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  #461  
Old 01.03.2015, 11:19
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Re: Islamic State

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to be more precise, it is only Christianity that suggests an obligation of forgiveness. in Judaism and Islam, the concept is much more akin to atonement, which is not the same as forgiveness at all. and, even in Christianity, the Catholic Church has co-opted the concept and most non-Catholic believers get lost in the Old Testament and miss the point - hence the concept of the "Protestant work ethic", which is the genesis of much of the worst right wing economic thought in the US.

Abrahamic religions are no different than any other belief systems, they are used to ensure the economic status of a small group of people (always men) at the expense of others. it is certainly that way with Christianity (just look at the history of the Catholic Church and the development of every western monarchy), as well as with Islam (it is no coincidence that regimes based upon Islam are overwhelmingly totalitarian).
The concept of forgiveness exists in both Christianity and Islam, period. In Eastern Orthodoxy is actually fundamental, along with the concept of Mercy. One has to be merciful (the slavonic word is actually beautiful) and show mercy to every thing and everyone, pray for everyone, including his enemies. Mercifulness requires charity and sharing.
Protestant work ethic has nothing to do with forgiveness and peacefulness, which actually require reflection and interior power, more like in Buddhism, whereas Protestant ethic require action. That's why you'll never see Eastern Christian missionaries, and even less chances to see "warriors".
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  #462  
Old 01.03.2015, 12:31
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Re: Islamic State

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the problem, however, is that Jesus' teaching died with Jesus, everything since then has been about nothing other than political power and building an empire. I've posted it before and I still think it is true - Christianity is significant in terms of the development of modern thought only in its concept of forgiveness, which simply does not exist in Judaism or Islam. the Christian concept of "forgiveness", however, was co-opted by the Catholic Church nearly 2,000 years ago, and I am not sure it exists any longer. without question history would suggest that it has not been practiced in quite some time.

there are peaceful people who happen to be Christians, just as there are peaceful people who happen to be Jews, and peaceful people who happen to be Muslims. it's obviously a chicken and egg debate, but I suspect those people would be peaceful even without their religion, which is why they are able to focus on the part of their faith that promotes peace while completely ignoring the part of their faith that does not.
Where are you looking, and how are you evaluating it? If it is in the codified principles of these religion, it certainly is there. If in the behavior of its members, you will surely hear examples that are antithesis to it, athough not hear examples of adherence, as it is expected.

Religion and peace has never called for people to be spineless pacifists who comply and capitulate to every threat against it. There are sometimes existentials threats against such people, and the prescription for it was quite clear. In the case of the Hebrews and the existential threat against in the form of the Amalekites, the prescription was to wipe the Amalekites out completely.

Religious organizations have had to deal with realities at these political levels. Personal principles can't always be applied these situations. But on the individual level, the teachings can and is certainly practiced, and whatever benefits from them reaped. In this, there is pragmatism.
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  #463  
Old 01.03.2015, 13:42
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Re: Islamic State

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Religion and peace has never called for people to be spineless pacifists who comply and capitulate to every threat against it. There are sometimes existentials threats against such people, and the prescription for it was quite clear. In the case of the Hebrews and the existential threat against in the form of the Amalekites, the prescription was to wipe the Amalekites out completely.

Religious organizations have had to deal with realities at these political levels. Personal principles can't always be applied these situations. But on the individual level, the teachings can and is certainly practiced, and whatever benefits from them reaped. In this, there is pragmatism.
Indeed. But you see, prescriptions like the one re. Amalekites, or others from the holly books, which are blindly trusted and acted upon are the problems...not only religions did that to tribes/groups of people. It's totalitarian regimes/ideas that must be fought*, not certain ethnic groups. The ultra-catholic South America "enjoyed" many cruel dictatorships along its history...
Let's agree colonialism and imperialism did no favours in general, and to some areas in particular, and certain historical patterns are doomed to repeat themselves within certain regions.

P.S. *That doesn't mean invade Iraq kind of thing. I think it must come from inside. The more the West is messing up with a world they don't understand, the less chances for peace.

Last edited by greenmount; 01.03.2015 at 14:07.
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  #464  
Old 01.03.2015, 14:17
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Re: Islamic State

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Let's agree colonialism and imperialism did no favours in general, and to some areas in particular, and certain historical patterns are doomed to repeat themselves within certain regions.
Its not even colonialism, nor Imperialism, let alone religion. In some case, Colonialism and Imperialism has actually brought peace. Humans fight each other for power; initially over resources, and often times for ego and pride. War is not an invention of religion, nor of the West. Its human nature.

The question is whether or not it is necessary. I would also like to think it isn't. Anyone can get on their soapbox and claim they are morally superior to everyone else. Atheists love to do that. But it isn't realistic. Sometimes enemies do arise that threaten your extinction, and does not share your view of peaceful coexistence. For the love of your own family and people, sometimes you do need to arm yourself to protect them. And of course this does not apply to those who are indifferent.

The utopic world of no war is just a fantasy in our imaginations. Maybe in the afterlife.
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  #465  
Old 01.03.2015, 14:50
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Re: Islamic State

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The concept of forgiveness exists in both Christianity and Islam, period.
I did not say that the concept did not exist in Judaism or Islam, rather that it is not an obligation. in Islam, forgiveness of believers is recommended but revenge to the extent of the harm is well accepted, and forgiveness of non-believers is under no circumstances necessary.

the distinction is not only semantic.

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Religion and peace has never called for people to be spineless pacifists who comply and capitulate to every threat against it. There are sometimes existentials threats against such people, and the prescription for it was quite clear. In the case of the Hebrews and the existential threat against in the form of the Amalekites, the prescription was to wipe the Amalekites out completely.
you are confusing the Old and New Testaments. what do you think "turn the other cheek" means, exactly? also, there are some great historical figures - MLK Jr. and Gandhi among them - who might take issue with the suggestion that pacifism is "spineless", or that it results in "capitulation".
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  #466  
Old 01.03.2015, 15:21
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Re: Islamic State

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you are confusing the Old and New Testaments. what do you think "turn the other cheek" means, exactly? also, there are some great historical figures - MLK Jr. and Gandhi among them - who might take issue with the suggestion that pacifism is "spineless", or that it results in "capitulation".
Sorry, but I have studied it quite a bit, and do not confuse the two.

Ghandi and MLK were advocating for social change, not reacting to aggression against their country. "Turn the other cheek" ia about interpersonal conflicts. In Christianity, there is clear differentiation between personal/individual and government proprietorship. Two concepts that make this clear, "render unto Caesar what belongs to Ceaser, render unto God what belongs to God", and Christians are to respect the governments they are living under. Interpersonal principles doesn't necessarily apply to inter-tribal conflicts.
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  #467  
Old 01.03.2015, 15:44
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Re: Islamic State

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Religion and peace has never called for people to be spineless pacifists who comply and capitulate to every threat against it.


real pacifists are NOT spineless and NOT Cowards and do NOT capitulate. A well known pacifist is King Abdullah II in Jordan, who however reacted with force recently


Marshal al-Sisi in Cairo is not actually a pacifist but generally peace-minded. But now is in touch with the leaderships of Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq (together with Egypt the Major part of the Arab World) to organize a co-ordinated Response to ISIS
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  #468  
Old 01.03.2015, 17:20
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Re: Islamic State

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Sorry, but I have studied it quite a bit, and do not confuse the two.

Ghandi and MLK were advocating for social change, not reacting to aggression against their country. "Turn the other cheek" ia about interpersonal conflicts. In Christianity, there is clear differentiation between personal/individual and government proprietorship. Two concepts that make this clear, "render unto Caesar what belongs to Ceaser, render unto God what belongs to God", and Christians are to respect the governments they are living under. Interpersonal principles doesn't necessarily apply to inter-tribal conflicts.
if you have studied it quite a bit, then you already know the historical basis for the synoptic gospels, and you already know why it would have been important for the phrase "render unto Caesar" to be attributed to Jesus. the synoptic gospels were written in Greek, they were targeted at a non-Jewish audience, and they were written at a time when Christians were subject to persecution by the Roman Empire - in other words, the historical driver for suggesting a correlation between Christianity and secular authority should be clear. the notion of accepting government has nothing to do with Christianity, except to the extent the notion was introduced toward the latter part of the first century in an effort to mollify Roman authorities and foster continued sale of the new religion to non-believers.

this is just one example of why I find organized religion so utterly disingenuous and dangerous. there are very important and material differences between a belief that Jesus was sent by God to die for the sins of the Jews versus a belief in a book that was written by people several decades after the death of Jesus. the same as there are very important and material differences in recognizing the unquestionably critical political and historical roles of Muhammad versus believing what is written in the Quran. the subjects of each book are important historically and philosophically, but reliance on anything that is actually written in the books is, to say the least, problematic.

also, I think suggesting that MLK and Gandhi were merely pushing for "social change" does a great disservice to both men - Gandhi was pushing for the independence of his country, and MLK the independence of his people. I think it's also pretty clear from history that both men were responding to overt and horrific aggression against their respective peoples.
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  #469  
Old 01.03.2015, 20:01
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Re: Islamic State

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also, I think suggesting that MLK and Gandhi were merely pushing for "social change" does a great disservice to both men - Gandhi was pushing for the independence of his country, and MLK the independence of his people. I think it's also pretty clear from history that both men were responding to overt and horrific aggression against their respective peoples.
Independence without social change is just an exchange of roles between social (economic, ethnic or religious) strata. e.g. India is independent but still has the caste system. (but probably diluting itself in time)

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  #470  
Old 01.03.2015, 20:26
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Re: Islamic State

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if you have studied it quite a bit, then you already know the historical basis for the synoptic gospels, and you already know why it would have been important for the phrase "render unto Caesar" to be attributed to Jesus. the synoptic gospels were written in Greek, they were targeted at a non-Jewish audience, and they were written at a time when Christians were subject to persecution by the Roman Empire - in other words, the historical driver for suggesting a correlation between Christianity and secular authority should be clear. the notion of accepting government has nothing to do with Christianity, except to the extent the notion was introduced toward the latter part of the first century in an effort to mollify Roman authorities and foster continued sale of the new religion to non-believers.

this is just one example of why I find organized religion so utterly disingenuous and dangerous. there are very important and material differences between a belief that Jesus was sent by God to die for the sins of the Jews versus a belief in a book that was written by people several decades after the death of Jesus. the same as there are very important and material differences in recognizing the unquestionably critical political and historical roles of Muhammad versus believing what is written in the Quran. the subjects of each book are important historically and philosophically, but reliance on anything that is actually written in the books is, to say the least, problematic.

also, I think suggesting that MLK and Gandhi were merely pushing for "social change" does a great disservice to both men - Gandhi was pushing for the independence of his country, and MLK the independence of his people. I think it's also pretty clear from history that both men were responding to overt and horrific aggression against their respective peoples.
I don't think you're talking about Christianity at this point, rather your perspective of what Christianity is, or perhaps how you believe Christianiaty should be. Crazygringo-anity maybe, but not at all Christianity as it is taught and understood by those who call themselves Christians..

The phrase "render onto Caeser..." is attributed as a quote to Jesus himself when asked about government authority, particularly about taxes. Time-wise, it would predate the spread of Christianity to Europe. This appears in 3 of the 4 Gospels. So your assertion that these were inserted for the purpose of placating Roman rulers, is a bit like second guessing, and embellishment of what is known about it, and also fails to understand the value of that phrase.

At the core of this is discernment between what is referred to as "the World", and "the Kingdom". Its akin to the difference between the "spirit" world, versus the "material" world, which is what the message of Jesus Christ was about, for those who understand it. Christians understand this differentiation, and apply it to their thoughts and thinking, and it works. It isn't taken as an old sentiment to placate Rome, and therefore no longer applicable. That would be your Crazygringo-anity. It is an affirmation that a level of reality exists beyond world systems, its politics, and its rulers.

Yes, Ghandi was pushing for independence from British rule. But MLK was not pushing for independence at all. He was pushing for equality. In any case, there is a difference between what a person does, and how he reacts, versus how the leaders of his state manages its affairs, foreign or domestic. There may have been Christian theocracies at one time, but we don't really have one anymore, and I don't think we even want one.
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  #471  
Old 01.03.2015, 21:26
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Re: Islamic State

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Yes, Ghandi was pushing for independence from British rule. But MLK was not pushing for independence at all. He was pushing for equality. In any case, there is a difference between what a person does, and how he reacts, versus how the leaders of his state manages its affairs, foreign or domestic. There may have been Christian theocracies at one time, but we don't really have one anymore, and I don't think we even want one.
Amen to that.
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  #472  
Old 01.03.2015, 21:41
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Re: Islamic State

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I don't think you're talking about Christianity at this point, rather your perspective of what Christianity is, or perhaps how you believe Christianiaty should be. Crazygringo-anity maybe, but not at all Christianity as it is taught and understood by those who call themselves Christians..

The phrase "render onto Caeser..." is attributed as a quote to Jesus himself when asked about government authority, particularly about taxes. Time-wise, it would predate the spread of Christianity to Europe. This appears in 3 of the 4 Gospels. So your assertion that these were inserted for the purpose of placating Roman rulers, is a bit like second guessing, and embellishment of what is known about it, and also fails to understand the value of that phrase.

At the core of this is discernment between what is referred to as "the World", and "the Kingdom". Its akin to the difference between the "spirit" world, versus the "material" world, which is what the message of Jesus Christ was about, for those who understand it. Christians understand this differentiation, and apply it to their thoughts and thinking, and it works. It isn't taken as an old sentiment to placate Rome, and therefore no longer applicable. That would be your Crazygringo-anity. It is an affirmation that a level of reality exists beyond world systems, its politics, and its rulers.

Yes, Ghandi was pushing for independence from British rule. But MLK was not pushing for independence at all. He was pushing for equality. In any case, there is a difference between what a person does, and how he reacts, versus how the leaders of his state manages its affairs, foreign or domestic. There may have been Christian theocracies at one time, but we don't really have one anymore, and I don't think we even want one.
It is pointless to have a discussion about the exact words in the New Testament.

There has been an estimate of 400,000 variations between all the New Testament manuscripts (from the 2nd to 15th century) which is more than there are words in the New Testament.

The earliest New Testament manuscripts available were written on papyrus dating from the second century. No New Testament papyrus manuscript is complete; many consist only of a single fragmented page.
The earliest manuscripts had hardly, if any, punctuation or breathing marks. The manuscripts also lacked word spacing, so words, sentences, and paragraphs would be a continuous string of letters.

Good luck if you believe what is written in today's New Testament bears any relationship to the original
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  #473  
Old 01.03.2015, 21:47
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Re: Islamic State

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Good luck if you believe what is written in today's New Testament bears any relationship to the original
Or any other holly book, as a matter of fact.
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  #474  
Old 01.03.2015, 22:03
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Re: Islamic State

Attempts to decipher every single statement, what it means, and codifying into dogma is doomed to failure. Every attempt to do so in the past has ended up in failure. It is also what accounts for the plethora of denominations out there, as well as the reformation wars. Because that attempt is usually motivated by the desire to own the truth for power, which cannot be owned. In Jesus' time, these would be the Pharisees. In our time, it would be the likes of fundamentalist and extremists like the Westboro Baptists. That attempt that it all must be understood, and one must be absolutely right is ... well, wrong. We don't find our own justification through our own accomplishments.

Rather, certain aspects of the Gospel ring out and resonate truths for those who are seeking it, and it affirms their experience and understanding. What you get out of it is different for different individuals in different circumstances. It is very much a tailored personal relationship rather than a corporate relationship with one size fitting for all.

It is actually alright to be wrong, as long as one is honest about it, and seek ways to correct it. It is a much better posture than to convince oneself that one is absolutely right. Such people don't really need anything outside of themselves.

Anyway, this topic doesn't really have anything to do with this thread.
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Old 01.03.2015, 22:06
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Re: Islamic State

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Or any other holly book, as a matter of fact.
Copies of the Quran that date back to the time of the prophet are in existence, so it's possible to verify that a copy of the Quran from Amazon is an exact replica of these original scripts.
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  #476  
Old 01.03.2015, 22:07
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Re: Islamic State

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Copies of the Quran that date back to the time of the prophet are in existence, so it's possible to verify that a copy of the Quran from Amazon is an exact replica of these original scripts.
Of course.
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Old 01.03.2015, 22:22
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Re: Islamic State

Also, L. Ron Hubbard's Dianetics is probably the original since he wrote is as well.
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  #478  
Old 01.03.2015, 22:35
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Re: Islamic State

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I don't think you're talking about Christianity at this point, rather your perspective of what Christianity is, or perhaps how you believe Christianiaty should be. Crazygringo-anity maybe, but not at all Christianity as it is taught and understood by those who call themselves Christians..

The phrase "render onto Caeser..." is attributed as a quote to Jesus himself when asked about government authority, particularly about taxes. Time-wise, it would predate the spread of Christianity to Europe. This appears in 3 of the 4 Gospels. So your assertion that these were inserted for the purpose of placating Roman rulers, is a bit like second guessing, and embellishment of what is known about it, and also fails to understand the value of that phrase.

At the core of this is discernment between what is referred to as "the World", and "the Kingdom". Its akin to the difference between the "spirit" world, versus the "material" world, which is what the message of Jesus Christ was about, for those who understand it. Christians understand this differentiation, and apply it to their thoughts and thinking, and it works. It isn't taken as an old sentiment to placate Rome, and therefore no longer applicable. That would be your Crazygringo-anity. It is an affirmation that a level of reality exists beyond world systems, its politics, and its rulers.
studying any work of literature without also studying the historical context in which it was written is useless, and, in the context of religious literature, dangerous. if you want to study Mark, or Matthew, or any other gospel, you also need to study the circumstances that surrounded their writing. otherwise, you are not studying anything, but rather simply memorizing, which of course is not at all unusual when it comes to religion. btw, I hardly own the copyright on making a connection between the synoptic gospels and the historical light in which they were written, it has been the subject of scholarly debate for centuries.

and this debate is entirely germane to the topic of the thread, since what you are doing vis a vis the Bible is not all that dissimilar from what certain Muslims do with the Quran - you are taking something at face value without sense of historical context.
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Old 01.03.2015, 22:44
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Re: Islamic State

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Of course.
It's a fact.. There are at least two copies of the original in Tashkent and Istanbul that are over 1400 years old. These can be read and compared to modern day copies and it is clear that not a single word, accent or punctuation has changed in all that time.

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Also, L. Ron Hubbard's Dianetics is probably the original since he wrote is as well.
No serious scholar believes that an 'illiterate' merchant could have authored that book. It is the pinnacle of Classical Arabic written in poetic verse. Assuming it was not divinely revealed, such an author would have had to have been an intellectual with knowledge of philosophy, science, geography, scripture, the arts etc..
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Old 01.03.2015, 22:54
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Re: Islamic State

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studying any work of literature without also studying the historical context in which it was written is useless, and, in the context of religious literature, dangerous. if you want to study Mark, or Matthew, or any other gospel, you also need to study the circumstances that surrounded their writing. otherwise, you are not studying anything, but rather simply memorizing, which of course is not at all unusual when it comes to religion. btw, I hardly own the copyright on making a connection between the synoptic gospels and the historical light in which they were written, it has been the subject of scholarly debate for centuries.

and this debate is entirely germane to the topic of the thread, since what you are doing vis a vis the Bible is not all that dissimilar from what certain Muslims do with the Quran - you are taking something at face value without sense of historical context.
Sure it should be studied and understood from various perspectives when and where possible. But you are looking for a single circumstance to identify a single purpose for why something is written there, and assume that those who don't make such linkage cannot possibly get the same value they claim to get from it. We don't subscribe to a singular linear one point theory of God. Neither does reality. Humans can, if they wish to. And even that is part of the message, that there is an order beyond what you are able to comprehend, that you can put your faith on it. Now is that akin to beheading those who disagree with you? I think not, and it has nothing to do with it at all. It is also put into practice in a host of non-sensical ways that lead to a whole lot of good.

The Bible was written over a period of 2000 years by approximately 40 authors. Despite that, there is a unity in the message. Various items confirm and reference each other. This is pretty difficult to accomplish through all the trans-migrations, invasions, exiles and dynastic changes. But the unity across it is interesting. For some, this unified message is affirmation that it was written with the same spirit and intent that can still be understood today. And some do.
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