You've only got 3 chapters to go before you reach the Jahwist and Elohist texts again. Or, to put it another way, only 3 chapters before you reach readable narrative, and leave the obsessive bureaucratic lists behind.
I've already scribbled out notes for the next couple, and I have the best of intentions to be productive here in the coming week.In what chapter do they talk about the "Road to Hell"?
They don't. That's a distortion of a quote by Boswell from Samuel Johnson (in "Boswell's life of Johnson") - the man who invented the modern Dictionary.Johnson's dictionary isn't bland like modern ones, but full of lively quotes:"Monsieur: a term of reproach for a Frenchman""Oats: a grain which in England is generally given to horses, but in Scotland supports the people""Remarriage: a triumph of hope over experience"As for Hell, that didn't really exist in Israelite thought. They had an "underworld" - Sheol - like the greeks (who called theirs "Hades"); a place of being, rather than a place of torture."Hell", as such, entered Jewish thought only after the 6th century BC, due to the influence of the Zoroastrian Persians during the aftermath of the Babylonian Captivity of the Jews. "Paradise" is a Persian concept, and the Zoroastrians were strictly dualist (for every "good" there is an equal and opposite "evil") - hence they also had a Hell.The Zoroastrian influence is also the reason that apocalyptic literature suddenly appears in Jewish history, and the relevant parts of the bible. Apocalypse is a greek word that actually means "revelation" - visions - not "end of the world"; its only presumed to mean "end of the world" because of the influence of one particular "revelation" - that of John-of-Patmos, namely the "Book of Revelations" aka "the Apocalypse of John the Divine" ("Divine" meant "one who has had a revelation").The Apocalyptic literature, such as the Book of Daniel, only really turns up about 1/2 way through; and it covers visions, not hell. Ezekiel can be a bit "off the wall" though, and is much earlier. although still a long way off."Revelations" is the last book, so its a very long way away from now (unless you read it in advance). But it doesn't really cover hell either.Descriptions of Hell can be found in the books such as the Apocalypse of Peter. Its apocryphal (ie. its not part of the bible), but it still had enormous influence - its the source of visions of things like blasphemers being hung up by their tongues, and murderers being put in a pit of snakes. Its a great read, but is clearly complete fiction [ie. not based on early legends, etc.] (this was eventually even spotted by the early Christians). It had huge influence among later Christians, but they selectively ignored one little detail; according to the text, even the sinners would be saved in the end.
A.,I hope you know when I ask a question like that, I'm playing dumb.I don't know much about the Bible, but I do know how to use the Google....Nonetheless, yet more colorful background that I greatly appreciate.Numbers 8 coming up today....
Oh, and Johnson's famous quote hovers over folks like me: "No man but a bloghead ever wrote except for money."Also LOL on "was eventually even spotted by the early Christians."
While we're on the topic of vivid dictionarians, how about a little Ambrose Bierce on religion and the afterlife?"Religion. A daughter of Hope and Fear, explaining to Ignorance the nature of the Unknowable.""Death is not the end. There remains the litigation over the estate."
You might say LOL, but the early Christians used to consider several dubious works as part of the bible (not that the books that are still in it are any less dubious).One of the best examples is the Visions, Mandates, and Parables of the Shepherd of Hermas (collectively the "Shepherd of Hermas", for shorthand) as part of the Bible; it was only taken out in the late 4th century - the oldest completely surviving Christian bible (Codex Sinaiticus) still contains it.Another good example is the Epistle of James. Its in the surviving Bible, but Martin Luther tried to take it out, because he noticed that it totally contradicted the doctrine of Paul's Epistles; Paul argues "Salvation through Faith", but the Epistle of James says "Faith, without works, is Dead".Another very good example is in the King James Version. You see, the King James Version DOES contain the Book of Tobit, which several other bibles leave out. BUT, there's a good chance YOUR copy of the King James Version does NOT contain the Book of Tobit. Why? Well, there are different versions of the King James Version.... book printers have religious prejudice too.
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