The snake of Genesis 3:1

by Halcon 34 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • peacefulpete

    The Law was written during the Iron Age attempting to use tropes of the Bronze Age to make it look like it was written by the patriarchs of the Jews. So the Levitical priests gave God anthropomorphic features, like the gods of the Gentiles. The only problem is that God is never the same in any of the stories.

    Italics mine

    That's an audacious suggestion, but not only does God present differently, so do the priests and Levites. Multiple origin stories and roles. This takes me back to the source material and what it might tell us about evolving Yahwism. You and your teachers prefer a wholistic approach, asking only 'what do the final compilers/redactors intend by their repetition of this story?'

    I see these approaches as two sides of a shekel.

  • KalebOutWest

    I am a secular humanist, so I don't have any religious investment in the Scriptures whatsoever. I do not believe in the supernatural. I see value in all types of literature, Jewish and non-Jewish, ancient and modern. I am not sure what your comment actually mean or your phrase "you are and your teachers...wholistic approach..."

    Who are these "your teachers"? What is this "wholistic approach"? I am a secular academic, even though I study the data of both religious and secular together. I hold no prejudice to data.

    According to the best I can understand from a balance of data from secular and religious scholarship together, modern scholars generally hold that the Torah was completed during the era when the Persian Achaemenid Empire held sway over the Jews, around 450–350 BCE.

    As for "my teachers," I am not sure who you mean. These are the world's teachers. Who are you talking about? These are the conclusions of members of the SBL, and the JPS, as well as others from various fields of study from academies and colleges and universities around the world. Why would their findings be "audacious" as you put it? Don't you read the latest study Bibles? This is what is in these publications? These are not in obscure papers but in general publications released to the public in major releases. Why are they "audacious" to you? I did not invent them.

    I am sorry if you are not familiar with what is standard. And I am a bit confused by your wording. It seems odd to me.

  • KalebOutWest

    And I am not insulted. Not by any means. Just confused.


  • peacefulpete

    By wholistic I meant as I said, reading the final product as a whole, with primary concern for the intents of the compiler and less concerned about the more ancient elements that it was constructed from. Your 'teachers' are those who taught you this approach and world view. Your 'ignostic' take is just one of many views held by Jews. You have commented earlier how even within Reform Judaism, belief in the literalness/historicity of the text is sometimes present. I appreciate your sharing your minimalist approach, but really, we can't say this is 'standard'. Judaism is as diverse as Christianity, liberal to conservative regarding historicity.

    I called audacious (daring, bold) the assertion that the redactors/writers deliberately used archaisms to give the story an appearance of antiquity. This included anthropomorphisms of God and primitive cult practice. That seems a counterproductive effort. If the goal was a new identity and absolution from barbarity of the past, why invent a vibrant past filled with it. It seems more plausible to see the author/compiler as a reformer but yet bound and inspired by more ancient traditions. Building a new house from reclaimed materials, not taking new materials and distressing and aging them to make a new house.

    Or have I again misunderstood you?

  • KalebOutWest

    You are a bit all over the place in the misjudgement category, but that is likely due to where you are coming from and this being a written forum and the two of us not speaking face-to-face, I think.

    Most Western people see the Bible as a book of its time instead of a writing set in the past.

    I don't have a minimalist approach to Scripture or Judaism or religion, even though I am a Humanist Jew. It is very difficult, I understand for most Western people to put the two together and make them work since there isn't anything like this in Christian or Western concepts.

    So best to say you always, always read me very wrong.

    I appreciate our discussions though. You should read the book "Open Judaism" as a starting point to understand a bit more as I can't explain fully here.

  • peacefulpete
    I don't have a minimalist approach to Scripture.

    Whether or not you identify with the label, by the usual definition your comments place you in the 'Minimalist' camp. The unbiased dating of the bulk of the material to the Persian and Greek periods and caution about the assumption of historicity of the United Kingdom and Patriarchs.

    Davies, Thompson and Lemche are popular scholars endorsing this position. So, in my view, you are in good company.

    Biblical minimalism - Wikipedia

  • KalebOutWest

    No. This is not really me. I read it, but not correct. You're wrong again. I don't actually believe this view is absolute.

    I'm glad I have left the confines of the Governing Body and their labeling and judging to your labeling and judging. What on earth would I do without people like you to fit me into their holes and compartments?

  • KalebOutWest

    I did not have time to fill out more information before, but my views go back very long ago, some into ancient Judaism, some to the Middle Ages.

    I have mentioned in other threads how I have used Maimonides before as a main starting point, but obviously you don't tend to recall this, nor the name Spinoza, nor Enrich Fromm or Mordecai Kaplan, all of whom developed a body of teachings that changed Judaism drastically both religiously and in the secular form. These came before the "minimalists" you mentioned.

    And I have repeatedly illustrated how Jews and Judaism hold to views on and within a spectrum upon which we constantly flow at will. A Jewish theist can and will embrace Humanistic (non-theist) views one moment and suddenly claim agnostic ones another, all the while preserving their place in the synagogue.

    My views are a combination of all forms of Judaism, from the left to the right and everything in between. I may not adhere to it, personally, but I know it.

    You, for some reason--I don't know why--have a need to fit me into some type of label that fits your understanding. You have got to let this go. Apples are not oranges. I don't expect you to understand Judaism.

    I don't expect you to get me. But I do appreciate it if you stop trying to make me be something you think I am. You're not what I think you are. You are more than your posts. Guess what? So am I!

    I come from a different culture that reads from right to left. We also don't "believe" or have "faith" or see the Bible like you keep thinking we do.

    But my culture wrote it. You sound silly trying to tell me some of the things you do. You don't go around telling Japanese people how to understand Shinto writings or the Muslims how to read the Quran or Native Americans how to understand their religion and folklore. Why tell me, a Jew, what you do about our holy writ? Don't you think it should be the other way around? Can you even speak my native languages (plural) as well as I can? Then why are you talking to me like this?

    At least give me a break, show some respect and stop trying to label me. You're smart. You can believe what you want. I don't care.

    Now, reality check. You do have some "learning" yet to do when it comes to Jewish thought. You don't have me pegged at all. I can be pegged however. It's hard. Like I said, the book I recommend above does a pretty close job of it, but it may be mind-bending compared to what you showed me you are thinking about. (Biblical Minimalist--no. But why that?) So if you really want to label me, it will take a bit of investment. It may be a rabbit hole, however. It seems like a need from my end, but I could be wrong.

    I am so tired to be honest at this point. There is little JW discussion left. It is all weirdness of people seeming to want to prove points. I have no use here anymore.

  • joey jojo
    joey jojo

    Because - well - the snake was right. "In that day" they absolutely did not die, they died much, much later. And they did afterward know right from wrong, or good from bad.🤷🏼‍♀️

    Also, God placed an angel to the east of the garden so they couldn't get to the tree of life and therefore keep living. If a second tree existed, and it granted immortality, how was the serpent to know God would prevent Adam and Eve from accessing it?

  • LV101

    Kaleb - your views are important and interesting re/Jewish history/beliefs and anything else you choose to discuss. Knew a couple of Jewish JWs -- don't believe they're still active and other Jewish people who think JWism is disgusting. They can't imagine how anyone would be involved with such a despicable religion.

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