Poll: Are the words of the bible the way things really happened long ago?

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Thread: Bible poll

  1. #1
    umdkook Guest

    Bible poll

    Do you believe the words of the bible to be literal truth?????

    Did Moses split the red sea???
    Did g-d deliver the jews from Egypt with ten plagues???
    Did Jesus heal people???
    Did Abraham put his son on a rack to sacrifice him to g-d only to be interrupted by a stupid ram caught in the bushes???
    Last edited by umdkook; 03-30-2006 at 09:19 PM.

  2. #2
    umdkook Guest

    Re: Bible poll

    10 viewers and no takers???? scaredy cats????? fine ill start it out

  3. #3
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    Re: Bible poll

    Quote Originally Posted by umdkook
    10 viewers and no takers???? scaredy cats????? fine ill start it out
    You did not put in an option for opinon based on the latest findings and research. So, I did not vote. But here is the latest findings to address your questions.

    Did Moses split the Red Sea?

    The account in Exodus claims that six hundred thousand men left Egypt. Adding women and children, more than a million Hebrews had to gather up their things on short notice and leave. Setting out for the Promised Land, the liberated Israelites are led by God in the form of a "pillar of cloud" by day and a "pillar of fire" by night. Then Pharaoh has a chage of heart- actually God tells Moses he will "harden" the Pharaohs heart, provoking him to follow Moses and the Hebrews. Pharaoh sends out six hundred chariots- 3 men to a chariot, or eighteen hundred soldiers- in hot pursuit of the million-odd people. Pressed up against the waters of the "Red Sea," with six hundred chariots bearing down on them, the Hebrews have second thoughts and wonder if they weren't better off as slaves. But Moses asks God for help and he is told to stretch his staff across the water. As the pillar of flame holds off the Egyptians, a strong wind blows all night; the parting is not instantaneous. The next day the waters divide, allowing the Israelites to pass through. When the Egyptians follow, the wheels of the chariots get stuck in the mud and the waters return, drowing the entire army in the waters of the "Red Sea."

    Most scholars recognize that even if "Red Sea" had been correct, the Israelites would have crossed the Gulf of Suez, the northern arm of the Red Sea that reaches into Egypt, separating the Sinai Peninsula from Egypt. However, "Red Sea" is now recognized as a mistranslation. The commonly accepted correction is "Sea of Reeds," a mysterious body of water that has not yet been identified with certainty. One possible alternative is Lake Timsah, a shallow lake north of the Gulf of Suez. Another is the marshland of the Nile Delta where Papyrus reeds commonly grow. And alternative suggestion is that the correct translation is "Sea at the End of the World," suggesting that the Israelites were leaving the known world of "Egypt" for a mysterious wilderness.

    All these theories of the Exodus remain just that. What is far more widely accepted is that the number of Hebrews who left Egypt had to have been far smaller than the hundreds of thousands mentioned in the Bible. There are several explanations for this incredible number. 1. The number reflects a census made much later in Israel. 2. Mistranslation of "thousand." If the word "thousand" is read instead as "troop" or a "contingent" of 6-9 men each, it is far more plausible. 3. In biblical numerology this figure represented a "perfect" number.

    Most historians now accept the idea that other tribes who would later call themselves Israelites were already settled in Canaan when the wilderness contingent eventually arrives, as the Biblical version itself later shows in Judges. This "revision" makes the Exodus an event that happened to a smaller number of Israelites who left Egypt and gradually relocated to Canaan in a natural wave of emigration rather than the "Conquest". But over time, that story was gradually expanded and embellished into the national epic that only emerged after centuries of retelling.

    Taken from page 108 - 110 of the book "Don't Know Much About The Bible" by Kenneth C. Davis.


    Ten plagues?

    Psalm 105 reviews the Exodus and does not mention all the plagues and some scholars see in this a combination of two accounts as one in Exodus.

    1) The water of the Nile and all its tributaries turns to blood. (The Nile occasionally reddens owing to volcanic deposits and algae.)

    2) Frogs crawl out of the river and cover Egypt. (A result of the transformation of the river's waters.)

    3) Gnats (also translated as mosquitoes or lice) infest the people and animals of Egypt.

    4) Flies (or swarms of insects) infest the land, but not Goshen, where the Hebrews live. (All of these severe insect infestations are typical natural occurrences in Egypt, especially after the annual river floods leave pools of water in which insects breed.)

    5) Livestock pestilence on the Egyptians' horses, donkeys, camels, cattle herds, and flocks. (An outbreak of anthrax, perhaps spread by the preceeding infestations of insects. And interesting modern note. The American military announced in 1997 that it would begin to vaccinate all military personnel against anthrax, a much feared biological weapon.)

    6) Boils. (Aaron and Moses throw soot into the air, which turns to a dust that produces festering boils on the skin of the Egyptians and their animals-which were presumably killed by the fifth plague.)

    7) The heaviest hail ever seen falls on Egypt but again doesn't touch Goshen.

    8) Locusts (A common pestilence in the ancient Near East.)

    9) Darkness blots out the sun for three days. (The khamsin, a hot wind from the Sahara, produces thick dust clouds that block the sun, usually in March through May.)

    10) The death of Egypt's firstborn, both human and animal.

    God tells Moses to have the Hebrews daub their doorposts with lamb or goat's blood. In this way they will be protected when the angel of death "passes over" the land and kills the firstborn of Egypt. The final plague is commemorated in the Jewish festival of Passover. Most scholars believe that the Passover was actually a combination of two ancient festivals- an agricultural festival celebrating the barley harvest and a pastoral ritual in which an animal was sacrificed to ward off evil- later reinterpreted as a memorial of the deliverance from Egypt. Exodus reads, "This day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to the Lord throughout your generations." (Ex. 12:14)

    In commenting on the plagues in "The Bible and the Ancient Near East", Cyrus H. Gordon and Gary Rendsburg note that each of the plagues is aimed at specific gods in the Egyptian pantheon, ending with the sun god Ra, who is overpowered by darkness. Yahweh was not only demonstrating his power over men and nature but proved that this God is greater than any other gods.

    With the death of the firstborn of Egypt- from wealthies to poorest, human and animals- Pharoah relents and tells Moses to "rise up and go away from my people."

    Taken from page 102 and 103 of the book "Don't Know Much About The Bible" by Kenneth C. Davis.

    Did Abraham put his son (Isaac) on a rack?

    Whether or not this event actually happened is pure speculation, just like the very existence of Abraham as a real person rather than a mythic character. This story could have been designed to demonstrate what unshakable faith means and that God had done well in selecting Abraham to be the founder of the "Chosen People".

    There is another angle of the story, not usually discussed in Sunday school.

    In some cults and religions of the ancient Near East, human sacrifice was still practiced at that time. In fact, Hebrew Law even states that the firstborn offspring of humans and animals were to be offered to God. The aborted sacrifice of Isaac has been interpreted as a symbolic moment in which human sacrifice was rejected by God. Unfortunately, the practice didn't stop with Abraham. As the later history of ancient Israel shows, human sacrifice continued in Jerusalem for centuries.

    Taken from page 78 of the book "Don't Know Much About The Bible" by Kenneth C. Davis.

    Did Jesus Heal People?

    Contrary to popular notions or misimpressions of the period in Judea, Jesus was not alone in these healing works. Just as other men claimed Messiahship to attract political followers, numerous wonder-workers and healers wandered the Roman empire in that day. Jesus even referred to others who were healing in his name. The Jewish Talmud discusses several wonder-working rabbis of Jesus' time. But none made the claim that Jesus' followers made: that he had the ability to raise the dead and had done so on three occasions, with witnesses.

    Miracles are as old as Creation.

    In the New Testament, as in the Hebrew scriptures, miracles demonstrate God's hand intervening in earthly affairs in extraordinary ways. But New Testament miracles tend to be "personal" miracles, as opposed ot miracles affecting the entire nation, such as the Plagues on Egypt or crossing of the Sea of Reeds and the destruction of the Egyptian army in Exodus.

    Apart from his own miraculous birth and resurrection, and the Transfiguration, Jesus performed more than 35 miracles in the Gospels. They fall into three broad categories: Miraculous Feedings: Nature Miracles: and the largest group, Healings, Resurrections, and Exorcisms.

    Taken from page 395 and 396 of the book "Don't Know Much About The Bible" by Kenneth C. Davis.

    Can it be proven that they actually took place? No, nor can it be disproven.

    Umdkook, this is where "faith" plays a part in every believers life.

    Namaste'

    Lady Mod
    Last edited by sojustask; 03-31-2006 at 01:27 AM.

  4. #4
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    Re: Bible poll

    I fixed your poll and added another option. ;)

    Lady Mod

  5. #5
    umdkook Guest

    Re: Bible poll

    Quote Originally Posted by sojustask
    I fixed your poll and added another option. ;)

    Lady Mod

    actually that goes against the whole point of the poll. the point is too see if people believe it to be literal truth. how can you say "well thats true, but that isnt"?? that makes no sense. either you are a believer or you are not.

  6. #6
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    Re: Bible poll

    Quote Originally Posted by umdkook
    Do you believe the words of the bible to be literal truth?????

    Did Moses split the red sea???
    No, God parted the Red Sea...

    Quote Originally Posted by umdkook
    Did g-d deliver the jews from Egypt with ten plagues???
    Yes, historical documents have shown that at one time Egypt was a lush and beautiful land, the plagues described in the book of Exodus would cause that type of land to become what it is today...
    Quote Originally Posted by umdkook
    Did Jesus heal people???
    Yes!!! He healed me!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by umdkook
    Did Abraham put his son on a rack to sacrifice him to g-d only to be interrupted by a stupid ram caught in the bushes???
    No, Abraham put his son Isaac on an alter out of obedience to God.

  7. #7
    umdkook Guest

    Re: Bible poll

    if you go at it your way, its like saying you believe everything Nostradamus said was true. He once wrote something like "two brothers will fall" and people are claiming he knew about 9-11 because of that.
    Everything in the bible im sure can be linked to this episode or that occurence. Just because there was some sort of drought and the red sea pulled back and dropped its water level, does not mean it explains moses' parting of it. Exxageration is not a good option, as all it does is undermine the entire point of the bibles "stories".

  8. #8
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    Re: Bible poll

    Quote Originally Posted by umdkook
    actually that goes against the whole point of the poll. the point is too see if people believe it to be literal truth. how can you say "well thats true, but that isnt"?? that makes no sense. either you are a believer or you are not.
    You don't really think that with the bible its all or nothing do you?

  9. #9
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    Re: Bible poll

    Quote Originally Posted by umdkook
    if you go at it your way, its like saying you believe everything Nostradamus said was true. He once wrote something like "two brothers will fall" and people are claiming he knew about 9-11 because of that.
    Everything in the bible im sure can be linked to this episode or that occurence. Just because there was some sort of drought and the red sea pulled back and dropped its water level, does not mean it explains moses' parting of it. Exxageration is not a good option, as all it does is undermine the entire point of the bibles "stories".
    There's a difference in believing that Nostradamus existed and believing that all his writings are factual...

  10. #10
    umdkook Guest

    Re: Bible poll

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertol
    No, God parted the Red Sea...
    hahahah


    Quote Originally Posted by Quertol
    Yes, historical documents have shown that at one time Egypt was a lush and beautiful land, the plagues described in the book of Exodus would cause that type of land to become what it is today...
    yea a veritable paradise in the middle of the desert huh???


    Quote Originally Posted by Quertol
    Yes!!! He healed me!!!
    good for you!!! truly....



    Quote Originally Posted by Quertol
    No, Abraham put his son Isaac on an alter out of obedience to God.
    isnt that what i said??? if g-d told u to put your son on a sarificial stone (it wasnt an altar) would u do it???

  11. #11
    umdkook Guest

    Re: Bible poll

    i guess once isaac was on it, it became an altar----you are rite.

  12. #12
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    Re: Bible poll

    Quote Originally Posted by umdkook
    isnt that what i said??? if g-d told u to put your son on a sarificial stone (it wasnt an altar) would u do it???
    Yes... and a rack is diferent than an altar

  13. #13
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    Re: Bible poll

    And that paradise in the middle of a desert??? That desert used to be a lush land... Those plagues would have caused a desert to be created...

    Have you ever been to Egypt??? I have...

  14. #14
    umdkook Guest

    Re: Bible poll

    i dunno, a rack was used for torture during later times, and killing your son while hes still conscience with whatever he was gonna use (without meds no less!!!) is torture in my book. so maybe it was a rack....

  15. #15
    umdkook Guest

    Re: Bible poll

    if g-d told your son to put YOU on an altar to be sacrificed, would you allow it???

  16. #16
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    Re: Bible poll

    Quote Originally Posted by umdkook
    i dunno, a rack was used for torture during later times, and killing your son while hes still conscience with whatever he was gonna use (without meds no less!!!) is torture in my book. so maybe it was a rack....
    An altar was built very carefully in those days... read leviticus if you've the time... there is a big difference...

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