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  #1  
Old Aug 5, '05, 12:34 am
Wormwood Wormwood is offline
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Exclamation Dragons in the bible

I do not mean the dragon reference in revelations. I recently heard a bible stroy in which the hero killed the marduk dragon (an actual dragon) of the babylonians, so they threw him in a pit with lions. Also saints have killed dragons attributing to the miraculous status. So is there a standard literal interpretation for that, or is that something open to interpretation?
As a secondary question: If you choose to interpret that as something other than a literal dragon, aren't you saying that you don't believe what the cannan teaches, or the claims of the saints?
If you do support a literal interpretation, where are the dragon remains? Thank you.
  #2  
Old Aug 5, '05, 1:32 am
Lisa_Marie Lisa_Marie is offline
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Default Re: Dragons in the bible

I bet I know what you watched tonight! : ) So did we. I just about died w/laughter when they said Daniel was thrown in the lions den for killing a dragon! Where in the world did THAT come from?!?


Some things to keep in mind when you're watching the History chanel:

If it's about Christianity, it's about 80% untrue.

If it's about Catholicism, it's probably 99% untrue!

So, I don't think you need to worry. Oh and by the way, Daniel WAS thrown to the lions, but it was for praying to God instead of to the Babylonian king who ordered everybody to pray only to him. God bless. : ) Lisa
  #3  
Old Aug 5, '05, 1:40 am
Michael's Sword Michael's Sword is offline
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Default Re: Dragons in the bible

Daniel 6: 6 Then these men said to themselves, "We shall find no grounds for accusation against this Daniel unless by way of the law of his God." 7 So these supervisors and satraps went thronging to the king and said to him, "King Darius, live forever! 8 All the supervisors of the kingdom, the prefects, satraps, nobles, and governors are agreed that the following prohibition ought to be put in force by royal decree: no one is to address any petition to god or man for thirty days, except to you, O king; otherwise he shall be cast into a den of lions. 9 2 Now, O king, issue the prohibition over your signature, immutable and irrevocable under Mede and Persian law." 10 So King Darius signed the prohibition and made it law. 11 Even after Daniel heard that this law had been signed, he continued his custom of going home to kneel in prayer and give thanks to his God in the upper chamber three times a day, with the windows open toward Jerusalem. 12 So these men rushed in and found Daniel praying and pleading before his God. 13 Then they went to remind the king about the prohibition: "Did you not decree, O king, that no one is to address a petition to god or man for thirty days, except to you, O king; otherwise he shall be cast into a den of lions?" The king answered them, "The decree is absolute, irrevocable under the Mede and Persian law." 14 To this they replied, "Daniel, the Jewish exile, has paid no attention to you, O king, or to the decree you issued; three times a day he offers his prayer." 15 The king was deeply grieved at this news and he made up his mind to save Daniel; he worked till sunset to rescue him. 16 But these men insisted. "Keep in mind, O king," they said, "that under the Mede and Persian law every royal prohibition or decree is irrevocable." 17 3 So the king ordered Daniel to be brought and cast into the lions' den.
  #4  
Old Aug 5, '05, 1:44 am
Lazerlike42 Lazerlike42 is offline
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Default Re: Dragons in the bible

What exactly did you folks all watch?
  #5  
Old Aug 5, '05, 1:53 am
porthos11 porthos11 is offline
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Default Re: Dragons in the bible

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lisa_Marie
I bet I know what you watched tonight! : ) So did we. I just about died w/laughter when they said Daniel was thrown in the lions den for killing a dragon! Where in the world did THAT come from?!?


Some things to keep in mind when you're watching the History chanel:

If it's about Christianity, it's about 80% untrue.

If it's about Catholicism, it's probably 99% untrue!

So, I don't think you need to worry. Oh and by the way, Daniel WAS thrown to the lions, but it was for praying to God instead of to the Babylonian king who ordered everybody to pray only to him. God bless. : ) Lisa
Sorry to disappoint There is indeed the story of a Daniel thrown into a lion's den for killing a dragon and desecrating a pagan temple. This story is in Daniel chapter 14, one of the Deuterocanonical chapters. In ecumenical Bibles, it's known as "Bel and the Dragon". It's not in Protestant Bibles.

Now whether or not this story is literally true is disputed. Many believe it's more of a fable meant to emphasize the futility of idolatry.
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Old Aug 5, '05, 2:41 am
batteddy batteddy is offline
 
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Default Re: Dragons in the bible

Yes, its in a deuterocanonical chapter of Daniel. The dragon gets fed tar cakes and dies.

But it could have been, you know, a crocodile or something.
  #7  
Old Aug 5, '05, 2:58 am
porthos11 porthos11 is offline
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Default Re: Dragons in the bible

Quote:
Originally Posted by batteddy
Yes, its in a deuterocanonical chapter of Daniel. The dragon gets fed tar cakes and dies.

But it could have been, you know, a crocodile or something.
Or a snake. The Hebrew word nephesh ("serpent") referred to both snakes and dragons. Bel and the Dragon, though, is extant in Greek.
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  #8  
Old Aug 5, '05, 4:44 am
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Zooey Zooey is offline
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Default Re: Dragons in the bible

Quote:
Originally Posted by batteddy
Yes, its in a deuterocanonical chapter of Daniel. The dragon gets fed tar cakes and dies.

But it could have been, you know, a crocodile or something.
The Komodo dragon is called that because it is a large lizard. Which, if you think about it, that is really what a "dragon" is.
Just because there are mythological dragons in storybooks, that does not mean that there are/were no other large lizards who could be called by that name...
Personally, if I had--as suggested-- crocodiles around me, I would probably think of them as dragons myself.....
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  #9  
Old Aug 5, '05, 9:24 am
Sherlock Sherlock is offline
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Default Re: Dragons in the bible

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wormwood
I do not mean the dragon reference in revelations. I recently heard a bible stroy in which the hero killed the marduk dragon (an actual dragon) of the babylonians, so they threw him in a pit with lions. Also saints have killed dragons attributing to the miraculous status. So is there a standard literal interpretation for that, or is that something open to interpretation?
As a secondary question: If you choose to interpret that as something other than a literal dragon, aren't you saying that you don't believe what the cannan teaches, or the claims of the saints?
If you do support a literal interpretation, where are the dragon remains? Thank you.
You probably mean "canon". Also, you need to understand what the author of the story in question had in mind: from the "literal" point of view, it is a story of certain events. That is how it is primarily to be understood. A "literalistic" view would hold that the events, as recorded, mean exactly what the words say, with our modern understanding of those words. Not all of Old Testament Scripture is to be understood that way, as the authors may use concepts and words to convey a truth, though it might not be strict history as we understand history to be written down in modern times. It would be necessary, for instance, to understand all of the uses and meanings of the word "dragon". Is it symbolic of, say, Satan? Are we talking about dinosaurs here?
This is why Scripture needs a guide, which is why "BIble-alone" religions often get off track, particularly with the Old Testament. That's why the Church, and not the Bible, is the "pillar and foundation of truth", according to the Bible itself.
  #10  
Old Aug 5, '05, 9:17 pm
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Nan S Nan S is offline
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Default Re: Dragons in the bible

For "dragon" try searching the Bible using the keyword "Leviathan," the Hebrew word for flying or coiled serpent.

You'll find references in Psalms 74 and 104, Isaiah Chapter 27, and Job Chapters 3, 40/41.
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  #11  
Old Aug 6, '05, 5:25 am
Wormwood Wormwood is offline
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Default Re: Dragons in the bible

Ok thanks everyone for your replies I will address as many as I have time. I knew the first few posts were false becase I found it myself later that night. Plus a version exists in babylonian as well.
Quote:

Now whether or not this story is literally true is disputed. Many believe it's more of a fable meant to emphasize the futility of idolatry
But what gives that indication? It is stated in just as factual a manner as any other biblical tale.

Quote:
But it could have been, you know, a crocodile or something.
Possible, but not likely. People had pictures and depictions of known animals and the croc was a highly used symbol in Egyptian and Babylonia (both places the Jews were at least familiar with). Just because they were ancient people does not mean they were idiots.

Quote:
The Komodo dragon is called that because it is a large lizard. Which, if you think about it, that is really what a "dragon" is.
Again, doesn't seem likely. The babylonians also refered to it as a dragon, and Komodo's are not indigenous to Iraq. Every culture, dating to the beggining of written history, has had a very similar, almost exact, depiction of dragons.

Quote:
Whether the dragon is real or not is not important. The dragon is the serpent is simply Satan. An Index Verse, Revelation 12:9, says so. The fat and hair which is boiled into pitch, a mineral, is sacrificed Christ in His Church. That is why it kills the Satan-dragon.
No see, I said NOT the mention in revelation...I KNOW what that one is suppossed to be, but since it is a future event it really offers nothing to this historical questioning of dragons.

Last edited by Wormwood; Aug 6, '05 at 5:35 am.
  #12  
Old Aug 6, '05, 5:34 am
Wormwood Wormwood is offline
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Default Re: Dragons in the bible

Quote:

Also, you need to understand what the author of the story in question had in mind: from the "literal" point of view, it is a story of certain events. That is how it is primarily to be understood. A "literalistic" view would hold that the events, as recorded, mean exactly what the words say, with our modern understanding of those words. Not all of Old Testament Scripture is to be understood that way, as the authors may use concepts and words to convey a truth, though it might not be strict history as we understand history to be written down in modern times.
Well this is debatable I think. It seems too much retrospective contemplation about the original meaning of passages is nothing more than manipulating the writting to read what you want. The funny thing is I had absolutely zero belief in any of this biblical "history" for a long time. And approaching it with an agnostic veiw, I have almost drawn the conclusion that it IS in fact, literal. I came to this conclusion from reading ancient religious texts of the summerians, assyrians, and babylonians. Most of the old testament shows up in their writings too, but the non-hebrew stories are older and are less edited, which is to say they contain more events and details. It is uncanny the mirroring of the stories. Like reading the tower of babel from the babylonian perspective. You see that the words of the Canon (excuse me) are severley limited and edited, but also taken quite literally by not only the ancient hebrews, but other cultures as well. I even happened across evidence that supports evolution AND creationism. I want to remain agnostic but, it is hard to argue with the writtings of the very first civilization on earth...who would know better than them where they came from?
  #13  
Old Aug 6, '05, 10:33 am
Sherlock Sherlock is offline
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Default Re: Dragons in the bible

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wormwood
Well this is debatable I think. It seems too much retrospective contemplation about the original meaning of passages is nothing more than manipulating the writting to read what you want. The funny thing is I had absolutely zero belief in any of this biblical "history" for a long time. And approaching it with an agnostic veiw, I have almost drawn the conclusion that it IS in fact, literal. I came to this conclusion from reading ancient religious texts of the summerians, assyrians, and babylonians. Most of the old testament shows up in their writings too, but the non-hebrew stories are older and are less edited, which is to say they contain more events and details. It is uncanny the mirroring of the stories. Like reading the tower of babel from the babylonian perspective. You see that the words of the Canon (excuse me) are severley limited and edited, but also taken quite literally by not only the ancient hebrews, but other cultures as well. I even happened across evidence that supports evolution AND creationism. I want to remain agnostic but, it is hard to argue with the writtings of the very first civilization on earth...who would know better than them where they came from?
So you think that the world was created in literally six, 24-hour periods? That's fine, if you do (Catholics are free to believe that), but personally I think that the six days is a useful and even poetical way of expressing creation taking place in stages---and what is a day to God? My view is also acceptable within Catholic doctrine. Personally, I think that the stories reflect a number of literary genres, though I agree that some of it is clearly a literal history.
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Old Aug 6, '05, 11:31 am
brotherhrolf brotherhrolf is offline
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Default Re: Dragons in the bible

The main gate into Babylon was known as the Ishtar Gate. It was covered in blue tiles and their were dragon reliefs on the towers. The very lamentable movie Alexander shows the gates as they were. Killing the dragon = killing Babylon.
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  #15  
Old Aug 7, '05, 6:13 am
Wormwood Wormwood is offline
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Default Re: Dragons in the bible

Quote:

Whether or not you want it to be true, "dragon" in Daniel is an expression of the Serpent Type also seen in Revelation. The Holy Spirit who inspired the Bible's writers is not at all limited by the contraints characterizing our participation in the Fourth Dimension.

The Bible is not strictly a "history book." Primarily, it speaks at the distinctly non-historical sensus plenior level. Whether or not the plaintext level Book of Revelation is refering to some event in the history of time, future relative to the Deuterocanonical portions of Daniel, is not really important vis-a-vis your faith.

This is just speculation on your part though. There is no textual evidence to support your take, and that really proves my point about contorting the text to make it read as you please, more than proving your point. Marduk was a well known diety throughout the middle east, and it is his father Enki "the serpent" that is interpreted as Satan when the other stories of ancient near eastern religions were assimilated into judaism . So even if time were not a factor, it still isn't the same person. And the whole argument between Daniel and the king was that this actual dragon was actually the god marduk, and Dan proved his god was stronger by slaying the dragon.

Quote:
So you think that the world was created in literally six, 24-hour periods? That's fine, if you do (Catholics are free to believe that), but personally I think that the six days is a useful and even poetical way of expressing creation taking place in stages---and what is a day to God? My view is also acceptable within Catholic doctrine. Personally, I think that the stories reflect a number of literary genres, though I agree that some of it is clearly a literal history.
Not actually. Again I go to the older texts and there is a version that sincs up with what modern scientists are just discovering about our solar system (earth mars connection, the moons collision with another heavenly body, etc )
Like I said, the Torah is edited and partially borrowed from Abrahams summerian forefathers in Ur. But I think the stories, as far as the basic events are concerned, are based on factual events and not metaphorical fantasy, or holy spirit dictated fables.
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