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  1. #21
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    Re: Old Testement laws and Christianity

    Quote Originally Posted by Dionysus View Post
    Well that's fine, and I don't take issue with that. But you can't separate the moral value of the act of execution from the immoral act of practicing homosexuality by saying the punishment is a civil requirement. The punishment is in response to an immoral act, therefore if we assume that the punishment fits the crime i.e. it sets things right, we must assume that the execution itself is just as morally right as the sin was morally wrong. There IS a moral value set against both the sin and the penalty for sin; one is in fact morally wrong and the other is in fact the morally right reaction to it.

    So it follows that if it was morally right to execute homosexuals for the sin of homosexuality then, it follows that it is morally right to execute them now.
    No. Because the command is not "Execute homosexuals"...which would apply to all nations of all time executing all homosexuals. It is "Israel, during this time, you are commanded to execute those found guilty of homosexual activity". It isn't a universal command to all people, therefore any moral value attached to that command is applicable ONLY to the subjects in question (Israel and those in Israel engaged in homosexual behavior).

    There is no moral command to all people regardless of time to execute homosexuals, therefore it is not moral for them to do so. The statement again, is not "It is moral to execute those engaged in homosexual behavior". I think this is where you guys are getting hung up on.
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  2. #22
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    Re: Old Testement laws and Christianity

    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis View Post
    No. Because the command is not "Execute homosexuals"...which would apply to all nations of all time executing all homosexuals. It is "Israel, during this time, you are commanded to execute those found guilty of homosexual activity". It isn't a universal command to all people, therefore any moral value attached to that command is applicable ONLY to the subjects in question (Israel and those in Israel engaged in homosexual behavior).
    That's right. I agree that it isn't a moral command for all people. But you still cannot separate the moral value of the punishment from the moral value of the sin, because it IS the moral value of the sin that drives the act of punishment. They are part and parcel. There IS no separating the two, and saying it's a civil command doesn't reconcile this problem. Or, if it does, the only reason it can be so is that the morality of the act is relative to the people to whom the command was issued.

    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis View Post
    There is no moral command to all people regardless of time to execute homosexuals, therefore it is not moral for them to do so. The statement again, is not "It is moral to execute those engaged in homosexual behavior". I think this is where you guys are getting hung up on.
    I understand that the driving act is the act of practicing homosexuality. But I don't see that you've separated the moral value of the punishment, nor do I see how you can without employing a relativistic view. Again, the punishment is a response the immoral act. Therefore we can assume that the response is morally and inversely proportional to the sin itself. It MUST be in order to be a just punishment.

  3. #23
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    Re: Old Testament Laws and Christianity

    I think I see your position more clearly now. I want to confirm however. Let me know.

    Either morality is relative or it is absolute. And as it pertains to the execution of those engaged in homosexual behavior...

    If it was moral for Israel at the time to execute fellow Jews engaged in homosexuality but not now...then morality is relative (this specific moral action of executing homosexuals has changed relative to the people and time - Israel then vs other nations and now). Therefore claims that morality is absolute are false (by way of law of non-contradiction).

    If morality is absolute, and if the execution of homosexuals was moral, then today and for all people (by virtue of being absolute), it is moral to execute homosexuals.

    In other words, we (Christians & Jews) cannot have it both ways. Either morality is relative, or we are committing a sin (an immoral act) by not following through with what was said to be the moral act of executing homosexuals.

    Is this an accurate representation of your position?
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  4. #24
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    Re: Old Testament Laws and Christianity

    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis View Post
    I think I see your position more clearly now. I want to confirm however. Let me know.

    Either morality is relative or it is absolute. And as it pertains to the execution of those engaged in homosexual behavior...

    If it was moral for Israel at the time to execute fellow Jews engaged in homosexuality but not now...then morality is relative (this specific moral action of executing homosexuals has changed relative to the people and time - Israel then vs other nations and now). Therefore claims that morality is absolute are false (by way of law of non-contradiction).

    If morality is absolute, and if the execution of homosexuals was moral, then today and for all people (by virtue of being absolute), it is moral to execute homosexuals.

    In other words, we (Christians & Jews) cannot have it both ways. Either morality is relative, or we are committing a sin (an immoral act) by not following through with what was said to be the moral act of executing homosexuals.

    Is this an accurate representation of your position?
    I think this is a fair representation.

  5. #25
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    Re: Old Testament Laws and Christianity

    What appears to be missing, if the purpose of the incarnation was our return to the moral purpose for which we were 'created' before the fall from grace, is that first command, the single Law. If we are unable to comprehend the specific single disobedience from righteous conduct that caused the fall, and religion is as yet unable to be precise on that matter, how is it even possible to begin to understand our return? There is still one Law missing which Jesus must have taught, but which existing theological traditions have failed to comprehend. For myself, when that single Law is at last revealed, true Christianity will have started, also called judgment!

  6. #26
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    Re: Old Testament Laws and Christianity

    Quote Originally Posted by klatu View Post
    What appears to be missing, if the purpose of the incarnation was our return to the moral purpose for which we were 'created' before the fall from grace, is that first command, the single Law. If we are unable to comprehend the specific single disobedience from righteous conduct that caused the fall, and religion is as yet unable to be precise on that matter, how is it even possible to begin to understand our return? There is still one Law missing which Jesus must have taught, but which existing theological traditions have failed to comprehend. For myself, when that single Law is at last revealed, true Christianity will have started, also called judgment!
    I just don't see the relevance here to the issue under discussion. While it may be an interesting observation, how does it tie in w/ the topic exactly?

    And Dio, I haven't forgotten you. Quite the contrary. I've needed to do some research and seek "outside" assistance for the best way to explain the Christian position on this.
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  7. #27
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    Re: Old Testement laws and Christianity

    I know I sound sarcastic there and I know you are a reasonable person, but what i am trying to illustrate is that the argument you are using to reconcile modern sensibility and ancient texts is not consistent and smacks of an excuse more than an argument. No matter how you slice the thing, god called for the death of gay men along with death for a whole raft of things. He also called for banishment for other items. Christians cherry pick those to this day, deciding some are truth for living and some aren't. It's all very convenient when you get to decide what the book means piecemeal like that deciding what is eternal truth and what is only a sign of the times as you find convenient to your own moral judgement.

    With all that in mind.... my rebuttal.

    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis View Post
    Not so. Killing in and of itself is neither sinful or sinless. It is the manner in which life is taken that dictates the value of the act. Killing someone in self defense is not a sin. Killing someone in war is not a sin. Killing yourself to save another is not a sin. Executing someone is not a sin. Killing in and of itself is far too broad an act to attach a moral value to it.
    Thou shalt not kill. (did this come with a rider clause I missed?)

    The bible even explains from time to time why killing is wrong; because man is made in gods image and let no man undo what god has done.

    It is wrong to kill.... without a compelling reason. And all of those reasons have to do with breaking some other rule of God's So there is a justification and justification means you are correcting some greater evil than killing.

    In this case killing gays is OK because god thinks gays are bad. Killing for no reason is not OK. Killing for a whole range of reasons is fine because there are things god hates more than seeing people killed. And of course... god hates fags.

    The punishment of execution is not a sin...and relativism has nothing to do with it.
    Oh, so we can kill people for taking the lords name in vain for instance? That would be fine with god?

    Not true because execution is not a wrong.
    So I can execute whomever I like and God is fine with that? Cool, our prison population problem is solved by God. Lets get started!

    No He didn't. He said that homosexual sex in the nation of Israel at the time of the issued commandment is punished by death.
    He didn't say anything about a statue of limitations for when it would become OK to have sex with animals or other men. There was nothing there about when this law would expire. Nor did god explain that the crimes would always be bad but the punishments were subject to change over time. He also did say that they applied to anyone living among the Israelites as well as the Jews themselves. And face it, if you were not a Jew, you were pretty much to be slaughtered as needed and not part of God's chosen club.

    Not at all. For all people in all places for all time (according to the Bible) homosexual activity is sinful. What to do as a result however, is dependent upon the time, place and who is involved. The reaction to an immoral act for Israel in that particular time, is not the same for other nations at the time, nor of this time. You are confusing civil law with moral law
    .

    So god's sense of justice is totally circumstantial... got it.

    Just because something is a sin, it does not mean it warrants the same reaction or response. You confuse the severity here. See the passage Dio originally linked (in Leviticus). There are a variety of punishments. Just like today, immoral and/or illegal acts have differing consequences which are dependent upon the severity of the act itself as well as the subjects involved.
    And stuff like killing people is totally not a question of morality that the bible has anything to say about. Got it.

    None of the above. Since the command to execute homosexuals does not apply to any nation other than Israel and it does not apply outside of the time it was given, it's a non-issue (for other nations).
    Its like your saying that nations god doesn't care about should just ignore any and all moral advice God has to offer. The 10 commandments were only given to moses and the people of Israel. does that mean they no longer apply? I can kill and covet my neighbors wife all I like and still be good with God because I don't happen to be a Jew? Does God's morality begin and end with a line on a human map?
    Last edited by Sigfried; August 16th, 2010 at 11:01 AM.
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  8. #28
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    Re: Old Testement laws and Christianity

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried View Post
    I know I sound sarcastic there and I know you are a reasonable person, but what i am trying to illustrate is that the argument you are using to reconcile modern sensibility and ancient texts is not consistent and smacks of an excuse more than an argument. No matter how you slice the thing, god called for the death of gay men along with death for a whole raft of things. He also called for banishment for other items. Christians cherry pick those to this day, deciding some are truth for living and some aren't. It's all very convenient when you get to decide what the book means piecemeal like that deciding what is eternal truth and what is only a sign of the times as you find convenient to your own moral judgement.
    And from a scholar's point of view, it's convenient for an atheist (or skeptic) to charge the Christian with "convenience" all the while refusing to understand the theology and nuances of scripture. It is what is called eisegesis, and it is in error. For example...

    Thou shalt not kill. (did this come with a rider clause I missed?)

    The bible even explains from time to time why killing is wrong; because man is made in gods image and let no man undo what god has done.

    It is wrong to kill.... without a compelling reason. And all of those reasons have to do with breaking some other rule of God's So there is a justification and justification means you are correcting some greater evil than killing.

    In this case killing gays is OK because god thinks gays are bad. Killing for no reason is not OK. Killing for a whole range of reasons is fine because there are things god hates more than seeing people killed. And of course... god hates fags.
    All the above is incorrect for one simple reason (and will therefore have to be re-argued). Nowhere in the Bible does it say "Thou shalt not kill". Nowhere. You have just made that up. This error is either through convenience...or though the lack of knowledge of the issue...in which case, it would be an example of eisegesis. It's the practice of bringing your understanding INTO what is said, instead of understanding what the text actually says (exegesis - deriving meaning out of vs putting meaning into).

    It's important to understand what is actually said and meant, prior to taking on other issues and using X scripture for the foundation of other scripture. The issue of what was actually commanded, is covered in another thread quite exhaustively.
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  9. #29
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    Re: Old Testement laws and Christianity

    Before I tear into you here... nice to have you back in the fray a little sir.

    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis View Post
    And from a scholar's point of view, it's convenient for an atheist (or skeptic) to charge the Christian with "convenience" all the while refusing to understand the theology and nuances of scripture. It is what is called eisegesis, and it is in error. For example...
    Are you a bible scholar now Apokalupsis? If you want to tell me there is theology and nuance here... well you will have to show it to me. I'm perfectly capable of reading a book and understanding its meaning in so far as it is apparent.

    Challenge to support a claim.: Show me where in God's words he makes it clear that his decrees in Exodus are no longer relevant today and have expired or where he explains the moral laws are permanent but the punishments are situational.

    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis View Post
    All the above is incorrect for one simple reason (and will therefore have to be re-argued). Nowhere in the Bible does it say "Thou shalt not kill". Nowhere. You have just made that up.
    exodus 17
    http://bible.oremus.org/?passage=exo...version=nrsvae
    "You shall not murder"

    It adds an Astrix noting the standard Catholic translation is "Kill" and there is honestly plenty of debate and very little difference in meaning when all is said and done. "Thou Shalt and You Shall not is just a modern vs archaic translation into English and makes no difference.

    After all the hand wringing about politeness and condescending Atheists I'm stunned you would pull the...

    "You are too ignorant for me to argue with" on me. And you did it when the fact of the matter is some bibles say exactly the words I quoted and when those words hardly matter in the least int he context of what I am arguing.

    This is a prime, golden example of what the Atheist community here is complaining about and what gives Christian debaters here a bad reputation.
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  10. #30
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    Re: Old Testement laws and Christianity

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried View Post
    Before I tear into you here... nice to have you back in the fray a little sir.

    Are you a bible scholar now Apokalupsis?
    ...well...I have about 15 years of theology studies (formal and informal), couple of years of Greek, 1 or so of Hebrew, a library of hermeneutic studies...but I'm not published, nor would I say that I am an expert. However, I wasn't necessarily referring to myself, which is why I cite 3rd party sources when necessary. This specific issue is sourced in the appropriate thread (see sticky thread on this topic in the Religion Forum).

    If you want to tell me there is theology and nuance here... well you will have to show it to me. I'm perfectly capable of reading a book and understanding its meaning in so far as it is apparent.
    I did show it to you. And I gave you an example (you confusing kill vs murder). There's a thread about the topic in this forum, as a sticky. Been there for a long time.

    Show me where in God's words he makes it clear that his decrees in Exodus are no longer relevant today and have expired or where he explains the moral laws are permanent but the punishments are situational.
    That's been explained already in this thread by numerous posters. Have you gone through the discussion or is the focus merely on my latest post(s)?

    exodus 17
    http://bible.oremus.org/?passage=exo...version=nrsvae
    "You shall not murder"

    It adds an Astrix noting the standard Catholic translation is "Kill" and there is honestly plenty of debate and very little difference in meaning when all is said and done.
    What version of the Bible is that website using?

    What was the original language in which the Bible was written?

    And more specifically, what was the original word (that you allege is the English word "kill" used in the verse?

    "Thou Shalt and You Shall not is just a modern vs archaic translation into English and makes no difference.
    You vs Thou is not being contested, never has been.

    After all the hand wringing about politeness and condescending Atheists I'm stunned you would pull the...

    "You are too ignorant for me to argue with" on me. And you did it when the fact of the matter is some bibles say exactly the words I quoted and when those words hardly matter in the least int he context of what I am arguing.

    This is a prime, golden example of what the Atheist community here is complaining about and what gives Christian debaters here a bad reputation.
    I think this may be an example of being overly sensitive. I'm not suggesting you are too ignorant to debate, I claimed that the practice of eisegesis is simply not good practice when it comes to discovery...it never has...and this is universally accepted as being true.

    I explained that it is the case that you argue the commandment is "You/Thou shall not kill" out of lack of knowledge (1- practicing eisegesis and 2- you are merely unfamiliar with the original language) OR you are making such an argument out of convenience (a false argument, one that intentionally and willfully ignores the facts of the matter - which I have questioned you about above).

    In either case, it is highly problematic. But it is unfortunately, what we see in the overwhelming vast majority of skeptics and critics. They refuse to do their homework. I can say this with confidence because if you DID know that the verse does not mean what you say it means, you would not have made the argument. You a creating an argument based on a lack of knowledge about it. I'm assuming that anyway, because I don't really think you would willfully and intentionally create an argument you knew was false (which could only happen if you knew what the original verse was).
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  11. #31
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    Re: Old Testement laws and Christianity

    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis View Post
    I did show it to you. And I gave you an example (you confusing kill vs murder). There's a thread about the topic in this forum, as a sticky. Been there for a long time.
    Kill vs Murder is irrelevant to the discussion. If it means murder, then my argument is the same because murder is killing without cause and that still means that killing is wrong unless there is a more potent violation justifying it. Your side track ignores my whole slew of questions and contentions so you can focus on a point of definition that has no impact on my argument. Its evasion. Either go back and follow up or concede the points I made.

    That's been explained already in this thread by numerous posters. Have you gone through the discussion or is the focus merely on my latest post(s)?
    Yes, the all two pages of it... its not long Apok. The only thing remotely like what you claim is you simply stating that all non moral laws were abandoned with the new testiment. You list a bunch of bible chapters as a general reference and nothing else. If that was evidence it violated your own boards policies on how its to be presented.

    I want to simply say you are lying here but I'll refrain.
    Please quote me the evidence that was presented saying the moral laws and their punishments given on Mt Sinai are no longer applicable today.

    What version of the Bible is that website using?
    It doesn't matter, many bibles say it and all but those being willfully ignorant recognize the intent is to say that you can't kill unless god commands it. Its not your call to decide who lives and dies. Etc...

    What was the original language in which the Bible was written?
    To be honest we don't truly know what language Moses spoke. We presume it was Hebrew.

    And more specifically, what was the original word (that you allege is the English word "kill" used in the verse?
    "ratsah"

    I would point out that ratsah is used in the Bible not only there but also in other places to describe capital punishment as well as sanctioned killings. Clearly it has a range of meanings and was used as such. That doesn't mean the commandment in question was an absolute moratorium. Clearly in the context of the bible it is not meant that way in that passage. But if you want to argue Hebrew with me and want to say a given word has meaning and the bible uses it outside that meaning more than once... well I think your argument has a problem.

    You vs Thou is not being contested, never has been.
    Well I had to guess because you didn't spell out your actual objection. Say what you mean bro.

    I think this may be an example of being overly sensitive. I'm not suggesting you are too ignorant to debate, I claimed that the practice of eisegesis is simply not good practice when it comes to discovery...it never has...and this is universally accepted as being true.
    And I am contending you are the one guilty of eisegesis and you have yet to defend yourself from that claim and instead simply made the claim of me as your counter argument. We can sit around and call each others arguments names but we won't get anywhere.

    You have now dodged both my general arguments and my formal challenge. What do I need to do to get you to argue or concede?

    I explained that it is the case that you argue the commandment is "You/Thou shall not kill" out of lack of knowledge (1- practicing eisegesis and 2- you are merely unfamiliar with the original language) OR you are making such an argument out of convenience (a false argument, one that intentionally and willfully ignores the facts of the matter - which I have questioned you about above).
    I'm using the common language I grew up with. You simply decided to read into it some kind of meaning you are accustomed to arguing against.

    And as to my ignorance. The truth of it is that "ratsah" can mean kill in the general sense and is used that way in the bible itself in some places. Like most languages folks can play fast and loose with word choice and it can vary from person to person. Most scholars settle on murder not because the word can only ever mean murder, but because clearly thats the read that makes the most sense as well.

    So please get off the high horse and debate me.

    In either case, it is highly problematic. But it is unfortunately, what we see in the overwhelming vast majority of skeptics and critics. They refuse to do their homework.
    I've done lots of homework on this question and I'm prepared to do much more if you would just debate me instead of evade me. Take the blinders off and talk to me.

    I can say this with confidence because if you DID know that the verse does not mean what you say it means, you would not have made the argument.
    That only illustrates that you don't understand my argument and you are hung up on some definitions rather than the substance of the thing. Think about the difference between kill and murder the way you define them... not say what the difference is to yourself. Now tell me what that says about the baseline principle of the value of human life. Then consider the weighing of that life value when prescribing a punishment and what it says about the crime.

    You a creating an argument based on a lack of knowledge about it. I'm assuming that anyway, because I don't really think you would willfully and intentionally create an argument you knew was false (which could only happen if you knew what the original verse was).
    I appreciate the thought but you are wrong both ways. I am not ignorant of the kill/murder dynamic nor am I willfully creating a false argument. You just aren't addressing my actual argument and have invented a straw man argument you think I am making. Its understandable but please stop.
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  12. #32
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    Re: Old Testement laws and Christianity

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried View Post
    Kill vs Murder is irrelevant to the discussion. If it means murder, then my argument is the same because murder is killing without cause and that still means that killing is wrong unless there is a more potent violation justifying it. Your side track ignores my whole slew of questions and contentions so you can focus on a point of definition that has no impact on my argument. Its evasion. Either go back and follow up or concede the points I made.
    No, it's an important distinction. "To murder" is a subset of "to kill". It's important to be clear on the terms in a discussion, is it not?

    You brought the commandment into the argument and attempted to use it to further your argument. If you do not properly use the meaning of the commandment, then your argument has no foundation.

    To kill by self-defense, is not immoral. To kill in someone else's defense, is not immoral. To execute, is not immoral. To murder is. The distinction is important, and unfortunately, is seems to be one you have yet to make for some reason.

    Yes, the all two pages of it... its not long Apok. The only thing remotely like what you claim is you simply stating that all non moral laws were abandoned with the new testiment. You list a bunch of bible chapters as a general reference and nothing else. If that was evidence it violated your own boards policies on how its to be presented.
    Enlighten me. How did I violate my own policies, which I created, know quite well, have taught my staff, and enforce?

    And "evidence" isn't necessary in this instance. You asked a question that has been answered already. If you take objection w/ what has been posted, address it directly. See post #4.

    I want to simply say you are lying here but I'll refrain.
    Assuming you value your membership at ODN...that would be quite wise of you.

    Please quote me the evidence that was presented saying the moral laws and their punishments given on Mt Sinai are no longer applicable today.
    A partial answer was given in post #4. The rest is forthcoming. You have "interrupted" a discussion that Dio and I were having about this very issue. See my response to him. It's rather silly to insist on a response to YOU, when it's already been posted that I owe another poster the response, no?

    It doesn't matter, many bibles say it and all but those being willfully ignorant recognize the intent is to say that you can't kill unless god commands it. Its not your call to decide who lives and dies. Etc...
    It does matter. If you are using a poor translation, then you will get a poor translation. It's as simple as that. The command is not "Do not kill unless God commands it". You claiming it (and not supporting it, will not make it come true).

    To be honest we don't truly know what language Moses spoke. We presume it was Hebrew.
    Most scholars agree that it is Hebrew. Therefore, we look to ancient Hebrew instead of modern English to derive clear meaning and understanding.

    "ratsah"

    I would point out that ratsah is used in the Bible not only there but also in other places to describe capital punishment as well as sanctioned killings. Clearly it has a range of meanings and was used as such. That doesn't mean the commandment in question was an absolute moratorium. Clearly in the context of the bible it is not meant that way in that passage. But if you want to argue Hebrew with me and want to say a given word has meaning and the bible uses it outside that meaning more than once... well I think your argument has a problem.
    The word is ratsach. See my other thread for this issue. There's no need to dilute the discussion by having it in 2 threads. But in short, it is quite specific as to what type of killing occurs (vs what you claim it does).

    ratsach
    1. to murder, slay, kill
    1. (Qal) to murder, slay
    1. premeditated
    2. accidental
    3. as avenger
    4. slayer (intentional) (participle)
    2. (Niphal) to be slain
    3. (Piel)
    1. to murder, assassinate
    2. murderer, assassin (participle)(subst)
    4. (Pual) to be killed

    See Strong's #07523. As to the accurate rendering, the inflection tells us that. Which do you suppose it is here...in this case?

    Well I had to guess because you didn't spell out your actual objection. Say what you mean bro.
    Considering your argument was about the term and concept of "kill" (mistakenly so, as it is more accurately rendered "murder"), I assumed you knew that you own argument had to do with killing (albeit mistaken for murdering)...instead of irrelevant, possessive pronouns which no one has made a single argument about or objection to. I'll try to be more specific in the future and no longer make such assumptions.

    And I am contending you are the one guilty of eisegesis
    Great. But you haven't explained how it is even remotely possible yet. Please start.

    You have now dodged both my general arguments and my formal challenge. What do I need to do to get you to argue or concede?
    I haven't dodged anything. Your arguments were flawed for reasons given. Restate them correctly with the proper understanding of the commandment.

    I'm using the common language I grew up with. You simply decided to read into it some kind of meaning you are accustomed to arguing against.
    Not reading into anything. Changing the meaning changes doctrine significantly. Therefore it is important to understand the actual meaning. This is why I have recommended providing a more accurate argument (instead of insisting that the commandment and therefore by extension, the argument, may be understood as "don't kill").

    And as to my ignorance. The truth of it is that "ratsah" can mean kill in the general sense and is used that way in the bible itself in some places. Like most languages folks can play fast and loose with word choice and it can vary from person to person. Most scholars settle on murder not because the word can only ever mean murder, but because clearly thats the read that makes the most sense as well.
    Well now it seems as if you agree with me and hold the position that it doesn't mean (in the commandment) to "not kill", but rather "not murder." If so, then this particular case is settled. If not, then please take up this specific line of argumentation in the proper thread. A good place to start would be to provide the proper inflectional form of the term.

    So please get off the high horse and debate me.
    No high horse. Perhaps you just aren't used to theists disagreeing with you and actually objecting to claims you make?

    I've done lots of homework on this question and I'm prepared to do much more if you would just debate me instead of evade me. Take the blinders off and talk to me.

    That only illustrates that you don't understand my argument and you are hung up on some definitions rather than the substance of the thing. Think about the difference between kill and murder the way you define them... not say what the difference is to yourself. Now tell me what that says about the baseline principle of the value of human life. Then consider the weighing of that life value when prescribing a punishment and what it says about the crime.

    I appreciate the thought but you are wrong both ways. I am not ignorant of the kill/murder dynamic nor am I willfully creating a false argument. You just aren't addressing my actual argument and have invented a straw man argument you think I am making. Its understandable but please stop.
    Restate your argument properly then please. I will not submit to the insistence that "It's fine the way it is, just address it." I do not believe your argument as-is is properly founded, which is why I objected to it. I've explained my reasoning above. If the above is insufficient, then I suspect this discussion is over (you can have the last word if you like, but I will not waste time debating in circles). If you see my position a bit clearer now, then I welcome a more accurate argument from you.
    Last edited by Apokalupsis; August 17th, 2010 at 12:45 AM.
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  13. #33
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    Re: Old Testament Laws and Christianity

    Quote Originally Posted by chadn737 View Post
    How did Jesus change/complete old testement law?
    He did neither. See Matthew Ch5. v.17 "Do not think I have come to abolish the law or the prophets; I have come not to abolish but to fulfil" NRSV

    Quote Originally Posted by chadn737 View Post
    How do we know which laws are still valid and which no longer apply?
    From what Jesus then said; Matthew Ch5. v.18-20 "For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not one letter, not one stroke of a letter, will pass from the law until all is accomplished. Therefore whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, will be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven."

    Christians interpret fulfil as meaning that the laws no longer apply upon their fulfilment. And that their fulfillment came about when Jesus died. By the same rationalle though anyone can say, "I have up until now fulfilled the law of 'thou thalt not kill', therefore it no longer applies to me."

    Christians also interpret 'until all is accomplished' as meaning until Jesus's sacrifice on the cross is done - the problem with this is that they (Christians) then wait around for the second coming - essentially indicating that not 'all' is accomplished.

    Essenitally Jesus was advocating the continuance of the Torah and all the laws therein.
    Bricky roads they trappers grass, stoney walls they trappers wind, iron stove it trappers fire.

    Trappers is we by the works of hands, and forget us we were ever free...

  14. #34
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    Re: Old Testement laws and Christianity

    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis View Post
    No, it's an important distinction. "To murder" is a subset of "to kill". It's important to be clear on the terms in a discussion, is it not?
    No, in this case it is not because my argument isn't any different if the commandment is to kill or is to murder. It makes not one whit of difference.

    The loss of a human life at the hands of another human is to be avoided unless certain conditions are met. Those conditions mitigate the loss of life. One such condition that God Himself Decreed was male gay sex. That means that stopping male gay sex is more important that any human life to God.

    Therefore killing people who are gay is not murder, not against gods will and is not a sin. Except that you seem to claim it is because this is not Israel which means Gods morality is relative or arbitrary rather than constant and objective.

    You brought the commandment into the argument and attempted to use it to further your argument. If you do not properly use the meaning of the commandment, then your argument has no foundation.
    And you decided to get hung up on it because its easy pickings, more so than my actual point.

    To kill by self-defense, is not immoral. To kill in someone else's defense, is not immoral. To execute, is not immoral. To murder is. The distinction is important, and unfortunately, is seems to be one you have yet to make for some reason.
    What is the difference between execution and murder? If the US executes all Christians by a new law, would that be ok by God because its execution and not murder?

    Enlighten me. How did I violate my own policies, which I created, know quite well, have taught my staff, and enforce?
    1. I issued you a formal challenge
    2. You responded saying "read the other posts"
    3. No other posts have evidence pertaining to my formal challenge
    4. you have not conceded the point or answered the challenge

    You want me to quote the formal challenge rules to you? I hope not.

    And "evidence" isn't necessary in this instance. You asked a question that has been answered already. If you take objection w/ what has been posted, address it directly. See post #4.
    Challenge to support a claim.:Show me where in God's words he makes it clear that his decrees in Exodus are no longer relevant today and have expired or where he explains the moral laws are permanent but the punishments are situational.

    Does the above really look like a question to you Apok?

    Assuming you value your membership at ODN...that would be quite wise of you.
    Ahh and now we get threats.. Excellent form sir. It's your board, do what you like but I'm not backing down in a debate just because you have such power.

    A partial answer was given in post #4. The rest is forthcoming. You have "interrupted" a discussion that Dio and I were having about this very issue. See my response to him. It's rather silly to insist on a response to YOU, when it's already been posted that I owe another poster the response, no?
    I interrupted? Was this a PM discussion? You are free to ignore me if you like but I though these forums were open to anyone who wanted to debate.

    And look back at the thread... I just did. You were responding to me and I to you well before and after you asked Dio for some time to get an answer. You were a willing participant in the discussion with me and still are.

    It does matter. If you are using a poor translation, then you will get a poor translation. It's as simple as that. The command is not "Do not kill unless God commands it". You claiming it (and not supporting it, will not make it come true).
    It really doesn't matter. I'm perfectly willing to give you that it says You will not Murder. I've tried a few times and you just won't bite, you want to keep having this moot debate about it when the real question is. When is it OK to kill someone and when is it not because clearly there is a distinction. The real question is what is the guiding principle that makes that distinction.

    Most scholars agree that it is Hebrew. Therefore, we look to ancient Hebrew instead of modern English to derive clear meaning and understanding.
    That's fine with me.

    The word is ratsach. See my other thread for this issue. There's no need to dilute the discussion by having it in 2 threads.
    But your going to go ahead and keep doing it anyway apparently....

    But in short, it is quite specific as to what type of killing occurs (vs what you claim it does).
    ratsach
    1. to murder, slay, kill
    See that "kill" part there? Or the "slay" part. Murder is there too, yes, but it has multiple meanings and uses as I pointed out and you failed to rebut.

    http://www.freethoughtpedia.com/wiki...shalt_not_kill

    Ratsach is mentioned in the bible more than 46 times, and less than half of the time is this word used to indicate murder; in some cases it's accidental killing or other forms of non-premeditated violence.

    - Deuteronomy 4:42:
    ...where anyone who had killed (ratsach) a person could flee and find refuge if he had unintentionally killed (ratsach) his neighbour without malice aforethought.

    - Numbers 35:22-24:
    But if he pushed him suddenly without enmity, or threw something at him without lying in wait,
    or with any deadly object of stone, and without seeing it dropped on him so that he died, while he was not his enemy nor seeking his injury ...and he is not his enemy, nor seeking his evil; then the congregation shall judge between the slayer (ratsach) and the blood avenger..

    Ancient Hebrew (according to what I have read) is a language of concrete practice rather than concept. So ratsach, is best understood as meaning "a person kills another person" And that in many regards is the notion of murder. That killing can be justified or it can be unjustified. And the bible uses it both ways. Trying to just use the word as you are doing, as proof of its meaning is not enough. But taken with the context its pretty clear God indicates that sometimes its OK to kill and sometimes it isn't. When its not OK we, in English call it murder, sometimes manslaughter. When it is OK we call it a lot of different things. When we translate the bible, we take the Hebrew word and try to best pick an English analog including the context of the word itself.

    If you translate it as "you shall not kill" then it comes with the implied caveat "unless god says its ok" and it implies there is a baseline value to human life we are not permitted to violate without sanction. I think Murder is probably a better translation but it leaves a lot more room for us to decide what we think murder is or isn't unless it comes along with further instruction.

    I think both translations are valid and neither changes the meaning of the Hebrew, thy simply are trying to capture the notion there as best they can given their own understanding of English and the text itself.

    Your very insistence that there is a true or false translation of a word in another language rather betrays the fact that you are reading into it some meaning that isn't there. The truth of the matter is there is no exact translation because the language and the thinking behind it are very different. For that reason multiple translations can all be correct to some degree or another.

    See Strong's #07523. As to the accurate rendering, the inflection tells us that. Which do you suppose it is here...in this case?
    You tell me Apok. One thing I don't know about Hebrew is how inflection is indicated in the text nor have I seen the text show with a highlight indicating what the inflection is in that passage verses others.

    Great. But you haven't explained how it is even remotely possible yet. Please start.
    Sure
    You have committed an act of eisegesis because...
    1. You claim that it was mandated for the Israelites to kill gays but it is not OK for us to kill gays because the punishments are not moral law.
    2. You have not offered any evidence from the bible to support that notion.
    3. You have not addressed the challenge that many other moral laws and punishments offered that you do feel are still justified
    4. You therefore simply choose which laws and punishments you like rather than those prescribed and create justifications for them

    I haven't dodged anything. Your arguments were flawed for reasons given. Restate them correctly with the proper understanding of the commandment.
    I've restated them many times. you could ask questions to clarify, you could try to respond, instead you focused on one word in a post with many distinct points, questions and challenges. You are wasting time and not addressing the OP. Why are those laws no longer valid?

    Not reading into anything. Changing the meaning changes doctrine significantly.
    Changing the word, not the meaning. And its translating, not changing. Strongs offers both words as a proper translation because both words are applicable to what the word in Hebrew means. It means quite literally when one person kills another person. That could be murder or it could be a just killing. It is most often used in the context of a murder but that is not always the case even in the bible itself.

    You are picking a stupid fight with me on a subject you claim should be in another thread and yet ignore the topic of the thread as a result.

    Well now it seems as if you agree with me and hold the position that it doesn't mean (in the commandment) to "not kill", but rather "not murder."
    Which I have been telling you the whole time if you would just listen.

    If so, then this particular case is settled. If not, then please take up this specific line of argumentation in the proper thread. A good place to start would be to provide the proper inflectional form of the term.
    I don't really care, I just find it insulting when you try to claim I am ignorant of it.

    No high horse. Perhaps you just aren't used to theists disagreeing with you and actually objecting to claims you make?
    And that gentlemen is an example of Christian condescension. I'm quite used to theists disagreeing which is why I come here and debate them. I want you to disagree. But you constantly seem to think me a rube of sorts and talk down to me in the debate. It's exactly the opposite of what you claim you want from this board.

    Restate your argument properly then please. I will not submit to the insistence that "It's fine the way it is, just address it." I do not believe your argument as-is is properly founded, which is why I objected to it. I've explained my reasoning above. If the above is insufficient, then I suspect this discussion is over (you can have the last word if you like, but I will not waste time debating in circles). If you see my position a bit clearer now, then I welcome a more accurate argument from you.
    I'm done as well Apok and really disappointed in you. I've made my point plenty of times and you just ignore it and keep debating the translation of a single word rather than the meaning of the statement and your claim that killing gays is OK sometimes and not OK other times without using biblical evidence to support that claim.

    In the course of this non-debate you have called me ignorant, talked down to me, and even issued a threat of sorts.
    Feed me some debate pellets!

  15. #35
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    Re: Old Testement laws and Christianity

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried View Post
    In the course of this non-debate you have called me ignorant, talked down to me, and even issued a threat of sorts.
    A bit dramatic are we? I never called you ignorant. I suggested that the claim was made out of a lack of knowledge on the topic and gave specific reasons why. You made the charge of "convenience", I retorted that such a charge was made out of lack of knowledge and explained how I reached that conclusion (you could have responded directly to that argument, but chose to attempt to use it as an example of "foul-play" instead - it didn't work, you were in error). We are all ignorant about many things Sig. Let's not play the role of "Uber-Intellectual Atheist with the Omniscient Mind" here. There is no shame in being ignorant about issues, only in insisting that one's ignorance does not hinder their understanding.

    I've never talked down to you. You charged me with being on a high horse. The only explanation that appears reasonable, is that you just aren't used to theists continuing their nonacceptance of your insistent argumentation. I won't let go of that which I believe to be in error. Others may, but not me. Hence, it doesn't seem that you are used to such a type of disagreement and thus become fairly sensitive or perhaps shocked that a Christian would dare do so.

    I never threatened you. You stated you were going to call me a lair. That's a pretty bold move to do to any member...it's just stupid to do to a community owner. It's highly disrespectful, and frankly, not an intelligent response considering said owner has zero tolerance of further hostility from the most hostile group in the community (something that is being changed for the better of ODN).

    Actions have consequences Sig. Always have, always will. It's time that some members here realize that their preferred style of discourse is no longer acceptable, They don't run this community, I do. They, or you, can do with this warning however they (or you) see fit. It does not matter one way or the other to me. Either way, the behavior will be corrected, and that is the only thing I care about. Contact other staff members (including those in the atheist camp) as to how serious I am about this.

    As far as the rest of the post, my next response will be to Dio. Due to limited resources (not enough Christians, and not enough time), everyone has to wait in line, and there is no Fast-Pass Ticket at ODN.
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  16. #36
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    Re: Old Testament Laws and Christianity

    Thanks for your patience Dio. I told you privately that I was making this topic a priority and it was necessary to consult with more educated sources before I responded further to your argument. And while the answer felt like it was on the tip of my tongue, I just couldn't convey it accurately enough to be a worthy response IMO.

    I'm picking up where we left off...

    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis View Post
    I think I see your position more clearly now. I want to confirm however. Let me know.

    Either morality is relative or it is absolute. And as it pertains to the execution of those engaged in homosexual behavior...

    If it was moral for Israel at the time to execute fellow Jews engaged in homosexuality but not now...then morality is relative (this specific moral action of executing homosexuals has changed relative to the people and time - Israel then vs other nations and now). Therefore claims that morality is absolute are false (by way of law of non-contradiction).

    If morality is absolute, and if the execution of homosexuals was moral, then today and for all people (by virtue of being absolute), it is moral to execute homosexuals.

    In other words, we (Christians & Jews) cannot have it both ways. Either morality is relative, or we are committing a sin (an immoral act) by not following through with what was said to be the moral act of executing homosexuals.

    Is this an accurate representation of your position?
    Quote Originally Posted by Dionysus View Post
    I think this is a fair representation.
    Here's the problem w/ the argument (or initial line of questioning): acts contain no moral value in and of themselves. What determines the moral value is the intent behind the action. It is how an action is qualified.

    Bodily actions are correlated with our heart's intent...but they are not synonymous with our heart's intent. An example of this would be spanking a child. To strike a child because the parent is angry and is motivated by rage and desires to cause harm to the child is morally wrong. To strike the child out of love (in the ways argued in the various threads - see details on the validity of corporal punishment) and responsibility, is quite a different matter. The underlying intent is what separate these acts. The action itself is the same, but the acts are different. In the course of the former the intent is to cause harm to a child, in the latter, the intent is to teach the child, make the child aware of the wrong or harm being done, it is discipline (which is a good thing, not a bad thing).

    No action can be moral or immoral w/o an intent behind it (to define it). If someone is physically forced to do something harmful to another against their will (no matter how much harm is done), the victim of the forced action is not sinning (however, the one forcing the other would be accountable). You cannot sin w/o intent.

    Only intents (and intents attached to actions) can be moral or immoral. The actions themselves in and of themselves are not. Intents are absolute, actions are relative.

    Mike C. (someone I consulted) put it rather succinctly:

    If actions themselves are moral, then there is never any circumstance where it would be okay not to do said actions. One instance of pardoning a person would become immoral, which would do away with any actions based on forgiveness. Instead you should look at the benefits of punishment and justice, and apply wisdom to each situation.

    If there is a good reason for punishing someone capitally, then that reason will remain and we should do it. If there isn't, then we shouldn't. Personally, I think there is for some crimes.
    There are many crimes throughout scripture that God commands the punishment to be death. Yet He refrains from carrying the punishment out (take Cain for murdering Abel for example).

    And how it applies more specifically to homosexuals in ancient Israel, there must be a reason for it, and a reason to no longer do it (for the act of execution to change). The moral value of homosexual behavior however, has remained constant (that of being immoral). How to deal w/ the immoral behavior has changed. It is moral for the immoral behavior to be dealt with, but HOW it is dealt will can change. And in the case of Israel, Jesus brought the change to OT Law.

    In the OT, sacrifices for sin were required for repentance. The NT introduces Jesus as the sacrifice for all sin. Sin still needs to be dealt with regardless. How it is dealt with has been changed.

    Again, actions in and of themselves cannot hold a moral value. Some actions are so broad (killing) that they need qualification through intent to determine the moral value (there is no good murder, there is no bad self-sacrifice for the life of others).

    Now there are some actions that it may seem like are exceptions, that are indeed, absolute (but not for reasons you may think).

    For example, stealing. It's always immoral. But it is really just a qualified and defined action of "desire of something more". There is nothing wrong in and of itself in desire, or desiring physical objects. But the intent of taking that of others without their consent is the immoral action that is defined here. It is an offense against another human being.

    Rape is another. There is nothing wrong with wanting to have sex. But rape is much more than this. It is the act of having sex with someone who has not given their consent. This is WHY this particular act is wrong. It is an offense against another human being. Also, scripture says that just the desire is sinful. You don't have to commit the act. This tells us that the focus is on intent, not merely the act (it's the same with murder).

    Punishment in and of itself is far too broad of an act. It needs further qualification. In and of itself, is is amoral. For example:

    GOOD:
    A parent who spanks his child because the child is being disobedient.

    BAD: A parent who spanks his child when the child is NOT being disobedient.

    GOOD: The government executes a criminal convicted of a capital crime.

    BAD: The government executes a person for a crime that isn't a capital crime.

    And in the case of homosexuality in the OT, Israel being a theocracy and the it setting the stage for the rest of the world (and for what was to come), it was a capital crime for people to engage in homosexual behavior (as well other sexual deviancy). In a theocracy, such as Israel, such an offense was an affront against God (not the state), so it carried quite a serious offense. When Christ came, the covenant changed. The new "contract" began. The action changed relative to the law and covenant God had with His people. The moral value of the behavior of sexual deviancy has not changed one iota. It is indeed, absolute. It just no longer needed to be a capital offense (the new covenant)...therefore, it would be wrong to call for capital punishment upon commission for this offense.
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  17. #37
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    Re: Old Testement laws and Christianity

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried View Post
    No, in this case it is not because my argument isn't any different if the commandment is to kill or is to murder. It makes not one whit of difference.
    Fine, then we'll consider the objection centered around the actual meaning of the commandment, "Do not murder".
    The loss of a human life at the hands of another human is to be avoided unless certain conditions are met. Those conditions mitigate the loss of life. One such condition that God Himself Decreed was male gay sex. That means that stopping male gay sex is more important that any human life to God.
    It means that sexual deviancy (it wasn't just homosexual sex) at this particular time and place in Israel's evolving culture was to be considered a capital crime.

    Therefore killing people who are gay is not murder, not against gods will and is not a sin.
    1) First of all, it's important to be accurate here. The command is not to execute homosexuals. The command is to execute those engaged in homosexual behavior. There's a difference.

    2) At this time and place, it is considered a capital punishment. The moral constant here is that it is immoral to engage in homosexual behavior. What to do about the moral constant changes depending upon circumstances. See previous post w/ example re: Cain.

    Except that you seem to claim it is because this is not Israel which means Gods morality is relative or arbitrary rather than constant and objective.
    No. There is no moral value in the act of execution in and of itself. See previous post. What has changed is no moral value, but rather the proper response by the state for the immoral act of homosexual sex. This changes not only due to the times and people, but the state of government (theocracy vs republic for example). It also changes based on the state of the the contract that God has with His people (this contract changed with Jesus - see my first post in this thread). See below.

    What is the difference between execution and murder? If the US executes all Christians by a new law, would that be ok by God because its execution and not murder?
    No. God does not hold the law of ancient Israel to be in play for other governments. There was a reason that homosexual behavior (and other crimes) were capital crimes at the time, and in that place. Once the sin is no longer committed a capital crime, execution would not be fitting as a response. In fact, it would be wrong to execute anyone for a non-capital offense (see previous post). See below.

    1. I issued you a formal challenge
    2. You responded saying "read the other posts"
    3. No other posts have evidence pertaining to my formal challenge
    4. you have not conceded the point or answered the challenge

    You want me to quote the formal challenge rules to you? I hope not.
    My first post explains this.

    Challenge to support a claim.:Show me where in God's words he makes it clear that his decrees in Exodus are no longer relevant today and have expired or where he explains the moral laws are permanent but the punishments are situational.
    Does the above really look like a question to you Apok?
    This is explained in my first post where Jesus brought with him a new covenant that Christians are bound by. I provided simple examples and a source in that post. However, for convenience, see below.

    I interrupted? Was this a PM discussion? You are free to ignore me if you like but I though these forums were open to anyone who wanted to debate.
    See the quotation marks? That denotes that it isn't an "interruption" in the traditional sense. This particular point in our discussion, was being discussed with Dio. I told Dio I'd get back to him on this point. And I eventually did. There was no need for me to make this point a priority with you, considering that he and I were already discussing it.

    When is it OK to kill someone and when is it not because clearly there is a distinction. The real question is what is the guiding principle that makes that distinction.
    Depends upon what type of killing you are referring to. Murder? Never. War? A just war (aka the "Just War Theory", a topic in and of itself - but it has been discussed here at ODN). Self-defense, defense of others, execution. All are acceptable types of taking another's life. Are you seeking specific verses that state that such types of killing are acceptable?

    See that "kill" part there? Or the "slay" part. Murder is there too, yes, but it has multiple meanings and uses as I pointed out and you failed to rebut.

    http://www.freethoughtpedia.com/wiki...shalt_not_kill
    Ratsach is mentioned in the bible more than 46 times, and less than half of the time is this word used to indicate murder; in some cases it's accidental killing or other forms of non-premeditated violence.
    - Deuteronomy 4:42:
    ...where anyone who had killed (ratsach) a person could flee and find refuge if he had unintentionally killed (ratsach) his neighbour without malice aforethought.
    - Numbers 35:22-24:
    But if he pushed him suddenly without enmity, or threw something at him without lying in wait,
    or with any deadly object of stone, and without seeing it dropped on him so that he died, while he was not his enemy nor seeking his injury ...and he is not his enemy, nor seeking his evil; then the congregation shall judge between the slayer (ratsach) and the blood avenger..
    Ancient Hebrew (according to what I have read) is a language of concrete practice rather than concept. So ratsach, is best understood as meaning "a person kills another person" And that in many regards is the notion of murder. That killing can be justified or it can be unjustified. And the bible uses it both ways. Trying to just use the word as you are doing, as proof of its meaning is not enough. But taken with the context its pretty clear God indicates that sometimes its OK to kill and sometimes it isn't. When its not OK we, in English call it murder, sometimes manslaughter. When it is OK we call it a lot of different things. When we translate the bible, we take the Hebrew word and try to best pick an English analog including the context of the word itself.

    If you translate it as "you shall not kill" then it comes with the implied caveat "unless god says its ok" and it implies there is a baseline value to human life we are not permitted to violate without sanction. I think Murder is probably a better translation but it leaves a lot more room for us to decide what we think murder is or isn't unless it comes along with further instruction.

    I think both translations are valid and neither changes the meaning of the Hebrew, thy simply are trying to capture the notion there as best they can given their own understanding of English and the text itself.

    Your very insistence that there is a true or false translation of a word in another language rather betrays the fact that you are reading into it some meaning that isn't there. The truth of the matter is there is no exact translation because the language and the thinking behind it are very different. For that reason multiple translations can all be correct to some degree or another.
    The problem here, is that it ignores all authority and all exegetical principles. It is true that the word has multiple meanings. What is not true however, is that the word can mean any one of those meanings regardless of where it is used.

    You do not need to be an OT Hebrew language scholar to find the actual word used and meaning in a verse. You merely have to know how to use quality lexicons and elementary research skills.

    I can't teach you Hebrew here, nor can I teach you how to use an intelinear Bible or lexicon. I can however, refer to you Strong's and Brown-Driver-Briggs Lexicons (as well as good introductory language courses/books if you are interested). Admittedly, I do it a bit different. With a little bit of Greek/Hebrew knowledge and 2 very sophisticated research software programs, I can plug in any verse, term, phrase, word, etc... and get multiple reports/references from a variety of sources (lexicons, concordances, commentaries, etc...). For most people however, using available (and high quality resources such as the Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew Lexicon and Strong's Concordance will tell them precisely what word was used and what it's meaning is in the specific verse (I just enjoy the more in depth exegetical study). The former is pretty advanced, it can be a bit daunting if you aren't familiar with higher quality lexicons or the language itself...and the latter, while much simpler, does have its limitations (it is why the experts in the field often use multiple resources for one word/concept/term and multiple types of resources (interlinears, reverse interlinears, concordances, lexicons, commentaries, dictionaries, etc...) before rendering the proper translation through their study.

    You tell me Apok. One thing I don't know about Hebrew is how inflection is indicated in the text nor have I seen the text show with a highlight indicating what the inflection is in that passage verses others.
    I cannot teach you Hebrew grammar, so you will never be able to determine this for yourself if you cannot read the language (however, it's simple active, imperfect). What you can do however, is rely on the experts, the scholars who do this for a living and dedicated their entire lives on ancient language (I am not referring to myself). You can start by using the tools referenced above. It's enough to get by...or at the very least, solve the confusion surrounding ratsach in this verse.

    You have committed an act of eisegesis because...
    1. You claim that it was mandated for the Israelites to kill gays but it is not OK for us to kill gays because the punishments are not moral law.
    2. You have not offered any evidence from the bible to support that notion.
    3. You have not addressed the challenge that many other moral laws and punishments offered that you do feel are still justified
    4. You therefore simply choose which laws and punishments you like rather than those prescribed and create justifications for them
    1 & 2) Homosexual behavior was no longer considered a capital offense in a non-theocracy, esp after Jesus brought with Him the new covenant. This covenant supersedes that of the Mosaic covenant. God even told people in the OT, that His Mosaic Law (old covenant) is temporary and that a new one is coming (through Christ).
    http://www.carm.org/why-do-christian...ll-homosexuals
    http://www.carm.org/covenant
    http://www.wcg.org/lit/law/otl/otl04.htm
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Covenant
    http://www.biblestudy.org/basicart/w...rs-to-man.html

    3) Which ones specifically? I apparently missed this charge.

    4) Not at all. The above resources provide support for the New Covenant superseding the old...and until I know what "old laws" you are referring to in #3, it is impossible to address, thus not a valid objection.
    Last edited by Apokalupsis; August 22nd, 2010 at 11:49 PM.
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  18. #38
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    Re: Old Testement laws and Christianity

    Thank you for your polite and detailed reply.

    ---- Murder ----

    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis View Post
    Fine, then we'll consider the objection centered around the actual meaning of the commandment, "Do not murder".
    Indeed at least the common understanding of the term Murder. The definition you use and the constraints you place on it are pretty critical.

    1. I think we can both agree that murder excludes any act of direct proportional self defense. So if you pose a reasonable threat to my life, I can kill you. Indirect threats (you may some day decide to kill me) and implausible threats (you are threatening me with a bananna) shouldn't count I think.

    2. I'm not sure we would agree on the nature of capital punishment. I would say if a government passes a law that says "All funny looking people shall be put to death" and then they kill all those they judge funny looking... that is simply state sponsored murder and not some kind of just execution. You seem to be angling in on the notion that anyone the state deems guilty of some crime can be put to death. I tend to refer back to item #1. If the state can show they are acting in defense of the lives of its citizens, then it can execute people. If not then it is simply murder by the state rather than murder by an individual.

    So, Do you feel that the state can execute people for any kind of law, or only "just laws" and if the law is just what is the basis of determining that?

    3. God can decree a law that is not self defense and can call for capital punishment. I don't believe in god so I don't hold this view, but for the sake of this argument and because we are discussing God I will accept that under your world view anything God calls for in terms of death is not murder but some kind of just action.

    Depends upon what type of killing you are referring to. Murder? Never. War? A just war (aka the "Just War Theory", a topic in and of itself - but it has been discussed here at ODN). Self-defense, defense of others, execution. All are acceptable types of taking another's life. Are you seeking specific verses that state that such types of killing are acceptable?
    Yes, if you are claiming a definition of murder that defines when it is or is not OK to kill, or better yet a guiding principle, I'd like to see it. If its based on the bible I'd like to know the passage, if its based on analysis I'd like to know the reasoning. If its just your opinion then I want to know what that opinion is. So far you just define murder as murder. Even in our legal system we have a specific definition for murder and what is considered a just killing and what is not. So far the best I can glean from you is that there is self defense, there is whatever god says, and there is whatever the secular law says. I don't see why God would care what our secular laws are.

    ------ Punishment -------

    It is pretty clear to me from your statements that judging an action we call a punishment is contingent on a couple of things.

    1. The nature of the act
    2. The intent of the punisher
    3. Some sense of proportionality???

    In each example you offer, the punishment would be "wrong" if the act were committed arbitrarily, or if the act were committed with an intent that was not in defense of someone else or the betterment of the recipient of the punishment.

    Item #3 was not mentioned by you but I wonder if you will agree to it. If I were to discipline a child who was caught stealing a piece of candy by cutting off one of their fingers (a lesson they would always remember certainly), or if they were caught laughing at someone I would burn their tongue out. Would that be a crime rather than a just punishment because it was out of proportion for the act its punishing?

    On number 2, intent, I wonder if you also include consideration if the intent and the outcome are aligned. For instance. I may wish to have a child learn to obey all authority so it can live a happy life. To do this I constantly terrorize the child at all times of day and night, always giving it harsh punishment and words to teach it questioning fear and obedience of those in charge. This I think is for the good for I was raised laxly and fell into drugs and prostitution. Is this just punishment because the intent is for the good of the child?

    I'd imagine you would say no as much as I would but I am curious.

    Now lets examine item #1, which I think is critical.

    Lets say in America the state "Punishes" Homosexual acts by handing each couple $500 whenever they perform the act. Would God consider that a just punishment?

    I'm guessing you would say its not a punishment at all. How about if we simply accept all sin without any act at all. We allow folks to do whatever they like to one another without repercussion. Would that be a Godly act? Your sense of states being able to determine punishments however they like would seem to argue that it would be just fine with God if we did so. I'm hoping you will correct me but well see.

    My take is that normally a punishment must be something that would be wrong under any circumstance other than the administration of Justice. And that brings us back to my whole Kill/Murder thing. Any prescribed punishment is likely a sin or a crime if not done in service of punishing another crime. Therefore the act of killing is at its base wrong. It is only made acceptable because it is countering another wrong act.

    By default, killing is wrong. Only killing in the act of a just cause is acceptable. Interestingly we don't actually have a word for that in English, we only have the word that defines when it is wrong or when it happens without intent.

    ---- Definition of Ratsach ----

    Only because you replied to it.....

    In Hebrew they mostly just have a word for the deed and they pull the meaning of it based on context. It is used in the bible in many ways. The literal translation is Kill or "one person killing another person" to be more precise. The translation with meaning and intent is going to tell you murder in English, but only in that one location and I think you can make a case that Kill may be a better translation if you are uncertain as to how to define murder since it leaves less wiggle room for those looking to kill someone else. Then it becomes, you will not kill (without a God given reason).

    You want me to appeal to experts and I do more often than not, but not all the experts agree on the translation and only appealing to experts that agree with you is not, in my opinion, all that convincing. The "experts" that wrote the most popular and well read version of the bible said "kill". And while I don't agree with them, its still a valid interpretation. Until God himself shows up and says one way or the other, the intent of the world is a matter of debate that neither of us could objectively win. Fortunately, we mostly agree on what it means. I'm just more understanding of the other translation. Personally I prefer the "New International" for English translations.


    ---- Minor point -----

    1) First of all, it's important to be accurate here. The command is not to execute homosexuals. The command is to execute those engaged in homosexual behavior. There's a difference.
    Agreed, and it doesn't really matter to me. Most homosexuals engage in homosexual sex. The variation is small enough that for practical purposes such a decree means the death of most gay people.

    Its curious that here you focus on act rather than intent and in the above discussion you claim the act has little meaning without the intent, but I'll take that as you need both act and intent to justify punishment. So if I have gay sex against my will, I'd not be put to death in ancient Israel.

    ----- Laws for Israel vs Laws for all -----

    It means that sexual deviancy (it wasn't just homosexual sex) at this particular time and place in Israel's evolving culture was to be considered a capital crime.
    Indeed, although the only limitation God set at that time was that it was for Israel and all those who dwell in their lands. He set no expiration date at the time they were issued. Do you agree with that? Lets for the moment set aside Jesus and just scope that question like this. Do you agree those laws were in effect for God's followers up until the time of Jesus?

    I also want to note that some crimes were punishable by death while others were punishable by banishment from the community. Some are to be killed by fire, others in an unspecified manner. Others are to "die childless" whatever that means. (I tend to assume its a curse of infertility form God)

    So... why do you think that is? Are all crimes equal or do some call for a harsher punishment? In other words, is there proportionality in God's law? Would it be OK to kill disobedient children or should they only be scolded?

    No. There is no moral value in the act of execution in and of itself. See previous post. What has changed is no moral value, but rather the proper response by the state for the immoral act of homosexual sex. This changes not only due to the times and people, but the state of government (theocracy vs republic for example). It also changes based on the state of the the contract that God has with His people (this contract changed with Jesus - see my first post in this thread). See below.
    So, since America has no contract with God, then it would be perfectly fine for us to "Punish" homosexual acts by celebrating their union and calling it Marriage if we decide that is most appropriate for our times and people?

    No. God does not hold the law of ancient Israel to be in play for other governments. There was a reason that homosexual behavior (and other crimes) were capital crimes at the time, and in that place.
    Interesting. And what reason did god give for that law other than that he finds it an abomination? If him finding it an abomination is the reason for the punishment, how would the punishment change over time? Does god no longer find it an abomination?

    Once the sin is no longer committed a capital crime, execution would not be fitting as a response. In fact, it would be wrong to execute anyone for a non-capital offense (see previous post). See below.
    You seem to be saying that human governments are sole the authorities on who can be killed and for what reasons. That anything we declare as a capital crime fully justifies the death in the eyes of God and anything we declare as being not worthy of punishment is also perfectly justified in the eyes of God. Is that really your claim?

    ---- New Covenants -----

    My first post explains this.
    I'm sorry but I find your first post only makes a bold claim, it doesn't logically explain or support that claim with evidence as per the rules of evidence here where you both provide the link to the source and the relevant text from the source. (Its not a rule I'm always fond of but it is one of your own rules.)

    1 & 2) Homosexual behavior was no longer considered a capital offense in a non-theocracy, esp after Jesus brought with Him the new covenant. This covenant supersedes that of the Mosaic covenant. God even told people in the OT, that His Mosaic Law (old covenant) is temporary and that a new one is coming (through Christ).
    http://www.carm.org/why-do-christian...ll-homosexuals
    http://www.carm.org/covenant
    http://www.wcg.org/lit/law/otl/otl04.htm
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Covenant
    http://www.biblestudy.org/basicart/w...rs-to-man.html
    1) Other posters should not need to actually click on the link to read your support. The link is primarily for verification purposes and to allow the reader access to further details on the topic - the relevant material you want to use from it should be contained in your post itself. Depending on the context, any of the following options might be suitable:
    Quote the material verbatim. This does not give you license to copy-and-paste large chunks of text and expect other posters to wade through them to find your support. You should be concise and quote only as much as is needed to support your claim.
    Paraphrase the material. If you go this route, make sure your paraphrase is accurate and does not misrepresent or exaggerate what the source actually says.

    Perhaps you feel your summary is sufficient, but I find it to simply state your argument and then you link to things you purport to support it. There is no explanation of the facts (parts of the bible) or reasoning. Ignoring that... I'll go read them and filter it out and such and respond. The point of the rule is so I don't have to do that, and the fact I do have to in order to carry on the debate shows to me that you have fallen short on this rule. That said... I'm forging ahead because I don't like technicalities getting in the way of a good argument.

    In this one the author points out that Jesus has established a New covenant that is exemplified by Jesus's teachings, which he argues is to show love and compassion to all. So by this standard any act of punishment is no longer acceptable in God's new covenant with all mankind and any kind of capital punishment much less any other type would be wrong, sin or no sin.

    Is that you position then? All punishment is now immoral?

    Same author, more about various Covenants and the nature of those Covenants. He defines it as promises and obligations made by God and Man.

    One note of interest. No where does it say a new Covenant negates an old Covenant. The Covenant with Jesus came with no real rules or obligations beyond, "accept Christ and you go to heaven." That's it. There are no actual laid out rules or punishments for anything beyond accepting grace or not. If the covenant with Jesus obliterates all past Covenants then there are no moral punishments any more. Thou shalt not Kill becomes quite literal rather than interpreted because nothing is against the rules since there are no rules. Sin still exists and God still doesn't like it, but what you do about it matters not a whit if you accept grace.

    If that isn't true then there is no reason that all the old rules of holiness don't apply to those aspiring to be holy and just.

    http://www.wcg.org/lit/law/otl/otl04.htm

    It tries to justify the idea there is a new Covenant. I found it to be a mix of mystical mubo jumbo and selective nit picking. Its best argument for the end of the old Covenant is that the people of Israel failed to live up to the laws so the promise is lost to us. Of course... Israel is back so what does that mean? Not to mention that it still doesn't offer any real justification for not following the laws God set out for people to be holy and just and good. It doesn't speak to why God would suddenly find different behaviors pleasing or displeasing.

    Again it also says almost nothing about what the new covenant would require or mean. Its just saying we have a new order, and that new order has no order.

    Puts it in plain language, also notes there is significant disagreement among Christians as to who is bound by this new Covenant and what it means, as well as that the Jews see the New Covenant listed in the old testament as simply a time when the old laws would again be followed, this time without fault by the people of Israel. And who are the foremost experts on the old testament in its original language??? (Take that last bit as a jest and not an argument please. I don't actually think anyone can tell you the objective truth of any text but it's author.)

    This one is interesting, especially in that it actually backs up the idea that the new Covenant does not obsolete the laws under the old covenant. And with that lets start the counter arguments (and where I demonstrate what I'd expect evidence on a biblical discussion to look like.)

    A. The bible specifically says that Jesus's new covenant does not invalidate old laws.

    Mathew 5:17-20 Jesus himself said...
    17"Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. 19Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.

    B. Then again perhaps no punishment for any sin is allowed by man...

    Indeed, Jesus goes on to say that even to think something ill, to have hate for your brother or to lust after someone has committed a sin in the eyes of God. He's saying the deed itself is not even nessesary, the desire to do it is the crime. This is a direct contradiction of what you say bout Homosexual acts vs simply being gay. Perhaps I should retract my agreement with out or at least say the bible is clearly of two minds on this. What do you think given this kind of language...

    27"You have heard that it was said, 'Do not commit adultery.'[e] 28But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.

    Then Jesus goes on to talk about loving your enemies. I think at this point the argument for the position that Jesus forbids all punishment as sin is pretty clear.

    38"You have heard that it was said, 'Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.'[g] 39But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. 41If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. 42Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.

    Is it not then against this new Covenant to punish sinners in any way other than their condemnation in the afterlife?


    C. The basis for the New Covenant is flawed

    Just about every article Quotes Jeremiah 31:29 as evidence that we have a New Covenant. Lets take a look at that.

    31 “Behold, days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will make a bnew covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah,
    32 not like the acovenant which I made with their fathers in the day I btook them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My ccovenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them,” declares the Lord.

    Ok, so they are coming, what will the be like?

    But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” declares the Lord, "I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.

    So it is to be with the House of Israel, and yet Jesus made a covenant with all mankind... so that means its not the one they are talking about right?

    And then he says he will put the law in their hearts, which I and those in the article take as meaning you will know right from wrong for yourselves. But clearly Christians and people in general have wide disagreements about what that law is. Either god's law is entirely subjective or no such laws were written on heats which again means that this New Covenant has not actually happened.

    They will anot teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they will all bknow Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them,” declares the Lord, “for I will cforgive their iniquity, and their dsin I will remember no more.
    God is saying all will know of him instinctively so no teaching is needed. But that clearly is not the case today. I stand as stark evidence of that.

    God also goes on to say the nation of Israel will be reformed and stand for all time. That didn't happen with Jesus either which is why most of the Jews wrote him off as a false Messiah.

    So if this passage is the formal basis of the belief that the new Covenant erases the older... well this Covenant clearly never came into being and thus they are very wrong.

    It happens to be my opinion that the Christian teaching simply doesn't reflect the old testament God at all and just uses it as a crutch for legitimacy while teaching an entirely different ethos and ethic, and really a God of an entirely different character.

    Summation of Old vs New

    I'll grant there is a new covenant but....
    1. Its not the one in Jeremiah
    2. Its got no specific rules other than you must accept Christ and try not to sin
    3. No form of punishment of other men is godly including capital punishment
    4. It does nothing to change the morality or justification of the old laws except that we can no longer carry out any punishments.

    3) Which ones specifically? I apparently missed this charge.
    I was arguing that if this new Covenant abolished the old ones, and that punishments are established by Covenant, that there were then no valid punishments for any moral sins, nor moral guideline for justice or action. Thus any law against rape for instance, has no valid punishment under biblical law or teaching.

    So lets take Rape.

    Where does Jesus's new Covenant say its justified to kill a rapist? If he doesn't speak to that, then why is anything in the old testament valid as justification for killing a rapist when its all been made obsolete?
    Feed me some debate pellets!

  19. #39
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    Re: Old Testament Laws and Christianity

    Sig, in the interest of being a concise and relevant to the op as possible (and appropriate), I'm going to summarize your objections/questions before responding. And then only respond to what which is directly on topic for the op. There appear to be numerous arguments in this thread. I will however address the issue of ratsach once more since it takes little time to do so (see end of post).

    1. When is it ok to take a life?
    2. Isn't the case that God can arbitrarily make any "law" a capital crime?
    3. Is justice considered in what is appropriate punishment?
    4. Why the severity of execution for certain crimes when other crimes called for lessor punishments (such as banishment)?
    5. Does God agree with punishments declared to be "legit" by governments merely because they are instituted by the state?
    6. Why doesn't the OT Law apply to Christians?
    7. If the New Covenant supersedes that of the old, and the NC does not spell out specific punishments, then by what validation does the state have to use any punishment?

    The above are the arguments I found in your previous post. Is that an accurate analysis?

    As to the issue of ratsach...

    Quote Originally Posted by Sig
    ---- Definition of Ratsach ----

    Only because you replied to it.....

    In Hebrew they mostly just have a word for the deed and they pull the meaning of it based on context.
    No. The actual word changes itself. Context helps us to understand the bigger picture...but the word itself is modified. For example there's a big difference between the Hebrew word used for "he killed", "he was killed", he killed himself", "he brutally killed", "brutally killed", "he brutally killed himself" and the 3 other causative stems.

    I've scanned one of my textbooks (not the best quality, but it serves the purpose of illustrating the changes made to the verb form).

    Attachment 2818

    It is used in the bible in many ways. The literal translation is Kill or "one person killing another person" to be more precise.
    No it isn't. I've sufficiently supported that it is not the case repeatedly. You are ignoring scholarly consensus and proper exegetical methodology.

    It has multiple meanings depending upon the conjugation and context in which the word is found. There is no end all be all meaning for a word like this. It does not exist.

    The translation with meaning and intent is going to tell you murder in English, but only in that one location and I think you can make a case that Kill may be a better translation if you are uncertain as to how to define murder since it leaves less wiggle room for those looking to kill someone else. Then it becomes, you will not kill (without a God given reason).
    Absolutely not. Where are you getting this from Sig? You could not be more wrong on the issue.

    First of all, it is not used as murder only in this one passage. Support your claim.

    And according to the original manuscript and the translation rendered by the latest study and most accurate to date (ESV), it is found here as well:

    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	2819

    You want me to appeal to experts and I do more often than not, but not all the experts agree on the translation and only appealing to experts that agree with you is not, in my opinion, all that convincing.
    The fact of the matter is, that like anything else in the world (professional, academia, technological, etc...) there are varying qualities. Also, what is translated at the time, is into the understanding of the language at the time (both the original and the language being translated to) as well as the goals of the translation panel undertaking the translation.

    It is extremely important that if you are going to do a Bible Study Sig, that you know of the translation of the Bible you wish to use.

    For example, if you really wanted to know what the Hebrew text was here, would you use a Children's Bible or would you use an interlinear Bible?

    The "experts" that wrote the most popular and well read version of the bible said "kill". And while I don't agree with them, its still a valid interpretation.
    I'm assuming you are referring to the KJV? The KJV was started in 1604 and finished in 1611. We do not speak Old English. So it makes little sense to to use Old English as our understanding of the language. Also, not all manuscripts, technology, discoveries, etc... were available in the 1600's. We are 400 years beyond that Sig.

    The KJV is now widely known to be highly inaccurate of a translation. It is widely popular not because of its accuracy or true rendering of the language, but rather because of its tradition and beauty of its language. You do realize that there has been an updated KJV right? It's called the New King James Version. And in it, it says "murder" (not kill).

    Until God himself shows up and says one way or the other, the intent of the world is a matter of debate that neither of us could objectively win. Fortunately, we mostly agree on what it means. I'm just more understanding of the other translation. Personally I prefer the "New International" for English translations.
    The NIV is what I used to use (I still have a great NIV Study Bible). However, I've switched to the ESV because I prefer the more literal word-word approach. It can sound a little clunky on rare occasion, but that's because it is remaining as true as possible without interjecting subjective opinions. I don't think it is necessarily for everyone (but I don't think non-students will struggle with it)...but I do think it is the most accurate English version on the market today.

    However, your argument seems to be inconsistent. Please explain. You say on one hand that you think it is accurate to render the passage as "You shall not kill"...yet you state that you prefer the NIV...which says "You shall not murder."

    Why are you cherry picking here? It seems that you are not taking a very objective approach, and instead choosing a translation that meets your own personal views (instead of the author's) in select spots.

    That isn't proper exegetical methodology.
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  20. #40
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    Re: Old Testament Laws and Christianity

    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis View Post
    Sig, in the interest of being a concise and relevant to the op as possible (and appropriate), I'm going to summarize your objections/questions before responding. And then only respond to what which is directly on topic for the op. There appear to be numerous arguments in this thread. I will however address the issue of ratsach once more since it takes little time to do so (see end of post).

    1. When is it ok to take a life?
    2. Isn't the case that God can arbitrarily make any "law" a capital crime?
    3. Is justice considered in what is appropriate punishment?
    4. Why the severity of execution for certain crimes when other crimes called for lessor punishments (such as banishment)?
    5. Does God agree with punishments declared to be "legit" by governments merely because they are instituted by the state?
    6. Why doesn't the OT Law apply to Christians?
    7. If the New Covenant supersedes that of the old, and the NC does not spell out specific punishments, then by what validation does the state have to use any punishment?

    The above are the arguments I found in your previous post. Is that an accurate analysis?
    Close... How about these keeping in mind its from God's/Christian perspective
    1. Are punishments justified only by the crimes they countermand?
    2. Is the severity of a punishment relative to the severity of the crime?
    3. Does God condone any civil punishment prescribed for any sin? (I ask because you seem to argue for this.)
    4. Why are the OT laws canceled by the new Covenant when Jesus says they are not.
    5. Is not Jesus's message that man should take no hostile action against other men, even if those men are sinners and wouldn't this mean that all punishments by men are against the terms of the new Covenant?
    6. If not, then what does the new Covenant say regarding earthly sins and earthly punishment for those sins?

    I'm trying to get a read on your full moral view. I get that you think the old sins are still sins, but that the old punishments are not mandated. But what I don't get is what you think the basis for modern punishments of sin is.

    To my thinking one of the following makes sense.

    a. The new covenant says that all are forgiven and that it is a sin to seek justice by the hand of man. This seems in keeping with what Jesus says.

    b. The new covenant only applies to the eternal kingdom of heaven. God would still approve of the punishment of sin and in the proportionality he laid out for his chosen people long ago. Gods forgiveness may change but his standards don't.

    c. The new covenant means that all are forgiven. Sin is still sin but God doesn't really care what you do about it on earth and the matters of capital punishment or not are simply the matters of mortals and are not of importance.

    I'm not sure where you stand in all that of if there is yet another path you are arguing for.

    I also want to know how you arrived at your conclusion with respect to what the bible itself says.

    As to the issue of ratsach...

    Thanks for taking the time. If you can show me Ratsah is printed differently in Hebrew when it indicates murder from when it doesn't and why, then you'll get somewhere with me but I haven't seen that explained. Time and time again I read that its used in multiple places and has various meanings. Ive read a lot of different explanations in addition to yours. an example...

    http://www.crivoice.org/terms/t-kill.html

    When you initially came at me like I had no idea what I was talking about, well I argued with you that its not all so cut and dry as you make it out to be. The more I read, the more I feel like there are many valid ways to read it.

    However, your argument seems to be inconsistent. Please explain. You say on one hand that you think it is accurate to render the passage as "You shall not kill"...yet you state that you prefer the NIV...which says "You shall not murder."
    On balance I favor "You shall not murder." as making the most sense as a modern translation. But I maintain that from a purely objective standpoint it could mean either one and each has reasons for being valid.

    Personally, I'm looking for the underlying meaning. For me that seems to be that human life is precious to god and he doesn't like you wasting it for your own reasons. He can kill because all life is his to make or unmake, you cannot because you serve god not the other way around.

    So man can never "kill" he can only take life by God's command. Part of God's command are a set of rules, which if you violate means a killing is justified. We have the term murder to designate a killing that is not justified.

    The reason I'm looking at it that way is I am trying to compare crime to punishment, to examine if a given crime justifies a given punishment. Acknowledging that by default, live has value and is not to be wasted is key in my argument. The idea that only certain crimes merit capital punishment is what I am rooting around at. To me it is clear that God feels that men having sex with men merits the taking of two lives but that having sex with a woman during menstruation does not even though both are crimes god lists.

    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis View Post
    That isn't proper exegetical methodology.
    And I'm not an expert on the bible. I simply read and I think and I ask questions. The translation of the term has nothing to do with my argument. kill or murder its the same to me. Taking human life requires justification before god is the bottom line. The next step is to say that all justifications must come from god to not be considered murder. So if you do or don't kill someone as punishment, the justification must be in the bible.

    You seemed to be saying that sometimes its justified to kill homosexuals and sometimes its not. What you haven't really done is tell us why. You say before Christ it was mandated. After Christ you seem to indicate its up the state to decide if its justified or not, but you offer no reason why the state has such authority or why god has changed his opinion of the justifications. You say there are new rules but not what those new rules are or why.
    Last edited by Aspoestertjie; August 23rd, 2010 at 11:02 PM. Reason: Fixing quote tags.
    Feed me some debate pellets!

 

 
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