Help ATS with a contribution via PayPal:
learn more

Theologians - making the clear into the obscure

page: 1
2
<<   2 >>

log in

join

posted on May, 11 2013 @ 06:42 AM
link   
In another thread a self-proclaimed theologian offered to break down the words in the bible in order to reveal its true hidden meaning. The question comes to mind: If god moved the hands of the authors, then doesn't god know how to communicate in simple language for all of mankind to understand? I say, yes! If there were such thing as a 'perfect' god, then his perfect messages would pour into the minds of men in a way that would leave no doubt of their perfect meanings or perfect intentions.

Point being, if a person of even a little intelligence needs someone to explain a bible story, then it clearly wasn't written or inspired by a perfect god.

Theologians have a need to complicate the simple, obscure the obvious, and to actually re-word some of the flaws spoken in biblical texts in order to make them right.

Take for example this part of the sermon on the mount. Take note that Jesus is speaking to the masses, not brilliant men. Why would this 'perfect' man speak in riddles to the uneducated? Answer: He wouldn't.

30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?

31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?

32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.


Jesus is clear on this, that god will feed man. Yet, theologians know that people do starve to death, so they feel compelled to find the flaw in the words of Jesus and correct it. "Oh!" they say, "What Jesus MEANT to say is that god works through man, so man must feed and clothe the needy in the name of god. So, when someone dies of starvation it is MAN'S fault and not god's fault."

Really? Was Jesus so stupid that he couldn't have said this on his own?

Please, PLEASE, just once think about this: Would a 'perfect' god need interpreters? OF COURSE NOT!





edit on 5/11/2013 by jiggerj because: (no reason given)




posted on May, 11 2013 @ 07:25 AM
link   
reply to post by jiggerj
 



Theologians have a need to complicate the simple, obscure the obvious, and to actually re-word some of the flaws spoken in biblical texts in order to make them right.

This is quite true and is something I have personally experienced myself while debating with Christians here.


Yet, theologians know that people do starve to death, so they feel compelled to find the flaw in the words of Jesus and correct it.

You seem to be sneaking in the old "starving people" argument here to make your point.

Something like "since there are starving people in the world, God does not exist".
An atheists argument begins and ends with "there is no God".

Jesus knows a man has to eat and needs clothes to wear, but his lesson was that such basic needs should not be the focus of his life. In other words, Jesus was teaching his audience not to dwell too much on worldly things.... not that God would keep everybody well fed and happy.

He then instructed them to seek first the kingdom of Heaven. One thing about Jesus was someone who had detached himself from this world and taught his followers that there is more to "life" than our earthly existence and that one needs to stay focused on the world to come.



posted on May, 11 2013 @ 07:33 AM
link   
Like all the bible, it was written well after Jesus died
I can't even remember why something I said upset the wife last week, let alone in 20 years Jigger.

Unless I see the minutes of the sermon I'll take it with a pinch of salt.

And no, a perfect God would not allow you to misconstrue His true meaning, if indeed there is a God. But as no doubt some one will come on and say God gave us free will to choose whether to listen or not this can only go around in circles.

You should read conversations with God, I don't think it was meant to be a comedy but it gave me a chuckle or two.

Cody



posted on May, 11 2013 @ 07:35 AM
link   
reply to post by jiggerj
 


Really? Was Jesus so stupid that he couldn't have said this on his own?

You are always pointing your index finger at God.
Take a close look at that posture and see the reality,
there are three fingers pointing back at you, and
that is the truth of your existence.



posted on May, 11 2013 @ 07:43 AM
link   
reply to post by jiggerj
 



Would a 'perfect' god need interpreters? OF COURSE NOT!


The interpretation done by theologians is only as good as the method used. Faulty interpretations lead to faulty conclusions. I've seen it happen here several times.

But non-Christians can also end up interpreting a verse faultily.
In case of verses such as the one you quoted, it would help if one were to read the surrounding verses and understand the overall context. Then he can establish how it sits with other important Biblical themes, such as faith in God, the afterlife etc.

The context of Jesus' speech was regarding human wants and needs.. and how they are temporal and sometimes trivial, compared to greater matters... which are eternal consequences.

An atheist stops at the part where Jesus said God would feed everybody and then points out at the starvation in the world and asks "how can this be?"

Speaking for myself, a theist think this starvation problem while looking into other things....
- What has God said about this matter?
- What else did Jesus say about this matter?
- How does it sit with other theological ideas?
- How does it sit with the problem at hand (in this case, starvation)?
-etc

Different theists have different approaches...



posted on May, 11 2013 @ 08:08 AM
link   
reply to post by jiggerj
 


Think of it like faith is knowledge, and the more faith you have, the more you are able to understand. That's just how it works - that's our reality.

The passage is conveying that you should put God first, not the worry of what you need to survive. In doing so, God will give you what you need to survive. He knows what you need; and what you need first, is faith in your God.



posted on May, 11 2013 @ 08:12 AM
link   
reply to post by jiggerj
 


The expression of the Word of God, in the form of the Bible or other scriptures, is a reflection of the true word written into each of us. When a person reads the Bible, the truth that is locked there is not expressed unless the person reads the word inside their own 'self' first. This can only be accomplished by experience and virtue. Virtue is the mechanism for our own mind to read the word God planted within. As a reflection of this, a person who has expressed virtue can then find the mirror of this in the Word of God and identify with both. A person who lacks the reading of the inner word cannot then read the outer with meaning. It is locked until the inner meaning is expressed first.

In the Tao De Ching, the path for this is clearly outlined. Anyone can learn to follow the 'WAY' of the Tao to then discover God's word within. Romans 8 also clearly outlines the path to righteousness and sums up the Tao in a much more concise version. The path is called the 'way'. Philosophy is called the truth. Only Christ can bring the life to the soul. Union with the divine can only be expressed by living away from the self will. Rumi the Sumi is also a good source for the way to righteousness and God's presence. The Dhammapada is another source for the way. Many people recognize the path of the Tao and end their search there, failing to read the words outside the inner word. Life comes by Christ and Christ brought the final solution to the riddle that must be read. That riddle ends with the answer of Agape Love. How do we end the riddle of the Word apart from living it? We can't. Anyone who follows the path and veers from it will end up back where they started. The path is narrow and it must be walked to be understood. Otherwise, these are just words, words words.

When the student is ready, the teacher appears. Humility before God must be accomplished by virtue lived. Otherwise, pride leads you on the wrong path. Anyone who has walked in virtue will tell you that the Word then opens like a flower.

You are frustrated with your understanding because you have not bothered to walk the narrow path. When you are ready to do this one simple step, the Word will open for you as well. Not until.

I have just shown you the way, the truth and the life. Christ is all three. You must be all three as well or the words will be just that--words. When you realize that you cannot save yourself, this feedback loop of life will then open the true path back to God--Christ. He is the only way back to the Father. Remain here and the same confusion will repeat endlessly. Read the word and the door is opened to the seeker. Start by reading your own word. Each of us has a different part of the whole. Better yet, have God read your word for you.

If you dare, I'll show you how to have God read your own word. Your proof of God will come if you have the courage.

Crumb on the Path

edit on 11-5-2013 by EnochWasRight because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 11 2013 @ 08:26 AM
link   

Originally posted by Bleeeeep
reply to post by jiggerj
 


Think of it like faith is knowledge, and the more faith you have, the more you are able to understand. That's just how it works - that's our reality.

The passage is conveying that you should put God first, not the worry of what you need to survive. In doing so, God will give you what you need to survive. He knows what you need; and what you need first, is faith in your God.


I agree. Read my last post. What you are describing can be summed up in one word--surrender. God gives us that measure of faith each time we show a willingness to bend the heart toward another person in need.

edit on 11-5-2013 by EnochWasRight because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 11 2013 @ 08:49 AM
link   
reply to post by EnochWasRight
 


Surrender implies giving up in order to be controlled. There is a lack of will in being controlled.

I would say faith. As in a willingness to accept, trust, and follow of our on free will.


Semantics maybe, but I'm sticking with faith.



posted on May, 11 2013 @ 09:05 AM
link   
What we call the bible, is an esoteric and incomplete work of works. It's works were written to be understood on levels. A surface meaning to the unlearned and uninitiated masses, and deeper meaning to the initiates and adepts. It is the job of the so-called theologians and scholars to give some semblance of congruity to the text at a certain level for those who are literalists. In other words. Christians.

If there is a "God", I suspect he/she has little to do with any written texts. They're unnecessary. Because anyone interested in knowing God would have revelation of him/her directly, and it would be congruent with everyone else's revelation.



posted on May, 11 2013 @ 09:27 AM
link   

Originally posted by Bleeeeep
reply to post by EnochWasRight
 


Surrender implies giving up in order to be controlled. There is a lack of will in being controlled.

I would say faith. As in a willingness to accept, trust, and follow of our on free will.


Semantics maybe, but I'm sticking with faith.


Our own will is pride. Surrender is to God's will, which is giving and never taking.



posted on May, 11 2013 @ 12:27 PM
link   
reply to post by sk0rpi0n
 





You seem to be sneaking in the old "starving people" argument here to make your point.


No no no. No hidden agenda. It's all about the words. Changing the words. Changing the meaning of the words.

You wrote:



Jesus knows a man has to eat and needs clothes to wear, but his lesson was that such basic needs should not be the focus of his life. In other words, Jesus was teaching his audience not to dwell too much on worldly things...


Are you implying that Jesus COULDN'T have said what you wrote? He couldn't have said: Such basic needs should not be the focus of one's life? I say he could have, but that is not what he said, now is it? He said god will feed and clothe you.

The only excuse possible is that some meanings might have gotten lost in translation from the original language into English and other languages. Unless there's someone here that knows both, I guess we'll never find out. Then this discussion would be about perfecting the translation because as it stands now, we can only go with how it is written and MISunderstood by theologians in their language.



posted on May, 11 2013 @ 12:31 PM
link   

Originally posted by slugger9787
reply to post by jiggerj
 


Really? Was Jesus so stupid that he couldn't have said this on his own?

You are always pointing your index finger at God.
Take a close look at that posture and see the reality,
there are three fingers pointing back at you, and
that is the truth of your existence.


I should have this deleted because it's off topic. Try pointing YOUR finger at the TOPIC instead of the writer and see if your mind can come up with anything interesting on what we're discussing here.



posted on May, 11 2013 @ 01:03 PM
link   

Originally posted by sk0rpi0n
reply to post by jiggerj
 



Would a 'perfect' god need interpreters? OF COURSE NOT!


The interpretation done by theologians is only as good as the method used. Faulty interpretations lead to faulty conclusions. I've seen it happen here several times.

But non-Christians can also end up interpreting a verse faultily.
In case of verses such as the one you quoted, it would help if one were to read the surrounding verses and understand the overall context. Then he can establish how it sits with other important Biblical themes, such as faith in God, the afterlife etc.

The context of Jesus' speech was regarding human wants and needs.. and how they are temporal and sometimes trivial, compared to greater matters... which are eternal consequences.

An atheist stops at the part where Jesus said God would feed everybody and then points out at the starvation in the world and asks "how can this be?"

Speaking for myself, a theist think this starvation problem while looking into other things....
- What has God said about this matter?
- What else did Jesus say about this matter?
- How does it sit with other theological ideas?
- How does it sit with the problem at hand (in this case, starvation)?
-etc

Different theists have different approaches...


Again, it's not about starvation. I chose the sermon on the mount because it is in the New Testament. Too many Christians have a total disregard for the Old Testament. I could have started right at Adam and Eve and how some people believe it is 100% accurate and historical, where theologians will argue that it is fictional, a moral guide, with everything written with underlying meanings. The apple represents sex. The apple represents sin. The serpent isn't real, it represents temptation. The serpent is real, it is Satan.

The point is, if the writers of the bible were moved by the holy spirit, then how could the bible be so cloaked in metaphors and analogies in need of interpreters to explain it to the masses? Put thirty well-educated theologians on this subject and you still might get thirty different interpretations.

If we start over-analyzing right from the garden of Eden, then the whole book is wide open to interpretation. Was the story of Abraham true? Was the knife he was going to use to sacrifice his son really a metaphor for cutting away childish beliefs (represented by his son that also wasn't real)?

Was Jesus really a metaphor for the good that all men are capable of?

See, if the bible isn't literal in one section, then it all becomes open to interpretation. Why would a god want such confusion in his book? If the purpose of god's book is about raising man to a higher calling, to a higher level of awareness, it sure seems to me that the lessons within the book would be irrefutable and not open to interpretation by anyone.



posted on May, 11 2013 @ 02:07 PM
link   

Originally posted by Bleeeeep
reply to post by jiggerj
 


Think of it like faith is knowledge, and the more faith you have, the more you are able to understand. That's just how it works - that's our reality.

The passage is conveying that you should put God first, not the worry of what you need to survive. In doing so, God will give you what you need to survive. He knows what you need; and what you need first, is faith in your God.


The topic here is NOT what you imagine the bible to mean. The topic is how the bible NEEDS to be interpreted, altered, and outright disregarded in order to form some kind of logic out of it. If Jesus said god will feed and clothe you, there can be no confusion to this very simple statement. Yet, people feel a need to justify it by saying, Don't look at what is written. Just try to glean the intent of what is written. How can that be good enough? How can putting different words and meanings into each of Jesus' sentences be a good thing?

Do theologians think they are smarter than Jesus - slash - god? If I were a god I would say to them, How DARE you give my words different meanings than what intended? Do you think I (your GOD) don't know how to speak to you?
edit on 5/11/2013 by jiggerj because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 11 2013 @ 02:22 PM
link   
reply to post by EnochWasRight
 





The expression of the Word of God, in the form of the Bible or other scriptures, is a reflection of the true word written into each of us. When a person reads the Bible, the truth that is locked there is not expressed unless the person reads the word inside their own 'self' first.


Who told you that? Why wasn't this written at the very beginning of the bible? Since it wasn't written then you theorized that this is the way it is. You had to clarify GOD'S intent in the making of the bible.

You are staying at a friend's house. To show your appreciation for him sheltering you in your time of need you decide to move a pile of bricks from his front lawn and put them out back. When the friend comes home he asks where his bricks are. You tell him what you did and he becomes outraged. Those bricks were out there because he was going to make a brick wall along the sidewalk. Now he has to lug them all back again. And, the question never spoken is, What gave you the right to assume that the owner didn't know what he was doing by putting the bricks out front? What gave you the right to analyze his thoughts, whereas if he had wanted you to know what he was doing with those bricks, he would have told you.

This is what theologians do to the bible. They not only insult god by changing his meanings, but they insult all of mankind by suggesting that we are all too stupid to understand the messages from god to us.

Either the bible stands alone in God's clarity, or if it isn't clear, then it had to be written solely by imperfect man.



posted on May, 11 2013 @ 05:18 PM
link   
reply to post by jiggerj
 


I gave you the answer. You did not understand, because you had no faith in what I wrote. You must have faith to understand things.

As I said, it is our reality - it is not just the Bible. The reason you do not understand the words of the Bible, is not because the words are not articulated well enough, it is because you do not have faith well enough.

More, the Bible is written so that it really does have multiple, and deeper, meanings in some verses, but most are not hidden, per se, it just takes more faith to understand the deeper meanings.

So, to put, "think of it like faith is knowledge, and the more faith you have, the more you are able to understand.", into terms you might better understand... Think of life, and the Bible, like a puzzle that you know you can solve, if you keep studying the pieces. If you have enough faith, you will be able to solve the puzzle, because you have faith that you can. However, without any faith, you will give up, you will be blinded, and you will not see.

Why, why, why?

Life requires faith and a desire to understand anything because the goal of life is for you to learn to be faithful, and for you to learn to love your God, and for you to learn to love your neighbor. (The key word there is learn.) If he gives you all the answers in the beginning, then you will learn nothing of faith or love - you must go through the process of learning, or you will have no faith in what you have be given...

Why must you learn?

Because you are to have freewill with the keys to the kingdom. You cannot have freewill, if you are forced to have faith and love, but without faith and love, freewill would be disastrous. Thus, you must learn through your own freewill. You must desire and choose to have faith and love.

More, everything you have ever learned was because you had faith in the messenger or yourself. You can not willfully do, or understand, anything, without faith that it can be done, or that it is possible to learn.

Do you understand now? You must desire to understand the Bible, because you cannot learn if you are just given it without faith and desire to understand. Without faith, the words will just look like a wall of text. That's reality. Do you understand why you must learn to have faith? Because you will be given the keys, if you choose to love and to have faith.

Once you have faith and understanding, you can try to help others by becoming a theologian, pastor, priest, or an armchair evangelist, but it is not required for you to do so, in order for others to understand the Bible. What is required, is that they desire it and have faith. So, do not think of them as a requirement to understanding the Bible, think of them as people who are trying to help.



posted on May, 11 2013 @ 06:42 PM
link   
reply to post by jiggerj
 




Who told you that? Why wasn't this written at the very beginning of the bible? Since it wasn't written then you theorized that this is the way it is. You had to clarify GOD'S intent in the making of the bible.


Jeremiah 31:33

"This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel after that time," declares the LORD. "I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.

----There is one reference. The rest of your reply seems to suggest God has not told us the how and why of the Word. He has. All you need to do is pay attention.

"...the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed." John 3:19-20

"For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your bondservants for Jesus’ sake. For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God...." 2 Corinthians 4:3-6

"Hear this now, O foolish people, without understanding,
Who have eyes and see not, and who have ears and hear not:
Do you not fear Me?’ says the Lord.
‘Will you not tremble at My presence?" Jeremiah 5:21-22

---The Bible makes it clear that hearing and seeing is accompanied by faith and trust. Those who hide in the darkness are blind and deaf.

"But they refused to heed, shrugged their shoulders, and stopped their ears so that they could not hear. Yes, they made their hearts like flint, refusing to hear..." Zachariah 6:11-12

"...the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it." John 1:5
"...always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth." 2 Timothy 3:7

"Jesus spoke to the multitude in parables; and without a parable He did not speak to them, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying: 'I will open My mouth in parables; I will utter things kept secret from the foundation of the world.'” Matthew 13:34-35

"And the disciples came and said to Him, 'Why do You speak to them in parables?' He answered and said to them, 'Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. ...

Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. And in them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled, which says: ‘Hearing you will hear and shall not understand, and seeing you will see and not perceive; for the hearts of this people have grown dull. Their ears are hard of hearing, and their eyes they have closed..." Matthew 13:10-15

"Paul... has written to you, as also in all his epistles... in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures.

"You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked; but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ." 2 Peter 3:15-18

"But He turned and said to Peter, 'Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.'” Matthew 16:23

"These people draw near to Me with their mouth, and honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’” Matthew 15:8-9

"I now send you, to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.’" Acts 26:17-18

“You shall speak My words to them, whether they hear or whether they refuse..." Ezekiel 2:7

"For this reason we... do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power,  for all patience and long-suffering with joy;  giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of  the inheritance of the saints in the light.  He has delivered us from  the power of darkness  and  conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love,  in whom we have redemption  through His blood, the forgiveness of sins." Colossians 1:9-14

"He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures.” Luke 24:45

There are so many more.

edit on 11-5-2013 by EnochWasRight because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 11 2013 @ 06:53 PM
link   
reply to post by Bleeeeep
 





As I said, it is our reality - it is not just the Bible. The reason you do not understand the words of the Bible, is not because the words are not articulated well enough, it is because you do not have faith well enough.


Sorry, Bleeeeep, I couldn't disagree more. Please keep in mind that Jesus spoke these words to the masses before Christianity. This multitude at the mount didn't have faith in Christ yet. What Jesus spoke was supposed to be plain as the nose on your face, without any need of faith then, or now. So, when Jesus said that god will clothe and feed the hungry, he either misspoke or he didn't say it at all. Which either makes him an imperfect being, or the biblical tale is just a story.



posted on May, 11 2013 @ 07:02 PM
link   
reply to post by Bleeeeep
 




So, to put, "think of it like faith is knowledge, and the more faith you have, the more you are able to understand."


I can almost agree with this. As with anything, if you fully believe in something then no matter how absurd it is you will look (and find) rationalizations and justifications for it - answers that may be just as absurd as the initial belief.

As I've said before, if I believed in unicorns I could rationalize that there are such animals as horses, and there are horned animals, along with winged creatures. So, I could easily justify my belief that all of these attributes could have been on one creature. It would sound totally logical to me as a believer, but beyond absurd to a non-believer. So, having faith in unicorns would compel me to search for even more false knowledge.





new topics

top topics



 
2
<<   2 >>

log in

join