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13 minutes ago, TLC said:

That's not at all what I said. Try reading it again.  (The vacancy was singular.)

Okay, Adam? (not humans) . . . can I infer there is more to expound on? (I think I've heard of JC as the second Adam)

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3 hours ago, Bolshevik said:

. . . can I infer there is more to expound on? (I think I've heard of JC as the second Adam)

at least you're pointing in the right direction.

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9 hours ago, TLC said:

at least you're pointing in the right direction.

Maybe . . . The thread itself looks back on Genesis and asks silly questions.  IMO.

There's at least a couple of natural reactions to that.

1.  Generate nonsense to give answers to nonsensical questions.

2.  Toss out the whole book as nonsense.  It can't  answer silly question so it must be garbage.

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8 minutes ago, Bolshevik said:

Maybe . . . The thread itself looks back on Genesis and asks silly questions.  IMO.

There's at least a couple of natural reactions to that.

1.  Generate nonsense to give answers to nonsensical questions.

2.  Toss out the whole book as nonsense.  It can't  answer silly question so it must be garbage.

"natural" reactions, indeed, because the foolishness of God is wiser than men.

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2 hours ago, TLC said:

"natural" reactions, indeed, because the foolishness of God is wiser than men.

Or, the abstraction of the collective subconsciousness of a thousand generations is wiser than even a number of conscience wisdom.

 

 

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On 7/18/2014 at 6:53 PM, Raf said:

. . . . There are actual errors in the Bible. Not errors of interpretation. Real, documentable, tangible blunders that show Genesis does not pass PFAL's criteria for what it means to be God-breathed.. . .

Ok.  I can understand why this thought would be thought because I did it too.

PFAL's criteria?  . . . think on that

Something like The Bible has been around so long.  It's survived generation after generation and war after war.

PFAL has survived what?

As a non-christian, I certainly think The Bible deserves a little more respect when being questioned and is not in the same boat as PFAL.

Edited by Bolshevik

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No it doesn't.

No more or less than the Qu'ran or the Book of the Dead or all sorts of other holy books.

I chose "PFAL's criteria" because it is a common frame of reference. I could have said "inerrantists" and made the same point.

A story can have "truth" without being "true."

Back to superheroes: "With great power comes great responsibility" is a pretty decent life lesson. That it is the central lesson of a clearly fictional tale does not invalidate the lesson.

Plenty of things in the Bible that are valuable lessons that do not rely on the stories themselves being true.

Once you say "this story isn't literally true, but..." we are no longer in disagreement and there is simply nothing to discuss.

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I just don't fit superheroes into evolution.  Maybe you've figured that one out.

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Are you truly THAT unable to evaluate an analogy?

I expected better. Stop derailing all these threads with babble.

Edited by Raf

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5 minutes ago, Raf said:

Are you truly THAT unable to evaluate an analogy?

I expected better. Stop derailing all these threads with babble.

Ok.  I will send a PM.

 

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A fun new error I noticed last week:

"Moses" wrote the account of Abraham 500 years after and called a location of Abraham as "Dan". Then after Moses died, a new account occurs where the land is finally named "Dan". How did Moses call it "Dan" for Abraham despite it being named that not until after Moses died?

Genesis 14:14 When Abram heard that his relative had been taken captive, he called out the 318 trained men born in his household and went in pursuit as far as Dan.

Judges 18:1 In those days Israel had no king. And in those days the tribe of the Danites was seeking a place of their own where they might settle, because they had not yet come into an inheritance among the tribes of Israel.

Judges 18:29 They named it Dan after their ancestor Dan, who was born to Israel--though the 
city used to be called Laish.

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Dusting this topic off...

 

Longhunter: Without further research, I agree that you appear to have found an error. But I would not say it with 100 percent certainty before I could answer a host of questions, the first of which would be: How do we know there weren't two places named Dan? I live about 100 miles from Naples, but nowhere near Italy. I live a couple of miles from St. Petersburg, but nowhere near Russia...

The fact that Moses did not write the first five books of the Bible should be readily apparent. The stronger likelihood is that Moses never existed at all: He's a fictional character invented as a unifying figure for a band of related tribes seeking political cohesion hundreds of years after he would have lived if there were a shred of truth to his history.

To be continued...

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On 7/29/2017 at 3:35 PM, Bolshevik said:

 

See, you ask some important questions, don't answer them . . . and then jump to unimportant questions, and get consumed by those.

 

(Please click on Bolshevik's post to get the context of this comment).

The real problem isn't that I raise an interesting question and then go on to other questions.
The real problem is that I had the interesting question in the first place. This should not be a question. Why did God accept Abel's sacrifice and not Cain's? There is nothing in the verse or context to explain it. 

Let's suppose that the answer is: Abel's sacrifice was of blood, and Cain's was not. Fine. Why didn't God tell that to Cain? He obviously had ZERO problem communicating with Cain directly. In Genesis 4:6, he even TELLS Cain, "if you do what is right, it will be accepted." But He doesn't tell Cain what "right" is. 

By the way, why is God talking to Cain at all? I mean, even assuming LIMITED power of foresight on God's part, wouldn't it have been, I don't know, GODLY for Him to talk to Abel at that point? "Abel, your sacrifice to me has met with my approval. Verily I say unto thee this day... RUN!"

And let's recall that there was literally a single family on earth at the time, so it's not like the Almighty was busy (take that comment with an element of humor: God can't be "busy" to the point of distraction, or He wouldn't be "Almighty." It was a tongue-in-cheek comment).

Given the power of God, this whole story makes very, very little sense.

Why didn't Abel get God's protection?

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On 7/30/2017 at 12:12 PM, TLC said:

Why presume that something (or for that matter,  much of anything) wasn't (or couldn't be) known prior to Moses writing it down?  It actually appears to be a rather ignorant or stupid (or incredibly arrogant) presumption. 

As for Cain's offering not being acceptable, I don't believe it was some deep, dark, unknown secret that without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin.  How or where do you suppose the animal skins came from that God clothed Adam with to cover his nakedness?

 

Why presume something couldn't be known prior to Moses writing it down?

Why conclude that is my presumption? It's not what I said. The issue isn't just that the answer is unknown to the characters. The issue is that it's unknown to us, the readers, from the text. This is the Bible, after all, and the questions are not minor or incidental.

There is NOTHING in the text of Genesis 1-4 that leads to the conclusion that without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin. More to the point, there is nothing in Genesis 4:6 that relates to that point. This would have been the ideal place for the lesson to be introduced. It's not. 

You cannot assume that Cain knew that without the shedding of blood there could be no remission of sins. He obviously didn't know: he offered plants!

The fact that God killed animals to make skins for Adam and Eve to have clothes does not lead logically to the conclusion that without the shedding of blood there can be no remission of sin.

That idea doesn't come until MUCH later in the Bible story.

Now, we can ret-con the Adam and Eve story to show that fig leaves are an inadequate covering because there's no blood shed, so God showed them the principle of sacrifice through bloodshed. That would be perfectly understandable if not for the fact that animal skins really are a better clothing solution than fig leaves

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I think I'm going to avoid the discussion of who are the sons of God of Genesis 6. Some say angels. Others (TWI) say the good descendants of Adam. Not really important to this thread.

And if I recall correctly we've already beaten the "did the flood happen" horse to death.

So... let's emerge from the flood on Ararat.

In the category of things that the readers might have known that we might not, we have Genesis 9:20-27.

What exactly did Ham see? "Noah's nakedness."

Um. Ok.

And the other brothers covered him up, and Ham's son, Canaan, got cursed to be slaves to his uncles.
 

What... the... actual... f????

I'm sorry, can someone make sense of why Canaan has to be a slave because of something Ham did?

I mean, assume Ham had sex with Noah's wife, or that Ham molested Noah. Why in the name of Hannah and Her Sisters does that mean Canaan should have to be a slave? I could see HAM having to be a slave. But his kid?

I'm not saying this is an actual error. Just that it makes zero sense.

 

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On 7/31/2017 at 10:20 AM, TLC said:

"natural" reactions, indeed, because the foolishness of God is wiser than men.

Actually, you don't just get to say this and have it be true.

That's arrogance. "My position is wise even if it makes no sense to you."

Honestly, that's the definition of arrogance. Why demonstrate wisdom when you can have it conferred upon you by decree? Don't you see? Declaring that the foolishness of God is wiser than men innocculates you from the need to answer for the foolishness of your position? 

It goes like this: In order for us to have redemption, blood needs to be shed. Because that was the standard God set up. Because he did. No, he could not have set up any other standard, because that would not have been just. Why? Buh...buh...buh...buhcause! Why could God, who is Almighty, not set up a system of redemption that does not require bloodshed? I mean, I've got one at home with my kids. Not once have I had to execute a pet in order to atone for my sons being brats. And I certainly have never even considered killing one of my sons to atone for another's infractions! 

It makes no sense that an Almighty God should be unable to craft a less bloodthirsty method for redemption unless that God were SUBJECT to the principles of justice rather than being their AUTHOR. He who said that if a man sheds blood, by man his blood will be shed could just as easily have said if a man sheds blood he will serve an appropriate prison sentence, providing a service to the state that will be paid not to him but to the family of the person whose blood he shed. And it WOULD be just by virtue of His being the author of it, for He is the author, not the subject, of justice.

RIGHT?

Jesus never would have had to die. No one would.

"The foolishness of God is wiser than men" absolves you of any need to even consider the validity of what I've just laid out. It is not a comeback, it is a dismissal, a self-affirming declaration of humility, intelligence, meekness and thoughtful reflection that is, in reality, none of those things.

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On 9/9/2018 at 11:25 AM, Raf said:

(Please click on Bolshevik's post to get the context of this comment).

The real problem isn't that I raise an interesting question and then go on to other questions.
The real problem is that I had the interesting question in the first place. This should not be a question. Why did God accept Abel's sacrifice and not Cain's? There is nothing in the verse or context to explain it. 

Let's suppose that the answer is: Abel's sacrifice was of blood, and Cain's was not. Fine. Why didn't God tell that to Cain? He obviously had ZERO problem communicating with Cain directly. In Genesis 4:6, he even TELLS Cain, "if you do what is right, it will be accepted." But He doesn't tell Cain what "right" is. 

By the way, why is God talking to Cain at all? I mean, even assuming LIMITED power of foresight on God's part, wouldn't it have been, I don't know, GODLY for Him to talk to Abel at that point? "Abel, your sacrifice to me has met with my approval. Verily I say unto thee this day... RUN!"

And let's recall that there was literally a single family on earth at the time, so it's not like the Almighty was busy (take that comment with an element of humor: God can't be "busy" to the point of distraction, or He wouldn't be "Almighty." It was a tongue-in-cheek comment).

Given the power of God, this whole story makes very, very little sense.

Why didn't Abel get God's protection?

It's a story.  Stories are often more true than reality.  They're describing something difficult to explain.  If the story says Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall we do not go on and on about the scientific validity of how an egg could climb a wall.

I'm assuming the Cain and Able story are communicating something real.  Real back then, real now.  What does God represent and what do Cain and Able represent?  What is being described in this dialogue thousands of years ago that still is true today?  That could be talked about forever.

"If God is all powerful why didn't he blah blah" are not interesting lines of questioning.  IMO.

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People who accept it as being a story are not the ones who usually have difficulty in discussing it. Rather, it's usually the people who insist in its historical reality.

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Interesting points, Bolshevik.

Here's what I don't get: You want to say stories can often be more "true" than reality and that these stories are trying to explain something that's difficult to explain.

Fine. What?

 

I'll wait.

 

Is the story trying to explain an event in history? In all likelihood, no. Fine. It's a story with a moral lesson. What is that lesson?

Clearly, it's not that if you do things God's way, God will have your back. Abel did things God's way and God was so busy lecturing Cain that he ran out of time to warn Abel his brother was about to become Earth's first murderer at Abel's expense.

 

So what is the difficult thing this story is trying to explain that's difficult to explain?

 

And let's look at a few issues here before you unilaterally declare an entire line of questioning "not interesting."

The overarching purpose of this story is to get us to believe in, have confidence in, trust in, love and serve an Almighty God. To argue that questions about his omnipotence are off limits because they bore you is an indictment of you, not the line of questioning.

 

Honestly, how can you say a line of questioning about God's power and authority is not interesting? That does not address what I wrote; it dismisses what I wrote without even pretending to have answered it.

 

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Hi Raf, thanks for waiting.

 

If God's all-powerful can he create a rock even he can't lift?  That's the argument I see being put forth here.  That can be fun to say.  Sure.

 

Two people gave sacrifices.  One was preferred over the other.  Jealousy arose.  That's a story we see every day, a story old as time.  Is that easy to deal with?

 

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1. The question I asked about God's omnipotence and authority is not nearly as cheap or intellectually dishonest as "can he create a rock so heavy he can't lift it?" Frankly, you should be insulted by putting forth such a comparison. "If God is all powerful, why did he not warn Abel that he was about to be murdered by Cain?" If you don't think that's a fair question in the context of the story being told here, that's on you, not me. 

If God is all powerful, why could he not devise a path to redemption that did not require bloodshed? If it's because such a path would not have been "just," then we have to concede that God is subject to justice and not the author of it. If the answer is that he could have, then we have to concede that "justice" is arbitrary to His will and not intrinsic -- it's not "just" because it's just; it's just because God says it is.

This is the kind of philosophical question that has driven discussions of ethics for CENTURIES. If you don't think that's an interesting topic, that's on you, not me.

Once again, you are not addressing my questions. You're dismissing them. And you're doing so in a manner that is not all that clever.

I have no problem with you not addressing the questions I raise. But I think it's obnoxious, frankly, that you feel the need to piss on the conversation rather than contribute to it. And yeah, that's what you're doing. And, I think I can add, "again." Because this is consistently how you engage me in every discussion we have. It's getting old.

 

2. "Two people gave sacrifices.  One was preferred over the other.  Jealousy arose.  That's a story we see every day, a story old as time.  Is that easy to deal with?"
 

Uh, YEAH. Have you been to a library? It's filled with these things called "books." Some tackle really interesting subjects, including jealousy.

Two people gave sacrifices. One was preferred over the other. We're not told why. The person whose sacrifice was not accepted is not told why. Jealousy arose. There's a character who could have fixed it by explaining why one sacrifice was accepted and the other was not. He doesn't. Instead, he lets the jealous person stew to the point of becoming the human race's literal first murderer. The guy who could have explained the difference between the two sacrifices also has the ability to warn the murder victim about what's coming. He doesn't. What good is offering an acceptable sacrifice to God if God isn't going to pay you a visit to warn you about what's coming... the same God who had no trouble whatsoever chatting it up with the murderer a few moments earlier? 

I don't see what the Cain and Abel story is so complicated or difficult to explain that you can declare it more true than truth.

Honestly, it's a story that raises infinitely more questions than it answers. it gives us no insight into the nature of jealousy, the value of a burnt offering, or the benefit of pleasing God.

 

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I am not going to play the same "sealion" game you constantly play on these threads. Thank you for participating in the conversation. Good day.

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https://knowyourmeme.com/memes/sea-lioning

 

Quote

If God is all powerful, why could he not devise a path to redemption that did not require bloodshed? If it's because such a path would not have been "just," then we have to concede that God is subject to justice and not the author of it. If the answer is that he could have, then we have to concede that "justice" is arbitrary to His will and not intrinsic -- it's not "just" because it's just; it's just because God says it is.

You are arguing that God should be able to provide an easier path in life for everyone.  I agree "He" does not.  

We know he does not because that is what we witness and experience.  

I think ancients understood sacrifice and bloodshed a little more up front than we do.  That is something all experience to some degree.  That certainly would have revealed itself in the concept of God.  In that way I would agree God is subject to justice, not the author.  

Justice being arbitrary to his will, however, I'm not clear on your meaning.  There is a cause and effect that gives rise to gods, I'm not certain that it is arbitrary.

 

Edited by Bolshevik
first paragraph quote's Raf, rest is mine
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GOD IS COMPLETELY IRRATIONAL; THE CHRIST IS ONLY MARGINALLY BETTER; THE HOLY SPIRIT GETS THINGS DONE

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