A reasonable blog on atheism, religion, science and skepticism
Follow Patheos Atheist:
to be fair, the number 40 is almost always symbolic in ancient Hebrew writing. It’s still funny, but that’s worth pointing out.
Which makes it quite obvious that certain elements of the Bible are, shall we say, modified for dramatic effect. The number 40 appears a ridiculous number of times.
Depicts a spiritual, not a literal journey this going from ‘Egypt’ (our being enslaved to self, a type of exile, banishment from the Presence, Gen 3:23) and UP to the ‘Promised Land’ (back to union with God and is described as a paradise-like garden abode). Notice there is a ‘wilderness’ along the Way in which the One who ‘goes before you’ (Deut 31:8) fights for you to ‘enter in’ and defeats all the ‘giants’ standing in your way (unbelief, fear, wrong thinking, false lovers, distrust of Him, etc ) in order to bring you (back) to His promised ‘heart-land’ which is our original ‘Fatherland’ (Ps 90:1&2) and the time it takes for you to ‘arrive’ is completely up to you. The sooner you surrender (to His peaceful inward reign) the sooner you are victorious and the only thing that will keep you from entering in to your inheritance (He Himself is our inheritance, Ezek 44:28) is unbelief. (Heb 3:19).
Unbelief is very, very costly.
False belief is very, very costly too.
You do realize that for many Christians, what you have written marks you as an unbeliever?
I don’t find that as interesting as the christians that state clearly that it is impossible for me not to believe in god. I have run into these kinds a lot over the years (I was raised Southern Baptist and then worked at a psychiatric facility operated by the Archdiocese of Atlanta)
I’m trying so hard to resist saying something about the lunatics running the asylum…
If this is all meant to describe an inward journey, what is the purpose of equating ‘enslavement to self’ with a real physical location (Egypt)? Seems like god should have realized that would be a confusing metaphor.
Phew! John, I am sooooo relieved you don’t believe in the literal Exodus. Now we don’t have to deal with messy stuff like historical evidence (or lack of it).
But now I need to know how you’re going to deal with the story about dozens of dead people getting out of their graves and walking around Jerusalem when Jesus died, and the massive earthquakes, and the sun going dark. None of this was mentioned in Roman or Jewish historical records of the time, and they were pretty meticulous about recording earthquakes and eclipses (especially 3-hr-long eclipses!). And I’m sure dozens of zombies would have gotten a mention too.
Allow me to fill in for John C:
Those stories did happen in a spiritual sense, and they’re all beautiful, beautiful metaphors for some important lesson, the nature of which must be established through extremely convoluted mystic reasoning because the Bible for some reason couldn’t just tell us outright what it is.
But three days after his execution Jesus became a zombie and unlike a George Romero or Toby Hooper movie, people didn’t run away from him screaming.
Of course they didn’t: he was a lich, he just cast a mass charm so that people don’t flee and obey his orders.
Let’s pretend all your mumbo-jumbo is actually based in some form of reality and not a wall of nonsense designed to obfuscate the enormous strain cognitive dissonance has on the mind. Let’s say we really have some kind of inheritance coming, and that not believing in god is going to cost us, dearly. Presumably by endless suffering.
Here’s the thing: I never agreed to this. This being of yours is playing a big game of poker, holding all the cards, and then threw me into the pot. Sure, I can do my part and be dragged back into his arms at the end of my life (making me feel everything in between was rather pointless, frankly), but why the hell should I other than “it’ll cost you”? That’s not a loving relationship, that’s a hostage crisis. I never agreed to be part of this game. I never agreed to make bets where the consequences of losing (or winning) are eternal. What compunction am I under to play other than your god being a celestial bully?
Puts a completely new spin on the phrase “Jesus is my GPS”
There was a picture posted here about that a while.
Guy is driving. A truck, I think. Jesus is floating beside him.
“Recalculating,” says Jesus. “Recalculating.”
“WTF, Jesus?” the guy exclaims.
Jesus is my GPS, indeed.
Maybe that had a stop over in America to drop off the Book of Mormon?
The difference between history and mythology. Reality tends to win.
To be fair, it didn’t take the Israelites 40 years to cross the desert. The 40 years was a punishment God introduced when the people already had crossed the desert and stood outside the promised land (Numbers 14:26-35).
The # 40 signifies a cycle in scripture, again is not literal. Represents a season of learning, training, metamorphosis from birth to death. Jesus was 40 days in the ‘wilderness’ , walked the earth 40 days after His (and our) resurrection. Noah’s flood (our death and immersion, baptism into Christ who is our life, Col 3:3&4) was 40 days. Moses (a type of Christ to come) was 120 years old when he died, three distinct 40 year periods and represents the life seasons of mankind. God says that mans ‘days’ shall be 120 years (Gen 6:3) which is (obviously) not literal.
Uh-huh. So to fit the numbers into your symbolism you introduce some selective multiplication. Very creative.
So, by reinterpreting the Old Testament in New Testament terms, you’ve just denied the Jews their own mythology. Congratulations.
The number two signifies a cycle in Star Wars. Two Jedi (Qui-Gonn and Obi-Wan, Obi-Wan and Anakin, Obi-Wan and Yoda, Obi-Wan and Luke, Yoda and Luke, then finally Luke and Leia). Two Sith (always two, there are…). Father and Son, Duel of the Fates, always conflicts are in twos and lines, images and scenarios are mirrored between the two trilogies. Leia and her mother are both royalty, neither by birth. Luke and his father both look out at the two suns of Tatooine. Obviously the stories aren’t literal, except the parts that are, so why don’t you believe in the Force, John C? Why do you reject your midichlorians? Don’t you know the price you will pay for it? You will lose your immortality. You won’t be able to vanish upon your death and come back as a shimmering ghost with your face digitally altered by the Maker!
Well, Alexander is known to have used reality, i.e. a Map, to get where he was going. His was a real destination. Maybe the Israelites needed more reality and a good map.
YHVH sure sound like the kind of guy who considers asking for directions an affront to his perceived manhood.
When I read “forty” in the Bible, I just assume it’s another way of saying “many”, or a largish, indeterminate number. I don’t think it should be read literally.
Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves, anyone?
If you would actually READ the bible you would know that they were not following Yaweh and THAT was the problem. Every time Moses stopped to talk to God the people he was leading would loose faith and start worshiping idols again. To be so misled by Satan to think you can gain ALL knowledge in this one lifetime you are not doing a very good job. You prolly also believe you can become a God… right… LOL You are a created being just like Satan… Welcome to the real world.
” You prolly also believe you can become a God… right… LOL ”
The Strawman is strong with this one.
I vote Poe.
Follow Patheos on