Since many threads end up in discussions about God and the Bible anyway, with both Believers and nonBelievers inputting, I think it's good to post a particular thread where discussing the Bible is not only okay but welcomed. Doesn't mean religion can't be discussed in other threads, but why not have one where anything Biblical can be discussed at random or whatever? Hey, the "Christian Discussion" thread got shut down. Maybe the nonBelievers thought they weren't welcome. So here's a thread where all are welcome. As with any thread, it would be nice if people would avoid personal attacks. Reckon that sounds fair.
Sounds great, I hope we can keep discussion in one thread to a mature level.
I study the bible as one of many inspired texts of scripture given to man by God to help us learn how to be more like Him.
You're brave! But then, you're new here. Welcome to HubPages (if I didn't say so earlier) and this thread. Which "inspired" text tells you that God is the Creator of the earth and of mankind? All of them, or just the Holy Bible?
Not all of them, I haven't had a chance to read enough...
I hesitate to state specifically which texts I read, because of the assumptions about my beliefs people often make.
I'll just say, I believe God, the one Creator, speaks to all His children.
I agree with that. But the definition of "His children" is often debated, even by me.
By what methods do you believe He speaks to His children? We've already established that you believe many texts are inspired by God, so you believe He speaks through the written word. What other methods?
I love this type of real discussion. Thank you!
My definition of 'His Children' is all mankind... I actually believe that we are not the only planet containing His children either.
I believe He speaks in a few different ways. First, and most rare, would be face-to-face. Secondly, I believe He speaks to prophets among all nations, and much of that word is written down to be passed to the people. Thirdly, I believe He speaks to each of us individually... it's just a matter of learning how to listen.
- is all mankind; but Moses and Jesus were not sent to the whole mankind by the Creator God; Hindus, Iranians, Chinese received Message from the Creator God by their local messengers prophets; and they were revealed name of the Creator God in their own languages they spoke. Moses and Jesus were for the Jews.
Bible fails to record Word from the Creator God called YHWH in the original language and form it was revealed; translations after translations make it dilute to the extent the Truth is lost most of time.
Woman of Courage! I've missed you, lady.
I miss you also Brenda! I will try to visit hubpages again every once in awhile. God bless you. Have a Happy New Year.
I believe one of the biggest obstacles in any discussion between a non-believer and a believer about the Bible, stems from the fact, that there are many Christians who know very little about the Bible. They know what they are taught in church or in Sunday school as a child. This usually means the nice bits. However, there is a lot of dubious writing in the Bible concerning questions of morality, such as slavery, animal sacrifice, the equality of the sexes or genocide. When non-believers have tried to point this out to believers, even when they have quoted directly from the Bible, Christians still refuse to believe it.
As a result, the non-believer reads and researches the Bible, in order to try and make a point, and it is often the case that they will end up knowing a lot more about what the Bible contains than the believer does. So, all I would recommend to any Christian is to actually read the Bible, cover-to-cover, and then make your mind up based on its word.
I would disagree. I think believers study the Bible as much, if not more than a nonbeliever, they simply have a different belief as their starting point, so they come to different conclusions. They aren't willing to use other sources to understand the text because of their beliefs.
I refer to another forum discussion, in which I mentioned the fact that God approves of slavery according to the Bible. Brenda was unaware of this, so, I quoted from the Bible. I, as an atheist read the Bible regularly, and always have done.
A sample study of Biblical knowledge.
http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/201 … -religious
That referenced Catholics. Having spoken to a few Catholics on the forums; that's understandable. Biblical reading doesn't appear to be a part of their faith structure. You'd have to get a Catholic to explain that. It doesn't make them less knowledgeable, it means they practice a different form of Christianity.
Hey Wilfion, be careful about what text you take from the bible. There happens to be a common understanding among many believers that what was in the OT is closed/changed upon the death of Jesus, because Jesus came to close the old book(OT) and begin a NT(new laws).
Not close necessarily. Jesus came to Spiritualize the Law. Yet the Old Testament commandments are still valid. God, in the Old Testament, established His sovreignty absolutely without qualification. That included His ownership of the earth and His Creatorship (having made man from the dust of the same earth). Jesus fulfilled man's need to "see" God in the flesh, something they could relate to much better than an invisible God; yet He illustrated the Spiritual side exceedingly well by being willing to die for us, offering us Salvation.
The subject of "slavery" is one that I still interpret within the bounds of His sovreignty. The Bible refers to bondsmen. God established His covenants with those who chose to believe on Him. He had that right. We are but dust of His earth in the physical sense. But clay in His hands, to be molded as He sees fit.
Well, you can have that debate with others. I'm just repeating what some of the other religious have said.
Actually, I would disagree, but you already know that.
Hey EK, just because you agree with her, still doesn't prove it to be true. She nor YOU can prove it, regardless of how many different interpretations you choose from the BS scriptures of the bible.
Ah, but Eaglekiwi and I together make up two who are gathered in His name, and that means He is in our midst! Believe it or not, it's Biblical and it's an awesome thing.
Hey @ Eaglekiwi----I wonder what Cags means by "the BS scriptures"? I haven't read any of those anywhere in the Bible have you? Perhaps some other old book he's talkin' about. LOL
Its a shame that, believer or unbeliever, we can't all just respect each other. I think the majority on both sides do, but there are certainly those on both sides who ridicule anyone on the other.
I didn't take huge offense; I was having a little fun responding to Cags. The Bible is easy for me to defend; it provides its own confirmation and graciousness.
You're nice to discuss with!
You said anyone could ask you questions. Okay. Do you believe Genesis 1: 1? It's hugely simple yet profound to me. Or do you not take that at face value? And if not, is there any verse or concept that you do take at face value?
Oh, I wasn't saying anything against you, I just hit the button to put down a thought
Currently, and I say currently because my opinion has changed, and I expect it will change again, I believe there are eternal, universal laws that govern matter. Both matter that we know about, and matter we don't know about. Essentially, I believe that God created the universe by manipulating all of the parameters of that 'first moment', whether that is the Big Bang or another creationary event. By setting all the parameters to His desire, he could control every aspect of the formation of the universe.
As an analogy, I think of it like a bowling alley. You can walk down and knock the pins down by hand, or throw a bowling ball. I currently believe that God 'threw a bowling ball' to create the universe.
Probably where I differ more from many others is the creation of Adam.
I have a t-shirt I've had for years.. It says "Heard of the Big Bang? It was just God getting started!" I've almost worn it out. I rather like your bowling ball idea! ha.
I'm interested in hearing what you mean about Adam's creation. Can I find your response tomorrow or whenever I can get back here? I gotta go to sleep. Wishing you a great night. At least it's night here where I am. Talk to you later!?
Sure, it will be here waiting for you
This is one area where I don't think I've got it figured out at all, but I currently have two ideas. One, is that God created the bodies for Adam and Eve through the process of evolution. Basically, when He set up the start of the universe, He set it up in a way that, at one point, a creature(for lack of a better word) would develop in His image. Once that was ready, God put the spirits of Adam and Eve into the bodies.
Not my favorite of the two theories, but it's the best one I have that follows the thought of throwing the bowling ball.
The second theory... I hope I don't get flak for this, because it's hard to explain without explaining other things first, but anyway. Adam and Eve were literally the children of Eloheim(which can be a plural word in hebrew). Literally as in they were born, like children are born today(well, not exactly, but the same kind of process).
I think of God (Elohim) as a Spirit being, as the Bible tells us. To me, it's more plausible to believe He simply spoke things into being (since He's all-powerful), and that He literally formed Adam from the dust of the earth and then breathed life into him, than it is to think He made the first humans from human seed.
I don't discount that possibility
I think the idea of how Adam was created depends largely upon how the individual actually views Elohim. I view him(them) as a perfect being with a spirit body and a physical body. Not the same as our physical bodies, but similar. We're based on blood, I think He is based on something else.
This is interesting. The Bible says He is Spirit. In the manifestation of the Christ, though, He was in a physical body. Saved humans, according to the Word, will "put on incorruptible" & have "new, spiritual" bodies.
I think when the Bible says mankind was made in His image, it means spiritually or with spiritual capacity. I once heard a Christian minister say he had seen the Holy Ghost and He was about 6 foot tall. I couldn't help laughing, 'cause I don't imagine God having that definitive & confined spatial characteristic, but yet I'm not sure exactly what He would look like....Although Revelation describes Him (can be taken literally or not)...
Corinthians tells some about this.
"And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven. As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly." - 1Cor 15:45-49
The Creator God named YHWH in OT has created all the spirits and physical bodies; so He is a being who is manifest with His attributes only which humans-the created ones, can never perceive; there is none like Him. Bible is wrong if it mentions that YHWH is a spirit.
Jesus was not a god, he was a human messenger prophet of the Creator God and was born of Mary; and Mary did not have a husband named YHWH or Elohim/God.
YHWH or Elohim is not a spirit. It is the name of the Creator God who has created all the spirits; He is therefore not a spirit.
As I mentioned the Creator God is a being manifest with attributes; all spirits and physical being are His creation; there is none like Him:
[42:12] He is the Maker of the heavens and the earth. He has made for you pairs of your own selves, and of the cattle also He has made pairs. He multiplies you therein. There is nothing whatever like unto Him; and He is the All-Hearing, the All-Seeing.
[42:13] To Him belong the keys of the heavens and the earth. He enlarges the provision for whomsoever He pleases and straitens it for whomsoever He pleases. Surely, He knows all things full well.
http://www.alislam.org/quran/search2/sh … p;verse=11
And it's a shame that you don't realize how your religion has taught you to perceive ridicule.
You are kidding. Right? Everyone knows that the Bible references slavery and gives guidelines on the relationship between master and slave.
Anyway, I'm sure everyone remembers the points that appeal to them. You remember the oddities, she may have committed to memory things you didn't find interesting.
Everyone reads it with their own eyes and gets what they were looking for.
Here's a question. If everyone gets out of it what they want, yet because of it, they are better people... is there a problem with that?
No. That's the mystery of the text. It speaks to the individual and pulls to the forefront who you are. It does guide some to find a better path. It allows others to turn their back on their fellow man. It feeds bigotry in some and elevates others to a higher love.
It's fascinating to talk to those who have read it, whether they claim religion or not. It provides a window into the soul, I think.
Apparently for some people this is a mammoth problem
Knowing Gods love makes me a better person and I share the love and my cup keeps getting filled back up .....Oh yea who wouldnt want a friend like that
I think Eaglekiwi, your answer clearly demonstrates the reason people believe in Christianity, or any other religion - because it makes them feel better. I think most people can understand this. Who wouldn't want to believe that no matter what life throws at them, there is always someone on their side, who loves them, no matter what.
Of course, this doesn't make the belief true. When a child, I believed in Father Christmas, and he was as real to me as your god is to you. I was even convinced one night that I heard his sleigh bells in the sky. And I used to look out of my window, in the hope of seeing him flying above my home. And I always left the mince pie and sherry out for him. If someone had suggested to me that he didn't exist, I would have believed they were mad. That was until one Christmas Eve, when I saw my parents putting my presents under the tree.
Having said that, I think it would be mean for people to set out to destroy the faith of someone, who gains great comfort from it. I know how I felt when I realised Father Christmas was only make-believe. Everyone though is entitled to their beliefs, it is only when they insist on forcing others to believe as they do, or suggest that the non-believer is destined for the fires of hell, that the problems arise. Then, it should be expected that the non-believer will argue their point. It is possible to respect the beliefs of others, whilst openly disagreeing with them.
Fair enough if everyone "looks at it with their own eyes and gets what they want out of it" but doesn't that make it fairly useless as a missive from God? It means you're only imposing whatever (relative) meaning you want on it.
Exactly. An interesting text in many ways, but definitely not a book written by a deity.
NT is definitely not written by the Creator God; and is not even written or dictated by Jesus; not even written by people who were eye-witnesses of the events of Cross; and they covered mostly 3 years of Jesus' life; not knowing where he spenct most of this earlier or later life; as Jesus died at the age of 120 years in Kashmir, India.
Gospels are mostly a book of fiction;containing little of Jesus.
Perhaps the entire point isn't to give you the answers, but to stimulate you to look for the answers yourself.
So upon searching, how do you know if what you find is the right answer or the wrong answer and not just what you want or choose to believe is right or wrong? Same deal. Or are there no answers to be had? Only endless searching...
What I mean is, if the Bible is not to be taken at face value, just as it is written, then I can't see how it can have any special divine value...and if it is taken at face value, then it makes no moral sense, since it contains brutality, contradiction and too many morally suspect directives.
It's a personal journey, that's why it's called subjective. What's the point of existing? For me it is to be the best me I can be, and expanding my horizons, including reading and pondering religious texts, is how I do that.
For you, there may be a different goal to life. With different goals, what makes sense to each of us won't make sense to the other.
Trying to argue one 'correct way' in regard to subjective experiences is fruitless and impossible. Discussing points of view can help(in my subjectivity) to expand horizons.
I don't take the Bible at face value... not all of it. After all, which translation should I take at face value? So many humans have had their go at it... just look at our current government, and you realize the probability of a book being hand-copied and passed down through churches and governments has little chance of remaining 100% in its original context.
That being said, anyone who wants to ask me specifics about my beliefs can feel free, I love to discuss them.
Jane you just stated perfectly the same feelings I have regarding the bible.
Bible is a deficient book ; it does not contain claims and reasons on the issues; and the followers who are themselves in dark have to add these to the book; it is not an inspired book; it has been written by anonymous people who hardly believed in Jesus themselves; they did not stand by Jesus in thick and thin and deserted away on the first available opportunity.
@Emile, you said a couple of hours ago, "They aren't willing to use other sources to understand the text because of their beliefs." Apparently you haven't talked to many Christians. There are quite a number I've known or known about who read other sources. I have read many sources and have gained in understanding by reading widely. Only with humility can anyone ever truly find answers.
You also said of the Bible, "It feeds bigotry in some and elevates others to a higher love." A powerful work, that. In the bigot or egotist, they have a heavier burden that blinds them to truth; that makes it hard for them to find the love.
Many a skeptic rebels against the Bible talking about slavery or harsh punishments, but miss the big picture. I think the biggest part of the problem is the belief that these Homo sapiens bodies are all there is. Many a skeptic cannot see their spiritual half, so they deny the importance of such things.
The seemingly unjustified misfortunes of one life are brought into sharp clarity when one sees where the soul (the true self) has been. The sins of the fathers are really visited upon the perpetrators themselves, three and four generations after the original crimes are committed.
God "hated" Esau and "loved" Jacob and told their mother before they were born that the older would serve the younger. All of the "wrath" and "vengeance" attributed to God in the Bible can be illuminated in this one story. So can the apparent condoning of slavery. How can Esau have been so guilty even before being born? And how can God "hate" when He is supposed to be so loving?
I've heard many explanations of this, but only one makes sense to me. Esau, under another name or alias, had already committed some crime the karma of which was to lose his own birthright in this new life. God's "hate" is merely a function of natural physical law--Newtonian action-reaction--of which karma is only a part. Overriding all natural law is God's love and His desire to save His spiritual children from perpetual servitude to the physical world.
And God does not love these Homo sapiens bodies. He loves the immortal, spiritual children within each of us. All too often, ego gets in the way and makes it difficult to "see" God.
We don't like slavery, harsh punishment or being told that we are wrong. But these things matter little compared to the real importance of the last few million years--the reawakening of our immortal selves.
Speaking on slavery, we need to keep in mind that MOST of the world is held in economic slavery, the slave masters just got wiser and persuaded the slaves to put their own shackles on.
Freedom comes from TRUSTING God to guide your life.
Amplified Bible (AMP)
For life is more than food, and the body [more] than clothes.
Observe and consider the ravens; for they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn; and [yet] God feeds them. Of how much more worth are you than the birds!
And which of you by being overly anxious and troubled with cares can add a cubit to his stature or a moment [unit] of time to his age [the length of his life]?
God has done a far better job than a credit card ever did at giving me freedom from slavery.
Good point, John. Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's, and give unto God all that He requires.
Ah, yes. Credit cards -- the chains that promise empowerment.
All power flows from the Father -- every miracle and even every electron in those pieces of plastic.
The most important thing in all of history is the enlightenment of Christians. Dealing out harsh punishments, keeping slaves and a host of other atrocities committed by Christians were merely the minute, irrelevant details of what was required to get and maintain their enlightenment.
Absolutely horrible justification.
I think it's a personal journey for each person. Some people, the details are more important. Others, the over-arching message is more important... I can't say one way is better than the other.
Good point, @emrldphx. Some people get lost in the details and forget the big picture--the overall message (the rescue mission). Others are empowered by the details because they give greater understanding of that overall message.
For some, the details are unimportant. Perhaps they cannot understand the details. But I urge everyone to investigate with a humble heart all of the details. That can only be done by reading and studying the Bible. Read the commentaries of others and make up your own mind. But always I recommend that we each not become too attached to anything but the over-arching message. Without that, it's easy to lose one's way and to pervert the message with some seductive, but misinterpreted detail.
The very idea that the christ figure is sending people out on some kind of rescue mission is one of the seductive perversions of the message.
As far as I am aware he charged his disciples with taking the message to the various parts of the known world of the time, these were informed and intelligent people with a clear understanding of the message. I am not aware that he charged every uneducated fool to go out and spread a distorted and bigoted message to any vulnerable or stupid person they meet.
The excesses of the christian churches and cults and sects today are clear evidence that very few people adhere to the teachings of the christ figure - they all, like contributors to this thread, are propounding their own message as the face of their christ. Sometimes I wish there were such a place as hell for them all to go to.
The main trouble is that Church follows Paul and his creeds which are far away from the pristine teachings of Jesus. Jesus did not believe in Trinity; or that he was letrally son of god or god; or that he was to be killed on the Cross for salvation of the mankind or that he was to ascend to heaven and was to sit on the right hand of the Creator God and become a god; these creeds had been invented by Paul and the Church later .
Yes, this is true. A lot of what Christians believe does not stem from biblical scripture. However, some Chrisitians, especially Roman Catholics believe that everything which has been added to their religion over the centuries has been as a result of the Holy Spirit guiding their religion. In the case of Catholicism, the pronouncemnets of the Pope are binding, because he is viewed as God's representative on Earth and his word is therefore infallible. The veneration of the Virgin Mary for example, began in the 11th century, centuries after the time of Christ.
It was definitely not the Holy Spirit as the teachings added later were unknown to Jesus; it must be an evil spirit who spoke to the Catholics and the Pope. Holy Spirit cannot give teachings differently
I doubt the Holy Spirit is defined as a prerecorded message. I'd be careful with that line of argument anyway. The quran doesn't teach what Jesus taught, so by your statement Mohamed was also taught by an evil spirit.
Krishna,Buddha, Moses, Jesus, Muhammad, Mirza Ghualm Ahmad- the Promised Messiah, all believed in ONE Creator God.
Quran mentions what Jesus taught.
Mainstream Christianity also mentions what Jesus taught. Yet you reference an evil spirit. Your argument would still follow that anything the quran preaches that Jesus didn't is the result of an evil spirit. I'm simply expanding on your thought.
I don't agree with you.
Quran is in the Word of Creator God; and it is pristine in the original language it was revealed in; it is guardian on all the scriptures.It is authored by the Creator God; not by Muhammad.
Says who Paar?
The point is you only have Muhammed's word that the Quran was written by God.
In fact it is as much a step of faith for you as it is for the Church when they state the bible was authored by God. Nobody can be absolutely sure as none of us were there to witness the writing.
In one of the thread here; people commented that nobody believes that Bible was authored by Jesus.
Bible is neither authored by the Creator God nor by Jesus; it is not even dictated by Jesus or written by people who were expressly authorized in writing by Jesus to write on his behalf.
You can certainly disagree. Any opinion on religion is simply personal opinion. But, I'm afraid the quran smacks of an attempt to cobble a myriad of beliefs together into a different message that would somehow encompass all of them. An attempt to unify. I see nothing divinely inspired. I see it as the savvy actions of a man who sought power. That is just my opinion.
That is not correct.
Quran is a living book authored by the Creator God; it not only gives claims on issues but gives convincing and peaceful reasons also to support them.
Gospels, as truly accepted by the Catholic Encyclopedia, is written by anonysmous writers and named after Matthew, Mark, John and Luke, just to add some credence to them; none of the twelve in fact wrote them.
Most of them joined Jesus in his journey to India; after his survival from the Cross.
That is your belief paar. My belief is that Mohamed made it up. There is no evidence to support your belief, nor do I have the means to disprove it. So, without proof on either side what makes more sense? An angel dictated information to an illiterate, or that the guy made it up? We disagree as to which makes more sense.
I wouldn't deign to disagree with that, except for Luke. The question is, so what? If someone wrote down the words of Matthew Mark and John, does that make the words less authentic? If you wrote down all of my memories of three years of my journeys with an important figure and named it paar; and the world was waiting to hear what Emile had seen and heard; how many copies would you sell to the target audience? None.
People wanted to hear what the eyewitnesses said. It is not an unheard concept for someone to put a collection of another person's remembrances together.
Now that's interesting. What I heard is that Mary and Thomas accompanied him. Fantasizing about a fantasy, are you?
Gospel writers were not eye-witnesses; it is written that they all fled away when Jesus was put on the Cross.
They were just story tellers
Those who wrote the Quran were not eyewitnesses, either. Notice that your silly claims can always be directed back to your religion.
Look, the claims made in the New Testament are no more provable than the claims made in the Quran or the Torah. That's why reasonable people concede that they are beliefs. If you are going to denounce one book, you can be reasonably assured that all books will be denounced by some.
James (Apostle) was the son of Mary. (Half) brother to Jesus.
Apostle John claims to be an eyewitness. He states, "we bear witness of what we have seen and heard"
He also wrote the Book of Revelation. EYE WITNESS ACCOUNT.
If none other book fits your category of "inspired/authored by God", then this one MUST.
It's at least in the same style as what you claim the koran to be. (Revealed to one man, by divine inspiration)
I think you need to do some serious research on Bible History. Who assembled the writings, what criteria they used, the process by which it was done, and the manuscripts that (we STILL have record of) actually said.
Your feeble dismissal of the FACTS is founded on lies and ignorance. You took all that by faith, since you didn't do your own research.
Matthew says all deserted Jesus and fled away; he makes no exception of John.
Do you think Matthew lied?
I think he did not.
And what does the book of Acts say?
They were all together in ONE ACCORD!
Their "dessertion" was short lived.
This proves, yet again, what I said. You have no idea what you are talking about, when it comes to the Bible.
Well that's a nice change. (Saying you don't think Matthew lied.)
Yet, het ells us a lot more information about the life of Jesus, which you DO consider lies.
So how do you arrive at differentiating what's a lie, and what is true?
Is it your BIAS?
No, that has never been shown. That is just your belief.
Yes, we know you believe your holy book is better than any other holy book. LOL!
I'd just like to ad this;using the bible is like trying to see something with one eye,you don't really get the proper perspective.
The bible is a slice of Christianity which became dominant through political strength and backing.
It's a good idea to take an objective look at the entirety of Christianity at the time of Jesus death as well as the scientifically dated writing of the various groups[thirty or more]and then decide what your views are...and I promise they are much more logical than you might expect.
Just checking in, good to see some normal conversing, but I also see that this threat will probably be hijacked, so I will keep a watching brief and stay out until I see how we spin on this, not interested in discussing things with non believers, so I apologise in advance for ignoring some of the comments.
God is good, His bible gives us all we need to know about getting closer to Him, and for those who do not wish to utilise it, may you enjoy your life and always be open to God tapping your shoulder one day.
Perhaps one of the most important things [almost] never talked about regarding the Bible is the need to read it and discuss it with humility.
This goes for believers and skeptics alike. Emile made the point that many believers don't want to be humble enough to read other works regarding the Bible. Some of those other works are garbage, granted, but some are quite insightful.
FAITH MEANS STRENGTH, NOT WEAKNESS
For the truly faithful, reading the writings of those who question scripture should only open the door to greater understanding.
But reading the Bible itself can be quite enlightening, especially if one reads it without relying on church dogma or ideology.
I have discovered many things that seem far truer than the dogma of my Southern Baptist minister grandfather's church. I value the fact that he was a man of faith in Christ. His whole life was devoted to our salvation.
There is so much more in the Bible than what one can gain from a superficial read. The skeptics make good points that should be addressed fully.
FAITH IS NOT BLINDLY FOLLOWING
Blindly following is a neat trick used by the top 1% to trick us into putting shackles upon ourselves and to think that it is empowering us rather than enslaving us. They don't want us to open our eyes, but want us to stay in darkness.
Any Christian should welcome the questions, but should be able to give better answers. The hardened skeptic who holds a flippant and disrespectful attitude because it bolsters their own ego--they will never get it. But the honest skeptic who merely isn't convinced because they really care but see no answers to believe in--they can get it, if given a well-reasoned answer.
THE BIBLE'S HIDDEN WISDOM
The Bible contains hidden wisdom. I've found a fair amount of it woven into Genesis.
I have found the "Tree of Life" of the Jewish Mystics (who believe in reincarnation and practice the Kabbalah) embedded in Genesis. Yes, these guys were around more than a thousand years before some scholars say they started. The Kabbalists claim to have started not in the Middle Ages, but with Adam at the beginning.
The very same "Tree of Life" embedded in Genesis gives us a timeline compatible with those of science. And this new timeline, when compared with those of science, helps us to understand what really happened with Noah's Flood. Who were the "daughters of men" and the "sons of God?" There have been conflicting interpretations, but it's possible all of them have been wrong.
And what was the real reason behind the Flood. The reasons given by most scholars don't stand up even under casual scrutiny. Wickedness? Did the Flood stop wickedness? Not the kinds we know so well. But God seemed pleased that the Flood had done its job, otherwise he would never have promised never again to use the Flood. So, the Flood did its job. What was that job? And what was that special kind of wickedness of which humanity had been cured? Reading science in conjunction with the Bible, the answer has finally been found. That's my conviction. And it only shows how much God really, really loves us.
HUMILITY AND HUNGER FOR ANSWERS
What can we learn when we approach the Bible with humility and a hunger for answers?
Can a skeptic be honest and hunger for answers, or will they hold preconceived ideas in front of them to blind them from any further discoveries?
The same question can be asked of the Christian? Better answers to the skeptics' questions can only be found with a humble search for such answers. Will flippantly quoting scripture answer the skeptics? Or will understanding the deeper meaning behind the Bible, civilization and Homo sapiens be required for a superior dialog?
Cagsil, it very much depends which Christian you talk to concerning the replacement of the Old Testament with the New. On the one hand Christians may say Jesus came to replace the Mosaic Law. However, Christians still believe in the Ten Commandments, which appeared in the Old Testament, and many other parts, which they also cherry pick to add to their belief. And regarding slavery, even Jesus seemed to support this practise, and even suggested that a slave should respect their owners. Jesus, like everyone in the ancient world took slavery for granted.
And Emile, the report, I linked to does not only mention Roman Catholics, but Christians of different denominations too.
Lonestar, you seem to be suggesting that slavery is OK, because it is only the slave's body which is owned, not their soul. I'm sure such justification for slavery was common at one time, but is just an excuse to make it seem acceptable. When a slave was beaten for every little mistake, it was their bodies which suffered pain. And if the mind is considered to be part of the soul, then being a slave would have been soul-destroying.
And the suggestion that people who disagree with the religious views of others are ridiculing them really is not always the case. Yes, there are some on both sides of the argument who will use ridicule, but disagreement is not ridicule. If someone reads something, which they know not to be the case, then it is human nature to point this out. If those to whom it is pointed out to choose not to accept it, even in the face of the evidence, then that is their choice, but everyone, is entitled to their opinion.
" If someone reads something, which they know not to be the case, then it is human nature to point this out. If those to whom it is pointed out to choose not to accept it, even in the face of the evidence, then that is their choice, but everyone, is entitled to their opinion."
If only you had said "If someone reads something, which they believe not to be the case, it would have been perfect.
I know what I believe to be the truth, but neither side in any religious discussion can know with absolute assurance that what they believe is 100% truth.
The only way to solve that discussion is for both debaters to die, then we can know the truth, and will either be aware of it or not, depending on what the truth actually is.
All we can do in this world is put our faith in what we believe.
When I mentioned things which are known to be the case, I was thinking in particular about the continuing debate between some Christian fundamentalists, who insist that the universe is 6,000 years old. Concerning this, it is possible to say that it is "known" not to be the case. The fact that many people believe the universe is so new, doesn't change the fact that they are wrong. Also, the fact of evolution is constantly challenged, even though this is now established fact.
And there are religious believers who believe in all seriousness, that the Earth is flat. There is even a Flat Earth Society, which states that it is wicked heresy to suggest that the Earth is in fact a sphere. So, I would have to say that there are some things which are known to be correct. If a Flat Earther were to say to me that I was wrong in believing the Earth to be a sphere, I would have to disagree with them, because I actually do "know" that they are wrong.
Not to them you don't!
Age of earth: Not bothered whether the bible is allegorical or factual there and besides there are too many options to discuss to make it worth while.
For instance..... Derek Prince who was (IMO) a sound teacher of bible, hinted (He hinted at this because to have declared on it would have been impossible to prove and would have had him branded a heretic by the fundies) that he believed that the earth had a form of humanoids existent before God breathed His spirit into man (aka Adam and Eve).
The prior inhabitants were without the spirit of life, i.e. instinctive in the way animals are, and incapable of doing what we humans do with our spirit (i.e. we have intuition and the ability to act of our own free will, not JUST instinctively according to a predetermined patter of behaviour)
This supposition allows that there may have been a few periods when Gods days were longer than the seven we count in our temporal thinking, and (again for instance) I once read that a UNIVERSAL DAY was 360 million years, i.e. the time it takes for the universe to make on complete rotation. (which would make a creation period of 2.5 billion years)
Anyhow the summation is that yes there may have been propagation of all the species on earth for a whole lot longer than 6000 years, but that OUR human spirit filled variety were launched 6000 years ago.
So you can see that stating that anything scriptural or scientific as absolute fact is rather difficult in some cases.
BTW are you seriously telling me you believe the world is not FLAT!
I liked your post, but I have one quick question. Don't you think evangelicals push belief as truth? It seems that way to me.
Yes is the short answer, of course they do, because for them it is the truth.
When I am working with someone, I attempt to not suppose that they will accept MY truth and tell them what I believe and why I came to believe it.
It's the old horse to water bit, you cannot make anyone drink when they don't trust the source or like the look and smell of what you offer them!
Yes, evangelicals, do push their belief as "truth." And they are entitled to do so. However, this can only ever be a subjective truth, no matter how many of them believe it. It is not the kind of truth that can be placed under the microscope or has any scientific empirical evidence to back it up. It is true for them, and they are contented with this kind of truth, but for those of us who base our view of life on objectively tested and proven evidence, this kind of truth can never be enough.
Agree "for those of us who base our view of life on objectively tested and proven evidence, this kind of truth can never be enough." and there lies the rub as my old mate Shakespeare used to say (Tom Shakespeare a descendent of Will)
Secularists preclude what we know to be truth from their belief system, and we cannot accept what your conditions for proof constitute.
However, that is not the case for the majority of Christians. It tends to be the evangelical American type, that refuses scientific evidence. The Roman Catholic Church, which makes up the majority of Chrisitans in the world, and the Anglican Church and the Methodists, and many other denominations actually do accept the age of the universe, as shown by science. They also accept evolution, and the fact that the Earth orbits the Sun, and that the Earth is not flat. America seems to breed its own kind of Christianity, which unfortunately it is now exporting to the rest of the world. If the majority of Christians though can accept science, would this mean that all of these Christians are heretics?
I think you are answering my other post, but hey, what's a post between friends!
I'm one of those weird Christians who try to follow what Christ said, and not fuss about what I call 'the small stuff'
" If the majority of Christians though can accept science, would this mean that all of these Christians are heretics?
There are two famous heretics I love to quote:
Christ Himself, he was heretical according to the religious system he was born into; Judaism
Martin Luther; His recognition that Grace was kinda big in Gods plan, cause a bit of fuss with the RCC
Heresy changes with new revelations.
That is true ,because God is spirit and a Christian lives by faith primarily,at least in spriitual matters.
Growth and learning happen just like in the human physical sense ,one step,one day at a time.
Having said that ,when a person accepts Christ and his teachings it doesnt mean he/she leaves their brains at the door, as some like to babble like a broken record.
Its funny how many non-believers expect Christians to be ALL the same ,yet they do not expect that same standard for themselves.
Wwilfion you see to be one of the more reasonable posters,unafraid to be respectful and courteous-are you new (lol) if so welcome
I'm a non believer, but I think there are distinct differences between believers. There are believers who do not expect others to follow in their path, their faith is their strength and they are not stupid and have not left their brains at the door, in some ways I wish I could have that same faith. Then are there are believers who think everybody should believe as they do, condeming those who don't have the same faith, unable to respect the beliefs( or lack of) of a non believer. I believe they are the ones who left their brains at the door. There are differences.
No, I'm not new, just changed my name and profile and hubs, because the old one was getting boring.
I was actually once quite radical in my atheism, and still disagree strongly with many of the things Christians and other religious believers believe, and am always ready to debate the issues, because it is that way that those on both sides of the argument can learn things, which they may not have thought of. However, I have learned to accept that there will be people who do not agree with what I consider to be a rational view of life, and they are as entitled to their views as I am to mine.
As long as people can debate, without using insulting language, or condemning other people's beliefs or lifestyles, and when an agreement cannot be reached, then it is OK to agree to disagree.
You're old hubs weren't getting boring at all. Why on earth would you think that? I almost commented on that in another thread, but thought it was non of my business(still isn't I know) If anything, a bigger collection illustrates how your thinking has evolved. I must be psychic, knew who you were within a couple of hours of you opening another account.
Perhaps it is just me, but I get bored really easily. I write things, which I feel passionate about at the time, but after reading them several times, I realise that not only do I no longer like what I have written, but actually disagree with it. I think it is because my views can cahnge so quickly and radically. I can swing from atheism to spirituality, and from sceptic to believer. And some of the things I felt passionate about one week, can seem very boring a few weeks later. I also tire of my profile name and picture. I am going to try and keep to this profile though, but maybe change hubs every now and then. I knew you were psychic though. Perhaps I am psychic too.
I get bored easily, too. (Apparently, this is due to my dyslexia and my inability to concentrate for any prolonged period, funny though, when I was at junior school it was apparently due to my level of intelligence, both explanations make me laugh) However, I have learnt that sometimes you just have to stick with something, and, instead of abandoning previous beliefs or thoughts, use them for reflection. They are all part of who you are and your journey (don't want to sound like Tony Blair, here.) Add to profile and hubs, don't get rid of them. Sometimes it is better to critique oneself, then to distance oneself. Stick with it, personally, I think you are a great writer and have an ability to articulate what most people want to say, but can't find the words or humor to do so. Perhaps we are both psychic.
BTW, Wilfion, my real name is Lisa. My dad used to sing Nat King Cole's Mona Lisa to me often. It is one of two recordings that connects us. Frank Sinatra's My Way and Nat King Cole's Mona Lisa.
Several years ago, I've heard someone say that one's favorite Bible verse relates to one's spiritual path. What are you favorites verses and do they actually relate to your path? Thanks
NT Bible does not talk in any way.
NT Bible is not a living book; it is dead; it neither mentions claims of the issues nor the reasons and arguments; its followers have to contstanty spoon feed it with both the claims and reasons.
Amo 3:3 Can two walk together, except they be agreed?
Two people cannot walk together if they are not in agreement with one another. This is why I don't understand why so many try to go their own way instead of going with God.
That's a hard Truth, but nonetheless, it is true.
Two people cannot walk together if they are not in agreement? Like literally walk together? Like friends? They can't be friends if they don't agree?
Can you be friends with someone who doesn't want to be friends with you?
No I don't think I could be friends with someone who doesn't want to be friends with me. I have friends that I don't agree with and who don't agree with me on all things. I'm not sure why we couldn't still be friends. If they are Christian and I am not are you saying that they don't really want to be my friend?
That is not what I am saying at all. Can you walk with someone who goes a different direction that you walk? In other words, can you walk to heaven with someone who is bent on walking to hell?
One pushing, one pulling.
A divided house will not stand.
Literally walking on the ground you are right I cannot walk with someone who is going in an opposite direction than I am. As for the heaven and hell part I think we are just going to have to disagree there. We don't have the same thoughts on that and that's ok.
Whether or not the Bible is inspired/authored by God, is not the real issue.
It's who believes it is, and who believes it isn't.
The reality remains!
The Bible it'self makes the claims of Divine inspiration, and it has demonstrated it's claims countless times.
My thoughts are that one day (very soon), it will all be made completely manifest to the whole world, and all it's inhabitants. God Himself will set the record straight, and ALL will know the TRUTH.
Until then, it's all a matter of FAITH.
NT Bible is not written by one man; it has many books of which only selected books have been included and bound as one Book; neither those which have been bound in it nor the those whicl have been left were inspired to anybody.
And every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord. Amen aka-dj.
Oh, but it is, completely and unequivocally. If it was not inspired/authored by God, your religion is total bunk.
LOL! Countless times...
We have yet another Harold Camping in disguise.
Wasn't Harold Camping the guy who keeps trying to predict the specific date of "end"?
His predictions are expressly forbidden in the Bible.
akd-dj's prophecy (yes, it's prophecy repeated from the Bible) IS indeed validly from the Bible. Most notably the books of Romans and Phillipians.
According to Harold, the Bible supports his predictions.
According to Harold, he cannot figure out when the Lord will come back. Check out his recent quotes. He actually admitted to having no idea when it was going to happen.
I did read his recent quotes, he was trusting the Bible and now he blames God for leading him down the garden path.
Got that wrong then didn't he, if he HAD been trusting God, he would have known that it was impossible to predict the date, we can FEEL it's near, we can sense His coming, but NOBODY can call the date.
No, I think he was chasing up the wrong tree and listening to the enemy, much like you.
No, he was trusting in his own version of numerology and his credentialsd as an engineer. He can blame God all he wants, (that is if he is doing that), but it is his own fault and he knows it.
I just don't understand why people try and figure God out by using human devices when it is impossible.
After over 2000 years God will set the record straight? Why wait so long? I know, I know, it's his mysterious ways.
If faith in the unknown is the point I can get that. Then we don't ever need to be proven anything.
You're right you didn't say anything about his mysterious ways and I didn't mean to make it sound like you did. Sorry about that. It's just a phrase I hear a lot when someone questions something about God. Perhaps I will read that. I like to be educated and open minded.
What made me question is that you say "ALL will know the truth...until then, it's all a matter of faith". This sounds like faith and truth are not considered the same thing but most of the time I hear beleivers say they know it to be true. Forgive me if I'm misunderstanding and I surely don't mean any disrespect. I enjoy hearing answers to mine (and others) questions. Faith can be a beautiful thing.
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