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Biblical fundamentalism: Is it idolatry, bibliolatry?

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posted on Aug, 14 2008 @ 09:41 PM
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This posting is a serious one, so be respectful and contribute (and try to stay on-topic). Trolls will be ignored.

A recent discussion with another forum member has brought to mind an issue that we have seen in our experience, that many protestants treat their religion as if their Bible contained their God.

For example, someone once told me: "The Bible is the word is Jesus"

There is also, especially amongst the Reformed tradition doctrines, that the Bible was written under inspiration (meaning that the Apostlic authors were acting as automatons in the process, with God sort of downloading the information into their brain and then transcribed onto paper). And their worship or communion is largely built around and upon their book, including: buying an expensive copy, putting it in a nice case, carrying it everywhere, reading from it very frequently, praying what it says, quoting from the text, thinking about it all the time. But then to go a step further, there is insistence that it is perfect and contains all that is necessary lo lead a Holy life. Ultimately, God is effectively contained within the book, or is ---or all practical purposes---the book itself. And since the meaning is often asserted according to the reader, that individual asserts that God and His truth are really the way the reader interpreted (therby controlling God in some warped sense).

The book is also effectively a shield or a sword, depending on the situation, where the wielder may use whatever interpretation suits him/her to persuade, coerce, demand, blame, attack, ridicule, deny, threaten, or verbally assault others :bash:, as if it were a magic talisman or the codex containing the secrets of the Universe, a sort of "Book of Secrets" if you will.

As an Eastern Orthodox, this view of the Bible is somewhere between borderline and outright idolatry.

I am sure that will generate interesting posts as well... comments?




posted on Aug, 14 2008 @ 10:44 PM
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It is Gods chosen way to communicate to mankind - so it should be taken very seriously. I personally do not know anyone that worships the book itself just the author.

The great discovery is that the Bible is a message system: it's not simply 66 books penned by 40 authors over thousands of years, the Bible is an integrated whole which bears evidence of supernatural engineering in every detail! It is a supernatural revelation of God to his creation. I take it very seriously, I believe the only reason most people do not is they have a very trivial understanding of it. I have been seriously studying it for years and I still am getting new insights daily.

There are thousands of prophecies that prove the authors transcendence over time. I have begun to discover the many Torah codes which reveal the Holy Spirits authorship. I made a video with Dr Missler revealing one code.





[edit on 8/14/2008 by Bigwhammy]



posted on Aug, 15 2008 @ 01:22 AM
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hello There

The bible is the way to learn of the Lords will and his promises, its faith strengthening.

God is in the Bible only that it is his word. A bible does not have any mystical power in this way

as for the eastern Orthodox church, well people seem to thing that using the word Orthodox means its correct. like the RCC, the Orthodox church is too bothered about traditions.

People want rid of the Bible as it doesnt fit in with the God of their own image. if you do not know Gods will how can you be breaking it mentality

david



posted on Aug, 15 2008 @ 01:48 AM
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I'm just glad so many people read the Bible and try to figure out things for themselves instead of letting others do their thinking for them.

If someone said to me, "the word is Jesus" I would agree. It's the ultimate fertilizer for our spirits.

This summer when I was at the beach, I read a book promoted off of Coast to Coast from a Dr. Lerma, who is a hospice doctor and he wrote of accounts of his patients who were being visited before death, by angels. The book is called "Into The Light" and it's a decent read.

One story in particular was about a very sick man who had a message for everyone, that the information we've extracted from the Bible to date is only the tip of the iceberg and that the lessons, knowledge and prophecies are similar to DNA's potential information. I'm just repeating what I've read, but it sort of falls in line with prophecy in Daniel about knowledge being increased.

I'm finding with a basic cross reference program, like Crosswalk, it's very helpful in basic word studies. Take for instance, Christ saying "I am the light of the world", you put in the word "light" and you can see every single time the word is used in both testaments and you get a much clearer picture of how and where he shows up in the Old Testament; the first day of creation, the light for the gentiles when Egypt was in darkness, etc. etc.

Like Bigwhammy says, it is God's chosen way to communicate with mankind and I'll add that it contains keys and precise steps to actually have the Lord prove to anyone he is who he says he is.



posted on Aug, 15 2008 @ 04:02 AM
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The bible itself tells us that it is inspired by God (2 Tim 3:16). This however does not mean that God used he authors as automatons. God used them to write the exact words he wanted but he also used their own styles and personalities. Just read the different books and see how James is different to Paul's letters which are different to Peter's and again how they are all in a different style to the Acts and again to Revelation. God used different styles and people to get his message to us. The words themselves though are God's words which he wants us to have.

As an aside the Orthodox church acknowledge that the bible is the inspired word of God, and use the verse I stated before as a proof text in the creed which I read on the net.

If we use 2 Tim 3:16 and 17 we actually find that the bible says that it contains all that a man needs to be complete. It does not say that the bible tells us all about God, but it tells us all we need to know to walk aright before him. God is not the text but the text reveals something about him. An autobiography reveals something of the person but it does not reveal the whole person or indeed is it the person.

Thus if the bible is, as it claims to be, the inspired word of God then why would those who follow Christ and God not want to read it? Don't sports fans read biographies of their heroes or book about their teams? Don't people want to know about their idols, in whatever field, and don't they want to emulate, to some extent, their lifestyles? Why would christians be any different? We want to know what God and Christ are like, we want to obey their commands and the only way to know these things is through the bible. The bible is the final word in all matters of faith and conduct because it is God's word.

Of course the thoughts of men on the bible differ. That means that someone, maybe everyone, has the wrong idea or interpretation of the bible. However, the bible must be our final arbiter. As in a game we use the rule book as the final judge, so we must use the bible as our final judge and not the thoughts of men. This is where protestants, in general, and RC or EO churches would be in disagreement. The reformation was in part done to throw off the traditions of men which were not biblicaly based or justified. (This is not to say that tradition itself is wrong, but that anything we do in church or in life should have a biblical mandate.)

Finally, the bible is useful for many things and is especially useful for telling others about Christ and God. Of course the primary use of the bible for all Christians must be to learn about God and how He wants us to act and live. Using it to "bash" others isn't what it is for. Of course if someone comes and claims to believe the bible or be a Christian and asks a question then expect an answer from the bible about Christian things. This is "bashing".

I'll leave it there now



posted on Aug, 15 2008 @ 07:43 AM
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reply to post by Bigwhammy
 

While you assert that most don't worship the Bible, yet what is worship?

wrt: Torah Codes

I studies Biblical Hebrew, learned how to program, and obtained the original files used for the first study published in Statistical Science (Witztum, Rips, and Rosenberg, 1994 -- or WRR). While the presentation you link to by Chuck Missler looks really neat-o and convincing, it isn't. I suppose this is because I am familiar with the language, and I have no particular need for it to be true or false.

In 1995 when I first learned about these "codes" (equidistant letter sequences, or ELS) I was amazed and wanted to see them for myself. How incredibly anticlimactic! I have no interest in making money from my study, so if anyone wants a copy of my CD, I can either upload it for them or send them a copy on CD. I will not pay money out of pocket to send a bunch of stuff, but I will provide a reasonable amount of time to burn the CD (and the CD itself).

Disclaimer: my programs are C++ command-line (compiled in Borland I believe) and PERL; if you cannot figure out the programming or read the Hebrew, that is your problem not mine. It was a lof of effort for me to go through only to find that ELS was a bunch of hype, but now I can address the issue authoritatively.

An example of why the ELS "codes" are bunk: as WRR clearly state in their paper that they use the Koren "textus receptus," and the so-called perturbed sequences are often 5 letter words with 3 pertubations. So, as the video shoes, the skip for TORH was 49-49-49 in Genesis. This wouldn't even qualify for the word list in WRR because their methods would have considered 49-49-46, 49-49-47, 49-49-48, 49-49-49, 49-49-50, 49-49-51, 49-49-52, 49-46-49, 49-47-49, 49-48-49, 49-50-49, 49-51-49, 49-52-49, 49-46-46, 49-46-47, 49-46-48, 49-46-50, 49-46-51, 49-46-52, etc.. to give a "corrected skip distance." So, basically, the skips are roughly equidistant. And, as the word size increases, the appearance drops very quickly.

Is the ELS "phenomenon" a miracle? Hardly. Just hype. Sorry to burst your bubble on that one.



posted on Aug, 15 2008 @ 07:52 AM
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Originally posted by Iggus
The bible itself tells us that it is inspired by God (2 Tim 3:16)... As an aside the Orthodox church acknowledge that the bible is the inspired word of God, and use the verse I stated before as a proof text in the creed which I read on the net... Of course the thoughts of men on the bible differ. That means that someone, maybe everyone, has the wrong idea or interpretation of the bible.


(KJV) 2 Timothy 3:16-17 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

One could make a very good argument that Paul is referring to the Old Covenant writings. There is no objective reason to include the New Covenant writings here (or the Book of Mormon for that matter), but rather is an appeal to tradition. Interpreting this to mean the New Testament as well is a tradition of the Church, which by your argument would be a tradition of men and thus invalidated by the very scriptures you are quoting. Thus your argument is inconsistent.

Also, the Bible is not a book; it is a library of books. Just because Constantine or John Wycliffe decided it was a good idea to bind the books together does not mean they are not separate works.



posted on Aug, 15 2008 @ 08:10 AM
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Originally posted by Myrtales Instinct
This summer when I was at the beach, I read a book promoted off of Coast to Coast from a Dr. Lerma, who is a hospice doctor and he wrote of accounts of his patients who were being visited before death, by angels. The book is called "Into The Light" and it's a decent read.

NDE is off topic, so I don't want to go there. But I have read virtually every NDE book written prior to 1997. For those who are Christians, it is difficult to reconcile these authors' works with the frequent descent into paganism and the occult.

Also, given enough time, many of these individuals wnd up being false prophets or frauds, such as Dannion Brinkley whose "prophecies" fell to naught. Most of these folks are snake oil salesmen, and there is a lot of money to be made in publishing "spiritual" books. Frank Schaeffer frequently points out that the evangelical publishing industry was much more lucrative for him.



posted on Aug, 15 2008 @ 10:33 AM
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i think the other apostles did see his writings as scripture

2 Peter 3:15-16

And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you

As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.

david



posted on Aug, 15 2008 @ 10:49 AM
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reply to post by ScienceDada
 


hello

here is evidence that Paul viewed Luke as scripture

1 Timothy 5:18

For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer is worthy of his reward.

Luke 10:7

And in the same house remain, eating and drinking such things as they give: for the labourer is worthy of his hire. Go not from house to house.

david



posted on Aug, 15 2008 @ 10:55 AM
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reply to post by ScienceDada
 


sorry Science

i keep finding stuff

In 1 Thessalonians 2:13 Paul says, "For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe."

david



posted on Aug, 15 2008 @ 11:55 AM
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Originally posted by drevill


That is an interpretation that many hold, regarding 2 Peter 3:15-16. However, these save individuals often disregard the other scriptures as well that don't agree with their theology, such as:

2 Thessalonians 2:15 Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions which you were taught, whether by word or our epistle.

Thus, how then can it reasonably be justified to hold to the scripture alone, but reject the tradition? This is a double standard. It is in fact the tradition of the Church that the New Testament is scripture, and that is how the books were selected, because they were harmonious with the tradition of the Church.

It is interesting to see that the books chosen in the New Testament were not agreed upon in the Early Church. In fact, the first list we have which agrees with the Protestant canon is not until the 39th Festal Letter of Athanasius c. 367 A.D. It is clear from early Chrisitian writings that there was disagreement about what was even scripture in the prior 300 years. One website I found attempts to quantify several of these.

But even scholars will quickly identify that Hebrews and the Apocalypse of John were contested, and others such as the episltes of Clement, The Shepherd (Hermas), and the Didache were also held by many to be scripture.

So then, what exactly is "the Bible" and how do you know (Especially in the absence of tradition)?

You impose an anachronistic constraint on the Apostles by asserting that their definition of scripture and your definition of scripture are the same. I assert that they likely are not the same.

(edited to fix awkward sentence)


[edit on 2008-8-15 by ScienceDada]



posted on Aug, 15 2008 @ 02:43 PM
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Just the fact that there are so many different translations of the Bible is enough evidence for me to conclude that, while it may have started as God's direct word, what we have now is a far cry from that.

I beleive that anyone who follows a particular textual doctrine should study it in the original text, or as close to it as possible. That may involve learning another language, but so what if it brings you closer to God in the end?

I understand that the idea is to make it availible to the everyday people, but in doing so a lot of the original meaning is lost, and, whether unintentionally or not, the translator's opinions and biases may creep in and convolute the original meaning. I emphasis that in most cases the bias is unintentional but it happens any time a translation takes place because the mechanincs of every language is different. Versions like The Message especially bother me, because it takes so many liberties with the original texts.

That beings said, I'm taking a big leap of faith and assuming for the sake of the discussion that the Bible actually is the word of God; but whether it is or not I think it's the active pursuing of God, instead of the reading about Him, that is of most importance.

(Edit for bad grammar.)

[edit on 15-8-2008 by asmeone2]



posted on Aug, 15 2008 @ 04:06 PM
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Originally posted by asmeone2
...but whether it is or not I think it's the active pursuing of God, instead of the reading about Him, that is of most importance.


I have heard it said, "it is very possible to be sincere, but be sincerely wrong." Most people who have unconfessed sin are in varying stages of denial, and usually aren't honest about their sincerity.

To that end, the scriptures contain truth that cannot honestly be denied. But it can be quite difficult to weed through baggage to see it. I weep for those who have been burned by hypocrisy and have been caused to stumble. As Christ said, "Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea."

P.S. Hypocrisy is not an Aramaic term, but from the Greek, literally being a stage actor from the theater. So hypocrite means pretender or actor; often people think it means, "says one thing and does another" but it can be a silent action as well.



posted on Aug, 15 2008 @ 04:20 PM
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Originally posted by ScienceDada

Originally posted by asmeone2
...but whether it is or not I think it's the active pursuing of God, instead of the reading about Him, that is of most importance.


I have heard it said, "it is very possible to be sincere, but be sincerely wrong." Most people who have unconfessed sin are in varying stages of denial, and usually aren't honest about their sincerity.

To that end, the scriptures contain truth that cannot honestly be denied. But it can be quite difficult to weed through baggage to see it.


Eventually someone who is sincere about meeting God will be shown their unconfessed sins.

For example one thing that 'God' has shown me to do recently is to make a list of everyone I've ever hated, and why... to help me see how I am still carrying these burdens around, and also why the hatred is in many cases irrational.

So that is something that has come from a direct aproach, not from reading the Bible.



posted on Aug, 15 2008 @ 05:03 PM
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Originally posted by asmeone2
Eventually someone who is sincere about meeting God will be shown their unconfessed sins.

If this faith is true, then He will honor it. If it is not, then it is spiritual delusion. Even the most zealous of us need confrontation from time to time, if not by circumstances, then by another who loves us. No? Just as your thread about the fraudulent preachers illustrates, time will tell. But it was that true faith that was counted to Abraham as righteousness (so Christ said).

Boy, doesn't that sound preachy? I hope you know I mean it in humility. My wife keeps me in line often



posted on Aug, 15 2008 @ 05:16 PM
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reply to post by ScienceDada
 


It doesn't sound preachy.

As the Shadow said, "Who can know what is in the hearts of Men?"



posted on Aug, 15 2008 @ 10:37 PM
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hello



Thus, how then can it reasonably be justified to hold to the scripture alone, but reject the tradition? This is a double standard. It is in fact the tradition of the Church that the New Testament is scripture, and that is how the books were selected, because they were harmonious with the tradition of the Church.


you are misinterpreting the text my friend, tradition here means instruction/teaching and word means the word of God, its saying that they have been taught of Christ by instruction/preaching from the old testament and from the letters of the apostles.


re the format of the new testament.

its irrelevant what was happening in the 4th century the pe#ta was around way before that, but this is off topic so ill say no more on that subject

all the best

david



posted on Aug, 15 2008 @ 11:29 PM
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Originally posted by drevill

you are misinterpreting the text my friend, tradition here means instruction/teaching and word means the word of God, its saying that they have been taught of Christ by instruction/preaching from the old testament and from the letters of the apostles.


No, it is not I who am mistaken. The word is tradition and it means tradition. Go and read the words for yourself:

Ἄρα οὖν, ἀδελφοί, στήκετε καὶ κρατεῖτε τὰς παραδόσεις ἃς ἐδιδάχθητε εἴτε διὰ λόγου εἴτε δι᾽ἐπιστολῆς ἡμῶν

The words are plain as day, yet you are teaching me a way to read them. Why is that? Can I not read them myself? What does ραδόσεις mean? It means tradition; not a custom or a teaching, but tradition.



its irrelevant what was happening in the 4th century the pe#ta was around way before that, but this is off topic so ill say no more on that subject


The Pesh-itta does not agree with the Protestant canon either now does it, seeing as the books II Peter, II John, III John, Jude, and the Apocalypse of John were missing from that corpus (let alone the Old Covenant writings including some old testament "apocryphal" books). To further exacerbate your argument, the oldest Pesh-itta manuscripts date to 442 AD, and by that time things should have been all wrapped up and set, no?

Thank you for strengthening my point



posted on Aug, 16 2008 @ 12:00 AM
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You might want to look up the Waldenses



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