[an error occurred while processing this directive]
ADDITIONAL STUDIES OF CHRISTIANITY
Bible is the word of God is cultural hyperbole; it represents the Jewish peoples
main experience and interpretation of the Divine, not Gods last word for all
humanity or for all time.
I could see how the Jews would think
that Christians and Muslims had expropriated and distorted their teaching. The Christians
transformed the Bible into a teaching that was even used to attack the Jews. The Koran is
the Bible rewritten according to the religious urges of the Arabic community, and reflects
their social and political expansion as well. The whole idea of a book as the Word of God
moved from cultural pride to global aggression.
first I couldnt understand why the Jews were opposed to image worship, which most
divides their tradition from the Hindu. Images are part of our artistic expression and are
helpful tools for devotion. Image worship may not appeal to everyone, but there is no need
to exclude it. And it is quite unenlightened to reject all images as unholy or those who
worship them as unspiritual.
However, I discovered an historical reason for the Jewish
rejection of image worship. The Jews were a small people that occupied an important trade
and military route between two continents, which was a natural battleground for nearby
empires. With the larger, more elaborate and imagistic Egyptian and Mesopotamian cultures
on either side, the Jews could have been easily assimilated. Their aniconic religion aided
in their survival by making them a distinct people and helping them stand apart from their
often more materialistic neighbors. Unfortunately this social need got translated into a
religious rule that became the basis of religious intolerance, particularly under
Christian and Islamic dogma.