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doggie

Three Answers to Good and Evil That Were Cut From The Bible

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doggie

You will have to click the link but it is pretty interesting and maybe makes more since on why humans suffer.

\http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-joel-hoffman/three-answers-to-good-and_b_5748286.html

Scripture once offered five answers to good and evil, but only two of them made it into the Bible as we now know it. The other three were cut as an accidental side-effect of bookmaking technology.

 

Fortunately, history has not completely erased these ancient jewels, which survive to complement the Bible’s answer to the most timeless of questions, Why is my life like this?

 

According to Deuteronomy, good things happen to good people and bad things happen to bad people. Follow God’s ways and you will prosper. Stray from God’s ways and you will perish.

 

This is the first answer to good and evil, and it’s simple, compelling, and attractive. The world is fundamentally fair. But even in antiquity, this theology’s biggest failing was evident: it doesn’t work. We all know good people who suffer and bad people who thrive.

 

The Book of Job addresses this obvious shortcoming. There, the uber-righteous Job suffers almost unspeakable losses. Toward the end of the book, Job asks God why he has suffered so terribly. God answers along the lines of: “Who do you think you are? You don’t even know how I made the oceans. What makes you think you could ever understand good and evil, suffering and joy?â€

 

According to the Book of Job, life is fundamentally enigmatic. “God works in mysterious ways,†we might now say. Though potentially accurate, that theology doesn’t usually offer much help to people who are suffering.

 

Three books that were almost lost explore good and evil more deeply. They are the Life of Adam and Eve, which tells the second half of the Adam and Eve story and details the first couple’s life after exile from the Garden of Eden; the Apocalypse of Abraham, which exposes Abraham’s childhood; and the Book of Enoch, which, among other things, explains the mysterious Watchers of Genesis.

Edited by OnceUponATime
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2xx1xy1JD

I'll add his book to my wish list. Just my type of geekiness.

One thing that both fundies and fundies-turned-athiest tend to forget is that the Bible didn't originate as a nicely bound KJV book.

There were a whole lot of ancient documents, each written from a particular POV. The Bible itself talks about "finding" a scroll in the Temple, for example, in II Kings 22. [Read the passage, because it's pretty crazy. "Hey king, guess what? We were just doing some repairs in the Temple, and we found a scroll from God in the mess! Does anyone remember misplacing it? God must be pretty pissed that we lost it like that, eh?] You also get all sort of references in Kings like "all this and the rest of the stuff that this king did are in the Annals of the Kings of Judea". The Bible is more of an anthology than a book.

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browncoatslytherin

wow, this is really interesting. it actually provides a lot more coherent, rational answers than what is currently in the bible.

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doggie
wow, this is really interesting. it actually provides a lot more coherent, rational answers than what is currently in the bible.

so is that why it is not in the bible? :D

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browncoatslytherin

so is that why it is not in the bible? :D

LOL :D probably

i was always told "have faith! have faith! have faith!" so a rational explanation probably negates the importance of having that faith, so therefore that's bad.

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Firiel

These aren't really groundbreaking, newly re-discovered Biblical views on the nature of evil.

All these views have been explored by religious philosophers for ages and ages, time and time again. It is interesting to see some of the earlier iterations of it, though.

EDIT: Also, I'm realizing I'm really contradictory today. I must be in a bad mood? :| I'm definitely an ass and should probably go eat some ice cream and stop posting on the Internet.

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ThatSnark

So if this piques your interest, have a look at some of Bart Ehrman's work as well. He was a Bible-thumping fundie in divinity school when the scales fell from his eyes and he realized he was reading some pretty great literature, but written by humans alone. He's a scholar here at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and most of his work is on the misunderstood historical Jesus, but he's also published some interesting commentary on the New Testament, early Christianity, and many other very compelling works. He writes not with derision, but in a respectful yet firm tone, backing his claims up with research.

He's definitely worth reading if you'd like to know more about the history of the Bible, Christianity, Jesus, etc. from a scholarly rather than religious perspective.

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browncoatslytherin
These aren't really groundbreaking, newly re-discovered Biblical views on the nature of evil.

All these views have been explored by religious philosophers for ages and ages, time and time again. It is interesting to see some of the earlier iterations of it, though.

EDIT: Also, I'm realizing I'm really contradictory today. I must be in a bad mood? :| I'm definitely an ass and should probably go eat some ice cream and stop posting on the Internet.

it's okay :) and i agree, these aren't like omg something new! but it's interesting to see it from the perspective of something that should have been in the bible, a christian pov if you will, since my whole childhood and adolescence i was just told to trust god and have faith and things will work out.

and i will check that out, snark, he sounds really interesting.

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2xx1xy1JD
These aren't really groundbreaking, newly re-discovered Biblical views on the nature of evil.

All these views have been explored by religious philosophers for ages and ages, time and time again. It is interesting to see some of the earlier iterations of it, though.

EDIT: Also, I'm realizing I'm really contradictory today. I must be in a bad mood? :| I'm definitely an ass and should probably go eat some ice cream and stop posting on the Internet.

I found early/often ignored remnants interesting, because they help fill in the picture.

For example, the text of Genesis itself says almost nothing about how Abraham came to embrace monotheism. God just starts talking to him out of the blue. Now, I remember hearing stories in Hebrew school of Abraham detroying some of his father's idols and showing that they had no power, but those came from the Talmud (oral tradition). I had no idea that there was another document with element of that story in it.

One of the problems with the fundie approach to the Bible is that you read a text, without any of the surrounding context. It's sort of like evesdropping on only one side of a conversation that took place thousands of years ago, in a different place. We can assume, though, that the people of that time would have been more familiar with the missing texts and their ideas, and that they may have been reacting to them.

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