The most Disturbing Story in the Bible

by fulltimestudent 15 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • fulltimestudent

    I posted elsewhere about Dr. James Tabor's take on the book of Revelation as re-write of an earlier non-Christian document. But in browsing his site I was reminded of an early biblical story in Genesis that essentially throws so much Jewish and subsequent Christian thinking out of the window.

    Can your mind handle the concept of Yahweh standing in front of you, with a human body like yours, eating, drinking. chatting? Yes, I know that all kinds of explanations are offered to get around the word images implicit in the story, but if the Bible is literal, so then is the story.

    The story begins in Genesis 18:1:

    Yahweh appears to Abraham. Abraham was sitting in his tent, and sees three men nearby approaching. He runs to them, bows down, and says (in the NWT),

    "Jehovah, if now, I have found favour in your eyes, please do not pass by your servant."

    You can read through the remainder of the story, but note verse 18, which states that when the other two men left (presumably imagined as on their way to Sodom), Jehovah kept standing before Abraham.

    And, full marks to the WTBTS for retaining the sense of the original text, which states that Yahweh was standing before Abraham, whereas most other translations reverse that order, following the example of the KJV, which states:

    "but Abraham stood yet before the LORD."

    May I suggest to read on through Ch 19, then have a read of Dr Tabor's blog entry at:

    And, see what conclusion you reach.

  • LucidChimp

    Jewish law of agency?

  • yadda yadda 2
    yadda yadda 2

    Hardly the most disturbing story.

  • J. Hofer
    J. Hofer

    to me the most disturbing story is the one in judges 19 and on.

  • confusedandalone

    Not sure where it is located anymore but the most disturbing is probably the chopping up of the prostitute and dispwersing her body.

    Maybe the incest of Lot and his motlry crew as well

  • adamah

    CAA said- Maybe the incest of Lot and his motlry crew as well

    The most horrific element of that story is NOT what is found in Genesis itself, but how the Bible operates as a whole and flip-flops the account: 'Peter' chooses to ignore the Yahwist's efforts in the Genesis account to make it clear that Lot is NOT to be seen as a "good guy", but decides 1000's of years later instead to declare Lot as a "righteous man", as that reading better fit into Xian theology.

    I've written how Lot got a re-hab in the NT, in a three-part analysis:

  • kepler

    Well, for a moment let's forget the competition for the title, "the most disturbing". I was wondering when anyone on this forum ( beside myself) was going to pay any attention at all to Genesis chapter 18. A year and a half I wrote a topic about it and no one responded. My search of topics turns up null as well.

    Abraham addresses three individuals approaching his tent as "Lord" and they ALL reply. None of the visitors are distinguished from each other, save perhaps that two are dispatched to do Sodom and Gomorrah in.

    They were a trinity. And as scriptural basis for the doctrine, as far as the OT is concerned, there is more substance to this episode than there is the satan of the NT was the talking snake of chapter 3. In as much as that chapter addresses that question it was more like a woman's first lesson in herpetology. Note that in this paradise Earth, the snake was a well known inhabitant of the garden.

    Just to cover the bases, does anyone suppose the original was actually "Elohim" rather than Adonai or Yahweh?

  • MadGiant

    • The Guy Getting Eaten Alive by Worms (Acts 12:21-23)

    He could just as easily have been gored by ponies or crushed by seals.

    • The Farting of the Intestines (2 Chronicles 21:18-19)

    Jehoram got the world's worst case of diarrhea ever.

    • The Dismembering of the Dead Girl (Judges 19:25-29)

    Saw a women corpse into 12 pieces and mail bits of her all over the country

  • EverApostate

    For me the most shocking and barbarious story in the Bible is about a man stoned to death for picking up sticks on a Sabbath. Its equivalent to stoning people who do not attend church but work for thier living on Sundays, in this modern era. I cannot ever Forgive Jah(if he really exisits) or the Moses gang (If this was really implemented) nor the christains today who justify this.

  • fulltimestudent

    I agree that there are many disturbing stories (and, ideas) in the bible!

    The reason, why I gave that title to this particular story, is that (to me), it strikes at the very heart of modern concepts of what God is and does?

    And, in addition to the conflict between this biblical story and the statement, 'that no man can see God and live,' it must cause us to ask, if the Bible contains 'stories' that demonstrate contradictory ideas, just how was the bible compiled.

    I've been reading, Robin Lane Fox's book, " Pagans and Christains: In the Mediterrranean World: From the second century to Constantine." In his 4th chapter, 'Seeing the Gods,' Fox examines the way the pagan's viewed their gods. To these pagan's, their gods would 'stand besdie them,' and become their 'evident helpers.' As far back as Homer, the gods were seen as visiting humans. In some of the epic poems, gods mixed with men in broad daylight.

    Isn't that what we are seeing in the story of god visiting Abraham, standing beside him as national hero of proto-Israel, solving problems, etc.

    If we believe, as we used to believe, then to realise that there was nothing unique about bible stories - that these stories are merely adaptions of other stories, is truly disturbing.

    The Israelite god is a reflection of other gods, Jesus is just another adaption. If the pagan gods are myth, then so is the christian god.

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