorschach ink blots for information are always
impressed by its wisdom and beauty.

>
> > This is called "exegesis"; and it is a canon of historical
> > interpretation that before you can impose an interpretation on a text,
> > you must understand it in its own terms. Genesis is not a scientific
> > text,....
>
> Genesis makes scientific claims since it makes claims about how the
> world, mankind and animals came and come to be. The claims are either
> true or false.

Or entertainment, or political manipulations, or poetry, or
shamanistic training methods, or hidden codes, or sly political
commentary, or a treasure map, or a best guess on how things are, or
some combination of those plus any number of things I haven't thought
of.

You live in a a small world. Simple minded, black and white, lies or
truth?

So, was Jesus the planet Venus or not?

>
> > ....and sensible people know this because even the very notion of
> > "science" was absent when it was written.
>
> The writer has apparently forgotten that the claim of the Canon is
> Divine inspiration, which in this context means 'Master Scientist.'
>
> > Not until the late classical
> > period do people start to interpret the Old Testament in scientific
> > terms, which is when the problems begin.
>
> > Now how a modern "Abrahamic" theist reconciles their scriptures with
> > the knowledge we have from science is their own problem and not mine,
> > but at the very least a sensible theist must realise this is not a
> > science text, a history text, nor even, I would suggest, a particularly
> > deep psychology text. It is, however, and was always intended to be, a
> > set of myths around which a tradition clusters. Some of it may also be
> > true.
>
> Again, could one expect Atheists and Darwinists to say anything else
> about the Bible; or misrepresent it to the degree seen?

Could anyone expect you to be honest, or knowledgeable?

(Hint: no.)

>
> The Bible is full of scientific and historic claims, they are either
> true or false.

Human culture is not limited by your rigid and simple categories; the
world at large is not constrained by your ignorance.

>
> Both science and history have confirmed the Bible.

Actually, no. The science is very limited in the bible, and almost all
wrong, as we would expect from the times the books were written. The
history in the bible is informative back to King Saul or thereabouts,
but it still has to be taken with a grain of salt.

> Anyone can see for
> them self by doing a little research. The Atheist and Darwinism
> propaganda machine has a firm grip on education and information.

It's not propaganda if it's true, taught openly, backed up with
evidence. Science and scholasticism in general encourage exploring
ideas and rational and empirical support for theories. History is very
much like science in many ways. One trivial way is that you understand
neither.

>This
> is why self-research is necessary.

Making shit up is not research.

> And I have shown in this reply how
> pro-Atheism assumptions are framed as "settled fact."

No, you haven't, you have merely asserted it, numerous times, as you
have so many times before, and always without supporting evidence.

>
> It is Darwinism that contradicts the Bible, not science.

Science only contradicts the bible if you try to get your science from
it. That is foolish for anyone.

For a theist, it just means you have missed the message.

>
> Ray

Kermit

John Stockwell

unread,
Feb 4, 2010, 5:16:35 PM2/4/10
to
On Feb 4, 6:20 am, All-seeing-I <ap...@email.com> wrote:

> On Feb 4, 2:58 am, John Wilkins <j...@wilkins.id.au> wrote:
>
>
>
> > In the ongoing discussion about whether those who wrote the Bible were
> > goatherders and primitive, a few points occur to me.
>
> > 1. It is not surprising that those who were thinkers of *any* kind at
> > an early time were engaged in the economic activities of the day.
> > Imagine if someone in two thousand years says of our best narratives,
> > "Well, if you want to believe the stories written by a bunch of
> > automotive makers". Goatherding is actually a complex activity (I once
> > had one of the buggers, and they make sheep look like robots). To do it
> > well takes skill and knowledge. Granted, not knowledge of astrophysics,
> > biology and geography, but then neither does car manufacture.
>
> > 2. To claim that the myths of the past were intended to be read as
> > literal history presumes that they had a notion of literal history.
> > Arguably (at least it was argued to me when I did historiography in
> > university) such a notion wasn't invented until Herodotus and
> > Thucydides wrote their investigations with an attempt to get it right
> > rather than to get it politically or religiously acceptable. Nobody
> > even *knew* about history until then. The annalists and chroniclers of
> > the ancient and more recent periods were largely engaged in presenting
> > political and religious myths for the purposes of propaganda than
> > presenting objective histories. We have to reconstruct the past

> > histories rather than simply read them. Even as late as the mid-20th
> > century, histories were being written to do this, as a result of which
> > each generation has to critically examine the histories of the past as
> > myths, to correct any interpretations that are local to the period and
> > culture. Even the idea that one might give correct details is a late
> > addition.
>
> > 3. To understand a narrative, one has to treat it with respect. Genesis
> > and the patriarchal histories must be read *as if you were one of the
> > intended audience* if you are to grasp it. Once that is done, of course
> > you "re-enter" your modern persona, but to interpret the past in terms
> > of today is a specific historical sin called "Whiggism":
>
> >http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whig_history
>
> > and it does nothing worthwhile other than make you feel all warm and
> > cozy about yourself. If that is what you want from history and other
> > cultures, fine, but do not expect the honest scholar to find that all
> > that attractive.
>
> > The Bible was not written as history (with the possible exception of

> > Luke-Acts, as the author of that work seems to have read his
> > Thucydides) and to critique it for not being what it was never intended
> > to be, or to be read as, is simply dishonest. I say that of the

> > literalists as well as the scientism of our disputants. You can't
> > understand those texts by sitting in a 21st century western mindset;
> > although of course you want, whether you are a believer or not, to
> > interpret the results in your own terms.

Luke-Acts has the flavor of a novel.

One of the underpinning myths
of modern Christianity is the myth that the Bible is an historical, or
even an eye-witness account of past events.

Part of this has its roots in Irineus' choice of the order for the
Gospels, which are not presented in the order they were written.

Reorder the chapters of the New Testament in the order they were
written, and you get a story that grows and unfolds. The illusion of
"eye-witness accounts" dissolves.


>
> > This is called "exegesis"; and it is a canon of historical
> > interpretation that before you can impose an interpretation on a text,
> > you must understand it in its own terms. Genesis is not a scientific

> > text, and sensible people know this because even the very notion of
> > "science" was absent when it was written. Not until the late classical


> > period do people start to interpret the Old Testament in scientific
> > terms, which is when the problems begin.
>
> > Now how a modern "Abrahamic" theist reconciles their scriptures with
> > the knowledge we have from science is their own problem and not mine,
> > but at the very least a sensible theist must realise this is not a
> > science text, a history text, nor even, I would suggest, a particularly
> > deep psychology text. It is, however, and was always intended to be, a
> > set of myths around which a tradition clusters. Some of it may also be
> > true.
>

> 1Chronicles starts with the Historical Birth Records From Adam to
> Abraham. 2Chronicles ends describing the first year of Cyrus king of
> Persia and how he was going to help rebuild the temple in Israel.
> Everything in between the two books describes such things as who
> became king, when they ruled, their age, members of their family, how
> they came to power, how their rule ended, when people lived and died,
> how they lived, what they ate and what life was like during that time
> perod... etc etc.
>
> The same with the Books of Kings. Judges, Ezra, Ruth, etc,,,. They all
> describe events, people, places, attitudes, dates, locations, and even
> things like the names of towns being changed.
>
> Most of the bible is history. It is the history of one man's family
> from Adam to Jesus written in story format. That man was Abraham.

Actually, there were more historical writings that did not make it
into
the Bible. In more than one location in the OT is a reference to the
"book of the deeds of the kings of israel", which is no longer extant.
To make it into the "sacred collection" material had to have some
religious connection. Purely secular items didn't make the cut.

>
> Any idiot that can read at a 6th grade level should be able to
> understand that the bible is filled with the facts and events
> surrounding the family of Abraham, beginning with Adam, and ending
> with Jesus. That makes the bible a "history of the Hebrews"

It's mytho-historical. As Wilkin's correctly points out, they didn't
have our notion of history.


>
> To claim otherwise is simply propaganda and intended as fodder for the
> modern day atheists to soothe their minds..
>
> ----

While I would expect that you are an expert on propaganda, because
that is all you seem to be capable of producing, I would point out
that
the people who need soothing are Bible-ists who cannot seem to
accept that the Bible is neither a science book, nor is it a history
book,
nor is any of it an "eye-witness" account of anything.

Prof Weird

unread,
Feb 4, 2010, 5:29:24 PM2/4/10
to

Nope - were one foolish enough to believe the stories, he gathered a
large herd by using MAGIC (letting the goats see striped rods in the
watering trough) to CHEAT his brother. If it was selective breeding
there would have been no point in mentioning the 'need' to have the
goats see striped rods before mating to produce striped goats. And
his BROTHER would have had to be the one doing the selective breeding
to produce striped goats (which Jacob claimed were from his herd).

> But let's face the truth. Anyone that would call the author's of the
> bible's books "goat herders" is not as smart as a goat.

And a goat is smarter than anyone that 'thinks' bible stories are a
better explanation of anything than validated science.

Goatherding IS one of the many professions practiced back then. They
were ignorant of many things, so they made up stories (involving their
favorite Magical Sky Pixie) to 'explain' things they saw in the
world. Few thought to question them (or just called them 'traditions'
to shield them from actual examination. Or were brave enough to
question, given the punishments meted out back then for the most
trivial of offenses)

r norman

unread,
Feb 4, 2010, 5:43:37 PM2/4/10
to

This story should be enough to destroy the notion that "goatherds"
wrote it. They would know enought to understand that seeing stripes
does not produce striped offspring. This is exactly the sort of thing
that a city slicker writing a myth about family relations and how
relations and in-laws cheat each other would imagine might be true,
not knowing anything at all about goats. Besides, it makes a very
colorful and entertaining story to teach about how clever Jacob was;
something those who were supposed to be Jacob's offspring would like
to hear about.


The point about selective breeding is NOT about the stripes and
speckles. It is about how Jacob was careful to weed out only the
stronger females to be allowed to breed.


Mitchell Coffey

unread,
Feb 4, 2010, 5:46:16 PM2/4/10
to
On Feb 4, 4:23�pm, All-seeing-I <ap...@email.com> wrote:

Which is obviously untrue. You've always shown yourself to be
ignorant of the Bible, and particularly of the Hebrew Scriptures (you
didn't even know the difference between the Tanakh and Torah!). This
latter is unsurprising, given your hatred of Jews, the latest
manifestation of which was your unqualified endorsement of the
repulsive antisemite, "Starmaker." Given the chance to renounce his
excesses (posting an antisemitic forgeries, lying about Jews - as you
yourself have done, supporting antisemitic lies using neo-Nazi
sources, etc.) you have consistently remained silent.

> But let's face the truth. Anyone that would call the author's of the
> bible's books "goat herders" is not as smart as a goat.

Nope, its smarmy hyperbole; intelligence has nothing to do with it.
The people doing this are wrong, but clearly far more intelligent and
informed than you, even about the Scriptures. You're obviously to
dishonest to defend this claim.

Mitchell Coffey