Quote Originally Posted by HaRaAYaH View Post
Quote Originally Posted by Rhea View Post
Quote Originally Posted by HaRaAYaH View Post

No it is not history. But this thread is not about the historicity of the text. It is about how to approach the text and understand what it is trying to say. Just because some modern morons wave the book as a excuse to discriminate against homosexuals says more about the morons than the book.
How should we approach it, then? It sounds like you are suggesting that the only honest way to approach it is like the National Enquirer? I ask that question seriously.
Not at all. In order to understand an ancient text, you must understand the language and culture in which it was produced. Especially in an oral tradition when details of a story were left out as they were understood by the community at the time. The words are words and mean what they mean is not accurate and never was. Words and phrases mean different things to different people. That is why you need to approach the text with a guide. A person who does not believe the text to be historical will appreciate the Plaut commentary i linked to above as it has fair amount of modern Biblical criticism. The layman who has no exposure to Jewish tradition would be totally lost in Heschel's Heavenly Torah.

I'll give you the same examples

1) The Second Amendment to the Constitution is interpreted now to mean anyone can own anything. A clear reading of the text me is you need to be part of a well regulated Militia. But that is not what the US constitution says.

2) If you go forward in time 4000 years and find a cell phone and power it up and you look through some text messages you would have hard time understanding the communication without some guide to what the acronyms mean.

I'm not trying to convince you there is a God, if there is a God, the God of the Bible is good or bad. I'm just trying to show you that picking up a text written thousands of years ago in a different language and expecting any understanding of the text without understanding the language and the culture in which it was written will prove fruitless. That is why you need a guide, a commentary.

The other thing I want to stress to people is the text is meaningless in comparison to what man does with the text. Judaism is an interpretation of the Torah. The death penalty is one example, the eye for an eye is another. The law of the Sotah was abolished. If I had time I could go through the text and find more. The point is, explore the text and take it for what it says to you, which may be nothing.

If you have no interest in exploring the text, don't. If you have an understanding of the text by reading it on your own, live and he happy. If however, you want to read the text as the OP asked, I gave you a way to approach it and understand it from a religious and historic POV.

Also, I never debate theology with anyone. I don't care what you believe, I only care how you act. If you are a good person and you don't believe in God, I'd rather hang with you than be with a believer who was not a good person....
I understand and agree. In what way is that different from how future people should explore thousand-year old copy of the National Enquirer?