Baculum IS a funny word!
Baculum IS a funny word!
Its curious, that in a nation that poses as the most advanced society on earth, over 50% of its citizens believe first, that the Bible is the inspired word of God, and second, that they exist on the earth because that God first made Adam and Eve.*
We are only talking about here, because as XJWs we once believed it all. It's strange, because we have no trouble recognising the mythical nature of Greek beliefs. For example, take the Greek myth telling of the birth of the goddess Athena:
As pictured, Hephastaeus, split Zeus's head open with an axe, thus providing a birth canal for the goddess, who had grown inside Zeus. Fantasy? sure! And we recognise it as such, But do not some Biblical stories also read as fantasy? Why did we accept them without much questioning?
And in ancient Greece, many accepted Athena. How they treated the story of her birth is not always clear. Perhaps some thinking people saw it as an allegory- as a means to explain her qualities. The Wikipedia entry describes Athena thus, she:
"is the goddess of wisdom, courage, inspiration, civilization, law and justice, mathematics, strength, war strategy, the arts, crafts, and skill in ancient Greek religion and mythology. Minerva is the Roman goddess identified with Athena.
Athena is portrayed as a shrewd companion of heroes and is the patron goddess of heroic endeavor. She is the virgin patroness of Athens. The Athenians founded the Parthenon on the Acropolis of her namesake city, Athens (Athena Parthenos), in her honor.
Veneration of Athena was so persistent that archaic myths about her were recast to adapt to cultural changes. In her role as a protector of the city (polis), many people throughout the Greek world worshiped Athena as Athena Polias (Ἀθηνᾶ Πολιάς "Athena of the city"). While the city of Athens and the goddess Athena bear the same name (Athena the goddess, Athenai the city), it is not known which of the two words is derived from the other."
And, those believing Greeks probably scorned the biblical stories as myth.
So why did we suspend belief and accept the biblical myths as true? What does it tell us about our own minds? I leave that as a personal question, for those who are deciding whether they should now reject bible myths.
* That is according to a discussion on the subject of belief published on Slate: I should be noted that the percentage of such believers is continually dropping over decades.
Which of the three creation stories are you talking about, and do you believe they all come from the same foreign sources? Who did the validation work on your theories? You raise some interesting points even though much of academia would not agree on all your points.
Of course you realize you are only talking about Gentile Christians (which I am sure you do). Except for fanatical Ultra-Orthodox Jews, Judaism doesn't support a literal inerpretation of these stories like Christans do.
Also Jews don't "suspend belief" as the concepts of "belief" and "faith" are irrelevant to Judaism. If we could find out why so many Christians are intent on making the religious lessons and mythos of my people read as literal history, I believe we can also solve most of the world's problems. I kinda wish they had chosen some other culture's mythology to try to prove true because we Jews get blamed for their curious exegesis.
CalebInFloroda: If we could find out why so many Christians are intent on making the religious lessons and mythos of my people read as literal history, I believe we can also solve most of the world's problems. I kinda wish they had chosen some other culture's mythology to try to prove true because we Jews get blamed for their curious exegesis.
Smile! I also often wonder what makes Christians (and maybe XChristians-grin) so obsessive about preaching. My pet hate is some obsessed, fanatical evangelist preacher with a portable sound system, turned up to peak volume, shouting in a city street, saying the single sentence, that we all need to repent, in a dozen different ways. No-one else is permitted to do this, but for some reason ordinary laws are suspended for this rat-baggery.
But, Caleb, if people like Vermes, another Jewish scholar, are correct in seeing Jesus as always and in all-ways quintessentially Jewish, and if Jesus originated the preaching work (there's a proposition to discuss) then can Judaism escape from being (at least partly) the origin of the Christian model. I wonder what it would've been like living next door to a fanatical Essene (if the Essenes really were part of the Qmran group). There are some scholars who say that the Galilean hills were full of (hyperbole) itinerant preachers like Jesus
And then there's their predecessors, the prophets of old. Do you not imagine them as still talking, even when buried in wet sloppy cement?
Just thinking aloud.
Caleb, if one reads the creation myths from Sumeria, and Babylon one will see that virtually everything in the book of Genesis was taken from these older stories. The ten commandments can be said to have been taken from the Negative confession s from the Egyptian book of the dead or Hammurabi s laws. Some of the proverbs and psalms were taken from writing s from an Assyrian court official and also from some of akknatens writing in Egypt. Several quotes from the old Testament are almost the same as quote from the Emu Elish, talking about Marduk. In the writings about El and his consort Asherah they had 70 offspring, several Bible characters had 70 children one being Gideon. Moses was put in a basket covered in pitch, one of Assyria's kings stated the same of himself and his writings are dated to be older then any exodus writings.
I could go on and on , the evidence is clear the Jews barrow ed most of their history and religion from others. The Christians did the same , the idea that one would die their spirit go to heaven and their heart condition being judged to see if the live forever in paradise, is from the Egyptians book of the dead.
Interesting points. Four stars-worthy, indeed!
Yes, Second Temple-era Judaism is partly to blame for the "Jesus" movement. When the Roman occupation occurred, many Jews developed the Messianic concept into an individual monarch that would redeem Israel from Gentile rule.
But the idea of a Messiah who is actually a person may be a prophetic device, employing a personification to a concept connected to the reclaiming of Israel by G-d. Today many Jews have returned to the more ancient concept of Messiah, one who may not necessarily be an actual individual. The Messiah in the minds of many Jews may be the completion of the Jewish concept of Tikklun Olam that will usher in the Messianic Age.
Whatever the meaning, those who fail to evolve with Judaism are themselves responsible for being left behind.