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Biblical Scholar: Dont take Bible literally
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Devoted...
Picture of Reed N D Dark
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quote:
Originally posted by Vicki:
JR,

Thanks for answering my question. As you may suspect, I don't see Jesus as just another Messiah who showed us the Father. No other anointed died for the remission of our sins. No prophet or king could do that, since they were not without sin, as Jesus was.

We went wild with the garden this year. We had two long hot summers in a row, so when May temperatures went up this year, we planted two things we have never tried to grow up here before- black eyed peas and okra (which we both love). So, we figure we will have to cover them at the beginning of the season and probably near the end. We have row covers, so it is a matter of keeping on top of the weather report and then adjust for our micro-climate.


It is good that the winter is over and the snow is gone, at least where we live.


My grandmother used to freeze what she called beans. They were black eyed peas but they were the young ones that the bean was tender. There were some peas shelled, but I remember mostly the beans, at least in the frozen ones. If you get a chance tried them.

Her okra was fried in cornmeal. I don’t remember tomatoes, but I’ve had them since then mixed in with the fried okra.

Hope you have a great crop, gramma lived in West Texas where she could get snow in the winter. Her area grew cotton mostly.
 
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Reed, I always wondered why some people refer to black eyed peas as beans. From what you describe, it depends if they are dried or not.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Vicki
 
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JR, I'm not too fond of collard greens but I love black eyed peas and corn bread. My favorite way to cook black eyed peas is with bacon and dried red pepper flakes.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Vicki
 
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Originally posted by Vicki:
Reed, I always wondered why some people refer to black eyed peas as beans. From what you describe, it depends if they are dried or not.


Hers were never dried, in fact I’d never considered that, thanks.
 
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Originally posted by Vicki:
JR, I'm not too fond of collard greens but I love black eyed peas and corn bread. My favorite way to cook black eyed peas is with bacon and dried red pepper flakes.

We in the South pretty much grow up with collard greens, but I've known lots of people who never acquired a taste for them. Kale or Mustard greens are a good substitute.

When I make collard greens, black eyed peas, or soup, I use a smoked turkey thigh or leg instead of bacon. A soldier gave me the recipe ages ago. You get all the smokey flavor without all the fat - and sometimes chemicals - found in bacon. And yeah, a dash or two of red pepper is a nice addition.

Had a discussion with yba several years ago on Amazon and was talking about southern cooking. He made the statement that there were several southern foods that he missed after he converted to Judaism, and one of them was collard greens. He was beside himself when I told him about the smoked turkey substitute. He made some and his wife (a Christian) liked them so much that they always made them with turkey after that.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Fence straddlers get a crotch full of splinters -- Granny
 
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Originally posted by That JR Thang:
quote:
Originally posted by Vicki:
JR, I'm not too fond of collard greens but I love black eyed peas and corn bread. My favorite way to cook black eyed peas is with bacon and dried red pepper flakes.

We in the South pretty much grow up with collard greens, but I've known lots of people who never acquired a taste for them. Kale or Mustard greens are a good substitute.

When I make collard greens, black eyed peas, or soup, I use a smoked turkey thigh or leg instead of bacon. A soldier gave me the recipe ages ago. You get all the smokey flavor without all the fat - and sometimes chemicals - found in bacon. And yeah, a dash or two of red pepper is a nice addition.

Had a discussion with yba several years ago on Amazon and was talking about southern cooking. He made the statement that there were several southern foods that he missed after he converted to Judaism, and one of them was collard greens. He was beside himself when I told him about the smoked turkey substitute. He made some and his wife (a Christian) liked them so much that they always made them with turkey after that.


I e found several recipes that I like the substitutions better. I like cottage cheese and cottage cheese rather than ricotta, in lasagna!
 
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Originally posted by That JR Thang:
quote:
Originally posted by Vicki:
We went wild with the garden this year. We had two long hot summers in a row, so when May temperatures went up this year, we planted two things we have never tried to grow up here before- black eyed peas and okra (which we both love).

I've grown a lot of things, but I don't think I ever got around to growing black eyed peas. Do love them though!

It's pretty traditional here in the South to have collard greens and black eyed peas for New Years Day. One year I had been craving some soup, and since I had the collard greens and peas...yep, I made them into a soup to serve with cornbread. Been doing it ever since.


Sounds like a variation of Italian wedding soup.
 
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One of the problems in the argument about literalism is deciding what is actual and what is metaphorical.

Then, if the decision is metaphorical, how does one interpret this without an intimate knowledge of what the creators meant?

I know of three different version of the mythological Slaughter of the Innocents. As with Sargon the Great, Moses' mother placed him in an ark on the river to hide him from the unknown Pharaoh's troops. The Talmud story of the birth of Abram is virtually identical to the NT story of Herod's slaughter of the children of Jesus' generation. As with Moses, we are not told the name of Abram's king. The one difference avoids the NT error; any unusual star movement would have been noted and interpreted by Herod's astrologers, yet he had to wait till the Zarathustrian priests told him about it.

Take this story:

"Two young fellas were trying to spear that wallaby. But they missed and hit a flame tree. That’s a sacred tree. The young fellas not supposed to be out hunting. They weren’t initiated. Their elders told them to stay put, not go out hunting. But they didn’t listen. When they pulled their spear out, part of a grub came out with the spear, which was a witchetty grub. They started cutting down that tree to get more grubs. When they cut down that tree, the ground began to shake. Those two fellas had made Yamini (rainbow serpent) angry. Then the sky turned orange, then all these people back at the camp, the earth went from underneath them, sucked them in, whoosh, they all got drowned. Where they were camped became Bana Wiingina (Lake Eacham)." (Warren Cannendo, Ngadjon-Jii)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_Eacham

So those two youngfellas broke two major commandments. They went hunting when they should not; it takes some two years being trained by a skilled hunter before they can even throw a spear at any prey.

Then they scoffed those witchetty grubs instead of sharing them with the tribe as they are required to do. (I've been assured witchetty grubs are great tucker. Not for me, but.)

So what was this story based on?

Real life.

Except for the Rainbow Serpent deity.

Lake Eacham (Yidyam) and the nearby Lake Barrine, were formed approximately 12,000 years ago by molten magma. Magma from the center of the earth rose to the surface and heated the water table. The steam that resulted from the boiling water was trapped underground, until massive explosions signalled its release. Huge cracks appeared in the ground and the trees that once lathed the mountainside were levelled and burnt. Eventually, over hundreds of years, water filled the craters and the trees grew back, creating the tranquil lake used today by families and tourists for recreation.

Is that any different in any real way from the Sodom and Gomorrah mythology?

I say no.

Except for:

The First Australians' story remained within their culture so the meaning never changed.

Sodom and Gomorrah has passed through different cultures, and we now have two entirely different interpretations of the metaphors.

One is constant; the people of those plains cities broke a cardinal rule by not caring for widows and orphans, the poor and needy.

The other interpretation claims the destruction of those cities was God's warning he will never accept homosexuality.

Utter nonsense.

Reality is, all too often in that culture women were considered of little value. Thus for a man to treat another man as he would a women, by raping him, he is not getting sexual pleasure; instead, he is demonstrating his utter contempt for that man. Which is what those in Sodom had in mind for the Strangers within their Gates.

Netanyahu and the Knesset have done exactly the same thing with their introduction of laws reducing Arabian Muslim Israelis and their language to second-class status. What better way to show their contempt for their "inferior" brethren?


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The people's flag is deepest red It shrouded oft our martyred dead
...Though cowards flinch and traitors sneer We'll keep the red flag flying here
 
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Originally posted by Allan:
Netanyahu and the Knesset have done exactly the same thing with their introduction of laws reducing Arabian Muslim Israelis and their language to second-class status. What better way to show their contempt for their "inferior" brethren?

Nothing like legalized bigotry is there...?


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Fence straddlers get a crotch full of splinters -- Granny
 
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Originally posted by That JR Thang:
quote:
Originally posted by Allan:
Netanyahu and the Knesset have done exactly the same thing with their introduction of laws reducing Arabian Muslim Israelis and their language to second-class status. What better way to show their contempt for their "inferior" brethren?

Nothing like legalized bigotry is there...?


It's all about using letter-groupings to control people.

Will have another go at U3A this week. Need to check out one class, which is for "discussions". I desperately need to find someone who shares my perception of letter-groupings so I can sort out this mess. Between my proof-reading pedantry, my lifelong interest in teaching/indoctrinating, my interest in the way NLP reframes the way people think, my knowledge of the psychological tools of advertising, my mind is abuzz.

Then there is the little matter of who does and who does not ask questions. Stalin, Hitler, et al, killed or imprisoned people who questioned what he was doing, and we all know how Jews and Christians who ask the wrong questions are promised they will spend their eternity being tortured and tormented.

Ours not to reason why,
ours but to do or die.
Alfred Lord Tennyson

Either that, or:

I KEEP six honest serving-men
(They taught me all I knew);
Their names are What and Why and When
And How and Where and Who.
..I know a person small—
She keeps ten million serving-men,
Who get no rest at all!
She sends'em abroad on her own affairs,
From the second she opens her eyes—
One million Hows, two million Wheres,
And seven million Whys!
Rudyard Kipling


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The people's flag is deepest red It shrouded oft our martyred dead
...Though cowards flinch and traitors sneer We'll keep the red flag flying here
 
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quote:
Originally posted by Allan:
Ours not to reason why,
ours but to do or die.
Alfred Lord Tennyson

Either that, or:

I KEEP six honest serving-men
(They taught me all I knew);
Their names are What and Why and When
And How and Where and Who.
..I know a person small—
She keeps ten million serving-men,
Who get no rest at all!
She sends'em abroad on her own affairs,
From the second she opens her eyes—
One million Hows, two million Wheres,
And seven million Whys!
Rudyard Kipling

Guess I'm more the Kipling sort - if it's a subject I'm interested in, except I tend to do my own asking and digging.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Fence straddlers get a crotch full of splinters -- Granny
 
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Originally posted by That JR Thang:
Guess I'm more the Kipling sort - if it's a subject I'm interested in, except I tend to do my own asking and digging.


Just so long as you do not question politicians, rabbis, priests or ministers, and imams or Ayatollahs.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The people's flag is deepest red It shrouded oft our martyred dead
...Though cowards flinch and traitors sneer We'll keep the red flag flying here
 
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Picture of Reed N D Dark
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Originally posted by Allan:
quote:
Originally posted by That JR Thang:
Guess I'm more the Kipling sort - if it's a subject I'm interested in, except I tend to do my own asking and digging.


Just so long as you do not question politicians, rabbis, priests or ministers, and imams or Ayatollahs.


That’s not fair! I cannot imagine jr nor questioning religious “authorities “. As for politicians, my impression is she wouldn’t give them the opportunity to babble about something other than the question.
 
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Originally posted by Allan:
quote:
Originally posted by That JR Thang:
Guess I'm more the Kipling sort - if it's a subject I'm interested in, except I tend to do my own asking and digging.


Just so long as you do not question politicians, rabbis, priests or ministers, and imams or Ayatollahs.

And just who are you to tell me who I should or should not question?

Wink   ;)


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Fence straddlers get a crotch full of splinters -- Granny
 
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Originally posted by Reed N D Dark:
quote:
Originally posted by Allan:
quote:
Originally posted by That JR Thang:
Guess I'm more the Kipling sort - if it's a subject I'm interested in, except I tend to do my own asking and digging.


Just so long as you do not question politicians, rabbis, priests or ministers, and imams or Ayatollahs.


That’s not fair! I cannot imagine jr nor questioning religious “authorities “. As for politicians, my impression is she wouldn’t give them the opportunity to babble about something other than the question.

You've got me pegged pretty good.

You gonna wear the title, you better be up to answering the questions, huh?


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Fence straddlers get a crotch full of splinters -- Granny
 
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Picture of Reed N D Dark
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quote:
Originally posted by That JR Thang:
quote:
Originally posted by Reed N D Dark:
quote:
Originally posted by Allan:
quote:
Originally posted by That JR Thang:
Guess I'm more the Kipling sort - if it's a subject I'm interested in, except I tend to do my own asking and digging.


Just so long as you do not question politicians, rabbis, priests or ministers, and imams or Ayatollahs.


That’s not fair! I cannot imagine jr nor questioning religious “authorities “. As for politicians, my impression is she wouldn’t give them the opportunity to babble about something other than the question.

You've got me pegged pretty good.

You gonna wear the title, you better be up to answering the questions, huh?


Amen!
 
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Originally posted by That JR Thang:
And just who are you to tell me who I should or should not question?

Wink   ;)


Just got your best interests at heart, m'dear.

As Chabad so carefully advised me, Abram never once thought to question what God told him (along with a none-too-gentle hint this applies to everyone, even me).

Never been able to track it down again, but pretty sure it was Cardinal Newman who said that anyone who questioned their faith automatically lost it and thus went to Hell.

Anointed Alphas alone are permitted to ask the sort of questions which had me condemned as an Amalekite by my Brooklyn monitor.

Synchronicity Rules OK

Chasing up the Amalekites, found this :-)

Alternatively, during the Islamic Golden Age, certain Arabic writings claimed that the Amalekites existed long before Abraham.[13] Some Muslim historians claimed that the Amalekites who fought Joshua were descendants of the inhabitants of North Africa.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amalek

Been arguing for a long time now that we really do need to know who the "Hebrews" really were, where they originally came from. IMO they were a traitorous group of Arabs who rebelled against their unnamed king. In line with archaic Jewish thinking, they nicknamed that king Nimrod = Rebel, but against whom can a king rebel? Himself?

One of these days someone is going to subject Judaism to the exact same scrutiny we subject all other mythologies and the whole thing will fall apart.

What then?

Is it any wonder I idolise Jungian synchronicity?

As you know, I insist politics was hand in glove in Judaism so imagine my delight.

Cop this one:

The Sumerians, very early, developed a religio-politico state which was extremely binding on all who lived in it (except for the rulers, who were a law unto themselves). This system was to influence the Ancient Near East for over 3000 years. Other cultures which followed the Sumerian system were Accad, Babylon, Assyria, and Persia, which became the basis of Greece and Rome’s system of rule. Founded by Cush, the Sumerians were very important historically and Biblically.
http://www.biblearchaeology.or.../Who-Was-Nimrod.aspx

More grist to my mill:

Thus “Nimrod” may not be the character’s name at all. It is more likely a derisive term of a type , a representative, of a system that is epitomized in rebellion against the Creator, the one true God. Rebellion began soon after the Flood as civilizations were restored. At that time this person became very prominent.

The date of the composition of the Gilgamesh Epic can therefore be fixed at about 2000 BC.

In other words, almost exactly the same time of Abram.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The people's flag is deepest red It shrouded oft our martyred dead
...Though cowards flinch and traitors sneer We'll keep the red flag flying here
 
Posts: 1606 | Location: Queensland, Australia | Mbr Since: 05-05-2017Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Originally posted by Reed N D Dark:
That’s not fair! I cannot imagine jr nor questioning religious “authorities “. As for politicians, my impression is she wouldn’t give them the opportunity to babble about something other than the question.


You were there on Amazon when I was quoting a number of sites where Jewish parents complained bitterly about the appalling standard of education in Brooklyn yeshivot? Found another site recently where yet another Brooklyn Jew condemned those schools.

Looks like nothing's changed:

https://www.nytimes.com/aponli...jewish-schools-.html


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The people's flag is deepest red It shrouded oft our martyred dead
...Though cowards flinch and traitors sneer We'll keep the red flag flying here
 
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Seems there is no end to it.

Delving further into Nimrod, all I am getting is more confirmation the Tanakh is an agglomeration of mythologies from all over the Middle East, and I also keep getting confirmation that, as JR first pointed out, today's Tanakh depends almost entirely on what the exiled Jews learned in Babylon. All they did was amalgamate the various Mesopotamian mythologies and pretend to start from scratch.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nimrod
Since Accad (Babylonian Akkad) was destroyed and lost with the destruction of its Empire in the period 2200–2154 BCE (long chronology), the stories mentioning Nimrod seem to recall the late Early Bronze Age. The association with Erech (Babylonian Uruk), a city that lost its prime importance around 2,000 BCE as a result of struggles between Isin, Larsa and Elam , also attests the early provenance of the stories of Nimrod. According to some modern-day theorists, their placement in the Bible suggests a Babylonian origin—possibly inserted during the Babylonian captivity.[8]

Lots of "rebellions" there.

That is why so many also associate Nimrod with Sargon the Great, Emperor of Akkad.

The Book of Jubilees mentions the name of "Nebrod" (the Greek form of Nimrod) only as being the father of Azurad, the wife of Eber and mother of Peleg (8:7). This account would thus make him an ancestor of Abraham, and hence of all Hebrews.

IMO we have got it all wrong, simply because our Christianised Eurocentrism determines that we treat all pre-Christians as heathens.

Look how often the Tanakh states that God anointed one legendary hero after another as king of a completely built city.

Where did those cities -- such as the one Cain founded -- actually come from?

Obviously not out of thin air.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The people's flag is deepest red It shrouded oft our martyred dead
...Though cowards flinch and traitors sneer We'll keep the red flag flying here
 
Posts: 1606 | Location: Queensland, Australia | Mbr Since: 05-05-2017Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of Reed N D Dark
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quote:
Originally posted by Allan:
quote:
Originally posted by Reed N D Dark:
That’s not fair! I cannot imagine jr nor questioning religious “authorities “. As for politicians, my impression is she wouldn’t give them the opportunity to babble about something other than the question.


You were there on Amazon when I was quoting a number of sites where Jewish parents complained bitterly about the appalling standard of education in Brooklyn yeshivot? Found another site recently where yet another Brooklyn Jew condemned those schools.

Looks like nothing's changed:

https://www.nytimes.com/aponli...jewish-schools-.html


I don’t remember JR going to those schools, nor do I remember them being mentioned. The complaint sounds like the first complaints about home schooling! Now the states have testing, and some are getting better educations.
 
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Originally posted by Allan:
Seems there is no end to it.

Delving further into Nimrod, all I am getting is more confirmation the Tanakh is an agglomeration of mythologies from all over the Middle East...

IMO we have got it all wrong, simply because our Christianised Eurocentrism determines that we treat all pre-Christians as heathens...


https://www.amazon.com/Argonau...tional/dp/1845539249

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Years ago while researching the Hittites and their possible relationship to the patriarch, Abraham, I was reading Trevor Bryce's book "Daily Life of the Hittites" and was slightly electrified with his short discussion about the possible/probable relationship between the Epic of Gilgamesh and Homer's Odyssey.

Time went by and I went through all the works of John Van Seters in his search for the History of Israel and Abraham. In his book, "In Search of History", he discussed the relationship of the Israelite history to the historical texts of the ancient Near East and Greece, noting that, while we have many texts from the Near East with historical content, only the Greek histories parallel the biblical histories in their distance from the past that is being described. He noted at the time that there were numerous agreements between the substance and style of some of the OT books and works of Greek historians, particularly Herodotus. However, he didn't go into this in detail and I recall reading it and nodding vigorously because I had noticed the same things.

In 2002, Jan-Wim Wesselius wrote "The Origin of the History of Israel" wherein he argues convincingly that the structure of the OT from Genesis to 2 Kings is modeled on the Histories of Herodotus. He points out the striking parallels between the key figure of Joseph - who is the one who got the Israelites into Egypt in the first place - and King Cyrus, the founder of the Persian Empire. Some of these parallels are so precise that there is no wiggle room for evading the obvious borrowing. Further, there is amazing duplication of the genealogy of the patriarchs and the Persian-Median royal house, the most striking of which exist between the figures of Moses and King Xerxes. The main subjects of the stories about the two of them are that a leader is summoned by the divinity to bring an enormous army into another continent across a body of water as if on dry land in order to conquer somebody else's land. In both cases, the conquest ends badly, with a horrific siege, though in the case of Xerxes, it was within his lifetime, and in the case of the Israelites, it was when the Babylonians came much, much later.

Following Wesselius, in 2006, along came Russell Gmirkin's "Berossus and Genesis, Manetho and Exodus" where he argued his theory that the Hebrew Pentateuch was composed in its entirety about 273-272 BCE by Jewish scholars at Alexandria that later traditions credited with the Septuagint translation of the Pentateuch into Greek. The primary evidence he produced and argued effectively, in my opinion, was the literary dependence of Gen. 1-11 on Berossus' Babyloniaca (278 BCE) and the dependence of the Exodus story on Manetho's Aegyptiaca (c. 285-280 BCE), and the geo-political data contained in the Table of Nations. Gmirkin theorized that a number of indications within the text pointed to a provenance of Alexandria, Egypt for at least some parts of the Pentateuch. The suggestion was made that the many texts that would have to have been consulted to produce such a history probably were available only there. I don't see Wesselius in Gmirkin's bibliography and that is a bit surprising because it seems to me that their ideas dovetail nicely except that Wesselius proposes an earlier date for the composition. What is clear is that the OT author not only used Herodotus for his structure, he was in dialogue with Berossus and Manetho, ESPECIALLY Manetho and his derogatory ethnography of the Jews. Obviously it was seen that a slam-dunk history needed to be written that out-did every other apologetic history that was being produced during those time and that is probably what inspired the author to use the techniques he did which are so interesting to Wesselius.

That the Pentateuch was composed at almost the same date as the Septuagint translation, provides compelling evidence for some level of communication and collaboration between the authors of the Pentateuch and the Septuagint scholars at Alexandria. The late date of the Pentateuch, as demonstrated by literary dependence on Berossus and Manetho, has two important consequences: the definitive overthrow of the chronological framework of the Documentary Hypothesis, and a late, 3rd century BCE date for major portions of the Hebrew Bible which show literary dependence on the Pentateuch.

My own thoughts about this startling (and compelling) argument are that much of the OT was composed in Greek and only later translated into Hebrew and the Hebrew texts were corrected and fiddled with a bit which is why they no longer exactly match up with the LXX.

Moving on, in 2011, Bruce Louden contributed to the ongoing unveiling of the OT with his contribution: "Homer's Odyssey and the Near East". Louden has neither Wesselius nor Gmirkin in his bibliography and that, again, is surprising. Louden argues that the Odyssey is in a dialogic relationship with Genesis, which features the same three types of myth that comprise the majority of the Odyssey: theoxeny, romance (Joseph in Egypt), and Argonautic myth (Jacob winning Rachel from Laban). The Odyssey also offers intriguing parallels to the Book of Jonah, and Odysseus' treatment by the suitors offers close parallels to the Gospels' depiction of Christ in Jerusalem. (It turns out that the works of Homer are well-employed in the composition of the Gospels, too, as explicated by Dennis R. MacDonald, but that's off-topic here.)

We come now to the present book under consideration which is said to be a "revolutionary new commentary on the Bible and its origins, arguing that most biblical stories and laws were inspired by Greek literature." Well, as I have demonstrated in the brief review of the main books on the topic that I have read above, it's not so revolutionary, but it's the logical follow-up and is well-presented. Also, the author has Gmirkin, Van Seters and Wesselius in his bibliography though he apparently didn't read or build upon Louden's work which is a shame because there is a lot of meat there, too.

Basing his hypothesis on Wesselius' foundation's, Wajdenbaum argues that the Primary History - Genesis through 2 Kings - were written by a single author, a Hellenized Judean scholar who used Plato's ideal state in The Laws as a primary source. As such, biblical Israel is a recreation of that twelve tribes State and the stories surrounding the birth, life and death of that State were inspired by Greek epics. Each chapter presents the biblical material and compares this to the Greek or Roman equivalents, discussing similarities and differences.

What is even more surprising is that there are a couple of stories in the OT that appear to have been inspired by Roman history, specifically, the Rape of the Sabine Women. That would suggest that the author of the OT Primary history had access to the (now lost) works of Diocles of Peparethus who was the source for the history of Fabius Pictor as we are told by Plutarch. Diocles' own sources are unknown.

Obviously, the bottom line of all this research and unsettling conclusions is that the Hebrew Bible is certainly not a history of Israel and, as the archaeological record reveals, there probably was no early kingdom of Israel as described in the Bible yet it has been believed in for millennia as fervently as people believe that the sun will rise. The reactions to the above types of analyses are usually outright rejection even in the face of accumulating mountains of evidence that is considered conclusive in any other field of endeavor OTHER than Biblical Criticism. It is asked: if all this is true, how could generation after generation of scholars not have seen it? Wajdenbaum, trained as an anthropologist, is entirely competent to answer this question and he deals with it in his conclusions and that part of the book is well worth reading on its own.

Wajdenbaum proposes the Hasmonean era as being the most likely period in which the OT was established as the official national history of Israel and Judah. This was a time of a religious war between conservative and Hellenized Jews as described in the books of Maccabees, and part of the conflict may have been over whether or not this text was a real history of the Jews or not. The priests of the new Jewish state had the power to promote the Bible to sacred status and it was during the reign of the Hasmoneans that a man coming from Palestine, Antiochus of Ascalon, became the head of the Platonic Academy in Athens.

In a few generations, the Bible was accepted as the official history and after the destruction of the Temple in 70 AD, the rabbinical tradition that evolved forbade the teaching of "Greek Wisdom" so a confrontation between the text and its Greek sources was prevented. Christianity, carrying aspects of Judaism into the Greco-Roman world, faced pagans who pointed out the obvious: that the OT was based on Greek sources. The Church Fathers turned those arguments against them and proposed the "Satanic Imitation" theory to cover a multitude of comparisons. When Constantine gave power to the church, the question was answered by persecution by the Church/State and soon, the Christian emperor Justinian, closed the Platonic Academy.

Most Biblical Criticism today is still conducted by "true believers" in the sanctity and primacy of the text and it is in the form of the perpetuation of this dogma rather than true study and research. The Bart Ehrman "Search for the Historical Jesus of Nazareth" debacle of recent times is a case in point. He falls back on his title that gives him (and only others like him) the legitimacy to speak authoritatively about the Bible. Real scientific critics are not allowed to enter the biblical field. If they do, they are shouted down or ignored away by the Churches that grant the authority. As Wajdenbaum writes:

...[T]he game of confrontation between different paradigms during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries has only had the effect of diverting the quest for the sources of the Bible to within the Bible itself, a purely circular reasoning; Greek classical literature, although available in any university library, has remained confined to the fields of Greek studies and philosophy. ...Thus, even if biblical studies took on an appearance of a scientific speech that challenged the religious dogma, it has not, until very recently, crossed the line of suggesting Greek sources as direct inspiration for the Old Testament, a most unthinkable idea. The ignorance of such a possibility, the reactions of surprise, doubt and sarcastic hostility to my even suggesting it, are the result of more than twenty centuries of symbolic violence, exerted partly on the tacit demand of the believers. ...the maintaining of the Bible as a sacred text seems to have little to do with spirituality or belief; rather, it has to do with relations of power between the sacerdotal and aristocratic classes. [...]

"In 'Language and Symbolic Power', Bourdieu raises the question of censorship in an intellectual field, based on his own critique of a text by Martin Heidegger. Censorship does not necessarily come from an external authority, or even from the subject that would censor himself. The mechanism comes from symbolic violence, and the ignorance that it supposes...'

"In the case of the Bible, entire generations of scholars felt that they were allowed to speak only of the J, E, D and P sources. The imposition of a precise form in that field goes by a mandatory recognition of the theories produced by theologians, under penalty of ejection. ...The Biblical question is paradigmantic of Bourdieu's theory of symbolic violence, as Christianity is the dominant ideology of the Western civilisation. The refusal to recognise the Western roots of that religion, presented as necessarily oriental and Semitic, is the source of the most unbearable and oppressive symbolic violence exerted on every subject, from believers to atheists, who all ignore that which they should know. ... Christianity is Platonism for the People - that is the main ideology of our civilisation that has yet to be expressed in its objective truth."

So yeah, terrific book, brilliantly written and argued, and ought to be read in conjunction with it's fellows as itemized above.
 
Posts: 904 | Location: Tucson, AZ | Mbr Since: 04-23-2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Allan said:
quote:
One of the problems in the argument about literalism is deciding what is actual and what is metaphorical.



It isn't so difficult to determine, really, once a person starts with the right foundation. The reader must believe that God exists and that He is trustworthy, wants to communicate with us, and has the ability to do so. That ability includes power and willingness to intervene in circumstances and to do it supernaturally, as determined by God.


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Vicki
 
Posts: 401 | Location: Idaho | Mbr Since: 05-01-2017Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Originally posted by Reed N D Dark:
I don’t remember JR going to those schools, nor do I remember them being mentioned. The complaint sounds like the first complaints about home schooling! Now the states have testing, and some are getting better educations.


No idea how JR gets into that act. It was something which came up with the bloke who called me an Amalekite.

From what I saw, the complaints applied to a great many of these Jewish schools in Brooklyn, especially the Ultra-Orthodox ones.

I used it because that Brooklyn poster knew very little about the real world as a result of the type of education he had been exposed to.


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The people's flag is deepest red It shrouded oft our martyred dead
...Though cowards flinch and traitors sneer We'll keep the red flag flying here
 
Posts: 1606 | Location: Queensland, Australia | Mbr Since: 05-05-2017Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by Vicki:
Allan said:
quote:
One of the problems in the argument about literalism is deciding what is actual and what is metaphorical.


It isn't so difficult to determine, really, once a person starts with the right foundation. The reader must believe that God exists and that He is trustworthy, wants to communicate with us, and has the ability to do so. That ability includes power and willingness to intervene in circumstances and to do it supernaturally, as determined by God.


Problem is, Vicki, that far too many people can not distinguish between fact and metaphor. Indeed, up until the past two centuries there simply was not enough information to enable those living then to distinguish what was real and what was not.

Geology, archaeology, astronomy, medicine, and many other sciences have changed the picture entirely.

How many today still believe in Noah's Flood, when we know for a fact it did not happen? I know of three, possibly four, sources for that flood legend, but none were anything like the Bible flood.

The Exodus is the greatest, most-effective, mythology I know of, yet historically it was impossible.

My concern is that Literalism is perhaps the main reason so many educated Westerners are turning their backs on religion, something I do not think we can afford.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The people's flag is deepest red It shrouded oft our martyred dead
...Though cowards flinch and traitors sneer We'll keep the red flag flying here
 
Posts: 1606 | Location: Queensland, Australia | Mbr Since: 05-05-2017Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Allan:
quote:
Originally posted by Reed N D Dark:
I don’t remember JR going to those schools, nor do I remember them being mentioned. The complaint sounds like the first complaints about home schooling! Now the states have testing, and some are getting better educations.


No idea how JR gets into that act. It was something which came up with the bloke who called me an Amalekite.

From what I saw, the complaints applied to a great many of these Jewish schools in Brooklyn, especially the Ultra-Orthodox ones.

I used it because that Brooklyn poster knew very little about the real world as a result of the type of education he had been exposed to.


If that was schmooz, it explains a lot! I couldn’t read some of what it wrote without cringing.
 
Posts: 5249 | Location: Central PA | Mbr Since: 05-14-2017Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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