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Old 10-11-2001, 03:38 PM   #11
Quatermass
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dolphin:
How can you apply non-perfect information to interpretating something and still claim its perfect?
You could make a case for understanding the meaning of customs or cultural norms to try to get to the meaning as the author intended.

But how do you use the bible alone, for example, to say that slavery is immoral? Modern Christianity makes use of external sources to interpret the bible while pretending that the bible is the ultimate authority.
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Old 10-11-2001, 10:09 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dolphin:
<STRONG>

Some people what to apply non-perfect stuff from outside the bible, like "when the Jews said this they meant this" sort of thing. They get this information from non-perfect sources and apply it to the bible and say that it is still perfect. How can you apply non-perfect information to interpretating something and still claim its perfect?</STRONG>
I think that's the real dilema. It is consistent with the idea of inherrited, original sin that a message claiming perfection could neither be perfectly communicated by nor perfectly understood by the imperfect. Language fails to express perfectly, translations fail to capture the nuances and subtitleties of the original, cultures and symbols change. But just because people are unable to fully comprehend the Bible "on its own terms" does not mean the Bible is imperfect. A statement can be true even if it is misunderstood by everyone who hears it.
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Old 10-11-2001, 10:19 PM   #13
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A statement can be true even if it is misunderstood by everyone who hears it.
That may be the case, but what's the point of the truth if no one understands it?
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Old 10-11-2001, 10:51 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by the_natural777:
<STRONG>

That may be the case, but what's the point of the truth if no one understands it?</STRONG>
I wasn't saying that no one understands the Bible, I was just making a general point about truth. Truth is truth regardless of who understands it.
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Old 10-12-2001, 01:04 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by jupstin:
<STRONG>
But just because people are unable to fully comprehend the Bible "on its own terms" does not mean the Bible is imperfect. A statement can be true even if it is misunderstood by everyone who hears it.</STRONG>
I would say it does. Not because it would then contain any falsehoods, but because the bibles purpose is to communicate to us, and it cannot do that perfectly, so how can it be perfect?
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Old 10-12-2001, 08:57 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally posted by jupstin:
I think that's the real dilema. It is consistent with the idea of inherrited, original sin that a message claiming perfection could neither be perfectly communicated by nor perfectly understood by the imperfect. Language fails to express perfectly, translations fail to capture the nuances and subtitleties of the original, cultures and symbols change. But just because people are unable to fully comprehend the Bible "on its own terms" does not mean the Bible is imperfect. A statement can be true even if it is misunderstood by everyone who hears it.
But it is clear that the Bible is imperfect. Someone reading it “on its own terms” will accept many falsehoods and immoralities. And bringing in the notion of original sin as the source of the problem does not help. Original sin is one of the areas that is improbable based on external evidence. The range of interpretations offered by the Christian church shows that more than ‘illumination by the Holy Spirit’ is required to interpret the book.
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Old 10-12-2001, 11:16 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally posted by Quatermass:
<STRONG>
But it is clear that the Bible is imperfect. Someone reading it “on its own terms” will accept many falsehoods and immoralities. And bringing in the notion of original sin as the source of the problem does not help. Original sin is one of the areas that is improbable based on external evidence. The range of interpretations offered by the Christian church shows that more than ‘illumination by the Holy Spirit’ is required to interpret the book.</STRONG>
Although I believe that the Bible is the inspired word of God, I'm not arguing for that in this post. Instead I'm saying that within the Bible, a book that claims divine authorship and therefore perfection, it is claimed that the reader, because of his or her fallen human nature, is imperfect. Therefore, imperfect human understanding of the Bible is perfectly consistent with the Bible. In other words, that the Bible cannot communicate to us perfectly is not necessarily God's fault. You could say that if God exists and is perfect, then he should be able to communicate to imperfect beings in such a way that they understand perfectly. I say that while a perfect God would necessarily be capable of doing this, God would choose not to in the interest of consistency and respect for free will. It is consistent of a God who grants free will to allow the consequences of free will to "play out." Of course, I'm beginning to step into the territory of the problem of evil, so I'll stop here. As far as specific "falsehoods and immoralities," I know that there are several posts devoted to these problems. It doesn't seem like this is the right post for that discussion.
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Old 10-12-2001, 11:24 AM   #18
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So we are back to the original question. If, due to whatever reason, the bible is unclear and contains imperfections, what extra biblical information do you use to interpret?

And once it is granted that information outside the bible is required, doesn't that destroy the authority of the bible?
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Old 10-12-2001, 12:41 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally posted by jupstin:
<STRONG>
You could say that if God exists and is perfect, then he should be able to communicate to imperfect beings in such a way that they understand perfectly. I say that while a perfect God would necessarily be capable of doing this, God would choose not to in the interest of consistency and respect for free will. It is consistent of a God who grants free will to allow the consequences of free will to "play out."</STRONG>
I don't think telling us exatly what he wants would contradict our free will in the slightest, I mean how exactly would it? We could still not do those things and we could still reject the message as untrue.
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Old 10-12-2001, 02:07 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally posted by jupstin:
You could say that if God exists and is perfect, then he should be able to communicate to imperfect beings in such a way that they understand perfectly. I say that while a perfect God would necessarily be capable of doing this, God would choose not to in the interest of consistency and respect for free will. It is consistent of a God who grants free will to allow the consequences of free will to "play out."
I'll add my bit to this quote.

If "God respects our free will", then why give us any commands at all? According to you, God chooses to have us not understand the Bible so we can free will (why does that sound ridiculous to me?). So then, what purpose does the Bible have?

PS: (I put: "Originally posted by jupstin" in my quote)

[ October 12, 2001: Message edited by: the_natural777 ]
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