1. Standard memberthesonofsaul
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    20 Dec '05 00:00
    I would like to know more about this phrase, from FreakyKBH if at all possible, but of course anyone can, and will chime in. Here is the original post the expression is found in:


    Originally posted by FreakyKBH
    Do not confuse the language of accomodation used in certain passages of the Bible as exactly portraying the essence and character of God.
  2. Unknown Territories
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    20 Dec '05 05:10
    Originally posted by thesonofsaul
    I would like to know more about this phrase, from FreakyKBH if at all possible, but of course anyone can, and will chime in. Here is the original post the expression is found in:

    [b]
    Originally posted by FreakyKBH
    Do not confuse the language of accomodation used in certain passages of the Bible as exactly portraying the essence and character of God.
    [/b]
    Language of accomodation, in the strictest sense, refers to language that is used on the part of one, for the sake of another who would otherwise be unable to fathom the overall meaning and/or intent.

    For instance, generational gaps can be somewhat bridged by the use of common language. Specifically, when I play basketball with younger, street-wise black men, they appreciate the irony when I tell them I am keeping things "street." They know I am not from the same neighborhoods, nor am I informed by the same issues which inform them.
    Nonetheless, they understand that I understand at least a part of what keeps them real, and without really speaking their language, I am conversing with them, nonetheless.
  3. Standard memberthesonofsaul
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    20 Dec '05 14:35
    Originally posted by FreakyKBH
    Language of accomodation, in the strictest sense, refers to language that is used on the part of one, for the sake of another who would otherwise be unable to fathom the overall meaning and/or intent.

    For instance, generational gaps can be somewhat bridged by the use of common language. Specifically, when I play basketball with younger, street-wise bla ...[text shortened]... s them real, and without really speaking their language, I am conversing with them, nonetheless.
    Your example is with yourself doing the accomodation. When if we cannot contact the so-called "author" of the language used? How can we be sure that there was any accomodation? An example of this could be a fairly tale told by and old man to entertain his grandchildren, or maybe to scare them into doing their chores or simply into leaving him alone. The children enjoy the story, and tell it to their own children when they are older, perhaps with some changes to replace forgotten details, etc. Finally, someone writes it down, and then someone else studies the stories in University, and these students and Professors argue about the moral codes and messages inherent within the lines of the story, content that was never intended. This sort of thing could easily be mistaken as "language of accomodation," when really it was just a story. Either we can invent a new phrase, "accidental wisdom," or if there was any accomodation, it would have to lay even deeper than the old man telling the story. And even if this latter is the case, it would be impossible for any human reader to understand and interperet the accomodation correctly except by accident, for all humans suffer from the same gap of communication that the original author had. There are too many intangibles involved.
  4. Unknown Territories
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    20 Dec '05 15:02
    Originally posted by thesonofsaul
    Your example is with yourself doing the accomodation.
    There are too many intangibles involved.
    What makes you so sure I was doing the accomodation, if, as you say, there are so many intangibles involved? How do you know you read my post correctly? What if the meaning of words I used are different than the definitions you know?
    The intangibles to which you refer cannot be applied to the specific you desire, however. Despite lacking the autographed original documents and letters upon which the books of the Bible are based, its cohesiveness coupled with the extra-biblical support have proven beyond a reasonable doubt that we have in our possession is, indeed, the word of God.
    But, this appears to be beside the point of the original posting.
    Since the corruption theory lacks support (i.e., evidence), my argument for our ability to understand the language of accomodation is, again, the cohesiveness of the 66 books.
    One cannot view a single thread of a tapestry and imagine they have received its full import. The same applies, to a degree, to the Bible. It is God's responsibility to make His message perspicuous, and this He has done.
  5. Standard memberthesonofsaul
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    20 Dec '05 15:50
    Originally posted by FreakyKBH
    What makes you so sure I was doing the accomodation, if, as you say, there are so many intangibles involved? How do you know you read my post correctly? What if the meaning of words I used are different than the definitions you know?
    The intangibles to which you refer cannot be applied to the specific you desire, however. Despite lacking the autographe ...[text shortened]... o the Bible. It is God's responsibility to make His message perspicuous, and this He has done.
    I cannot be sure. However, in your example it is your intention to provide the accomodation, even if you botched it up or were under the control of a higher power. In my example no accomodation is intended but then is assumed at a later date.

    And as far a the meaning of words go, there is often confusion on that score. You can't even say the word "spiritual," "heaven," "God," "Truth," or any other abstract word and expect everyone to get the same thing out of it. If you say "the sky is blue," I can buy that. You say," the sky is very blue," and it's getting hazier. You say, "the sky is a peculiar shade of blue," and while we may have similar reations to the sky, our individual and personal interpretations of "peculiar" may very well differ.

    It's been a while sinse I read it, but I believe that the is a character in Plato's "Dialogues" that develops the belief that it is impossible for human language to support the weight of wisdom, for words are often too ambiguous and the deeper truths, what we might call spiritual truths, cannot even be expressed, only felt. I think that once he came to this realization he never spoke again. Hmm. I must reread that.

    Take any metaphor (such as the one you use at the end of your post). What is the purpose of a metaphor? To try to relay something in language that cannot be expressed directly. The metaphor then must be taken by the listener and translated into some sort of spiritual language that cannot be expressed through words. Will everyone translate the metaphor in the same way? Maybe you think they would, but it seems obvious to me that this spiritual language is not word for word equivalent with human language, so there are bound to be translation errors. Lots of them.

    The Bible is full of metaphors. As metaphors (as described above) can be taken a variety of ways, how can you say that the message in the Bible is "persicuous," or for the non-pedants in the crowd, "clear?"

    If there is a "Word of God," then it must be written in that spiritual language I mentioned earlier, or a language similar to it, a language so perfect it shines and can never be misunderstood. The Bible is written by man and is therefore flawed and could never contain the true Word of God. This is what I believe.


    I lose faith in your reasoning ability when you say "corruption theory," which I take to mean the ability of spoken history and stories to change over time, has no evidence, because that sort of thing happens every day, and in much smaller timespans than those that must be considered when viewing the ancient stories of the old testement. In fact, it's probably happening right now as you read this and change it in your head to seem to contain ideas and statements that I never typed. Oh well. I've had fun emptying my mind out here. At least I got some stress relief before my exams today.
  6. Standard memberWulebgr
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    20 Dec '05 16:07
    If you were to see the face of God, you would melt like wax. See Raiders of the Lost Ark if you didn't know this.

    All biblical language is language of accommodation.
  7. Standard memberthesonofsaul
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    20 Dec '05 16:11
    Originally posted by Wulebgr
    If you were to see the face of God, you would melt like wax. See Raiders of the Lost Ark if you didn't know this.

    All biblical language is language of accommodation.
    Excellent point. Also, from the movie Excalibur: "If you were to see the Dragon whole, and all in one glance, it would burn you to cinders."
  8. Unknown Territories
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    20 Dec '05 16:18
    Originally posted by thesonofsaul
    I lose faith in your reasoning ability when you say "corruption theory," which I take to mean the ability of spoken history and stories to change over time, has no evidence, because that sort of thing happens every day
    In fact, it's probably happening right now as you read this and change it in your head to seem to contain ideas and statements that I never typed.
    Well, at least the loss is small.
    My reference to corruption was directed at some critics who attempt to discredit the source by claiming 'so much has been changed, we really can't trust that this is what was said.'
    Language being what it is, it is the student's responsibility to ascertain the meaning using the correct methods. But this falls under a different heading altogether.
    Your original post, requests clarification of the meaning of the term language of accomodation. I believe I have answered this, but if you are not satisfied yet...
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    20 Dec '05 16:19
    In Shakyamuni Buddha's teaching there are provisional and definitive meanings, each suiting the understanding of differing listeners.

    "Entering the path is the provisional meaning,
    entering the result is the definitive meaning.
    Accomplishing the relative is the provisional meaning,
    accomplishing the ultimate is the definitive meaning.
    Entering into actions is provisional,
    showing the exhaustion of action and affliction is definitive.
    Demonstrating the totally afflicted is provisional;
    demonstrating purification is the definitive meaning.
    Developing sorrow for samsara is the provisional meaning;
    The non-duality of samsara and nirvana is the definitive meaning.
    Teaching various words and syllables is the provisional meaning;
    The profound and the difficult to realize is the definitive meaning.
    Sentient beings rejoicing in many words is provisional,
    happily holding few words is definitive.
    Mainly explaining self and so on is the provisional meaning,
    demonstrating selflessness is the definitive meaning."
    --Bodhisattva-pitika sutra

    Sentient beings rejoicing in many words is provisional,
    happily holding few words is definitive.


    The preceding seems to describe all of us in the Spirituality Forum, we lovers of many, many words. 😉

    Those with limited understanding can still benefit from provisional teachings while those who develop greater insight can grasp the deepest meaning. To grasp the most profound truths of the Bible, the definitive meaning must be experienced. Very, very difficult at best.
  10. Unknown Territories
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    20 Dec '05 16:21
    Originally posted by eagles54
    Very, very difficult at best.
    The very, very best is always difficult.
  11. Standard memberthesonofsaul
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    20 Dec '05 16:21
    Originally posted by FreakyKBH
    Well, at least the loss is small.
    My reference to corruption was directed at some critics who attempt to discredit the source by claiming 'so much has been changed, we really can't trust that this is what was said.'
    Language being what it is, it is the student's responsibility to ascertain the meaning using the correct methods. But this falls under ...[text shortened]... m language of accomodation. I believe I have answered this, but if you are not satisfied yet...
    Nope. Quite satisfied. I apologise if I stumbled off the track for a bit. I tend to get distracted and confuse details for the subject on the table. I believe my understanding of the "language of accomodation" is well in hand. Thank you.
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    20 Dec '05 16:26
    Originally posted by FreakyKBH
    The very, very best is always difficult.
    I agree entirely. That's why so few really understand the most profound truths.
  13. Unknown Territories
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    21 Dec '05 04:54
    Originally posted by eagles54
    I agree entirely. That's why so few really understand the most profound truths.
    I'd like to think I understand that.
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