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12:15 AM on 08/17/2011
Great Read, I learned something! Really enjoyed this.
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Razpooten
Nil homini certum est
11:10 PM on 08/16/2011
I am a firm believer that forgiving sets you free.
Don't know who said it: "Holding a grudge (hating) is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die."
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Razpooten
Nil homini certum est
10:35 PM on 08/16/2011
Maria, a couple of things: The concept of forgiveness is too complex for most humans to grasp readily.
How often have you heard a Christian say: "I can forgive anything but that!" Jesus taught with parables and by example - and he was in a position wher he could forgive "sins"
Now, forgive me but, This story is to me just an example of how Biblical concepts can be easily distorted. By presenting a plausible argument one can sway others to change their views.
I appreciate your writing in that it makes one reflect on what one has learned from spiritual leaders.
We should stop and ask if things are the way they are presented; scrutinize the scriptures more carefully. For instance: Most Christians believe that Adam and Eve were expelled from Eden for eating the forbidden fruit. The fact is, they were expelled to prevent them from eating of the "other forbidden fruit," which would've made them immortal. Read it yourself in Gen. 3:22-24
12:24 AM on 08/17/2011
Because they set a precedence they could no longer be trusted to follow GOD's commandments. Because they ate the first fruit they could not be trusted not to eat the second. Less they sin even more!
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thegodlessgeneration
better to embrace hard truth than reassuring fable
10:33 PM on 08/16/2011
A few things:

#1. God holds grudges. I'm not sure how God cannot forgive while Jesus can forgive. Aren't they supposed to be one in the same person?

#2. Jesus does NOT confront a crowd ready to stone a woman and there was no melee. If you read the story, you'll see that the teachers and Pharisees brought the woman before Jesus as a test. They asked Jesus if they should stone her in accordance to the Law of Moses - they were trying to trap him. Don't believe the hype because there in no indication a crowd had gathered with rocks in hand for the sole purpose of stoning a woman to death. I encourage the author to be a bit more honest with her descriptions.

#3. Jesus was sent to earth to die for the sins of mankind and he knew this from the onset. God knew it was going to happen because he's omniscient. So why is Jesus upset or even surprised that he was betrayed and nailed to a across? Why ask God to forgive people when this was going to be the outcome anyway? Jesus had an expiration date; it was on the cross.
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thegodlessgeneration
better to embrace hard truth than reassuring fable
10:40 PM on 08/16/2011
#4. All of this in-depth syntax research really makes it hard to believe that the Bible is meant for the "common man". Rather than God editing a timeless book, people need scholars to interpret what the Bible really means. How are they supposed to believe in an eternal book with a 1st century mindset?

#5.Maria fails to talk about the parable where Matthew 18:35 comes from.

“Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. 33 Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ 34 In anger his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.

It should also be mentioned that at the beginning of this parable, the master was going to sell the servant, his wife, his children and all his belongings because they were unable to repay the 10,000 bags of gold owed to the master. 10,000 bags of gold, people. A servant owed his master 10,000 bags of gold. Please tell me how that happens?
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Stephen Stafford
Be the answer to somebody's prayer!
08:29 AM on 08/17/2011
Something happened to you along your way.

Renew now those plans, hopes and future You deposited within this precious spirit. Revive the peace and love You grant all who are called Your own. Provide full measure of relevant meaning, understanding and the nature of Your perfect love. Have Your way, and so it shall be.
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thegodlessgeneration
better to embrace hard truth than reassuring fable
10:26 AM on 08/17/2011
I'm confused. What are you trying to say?
10:23 PM on 08/16/2011
You're late - David Konstan just wrote a book about the fact that the whole idea of forgiveness of an individual for an individual came much later than either the Greeks OR the Bible. Haven't read it, but Konstan is brilliant, and I'm sure he is right.
10:22 PM on 08/16/2011
Too complicated an explanation for me. Prefer the simplicity of just forgiving. I prefer the wise words of Carrie Fisher "Resentment is a poison you drink, waiting for the other person to die." Holding on to transgressions only hurts the person holding on to them.
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John Prewett
http://www.mosquitonet.com/~prewett/
09:26 PM on 08/16/2011
"Father forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing" (Luke 23:34). ...........

I take this to mean that even those who directly participated in His crucifixion were given time to later on repent and be saved. As opposed to wanting His Father to "damn this whole crowd right now."
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Gary Strawley
03:36 AM on 08/17/2011
Yes. The old testament is about fear, guilt, and judgement!! The new testament is about love
and forgiveness, for others and our selfs!! We can knot do our best unless we forgive our selfs
for being Human!!!
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AcademicFreedom
Often banned; always factual
09:10 PM on 08/16/2011
The New Testament compoent explains why there were so many millions and decades spent searching out and offing various WW2 criminals while the US forgave Japanese war criminals only after a few years. Same thing with the Munich Olympic crimes. Different Testament, different rules.
10:16 PM on 08/16/2011
Japanese crimes were against US soldiers. WW2 criminals were hunted for their crimes against non-combatants.
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Razpooten
Nil homini certum est
10:20 PM on 08/16/2011
True, Oltestament?New Testamend different rules - however, the US forgiving anyone is irrelevant; its a matter of politics.
11:54 PM on 08/16/2011
I'm replying here to a comment (unpublished at the moment) you made in response to me (beninabox). The Japanese crimes I'm referring to have to do with their treatment of US POWs, not battlefield killings. I do admit I do not know by what authority the US can try accused Nazi war criminals after the Nuremberg trials. Though the US is within its rights to deport them as the result of a hearing.
08:10 PM on 08/16/2011
Commentary No. 2 on "FORGIVENESS/FREEDOM".
If a human being CAN grasp the true nature of this, then he/she IS on the way to true "self-happiness".
In my previous comment, I spoke of "walking away clean from a situation" i.e. freeing SELF from the "burden/debt" which one would carry should one seek revenge/vengeance/payback on another.
You unplug (free) youself from that devastating, no-win-only-lose, lesser-self, doomed-to-be-recycled, vibration and syndrome.
A BY-PRODUCT of this for the "other person" is that you have also freed THEM from the vibration - with YOU. (Whether THEY free themselves from it is up to them - but, the really IMPORTANT things here is THAT YOU HAVE.)
The TRUE beneficiary of forgiveness is SELF.
Also, I have often said that $$$$ WEALTH is the "leveller of love/the balancer of energies" IT IS !
So, if it is YOU who seeks forgiveness from another, then, if you can, give them MONEY.
Money is a "positive action", it "signals a change of heart", it "raises the vibration", it "redresses/rebalances" situations. It frees everybody. EVERYBODY WINS!
07:51 PM on 08/16/2011
Well. Isn't this the one true and unassailable reading of these passages! (?) But I forgive your pride in being the rare individual who understands, on account of how you're just so gosh darn sincere.
07:19 PM on 08/16/2011
Thanks for your comments on forgiveness. I do think you missed the most important reference on forgiveness; the Lord's Prayer, "forgive us as we forgive others". Therein lies the profound reason for forgiveness. It is a concern for Salvation, and a key to open the door to the kingdom.
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monkeyshine89
God goggles, like beer goggles, but more deceptive
06:58 PM on 08/16/2011
Hahaha... I truly do love Christians 'This passage is up for interpretation' Okay then... so what's up to interpretation and what's literal? If this is the case, how can the bible be an infallible book in any sort of way? How can I trust anything written in the bible... where does god's word stop and man's word take over?

Don't know do you? Then why trust it blindly... time for a little critical thinking.
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french queen13
my beloved is mine and I am his
09:32 PM on 08/16/2011
Plenty of Christians around the world do read the Bible critically, not literally, and don't look on it as infallible or as a history text. Not every Christian is a fundamentalist (a very recent American-origin phenomenon btw). Oh and I'm not Christian, nor a follower of any religion; I just don't like seeing everyone referred to as if one small fragment of a religion described all its millions of followers.
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Razpooten
Nil homini certum est
10:39 PM on 08/16/2011
And to a certain degree this is what Maria is providing here; a different view.
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M4dwoman
There's a hole in the bottom of the sea
06:57 PM on 08/16/2011
I clicked on this because at the time the comment number was 666.
I figured maybe it was kismet.
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08:45 PM on 08/16/2011
The number 666 does dot have anything to do with reality except it is not a perfect number, it is an imperfect number according to Biblical standards and represents the Devil becouse he sinned from a position of understanding and chose his further fall from goodness.
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M4dwoman
There's a hole in the bottom of the sea
09:07 PM on 08/16/2011
sigh.
I know.
10:35 PM on 08/16/2011
Actually, 666 is the numerology of Nero Caesar's name, as he was pretty much considered the devil incarnate & people of that time were likely sure that the end of the world was near.
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zogimperator
is this microbiology?
06:39 PM on 08/16/2011
This article, if I read it correctly, is about the precise meaning of forgiveness as according to a 2nd century BC Greek pamphlet known as the Septuagint and its 1st century sequel, the New Testament. They've been collected in a book called the Bible, which is convenient.

According to this piece, there is some question as to the meaning of forgiveness, and I suspect there's a whiff of supersession going on as well -- my Jesus replaces your Jesus. It seems the author wants Him to be more fierce and less divine -- more like Charlton Heston.

It's all very knotty and baroque.

Without the ornamental superstructure of religion we're left with 'don't cause harm' and 'make amends if you do.' That's two commandments right there that have gotten me through 45 years without any supernatural agency whatsoever.
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VasuMurti
06:35 PM on 08/16/2011
Jesus said:

"...the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who planned to settle accounts with his slaves. As he began the settlement, one was brought in who owed him ten thousand talents; but as he had nothing to pay, his master ordered him to be sold, as well as his wife and children and everything he had, and to pay. Then the slave fell down and implored him, 'Have patience with me and I will pay you everything.'

"So, in pity for that slave his master released him and canceled his debt. But as that slave was leaving he met one of his fellow slaves, who owed him a hundred denarii. Grabbing him by the throat, he said, 'Pay me what you owe!' Then his fellow slave fell down and implored him, 'Have patience with me and I will pay you.' But he refused, and went and threw him into prison until he should pay the debt.

"When his fellow slaves saw what was done they were greatly distressed and they went and told their master everything that had occurred. Then his master summoned him and said to him: 'You contemptible slave! I canceled all that debt for you because you begged me. Should not you have pity on your fellow slaves as I had pity on you?'...

"And so," Jesus concluded, "will my heavenly Father do to you, if each of you does not heartily forgive his brother."
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VasuMurti
07:05 PM on 08/16/2011
"...And so," Jesus concluded, "will my heavenly Father do to you, if each of you does not heartily forgive his brother."

Shouldn't Jesus' words in Matthew 18:23-35 above apply not just to forgiving others, but to mercy and compassion towards the animals in our power as well?

In the preface to Steven Rosen's 1987 book, Food for the Spirit: Vegetarianism and the World Religions, Isaac Bashevis Singer writes:

"When a human kills an animal for food, he is neglecting his own hunger for justice.

"Man prays for mercy, but is unwilling to extend it to others.

"Why should man then expect mercy from God?

"It's unfair to expect something that you are not willing to give. It is inconsistent...

"I'm not against organized religion," says Isaac Bashevis Singer, "but I don't take part in it. Especially when they interpret their religious books as being in favor of meat-eating. Sometimes they say He wants sacrifice and the killing of animals. If this is true, then I would never be able to comply.

"But I think God is wiser and more merciful than that. And there are interpretations of religious scriptures which support this, saying that vegetarianism is a very high ideal."