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Raw Material and Original Sin

Comprising most of Lewis' writings.

Re: Raw Material and Original Sin

Postby Theophilus » 27 Apr 2010, 17:25

JRosemary wrote:Huh? Why do you find Numbers mind-numbing? :??:

I think "mind-numbing" is a good way to describe the seventh chapter. :smile:
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Re: Raw Material and Original Sin

Postby JRosemary » 27 Apr 2010, 22:28

Leslie wrote:I didn't mean that Numbers should never be read. I meant that for someone reading the Bible for the first time, and trying to get a sense of the outline of the biblical narrative, it might be better to leave it till later. There is meaty stuff in there, for sure, but it's sandwiched among census returns, inventories, and detailed descriptions of offerings, which, frankly, can be dull reading.

Carryanation implied that he/she has trouble reading. I have some experience in designing reading materials for different levels of ability, and one thing that tends to derail and discourage slow readers is too much detail. It often helps to approach a text in layers, first getting a high-level outline of the subject matter, and then going back to pick up details.

Carryanation also seems to be approaching the scriptures from a Christian perspective, and it is common to begin Christian study with the person of Jesus. This in no way lessens the importance of the Hebrew scriptures -- it's just the starting point.

Ok, I hear you. But here are my thoughts:

First off, the person in question has already read Genesis through Leviticus. Why stop now without getting to the end of the story? Numbers completes the Exodus story, save for a bit more in Deuteronomy. (Then the story of the conquest comes in Joshua, Judges, etc.)

Secondly, I think it’s hard to understand the New Testament without a thorough grounding in Torah, the rest of the Tanakh, and Judaism in general. That said, you may be right in saying that a budding Christian should start with the New Testament—but, in my opinion, if you don’t understand a lot about Judaism, your understanding of Jesus and Paul will likely end up shallow.

For example, if you don’t know your Torah, you won’t understand what Jesus means when he sums up the commandments with his two favorites: “Love the LORD your G-d with all your heart . . . ,” and “love your neighbor as yourself.” I’ve lost count of how many Christians have told me about the two ‘new’ commandments Jesus gave, never realizing that they’re straight from the Torah and that Jesus wasn’t trying to make any radical departure from Torah! He was just saying that these two commandments contain the heart and soul of all of them . . . and plenty of Jews agree.

Sigh. It’s sometimes painful to see how little Christians and Jews understand each other's religion. :brood:
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