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a question for devout Christians

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posted on Nov, 21 2012 @ 06:24 PM
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I am in no way a Christian. The reason is because I had a life changing event when I was 15 that involved the church. It was a simple challenge that a friend of mine and I put to each other. Read the bible from cover to cover.

It took months. We would discuss what we had read. His mom was so proud that hr soon was such a positive influence on a recent convert. But as we read through chapter after verse of scripture we both began to point out to each other inconsistencies and drops in logic.

Then came the "interpretations" during Sunday sermons buy the Christian authorities that ran our youth group. Things started looking more and more like a hazy explanation of our questions rather than a solid answer for them.

I stopped going to church after that and his family ostracized me for putting doubt into their son's head.

My question to you is simple.

"Have you read the bible from cover to cover?"

Cause I'd love to know what you think of it's leaps in logic, inconsistencies and missing books.

And just so you understand my position. This isn't a"witch hunt". I'm just curious to know if you've read it all the way through, what religion you are, and what you believe?




posted on Nov, 21 2012 @ 06:55 PM
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First of all. I would like to acknowledge any Christian willing to answer based on your convictions. If any of you are out there you will be treated with respect.

Let's have a discussion.



posted on Nov, 21 2012 @ 06:57 PM
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Originally posted by Mrgone
And just so you understand my position. This isn't a"witch hunt". I'm just curious to know if you've read it all the way through, what religion you are, and what you believe?



Yep, I've read the Bible from cover to cover many, many times.
Most Christians don't - and most denominations don't teach huge swathes of the Bible at all. For example, I go to a Presbyterian church (though I don't consider myself Presbyterian), and it's very rare to hear a sermon from the Old Testament. Even if you DO hear a sermon from the Old Testament, Presbyterians tend to treat the OT as allegory rather than literal teaching, which is a mistake in my opinion.

I've been a Christian since I was about six - so... 25 years now, and in that time, have gone from... growing up in a Christian family (my father is a preacher), to getting married and having my own family, going through an abusive marriage, getting divorced, fighting for custody of my daughter (which I won), and now... remarrying.

As you might be able to imagine, going through those things meant a whole lot of soul searching - points where I asked myself why I believe what I do, and if it was the Truth, or just a self-delusion, and so on.

The challenge, though, is this.

If the Bible is the Word of God, it should be consistent in all things; correct on all things; without error and without fault... as it was given.

One thing we do run into issues with is the fact that... most of us don't speak ancient Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic. That automatically disqualifies us from reading "first hand" from the Bible, and introduces a margin of error, which translators are always working to eliminate as much as possible.

So... here's where I stand.

Yes, I have read the Bible through, many, many times. I believe every word of it is God-breathed. I believe that it is without error, without contradiction and without fault in its original form (that is, in the original languages of the text). I believe the Bible is literal, except where the text explicitly displays itself to be otherwise...

I also believe that if you look, if you truly seek, you'll come to the same conclusions I have.

You mentioned a few things.

"other books" being one. God's Word is composed entirely of books written by people who had first-hand experience of the events they detailed. "Other books" do not have that in their favour, and thus were excluded. Good examples of this are the 'Gospel of Thomas', the 'Apocalypse of Peter', the 'Gospel of Mary' and so on. These gospels are gnostic - gnostic meaning "knowledge", and knowledge most often acquired through dreams, visions, even drug-induced hallucinations. These books were written anywhere between decades and centuries after the events they describe, and are neither accurate nor a valid source of history. As mentioned above, the Bible must be consistent and correct on all things. These books are not.

As for contradictions etc. - I've studied numerous lists of 'contradictions' in Scripture, and never have I found one that is beyond simple, logical reconciliation. I won't go into great detail on this point, save to stress that the vast majority of perceived 'contradictions' stem from the inaccuracies of translation, and not from a textual error. This is why it's so important at times to go back to the original languages and read from there.

Anyway.
That's me. Hi.



posted on Nov, 21 2012 @ 07:09 PM
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reply to post by Mrgone
 


I have read the Bible cover to cover, many times, in at least three different versions.

The last version I read was a "Message Bible" (by Eugene Petersen) which does not try to be a literal translation word by word, but is a paraphrase of the text in modern language, designed to carry the meaning of the concepts in the text. I found this very readable and clear in what it said.

Older translations of the Bible suffer also from the changes the English language goes through. About 100 years ago, the words "Awesome" and "Awful" meant the same thing. Today they are seen as polar opposites. This is why it is important to read a modern translation, or to be aware of word usage at the time of the translation, so you don't interpret it incorrectly.



posted on Nov, 21 2012 @ 07:10 PM
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reply to post by Awen24
 


Thank you for your response. You have done such a complete response to my questions that I will need some time to respond to you. Please check in later for my response.

Cheers



posted on Nov, 21 2012 @ 07:17 PM
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reply to post by Mrgone
 


Dear Mrgone,

I am a Christian and have read the bible cover to cover many times. I also preach on Sundays and I have to admit it is like pulling teeth to get people to read it anymore. Because they do not read it, many have horribly stupid theology. There is a verse in Corinthians that everybody quotes. The one where it says that your body is a temple and people consistently get it wrong. People say you should not smoke because your body is a temple; but, they leave out the verse that proceeds it. It was not referencing smoking, exercise or any such thing, it was talking about sleeping around.

"Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?"

People remember the sound bite; but, don't know the context because they have not read the whole thing. I hate to say this; but, there are many priests and pastors who have not read the whole bible. Not long ago I spoke to a lady going to seminary and she told me that only a couple of the students had read the whole bible. I did a face plant at that one. I know for a fact that there are atheists on this site that know the bible better than many christians; unfortunately, most of them were taught bad fundamentalist doctrine.



posted on Nov, 21 2012 @ 07:20 PM
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reply to post by chr0naut
 


The "translations" are part of the problem. IMHO. And what would make your interpretation correct?

really, what makes your interpretation of an interpretation correct?

I asked what you believe and why. Based on the bible. Please go into more detail as to why it is correct.




posted on Nov, 21 2012 @ 07:31 PM
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Originally posted by AQuestion
reply to post by Mrgone
 


People remember the sound bite...


And as I have witnessed, use the power of these "sound bite's" to interoperate situations to get across a meaning affordable to their agenda.



posted on Nov, 21 2012 @ 07:47 PM
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I have often heard the bible called the "WORD OF GOD", and then hear people criticize that it is inconsistent, false, and full of myth. I have been a Christian since a small child, and was never taught that it was the WORD OF GOD, but rather the INSPIRED WORD OF GOD. God did not write the Bible. It was written by man. The Old Testament was written between 1450 BC and 425 BC.The New Testament was written between 45 AD and 90 AD.. Most people assume that the Apostles wrote the New Testament. Matthew, Mark, Luke and John did not write their version of the events of Christ's life. In facts they were written hundreds of years after their death. The Bible has been through numerous series of translations. There are some differences in the Apostles description of the life of Christ, and those things that occurred during his lifetime. No one has ever claimed different. People claim these differences as an excuse to disregard the teachings of the Bible.
I find this website to be a good history and explanation of the Bible and it being God's Word.

Is the Bible God's Word?

IMO the Bible is a book that was written by Man with God's inspiration. It teaches us that Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior. It has inspired a religion that has lasted thousands of years, based on 3 years of a Man's life.



posted on Nov, 21 2012 @ 08:22 PM
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Originally posted by VeniVidi
I have often heard the bible called the "WORD OF GOD", and then hear people criticize that it is inconsistent, false, and full of myth. I have been a Christian since a small child, and was never taught that it was the WORD OF GOD, but rather the INSPIRED WORD OF GOD. God did not write the Bible. It was written by man. The Old Testament was written between 1450 BC and 425 BC.The New Testament was written between 45 AD and 90 AD.. Most people assume that the Apostles wrote the New Testament. Matthew, Mark, Luke and John did not write their version of the events of Christ's life. In facts they were written hundreds of years after their death. The Bible has been through numerous series of translations. There are some differences in the Apostles description of the life of Christ, and those things that occurred during his lifetime. No one has ever claimed different. People claim these differences as an excuse to disregard the teachings of the Bible.
I find this website to be a good history and explanation of the Bible and it being God's Word.

Is the Bible God's Word?

IMO the Bible is a book that was written by Man with God's inspiration. It teaches us that Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior. It has inspired a religion that has lasted thousands of years, based on 3 years of a Man's life.


I bet we could point out 3 years of many sinner's lives and use them as examples of how to live better lives.

This is about explaining why "you" believe.



posted on Nov, 21 2012 @ 09:06 PM
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I am no longer a devout Christian, but during my tenure as one, I read the bible through several times. I also referenced the original texts, and did many word studies through my Strongs and other sources to understand the nuances of the original words used in those texts. I have also preached and taught as well.

I would second Aquestion's sentiment in that during my time in the church, not many truly studied their bible, let alone read it.

If one wants to believe the bible is the inerrant word of god, or even that it is just inspired, there is plenty of material out there to feed the need for confirmation bias. However, if one is open to examining more than just the bible, and the huge volume of supporting texts available at your local Christian bookstore, or online, I don't believe one can take the bible any more seriously than we would take any other religious text, and in some cases, mythology.

As I have mentioned before. Even Homer's Iliad and Odyssey has been proven to have some factual basis. So it's no surprise the bible would have some factual history as well.
edit on 11/21/2012 by Klassified because: clarity
edit on 11/21/2012 by Klassified because: grammar



posted on Nov, 21 2012 @ 09:23 PM
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Originally posted by Mrgone
reply to post by chr0naut
 


The "translations" are part of the problem. IMHO. And what would make your interpretation correct?

really, what makes your interpretation of an interpretation correct?

I asked what you believe and why. Based on the bible. Please go into more detail as to why it is correct.



I didn't say any one interpretation was better than any other, I was, in fact saying that multiple versions are prudent, but not for a beginner.

Firstly, in most cases we have almost original documents in their original language to refer to.

The majority of modern translations refer to these original documents, not to existing translations, so there is no case of interpretations of interpretations happening.

The structure of the Hebrew language is such that word meanings do not change over time as other languages do. Each of the 22 letters in Hebrew is a fully complete concept in itself and words are made up of connected concepts which explain the meaning of the words by the sequence of the letter-concepts they contain. Hebrew is not a "noun" language (names, like in English) but is a "verb" language (actions). As such, to change the meaning of even one letter would cause a cascade of nonsense to propagate outward through all existing words, rendering them as junk. So, in this way, meanings are preserved.

Similarly, the other language used in scripture, Greek, is very tightly 'typed' and widely distributed. I.e: In Greek, there are four words that all describe the English word "love" but with very specific aspects of love, so there can be little or no confusion about the meanings of passages. In Greek, there is deep but non-sexual love (agape), a love between friends (philia), a passionate (usually sexual) love (eros) and a parental love (storge).



posted on Nov, 21 2012 @ 09:45 PM
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reply to post by Mrgone
 


logic v.s. faith changes in proportion from prophet to prophet. Each one wrote as he was inspired by the Holy Spirit but that prophet still put everything in his own words. A prophet only wants to know of the Spirit what he himself is interested in, so the Spirit bring elucidations on the thoughts of these people.

You would do better in reading the bible by praying and reading it randomly. The Spirit will speak to you to. The Word is alive.

Plus, you may not be interpreting the bible through the spirit, but only literally. 10 people will read the bible and they will read 10 different things, because the individual is enlightened by it more or less, based on his faith, his intention, and his opinion. God takes all into account and gives faith to all accordingly.



posted on Nov, 21 2012 @ 10:18 PM
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Originally posted by Mrgone

Originally posted by AQuestion
reply to post by Mrgone
 


People remember the sound bite...


And as I have witnessed, use the power of these "sound bite's" to interoperate situations to get across a meaning affordable to their agenda.


Dear Mrgone,

But the bible remains the same. Sure we have to rely on translations; but, how many of us are really willing to learn the ancient languages and is it necessary? Jesus was asked to say which the most important commandment.

Mark 12:28-31. 28 And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all?

29 And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:

30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.

31 And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.

I believe the bible to be inspired by God and conveyed by man. Paul did not claim nor did the other apostles that God dictated it to them. What they did was send letters to churches that were filled with people who knew them reciting what they had learned and witnessed.

You mentioned that you read the bible as a child once. For 2,000 years it has been questioned and yet it stands up. 2,000 years ago it predicted that it would be spread throughout the world and it has, pretty good guess for a handful of people that were being persecuted and killed; but, they were right. It also said that after being spread throughout the world that the church would see a great falling away and now the church is. Again a pretty good guess for 2,000 years ago. Christianity is the only religion that said it would be spread throughout the world just before it would see many leave it. What are the odds that someone could have predicted that so long ago? A fair question.



posted on Nov, 22 2012 @ 08:36 AM
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reply to post by Mrgone
 

. . . I'd love to know what you think of it's leaps in logic, inconsistencies . . .

The old and the new testaments were compiled and edited and standardized by two different groups of people with two different religions, so don't expect to find consistency between the two, since they were not designed to be consistent with each other.
There are places in the NT that take off from metaphorical concepts that could be imagined after reading the OT, but people of the NT religion should not seek any "truth" in those other people's religion. If it was OK, then why was it necessary to create a new religion?
Some people may object to that, and my advice is to go to your nearest Jewish Temple and ask about the next bar mitzvah class.



posted on Nov, 22 2012 @ 12:44 PM
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Sorry for the delay everyone. I am looking back into this now.

Thanks again for your responses. More in a bit after I have some time to consider each response.



posted on Nov, 22 2012 @ 12:46 PM
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reply to post by Klassified
 




Will said. Thanks for your input



posted on Nov, 22 2012 @ 12:53 PM
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Originally posted by chr0naut

Originally posted by Mrgone
reply to post by chr0naut
 


The "translations" are part of the problem. IMHO. And what would make your interpretation correct?

really, what makes your interpretation of an interpretation correct?

I asked what you believe and why. Based on the bible. Please go into more detail as to why it is correct.



I didn't say any one interpretation was better than any other, I was, in fact saying that multiple versions are prudent, but not for a beginner.

Firstly, in most cases we have almost original documents in their original language to refer to.

The majority of modern translations refer to these original documents, not to existing translations, so there is no case of interpretations of interpretations happening.

The structure of the Hebrew language is such that word meanings do not change over time as other languages do. Each of the 22 letters in Hebrew is a fully complete concept in itself and words are made up of connected concepts which explain the meaning of the words by the sequence of the letter-concepts they contain. Hebrew is not a "noun" language (names, like in English) but is a "verb" language (actions). As such, to change the meaning of even one letter would cause a cascade of nonsense to propagate outward through all existing words, rendering them as junk. So, in this way, meanings are preserved.

Similarly, the other language used in scripture, Greek, is very tightly 'typed' and widely distributed. I.e: In Greek, there are four words that all describe the English word "love" but with very specific aspects of love, so there can be little or no confusion about the meanings of passages. In Greek, there is deep but non-sexual love (agape), a love between friends (philia), a passionate (usually sexual) love (eros) and a parental love (storge).


That was very constructive. I Learned from this post. It is a good point and thank you for correcting my statement by expanding

Still, I know too many who lack good depth and desire to learn these concepts. My personal bible was handed down from my grandfather. I also have one that is fifty years old and is written in German. That is good I know about the loss of translation even from German to English.

The knowledge of Hebrew and greek is a new avenue to speak from when having future discussions.

Thanks



posted on Nov, 22 2012 @ 12:59 PM
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Originally posted by AQuestion

Originally posted by Mrgone

Originally posted by AQuestion
reply to post by Mrgone
 


People remember the sound bite...


And as I have witnessed, use the power of these "sound bite's" to interoperate situations to get across a meaning affordable to their agenda.


Dear Mrgone,

But the bible remains the same. Sure we have to rely on translations; but, how many of us are really willing to learn the ancient languages and is it necessary? Jesus was asked to say which the most important commandment.

Mark 12:28-31. 28 And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all?

29 And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:

30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.

31 And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.

I believe the bible to be inspired by God and conveyed by man. Paul did not claim nor did the other apostles that God dictated it to them. What they did was send letters to churches that were filled with people who knew them reciting what they had learned and witnessed.

You mentioned that you read the bible as a child once. For 2,000 years it has been questioned and yet it stands up. 2,000 years ago it predicted that it would be spread throughout the world and it has, pretty good guess for a handful of people that were being persecuted and killed; but, they were right. It also said that after being spread throughout the world that the church would see a great falling away and now the church is. Again a pretty good guess for 2,000 years ago. Christianity is the only religion that said it would be spread throughout the world just before it would see many leave it. What are the odds that someone could have predicted that so long ago? A fair question.


"I believe the bible to be ..."

This is the gist of my point. You "believe". One you've made your mind up it is hard to change it. Most have shown that once they make their mind up they will cling hard to ideas that reinforce their beliefs. And deny most of what contradicts their beliefs. The ego is funny that way

Thanks to you.



posted on Nov, 22 2012 @ 01:01 PM
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reply to post by jmdewey60
 



Thanks. Another good addition to the conversation.






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