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Old 01-22-2001, 12:41 AM   #1
DougI
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Post What does it take to understand the bible

I've been told on numerous occassions that I am unable to understand the scriptures. Apparently god made the bible so complex that only learned scholars who spend years in divinity school will understand the bible and only they will be saved. So goes my understanding since I'm nothing more than an unwashed heathen who is destined to be locked in an uncomfortable sauna for eternity.

Apparently understanding the bible does not take a conversion to believing in God because without the understanding of the bible we'd be worshipping the wrong concept of god. Being a Christian simply isn't enough since there are so many sects and cults that even these devout believers can't come to an agreement on what the bible says.

It can't take an understanding of science since most scientists are godless and the issue of god isn't even touched.

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.

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.
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Old 01-22-2001, 04:16 AM   #2
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by DougI:
I've been told on numerous occassions that I am unable to understand the scriptures. Apparently god made the bible so complex that only learned scholars who spend years in divinity school will understand the bible and only they will be saved. So goes my understanding since I'm nothing more than an unwashed heathen who is destined to be locked in an uncomfortable sauna for eternity.

Apparently understanding the bible does not take a conversion to believing in God because without the understanding of the bible we'd be worshipping the wrong concept of god. Being a Christian simply isn't enough since there are so many sects and cults that even these devout believers can't come to an agreement on what the bible says.

It can't take an understanding of science since most scientists are godless and the issue of god isn't even touched.

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.

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>
It takes being totally out of touch with reality to fully understand the bible.

[This message has been edited by Orpheous99 (edited January 22, 2001).]
 
Old 01-22-2001, 06:56 PM   #3
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Understanding upon which one can ague theology and interpretation requires high levels of learning. Acceptance of this theology and interpretation needs only as much learning as is needed to satisfy one's personal level of investigative verification of those who study on a high level. In other words, "does it pass my personal believability/doubt threshold"

As to your statement that only those who have completely understood the Bible can be saved, I say the following. Omniscience is not the requirement of salvation in the Bible. Rather, it is submission to God, His commands, and the one He has sent, Jesus. These facts are plain in the Bible as evidenced from their existence in almost all Christian doctrine as the priority. Obedience and repentance is not contingent upon understanding. Only acceptance deals with understanding. Everyone has a different amount of evidence they need before they accept something as true. Some Christian's standards in this area are very low sadly. Other Christians have extremely high standards of verification. Many start in one area and slowly gravitate toward the other. Some people have such a high standard of proof that they will not believe even if they saw a miracle.

I have thought much about the same issues that Doug has. Despite my disagreements with Catholic doctrine, I can see why they at one time (in some cases still do) forbid any reading or interpretation other than that done through priests and only when sanctioned. While I believe this is not the proper course of action, I do recognize the motivation. There is a very wide possibility of miscommunication with ancient cross-cultural dialogue. And the margin for safe error is nil to none.

This is my answer. The Bible is built in typical Jewish fashion where the deeper you dig the more clues you find to intent. Not all of the Bible is closed. Many passages are very direct and understandable to a grade school audience. Others are rapped in cultural mumbojumbo. It is the job of the scholar to search out these mysteries. It is the job of the clergy to educate on these findings. Most clergy make up their own ideas though. It is the job of the learner to investigate how authentic the clergy and scholar has been.
 
Old 01-23-2001, 03:53 AM   #4
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by DougI:
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.</font>
Well, I've read different. If you go and have a look here (http://www.chick.com/reading/books/158/158cont.asp), you will have all your questions about the Bible's authenticity answered.

(By the way, this is very funny - I especially liked the bit where he says that the Originals of the Bible couldn't have been trusted, because God let them be destroyed, thus proving their inadequacies.)

The Bellman.
 
Old 01-23-2001, 05:44 AM   #5
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by DougI:
I've been told on numerous occassions that I am unable to understand the scriptures. Apparently god made the bible so complex that only learned scholars who spend years in divinity school will understand the bible and only they will be saved. So goes my understanding since I'm nothing more than an unwashed heathen who is destined to be locked in an uncomfortable sauna for eternity.</font>
I've been told the same thing, but it has nothing to do with lack of scholarship. Apparently, only the Holy Spirit can provide true understanding. "He can make all the errors go away, and reconcile all the contradictions," I was once told. Even a mentally handicapped person can understand the Bible's message with the Holy Spirit's intervention.

Heh. Right. The same sort of things can be said for a number of things. Apparently, the ending of 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY makes a lot more sense if you're tripping on acid while watching it.

Anyone for snorting some Holy Coke?

--W@L
 
Old 01-23-2001, 05:47 AM   #6
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by The Bellman:
Well, I've read different. If you go and have a look here (http://www.chick.com/reading/books/158/158cont.asp), you will have all your questions about the Bible's authenticity answered.
</font>
Yes, this is worth checking out for the laugh. I read only parts, but e.g. this is something where I thought: what a babbling moron: (It is about that you shouldn't change the words of the bible, because they are holy or something, and that modern translators exchange the word "whale" of Jesus into "fish", because since a whale is a mammal, it contradicts the tale of Jonas, where he is swallowed by a giant fish...)
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">
The Greek word used for "whale" in Matthew 12:40 is "ketos." The Greek word for "fish" is "ichthus." They are NOT the same. Jesus used the Greek word "ichthus" in several places in Scripture, such as: Matthew 7:10 and 17:28. Certainly He could have used it in Matthew 12:40 if He so desired.
</font>
Yeah, right. "Jesus used the word 'ichthus'"! LOL! Jesus spoke aramaic! Obviously Matthew who wrote it let Jesus say "whale", because he thought "a big fish is a whale".

It is amazing to me: Here the solution of a contradiction for the believing Xian would have been really easy: OK, Jesus is God, he cannot err. Therefore it must have been an error by the writer (who wrote greek about a man speaking aramaic... that can happen), which a translator can correct. But no! Scripture is HOLY! Dare not to change it! Therefore Jesus spoke greek or what?

Tsssk...

Matthias
 
Old 01-23-2001, 09:37 AM   #7
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I can certainly follow what Chick says but it goes back to what Orpheus said about the requirements for understanding scripture; I need a complete separation from reality.

Perhaps if I follow this routine:
1. Smash head repeatedly with large bible (only KJV because Chick says that's the true version) to the point that vision is blurred.

2. Drink lots of communion wine to the point of getting terribly drunk and possess the feeling of vomiting (which from what I'm told takes one drink).

3. Go to a plastic surgeon and have your index finger elogated so it appears you are pointing to everyone without actually pointing.

4. Spit on a fish and proclaim, "Hallelujah!"

5. Buy an AK-47 and hang a picture of Charlton Heston over your bed.

6. Buy a giant crucifix, anything longer than one foot is acceptable.

7. Scream random bible passages through a megaphone. If necessary gather a congregation of Barbie and Ken dolls.

8. Install a second toilet but only use it as the holy water basin for a rapid way to wash away sins. Keep the dog away from it.

9. Buy binoculars to keep an eye on sinful neighbors, especially the good looking ones.

10. After all this proclaim yourself as God's true prophet and keep reminding yourself if you believe it then that's God talking to you.
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Old 01-23-2001, 09:38 AM   #8
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Apparently, the ending of 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY makes a lot more sense if you're tripping on acid while watching it.</font>
It not only makes more sense, it explains everything.
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Old 01-23-2001, 10:27 AM   #9
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Josephus: As to your statement that only those who have completely understood the Bible can be saved, I say the following. Omniscience is not the requirement of salvation in the Bible. Rather, it is submission to God, His commands, and the one He has sent, Jesus.

Why would an omnipotent god require submission to anything for salvation? The whole concept it absurd.

Josephus: These facts are plain in the Bible as evidenced from their existence in almost all Christian doctrine as the priority. Obedience and repentance is not contingent upon understanding. Only acceptance deals with understanding.

Why would any intelligent, thinking person wish to obey and repent based on something he does not understand? Obey what? Repent for what?


Josephus: Everyone has a different amount of evidence they need before they accept something as true. Some Christian's standards in this area are very low sadly. Other Christians have extremely high standards of verification. Many start in one area and slowly gravitate toward the other. Some people have such a high standard of proof that they will not believe even if they saw a miracle.

The last sentence is an example of Christian bias. Many Christians use one standard to ascertain the reality of "miracles" and another standard for everything else. If they applied the same standard for ALL, they would not believe in miracles.


 
Old 01-23-2001, 01:47 PM   #10
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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.

An omnipotent being would have no trouble implanting a revelation in the mind of every human being who has ever lived; that would solve such problems with sacred books as the distribution, interpretation, and translation of them.
 
 

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