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Re: The Bible doesn't forbid premarital sex

Postby jimwalton » Sun Aug 13, 2017 4:44 pm

> So we agree that there has always being "something" doesn't prove God exists.

Of course not. "That there has always been something" merely points to God as one of the reasonable possibilities. It certainly doesn't prove God exists.

> A stretch because in his biography there is no use of miraculous events

You miss the whole point of what an analogy is.

> The biblical story of creation and the Enuma Elish

More to the point, Gn. 1 is a deliberate repudiation and demythologizing of such pagan cosmogonies. The two narratives have some similarities, as you have point out, but similarity doesn't require derivation. The differences between the two accounts are vast. The Enuma Elish is not reallya creation myth per se, but rather the story of how the patron deity of the civilization in question came to dominate the pantheon. In the Assyrian version of the tale, Ashur is the dominant figure, while the Babylonians use it to demonstrate the prominence of Marduk, their patron god. In the context of the story of war between the gods, a narrative of creation emerges—a story nothing like that of the Bible.

The Enuma Elish begins with primeval watery chaos. Out of this chaos emerges two gods: Apsu, representing fresh water, and the goddess Tiamat, who represents salt water. Apsu and Tiamat then give birth to a series of younger gods. Unfortunately, however, the younger gods are noisy and rambunctious, disturbing Apsu's sleep and keeping him from getting his work done, so he decides to destroy them. Tiamat, worried about this threat to her children, warns Ea (Enki in some versions), who then kills Apsu. This was not exactly the response Tiamat had in mind, so she, in consultation with her adviser and second husband Kingu, calls on the forces of chaos to make war on the younger gods. In doing so, she creates eleven horrible monsters to destroy her children. The younger gods are helpless against such force until a champion steps forward to take up their cause - Marduk (or Ashur, as the case may be), the son of Ea, who agrees to do battle against Tiamat if the other gods will make him their head. He enmeshes Tiamat in a net, then when she opens her mouth to breathe fire on him, he sends into her mouth the four winds, which distend her belly. He then kills Tiamat, splitting her body with his arrows. From her eyes flow the Tigris and Euphrates, and Marduk takes the pieces of her body and flings them above and below, creating the heavens and the earth, including the sun, moon, and the twelve constellations of the zodiac, establishing the lunar calendar. Ea then kills Kingu and creates human beings from his blood. Marduk then assigns different responsibilities to each god, and all are happy because mankind can now act as their servants and they are now set free from work.

It's not at all fair or legitimate to claim that Genesis 1 was influenced by this.

- The biblical narrative is monotheistic rather than polytheistic
- In Genesis, God rather than primeval chaos is eternally existent.
- Genesis portrays a divine unity of purpose rather than the feuding deities of the pagan myths.
- Genesis pictures a good God making a good creation (functional) as opposed to selfish, murderous deities serving their own ends.
- Most of the creative work of the gods in the ancient myths involves bringing other gods into existence, which is clearly not the case in Genesis.
- In Genesis, man is created in God’s image to be in fellowship with Him rather than being a servant who exists for the purpose of feeding the gods through sacrifices and keeping them from having to do manual labor.

> "By looking at the documents of the ancient cultures" ... So then you go on to compare the Bible to ANCIENT MYTHS!!

Actually, I wasn't. I was saying that the ancient treaties, cultural markers about trade and civilization, historical mentions of cities and towns, people groups, etc., are what we have to take under consideration as we study the Bible—as well as the ancient mythologies for what they tell us about the values, mindset, and priorities of the ancient cultures.

> The tree is a symbol of other realities, but it exists in reality.

Of course. As you said, the flag represents America as a symbol, but both are still real. The confederate flag also symbolizes realities, such as defiance and also bigotry. The tree of life actually existed, but it symbolized a greater reality.

> But if the Tree of Life in the story actually exists, then the Garden of Eden must actually exist somewhere on Earth. So where is that?

Yes it did actually exist somewhere geographically. It is generally assumed that it was in the vicinity of Iraq/Kuwait. The Genesis account mentions the Tigris and Euphrates, as well as Havilah. Some satellite photos and geological work have shown that at one time there were four rivers with their mouth in Kuwait, near the northern end of the Persian Gulf.

> Both myths. Both fictions. And YOU compared them to the Bible-God.

No I didn't. Do you understand the concept of analogy?

> Often the bible was edited and written to fit the visions claims and predictions.

Evidence? You have to substantiate what you claim.

> Is every vision divine?

Of course not. Some are because of hallucinations, some because of schizophrenia, and some are because of drug use. Some are dreams.

> Science...But what it questions is that there is a valid nonscientific explanation.

Here's the rub. Science can only operate in a scientific context, but not all knowledge is scientific. Jurisprudence, literature, philosophy, math, economics, politics, theology, the arts, music, intuitions, inference, and logic are just a few of the disciplines and realities of life that aren't scientific. If you only know what science can explain, your world is very small.
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Re: The Bible doesn't forbid premarital sex

Postby Ostrich » Sun Aug 13, 2017 4:47 pm

> "Joshua...killed the populations of 3 cities: Jericho, Ai, and Hazor."

Did those populations contain women and children?

Although Egyptian and Assyrian monumental inscriptions and records of the period survive which list various tribes and peoples of the area, no reference has ever been found to Amalek or the Amalekites. Therefore the archaeologist and historian Hugo Winckler suggested in 1895 that there were never any such people and the Biblical stories concerning them are entirely mythological and without any connection to actual historical events.

Many nomadic groups from the Arabian desert, apparently including Amalekites, have collectively been termed "Arab(s)". While considerable knowledge about nomadic Arabs have been recovered through archeological research, no specific artifacts or sites have been linked to Amalek with any certainty.

Apparently God knew what he was talking about when he said to kill them all.
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Re: The Bible doesn't forbid premarital sex

Postby jimwalton » Sun Aug 13, 2017 4:58 pm

> Did those populations contain women and children?

Yes. Of course they did, but what the armies killed was the soldiers (the fighting men), their political entities (kings, governors, generals, etc.), and those who attacked them. It was a war waged against the perpetrators, not against the innocent.

> no reference has ever been found to Amalek or the Amalekites.

You're right that they are unattested outside the Bible, and no archaeological remains can be positively linked to them. There were, however, many nomadic and semi-nomadic groups like the Amalekites during these periods. We don't know who most of the them were. The absence of direct confirmatory evidence doesn't tell us for certain that Amalekites didn't exist. We just haven't found their name in any remnants.

> Apparently God knew what he was talking about when he said to kill them all.

This is not a justifiable conclusion. We don't know the names of many ancient nomadic groups. We can't imply from that that the Israelites killed them all.
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Re: The Bible doesn't forbid premarital sex

Postby Ostrich » Mon Aug 14, 2017 3:22 pm

> God told them to kill the women and children.

The absence of direct confirmatory evidence doesn't tell us for certain that Leprechauns didn't exist. We just haven't found their name in any remnants.
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Re: The Bible doesn't forbid premarital sex

Postby jimwalton » Sun Aug 27, 2017 7:18 am

For many years King David was thought to have been a fictional character much like King Arthur. Then in 1993 in Tel Dan, the first ever historical evidence of King David was found (the Tel Dan inscription). Now we have confirmatory evidence that David existed.

In the 1980s, an Egyptian tomb was discovered in Sakkara, Egypt, containing the coffin of a Semite named Aper el. His titles include "vizier," "Mayor of the city," "judge," father of god," and "child of the nursery." Egyptologist James Hoffmeier points out that Aper el’s name was the first of a high-ranking Semite official to be found there, even though Sakkara has been excavated and explored for more than a century. Hoffmeier said, If such a high ranking official as Vizier Aper el was completely unknown to modern scholarship until the late 1980s, despite the fact that he lived in one of the better documented periods of Egyptian history [14th century], and was buried in arguably the most excavated site in Egypt, it is wrong to demand, as some have, that direct archaeological evidence for other historical biblical characters should be available if they were in fact historical figures.

The Pool of Siloam, mentioned in the book of Isaiah and the Gospel of John, was long thought by biblical minimalists to be a fictional place. It was discovered in 2004.

So please withhold your disrespect couched in your remark about leprechauns. Discoveries are being made all the time. Just because the specific name of the Amalekites hasn't been found doesn't mean they didn't exist.


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