The Bible - not 100% literal
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03-01-2012, 07:51 PM
RE: The Bible - not 100% literal
(03-01-2012 07:39 PM)scientician Wrote:  Pshhhht. I sound more convincing trying to justify the 10 second rule. If it's the inspired word meant to be understood at the time then how come we don't get a podcast or something from god nowadays?

i lolled

"Yeah, good idea. Make them buy your invisible apple. Insist that they do. Market it properly and don't stop until they pay for it." -Malleus
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03-01-2012, 07:57 PM (This post was last modified: 03-01-2012 08:00 PM by houseofcantor.)
RE: The Bible - not 100% literal
(03-01-2012 07:39 PM)scientician Wrote:  Pshhhht. I sound more convincing trying to justify the 10 second rule. If it's the inspired word meant to be understood at the time then how come we don't get a podcast or something from god nowadays?

Try BBC. Wink




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03-01-2012, 08:00 PM
RE: The Bible - not 100% literal
I guess I was hoping our KC was going to come through with something original and convincing, but sadly it's the same old apologetic acrobatics. But kudos for trying, my friend.

Now, give up this futile pursuit of trying to explain your bizarre beliefs and get back to writing the CYOA story.

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03-01-2012, 08:05 PM
RE: The Bible - not 100% literal
hang on a tick.
i think i get it now
its too crazy not to be true!
how do i convert?

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04-01-2012, 08:20 AM (This post was last modified: 04-01-2012 08:59 AM by kingschosen.)
RE: The Bible - not 100% literal
(03-01-2012 08:00 PM)Erxomai Wrote:  I guess I was hoping our KC was going to come through with something original and convincing, but sadly it's the same old apologetic acrobatics. But kudos for trying, my friend.

Now, give up this futile pursuit of trying to explain your bizarre beliefs and get back to writing the CYOA story.

rofl

Well this topic is kind of your fault... and, as part of my OCD on message boards I have to answer everything.

So yeah, CYOA will have to wait. But, think of it like a LOTR sequel or something... they always ended the movie and you're like "NOOOOOOOOOOOOO".
(31-12-2011 01:57 PM)Erxomai Wrote:  KC, I also wonder what kind of belief you would have held about the Bible 150 years ago before Textual Criticism came into vogue. Maybe you'd be on the internet forums telling us you believed in a literal interpretation of Genesis and beyond.

Whoa, whoa, whoa... wait just a second here. 150 years ago? What exactly do you think started the Reformation? Textual criticism, of course. With the advent of the printing press and the Bible being in native tongue, people were able to read the Bible themselves and criticize the text that have previously only been told to them because it was all in Latin.

Beyond that, there's Pelagius and Augustine from the 5th century that argued back and forth over what the text meant.

And, I already know what you're going to say. No, this doesn't mean that it's not inspired. If you noticed, arguments began to arise when the text was translated. Translations have taken away from the meaning of the text, and it's just been in recent years that Greek and Hebrew has been readily available to the public which lets people discover what the original text is meant to say. Moreover, the history of the text is also becoming more available, and people are being able to better interpret it.

Quote:The evolution of belief about the Bible shows me it is just a book and not divinely inspired. If "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever" (Heb. 13:8), then why does belief about him evolve? Why does interpretation of His Scriptures change? You could answer, "Because people didn't understand then, but we do now," but that's problematic because that means for 2000 years no one really knew how to understand God, but now that you've popped into existence, you're able to explain it all. Wouldn't the people who wrote the documents have the best understanding and wouldn't successive generations diminish that understanding as the millenia went by? Wouldn't we be so far removed from the original intent that we can never know what to take literally and what to take metaphorically as a nice lesson about Jesus? Wouldn't today's science and textual criticism take us even further away from the Bronze Age Religionists who first took these documents seriously and give us LESS understanding of the original intent?

As I've said, it's the translations that have destroyed the intricacies of the text. The gist and the message are still intact; however, there are the parts that are debatable, and are almost always explained by the original text and its meaning.

Quote:Of course, you know my own answers to these questions changed over the decades from full confidence in God's Word to a full repudiation of it's relevance for today. Even my own life has shown an evolution of understanding and interpretation of what the Bible says about existence.

But, as an atheist, how is that relevant to what you believe?
(31-12-2011 02:34 PM)cufflink Wrote:  If you like a particular verse or passage because it's in line with what you already think is right or wrong: "The Bible said it, plain as day. You can't argue with God's Word."

If you dislike a particular verse or passage because it seems absurd, or immoral, or cruel, or foolish, or contrary to science, or whatever: "No, no, no. This wasn't meant to be taken literally. It's a parable, a teaching tool only. You have to understand the cultural context, what kind of people this was aimed at."

Some do that, yes, but I don't. In fact, my theology has DRASTICALLY changed from when I originally became a Christian. Why is that? Because what the Bible said didn't line up with what I believed theologically, so that meant that I had to change my theology or find a convincing argument for my current theology.

These changes ultimately led me to Calvinism, Evolutionary Creationism, and Amillennialism.

Quote:There are no objective criteria for determining what's meant literally and what's not.

Yes, there is. The objective criteria is what I explain in the original post.

There are many factors that have to be considered when reading and interpreting the Bible: context, audience, translation, history, symbolism, metaphors, numerology, poetic language, story language.

As I told BC, I don't just arbitrarily say that something in the Bible isn't literal. There has to be an objective reason... which, there is for me.
(31-12-2011 05:34 PM)free2011 Wrote:  Why don't we use this same scrutiny when reviewing the bible? Is it more likely that this book contains the direct words of a god or that a group of ordinary human beings conceived and wrote down their personal thoughts, feelings, ideas and fears? Until proven otherwise we should believe the most probable answer.

That is possible, but based on my faith that has been constructed, I believe that it's inspired. Again, I've said this before, and there is no other way to explain except along the premise of faith.
(31-12-2011 08:27 PM)Mr Woof Wrote:  Given that Hinduism, Buddhism, Janeism etc .... throw in Zeus too if you like, predates both old and new testaments ,why is Christianity preferable to, say Buddhism?

If a god did exist it would seem very eclectic for it (later on) to choose a specific group, in your case an ultra specific group, to save, for god knows what?

Those who suck up to a specific god, simply through fear and hopes of self preservation, differ from Christians who utilize their religion to provide impetus to do some good in the here and now; they, through faith, disregard nebulous eschatology.

This is getting into the details of the creation story and EC, which I don't really want to get into because it will start a while new path. I will talk about it later, though.

But, in short, the reason for older religions (mainly the Akkadian king Adapa) originates from their culture's explanation of God's covenant with humanity. When God imparted His image on humanity different religions and explanations began to pop up.
(31-12-2011 11:20 PM)Kaos MD Wrote:  If the bible is meant to be taken as metaphorical, how does one explain the verses that contain mass murder, rape, incest, stoning, etc.

How can these possibly be metaphorical in any sense? How can these passages have any relevant meaning to anything, no matter if you take the bible to be literal or not?

What kind of god would command a select group of nomads to beget a book that is of dubious literality?

I never said these parts weren't literal. In fact, I never said that the whole Bible is a metaphor. Not sure where people are getting this.

Quote:If god created everything, why would he have to make it so complicated that humans cannot understand it in a literal sense? If god is omnipotent and omniscient, surely he would be able to make the unvierse simple enough for humans to understand if he wanted his "holy" book to be taken literally.

He didn't. In fact, He made it simple for the people of the time. He knew that because of evolution, our knowledge and understanding would serve us for interpreting the Bible.

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04-01-2012, 09:45 AM
RE: The Bible - not 100% literal
(04-01-2012 08:20 AM)kingschosen Wrote:  
(31-12-2011 01:57 PM)Erxomai Wrote:  KC, I also wonder what kind of belief you would have held about the Bible 150 years ago before Textual Criticism came into vogue. Maybe you'd be on the internet forums telling us you believed in a literal interpretation of Genesis and beyond.

Whoa, whoa, whoa... wait just a second here. 150 years ago? What exactly do you think started the Reformation? Textual criticism, of course. With the advent of the printing press and the Bible being in native tongue, people were able to read the Bible themselves and criticize the text that have previously only been told to them because it was all in Latin.

Beyond that, there's Pelagius and Augustine from the 5th century that argued back and forth over what the text meant.

Fair enough. I didn't complete my thought. The Textual Criticism I'm thinking of is of the 19th Century variety which was the first to use the scientific method with the Bible with the Documentary Hypothesis. It was at this point, if I remember correctly, that "liberal Christians" first began to see How the Bible was written and began identify the different writers of the Pentateuch. They were able to list out 4 writers with four agenda: JEDP...I'll let Wikipedia take it from here.


And, I already know what you're going to say. No, this doesn't mean that it's not inspired. If you noticed, arguments began to arise when the text was translated. Translations have taken away from the meaning of the text, and it's just been in recent years that Greek and Hebrew has been readily available to the public which lets people discover what the original text is meant to say. Moreover, the history of the text is also becoming more available, and people are being able to better interpret it.

Perhaps you've done it, but if you haven't, I suggest you take a look at the events of the canonizing of the Bible. I know you've read thru someone's summary in a book justifying the reliability of the canon. But have you really taken a look at the history and the politics surrounding the Councils. Why should it take 4 centuries to begin to codify the New Testament? Heavy emphasis on begin. Yes, there were a few lists floating around here and there in centuries 2 and 3, but nothing began to be recognized as orthodoxy until the Council of Nicea in 325, but that didn't even finish the debate on what should and shouldn't be in the Bible. It took 7 councils to finally sort of reach a consensus...or at least build a "moral majority" that could silence the other voices. I always thought these were good Christian men meeting around someone's living room, having coffee and donuts and praying that the Holy Spirit would lead them to His decision. But not the case. These were manipulative schemers who had cut a large swath in order to secure their own power, especially as religion was fast becoming a political tool. So you're asking me to rely on a bunch of crass schemers to decide what should and shouldn't be in God's Word. I already know you're loading up your "But God Uses Crass People" bullets, but I already just don't buy it. I've been in on plenty of "Christian Councils" to know that there is no God working in those sorts of meetings. It's all personal agenda. Period. Full-stop.


Quote:The evolution of belief about the Bible shows me it is just a book and not divinely inspired. If "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever" (Heb. 13:8), then why does belief about him evolve? Why does interpretation of His Scriptures change? You could answer, "Because people didn't understand then, but we do now," but that's problematic because that means for 2000 years no one really knew how to understand God, but now that you've popped into existence, you're able to explain it all. Wouldn't the people who wrote the documents have the best understanding and wouldn't successive generations diminish that understanding as the millenia went by? Wouldn't we be so far removed from the original intent that we can never know what to take literally and what to take metaphorically as a nice lesson about Jesus? Wouldn't today's science and textual criticism take us even further away from the Bronze Age Religionists who first took these documents seriously and give us LESS understanding of the original intent?

As I've said, it's the translations that have destroyed the intricacies of the text. The gist and the message are still intact; however, there are the parts that are debatable, and are almost always explained by the original text and its meaning.

Yes, you've already said this. And if I haven't already said this, then I will now and we'll both know what we think on the matter. Agreed that translations have destroyed the intricacies of the text. Not agreed are that there were intricacies in the text. Like what lies behind the Big Bang, there can be no proof in our lifetime, but there still needs to be some sort of evidence to lead you to the thought that the Bible in it's original form was what was dictated by the Holy Spirit. If the Holy Spirit took the time to make sure the original texts were perfect and infallible, (and inerrant in your view?) then surely that very same Holy Spirit who wants to communicate to the hearts of people about Jesus, he would have made sure of the transmission of the text. Otherwise, what's the point really of having a perfect book that probably no more than a 100 people could read before it got copied down imperfectly. You really have no way of being certain that the gist and message are still in tact. You have faith that they are, but your faith that the message is in tact is really wishful thinking based upon no evidence except your heart telling you it's right. Just like the Mormons will tell you that you'll just know their scriptures are correct because you'll feel a warm snuggly feeling. Not enough for me.

Quote:Of course, you know my own answers to these questions changed over the decades from full confidence in God's Word to a full repudiation of it's relevance for today. Even my own life has shown an evolution of understanding and interpretation of what the Bible says about existence.

But, as an atheist, how is that relevant to what you believe?

I was a full-fledged Bible Believing Christian and Ordained Minister when I began questioning the veracity of the Bible, so I'd say it has EVERYTHING to do with the relevance to what I believe. Once I lost confidence in the Bible being anything but the conglomeration of a bunch of confusing texts that really don't mean anything good until you start twisting words and translations and bringing your pre-formed theological biases to the interpretation, then I realized I couldn't believe in it any more. But it took another good 6 or 7 years before I stopped believing in God. So I'd say it has plenty of relevance to what I believe.

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04-01-2012, 09:47 AM
RE: The Bible - not 100% literal
(01-01-2012 09:11 AM)Seasbury Wrote:  If you "believe" in the Adam and Eve story as literal, then the bible makes sense (in a semi-twisted way)...

If you think Adam and Eve is an allegory, then your whole strawman falls apart.

Without the underpinnings of "original sin," the Jesus as savior/redeemer/sacrificer is unnecessary - therefore, the whole story arc is worse than a Joan Collins novel.

Again, no, no it doesn't. In Arminian theology, yes it is necessary to believe this in order to keep your theology consistent; however, in Calvinism it is not.

I believe that God created sin and evil to give Christ a purpose (as I've said many times). Original Sin from Adam isn't passed down because we already had sin. We are damned to sin because of God; not because of Adam.

God didn't use Jesus as Plan B because Adam screwed up (this is dispensationalism). God used Jesus as a sacrifice because He designed humans to sin.

There is a deluge of "my inconsistencies" that are being pointed out that I don't believe.

Your above points are irrelevant to me, not because they aren't thought provoking and good questions, but because they are not what I believe theologically.

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04-01-2012, 10:01 AM
 
RE: The Bible - not 100% literal
KC

Translation Smanslation! Baaah! Utter Nonsense. And a quite convenient copout thats used and abused more than the town whore!

The all powerful creator of everthing is short changed due to bad translations? Really? Thats terrible policy for an INTELLIGENT DESIGNER! Especially since he's all knowing too. He KNEW he was leaving behind a bad copy then. So he's cruel too! Just like when he hardened Pharaoh's heart during the Moses Negotiations. Pharaoh did not even have a chance to broker fairly. What a swell god he is. Then again this is the same lovely chap that allowed Job to be Satan's cabbage patch doll. I digress...

Fact of the matter is you guys dont have a single original copy...so how can you even assert that there is a single GOOD translation? Its pure assumption! It starts with unoriginal copies and goes from there. Its doomed from the very beginning...and forget written text...for many years it was passed down thru oral tradition. Yeah, thats a rock solid/fool proof way of history.

If you go all 'metaphor' on some things, then its ALL metaphor. When is it fact and when is it fiction? Does the baby holy ghost come impregnate you with the truth?

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04-01-2012, 10:09 AM
RE: The Bible - not 100% literal
(04-01-2012 09:47 AM)kingschosen Wrote:  
(01-01-2012 09:11 AM)Seasbury Wrote:  If you "believe" in the Adam and Eve story as literal, then the bible makes sense (in a semi-twisted way)...

If you think Adam and Eve is an allegory, then your whole strawman falls apart.

Without the underpinnings of "original sin," the Jesus as savior/redeemer/sacrificer is unnecessary - therefore, the whole story arc is worse than a Joan Collins novel.

Again, no, no it doesn't. In Arminian theology, yes it is necessary to believe this in order to keep your theology consistent; however, in Calvinism it is not.

I believe that God created sin and evil to give Christ a purpose (as I've said many times). Original Sin from Adam isn't passed down because we already had sin. We are damned to sin because of God; not because of Adam.

God didn't use Jesus as Plan B because Adam screwed up (this is dispensationalism). God used Jesus as a sacrifice because He designed humans to sin.

There is a deluge of "my inconsistencies" that are being pointed out that I don't believe.

Your above points are irrelevant to me, not because they aren't thought provoking and good questions, but because they are not what I believe theologically.

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04-01-2012, 12:49 PM (This post was last modified: 04-01-2012 01:10 PM by kingschosen.)
RE: The Bible - not 100% literal
(01-01-2012 09:21 AM)NotSoVacuous Wrote:  I don't know why we have another topic on the bible, has no one argued this point to KC?

KC mate, the position you place yourself in, however humble, still causes issues with people like me. Your position is deliberately made to adjust to whatever needs to be bent to fit your faith, this I cannot agree with or understand.

I argue the bible is not a source for anything divinely valid. It is 100% faith based that people believe the bible was divinely inspired. The issue with this is, it can be applied to anything and everything. This is why my position only respects atheist, agnostics, and deist. In the 21st century it is purely wishful thinking to be a theist.

The issue with how one should perceive the bible is not set in stone. This is why you can never find a religion that agrees on everything. We can't prove who wrote the bible, if it was divinely influenced, the time and place it was created, if the people who wrote it were really just out for power, nothing mate.

This is why the bible is of no concern to me when debating anything in it. I purely discuss Gods/Goddesses philosophically because the tool religious people use(the bible) has no bearing of influence in a discussion at all.

This topic was a response to something in another thread that I didn't want to derail. If you don't want to participate in the discussion no one is forcing you to.
(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.

Again, according to what I believe this isn't a problem in the least. Christ's sacrifice forgave all sin for the elect - past, present, and future. The elect before Christ's sacrifice had already had their sins forgiven because of Christ's future sacrifice. The Bible mentions a place called "Abraham's Bosom", which is apparently was a holding place for the righteous before Christ.

This is also basic theology held by most Christians and your aforementioned problem isn't usually an issue for Christians because of this explanation.

Quote: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.

No, you're not at all. I think it's because you may be a little ignorant on theology, but that doesn't make you a dick. There is also the issue that you don't agree with certain points of the Christian faith. Disagreeing with someone doesn't make you a dick either.

Incessantly telling someone that their system of belief is wrong is dickish, IMO... but, that's just me.
(03-01-2012 12:31 PM)germanyt Wrote:  I'm not going to read the whole thread and it's probably been asked already but why do you, KC, feel like you somehow know which stories are meant to be taken literally and which are figurative?

Based on the history, language, context, and audience, there are the allusions as to which parts aren't to be taken literally.
(03-01-2012 12:35 PM)Jackrabbit Wrote:  For one, what is the criterion on which you choose which verses to be taken literally and which verses not?

Answered in the second line of the first post.

Quote:furthermore, if you can get yourself to believe that the universe was created, you have your work cut out for you. how do you get from the universe needs a creator to he sent his only son, born of a virgin to die for your sins.

Not really understanding why this is such a mental hurdle. Extrapolate?

Quote:And how can a just god be infinitly unjust?

God is sovereign. His plan and will are His own.

Quote:and how can an otherwise decent person who hasnt accepted christ, or allah or krishna go to hell just for not going against his common sense?

God chooses salvation and whom he wants to save.

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