gamerfreak
gamerfreak
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July 17th, 2017 at 7:17:44 AM permalink
I was under threat impression that the content of the Bible has stayed remarkably intact despite the thousands of translations over the years.

I had a literature class in college where we had to read and analyze several stories from the Bible. The teach was very quick to say that he was a nonbeliever, and as far as the class goes the book can be treated as fiction, yet still be valued as literature that tells stories on the human condition.
monet0412
monet0412
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July 17th, 2017 at 9:30:33 AM permalink
Quote: RS

You got some good posts but this sh**'s too long. Cliffs plz?



Easy enough... Do unto others as you would have done unto yourself.
LuckyPhow
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July 17th, 2017 at 9:34:33 AM permalink
Quote: RS

Maybe the tree of knowledge of good and evil wasn't a tree, but a marijuana plant.



Well, now that you mention it...

There was a big, BIG brew-ha-ha in 1970 when John Allegro published, The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross. He was the first British representative appointed to the international editing team assembled to translate the Dead Sea Scrolls. He showed linguistic linkages between the biblical texts and ancient Sumerian writings (the oldest known writings, most on clay tablets). Sumerians -- perhaps the first to start the agricultural revolution -- were amazed by the Amanita Muscaria mushroom for two reasons: (1) If you ate it, you saw God, and (2) It was the only "plant" (they didn't know about fungi) that had no seed (so they could not plant and cultivate it). To them it was truly the flesh of God in Heaven, whose sperm (rain) fertilized mother earth.

The mushroom was such a part of Sumerian culture, some clay tablets contained mushroom jokes that were funny when read thousands of years later. Many Jews were 'exiled" to Babylon in the 500s BC, where they came into contact with those mushroom beliefs. Upon their "release" in 539 BC, they returned to join the Jews who had not been exiled. The old order apparently did not appreciate the new arrivals' interest in drugs that allowed one to "know God" absent interdiction by the Priest. (Sound familiar?) The "druggies" were hunted to the point where their numbers became few enough that their traditions could no longer reliably be conveyed by word of mouth, so they had to write down the essence of their beliefs. But, they had to do it in a "code" of some kind so as not to arouse suspicion if the texts were discovered. Hence, the Old Testament (first started around 400 BC), and later the New Testament, with Jesus as a pseudonym for the mushroom. It is a fascinating, well-documented story.

John Rush, PhD, a professor of physical anthropology, wrote The Mushroom in Christian Art, where he collected photos of early Christian paintings showing Christ among mushrooms. He concludes the fruit of the tree of knowledge actually referred to the (disguised) mushroom. The book includes a CD with many photos of mushrooms in early Christian art. And, Dr. Rush weaves a spellbinding history of how it all came about. Then along came John -- having no early association with the earliest Christians until his "revelation" -- and taking all the stories at face value, creating a belief system organized to control rather than liberate humanity.

Other, more traditional, scholars translating the Dead Sea Scrolls were immediately thrilled to read about the Essenes' description of a "teacher of Truth" who roamed doing much the same as did Jesus. That was, until it became clear that these stories were written more than 100 years prior to Jesus' birth. This delayed for many years the release not only of the original texts of the Dead Sea scrolls (so others could study them) but also the "official" translations (because it was sorta hard to square that circle). Furthermore, Western religions rebelled against the ideas of Allegro, Rush, and others, eventually forcing scholars -- if they wanted to keep their university or church positions -- to consign these stories to the same deep, dark place China has dumped all reference to the 1989 Tiananmen Square revolt.

As to your original suggestion about marijuana, I suggest The Chemical Muse: Drug Use and the Roots of Western Civilization, by D. C. A. Hillman, PhD, where he documents widespread drug use in ancient Greece and Rome for medicines, religious ceremonies, and (of course) pleasure.
monet0412
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July 17th, 2017 at 10:10:06 AM permalink
Interesting Read From LP... he did forget to mention one thing about that book...

A number of Allegro's later books, including The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross, brought him both popular fame and notoriety, and also destroyed his career.

The price you might have to pay for thinking outside the box and being famous.
LuckyPhow
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Thanks for this post from:
monet0412
July 17th, 2017 at 10:37:30 AM permalink
Quote: monet0412

Interesting Read From LP... he did forget to mention one thing about that book...

A number of Allegro's later books, including The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross, brought him both popular fame and notoriety, and also destroyed his career.

The price you might have to pay for thinking outside the box and being famous.



To be fair, I did say, "Western religions rebelled," and that writing about such "stuff" would cause one to lose his/her position in the church or university, as happened to Allegro when they symbolically "crucified" him.

But, what else could Western religion do? Allegro claimed both Jews and (non-Gnostic) Christians had completely misunderstood what had been written about their most fundamental system of belief.
monet0412
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July 17th, 2017 at 3:47:56 PM permalink
Quote: LuckyPhow

To be fair, I did say, "Western religions rebelled," and that writing about such "stuff" would cause one to lose his/her position in the church or university, as happened to Allegro when they symbolically "crucified" him.

But, what else could Western religion do? Allegro claimed both Jews and (non-Gnostic) Christians had completely misunderstood what had been written about their most fundamental system of belief.



No doubt were you fair in your review and I didn't point it out what you mentioned. I apologize if I was misleading. I think anyone with some intelligence will agree that the Bible will always be around and most likely the best seller of all time. On the other hand... this mushroom book doesn't have a chance. I would bet it would be difficult to find 10 members on this site who heard of it let alone read it? Perhaps that doesn't mean anything but it is tough to refute the success of The Holy Bible? Does this mean anything? I think it has significance in the subject of theology and life in general but that is only my opinion.
beachbumbabs
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beachbumbabs
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July 18th, 2017 at 12:20:32 AM permalink
Quote: RS

Quote: monet0412

Quote: LuckyPhow

So true. Anyone who dares to explore the history of the Bible text is encouraged to read the NY Times bestseller by Bart Erhman, Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why.

Those who dare not should, as said in the Wizard of Oz, "pay no attention to the man behind the curtain."



I not only explain to non believers but I find I have to try to explain to believers as well that you shouldn't get wrapped up in the exact text or each individual word. Yes it is true that you can find many clerical errors in the good book. This is not the point. The point is the story and the meaning behind each individual story. Nothing can cut the human heart like those stories and it doesn't matter if they changed a word here or there or phrase. When you tell the story of an adulteress sitting inside of the stoning pit about to be stoned and everyone tells Jesus what she has done and why they are about to stone her and ask him if they are justified in doing so because it is written in the Mosaic Law.... Jesus doesn't even bother speaking. He just writes some simple sentence in the sand that says let the first man without sin cast the first stone. After they all leave it is pretty clear that she is emotionally distraught and begging for forgiveness. He simply tells her that he doesn't condemn her and neither have any of her accusers. Go and Sin no more.

This is just one example. It doesn't even matter if the story is true or isn't true. It is the meaning behind the story and what is trying to be said here. I never understand the hate for The Bible or Jesus anyways. All I ever see in that book is him trying to tell everyone to love one another and get along. He even sums up the law into two simple parts about how you should Love God above all and secondly Love your Neighbor as you do yourself. He changes the game compared to the Old Testament challenging people to even Love your Enemies and Do Good to them that Curse you or Hate you or Speak Ill of you. He claims that if you only Love those that Love you... you have no reward or are no better than the next guy.

Believe or Don't Believe what you want. I am not here to try to change your mind on anything. My point is that it doesn't matter how they changed the stories or who wrote what and when. The point is the stories themselves and they are every day simple stories that are easy to understand. If people want to get into debates about the book contradicting itself or each individual word is verbatim they truly have missed the point.

There is no doubt that the book teaches a very simple life and way to live. The difficult part is to actually live your life or change your life to live it. Even the Romans of 2000 years ago knew that this Jesus was onto something profound. One would think that the straight and narrow path would be easier to walk on compared to the twisted dark path that I and most others choose. Try to tell me that God doesn't have a sense of humor. I think the biggest problem is that the book claims that Jesus is from a Virgin Birth, Son of God, Rose From the Dead, and is Equal to God the Father. You try to convince people of something like that and you got a war on your hands. I for one believe it but that won't save me or you or anyone. I don't care what that TV says. If you don't use that belief to show true change every day till the end it will all be in vain. The book of James explains that pretty clear and that guy the Baptist was pretty dead set on something about how you have to bring fruits worthy of repentance meaning that you can't only believe you have to have actions and daily actions until you die.

Just take the simple story of the Good Samaritan. Something is wrong if you can't understand that we should be helpful to those in need no matter who they are like that story teaches. I for one have done great Evil and I figure that I still do daily. However I can not refute those teachings in that book and I can not say that it isn't the right way to live. There is a parable about two children going off to work and one brother tells his father how he will get all the work done but goes off and plays all day. The other brother says in his heart that he isn't going to do the work and goes off to play but starts to feel remorse and goes back to do the work and gets it done. Who will the father love more? The one who talks or the one who does the work? The two thieves on the cross break down the two categories of humans just like that parable does.



You got some good posts but this sh**'s too long. Cliffs plz?



monet is very correct about all of this, except 1 part. The problem is that people who claim to follow Jesus take bits and pieces of the Bible to justify their repressive laws, judgemental behavior towards others, and exclusion of those who.are different. Jesus himself would be angry and ashamed of how His teachings get twisted.

Cliff notes: from monet, above.
".. him trying to tell everyone to love one another and get along. He even sums up the law into two simple parts about how you should Love God above all and secondly Love your Neighbor as you do yourself."

That's it.

The rest of the Bible is meant as teaching stories (parables) demonstrating how to do that, along with a written historical record of ancient times. Literalists completely miss the forest for the trees; but that's usually on purpose, so they can claim the Bible as the authority for whatever crappy thing they want to pull off at someone else's expense.
"If the house lost every hand, they wouldn't deal the game."
lilredrooster
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July 18th, 2017 at 2:43:31 AM permalink
Quote: beachbumbabs

along with a written historical RECORD of ancient times.



the use of the word "record" implies historical accuracy. there is a great controversy re how much of the Bible reflects historical accuracy. no scholar has ever come close to proving the existence of Moses or David from the Old Testament. probably some of it is generally true but little of it contains the factual accuracy that we demand of scholars writing about history that is not ancient.
everybody wants to go to heaven. but nobody wants to die.
beachbumbabs
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beachbumbabs
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July 18th, 2017 at 3:40:08 AM permalink
Quote: lilredrooster

the use of the word "record" implies historical accuracy. there is a great controversy re how much of the Bible reflects historical accuracy. no scholar has ever come close to proving the existence of Moses or David from the Old Testament. probably some of it is generally true but little of it contains the factual accuracy that we demand of scholars writing about history that is not ancient.



You're not wrong. But you're being waaaay too literal, in the spirit of this conversation, or at least my contention. A lot of the Bible is many generations of oral history getting written down. We all know just from playing "telephone" as kids how accurate those oral histories tend to be.

The Bible is meant to be allegorical. The legitimate argument you're making about accuracy is one that's developed over years to refute the Literalists. But, if you accept the concept that it's not literal, the accuracy is irrelevant.
"If the house lost every hand, they wouldn't deal the game."
lilredrooster
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July 18th, 2017 at 4:11:54 AM permalink
Quote: beachbumbabs

The Bible is meant to be allegorical.




i doubt that that is true. i believe that when the Bible was initially distributed it was intended to represent the literal truth. i believe that the point of view that it is allegorical came about as science brought into question many of the claims in the Bible and religious proponents then used the allegory theory to claim that the disproof of many of its claims did not refute its message. this from the website Biblica.com:

"The oldest surviving manuscript of any part of the New Testament is a papyrus fragment containing part of John 18. Scholars estimate that it was written about 125 AD."

it is extremely doubtful to me that those who read it or received it aurally around 125 AD and probably much earlier considered it to be an allegory.

https://www.biblica.com/resources/bible-faqs/how-was-the-bible-distributed-before-the-printing-press-was-invented-in-1455/
everybody wants to go to heaven. but nobody wants to die.

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