God of the Old Testament

by unsure 48 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • unsure

    @Cold Steel

    The Bible says God is love and that we were created in his image. If our human compassion and love (in God's image) can lead us to question some of the actions of God in the Bible, surely we can't be faulted for questioning it.

    On top of all the other faith we need to beleive in which God, within which religion is the right one we are also expected to have faith in God's​ actions and not question them?

    See my other thread asking "why does it have to be this complicated?"


  • Cold Steel
    Cold Steel

    No, I never said don't question it. Question everything you don't understand. I had some of these same issues years ago, but learned a lot of the background information in college in Old Testament and Ancient Scripture courses. I recall hearing about one extrabiblical account of Enoch speaking to the Lord and when the Lord tells him of his plan to destroy mankind with a flood, Enoch desperately tries to change his mind. Then the Lord shows him the lives they're leading and what they're doing and Enoch changes to the point he's outraged and tells the Lord he should cleanse the earth of them. What the account was trying to get across was that if we knew everything the Lord did, we might understand why he does the things he does.

    The scriptures go beyond what's written in the pages. You might try to go to Amazon and buy a few books. In some cases, like King Josiah's reforms, Josiah may have gone too far according to some recent scholars. Margaret Barker, a Methodist scholar, is very thorough and she has some fascinating lectures on YouTube. Two are on a quick trip through the Old Testament and you might find those a good place to start. Then bounce off her lectures and go to others.

    When I walk, I listen to lectures instead of music. There's no end to the free stuff you can find on YouTube. I'm not much on evangelical stuff, but try to stat with the scholarly types. You might like trying that.

  • joey jojo
    joey jojo


    Thanks for replying to my post.

    It seems to me that the picture you are painting of the Jewish culture is one of constantly shifting ideas. It almost feels like the Jews themselves have spent 5000 yrs trying to crystallise the meanings of their own writings. ( I use the words writings instead of 'beliefs' because you suggest the Jews don't 'believe' anything. :) )

    I really hate to say this - and please forgive me if I am over-simplifying, it reminds me of a printing company that had a lot of expectations that it published to the world, and when these expectations weren't fulfilled, they frantically moved the goal-posts around and over-complicated something that should be straight-forward.

    Having said that, Jewish girls are pretty hot. (Wonder Woman, I'm talking about you.)

  • David_Jay

    Against doctor's orders (because of current health problems) and with some difficulty I felt this deserved a response.

    I really hate to say this - and please forgive me if I am over-simplifying, it reminds me of a printing company that had a lot of expectations that it published to the world, and when these expectations weren't fulfilled, they frantically moved the goal-posts around and over-complicated something that should be straight-forward.

    You've been hit on the head so many times by the Watchtower, you are confusing the evolution of human society in general with a cult that sets dates for the end of the world and has to keep revising things when things don't materialize as they promise.

    The Jews did not begin with the Bible. Solomon's Temple had fallen and the Jews were in Babylonian exile before the Hebrew Scriptures began to be redacted into the shape you see today. We did not get our history or religion or theology or so-called prophecy from these Scriptures. Nor are the Scriptures a book of Jewish history nor is there any such thing as "Bible prophecy" such as Christian believe.

    Jews have changed their understanding on things over the 4,000 plus years our culture has existed because our culture is 4,000 plus years old. Evolution is real. We evolved like biological evolution teaches, Judaism teaches that itself must evolve, and we evolve like society does in ways of science, philosophy, mores, etc.

    Jews themselves have spent 5000 yrs trying to crystallise the meanings of their own writings...

    Uh, no. We didn't base our society or culture or our religion on our writings. That would mean the writings came first. Sorry, but our religion and society came first. These books didn't just write themselves or float down out of the sky or were found buried in upstate New York (sorry Cold Steel). The Davidic dynasty had fallen, we were captives in Babylon, and then we began to write the Bible.

    We never set any dates for the end of the world. Never told the world to read our own books. Didn't even write our Scriptures for anyone else but ourselves. Never expected non-Jews to translate them and make up their religions based on them. And we definitely didn't have any "goal posts" set out that we've been having to move around.

    I think you are still seeing things through Watchtower-colored glasses. May I suggest you not only remove them but drop them, stomp on them, and burn them.

    Now, if you still want to imagine that the Jews based their religion on the Bible as you have suggested, please explain to everyone how a book written by Jews got written before there was Jews. We say that our culture and religion was about to die, and so we began to write these texts in order to preserve these things while we were captives in Babylon without homeland, without temple.

    You are too used to the Watchtower lie that religion must be based on Scripture. The real truth is that Scripture is based on religion. Religion came first. Groups that say religions must be based on books are liars.

    Now excuse me, my head is buzzing and I need to lie down for three months.

  • Bungi Bill
    Bungi Bill


    Firstly, we wish you a speedy recovery!

    Secondly, your following remark is a "real cracker" (as we would say down in this part of the world):

    "The real truth is that Scripture is based on religion."

    If that is not a "paradigm shift" for those of us from a Christian (particularly JW) background, then I don't know what is!

  • joey jojo
    joey jojo

    Hi again @David_Jay.

    Thx once again for your reply and I'm sorry it was under duress :). Hope you are feeling better.

    I probably deserved that e-spanking you gave me but please be assured my questions and comments were a sincere attempt to understand a little more about the Jewish faith.

    What I meant by disappointment was the revealing of the Messiah over the centuries. My (limited) understanding is that there have been various 'Messiahs' or nearly "Messiahs' that have come and gone. Do Jews feel that the Messiah is overdue?

  • David_Jay

    Joey jojo

    I have found a way to reply via voice-operated computer. I have no way of correcting my typing. I can read, which I have been doing. But sometimes my speech might fail me until the dust settles.

    I explained earlier that am being treated for nocturnal epilepsy, and while I can read, due to the medications I just started I cannot type with my hands. It will get worse over the next month to three months or until I am at the full dose range that works for me. My ability is hindered because the dosage is being titrated up daily. I should be fine once this is over however. So this is your last question for now.

    The Messiah concept is not central to Judaism like it is to Christianity. It developed post-Biblically, after the first Chanukah and the Hasmonean dynasty took over. According to the Prophets of Scripture, the Davidic line was to regain the throne and not the sons of Judas Maccabeus. From this turn of events in Jewish history the idea developed that the Prophets were speaking of a feature, more idyllic period.

    The Hebrew Scriptures themselves, outside of speaking of the sons of David ruling "forever" (which was often metaphorically), never mention an individual called "the Messiah." This term was invented by the Jewish sages of the Second Temple era in discussions on how the oracles of the Prophets might be fulfilled.

    There has never been a consensus beyond an agreement in fulfillment. Who or what the Messiah is remains a mystery. Some felt it would be a king. Others a high priest. Some felt there would be two Messiahs, a king and priest. Because of this, the text in Malachi promising the return of Elijah was seen as the answer to this. Upon Elijah's return the Jews would only then indeed learn from him who and what the Messiah is, but not until then.

    While several have claimed to be the Messiah over time (we are not responsible for those we rejected like Jesus of Nazareth), there has been only one who came close to having the national recognition necessary for Messiahship: Simon bar Kokhba. He actually revolted and ruled independently from the Romans in 132 C.E. only to be crushed in 135, thus proving he was not the Messiah.

    There have been no other national claims (and the claims have to be made by the nation as a whole that we have a new king to count as authentic). Today while many Jews still hope for the arrival of the Messiah, the idea is more abstract. Some do not view the Messiah as a king anymore as it isn't likely anyone will allow a monarchy to have control over them. Others see the concept as a personification of humanity in general, that time where humanity learns to live in peace and harmony with itself.

    Regardless, the idea is not central to Judaism nor even necessary. We have no theology of a fall from grace in Eden like Christians and thus no concept of Original Sin passed down from Adam in Judaism. Therefore Jews do not see ourselves as innately sinful and in need of deliverance from sin. This is not a reason for the Messiah in Jewish theology.

  • Cold Steel
    Cold Steel
    Joey_jojo » Having said that, Jewish girls are pretty hot. (Wonder Woman, I'm talking about you.)

    Yes, but Mediterranean women in general are pretty hot! I've always had a thing for Greek women and Sicilian women (who have a lot of Greek in them). I knew a Greek-American gal years ago. We were supposed to get together with her sister and her husband for dinner and I arrived first.

    Suddenly, a woman walked in who looked like she was off the side of a Mycenaen vase vase. I had to push my mouth shut with the palm of my hand and I couldn't take my eyes off her. Then I saw a movement to the side and it was my friend. We had a great time and during dinner her sister mentioned she was talking massage lessons and asked me if I'd like to volunteer to receive some massages.

    I was quick to say yes, but I found out later the two sisters had made a bet to see if I'd say yes or no. When I let that night I had her business card and I had more than a year's worth of free massages. Then I got the family rate for the next two years...and I behaved myself the entire time.

    I had an old friend of mine from Wyoming stay with me awhile and I set him up with an appointment. As he was putting on his cowboy boots, he eased back in his chair and said, "I can sure see where something l like that could become habit formin'!" But everyone was taken back by her beauty. Stunning is the word. (Her sister was beautiful too.) While in Greece, my wife and I were at Delphi. I went next door to exchange some money and this breathtakingly gorgeous gal was behind the counter.

    "Oh, you're American!" she said, breathlessly. She transacted the money and asked me how long I was going to be in the country. Then she said, "Take me back with you!" So I explained I had just gotten married and was there on my honeymoon. Had I been there by myself, though, I would have taken her up on it in a heartbeat. Anyway, I'd just married a very attractive Persian gal, so these beauties are out there.

    If you're looking to get married, buy a ticket to Greece. Go to some of the out of the way places. If you don't mind converting to Greek Orthodox, you may find some of these beauties!

  • joey jojo
    joey jojo


    Thx for your reply. I didn't know the health problem you had, so I appreciate even more the fact that you took the time to write it.

    I will keep taking onboard knowledge of this interesting subject. :-)

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