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Old 27th September 2018, 04:20 PM   #41
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God had more than one son, why is Jesus the only one who is part of the trinity?

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Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan came also among them. Job 1:6
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Old 27th September 2018, 05:13 PM   #42
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Lots of sons, but only one Son.
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Old 28th September 2018, 01:05 AM   #43
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
Seven "Spirits of God" now.
Whisky, brandy, gin, rum, vodka, tequila and schnapps? Is this an allegory for the benefits of alcoholism?

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Old 28th September 2018, 04:51 AM   #44
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
The three part, but single, God of Christianity is a concept that has Christian authorities jumping through hoops.

From Catholic Answers:




Got that? Notice the "uncreated" part? That is consistent with the Catholic belief that Jesus always existed. Some other flavours of Christianity are at odds with this idea as are some parts of the Bible. Jesus not given a mention in the OT and seems to play a subservient role in the NT perhaps at odds with the idea?

Then we have this from revelation:



So Jesus, who is part of God, is given this information via an angel and a dude called John.

And also this:



Seven "Spirits of God" now.

My various Rabbis growing up had answers for this, sort of (because we obviously don't believe in Jesus or any divine trio). But the Old Testament is pretty much empty when it comes to describing the celestial realm - who lives there or how they're organized or what any of their jobs are. The Torah, taken alone without the Prophets, is almost completely blank on the subject.

The reason I was given is that we're supposed to focus on our obligations in life here on earth. We're not supposed to contemplate the bureaucratic structure of heaven. It's deemphasized specifically to keep us from putting any energy into thinking about it.

But, yeah, by the time you get through the NT, there's some bizarrely contradictory information. Then you overlay the polygamy of the people who eventually converted to Christianity and you end up with a complete mess.
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Old 28th September 2018, 01:33 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by Loss Leader View Post
My various Rabbis growing up had answers for this, sort of (because we obviously don't believe in Jesus or any divine trio). But the Old Testament is pretty much empty when it comes to describing the celestial realm - who lives there or how they're organized or what any of their jobs are. The Torah, taken alone without the Prophets, is almost completely blank on the subject.

The reason I was given is that we're supposed to focus on our obligations in life here on earth. We're not supposed to contemplate the bureaucratic structure of heaven. It's deemphasized specifically to keep us from putting any energy into thinking about it.

But, yeah, by the time you get through the NT, there's some bizarrely contradictory information. Then you overlay the polygamy of the people who eventually converted to Christianity and you end up with a complete mess.

As I recall a Holy Ghost type entity does get some mention in the OT, but not with autonomy I think, so we don't even have a two part god suggested.

A complete mess? You can say that again. So obvious to us looking in from outside the bubble but somehow all kosher to those on the inside.
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Old 28th September 2018, 08:30 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
As I recall a Holy Ghost type entity does get some mention in the OT, but not with autonomy I think, so we don't even have a two part god suggested.
.
Do you have a citation on that? I don't recall the entity, but then I may have misinterpreted it as some other entity.
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Old 28th September 2018, 09:11 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by sylvan8798 View Post
Do you have a citation on that? I don't recall the entity, but then I may have misinterpreted it as some other entity.

Whatever he's referring to, it certainly wasn't considered a "holy ghost" by the Jewish people who wrote or read about it. It's some sort of christian retronning of the OT. Basically, any time anyone argues that the Torah in any way supports the idea that Jesus was the messiah, it's a retcon.
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Old 29th September 2018, 01:57 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by sylvan8798 View Post
Do you have a citation on that? I don't recall the entity, but then I may have misinterpreted it as some other entity.
Originally Posted by Loss Leader View Post
Whatever he's referring to, it certainly wasn't considered a "holy ghost" by the Jewish people who wrote or read about it. It's some sort of christian retronning of the OT. Basically, any time anyone argues that the Torah in any way supports the idea that Jesus was the messiah, it's a retcon.

There's this just for starters:

Gen. 1:2

The earth was*bwithout form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.

Job 26:13

By his spirit he hath garnished the heavens; his hand hath formed the crooked serpent.

Is. 32:15

Until the spirit be poured upon us from on high, and the wilderness be a fruitful field, and the fruitful field be counted for a forest.


All a bit vague I know, (what's new?) but Spirit/Holy Ghost? A Spirit by any other name is still a Ghost.

If you google Holy Ghost / Old Testament you will find lots of articles by those citing such as the above as proof of Spooky being around right at the beginning and who am I to argue with these scholars.
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Old 30th September 2018, 01:29 PM   #49
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Originally Posted by Loss Leader View Post
Whatever he's referring to, it certainly wasn't considered a "holy ghost" by the Jewish people who wrote or read about it.
I imagine it's a reference to the ShekhinahWP, and has nothing to do with the Messiah, who in Judaism is not at all a divine Being.

In Isaiah 45:1 Cyrus, the King of Persia, is given that title because he promoted the rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem.
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Old 2nd October 2018, 01:56 PM   #50
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Originally Posted by Loss Leader View Post
Whatever he's referring to, it certainly wasn't considered a "holy ghost" by the Jewish people who wrote or read about it. It's some sort of christian retronning of the OT. Basically, any time anyone argues that the Torah in any way supports the idea that Jesus was the messiah, it's a retcon.

Retcon indeed. So easy to read all kinds of interpretations into script if your motivation is strong. Reading predictions of future events is a snap also, when you are doing the prediction after the event has occurred.

Oh and happy birthday Loss Leader.
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Old 5th October 2018, 02:06 AM   #51
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
If you google Holy Ghost / Old Testament you will find lots of articles by those citing such as the above as proof of Spooky being around right at the beginning and who am I to argue with these scholars.
Indeed, that is the question. Not that I'm saying that you don't have a right to argue with those scholars, but if you do, then you are doing theology. Just something to keep in mind.
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Old 5th October 2018, 05:59 AM   #52
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Originally Posted by GDon View Post
Indeed, that is the question. Not that I'm saying that you don't have a right to argue with those scholars, but if you do, then you are doing theology. Just something to keep in mind.
Theology is just fans arguing whether Superman is faster than the Flash.
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Old 5th October 2018, 06:15 AM   #53
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Theology is just fans arguing whether Superman is faster than the Flash.
we all know the answer to that.
No need to say it out loud.
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Old 5th October 2018, 01:41 PM   #54
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Originally Posted by GDon View Post
Indeed, that is the question. Not that I'm saying that you don't have a right to argue with those scholars, but if you do, then you are doing theology. Just something to keep in mind.

Doing theology? I think I would rather not.

The point of this thread is to try and get some answers from the faithful, regarding the meanings/messages to be gleaned, from allegorical stories in the sacred scripts. So many times I have heard the response from Christians in particular, when confronted with some really nasty extract from the Bible. "Oh that is just allegorical. Hey look over there!"

I have heard the defence being offered by believers, that in order to understand the deeper meanings behind scripture you have to be a believer first. "Take Jesus into your heart and all will be revealed."
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Old 5th October 2018, 07:22 PM   #55
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
The point of this thread is to try and get some answers from the faithful, regarding the meanings/messages to be gleaned, from allegorical stories in the sacred scripts. So many times I have heard the response from Christians in particular, when confronted with some really nasty extract from the Bible. "Oh that is just allegorical. Hey look over there!"
Do you mean that you have evidence to show that the Christians' allegorical interpretation of those passages are wrong? Pray tell! (pun intended )

Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
I have heard the defence being offered by believers, that in order to understand the deeper meanings behind scripture you have to be a believer first. "Take Jesus into your heart and all will be revealed."
Of course, that defence will not convince the non-believer. But that's not the point of the defence. So why is that defence wrong? I'd be interested in a non-theological reason for your objection to that belief.
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Old 5th October 2018, 10:27 PM   #56
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Originally Posted by GDon View Post
Do you mean that you have evidence to show that the Christians' allegorical interpretation of those passages are wrong? Pray tell! (pun intended )

Well it's not that their interpretations are wrong, it's that their interpretations are not offered. From my experience they just shrug it off

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Of course, that defence will not convince the non-believer. But that's not the point of the defence. So why is that defence wrong? I'd be interested in a non-theological reason for your objection to that belief.
I'm not saying the defence is wrong but is very difficult to argue with. Bit of a catch 22 flavour about it.
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Old 7th October 2018, 03:10 AM   #57
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
I'm not saying the defence is wrong but is very difficult to argue with. Bit of a catch 22 flavour about it.
Yeah, I hear you. Sometimes the only winning move is not to play.
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Old 7th October 2018, 04:03 PM   #58
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Originally Posted by GDon View Post
Yeah, I hear you. Sometimes the only winning move is not to play.

Perhaps so. I really think there is a good chance however, that some of the faithful would be somewhat shaken, if they took the trouble of reading some of the book/books they hold so dear, and try and get some meaningful message from the scrips themselves, rather than that coming from the pulpit.
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Old 8th October 2018, 05:31 AM   #59
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
Perhaps so. I really think there is a good chance however, that some of the faithful would be somewhat shaken, if they took the trouble of reading some of the book/books they hold so dear, and try and get some meaningful message from the scrips themselves, rather than that coming from the pulpit.
As you note, most of the faithful don't know what is in the Bible, and this is because most of the faithful don't care what is in the Bible. This has been true across the last 2000 years. Only a few care whether the Bible contains allegory or not.

You're an Australian, you know this. Boards like this seem to have a weird conversion affect on Australian atheists, behaving as an atheist echo chamber reinforcing the idea that there is some 'correct' reading of the Bible. Yet I suspect many of those atheists were Christians who didn't care much about the Bible when they were Christians. But once they become atheists, holy crap! the Bible is SO important! Was this the case with you?

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Old 8th October 2018, 01:50 PM   #60
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Originally Posted by GDon View Post
As you note, most of the faithful don't know what is in the Bible, and this is because most of the faithful don't care what is in the Bible. This has been true across the last 2000 years. Only a few care whether the Bible contains allegory or not.

You're an Australian, you know this. Boards like this seem to have a weird conversion affect on Australian atheists, behaving as an atheist echo chamber reinforcing the idea that there is some 'correct' reading of the Bible. Yet I suspect many of those atheists were Christians who didn't care much about the Bible when they were Christians. But once they become atheists, holy crap! the Bible is SO important! Was this the case with you?

Well more or less I suppose although I would not describe myself as being a Christian in my youth. Certainly I believed without question the truth of the Christian religion. How could I not, being surrounded by others from whom I never heard a hint of dissension. That all changed when I read Bertrand Russell at the age of 16.

Yes I read the Bible quite extensively after that, to make myself better equiped to argue with my elder brother, who became a "born again" Christian at almost precisely the same time I rejected the faith. That was certainly a "holy crap" moment for me, when I read all the nonsensical and nasty stuff, contained in said book.

So I beat my brother around the head with all this stuff I read, and he feebly defended by talking about allegory, and "we don't know the ways of God" type response. His ultimate defence was the "I know it's true because I have talked with Jesus" one, that is hard to argue against.

Yes I think it's important to get the faithful to read the book, that is the cornerstone of their religion, and in trying to make sense of it, may lose that faith. Dan Dennet in his research exploring the reasons disbelieving clergy lost their faith, found the contents and dubious history of the bible, to be one of the main causes behind the collapse.
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Old 11th October 2018, 01:29 PM   #61
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Well this is a big disappointment to me. I had hoped we would get a Christian scholar or two involved and we could identify and dissect an allegory or two. Didn't happen unfortunately.
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Old 11th October 2018, 08:26 PM   #62
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
Well this is a big disappointment to me. I had hoped we would get a Christian scholar or two involved and we could identify and dissect an allegory or two. Didn't happen unfortunately.
Let's do one! Theology is fun.

The following is an article by Creationist Ken Ham, who is critical of the Pope saying that Genesis is an analogy:
https://answersingenesis.org/blogs/k...-the-big-bang/
"The Catholic Church no longer teaches creationism -- the belief that God created the world in six days as described in the Bible -- and says that the account in the book of Genesis is an allegory for the way God created the world."

Now, if the book of Genesis is an allegory, then sin is an allegory, the Fall is an allegory, the need for a Savior is an allegory, and Adam is an allegory—but if we are all descendants of an allegory, where does that leave us? It destroys the foundation of all Christian doctrine—it destroys the foundation of the gospel...

Bottom line: if the Pope believes in the Big Bang and the Pope believes Genesis is an allegory, he is teaching something that contradicts and undermines the Word of God.
What theological position do you think is correct? Is Ken Ham right, or is the Pope right? For extra credit, suggest some scientific tests you might do to get to the correct answer.

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Old 12th October 2018, 01:34 PM   #63
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Originally Posted by GDon View Post
Let's do one! Theology is fun.

The following is an article by Creationist Ken Ham, who is critical of the Pope saying that Genesis is an analogy:
https://answersingenesis.org/blogs/k...-the-big-bang/
"The Catholic Church no longer teaches creationism -- the belief that God created the world in six days as described in the Bible -- and says that the account in the book of Genesis is an allegory for the way God created the world."

Now, if the book of Genesis is an allegory, then sin is an allegory, the Fall is an allegory, the need for a Savior is an allegory, and Adam is an allegory—but if we are all descendants of an allegory, where does that leave us? It destroys the foundation of all Christian doctrine—it destroys the foundation of the gospel...

Bottom line: if the Pope believes in the Big Bang and the Pope believes Genesis is an allegory, he is teaching something that contradicts and undermines the Word of God.
What theological position do you think is correct? Is Ken Ham right, or is the Pope right? For extra credit, suggest some scientific tests you might do to get to the correct answer.

Well obviously, as you would expect no doubt, I believe the position of the Pope is more correct. Mind you the RCC has been dragged, kicking and screaming, to the point were they must accept the overwhelming truth, given to us by the use of the scientific method.

Ken Ham is correct however in his summary concluding that if Genesis is an allegory, then Word of God is undermined. What does this allegory teach us?

The book of Genesis strongly implies that our planet, (or flat earth plane), is the centre of everything. Took God almost 6 days to complete the task of creating it. The stars were created in just part of one day.

The allegorical story tells of light being created before the light source, the sun, was created and plants being created before the sun was in place to facilitate photosynthesis.

So what wisdom are we to glean from this allegorical yarn? A story that could have been told much better, if it contained some hint showing the author had an idea of there scale of the universe, and biological mechanism.
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Old 12th October 2018, 05:44 PM   #64
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
Well obviously, as you would expect no doubt, I believe the position of the Pope is more correct. Mind you the RCC has been dragged, kicking and screaming, to the point were they must accept the overwhelming truth, given to us by the use of the scientific method.
No, an allegorical approach to Genesis has been around for at least 2000 years, probably longer. Long before the theory of the Big Bang, which was created by a Catholic priest around a hundred years ago.

Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
Ken Ham is correct however in his summary concluding that if Genesis is an allegory, then Word of God is undermined. What does this allegory teach us?

The book of Genesis strongly implies that our planet, (or flat earth plane), is the centre of everything. Took God almost 6 days to complete the task of creating it. The stars were created in just part of one day.

The allegorical story tells of light being created before the light source, the sun, was created and plants being created before the sun was in place to facilitate photosynthesis.

So what wisdom are we to glean from this allegorical yarn? A story that could have been told much better, if it contained some hint showing the author had an idea of there scale of the universe, and biological mechanism.
Doesn't it depend on the purpose of the allegory? And the purpose depends on what you think God SHOULD do, and then you are doing theology.

I've read that Genesis played an important part in the development of Judaism and later on Christianity. Some even think it is the genesis (no pun intended) for the rationale behind the development of natural philosophy, which we now call science. Thousands of years ago, ancient people regarded the sun, stars and moon as gods, things that could be sacrificed to and prayed to. What Genesis did was remove them from the category of living gods, and turned them into created objects, no different to other created objects like the earth and the oceans. In turn, that led to the idea that the universe was an ordered object, based on ordered rules, and finding those rules was a way of glorifying God. It helped pave the way for the triumph of naturalism over supernaturalism in the way the universe was viewed.

But as I said, the development of the scientific approach had nothing to do with the RCC adopting an allegorical view of the Bible. That existed before Christianity. You can see the allegorical approach to the Bible laid out by Philo of Alexandria, a Jewish philosopher writing 2000 years ago who influenced early Christianity. From his "Allegorical Interpretation":
http://www.earlyjewishwritings.com/t...ilo/book2.html
II. (2) "And on the sixth day God finished his work which he had made." It would be a sign of great simplicity to think that the world was created in six days, or indeed at all in time; because all time is only the space of days and nights, and these things the motion of the sun as he passes over the earth and under the earth does necessarily make. But the sun is a portion of heaven, so that one must confess that time is a thing posterior to the world. Therefore it would be correctly said that the world was not created in time, but that time had its existence in consequence of the world. For it is the motion of the heaven that has displayed the nature of time.

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Old 13th October 2018, 02:05 PM   #65
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Originally Posted by GDon View Post
No, an allegorical approach to Genesis has been around for at least 2000 years, probably longer. Long before the theory of the Big Bang, which was created by a Catholic priest around a hundred years ago.
Well yes and no I think. Although there may have been thinkers even 2000 years ago who regarded Genesis as allegorical was it ever mainstream? I think not. The trial of Galileo a mere 400 or so years ago by the Catholic Church, strongly suggests a literal interpretation was mainstream. Why would they feel so strongly about the Earth being the centre of everything, if Genesis was regarded as just an allegorical story?

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Doesn't it depend on the purpose of the allegory? And the purpose depends on what you think God SHOULD do, and then you are doing theology.

Well I can recall it being stated many times in the pages of these threads, that some indication of supreme knowledge in religious scripture, would be impressive. Instead of this in Genesis we have complete ignorance on display. Coincidentally the same level of ignorance typical of the people who lived at the time of it's writing. Funny that.


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I've read that Genesis played an important part in the development of Judaism and later on Christianity. Some even think it is the genesis (no pun intended) for the rationale behind the development of natural philosophy, which we now call science. Thousands of years ago, ancient people regarded the sun, stars and moon as gods, things that could be sacrificed to and prayed to. What Genesis did was remove them from the category of living gods, and turned them into created objects, no different to other created objects like the earth and the oceans. In turn, that led to the idea that the universe was an ordered object, based on ordered rules, and finding those rules was a way of glorifying God. It helped pave the way for the triumph of naturalism over supernaturalism in the way the universe was viewed.

Those some would not be theologians perhaps? I would like to see the rational behind the hypothesis that Genesis encouraged the development of the scientific method. We see so many examples even today of the overtly religious challenging scientifically gained knowledge.

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But as I said, the development of the scientific approach had nothing to do with the RCC adopting an allegorical view of the Bible. That existed before Christianity. You can see the allegorical approach to the Bible laid out by Philo of Alexandria, a Jewish philosopher writing 2000 years ago who influenced early Christianity. From his "Allegorical Interpretation":
http://www.earlyjewishwritings.com/t...ilo/book2.html
II. (2) "And on the sixth day God finished his work which he had made." It would be a sign of great simplicity to think that the world was created in six days, or indeed at all in time; because all time is only the space of days and nights, and these things the motion of the sun as he passes over the earth and under the earth does necessarily make. But the sun is a portion of heaven, so that one must confess that time is a thing posterior to the world. Therefore it would be correctly said that the world was not created in time, but that time had its existence in consequence of the world. For it is the motion of the heaven that has displayed the nature of time.

I addressed the issue of whether the Catholic Church has a long history of allegorical interpretation of Genesis above. There may have been some within the church, even long ago, that had this mind set, but was it mainstream until relatively recently? I think not.

I have heard the argument about the length of days being indeterminate many times before, by the faithful trying to reconcile the creation story, with modern day knowledge about the age of the universe. However to me the sticking point,
is about the emphasis given to the creation of our planet, as compared to the rest. I can hear the voices of protest from the religious, those that have the integrity to at lest acknowledge, how small our world is in relation to the rest, that our world is something special and unique. I wonder what the reaction will be if/when life is found in other places?
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Old 13th October 2018, 05:02 PM   #66
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
I addressed the issue of whether the Catholic Church has a long history of allegorical interpretation of Genesis above. There may have been some within the church, even long ago, that had this mind set, but was it mainstream until relatively recently? I think not.
If you are interested on the topic of how religious ideas developed, then I suggest looking into this fascinating subject. I am interested in that topic, and I have looked into it. Non-literal interpretations of the Bible have been main-stream among the educated since the start of Christianity. (The uneducated didn't generally leave writings). As I said, they inherited that view from the writings of educated Jews.

A sample: You've probably heard of Eusebius of Caesarea, bishop and counsellor of the Emperor Constantine. Here is what he wrote in his Praeparatio Evangelica:
http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/eu..._12_book12.htm
Now you may find in the Hebrew Scriptures also thousands of such passages concerning God as though He were jealous, or sleeping, or angry, or subject to any other human passions, which passages are adopted for the benefit of those who need this mode of instruction.
Another sample: Origen, Third Century Christian:
http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/04124.htm
But, that our meaning may be ascertained by the facts themselves, let us examine the passages of Scripture. Now who is there, pray, possessed of understanding, that will regard the statement as appropriate, that the first day, and the second, and the third, in which also both evening and morning are mentioned, existed without sun, and moon, and starsó the first day even without a sky? And who is found so ignorant as to suppose that God, as if He had been a husbandman, planted trees in paradise, in Eden towards the east, and a tree of life in it, i.e., a visible and palpable tree of wood, so that anyone eating of it with bodily teeth should obtain life, and, eating again of another tree, should come to the knowledge of good and evil?...

The same style of Scriptural narrative occurs abundantly in the Gospels, as when the devil is said to have placed Jesus on a lofty mountain, that he might show Him from thence all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them. How could it literally come to pass, either that Jesus should be led up by the devil into a high mountain, or that the latter should show him all the kingdoms of the world (as if they were lying beneath his bodily eyes, and adjacent to one mountain), i.e., the kingdoms of the Persians, and Scythians, and Indians? Or how could he show in what manner the kings of these kingdoms are glorified by men? And many other instances similar to this will be found in the Gospels by anyone who will read them with attention, and will observe that in those narratives which appear to be literally recorded, there are inserted and interwoven things which cannot be admitted historically...
Origen's comment about "who is found so ignorant as to suppose that God... planted trees in paradise" suggests that such a view was widespread in his time. The fact is that the fundamentalist belief in the literal truth of the Bible is a modern invention, dating from the late 19th C. It's worth noting that it wasn't that the fundamentalist view that was mainstream, and then the liberal church broke away from that. In fact, it was the fundamentalist churches that broke away from the mainstream, more liberal churches.

There're lots more such quotes from ancient writings. Without wanting to sound insulting, to be honest you appear to be coming from a place of ignorance. That's fine, since this is not an academic board. But you seem to have swallowed the talking point that it was mostly literalism until SCIENCE came along, then the RCC had to backtrack and start declaring things as allegorical. The truth is more complex, and much more interesting. I know, because as an interested amateur I've read a lot on this, both primary and secondary sources.

I love to discuss this topic, so if you have actual quotes from ancient sources to back up what you think is the case, bring them on! I'd love to be proven wrong.
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Old 13th October 2018, 08:02 PM   #67
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The story of Adam is interesting. God creates Adam, then seeing that he is alone brings him various animals. None are suitable companions, so god finally gets the bright idea to take a rib and make Eve. But Adam would surely have sprung up with a fully functioning reproductive system requiring a woman in order to produce a posterity as it were, so what was the plan here?
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Old 14th October 2018, 02:00 PM   #68
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Originally Posted by sylvan8798 View Post
The story of Adam is interesting. God creates Adam, then seeing that he is alone brings him various animals. None are suitable companions, so god finally gets the bright idea to take a rib and make Eve. But Adam would surely have sprung up with a fully functioning reproductive system requiring a woman in order to produce a posterity as it were, so what was the plan here?

God has a mysterious plan we cannot hope to fathom.
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Old 14th October 2018, 02:52 PM   #69
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Originally Posted by GDon View Post
If you are interested on the topic of how religious ideas developed, then I suggest looking into this fascinating subject. I am interested in that topic, and I have looked into it. Non-literal interpretations of the Bible have been main-stream among the educated since the start of Christianity. (The uneducated didn't generally leave writings). As I said, they inherited that view from the writings of educated Jews.

A sample: You've probably heard of Eusebius of Caesarea, bishop and counsellor of the Emperor Constantine. Here is what he wrote in his Praeparatio Evangelica:
http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/eu..._12_book12.htm
That is one hell of large manuscript.

Quote:
Now you may find in the Hebrew Scriptures also thousands of such passages concerning God as though He were jealous, or sleeping, or angry, or subject to any other human passions, which passages are adopted for the benefit of those who need this mode of instruction.
So who needs this mode of instruction?

In the words of Thomas Paine "Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man".

Quote:
Another sample: Origen, Third Century Christian:
http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/04124.htm
But, that our meaning may be ascertained by the facts themselves, let us examine the passages of Scripture. Now who is there, pray, possessed of understanding, that will regard the statement as appropriate, that the first day, and the second, and the third, in which also both evening and morning are mentioned, existed without sun, and moon, and starsó the first day even without a sky? And who is found so ignorant as to suppose that God, as if He had been a husbandman, planted trees in paradise, in Eden towards the east, and a tree of life in it, i.e., a visible and palpable tree of wood, so that anyone eating of it with bodily teeth should obtain life, and, eating again of another tree, should come to the knowledge of good and evil?...


Who indeed can find meaning in this waffle? How does this explain how God missed the opportunity to show absolute knowledge in the writings attributed to him?

Quote:
The same style of Scriptural narrative occurs abundantly in the Gospels, as when the devil is said to have placed Jesus on a lofty mountain, that he might show Him from thence all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them. How could it literally come to pass, either that Jesus should be led up by the devil into a high mountain, or that the latter should show him all the kingdoms of the world (as if they were lying beneath his bodily eyes, and adjacent to one mountain), i.e., the kingdoms of the Persians, and Scythians, and Indians? Or how could he show in what manner the kings of these kingdoms are glorified by men? And many other instances similar to this will be found in the Gospels by anyone who will read them with attention, and will observe that in those narratives which appear to be literally recorded, there are inserted and interwoven things which cannot be admitted historically...
OK, so the writer is suggesting this is allegorical, and to be honest I have found stuff like this to be somewhat contradictory if taken literally. Jesus is God, or part thereof, and yet the Devil leads him around by the hand?

What is the allegorical meaning however?

Quote:
Origen's comment about "who is found so ignorant as to suppose that God... planted trees in paradise" suggests that such a view was widespread in his time. The fact is that the fundamentalist belief in the literal truth of the Bible is a modern invention, dating from the late 19th C. It's worth noting that it wasn't that the fundamentalist view that was mainstream, and then the liberal church broke away from that. In fact, it was the fundamentalist churches that broke away from the mainstream, more liberal churches.
Because some writers, from way back in history, expressed the view that sacred script was not a literal account of events, does not mean that such views were mainstream in the general population. One would have to produce evidence in the form of a survey taken at the time to prove this.

We can however, look at examples of how the church dealt with those who questioned their doctrine regarding the truth of geology, cosmology, and so on, as verification of what mainstream thinking was in the church at the time. Evidence of this is plentiful.

Quote:
There're lots more such quotes from ancient writings. Without wanting to sound insulting, to be honest you appear to be coming from a place of ignorance. That's fine, since this is not an academic board. But you seem to have swallowed the talking point that it was mostly literalism until SCIENCE came along, then the RCC had to backtrack and start declaring things as allegorical. The truth is more complex, and much more interesting. I know, because as an interested amateur I've read a lot on this, both primary and secondary sources.

I love to discuss this topic, so if you have actual quotes from ancient sources to back up what you think is the case, bring them on! I'd love to be proven wrong.

This is a disappointing comment for you to make given we were having a civil discussion.

Although you may find the delving into how the Christian religion developed over the years of consuming interest that is not the case with me. Not that I judge it to be futile or not worthy of research but it doesn't grab me.

The subject matter of this thread is about allegory. How it is identified as such and what is the hidden meaning contained in allegorical stories. Why these stories are told interests me also and are they relevant to us today?
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Old 14th October 2018, 06:27 PM   #70
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Surely part of their relevance lies in the very fact that some take them literally and some as allegory? Those taking all passages literally are obviously in some kind of logistical denial with regard to their contradictions. I would be interested to know if there are studies on whether the uber-thumper-religious are more likely to believe other bat crap crazy stuff. My personal experience is a positive sample of uhh...several.
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Old 14th October 2018, 06:37 PM   #71
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
This is a disappointing comment for you to make given we were having a civil discussion.

Although you may find the delving into how the Christian religion developed over the years of consuming interest that is not the case with me. Not that I judge it to be futile or not worthy of research but it doesn't grab me.
Indeed. And yet you can confidently state: "Was it [an allegorical approach] mainstream until relatively recently? I think not." Then when I produced data that allegorical approaches seemed to be assumed among the educated Christians (and where did the mainstream get their 'approved' views from except from the educated?), you wrote "One would have to produce evidence in the form of a survey taken at the time to prove this."

But in the absence of said survey, YOU are able to somehow come down on the side that it wasn't "mainstream".

I'm happy to continue discussion, but you need to bring SOME kind of evidence to the board. I've checked primary and secondary sources about early beliefs and how they have developed; I don't know what you've checked, but if you have evidence, I'd love to see it! Maybe I have it all wrong. I'd love any information you can bring to this topic.

Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
The subject matter of this thread is about allegory. How it is identified as such and what is the hidden meaning contained in allegorical stories. Why these stories are told interests me also and are they relevant to us today?
Since I don't believe that the Bible is the word of God, it doesn't bother me particularly. Trying to find meaning in allegories in the Bible is a product of belief and theology. You might as well argue on the correct number of angels that can dance on the head of a pin. My interest is in what ancient people believed, and why they believed what they did. You have no interest in that, and that's fine. So I'll make this my last post in this thread.

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Old 14th October 2018, 07:36 PM   #72
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
So allegories and parables are open for interpretation into whatever you want them to be. If you do this however and interpret is as something specific then you don't understand what it is. A bit like catch 22 in a way and I think the religious would swing with it.
Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
Whatever anyone wants them to be: no one has the authority to state that one interpretation is correct and the others false.
That's pretty much how all religious allegories work. If things are not "definite" then its hard to pin them down for evidence; for every "aha" you can come up with, believers simply re-interpret the allegory so that your "aha" no longer applies. Religious allegories are essentially a massive set of goalposts on wheels that can be moved at will by the faithful.

All this reminds me of Vroomfondel and Majikthise.....

"We don't demand solid facts! What we demand is a total absence of solid facts."

"We demand rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty!"
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Old 15th October 2018, 01:38 PM   #73
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Originally Posted by GDon View Post
Indeed. And yet you can confidently state: "Was it [an allegorical approach] mainstream until relatively recently? I think not." Then when I produced data that allegorical approaches seemed to be assumed among the educated Christians (and where did the mainstream get their 'approved' views from except from the educated?), you wrote "One would have to produce evidence in the form of a survey taken at the time to prove this."

But in the absence of said survey, YOU are able to somehow come down on the side that it wasn't "mainstream".

I'm happy to continue discussion, but you need to bring SOME kind of evidence to the board. I've checked primary and secondary sources about early beliefs and how they have developed; I don't know what you've checked, but if you have evidence, I'd love to see it! Maybe I have it all wrong. I'd love any information you can bring to this topic.


Since I don't believe that the Bible is the word of God, it doesn't bother me particularly. Trying to find meaning in allegories in the Bible is a product of belief and theology. You might as well argue on the correct number of angels that can dance on the head of a pin. My interest is in what ancient people believed, and why they believed what they did. You have no interest in that, and that's fine. So I'll make this my last post in this thread.

Thanks for your contribution to this discussion GDon, and am sorry if the subject matter of the thread and my interests do not co-inside with yours.

Just a minor point of clarification. I did not: "come down on the side that it wasn't "mainstream"." But only suggested that the writings of a few ancient scribes did not prove it was. The history of the Catholic Church however, with it's persecution of "heretics" daring to challenge the veracity of the Bible, is contrary to the notion that the writings contained therein are just allegorical and open to interpretation.
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Old 15th October 2018, 01:48 PM   #74
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
That's pretty much how all religious allegories work. If things are not "definite" then its hard to pin them down for evidence; for every "aha" you can come up with, believers simply re-interpret the allegory so that your "aha" no longer applies. Religious allegories are essentially a massive set of goalposts on wheels that can be moved at will by the faithful.

All this reminds me of Vroomfondel and Majikthise.....

"We don't demand solid facts! What we demand is a total absence of solid facts."

"We demand rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty!"

There is a grain of truth in your writings smartcooky. Makes me think you are not a JAFA, (pardon me if I have mentioned this before), and a guy of some depth.

It would be interesting, and entertaining too I think, to corral a bunch of would be Biblical scholars, and ask them collectively for the identification and interpretation, of allegorical stories from the Bible. There would be blood on the floor I think.
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Old 17th October 2018, 06:47 PM   #75
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I would be extremely suspicious of any argument that led me to the conclusion that...

Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
Ken Ham is correct
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Old 17th October 2018, 07:22 PM   #76
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Lots of sons, but only one Son.
Always wondered why Adam was left out along with the first daughter Eve.
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Old 18th October 2018, 01:11 PM   #77
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
I would be extremely suspicious of any argument that led me to the conclusion that...

Classic bit of quoting something out of context that. The whole line was:

Ken Ham is correct however in his summary concluding that if Genesis is an allegory, then Word of God is undermined.

I too am reluctant to admit to Ken Ham's correctness about much also.
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Old 18th October 2018, 01:16 PM   #78
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Originally Posted by Hans View Post
Always wondered why Adam was left out along with the first daughter Eve.
God was gobsmacked about what a nasty piece of work Eve turned out to be, after being created perfect by His own hand. Took Him some time to collect His thoughts and come up with plan B, (the big flood), which turned out to be a screw up also.
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Old 18th October 2018, 06:56 PM   #79
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
Classic bit of quoting something out of context that.
Nope, that was deliberate.

If Ken Ham said that the sky was blue, I'd go outside to check. If he were a stopped clock, time itself would skip minutes to avoid him.

Any argument that ends with agreement with anything Ham has said is extremely dodgy pretty much by definition. I'd examine any such argument especially closely, and I suggest you do too.
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Old 18th October 2018, 10:55 PM   #80
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
There is a grain of truth in your writings smartcooky. Makes me think you are not a JAFA, (pardon me if I have mentioned this before), and a guy of some depth.
I presume, since you are from the West Island (and therefore familiar with colloquialisms over here in the Shaky Isles), that your use of the epithet "JAFA" is a reference to the possibility that I hail from north of the Bombay Hills? I am most delighted to confirm to you that this not the case; neither am I a small round red-coloured confectionery item, nor a Middle Eastern variety of orange.

However, I am a JAFA... Just Another Freethinking Atheist!

Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
It would be interesting, and entertaining too I think, to corral a bunch of would be Biblical scholars, and ask them collectively for the identification and interpretation, of allegorical stories from the Bible. There would be blood on the floor I think.
Fly on the wall stuff right there!!
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