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The stars in the heavens - God promise to Abraham



 
 
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  #1  
Old July 27th 08, 01:34 PM posted to alt.bible,sci.astro.amateur,soc.history.what-if
SolomonW[_2_]
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Posts: 19
Default The stars in the heavens - God promise to Abraham

This partly out of a discussion from a book
Abraham & Family: New Insights into the Patriarchal Narratives
by Hershel Shanks (Editor)
http://url2it.com/hji
Chapter 7 p67


The bible states the following when he talks to Abraham all translations
are from the CEV

--------------------------------------------------
Gen 15:5 Then the LORD took Abram outside and said, "Look at the sky and
see if you can count the stars. That's how many descendants you will
have."
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ ++++++++++
Now the problem here is a person with the naked eye looking at the sky
will only see about 4,000 stars. To the biblical writer clearly 4,000 is
a gross underestimation.

A bit later it states
-------------------------------------------------------------
Gen 22:17 "I will bless you and give you such a large family, that
someday your descendants will be more numerous than the stars in the sky
or the grains of sand along the beach.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ +++++++++++
Now the ancients may not have known how many stars in the sky but they
did have an idea of how many sands might be on the beach. Later
Archimedes wrote a famous article on the subject.

Now trying to resolve these two quotes one possible solution, the writer
of this chapter states that ancients might have had a telescope. He
claims that several lens such as the one of a rock-crystal lens found in
Nineveh examined by Sir David Brewster in 1852 might have been part of a
telescope. He also quotes an example of several lens found in Carthage.
If so, he speculates that maybe the bible writer knew there were many
more stars in the sky than seen with a naked eye.

I think that the ancient astronomers knew that the number of stars in
the sky would number only about 4,000 although the Biblical writer did
not.

That this telescope is dubious.
http://url2it.com/hjj

Also even if such an ancient telescope existed, the number of stars you
can see is still only in the tens of thousands. Unless you know that a
star can be a galaxy.

Any thoughts?


Ads
  #2  
Old July 28th 08, 08:47 AM posted to alt.bible,sci.astro.amateur,soc.history.what-if
Chris.B
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 595
Default The stars in the heavens - God promise to Abraham

On Jul 27, 2:34*pm, SolomonW wrote:

Any thoughts?


Your sources are propagandist fiction dealing with non-historical
figures invented by authors prone to severe hallucination,
schizophrenia or chronic substance abuse. (or worse) Given the
superstitious subject matter and the number of offspring claimed one
must question the value to the gene pool of such inbreeding. It
certainly explains our present plight on the brink of mass extinction
by the destruction of our only habitatable environment thanks to rules
laid out by these mentally unstable, stone age, desert dwelling
authors. You'd think mentally ill hippies with a death insurance scam
would get the bum's rush these days. But many are still able to
exploit this corrupt fiction to ensure an easy life for themselves.
Where gainful employment for these parasitic insurance salesman can be
safely avoided for their entire lives. Unfortunately the gullible and
uneducated amongst us will still believe in almost anything rather
than face the awful reality of how our world has been stolen from us.
Just to support a few in obscene luxury at the expense of the rest of
us. You couldn't make it up. Well they did. And now look at the mess
we are in!
  #3  
Old July 28th 08, 11:02 AM posted to alt.bible,sci.astro.amateur,soc.history.what-if
SolomonW[_2_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 19
Default The stars in the heavens - God promise to Abraham

In article cb9097dc-9270-46c3-958b-aff9b15de3a5
@k30g2000hse.googlegroups.com, says...

Any thoughts?


Your sources are propagandist fiction dealing with non-historical
figures invented by authors prone to severe hallucination,
schizophrenia or chronic substance abuse. (or worse)


Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm


  #4  
Old July 28th 08, 01:24 PM posted to alt.bible,sci.astro.amateur,soc.history.what-if
Pastor Dave[_4_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 21
Default The stars in the heavens - God promise to Abraham

On Sun, 27 Jul 2008 22:34:00 +1000, SolomonW
spake thusly:


This partly out of a discussion from a book
Abraham & Family: New Insights into the Patriarchal Narratives
by Hershel Shanks (Editor)
http://url2it.com/hji
Chapter 7 p67


The bible states the following when he talks to Abraham all translations
are from the CEV

--------------------------------------------------
Gen 15:5 Then the LORD took Abram outside and said, "Look at the sky and
see if you can count the stars. That's how many descendants you will
have."
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ +++++++++++
Now the problem here is a person with the naked eye looking at the sky
will only see about 4,000 stars. To the biblical writer clearly 4,000 is
a gross underestimation.

A bit later it states
-------------------------------------------------------------
Gen 22:17 "I will bless you and give you such a large family, that
someday your descendants will be more numerous than the stars in the sky
or the grains of sand along the beach.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ ++++++++++++
Now the ancients may not have known how many stars in the sky but they
did have an idea of how many sands might be on the beach. Later
Archimedes wrote a famous article on the subject.

Now trying to resolve these two quotes one possible solution, the writer
of this chapter states that ancients might have had a telescope. He
claims that several lens such as the one of a rock-crystal lens found in
Nineveh examined by Sir David Brewster in 1852 might have been part of a
telescope. He also quotes an example of several lens found in Carthage.
If so, he speculates that maybe the bible writer knew there were many
more stars in the sky than seen with a naked eye.

I think that the ancient astronomers knew that the number of stars in
the sky would number only about 4,000 although the Biblical writer did
not.

That this telescope is dubious.
http://url2it.com/hjj

Also even if such an ancient telescope existed, the number of stars you
can see is still only in the tens of thousands. Unless you know that a
star can be a galaxy.

Any thoughts?


I'm not sure what your point is. Seriously.

I.e., What is the purpose of your question?

--

Christianity is the only army that shoots its own
wounded soldiers.

** Posted from http://www.teranews.com **
  #5  
Old July 28th 08, 02:31 PM posted to alt.bible,sci.astro.amateur
Chris L Peterson
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 10,007
Default The stars in the heavens - God promise to Abraham

On Sun, 27 Jul 2008 22:34:00 +1000, SolomonW
wrote:

Now the problem here is a person with the naked eye looking at the sky
will only see about 4,000 stars. To the biblical writer clearly 4,000 is
a gross underestimation.


Why should this be a surprise? It is a common mistake to believe that
you can take an ancient fable and treat it as some sort of rigorously
accurate history. Whether ancient astronomers had a fair idea of the
number of visible stars is debatable, but it doesn't matter. As you
note, the writer of the passage is unlikely to have known, and even in
modern times poets and writers use "the number of stars in the sky" as
code for a very large number, even infinity.

These stories were written in a way that encouraged memorization;
mnemonics ("stars in the sky", "sands on a beach") are common.


Now trying to resolve these two quotes one possible solution, the writer
of this chapter states that ancients might have had a telescope. He
claims that several lens such as the one of a rock-crystal lens found in
Nineveh examined by Sir David Brewster in 1852 might have been part of a
telescope.


Extrapolating from a lens, which is quite possible, to a telescope (a
two lens system), which is unlikely, is dangerous. The telescope is such
a useful device for non-astronomical purposes that- once discovered- it
seems unlikely to have been lost, or unrecorded in ancient literature.
So even though the existence of a telescope doesn't change the situation
with respect to ancient mythology and star counts, I'd say that no
telescopes existed back then.
_________________________________________________

Chris L Peterson
Cloudbait Observatory
http://www.cloudbait.com
  #6  
Old July 28th 08, 02:57 PM posted to alt.bible,sci.astro.amateur
Pastor Dave[_4_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 21
Default The stars in the heavens - God promise to Abraham

On Mon, 28 Jul 2008 07:31:39 -0600, Chris L Peterson
spake thusly:


On Sun, 27 Jul 2008 22:34:00 +1000, SolomonW
wrote:

Now the problem here is a person with the naked eye looking at the sky
will only see about 4,000 stars. To the biblical writer clearly 4,000 is
a gross underestimation.


Why should this be a surprise? It is a common mistake to believe that
you can take an ancient fable and treat it as some sort of rigorously
accurate history.


You assume it's a fable. Enjoy your own standing as God
in your own mind.

--

Bathroom Fact: While a few hundred bacteria are
typically found on a toilet seat, over six thousand
are typically found on the faucet to the bathroom sink.

** Posted from http://www.teranews.com **
  #7  
Old July 28th 08, 03:14 PM posted to alt.bible,sci.astro.amateur,soc.history.what-if
SteveP
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 29
Default The stars in the heavens - God promise to Abraham

SolomonW wrote:
--------------------------------------------------
"Look at the sky and
see if you can count the stars. That's how many descendants you will
have."
-------------------------------------------------------------
"I will bless you and give you such a large family, that
someday your descendants will be more numerous than the stars in the sky
or the grains of sand along the beach.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ +++++++++++

trying to resolve these two quotes one possible solution, the writer
of this chapter states that ancients might have had a telescope.

Any thoughts?


Thoughts? Sure.

The quotes are not ambiguous unless taken literally. Each indicates
simply that his descendents would be too numerous to count.

Trying to reconcile Biblical quotes as literal, one against the other,
is an exercise in futility. Steer clear of anyone trying to do so, on
either side of "the cloth". They are enemies in a war that does not
concern the truths found through science and faith.

As for the existence of a telescope at the time that Genesis was
written, that requires as large a leap of faith as anything else you
cannot prove beyond doubt.

-SteveP
  #8  
Old July 28th 08, 04:20 PM posted to alt.bible,sci.astro.amateur,soc.history.what-if
SolomonW[_2_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 19
Default The stars in the heavens - God promise to Abraham

In article b2c636a9-4371-401d-9467-d845f5c0af59
@d45g2000hsc.googlegroups.com, says...
SolomonW wrote:
--------------------------------------------------
"Look at the sky and
see if you can count the stars. That's how many descendants you will
have."
-------------------------------------------------------------
"I will bless you and give you such a large family, that
someday your descendants will be more numerous than the stars in the sky
or the grains of sand along the beach.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ +++++++++++

trying to resolve these two quotes one possible solution, the writer
of this chapter states that ancients might have had a telescope.

Any thoughts?


Thoughts? Sure.

The quotes are not ambiguous unless taken literally. Each indicates
simply that his descendents would be too numerous to count.


To have a population too numerous to count, would be a feat even in
biblical times.

The bible for example talks of "ten thousand times ten thousand", that
is 100 million.



Trying to reconcile Biblical quotes as literal, one against the other,
is an exercise in futility.


Which I am not really trying to do!

Steer clear of anyone trying to do so, on
either side of "the cloth". They are enemies in a war that does not
concern the truths found through science and faith.


Indeed.

As for the existence of a telescope at the time that Genesis was
written, that requires as large a leap of faith as anything else you
cannot prove beyond doubt.


Indeed. I suspect if such an instrument had existed the knowledge would
not have been lost.
  #9  
Old July 28th 08, 06:41 PM posted to alt.bible,sci.astro.amateur,soc.history.what-if
SteveP
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 29
Default The stars in the heavens - God promise to Abraham

SolomonW wrote:
SteveP wrote:
SolomonW wrote:
--------------------------------------------------
"Look at the sky and
see if you can count the stars. That's how many descendants you will
have."
-------------------------------------------------------------
"I will bless you and give you such a large family, that
someday your descendants will be more numerous than the stars in the sky
or the grains of sand along the beach.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ +++++++++++


trying to resolve these two quotes one possible solution, the writer
of this chapter states that ancients might have had a telescope.


Any thoughts?


Thoughts? Sure.


The quotes are not ambiguous unless taken literally. Each indicates
simply that his descendents would be too numerous to count.


To have a population too numerous to count, would be a feat even in
biblical times.


I don't think so. Too numerous to count for me is probably anything
over 100 or so, where my mind would begin to wander. Heck, I have
trouble counting the Skee Ball tickets I win at Chuck E Cheese with
the kids. Thank goodness they make a ticket counter to save us all the
trouble. :-)


The bible for example talks of "ten thousand times ten thousand", that
is 100 million.


Are we still talking about descendants of Abraham? If so, are we
talking living only, or all descendants past, present, and future? Are
we talking about "spritual" descendants, or only physical, blood line
descendants?

Most (if not all) of the Bible is written as a spiritual text, and in
the context of spirituality, family and descendants are not limted to
the physcal realm. For example, Jesus claims that all who do the will
of the father are sons. He was of course referring to acting on behalf
of others, to bring about spiritual renewal, joy, happiness, relief
from their suffering.

And there's the crux. The Bible is a spiritual book, not concerned
with the physical in any context. Hence it is filled with tales of
evil, death, pain, and suffering. Much of which are not inaccurate
historically, even if taken liberty with in the telling.

Too bad both "sides" miss that extremely important point of
distinction in their evangelism and propoganda.


Trying to reconcile Biblical quotes as literal, one against the other,
is an exercise in futility.


Which I am not really trying to do!


Yeah, I got that. :-)

It was the author of your reference that seems to be trying to
reconcile what he perceives as inconsistencies, based on his own bias
toward finding fault with the text, rather than simply appreciating it
for what it is.

Typically, his battle is instigated not by the text itself, but by
what other's claim about the text. I understand that completely.
Again, these are two factions on opposite sides of the text, neither
of whom is interested in the intent of the text, but rather in
defending a way of life in which the text is exerting undo influence,
whether pro or con, whether directly or indirectly.

Me? I have no side. I try to "Give unto Caesar what is Caesar's and
unto God what is God's". What I actually believe is Caesar's and what
I actually believe is God's, is between me and them. Not me and anyone
else.

-SteveP
Live and let live.
  #10  
Old July 28th 08, 06:46 PM posted to alt.bible,sci.astro.amateur,soc.history.what-if
Chris.B
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 595
Default The stars in the heavens - God promise to Abraham

A usable telescope is far more than the sum of two random lenses. It
requires a weaker positive lens as objective and a more powerful
negative lens as the eyepiece to obtain an "upright" image. Two
positive lenses make an inverted telescope image with lots of false
colour fringes. Though the image would be brighter and the field of
view wider than the later (opera/field glass) devices it would be most
unlikely to attract the delight of the inventor in most cases of
accidental holding of two random lenses within arm's length. Where
would these very special lenses come from in any useful quality? The
powers of the lenses have to be reasonable to avoid foolishly high
magnification or too little. I'd argue from the standpoint of having
made thousands of lenses that positive biconvex or plano-convex lenses
are very much easier to make than negative lenses using handcraft
skills of shaping a polishing clear materials. A biconvex is much
easier to make or procure in semi-finished natural form as solidified
bubbles, accidental glass from fire or found lenticular crystals.

Jewellery and the working of semi-precious stones may have a very long
history but the finished products were usually strongly convex and far
too valuable to be placed in any but the hands of the very wealthy.
After the inital examination of the jewels for clarity and quality
they would be worn rather than held up to the light in random pairs at
random distances from each other to achieve a nominal focus of the
pair at some random distance. Only much later when spectacles began to
become affordable and available would a random selection of positive
and negative lenses of various powers present themselves accidentally
to the curious child (no doubt despite the severest warnings) in some
anonymous optician's workshop. I wouldn't be at all surprised if
various inventive children were not thrashed for their curiosity and
the invention repeatedly lost to mankind. Had the all-powerful clergy
been asked to examine any new invention torture and murder is sure to
have followed swiftly to close any wormhole towards enlightenment,
education and progress. The final inventor no doubt tried on a pair of
spectacles with strongly negative lenses while holding up a positive
lens or even a another pair of positive prescription spectacles. It
may have been the chance occurrence of two customers requiring
completely opposite prescription simultaneously which finally lead to
the discovery of the "Galilean" telescope. It should not be
underestimated how difficult it really is to invent a useful telescope
even by complete chance.
 




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