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Bible Bad Boy Been Biased by Bigots

 
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dazedb42



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PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2006 3:57 am    Post subject: Bible Bad Boy Been Biased by Bigots Reply with quote

Quote:
Scientist reveals his sympathy for the Devil
Ruth Gledhill, London
August 07, 2006
THE Devil has been unfairly and wilfully maligned and deserves a reassessment, according to a new study.

Professor Henry Ansgar Kelly, a medievalist, says the Devil has had unfair press and has been the victim of groundless aspersions. Satan is no more evil than the head of MI5 or the prime minister, he says.

In his book Satan: A Biography, to be published by Cambridge University Press this month, the California university academic argues that interpretation of the Bible shows that the Devil suffered a "severe blackening of character" by the clergy, early church fathers, artists, philosophers and religious scholars. The "Devil is in the detail" -- literally, he says.

The reassessment of Satan comes hot on the heels of attempts to recast Judas in saintly form. Professor Kelly does not go as far as that, but he does call on theologians to consider whether the Devil is as bad as traditionally depicted.

Instead of being the personification of evil, Satan is a "divine functionary" whose kingdom is the earth, he says.

"My advice is, forget about evil and worry about evil deeds and the people who commit them," he said.

His interpretation is accepted by many biblical scholars. The theory provides an explanation for the presence of evil and suffering, without denying the existence or omniscience of God.

Professor Kelly refers to traditional texts, such as the Lord's Prayer, where the line "Deliver us from evil" is written in some prayer books as "Deliver us from the Evil One".

Most Christians believe that Satan was an angel named Lucifer who rebelled against God at the beginning of Creation. After being thrown out of Heaven, he tempted Adam and Eve into sin, and since then has strived to win souls for his kingdom of Hell.

But Professor Kelly argues that none of this is in the Bible, and that it represents conclusions drawn by the early church fathers and read back into the Bible.

He argues from Revelation, at the end of the Christian Scriptures, that Satan remains in Heaven, as the "accuser of humankind", and will stay there until the Battle of Armageddon, when he will be imprisoned in the abyss. After a brief release, he will be imprisoned in the lake of fire for eternity.

He says Lucifer is not synonymous with Satan, arguing that in the Hebrew Bible, only the King of Babylon is called Lucifer, or the morning star, cast down to earth (Isaiah xiv, 12). In the New Testament, Jesus is referred to as the star of the morning (II Peter i, 19). Nor is Satan the serpent who tempted Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, he says.

Professor Kelly argues from Luke iv that Satan is a minister of God in charge of the world.

"He's a government heavy, whose main job is to test human beings and to accuse them of their misdeeds, but he is cynical and overzealous in performing his duties," the professor says. "We can think of an unscrupulous and feared official investigator or prosecutor, like J.Edgar Hoover or senator Joseph McCarthy."

The Times




He's not the anti-christ he's just a very bad boy....

I must confess I don't actually believe in the devil as such but it is intruiging to think if the bible is to ever be discredited and seen not as the word of god but rather a series of stories designed to illustrate a certain moral view point then both sides ie the good and the bad will have to be thoroughly disected and disproved.

I was watching some tv lastnight about the beginnings of the old testament . Using a broad generalisation it was a political move to unify Israel and Judah into one major state as they were both monthestic cultures at the time. It was done by putting forward duetronomy as the word of god rather than the word of man. More stories were then added over the years and the Talmud was born.

Like I said a very broad generalisation but I'm sure you get the drift. If man is to evolve the bible must be seen as what it is. It was a useful tool in providing a moral view point in times of barbarism and superstition but surely man is getting closer now to letting go and evolving to something other than superstious peasants.

What think yea all?
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WheelsOfConfusion



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PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2006 5:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Neither this view of Satan nor the "recasting" of Judas are new at all.
Why do people act like they are?
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Amilam



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PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2006 5:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

WheelsOfConfusion wrote:
Neither this view of Satan nor the "recasting" of Judas are new at all.
Why do people act like they are?


No kidding, this was big with the Romantics.
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thewaitersitsondown



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PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2006 5:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

But if our decade can't rob traits from other times both recent and distant, how will we be unique?
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Thy Brilliance



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PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2006 5:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

WheelsOfConfusion wrote:
Neither this view of Satan nor the "recasting" of Judas are new at all.
Why do people act like they are?


Ignorance Wheels, Ignorance.
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Dro



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PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2006 5:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Amilam wrote:
WheelsOfConfusion wrote:
Neither this view of Satan nor the "recasting" of Judas are new at all.
Why do people act like they are?


No kidding, this was big with the Romantics.


hey!

what I like about Satan, keeps me warm at night
never wanna' let you go to Hell, know you make me feel alright, yeah

keep on whispering in my ear
tell me all the things that I wanna hear, 'cause it's true
[that's what I like about Satan]
that's what I like about you
[that's what I like about Satan]
that's what I like about you
[that's what I like about Satan]
that's what I like about you
[that's what I like about Satan]
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Jinx



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PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2006 8:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was thinking about the same thing when I read that Dro.
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Mr. Meddler



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PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2006 9:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting...
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bun bun
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 08, 2006 12:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I believe the Bible to be a work of mostly myth, and so my brain is having fun with the idea that there's all of this lengthy discussion about the details in what, to my mind, is essentially a collection of accounts written by different people *anyway*. It's not a single source, so why bother making it coalesce?

Of course, this goes out the window if you interpret the Bible literally. So I'm sorry if I offend.
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mouse



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PostPosted: Tue Aug 08, 2006 12:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

well, that's the thing of course. if you look at the bible as a literary work, it's clear it is made up of many different things written by different people at different times for different reasons. if you read it as the literal truth - well, i don't know how you can can keep your head from exploding, because there are two different versions of the noah story practically right out of the box, to say nothing of the decendents of adam marrying with the daughters of the "gods" (plural), and who knows what all else. the answer, i guess, is that most fundamentalists don't actually _read_ the thing, they just believe what people tell them is in there.

the whole satan/lucifer/devil thing is quite interesting. a few years ago i saw an episode of 'biography' about satan. in that, they said that lucifer (as an angel) was one of god's first creations. then god made adam and eve, and wanted his angels to venerate and serve them. lucifer (and as a first-born child, i see his point _entirely_) was insulted by that, and refused to do so; he attempted to lead the angels in revolt, and was cast out of heaven (no idea where 'biography' got this, can only think of dante, but i don't think even he had the full story). (just occurred to me - this view puts man _above_ the angels, at least in god's eyes... which is gonna get a lot of angel-fanciers knickers in a knot).

anyway.....what was my point? oh yeah - the show inspired me to actually look through the bible to find references to him (thank you, bible gateway!). i could only find two in the old testament - one that has him putting the idea into david's head that he should take a census of his army, which for some reason really pissed god off (although it seems a reasonable thing to do to _me_) - the other is the book of job, where it is quite clear that satan causes various misfortunes to fall on job, he does so only with god's permission, and within the limits god sets.

there are many references in the new testament, but a lot of those are from paul (and i have my doubts about paul), and of course revelation (which has its own problems) - so really, almost nothing we know about the devil is in the bible, it's all in various ancillary information handed down.
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Dogen



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PostPosted: Tue Aug 08, 2006 12:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

bun bun wrote:
I believe the Bible to be a work of mostly myth, and so my brain is having fun with the idea that there's all of this lengthy discussion about the details in what, to my mind, is essentially a collection of accounts written by different people *anyway*. It's not a single source, so why bother making it coalesce?

Everyone agrees the Bible was written by men - lots of men, really. The argument would be whether it was divinely inspired. If you have faith, the point of the research is to make sure we understand God's Word. If you don't have faith, I think the point is to understand the history of one of the biggest influences on Western civilization.

Plus, even if it is mythology, it's still interesting... like reading Bulfinch.
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Marik



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PostPosted: Tue Aug 08, 2006 1:22 am    Post subject: this post brought to you by the letter t Reply with quote

Wait, the Devil isn't evil and he's in heaven.

THUSLY, THINE THEOLOGY TURNED TOPSY TURVY THROUGH TENETUAL TRANSFORMATION
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WheelsOfConfusion



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PostPosted: Tue Aug 08, 2006 2:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mouse wrote:
the whole satan/lucifer/devil thing is quite interesting.

The "Lucifer," a Latinized reference to the Morning Star, was actually a Babylonian king and not The Devil until a bunch of illiterates got their hands on the idea that the two were the same and ran with it. And the whole "rebelling against God" part is also pretty much noncanonical if you're going only by texts, despite being extremely popular. Part of its endurance today can probably be attributed to Milton's Paradise Lost, though he didn't invent the concept. In both Judaism and Islam, Satan is just doing his job as temptor of mankind. That's how it was with Christianity initially.
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Kilgore



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PostPosted: Tue Aug 08, 2006 4:36 am    Post subject: Re: Bible Bad Boy Been Biased by Bigots Reply with quote

Quote:
But Professor Kelly argues that none of this is in the Bible, and that it represents conclusions drawn by the early church fathers and read back into the Bible.


Statements like this have always seemed dumb to me. The early church fathers were the ones who codified the bible.
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