The Bible, Man's book or God's Word?

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posted on Jan, 15 2009 @ 05:13 PM
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Originally posted by badmedia
However, I do find the opinion that you must either accept it all, or accept none of it to be a plea for ignorance. You sound like a christian when you say such things. You are just looking for an out here, and that is ok. I won't bother you as I see you are not up to the challenge, nor have any desire to further your understanding.


I'm only inquiring into your ideas about the veracity of the Bible. There's no need to become so defensive. I did not suggest that you need to take an "all or nothing" approach; that is your own projection upon more ambiguous words of mine. To restate, I am skeptical about anyone claiming to be able to personally extract real spiritual truths from what they themselves believe to be an otherwise fictional book. I did not say that I would write it off immediately without any consideration; I merely stated that any suggestion thereof would be highly suspect, and with (I believe) good reason. The trouble is that when you get into a "this is false, but that is true" pattern with a religious work, it all becomes very hazy and subjective. What would compel me to hold any faith in your personal abilities to really discern a genuine truth from something that is admittedly full of flaws? I'm forced to either trust your accuracy or disbelieve it, the latter of which would defeat the entire purpose of seeking enlightenment from your observations of the work. It then becomes a matter of faith, which I'm sure is your intent anyway, but it doesn't sit well with someone who seeks a logical approach to things. If you're only leading me down a road that finds it's terminus in faith ("Well, I believe this aspect of the book to be true."), I haven't really gotten away from what I've tried to avoid all along, have I? My question remains: how do you discern for yourself between fact and fiction in a book that you believe to be flawed? How is this objective? Or are these personal truths that you've found, and you believe them to be quite fluid and different for everyone (in other words, what you believe to be true I might find to be false, and that's okay, that's insignificant)? I'm only trying to understand your point of view.




posted on Jan, 15 2009 @ 05:21 PM
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some folks are tied up in knots over the confusing texts in the bible. understandably so. other folks claim it all makes perfect sense and if you don't get it, it's cause you are missing the spiritual insight necessary to rightly divide it. i think what has happened is, somewhere along the line, jesus was replaced by a book. he said he'd send us the comforter (the holy spirit) not a book.

the book is interesting, historically, and has some great ideas and guidelines, important bits of information, but it also has some translation problems and assumes things that frankly, i find very suspect, particularly SOME of the writings of paul and SOME mistranslated words in the old testament.

this leads me to believe that although it is important reading, it does not hold the weight or have the importance and accuracy that prayer and spiritual communion with jesus does and can therefore be used like a tool to bash people with, either pro or con.

if it took a book to be a christian, the early christians woulda been up a tree without a ladder.



[edit on 15-1-2009 by undo]



posted on Jan, 15 2009 @ 05:57 PM
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Originally posted by paperplanes
I'm only inquiring into your ideas about the veracity of the Bible. There's no need to become so defensive. I did not suggest that you need to take an "all or nothing" approach; that is your own projection upon more ambiguous words of mine. To restate, I am skeptical about anyone claiming to be able to personally extract real spiritual truths from what they themselves believe to be an otherwise fictional book. I did not say that I would write it off immediately without any consideration; I merely stated that any suggestion thereof would be highly suspect, and with (I believe) good reason. The trouble is that when you get into a "this is false, but that is true" pattern with a religious work, it all becomes very hazy and subjective.


I'm not being defensive, I'm just saying that I find that kind of reasoning(all or nothing) to be faulty.

As I said before, I'm not looking to make an authority figure out of myself. I'm not trying to use my personal experiences as some kind of authority to where you should just accept what I say. I think to accept anyone as such an authority, myself included to be foolish. I only mentioned it because you asked how I came about such things.

I am not someone who has alot of "faith". Nor do I use the faith copout. As I mentioned before, I am not the normal "christian". I don't follow blindly or because someone told me too.



What would compel me to hold any faith in your personal abilities to really discern a genuine truth from something that is admittedly full of flaws? I'm forced to either trust your accuracy or disbelieve it, the latter of which would defeat the entire purpose of seeking enlightenment from your observations of the work. It then becomes a matter of faith, which I'm sure is your intent anyway, but it doesn't sit well with someone who seeks a logical approach to things.


It's not about faith, it's about what you can understand. It's called Critical Thinking. To me, this stuff is just common sense.

en.wikipedia.org...



Critical thinking is a form of judgment, specifically purposeful and reflective judgment. In using critical thinking one makes a decision or solves the problem of judging what to believe or what to do, but does so in a reflective way. Critical thinking gives due consideration to the evidence, the context of judgment, the relevant criteria for making that judgment well, the applicable methods or techniques for forming that judgment, and the applicable theoretical constructs for understanding the nature of the problem and the question at hand. These elements also happen to be the key defining characteristics of professional fields and academic disciplines. This is why critical thinking can occur within a given subject field (by reference to its specific set of permissible questions, evidence sources, criteria, etc.) and across subject fields in all those spaces where human beings need to interact and make decisions, solve problems, and figure out what to believe and what to do.





If you're only leading me down a road that finds it's terminus in faith ("Well, I believe this aspect of the book to be true."), I haven't really gotten away from what I've tried to avoid all along, have I? My question remains: how do you discern for yourself between fact and fiction in a book that you believe to be flawed? How is this objective? Or are these personal truths that you've found, and you believe them to be quite fluid and different for everyone (in other words, what you believe to be true I might find to be false, and that's okay, that's insignificant)? I'm only trying to understand your point of view.


No you wouldn't and that isn't what I am about. I did not get my understandings from the bible at all. None of them. I learned from critical reasoning, which had me pondering questions, and to ponder questions is to seek the truth. And by doing so, things were revealed to me. It was after I had learned these things that I was able to see the truth in the bible. That is why I say I can explain them with or without the bible. Generally, I speak and talk to those who believe and have "faith" in terms of the bible, because it is easier for them to understand what I say then. And when I speak to people who do not belong to religion, then I will talk in terms of logic.

Before then, I thought the bible was a bunch of mind control jibberish. And really, it is still a bunch of mind control and jibberish among those who operate based on faith alone, and lack understanding. It is from my own understandings that I decide what is fact and fiction. Although generally I don't lean on the side of fiction that much, but would rather say - I'm not sure what they are trying to reveal here. It's somewhat difficult at times because you kind of need to understand the culture and times from when the bible was written.

As undo hinted in the post above mine, I also believe that the book has become a replacement for things, especially since I gained understandings without it(or any other book/human/perceived authority).





[edit on 15-1-2009 by badmedia]



posted on Jan, 15 2009 @ 06:20 PM
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Originally posted by badmedia
I'm not being defensive, I'm just saying that I find that kind of reasoning(all or nothing) to be faulty.


And once again, that wasn't my stated style of reasoning in the first place. I never asked you to take an all or nothing approach to the subject at hand.


It's not about faith, it's about what you can understand. It's called Critical Thinking. To me, this stuff is just common sense. en.wikipedia.org...


Is snarkiness really necessary or appropriate when responding to a reasonable inquiry into your own beliefs, particularly when you've opened the door to inquiry in the first place? It's an awfully childish reaction.


I did not get my understandings from the bible at all. None of them. I learned from critical reasoning, which had me pondering questions, and to ponder questions is to seek the truth. And by doing so, things were revealed to me. It was after I had learned these things that I was able to see the truth in the bible. That is why I say I can explain them with or without the bible.

Before then, I thought the bible was a bunch of mind control jibberish. And really, it is still a bunch of mind control and jibberish among those who operate based on faith alone, and lack understanding. It is from my own understandings that I decide what is fact and fiction. Although generally I don't lean on the side of fiction that much, but would rather say - I'm not sure what they are trying to reveal here. It's somewhat difficult at times because you kind of need to understand the culture and times from when the bible was written.


We have simply misunderstood one another. It had seemed to me that you were making the more common argument that you'd studied the Bible and (from the basis of the book alone) presumed to be able to pick out truth and fiction. I did not realize from your earlier postings that you had looked elsewhere for truth and later found that it matched up with certain portions of the Bible, allowing you to verify these sections as true for yourself. That makes sense.



posted on Jan, 15 2009 @ 06:27 PM
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Take a movie like the matrix. If I say that movie is real and shows truth, then there are 2 ways you can go about seeing that.

If you take it to mean that we are under control by machines and that neo is going to save us. Well then you probably think I am crazy and so on.

However, if you can see the concepts and things it is showing and revealing in the story, then you might could understand where and why that is real and shows truth.

You have probably heard "seek truth". To actually do this, rather than looking for the false things someone might say to dismiss them, or the false perspective on this to dismiss them, instead try to see the truth in what they are saying/showing.

What I am talking about here is literal belief vs seeing the understanding, philosophy and such.

Do you see the matrix movie as being only a literal story? Or can you see how it describes things that relate to our lives now in a non-literal way?

This is how I see the bible. The people who go around talking about worshiping Jesus, I see them as being like someone who goes around worshiping neo. They have no understanding of the things, so they worship the idol. And then there are the people who do actually understand, and instead of worshiping Jesus the idol, they see the truth he shows and that follow that.



posted on Jan, 15 2009 @ 06:35 PM
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Originally posted by undo
reply to post by bignick
 


That was potentially the most biased and hateful remark I've read on here in my 2 years of frequenting ATS.


I have seen worse in the last week on other anti Christian, anti Bible, anti Paul, anti Christ threads. The OP encourages statements like the one you refer too by His own obvious bias statements against Christianity.



posted on Jan, 15 2009 @ 06:36 PM
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Originally posted by paperplanes
Is snarkiness really necessary or appropriate when responding to a reasonable inquiry into your own beliefs, particularly when you've opened the door to inquiry in the first place? It's an awfully childish reaction.


Sorry, I didn't mean it like that. I can see why you took it that way. Critical thinking is about applying and using common sense is what I mean.

en.wikipedia.org...



Critical thinking consists of mental processes of discernment, analysis and evaluation. It includes possible processes of reflecting upon a tangible or intangible item in order to form a solid judgment that reconciles scientific evidence with common sense.




We have simply misunderstood one another. It had seemed to me that you were making the more common argument that you'd studied the Bible and (from the basis of the book alone) presumed to be able to pick out truth and fiction. I did not realize from your earlier postings that you had looked elsewhere for truth and later found that it matched up with certain portions of the Bible, allowing you to verify these sections as true for yourself. That makes sense.


Yep, I'm use to that. It's hard to get away from. It's what most people do when it comes to the bible, and so that is what it seems I would have also done. I expect this to happen, so I'm not being judgmental or trying to put you down, or call you ignorant in my responses, just trying to show that that isn't how I operate.



[edit on 15-1-2009 by badmedia]



posted on Jan, 15 2009 @ 07:00 PM
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Man's Book or God's Word?

Ephesians 13-14

13. And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit,
14. who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession—to the praise of his glory.

The Gospel is the schoolamster that leads one to Christ. Whether One reads it for Himself, or whether One Hears it from Someone else, The Gospel message is the "Word of Truth".

The rest of the bible is Spiritual food for the reborn Spirit. The word of God is foolishness to those that are perishing. No matter how hard One tries to figure out, or make sense of the Bible, as long as His Spirit is in an unregenerate state(rebellion against God), He is a fool and will be end up being confused by it.

Ephesians 17-21
17. I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.
18. I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints,
19. and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength,
20. which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms,
21. far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come.



posted on Jan, 15 2009 @ 07:16 PM
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reply to post by John Matrix
 


this is not exactly correct, from my perspective.
as i mentioned before, if the early christians needed a book to be christians, they sure didn't know it. the book has been tinkered with an awful lot. it wouldn't surprise me if passages were added by the rcc, simply because some of the concepts are so completely opposite of each other, it's as if some parts were edited in. jesus didn't tell us that we should look forward to the book coming to comfort us. he said the holy spirit would do that. the book is useful and informative, of that there is no doubt, but to cast it in the light of infallible, is dangerously close to the problems jesus encountered with people worshipping mosaic law rather than Creator of moses. he even warns them that moses was making stuff in some of the laws, because he knew how hard it would be for people to follow some of the concepts -- such as avoiding divorce or even the thought of sex with someone other than your spouse. it wasn't that sex was bad, it was the idea that focus on flesh is focus off the spirit. i think the book is the same way. focus too much on the book, and you've just removed your eyes from the holy spirit and put the worship on the book



posted on Jan, 15 2009 @ 07:28 PM
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reply to post by Bombeni
 


I have proven that morally the Bible cannot be the Word of God (because a loving God does not go around killing people) and you have not offered sufficient arguments to refute that. Archeologists and many historians debate whether or not Jesus existed, so a bunch of prophecies pulled from a flawed book do not prove the Bible as the Word of God or Jesus as the savior of humanity. The contradictions in the Bible are too glaring and the evils (crusades, inquisitions, genocide, etc) committed by a religion supposedly built on Christ's teachings of love raise doubts on how wholesome (let alone Holy) a book the Bible is.

Who's to say the circumstances of Jesus life weren't edited AFTER his death to fit the prophecy?

Offer me some evidence, some argument that uses logic and not the same old "its in the Bible, its gotta be true" argument. The Bible contradicts itself all over the place, God is loving and merciful one minute and throwing people into eternal damnation the next, it was not authored by God. But assuming God did have a hand in writing the Bible, why would God, an All-Powerful being, write just ONE book and expect everyone in the world to adhere to that book and send any who do not to ETERNAL DAMNATION despite the fact he loves them (with a supposedly fathomless love)...



posted on Jan, 15 2009 @ 07:33 PM
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reply to post by John Matrix
 


You're response did not refute my arguments in the OP. If the Bible is foolishness to those who are unsaved than how did anyone get saved at all? I myself was a Christian, I was "saved" and it was only after I actually put forth an effort to follow Christ that I became confused by the Bible and slowly began to wake up the fact that it was not perfect, not historically accurate, and certainly not the word of God...

Using scripture cannot work in this debate, because anyone can write a book and put the words "this is the word of God" in the book, it doesn't make it true, the book must be questioned and tested, and, as far as my tests so far, the Bible is failing with flying colors....



posted on Jan, 15 2009 @ 07:43 PM
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reply to post by Titen-Sxull
 


i firmly believe that jesus was here and real. in fact, i found it not too surprising and quite interesting to read in the sumerian texts, that a "god" had to die for humanity to be created (i believe that was in the enki and ninmah story). i don't understand the circumstances of it because nothing was revealed other than that, which was just tossed out there. but i do find it has very interesting implications as regards jesus (that is, if you consider all the other data compiled about him).

the really aggregious differences are between the old testament and the new, as far as the concept of sin goes. i'd suggest there's more to learn there. but even more so, i suggest again, to just have a discussion with jesus on the topic. tap into your spiritual side, and ask questions of him, then, expect an answer. be honest with yourself when you get it, otherwise the point of asking will be moot.



posted on Jan, 15 2009 @ 07:44 PM
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reply to post by undo
 


That's a good point Undo, many translations don't even mention the first born at all, but most Christians, at least most I've come in contact with, believe that children were included in the first born group. Even if it were just adults it wouldn't make a difference, it would still be innocent people suffering for Pharaoh's sin, killed by God himself...

Plus its only one example of the many people OT God was said to have killed, not to mention however many people supposedly will die during the events in Revelation, and how many will be cast into a fiery lake with Satan and his minions (all despite how much God loves each of us)...

People need to face the facts, the Bible is not the Word of God, its just another religious book used to keep minds in bondage. If anything it keeps you from the true God (which I believe there's a good chance there is one).



posted on Jan, 15 2009 @ 07:58 PM
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Originally posted by undo
reply to post by John Matrix
 


this is not exactly correct, from my perspective.
as i mentioned before, if the early christians needed a book to be christians, they sure didn't know it. the book has been tinkered with an awful lot. it wouldn't surprise me if passages were added by the rcc, simply because some of the concepts are so completely opposite of each other, it's as if some parts were edited in. jesus didn't tell us that we should look forward to the book coming to comfort us. he said the holy spirit would do that. the book is useful and informative, of that there is no doubt, but to cast it in the light of infallible, is dangerously close to the problems jesus encountered with people worshipping mosaic law rather than Creator of moses. he even warns them that moses was making stuff in some of the laws, because he knew how hard it would be for people to follow some of the concepts -- such as avoiding divorce or even the thought of sex with someone other than your spouse. it wasn't that sex was bad, it was the idea that focus on flesh is focus off the spirit. i think the book is the same way. focus too much on the book, and you've just removed your eyes from the holy spirit and put the worship on the book



Your objections are subjectively based on assuptions.

www.apologeticsinfo.org...


There is no objective evidence that the biblical text has been tampered with by the Jews or the early Church. There is no manuscript evidence, no archaeological evidence, no eyewitness--or otherwise--testimony, no support from the writings of the early Church, nor any evidence from the study of textual criticism to substantiate witches' or other occultist's or critics subjectively based claims of a tampered Bible.

On the other hand, there is overwhelming objective evidence to support the conclusion that the biblical text was not tampered with by the early Church, but has been faithfully transmitted down through the centuries to us today and is indeed a reliable historical document of the first order.

The problem here is not a tampered with or corrupted biblical text or teachings of the Old or New Testaments, but with those who will not accept the clear teaching(s) of the Bible.

The only reason people have for believing that the Bible has been tampered with by the early Church (or anyone else) is that it clearly does not teach what they believe and practice. The Bible does not concur with their views or feelings. Therefore, they conjecture that it must have been tampered with by the early Church. This is a textbook case of circular reasoning--assuming the very thing you are suppose to, or are, trying to prove.

Just about anyone can assert just about anything, but this does not constitute proof of the claim. Proving it is another matter. For instance, just about anyone can file a lawsuit, but proving their case is a different issue. So it is with this charge against the historical accuracy of the Gospel Message or the Epistles.

Therefore, in light of the evidence, in light of accepted scholarly archaeological, historical, legal, literary, logical, and textual facts and principles, I affirm the authenticity and trustworthiness of the biblical text and acceptance of all that it teaches. Indeed, the Bible contains the definitive counsel concerning the meaning and purpose of life.

The Gospels are needed today(not just my view). Jesus himself quoted Scripture and spend much of His early years learning Scripture before he started His ministry. This fact alone is good enough for me. Written records were well kept in those days through professional scribes.

Without the Gospel message preserved how would we be able to Preach the Gospel to all of the world as Jesus instructed? From memory? Word of mouth passed from generation to generation without anyone ever writing it down to preserve it?

The Gospel is the Word of Truth. If it was not preserved, Christianity would have fallen a long time ago.
God uses the written word as his mode of communicating the Gospel message to Mankind.

Please don't make me have to put all the historical evidence here to defend my position. I'm tired of having to prove my point. All it seems to do is get people angry and then they put me on their ignore list. But if you insist, I will do it.





[edit on 15-1-2009 by John Matrix]



posted on Jan, 15 2009 @ 07:59 PM
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reply to post by Titen-Sxull
 


i don't think it will keep people in bondage anymore than any other religious text or non-religious text. some folks will find any excuse to abuse others for their own gain, be it religion or politics or money or sex. isn't it all about you anyway? how you approach it, and whether your heart is in the right place or not? the new testament exclaims that the old covenant law was a bondage, if you recall. the bondage was in the fact the bar was set too high for the people, and as a result, people suffered. the same thing happens conversely as well. the bar is set too low and people suffer because they lose their moral compass and abuse one another in even more aggregious ways than the polar opposite. it's all about where your head and heart are at, inevitably.

did jesus' robe heal the woman ?
nope. her faith did.
did jesus' spit and mud heal the blind man?
nope. his faith did.
the point of argument could be made that jesus was just trying to explain mind over matter concepts to people, but i think that's just the beginning of the lesson. if morality and the concept of reining in the flesh were not also important, there'd be no purpose for laws of any kind. you gotta know, pretty much every wise man on the planet has stated nearly the same exact things because, some things are just true, no matter what.



[edit on 15-1-2009 by undo]



posted on Jan, 15 2009 @ 08:04 PM
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reply to post by John Matrix
 





The only reason people have for believing that the Bible has been tampered with by the early Church (or anyone else) is that it clearly does not teach what they believe and practice.


When the book declares that as a woman i am still subject to the law of sin and death, (because of Eve) that's when i know the book is messed up. Either that, or women don't get to go to heaven because they are women. That to me smacks of a sign of the times and from the perspective of a man who was used to an entirely different way of thinking about women. he was a man of his times, afterall, and not jesus. (paul, i mean).



posted on Jan, 15 2009 @ 08:07 PM
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Originally posted by undo
reply to post by John Matrix
 


focus too much on the book, and you've just removed your eyes from the holy spirit and put the worship on the book


Bible-idolatry is not the issue here. I agree with you that we should not worship the book. It's a tool for learning and for teaching.

Did I say something that inspired this need for you to remind me of this?



posted on Jan, 15 2009 @ 08:09 PM
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Originally posted by undo
reply to post by John Matrix
 





The only reason people have for believing that the Bible has been tampered with by the early Church (or anyone else) is that it clearly does not teach what they believe and practice.


When the book declares that as a woman i am still subject to the law of sin and death, (because of Eve) that's when i know the book is messed up. Either that, or women don't get to go to heaven because they are women. That to me smacks of a sign of the times and from the perspective of a man who was used to an entirely different way of thinking about women. he was a man of his times, afterall, and not jesus. (paul, i mean).



Where does it say that? Provide me with the Scripture reference and I will research it.



posted on Jan, 15 2009 @ 08:09 PM
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Originally posted by John Matrix
Just about anyone can assert just about anything, but this does not constitute proof of the claim.


Well, I certainly agree with you on that one.



posted on Jan, 15 2009 @ 08:12 PM
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reply to post by John Matrix
 


well it could be an issue for some, which the thread was discussing. there's more than one way to make an idol of it. to state it is the sum total of all things christian is obviously wrong but we see that all the time and how convenient that it also happens to be seemingly contradictory and occassionally mistranslated? that's part of the problem. emphasis where emphasis due, ya know.





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