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Author Topic: What if we're wrong?  (Read 29496 times)
Sperran
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« Reply #45: November 05, 2008, 08:36:01 am »

Adoption. I'm not sure the ancient Jewish people believed in marrying outside their own people.

While there were some warnings against it, it often happened.  Look at the story of Ruth, for example.  There is also a long standing tradition of allowing people to become Jewish if they were dedicated to conversion.  It wasn't easy, but definitely possible.

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« Reply #46: November 05, 2008, 09:05:55 am »

Adoption. I'm not sure the ancient Jewish people believed in marrying outside their own people.

Book of Ruth.

Also, I believe the four women (other than Mary) listed in Jesus's genealogy are all in exogamous marriages -- Tamar is a Canaanite, Rahab is from (non-Israelite) Jericho, Ruth is a Moabite, and Bathsheba is a Hittite or maybe a Gilonite, IIRC.

Incidentally, Tamar and Rahab work as whores, Ruth may be having premarital sex with Boaz to convince him to marry her (depends on how you read the metaphor) and Bathsheba is an adulteress (though not because SHE wants to be).

It's a very interesting choice of women to name as Jesus's forebearers, women of very non-standard backrounds who are generally renowned for their holiness ... even though the way they got there isn't really along the standard lines of a Good Hebrew Woman (tm). And none of them are Hebrew. Smiley
« Last Edit: November 05, 2008, 09:11:58 am by Koimichra » Logged
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« Reply #47: November 05, 2008, 07:06:16 pm »

While there were some warnings against it, it often happened.  Look at the story of Ruth, for example.  There is also a long standing tradition of allowing people to become Jewish if they were dedicated to conversion.  It wasn't easy, but definitely possible.

Sperran

Since this is a hypothetical situation, I am hypothesizing that if the Jewish Messiah showed up, he would enforce what Yahweh originally wanted and expected, not what was traditional or what often happened.  As Jesus said in Mark 10:2-12, Yahweh cut them some slack, but he really means what he said.
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« Reply #48: November 05, 2008, 07:29:08 pm »

Since this is a hypothetical situation, I am hypothesizing that if the Jewish Messiah showed up, he would enforce what Yahweh originally wanted and expected, not what was traditional or what often happened.  As Jesus said in Mark 10:2-12, Yahweh cut them some slack, but he really means what he said.

From the Jewish perspective, tradition is relevant to what we believe that God wanted.  God gives the law, but it is up to the Jewish people to interpret the law and from those interpretations come our traditions.

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« Reply #49: November 05, 2008, 09:52:38 pm »

From the Jewish perspective, tradition is relevant to what we believe that God wanted.  God gives the law, but it is up to the Jewish people to interpret the law and from those interpretations come our traditions.

Sperran

Of course, but HE may not see it that way.
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« Reply #50: November 05, 2008, 10:43:27 pm »

Of course, but HE may not see it that way.

I wouldn't presume to read God's mind, but it seems the best source for what makes a Jew would be our sacred texts and commentary on those texts.

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« Reply #51: November 05, 2008, 11:10:44 pm »

I wouldn't presume to read God's mind, but it seems the best source for what makes a Jew would be our sacred texts and commentary on those texts.

Sperran

(points at thread title)  What if you're wrong?

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« Reply #52: November 05, 2008, 11:49:26 pm »

(points at thread title)  What if you're wrong?

Absent

It is entirely possible that I am wrong about what God wants.  However, I felt like the OP was making a statement about what actually constitutes Jewishness not a hypothetical "what if God thinks otherwise" statement and I disagreed with that initial statement.  I'm not exactly sure what I would do if the God of Abraham and Isaac exists but decided I couldn't be a Jew...be a righteous gentile, I suppose.

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« Reply #53: November 06, 2008, 12:22:27 am »

It is entirely possible that I am wrong about what God wants.  However, I felt like the OP was making a statement about what actually constitutes Jewishness not a hypothetical "what if God thinks otherwise" statement and I disagreed with that initial statement.  I'm not exactly sure what I would do if the God of Abraham and Isaac exists but decided I couldn't be a Jew...be a righteous gentile, I suppose.

Sperran

I wouldn't presume to know what was going on in Yahweh's head either, but if we go by the Hebrew Bible what you have is a deity who thinks nothing of smiting infants and children, pregnant women and old people if they just so happen to not be Jewish.  He also sends plagues and wars against his own Chosen people if their king happens to hold a census or if the king cares enough about his wife's spiritual welfare to build her a temple to her gods or his Chosen people decide that being nice and intermarrying with the local pagans is a good idea.  He also thinks killing an innocent child because his parents committed adultery is a just punishment. 

IMO, he just doesn't sound like a very reasonable deity willing to cut anyone any slack based on anyone's commentary or tradtions, hence my statement that I don't think I'd be welcome in their "in group" if the Jewish Messiah came back.
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« Reply #54: November 06, 2008, 01:12:35 am »

what if you're wrong.

It really depends how I'm wrong. Stoicism is essentially rationalist and my brand incorporates a polytheism that I can't pin down to hard or soft. I'd have to think and feel through what was lost, what gained and what changed as a result of how I was wrong. I find it hard to conceive of an aspect of my beliefs that I could be so radically wrong on that to have it alter would cause my worldview to fold up like a cheap deck chair. I've had that happen a couple of times and no doubt it will again, but I couldn't guess what angle it will come from.
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« Reply #55: November 06, 2008, 02:58:54 am »

What if you're wrong?

Okay, so if there is no deity at all, (worst case scenario and the direct opposite of what I believe)ÖHonest answer? Iíd be screwed.

 So much of who I am and how I go about living my life is tied into my belief that Ďsomethingí exists beyond what I physically see that, quite frankly, if I was definitively proven wrong on that single concept I would have very little reason to not jump off the nearest building. I can and do doubt every other part of my faith, however. My various beliefs, morals, values, and ideals evolve constantly.  But the notion that there is no god of any kind is where I draw the line for myself. I can not fathom being that alone. Itís just not in who I am. Maybe Iím defective in some way. Couldnít say. But I know thatís where my personal limit is.

Pretty much anything else I could probably adapt to, though I can think of plenty of things which might come close to breaking me (I sincerely hope that funddies arenít right, if they are I am soooo going to hell, given that I have repeatedly broken 7 of the big 10Öno I wonít say which ones, but Iím not a felon so make of that what you may  Wink)
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« Reply #56: November 06, 2008, 09:12:52 am »

but if we go by the Hebrew Bible what you have is a deity who thinks nothing of smiting infants and children, pregnant women and old people if they just so happen to not be Jewish. <snip, etc.>

Only if you insist on reading the Bible through a particular interpretive lens with no understanding of the genres and conventions of the couple thousand years over which the Hebrew Bible was written. It also sounds like you're reading a small section of it and generalizing to all of it.

You're basically doing the same thing as someone who reads Harry Potter and thinks its a literal description of modern witchcraft -- totally refusing to recognize the genre and purpose of the story, and relating it to certain preconceived notions that please you.
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« Reply #57: November 06, 2008, 10:01:03 am »

I wouldn't presume to know what was going on in Yahweh's head either, but if we go by the Hebrew Bible what you have is a deity who thinks nothing of smiting infants and children, pregnant women and old people if they just so happen to not be Jewish.  He also sends plagues and wars against his own Chosen people if their king happens to hold a census or if the king cares enough about his wife's spiritual welfare to build her a temple to her gods or his Chosen people decide that being nice and intermarrying with the local pagans is a good idea.  He also thinks killing an innocent child because his parents committed adultery is a just punishment. 

Number one, I agree with Koi's response, number two, I'd like to add:

You know, if we're going to play this game, I'm gonna have to point out that a lot of the old pagan gods were a bit smite happy too. That's just the making of a good story. What's different between the Hebrew Bible and the Roman and Greek Myths for example? I mean, come on. If I read the myths literally I'd have to worry about being raped by a swan. If that sounds ignorant and silly, it's probably because I'm generalizing one sentence of a myth out of context. You just can't pick up components of a religious text and extrapolate them out to characterize a people's faith and the nature of their deity.
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« Reply #58: November 06, 2008, 11:42:25 am »

Only if you insist on reading the Bible through a particular interpretive lens with no understanding of the genres and conventions of the couple thousand years over which the Hebrew Bible was written. It also sounds like you're reading a small section of it and generalizing to all of it.

You're basically doing the same thing as someone who reads Harry Potter and thinks its a literal description of modern witchcraft -- totally refusing to recognize the genre and purpose of the story, and relating it to certain preconceived notions that please you.

I would also add that the Bible is not the only text important to, and considered sacred by Judaism.  Thus, it doesn't make sense to decide the nature of the Jewish God based solely on the Hebrew Bible.

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« Reply #59: November 06, 2008, 12:00:26 pm »

As Jesus said in Mark 10:2-12, Yahweh cut them some slack, but he really means what he said.

I would venture to suggest that if we're talking about a Jewish perspective here, the New Testament isn't really relevant.
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