FRDB Archives

Freethought & Rationalism Archive

The archives are read only.


Go Back   FRDB Archives > Archives > Biblical Criticism - 2001
Welcome, Peter Kirby.
You last visited: Today at 05:55 AM

Notices

 
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 01-23-2001, 03:47 PM   #11
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Post

The only problem with that model of revelation is that we are not mechanical computers.

A humbling statement has once been said to the effect of, the highest biblical scholar tries his entire life to understand what the common beggar of Jesus' time knew as common sense. The message is simple enough for a beggar. It is hidden so that only the diligent are rewarded by their digging.

Further more, the concept of sin has existed cross culturally among isolated and unchristianized nations. It is a universal. In every culture there is a sense of guilt that must be reconciled. Various ways are employed to do this in various cultures. Many isolated cultures even have stories of a "high god" that they used to worship. The message of God, sin, and repentance is a part of the fabric of humanity. Rationalism can not explain this away. The attempt by reductionists to reduce religion to only one functional aspect of society have met with great difficulty.

As for the language of Jesus, as close as we can come to, many individuals where trilingual. They thought in Hebrew, spoke in Aramaic, and it was recorded in Greek. This gives word studies many pitfalls. It also allows for paraphrases of Jesus actual words into another language.

Contrary to my erring brothers, the Holy Spirit does not do our exegetical homework for us. The King James Only controversy is still doing much damage to the doctrine of verbal inspiration and the credibility of the Bible as the above post has found.

There are only counterfeits when something is genuinely valuable. Sorting through fanatical Christians is a sticky business, but there are gold mines waiting to be mined in the Bible if one is willing to endure those who mishandle their own text.

Most that disagree with the Bible have only seen its abuses, not its gems.
 
Old 01-23-2001, 10:31 PM   #12
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Post

[Josephus:]
The only problem with that model of revelation is that we are not mechanical computers.

[Me:]
What difference is that supposed to make???

[Josephus:]
Further more, the concept of sin has existed cross culturally among isolated and unchristianized nations. ...

[Me:]
So what? But look at what gets considered a sin -- not necessarily what gets labeled a sin in the Bible.

[Josephus on "high god" conepts]
[Me:]
This seems to me to be a projection of the Christian God onto other belief systems. Consider the classical Greek pantheon; is Zeus really the Christian God in disguise? And why doesn't the Bible itself state that the Christian God has been known under such names as Amon-Ra, Marduk, Ahura Mazda, Zeus and Jupiter? Identifying with "the Unknown God" at Athens is grasping at straws; that was more likely meant to be "all the other gods".

[Josephus:]
A humbling statement has once been said to the effect of, the highest biblical scholar tries his entire life to understand what the common beggar of Jesus' time knew as common sense. The message is simple enough for a beggar. It is hidden so that only the diligent are rewarded by their digging.

[Me:]
Which defeats the whole purpose of revelation. If I wish to issue a revelation, I wish it to be understood, and making something difficult to understand defeats its purpose.

[Josephus:]
Contrary to my erring brothers, the Holy Spirit does not do our exegetical homework for us. [and similar comments]

[Me:]
Pure evasion. This is tantamount to saying that the Third Person of the Trinity simply allows misinterpretation to happen.
 
Old 01-24-2001, 05:57 AM   #13
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Post

[QUOTE]Originally posted by Josephus:
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" [quote]

No, it doesn't, you see. That's the problem. Even when I was a child--and my level of learning was quite low--I never bought it, even though I tried. And over the years, the more I study, the less I'm capable of believing. I don't know about the rest of you, but for me, the crux of the problem is that, the more you must study and EXPLAIN to make any given story or concept make sense, the more ridiculous it clearly is.

Let's look a little closer at this:
[quote]Acceptance of this theology and interpretation needs only as much learning as is needed to satisfy one's personal level of investigative verification[quote]

There's another thread in which Richard Carrier is being lambasted for having referred to the "credulous uneducated rabble" in an essay. His critics seem to think that people of that period were no more credulous than we are now. I beg to differ, and Josephus--like it or not--has just backed up my position.

The fact is, the more education people have, the harder they are to convince of anything. The less education, the more credulous they become. In Jesus' time, there were many gods. Gods were these people's "scientific explanation" for anything they didn't understand. One of the reasons we're so low on gods these days is that science can explain most of the natural phenomena that used to happen "because the gods were angry." That is, we are more educated--understand the scientific reasons things happen--and less credulous.

[quote]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....Obedience and repentance is not contingent upon understanding. Only acceptance deals with understanding. [quote]

Straw man: completely understanding the Bible does not equal omniscience.

Like you said, you don't have to understand it. Just believe it. Believe what? The stuff you don't understand, of course. Oh, silly me. And be sure and submit to the all-powerful God who for some reason gave you a rule book you can't understand. Of course it makes no sense that there is only one god who is three, and he crucified himself to save his creations from themselves. Don't think about that. Just OBEY.

And don't forget to tithe.

P.T. Barnum was right.

[quote]Some people have such a high standard of proof that they will not believe even if they saw a miracle.[quote]

Must be a flaw in the design. Would your god create a being incapable of belief, then condemn him for not believing?

[quote]Not all of the Bible is closed. Many passages are very direct and understandable to a grade school audience. [quote]

Understandable by people who haven't yet formed a solid foundation of knowledge, you mean. This is the exact same reason the KKK indoctrinates children--they're so much more credulous (and needy).

diana
 
Old 01-24-2001, 09:23 AM   #14
Ernest Sparks
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Portland, OR USA
Posts: 1,248
Post

Josephus,

If I am not mistaken, there have been pamphlets published with the key lines of Jesus, Paul, etc. that deal with salvation and the sinner. They are pretty unambiguous.
When the new Christian has joined to Him, then direct prayer must become a continuous habit to begin guiding the person at every future step. Reading scriptures without prayer is dangerous, in other words. It might be advisable to carry the bible everywhere visibly and be seen reading it. Maybe the new Christian meets a few people that way and forms a small group to study scripture. Prayer and reading must go together, in this case. Church organizations are bewiltering and not necessary. The real Church is invisible.
Theology is bewiltering too and unnecessary. The Lord of the new Christian will give guidance if due attention is paid in prayer and scripture reading. The new Christian should remain humble about the whole thing. The new Christian should keep shy of come-ons and inducements from religious special interests.

So much for my extemporizing.


dufus




[This message has been edited by Ernest Sparks (edited January 24, 2001).]
Ernest Sparks is offline  
Old 01-24-2001, 09:59 AM   #15
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Post

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Rather, it is submission to God, His commands, and the one He has sent, Jesus...</font>
Obedience to whom? The bible? I don't understand the bible.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">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.</font>
Oh! Obedience to you! You want me to be your slave. Ok, I'm down with that!
 
Old 01-24-2001, 12:17 PM   #16
DougI
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Wichita, KS, USA
Posts: 932
Post

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by SingleDad:
Oh! Obedience to you! You want me to be your slave. Ok, I'm down with that!</font>
I think you have it there. The Bible is a tool for control just like a gun. Apparently it is not the bible that needs to be understood but the person wielding it.

DougI is offline  
Old 01-24-2001, 03:04 PM   #17
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Post

Diana
No, it doesn't, you see. That's the problem. Even when I
was a child--and my level of learning was quite low--I never
bought it, even though I tried.


thanks Diana, that was well written.

Myself, I am comfortable with my understanding of Scripture
and I have studied it for over twenty years. I was born an
atheist, grew up an atheist, and read Scripture as an
atheist. If you want to understand Scripture get as far
away from dogma as possible. The Jews were never in Egypt,
Bethlehem was north of Jerusalem, and God was a high priest
and had a harem, and I mean each and every high priest who
held the position of god.

thanks,
offa

You may believe whatever you want, you are free,
I just enjoyed what you wrote.

 
Old 01-24-2001, 03:08 PM   #18
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Cool

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by DougI:
I think you have it there. The Bible is a tool for control just like a gun. Apparently it is not the bible that needs to be understood but the person wielding it.</font>
There's a bumber sticker for you:

"Bibles don't kill people. Zealots kill people, and then use the Bible to justify it."



--W@L
 
Old 01-25-2001, 07:47 PM   #19
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Post

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by DougI:
I think you have it there. The Bible is a tool for control just like a gun. Apparently it is not the bible that needs to be understood but the person wielding it.

</font>

The Bible is whatever you make it. Plain and simple.

If you want to use it to beat people into submission, you can. If you want to try to control masses through guilt and fear you can definately do that. If you want to use it as a control device or a way to maintain the status quo, you can do that.

Or, if you want to use it to justify loving one another, you can do that. If you want to look at the example of Jesus and pattern things about yourself you can do that two, no belief in his divinity required for that. Or if you want to believe in supernatural things, but don't want to hurt others, or be angry or dictatorially try to force others to think the same way, you can do that.

Or if you are interested in history, and you want to look at the bible historically, you can do that as well. If you want to look at the bible as largely theological narrative and symbol, promoting interpretation and respresenting deeper more "abstract" truths you can do that. If you want to believe it is literal in every word, and you want to criticize and judge others because of that, you can do that as well.

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.

Andrew
 
Old 01-26-2001, 01:40 PM   #20
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Post

Sorry Earnest I was waiting for the punchline what happened, did the phone ring or something?
 
 

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 12:26 PM.

Top

This custom BB emulates vBulletin® Version 3.8.2
Copyright ©2000 - 2015, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.