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Have started reading the bible again from the beginning

(113 Posts)
NeverKnowinglyUnderstood Wed 02-Jan-13 13:41:38

am mightily confused about some things to do with the God in whom I believe.

anyone want to try to help with some of my questions?

AntoinetteCosway Sat 05-Jan-13 09:04:19

I mean, I understand why for the Israelites they'd want to believe they were chosen, but what is the Christian consensus about why they were chosen? Are we meant to believe the Jews were better/more important to God than everyone else on earth? Because if so then why the switch to Jesus dying for us all?

<head explodes>

I am coming at this from a super liberal 'God loves everyone, all religions are essentially the same as your faith has a huge amount to do with where you're born and what culture you're raised in, everyone's equal' point of view.

NeverKnowinglyUnderstood Sat 05-Jan-13 10:55:04

Ok so I have been awake most of the night with a poorly child and it has given me chance to think.......

The Analogy according to NEVER

In the beginning there was a cave on a hill... A safe place that the people knew they could go to in times of crisis (every community had something similar)
Raiders who came to the village had no weapons in the beginning and hiding was sufficient.
After weapons were developed a wall was built round the entrance to the cave. To protect those inside from the outsiders

Over time the wall became a room.... This then became a tower... With other rooms incase the villagers needed to stay longer.. Then it developed as the villagers decided the only place they could exist was in the castle that had developed round the cave. With all its trappings.

This was the new community those inside the walls and those outside .

Here endeth the analogy according to NEVER. For the OT. We then get to the NT where we are encouraged to remember the original purpose. The cave under all the buildings the sanctuary the safe place for heart mind and body.....

Pick apart to your hearts content... These are mere rumblings of an overtired mummy :-)))

niminypiminy Sat 05-Jan-13 11:25:37

Antoinette, the Israelites were part of a wider middle-eastern religious culture in which tribal and then national groupings had their own cultic deities which promoted their own particular interests. One of the major themes of the OT is the development of the Israelite's realisation that their God, Jaweh, is not simply one tribal cultic deity among many, but the one god, the God of Everything, the creator of the universe. The OT tells in part the story of the people of Israel coming to accept the one God - becoming monotheists, the first popular monotheistic religion in history.

Because their realisation emerged from an earlier conception of tribal and cultic deities, they saw the one God as 'theirs' - or rather they saw themselves as his chosen people. One of the ways of understanding all this is to say that God is trying to reveal himself to everyone, everywhere, but for various reasons, the people of Israel were able to hear the message in a more direct form than other religions. So they came to see that God didn't want sacrifice, but praise; and that he didn't want atonement for sins, but holy living.

Then came the Jesus event - and Jesus is clear that his message is for everyone, not simply for the Jews. One of the things that is going on in the NT is that in the early church there was a struggle between Christians who wanted to keep the message of the gospel for the Jews, and those who saw that it was essential to carry it to the Gentiles.

Does that make sense?

AntoinetteCosway Sat 05-Jan-13 16:43:14

Yes! Thank you. I was beginning to worry about a God that only cared about one group of people being different to the God that cares for everyone, but the way you put it makes sense. I should probably re-read the OT...

Avuncular Sat 05-Jan-13 21:00:02


Wikipedia on the OT usual comments about Wiki apply - but I think the key issue is 'were any essential ideas lost or important distortions introduced during the process?'

It's not an impossible task for the lay person to get hold of a Hebrew dictionary (Strong's Exhaustive (ing?) Concordance indexes, amongst other things all OT words) and to go back to a bit of Hebrew text to verify the translation process.

(Just as once I went through the 'Begats' to see where Bishop Ussher got 4004 BC, and what gaps there were. Not many.)

Apparently the Jews went to incredible lengths in their proof-reading and copying (long before printing!) to ensure that the 'Scriptures' were meticulously preserved.

More .... (can't see the posts while composing)

Avuncular Sat 05-Jan-13 21:08:14

70AD, so if Jesus was crucified at age 33, that means that the first writings were 37 years after the resurrection.

So just ask: would I trust my parents' or grandparents', friends' or even siblings' recollections of very important events in their lives? Again, we have to ask whether any key information was missed or distorted.

tabulahrasa Sat 05-Jan-13 21:32:53

70 AD is a bit off though, it's pretty much accepted that the vast majority of the NT was finished by 70 AD...with some parts written as early as 48 AD.

You're still relying on memory, but not a lifetime away in most cases - of course that's if you assume that the NT is supposed to be an historical account of facts. Personally I don't think it is, I think it's people trying to make sense of Jesus and what it all means. That's never going to be straightforward.

Avuncular Sat 05-Jan-13 21:41:57

Holo .... Christianity Rediscovered yes I feel it's a 'must read'.
Have read it twice, it's so thought-provoking.

I'd forgotten about the 'translation aspects'.

Regarding these I had been more engaged by the story of John and Gloria Wilson (who we hosted some years ago to do an open presentation in our local community) who over a 10 year period produced the first indigenous translation of the Bible in West Papua / Irian Jaya (the western / Indonesian half of Papua). Indonesian is the 'official' language, so for the Yali this was the equivalent of the first English translation for UK when hitherto the Bible had only been in Latin. I don't think there is a book, but there is a DVD, and there may be stuff on the Internet.

I'll go looking.

For me the book illustrated a totally radical 'shake up' to and challenged me ponder, as Donovan did for those Africans, what it would mean for UK 21st century society to ditch all the 'baggage of the past 2000 years' and go absolutely back to the basics of applying the central Gospel to our individual lives and let this work itself out in Society.

Fanciful I know .... but refreshing

Avuncular Sat 05-Jan-13 22:05:56

Wiki on NT dating

Totally off - thread but I once met J.K. Galbraith at a post-chapel student breakfast in J.A.T. Robinson's sitting room. MUIT Robinson totally 'Liberal' but of course that doesn't it any way negate the quality of the scholarship, which must always be judged on its own merits.

Everyone has an 'agenda' of course, and it's important to consider the 'agenda' of everyone conducting research, be they OT translators, scholars, archaeologists, or scientists. Did the agenda (or the study 'paymasters') affect the study approach, or the resulting message?

Avuncular Sat 05-Jan-13 22:17:43

Yali Bible and other translation work in Indonesia

Also found 1 DVD on Google - still looking for my favourite

Avuncular Sat 05-Jan-13 22:40:56

Yali tribe video from Wilsons / Crawfords
(Have your airsick bag ready: flying in Indonesia is quite 'exciting'!)

BTW the Wilsons' local presentation was subtitled 'My grandfather was a cannibal'. The meeting flyer stated, as an incentive to attend, Finger buffet provided. This was quite true, but the inadvertent 'punning' tied to the title found its way in to 'New Scientist' and thence to BBC R4 Newsquiz. LoL

Back to thread now .....

Avuncular Sat 05-Jan-13 22:51:54

Christianity Rediscovered - on Kindle

(Wrong image comes up but the content is OK. Have 'bumped' Amazon about it.

JakeBullet Sun 06-Jan-13 09:45:31

Thanks for those links Avuncularsmile .

Another thing which has occurred to me regarding the six days of creation and the Sabbath is that nowhere in Genesis does it relate the days were consecutive. ....just that there were six days where certain events occurred. Then there was the Sabbath. ...panda who is to say God's work is done? This Sabbath could simply be a rest period until a next event

Ooh it has all got me thinking again and that is good smile .

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