Bible written from different points of view?
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09-08-2010, 12:03 PM
 
Bible written from different points of view?
Hey guys! I have been atheist for about 3 years. I attend a Catholic high school, (a different and safer atmosphere than public school in my opinion. We can actually learn, and there's more respect in the classroom. And my parent's are Catholic.) Anyway, I was reading up on the website about Bible contradictions. Catholics will argue that the Bible was written by the writers of the book (Luke for example) and that the reason for these "contradictions" appear to be so, are because the bible was written from different points of view from different people. Apparently, more than one person saw the same event, and recorded their own observations, and put it in their book. Now, on paper this sounded like a credible reason, at least in theory, but I still have this feeling that it doesn't quite make much sense, but I'm not sure how. If anybody could share their opinions that would be awesome! Smile
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09-08-2010, 01:17 PM
RE: Bible written from different points of view?
That actually makes no sense. If the bible is the infallible word of God, then how can their be contradictions due to human comprehension of the event?

It's the word of God or it isn't the word of God but a story told by 4 different points of view. It can't be both.

Shackle their minds when they're bent on the cross
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09-08-2010, 01:39 PM
 
RE: Bible written from different points of view?
(09-08-2010 01:17 PM)BnW Wrote:  That actually makes no sense. If the bible is the infallible word of God, then how can their be contradictions due to human comprehension of the event?

It's the word of God or it isn't the word of God but a story told by 4 different points of view. It can't be both.

Right. I'm really confused, because if there's a couple different versions of the same story, one story leave's out a part that another include's (The fleeing of safety for Mary and Joesph for example, where Luke writes that they fled to Egypt until Herod's death, and Matthew where it mentions nothing about Herod) So... what can you trust? What's true, and what isn't?
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09-08-2010, 01:41 PM
 
RE: Bible written from different points of view?
I think that a lot of people try to use the word "inspired" meaning that they feel the bible is the "inspired" work of God but not "the" work of God. This is meant in some ways to try to get around the holes / contradictions. I think it is all a farce and that the book has more holes than a block of swiss cheese!
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09-08-2010, 02:42 PM
RE: Bible written from different points of view?
There may be some people who claim that but those are not the people claiming the Earth is <10,000 years old, the Flintstones belong on the history channel, and that God created all living things that currently exist in 6 days. To those people, and there are a lot of them, the Bible is the inerrant word of God, straight from his mouth and there is no room for interpretation or metaphors. I have no idea how they deal with the contradictions.

My eldest son has a really good friend who's mother is an evangelical Christian and believes all this. I've often been tempted to ask her about it. The main reason I don't is because she is really a super nice person, does not discuss her beliefs with me, and I see no need to make her feel uncomfortable or ridicule her for her beliefs. But, I've often tried to think of a way to ask her about some of this without it breaking down our friendly relationship. I've yet to come up with strategy for that so I stick with my current strategy of just not bringing it up.

Shackle their minds when they're bent on the cross
When ignorance reigns, life is lost
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09-08-2010, 03:45 PM
RE: Bible written from different points of view?
Hey, erbody.

Just for the record, I often hear a lot of comments about the Bible that state it's written by God and infallible. While many Evangelical Christians believe that, there are many other Christian sects that do not share that belief. I couldn't give an exhaustive list of what sects think what and what controversies exist within each sect, but I thought it was important to point out that Biblical literalism was not a universal idea.

Hey, sjvirchow.

I'm no Bible scholar, but there are way more than just the four canonical gospels. They are referred to as apocryphal gospels. They're a mixture of known, lost, damaged and supressed gospels. Pretty controversial stuff. Doubt that's new news to you though.

Personally, I don't buy the "God wrote the Bible," idea. Seems a little much. I do buy that many people wrote about the same event. What the true nature of that event might be is super-debatable, but that there was a historical context at least for the story of Jesus (maybe not so much for Genesis) seems reasonable. Actually, now that I think about it, I remember having a conversation with an Evangelical friend of mine and I remember him saying that the reason the Bible was so infallible was because many people saw the same event and wrote the same account (judging by the contradiction section on this site, I imagine it's a little more contradictie than he alleged).

I don't know why you feel it doesn't make sense. Seems pretty reasonable to me (I mean, if you think the Bible is full of crap then nothing is reasonable).

Quote:So... what can you trust? What's true, and what isn't?

Well, that's always a problem with history, conflicting accounts. I guess you just gotta compare the accounts to whatever other information you have (the other gospels for example), try and weed out bias and see what lines up (or see what you want to discard as the rantings of lunatics if you're so inclined).

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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09-08-2010, 05:45 PM
 
RE: Bible written from different points of view?
I don't accept the Bible as a legitimate source of historical information. As most of its contents are demonstrably false, I am hesitant to accept the validity of any of it unless backed by an independent source (which itself may not be accurate).

I often compare quoting the Bible to establish the legitimacy of the events described in the Bible to quoting Mein Kampf as evidence for the superiority of the Aryan volk. Is this flawed?
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09-08-2010, 07:49 PM
RE: Bible written from different points of view?
A lot of the old testament is actually based on mythology from other cultures in the mid east. For example, their are cultures that have myths about the parting of a sea, in some cases the Jordan, that predate Moses parting the Red Sea. The Old Testament is filled with things that are most likely historically inaccurate or based on regional mythology.

I mentioned once before a book called The Great Transformation: The Beginning of Our Religious Traditions by Karen Armstrong and I'll mention it again here as I think it's worth a read for anyone interested in the foundations for religious mythology and some of the common origins.

Shackle their minds when they're bent on the cross
When ignorance reigns, life is lost
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10-08-2010, 05:17 AM
 
RE: Bible written from different points of view?
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10-08-2010, 08:41 AM
RE: Bible written from different points of view?
To the literalists, it should be easy to show the contradictions. But their rationalization skills are often off the charts. That or they just scream something about Satan and run off.

To the non-literalists, you have to ask how they know what is and what isn't literal, and who is the judge of that? If they're just throwing out the things they don't like, then aren't they just following their own opinions? If so, then what role does God play in any of it?

And as far as historical sources - specifically in regards to the gospels and the supposed life of Jesus - most modern Biblical scholars seem to agree that none of the canonical gospels were written by eyewitnesses, they were written at different times (sometimes decades after the alleged events), and there is good textual evidence to indicate that many of them (if not all) were derived from one or two common sources. Meaning someone wrote the story (whether it was based on actual events, or not, who knows) and others copied the story and changed details and angles, usually to fit some religious or doctrinal agenda. And maybe others still copied those stories and changed further things, on down the line.

It's amazing how ineffectively the supreme creator of the universe can communicate. Tongue

Our brains deceive us on a regular basis, so we have to find ways to fight back.
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