Saturday, December 17, 2005

Old Testament Justice

Update: 12-20-05 -----
The information below is my opinion based upon 40 years of Bible Study using such wonderful references as Dr. Adam Clarke's Bible Commentary and other great works. In no way is it intended to be stated as fact other than what others have said are fact, such as Dr. Clarke's findings about Jewish law and Customs.

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Since Capital Punishment has been a hot topic lately, I thought I would post on clearing up something in the Old Testament that has been getting a bad rap.

First a little background on Gods Laws.

The Gospel, (the good news that there would be a Messiah who would be sacrificed and enable anyone who would repent of their sins to be forgiven), was originally given to Adam and passed on down from generation to generation.

It was very lengthy and very detailed. It included some laws and also some rituals, which were to remind them of the sacrifice that God would make through his Son Jesus Christ. In fact the tenth day of the seventh month (Tishri) was set aside by the Lord as the annual Day of Atonement. Modern Jews call this day “Yom Kippur.” While there are two significant things that occur on this day, one of the things was the ritual of oral confession of all of the sins of the whole people while the leader laid his hands on the head of a goat they called “the scape goat.” (See Leviticus 16:21) This was also a reminder that Jesus was going to be the scape goat for all mankind.

There were two basic sets of Laws in the Old Testament; The "Gospel Law", and “The Law of Moses”, in which a new set of Laws called the “Carnal Commandments”, or as the Apostle Paul called them "the carnal ordinances", were added.

The Book of Exodus begins with the birth of Moses and ends with the building of the Tabernacle. At the moment the Tabernacle was finished, the children of Israel started to receive the Carnal Commandments.

These Carnal Commandments were meant to be temporary and to be a “schoolmaster” to bring Israel to Christ, or “The Messiah.” Once the Messiah came, they would be fulfilled. Paul makes this clear. He points out that they were “added because of transgression” (Galatians 3:19), and that they included the laws which “stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformat
ion.” - (Hebrews 9:10 )

In other words, until the Messiah came.

The Carnal Commandments can be grouped into three categories; The Laws of Purification, The Dietary Laws, and The Elaborate System of Sacrifices and Offerings.

The Laws of Purification contained the following; The Sin Offering, The Burnt Offering, The Peace Offering, The Wave Offering, The Trespass Offering, The Meat Offering, and The Drink Offering.

The permanent part of the Gospel Covenant could be grouped into four categories; The Ten Commandments, The Simple Sacrifice, (to be replaced with the Sacrament), The Laws of Preparation and The Policies of Justice, Generosity, Liberty and Equality for All.

This Gospel Covenant, which existed from the time of Adam, was to be just the “floor” of the Gospel, not the ceiling. Jesus wanted his disciples to use it as a minimum and then add to it things which are of a higher plane.

While people have a right of “justice”, God will reward us more if we resist the urge to retaliate. Jesus was teaching that people should rise to the highest possible capacity for tolerance, love and forgiveness.

While it was clear that a group such as the Jewish government or leaders was not to provide charity for the poor, love one’s neighbor; be honest in business dealings, etc. It was to be done by individuals by obeying principles of the Gospel.

Update: 12-20-05 ------

Of course the jewish leaders were also individuals and were suppose to be bound by the same standards. The Jews took these responsibilities upon themselves and did not pawn them off to their government as far as I know. Perhaps someone can show me where the Jews collected taxes to help the poor?

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The part of the Law of Moses, often called the Law of the Covenant by some, had a genius for achieving justice and equality that is unmatched by any other ancient code. Hammurabi’s Code for instance incorporated special privileges for certain classes and the application of the law depended upon the class to which a person belonged. Other codes such as Confucius, Menu and Zoroaster also had many great weaknesses.

Let’s now examine how the Law of Moses was generally misunderstood as being very harsh, when in reality it wasn’t.

First the old saying “an eye for an eye.” If some one deliberately put out someone’s eye, it was necessary for the guilty party to provide “satisfaction” to the victim, or lose his own eye. In other words it was the threat of losing his own eye that was the reason that the offender would desperately extend himself to the victim to make things right. It was also a way of showing that the punishment should fit the crime.

In most cases this “satisfaction” was in the form of money. If the person didn’t have any money, he could sell his services for up to six years to pay off the debt. Today we do the wrong thing by sending people to prison where they are separated from their family and instead of the injured party being compensated; either the city, county or state is paid money and/or society must do the “paying” by supporting the offender in prison.

The purpose of the Law of Moses was to balance the scales of justice with the victim, not the state. In modern justice we penalize the guilty, but we do nothing for the victim, which robs justice. In fact we are penalizing those who are not guilty with taxes to pay for the care of those who are. The Law of Moses was much more fair and there was no prison. I don't know of any references in the Bible for a Penal System.

The “satisfaction” was not only to restore, but also to give back more to make up for any inconvenience or fear to which he had subjected his victim. For example, the penalty for theft was to return twice as much as had been stolen. (Exodus 22:4)

Now for the main subject, Capital Punishment under the Law of Moses.

While a great many crimes carried the death penalty, only one carried a compulsory death sentence, and that was first-degree murder. (Numbers 35:31)

On all other offenses, where the maximum penalty was death, the person had two alternatives. One was to “be cut off from among his people” and the other was to “make satisfaction.” A person could be cut off from among his people by self-exile. From “his people” did not mean “all people.” You either made up for your bad behavior to preserve a wholesome society or you went to a society that had lower standards.

This shows that the Law of Moses was not a “Lex Talionis” (Law of Retaliation), but a Law of reparation. The object was equity and justice, not revenge. The object was to restore the victim, not to destroy the offender, by making the offender do the restoring.

With respect to the death sentence, the accusers had to “throw the first stone.” Then the leaders of the community could carry out the sentence. If the accusers refused then it was assumed that there was something wrong with their testimony.

Next, the idea that there were many other “death sentences” for seemly much less serious crimes will be addressed. For example, take the dealings with a dissolute, disobedient and obstreperous son. While it would seem backward to say the least to impose the death penalty because a son was out of control, remember the offending person had the option of self-exile.

First, the sons of Israel were very obedient because they knew that the parents had the backing of society with legal authority over their very lives if they became too rebellious. Next, the parents were required to exhibit the utmost patience with him to try to work out their bad behavior before they could declare him anathema.

“If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and that, when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them: then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city, and unto the gate of his place: and they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn, and rebellious, he will not obey our voice…” (Deuteronomy 21: 18-20 )

At this point the parents had to pick up and cast the first stone. It is no wonder we don’t have any record of this ever happening. Parents, no matter how provoked would not likely do this to their children. They would probably suggest self-exile if the son was not willing to obey, but the psychological value of having the ultimate consequence of not obeying ones parents, of either getting killed or imposing self-exile made children very obedient.

This may be where the Muslims get the concept of “Honor Killings.” Remember they obeyed the Laws of Moses at one point also. They probably just forgot that the offending party should have the choice of self-exile of where they would have to leave the Muslim society.

And finally, the offenses against society where there is no need to “make satisfaction” to the victim. These offenses were dealt with by “public whippings.” The maximum amount was to be forty lashes.

“And it shall be, if the wicked man be worth to be beaten, that the judge shall cause him to lie down, and to be beaten before his [the judge’s] face, according to his fault, by a certain number. Forty stripes he may give him, and not to exceed: lest, if he should exceed and beat him above these with many stripes, then thy brother should seem vile unto thee.” (Deuteronomy 25: 2-3)

Under the Law of Moses, once the offender was whipped he was released. They could not put him in a dungeon, starve, mutilate, or torture him, as was custom in the non-Jewish societies in those days.

So, there you have it. God is a loving God and there are very few recorded instances, (they maybe translated incorrectly), of the death penalty being carried out for some of the offenses that carried the death penalty other than murder in the first degree under the Law of Moses. There was to be an alternative of self-exile for all the other crimes. (Update: 12-20-05 - This paragraph has been edited to accomodate possible exceptions to this rule. Thanks to Kt4JC for pointing out what might be at least one exception.)

Maybe we should consider the victim as much as the Law of Moses did instead of the “state” getting the “satisfaction” and the taxpayers paying to have a person be separated from his family for things like theft that could be handled by the focus being on victims and justice instead of jails and fines for the state treasury.


50 Comments:

At 10:18 PM, Blogger Tex said...

Nice Post. Seemed like you were quoting Grant Jeffries in some parts. Except where a testimony will be established by two witnesses, well done.

 
At 11:14 AM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...

Tex,

Deuteronomy 17:6-7 talks about "At the mouth of two witnesses, or three witnesses, shall he that is worthy of death be put to death..."

:)

FAR.

 
At 9:21 PM, Blogger Roseville Conservative said...

FAR - I think that picture of you in Vietnam is totally cool.

I salute your service.

I also appreciate the fact that you point out in all but one crime that capitol punishment is an option.

If someone is a scumbag with a long record and they commit a crime where the Death Penalty is an option should get it.

However, someone who had a clean record or maybe a misdemeanor or two, who kills someone in a fist fight might not warrant getting the needle.

While I supported clemency for Tookie... Tookie got what he deserved. He was a scumbag that found the Lord and did some great work while in Prison.

The thing that gives me pause was the he mainatined his innocence up to his execution.

 
At 1:26 AM, Blogger KT4JC said...

First off, I know this is an extremely long comment, but I "had issues" with much of your post.

Paul in 1 Thessalonians 5:21 tells us to “Test everything.” When we only rely on our “own understanding” (Proverbs 3:5), we are not doing that. In this case, not only are these purely human assumptions, they are also obviously false to anyone who cares to look.

Firstly, about the Gospel. When did you mean that it “was given to Adam?” When was it “very lengthy and very detailed?” Could you give me specific verses for this and also the laws and rituals included? From what I have seen, this distinction was never given by God. Perhaps you can explain.

The idea that there were only “two basic sets of Laws in the Old Testament” was never given in the Bible, or was the distinction of the Carnal Commandments given. Could you tell me where you are getting this?

You incorrectly infer that Paul is mentioning “Carnal Commandments.” However, Paul is talking about “the Law” in its entirety and never mentions any such thing as the “Carnal Commandments.” Neither does Hebrews. This is greatly misleading.

Next, you list titles and categories, but you never explain how you came upon those.

Quote: ”While it was clear that a group such as the Jewish government or leaders was not to provide charity for the poor, love one’s neighbor; be honest in business dealings, etc. It was to be done by individuals by obeying principles of the Gospel.”

This also was never given by God. It is extremely foolish to think that the leaders of a Jewish government were not bound by Law.

Quote:”n most cases this “satisfaction” was in the form of money. If the person didn’t have any money, he could sell his services for up to six years to pay off the debt.”

Could you give me an instance of this?

Quote: “While a great many crimes carried the death penalty, only one carried a compulsory death sentence, and that was first-degree murder. (Numbers 35:31)”

No, I think that God commanding that “Whoever curses father or mother shall be put to death” (no if’s, and’s or but’s given there.) is pretty compulsory.

Quote: “On all other offenses, where the maximum penalty was death, the person had two alternatives. One was to “be cut off from among his people” and the other was to “make satisfaction.” A person could be cut off from among his people by self-exile. From “his people” did not mean “all people.” You either made up for your bad behavior to preserve a wholesome society or you went to a society that had lower standards.”

This is ABSOLUTELY FALSE. The instances in which a person would be “cut off from his people are these:

-any male uncircumcised (Genesis 17:14)
-misusing the holy perfume- (Exodus 30:33, Exodus 30:38)
-doing work on the Sabbath- (Exodus 31:14)
-an unclean person eating meat of the fellowship offering (Leviticus 7:20-21)
-Anyone who eats the fat of an animal from which an offering by fire may be made to the LORD (Leviticus 7:25)
-if anyone eats blood (Leviticus 7:27, Leviticus 17:10)
-Any Israelite who sacrifices an ox, a lamb or a goat in the camp or outside of it (Leviticus 17:4,17:9)
-eating a fellowship offering incorrectly (Leviticus 19:8)
-giving children to Molech, or pretending not to know about it (Leviticus 20:3, Leviticus 20:5)
-following mediums and spiritists (Leviticus 20:6)
-Not observing the Day of Atonement (Leviticus 23:29)
-Not properly celebrating Passover (Numbers 9:13)
-Sinning defiantly and blaspheming the Lord (Numbers 15:30)

Now, the meaning of someone being “cut off from among his people” is debated amongst Christians. Some believe that this means that the person was simply no longer part of the covenant. Others believe that this meant that the person was killed. FAR, apparently, thinks that it means exile.

However, when God was talking about the punishment for offering children to Molech (Leviticus 20:1-5), He says to Moses: "Say to the Israelites: 'Any Israelite or any alien living in Israel who gives any of his children to Molech must be put to death. The people of the community are to stone him. I will set my face against that man and I will cut him off from his people; for by giving his children to Molech, he has defiled my sanctuary and profaned my holy name. If the people of the community close their eyes when that man gives one of his children to Molech and they fail to put him to death, I will set my face against that man and his family and will cut off from their people both him and all who follow him in prostituting themselves to Molech.”

Thus, you can see that being “put to death” and being “cut off from his people” ARE NOT OPPOSING CHOICES, BUT IN FACT ONE AND THE SAME.

Moreover, you will notice that adultery and cursing a parent, etc. are not even mentioned as having part of the punishment include being “cut off from his people.” This yet again directly refutes FAR’s wild statement that “On all other offenses, where the maximum penalty was death, the person had two alternatives.”

Quote:” Next, the idea that there were many other “death sentences” for seemly much less serious crimes will be addressed. For example, take the dealings with a dissolute, disobedient and obstreperous son. While it would seem backward to say the least to impose the death penalty because a son was out of control, remember the offending person had the option of self-exile.”

And remember, that option was never given nor even mentioned.

Quote:” At this point the parents had to pick up and cast the first stone. It is no wonder we don’t have any record of this ever happening. Parents, no matter how provoked would not likely do this to their children. They would probably suggest self-exile if the son was not willing to obey, but the psychological value of having the ultimate consequence of not obeying ones parents, of either getting killed or imposing self-exile made children very obedient.”

Likewise, there is no record of him being exiled either.

Quote:” And finally, the offenses against society where there is no need to “make satisfaction” to the victim. These offenses were dealt with by “public whippings.” The maximum amount was to be forty lashes.”

Could you give an example?

Quote:” So, there you have it, no weird killings for disobedience or any of the other “smaller” crimes as some have suggested that God had commanded.”

Oh, really?

What about Leviticus 24:23- "Now the son of an Israelite mother and an Egyptian father went out among the Israelites, and a fight broke out in the camp between him and an Israelite. The son of the Israelite woman blasphemed the Name with a curse; so they brought him to Moses. (His mother's name was Shelomith, the daughter of Dibri the Danite.) They put him in custody until the will of the LORD should be made clear to them. Then the LORD said to Moses: "Take the blasphemer outside the camp. All those who heard him are to lay their hands on his head, and the entire assembly is to stone him. Say to the Israelites: 'If anyone curses his God, he will be held responsible; anyone who blasphemes the name of the LORD must be put to death. The entire assembly must stone him. Whether an alien or native-born, when he blasphemes the Name, he must be put to death. “

Notice that there was no choice of exile.

And also- Numbers 15:34-36- " While the Israelites were in the desert, a man was found gathering wood on the Sabbath day. Those who found him gathering wood brought him to Moses and Aaron and the whole assembly, and they kept him in custody, because it was not clear what should be done to him. Then the LORD said to Moses, "The man must die. The whole assembly must stone him outside the camp." So the assembly took him outside the camp and stoned him to death, as the LORD commanded Moses. "

Notice again- no choice of exile.

THIS WITHOUT A DOUBT REFUTES YOUR CLAIM THAT “there is not one recorded instance of the death penalty being carried out for some of the offenses that carried the death penalty other than murder in the first degree under the Law of Moses.”

Your claim that “There was always the alternative of self-exile for all the other crimes.” is laughable, as it is CLEARLY UNTRUE.


Your false assumptions and even falser conclusions are a great disservice to your readers.

 
At 4:52 AM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...

Kt4jc,

First of all, it is O.K. to disagree with me, but to say things like "Your claim that “There was always the alternative of self-exile for all the other crimes.” is laughable, as it is CLEARLY UNTRUE." is very disrespectful without first allowing me a chance to answer.

I am posting things that I believe to be true and have done some research on them and so again, please wait until I have a chance to show you where I get my info before you jump in and say my serious posts are "LAUGHABLE", I would never do that to anyone.

I thought the reason there were over 1200 different denominations of Christians was because the Scholars from each church could interpret the scriptures differently. I hope your not saying that the way I was taught was wrong and you’re the only one capable of understanding the scriptures?

After second thought, I was planning on answering each and every point you made, but I have decided you would not be swayed since your mind is evidently made up and no one else knows anything about the Bible except you.

I respect your opinion about what the Bible teaches and if I disagree with it, I won’t say it is wrong, merely that I don’t believe it.

I don’t think you really care to know what I might tell you. So, I will stand by my post and just say that you are entitled to your opinion.

It appears that by saying my understanding is wrong, then it means that you believe your view to be infallible. Therefore, who am I to try to present something different.

:)

FAR.

 
At 4:55 AM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...

It has been my experience of observation that a person who wants to know the truth when presented with information that doesn't fit their worldview will:

1. Ask questions to explain the conclusions.
2. Present information that "seems" to conflict.
3. Wait for as much information as possible before deciding that the new information is either wrong or it maybe worthy of consideration. And if you don’t start off with respect for others and their input, you will forever be stuck not being able to learn from others.

A closed mind will only say "Your Wrong!" and then ask questions and present contentious arguments all the while having no doubt that there is no way they are going to be swayed and not really wanting answers.

After 40 years of Bible study, to have ones beliefs ridiculed is not a Christ like response.

FAR.

 
At 8:50 AM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...

RC,

Yep, for the person willing to spend years studying the Bible, there are things that will explain things like how could God be so harsh in the Old Testament and then so nice in the New Testament.

It is just not understanding the Laws of Moses by reading only the Bible, but by reading stuff that other Scholars like Dr. Clark (Clark's Bible Commentary), and other Bible Scholars, and by reading Flavous Josephus we get a better view of what the Jews believed and were taught.

Here in Leviticus Chapter 20 verses 4 and 5, it is clear that If they decide to not kill him because he chooses to be exiled, then God will "cut him off from among his people" and will do likewise for his family.

I am not just taking this one passage by it's self either, it is clear in many places that the Law of Moses was fair and just and not as backward as people want to believe. God says to "Tell them" that they will be surely put to death, but if they decide to accept exile instead, then God will no longer be with them.

"And if the people of the land do any ways hide their eyes from the man, when he giveth of his seed unto Molech, and kill him not:

Then I will set my face against that man, and against his family, and will cut him off, and all that go a whoring after him, to commit whoredom with Molech, from among their people."

I think it makes sense that he is not talking about killing the man's family as well, because of the man giving his seed to Molech, as he makes it clear that they all (family also) will be "cut off" and not killed.

God was a loving God in the Old Testament and is a Loving God today.

Jesus makes it clear that he didn't come to destroy the law, but to fulfill the "schoolmaster" portion that was to use ritual to teach about his coming. Once he was here those "carnal" ordinances or "commandments" were done away with, as they were no longer needed. But the Ten Commandments and the other Laws were kept and not one "jot or tittle" was done away with.

"Who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life." (Heb. 7:16)

"God is not the author of confusion..." (1 Cor 14:33)

Which God seems more like Christ, a God that is reasonable and gives people options for all crimes except first-degree murder, or a "fly off the handle one" that says, "Oops you shouted at your Mom, Your dead, sorry no second chances."

Again which seems more Christ Like, the "reasonable" one or the "fly off the handle one?"

After studying for over 40 years my belief says the "reasonable one."

I am not saying I "know" for sure, as that would not be "faith" and would make me a "know it all", but it is my belief.

:)

FAR.

 
At 11:37 AM, Blogger KT4JC said...

FAR, beliefs are fine, but to state your beliefs as absolute fact is not. Nowhere in your post did you say that it was your opinion or beliefs. You stated it as "a little background" and "information that doesn't fit their worldview." That is not acceptable, as it is greatly misleading to your readers.

But not only did you state your beliefs as fact. You also gave almost no support to explain how you came to these conclusions.

Thirdly, many of your conclusions were outrightly false. They are proved false, not what by I say, but by what the Bible says.

If you would like to share how you came to these conclusions and how they are supported by scripture, I would be happy to listen.

However, I can only go by what you have given so far. Again, what you have given so far has either not been supported, or has been proved false. For example, you said, "So, there you have it, no weird killings for disobedience or any of the other “smaller” crimes as some have suggested that God had commanded."

But in the Bible, there are the examples of the blasphemer and the man who did not follow the Sabbath. It is very, very clear that your statement above is false. This brings into question your other statements as well.

You say, "After second thought, I was planning on answering each and every point you made, but I have decided you would not be swayed since your mind is evidently made up and no one else knows anything about the Bible except you."

There are without a doubt many people who know more than I do. However, the little that I am familiar with is in conflict with your statements.

Quote: "I respect your opinion about what the Bible teaches and if I disagree with it, I won’t say it is wrong, merely that I don’t believe it."

FAR, if someone was saying that the Bible says that Jesus was not the Son of God, neither you nor I would say, "Well, that's just their belief. Who am I to say it's wrong. " No, we would point out what the Bible has to say, especially if people were starting to believe it!

Quote:"It appears that by saying my understanding is wrong, then it means that you believe your view to be infallible. Therefore, who am I to try to present something different."

In my example above, correcting the person is not in any way saying that your own view is infallible. I would hope that when my views are obviously in conflict with the Bible you would tell me so.

Quote: "It is just not understanding the Laws of Moses by reading only the Bible, but by reading stuff that other Scholars like Dr. Clark (Clark's Bible Commentary), and other Bible Scholars, and by reading Flavous Josephus we get a better view of what the Jews believed and were taught."

Could you please tell me how I can obtain these?

Quote: "Here in Leviticus Chapter 20 verses 4 and 5, it is clear that If they decide to not kill him because he chooses to be exiled, then God will "cut him off from among his people" and will do likewise for his family."

How do you come up with this? There is no choice given in this passage.

Quote: "I am not just taking this one passage by it's self either, it is clear in many places that the Law of Moses was fair and just and not as backward as people want to believe. God says to "Tell them" that they will be surely put to death, but if they decide to accept exile instead, then God will no longer be with them."

Could you tell me where exactly God says this?? I have not seen any "but if" part.

Quote: "I think it makes sense that he is not talking about killing the man's family as well, because of the man giving his seed to Molech, as he makes it clear that they all (family also) will be "cut off" and not killed."

FAR, you are making yet another assumption, just so it fits your views. God says "cut off" but he never says that it is instead of being killed. You cannot say such things, and expect people to respect you.

Quote: "Which God seems more like Christ, a God that is reasonable and gives people options for all crimes except first-degree murder, or a "fly off the handle one" that says, "Oops you shouted at your Mom, Your dead, sorry no second chances."

FAR, you cannot alter what happened to make it fit with your beliefs. That's like saying that God never destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, because that would make him "mean" and "not Christlike."

Quote: "I am not saying I "know" for sure, as that would not be "faith" and would make me a "know it all", but it is my belief."

Part of the problem, FAR, is that you didn't do that. You stated your beliefs as fact.

In summary-

You stated your beliefs as fact.

You did not explain or support how you came to those beliefs.

Many of those statements are directly in conflict with the Bible. (The "no weird killings," etc.)

You have not yet refuted this.

Your readers have believed that what you tell them is fact. For example, "I also appreciate the fact that you point out in all but one crime that capitol punishment is an option."

As I have said, this a disservice to your readers.

 
At 2:28 PM, Blogger jj said...

Kt4jc,
you are 100% correct. The reason FAR will not answer point by point is he cannot refute your points.

FAR
After second thought, I was planning on answering each and every point you made, but I have decided you would not be swayed since your mind is evidently made up and no one else knows anything about the Bible except you.

FAR No where did she imply that only she knows the Bible. She simply pointed out obvious errors in your post.

If you cannot refute her points just concede that you where incorrect or do you still beleive your post is completely accurate?

Kt4jc,
Very well stated. Certianly better than I could have :)

 
At 3:44 PM, Blogger Intellectual Insurgent said...

FAR -

You are 0 for 2 with Katelyn. She's quite the adversary. :-)

 
At 5:47 PM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...

Kt4KC,

You neglected to address how two people can read the same passage and come up with different understandings and could both believe that they understood it correctly.

But this is the key, "When it comes to understanding the Bible, there is only belief." If you or I could "prove" the Bible there would be no need for faith.

When I present my understanding of the Bible, it should be obvious to anyone reading my post that I am stating my belief; otherwise we would all be Catholic. If I am a Methodist, then I will have a Methodist’s bias, if I am a Baptist, then I will have a Baptist’s bias, etc.

You said that if someone said that Jesus was not the Son of God, neither you nor I would say, "Well, that's just their belief. Who am I to say it's wrong." And that you would “correct them.” I wouldn’t be so presumptuous as to think that I “know” the answer and everyone else just “believes” in their answer.

Well you can only correct a person if you "know" that you have the facts. The Bible is all about Belief. And actually, I would say, “that is your belief, but not mine.”

Let’s use an obvious example, “Does a person have to be baptized in order to be with Jesus?”

People will point to the John 3:5 and say yes, people can only be with Jesus if they are baptized before they die. But others will point to the thief on the cross and ask didn’t Jesus say “today thou wilt be with me in Paradise?”

How is this possible unless the thief is baptized? And what about the Billions who lived on the Earth before Jesus, are they all doomed? Is God a respecter of persons? Does he only care about people who are baptized?

Everybody else is going to hell? Abraham, Isaac, Noah, Job are all doomed to hell because they were not baptized? How about all of the Muslims? How about all of the Buddhists? Are they all condemned to hell?

I don’t believe so, but then I am my own person with my own beliefs and I have not arrived at my conclusions without a great, great deal of study and prayer. To me the answer is obvious, but then that is another topic.

You asked for a place where you could see some of my reference material such as “Flavius Josephus” and Adam Clarks Bible Commentary, well it is:
here.

I don’t belong to the church that sponsors this web page, but find the reference material online to be invaluable. I have my own copy of Flavius Josephus, but having a hyperlinked reference is just outstanding.

When I was your age, I respected my elders and did not ever tell them “Your wrong” as that was very disrespectful. I figured they had lived enough time to learn a thing or two that I just might be able to learn from them. And who knows, I might disagree with them at the time, but as the years have passed, it is amazing how much smarter they have become.

I guarantee that you will change some of your worldview by the time you are middle aged, and you will look back and remember that the definition of an “educated person” is a person who realizes just how much he doesn’t know and how much he can learn from others. Wisdom increases with age and I will testify that when I was a teenager I was sure that I not only knew more than my parents, but I pretty much thought I had the world all figured out.

Well I was a Democrat and a member of a different religion than I am today, but I thought I knew it all.

If you want to go through each point, I might be willing later, but for now, I don't sense you having an "inqusitive" mind, and I don't write down my hard learned lessons just to have someone read them who has their mind already made up.

That is called "talking to the wall", and I don't enjoy doing that.

That is why when someone else writes a post, I ask serious questions to try to understand where they are coming from, for that is the true essence of learning.

When I write a post, I expect others to ask questions of things they either don't understand or disagree with so they can see that others actually have a brain too.

:)

FAR.

 
At 6:19 PM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...

jj,

O.K. one at at time. Maybe someone else is really interested in learning.

Kt4JC said: "Firstly, about the Gospel. When did you mean that it “was given to Adam?” When was it “very lengthy and very detailed?” Could you give me specific verses for this and also the laws and rituals included? From what I have seen, this distinction was never given by God. Perhaps you can explain."

It is clear that as early as the 4th Chapter of Genesis that God had taught much to Adam and his children as they already were practicing the sacrifice.

And what was the prupose of the sacrifice? It was to ritualize the story about a Messiah who would be sacrificed for all of mankind.

Do you really believe God would have taught them about the sacrifice without telling them the Gospel and its laws?

When Cain killed Abel, he was "cut off" by being asked to leave his homeland and travel to the land of Nod. Cain killed in a fight over his sacrifice because it was not a "firstling" of the flock, as Christ is the "fisrtling" or "best" of mankind.

This information is from studing on my own, plus reading lots of Bible Commentaries and other Scholary writings.

If you want to believe that God was not going to "lay down the rules" to his children, then you have not learned about being a parent through your parents.

Not teaching them all that they needed to know about God's laws would be as unimaginable as your parents not teaching you about rules.

The exact place that I got the information about Confucius, Menu and Zoroaster and their Code weakness can be found in Dr. Adam Clarke's Bible Commentary. Vol 1, pages 840-841.

Well there is the first point. Let's discuss this one for awhile before we move on to the next one.

You can say you don't agree but just don't say that since there is no mention of God giving the Laws of Sacrifice in Chapter and verse, that Adams children just figured out the law of sacrifice on their own.

:)

FAR.

 
At 6:40 PM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...

ii,

Yep, 0 for 2. At least I understand that just like in the Death Penalty discussion, I concede that there are two sides to that question. She refuses to acknowledge that the other position could possibly be right.

We all know that just like this discussion, it is all opinion and neither side can "prove" the other wrong or right.

If so, then we would all be Catholic.

I will "discuss" as long as my opinions are given due respect, but when someone starts to ridicule, then it is time to quit beating your head against the wall.

There are probably only a few million people who agree with me compared to many more million who might agree with Katelyn, but then the majority is not often right. The majority crucified Christ and the majorities are not Christian in this world.

Might does not make right. But God does. And God is not the author of confusion.

So, ask Katelyn if all Muslims that are not baptized are going to hell. I don't believe they are, does she?

:)

FAR.

 
At 7:21 PM, Blogger jj said...

FAR what I hear you saying is you believe your interpretation of the Bible is correct. Is that the case?

If so then you believe the Bible is not literally the word of God and just mans interpretation.

KT4JC lays out just a few parts that are written with meanings that are black and white. You either believe what is written or you believe your interpratation. I can respect either one but you can't have both.

 
At 8:53 PM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...

jj,

You always make good points and you do it respectfully and that is why I like your style.

First, the Bible is literally a "Library of Books" that is the definition of the word "Bible."

I think that the origional versions of the Hebrew language is the Word of God and yet it cannot be taken "literally" as the Bible calls us "sheep." We all know that we are not sheep.

The Bible is full of metaphores and parables that require study and interpretation.

Also the people who held the "scrolls" of the origional manuscripts could have taken many plain and wonderful things out of them. For example the Catholics have their own version of the Bible called the Douay-Rheims Bible. It contains some books that the Kings James Bible does not contain for the very reason that we are discussing.

It is what the Lawyers in the Justice System call the "Chain of Evidence" and when it might be "broken."

There are many scriptures in the "Dead Sea Scrolls" that are almost identical to the Bible, but contain some differences. So, which is more correct? Many people belive the Dead Sea Scrolls have less chance of being altered and we should look to them before we trust the people who were the "keepers" of the scrolls that got translated into what we now have as the Bible.

For instance. If today you said "That was cool!" and then 1500 years later the universal language was latin, can you guess that your statement might have several different people say it meant "it was cool to the touch" while someone else would swear that you meant it was "neat" and someone else would say something different yet.


:)

FAR.

 
At 9:22 PM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...

I just noticed that my link didn't work, so here it is again.

http://godfreynazarene.org/html/study_resources.html


Hope it works this time.

 
At 9:56 PM, Blogger Roseville Conservative said...

Good Lord, FAR...

Great Job on the Comments...

I'd have never thought that I post like this would draw such heavy fire...

 
At 10:20 PM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...

RC,

Me either. My overriding point is that God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow and that people who are not Religious will "hammer" Christians by saying that the God of the Old Testament, (Jesus), was cruel in the old days, but somehow he changed his personality when he came to the Earth.

I was showing that I have been taught through others and from my reading and praying that he really wasn't a "knee jerk" God who said, "Oops, you spilled your milk, I am going to kill you." in the Old Testament, but then became completely different in the New Testament.

I don't understand Religious people saying that he was the "mean guy" that the Atheists claim in the Old Testament.

You would think I would have people trying to understand and wanting to find that what I am saying just might have merit insted of agreeing with the Atheists.

:)

FAR.

 
At 12:53 AM, Blogger KT4JC said...

FAR, as a fellow conservative and Christian, I appreciate your life-long Bible study and valuable life experiences, but respectfully disagree with your conclusions. I understand that people can have different interpretations. However, some things can be said about the Bible, as all texts, that are not interpretation nor opinion, but fact.

For instance, consider our Constitution. Suppose someone says that “there is not one recorded instance of the right to bear arms in the Constitution or its amendments.” This is an attempt to state a fact about what actually exists in the Constitution. Now, there can be numerous interpretations of what the “right to bear arms” means, but we can refer to the Constitution to determine the truthfulness of the assertion.

Similarly, in a recent post you concluded: “there is not one recorded instance of the death penalty being carried out for some of the offenses that carried the death penalty other than murder in the first degree under the Law of Moses.” In response, I have given evidence of two instances from the Bible in which the death penalty was used under the Law of Moses for the other offenses- the blasphemer (Leviticus 24:23) and the man not observing the Sabbath (Numbers 15:34-36).

To me, this is a conflict of fact, not merely a difference of interpretation.

I agree with you that the “God of the Old Testament” and the “God of the New Testament” are one in the same. As humans, it may be a challenge to understand this. However, we cannot try to change what God has said to fit with our views. Instead, we are called to reevaluate our views in light of what God has revealed to us through the Bible.

 
At 4:54 AM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...

KT4JC,

First, when I said, “At this point the parents had to pick up and cast the first stone. It is no wonder we don’t have any record of this ever happening.”

I was referring to”no record of parents casting the first stone.” In the case of Leviticus 24:23 it doesn’t say who cast the fisrt stone, although it was customary for it to be the two witnesses, and it may not have been for “taking the name of the Lord in vain” as you will see below.

On Leviticus, 24:23.

I remember reading in several references that Murder in the first-degree was sometimes called Blasphemy against the Name of The Lord.

We find this in Clarke’s Bible Commentary: here

“Verse 17. He that killeth any man Blasphemy against God….”

And speaking about verse 24 he says, “WHAT the crime of Shelomith's son was, we cannot distinctly say; doubtless it was some species of blasphemy: however, we find it was a new and unprecedented case;”

So, since the Jews consider Murder as a species of blasphemy, it is my understanding that in this case it may have been murder that was the Blasphemy and that he was caught and began swearing.

He goes on to say “and on this occasion a law is made relative to blasphemy in general. However sinful the Jews might have been at this time, we have reason to believe they did not take the name of the Lord in vain.”

So, I hope you can see that it has always been my understanding that in this case the blasphemy was murder. You will also notice that he “both” cursed and blasphemed. “And the Israelitish woman’s son blasphemed the name of the LORD, and cursed.”

In verse 15 God talks about swearing being a sin. In verse 16 he talks about Blasphemy, and again Dr. Clarke says about verse 17: “. He that killeth any man Blasphemy against God….”

Numbers 15:34-36

In Verse 30, Dr. Clarke says: “But the soul that doeth aught presumptuously] Bold daring acts of transgression against the fullest evidence, and in despite of the Divine authority, admitted of no atonement; the person was to be cut off-to be excluded from God’s people, and from all their privileges and blessings.”

Here he is saying that if a man transgresses against God’s laws and then does not repent (admitted of no atonement), he was to be “cut off” or to be sent away from God’s people and from all their privileges and blessings.” (Of course with the one exception of murder in the first degree.)

In this case the reason they brought the man in was that he was breaking the law, (he was working on the Sabbath), but they did not know what the punishment should be, so they asked Moses. “And they put him in ward, because it was not declared what should be done to him.” – (Verse 34)

Now the question is why didn’t they know what the punishment should be if it was clear? Is it possible he was guilty of some other crime and when Moses inquired of God as to what to do, and then God said they should stone him because of some murder?

I must admit on this one I am on shaky ground as this may be one instance where it sure can look like it was a “small crime” if he wasn’t guilty of some other crime like murder.

If this is an instance of a “small crime” being punished by death, then it is in conflict with my understanding of many, many references and commentaries saying that “except in the case of first-degree murder, the accused has the option of exile, or in other words, to be cut-off from his people.”

So, if you want to say you found an exception, I will say it sure seems that way, so I will remove my statement about “No” small crimes just in case that God made and exception on this occasion, although again it goes against the procedure of offering a man the choice of exile.

You will see that I removed that statement from the post but that does not change what I found as the rule of God being a Loving God and allowing the choice to be exiled in all but first-degree murder.

Maybe there are “always exceptions to the rule?”

Hope you can see that what you thought was black and white can have questions about them when they conflict with a rule.

:)

FAR.

 
At 5:04 AM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...

Kt4JC,

I am curious if you believe that all who lived before Christ, (were not baptized), are going to hell?

Billions of people both in the Past and today have not had the chance to be baptized.

People like Moses, Abraham, Lot, all Muslims, all Atheists, etc.?

Like I said, I like to ask questions as well because I like to understand different views.


FAR.

 
At 5:22 AM, Blogger Mahndisa S. Rigmaiden said...

12 20 05

Hey FAR: Good post. I was trying to read the comments but K4 something or other has taken all of the bandwidth! No, just kidding but the comments are a lot to read and hers are particularly long. I will try to read them because the debate looked interesting, but this is where my eyes start pooping out on me....Have a nice day:)

 
At 5:46 AM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...

Thanks Disa, and thanks for stopping by.

I try to post things that I feel are not the normal "me too" kind of posts. I feel I have some interesting slants on life, having lived 62 years so far, but I do love to make people think who otherwise would just "parrott the old party line....like the God of the Old Testament was cruel", etc.

:)

FAR.

 
At 9:20 AM, Blogger jj said...

Exodus 19:12 And thou shalt set bounds unto the people round about, saying, Take heed to yourselves, that ye go not up into the mount, or touch the border of it: whosoever toucheth the mount shall be surely put to death:

Exodus 21:16 And he that stealeth a man, and selleth him, or if he be found in his hand, he shall surely be put to death.

Exodus 21:17 And he that curseth his father, or his mother, shall surely be put to death.

Exodus 22:19 Whosoever lieth with a beast shall surely be put to death.

Exodus 31:15 Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the sabbath of rest, holy to the LORD: whosoever doeth any work in the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death.

Leviticus 19:20 And whosoever lieth carnally with a woman, that is a bondmaid, betrothed 33 to an husband, and not at all redeemed, nor freedom given her; she shall be scourged; they shall not be put to death, because she was not free.

Leviticus 20:10 And the man that committeth adultery with another man's wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbour's wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.

Leviticus 20:11 And the man that lieth with his father's wife hath uncovered his father's nakedness: both of them shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.

Leviticus 20:12 And if a man lie with his daughter in law, both of them shall surely be put to death: they have wrought confusion; their blood shall be upon them.

Leviticus 20:16 And if a woman approach unto any beast, and lie down thereto, thou shalt kill the woman, and the beast: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.

Leviticus 24:17 And he that killeth any man shall surely be put to death.

There are many many more

 
At 10:06 AM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...

jj,

There is no doubt that there were many things where the "maximum" penalty was death. I am aware of all of these.

I was looking for examples of when the maximum penalty was carried out for the "lessor" offenses.

Boy, I am not very good at making my points understood if you think I was saying that "only murder carried the death penalty."

Is that what you thought I was saying?

My point is/was that while many laws had the death penalty as the maximum punishment, the only one that carried the "compulsory" or required death penalty was murder in the first-degree.

All others were supposed to allow for exile as an option.

Katelyn brought up one or two that "seem" to be exceptions.

Your input is appreciated, but off the point.

:)

FAR.

 
At 1:15 PM, Blogger KT4JC said...

Quote: ” I am curious if you believe that all who lived before Christ, (were not baptized), are going to hell? Billions of people both in the Past and today have not had the chance to be baptized. People like Moses, Abraham, Lot, all Muslims, all Atheists, etc.?”

It looks like we are changing topics, and while I haven’t researched this as thoroughly as I would like, I will attempt to answer your question.

It is true that those in the Old Testament were not baptized. However, they were circumcised, and that was a sign of the Covenant between God and his people. Because we now live in the times of the New Testament, baptism, as instituted by Jesus, has replaced circumcision (Colossians 2:11-12) (But it is not only Catholics that say this. Lutherans, Calvinists, and other denominations, believe this also.) And, just as “Any uncircumcised male, who has not been circumcised in the flesh, will be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant,” any unbaptized person has broken the New Covenant. Thus, Moses and Abraham were circumcised and were part of covenant, and are, of course, not going to hell. However, those who live in New Testament times and have not been baptized are not in the new covenant. Thus, baptism is necessary for salvation, because part of salvation is agreeing to the new covenant.

As for Muslims and atheists, Christ said, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well." As Christ himself says, He is the only way to God.

Being baptized and acknowledging Christ as Lord and Savior would be the most assured way of going to heaven. Because I am not God, I cannot say for sure what the exact minimum requirements are. However, in my opinion, it would be foolish to deliberately not be baptized or to deny Christ.

 
At 2:22 PM, Blogger KT4JC said...

Sorry about the links. I can't figure out what makes them do that. Anyways, here they are:

Lutherans: http://www.lcms.org/pages/internal.asp?NavID=4646

Calvinists and other denominations: http://ic.net/~erasmus/RAZ328.HTM

 
At 3:26 PM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...

Kt4JC,

No, I was not really changing the subject, as much as I was curious as to what others have thought about this subject.

I thank you for your answer and I will ponder it.

:)

FAR.

 
At 3:51 PM, Blogger jj said...

FAR you say There is no doubt that there were many things where the "maximum" penalty was death. I am aware of all of these

Maybe I missed the caveats. Where are the minimum and maximums in the statements.
shall surely be put to death?

Leviticus 24:17 And he that killeth any man shall surely be put to death.?
Is this the maximum or the only penalty?

If it is the penalty for killing then how is the statement shall surely be put to death any different in the many others ?

These statements appear to be the only punishment not the maximum. Can show me specifically where you get the idea these are maximums ?

I know Kt4JC had asked this earlier however I have not heard your answer and would really like to know why you do not take those statements as written.

I do not pretend to know the bible as well as Kt4JC or FAR but would like to hear your answer.

Kt4JC- here are your links.
Lutherans:
Calvinists and other denominations:

 
At 4:14 PM, Blogger KT4JC said...

JJ, thanks for fixing my links. I had tried to use the regular < a > to link, but, as you can see, that didn't work. If there anything I was doing wrong?

 
At 5:57 PM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...

jj,

Again you ask such great questions!

You said: "Where are the minimum and maximums in the statements.
shall surely be put to death?"

O.K., Lets take one that has both the Maximum and the minimum in it.

Such as the one in Exodus 31:14; "Ye shall keep the sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you: every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death: for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people."

First the accused is brought before the magistrates and if he refuses to "admitted of no atonement; the person was to be stoned to death, it he repents then he is cut off-to be excluded from God’s people, and from all their privileges and blessings.”

This was part of finding one guilty, i.e., by the accused not being repentant. If he was not repentant, he was found guilty. If he was repentant, (admitted of atonement), then he got the lessor punishment which was to be cut off from amoung his people and privileges.


Here Dr. Clarke, discusses both consequences:
"Verse 14. Every one that defileth it] By any kind of idolatrous or profane worship.

Shall surely be put to death] The magistrates shall examine into the business, and if the accused be found guilty, he shall be stoned to death.

Shall be cut off] Because that person who could so far contemn the Sabbath, which was a sign to them of the rest which remained for the people of God, was of course an infidel, and should be cut off from all the privileges and expectations of an Israelite."

This was the same as the case of Cain killing Able. Was he stoned to death or was he "cut off?"

He was cut off.

I could give you others.

:)

FAR.

 
At 6:00 PM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...

Kt4JC,

O.K, Next point:

Said: “The idea that there were only “two basic sets of Laws in the Old Testament” was never given in the Bible, or was the distinction of the Carnal Commandments given. Could you tell me where you are getting this?
You incorrectly infer that Paul is mentioning “Carnal Commandments.” However, Paul is talking about “the Law” in its entirety and never mentions any such thing as the “Carnal Commandments.” Neither does Hebrews. This is greatly misleading. “


O.K, here is a quote by Paul that is referring to the temporary ordinances that would be done away with once Christ came. “Which stood only in meats and drinks, and diver washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation.”

Here Paul calls them “Carnal Ordinances” instead of Carnal Commandments. They were ordinances that they were “supposed” to do, so some people called them commandments.

If you examine Exodus and then compare it with Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy you will find that there are two basic differences:

First, in Exodus the statement of the law is very simple. It is then expanded into a far more extensive and complex code in the other three books.

Second, the Lord added the dietary laws, a health code, and a bunch of ordinances, rules, and other new requirements/regulations. The purpose of these new items appears to be to keep them busy and to provide a “schoolmaster” to teach them how to prepare for the Messiah.

Here the Lord is talking about “adding law” to what existed until “the seed” (Christ), should be on Earth as was promised. The Law was “added to” because of transgressions. “Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator.” (Gal 3:19)

If we examine Dr. Clarke’s Commentary of Romans Chapter 7 we find he talks about which laws were done away with by Christ.

If you read from the beginning of his commentary of this chapter, you will see that the laws were referring to the “carnal” or sensual appetites. He then says that “he has determined that this law of ordinances shall cease” and that these laws are “The merely literal rites, ceremonies, and sacrifices are now done away; “ The other set of basic laws such as the Ten Commandments were kept.

See his commentary on Mathew 5, Verse 17 where he says “It is worthy of observation, that the word rmg gamar, among the rabbins, signifies not only to fulfill, but also to teach; and, consequently, we may infer that our Lord intimated, that the law and the prophets were still to be taught or inculcated by him and his disciples;”

Again which law? The laws that were not part of the “law of ordinances” or carnal ordinances, meaning the Ten Commandments.

:)

FAR.

 
At 7:51 PM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...

jj,

Remeber when I told you that Hebrew words have different meanings depending upon context.

Just as in English where the word "Force" can have 16 different meanings depending upon context, the same only more so is true of Hebrew.

In Hebrew a single word can mean a whole phrase. Such is the case where the word for "Shall surely be put to death" can be translated differently. Sometimes it is translated as "to be the Lord's property" or in other places "to be in his service till death."

Here in Dr. Clarke's commentary on Leviticus Chap 27 verse 29 we find just such a case, "Verse 29. Which shall be devoted of men] Every man who is devoted shall surely be put to death; or, as some understand it, be the Lord's property, or be employed in his service, till death."

I guess you can see that sometimes what appears to be clearly Black or White can be "grey" if the translator got it wrong. Of coarse one of the reasons we have so many different translations is they keep trying to clear up things that seem to be incorrect and at the same time make it more readable for the layman.

:)

 
At 9:17 PM, Blogger KT4JC said...

FAR, I have been reading Dr. Clarke’s Bible Commentary as you suggested. From what I understand, this was the source of your theory that all of the lesser crimes “were supposed to allow for exile as an option.”

However, from what I have read, it would appear that even Dr. Clark does not agree.

On Exodus 21:15-16 he says:

“Verse 15. That smiteth his father, or his mother] As such a case argued peculiar depravity, therefore no mercy was to be shown to the culprit.

Verse 16. He that stealeth a man] By this law every man- stealer, and every receiver of the stolen person, should lose his life; no matter whether the latter stole the man himself, or gave money to a slave captain or negro-dealer to steal him for him. “
(emphasis mine)

Furthermore, you say that there may be “exceptions to the rule.” But, FAR, there is no rule. For something to be a rule, there has to be instances that follow the rule. You have given no incidences of a person being exiled in place of the death penalty. Rather, the only instances that we have of these crimes being punished are of a person receiving the death penalty.

Now, you have said that Cain is an example of someone being “cut off.” Yes, Cain was exiled. Yet, Cain was guilty of first-degree, premeditated murder. Not only that, he was unrepentant. FAR, as you can see, your “example” does more to contradict your theory that “the only one that carried the "compulsory" or required death penalty was murder in the first-degree” than support it.

FAR, I am trying my best to make my point and yet still be respectful here. To summarize it as kindly as I can, it would seem to me that your theory is not supported by the Bible, nor Dr. Clark’s commentary, nor even by the examples you have given.

Hopefully, we can discuss this further. If I am mistaken, please clarify, so that I could correct my view.

 
At 10:51 PM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...

Kt4JC,

Dr. Clarke is just one of my resources.

Cain killed Able in a heated moment as far as I can tell. They were in the field and Cain was upset that his offering was not acceptable, and he got angry and they fought and he killed him.

First degree murder is premeditated, meaning planned. I don't think that Cain laid out a plan, I think it was a "heat of the moment" killing. If that is true then it was not premeditated.

But then in your mode you will say that what I just said above has NO MERIT at all.

My understnding of the Mosaic Law comes from several sources and is a compliation of many years of work.

I have presented some of my understanding of what I have learned. And some of the examples of what I think shows some reason to not just blindly rely on just the Bible or just one other source.

You can certianly choose to disregard it and say I esentially said nothing to give pause.

If that is your position, then so be it. I can see you would rather "prove that you are right" rather than listen to someone who might have a different view that is not just some dummy who likes to type on the keyboard.

I don't think you have ever said on my posts..."that's an interesting point of view!"

Rather you like to say.."That proves you are wrong!"

So, lets just say that I am unable to convince you that I have nothing interesting or worthy of your eyes and let it go at that.

I have the feeling that I could spend eternity and never present anything worthy of your consideration. I only hope that others have found my post worthy of pondering and can see that I am not just making up stuff.

Fair enough?

:)

FAR.

 
At 11:37 PM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...

Kt4JC,

P.S.

I would rather believe that God is consistant and fair rather than one who allows Cain to live for what you consider premeditated murder and yet likes to put to death people who swear or disrespect their parents.

But, then that is my opinion and I know it carries no weight in your eyes.

Also I am sure that as far as doing away with the "carnal ordinances" that all of what I presented on that is a bunch of whoie as well, correct?

You see, here is the difference. I asked you about those born before Christ to get your view.

My reaction to myself after your post was, "that was an interesting point of view." I had remember hearing that veiw before, but it had been awhile.

I don't share that point of view, but then here is where we differ. Instead of me "attacking" and trying to "prove you wrong, and me right", I just ponder on the view and remain respectful in areas where there is room for more than one view. Religion is one of those areas where because of translation problems and different intrepretations, we cannot often say things like "My religious view is right because I am a (Cathloic, Methodist, fill-in-the-religion-here).

Where as I get the feeling if I did a post and said...

Black is Black.

You would argue.

Some day make my day and commemt on one of my posts...."Hey, nice post FAR!"

I kinda doubt it will happen, but then who knows.



:)

FAR.

 
At 12:15 AM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...

jj,

One more example of the Mosaic Law where there was Death "or Exile."

Liviticus 20:14 "And if a man take a wife and her mother, it is wickedness: they shall be burnt with fire, both he and they; that there be no wickedness among you."

Dr. Clarke says of this verse: "Verse 14. They shall be burnt with fire] As there are worse crimes mentioned here, (see verses 11 and 17,) where the delinquent is ordered simply to be put to death, or to be cut off, it is very likely that the crime mentioned in this verse was not punished by burning alive, but by some kind of branding, by which they were ever after rendered infamous."

Now from above you can see that the verse seemed clear that they "shall be burnt with fire", but he explains that it could be just with a branding iron or they would be exiled or "cut off"

And then he makes the biggest point of all and that is the Mosiac Law was humane.

He says: "Branding with a hot iron would certainly accomplish every desirable end both for punishment and prevention of the crime; and because the Mosaic laws are so generally distinguished by humanity, it seems to be necessary to limit the meaning of the words as above."

My points are dealing with many scholars saying the same thing, that the Laws of Moses were not what the Bible "seems" to present, and that is where adulteres are killed and that is that.

In this commentary it is clear to me that there was an option of a branding iron or to have them leave the Jewish society.

Maybe I spent years trying to understand how a loving God could "seem" so harsh and capricious, in the Old Testament and yet in the New Testament seem just the opposite.

Who knows maybe I am "ALL WET" and have no vaild points and she is right and he is capricious and the above commentary by Dr. Clarke is just one exception to her rule that Adultry was punished by the death penalty "all the time" with "no choice" to be cut off instead.

Your quote about Lev 20:11 would lead one to believe that there were no options, but Dr. Clarke says about verse 11 and 17 that they more than likely were just branded and then cut off. Perhaps they were branded with a "Scarlet Letter 'A'" and then sent away to be cut off from Jewish life but to live with another society.

Do you grant me that the above is worth considering or are there any people who have an open mind, that can see Dr. Clarke's valuable historical perspective, which is not my source, but rather has collaborating information.

Any "that certianlly seems to point to a more compassionate God?" comments out there?

Am I the only defender of a Compassionate, Loving, Humane, Old Testament God posting on my Blog?

Or does everybody reading the above commentary by Dr. Clarke believe that he is wrong when he says that the Adulterer was not killed but rather branded as was the usual custom?


:)

FAR.

 
At 9:21 AM, Blogger jj said...

Kt4JC,
JJ, thanks for fixing my links. I had tried to use the regular < a > to link, but, as you can see, that didn't work. If there anything I was doing wrong?

use a / before the a.
< a h r e f="webaddress" >link shown < / a > without the spaces between.

there should be no spaces between any character except 1 space between the a and h.

hope that helps

 
At 11:08 AM, Blogger Intellectual Insurgent said...

FAR -

You wrote:

"And some of the examples of what I think shows some reason to not just blindly rely on just the Bible...."

If you aren't supposed to blindly rely on the Bible, then what is faith? Isn't it the ultimate source?

I don't mean to butt my nose in the middle of a dispute, but I got the sense from Katelyn's comments that the two of you have disagreements over facts, not interpretations. I looked up the verses you both cited and they read the way Katelyn said in terms of illustrating the mandatory nature of capital punishment for crimes other than 1st degree murder. JJ provided similar examples.

I am not calling you wrong or trying to be insulting, but it appears that you are trying to reconcile the OT with the NT in a way that cannot be done. And until you tell me that you are a fluent Aramaic, Hebrew and/or Greek speaker, your interpretations of the Bible will necessarily be limited. It will always be based upon someone else's translation and you have to take that on faith as well.

With respect to whether Muslims and Buddhists are going to hell, according to the Bible they are. So are Jews too for not accepting Jesus regardless of whether they circumcise their kids (circumcision is mandatory in Islam too). The Bible says what it says. As soon as you start using reason to question whether that is fair, you put reason above faith and religion goes out the window. If you try to reconcile contradictions and make things logical, the trap one necessarily falls in is the need to make it all make sense. Religion has many realms of illogical. You must accept them as they are. Angels, heaven, hell, resurrection, flaming bushes, virgin birth, etc. If you accept these unprovables, leave the rest alone.

That is the trap in which you have fallen and Katelyn is giving you her hand.

 
At 2:28 PM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...

ii,

said: "that the two of you have disagreements over facts, not interpretations."

Whenever you read the Bible in English EVERYTHING is interpretation because of possible translation errors.

Take for instance the phrase "Shall surely be put to death." In the Hebrew, those who are fluent in Hebrew say that it can be translated in 3 different meanings.

But you are right that we must take our beliefs on faith. Faith that comes from a sincere desire and real intent to know the truthfulness of what we study, ponder and pray about.

As I said in my new post, when my wife was Catholic, people confronted her all the time with six different passages that were clear as day saying her religion was "wrong."

She would cry and ask for my opinion and since I was a Methodist at the time, all I could do was to tell her that she either believed upon faith or she didn't.

So, no we are not arguing over facts because just as there "appear" to be six "facts" that support peoples attacks on Catholics, that doesn't make the other hundred good points wrong. Those six "facts" are also translated from another language as well and seem very clear to many.

So, you are right that my dozens and dozens of references that lead me to believe in the existance of the "carnal ordinances" and the dozens and dozens of writings on the Jewish culture that I have read over the years can not be dimished by a few references that seem to contridict, any more than the six seem to contridict a given religion. You have to take the "whole" on faith.

Otherwise we would all belong to the same Christian religion, and there would be no other religion.

The bottom line is that trying to defend a system of beliefs can not be done by defending a few points that were cherry picked that seem to contridict the whole especially when your prayers are answered that lead you to your conclusions. "And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you." - (Luke 11:9)

That is what I do all the time.

"As soon as people begin arguing, then the spirit will leave and the opportunity to learn is gone." - Unknown.

Make sense?

:)

FAR.

 
At 2:41 PM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...

ii,

I happen to believe that the Jews and Muslims are not going to hell, but then that is another subject.

The circumcision point does not cover feamles does it?

Anyway, even if it did, it wouldn't change my view that there is more than meets the eye about heaven and hell and who will go where.

I probably won't post on that because of not wanting to be put in a position like I was just in.

I won't attack those who want to believe that all but Christians will go to hell because it is not a loving thing to do.

I don't think that a Loving God would leave out Billions of people just because they were not circumsized or baptized. But then it is just my beliefs and we know that beliefs may not be facts.


:)

FAR.

 
At 3:53 PM, Blogger Intellectual Insurgent said...

It does not apply to females, although there is a minority of sociopaths that would argue otherwise. But that is a topic for another day.

You may not believe Muslims and Jews are going to hell, but the Bible seems to suggest otherwise. At least the English translation of the Bible suggests otherwise. I appreciate that you are a maverick thinker but, as Katelyn pointed out, there are certain things that are unequivocal in the Bible. You have to take the good with the bad and, if you believe that the entirety of the Bible is the word of God, you have to accept tenets thereof that may not make sense.

The reason I am not religious is precisely because of this connundrum. I will not accept the bad stuff and, thus, were I to espouse religion, I would join the ranks of many (I would argue the majority) of religious hypocrites who pick and choose. There are things in the Bible, the Quran, the Kabbalah, etc. that provide great wisdom to the world and I discard the absurdities. If you insist that the Book is perfect, you must accept that perfect does not necessarily mean moral.

 
At 4:10 PM, Blogger Intellectual Insurgent said...

One more point about absolutes. There are absolutes in religion and I will use this example. In Islam, the belief is that there is a line of prophets of God, starting with Adam, going through Moses, Soliman, Jesus and ending with Mohamed. It is a fundamental tenet of the religion that Mohamed is the final prophet. No ifs ands or buts about it.

The Nation of Islam claims that Elijah Muuhammad is a prophet of God sent in the early 1900's to save blacks from tyranny, blah blah blah. The fundamental premise of their beliefs is blasphemy in Islam. They are not Muslims. Period. This is not a fight about interpretation - these are basics. They can have their own religion, but they can't defile an existing one to make it suit their agendas.

Katelyn raised a similar example if a person suggested that the Bible doesn't say Jesus isn't the son of god. I am not Christian and I would correct someone if they said that because it is factually incorrect (although I have heard that the Greek Bible says Jesus was "a" son of god, not "the" son of god). If a person does not believe Jesus is the son of god, how can he be a Christian? It's not a dispute over interpretation. It's a matter of fundamentals. Either you accept the fundamentals or you do not.

 
At 5:49 PM, Blogger Stalin the Shark said...

FAR,

I would like to politely point out that you made the same error in this post as you did in some of our various discussions, and it is this: mistaking your opinions and interpretations for established, inarguable fact. Certainly, if that is not indeed the case, that is how you present them.

:-), StS

 
At 6:14 PM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...

ii,

said: "if you believe that the entirety of the Bible is the word of God, you have to accept tenets thereof that may not make sense."

Exactly! The same thing could be said of my beliefs. The point above is spot on.

I believe in the entirety of the information I presented and I accept tenets theereof that may not make sense, (to some), especially with problems of not being able to ask the people involved, (Moses), and having to live with imperfect translations.

By recognizing that the Bible is not perfect, I don't have a connundrum. I purposefully did not reveal all of my beliefs because it would just open up more attacks.

However, there is not one thing in the Bible to me that is contridictory, (if you accept that it can have mis-translations), because if I am going to religious, then I believe in this..."God is not the author of confusion...." - (1 Cor. 14:33)

I love the way you think. You said:"who pick and choose".

Exactly, if I had to pick and choose, I would not be religious either.

Everything makes perfect sense to me and I have found "no contridictions" in the Bible, but I am sure not going to get into a "debate" on why or what I have found that allows me to have that position, because of what my latest post reminds me of that is so dangerous to ones countenance.

Contention is the offshoot of debate. Debate begins with the assumption that one side is going to be right and the other side is going to be wrong. That may be fine in a perfect world where the ultimate judge of the winner is someone who is infalliable and not biased and can prove no subjectivity.

But when it comes to beliefs, it is all subjective. Ask anyone to explain their worldview in 200 words or less and you will find that no one can do it justice who has spent decades forming that worldview.

As to the fundamentals, we are not in disagreement. My post did not touch on the fundamentals.

Try to explain past the single fundamental statment that Christians believe in Jesus and then once saying that you will not be able to be inclusive of the 1200 or so different Christian Denominations just here in the U.S.

Some Christian Religions believe that the Trinity of the Godhood, consists of three distinct persons, some think God is all three, which is it and which group are the "real Christians" and which group is not?

Might makes right, or in other words the group with the bigger numbers?

Some will ask "Who was Jesus Praying to in the Garden, if he is both the Son and the Father?"

The early church fought over this question for at least 300 years until the council at Nicene. The purpose of the Nicene Creed was to settle once and for all, the nature of the Trinity.

If Christians can't even agree on that one very point, how can we say which fundamentals are correct?

The whole Protestant Reformation started with the 95 "fundamentals" that Martin Luther said were in error with the Cathloic Church and so began most all of the other Denomonations. Was Luther right? It is debatable, just ask all of the Christian "Fundamentalists", many of who think that Catholics are not really Christains. Go figure.

The reason the Greek Bible says that Jesus is "a" son of God is because it also says that we are all Sons of God. But even the KJV Bible says "Let US make man in OUR image...." Who is in the group, God and Jesus and the Holy Ghost?

There aren't too many fundamentals that are "absolutes." Perhaps that Jesus died for our sins and a few others are all we can say that "Every" Christian agrees with. After that, it is a matter of faith and not absolutes.

:)

FAR.

 
At 6:16 PM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...

sts,

I certianlly can take that critisim and accept it as good constructive information.

I will do better to qualify in the future that what I write is not meant to be fact unless I say that I am presenting it as such.

Fair enough?

:)

FAR.

 
At 6:36 PM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...

sts,

You did notice that I had already taken that criticism to heart and posted a preface to the effect that I was stating my opinion?

But, thanks for the input as I appreacite all "constructive" and heartfelt criticism greatly.

We all need to become better at everything we do.

:)

FAR.

 
At 8:51 AM, Blogger mrsleep said...

FAR,

I admire your patience.

Faith is individual, and you have done your best to explain what makes you tick.

You believe what you believe.

One of the difficulties in these types of discussions, is that you can't always fully explain or defend why you feel the way you feel. It may be because even you don't really know.

Anyway, I would tip my hat to everyone on this thread (if I was wearing one).

There was a little emotion here, but this was a darn good discussion. I enjoyed reading it, and yes FAR, you do have readers out there.

 
At 7:37 PM, Blogger Three Score and Ten or more said...

I am so far down on the list of posts that you will never see this, but I respect both your tolerance and your intellect in discussion. I spent many years as a teacher re: among other things, semantics which is in short the science of how language works and words have meanings. We call it a symbol referent relationship. One of the ultimate truths is that we are forced into interpretation of symbols (words) by the paradigm in which or with which we developed. Some see things in absolutes, others in more measure contexts, but neither can lay claim to all truth of the meaning. I smiled at the comment in one of the posts that black is black. Anyone who has painted, designed scenery, or otherwise used color knows that there are hundreds of distinct blacks. There is even a difference in black when considered as pigment, or as considered as light, for in one case black is the amalgam of all colors, while in the other, it is the absence of color. You are right that one may never convince an absolutist like kt4jc, but what she will never understand is that, even if one accepts every word of the bible as absolute truth, there will always be someone, as absolute as she, with a very different understanding. Interesting discussion anyway.

 
At 9:41 PM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...

Three Score,

Yep, I appreciate your comments. She is young and I will say now that I was wrong to respond the way I did with sacrasm, and I will ask her forgiveness for it, that again was wrong of me.

What got me to be "frustrated" was the way that people in general will pick and choose which statements they wish to attack, and then if you point out things that they said were not correct in Black and White, they ignore and never admit that you had a good point.

For instance she said: " Paul is talking about “the Law” in its entirety and never mentions any such thing as the “Carnal Commandments.” Neither does Hebrews. This is greatly misleading."

When Hebrews said the exact words, "Carnal Commandments."

Here: "Who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life." (Heb. 7:16)"

And Paul did use the term "carnal ordinance" and then Dr. Clarke says that "he has determined that this law of ordinances shall cease” and that these laws are “The merely literal rites, ceremonies, and sacrifices are now done away; “

She has commented that Christ did away with the "Old Testament Laws" and I think the above shows that there is room for a possible different opinion on that, but I got zero comment from anything I posted that even "Might" be close to having merit.

I can take critisims if I am at least once in a while given "some" credit.

While I believe in absolutes, not all things are absolute, including the Bible. If it were, we would all be "sheep" and there would be no errors in translations. I think that it is common knowledge that the Bible contains errors, at least that is my understanding. They have tried to clean up some of the errors in later translations, such as the New International Version, etc. After all, the origional scrolls may have been perfect, but the translators from the origional text and language to english were human and prone to errors. The message of the Bible is what is pure and perfect, in as much as it is understood due to mistranslations. Let 10 people read a passage in the Bible, and all 10 might have different views on what it said.

People who don't want to believe will find one flaw or fault and condemn the whole writing. This is a 'throwing the baby out with the bathwater' syndrome.

This applys to both the Bible and my post.

Again, I am not ashamed of getting frustrated, but I am ashamed of my reaction. I should have been more understanding of youthfull zeal.

:)

FAR.

 

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