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Old 01-31-2001, 07:04 PM   #41
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by diana:
I dunno, Patrick. You can bang all day on the door of the deaf, y'know.

While insulting each of us and being as condescending as possible, he's still managed to escape explaining why a Jew would disparage his own scripture in order to "disprove" the divinity of Christ. I doubt further posts will elicit a response.

While I may be sarcastic, Nomad's arsenal appears to consist entirely of circular reasoning and ad hominem arguments. I'd hoped for something a bit more educated and mature.

I'm wondering why the other Xtians on the board haven't jumped to his defense. I expect it's because he embarrasses them.
</font>
I agree 100%.

 
Old 02-02-2001, 11:45 AM   #42
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We have a rather neutral issue, here, with two possible explanations. (If there are more they've not been brought up)

1) Jeconiah (spelling?) was forgiven
2) The bible has an error

After mere listing, both arguments seem to stand on equal ground.

However, the christian is at a severe disadvantage here, since the bible denotes a very serious curse that does not seem to be wishy washy in the least.

Similar damnations are found elsewhere in the bible, and are not subject to removal, especially the concept of hell and eternal torment, where, once there, one can *never* be forgiven, in other words, the curse of hell may never be lifted.

As portrayed by the bible, it seems that once given, a curse proclaimed by god is permanent.

In light of this, it seems that option 2 becomes much more probable, by way of decreasing likelihood of option 1.

The testimony of the rabbis does not support 1, since their testimony is based entirely on the presumption that the scriptures cannot contain a contradiction.

Furthermore, none of them provide an explanation of why some of god's curses can be removed and others cannot. (Of course, they might not believe in hell as Jesus portrayed it, but that concept is not helpful to the christian)

-Nick
 
Old 02-02-2001, 03:33 PM   #43
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Hi Nick, welcome to the SecWeb (we haven't met, so if you're not new to the SecWeb, my apologies, but thanks for joining in on the discussion.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Nickolaus Wing:

We have a rather neutral issue, here, with two possible explanations. (If there are more they've not been brought up)

1) Jeconiah (spelling?) was forgiven
2) The bible has an error</font>
Yes, I agree that these are the two likeliest and most reasonable interpretations.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">After mere listing, both arguments seem to stand on equal ground.

However, the christian is at a severe disadvantage here, since the bible denotes a very serious curse that does not seem to be wishy washy in the least.

Similar damnations are found elsewhere in the bible, and are not subject to removal, especially the concept of hell and eternal torment, where, once there, one can *never* be forgiven, in other words, the curse of hell may never be lifted.</font>
Actually, this is not quite true. We do have examples of God pronouncing equally powerful curses or prophecies, and then revoking them, specifically after the target of the prophecy has repented of their wickedness.

Consider the following examples:

Jonah 3:1-4 Then the word of the LORD came to Jonah a second time: "Go to the great city of Nineveh and proclaim to it the message I give you." Jonah obeyed the word of the LORD and went to Nineveh. Now Nineveh was a very important city--a visit required three days. On the first day, Jonah started into the city. He proclaimed: "Forty more days and Nineveh will be overturned."

The prophecy is clear cut, and no way out is apparent or offered by God to Nineveh. In 40 days these people are toast.

So how did the Ninevites react to this prophecy of doom?

Jonah 3:5-9 The Ninevites believed God. They declared a fast, and all of them, from the greatest to the least, put on sackcloth. When the news reached the king of Nineveh, he rose from his throne, took off his royal robes, covered himself with sackcloth and sat down in the dust. Then he issued a proclamation in Nineveh: "By the decree of the king and his nobles: Do not let any man or beast, herd or flock, taste anything; do not let them eat or drink. But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth. Let everyone call urgently on God. Let them give up their evil ways and their violence. Who knows? God may yet relent and with compassion turn from his fierce anger so that we will not perish."

So the Ninevites repent, not in the certain knowledge that God will relent, and spare them, but only in the hope that by displaying repentance and faith in God, He would be merciful. And God's reaction?

Jonah 3:10 When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he had compassion and did not bring upon them the destruction he had threatened

The story is extremely close to what we see with Jeconiah. While he was king, Jeremiah prophecied the King's doom, and pronounced the eternal curse on him and his descendents. The King was overthrown by the Babylonians, and dragged off into captivity, humiliated and defeated.

While there, he and his family was restored, given honour by the Babylonian king, and they prospered. By the time of Zachariah, Jeconiah's own grandson has returned to Judah, is made the local ruler, and the prophet tells him that his descendent will be the Messiah.

Thus, in both stories we see that God's wrath can be stayed by repentence. In neither of these cases was the object of God's wrath given any promise that He would forgive them, yet they repented in any event. By their hope and faith, they are saved, and this is the message that the authors appear to have wanted to give to us.

Allow me to offer one further example of this type of story from the Bible. In Genesis 20 we see Abraham deceive the King of Gerar by telling her that she was his sister (but negleting to mention that she was also his wife. Abraham feared that the King would kill him to take Sarah as his own wife, and Abraham was a bit of a coward in such scenarios). God was not pleased with the King, however, and warned him.

Genesis 20:2-3 and there Abraham said of his wife Sarah, "She is my sister." Then Abimelech king of Gerar sent for Sarah and took her. But God came to Abimelech in a dream one night and said to him, "You are as good as dead because of the woman you have taken; she is a married woman."

Once again the simple reading is that this guy is as good as dead. But as we read the next passage we once again see God being merciful.

Genesis 20:4-7 Now Abimelech had not gone near her, so he said, "Lord, will you destroy an innocent nation? Did he not say to me, `She is my sister,' and didn't she also say, `He is my brother'? I have done this with a clear conscience and clean hands." Then God said to him in the dream, "Yes, I know you did this with a clear conscience, and so I have kept you from sinning against me. That is why I did not let you touch her. Now return the man's wife, for he is a prophet, and he will pray for you and you will live. But if you do not return her, you may be sure that you and all yours will die."

At least this time the sinner (King Abimelech) is given a very clear if/then warning, and knows that he can escape punishment. Needless to say, he does exactly that, returning Sarah to Abraham.

Genesis 20:14-18 Then Abimelech brought sheep and cattle and male and female slaves and gave them to Abraham, and he returned Sarah his wife to him. And Abimelech said, "My land is before you; live wherever you like." To Sarah he said, "I am giving your brother a thousand shekels of silver. This is to cover the offense against you before all who are with you; you are completely vindicated." Then Abraham prayed to God, and God healed Abimelech, his wife and his slave girls so they could have children again, for the LORD had closed up every womb in Abimelech's household because of Abraham's wife Sarah.

God forgave the King after he had repented and made restitution.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">The testimony of the rabbis does not support 1, since their testimony is based entirely on the presumption that the scriptures cannot contain a contradiction.</font>
Although it is true that the rabbis are looking for a way to demonstrate that there is no contradiction, they are also using their reasoning powers to look more deeply into the text, and to learn all that the authors of the Scriptures were trying to teach them. From these stories we learn that God expects and demands that we repent of our sins. In so doing, He is then just and merciful, sparing people of the wrath they derserved by sinning in the first place.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Furthermore, none of them provide an explanation of why some of god's curses can be removed and others cannot.</font>
On the contrary, I think we learn very well how to have a curse lifted. In those cases where the sinner repents, and humbles himself before God, he is forgiven (see the Ninevites, and King Abimelech). In those cases where there is no repentence (see King Saul, or Balaam, or King Belshazzar in Daniel 5), then punishment is sure, and inescabable.

Welcome again Nick. And be well.

Nomad

[This message has been edited by Nomad (edited February 02, 2001).]
 
Old 02-02-2001, 08:44 PM   #44
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Those were beautiful and well-written examples of Biblical stories in which someone sinned, was threatened, repented, and was forgiven, Nomad. Very nice.

They only strengthen my argument that the Bible likes to tell us that so-and-so repented and God forgave (and they all lived happily ever after). Your examples only serve to demonstrate the striking lack of evidence in the case of Jeconiah. In a book that tells you every detail through the planning and execution of every project (to they extent that you often effectively read stories twice by the time you're finished), don't you at least find it curious that we aren't told (presumably, as an example) that Jeconiah repented and God forgave?

Incidentally, when you admit that the Jewish scholars are working from the assumption that their scriptures contain no contradictions, you blow your own argument (excuse the expression) all to hell. When you agreed that this is their premise, you simultaneously agreed with what I've been saying all along (what you've been adamantly arguing against): Jewish historians won't prove their own scripture faulty in an effort to disparage Christ's claims to the throne of David.

I suppose it would have absolutely killed you to just admit that to me, though.

Do grow up.

diana
 
Old 02-02-2001, 09:27 PM   #45
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by diana:

Those were beautiful and well-written examples of Biblical stories in which someone sinned, was threatened, repented, and was forgiven, Nomad. Very nice.</font>
Hi Diana

Yes, I agree with you, the stories are both beautiful and inspiring (although Abraham doesn't come out looking very good in his, and as for Jonah, well, he had a lot of learning to do too. Lucky for him the Ninevites were there for him).

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">They only strengthen my argument that the Bible likes to tell us that so-and-so repented and God forgave (and they all lived happily ever after).</font>
Is that all you could get out of these stories? This is quite sad, but certainly helps to explain your almost irrational anger at God, and by extension Christians (at least Christian apologists).

I feel for you Diana, but I do not know how to help you here.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Your examples only serve to demonstrate the striking lack of evidence in the case of Jeconiah. In a book that tells you every detail through the planning and execution of every project (to they extent that you often effectively read stories twice by the time you're finished), don't you at least find it curious that we aren't told (presumably, as an example) that Jeconiah repented and God forgave?</font>
After reading Captain Bloodloss' reply to Jess, I have a much better understanding of the almost fanatical need of many non-believers to require or even demand absolute 100% clarity in every text, with every single detail spelled out for them so that they can understand what they are supposed to learn.

Of course, if these same people demonstrated the ability to learn from those stories where there is no ambiguities, then I suppose I could be more sympathetic to these kinds of demands. On the other hand, I could also suggest that for those that do not first understand a passage, that they may want to look more deeply into the text, or even consult a teacher trained in such things.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Incidentally, when you admit that the Jewish scholars are working from the assumption that their scriptures contain no contradictions, you blow your own argument (excuse the expression) all to hell. When you agreed that this is their premise, you simultaneously agreed with what I've been saying all along (what you've been adamantly arguing against): Jewish historians won't prove their own scripture faulty in an effort to disparage Christ's claims to the throne of David. </font>
Oh dear. Since these rabbis are foolish enough to take their sacred Scriptures seriously, and I am foolish enough to recognise this fact, somehow this proves something.

My goodness Diana, I do hope you are not like this with every subject you study. I will explain one more time in the hopes of helping you.

The rabbis clearly take their Scripture very seriously, and spend a lifetime trying to uncover the meanings within the texts. The amount of time, energy and effort committed by these men truly boggles the imagination. As does their general humility and eagerness to learn, even if that learning is to prove them wrong. Personally, as a Christian, I am humbled by these men, and hope to learn from them.

All of that said, I think it is possible to look at the story, even as a non-believer, and try to find a deeper message in them. The need to repent of our sins against one another is very real, as is our corresponding need to forgive those that have sinned against us. Even in a world without God, this need would remain. The stories here show us that even the mightest among us need to be humble, and to remember that we are not perfect. When we do wrong, even if there is no promise of reward, we must make restitution for our sins.

This is a message I hope that all of us can take to heart.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">I suppose it would have absolutely killed you to just admit that to me, though.</font>
Not at all Diana. In fact, if it makes you feel better to believe that you have somehow scored a point against me, then please do this. My hope, in the meantime, is that you might take a second look at the stories of the Bible, and try seeing them in a new light. Very often we learn the most astonishing things when we open our minds to the unexpected, or the new.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Do grow up.</font>
Thank you for the advice. I will take it to heart.

Good night Diana.

Nomad
 
Old 02-02-2001, 09:31 PM   #46
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Well, I'm not at all comfortable with this whole threaten-repent deal as an upright moral system, but I think I would cede this point about Jeconiah, since the arena of biblical contradictions is almost by definition a positive-claim arena for atheists, and I'm not sure the burden of proof has been met.

However, it's worth pointing out that this forgiveness scheme of god's is set up in such a way as to be totally unfalsifiable.

I found it interesting that you did not attempt to discuss hell, but I admit that's a whole new debate in itself.

Thanks for the welcome,

-Nick
 
Old 02-02-2001, 09:55 PM   #47
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Nickolaus Wing:

Well, I'm not at all comfortable with this whole threaten-repent deal as an upright moral system,</font>
Remember that repentence under some kind of threat or confrontation is pretty common, whether it is inside or outside of the Bible. I remember reading, for example, about the ring leader of the escaped convicts in Texas that killed that police officer. Apparently after he was caught, he expressed deep sorrow for his actions. Unfortunately this seems to be the pattern for human beings. Until we are directly confronted by our accusers, and placed in their power in some way (at least by guilt, if not by actual coersion), we don't seem to be very eager to say we are sorry about just about anything we do wrong.

I think it is worth noting, BTW, that Jonah had no actual power over the Ninevites, and could have easily been laughed out of town (or worse). One wonders what the fate of some lonely vagabond from the wilderness would be if he were to wander into some major Western city and pronounce judgement upon it. From my reading, I would say that the Ninevites were already starting to feel some guilt for their past actions, though, so they appeared to be pretty receptive to the idea of correction by an outsider (and a Jew no less, one of their enemies).

If you would like to see a "gentler" reproach that produced repentence, you might want to take a look at John 21, where Jesus asks Peter three times to care for His sheep, a not so subtle reminder of the three times denial of Jesus at His greatest moment of need, by His foremost disciple. It is an instructive lesson, both in how God loves us, and how Peter reacts and reaches true understanding and repentence for his sins.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> but I think I would cede this point about Jeconiah, since the arena of biblical contradictions is almost by definition a positive-claim arena for atheists, and I'm not sure the burden of proof has been met.</font>
Thank you.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">However, it's worth pointing out that this forgiveness scheme of god's is set up in such a way as to be totally unfalsifiable.</font>
This problem often crops up when discussing any historical event of course. Personally, I think the message of the story is at least as important as the actual event itself. Even if none of these people ever lived at all (Jeconiah and the rest), the message of the story is a powerful one.

Personally I believe the stories are essentially historical. On the other hand, the treatment of them as metaphor and allegory is quite old. Are you familiar with the works of Origen for example? His commentaries can be very illuminating.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">I found it interesting that you did not attempt to discuss hell, but I admit that's a whole new debate in itself.</font>
Yes it is. On the other hand, if you would like to discuss it, I would be happy to do so.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Thanks for the welcome,</font>
My pleasure.

Peace,

Nomad

 
Old 02-07-2001, 09:03 PM   #48
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Me: They only strengthen my argument that the Bible likes to tell us that so-and-so repented and God forgave (and they all lived happily ever after).

Nomad: Is that all you could get out of these stories?</font>
Um. No. Did I say that's all I get out of them? Why do you insist upon building straw men? Or do you even realize you're doing it?

What else I may get out of the stories is beside the point. You're more than welcome to demonstrate the relevancy of your (incorrect) assumption that "that's all I get out of these stories."

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">This is quite sad, but certainly helps to explain your almost irrational anger at God, and by extension Christians (at least Christian apologists).</font>
Yes. That's right. I'm angry at god in the same sense that I'm angry at pink unicorns, leperchauns, and little green men from the planet Gizmo.

Nor am I angry with Xians or their apologists. What I feel is nearer pity than anything else. I'm sure the feeling is mutual.

Once again, you've misrepresented me. You seem to making a habit of it. But if this is necessary in order for you to feel superior (betrayed each time you say something like, "I feel for you Diana...."), please don't let anything I say deter you. Lord knows (heh) you haven't yet.

By the way, my boyfriend feels for me, too. I just move out of reach, though, and it seems to take care of that problem.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">My goodness Diana, I do hope you are not like this with every subject you study.</font>
OK. I'll bite. Like what?

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">I will explain one more time in the hopes of helping you.</font>
Helping me what?

I have a different theory. You'll explain one more time because you can't bear for anyone else to have the last word (despite repeated promises earlier to leave this argument; are you not good to your word? Not very Xianly of you, is it?).

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">The rabbis clearly take their Scripture very seriously, and spend a lifetime trying to uncover the meanings...even if that learning is to prove them wrong.</font>
Quite moving. Also, an unsupported assertion.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Personally, as a Christian, I am humbled by these men, and hope to learn from them.</font>
But somehow, despite their years of mind-boggling study, they still manage to be wrong about that little Jesus-wasn't-the-messiah notion, huh? And you're right about it. Fancy that. But these are LEARNED men. As per you, "...I could also suggest that for those that do not first understand a passage, that they may want to look more deeply into the text, or even consult a teacher trained in such things"....Shouldn't you listen to them?

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">In fact, if it makes you feel better to believe that you have somehow scored a point against me, then please do this.</font>
For a while, I was keeping an informal tally of how many times you would respond to my arguments with long, involved paragraphs that somehow failed to address the point I'd made. In your lingo, these are "points against you." I lost count long ago.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">My hope, in the meantime, is that you might take a second look at the stories of the Bible, and try seeing them in a new light.</font>
Funny...I was about to say the same thing to you.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Very often we learn the most astonishing things when we open our minds to the unexpected, or the new.</font>
The subtle suggestion, of course, is that you have new ideas that I simply am unable to cope with. Which is just plain silly. You have yet to say anything that is unexpected or new to me. AGAIN...where do you get these presuppositions?

For future reference, Nomad, I suggest you reread each of your posts in order to take out any assumptions you're making about the mindset, background, or education of your opponent. These are, even when subtly inserted, still ad hominem. They weaken whatever point you were trying to make and they make you look little better than a child who says, "Oh YEAH? Well...YOUR MAMA!"

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Good night Diana.</font>
Bonne nuit yourself.

diana

 
Old 02-07-2001, 09:45 PM   #49
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Diana,your point about how the Bible likes to "tell us" that certain people are forgiven was good. And Nomad seems to assume that this is an absolute thing: people do what's wrong, God pronounces a judgement, they repent, they get forgiven and the punishment is called off. Not so. Not so at ALL. When David was repentant for what he did to Uriah the Hittite and he tore his clothes, that didn't stop Yhwh from killing David's baby. Nathan goes as far as to say "Yhwh has taken away your sin..." (2 Sam. 12:13). As a matter of fact, David explicitly says that he was looking for mercy, but he did not get it (2 Sam 12:22). And when God told Moses he would not enter the promised land--God kept his word, even though Moses was repentant about that too.

Anyway, the Book of Nomad is not a part of the canon therefore Nomad's apocryphal story about Jeconiah being forgiven is not a part of the canon--nor are all the other Nomadic apocryphal stories, such as the leviriate marriage in the genealogies of Jesus. As a result, there is a textual contradiction in the Bible.
 
Old 02-07-2001, 10:36 PM   #50
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Biblical Contradiction:

Malachi 3:6. I am the LORD, I change not.

vs.

Gen. 6:6. And it repented the LORD that he had made man on earth, and it grieved him at his heart.
Ps. 135:14. For the LORD will judge his people, and he will repent himself concerning his servants.
Exod. 32:14. And the LORD repented of the evil he thought to do unto his people.
Jon. 3:10. And God repented of the evil, that he had said he would do unto them; and he did it not.

Words have meanings.

"I change not" is not the same as and therefore contradicts "And the LORD repented of the evil he thought to do unto his people."

"Change not" is the opposite of "repent," for "repent" means "change," change from not being sorry to being sorry, change from not feeling regret to feeling regret [from not being regretful to being regretful].

[This message has been edited by Bob K (edited February 08, 2001).]
 
 

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