Hi. As much as I love the rich legacy of the Jewish Old Testament, much of it seems based in tribal mythology. The story of Adam and Eve strikes me as just another ancient creation story, attempting to explain a mysterious world in a pre-scientific era.
Then, as the Old Testament progresses, many stories seem to be a one-sided explanation of the story of the 12 tribes of Israel as they marched through history. They have the one true God who instructs them to wipe out enemies, gives them a sometimes nonsensical set of laws, and institutionalizes a Patriarchal system of society that, by our modern standards, was grossly lacking in civil rights for women and the underclass.
The Jews, being a vibrant and gifted group of people manage to create an extensive written document that, then, becomes the foundation for the Christian faith.
This is not to say that there isn’t greatness and wisdom in the Bible. And, Jesus brought things to such a higher level of spiritual teaching, bringing the faith to such a wider circle of humanity. Yet, there is also rich spirituality in other faiths. They all have strengths and weaknesses.
The writers of the NT quote the OT so much of the time, that without the OT the context and meaning of the NT can be almost impossible to wade through. Hence the many different Christian churches. Much of this is related to a divorce of the OT from NT.
My favorite line about Genesis, which can also be applied to the Old Testament in general:
Genesis is 100% real, and some of it actually happened.
Meaning, while Genesis is not an historical account, some parts are true to history while others are spiritually important. The entire book has this reality of spiritual importance, with bits of being historically accurate. The spirituality does not undermine the history, and the history does not undermine the spirituality. The two work together.
This concept, can, I think be applied to the entirety of the Old Testament, but perhaps that is too much of a reach. i don’t know.
For the record, the above line is not my own, I don’t claim credit; I just forgot where I picked it up.
The New Testament (that is to say Jesus) is rooted in the Old Testament. If you read the Bible, even the NT, at all you’d see that. Do away with the OT and you do away with the very reason Jesus was born.
This sort of idea-set is rather common. There is only one God. The Bible is free from error in all its parts. And science has nothing to say about God, the soul, or the validity of Divine Revelation, since, by its own rules, it cannot study such things. There is some truth in other faiths but spirituality without knowing who God is is incomplete. Claims of spirituality are not the same as the true claims given in the Bible, Tradition and from the Teaching Authority of the Church. Scripture has one source:
The patriarchal system is a modern notion based on a Marxist class warfare pattern. In the Bible, God acted as God, not man.
And Adam and Eve?
"Adam and Eve: Real People
“It is equally impermissible to dismiss the story of Adam and Eve and the fall (Gen. 2–3) as a fiction. A question often raised in this context is whether the human race descended from an original pair of two human beings (a teaching known as monogenism) or a pool of early human couples (a teaching known as polygenism).”
There is a type of spirituality which is currently in vogue but it is vague.
"Pope Benedict XVI goes on to say:
"We are moving toward a dictatorship of relativism which does not recognize anything as for certain and which has as its highest goal one’s own ego and one’s own desires. The church must defend itself against threats such as “radical individualism” and “vague religious mysticism”. [emphasis added]"
In order to dismiss the claims of the Church, the Divine Revelation it teaches and the words of the Bible must be lumped into the claims of other religions, which all came from the same source: primitive attempts to explain reality without the scientific knowledge we have today. And while some wisdom is conceded, Jesus Christ is just counted among other teachers as opposed to being the Son of God. Man is the center of all things. Man created religion, but it’s time to move past that.
This is logically inaccurate. Since God created the universe, and science studies the natural laws of creation, science, while perhaps not explicitly naming it, indirectly studies the fruits of God’s creation, which can tell us something about God. Science attests to truth of creation and of God. Properly understood, science is evidence of God. St. Pope John Paul II and Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI were very clear on this.
For example, it was written to them. “An eye for an eye” this was a regulation to a culture who did far worse. At that time if I stole from one family, they wouldn’t just come after me they would kill me and my entire tribe. Therefore an eye for an eye is a strict regulation of such behavior. It is a movement in the right direction that was all the people could handle to learn. If you read the Old Testament (actually read it) you will see a clear progression to the culminating New Testament message.
I’d appreciate a few quotes. In the many quotes I’ve read from the non-religious and anti-religious, science is god, the revealer of all truth. The soul? How does science study one? Most of the comments I’ve read refer to religion as superstition and/or some kind of mechanistic need man developed to help him survive. It doesn’t have any peer-reviewed papers revealing God in creation. Creation created itself.
Mythology? Don’t you think people could think up better more satisfying stories if this was only mythology??? It’s just brutally honest in certain places. I guess you just had to BE there to understand, and since none of us was… it takes the hand of the Holy Spirit to direct us.
In that case you are saying that the Old Testament is not the word of God merely a description of the culture and history of a people that started pretty nasty and eventually got better until the coming of Jesus.
Or are you suggesting God started kind of mean, violent and vicious, but progressively got nicer and kinder until he culminated into a loving God by the time of the New Testament?