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Ben Masada

And the Sun Stood Still

192 posts in this topic

It's not what you would need to cause the earth to stop spinning that intrigues me its the results of doing so and again, the idea that Jehovah apparently needs a sacrifice within our physical reality in order to compensate for sin but is not subject to the physical laws of that same reality. It makes no sense to me personally.

It makes no sense to me either as I am of the opinion that the Lord needs nothing from man or otherwise. The whole thing is to be found in the realm of religion. Hence faith is the word.

Ben

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I would think that a god manipulating the laws of the universe would be a prime example of deified magic. secondly, If god is not subject to the laws of sin the why the need for a sacrifice of a physical representation of himself or his son or however you wish to refer to Jesus for us.To whom was this sacrifice made and in our physical universe for that matter? He had to compensate for sin in our physical universe but is not subject to the physical laws of our universe. I just don't understand it. I may never understand. If it makes sense to you then carry on my friend!

IMHO, there is no honest struggle in your mind to understand the nature of God as I can see that you insist on the literal things in the Bible which are supposed to be interpreted metaphorically. You must be an atheist dressing with the fur of a lamb trying to fish in a theistic pond. According to the thread, I have made it very clear that what happened was a metaphor of the sun standing still to point to the five kings locked up in the cave till the battle was over. Now, you are taking the issue down to the Christian doctrine of sacrificial atonement of God in the body of Jesus. Hey, if you want to discuss that, set it up on the open. As far as I am concerned, the issue of "The sun stood still" is solved. It was not a miracle but a military strategy.

Ben

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My dear Ben when it comes to hypotheses, yours are not significantly better than mine, are we now arguing how many angels fit on the head of a pin?

All we can do, (even you) is provide possibilites. None of us were there, none of can go back in time and none of us have evidence of the events one way or another, you say metaphor, I say, time dilation or simply a comet...

Right but what I have done is to elaborate on evidencial facts down on the text. You are hypothetizing as in "How about if..., and what about if...?" To hypothesize is to speculate without a positive aim at reality.

Ben

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Ben, I'm not an atheist per se. I don't prefer labels when it comes to my worldview as labels quickly become a point of fixation and attachment but that's neither here nor there. I thought I was clear with your viewpoints on god and I take no issue with a metaphorical interpretation or even the possibility of a literal interpretation for that matter. I just have the issues which I have mentioned previously with a literal interpretation. We're on the same page Ben. I don't disagree with anything you've posted in this thread.

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We don't understand today but may understand how in the future? is that the gist? we may not understand either. either way it makes no sense to me right here and now. It may make sense to you because you are comfortable inserting your god into the situation and thats fine. im just personally not of that religious persuasion. As far as sin, let's try again. I don't think I'm communicating my issue here effectively. It's not whether or not he sacrificed himself or even his reasons for doing so. I'm questioning the need to do so. If he had to sacrifice Jesus in order to compensate for our sins rather than just forgive then then he indeed is subject to the laws of sin. Sin would be something that even he must compensate for in someway with a physical sacrifice and thus, if sin is real, why would he not be subject to the rest of the laws of the universe? Do you see what I'm getting at? The fact that he needed a sacrifice at all rather than just simply forgiving sin would suggest that he is subject to the laws of the universe, if sin is believed to be real. I'm trying to communicate this more effectively.

No one can die for the sins of another. (Jer. 31:30) God has nothing to do with the sins of men. God has no need to forgive the sin of nobody. If we need forgiveness of our sins it is from whom we offended or committed our sins against. God does not need sacrifices. He needs nothing. We are the ones who need to repent of our evil ways and turn back into obedience of the Law. That's as simple as that.

Ben

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And Ben, that I can understand. I think we understand each other here. My issue is with the need for a physical sacrifice of Jesus' life rather than just just forgive sin. Rather than repeat my issues on that and further muddy the waters I'll just refer to my last post on the issue. I think we both have issues with this although they may not be the same issues.

There was no such a sacrifice. Jesus was condemned on political charges for having been acclaimed king of the Jews at the entrance of Jerusalem. Hence his verdict of INRI nailed on the top of his cross. Besides, Jesus was a Jewish man and a learned one for that matter. He would not go against the Scriptures by subjecting himself to the Christian version of what happened to him.

Ben

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Posted (edited)

Right but what I have done is to elaborate on evidencial facts down on the text. You are hypothetizing as in "How about if..., and what about if...?" To hypothesize is to speculate without a positive aim at reality.

Ben

Ben, to be fair hypothesizing is part and parcel of thinking logically, it is a way in which we address the unknowns in our reality. It is in this we can get to the reality. We do this by sifting through the 'how bout's' and 'what if's'. Eliminating, revising as we go.

Edited by Sherapy

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Again Ben, your position makes sense to me. No, it's not my personal belief but It makes sense to me.

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Right but what I have done is to elaborate on evidencial facts down on the text. You are hypothetizing as in "How about if..., and what about if...?" To hypothesize is to speculate without a positive aim at reality.

Ben

I am sorry but I must disagree, there is no evidence that the hypothesis you put forward is implied or even understood in the text itself. It is as you initially put it, the interpretation of one man who lived centuries ago.

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Posted (edited)

I am sorry but I must disagree, there is no evidence that the hypothesis you put forward is implied or even understood in the text itself. It is as you initially put it, the interpretation of one man who lived centuries ago.

You know Jor el, I do agree (and I don't think either perspective works for me for that matter to be honest.) I think both interpretations are just that personal takes on what the bible means. In fact, I think that literal interpretation is more a reflection of the personal world view and influences of each of us more than any thing else.

Edited by Sherapy
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You know Jor el, I do agree (and I don't think either perspective works for me for that matter to be honest.) I think both interpretations are just that personal takes on what the bible means. In fact, I think that literal interpretation is more a reflection of the personal world view and influences of each of us more than any thing else.

In truth there is nothing one can say that is not a personal take on a particular issue.

That being said one can find some evidence to support one view over another, the starting point however must be whether one can honestly choose a metaphorical intent over a historical intent in the text.

In my case I don't deny that a metaphorical view is the easier approach. When confronted with the apparantly unexplainable, that is usually the easiest take. But, again can the text honestly support such a view?

The argument here is not whether the event actually happened but whether the text was written as history or merely as metaphor.

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In truth there is nothing one can say that is not a personal take on a particular issue.

That being said one can find some evidence to support one view over another, the starting point however must be whether one can honestly choose a metaphorical intent over a historical intent in the text.

In my case I don't deny that a metaphorical view is the easier approach. When confronted with the apparantly unexplainable, that is usually the easiest take. But, again can the text honestly support such a view?

The argument here is not whether the event actually happened but whether the text was written as history or merely as metaphor.

Are you going with metaphor?

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Are you going with metaphor?

Nope. That is Bens corner of the market.

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Yer ,and they told lies in those days,the same as they do now.

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Yer ,and they told lies in those days,the same as they do now.

They told the truth as they saw it through their own eyes, just as we do now. Lies are purposeful distortions of a truth and we know them to be so unless we are mentally ill.

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Hmm, here I would have to disagree, to use this particular parable in regard to Jesus own ressurection, is oblique and indirect. Only the last line would connect with the resurrection theme. The overall morality of the story is that you reap what you sow. This applies to both the rich man and to Lazarus both recieved their just reward.

Righteous and Wicked are separated at death and held till a great judgment. (1 Enoch 22; Pseudo Philo 32:13; 2 Baruch. 21:33; 30:1; 4 Ezra 4:35, 41; 7:32, 80, 85, 95, 101, 121)

As one can see the connection is not without precedent in Judaism, even if it is rejected today. It was especially evident in the 2nd temple period, of wich Jesus himself was part of.

One of two conclusions can be drawn from this, a) Jesus believed as most other Jews of the day in the things related to us in the Gospels, such as separation of the righteous and the wicked till judgement, or b ) that Jesus was in the minority in what he preached to the Jewish audience.

That books like Enoch, Baruch and a number of other pseudoepigrapha written in the inter-testamental period were not only extremely popular but well recieved and accepted by most of Judaism is self evident, thus indicating that (a) is the logical answer.

Possibly. "You reap what you sow" is a biblical theme. However, we still cannot then use the parable in Luke 16 as a basis for deciding that the description given there is an accurate one of what awaits the wicked in the next life. Nevertheless, I feel with the final comment that no one will believe you even if you rise from the dead was a commentary on Jesus' death and resurrection.

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The criticism of miracles based on the difficulties about them our modern knowledge creates are useful. After all, if the text says, "Such and such happened," then we cannot sidestep this by saying God made it appear to happen, or God did something else that had that effect. We have to stick with the sun stood still in the sky, etc.

Still, if you are talking about a being that can do anything, then maybe we should just forget all this and just accept it as a miracle and relax.

Except there is a more general problem with miracles. If God created it all in the first place, why does He have to do special things to interfere with the working of His creation? Its as though what he made is not quite functioning and he has to make adjustments here and there.

This is also a problem I have with certain kinds of prayer -- those where we ask God for something. It may not be selfish -- say we are praying for world peace. What are you really doing here? You are asking God to interfere. You are in effect asking God to replace what He wants with what you want. No wonder these prayers so often end with a sort-of apology "Above all Your will be done." Such prayers are a bit much -- please do what I want but if You don't want to then please don't.

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Posted (edited)

Sorry people I seem to be having problems editing this post for some reason...

Edited by Jor-el

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Posted (edited)

Possibly. "You reap what you sow" is a biblical theme. However, we still cannot then use the parable in Luke 16 as a basis for deciding that the description given there is an accurate one of what awaits the wicked in the next life. Nevertheless, I feel with the final comment that no one will believe you even if you rise from the dead was a commentary on Jesus' death and resurrection.

You reap what you sow, is definitely a biblical theme, one that extends from Genesis right down to Revelation. Besides being directly quoted in Galatians 6:7, there a huge number of verses on the subject and idea. it is also the basis for the parable of the rich man and Lazarus.

http://www.openbible.info/topics/reaping_what_you_sow

Naturally the last line is relevant as an indicator to Jesus future death and resurrection, but as I said that is not what the central theme of the parable is about. We might call it a little jab at the Pharisees, but that is all.

Most of the commentaries I glossed over do not even give either of our reasons for this parable, To them the parable is about using money wisely and justly.

I do get what you are saying though, I am led to think about another Lazarus we all know of, the one who was raised from the dead. I wonder if this is the same man. If that is so it says alot about how the theme of death and resurrection fits here.

This is how Jesus' enemies reacted:

John 12:9-11

"Meanwhile a large crowd of Jews found out that Jesus was there and came, not only because of him but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. So the chief priests made plans to kill Lazarus as well, for on account of him many of the Jews were going over to Jesus and putting their faith in him."

So it seems that Jesus jab in this parable implies alot more than what is apparant. Either way, there is no way to disprove or prove that the afterlife is exactly described as is written down here in this parable. I personally believe it is, there is no reason for Jesus to invent when the truth serves equally well.

Edited by Jor-el

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I posted this months ago! Nobody even considered it. No one had any explanation for "a missing day during the historic record." Glad to see you brought it back Ben. :tu:

Always thought references like this were interesting:

Discussion of the Missing Day in Earth's History(The Day the Sun Stood Still)

It is reported by historians that records of the Chinese during the reign of Emperor Yeo, who lived at the same time as Joshua, report "a long day." Also, Heroditus, a Greek historian, wrote that an account of "a long day" appears in records of Egyptian priests. Others cite records of Mexicans of the sun standing still for an entire day in a year denoted as "Seven Rabits," which is the same year in which Joshua defeated the Philistines and conquered Palestine. ("Bible-Science Newsletter," DAILY READING MAGAZINE - Supplement, Vol. VIII - No. 5, May 1978, Caldwell, Idaho.) Additionally, the historical lore of the Aztecs, Peruvians, and Babylonians speak of a "day of twice natural length."

In 1970, a story appeared in "The Evening World," a newpaper in Spencer, Indiana, about a consultant to the space program named Harold Hill (deceased) citing that he was told a computer program had found a "missing day." Though the computer program story could never be validated, interesting speculations and studies ensued about what astronomical mechanism might result in the "Earth standing still" for 24 hours.

One person suggested a large asteroid, perhaps 480 miles in diameter, may have struck Earth's mantle slowing Earth's rotation to a standstill by causing the hard mantle and molten core to separate for 24 hours as a bicycle's speed brake might slowly bring the wheels to a halt with the inter spokes continuing to rotate. After 24 hours, the friction between the stationary mantle and rotating core would accelerate the mantle to rotate once more.

The mechanism and collision would have to be somewhat viscous so that both the deceleration and acceleration was so gradual as to go unnoticed by Earth's inhabitants. The theory cites Professor Totten as writing that Newton described a way Earth's rotation could abruptly be slowed without its inhabitants noticing the slowing. A close encounter with the asteroid Hermes (500,000 miles) by Earth in 1937 is given as an example of the likelihood that such a collision might have occurred in Joshua's time.

The existance of a depressed (sink ) region of great size between Hawaii and the Philippines featuring long fracture lines at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean which extend outward to the continents is offered as the remains of the asteroid causing the loss of a day in the Earth's history. ("How To Live Like a King's Kid," Harold Hill with Irene Harrell, Bridge Publishing, Inc., South Plainfield, New Jersey, 1974, p. 74.)

It is very probable that those legends about a missing day in the history of the universe were known by the author and influenced the writer of this text about Joshua at his conquest of Canaan. Then, he used the simile to embellish the quasi-miraculous strategy Joshua applied to keep the five kings locked up in the cave of Makkedah while the Israelites fought the five armies and defeated them. It must have been indeed a "long" day.

Ben

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Ben, to be fair hypothesizing is part and parcel of thinking logically, it is a way in which we address the unknowns in our reality. It is in this we can get to the reality. We do this by sifting through the 'how bout's' and 'what if's'. Eliminating, revising as we go.

I agree with you Sherapy; it does make a lot of sense. That's a kind of approach to the Truth by eliminating possibilities.

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I agree with you Sherapy; it does make a lot of sense. That's a kind of approach to the Truth by eliminating possibilities.

Indeed, I tip my hat to Euclid and Descartes for it too.

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I am sorry but I must disagree, there is no evidence that the hypothesis you put forward is implied or even understood in the text itself. It is as you initially put it, the interpretation of one man who lived centuries ago.

Throughout the Bible we have references to the fall of kingdoms and political powers reported as the fall of the stars from heaven and other instances of catastrophical disasters in the heavens above. Then the author chose to embelish Joshua's strategy of the five kings in the cave of Makkedah to metaphorize the inertia of the sun and moon in the sky. If it were possible the use of a time machine to go back in time to that event, I am sure Joshua would refer that success to his strategy and not to a literal interpretation that the sun indeed stood still. And I am sure you agree with me, but it is almost equally catastrophic to watch one's illusions washed through under the bridge, especailly after many years that one has been fed on them. This happens more often with old people. You know, habit is too hard to break.

Ben

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Nope. That is Bens corner of the market.

I enjoy reading Ben's thoughts on the biblical metaphors, his posts reflect that he has put thought into his perspective, I think he adds a lot to the discussion and it is my impression that he is framing his opinion as just that. You are not suggesting that your perspective is the only one possible are you?

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The criticism of miracles based on the difficulties about them our modern knowledge creates are useful. After all, if the text says, "Such and such happened," then we cannot sidestep this by saying God made it appear to happen, or God did something else that had that effect. We have to stick with the sun stood still in the sky, etc.

Still, if you are talking about a being that can do anything, then maybe we should just forget all this and just accept it as a miracle and relax.

Except there is a more general problem with miracles. If God created it all in the first place, why does He have to do special things to interfere with the working of His creation? Its as though what he made is not quite functioning and he has to make adjustments here and there.

This is also a problem I have with certain kinds of prayer -- those where we ask God for something. It may not be selfish -- say we are praying for world peace. What are you really doing here? You are asking God to interfere. You are in effect asking God to replace what He wants with what you want. No wonder these prayers so often end with a sort-of apology "Above all Your will be done." Such prayers are a bit much -- please do what I want but if You don't want to then please don't.

What is a miracle Frank, is it not an act against nature or supernatural event? If man could do that, yes, it would be a miracle. But a miracle could not be of God because what could be a miracle to the Creator of the universe? So, the miracle is ruled out. Now, for prayers, what is a prayer, isn't it an attempt to make God change His mind? Since God is not like a man to change His mind, prayers become an exercise in futility; unless we become conscious that it functions from us to us about ourselves.(Num. 23:19)

Ben

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