the bible

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the bible

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jul 10, 2007, 1:42pm

I am slowly working on The Bible. I know it sounds weird, but according to Books that Changed the World, it is #1 on the list, so I'm starting with that.

I just finished the first 6 books of the Old Testament. It gives all of the rules and such for the Jews. Since I am a new Jew, I thought that this could be enlightening and to a small degree, it was.

In Deuteronomy, I believe, it says that fortune tellers are sinners from the get-go. This upset me greatly because I read tarot cards, making me a fortune teller. Since reading this passage, I haven't touched them, but I don't want to stay away from them forever.

I feel like if God gave me this gift, then why should I not use it?

jul 10, 2007, 1:45pm

If you're a new Jew, I'd honestly recommend reading a copy of the actual Tanakh alongside the OT. Remember, the OT version of the Jewish scriptures are meant for Christians, not Jews, so there are undoubtedly going to be theological differences in interpretive text, as well as textual translation choices.

aug 19, 2007, 9:43pm

I don't quite understand this response: "The OT version of the Jewish scriptures are meant for Christians..." Christians finally became a people in the book of Act's time period, not in OT times. Both testaments were written and recorded for all people, though the OT could be perceived as first written for a Hebrew/Jewish people. I do agree the theology is different, but the Bible's theme is congruent throughout.

aug 20, 2007, 7:44am

The Old Testament is a Christian Book or version of the Jewish Book or the TaNaK, Torah (Pentateuch), Nevi'im (the prophets), Ketuvim (the writings).

The Protestant Old Testament and the TaNaK contain the same books but the order of the books is different. In the Protestant Bible the Prophets are placed at the end of the Old Testament showing the connection between the Prophets and the New Testament. The Catholic Old Testament contains the Apocrypha so it has more books than the TaNaK and Protestant Bible.

There are also translation differences since (to generalize) Jewish scholars work on TaNaK translations and Christian scholars on the Christian translations. Basically there are differences in the translated text, even if the original text is the same. Every translation team carries their own theological views into the process.

So when Child_of_Light says "the OT version of the Jewish scriptures are meant for Christians..." he is saying that the OT is a variation / translation / interpretation (depending on what translation you are reading) of the TaNaK. They may both come from the same base manuscripts but they are two different translations and since the TaNaK was first the OT is a version of it meant translated by Christians for Christians.

aug 22, 2007, 4:53pm

I absolutely LOVED reading the bible and make an anual effort to re-read. There are so many interesting things about what is written in the bible and the manor in which there are mis-conceptions, mis-understandings and even restrictive thought in the mainstream religious arena (that I have experienced) towards the bible. The bible has alot of really great lessons to life but also has some very disturbing "revelations" (yes, that was intended) *Giggle.

Anyway I do agree with Child of the light you should DEF read the Tanakh...then read the "Bible" version and I would STRONGLY recommend reading the Koran...its amazing there is so much hostility between these three major groups yet they are all so much the same.

Ezekiel Jakub (yeah I know...I saw the wheel)

6jalex2713 Første besked:
sep 18, 2007, 7:07am

What if God did not give you the gift?

sep 18, 2007, 7:25am

I quite agree. How did you know it was God who gave you the gift, not Lucifer or some pagan god?

sep 18, 2007, 6:08pm

Lucifer didn't have a hand in creating me, nor did a pagan god. Hence, they could not have given me the gift.

sep 19, 2007, 2:21am

How do you know that?


Redigeret: sep 19, 2007, 3:13am

roxpie86, you didn't give a specific Bible reference, but I think you're talking about Deuteronomy 18.

That chapter does contain a strong prohibition against diviners of any kind, but at the end it contains an exception: prophets raised up by God will speak truth in His name.

The last two verses deal explicitly with the problem posed here: how do you distinguish God's gift of prophecy from other kinds of fortune-telling? The final verse gives a simple test:
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. (KJV Dt18:22)
If you truly believe your gift to be from God, and you speak in His name, and what you say comes to pass, then you should be fine with respect to Deuteronomy 18.

apr 6, 2008, 3:15pm

Is there a good, annotated version of the Torah that someone would recommend? I have The New Oxford Annotated Bible. I also have been interested in reading the Bible but would only want to read these books once. After all, the whole thing is so Gosh-durn long :)

apr 8, 2008, 12:11am

roxpie86, are you just interested in the old testament or are you also interested in the new testament? I find it much easier to listen to The Bible Experience on CD. It's 89 hours total for the entire Bible, and it's so realistic since they use real actors and ambient sounds. Here's a link to it, should you be interested or if you get in a reading rut.

They also have the old and new testaments available as seperate products.

New testament:

Old testament:

apr 22, 2008, 12:31pm

The Bible is an awesome book to read entirely through, even if you're not one of the "Christian" faith.
But, as for your fortune telling fancy, God never laid the "rules" or laws in the Bible to tear you away from your skills and talents. According to the Bible all your talents and skills were given to you through God so its illogical for Him to dangle it in the air in front of you and have you jumping for it. Thats like a parent teaching you to drive a car and then telling you its against their will that you ever drive again. I'm not saying God taught you to fortune tell, I'm saying that maybe your talent or gift wasn't by accident - or that there is a way for you to use it positively.
Once a guy came to my church's youth group from Mexico where he missions and tells his people there about Jesus Christ. He talked about how he could actually use his knowledge of drugs, theft, and many other things that happened that he knew of to teach others.
I really have no idea where I'm going with this, but I guess I'm just saying that the Bible isn't simply saying in a flat tone (imagine Ben Stein's voice lol) "You can't do this...or this...or this...." Its merely God showing you that you'll hurt your life when you do disobey Him, that we all do bad things, and that we'll live a more fruitful life when we develop habits according to His plan.
Maybe you should give up fortune telling, because as you get deeper in the Bible you'll learn that it might be sufficient enough to support any prophecy addictions you might have. Begin to study the prophecy and you'll see what I mean...


maj 8, 2008, 10:47am

The bible says that fortune tellers are that way because they get this gift from the Satan. It says that you should not associate with these people. Keep reading you will see. I just can't point out what book. It is in the new testament, maybe Corinthians.

jun 6, 2008, 10:27pm

"Speak of the Devil, he took me out again last night..."

Oh no, now I'm singing Country Western tunes!

Anyway, I'm still chugging away at The Bible. I'm up to second Chronicles.

aug 21, 2008, 8:09pm

Please pick up the Stone Tanach or Stone Chumash from ArtScroll. It has commentary from the Jewish Sages including Rashi. I would agree that the Tanach has a different flavor than the Christian OT and if you are a Jew it might speak to you differently. Also the running commentary is quite profound. As an added bonus, the Hebrew text runs side by side with the English translation. You will pick up certain things that you might miss otherwise. The Chumash is really not so long. Read it in short periods batches. It is not like a novel.

The JPS is good for easy reading but, sadly, it deemphasizes certain important theological phrases. It tends to lose some of the more interesting aspects of the text for the purpose of lighter reading.

aug 22, 2008, 11:40am

I'd be very interested to know, if any of you guys would be willing to test your faith by reading The God Delusion? If any of you have read it, I would love to know what you thought?


sep 9, 2008, 8:26pm

#1 I too used to read tarot cards and go to readings and the like, it certainly seemed harmless at the time...until I learned what God had to say about this subject. In the law of Moses the practice of fortune telling, known as divination, was punishable by death (Leviticus 20:27). Astrology, horoscopes, magic, ouija boards, or any other attempt to contact the dead through the use of a medium is strictly forbidden in the Bible. These are not gift given by God; it is a means of trickery used by Satan to confuse us and tempt us into his web of lies.

nov 30, 2009, 4:35am

I read the Bible. It was the single biggest influence in turning me to atheism. After all, if the ridiculous stuff in those books is supposed to be the basis of knowledge for such a large group, then it's pretty clear those people are deluded.

17> Why recommend The God Delusion? It's really rather boring and not that well written.

nov 30, 2009, 4:41am

Then you ought to read it with an open mind...

nov 30, 2009, 6:10pm

"(T)he Bible...was the single biggest influence in turning me to atheism." -- #19

To me, a far-fetched attribution of cause, but I can see how itʻs possible.

Much weirder, to me, was something an older aunt said in the (early 1960s?) when pre-moon landing space voyages were beginning. She said the voyages converted her from agnostic to an atheist; she thought there was probably (but not definitely) no God, pre-space program, but once they had gone out there and not found "him", she was sure of it. I heard this only at second hand, not directly from her. But I wuldnʻt in any case, have gotten into a debate on it.

My temperament has always been 150 degrees removed from that. I am at my most "religious" (for want of a better word) when contemplating anything astronomical.

dec 1, 2009, 12:58am

The Bible is probably one of the most influential books throughout history. When reading it the thing you need to ask yourself is why am I reading this book. If it is strictly for religious purposes then the words will take on a much deeper spiritual meaning. If however you read it for its content … historical or just because … the book will take on a totally different meaning. I’ve read it both ways and I have my own personal conclusion about the authenticity of it but I suppose that is between me and whomever you think is out there. My personal opinions are just that along with everyone else and I suppose that is probably why it is #1 on books that changed the world because opinions are controversial.

dec 3, 2009, 5:28am

20> Why do assume that I didn't read either one with an open mind?

dec 3, 2009, 8:22am

#21: Not so far-fetched. I've spent some years hanging out on the newsgroup alt.atheism, and I've read many stories of how people ended up there. Variations of "I thought I was a Christian until I read the Bible" came up pretty often.

dec 3, 2009, 10:31pm

My summary of the Bible: A total mish-mash of weird sanitation codes, genocide, sexual perversions, mysogyny, wrath, tribal warfare and intense ethno-centrism, totally pimped out worship tents, pornographic poetry.

I am intrigued by how this specific and disparate group of writings became the most influential religious text of the western world. Westerners have decided to use this ancient group of texts from some obscure, ancient desert tribes, as their religious operating system. Hey, maybe someone should write a modern sequel? I'd read it.

I did enjoy Job and a few of the other books, as well as some of the better written, later, more lyrical New Testament hippy stuff.

Redigeret: mar 27, 2010, 3:41pm

'' Ah! now I know the lying spirit of man! Contemplating the picture, which he hath drawn of the Divinity: No, said I, it is not God who hath made man after the image of God; but man hath made God after the image of man; he hath given him his own mind, clothed him with his own propensities;; ascribed to him his own judgments. And when in this medley he finds the contradiction of his own principles, with hypocritical humility, he imputes weakness to his reason, and names the absurdities of his own mind the mysteries of God.
He hath said, God is immutable, yet he offers prayers to change him; he hath pronounced him incomprehensible, yet he interprets him without ceasing.
Imposters have arisen on the earth who have called themselves the confidants of God; and, erecting themselves into teachers of the people, have opened the ways of falsehood and iniquity; they have ascribed merit to practices indifferent or ridiculous; they have supposed a virtue in certain postures; in pronouncing certain words, articulating certain names; they have transformed into a crime the eating of certain meats, the drinking of certain liquors, on one day rather than another. ''

Count C. F. Volney The Ruins of Empires Thomas Jefferson/ Joel Barlow Translation 1793

mar 27, 2010, 5:23pm

To sandydog 1, et al.:

It isnʻt really a sequel but recently there has been R. Crumbʻs llustrated Book of Genesis which you can find under Robert Crumb in "Search". Iʻm assuming it would have his "take" on what "really" happened in Genesis and perhaps his idea of the outcomes of Biblical paramouncy.

I didnʻt make R.Crumb one of my "Favorite" authors, but I did make a bioraphy of him a "Wish List" item. Years ago I also give his character "Shuman the Human" a "walk on" in an adaptation of a short Jacques Prevert poem. (He isnʻt mentioned in the original of that.)

As for your 1st paragraph, Sandydog, I think sanitation codes (not all historians would agree that theyʻre "weird") are a very minor point in the whole of the Biblical writings. So also, in quantity, are the episodes of genocide, but of course any quantity of genocide in a writing, scriptural or secular, is TOO large -- unless itʻs "blowing the whistle" on the genocidists, and the Bible is even commending them. Notable is the episode where teh Prophet samuel get onto saulʻs case for NOT doing a complete genocide of the Amalekites. (And earlier, the Book of Joshuawould make the supposedly belligerent Koran look like a pacifist tract.)

Narration of sexual perversions,too, is minor -- little more than a footnote.

Episodes of "wrath" do recurr sporadically, but also (though less often) how to cope with oneʻs own wrath and soften the wrath of others. Misogyny is more taken for granted than forwarded.

"Pornographic poetry": This designation depends on your definition of "pornographic" and our idea of the difference, if any, between "pornographic" and "erotic", which has been argued back and forth so much (usually in secular writings) that I donʻt want to reactivate the controversy.

Iʻm not sure what you mean by "totally pimped out worship tents".

apr 18, 2010, 1:38am

Denne meddelelse er blevet slettet af dens forfatter.

apr 23, 2010, 9:55pm

I think you shouldnt stay away from Tarot cards either. if you feel that its part of your purpose, then dont let guilt or fear keep you from that.

I also find it totally awesome that you're reading "books that changed the world". many people are afraid to try and discover new ideas and beliefs.

apr 25, 2010, 3:54am


You've got a wonderful knack for clarifying my terse rants, and always for the better! Erotic poetry, or even love poetry, is a much more accurate term. It isn't a strange thing to necessarily see in a religious text, but oh, how it has been interpreted!

As for the tents, I do recall lavish descriptions of the tabernacle tents prior to the Tribe settling down.