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2+2=4 equates a certainty of god


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#766    Dr. D

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Posted 04 August 2008 - 07:42 PM

Well, if you want me to be honest, you're living proof, as is everyone else that has ever existed, of God.  There are certain things about humans that seem unecesarry and often intentionally created.  You'll notice that humans have seemingly uneeded traits such as compassion, and that is often our main weakness.  Why would nature develop what would so often be the source of our stupidity if we are created to best survive?  Why aren't we just concious-lacking animals? A higher being that already has these traits and is making a species in his own image , however, would  pass them to us so that we could choose to follow him rather doing so by instinct.

The appendix is a useless organ that most scientists agree was once used to digest raw meat.  The fact that it is now useless I think would fall into the "evoluationary" category . . . . much like the Sherpas who have bigger lungs than the rest of us.  

We don't know if compassion is an original emotion or not.  We could have adapted it once we were more socially comfortable under our thatched roofs with a wild boar roasting in the hearth.  People are compasson when they can afford to be . . . . but when it's not expedient, they can be pretty ruthless.  We don't find a lotta' examples of inherent compassion in the Bible, really.  A woman dances and wants to be paid with the head of a prophet?  A king sends a man to the front of a battle to be killed just because he has a foxy wife?  Abraham didn't have much compassion when he was ready to whack his son and the Jews sure weren't compassion when the option was Barbaras or Jesus.

So you claim that the fact that you cannot see God and that, even with the evidence I listed, there is no evidence of him as proof enough that he does't exist?  Hey, even with the evidence I have, I can't definatively prove God to the scientific community/athiests, but at least I have some ACTUAL evidence that I can physically take to a court to show all who care.

Most courts I know want physical evidence . . . . not debatable examples.

  You, so far, have mentioned no images leading to a lack of God, no sounds suggesting a lack of God, and I highly doubt that you have a Universe and all contained within it that suggests a lack of God.  What Witnesses would you have?  You know, even if you disregard witnesses,  there would still be more evidence FOR God than for a lack of God.

Sure, everyone has a photo of the absence of something.  And the fact that a universe exists demonstrates the existence of a god?  No more than a god would suggest the existence of a universe.  The universe is, after all, a place of disorder and chaos . . . . collisions and explosions, implosions and planets collapsing upon themselves . . . . there's nothing very divine in that process.  It exists and nothing more can be said about it.  It would exist whether or not anyone believed in a god.  But god does not need to exist to believe in the universe because it can be witnessed and monitored and contemplated.

By the way, forgive me for butting in.


#767    MARAB0D

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Posted 04 August 2008 - 07:57 PM

Quote

The appendix is a useless organ that most scientists agree was once used to digest raw meat. The fact that it is now useless I think would fall into the "evoluationary" category . . . . much like the Sherpas who have bigger lungs than the rest of us.


Appendix is used to break down the heavy forms of cellulose. It is useless only at our present diet, as we do not normally eat tree bark or raw seeds from the plant. Cows use appendix extensively and with its help can digest sawdust, cotton wool and paper.


#768    Dr. D

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Posted 04 August 2008 - 08:06 PM

marabod on Aug 4 2008, 07:57 PM, said:

Appendix is used to break down the heavy forms of cellulose. It is useless only at our present diet, as we do not normally eat tree bark or raw seeds from the plant. Cows use appendix extensively and with its help can digest sawdust, cotton wool and paper.


The Duke University study was challenged after it appeared in the New England Medical Journal and much of its findings were minimized, altered or even reversed . . . .

The human appendix (commonly referred to as the vermiform appendix, although Mayr calls it the caecal appendix) has lost this cellulose-digesting ability. Dr. Douglas Theobald argues that while humans do consume some cellulose, the ability of the caecum and appendix to digest it is insignificant.
http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/sci_cult/evol.../bfremstad.html


#769    Agent. Mulder

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Posted 04 August 2008 - 08:07 PM

MEATLOAF on Aug 4 2008, 06:39 PM, said:

The Same? Numerous widely believed texts by numerous authors from 1000's of years ago are much different than comic books from the past 70 years that even have an author, editor, illustrator, etc. listed in them.  They clearly state that they are fictional, and pretty much every sane person would agree that they are fictional.


yes, i would agree that both are fictional. correct. i never said superman was real.

MEATLOAF on Aug 4 2008, 06:39 PM, said:

Well, if you want me to be honest, you're living proof, as is everyone else that has ever existed, of God.  There are certain things about humans that seem unecesarry and often intentionally created.  You'll notice that humans have seemingly uneeded traits such as compassion, and that is often our main weakness.  Why would nature develop what would so often be the source of our stupidity if we are created to best survive?  Why aren't we just concious-lacking animals? A higher being that already has these traits and is making a species in his own image , however, would  pass them to us so that we could choose to follow him rather doing so by instinct.


no im not, and neither are. its just a theory you and others have. we got here from evolution. thats how we evolved to what we are today, and why we show these traits. these emotions. our weaknesses. our stupidity.

MEATLOAF on Aug 4 2008, 06:39 PM, said:

So, once again, the evidence is not just "I hear God in my head".  There are EVPs, images, and the universe as well.


nope. thats all the evidence you have. evps are just crappy quality equipment, hearing sounds, and having them muffled together on purpose to hear a 'voice'. why dont you think they use the boom mics from a hollywood movie? because they wouldnt pick up anything like that. because theyre good quality. and if there is a 'voice', it doesnt have anything to do with god being real. and i already gave the song demonstration for this before. as well, there are NO actual images of god. i can show you a pic on my camera of a dog. can you show me one of god? and the universe isnt any proof at all. i could say a ****** flying spaghetti monster created the universe. and you couldnt prove me wrong. so again, youre back to 'voices in my head'.
Next!

MEATLOAF on Aug 4 2008, 06:39 PM, said:

So you claim that the fact that you cannot see God and that, even with the evidence I listed, there is no evidence of him as proof enough that he does't exist?  Hey, even with the evidence I have, I can't definatively prove God to the scientific community/athiests, but at least I have some ACTUAL evidence that I can physically take to a court to show all who care.  You, so far, have mentioned no images leading to a lack of God, no sounds suggesting a lack of God, and I highly doubt that you have a Universe and all contained within it that suggests a lack of God.  What Witnesses would you have?  You know, even if you disregard witnesses,  there would still be more evidence FOR God than for a lack of God.


no you cant, as i just proved up above, you have nothing.

and no, again, like i showed above. there is not. but you choose not to accept that, and are hell bent on believing that youre right. if you wanna count schizos as proof, go for it. thats all you got to bring into court.
youre grave is looking mighty fine.


the truth is out there....

#770    MEATLOAF

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Posted 04 August 2008 - 09:15 PM

Agent. Mulder on Aug 5 2008, 06:07 AM, said:

yes, i would agree that both are fictional. correct. i never said superman was real.



no im not, and neither are. its just a theory you and others have. we got here from evolution. thats how we evolved to what we are today, and why we show these traits. these emotions. our weaknesses. our stupidity.



nope. thats all the evidence you have. evps are just crappy quality equipment, hearing sounds, and having them muffled together on purpose to hear a 'voice'. why dont you think they use the boom mics from a hollywood movie? because they wouldnt pick up anything like that. because theyre good quality. and if there is a 'voice', it doesnt have anything to do with god being real. and i already gave the song demonstration for this before. as well, there are NO actual images of god. i can show you a pic on my camera of a dog. can you show me one of god? and the universe isnt any proof at all. i could say a ****** flying spaghetti monster created the universe. and you couldnt prove me wrong. so again, youre back to 'voices in my head'.
Next!


I meant that all Superman comics state that they are fictional.  Texts that describe God do not do so.

As far as evolution goes, we would be far more dominant if we were intelligent without compassion.  If every human were completely ruthless, we could do what best suits us without remorse or thought for others.  Imagine how powerful we could be if we never had the ability to sacrifice something or show compassion for others.  Nature alone would make us like that.  Someone stepped in at some point and stopped that from happening.

To stereotype all EVPs as garbled and low-quality is absurd.  To say this with confidence, you would have to of heard every EVP that has been recorded as of yet.  I highly doubt that you have.  Spirit photographs exist as well.  While there are no known recordings or images of God, anything suggesting the existence of spiritual beings strengthens the concept of God's existence.


#771    Sherapy

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Posted 04 August 2008 - 09:25 PM

MEATLOAF on Aug 4 2008, 02:15 PM, said:

I meant that all Superman comics state that they are fictional.  Texts that describe God do not do so.

As far as evolution goes, we would be far more dominant if we were intelligent without compassion.  If every human were completely ruthless, we could do what best suits us without remorse or thought for others.  Imagine how powerful we could be if we never had the ability to sacrifice something or show compassion for others.  Nature alone would make us like that.  Someone stepped in at some point and stopped that from happening.

To stereotype all EVPs as garbled and low-quality is absurd.  To say this with confidence, you would have to of heard every EVP that has been recorded as of yet.  I highly doubt that you have.  Spirit photographs exist as well.  While there are no known recordings or images of God, anything suggesting the existence of spiritual beings strengthens the concept of God's existence.



we just  do not have  and sound evidence of aliens  any more then dietys or dragons or toothfairys........

its rather futile to  spend time filling in blanks  that   are blank to begin with....


i concur with AM that it could  be lots of thngs...nothing  which in and of itself  is  sign on the dotted line  material.....

wh do so many have  trouble saying i don't know??Iinstead of leaping to wild imaginings and lore  as if one needs to have an answer ..

Edited by Tangerine Sheri, 04 August 2008 - 09:28 PM.




#772    MEATLOAF

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Posted 04 August 2008 - 09:45 PM

Tangerine Sheri on Aug 5 2008, 07:25 AM, said:

we just  do not have  and sound evidence of aliens  any more then dietys or dragons or toothfairys........

its rather futile to  spend time filling in blanks  that   are blank to begin with....


i concur with AM that it could  be lots of thngs...nothing  which in and of itself  is  sign on the dotted line  material.....

wh do so many have  trouble saying i don't know??Iinstead of leaping to wild imaginings and lore  as if one needs to have an answer ..


There are unmanipulated photographs and recordings that suggest the existence of U.F.O's and spirits.  No umanipulated evidence exists that would lead us to believe dragons or any other mythical beasts or creatures.

I have a desire to have an answer because absolute truth would require one to exist.  Using the latest evidence and techniques to flesh out the details of God's existence is what I enjoy doing in order to develop more accurate relative truths.  Each little bit of evidence or new knowledge is a piece of the puzzle for me.  Do I know all of the answers? Of course not.  However, I have my ideas about what the answers are, and, until I find better ideas, I readily back them up.

Edited by MEATLOAF, 04 August 2008 - 09:53 PM.


#773    Jor-el

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Posted 04 August 2008 - 09:52 PM

IamsSon on Aug 4 2008, 05:23 PM, said:

Folks, there's a difference between saying something is a metaphor and saying that the meaning of a certain word or phrase in the original language had certain connotations which can impact the way it reads to those who were the original audience; that's why it's important to study language and cultures as much as possible when studying the Bible.  I believe the Bible is literal, but that doesn't mean I believe the English translations are exact, additionally, I understand that the Bible was not intended to be a science text or a history book, so I take that into account when I read these accounts.  Are talking donkeys possible?  When one takes an omnipotent being into account is anything impossible?


Sometimes IAMS, I really get sick and tired of all the stuff I read on this board, it makes me wonder how you and some others on this board don't throw their hands up in dispair and just pack it in. I see so much ignorance and I mean that with capital lettering "IGNORANCE" that amazes me how you can get through the day on this board. These last few posts have left me simply dumbstruck.

Sometimes I feel I'm talking to deaf, dumb and blind people all day long... and willfully so.

Now, that I've gotten that off my chest here is the way the ancient hebrews interpreted this passage in Genesis 3.

Well, let's analyze the story...

We have a "snake" that is in the Garden of God, this "snake" can speak, it is an intelligent creature, we can even put it on par with Adam and Eve in terms of intelligence. Eve, is not surprised at the existence of a talking "snake" and nowhere in the whole bible do we have evidence that animals could speak.

Just by analyzing it this way, we come to the immediate conclusion that this "snake" wa no ordinary animal. If we take the traditional stance that Satan took over the body of a serpent, we are still left with Eves' lack of surprise at being confronted by a talking serpent.

So, I would say that maybe the wording of the text needs to be looked at more carefully.

The word for "serpent" here is "Nachash" in the hebrew and I will post a few comments I have made on this subject previously in other threads...

The Hebrew word is actually an adjective; meaning "bright", "brazen" [as in shiny brass]) with the prefixed article (ha - the word "the" in Hebrew). The whole word then, in the Hebrew text is ha + nnachash or hannachash (nachash is pronounced nä·khäsh').
Now, we can also view the base word, nachash, as an adjective, not a noun. The NOUN spelled nachash in Hebrew can mean: snake / serpent or one who practices divination.

The adjective means "bright, brazen" and is itself the base word for other nouns in Hebrew, like "shining brass" (nechoshet). In Hebrew grammar, it is not unusual for an adjective to be "converted" for use as a noun (the proper word is "substantivized"). A common example would be "holy one" (with or without the article).

If we take hannachash as deriving from the adjective rather than as a noun, the translation becomes "the shining one", which is quite in concert with descriptions of Satan in the Old Testament. For example, in Isa 14:12-15, he is called Helel ben-shachar – "The shining one, son of the dawn". Elsewhere, divine beings are described as "shining" or "luminous", by use of the adjective nachash. For example:

Daniel 10:4-6

Now on the twenty-fourth day of the first month, as I was by the side of the great river, that is, the Tigris, I lifted my eyes and looked, and behold, a certain man clothed in linen, whose waist was girded with gold of Uphaz! His body was like beryl, his face like the appearance of lightning, his eyes like torches of fire, his arms and feet like burnished bronze (nechoshet) in color, and the sound of his words like the voice of a multitude.

I think that, in light of the serpentine appearance of divine beings in Yahweh’s presence, what we have in Genesis 3 is wordplay using all the meanings of the "nachash" semantic range. That is, Eve was not talking to a snake. She was speaking to a bright, shining upright being who was serpentine in appearance, and who was trying to bewitch her with lies.

She was in the presence of one of the sons of God, beings who had free will, who were more powerful than mere angels, whom humanity was created "a little lower" (Psalm 8:4-5; the phrase usually translated as "a little lower than the angels" is actually "a little lower than the elohim" in the Hebrew text). She was speaking to a member of the divine council who did not share Yahweh’s enthusiasm for his new creation, humankind, to whom Yahweh had just given rule over the planet (Gen 1:26-27). These mere humans were (as the "lesser elohim" had been previously) created as Yahweh’s image (“let US”… “OUR” in Gen 1:26-27), to rule the cosmos for Yahweh, and earth – at least until humanity was fashioned. In this last regard, I share the view of certain lines of Jewish tradition that teach the "serpent’s" motive for seducing Eve was jealousy at humanity’s "appointment" as supreme authority under Yahweh on earth, as opposed to the sons of God getting that job.

Now, the term Sons of God deals with another aspect of the Old testament which is relevant but would make this post extremely long.

If you are curious to know how this all fits together you can visit the following link...

All of this information can be accessed at: The Divine Council.com

To recap, "Nachash then has three possible applications according to the Hebrew language...

1. As a noun it can mean serpent or snake (no limbs)

2. As an adjective that means "the shinning one" or "Luminescent one" which is synonymous of other applications in the Old Testament referring to Satan.

3. As a noun it can also mean "One who deals in or practices divination".


It is my opinion that all three meanings are implict in the term "Nachash" applied to Genesis 3 which is simply translated as "serpent".


Let us now see how this fits into the text, and you can make up your mind on the issue...

Genesis 3:1-5

1 Now the "the shinning one" was more crafty than any of the living beings the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, "Did God really say, 'You must not eat from any tree in the garden'?"
2 The woman said to the "the shinning one", "We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, 'You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.' "

4 "You will not surely die," the "the shinning one" said to the woman. 5 "For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."


Let me add that one of the Dead Sea Scrolls (4Q535, Manuscript cool.gif, written from Amram's point of view, and dubbed the Testament of Amram gives further interesting insight to this subject of the snake.

The document is dated to the 2nd century BC and, in the form of a vision, briefly discusses dualism and the Watchers:

I saw Watchers in my vision, the dream-vision. Two men were fighting over me ... holding a great contest over me. I asked them, 'Who are you, that you are thus empowered over me?' They answered, 'We have been empowered and rule over all mankind.' They said to me, 'Which of us do you choose to rule you?' I raised my eyes and looked. One of them was terrifying in his appearance, like a serpent, his cloak, many-colored yet very dark. ... And I looked again, and in his appearance, his visage like a viper. ... I replied to him, 'This Watcher, who is he?' He answered, 'This Watcher ... his three names are Belial and Prince of Darkness and King of Evil.' I said (to the other Watcher), 'My lord, what dominion (have you?)' He answered, 'You saw (the viper), and he is empowered over all Darkness, while I (am empowered over all Light.) ... My three names are Michael, Prince of Light and King of Righteousness.

As can be seen from the above text, this idea of a serpent like spiritual being was well known to the Hebrews.

Now for Balaams donkey...

Numbers 22:22-35

As Balaam and two servants were riding along, 23 Balaam’s donkey saw the angel of the Lord standing in the road with a drawn sword in his hand. The donkey bolted off the road into a field, but Balaam beat it and turned it back onto the road. 24 Then the angel of the Lord stood at a place where the road narrowed between two vineyard walls. 25 When the donkey saw the angel of the Lord, it tried to squeeze by and crushed Balaam’s foot against the wall. So Balaam beat the donkey again. 26 Then the angel of the Lord moved farther down the road and stood in a place too narrow for the donkey to get by at all. 27 This time when the donkey saw the angel, it lay down under Balaam. In a fit of rage Balaam beat the animal again with his staff.
28 Then the Lord gave the donkey the ability to speak. “What have I done to you that deserves your beating me three times?” it asked Balaam.

29 “You have made me look like a fool!” Balaam shouted. “If I had a sword with me, I would kill you!”

30 “But I am the same donkey you have ridden all your life,” the donkey answered. “Have I ever done anything like this before?”

“No,” Balaam admitted.

31 Then the Lord opened Balaam’s eyes, and he saw the angel of the Lord standing in the roadway with a drawn sword in his hand. Balaam bowed his head and fell face down on the ground before him.

32 “Why did you beat your donkey those three times?” the angel of the Lord demanded. “Look, I have come to block your way because you are stubbornly resisting me. 33 Three times the donkey saw me and shied away; otherwise, I would certainly have killed you by now and spared the donkey.”

34 Then Balaam confessed to the angel of the Lord, “I have sinned. I didn’t realize you were standing in the road to block my way. I will return home if you are against my going.”

35 But the angel of the Lord told Balaam, “Go with these men, but say only what I tell you to say.” So Balaam went on with Balak’s officials.


As can be seen by the text, the donkey could not naturally speak. This was an act of God. God gave the donkey the ability to speak in that moment. If God can part the seas and create the world, what is so difficult about giving a donkey the temporary ability to speak?

So, no animals did not have and never had the natural ability to speak, the snake didn't have legs that were cut down, that is normally the way we tell the story to children, but it is not based on biblical truth, because much more is hidden in the text than the simple words people read.

Edited by Jor-el, 04 August 2008 - 09:58 PM.

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#774    churchanddestroy

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Posted 04 August 2008 - 10:06 PM

IamsSon on Aug 4 2008, 09:46 AM, said:

Let's cut through all the BS here.  If there were no talking "snake" and donkey, or even an ark, or a first man and first woman, you would simply find something else to put up as your reason for doubting, so why waste time making a big deal about all of this?


Jorel said this

Jor-el on Aug 3 2008, 05:38 PM, said:

Sorry, no talking snakes in the bible, unless you want to stay at the kindergarten level in scripture. Which is where most people are anyways.


And that is what I am arguing about. There very clearly is a talking snake in the Bible. I'm not arguing whether it exists or not, I'm just saying, metaphor or not, the snake talked.

Also, just a side point, don't any christians out there think its remotely interesting that the Judeo-Christian story is extremely similar to the older Sumerian one? Does anyone feel like adding 2+2 together or do I have to explain that no matter how much theology you may or may not know, the metaphorical and theological validity of the story comes to a screeching halt when you realize that the story was not, in fact, inspired by God but was inspired by men, who lent their story in turn to other men.

Quote

The problem is you do not accept that the Creator of the universe would waste it's time messing with the bipedal intelligent species in a small planet around a tiny star in a non-descript galaxy, so no matter what Jor-el says or doesn't say, it's not going to sway you.  Frankly, nothing anyone says is supposed to sway you.  At best what we do is plant a seed, you decide whether you will allow that seed to grow or not, and God eagerly waits to share His love with you.

I don't accept anything anyone has ever told me about God, other than that I believe that God or a being or force of some sort that could bear that title exists. I just don't. Sorry, its my personal philosophy to relegate anything anyone claims to know about the personality, purpose, and qualities of God to pure speculation. I do not accept the idea that God is going to judge me based on whether or not I believe in Jesus Christ. An omnipotent, omniscient and benevolent deity would surely know better than to base salvation or damnation on belief in a man who is (historical evidence wise) non existent. Or faith in a book written an compiled by men for political purposes.

You see, the difference between your mentality and mine is that for me, salvation does not come with Baptism or faith, but rather salvation is found in becoming who we are and being true to ourselves. Christianity is not true to me, and I cannot, not with good conscience, believe in Jesus Christ. Its not who I am, and if the God that you think created us all is dissatisfied with the fact that I'm being true to myself, well... I would hardly call him a merciful God then, now could I?

I don't cling like a drowning rat to any book or dogma or creed. I don't expect anyone to believe what I believe, nor do I expect the higher power I believe in to damn, eternally by the way, those infidels who do not adhere to my brand of Deism. I don't pretend to know God or have any connection to him whatsoever. Others paths to their own salvation are not my concern, nor should they be because that is their own path. I do concern myself with this splendid little thing we call existence and everyone else who shares it with me. I concern myself with life and love and laughter and if God thinks that even though I do the same things you profess to (live and love and laugh) I am still not worthy enough because I don't believe what you believe, even though there is nothing to back up what anyone believes other than faith... then God is not God.

When men yield up the privilege of thinking, the last shadow of liberty quits the horizon.

#775    IamsSon

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Posted 04 August 2008 - 10:10 PM

Great post, Jor-el

Thank you my friend.  My brain is too fried lately to even attempt this much research and writing.  God bless you for your perseverance.

"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

#776    churchanddestroy

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Posted 04 August 2008 - 10:12 PM

Jor-el on Aug 4 2008, 04:52 PM, said:

Sometimes IAMS, I really get sick and tired of all the stuff I read on this board, it makes me wonder how you and some others on this board don't throw their hands up in dispair and just pack it in. I see so much ignorance and I mean that with capital lettering "IGNORANCE" that amazes me how you can get through the day on this board. These last few posts have left me simply dumbstruck.

Sometimes I feel I'm talking to deaf, dumb and blind people all day long... and willfully so.


Maybe I'm ignorant, and maybe I'm not, but at least I'm not arrogant. At least I understand my limitations, and at least I do not pretend to know the secrets of the Universe.

Edit: PS, how very Christian of you  rolleyes.gif

Edited by churchanddestroy, 04 August 2008 - 10:12 PM.

When men yield up the privilege of thinking, the last shadow of liberty quits the horizon.

#777    Dr. D

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Posted 04 August 2008 - 10:13 PM

Jor-el on Aug 4 2008, 09:52 PM, said:

Sometimes IAMS, I really get sick and tired of all the stuff I read on this board, it makes me wonder how you and some others on this board don't throw their hands up in dispair and just pack it in. I see so much ignorance and I mean that with capital lettering "IGNORANCE" that amazes me how you can get through the day on this board. These last few posts have left me simply dumbstruck.

Sometimes I feel I'm talking to deaf, dumb and blind people all day long... and willfully so.

Now, that I've gotten that off my chest here is the way the ancient hebrews interpreted this passage in Genesis 3.

Well, let's analyze the story...

We have a "snake" that is in the Garden of God, this "snake" can speak, it is an intelligent creature, we can even put it on par with Adam and Eve in terms of intelligence. Eve, is not surprised at the existence of a talking "snake" and nowhere in the whole bible do we have evidence that animals could speak.

Just by analyzing it this way, we come to the immediate conclusion that this "snake" wa no ordinary animal. If we take the traditional stance that Satan took over the body of a serpent, we are still left with Eves' lack of surprise at being confronted by a talking serpent.

So, I would say that maybe the wording of the text needs to be looked at more carefully.

The word for "serpent" here is "Nachash" in the hebrew and I will post a few comments I have made on this subject previously in other threads...

The Hebrew word is actually an adjective; meaning "bright", "brazen" [as in shiny brass]) with the prefixed article (ha - the word "the" in Hebrew). The whole word then, in the Hebrew text is ha + nnachash or hannachash (nachash is pronounced nä·khäsh').
Now, we can also view the base word, nachash, as an adjective, not a noun. The NOUN spelled nachash in Hebrew can mean: snake / serpent or one who practices divination.

The adjective means "bright, brazen" and is itself the base word for other nouns in Hebrew, like "shining brass" (nechoshet). In Hebrew grammar, it is not unusual for an adjective to be "converted" for use as a noun (the proper word is "substantivized"). A common example would be "holy one" (with or without the article).

If we take hannachash as deriving from the adjective rather than as a noun, the translation becomes "the shining one", which is quite in concert with descriptions of Satan in the Old Testament. For example, in Isa 14:12-15, he is called Helel ben-shachar – "The shining one, son of the dawn". Elsewhere, divine beings are described as "shining" or "luminous", by use of the adjective nachash. For example:

Daniel 10:4-6

Now on the twenty-fourth day of the first month, as I was by the side of the great river, that is, the Tigris, I lifted my eyes and looked, and behold, a certain man clothed in linen, whose waist was girded with gold of Uphaz! His body was like beryl, his face like the appearance of lightning, his eyes like torches of fire, his arms and feet like burnished bronze (nechoshet) in color, and the sound of his words like the voice of a multitude.

I think that, in light of the serpentine appearance of divine beings in Yahweh’s presence, what we have in Genesis 3 is wordplay using all the meanings of the "nachash" semantic range. That is, Eve was not talking to a snake. She was speaking to a bright, shining upright being who was serpentine in appearance, and who was trying to bewitch her with lies.

She was in the presence of one of the sons of God, beings who had free will, who were more powerful than mere angels, whom humanity was created "a little lower" (Psalm 8:4-5; the phrase usually translated as "a little lower than the angels" is actually "a little lower than the elohim" in the Hebrew text). She was speaking to a member of the divine council who did not share Yahweh’s enthusiasm for his new creation, humankind, to whom Yahweh had just given rule over the planet (Gen 1:26-27). These mere humans were (as the "lesser elohim" had been previously) created as Yahweh’s image (“let US”… “OUR” in Gen 1:26-27), to rule the cosmos for Yahweh, and earth – at least until humanity was fashioned. In this last regard, I share the view of certain lines of Jewish tradition that teach the "serpent’s" motive for seducing Eve was jealousy at humanity’s "appointment" as supreme authority under Yahweh on earth, as opposed to the sons of God getting that job.

Now, the term Sons of God deals with another aspect of the Old testament which is relevant but would make this post extremely long.

If you are curious to know how this all fits together you can visit the following link...

All of this information can be accessed at: The Divine Council.com

To recap, "Nachash then has three possible applications according to the Hebrew language...

1. As a noun it can mean serpent or snake (no limbs)

2. As an adjective that means "the shinning one" or "Luminescent one" which is synonymous of other applications in the Old Testament referring to Satan.

3. As a noun it can also mean "One who deals in or practices divination".


It is my opinion that all three meanings are implict in the term "Nachash" applied to Genesis 3 which is simply translated as "serpent".


Let us now see how this fits into the text, and you can make up your mind on the issue...

Genesis 3:1-5

1 Now the "the shinning one" was more crafty than any of the living beings the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, "Did God really say, 'You must not eat from any tree in the garden'?"
2 The woman said to the "the shinning one", "We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, 'You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.' "

4 "You will not surely die," the "the shinning one" said to the woman. 5 "For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."


Let me add that one of the Dead Sea Scrolls (4Q535, Manuscript cool.gif, written from Amram's point of view, and dubbed the Testament of Amram gives further interesting insight to this subject of the snake.

The document is dated to the 2nd century BC and, in the form of a vision, briefly discusses dualism and the Watchers:

I saw Watchers in my vision, the dream-vision. Two men were fighting over me ... holding a great contest over me. I asked them, 'Who are you, that you are thus empowered over me?' They answered, 'We have been empowered and rule over all mankind.' They said to me, 'Which of us do you choose to rule you?' I raised my eyes and looked. One of them was terrifying in his appearance, like a serpent, his cloak, many-colored yet very dark. ... And I looked again, and in his appearance, his visage like a viper. ... I replied to him, 'This Watcher, who is he?' He answered, 'This Watcher ... his three names are Belial and Prince of Darkness and King of Evil.' I said (to the other Watcher), 'My lord, what dominion (have you?)' He answered, 'You saw (the viper), and he is empowered over all Darkness, while I (am empowered over all Light.) ... My three names are Michael, Prince of Light and King of Righteousness.

As can be seen from the above text, this idea of a serpent like spiritual being was well known to the Hebrews.

Now for Balaams donkey...

Numbers 22:22-35

As Balaam and two servants were riding along, 23 Balaam’s donkey saw the angel of the Lord standing in the road with a drawn sword in his hand. The donkey bolted off the road into a field, but Balaam beat it and turned it back onto the road. 24 Then the angel of the Lord stood at a place where the road narrowed between two vineyard walls. 25 When the donkey saw the angel of the Lord, it tried to squeeze by and crushed Balaam’s foot against the wall. So Balaam beat the donkey again. 26 Then the angel of the Lord moved farther down the road and stood in a place too narrow for the donkey to get by at all. 27 This time when the donkey saw the angel, it lay down under Balaam. In a fit of rage Balaam beat the animal again with his staff.
28 Then the Lord gave the donkey the ability to speak. “What have I done to you that deserves your beating me three times?” it asked Balaam.

29 “You have made me look like a fool!” Balaam shouted. “If I had a sword with me, I would kill you!”

30 “But I am the same donkey you have ridden all your life,” the donkey answered. “Have I ever done anything like this before?”

“No,” Balaam admitted.

31 Then the Lord opened Balaam’s eyes, and he saw the angel of the Lord standing in the roadway with a drawn sword in his hand. Balaam bowed his head and fell face down on the ground before him.

32 “Why did you beat your donkey those three times?” the angel of the Lord demanded. “Look, I have come to block your way because you are stubbornly resisting me. 33 Three times the donkey saw me and shied away; otherwise, I would certainly have killed you by now and spared the donkey.”

34 Then Balaam confessed to the angel of the Lord, “I have sinned. I didn’t realize you were standing in the road to block my way. I will return home if you are against my going.”

35 But the angel of the Lord told Balaam, “Go with these men, but say only what I tell you to say.” So Balaam went on with Balak’s officials.


As can be seen by the text, the donkey could not naturally speak. This was an act of God. God gave the donkey the ability to speak in that moment. If God can part the seas and create the world, what is so difficult about giving a donkey the temporary ability to speak?

So, no animals did not have and never had the natural ability to speak, the snake didn't have legs that were cut down, that is normally the way we tell the story to children, but it is not based on biblical truth, because much more is hidden in the text than the simple words people read.


Regardless of the preposterous dimensions of the stories, my contention was that the translations have been consistent and Nachash has been translated as "serpent" and Balaam spoke with the donkey.  Nothing more, nothing less.



#778    Jor-el

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Posted 04 August 2008 - 10:16 PM

churchanddestroy on Aug 4 2008, 11:12 PM, said:

Maybe I'm ignorant, and maybe I'm not, but at least I'm not arrogant. At least I understand my limitations, and at least I do not pretend to know the secrets of the Universe.

Edit: PS, how very Christian of you  rolleyes.gif


Yeah, maybe you are right and that was very arrogant of me, yet it doesn't excuse peoples inherent lazyness when it comes to studying the bible. So go right ahead and call me arrogant, but at least in future don't give us anymore hogwash about talking snakes...

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#779    Jor-el

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Posted 04 August 2008 - 10:18 PM

Dr. D on Aug 4 2008, 11:13 PM, said:

Regardless of the preposterous dimensions of the stories, my contention was that the translations have been consistent and Nachash has been translated as "serpent" and Balaam spoke with the donkey.  Nothing more, nothing less.


And that is why I say you guys who continually pass for expert debunkers of the bible, don't even bother to pass the kindergarten level of theology.

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#780    Dr. D

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Posted 04 August 2008 - 10:24 PM

Jor-el on Aug 4 2008, 10:18 PM, said:

And that is why I say you guys who continually pass for expert debunkers of the bible, don't even bother to pass the kindergarten level of theology.


Kindergarten teachers have tales of dragons, witches, monsters and magicians . . . . they are called fairytales.  It is at that same level that snakes and donkeys speak by any normal human rationale.

My comment as to translation . . . . was correct and I doubt that you can refute it.

No amount of exegesis or imagination can convert an event defying all natural law into a believable context unless you are prone to such beliefs in the first place.  Many, like me, are not.  

The hostile attitude of Christians is exactly like yours.  If anyone considers such tales to be less than credible, they are debunkers . . . . maybe infidels?  Instead of defending the Bible, why not live by it and accept that other people have their opinions and the right to express them?





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