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Hi guys, hope you are all well and having a great week so far :)

So, considering that at least two religion-based threads that were explicitly open to all (Do you believe in God? and How has being religious impacted you?) seem to have been going well and not turned into flame wars (though there was at least some threat of derailment in the first one), I was hoping a more general religious discussion based thread might hopefully turn out well as well.

However part of the success of the previous two topics may well be because they are primarily based on ones own relation to God and to faith, and so it is a lot harder for the natural human tendency towards open argument at the slightest challenge to ones deeply held beliefs and worldview, both religious and secular, to be engaged - you can't argue someone does or doesn't believe in something if you don't know them personally, or say that someone you don't know in person is lying about the impact, positive and negative, that religion has had on them, so those threads likely could remain civil because those impulses had no place to be vented.

Still, I think this forum is one with a diverse community in terms of belief and culture and that respects one another, even when disagreeing. I haven't seen too many hostile posts or obviously enraged discussion here, with a few exceptions (Shallan, Adolin, and Kaladin shipping discussions still haunt my nightmares ...) so I'm hoping this sort of discussion won't necessarily become a shouting match, but rather a place to share ones perspectives and beliefs, and perhaps even arguments for and against certain positions and beliefs - it certainly is a topic I as a Christian enjoy discussing, and I know if can be done well and civilly. With that in mind, I think there may be two ways to go about this, subject to the consensus of the group and the rulings of the mods:

  • Option 1 - this thread becomes an open discussion where anyone and everyone can have a hopefully civil discussion on the topic of religion and reasons to believe or not to, so long as everyone remembers to be calm;
  • Option 2 - this thread becomes a place where those interested in having religious discussions can indicate a willingness to engage in those discussions with others, and so can be PMed by anyone else interested to engage with them. (If going with this option I'll edit this post to include a list of those who wish to engage in religious discussion, and if they later change their mind I'll edit the list to reflect that.)

Now Option 1 does run the risk of the thread becoming a flame war where two or more cliques form who become intractable opponents, or for a few bad actors to stoke an otherwise peaceful discussion into open hostility, but it also lets everything remain in the open and encourages one to post according to the rules of the forum, where those who break the rules or become overly unpleasant can be reprimanded. Option 2 lets discussions remain focused in more selective discussions, with everyone involved being those who are invited and can discuss things privately and with the assumption of mutual respect, but it also runs the risk of angry discussion away from the eyes of others, which can also prevent good arguments others reading the discussion may have from being seen and prevent them from be able to contribute. If the decision is to go with Option 1 then I imagine the Mods may keep a close eye on this thread, so I would like to preemptively invite them to weigh in on the right way to go about this - Option 1, Option 2, or something else entirely - and if they or anyone else has any suggestions to make on how to allow this to progress smoothly. So, inviting a few of the Mods and Admins to have a look at this thread and weigh in (I apologise if I miss anyone on the staff who would be best suited for this, or if I invite the attention of any Mod or Admin who feels another member of the staff would better be suited to respond):

@Chaos, @firstRainbowRose, @AonEne, @Argent, @Greywatch, @Jofwu, @Kaymyth, @LewsTherinTelescope

 

Regardless of whether the thread goes along Option 1 or Option 2, if you are interested in religious discussions with me please feel free to PM me at any time, and though I may not always respond promptly I will always try to do so. I am a Christian, though I do hold some views that some of my Brothers and Sisters disagree on, and I believe Christianity is a rational faith, though going in depth on both of those topics would be their own discussion. If this thread uses Option 1 then I'll be more than happy to elaborate on my beliefs and what I am still learning, as well as my justifications for my beliefs, but otherwise feel free to PM me :)

I think any religious based discussion in this thread should wait until after the staff have stated their stance on this, though if you are interested then voicing your willingness to participate should be fine. Either way I hope this does become a place where we can all come together in peace. Regardless of how this topic goes I hope you are having a wonderful morning, afternoon, evening, or night. Take care, and I hope all goes well with you. I love you guys, and please remember to love each other and to respect each other, even when disagreeing. Have a good one!

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We had a thread like option 1 before. It went fine, but definitely required mod eyes on it. Regardless, we will keep a very close eye on things and if anyone is disrespectful, they will be dealt with.

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Feel free the report comments the moment they start approaching heat, it's better to act on (or at least monitor) those things early.

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I'm going to paraphrase something I read somewhere:

Religion is what allows humans to explain things that science cannot explain.

And I think, that that is absolutely amazing. Human creativity, paired with the unwavering faith that humans can show, create a Religion. Which is something absolutely amazing. But it can also be... extreme.

Religions can be something that brings people together, but also something that tears them apart. Such is the way of manmade/unmanmade things. 

Now, I don't usually frequent threads like this, where every response tends to be on the long side of things, as messages go, but I think that this thread is cool! And I'll try to talk here because theology and religion is an interesting topic.

So yeah.

And that third bit was kinda poetic I guess, but that's just me being me :P

K great thanks enjoy this stuff I guess.

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Posted (edited)

@Chaos and @Argent thank you both :)

 

9 hours ago, Doomslug The Destroyer said:

I'm going to paraphrase something I read somewhere:

Religion is what allows humans to explain things that science cannot explain.

And I think, that that is absolutely amazing. Human creativity, paired with the unwavering faith that humans can show, create a Religion. Which is something absolutely amazing. But it can also be... extreme.

Religions can be something that brings people together, but also something that tears them apart. Such is the way of manmade/unmanmade things. 

Now, I don't usually frequent threads like this, where every response tends to be on the long side of things, as messages go, but I think that this thread is cool! And I'll try to talk here because theology and religion is an interesting topic.

So yeah.

And that third bit was kinda poetic I guess, but that's just me being me :P

K great thanks enjoy this stuff I guess.

That likewise reminds me of a quote by Martin Luther King Junior: "Science gives man knowledge, which is power; religion gives man wisdom, which is control. Science deals mainly with facts; religion deals mainly with values. The two are not rivals." The problems start when one starts to put one over the other in ways they aren't intended to function. And lets not forget what happens when philosophy enters the picture!

I don't think religions are automatically man-made (and depending on your religious beliefs there could be a plethora of beings that could have been involved, differing in levels of power to inherent nature) though some certainly are man-made even by the admission of their followers, or are claimed to be made by a partnership between the divine and mortal. They certainly are a recurring element of human nature though, and most or all religions certainly do gain at least a human flair after the fact, that is for certain!

Brandon I think has done a great job of showing different types of religions and how they can have their positives and their negatives - how they can bring out the best in people and their worst - and how even "bad" Cosmere religions such as Shu-Dereth can have good people following them, and vice versa. We mustn't forgot how those behaviours aren't just confined to religions, but religions often are the purest examples of the extremes in human nature.

Feel free to join in or leave at any point you like, and to come and go in this thread as you please :) nothing kills enthusiasm faster than feeling forced to engage - I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on the topic whenever your ready. Feel free to be as poetic as you like!

Edited by Ixthos
formatting, fixed a sentence
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I'm gonna try and be brave for a minute. I've noticed in my church particularly, many folks, including myself, aren't a big fan of using the word 'religion'.  Sure, we'll use it if the need arises (please select here, etc.), but for the most part, we tend to use 'faith' instead.  I'm curious, do any of y'all do this too?

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Posted (edited)

First thing first: Ixthos, you started a religion discussion thread without tagging me? I could've missed it entirely!

That aside, moving on: I'm an Orthodox Jew. Generally, our faith is defined by the Thirteen Faith Principals of Maimonides (aka Rambam). They are as following:

1. That there's a G-d.

2. That this G-d is One, and there is nothing that can second Him, nor be equal to His Oneness.

3. That He has no body, nor the likes of a body.

4. That he was always in existence. This belief could have been phrased to mean that the world was created by G-d, but Maimonides tried to prove that even if you believe that the world always existed, as many people believed in his time, you can believe in Judaism, even though he himself probably didn't believe in that.

5. That G-d alone is worthy of worshipping, and nothing beneath Him is worthy of it.

6. That G-d contacts with mankind through His prophets.

7. That Moses is the greatest prophet ever and the father (in a way) of all the others, before him and after him. Moses - or Moshe, as is his Hebrew name, is different from other prophets in multiple ways, including: his prophecies came directly from G-d, while awake, without shocking him in any way, and sometimes - when he himself asked, a like other prophets, who got their prophecies through angels, while asleep, and even though it was only through angels it made them physically weak, and got them only when G-d decided to give them prophecies.

8. That the Torah is directly from G-d, including both Written and Oral Torah, and that not even a single phrase was written according to Moshe's ideas, and of course not someone else's, and the Torah we have today is this same Torah.

9. That the Torah is the only one that will ever be, and will never change or be replaced.

10. That G-d knows what happens in the world.

11. That all men will be rewarded according to their deeds.

12. That the Messiah, one of king David's descendants, will come one day and lead us.

13. That the dead will one day live again. 

I've written it already in a PM - hope it's not going too heavy on that.

1 hour ago, Spren of Kindness said:

I'm gonna try and be brave for a minute. I've noticed in my church particularly, many folks, including myself, aren't a big fan of using the word 'religion'.  Sure, we'll use it if the need arises (please select here, etc.), but for the most part, we tend to use 'faith' instead.  I'm curious, do any of y'all do this too?

That is an interesting point. I don't know about the English word, but the modern Hebrew word used for religion - dat - comes Frome the old Persian word for law. A word of the same root is still used to this day in Indo-European languages - data, meaning information. Thus, there are people who don't like calling Judaism a "dat", probably because it's more than just rules. The problem with faith, though, may be the exact opposite: to think that faith is enough in and of itself, without any deeds tied to it.

Thank you for reading, and have a good morning/day/evening/night!

Edited by Trutharchivist
Silly me, was too lazy to check how to spell Indo-European.
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1 hour ago, Spren of Kindness said:

I'm gonna try and be brave for a minute. I've noticed in my church particularly, many folks, including myself, aren't a big fan of using the word 'religion'.  Sure, we'll use it if the need arises (please select here, etc.), but for the most part, we tend to use 'faith' instead.  I'm curious, do any of y'all do this too?

Actually ... yes, come to think about it. I think it might be because in Scripture I can only think of a couple of times the word religion being used, while all other times faith is given centre stage: we are always encouraged to endure in the faith and to persevere, to live by faith (and the right kind of faith, not blind but trusting), and the most famous faith quote: "These three things remain - faith, hope, and love - and the greatest of these is love." I suppose a large part of that is because the way Yeshua and the Apostles presented the Gospel was that of repenting and believing, so having faith, rather than presenting the ritual and formalism implied in the word religion.

 

 

54 minutes ago, Trutharchivist said:

First thing first: Ixthos, you started a religion discussion thread without tagging me? I could've missed it entirely!

I'm so sorry @Trutharchivist! I was planning on tagging you after the thread took off if it did - I wasn't planning on leaving you out!

 

54 minutes ago, Trutharchivist said:

That aside, moving on: I'm an Orthodox Jew. Generally, our faith is defined by the Thirteen Faith Principals of Maimonides (aka Rambam). They are as following:

1. That there's a G-d.

2. That this G-d is One, and there is nothing that can second Him, nor be equal to His Oneness.

3. That He has no body, nor the likes of a body.

4. That he was always in existence. This belief could have been phrased to mean that the world was created by G-d, but Maimonides tried to prove that even if you believe that the world always existed, as many people believed in his time, you can believe in Judaism, even though he himself probably didn't believe in that.

5. That G-d alone is worthy of worshipping, and nothing beneath Him is worthy of it.

6. That G-d contacts with mankind through His prophets.

7. That Moses is the greatest prophet ever and the father (in a way) of all the others, before him and after him. Moses - or Moshe, as is his Hebrew name, is different from other prophets in multiple ways, including: his prophecies came directly from G-d, while awake, without shocking him in any way, and sometimes - when he himself asked, a like other prophets, who got their prophecies through angels, while asleep, and even though it was only through angels it made them physically weak, and got them only when G-d decided to give them prophecies.

8. That the Torah is directly from G-d, including both Written and Oral Torah, and that not even a single phrase was written according to Moshe's ideas, and of course not someone else's, and the Torah we have today is this same Torah.

9. That the Torah is the only one that will ever be, and will never change or be replaced.

10. That G-d knows what happens in the world.

11. That all men will be rewarded according to their deeds.

12. That the Messiah, one of king David's descendants, will come one day and lead us.

13. That the dead will one day live again. 

I've written it already in a PM - hope it's not going too heavy on that.

That is an interesting point. I don't know about the English word, but the modern Hebrew word used for religion - dat - comes Frome the old Persian word for law. A word of the same root is still used to this day in Hindu-European languages - data, meaning information. Thus, there are people who don't like calling Judaism a "dat", probably because it's more than just rules. The problem with faith, though, may be the exact opposite: to think that faith is enough in and of itself, without any deeds tied to it.

Thank you for reading, and have a good morning/day/evening/night!

I agree with almost all of your points, with a couple of caveats on a few of them, namely 3 (G-d's interactions with Adam and Eve in Eden and the Angel of the LORD - so I believe G-d exists beyond the world but He can also manifest within it; otherwise I do agree for "yet even the Heavens cannot contain G-d," 1 Kings 8:27), 7 (Moshe is either the most important prophet or among the greatest with a unique relationship with G-d that other prophets didn't have, but Deuteronomy 18:15 does talk of a new prophet who will done day come and who will be like Moshe), and 9 (The Torah, and the TaNaK in its entirety, are unique documents shaped by the Will of the LORD G-d, though G-d did promise in Jeremiah 13:31-34 that He would one day make a new covenant that was the culmination of those that came before it), but ultimately those are just caveats and minor variations on what you said, not so much disagreeing but presenting a slightly different perspective on them while agreeing with their heart.

 

For the point on the word dat, I never knew that - its always amazing to find out something new that gives new light on a previous topic. I do like the observation another friend made once that the Torah can also be understood as Instruction or "the Maker's Instruction," so not rules but guides that should be followed to gain what is meant for one in this life. Its a guide book that shows how to live, and not following the advice it gives is like trying to swim against the current and away from peaceful waters.

On the topic of faith, an example given in the Book of James that really helps make things clear for me is the example he gives of how faith and works came together in Abraham - as the TaNaK says, "Abraham believed G-d, and it was counted to him as righteousness." The observation in James 2:14-26 was that Abraham manifested his faith by obeying G-d - to leave the land of his fathers and to believe that G-d could do what he promised He would do. Its a little like if someone says to you "I trust you," and you then ask them to do a trust fall with you. If they do trust you then they will do it, but if they don't then they never really trusted you to begin with - the trust fall isn't their trust, but it is the manifestation of their trust - their trust confirms their friendship with you, not the fall, but the fall is the proof of their trust.

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Posted (edited)

@Trutharchivist lays the 13 ikkarim/principles of faith out very well. While the ikkarim exist in different variations the core roots are rather consistent. There is a lot to be said that these 13 are enshrined as the most well known set among Orthodox jews and are a part of the daily liturgy every day of the year. It so deeply ingrained that even children can name many of them from a young age. Their roots can really be broken down to a number of things 1) The infinity/uniqueness of the God. 2) The uniqueness of Moses who is called the father of all prophets. 3)This ties into the next point which is the uniqueness of the Torah. Reward and punishment and the ultimate redemption have all in many ways created a unique sense identity among the jewish people. The 12th of those Ikkarim kept hope alive through the centuries. There are stories of those who sang and danced while singing this ikkur when they were sent to the gas chambers during the Holocaust. It was a hope which never died.

If I may expand this a bit. There are two words for faith in Hebrew Emunah and Bitachon. At the hear of emunah stands the same root as the word amen. It means to accept or affirm. The word amen which Jews pronounce at the end of blessings and which Christians know from a hymn/ benedictory context belief as affirmation. Bitachon has a root meaning to rely, lean, or be dependent on. Faith is by no means simple thing to nail down as it were. There are times when there is faith as acceptance or affirmation (based without a need for evidence.) Simple faith as one might call it. Where the faith is an acceptance based only on the affirmation itself.

 Then there is faith and belief as something which seeks one upon which one can lean. It is not simply acceptance it is a faith that views the one who is doing the support as one upon whom a person can lean.

There are different levels of faith all of which are completely valid. In the same way there are different types of people. Some are on the level that they don't lean for support. Yet it is still a legitimate level to do so. 

Edited by Nathrangking
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There hasn't been much activity here recently, which may or may not be a good thing. In light of that, I'm wondering if it might not be a good idea for me to do a slow go-through of the Bible and cover certain things which I find particularly noteworthy, both as a means to generate topics of discussion and to help myself work through some of my thoughts on scripture. It likely won't be a methodical analysis, so I won't start at the beginning and go all the way through one chapter and verse at a time until the end (and side note, but chapter and verse almost always are terrible methods to do a Bible study as the original texts were not divided into chapters, except for example the Psalms). Instead, I'll start at the beginning and jump around randomly! Yes ... that is a much better method :D

I'm not a professional Biblical scholar, though I do listen to and read and watch videos by those who do this in a more professional way (in particular videowise I gained a lot of insight through the late David Pawson's video series 'Unlocking the Old Testament' and 'Unlocking the New Testament', the current works of 'the Bible Project', and the work of Dr. Michael Heiser, among others), bearing in mind that I haven't the same level of experience as them, nor do I agree with them on everything. I'll probably be using the above links for a lot of the discussion and referencing things they mention, and those are absolutely essential resources for anyone who wants to understand the Bible in the context in which it was written, but I'll probably be saying several things that are observations I myself have made that may or may not have any value from a scholastic level, but which I think are interesting and significant.

What I'd like to do, and probably only will have the time to do in several weeks, is to start with Genesis, in particular the way the Seven Days of Creation are presented, and what I think is particularly significant about them - in particular, the incredible poetic structure built into them that I don't see people commenting on very often, if at all, yet which I feel is absolutely essential to understand its purpose. (It'll also give me a chance to draw out a diagram for it which I can use later, as I've been hoping to do that at some point.) I probably have the most to say about Genesis and Revelation, likely three topics at least for each, which are also primarily my main points of disagreements with many of my Brothers and Sisters, and hopefully this can lead to some productive discussion. I do have a few other points to discuss on other books in the Bible, and also specific things that are topics covered throughout the Bible (such as the Temple being a mini-Eden, the Divine Council, the nature and role of Man, etc.), but I'll approach that on a case-by-case basis.

Hopefully each will be a good topic for discussion here, and if anyone else from any religious tradition would like to do likewise, doing a breakdown of their own scriptures and their meanings and history, please feel free to do so! Also, a secondary reminder, if anyone is interested in discussing any religious topic, either one brought up here or anywhere else, please feel free to PM me :)

 

(Also, @Trutharchivist, just to clarify one point I forgot to mention in the previous post, I forgot to mention a further caveat with point 8, as I believe scripture, even the Torah, is a collaborative work between Man and G-d, and I'm somewhat dubious on the topic of scripture not being "updated" by later scribes, but that is a secondary point. Otherwise on the previously mentioned topics I do agree with you and the Orthodox Jewish positions mentioned above.)

I hope everyone is having a wonderful week so far, and take care! 

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That sounds super cool, Ixthos. I'm excited to see what you say about it - I want to understand more about the Bible :D.

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On 5/18/2022 at 8:01 PM, Ixthos said:

There hasn't been much activity here recently, which may or may not be a good thing. In light of that, I'm wondering if it might not be a good idea for me to do a slow go-through of the Bible and cover certain things which I find particularly noteworthy, both as a means to generate topics of discussion and to help myself work through some of my thoughts on scripture. It likely won't be a methodical analysis, so I won't start at the beginning and go all the way through one chapter and verse at a time until the end (and side note, but chapter and verse almost always are terrible methods to do a Bible study as the original texts were not divided into chapters, except for example the Psalms). Instead, I'll start at the beginning and jump around randomly! Yes ... that is a much better method :D

I'm not a professional Biblical scholar, though I do listen to and read and watch videos by those who do this in a more professional way (in particular videowise I gained a lot of insight through the late David Pawson's video series 'Unlocking the Old Testament' and 'Unlocking the New Testament', the current works of 'the Bible Project', and the work of Dr. Michael Heiser, among others), bearing in mind that I haven't the same level of experience as them, nor do I agree with them on everything. I'll probably be using the above links for a lot of the discussion and referencing things they mention, and those are absolutely essential resources for anyone who wants to understand the Bible in the context in which it was written, but I'll probably be saying several things that are observations I myself have made that may or may not have any value from a scholastic level, but which I think are interesting and significant.

What I'd like to do, and probably only will have the time to do in several weeks, is to start with Genesis, in particular the way the Seven Days of Creation are presented, and what I think is particularly significant about them - in particular, the incredible poetic structure built into them that I don't see people commenting on very often, if at all, yet which I feel is absolutely essential to understand its purpose. (It'll also give me a chance to draw out a diagram for it which I can use later, as I've been hoping to do that at some point.) I probably have the most to say about Genesis and Revelation, likely three topics at least for each, which are also primarily my main points of disagreements with many of my Brothers and Sisters, and hopefully this can lead to some productive discussion. I do have a few other points to discuss on other books in the Bible, and also specific things that are topics covered throughout the Bible (such as the Temple being a mini-Eden, the Divine Council, the nature and role of Man, etc.), but I'll approach that on a case-by-case basis.

Hopefully each will be a good topic for discussion here, and if anyone else from any religious tradition would like to do likewise, doing a breakdown of their own scriptures and their meanings and history, please feel free to do so! Also, a secondary reminder, if anyone is interested in discussing any religious topic, either one brought up here or anywhere else, please feel free to PM me :)

 

(Also, @Trutharchivist, just to clarify one point I forgot to mention in the previous post, I forgot to mention a further caveat with point 8, as I believe scripture, even the Torah, is a collaborative work between Man and G-d, and I'm somewhat dubious on the topic of scripture not being "updated" by later scribes, but that is a secondary point. Otherwise on the previously mentioned topics I do agree with you and the Orthodox Jewish positions mentioned above.)

I hope everyone is having a wonderful week so far, and take care! 

Nice! I look forward to these discussions especially those on Genesis. When I spent a year abroad after high school I actually took the time to learn in a Yeshiva program where one of the classes that I took did a close reading of the first 20 some odd chapters of genesis. My teacher actually wrote a book of scholarship on genesis.

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4 minutes ago, Nathrangking said:

Nice! I look forward to these discussions especially those on Genesis. When I spent a year abroad after high school I actually took the time to learn in a Yeshiva program where one of the classes that I took did a close reading of the first 20 some odd chapters of genesis. My teacher actually wrote a book of scholarship on genesis.

That's awesome! Do you know the name of the book they wrote?

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Posted (edited)

3 minutes ago, Ixthos said:

That's awesome! Do you know the name of the book they wrote?

I do. I bought a copy and have read it many times cover to cover.

Edited by Nathrangking
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Just now, Nathrangking said:

"I do. I bought a copy and have read it many times cover to cover."

No, I mean could you say the name of the book :P (unless ... you put that in quotation marks. Is the book actually called that?! ;):D)

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1 minute ago, Ixthos said:

No, I mean could you say the name of the book :P (unless ... you put that in quotation marks. Is the book actually called that?! ;):D)

The quotes were a mistake on my part. Genesis: From Creation to Covenant by Zvi Grumet is the name of the book.

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Posted (edited)

4 minutes ago, Nathrangking said:

The quotes were a mistake on my part. Genesis: From Creation to Covenant by Zvi Grumet is the name of the book.

Gotcha, thanks :) I'll see if I can buy a copy. Also, understood on the quotes, typing mistakes do happen. I couldn't tell if you were deliberately teasing me or not, so I tried to tease back - sorry if that didn't go as well as I'd hoped, it isn't easy to tell how others will take what one writes, especially if trying to gently rib someone (and speaking of ribbing someone, that certainly is applicable for Genesis!)

Edited by Ixthos
case in point - fixed two grammatical errors
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2 minutes ago, Ixthos said:

Gotcha, thanks :) I'll see if I can buy a copy. Also, understood on the quotes, typing mistakes do happen. I couldn't tell if you were deliberately teasing me or not, so I tried to tease back - sorry if that didn't go as well as I'd hoped, it isn't easy to tell how others will take what one writes, especially if trying to gently rib someone (and speaking or ribbing someone, that certainly is applicable for Genesis!)

No offense taken ;). As puns go that one needs work.

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Just now, Nathrangking said:

No offense taken ;). As puns go that one needs work.

Give me a day or six and I'll see what I can do :P

(Yes, that one was bad too - I hope the floodgates don't open on that! I might need to ark myself what I'm doing if that happens! But listen to me Babbling right now!)

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3 minutes ago, Ixthos said:

Give me a day or six and I'll see what I can do :P

(Yes, that one was bad too - I hope the floodgates don't open on that! I might need to ark myself what I'm doing if that happens! But listen to me Babbling right now!)

You may need to give it a  rest. Knowledge does not grow on trees therefore you should keep and guard what you have got.

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Just now, Nathrangking said:

You may need to give it a  rest. Knowledge does not grow on trees therefore you should keep and guard what you have got.

True, and I appreciate that on the Eve of being granted such insights one shouldn't construct A-dam to hold it back. Such is one's Lot in life, I suppose, though one mustn't live in Terah of making so many mistakes, even if doing so leaves one unAbel to continue.

 

... okay, I think I'll stop. I Noah when I've said too much I don't want to be Cained.

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You both are going to do puns for all of Genesis, aren't you. I'm sorry, I can't offer much aid with that.

Something that might be of interest: the Yeshivah in which I learn, the Gush Yeshivah, has multiple lessons on the bible. The most notable people in my Yeshivah related to that, in my opinion, are Rav Yaaqov Medan, Rav Yoel Bin-Nun and rav Mordechai Breuer z"l (only the last one, the former two are still alive and healthy). Unfortunately, their writings are, as far as I know, only in Hebrew. An interesting note I wanted to make is that rav Breuer thought up an alternative to the Documentary Hypothesis, which he called Shitat Habechinot, or the aspects approach. To any Hebrew speaking person interested in the bible (well, what the Christians call the Old Testament, at least), I highly recommend watching rav Medan's lessons in YouTube.

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1 minute ago, Trutharchivist said:

You both are going to do puns for all of Genesis, aren't you. I'm sorry, I can't offer much aid with that.

Something that might be of interest: the Yeshivah in which I learn, the Gush Yeshivah, has multiple lessons on the bible. The most notable people in my Yeshivah related to that, in my opinion, are Rav Yaaqov Medan, Rav Yoel Bin-Nun and rav Mordechai Breuer z"l (only the last one, the former two are still alive and healthy). Unfortunately, their writings are, as far as I know, only in Hebrew. An interesting note I wanted to make is that rav Breuer thought up an alternative to the Documentary Hypothesis, which he called Shitat Habechinot, or the aspects approach. To any Hebrew speaking person interested in the bible (well, what the Christians call the Old Testament, at least), I highly recommend watching rav Medan's lessons in YouTube.

I have read some of the lectures that they have posted on the VBM they are great. Rav Grumet whose book on Genesis I mentioned above and whose book on Moshe I have recommended in the past was a student of Nechama Leibovitz fascinating approach to breaking pesukim and perakim down in the way one might other literary texts.

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Just now, Trutharchivist said:

You both are going to do puns for all of Genesis, aren't you. I'm sorry, I can't offer much aid with that.

You mean you are unAbel :D (... wait, I already used that one ...) uh, I mean, maybe I should leave. Or ... Levi?

 

2 minutes ago, Trutharchivist said:

Something that might be of interest: the Yeshivah in which I learn, the Gush Yeshivah, has multiple lessons on the bible. The most notable people in my Yeshivah related to that, in my opinion, are Rav Yaaqov Medan, Rav Yoel Bin-Nun and rav Mordechai Breuer z"l (only the last one, the former two are still alive and healthy). Unfortunately, their writings are, as far as I know, only in Hebrew. An interesting note I wanted to make is that rav Breuer thought up an alternative to the Documentary Hypothesis, which he called Shitat Habechinot, or the aspects approach. To any Hebrew speaking person interested in the bible (well, what the Christians call the Old Testament, at least), I highly recommend watching rav Medan's lessons in YouTube.

Those all sound really interesting, thanks :) I'll see if maybe there is an English translation, though I may not be able to get a hold of any copies before beginning, though if you have access to any of them I'd be very interested if you could cover some of what they say in the corresponding discussions, and I'll definitely search for and give Rav Medan's videos a watch.

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General stance on religion:

Science collects data. It is not properly equipped for dealing with questions on what to do with the data. When abstracted, religions tend to attempt to provide these tools. Among these tools are personality archetypes, moral reference points, and general value frameworks.

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