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I like to split hairs.


May
19
comment Sabbath vs Sunday - Why and who
@Iulian - I notice several of these are reasons why Sunday is a special day of celebration, but none of them are reasons why Sunday should replace the particular functions of Saturday (which has its own set of reasons for being special) as a day of rest.
May
19
comment Sabbath vs Sunday - Why and who
@Iulian, you might want to adjust your first reason - light was created on the first day, but the sun first shone on the fourth day (Gen. 1:14-19‌​).
May
19
comment Biblical support for why something is a sin?
Reminds me of the Euthyphro dilemma - are laws given by God because they are good, or are the laws good because God has given them?
May
17
comment Multiple wives and concubines | male and female “original” intent
Heh - You'd think "no longer two, but one flesh", if taken literally, might well leave open the possibility for that "one flesh" to take on a spouse. At which point they would, one assumes, "no longer be two, but one flesh" again.
May
16
comment Was there enough water in the world to cover the earth?
@Jas3.1 I mainly offer it as a suggestion based on the text itself. My personal opinion lately has been that the parallels between the Creation and the Flood suggest that the latter is actually in itself a new Creation. In that mindset, the recession of the Flood waters would be like the Creation's "let the waters below the heavens be gathered into one place, and let the dry land appear"—this also requires a miracle when water is already covering the whole earth as, ordinarily, water just doesn't gather that way.
May
10
comment What is a Christian's justification for a legal prohibition of homosexual marriage?
I notice that one of the New Testament passages that mentions homosexuality appears to specifically exhort Christians to decide issues like this within the church and among church members, and not to take it up as a matter of the law - (1 Corinthians 6:1-11).
Apr
27
comment What does “gates of hell” mean in Matthew 16:18?
@El'endiaStarman It does make it look like a mixed metaphor - upon this rock I will build my church suggests that the rock is a firm foundation, fixed in place, and immobile, but the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it suggests that the rock (or possibly the church) will be hurled against the gates to knock them down.
Apr
8
comment Why is Jesus' name pronounced differently in each language?
I believe it used to be more widespread that names (Christian names especially) would be translated when used in different languages. But I think among modern people this is only common for kings and popes (and high school foreign language classes). BTW a quick look in Wikipedia suggests that people named John in the Bible are called யோவான் (Yovana) in Tamil.
Apr
6
comment What is life in Heaven going to be like?
Lewis Carroll gave an example like your twin story when his characters talk about whether we would be bored in Heaven after countless ages, in chapter 16 of Sylvie and Bruno Concluded — as a toddler playing with his toys can't understand the interests of an adult's life, likewise we in this world may not yet be able to understand the pastimes of Heaven.
Mar
20
comment Why is the word “Ark” used for Noah's boat and the Ark of the Covenant?
The word itself comes from Latin 'arca', meaning the same thing (a chest or box for keeping things safe in). Which I suppose leads to the idea that Noah's Ark may not have been meant to be a boat at all... did he perhaps build it not knowing it would float, maybe preparing for the possibility the waters might cover over it instead?
Feb
29
comment Does the Bible espouse moral absolutism or moral relativism?
@Ron Anyway, the fact that moral systems may be different does not mean there can be no absolute morals, any more than normal humans being different in hair and skin color, size and shape means they can't share core organs like heart, stomach, and liver. Personally I've always thought it might be a bit like Optimality Theory in linguistics, where there may be absolute rules but valid ethical systems will differ in how they prioritize which to follow when there are conflicts.
Feb
29
comment Does the Bible espouse moral absolutism or moral relativism?
@Ron If Paul's absolute position is that if you are under certain social circumstances (i.e. being Jewish) at such and such a time then you have a moral imperative others don't, and you don't consider that relativism, then you are understanding terms differently enough that it will be difficult to communicate. The idea that in our social circumstances and in our time that moral imperatives may be different appeared enough like moral relativism to have prompted the OP's question, at any rate.
Feb
29
comment Crucifixion — torture stake or cross?
I think a lot of people don't tend to keep in mind, outside of the crucifixion narrative, that a cross was used for tortures and executions, and that Christians saying they are saved by the power of the cross is like someone today saying they could be saved by the power of the electric chair. Calling it a torture stake (whether or not one imagines it has a crossbeam), though quite unpoetical, certainly serves to re-emphasizes that.
Feb
27
comment When did the angel archetype change from masculine to feminine?
I was going to comment that 'angelus' in Latin and 'ἄγγελος' in Greek are unequivocally masculine words (i.e, by ending in -us/-ος) and so the change you're asking about would have to have been after those ancient languages were common and the gender of the word wasn't so strongly indicated. After checking the facts, though, I remember that Greek is less strict about the ending and I found that apparently the Greek ἄγγελος can be masculine or feminine—according to Liddell and Scott's Greek-English dictionary, one of the epithets of the goddess Artemis was 'Artemis Angelos' (Artemis Messenger).
Feb
26
comment Do we have no control over our flesh?
I get the impression that the idea the author was going for is that you can't stop the 'lusts of the flesh' from arising - whether you act on them or not is a different matter. But that might just be me trying to rescue the text...
Feb
22
comment How does entertainment glorify God at all?
(Thus on the other hand: Praise God for the inspiration he has given to artists and storytellers, for the beauty and ease and distraction from care that they bring into the world...)
Feb
22
comment How does entertainment glorify God at all?
You know, when I was growing up, we were occasionally told these things didn't glorify God at all, and mere entertainment was a sort of thing of which God disapproved (though refraining entirely was only done by the very strict). I didn't feel the sense of the sentiment then so much as I do nowadays, after knowing so many people who do nothing but play video games all day: why spend your time in unproductive things? God is a Creator and made us in his image to be creative and productive as well.
Feb
17
comment Was John the Baptist Elijah?
I'm reminded that Jesus does likewise regarding himself: he orders his disciples not to tell anyone he is the Christ (Matthew 16:20)‌​; when the council asks him directly whether he is Christ, he gives evasive answers like "You wouldn't believe me if I told you" (Luke 22:67); etc.
Feb
15
comment Why do biblical names vary in different languages?
This is right in the major premise (the names are different because of changes due to borrowing and natural language change over time) though most of the specific details are wrong (e.g. the Greeks didn't have a 'sh'; the Romans had 'Iesus' but dropped the s in certain grammatical circumstances; 'ea' in French 'Jean' is not meant to indicate the original vowel sound - that's just a coincidence (the 'o' changed into the 'e', and the h dropped); "J" is not a "w" sound in Spanish (it's an h or kh sound, depending on the dialect, it's just that 'hw' sounds like 'w' to English speakers), etc.
Feb
10
comment According to the Bible, do animals have souls?
@Affable If I understand correctly his meaning is not that there's no afterlife, only that the afterlife begins, not at death, but at the second coming - when "the trumpet sounds". This is not abandoning 1 Corinthians 15 but taking it literally (that chapter speaks consistently of the resurrection as a future event, e.g. vv. 22, 52, 54 and speaks of the people between their death and resurrection as sleeping, e.g. vv. 6, 18, 20, 51). [sorry my edit seems to have dropped past your reply!]