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In the Beginning!

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766912.  Mon Dec 13, 2010 12:16 pm Reply with quote

This is an interesting idea, although I do struggle a little with it. To accept the argument we'd have to accept that Popes are defined only by the issue of epistolae decretales.

Which they are not. Even if we accept the argument that since they do not survive, we do not ackowledge the decretals of any Pope before St Siricius as "proper decretals", there have been later Popes who never issued any. Does this mean that they weren't "proper Popes"?

Another way to approach the question of who was the first Pope is to consider who was the first to use the title. St Peter certainly didn't, and in fact St Siricius is among those most often mentioned as having been the first to use it.

Then again, some historians believe that for a time any bishop might choose to style himself as Pope, while some Bishops of Rome didn't. It's disputed, but consensus seems to be that not until the sixth century did the title "Pope" refer unambiguously to the Bishop of Rome. (Considering here only the Roman Catholic Church; there are other churches which style their leader as Pope. We need not consider the so-called Black Pope - the leader of the Jesuits - as this is but a nickname rather than an official title, and is never used by the SJ itself.)

766937.  Mon Dec 13, 2010 2:09 pm Reply with quote

I'm aware of the arguments for different names to put forward, I was simply offering an interesting idea, which in the Qi spirit could be offered up (remember Cruithne?) :)

The reason St Siricius is considered by some is probably down to the information I gave before, and to the fact that the reason why his writings seem to be the earliest to survive is that previous bishops of Rome did not assert their position as forcefully in their letters as he did.

766993.  Mon Dec 13, 2010 4:45 pm Reply with quote

Oh absolutely, and your suggestion has rather more merit than the suggestion that Cruithne is a moon of the Earth!

Every historian of the RC Church seems to have a different theory as to who was the first to be known as Pope within his lifetime. Some go as early as Callixtus I (fl. 217 AD), while F L Cross reckoned that the title was not regularly used until the Renaissance.

767833.  Sat Dec 18, 2010 11:51 am Reply with quote

Q. Who succeded King Saul as the King of Israel.

Klaxon for David, which is what we are always taught.

The answer is King Ish-bosheth, also sometimes called Eshbaal.

When King Saul died in 1007BC, his successor was his son, Ish-bosheth, but the tribe of Judah seceded for the Kingdom of Israel and chose David as their king.

A war ensued and though David did seem to have the upper hand (though these accounts would have been written by the eventual victors), the result was not secured until Ish-bosheth accused King Saul's cousin and commander of the army, Abner, with marrying one of Saul's concubines in order to secure the throne for himself. Unsurprisingly, Abner defected to David's camp and took much of the army with him.

David won the war in 1005BC, and though Ish-bosheth accepted defeat, two of his captains murdered him in an attempt to ingratiate themselves with David. He punished them for treason.

The name Ish-bosheth, as well as his other name, Eshbaal, are both very suspect, as they both have negative connotations, and may have been nicknames given later by the victors. Ish-bosheth literally means "Man of shame", whereas Eshbaal could mean "Fire of Baal", a deity very much despised in the Bible.

Nothing is known about what happened immediately after Ish-bosheth's death, but it seems not all of Israel accepted David as King immediately as he was not crowned until sometime between 1003BC and 1000BC.

Incidentally, while King David is remembered as one of Israel's greatest kings, he was actually helping the Philistines when they fought Saul at Gilgoah (though not in battle) because Saul tried to have him assassinated. We are also told that at the start of David's reign there was a great famine which was claimed to be a punishment from God for Saul's treatment of the Gibeonites. David went to the Gibeonites and asked them how they could be compensated, and they demanded the remaining sons of Saul.

Whether this is true, or was simply an excuse to get rid of any possible claimants to the throne, David handed the remaining seven sons of Saul to the Gibeonites, and they were hung and left hanging there throughout the summer before finally being taken down.

769242.  Thu Dec 23, 2010 9:39 am Reply with quote

Changing directions slightly, but keeping with the theme of "faith", and recalling some suggestions I made for the F series:

Q. You've invited some guests over for baked potatoes, you unwrap them from their foil (cue pictures of baked potatoes with unwrapped foil), and offer them a tuna and sweetcorn filling. What will this man do? (cue picture of a rastafarian man)

Klaxons if somone makes a joke about rolling a joint from the foil, or various other answers that might seem obvious.

The answer is that if they followed the Ital diet laws strictly they wouldn't eat any of it for several reasons.

The first reason wold be that the potato was cooked in Alluminium, and they believe trace elements of the metal can go into the food and therefore enter your body, which is not allowed.

The second reason is that they are not allowed to eat fish which are longer than 12 inches in length (most Tune are far longer than this).

Thirdly, both the tuna and the sweetcorn are likely to have come from tins, which as per the first reason, is not allowed because strict Ital rules mean Rastafarians should not keep food in metal containers or pots, nor use preservatives.

769253.  Thu Dec 23, 2010 10:28 am Reply with quote

So the song should really go 'we're not Jammin' (for religious reasons)'.

769264.  Thu Dec 23, 2010 11:18 am Reply with quote

And they'd have to sing it to a much smaller tuna.

770441.  Tue Dec 28, 2010 11:24 pm Reply with quote

In a slight twist to the theme (which we know we like to see on Qi), Where is the longest surviving eternal flame?

Klaxons for places in Israel, Greece, Middle East, or even The Bangles (those old enough to appreciate brilliant music will get that one).

The answer is in Australia, in a place called Burning Mountain, sometimes known as Mount Wingen.

I appreciate Lumpo has actually posted about this place in an old thread, but I think it's Qi enough to be mentioned again.

This mountain was often described as a volcano by early European visitors, but it was recognised early on as a burning coal seam. Aboriginal memories of the area confirm the seam has been burning for as long as anyone could recollect, but studies show that the front is moving southward at a rate of approximately a yard every year, and that it has already moved nearly 4 miles from where it started.

If the rate it has travelled has been constant, this suggests that this fire has been raging for 6,000 years, longer than any other known fire. Even if you account for variations in speed for different years, it still suggests several thousand years.

There are several thousand coal seam fires around the world, estimated to contribbute as much as 3% of the global CO2 emmissions. Some are known to have been burning for centuries, and have even become tourist attractions in their own right, like the Brennender Berg and Stinksteinwand in Germany.

770550.  Wed Dec 29, 2010 9:36 am Reply with quote

Ok, here's one which I think will take a lot of people by surprise, it's a bit length, but it's because I'm throwing in some info, and finishing off with some personal supposition which I think could be Qi if true..

Stephen can start off by asking the panel what God made in the beginning, and how, and let them answer a couple of things with easy points, like that he created the stars, he created animals, he created man, etc.

Then ask what the Bible says for how he created woman.

Naturally, the answer should be that he took a rib from Adam and created her from it.

And that's where the Klaxon should sound.

Most people remember the story of how Eve was created in chapter 2 of Genesis, and most will also remember that in chapter 1 it says:

"So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them."

However, what most people forget is that the line doesn't end there, it finishes with "male and female he created them."

This created a bit of a problem for early Rabbis, they could explain that God creates man in chapter 1 and mentions creating Adam in chapter as being one and the same, but in chapter 1 it mentions creating woman with Man, whereas in chapter 2 it's a later event.

It was already discussed and debated centuries before Jesus was born, but it was not until sometime after 700AD that the Alphabet of Ben-Sira was written, in which a detailed account to explain this became known.

In short, the story claims that the first woman created was called Lilith, and that she was made equal to Adam. However, Adam and Lilith soon began to argue about who should lie on top and Lilith then flew away (why didn't we keep that power???). When she refused to return to Adam she was cursed to have a hundred of her children to be killed every day, but she has the power to cause sickness to babies, for the first eight days in boys and the first 20 in girls. However, she will have no power over the babies if they are given an amulet with the names of any of the three angels Senoy, Sansenoy and Semangelof (I'm sure that last one is Scandinavian...).

Then name Lilith in itself is quite interesting as it's often described as meaning "of the night", though it's not really a Hebrew name. Variations of the name can be found in various Proto-Semitic languages going back as far as early cuneiform, meaning demons, spirits of the night, spirits of the wind, etc.

When I looked up some of these meanings, and knowing how early stories of night demons and wind demons often depicted howling, I wondered if there was any connection to the word "Lament". In looknig up the origin for the word, I can see that it's from Latin "Lamentum", which itself is difficult to ascertain where it comes from, though it seems to have a connection to some older Proto-European words which can be seen in Eastern European languages today, such as "Lah", "Leh", "Lam", "Layat" and other simialr words which often mean "to cry" or "to bark".

It's interesting to note that in some early Latin translations, the name of Lilith, which appears in the Book of Isaiah, is translated as "Lamia".

771609.  Sun Jan 02, 2011 6:19 am Reply with quote

Since we're at it, has Cain's wife already been discussed? Where she came from, and whether other parts of the earth already had names (apart from Eden and, to the East, Nod)...

dr bartolo
772493.  Wed Jan 05, 2011 1:01 pm Reply with quote

a slightly more Oriental view now...

what , according to the chinese creation myth, was the universe shaped like, in its first state, & what was inside it?

A- it, the primordial universe , was shaped like an egg, in the middle of it, the primordial man, pangu

pangu, after a few thousand years in this egg, thaught it was a little too cramped, & so took out a hatchet ( presumingly out of nowhere) and cleft the "egg" in two-
now, pangu , having split open the egg, thaught there was a distinct risk that it will re-conjoin; so, he placed his feet on the bottom half, his arms on the top half, and thus kept them apart-
when he finally expired, his body became the land, the breath the wind, his last words, the thunder, the blood the rivers, & the eyes the sun & moon

772688.  Thu Jan 06, 2011 8:02 am Reply with quote

Born from an egg on a mountain top,
the funkiest monkey that ever rocked.

In the Māori creation myth, Rangi (sky father) and Papa (earth mother) lie together in... ahem, a 'tight embrace'. Their children (the gods) get trapped between their bodies, and are quite pissed off about it. One wants to kill them both, another suggests prising them apart, and one wants to be left alone and nothing to change, and possibly slams a few doors around the house.

Eventually, led by Tāne (the god of trees and birds), they decide to prise them apart, and after much effort succeed in pushing away their father into the heavens.

The angry brother, Tāwhirimātea (the god of wind), goes wild and attempts to destroy his siblings with hurricanes and thunderstorms. Then the other brothers (the god of the sea and the god of the forest) turn on each other, and have a massive scrap.

The wind god pursues two other brothers, who represent wild food and cultivated food, but they get hidden by the earth mother, leaving only the brother Tū (humanity) to face him. He stands strong and the wind is finally subdued.

Tū is angry that the other brothers have abandoned him. He makes nets to catch the birds and the fish that belong to the forest and the sea, and harvests the food hidden in the earth and eats the bodies of his other brothers.

To appease the sky father, Tāne gives him stars, then sun and the moon to wear and look handsome. Rangi and Papa grieve for each other, with Rangi's tears falling on the earth. Papa occasionally heaves and strains, almost breaking herself, to reach her lover.

772813.  Thu Jan 06, 2011 2:09 pm Reply with quote

Papa's a rather unfortunate name for an earth mother, I feel.

776462.  Mon Jan 17, 2011 9:11 am Reply with quote

Well, Papa would be an unfortunate word from the Latin languages POV, but in many other languages there's no connection, and the word or slang for Father will more likely have a B in the name than P.

Going away from any one particular religion, the word itself is interesting as the origin for the word is rooted in the Latin word "Religionem", which means "for what is sacred, reverence for the gods". However, there is dispute as to the origin of the Latin word itself, with some sources claiming it might come from "Ligare", which meant "connect", so that to reconnect would be "Religare", while other sources favour "Lego", which meant "to gather, choose, collect, pass through, read, appoint, select, put together", so that to re-read, or reconsider and go over again would be "Relego".

In 1934, Ole Kirk Kristiansen created a new toy, and he took the two Danish words for "Play Well", which were "Leg Godt", and shortened them to LEGO. It was only later that he realised the word could also be used in Latin to mean "put together".

And in a full circle, there's a terrific website out there called which I think is great, even if you're not religious or Jewish/Christian.

776517.  Mon Jan 17, 2011 12:16 pm Reply with quote

CB27 wrote:
Well, Papa would be an unfortunate word from the Latin languages POV, but in many other languages there's no connection, and the word or slang for Father will more likely have a B in the name than P.

On the other hand, the word for "mother" does have /m/ for its first consonant in most languages, Indo-European or not. Of the major languages, only in Japanese and Finnish does it not.

There's a reason for this, and it's do with boobs. See post 299910 for more.


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