Laws of the Israelites

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Homer
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Re: Laws of the Israelites

Post by Homer » Tue Apr 28, 2015 4:29 pm

Paidion asked:
Do you know of anyone here, who is "headed in the direction" of denying the physical resurrection of the Messiah as Borg did?
Given the method of discarding certain (actually a great many) scriptures as unreliable, as was done by the Jesus seminar, which is not unlike that being employed here, who knows where certain folks will end up in their thinking? They are headed generally in the direction of skepticism. And they have some rather prominent teachers leading the way.

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psimmond
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Re: Laws of the Israelites

Post by psimmond » Tue Apr 28, 2015 7:10 pm

Steve wrote: Psimmond even called into question the death penalty for those who curse their parents, when none less than Jesus declared that specific law to be commanded by God (Matt.15:4).
Steve, thanks for pointing this out! I had completely forgotten about that being there.
By what means are the Torah's critics "discovering" the faults in the law and the historical narratives? Is it not by appeal to their own superior grasp of God's character, as they see it exhibited in Christ? Where this becomes problematic is in their failure to demonstrate that their own knowledge of Christ's character exceeds that of the apostolic writers, who saw no conflict between the total inspiration of the Law and the Prophets, on the one hand, and of Christ on the other.
This debate has not been about whether or not the apostles viewed the Law and the Prophets as inspired or Christ as inspired. I suspect they viewed both as inspired. The question is whether or not they believed the Law and the Prophets to be inerrant. Perhaps after spending 3 years with Jesus, their views concerning the character of God were quite different from the views they held prior to being chosen as disciples.
Any sensible person would allow that the apostles, chosen by Christ to preserve His teachings and to shape His movement, would have recognized any contradiction (especially one so glaring as the critics of Moses imagine to exist) between the Law that they had memorized from childhood, and the Jesus whom they observed more clearly than has any modern man.


I think sensible people could disagree with this statement. If a disciple were taught his whole life that something was true and he believed it to be true, it would likely take a very direct statement from Jesus telling him that his belief was false before that disciple would change his mind. If God intended to present a trajectory, as Flood argues, then those further removed from OT teaching could have a clearer picture of God since they are not filtering Jesus' words through their preconceived concepts. (I'm not saying Flood is right, but if he is, your statement would probably be wrong.)
Those who walked and talked with the real Jesus (as opposed to a one-dimensional version that modern minds are capable of dreaming up) would have been surprised to learn that Moses, whom God declared to be, above all other prophets, "faithful in all my house," in the majority of his writings, acted as a false prophet.
Since Paidion and I are the ones who are questioning here, I'll just say that a few responses have indicated that our position is that the "majority" of Moses's writing are faulty, that we don't believe in inspiration, or that we believe half of the Bible to be faulty. I didn't say this and I don't believe it, but maybe these comments were directed toward Paidion. Maybe he believes this and maybe he wrote this somewhere; I just don't remember seeing it.

I also want to say that I respect those who have argued this path is a slippery slope that will lead to ruin. I appreciate your cautions because I don't want to become the next Bart Ehrman.
Let me boldly state the obvious. If you are not sure whether you heard directly from God, you didn’t.
~Garry Friesen

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Paidion
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Re: Laws of the Israelites

Post by Paidion » Tue Apr 28, 2015 8:24 pm

psimmond wrote:...but maybe these comments were directed toward Paidion. Maybe he believes this and maybe he wrote this somewhere; I just don't remember seeing it.
No, never at any time have I stated that Moses is a false prophet. But I think that for Steve and others to aver this of me, helps them to see me as someone "other" and thus to be less inclined to consider what I say. What I have said, is that I suspect Moses sometimes considered his own thoughts to have been God speaking. Moses had a great responsibility in leading the Hebrew people, and he had to come up with solutions to their many problems. I don't believe that Moses deliberately said that God had spoken to him when he knew that He hadn't. It's just that he sometimes could not distinguish between the word of God and his own thoughts. Perhaps that's enough for some people to consider Moses to be a false prophet. Not I. To me a false prophet is one who deliberately attempts to deceive. The phrase "false prophet(s)" does not occur in the Old Testament, and so we cannot determine the meaning of the term from that. The phrase does occur 11 times in the New Testament. The following one indicates that false prophets are deceivers:

Matthew 24:24 "For false messiahs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.

Also the Greek word for "false prophet" is "ψευδοπροφητης," a word which is a combination of the prefix "ψευδο" (pseudo) and "προφητης" (prophet). "ψευδο" comes from the verb ""ψευδομαι", which lexicons render as "to lie, to speak deliberate falsehoods."
I have never said that Moses lied or deceived in any way.
Paidion

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robbyyoung
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Re: Laws of the Israelites

Post by robbyyoung » Wed Apr 29, 2015 5:26 am

Paidion wrote:I don't believe that Moses deliberately said that God had spoken to him when he knew that He hadn't. It's just that he sometimes could not distinguish between the word of God and his own thoughts. Perhaps that's enough for some people to consider Moses to be a false prophet. Not I. To me a false prophet is one who deliberately attempts to deceive. The phrase "false prophet(s)" does not occur in the Old Testament, and so we cannot determine the meaning of the term from that.
Hi Paidion,

Deu 18:20 But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die.
Deu 18:21 And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the LORD hath not spoken?
Deu 18:22 When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him.

You are accusing Moses and other Prophets of being presumptuous. Now these passages probably mean nothing to you, IF, you are, again, accusing Moses of making this passage up as well. Is this God's Word Paidion? Or, did Moses make this up?

God Bless.

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dizerner
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Re: Laws of the Israelites

Post by dizerner » Wed Apr 29, 2015 8:32 am

Then the LORD said to me, "The prophets are prophesying falsehood in My name. I have neither sent them nor commanded them nor spoken to them; they are prophesying to you a false vision, divination, futility and the deception of their own minds. Therefore thus says the LORD concerning the prophets who are prophesying in My name, although it was not I who sent them-- yet they keep saying, 'There will be no sword or famine in this land '-- by sword and famine those prophets shall meet their end!

Pretty clear OT definitions of a false prophet I think. Again:

An appalling and horrible thing Has happened in the land: The prophets prophesy falsely, And the priests rule on their own authority; And My people love it so! But what will you do at the end of it?
~ Classical Arminian Christian Mystic ~

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Paidion
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Re: Laws of the Israelites

Post by Paidion » Wed Apr 29, 2015 2:54 pm

Robby wrote:Deu 18:22 When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him.
As for "the thing follow not nor come to pass," we need to understand that in some cases God changed his mind, so that the prophesied event didn't occur. For example, according to the book of Johah, Jonah prophesied in the name of the LORD, that Ninevah would be overthrown in forty days. However, the people of Ninevah repented, and God changed his mind, and did not overthrow the city.

And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil ways; and God changed His mind concerning the evil which he had said he would do to them; and he did not do it. (Jonah 3:10, a translation of the Septuagint).

So Robby, surely you don't consider Jonah to have been a false prophet. Although, "the thing did not follow or come to pass," Jonah did not speak presumptiously. Thus Moses' test for determining a false prophet (if it IS a test for that) in your quote from Deuteronomy doesn't always work.

Accoding to Jeremiah, God changes his mind concerning His intentions for a nation, in response to the behaviour of the people:

If at any time I declare concerning a nation or a kingdom, that I will pluck up and break down and destroy it, and if that nation, concerning which I have spoken, turns from its evil, I will relent of the disaster that I intended to do to it. And if at any time I declare concerning a nation or a kingdom that I will build and plant it, and if it does evil in my sight, not listening to my voice, then I will relent of the good that I had intended to do to it. (Jeremiah 18:7-10 ESV)

What if a prophet has prophesied what God had intended to do PRIOR to His changing His mind? Then events would not turn out as the prophet declared. Clearly Moses' test from Deuteronomy doesn't work. But I don't blame Moses. Probably he was unaware that God sometimes changed His mind in response to the behaviour of people. My guess is that once again Moses was mistaken as to what God had told him. He thought God had given him a test to distinguish false prophets from true, but clearly that test alone is insufficient to make this distinction.
Paidion

Man judges a person by his past deeds, and administers penalties for his wrongdoing. God judges a person by his present character, and disciplines him that he may become righteous.

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robbyyoung
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Re: Laws of the Israelites

Post by robbyyoung » Thu Apr 30, 2015 5:28 am

Paidion wrote:
Robby wrote:Deu 18:22 When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him.
As for "the thing follow not nor come to pass," we need to understand that in some cases God changed his mind, so that the prophesied event didn't occur. For example, according to the book of Johah, Jonah prophesied in the name of the LORD, that Ninevah would be overthrown in forty days. However, the people of Ninevah repented, and God changed his mind, and did not overthrow the city.

And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil ways; and God changed His mind concerning the evil which he had said he would do to them; and he did not do it. (Jonah 3:10, a translation of the Septuagint).

So Robby, surely you don't consider Jonah to have been a false prophet. Although, "the thing did not follow or come to pass," Jonah did not speak presumptiously. Thus Moses' test for determining a false prophet (if it IS a test for that) in your quote from Deuteronomy doesn't always work.
Hi Paidion,

What you are talking about has nothing whatsoever to do with Deu 18. The entire point is, 'Did the person speak for God or not.' God making conditional decrees IS NOT what Deu 18 is talking about.
Paidion wrote:What if a prophet has prophesied what God had intended to do PRIOR to His changing His mind? Then events would not turn out as the prophet declared. Clearly Moses' test from Deuteronomy doesn't work. But I don't blame Moses. Probably he was unaware that God sometimes changed His mind in response to the behaviour of people. My guess is that once again Moses was mistaken as to what God had told him. He thought God had given him a test to distinguish false prophets from true, but clearly that test alone is insufficient to make this distinction.
All this is totally irrelevant to Deu 18. Conditional prophecies ARE NOT in question. So again, I take it that you believe Moses made all this up.

God Bless.

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dizerner
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Re: Laws of the Israelites

Post by dizerner » Thu Apr 30, 2015 8:19 am

Paidion wrote: But I don't blame Moses. Probably he was unaware that God sometimes changed His mind in response to the behaviour of people.
11Then Moses entreated the LORD his God, and said, “O LORD, why does Your anger burn against Your people whom You have brought out from the land of Egypt with great power and with a mighty hand? 12“Why should the Egyptians speak, saying, ‘With evil intent He brought them out to kill them in the mountains and to destroy them from the face of the earth’? Turn from Your burning anger and change Your mind about doing harm to Your people. 13“Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, Your servants to whom You swore by Yourself, and said to them, ‘I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heavens, and all this land of which I have spoken I will give to your descendants, and they shall inherit it forever.’” 14So the LORD changed His mind about the harm which He said He would do to His people.
~ Classical Arminian Christian Mystic ~

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Paidion
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Re: Laws of the Israelites

Post by Paidion » Thu Apr 30, 2015 11:09 am

Thank you, Dizerner. You have clearly shown that I was wrong about thinking that Moses was unaware of God changing His mind.
Robby wrote:What you are talking about has nothing whatsoever to do with Deu 18. The entire point is, 'Did the person speak for God or not.' God making conditional decrees IS NOT what Deu 18 is talking about.
If God had made "conditional decrees," He wouldn't be changing His mind, would He?

There is nothing whatever in the prophecies I quoted, which indicates their being conditional. Take the prophecy of Jonah. If it had actually meant, "Unless you repent, Ninevah will be overthrown in 40 days," then there would be nothing for God to relent about, or change His mind about. Also the passage I quoted from Jeremiah, indicates that He changed His mind about what He had said He would do. Again there is nothing in the text indicating that what He said He would do was conditional.
Paidion

Man judges a person by his past deeds, and administers penalties for his wrongdoing. God judges a person by his present character, and disciplines him that he may become righteous.

Avatar shows me at 75 years old. I am now 82.

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psimmond
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Re: Laws of the Israelites

Post by psimmond » Thu Apr 30, 2015 11:20 am

dizerner and robbyyoung,
I think your point is valid. In my mind the choices are...

1. Moses lied (perhaps because if he said, "I made up this particular law," nobody would listen).
2. Moses somehow thought God told him these things but was wrong.
3. God really did say these things.
4. The Torah was written some time after Moses died and the writer/s recorded some things that weren't exactly factual.

#1 seems unlikely since scripture never suggests that Moses was a liar.
#2 seems possible but unlikely because it is stated in such a matter-of-fact way "God said to Moses..."
#3 is certainly possible and is obviously what the natural reading suggest, but it does clash quite violently in several places with Jesus' teachings.
#4 has support among many scholars who say that it displays many different writing styles, contradictions, and unusual repetition.

Four would solve the dilemma of the violent OT God with the peaceful NT God-man, but the fact that Jews (including Jesus) credited Moses with the writing means this choice relies on widespread ignorance.

These 4 points should also be considered for those texts in other parts of the OT that have been historically difficult, such as Joshua and Judges.
Let me boldly state the obvious. If you are not sure whether you heard directly from God, you didn’t.
~Garry Friesen

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