God/Bible scholars. Can God sin?

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Re: God/Bible scholars. Can God sin?

Post by DotNotInOz on Sat Feb 19, 2011 1:44 am

Please, if you wish to know more about Judaism do NOT use the link Sakhaiva provided. There is much in it that is either contradictory or just plain misleading.

Try this site instead: Judaism 101

For one thing, a more accurate statement is that Jews are uncertain there is an afterlife. They generally don't worry about that is or isn't the way so many Christians do, because observance is quite filled with performing the duties specified for them by Jewish law for their station in life. Being a living Jew is challenge enough without trying to wrap one's mind around unanswerable questions like what happens after we die.
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Re: God/Bible scholars. Can God sin?

Post by DotNotInOz on Sat Feb 19, 2011 1:48 am

Davelaw wrote:
and I agree with DOT as to the struggle between divine and human nature

Thanks for saying so, Dave. Coming from a man of your staunch faith and deep knowledge of it, that means a lot.
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Re: God/Bible scholars. Can God sin?

Post by Sakhaiva on Sat Feb 19, 2011 6:07 pm

DotNotInOz wrote:For one thing, a more accurate statement is that Jews are uncertain there is an afterlife.

I would be careful with this statement ...secular Judaism and reformed Judaism are very, very different from other traditions of the faith.

http://joi.org/qa/denom.shtml

"Two related areas that can also be explored concern Jewish concepts of immortality and questions relating to the concept of a messianic age. The Prophet Ezekiel spoke of God "going to open your graves and lift you out of the graves, 0 My people, and bring you to the land of Israel" (Ezek. 37:11-12). More than 2,000 years ago, the Pharisees and Sadducees debated whether there would be resurrection, a debate that had an obvious impact in the development of Christianity. Today, there are many Orthodox Jews as well as some Conservative and Reform Jews who believe in resurrection."

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Re: God/Bible scholars. Can God sin?

Post by DotNotInOz on Sat Feb 19, 2011 7:56 pm

Sakhaiva wrote:
DotNotInOz wrote:For one thing, a more accurate statement is that Jews are uncertain there is an afterlife.

I would be careful with this statement ...secular Judaism and reformed Judaism are very, very different from other traditions of the faith.

Sakhaiva, you disappoint me. Of course, secular Jews likely don't give a care since they're Jewish by birth or adoption (or maybe converted and then went secular) and unobservant, and Reforms are so casual about practically everything that hubby refers to them as Jews-Lite.

All branches of Judaism express uncertainty about there being an afterlife. My in-laws are fervent "Conservadox" Jews--their temple being somewhere between Conservative and Orthodox. My MIL once told me that it's foolish to think about what an afterlife might be like when we can't know if there is one or not. God would have told people what to expect if He felt it at all important for them to know. Instead, they should focus upon living in accord with the law; that's enough to keep any Jew plenty occupied.

"Two related areas that can also be explored concern Jewish concepts of immortality and questions relating to the concept of a messianic age. The Prophet Ezekiel spoke of God "going to open your graves and lift you out of the graves, 0 My people, and bring you to the land of Israel" (Ezek. 37:11-12). More than 2,000 years ago, the Pharisees and Sadducees debated whether there would be resurrection, a debate that had an obvious impact in the development of Christianity. Today, there are many Orthodox Jews as well as some Conservative and Reform Jews who believe in resurrection."

Curious that you omitted the concluding sentence of that paragraph which reads: However, most Jews do not believe in an afterlife in the traditional sense. Deliberate, was that, since it didn't help support what you prefer to think?

Note, please, from the Tanakh, Ezekiel 37:12-14--

12. Therefore, prophesy and say to them, So says the Lord God: Lo! I open your graves and cause you to come up out of your graves as My people, and bring you home to the land of Israel. יב.

13. Then you shall know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves and lead you up out of your graves as My people. יג.

14. And I will put My spirit into you, and you shall live, and I will set you on your land, and you shall know that I, the Lord, have spoken it and have performed it," says the Lord.
[emphasis added]

This is a very literal view of resurrection and clearly, to me anyway, is saying that the Lord will resurrect people and reanimate them to bring them to live in Israel again.

That's a far cry from how most Christians define the nature of the afterlife.
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Re: God/Bible scholars. Can God sin?

Post by DotNotInOz on Sat Feb 19, 2011 10:21 pm

One more thing, the paragraph you mostly quoted, Sakhaiva, says nothing whatsoever about the interim between death and resurrection which is what most people term the afterlife.

That's because there isn't any dogma or standard belief about that time, which most Jews don't think involves anything but the dead body lying in the grave until the possibility that God may choose to resurrect it.
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Re: God/Bible scholars. Can God sin?

Post by Davelaw on Sat Feb 19, 2011 10:44 pm

Dot, I mostly have to agree with you here (this is becoming a bad habit)
there is not a unified Hebrew or Jewish consensus on the afterlife and resurrection is not the same as an afterlife but is the promise of a new fleshly life in an Israel made over in the image of Eden.

There is the ancient hope of resurrection: Job 19:25 For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth:
26 And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God:


two hints of life in Sheol-David saying he will be with his dead infant and Saul at Endor
and Talmudic discussions of Gehenna where the writers conclude that no soul lasts for more than a year and day-where afterward they are purified and go to God or if full of evil (like a Haman or Hitler) are burned up-but these are mere discussions and not doctrine set in stone
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Re: God/Bible scholars. Can God sin?

Post by Sakhaiva on Sun Feb 20, 2011 12:51 am

DotNotInOz wrote:Curious that you omitted the concluding sentence of that paragraph which reads: However, most Jews do not believe in an afterlife in the traditional sense. Deliberate, was that, since it didn't help support what you prefer to think?

Yeah, well.... it was the best I could come up with, since I knew I was gonna lose this debate (I seem to recall this debate happening before on YS).

To be fair and honest, I cannot say what I truly 'prefer to think' aside from the fact that I try very hard to draw parallels, and allow for variances, between and among religions.

Note, please, from the Tanakh, Ezekiel 37:12-14--

12. Therefore, prophesy and say to them, So says the Lord God: Lo! I open your graves and cause you to come up out of your graves as My people, and bring you home to the land of Israel. יב.

13. Then you shall know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves and lead you up out of your graves as My people. יג.

14. And I will put My spirit into you, and you shall live, and I will set you on your land, and you shall know that I, the Lord, have spoken it and have performed it," says the Lord.
[emphasis added]

This is a very literal view of resurrection and clearly, to me anyway, is saying that the Lord will resurrect people and reanimate them to bring them to live in Israel again.

That's a far cry from how most Christians define the nature of the afterlife.

Touche! You made a very accurate and fair point!
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Re: God/Bible scholars. Can God sin?

Post by Davelaw on Sun Feb 20, 2011 2:03 am

oh I forgot to add the opposing view from Solomon:

Ec 9:4 For to him that is joined to all the living there is hope: for a living dog is better than a dead lion.
5 For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten.
6 Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; neither have they any more a portion for ever in any thing that is done under the sun
.
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Re: God/Bible scholars. Can God sin?

Post by DotNotInOz on Sun Feb 20, 2011 4:34 am

Davelaw wrote:Dot, I mostly have to agree with you here (this is becoming a bad habit)

I can understand your feeling that you're insidiously being drawn over to the Dark Side, Dave. Wink But hey, there are compensations. As Deavon reminded me not long ago, we have cake! (Devil's food, of course.)

there is not a unified Hebrew or Jewish consensus on the afterlife and resurrection is not the same as an afterlife but is the promise of a new fleshly life in an Israel made over in the image of Eden.

There is the ancient hope of resurrection: Job 19:25 For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth:
26 And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God:


two hints of life in Sheol-David saying he will be with his dead infant and Saul at Endor
and Talmudic discussions of Gehenna where the writers conclude that no soul lasts for more than a year and day-where afterward they are purified and go to God or if full of evil (like a Haman or Hitler) are burned up-but these are mere discussions and not doctrine set in stone

Agreed that these hint at some ideas of an afterlife. However, as you mention and as Jews are infamous for, your latter paragraph simply alludes to a couple of very Jewish tendencies--no hesitancy about expressing opinions and discussing whether-or-no till the cows come home and beyond. Three Jews, five opinions.

Sakhaiva wrote:
DotNotInOz wrote:Curious that you omitted the concluding sentence of that paragraph which reads: However, most Jews do not believe in an afterlife in the traditional sense. Deliberate, was that, since it didn't help support what you prefer to think?

Yeah, well.... it was the best I could come up with,...

Perhaps you can understand how the debater-debate coach in me still goes into attack mode when someone omits the one sentence from a quotation that agrees with what their opponent maintains?

It's very difficult to get a grasp upon how dramatically different Judaism and Christianity actually are, particularly when one has frequently been told how Christianity derived from Judaism. Sometimes, the implication is made, other times it's left unsaid--the more dangerous--that their beliefs about such things are quite similar.

Hubby often says he wishes no one had ever coined the word "Judeo-Christian," for that very reason. It too easily leads well-meaning but ill-informed Christians to think that Jews believe similarly when they so often don't. You also wouldn't want to get him going on the claim many unknowledgeable Christians make that their OT is basically the same as the Jewish Tanakh. It decidedly is not. There are many distinct differences in both translation and content.

In a sense, it's kind of like how surprised and shocked I was while attending my first temple service. People come and go as they wish during the service--and it may simply be to take a break, get out in the fresh air awhile, and not merely go to the restroom. When relatives or friends arrive (and you don't have to arrive at the start), they may come over to you and sit chatting quietly for a bit before moving elsewhere to sit for the duration. People may stand, hug and kiss each other briefly. There's a LOT of activity that would be completely unacceptable during services in most Christian churches. There are certain times during which there's no such activity such as when the Torah portion for that week is chanted but otherwise it's as I described.

I must say, I thought of Jesus casting the moneychangers out of the temple, all of this seemed so very inappropriate to me raised Catholic where you only spoke in whispers very briefly during Mass and got up to leave if you REALLY needed the restroom or had to take a restless child out.

Curiously, during the one Reform service I attended, people didn't do any of this. Possibly because it was the duration of most Christian services, a little over an hour. The friend with whom I went said the length was typical. Services at hubby's childhood temple, the one I described above, start at around 6:00am and may run until 1:00 pm. Little wonder that so much coming and going is commonplace.

Another thing at the latter that I knew about but still found odd is that you remove your coat and check it at the coat check upon arrival. The people who work in that must be non-Jews hired for the occasion since Jews aren't to do any physical labor on the Sabbath which hanging up coats would be. Also, people are hired to push the buttons in the elevator which is probably due to the law forbidding labor as well as forbidding kindling a fire. Not sure about the latter.

You can put ON your own coat and take it off when you get home, but you ought not hang it up. Some scrupulously observant Jews have their housekey duplicated, gold-plated and put onto an extendable chain attached to a pin they can wear so that it's jewelry. You can use the key, then, since it's jewelry. I know, that's just weird!

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Re: God/Bible scholars. Can God sin?

Post by Sakhaiva on Sun Feb 20, 2011 2:55 pm

Sakhaiva wrote:
DotNotInOz wrote:Curious that you omitted the concluding sentence of that paragraph which reads: However, most Jews do not believe in an afterlife in the traditional sense. Deliberate, was that, since it didn't help support what you prefer to think?

Yeah, well.... it was the best I could come up with,...

Perhaps you can understand how the debater-debate coach in me still goes into attack mode when someone omits the one sentence from a quotation that agrees with what their opponent maintains?

LOL, indeed I can! At least I have the comfort of knowing you check on the links people provide... it's so sad when I hunt something down and folks don't click on it. That being said, I wish I had happened across something beefier; it seems a challenge to find good historical data on Judaism. I should have cut to the chase and just gone to Wikipedia.

It's very difficult to get a grasp upon how dramatically different Judaism and Christianity actually are, particularly when one has frequently been told how Christianity derived from Judaism. Sometimes, the implication is made, other times it's left unsaid--the more dangerous--that their beliefs about such things are quite similar.

I read an interesting - but heady - book called "The Churches the Apostles Left Behind" by Raymond E. Brown. The premise had to do with the variations of Christian teachings based upon the bent of each, individual apostle and the resulting divisions between various 'house churches'/geographical locations. The author was specifically concerned with confronting the problem of the church's continued existence in the world after the death of the first generation of apostolic witnesses, and begins his book with a stanza from Robert Browning's poem, "A Death in the Desert" where Browning depicts St John, the last living eye-witness to Christ, musing:

129 "Still, when they scatter, there is left on earth
130 "No one alive who knew (consider this!)
131 "--Saw with his eyes and handled with his hands
132 "That which was from the first, the Word of Life.
133 "How will it be when none more saith 'I saw'?

Interesting stuff.

Jesus, as was recorded, was a member of the tribe in good standing with the community. In fact, history was not meant to record such an average life. Things didn't get interesting until he hit his 30's. Fast forward three years later... we see his legacy spread out in many different directions. The Sub-Apostolic Era is when Christianity, imho, became another religion (s). So how do those, who are not Jewish, attempt to fully understand the history of the Jewish people? Here is where so many theological problems can be found (as I lamented in the O.T. thread.) Here is where (and why) I agree with what you have stated.

Hubby often says he wishes no one had ever coined the word "Judeo-Christian," for that very reason. It too easily leads well-meaning but ill-informed Christians to think that Jews believe similarly when they so often don't. You also wouldn't want to get him going on the claim many unknowledgeable Christians make that their OT is basically the same as the Jewish Tanakh. It decidedly is not. There are many distinct differences in both translation and content.

Certainly in context - Christian Bibles have changed the order of the books. And as we touched on above, too many Christians do not make any real attempt to understand the history of Judaic people. Also this brings us to an important point; in attempting to really understand Judaism, we cannot stop with the O.T. (& an untrained interpretation of it).

(Re: Bibles, I'm very pleased with my New interpreters NRSV Bible because the scholars provided excellent background data for understanding the OT in context. It's a good place to begin.)

I must say, I thought of Jesus casting the moneychangers out of the temple, all of this seemed so very inappropriate to me raised Catholic where you only spoke in whispers very briefly during Mass and got up to leave if you REALLY needed the restroom or had to take a restless child out.

Indeed! As many modern Christians do not understand Judaism, they also do not understand the man himself. He did some wild things, he was - at times - a smart ass, he hung out with the wrong sorts of people; stuff people would be shocked about if they really understood what they read.

Curiously, during the one Reform service I attended, people didn't do any of this. Possibly because it was the duration of most Christian services, a little over an hour. The friend with whom I went said the length was typical. Services at hubby's childhood temple, the one I described above, start at around 6:00am and may run until 1:00 pm. Little wonder that so much coming and going is commonplace.

AH ... 6-1. That makes sense about the coming & going. The longer services must be for High Holidays then?

For a time, I was on a dating site called JDate.com - what a learning experience. I had no idea of my ignorance regarding the differences between various modern sects (Sephardic, Ashkenazi etc). The differences are not simply a matter of ancestry in as much as customs, interpretations of laws et al.

On the website, you could select your matches by sect (note, there was not option for 'Christian' - which reinforces your posts DOT.)

In any case, when looking for good information, as stated above, sometimes it's good to cut to the chase and check out wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jewish_ethnic_divisions

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Who_is_a_Jew%3F

God, there's a lot to read... it's like a whole 'nother religion or something.
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Re: God/Bible scholars. Can God sin?

Post by DotNotInOz on Sun Feb 20, 2011 6:58 pm

Sakhaiva wrote:I should have cut to the chase and just gone to Wikipedia.

Horrors, NO! Don't do that. Go here instead for basic, truthful info on Judaism: Judaism 101

Generally speaking, if there's no Star of David prominently posted, the site probably isn't worth wasting time on.

Also this brings us to an important point; in attempting to really understand Judaism, we cannot stop with the O.T. (& an untrained interpretation of it).

No, don't think you're getting any idea of what Jewish scripture is like unless you get a JPS [Jewish Publication Society] authorized Tanakh, the entire Jewish Bible, and read it. The OT, despite what I was told and what you likely have been as well, is NOT that similar. Jews consider it a badly translated travesty of much of their Tanakh.

You'll easily offend a good Jew if you suggest that you know anything much about Jewish scripture because you're familiar with the Christian OT.

Don't take my word for it. Get a Tanakh and lay it side-by-side with your preferred translation. The RSV is better than the NRSV, I think, but either will work well. You'll find notable differences in meaning between the two oftentimes when you read the same passage from first one, then the other.

Services at hubby's childhood temple, the one I described above, start at around 6:00am and may run until 1:00 pm. Little wonder that so much coming and going is commonplace.

AH ... 6-1. That makes sense about the coming & going. The longer services must be for High Holidays then?

Ummm...no. ::::::LOLing gently::::::::: Six hours is a regular Sabbath service. You probably won't believe this, but High Holy Days service length is at least from 6:00 am to 6:00 p.m at hubby's childhood temple, he just told me, maybe a bit longer.

As he and I have often said, compared to Christians, Jews are seriously into suffering!

For a time, I was on a dating site called JDate.com - what a learning experience. I had no idea of my ignorance regarding the differences between various modern sects (Sephardic, Ashkenazi etc). The differences are not simply a matter of ancestry in as much as customs, interpretations of laws et al.

Oh, yeah. There can be striking differences between present-day branches of Judaism, too. For instance, a lot of people when they hear that someone is an Orthodox Jew tend to think of what I call the Ultras, the Hasidim, whose married men wear untrimmed beards, long black coats and hats and have those sidecurls like Robby Benson did in the movie, The Chosen. That's a good one, btw, to illustrate the distinct differences between a more secular Jew and a Hasidic one. Any of Chaim Potok's novels will give you a good idea what living as an observant Jew is like.

The Jewish equivalent of a fundamentalist would be something like the Lubavitchers. They're so extreme that if one of them happened to speak to anyone from my hubby's family, they'd do so only if manners demanded it. Otherwise, they'd more than likely consider someone bordering on Orthodox a virtual heathen and would cease having anything further to do with such a person. They're THAT fanatical. Lot of serious birth defects among them, from what I hear, because they won't associate with any but themselves.

My in-laws dress conventionally. You really would have no way to know they're borderline Orthodox unless they mention it. They do a lot of things that the Orthodox would consider essentially non-observant even though they do keep strict kosher. I'm always paranoid I'll grab the wrong dish or utensil for a snack. They have different patterned dinnerware and utensils for dairy and meat stored entirely separately. Totally different sets of each are set aside and used only during Passover since nothing leavened may be eaten then. My MIL keeps two sponges beside the kitchen sink, one warm-toned for wiping up when fixing a meat meal, the other cool-toned for dairy ones.

Oh, yeah, it's all very, very complicated. I've learned a ton since marrying hubby.

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Re: God/Bible scholars. Can God sin?

Post by DotNotInOz on Sun Feb 20, 2011 7:16 pm

Blast, I missed the cutoff.

Meant to add that the in-laws keep a set of cookware and bakeware for meat meals and another for dairy ones.

They also have two different sets for Passover; however, as many health problems as my MIL has, they generally visit relatives or travel during Passover. Much easier and simpler.

They also sort out all the foodstuffs that aren't kosher for Passover and put them in a closet with a lock on it during Passover so no one will accidentally get out something that would contaminate the Passover dinnerware or utensils. You can't even allow anything that might be leavened to touch the Passover dinnerware, utensils or cookware.

More Orthodox Jews would sell all such foodstuffs to non-Jews or preferably give them to the needy if possible before Passover. They also clean their house scrupulously top to bottom, even checking pockets in clothing to make sure there are no crumbs anywhere.

I'm not sure how extensively my in-laws clean before Passover. My MIL has a Christian cleaning lady, so I doubt that she insists on that strict a housecleaning.

It's REALLY complicated when you get into the keeping kosher thing, far more than merely avoiding pork, shellfish and other forbidden foods.
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Re: God/Bible scholars. Can God sin?

Post by DotNotInOz on Sun Feb 20, 2011 7:56 pm

Sakhaiva wrote:
For a time, I was on a dating site called JDate.com - what a learning experience. I had no idea of my ignorance regarding the differences between various modern sects (Sephardic, Ashkenazi etc). The differences are not simply a matter of ancestry in as much as customs, interpretations of laws et al.

On the website, you could select your matches by sect (note, there was not option for 'Christian' - which reinforces your posts DOT.)

Just went through the leadup to having to give a username on JDate.

Yeah, they're being pretty scrupulous. You'd have to be fairly knowledgeable about Judaism and probably interested in converting at the least to get much of anywhere on that site, I'm guessing. If you checked "Not interested in converting," you'd only get to see info on Reforms, I bet.

I was kind of surprised to see that Man Looking For Man and ditto for woman were even options, probably because Reform Jews are pretty casual about such. Any Jew above that would likely be more strict about homosexuality or certainly would be expected to be. Privately could be a different story, but I bet anyone above the Reforms wouldn't let on to family that they were looking in one of those categories.

Hmmmm... I've no clue what the distinctions between the categories of Orthodox are. Hubby and family are Conservadox. That's between Conservative and Modern Orthodox, I'm guessing.

Okay, enough of my hogging the thread about all this...we should start another if you're interested in more of my blather, Sakhaiva.
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Re: God/Bible scholars. Can God sin?

Post by Sakhaiva on Sun Feb 20, 2011 10:06 pm

DotNotInOz wrote:Okay, enough of my hogging the thread about all this...we should start another if you're interested in more of my blather, Sakhaiva.

That's a great idea - interesting stuff!
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Re: God/Bible scholars. Can God sin?

Post by DotNotInOz on Sun Feb 20, 2011 11:31 pm

Go for it. As for me, my cough syrup is finally working so I can lie down without having to sit up and cough nonstop for five minutes or so. Going nitey-nite.

Oh, one smallish correction on what you said about the Ashkenazi and Sephardim...those are ethnic groups within Judaism, not sects. Hubby's Ashkenazi, who originated in Eastern Europe and typically don't have the "Jewish" hooked nose unless there are some Sephardic Jews in their ancestry somewhere. They also tend to be more fair-skinned for the same reason.

The Sephardim came from North Africa, Turkey and the like originally and do look more like Arabs as a result, again depending upon how mixed their ancestry is.

Sects would be Orthodox, Conservadox, Conservative, Reconstructionist, Reform, etc. Those, among others, you saw listed on JDate.com. Well, actually, denominations might be a better term from a Christian standpoint, because sect usually denotes smallish and maybe off-the-wall in Christianity.

Remind me to tell you about the Orthodox b&b we stayed in once while visiting hubby's parents. It was pretty freaky, especially the instructions and supplies for using the microwave. The owners were STRICT about keeping kosher.
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Re: God/Bible scholars. Can God sin?

Post by Sakhaiva on Mon Feb 21, 2011 11:01 pm

DotNotInOz wrote:Oh, one smallish correction on what you said about the Ashkenazi and Sephardim...those are ethnic groups within Judaism, not sects.

That is what I thought; however, I have many Judaic friends and family members as well and have learned that the two groups seem to have more differences than simply their ethnicity.

I think there must be some sort of schism between the two groups; however, I do not know enough of the history to understand what it is really about and do not wish to rely upon the opinions of my friends/family. Interesting that, in Israel, there is much discrimination that goes on over this: http://www.presstv.ir/detail/139124.html

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703650604575313021147430454.html

Having spent most of my life in LA - where we have a myriad of religious groups melding together peacefully - it's so strange to see things like this.
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Re: God/Bible scholars. Can God sin?

Post by DotNotInOz on Tue Feb 22, 2011 3:27 am

Not something I'd heard anything about. Hubby's never mentioned any conflicts between the two groups. Maybe he was unaware of any such in NYC when growing up in Brooklyn. But then, we also don't talk about his Jewishness very often unless it's something I'm curious about. He's been Pagan since his teens or young adult years, not sure which. His apostasy is something his parents simply don't mention although I expect they're not at all happy about it.

Unfortunately, this conflict is probably another manifestation of the human tendency to think one group better than another even within a religion. I recall my parents saying things occasionally about its being a good thing that an aunt had converted from the Greek Orthodox Catholic Church to the Roman Catholic when she married my uncle. There's not all that much difference between the beliefs of the two, but RC's tend to think of the GO's as inferior and heretics. Actually, the Greek Orthodox are heretics and schismatics since they broke off from the RC's sometime before the year 1000, I think. Not sure when and too lazy to check.
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Re: God/Bible scholars. Can God sin?

Post by wmdkitty on Tue Mar 01, 2011 3:12 pm

DeavonReye wrote:
DeavonReye wrote: So, how can a "cattle/sheep" still love the shephard?

And, . . . there can be no "love" for something that is so easily thrown away and disgarded. In my opinion, the definition for "love", that the bible speaks of, . . . isn't like how WE view real love. A real love doesn't make huge requirements of the other person, including their adoring worship, at the thread of violence if they don't.

See that part I bolded?

THAT is what has me convinced that Bible-God is nothing more than an abuser.
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Very simply, God is imaginary

Post by DotNotInOz on Tue Mar 01, 2011 7:08 pm

I'll go one step further, Kitty, and assert that I think the Christian God and Jesus both are completely imaginary human creations.

There's a very persuasive website I've mentioned before but will link again since it's quite relevant to this discussion: Why won't God heal amputees? Frankly, I think reading through as much of the site as you have time for is worthwhile, their chains of reasoning are THAT tight.

To leap to a specific portion, here's a link to the segment about why prayer is a waste of time if you want answers and results and not merely an opportunity to vent a bit,

Why prayer doesn't get results
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Re: God/Bible scholars. Can God sin?

Post by Sakhaiva on Thu Mar 03, 2011 12:08 am

DotNotInOz wrote:To leap to a specific portion, here's a link to the segment about why prayer is a waste of time if you want answers and results and not merely an opportunity to vent a bit,

Why prayer doesn't get results

When thinking of prayer, we need to look not only to science, but to psychology and metaphysics too.

The wwgha site seems to, from what I've read, focus on the gross level; I believe healings, miracles & answered prayers happen on the subtle level. Moving on, there are more benifits to prayer than simply granted wishes.



http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/enlightened-living/201007/the-science-psychology-and-metaphysics-prayer
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Re: God/Bible scholars. Can God sin?

Post by DotNotInOz on Thu Mar 03, 2011 7:49 am

Sakhaiva wrote:
When thinking of prayer, we need to look not only to science, but to psychology and metaphysics too.

Oh, I agree, Sakhaiva. Perhaps I wasn't clear that I was referring largely to prayer with expectations, as I call it--mostly to praying for someone suffering a physical illness or emotional distress for their healing or cure.

I believe healings, miracles & answered prayers happen on the subtle level.

Maybe so, but how do we know that anything other than an unexpected change of attitude on the part of the person praying or being prayed for occurred? This seems so highly subjective that it simply can't be measured or verified in any sense other than the person's testimony that s/he feels wonderfully or miraculously better.

Even the medical review board at Lourdes will not label what most laypeople and clergy refer to as miraculous cures there as anything but "medically inexplicable cures." If they demand rigorous medical evaluation, I feel that we must be similarly scrupulous before declaring that prayer works to bring about healing and cures. You, Sakhaiva and others, undoubtedly will disagree.

Moving on, there are more benifits to prayer than simply granted wishes.


Of course there are those who believe that praying brings about direct or subtle results. However, despite a few studies, most of which were subsequently disparaged as having been badly set up or contaminated by other influences, there's no evidence of success that I know of other than emotional or spiritual boosts--highly subjective, I'm sure you'll agree--from praying or being prayed for.

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Re: God/Bible scholars. Can God sin?

Post by silverswhispers on Fri Mar 04, 2011 1:14 am

DeavonReye wrote:I have something that I'm wanting to discuss, but first, for those who are well versed in the Bible and of God, . . . is it possible for God to "sin"?

If God is able to do anything then there is nothing he could not do. Further, if we really are a part of God and a part of himself then our sins would by default be his sins. Further still, the things he did in the name of himself in the old testament in particular go against his own tenets and thus would be a form of sin in themselves. I'm not sure why the rules wouldn't apply to him as well as a measure of sin even if he cannot be punished for them.

Another thought/question is that I do not believe in the biblical god so is it even possible for me to sin? Sinning is something that seems like only a Christian could do regardless of the temptation to impose your beliefs of sin upon others.

Just some thoughts.
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Re: God/Bible scholars. Can God sin?

Post by DotNotInOz on Fri Mar 04, 2011 1:52 am

silverswhispers wrote:Further still, the things he did in the name of himself in the old testament in particular go against his own tenets and thus would be a form of sin in themselves. I'm not sure why the rules wouldn't apply to him as well as a measure of sin even if he cannot be punished for them.

I've long wondered why it's not only okay but glorious for the OT God to exterminate whole nations and tribes regarded as enemies of the Israelites.

Seemed to me pretty unnecessary and quite cruel for God to have killed off the firstborn sons of all the Egyptians while their smearing blood on the doorposts signified that the family was Jewish and thus the Angel of Death was to pass by without claiming the eldest son of those houses. What sense did it make for God to "harden Pharoah's heart" so that more and more ridiculous plagues got laid upon a bunch of innocent Egyptians simply because their ruler was reluctant to relinquish so much slave labor?

It's understandable why so many Christians say that many biblical accounts and concepts are simply beyond our understanding and thus we must just have faith that God will reveal them to us more fully eventually. I see this as a really idiotic excuse for the simple fact that much of the Christian Bible makes no sense whatsoever. This is the BIBLE, supposedly God's Word about what faith and life are supposed to be, and yet much of it's so obscure that the more honest clergy today will admit they haven't Clue #1 what a good deal of it means. God is a raging and vindictive tyrant through much of the OT, killing off innocent people for no good reason than that their deaths give over land, goods and rapable women to the men of the "Chosen People." Ridiculously implausible myths, most of it, intended to encourage a rather primitive nomadic tribe to feel exalted and special for no logical reason.
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Re: God/Bible scholars. Can God sin?

Post by silverswhispers on Fri Mar 04, 2011 2:16 am

DotNotInOz wrote:
silverswhispers wrote:Further still, the things he did in the name of himself in the old testament in particular go against his own tenets and thus would be a form of sin in themselves. I'm not sure why the rules wouldn't apply to him as well as a measure of sin even if he cannot be punished for them.

I've long wondered why it's not only okay but glorious for the OT God to exterminate whole nations and tribes regarded as enemies of the Israelites.

Seemed to me pretty unnecessary and quite cruel for God to have killed off the firstborn sons of all the Egyptians while their smearing blood on the doorposts signified that the family was Jewish and thus the Angel of Death was to pass by without claiming the eldest son of those houses. What sense did it make for God to "harden Pharoah's heart" so that more and more ridiculous plagues got laid upon a bunch of innocent Egyptians simply because their ruler was reluctant to relinquish so much slave labor?

It's understandable why so many Christians say that many biblical accounts and concepts are simply beyond our understanding and thus we must just have faith that God will reveal them to us more fully eventually. I see this as a really idiotic excuse for the simple fact that much of the Christian Bible makes no sense whatsoever. This is the BIBLE, supposedly God's Word about what faith and life are supposed to be, and yet much of it's so obscure that the more honest clergy today will admit they haven't Clue #1 what a good deal of it means. God is a raging and vindictive tyrant through much of the OT, killing off innocent people for no good reason than that their deaths give over land, goods and rapable women to the men of the "Chosen People." Ridiculously implausible myths, most of it, intended to encourage a rather primitive nomadic tribe to feel exalted and special for no logical reason.

I grew up the non radical version of Baptist and for a period of time, as a teen, I gave it serious focus and did so by my own accord. As time went on I started asking questions that I couldn't just settle for such weak answers and so I sought to answer them on my own. It was hard to 'break free' of the institutionalized fear that is the foundation of Christianity (Could Christianity really exist without the fear of hell?) but I have moved on in every way. However, culturally it has obviously influenced me in many ways.

One of my core issues with the bible is that if it really is the word of God then why is it so obviously and painfully imperfect. Only the blindly faithful can see past the draconian tactics used in the old testament and the, once more, painfully clear inconsistencies, impossibilities and irrational parts of the bible. I've given the faithful literally hundreds of clear issues and asked to answer just one and if they have tried to answer them they are always huge stretches of logic.

I would think that if the bible was the real words of God it would truly be Perfect... Like a beautiful poem in an epic form. Instead it is anything but that.





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Re: God/Bible scholars. Can God sin?

Post by Guest on Sun Mar 27, 2011 7:23 pm

silverswhispers wrote:
DotNotInOz wrote:
silverswhispers wrote:Further still, the things he did in the name of himself in the old testament in particular go against his own tenets and thus would be a form of sin in themselves. I'm not sure why the rules wouldn't apply to him as well as a measure of sin even if he cannot be punished for them.

I've long wondered why it's not only okay but glorious for the OT God to exterminate whole nations and tribes regarded as enemies of the Israelites.

Seemed to me pretty unnecessary and quite cruel for God to have killed off the firstborn sons of all the Egyptians while their smearing blood on the doorposts signified that the family was Jewish and thus the Angel of Death was to pass by without claiming the eldest son of those houses. What sense did it make for God to "harden Pharoah's heart" so that more and more ridiculous plagues got laid upon a bunch of innocent Egyptians simply because their ruler was reluctant to relinquish so much slave labor?

It's understandable why so many Christians say that many biblical accounts and concepts are simply beyond our understanding and thus we must just have faith that God will reveal them to us more fully eventually. I see this as a really idiotic excuse for the simple fact that much of the Christian Bible makes no sense whatsoever. This is the BIBLE, supposedly God's Word about what faith and life are supposed to be, and yet much of it's so obscure that the more honest clergy today will admit they haven't Clue #1 what a good deal of it means. God is a raging and vindictive tyrant through much of the OT, killing off innocent people for no good reason than that their deaths give over land, goods and rapable women to the men of the "Chosen People." Ridiculously implausible myths, most of it, intended to encourage a rather primitive nomadic tribe to feel exalted and special for no logical reason.

I grew up the non radical version of Baptist and for a period of time, as a teen, I gave it serious focus and did so by my own accord. As time went on I started asking questions that I couldn't just settle for such weak answers and so I sought to answer them on my own. It was hard to 'break free' of the institutionalized fear that is the foundation of Christianity (Could Christianity really exist without the fear of hell?) but I have moved on in every way. However, culturally it has obviously influenced me in many ways.

One of my core issues with the bible is that if it really is the word of God then why is it so obviously and painfully imperfect. Only the blindly faithful can see past the draconian tactics used in the old testament and the, once more, painfully clear inconsistencies, impossibilities and irrational parts of the bible. I've given the faithful literally hundreds of clear issues and asked to answer just one and if they have tried to answer them they are always huge stretches of logic.

I would think that if the bible was the real words of God it would truly be Perfect... Like a beautiful poem in an epic form. Instead it is anything but that.







Ah DoT & Silver. I've beeb asking the same questions ever since I left & turned away from Christianity in 2000. And getting the same weak answers. I myself have called the God of the Bible murderous, insane, psycotic & evil God.

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