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Theology in WoT

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Well before I start explaining why I think that the WOT is highly based on religion aspects of life, I will try to quickly summarize my beliefs. It all reverts back to sexuality, I mean, mentally, physically, everything is eventually returned to the perfect simpleness of the basis of life. Its understanding identity through conception of origin as perceived through others around us, helping us see for ourselves, our way into the egg, the cocoon of all glory. Females show us the way into god, and we reinforce them with life. We're selfish, snakeish sperm head egos...who have to simply come alive by realizing our own conception, which happens through finding nature in females around us. So basically men are a snake and females are an egg. Light is always in motion, a circulation of 'perfection' that is constantly broken by the snake, the selfish, and darkness is formed, proving a moment to be 'in ignorance' of others inside of this perfect light wave. Light is the only essence, there is only one other thing aside from that, non-light, dark. Ignorance is Snake is dark, Wisdom is sphere is light. Enlightmentent is...spirals overlapping, two seperate spheres growing into one. True enlightenment is the eclipses, eclipses of the mind spirit and body. The eclipse is observing time through gods eyes, or gnosis the state of meeting oneself. Of course most of you know what phi is. The more phi you are originally born with, the speedier you excel around the sphere of god. But anyways, I could go on for another hour or so about this. I am sure you can see the metaphors based on what I said in say, The Bible, with the forbidden fruit being much more then what most people believe, but more along the lines of our mastery of surfaces, our elemental expansions with technology, and our use of machines which cause electromagnetic controversy with nature. Or that we have the words positive and negative, the negative iron of nature makes us feel relaxed, positive is negative, vice versa. I was thinking about how this all correlates the the WoT series. The feeling of being in "Phi" is when you feel the touch of god, and your electric center is in order, generally when you are in deep phi, you feel perfectly balanced, in gnosis, and if you were to "break" that connection, it would be almost like a jolt of electricity. I think that Seeking the "oneness" in WoT is related to this belief in thinking, and that Saidin/Saidar are almost the snake/egg but are both the creator as a whole. Much like Saidin is hard to use due to having to constantly battle it, is like a male alone would have to do to find gnosis, battling the snake of his soul in order to attain inner peace. While Saidar you surrender to, much like the egg, since women are naturally more intuned with such things. Yet both work together to form the wheel, because only together can they be truly complete, while saidin (the snake) physically turns the wheel, Saidar (The egg) works to make sure the wheel isn't turned the wrong way. The snake forming infinity while biting itself, and turning the wheel, or egg. Women being able to link, while men can't without a women, because no two snakes can truly get along in that fashion. Obviously there are many things during the series that would make this belief coincide with events in the book, but I am about to go get some food. So feel free to post your opinions, and I will post some more when I get back.

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For some reason 'bleading' sounds infinitly more ominous to me then 'bleeding'.

 

From what i read... and i gotta confess, it was hard, my eyes kept wanting to jump, but from what i read you just described the basic nature of a religion called Zoroasterianism, which predates Judaisim, and massively influenced its inception, and then later during the Persian occupation of Israel its change in dualistic conception.

 

I too have suggested a possible examination of this aspect. That being said i will stronly argue with those that suggest a judeo-christian reading. The wheel in truth bears much more significant connections to other religions... I'm speaking specifically of the metaphyiscal conceptualisation of reality that RJ has developed here, things like the wheel, the pattern, rebirth, etc. Not things like the Whitecloaks, and other obvious political and historical connections.

 

Incidently, Phi is a mathematical concept, not a theological concept--at least as far as i know. I'll confess though that my knowledge is limited in some areas of modern christian dogma.

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Yeah, Phi is a mathematical concept, 1.618 or the golden number, or how humans see beauty. But it is also more, you should look it up, it is interesting.

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What it all boils down to, as far as I can tell, is that this series is much like life itself.

 

We all tend to see those things in it that we either want to see or need to see.

 

Look through all of the threads. Each poster pours the words Jordan wrote through the filter of his or her individual desire or need, gleaning only those meanings that he or she most needs in order to reinforce his or her overall view of life.

 

That's why many of the discussions grow heated, at times. The posters have differing needs for the "meaning" of this or that event in the books. If they allow themselves to see a different meaning, or if they allow the other poster's view to prevail, they would be forced to change their fundamental view of "how everything works." That's far too scary and uncomfortable for most humans to even contemplate, so each side hunkers down, retreating inside the turtle shells of their mutual ignorance and lobbing thinly veiled mortars of, "You're stupid!", "No, you're stupid!" at each other.

 

In that sense, the books are very realistic. The characters all behave the same way we do. "Information? We dunt need no steenkeen information. We've already got our minds made up!"

 

In short, the theology of WOT is the same as the theology of the real world. It all means what you most need it to mean.

 

( Which may be far different from what Robert Jordan intended it to mean. )

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Don't mistake faith based interpretations with theology. Religion can be studied from an objective viewpoint in the same manner as all things can be. By referencing context, practices, contributing factors and with the nature of the thing itself. So can theology in WoT

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I totally agree with Bob here.

 

Books mean whatever you want them to mean. One of the things that I teach my students is that as long as you back up what you are saying with evidence from the text, there is not wrong meaning. The author writes and may mean one thing (or may not mean one thing); the reader reads and it may mean something completely different.

 

That being said, even though my theological beliefs are Christian and I can see some Christin aspects in the allegory of WOT, I do think that there are other theologies that read with it more readily than Christain. But isnt it more interesting if it is not tied strongly into one particular religion but if anyone no matter what their belief can find meaning for themselves and their world?

 

Oh, and BTW, even though the original post was difficult to read, I did very much enjoy the parts about women being the source of all light and wisdom. Tee Hee! :lol:

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My thoughts on theology of WoT

 

Bible

20 2

2He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years.

 

20 7

 

7When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison

 

WoT

 

Do sealed away.

Now he is breaking free, creator ain't stopping him

 

Bible

 

Jesus, believe in him and be saved

 

WoT

 

Rand (Dragon) believe join and be saved

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He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years.

 

The serpent is not satan, it's a bastardisation of tiamat that was later (following the appearence of the Nazzarean cult) was assosiated with Satan.

 

7When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison

 

Satan is not imprisoned, he is simply not welcome in heaven. He was actually given lordship over earth in a sense.

 

Bible

 

Jesus, believe in him and be saved

 

WoT

 

Rand (Dragon) believe join and be saved

 

This one is absurd. Jesus did nothing to save the physical bodies of his followers. He preached a spiritual saving. Rand, additionally, does not give two hoots if you believe in him... indeed those few who did have been slaughtered by the Aiel. He strives only so that some people will be left alive after Tarmon Gaidon.

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Well, in the interest of theological quibbling:

 

The serpent is used as a symbol for the Adversary as early as Eden ... scholars who assume the story isn't true look for another explanation and find it in Tiamat (or a variety of other snake/dragon-like symbols) but its just as valid to think that John did mean it to represent Satan.

 

Satan's imprisonment refers to the period following the Second Coming of Christ called the Millenium, when Satan will be bound for one thousand years, and his influence on the earth will be removed. Obviously this hasn't happened yet.

 

Since Christ's physical resurrection opens the door for the physical resurrection of every person who lived on this earth, Christ saved the physical bodies of all the inhabitants of the earth.

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I wrote this out, and then it got deleted. Forgive me if i seem a bit short in this response.

 

 

The serpent is used as a symbol for the Adversary as early as Eden ... scholars who assume the story isn't true look for another explanation and find it in Tiamat (or a variety of other snake/dragon-like symbols) but its just as valid to think that John did mean it to represent Satan

 

Actually no its not... used as a symbol for the advessary i mean. Satan is not described anywhere else in the Old Testament with serpentine features, traits or inclinations. Moreover, at this stage chronologically, and long after, there are still numerous references to Satan working for God as a trusted servent. The idea of the war in hell and the increased evil of Satan doesn't pop up until around the 4th century BCE. Prior to that he is described as a devout servant of God.

 

Indeed, the only reference to him being evil in the entire Old Testament is an excerpt from the Book of Daniel in which a genocide is blamed on him. This part of the book of Daniel is largely accepted as having been edited later on... in particular the references to the Macabean revolt, and incidences during the reign of the Babylonians and diaspora show remarkable signs of editing.

 

Moreover, however, that same genocide is later described as being the work of God. There is even a quote from God that reads something like 'this was done through my will and at my word, as are all things, for i am Yahweh unrivalled'.

 

So, whilst there are no direct and trustworthy references to Satan being evil in the old testament, many sections have been post-humously attributed to him, the actions of the serpant for one. However, these excerpts not only never refer to him by name, but also defy their contemporary biblical texts in their descriptions of his nature and role. More specifically, there are other contemporary mythological creatures that match these supposed sightings of the devil much more closely.

 

Specifically the actions of the serpant in genesis matches closely with the nature and actions of the serpant tiamat, the chaos maker, who is described numerous times as using fruit to seduce women. He also uses poisoned fruit to kill women's husbands. his original enmity with Marduk came from him telling a holy man things that made him go insane.

 

Nor is this the only time Tiamat is mentioned. During the splitting of the Red Sea Yahweh splits a serpent in two with lightning shot from his nostrils... something which matches exactly with how Marduk was said to have killed Tiamat. Tiamat is also mentioned by name in the psalms when God makes the world from the grey sea of chaos, and in the ancient hebrew the route of the name Tiamat is the same as that sea.

 

The fact of the matter is that it is not equally valid to claim that John ment Satan, nor is your assertion that scholars are merely throwing things around willy nilly because they doubt the veracity of the story... in point of fact acholars do not suspect the gensis tale of being edited, altered or added later, what they doubt is the modern faith based interpretation. And yes, it is modern. One need merely examine letters and other commentaries written prior to the nazzarean sect gaining power and you'll see that the serpent is never refered to, or even remotely connected with Satan.

 

Hyppolitus of Rome actually includes the serpant as a point with which he is ridiculing the gnostics in the heresological texts--they think that the serpant is part of the true form of Yahweh, who in their opinion is monster accidentally concieved by Wisdom, the female concort of the real God--claiming not that the serpant was Satan, but that it was simply a minor character. A base creature not worthy of attention.

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Hey, sorry about the double post... my browser shut down again.

 

Satan's imprisonment refers to the period following the Second Coming of Christ called the Millenium, when Satan will be bound for one thousand years, and his influence on the earth will be removed. Obviously this hasn't happened yet.

 

Right, sorry, i misunderstood the reference.

 

Since Christ's physical resurrection opens the door for the physical resurrection of every person who lived on this earth, Christ saved the physical bodies of all the inhabitants of the earth.

 

If you follow the evolution of that concept, and the concept of Sheol, it isn't actually something that is specific to Christs covenant. I wrote down the evolution of that conclusion, but it got deleated. The point though was that Christs goal was the spiritual wellbeing of his people, not the physical.

 

I'm sorry, but i can see no way in which you could ever make a connection between Christs mission on earth, and Rand's.

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So, whilst there are no direct and trustworthy references to Satan being evil in the old testament, many sections have been post-humously attributed to him, the actions of the serpant for one. However, these excerpts not only never refer to him by name, but also defy their contemporary biblical texts in their descriptions of his nature and role. More specifically, there are other contemporary mythological creatures that match these supposed sightings of the devil much more closely.

 

What about the book of Job? Satan is clearly set forth as evil and in opposition to God and his follower. Of course, you could argue that what God does there is kind of nasty as well.

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I regret i do not have my source material on me. Which part of the book of Job were you talking about?

 

Now, i dislike commenting directly without being able to refer to what you mean... so i am perfectly willing to apologise if i am not touching on what you meant.

 

That being said Satan's actions against Job are a part of his job description, and the reason he was named the Advesary... as in that was literally his name. Lucifer was the name of a comet that fell from heaven, and he assumed it later. Satan was not a title, it was his name when he stood amongst the Malachim.

 

Essentially, it was Satan's job to make sure that people were worthy of God's love. He would challange them, and their faith, in various nasty manners... but nothing that in the context of the time would be described as especially evil... with the exception of the genocide he supposedly ordered.

 

In Job, God was wandering about waxing poetic on how wonderful a servant Job was. Indeed, he sounds like a smitten schoolboy, no offence. Satan says, essentially, 'sure he loves you. You grant his every whim, but is this true love, or are you being this mans sugar daddy. What will Job do if you withdraw your protection. Will his love remain then.'

 

What you must understand is that Satan is not manipulating God here, he is honestly doing what he is supposed to. Note that god gives him complete power over Job--this is what Satan did for God. A nasty little buisness, to be sure. And doubtlessly the other malachim reguarded him as you might a lawyer, or a tax collector. But still a true job, one given by God himself.

 

It is only in the new testament that you see Satan grow malicious in his actions. No longer does he challange people, he twists them, and strives to turn them against God. In the old testament however, he seeks only to test the truth of their supposed love for God, and he was praised for his works.

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It is only in the new testament that you see Satan grow malicious in his actions. No longer does he challange people, he twists them, and strives to turn them against God. In the old testament however, he seeks only to test the truth of their supposed love for God, and he was praised for his works.

 

I see no real difference. What is inherently different between trying to turn people against God and testing the truth of their love for God? As I see it, Satan's goal with Job was to turn him against God; to get him to blame God for all the nasty things that happened to him (i.e. losing all his children and possessions, being covered in sores and boils).

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Again, since my source material exceeds what is in the King James Version of the Bible, my conclusions are not those of the scholarly community.

 

A large portion of the Old Testament as we have it is missing parts of the original, and much of the rest is mistranslated. Including the parts in Job where God approves of Satan's work.

 

God allows Satan to do his thing, because he is not in the business of forcing people's wills, even Satan's. Since Lucifer fell by his own choice to become Satan, and has become miserable forever (by his own choice), he strives to pull all mankind down with him.

 

As to the physical resurrection, again, my sources exceed the KJV Bible, so my conclusions are not those of scholars, even Christian scholars, at large.

 

But, in this case, Paul is pretty clear ... "For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive." (1 Corinthians 15:22)

 

Adam caused physical death to enter the world for everyone, and Christ overcame it. Since we bear no guilt in the matter, physical resurrection is free for everyone, no matter what they do in this life, because of Christ.

 

Isn't that cool? You get an immortal body.

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It is only in the new testament that you see Satan grow malicious in his actions. No longer does he challange people, he twists them, and strives to turn them against God. In the old testament however, he seeks only to test the truth of their supposed love for God, and he was praised for his works.

 

I see no real difference. What is inherently different between trying to turn people against God and testing the truth of their love for God? As I see it, Satan's goal with Job was to turn him against God; to get him to blame God for all the nasty things that happened to him (i.e. losing all his children and possessions, being covered in sores and boils).

 

Thats probably because your going off of the preconcieved notion that satan = and has always been evil. Infact, if you believe that, then if 'god' said 'do this' and he did it. Wouldn't that make god evil? :P *Which as you know, would be a bit of a conundrum.*

 

As for satan, lucifer, whatever he calls him self.. The way I see it, he acted like any slave would and say 'enough is enough, i'm not gonna be your lil b*tch anymore!'. Quite simply, if you have anything called 'empathy' he can be a figure quite easilly empathized with. That is until you get into the later books, and interpertations.

 

Oddly enough... If "satan" was kicked out of heaven.. Why then would he still be doing 'gods' work? If all the 'evil' and 'wicked' go to hell. Why would satan torture them for all eternity? Why not just build like an army? Or better yet.. A party. :D

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I see no real difference. What is inherently different between trying to turn people against God and testing the truth of their love for God? As I see it, Satan's goal with Job was to turn him against God; to get him to blame God for all the nasty things that happened to him (i.e. losing all his children and possessions, being covered in sores and boils).

 

The fact that one is an act on behalf of God, for God and resulting from the direction of God, and the other is an act against God, out of hatred of God and with the express purpose of hurting God.

 

And despite the nastiness of what he did to Job, it is not an overly malicious act. One of the key understandings of the early judaic texts was that God served the purpose of keeping people healthy, keeping their crops healthy, etc. This was the main purpose of the First Covenant--the spiritual relationship between God and his people doesn't appear until the advent of the second covenant.

 

Subsequently God's disfavour also took the form of plagues, blights, illnesses. It wasn't an act of anger, it was a result of God no longer actively protecting people, and the old testament is littered with this happening... Sodom, Egypt etc... Here, all that happened is that as a part of his work for God, Satan withdrew God's protection for a time to see if job would still love God in spite of it.

 

Again, since my source material exceeds what is in the King James Version of the Bible, my conclusions are not those of the scholarly community.

 

Your right, your conclusions arn't those of the scholarly community. However the rest of that disconcerts me. Whatever made you think that we study only the King James version? Because no offence man but thats a load of crap. Specifically, since you've chosen to challange it, my source material for these particular assertions includes...

 

-The King James Version of the Bible.

-The TeNaCH.

-The Qua'ran.

-The Gospels of Thomas and Que.

-The Heresological texts - including 'Against Heresies' by Iraneus the Bishop of Lyons, 'Refutations of Heresies' by Hyppolytus of Rome, 'Clement of Alexander' 'Origen' 'Epiphenus'.

-The Works of Manecheism (215-216)

-The Works of Simon Magus--who, if you've read your bible well you might link to Simon the Magician of Acts, the Terrible Servant of Satan, as he is names in the Qua'ran.

-Finally as study of Zoroasterianism is massively helpful too, as a contemporary of Judaism that moved in lockstep with it for a time, but way too widespread from me to write down the sources.

 

Now ive specifically left out commentaries written in the last two hundred years because you have some sort of peculiar conception that they are only trying to dismiss everything out of hand--they arn't... in fact of all those involved i would say they have the least personal interest and therefore bias in what they do.

 

What are your sources?

 

A large portion of the Old Testament as we have it is missing parts of the original, and much of the rest is mistranslated. Including the parts in Job where God approves of Satan's work.

 

No offence man... but thats simply wrong. I made a study of altered and adapted parts of the bible, and those relating to Satan show a removal of God's approval, not an insertion of it. This is backed up by commentaries written at the time.

 

God allows Satan to do his thing, because he is not in the business of forcing people's wills, even Satan's. Since Lucifer fell by his own choice to become Satan, and has become miserable forever (by his own choice), he strives to pull all mankind down with him.

 

Well, first of all, as i said above, Lucifer did not become Satan, he was always Satan. It was his name and his job description, even before the Fall. Lucifer isn't even satan's name. It was a misunderstanding by a cleric in the 2nd century in Rome that stuck, a passage referred to the 'fall of lucifer' has since been linked to the fall of a comet named lucifer, the cleric linked it wrongly with the Fall of Satan.

 

But no, God doesn't 'allow' Satan to do his thing. Satan 'does' his thing on behalf of God, with Gods active permission. See how Satan needed God's go ahead to wthdraw God's protection from Job. Satan never actively did anything nasty to Job.

 

As to the physical resurrection, again, my sources exceed the KJV Bible, so my conclusions are not those of scholars, even Christian scholars, at large.

 

Again man, you need to get over this strange preconception you have about scholars... i don't know who you've encountered in the past, but not one of the people ive met are as blind as you imply.

 

In any case my point was not that physical ressurection isn't present, my point was that if you follow the extra-biblical evolution of that concept from Sheol, to Judaic ressurection at the time of judgement, to the christian version, then you see that what is being suggested is not really comprable with Rand's actions or goals.

 

Thats probably because your going off of the preconcieved notion that satan = and has always been evil. Infact, if you believe that, then if 'god' said 'do this' and he did it. Wouldn't that make god evil? *Which as you know, would be a bit of a conundrum.*

 

Thats rather the point. The only truly malicious act on behalf satan that even the most devout christian scholars have ever found (not just in the KJV!) is an act of genocide that is later attributed to God, wherein God specifically decries people for blaming Satan. And before you even attempt to try and say this was altered Robert, let me make clear that it wasn't. Flat and simple. It's been examined to the enth degree and there are no indications of alteration. The earlier part refering to satans role, however, has been.

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Thats rather the point.

What can I say, i've probably learned more about the bible, and other religions from luckers on D&D, then I did at 'chruch' when I was a wee lil pup. *but then again, I didn't stay to long.. I don't think I was in there past 8 years old.. I believe the reason I stopped going was one day it pissed me off... They made me go to church and I missed the SEASON FINALLY OF TRANSFORMERS, THOSE BASTARDS!!!!! :P*

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What can I say, i've probably learned more about the bible, and other religions from luckers on D&D, then I did at 'chruch' when I was a wee lil pup. *but then again, I didn't stay to long.. I don't think I was in there past 8 years old.. I believe the reason I stopped going was one day it pissed me off... They made me go to church and I missed the SEASON FINALLY OF TRANSFORMERS, THOSE BASTARDS!!!!!

 

I'm surprised by that... i mean, everyone knows that God is really Optimus Prime... so you'd think watching that would qualify as shurch.

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What are your sources?

 

Revelation. Surely you knew I was going to say that.

 

No offence man... but thats simply wrong. I made a study of altered and adapted parts of the bible, and those relating to Satan show a removal of God's approval, not an insertion of it. This is backed up by commentaries written at the time.

 

You have read original commentaries from 3000 BC? I'm impressed.

 

The difference in our approaches, Luckers, is the placement of our faith. You place your faith in scholars. I place mine in God. You have not seen either Paul's original letter, not Moses' original manuscript. Nor have I. You place your faith in the interpretation of scholars studying second and third hand commentaries and compilations, I place mine in the process of study complemented by prayer and revelation.

 

For something to read that contains what I have said, get a copy of The Pearl of Great Price. Or, you can read it online at http://scriptures.lds.org/en/pgp/contents .

 

Make sure you read the Intorductory Note before you start.

 

Since I accept those works as scripture, I'm sure they'll make my position abundantly clear.

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Revelation. Surely you knew I was going to say that.

 

Actually my study of the Book of Revelations has been relatively limited to date, so i didn't make the connection. I will attempt to remedy that soon, just for you. :)

 

You have read original commentaries from 3000 BC? I'm impressed.

 

Was that meant to be sarcastic... because yes, i really have. Actually the oldest commentary of Judaisim I've read is attributed to a Prophet of Ba'al, and was written (supposedly) in 4,200 BCE. There's a reposte to it in the Bible, by Elijah i believe, when he speaks of the 500 prophets of Ba'al.

 

That being said the majority of commentaries ive read date between 1000BCE and 1000CE.

 

The difference in our approaches, Luckers, is the placement of our faith. You place your faith in scholars. I place mine in God. You have not seen either Paul's original letter, not Moses' original manuscript. Nor have I. You place your faith in the interpretation of scholars studying second and third hand commentaries and compilations, I place mine in the process of study complemented by prayer and revelation.

 

You're right, the difference is in the placement of faith. I do not believe faith should be utilized. I do not trust the scholars that i have read and am not simple being a voice to their theories. I trust what is factually supported. Deductions that are reasonable, logical and supported.

 

You see the way i deal with theories about WoT, i treat religion similarily. I do not trust people to be right (except for maybe Maj)... i make sure they are, at least to a degree that suits me.

 

 

 

For something to read that contains what I have said, get a copy of The Pearl of Great Price. Or, you can read it online at http://scriptures.lds.org/en/pgp/contents .

 

Make sure you read the Intorductory Note before you start.

 

Since I accept those works as scripture, I'm sure they'll make my position abundantly clear.

 

Will do.

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Revelation. Surely you knew I was going to say that.

 

Actually I meant the process of recieving revelation from God, not the Revelation of St. John the Divine.

 

Actually the oldest commentary of Judaisim I've read is attributed to a Prophet of Ba'al, and was written (supposedly) in 4,200 BCE.

 

The "supposedly" is the key there. What I meant was, have you gotten in a time machine, gone back to 3000 or 4200 BC, and read what the person who was there wrote.

 

You're right, the difference is in the placement of faith. I do not believe faith should be utilized.

 

What you don't see is that you claim faith should not be used, but you place faith in scholars, other men and women. You have not gone to each of their dig sites to personally verify their work. You have not independently researched their dating methods to ensure they work. And you have not travelled through time to make sure they actually got it right.

 

Obviously those actions would be impossible, for different reasons. Humans have to operate on faith at some level, because we are limited. You choose to place your faith in scholarship. I choose to place mine in God.

 

Have fun reading! :D You know how to get up with me if you have some specific questions.

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