Should the Bible be edited?

Discussion in 'Religion' started by Xelasnave.1947, Dec 1, 2016.

  1. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    It's also been suggested by some that he never lived and is just a literary devise that was inserted after the fact. It's also a good way to make predictions come true.
     
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  3. timojin Valued Senior Member

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    On my visit to China I visited at least 3 Buddhist temples, and in each one there was Giant happy Buddha statue were people donated flowers candles ete. ete.
     
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  5. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    I went to a Buddhist temple in Thailand with one Buddha and many monkeys and the monkeys were eating pineapple on a stick. Is that a relevant fact that needs to be included here?
     
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  7. timojin Valued Senior Member

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    Did you read it ? I will suggest you , to read Exodus 20 the first 15 verses
    and Matthew 22 : 37-- 40
     
  8. timojin Valued Senior Member

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    Where the monkey part of the statute or where they live monkey
     
  9. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    Live monkeys.
     
  10. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

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    And?
     
  11. timojin Valued Senior Member

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    You are suggesting me to read the bible . So I did and pointed out to you . I noticed you don't have a meaningful responses but just playing with words.
     
  12. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

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    And how in God's name does that make the least bit of sense?
     
  13. timojin Valued Senior Member

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    Well you are the only one that makes sense in what you say.
     
  14. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    Right. I agree.

    I asked Xel that earlier and his response (post #71) was something to the effect that people take the Bible to be their religious authority. So Xel wants to re-write the Bible so that religious people will faithfully accept his personal opinions as authoritative.

    I think that perhaps the greatest value of historical texts (certainly the aspect that's of most interest to me) is that they open a window to thinking in earlier times. Our job is to understand the past, not to be some kind of Orwellian Ministry of Truth changing the past so that it conforms with present day desires.

    If scholars today are successful, they might even start to understand how our contemporary thinking evolved over time out of the thinking that went before.
     
  15. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    I think that's probably a false premise. Like everything, it's complicated, and likely to trip up people who try to write about it without knowing very much about it.

    Buddhists have traditionally believed in the existence of the supernatural. That includes a whole host of imagined sentient supernatural beings, typically taken from the religious pantheons that existed wherever Buddhism found itself. Buddhism arose in India at a time when India was hugely polytheistic, then spread to Central Asia, China and Japan, and eastwards into Southeast Asia. It encountered many local gods and spirits in the traditional beliefs in those places. The arrival of Buddhism didn't displace those traditional gods. It didn't insist that those gods are false. People went on worshipping them and sacrificing to them.

    What Buddhism did (and this is important to understand) is argue that the traditional gods and spirits aren't relevant to or necessary for salvation. And Buddhism is first and foremost a religion of salvation. In Buddhism, the gods are in need of salvation just as human beings are.

    So while people continued visiting the temples of their old gods, those gods had been subtly devalued. People still prayed to them and presented offerings to them for good fortune, abundant harvests and for healthy babies. But the gods were irrelevant to the ultimate goal, enlightenment and release from suffering. In Buddhism, the only being that can save you is you.

    So we can probably say that while gods are found in the popular devotions of many traditional Buddhist ethnic groups in Asia, those gods are largely tangential to Buddhism. It's entirely possible to do away with them entirely, which we see happening with modernist Buddhism both in the West and in Asia. The supernatural beings go, but the essence of Buddhism remains.
     
  16. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

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    That's a distinction without a difference. The fact is, and contrary to the assertion, Buddhism has many gods. It isn't a godless religion. As I previously wrote just because they aren't like the Christian God, it doesn't make them any less godly.
     
  17. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    Again, it's complicated.

    Buddhists do treat the Buddhas and Boddhisattvas in ways that are very similar to theistic worship. Buddhists bow, or even prostrate themselves before Buddha images. They chant praises. They make offerings.

    In Buddhism (and in Indian religion generally) this is referred to as puja.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Puja_(Buddhism)

    But there are subtleties in how people conceive of what they are doing puja to and even more importantly, in why they think they are doing it.

    http://www.buddhanet.net/ans6.htm

    Buddhists aren't petitioning a god for favors. Rather, they are expressing honor and devotion to the enlightened one(s) that made the path to salvation possible and who traversed that path themselves.

    So puja can be interpreted as a kind of meditative practice that serves to refocus and rededicate the worshipper on the path.
     
  18. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

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    Actually, it's not at all complicated.
     
  19. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    I think that it's a vitally important distinction when one is trying to understand Buddhism.

    If the gods that many Buddhists continue to believe in didn't originate with Buddhism but instead are native to whatever locality the individual happens to inhabit, it's hard to argue that they are Buddhist gods. And what's more, if the gods play no role in Buddhist salvation, and in fact can be eliminated entirely as we see in some modernist forms of Buddhist religiosity, it's hard to argue that they are in any way essential to Buddhism.

    So it's probably most accurate to say that Buddhism can (and often does) coexist with preexisting forms of theistic belief. In that sense it isn't all that different from modern science. Probably a majority of scientists currently are (and historically have been) theists. But that doesn't mean that belief in gods is in any way essential to what science is.

    Sure, but so does science. There are Jewish, Christian and Islamic scientists. There are Hindu scientists. All kinds of gods.

    If you think that any gods are essential to Buddhism, such that Buddhism couldn't exist without them and Buddhists can't walk the path to enlightenment without them, can you name these essential Buddhist gods and say something about what you think their function is?

    It's obviously consistent with belief in gods. Though it's less clear whether it's consistent with belief in Christian-style salvation through Christ. Buddhism presents a very different concept of and path to salvation.

    But in another sense it is a godless religion, if gods are irrelevant to salvation and if salvation is the whole point and the ultimate goal.
     
  20. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    It is if you factor in the role of Bodhissatvas in popular Chinese Mahayana or Yidams in Tibetan tantra.

    The variety of things that serve as objects of Buddhist puja or meditative practice is vast, as are the ways that individual Buddhists conceive of them and the roles they play.

    It's hard to generalize and requires a great deal of study.
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2017
  21. timojin Valued Senior Member

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    What about the Queen of heaven which was introduced in China in some early dynasty , willie attempting to penetrate into China from India
     
  22. Ted Grant II Registered Senior Member

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    Yes.
    The Bible has, of course, already been edited during it's evolution and there are many versions in use around the world.
    But I think you mean a radical overhaul to remove bad bits (slavery, mass murder etc.) and add some science (pathology, physics, cosmology etc.).
    Like any construction, it needs regular maintenance.
     
  23. Michael 345 Bali tonight Valued Senior Member

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    Problem(s)

    As you indicated the bible has already been edited many times and we now have numerous "Chinese whispers" versions

    So if you really intend to do a top job none of the current versions would be suitable

    Go as far back as possible to get as close as you can to the original

    Not really a solution as I doubt you will be close to the original

    Next

    The version you do settle on might be in a reasonably obscure language and need a expert for translation

    As I am in the realm of guessing I guess such a expert would not be cheap

    Guess three would be such a expert would not really be interested in editing ANY ancient text and further

    ... adding some science (pathology, physics, cosmology...

    would be turning it into a text book subject to frequent adjustments as more knowledge is gained

    Like any construction, it needs regular maintenance

    If the bible was one of the early computer games Ping Pong

    what you are now suggesting we translate it up to something which can run a Jumbo Jet

    Really you might also consider the bible to be a early version of GIGO and

    all subsequent corrupted translations same same

    No matter how much you take out of a bovine dropping

    it remains a Cowpat

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