Weirdest bible story
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19-01-2017, 11:11 AM
RE: Weirdest bible story
(19-01-2017 10:56 AM)yakherder Wrote:  
(19-01-2017 10:36 AM)Shai Hulud Wrote:  You should read S.M. Stirling's Emberverse series. After a change disables all technology in an instant, and changes the laws of nature so not even gunpowder will work any longer, people have to survive and then rebuild. Various groups latch on to different things, and one group ends up being called the Dunedain.

It started because there was a need for a roving group like the Rangers from LOTR, and this young woman was obsessed with the books. Cue a generation down the line, who refer to the LOTR books as "the histories" and believe in it.

Actually, as a whole, the series is really quite good on exploring facets of human belief and the nature behind them. Christian kingdoms ranging from one that borrows from LOTR mixed with Arthurian legend to New Deseret of the Mormons, Pagan alliances, people trying to rebuild America, a resurgence of Native American tribes, etc.

At one point, one Queen makes Catholicism the official religion of her realm because she needs to keep the population docile and can invoke the divine right of kings/queens on the newer generation, but at the same time picks and chooses her battles with the Church carefully, because it's survived more empires than hers by being politically astute. When representatives from the Pope arrive from Europe, she ends up, for example, deposing her pet anti-Pope and bowing to central authority, knowing that in practice, as long as she's giving that lip service, she can keep running things however she wants.

Sounds interesting. I'll look it up.

Hope you enjoy it! One of the best characters in the early books is the guy trying to figure out what still works by using the scientific method in experimentation and comes up with things like rebuilding trebuchets.

Need to think of a witty signature.
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19-01-2017, 11:28 AM
RE: Weirdest bible story
The part where one of only four people exist on the planet, one kills his brother, and then gets exiled by a voice in his head whereupon he finds... an entire community of other people.

Don't let those gnomes and their illusions get you down. They're just gnomes and illusions.

--Jake the Dog, Adventure Time

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19-01-2017, 12:02 PM
RE: Weirdest bible story
Two come to mind right away. The first one is the famous story of Abraham listening to voices in his head telling him to kill Isaac as a sacrifice, and actually going through the motions of following through on it. Genesis 22

The other is the talking donkey. I mean, really. C'mon. A talking donkey? What is this, friggin' Shrek??

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19-01-2017, 12:58 PM
RE: Weirdest bible story
And how come the Bible never mentioned Xena and Gabrielle for the assistance they gave to Mary and Joseph?
(Sorry for the poor quality, best I could find)




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19-01-2017, 01:25 PM
RE: Weirdest bible story
The lot. The opening chapter, the bit in the middle and the end.

“The first duty of a man is to think for himself” ― José Martí
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19-01-2017, 01:53 PM
RE: Weirdest bible story
"Weird" is mild and to me that would be claims of magically having men pop out of dirt. The violent stories I would not call "weird" but vile doing nothing but promote the tribalism of the times those myths were written in.

Killing off the Egyptian firstborn because you don't like the adult behavior of a King and using infanticide to control him, isn't "weird" it is immoral and vile. The flood myth is also a vile story and depicts an act of revenge. "Weird" would be the end of that story having a limited gene pool of one family left over having to explain how the world was re populated.

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19-01-2017, 04:03 PM
RE: Weirdest bible story
Jesus being born in a barn.

Don't let those gnomes and their illusions get you down. They're just gnomes and illusions.

--Jake the Dog, Adventure Time

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19-01-2017, 04:27 PM
RE: Weirdest bible story
(19-01-2017 04:03 PM)Old Man Marsh Wrote:  Jesus being born in a barn.

Hero worship is really a mental reflection of our species desire to master our environments to get at resources. Even though the Jesus Character isn't born of royalty the begats trace him back to royalty. Being a future hero to the world is not a motif invented by Christianity.

Buddha mythology also has him born of royalty and bringing wisdom to the world. Buddha's mythological birth also has him avoiding real female vaginal birth. He too is seen as a hero for rejecting materialism and valuing the plight of those with less.

The questioning of authority is also a motif of the Jesus Character, but so is Socrates in Plato's "Apology". Socrates was sentenced to death for questioning everyone from the teachers, to the senators to holy people, was accused of corrupting the youth of Athens."

The Jesus story has the same appeal as Buddha, and Socrates, the underdog story, the hero who challenges social norms. The lone person who comes across as standing up to authority and brings wisdom to the world. Only Buddha was not mythologized with a sacrifice death. But he was simply a more earthy version of hero worship.

Unfortunately those motifs of antiquity of wisdom, upstarts were not really designed to buck authority in favor of consent, but more to value the idea of conquest in replacing old social orders with new ones. It is not the modern version of consent of the governed and oversight and checks and balances we have today. It is basically a reflection of our species ignorance.

Even with polytheism and monotheism worldwide, humans mistook their good fortune as having a divine source, even Hindus and Buddhists. Because back then worldwide most people lived under royalty and were expected to follow that royalty.

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19-01-2017, 05:52 PM
RE: Weirdest bible story
Gotta be Ezekiel. That motherfucker was stoned. I mean like where can I get me some of that shit stoned.

For your copy pasta pleasure:

I looked, and I saw a windstorm coming out of the north—an immense cloud with flashing lightning and surrounded by brilliant light. The center of the fire looked like glowing metal, and in the fire was what looked like four living creatures. In appearance their form was human, but each of them had four faces and four wings. Their legs were straight; their feet were like those of a calf and gleamed like burnished bronze. Under their wings on their four sides they had human hands. All four of them had faces and wings, and the wings of one touched the wings of another. Each one went straight ahead; they did not turn as they moved.

Their faces looked like this: Each of the four had the face of a human being, and on the right side each had the face of a lion, and on the left the face of an ox; each also had the face of an eagle. Such were their faces. They each had two wings spreading out upward, each wing touching that of the creature on either side; and each had two other wings covering its body. Each one went straight ahead. Wherever the spirit would go, they would go, without turning as they went. The appearance of the living creatures was like burning coals of fire or like torches. Fire moved back and forth among the creatures; it was bright, and lightning flashed out of it. The creatures sped back and forth like flashes of lightning.

As I looked at the living creatures, I saw a wheel on the ground beside each creature with its four faces. This was the appearance and structure of the wheels: They sparkled like topaz, and all four looked alike. Each appeared to be made like a wheel intersecting a wheel. As they moved, they would go in any one of the four directions the creatures faced; the wheels did not change direction as the creatures went. Their rims were high and awesome, and all four rims were full of eyes all around.

When the living creatures moved, the wheels beside them moved; and when the living creatures rose from the ground, the wheels also rose. Wherever the spirit would go, they would go, and the wheels would rise along with them, because the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels. When the creatures moved, they also moved; when the creatures stood still, they also stood still; and when the creatures rose from the ground, the wheels rose along with them, because the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels.

Spread out above the heads of the living creatures was what looked something like a vault, sparkling like crystal, and awesome. Under the vault their wings were stretched out one toward the other, and each had two wings covering its body. When the creatures moved, I heard the sound of their wings, like the roar of rushing waters, like the voice of the Almighty, like the tumult of an army. When they stood still, they lowered their wings.

Then there came a voice from above the vault over their heads as they stood with lowered wings. Above the vault over their heads was what looked like a throne of lapis lazuli, and high above on the throne was a figure like that of a man. I saw that from what appeared to be his waist up he looked like glowing metal, as if full of fire, and that from there down he looked like fire; and brilliant light surrounded him. Like the appearance of a rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day, so was the radiance around him.

This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. When I saw it, I fell facedown, and I heard the voice of one speaking.

That's some gonzo tripping.

#sigh
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19-01-2017, 05:54 PM (This post was last modified: 19-01-2017 05:58 PM by RocketSurgeon76.)
RE: Weirdest bible story
My personal favorite is the story of Jacob with Laban's Flocks, found in Genesis 30:25-43. It's essentially the story of how, by using his clever wits, a Hebrew shepherd became rich and powerful enough to be a Major Patriarch of the Israelites.

25 After Rachel gave birth to Joseph, Jacob said to Laban, “Send me on my way so I can go back to my own homeland. 26 Give me my wives and children, for whom I have served you, and I will be on my way. You know how much work I’ve done for you.” 27 But Laban said to him, “If I have found favor in your eyes, please stay. I have learned by divination that the LORD has blessed me because of you.” 28 He added, “Name your wages, and I will pay them.” 29 Jacob said to him, “You know how I have worked for you and how your livestock has fared under my care. 30 The little you had before I came has increased greatly, and the LORD has blessed you wherever I have been. But now, when may I do something for my own household?” 31 “What shall I give you?” he asked. “Don’t give me anything,” Jacob replied. “But if you will do this one thing for me, I will go on tending your flocks and watching over them: 32 Let me go through all your flocks today and remove from them every speckled or spotted sheep, every dark-colored lamb and every spotted or speckled goat. They will be my wages. 33 And my honesty will testify for me in the future, whenever you check on the wages you have paid me. Any goat in my possession that is not speckled or spotted, or any lamb that is not dark-colored, will be considered stolen.” 34 “Agreed,” said Laban. “Let it be as you have said.” 35 That same day he removed all the male goats that were streaked or spotted, and all the speckled or spotted female goats (all that had white on them) and all the dark-colored lambs, and he placed them in the care of his sons. 36 Then he put a three-day journey between himself and Jacob, while Jacob continued to tend the rest of Laban’s flocks. 37 Jacob, however, took fresh-cut branches from poplar, almond and plane trees and made white stripes on them by peeling the bark and exposing the white inner wood of the branches. 38 Then he placed the peeled branches in all the watering troughs, so that they would be directly in front of the flocks when they came to drink. When the flocks were in heat and came to drink, 39 they mated in front of the branches. And they bore young that were streaked or speckled or spotted. 40 Jacob set apart the young of the flock by themselves, but made the rest face the streaked and dark-colored animals that belonged to Laban. Thus he made separate flocks for himself and did not put them with Laban’s animals. 41 Whenever the stronger females were in heat, Jacob would place the branches in the troughs in front of the animals so they would mate near the branches, 42 but if the animals were weak, he would not place them there. So the weak animals went to Laban and the strong ones to Jacob. 43 In this way the man grew exceedingly prosperous and came to own large flocks, and female and male servants, and camels and donkeys.

(NIV Translation. Bold emphasis my own.)

To most people, the story means little. But to someone trained in genetics, it sticks out like a sore thumb. That species adapt to their environments is obvious to anyone, and even Creationists don't argue with adaptation. But up until the early 20th century, people thought that evolution occurred because creatures adapted to the environment around them, and then passed on their adaptations to their offspring. But it's not true. Genetic (discrete) inheritance, followed by Natural Selection to weed out the maladapted versions, is how it actually works. (Technically, Mendel discovered this phenomenon in the mid-19th century, but his publication about discrete genetic inheritance was mostly overlooked until the 20th.) In the early 19th century, a famous zoologist named Jean-Baptiste Pierre Antoine de Monet, Chevalier de Lamarck wrote the definitive work on the principle of what became thereafter known as "Lamarckism", called Philosophie Zoologique, and is considered one of the first to use the term "biology" as well as the first to pen a cohesive theory of evolution (greatly incomplete without Darwin/Wallace's discoveries of Natural Selection, of course).

Once we discovered genetics and Natural Selection, the idea of Lamarckism pretty much went out the window (there are arguments that epigenetics qualifies as partial justification of the Lamarckian paradigm, but that's not on point for this discussion), and it is today taught as a "well this is what we originally thought, and this is how we learned better" in Biology 101 classes.

Except in the Bible. Jacob makes a deal with his rich boss, Laban, that he can keep any speckled or spotted sheep as payment for staying in Laban's service, while Laban kept the "better", spotless ones. Then Jacob "cleverly" places the strongest sheep so they are facing toward (looking at) poplar branches from which he had cut strips of bark, making them light/dark patterns, and placed in front of their water troughs. When the stronger sheep mated at the troughs, looking at the "environment" Jacob had created, they (according to the Bible) produced speckled and spotted offspring. When the weaker sheep, which Jacob kept in a separate flock, came to drink, Jacob took the branches away so the weak sheep would make all-white offspring.

Thus, "clever" Jacob got a strong flock and Laban was left with the dregs. This is the basis for one of the most wealthy/powerful Patriarchs in the Bible stories.

Except that's not at all how it works. It's awfully strange that the authors of Genesis didn't seem to know that their ideas about Lamarckian environmental adaptation was dead wrong... seeing as they were Speaking for God™ and telling True History™, and all.

"Theology made no provision for evolution. The biblical authors had missed the most important revelation of all! Could it be that they were not really privy to the thoughts of God?" - E. O. Wilson
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