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View Poll Results: How much of the Bible have you read?
All of it: both the OT and NT. 16 27.59%
Some entire books. Not all. 23 39.66%
Some verses here and there. 17 29.31%
I've never read any of it. 2 3.45%
Voters: 58. You may not vote on this poll

 
 
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Old 04-28-2005, 09:10 AM   #61
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I've read it all, a few times, in several translations.

I took both an OT course and a NT course as an undergraduate. I think I'm one of the few people (definitely one of the only ones at my university ) who prefers the OT to the NT.
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Old 04-28-2005, 09:37 AM   #62
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Holy crap, I guess I'm surprised with how many of us have read the Bible. (Not that I think you guys are a bunch of heathens or anything.)

Anyone up for an interference Bible discussion? Any books people are interested in discussing?
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Old 04-28-2005, 10:00 AM   #63
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Quote:
Originally posted by 2Hearts
I guess Deep's screen name is a misnomer.
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Old 04-28-2005, 10:08 AM   #64
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Ok, i am back

Quote:
Originally posted by 80sU2isBest


why do you say that?


80s,

as usual , a reasonable and fair question

thanks


Quote:
Originally posted by pax




Yeah, deep, that was kind of harsh. I read Job in a philosophy class when we were talking about stoicism and suffering. It's really an amazing story.

How does the story begin? Why does the story begin?

Perhaps, 2hearts can give us some insight here, too.
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Old 04-28-2005, 10:40 AM   #65
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The Book of Job starts with the devil and God talking about Job, a righteous and holy man. The devil bets God that he can basically make Job forget all about God by putting him through a lot of suffering, and God tells Satan to go ahead and give it a shot.

So Job ends up losing everything, one by one--his land, his business, his children, even his wife. Through it all he suffers quietly and doesn't question God, until (I think--maybe nbc or 80s can back me up on this) his wife dies. Then Job finally lashes out at God and demands to know what gives. He's like, "Hey, I ran an honest business. I prayed to you and only you. I was a good father and husband. And now all this? What's up with that?"

And then for the rest of the book a lengthy debate rages between Job and God. It's out of Job that much of Christian thought on why it's actually good to question God and your faith comes. Job asks God a lot of questions about suffering and goodness, rewards and punishments, and in the end God commends him for it and restores all the blessings he had, because even though Job was angry, he didn't lose faith. He wrestled with his faith and even personally with God, but he continued to believe.

So the devil loses, God and Job win. I believe Job supposedly lives to be 400 or something, but I could be confusing him with Noah or Methuselah or someone.

That's Job in a nutshell. One of my favorite parts of the Bible.
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Old 04-28-2005, 11:18 AM   #66
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I guess gambling isn't such a bad thing after all...
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Old 04-28-2005, 12:34 PM   #67
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when i was 12, i locked myself in my room, and read the bible from cover to cover. it was interesting...glad i did it. it took me a week.
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Old 04-28-2005, 12:56 PM   #68
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This year, we've been studying NT. Right now we're concentrating on the Gospels. Surprisingly, I'm actually enjoying it.

Next's years theology class is Catholic Social Justice. I think that may turn out to be one of my favorite classes.
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Old 04-28-2005, 01:44 PM   #69
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Quote:
Originally posted by pax
The Book of Job starts with the devil and God talking about Job, a righteous and holy man.


The devil bets God

that he can basically make Job forget all about God by putting him through a lot of suffering, and


God tells Satan to go ahead and give it a shot.

That’s basically how the story goes


Job, his wife and children suffer terribly, innocent wife and children die.

All for a wager?
again, I say “give me a break”.




What does this say about God?

Why does he have to prove anything to the devil?


When I was a kid
I would purposely mess up

I did not want to be too righteous,
in case God and the Devil
decided to go double or nothing.
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Old 04-28-2005, 01:47 PM   #70
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Quote:
Originally posted by Macfistowannabe
I guess gambling isn't such a bad thing after all...
Is this a joke?

Have you been conditioned not to think rationally?

Tell this story to children

If their father is righteous
God might kill them and their mother to win a bet.
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Old 04-28-2005, 01:54 PM   #71
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Quote:
Originally posted by deep
Is this a joke?
Obviously.
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Old 04-29-2005, 01:16 AM   #72
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When i took a Bible as Lit class a couple of years ago, I learned that the devil mentioned in the book of Job isn't The Devil. In fact, at the time of the writing, the concept of Satan, or the fallen angel, hadn't come about yet. I believe it was during the babylonian occupation that this idea was written about. The babylonians already had a fallen angel in their holy scriptures, and it is believed that the Jews adopted it. I could be mistaken about which group of course.
Furthermore, I think we hurt these beautiful stories when we take them literally. Job was most likely one of many oral traditions that was passed on by the nomadic tribes. It's hardly believable that the Israelites believed Job actually existed.
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Old 04-29-2005, 09:40 AM   #73
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The evolution of Satan culminates in Zoroastrianism, where his nature and name is created. "Satan" is generally the personification of the Zoroastrian god, "Ahriman" (also known as "Shaitan").

Anyway, here's an interesting theory on how Zoroastrianism forever changed the original nature of Judaism (as written by a Zoroastrian):

http://pchome.grm.hia.no/~fsaljoug/S...astrianism.htm

Quote:
THE SUBVERSION OF JUDAISM

In 539 B.C. the great Persian king Cyrus conquered Babylon. His government was a Zoroastrian theocracy. Cyrus had a history of pretending to adopt a religion and then subverting it. In Egypt he claimed to be a god on earth. In Babylon his first act was to worship Marduk, claiming Marduk had sought a righteous prince and Cyrus was he. Later Cyrus mocked Marduk and had his image carted off. Likewise he subverted Baal, worshipping him at first, then appointing Baal's priests and finally destroying Baal's monuments and temples. Cyrus repatriated certain grateful Jewish proteges in 532 B.C. The Persian Kings restored them to their land; and designed and helped them build a Zoroastrian-style temple which was completed 516 B.C. after prolonged resistance from native Jews. In 350 B.C. a large number of Jews were exiled from Judea because of opposition to the Persian theocracy.

Here was the overwhelming influence of a mighty state religion in a great empire in which the Jews were subjects. Jews were commanded to obey Cyrus in Isaiah 44 and 45. Not only did the Persian kings select the Jewish high priests, Persian Magi even masqueraded as Jewish Priests (Isaiah 66:21). The Pharisees had all the positions of power, gave the law, and wrote the holy books. Some Jews like Ezra and Daniel (Daniel 6:1-2) were paid agents of the Persians. "It needed the subsequent missions of Nehemiah and Ezra backed by the Achaemenian Imperial Government's authority to make them ruefully conform to the new ideals of monotheism and nationalism that had been conceived in adversity by the diaspora in Babylonia."5 This interest by the Persian kings in the religion of his subjects was not limited to Jews. They seemed to put great importance on all of his subjects conforming to their religion - perhaps they regarded it as a glue to empire, perhaps they were religious fanatics. The Persians subverted Jewish theology, history, law, and even their language.
It should be noted that our OT canon is that of the Pharisees. The Sadducees, as mentioned in the NT, are the old-style Jews, who were opposed to Jesus, because the idea of a Messiah and a Judgment Day did not exist. Period. The Pharisees (a derivative of "Parsi" or "Persian") did believe that a Messiah would come, but flat out believed that Jesus was not it, because the concept of "Judgment Day" as depicted in the book of Revelation was to come on the "First Coming," and Jesus, clearly, was far too weak and peaceful for their liking.

In other words, while we attribute the origin of Christianity to Judaism, we must give equal credit to Zoroastrianism. "December 25th," the date celebrated as Jesus' birthday, is also the birthday of Mithras, the Zoroastrian "cult" that is believed to have heavily influenced Paul. The "three wise men" or "magi" are believed to be three Mithran priests, as "magi" was the name of their priests. The Holy Spirit (or "Spenta Mainyu") originated from Mithraism. The Mithra "Holy Trinity" is Ahura Mazda ("God"), Mithras (depicted as an archangel), and the Spenta Mainyu.

What is unfortunate is that I'm unsure if a pre-Zoroastrian influenced OT even exists. The Sadducees would have had their own canon probably free of this influence, and I'm curious as to whether it even still exists.

Regardless, as I see it, God reveals Himself in mysterious ways. Perhaps the infusion of Zoroastrian beliefs is closer to the true nature of God, who was transformed from a rather petty warrior God to a loving, universal God. And even then, original Judaism is thought to have emerged from belief in the Sumerian sun god, Elohim.

Nothing on Earth has ever existed out of a vacuum; and I think the key to understanding God is in understanding where these beliefs originated from, no matter how "unsettling" that may be for many people.

But back to "Satan." While there are depictions of evil beings in the early OT, they are not "Satan." "Beelzebub," which is commonly interpreted as an alternate name of "Satan" is actually the god of Ekron ("Baalzebub"). Early Judaism believed in the existence of other gods, but they were only to worship their tribal god, "Yahweh." This is in keeping with how all religions and tribes operated 3000+ years ago, so I don't know why Judaism would suddenly be immune to this. The first commandment is written very curiously:

"Thou shalt have no other gods before me."

That is, it does not deny the existence of other gods; it is that "Yahweh" is the supreme god for the Israelites, and, in keeping with how tribes operated, Yahweh was their creator and only their creator.

Other gods created the people of other tribes. As such, I believe that Genesis reflects this. Adam and Eve were created in the paradise of the Garden of Eden. They fall from grace and are cast outside of it. Cain marries into a different tribe that should not exist under conventional wisdom. As such, I believe that the "Garden of Eden" is a figurative "paradise." Adam and Eve are cast outside of it onto a pre-existing Earth, which is already populated with other tribes, etc.

I find all of this stuff very interesting, and I only believe in one God anyway. The above that I wrote is how I think that the Israelites and Jews interpreted the world around them. I believe in evolution anyway.

FYI, Zoroastrianism was the world's dominant religion from the time of the Persian Empire to the Islamic conquest of Persia. The Islamic conquest all but obliterated this religion, where there are scattered followers still remaining in Iran, with another sizeable group now living in India, where they fled during the Islamic conquest. In keeping with tradition, you cannot convert to this religion; members must be born into it.

Melon
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Old 04-29-2005, 10:30 AM   #74
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Quote:
Originally posted by deep
All for a wager?
again, I say “give me a break”.
I guess you've never read Job.

It is not "all for a wager".

Satan suggests to God that Job is faithful and righteous because he has so many blessings.

As you read the book, you will discover that faith does not come from "what we get". Job lost all and kept his faith, despite the bad advice he received along the way from his friends.
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Old 04-29-2005, 10:32 AM   #75
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader


Satan suggests to God that Job is faithful and righteous because he has so many blessings.

Good point, and one that I failed to make explicitly in my original post. The "wager" between God and Satan in Job isn't a "for the hell of it" kind of bet--God accepts the wager because God knows that Job is, at heart, a very faithful person.
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