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For those looking for a god worthy of worship it is exactly the point.
In either case, there were other parents in the bible who sacrificed their children to god.
david has an awesome voice...
Perhaps those rough stories are in the Bible to bring us up from the time of the Fall to then, a time of lawlessness and savagery. And to tell us that God isn't unaware of human savagery and viciousness. There are indeed several books that stand at the basis of a religion, but it's not an undisputed point to say that they are all equal in importance or truth.
Dan , that's not the point. Many people today think, how could God ask Abraham to sacrifice his own son? But that wasn't even the question in those times. The other instances of bloodshed weren't unusual either (& too often still aren't), but that doesn't diminish the importance of a ban on child sacrifice at a time & place where everyone around Abraham & Sarah was committing it.
As someone who learned enough Hebrew to read the Scriptures in the original only as an adult (after on-&-off Hebrew school in childhood), I agree that it's worth doing. There are levels of meaning & connection that just don't come through in translation. And I found that the Torah is full of puns & wordplay, esp. in the earlier parts. Everett Fox has done an English translation that attempts to convey this complexity. It can give you a better idea of it, but it also makes for some awkward English. Me, I'm waiting for the version that translates the usual "And those of you who cleaved unto the Lord your God..." as "And those of you who stuck with the Lord your God...."
I also agree that teaching about the influence of religion on political/legal/social systems shouldn't be restricted to the religions that are most widespread in the country where they're being taught. I'd rather see a wide-ranging course on how religions have shaped such systems around the world. We need to know what perspectives people in other countries might have so we can understand how what we're saying sounds to them (like what a "crusade" sounds like in the places where the Crusades actually happened) & avoid having knee-jerk reactions to what may be inoffensive expressions in their cultures. (This goes both ways, of course; ideally, the people in the other countries--or across the street-- would have the same understanding of us.)
there was very little of the bible in this segment, I was disapointed. here's a gem: the people of Sodom want to rape some strangers (who happen to be angles) lot says no no don't rape them take my virgin daughters rape them instead.
if lot was such a good man why didn't he move before. why was he living among such wickedness?
anyone else have any good bible stories.
Oops, I meant "Yet our constitution could not even exist without democracy".
A writer from Esquire wrote a book a couple of years ago called "The Year Of Living Biblically". Really entertaining, he goes all the way with it and follows every rule in the bible, it's amusing, light, and yet very thoughtfully written.
Oh, and I totally agree with Voter from Brooklyn if your gonna teach one you HAVE to teach them ALL!
The underlying assumption is that the Bible could not have actually come from God himself, but is of human origin. If it is indeed from God than it presents a different picture of God because it is God himself who presents his followers as flawed. Why not interview someone who actually believes the Bible is true? You seem to avoid interviewing intellectually honest believers like Tim Kellor and Ravi Zacharias. Any reason?
Our country was founded on the Bible? The Bible is a more important document then the constitution? What verse in the bible did democracy come from? Oh, that’s right, democracy is not even mentioned once in the Bible. Yet our constitution could not even exist with democracy.
Amy, don't get too involved in Abraham's son surviving. There was plenty of innocent blood spilled in the bible to make up for it.
Actually, there is something surprising about the near-sacrifice of Isaac: the fact that it didn't happen. We can't read these stories from a present-day context. At the time of Abraham, child sacrifice was commonplace & expected. What's revolutionary about this story is not that God asked Abraham to sacrifice his son but that He stopped him from going through with the sacrifice.
Sorry, they didn't gloss over these stories in the yeshiva that I send my son to. I at least hope you read it in the original Hebrew to get all the subtle, important nuances that the language reveals.
What is taught in elementary school & high school is just that... an elementary, high school level. What math were you taught in elementary school? Would you equate that level with what is taught at an advanced level post doc level at MIT?
Sorry this is way too superficial an understanding of something too important in life.
I had a great deal of respect for your guest and his exercise until he showed how dismissive he was to knowledge of non-dominant religions in the United States. The fact that not all Americans are Christian or Jewish aside, is he proposing that the secular and those who proscribe to other religions should just suck it up and deal while this is being taught in state sponsored schools? I won’t argue that religion, in general, shouldn’t be taught in the schools, but being selective about which will and which will not even if it is “American” it is unconstitutional. That kind of thinking has led to many of the problems we have today in working with the world community.
From a Christian (non-denominational) point of view, I would say that no church can interpret the Bible for us, and that we should indeed read the Bible and learn about our beliefs. This is ofcourse assuming we are willing to see things with spiritual eyes, heart, and mind.
From a Catholic point of view, the Bible was written by God, so the intent of the human author is only part of the explanation of the book.
I once heard someone propose that Jacob was Judaism's trickster figure.
As a Hindu I would not want the Old Testament taught in school. When you say "we" or "us" speak for yourself sir.
If you want to make the argument about building civilization, it is the Hindu mathematical concept of the number zero that built modern civilization. You wouldn't have computer code w/o zero.
In addition, Hindu/Arab numerals are the foundations of commerce. See Niall Ferguson's book the ascent of money.
The Muslim world made great contributions to society when they were at the height of their power.
Ah! Tales of mythology from long-gone tribal customs. A great foundation for our Civilization...
Perhaps addressing some of the odd discrepancies in the Books, such as the existence of two creation myths.
If I remember correctly, Abraham wasn't quite indignant ... he said more 'Forgive me if I dare to speak to my God in this way...', yes, a great moment.
Everything I need to know about raising a family I learned from Lot.
They teach about religious book (Bible and Quran) in France. And religious life is much less visible there than in the US; French people would be horrified to hear their president say "God Bless France"
Have you read your colleague at Slate, Christopher Hitchens book on religion? And, do you agree with his assessment of the New and Old testament? Have you debated Hitchens. He has nasty things to say about circumcision.
From a Catholic point of view, that's one function of the Church: the Church authoritatively interprets it for us.
I read the entire Bible over a year when I was in the eighth grade. Too bad they didn't have blogs back then.
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