The Bible Reconsidered: A Second Historical Look at Scripture

tomar

Ad Honoris
Jan 2011
13,755
[QUOTE="abram, post: 3194789, member: 30352". The Hebrew God claimed jurisdiction over the entire universe. [/QUOTE]

which passages are you referring to ?
 

tomar

Ad Honoris
Jan 2011
13,755
According to Diogenes Allen,: "'Almighty'means to have authority over all thing; omnipotent' means to be able to do all things."
The distintion seems weak.... does not "having authority over all things " imply having the ability to make these things do whatever one wants, thus equating "being able to do all things" ?

But then in the Bible there are several instances of God telling his people to do (or not to do) stuff, and them not listening to him (and him subsequently punishing them).... Which does not point to him having this authority....
 

abram

Ad Honorem
Oct 2014
2,177
oklahoma
[QUOTE="abram, post: 3194789, member: 30352". The Hebrew God claimed jurisdiction over the entire universe.
which passages are you referring to ?[/QUOTE]Gen.1, which I take to be applicable to the universe that was known at the time; the earth, the waters, the heavens, the firmament, and the "lights" in the sky.
 

Maki

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
3,392
Republika Srpska
The distintion seems weak.... does not "having authority over all things " imply having the ability to make these things do whatever one wants, thus equating "being able to do all things" ?

But then in the Bible there are several instances of God telling his people to do (or not to do) stuff, and them not listening to him (and him subsequently punishing them).... Which does not point to him having this authority....
According to Christian theology, God gave humans free will.
 
Likes: abram

abram

Ad Honorem
Oct 2014
2,177
oklahoma
The distintion seems weak.... does not "having authority over all things " imply having the ability to make these things do whatever one wants, thus equating "being able to do all things" ?

But then in the Bible there are several instances of God telling his people to do (or not to do) stuff, and them not listening to him (and him subsequently punishing them).... Which does not point to him having this authority....
One can always defy authority--and face the consequences. The distinction between authority and power is indeed weak and fuzzy, And I'm certainly not committed to defending it--just to pointing it out. Free will gives us the ability to defy God's authority. If God had wanted to prevent that from being able to happen, presumably He would have exercised His power to keep it from happening at all. How best to describe that I leave to the semanticists. Saint Augustine attributes some of the seeming paradoxes in Genesis to the inherent challenge of a supernatural Being outside of time, operating in several more dimensions than we even know about, communicating with morals who are time bound: hence the necessity to speak in parables about days and trees and gardens. That's as useful a rationalization as any.
 
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tomar

Ad Honoris
Jan 2011
13,755
According to Christian theology, God gave humans free will.
Well that is one of the issues in the OT narrative... You've got this "almighty" being who has amply demonstrated his power to his people, yet they still disobey him.. Not so much as individuals (say someone stealing or killing and hoping to get away with it) - although there is some of that too- but as a group..... It seems that earthly dictators managed better compliance from their people without the "almightiness" and god status... There is a difference between free will and outright stupidity...
 

tomar

Ad Honoris
Jan 2011
13,755
which passages are you referring to ?
Gen.1, which I take to be applicable to the universe that was known at the time; the earth, the waters, the heavens, the firmament, and the "lights" in the sky.[/QUOTE]

Not enough I'd say (see prior posts on the topic)

However it is true that the OT god is a "universal soldier" compared to polytheistic gods who tended to specialize (a bit like ministers in current governments reporting to the prime minister - who is the major deity such as Zeus) in just one or a few areas (and also bicker between themselves - again like current day minister)... So there is less divine bureaucracy involved in the OT, there is one decision maker and his word is final....
 

Maki

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
3,392
Republika Srpska
Well that is one of the issues in the OT narrative... You've got this "almighty" being who has amply demonstrated his power to his people, yet they still disobey him.. Not so much as individuals (say someone stealing or killing and hoping to get away with it) - although there is some of that too- but as a group..... It seems that earthly dictators managed better compliance from their people without the "almightiness" and god status... There is a difference between free will and outright stupidity...
Well, one of the main parts of the Biblical narrative is that it's easy to stray from God's path.
 

abram

Ad Honorem
Oct 2014
2,177
oklahoma
Gen.1, which I take to be applicable to the universe that was known at the time; the earth, the waters, the heavens, the firmament, and the "lights" in the sky.
Not enough I'd say (see prior posts on the topic)

However it is true that the OT god is a "universal soldier" compared to polytheistic gods who tended to specialize (a bit like ministers in current governments reporting to the prime minister - who is the major deity such as Zeus) in just one or a few areas (and also bicker between themselves - again like current day minister)... So there is less divine bureaucracy involved in the OT, there is one decision maker and his word is final....[/QUOTE]
And the important thing; one divine decision maker for the entire known (at the time) known world. The Hebrew God was the God of everybody--the other "gods" being mere physical objects created by Him. How better to solve the problem of having your deity's temple destroyed and his people hauled away to a foreign land than to say He doesn't need a local temple since He's the god of everything and everybody, though having a special relationship with the Jews, and he is using foreign invaders as pawns to chastise his people for their waywardness but the tables will soon be turned?
 
Sep 2015
324
The Eastern Hinterlands
When I read the Bible for the first time, I was a child and took it very literally, like reading any other book. I'd like to take a second look at it now in historical context, from the perspective of an adult who has become a Progressive Christian. I've participated in lots of discussions of this or that topic relating to the Bible, but what I want to do here is to take it from the beginning and plod through it book by book, taking up issues and controversies along the way. I'll make every effort to be objective, and will bring in a lot of knowledge I've picked up along the way. It will be a long, hard slog, but I expect it to be worth it. Feel free to join me. I'm planning to use as my main text the Bible, of course (the Revised Standard Version), but also Bart Ehrman's The Bible: A Historical and Literary Introduction (Oxford U. Press, 2014). Ehrman is an agnostic, who started out as a conservative evangelical Christian. He graduated from the Moody Bible Institute, and also completed his bachelor's degree at Wheaton College, a conservative Christian college. Then he went to Princeton from the Princeton Theological Seminary where he earned a Ph.D. and M.Div. and became a progressive Christian. But 15 years later he lost his faith over the issue of the existence evil. He is currently professor of religion at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His presentation of the Bible seems to be relatively objective, but conservative Christians may have a hard time with it and with me. This is obviously an insanely ambitious undertaking, and I may well burn myself out, but I thought I'd give it a try, as an alternative to a completely private journey. I welcome your feedback.
The more I read the Bible the more I find it disillusioning and far from what it tries to be. It's certainly the word of the authors, not the word of God. It's a love letter to Israel and anyone who isn't a Jew is a fool to take the book other than what it is - a book, a highly flawed but good and fascinating read.
 
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