Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12
Results 11 to 17 of 17

Thread: The Bible is wisdom literature

  1. Top | #11
    Sapere aude Politesse's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Location
    Chochenyo Territory, US
    Posts
    6,348
    Rep Power
    23
    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
    The central tenet of Christianity is still monotheism. Yes likely engaged with differently in the early centuries, but I would still assume highly revered, which was my primary point.
    Depends on who you ask. There have always been syncretic variations like the afore-mentioned blending that happened with the Norse pantheon. Aggressive missionary activity post-Reformation unintentionally accelerated the emergence of new syncretic forms, many of them polytheistic or animistic.
    "Banish me from Eden when you will, but first let me eat of the tree of knowledge."

  2. Top | #12
    Elder Contributor
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    11,517
    Archived
    9,514
    Total Posts
    21,031
    Rep Power
    55
    Quote Originally Posted by Politesse View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
    The central tenet of Christianity is still monotheism. Yes likely engaged with differently in the early centuries, but I would still assume highly revered, which was my primary point.
    Depends on who you ask. There have always been syncretic variations like the afore-mentioned blending that happened with the Norse pantheon. Aggressive missionary activity post-Reformation unintentionally accelerated the emergence of new syncretic forms, many of them polytheistic or animistic.
    Religion and generalizations definitely don't mix well.

  3. Top | #13
    Sapere aude Politesse's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Location
    Chochenyo Territory, US
    Posts
    6,348
    Rep Power
    23
    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Politesse View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
    The central tenet of Christianity is still monotheism. Yes likely engaged with differently in the early centuries, but I would still assume highly revered, which was my primary point.
    Depends on who you ask. There have always been syncretic variations like the afore-mentioned blending that happened with the Norse pantheon. Aggressive missionary activity post-Reformation unintentionally accelerated the emergence of new syncretic forms, many of them polytheistic or animistic.
    Religion and generalizations definitely don't mix well.
    I'm professionally wary of social generalizations just on principle. But yes.
    "Banish me from Eden when you will, but first let me eat of the tree of knowledge."

  4. Top | #14
    Contributor DrZoidberg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Copenhagen
    Posts
    9,413
    Archived
    5,746
    Total Posts
    15,159
    Rep Power
    61
    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by DrZoidberg View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau View Post

    You also get a kind of myth aspect to it that's passed along. Consider being born into 8th century AD, and someone tells you that this book contains the word of God written down a few centuries ago. Well holy shit I better pay attention as well as pass it along.

    There might be some predatory intent involved in it's writing, but intent that was probably mostly instinctive and sub-conscious. Likely, most deeply believed in what they were writing / hearing.
    You're thinking like a modern person and projecting it into the past. There's no surprise that Christian fundamentalism first appeared after the invention of the printing press.

    Before the invention of the printing press the contents of books would very wildly. Plus that most of what you'd hear would be Chinese whispers, since almost nobody could read or write, let alone have access to a book to read from. Saying to an ancient that a book contains the "word of God" isn't going to lead to them to it literally. They're going to assume there's a lot of wiggle room and room for interpretation.

    When the Vikings converted to Christianity they didn't abandoned the old gods. They worshipped both. They thought it was unproblematic to ignore the first commandment. It wouldn't enter into their minds that a book would be any more factually reliable than anything their local fisherman would gossip about as they bought fish. That's how the ancients thought.

    I highly doubt they believed that what they were writing was true. Wisdom literature is about making a point, not to tell correct facts. They would have no problem with changing facts in order to tell a better stories. We have surviving reviews of ancient Roman religious plays. Even from religious officials. You can read from the reviews that they couldn't give less of a shit if the facts are right. It was all about telling a moral story. They'd switch around any details if it would serve the moral story better. The Christian Bible is written in the same tradition.

    They'd use literary archetypes heavily. To make it easier to follow. So they'd take some current event, shoehorn it into an ancient, and well known story, where it was obvious which character had what roles.

    Jesus in the new testament is just such an archetype. The fact that he checks all the checkboxes for ancient dieties who had a junior position in the pantheon and later grew to prominence is by design.

    No, way is anything accurate about the life of Jesus apart from, possibly, his name. But even that's in question.
    You likely have hit on some important points, but depending on your meaning I'd question your point about religious fundamentalism. Maybe fundamentalism took on a different form after the Renaissance, but people were definitely engrossed by religion before that point. No argument from me that people would assume there is wiggle room, but the bible was still considered a holy text.

    The central tenet of Christianity is still monotheism. Yes likely engaged with differently in the early centuries, but I would still assume highly revered, which was my primary point.
    Back when the Bible was written there was no difference between politics and religion. Following a god meant allegiance to a particularly king, (ie making sacrifices to it in a temple dedicated to it somehow). That's also the difference between a monarchy and an empire. A king had all their subjects bow to the same god. An emperor had kings bow to them, but each kings subjects bowed to that kings god, not only to the emperor's god. And since they were all pagans (including the Jews) adding or subtracting gods in your pantheon was easy.

    The first commandment was originally about ethnic cleansing. Which is pretty apparent if you read Kings closely. Judah and Israel had quite different religions. But since they were both Israelites (what Jews called themselves back then) they made it work theologically anyway causing much confusion in the Old Testament. You can trace the evolution of the first commandment in the Old Testament itself. At the end of the Old Testament the first commandment means something different than it does in the beginning. Due to the political realities of the Israelites being a subject people of Persia and then Romans (when the Torah was compiled into the form it has now).

  5. Top | #15
    Contributor DrZoidberg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Copenhagen
    Posts
    9,413
    Archived
    5,746
    Total Posts
    15,159
    Rep Power
    61
    Quote Originally Posted by Politesse View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
    The central tenet of Christianity is still monotheism. Yes likely engaged with differently in the early centuries, but I would still assume highly revered, which was my primary point.
    Depends on who you ask. There have always been syncretic variations like the afore-mentioned blending that happened with the Norse pantheon. Aggressive missionary activity post-Reformation unintentionally accelerated the emergence of new syncretic forms, many of them polytheistic or animistic.
    Sweden's main religious festival is still Midsummer. We don't mention any Norse gods in it. But the ritual is 100% pagan. There's not a trace of Christianity anywhere to be found in the celebrations.

  6. Top | #16
    Elder Contributor
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    11,517
    Archived
    9,514
    Total Posts
    21,031
    Rep Power
    55
    Quote Originally Posted by DrZoidberg View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau View Post

    You likely have hit on some important points, but depending on your meaning I'd question your point about religious fundamentalism. Maybe fundamentalism took on a different form after the Renaissance, but people were definitely engrossed by religion before that point. No argument from me that people would assume there is wiggle room, but the bible was still considered a holy text.

    The central tenet of Christianity is still monotheism. Yes likely engaged with differently in the early centuries, but I would still assume highly revered, which was my primary point.
    Back when the Bible was written there was no difference between politics and religion. Following a god meant allegiance to a particularly king, (ie making sacrifices to it in a temple dedicated to it somehow). That's also the difference between a monarchy and an empire. A king had all their subjects bow to the same god. An emperor had kings bow to them, but each kings subjects bowed to that kings god, not only to the emperor's god. And since they were all pagans (including the Jews) adding or subtracting gods in your pantheon was easy.

    The first commandment was originally about ethnic cleansing. Which is pretty apparent if you read Kings closely. Judah and Israel had quite different religions. But since they were both Israelites (what Jews called themselves back then) they made it work theologically anyway causing much confusion in the Old Testament. You can trace the evolution of the first commandment in the Old Testament itself. At the end of the Old Testament the first commandment means something different than it does in the beginning. Due to the political realities of the Israelites being a subject people of Persia and then Romans (when the Torah was compiled into the form it has now).
    You have inspired me to pick up my copy of A History of the Jews by Paul Johnson, which has been sitting on my shelf mostly untouched for a few years. Most of my knowledge of the Bible (and religion) comes from the Christian era. But in general I do see your point about wisdom literature. Even ancient texts in the East were often meant to be guides.

  7. Top | #17
    Contributor DrZoidberg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Copenhagen
    Posts
    9,413
    Archived
    5,746
    Total Posts
    15,159
    Rep Power
    61
    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by DrZoidberg View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau View Post

    You likely have hit on some important points, but depending on your meaning I'd question your point about religious fundamentalism. Maybe fundamentalism took on a different form after the Renaissance, but people were definitely engrossed by religion before that point. No argument from me that people would assume there is wiggle room, but the bible was still considered a holy text.

    The central tenet of Christianity is still monotheism. Yes likely engaged with differently in the early centuries, but I would still assume highly revered, which was my primary point.
    Back when the Bible was written there was no difference between politics and religion. Following a god meant allegiance to a particularly king, (ie making sacrifices to it in a temple dedicated to it somehow). That's also the difference between a monarchy and an empire. A king had all their subjects bow to the same god. An emperor had kings bow to them, but each kings subjects bowed to that kings god, not only to the emperor's god. And since they were all pagans (including the Jews) adding or subtracting gods in your pantheon was easy.

    The first commandment was originally about ethnic cleansing. Which is pretty apparent if you read Kings closely. Judah and Israel had quite different religions. But since they were both Israelites (what Jews called themselves back then) they made it work theologically anyway causing much confusion in the Old Testament. You can trace the evolution of the first commandment in the Old Testament itself. At the end of the Old Testament the first commandment means something different than it does in the beginning. Due to the political realities of the Israelites being a subject people of Persia and then Romans (when the Torah was compiled into the form it has now).
    You have inspired me to pick up my copy of A History of the Jews by Paul Johnson, which has been sitting on my shelf mostly untouched for a few years. Most of my knowledge of the Bible (and religion) comes from the Christian era. But in general I do see your point about wisdom literature. Even ancient texts in the East were often meant to be guides.
    What is the most fascinating about Jews isn't their beliefs, but the amount of ancient texts that have survived. The availability of the variety and depth of ancient Jewish thought is available to us. Even when taking ancient Greeks and Romans into account the Jews still win. Which undoubtedly is thanks to the spread of Christianity. Something we atheists often forget to be grateful about

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •