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Old 10-20-2009, 03:46 PM
 
Location: New York City
5,556 posts, read 7,241,608 times
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can be found close to the center of the King James Version. I don't think it gets enough treatment from critics to be honest, but it is one passage that highlights ALL things wrong with the Bible and the idea of a just and righteous, almighty god. It presents EVERY single reason to reject both as it is fraught with all kinds of irreconcilable problems.

In addition, it is a passage that no sane person can honestly claim proves a just, all wise god. They would have to suspend honesty, common sense and acceptance of hard, cold facts to find it credible. In other words, they will have to employ "faith" to force a belief that goes against the grain of sense.

The passage I am speaking of is (first) II Samuel 24. From the outset the story stars off on extremely shaky ground. We are told that god is angry with Israel, but we are not told why. His solution? Manipulate the king (David) to number take a military census (so much for his "free will"). Why taking a military census is wrong is beyond me, but the Christian apologist will tell you (READ: speak for this god since he is not clear enough) that David was wrong for doing this because in doing so, he was undermining god's power to protect Israel despite their military numbers. In other words, David was expressing doubt in god and pride in his army.

Of course this explanation presents another problem. If it is so wrong, why is god manipulating David to do it? Secondly, was this the best this god could do to get at Israel so he could punish them? Frankly, I believe that the story came about after some epidemic broke out and being without medical knowledge coupled with ancient superstitions, scribes drummed up this story to explain the unexplainable while simultaneously throwing "god" into the story to keep the fear factor in place.

The story gets more idiotic when we read that David, for some reason, realizes he sinned against god by numbering the people when in fact, he (according to the story) is 'moved' by god to commit the act. As a result, he is given three choices to appease god. 1) He can see his land endure 7 years of famine. 2) He can take three months of beating on the battle field and 3) He can watch his people endure three days of a deadly plague. David does what any politician would do - pick the one that does not show him up OR gets the people disgruntled at him so he picked the plague.

Not crazy enough? God goes on to send the plague on the land which kills 70,000 people while David is spared. David evens sees the madness in this and asks what did the people do to deserve it, opting to have the punishment placed on him instead. He gets no answer.

The rest of the chapter goes on to mention some superstitious foolishness about altar and and burnt oxen finally appeasing god who relents the plague. Still we are not told why he was angry with Israel, why he pushed David to do something he would get pissed at, what happened to David's free will or why David's question was not answered.

The lunacy does not stop there unfortunately because over in I Chronicles 21, the story is retold but with a different twist. Someone must have seen at least one problem with the original story which was, god was being painted in a very bad light, authoring the whole mess like some evil genius. To fix this, scribes placed the blame on their new blame toy - Satan. For those who are aware, by the time the Jews sat down to edit their oral history, the concept of a personal being to rival god known satan was becoming popular, as the concept was borrowed from the Persian Zoroastrians by the Jews. God could now be removed from the story as the instigator. These post-Babylonian exile Jews were unlike their predecessors who believed ALL things, bad or good, emanated from god. They came to believe all good came from god and all bad came from this being known as satan. This belief went through a transitionary period, however. Before satan broke out to become his own evil self, he was believed to be an instrument of god, one who carried out god's dirty work; an agent, in other words.

So, as we can see, the later story blames satan while the original story claims god orchestrated the whole thing. Beyond that, the details in both stories are pretty much the same.

The adamant Christian will tell you that you are not led by the spirit to understand "the truth," or the "hidden message" here. They might tell you that you have not "researched" enough or you need to know the "original Hebrew" or simply tell you that you "need Jesus" for it to make sense. Don't know about you, but those all sound like cop outs to me. Ask them if they can STILL believe in such a god or sch a book and should they say "yes" I have no choice but to show you a deluded soul IMHO.
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Old 10-20-2009, 05:09 PM
 
Location: Sango, TN
24,874 posts, read 22,261,349 times
Reputation: 8654
Got to love that book of Jewish myths, oops, I mean the "Word of God"
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Old 10-20-2009, 07:35 PM
 
Location: Seattle, Washington
8,435 posts, read 9,206,314 times
Reputation: 1709
Quote:
Originally Posted by InsaneInDaMembrane View Post
can be found close to the center of the King James Version. I don't think it gets enough treatment from critics to be honest, but it is one passage that highlights ALL things wrong with the Bible and the idea of a just and righteous, almighty god. It presents EVERY single reason to reject both as it is fraught with all kinds of irreconcilable problems.

In addition, it is a passage that no sane person can honestly claim proves a just, all wise god. They would have to suspend honesty, common sense and acceptance of hard, cold facts to find it credible. In other words, they will have to employ "faith" to force a belief that goes against the grain of sense.

The passage I am speaking of is (first) II Samuel 24. From the outset the story stars off on extremely shaky ground. We are told that god is angry with Israel, but we are not told why. His solution? Manipulate the king (David) to number take a military census (so much for his "free will"). Why taking a military census is wrong is beyond me, but the Christian apologist will tell you (READ: speak for this god since he is not clear enough) that David was wrong for doing this because in doing so, he was undermining god's power to protect Israel despite their military numbers. In other words, David was expressing doubt in god and pride in his army.

Of course this explanation presents another problem. If it is so wrong, why is god manipulating David to do it? Secondly, was this the best this god could do to get at Israel so he could punish them? Frankly, I believe that the story came about after some epidemic broke out and being without medical knowledge coupled with ancient superstitions, scribes drummed up this story to explain the unexplainable while simultaneously throwing "god" into the story to keep the fear factor in place.

The story gets more idiotic when we read that David, for some reason, realizes he sinned against god by numbering the people when in fact, he (according to the story) is 'moved' by god to commit the act. As a result, he is given three choices to appease god. 1) He can see his land endure 7 years of famine. 2) He can take three months of beating on the battle field and 3) He can watch his people endure three days of a deadly plague. David does what any politician would do - pick the one that does not show him up OR gets the people disgruntled at him so he picked the plague.

Not crazy enough? God goes on to send the plague on the land which kills 70,000 people while David is spared. David evens sees the madness in this and asks what did the people do to deserve it, opting to have the punishment placed on him instead. He gets no answer.

The rest of the chapter goes on to mention some superstitious foolishness about altar and and burnt oxen finally appeasing god who relents the plague. Still we are not told why he was angry with Israel, why he pushed David to do something he would get pissed at, what happened to David's free will or why David's question was not answered.

The lunacy does not stop there unfortunately because over in I Chronicles 21, the story is retold but with a different twist. Someone must have seen at least one problem with the original story which was, god was being painted in a very bad light, authoring the whole mess like some evil genius. To fix this, scribes placed the blame on their new blame toy - Satan. For those who are aware, by the time the Jews sat down to edit their oral history, the concept of a personal being to rival god known satan was becoming popular, as the concept was borrowed from the Persian Zoroastrians by the Jews. God could now be removed from the story as the instigator. These post-Babylonian exile Jews were unlike their predecessors who believed ALL things, bad or good, emanated from god. They came to believe all good came from god and all bad came from this being known as satan. This belief went through a transitionary period, however. Before satan broke out to become his own evil self, he was believed to be an instrument of god, one who carried out god's dirty work; an agent, in other words.

So, as we can see, the later story blames satan while the original story claims god orchestrated the whole thing. Beyond that, the details in both stories are pretty much the same.

The adamant Christian will tell you that you are not led by the spirit to understand "the truth," or the "hidden message" here. They might tell you that you have not "researched" enough or you need to know the "original Hebrew" or simply tell you that you "need Jesus" for it to make sense. Don't know about you, but those all sound like cop outs to me. Ask them if they can STILL believe in such a god or sch a book and should they say "yes" I have no choice but to show you a deluded soul IMHO.
Well I have a problem with the OT itself because it was not penned by contemporaries to the events themselves..

It has value, but not in a literal sense. IMHO
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Old 10-20-2009, 08:50 PM
 
Location: Nowhere'sville
2,345 posts, read 4,050,099 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by katjonjj View Post
Well I have a problem with the OT itself because it was not penned by contemporaries to the events themselves..

It has value, but not in a literal sense. IMHO

Wow. You are a rare breed of Christian. That is how I felt when I first ditched church. Then I just figured it was all bunk after awhile.
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Old 10-20-2009, 09:26 PM
 
6,344 posts, read 9,159,820 times
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As a Gnostic Christian, I competely understand this passage and have no problem with it. But first, we must look at one passage from the OTHER Bible that a bunch of dead Roman Generals (who would go on to create what would be called Catholicism) don't want you to read:

Quote:
Listen to my words, my son Seth. When God had created me out of the earth, along with Eve, your mother, I went about with her in a glory which she had seen in the aeon from which we had come forth. She taught me a word of knowledge of the eternal God. And we resembled the great eternal angels, for we were higher than the god who had created us and the powers with him, whom we did not know.
-The Apocalypse of Adam

So, the god (lower case "G") of the old Testament should be, from the Gnostic point of view, taken for what it is...the words of Satan, our creator, who created us for the sole purpose of having slaves to torture for pleasure and worship him and kiss his massive, celestial rump. Hence, thence, all of that awfulness, the slaughter of the Cannanites, the plagues of Egypt, Lot almost sacrificing his son, calling himself a "jealous god" etc.

The GOD (uppercase "g") is the transpersonal, unknowable,...IT that came before the mistake of the material world. That was the entity to whom one man was forged from it's essence and sent into the lower plane of the material world: Christ. That is why the GOD of Christ is so much niced then the GOD of the OT, because they are TWO DIFFERENT GODS. If you don't believe me, just read the Bible and look for the term "Heavenly Father". Christ refers to his GOD as that...but at no point in the Bible is Yaldaboth, or our creator, called that. Not only that, but at no point does Jesus ever say that he is from the god of the OT, that is only conjecture.

So, from the Gnostic prespective, the whole OT, with exception of a few books, like Psalms, Proverbs, etc which clearly refer to the Pleroma ("fullness", the true transpersonal being that was before creation) and not Yaldabaoth, is the work of satan, our creator.

One does not have to believe in Gnosticism, of course, and can call the Myths silly, made up, etc, BUT, even Christopher Hitchens had to admit, that at least it is allot more consistent and allot more human then worshipping that homicidal, megalomanical psychopath in the OT.
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Old 10-20-2009, 10:54 PM
 
Location: 30-40°N 90-100°W
13,856 posts, read 24,137,949 times
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Catholic Encyclopedia seems to indicate "being stirred up" was by the devil. Or how I read it maybe being stirred up was from God or maybe it was just something that happened for unrelated reasons. Whatever it was that caused the stirring the actions he did while stirred up can still be on him.

And the people were punished because the actions of the king were intimately connected to the fate of the people in many to most cultures at this time. The Chinese called it "Mandate of Heaven" and even had the Emperor's sexual schedule regulated so he wouldn't have sex with the wrong woman at the wrong time and produce a bad seed or destabilize the Universe or something. (That's a big part of why the Chinese perfected astronomical clocks, they didn't want him conceiving with certain women at times that were astrologically bad for them) It's more an overall message about Pride and Punishment for it.

Granted from our perspective the tendency to just "wack" the subjects of kings or Job's children or whatever seems a tad strange. Some of these descriptions of God-approved mass-killing might be from the human author and his nationalistic desires. (Punishing the kingdom might make it stronger or wiser and more able to face its enemies) Also God is thinking in the long-term and is aware many to most of these people will eventually go to Heaven.
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Old 10-20-2009, 11:17 PM
 
Location: New York City
5,556 posts, read 7,241,608 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas R. View Post
Catholic Encyclopedia seems to indicate "being stirred up" was by the devil. Or how I read it maybe being stirred up was from God or maybe it was just something that happened for unrelated reasons. Whatever it was that caused the stirring the actions he did while stirred up can still be on him.

And the people were punished because the actions of the king were intimately connected to the fate of the people in many to most cultures at this time. The Chinese called it "Mandate of Heaven" and even had the Emperor's sexual schedule regulated so he wouldn't have sex with the wrong woman at the wrong time and produce a bad seed or destabilize the Universe or something. (That's a big part of why the Chinese perfected astronomical clocks, they didn't want him conceiving with certain women at times that were astrologically bad for them) It's more an overall message about Pride and Punishment for it.

Granted from our perspective the tendency to just "wack" the subjects of kings or Job's children or whatever seems a tad strange. Some of these descriptions of God-approved mass-killing might be from the human author and his nationalistic desires. (Punishing the kingdom might make it stronger or wiser and more able to face its enemies) Also God is thinking in the long-term and is aware many to most of these people will eventually go to Heaven.
I was right with you up until that last sentence, Thomas.
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Old 10-21-2009, 01:05 AM
 
Location: Seattle, Washington
8,435 posts, read 9,206,314 times
Reputation: 1709
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaniMae1 View Post
Wow. You are a rare breed of Christian. That is how I felt when I first ditched church. Then I just figured it was all bunk after awhile.
Well I am a realistic Christian.. and I doubt anyone but you would even dare to use that label considering some of the things I say but.. thanks I guess.

I don't think it is all bunk, I just don't think the purpose of recording it was word for word literal interpretation. It is like a math book... you learn what you can from it but you don't take it with you to the grocery store to help figure out how much the groceries will cost.

I know there is a power in all of us that is different from animals and that is what I define as "God" or I like to call it Energy...

Have you read Wayne Dyer? He has some great insights about the subject from all religions and you can usually find him on public television or at the library.

Anyway, it is funny because I just read and responded to your faith/science thread and noticed that we both have a pentecostal background which is cause for anyone to run from Christianity! I searched and decided that I don't need any church to tell me how I should believe in my god. I can decide that for myself..

So my god happens to love everyone. I also found others who agree. You just gave up (no malice intended) altogether which is where I was for years until I picked up the bible again.

I get a kick out of people who are dogmatic about the bible says this or that (unless it is me ) because no one was there writing this stuff down, you know?

But, I try to just love everyone and live my life being the best human being possible.. beyond that is just debate for the sake of debate! I love debating. Some say that I can't debate because I don't believe in Hell and Heaven being literal place, nor do I believe that Jesus was God or that there is such a thing as the flood, adam and eve, rapture.. etc...

All I have to believe is that "God" is Love, and I love others.

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Old 11-14-2009, 09:49 PM
 
191 posts, read 222,850 times
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I love Jesus Christ my Lord and Savior..It is a chioce, free will choice whom we will serve..God will not force anyone to love him..but there are consequences to pay if we reject Him...The Lord says, if you deny me , I will deny you...I went to him because I need him, he does not need me...I love him because he first love me
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Old 11-14-2009, 11:20 PM
 
Location: South Africa
1,319 posts, read 1,923,777 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maryann1256 View Post
I love Jesus Christ my Lord and Savior..It is a chioce, free will choice whom we will serve..God will not force anyone to love him..but there are consequences to pay if we reject Him...The Lord says, if you deny me , I will deny you...I went to him because I need him, he does not need me...I love him because he first love me
Geez

How original? NOT!
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