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A question about the Bible

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A question about the Bible

Old 09-16-10, 03:59 PM
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Re: A question about the Bible

Originally Posted by Burnt Thru View Post
Which of the supposed revelations should we be putting our faith in then? Personally I kinda dig the old Greek gods with their soap opera life stories and general tomfoolery. But then we could go earlier still. Those old civilizations created (sorry, had revealed to them) Gods who allowed them to understand how the world around them worked, while giving them a limited sense that they had some form of control over the uncontrollable forces surrounding their lives (the rivers, harvest, etc.). As we've become more sophisticated in our understanding of the world we've come to see that we can't get a better harvest by begging the relevant God. So our need for that God vanished and so has worship of all those old Gods. I suspect the current ones will also die out in time as well as we realise how unnecessary they are too.
You're free to worship whatever or whomever you want.

As a flipside to your comment though, I suspect that the "heights" of reason and science that we've attained today will be shown to be primitive and foolish in the future as well.

Just as a quick question: why is it important to worship or have any kind of relationship with the current "Gods"? We havent known about (or created) them for very long in the life of our species and we seem to have managed just fine before we started genuflecting in their name. What's to be gained now that we didn't have before?
I don't get the impression that you're asking the question sincerely, so I'm not sure it's worth answering.

Are all the people born before Jesus damned for eternity because they didn't know the right God to pray to? Kind of a raw deal for them isn't it?
No, they're not (necessarily). At least, not according to the Bible.
Old 09-16-10, 04:06 PM
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Re: A question about the Bible

Originally Posted by Artman View Post
No, that was the Old Covenant (Judaism). Salvation worked differently then, Christ fulfilled the laws and replaced their ceremonial sacrifices with himself.
So you are saying that in the year 1340 if a family of natives living in the deepest jungle fell of a cliff and died, they all went to hell because they didn't know Christ as their savior (even though they never even heard of him yet)?
Old 09-16-10, 04:09 PM
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Re: A question about the Bible

Originally Posted by kefrank View Post
As a flipside to your comment though, I suspect that the "heights" of reason and science that we've attained today will be shown to be primitive and foolish in the future as well.
I have no doubt about it. But that's because I don't view science as a philosophy and don't "believe" in it (at least not in the same way as religion). In fact I'd be more surprised if we didn't advance to the stage where we looked back on our current understanding of the universe as childish and based on silly assumptions.


No, they're not (necessarily) (damed if they didn't worship Christ). At least, not according to the Bible.
Really? For quite some time black people were considered to have black souls and be damned for that by Christianity. For a long time they were beyond redemption and were then placed on a different plane where they required cleansing. These days the church (in it's various guises) is too progressive to allow such ideas but that's very recent in it's history. Are you saying the Church was wrong about this issue for the largest part of it's existence? Has it only become right very recently? What other long preached truths will be decided to be wrong after all?
Old 09-16-10, 04:16 PM
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Re: A question about the Bible

Originally Posted by Navinabob View Post
Umm... we are human. Therefore we use "human reason". Are you saying that you have some sort of ability to use God-like reason?
No. I'm all for using human reason. But merely using human reason is different than rejecting anything that isn't quantifiable or measurable with reason. I would contend that it's possible to use human reason, but still be willing to accept that perhaps there are aspects of the world that are beyond reason or that reason has not yet developed enough to fully grasp.

And science does get influenced by such factors, which is why we try really hard to not let it do such a thing. We do things to try and eliminate researcher bias by doing things like blind studies or double-blind studies, we open our studies for others to review and encourage them to do a step-by-step retest to see if they get the same results that we got.
I would argue that, at least for Christianity, the process for defining and maintaining doctrine has been very similar in its effort to limit socio-political and other such influences.

What did God reveal to you?
In short, God continually reveals who I am, who He is and who he made to be. I have no illusions about how absurd that sounds to you, but the guys in white coats haven't come for me yet.

What did science reveal to you?
Old 09-16-10, 04:20 PM
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Re: A question about the Bible

Originally Posted by kefrank View Post
As a flipside to your comment though, I suspect that the "heights" of reason and science that we've attained today will be shown to be primitive and foolish in the future as well.
Primitive? Probably... but foolish? No likely. The only thing they'd likely find foolish is the stuff that real science finds foolish today (Creationists, Paranormal Investigators, guys-who-build-tin-hats-to-keep-the-CIA-from-reading-your-thoughts, ect.)

Science knowledge evolves as it grows information, all real critical thinkers know that. Staunch religious followers can not say the same thing. No matter how ridiculous the story of Noah's Ark is, some people will still take it as literal truth. Believers in the Shroud of Turin will still believe it is real, even with the wealth of evidence against it because faith needs no logic behind it.
Old 09-16-10, 04:26 PM
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Re: A question about the Bible

Originally Posted by Navinabob View Post
Primitive? Probably... but foolish? No likely. The only thing they'd likely find foolish is the stuff that real science finds foolish today (Creationists, Paranormal Investigators, guys-who-build-tin-hats-to-keep-the-CIA-from-reading-your-thoughts, ect.)

Science knowledge evolves as it grows information, all real critical thinkers know that. Staunch religious followers can not say the same thing. No matter how ridiculous the story of Noah's Ark is, some people will still take it as literal truth. Believers in the Shroud of Turin will still believe it is real, even with the wealth of evidence against it because faith needs no logic behind it.
Before NASA proved the beginning, evolutionists thought matter was eternal, while the Bible said there was a beginning all along.

http://www.biblefood.com/biblepage8.html

1. Job 38:31,32 Movement of the planets:

About 100 years ago an astronomer named M. Medler discovered that Alcyone, the brightest star in the constellation Pleiades, is the gravitational center of the universe. In the discussion between God and Job in Job chapter 38, the Hebrew phrase "bind the sweet influences of Pleiades" in verse 31 is describing Pleiades as "binding" or "connecting" the heavens together by its gravitational "influence". Bob Thieme, in his book "Canonicity", says that the Hebrew word "kimah" meant "hinge", "pivot, or "axil"! Amazing, God named that spot in the universe and gave this information to Job over 3000 years before Medler the astronomer discovered it!

2. Job 28:25 Air has weight:

In Job 28:25, God says that He made a "weight" for the winds, or literally for the "moving air". Approximately 350 years ago, the scientist Galileo initiated the scientific concept that air had "weight". Today we know that the downward pressure of a one square inch column of air at sea level is 14.7 pounds. Notice also in Job 28:26 & 27 God told Job that He decreed in eternity past where and when rain would fall and lightning would strike! That is why our modern laws wisely call a lightning strike an "Act of God".

3. Static electricity

Jer 10:13 states that God "causeth the vapours to ascend from the ends of the earth; he maketh lightenings with rain". God is describing to Job that the condensation of water vapor causes static electricity. Scientists studying lightning discovered that this can be proven in the science laboratory.

4. Who thought the earth was flat?

In Isa 40:22 the earth is said to be a "circle" in the KJV. The Hebrew word translated "circle" is "chug" meaning a SPHERE. "Chug" is translated "circle" here and "compass" in Prov 8:27, but means a sphere or ball. God's people since the time of Isaiah the prophet knew that the earth was a "sphere" or "ball" and not flat. The ancient people who thought the earth was flat either did not know, or did not believe the Old Testament Scriptures! Even our English word "atmosphere" means a "sphere" of "air"!

5. The Earth rotates on its axis

In Luke 17:31-36, Jesus is describing the Second Advent at the end of the Great Tribulation, when He will return to earth to rule and reign over this earth for 1000 years, and He says both "in that day", and "in that night". He describes people involved in daytime and nighttime activity at the same point in time. Jesus knew that the earth was a rotating sphere that has daylight on one side while it is night on the other side! He should know, He created it!

6. Quarantine for communicable diseases

In Lev 13:45,46, God states that leprosy victims in the contagious stage must be quarantined. This reminds us that the Jews, as God's people, had medical, dietary, and civil laws long before the rest of the world.

7. Telegraph

In Job 38:35 God asked Job if he could send the lightning with a message and say "here we are". Amazing, God is describing messages transmitted by electricity. Man would not understand the significance of this discourse between God and Job until Alexander Graham Bell sent his first electrically transmitted message. Bell's first message, on March 10, 1876, was "Mr. Watson, come here; I want you". Do you remember from your history book what Bell's reaction was when Mr. Watson acknowledged that the first electrically transmitted message was successful? Bell said "What God hath wrought!"

8. Human physiology and the circulation of blood in the human body

Long before Dr Harvey discovered the circulation of blood in our bodies, Solomon wrote about it in Eccl 12:6! Verses 3 - 7 are an amazing description of the physiology of the human aging process also. Especially amazing when we realize that it was written in God's Word over 2000 years ago! In verse 6, the "silver cord" is the spine, the "golden bowl" refers to the cranium, and the "pitcher, fountain, wheel and cistern" refer to the heart and circulatory system. Verse 3 describes the result of the aging process on the nervous system, back, teeth, and eyes. Verse 4 describes hearing loss and sleeplessness. Verse 5 describes fears in general, fear of heights, bitterness, loss of strength and motivation.

9. The Earth's fixed weather patterns

In Eccl 1:5-7 Solomon describes the fixed circuits of the earth's weather patterns and winds and the laws of evaporation and condensation of water long before it became "scientific knowledge". The rivers constantly run into the sea, but the sea does not get full. The waters return to the rivers (through evaporation, condensation and wind pattern and rain) and run into the seas again! Read the book of Ecclesiastes sometime. Solomon wrote the book of Ecclesiastes. The word "Ecclesiastes" basically means "Listen up, I have something to say!". He was the richest man the world has ever seen. He had it all, and if he heard about something new anywhere in the world, he sent for it, so he could have it too. In the end, he found that "things" could not make him really happy. In the last two verses, his conclusion is to fear God and keep His Word, and then we can enjoy "things".
Just because it's called science doesn't mean it cannot be based on falsehoods, for example (this is still in textbooks today even though it was proven wrong long ago):

Old 09-16-10, 04:30 PM
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Re: A question about the Bible

Originally Posted by kefrank View Post
What did science reveal to you?
Everything. It is beautiful in its ability to be both quantifiable and amazing at the same time. So everything I experience with my senses, and within my mind is God. I need not imagine what might be when what is in front of me is more then enough.

But I follow Pantheism, not so much a "creator God"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pantheism
Old 09-16-10, 04:37 PM
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Re: A question about the Bible

Originally Posted by Guarddog View Post
Before NASA proved the beginning, evolutionists thought matter was eternal, while the Bible said there was a beginning all along.

http://www.biblefood.com/biblepage8.html
Evolutionary science is no more qualified to speak of what the universe is created from then a podiatrist is qualified to repair a jet engine.

With that said, evolutionary science is an expanding field of study, now heavily influence by molecular biology, and is constantly finding new evidence to support their data, and tossing out old data that no longer fits.
Old 09-16-10, 04:48 PM
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Re: A question about the Bible

Originally Posted by Burnt Thru View Post
I have no doubt about it. But that's because I don't view science as a philosophy and don't "believe" in it (at least not in the same way as religion).
Maybe I'm just missing something. What do you use as your foundational source and measure of truth?

Really? For quite some time black people were considered to have black souls and be damned for that by Christianity. For a long time they were beyond redemption and were then placed on a different plane where they required cleansing. These days the church (in it's various guises) is too progressive to allow such ideas but that's very recent in it's history. Are you saying the Church was wrong about this issue for the largest part of it's existence? Has it only become right very recently? What other long preached truths will be decided to be wrong after all?
I'm not sure how this follows the original point, but I'll address it anyway. There's no doubt that all kinds of abuses and distortions of Christian doctrine have reared up over the centuries. The view that you describe above is a racist reinterpretation of pre-Adamism. Pre-Adamism on its own (let alone a racist offshoot of it) has never been Christian doctrine, though it certainly has been popular among some people identifying themselves as Christians at various points in history. Regardless, that view simply isn't supported by the Bible, and is, in fact directly refuted by the Bible.
Old 09-16-10, 05:19 PM
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Re: A question about the Bible

Originally Posted by Navinabob View Post
Science knowledge evolves as it grows information, all real critical thinkers know that. Staunch religious followers can not say the same thing. No matter how ridiculous the story of Noah's Ark is, some people will still take it as literal truth.
To take another perspective, staunch science followers will miss or ignore the underlying truths of Noah's Ark and the greater narrative surrounding it because they're caught up in determining whether a literal interpretation can be scientifically possible.

Believers in the Shroud of Turin will still believe it is real, even with the wealth of evidence against it because faith needs no logic behind it.
I have no particular opinion on the Shroud of Turin, but it's notable that the church has not claimed and does not claim its authenticity. As to your point that "faith needs no logic behind it" - I would somewhat disagree. I get the impression that you tend to use the word "faith" to mean "blind faith" or "belief with little or no evidence behind it." If that's how you're using the term, then by definition, it needs no logic behind it. However, I think most Christians (at least) would not say that their faith is "blind" or that they've never seen or experienced evidence that supports their faith in God. But I will concede that it's much easier to reject Christianity when you reduce it to faith in a piece of cloth or a literal interpretation of some details of a story.
Old 09-16-10, 05:30 PM
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Re: A question about the Bible

Originally Posted by Navinabob View Post
Everything. It is beautiful in its ability to be both quantifiable and amazing at the same time. So everything I experience with my senses, and within my mind is God. I need not imagine what might be when what is in front of me is more then enough.
Forgive me if I'm misinterpreting, but are you saying that you only believe in that which you perceive or experience directly? This may be the same question, but how many layers of extrapolation does it take before you consider something to be "imagined"?
Old 09-16-10, 05:46 PM
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Re: A question about the Bible

You don't have to be a staunch follower of science to catch all of the implausibilities of the bible. Much like most kids don't need a degree in biology to know the Santa can't be real.

As for underlining truth? I completely agree with you. If you put the bible in context that we didn't know the physical world like we do now so when they fabricated details of a story they exaggerated quite a bit, I'd be fine with it. Many of the stories can be worked into great moral tales and lessons, and if you get bogged down with fact-checking the book you will miss the underlying truth.

Unfortunately I was brought up as a Catholic where I was told that the bible was the literal word of God. The facts were facts, and all attempts to refute them were just "tricks of the devil." That's also the view of much of America (and virtually every televangelist on TV). So I had a choice to make and I jumped ship when I found a measure of faith I could agree with.

So my beef is never with intelligent moderates like you Kefrank. I don't agree with everything you say, but I respect everything you say. You don't come across as someone from the Church of Aesop trying to rewrite zoology textbooks to include the part where animals can talk to each other because the holy book "Aesop Fables" said so.
Old 09-16-10, 05:56 PM
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Re: A question about the Bible

Originally Posted by kefrank View Post
Forgive me if I'm misinterpreting, but are you saying that you only believe in that which you perceive or experience directly? This may be the same question, but how many layers of extrapolation does it take before you consider something to be "imagined"?
Imagine is tricky. Too tricky to go into detail. But what you see in your mind can't be witness by another person, but it can be influenced by stimuli (electrical & chemical), injury, memory and the world around you. My degree is actually in psychology... so I'm not longer surprised by the human mind's ability to fool itself. In fact, I'm often entertained by the details I get wrong when retelling a story or how I can be fooled by placebo.

Could God live in the same realm of uncertainty? It's possible. Though hyper-religiosity can often be found in minds that are damaged and corrected with anti-psychotics... perhaps God lives there as well?
Old 09-17-10, 01:14 PM
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Re: A question about the Bible

Originally Posted by Navinabob View Post
YSo my beef is never with intelligent moderates like you Kefrank. I don't agree with everything you say, but I respect everything you say. You don't come across as someone from the Church of Aesop trying to rewrite zoology textbooks to include the part where animals can talk to each other because the holy book "Aesop Fables" said so.
Ha, thank man. The respect is mutual...I've really enjoyed the discourse in this thread.

Biblical hermeneutics is an interesting thing. I do believe the Bible is the "word of God" but I don't believe that means every word of it should be or must be interpreted literally. God communicated through human authors and as such, there are many different flavors of literature and forms of expression that require a more nuanced approach than "every word of this is literal." I do hold to Biblical innerrancy to the extent that the Bible never errs in its purpose to communicate who God is and what he wants us to know. Where there are apparent historical inaccuracies or scientific improbabilities, I try to view them through the lens of the overarching thrust of the Bible and asses their "literal veracity" accordingly.

For example, I believe completely in the literal death and resurrection of Jesus - everything pretty much falls apart without that. On the other hand, I don't adhere to a strict, seven-calendar-day interpretation of the Genesis creation account. Even without taking into account any science at all, there are too many nuances of language and literary style to conclude that the human author's intent (or God's intent) was seven days in the same sense that we think of them today. More importantly, I don't think it matters whether it was seven literal days or not and quibbling over that detail shifts the focus from the real purpose and profound truths of the story.
Old 09-17-10, 01:28 PM
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Re: A question about the Bible

Originally Posted by kefrank View Post
Biblical hermeneutics is an interesting thing. I do believe the Bible is the "word of God" but I don't believe that means every word of it should be or must be interpreted literally. God communicated through human authors and as such, there are many different flavors of literature and forms of expression that require a more nuanced approach than "every word of this is literal." I do hold to Biblical innerrancy to the extent that the Bible never errs in its purpose to communicate who God is and what he wants us to know. Where there are apparent historical inaccuracies or scientific improbabilities, I try to view them through the lens of the overarching thrust of the Bible and asses their "literal veracity" accordingly.
That is my girlfriends view on the topic as well (and where I was in my last few years of being Catholic) every time we have a debate. What are your thoughts on out-dated notions of women being "unclean" once a month or rules on rape (if you marry her everything is dandy)? Reflections of the time or Word of God?
Old 09-17-10, 02:15 PM
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Re: A question about the Bible

Originally Posted by Navinabob View Post
You don't have to be a staunch follower of science to catch all of the implausibilities of the bible. Much like most kids don't need a degree in biology to know the Santa can't be real.

As for underlining truth? I completely agree with you. If you put the bible in context that we didn't know the physical world like we do now so when they fabricated details of a story they exaggerated quite a bit, I'd be fine with it. Many of the stories can be worked into great moral tales and lessons, and if you get bogged down with fact-checking the book you will miss the underlying truth.

Unfortunately I was brought up as a Catholic where I was told that the bible was the literal word of God. The facts were facts, and all attempts to refute them were just "tricks of the devil." That's also the view of much of America (and virtually every televangelist on TV). So I had a choice to make and I jumped ship when I found a measure of faith I could agree with.

So my beef is never with intelligent moderates like you Kefrank. I don't agree with everything you say, but I respect everything you say. You don't come across as someone from the Church of Aesop trying to rewrite zoology textbooks to include the part where animals can talk to each other because the holy book "Aesop Fables" said so.
Was raised Catholic as well, 4 years of Catholic HS, and we were never taught to take the Bible as the literal word of God. I don't think the Catholic church pushes creationism at all, and they are not opposed to evolutionary theory.
Old 09-17-10, 02:45 PM
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Re: A question about the Bible

Originally Posted by Navinabob View Post
What are your thoughts on out-dated notions of women being "unclean" once a month or rules on rape (if you marry her everything is dandy)? Reflections of the time or Word of God?
I can't place these off hand but I"m assuming they're Old Testament laws, in which case none of it applies today as I believe it (and which I believe is the correct application). That doesn't mean it isn't useful or wise to study and learn the OT.... but the laws are fulfilled, done.
Old 09-17-10, 03:10 PM
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Re: A question about the Bible

Originally Posted by spainlinx0 View Post
Was raised Catholic as well, 4 years of Catholic HS, and we were never taught to take the Bible as the literal word of God. I don't think the Catholic church pushes creationism at all, and they are not opposed to evolutionary theory.
Maybe I should have said Roman Catholic, if it matters... I'm not sure how it differs from the regular sort. My family comes from the back-woods of Croatia where you had to climb down the mountain to get to church every Sunday.

I understand that, in general, the Jesuits are pretty progressive and push science within the church.
Old 09-17-10, 04:31 PM
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Re: A question about the Bible

Originally Posted by kefrank View Post
For example, I believe completely in the literal death and resurrection of Jesus - everything pretty much falls apart without that. On the other hand, I don't adhere to a strict, seven-calendar-day interpretation of the Genesis creation account. Even without taking into account any science at all, there are too many nuances of language and literary style to conclude that the human author's intent (or God's intent) was seven days in the same sense that we think of them today. More importantly, I don't think it matters whether it was seven literal days or not and quibbling over that detail shifts the focus from the real purpose and profound truths of the story.
If you simply read the text. It makes it clear it's not seven earth days. In fact impossible. Much less do an easy research into the Hebrew.

Kind of a good test that one. It's a short passge, and it tells you whether a person is reading the meaning out of the text, or reading what they've been conditioned to believe in to the text.

The simple question is, what defines a day on the earth? How do we define that?
Old 09-17-10, 05:51 PM
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Re: A question about the Bible

Originally Posted by Dr Mabuse View Post
If you simply read the text. It makes it clear it's not seven earth days. In fact impossible. Much less do an easy research into the Hebrew.

Kind of a good test that one. It's a short passge, and it tells you whether a person is reading the meaning out of the text, or reading what they've been conditioned to believe in to the text.

The simple question is, what defines a day on the earth? How do we define that?
By that idea, how long could a day be if you believe the sun was created on the 4th day?

Come to think about it, hopefully not very long since everything would freeze.

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