Thou Shalt Not Murder!

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chimp3's picture
Thou Shalt Not Murder!

The story of Phinehas in the Book of Numbers is one of my favorites. God has already issued the commandment against murder. Phinehas murders a man and woman having sex. He drives a spear through both of them impaling them to the ground. He is praised by god. So much for objective morality!

http://biblehub.com/kjv/numbers/25.htm

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Nyarlathotep's picture
nb4godcan'tcommitmurder

nb4godcan'tcommitmurder

Diotrephes's picture
chimp3,

chimp3,

The story about Phinehas killing the man and woman illustrates the First Commandment in action and the penalty for violating it by intermixing with the locals which would cause the Israelites to start worshiping alien Gods.

The story in Numbers 25:6-8 (ERV) =

"6 At the time Moses and all the elders of Israel were gathered together at the entrance to the Meeting Tent. An Israelite man brought a Midianite woman home to his brothers. He did this where Moses and all the leaders could see. Moses and the leaders were very sad. 7 Phinehas was the son of Eleazar and the grandson of Aaron the priest. Phinehas saw this man bring the woman into camp. So he left the meeting and got his spear. 8 He followed the Israelite into the tent. Then he used the spear to kill the Israelite man and the Midianite woman in her tent. He pushed the spear through both of their bodies. At that time there was a great sickness among the Israelites. But when Phinehas killed these two people, the sickness stopped."

The First Commandment in Exodus 34:12-16 (ERV) = "12 Be careful! Don’t make any agreement with the people who live in the land where you are going. If you make an agreement with them, it will bring you trouble. 13 So destroy their altars, break the stones they worship, and cut down their idols.14 Don’t worship any other god. I am Yahweh Kanah—the jealous Lord. That is my name. I hate for my people to worship other gods.

15 “Be careful not to make any agreements with the people who live in that land. If you do this, you might join them when they worship their gods. They will invite you to join them, and you will eat their sacrifices. 16 You might choose some of their daughters as wives for your sons. Those daughters serve false gods. They might lead your sons to do the same thing."

Freedom of association and religion was not allowed. If a person wasn't an intolerant bigot then he was doing it wrong. This message is repeated several times throughout the Bible. Some religions still follow this practice today.

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
So its not murder because god

So its not murder because god is a racist? Cant wait to get back to my white brother wolf pack and tell them that WHOOEEE!

Man I love that objective morality stuff....

Diotrephes's picture
Old man shouts ...,

Old man shouts ...,

The First Commandment is the only one that every nation has followed throughout history. Invade other people's lands, destroy their religious artifacts, and do some ethnic cleansing and slavery.

JoC's picture
Well, of course. Not reading

Well, of course. Not reading in context yet again.

chimp3's picture
JoC: Is context subjective?

JoC: Is context subjective?

Sheldon's picture
Sorry the page that explains

Sorry the page that explains how to determine the "correct" context is missing from my bible. Anyone got a copy they can post up?

Or is this entirely subjective as well, and proves Chimp's op admirably.

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
*Guffaws* We have been

*Guffaws* We have been through this JoC. What is the context of biblical racism then? Of Biblical infanticide? of Biblical genocide; they are all commanded,described and promulgated as moral or permissible behaviours in your book.

Do catch up JoC your argument of "context" has been demolished before.

Tin-man's picture
@JoC Re: Context

@JoC Re: Context

*groan*

Ya know, JoC, it is obvious you are a fairly intelligent guy. No doubt about it. And whether I agree with you or not, I admit I admire the fact that you "stick by your guns" during a discussion. Can't really fault a guy for that. (Despite all the wise-crack remarks I sometimes make.) But here's the thing....

At some point you need to realize you are on here addressing individuals who are just as intelligent as (or, in some cases, far MORE intelligent than) yourself. That means reading comprehension skills on this forum are quite possibly WAY above average (I'm guessing). And I say that because when you (or anybody else) use the mind-numbingly weary "context excuse" as a defense, it should not be surprising if there are those who view that "defense" as an insult to their intelligence. And it matters not whether that insult is intentional or unintentional. Moreover, whether you realize it or not (and whether you choose to believe it or not), using that "out of context" excuse does NOT reflect positively on your own intelligence level. Sometimes it can even make you seem downright dishonest. At the very least it makes you seem over-bearingly arrogant, as if you are some type of nobleman looking down your nose while addressing a group of uneducated peasants.

So, with that in mind, it makes me question your intentions when you throw up your "Shield of Context" in this group, especially since it has repeatedly been shredded. Is it simply a reflex reaction you do without conscious thought? Or maybe it is something you do to intentionally deflect a point? Perhaps you are just "kicking the hornets' nest" while you scurry away laughing at the commotion.(If that one is true, I can appreciate a little chaos now and then, and I applaud your sense of humor.) Honestly, I prefer to think (and I hope) it may be one of those three reasons. Because to think you actually truly believe some of the excuses you sometimes make is a far more disturbing prospect.

JoC's picture
Let's try this. You bring up

Let's try this. You bring up a good point that the reading comprehension skills of the people on this thread are above average. The book in question in this thread is the book of Numbers. We can agree that the book of Numbers is a work of literature. It is in fact a written work.

Can anyone here provide the reason why the author of Numbers wrote Numbers? And why it has survived this long? Any literature (fiction or non-fiction) will show a reflection of the time it was written, the culture of the people who wrote it, etc.

Because it seems to me, most atheists quote the Bible and know nothing about the context in which the written work was written. Unaware of the purpose the author had in mind for his/her work.

I hope to be proven wrong.

Sheldon's picture
I don't care about the

I don't care about the context, because it isn't claimed to be entirely human in origin. You can't claim it to be divinely inspired, offering absolute objective morality, then when it's erroneous, subjective, ambiguous and contradictory nature are pointed out, clear your throat and mumble weeelllll you have to remember these were simple people from an archaic age who didn't know much.

It's laughable sorry.

"Any literature (fiction or non-fiction) will show a reflection of the time it was written, the culture of the people who wrote it, etc."

The problem once again since theists inexplicably fail to see it no matter how many times it is pointed out, is that this isn't being claimed to be just "any literature".

JoC's picture
What do you think divine

What do you think divine inspiration means?

Tin-man's picture
@JoC Re: "What do you think

@JoC Re: "What do you think divine inspiration means?"

Why does that question even matter? Seems to me that if God wanted his book to be a clear, concise, and totally perfect, he would have written the damn thing himself. As I believe I have said before, it is incredibly baffling as to why a being that can supposedly create the entire universe from absolutely nothing seems quite incapable of writing a simple book of instructions that every single person he created can understand and follow in the exact same way. I mean, was he like, "Aw, shit. I made all of this stuff, but I totally forgot to make paper and writing instruments. Grrr... Oh, well. No biggie, really. In a few thousand years my Man creations will figure out how to make those things, and then I will just dictate my instructions and laws to them. No doubt they will completely misunderstand half of anything I say, but I suppose it will be better than nothing. Besides, could even make things a helluva lot more interesting down there. *chuckle* Oh, how I love my job! *rubbing hands together briskly* So, anyway,where the hell is that talking snake??? I told him to be down there in that tree an hour ago. *mumbling* (so hard to find good help anymore.)"

Diotrephes's picture
Tin-man,

Tin-man,

Have you forgotten the biblical fairy tale already? According to Exodus chapter 34 Yahweh did write ten instructions himself when he wrote the Ten Commandments in his own hand on the stone tablets. Of course the original stone tablets don't exist today but their words supposedly do. Now redeem the firstborn of your donkey with a lamb and stop boiling a young goat in its mother's milk.

Exodus 34:28 (TLB) = "28 Moses was up on the mountain with the Lord for forty days and forty nights, and in all that time he neither ate nor drank. At that time God wrote out the Covenant—the Ten Commandments—on the stone tablets."

Tin-man's picture
@Dio Re: "28 Moses was up

@Dio Re: "28 Moses was up on the mountain with the Lord for forty days and forty nights, and in all that time he neither ate nor drank. At that time God wrote out the Covenant—the Ten Commandments—on the stone tablets."

Oh, silly me. Forty days and forty nights. Must have gotten that confused with Noah and the rain and such. Didn't eat or drink all that time, huh? Pretty damn impressive, I must say. (Maybe he had a glucose I.V. drip going, or something?) Anyway, here's a question, though: God supposedly created the entire universe (including the Earth and Man) in seven days, right? But it took him forty days and forty nights just to carve a few words into a couple of pieces of rock? Did he keep misspelling stuff and having to start over multiple times, or what? *look of total bafflement*

Diotrephes's picture
Tin-man,

Tin-man,

God & Moses did the forty days and forty nights thing twice. And you should know by now that it's a heck of a lot easier to create the sun, stars, moon, and planets and everything else than it is to chisel out about 400 words on hard stone tablets.

Tin-man's picture
@Dio Re: "...easier to

@Dio Re: "...easier to create the sun, stars, moon, and planets and everything else than it is to chisel out about 400 words on hard stone tablets."

Aw, shit. Yeah, you got me on that one.

JoC's picture
This is exactly why I'm

This is exactly why I'm asking what you guys think Christians mean when we say the Bible is divinely inspired or written by God. Did he ask someone to write it down? Did he possess someone then start writing? Or something?

Diotrephes's picture
JoC,

JoC,

When con men write religious holy books they always include some wording about how their favorite imaginary deity revealed it to them (and to no one else) and how all doubters will end up in hell. In the case of the Bible, the Koran, and other ancient holy books do you really think that some celestial deity told some local yokels about how everything came to be and why they are special?

Joseph Smith was able to pull that BS off with country hicks in America less than 200 years ago.

And L. Ron Hubbard bullshitted supposedly modern educated Americans just 64 years ago with his dianetics and scientology crap that he pulled out of his ass.

People are basically superstitious twits who will believe all kinds of ridiculous crap if they think it will make them rich or give them eternal life.

Sheldon's picture
You understand that atheists

You understand that atheists don't believe it was really inspired by a god right? Since it's a theistic claim and belief, shouldn't they be the ones who explain what they mean by it? Why not just tell us what you mean when you say 'divinely inspired', you could start by explaining how this differs from texts that are entirely human in origin, and what in the bible indicates the former, and not the latter.

JoC's picture
Which is why I asked what do

Which is why I asked what do you think we say divine inspiration.

Church understanding says that scriptures are the word of God in the words of men. What does this mean? The human author uses his own language, writing style, etc. He may use hyperbole, hebrew poetry, etc to convey truths, asserted by God. An analogy that helped me imagine this is when you write something down on paper, you move the pen and make scribbles. The pen does not think and therefore simply follows.

With God, He used human authors as his, "pens". Since they are human with personal preferences and all, they can choose to write the truths revealed to them in any number of ways. Say the truth that is being put forth is, "God made the universe.". Plain, simple, concise. However, both God and the human author of the first chapters of Genesis knew it wouldn't be passed on written as plainly as such. So the human author was then inspired to present it as 7 days of creation. It's very plain actually in the text that these weren't literal 7 days. It could be deduced that the ancients even knew not to take it literally and instead derive the truth being asserted. Written in a style to similar to rival theories of the existence of the universe through combat and violence among the gods which existed during the time.

As far as I know, none of the Biblical authors ever claimed to write the "word of God". Their divine inspiration was recognized much later by a man/men who had the authority to do so. (This is the short version of the story. lol)

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@ Joc

@ Joc

"Which is why I asked what do you think we say divine inspiration."
Because you have no other excuse to cover absolute bullshit? Your attempted explanation is even more lethargic than most.

"As far as I know, none of the Biblical authors ever claimed to write the "word of God". Their divine inspiration was recognized much later by a man/men who had the authority to do so." And exactly who are those who had "authority"?
Oh don't tell me, the ones like J Smith, the pope, Aquinas, Alexandrine, Moon,Ignatious Loyola who could "correctly interpret the divine will'? The ones that sought to enhance the power of the system or themselves?

For fucks sake JoC stop being the gooney bird...you know the one the goes so fast in circles it disappears up its own fundamentals.

JoC's picture
It’s an argument that goes

It’s an argument that goes (and humor me with the things you don’t agree with):

Jesus was God therefore he must have authority
Based on our our historical records, he founded a Church and gave them the authority to “bind and loose” and to speak on his behalf.
This church then proceeded to maintain it’s authority throughout history
This church then decided to canonize scripture.
By the authority that came from Christ, his church then recognized the books which would be recognized as scripture.

This is Catholic understanding of how the Bible came to be. When anyone starts interpreting scripture, you have to ask, “By who’s authority?”

With Aquinas and Ignatius, they always defered to the church when interpreting scripture.

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@ JoC Its an argument that

@ JoC Its an argument that goes

"Jesus was God therefore he must have authority"
proof of existence first, then divinity, then proof of authority required or statement dismissed.

" Based on our our historical records, he founded a Church and gave them the authority to “bind and loose” and to speak on his behalf"
The historical records have no record of a Jesus at all except those authorised by Constantine and the various councils subsequent to 300BCE. So that has no proof of a Jesus's intentions or will. Extraordinary claim summarily dismissed without evidence.

" This church then proceeded to maintain it’s authority throughout history " Correct, not by love or peace but by war, pestilence, invasion, crooked dealings, enrichment and lies. Fortunately its 'authority is diminishing faster each generation as its inhumanity and corruption is exposed.

"This church then decided to canonize scripture." Council of Nicea started the process not really finished revising to the present day.

"By the authority that came from Christ, his church then recognized the books which would be recognized as scripture". No evidence of designated authority from Christ figure who reportedly didn't like "temples or churches much at all" Also proof demanded for extraordinary claim. Dismissed

We agree: "By whose authority?": demonstrate the veracity of your extraordinary claims and I will be more than open to a new way of living.

Aquinas was 13th century, 1200 years after your supposed christ figure... Ignatius of Antioch? Ignatius Loyola? don't get me started on that empire builder or do you mean the popes? Please be more specific.

After the massacres of "Arian heretics" and any others who dared to challenge the Roman church...ummm yeh it would be prudent to "defer to the church" now would it not?

If scripture requires "interpreting" to get to your "word of god" it is a subjective man made experience. If it requires deference to a man representing a 'church' holding a sword to your throat before it can be published then it cannot be the 'revealed word of god' . Surely even you can see that JoC?

JoC's picture
Oddly enough, I actually

Oddly enough, I actually agree with you on some parts. Which is why I asked you to humor me on this. As a Catholic, I already believe that God exists and the Jesus is God. Obviously you don't accept this. But if you look at things from my perspective, given I believe that there is a God and that Jesus is God and everything else that follows, it follows logically then what I've said.

I'm not asking you to believe what I'm saying. Just to understand how Catholics believe these things.

As to your claims that the Council of Nicaea produced the Bible, news flash. It wasn't. It just wasn't. That's just bad history your bring forward.

You may read this:

https://historyforatheists.com/2017/05/the-great-myths-4-constantine-nic...

The author is himself an atheist. But he gets his facts straight.

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@ JoC "

@ JoC "
"Oddly enough, I actually"

Yes I did humor you, I don't know whether you have read all my posts but I did write that at one point I was great, in fact BFF with a Catholic Priest in a small village where the "Mary Mary Quite Contrary" rhyme originates. I admired his Jesuit trained mind even though we jousted and fenced, he was a realist and a good drinker. He even taught me the vicious tactics of that seemingly innocent sport of lawn croquet.
At that time after a lunch and an afternoon with him I would spend hours looking up references that he had "unwittingly" dropped into the conversation.
Yes I am aware of the first councils of Nicea, the inaccuracies that many ascribe to that first council of bishops directed by Roman Authority...lets be frank, the Emperor and his wife. I just thought for simplicity I would employ a well known phrase with some credence. For that I apologise. I shall be more accurate in future. As you know I am normally hot on the detail. I shall pay my own penance for lack of detailed reference.

Your beliefs, like my priestly friends faith, I consider mistaken purely because, although there may have been an historical Jesus , not enough proof is available for his existence or divinity.
Further the history of Catholicism since its adoption by the Roman Emperor and his wife has been one of corruption, coercion, warfare and death.
The lies that and misery that the Church both practise and promulgate from the "trinity" to the "eucharist" are simply tortuous and fanciful in the extreme.
The veneration of Paul who never met "Jesus" ( if he existed) and directly argued with and contradicted every single apostle who allegedly knew this prophet ( including Matthias who only got one line in the whole lot of books) speaks volumes for the political character of the church.

In short your 'holy' books are edited, your claim to inspiration utterly without foundation and, as my friend the priest said after a particularly bibulous session..."I am bested, the only thing I have left is my faith" . That I could not argue.

JoC's picture
Well, I'm happy you at least

Well, I'm happy you at least acknowledge what you did. I have looked at the evidence and I can't find "evidence" of the holy books being edited. The opposite is actually true. But maybe let's save that topic for another round.

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@ JoC

@ JoC
"I have looked at the evidence and I can't find "evidence" of the holy books being edited. The opposite is actually true."

Sorry JoC that means you have no concept of the history of the Talmud, Torah or the texts that currently make up the NT.
I suggest, if you dare on this forum, set up an OP under that very title I have put in quotation marks.
Certainly if you do not I most definitely shall.

Algebe's picture
@JoC: the word of God in the

@JoC: the word of God in the words of men.

And does that extend to all the varied translations, and translations of translations, and all the interpretations and apologetics produced by theologians and other assorted hucksters? What about the Wicked Bible? How did that get past god's divinely inspired proofreaders?

JoC's picture
Good question. It does not.

Good question. It does not. Admittedly there are translations which can be very poor and can possibly give rise to erroneous teachings. Conversely, there are translations which preserve the original text the best way it can in different languages.

An example comes to mind when considering the greek word adelphos which in english could mean brother or any kin. It’s always prudent to look at the original language of the text when reading it. As with anything else actually.

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