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Ask a Theologian

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Plotinus, Feb 13, 2007.

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  1. El_Machinae

    El_Machinae Colour vision since 2018 Retired Moderator

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    Meaning, of course, that these people are not good sources to talk to regarding God and His existence.
    I also find it interesting that many events associated with piety (prayer, fasting, prayer, resisting temptations, etc.) lead to an increased level of (putative) miscommunication.
     
  2. Eran of Arcadia

    Eran of Arcadia Stormin' Mormon Retired Moderator

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    Which is why ultimately, as much as I can turn to others, I can depend only on my own experiences with God to draw any conclusions about His attributes.
     
  3. ironduck

    ironduck Chieftain

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    I think you're making some mistakes in your 'obvious' truth argumentation. What seems like obvious or basic truths to us humans are obvious, instinctive truths because they are so incredibly useful to us. However, saying that a banana and an apple are 'two things' is not necessarily true on all levels. Our perceptual view of the world is incredibly limited, we only sense limited scales, limited movements, limited temperature, and so on.

    I disagree. Perfect communication means that the receiver perfectly understands what is communicated. If god communicates something and it is not perfectly understood, then it was not perfectly communicated.
     
  4. El_Machinae

    El_Machinae Colour vision since 2018 Retired Moderator

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    What version of the Bible do you think is the most accurate?

    Edit: it looks like Luke and Matthew are quoting Q when they have Jesus talk about Noah, then, no?
     
  5. Eran of Arcadia

    Eran of Arcadia Stormin' Mormon Retired Moderator

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    Well (and bear in mind that this has nothing to do with God), if I explain something clearly, in detail, and concisely to an idiot, am I communicating imperfectly?
     
  6. El_Machinae

    El_Machinae Colour vision since 2018 Retired Moderator

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    Did you intentionally make the idiot into an idiot? Did you poison a normal person with carbon monoxide, knowing you'd eventually want to communicate with him? If intentionally made the person stupid, knowing you'd try to communicate later (and fail) ... then the sum of your communication attempt is easily a failure.
     
  7. ironduck

    ironduck Chieftain

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    If he doesn't understand what you are communicating, yes.

    10010101
     
  8. Eran of Arcadia

    Eran of Arcadia Stormin' Mormon Retired Moderator

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    Right, so like I said, it is God's doing that we are imperfect, which is an issue with the omnificists - but that is not a communications problem.
     
  9. El_Machinae

    El_Machinae Colour vision since 2018 Retired Moderator

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    Keep in mind that the human brain is fully capable of understanding the message "Er, Genesis 1 is a metaphor, don't be a dolt". We're not discussing a message which is not understandable.

    The message isn't too tough, and obviously within the grasp of people (pious or not) ... so it's a bit of a problem when the message is not being heard correctly (but comes across as being heard correctly)
     
  10. Eran of Arcadia

    Eran of Arcadia Stormin' Mormon Retired Moderator

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    Well, - wait, what were we talking about again?

    Okay, what I mean is, people may feel that God told them to interpret Genesis 1 literally, that doesn't mean He said something else and they misheard Him. And for His own ineffable reasons, He won't just come right out and verbalize it.
     
  11. El_Machinae

    El_Machinae Colour vision since 2018 Retired Moderator

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    Did I shift the goalposts? If so, sorry.
    But, I see how you're making two valid scenarios of out my one interpretation.

    Either they're not communicating with God (of course, this is my interpretation) or they're miscommunicating with God (which I feel to be less robust of an explanation)
     
  12. Eran of Arcadia

    Eran of Arcadia Stormin' Mormon Retired Moderator

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    That's okay, you know how I like to change the subject . . .

    ;)

    I would say in many cases it is the first - but it can be the second. Again, I ultimately am unable to pass judgment in any useful sense on what others claim to be communication with God.
     
  13. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    Yes, but if you were a perfect being, it wouldn't be a problem to communicate to the idiot your idea in terms he would understand.
     
  14. Eran of Arcadia

    Eran of Arcadia Stormin' Mormon Retired Moderator

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    Not if you were omnipotent, no . . .

    As TLC pointed out, this doesn't pose a problem for my theology, but it could for others.
     
  15. CartesianFart

    CartesianFart Chieftain

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    I think theology is trivial unless reading of the subject at a mere minimal will do good instead of majoring it.Majoring theology is not much different as learning how to pick your nose after observing an ape.

    I do suggest reading Aberlard and Anselm.Especially the former having influenced me on "nominalism" on many problems in metaphysics;eventhough i am starting to think that metaphysics is becoming meaningless to me as i am being even more engrossed and transversed into the waters of postmodern literatures.
     
  16. Ozymandias

    Ozymandias Civ3 Modding Archivist

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    More "amusing" is the entire notion of the Virgin Birth, which results from the mistranslation of a word meaning "maid" or "young woman" into "Virgin".

    On another matter entirely - Plotinus, IIRC the Synoptic Gospels et. al. were selected at the Council of Nicea while the rest (Thomas, Judas, Mary) were relegated to the theological scrap heap. Do you have a recommendation for a decent source on this, encompassing, e.g., political pressures etc. for how Tau Biblia came to be? - Likewise a source on Biblical contradications (IIRC Mark and Matthew have the Last Supper set on different nights) would be most welcome.

    Many Thanks,

    Oz

    P.S. While I'm pestering you, is there anything accessible on the confabulation from the hallucinatory insanity of Revelation to the American-Generic-Protestant mythos of the "End Of Days"?

    My Thanks Again,

    Oz
     
  17. Quasar1011

    Quasar1011 King of Sylvania

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    Any Christian theologian will tell you that, in the New Testament, Jesus is the Son of Man. This is a title He used of Himself in humility.
    Maybe not in those quotes. But what about this exchange with His disciples? It is clear that Jesus is referring to Himself as the “Son of Man”.

    Matthew 16:13-17
    When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, "Who do people say the Son of Man is?" They replied, "Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets."
    "But what about you?" he asked. "Who do you say I am?"
    Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."
    Jesus replied, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven.”
    Notice again the humility of Christ. Though He is the Son of God, he didn’t go around telling people that He was- He let others identify Him.

    Surely you don’t mean that. Mark is 13 chapters long; Luke has 24 chapters and Matthew has 28. If Luke and Matthew simply copied Mark, where did the 11-14 extra chapters come from?

    Please cite me a case when Jesus was ever wrong. (I will address the Wailing Wall later).

    If Jonah’s message was that the city of Nineveh would be destroyed, regardless of the actions of the Ninevites, what then of this?

    Jonah 3:10
    When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he had compassion and did not bring upon them the destruction he had threatened.

    God said He threatened destruction, not promised it. Obviously, we have only one sentence of Jonah’s message to the Ninevites, "Forty more days and Nineveh will be overturned." Do you think that is all Jonah said to Nineveh’s inhabitants? Or that based on one sentence, the Ninevites believed the message and repented?
    Obviously, Jonah’s entire message was not saved for posterity- just the crux of it.

    Interestingly enough, the Gospel of Mark never mentions Jonah and Nineveh- but the Gospels of Matthew and Luke do. If Matthew and Luke simply copied Mark, where did this statement by Jesus come from?

    Matthew 12:41
    "The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and now one greater than Jonah is here."

    Sorry, try again. I will post the text so observers can see if it was really God’s prophets who were told to lie…
    1st Kings 22:19-23
    Then Micaiah said, “Therefore hear the word of the LORD: I saw the LORD sitting on His throne, and all the host of heaven standing by, on His right hand and on His left. And the LORD said, ‘Who will persuade Ahab to go up, that he may fall at Ramoth Gilead?’ So one spoke in this manner, and another spoke in that manner. Then a spirit came forward and stood before the LORD, and said, ‘I will persuade him.’ The LORD said to him, ‘In what way?’ So he said, ‘I will go out and be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.’ And the LORD said, ‘You shall persuade him, and also prevail. Go out and do so.’ Therefore look! The LORD has put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these prophets of yours, and the LORD has declared disaster against you.”

    First things first. We know that, in times past, demons and Satan himself had access to God’s throne.

    Job 1:6-7
    Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them. And the LORD said to Satan, “From where do you come?”
    So Satan answered the LORD and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it.”

    The passage from 1st Kings says that the Lord (Jehovah) was sitting on His throne. Did prophets go to Heaven to talk to God while He was seated on His throne? No. And the account clearly states that it was not a prophet that God commissioned. Rather, “a spirit came forward and stood before the LORD”. A spirit in Heaven can be either an angel, or a demon (fallen angel). As soon as the spirit said, ‘I will go out and be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets,’ we can identify the spirit as a demon. Demons and even Satan himself have to get God’s permission before they can do certain acts against God’s people. Going back to the book of Job, 1:3-6,

    Then the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil? And still he holds fast to his integrity, although you incited Me against him, to destroy him without cause.”
    So Satan answered the LORD and said, “Skin for skin! Yes, all that a man has he will give for his life. But stretch out Your hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will surely curse You to Your face!”
    And the LORD said to Satan, “Behold, he is in your hand, but spare his life.”

    Satan asked permission from Jehovah God to strike Job, and God granted it. Noticed that this played into God’s hands, for Job passed the test!

    So the demon went out, and was ‘a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets,’. This is where false prophets get their information from- demons. The question becomes one of, who were the true prophets in Israel at that time, and who among the prophets were false? Earlier in the chapter, we see that 400 prophets were false!

    1st Kings 22:6-8
    Then the king of Israel gathered the prophets together, about four hundred men, and said to them, “Shall I go against Ramoth Gilead to fight, or shall I refrain?”
    So they said, “Go up, for the Lord will deliver it into the hand of the king.”
    And Jehoshaphat said, “Is there not still a prophet of the LORD here, that we may inquire of Him?”[a]
    So the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “There is still one man, Micaiah the son of Imlah, by whom we may inquire of the LORD; but I hate him, because he does not prophesy good concerning me, but evil.”
    And Jehoshaphat said, “Let not the king say such things!”

    Micaiah was the only true prophet identified in Israel at that time. If you go back to the first post from 1 Kings, you will see that it was the prophet Micaiah who relayed the heavenly account of the lying spirit! So, Satan instructed his prophets to lie to the King, and Jehovah God allowed it, for the wicked King Ahab died in battle only hours after this prophecy was issued!

    The wailing wall was never a part of the temple. The wall was built to help support the temple’s structure; it is a retaining wall. Besides, Jesus' prediction was made in reference to the disciples comments about the grandeur of the temple itself- the subject is the building, not the retaining wall.

    Mark 13:2
    And Jesus answered and said to him, “Do you see these great buildings? Not one stone shall be left upon another, that shall not be thrown down.”
    It’s not possible to be a true prophet and make inaccurate predictions.
    Deuteronomy 18:22
    If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the LORD does not take place or come true, that is a message the LORD has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously. Do not be afraid of him.
    No. I already alluded to that. The Book of Ecclesiastes is mostly one man’s opinion (King Solomon) of how the world operates. Most of that book is simply not God’s view. However, Solomon reached the right conclusion at the end of the book:

    Ecclesiastes 12:13
    Now all has been heard;
    here is the conclusion of the matter:
    Fear God and keep his commandments,
    for this is the whole duty of man.

    And I already mentioned how Satan and other lying spirits have their words recorded in the Bible. One has to have discernment in such matters.
    Alright, then what criteria do you suggest we use to test the Bible (or Koran or any other holy book) is true or not?

    If a book, being a collection of books written by many different writers, in many different countries, using several different languages, across many centuries, were to be found to be entirely consistent; what would that say about the veracity of that book?

    Good discussion, by the way.
     
  18. Veritass

    Veritass Chieftain

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    That, and there are plenty of "virgin births" in other mythologies as well, according to Joseph Campbell.
     
  19. Eran of Arcadia

    Eran of Arcadia Stormin' Mormon Retired Moderator

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    Well, you assume the entire idea comes from an attempt on Matthew's part to fit Jesus' birth into a prophesy in Isaiah -and this requires of course that he had access to the mistranslated text only and that the correct one was found later - but I don't see why that is necessarily the case.
     
  20. The Last Conformist

    The Last Conformist Irresistibly Attractive

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    It doesn't require that at all, actually. The Septuagint, IIRC, has parthenos "virgin" in that Isaiah passage, and this Greek version was prefered by many hellenized Jews despite that the Hebrew originals were available. The writer of Matthew may have done the same.

    (Somebody has, no doubt, looked at Matthew's OT quotes and references and determined whether the Septuagint or the Hebrew text was used. Unfortunately, his hypothetical scholar hasn't informed me of the result of his labours. :( )
     
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