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Profanity in the Bible!


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#1    Paranoid Android

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Posted 23 August 2014 - 09:04 AM

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What the Bleep Does the Bible Say About Profanity

One of my favorite and most uncomfortable memories as a Bible professor was when I had Old Testament scholar, Tremper Longman, give a guest lecture on the Song of Songs. Tremper specializes in ancient near Eastern love poetry. No, hes not some creepy old guy who gets off on ancient erotic fiction. Hes an authority on the Song of Songs, and he interprets the biblical Song in light of other ancient love poemsas it should be.

Ill never forget feeling the tension in the classroom as he went into detail about the real meaning of the poem. His body is polished ivory, says the ESV, but according to Tremper, the Hebrew word for body refers to the mans midsection and the image of ivory is intended to invoke the original form of ivory: an elephants tusk. Yes, thats right. The wife in Song of Songs 5:14 is admiring her well-hung husband.

Full article - http://www.relevantm...Xel7GRttOjMZ.99
Found this to be an interesting read.

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#2    eight bits

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Posted 23 August 2014 - 09:20 AM

Um, PA, the more discerning reader has long realized that the folks in Song of Songs are getting it on.

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#3    Paranoid Android

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Posted 23 August 2014 - 09:39 AM

I know.  That's only one point in the article and some of the other examples aren't so well known, and the overarching point is the appropriateness of cuss words in  Christian life.  Imagine if a pastor swore at his congregation during a sermon to ram home a theological point that his congregation are ignoring in their life? Paul did it in the epistles he wrote, but Christians thought it was too rude, so they toned it down to make it "Church  friendly".

That's what I got out of the article, not the example in the first two  paragraphs.

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#4    Lilly

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Posted 23 August 2014 - 09:44 AM

Well...they were husband and wife (what did they think they were doing?).

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#5    questionmark

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Posted 23 August 2014 - 10:14 AM

View PostLilly, on 23 August 2014 - 09:44 AM, said:

Well...they were husband and wife (what did they think they were doing?).

Certainly not such a heinous, dastardly and unclean act!

Sometimes it amuses me that the ideas of the most fought branch in early Christianity of the church (the Gnostic) found their way into the church's mainstream.

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#6    fullywired

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Posted 23 August 2014 - 10:17 AM

*I have often wondered who decided that a certain words were obscene and should not be used ,after all they are just other words but who in the distant past decreed them obscene and why does **** offend but excrement does not it's a funny old world don't you think
Certain words were in common usage in old English but now are deemed offensive,why did they go out of fashion

    fullywired :huh: :huh:

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#7    Peter B

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Posted 23 August 2014 - 10:18 AM

View PostParanoid Android, on 23 August 2014 - 09:04 AM, said:

Found this to be an interesting read.

Yes, thanks for that.

A few years ago I saw a book in a bookshop which was a(nother) translation of the New Testament. What marked this one out was that the translators knew their Greek (and Aramaic?) well enough that they knew bad writing when they saw it - in other words, some books in the New Testament had clearly been written (or dictated) by people who couldn't speak Greek well, or who couldn't organise their thoughts well; other books had clearly been written by people who not only knew their Greek but who could write extremely well.

So what the translators did was translate the books as literally as they could, keeping awkward and convoluted phrases wherever possible, and resisting the editor's urge to tidy up the language.

If nothing else it would have helped show the various gospel and epistle writers as individuals with distinct writing styles.

Sadly I decided not to buy the book...


#8    eight bits

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Posted 23 August 2014 - 11:16 AM

PA

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Imagine if a pastor swore at his congregation during a sermon to ram home a theological point that his congregation are ignoring in their life?
Wouldn't know. That's not how I spend my Sunday mornings :) . Perhaps it's best not to specify further.

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#9    freetoroam

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Posted 23 August 2014 - 02:08 PM

Nothing compared to todays profanities and the Bible has no chance of ever making the top shelf in the local papershop.


#10    davros of skaro

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Posted 23 August 2014 - 03:07 PM

View Postfreetoroam, on 23 August 2014 - 02:08 PM, said:

Nothing compared to todays profanities and the Bible has no chance of ever making the top shelf in the local papershop.

Just think of all the incest.

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#11    Paranoid Android

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Posted 23 August 2014 - 05:00 PM

View Posteight bits, on 23 August 2014 - 11:16 AM, said:

PA


Wouldn't know. That's not how I spend my Sunday mornings :) . Perhaps it's best not to specify further.
Being that I DO spend my Sunday mornings at church, I can say that it would be extremely shocking.  I haven't been at my new church long enough to gauge the state of things, really, but at my first church I spent nine years there, and my second I spent nearly three years (several of whom were from my first church anyway).  After a while you begin to see what specific issues exist within a particular church, and not all churches deal with the same issues.  If the pastor came out during a sermon and pointedly asked the congregation about a universal church-wide problem whether they were going to listen to Jesus and do something, or whether they were content to roll around in pig s***, people would be shocked.

My old pastor was a sci-fi nerd (like me), and though I don't think he's the type of person to do this, I can imagine (based on the article) that a pastor could skirt around this by saying something like "I'm a sci-fi fan, and in many shows they substitute modern swear words with made up words that sound bad but don't offend, like in Battlestar Galactica they use the word "frak" as a general swear word - so I ask you guys, are you going to keep frakking around and doing the same old thing over and over, or are you going to begin to give a frak about your spiritual relationship with God and actually turn around and frakking do something".

Both statements here would be equally shocking.  I'm not sure I know the answer myself.  Despite the article noting that Paul did this, that Ezekiel did this, that others in the Bible did this, there's a level of social conditioning here that tells me in the back of my head that it's not right to swear during a service dedicated to God.  But the authors of the Bible did it, to shock the religious out of their complacency.  So is it really "wrong" in the end?  That's what the article addressed, and that's what I found most interesting about it.  Whether Song of Songs is about a naked body is secondary to that (and as noted, I already knew this one, though not all the examples presented in the article were known to me).

In any case, best wishes for the rest of the weekend, 8bits :tu:

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#12    DecoNoir

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Posted 23 August 2014 - 06:40 PM

View Postfullywired, on 23 August 2014 - 10:17 AM, said:

*I have often wondered who decided that a certain words were obscene and should not be used ,after all they are just other words but who in the distant past decreed them obscene and why does **** offend but excrement does not it's a funny old world don't you think
Certain words were in common usage in old English but now are deemed offensive,why did they go out of fashion

                                            fullywired :huh: :huh:

Well a lot ofwhat is considered profane in the English language comes from a time when nobility in England spoke French, while commoners spoke with a German based dialect. Obviously the language of the rable was considered uncouth, and as time went on and English became the weird hybrid of languages it is, these words kept their status, even if they meant the same thing. For example: manure as opposed to ****.

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#13    eight bits

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Posted 23 August 2014 - 11:21 PM

PA

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In any case, best wishes for the rest of the weekend, 8bits
Thanks, PA. You, too. It was a good article; thanks for posting it.

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#14    Magnanimus

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Posted 25 August 2014 - 08:48 AM

Oh Song of Solomon...

Even more fun for Sunday morning, it's one of the oldest written records of the act of cunnilingus.

7:2- "Your navel is a round goblet/ never lacking in sweet wine."

The navel in the sentence doesn't mean navel in this context.  The word refers to the attachment point of the umbilical cord, which would make this the proper translation if one was referring to a new-born infant.  However in the case of a nubile and clearly sexually active young woman, it refers to the umbilical cord's origin.  Also it occurs in an itemized chain of verses that starts at her feet and works its way up and the next bit of the verse is talking about her stomach, which makes the redundancy oddly placed... Meaning its not redundancy.


#15    Otto von Pickelhaube

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Posted 25 August 2014 - 09:12 AM

And what about Shakespeare? he's full of all that kind of thing. :blush:
Actually, in terms of religions, mainstream Judaism always seems to have had a much more relaxed attitude to this kind of thing than organised Christianity. I think it comes back once again to how influential, particularly, Paul and Augustine have been, in making their personal views the basis for so much mainstream Christian thought. It was them that associated those kind of goings-on with Sin, after all, and led to the tradition of Christianity being at best aloof to that kind of thing, and a lot of them time positively :cry: about it.

If, as it seems, we are in the process of becoming a totalitarian society in which the state apparatus is all-powerful, the ethics most important for the survival of the true, free, human individual would be: cheat, lie, evade, fake it, be elsewhere, forge documents, build improved electronic gadgets in your garage that’ll outwit the gadgets used by the authorities.

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