Jun 28, 2009

Some biblical context

How do you view the bible?

I've noticed I refer to judaism alot when I start talking about the bible and I don't know if people understand why. I'll try to explain.
Judaism's monotheistic view dominated the region where christianity began so we can skip over the uncountable other religions outside of that region and prior to. The jews and christians agree on most of the Old Testament (not really) the big difference is with the New one. Assuming Yeshua was an actual person, I figure around two thousand years ago, during a period when many jews were in desperate times and searching for their promised messiah, a guy named Jesus appeared on the scene claiming he was King of the Jews (as were other folks). Maybe he was better looking or better learned or maybe he had some powerful backers, whatever the case, he had followers and he travelled around causing a stir. He even got ballsy enough to start going into temple and throwing some old schoolers around. Eventually, he was arrested and sent before Pilate. It may have taken a hundred years or so, but his small following grew after his execution (with help from anti semetic romans) and found themselves at odds with judaism, I think you know where it goes from there. I know that this is waaaaay simplified, but I hope it's good enough to get the picture. I'm sure I'll be going into it more in the future.

Jun 27, 2009

"Why so serious?.."

Why is there so much suffering in the world when your all powerful lord can easily end it? Luckily we can ask the bible's version of the man who suffered most. Job.

I think it is important to note that the book of Job was written by at least two different authors. Everyone knows the story of god making a bet with a devil's advocate to get Job to curse god and how the satan made Job suffer all the ways he could think of to no avail. God wins the bet and gives Job all his shit back. However, the middle bit of the story was written by a different author as a kind of conversation between Job and three of his friends regarding Job's suffering (in poetic form). This story ends with Job calling god out, which doesn't go well, and subsequently leaves Job repenting for no apparent reason.

Focusing only on the question of why there is suffering, we get two reasons from Job. One is that god has a heavy gambling addiction- kicked out of every casino in heaven he is forced to make these bets with the satan, the other is...

Let's just stick with blaming it on women and their love of snakes, whaddya say christians?
I will probably be hitting a few more things about Job in the future (there is so much), but I wanted to get this out- MJ's death had me think about the charites he gave to which made me think of all the suffering and reminded me of one of my major questions of the god fallacy. In the meantime, I hope you read about the Ugarit so you can understand the fact that, the poem- the bit with Job and his buddies, never calls god YHWH (the christian god). It is called Eloahh (probably where Allah comes from), Elohiym (the council of gods of the Ugarit of which YHWH was one), or El Shaddai ( I consider to be mother nature). Of course, Wikipedia says there may be a Sumerian source that the entire story of Job was copied from, I haven't looked into that but I think it is likely (as is the case with most of the Old Testament).