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Old 02-01-2001, 08:54 PM   #21
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Perhaps it takes a fluency in Hebrew and Greek because the English version of the bible, so I'm told, is inaccurate and contradictory so nobody can be saved reading an English bible.
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Not unless you're trying to pick over words... [which is usually what people are trying to do, so... :]

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Alas I am doomed to be pursued by a flaggelating ignorance of the bible. Perhaps some wise Christian (not any of those misguided charlatans who hold a bible in one hand and hide Satan under their trenchcoat) who has found the secret of the bible will guide me on how to have a proper understanding of God's confounded word.</font>
Read it without a mental block. Most anything can be one & I'm not going to psychoanalyze you to find it [not that I could, anyhow]. Still, forgive me if I wonder why you asked this--you must've anticipated the reply somewhat; do you want me to analyze you so you can laugh since I cannot read your mind? Or did you expect me to be able to read your mind & figure it out?

I was reading the Bible while bored in church ever since I was able to read & I managed :] Of course, it was more like a story book, back then... then I got older & wiser :] Lest anyone be tempted to analyze me, instead, my faith is my own--I was not indoctrinated that way, since I thought it irrelevant for all too long :] How it became relevant is another, long story...
 
Old 02-01-2001, 09:05 PM   #22
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by lpetrich:
I personally find the idea of revelation to be bogus. I'm a programmer, and have been one for the last two decades, and I try to make programs work correctly, rather than issuing a revelation to some obscure, isolated ones and then getting worked up over that revelation not being immediately accepted by all my programs as absolute truth. I'm not always successful in my goal, but then again, I'm neither omnipotent nor omniscient.</font>
Hmm, half the time you point to hell & claim that God is trying to coerce you into submission; the rest of the time you mention that nothing short of fire from heaven could make you believe... Fascinating :]

FWIW, I can program as well... I take it you've never heard of the contest for obfuscated C? :] If you think that God is esoteric, just read that source code...

BTW, the difference between computers & humans is that the computers don't make errors, humans have to make them for it. [Yes, hardware errors can be considered human design faults, as well; especially bugs like the 'pentium bug' :]
 
Old 02-11-2001, 11:14 AM   #23
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Photocrat to Ipetrich: Hmm, half the time you point to hell & claim that God is trying to coerce you into submission; the rest of the time you mention that nothing short of fire from heaven could make you believe... Fascinating :]</font>
Photocrat, you're awfully close here, but missing the mark, due to your insertion of one tiny little word. These concepts do not contradict one another if you take out "God." (Rather like your story of Satan changing one little word to coerce Eve into eating the fruit, no?)

No self-respecting atheist would claim that your god is trying to force him into submission, or trying to do anything else, for that matter. We don't believe in your god.

Hence, the point we often make is that Xn belief includes a hell, just in case heaven doesn't sound so good to you. It's a well-known psychological phenomenon that people are more apt to avoid pain than to pursue pleasure. Your hell is a threat to ensure compliance.

In my opinion, love and fear are mutually exclusive. I can't love that which I fear. However, you are commanded to "fear God and keep his commandments" while you "love the lord your god with all your heart, soul and mind." (I consider this a textual contradiction, incidentally.) Why would an all-loving god need to threaten you? And wouldn't the threat itself nullify any possibility of your loving him?

But I digress. But hell...digression is my trademark.

I don't see why it's asking too much to have your god--if he wants my belief and love--demonstrate his existence. But then, that would negate faith, wouldn't it? ("For without faith it is impossible to please him...." and proof of something makes faith in it rather pointless, doesn't it?)

So let's see...we have: (1) a command to fear and love the same being, and (2) a command to believe without proof (that's what faith is).

And you buy this?

I have some snake-oil here. I'll give you a good price on it.

diana
 
Old 02-12-2001, 06:19 AM   #24
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"The Bible is whatever you make it. Plain and simple."
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One hears this quite a bit. Why don't we hear it about the Buddhist scriptures,
Chuang Tze or the writings of Voltaire?

Seems to me that there's some special pathology introduced when one subscribes
to the idea that the Bible is not merely a collection of educational or inspirational tales, but has AUTHORITY.

__________________
In short, the bible is as beautiful or as ugly as the PERSON who has it in hand. The book is a book. Its the people and the interpretations they choose that are either positive and comforting, loving, peacful, hopeful and joyous, or condescending, intolderant, arrogant, stubborn and militant.
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That's both true and irrelevant. The issue is not that there's some aspect of personality to users, the issue is why use of the Bible seems to result in a disproportion of users who are "intolderant, arrogant, stubborn and militant" as compared to other modes of ethical education -- atheism, Unitarianism, Buddhism, etc.
Could this be linked to the understanding problems referred to by DougI in the original posting? Isn't the lack of clarity a major contributor to the bloodiness of Christian
history?

Michael
 
Old 02-12-2001, 06:54 AM   #25
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Top 5 Requirements for understanding and believing the bible:

5. Ability to associate anything in it with anything else and make it say whatever you want it to.

4. Change Your source of facts to the bible, everything else is apparently wrong or the work of the devil. eg., eyes, ears, logic, reason, common sense.

3. Ability to change a conversation about any topic to "Jesus loves you"

2. A belief that almost every archaeological, physics, biological discovery in the modern era is some sort of conspiracy against the bible.

and the #1 requirement to understand the bible.


1. A sharp blow to the head.....
 
Old 02-12-2001, 08:08 AM   #26
Ernest Sparks
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Question: Is it valuable or even feasible to learn the languages, like Hebrew and koine Greek for studying the Holy Bible? Do some of the words and phrases represent figures of speech and other odd constructions that are lost in translation?

Ernie
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Old 02-12-2001, 12:59 PM   #27
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Is it valuable to learn the languages in order to study the Bible?

I suppose it would depend on what you're trying to do. Farrell Till and I think McKinsey too deal with this point many times in debates with believers. For the sake of errancy debunking, a good dictionary is all you need, because the authorities themselves
do not agree. I can't remember where I read it, but somebody pointed out that out of X number of experts who write on Genesis, they all believe that the reptile talking to Eve is a snake, but one weirdo out there insists it is a chameleon. Of twelve or thirteen major translations, half translate the commandment on taking life as "killing" the other half call it "murder." You make the call.

Unless you plan to actually do scholarship or translation work, it would probably be a waste of time. Personally I'd study Chinese -- Tang poetry is better than Psalms any day.

Michael
 
Old 02-12-2001, 04:47 PM   #28
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I am incredulous as to the kinds of ignorant statements so many people are making on this topic. Anyone who really feels they need to understand every single thing the Bible says to be saved is clearly out to lunch- who believes that, really? Then why attack a "straw-man" call it "Christianity" and argue against how insane it is to believe such a thing when NOBODY DOES BELIEVE IT ANYWAY? Noone says you need to understand every word and nuance of the Bible to be saved, but you must put your faith in Christ. This is not rocket science. Understanding every prophecy of the Bible and every figure of speach is probably impossible for anyone to do, regardless to how much Hebrew or Greek they may know.
And again for those who mock at the idea that we need the "Holy Spirit" to understand it. What is wrong with this idea? (assuming that He exists to start). Obviously when unbelievers start making ridiculous assertions that you need to understand all the Bible in every way to be saved they are not speaking from any Biblical reason and certainly show that there is something drastically wrong with their thinking. The assertion that one needs the "holy Spirit" to really understand also is in line with the claim that a person needs the conviction of the Spirit to even believe in the first place. If you start with unbelief, you are beginning at a bad position anyway and it makes further conclusions somewhat suspect. Also that if the Holy Spirit inspired the Bible, then it would surely be best to know His view on it rather than our own. It's like asking Stanley Kubrick "what did you mean" by that ending in 2001? He would know better than I.
"The wisdom of God is foolishness to man."
"The natural man does not understand the things of the spiritual, but they are foolishness to him."
"Let them be seeing, but never perceiving, and hearing, but never understanding, lest they turn to Me, and I should heal them."
When Jesus talked in parables, the people generally did not understand. It was not because the metaphors were neccesarily that hard, but that the "god of this age has blinded the minds of the unbelievers." Their lack of understanding came from their unbelief. "God has revealed it to us by His Spirit..." this is a predisposed neccesity to understanding God's revelation is God's Spirit.
We need the Spirit of God to understand in our hearts and believe.
'Let him who has an ear, let him hear'
What's this nonsense about needing to not trust our "ears" to believe? Such blatant nonsense, an accusation on God that clearly is denied by His Word through Jesus, seems to show evidence for the thought that a lack of the Spirit precedes lack of understanding.
"Then he opened their minds to understand these many Scriptures."
As with the Son, so with the Holy Spirit.
 
Old 02-13-2001, 06:57 AM   #29
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______________________________
Noone says you need to understand every word and nuance of the Bible to be saved,
but you must put your faith in Christ. This is not rocket science.
____________________________

If every word is not necessary, than why am I constantly advised to read it cover-to-cover? And if it isn't rocket science, then why can't the thousands of sects and churches agree on how to "put your faith in Christ?"

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And again for those who mock at the idea that we need the "Holy Spirit" to understand it. What is wrong with this idea? (assuming that He exists to start).
______________________

Well, let's see…..no evidence of holy spirit ever found, no mention of holy spirit in OT. Just give me evidence, and I'll believe. No need of Holy Spirit to understand it, either, since it looks like every other group of ethnic/national chronicles know.

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If you start with unbelief, you are beginning at a bad position anyway and it makes further conclusions somewhat suspect.
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We don't start with unbelief. As a philosophical position, we start with no belief, and see what the evidence compels us to think. Since we find no evidence of spirits (except in my liquor cabinet), we soon move toward unbelief.

Further, and as a practical matter, I suspect nearly every unbeliever on this list started from a position of belief. Few of us were fortunate enough to be raised by atheists. My parents forced me to go to church, even though my father was not a believer at the time. My grandparents and aunts/uncles are religious bigots, only the younger two of my fathers ten siblings have some flexibility on the matter. I lost my religion, thanks to SF writers, who showed me whole universes without the need, bless their hearts. Thank you Harry Harrison…..

Now, since it isn't rocket science, I suggest you show me the evidence for the Holy Spirit.

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When Jesus talked in parables, the people generally did not understand. It was not because the metaphors were neccesarily that hard, but that the "god of this age has blinded the minds of the unbelievers." Their lack of understanding came from their unbelief.
____________________

Most of the unbelievers on this list understand the Bible pretty well. It is out of that understanding that we constantly ask: "Why does anybody take this stuff seriously?"

And this passage raises more questions than it answers. Why did god blind the minds of the unbelievers? Why did Jesus speak in parables if his audience was going to understand easily? Don't you think god could have been a little clearer? I mean, the greek gods had no trouble making themselves clear. If you were a maiden, and Zeus showed up at your door, things were crystal. And no Holy Spirit necessary to facilitate, either. Similarly, the Chinese deities, who are mostly real people elevated to the position, left the earth with numerous clear and useful inventions like agriculture, paper, etc. The achievements of the Holy Spirit seem limited to biblical exegesis, and pimping for god (&lt;ring&gt; Hello, Mary? I've got news for you).

The rest of your rant fails to make sense at all. I won't believe without good reasons, reasons god could easily provide, if it existed at all.

Tell me, if you had been born in India, would you be talking to me about the Holy Spirit?
Why does choice of religion look like cultural conditioning to those of us on the outside? Why does god seem so indifferent to the fate of the 99% of the human race who lived/live outside of the reach of Xtianity?
Also, what about homo erectus, neandertals, cro-magnon, etc. Can they be saved, or are they rotting in hell, thanks to evolutionary bad timing?

Michael
turton@ev1.net
 
 

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