The Bible - all or nothing?
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09-12-2013, 12:29 PM
RE: The Bible - all or nothing?
(08-12-2013 11:28 AM)Fat Mac Wrote:  My point is: why does the Bible have to be taken literally? Why can't I think some things were meant to be literal and some things were just stories?

Because that would make it indistinguishable from works like the Odyssey and the related belief in Zeus and Poseidon.

And, like Ken Ham so eloquently said: if I cannot trust the bit over there, why should I trust the bit over here? So, you would be left with a personal and subjective choice of what agrees with your character and what does not.

Once you lost reliability of a bit, you have no way to trust any other bit, including resurrections, airborne gods, demons cast into pigs and stuff of that sort. And this is why literalists have a (losing) point when they insist on the reliability of the whole book.


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09-12-2013, 12:51 PM
RE: The Bible - all or nothing?
I posted this earlier in the wrong thread:

I don't really know any Christians who would consider the Bible a book that is merely a book. To them it is the word of their god, and therefor infallible. However, they all love to cherry-pick the nice parts and leave out the nasty ones.

If you're having trouble with where you stand with your religious beliefs, I think the first question you should ask yourself is "Is it imperative that I believe in the existence of a god? Does the thought of an almighty creator not existing bother me greatly?"

If such a belief is not absolutely imperative to you, then I suggest maybe taking a look at Buddhism. There is a wealth of great moral values in Buddhism, and it encourages people to question things and gain knowledge. The Christian church has very much tried to keep people in ignorance throughout history, because when people gain knowledge they start to question their religion. More educated people are far less likely to believe Biblical stories to be historically accurate, or turn a blind eye to the evil parts of the Bible. I do admit that if there were any kind of religion that I would follow, it would be Buddhism (even though I really don't think of it as a religion). There are certain things I don't agree with Buddhism on - like the existence of spirits and reincarnation - but there is still a wealth of positive aspects of it. If you are passionate about the idea that people have souls and like good moral lessons to live your life by, then I'd say Buddhism would fit in along your lines better.

Just my personal advice.

“Religion was invented when the first con man met the first fool.” - Mark Twain
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09-12-2013, 01:04 PM
RE: The Bible - all or nothing?
Quote:The problem with the arguments that I mentioned is that the Bible is just a book.

No, holy books of all stripes, are not "just books". If they were there would be no religious divisions even among the same religions.

People believe them to be history books and manuals for morality which their religion/sect invented everything. The set up very selfish tribalism and base politics on their books. Not just Christianity.

While I am glad, morso in the west people cherry pick and water down their interpretations, the problem in doing such is that moderates and liberals lend aid to zealots in some misguided sense of fairness. It is precisely because such writings are treated as magical and divine and not mere literature, that people get upset when you question them to the point of force of law or physical violence.

Having said that, there is NO way you can separate the bloodthirsty god of the OT from the very weak attempt at the "peaceful" Jesus in the middle. If you to to the end of the book this God character exhibits the same behavior as an abusive spouse.

OT, part 1 "Follow me and I wont hit you, if I do it is because I love you"
Part two, "I promise I won't hit you again"
Part three, "Damn it, I stalked you, committed a fake suicide to save you from a wrath I set up in the first place, screw it, I am going to beat the shit out of you forever".

If a serial rapist said "I promise not to rape again" should we let him out of prison?

Even with the seemingly "peaceful" Jesus, he says to abandon your own family if they don't follow him. Hardly an act of acceptance or tolerance.

There is no way in any pragmatic sense to call that book moral, even if one can cherry pick pleasant motifs out of it.

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09-12-2013, 02:32 PM
RE: The Bible - all or nothing?
I think there are too many problems with the original post to disect here, but what I will say is the reference to the OT serving as the predictor for The Christ and Christ fulfilling the prophecy in the NT isn't something to be amazed by, especially since the prophecies were self-fulfilling. If I write here that I will go to Wal-Mart at 6p and then actually go to Wal-Mart at 6p, that's not amazing, it's sad. Of course there is the entire argument that Christ never existed anyway.

As for picking and choosing your interpretations, that's fine when discussing the Grapes of Wrath, because people's lives aren't in the balance. The bible, whether you like it or not, is a guide for far too many impressionable (and irrational) people, so by "interpreting" it, you are opening up a can of worms where people could die or be affected drastically. Your view is naive. Sorry.

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09-12-2013, 03:04 PM
RE: The Bible - all or nothing?
To the OP, the question I would have to you is why? If it is "just a book" that contains some "stories" and needs some degree of human "interpretation" to be of any use, then why should anyone care about this 2000 year old book? Why should these writings done by ignorant tribal men hold any value to modern day humans? Why is this particular group of barbaric tales chosen among the countless other ancient scriptures?

Literal, historical, or mythological - what intrigues me is the why? Why should I listen? By not quoting the consequenecs written in said book, give me a good reason why I should pay attention?

“Truth does not demand belief. Scientists do not join hands every Sunday, singing, yes, gravity is real! I will have faith! I will be strong! I believe in my heart that what goes up, up, up, must come down, down, down. Amen! If they did, we would think they were pretty insecure about it.”
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09-12-2013, 04:10 PM
RE: The Bible - all or nothing?
(08-12-2013 03:13 PM)Alla Wrote:  Those who are writings Scriptures are doing it having influence of the Holy Ghost. In order to understand correctly Scriptures someone has to have influence of the Holy Ghost.
This is the only way.

(08-12-2013 04:28 PM)Alla Wrote:  I, Alla, know who had the influence of the Holy Ghost when I have influence of the Holy Ghost.
And anybody can know the same way. We are all children of God.

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11-12-2013, 12:45 PM
RE: The Bible - all or nothing?
(08-12-2013 07:06 PM)The Misanthrope Wrote:  
(08-12-2013 11:49 AM)childeye Wrote:  I don't know whether Jesus walked on water or not. It seems a useful metaphor to me about doing the impossible. I'm just being honest. But I do know that there is deep wisdom and meaning in the scriptures. Frankly speaking, mind blowing. I also know that no one can uncover it's secrets without a pure heart. Therefore it was designed to repel the proud. I've never seen any other writings do that. It is definitely remarkable that the Old Testament scriptures say they exist to foretell of the coming of the Christ and the New Testament and that this prophecy came to pass just as foretold.

Sometimes people say to me, do you think the bible is without error. I respond by saying that I don't even understand it all to be able to say. I think it is wrong to call it the Word of God since that can be misleading. People then use it to say this is what God wants be cause the bible says so. It happens on this forum all the time. The bible its self does not speak of the Word being anything but Spirit in the purest sense. I see the Word in countless movies, books, songs, paintings, etc...Therefore I would say the bible is a testimony to the Word and even according to it's own description, that is why the Word says." Go look in your precious scriptures in where you think you have eternal life, for they all testify to me."

Quote:If you don't believe all of the Wholly Babble, as Jesus says you should, then what is the problem?

Jesus never said you should believe the scriptures, nor did he say you shouldn't. But he did downplay the significance of rules as a means to attain goodness. He basically said it was all summed up by loving God with all your heart mind and soul and loving others as you would want to be loved. It's all about love which is simple to understand. I'm not sure which problem you are alluding to.
Quote:Doncha know hypocritical Christians only pretend to accept it literally but say they do so publicly because it's Christianly de rigueur to do so?
Yes I do.
Quote:The few who do accept it all as true are manifestly mentally disturbed.
I don't even understand all of it, but what I have read seems viable as per mu understanding of it. That doesn't mean there are not things I question. However I see nothing wrong with loving others as I would want to be loved.

Quote:It appears you think there may be a God up there like the vengeful, spiteful, sadistic little prick the Christians say they idolise and love, who desperately needs human love to boost his abysmal self-esteem.
Actually I see nothing wrong with God wanting to be loved either.

Quote:[quote] Consequently you are too frightened to ditch the obvious Hebrew bullshit entirely because it just might be all true and Big JewLie will get you on De Judgemen Day.
Actually I would be more afraid of a God that didn't care if I loved Him. In fact He probably cares more for my sake than His. As a parent I know that's how I feel about my children. I want them to love me and therefore trust me.

Quote:Ever thought of simply mentally acknowledging there may be a fair dinkum “all powerful” “God” up there who is that great he doesn't need anything we puny humans have?
Sure I have considered this. Ever think that an all powerful all knowing God would never make something He doesn't want?

Quote:Especially our scabby-gutted grovelling and arse licking obeisance. The kind of God who is so beneficent he/she even accepts agnostics and atheists as more than worthy of one of his many mansions. If you do I'm sure a real God would surely pick up your thoughts and mark you down as “saved” - along with all the respectable, decent people (spit!) and the disreputable sinners.
You make a fair point in the butt kissing aspects.

Quote:The only problem with this kinda religion is you don't get to be a terrestrial God-in-waiting and to feel superior to and to imperiously lord it over the non-believers down here on Big JewLie's behalf. Nor do you get the unquestioning, utterly unmerited, simulated respect of mere mortals just because you are a “Christian.” Of course you could still accept this kinda God internally but still claim to be a Christian and thus retain all of the previously mentioned benefits. Wink
I am not a religious person but I do know that in light of the Gospel, the actions of the Christ move me to love God in the most sincerest way...
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11-12-2013, 02:05 PM (This post was last modified: 11-12-2013 03:11 PM by anonymous66.)
RE: The Bible - all or nothing?
(08-12-2013 11:28 AM)Fat Mac Wrote:  I'm aware of the arguments against Christians "cherry picking" the Bible, only following the stuff they like, the argument that God is evil because of his Old Testament actions, taking the Bible literally, etc.

Now, I'm not quite sure where I stand religiously, but as of now I still like to identify as Christian, and I still enjoy the New Testament.

The problem with the arguments that I mentioned is that the Bible is just a book. Yeah, I get it, it's the "holy book," but in actuality, it's just a book. A piece of literature meant to be read and analyzed, like any other book. Now, let's say that you and your friend love analyzing literature. Symbolism, analogies, metaphors, you eat it all up! So you and your friend decide to read "Grapes of Wrath" together. After you both finish it, you meet up to discuss all the literary devices and overall symbolism. But you two have differing opinions on what certain things mean, things that stand for something else in the time period, things that are literal and shouldn't mean anything, etc. to the point where you both vehemently disagree with each other's entire interpretations of the novel.

Well, the exact same thing is happening with the Bible. I don't think the majority, if any, of the Old Testament actually happened. I think it's all just a story. But so many people argue that God is evil because of the fictional stories told in the Old Testament. I'm also told that I can't enjoy the New Testament and believe the lot of it and also deny the truth of the Old Testament. Why is this so? We just have differing interpretations of the novel, is all.

Now, do I think Jesus actually walked on water and turned it into wine (not at the same time.)? I don't know. But I firmly believe in what Jesus taught and I think that's what Christianity's real purpose is; to spread what he said. Call me a Red-Letter Christian if you will.

My point is: why does the Bible have to be taken literally? Why can't I think some things were meant to be literal and some things were just stories?

I'm an atheist with a materialist philosophy (no belief in anything supernatural) but I also like the Bible in some ways. It's an interesting book. It has had a profound affect on our society and culture. I'm a fan of Robert Price, and listen to his Bible Geek podcast. He is no enemy of religions and is quite outspoken in his belief that they are no more flawed than any human invention.

Price does still enjoy religion for it's traditions, but doesn't even think Jesus was a historical figure at all.
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