Jump to content

The Walls Of Jericho


Recommended Posts

Given that TJ can just post stupid questions that randomly occur to him...here's one for the Christians:

 

I had a cold at the weekend and watched "The Bible" on Channel 5. They recounted the story of Jericho and others.

 

I was shocked. At first, I thought it was produced by someone aiming to mock/discredit the Bible. Or maybe it's facts were wrong. So I checked, it pretty much sticks to the Bible account. It appears the Israelites wanted the land god promised them and with no further motivation or reasoning murdered an entire city of adults and children to get that land.

 

Please, this is not a question of "Does God Exist?" as that's been done to death. Let's all assume God actually exists and that the Bible account is historically accurate. :)

 

My question: The God in the Old Testament appears to be totally evil. I can see why you might believe in him, but why does your Faith in his existence lead to worship and not hatred?

Link to post
Share on other sites

I've never understood this. Taking your premise, if I assume that the god of the old testament exists, then I really don't want to have anything to do with him, and will take my chances downstairs when the time comes.

 

I think Christians conveniently ignore the bits of the OT that shows their god to be a bit mad, and focus on the teachings of Jesus with all the forgiveness stuff. Not sure about Jews - I'm sure someone will be along shortly to explain how they reconcile the current version of their faith with their main holy book.

Link to post
Share on other sites

My question: The God in the Old Testament appears to be totally evil. I can see why you might believe in him, but why does your Faith in his existence lead to worship and not hatred?

 

It was standard practice in the Ancient Near East to make exaggerated or entirely fictional claims of exterminating other peoples as a way to increase your tribal or national standing. So some scribe later on claimed it was done at God's behest, it doesn't mean God really did order it. The Bible is a collection of documents written by numerous authors, with even the same texts having multiple layers of authorship. The idea that it's infallible or written by God is a relatively modern idea. They were harsh times to live in and if wiping out a town or another tribe was necessary for their own survival as a people then I fail to see why it would be regarded as evil. It was a case of kill or be killed. The Canaanites were not nice people; they would sacrifice their own children to Molech by burning them. And before anyone refers to the Binding of Isaac, that story is a polemic AGAINST human sacrifice, not for it.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I've never understood this. Taking your premise, if I assume that the god of the old testament exists, then I really don't want to have anything to do with him, and will take my chances downstairs when the time comes.

 

Just one problem with that statement, Wrighty --- there is no "downstairs" in the Old Testament. The doctrine of Hell and Eternal Damnation doesn't exist in the Jewish Bible (the Old Testament) or the Jewish religion. The New Testament is where you find talk of such things, and it is clearly based on Greco-Roman doctrines. In fact, you'd be hard-pressed to find any mention of an afterlife in the Old Testament; there are only a few vague hints at the existence of a soul which survives death, such as the story of the spirit of Samuel being raised up by a witch. Even today, the belief in an afterlife plays virtually no role in the Jewish religion. The focus is on this life and improving the world.

 

I think Christians conveniently ignore the bits of the OT that shows their god to be a bit mad, and focus on the teachings of Jesus with all the forgiveness stuff. Not sure about Jews - I'm sure someone will be along shortly to explain how they reconcile the current version of their faith with their main holy book.

 

Jesus' teachings include anyone who doesn't believe in him burning in eternal hellfire. How is that nice? You won't find any of that in the Old Testament. The only negative thing in the Jewish Bible is the killing of the Canaanites but, as I said in the previous post, that was a case of kill or be killed. They were harsh times. Also, it was their land -- they had been exiled from it and enslaved in Egypt --- and the Canaanites had moved into the area despite knowing the land belonged to the Jews. The major killings refer specifically to the Amalekites who were a particularly savage tribe which would attack the Jews at the rear of their line, where the elderly, children and disabled were. They were like vultures and were repeatedly warned. The survival of the Jews at that time was by no means a guarantee. You do what you have to do to survive. Besides, I don't think any non-Jewish groups are in a position to start lecturing Jews on mass killings, given their own bloody histories.

Edited by Thomas Jefferson
Link to post
Share on other sites

 

The only negative thing in the Jewish Bible is the killing of the Canaanites

That, surely, is intended to be a joke?

 

No. I'm not going to throw the baby out with the bath water just because of a little blood and guts. Have you read Homer's Iliad, Virgil's Aeneid, or Sophocles' Oedipus Rex, Antigone, Electra, etc? Classical literature is not for the faint-hearted.

Edited by Thomas Jefferson
Link to post
Share on other sites

 

My question: The God in the Old Testament appears to be totally evil. I can see why you might believe in him, but why does your Faith in his existence lead to worship and not hatred?

 

It was standard practice in the Ancient Near East to make exaggerated or entirely fictional claims of exterminating other peoples as a way to increase your tribal or national standing. So some scribe later on claimed it was done at God's behest, it doesn't mean God really did order it. The Bible is a collection of documents written by numerous authors, with even the same texts having multiple layers of authorship. The idea that it's infallible or written by God is a relatively modern idea. They were harsh times to live in and if wiping out a town or another tribe was necessary for their own survival as a people then I fail to see why it would be regarded as evil. It was a case of kill or be killed. The Canaanites were not nice people; they would sacrifice their own children to Molech by burning them. And before anyone refers to the Binding of Isaac, that story is a polemic AGAINST human sacrifice, not for it.

You've kind of missed my point. It's not a question about the facts of Jericho or the right and wrongs of exterminating children (although if you believe the text, the Israelites certainly killed more Canaanite children than the Canaanites did themselves, however evil).

 

If we allow for the existence of God and a belief that the Bible is 100% accurate, why does a Christian not think of their God as evil?

 

Is a Divine being somehow exempt from guilt/blame? You know, like an MHK?

Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

The only negative thing in the Jewish Bible is the killing of the Canaanites

That, surely, is intended to be a joke?

 

No. I'm not going to throw the baby out with the bath water just because of a little blood and guts. Have you read Homer's Iliad, Virgil's Aeneid, or Sophocles' Oedipus Rex, Antigone, Electra, etc? Classical literature is not for the faint-hearted.

Indeed, I have, and I've also read the OT which is one of the most disgusting books ever published.

The hero of it - this god that the jewish people are supposed to worship [actually, if you read it properly, they get conned and then bullied into worshipping this disgusting imaginary creature].

 

In Genesis, for example [and he's only warming up in that one!] he sentences all of mankind in perpetuity for a victimless crime, he murders every living thing on Earth save Noah and his Ark for another victimless crime [Note that the supposedly omnipotent God can't kill humans without also killing the animals even though he obviously wanted them to survive, or he wouldn't have given Noah explicit instructions to save them], he murders everyone in Sodom and Gomorrah including women and children because of the attempted rape of his envoys [A gang of rapists in Sodom is customarily used to justify this act, but while a rape gang is obviously evil, it's absolutely insane to respond by killing all of the women and even the little children and babies of two entire cities! Was everyone in both cities a rapist, including the small children and babies?] he murders Lot's wife and Judah's sons for yet more victimless crimes.

 

Oh, and I nearly forgot: he murders Er without giving any reason then commands Er's brother to impregnate Er's widow [Tamar?]. Of course, Onan doesn't do that - so he gets murdered by god as well!

 

Of course, if Onan had been around for Leviticus 20:21 he'd have discovered that "If a man marries his brother's wife, it is an act of impurity; he has dishonored his brother. They will be childless!"

 

He'd have probably said something like: "Well... fuck me!" But then he'd have been in trouble with Leviticus 20:13 - "If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death."

 

Really, the OT is disgusting and detestable - and the god that asks for/demands worship is one of the most contemptible and evil fictional creations of all time.

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The only negative thing in the Jewish Bible is the killing of the Canaanites

That, surely, is intended to be a joke?

No. I'm not going to throw the baby out with the bath water just because of a little blood and guts. Have you read Homer's Iliad, Virgil's Aeneid, or Sophocles' Oedipus Rex, Antigone, Electra, etc? Classical literature is not for the faint-hearted.

Indeed, I have, and I've also read the OT which is one of the most disgusting books ever published.

The hero of it - this god that the jewish people are supposed to worship [actually, if you read it properly, they get conned and then bullied into worshipping this disgusting imaginary creature].

 

In Genesis, for example [and he's only warming up in that one!] he sentences all of mankind in perpetuity for a victimless crime, he murders every living thing on Earth save Noah and his Ark for another victimless crime [Note that the supposedly omnipotent God can't kill humans without also killing the animals even though he obviously wanted them to survive, or he wouldn't have given Noah explicit instructions to save them], he murders everyone in Sodom and Gomorrah including women and children because of the attempted rape of his envoys [A gang of rapists in Sodom is customarily used to justify this act, but while a rape gang is obviously evil, it's absolutely insane to respond by killing all of the women and even the little children and babies of two entire cities! Was everyone in both cities a rapist, including the small children and babies?] he murders Lot's wife and Judah's sons for yet more victimless crimes.

 

Oh, and I nearly forgot: he murders Er without giving any reason then commands Er's brother to impregnate Er's widow [Tamar?]. Of course, Onan doesn't do that - so he gets murdered by god as well!

 

Of course, if Onan had been around for Leviticus 20:21 he'd have discovered that "If a man marries his brother's wife, it is an act of impurity; he has dishonored his brother. They will be childless!"

 

He'd have probably said something like: "Well... fuck me!" But then he'd have been in trouble with Leviticus 20:13 - "If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death."

 

Really, the OT is disgusting and detestable - and the god that asks for/demands worship is one of the most contemptible and evil fictional creations of all time.

I'd also say he was suffering low self-esteem to be so cruel, violent and controlling.

 

And another thing; if God created the universe etc. blah, blah, blah and was all knowing then surely it's his fault that Adam & Eve sinned and he either knew it and this flawless God ballsed up in a big way or he didn't know ergo he's actually not all knowing!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...