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The Bible: Guide to Heaven or Scripture of Death?

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posted on Aug, 4 2010 @ 12:00 AM
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Originally posted by Noncompatible
Playing ?
It is a contest ? Sorry I did not realise "one-upmanship drive" had been engaged.
I think you believe I dismiss your faith lightly. I do not dismiss any ones faith lightly. I find it fascinating. I simply encourage independent thought. For if you can question and still believe then your (or anyones) faith will be stronger for it.

I questioned. I (in your eyes) was found wanting. I am however at peace with myself. That after all is the desired result is it not ?


If you have a question, please ask. My reply was in response to your post that was, in effect, dismissive of my belief, because you believed that I could quote scripture and had no independent thought.

I'll tell you a secret. I HATE books that do little more than quote scripture. My small group at church right now is reading such a book, and it drives me nuts. How hard is it to understand Christian theology and be capable of independent thought? Pretty bloody hard, apparently.




posted on Aug, 4 2010 @ 12:13 AM
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Originally posted by ReVoLuTiOn76

"....there has always been one God, but do you see Him smiting people in the same and vengeful way as He did in the Old Testament?


“….. when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power…”

You are right... "there has always been one God" but He did not change from one testament to the next but the testament changed.



posted on Aug, 4 2010 @ 12:28 AM
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Originally posted by sheepslayer247
reply to post by ReVoLuTiOn76
 


I agree that Jesus was a man of peace. But the Bible cleary makes statements advocating violence against people who do not fall into the faith. And lets not forget that the "Christian" God is the same God of old testement. Can you follow faith in Jesus (God in human form) when God is cleary in favor of violence against non-believers?

I'm a Christian and it has bugged me since childhood that the God of the Old Testament seems to be entirely different from the God whom Jesus describes as his father...and ours. I have spent hours studying threads and leads on ATS outlining various explanations for this very glaring difference between the OT God and NT God. I'm of the opinion that the truth possibly can be found if you bring all the old holy books together, such as the Torah, Bible, Koran and possibly other books or documents I've never heard of. I'm sure we've lost a lot of original meaning in translation, too. I do what I can to follow Christ's example and teachings as I think they are beautiful, truthful and sufficient to guide me in this life and into the next. But that doesn't mean I think I know the whole story by any means or that I could explain it to you. I never found a church that could explain the difference between OT God and NT God, either. I got a lot of vague fluff as answers.



posted on Aug, 4 2010 @ 12:45 AM
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Originally posted by sheepslayer247
I have read many thought-provoking statements so far and I thank you all.

The original point to my OP was the similarity between the Bible and the Quran in that some of its text can be taken as advocting violence against non-believers and sinners. With that in mind, is it correct for modern-Christians/Jews to point fingers at Islam and the Quran and claim they are a religion of violence, when they have violence attatched to their religion as well?

I am not claiming that one religion is better than the other. I am only questioning the obvious hypocrisy by all religions, and how they all have a history of violence, and the texts to go along with it.

[edit on 3-8-2010 by sheepslayer247]
Ahh. Ok the answer is no it is not ok. Jesus himself took the time to make the point we who follow him must not point our fingers in judgement. He knew our human natures would lead us to do that and do it often! Anyway I don't go pointing my fingers at Islam except to object when it, like my own religion are used to justify atrocities. I will denounce injustice when I see it, even in my own faith. I'm aware my Bible depicts atrocities in it and some are even supposedly directed by God. But Jesus shows himself and the God who is his father to be of a different character.



posted on Aug, 4 2010 @ 12:54 AM
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reply to post by adjensen
 


While the Old Testament was B.C., I find your response a little troubling.

I am not trying to being any kind of argument of theology with you, please know that... I just respectfully disagree with you about the veracity of the Old Testament teachings...

The Old Testament is very relevant for us today. I think that many Christians have never given deep thought to the subject. However, Paul's letters to the different churches are the earliest New Testament writings. Actually, the Gospels were written after Paul's letters, chronologically.

Why am I saying this? Because of passages like Acts 17: 10-12:
"As soon as it was night, the brothers sent Paul and Silas away to Berea. On arriving there, they went to the Jewish synagogue. Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. Many of the Jews believed, as did also a number of prominent Greek women and many Greek men."

They had no Gospel to consult, therefore, they consulted the Old Testament to see if Paul was instructing them correctly. And he still won converts to Christ!

If the Old Testament was not relevant or Christian, this wouldn't have been possible.

What was foreshadowed by the Lord in the Old Testament was revealed in the New Testament (the New Covenant). It is rich in references to Jesus, Mary, the Eucharist, the Crucifixtion...

At least those are my very humble thoughts...

At any rate, understandably, it all depends on what the services are like at the Church one attends, the strength of the one directing the services, (if one attends services, that is) and also how much personal time one spends in reading the Sacred Scripture, as well as if one has a Spiritual Director... the Bible is so easy to get lost in, I have had to ask so many times for direction and still do all the time
I don't think anyone on earth will ever be able to put the Bible down and say, "Finished"!



[edit on 4-8-2010 by thegoodearth]



posted on Aug, 4 2010 @ 01:07 AM
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reply to post by SheeplFlavoredAgain
 


Frankly, as a non-fundamentalist (who was once a fundamentalist), I recognize the potential influence of human nature on scripture. The key is finding a strong basis (the "firm foundation" the Jesus refers to) and then building out from there, rather than outward in.

If you start with Jesus' message of the two great commandments, when you work your way out from that, most of these issues just fall away. Rather than struggle with the "why" or "how", just recognize that it's part of the scripture that doesn't connect with your faith.

I've long held that there are three critical components to belief -- faith, religion and theology. If your belief lacks one or more of these, you need to evaluate whether you have a valid belief or not. Faith is your personal statement if what you believe. Religion is the community, tradition and doctrines that support your faith. Theology is the intellectual dissection of faith and religion to determine if they make sense.

Lacking any one of these is mostly a recommendation that you should explore this aspect of your belief. If, in your exploration, you find that some aspect is opposed to another, you find a point of contention. Were I to find that my theology suddenly included the validity of blowing up Federal courthouses, for example, I would apply it to my faith, where the whole "love each other" would block my acceptance.



posted on Aug, 4 2010 @ 01:17 AM
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Originally posted by thegoodearth
reply to post by adjensen
 


While the Old Testament was B.C., I find your response a little troubling.

I am not trying to being any kind of argument of theology with you, please know that... I just respectfully disagree with you about the veracity of the Old Testament teachings...

The Old Testament is very relevant for us today. I think that many Christians have never given deep thought to the subject. However, Paul's letters to the different churches are the earliest New Testament writings. Actually, the Gospels were written after Paul's letters, chronologically.


There is no invalidation of the Old Testament, don't get me wrong. If one is to remain Jewish, the Law remains, nothing changed. Christ came at an amazing time, frankly. The existing Jewish community could continue to be connected to God through the Law, through the Temple. But the siege of Jerusalem and destruction of the the Temple in AD 70 ended all reconciliation through the Law.

But, for the Christian, Christ fulfilled the Law. He is our Paschal Lamb. This means that, while the Law is still relevant, it has been taken care of by Christ's sacrifice, and we need not concern ourselves with it.

Paul interprets Christ's word, he doesn't add to it. This is a very critical point to recognize. He remains consistent, which is understandable, in that most of his words address challenges to Christ's teachings in the new churches.



posted on Aug, 4 2010 @ 01:28 AM
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Originally posted by Kapyong
What we have is STORIES written by unknown people who never met anyone IN the stories.

we do NOT have even ONE authentic claim to have met Jesus :


Oh Really?
Through all of your angry rantings you seem to be implying there are no historical references to Jesus, and that the bible has no historical credibility.

However, in The Annalls, Tacitus says, "Christus [Latin for “Christ”], from whom the name [Christian] had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus.”

Not only does he talk about Christ and the crucifixion, he talks about Pontius Pilate who was in the 'stories'. Oh and what do we find with archaeology:

www.allaboutarchaeology.org...

As for hating Muslims, I am a Christian, I do not hate Muslims. I think the demonizing that is happening is going both ways. Christians are being demonized by people claiming Muslim hate. Muslims are being demonized by people claiming terrorism. It's fast getting out of hand.

And the irony is that, in my opinion, the majority of the demonizing of either side is not being done by people from inside the respective religions. Like adjensen and others, I am getting rather tired of people misrepresenting my Lord and his word as a way to bash me in the face for believing something I do not believe (hating Muslims). I mean at least bash me for something I do believe, like A-Team being the best show from the 80's.



posted on Aug, 4 2010 @ 01:35 AM
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reply to post by Kapyong
 


Originally posted by Kapyong
Gday,


Originally posted by ReVoLuTiOn76
We believe in Christ because the Apostles of Christ believed what they saw with their own eyes.


Wrong.
There were NO eye-witnesses to Jesus.
Not ONE of the books in the NT was written by anone who met a historical Jesus.

Hey Kapyong!
I do hope you realise the immense difference between "the Apostles of Christ believed what they saw with their own eyes", and "There were NO eye-witnesses to Jesus" and "Not ONE of the books in the NT was written by anone who met a historical Jesus". Your third statement really doesn't follow from the second.


Originally posted by Kapyong
Peter, if he even existed, believed a STORY about Jesus without evidence.
Just like faithful believers now believe stories about Jesus.
Without evidence.

Peter, if he existed, personally knew Jesus. And since there is sufficient historical evidence of Peter...well, you know.


reply to post by nlouise
 


Originally posted by nlouise
The dividing line between Islam and Judism was Jacob and Esau (sp?). Jacob was given the blessing, Esau despised it. To this day both Jacob (Judism/Israel) and Esau (Islam) are at war with each other.

Actually, as far as Abrahamic ancestry goes, Islam (or specifically Muhammad, or the arabs), align themselves with Ishmael, not Esau (and thus the perceived "dividing line" is Ishmael and Isaac- not something I agree with, but whatever).



posted on Aug, 4 2010 @ 01:42 AM
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reply to post by adjensen
 


I respectfully disagree.

We only have to follow the two commands of Christ- do not judge and love thy neighbor as thyself? Or are you referring to loving God above all and love thy neighbor as thyself?

The two afore mentioned are unique to Christ.
The Ten Commandments are void?

Christ himself told us in the Gospels in Mark 10: 17-25
"As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. "Good teacher," he asked, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?" Why do you call me good?" Jesus answered. "No one is good—except God alone. You know the commandments: 'Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, do not defraud, honor your father and mother."
"Teacher," he declared, "all these I have kept since I was a boy."
Jesus looked at him and loved him. "One thing you lack," he said. "Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."
At this the man's face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth.
Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, "How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!"
The disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said again, "Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."


Why would it be hard for the rich to enter the kingdom of God, if all they had to do was love their neighbor and not judge? Or if you are referring to Loving God above all things and loving thy neighbor?

Either way, in this, Christ also clearly shows that one must do things to gain entrance into eternal life, in addition to keeping the Commandments.

I realize Christ died on the Cross for our Sins. He paid the price for us all to gain entry into Heaven. However, through His sacrifice, we must uphold our end of the sacrifice by following His directive to Keep His Father's Commandments, through the price he paid, to enter into heaven.

By faith alone, then Judas Iscariot must be in Heaven now as well.



posted on Aug, 4 2010 @ 01:50 AM
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reply to post by thegoodearth
 


Christ was telling the rich man that he needed to free himself of his wealth, which was holding him back from God (as evidenced by the fact that he "went away sad, because he had great wealth.")

For this young man, the love of wealth exceeded the love of God.

Two commandments. Two. Love God. Love each other. The young man loved something more than God, and if you love God and love everyone, you will not violate the Ten Commandments.

Judas? I am no judge. Judas' issues are between him and God.



posted on Aug, 4 2010 @ 01:57 AM
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reply to post by thegoodearth
 



Hi, I believe the point here was, the rich man loved his money more than God. Hence why he walked away sad, because he knew that he could not sacrifice his wealth.



[edit on 4-8-2010 by Chillimac]

[edit on 4-8-2010 by Chillimac]



posted on Aug, 4 2010 @ 01:59 AM
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reply to post by adjensen
 


But that isn't what it says. Jesus clearly repeats the Commandments of God to the young man. He clearly instructs him. There is no ambiguity to his words. It is plain and simple what he says. If he wanted him to love thy neighbor as thyself and love God, wouldn't he have simply just said that, instead of stating the Commandments, then ordering him to sell his goods to "store up treasure" in heaven? He is not speaking in a parable, so there isn't a story of ambuguity to try and "figure out" what he means. He states exactly what he means.
Sounds like a reach to find a way to get it to say what you want it to say.
However, I don't rely on my own fallible interpretation of the Bible.

Anyway, I have enjoyed discussing these points with you~ and I certainly can agree to disagree with you on matters of faith, after all, we both love Christ, and that is what is important~
God Bless


God Bless~



posted on Aug, 4 2010 @ 02:00 AM
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reply to post by Chillimac
 


True, that!

God Bless~



posted on Aug, 4 2010 @ 03:29 AM
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Very very interesting thread and thank you all for your comments and input. I have learned a lot from here, finding answers to some of the questions I have had about the Bible and also raising new questions.

I was doing some searching regarding whether if any of the gospels met Jesus in person when they wrote the NT and found out that the answer was no. The NT was written at the end of the 1st century; written by followers of the apostles who did meet Jesus personally.

But this brought up a new question. Just how much of the NT is the truth? How much was lost in translation? Did a little more searching and came across this article

Bible: Lost in Translation

and found out that




Going back to history, of course we know that Jesus spoke Aramaic. He may have spoken in Greek especially to the Pharisees but he used his native tongue to teach the Jews. According to Fr. Diarmuid, Aramaic is a very elaborate language which was difficult to translate directly into Greek. It is a spoken language and its written form, Hebrew, contains vocabularies which do not have direct translation in Greek. Therefore, so much of the real words of Jesus became lost in translation.



posted on Aug, 4 2010 @ 03:52 AM
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reply to post by galadofwarthethird
 


Religion and religious texts, be it the bible or any other crap are simply useless stuff. In our "technical" world and day to day experiences, we have tonnes of OPM/h- Operating manuals/handbooks for what ever job we do.

Personally I compare religious texts simply to a badly written "medical handbook" in which the doctor reading up, - at what he thinks is the procedure to remove a brain tumor is actually the proper procedure to remove hemorrhoids. And the next surgeon reading the same chapter "Interprets" it as a description of a procedure to remove an appendix.

So in other words: IF a "manual" can be "interpreted" any which way to fit the individuals likes and dislikes of his/her believes, then it definitely is not the "word of god".
IF an omnipotent and all powerful god exists and IF he truly had in mind to communicate his will to us humans and his moral guidelines, then his "word" in the holy scriptures of all the major and minor religions would real like an OPH as we are used to in our daily work environment regarding our specific jobs and tasks.
IF an omnipotent and all powerful god exists and IF he truly had in mind to communicate his will to us humans and his moral guidelines, then there would be no "other" religion! Then there would never have been a Mayan culture with a different set of believes as the set of believes in Egypt or in Israel and there would be no Hinduism or Islam or Christianity.
On a side note:
HOW different interpretations can manifest themselves is evident just within Christianity: Take the same bible as used by the Amish and the Quakers, who are definitely truly peaceful and the KKK that uses the very same bible to legitimize their racism.
So the OP was pretty right on when he compared the Bible and its violence preaching to Islam and their fringe elements that advocate violence.
It's just a man authored text that is up to us how to interpret it, but for sure it ain't the "word of god".

Guenter



posted on Aug, 4 2010 @ 04:10 AM
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Originally posted by adjensen
reply to post by sheepslayer247
 


You are quoting the Old Testament, Jewish Law. Christians are not reconciled to God through the Bible, but through the person of Jesus Christ. The Old Testament is part of the Bible as ancient testimony to the divinity of Christ, not because Christians are held to the Torah law. Christ says that, to become reconciled to God, we need only "Love God and love each other." Period.

If you have gripes with the Torah, talk to the people who wrote it, who are not Christians.


BUMP TO THIS POST. Nuff said here!

Honestly... the Old Testament like our friend here describes, is placeholder to show how powerful God really is. These were the days when there weren't many chances given.

Christian beliefs are completely supported by the New Testament. Try giving Romans 12 a read. Try giving 2 Corinthians 8 & 9 a read. Try reading Ephesians 3:17-19.... God is completely LOVING and encourages us to share with one another. He sent his ONLY SON to die for us while we were still sinners... and this is the true intention of Christian beliefs. God is extremely loving in our times, and provides wonderful fruits and wisdom to those who seek Him.

Anyone can be forgiven.. and we are taught to feed and clothe our enemy. We are taught to share our riches with the poor, and our/God's love with all people. We are taught to be joyful and patient through any times in our life.



posted on Aug, 4 2010 @ 09:59 AM
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Originally posted by thegoodearth
reply to post by adjensen
 


But that isn't what it says. Jesus clearly repeats the Commandments of God to the young man. He clearly instructs him. There is no ambiguity to his words. It is plain and simple what he says. If he wanted him to love thy neighbor as thyself and love God, wouldn't he have simply just said that, instead of stating the Commandments, then ordering him to sell his goods to "store up treasure" in heaven? He is not speaking in a parable, so there isn't a story of ambuguity to try and "figure out" what he means. He states exactly what he means.
Sounds like a reach to find a way to get it to say what you want it to say.
However, I don't rely on my own fallible interpretation of the Bible.

Anyway, I have enjoyed discussing these points with you~ and I certainly can agree to disagree with you on matters of faith, after all, we both love Christ, and that is what is important~
God Bless


God Bless~


Yeah, I'm not sure what your point of contention is, sorry. We can ignore the Ten Commandments bit because, as I said, if you love your neighbour as yourself, you will not murder, defraud, disrespect your parents, etc. If you need to wrap your faith around the Ten Commandments, rather than the one "love your neighbour", I guess you can try, but the latter is all inclusive, the Ten are exclusive. There are still things that you can do that harm your neighbour that are not covered by the Ten Commandments.

The other side of the coin, the other great commandment of Christ, is where this fellow had his problem. Christ saw that he loved money more than God, and he called him on it. Money was a false idol for this guy, so he technically wasn't following the commandments. There is nothing in either Testament to support "buying your way into heaven", which is what a literal reading of this would imply, so we know that it's not to be taken literally. The same argument would apply to anyone who loves something more than God, whether it's himself, or food, or watching NASCAR or whatever.



posted on Aug, 4 2010 @ 10:21 AM
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Originally posted by balon0
I was doing some searching regarding whether if any of the gospels met Jesus in person when they wrote the NT and found out that the answer was no. The NT was written at the end of the 1st century; written by followers of the apostles who did meet Jesus personally.


Again, the commonly accepted view is that the Apostle John wrote his Gospel, perhaps has early as the 60s, but usually seen as later, when he was at Ephesus. It is separate from the Synoptic Gospels, being written from another source, so dating the Synoptics isn't relevant (and, personally, I go with at least Mark having been written prior to the destruction of the Temple, and a case can be made for Luke, as well, given the point at which Luke's Book of Acts ends.)

Two sources, but there are plenty more:
www.theology.edu...
www-bcf.usc.edu...

Unless there is a compelling reason for suddenly thinking that John did not write the Gospel, it should be assumed that he did, because there is a compelling reason for that assumption -- though noted as a critical player in the Synoptic Gospels, John is never mentioned by name in his own Gospel, but as "the disciple who Jesus loved", an odd notation unless the author was that person.



posted on Aug, 4 2010 @ 10:30 AM
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reply to post by Guenter
 



I agree the bible is written by men and not any god or gods, some things it teaches are very basic things like love thy neighbor, but other then than from what I read it just a bunch of stories bunched together an misinterpreted. It's a system for people who need a believe in something higher then themselves, ultimately it has a lot to do with not taking responsibilities for the things you do because a higher authority will either judge you or forgive your crimes. It's another religion for those who don't want to take responsibility for anything and think things through. That is why these religions are so popular, from criminals to those who lust for power, to just average people who want to feel like there is a higher meaning to the things they do. It's escapism from the world, religion is the TV and stories from another time, that has become fact and law in some like some middle eastern counties, and they actually believe it right down to the stoning of women for stupid useless #, to make believe things. To our so called more better and civilized ways, here in the west we only pay lip service to it, like we pay lip service to everything else. And they say those who believe in aliens are crazy.

Anyways if a omnipotent god would want to write a book about basic laws that must be followed, it's definitional not this book called the bible. Don't get me wrong it has some good points, but the rest is outdated by a couple of thousand years. In fact I don't have such a low opinion that if a god exists, as to think that if he created all then he would make such a big mistake as to not give everything in its power for any human to change himself and the world as things are without need for any of these things such as law, social classes and standings, and books that say one must do this and that so you can go to heaven. So either god does not exist, or if it does exist, then humans are the most retarded species in the universe, and even if heaven was laid down and written precise in a book and put on a altar of magic next to there feet, they wouldn't know what it was and kick it off then go throw feces at each other. Ah live goes on in this madhouse called earth.







 
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