Monday 14 March 2016

Gen 4:3 Sacrifice: removing the Bible Goggles

We are all raised to read the Bible while wearing supernatural Bible Goggles. So it is very hard to see it any other way. So on this blog I will have to give example after example, one topic at a time. Take animal sacrifice for example.

How is this logical? It helps to think of it in economic terms.

For a nation to run you need communication. This is easy in modern times: technology makes it easy to communicate. But in ancient times it might take weeks or months for messages to spread, and sophisticated detail was almost impossible. So how do you know that the people are really committed to your message? If you send out a message how do you know they are not just nodding their heads and then forgetting you once you go?

Almost every ancient culture solved the communication problem in the same way: through sacrifice. If people do more than they have to, if they are willing to sacrifice the best of their (scarce) possessions, then you (and their neighbours) can be sure that that they are committed to the cause.

How we sacrifice today

In modern times we still sacrifice for the same reason. We spend more than we need to in order to send a message about our inner values. People spend less on food in order to buy branded goods because that sends a message about our core values, and our commitment to the group. Much of the modern economy is based on this kind of spending. Is it a waste? Not if we value our group relationships. So sacrifice is logical.

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