A Question for (some) Theists

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  1. Don W profile image82
    Don Wposted 14 years ago

    Two questions really.

    If the deity you believe in is by definition perfect, yet you as a human being are imperfect, do you accept that although any texts or revelations assumed to originate from said deity must by definition be perfect, your interpretation of those texts or revelations may not be?

    And do you accept therefore that on some occasions when a non-theist suggests some aspect of your sacred text might be "wrong", you don't have to assume that's impossible by definition. As it may not be the text which is wrong but an instance where your interpretation of a perfect text is imperfect, in which case you are bound to at least think, talk, pray, contemplate on the matter?

    1. profile image0
      Brenda Durhamposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      You're saying the Bible's perfect but Christians aren't, and that they should consider their interpretation carefully and admit it when they're wrong, even if it means admitting it to a sinner....right?

      Then you're right.

      I have no problem admitting it when I'm wrong.   I'm just rarely wrong! ((haha trying to make a joke))..

      An unbeliever once pointed out to me how I had mis-interpreted something so simple as one word in the Bible,  and I searched, found out he was right, and apologized to him and thanked him for setting my definition strait (oops I mean straight!  ((Actually, that was the word I had defined incorrectly---strait)).

      As far as interpretations,  I know a lot of Believers who've mis-interpreted some really big passages and concepts in the Bible.....
      we never claim to be perfect, only striving to become closer to the perfect Lord we serve.

      1. Jerami profile image58
        Jeramiposted 14 years agoin reply to this

        Hi Brenda   Hope all is well as can be. 
           I still find myself running into false interpretations that still linger in my subconscious and I have been focusing upon eliminating them for many years.   
           It is my belief that every believer should read the 9th chapter of Daniel as if they have NEVER read scripture, heard anything about what is written in scripture; Especially the last half.
           when looking past any and all preconceived ideas as to those things that we are reading...  we would see that in 539 BC Gabriel said that after 62 weeks they are going to kill the Messiah.....  approx 556 years later they did.  What does this mean????  62 weeks - approx 556 of our years.  When this is accepted false interpretations begin falling off like fleas after we get a new flea collar.

        1. Disappearinghead profile image61
          Disappearingheadposted 14 years agoin reply to this

          Very interesting observaton. I'll be thinking this over.

      2. profile image54
        (Q)posted 14 years agoin reply to this

        Once again Brenda, you demonstrate and amazing gift for bringing to light the very crux of the apostrophe. I have just read a few arguments along that very line between Christians here where BOTH parties were under the impression their opponent had grossly misinterpreted the bible.

        In fact, that is how the vast majority of those particular discussions end. It's little wonder why there are so many various sects of Christianity. Everyone has their own interpretation of the bible and few agree with it.

    2. glendoncaba profile image72
      glendoncabaposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      Nothing wrong with your argument here.

    3. kess profile image60
      kessposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      God is perfect, and his words are always perfect. Except in the process of translating that perfect communication you must use an imperfect language.

      In speaking you are better able to convey the right message, because you have at your disposal many different types of non verbal communication, through tone inflection,  sign and body language  and the opportunity to interact for further clarification.

      When you write the message, you have further problems for meaning of words change over generation and among different tribes and usually connot be clarified by the author and therefore the original message is further ambiguated.

      So writing is good but speaking is better.

      Just is reading is good but hearing is better.

      Hearing a man is good but hearing from God himself is best.

      This is why "walk in the Spirit of truth" is the only command we need to know and follow.

      Those who think they have God's word in books and writings are in error, for they strive after imperfection and the least of all communication and even the book confirm these things.

      Also Do not think Jesus said in "Preach" as oppose to "write" the gospel in vain.

      1. profile image54
        (Q)posted 14 years agoin reply to this

        While I'm still trying to decipher your post, could you tell me what language your god uses to communicate to you?

        1. kess profile image60
          kessposted 14 years agoin reply to this


          1. profile image54
            (Q)posted 14 years agoin reply to this

            Are you trolling? Since when was truth a language?

    4. goldenpath profile image67
      goldenpathposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      That took a couple times to read through for me.  I wanted to be sure I understood the questions.  Sorry for my slowness and ignorance.

      Yes, I believe God to be perfect.  I believe He went through the trials that we are going through now.  He did so in His mortality on His world.  Because He triumphed in all things He obtained perfection and exaltation.  He has learned the truths and the art of creation.  He has accomplished those things worthy of the title of God.

      Yes, He has inspired many men to write a great deal of written word.  In fact, I dare say that the larger portion of inspired sacred texts have not even been found or discovered yet.  Unless man is literally using the Holy Spirit in discerning scriptural text then that man is subject to all sorts of errors.  Inspired text was written through the medium of the Holy Spirit.  Only through such, can one find the meaning in the doctrines and imagery used in such texts.  This is why there are so many versions of the Bible out there.  Many were rewritten to suit the "modern" language.  This is a tragedy.  Others were rewritten by men who desire power and control and so have omitted important passages and reworded their meanings to suit their own agendas. 

      The Apocrypha is the same way.  Much is inspired and much is by man.  So, if God wants man to know the inspired words than man must utilize the avenue used in the word's creation - the force of the holy spirit.

      To use such one must be penitent, humble, meek, submissive and open to those promptings of that spirit.  They need to be prayerful in obtaining confirmation of all things.  Through this one can prepare themselves to discern the truth in what they read and see.

    5. BDazzler profile image78
      BDazzlerposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      I absolutely agree with that statement.  In fact, I am 100% sure that some of my interpretations are incorrect.

      In general, yes, I have to assume that it's possible.  However, as it is common that some non-theists (as do some theist) repeat ideas, in many specific cases, I've already thunk, spoke, and contemplated on them.  Yet, even in those specific cases, I may, in fact, have missed something.

      This "teachableness" you describe, is an aspect of Wisdom found in Proverbs, thus my interpretation of parts of Proverbs, if correct, matches your assertions. big_smile  ... of course, I assume at this time that my interpretations are correct. wink

  2. Jerami profile image58
    Jeramiposted 14 years ago

    This word perfect  ???  would you please define what this word PERFECT is within your belief system? I am sincerly intrested. Thank you.

    1. Don W profile image82
      Don Wposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      The thread is directed at any theist who worship a deity which is by definition perfect and relates to comments in another thread about theism and "compromise" in belief (or lack thereof).

      I'm using the term perfect in its common form (the only form I'm aware of) meaning complete beyond any improvement, without any flaws or defects.

  3. Jerami profile image58
    Jeramiposted 14 years ago

    I was contemplating playing with wordplay; but now I resign from those intentions.
       But I will ask ...  when comparing "NOTHING" with "Anything" wouldn't anything seem to be perfect compared to nothing ???   
         Sorry   couldn't resist.

  4. profile image0
    Brenda Durhamposted 14 years ago

    You mentioned re-reading that before.
    I meant to do so.
    Gonna try to.
    Thanks Jerami.

    Actually, there is much that I should re-read sometime.

    1. Jerami profile image58
      Jeramiposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      When we read the book of Daniel we see that these visions are all concerning the four kingdoms that have dominion over the Hebrew Nation from the time of Babylon to and including the 14th emperor or the Roman Empire (4th kingdom upon the earth)
        This little horn of the fourth beast whom replaced three after the first ten. 
        Religion teaches that this man is the Antichrist that is to come in our future when in fact he has already come.
      He was a king that belonged to the "Fourth" kingdom".
      He dispersed that Hebrew Nation through out the Roman Empire.
      For 1800 years this Hebrew Nation was scattered and homeless for their city was given to the Gentiles.
        Every believer should read  the book of Daniel, while reframing from further interpretation.
         Just my strongly held opinion.

      1. profile image0
        Brenda Durhamposted 14 years agoin reply to this

        Now I'm even more interested.

        I've always had the idea somewhere in the back of my mind that people might have the sequence and/or time placement of parts of Revelation wrong.

        I think it's because I know how people think,  and soooo many want to "place" Revelation's "end-time" events into their own life-span....

  5. Jerami profile image58
    Jeramiposted 14 years ago

    I have always felt that the opening of the seven seals began immediately after Jesus arrived in heaven. And these things were inflicted upon that Hebrew Nation that rejected him.
        If you notice .. and most people do not.. and if they do they pay little attention to..
       When John was caught up into heaven Jesus was not there..
    John wept.. All of a sudden the Lamb looking as if it had (just) been slain appears and immediately takes the book and begins opening the seals.

    1. Disappearinghead profile image61
      Disappearingheadposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      After putting the event of Revelation into a spreadsheet to see which event maps to other evetns, what became immediately clear is that we mistakenly read as if it is a chronological unfolding of events. There appear to be at least three loops, linking different events that happen simulataeneuosly in different chapters.

      1. Jerami profile image58
        Jeramiposted 14 years agoin reply to this

        It seems to me that these seal, trumpet and vial judgments do follow a chronological order. Upon the opening of the seventh seal nothing happens... nothing except for a half hour of silence and then the seven trumpets are seen being handed out. This indicates a chronically order of these two sets of judgments.
           It is then after the sixth trumpet being sounded that the story line seems to change.
           I think that these visions are of things that had happened during the time of the trumpets being sounded but not discussed. Kinda like playing catch up with information that would have made the story impossible to follow if integrated into the story as it was told.
           It seems to me that after the sixth trumpet is sounded then the story line falls back describing the Beast being seen rising up out of the sea and then the first resurrection as described in chapter 20, the 1000 years begin that Satan is bound.  And then the seven vials are handed out.
          After the thousand years are completed; The dragon (Satan) the beast and false prophet are then seen in the dried up river... The armies gather for battle and then the seventh trumpet is sounded simultaneously with the seventh vial being poured out.
             This is the way that makes sense to me.
            It seems to be chronological to me.

      2. profile image0
        Twenty One Daysposted 14 years agoin reply to this

        nicely put DH, the 'events' are overlapping to encompass the fullness of the word: rhema, imrah, logos -body, mind & spirit.

        seal, trumpet, vile/bowl/urn.

        1. Disappearinghead profile image61
          Disappearingheadposted 14 years agoin reply to this

          That's never occured to me before. I'll have a think about that one.

          1. profile image0
            Twenty One Daysposted 14 years agoin reply to this

            rhema - project - proton
            imrah - absorb  - neutron
            logos - reflect - electron

            My word shall not return empty, but shall accomplish that which I desire and prosper in the thing to where/which i have sent it.

            consider this: you are that thing.

      3. BDazzler profile image78
        BDazzlerposted 14 years agoin reply to this

        I think you're right, if my memory servers me correctly, the chronological interpretation appears to be relatively recent (something like the late 1800s) at which time the doctrine of a pre-tribulation rapture became popular among certain evangelicals.

        I always had the impression that things were happening "in parallel" when I read it, but never put it into a spreadsheet.

        1. Jerami profile image58
          Jeramiposted 14 years agoin reply to this

          The way that makes sence to me is that  AFTER the seventh seal is opened there is a half hour division between the seals and the trumpets being sounded. This indicates a system of consecutive order.  After six trumpets are sounded the subject matter described in the book of Revelation seems to change, going back in time to include events that were ocuring simultaniously as the sounding of the trumpets.

             That's the way that I hear it when I read it.

  6. profile image0
    sneakorocksolidposted 14 years ago

    Well in the first place I'm not going to try and second guess God. I believe Jesus made it quite clear that we won't ever be perfect and thats not whats expected. What is expected is that we love Heavenly Father and love each other.

    I don't understand why loving each other is even a discussion but, if you believe the world revolves around you then God might give you some compitition so you would be prone to dismiss his existence.smile

  7. Jerami profile image58
    Jeramiposted 14 years ago

    I believe that God sent these prophets with many details concerning those things that are to come to pass cause he wanted us to know beforehand what is to come (beginning just over 1900 years ago.
       It is my opinion that prophesy has almost all been fulfilled.

  8. profile image0
    Twenty One Daysposted 14 years ago

    an assumption of imperfection...

    we are perfect. It's simply the reality of accepting that perfection in all its fullness; anything less is interpretation, sin consciousness (knowing right from wrong).

    words are words and will always be interpreted by the reader how they choose. Even the most devote students of Tor`ah & Theology -primarily from seminary, monastery & bible training centers- know it is by personal reflection/interpretation that all script is viewed.

    the acceptance of 'wrong' interpretation is a stretch, for both non-theist & theist. Because wrong suggests someone knowing fully the conclusive fact of a subject. This could really apply to any form of literature in human existence.

  9. profile image0
    Brenda Durhamposted 14 years ago

    Yes, it's common for Christians to disagree, debate, discuss about interpreting the Bible.

    The fundamentals of the Christian Faith are the main thing, though, that should be held in common.  Although all points are worth debating,  not all points are a question of Salvlation. Of course, even those major points are sometimes argued over.  I do believe that if a person doesn't hold to the fundamentals, they're not really saved.

    The Word (the written Bible and the incarnation of the Word (Jesus) are always points of contention, among Christians and non-Believers....

    And because non-Believers usually have no tolerance for imperfection in a Christian, the Christian usually gets accused of not even being a Christian.

    1. profile image54
      (Q)posted 14 years agoin reply to this

      Who gives Christians the right to debate biblical scripture? Isn't that blasphemy? How dare they disagree with the Word of God! They will surely burn.

      They should be, but they're not.

      They shouldn't be. It should be quite a simple task for all Christians to agree on the Word of their God. They don't. Therefore, Christianity is flawed and imperfect and is not a consistent and reliable system of belief.

      Non-Believers??? It is so-called Christians who are accusing other Christians. That is the real problem at hand. You need not worry what non-believers are saying when your own house is in complete disorder.

  10. profile image0
    Brenda Durhamposted 14 years ago

    Aside from the fundamentals,  which all Christians should agree on (and I think they do, if they're actually Christians),  I think it's natural for us to be imperfect enough that we MUST keep searching the Scriptures to better understand them.   A Christian grows gradually into the Word and toward more wisdom.
    That imperfection keeps us humble too.

    1. profile image54
      (Q)posted 14 years agoin reply to this

      But, that's the point, Brenda. Even the Christians here accuse other Christians of not being Christians because of their misunderstanding of the fundamentals. Both sides of the argument take this position with neither side budging.

      We could probably form various sects of Christianity right here.

      1. profile image0
        Brenda Durhamposted 14 years agoin reply to this

        That's the first statement of yours that I can agree with.  haha

  11. kess profile image60
    kessposted 14 years ago

    Truth always is the word of God.

    1. Mark Knowles profile image59
      Mark Knowlesposted 14 years agoin reply to this


      Don - I think you have a customer. big_smile

  12. Don W profile image82
    Don Wposted 14 years ago

    If non theists are going to engage with theists on any meaningful level vis-à-vis compromise, then there's no point doing so from an entirely different frame of reference.

    Trying to identify the framework by which theists can evaluate certain aspects of their belief in a way that's consistent with the core tenets of their belief, is more helpful, I think, than simply saying "you're wrong, I'm right".

    1. profile image54
      (Q)posted 14 years agoin reply to this

      Sure, no problem.

      Well, actually there is a problem. If you haven't noticed yet there are some discussions going on in which logical questions are being asked, however the answers are along the lines of 'twisting the argument' and 'trying to convert' and the most common where clearly defined words are being redefined, such as truth being a language, for example.

      No Don, as soon as the discussion begins pointing out logical flaws, inconsistencies and contradictions, the theist goes on the defensive and simple states emphatically that we are wrong and they are right, their version of a truth, so to speak.

    2. Mark Knowles profile image59
      Mark Knowlesposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      I still do not see you offering any possibility of a compromise.

      Take this thread for example. wink

      1. Don W profile image82
        Don Wposted 14 years agoin reply to this

        I think the point is that some theists are amenable to the notion of re-evaluating interpretations, some not. So it isn't theism per se that's a brick wall. The fact is that re-evaluation of sacred texts can be done in a way that is consistent with a theistic world view. Therefore even if change is not forthcoming, it is in fact  not logically impossible from a theists point of reference.

  13. qwark profile image61
    qwarkposted 14 years ago

    It's really entertaining and "clarfifying" to read the comments being made by those who know absolutely nothing about what they are typing about.
    "Clarifying" in that it speaks volumes about the depth of intellect of the typist....and what a BS'r he/she is.   :-)

    1. Don W profile image82
      Don Wposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      An ad hominem argument (argument against the person) is where the truth or validity of a person's argument is linked to one or more of their personal characteristics or beliefs. Not only is this type of argument unhelpful, it's also a logical fallacy, so is therefore essentially meaningless.

      I believe positive engagement is more useful, so that's the approach I take.

      1. Flightkeeper profile image66
        Flightkeeperposted 14 years agoin reply to this

        I don't know whether you believe in God or not and I don't really care.  Just wanted to say it was a pleasure reading your posts on these forums.  You've gotten these "rational" anti-theists discombobulated and it's quite a treat.  Thank you.

        1. Don W profile image82
          Don Wposted 14 years agoin reply to this

          My pleasure. Glad I could add to the entertainment value of Hubpages smile

  14. MsJackson398 profile image61
    MsJackson398posted 14 years ago


  15. profile image0
    Twenty One Daysposted 14 years ago

    it is layered. seal-trumpet-vile.
    something to remember: the entire mystery/revelation/enigma is about Y`shua - the Word.

    Dazzler is correct, the notion of a "tribulation" or "rapture" occurring at any point within is false. { does not exist in it }

    Ironically, the end of the letter states that whomever adds or removes from the prophecy is in serious trouble...

    {have just published 2 hubs on the subject regarding the revelation and will be adding more daily}

  16. Jerami profile image58
    Jeramiposted 14 years ago

    Twenty one said..  Dazzler is correct, the notion of a "tribulation" or "rapture" occurring at any point within is false. { does not exist in it }

       That is a matter of opinion.

      The way I understand the seal judgments is that as soon as the bloody lamb that was crucified upon the Cross arives in heaven ;  He immediately takes the book and begins opening the seals. 
       What that means is up for interpretation but I choose to understand this as written. And when he opens the seventh seal   nothing happens except to point out a division of time and then the trumpets are handed out.

    1. profile image0
      Twenty One Daysposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      Some see that, Jerami, because of the way it is being read.
      Hope to have the other hubs up in a few days to help explain -if possible.

      Again, it is vital we understand two things: Y`shua (Jesus) fulfilled the law & prophets -alpha/omega. This would include all references which many use regarding (most of all) Daniel.
      The entire letter is a summary of the Word/the revealing of Y`shua Moshiach. The Great Mystery revealed. woohoo!

      1. Jerami profile image58
        Jeramiposted 14 years agoin reply to this

        I think that we should not intelectualize the prophesy as recorded in scripture.
           2nd Peter 1:20   "Knowing this first, that no prophesy of scripture is of any private interpretation."
           Over the past 1650 years too many interpretations have been taught.
            We need to eleminate these false interpretations of scripture that we have already been taught.
            The only way that we can do that is to read prophesy with  simple understanding.
            Gabriel has given us the interpretation as God instructed him to do. These interpretations that are given in Daniel are applicable to these same symbles expressed in the book of Revelation.
            We can intelectually analize what is written in prophesy without interpreting them.

        1. profile image0
          Twenty One Daysposted 14 years agoin reply to this

          discerning the Word correctly.
          mind from spirit, bone from marrow, thought from intent of heart.

          I see nothing in it referring to Daniel or any other prophet before Y`shua, as well as, no mention of 'Rapture' or 'Great Tribulation' or 'Apocalypse'. Such injections are dangerous. Even the revelation itself warns against injecting what is not, into it.

          Y`shua, the Word, is the first and last prophet.

    2. BDazzler profile image78
      BDazzlerposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      The tie in between "rapture" and "trumpets" is in 1 Thes 4:15-17:

      (Emphasis on "caught up", mine)

      In Latin, the word rapio is used where we see in English "caught up" ... which is where we get the term "Rapture".

      Some people believe there is a tie between the angels and trumpets in Revelation and the angels and trumpets in 1 Thes 4.

      I won't say they're right or wrong ... but there's a whole bunch of theology and doctrine built on what I believe is speculative interpretation.  I think this is a perfect case where the person who started this thread's question applies ... I believe the bible is true, but I'm not sure it is being interpreted correctly by many people.

  17. Jerami profile image58
    Jeramiposted 14 years ago

    Jesus often mentions "THE" prophets.
    Matt. 23:29 and 30 are but two instances.
      And In the sermon of discourse (MATT. 24:15)
    Jesus says that "when you see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet stand in the holy place.  Then let them which be in Judea...."
       I have never understood why people call this (Matt. 24) the  "SERMON" of discourse. It was not a sermon to the people. This was a Private concersation between himself and Peter, James, John and Andrew.  So when Jesus said YOU shall see; he was talking to those four desciples. That they shall see those things.  And when the desciples were talking to the people; that they were talking to. They were saying that "They" shall see these things...
       Never did anyone say that; Whatever generation sees these things ... ??? 

      Even the revelation itself warns against injecting what is not, into it.   
       Why do people change the meaning of these and any other scripture to satisfy what they want them say.
       When we read Matt. 23 and Matt 24 together We see which Generation Jesus was speaking to when he said  "THIS generation shall nor pass till all these things be fulfilled."

    1. profile image0
      Twenty One Daysposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      the reason is to create control & fear.
      one of the points we seem to both make.

      Which is why i am taking the narrow road to explain to 'them' that the entire revelation is about Y`shua, his work, in fulfilling both law & prophecy.

      Just to clarify: it ALL comes back to covenant. The whole point of salvation; to restore all humanity to the same place Adam was.

      With any Grace, it will break the 'Golden Shackles' around the ankles of both believer & non and bring forth the true Spirit of Grace.

      1. Jerami profile image58
        Jeramiposted 14 years agoin reply to this

        I came to the same conclusions that you have stated above; I however came by them from a totaly diffrent analitical process.
            By recognizing that the serman of discourse (Matt.24)was a private conversation (24:3) to four desciples; concerning the great tribulation and second coming.
           Jesus was speaking to Peter,James, John and Andrew privately when he said "This generation shall not pass till all these things be fulfilled, but no one knows the day or hour.
            Religion has interpretated this simple statement to mean anything other than what it clearly says.
            Any interpretation is acceptable as long as no one reads this for what it is clearly saying.
          The Lord revealed to John that this would happen. The beast that rose up out of the sea did it.(Rev 13)
            There are many verses concerning prophesy that has been hidden in plain sight, but burried under multitudes of interpretations.

  18. Pandoras Box profile image59
    Pandoras Boxposted 14 years ago

    So Don, how did this thread work out for you? lol


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