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Old 06-06-2018, 04:11 PM
 
Location: So. Cal.
421 posts, read 189,999 times
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Dennis Prager's Exodus commentary is the first of his five volumes on the Torah. Reviews seem generally positive.

He may have started with Exodus not Genesis, because the former contains the Ten Commandments.

Here is how his Introduction begins:

Quote:
Most people—especially in their younger years—pass through a difficult time with one or both of their parents. In my teen years and twenties, I was one of them. But no matter how I felt, there was never a time I did not honor my parents. For example, from the age of twenty-one, when I left my parents’ home, I called my parents every week of their lives.

I treated my parents with such respect because I always believed God had commanded me to do so: “Honor your father and mother” (Commandment Five of the Ten Commandments). The Torah—as the first five books of the Bible have always been known in Hebrew—commands us to love our neighbor, to love God, and to love the stranger; but we are never commanded to love our parents. We are commanded to honor them (and we are not commanded to honor anyone else).

Why do I begin this introduction to a Bible commentary with this personal story?

Because it encapsulates why I have devoted so much of my life to explaining the Torah: because of its central message—that God is good and demands we be good.
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Old 06-11-2018, 11:56 AM
 
3,962 posts, read 3,344,225 times
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Fine. Anything further to say on this, that may help begin a discussion?
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Old 06-11-2018, 12:07 PM
 
Location: So. Cal.
421 posts, read 189,999 times
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Originally Posted by theflipflop View Post
Fine. Anything further to say on this, that may help begin a discussion?
I have only dipped into it a little and not being Jewish or Christian I await comments from those who have actually read it.
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Old 06-11-2018, 03:07 PM
 
399 posts, read 123,385 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mahayana View Post
I have only dipped into it a little and not being Jewish or Christian I await comments from those who have actually read it.
Quite reasonable, but perhaps unprecedented.
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Old 06-17-2018, 09:06 AM
 
Location: So. Cal.
421 posts, read 189,999 times
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slapshotbob99, who has not read it yet but heard the Prager tapes on Exodus remarks that

Quote:
If a commandment like "don't murder" is obviously still good and relevant to modern people, he takes it at face value, and says, see how great the Bible is. But if something looks very outdated or immoral to modern people, he'll go through mental gymnastics to interpret it in a good and relevant way.
Has there not always been a tension between literal & rational interpretations? Seems I recall Origen, Philo and Maimonides saying that not every passage is meant to be taken literally, but some are.

Not to mention the Zohar which illumines mystical realms in the words read.
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Old 06-17-2018, 12:12 PM
 
Location: So. Cal.
421 posts, read 189,999 times
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Here is a sympathetic review of the book & author:

https://www.dailywire.com/news/31915...e-jared-sichel
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Old 04-10-2019, 09:38 AM
 
Location: So. Cal.
421 posts, read 189,999 times
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More from Prager's Introduction addressed to the many (majority even?) NRPs of today:

Quote:
I have had you [the non-religious] most in mind when writing this commentary. With every passing generation in the West, fewer and fewer people believe in God, let alone in the Bible. This is a catastrophe for the West, and it is a tragedy for you. Having God, religion, a religious community, and a sacred text in one’s life enables one to have a far deeper and richer—not to mention wiser—life. If you keep an open mind when reading this commentary, that life will, hopefully, become appealing to you.

To readers outside of the West, the Torah has as much to say to you as to anyone in the West. I look forward to your reactions. They will surely influence my writing of the subsequent volumes.

In writing this commentary, I have no hidden agenda. My agenda is completely open: I want as many people as possible to take the Torah seriously, to entertain the possibility it is God-given, or, at the very least, to understand why so many rational people do.

Nor do I have a parochial agenda. I am a believing Jew, but neither God, nor the Torah, nor later Judaism ever obligated Jews to make non-Jews Jewish. Jews have always welcomed—and until prohibited from doing so, even sought—converts; but what God and the Torah obligate Jews to do is to bring humanity to the God of the Torah, to His basic moral rules, and to the Torah’s values and insights. People can and have lived according to the Torah’s moral values as Christians, members of other faiths, or simply as non-denominational believers in God (such as the American founder Benjamin Franklin)
Excerpt From: Dennis Prager. “The Rational Bible: Exodus.
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Old 04-10-2019, 01:07 PM
 
Location: US
27,989 posts, read 15,062,316 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mahayana View Post
Dennis Prager's Exodus commentary is the first of his five volumes on the Torah. Reviews seem generally positive.

He may have started with Exodus not Genesis, because the former contains the Ten Commandments.

Here is how his Introduction begins:
You’re a Buddhist, What’s your point?...
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Old 04-10-2019, 02:23 PM
 
Location: So. Cal.
421 posts, read 189,999 times
Reputation: 360
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard1965 View Post
You’re a Buddhist, What’s your point?...

I do not identify exclusively or even primarily with my chosen spiritual path.

My point is that the popular (even dominant) materialistic view of human nature is wrong & disastrous for society in general. Having one of the traditional religious viewpoints does not guarantee a benefit to society, but the notion that humans are merely smarter animals does guarantee disaster.

If one can develop confidence or faith in a Goodness (personal or impersonal) within or linked to or beyond our self, that is an essential step in the right direction. Further, if avoiding vice & emphasizing virtue is practiced as part of the natural human path, so much the better.

PS - By the way, just noticed Prager's next volume on Genesis will come out in early May.

Last edited by Mahayana; 04-10-2019 at 02:59 PM..
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Old 05-09-2019, 09:06 PM
 
69 posts, read 9,795 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mahayana View Post
slapshotbob99, who has not read it yet but heard the Prager tapes on Exodus remarks that



Has there not always been a tension between literal & rational interpretations? Seems I recall Origen, Philo and Maimonides saying that not every passage is meant to be taken literally, but some are.
And how would rational person be able to determine which passages supposed to be taken literally and which are not?
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