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Religious groups and individual beliefs


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#41 qwazse

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Posted 15 February 2017 - 03:44 PM

... If I am not mistaken, early biblical writings simply left a blank anytime they wished to reference "God".

Rabbinical scholars, please advise. My understanding was YWH (that is, the word using the equivalent Hebrew consonants, Semites often didn't waste ink on vowels) was never left blank in Biblical scrolls. At a certain point in Jewish history priests wouldn't dare say it out loud when reading it.

 

In any case, @Rick_in_CA, I have always taken the DRP to apply a very broad definition of the word and use that to make clear that Hindu and Muslim scouts were welcomed among us. That is how I still see scouters use it.

 

Of course, much of our problem is that a scouter in one part of the country picks this stuff up and uses it as a cudgel on someone trying be a decent scouter in another part of the country.


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#42 NJCubScouter

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Posted 15 February 2017 - 04:05 PM

It is this "rule" of capitalization that I have seen used to argue that when the DRP (and other writings) capitalize "God", that means the authors are excluding any non-monotheistic or non-Judaeo-Christian religions. This is not something I agree with, especially in the context of the DRP.
 
I once watched a scouter use this capitalization "rule" to explain why a Hindu scout couldn't do his duty to God.


But the BSA does not interpret it that way, that's the important thing.

One might go further and say that the BSA does not fully "enforce" the DRP, and I mean the excerpted/paraphrased version, not the full version, which has been effectively superseded by the version appearing on the adult leader application. To make things even more confusing, the manner and degree to which the different aspects of "DRP lite" are actually enforced, and how the enforcement changes from time to time, are not shared with those of us out here in the field. Nor do we know whether it is enforced consistently. Rick-in-CA had a conversation with one guy at National who had one view, but who knows whether the guy in the next office at National, or the guy who will have the first guy's job next year, has the same view? Many of us remember the BSA spokesman who said it's ok if a Scout worships a rock or a tree in the backyard, which I think was worded "inartfully" (as people in my profession like to say) and really means that all you have to do is believe in a "higher power" of any kind and you're ok. And then National issues press releases saying that what is required is that one do his "duty to God", as if everyone interprets that phrase to mean the same thing. (As a long-time reader of this forum I can tell you this: They don't.) And now (phased-in during 2016, now effective for all advancements) for every rank, the Scout must "tell" how he does his duty to God. Can a Scout do that without actually believing in God (or a god)? I don't know. If anyone asked me, I would vote "sometimes". I think someone raised that issue earlier in this thread.

I could go on, but I think I've made my point. :)


Edited by NJCubScouter, 15 February 2017 - 04:16 PM.

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#43 NJCubScouter

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Posted 15 February 2017 - 04:29 PM

Rabbinical scholars, please advise. My understanding was YWH (that is, the word using the equivalent Hebrew consonants, Semites often didn't waste ink on vowels) was never left blank in Biblical scrolls. At a certain point in Jewish history priests wouldn't dare say it out loud when reading it.


I am by no means a rabbinical scholar, and I don't know about the "leaving blank" part, but I can tell you that the word in question (which is actually anglicized as YHWH) is not pronounced today either, and it is one thing that all "movements" within Judaism agree on.  (So when someone speaks or writes of "Jehovah" or "Yahweh" or etc., they are not following Jewish tradition or practice.) When reading Hebrew text aloud, other words are spoken in its place, such as "Adonai" ("Lord"). Given my rather peripheral relationship with the actual practice of my religion, that's about all I know, but here is a lot more, written by people who know a lot more (and yes, it's Wikipedia, but most of what is on Wikipedia is correct, it's just that you never know for sure that what you're reading at any given moment falls into that category, but this looks pretty good): https://en.wikipedia..._God_in_Judaism

 

Not that this actually has anything to do with the subject.


Edited by NJCubScouter, 15 February 2017 - 04:34 PM.

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#44 MattR

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Posted 16 February 2017 - 10:41 AM

God isn't his name, it's a label identifying a supreme being of some sort.  In the Judeo-Christian-Muslim world it all translates to simply "G/god" as a label.  The God, Yahweh, Jehovah, and Allah are merely various translations of the same label.  When  Moses asked "God" what his name was, he said "I am who I am" which pretty much means it's none of your business to know.  If I am not mistaken, early biblical writings simply left a blank anytime they wished to reference "God".

Since I'm bored with coed scouts...

 

I think the early biblical writings would be the Torah :) Actually, I got curious. In the dead sea scrolls the name of God is not blank, but it does use a different alphabet, or maybe it's just a different font.
 
Anyway, the YHWH, called the tetragrammaton, is from the hebrew   יהוה  or Yud Heh Vav Hey, which could be translated as "he" plus the root of the verb "to be" and likely comes from Exodus where Moses asks God for his name and God says something that can be translated a dozen different ways (He is who He is, I am what I am, I shall be what I am, He shall be who I am, I am who I am, .....).

 

Somewhere along the line the Catholic church wanted a Latin version of the tetragrammaton and translated YHVH into JeHoVaH. Maybe Latin doesn't have a Y?

 

But, back to not writing it or pronouncing God's name. Throughout the Bible God is referred to by either the tetragrammaton or one of many nicknames. The tetragrammaton is never pronounced and it's usually pronounced Adonai, which oddly enough translates to "my Lords". The idea behind not pronouncing God's name is not so far off. Kings get new names when they're anointed and using their original name is considered rude. Even using someone's first name, if you don't know them well, is, or was, also considered rude. There are native American tribes where people are given a secret name that only the person and the medicine man knows. Used in the right way this name was considered to have healing powers and used in the wrong way was bad. Anyway, God's name is never mentioned.

 

Even if anyone wanted to pronounce it they wouldn't know how because there are no vowels in the original text and unless someone told you what the vowels are, you couldn't say it. At one point in time there was someone that knew how to pronounce God's name and that was the high priest. It was passed down from high priests to high priest. The high priest only mentioned it once a year at the end of the high holidays after 10 days of prayer. And he had a special room in the temple where he said it and nobody else was allowed in that room. What I've been told, and I have no idea of it's validity because I find this rather humorous, is that there was another high priest that acted as a backup just in case the first team high priest got sick, died or whatever. That brings up the scenario of what if the high priest dies in the room? Apparently they tied a rope around him and if he didn't walk out they pulled him out and sent in the backup. ;)

 

Well, after the destruction of the 2nd temple the priesthood ended and Rabbinic Judaism started, and one thing that was lost in the transition was the pronunciation of God's name. That's why Jews never pronounce God's name.

 

Back to the regularly scheduled subject....


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#45 Stosh

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Posted 16 February 2017 - 01:25 PM

God doesn't have a "name" he has a label. 

 

God is the label, Lord is his title, but there is no "name".

 

There is a great disconnect between the Greco-Roman use of the word and the Hebraic use.  We "Gentiles" read into it a different definition of "name" than the Hebrews do.


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#46 qwazse

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Posted 16 February 2017 - 03:42 PM

God doesn't have a "name" he has a label. 

 

God is the label, Lord is his title, but there is no "name".

 

There is a great disconnect between the Greco-Roman use of the word and the Hebraic use.  We "Gentiles" read into it a different definition of "name" than the Hebrews do.

Oh, I remember now! LORD, printed in all caps, in English Bible translations signified when the Hebrew YHWH was used.

For being a label, @Stosh, it sure came with severe penalties for misuse ... as if someone important would take it personal. :dry:

 

@MattR, thanks for the background. I knew about the rope around the high priest. Didn't know it was associated with uttering YHWH out loud.  It would have been nice to know what knot they used!


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#47 NJCubScouter

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Posted 16 February 2017 - 04:28 PM

It would have been nice to know what knot they used!

 

No doubt it was the bowline:  The rabbi comes out of the hole, goes around the tree...

 

Sorry, I couldn't help it.


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#48 Stosh

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Posted 16 February 2017 - 04:37 PM

At least you didn't say noose, that's the first thing that came to my mind.  :eek:


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