I guess this means I need to be making a note of this also in my students' papers. I'd been thinking this was the sort of thing people could disagree about in a way that isn't true of 'God'. But it appears that's not so. You get it wrong when you talk about the bible as opposed to the Bible (at least when you're talking about the Bible and not some TV show's backstory guide for the writers of the show, which is indeed a bible).
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Many Judeo-Hellenistic texts address the emotions that one feels—or should feel—when confronted with the suffering of others. Emotions that we identify today as compassion or sympathy are evoked in many literary genres of this variegated corpus, produced by Greek-speaking Jews from the late Hellenistic and early imperial periods (from approximately 300 BCE to 200 CE). Narratives repeatedly portray characters moved by the suffering of others. In retellings of scriptural stories, Hellenistic authors sometimes introduce an emotion in places where the Hebrew Bible either is silent about or only implies the character’s affective reaction. This is that essay.
If we were to inquire into the origin and purpose of the biblical book of Ruth, it may seem like a simple and straightforward question. As modern readers in highly literate communities, we are accustomed to asking “why” – why did an author write this book? To whom were they speaking and what were they trying to communicate? Modern authors follow established practices – they include their names with their publications. They identify the year in which they produced a work. They will even include prefaces and/or introductions that help orient readers to their thoughts. Understandably, we suppose such information should be equally as important to and equally accessible for the books that we find in the Bible. This is that essay.
Subjects examined in other works include a scholarly expose' of the authentic biblical view of heaven and hell, an analysis of the dubious origins of Trinitarian theology, an enlightening essay on the nature, names and appearance of God(s), angels, demons, and other cosmic beings that have impacted human history and culture, and views on several spiritual topics that are not normative to religious discussion.Readers are strongly encouraged to peruse the many fascinating works in the Essays and Articles section where there is a wealth of alternative knowledge on a variety of topics.
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