1. colorthemap
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    colorthemap Contributing Member

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    The Bible

    Discussion in 'Book Discussion' started by colorthemap, Aug 21, 2011.

    I hope I'm not breaking some massive rule but I think we should discuss the Bible. Not as a relic but as a book, is it well written or not(even though it breaks the show not tell rule.)

    -Inspiration Youtube(nerimon's channel) -
     
  2. BFGuru
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    BFGuru Active Member

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    The Bible is a collection of so many different authors, it's hard to lump it into one discussion.

    The Pauline epistles, grammatically drive me up the wall.
    The gospels are theorized to stem from an original source, referenced as Q.
    The Pentateuch, again generally attributed to that Moses character, but really? I mean Genesis alone changes writing style multiple times. Alternating between poetry and pros and history and didaction.

    Song of Solomon by some womanizer, but it makes for fun reading.
    However, the Psalms have many different authors.

    Whether the Bible is well written or not is entirely dependent on the passage you are reading.
     
  3. colorthemap
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    colorthemap Contributing Member

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    ^^^^^ That is entirly true, if you tell 40 people the same story and ask them to retell it they should all be different. Which is why the book is so hard to decipher.


    Yes the Torah is the Bible, and other books that enclude chapters of it.
     
  4. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    I think it is fascinating as a source of mythology. Whether well-written or not, particularly in translation, isn't of great concern to me - it is more the preservation of stories over the millenia.

    It is self-contradictory in places, so I suppose that could be an issue of how well it is written, but I think when you look at the fact of multiple authors over time, and how so many of the stories were long-preserved by oral tradition, that contradictions only add to the fascination.

    Take the creation story, for example. In Genesis 1, God creates animals first, then creates man and woman together in his image and gives them dominion over the earth. In Genesis 2 the creation story is recounted again, but here God creates Adam first, before any animals. Then he brings forth the animals and presents them to Adam to name. And then, only later, he creates Eve using Adam's rib.

    Of the two the former is the older story, and it is found in more or less the same form in other mythologies. The second version tends to be more well known to us today, however.

    That sort of thing is fascinating enough in its own right to make it worth reading.
     
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  5. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I must warn you NOT tor treat other holy writings as subsets of the Christian Bible. That is an exstremely offensive position to take, because it is disrespectful of other belief systems.

    This thread will be closed or deleted if it becomes offensive or argumentative.
     
  6. BFGuru
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    BFGuru Active Member

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    This is fascinating, but it's also fascinating to study what has not made the cut for cannonization. Yes there were specific rules placed upon those texts that would eventually become the christian bible, and yes some of it was taken from other holy texts such as the Torah. The powers that be decided these manuscripts were important to their faith as well. The interesting things come into play when you begin to ponder why one story was included and another not. Why did they make the rules they made for cannonization? And why were some tales of folklore acceptable but others not? Eve vs. Lillith is a favorite example.

    One thing always struck my fancy though. Ur is referenced in many ancient texts, be it a name, or location, but every text I've read stems from the same time era, which leads me to believe that they possibly stemmed from the same source.

    Yes sir. Warning acknowledged. *salute*
     
  7. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Not to mention the fact that it often makes no sense whatsoever because the belief system being compared predates Christianity. I do think the points of similarities in myth around the world is a great topic of study, however.

    In many cases, there is direct influence. For example, there's no doubt that Christianity springs from Judaism, which predates it. Also, to me there is little question that both adopt some myths that came before, from Zoroaster, from the Sumerians, from prior Indo-European culture. Islam, coming later in the chain and being in a direct lineage from Judaism and Christianity pulls in many of the same stories, the same personalities (in fact, I believe Jeuss is mentioned by name in the Koran more often than Mohammed).

    I don't think you can rightly say any of these are subsets of, or subserviant to, another. They're all mature belief systems in their own right. But tracing these stories through time is fascinating, as I said above.

    Even more fascinating, in many ways, is looking at similar myths around the world between cultures that don't appear to have had historical impact on each other's belief systems. Things like the prevalence of flood myths, resurrection myths, &c. Then you get into ideas of collective consciousness, racial memory (and by "racial" I mean the human race, not what we commonly think of).

    Very cool stuff.
     
  8. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    I agree. Look at the Apocrypha, for example. Or look at the Book of Judith, which Protestants do not accept, but which is canon among some other Christians.

    I do believe that much of the ancient knowledge, preserved in the form of myth around the world, has basis in some common history or occurrence. It's pretty cool, when you think about it.
     
  9. Snoopingaround
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    Snoopingaround Banned

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    The Book has also been translated from ancient Hebrew, ancient Greek, into Latin then into various other languages, and I think books in general can lose something in translations. Sometimes, in the original language, there is a certain flavor, a certain clarity, that can be lost in the course of translations.
     
  10. art
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    art Contributing Member Contributor

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    Very simple: if you care for the English language then you should read the King James bible.
     
  11. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    In the words of Meatloaf: 'Damn! You said it first'.
     
  12. WriterDude
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    WriterDude Contributing Member Contributor

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    Not to mention the stories that were left out, or has been changed a lot over the years. Take the devil, for instance. The modern stuff is all about Hell and all that, and are often used to scare people. But originally, Lucifer was an angel just like all the other angels. His only crime was refusing to do what God told him to do, so he and his followers were banished into Gehenna to be punished. This was later changed to the Hell we know today. It's no coincidence norse mythology have an underworld called Helheim, ruled by the goddes Hel. ;) The difference is Helheim in norse mythlogy is a cold, dead wasteland, and quite boring. But like so many other things in Christianity, it was changed to fit with the pagan believes. Vikings celebrated winter solstice in late December to celebrate the end of the summer and to prepare for winter. This didn't work well with the Christians, so they changed it to the Christmas we know today. The problem is the angel who came to the shepards saw open fields, meaning no snow. But if Jesus was born before the snow fell, he had to be born no later than October. ;)

    Yes, let's take Genesis. The common belief is God created Adam, then Eve later. But how many know there are a lot of versions where Eve is Adam's second wife? There are a lot of older stories telling that God created Adam and a woman named Lilith at the same time. The problem was Lilith refused to bow to Adam, but demanded to be equal. This didn't go well with God (or Adam), so she was banished to Hell and later became the mother of all demons. But this was conveniently left out of the finished Bible. ;)

    The point is I think the Bible is a decent story, but it has been changed so many times that I find it hard to believe it. If they had published the first draft, it would be a different matter. But we're on to the 10+ draft by now, at least.
     
  13. BFGuru
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    BFGuru Active Member

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    I knew! :p Hence my Eve vs. Lillith comment. We actually are parents that don't share baby names until the kid is born to avoid the "Ewe you can't name her that. I know someone with that name and they suck!" But who would look at a woman in all her post birth agony (and glory) and dare tell her that wee babe she holds in her arms has a stupid name? It's rather brilliant, I believe. But I digress.

    We would always pick names we KNEW would get sneers to tell them we were naming the children after and Lillith "mother of all the demons of the underworld" was a common response to "what are you naming her?"
     
  14. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Multiple versions are another common feature of myth in culture. When it comes to "believing it," I think one has to remember that myths are special stories that play an important role in society. In a way, you might say that all myths are "true" within a culture. The mistake is losing sight of the allegorical nature and focusing on the literal.
     
  15. WriterDude
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    WriterDude Contributing Member Contributor

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    Darn, do I have to read the posts now? :D

    Actually you are not far off. Myths are a way to explain things we can't, uh, explain. Most mythologies have some sort of creation myth, and so does the Bible. Most myths try to explain a few things, like Norse mythology saying Thor rides across the sky and causes thunder and lightning, and so on. ;) The Bible isn't that much better. It's just a mythology some people take more serious than others. Not that that's a bad thing, of course. I respect other people's faith and believes. Faith is a good thing.
     
  16. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Myths do serve that function of explanation. They also serve other functions, such as validation of a given social order. Some see the collapse of the explanation function of myths in the face of science, and the de-emphasis of other functions of myth, as one reason for a more chaotic social order. In other words, when the entire focus is on the explanation aspect and the role of myth as explanation is minimized because we don't need it as much anymore, myths go by the way side and social order suffers.

    That's the theory, at any rate.
     
  17. StrangerWithNoName
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    StrangerWithNoName Longobard duke

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    That's Talmud, not the Bible...sorry, wrong book! :p
     
  18. BFGuru
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    BFGuru Active Member

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    Well the Creation story in the Bible is based off of ancient Hebrew texts. The question posed is why did Eve make the final cut to the canonized Christian bible and Lillith did not. There are multiple theories as to why the cut was made from language to culture to a male desire to dominate. The archaologist from another life that inhabits my soul is intrigued.
     
  19. StrangerWithNoName
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    StrangerWithNoName Longobard duke

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    The division wasn't made by the Christians but by the jews, the Creation is in the Torah, Lilith's story in the Talmud.
     
  20. Alexander Wallis
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    Alexander Wallis Member

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    Why can't we debate over it? I think it would be interesting.
     
  21. BFGuru
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    BFGuru Active Member

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    I see what you're saying now. :D Though, I do think they should have included tales from the Talmud. :p
     
  22. EMSchell2009
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    EMSchell2009 Member

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    The version I read had Eve actually being the third woman. The first being Lilith, the second being unnamed (let's just say since Adam couldn't stand to watch her be made I would guess he would make a dismal doctor) and the third and final wife being the ever subserviant Eve.

    I am a Christian through and through, but I have to say that I liked Lilith better. She had more spark and personality. It is my experience that women with spark and personality were often left out of the Old Testament. It is to Jesus credit that he brought Mary and Martha, the woman at the well and Mary Megdelene into the fold. Has it occured to anyone that he just may have been the first feminist? Jesus viewed women as closer to equal than other men of his time. Jesus the father of the modern feminist movement...hmmmm.
     
  23. colorthemap
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    colorthemap Contributing Member

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    No no no I only meant that parts of the Bible are, entirely taken from or present in, other books and holy relics. It was an attempt not to ignore them.
     
  24. colorthemap
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    colorthemap Contributing Member

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    I don't think that is entirely true, Jesus was trying to illustrate equality of all races, genders, origins and such. Thus women were included.
     
  25. EMSchell2009
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    EMSchell2009 Member

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    I must apologize for my sense of humour. I was semi-serious but I am most aware of that. I simply find it interesting that the New Testament so sarkly demonstrates that all are created equal. Again and again, Jesus comes in contact with the poor, destitute and outcast and grants them not only entrance, but seats at the main table of the banquet. Isn't this theme usually the main character of all of our stories. How often are our MC's based on great men from the myths that we read and adore. I think Jesus is no exception.
     

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