Old Testament-myth or fact? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 12 Old 10-24-2002, 03:57 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I am not trying to offend anyway with this question(it is too late, of course. I have already offended my husband terribly)

But, I have been thinking and thinking about this. And I am just not comfortable with the idea that a loving God could create us only to allow us to sin and then lock us out of paradise bc of it. And then murder babies and command war and not allow the leader of his people into the promised on a technicality. So, I have really thought about it and I definitely do believe that Jesus is the son of God and I obviously believe in God. I believe in the teachings of the new testament. But, I am beginning to believ that the old testament is liberally sprinkled with myths. The stories of the old testament ring true to so many cultures. And there were all sorts of stories of gods and goddesses of that time. So, why wouldnt the jewish people also have myths and legends. Isnt it easier to say that you wiped out a bunch of innocents bc your God told you to.
Now, dh is upset bc he says that Jesus studied from the torah and taught from it. I dont see a problem with that, bc IMO He would use the stories of that time. He says that when Jesus speaks in parables, He does not name the person of the story, but when he speaks from scripture, he does. Again, I have no problem here. His parables are off the cuff stories and the people would not need a name. But if he were talking of the myths of the day, then a name would give more significance.
Now, understand, I am not saying that the events of the Ot did not happen. I am jsut suggesting that there are embellishments and "acts of God" added.
Also, why are the ot God and the NT God so different. Wrath of God, Grace of God. It does not make any sense to me
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#2 of 12 Old 10-24-2002, 08:06 AM
 
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Mabey the problem you have with the "ot" is the fact that you do not have the original language and you only have a translation of one of two parts that are nesesary to understand it .

-BelovedBird

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#3 of 12 Old 10-24-2002, 11:28 AM
 
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BB pointed out the obvious.

Here's the not-so-obvious, which I mentioned in another thread, & forget which:

The NT is the story of a "perfect" person, god-like. For that matter, so is the Koran.

The Torah is the story of people. Humans. All flawed ... there are no perfect people in the Torah, just as there are no perfect people in the world. We are all striving to fix this fact, but Judaism honors us with all our imperfections ...

So, tell me, why is my Bible myth and yours not?

- Amy
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#4 of 12 Old 10-24-2002, 11:33 AM
 
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I'm right there with you - struggling with my spirituality for many of the same issues you mentioned.
I don't have a problem with the concept of free will and why God chose to give it to humans. I always understood that that was the big difference between angels and us. God wanted us to choose him instead of serving him because we knew no other alternative. Unfortunately, a by-product of free-will is sin. People can choose not to follow and serve God too. It gets convoluted from there when you get into people doing horrible things in the name of God. I really cannot believe that God would command his people to destroy each other (emotionally, physically or otherwise) so much of the OT is lost on me as well. The information is sometimes helpful, but other times I really have to perceive it as embellished historical legend to extract anything helpful from it.

I could go on, but my toddler is awake and hungry now so I must go for now.
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#5 of 12 Old 10-24-2002, 03:14 PM
 
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I have to agree with Beloved Bird and amy on this. It seems sooooo much is lost in the translation.

I am by no means a biblical scholar, but the more that I learn from the Jewish mamas here and the books that I have been reading, the more certain I am of this.

A good friend of our family's is being put into the Guiness Book for speaking the most live languages in the world-- he is almost at 20 Among them are Hebrew and Aramaic-- he has helped me somewhat.

One of my goals is to learn Hebrew in my life, but first I have to finish my Spanish courses first...

Just for the record, the whole wrath of God v. grace of God thing escapes me as well...
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#6 of 12 Old 10-24-2002, 09:29 PM
 
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It's interesting that you would post this topic. I've been thinking about this lately, too. The two images of God seem so incongruent. I've also had a hard time understanding the somewhat arbitrary reasoning that goes behind what some Christians still follow from the OT and what they don't consider relevant anymore. And this varies from church to church.

I agree that a lot is lost in translation.

It seems to me like the God of the OT doesn't love unconditionally and is quick to anger, the opposite of what the NT seems to teach. It's hard to reconcile.

Anyone want to shed some light on this? I'd love to hear more viewpoints.
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#7 of 12 Old 10-24-2002, 10:44 PM
 
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Caleb's mommy-
Quote:
Originally posted by BelovedBird
...... you only have a translation of one of two parts that are nesesary to understand it .

-BelovedBird
There is no way to understand it IMO if you only have part of it.

Mom of 5 boys- 13, 10, 8, 2 : and newbie Aug. 24th, '09 . babywearing advocate . Cook, baker, homemaker, wife to a man with another woman's kidney (live altruistic, unknown donor).
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#8 of 12 Old 10-25-2002, 08:25 AM
 
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I agree, Beloved Bird. Have you ever seen the OT to compare?
Just curious on what your perception would be. I know just from the examples you and others have given before, I feel almost cheated in the way the OT was taught to me. I don't think I knew that it was any different from the Torah until I was an adult. This is especially true in the instances when the interpretation is much more negative than it need to be.
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#9 of 12 Old 10-27-2002, 10:58 AM
 
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Quote:
... by caleb's mommy
... It seems to me like the God of the OT doesn't love unconditionally and is quick to anger, the opposite of what the NT seems to teach. It's hard to reconcile ...
That's interesting. The 13 attributes of HaShem (G!d) in Jewish tradition include erekh apa'im, that G!d is slow to anger.

So how does one get polar opposites from the same text?

Aaahh, not the same text.

And Jesus didn't fabricate his teachings out of whole cloth. By most traditions, he was a rabbi. And a rabbi is simply someone who is well versed in Jewish texts and traditions.

Sounds like he was talking about the G!d of the "OT" to me.

- Amy
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#10 of 12 Old 10-27-2002, 04:41 PM
 
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Quote:
I agree, Beloved Bird. Have you ever seen the OT to compare?
Yes, I have had the occasion to read it breifly and compare. Even if it were translated exactly the way we translate the words (for those of us who need the translation) it would still be missing the tora shebaal peh - the oral torah and the commentaries. Which we always use to interpret/ explain the written torah text.

-BelovedBird

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#11 of 12 Old 10-27-2002, 08:11 PM
 
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BB--

When you say the oral torah, do you mean it is still oral, and memorized by your rabbi or some other learned person, who then teaches it to the people? Or was it oral for centuries, and then finally written down? and what about the "commentaries?" Are they in oral form too?

I wonder why they got left out of the "OT?" (Not that you would know this, just wondering.)

Peace--
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#12 of 12 Old 10-27-2002, 09:52 PM
 
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Daryl-
Quote:
In addition to the written scriptures we have an "Oral Torah," a tradition explaining what the above scriptures mean and how to interpret them and apply the Laws. Orthodox Jews believe G-d taught the Oral Torah to Moses, and he taught it to others, down to the present day. This tradition was maintained in oral form only until about the 2d century C.E., when the oral law was compiled and written down in a document called the Mishnah.
That is from:
http://www.jewfaq.org/torah.htm#Talmud

The oral toral, I assume, was left out of the "ot" because it is by definition the understanding of the written torah. It cannot really be understood by reading. It was meant to be passed down, to go from parent to child, teacher to student, to be studied. Today we have many layers of commentary written down, because each generation is further from the time of the giving of the torah when the first "set" of explaination was enough. For example I learn the pasuk (verse) when translating it I will be using the oral torah, even if I am not reading right out of the talmud, either because a teacher taught it to me that way, or because I am reading a "translation" derived from it. I will also learn the midrashim which are from the oral torah, again either from a teacher or if I read it. The medrash explains what was going on behind the scenes of the story, the explaination. I actually am not quite sure how to explain what a medrash is, Dh says it is translated as "homoletics", whatever that means. Then if I see a conflict or confusion in the verse or between that verse and another verse I look in the commentary. I look in the earlier (800-1500 CE) and later (1500- 1850 CE) commentators.
Here are a few good links I found, if you are interested:

http://www.aish.com/holidays/Shavuot...Oral_Torah.asp

http://www.torah.org/learning/basics...oraltorah.html

http://www.geocities.com/m_yericho/ravkook/mish62.htm

HTH

-BelovedBird

Mom of 5 boys- 13, 10, 8, 2 : and newbie Aug. 24th, '09 . babywearing advocate . Cook, baker, homemaker, wife to a man with another woman's kidney (live altruistic, unknown donor).
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