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Old 01-18-2001, 11:07 PM   #1
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Post The bible could be godly without being perfect

The earlier thread about contradictions in the bible got me thinking. To me the bible is just a story( a masterfull one however considering the time it was written). I found it somewhat unsatisfying seing it nit picked for what I consider to be trivial flaws. However I don't think non believers are at fault for this. The problem comes from the stance that some religous people take with respect to the bible. That it is the word of god and therefor must be 100% factual down to the smallest of details. I think that a lot of religous people are shooting themselves in the foot on this issue. Everyone would have to agree that the bible was written by man. Even religous people think it was written by man, but inspired by god. Since it was written by man would you not expect it to be affected in some small way by man's limitations? If god was going to dictate the bible word for word to the authors he might as well have just written it himself. The fact that he didn't write it himself suggests to me that he only supplied the ideas and left the actual words up to them, which resulted in a few inaccuracies. Try as i might i can't see why this viewpoint would be off putting to a religious person, espcially since it counters a lot of non believers arguements rather nicely.
 
Old 01-19-2001, 12:44 AM   #2
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What you say is very true. Educated Christians know a lot of textual issues that are problems. This is believed to be the result of the text's passage through time and recopying mistakes, because of the success of text criticism to reconcile many previously thought problems. This success rate is what fuels the Bible believer to press on in faith of inerrency and infallibility. Not to mention the fact that the principles found therein work consistently in their personal lives. God did use the personalities and abilities of the authors to write the Bible, and did not use an automatic writing method. You are right in saying that men wrote it. The same issues are raised about Christ. If he is human, how can he be perfect? If the Bible was written by men, how can it be flawless? Our present Bible translations are not flawless. Rather I present an emerging miracle, that as we come closer and closer to the originals and become exceedingly aware of the Bible's culture, it is proving to be true. This is different than the statement that the Bible is provable.
 
Old 01-19-2001, 01:10 AM   #3
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Ok this has always bothered me. The whole notion of "written by man but inspired by God". Let's take a look at any made for TV movie. They are often based on actual events but make them even remotely entertianing they jazz them up.

This is often refferred to as "inspired by actual events". Does this make the story 100% factual? I think not.

So the next time a Xian makes this argument hit them square on the temple with the nearest blunt object while yelling what were you thinking man?
 
Old 01-19-2001, 01:22 AM   #4
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If the Bible isn't perfect then:
1. The Bible isn't the word of God; or,
2. God isn't perfect and by definition isn't God perfect?

If the Bible has errors in it, then how do we pick what is true and what is false? Certainly, not simply what we wish to, but what would be the process?

The Bible has some SERIOUS faults it. Not only innaccuries, but abonimations actually allegedly supported by God.

lucifer = "light-bringer"
 
Old 01-19-2001, 08:04 AM   #5
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One theory among interpretive christians is that god himself doesn't care about books, he has a universe to run. The bible is a source of inspiration and philosophy, but they find ludicrous the idea that god would limit himself to a single book.

<shrugs> Or so I understand.
 
Old 01-19-2001, 02:53 PM   #6
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by SingleDad:
One theory among interpretive christians is that god himself doesn't care about books, he has a universe to run. The bible is a source of inspiration and philosophy, but they find ludicrous the idea that god would limit himself to a single book.

&lt;shrugs&gt; Or so I understand.
</font>
Yup.

But beyond that, it is a belief that "revelation" goes both ways. The "main" current and the "undercurrent."

Contrary to many fundamentalists, I think the "main" current is from the bottom up. In other words, it was human beings, writing religious texts struggling to understand and interpret the spirutal and theistic beliefs, and to do so in the context of their situation. Is it any wonder that the God of the Old Testament is written of as a "Warrior" God, with some evidence of love and mercy, but also written of as a wrathful and vengent protector. The israelits were beset on all side by those who didn't really like them a whole lot. It makes complete sense that they would interpret their "God" experience in ways that best met their needs in their existential experience. As their historical situation evolved and imporved, so their understanding of God evolved. I do believe we can safely say that we see an evolution in the God-picture throughout the bible.

Some may feel this is the end of the story -- an early tribal people projecting their need for security onto a "divine" plane. However, as one of these "interpretative" Chrisitans, and one who feels very enriched my my spiritual heritage, I suspect something else: I suspect that the undercurrent of this process was that God slowly and bit by bit revealed more of himself to the people, through their own feeble stuttering stumbling attempts to grasp him. In other words, is the bible a nice clean perfect account of all things God-related? NO WAY! But when you look at it from the perspective of BOTH feeble humans struggling to grasp God, and God struggling to reveal his truest self to them... it becomes a bit more reasonable. Not conclusively true, I admit... but a bit of a more plausible, reasonable faithfullness.

In addition to that, these interpretive Christians would not at all feel that God's revelation was ever intended to be limited to some freaking book. God's revelatory ability manifets it's self all around us, and through us and in every wonderful element of the Cosmos. "The kingdom of God is inside of you, and all around you..."

Andrew
 
Old 01-19-2001, 04:06 PM   #7
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If there are errors, flaws, and contradictions in the Bible, then why are we to believe it is the work of a perfect Creator, and not just another man's philosphy? that is why both non christians and christians labor on this point so much. When i see errors, flaws, and contradictions in the Bible, i see no reason to assume that it is the work of a perfect being. now, sure, this means that it could be, but why would i make that leap? there's no reason to, from what i have seen.

a theist can always come up with a reason for why things are the way they are, and apply god to it. but we non theists aren't that stupid that we will believe in your god, just because you came up with an explanation for something. Now, that probably didn't make much since, so let me clarify. There is a lot of evil in the world. I find that a good indicator for why there is no perfect creator. now, christians have an excuse for the evil, they say its man's fault. but me, and many other non theists don't automatically see the problem as being solved, just because an explanation was given. the explanation makes no sense.

and i find it hard to believe that God would decide to speak his words and rules to man, and allow them to fall prey to man's subjective interpretations. If you believ in the God of the Bible, then it is even worse. this god punishes those for disbelief, and so it doesn't make any sense to me why a God would not be very exact in conveying his message considering the eternal resting place of man's soul rests on it.
 
Old 01-19-2001, 04:12 PM   #8
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[mistake]

[This message has been edited by Cornerstone (edited January 19, 2001).]
 
Old 01-19-2001, 04:16 PM   #9
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To jazzing up:
We have both movies that are based on events and documentaries on specific events. In an objective documentary, the narrator may highlight an event that gives us particular insight to the true nature of the event while to those that were there it was very ordinary. For example, Gettysburg is considered by many to be the turning point of the Civil War. Did the original audience think this? Even if they didn't does that make the perception less true or flawed? While I have made several posts stating that theological narrative is not historically centered, this does not preclude accuracy necessarily. The documents in question must be evaluated next to embellishments and accurate texts of its own time to determine where it stands.

What process:
Biblical criticism of all forms based on a grammatical, historical, literary hermeneutic. While this has done much damage to the Bible, in recent years it has done much good.

OT relation to NT:
While the Captain and I disagree on approaches to the Bible, I have found that the conceptions of God in the OT carry through to the NT very accurately (including the concept of God as a violent victorious warrior). The judgment that things that God supports in the OT are abominable are based on our relative value system which I give no credence above that of others. We are not necessarily superior in our English ascetic monkish sensibilities.
 
Old 01-20-2001, 04:07 AM   #10
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God was created by man to control other men. The bible is both a how to book for likely controllers, and a book of instruction for likely mental slaves. As I have said before, the concepts arose in Greece, and can be read about in ancient Greek literature. Plato's "The Republic" contains the biblical method of "educating" children into men that will be of benefit to society. The bible's concept of God is modeled almost exactly after Plato's ideal example for children to follow. (by example I mean a hero or a god- Plato disapproved of the pantheism of Greek myths- the gods were constantly at war, and if that was what children held as greatness - the children would behave as the gods)

The concept of the bible was to give men an ideal to shoot for: to be perfectly good, and with christianity, a way for man to redeem himself after his failures, and still be able to aim for becoming "good". It is basically a way for people to create themselves in an image that they believe is perfect, and gives them forgiveness for their failures allowing them to constantly try (for to give up will lead to the person feeling they have no value- ESPECIALLY if the values they are taught say that you must keep trying to be good).
 
 

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