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Hot Topic (More than 10 Replies) food for thoughtful discussion (Read 1,206 times)
EF
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food for thoughtful discussion
Sep 19th, 2017 at 10:51am
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http://www.thedailybeast.com/interpreting-the-bible-just-got-more-complicated

Major excerpt:

What’s most revealing about the commentary is the manner in which its author interprets his source text. Rather than treating the Gospels as literal history, Fortunatianus viewed these stories as a series of allegories. For example, when Jesus enters a village, Fortunatianus might see the village as a cipher for the church. Other “figures” of the church include boats, sheep, and hens. Other instances of this kind of reading involve numbers: The number 12 is always a reference to the 12 disciples; the number five is a symbol of the five books of the Pentateuch, or Jewish law; and the number 99 (an imperfect version of 100) is a symbol of evil and the Jews (I take no responsibility for his anti-Judaism).

Houghton said, “For people teaching the Bible in the fourth century, it’s not the literal meaning which is important, it’s how it’s read allegorically.” It’s not that Fortunatianus thinks that the Bible cannot be read literally, it’s just that he is much more interested in its symbolic meaning. While he sometimes uses the verbs “to figure” or “prefigure” to explain his interpretation, he mostly describes the passages as “showing” or “indicating” a particular allegorical truth.

What’s especially striking about this new discovery is that Fortunatianus is commenting on the content of the Gospels, the central component of the Christian message. This seems strange to modern readers because so much modern religious Biblical interpretation, especially among conservative Christians, assumes that Bible should be read literally.

Houghton notes that literal interpretation did not become de rigueur until the mid-15th century, when the invention of the printing press brought precise uniformity and conformity to the Biblical text. Prior to this point no two manuscripts of the Bible were identical to one another, and literal reading of the text was just one (and not even necessarily the most important) interpretive method.
  

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Re: food for thoughtful discussion
Reply #1 - Sep 20th, 2017 at 5:13am
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99 is also nine eleven, so maybe it was a warning for the WTC attack...
  

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Re: food for thoughtful discussion
Reply #2 - Sep 21st, 2017 at 1:02pm
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That IS interesting but only in the sense that it might make Christians reconsider their bible. So many think that what they read today is what the bible was forever. They don't realize there's literally no such thing as "the literal word of god" as written in the bible. It's been written and revised so many times that what remains is probably only slightly like the original scraps. And they also don't realize there was no one original. There are only scraps that have been stitched together over time for various reasons.
  
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Re: food for thoughtful discussion
Reply #3 - Sep 21st, 2017 at 4:09pm
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Muckster wrote on Sep 21st, 2017 at 1:02pm:
That IS interesting but only in the sense that it might make Christians reconsider their bible. So many think that what they read today is what the bible was forever. They don't realize there's literally no such thing as "the literal word of god" as written in the bible. It's been written and revised so many times that what remains is probably only slightly like the original scraps. And they also don't realize there was no one original. There are only scraps that have been stitched together over time for various reasons.

I can destroy that premise without much effort.
  


"Without morals a republic cannot subsist any length of time; they therefore who are decrying the Christian religion, whose morality is so sublime and pure (and) which insures to the good eternal happiness, are undermining the solid foundation of morals, the best security for the duration of free governments."

Charles Carroll, signer of the DOI
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Re: food for thoughtful discussion
Reply #4 - Sep 21st, 2017 at 4:15pm
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It is the oldest manuscript known to man and is on line digitally and can be translated to most languages.  It has revealed that our texts today have little to no differences then this document from 125 BCE.  Pretty astounding

http://dss.collections.imj.org.il/isaiah

The Great Isaiah Scroll (1QIsaa) is one of the original seven Dead Sea Scrolls discovered in Qumran in 1947. It is the largest (734 cm) and best preserved of all the biblical scrolls, and the only one that is almost complete. The 54 columns contain all 66 chapters of the Hebrew version of the biblical Book of Isaiah. Dating from ca. 125 BCE, it is also one of the oldest of the Dead Sea Scrolls, some one thousand years older than the oldest manuscripts of the Hebrew Bible known to us before the scrolls' discovery
  


"Without morals a republic cannot subsist any length of time; they therefore who are decrying the Christian religion, whose morality is so sublime and pure (and) which insures to the good eternal happiness, are undermining the solid foundation of morals, the best security for the duration of free governments."

Charles Carroll, signer of the DOI
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Re: food for thoughtful discussion
Reply #5 - Sep 21st, 2017 at 4:20pm
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EF wrote on Sep 19th, 2017 at 10:51am:
http://www.thedailybeast.com/interpreting-the-bible-just-got-more-complicated

Major excerpt:

What’s most revealing about the commentary is the manner in which its author interprets his source text. Rather than treating the Gospels as literal history, Fortunatianus viewed these stories as a series of allegories. For example, when Jesus enters a village, Fortunatianus might see the village as a cipher for the church. Other “figures” of the church include boats, sheep, and hens. Other instances of this kind of reading involve numbers: The number 12 is always a reference to the 12 disciples; the number five is a symbol of the five books of the Pentateuch, or Jewish law; and the number 99 (an imperfect version of 100) is a symbol of evil and the Jews (I take no responsibility for his anti-Judaism).

Houghton said, “For people teaching the Bible in the fourth century, it’s not the literal meaning which is important, it’s how it’s read allegorically.” It’s not that Fortunatianus thinks that the Bible cannot be read literally, it’s just that he is much more interested in its symbolic meaning. While he sometimes uses the verbs “to figure” or “prefigure” to explain his interpretation, he mostly describes the passages as “showing” or “indicating” a particular allegorical truth.

What’s especially striking about this new discovery is that Fortunatianus is commenting on the content of the Gospels, the central component of the Christian message. This seems strange to modern readers because so much modern religious Biblical interpretation, especially among conservative Christians, assumes that Bible should be read literally.

Houghton notes that literal interpretation did not become de rigueur until the mid-15th century, when the invention of the printing press brought precise uniformity and conformity to the Biblical text. Prior to this point no two manuscripts of the Bible were identical to one another, and literal reading of the text was just one (and not even necessarily the most important) interpretive method.

For me reading the Bible for the period and the people it was written to is important to understanding it.  Having said this we still learn about God's nature regardless of who the people are.  Isaiah 53 is an excellent example of understanding that it is the prophesy of the coming of the Messiah, one of the most complete prophesy of Jesus Christ's life.
  


"Without morals a republic cannot subsist any length of time; they therefore who are decrying the Christian religion, whose morality is so sublime and pure (and) which insures to the good eternal happiness, are undermining the solid foundation of morals, the best security for the duration of free governments."

Charles Carroll, signer of the DOI
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EF
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Re: food for thoughtful discussion
Reply #6 - Sep 21st, 2017 at 6:42pm
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Seawolf wrote on Sep 21st, 2017 at 4:09pm:
I can destroy that premise without much effort.


Not worth debating.  It will always be just a book to many.  Belief in the Book as the word of God always come second, and what comes first is always a complete act of God.
  

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Seawolf
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Re: food for thoughtful discussion
Reply #7 - Sep 21st, 2017 at 10:17pm
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EF wrote on Sep 21st, 2017 at 6:42pm:
Not worth debating.  It will always be just a book to many.  Belief in the Book as the word of God always come second, and what comes first is always a complete act of God.

Yes, no matter what evidence one presents those in rebellion have no desire to relinquish their sins they enjoy.
  


"Without morals a republic cannot subsist any length of time; they therefore who are decrying the Christian religion, whose morality is so sublime and pure (and) which insures to the good eternal happiness, are undermining the solid foundation of morals, the best security for the duration of free governments."

Charles Carroll, signer of the DOI
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Limey.
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Re: food for thoughtful discussion
Reply #8 - Sep 22nd, 2017 at 8:52pm
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Seawolf wrote on Sep 21st, 2017 at 4:15pm:
It is the oldest manuscript known to man and is on line digitally and can be translated to most languages.  It has revealed that our texts today have little to no differences then this document from 125 BCE.  Pretty astounding

http://dss.collections.imj.org.il/isaiah

The Great Isaiah Scroll (1QIsaa) is one of the original seven Dead Sea Scrolls discovered in Qumran in 1947. It is the largest (734 cm) and best preserved of all the biblical scrolls, and the only one that is almost complete. The 54 columns contain all 66 chapters of the Hebrew version of the biblical Book of Isaiah. Dating from ca. 125 BCE, it is also one of the oldest of the Dead Sea Scrolls, some one thousand years older than the oldest manuscripts of the Hebrew Bible known to us before the scrolls' discovery

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Code_of_Hammurabi

This is quite old too. 1740 BC

  

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EF
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Re: food for thoughtful discussion
Reply #9 - Sep 24th, 2017 at 10:24am
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Seawolf wrote on Sep 21st, 2017 at 10:17pm:
Yes, no matter what evidence one presents those in rebellion have no desire to relinquish their sins they enjoy.


While true (even God's chosen enjoy selected sins, they just feel at least a little guilty afterwards), that's not exactly the point I was making. 

To you and me, and many others, the Bible is written record of God's progressive revelation of Himself.  But that belief came AFTER our relationship to God began, and the beginning of that relationship was all of Him ("lest any man should boast").  Prior that, we might not have considered it the equivalent of a dime store novel, but we certainly didn't consider it as God's progressive revelation of Himself. 

But we don't (at least I don't and I don't know of many others that do) consider it to be an object of worship.  Muslims come pretty close to that with their Koran (Qu'ran).  The actual binding, glue, paper, and ink takes on the essence of Allah, I think.
  

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