Politics and Religion

Re: Are we really talking about the Bible on a fk board? Don't get me wrong,
cock-up 707 reads

I just puked Hard!

Posted By: macdaddy1944
OH CHRIST..now im really confused..my dog just puked..

As some of you know I enjoy studying the history of providers, courtesans, concubines, mistresses and all those who classify as "other women" (that is, lovers who are not wives). As part of this thought I'd take a look at who might classify as recorded history's first other woman. My studies took me to Genesis and the tale of Hagar.  Her story seems simple but it's fascinating, showing early hints of rivalries that smoulder even today.  

Hagar's tale is estimated to date back almost four thousand years. She is the concubine of Abraham, one of religious history's most important characters. Christians, Jews and Muslims all look back onto the ancient story of Abraham as the root of their beginnings. The Old Testament itself tells us almost nothing about Hagar, only that she is Egyptian and a handmaiden to Sarah, wife of Abraham. However a clue lies in her name, as Hagar translates to "This Is Reward".

Early in the story of Abram, we learn that the One God was revealed to him. In an attempt to help his people see the truth he breaks their idols, succeeding only in inspiring their wrath. Abram was forced to leave his people with his wife Sarai, and began the first monotheistic faith. Jews believe they have inherited the legacy of Abram, but so do Islamists and Christians. Ultimately, all three claim to protect the legitimate faith first revealed onto Abram, leaning on the stories of Sarah and Hagar to defend their claim and support the belief that others have strayed. This fracturing would occur even within the faiths themselves as different schools of thought sought to preserve the truth that their brothers and sisters were believed to have lost.

Having had abandoned his pagan people, Abram needed to build a new life. We learn the origins of his wealth in Genisis. Upon entering Egypt, he fears that his wife Sarai will attract attention with her beauty and humility and he will be slaughtered so another might have her. He asks his wife to claim him as a brother, hoping that in these circumstances he might curry favour instead of jealousy. In part the prophet is telling the truth with this deception, as Sarai is his half sister. They share a father, but not a mother. Abram is correct that Sarai's beauty would attract attention. The Pharaoh hears rumours about Sarai, and takes her into his harem. The Pharaoh then rewards her "brother" Abram, with sheep, oxen, asses, camels, and of course male and female slaves.

It is presumably during this time that Abram acquires Hagar. But who is she? In the bible we learn that God inflicts the Pharaoh and his household with many plagues, because Sarai was taken from her husband, whom God favours. Upon learning that the prophet Abram is in fact married to Sarai, the Pharoh casts them out of Egypt. However, he allows them to keep the wealth bestowed upon them. The Pharoh is impressed that God favours Sarai enough to protect her. The Midrash tells us that the Pharoh gave his daughter, Hagar, to Sarai as a handmaiden stating:

"It is better for Hagar to be a slave in Sarai's house than mistress in her own."

The Jewish Midrash is a rhetoric explanation and interpretation of biblical scripts. There are many events or individuals in the biblical texts that receive only a passing mention, the Medrash gives us what is unsaid in the bible. The bible itself refers to the tradition of Midrash. This ancient evolution means that sometimes a small piece of biblical text can become long philosophical discussions. The Islamic equivalent is the Hadith composed by Muhammad's contemporaries, and the Christians have the commentaries by the early fathers and highly respected theologians.

According to the Islamic tales of the Qisas Al-Anbiya, Hagar is not the daughter of the Pharaoh but of King Maghreb, the descendant of a prophet. The Pharaoh had killed Hagar’s father and she was taken as a slave. Her royal blood would not allow Hagar to be an ordinary servant. To honour her lineage she is made the mistress of the Pharaoh’s female slaves.

Hagar’s new life with the wealthy Abram would continue to throw her life into tumult. Despite all the riches, land and power that Abram managed to attain, he did not have an heir. His wife Sarai proved to be barren. Time and time again Abram is told by God his descendants will outnumber the stars in the heavens, or grains of sand in the dust of the earth. Yet, by the time he reaches his 80s Abram still does not have a single heir. Sarai, shamed by her infertility, offers her maid Hagar to Abram as concubine, hoping Hagar would conceive on her behalf.

Hagar's Tale in Genesis:

Hagar's Tale in Islam:

In accordance with the laws of the time, female slaves were the property of the wife and therefore any children they bore were also the property of their mistress. The bible states that Abram took Hagar "as his wife", leaving much to be questioned. Is this merely an analogy for sex, or did she take a vow? The theologian John Calvin states that the relationship between Hagar and Abram is "something between fornication and marriage". Some Islamists claim that Hagar was taken as his legitimate wife, and even some Judaic teachings suggest that Hagar always keeps her marriage vow to Abram. Many Christian schools of thought suggest that Hagar remains a slave, or at most becomes his concubine.

The importance of this is the status of Hagar's child. If Hagar is simply a slave to Sarai, then by law Hagar's baby is considered the child of her owner Sarai. If Hagar is the legitimate wife of Abram, then the all-important pact God made with the patriarch applies to Hagar's son and all his descendants. This would make Muslims a legitimate part of the covenant, and make Muhammad a legitimate prophet. Interestingly, though Hagar becomes a pivotal figure for the Islamic faith, she is never directly mentioned in the Qua'ran. This is the beginning of ancient rivalries. For all intensive purposes, the biblical literature always refers to Sarai as Hagar's mistress, meaning the status of her offspring with Abram would adhere with Babylonian law, thus the fruit of Hagar's womb would be Sarai's children.

Following his wife’s wishes, Abram impregnates Hagar, changing the relationship between the two women. Hagar's opinion of Sarai drops, and she becomes insolent towards her mistress, knowing that in her belly is the heir to Abram's wealth. Further, if she truly is a Pharaoh's daughter, the boy will also have royal blood giving Hagar much reason to be smug. Sarai blames her husband for Hagar's behaviour, perhaps for becoming more affectionate towards his concubine. If Hagar was ever elevated above her status as slave to concubine or second wife, she had the same rights as a first wife. Hagar could have gone from Sarai's slave to her equal. To ease Sarai’s frustration, Abram gives Sarai dominion over Hagar again, reminding his wife that she is the mistress and can punish her insulant maid. Sarai lashes out at Hagar so brutally, implying a beating, that the pregnant Egyptian flees into the wilderness.

There Hagar meets an angel of God, who promises that her descendants will be numerous, but she must return to Sarai and Abram. This makes her the first woman God speaks to since Eve. She is told her son Ishmael will be, "A wild ass of a man; His hand against everyone, And everyone's hand against him." This statement is unfortunately used by some to paint the Muslim peoples as barbaric by the divine ordinance of God. Calvin suggested that because Ishmael is not part of the divine covenant imparted upon Sarai's seed, his descendants will successfully preserve their rank by force of arms alone, a mixed blessing as his people will not be granted peace.

(to be continued...)

-- Modified on 5/5/2012 5:12:31 PM

In Mohammedan tradition it is said that Ishmael's visage had the light of Muhammed. There is apparently no evidence that Muhammad believed himself to be a descendant of Hagar, however it is now commonly accepted by all three religions. The lore also states that Sarai, fueled with anger and jealousy, swears to bathe her hands in Hagar's blood. In an attempt to save the slave's life, Abram pierces Hagar and runs the blood over Sarai's hand to fulfill the vow.

Thirteen years after Hagar’s conception, angels visit the house of Abram, this time to tell him that Sarai will bear a child. Abram is now almost a hundred, his wife in her ninties. Sarai is at this moment renamed Sarah by the angels, as is Abram changed to Abraham. Hagar's name remains unchanged. Sarah does indeed have a son and legitimate heir, but there is a complication: Hagar's son Ishmael is the elder, and possibly of royal blood. Hagar is also a converted Jewess, putting Sarai's position and that of her son at risk. It is also at this time that God makes his everlasting covenant with Abraham requiring him to circumcise himself and his household, and Abraham circumcises Ishmael. While Judaism and Christianity believe Sarah's son, Isaac, is the only true prophet, the Islamic tradition acknowledges both as prophets and righteous men favoured above all mankind.

   "God was with the boy and he grew up; he dwelt in the wilderness and became a bowman. He lived in the wilderness of Paran; and his mother got a wife for him from the land of Egypt."

Once Hagar and Ishmael had settled by the miracle source of water, within the timespan of 80 - 200 years, the Ishmaelites become a tribe of traders. It is a caravan of Ishmaelites that purchase the biblical Joseph from his devious brothers and sell him to the Egyptians. Islamic tradition claims that Hagar and her son were both buried in Mecca. Part of the required pilgrimage to this holy place includes visiting the tombs of Hagar and her Son, where she is honoured of the Mother of Monotheism.

Once Isaac was weaned, Ishmael apparently teased or mocked the child. The elderly mother was infuriated and demanded Hagar and her boy be cast out, likely not wanting her son's inheritance split with Ishmael, the son of a slave. Abraham was distressed by this, but an angel assured him that both would be fine and instructed him to obey the demands of his wife. Given only meagre provisions, Hagar and her boy are sent into the wilderness. An interesting ancient reflection in modern times is the expulsion of the Palestinians from their homeland by Isreal. The place where Abraham is believed to have left the mother and child is now the location of the Kaab of Mecca. Some Islamic traditions suggest that Hagar was not thrown out but resettled, so that God might test the obedience of both Hagar and Abraham.

Mecca is also the birthplace of Muhammad in 570 CE, elegantly closing the circle of time. It is here that Muhammad experiences his own revelations and founds Islam. It was not his intention to start a new faith, initially he was a preacher to Arabs, and those who followed him submitted to the One God, Islam meaning "Submission", and "Muslim" meaning "believer". As his following grew, Muhammad viewed both Judaism and Christianity as partners, calling them "People of the Book":

   "Do not dispute with the people of the Book save in the fairest way; except for those of them who are evildoers. And say: "We believe in what has been sent down to us and what has been sent down to you. Our God and your God are one and to Him we are submissive." Surah 29:46

In turn Muhammad was rejected and mocked by both Christians and Jews, his political influence becoming a point of great resentment. To Muhammad's dismay, his enemies joined forces and sought to destroy him. A reflection of Hagar's story, and more foreshadowing to the long standing rivalry that lasts to our modern day. It was this attempt to destroy him and all that he had build that lead Muhammad to believe the Jews had strayed from the Torah, and the Christians had strayed from the Gospels, so he called the believers to gather under the name of Islam. Perhaps fulfilling the prophecy given to the pregnant Hagar: His hand against everyone, And everyone's hand against him.

When Hagar wandered the desert in exile with her adolescent boy, presumably attempting to make her way back to Egypt, she ran out of water and Ishmael began to die of thirst. Anguished, she placed the boy under a bush and walked away, not wanting to witness him die. According to Mohammedan tradition, Hagar ran back and forth seven times between the hills of Safa and Marwah, praying for the life of her son and desperate for water. The pilgrimage to Mecca is in commemoration of Hagar's suffering for her son, where they walk around the Kaab seven times. Some say it honours the power of motherhood and the leadership of women. Muslim tradition states an angel was aware of Hagar's suffering and stamped his foot allowing a spring to gush forth. This is now the holy fountain of Zamzam, near the Kaaba. The Judeo-Christian story tells that God heard Hagar weeping, an angel of God comforted her and made a well of water appear. Hagar filled her waterskin at the miraculous source of water and let her adolescent son drink. Some traditions say they remained here and Abraham visited them monthly.

And so Hagar's story draws to an end… in theory.

   "God was with the boy and he grew up; he dwelt in the wilderness and became a bowman. He lived in the wilderness of Paran; and his mother got a wife for him from the land of Egypt."

Once Hagar and Ishmael had settled by the miracle source of water, within the timespan of 80 - 200 years, the Ishmaelites become a tribe of traders. It is a caravan of Ishmaelites that purchase the biblical Joseph from his devious brothers and sell him to the Egyptians. Islamic tradition claims that Hagar and her son were both buried in Mecca. Part of the required pilgrimage to this holy place includes visiting the tombs of Hagar and her Son, where she is honoured of the Mother of Monotheism.

Mysteriously, Hagar is assumed to return in the bible under a new name: Keturah. This name translates to "fragrant" which according the Judaic tradition refers to her actions being as pleasant as frankincense. After Abraham's first wife Sarah dies, he remains unmarried for a time. Isaac (Sarah’s son) marries before his father does. Upon Isaac's return from the land of Be’er-la-hai-ro’i”, he brings Hagar back to his father (Gen. 24:62). After this passage we learn that Abraham takes a second wife named Katurah, who bares him six children, all of whom become the leaders of nations, fulfilling God's promise that all Abraham's seed will be blessed. It is assumed that Hagar is renamed Keturah to honour her good actions as she respects her ties to Abraham even while in exile, never bedding another man. A brief mention of Keturah in Chronicals i. 32 refers to her as the concubine of Abraham, encouraging the Midrash and the Palestinian Targumim to support the idea that both names belong to one woman. However, even though Keturah is legitimately Abraham's wife, he still leaves his inheritance, and possibly the covenant with God to his son Isaac:

   And Abraham gave everything he had to Isaac. And to the sons of Abraham’s concubines Abraham gave gifts while he was still alive and sent them away from Isaac his son eastward, to the land of the East. (Genesis 25:1-6)

To Be Continued...

-- Modified on 5/5/2012 6:01:46 PM

Abram takes his wife (and half sister, but we'll let that ride) down to Egypt, tells Pharoah that she is a sister, he pops her and rewards Abram with a bunch of loot.

I think there is a word for someone who does that, but I can't quite put my finger on it.

I've got to ask my Sunday school teacher about that tomorrow.

I'm not trying to be rude, but, you could have provided a link instead of writing out the details. It would have been better if you would have summarized it IMO. Again, I'm not trying to be rude, but, when I saw all of those paragraphs, I just skip it.

Hard to do... There's a lot more to be posted still LOL

In summary, the three world religions (Islam, Judaism and Christianity) all trace themselves back to Hagar.  Because Hagar was a concubine, the status of her child with Abraham is in question - no one knows if she was still a slave or elevated beyond wife. However it is possible Hagar was of Royal blood, either to a Pharaoh or a King.  

The three religions all argue who is a descendant of Hagar, and who is a descendant of Abraham's legitimate wife (Sarah). I write out all the different lores in each of the faiths, as their are commonalities but interesting differences.

Muslim's believe Hagar was a legitamate wife of Abraham, which means when God passes on the Covanent to Abraham's people that includes Hagar, thus making Muhammad a legitimate prophet.  The place where Abraham abandons Hagar and her son is where the Kaaba currently stands, and against the north west wall of the Kaaba is Ishmael and Hagar's Tomb.  The fountain an angel provides to save their lives as they died of thirst is now the sacred well of ZamZam. The pilgrimage around to Mecca that makes them walk around it 7 times actually reflects Hagar's actions as she panics believing her boy will die.

All three world religions accepted that Muhammad is in fact a descendant of Hagar, but there is no evidence he thought so himself.  Muhammad had not intended to start a new religion, he was merely a preacher. However when Jews and Christians became jealous of his political influence, he called true believers to gather under the flag of "Islam".

Christians in early times claimed that Hagar was related to the Jews, and the legitimate heir of Abraham is linked to Christ, thus the Jews are children of Bondage, and Christians come from God's Promise (you have to read it to understand what that means)

So a great deal of the battles between the three faiths come down to ancient sibling rivalry.

Because Hagar was cast out and left to survive on her own,  her life not her own but manipulated by everyone around her, over the course of four thousand years she has almost become the Patron Saint of the Abandoned. We see this in art, literature and theatre.  In particular women during the suffragist movement really related to Hagar's tale.

That's the basic stuff. There's a lot of stuff in there I can't make a short summary of all of it LOL

MSHSEX346 reads

I suggest you either take the time to read the post as it's written or just ignore it completely. Your asking for a summary is rude and you know it.

Posted By: McDonald000
I'm not trying to be rude, but, you could have provided a link instead of writing out the details. It would have been better if you would have summarized it IMO. Again, I'm not trying to be rude, but, when I saw all of those paragraphs, I just skip it.

Abraham's wife could not give him a son so he impregnated his slave, Hagar, who gave birth to a son, Ishmael (Islam's Mohammed).  The to be continued will probably include that Abraham's wife did conceive a male heir later and that Hagar and her son were sent away and that Ishmael becomes Mohammed, the prophet of Allah.

The point of the post was that Hagar may be the first known "other woman" to man.  But a good lesson is that all of these religions...Judaism, Christianity, and Islam...share the same people and the same God.  Many Christians don't have any clue about this.

I'm a short worded, to-the-point person, myself, which makes the papers I have to write very challenging.  Getting that PhD (a hundred years from now) is going to be a major PITA.  LOL

You're welcome!  :)

Obviously the Jews do not consider Jesus divine as Christians do. Islam considers Jesus a prophet, but not on the same level as Mohammed.  The Koran (which includes a few books of the Old Testament) was supposedly a book written by Mohammed that was directly spoken to him by God, neither Christians nor Jews believe this. The Tanakh contains the first 5 books of the Old Testament in the Torah. The remaining books of the Old Testament are in the other Tanakh books, plus others that the Christians consider apocryphal; most notably the book of the Maccabees - where the story of Hanukkah comes from. The New Testament - containing stories and letters mostly written by the Apostle Paul among others - is not accepted by Jews or Islam.

Timbow551 reads

Posted By: McDonald000
I'm not trying to be rude, but, you could have provided a link instead of writing out the details. It would have been better if you would have summarized it IMO. Again, I'm not trying to be rude, but, when I saw all of those paragraphs, I just skip it.
-- Modified on 5/5/2012 4:03:52 PM

MSHSEX792 reads

A most excellent read. Thank you! When is part 2 coming?

Posted By: laurensummerhill

(to be continued...)

-- Modified on 5/5/2012 5:12:31 PM

Other sources suggest that Keturah is in fact a different woman from Hagar, a descendant of Noah of the great flood. The Bahá’í Faith is considered by some to have descendant from Keturah’s line. Whether or not Hagar and Keturah are the same person comes down to a debate regarding the ancient Hebrew in which the texts were written. This ancient language has many subtleties that are not easily translated into English. The plural word "concubines" in Gen. 25:6 leaves room for interpretation. On one hand it could mean Abraham had two concubines. On the other hand, it is spelled deficiently in the original text, without the letter yod, which would suggest it is still singular, and thus there was only Hagar.

Muslim’s are not alone in inheriting the conflict born of Hagar’s legacy. The rivalry between Christians and Jews also draws on Hagar's story. In Paul's letter to the Galatians, he claims that Christians are represented by Isaac and Hagar's descendants are representative of the Jews. He compares Ishmael's mockery of Isaac to the Jews persecuting early Christians. Interestingly he suggests Hagar's conception is physical, whereas Sarah’s is a miracle, sometimes interpreted as an immaculate conception like the Mother Mary:

   "However, the son by the handmaid was born according to the flesh, but the son by the free woman was born through promise. These things contain an allegory, for these are two covenants. One is from Mount Sinai, bearing children to bondage, which is Hagar. For this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia, and answers to the Jerusalem that exists now, for she is in bondage with her children. But the Jerusalem that is above is free, which is the mother of us all.

   Now we, brothers, as Isaac was, are children of promise. But as then, he who was born according to the flesh persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, so also it is now. However what does the Scripture say? “Throw out the handmaid and her son, for the son of the handmaid will not inherit with the son of the free woman.”* So then, brothers, we are not children of a handmaid, but of the free woman.

   Stand firm therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and don’t be entangled again with a yoke of bondage. Behold, I, Paul, tell you that if you receive circumcision, Christ will profit you nothing. Yes, I testify again to every man who receives circumcision, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. You are alienated from Christ, you who desire to be justified by the law. You have fallen away from grace."

Here we see the early hints of what would later become the long persecution of the Jewish people, as the very act of circumcision, which in their culture honours their covenant with God, is portrayed by Christians as proof that they have fallen from Grace. Though not everyone is as blatant as Paul, eventually the words "Hagar" and "Sarah" become associated with Synagogue and Church.

Interestingly Jewish tradition doesn't really try to derive much from the story of Hagar. Views of her vary from one rabbi to the next, seeing both good and bad qualities in her story. It is often noted that unlike other biblical characters, Hagar does not fear the angel of God when he appears before her. Also it is believed that she kept her honour by never having sex with any other man, despite her exile. The counter arguments are that Hagar was vicious toward Sarah, and that she is considered to have reverted back to idolatry while left in the wilderness. Worse yet, she married her son off to an Egyptian woman, not a man from God's Chosen People. This is considered evidence that she had greater faith in the paganism of her previous people, rather than in the truth of the One God.

As time has steadily prodded on, Hagar’s tale continues to echo through culture. She was long seen as mother to all who are abandoned, almost a patron saint of sorts. We see Shakespear mention her in the Merchant of Venice, when Shylock says “What says that fool of Hagar’s offspring, ha?”. Then again we see a similar reference in Samuel Taylor Coleridge's play Zapolya, when a woman is told she is "no Hagar's offspring; thou art the rightful heir to an appointed king." Many authors refer to Hagar when discussing destitution and desperation. Poets and artists too have paid homage to her ancient tale. Women fighting for their rights found themselves drawn to Hagar’s story, relating to her struggle and suffering at the hands of a world which made decisions for her. In Margaret Atwood’s famous tale The Handmaid’s Tale, the protagonist is cast in the role of Hagar. In this dystopian novel, Handmaiden’s are fertile women, otherwise seen as unfit for marriage as a result of breaking gender or social roles, used to produce children for their masters.

This early tale of marital strife seems to have struck a cord with humanity, Hagar’s light feels as though it has traveled as far as a starlight, reaching a great distance into our modern modern world, leaving a fingerprint so subtle it’s almost invisible, yet never forgotten.

-- Modified on 5/5/2012 7:32:01 PM

I am a true believer but nothing in all of those pages hits home as much as this...

"Stand firm therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and don’t be entangled again with a yoke of bondage. Behold, I, Paul, tell you that if you receive circumcision, Christ will profit you nothing. Yes, I testify again to every man who receives circumcision, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. You are alienated from Christ, you who desire to be justified by the law. You have fallen away from grace."

In short, the dog returns to his own vomit. We would all be wise to chew on that a bit.

I have a much easier time believing in evolution and space aliens coming down and populating the planet than I do in the stories in the bible.

Xenu, L Ron Hubbard and the ambiguously gay duo - Tom Cruise and Will Smith.

Just another way to get a "church" so you don't have to pay taxes lol. We need our own church for hookers.

I do try and be open minded about other people's beliefs but Scientology really just strikes me as a scam to separate Scientology from their money. What kind of church charges a fee for enlightenment?

It doesn't help that L. Ron Hubbard was also a sci-fi writer...

Lots of people who don't believe in God study the bible carefully.  For example, even though one does not believe in God, the tales therein do explain a lot of the cultural conflict between religions that involved tens of millions of people.

Also archeologists have been able to use it to find places not mentioned in any other ancient texts, not all of it is fable. There are things in there that are historical fact, and thus book remains the only source for some of that information.

and I have no doubt that he/she often does.

Of course who's to say the devil is the baddie in all of this?

I oft times find myself nodding my head in agreement with him/her, and I'm not alone in this:

Interestingly it seems there is a lot of Sympathy for the Devil, I suspect this is true because the Devil is flawed and in many ways very human.  In fact there is no lack of literature portraying the battle between Satan and God not as Evil vs Good, but as humanity vs an impossible standard of perfection.    In the Master and the Margarita there's a brilliant section that illustrates this.

A city is burning down and Satan and the disciple stand on a rooftop:

[Matthew speaking to Satan] "I've come to see you, Spirit of Evil and Sovereign of Shadows," ...

[Satan] "If you've come to see me, then why haven't you greeted me and wished me well"...

[Matthew] "Because I don't want you to do well" ....

[Satan]  "Nevertheless, you'll have to reconcile yourself to the fact that I am," retorted Woland with a twisted smile. "No sooner do you appear on the roof than you blab nonsense, and I'll tell you what it is - it's in your intonation. You pronounced your words as if you refuse to acknowledge the existence of either shadows or evil. But would you kindly ponder this question: What would your good do if evil didn't exist, and what would the earth look like if all the shadows disappeared? After all, shadows are cast by things and people. Here is the shadow of my sword. But shadows also come from trees and from living beings. Do you want to strip the earth of all the trees and living things just because of your fancy of enjoying naked light? You're stupid."

cock-up708 reads

I just puked Hard!

Posted By: macdaddy1944
OH CHRIST..now im really confused..my dog just puked..

MSHSEX446 reads

Well, if we're talking about heart attacks and working girls one day, I'd say discussing Biblical references is the next logical step LOL.

Posted By: London Rayne
I am a true believer but nothing in all of those pages hits home as much as this...

"Stand firm therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and don’t be entangled again with a yoke of bondage. Behold, I, Paul, tell you that if you receive circumcision, Christ will profit you nothing. Yes, I testify again to every man who receives circumcision, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. You are alienated from Christ, you who desire to be justified by the law. You have fallen away from grace."

In short, the dog returns to his own vomit. We would all be wise to chew on that a bit.

I understand that as someone who is a traditional believer in Christianity why this might seem like a paradox. However, the Bible does cross many relevant themes to this board, including Christ embarrassing a prostitute as a valuable human being.

More importantly is the Bible's historical relevance is immense as it records a lot of events that give us a valuable understanding of human history.

To be honest I find Paul's words a complete contradiction.  If the Bible is the Infallible Word of God, and God demanded circumcision (and Jesus was circumcised), then the Covenant at both the Mountain and the one given to Abraham are valid.

Paul's words are not the Word of God, only Jesus' are and those words God himself shared, and Jesus respected both covenants. Who is Paul to say that something God said in the past is invalid when Jesus stood by it?  Paul's just pissed at the Jews (despite the fact that Jesus was a practicing Jew) and doing what he can to make them look bad. It was political slander.

Just a matter of opinion of course, which I'm sure many will disagree with. Hard to prove what none of us witnessed.

we were no longer under the law, so anything done before that time was now no longer a rule. Grace sets us free now, not the law. That's all he meant by that.

If you study the actual context of the history into which these word were written one could form several arguments, none of which can be proven. At which point one chooses what to believe and therefore have a Faith.

Ultimately those words end up being used to gruesomely persecute the Jews through many years of history afterward. That's not really Paul's fault, just as people have abused the words of Jesus and Muhammad to cause pain and suffering.

Many a wag has said (in perfect sense)  I love Marx but hate Marxists.

I guess I could say that I love Jesus (Or those things ascribed to him considering that none of his actual words were ever set down by him.) but don't care much for the churches that have grown up in his name.

I think you mean "embracing" a prostitute - which I have done on many occassions. :)

But seriously, it's different denominations that consider the Bible the infallible word of God. As I mentioned in a post below, the New Testament was written mostly by Paul and a few others. The Old Testament was written by Moses and some others that are in dispute. Paul mentions in both Glatians and Romans that the Judaic law was written as a way to get people to do the right thing, but that folks were missing the point. Romans 13:9 The commandments, “Do not commit adultery,” “Do not murder,” “Do not steal,” “Do not covet, and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this one rule: “Love your neighbor as yourself."

Really that's all Jesus was about. Trying to bring back the original truth within Judaism that he felt the people had wandered from by becoming so obsessed with the details they were missing the overall point.  Of course two thousand years later we do the same to the teachings of Jesus.

"Human, all too human."

I did indeed read your post about the different books, and am most impressed by the accuracy of your knowledge. I collect Holy Scriptures from many faiths and do my best to read through them.  One finds that there are really central Truths found in them all, regardless of one's belief in an omnipotent being.

I do find that Asian faith does touch on some unique and powerful philosophies. I hope to study African faith in detail some day.

Paul was saying to forget about the Judaic law, e.g. circumcision, and follow the teachings of Jesus.

That's the last line...not the first. THe first is in fact when god sets you free from say "drugs" then you go back and do it again AFTER you no longer have an addiction...he has set you free. Dog returns to his own vomit, or life of sin and rebellion in the children of Israel's case.

Follow the teaching of Jesus... who himself obeyed Judaic Law, right to his last meal (a seder).  In fact, when Jesus rants and raves against certain Jewish sects of his time, he is infuriated because they have in fact bastardized the original Judaic Law by not making the Arch of the Covenant available to all.  The teaching of Jesus work withing the context of Judaism, only afterward do they start to take on a life of their own.

cock-up332 reads

Titled: Please shut the fuck up!

mrnogood622 reads

and you book, the bible, the corner stone of you religion, TEACHES YOU THIS.. Religion is the worst thing that EVER happened to any of you... It destroys your spirit!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qX9FSZJu448&feature=player_embedded  here is a GREAT YT on the human spirit

I guess what those DUMB books say is only ok to support wars and barbaric behavior.. It's killing your human spirit to adhere the way you do

-- Modified on 5/6/2012 5:12:04 AM

FistFullOfFifties550 reads

But since you are a female provider with a post here that has gathered a huge number of semi-male responses in a short time, I want to chime in like the others and say, "Look at me, look at me."

Ah, it feels so good to be hetero on a Sunday morning in May.

I actually don't give a damn whether or not God exists. No where do I directly comment on my beliefs. T

The study is a historical perspective on how one character, a concubine, managed to influence thousands of years of history.

mrnogood565 reads

then tell me why christians see Jews as Gods chosen, and why Christians worship a God that doesn't even see them as his chosen people...

The ONLY people who have who have gained ANYTHING from christianity is....... THE JEWS

One of your posts implied people pick on the jews.. Have you ever looked at their holy book? THE TALMUD?

You should.. and the word gentile is a BAD word.. It's a pleasant sounding word for CHATTLE

-- Modified on 5/6/2012 10:24:24 AM

I have indeed read the Talmud - not the whole thing as there are MASSIVE volumes of it to read.  There are some pretty intense philosophical arguments that are in fact incredibly valuable.

The Jews actually don't really much care about what other people believe, they only care about how others in the Judaic faith act and behave.

Every single faith out there thinks they are the only correct ones, and the rest are lost sheep cast in darkness and shadows. That's not unique to any of the MANY, MANY, MANY faiths out there.

Now like most people do, taking the Talmud for it's face value literally is a horrible error (so it is with any scripture).  In doing so you miss the point. The value of the Talmud - which is ever changing and evolving, not a static book at all, is the Art of Rhetoric. Ultimately that's what you're suppose to use the Talmud for, and from there apply Rhetoric in order to reach your own conclusions, so that knowledge and understanding may continue to evolve.

A lesson on Talmud:

One day a country-fellow came to his rabbi. "Rabbi," he said, in the tongue-tied fashion of the unlettered in the presence of the learned, "for a long time, I have been hearing of Talmud. It puzzles me not to know what Talmud is. Please teach me what is Talmud."

"Talmud?" The rabbi smiled tolerantly, as one does to a child. "You'll never understand Talmud; you're a peasant."

"Oh, Rabbi, you must teach me," the fellow insisted. "I've never asked you for a favor. This time I ask. Please teach me, what is Talmud."

"Very well," said the rabbi, "listen carefully. If two burglars enter a house by way of the chimney, and fin themselves in the living room, one with a dirty face and one with a clean face, which one will wash?"

The peasant thought awhile and said, "Naturally, the one with the dirty face."

"You see," said the rabbi, "I told you a farmer couldn't master Talmud. The one with the clean face looked at the one with the dirty face, and assuming his own was also dirty, of course he washed it, while the one with the dirty face, observing the clean face of his colleague, naturally assume his own was clean, and did not wash it."

Again the peasant reflected. Then, his face brightening, said, "Thank you, Rabbi, thank you. Now I understand Talmud."

"See," said the rabbi wearily. "It is just as I said. You are a peasant. And who but a peasant would think for a moment that when two burglars enter a house by way of the chimney, only one will have a dirty face.

-- Modified on 5/6/2012 11:43:08 AM

-- Modified on 5/6/2012 11:43:39 AM

-- Modified on 5/6/2012 11:50:54 AM

mrnogood539 reads

not the talmud...

Christians are worship the sun, or the son... and every holiday proves this..on christmas the sun is being born of the real virgin virgo, or on easter the sun is as far east as it can be.. this list goes on and on.. The muslims worship the moon, and on ramadan the moon has just been born of virgo.. and when you look at the symbol of islam its a moon, a crescent moon... ALL the other books are allegory stories told of the heavens..

Not the talmud...

-- Modified on 5/6/2012 12:17:37 PM

I know exactly what you are talking about, and you're right.  The evolution of monotheism can be traced to the roots of paganism,  it is littered with the symbology and rituals of the faiths that once turned to the skies.  

Everything exists on an evolving spectrum, nothing can be separated from it's passed. Whenever we create something new, we use what we already know. Naturally the founders of these faiths leaned on the ancient traditions before them when they created their faiths. So yes, there is a great deal of astro-theology in all the monotheistic faiths.

That is nothing new under the sun (HA, I KILL ME!)

mrnogood705 reads

It's also the story of human consciousness in that book, how in the beginning their was darkness.. and now look at all we have! Sun and a moon and a solar system..

It's not that the sun and moon wasn't always around, it's humans we'rent conscious of them.. Kinda like how our ancestors believed the earth was flat.. It's nt that the earth was ever flat, it's that they weren't conscious of it being round.. and this IMHO is a great example of evolution, and the expansion of human cosnsciousness

I PROMISE you lauren, if we were still connected to our pagan roots, we'd be better keepers of our land and earth on which we need for everything... This is what has been taken from humanity over the years, and our pagan roots go back to the beginning of time..

Instead we go through this life, waiting on the after life, and we miss the whole point

-- Modified on 5/6/2012 1:50:36 PM

mrnogood508 reads

some jews over come this.. However, the talmud promotes jewish supremacy, and this jewish supremacy is no different than white supremacy..

I don't hate jews.. Let that be known, but the truth is the truth

then I'd have to  agree with Tevya's plaint in Fiddler of the Roof:  "Can't you choose someone else for a while?"

As for Christianity benefiting Jews, I think the Jews burned alive during the middle ages to counteract the plague might take issue with that statement.

mrnogood587 reads

thats why they have the ADL, southern poverty law center, and a slew of other groups "protecting" them..  If ANYONE ever utters a word about the jews it's quickly called anti-semite

Yet pri, on this board has called non jew women shiksas.. which is a DEROGATORY word for hot non jew women, who pose a threat to there existence (in their warped way of thinking)

-- Modified on 5/6/2012 11:51:24 AM

Religion is in fact a creation of mankind. So is the story of Hagar. The world religions cannot attribute themselves to genetic family lines - that's just a human propensity, us cramming a square peg into a circle.

No where did I say I believed any of it FACT. BUT, to understand the three religions and their interactions, you must also understand the religions themselves, even if you choose not to believe it.

Again, this is not a story about religion. This is a story about how the legend of Hagar has reverberated through history for thousands of years, and was used by religions to claim legitimacy and abuse each other.   It's about how the story of a concubine came to matter.

sorry, but your post was far too long to read.

are you talking about sammy hagar?

Attention spans and free time in the modern age are limited.  Though you're obviously ribbing me, I did assume only certain TER members would read it , especially considering how low literacy rates are in North America LOL

Except for Ben Franklin on the hundred dollar bill.

Register Now!