1. Melbourne, Australia
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    14 Oct '12 00:58
    bib·li·ol·a·try (bbl-l-tr)
    n.
    1. Excessive adherence to a literal interpretation of the Bible.
    2. Extreme devotion to or concern with books.

    http://www.thefreedictionary.com/bibliolatry
  2. Joined
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    14 Oct '12 06:45
    Originally posted by Taoman
    bib·li·ol·a·try (bbl-l-tr)
    n.
    1. Excessive adherence to a literal interpretation of the Bible.
    2. Extreme devotion to or concern with books.

    http://www.thefreedictionary.com/bibliolatry
    What motivates you?
  3. Melbourne, Australia
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    15 Oct '12 06:03
    Originally posted by divegeester
    What motivates you?
    Truth and compassion.

    Books are virtually worshipped in numerous religions as the direct infallible "Word of God". Despite protestations, this is truly a form of idolatry, wherein "God" is replaced by an object, that stands literally for God.

    You cannot question it, according to idolators as it is equated directly as coming from the mouth of God. It is not a human book, it is God speaking. That is idolatry.

    Any rational question for idolaters is not met by objective reason and argument, but instead a quotation form the Bible as if, "God" has spoken and that's it. That is idolatry.

    Why is this not a good thing? Why do those with compassion seek constantly to encourage idolaters to look at what they are doing - the very same thing they preach against!

    It causes violent and separating reactions. It encourages insightless clinging to texts and words instead of any open movement of the heart and mind, the principal evidence that the spirit of man has been bettered and changed.

    Some people think that being able to repeat words and texts is the same as faith and spirituality, when what they are doing is closing off the many ways that truth of the spirit comes to us, not just from one book. Ignorance is bliss but it is also quite sad.


    All reference to Christian scriptures - as with all literature- needs to be interpreted and understood not just absorbed like an unthinking sponge. Where is the ever sought "authority" of "God's Word" if it is subject to human intrepreation (which it is), and some interpretations have supported the most foul deeds of human history? But the interpretations are put forth full of idoaltrous power as "GOD'S WORD". Wrong. It is an interpretation of the scriptures and bad interpretation only be clarified with reason and debate, not announced as a fait accompli. This motivates me.

    Idolatry. And it is a very primitive form, going right back to tribal gods. My GOD-BOOK-IDOL is bigger and more powerful than your GOD-BOOK-IDOL.
    And so we have the BIG THREE book worshippers, Christianity, Islam and Judaism, slugging it out nastily without end. That's a reasonable motivation also I think.

    It is an undeveloped view of the ways of the sacred and somewhat childish.
  4. Joined
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    15 Oct '12 06:12
    Originally posted by Taoman
    Books are virtually worshipped in numerous religions as the direct infallible "Word of God". Despite protestations, this is truly a form of idolatry, wherein "God" is replaced by an object, that stands literally for God.
    I agree with your definition of idolatry, but "virtual" worship is not actual worsphip and therefore not "truely" idolatory; or do you extend the definition of idolatry to holding something in high regard for example?

    You state "numerous religions"; which others are you including specifically and why?
  5. Melbourne, Australia
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    15 Oct '12 18:271 edit
    Originally posted by divegeester
    I agree with your definition of idolatry, but "virtual" worship is not actual worsphip and therefore not "truely" idolatory; or do you extend the definition of idolatry to holding something in high regard for example?

    You state "numerous religions"; which others are you including specifically and why?
    Holding in high regard is not idolatry. Nor is approaching the scriptures in a mythic way, Gods demons, Sons of God, and all, BUT one must be aware and be open about this 'means' to "higher awareness" rather than speak of these things as concretely (and defensively) literal simply because the pre-scientific Bible and modern science differ. This is understandable and quite reasonable if we acknowledge it arises in a conditioned manner, rather than some miraculous 'revelation'.

    This literality even is not always idolatry, for some are literal no matter what, with rigid mind. But I know, and you do too, that many fundamentalist preachers and others, use the Bible in another way. It is far more than high regard and involves using the words in the Christian scriptures as if it is literally the voice of God speaking and cannot be contested, to do so is to incur wrath of some sort. THAT is idolatry.
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    15 Oct '12 22:16
    Originally posted by Taoman
    But I know, and you do too, that many fundamentalist preachers and others, use the Bible in another way. It is far more than high regard and involves using the words in the Christian scriptures as if it is literally the voice of God speaking and cannot be contested, to do so is to incur wrath of some sort. THAT is idolatry.
    I'm not sure how you think you know what I know; but anyway, I do accept that most Chrisitan's believe that the Bible is the written word of God, or the word of god in written form. However I've never met anyone who thinks the written word is actually a "voice" - how can words on paper be a voice?
  7. Melbourne, Australia
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    16 Oct '12 11:41
    Originally posted by divegeester
    I'm not sure how you think you know what I know; but anyway, I do accept that most Chrisitan's believe that the Bible is the written word of God, or the word of god in written form. However I've never met anyone who thinks the written word is actually a "voice" - how can words on paper be a voice?
    And so, are you a bot?
  8. Hmmm . . .
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    16 Oct '12 15:542 edits
    The question of what constitutes idolatry, and its relation to both the scriptures and the meanings/concepts contained in them, has historically been an issue in both Judaism and Christianity (and other religions as well).

    The Jewish understanding of idolatry generally is very broad, and would include images “graven” in the mind (mental images, concepts, firmly adhered to) as well as images “graven” on a page (written words and their signified meanings). Biblical Hebrew is not really very amenable to specific, literalistic renderings anyway—which is why Judaism as a whole tends to eschew what rabbi and scholar Marc-Alain Ouaknin called the “idolatry of the one right meaning”. Another well-known Orthodox rabbi goes even further—

    “Every definition of God leads to heresy; definition is spiritual idolatry. Even attributing mind and will to God, even attributing divinity itself, and the name “God”—these, too, are definitions. Were it not for the subtle awareness that all these are just sparkling flashes of that which transcends definition—these, too, would engender heresy. ...


    “The greatest impediment to the human spirit results from the fact that the conception of God is fixed in a particular form, due to childish habit and imagination. This is a spark of the defect of idolatry, of which we must always be aware. ...


    “The infinite transcends every particular content of faith.”


    —Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook (former Ashkenazic Chief Rabbi of Palestine), quoted in Daniel Matt, The Essential Kabbalah.

    [All bolds in the above quotes are mine.]

    I no longer have a specific reference on my bookshelves, but this issue was also of concern to early Christians in terms of the proper referent for the Greek word logos, “word” (but also: meaning, saying, question, value, account, ratio, matter or thing)—the Christ and/or actual words such as those in the scriptures, or the scriptures as a whole (the Bible corpus as “the word of God” ). Orthodox Christians decided to reserve logos for the Christ, within the evolving Trinitarian formulation; so I don’t think that Orthodox Christians (e.g., the Greek Orthodox Church) would refer to the Bible as the “word of God”.

    I think these quick examples (Judaism is where I spent most of my time and study for some years) demonstrate that, at least in the Judeo-Christian tradition, there has been serious concern with idolatry, and the issue of potential “bibliolatry”, and in-depth considerations of what constitutes idolatry—with fairly radical (though I have always thought correct) understandings, that may well at times offend even some of their co-religionists.

    Zen Buddhism also takes a strong stand against turning “Buddha” (as well as the sutras) into some transcendent concept (image) to put one’s faith in—e.g., the famous dictum of Linchi (Rinzai): “If you meet the Buddha, kill the Buddha!”

    I tend to tread softly on the issue, since outward appearances are not what make idolatry, and I cannot read minds. I think one of the keys to self-integrity is to continually question and challenge one’s own beliefs, even those that might seem to be established beyond question or doubt. If one feels a significant defensiveness at the notion that one’s beliefs might be idolatrously-held, then perhaps self-examination ought to precede argument (not referring to anyone particularly here; but also including myself). [NOTE: I do not want to imply limitation on argument on here; I agree with something divegeester said recently about using argument as a valid learning tool—if I recall him rightly.]
  9. Melbourne, Australia
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    17 Oct '12 12:14
    Originally posted by vistesd
    The question of what constitutes idolatry, and its relation to both the scriptures and the meanings/concepts contained in them, has historically been an issue in both Judaism and Christianity (and other religions as well).

    The Jewish understanding of idolatry generally is very broad, and would include images “graven” in the mind (mental images, concepts, ...[text shortened]... ivegeester said recently about using argument as a valid learning tool—if I recall him rightly.]
    I found this statement very helpful and advancing of the discussion, vistesd. It is a bit of a loss we do not hear more of the very fine contributions of Judaistic sources.
    Idolatry has been a central factor in their struggle for the idea of a non-object monotheistic "God" in their historical origins. With this in mind, I felt the deeply considered statements bear an extra force. They really helped me to crystallize further in my own mind why the issue remains important to this day in any religion.

    Thank you.
    Rec'd.
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