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Reading holy books for fun

by Greg Bernhardt
Tags: books, holy, reading
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CaptainQuasar
#37
Feb8-08, 05:32 PM
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Quote Quote by mgb_phys View Post
In the theme of religions that lost there is the "Poetic Edda" admitadley not as much sex and violence as the old testament.
Yes! And the Finnish Kalevala. Actually, I haven't read the Kalevala. If we were all going to read something together I'd definitely vote for that. It's more of a narrative than the Koran is.
Greg Bernhardt
#38
Feb8-08, 05:48 PM
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Quote Quote by CaptainQuasar View Post
Not to mention human sacrifice. See Abraham and Isaac.
If Isaac was sacrificed as a young boy, how could Jews be the descendant of him?
Evo
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Feb8-08, 05:56 PM
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Quote Quote by Greg Bernhardt View Post
If Isaac was sacrificed as a young boy, how could Jews be the descendant of him?
Isaac was spared at the last moment because god said "heh, I was just joking".
EnumaElish
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Feb8-08, 06:44 PM
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Quote Quote by Greg Bernhardt View Post
If Isaac was sacrificed as a young boy, how could Jews be the descendant of him?
Quote Quote by Evo View Post
Isaac was spared at the last moment because god said "heh, I was just joking".
So Jews descended from Isaac and Muslims from Ishmael, Isaac's older brother (according to the Muslim faith).

There may be some interfaith disagreement over whom Abraham intended to sacrifice, Isaac or Ishmael.

Muslim faith recognizes the holy books up to and including Koran, recognizes all prophets up to and including Mohammad ("God sent a prophet to every generation"), does believe in resurrection of Jesus, and AFAIK his promise to return (possibly except for Shiites, who believe that the prophesied messiah is their 12th imam).

According to the Muslim faith, each prophet taught God's word to his generation and they were all true religions, but men forgot or corrupted those teachings over time. Finally God said "enough is enough," and sent Koran as his "final word."
DrClapeyron
#41
Feb8-08, 06:50 PM
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I am finished with the Exodus of the Bible. This is a great book for reference of morals and Mosaic law and its counterpart the Napoleon code (or civil law).

Muslims believe Ishmael was the legit heir to Abraham's tribe because he was eldest but because he was born of a concubine sarogate mother Jews believe Isaac to be true heir because he was born of Abraham's wife. Of course Abraham had many wives and some he favored more than others.
CaptainQuasar
#42
Feb8-08, 07:10 PM
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Quote Quote by Greg Bernhardt View Post
If Isaac was sacrificed as a young boy, how could Jews be the descendant of him?
It's not that Isaac himself was sacrificed, it's that this story is generally taken to mean that ancient Hebrews practiced human sacrifice, as did many early cultures.
mgb_phys
#43
Feb8-08, 08:07 PM
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Quote Quote by Greg Bernhardt View Post
If Isaac was sacrificed as a young boy, how could Jews be the descendant of him?
God was playing an early game of "Yahweh says" - but didn't say "Yahweh says - sacrifice Isaac"
falc39
#44
Feb9-08, 03:39 AM
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One of the things I find so fascinating about reading this kind of stuff is how it permeates throughout our culture. Even if you don't believe it literally, you are constantly exposed to it. For instance, many famous movies and novels borrow from the religious and mythical stories all around the world. Even in computer games, there are a ton of references and parallels if you take the time to notice it. It's everywhere, and I believe it points to a deeper sense of meaning. It's hard to ignore something so timeless.
TVP45
#45
Feb9-08, 05:58 AM
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Quote Quote by mgb_phys View Post
That was my point you need an annotation that says something like - "the original Hebrew word is X and it is also used in other documents from the same period to mean Y".
So does 'parthenos' mean hadn't had sex or just unmarried, or given the society would there be no difference between the two?
Simply translating into another language, especially one as subtle and changable as English isn't enough - however good the translation.


ps. Does the Qu'ran repeat the Torah/Old Testament books or does it just provide a link to them?
Sorry. When I wrote that last night I was tired and too terse. Parthenos doesn't really refer to sexual activity but rather to marital status, i,e, Mary was an unmarried woman. The implication, given the mores of the time, is that she was also virginal, but the problem with the story is the logical contradiction. She's Joseph's wife but is unmarried.

But, you make an excellent point about English. Many fundamentalists swear by the literal veracity of the King James Bible, yet it is well-known to have been edited by James who did not like words like "tyrant", "despot", etc. I typically use 4 or 5 different Bibles when I read so that I can see the different interpretations. If you want an exercise in futility, try figuring out what "spirit" means; I eventually just began using the much simpler Buddhist meaning of "breath".

The Qu'ran does not repeat the Torah. It apparently was assumed that most Muslims were familiar with that already. The Qu'ran provides commentary and correction to some practices of religion. I am not very familiar with the book, both because it is hard to follow and because I have frankly been afraid to go to the local Islamic Center to ask questions for fear I'll never again be allowed on an airplane or worse.
TVP45
#46
Feb9-08, 06:11 AM
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Quote Quote by Greg Bernhardt View Post
If Isaac was sacrificed as a young boy, how could Jews be the descendant of him?
There are a number of possible answers which have been put forth:

The Torah was invented out of whole cloth during the Babylonian Exile as a tool for cohesiveness. Thus, nothing needs to be explained.

The story of Abraham is apocryphal. The Apostle Paul epoused this view.

Isaac was not sacrificed. Abraham's hand was stayed by an angel (or G-d) at the last minute.

It was Ishmael who was sacrificed.

Isaac was sacrificed, went somewhere for 3 days, and was resurrected. When you add to this the fact that Isaac carried the wood up the mountain for his sacrifice, you can see the parallel with the crucifixion of Christ. There is indeed a reference in the New Testament about events seen before they happened (a bad paraphrase but I can't find the verses just now).
TVP45
#47
Feb9-08, 06:13 AM
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Quote Quote by Evo View Post
It would be fun to read the books together on here. I'm willing to buy the Quran, I have a bible and would be interested in reading the Torah as well. We'd all have to have the same versions though.
I'd be up for that.
CaptainQuasar
#48
Feb9-08, 06:45 AM
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TVP45, I don't get the joke... Isaac was not sacrificed in the story told in the Bible. Are you confusing this with something else?
TVP45
#49
Feb9-08, 07:13 AM
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Quote Quote by CaptainQuasar View Post
TVP45, I don't get the joke... Isaac was not sacrificed in the story told in the Bible. Are you confusing this with something else?
If you ever read many of my posts, you know I love bad puns and groaner jokes. This is serious.

I gave several explanations that are commonly put forth. My personal opinion is that the story is allegorical (I said apocryphal in the previous post and that was the wrong word).

But, if you read the 22nd chapter of Genesis, you will note that, prior to the event, the writer refers to "Abraham and Isaac", "they", and "the two". When it's all over, it says "Abraham went back..." This bothers many scholars and is usually just glossed over. Yet, clearly, Isaac shows up later as a grown man (or at least does if we take Genesis as chronological - it may not be)

Only the Christian churches view the Bible as the sole source. Jews and Muslims use commentaries and traditions and other revelations. Some of those traditions give a more detailed description of what happened to Isaac. Below is a link to a Penn course on the Midrash interpetations (this is just sort of typical - there are a ton of sites like this):
http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/rs/002/Midrash.html
iansmith
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Feb9-08, 07:17 AM
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Quote Quote by EnumaElish View Post
does believe in resurrection of Jesus
Actually, Islam denies that Jesus was crucified (Qur'an 4:157) and, therefore, Jesus never died and resurrected. Based on islamic tradition, someone else (i.e. a double) was used instead of Jesus.

The Qur'an also mention that Jesus was able to talk only a few hours/days after birth and that Marry was not married to Joseph.

Other interesting "holy" scripture, as someone mention are Apocryphon (i.e. the gospel that didn't make it in the bible). These writings are quite interesting and some of those gospels influence the Qur'an. For example, as a youth Jesus is a "demon" child and uses is "magical" power to play trick on people.

Other interesting "holy" scripture would be the gnostic writings since they do include Jesus and other Abrahamic religion into their believe
mgb_phys
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Feb9-08, 10:30 AM
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Quote Quote by TVP45 View Post
but the problem with the story is the logical contradiction. She's Joseph's wife but is unmarried.
I remember something from school about betrothed meaning something like engaged - promised to but not actually married.

On a related point there is a passage something like "Apostle: Jesus your brothers and sisters are here to see you, Jesus: All who follow me are my brothers and sisters" Implying that Mary didn't remain a virgin for long.
Unfortunately I was taught RE by nuns who felt that theological discussion should be closely linked to corporal punishment so I never got a good answer about what the apostle meant by brothers and sisters, although I read explanations that it meant cousin or people from the same village.
mgb_phys
#52
Feb9-08, 10:34 AM
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Quote Quote by TVP45 View Post
Isaac was sacrificed, went somewhere for 3 days, and was resurrected. When you add to this the fact that Isaac carried the wood up the mountain for his sacrifice,
Being tied to a tree for a few days and surviving to gain godlike superpowers isn't exactly original either.
Moonbear
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Feb9-08, 11:01 AM
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Quote Quote by EnumaElish View Post
So Jews descended from Isaac and Muslims from Ishmael, Isaac's older brother (according to the Muslim faith).

There may be some interfaith disagreement over whom Abraham intended to sacrifice, Isaac or Ishmael.
Interesting. Though, the possibility of having mixed up two brothers with similar sounding names in the retelling of a story is the least of inconsistencies that would bother me...that actually sounds highly plausible (anyone with siblings close in age to them will appreciate how frequently this could happen).


According to the Muslim faith, each prophet taught God's word to his generation and they were all true religions, but men forgot or corrupted those teachings over time. Finally God said "enough is enough," and sent Koran as his "final word."
Or at least until the next time God sends a prophet telling them that man has forgotten or corrupted Mohammed's teachings. It seems each of the holy books is written from this perspective, that God has gotten fed up with the misinterpretations of his instructions and sent someone down to explain them to the people. (I wonder when He'll figure out that he has to illustrate the instruction manuals with pictures if He wants man to follow them? )
Moonbear
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Feb9-08, 11:13 AM
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Quote Quote by iansmith View Post
...and that Marry was not married to Joseph.
The Christian Bible also never states that they were married. They were betrothed (in modern language, the equivalent of either an engagement, or an agreement for an arranged marriage). There's no mention of them ever getting married, nor any indication of whether they even lived together as husband and wife....as far as I've read, it's pretty open for interpretation.


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