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Ecclesiastes question

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  • Ecclesiastes question

    This posting is not intended to be a debated topic. I'm simply looking for secular/atheistic thoughts on the book of Ecclesiastes. Let us cut to the chase however. Yes, I am well aware that you probably think of the Bible as a collection of fairy stories and fiction. With that out of the way, I would like to know your thoughts on the actual content in the book. What is the book discussing? What literary devices are being used? What are some of the sub points? Finally, how do you evaluate it's message(s)?

    Yes, I'm also aware of the source critical views as well, but could we please keep this focused upon the actual content of the book. If you decide to comment, thanks for your time.

  • #2
    Originally posted by His clay View Post
    This posting is not intended to be a debated topic. I'm simply looking for secular/atheistic thoughts on the book of Ecclesiastes. Let us cut to the chase however. Yes, I am well aware that you probably think of the Bible as a collection of fairy stories and fiction. With that out of the way, I would like to know your thoughts on the actual content in the book. What is the book discussing? What literary devices are being used? What are some of the sub points? Finally, how do you evaluate it's message(s)?

    Yes, I'm also aware of the source critical views as well, but could we please keep this focused upon the actual content of the book. If you decide to comment, thanks for your time.
    I believe in God, but I'm not a Christian, but my answer now is identical to when I was an atheist. Hope it's ok that I answer.

    Probably the most thought provoking book in the Bible. Certainly many truths/principles within.

    1. The book is discussing "truths" and musings on universal principles according to the content and the author.

    2. There are various literary devices used throughout. Not sure which to focus on to address the concerns?

    3. Gosh, there's tons of sub points. More than half is bound to be sub points.

    4. I evaluate its message personally..the way it makes the most sense to me and my life and through the lens of various philosophical viewpoints.

    Comment


    • #3
      Like Zaphod, I am neither a Christian nor an atheist.

      I understand the book of Ecclesiastes to be exploring the human condition; more specifically, the meaning and significance of human life is discussed.

      There seems to be several literary devices used. One in particular that I detect is subtle satire, though I wonder if that is my own interpretation.

      I think the subpoints consist mainly of conclusions on the vanity and perceived ultimate meaninglessness of facets of human living and ambition.

      I believe the book of Ecclesiastes to be profoundly human and personal, if that makes sense. At times, it reads like a diary of sorts, offering glimpses into the author's perception and insight on the human condition. Above all, I think the book can be approached and appreciated by anyone, carrying what baggage of humanity they may.
      "There is but one religion of god, and that is not to be evil." - Corpus Hermeticum XII.23b

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by His clay View Post
        This posting is not intended to be a debated topic. I'm simply looking for secular/atheistic thoughts on the book of Ecclesiastes. Let us cut to the chase however. Yes, I am well aware that you probably think of the Bible as a collection of fairy stories and fiction. With that out of the way, I would like to know your thoughts on the actual content in the book. What is the book discussing? What literary devices are being used? What are some of the sub points? Finally, how do you evaluate it's message(s)?

        Yes, I'm also aware of the source critical views as well, but could we please keep this focused upon the actual content of the book. If you decide to comment, thanks for your time.
        the musings of a man who had experienced ALL life has to offer and came to one conclusion toward the end of his life.
        "Vanity, all is vanity"
        He deprives the leaders of the earth of their reason; he makes them wander in a trackless waste.
        Job 12:24

        Tick Tock, Israel is Yahweh's clock.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Zaphod View Post

          I believe in God, but I'm not a Christian, but my answer now is identical to when I was an atheist. Hope it's ok that I answer.

          Probably the most thought provoking book in the Bible. Certainly many truths/principles within.

          1. The book is discussing "truths" and musings on universal principles according to the content and the author.

          2. There are various literary devices used throughout. Not sure which to focus on to address the concerns?

          3. Gosh, there's tons of sub points. More than half is bound to be sub points.

          4. I evaluate its message personally..the way it makes the most sense to me and my life and through the lens of various philosophical viewpoints.
          Thanks for taking the time to let me know your thoughts. I'm using my phone, so my post will be brief.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by junkyardboy View Post

            the musings of a man who had experienced ALL life has to offer and came to one conclusion toward the end of his life.
            "Vanity, all is vanity"
            Thanks junkyardboy,
            Do you fall under the atheist, agnostic, or secular label, with reference to your beliefs?

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by CelticSpice View Post
              Like Zaphod, I am neither a Christian nor an atheist.

              I understand the book of Ecclesiastes to be exploring the human condition; more specifically, the meaning and significance of human life is discussed.

              There seems to be several literary devices used. One in particular that I detect is subtle satire, though I wonder if that is my own interpretation.

              I think the subpoints consist mainly of conclusions on the vanity and perceived ultimate meaninglessness of facets of human living and ambition.

              I believe the book of Ecclesiastes to be profoundly human and personal, if that makes sense. At times, it reads like a diary of sorts, offering glimpses into the author's perception and insight on the human condition. Above all, I think the book can be approached and appreciated by anyone, carrying what baggage of humanity they may.
              Very interesting response that deserves a bit more comment than my phone will allow at the moment. Thanks for the thoughts!

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by CelticSpice View Post
                Like Zaphod, I am neither a Christian nor an atheist.

                I understand the book of Ecclesiastes to be exploring the human condition; more specifically, the meaning and significance of human life is discussed.

                There seems to be several literary devices used. One in particular that I detect is subtle satire, though I wonder if that is my own interpretation.

                I think the subpoints consist mainly of conclusions on the vanity and perceived ultimate meaninglessness of facets of human living and ambition.

                I believe the book of Ecclesiastes to be profoundly human and personal, if that makes sense. At times, it reads like a diary of sorts, offering glimpses into the author's perception and insight on the human condition. Above all, I think the book can be approached and appreciated by anyone, carrying what baggage of humanity they may.
                Well, since I have had some time now to study the book in a bit more depth, I think that you are absolutely right with regard to the use of satire. Where would you place the satire?

                Also, after having done some study on the structure, your comment about how "it reads like a diary of sorts" is rather quite accurate, to a certain degree.

                Also, for others who may be reading this, I was hoping for a bit more feedback from some others. It is only 12 chapters long, and it really does not take very long to read. I've been studying it now for about a month, and I'm definitely fascinated.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by His clay View Post

                  Thanks junkyardboy,
                  Do you fall under the atheist, agnostic, or secular label, with reference to your beliefs?
                  why would the musings of a man reflecting on his wasted life be an atheist belief?
                  He deprives the leaders of the earth of their reason; he makes them wander in a trackless waste.
                  Job 12:24

                  Tick Tock, Israel is Yahweh's clock.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by junkyardboy View Post

                    why would the musings of a man reflecting on his wasted life be an atheist belief?
                    The antecedent of "you" is junkyardboy; it is not Qohelet. Therefore, how would you answer the question pertaining to your position?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by His clay View Post
                      This posting is not intended to be a debated topic. I'm simply looking for secular/atheistic thoughts on the book of Ecclesiastes. Let us cut to the chase however. Yes, I am well aware that you probably think of the Bible as a collection of fairy stories and fiction. With that out of the way, I would like to know your thoughts on the actual content in the book. What is the book discussing? What literary devices are being used? What are some of the sub points? Finally, how do you evaluate it's message(s)?

                      Yes, I'm also aware of the source critical views as well, but could we please keep this focused upon the actual content of the book. If you decide to comment, thanks for your time.
                      It's good to see His clay here. He's congenial and is a VERY good Theologian; if you want to really get into some good discussion/debate, treat him with a little respect and it could be quite interesting...
                      Isaiah 53:10-11 NKJV 'When You make His soul an offering for sin, God shall see the labor of His soul, and be satisfied.'

                      Providence ~ The red headed Stepchild of Contemporary Theologians...
                      New-Protestant Reformation Dec 2009

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by His clay View Post

                        The antecedent of "you" is junkyardboy; it is not Qohelet. Therefore, how would you answer the question pertaining to your position?
                        I am not atheist, I am Christian
                        He deprives the leaders of the earth of their reason; he makes them wander in a trackless waste.
                        Job 12:24

                        Tick Tock, Israel is Yahweh's clock.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by junkyardboy View Post

                          I am not atheist, I am Christian
                          Ok, thank you. This helps me to understand who I am talking to and how to evaluate.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Still looking for others to comment. Have the atheists here not read Ecclesiastes?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              The book consists of 12 chapters. It can easily be read in one sitting in a relatively brief amount of time.

                              Comment

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