What If?

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What If?

Post by Davelaw on Wed Aug 05, 2009 12:17 am

What if a Bedouin like tribe was discovered wandering in some deep desert that:

worshiped the One God-but had no scripture
circumcised but had no priests
still performed animal ritual sacrifice but had no temple or holy place

would they be accepted as practitioners of the Faith of Abraham?
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Re: What If?

Post by sacrificialgoddess on Wed Aug 05, 2009 8:28 am

Depends. Is their god YHWH. Seriously, I think that would be a big sticking point.

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Re: What If?

Post by gillyflower on Wed Aug 05, 2009 8:30 am

LOL Some people would embrace them as Christians, some people would never accept them as Christians and other people would decided that they were proof that we had been visited by aliens. Situation normal!

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Re: What If?

Post by DotNotInOz on Wed Aug 05, 2009 1:23 pm

I hope Leah will happen onto this thread to give us an authoritative answer.

I can think of one reason why they'd not be regarded as actual Jews by contemporary Jews, and that would be that the designated place for performance of animal sacrifices was the Temple which was destroyed by the Romans in 70 CE. The Torah clearly states that animal sacrifices cannot be done anywhere and everywhere but must only be done in the place that G-d would designate which was the Temple built and dedicated in King Solomon's time.

[Did I get that right, Leah? I'm kind of winging it here based on what hubby's said and my knowing only enough about Judaism to be very dangerous.]
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Re: What If?

Post by Davelaw on Wed Aug 05, 2009 1:42 pm

sacrificialgoddess wrote:Depends. Is their god YHWH. Seriously, I think that would be a big sticking point.

Why? the name was only revealed to Moses and then later the literate throught the writings-the common Israelite knew by God by the same name as their Canaanite cousins EL. Abraham only knew the name EL
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Re: What If?

Post by Davelaw on Wed Aug 05, 2009 1:44 pm

DotNotInOz wrote:I hope Leah will happen onto this thread to give us an authoritative answer.

I can think of one reason why they'd not be regarded as actual Jews by contemporary Jews, and that would be that the designated place for performance of animal sacrifices was the Temple which was destroyed by the Romans in 70 CE. The Torah clearly states that animal sacrifices cannot be done anywhere and everywhere but must only be done in the place that G-d would designate which was the Temple built and dedicated in King Solomon's time.

[Did I get that right, Leah? I'm kind of winging it here based on what hubby's said and my knowing only enough about Judaism to be very dangerous.]

truye enough; but that certainly was not the faith or practice of Abraham
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Re: What If?

Post by DotNotInOz on Wed Aug 05, 2009 5:06 pm

Huh?

Then, I think we need a definition of what you believe constitutes the "Faith of Abraham." I have no idea what you think that means.
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Re: What If?

Post by Davelaw on Wed Aug 05, 2009 5:17 pm

Abraham was exactly like the hypothetical nomadic people I described-He prayed to EL not YHWH; he the patriarch was in charge of ritual sacrifice not a priest; he presumably also circumcized his sons (but thats not clear) and worshippped wherever he felt an altar was appropriate


Is that more clear?
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Re: What If?

Post by Daldianus on Thu Aug 06, 2009 2:42 am

Abraham is also, to great parts (if not entirely), a mythological character.

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Re: What If?

Post by Davelaw on Thu Aug 06, 2009 3:36 am

Celsus wrote:Abraham is also, to great parts (if not entirely), a mythological character.

which contributes to the discussion how? he either existed or is representative of the patriarchal heads of the Bedouin tribes they evolved from
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Re: What If?

Post by Daldianus on Thu Aug 06, 2009 7:10 am

Sorry, just wanted to remind that.

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Re: What If?

Post by Davelaw on Thu Aug 06, 2009 7:18 am

do you even umderstand whay Myth is ? An event can be historical and still be Myth like our recent election-its about the meaning attached to it
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Re: What If?

Post by sacrificialgoddess on Thu Aug 06, 2009 8:06 am


Myth: A traditional story that is not literally true, but which generallyportrays fundamental spiritual and religious truths. There are probably on the order of 500 creation myths among the many faith groups in the world. Most, or all, do not represent reality. But many contain much wisdom.


http://www.religioustolerance.org/gl_m.htm

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Re: What If?

Post by Daldianus on Thu Aug 06, 2009 8:09 am

Davelaw wrote:do you even umderstand whay Myth is ? An event can be historical and still be Myth like our recent election-its about the meaning attached to it

But alleged events can also simply be mythical. In that case they explain something which exists but for which there is no actualanswer/explanation. That does not mean that the myth itself necessarily represents an historical truth.


Last edited by Celsus on Thu Aug 06, 2009 8:10 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: What If?

Post by gillyflower on Thu Aug 06, 2009 8:09 am

Or this one from the Free Dictionary:

Myth:myth (mth)
n.
1.
a. A traditional, typically ancient story dealing with supernatural beings, ancestors, or heroes that serves as a fundamental type in the worldview of a people, as by explaining aspects of the natural world or delineating the psychology, customs, or ideals of society: the myth of Eros and Psyche; a creation myth.
b. Such stories considered as a group: the realm of myth.

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Re: What If?

Post by gillyflower on Thu Aug 06, 2009 8:12 am

I think that some of you are using other definitions of myth also from the Free Dictionary:

2. A popular belief or story that has become associated with a person, institution, or occurrence, especially one considered to illustrate a cultural ideal: a star whose fame turned her into a myth; the pioneer myth of suburbia.
3. A fiction or half-truth, especially one that forms part of an ideology.
4. A fictitious story, person, or thing: "German artillery superiority on the Western Front was a myth" (Leon Wolff).

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Re: What If?

Post by Davelaw on Thu Aug 06, 2009 8:47 am

[size=9]Mythology serves many purposes.

[/size]
    [size=9]


  1. Myths grant continuity and stability to a culture. They foster a shared set
    of perspectives, values, history -- and literature, in the stories themselves.
    Through these communal tales, we are connected to one another, to our ancestors,
    to the natural world surrounding us, and to society; and, in the myths which
    have universal (i.e., archetypal) themes, we are connected to other
    cultures.

  2. Myths present guidelines for living. When myths tell about the activities
    and attitudes of deities, the moral tone implies society's expectations for
    our own behaviors and standards. In myths, we see archetypal situations and
    some of the options which can be selected in those situations; we also perceive
    the rewards and other consequences which resulted from those selections.

  3. Myths justify a culture's activities. Through their authoritativeness and
    the respected characters within them, myths establish a culture's customs,
    rituals, religious tenets, laws, social structures, power hierarchies,
    territorial claims, arts and crafts, holidays and other recurring events,
    and technical tips for hunting, warfare, and other endeavors.

  4. Myths give meaning to life. We transcend our common life into a world in
    which deities interact with humans, and we can believe that our daily actions
    are part of the deities' grand schemes. In our difficulties, the pain is
    more bearable because we believe that the trials have meaning; we are suffering
    for a bigger cause rather than being battered randomly. And when we read
    that a particular deity experienced something which we are now enduring --
    perhaps a struggle against "evil forces" -- we can feel that our own struggle
    might have a similar cosmic or archetypal significance, though on a smaller
    scale.

  5. Myths explain the unexplainable. They reveal our fate after death, and the
    reasons for crises or miracles, and other puzzles -- and yet they retain
    and even encourage an aura of mystery. Myths also satisfy our need to understand
    the natural world; for example, they might state that a drought is caused
    by an angry deity. This purpose of mythology was especially important before
    the advent of modern science, which offered the Big Bang theory to replace
    creation myths, and it gave us the theory of evolution to supplant myths
    regarding the genesis of humanity. And yet, science creates its own mythology,
    even as its occasional secular barrenness threatens to strip us of the healthful
    awe which other types of mythology engender.


  6. Myths offer role models. In particular, children pattern themselves after
    heroes; comic books and Saturday-morning cartoons depict many archetypal
    characters, such as Superman and Wonder Woman. Adults, too, can find role
    models, in the stories of deities' strength, persistence, and courage.
    [/size]



[size=9]There are various types of myths.
[/size]
    [size=9]

  1. In The Global Myths, Alexander Eliot defined four types of myth:



    • Primitive myths (which were generally stories about nature, as told by shamans).

    • Pagan myths (which were mostly from the Greek and Roman tales of the interplay
      between deities and humans).

    • Sacred myths (as in the stories from current eastern and western religions
      such as Christianity and Hinduism).

    • Scientific myths (i.e., "the most solemn and revered creeds of science --
      from Lucretius on Nature through Darwin's The Origin of Species").



  • David Adams Leeming, in The World of Myth, listed four other types:


    • Cosmic myths (including narratives of the creation and end of the world).

    • Theistic myths (which portray the deities).

    • Hero myths (with accounts of individuals such as Achilles and Jesus).

    • "Place and object" myths (describing places such as Camelot, and objects
      such as the Golden Fleece).

  • [/size]




    [size=9]We have had deities
    for many aspects of life. This book contains dozens of classifications,
    but that is only a small percentage. The Egyptians had more than 2,000 deities;
    the Hindus have 333 million. Deities have governed virtually every possible
    activity, object, and emotion. In addition to the broad categories (e.g.,
    war or the sea), we have had deities for individual items; for example, the
    Irish honored both the goddess of rivers (Boann) and the goddess of the
    Lagan River (Logia). There have been deities for individual cities
    (Athena for Athens), mountains (Gauri-Sankar for Mount Everest), lakes, tribes,
    plant species, temples, constellations, parts of the body, etc. In some cultures,
    each home possessed its own deity, to supplement the culture's "goddess of
    the home" (who was named Hestia in the Greek religion). Deities governed
    not only major phenomena such as agriculture or love or the sun, but also
    such common matters as leisure, reptiles, the kitchen stove, guitars, jeering,
    the nose, politics, prostitution, singing, burlesque, doors, virginity,
    willpower, firecrackers, gambling, face cream, drunkenness, and the toilet.


    [/size]
    [size=9]"God"
    is different from mythological gods and goddesses. In mythology, the
    dieties are not like the monotheistic deity of western religion. (Hinduism
    has its quasi-monotheistic deity -- Brahman -- but it also has millions of
    lesser deities.) Mythological deities were not omniscient, omnipotent, or
    omnipresent. Like people, they were viewed as limited, flawed, and driven
    by emotions and ambitions; their main difference from humans was that they
    had more knowledge and power.


    [/size]
    [size=9]Ancient myths live in our
    culture. We find references to those myths in many contemporary words
    and expressions, such as Pandora's box, Oedipus complex, nymph, and olympian.
    Other words derived from mythology include adonis (from Adonis), aurora (from
    Aurora), chlorophyll (from Chloris), chronology (from Kronos), discipline
    (from Disciplina), discord (from Discordia), eros (from Eros), fate (from
    Fate), fauna (from Faunus), fidelity (from Fides), flora (from Flora), fortune
    (from Fortuna), fraud (from Fraus), Hades (from Hades), Hell (from Hel),
    hygiene (from Hygieia), jovial (from Jove), liberty (from Libertas), lunar
    (from Luna), morphine (from Morpheus), mortality (from Mors), mute (from
    Muta), narcissism (from Narcissus), nemesis (from Nemesis), ocean (from Oceanus),
    -- and the names of the planets, and some of the months (including Janus
    for January), etc. Mars (the Roman war god) is remembered in words such as
    Mars (the planet), March (the month), and martial (as in martial arts).


    [/size]
    [size=9]Our modern society has its own
    myths. Some authors say that our society lacks a vigorous mythology;
    they believe that this lack can cause a sense of meaninglessness, estrangement,
    rootlessness, and the cold brittleness of a life devoid of reverence and
    awe. Other authors assert that we do have a mythology -- in certain
    concepts (such as "progress") and in our larger-than-life celebrities (e.g.,
    Mother Teresa as the goddess of compassion, Albert Einstein as the god of
    the intellect and the imagination, and Bill Gates as the god of commerce).
    "Screen goddesses Marilyn Monroe and Madonna incarnate the alluring qualities
    of Aphrodite. Aristotle Onassis expressed the wheeling-and-dealing Zeus qualities
    that built a shipping empire, while Muhammad Ali called on the aggressive
    instinct of Ares, the god of war, every time he stepped into the boxing ring."
    (As Above So Below, copyright 1992 by New Age Journal.)
    The media enlarges certain people to mythical proportions, and we each do
    the same (often by projecting the "Hero" archetype onto other people).
    Corporations have a mythology, in their "corporate culture." There is a mythology
    in every group -- our social club, our family, our profession, our subculture,
    our ethnic group, our religion and denomination, our city, our neighborhood,
    our friendships, etc. Our mythology changes as our culture changes -- from
    one generation to the next, from one presidential administration to the next,
    from one decade to the next.




    [/size]
    [size=9]We each have our own mythology.
    Consciously or unconsciously, we create our own myths. We have our deities
    -- the things which are important and valued and vibrant to us personally.
    We are heroes in "mythic journeys" by which we romanticize our various passages
    through life. Although we generally accept cultural myths to the extent to
    which we are a part of our culture, the truly satisfying and exciting myths
    are those which arise from our own passions, our own dreams, and our own
    visions.



    [/size]
    [size=9]Similar myths exist in every
    culture. The myths have different characters and different plot-lines,
    but we do find some common themes. Some of the recurring themes include a
    Golden Age, a fall from a heavenly state, resurrections from death, virgin
    births, worldwide floods, creation stories in which "one becomes two," and
    a future apocalypse. When Carl Jung examined the commonalities of myths,
    he developed his theory of archetypes, which are universal forces which influence
    us to manifest their particular trait.



    [/size]
    [size=9]Myths are metaphorical. Some people
    regard myths as mere fabrications, to be discarded in our enlightened age.
    Those people are repelled by the myths' preposterous elements (such as centaurs)
    and contradictions (within an individual myth, or in its revisions from one
    oral transmission to the next). But mythology's enduring worth is not in
    its possible historical or scientific accuracy; instead, myths are important
    because they are metaphors. We learn about life and people and values in
    a way which cannot be offered by dry historical or philosophical accounts;
    in mythology, we learn through imagination, as we feel and visualize the
    colorful adventures of the deities. Although mythology is not a literal rendering
    of a culture's history, we can still use myths to explore the culture --
    its viewpoints, activities, and beliefs.



    [/size]
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    Re: What If?

    Post by Davelaw on Thu Aug 06, 2009 8:48 am

    some help me format this-its part of Joseph Campbell's interview with Bill Moyers
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    Re: What If?

    Post by DotNotInOz on Thu Aug 06, 2009 8:49 am

    I'm curious as to why Dave cares about this entire issue to start with.

    What difference would this extremely hypothetical tribe's acceptance or rejection make to anyone anyway?
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    Re: What If?

    Post by Davelaw on Thu Aug 06, 2009 8:50 am

    i was six hours from having a minor in comparative religions
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    Re: What If?

    Post by Davelaw on Thu Aug 06, 2009 8:54 am

    a similar question that would be just a interesting to me-if we discovered a group of people who had exactly preserved first century Christianity-which Christian groups would accept them?-part of our own mythology among my faith group is that we are the closest to first century worship
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    Re: What If?

    Post by DotNotInOz on Thu Aug 06, 2009 8:55 am

    Ahhh...it's an "egghead's question."

    That certainly explains a lot. (Not that I've ever speculated about something of this sort myself, of course.)

    [MA from St. John's College Great Books Program, if that explains anything.]
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    Re: What If?

    Post by Davelaw on Thu Aug 06, 2009 8:56 am

    Guilty as charged
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    Re: What If?

    Post by Davelaw on Thu Aug 06, 2009 8:57 am

    or my parlance mea culpa
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    Re: What If?

    Post by Davelaw on Thu Aug 06, 2009 9:00 am

    DotNotInOz wrote:Ahhh...it's an "egghead's question."

    That certainly explains a lot. (Not that I've ever speculated about something of this sort myself, of course.)

    [MA from St. John's College Great Books Program, if that explains anything.]

    my most treasured possession is Encyclopedia Britannica's Great Books of the Western World that my parents bought for me when I was an infant
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    Re: What If?

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