Its impossible to prove Biblical claims

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xSatanicYosef
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Its impossible to prove Biblical claims

Post by xSatanicYosef » Tue Jul 17, 2007 3:08 pm

You know I realized that even if the archeological, scientific, & anthroplogical evidence did support the bible which obviously it doesn't, the claims of the Bible are SO enormous that absolutely nothing can possibly substantiate them. As Campbell pointed out in Occidental Mythology, even if the purported miracles of Christ did take place which I obviously don't think they did, that doesn't prove Jesus to be God. The biblical authors obviously believed in Wizards, Dragons, the Leviathan, the primeval bird Ziz, fiery snakes, and so forth. So what would be sooo holy and unusual about a few miracles? Worse still, if you read the Jewish Talmud there are loads of tales of Rabbi's performing miracles by using the power of God's secret name the tetragrammaton. (see the book why the Jews rejected Jesus) A Rabbi had even allegedly raised someone from the dead using the power of the Holy Spirit which is comparable to Jesus resurrection. In fact, as Karen Armstrong pointed out the term 'Son of God' in Judaism denoted someone who had obtained a more intimate relationship with YHWH and consequently could often perform miracles. If someone performed miracles today Christians would no doubt call him a Devil just as the Rabbi's attributed Jesus miracles to Beelzebub. Moreover, even if Yahweh did free his chosen people frm Israel via Plagues that doesn't disprove the Gnostics claim that a more powerful diety exists than Yahweh (the Demiurge). Christianity's outrageous claims are basically a joke. & when you realize that the Israelites were originally Henotheistic and not Monotheistic it makes matters much worse.
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Post by Aireal » Wed Jul 18, 2007 12:43 pm

xSatanicYosef

I agree mostly with what you say. There is some archaeological evidence in support of the Bible, but the evidence is not overwhelming and often disputed.

I can offer a Bible interpretation that reconciles evolution with the man created by God view, and back it up with anthropological evidence. I have thought about posting it here. But in the end it is proof of nothing.

I believe you are referring to the Jewish Zohar in the part about Rabbi performing miracles by the use of the tetragrammaton, and not the Talmud, which is the Hebrew Old Testament. Some of those miracles described in the Zohar were witnessed by whole towns, if you believe the accounts.

But there are important differences between them and the ones done by Christ. There are many accounts of those who have raised the dead, but no one other than Christ could do it after more than 3 days. That is because decomposition of the body sets in, making it much harder to raise the dead. This was the factor in Jesus waiting for the third day to pass before raising Lazarus from the grave. In ancient times they believed this 3 day limit was due to the fact that the soul hovered around the body for 3 days before moving on.

So while it is impossible to prove Bible claims, someone knowledgeable in both the bible and science can show that it is also impossible to disprove them. So once again it comes down to a question of ones faith, as it always will.
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Post by xSatanicYosef » Thu Jul 19, 2007 4:24 am

"I can offer a Bible interpretation that reconciles evolution with the man created by God view, and back it up with anthropological evidence. I have thought about posting it here. But in the end it is proof of nothing."

Then perhaps you haven't read Genesis close enough because chapter 1 & 2 are quite contradictory (especially in the order in which Elohim/YHWH sire things into creation. & even if we were to dismiss this incontrovertable fact which obviously we can't, I don't see how you could possibly reconcile it without using metaphor and interpreting it in the complete literal denotation rather than the connotation. For example, I've seem people attempt to interpret each of the purported "7 days of creation" as a metaphor for the milleniums or centuries and then in the next breath tell me that Heaven & Hell are concrete physical realities and not metaphors which to me is completely impossible. How can you view one thing as a metaphor and another as literal? Interpreting certain things as metaphors and others as literal doesn't impress me at all because it would be simple to reconcile just about any mythology by interpreting certain things as metaphorical and others as literal and there's no reason to consider the Bible as any more tenable than any other mythology. Moreover, unless someone is God they should not be able to interpret certain things as metaphor and others as fact as Richard Dawkins cogently pointed out in his film "the route of all evil".

Also as Joseph Campbell pointed out, how can anyone possibly view physical Christ's ascension to heaven and I believe it's Ezekial's chariot ride into the heavens as literal when their is no physical heaven in the universe? This could be reconciled if it was a spiritual/numinous ascension like that of Dante's in Dante's inferno but obviously thats not the case.

& how can one possible reconcile the underworld of Sheol with the completely new dimension of 3 often contradictory dimensions of Hades/Tartarus which of course were quite obviously carried over via Greek Mythology & Gehenna (the Valley of Gehinnom outside of Jerusalem) in the New Testament in which Christ had supposedly descended 2? Did Christ who is supposedly Yahweh (despite their incompatible personalities) transfigure the Hebrew Underworld into this new fiery pit or outer darkness or place of gnashing of teeth or whatever it is?

& what about Satan? How can he possibly have been the snake in the garden (enemy of Yahweh like Angra Mainyu is the enemy of Ahura Mazda in Zoroastrianism) then all of a sudden become Yahweh's faithful servant Angel as he is described throughout most of the Torah only to become this new Beelzebub/Devil figure in the NT that tempts Christ? He seems to have some type of personality disorder as does Yahweh and Christ who contradict themselves quite a bit. The list goes on and on...

but idk i've been wrong b4, afterall i was a Christian believer for 20 years....
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Post by nandu » Thu Jul 19, 2007 6:20 am

Aireal wrote:So while it is impossible to prove Bible claims, someone knowledgeable in both the bible and science can show that it is also impossible to disprove them. So once again it comes down to a question of ones faith, as it always will.
This statement is against the logic of debate, Aireal. If you make an outlandish claim, the onus is on you to prove it. For example, when you say that Christ rose Lazarus from the dead after 3 days, and that it was a genuine miracle, you have to prove that it can be done. Science accepts nothing on faith.

From many of your posts in different threads, I have seen you bringing in extremely far-fetched scientific ideas to show how things mentioned in the Bible could be factually true. Sorry, my friend, it won't wash. Either you believe in magic, or in science: but not both.

The Bible, like any other myth, is a metaphor.

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Post by Clemsy » Thu Jul 19, 2007 2:24 pm

As Campbell has stated, the Bible starts out in a place of pure myth, as most creation stories do. As it moves forward in time, it begins to include elements of history... although with mythic overlay, like the Flood story which many believe to have a basis in an actual event especially as it is mirrored in Sumerian myth.

By the New Testament, of course, we're in classical times and the behavior of Jehovah has mellowed as history takes over.

Literalists argue that since some of the events and places in the story are historically true, then the whole thing is historically true.

For me, that 's something of a jump of biblical dimensions :wink: .

As for miracles and such... whether they happened or not isn't the point, as far as I'm concerned.

I must be honest, though, and say the good Catholic school boy in me reserves a little part of himself to say, "Who knows? 'There are more things in heaven and earth Horatio...'"

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Post by xSatanicYosef » Thu Jul 19, 2007 3:56 pm

Literalists argue that since some of the events and places in the story are historically true, then the whole thing is historically true.
I have a friend who is a literary scholar on youtube that discusses this in her literary criticism of the Bible. This is a field of literature known as Magical Realism in which a realistic setting in overlayed by mythical elements such as miracles & the like. If you do your research their are many other examples of magical realism yet no one ever attempts to argue for their historical veracity. Of course, if I were to do so it would be difficult to disprove that any example of magical realism is not true. I could take it on faith that they are true even with loads of scientific and literary evidence that contradict it's veracity. If I were to do such a thing our society would call me insane yet if someone does that with the Bible they don't? I really don't understand this at all.
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Post by nandu » Fri Jul 20, 2007 3:54 am

xSatanicYosef wrote: I have a friend who is a literary scholar on youtube that discusses this in her literary criticism of the Bible. This is a field of literature known as Magical Realism in which a realistic setting in overlayed by mythical elements such as miracles & the like. If you do your research their are many other examples of magical realism yet no one ever attempts to argue for their historical veracity. Of course, if I were to do so it would be difficult to disprove that any example of magical realism is not true. I could take it on faith that they are true even with loads of scientific and literary evidence that contradict it's veracity. If I were to do such a thing our society would call me insane yet if someone does that with the Bible they don't? I really don't understand this at all.
This is because religion is ingrained into us, I think... for example, I was raised as a Hindu, so my consciousness developed with an essentially Hindu worldview: a part of me is irreversibly Hindu. It may be modified by life experiences and learning, but the basic orientation never changes.

For every Christian who has been raised in the traditional faith, the "truth" of Biblical claims is too close to the heart to be debated. But being intelligent people, they trust the power of science; so the only way to keep the faith is to "prove" the claims scientifically. It doesn't matter if the science is outlandish, and scientists scoff at the "evidence" presented: these apologists are doing it for their own sake and the sake of likeminded people, who are more than half willing to believe. And trust me, Christians are not the only people. Hindu fundamentalists have been at it with considerable success in the recent past.

My advice is, let these people go on "proving" the Bible, or the Koran, or whatever religious texts they want to. They can convince only themselves... and they are already convinced. It's confirmation that they are looking for.

But when they want to teach creation as science in classrooms, that's another matter!

Nandu.
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Post by bodhibliss » Fri Jul 20, 2007 4:05 pm

xSatanicYosef states:

I have a friend who is a literary scholar on youtube that discusses this in her literary criticism of the Bible. This is a field of literature known as Magical Realism in which a realistic setting in overlayed by mythical elements such as miracles & the like.
I believe I caught a couple of her commentaries recently when I was hunting down copyright violations on YouTube (she's a literary major, and her mother teaches the subject, yes?). Her video pod popped up when I entered "Joseph Campbell" as a search term.

She rocks! I enjoyed what she said about Magical Realism, and appreciated her articulate expression and thoughtful approach. If you're friends with her, pass on my kudos - the more people like her who enter the field, the better.

namaste,
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Post by xSatanicYosef » Sat Jul 21, 2007 3:20 am

yes her youtube username is Bluefirewitch. She is a very intelligent Wiccan though one thing she got wrong was when she asserted that Jews don't believe in Satan. Front my research the Jews do believe in Satan though certainly what Satan is has no resemblance whatsoever to the Christian Devil (universal shadow in Jungian terms) inspired by the Zoroastrian Angra Mainyu. I believe what Satan or Beelzebub represented to second temple Jews varied from group to group. Some view Ha-Satan (literally adversary in hebrew) as the accuser (though still a devout servant of Yahweh as angels in Judaism do not have free-will as humans do and are unable to defy Yahweh) and others view him as the evil inclination (freudian id) within us. Though Messianic Jews may believe in a Satan more akin to the Fallen Angel of the New Testament.
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Post by nandu » Sat Jul 21, 2007 3:33 am

One difference I have found between the Levantine religions and Hinduism is, in Hinduism you don't have any "Arch-Fiend". All the demons attain "moksha", or deliverance from the cycle of birth and re-birth, when they are slain by the Hero. Some of them are cursed angels who assume their previous forms. Somewhat similar to fairy tales.

The concept of Satan being a servant of God is a similar concept, I think. Interesting to note that Satan aquired free will only on the advent of Christianity. Maybe the Universal Shadow broke free as mankind moved forward on the path of civilisation?

Hmmm... worth thinking about...

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Post by porcupine » Sun Jul 22, 2007 1:56 am

To state the title of this thread in a different way may bring the point home. It's not so much that it's impossible to prove Biblical claims, because as mentioned earlier, there are some historical facts weaved in to the myth. The strength of the stories of the Bible or any good myth is that it's impossible to disprove them. That doesn't make them true, but it doesn't make them untrue either.

For example, I may believe that there is an army of trolls who live at the center of the earth, and when the right set of circumstances have been met, they are going to come up and club to death all the violators of a specific rule. Let's say they're going to kill all the vegetarians. These are completely outlandish and arbitrary ideas, but I challenge you to disprove them. If you can't, then I can go on believing and I can live my life accordingly. All the better if I place my characters in another realm or dimension in case you decide to go poking around the center of the earth to challenge my beliefs. The situation is no different with Santa Claus or Jesus or Buddha. Take your pick.

The factuality is not the point of the myth, the point is the symbolic importance and whether or not the myth is informing your life in a meaningful way, as Campbell pointed out so many times. Otherwise you will spend your life poking around for Noah's Ark, seeking holy relics, and trying to walk on water at the YMCA pool. If we focus on the messages inherent in the original parables, we may learn things about the nature of possibilities in our own life, instead of becoming amateur historians and archaeologists.
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Post by tat tvam asi » Wed Jul 25, 2007 12:14 am

I can see why Aireal decided to take off. The forum wolves seem to have moved in for the kill around here. :twisted:

Aireal is a friend of mine from a physics and philosophy forum. He wasn't overly versed in Campbell's works before coming here. I tried to give him some quotations concerning 'denotation vs. connotation' in order to bring him up to speed with the subject matter around here but I found that he disagreed with taking the 'metaphorical route' for the most part.

You guys are pretty sharp. I noticed that he was reading genesis literally and then giving each literal day a 'metaphorical scientific reference', rather than a 'literal day' meaning as the bible suggests - the bible is very contradictive when the sun is created on 'day 4' for the specific purpose of 'calculating days'.

He was fighting for 'literalism' while using 'metaphors' all the while. I see that several of you pointed it out to him very directly. I was wondering why he felt that he didn't belong here anymore? Now I see why. I was going to try to point it out to him nicely. He's actually very 'metaphorical' with his reading of genesis. 1 day=subatomic interactions, thus a 'day' is being used as a metaphor for something else.



XsatanicYosef, I have a quotation here that you may find interesting:

The Gospel Truth:

-p.17 "Many today would like to believe that the bible is the divinely inspired "word of god" and is a truly unique series of books; that the writers of the bible were especially "blessed" and had direct contact and connection with the UNIVERSAL DIETY. What is found upon investigation is that this is not the case. The bible was either plagiarized, word-for-word, or directly paraphrased much older PAGAN mythological and legendary sources...Also very little in the biblical texts are actually unique to the people who wrote them. Further, the GOD spoken of in the bible, YAHWEH by name, who eventually became the UNIVERSAL DIETY, began as one of number of eastern Mediterranean tribal deities. (as you shall see, the name of the god of the Hebrews, also came from pre-Hebrew times and is PAGAN in origin) It was only due to the stubborn persistence of the priests of one particular faction of believers that eventually their god was raised in stature...

p.22 The name Yahweh appears to not even be a Hebrew name at all...The earliest references to Yahweh are seen into the fourteenth to thirteenth century BCE Egyptian writings. It is also seen in pre-Phoenician writings in nebo, Samaria and northern Sinai and Syria. What is deduced from this is that YAHWEH is a PAGAN DIETY. What is important about not only the first verse in genesis, but also the whole story of creation, is that it is seen word-for-word in ancient Babylonian texts which date from somewhere around 2100 BCE."

While researching the tetragrammaton I discovered that YHWH 'is', and has always been, a pagan deity. Will always be a pagan deity as well. That certainly puts a damper on converting the pagans doesn't it? From paganism to paganism. :lol: In this respect both Jews and Christians 'are' pagans. :twisted: What a dilemma for the institutions. :wink:

"I am", or YHWH, is seen in Egypt as an inscription to 'Isis', or IS-IS, which reads: "I Isis am all that ever was, is, or will be." So YHWH goes back to the 'goddess era' as well according this understanding. Ultimately, YHWH represents existence along with all of the other "I was, I am, I will be, stating deities of the past. What exactly 'was, is, and will be' aside from existence itself? The Gods are speaking as if it were existence itself doing the speaking it would seem. This is where I've found YHWH to finally narrow down to representing the transcendent mystery of existence at it's core, at it's origin.

Do you have something to add to this? I need to know about every angle associated with the tetragrammaton for my personal research and I could use some more added depth, if any more depth exists to the tetragrammaton. I'm trying to get the full scope here.

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Post by nandu » Wed Jul 25, 2007 4:02 am

Tat,

The argument "if it cannot be disproved it could be true" has been presented to me so many times that I am sick of it. You can prove anything using this method. Aireal, while claiming to be a scientist, was using this argument again and again.

It seemed to me that the aim of many of his posts were simply to prove the scientific "accuracy" of the Bible. If there is one thing that the JCF associates agree on, it is on treating myth as metaphor. Trying to sell the "factual" reality of any faith here is like trying to sell Communism to George W. Bush!

I thought a little plain speaking was in order. Do you feel I've been too rude?

Nandu.
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Post by tat tvam asi » Wed Jul 25, 2007 1:38 pm

I don't go for that argument either Nandu. Aireal is on his own with that perspective. I tried to give him a crash course on the metaphorical understandings in the "virgin birth" thread, but he didn't seem to grab onto it.

It's survival of the fittest on these forums and when people make claims they are then in a position of having to defend those claims against those who will come along and challenge them. If the claims don't wash, then they don't wash.

I have a claim that I'm interested in seeing whether it will wash or not?

Genesis seems to reflect an order that is 'similar' to the process of evolution. It has the earth being created, then the land mass, then the sea creatures, then the air creatures, then the land animals which finally end with a Human being on the same day as the land animals. This would appear to reflect life originating on the sea bed and then venturing out into the air and land. Obviously, homosapiens are the result of the land creatures. Because the sun, moon, and stars, weren't created until the 4th day the story immediately suffers as being taken literally. But it still holds a 'reflection' of the evolution process.

The aboriginal "Dream Time" creation myth is even more direct about everything evolving from one thing into another. This seems to reflect evolution while it is not literal either. I've read that the Greeks had a working theory of evolution that was greatly undermined by the Christian conquests of the dark-middle age periods. Campbell speaks of Goethe as having a pre-Darwinian theory of evolution.

Is it possible that because mythology arises from the 'biological energies of the human body', and the human body is the 'universe itself' made into a form, or an image if you prefer, by itself, that this reflects into our mythologies. We are the universe and the universe 'is' an evolving process. Should we be surprised to find this 'truth' reflecting through our various world mythologies? Many people can see this reflection, as Aerial has, but where they go astray is in thinking that it makes the mythologies literal. Literally, it doesn't wash at all. But there is a reflection of the evolutionary processes coming out of our myths, which are coming out of our biological energies within, which are coming out of the actual energies of the universe itself (tat tvam asi). How shocking is it to find 'hints' of our evolving in metaphorical mythology?

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Post by jufa » Wed Jul 25, 2007 11:28 pm

I do not see where Gensis I reflect evolution. For one to see such, one has accepted another literal order to explain that which they say cannot be taken literal. In Genesis 2 evolution is more than a reflection.

Illustration. "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth." This shows the heaven and earth are whole, perfect, complete, and pure in the beginning. And it shows the metaphor of a meaning to beginning when there is no beginning to God who in the beginning created.

And then it is revealed "the earth was without form,. . .[this is a metaphor for how could the earth be created in the beginning and not have form?]. . . and void,. . .[void mean there is established law]. . . and darkness was upon the face of the deep". . .[represents the first principle of order had not been established].

"And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the water. . .[This is a bridge of understanding for aspects of God's mind emanations, and represents the Conscience Activity of God established 'law of the Spirit of life' within, though, and as his creation. Mystical term for water means unexpressed possibilities, and shows God's Spirit of illumination is in all creation for those whom would dare to reach for the beginning of themselves.

Heaven means the expand of the Earth, which is Mind. It does not mean to evolve. It means to open up.

That which can be opened up is the word "Let there Be light." When one speaks these words, there is what one has spoken. "And there was light."

The light did not appear on the 4th day, it appeared on the 1st day.

Thereafter, when Spirit spoke nothing had to wait for evolution because Spirit does not have to wait. So we see the everything come of age the moment God said "Let there be." The firmament appeared the 2nd day. The 3rd day the water and dry land appeard. Grass and herbs appeared mature as fruit trees, and their seeds. The 4th day two great lights appeared. The 5th day all creature of the water came forth mature, as all beast and cattle of the earth. The 6th day male and female were created mature being of understanding. There was no period of evolution in a woman's womb for either. [This is the answer to the question what came first the chicken or the egg?]

It can be decided whether creation was created and all things appeared whole, perfect, complete, and pure when the word "Let there be" was spoken?

Or whether there was an evolution of those things before they reached maturity?

Or was there only a evolution of the principle of order for which the things of creation came to be ?

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