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In the Beginning!

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730541.  Thu Jul 29, 2010 6:40 pm Reply with quote

Ion Zone wrote:
Maimonides's book doesn't simply cover The Commandments, it covers the whole scope and breadth of Jewish religious law. Jewish religious law and The Commandments are not the same thing.

For example, "Not to have sexual relations with a woman and her daughter's daughter" is actually from Leviticus (and so is the law of the Levites, not a commandment)

Leviticus 18:17 "'Do not have sexual relations with both a woman and her daughter" (it goes on to ban quite a bit of incest)

This is a classic case of mistranslation of the original OT to modern languages.

What we call the ten commandments are not a direct translation of their original name, the true translation is "ten things", or "ten words".

However, the various laws laid down in the OT are called "mitzvot", and the closest translation of that word is not law, but commandments, or duties.

730546.  Thu Jul 29, 2010 7:20 pm Reply with quote

I'm at a different computer than the one I used to write about Saint David, and that was based on some information I was given, but I have to concede that a quick look around reveals that the only places on the net I see repeating these claims are dubious, so I need to check back when I get back to that machine to see how safe that info was.

It probably won't be till Monday or Tuesday though...

730565.  Thu Jul 29, 2010 9:31 pm Reply with quote

Fascinating thread CB - thanks!

730620.  Fri Jul 30, 2010 6:48 am Reply with quote

Possibly interesting to compare with the ten (or 613) commandments of the Bible are the 42 lines of the "Negative Confession" of the ancient Egyptians.

According to the "Book of the Dead" (actually the "Book of Going Forth by Day"), after death you must go before a panel of 42 magistrates, each of whom judges you guilty or innocent of a particular wrongdoing. You have to address each one by name and declare yourself innocent. Being buried with a copy of the book is beneficial, since you can read out the statements and so avoid misspeaking.

There are several variations.

The Papyrus of Ani wrote:
I have not done evil.
I have not robbed with violence.
I have not stolen.
I have not murdered.
I have not stolen grain.
I have not stolen from the offerings.
I have not stolen the property of the gods.
I have not spoken lies.
I have not stolen food.
I have not spoken curses.
I have not committed sodomy.
I have not caused anyone to weep.
I have not swallowed my heart (been sullen or resentful).
I have not assaulted anyone.
I have not spoken with double intent (been hypocritical or dissembling).
I have not seized land.
I have not eavesdropped.
I have not slandered.
I have not been angry without just cause.
I have not lain with the wife of any man.
I have not fornicated.
I have not caused anyone to fear.
I have not transgressed the law.
I have not been hot-tempered.
I have not shut my ears to the truth.
I have not blasphemed.
I have not committed violence.
I have not stirred up strife.
I have not acted with undue haste.
I have not pried into matters.
I have not multiplied my words (been garrulous).
I have not wronged anyone.
I have not cursed the king.
I have not prevented the proper flow of water.
I have not raised my voice to anyone.
I have not cursed the gods.
I have not been arrogant.
I have not stolen the food-offerings of the gods.
I have not stolen the food-offerings of the dead.
I have not stolen the food of children.
I have not slighted the patron god of my city.
I have not slain the cattle of the gods.

The Papyrus of Nu wrote:
I have not done wrong against men.
I have not opposed my family.
I have not borne false witness.
I have not associated with men who were of no account.
I have not worked evil.
I have not caused unnecessary work to be done.
I have not brought forward my own name for honours.
I have not been domineering over servants.
I have not slighted the gods.
I have not defrauded the humble man of his property.
I have not done acts which the gods abominate.
I have not vilified a servant to his master.
I have not inflicted pain.
I have not caused anyone to go hungry.
I have not caused anyone to weep.
I have not killed.
I have not ordered anyone to kill.
I have not caused calamity to befall anyone.
I have not stolen the offerings of the temples.
I have not stolen the food-offerings of the gods.
I have not stolen the food-offerings of the dead.
I have not fornicated.
I have not masturbated on holy ground.
I have not diminished the grain measure.
I have not seized land from my neighbour and added it to my own field.
I have not encroached upon other's fields.
I have not added to the weights of the scales.
I have not diminished the weights of the scales.
I have not taken food from the mouths of children.
I have not driven cattle away from their pastures.
I have not snared fowl that belong to the gods.
I have not caught fish with bait made of the bodies of the same kind of fish.
I have not stopped water when it should flow.
I have not made a cutting in a canal of running water.
I have not extinguished a fire when it should burn.
I have not violated the times of making offerings.
I have not driven away the cattle of the gods.
I have not turned back any god in his processions.

I know the second list has only 38 declarations, but that's all there is on the papyrus. Presumably Nu ended up in trouble with the judges.

I don't think any of us are entirely clear of sin by these lights, given that they include being sullen, raising the voice, and being overly talkative. Still, as long as you can say the statements, you're automatically cleared, so that's all right.

730652.  Fri Jul 30, 2010 10:59 am Reply with quote

Blimey I couldn't read all those out hand on heart and say I was being honest!

730699.  Fri Jul 30, 2010 5:16 pm Reply with quote

I have not stopped water when it should flow

would catch out a lot of modern Egyptians, I would think.

730724.  Sat Jul 31, 2010 12:38 am Reply with quote

Point of order

Q. How was Jesus' brother responsible for the deaths of over 20 million people during a 14 year period.......

By 1850 Hong had as many as 30,000 followers and they decided to call themselves the "Heavenly Kingdom of Transcendent Peace", the word for peace being Taiping, their fights with the rulers of China became known as the Taiping Rebellion.

That (and the subsequent paragraphs) would lead me to believe that the initiator of the fight was the Chinese rulers - not the "brother of Jesus".

730725.  Sat Jul 31, 2010 12:41 am Reply with quote

Jenny wrote:
Blimey I couldn't read all those out hand on heart and say I was being honest!

The only one I'm totally confident about is

I have not spoken with double intent (been hypocritical or dissembling).

hassan el kebir
730730.  Sat Jul 31, 2010 3:01 am Reply with quote

I have not masturbated on holy ground.

Well I'm pretty damned sure I've not done that one

730741.  Sat Jul 31, 2010 6:10 am Reply with quote

Jenny wrote:
Blimey I couldn't read all those out hand on heart and say I was being honest!

Well, that's the point of having them written down. As long as you can say them, you're retrospectively innocent, or at least absolved.

Of course, you're supposed to get the name of each judge right, as well. And where they all come from. The Papyrus of Nu doesn't name them -- another way he got in trouble -- but Ani includes, for example:
Usekh-nemyt (Long of Strides), coming forth from Heliopolis
Hepet-khemt (Embracing Fire), coming forth from Kher-aha
Fenti (Nose), coming forth from Hermopolis
Her-ef-Ha-ef (His Face Turned Behind Him), coming forth from his cavern
...and so forth.

730785.  Sat Jul 31, 2010 7:19 pm Reply with quote

Not forgetting Sweet Chariot, coming for(th) to carry me home.

731728.  Thu Aug 05, 2010 7:51 am Reply with quote

Q. How were the plants in the Garden of Eden watered?

Klaxon for rain, or giving the serpeant a watering can.

Here's the relevant bit from Genesis:

When the LORD God made the earth and the heavens and no shrub of the field had yet appeared on the earth and no plant of the field had yet sprung up, for the LORD God had not sent rain on the earth and there was no man to work the ground, but streams came up from the earth and watered the whole surface of the ground the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.

Now the LORD God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. And the LORD God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

It seems the water for the plants came up from the earth.

734315.  Tue Aug 17, 2010 8:03 am Reply with quote

Q. What was different about the first Muslim who was promised Paradise while he was still alive?

Klaxon for woman, angel, prophet, etc.

The strange answer is that he was previously a Rabbi.

His name is now known in Islam as Abdullah ibn Salam, but he was originally known as Al-Husayn ibn Sailam, a respected Rabbi in the city of Medina (then known as Yathrib, and home to a large Jewish population).

There are several stories regarding ibn Salam, though most historians agree he most likely met Muhammad around 630AD, as opposed to when Muhammad came to Medina 8 years earlier.

In a famous Hadith, Muhammad is sitting with some of his friends (known as Sahaba) and says "Do you want to see a man walking on Earth and I see him walking in Paradise?". While they all looked among themselves hoping to be named, he pointed to ibn Salam walking in the distance and said "it is that man there".

740155.  Mon Sep 06, 2010 8:23 am Reply with quote

Q. If you were an early Christian, would you be thankful for placebos?

Cue various klaxons for jokes about the band, etc.

One of the interesting byproducts of having a bible which is translated from one language to another, and then another, etc, is that some words can be open to translation.

Depending on which version you read (I think for Catholics it's psalm 114, and for Anglicans/Protestants it's 116), there is a psalm for "Thanksgiving for Deliverance from Death", and verse 9 reads:

"I will walk before the LORD in the land of the living."

Some older versions may read "I will please the LORD in the land of the living".

The orignial Hebrew version uses the word "Ethalech", which should literally mean "I will walk with", and while today it's taken to mean that literally, it was originally translated into Greek as a way of saying "I will please", and trnslated thus.

Travel forward to the late 4th century AD, and Pope Damasus I commissions Saint Jerome to write a definitive Latin version of the Bible, which would become known as The Vulgate. The Vulgate had a massive influence across Europe, and even influenced several common English words (angels, creation, testament, regeneration, publican), even common phrases such as "far be it" come from the Vulgate.

When translating this particular verse, Jerome used the Latin word for "I shall please" and wrote it thus:

"Placebo Domino in regione vivorum"

Placebo is a future indicative of the Latin "Placere", from which we get the word "Pleasure" and "Please".

The first mention of Placebo as "a medicine given more to please than to benefit the patient" is not until 1785, and did not become common until the 20th century.

766814.  Sun Dec 12, 2010 7:55 pm Reply with quote

Resurrecting this old thread (pun definitely intended), I'm reminded of a question Stephen once asked about who was the first Prime Minister, and offer this one:

Who was the first Pope?

Klaxons galore for Peter, Paul and Mary :)

The answer I'll submit is Pope Siricius, who reigned as Pope from 384AD to 399AD.

In answering a letter originally adressed to his predecessor which came from Spain and asked for clarification on several points, Pope Siricius' reply is the earliest surviving decretal. While we know that earlier ones existed, as they were occasionally mentioned, the reason this decretal survived may be down to the fact that Siricius commanded that these decrees be spread to other provinces.

A year later he convened a Roman synod and the decisions of the council were sent to bishops all over Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa, commanding them to follow these decisions under his authority as the Pope.


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