Posted: Sep 06, 2017 5:15 am
by Zadocfish2
pelfdaddy wrote:Zadocfish,

It seems you and I are not fully understanding one another. To be more direct, I do not get the thrust of what you just wrote. I cannot remember having referred to Abel.

Are you aware that I was characterizing the first five books of the bible as chapters one through five of God's autobiography? Sorry for the overwrought comparison. I was only trying to say something simple, that; the idea of God is unconvincing on its own merits, and the notion of a standard Christian theology that is free from a literal, flaming, retributive hell is only the soup du jour of a small segment of current theologians. This is what theology has always been. Do you disagree with this main point in some fundamental way?

Oooh, see, I don't know why, but I thought you were talking about the first chapters of Genesis, so I was very confused. About the Pentateuch, to a lot of people, the Pentateuch seems reasonable because it was a different time and you simply couldn't LIVE without violence, and the Israelites were constantly under attack. I can kinda see your point, but I know plenty of people who would see the actions of the Israelites as completely justified... remember, the Israelites were sacrificing bulls and birds, while at least one of their neighbors had rituals involving child sacrifice. For this, there is actually some historical evidence; Phoenicians were spoken of by various non-Hebrew sources as sacrificing their children, and they arose from Canaanites, so it's a reasonable assumption that the allegations in the Bible about Canaanite child sacrifice weren't outright fabrications.

I can disagree with the main point, if just a little. Theology is a long history of trying to define metaphor and spiritual concepts in a rigid, consistent way. The "flaming pit" thing is blatantly a reference to a specific flaming garbage pit on the edge of the city Jesus was speaking in, and the idea of eternal torment is never really spoken of one way or another aside from when Jesus says "thrown into the fire" or "burn forever"... nothing regarding being conscious during the process. It's just referencing the fact that those who don't believe will eventually die.

... kinda see how one could leave with a different impression. So... I don't think I can disagree that theology is changing more or less continually. But, the opinion that the firepit is just a metaphor for annihilation has the most amount of Biblical evidence.