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View Poll Results: What is the Bible to you?
Every word is factual.
8
7.34%
It's a collection of moral themes.
44
40.37%
It's nothing but fairy tales.
50
45.87%
Twikoff
7
6.42%
Voters: 109. You may not vote on this poll

What is the Bible to you

Old 08-16-13, 08:38 PM
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I grew up believing it was a collection of morality tales, much like Aesop's Fables. I was always skeptical, so I later stopped believing in most things. I believe that there is no way anyone could collect a young mating pair of every land animal, let alone "base" animals. Even if it were true, base animals would not be around at the same time. There is no way Moses could part the Red Sea. Eve being made from Adam's rib? Seriously? How do you view the writings in the Bible?

Last edited by Groucho; 08-16-13 at 08:50 PM.
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Old 08-16-13, 08:47 PM
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Re: What is the Bible to you

The Bible is full of sex and violence. Sex and violence have always been big selling points. I view the Bible as entertainment just like I view Homer's epics or Michael Bay's movies.
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Old 08-16-13, 08:49 PM
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Re: What is the Bible to you

The Bible contains the tribal legends and laws of the bronze-age Hebrews.

Nothing more.
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Old 08-16-13, 09:02 PM
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Re: What is the Bible to you

Pretentious babble!

But maybe there is a God. And maybe there is an afterlife.
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Old 08-16-13, 09:46 PM
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Re: What is the Bible to you

Greatest fiction ever written.
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Old 08-16-13, 09:52 PM
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Re: What is the Bible to you

Originally Posted by Max Bottomtime View Post
I grew up believing it was a collection of morality tales, much like Aesop's Fables. I was always skeptical, so I later stopped believing in most things. I believe that there is no way anyone could collect a young mating pair of every land animal, let alone "base" animals. Even if it were true, base animals would not be around at the same time. There is no way Moses could part the Red Sea. Eve being made from Adam's rib? Seriously? How do you view the writings in the Bible?
I'm starting to think no one has ever read past the first few books. So much harping on Noah. Give Proverbs a spin. You might be amazed at how relevant it is.
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Old 08-16-13, 10:29 PM
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Re: What is the Bible to you

Originally Posted by Josh-da-man View Post
The Bible contains the tribal legends and laws of the bronze-age Hebrews.

Nothing more.
That's a good way to put it. However, there is a lot of wonderful prose in the various translations, and if you want to understand the majority of Western art, you should read the Bible in its entirety. You can't even begin to approach Dante or Milton without a strong knowledge of the Bible, to name two examples.

To believe all of the Bible is literally true is utter nonsense, IMO. There may be some historical accuracy in there, but the earliest that would start is the book of Exodus. And even then it's not entirely accurate all the time.

Last edited by Supermallet; 08-16-13 at 11:30 PM.
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Old 08-16-13, 11:01 PM
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Re: What is the Bible to you

A mishmash of old legends, moral lessons, interpretations of actual historical events through the lenses of superstitious contemporaries, and some really bizarre soothsayer ramblings.
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Old 08-16-13, 11:46 PM
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Re: What is the Bible to you

I would also say that it is a tool that was used by those in power to deceive others.
Why were certain books chosen and others rejected? Was there an agenda in place?
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Old 08-17-13, 12:04 AM
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Re: What is the Bible to you

None of those poll options describe what the Bible is to me so I guess I have to choose "Twikoff." But here's my answer:

- Inspired by God, written by humans. Humans in their specific historical and cultural context who are witnessing and interpreting God with the information present to them.
- A collection of history, poetry, storytelling, letters, and sermons that had meaning for their "then" and open to interpretation for meaning for our "now."
- Writings canonized over a long period of time by some means we know of and some means we don't.

The above is the "historical-metaphorical" view of Scripture, in that it examines Scripture in the historical context of when and where it was written and focuses on the metaphor of truth rather than the precision of fact.

This summer I read a very well-written, very accessible book by Professor Marcus Borg called Speaking Christian: Why Christian Words Have Lost Their Meaning and Power - And How They Can Be Restored and I highly recommend it if you're interested in hearing a take on Scripture that explains how the "historical-metaphorical" view works and interpretations of Scripture in a progressive way.

I'll also add it's a powerful way to get to know God in relationship with humankind when viewed through the lenses of Reason, Tradition, and Experience. This is known as the Wesleyan Quadrilateral and it's big with people in the Methodist traditions. Scripture didn't come about in a vacuum nor does it exist in a vacuum. It has to be viewed through real lenses.

Finally, the UCC (United Church of Christ) has a slogan/catchphrase which I really appreciate: "God is still speaking." There's an offshoot from that - a quote from Gracie Allen: "Never place a period where God has placed a comma." To this end, while it would be very, very difficult to add more writings to the canon, that doesn't mean there isn't still inspired writings to be found. Dr. King's Letter From a Burmingham Jail. Dietrich Bonhoeffer's The Cost of Discipleship. For me, personally, I would even add Conan O'Brien's farewell speech from The Tonight Show. Scripture is important, but not the last word, thank God.
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Old 08-17-13, 12:25 AM
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Re: What is the Bible to you

Originally Posted by inri222 View Post
I would also say that it is a tool that was used by those in power to deceive others.
Why were certain books chosen and others rejected? Was there an agenda in place?
To the first point, yeah, that has and continues to happen. Very sad and unethical.

To the second, yes, there was some agenda involved here and there. In terms of canonization, there are some things we know as well as large gaps. There was an eye out for consistency, wide use / meaning, and writers who were witnesses or friends/associates of witnesses over writings by people more removed from the history. Irenaeus, for example, put forth there should be only four gospels to link the early "churches" together and part of his reasoning was there were four winds / sides of the compass and thus people needed four pillars with which to hear the story. Don't be too surprised or discount his reasoning; the ancients absolutely loved playing with numbers in their writings and it was deeply embedded in their culture.

In terms of finalizing some of the writings and early creeds of the church, there were definitely a lot of politics at play and, abhorrently, much death. There's a book called The Jesus Wars: How Four Patriarchs, Three Queens, and Two Emperors Decided What Christians Would Believe for the Next 1,500 years by John Philip Jenkins that explores this in a lot of detail. Wait until you get to the part when you realize just how close the world came to understanding Jesus as one nature, not two (fully God instead of both fully God and fully human) because Theodosius II - the emperor and one of the most powerful Monophysites - was thrown from his horse in 450 CE and died before a handful of major church councils met to decide otherwise!

IIRC, the OT canonization was completed around 100 BCE and the NT canonization was completed around the 4th century CE but I cannot remember for sure.
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Old 08-17-13, 12:34 AM
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Re: What is the Bible to you

The pictures in it are bitchin'.
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Old 08-17-13, 12:49 AM
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Re: What is the Bible to you

Another quick thought: those poll choices are really reflective of the way I think discussions about faith / religion go here at DVDTalk. Oversimplified, my guess is voting goes something like this:

Every word is factual - Conservative / Evangelical / Fundamentalist Christian
It's a collection of moral themes. - "Spiritual but not religious" / Live and Let Live Worldview
It's nothing but fairy tales. - Atheist / Humanist / Secularist
Twikoff - DVDTalk Inside Joke

What I don't see is a poll choice that describes the position of Liberal / Progressive Christians like me who affirms the authority of the witness of God's relationship with humankind in Scripture but aren't taking every word as the literal, infallible, and final word of God. There are millions of us. But this poll, to me, is really an interesting snapshot of these sorts of discussions at DVDTalk.

Not pointing fingers or angry and definitely not "persecuted." Just something I'm thinking about. Thoughts on that?

Last edited by story; 08-17-13 at 01:52 AM.
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Old 08-17-13, 09:44 AM
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Re: What is the Bible to you

Kind of asked you this before in another thread story, but you sound very thoughtful in all this, and just assuming Yahweh is real, and the bible came from him in some form, I think your interpretation of it all seems like the only possibility, even though it doesn't make sense(he should have made everything clear not let humans at one point in time try to explain/interpret it all).

But my question to you is why do you believe it is inspired by God at all? I kind of understand people who are believers if they take it all literally. But if you don't think it's all literal, I can't see why anyone would think there's anything to it considering what an incredibly huge claim it is. Once we get to the point where we know all of it isn't fact, considering there's no bolder claim, isn't it too much to believe there's truth to the claim? What makes you think it is more likely that this old book was inspired by a god than just something more like "A mishmash of old legends, moral lessons, interpretations of actual historical events through the lenses of superstitious contemporaries, and some really bizarre soothsayer ramblings" as MoviePage put it.

Last edited by Shady12; 08-17-13 at 09:52 AM.
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Old 08-17-13, 10:37 AM
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Re: What is the Bible to you

Originally Posted by story View Post
None of those poll options describe what the Bible is to me so I guess I have to choose "Twikoff." But here's my answer:

- Inspired by God, written by humans. Humans in their specific historical and cultural context who are witnessing and interpreting God with the information present to them.
- A collection of history, poetry, storytelling, letters, and sermons that had meaning for their "then" and open to interpretation for meaning for our "now."
- Writings canonized over a long period of time by some means we know of and some means we don't.

The above is the "historical-metaphorical" view of Scripture, in that it examines Scripture in the historical context of when and where it was written and focuses on the metaphor of truth rather than the precision of fact.

This summer I read a very well-written, very accessible book by Professor Marcus Borg called Speaking Christian: Why Christian Words Have Lost Their Meaning and Power - And How They Can Be Restored and I highly recommend it if you're interested in hearing a take on Scripture that explains how the "historical-metaphorical" view works and interpretations of Scripture in a progressive way.

I'll also add it's a powerful way to get to know God in relationship with humankind when viewed through the lenses of Reason, Tradition, and Experience. This is known as the Wesleyan Quadrilateral and it's big with people in the Methodist traditions. Scripture didn't come about in a vacuum nor does it exist in a vacuum. It has to be viewed through real lenses.

Finally, the UCC (United Church of Christ) has a slogan/catchphrase which I really appreciate: "God is still speaking." There's an offshoot from that - a quote from Gracie Allen: "Never place a period where God has placed a comma." To this end, while it would be very, very difficult to add more writings to the canon, that doesn't mean there isn't still inspired writings to be found. Dr. King's Letter From a Burmingham Jail. Dietrich Bonhoeffer's The Cost of Discipleship. For me, personally, I would even add Conan O'Brien's farewell speech from The Tonight Show. Scripture is important, but not the last word, thank God.
Good answer. Personally, I find it challenging to the point of impossible to fully describe what the Bible is. I see Genesis as purely metaphorical, and I see most of the New Testament as historically accurate----and it's hard for me to say which side each of the other books or stories in the Bible comes down on. I look at it that the purpose of the Bible is to explain the true nature of man and his place in the universe, and how he should comport himself in it. While it may sometimes overlap with our modern concepts of history, science, specific social and political commentary, etc---that's not really what it's about at its core.

One book I always recommend for people who find it difficult to relate the Bible to the modern world is Strength to Love, by Martin Luther King Jr. On just about every page, he takes quotations and lessons from the Bible and shows how they should be applied today, and particularly in the context of the late 20th century political and social issues he was involved in.
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Old 08-17-13, 01:17 PM
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Re: What is the Bible to you

Originally Posted by taffer View Post
The Bible is full of sex and violence. Sex and violence have always been big selling points. I view the Bible as entertainment just like I view Homer's epics or Michael Bay's movies.
The Gospel according to Megan Fox...sign me up! NOW!
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Old 08-17-13, 02:10 PM
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Re: What is the Bible to you

Originally Posted by story View Post
Another quick thought: those poll choices are really reflective of the way I think discussions about faith / religion go here at DVDTalk. Oversimplified, my guess is voting goes something like this:

Every word is factual - Conservative / Evangelical / Fundamentalist Christian
It's a collection of moral themes. - "Spiritual but not religious" / Live and Let Live Worldview
It's nothing but fairy tales. - Atheist / Humanist / Secularist
Twikoff - DVDTalk Inside Joke

What I don't see is a poll choice that describes the position of Liberal / Progressive Christians like me who affirms the authority of the witness of God's relationship with humankind in Scripture but aren't taking every word as the literal, infallible, and final word of God. There are millions of us. But this poll, to me, is really an interesting snapshot of these sorts of discussions at DVDTalk.

Not pointing fingers or angry and definitely not "persecuted." Just something I'm thinking about. Thoughts on that?
I do not think "It's nothing but fairy tales" is the belief of many atheists/humanists/secularists. I couldn't vote for that and I can't vote for any of the responses in the poll.

Clearly, there is some historical truth to some of the stories in the Bible. In the OT, most of the important figures starting with Saul and David are real. Before that, not so much. While I think much of the morality is evil, certainly much of it is also good. I don't think the Bible contains much that can't be found elsewhere but it's hardly Mother Goose.

The poll is very inadequate.
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Old 08-17-13, 02:11 PM
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Re: What is the Bible to you

Agreed. That's why I voted Twikoff.
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Old 08-17-13, 04:12 PM
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Re: What is the Bible to you

Originally Posted by Why So Blu? View Post
Greatest fiction ever written.
You need to find better fiction if you actually believe that.
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Old 08-17-13, 04:25 PM
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Re: What is the Bible to you

It's a piece of literature with some "life lessons" and advice for living your life.

I don't know how anybody could think otherwise, though I guess once you hit 6 billion sold, you can convince people of things. Twilight series has only sold 100m copies or so.
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Old 08-18-13, 02:45 AM
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Re: What is the Bible to you

Originally Posted by Supermallet View Post
That's a good way to put it. However, there is a lot of wonderful prose in the various translations, and if you want to understand the majority of Western art, you should read the Bible in its entirety. You can't even begin to approach Dante or Milton without a strong knowledge of the Bible, to name two examples.
A while back it occurred to me that The Diving Comedy and Paradise Lost are the two earliest known works of fanfic.

As a work of fiction or mythology, I don't find the Bible to be very compelling. The KJV version has a certain degree of poetry and lyricism to it, though. Modern translations just read kind of... weird.

I find Greek and Nordic mythology much more interesting, though.
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Old 08-18-13, 07:07 AM
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Re: What is the Bible to you

Originally Posted by Josh-da-man View Post
I find Greek and Nordic mythology much more interesting, though.
Agreed.

Greek mythology is much more entertaining with creatures like medusas, minotaurs, cyclops, kraken, etc. No Christian movie has ever been as good as Clash of the Titans or even that movie with Brad Pitt as Achilles. The God of War video games are awesome too.

Nordic mythology gave us Odin, Thor, and Loki. I don't know much about actual Nordic mythology, but I love those characters in Marvel Comics. Who doesn't love watching Hulk slam Loki like a ragdoll while saying "Puny god!"


Last edited by taffer; 08-18-13 at 07:27 AM.
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Old 08-18-13, 07:40 AM
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Re: What is the Bible to you

Just as an aside, Tolkien, who had some grasp of the nature of world mythology, didn't consider the Bible to be such.
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Old 08-18-13, 08:05 AM
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Re: What is the Bible to you

Originally Posted by taffer View Post
Greek mythology is much more entertaining with creatures like medusas, minotaurs, cyclops, kraken, etc. No Christian movie has ever been as good as Clash of the Titans or even that movie with Brad Pitt as Achilles.
Why do so many hate "Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters"?
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Old 08-18-13, 08:42 AM
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Re: What is the Bible to you

Originally Posted by dork View Post
Why do so many hate "Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters"?
I can come to no other logical conclusion except that they must be hatetheists.
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