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Contradictions in the bible


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#406    Mystic Crusader

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 07:50 PM

View Postscowl, on 17 February 2013 - 07:30 PM, said:

It's some of the best science fiction ever written and has inspired a lot of modern science fiction.

It also surprisingly modern. It has the stuff we love: incest, rape, gory murders (A tent spike through the head? Awesome!), men loudly bragging around the size of their penises, genocide (not the depressing Holocaust kind, the "good" kind of genocide), and a ruthless god that is so incompetent that he chooses the dumbest humans on Earth to go on a mission of conquest in which they fail by their own success. We enjoy seeing a seemingly invincible mighty character making poor choices which result in their own humiliation.

He's proud to a psychopath!

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#407    joc

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 08:15 PM

View PostParanoid Android, on 17 February 2013 - 11:37 AM, said:

Depends on what you mean by "scholar".  I am certainly not a scholar.  And dare I say it, neither is IamsSon.  The thing that I've noticed about the Bible in the thirteen years since I've been a Christian is that it is able to speak to you at whatever level you are at.  It can be as simple as Aesop's Fable's (not meaning to say that Aesop's ideas were simple), but it also can be as difficult as a University level text book.  And every person regardless of where they are "at" in their walk with God is able to approach God with that view in mind.  For the newest of newest Christian converts the basic beliefs of Christianity are laid out.  But for the long-time convert who has studied in depth they also have their own difficulties, the text raises answers that demands more questions.

If I were God, and if I were to create a text for all people for all time, I wouldn't create a book of Fable's that any teenager could understand.  But neither would I create a text that only could be understood by the biblical elite.  I personally believe the Bible provides a medium between the two - a text that on the surface can provide the basic provisions, but the deeper you study the more you realise you still have not yet learnt.

Just my opinion :tu:

~ PA
And yet, a simple question as I asked is given a 'scholarly' response...so that kind of negates the ability of all levels to understand.
But okay, let's go with the 'murder' explanation.  Suppose my neighbor has taken my dog.  I tell my neighbor in no uncertain terms...give me my dog back or I'm going to kill your baby and your cousins baby and your friends baby.  And he doesn't give my dog back...so I 'murder' several innocent babies.  Is that okay?  Does that go against...thou shalt not 'murder'?  Or is it payback for not letting my dog go.  This is in no way meant to be an analogy between Jews and dogs...just an example....so when God tells Pharoah, Let my people go or I will kill your babies...and then does...isn't that an afront to the commandment Thou shalt not 'murder'...or is that just because...well...God is God after all and can do anything he bloody well pleases, including murder innocent babies?

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#408    IamsSon

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 08:42 PM

View Postjoc, on 17 February 2013 - 08:15 PM, said:

And yet, a simple question as I asked is given a 'scholarly' response...so that kind of negates the ability of all levels to understand.
But okay, let's go with the 'murder' explanation.  Suppose my neighbor has taken my dog.  I tell my neighbor in no uncertain terms...give me my dog back or I'm going to kill your baby and your cousins baby and your friends baby.  And he doesn't give my dog back...so I 'murder' several innocent babies.  Is that okay?  Does that go against...thou shalt not 'murder'?  Or is it payback for not letting my dog go.  This is in no way meant to be an analogy between Jews and dogs...just an example....so when God tells Pharoah, Let my people go or I will kill your babies...and then does...isn't that an afront to the commandment Thou shalt not 'murder'...or is that just because...well...God is God after all and can do anything he bloody well pleases, including murder innocent babies?
Given that you are not the Creator, that you did not give your neighbor, his child, his cousin's baby, or even your dog life, your actions are in no way justifiable.  As creator, God has any and all authority and justification to do with His creation as He sees fit.

"But then with me that horrid doubt always arises whether the convictions of man's mind which has been developed from the mind of the lower animals, are of any value or at all trustworthy. Would any one trust in the convictions of a monkey's mind, if there are any convictions in such a mind?" - Charles Darwin, in a letter to William Graham on July 3, 1881

#409    scowl

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 08:54 PM

View PostHavocWing, on 17 February 2013 - 07:50 PM, said:

He's proud to a psychopath!

God (as the character) is proud of lots of things but I can't recall him bragging about how he killed people. When God confronts and torments little humans like Job, he goes on and on about how he created everything. That's what God is proud of. Killing people is so trivial to God that he doesn't even bother mentioning it.


#410    joc

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 08:59 PM

View PostIamsSon, on 17 February 2013 - 08:42 PM, said:

Given that you are not the Creator, that you did not give your neighbor, his child, his cousin's baby, or even your dog life, your actions are in no way justifiable.  As creator, God has any and all authority and justification to do with His creation as He sees fit.
That has to be the most lame argument I have ever heard I Am's Son.  Since, I didn't ask to be created, I therefore have all authority and justification to do whatever I want, as I see fit!  Lame on both sides.  Lame, lame, lame!  So, the crux of the question of contradictions in the Bible is that, there are no contradictions because God can do whatever He wants and it is therefore okay because He is God...but it is not okay for us to believe something different than the New Testament Tri-God theory ...but again..it is okay for God to punish his Creation in burning Hell Fire for all eternity because after all He is the creator and that makes it okay.
That is in a nutshell what I thought you would say.  I wasn't baiting you by any means but the predictability of the Religious is so simple.  No contradictions because God cannot contradict himself.  Brilliant!
Thank you for this indepth, discussion...really mind rendering, thought provoking stuff!

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#411    Mystic Crusader

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 09:54 PM

View Postscowl, on 17 February 2013 - 08:54 PM, said:

God (as the character) is proud of lots of things but I can't recall him bragging about how he killed people. When God confronts and torments little humans like Job, he goes on and on about how he created everything. That's what God is proud of. Killing people is so trivial to God that he doesn't even bother mentioning it.

http://bible.cc/deuteronomy/32-42.htm
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#412    IamsSon

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 10:35 PM

View Postjoc, on 17 February 2013 - 08:59 PM, said:

That has to be the most lame argument I have ever heard I Am's Son.  Since, I didn't ask to be created, I therefore have all authority and justification to do whatever I want, as I see fit!  Lame on both sides.  Lame, lame, lame!  So, the crux of the question of contradictions in the Bible is that, there are no contradictions because God can do whatever He wants and it is therefore okay because He is God...but it is not okay for us to believe something different than the New Testament Tri-God theory ...but again..it is okay for God to punish his Creation in burning Hell Fire for all eternity because after all He is the creator and that makes it okay.
That is in a nutshell what I thought you would say.  I wasn't baiting you by any means but the predictability of the Religious is so simple.  No contradictions because God cannot contradict himself.  Brilliant!
Thank you for this indepth, discussion...really mind rendering, thought provoking stuff!
Umm, who said this is the "crux" of any contradictions, much less all?  You asked a question, I answered it from a Biblical standpoint.  Absolutely no contradiction.  You may disagree with the answer, but it is a completely Biblical and logical answer.  If you created a work of art, and then decided to destroy it, you would have every right to do so, as long as it was still under your ownership.

The only "contradiction" being addressed here is the one some of you think must exist because God forbade humans from committing murder and then He went ahead and either carried out or ordered the deaths of people who had disobeyed Him.

The fact that I have pointed out there is no contradiction in this instance should be no reason for you to spaz out.

"But then with me that horrid doubt always arises whether the convictions of man's mind which has been developed from the mind of the lower animals, are of any value or at all trustworthy. Would any one trust in the convictions of a monkey's mind, if there are any convictions in such a mind?" - Charles Darwin, in a letter to William Graham on July 3, 1881

#413    Paranoid Android

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 10:48 PM

View Postjoc, on 17 February 2013 - 08:15 PM, said:

And yet, a simple question as I asked is given a 'scholarly' response...so that kind of negates the ability of all levels to understand.
No, it doesn't.  The basic message of the Bible is simple enough that a child can learn.  But the more you study it the more you realise how much you still haven't learned.  A simple message anyone can understand, and yet at the same time can stump some of the greatest minds in history at times (I am by no means one of the greatest minds in history).

Allow me to try and put it another way.  A few years ago, one of the teachers I worked with was telling me about how she was involved in an academic conference on Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  There were academia-level articles on the themes presented in Buffy, presentations by various scholars about the show, its creation, its appeal, its theology.  The fact that there was an academic conference on this topic, dealing with some issues that will undoubtedly go over the head of most laymen, does not therefore mean that Buffy the Vampire Slayer cannot be enjoyed by the layperson also.


View Postjoc, on 17 February 2013 - 08:15 PM, said:

But okay, let's go with the 'murder' explanation.  Suppose my neighbor has taken my dog.  I tell my neighbor in no uncertain terms...give me my dog back or I'm going to kill your baby and your cousins baby and your friends baby.  And he doesn't give my dog back...so I 'murder' several innocent babies.  Is that okay?  Does that go against...thou shalt not 'murder'?  Or is it payback for not letting my dog go.  This is in no way meant to be an analogy between Jews and dogs...just an example....so when God tells Pharoah, Let my people go or I will kill your babies...and then does...isn't that an afront to the commandment Thou shalt not 'murder'...or is that just because...well...God is God after all and can do anything he bloody well pleases, including murder innocent babies?
There's a broader theological context to consider.  IamsSon mentioned part of it, which you responded to already.  I do not believe God will burn us forever in Hell-fire, so that part of your argument doesn't hold weight for me - nevertheless, what he said was theologically true; God is the creator and has the Right to take life if he deems it necessary, we do not have that same Right.  Just because you don't like that answer doesn't make it any less cogent.

There are two other points worth discussing, though.  The first is that this ultimately hails back to the promises made to Abraham in Genesis 12:1-3.  This is where God initially made his covenant with the Hebrew people.  God will bless those who bless him, and curse those who curse him.  The Egyptians (not just Pharaoh, though he was the prime-mover) had enslaved the Israelites, as part of that nation, they treated Israel as slaves, and that was a no-no according to the covenant God made with Abraham.  Thus God acted to ensure his people were no longer slaves.

And he did so by attacking the gods of Egypt (and this is the second point I wish to draw out about the killing of the first-born in Egypt).  Each of the ten plagues was an attack on one of the gods of Egypt.  It was a theological commentary on the strength of Yahweh vs the lack of strength of the other gods.  First God turned the water into blood.  The Nile River represented the goddess Hapi, the giver of life.  By turning the water to blood the Nile was no longer the life-giver, and thus Yahweh proved stronger than the goddess Hapi.  I posted on this several years ago HERE, so you can read there about all ten plagues, but it goes from the first all the way through to the tenth plague which was an attack on the Pharaoh, himself considered a god by the people of Egypt.  The final act that led to Pharaoh releasing the Hebrews was Yahweh showing his greatness over one final god of Israel.

So obviously this isn't as simple as your analogy of just sitting back and demanding your dog back from your neighbour, else you would kill their baby and their cousin's baby and their next-door neighbour's baby and whoever else's baby you think you'd like to demand.  You aren't God.  You aren't a Hebrew living as a slave in direct contrast to the wishes of the God who made a covenant with you.

~ Regards, PA

Edited by Paranoid Android, 17 February 2013 - 11:36 PM.

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#414    joc

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 11:57 PM

View PostParanoid Android, on 17 February 2013 - 10:48 PM, said:

No, it doesn't.  The basic message of the Bible is simple enough that a child can learn.  But the more you study it the more you realise how much you still haven't learned.  A simple message anyone can understand, and yet at the same time can stump some of the greatest minds in history at times (I am by no means one of the greatest minds in history).

Allow me to try and put it another way.  A few years ago, one of the teachers I worked with was telling me about how she was involved in an academic conference on Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  There were academia-level articles on the themes presented in Buffy, presentations by various scholars about the show, its creation, its appeal, its theology.  The fact that there was an academic conference on this topic, dealing with some issues that will undoubtedly go over the head of most laymen, does not therefore mean that Buffy the Vampire Slayer cannot be enjoyed by the layperson also.


There's a broader theological context to consider.  IamsSon mentioned part of it, which you responded to already.  I do not believe God will burn us forever in Hell-fire, so that part of your argument doesn't hold weight for me - nevertheless, what he said was theologically true; God is the creator and has the Right to take life if he deems it necessary, we do not have that same Right.  Just because you don't like that answer doesn't make it any less cogent.

There are two other points worth discussing, though.  The first is that this ultimately hails back to the promises made to Abraham in Genesis 12:1-3.  This is where God initially made his covenant with the Hebrew people.  God will bless those who bless him, and curse those who curse him.  The Egyptians (not just Pharaoh, though he was the prime-mover) had enslaved the Israelites, as part of that nation, they treated Israel as slaves, and that was a no-no according to the covenant God made with Abraham.  Thus God acted to ensure his people were no longer slaves.

And he did so by attacking the gods of Egypt (and this is the second point I wish to draw out about the killing of the first-born in Egypt).  Each of the ten plagues was an attack on one of the gods of Egypt.  It was a theological commentary on the strength of Yahweh vs the lack of strength of the other gods.  First God turned the water into blood.  The Nile River represented the goddess Hapi, the giver of life.  By turning the water to blood the Nile was no longer the life-giver, and thus Yahweh proved stronger than the goddess Hapi.  I posted on this several years ago HERE, so you can read there about all ten plagues, but it goes from the first all the way through to the tenth plague which was an attack on the Pharaoh, himself considered a god by the people of Egypt.  The final act that led to Pharaoh releasing the Hebrews was Yahweh showing his greatness over one final god of Israel.

So obviously this isn't as simple as your analogy of just sitting back and demanding your dog back from your neighbour, else you would kill their baby and their cousin's baby and their next-door neighbour's baby and whoever else's baby you think you'd like to demand.  You aren't God.  You aren't a Hebrew living as a slave in direct contrast to the wishes of the God who made a covenant with you.

~ Regards, PA
Why would the creator of the universe need to attack gods that don't even exist?  I already know your answer (predictable right?) and that is that he was 'showing' the Egyptians that He was more powerful than all their Gods...but on it's face, even that is silly.  Why didn't God say to Pharoah...let my people go or...tonight...every member of your entire military force will drop dead?   No...he had to make a point by murdering innocent children.   So...what Jesus then said about, If any one harms one of these little ones it would be better if a millstone were tied around his neck, etc...doesn't really carry much weight does it?  Since Jesus is God and God can do anything he wants...how then is Jesus as an example suppose to make an impact?  Don't do as I do, do as i say...because I'm God and I can do whatever I want.  It is a stupid argument PA...I'm not saying you are stupid...just that the argument is stupid.

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#415    Paranoid Android

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 12:25 AM

View Postjoc, on 17 February 2013 - 11:57 PM, said:

Why would the creator of the universe need to attack gods that don't even exist?  I already know your answer (predictable right?) and that is that he was 'showing' the Egyptians that He was more powerful than all their Gods...but on it's face, even that is silly.  Why didn't God say to Pharoah...let my people go or...tonight...every member of your entire military force will drop dead?   No...he had to make a point by murdering innocent children.   So...what Jesus then said about, If any one harms one of these little ones it would be better if a millstone were tied around his neck, etc...doesn't really carry much weight does it?  Since Jesus is God and God can do anything he wants...how then is Jesus as an example suppose to make an impact?  Don't do as I do, do as i say...because I'm God and I can do whatever I want.  It is a stupid argument PA...I'm not saying you are stupid...just that the argument is stupid.
Maybe not as predictable as you imagine.  You are only partly right that my answer would be that he was showing the Egyptians (the lesser part, actually).  More important to the narrative is that the events of the tenth plague led to the celebration of the Passover (when the Angel of Death "passed over" the homes with the lamb's blood on the doors, and the next day led to the freedom of the Hebrew race from slavery).  The Passover became one of the central pieces of imagery in the death of Jesus (God's own first-born son), the lamb that was slain to save us from death and spiritual slavery.  That is a far more important purpose than just showing the Egyptians that Yahweh was stronger than their gods (though it wasn't just the Egyptians he was showing - he was also showing us who read about it).

Incidentally, the tenth plague referred to the first-born, not necessarily children.  Grandfathers were potentially killed by this plague too if they were the first-born.  In the end, it comes down to two things.  Looking backwards, to the promises in Genesis 12:1-3, and looking forwards, to the fulfilment of those promises in Jesus' death and resurrection.

On Jesus' comments about harming the little ones, I don't agree that God's actions make it meaningless.  God has his purposes for acting as he did.  It is not a case of "because I'm God and I can do whatever I want", as you say.  God never does what he wants just because he can.  He always has a purpose.  Always.  By saying that God has the Right to end a person's life does not mean that God just goes out willy-nilly killing people.  At the end of the day, we aren't God.  We don't have any Right to take away the life of someone just because we may want it.  God does have that Right and in some instances when he deems it necessary to fulfil his purposes, he did that in the Bible.  God acts towards his purposes, and so we cannot do the same to the full extent that God can. We are to show compassion and love for others, especially children.  In my opinion, God's actions here in the Passover do not diminish Jesus' teachings.

~ Regards,

Edited by Paranoid Android, 18 February 2013 - 01:12 AM.

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#416    Gummug

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 01:27 AM

I'd just like to make a quick point...the Israelites also had to put blood of a lamb on their doorposts and lintel, so that the angel of death would passover (thus the name Passover) and not kill their (the Israelites') firstborn. I can't help but feel that some of the Egyptians may have been aware of what the Jews were doing, and if they asked a Jew, and the Jew told them, and the Egyptian did likewise, the angel of death would have also passed over that Egyptian's house, sparing his or her firstborn. Just as if anyone had believed Noah, and got on board with him, s/he would have been saved from the flood.
If anyone is interested in hints of supernatural origin of the bible, I would highly recommend "Hidden Treasures" by Chuck Missler. You could probably read it in a couple of hours, depending on your reading skills.

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#417    Hawkin

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 01:54 AM

I've said this before. I think the bible was embellished by adding all this drama to make it more appealing to the reader
and so the reader will pick it up and go through it's contents. And you know what, it work whether you believe in it or not.
If the stories were wrote down in their originality, they would be boring and no one would read them and possibly lost in time.
Same goes for Hollywood Movies. Adding some fiction to the truth could make the movies a Blockbuster Hit.

It's good to have some skepticism so you won't be gullible & naïve. But to much skepticism can make you arrogant & egotistical.

#418    AmbientSoul

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 03:01 AM

a wise man once said "consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds"
that is all

Who is John Galt?

#419    joc

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 03:09 AM

View PostParanoid Android, on 18 February 2013 - 12:25 AM, said:

Maybe not as predictable as you imagine.  You are only partly right that my answer would be that he was showing the Egyptians (the lesser part, actually).  More important to the narrative is that the events of the tenth plague led to the celebration of the Passover (when the Angel of Death "passed over" the homes with the lamb's blood on the doors, and the next day led to the freedom of the Hebrew race from slavery).  The Passover became one of the central pieces of imagery in the death of Jesus (God's own first-born son), the lamb that was slain to save us from death and spiritual slavery.  That is a far more important purpose than just showing the Egyptians that Yahweh was stronger than their gods (though it wasn't just the Egyptians he was showing - he was also showing us who read about it).

Incidentally, the tenth plague referred to the first-born, not necessarily children.  Grandfathers were potentially killed by this plague too if they were the first-born.  In the end, it comes down to two things.  Looking backwards, to the promises in Genesis 12:1-3, and looking forwards, to the fulfilment of those promises in Jesus' death and resurrection.

On Jesus' comments about harming the little ones, I don't agree that God's actions make it meaningless.  God has his purposes for acting as he did.  It is not a case of "because I'm God and I can do whatever I want", as you say.  God never does what he wants just because he can.  He always has a purpose.  Always.  By saying that God has the Right to end a person's life does not mean that God just goes out willy-nilly killing people.  At the end of the day, we aren't God.  We don't have any Right to take away the life of someone just because we may want it.  God does have that Right and in some instances when he deems it necessary to fulfil his purposes, he did that in the Bible.  God acts towards his purposes, and so we cannot do the same to the full extent that God can. We are to show compassion and love for others, especially children.  In my opinion, God's actions here in the Passover do not diminish Jesus' teachings.

~ Regards,
But in the same breath PA you said the more important lesson was the correlation to Jesus...so...God killed innocent children to make the point of Jesus?  Here is what I think my friend...once you are steeped into the religion of the Bible in any of its many facets...you think...you literally 'think' within a context of The Bible..instead of thinking within a context of truth.  I stepped out of the Bible Box PA many years ago after living most of my life within the confines of that context...and what I have found 'outside of the box' is that the truth isn't The Bible.  The truth is what it is...but when one has to twist and contort scriptures to make sense of life...well, it is just one big contradiction...and the real contradiction of the Bible is to the Truth.  I love you though man!

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#420    Paranoid Android

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 05:52 AM

View Postjoc, on 18 February 2013 - 03:09 AM, said:

But in the same breath PA you said the more important lesson was the correlation to Jesus...so...God killed innocent children to make the point of Jesus?  Here is what I think my friend...once you are steeped into the religion of the Bible in any of its many facets...you think...you literally 'think' within a context of The Bible..instead of thinking within a context of truth.  I stepped out of the Bible Box PA many years ago after living most of my life within the confines of that context...and what I have found 'outside of the box' is that the truth isn't The Bible.  The truth is what it is...but when one has to twist and contort scriptures to make sense of life...well, it is just one big contradiction...and the real contradiction of the Bible is to the Truth.
I spent the first 20 years of my life "outside" that Bible box.  I was not a believer.  I didn't believe the Bible or any Holy Book could provide the truth.  I believed that all the world religions were mankind's attempt at understanding the divine and therefore all were equally "right".  Then when I was 20 I began to read the Bible with an intent to learn what it actually says (as opposed to reading it in order to quote-mine contradictions and such) and lo and behold I gave my life to Christ as a young adult.  My understanding of the Bible is obviously better than it was 13 years ago when I first became a Christian, but so far nothing has led me to believe that I made the wrong choice all those years ago.  In short, I know what it is to live outside the BIble box; I did so for the majority of my life.  And I found the truth in the Bible, so I moved to it.

And no, it is not quite correct to say that "God killed innocent children to make the point of Jesus".  First, there was the promise in Genesis 12:1-3 to uphold.  God made his covenant with Abraham and God was simply holding up his end of the bargain.  And he did so via the plagues.  And the tenth plague in particular became a vital part of Jewish festivity - the night that God saved his people from slavery, the night that the Angel of Death passed over their homes as God took special protection of them.  As hard as it is in our modern eyes, we need to look at it from the perspective it was written.  The point of the narrative was never the suffering of the Egyptians.  The point has always been about the liberation of the Hebrews.  I haven't looked into this to see if what I am about to say is correct or not, but I would lean towards the suffering of the Egyptians to be a more or less modern criticism of the text (the word "modern" in the context of 2 millennia of Christianity, maybe even around the time of the Age of Enlightenment in the 18th Century AD).  The introduction of the Passover festival (which is still celebrated by Jews and even some Christian groups) was a key event in the history of Judaism and Christianity.  Christians see it as a foreshadowing of Jesus, true enough on that account, but it wasn't as simplistic as you are making it out to be.


View Postjoc, on 18 February 2013 - 03:09 AM, said:

I love you though man!
And I love you!

Edited by Paranoid Android, 18 February 2013 - 06:26 AM.

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My blog is now taking a new direction.  Dedicated to my father who was a great inspiration in my life, I wish to honour his memory (RIP, dad) by sharing with the world what he had always kept to himself.  More details, http://www.unexplain...showentry=27811




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