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View Diary: Why do so many folks here use the term "Old Testament" as code for barbarism? (265 comments)

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  •  There's a similar law for lighting fire on Sabbath (0+ / 0-)

    The penalty for violating the Sabbath laws, you will note, is also death.

    A lot of us have problems with the treatment of gay sex in Leviticus.  It's not clear what the section meant originally, especially since in Canaanite culture (and in early Semitic religion generally) there appears to have been a concept of ritual sex and temple prostitutes, some of whom were likely male.

    But interpretation counts for a lot, and at least by rabbinical times, it appears that none of these kinds of infractions were enforced:  there were requirements for witness that would in and of themselves that made sure that the private sex life of two men would not be a problem, unless they invited in at least two judges to join in and observe the festivities.

    Which is part of your problem here.  The document that comes down to you came into its final form well after a tradition for how to read these texts had been evolving for hundreds of years.  This includes the prophetic texts (in the sense of Hebrew nevi'ut, and not in the sense of Classical Greek prophecy), and the traditions that would become the Mishnah and later the Gemarah.  These are traditions that are largely not shared with the Christians.  Even the Prophetic writings, which are of more interest to Christians as proof-texts of Christianity-to-Come than as the stand-alone social criticism that make up a lot of those texts.
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    [I]t is totally not true that Mitt Romney strapped Paul Ryan to the top of a car and drove him to Canada. Stop spreading rumors! -- Gail Collins

    by mbayrob on Thu Nov 22, 2012 at 12:38:38 AM PST

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    •  Christians have no idea how these texts (0+ / 0-)

      are read and understood by Jews (among whom there are also disagreements). You should also know that I'm not a practicing Christian and have made no criticism of the "Old Testament". I don't see it as wicked or barbaric or any such thing. It is quite a bit different from the New Testament, which is understandable given the circumstances and the distance of something like 1500 years. I'm more interested in it because of the character of Yeshu the Nazarene and why he still has such a hold on people 2000 years after his death.

      I never liked you and I always will.

      by Ray Blake on Thu Nov 22, 2012 at 12:58:52 AM PST

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      •  The Gospels are quite vivid (0+ / 0-)

        I've heard people suggest that Jesus never lived and is mythical, but having read portions of the Gospels, I seriously doubt that.  You very much get the sense of a person behind the documents.  A great teacher, and definitely a character, in the good sense.

        How the human Jesus got transfigured into a Hellenistic-styled deity with Christianity's rather strange theology is a different question entirely.  But this happening in the century after his death, he bears no responsibility for that.

        [I]t is totally not true that Mitt Romney strapped Paul Ryan to the top of a car and drove him to Canada. Stop spreading rumors! -- Gail Collins

        by mbayrob on Thu Nov 22, 2012 at 01:54:57 AM PST

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        •  The Trinity is surely a tortured concept (0+ / 0-)

          which took three centuries to emerge and get codified. In order for Yeshu to become God he had to be begotten by God first. Therefore, he was the son of God from square one, not a man who became God. I know, pretty shakey. It's enough for me that he was a great prophet of a Jewish sect.

          I never liked you and I always will.

          by Ray Blake on Thu Nov 22, 2012 at 10:40:22 AM PST

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