Yale's Introduction to the New and Old Testaments.
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19-12-2012, 08:27 PM
RE: Yale's Introduction to the New and Old Testaments.
(03-12-2012 09:42 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  I'm watching the "Old" part first. She makes some good points, and I'm only partway through it, but I do disagree about some things she says. She says from the beginning she will be an academic, and objective. Then immediately starts talking about "God", (capital "G), and I'm sure she is a theist, and it shines through in a lot of the things she says. She says the Genesis accounts places the woman last, as the pinnacle of creation, when in fact the woman is an after-thought, when the god *discovers* "it was not good for the man to be alone". She also says the Hebrews had a unique value of human life, when in fact their god is as destructive of life as anyone could be. She also introduces "evil" with no introduction, when in fact it was still "choas" from the Babylonians. She finds the idea of "monotheism" as a unique development, when in fact it arose non-uniquely, late, from the culture as a result of the destruction of the meaning system of "family" systems, after the Exilic period, and polytheism had to be actively suppressed (for political purposes). So, it's good in a way, as an example of a non-fundie academic approach, but I would argue with her about many of the things she says, and the way she says them. She is obviously "walking on eggshells", trying not to upset the "believers" in the class. She does say Sarna "overstates" things, which he does, in attempting to say the god(s) of Israel were the first examples of "charity and compassion". That was clearly evident in the Egyptian Book of the Dead, before them, and in Athraisis and Gilgamesh, (from Babylon).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biblical_Minimalism
I'm surprised she didn't say a word about the roots of "chaos" in the Sumerian roots of the garden myth, as Buber, explained. She has the "classic" view of "idolatry" which not everyone shares, and she constantly refers to the fact that the taking of human life is an absolute moral value in the Bible, which it obviously is not, and perfectly acceptable, in many instances.
She also doesn't mention the "ram in the thicket" theme in the Abraham sacrifice of his son. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ram_in_a_Thicket
She does mention, quite correctly the "hospitality", (the "outcry" of the "abused stranger") theme in the Lot story, but fails to mention that it follows directly upon the "hospitality" of Abraham to strangers, as it's antithesis.
It's interesting that you believed the instructor of the Old Testament series to be a theist. I listened through the entire lecture series (it took forever!) and never got that impression. I didn't get the impression that she was an atheist, either, but it's clear that she doesn't take the bible literally, so there's no reason to suspect that she's got a bias to push us towards believing it.

It all seemed like a fair presentation to me. Even if she was a theist, she didn't introduce false information. You may have seen her information as incomplete or not balanced enough, but it's possible that you actually wish she gave her students a presentation that would have pushed them towards atheism. I find it fair for her to "walk on eggshells" and respect her students' beliefs, including our atheist view. And she did respect our atheism.

My girlfriend is mad at me. Perhaps I shouldn't have tried cooking a stick in her non-stick pan.
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20-12-2012, 02:22 AM (This post was last modified: 20-12-2012 09:48 PM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: Yale's Introduction to the New and Old Testaments.
(19-12-2012 08:27 PM)Starcrash Wrote:  
(03-12-2012 09:42 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  I'm watching the "Old" part first. She makes some good points, and I'm only partway through it, but I do disagree about some things she says. She says from the beginning she will be an academic, and objective. Then immediately starts talking about "God", (capital "G), and I'm sure she is a theist, and it shines through in a lot of the things she says. She says the Genesis accounts places the woman last, as the pinnacle of creation, when in fact the woman is an after-thought, when the god *discovers* "it was not good for the man to be alone". She also says the Hebrews had a unique value of human life, when in fact their god is as destructive of life as anyone could be. She also introduces "evil" with no introduction, when in fact it was still "choas" from the Babylonians. She finds the idea of "monotheism" as a unique development, when in fact it arose non-uniquely, late, from the culture as a result of the destruction of the meaning system of "family" systems, after the Exilic period, and polytheism had to be actively suppressed (for political purposes). So, it's good in a way, as an example of a non-fundie academic approach, but I would argue with her about many of the things she says, and the way she says them. She is obviously "walking on eggshells", trying not to upset the "believers" in the class. She does say Sarna "overstates" things, which he does, in attempting to say the god(s) of Israel were the first examples of "charity and compassion". That was clearly evident in the Egyptian Book of the Dead, before them, and in Athraisis and Gilgamesh, (from Babylon).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biblical_Minimalism
I'm surprised she didn't say a word about the roots of "chaos" in the Sumerian roots of the garden myth, as Buber, explained. She has the "classic" view of "idolatry" which not everyone shares, and she constantly refers to the fact that the taking of human life is an absolute moral value in the Bible, which it obviously is not, and perfectly acceptable, in many instances.
She also doesn't mention the "ram in the thicket" theme in the Abraham sacrifice of his son. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ram_in_a_Thicket
She does mention, quite correctly the "hospitality", (the "outcry" of the "abused stranger") theme in the Lot story, but fails to mention that it follows directly upon the "hospitality" of Abraham to strangers, as it's antithesis.
It's interesting that you believed the instructor of the Old Testament series to be a theist. I listened through the entire lecture series (it took forever!) and never got that impression. I didn't get the impression that she was an atheist, either, but it's clear that she doesn't take the bible literally, so there's no reason to suspect that she's got a bias to push us towards believing it.

It all seemed like a fair presentation to me. Even if she was a theist, she didn't introduce false information. You may have seen her information as incomplete or not balanced enough, but it's possible that you actually wish she gave her students a presentation that would have pushed them towards atheism. I find it fair for her to "walk on eggshells" and respect her students' beliefs, including our atheist view. And she did respect our atheism.
I'd have to go back through and mark the spots. She's is a well known Jewish scholar. She does have an underlying bias, which she well controls. I remember the bias shining through in some of the early lectures. If I have time I'll relisten, and point them out.

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Yeah, for verily I say unto thee, and this we know : Jebus no likey that which doth tickle thee unto thy nether regions.

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20-12-2012, 06:46 PM
RE: Yale's Introduction to the New and Old Testaments.
(20-12-2012 02:22 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  I'd have to go back through and mark the spots. She's is a well know Jewish scholar. She does have an underlying bias, which she well controls. I remember the bias shining through in some of the early lectures. If I have time I'll relisten, and point them out.
Please do. I don't think your examples were good ones, but that doesn't mean there weren't examples of bias... and it's quite possible that I missed them.

My girlfriend is mad at me. Perhaps I shouldn't have tried cooking a stick in her non-stick pan.
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20-12-2012, 07:07 PM
RE: Yale's Introduction to the New and Old Testaments.
I have yet to finish her lectures. One thing that she says that makes me think she is not a believer is that she doesn't let her kids read the Bible. I think her oldest was 8 or 12? I don't remember.
I have only been surrounded by fundamentalists all my life so I have not had much exposure to people who see errors in the Bible but still believe in the theology. I am even less informed about liberal believers in the Jewish community.
I am enjoying both of these Yale lectures so far. Almost done with them.
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