The Bible - not 100% literal
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01-01-2012, 06:17 PM
RE: The Bible - not 100% literal
It's obvious to me, especially with Buddy Christ's thread "An atheist's critique of the bible" that the bible was divinely inspired by the concept of what god would be, with the knowledge they had at the time. What I mean is, all the war and conquering was symbolic of how powerful a god would be, and men at that time would look up to that. In their eyes that would be awesome. Any punishment or sacrifice or whatever, made perfect sense to them in that time. Rather than god saying slavery was wrong, he gave them instructions on slave maintenance, because at that time, it was acceptable.
That's also why if we wrote a description of what an omni- being would be today, it would be based conceptually on what we think is all powerful and all loving in this day and age. Anyone ever read "Conversations With God" by Neale Donald Walsh?
I read it awhile ago, but as I remember it, it made a lot more sense from the perspective that it painted god as a much more powerful and less hateful entity than anything in the bible. Of course, the author has a lot more info about the world and universe than anyone 2000 years ago. There are actually some interesting ideas in there, most of which are infinitely more useful, and more pertinent than than those in the bible.

"Religion is the binky of a teen-age humanity."
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01-01-2012, 10:35 PM
RE: The Bible - not 100% literal
(01-01-2012 06:17 PM)yosemitesam Wrote:  It's obvious to me, especially with Buddy Christ's thread "An atheist's critique of the bible" that the bible was divinely inspired by the concept of what god would be, with the knowledge they had at the time. What I mean is, all the war and conquering was symbolic of how powerful a god would be, and men at that time would look up to that. In their eyes that would be awesome. Any punishment or sacrifice or whatever, made perfect sense to them in that time. Rather than god saying slavery was wrong, he gave them instructions on slave maintenance, because at that time, it was acceptable.
That's also why if we wrote a description of what an omni- being would be today, it would be based conceptually on what we think is all powerful and all loving in this day and age. Anyone ever read "Conversations With God" by Neale Donald Walsh?


No idea what you said. I saw my shout out and my ego became so big I couldn't see the screen. No but really, you see that explanation a lot. "That's was how it was back in those days." Bypassing the "are morals subjective" 10 hour argument and accepting this for what it is, that would mean that God is seriously overdue to show up again and update us on his divine plan again. Of course in this technological age, God would be a super-hacker, able to break the laws of e-physics. Basically, God would be Neo from the Matrix.

I will continue to be an atheist until a god shows themselves like they were so fond of doing back when literacy was a rarity and folklore was the entertainment of choice.

"Ain't got no last words to say, yellow streak right up my spine. The gun in my mouth was real and the taste blew my mind."

"We see you cry. We turn your head. Then we slap your face. We see you try. We see you fail. Some things never change."
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01-01-2012, 10:50 PM
RE: The Bible - not 100% literal
Sorry for not being able to address everyone today. I will maybe tomorrow but probably Tuesday... holidays are busy.

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02-01-2012, 08:38 AM
RE: The Bible - not 100% literal
(01-01-2012 10:35 PM)Buddy Christ Wrote:  I will continue to be an atheist until a god shows themselves like they were so fond of doing back when literacy was a rarity and folklore was the entertainment of choice.

I think I just found my new signature. May I quote you?

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02-01-2012, 02:32 PM
RE: The Bible - not 100% literal
(02-01-2012 08:38 AM)free2011 Wrote:  
(01-01-2012 10:35 PM)Buddy Christ Wrote:  I will continue to be an atheist until a god shows themselves like they were so fond of doing back when literacy was a rarity and folklore was the entertainment of choice.

I think I just found my new signature. May I quote you?

Have at it.

"Ain't got no last words to say, yellow streak right up my spine. The gun in my mouth was real and the taste blew my mind."

"We see you cry. We turn your head. Then we slap your face. We see you try. We see you fail. Some things never change."
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02-01-2012, 04:27 PM
RE: The Bible - not 100% literal
(01-01-2012 10:35 PM)Buddy Christ Wrote:  No idea what you said. I saw my shout out and my ego became so big I couldn't see the screen. No but really, you see that explanation a lot. "That's was how it was back in those days." Bypassing the "are morals subjective" 10 hour argument and accepting this for what it is, that would mean that God is seriously overdue to show up again and update us on his divine plan again. Of course in this technological age, God would be a super-hacker, able to break the laws of e-physics. Basically, God would be Neo from the Matrix.

I will continue to be an atheist until a god shows themselves like they were so fond of doing back when literacy was a rarity and folklore was the entertainment of choice.

BC, still enjoying your "critique" thread and taking my time doing it. Very well done, with just the right amount of humor, sarcasm and picture attachments. Big Grin
Thanks for posting.

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03-01-2012, 11:03 AM (This post was last modified: 05-01-2012 10:50 AM by kingschosen.)
RE: The Bible - not 100% literal
(31-12-2011 08:06 AM)Seasbury Wrote:  KC - Obviously I don't buy in on your god, but I have to at least pose the question...

Why did god invest himself in a bunch of neolithic nomads - to the point of "choosing" a specific tribe over all others of his creation (since they all started with Adam - or Noah depending...) [Tangent alert] Why did god have to mark Cain for his sin so that others wouldn't harm him? Who were all those people he came across after his murder? Brothers and sisters? Lots of incest in that bible story...

This is where my interpretation of a Genesis differs from the traditional one. Adam of the creation story was an archetype of mankind while the Adam of Hebrew tradition was the first man in their recorded history. Adam became symbolic of a "beginning" and he was used (because he would be understood as the beginning) in the cosmology of the creation story.

So, no... Adam wasn't the first human in existence, and there were more than likely thousands, if not hundred of thousands, homo-sapiens during the time of the physical man that was Adam.

Quote:So here we have an omnipotent, infallible (chuckle, chuckle) god that has been interacting on regular basis, revealing himself through "prophets" and spokespeople in dribs and drabs - (Don't kill - except for all those on that lengthy list I gave you to kill), but then stops revealing after Jesus and says it's all on you stupid mortals to figure it out? Sorry, if god is as great as you all claim him to be, I'd expect more.

Well, with the imputed righteousness of Christ, we were given direct access to the Father through the Holy Spirit. So, the revealing through prophets and other spokespeople was unnecessary.
(31-12-2011 08:42 AM)lucradis Wrote:  But but but he's god. So like why wouldn't he just make them understand? Was he lazy? Or not powerful enough to make people understand his gibberish? And if for some reason he was not able to clarify shit in the past what's to stop the guy from doing so now and saving some lives?
It seems silly to just be like... Well I already tried explaining it once to a generation of morons, so screw these guys if they can't figure it out.

God is also a God of order. If He created the evolutionary process, the it was His plan for later revealings and for man to reach certain points in history. I think His plan requires us to evolve mentally over the course of history.
(31-12-2011 08:43 AM)Ben Wrote:  Why would god explain things in terms only the Israelites could understand, but nothing for people like us living in an age where we have a much better grasp of science? That hardly seems fair to us!

Because the Hebrews are God's chosen race, and their instructions are specifically for them. Their history is important to Christians to help understand God's plan; however, instructions for the Israelites isn't meant for modern Christians. They are a foundation for Christ.

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03-01-2012, 11:13 AM
RE: The Bible - not 100% literal
I am going to paraphrase some Christopher Hitchens here KOC in response to your answer to Seasbury above regarding Adam. Evidence shows that the species we call Homo sapien has existed for at least 100,000 years. That means that for 98,000 of those years, god was content to sit back and allow humans to run rampant, die and never get into heaven and then 2,000 years ago decided "enough of this" and sent down Jesus to save us. For a moment I will forgo my disbelief in god. If this is the god I am supposed to worship, then I simply cannot. Allowing humans to suffer and die for 98% of their existence seems so callous and inhuman and certainly not loving. That sounds more like a dictator than an all-loving god.

I always feel like I am coming off as a dick when I say these things but that is not my intention. I am simply trying to think logically through it and this is where my mind leads me. It is very difficult to convey ones true emotions in type.

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03-01-2012, 11:32 AM
RE: The Bible - not 100% literal
(03-01-2012 11:13 AM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  I am going to paraphrase some Christopher Hitchens here KOC in response to your answer to Seasbury above regarding Adam. Evidence shows that the species we call Homo sapien has existed for at least 100,000 years. That means that for 98,000 of those years, god was content to sit back and allow humans to run rampant, die and never get into heaven and then 2,000 years ago decided "enough of this" and sent down Jesus to save us. For a moment I will forgo my disbelief in god. If this is the god I am supposed to worship, then I simply cannot. Allowing humans to suffer and die for 98% of their existence seems so callous and inhuman and certainly not loving. That sounds more like a dictator than an all-loving god.

I always feel like I am coming off as a dick when I say these things but that is not my intention. I am simply trying to think logically through it and this is where my mind leads me. It is very difficult to convey ones true emotions in type.

Ya hitting it right on the nose.

Since we are doing some paraphrases... this discription of God that Dawkins gives should fit right in with yer post BD.

The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.

For those that didn't catch what Mr. Dawkins just said... I'll summerize. God's an Asshole.

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. -- Voltaire
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03-01-2012, 11:55 AM (This post was last modified: 03-01-2012 11:59 AM by kingschosen.)
RE: The Bible - not 100% literal
(31-12-2011 09:03 AM)Erxomai Wrote:  You've made a value judgement because you don't like the stuff that's in it. But the Bible itself does not purport to be a book that YOU get to decide what is literal and what it not. Once you have to start rationalizing and explaining the book, you have diminished the Almighty by taking over for God to explain who he REALLY is because he's not the god we see in the bible and he didn't mean to say what's written, but if you do enough mental masturbation, you'll figure it out.

As to Revelation, just saying it's a whack book doesn't get you off the hook for the fact that it is there and to the original readers it meant something real and palatable as diatribe against the Roman Empire. The fact that people have twisted it over the centuries to "prove" their own agenda shows how unreliable this jumble of writings is, and if it's unreliable, why would a "reliable" god choose to use it to communicate? I'd think a truly loving being would want people to understand what he really means instead of every person who reads it having their own opinion.

Not really. I have simply taken a theological stance that other theologians have taken. EC and amillennialism are popular views amongst theologians. They aren't shared by majority because of tradition and lack of knowledge and indoctrination. Pre-trib and dispensationalism has only been around for 200 years... for whatever reason, it caught on with the Protestant church.

I never said Revelation was "whack". All I said was that Revelation isn't written like other books and has to be interpreted differently while considering the numerology, symbolism, and prophetic language. Revelation cannot be taken literally, in fact, amillennialism is the most consistent eschatological point of view. Dispensationalism takes parts of Revelation in both the literal and symbolic sense.

Quote:No, I'm not really going to let you off the hook for saying the Bible is not meant to be read 100% literally, because I can find plenty of Christians who would 100% disagree with you.

And, I can promise you that 95% of those haven't read or studied the Bible and only know what they've been taught to regurgitate in church. They are ignorant on their own belief system and choose to remain ignorant. Ignorance doesn't make you right.


(31-12-2011 09:24 AM)Jackrabbit Wrote:  i just had a chat yesterday with a muslim friend of mine who like you looks at the scriptures and takes away only the good, the rest is metaphor or context or interpretation.
he has the same conviction that you have towards islam and when i picked his brain about it, i figured out, though he wont admit that it all stems out of want of an afterlife.
to believe that there is something that transcends his existence after earth. When i talk to him about the quraan stating that the earth is flat he just goes "maybe he wasnt comparing the earth to a carpet in terms of flatness but something else" and when i present him with the facts of evolution its not good enough for him as he replies "well we dont know exactly how god made adam and eve on earth". He also takes pride in the fact that the quraan linguistically is very vague which can make its sayings bend to agree with newfound evidence and says if it was crystal clear then "there would be no point in faith and everyone would just believe". The fact is you cant fit a square peg in a round hole.
I say that if you look at the quraan or bible even metaphorically (all of it) it doesnt have anything new it could teach us that we didnt already know, stealing is bad etc.
What is the metaphorical value of adam and eve if so and other biblical stories? even if you cant differentiate between wrong and right ill still punish you?
What if you live a good life without being a christian or a muslim? will you still burn for eternity (being flayed every day in hell and repaired the next so it can be done again in the quraan version) isnt that a little unfair of god? an infinite punishment for someone doing a finite crime (the number of people he killed) is infinitly unjust.
however if the quraan or bible stated that everyone will live through the recieving end of his crimes as punishment(getting killed the number and manner of times u killed people and experienceing the same horror) then go on afterwards to live on an eternal plane with kittens and unicorns id lend it a bit more credibility that Yahweh or Allah has a sense of justice (as a character).

I never said Adam and Eve was a metaphor. It is a story to explain origins.

Also, God chooses people for salvation, so that question is moot to my theology.

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