Important Biblical Figures!

10 Sep 2019 15:07 - 10 Sep 2019 15:12 #343531 by Carlos.Martinez3

ZealotX wrote:

The Coyote wrote: Hey ZealotX, I know that you were avoiding talking about your beliefs here, but I appreciate them. I'm a Christian myself and though I could see how someone might see this as offensive, I find it enlightening. I've never heard this perspective on the story of Moses, so it is very interesting food for thought and something I will have to think on more. I may not necessarily agree with it, but I can at least have a newfound appreciation for a perspective I didn't even know was there! Thank you for being a little vulnerable and speaking your thoughts!

I definitely appreciate you saying that more than you know. Moses is worse than Hitler to me so its very easy for me to go all in on him; especially because I know how the story of Moses is normally told an accepted in a very one-sided manner. Imagine if Hitler was more successful. Imagine if there were no Jews anymore, because of him. Imagine if he had completely wiped them out. Would the story still be how horrible he was? Or would the story treat him as the hero who defeated an enemy because he was ordained by God to do so? What if anyone who might tell a negative story about Hitler was executed by Hitler's orders; even to this day? How long would it be before the only stories about Hitler were all positive?

How many people care about the Egyptians? How many Egyptians lost their lives in that Exodus story? How many Egyptians, in that story, were personally holding Israelites captive? And of course, many archaeologists say that Egypt only used paid workers to build the pyramids. But let's just keep going under the assumption (which is unfair to any descendants of Egypt if the biblcal narrative and its portrayal of them is untrue) that Egypt had enslaved the Israelites after Joseph had warned of the famine and the Israelites were given the land of Goshen, not as some kind of huge borderless concentration camp, but where they could freely grow crops and raise livestock. How many other governments just give large swaths of land to outsiders? Would America? But how many Egyptians suffered the plagues of Egypt? How many Egyptians voted on the policy, according to the bible, to kill the male children of the Hebrews? Moses, could have been like, hey bro... let's do a new policy. Since we don't want to overrun our host country how about if you have too many people some of you simply have to migrate elsewhere?

NO! All the Israelites must be kept together. No one else can do this work we're now forcing them to do. We obviously never built anything without using slave labor and didn't build anything before the Israelites arrived and swelled from a family of 12 brothers to this huge population. What are you? Part rabbit? A virus? But no, you can't leave because this pyramid you're working on is too important. With God on his side Moses, who had a personal relationship with the royal family, should have been able to be diplomatic and negotiate a peaceful exit for anyone wanting to leave. But no, its all Pharaoh's fault even though it was Moses's God who hardened pharaoh's heart multiple times just so that they couldn't leave in peace. According to the bible Pharaoh's like "Take your people and GT*bleep*O" and although this was the best way to ensure these people didn't have an entire nation for an enemy and that innocent people didn't get killed on both sides, no... no.... not good enough. Success... not good enough. We need to harden pharaoh's heart so that he'll change his mind. That way I can show off more of my magic and hurt more Egyptians! It's almost like God was having too much fun playing with them or that he got pissed off when the Egyptian priests could do the same magic tricks Moses did (or was Moses simply doing the same magic tricks they taught him how to do and lying about a new god sending him?). In any case the deaths of a lot of people could have been avoided if it wasn't for God seeming to want revenge for a situation they wouldn't have been in in the first place if it wasn't for the famine which he could have stopped. Or instead of going to Egypt why not stay in Canaan and have God send manna and have their land irrigated from rocks spraying water? You can part a sea and feed people in a desert and produce water from a rock. Wouldn't it have been easier to simply avoid the famine in the first place? Or was the plan to steal the gold from the Egyptians? Wait... Can't God just make gold?

There is so much of the Exodus story that is just so tragic and annoyingly avoidable for even a junior deity. We're talking about the Creator... of the whole entire universe and he waits for people to get hungry and thirsty because now they're left fertile ground where they used to be so happy that they forgot almost all about their old god YHWH. YHWH could have did the whole "angel of death" thing on the first leader who wanted to kill the first Hebrew child and sent ANY Hebrew with a dream, just like Joseph or Daniel, to tell Pharaoh if he kills a Hebrew kid any woman he slept with would be barren or basically, he would be magically made to have a zero sperm count. YHWH had many years to do magic tricks to convince the Egyptians that he was the true God long before anyone was enslaved.

But none of that happened. The whole story is about how great Moses is and how God suddenly couldn't tolerate anyone worshiping a god that wasn't even real; like a real friend angry with a kid because that kid has an imaginary friend that's been there while the real friend has been gone for years without any contact whatsoever. Who should be mad at who? But we can't kill you or even want to, even though you basically abandoned us to be enslaved. We should only blame the Egyptians and blame ourselves for worshiping their gods so much that we need to suddenly execute each other because suddenly we can't tolerate any other beliefs to be held by any humans from the same genetic bloodline. Pharaoh wouldn't let them go? No, it was Moses who wouldn't let them go. He was supposed to free them but he had to be their leader even after he freed them. No, they were only freed in order to become his subjects. And if they didn't believe him then basically, his word was the law and they could be executed. If they were forced to work maybe a task master, assuming the story was true, might whip them. But if they disobeyed the commandment not to work on the sabbath God might KILL them. What sane person wouldn't want to go back to Egypt? Would Jacob have ever done the same thing to Rachel? She took idols out of her father's house. She obviously believed in them. But not only did Jacob tolerate this; God tolerated this. So again, why now, why all of a sudden, could this no longer be tolerated under Moses?

It was because Moses was a monster and he was the voice representing the god YHWH. No one following other gods had any real need or responsibility to listen to him. He wasn't elected to be the leader. And he wasn't a king. His sole authority was as the representative of YHWH. And all of a sudden YHWH couldn't stand for anyone to have any freedom of thought when it came to religion. They were slaves in Egypt but they weren't forced to adopt new gods. Now they were forced to readopt the god who had abandoned them for 400 years and he couldn't even give them a tenth of that time to decide whether or not to worship him. No, they were forced to bow down because that's what MOSES needed them to do so that he would have the power and maintain the power. He could have exiled people who wanted to follow a different god. He could allowed people to go back on a voluntary basis. No... he'd rather kill them. That says a lot. These were his own flesh and blood relatives. This is the same man who the story says killed an Egyptian because he was so empathetic towards his people's suffering. How much suffering did he cause himself? He forced an entire generation to die simply wandering in the desert because he didn't like their attitude. And where did they get weapons from? Did they borrow that too on the way out? Or was it just gold and jewels that they looted? sorry.... "borrowed".

Moses was a sith, through and through, and much of the story is just propaganda designed to make him look like a hero and make the people look like everything that happened was their fault.

I asked someone, "if God told you to kill someone would you do it?" They said yes. I told them that's scary. Why would God tell you to kill someone? Why would you assume that was the voice of an all powerful Creator and not your own voice? Why do we seem to believe that an omnipotent deity NEEDS us to commit acts that our morality would prevent us from doing otherwise? And if he doesn't need us then why ask? Because maybe this isn't a god worth loving, trusting, or serving. Maybe this isn't a god at all. And how many people still believe in cutting hands and heads off because of what people believe? And because of what they do? Who was it that set that biblical and therefore "holy" precedent?

None other than Moses.

edit: My apologies if anyone was offended. I do respect your religious beliefs.

I am glad to know people like you big Z. Your answer here reminds me of a song written by a guy I met once.

I shook Chris’s hand and sat in a circle of guitars singing songs over a camp fire many years ago with him, some day I hope we do the same. I love people who defend and are better because of their own chosen faith. Clearly your testimony is that of a devoted Christian in their study. English: thanks for having a personal faith rather than a redundant type of the bible said this the bible said that - it’s not wrong to do but I like reading when people apply their faith to their life’s. This song reminded me of your post. Force continue to be with you my friend. Don’t stop! Lol (zealots can’t hahaha). [maniacal laugh] [maniacal laugh] [maniacal laugh!]

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Last edit: 10 Sep 2019 15:12 by Carlos.Martinez3.
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10 Sep 2019 16:57 #343533 by The Coyote
Replied by The Coyote on topic Important Biblical Figures!
Hey ZealotX,

I'm going to be honest, that was a very brutal post, however I can 100% see where it is coming from. There are many things in the Bible which, taken out of context, seem much more brutal than I believe were intended. Mix that with many translations which produce different interpretations, and sometimes translations which are purposefully altered for ulterior motives, it makes the Bible that much more difficult to understand. As an example, I just learned yesterday that the verse, "wives submit to your husband" is something that is often used by "Christian" (and I use quotes purposefully there) men who abuse their wives, but that verse is complete taken out of context AND is a misinterpretation from the Greek. The context is from the verse prior, "Submit to one another out of reverance for Christ". And the following verses are examples of submitting, including the wife to the husband, but also the husband to the wife, with the caveat that the husband should be willing to give his life up for the wife as Christ gave his life for the Church AND that he should love her as he loves himself. Then the verse also goes into children submitting to their parents AND parents to their children, slaves to their masters AND masters to their slaves. The whole context is to submit and serve each other, not where one party holds power over another. PLUS, apparently the Greek translation does not use the word "Submit" in the case of the wife. This actually blew my mind how something could be taken so out of context to be used for such attrocious things.

Now going into the story of Moses, I would challenge a few things and see if there is a different perspective that things can be viewed from. One of the things you go back to often is that Moses seems to be on a power trip. I could understand this, but did Moses want the power to begin with? He tries to tell God he doesn't want it, and God continues to provide more for Moses until Moses is comfortable with being a Prophet, enlisting the help of his brother. Plus, later on in the story of Moses, he is trying to do everything himself in the spiritual welfare of the people because he believes that he is the only person that can, not because he wants to. It leaves him feeling drained and he can't seem to keep up, and he's literally killing himself over it. But when his father-in-law tells him that he can share the burden, he actually seems relieved and more than happy to give responsibility to others.

I would also challenge the concept that God could have chosen any Hebrew to carry out his desires. What if he couldn't? Not because it isn't in his power, because God is without limits, but perhaps he can't because he gave people the ability to choose their own path and didn't force anything upon mankind. Perhaps God called out to many of the Hebrews over time, but perhaps they were too afraid, felt too unworthy, thought they were hallucinating, among many other things that we know today can go through the human psyche, let's think about how any one of us would react if an infinitely powerful, infinitely knowing, infinitely uncomprehendable being came down and told you anything. Would you even be able to understand the message? Would it drive you insane? God has never came down and spoken to me directly in this manner, but I'm not sure what would happen to my psyche if he did. I'd like to believe that I could stand in his presence like a prophet of old, but perhaps I literally would die from how completely out of my mind the experience would be (perhaps why people weren't allowed on the mountain, because they physically, mentally, spiritually could not handle that experience). Even during this time, it seems the people could literally see the essence of God, and what did most of them do? They requested further degrees of seperation because they were not in awe over how amazing it was, but were fearful because of how much they couldn't comprehend. So perhaps it couldn't have just been anyone, but needed to be someone who could actually handle this form of experience. And perhaps along this same line of thinking, maybe God never abandonded the Hebrews, they just went 400 years without anyone who was willing or able to enact what God wanted.

Along with this, I would say that perhaps God never could tolerate the worship of other gods, that perhaps without Moses, he didn't have any other way to express how unacceptable worshipping anything other than him was, and so perhaps this was the first time during that recorded history where things in the world were so bad that God could express how much disdain he had for the happenings (not because he literally couldn't, but because he chooses to act through people instead of forcing people to believe anything). I think we also tend to make assumptions that people during that time must have been very similar to us, and if we look at the world today people overall don't seem that bad, right? Sure there's a few bad apples, but they are the exception in today's world. But what if that wasn't true back then? What if Egypt was full of truly atrocious people and we just don't hear about that in the story? I mean, in the story of the destruction of Sodom and Gamorrah, there is a whole city of people who want to rape the first visitors that come into the city, refusing even virgins which I believe throughout history has been accepted as something prized (which I feel horrible typing out, but that's just how history seems to portray virgins in general). What if Egypt during this period of time was a giant Sodom and Gamorrah? I mean, it didn't seem troubling to most Egyptains that the Pharoah ordered the deaths of a ton of innocent babies, and God greatly rewards the midwives that help the Hebrew children be born. Perhaps part of the punishment of the Egyptains ties to the majority of them being fine with all of the children of the Hebrews being slaughtered, so in the old "eye for an eye" tradition, the exactment of their loss is the loss of their own prized children (perhaps it was a blessing that God chose only to kill the firstborn and not all of the Egyptian children?).

I would also like to say the people are truly imperfect, and that is something very common in the Bible. Every single prophet, every single important figure, has at least one flaw which is discussed, some many more (I saw the video on Samson, that was at once hilarious, terrible, enlightening, and made me ask questions. Samson is a perfect example of a deeply deeply flawed person), and this all plauges the church to this day. We have a tendency to believe that someone who follows any godlike figure should be exactly the same as that godlike figure. But who among us is perfect? If Christianity is to be believed there has only been one perfect being ever which is God and Christ who is God, if Christianity is not to be believed then no one ever has been perfect in living up to the ideals of a religion or faith (and everyone who's claimed to be has been found out to be a fraud). Plus, the states of sin are very easy to fall into and very easy to misinterpret or misconstrue to tell a different story, I'm actually writing about this concept in the IP currently as I'm going through the lessons. So perhaps there is room to say that Moses did some things wrong, perhaps he believed God would want something and called people to do it, and it turned out to be a wrong decision. Unfortunately as leaders move higher into positions of power, the consequences of their wrong decisions become more dire. Perhaps part of the lesson of Moses is to recognize this, and perhaps part of the lesson of Moses is that a person unable to inspire his people to do good ends up leading to terrible results. I'd have to re-read through the story to get a better sense of where that might appear.

With Pharoah, from my understanding of Pharoah, there are multiple times in the Bible where God hardens his heart, but there are multiple times where Pharoah also hardens his own heart. There could be misinterpretations in there from different translations of course, there could be interpretations that made sense at the time of writing but no longer make sense today. One possible theory that I've had from reading the Bible over time, listening to others, etc., is that God's connection can never be severed by him, because that is not in his character, rather any time there is a removal of connection from God it lies in the human who has severed the connection. Along with this, it is normal for men to say that things were caused by gods when they don't comprehend how it could happen (i.e. in every religion, any sort of natural disaster was caused by a god or goddess. Odyssesus' trip home took 10 years not because he was infatuated with discovering new things and being a person who overcomes everything, but because the gods and goddesses prevented him from getting home in a variety of ways). So perhaps the author couldn't comprehend how a person who literally knew all these bad things were happening because he was keeping the Hebrews as slaves, especially at the scale these events occurred, so the author assumed that at least a part of it must have been God causing it, when in reality perhaps God didn't cause the disconnection, and the scale which was needed to convince Pharoah to let these people go had to sadly be such a great scale that it overwhelms others thinking about it. I mean, the Egyptian Pharoahs often if not always did believe that they were actually gods, so perhaps the only way to get through to someone who literally thinks they are a god is to have consequences so vast that they realize how small they actually are.

Another thing I would think about in your thoughts is the belief that all Pharoahs of Egypt treated all slaves exactly the same way. Perhaps the Pharoah in the story of the Bible was not the norm of Pharoahs in general. Perhaps there were many good Pharoas in Egypt's time, but to assume they all acted exactly the same way I think would be a great generalization. I mean, if we look at Rome, there were some really great Roman emperors that we celebrate today like Marcus Aurelleius, but there were also some extremely bad emperors who did some truly atrocious things. So perhaps this particular Pharoah was one of the worst of the worst (perhaps the Caligula or Nero of Egypt). Perhaps he was so terrible that Egypt made a decision to literally erase all memories of him from history and the only living reminder of his reign actually is in the Bible.

I'm also not sure about this story being propeganda. Usually propeganda is used by a powerful party to explain treatment of another party in a certain way, at least that's what it seems like you're implying. But when the Hebrews leave Egypt, do they go back and try to destroy the Egyptains? No, they kinda try to stay away from Egypt because they fear being put back into slavery, and they end up being put into slavery time and time again with other cultures. If this is propaganda, then I think it doesn't seem to be working very well because time and time again it doesn't seem to be working. And propeganda is usually used to evoke an emotion and to prevent people from thinking logically, but it seems to me that the Bible is ripe for logical dicussion and deep conversations which isn't a normal trademark of propeganda. Plus, many of the stories are written after the time they are actually discussed, so how would that propaganda work exactly? I'm just confused here a bit and would like to understand better.

I'm not saying that all of these are correct, and I'm not saying I have a perfect understanding of everything, and I'm not saying that I think Moses was perfect and should be perfectly remembered as we have a tendency to do as humans - to romanticize life and people in ways that are completely untrue. What I am saying is that perhaps there is a lot more to the story than we have the opportunity to see, and sadly we may never have the ability to truly understand due to the distance of time and cultures and mindsets. Perhaps since Moses was not the author of the story, there have been things attributed or interpreted in ways that didn't actually relay the truth (since language is such a fickle thing), and perhaps translations and tellings over time and changes in language seem to imply meanings that are not the truth of what happened. I mean there are phrases that have literally changed so much that today have literally the exact opposite meaning of what they had in the past, and this has been shown in the Bible (it's why a lot of people have difficulty reading the King James version of the Bible, because english alone has changed so dramatically in the 400 years since it's writing. What happens across different cultures, different languages, over thousands of years?). That is why I think it is so important to see different perspectives, because I personally have never seen Moses in the light that you're describing but it makes me want to read through and pick out how that could be perceived and where else in the story it may be perceived in that way.

Let me know your thoughts! Thank you for sharing ZealotX! I look forward to reading more of your work!

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10 Sep 2019 21:45 #343538 by ZealotX
Replied by ZealotX on topic Important Biblical Figures!
Coyote, you have a gift for devil's advocate and apologetics. I appreciate this because I play devil's advocate myself in order to help me understand things from a (less) biased perspective. I've even played devil's advocate to the actual devil (as is portrayed in the text). Of course in some traditions there is no singular devil or "ha Shatan".

Your example of Greek translation is good. I'm aware of that case and others. In some cases there have even been flat out insertions (see Johanine Comma) because, although it would be nice to think that everyone who handled the bible, BECAUSE its the bible, was an honest actor, but the truth and reality is that people often had an agenda. The bible often fits into people's agenda rather than the other way around. I started to see a pattern forming with Moses that brought me to the same opinion. What I've shared so far is only a sample of the logical breadcrumbs that led me to my position. Again... even though I'm talking about Moses I AM STILL endeavoring NOT to. This is what it looks like... me NOT talking about Moses while the subject is 'active'. Like Carlos alluded to, to some extent, I can't help it.

The bible even alludes to itself being manipulated in favor of people's agenda. "lying pen of the scribes". But let's not dwell on that for now. Even though we disagree I do like your attitude. It's good. In more recent years I've been able to have better conversations with Christians. I don't think its just because I've gotten better at communication. I also think they've gotten better at being open minded and less defensive. It's like they are allowing themselves more room to have questions and to think for themselves. I don't know if this would be possible without the external influence of atheism and agnosticism that exist in the media but regardless I take it as a good sign.

I think one of the small details that's important about this thread is that its specifically about bible characters. What stands out as the subject of each book of the bible? How much is each book about God vs about a revered bible character? Each character is afforded a huge amount of credibility that flows from their relationship to God much like how the prophet Muhammad's friends are somehow also credible enough for their writings to be included along with the prophet, as part of the religion for a large number of Muslims. And so each person puts on their own "layer" so to speak.

I used to read the bible without any criticism of the author. The author may describe a character in very unflattering terms. David, for example, sends Uriah off to die so that he can have his wife. If David was telling his story I don't know if he would have really wanted to include that. And of course everything that's in the "bible" was not necessarily meant to be included in a holy book. Besides the entire New Testament, even the Old Testament includes books that Christians use that may not necessarily be "holy" for Jewish people.

What complicates the books attributed to Moses is the fact that dies before its over and the fact that so much of Judaism is primarily based on Mosaic law; the Torah. You could say that much of what they believe pre-existed Moses in the form of oral traditions but it just seems..."odd" that everything is suddenly so formalized at the very same time that a man educated in Egypt gets involved.

As far as Moses being reluctant, he doesn't check with anyone before hitting the rock to produce water. Likewise he doesn't check with anyone before destroying the two tablets of stone supposedly written on by God; the ONLY thing God has ever supposedly written himself. And he destroyed that, that thing which should have been the most sacred of sacred objects in existence, all because he was angry at what the people were doing. (and for 10 points what was it that was in the ark of the covenant) But why was he that angry? Empathizing with God? Or angry that HE [Moses] had been gone only a relatively short time and that the people weren't following his play book?

It's not that I'm choosing the most ugly pessimistic possible view because I want to. It's that the more I took all these little things and added them up... the innocent scenario seems less and less likely. You have to keep in mind what the overall effect is. If you are a god that doesn't care about how many people die then this is easy to overlook. But if you are like Jesus and you are happy about the 99 but you'll still go after that one lost sheep... then it's simply not good enough. Instead of killing them, the older generation could have been sent back to Egypt but either God was too angry for that... or Moses was. See... its not just the author telling a story. The author is actually telling a story about Moses who is telling his own story because all of what God says is coming from Moses. No one else.

Moses being "reluctant" simply plays into his agenda. It was better for him to have Aaron the same way its better for Trump to have Jared and Ivanka. Cover. The whole Levitical priesthood is based on the fact that Aaron is his brother. And therefore their more immediate family is served by the rest of the tribes. They don't have to work as long as they can make people believe that their priestly duties are sooooo difficult and such a risk to their very lives because God is scary and will kill you if you enter his presence with your sins (Even though he is also omnipresent so he is also everywhere including with you while you sin). Sin itself is almost personified into a substance that makes you so dirty and yet God can think evil thoughts and be the very standard by which we judge perfection.

If it isn't abundantly clear, I'm saying this was all a rouse. Moses tells Aaron what to do so that Aaron can convince the elders of their people. Miriam, their sister is also called a "prophetess". God literally tells Moses that he is making him a "god" to Pharaoh and that Aaron will be his prophet. VERY curious words unless the Hebrew translation is wrong. The same word for God (El) can also be used for other lesser positions of power or authority. But to say Aaron would be his prophet... makes an error less likely. You can search Exodus but I doubt you will find where Aaron speaks to Pharaoh. When his name is even mentioned its usually Pharaoh speaking to both of them or the bible describing what both of them are doing, but it appears that Moses is always the primary speaker. BUT TO THE ISRAELITES... he uses his brother as a middleman or as middle management. When he left he left them under Aaron's supervision but Aaron's control over them only extended so far without his brother.

And the reason why I believe they were con artists is because Aaron is documented here lying about the Golden Calf. Aaron, isn't like Moses. Moses is the authoritarian strong man. His brother, on the other hand, though picked to be the mouth, is ineffective and unable to talk his own people, who have witnessed miracles, into continuing to obey God via Moses. Even though the text says Aaron heard God when he spake to Moses, he fully goes along with the people and is the one who actually makes the golden calf.

2 And Aaron said unto them, Break off the golden earrings, which are in the ears of your wives, of your sons, and of your daughters, and bring them unto me.

3 And all the people brake off the golden earrings which were in their ears, and brought them unto Aaron.

4 And he received them at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, after he had made it a molten calf: and they said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.

Let's gloss over, for a moment, that these poor slaves had their ears pierced and were now wearing the gold earrings of the Egyptians. How about the fact that Aaron, the mouthpiece, is the one who gives the glory for the Exodus to false gods. Is Aaron killed for this along with the people? No. He gets promoted and his family gets to enjoy the lifestyles of the rich and famous.

Exodus 28:40 And for Aaron's sons thou shalt make coats, and thou shalt make for them girdles, and bonnets shalt thou make for them, for glory and for beauty.

LIE: Ex 32:24 And I said unto them, Whosoever hath any gold, let them break it off. So they gave it me: then I cast it into the fire, and there came out this calf.

Why did he lie and get away with it? Was God too busy talking to Moses that he saw the whole golden calf worship but not who made it?? No, it was because Aaron was always his croney. And as malleable as he was to those who wanted a false god he was just as pliable to the whims of Moses as long as he had the power. Aaron's job was to help con the people but as soon as it looked like the jig was up, Aaron flipped the script, showing that God only spoke to Moses and that Aaron had NO FEAR of YHWH that was independent of his brother. Think about that. Why was Aaron unafraid to make this idol and issue such a proclamation after he himself had done "miracles"? Was his life in danger? Or was making the idol a way for him to remain in power? It didn't matter to him who the god was as long as he was still in a leadership position.

Exodus 28:43 And they shall be upon Aaron, and upon his sons, when they come in unto the tabernacle of the congregation, or when they come near unto the altar to minister in the holy place; that they bear not iniquity, and die: it shall be a statute for ever unto him and his seed after him.

I have to run. I'll have to continue this tomorrow.
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11 Sep 2019 16:08 #343549 by ZealotX
Replied by ZealotX on topic Important Biblical Figures!
warning: this post is very long. But I hope it's interesting enough that everyone's eyes don't glaze over and roll into the backs of their heads. But if they do... know that I understand. :)

As far as sharing power with the judges, it was only because Moses didn't want to do that full time. No king does. He had no problem doing it when it was a few cases, but someone else had to be the one to tell Moses to delegate and it didn't come from God. Why did it not come from God? Because the truth is that God was simply Moses. Therefore God could not tell Moses to do something that wasn't in Moses's heart and mind to do. Ask yourself this question. Would Trump want to decide every case in the Judicial branch if he could, down to jaywalking cases? Of course not. If someone's sheep wandered off into someone else's field the owner might have thought the sheep was stolen. How many of these cases would Moses want to personally attend to? His ambition was simply too great for petty disputes.

To say that God couldn't have chosen anyone is like saying there's something that God couldn't do. In the story of Jonah we can clearly see that if God wants you to do something you don't really have a choice. I mean... you do... but you don't. A lot of things aren't forced upon mankind until they are. Or until God just decides when he's had enough and sends a flood or sends his people to attack you and take your land and women. Of course why would God call out random people if he knew the future and knew those people weren't going to do it? Knowing the future, like Doctor Strange, he would ask a person who he already knew was going to do it. Right? I mean isn't that what the whole prophecy thing is predicated on? God knowing the exact future?

Of course what would make Moses so different if the average Hebrew couldn't comprehend this all powerful being speaking to them? If it took a drawing where the special person so happens to be raised by Pharaoh just to be able to hear God without wetting his pants then how come the same isn't true with the previous patriarchs. Abraham obviously didn't wet his pants. Joseph's pants seemed pretty dry. All that stuff you said sounds good but at some point there were only a few people to choose from and they all seemed to handle it okay. After 400 years in Egypt there were many. Just sayin...

I do think you are correct in a way though. Naturally, if faced with a real deity I do believe that most people would have a reaction closer to what you describe. However... if they don't really believe in God then they wouldn't possess this fear. As I said before... Aaron wasn't really afraid of God that was supposedly after he heard God talking to his brother. Supposedly. I have a whole theory on the "voice of God" and what people heard and thought was God speaking. But what I'm saying is that an honest person who is a true believer would be the last person to lie about God talking to them. However... if its not a believer, but rather a wolf in sheep's clothing, then the purpose it to manipulate others into think you have spoken with God. People on TV do this all the time. Many preachers utilize this in their sermons. "I prayed and the holy spirit moved upon my and told me to tell you _____________" And they know there's no way you can disprove that they were spoken to. Look at people like Joseph Smith who founded the Mormon church.

I mean this guy was like something out of the Handmaid's Tale. And you would think "how could anything like that ever happen?" It can happen. It happens because people claim to speak for God and they are willing to lie and manipulate people. They're not afraid of God stepping in and punishing them because they don't believe God exists. Do you really think Joseph Smith believed in God?

Read at least the first 3 paragraphs. It should be quite clear that Smith was corrupt. He wanted to destroy a newspaper because it was critical of him. Not God. Smith. The fear of such a con man is losing power as a result of being shown for what he is. This is why Moses had so many people killed. And in both cases, why did people follow Moses's genocidal command? Same reason why people followed Smith's orders to destroy the press. Smith was killed by a mob of people who weren't afraid of him.

That's the thing. Really take a minute and think about that. "The Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom". If people are too afraid to challenge you then you don't have to be afraid of the people. The same thing happens with unjust kings. Yes, they have a lot of power but the people can still rebel, revolt, and possibly assassinate him. This is where theology and politics merge. Smith was killed because people who weren't afraid of him, and didn't believe he was speaking for God, saw him as trying to become a theocratic king. And they shut him down. And there was no miracles that saved him.

Moses was also under this same threat. So anyone who didn't believe was naturally a potential threat. They were already murmuring and complaining. They simply hadn't gotten to the point of a violent overthrow. Moses knew who was more loyal to him and to Joshua. So as long as he had more people on his side he could order the deaths of the non-believers because guess what? The non-believers would naturally be political rivals and threats. And if they weren't afraid of him they could engineer a coup. Being educated in royal family he would have been aware of such matters of state and understood what a ruler had to do in order to quell such things early on. Remember... Moses himself was almost murdered (according to the bible) as a baby for the crime of being born male. Because that was seen as a threat. So just like Pharaoh... when he saw a threat to his own power he reacted by ordering that threat to be destroyed. As I said, he could have let them go. But think about it. If he let people go and said they were all free to make whatever decision was in the best interest of themselves and their families, any time people disagreed with his rule they could simply leave. And while we have evolved to have a system of government where that's okay, this was not okay to Moses.

Like the first story of humans in the bible the common thread throughout the entire book is one word. "Corruption". Moses had multiple wives too so why would he make a law against it? Why did the Israelites need weapons if God was going to take care of them? Why does any believer need a weapon? Either God will protect you or it was God's will that you die. Why would any believer need to protect themselves? I'm not saying this to challenge believers in general. I'm saying this because if you can see through the con you'll always see the self-interested motivation of corrupt leaders who use God for profit. Today this simply takes the form of the Prosperity Doctrine, Televangelists with private planes and golden toilets, etc. They see belief as an industry that pays very well, even if the people don't see that.

Moses commands the Israelites to "borrow" the valuable possessions of the Egyptians on their way out knowing they had no intention of returning even though he told Pharaoh (a lie) that they were just gonna go to sacrifice to their God. Pharaoh was just smart enough to know that was BS. After they looted Egypt, look through Exodus and Leviticus and you'll see how much of those spoils ended up going to the Levites. They (had to have) the finest linen and expensive dyes (different colors were not easy or cheap to produce).

I mean they were basically walking around like pimps with fat gold chains around their necks. What does ANY Of these things have to do with spirituality or salvation? Come on. You know they don't have a d-mn thing to do with God. It is HUMANS who crave all these material things and it is the scarcity of certain materials that make them valuable and prized possessions. If gold was everywhere then it would have little value. Kind of like the legends of places like El Dorado. The idea that Gold would be precious to God is silly. It's precious to humans and so we transfer that onto divinity and imagine a heaven with streets of gold and pearly gates. Pearls are created by animals that Hebrew culture considers unclean. So again... I agree with you about the reaction of believers. The masses are typically ignorant and docile, looking for a shepherd to lead them. However, the leaders are often wolves who feed on them. In the case of religion we're talking about corruption and profiteering. Prostitution is said to be the oldest profession. Con artists also go way back. I want you to really think about what a true believer would do vs what non believer might be willing to do. You might assume that everything Moses commanded is what God wanted just like there are plenty of Mormons today who still think God wanted Joseph Smith to create that they believe to be God's church with strange teachings and holy underwear. And if you're not in that church then it is easier to see the con. But that's why the leader of that church would want to control the press and minimize threats to his power. The result, for them, is wealth and women, fame and fortune. You can't tell me that Joseph Smith had up to 40 wives because he was being honest about an angel talking to him. Likewise, Moses just magically conveniently works out a deal for his family to never have to work again.

You know what they say: "Pimpin aint easy"

You would have never done what Moses did. But Moses is not you. Therefore you have to consider the possibility that Moses was exceedingly corrupt and that this whole new religion, which suddenly couldn't tolerated other gods, suddenly had to turn over 10% of everyone's income to Moses's family, and made Moses the all powerful one representative of God when God seemed to have no problems sending angels to Lot, to Joseph, to Noah, and whoever else. But suddenly everything is going through Moses and suddenly you can get executed if you actually have the nerve not to believe thus saith Moses.

Let me reiterate. Angels. The Hebrew word for this is "malakim" or "messengers". God never needed Moses to speak for him. He never needed to come down to a mountain top in fire (its called a volcano). God never needed humans at all to speak to and deliver his messages to other humans. This was literally the job every angel on earth was doing. The prophet Elisha gets heckled by children and 2 she bears were able to chase down and kill 42 children. I repeat, children. Because they made fun of his bald head.

Now we can blame those children, but was it worthy of death? Likewise we can blame the Egyptians and pretend it was as bad as Sodom and Gomorrah but then why wouldn't Joseph have simply left after he was freed from prison? Why didn't they leave after the famine was over? Why didn't they leave as their population expanded like Abraham and Lot? The bible blames and shames the victims in order to justify what was done to them. Imagine arguing that the Native Americans deserved everything that happened on the Trail of Tears because they didn't know or worship YHWH? Imagine making the argument that black people were rightfully enslaved because they didn't know or worship YHWH? This excuse can justify any crime against a foreign people. Even if some people are bad, killing them... also bad. Killing their children is worse. And apparently God couldn do it himself with a Thanos finger snap. And the angels... well apparently they were too busy seeing the future and playing GTA10. So God had to get these weak mortals to go execute people in his name; the name Moses told them was his name.

Moses took the idea of gods that he learned from Egypt and took the stories he heard of the Canaanite gods and the god of his forefathers and he basically incarnated that god, created his own legendary story about the burning bush, and used magic tricks he learned in Egypt to make it seem like this God, who HE named, was the one true God and the god of their forefathers so that they would listen to Moses. It's that simple. Moses invented YHWH after 400 years so that they would put their faith in that god and follow him. There's a difference between "Deeply flawed" and Hitler. Just sayin... Moses made sure that a whole generation of his people died in the desert because he didn't like their attitude. That's like murdering someone's kid because you didn't like the cut of their jib. The Israelites evolved from a theology where an individual like Abraham could simply be righteous and have a relationship with God to a clandestine society that wanted to conquer or convert the world; each time taking spoils which included women. I'm saying this wasn't good and it wasn't an accident. And now we have Christians and Muslims hating each other because Christians are now against the very thing that is described in the Old Testament and that Muslims still believe. And it is mostly Moses that is to blame for that.
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11 Sep 2019 16:52 #343551 by CaesarEJW
Replied by CaesarEJW on topic Important Biblical Figures!
The coolest is the Beast from the Sea, in Revelation.

"John saw it "rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy." (Revelation 13:1) It was like a leopard, with feet like the feet of a bear, and had a mouth like a lion."

That's badass. And terrifying.

Ironically Christains think I'm nutty when I talk about Buddhism, Taoism, and junk.

The Bible is a crazy book. No offense.

Seriously, read the Tao Te Ching and the Bible, then compare the two. One is about sane clear-sighted wisdom, the other violent crazed glory.

Not to mention the Bible has been heavily mistranslated several times throughout history.

For a simple example, when the greeks were doing the original translations from Hebrew, they misinterpreted "young woman" for "virgin".

Also, "son of God". That is no mistranslation, just misunderstanding. Back in those days, in that culture, calling someone "son of God" was the equivalent of calling someone a "wise-man" or "enlightened".

I think Jesus was just a revolutionary figure trying to promote pacifism, love, and equality.

Same thing with Buddha. Someone who was just trying to change things for the better, then a bunch of fanatics go and deify the darn thing.

Not that their lessons arent true. On the contrary, they both possessed incredibly valuable wisdom.

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11 Sep 2019 17:18 #343552 by The Coyote
Replied by The Coyote on topic Important Biblical Figures!
Hey Zealot X,

Thanks, I actually only learned what apologetics was about 6 months ago, and I have been a Christain for awhile, but I wasn't forced to be a Christain like many children are, so I've had the wonderful ability to question everything about the faith without anyone to tell me I was wrong for questioning it which I think is a blessing and has allowed me to really make my faith my own. And I would prefer to be an angel's advocate haha ;)

I read through everything, but you definitely put in A LOT! Wow! That's awesome how in depth this all is and there's a lot that I really need to sit down and think about because this is a new perspective. My head is totally spinning and I love when that happens! Thank you for that ZealotX!

I don't know a ton about the Mormon Church as I never really dove into those beliefs, but that was an interesting article!

I'm planning to respond to all of this to the best of my limited knowledge as it brings up a lot of interesting content that will really require me to think through! It'll probably take a few days as I'm 17 pages into writing Lesson 1 Part 5 of the IP and I really want to complete that (plus you know, life exists outside of pondering all of the theology of the world and pondering the Force).

@CaesarEJW, the Bible is definitely a crazy book, though I don't know if I would say "violet crazed glory" but if this conversation has said anything I can at least see where it's coming from! And the Tao Te Ching is actually something I really enjoy (though I definitely could study it better). I've sometimes called myself a Christain Daoist (Taoist?) Jedi haha!

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11 Sep 2019 18:13 #343555 by ZealotX
Replied by ZealotX on topic Important Biblical Figures!

CaesarEJW wrote:
For a simple example, when the greeks were doing the original translations from Hebrew, they misinterpreted "young woman" for "virgin".

Also, "son of God". That is no mistranslation, just misunderstanding. Back in those days, in that culture, calling someone "son of God" was the equivalent of calling someone a "wise-man" or "enlightened".

I think Jesus was just a revolutionary figure trying to promote pacifism, love, and equality.

This is all true, what you said. When I went through my study on the divinity of Jesus and found there were 7 different views about it, it led me to question a lot of things, including the translation of virgin. And we know that it means "young woman" because that prophecy primarily applied to someone in the Old Testament and was already fulfilled. And in that case it was a young woman.

And yes, son of God, did not have the same understanding as "God the son". People believe these are interchangeable but one in mentioned many times throughout the whole bible and the other isn't mentioned not once. 1 John 3 explains what a "Son of God" really is.

As often is the case there is a spiritual wisdom that has value and validity. It can birthed out of nearly anything because that wise man can't control the circumstances of their birth or who their family is. And they would naturally desire to make life better for their family and fight for them.

I believe Jesus was smart enough to see through Moses and his followers. During Jesus time the law was represented by the Pharisees and Sadducees and the Jewish Sanhedrin. Jesus made sure not to challenge them all directly, but if you notice he did take a lot of jabs at them being a brood of vipers, being spiritually blind, being hypocrites, keeping people away from God, etc. They allowed money changers in the temple. Jesus chased them out. Jesus talked about how difficult it was for a rich man to enter the kingdom and how the poor and meek were blessed and would basically rule as the head while the head became the tail. This is just what I can think up off the top of my head. And the these people, who could rightly be called heirs of Moses's will and power, also inherited Moses's desire for power the corruption that came with it. They saw Jesus as a threat to their theocratic supremacy and so they tried to stone him on the basis of the the Mosaic law. When that didn't work they sold him out to Rome as a traitor and potential terrorist. In other words, they were willing to kill the threat to protect their power.

And what was the threat, precisely? Perhaps, Jesus read the scriptures and understood that there was a time before Moses and his sacrificial system; a time before the priests. He saw there was a time when there was no middle man between God and man and salvation was a personal relationship; not about money or class or privilege. They were living in the world Moses created, not the world of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. And so I think Jesus wanted to reform Judaism and bring them back to that previous version of God. His most direct challenge to Moses? Was probably the woman caught in adultery where he said the famous line "let he who is without sin cast the first stone".

That saying was brilliant as it was simple. People were carrying out the will of Moses like computer programs. If you defied the law you had to die. That's what Moses said was God's will. Jesus just challenged that. Just said it didn't matter what you did, all sins could be forgiven. And the only thing that couldn't be forgiven was grieving the holy spirit. He challenged the whole system of Moses to the point that no Christian today pays any of the Mosaic law any attention and barely even know the 10 commandments. Christians outright rejected Moses and for a long time I didn't get it. I didn't understand why if Moses was the foundation that Jesus came and added to. But Jesus wasn't trying to add to it. He was trying to tear it down without losing credibility. Moses was about death. However, people wanted life and life more abundantly. And so Jesus said "I am the way the truth and the life, no man comes to the Father but by me." and in doing that he basically challenged the whole Levitical priesthood that was established by Moses.

His sacrifice basically said to all his followers, that 1. you were slaves under the old tyrannical system and I just freed you. 2. Now instead of enriching the priests and bringing them free food, now you can save that guilt and simply repent which means to ask forgiveness and turn away from those sins. This may have even been an esoteric aim of the Essene movement, including John the Baptist; purifying people with water instead of them going to the Levites, which, at that point was analogous to the megachurches with ATMs inside. The trappings aren't for God. The size of the church... just like the jewels on priest's breast plate... it was never for God. It was always to impress the people and make them believe in the system; follow the program of the system, and if need be, kill and give their lives for the system.

When Marcion read the OT he said this aint the same God that's in the NT. And so he tore out that OT. There wasn't really anything wrong with the OT God until Moses; especially if you discount the flood myth. That God was about saving people. When Moses entered the scene it was no longer "God the Father". It was YHWH. And YHWH didn't mind going to war. He didn't mind materialism or corruption. He was suddenly interested in challenging other gods and having his champion fight theirs and his prophet against theirs and even brother against brother. God didn't kill Cain. God didn't kill Esau when in reality it would have been righteous to have punished Jacob. But they believed that a dying man's blessing could somehow be stolen and that God would honor the theft. But you have to see what Jesus saw... the God of Moses was not God. That idea is useful for the sake of continuity of the scriptures and so, growing up, that's what I was loyal to. But as John said "Grace and Truth" came by Jesus. Was he implying that Moses was the opposite? Perhaps not, but saying this actually says a lot. And the truth that he told directly went against thus saith Moses. I believe that was his intent all along. That was his reformation.
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11 Sep 2019 18:58 #343556 by ZealotX
Replied by ZealotX on topic Important Biblical Figures!

The Coyote wrote: Hey Zealot X,

Thanks, I actually only learned what apologetics was about 6 months ago, and I have been a Christain for awhile, but I wasn't forced to be a Christain like many children are, so I've had the wonderful ability to question everything about the faith without anyone to tell me I was wrong for questioning it which I think is a blessing and has allowed me to really make my faith my own. And I would prefer to be an angel's advocate haha ;)

I read through everything, but you definitely put in A LOT! Wow! That's awesome how in depth this all is and there's a lot that I really need to sit down and think about because this is a new perspective. My head is totally spinning and I love when that happens! Thank you for that ZealotX!

I don't know a ton about the Mormon Church as I never really dove into those beliefs, but that was an interesting article!

I'm planning to respond to all of this to the best of my limited knowledge as it brings up a lot of interesting content that will really require me to think through! It'll probably take a few days as I'm 17 pages into writing Lesson 1 Part 5 of the IP and I really want to complete that (plus you know, life exists outside of pondering all of the theology of the world and pondering the Force).

@CaesarEJW, the Bible is definitely a crazy book, though I don't know if I would say "violet crazed glory" but if this conversation has said anything I can at least see where it's coming from! And the Tao Te Ching is actually something I really enjoy (though I definitely could study it better). I've sometimes called myself a Christain Daoist (Taoist?) Jedi haha!

That's awesome.

I just want you to understand, no matter how much of a tangent I may go down talking about Moses..., please understand my feelings for Yeshua (Jesus) are pretty much the exact opposite. Moses was like a sith emperor sneaking his way into power, then all of a sudden there's this huge military and they're off trying to conquer the universe. I think that's what Caesar was getting at. The OT is like a wild wild west of extreme violence. So I have to agree with his sentiment and summation. What Christians try to do is see the good in spite of all that other "stuff" in between. But it doesn't help the Jedi to ignore threats in our midst. It just makes it that much easier for us to be conquered.

Jesus basically came on the scene like Luke. And Obi wan was his John the Baptist. There are more parallels I could draw in the small details but it doesn't matter. The big picture is what matters. Islam is basically living in that Mosaic past (not all of Islam) and mindset. They have a patriarchal system that isn't interested in crazy ideas like equal rights. And they don't have to care about the translation about how husbands and wives should submit to each other because for them its all about Moses and the kingdom of God that conquers all others and forces everyone to obey his law. Moses would be that guy would order the Death Star to fire at the Philistines, the Amalakites, the Edomites, and so on.

Jesus had to use the unfulfilled prophecies of the OT as cover and as credibility in order to get his message in position to fire a shot into the small exhaust port of the behemoth that was Judaism. And, for the Rebels this was successful because the Rebels (the Christians) do not subscribe to Moses. They respect Moses as an important biblical figure who led the Israelites out of Egypt, but they don't judge each other by his law.

Of course all Christians are not equal and some will make use of Mosaic law in order to attack LGBTs, others may use it to attack black people as the descendants of "Ham", Noah's son, and claiming them to be cursed because of Genesis 9. Many evangelical Christians don't understand the bible or the conflicts within it and they simply want the "treasure". They want power. They want control. Then you have other Christians who are almost fearful of that very thing and stifle their own progress as if stuck in a time warp, but they still help people in need. So you should be proud to be whatever kind of Christian you are and follow the example that Jesus set with the best understanding you can. But I honestly think if Jesus was lurking on this thread he would probably be agreeing with me about Moses because he saw first hand how that whole thing basically destroyed Israel as a nation. They were sinning under the guise of "manifest destiny" and it simply caught up to them. Now that they were in possession of spoils from so many other people they had made themselves a target for a bigger better army to come take spoils from them... and then force them to pay taxes.

That's why I think it is an important question to ask people and to ask ourselves.

If God told you to kill someone, would you do it?

The question seems like its about God but its really about us. Why would God tell you to kill someone? If you think he would then your God is someone with dubious morality and is more like a human. How do you then distinguish that voice from your own thoughts? Perhaps what people thought was God was simply their own conscience and what it allowed or didn't allow them to do. Are we able to recognize God's voice? How do we know that it's God telling us to kill and not ourselves... or even a devil?

I'm not a "Christian" but I consider myself more of a Christian than most Christians because I follow the path he set and a pattern of behavior and enlightenment and zeal. He challenged the people to make them more righteous; to make them better people according to their potential. He spoke on different issues and intellectually defended righteousness, justice, mercy, and most of all love for humanity as I try to do on these forums. And he attacked the system that made them think they could never be good enough and therefore needed other people to preach to them and charge them 10%. Moses sought to control the people and subdue them through fear and death. Jesus was a hero who made people love him and follow him, not because they were afraid of him, but because they loved who he was and because of what he was willing to do for them; sacrificing himself so that they could live. Do you see the contrast? Jesus was a shepherd willing to go after the one lost sheep that Moses would have simply sheared and executed.

This is what made Jesus the Son of God; his love. (1 John 3)
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