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2012-03-20

Not only does God demand animal sacrifice, but in Exodus 27:1-8, he even goes into detail on how to create the stove on which to burn the poor animals. It’s a big hollow brass box with a grate on the top and ash pans on the bottom, both made of brass. It also has matching brass flesh hooks and shovels for sacrificing and cleaning respectively. And like the Ark, poles are added to make it travel-friendly. I can only imagine how awful the tabernacle must smell with the rank of thousands of torched carcasses over the years. Really, it’s the sort of thing that every family should have in their living room.

Now, you’ve probably noticed a rather abrupt change in tone since we entered this section. Earlier, there were genocides, burning bushes, plagues, battles, miracles, etc., but now we’re dealing with the excitement of measuring for major appliances. Biblical scholars point out examples like this as the change in authorship of the Torah. Earlier, we were reading the Elohist and Jahwist sources, now we’re reading the Priestly source. The Priestly source, as the name suggests, consists of numerous additions written by the Hebrew priests after the earlier sources were completed. Lineages, laws, and tabernacle layouts are attributed the the Priestly source, and rather than be poetic, the style is much more formal (read: boring). Believers tend to discount biblical scholars, saying that God can write in whatever style he damn well pleases, even if that means switching grammatical tense in the middle of a conversation.

Which leads me to my last point. In this section, there are several sentences written in past tense, even though the rest is in present tense. Currently, in the story, Moses is on Mount Sinai, engulfed in smoke, and listening to God. The dialogue fits with this and God is saying things like, “Build a brass corpse burner.” But then, at the end of the corpse burner section, God says, “It is to be made just as you were shown on the mountain.” Not only do we switch from present tense to past tense, but the location switches from being on the mountain, to being somewhere else! And then, the very next line of dialogue puts us right back on the mountain in present tense.

If this was written by a single author, he was either barely literate or purposely obfuscating the text.

 

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Ladyofthemasque writes:

 

Eats, Shoots, & Leaves, the murderous panda, would like to point out the phrase, "Believers tend to discount biblical scholars saying that God can write in whatever style he damn well please..." makes it sound like the scholars are saying that. I think, from the context, it should probably read, "Believers tend to discount biblical scholars, saying that God can write in whatever style he damn well please..." meaning that it's the believers saying it.

For want of a comma, the meaning was lost, and then someone had to clean up the corpse by the restaurant salad bar. *sigh*

TheAlmightyGuru writes:

 

Whoopsie!


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Oh the irony!