Axiom: Christian God exists and the Bible is true. (locked)

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Good idea for a thread. I’ve transferred the post I made from the suicide thread to this one, since it was so off-topic, along with the post I was responding to.

Originally posted by MyTie:

I guess I should say that the majority of Atheists I’ve talked to view the portrayal of the Christian God as some sort of tyrannical unjust meanie. As far as Catholicism goes, they make up the will of God, in places that the Bible is silent. They even change it from time to time. Sometimes they say God sees something as a sin, and then later not, or vice versa. But, the will of God doesn’t change. It’s the most obvious self contradictory “branch” of Christianity there is, although I don’t believe that true Christianity branches out at all. Anyway, it isn’t as though my issues with Catholicism are “irrational”. I’ve thought it out pretty well and can explain my reasoning. I chose to bring up Catholicism because they are the example I can think of who believe that suicide will land you in Hell, among other things that they have decided will send people to Hell or not. They play God, not Church.

Subjectively you may think your view of Catholicism is very clear-cut, but your beliefs are inherently contradictory. You say you don’t believe in the idea that Christianity has branches but that’s what protestantism is – your own sect came out of a larger sect of Christian dissenters. Catholicism is the tree that sprouted those branches. That’s not an endorsement of the Church, by the way, but it is a historical fact.

Your connection of atheists and catholics is not unheard of, but it certainly is bizarre. JFK was the first Catholic president in US history; at the time that was considered groundbreaking, but these days most people have gotten over it, except for protestants like yourself who think Catholics somehow have more in common with atheists than other Christians. Well, perhaps they do, if it’s your kind of Christian – a Biblical literalist.

Atheists are, by and large, people committed to rational inquiry. Catholics, by and large, rely on rational inquiry as well, though not to the extent atheists do (ie. first principles). Catholics don’t believe in a literal bible – no thinking man or woman could. The fact that it was quite obviously written by human beings makes it, if not necessarily fallible, then at least human. And what does that mean? Humans do not communicate the literal meaning of what they say, all the time, or even most of the time. They use metaphor, simile, hyperbole, and many other rhetorical figures to sharpen and excite their audience – other humans. It only makes sense that such rhetorical figures would be in the bible, because even if it was inspired by God, it is still a human creation, and unlike God, there is a gulf of difference between thought and action for us humans.

Because Catholics don’t believe in a literal bible, they have less problems getting along with other religions (and secularism) than the biblical literalists do. Few Catholics see any objection to evolution, or having it taught in schools. Catholics, as I said earlier, rarely try to put their beliefs into law, whether or not the population that follows those laws are Christian. When Pope John Paul II told Christians in Africa that use of condoms was proscribed, the decree only applied to the Catholics, and even then it was left up to their consciences; he could make no binding law to force their obedience. I also seldom hear about Catholics who loudly talk about how they hate homosexuals, or picket abortion clinics. I’m sure they exist, but they get swallowed up in the huge mass of protestants who do that. All in all, I think you may be mischaracterizing just which Christians believe in a vengeful, angry God.

It’s hypocritical for you to claim that Catholics are the ones playing God and not include your own brethren along with them. Yeah, Catholics believe that things change, that the bible can be reinterpreted. So do you, you just pretend otherwise. If the bible was both literal and not open to change, our society would still look like the middle ages. Societies are not static. They progress (or regress) and religions have to adapt or they’ll fall behind. Catholicism at least makes some effort to adapt, but on the whole it’s not good enough – as you unintentionally point out by the Vatican’s continued insistence that suicide is a mortal sin. Protestants like yourself can’t even do that much, and unless Armageddon comes in the near future, your sort of Christian will get left behind.

Yes, that’s a pun. I wonder how many inside jokes are in the bible that are taken as eternal truths by biblical literalists?

 
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Ok. I’m not going to argue with you about this. I’ve been there too many times. I know better. Instead of attacking anything, I’ll just explain my viewpoints:

I believe in the Bible. My beliefs, my Church, didn’t branch off of any Church. We look at the Bible, the original writings in Greek, and attempt to hold to those first writings as closely as possible. We believe that those writings were by humans, but we also recognize that God instructed those people to write those things, and for people to follow those writings. Thus, it is a reliable text for instruction on religion, and not “below fact” because it was written by humans, since an omnipresent God choose those people as his vessels for communication. The only way that my views on what God says change, is if I realize that I wasn’t following the Bible accurately, and I will change them to be more in line with the word of God. As for the middle ages being “past understandings of Christianity”, and we’ve changed the word since then, I’d have to disagree. I’m following words written before the middle ages. So, in a sense, the middle ages were more “progressive” in their understanding of God than I am, and present day is even more progressive. I stand by what I said, God’s will doesn’t change.

 
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You can hardly say your beliefs didn’t branch off from any church – anxiety of influence – but all right, what’s your church, then?

 
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Originally posted by cantonaitis:

You can hardly say your beliefs didn’t branch off from any church – anxiety of influence – but all right, what’s your church, then?

The Church. We just follow the Bible. That’s it.

 
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I see.

And you…founded this church?

I just find it strange to encounter a theology that apparently doesn’t bother with anything else but the bible. I mean, even the evangelical literalists use commentaries or other christian scholars to inform their beliefs. It’s partly why the protestant dislike of Catholicism is so off-putting, because not only is it the church all other churches came from, but it’s been around long enough to have a pretty rich history of debate and discussion about the bible. If you only focus on the bible then yeah, Catholics are heretics. So are most protestants. But to me i think of it in academic terms, where the bible is the source text, and the writings ON the bible are the secondary criticisms…and the latter isn’t just there to take up space. They can be valuable aids to understanding and reflection.

Or else, that would be to claim that the first churches in Corinth, Phillipa, Thessalonica, Collose, Macedonia, Asia etc. where all Catholic, yet if I remember correctly, they often judged each other for their different practices and beliefs, which is shown in the epistles of the apostles.

But…those were the early churches, yes. Roman Catholicism wasn’t established until later…but the fact that they’re mentioned in the epistles makes it clear that they weren’t using the whole bible; they were much closer to messianic jews than Christians.

 
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Originally posted by cantonaitis:
I see.
And you…founded this church?

Matt 16:18 indicates that Christ founded His Church. To be a member of His Church, I follow His teachings, and the example set by other members of the Church, such as instructions laid down in Acts. For example, in Acts 2:38 people are instructed to be baptized, so we believe in being baptized. We are a group of people who try to understand the teachings of Christ as closely as possible. There is no “hierarchicy” aside from Jesus and elders, or bishop, as instructed in 1 Timothy 3. There is no one among us who we consider a founder. We are simply joined together in our desire to follow the teachings of Christ and those He appointed to teach, and beyond that we make no claim to organization, nor intention, nor structure, nor goal, nor anything. We have no Pope, nor President, nor Prophet, nor King, aside from the ones appointed as such in the Bible, such as the naming of Jesus as King (luke 1:32,33).

As I said, we are The Church, and we just follow the Bible. That’s it.

Originally posted by cantonaitis:If you only focus on the bible then yeah, Catholics are heretics. So are most protestants. But to me i think of it in academic terms, where the bible is the source text, and the writings ON the bible are the secondary criticisms…and the latter isn’t just there to take up space. They can be valuable aids to understanding and reflection.

There are times where people can make insightful observances into the writings of the Bible, but those never supersede nor change the Bible, such as what many many religions do, including Catholicism. Some of these go to the point of directly contradicting what is in the Bible. I find it amazing when people say “you only need to believe in Christ to be a Christian”, and at the same time are willing to disregard everything Christ teaches. No other person in history is afforded adherants who so readily reject their teachings. For instance, I believe in Karl Marx. He existed and was very influential, but I entirely reject his view on politics. Therefore, I cannot call myself a Marxist. Further, I couldn’t take his political views, and contradict them and add onto them and change them, and say “This is Marxism”. It seems so obvious to me that in order to be a Christian, one must not only believe in Christ but also follow His teachings.

 
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Originally posted by 422537:

MyTie your church sounds inviting. The church I attend also holds similar views. I’d rather not offend God by leaning on my own understanding; Proverbs 3:5

The most remarkable thing is we are more than willing to change our viewpoints, if upon study we discover that we are incorrect, like the Bereans in Acts 17. We believe that there are no denominations (1 Cor 11:18).

 
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Does anyone else think that sometimes belonging to a Christian denomination or even the way you’ve been brought up by parents or parent figures can somewhat have an effect on the intimacy level you have with God and the Truth of his Word?

No man is an island. All about there are influencing factors, there can be no pure unadulterated biblical experience without a wealth of preconceptions. But, as Canto fielded, should there be? Is the strictly individual experience a naive one? What is the value of commentary, of broader interpretation?

Consider the impetus to form religious communities. How can there be any other result then differing ideologies? Different people will invariably develop different outlooks; Whether it is commentary on a table or the bible. Identical objects shall garner different receptions.

There were branches of the Gnostics which held personal revelation, experience and intimacy as superior to the bible itself. Also incommunable, personalized beyond group expression. But, if one holds the Bible as a greater canon then one must accept that there can be nothing but variance as groups relates themselves relative to a (potentially) fixed point.

 
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Originally posted by Ungeziefer:

Does anyone else think that sometimes belonging to a Christian denomination or even the way you’ve been brought up by parents or parent figures can somewhat have an effect on the intimacy level you have with God and the Truth of his Word?

No man is an island. All about there are influencing factors, there can be no pure unadulterated biblical experience without a wealth of preconceptions. But, as Canto fielded, should there be? Is the strictly individual experience a naive one? What is the value of commentary, of broader interpretation?

Consider the impetus to form religious communities. How can there be any other result then differing ideologies? Different people will invariably develop different outlooks; Whether it is commentary on a table or the bible. Identical objects shall garner different receptions.

There were branches of the Gnostics which held personal revelation, experience and intimacy as superior to the bible itself. Also incommunable, personalized beyond group expression. But, if one holds the Bible as a greater canon then one must accept that there can be nothing but variance as groups relates themselves relative to a (potentially) fixed point.

Could you provide an example of a part of the Bible that can’t be understood properly, and must be “filled in” with personal experience?

The Bible is very clear. It explains “this is wrong” or “this is right”. Certainly our lives will vary, and application will vary. For instance, “kindness” is commanded. How a rich person can be “kind” can vary, from how a poor person can. But, that doesn’t change what “kindness” is, or how it is commanded. I fail to understand how the Bible itself varies based on experience, and not the experiences of a person.

 
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Even the oldest still existing Bibles(NT) and the even older still existing Bible(NT) fragments (~150 AD) are in no way unedited originals. But instead already corrupted copies(at best) and that todays Bibles are even farther removed from any original works.
Considering this, the idea that following a given bible(available today) literally would be more true, seems ridiculously naive. Because the Bibles available today are already interpretations/edit versions far removed from any original text, even any so called Greek originals.
This is just one problem Bible litralists face, but probably one if not the most pressing.

Originally posted by MyTie:
No other person in history is afforded adherants who so readily reject their teachings.

Thats wrong. Its quite common actually. And compared to for example how commonly neo-sanyasins ignore many of the teachings of their spiritual leader Bagwhan/Osho it kinda pales. In some of his books Bagwhan/Osho ridicules all kinds of religious worship, which makes religious worshiping him quite contradictory to his teachings. But religious worship of him is a common occurrence in his adherents.

Well compared to that ignoring the literal interpretations of a book that is at best third hand gossip about Jesus and his teachings and following their own beliefs about Jesus seems rather unremarkable. Now gossip might be a be a bit of a harsh word, but seems the truth is harsh.

But even your example of Marx is poor since history has shown that many followers of his ideas have warped them. Exactly as you described but still claimed to follow Marxist teachings. Some did not even notice what they where doing while others claimed to just be following the spirit of Marx who would have surely agreed to their additions, interpretations and even reversals if he had lived long enough to witness the progress of history. There are so many Marx interpretation each claiming to be closer to Marx than the others, that they could revival the number of Christian denominations.
Ironically this was critisized by Marx even during his life time:

quoted from wikipedia: Marx remarked to Lafargue, “What is certain to me is [that, if this is Marxism, then] I myself am not [a] Marxist”
 
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Could you provide an example of a part of the Bible that can’t be understood properly, and must be “filled in” with personal experience?

All of it. Do you think you and your neighbor read the same thing in the words, sentences, paragraphs, and so on up to the great general drift of its entirety? Do you truly feel the whole of the bible is so completely and immediately transparent as to be bereft of any sort of suggestion, craft, artistry whatsoever? That is has the same general level of depth as a technical manual? No one looks at anything the same. I wouldn’t expect two people to arrive at the same conclusions from the sunday newspaper or preference in tableware, and this goes a little further.

How about each word individually? What is your relation to them? When did you learn what they mean? What do you know about the word in other contexts? The fact that you are reading anything at all is not of your own devising. Language, the written word, both are constructions of massive group think, and share a nebulous point in common consensus and history. You are engaging in group dynamics which you have no direct authority or agency over.

The idea that the teachings of Christ might require scrutiny, wisdom, discernment and explanation certainly seemed to be anticipated by the would be author.

Mark 4
24 “Consider carefully what you hear,” he continued. “With the measure you use, it will be measured to you—and even more. 25 Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them.”

The Bible is very clear. It explains “this is wrong” or “this is right”. Certainly our lives will vary, and application will vary. For instance, “kindness” is commanded. How a rich person can be “kind” can vary, from how a poor person can. But, that doesn’t change what “kindness” is, or how it is commanded. I fail to understand how the Bible itself varies based on experience, and not the experiences of a person.

What does kindness mean to you? I imagine a different thing then to others. Likely then myself. Where did this notion of “kindness” come from? Why did you choose the word “kindness”? Certainly was not a word ever used by the original script. There is weight, selection, discernment, choice, bias in even that.

What use is kindness to the rich anyways. If anyone comes out of the NT explicity damned it is them, a notion which rarely seems to strike them.

The Bible exists to transmit information. As a book in a vacuum, unread, I’m sure it stays quite constant. But that is of no use to anyone. It is in the transmission of ideas that it has any bearing, and it is in that regard it cannot stay constant.

Edit:

Really, look at Mark 4. It is virtually a thesis for most of what I am trying to describe from within the bible itself.

 
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Originally posted by JohnnyBeGood:Even the oldest still existing Bibles(NT) and the even older still existing Bible(NT) fragments (~150 AD) are in no way unedited originals. But instead already corrupted copies(at best) and that todays Bibles are even farther removed from any original works.
Considering this, the idea that following a given bible(available today) literally would be more true, seems ridiculously naive.

If these writings were any writings, then I might be inclined to agree with you. However, what makes this instance unique, is that if there is not a Christian God, then there is no use reading them at all. If there is the Christian God, then that omnipotent, omnipresent, all-knowing deity, choose THIS method, THESE writings, as His means of communication with people. He knew that this was the most effective way. Discounting a text that an omnipotent God said “follow this text”, because, why, you feel that it was secondhand? I tend to side with the deity, not some dude in a forum.

The Bible instructs not to follow false teachers, and the will of men. Even if you could be an adherant to someone’s teachings without following someone’s teachings, as you suggest, these teachings, put down by that omnipotent God, say “follow the teachings too”.

Originally posted by Ungeziefer:

Could you provide an example of a part of the Bible that can’t be understood properly, and must be “filled in” with personal experience?

All of it. Do you think you and your neighbor read the same thing in the words, sentences, paragraphs, and so on up to the great general drift of its entirety? Do you truly feel the whole of the bible is so completely and immediately transparent as to be bereft of any sort of suggestion, craft, artistry whatsoever? That is has the same general level of depth as a technical manual? No one looks at anything the same. I wouldn’t expect two people to arrive at the same conclusions from the sunday newspaper or preference in tableware, and this goes a little further.

How about each word individually? What is your relation to them? When did you learn what they mean? What do you know about the word in other contexts? The fact that you are reading anything at all is not of your own devising. Language, the written word, both are constructions of massive group think, and share a nebulous point in common consensus and history. You are engaging in group dynamics which you have no direct authority or agency over.

The idea that the teachings of Christ might require scrutiny, wisdom, discernment and explanation certainly seemed to be anticipated by the would be author.

Mark 4
24 “Consider carefully what you hear,” he continued. “With the measure you use, it will be measured to you—and even more. 25 Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them.”

The Bible is very clear. It explains “this is wrong” or “this is right”. Certainly our lives will vary, and application will vary. For instance, “kindness” is commanded. How a rich person can be “kind” can vary, from how a poor person can. But, that doesn’t change what “kindness” is, or how it is commanded. I fail to understand how the Bible itself varies based on experience, and not the experiences of a person.

What does kindness mean to you? I imagine a different thing then to others. Likely then myself. Where did this notion of “kindness” come from? Why did you choose the word “kindness”? Certainly was not a word ever used by the original script. There is weight, selection, discernment, choice, bias in even that.

What use is kindness to the rich anyways. If anyone comes out of the NT explicity damned it is them, a notion which rarely seems to strike them.

The Bible exists to transmit information. As a book in a vacuum, unread, I’m sure it stays quite constant. But that is of no use to anyone. It is in the transmission of ideas that it has any bearing, and it is in that regard it cannot stay constant.

Edit:

Really, look at Mark 4. It is virtually a thesis for most of what I am trying to describe from within the bible itself.

Mar 4:15 And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts.

Apparently, the word of God is important, and although it affects your life differently from person to person, doesn’t change from person to person. Although kindness can be something different to different people, such as a rich man giving extra money to poor people, or a father disciplining his child out of love, kindness never means “selfishness”, nor “hate”. The words DO have meaning. Within how they are written, there are many many different ways of applying them to your life, all of them good, but to completely disregard, or completely change the words to have opposite or different meanings from what they say, that is not Christianity. For instance, you cannot interperet the Bible to say that you don’t need baptism. It lists Baptism as a requirement multiple times. Sometimes, something is said to be a requirement, and other requirements are not listed, like Baptism, but that doesn’t negate those other requirements. Yet, there are entire religions that say they believe the Bible, and yet say that Baptism is not necessary. There are religions built on the Bible that say that Jesus was just a man, and not the Son of God, and yet, it says He is the Son of God. It isn’t a matter of “well my experiences show me something different”. It literally says “this is the Son of God” John 1:34, John 1:49, John 1:51, John 3:18, John 5:25, John 10:36, 2 Cor 1:19, etc etc etc etc. I mean, you say the ENTIRE Bible can mean different things to different people, and different people completely ignore this point. Explain to me how a conclusion can be reached differently on this point?

 
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Originally posted by MyTie:
Originally posted by JohnnyBeGood:Even the oldest still existing Bibles(NT) and the even older still existing Bible(NT) fragments (~150 AD) are in no way unedited originals. But instead already corrupted copies(at best) and that todays Bibles are even farther removed from any original works.
Considering this, the idea that following a given bible(available today) literally would be more true, seems ridiculously naive.

If these writings were any writings, then I might be inclined to agree with you. However, what makes this instance unique, is that if there is not a Christian God, then there is no use reading them at all. If there is the Christian God, then that omnipotent, omnipresent, all-knowing deity, choose THIS method, THESE writings, as His means of communication with people. He knew that this was the most effective way. Discounting a text that an omnipotent God said “follow this text”, because, why, you feel that it was secondhand? I tend to side with the deity, not some dude in a forum.

The Bible instructs not to follow false teachers, and the will of men. Even if you could be an adherant to someone’s teachings without following someone’s teachings, as you suggest, these teachings, put down by that omnipotent God, say “follow the teachings too”.

Sigh. Your not getting it. What ever Bible you pick up today is not a 100% word to word copy of the writings of the supposed original Authors. The words passed the pens/lips of many stations in between the supposed Authors and even the oldest still existing Fragments. Pens and lips that intentionally or not did not pass on the Stories word for word but very often changed the words and meanings.

Even fragments out of 2nd century already show a wide range of differences. Now even if you claim that god intended/planed or at least accounted for these edits to be made. How do you prove it and more pressingly how do you prove that the Bible you picked was the one intended to be passed on and not another version( a wide variety exists today and none can claim to be original). You might be unlucky to have picked the wrong church/bible.

This is part of the second problem biblists face. The problem is choosing which text to count as God inspired and which not(there are lots of old early Christian story fragments, that you may or may not find in any given bible edition). No bible existing today can claim to be original(or even close). While some can be shown to be less original, that does not matter if you start claiming that some God intended/accounted for edits to be made later(a necessary condition for any bible given today).

P.S. god editing the works later also means that the first bible fragments where not complete yet and that the early bible literalists where following the wrong teachings because they where following an unfinished work. Hell this could even mean that the bibles of today are not finished yet and literally following the Bibles today is wrong.
You have to wait till the 3.101 version where the parts about Gays, Women and Slavery are fixed.

 
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Sigh. You’re not getting it.

[insert my entire argument I already made here]

Blah blah blah… God’s word doesn’t change, and He chose those authors… blah blah blah.

Moving on now…

 
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Originally posted by MyTie:

Sigh. You’re not getting it.

[insert my entire argument I already made here]

Blah blah blah… God’s word doesn’t change, and He chose those authors… blah blah blah.

Moving on now…

lol. Your argument is shit, which is why people are criticizing it. It basically amounts to : “God’s ways are mysterious, and being omnipotent, he can somehow make it so that the bible I use is the right and true version no matter what, regardless of that being completely contrary to logic and common sense.”

And this is supposed to be the result of your reasoned and well-practiced understanding? That since you think the bible must be read literally and unchanging, GOD ALMIGHTY must have designed it that way? There’s a word for that: Hubris. I believe Lucifer ran afoul of it once.

 
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So an omnipotent God chooses to have his words written by certain men, to be the guide for all mankind, and to think that those writings are to be used is akin to acting as Lucifer, and is a “shit” argument? BRILLIANT!

 
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Originally posted by MyTie:

So an omnipotent God chooses to have his words written by certain men, to be the guide for all mankind,

There’s more evidence of that, yes.

Well, except for the omnipotent god doing it part, but using that nullifies basically every argument ever in the history of all time, and a little buit before that.

and to think that those writings are to be used is akin to acting as Lucifer,

You’re purpously missunderstanding his argument, aren’t you?

and is a “shit” argument? BRILLIANT!

No, it’s your argument that you know better than everyone else (who doesn’t believe as you do, at least) because Bible.

 
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MyTie

owever, what makes this instance unique, is that if there is not a Christian God, then there is no use reading them at all.

Have to disagree with you there. I find some value in them as a work of man. A work of poetry and philosophy, a cultural document chronicling man’s nature.

The words DO have meaning. Within how they are written, there are many many different ways of applying them to your life, all of them good, but to completely disregard, or completely change the words to have opposite or different meanings from what they say, that is not Christianity.

I agree with your sentiments here. But my caveat is that such is a process, such is a gradient. To establish what you say definitively, accurately, that’s the rub. Somewhere a line is drawn, somewhere a decision is made, a relation is drawn, and although they may fall within common boundaries I do not believe they can be fixed to static perfect states. To link that back to some of our earlier conversations, I do not accept the word Church as legitimate. I see that as an explicit perversion of intent and literal meaning. It is a power grab made manifest within a word. It is a careful lie, a careful censure, which has echoed thought conditioning down for hundreds of years. Church is not the same word to me, as it is to you (or at least, many others).

There are religions built on the Bible that say that Jesus was just a man, and not the Son of God, and yet, it says He is the Son of God. It isn’t a matter of “well my experiences show me something different”. It literally says “this is the Son of God” John 1:34, John 1:49, John 1:51, John 3:18, John 5:25, John 10:36, 2 Cor 1:19, etc etc etc etc.

We are at odds with that too. Jesus refers to himself most commonly as The Son Of Man, and takes at times great pains to condition the idea of him as Son Of God. Son of God occurs most frequently as a description by others, although I admit not exclusively so. Nevertheless you suggested John 5, look at the full context of the passage.

33 The Jews answered Him, saying, “For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy, and because You, being a Man, make Yourself God.”
34 Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your law, ‘I said, “You are gods”’?© 35 If He called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be broken), 36 do you say of Him whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’?

Jesus invokes God as a just description of the inspired. One specifically appended to many, mortal men. He then reasserts his status as the son of God. But then, what God is this exactly? Is this a declaration of his affiliation and continuation with the Judaic religious tradition, of his status as heir and exemplar? Or is it a declaration of some strange lateral family affiliation with divinity? -and what would such a suggestion even mean? What is it to be, The Son Of God, in the most literal sense even?

I mean, you say the ENTIRE Bible can mean different things to different people, and different people completely ignore this point. Explain to me how a conclusion can be reached differently on this point?

Well suppose I made an inroad to that up top. But hewing along consider Jesus’ constant admission to parables (allegory) as a teaching advice. To his frequent use of allegories as descriptors of himself (vine, door, light, word). In John 16 he tells the disciples bluntly he is speaking figuratively to them.

Which is really the sum of it. I would suggest that Jesus is simply speaking metaphorically, invoking notions of intimacy, succession and importance.

-
Now, I am at odds with The Bible presented as untampered with. I’d suggest that there have been alterations to favour certain ideological paradigms, and that these represent deviations to the (presumed) teachings of Jesus. I would suggest there is a Jesus, and a Jesus-Of-The-Bible who may not have said the same things.

I asked this of you before, and believe you answered in the negative. Do you believe The Bible is divinely rendered? That there is the active hand of God in it’s record keeping, translation, transmission – that it is as a document without err and exactly as intended. If so, then that makes the myriad of translations and interpretations problematic. If not, then how can one not look at the very source material with some skepticism?

Assuming that the teachings themselves are divine, on what authority is any record thereof?

422,

If you go on bible gateway and compare 10 different versions of bibles and the same chapter of a text, it’s unlikely they’re going to contradict each other. Different wording may be used or explained differently but they don’t contradict. It literally goes like this; one will use old English, another would you american English, another would use amplified English, another would use teen slang, another would use plain English, another would use plane English with Jewish or Aramaic wording etc etc. And anyway your going really off topic – I’d like to remind you this is an axiom.

It doesn’t take a full contradiction. When you start throwing perfect absolutes around the slightest deviation becomes critically important. Furthermore a word can mean many, many many things. Each word is a volume. I’d suggest the Satan debacle as an easy example, Church as another being one I mention, how about the pluralization of God (or rather, Gods) within the OT? The symbolic word forms within biblical names lost in translation? There is ample enough room for things to slide.

I also do not see how this is off topic. You presented the notion of cultural backgrounds as an impediment to intimacy with the word. I assert that the two are inseparable. There is no word without a cultural background, and that yes the Roman Catholic Church may suggest so and so interpretation leading one to knee jerk assumptions and associations but that that is the tip of the ice berg. How far down the rabbit hole do you really want to go? I even hazarded the notion that a subjective, varied, community interpretation would be desired in any divine project pitched to a crowd, but no one really bit on that. You want to talk discuss this “in truth”; as Pilate queried Christ, never receiving an answer, “What is truth?”

 
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@tenco -
Dude, read Jan’s post again. The first sentence is just “lol”. The second sentence just says that it is a “shit” argument, and people are disagreeing with me. The third summarizes my argument, but in a misconstrued and silly way. It’s the third sentence that is at the heart of his misunderstanding. I’d like to pick out five words from that sentence: “…God… …omnipotent… …he can somehow…”. This is the crux of his mockery to my post. But, it’s actually just reductio ad ridiculum. If He is God, and God is omnipotent, then yeah, God can do anything. Further, if He is all knowing, then yeah, I trust His chosen vessel for communication. What, do I know better than Him? The last part of his post just says that my belief in something doesn’t make it fact, which isn’t my supporting argument at all, so I don’t know why he made this part of the post. His entire post reeks of insincere mockery and troll bait, as does every post he directs at me. He despises me personally, for little reason other than he disagrees with me, and so he can’t post a reply to me without being a giant asshole, much like yourself.

@Ungaz –
Well, we disagree. Concerning the “deity” of Christ, I wonder how you reconcile you beliefs about what the Bible says in the first 14 verses of John, particularly the 10th verse. Anyway, I don’t plan on changing yours, nor anyone else’s mind. Believe what you’d like. Instead of typing a wall of text in return, I’m gonna go make a taco. Night!

 
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What was wrong with the way Ung worded his argument, please? It made sense to me when I read through it. I know its a lot of words,l but to make sure you understand a complex topic, sometimes a lot of text is necessary.

I certainly didn’t find his writing style deviated from the norm either. Could you point out where it did, please?

 
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Originally posted by MyTie:

Sigh. You’re not getting it.

[insert my entire argument I already made here]

Blah blah blah… God’s word doesn’t change, and He chose those authors… blah blah blah.

Moving on now…

Already responded to “God´s word doesn´t change” by pointing out that if Bibles are supposed to be Gods words, then we know gods words did change. The argument becomes even more damning if you claim he choose the Authors, because different dominations include quite some different books in their Bibles excluding some or the other for being unauthentic and/or at least not inspired by God.
So again how the fuck do you know that the Bible your using is correct?

I´ll quote some wiki information since it seems apparent that some people are quite ignorant on the topic.

The Bible (from Koine Greek τὰ βιβλία ta biblia “the books”) is a canonical collection of texts considered sacred in Judaism or Christianity. Different religious groups include different books within their canons, in different orders, and sometimes divide or combine books, or incorporate additional material into canonical books. Christian Bibles range from the sixty-six books of the Protestant canon to the eighty-one books of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church canon.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bible

And again wiki:

The autographs, the Greek manuscripts written by the original authors, have not survived.69 When ancient scribes copied earlier books, they wrote notes on the margins of the page (marginal glosses) to correct their text—especially if a scribe accidentally omitted a word or line—and to comment about the text. When later scribes were copying the copy, they were sometimes uncertain if a note was intended to be included as part of the text. Over time, different regions evolved different versions, each with its own assemblage of omissions and additions.70

The three main textual traditions of the Greek New Testament are sometimes called the Alexandrian text-type (generally minimalist), the Byzantine text-type (generally maximalist), and the Western text-type (occasionally wild). Together they comprise most of the ancient manuscripts.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bible#Original_language

Originally posted by 422537:

If you go on bible gateway and compare 10 different versions of bibles and the same chapter of a text, it’s unlikely they’re going to contradict each other. Different wording may be used or explained differently but they don’t contradict.

You´d be surprised. You don´t happen to know German do you. I can point out several contradiction between the Luther Bible and for example the Elberfelder Bible. The work already done for me (since i did not read them) by the protestants and catholics who put much effort in spotting the differences to use it as prove their side was right.

And anyway your going really off topic – I’d like to remind you this is an axiom.

Well i sugest you go read the tread about AX-threads. How they are supposed to made.

And as Topic you set :

A thread about studying the Word of God in spirit and in truth. (Bible)

And with that i am pretty on topic. Perhaps you should have phrased that differently?

 
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Originally posted by 422537:

vika you’re clearly not the norm, I’ve seen the subjects you’ve discussed. And if you cannot see how his last paragraph to me may not be as plain as ABC to everyone, then explaining it to you probably won’t be either.

The norm depends on the setting you are in. In SD the norm trends towards highly intelligent individuals, with some exceptions for highly stubborn individuals I won’t name. So both Ung and I are the norm, in this context.

However, let’s have a look at that paragraph shall we? Rather than slinging insults, just ask for an explanation. There’s no point making a stance if you don’t at least try to make it as clear as possible for the other participants to understand, after all.

Originally posted by Ungeziefer:

I also do not see how this is off topic. You presented the notion of cultural backgrounds as an impediment to intimacy with the word. I assert that the two are inseparable. There is no word without a cultural background, and that yes the Roman Catholic Church may suggest so and so interpretation leading one to knee jerk assumptions and associations but that that is the tip of the ice berg. How far down the rabbit hole do you really want to go? I even hazarded the notion that a subjective, varied, community interpretation would be desired in any divine project pitched to a crowd, but no one really bit on that. You want to talk discuss this “in truth”; as Pilate queried Christ, never receiving an answer, “What is truth?”

He’s arguing against your assertion that he is going off topic, by explaining how his argument ties in. Specifically he’s saying the separation between culture and church that you have been arguing for, simply does not exist. The church influences culture, and the culture influences the church. As such you cannot consider the church alone, but must also consider the nature of the society in which the church operates.

It becomes an increasingly complex issue, the further into it you peer. He was asking for you to decide how far into that mess you wish to go.

 
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Originally posted by 422537:


johnny focusing only on the title of the topic I used and completely ignoring the rest of my first post and it’s context is somewhat troll-like and malicious. And even if it’s still technically legal for you to do so, it’s still disrespectful towards the host, now knowing his true intentions.

I did not ignore the rest. I have read it multiple times and I still don´t know your true intentions. If this topic is not about studying Bibles(aka the supposed Gods Words in Spirit and in Truth), please state clearly and accurately what you intend to discuss and very importantly add a real axiom(a workable one please) to the OP.

Instructions on Axioms can be found here.
http://www.kongregate.com/forums/9-serious-discussion/topics/34068-what-is-an-ax-thread

 
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Originally posted by 422537:

vika is it really necessary for me to point out by name the multitude of people who use the serious discussions forum who are not observantly on your level of intellect? Sorry if you feel insulted, it wasn’t my motive.

No, and they are much of the reason why I come here – often very good ideas come out of radically different ways of seeing the world.

However, I was more showing there was no need to target the posters if you don’t understand the argument. Rather than venting spleen at them, ask for clarification of the points you don’t understand. If the poster actually understands their own argument, they’ll be happy to do so. At least until you start hitting extremes, where the concepts themselves refuse to simplify any further without losing meaning. We’re nowhere near that point here, however.

Either way, culture is not a good enough excuse for the number of divisions seen in ‘Christianity’ today.

I don’t think Ung was using it as an excuse, rather he was saying that the culture is going to affect the religion, just as much as the religion affects the culture. The two don’t exist in isolation next to one another, but continually interact and change one another. Christianity is a relatively old religion, and has existed in a great many cultures. Why is it surprising then, that so many branches have diverged, when each separate church in a separate area, takes something of that area’s customs and ideas unto itself?

Even with the same denomination, if you take two churches under that denomination, in different societies, and examine the views of the pastor/congregation of each, you’ll find that the two churches have radically different interpretations of god in different areas, even though they are technically the same denomination.

That’s the effect of local culture seeping in.

Eventually, one church becomes so different from the other, that it effectively is a separate denomination. All that is missing then is the eventual official declaration of such.

My point is that some things are simply not in the bible, but so called prophets and men of God (centuries later) claim that God approves. Putting your hope in a commentary book with bonus content or idolized men, is risky and can dilute an individuals faith and walk. If you need interpretation, search the web or pick up an encyclopedia. This way, you avoid the new stuff that authors of the bible simply do not mention. God is the author and finisher of ones faith, Hebrews 12:2, not contemporary men and their publications.

Even the bible itself we cannot say is the word of god, any god. The only way we could have the literal word of god is to find said deity and open a direct two-way line of communication with them. Words written down only have absolute meaning to the situation they were spoken in. They do not magically apply to all situations however different they are from the original.

I think this is the biggest problem I have with relying on an external source of ‘truth’ rather than going with your own internal judgement, and taking responsibility for your own decisions. You are attempting to take another’s morality, without necessarily really understanding the context, and apply it to all situations tyou can make it fit to, rather than trying to reason the situation out yourself, and use your own judgement to determine a solution.

The bible’s fine as a reference book – a philosophical book of potential solutions – but is no good as a life guide. It does not, and cannot ontain accurate advice for every possible situation.

 
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His entire post reeks of insincere mockery and troll bait, as does every post he directs at me. He despises me personally, for little reason other than he disagrees with me, and so he can’t post a reply to me without being a giant asshole, much like yourself.

Perhaps, I dunno, it’s because of a certain quality that you reek of…let’s call it ‘MyTieness’.

Originally posted by 422537:

I wasn’t venting spleen, that’s making an assumption about me. I was simply pointing something out which made it difficult for me to respond.

You’ve done little else in the last page but vent spleen, pal. Mainly by complaining about how other posters are screwing up your thread. Here’s the problem:

A) It isn’t an Axiom thread. You obviously didn’t check out Johnny’s link, as it would have informed exactly how to make one.

B) I haven’t seen anybody here deny the existence of God. Ung’s an avowed atheist but he’s kept between the lines quite well. Nobody’s mocking God, not even me. What people are criticizing is the ability to understand the Bible according to some literalist methodology that flies in the face of all logic. Demanding logic isn’t anti-God. It’s the ability of Christians to understand the bible, assuming it’s divine, and their presumptions about God, that are at issue here, not the existence of God itself.

BTW I think it’s kind of funny you’re criticizing Ung for his textwalls when this thread started out with a huge textwall of its own.