Cherry Picking the Bible
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10-01-2017, 04:03 AM
Cherry Picking the Bible
what are the teachings of God?

I read the Bible as a young kid and all I got was 66 different books telling me hundreds of different things

The annoying thing with the Bible is that you can "cherry-pick" passages to argue opposite points

e.g. Luke 10:27, personally not bothered by the first half, the more famous 2nd half however, is used to argue both for & against EUTHANASIA

Luke 10:27 - ‘Love your neighbor as yourself'. Sounds easy enough.. But if you apply that teaching to the concept of euthanasia, you get 2 conflicting points on the SAME theme

1. Compassion , if you know a terminally ill person who is suffering immensely, it would be more compassionate to help end such needless agony

2. Compassion, if you know a terminally ill person who is suffering immensely, a compassionate person would attempt to improve the terminally ill person's quality of life and encourage them to live on..

Nice one, Bible Facepalm

So.. in short.. the Bible itself is not perfect, it is a HUMAN account and did not arrive by fax from heaven.. The whole point of the Bible is to create new believers
which is why there are miracles and other things in there.

If you've noticed any other "cherry-picking" passages in the Bible, note them down please in the comments section
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10-01-2017, 05:24 AM
RE: Cherry Picking the Bible
(10-01-2017 04:03 AM)Cypher44 Wrote:  what are the teachings of God?

Which one?

Quote:The whole point of the Bible is to create new believers
which is why there are miracles and other things in there.

I doubt that anyone who would read Bible without being indoctrinated earlier would care much for it's contents much less started believing that primitive, bloodthirsty and genocidal deity described in it exist. Bible is no different than other mythology anthologies, it's those already convinced of it's alleged greatness ascribe unwarranted importance to it.

The first revolt is against the supreme tyranny of theology, of the phantom of God. As long as we have a master in heaven, we will be slaves on earth.

Mikhail Bakunin.
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10-01-2017, 06:14 AM (This post was last modified: 10-01-2017 06:21 AM by TheInquisition.)
RE: Cherry Picking the Bible
There's another form of cherry-picking, that is cherry-picking which definitions of a word you want to use.

In Genesis, it uses the Hebrew word "yom" for day. The Hebrew word yom can be interpreted as day or age, thus we get old-earth creationists and the obnoxious young-earth creationists.
(It does mean one 24 hour period BTW)

If there can be such stark differences between which definition you can use for a word, then why use this book in the first place? It has a fundamental flaw, it uses words with multiple meanings to convey ill-defined concepts.

This has the result of creating obnoxious assholes that think that THEIR interpretation is the correct one. The faithful and fraudulent wallow in this interpretive sophistry, if you can't tell the difference between an authority and a con man of biblical truth, it's time to set down that book and stop using it.

It's about as useful as using marshmallows as nails.

Gods derive their power from post-hoc rationalizations. -The Inquisition

Using the supernatural to explain events in your life is a failure of the intellect to comprehend the world around you. -The Inquisition
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10-01-2017, 10:01 AM
RE: Cherry Picking the Bible
All holy books are vague templates that can be used and adapted according to the needs and sensibilities and awareness of each age. That is why they are often deemed to contain "timeless truths".

If you could be a fly on the wall of some fundamentalist Christian gathering in, say, 1930, you might hear a sermon with convincing proof-texts railing against things like listening to the radio, going to movies, dancing, or women wearing skirts less than ankle length. Here in 2017, I doubt you could find more than 1 or 2 backwoods fundamentalists churches preaching even one of these things. That these are "sinful" or "an abomination unto god" would not occur to present-day fundamentalists, and the reasoning and scripture backing them would appear nonsensical to them.

There are multiple reasons for that, not least that god's supposedly immutable morality does evolve, just a discrete couple of generations behind secular society. But my point for purposes of this discussion is that scripture can be used to support all sorts of random things according to need.

Consider the passage, "Come out from among them and be ye separate, says the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing, and I will receive you" (2 Cor 6:17). This is the NT quoting the OT, probably Isaiah 52:11, when "the unclean thing" was contact with anything in Jewish law that made you ritually unclean. The NT reference applies it more generally to anything sinful, and so a 1930s preacher could point to the bogeymen of his era, a 2010s preacher can point to the bogeymen of this era. Calf-length skirts, who cares ... modern fundies have bigger fish to fry, such as premarital sex (which they can now openly talk about) and marriage equality and who uses what bathroom and might peep under the toilet stall at you. The same verse serves for all.

The "unpardonable sin" is also whatever you want it to be ... unbelief, blasphemy, masturbation, suicide, you name it. A good orator / bloviator with the false unction of holy writ can make all of it seem plainly applicable.
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10-01-2017, 10:27 AM
RE: Cherry Picking the Bible
The fact that the bible requires any interpretation at all proves that it is not the perfect word of some god.
There should be no room for any type of argument about it's contents or divinity.
It's simply a device. A device to help control people who weren't smart enough to know any better 2000 years ago.
It's a shame really that so many people would rather be told how to think and behave by someone in a pulpit, than think for themselves.
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10-01-2017, 10:33 AM
RE: Cherry Picking the Bible
(10-01-2017 10:01 AM)mordant Wrote:  Consider the passage, "Come out from among them and be ye separate, says the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing, and I will receive you" (2 Cor 6:17). This is the NT quoting the OT, probably Isaiah 52:11, when "the unclean thing" was contact with anything in Jewish law that made you ritually unclean.

Yup! The Christians are wholly and laughably inept at quoting and interpreting Jewish law. You can generally rely on this one thing: If it's a Christian who is telling you what Jews believe or do, they're wrong. Whatever it is, they're wrong about it.
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10-01-2017, 10:57 AM
RE: Cherry Picking the Bible
(10-01-2017 10:33 AM)Aliza Wrote:  
(10-01-2017 10:01 AM)mordant Wrote:  Consider the passage, "Come out from among them and be ye separate, says the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing, and I will receive you" (2 Cor 6:17). This is the NT quoting the OT, probably Isaiah 52:11, when "the unclean thing" was contact with anything in Jewish law that made you ritually unclean.
Yup! The Christians are wholly and laughably inept at quoting and interpreting Jewish law. You can generally rely on this one thing: If it's a Christian who is telling you what Jews believe or do, they're wrong. Whatever it is, they're wrong about it.
Yes the Jews normally get a good belly laugh out of Christian misappropriation and misconstrual of their laws, customs and prophecies ... when they are not frustrated or pissed off at them.
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10-01-2017, 11:14 AM (This post was last modified: 10-01-2017 11:20 AM by mordant.)
RE: Cherry Picking the Bible
(10-01-2017 10:27 AM)pablo Wrote:  The fact that the bible requires any interpretation at all proves that it is not the perfect word of some god.
More broadly, written revelation is not, as inerrantists would have it, some sort of great gift of clarity. Because this is what they are positing:

God ==> Inspired author ==> countless scribes and copyists ==> translator ==> reader ignorance / bias / (mis)perception

The whole process is more error prone and subjective than they will ever admit.

And in real world terms it's even worse, because you have to remember that for most of human history, most people were illiterate and uneducated and poor. Even after the invention of the printing press many people could not afford to buy a book; before that it was a rich man's hobby at best. Combine that with widespread illiteracy and most humans who have ever lived never even had the benefit of reading this supposedly wonderful gift of god's grace. What ended up happening is they heard it from the town vicar through the lens of his particular theology, maybe once in awhile they got to hear a passage read aloud verbatim (quite possibly in Latin so that they couldn't understand it anyway, it was just ritual incantations). That's about it.

I have had many a conversation with staunch fundamentalists who maintain doggedly that they read the Bible properly "in context" and when you do that it's perfectly plain and clear what it says. You can never get them to admit that their "obvious" interpretation is just as subjective and personal and biased as anyone's. They have simply picked one out of scores of possible interpretive systems that govern overall things like where you draw the line between metaphor and literal meaning, how you resolve conflicts, etc., and then gone ahead and ran with that in their own way or at best, in the manner of their particular sect.

One of the most eye-opening things that happened to me in this regard was back in the mid 1970s when I made a side income doing word processing for print shops and a few individuals. I was approached by a seminary student to type up his master's thesis. A lengthy appendex thereto was a ruthless deconstruction of something that up to then I didn't even know existed, the "KJV Only" movement. This is a group that took literalism and inerrantism to new heights, alleging that not only did god inspire the original authors of the Bible, but the translators. All of this, of course, was just an excuse to deify the King James Version as "god's chosen translation for the English-speaking peoples". To my knowledge they never took a position on what translation God green-lighted for the Spanish, French, or Swahili-speaking peoples, but I digress.

This was, looking back on it now, the beginning of my earliest doubts about fundamentalist orthodoxy and teaching. It was a self-caricature of fundamentalism that made me at least understand why a Christian moderate or liberal would find my less strident fundamentalism to be absurd. And it got me thinking ... and long story very short, here I am today.

I've often wondered what happened to that nice young seminary student and where he is today. I think he was already a closet liberal Christian in a Baptist Theological Cemetery -- er, Seminary -- and I'll warrant by now he's an atheist. Nothing cranks out atheists like a real thorough reading and study of scripture without preconceptions.
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10-01-2017, 11:23 AM
RE: Cherry Picking the Bible
If we for a sec consider that the Bible is true.. Then the book itself has fallen prey to
the oldest known killer of credibility : Oral Tradition

It's like, in essence, a game of Chinese Whispers, a set of teachings get handed down orally over thousands of years and then written down.. There will be a ton of discrepancies.

Oh no. He's here - God
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10-01-2017, 11:33 AM
RE: Cherry Picking the Bible
(10-01-2017 11:23 AM)Cypher44 Wrote:  If we for a sec consider that the Bible is true.. Then the book itself has fallen prey to
the oldest known killer of credibility : Oral Tradition

It's like, in essence, a game of Chinese Whispers, a set of teachings get handed down orally over thousands of years and then written down.. There will be a ton of discrepancies.

Chances are, it won't even resemble the original at all.
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