I have a question for Christians.
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02-05-2016, 12:40 PM
RE: I have a question for Christians.
(02-05-2016 12:24 PM)Grasshopper Wrote:  What's even funnier to me is that they intend this to be a great tower that reaches all the way to Heaven, but from God's point of view, it's so puny that he has to come down to see what it is they're building. This also says something about God's supposed omniscience.

To make it worse, he wasn't afraid of the tower per se, he was afraid that people were getting too capable.

Genesis 11:
(4) And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top [may reach] unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.
(5) And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded.
(6) And the LORD said, Behold, the people [is] one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.
(7) Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech.

He was afraid back in the garden that people would east from the tree of life and become like gods and now he's afraid that they'd get too powerful even without immortality. Basically, he's a dick who wants to keep people ignorant and grovelling at his feet rather than letting them advance.

Thank god he's imaginary.
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02-05-2016, 12:42 PM
RE: I have a question for Christians.
(02-05-2016 12:22 PM)Grasshopper Wrote:  I can't argue with any of that, but it doesn't really address the issue. If the eternal fate of our souls depends on reading, understanding, and believing in the Bible, how could God have allowed it to become corrupted by mistranslation, etc.? Surely if his message was that important for us, he could have made sure it didn't get corrupted.

I don't think our eternal fate is dependent or whether I believe the the translation of the particular hebrew term in the bible means wild ox, or unicorn, lol. Nor do I think salvation is dependent on one subscribing to inerrancy or not. Or that that those that might hold to a more accurate theology are anymore closer to salvation than those who don't.

I think there's more to say about salvation, in why we interpret things the way we do, than in which interpretation we settle on.

"Tell me, muse, of the storyteller who has been thrust to the edge of the world, both an infant and an ancient, and through him reveal everyman." ---Homer the aged poet.

"In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it."
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02-05-2016, 12:44 PM
RE: I have a question for Christians.
(02-05-2016 12:37 PM)PsychTheist Wrote:  
(01-05-2016 07:00 AM)MatureMcLeod95 Wrote:  If God confused people's languages at the Tower of Babel, did he know that he would mess up his bible. I ask Christians all the time about errors in the bible, they always tell me it's a mistranslation. Who was the one who confused their languages in the first place.

I am Christian. I have studied a lot of the things mentioned in the comments. First, yes God knew that it would cause complications in communication, that was the point, and he did know the consequences that would arise from it. I have read many serious contradictions in the Bible. However, I take it as there are different solutions for different situations. I don't see the Bible as straight up black and white. I think it also includes the gray areas that are not as easy to address. Much of the belief in Christianity is that we have free will, the choice to follow God or not. That causes a lot of complications since people can choose to create bad situations like child abuse, rape, terrorism. I unfortunately was raised in a more black and white church and thought I'd go to hell for being raped as a child (premarital sex), I spent a lot of time questioning God over that. But, no one knew what had happened and so no one knew I needed to see the parts of the Bible that say it isn't what you do that gets you saved, but faith (accepting that someone, Jesus, stood in for your sin). So for me, a lot of it is not a mistranslation but a lesson about a different context or different choice. I also believe that if God can create the whole earth and all the things on it, including us, and scramble languages, that he can make things happen to keep the Bible in tact no matter who translates it. I mean, if he wants it to happen he can make it happen if he can do all that other stuff. And there are parts that are very confusing if you don't study the full history of the setting and circumstances. Some of it sounds more fantastic because it wasn't known like we know now and therefore difficult to explain. Like the guy who got instantly eaten up by worms, that refers to a parasitic worm sac that ruptures and causes all of the worms to feed on the intestines at once, killing the person within as little as 45 minutes. It still happens in impoverished countries. As far as the unicorn, I really have no clue what they are referring to. It could have been a species that died out. I don't have all the answers.

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“I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man’s reasoning powers are not above the monkey’s.”~Mark Twain
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02-05-2016, 01:13 PM
RE: I have a question for Christians.
(02-05-2016 12:37 PM)PsychTheist Wrote:  So for me, a lot of it is not a mistranslation but a lesson about a different context or different choice.

So IOW, useless.

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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02-05-2016, 01:26 PM
RE: I have a question for Christians.
(02-05-2016 12:42 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(02-05-2016 12:22 PM)Grasshopper Wrote:  I can't argue with any of that, but it doesn't really address the issue. If the eternal fate of our souls depends on reading, understanding, and believing in the Bible, how could God have allowed it to become corrupted by mistranslation, etc.? Surely if his message was that important for us, he could have made sure it didn't get corrupted.

I don't think our eternal fate is dependent or whether I believe the the translation of the particular hebrew term in the bible means wild ox, or unicorn, lol. Nor do I think salvation is dependent on one subscribing to inerrancy or not. Or that that those that might hold to a more accurate theology are anymore closer to salvation than those who don't.

I think there's more to say about salvation, in why we interpret things the way we do, than in which interpretation we settle on.

The unicorn thing is trivial, but there are far more significant ambiguities than that, and not all of them depend on the translation. Jesus can't seem to make up his mind whether salvation depends on (1) believing in him, (2) eating his flesh and drinking his blood, or (3) how you treat your fellow man (the parable of the sheep and goats). There is no indication anywhere that it might be "all of the above". In each case, it is strongly implied that this one thing is all you need to do to be saved, and that those who don't do the one thing are damned.

If God wanted us to be saved, and if the Bible is the manual for how to accomplish that, it needed to be a lot clearer than it is. Of course, if there is no God and the Bible is just a collection of miscellaneous things written by different people over a span of 1000 years or more and collected hundreds of years later by a different group of people (who argued vehemently over which books to include), then it's no surprise at all that it's full of ambiguities and contradictions. It's exactly what you would expect.
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02-05-2016, 03:09 PM
RE: I have a question for Christians.
Free will is incompatible with the belief in an omnipotent god.
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02-05-2016, 03:28 PM
RE: I have a question for Christians.
(02-05-2016 03:09 PM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote:  Free will is incompatible with the belief in an omnipotent god.

Only to the extent that free will is incompatible with determinism.

"Tell me, muse, of the storyteller who has been thrust to the edge of the world, both an infant and an ancient, and through him reveal everyman." ---Homer the aged poet.

"In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it."
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02-05-2016, 03:28 PM
RE: I have a question for Christians.
The point of the Tower of Babel coming coming down was not that humans were getting powerful but that they were trying to get into Heaven by relying on each other and not listening to God. Basically they were trying to 'back door' the situation. Eve ate from the 'Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil'. Before this they did not know evil, sin, and did not have a concept of one thing being better than another. All things were good and there just wasn't an evil nature, or mean streak. I'm guessing that would look similar to animals, in the sense of evil not intelligence. For example, the majority of species don't kill their own kind, kill for pleasure, commit suicide. If you look at the cognition of apes, aside from the dominant male position, there really aren't instances of abuse, rape, hurting the young, especially pedophilia (there are no observations of a fully grown ape having sex with an ape that is not fully through puberty), or murder for pleasure. I think we already had the higher intelligence but when it came to violence, deception, cruelty, and things like that, it wasn't there until she ate that fruit. For all I know the fruit had some special enzyme that activated those kinds of receptors and pathways in the brain. So in that context, knowledge was not meant as intelligence but as a part of the brain that was activated. In certain dogs we see that if their brain swells it can cause pressure in the frontal lobe causing a violent nature similar to serial killers (this happens in some pit bulls giving them a bad rap). So, there is that capability in them, and if treated in the very beginning it can be prevented as well. Also, the man who was eaten by worms is in Acts chapter 12. They know now from the documentation of diseases in that area in the given time period that there were many cases of this type of parasitic worm, and now that we see the same worm in modern times. It has been medically documented how they stayed in the body for many years without notice, because of the protective sac, and that something as little as them reaching their max or a fall will burst the sack releasing the parasites. Most of the time that parasite is considered most lethal of the worm parasites since the host shows no symptoms until it is too late. However, modern doctors who examined patients looking for them could find them before the sack ruptured and could give the host medicine to kill the parasite. It was something that also happened in the time of Acts but they just didn't know how to describe it other than saying he was eaten by worms. I'm sure there were many things that were seen during that time that were not able to be described well. Color changing reptiles, a transparent water creature that looks like a large worm, horses with stripes, water creatures that could change color and spit a black substance into the water, a member of a species that is born with little or no color and red eyes... Even with our capabilities today we are still finding species never seen before and discovering species that used to exist that became extinct. There are many creatures that sound mythical based on description alone. Believing in God does not mean I know every single fish, mammal, bird, and dinosaur.
As for the three types of ways to be saved that was mentioned; There was a more complex way of getting to Heaven before Jesus came. People had to go to a priest and offer sacrifices. They would confess their sins and present the offering (usually an animal from their flock, which was a hardship since flocks were a source of income), the priest would go to God on their behalf, slaughter the animal, and usually burn it. They were also expected to follow the Commandments and the teaching handed down. When Jesus came and was crucified he created a new covenant, which made the old way obsolete. Now we only need to believe he died for our sins and repent (confess directly to God and ask for his help in not committing that sin again) for our sins as we commit them. I hope that helped.
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02-05-2016, 03:40 PM
RE: I have a question for Christians.
(02-05-2016 12:42 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  I don't think our eternal fate is dependent or whether I believe the the translation of the particular hebrew term in the bible means wild ox, or unicorn, lol.

This might be counterintuitive, but as a translator let me tell you: a mistranslation can have huge effects on the meaning of words, sentences and even whole pieces of text.

Also because you're not considering the fact that these translations are sometimes of copied texts (so mistakes could be there too). So how can you know whether you can trust a text that has been around for 2000 years and that for most of those years the technology of "preserving information" was not up to today's standards?

And this is only considering unintentional mistakes. What if someone of those people deliberately changed something?

And what about ambiguity, which is pretty much omnipresent in languages?

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02-05-2016, 04:04 PM
RE: I have a question for Christians.
(02-05-2016 03:40 PM)The Polyglot Atheist Wrote:  
(02-05-2016 12:42 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  I don't think our eternal fate is dependent or whether I believe the the translation of the particular hebrew term in the bible means wild ox, or unicorn, lol.

This might be counterintuitive, but as a translator let me tell you: a mistranslation can have huge effects on the meaning of words, sentences and even whole pieces of text.

Also because you're not considering the fact that these translations are sometimes of copied texts (so mistakes could be there too). So how can you know whether you can trust a text that has been around for 2000 years and that for most of those years the technology of "preserving information" was not up to today's standards?

And this is only considering unintentional mistakes. What if someone of those people deliberately changed something?

And what about ambiguity, which is pretty much omnipresent in languages?

Bart Ehrman has an entire book dealing with the subject of people deliberately miscopying and mistranslating scripture in order to support specific dogmas. That book is The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture. It's a somewhat scholarly text, written long before his recent popular texts, but it's a real eye-opener.
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