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6 years ago  ::  Aug 07, 2008 - 7:03AM #1
matica
Posts: 3,062
Sorry, didn't mean to hurt your eye's with the B word, but I've had some lingering thoughts that I need to push out of my head to make more room for more lingering thoughts.

I was raised in a strict religious household, JW's to more precise. So my entire life has been under the assumption that the bible is really the word of God, this and that. But the more I read about leaders in the bible it becomes very aparent that Abraham, Moses, Noah and the rest were Shaman's, developing rituals to appease the god Yaweh in which used nature,dreams and spells to communicate his wishes for people.  Seeing as how I used to one who would call down curses upon witches like many christians do (I don't think I'm christian any more) in the bible yaweh says that witchcraft is bad, yet utilizes witchcraft/shamanism for his purposes.

So what was witchcraft like way back then? to me it appears to be no different than what the big guys of the bible did, so why do you think there is such a double standard in this book the bible?

Matt
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6 years ago  ::  Aug 07, 2008 - 7:39AM #2
CreakyHedgewitch
Posts: 1,244

Sorry, didn't mean to hurt your eye's with the B word, but I've had some lingering thoughts that I need to push out of my head to make more room for more lingering thoughts.



May I respectfully suggest that if you truly consider the word bible to be hurtful to the eyes of Witches, you do indeed have lingering thoughts instilled by your upbringing as to the nature of witchcraft and the relationship to the Jewish/Christian faiths. Many modern Western Witches are far more knowledgeable with the Bible than many Christians as it is part of history and part of his or her cultural history/family background or even a prior faith. The Bible is, for those who do not consider it to be the word of God, usually considered to be just a book or two books written, edited and re-compiled by human beings.

But the more I read about leaders in the bible it becomes very aparent that Abraham, Moses, Noah and the rest were Shaman's, developing rituals to appease the god Yaweh in which used nature,dreams and spells to communicate his wishes for people.



Shaman is a word that has been used (blanket-wise) for a range of practices developed throughout north-eastern Asia by localised priests or doctor-priests. Through anthrology etc, there are numerous modern definitions as well. Some of these practices are common throughout all of humankind such as rituals, dreams and customs-practices that are at various points in time labelled as spellcraft and/or magic. It is not surprising that priests associated with a Jewish tribal deity would have such practices. What would be surprising (to them) would be to consider what they did being labelled by a Tungusian-originated word that did not occur in their languages. For in using such a word or label, its etymology and history is being implied or rather projected backwards. Perhaps you might find it useful to widen your historical studies out beyond an Abrahamic perspective and use this knowledge to place such activities within a broader human spectrum.

…yaweh says that witchcraft is bad, yet utilizes witchcraft/shamanism for his purposes.



There are numerous differences between shamanism and witchcraft as well as similarities – depending on how you are defining either or both. I believe it is King James version that first translates the Hebrew word for poisoner into the more evocative witchcraft.  For modern Pagan Witches whose 'Craft was re-defined in the 1930's, the Bible tends to be irrelevant as a descriptive source for what ‘witches do’ or what is valid. For indigenous belief systems labelled as witchcraft that existed or exist in alignment with or within Abrahamic faiths, biblical references or interpretations may be more relevant.

So what was witchcraft like way back then? to me it appears to be no different than what the big guys of the bible did,...



Witchcraft is an Old English word that has acquired numerous meanings down through its etymology. There is no record that the word existed or was in use however when the Bible was being composed in the Near East.  Thus one must be careful when projecting it backwards into history or when words in varying languages are translated into the term witchcraft by authors and commentators down through the centuries. The original words that did exist must be carefully considered as to what they actually meant at the time (if indeed this is even known) before simply being translated into 'witchcraft'. For the reader will then ascribe his or her definition of the latter and therefore may mis-understand the meaning and significance of said practices (being labelled) within the original context.
As none of the practices ascribed to any definition of witchcraft have been or are copyrighted or unique to witchcraft, to describe what witchcraft ‘was like way back then’, you would have to define what you mean by witchcraft and with non-biased sources) what was being so labelled back then. For example, the spectrum of systems known as Pagan Witchcraft have only existed for 70+ years but it’s mythological history (entwined with its actual history) draws on ancient records and streams of transmission. Therefore some of what is attributed to Pagan Witchcraft today existed back then. Only to make sense of these original sources, you need to study them within their proper contexts, not modern life.
There are probably close to a dozen books I can think of on the history of whatever might be labelled as witchcraft and/or magic within ancient times in an historical (not mythological) perspective as well as down through the last two thousand years that you might find enlightening. Let me know if you would like me to provide you with titles.

…so why do you think there is such a double standard in this book the bible?



IMO There isn't one. It is what it is. The bible has its own context of usage with the Abrahamic faiths. It is not applicable or relevant in all other contexts.

C.H.

No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care.
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6 years ago  ::  Aug 07, 2008 - 8:48AM #3
Sacrificialgoddess
Posts: 9,496
I just think that what the Bible is talking about when it says witchcraft, and what your average witch is talking about when they say witchcraft are two different practices.

If you read The Malleus Maleficarum, which is the way that middle ages clergy determined if someone is a witch, you will notice there is nothing there remotely recognizable to witchcraft today.  Granted, the book was written by someone to heighten fears society already had, but I maintain that they weren't talking about anything we would really consider witchcraft today.
Dark Energy. It can be found in the observable Universe. Found in ratios of 75% more than any other substance. Dark Energy. It can be found in religious extremists, in cheerleaders. To come to the conclusion that Dark signifies mean and malevolent would define 75% of the Universe as an evil force. Alternatively, to think that some cheerleaders don't have razors in their snatch is to be foolishly unarmed.

-- Tori Amos
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6 years ago  ::  Aug 08, 2008 - 4:07PM #4
mainecaptain
Posts: 21,660

sacrificialgoddess wrote:

I just think that what the Bible is talking about when it says witchcraft, and what your average witch is talking about when they say witchcraft are two different practices.

If you read The Malleus Maleficarum, which is the way that middle ages clergy determined if someone is a witch, you will notice there is nothing there remotely recognizable to witchcraft today.  Granted, the book was written by someone to heighten fears society already had, but I maintain that they weren't talking about anything we would really consider witchcraft today.


You know it is funny how people read these books like they were written last week. Completely out of context and with no real idea what any of the words really mean.

Pieces written only 100 years ago are misunderstood, We live such different lives now that what we write today will not properly be understood in 100 years time. How can we possibly know what something written a thousand years ago really meant to the writer, written in an entirely different language?

And I agree with everyone who said the word witch was not only stuck into the bible later, but the idea of what a Witch is, is entirely different in this time period from theirs, thousands of years back.

A Witch today is not what a Witch was then, the word did not exist either. I believe.

And also to reiterate others here, I am not offended by the bible unless it is being used against me, other wise it is just the holy writ of another faith. And I have no problem with other people having different faiths then my own.

A tyrant must put on the appearance of uncommon devotion to religion. Subjects are less apprehensive of illegal treatment from a ruler whom they consider god-fearing and pious. On the other hand, they do less easily move against him, believing that he has the gods on his side. Aristotle
Never discourage anyone...who continually makes progress, no matter how slow. Plato..
"A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives" Jackie Robinson
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6 years ago  ::  Aug 08, 2008 - 9:14PM #5
kraventhearcher
Posts: 170
[QUOTE=matica;674418]Sorry, didn't mean to hurt your eye's with the B word, but I've had some lingering thoughts that I need to push out of my head to make more room for more lingering thoughts.

I was raised in a strict religious household, JW's to more precise. So my entire life has been under the assumption that the bible is really the word of God, this and that. But the more I read about leaders in the bible it becomes very aparent that Abraham, Moses, Noah and the rest were Shaman's, developing rituals to appease the god Yaweh in which used nature,dreams and spells to communicate his wishes for people.  Seeing as how I used to one who would call down curses upon witches like many christians do (I don't think I'm christian any more) in the bible yaweh says that witchcraft is bad, yet utilizes witchcraft/shamanism for his purposes.

So what was witchcraft like way back then? to me it appears to be no different than what the big guys of the bible did, so why do you think there is such a double standard in this book the bible?

Matt[/QUOTE]

Matt,
As previously stated, you have to take a work within its historical and social context.
The word in the bible for witch translates to the term "poisoner" out of the hebrew term chasaph. I don't have a Hebrew font or I'd spell it properly.
Like many languages back then, Hebrew and Greek are extremely difficult to learn because before modern times language was firmly rooted in idiomatic meaning specific to culture. Just look at the difference in the languages spoken across Greece, Italy, and even on Islands nearby like Sicily.
So, the term Chasaph had a specific cultural meaning inside Hebrew culture and meant a specific idea (or referenced numerous ideas) when used in that writing.
Likewise for why it was mis-translated by scholars into the word witch.

And, using the blanket terms of Shamanism and Witchcraft in the context of what happened in biblical accounts may or may not jive with what you're trying to relate.
Can you be more specific? A lot of stuff happens in the bible.
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6 years ago  ::  Aug 08, 2008 - 11:44PM #6
Sacrificialgoddess
Posts: 9,496

kraventhearcher wrote:

Matt,
As previously stated, you have to take a work within its historical and social context.
The word in the bible for witch translates to the term "poisoner" out of the hebrew term chasaph. I don't have a Hebrew font or I'd spell it properly.
Like many languages back then, Hebrew and Greek are extremely difficult to learn because before modern times language was firmly rooted in idiomatic meaning specific to culture. Just look at the difference in the languages spoken across Greece, Italy, and even on Islands nearby like Sicily.
So, the term Chasaph had a specific cultural meaning inside Hebrew culture and meant a specific idea (or referenced numerous ideas) when used in that writing.
Likewise for why it was mis-translated by scholars into the word witch.





Well, that, and ancient hebrew didn't actually have vowels....  :p

Dark Energy. It can be found in the observable Universe. Found in ratios of 75% more than any other substance. Dark Energy. It can be found in religious extremists, in cheerleaders. To come to the conclusion that Dark signifies mean and malevolent would define 75% of the Universe as an evil force. Alternatively, to think that some cheerleaders don't have razors in their snatch is to be foolishly unarmed.

-- Tori Amos
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6 years ago  ::  Aug 09, 2008 - 6:53AM #7
lexa_blue
Posts: 327
As far as translating ancient Hebrew goes, there are more interpretations than there are people who can read it.  In fact, debating the meaning of sacred writings is considered one of the highest religious endeavors in Judaism.

As for the view of magic(k) in the Tanakh (or "old testament"), I highly recommend reading this thread for a discussion of the text by the people it was intended for.  My personal views are in the thread as well, so I won't go into them in depth here; suffice it to say, I am a Jew, I am a Pagan, and I am a Witch--and I see no conflict between the three.  The Hebrew sacred texts do not condemn witchcraft, especially as we know it today.  IMO, the KJV is the worst translation of the Bible, hands down.  They wrote what they wanted to write, for their own political purposes.  There is no worse way to translate a sacred text.

Ancient biblical magic is in the writings for us to see.  If you would like more information, I recommend researching Jewish sorcery.  My favorite writings are those of Rabbi Gershon Winkler.  I am currently reading his book The Magic of the Ordinary, about shamanic practices in Judaism, and I love it.
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6 years ago  ::  Aug 16, 2008 - 11:14AM #8
matica
Posts: 3,062
Thanks for the responses, sorry it's taken me so long to write back, I spent all last week in Pheonix.

After reading my post, it does seem a bit confusing. I'm one of those folks just looking and looking for what jives with me personaly. The more I study chrisitanity, the more I am dumbfounded by the amount of interpretations christians take out of the bible. I spend a lot of time researching bible reliability and it's growing old, thanks for the reading suggestions.

I remember some time back a preacher was having a discussion about drug abuse, particulary marijuana. He went on to say, and forgive me if this sounds confusing, it does to me, is our modern day word pharacuma or something like that was directly from the word witch in the bible and since the christian god of the bible looked down on witches, so he does also with marijuna use. Still scratching my head.....

As far as specific uses of casting spells, dream interpretation and the like, without quoting scripture, Joseph I believe was made governer over the soothsayers and sorcerers after he interpreted a dream for the king, some Isrealites were bitten by snakes and told to look upon a copper serpant for healing, a bald guy was made fun of by some kids because he was bald and he called curses upon the kids and a bear came out of the woods and killed the kids, just a few examples.

But what has me somewhat perplexed is how christians can justify witchcraft, nature worship, spell casting as bad things. I would bring this up in the christian debate board, but I already know what the responses will be which will just lead to circular reasoning.

As I am breaking away from the christian faith I will be questioned, will be looked down upon, so I guess what I am looking for is sort of a counter argument for when I will be deemed a witch, of which I am far, far from, but deeply interested in studying.
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6 years ago  ::  Aug 16, 2008 - 3:41PM #9
kraventhearcher
Posts: 170
I think you are overly worried about debating with people.

Live your life. If you want to debate people about the bible, go check out some books on it and read up until you have mastered the subject. Then, when you are engaged in debate, you'll technically win but the opponent may well say "well, I think you're going to hell and I don't care what you say." At which point you'll be at the point your were before it all started.

If you crave debate or are having a reaction to Christianity, this is just more grist for the mill.

If you're interested in walking your spiritual path, this may be part of it. But, consider all the time you might spend formulating counter-arguments could be applied to making forward progress in your own spiritual development (unless arguing is part of that- and it certainly can be).

You only have so much time in this world. And, you can use it any way you choose. I would urge you to ponder what you will do with the finite amount of heartbeats you have left. And, consider my opinion that arguing with others over the same topics that remain unsolved and muddy after thousands of years of debate might not be the way you want to live your life or expend energy, should you be hit by a bus tomorrow.

You wanna pursue witchcraft as part of your personal wisdom walk [(C)- Creaky], then pursue it and stop worrying about what the neighbors think, or the guys in white shirts who ride bicycles might say to you.
live your life the way you want.
Just my 2 cents.
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6 years ago  ::  Aug 16, 2008 - 4:11PM #10
CreakyHedgewitch
Posts: 1,244
...this.

Ask yourself why you even need to have a counter-argument.

Do you need to win this argument?

Do you need 'them' to understand?

Do you need 'them' to approve your choices?

Do you have to justify your choices with 'them'?

Have you granted them authority over you and your choices?

Are there consequences if 'they' disapprove?

Do you want to prove them wrong and you right?

Do you want them to leave you alone?

Choose your battles.

C.H.

(...."How the heck are we supposed to fight this war when the other side can't even be bothered to show up at the battlefield???")
No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care.
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