The Bible Slam: Numbers Chapter 19

Numbers 19 prescribes more blood sprinkling ceremonies, the sacrifice of a red heifer (see the discussion below about contemporary beliefs on this subject) and goes on and on about how people are ceremonially unclean if they touch dead people.

The purification ceremonies and bloody rituals are statutes that are to be kept forever.

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Discussion Points.

As the Skeptic's Annotated analysis of the King James' version of Numbers 19 points out, "These absurd rituals, cruel sacrifices, and unjust punishments are vitally important to God. They are to be "a perpetual statute" for everyone on earth."

Skeptics also points out that an unblemished red heifer was born in Israel in 2002.  Many in Israel believe that the discovery of a perfect red heifer that meets all the Biblical requirements of a sacred animal portends the reconstruction of the tabernacle and the arrival of the messiah.  An American archaeologist  claims to have found the ashes of the original red heifer described in the book of Numbers.

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  • http://www.toysperiod.com Beth Charette

    I continue to wonder what this person's point is.

    No matter the culture, no matter the time or place, ceremony has been a part of man's history.

    Is this writer requesting instruction relative to symbolism or context, and is simply too shy to ask?

    If that is not his point, I am at a loss in terms of why he is expending such energy relative to the Bible.

    For example, we all have rituals we perform in our lives, and will be cognizant of those if we are at all introspective.

    To others they many not make sense, but to us, they mean everything.

    In many of the Bible verses, we find ritual symbolism that is rich in context, rich in depth if we will cease our mindlessness , and delve into the framework of the people and their history.

    • admin

      Beth,

      Thank you for your comment. We appreciate comments here. Someone named Vincent, who links to the exact same site that you do, has asked this question before and it has been answered before.

      If you scroll toward the top, there is a link called 'ABOUT THE BIBLE SLAM.' It explains the purpose of the bible slam which is basically this:

      There are some people who claim that the bible is the "inerrant," literal, factual word of the Creator of the Universe. They believe that this book should be part of the political system. Coupled with people who believe this "inerrant word of God" rhetoric but who never once read the bible, we have a troublesome situation. This latter group of people is the type that condemns gays, frequently quoting old testament scripture, but has never read nearby verses about sabbath-breaking. This is the group that screams about Christmas being in the bible, when in fact, it is not. This is the group that claims that abortion is wrong because the bible says so, but they have not read the scriptures about how delightful it is to smash your children to death on rocks.

      The bible slam is created to inspire people to actually read this book, which for the most part, is quite turgid and boring. We are attempting to make it entertaining so people will slog through it. The "slam" part is like a poetry slam … we want people to comment on specific verses.

      If I believed that the Creator of the Earth, the Sun, the Stars, black holes, white holes, dimensions, gravity, light, all lifeforms, and the Universe, sat down and wrote a book or directly inspired some human beings to write on its behalf, I would be sure to read it from cover to cover. And I have. Several times.

      I have concluded that this is a book of myth, allegory, superstition and early man's written attempt to understand the world in which he lives. There is a deeper metaphysical meaning to some of the stories that materialists fail to acknowledge. Other parts, however, are pure absurdity. Ceremony has always been a part of culture … I don't have a problem with that. But can you honestly say that the Creator of the Universe demands that human beings slaughter animals and sprinkle blood about? Can you honestly say that the "jealousy ritual" in Numbers 5 is right, just and divinely inspired?

      I don't think that you and Vincent are selective literalists of the Christian bible. However, those of us who are trying to get believers to actually read what they profess to believe in is not "mindless," as you suggest. This is something that impacts lives.

      Deborah

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