Discussion in 'Off Topic Area' started by ThaiMantis, Jan 30, 2005.

  1. ThaiMantis

    ThaiMantis New Member

    How many of you are familar with this? its an open letter posted on the internet in response to some comments made by a religious radio presenter.

    funny, challenging and provokes thought and discussion all in one go.

    Dr. Laura Schlesinger is a US radio personality who dispenses advice to people who call in to her radio show. Recently, she said that, as an observant Orthodox Jew, homosexuality is an abomination according to Leviticus 18:22, and cannot be condoned under any circumstance. The following is an open letter to Dr. Laura penned by a US resident, which was posted on the Internet. It's funny, as well as informative.

    Dear Dr. Laura

    Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God's Law. I have learned a great deal from your show, and try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination. End of debate.

    I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some of the other specific laws and how to follow them.

    1. When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord - Lev.1:9. The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?

    2. I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?

    3. I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual cleanliness - Lev.15:19-24. The problem is, how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offence.

    4. Lev. 25:44 states that I may indeed possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can't I own Canadians?

    5. I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself?

    6. A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination - Lev. 11:10, it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don.t agree. Can you settle this?

    7. Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle room here?

    8. Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev. 19:27. How should they die?

    9. I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?

    10. My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev. 19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? - Lev.24:10-16. Couldn.t we just burn them to death at a private family affair like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev.20:14)

    I know you have studied these things extensively, so I am confident you can help. Thank you again for reminding us that God's word is eternal and unchanging.

    Your devoted disciple and adoring fan
  2. AZeitung

    AZeitung The power of Grayskull

    I believe this came up earlier. I'm not Jewish, so I don't know what their answer would be. Here's what I would say, though.

    Most of Mosaiic law doesn't apply after Jesus, who stated that he was going to show people a better way.

    And some of the stuff in the bible is just Jewish law and shouldn't be taken as anything else.

    As for unclean food, a vision came to Peter where God told him to eat a bunch of unclean things. Peter refused, saying they were unclean, and God said "What I had made unclean I have now made clean." That's why Christians don't obey the Kosher rules.

    I'm not sure about the passage from leviticus about the "defect" in your sight, but I think it might have something to do with a spiritual defect. I don't really know, though.

    In addition, Christ was the ultimate sacrafice, you're not supposed to sacrafice animals any more.

    I think that addresses most of them.
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2005
  3. ThaiMantis

    ThaiMantis New Member


    ..if this is a repost. i did search a few terms looking for it unsuccessfully, but my search doesnt seem to work very well.

    i hate asking the exact same thing that's already been done to death..
  4. AZeitung

    AZeitung The power of Grayskull

    It wasn't posted as a new topic. It was just in a thread that I remember reading a month or two ago, and discussed only briefly.
  5. aikiMac

    aikiMac aikido + boxing = very good Moderator Supporter

    :confused: No, it's not funny, it's not challenging, and it is not thought-provoking. The writer is publicly declaring himself a fool. He hasn't the first inkling of what Leviticus is about. He's ignorant to the nth degree, yet he's spouting off at the mouth as if he knows of what he speaks. This is a tidy example of arogance, pride, and foolishness all wrapped up in one ugly package.
  6. ThaiMantis

    ThaiMantis New Member


    so sorry if this offended you. It made me laugh so i guess humour is subjective ..but i take it by your response that you are far more knowledgeable on these things than I. I havent seen leviticus. does it not say those things in then?

    ..but as the lady was saying something objectionable in the initial interview it seemed reasonable to me to quote other parts of it to show her that old writings cannot be always be applied word for word to the world today and how unreasonable her stance was?

    perhaps you could expand on what you mean by "arrogance, pride and foolishness all wrapped up in one ugly package" for me?

    again, seems like a subjective opinion?
  7. aikiMac

    aikiMac aikido + boxing = very good Moderator Supporter

    It's subjective to you because you haven't read the Old Testament and therefore you don't know what is being discussed.

    Pick a field of study that you do know about. Then let me say something stupid about it. Then you say, "No, you don't know what you're talking about." Then I retort, "Subjective opinion. You're the one who is wrong."

    Make sense now?
  8. ThaiMantis

    ThaiMantis New Member

    no not really..

    but i think i'll leave it cos u clearly dont want to elaborate. no, i havent read it, well, not for 25 years anyway, and then i probably skimmed it, but neither did i "say you were wrong" ?

    i just asked you to explain why? ..are the quotes inaccurate or changed?
    ..i really dont know. perhaps i better go find out before continuing eh? :)

    catchya soon.
  9. aikiMac

    aikiMac aikido + boxing = very good Moderator Supporter

    You're asking for an explanation of the entire Jewish religion, or, in the alternative, the entire Christian religion. Do you not realize that?

    I am capable of giving an explanation, but I would need at least five hours of face-to-face talk. I say that because I've actually done this talk for a live audience before, and I was barely able to do it in six meetings of close to an hour each. The entire religion must be discussed. Be fair with me here. You're asking more than what I honestly believe can be done on MAP.
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2005
  10. Kwajman

    Kwajman Penguin in paradise....

    I went to my minister many years ago and asked him to clear up a lot of contradictions that I had found in the bible and he was unable to truly clear them up. I hear a lot of Christians saying, "This is what they mean in the bible.". How do we know thats what they mean? This is the type of question that has made me question my christianity. Who is qualified to "interpret" the bible? Either its Gods word as is, or its someone else attempting to change the words.

    My intelligence tells me to question anything said by a human until I'm convinced one way or another. But the question of who's qualified to interpret the bible is something that I can't come to terms with.
  11. Kinjiro Tsukasa

    Kinjiro Tsukasa I'm hungry; got troll? Supporter

    It's a very difficult question. The Bible was not originally written in modern western languages, nor did it use modern western literary forms. Attempting to interpret it as such can lead to problems, as can the assumption that it was designed to be a science or history textbook.
  12. Kwajman

    Kwajman Penguin in paradise....

    Thank you KT. It is something thats troubled me for decades literally. Questions arose as to what if some long ago king didn't like something so he re-worded it to his own benefit? How do you readers out there who are strong christians come to grips with that question?
  13. aikiMac

    aikiMac aikido + boxing = very good Moderator Supporter

    There is no manuscript evidence suggesting that it happened. To the contrary, the manuscript evidence is quite clear that it didn't happen.

    Ergo, there is no problem that we have to "come to grips with." :D
  14. Kwajman

    Kwajman Penguin in paradise....

    Aki, I thought that the bible was translated from hebrew into different languages and that certain words really had no direct translation? Also, I know when you read the King James version vs some of the other versions of the bible they read differently. I'm asking an honest question, I've never been able to think that someone wouldn't alter what they were translating. Is it simply a matter of faith?
  15. AZeitung

    AZeitung The power of Grayskull

    Besides, there were lots of copies of it floating around. It seems hard to believe that anything could have been changed after the original compilation just because there would be so *many* documents to destroy/change. And we all know how protective and secretive Christians used to be. The original version could never be wiped out completely any more than Christianity could have been wiped out completely by the Roman Empire before Constantine.
  16. Kinjiro Tsukasa

    Kinjiro Tsukasa I'm hungry; got troll? Supporter

    Since all English-language editions are translations, you have to rely on an authority you trust (whatever that might be) to tell you which translations are the best and most accurate. Even then, you have to be careful, since some words and concepts don't translate well from the original languages to English. Depending on the version, a Bible may have footnotes from biblical scholars; these can help. What it all comes down to, though, is whether you believe in and trust whoever did your translation. If the answer is "Yes", then there's no problem.

    This is all unrelated to the original purpose of this thread, but other posters have already dealt with that. ;)

    Just an addendum: In many cases, it's not even a matter of deliberately changing something in the Bible, or mis-stating part of the text, but the status of biblical scholarship and understanding of the ancient languages has changed over time. An old translation may have errors simply because of the status of such knowledge at that time. There were also many printers' errors which had to be corrected by later versions (such as correcting "Sin on more" to read "Sin no more", or putting in the word "not" to correct "Thou shalt commit adultery" to "Thou shalt not commit adultery." Etc., and so on).
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2005
  17. aikiMac

    aikiMac aikido + boxing = very good Moderator Supporter

    The Old Testament was written in Hebrew, except for a few sections in Aramaic and maybe another regional language that I'm forgetting. The New Testament was written in Greek except for a few phrases in Aramaic. I think some of them are translated right there in the text by the writer, but I'd have to look. No matter.

    They didn't alter what they were copying. The NT in stores today is 98% the same as the NT from the 100's AD. That's one human generation from the events. The remaining 2% affects nothing. No doctrine is affected by the 2% difference. The NT was not copied once, and then once, and then once, like the childhood whisper chain game. It was copied many times, and then each copy was copied many times, and each of those copies was copied many times, etc. on down the years. The resulting massive webbing of "family lines" of copies created an inherent built-in checking system. That's how we know the version sold today is accurate.

    English Bibles are almost always translated directly from the original languages. The exceptions are well noted and can be counted on one hand. (Example: the Jerusalem Bible is a translation from French into English.)

    Assume that you and I are both fluent in Spanish. If you and I both translate a long piece of Spanish prose into English, our translations will probably not be word-for-word the same. But our translations will convey the same meaning. Agreed? That's the explanation for all the different English translations. By extension, it's the explanation for multiple translations in any language. Translating very long pieces of writings, like one of the books of the Old Testament, is difficult because you have to balance the literal, word-for-word translation against the need for clear meaning and easy reading. There's always a trade off. Different translations opted for different trade offs, and the editors of each version tell you what they emphasized. Some English versions favored word-for-word accuracy, and some favored easy readability. Whatever.

    The King James Version (aka, Authorized Version) was first published in 1611. It's a magnificient piece of English literature, right up there with Shakespeare and Chaucer, but it's outdated. Come on, language changes in 400 years. Words in the King James Bible don't always mean what we in America today think they mean. It's a hard Bible to read.

    Did I answer your question?
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2005
  18. Kwajman

    Kwajman Penguin in paradise....

    Actually you did, thats one of the best explanations I've heard that addresses my concerns. It was very informative, thanks!
  19. aikiMac

    aikiMac aikido + boxing = very good Moderator Supporter

    You're welcome. :)
  20. megk

    megk New Member

    Kman I can't say much about the OT I haven't started my OT survey yet, but I studying the NT right now and how the canon was formed. To put it simply the NT was put together by the early church Fathers. They are a bunch of letters that were sent out to specific locations and then latter collected and canonized. The probability of the letters being edited is rare due to the nature of how they were collected. There were often many copies of one letter that were circulated among the region. The early church gathered them and compared them to find any contridictions. Some King couldn't come along and change it because the discrepency would be seen right away. It would have been imposible for said King to get to all the copies. If youv'e read to OT, you have to have seen that the people depicted didn't necessarily come off as stelor. They were deffinetly like us, a bunch of screw ups. :D

    Sorry, didn't read the excellent and much more eloquent explanation posted above. Right on, good explination.
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2005

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