Why Believe in the Bible?

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  1. JMcFarland profile image69
    JMcFarlandposted 11 years ago

    Not all christians believe the same things about the bible - but the overwhelming majority that I've run across believe that it is the infallible word of a god.  They claim that it is historically, archaeologically and scientifically accurate and they don't see a problem with adhering to it.  My question is why?

    1. Ericdierker profile image48
      Ericdierkerposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Wonderfully phrased. I am devout as could be. But how could I believe in a book? I absolutely do not believe in the Idol of the bible. I believe in Jesus.

      1. NotPC profile image58
        NotPCposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        I really like the distinction you make here.

    2. Disappearinghead profile image59
      Disappearingheadposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Because Christianism is a religion of absolutes, black or white, heaven or hell, saved or condemned, Jesus or Satan. The bible must be absolutely true and infallible otherwise a crack of doubt may creep in. Once that happens, everything that is believed and held on to begins to fall apart. The bible to them is a security blanket.

      As one who left the Church but believes in God nonetheless, I think the bible represents the beliefs of those who wrote it at the time.

    3. MelissaBarrett profile image59
      MelissaBarrettposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      This poll says only 3 in ten take it literally.

      http://www.gallup.com/poll/148427/say-b … rally.aspx

      That lines up with this study...


      That gives about a 33 percent of all religious groups in the us take their holy book literally.

      The highest groups are evangelical Christians (59%) Historically Black Churches-whatever the hell that means- at 62% and muslims at 50%

      Mainline Christians are at 22%

      Which is what I've been saying to you for the last month or so... yet even in the face of evidence you refuse to admit that your assumptions are incorrect....  Most Christians don't take the Bible literally.

      1. JMcFarland profile image69
        JMcFarlandposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        Melissa -
        I did actually take your words into account, which is why the original post stated: but the overwhelming majority that I've run across believe that it is the infallible word of a god

        See?  The "overwhelming majority that I've run across".  Not all.

        1. MelissaBarrett profile image59
          MelissaBarrettposted 11 years agoin reply to this

          Well then the real question becomes why don't you hang around with more normal Christians?

          Where do you live anyway? Right beside Westboro Baptist?

          I mean if I asked why the majority of guys I know were asshats the answer would be find new guys to be around.

          Sheesh. smile

          1. JMcFarland profile image69
            JMcFarlandposted 11 years agoin reply to this

            I was raised southern baptist, lived in the missionary field for 2 years in Africa, came back to an all-christian school through college, then continued to a community college at 19.  I never heard the term "gay" until I was almost 20 - I thought I was the only one in the world that felt the way that I did.  Does that help explain a lot?

            1. profile image0
              Motown2Chitownposted 11 years agoin reply to this

              A lot.  Girl, we gotta get you some cool Christian friends.  big_smile

              FYI, Melissa and I are a good start.

    4. The0NatureBoy profile image55
      The0NatureBoyposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      I am Christian but Atheist and therefore don't accept the Bible as you presented it, however, I do believe it to be a book of prophecy in metaphors, allegories, parables and symbol types which predict world events and gives us an understanding of why. 

      My findings are, to understand it one must integrate some concepts from every sources of knowledge we know because the Adam metaphor tells us our ignorance of life and its purpose is based upon segregating.  When we do the stories will loose some of their weight like the union of electrons and protons in becoming a neutron will not weigh their combined weights. 

      It suggests man are divided into 2 genders, 4 primary ethnics and 12 eastern and 12 western tribes {zodiac signs} to produce the multitude of attributes or characters we see among us.  That's done as a learning process called it calls the school master to bring us into a complete understanding of ourselves.

  2. knolyourself profile image60
    knolyourselfposted 11 years ago

    If material reality or atheistic empiricism has no intrinsic worth whatever, what all you have is the word, so let's call it the word of God, the only worth something in the universe. The writing on the fall.

    1. JMcFarland profile image69
      JMcFarlandposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      I'm sorry, I don't understand your message.

  3. kess profile image60
    kessposted 11 years ago

    I do not understand the reason for the" why" question,
    You seem to have it already covered in your statement...

    They believe it to be the word of God because they find it historically, archaeologically and scientifically accurate.
    Or their acceptance that is infallible, leads them conclude that it  is historically, archaeologically and scientifically accurate.

    Both statements include the what and the Why.....

    So Why as Why again..please clarify

  4. JMcFarland profile image69
    JMcFarlandposted 11 years ago

    but it's not historically, archaeologically or scientifically accurate - and that's easy to prove.  Therefore the bible is either not infallible or it is not truly the word of god.

    1. wilderness profile image96
      wildernessposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Sorry, JM, but it's not easy to prove.  You can't prove anything to those that refuse to listen and think, and that defines a great many believers.  Not all, by a huge margin, but a great many.

      Add in that those that DO think and listen simply ignore the problematical areas and you can understand why they believe.  Because they want to.

      1. NotPC profile image58
        NotPCposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        For many, belief is more fulfilling than non-belief, so they just choose to believe. A lot of non-Christians can't understand how an intelligent person could blindly believe in a doctrine with so many cracks. Many even feel threatened. I personally am someone who knows in my heart that Christianity is kinda silly, but I like the church community and all the positive aspects that Christianity offers. My mother has what I like to call "child-like" faith. She has never questioned the church and that's just the way she feels the most fulfilled in her life. Who am I to say she is wrong?

        I've felt threatened by Christians in the past because I couldn't accept their belief. Maybe I was even jealous because I wanted to have what they had: Purpose.

        Ultimately, the best motto for religion is live and let live. Different beliefs and practices work for different people, but in the end we are all searching for the same fulfillment.

    2. profile image0
      Motown2Chitownposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      I'm gonna take a shot at this as a believer - but not as a 'bible=thumper.'  I believe that the Bible is the infallible word of God.  Infallible is the important word here.  For example, the Catholic belief in the infallibility of the Pope.  We do NOT believe that the Pope is perfect, sinless, and can do no wrong as a man.  What we do believe is that in matters of faith, his word is the ultimate authority on Earth.  If, after prayer, study, and careful consideration, e.g., he decides that the Church's stance on thus is thus...then we accept that as an infallible teaching in our faith.

      Same definition of infallible applies to Scripture.  The Church with which I align myself (denominationally) believes that Scripture is indeed the inspired word of God.  BUT, it does not believe that every word is to be taken literally.  Certain books of Scripture are allegorical (paint a picture), others are instructional, inspirational, historical.  Some may even be literal. 

      In terms of what parts of Scripture we follow literally - well, let's talk Leviticus and Deuteronomy for example.  These laws, according to Scripture itself, were given to God's chosen people - the Jews.  They are meant to be followed by Jews.  Gentiles were never meant to follow those laws.  When Christ came (and was accepted as Messiah by early Jews and then Gentiles), the law was fulfilled.  The Jews who accepted Him were no longer under the yoke of OT law.  The Gentiles had never been in the first place.

      Jesus, in the NT, was quite explicit when He spoke.  When He spoke in parables that left his followers puzzled, He very deliberately explained the lesson of said parable.  When He spoke literally, He made it clear to those around Him that He meant what He said - basically, that there wasn't really any wiggle room. 

      Given that our current day Scriptures have been translated from the Hebrew and the Greek, and have now umpteen gazillion English translations, the most important thing to focus on is what Jesus said.  Did He point something out as a parable?  Did he plainly state that He was speaking literally?  Did He address a point of OT law?

      And JUST the language issues alone need to be considered when looking at Scripture.  Four different Greek words for love....so.....in context, of which love is Jesus speaking?  Multiple definitions of Hell - for pity's sake - none of them actually included a lake of fire or eternal torment.  Gehenna was a word that referred to a physical place where Hebrews burned their refuse.  Quite the metaphorical epiphany, when you think of it.  But - an actual literal place where souls would burn for eternity?  Don't think so.  Jesus spoke of Gehenna to those who quite clearly knew WHAT IT WAS.

      Wrongly interpreted or understood, the Bible is nothing but a weapon for those who claim belief in the God of it.  Properly taught, continually interpreted on a personal level, and read with a heart open for instruction - it's the infallible, inspired word of God.


      1. profile image0
        Emile Rposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        I'm curious, and don't take this as a challenge because I do respect the stoic nature of the Catholic faith; as it plays out in the average parishioner dealing with the behavior and comments coming from the Vatican; which can sometimes seem like insanity to an outsider. How in the world can you accept the Pope's decisions as infallible teaching? The Vatican seems to me to be completely out of touch with reality at times. Their behavior concerning the abuse of children within the Church and their recent comments to the nuns in America. Not to mention their refusal to play a positive role concerning the Aids epidemic in Africa.

        As I said, I respect the struggle it must be to remain faithful. I just don't really understand how it is possible to not stand up and say enough is enough from the guys who run the show. Do you ever want to just hop a plan to Italy and bend the Pope's ear for a while? Give him a brusque reality check?

        1. profile image0
          Motown2Chitownposted 11 years agoin reply to this

          I don't accept all of the Pope's statement as infallible.  Again, we're not talking infallible here to mean perfect, without error, or without sin, as it were, as a man.  His statements and decisions as regards matters of faith alone are to be considered infallible.  I believe the handling of all abuse scandals over the years from both local and international Church leadership are appalling and deplorable.  IMO, there is absolutely no way to justify not turning a person into civil authorities when they commit a crime, especially crimes of such a heinous and awful nature.  Period.  Were I to be asked that same question by a clergyman of the Roman Catholic Faith, I would give that same answer without fear. 

          That said, understand that the Catholic Church is governed on a local, state, national, and then international level.  Many, if not all, of the American sex abuse scandals were covered up at the local level, never even got as far a state or national conference of bishops until they were exposed to the American people.  Each case should have been handled the way Jerry Sandusky's case was handled; immediately reported to proper authorities, and prosecuted to within the full extent of the law.  When found to have covered up the abuse, and putting even more people in danger of it by shuffling priests from parish to parish, bishops should also have been called out on criminal charges.

          But there is nothing in the world or in God's heaven that says I need to obey a priest, a bishop, or a cardinal who tells me to turn my head the other way while those things are happening and say it's right in any way.

          The Church is full of messed up, sinful, and in some cases, evil people.  That's what happens when 1 billion + people claim the same name.  They're all going to be different. 

          What is infallible is the Pope's (the Church's) interpretation of Scripture and God's law.  NOT his interpretation of Man's Law or even Canon (Church) Law.

          I would never, in any imaginable scenario, say that God's law or Scripture allows for an interpretation saying abuse of children is acceptable.  As a matter of fact, Jesus makes some of His sternest warnings about those who would abuse and mislead children. 

          More of us speak up than you'd think.  But, the Church has for centuries mastered the art of silencing dissent.  That may mean that the world doesn't hear what we may have to do say...but God sure does. 

          Does that answer your question, or just part of it?

          1. profile image0
            Emile Rposted 11 years agoin reply to this

            I guess it answers it, but I am like most people. I don't see how you can be spiritual if you are completely messed up and self centered. The heirarchy of the Chatholic Church always seems to fit that description. How can you be trusted to interpret scripture and 'God's law' if you can't show even the slightest understanding of what the law was meant to accomplish?

            And, maybe it doesn't matter. Like you said,. There are over a billion Catholics. If one billion Catholics get it and the heirarchy doesn't; then you can't chalk it all up as a loss.

            1. profile image0
              Motown2Chitownposted 11 years agoin reply to this

              I think God thinks much like you do in this regard, Emile.  And, maybe not all of us get it, but we certainly try.  In God's mind, as I've come to understand Him, if even one gets it, it's not a total loss.  BUT, it does matter.  IMO, opening your heart to the Holy Spirit means it's open to others as well.  Discernment is an absolute must.

  5. profile image0
    Emile Rposted 11 years ago

    Most Christians I've run across don't fit your description, but those who do are firmly entrenched   It is, as Disappearing Head says, a security blanket. Why attempt to pull away the cover without addressing the underlying reasons they have which lead them to believe they need it?

    I think, sometimes in our need to ensure everyone is equally 'enlightened', we lose sight of the more important issues. We bypass concern for the needs of others in order to sate our own desires. We find ourselves in jeopardy  of emulating the behavior patterns we use as justification for standing up to challenge alternative beliefs. And, it isn't belief that poses problems. The problem arises in how we act on our beliefs.

    Beliefs aren't easily changed. Christianity has been a slow work in progress. It's a game of winning hearts and minds. It appears that challenging 'the Word of God' works against the goal. Those who believe in God usually change belief when convinced of new understanding of the nature of God. Which requires a change or heart. This can only be accomplished when they search for the reasons within themselves which hardened their heart to begin with. Not discussing the Bible which supports any philosophy known to man.  And is worded in such a way that any believer can offer a litany of reasons why it doesn't say what you think it says; which supports their belief in Divine authorship.

  6. Mark Ewbie profile image81
    Mark Ewbieposted 11 years ago



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