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JenniferP's avatar

Who is your favorite Bible character and why?

Asked by JenniferP (2113points) December 2nd, 2012

I like many. But I particularly like Noah. He was told to build the ark and to preach to people and warn them of the flood and the Bible says that he “did just so.” He was obedient about everything asked of him. Who is your favorite person of the Bible?

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44 Answers

Pandora's avatar

The Good Samaritan. Its a tale about how skin color or fear or religion have no place in doing the right thing. Something everyone should try to do. The world would be better for it if everyone was like that.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

I like Jesus because a prostitute washed his feet with her hair. That’s so hot.

cookieman's avatar

When I was a kid, I loved the story of Noah too. I read it many times.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I remember liking Lazarus when I was a kid and had this illustrated Bible but I forget why I liked him.

bolwerk's avatar

What the balls would you admire someone who was obedient? Almost all of the OT patriarchs and prophets were obedient. So is a dog.

Frankly, most of the Bible’s characters are rather flat. If I had to like somebody from the Bible, it would probably have to be Jesus. His teachings were at least fresh and more than just demands from God to the people. He actually told people to take action, admonished them to be considerate, rather than merely obey laws. St. Paul is an interesting character too, whose writings in many ways shaped western thought about theology and human rights.

If I had to pick someone from the Old Testament, I think it would have to be Ruth or David who show human compassion (and flaws) and some depth.

Sunny2's avatar

Moses. He was a great leader and survived being in a land other than the one in which he was born. Seems like a good guy for a patriarch.

Unbroken's avatar

I liked Miraim. She was exceedingly brave. I also liked Esau, though there was very little written about him because all he did was about survival in a world where survival was paramount and God hated him for it.

Lightlyseared's avatar

God. I admire how he will happily carry out genocide and mass murder just to make a point.

ucme's avatar

The boat that Michael rode ashore, nice!

Harold's avatar

Definitely Elijah. Read the story in 1 Kings 17.

gravity's avatar

Paul… because he was the chief of sinners and was shown the light and fulfilled his destiny. I have been the chief of sinners and have seen the light…. still working on that destiny though.

JenniferP's avatar

@bolwerk-If you don’t admire obedience, then I suggest you become a boss over people. When they do their own thing and don’t cooperate with you, you will quickly change your mind.

snowberry's avatar

Bravo! @JenniferP I wish I had thought of that.

KNOWITALL's avatar

Most definately Jesus. He kicked the moneylenders butts out of the churches, he didn’t obey his father (when he wanted to go to church), his bff was an ex prostitute, he healed Lazurus, he turned water into wine, walked on water, he turned the other cheek w/ Judas, he died on a cross for all of us (when he had the power of 10,000 angels ready to come get him, etc….He is just an amazing person. One of my faves is him saying “suffer the little children and animals to come to me” and it has always stuck with me as they are the only true innocents.

I also love God (creation), Mary (amazingly brave), Joseph (true man of God), Moses, David, so many amazing lives in that book.

imsok00l's avatar

There’s nothing about that book worth admiring. Religion is evil.

KNOWITALL's avatar

I think it’s really sad that people who have no faith in the Bible still feel the need to comment on this thread. I have a lot to do and little time, so you won’t see me posting on atheist threads or anything, just sayin, try to grow up.

ucme's avatar

I tried growing up one time, the summer of 98 I believe, didn’t work out for me though….ah well.

KNOWITALL's avatar

Sorry, I’m just getting a little tired of the Jesus/Bible-bashing on Fluther. I’ve studied a lot of reglions and it’s just not necessary, we should all be respectful even online.

ucme's avatar

No need to apologise m’dear & you make a perfectly valid point.
Besides, I like you see…so there ;¬}

cookieman's avatar

I suspect @ucme is just screwing around, but @imsok00I, if you have no interest in answering the Q, why take the time to bash? Kind of trollish.

KNOWITALL's avatar

I think you’re funny ucme, that’s why I get so disappointed when you get down to bashing what other people hold sacred. I would never do that to you. Peace out.

ucme's avatar

You may call me “splinter bum” anytime you choose, for I am a dedicated fence sitting agnostic.

Berserker's avatar

Noah’s pretty badass I think. Building a huge ass boat, and then going off to catch two of every animal. I mean how old was Noah, like 97? That’s a pretty big job for an old man, to go off and catch lions and crocodiles and stuff. Plus he probably had to make sure all the animals had enough food for the duration of the flood, and that they didn’t eat each other. Noah was pretty Viking if you ask me.

OpryLeigh's avatar

I like Noah too although my favourite is probably Mary Magdalene. I couldn’t tell you why but I always imagine her to be a badass with a good heart!!!

Kardamom's avatar

Julia Child

Ooops, sorry. Wrong bible

bolwerk's avatar

@JenniferP: I have plenty of experience managing people. I don’t really care for it either. Being that I’m not an authoritarian, I don’t particularly mind if people “do their own thing,” and in fact respect it.

JenniferP's avatar

@bolwerk-If you don’t mind that your employees don’t follow your orders there is something wrong. What is the purpose of managing them?

bolwerk's avatar

@JenniferP: I don’t treat people like crap when I supervise them. I treat them with respect and dignity, and I try to motivate them. I try to encourage collaborative teamwork. It’s harder, yes, but the results are a lot better than slave-driving a bunch of stupid apes who may as well be at McDonald’s.

JenniferP's avatar

I didn’t say you should slave-drive them and not treat them with dignity. But there are employees who will try to get away with a lot. I have worked at McDonald’s by the way, although it was a long time ago. I clean at a hospital now and know how lazy and uncooperative some can be (not all-some).

Unbroken's avatar

@JenniferP There are different managing styles. Some are more effective then others.

Could draw a parallel with God and his subjects or a ruler of a kingdom versus a dictator.

JenniferP's avatar

@rosehips-I know there are different management styles. But this conversation doesn’t need to go this far and be this detailed. It is really very simple. Bosses like cooperation and obedience. I did not say that they had to have “slavelike” obedience or not work as a “team.” The management makes the ultimate decisions and the people are supposed to listen to them. It is excellent if a boss gets people’s input and considers it. But when he or she makes a decision others are supposed to accept this. And what triggered this discussion was me saying that I admired Moses because he “did just so.” If there was ever a boss that you would want to obey it would be God, our creator. But God actually is quite reasonable. There are many examples in the Bible where God set some guidelines for his servants and they asked if they could do things slightly different and he agreed and let them. I believe it was when Lot and his family were fleeing Sodom and Gomorrah (I hope I am getting the right story) that God told them to go through the mountains and they wanted to take another route and he let them. But if God would have said “No, do as I told you” they would have been obliged to do that.

bolwerk's avatar

@JenniferP: there are a few different kinds of (four, if I remember correctly) “supervision” styles. Collaboration is usually considered the highest level, where a supervisor works with and allows his subordinates wide latitude in decision-making. Below that is delegation, which is kind of like, “get this done and I don’t care how.” Complete subordination would fall at the bottom.

As for obedience, I have to question it as a value. But I really have to question the obedience of someone like Moses, whose “boss” told him to do a lot of asshole/stupid shit like beat rocks with a staff kill people. Of course, if you take the outcome of those stories literally, maybe it wasn’t so dumb.

Either way, I have trouble seeing obedience even as a Christian value, if “Christian” is strictly about Christ – Christ admonished his followers and beckoned them. So far as I know, he rarely if ever ordered them.

Unbroken's avatar

@JenniferP I mean no disrespect but I am just going to say that the examples you gave were slightly less questionable to a reasonable God or perhaps those people weren’t obedient.

One of the two because their stories ended with them paying for a disobedience with their life.

But since we are just basing this off opinion we can just leave that all at the door.

@bolwerk he often commanded his people. Other then that I might have to look into how he presented his requests

bolwerk's avatar

@rosehips: where? He admonished them. He said x is right, y is wrong – sometimes in pretty stark, uncertain terms. “Go, and sin no more,” even comes across more as an admonishment than a command, to me.

(“Request” would seem to preclude “command.”)

JenniferP's avatar

There is actually a scripture (maybe more than one) where God said “please” when making a request. That shows he was humble and not a slavedriver. But when your creator tells you to do something you better listen.

John 14:15 says “If you love me, obey my commands.” That is from Jesus.

Also see Matthew 28:18–20. Jesus tells his disciples to teach people to obey his commands and says that he has all authority in heaven and on earth.

bolwerk's avatar

I can’t think of any.

Unbroken's avatar

God’s management style is nicknamed after him.
But a more precise term for it would be competition and authorative command style.

EX: Adam and Eve not allowed to eat apple
Sampson not allowed to cut his hair.
Noah having to build and ark.
Lot and his wife having to flee the city and not look back. Though when she did she was turned to a pillar of salt.
Mary having to carry Gods baby
Joseph having to marry pregnant Mary.

Just a few examples of my way or the highway.

bolwerk's avatar

@rosehips: those are Yahweh, not Jesus. I know Yahweh commanded people all the time. Ten of those commandments are more than a little famous. But where does Jesus command anyone? Not saying he never did, but I don’t think it was that common for him, if he did it at all.

JenniferP's avatar

@rosehips-When he told Lot and his family to flee Sodom and Gomorrah he wasn’t being bossy. He was sparing their lives. Here is an example of someone who paid for disobedience. Lot’s wife. She looked back because she missed the material things she was leaving behind. She ended up encased in salt.

Sampson was happy to not cut his hair. He was a Nazirite. Noah was happy to obey God and was preserved with his family from the flood. Joseph already had been engaged to Mary so it wasn’t something that he was forced into. He was not going to marry her because he thought she cheated but God informed him of the facts. If God created Adam and Eve and a tree, he can tell his creation what to do with it I guess. He didn’t deprive them of food or anything. And it wasn’t named as an apple by the way. It was just called a fruit.

God created people. Then they created words to describe management styles. I don’t think he would like us analyzing him and telling him what his management style is.

I think I have to bow out of this discussion if it goes on anymore because all I did was say I admired Moses for his obedience and then I said that management appreciates it when employees are obedient and I don’t think that those two statements merit a big debate. But everyone else is free to carry on. Peace.

Unbroken's avatar

@bolwerk It entirely depends on your dogma. However here’s a few commands from the new testament.

bolwerk's avatar

@rosehips: I don’t have a dogma. I’m not a christer. However, in fact, perusing that list, it looks like the site is really stretching the idea of any verbal imperative into a “command.” I don’t know what they’re aiming at, but it sounds like they’re trying to have their own Mitzvot.

I mean, really, does Matthew 5:12 (“Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you”) sound like a command to you? It’s a verb in the imperative sense, sure, but it sounds more like cajolement to me. Does it sound like something that, as the site you linked to puts it, “if disobeyed…will bring condemnation and eternal punishment”?

Also, many of the other things listed are other parts of the New Testament, rather than Jesus’s words. Especially in the case of Paul’s letters, I’d be extremely careful about taking them out of their context to apply to anyone other than the recipient of the said letter.

Unbroken's avatar

@bolwerk It was a comprehensive list of 1050 new testament edicts admonishments and commandments.

You pull one verse out and thus throw out the entire list, I do like that style.

You may not be a christer, (assuming slang for christains) but you certainly seem to be influenced by some sort of sect.

As to being careful to whom the “commandment” should apply to, makes sense but there are very few in practice who actually make that distinction or if they do they still feel it applicable to impose on the Christain of today.

The point that I was making though I did for curiosity sake travel down the road of the difference between God pre redemption and post. (My history of the bible says they are actually 3 in 1 like different titles or labels to express the same being. I.e. mom, daughter, wife.

They did however admit to a change in style due to the ultimate sacrifice being given so I was curious however I have not given the subject as much research as it not doubt warrents. I would say that Revelations would have to be the determining factor. Very little give in the management style there.

Though it could be agrued why should he, he is God. Well same reason people don’t prefer that style in real life applications.

Fear can be a powerful motivator but also a demotivator. It makes a person less likely to put on a stellar performance or go above and beyond in creativity.

But this is off topic so I’m not sure what the point actually is. Lol.

bolwerk's avatar

@rosehips: I didn’t see much point in going down the whole list when one example should do. Especially given how obnoxiously difficult that site is to cut and paste from. It doesn’t mean I just read one example and then threw the whole thing out. I admittedly didn’t read the whole list either (goes back to its obnoxious presentation making, ahem, divining a context difficult), but I still haven’t seen a single example of Jesus unambiguously commanding people, the way the OT Yahweh commands his chosen people, as if they don’t have a choice. In fact, upon reflection, I’m having trouble even seeing Paul doing anything in that light.

I’m sure we’re all influenced by some sort of sect (many, in fact, given the state of global affairs), but my interest is really purely academic. Paul’s letters, for what it’s worth, are very much creatures of their own time. They were often written to specific Christian communities with specific (largely political) concerns. Often, they were about living the good life while keeping the Roman police state off the flock’s backs. There is a great deal of very organized – and, for western and Christian thought alike, even foundational – theology and morality in them, but at the same time they’re written in a very narrow context.

Again, I’m not saying there are no examples of Jesus commanding people, much less the wider NT, but the shift in tone from the OT commandments to the NT cajolement is pretty striking. It, again, makes me question obedience as a foundational Christian value. Though Mother Church obviously injected it later.

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