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Craig.Paardekooper
04-26-2009, 07:33 AM
What kind of God is our Creator? What kind of God is the God of Moses? Many incidents in the Old Testament seem immoral or a-moral by our standards. Yet there must be a deeper truth that can explain them.

God On Trial is a web project to assess the actions of God, the actions of God's people and the content of Bible laws in the light of modern legal and moral standards.

God On Trial listens first to the prosecution. What is their case against God?

This is an ongoing project, and it is hoped that through it some incredible things will come to light. Who knows.

I have posted the first part here -

http://www.craigdemo.co.uk/god_on_trial.htm

Victor
04-29-2009, 04:52 PM
Hey Craig, the page above is offline...

Craig.Paardekooper
03-04-2011, 10:59 AM
The page is online now

Rose
03-04-2011, 01:14 PM
The page is online now

Thanks Craig, I'll go take a look and report back...:signthankspin:

Rose

NumberX
03-05-2011, 03:59 AM
What kind of God is our Creator? What kind of God is the God of Moses? Many incidents in the Old Testament seem immoral or a-moral by our standards. Yet there must be a deeper truth that can explain them.

God On Trial is a web project to assess the actions of God, the actions of God's people and the content of Bible laws in the light of modern legal and moral standards.

God On Trial listens first to the prosecution. What is their case against God?

This is an ongoing project, and it is hoped that through it some incredible things will come to light. Who knows.

I have posted the first part here -

http://www.craigdemo.co.uk/god_on_trial.htm

I know something about it. One should not take the Text and put it 'one to one' on the physical world. The physical world is strongly connected with it though, but the Text is as the seed-giving male who comes first and the woman (the mater, matter, material world) follows him, surrounds him. An example:

Let's (not) stone someone
The word 'stone' in Hebrew is 'bn tha'ts eben, that's a-b-n, that's 1-2-50.
This is the aggregating, interconnection of Father and Son, that's AB and BeN.
It can be a real experience of severe punishment to someone (in their individual spiritual world!) to get him/her connected to The Father and The Son by preaching for example or giving them knowledge while the knowledge is just a normal explanation of a word of the Text. This is the spiritual meaning of 'stoning someone'. It's easy to explain, and we see here that the bad has a counter site, or the good has a countersite, it's just where you look at first.
Look with a material view at the Text, and be opposed, or say "We are now living in a civilised world and the ones who practise this are barbarians. This Text is from an old time, that's why this it is written this way and at that time they stoned people."
Look at a preacher who preaches The Word of the N.T. about The Father and The Son and that is a good Christian thing to do!

This is another example, I do it by head:
You must not cook the flesh in the milk of the mother animal or something like this is written in the O.T.
We can think of this as a cooking recepy in the physical world, and in the physical world it is hard to find the mother animal and cook in the milk of her.
Milk however has the value of 40 in Hebrew (chelev, 8-30-2) and 40 represents 'time' *. The sentence has details that I don't remember anymore but I know the meaning that the text does not apply to everyday cooking like we do in the physical world, or how they used to cook in earlier days, that it's not a cooking recepy, but that it means that one must not make something ready by putting it in time, in a spiritual sense.


* flowing time.
A tree is the representation of growing time. The word for tree and time have the same pronounciation: etz.

Craig.Paardekooper
03-05-2011, 06:57 AM
I think that the author of these videos is seeing things out of context.

The centre of the Law of Moses is the Shema and the Commandment to Love others as we would be loved.

The Great Commandment in Judaism is the name commonly given to a part of Leviticus 19:18 in the Torah:[1]


"Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart ….. Do not revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people, but love your neighbor as yourself: I am the LORD' Leviticus 19 v 18

The alien living with you must be treated as one of your native born. Love him as yourself, for you were aliens in Egypt. I am the LORD your God' Leviticus 19 v 34

It is seemingly the oldest written version in a positive form. The Great Commandment as well as the proverbial Golden Rule calls for others the equal manner and respect we want for ourselves.

The Sage Hillel, an elder contemporary of Jesus of Nazareth, formulated a negative form of the Golden Rule, referring to the Great Commandment. When asked to sum up the entire Torah concisely, to a gentile, he answered:[3]


'That which is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow. That is the whole Torah; the rest is the explanation; go and learn.'
— Talmud, Shabbat 31a, the "Great Principle"

In the Christian New Testament the Great Commandment was referenced by Jesus in Mark 12:28-34, Luke 10:25-28, Matthew 7:12, 19:19, 22:34-40 and by Paul of Tarsus in Romans 13:9 and Galatians 5:14:


'For the whole law is summed up in a single commandment, ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.' '
— Galatians 5:14 NRSV

Brotherly love is the love for one's fellow-man as a brother. The expression is taken from the Greek word Φιλαδελφία (Philadelphia = "love of brothers"), which trait distinguished the Early Christian communities. Rom. 12:10; 1 Thess. 4:9; John 13:35; 1 John 2:9, 3:12, 4:7,5:1; and 1 Peter 3:8, 5:9 express the idea of Christian fellowship and fraternity.

It was also important in the Essene brotherhoods, who practised brotherly love as a special virtue.[4]

Brotherly love is commanded as a universal principle in Lev 19:18: "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself," the preceding verse containing the words: "Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart." This commandment of love, with the preceding sentence, "Thou shalt not avenge nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people," may originally have referred, and has by some scholars [5] been exclusively referred, to the Israelitish neighbor; but in verse 34 of the same chapter it is extended to "the stranger that dwelleth with you . . . and thou shalt love him as thyself."

In Job 31:13-15 it is declared unjust to wrong the servant in his cause: "Did not he that made me in the womb make him? and did not one fashion us in the womb?"

Hillel also took the Biblical command in this universal spirit when he responded to the heathen who requested him to tell the Law while standing before him on one foot: "What is hateful to you, do not do to your friend. This is all of the Torah; the rest is the explanation -- go and learn".[8] The negative form was the accepted Targum interpretation of Lev. xix. 18, known alike to the author of Tobit iv. 15 and to Philo, in the fragment preserved by Eusebius, Preparatio Evangelica, viii. 7;[9] to the Didache, i. 1; Didascalia or Apostolic Constitutions, i. 1, iii. 15; Clementine Homilies, ii. 6; and other ancient patristic writings.[10] That this so-called golden rule, given also in James ii. 8, was recognized by the Jews in the time of Jesus, may be learned from Mark xii. 28-34; Luke x. 25-28; Matt. vii. 12, xix. 19, xxii. 34-40; Rom. xiii. 9; and Gal. v. 14, where the Pharisaic scribe asks Jesus in the same words that were used by Akiba, "What is the great commandment of the Law?" and the answer given by Jesus declares the first and great commandment to be the love of God, and the second the love of "thy neighbor as thyself." To include all men, Hillel used the term "beriot"[11] when inculcating the teaching of love: "Love the fellow-creatures".[12] Hatred of fellow-creatures ("sinat ha-beriyot") is similarly declared by R. Joshua b. Hananiah to be one of the three things that drive man out of the world.[13]

The Parable of the Good Samaritan is a story Jesus told to illustrate who a person's neighbor was.[17] The story involves a stranger befriending and aiding a beaten man who was supposed to be the Samaritan's social enemy, and who had been overlooked by other passersby. After telling the parable, Jesus instructed the one who asked him to define "neighbor" to "go and do likewise". The parable provides a model for the kind of relational care the Great Commandment encourages.

That Love really is the centre of Mosaic Law is suggested by the gematria for The Shema which is -

1118 = 13 x 13 + 13 x 73

13 is found to be the inner most hexagram within the hexagram of 37 and that of 73. And 13 is the gematria for Love

In fact the whole world may have been created out of Love since Vernon has shown that Genesis 1 = 37 x 73, and this rests upon a base of 39 x 93 (John 1) = 3 x 13 x 31 x 3

What is more, the names of the 12 Tribes come to 13 x 37 + 37 x 73

Also, animal sacrifice was a way that people could be forgiven by God allowing an animal to die in their place.



The command that God gave to destroy the inhabitants of Canaan was possibly a unique situation since many of the inhabitants of Canaan were giant descendants of the Nephilim, and God wanted to annihilate them, just as He had tried to wipe them of the earth previously with the Flood. I think this is the deeper reason why God did not want to spare anyone, or take any prisoners.

Rose
03-05-2011, 10:16 AM
I think that the author of these videos is seeing things out of context.

The centre of the Law of Moses is the Shema and the Commandment to Love others as we would be loved.

The Great Commandment in Judaism is the name commonly given to a part of Leviticus 19:18 in the Torah:[1]



It is seemingly the oldest written version in a positive form. The Great Commandment as well as the proverbial Golden Rule calls for others the equal manner and respect we want for ourselves.

The Sage Hillel, an elder contemporary of Jesus of Nazareth, formulated a negative form of the Golden Rule, referring to the Great Commandment. When asked to sum up the entire Torah concisely, to a gentile, he answered:[3]



In the Christian New Testament the Great Commandment was referenced by Jesus in Mark 12:28-34, Luke 10:25-28, Matthew 7:12, 19:19, 22:34-40 and by Paul of Tarsus in Romans 13:9 and Galatians 5:14:



Brotherly love is the love for one's fellow-man as a brother. The expression is taken from the Greek word Φιλαδελφία (Philadelphia = "love of brothers"), which trait distinguished the Early Christian communities. Rom. 12:10; 1 Thess. 4:9; John 13:35; 1 John 2:9, 3:12, 4:7,5:1; and 1 Peter 3:8, 5:9 express the idea of Christian fellowship and fraternity.

It was also important in the Essene brotherhoods, who practised brotherly love as a special virtue.[4]

Brotherly love is commanded as a universal principle in Lev 19:18: "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself," the preceding verse containing the words: "Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart." This commandment of love, with the preceding sentence, "Thou shalt not avenge nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people," may originally have referred, and has by some scholars [5] been exclusively referred, to the Israelitish neighbor; but in verse 34 of the same chapter it is extended to "the stranger that dwelleth with you . . . and thou shalt love him as thyself."

In Job 31:13-15 it is declared unjust to wrong the servant in his cause: "Did not he that made me in the womb make him? and did not one fashion us in the womb?"

Hillel also took the Biblical command in this universal spirit when he responded to the heathen who requested him to tell the Law while standing before him on one foot: "What is hateful to you, do not do to your friend. This is all of the Torah; the rest is the explanation -- go and learn".[8] The negative form was the accepted Targum interpretation of Lev. xix. 18, known alike to the author of Tobit iv. 15 and to Philo, in the fragment preserved by Eusebius, Preparatio Evangelica, viii. 7;[9] to the Didache, i. 1; Didascalia or Apostolic Constitutions, i. 1, iii. 15; Clementine Homilies, ii. 6; and other ancient patristic writings.[10] That this so-called golden rule, given also in James ii. 8, was recognized by the Jews in the time of Jesus, may be learned from Mark xii. 28-34; Luke x. 25-28; Matt. vii. 12, xix. 19, xxii. 34-40; Rom. xiii. 9; and Gal. v. 14, where the Pharisaic scribe asks Jesus in the same words that were used by Akiba, "What is the great commandment of the Law?" and the answer given by Jesus declares the first and great commandment to be the love of God, and the second the love of "thy neighbor as thyself." To include all men, Hillel used the term "beriot"[11] when inculcating the teaching of love: "Love the fellow-creatures".[12] Hatred of fellow-creatures ("sinat ha-beriyot") is similarly declared by R. Joshua b. Hananiah to be one of the three things that drive man out of the world.[13]

The Parable of the Good Samaritan is a story Jesus told to illustrate who a person's neighbor was.[17] The story involves a stranger befriending and aiding a beaten man who was supposed to be the Samaritan's social enemy, and who had been overlooked by other passersby. After telling the parable, Jesus instructed the one who asked him to define "neighbor" to "go and do likewise". The parable provides a model for the kind of relational care the Great Commandment encourages.


Hi Craig,

The center of the law of Moses might be the Shema, and with the coming of Jesus the giving of the greatest commandment to love one another, but I do not think that the author of the book Bible Stories your Parents never told you was taking those verses he spoke of out of context. It seems that just the opposite is true....it is the Christian who pretends those verses don't exist, or tries to justify them. I applaud those who are willing to voice those things they see in the Bible as being morally wrong instead of trying to somehow justify them because God is involved.

The fact that God allowed those verses where he is commanding women and children to be slaughtered, amongst other things, to become part of the Bible is a very negative reflection on the whole of Scripture. In my opinion the only way it can be resolved is by viewing the Bible as a collection of philosophies and myths...not the "word of God".



Also, animal sacrifice was a way that people could be forgiven by God allowing an animal to die in their place.



The command that God gave to destroy the inhabitants of Canaan was possibly a unique situation since many of the inhabitants of Canaan were giant descendants of the Nephilim, and God wanted to annihilate them, just as He had tried to wipe them of the earth previously with the Flood. I think this is the deeper reason why God did not want to spare anyone, or take any prisoners.

Once again it seems like you are trying to justify the murder of innocent people by saying it was a unique situation possibly concerning giants, but then what about all the other circumstances where the people who were slaughter by the command of God were human women and children?

As I have said before, I think we all need to take off our blinders and see what is written in the Bible and deal with it instead of trying to justify it, otherwise no progress will be made.

Blessings,
Rose

Craig.Paardekooper
03-05-2011, 10:25 AM
Hi Rose,

I applaud the scientific method, and think that it is important to be 100% honest with ourselves about the facts.

In which case, what we will have to do is look at each case of supposed "crime" individually, and see what the verdict is. There are possibly hundreds of cases in the Bible that are controversial.

I suspect though that an important reason for the annihilation of the Canaanites was their link to the Nephilim. Though I see your point that there may be many other cases in the Bible where there is no such connection.

Craig

NumberX
03-05-2011, 10:40 AM
Craig you just copie/pasted your text from internet?
Google (http://www.google.nl/#hl=nl&source=hp&biw=1360&bih=558&q=Brotherly+love+is+the+love+for+one%27s+fellow-man+as+a+brother.+The+expression+is+taken+from+the +Greek+word+%CE%A6%CE%B9%CE%BB%CE%B1%CE%B4%CE%B5%C E%BB%CF%86%CE%AF%CE%B1+%28Philadelphia+%3D+%22love +of+brothers%22%29%2C+which+trait+distinguished+th e+Early+Christian+communities.+Rom.+12:10%3B+1+The ss.+4%3A9%3B+John+13%3A35%3B+1+John+2%3A9%2C+3%3A1 2%2C+4%3A7%2C5%3A1%3B+and+1+Peter+3%3A8%2C+5%3A9+e xpress+the+idea+of+Christian+fellowship+and+frater nity.++It+was+also+important+in+the+Essene+brother hoods%2C+who+practised+brotherly+love+as+a+special +virtue.[4]++Brotherly+love+is+commanded+as+a+universal+princ iple+in+Lev+19%3A18%3A+%22Thou+shalt+love+thy+neig hbor+as+thyself%2C%22+the+preceding+verse+containi ng+the+words%3A+%22Thou+shalt+not+hate+thy+brother +in+thine+heart.%22+This+commandment+of+love%2C+wi th+the+preceding+sentence%2C+%22Thou+shalt+not+ave nge+nor+bear+any+grudge+against+the+children+of+th y+people%2C%22+may+originally+have+referred%2C+and +has+by+some+scholars+[5]+been+exclusively+referred%2C+to+the+Israelitish+n eighbor%3B+but+in+verse+34+of+the+same+chapter+it+ is+extended+to+%22the+stranger+that+dwelleth+with+ you+.+.+.+and+thou+shalt+love+him+as+thyself.%22+&btnG=Google+zoeken&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&oq=&fp=37759ee467d6fc55)

I explained a controversial text, this is the way to study the text, but that does require quite some knowledge about the used words. Fortunately I read works of a professor who can explains it this way.

When I read other explanations then I think well, just let them talk to eachother about it, without taking notice of original hebrew words, that would be to difficult for them anyway and they don't want that, otherwise they would already have done that or reply to it. But that's why I post it, so someone else can see how it is, to look in the direction of the words themselves and not stick to the material view of someone else. We are also able to think for ourselves.

Do I look at the material-viewers as dombo's?
In a sense no, because it takes quite some knowledge about hebrew words to change a material view, and in a sense certainly yes, to those who don't want to get the knowledge to get rid of their material view, their material view became the thing where they want to stick to, and nothing else. That's also what the Text means with "they became as women", that means they became the material-viewers. Hollywood picked it up and made a film of a planet where only women live :)

Richard Amiel McGough
03-05-2011, 10:50 AM
Craig you just copie/pasted your text from internet?
Google

To All: It is really important to site the source when quoting the words of another person. And if you found them on the internet, you should provide a link.

Craig.Paardekooper
03-05-2011, 11:17 AM
Hi Ram,

I only posted this a few minutes ago, and did not have time to put in the references - which I have now done.

As you know, I always put in the sources even if it is just a private email as a source.

Craig

Richard Amiel McGough
03-05-2011, 12:01 PM
Hi Ram,

I only posted this a few minutes ago, and did not have time to put in the references - which I have now done.

As you know, I always put in the sources even if it is just a private email as a source.

Craig
Hey there Craig,

Yes, of course you have always been very good about such things. I was just using this opportunity to remind everyone since the issue had been brought up.

All the best,

Richard

Richard Amiel McGough
03-06-2011, 09:39 AM
So God can appear to be grossly immoral, since in most cases we cannot see the reasons for His actions. I suppose this is to be expected being as He is God, and He is not accountable to us.

When you think about it, that is what God is - an absolute authority - completely unaccountable - and most of the time beyond our ability to understand. If God did not have these qualities, He would not be God.

I don't see the connection between being "God" and being "an absolute authority - completely unaccountable."

Why do you have that conception of God? Who taught you that God must be like an irrational and inscrutable tyrant in order to be a "god" at all? I see absolutely no connection between those concepts. Why would a God of Grace and Wisdom desire to show himself as cruel, tyrannical, unaccountable and inscrutable?

The greatest Biblical metaphor of God is "Father." Granted, there are plenty of beastly, irrational, and tyrannical fathers down here on earth, but that is not the intent of the Biblical metaphor of God as father. The intent is to reveal God as loving, nurturing, desiring the best, and not acting like a tyrant at all. Think of the Parable of the Prodigal Son. The father's joy was in the well-being of his son, not in ruling over him as a despot.

It's good to be working on this with you Craig. We have a lot of intellectual "house-cleaning" to do. It seems most Christians have simply accepts terrible concepts about God as if they were the Gospel truth.

Craig.Paardekooper
03-06-2011, 12:52 PM
I don't see the connection between being "God" and being "an absolute authority - completely unaccountable."

Why do you have that conception of God? Who taught you that God must be like an irrational and inscrutable tyrant in order to be a "god" at all? I see absolutely no connection between those concepts. Why would a God of Grace and Wisdom desire to show himself as cruel, tyrannical, unaccountable and inscrutable?



I think you are ignoring the possibility that God, by definition, may be unaccountable and have absolute authority. I think we should look at a definition of what we mean by God.

All the moral arguments against God have an inevitable flaw. They all assume that we have enough knowledge to be able to judge the thoughts of God.

To prove that God is unjust or wrong in any action that God takes is not easy. Any action that God takes is based by definition, on infinite wisdom, so no matter how much you learn, you will never know if you have missed something. What is more, an action can have effects that are distant in time and space. How can we judge whether God acted for the greater good without being aware of all possible effects of all possible actions?

If you accept that God has infinite wisdom, then what percentage of the time should you expect to understand God's actions and thoughts? 10% of the time? Maybe 5% of the time? Maybe even less.

So it is inevitable that God is inscrutable. It might not even be possible for God to explain the reasoning behind His actions to us, since the data from which He is reasoning might take millions of years to impart to us, and cover many things we don't understand yet.

The absence of a reason makes His actions "seem" tyranical, because He is not asking for our rational or moral agreement.

Richard Amiel McGough
03-06-2011, 02:15 PM
I think you are ignoring the possibility that God, by definition, may be unaccountable and have absolute authority. I think we should look at a definition of what we mean by God.

I agree absolutely that we should look at the definition of what we mean by God. I'm really glad you brought that up. In Christian theism, God is defined as a super-person who rules like an earthly autocrat. Personally, I find that concept of God impossible to believe and inconsistent with the known facts of reality.

I would be interested to know why we should think that the idea of "unaccountability" would be an essential part of the very definition of God. Would that not imply that God was incapable, even if it were his will, to give account of the reasons for his actions? If that is the case, then any human would be greater than God in that respect, for we can give reasons for our actions.



All the moral arguments against God have an inevitable flaw. They all assume that we have enough knowledge to be able to judge the thoughts of God.
I don't think that is correct. If moral language like "God is good" and "God is just" can be applied to God, then we must be able to also meaningfully state the opposite such as "God is evil" and "God is unjust" or else we would be incapable of stating that "It is not true that God is evil" or "It is not true that God is unjust."

In other words, if any moral statements about God are true, then we must be able to state them in both the positive and negative aspects. If it is impossible "by definition" or "in principle" to judge that God is evil then it is impossible to judge that he is good.



To prove that God is unjust or wrong in any action that God takes is not easy. Any action that God takes is based by definition, on infinite wisdom, so no matter how much you learn, you will never know if you have missed something. What is more, an action can have effects that are distant in time and space. How can we judge whether God acted for the greater good without being aware of all possible effects of all possible actions?

That's true ... but it's also too sophisticated to apply to the issue at hand. We are talking about God looking like a barbarian in various passages. Teaching us things we ought not be taught, such as killing babies and taking virgins as slaves after killing their entire family. Commanding an eye for an eye and other laws that are not good. The Bible is supposed to be an instruction book in the ways of God, so that we can be good people conformed to the image of Christ. But now you are telling me that we cannot trust any of the "moral teachings" in the Bible because though many of them "look evil" they are actually "good" when viewed from God's perspective of infinite wisdom. Therefore it teaches us nothing. Everyone simply accepts the parts that they judge to be good and say the rest is a mystery. What then is the purpose of the Bible?



If you accept that God has infinite wisdom, then what percentage of the time should you expect to understand God's actions and thoughts? 10% of the time? Maybe 5% of the time? Maybe even less.

If I had infinite wisdom and wrote a book, I think I could make it a lot more lucid than the Bible, and I would not add a bunch of commands to kill all your neighbors and their kids. When I think about the Math and Physics textbooks I studied in college, I know that God's intent was not to clearly express his will or any doctrines. If that were his will, he failed miserably. Therefore, we are forced to conclude that God has some other purpose in mind, or that we are in error to think that every verse of the Bible is really the "Word of God."

This contradicts, of course, the Doctrine of Perspicuity (http://www.theopedia.com/Clarity_of_Scripture), (which is labeled with an ironically non-perspicuous word), stated as follows:
The doctrine of the clarity of Scripture (often called the "perspicuity of Scripture") teaches that "the meanings of the text can be clear to the ordinary reader, that God uses the text of the Bible to communicate His person and will." "The witness of the Church throughout the ages is that ordinary people, who approach it in faith and humility, will be able to understand what the Bible is getting at, even if they meet with particular points of difficulty here and there."
It matters not whether this doctrine is true or false in principle, it certainly is false in practice, as anyone who has participated in any serious internet discussion of the Bible fully knows.



So it is inevitable that God is inscrutable. It might not even be possible for God to explain the reasoning behind His actions to us, since the data from which He is reasoning might take millions of years to impart to us, and cover many things we don't understand yet.

The absence of a reason makes His actions "seem" tyranical, because He is not asking for our rational or moral agreement.
Well, if God is truly inscrutable, then we know he did not give us the Bible to enable us to scrute him! What then is the purpose of the book. I always thought it was to "know" him. And I guess we could do that without scruting him. I mean, I know my wife, but she's not quite scrutable either!

But no ... I don't the "reason" his actions seem wrong is because of his inherent inscrutability. He gave us brains. He made lots of statements that he is "just" and "good" and all that, and when, for example, he was going to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah, Abraham had to explain to him that the "judge of all the world" should not destroy the wicked with the righteous (Gen 18).

Well, I'm really glad we are digging into this topic. I think it is of the highest significance. Rose and I are going for our three mile afternoon hike now. Be back in an hour or so.

Craig.Paardekooper
03-06-2011, 02:54 PM
Thanks Richard,

Only good can come from probing the truth.

Richard Amiel McGough
03-06-2011, 04:28 PM
Thanks Richard,

Only good can come from probing the truth.
You got that right! :thumb:

Thanks for working with me on this.

Richard Amiel McGough
03-10-2011, 04:08 PM
I have been reading the book of Numbers. I was particularly dismayed by the Biblical method of detecting whether a woman has been unfaithful.

The method entails taking dust from the floor of the Tabernacle and mixing it with holy water. The woman then has to drink it. If she falls ill then she is guilty. If she does not fall ill then she is innocent.

With all the sacrifices taking place in the Tabernacle, it's floor would be covered with blood, excrement and dirt.

Most people would probably get ill, and so would be convicted of adultry - which fetched the death penalty.

Another thing that bothered me was the law that requires a person to clean themselves within 3 days if they have touched a dead body. In addition they have to sprinkle the ashes of a dead cow on themselves. Otherwise they have to be removed from the people of Israel.

It seems odd to me that this law would be issued by an all knowing God, because if you touch a dead body you should wash straight away - not after 3 days. And sprinking the ashes of a dead cow has no effect on cleanness.

So based on these two verses alone, the Bible furnishes us with proof that the Mosaic Law cannot have come from an all knowing being like God.

These laws are primitive human inventions.


The empirical evidence suggests two things -

1. that God was guiding the Hebrews, as is witnessed by the testimony of Jesus Christ, by the fulfilled prophecies and also the integrated patterns within the Bible. These all display the hand of God

2. but also that the Hebrews invented SOME of their laws, as witnessed by the primitive nature of those laws and the IMPOSSIBILITY that they come from an all-knowing God

Therefore, whilst God was guiding the Hebrews, He also allowed them enough independence to create laws for themselves - even laws that were imperfect. He wanted the Hebrews to find their way to the truth, like a child finding it's feet, rather than just thrust all the truth upon them.

God guided the steady development of moral awareness within the Hebrew minds, rather than just throwing down a perfect and complete law from the very start. This process of development is further evidenced by the changes during the Axial Age

Think how a teacher teaches maths. He hardly exposes grade 1 students to relativity in their first lesson. Rather he encourages and guides them - allowing them to make the steps themselves one at a time.

In Jesus we see a full realisation of God's Law.
Excellent post. :thumb:

I had never thought about the precise character of the "dust" that was mixed with water. The text says:

Numbers 5:17 and the priest shall take holy water in an earthenware vessel; and he shall take some of the dust that is on the floor of the tabernacle and put it into the water.
The word "dust" sounds rather innocuous - it normally made me think of the relatively clean and dry dust you might see settled on your window sill. But your observation really puts a different spin on it. The area around the altar was probably soggy with filth and pathogens of every kind. It would be like licking a public toilet, only worse because of the blood and guts! I agree with your conclusion: "the Bible furnishes us with proof that the Mosaic Law cannot have come from an all knowing being like God." This profoundly impacts our understanding of the Bible because the bitter water adultery law was specifically attributed to God with the words "And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying."

I do not think that these facts threaten authentic Christian faith. All the truly meaningful evidence of Christ remains intact. The only thing lost is a fundamentalist view of Scripture, which is a very common human error. Muslims believe that Allah dictated the Quran. Hindus believe the Vedas have absolute divine authority. And on it goes. By rejecting the human doctrine that demands an "infallible and inerrant Bible" we actually discover a much more robust faith since it is no longer hampered by manifest absurdities and falsehoods.

Great chatting,

Richard

Rose
03-11-2011, 11:08 AM
Once again my senses have been accosted with a putrid stench coming from the so-called laws of God given to the Jews. I’ve read through the Bible many times and have studied it quite extensively, but somehow this particular chapter in Numbers that was just brought up by Craig was overlooked by me (probably intentionally). The topic of this chapter has to do with a man’s jealousy over his wife.

Num. 5:11-19 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, If any man's wife go aside, and commit a trespass against him, And a man lie with her carnally, and it be hid from the eyes of her husband, and be kept close, and she be defiled, and there be no witness against her, neither she be taken with the manner; And the spirit of jealousy come upon him, and he be jealous of his wife, and she be defiled: or if the spirit of jealousy come upon him, and he be jealous of his wife, and she be not defiled:Then shall the man bring his wife unto the priest, and he shall bring her offering for her, the tenth part of an ephah of barley meal; he shall pour no oil upon it, nor put frankincense thereon; for it is an offering of jealousy, an offering of memorial, bringing iniquity to remembrance. And the priest shall bring her near, and set her before the LORD: And the priest shall take holy water in an earthen vessel; and of the dust that is in the floor of the tabernacle the priest shall take, and put it into the water: And the priest shall set the woman before the LORD, and uncover the woman's head, and put the offering of memorial in her hands, which is the jealousy offering: and the priest shall have in his hand the bitter water that causeth the curse: And the priest shall charge her by an oath, and say unto the woman, If no man have lain with thee, and if thou hast not gone aside to uncleanness with another instead of thy husband, be thou free from this bitter water that causeth the curse: …..27) And when he hath made her to drink the water, then it shall come to pass, that, if she be defiled, and have done trespass against her husband, that the water that causeth the curse shall enter into her, and become bitter, and her belly shall swell, and her thigh shall rot: and the woman shall be a curse among her people.

Supposedly the Lord told Moses that if a man becomes jealous, because he thinks his wife might be having an adulterous affair, but has no evidence or witnesses to support his suspicions “only that the spirit of jealousy has come upon him”, then he is to take his wife to the priest who goes through a ritual of scraping dirt off the floor of the Tabernacle in front of the altar, and mixing it with “holy water”, then he forces the woman to drink it. If the woman becomes ill then she is assumed guilty and cursed, whereas if she does not become ill she is free….let me point out there is no equivalent law pertaining to a woman if she becomes jealous and thinks her husband is having an adulterous affair.

Now, I don’t know about you, but this leaves me feeling sick and in a state of shock. This law is an abomination on many counts:



The only motivation for the accusation is the jealousy of the man (and we all know how jealous many men get over women).
The woman is assumed guilty until proven innocent (and that’s only if she doesn’t get sick).
The woman is forced to drink filthy, polluted water made from dust scraped off the ground where animal blood and excrement are in abundance, because of all the animal sacrifices that take place in the Tabernacle.
If the woman becomes sick from drinking this polluted water then she is assumed guilty and cursed.
If the woman happens not to get sick she has to remain married to this man who just accused her of adultery without a shred of evidence except for his jealousy.
There is no equivalent law pertaining to a woman who is jealous of her husband.
The humiliation that this poor woman must endure all because of a jealous husband.


If nothing else these abomination should wake us up to some of the horrendously unjust laws contained in the Bible, and cause us to be more discerning and careful when we speak as if every word in Scripture is coming from God. It’s time to take off the blinders and face the reality; otherwise our progress to search out truth will be blocked.

Rose