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#61 of 124 Old 03-31-2011, 05:37 PM
 
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Originally Posted by kittywitty View Post

I do want to add that I did not quote the above to make anyone feel bad or to attack. But if we're talking about the treatment of women in the bible, it is not very nice. That's just a fact. You can take from it what you will in our modern society. In most denominations, women are treated well compared to biblical treatment. But this comes from a more modern interpretation-not from the first source.


I don't think anyone thinks that ancient cultures were all we would like in their treatment of women, or of other groups of people either.  That asn't the point.  Some of the passages you quoted don't seem particularly relevant though to the question of how God wants people to be treated.  No one argues that the psalms indicate that it is a good idea for us to dash babies heads out, even if they are the babies of our enemies.

 

Some of them are also quotes from theologians, which of course are interesting and worthwhile, but not infallible (and in the case of Thomas, biologically incorrect.)

 

I think the Bible and Tradition of the Church show us two things - what God is saying, and also how people responded to that.  The former we need to try to do - the latter is not always to be emulated.  And sometimes I think God is perhaps less concerned with what might broadly be called "social justice" and more concerned with salvation - after all, sometimes it is those who lack earthly justice who put the most trust in God.  That doesn't mean though that we are excused from the implications of loving our neighbours.

 


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#63 of 124 Old 03-31-2011, 06:23 PM
 
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I find all of this talk hilarious about women not being treated badly in the bible. I mean-look at your sources! Context? Read the whole passage. I mean, really. This is not shoddy scholarship, these are your own first hand sources for your beliefs. So are we picking and choosing here exactly what is to be taken literally and what is not? Personally, I was taught it was not to be taken literally (the Torah) the way most Fundamentalists today believe. But you also need to look at your source and the editing that has been done on it for thousands of years. At least do your research before you claim it's impossible for early Judaism to have been more than monotheistic. Even I was taught G-d had a female side, so that's not a far stretch from Asherah, IMO.

"When thou goest forth to war against thine enemies, and the Lord thy God hath delivered them into thine hands, and thou hast taken them captive, And seest among the captives a beautiful woman, and hast a desire unto her, that thou wouldest have her to thy wife; Then thou shalt bring her home to thine house; and she shall shave her head, and pare her nails; And she shall put the raiment of her captivity from off her, and shall remain in thine house, and bewail her father and her mother a full month: and after that thou shalt go in unto her, and be her husband, and she shall by thy wife. And it shall be, if thou have no delight in her, then thou shalt let her go whither she will; but thou shalt not sell her at all for money, thou shalt not make merchandise of her, because thou hast humbled her." (Deuteronomy 21:10-14).

"What is the difference whether it is in a wife or a mother, it is still Eve the temptress that we must beware of in any woman......I fail to see what use woman can be to man, if one excludes the function of bearing children." (Saint Augustine)

"And the daughter of any priest, if she profane herself by playing the whore, she profaneth her father: she shall be burnt with fire." (Leviticus 21:9)

"Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, If a woman have conceived seed, and born a man child: then she shall be unclean seven days; according to the days of the separation for her infirmity shall she be unclean." (Leviticus 12:2)

"But if she bear a maid child, then she shall be unclean two weeks, as in her separation: and she shall continue in the blood of her purifying threescore and six days." (Leviticus 12:5)

"Let the women learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression." (I Timothy 2:11-14)

"Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church." (I Corinthians 14:34-35)

"Samaria shall become desolate; for she hath rebelled against her God: they shall fall by the sword: their infants shall be dashed in pieces, and their women with child shall be ripped up." (Hosea 13:16)

"If they [women] become tired or even die, that does not matter. Let them die in childbirth, that's why they are there." (Martin Luther)

"As regards the individual nature, woman is defective and misbegotten, for the active force in the male seed tends to the production of a perfect likeness in the masculine sex; while the production of woman comes from a defect in the active force or from some material indisposition, or even from some external influence." (Saint Thomas Aquinas)
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#64 of 124 Old 03-31-2011, 06:30 PM
 
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Yes, I am very interested as well! I will share some of the beliefs and practices in the Bible I have issues as well with as I am very interested in some alternative views on them:

 

Women being "unclean" during menstruation. 

Women being told to submit to their husbands but men told only to love- is this a bit of separate but equal (and how is it equal?) or does "love" require a level of submission as well? Meaning are men also being asked to submit? 

Eve being "cursed" for partaking of the fruit- does that curse fall on all women? Why? And what exactly is that curse? 

 

I do know the standard answers to these questions but I also am aware that they vary from denomination to denomination, religion to religion, individual to individual. 

 

I am most interested in how you as a person and a religious person in particular view women and womanhood. 

 

Thanks for your sincere interest!  Here are my responses:


On women being unclean during menstruation...

 

Although at first glance this may seem one-sided because men don't have any sort of cyclical discharge to pinpoint, I can assure you that God was certainly not holding women to a double-standard with this law.  Menstrual blood is a natural outcome of the properly functioning sexual organ of a woman, just as the discharge of semen is a perfectly normal function of a man's body.  Both of these discharges were considered to make a man or a woman ritually unclean.  There is no gender discrimination here as a woman who came into contact with the man's sexual discharge would be unclean and a man who came into contact with a woman's sexual discharge would be unclean.  It was not the inherent "possession" (can't think of a better term?) of these bodily fluids, but rather coming into contact with them that caused the uncleanness.  

 

This makes enough sense if we were discussing uncleanliness on a strictly societal or hygienic level, but there is a deeper theological sense in which these laws applied directly to Israel.  In other words, God had a good reason to implement these mandates.  In the pagan and animistic nations surrounding Israel, sexual discharges such as menstrual blood and semen were regarded as supernatural substances and were used in magic, spiritual rituals and sorcery.  In these cultures people would trace certain family lines to a mythological ancestor who had intercourse with a god or goddess and therefore those families were believed to be bearers of "holy seed" or "divine blood".(1)  

 

By declaring these substances to be unclean, God was effectively stating that the bodily fluids of the sexual organs (male or female) were in no way sacred or to be used in any of the religious rituals of the Israelites.  This law was a way for God to protect his people from the occult practices of their time.  Because cleanness and uncleanness dictated whether or not a person was fit for God and the holy things of God, this ensured that anyone who had any contact with either of these substances would be declared unfit to encounter God in a public way, thus eradicating any possibility that the pagan rituals would seep into God's holy temple.

 

On submission and love...

 

I would not say it is a "separate but equal" issue.  Separate but equal was a ruling that stated segregating two people groups into identical situations was permissible.  Obviously, it was later realized that separate is certainly not equal.  I would more lean toward saying this is a "distinct but equal" command, where the two people groups involved are indeed equal, although with distinct and differing roles.  This is equal because both the husband and the wife are being told to do essentially the same task - to serve one another.

 

The wife is told to serve her husband by submitting to his authority.  This is an act of service for the very reason that the husband and wife are equal, but the wife voluntarily places herself under the jurisdiction of her husband so that the household will have one head (leader) and will run smoothly and efficiently.  The husband, on the other hand, is told to love his wife.  But this is not just any kind of love, this is agape love, the highest love.  With this love the husband is told to give up everything, his entire life, for the wellbeing of his wife.  He is to put his wife above himself; her wellbeing should always come before his own in every circumstance.  This is how the husband serves his wife.

 

As you can see, each person is called to place their husband or wife above themselves, albeit in distinct ways.  This is also another situation where the theology of the matter sheds a beautiful light on God's purpose for His commands.  God, in His infinite wisdom, created the whole world and all of its orders to point back to Him.  This includes the order of the family, which He instituted.  Our life together parallels the divine truths we find in God's Word.

 

Just as the wife is equal to her husband, yet she submits to him... Christ is equal to the Father, yet He voluntarily places Himself in submission to the Father's holy will.

Just as the wife is called to submit to her husbands authority... the Church, who is the Bride of Christ, is called to submit to Christ's authority.

The husband is called to love his wife just as... Christ loved the Church and gave himself up for her.

 

As you can readily observe, marriage paints one of the most brilliant portraits of the Christian faith.

 

On the curse of Eve...

 

Eve was cursed because of her partaking of the forbidden fruit.  Of course, it was not for the mere reason that she ate of the fruit that she was cursed, but it was because she chose to follow Satan rather than God.  In this one act, Eve rejected her Creator and First Love.  She was deceived.  Adam, on the other hand, also chose Satan over God and he was also cursed, along with the serpent for what happened that day.  However, an interesting twist to this story lies in the fact that each curse was also tied to a promise, especially that of the woman's curse.

 

The ultimate punishment for sin is death, and all of humanity suffers that fate, men and women alike.  However, the curse of the woman specifically is that of pain in childbirth.  This pain not only comes from the physical pangs of labor, but also with the emotional torment of knowing that our babies one day will die and the spiritual agony that our child is separated from God because of the sinful nature we have passed on to them.  This is a harsh judgment to be sure... but the promise is just as sweet!

 

You see, that very day that God brought this curse upon Eve and her children, He also gave to her an honor above all else, that from her seed would come the Redeemer of all humanity.  From the woman God would bring forth the way of salvation for her and all of her children.  Out of the woman, God would rescue her and all people.  Speaking of a woman's seed was a very strange way of talking back then, unheard of even!  The seed was known to have come from the man; this promise was unique indeed.  It is a reference to the virgin birth.  Christ is the One who came to save us from all of these curses and to bring us back to the bliss of Eden.  Jesus Christ, our God who humbled himself to take on human flesh and be born of a virgin, He is the fulfillment of God's great promise to Eve that day.

 

 

1. Kleinig, John W. "Purification from Genital Discharges." Leviticus. Saint Louis, MO: Concordia Pub. House, 2003. 322-23. Print.

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I don't think anyone thinks that ancient cultures were all we would like in their treatment of women, or of other groups of people either.  That asn't the point.  Some of the passages you quoted don't seem particularly relevant though to the question of how God wants people to be treated.  No one argues that the psalms indicate that it is a good idea for us to dash babies heads out, even if they are the babies of our enemies.

 

Some of them are also quotes from theologians, which of course are interesting and worthwhile, but not infallible (and in the case of Thomas, biologically incorrect.)

 

I think the Bible and Tradition of the Church show us two things - what God is saying, and also how people responded to that.  The former we need to try to do - the latter is not always to be emulated.  And sometimes I think God is perhaps less concerned with what might broadly be called "social justice" and more concerned with salvation - after all, sometimes it is those who lack earthly justice who put the most trust in God.  That doesn't mean though that we are excused from the implications of loving our neighbours.

 


This. It's black and white thinking to cherry pick verses and then say "so all the Bible is a bad, dangerous, violent book and Christianity is the same!" That's just not the case. Again, context is everything. It depends on who said it and why and what they may or may not have meant by it. The dangerous thing is reading the Bible and taking it word for word in it's most literal form. But, for the most part, Christians are asked to not only read but to also ponder and pray. You're not taking that into account nor are you quoting the more glowing parts of the Bible that contradict all of this hatred. To sum it up you are being painfully bias in order to justify your venom. That a healthy discussion does not make. 

 


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I agree. I was raised Jewish and I have to laugh at all of the assumptions many Christians make about Judaism. I find all of this talk hilarious about women not being treated badly in the bible. I mean-look at your sources! Context? Read the whole passage. I mean, really. This is not shoddy scholarship, these are your own first hand sources for your beliefs. So are we picking and choosing here exactly what is to be taken literally and what is not? Personally, I was taught it was not to be taken literally (the Torah) the way most Fundamentalists today believe. But you also need to look at your source and the editing that has been done on it for thousands of years. At least do your research before you claim it's impossible for early Judaism to have been more than monotheistic. Even I was taught G-d had a female side, so that's not a far stretch from Asherah, IMO.

"When thou goest forth to war against thine enemies, and the Lord thy God hath delivered them into thine hands, and thou hast taken them captive, And seest among the captives a beautiful woman, and hast a desire unto her, that thou wouldest have her to thy wife; Then thou shalt bring her home to thine house; and she shall shave her head, and pare her nails; And she shall put the raiment of her captivity from off her, and shall remain in thine house, and bewail her father and her mother a full month: and after that thou shalt go in unto her, and be her husband, and she shall by thy wife. And it shall be, if thou have no delight in her, then thou shalt let her go whither she will; but thou shalt not sell her at all for money, thou shalt not make merchandise of her, because thou hast humbled her." (Deuteronomy 21:10-14).

"What is the difference whether it is in a wife or a mother, it is still Eve the temptress that we must beware of in any woman......I fail to see what use woman can be to man, if one excludes the function of bearing children." (Saint Augustine)

"And the daughter of any priest, if she profane herself by playing the whore, she profaneth her father: she shall be burnt with fire." (Leviticus 21:9)

"Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, If a woman have conceived seed, and born a man child: then she shall be unclean seven days; according to the days of the separation for her infirmity shall she be unclean." (Leviticus 12:2)

"But if she bear a maid child, then she shall be unclean two weeks, as in her separation: and she shall continue in the blood of her purifying threescore and six days." (Leviticus 12:5)

"Let the women learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression." (I Timothy 2:11-14)

"Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church." (I Corinthians 14:34-35)

"Samaria shall become desolate; for she hath rebelled against her God: they shall fall by the sword: their infants shall be dashed in pieces, and their women with child shall be ripped up." (Hosea 13:16)

"If they [women] become tired or even die, that does not matter. Let them die in childbirth, that's why they are there." (Martin Luther)

"As regards the individual nature, woman is defective and misbegotten, for the active force in the male seed tends to the production of a perfect likeness in the masculine sex; while the production of woman comes from a defect in the active force or from some material indisposition, or even from some external influence." (Saint Thomas Aquinas)

 

Kittywitty,

 

Because this is in response to a post I made originally, I feel the need to respond.

 

What assumptions, exactly, have I made about Judaism? If I have made any, it was certainly not intentional.  If you would like the thought process behind any of my statements about Judaism which I did not sufficiently express, please let me know so that I can explain.  To my knowledge my statements were not assumptions, but rather well thought out, studied, educated viewpoints that come from a distinctly Christian perspective.

 

There has been a lot of talk about the "literalness" of the Bible on this thread, so I just wanted to clear this up right now, at least so you know where I personally am coming from.  The Bible is not a single book; it is made up of 66 self-contained pieces of literature.  Each distinct book has its own purpose, style, time period, personality and meaning.  No two books are the same and therefore we cannot read each book the same way.  Some books contain historical records and accounts, whereas other books contain poetry and metaphoric meaning.  Still other books are prophetic and rely heavily on symbolism to convey spiritual realities.

 

If you asked me, "Do you take the Bible literally or as symbolism", I could not give you an answer.  The question in and of itself is invalid.  You need to distinguish exactly the passage and its context before I would be able to tell you whether or not it is literal or symbolic.  Again, there are 66 different books!  However, I want to be clear that this does not mean I "get to pick and choose" which is to be taken literally or metaphorically.  The Bible gives enough evidence within the context of each book to plainly decipher that which is not to be taken literally.  

 

On the matter of what you have been taught about God's "female side"... you yourself stated that you were not raised in fundamental Judaism.  You were not taught to take the Torah literally, which leads me to believe that whatever religion you were raised in is not traditional Judaism and it is a far cry from the ancient Judaism of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  I am not saying this to be aggressive in any way but just to point out that you cannot use your upbringing and what you were taught about God to make judgment calls on traditional Jewish doctrine or ancient Jewish doctrine.  Of course you are more than welcome to do this for yourself and believe whatever you want; I'm just saying that in a public discussion it carries no weight.

 

And also I know that others have said this, so I apologize for the redundancy, but the cherry-picking really is not conducive to a good discussion.  What exactly are your issues/concerns behind these verses?  What specifically causes you to believe that these verses mean women were treated badly in the Bible?  There is a lot of violence and bloodshed within the context of the Bible; I won't debate you on that.  But why do these instances cause you to believe the passages are singling out women?  I can't exactly respond to your posting of these verses unless I know the thoughts that go behind them.

 

As far as the Church fathers go, yes they are infallible and Luther especially could say some pretty shocking things!  That's part of the reason why he's so fun to read winky.gif  However, I cannot respond to their comments unless you can point me to the full context within which they were speaking.  So many times I have seen "scholars" pick out sentences from the Church fathers to prove exactly the opposite of what was originally intended, which you would know if you just read the entire paragraph.  If you can provide me with the context I would be more than happy to delve into the text with you.

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#67 of 124 Old 04-01-2011, 05:29 AM
 
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Regarding ritual impurity (uncleanliness), you will find this in other religions and cultures, too.  Abrahamic religions do not have the corner on regarding menstruating women as unclean, nor did they invent misogyny and spread it around the world.  Here's an interesting book which talks about the way other cultures (even those 'neolithic' cultures idealized in books like When God Was a Woman) and religions throughout history have viewed women.  Not even traditional Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, or 'ancestor worship' get off the hook, as they too have a history of considering women unclean due to menstruation and lactation.  The author of this book even goes so far as to say that the Bible "contains very little that could be called overtly misogynistic."  From his study of one of "the last truly pristine Neolithic regions of the world" "unchanged and uncorrupted" by Western contact, he says this:  "there is probably no place on earth where..men have such a pervasive fear and loathing of women, a fear that centers on their reproductive functions.."  And if you keep reading, it gets much much worse.

 

So, when I said that context is everything, I was actually saying that in the broadest possible sense.  I did not mean to simply read the surrounding text in the Bible.  I meant that you have to consider the time and culture in which it was written, and then you also have to consider the state of the entire world not only at that point in time, but throughout history.  You have to consider the entirety of the Bible and the proper way to understand what is written (and many Christians get this wrong) and the entirety of the Christian tradition of which the Bible is only a part.  And here's a tip - people who use the Bible to justify misogyny are wrong.  Why judge the religion based on the people who get it wrong?

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Thank you! I was still searching for my old King James.. I know its around here somewhere. I actually keep it hidden .. just like my sexy books.. you don't want the kids stumbling on them. Might mess with their heads.


I'm curious - do you go into Jewish or Muslim threads and make these kinds or offensive comments that don't even add anything to the discussion?  Because most people wouldn't - it's pretty arrogant and ignorant.


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I'm curious - do you go into Jewish or Muslim threads and make these kinds or offensive comments that don't even add anything to the discussion?  Because most people wouldn't - it's pretty arrogant and ignorant.


Wow, if you read the whole thread.. a lot more insulting things have been tossed my way than I have dished out. And I was actually on topic on much of my posts. Maybe you should take a step back.


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I'm curious - do you go into Jewish or Muslim threads and make these kinds or offensive comments that don't even add anything to the discussion?  Because most people wouldn't - it's pretty arrogant and ignorant.




Wow, if you read the whole thread.. a lot more insulting things have been tossed my way than I have dished out. And I was actually on topic on much of my posts. Maybe you should take a step back.

 

I'm sorry but no one has insulted your holy scripture or deepest held beliefs in the way you have others. Saying things like "I can't believe anyone would let their daughter read this" and talking about how you keep the Bible locked away because it may "mess with their heads" is pretty offensive as it suggests you equate allowing children to read/learn from the Bible with an abuse. 
 

 


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I'm curious - do you go into Jewish or Muslim threads and make these kinds or offensive comments that don't even add anything to the discussion?  Because most people wouldn't - it's pretty arrogant and ignorant.




Wow, if you read the whole thread.. a lot more insulting things have been tossed my way than I have dished out. And I was actually on topic on much of my posts. Maybe you should take a step back.

 

 

I'm not sure what you're referring to, but just to clarify my post regarding Matthew 7:6 which could be misunderstood as to be insulting, let me say this:  I would not call another human being a dog or swine.  It is a lesson from Christ that sometimes it is not worth the time and effort to explain spiritual matters to people who are unwilling to be receptive to His teachings - because they willfully do not understand and will also try to use the holy teachings against us.  If you are willing to engage with the many posts which refute your stance, then I will take it back.  But so far I have not seen you so much as acknowledge any of the thoughts in the many posts which express concepts found in the Bible and Christianity which do not correspond with your opinion and have instead used the Bible as a weapon against Christians, which is precisely the type of thing the verse is referring to. 

 

I am also interested if you would post on a Muslim or Jewish (or any other religion) thread and say things like you've said here.  Do you reserve this only for Christianity?

 

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On the matter of what you have been taught about God's "female side"... you yourself stated that you were not raised in fundamental Judaism.  You were not taught to take the Torah literally, which leads me to believe that whatever religion you were raised in is not traditional Judaism and it is a far cry from the ancient Judaism of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  I am not saying this to be aggressive in any way but just to point out that you cannot use your upbringing and what you were taught about God to make judgment calls on traditional Jewish doctrine or ancient Jewish doctrine.  Of course you are more than welcome to do this for yourself and believe whatever you want; I'm just saying that in a public discussion it carries no weight.

Wow. Good call there, telling me about my own upbringing and religion. This is the rudest thing I've read on here for a long time. Not only that but you lecture me on the books of the bible? I see that you're new here. Maybe you don't mean to come out as rude and self-righteous as you do. I would read over what you type before you post. I never singled you out as misunderstanding Judaism. Did I state your name? Please quote where I did if you believe that. I was raised with Reform Judaism and my stepfather was from an Orthodox family. I want to know where YOUR opinion carries any weight if you say mine does not? That is so incredibly rude to deny someone's religion, upbringing and experience and somehow telling everyone that your opinion is the one that matters. As for women being singled out, I'm sorry, but did you read the passages?

Bluegoat-thank you for being respectful and seeing what I was trying to point out.

I'm not coming back to this conversation. Ad hominem attacks are not worth my time.

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On the matter of what you have been taught about God's "female side"... you yourself stated that you were not raised in fundamental Judaism.  You were not taught to take the Torah literally, which leads me to believe that whatever religion you were raised in is not traditional Judaism and it is a far cry from the ancient Judaism of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  I am not saying this to be aggressive in any way but just to point out that you cannot use your upbringing and what you were taught about God to make judgment calls on traditional Jewish doctrine or ancient Jewish doctrine.  Of course you are more than welcome to do this for yourself and believe whatever you want; I'm just saying that in a public discussion it carries no weight.



Wow. Good call there, telling me about my own upbringing and religion. This is the rudest thing I've read on here for a long time. Not only that but you lecture me on the books of the bible? I see that you're new here. Maybe you don't mean to come out as rude and self-righteous as you do. I would read over what you type before you post. I never singled you out as misunderstanding Judaism. Did I state your name? Please quote where I did if you believe that. I was raised with Reform Judaism and my stepfather was from an Orthodox family. I want to know where YOUR opinion carries any weight if you say mine does not? That is so incredibly rude to deny someone's religion, upbringing and experience and somehow telling everyone that your opinion is the one that matters. As for women being singled out, I'm sorry, but did you read the passages?

Bluegoat-thank you for being respectful and seeing what I was trying to point out.

I'm not coming back to this conversation. Ad hominem attacks are not worth my time.

 

I apologize for insulting you, I can assure you that was not my intent in the slightest.  I'm not saying that your perspective or opinion is invalid.  In fact, I think I mentioned that that was NOT what I was trying to say.  I did not feel singled out, although I can't understand why you asserted that Christians make assumptions about Judaism if it had nothing to do with the thread.  I was simply asking what assumptions had been made.  

 

Obviously I don't know what your religious upbringing was like, I can only infer based on what you have told me.  My point was not that your opinion carries no weight at all.  My point was that with the way you discuss the Scripture, not taking it "literally" (which I assume means you do not believe it has historical value in that it records true accounts, but that you believe it tells stories with symbolic meaning) is not the way that the Bible is held and revered by other religions.  For this reason the way you view Scripture is not an accurate portrayal of how Ancient Judaism portrayed the Scripture.  Does that make your opinion invalid?  No, but it does make it different.  I simply meant just that; that your view of the Bible is not a historical Jewish view of the Bible and so inferences cannot be made between your interpretation and a traditional interpretation.  

 

It seemed to me like you were drawing a parallel where there was not one and I was simply pointing that out.  If you believe I am wrong in that observation I humbly defer to your judgment and I gladly retract my statement.  Please understand that I was not launching a personal attack.  I hope you can accept my apology.
 

As far as "lecturing" you goes, I do believe in reference to the books of the Bible I mentioned it was a general statement to the entire thread and not directed at yourself personally, as a lot of comments had been made about whether or not the Bible should be taken literally, and I thought it worth while to explain how it's not quite possible to make a blanketed statement one way or the other.  Also, I did read the verses... which is why I asked the question.  The verses you picked out did not seem to correspond with the discussion at hand so I was simply asking you to clarify.

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I can't understand why you asserted that Christians make assumptions about Judaism if it had nothing to do with the thread.

You can't understand why kittywitty asserted that Christians make assumptions about Judaism? After you yourself asserted that ancient Jews were actually worshipping Jesus? After you said that the angel of the Lord in the Torah is Jesus Christ? Those are some pretty major assumptions about Judaism, right there. Assumptions which you have every right to make, from your perspective as a certain type of Christian. But don't say you aren't making them.

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I can't understand why you asserted that Christians make assumptions about Judaism if it had nothing to do with the thread.



You can't understand why kittywitty asserted that Christians make assumptions about Judaism? After you yourself asserted that ancient Jews were actually worshipping Jesus? After you said that the angel of the Lord in the Torah is Jesus Christ? Those are some pretty major assumptions about Judaism, right there. Assumptions which you have every right to make, from your perspective as a certain type of Christian. But don't say you aren't making them.
 

Define assumption....

 

An assumption is a premise or notion that is taken for granted.  It is not a carefully studied and formulated opinion.  By stating that I was making an assumption you are effectively telling me that I have not taken the time to delve into the topics in which I was making assertions - I was simply giving my opinion based on unfounded principles and a lack of factual evidence.  Assumption does not just infer a statement, it is an assertion that I have not done my research and I am not knowledgeable on the topic in which I am speaking.  When I was discussing Judaism I was giving my perspective based on years of extensive study; I was not merely giving an opinion about Judaism that I had heard once and took for granted that it was true.
 

 

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I can't understand why you asserted that Christians make assumptions about Judaism if it had nothing to do with the thread.



You can't understand why kittywitty asserted that Christians make assumptions about Judaism? After you yourself asserted that ancient Jews were actually worshiping Jesus? After you said that the angel of the Lord in the Torah is Jesus Christ? Those are some pretty major assumptions about Judaism, right there. Assumptions which you have every right to make, from your perspective as a certain type of Christian. But don't say you aren't making them.
 


I think this in really not an assumption - it is an interpretation.  If the claim was that the Jews had somehow really known about the Incarnation and that is what they intended to mean in the texts all along, that would be an assumption - and a rather foolish one.

 

What I think  dalasmuller is suggesting is rather different - from a Christian perspective, the pre-Christian Hebrews would have had no idea about the Trinity or Incarnation.  But that doesn't mean that that information is not contained in the texts, which came, one way or another, from God.  The Incarnation would not be a surprise to him.

 

The difference between the earliest Jewish Christians and the Jews who rejected Christianity was really pretty simple - the non-Christians didn't think Christ was the Messiah.  But the Christians were just as surprised about the whole thing as the others were - it wasn't what they had expected based on the texts either. 

 

If Christianity is correct in its claims, than the earlier Hebrew people were worshiping the God of the Incarnation, though they were unaware of that aspect of his character.  If modern Judaism is correct, than they were not.  But neither is an assumption.

 


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I'm curious - do you go into Jewish or Muslim threads and make these kinds or offensive comments that don't even add anything to the discussion?  Because most people wouldn't - it's pretty arrogant and ignorant.




Wow, if you read the whole thread.. a lot more insulting things have been tossed my way than I have dished out. And I was actually on topic on much of my posts. Maybe you should take a step back.

 


So you would feel comfortable in a discussion of MDC Muslim women to say you kept the Koran locked up so that it didn't damage your children?  Or you think it is ok when Christians go on to pagan forums and say how paganism is warping children?

 


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Define assumption....

 

An assumption is a premise or notion that is taken for granted.  It is not a carefully studied and formulated opinion.  By stating that I was making an assumption you are effectively telling me that I have not taken the time to delve into the topics in which I was making assertions - I was simply giving my opinion based on unfounded principles and a lack of factual evidence.  Assumption does not just infer a statement, it is an assertion that I have not done my research and I am not knowledgeable on the topic in which I am speaking.  When I was discussing Judaism I was giving my perspective based on years of extensive study; I was not merely giving an opinion about Judaism that I had heard once and took for granted that it was true.
 

 


My only thoughts on this is that if you are studying Judaism from a Christian perspective, than I believe your overall understanding of Judaism will be interwoven and somewhat co-dependent with your Christian beliefs.  That is cool, but in Judaism, Christianity is separate and distinct (even if certain books are shared) and Jews do not look through the lens of Christianity to form the basis of their beliefs past or present.  I think that is the key difference between the way Christians do their extensive study and the way that Jewish scholars and other observant individuals approach Judaism.  I believe that the "assumptions" that the previous posters allude to are not about whether or not you have done your homework, but that your understanding of Judaism is inextricably (sp?) linked to a Christian point of view or belief.  I'm not sure I'm explaining myself well, but I think there is a sharp divide in how each group approaches their analysis and study.
 

 


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Catscradle,

 

I totally agree with you.  But it is still inappropriate to call it an assumption.

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My only thoughts on this is that if you are studying Judaism from a Christian perspective, than I believe your overall understanding of Judaism will be interwoven and somewhat co-dependent with your Christian beliefs.  That is cool, but in Judaism, Christianity is separate and distinct (even if certain books are shared) and Jews do not look through the lens of Christianity to form the basis of their beliefs past or present.  I think that is the key difference between the way Christians do their extensive study and the way that Jewish scholars and other observant individuals approach Judaism.  I believe that the "assumptions" that the previous posters allude to are not about whether or not you have done your homework, but that your understanding of Judaism is inextricably (sp?) linked to a Christian point of view or belief.  I'm not sure I'm explaining myself well, but I think there is a sharp divide in how each group approaches their analysis and study.
 

 


I think sometimes the tone of xtians is that Jews somehow "missed the boat". They have this great shared history but diverged quite suddenly at this juncture. Most Jews still await the coming of the Messiah, though if you are Reform.. not so much.

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#81 of 124 Old 04-04-2011, 04:38 AM
 
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My pet peeve--the Christian view of God is monotheist.  The trinity =/= 3 Gods.




When people refer to "strict monotheism" in this sense it is not meaning "strict monotheism as opposed to a dithering sort of polytheism" so much as "a monotheism that accepts no division of any kind as opposed to a monotheism that does." A religion that holds there is one, period, end of story, is conceptually very different from one that builds up a central body of work interpreting the meaning of there being one represented as a multiplicity.


 

 

 

Yeah.  What Liquesce said.  Verbatim.   :)

 

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I think sometimes the tone of xtians is that Jews somehow "missed the boat". They have this great shared history but diverged quite suddenly at this juncture. Most Jews still await the coming of the Messiah, though if you are Reform.. not so much.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jewish_Messiah


 

Sure, one does see this.  Obviously in one sense from a Christian perspective, if a Jewish person has rejected Christianity, then they have missed the boat.  Then sometimes you see Christians speak as if the pre-Christian Jews ought to have somehow expected the whole NT to happen, which is an strange and silly idea.  Why would they have?  Even from a strict NT perspective, the whole thing was very much unexpected by everyone.

 

On the other hand, there are lots of Jewish people who think that Christians have missed the boat, which is true if the Jews are correct.  But one also often gets the idea that some Jews just think Christians are too silly or stupid to realize that the Trinity and Incarnation are incompatible with monotheism, or that the Christian story does not fulfill what the Jewish Scriptures predicted.

 

It's pretty much always offensive when we assume other people are just to dumb to get it.


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#83 of 124 Old 04-04-2011, 07:58 AM - Thread Starter
 
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OK, I feel bad that this thread turned into a bashing other people's faiths thread. That was not my intention. I thought it was interesting the concept of a "wife to God". I think somebody else posted about Shekinah being female, etc. I wonder... how do you think your faith's treatment of women would have been different had this existed or been taught? Would things be different? Do you think that women would have had equality (for lack of a better term, knowing that in reality, women still have a long way to go even in the US) sooner?

Mom to DS(8), DS(6), DD(4), and DS(1).  "Kids do as well as they can."

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On the other hand, there are lots of Jewish people who think that Christians have missed the boat, which is true if the Jews are correct.  But one also often gets the idea that some Jews just think Christians are too silly or stupid to realize that the Trinity and Incarnation are incompatible with monotheism, or that the Christian story does not fulfill what the Jewish Scriptures predicted.

 

It's pretty much always offensive when we assume other people are just to dumb to get it.

I'm sorry, Umsami, I know you're trying to get this conversation back on track to your original post, but I feel compelled to respond to the above.

 

Bluegoat, regarding the bolded part: who are these Jewish people that you refer to?  I'm just curious because in my own family and with the people that I've been involved with throughout my life, the last thing we discuss or even give thought to is how "Christians have missed the boat."  I don't think that is on the Jewish radar, to be honest.  Missed what boat?  In my experience, Jewish people do not consider the truth, validity or falsity of other religions.  The Jewish people have their own instructions, goals and personal reflections and responsibilities.  For me, it is not about, hey, you guys are wrong and we're right, or even that the Christians are stupid or ignorant for believing what they do.  You have your own faith and the Jewish people have theirs.  

 

Personally, the only time that the "us vs. them" thing comes up is when Jews are feeling threatened by the evangelicalism of other faiths.  It doesn't help when others are implying that we are missing the boat.  That somehow we are missing out by not seeing the way others see.  That we are "rejecting" the truth by not seeing the truth via someone else's perspective.  It is frustrating to be on the constant receiving end of the disconnect.  The disconnect being that somehow we treat "truth" the way that other religions view "truth."  It is not the same.  Frankly, we're not thinking about the truth or falsity of other religions, we just don't subscribe to or feel the need to prove the so-called truth of Judaism over other religions.  Jewish instructions and responsibilities are directed to the Jewish people and not dependent on the falsity of others' beliefs and responsibilities.  Speaking for myself, I don't spend a lot of time (or any time for that matter) debating in my mind the idea of  monotheism or polytheism and the stupidity of either or those who subscribe to either as stupid or ignorant.  I said this upstream and I'll say it again, the core approaches between the two are distinct.  I don't think in terms of who is "correct" because that is not the basis of my (learned) belief system.  
 

Umsami:  I think no matter what major religion you are born into, there is a long history of patriarchy which is as much cultural as it is religious.  This probably has its roots in religious thought but I think even if you go back to Neanderthal times, physical strength has often exerted itself as the dominant force and it is often males who are physically stronger than women (brute force wise).  Disclaimer, I'm sure this view hasn't been held in all cultures since the beginning of times, but it has been the dominant view, major world religion or no.


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#86 of 124 Old 04-06-2011, 07:29 AM
 
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I fail to see the connection, Philomom. This statue only proves that the children of Israel were effected by the world and the pagan rituals of their time, continually reverting back to idol worship, even though God through the prophets warned them over and over. The Bible does reveal that God desires a counterpart. God is wooing us back to Himself. We may be far away from God, but He is patiently wooing us to love Him first. God just wants to fill us with Himself so that He can have His expression on the earth, His counterpart, His bride. There is a divine romance going on right now. The bride, the church, is making herself ready. Ephesians 5 makes this quite clear. The church today is just like the children of Israel. We have failed many times over and over...worshipping idols. Idols of our day may not be statues, but things in our personal life and things in the world that we love more than God.

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I'm sorry, Umsami, I know you're trying to get this conversation back on track to your original post, but I feel compelled to respond to the above.

 

Bluegoat, regarding the bolded part: who are these Jewish people that you refer to?  I'm just curious because in my own family and with the people that I've been involved with throughout my life, the last thing we discuss or even give thought to is how "Christians have missed the boat."  I don't think that is on the Jewish radar, to be honest.  Missed what boat?  In my experience, Jewish people do not consider the truth, validity or falsity of other religions.  The Jewish people have their own instructions, goals and personal reflections and responsibilities.  For me, it is not about, hey, you guys are wrong and we're right, or even that the Christians are stupid or ignorant for believing what they do.  You have your own faith and the Jewish people have theirs.  

 

Personally, the only time that the "us vs. them" thing comes up is when Jews are feeling threatened by the evangelicalism of other faiths.  It doesn't help when others are implying that we are missing the boat.  That somehow we are missing out by not seeing the way others see.  That we are "rejecting" the truth by not seeing the truth via someone else's perspective.  It is frustrating to be on the constant receiving end of the disconnect.  The disconnect being that somehow we treat "truth" the way that other religions view "truth."  It is not the same.  Frankly, we're not thinking about the truth or falsity of other religions, we just don't subscribe to or feel the need to prove the so-called truth of Judaism over other religions.  Jewish instructions and responsibilities are directed to the Jewish people and not dependent on the falsity of others' beliefs and responsibilities.  Speaking for myself, I don't spend a lot of time (or any time for that matter) debating in my mind the idea of  monotheism or polytheism and the stupidity of either or those who subscribe to either as stupid or ignorant.  I said this upstream and I'll say it again, the core approaches between the two are distinct.  I don't think in terms of who is "correct" because that is not the basis of my (learned) belief system. 
 

Two points:

 

There are lots of examples, even here on MDC, or Jewish people saying that Christians have misunderstood Scripture. 

 

I think a lot of people do not worry about people of other religions, which is probably a sensible attitude.  That doesn't mean that people who do don't exist.  And I doubt you will meet anyone who has not considered what it means that there are other religions at all.  I've encountered the claim before that Judaism does not consider the truth or falsity of other religions.  But that seems a bit - I don't know - a bit diengenuous to me I guess.  (Unless you are talking specifically about particular individuals.)  Because if Christianity is true, it means modern Judaism is false - they are mutually exclusive possibilities.  This is also true of some other religions and Judaism.  That doesn't mean that Jews feel the need to go out proclaiming that, but it does mean that they have an "opinion" of sorts on them.

 

And as for specifics, I can think of several examples I have seen that apply - unfortunately some are not nice.  One example that I can think of that is more neutral relates to a friend of mine who visited Israel on a group tour for Jewish students.  She found that among the Rabbis she met there was serious concern over young Jewish kids converting to Buddhism, and they were actively speaking out about Buddhism and its incompatibility with Judaism.  Which it clearly is, but that doesn't seem much like people that have no opinion on other religions. 


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Two points:

 

There are lots of examples, even here on MDC, or Jewish people saying that Christians have misunderstood Scripture. 

 

I think a lot of people do not worry about people of other religions, which is probably a sensible attitude.  That doesn't mean that people who do don't exist.  And I doubt you will meet anyone who has not considered what it means that there are other religions at all.  I've encountered the claim before that Judaism does not consider the truth or falsity of other religions.  But that seems a bit - I don't know - a bit diengenuous to me I guess.  (Unless you are talking specifically about particular individuals.)  Because if Christianity is true, it means modern Judaism is false - they are mutually exclusive possibilities.  This is also true of some other religions and Judaism.  That doesn't mean that Jews feel the need to go out proclaiming that, but it does mean that they have an "opinion" of sorts on them.

 

And as for specifics, I can think of several examples I have seen that apply - unfortunately some are not nice.  One example that I can think of that is more neutral relates to a friend of mine who visited Israel on a group tour for Jewish students.  She found that among the Rabbis she met there was serious concern over young Jewish kids converting to Buddhism, and they were actively speaking out about Buddhism and its incompatibility with Judaism.  Which it clearly is, but that doesn't seem much like people that have no opinion on other religions. 

Well, I guess you would know better than me.   I'm just biased, I guess, given that I've lived it.  winky.gif

 

Regarding conversions to other religions (see bolded part above as example):  I think it has less to do with opinions of other religions, as you say, and more to do with Jewish identity.  Tradition and identity and observance is a huge part of being Jewish.  For more observant individuals (that includes many Israeli rebbes and certain sects in my own town in NY), converting outside your faith is, let's say, a slap in the face to Jews everywhere, past and present.  Sorry, as much as other faiths want to feel persecuted and feel that it is all about them, rejecting Judaism is about rejecting an identity.  A people.  A g-d.  There is a certain degree of protectionism and part of that is probably due to a survival reflex.  Diaspora is probably a huge contributing factor.  So I would argue that the survival of the people and the religion has played a much larger role than the concern for distinguishing the truth or falsity of other religions against Judaism.  Buddhism (to the observant and orthodox) would not be compatible with Judaism, but rejecting Buddhism has less to do with Buddhism and more to do with maintaining the Jewish identity and faith.  Many can be closed to the idea, many can be open to it.  But to the protectionists, the thought of Buddhism having an influence would compromise the foundation of Judaism and the delicate identity of a whole people.  I personally don't agree with it, but I understand where they are  coming from.  So I think the issue really lies in not whether other religions are wrong or false, but what can we do to protect our own faith/people.  There is a strong urge, and almost to the point of evangelicalism of sorts of Jews by other Jews (specifically in my town) to keep people on track, so to speak.  I think part of it is based in fear of the demise of a people/faith and that is understandable in many respects.  History has shown that Jewish identity has survived a delicate and precarious balance with the rest of the world.
 

 


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Originally Posted by CatsCradle View Post



Well, I guess you would know better than me.   I'm just biased, I guess, given that I've lived it.  winky.gif

 

Regarding conversions to other religions (see bolded part above as example):  I think it has less to do with opinions of other religions, as you say, and more to do with Jewish identity.  Tradition and identity and observance is a huge part of being Jewish.  For more observant individuals (that includes many Israeli rebbes and certain sects in my own town in NY), converting outside your faith is, let's say, a slap in the face to Jews everywhere, past and present.  Sorry, as much as other faiths want to feel persecuted and feel that it is all about them, rejecting Judaism is about rejecting an identity.  A people.  A g-d.  There is a certain degree of protectionism and part of that is probably due to a survival reflex.  Diaspora is probably a huge contributing factor.  So I would argue that the survival of the people and the religion has played a much larger role than the concern for distinguishing the truth or falsity of other religions against Judaism.  Buddhism (to the observant and orthodox) would not be compatible with Judaism, but rejecting Buddhism has less to do with Buddhism and more to do with maintaining the Jewish identity and faith.  Many can be closed to the idea, many can be open to it.  But to the protectionists, the thought of Buddhism having an influence would compromise the foundation of Judaism and the delicate identity of a whole people.  I personally don't agree with it, but I understand where they are  coming from.  So I think the issue really lies in not whether other religions are wrong or false, but what can we do to protect our own faith/people.  There is a strong urge, and almost to the point of evangelicalism of sorts of Jews by other Jews (specifically in my town) to keep people on track, so to speak.  I think part of it is based in fear of the demise of a people/faith and that is understandable in many respects.  History has shown that Jewish identity has survived a delicate and precarious balance with the rest of the world.
 

 



I totally agree that a lot of it is tied up in cultural identity, and for some people, that is all that it is about.  But I don't think that is all of it. You asked who these Jewish people are that think about other religions. For you, being Jewish culturally while having non-traditional beliefs is totally ok - they are compatible. So you don't really need to worry about other religions unless they interest you.  Another person may only be interested in cultural Judaism - which taken to its logical conclusion suggests 

that observance of practice alone would be enough.  But to other people, part of the practice is the belief, and a kind of confidence in it's truth - which means at least implicitly rejecting other views - I'd say really that there are still a fair number of people who, even if culture is an important motivator for them - also feel strongly that the truth-claims of religion are important.

 

That's how I tend to understand the different motiivations around this question anyway.  But even if I'm wrong, we can see a number of debates on Jewish/Christian topics here (even this one) which suggest that at least some Jewish people have opinions on other religious interpretations.


 I like the mind to be a dustbin of scraps of brilliant fabric, odd gems, worthless but fascinating curiosities, tinsel, quaint bits of carving, and a reasonable amount of healthy dirt.
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#90 of 124 Old 04-12-2011, 05:50 AM
 
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Bluegoat, you just want to see what you want to see and don't care about reality.

 

The difference is that Christianity is supercessionist.  The reality of Christianity is that for it to be real, Jews have to all become Christian.  Since Jesus was supposedly the messiah of the Jews, right?  

 

The difference is that Judaism is not only not interested in people converting to Judaism, Judaism is not interested in other religions being wrong.  Judaism is truth [i]for Jews[/i].  

 

The fact is that Christianity has spent a lot of time and effort at converting Jews.  Throughout the last 2,000 years of Jewish history there have been convert-or-die traumas for Jews.  Particularly from the Christians, but Islam has done the same on occasion.  And the facts is that Jews consider proselytizing to a threat for that very reason.  If you want to be particularly personal about it, nobody likes to see their children reject their own family, and since Jewishness is an ethnic and national identity along with a religion, "converting out" is a rejection of family.

 

Being told that Christians have misinterpreted the Jewish Scripture isn't being judgmental or "anti."  It's pointing out fact, linguistic or otherwise.

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