Interpretation often takes you away from truth

by Ireneus 14 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • venus

    Yet certain interpretations are beneficial. For example, Jesus was tempted by Satan. Account is purely symbolic and imaginative as there is no Satan. But behind all the details, there are some practical lessons for us. Jesus’ response show that he knew the real nature of this world—things come and go after remaining for sometime. Hence there is no charm in possessions and accumulations once needs are taken care of, and there is nothing to grieve in losses.

    This has helped me to remain composed in all situations.

  • smiddy3

    The people interpreting it as god's anger were making two flawed assumptions - that there is some divine entity that involves itself in human affairs, and that this entity was responsible for the event.

    And as far as Christianity is concerned that explains why J.W.`s are just one of 40,000 plus Christian sects.

    Each one giving their own interpretations to the one ( or maybe two or three . ) set of books

  • Ireneus

    Anders Andersen, I agree with you, yet I disagree with you on myths which are beneficial for the insightful ones. For example, in Genesis 2:17 God is depicted as saying: “You must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.” Here the whole stress is on death.

    After Adam and Eve ate of that tree, God simply said “because you have done this” you have brought various kinds of sufferings into your life. Here the whole stress is on suffering as resulting from disobedience.

    Thus death is not linked to disobedience because death is a natural phenomenon common to all species (millions of them). Death as the result of sin is a later theory Paul developed. This explains why OT prophets and even Jesus did not speak about death as resulting from disobedience. If death really was the result of sinning, the whole Bible would have been filled with verses focusing on this subject, yet OT is completely silent on this seemingly vital subject.

    With this background, if we revisit Genesis 2:17 it would make more sense: ‘You must not eat from the tree [symbol of production] of the knowledge of good and evil [evil = absence of good, hence disregard for others, sign of having ego], for when you eat from it [when you enjoy having ego] you will invite various kinds of suffering into your life.’ Instead of saying ‘bringing in ego means bringing in suffering,’ Bible used symbolism. This explains why Bible is filled with verses attributing ego as the source of all kinds of suffering.

    In other words, Bible is simply explaining suffering through the means of mythology. Myth, mystery, mysticism …all have the root meaning of ‘measuring out’ from the vast reservoir of knowledge known and unknown. And Greek etymology is all about ‘listening and seeing with ears and eyes shut down’ which means listening what is unsaid and seeing what is unseen.

    Thus myths are suggestive of the hidden just like money is the symbol of labor—mental or physical. It is like saying ‘you reap what you sow’ which we all know literally because we experience it in our life. Yet it has a suggestive meaning too. When we see good action producing good results and bad action bad results, it is likely that some would choose to do good repeatedly and discontinue performing bad action; thus they evolve upwardly. Thus cause and effect mechanism is all about upward evolution. But in practice, many evolve downward repeating the same mistakes over and over again. This is because people go by their taste rather than proof. Those who want to know the truth would understand it even without external help, and even when it is in coded language or presented in mysticism. Those who do not want to know the truth would not understand it even with external help, and even when it is presented it in too simple language. Hence the seers used mythologies.

  • Vidiot

    re. Ireneus' post...

    What we tend to forget is that for thousands of years, myths were a perfectly acceptable means of explaining the world around us. It was an almost unspoken understanding that they were figurative... case in point: Judaism has never viewed the Eden narrative in Genesis as actual literal history.

    Unfortunately (for the seers), with the advent of the scientific method and its far more accurate and successful means of explaining reality... the word "myth" came to have negative connotations - to the point where it became almost synonymous with "lie" in point: the right-wing insistence that "Global Warming is a myth".

  • Ireneus

    That’s no problem. It’s like Jesuit being given two meaning in Webster’s—“A member of the Society of Jesus,” and then a negative meaning “a crafty person” which we know it is false.

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