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Author Topic: the bible seems human made  (Read 1718 times) Average Rating: 0
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Jason.Wike
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« on: April 11, 2012, 10:05:56 PM »

This has been bothering me a bit lately...

Deuteronomy 18:20
20 But a prophet who presumes to speak in my name anything I have not commanded, or a prophet who speaks in the name of other gods, is to be put to death.


I really wouldn't have a problem if God had done this, but the way it is, it seems human made. If God was offended that someone claimed to speak in the name of him or be a prophet of another God he could make them mute, strike them with lightning, etc. But, he didn't... it makes it seem like a man made construction, since it required human enforcement.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2012, 10:18:13 PM by Jason.Wike » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2012, 10:16:55 PM »

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« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2012, 10:27:25 PM »

If God struck with lightning anyone who falsely preached, we could not have faith. Knowledge of the truth would be forced on us, and we would have no freedom in the matter. God invites, He is always knocking. He doesn't knock the door down and force His way in. He revealed the truth to us through the Law and the Prophets, and in the fullness of time, in the Incarnation. But quietly, so that He invited His Bride, the Church, to come to Him, rather than compelling. It is our responsibility to treasure and guard this great gift the Lord has given us, the faith, the truth He revealed to us. We will be blameworthy if we allow this treasure to be plundered by false teachers who distort the faith and lead astray.

For those who accept the invitation, there is no need for proofs in the form of such divine intervention. They know He who loves them, and they love Him. One doesn't question whether the one they love exists, and if they question, they do not love. When the invitation is accepted, it is by a gift of faith from God, and it is confirmed and grows in relationship and in experience. But we must still guard the invitation from those who would corrupt it, and must guard our Christian lives from being lead astray by false preaching.

This has been bothering me a bit lately...

Deuteronomy 18:20
20 But a prophet who presumes to speak in my name anything I have not commanded, or a prophet who speaks in the name of other gods, is to be put to death.


I really wouldn't have a problem if God had done this, but the way it is, it seems human made. If God was offended that someone claimed to speak in the name of him or be a prophet of another God he could make them mute, strike them with lightning, etc. But, he didn't... it makes it seem like a man made construction, since it required human enforcement.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2012, 10:33:45 PM by Jonathan » Logged
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« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2012, 10:34:10 PM »

This has been bothering me a bit lately...

Deuteronomy 18:20
20 But a prophet who presumes to speak in my name anything I have not commanded, or a prophet who speaks in the name of other gods, is to be put to death.


I really wouldn't have a problem if God had done this, but the way it is, it seems human made. If God was offended that someone claimed to speak in the name of him or be a prophet of another God he could make them mute, strike them with lightning, etc. But, he didn't... it makes it seem like a man made construction, since it required human enforcement.
I sort of think the same way. Glad we don't do that anymore.Although i wouldn't mind Pat Robertson getting to see Jeesus early.
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« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2012, 10:38:25 PM »

At one time, people who preached differently were actually killed for this so how would that not be any less "free?" If God really instructed it to be done the agency involved is still God. If anything, if every false preacher was struck mute it would be better because we could have no doubt that it wasn't just men making things up (and as far as I'm concerned, killing people is worse than them believing the wrong things... I can't even figure out how it would ever be right. Believing something incorrect is not evil, killing people for being wrong IS).

At that point God wasn't passively "knocking" and inviting, either... Jews that believed differently were in fact killed. Gentiles around the Jews were in fact killed or forcibly converted.

Basically, now, I would never have believed Judaism to have been true and anything other than an human deception and oppression... so Christianity has no legs to stand on for me any more. You can't get something true out of something incorrect.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2012, 10:43:35 PM by Jason.Wike » Logged
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« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2012, 10:52:09 PM »

At the time, Judaism would actually be one of the most enlightening and moral religions.  Others were all about power and sorcery.  Judaism prided itself in its strict moral code while also maintaining justice and compassion to the helpless.

On today's standards of course Judaism does not look appealing.  That's because we have grown advanced thanks to Christ.  In Judaism, people drank milk.  Now in the revelation of Christ, we take solid food because we are able to digest it.  The world was not ready for a religion like Christianity at its time.

We also now reject Jewish laws because they are fulfilled.  Jewish restrictions and punishments no longer apply.  Those who reinstate them suffer from a regression and rightly considered backwards.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2012, 10:53:48 PM by minasoliman » Logged

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« Reply #6 on: April 12, 2012, 10:58:08 AM »

This has been bothering me a bit lately...

Deuteronomy 18:20
20 But a prophet who presumes to speak in my name anything I have not commanded, or a prophet who speaks in the name of other gods, is to be put to death.


I really wouldn't have a problem if God had done this, but the way it is, it seems human made. If God was offended that someone claimed to speak in the name of him or be a prophet of another God he could make them mute, strike them with lightning, etc. But, he didn't... it makes it seem like a man made construction, since it required human enforcement.

God has done his work through man on many occasions.

Consider Moses for instance.  He could have struck down all Egyptians dead at the blink of an eye, but he gave them a chance to "let his people go".

Consider all the Jews who witnessed God in the flesh in Jesus Christ.
Consider the suffering of Christ when God could have made it "pain free" for himself.

If God worked in theses circles it could also circumvent freewill.   He gives us the choice in whether or not to follow his will.  If he commanded the Jews to put people to death, he gave them the choice to obey his laws.
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« Reply #7 on: April 12, 2012, 11:06:37 AM »

If you read the Old Testament, you will see that the Law is not always followed to the letter, and there is much nuance and even due process in execution.
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« Reply #8 on: April 12, 2012, 11:09:12 AM »

When Christ raised Lazarus who did he have roll the stone away?  Couldn't He have done that Himself?  I mean seriously, He had just raised a man who had been dead for four days?  Moving a stone couldn't have been that much extra work!

The more and more you look at it, you can see that God helps us out where we are incapable, but He still expects us to do somethings ourselves and He still tells us to do things.  The people at the tomb of Lazarus were incapable of raising the dead, so Christ did that part.  He let us do the rest.
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« Reply #9 on: April 12, 2012, 11:13:39 AM »

If you read the Old Testament, you will see that the Law is not always followed to the letter, and there is much nuance and even due process in execution.

Anybody with knowledge of the Mishnah or Talmudic literature could easily tell you that the Judaism practiced in 1st century AD Palestine was not the same religion practiced by the 8th century BC Israelites.  This is why Christ criticized the traditions of the Pharisees, who gave more import to their own interpretations that to the actual Law of God.  That being said, even Christ executed rabbinic judgment in the proper interpretation of God's Law.
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« Reply #10 on: April 12, 2012, 03:31:58 PM »

The Bible is a man made construction.
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« Reply #11 on: April 12, 2012, 06:03:12 PM »

This has been bothering me a bit lately...

Deuteronomy 18:20
20 But a prophet who presumes to speak in my name anything I have not commanded, or a prophet who speaks in the name of other gods, is to be put to death.


I really wouldn't have a problem if God had done this, but the way it is, it seems human made. If God was offended that someone claimed to speak in the name of him or be a prophet of another God he could make them mute, strike them with lightning, etc. But, he didn't... it makes it seem like a man made construction, since it required human enforcement.
It is an interesting point, if one of the Commandments says do not kill, why do people have to kill someone who preaches wrong, should not we instead try to educate that person/persons and show him/them the truth as, surely,everyone has a chance to repent and change rather than being killed for something they may have simply misunderstood or misinterpreted?
« Last Edit: April 12, 2012, 06:21:32 PM by andrewlya » Logged

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« Reply #12 on: April 12, 2012, 07:10:35 PM »

At one time, people who preached differently were actually killed for this so how would that not be any less "free?" If God really instructed it to be done the agency involved is still God. If anything, if every false preacher was struck mute it would be better because we could have no doubt that it wasn't just men making things up (and as far as I'm concerned, killing people is worse than them believing the wrong things... I can't even figure out how it would ever be right. Believing something incorrect is not evil, killing people for being wrong IS).

You're making Jonathan's point (see the bold above). If God kills anyone who teaches falsely then nobody ever has to exercise their rational mind or free will, there is no room for doubt (and therefore no room for faith). If God commands, then the responsibility is certainly His--but the agency is man's. People can choose not to obey the command. People have to act as 'rational sheep' to actually think about what the command is, why it exists, and what is its proper interpretation. Yes, that leaves room for error--but the only way to eliminate 'room for error' is to eliminate human free will from the equation.
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« Reply #13 on: April 12, 2012, 10:27:29 PM »

The Bible is a man made construction.

Not sure exactly what you meant by this, but didn't the councils vote in the individual books at the will of God?  In that case, it could be a compiled by his will.

Also the first 5 books were "authored" by God and written by Moses.

Unless you leave out some of the abstract, I agree with you.  
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« Reply #14 on: April 12, 2012, 10:32:08 PM »

but didn't the councils vote in the individual books at the will of God?

Not really, no. There's no council that can be pointed to (until Trent for the Catholics) where you can say "Oh, ok, well that seals the deal on that issue". It was a much more gradual, often vague process. Perhaps the lesson of it is to remember that the final authority isn't what a man or book or council says, but God speaking through all of them.
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« Reply #15 on: April 15, 2012, 02:56:37 AM »

Well, this seems pretty dopey now. Smiley
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« Reply #16 on: April 15, 2012, 07:55:18 AM »

Some of the Old Testament seems to be harsh,but God only gives commands,like many said, and it is up to us to follow it or not due to a free will and ability to assess.

If we did not have a free will and the God was the agent Himself,then there would have been just one religion in the world and we would live in a Paradise sort of environment.

 But because we are here commanded what to do we have to follow what we are told. However, it does seem harsh to kill someone,i.e. for believing wrong, when we are also commanded not to kill.
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« Reply #17 on: April 15, 2012, 09:30:27 AM »

The Bible is a man made construction.

Not sure exactly what you meant by this, but didn't the councils vote in the individual books at the will of God?  In that case, it could be a compiled by his will.

Also the first 5 books were "authored" by God and written by Moses.

Unless you leave out some of the abstract, I agree with you. 

Moses... or 4-5 different authors. See the Documentary Hypothesis.

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« Reply #18 on: April 15, 2012, 10:39:00 AM »


Moses... or 4-5 different authors. See the Documentary Hypothesis.


Isn't it amazing how God takes these apparent strands (I'm not saying anything for or against any scholarly studies) and weaves them into something as beautifully colourful as this?
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« Reply #19 on: April 15, 2012, 10:51:19 AM »


Moses... or 4-5 different authors. See the Documentary Hypothesis.


Isn't it amazing how God takes these apparent strands (I'm not saying anything for or against any scholarly studies) and weaves them into something as beautifully colourful as this?
It reminds me of my hard drive. Man, I need to defragment this thing!
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« Reply #20 on: April 15, 2012, 08:09:36 PM »

Well, the saints and prophets were human beings. God worked through them to show the rest of us that he can lift us up.  Smiley
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« Reply #21 on: April 16, 2012, 02:16:20 PM »

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See the Documentary Hypothesis...
It reminds me of my hard drive. Man, I need to defragment this thing!
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« Reply #22 on: April 17, 2012, 06:09:54 PM »

At one time, people who preached differently were actually killed for this so how would that not be any less "free?" If God really instructed it to be done the agency involved is still God. If anything, if every false preacher was struck mute it would be better because we could have no doubt that it wasn't just men making things up (and as far as I'm concerned, killing people is worse than them believing the wrong things... I can't even figure out how it would ever be right. Believing something incorrect is not evil, killing people for being wrong IS).

You're making Jonathan's point (see the bold above). If God kills anyone who teaches falsely then nobody ever has to exercise their rational mind or free will, there is no room for doubt (and therefore no room for faith). If God commands, then the responsibility is certainly His--but the agency is man's. People can choose not to obey the command. People have to act as 'rational sheep' to actually think about what the command is, why it exists, and what is its proper interpretation. Yes, that leaves room for error--but the only way to eliminate 'room for error' is to eliminate human free will from the equation.

We shouldn't have to think for ourselves. It's such a drag.
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« Reply #23 on: April 17, 2012, 06:12:15 PM »

but didn't the councils vote in the individual books at the will of God?

Not really, no. There's no council that can be pointed to (until Trent for the Catholics) where you can say "Oh, ok, well that seals the deal on that issue". It was a much more gradual, often vague process. Perhaps the lesson of it is to remember that the final authority isn't what a man or book or council says, but God speaking through all of them.

Ha. As we all know, King James received his Bible from heaven on a Welsh mountain (which is now only a hill). All that crap about there being Biblical texts before that is just propaganda from the Discovery Channel.
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« Reply #24 on: April 17, 2012, 06:13:43 PM »

The Bible is a man made construction.

Not sure exactly what you meant by this, but didn't the councils vote in the individual books at the will of God?  In that case, it could be a compiled by his will.

Also the first 5 books were "authored" by God and written by Moses.

Unless you leave out some of the abstract, I agree with you. 

Moses... or 4-5 different authors. See the Documentary Hypothesis.



This is obviously more propaganda--probably from PBS. Note the distinctive pattern of colored stripes that usually appears when PBS goes off the air late at night. It's part of an elaborate indoctrination program/cover up.
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« Reply #25 on: April 17, 2012, 06:44:24 PM »

At one time, people who preached differently were actually killed for this so how would that not be any less "free?" If God really instructed it to be done the agency involved is still God. If anything, if every false preacher was struck mute it would be better because we could have no doubt that it wasn't just men making things up (and as far as I'm concerned, killing people is worse than them believing the wrong things... I can't even figure out how it would ever be right. Believing something incorrect is not evil, killing people for being wrong IS).

You're making Jonathan's point (see the bold above). If God kills anyone who teaches falsely then nobody ever has to exercise their rational mind or free will, there is no room for doubt (and therefore no room for faith). If God commands, then the responsibility is certainly His--but the agency is man's. People can choose not to obey the command. People have to act as 'rational sheep' to actually think about what the command is, why it exists, and what is its proper interpretation. Yes, that leaves room for error--but the only way to eliminate 'room for error' is to eliminate human free will from the equation.

We shouldn't have to think for ourselves. It's such a drag.

Actually y'all are making my point better than I did. If it's all about "freedom to choose" but choosing wrong gets you stoned to death then this "freedom" stuff is completely, unequivocally, meaningless. "Thinking for yourself" was a drag for them, because they got stoned to death. There was no more "freedom" for them than if God had just struck them with lightning himself.
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« Reply #26 on: April 17, 2012, 08:12:29 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

There are a few approaches to Scripture like this.  Taken literally, the Law is harsh.   However I'm not sure the Law ever condones random acts of retaliatory violence, rather these are the verdicts for Judaic court cases involving the judges/local government and the priests, just as was the Accusation against Our Lord.  These are the Laws to consult and follow.  Above all else, we out of faith as Bible readers need to accept that it was the Holy Spirit which acted through these judges and priests, and we have to accept that such decisions were not human but synergy of the Divine and human interacting.  We know the Spirit has revealed through the Gospel that the Law is to become figurative.  Let the sinner be put to spiritual death of Baptism, and the resurrection of the newness of life through Reconciliation and Holy Communion.  The Law is true, but only fulfilled through the Divine Mysteries.  Perhaps the Spirit required folks to be literal to the Law and stone spiritual criminals, and perhaps the Spirit never allowed such verdicts and the Law remained a visual deterrent and an ideal? Who knows.  I prefer to have the glass half full on this one, and assume that those without sins threw the first stones Wink

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« Reply #27 on: April 17, 2012, 11:13:36 PM »

At one time, people who preached differently were actually killed for this so how would that not be any less "free?" If God really instructed it to be done the agency involved is still God. If anything, if every false preacher was struck mute it would be better because we could have no doubt that it wasn't just men making things up (and as far as I'm concerned, killing people is worse than them believing the wrong things... I can't even figure out how it would ever be right. Believing something incorrect is not evil, killing people for being wrong IS).

You're making Jonathan's point (see the bold above). If God kills anyone who teaches falsely then nobody ever has to exercise their rational mind or free will, there is no room for doubt (and therefore no room for faith). If God commands, then the responsibility is certainly His--but the agency is man's. People can choose not to obey the command. People have to act as 'rational sheep' to actually think about what the command is, why it exists, and what is its proper interpretation. Yes, that leaves room for error--but the only way to eliminate 'room for error' is to eliminate human free will from the equation.

We shouldn't have to think for ourselves. It's such a drag.

Actually y'all are making my point better than I did. If it's all about "freedom to choose" but choosing wrong gets you stoned to death then this "freedom" stuff is completely, unequivocally, meaningless. "Thinking for yourself" was a drag for them, because they got stoned to death. There was no more "freedom" for them than if God had just struck them with lightning himself.

But now you are mixing two things. The passage doesn't say anything about stoning people for 'thinking for themselves'. It sets the penalty of execution for (falsely) claiming to speak in God's name or in the name of another god. There is a very real difference between saying "God says to do X" or "Moloch says to do X" and saying "I think God would want us to do X". Much less simply saying "I think we should do X". The latter 2 did not carry a penalty of execution. Only attempting to clothe your freedom of choice by stealing divine authority (and thereby falsely coercing others). Or in other words, you could do all the thinking you wanted--just don't lie and claim that God told you to do something when he didn't.
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« Reply #28 on: April 17, 2012, 11:28:42 PM »

At one time, people who preached differently were actually killed for this so how would that not be any less "free?" If God really instructed it to be done the agency involved is still God. If anything, if every false preacher was struck mute it would be better because we could have no doubt that it wasn't just men making things up (and as far as I'm concerned, killing people is worse than them believing the wrong things... I can't even figure out how it would ever be right. Believing something incorrect is not evil, killing people for being wrong IS).

You're making Jonathan's point (see the bold above). If God kills anyone who teaches falsely then nobody ever has to exercise their rational mind or free will, there is no room for doubt (and therefore no room for faith). If God commands, then the responsibility is certainly His--but the agency is man's. People can choose not to obey the command. People have to act as 'rational sheep' to actually think about what the command is, why it exists, and what is its proper interpretation. Yes, that leaves room for error--but the only way to eliminate 'room for error' is to eliminate human free will from the equation.

We shouldn't have to think for ourselves. It's such a drag.

Actually y'all are making my point better than I did. If it's all about "freedom to choose" but choosing wrong gets you stoned to death then this "freedom" stuff is completely, unequivocally, meaningless. "Thinking for yourself" was a drag for them, because they got stoned to death. There was no more "freedom" for them than if God had just struck them with lightning himself.

Freedom always has consequences.  Free actions always have consequences.  Because there are consequences does not negate the freedom.  A sociopath is free to go on a killing spree.  That there are consequences does not negate that freedom.  Then again, as Scripture makes clear, there really was no true freedom until it was proclaimed to the captives by the Christ. 
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« Reply #29 on: April 17, 2012, 11:33:08 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

There are a few approaches to Scripture like this.  Taken literally, the Law is harsh.   However I'm not sure the Law ever condones random acts of retaliatory violence, rather these are the verdicts for Judaic court cases involving the judges/local government and the priests, just as was the Accusation against Our Lord.  These are the Laws to consult and follow.  Above all else, we out of faith as Bible readers need to accept that it was the Holy Spirit which acted through these judges and priests, and we have to accept that such decisions were not human but synergy of the Divine and human interacting.  We know the Spirit has revealed through the Gospel that the Law is to become figurative.  Let the sinner be put to spiritual death of Baptism, and the resurrection of the newness of life through Reconciliation and Holy Communion.  The Law is true, but only fulfilled through the Divine Mysteries.  Perhaps the Spirit required folks to be literal to the Law and stone spiritual criminals, and perhaps the Spirit never allowed such verdicts and the Law remained a visual deterrent and an ideal? Who knows.  I prefer to have the glass half full on this one, and assume that those without sins threw the first stones Wink

stay blessed,
habte selassie

Right, the Fathers say that "death" in the Old Testament has two applications in the new.  The first is Baptism.  They are to repent and be put to death and buried with Him in Baptism.  But for one who is inside, death is excommunication, cut off from the life of the Communion of Life.  But even then, we know that resurrection through repentence is possible.  As such death has been put to death.   That is what the troparion we have been singing says.  It is not "and upon those who are living lively bestowing life" but upon those dead in the graves. 
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« Reply #30 on: April 17, 2012, 11:36:17 PM »

@op,

Look, either we believe that God's ways are high above our ways, and His thoughts well beyond our thoughts, and trust Him, or we do not.  Time to get it done or get off the pot, to cook or get out of the kitchen. 
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« Reply #31 on: April 17, 2012, 11:59:47 PM »

Maybe I'm just being over sensitive but that sounds like "Do it or get out/stop trying." And it is frankly rather discouraging. Undoing 20+/- years of not being Christian or believing in anything dogmatic at all is not that easy to do.
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« Reply #32 on: April 18, 2012, 02:43:13 AM »

I think they're just trying to give advice that would prevent you from getting caught up in a cycle of arguing with yourself about things for years. Christianity is about do, and sometimes the understanding comes later, and that's not always a bad thing in their view. Or, put another way, if you want to resolve many of your problems first, then you're never going to get to where you want to be. Not if your overly curious and thoughtful, anyway. Or, put yet another way, thinking is good, but it can also be paralyzing, not just in religion but in also art, science, etc.   I've been in that type of cycle for about 6 years, and while I may not end up where they'd prefer, nonetheless I agree with them in that it's not a good thing to let happen if you can prevent it.
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« Reply #33 on: April 18, 2012, 08:56:46 AM »

At one time, people who preached differently were actually killed for this so how would that not be any less "free?" If God really instructed it to be done the agency involved is still God. If anything, if every false preacher was struck mute it would be better because we could have no doubt that it wasn't just men making things up (and as far as I'm concerned, killing people is worse than them believing the wrong things... I can't even figure out how it would ever be right. Believing something incorrect is not evil, killing people for being wrong IS).

You're making Jonathan's point (see the bold above). If God kills anyone who teaches falsely then nobody ever has to exercise their rational mind or free will, there is no room for doubt (and therefore no room for faith). If God commands, then the responsibility is certainly His--but the agency is man's. People can choose not to obey the command. People have to act as 'rational sheep' to actually think about what the command is, why it exists, and what is its proper interpretation. Yes, that leaves room for error--but the only way to eliminate 'room for error' is to eliminate human free will from the equation.

We shouldn't have to think for ourselves. It's such a drag.

Actually y'all are making my point better than I did. If it's all about "freedom to choose" but choosing wrong gets you stoned to death then this "freedom" stuff is completely, unequivocally, meaningless. "Thinking for yourself" was a drag for them, because they got stoned to death. There was no more "freedom" for them than if God had just struck them with lightning himself.

Freedom always has consequences.  Free actions always have consequences.  Because there are consequences does not negate the freedom.  A sociopath is free to go on a killing spree.  That there are consequences does not negate that freedom.  Then again, as Scripture makes clear, there really was no true freedom until it was proclaimed to the captives by the Christ. 

I want to add something else.  True, the Bible passages can allude to consequences of our freedom.  But also that the Mosaic Law is an expression of the captivity the human race attained when freedom was lost in Eden.  In addition, if the Old Testament represents a relative immaturity of the human race, and the New Testament represents the adulthood and enlightenment of the human race, then freedom is not applicable for children, since they need discipline and need to learn obedience.

So the stoning passages in the Old Testament does not apply.  If you want to talk about human freedom, only the New Testament applies.
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« Reply #34 on: April 18, 2012, 09:03:07 AM »

We also have to see this in the context of our own world. Just as a criminal gets punished by human justice, part of is the law and part of it is human enforcement. So it is with God's Laws FOR us humans. God teaches us how to govern ourselves, but He does not forcefully govern us Himself; He just helps.  So part of it is God's law, and part of it is the human need for such a law, especially when dealing with issues surrounding holiness and morality. Let's face it, even if God wouldn't step in, we'd have to come up with a way to protect our most important values; we could never accept a world where anything goes.
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« Reply #35 on: April 18, 2012, 09:57:48 AM »

There is some question whether the death penalty was always or even usually implemented in ancient Israel where the Tanak called for it, or whether this was the intention of the Tanak:

"It must be noted that the death penalty might also indicate the seriousness of the crime without calling for the actual implementation of it in every case. In fact, there is little evidence that may of these sanctions were ever actually carried out in ancient Israel. Only in the case of premeditated murder was there the added stricture of 'Do not accept a ransom for the life of the murderer who deserves to die' (Num 35:31). Traditional wisdom, both in the Jewish and Christian communities, interpreted this verse in Numbers 35:31 to mean that out of the almost twenty cases calling for capital punishment in the Old Testament, every one of them could have the sanction commuted by an appropriate substitute of money or anything that showed the seriousness of the crime, but in the case of what we today call first-degree murder, there was never to be offered or accepted ay substitute or bargaining of any kind: the offender had to pay with his or her life" (Walter Kaiser Jr., Peter H. Davids, F. F. Bruce, and Manfred T. Brauch, Hard Sayings of the Bible (Downers Grove: IVP Academic, 1996), p. 162).
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« Reply #36 on: April 18, 2012, 12:46:31 PM »

greetings in that divine and most precious name of our lord and savior jesus christ!

There is some question whether the death penalty was always or even usually implemented in ancient Israel where the Tanak called for it, or whether this was the intention of the Tanak:

"It must be noted that the death penalty might also indicate the seriousness of the crime without calling for the actual implementation of it in every case. In fact, there is little evidence that may of these sanctions were ever actually carried out in ancient Israel. Only in the case of premeditated murder was there the added stricture of 'Do not accept a ransom for the life of the murderer who deserves to die' (Num 35:31). Traditional wisdom, both in the Jewish and Christian communities, interpreted this verse in Numbers 35:31 to mean that out of the almost twenty cases calling for capital punishment in the Old Testament, every one of them could have the sanction commuted by an appropriate substitute of money or anything that showed the seriousness of the crime, but in the case of what we today call first-degree murder, there was never to be offered or accepted ay substitute or bargaining of any kind: the offender had to pay with his or her life" (Walter Kaiser Jr., Peter H. Davids, F. F. Bruce, and Manfred T. Brauch, Hard Sayings of the Bible (Downers Grove: IVP Academic, 1996), p. 162).

exactly! a brother and i were just discussing this very same point.  there is not substantive evidence that the Law was ever implemented in its fullness at every instance.  it is realistically a calvinist interpretation of Scripture which entangles folks into this mindset about the Law.  perhaps God intended the same meaning in the Law as He did with the adulteress in the Gospel of John and by the holy spirit the clergy of the Old Testament always understood the implicit "he who is without sin cast the first stone."  The Law very well may have always been implemented as an ideal, and capital punishment may have reasonably been a rare instance in favor of mercy.  if secular legal systems often result in the lowest convictions even with against the highest accusations, why would not the divinely ordained justice system of the Law be any different?

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #37 on: April 18, 2012, 04:03:36 PM »

Maybe I'm just being over sensitive but that sounds like "Do it or get out/stop trying." And it is frankly rather discouraging. Undoing 20+/- years of not being Christian or believing in anything dogmatic at all is not that easy to do.

Jason, I am definitely not saying "stop trying."  BTW I was glad to see you on Pascha.  I am, however, following Elijah at this point: 
“How long will you falter between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him.” (1 Kings/3 Kgdms 18.21). 
We all get over sensitive sometimes (part of the fall).  @op means at the original post, not the original poster.  "It seems manmade" is a subjective statement from a particular point of view.  That point of view is that of either skepticism or cynecism.  Although the op of itself is relatively mild, it is quite a big leap from the op to the statement in the subject line.  Because a few select passages seem human made means that "the bible seems human made"?!  Perhaps you could claim corruption of texts based on this but a sweeping indictment of the entirety of Scripture? 

1 Peter 1.19-21:  "And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit."
or for verse 21 an alternate translation: 
"for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God." (NASV)

Therefore indeed it was humans who spoke and wrote.  But it was not human made.  It came from God, and none of it was from the will of man. 

As for it being discouraging, I think what you mean is that you were discouraged by it.  What is discouraging to one is encouraging to another.   This is an important distinction, as being discouraged is an emotion, and emotions for those of us trodding the earth still struggling with the passions are often deceptive.  They are often a tool that we unwittingly create and the devil takes that uses it against us.   

At some point we have to commit to something.  At some point, we have to say that we are going to put our faith in the Lord and not in princes or in sons of men (including ourselves) in whom there is NO salvation.  God strengthen you in these days.  Christ is Risen!   
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« Reply #38 on: April 18, 2012, 04:27:51 PM »

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« Reply #39 on: April 18, 2012, 04:31:25 PM »

There is some question whether the death penalty was always or even usually implemented in ancient Israel where the Tanak called for it, or whether this was the intention of the Tanak:

"It must be noted that the death penalty might also indicate the seriousness of the crime without calling for the actual implementation of it in every case. In fact, there is little evidence that may of these sanctions were ever actually carried out in ancient Israel. Only in the case of premeditated murder was there the added stricture of 'Do not accept a ransom for the life of the murderer who deserves to die' (Num 35:31). Traditional wisdom, both in the Jewish and Christian communities, interpreted this verse in Numbers 35:31 to mean that out of the almost twenty cases calling for capital punishment in the Old Testament, every one of them could have the sanction commuted by an appropriate substitute of money or anything that showed the seriousness of the crime, but in the case of what we today call first-degree murder, there was never to be offered or accepted ay substitute or bargaining of any kind: the offender had to pay with his or her life" (Walter Kaiser Jr., Peter H. Davids, F. F. Bruce, and Manfred T. Brauch, Hard Sayings of the Bible (Downers Grove: IVP Academic, 1996), p. 162).

What about when Moses had a man stoned for collecting wood on the sabbath?
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« Reply #40 on: April 18, 2012, 05:46:35 PM »

There is some question whether the death penalty was always or even usually implemented in ancient Israel where the Tanak called for it, or whether this was the intention of the Tanak:

"It must be noted that the death penalty might also indicate the seriousness of the crime without calling for the actual implementation of it in every case. In fact, there is little evidence that may of these sanctions were ever actually carried out in ancient Israel. Only in the case of premeditated murder was there the added stricture of 'Do not accept a ransom for the life of the murderer who deserves to die' (Num 35:31). Traditional wisdom, both in the Jewish and Christian communities, interpreted this verse in Numbers 35:31 to mean that out of the almost twenty cases calling for capital punishment in the Old Testament, every one of them could have the sanction commuted by an appropriate substitute of money or anything that showed the seriousness of the crime, but in the case of what we today call first-degree murder, there was never to be offered or accepted ay substitute or bargaining of any kind: the offender had to pay with his or her life" (Walter Kaiser Jr., Peter H. Davids, F. F. Bruce, and Manfred T. Brauch, Hard Sayings of the Bible (Downers Grove: IVP Academic, 1996), p. 162).

What about when Moses had a man stoned for collecting wood on the sabbath?

Whosoever kept the whole law yet offended in one point was guilty of all, as St. James tells us.  That is why Christ came to fulfill the law.  Christ made no apologies for the strictness of the law, as it was better to go voluntarily to death of body for something you were guilty of than death of the soul.
 
"He answered and said to them, 'Why do you also transgress the commandment of God because of your tradition? For God commanded, saying, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.’  But you say, ‘Whoever says to his father or mother, “Whatever profit you might have received from me is a gift to God”— then he need not honor his father or mother.’  Thus you have made the commandment of God of no effect by your tradition" (Matt. 15.3ff)
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« Reply #41 on: April 18, 2012, 09:35:03 PM »

There is some question whether the death penalty was always or even usually implemented in ancient Israel where the Tanak called for it, or whether this was the intention of the Tanak:

"It must be noted that the death penalty might also indicate the seriousness of the crime without calling for the actual implementation of it in every case. In fact, there is little evidence that may of these sanctions were ever actually carried out in ancient Israel. Only in the case of premeditated murder was there the added stricture of 'Do not accept a ransom for the life of the murderer who deserves to die' (Num 35:31). Traditional wisdom, both in the Jewish and Christian communities, interpreted this verse in Numbers 35:31 to mean that out of the almost twenty cases calling for capital punishment in the Old Testament, every one of them could have the sanction commuted by an appropriate substitute of money or anything that showed the seriousness of the crime, but in the case of what we today call first-degree murder, there was never to be offered or accepted ay substitute or bargaining of any kind: the offender had to pay with his or her life" (Walter Kaiser Jr., Peter H. Davids, F. F. Bruce, and Manfred T. Brauch, Hard Sayings of the Bible (Downers Grove: IVP Academic, 1996), p. 162).

What about when Moses had a man stoned for collecting wood on the sabbath?

Whosoever kept the whole law yet offended in one point was guilty of all, as St. James tells us.  That is why Christ came to fulfill the law.  Christ made no apologies for the strictness of the law, as it was better to go voluntarily to death of body for something you were guilty of than death of the soul.
 
"He answered and said to them, 'Why do you also transgress the commandment of God because of your tradition? For God commanded, saying, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.’  But you say, ‘Whoever says to his father or mother, “Whatever profit you might have received from me is a gift to God”— then he need not honor his father or mother.’  Thus you have made the commandment of God of no effect by your tradition" (Matt. 15.3ff)

Father, are you saying that execution in the OT was to prevent further sinning by the transgressor?
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« Reply #42 on: April 19, 2012, 02:41:22 PM »

There is some question whether the death penalty was always or even usually implemented in ancient Israel where the Tanak called for it, or whether this was the intention of the Tanak:

"It must be noted that the death penalty might also indicate the seriousness of the crime without calling for the actual implementation of it in every case. In fact, there is little evidence that may of these sanctions were ever actually carried out in ancient Israel. Only in the case of premeditated murder was there the added stricture of 'Do not accept a ransom for the life of the murderer who deserves to die' (Num 35:31). Traditional wisdom, both in the Jewish and Christian communities, interpreted this verse in Numbers 35:31 to mean that out of the almost twenty cases calling for capital punishment in the Old Testament, every one of them could have the sanction commuted by an appropriate substitute of money or anything that showed the seriousness of the crime, but in the case of what we today call first-degree murder, there was never to be offered or accepted ay substitute or bargaining of any kind: the offender had to pay with his or her life" (Walter Kaiser Jr., Peter H. Davids, F. F. Bruce, and Manfred T. Brauch, Hard Sayings of the Bible (Downers Grove: IVP Academic, 1996), p. 162).

What about when Moses had a man stoned for collecting wood on the sabbath?

Whosoever kept the whole law yet offended in one point was guilty of all, as St. James tells us.  That is why Christ came to fulfill the law.  Christ made no apologies for the strictness of the law, as it was better to go voluntarily to death of body for something you were guilty of than death of the soul.
 
"He answered and said to them, 'Why do you also transgress the commandment of God because of your tradition? For God commanded, saying, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.’  But you say, ‘Whoever says to his father or mother, “Whatever profit you might have received from me is a gift to God”— then he need not honor his father or mother.’  Thus you have made the commandment of God of no effect by your tradition" (Matt. 15.3ff)

Father, are you saying that execution in the OT was to prevent further sinning by the transgressor?

No, but it was certainly of benefit to the person to die in repentence voluntarily undergoing just reward for what they had done (and also sinning no more as the result), even in the New Testament:

"And we indeed are suffering justly, for we are receiving what we deserve for our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong" (Luke 23.41).

 
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« Reply #43 on: April 19, 2012, 10:22:59 PM »

There is some question whether the death penalty was always or even usually implemented in ancient Israel where the Tanak called for it, or whether this was the intention of the Tanak:

"It must be noted that the death penalty might also indicate the seriousness of the crime without calling for the actual implementation of it in every case. In fact, there is little evidence that may of these sanctions were ever actually carried out in ancient Israel. Only in the case of premeditated murder was there the added stricture of 'Do not accept a ransom for the life of the murderer who deserves to die' (Num 35:31). Traditional wisdom, both in the Jewish and Christian communities, interpreted this verse in Numbers 35:31 to mean that out of the almost twenty cases calling for capital punishment in the Old Testament, every one of them could have the sanction commuted by an appropriate substitute of money or anything that showed the seriousness of the crime, but in the case of what we today call first-degree murder, there was never to be offered or accepted ay substitute or bargaining of any kind: the offender had to pay with his or her life" (Walter Kaiser Jr., Peter H. Davids, F. F. Bruce, and Manfred T. Brauch, Hard Sayings of the Bible (Downers Grove: IVP Academic, 1996), p. 162).

What about when Moses had a man stoned for collecting wood on the sabbath?

Whosoever kept the whole law yet offended in one point was guilty of all, as St. James tells us.  That is why Christ came to fulfill the law.  Christ made no apologies for the strictness of the law, as it was better to go voluntarily to death of body for something you were guilty of than death of the soul.
 
"He answered and said to them, 'Why do you also transgress the commandment of God because of your tradition? For God commanded, saying, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.’  But you say, ‘Whoever says to his father or mother, “Whatever profit you might have received from me is a gift to God”— then he need not honor his father or mother.’  Thus you have made the commandment of God of no effect by your tradition" (Matt. 15.3ff)

Father, are you saying that execution in the OT was to prevent further sinning by the transgressor?

No, but it was certainly of benefit to the person to die in repentence voluntarily undergoing just reward for what they had done (and also sinning no more as the result), even in the New Testament:

"And we indeed are suffering justly, for we are receiving what we deserve for our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong" (Luke 23.41).

 

Did that man die voluntarily?
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« Reply #44 on: April 19, 2012, 11:11:35 PM »

There is some question whether the death penalty was always or even usually implemented in ancient Israel where the Tanak called for it, or whether this was the intention of the Tanak:

"It must be noted that the death penalty might also indicate the seriousness of the crime without calling for the actual implementation of it in every case. In fact, there is little evidence that may of these sanctions were ever actually carried out in ancient Israel. Only in the case of premeditated murder was there the added stricture of 'Do not accept a ransom for the life of the murderer who deserves to die' (Num 35:31). Traditional wisdom, both in the Jewish and Christian communities, interpreted this verse in Numbers 35:31 to mean that out of the almost twenty cases calling for capital punishment in the Old Testament, every one of them could have the sanction commuted by an appropriate substitute of money or anything that showed the seriousness of the crime, but in the case of what we today call first-degree murder, there was never to be offered or accepted ay substitute or bargaining of any kind: the offender had to pay with his or her life" (Walter Kaiser Jr., Peter H. Davids, F. F. Bruce, and Manfred T. Brauch, Hard Sayings of the Bible (Downers Grove: IVP Academic, 1996), p. 162).

What about when Moses had a man stoned for collecting wood on the sabbath?

Whosoever kept the whole law yet offended in one point was guilty of all, as St. James tells us.  That is why Christ came to fulfill the law.  Christ made no apologies for the strictness of the law, as it was better to go voluntarily to death of body for something you were guilty of than death of the soul.
 
"He answered and said to them, 'Why do you also transgress the commandment of God because of your tradition? For God commanded, saying, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.’  But you say, ‘Whoever says to his father or mother, “Whatever profit you might have received from me is a gift to God”— then he need not honor his father or mother.’  Thus you have made the commandment of God of no effect by your tradition" (Matt. 15.3ff)

Father, are you saying that execution in the OT was to prevent further sinning by the transgressor?

No, but it was certainly of benefit to the person to die in repentence voluntarily undergoing just reward for what they had done (and also sinning no more as the result), even in the New Testament:

"And we indeed are suffering justly, for we are receiving what we deserve for our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong" (Luke 23.41).

 

Did that man die voluntarily?

I should hope so, or else the account means nothing.  One thief died involuntarily, as he asked the Lord to get him down off the cross to escape his punishment.  The other thief refuted this request, and rather said that he deserved to die and only asked that the Lord remember him in His Kingdom, and voluntarily died.   
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