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Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Bible = The Complete Whole Truth?

It all started when the Vatican boss, our beloved Pope made a public statement that fiction like Harry Potter is evil and as such, must be avoided by the young ones at all cost.

A serious allegation I say, but not without merit or substance.

The issue has been hotly debated typically between the conservatives and the liberals: Is the world better off without Harry Potter, Santa Claus and Mickey Mouse?

While the topic is still being debated, it appears core of the argument is now centered on Bible: Is Bible the complete revelation and the whole truth from God?


















Rev. Beck commented: “there is only right (that which God wills) and wrong (that which is against the will of God), which I take it as there are only two elements in this world ie. it’s either Black or White (no such thing as Grey), literally speaking.

Together with ‘Unchained Slave’, they both argued either you believe the Bible is the whole truth or it is plain crap ... you can't have it both ways. And Jesus is the ONLY way to heaven (ie. for born again Christians only).

On the other hand, both ‘Gwhiz2k’ and ‘Daniel’ not only see the Bible as incomplete, they also believe the Lord’s original message is lost and has been deliberately distorted by its main author, Paul (Saul of Tarsis) who apparently has never met Jesus before and he is obviously politically obliged to the Roman emperor Constantine. They believe the same has ordered the Council of Nicea to remove all content against the political interest of his empire from the Bible.

‘Gwhiz2k’ thinks the closest truth could well be with James (brother of Christ) and as such, we need to rethink Christianity and strip away the influence of Saul completely … He also disagreed Christianity is the only way to heaven and he suggest we read apocrypha, gospel of Thomas (Nag Hamadi scrolls), The Dead Sea scrolls, Koran, Torah as well as scriptures of Buddhism … as “The way to get closer to God”

I am sure Gwhiz2k thinks all of us are equal children of God

In between we got ‘liberal’ Christian like Tony Brooks who declared himself as a de facto faithful of Jesus Christ but nonetheless consider both Santa Claus and Mickey Mouse as wonderful creations. Good on you.

I think Daniel who described himself as a Protestant ‘fanatic’ (I say ‘moderate’ is more like it) is absolutely succinct in saying “alternatives to abortion need to be promoted but I'm wary of turning our country into something like Brazil, where abortion is outlawed except in extreme cases of rape sanctioned by a court order. There, they average 100-150 legal abortions a year, with well over 1 million illegal abortions a year, and botched abortions being the fourth-ranked cause of death in pregnant women. Why can't we find some way to reach out to these pregnant women, reduce the associated mortality, and reduce the overall number of abortions? Instead, the official policy of Christianity in general is simply to make abortion illegal. --- it seems to me that much of these "Christian policies" have some misplaced priorities and that I'm not so convinced that these policies are the best "moral" solution

Thank you all for commenting. Put authenticity of the Bible aside (honestly, I simply know nothing more than what you have read) but as a liberal animal, guess I'd always question ‘Morality … Why should this important aspect of our life be monopolized by religion?’ ... I imagine morality should be a subject of public domain for the faithful as well as the infidels (disbelievers).

Related comments at 'God Hates Harry Porter?'

35 Comments:

Blogger Daniel said...

Very interesting discussion here - just thought I'd add a note and a correction regarding myself and my views...

The Protestant 'fanatic' quote you attribute to me was myself quoting Scourge's self-description. For myself, I am indeed Protestant (UCC), but you're right La Bona, I'd claim that I'm a moderate, or perhaps just left of center.

That ties into my second comment, which comes over from the earlier thread - Gwhiz2K and Unchained had some great points, that had towards the end clearly gone beyond what I could claim competence at (discussing in detail the accuracy of the Bible, Paul versus James, and including long lists of scripture references). They both had great points however.

On the question of completeness of the Bible, my point was that of modern relativism, both as far as philosophical and moral discussions are concerned. I know that moral relativism is criticized strongly by the religious conservatives of the Christian Right as a source of corruption, but I wonder how these religious conservatives can support their absolutism regarding "moral" issues? Perhaps those of you more knowledgeable on Bible scripture and theology could explain the basis behind this absolutism?...

3:29 PM  
Blogger Nylarthotep said...

Bible = Truth(absolute)
No I don't think so. I will qualify.
The Bible likely has A truth for many people. I find the belief that the Bible is the absolute truth an extreme arrogance on the part of many Christians. Not that they are much different from many religion, but I can see no justification of that opinion.

The logic that runs through my mind relates to the assumption, based on faith, that the Bible was completely written/edited by man under the influence of the divine. I won't state that it is impossible, but the extreme certainty of some worries me. The Bible is a document that has seen alterations in many different pens. Denying that politics or alternate influences could have changed the intended word is naive.

4:45 PM  
Blogger Jez said...

nylarphotep, indeed, but don't christians base their belief in a divine being on the Bible? If it is possible that the Bible has been altered, couldn't it be possible that it is not based on fact at all? We all know about rumours which turn out to be complete fiction. Couldn't the Bible be the best such rumour? In which case, what evidence would there be of the existence of a divine creator?

5:53 PM  
Blogger Blogosaurus Rex said...

I'd like to answer Jez's comment.

I believe that the evidence for a divine creator can be seen everywhere. Look at the histories and (ancient) religious beliefs of people. Almost all people from parts of the world completely isolated from each other have always believed in a similar divine being. Most of the time, it is a singular (or at least dual) being. Native North Americans have their "Great Spirit", Muslims have "Allah", etc. Are these deities really that different from each other, or the Christian God? I don't think so. The main differences are in the details of how they should be worshipped. All of these people coming up with similar deities and "core" belief structures leads me to believe that yes, there is a God. I think that's some pretty good evidence.

Many of these cultures even have similar stories and legends, such as the story of the "Great Flood". This leads me to believe that many of the events in the Bible DID happen, but that the message has been possibly distorted over time and translation.

Back to the Christ thing again. I believe that there WAS a Christ too, but if he were to return today, fundamentalist christians would not believe him and would probably reject him again, so different is the Christ they like to portray from what I believe the REAL Christ was like. They have even tried to "Europeanize" (is that a word?) Christ... Look at the most famous pictures of the smiling, red-haired, WHITE Jesus, often surrounded by other WHITE people, and WHITE children. Newsflash: Jesus WAS NOT WHITE! He was middle-eastern. White people were not around him, Jews and Palestinians were.

Even most of the history you are taught in school has a European bent. I read a very good book called "Lies My Teacher Told Me" that outlined how the history that is taught in schools distorted to favour Europeans. How often were natives referred to as "uncivilized" or "savages"? Europeans civilization has done many horrible things over the years, to many peoples. Slavery, genocide, religious persecution, etc. Much of this was justified through religion.

Anyway, I digressed.

I should clarify re: the post. I DO believe that much of the Bible is still good, and may very well be accurate. There are many parts of it that don't belong there, and many parts that have been changed through translations. In Bible studies and Bible camps as a younger person, I was constantly told how "the Bible is amazing because it has never changed in all the translations over the years." Bull. I could see right away differences between the King James version, and the new modern translations. And how the hell do we even know nothing has been lost? Where are the original copies? We can't just COMPARE them to back this up...

And to add to all this, when amazing discoveries like Dead Sea Scrolls and Nag Hamadi show up, they are branded heresy by the churches. The book "The Conspiracy of the Dead Sea Scrolls" shows how the Catholic church moved in like the mafia to dominate what was supposed to be un-biased study of these amazing gifts. What HAS surfaced shows that much of the writing in the Bible is often very different from these scrolls. Therefore THEY are branded as incorrect. Could it not be the other way around?

One official stance is that the Dead Sea Scrolls were written by the Essenes, who were (supposedly) an isolated sect that was distant from the mainstream, therefore not relevant. Aside from lots of evidence that seems to show this assertion to be false, the book "The Messianic Legacy" (and many other sources) points out the "Jesus of Nazareth" was actually "Jesus the Nazarene", which meant essentially that he belonged to an Essene sect. This makes the Dead Sea Scrolls much, much more relevant.

I don't officially endorse the "Christ as an Essene" theory yet, as I have much more reading to do before that. However, from what I have read so far, it seems very plausible. (one of the links I left in the other comments section has some info on that.)

Christians are taught to have faith above all else. I say that faith can be a double edged sword, and blind faith, while a beautiful thing, can also be used to lead people astray. This very faith in something like the Bible being absolute and correct, limits their objectivity entirely. Their only argument is to use VERY THING that is in doubt, the Bible, as their source of evidence. People need to look further. Clues have been left all around us to help us find the truth. The Dead Sea Scrolls and Nag Hamadi (as well as others) were no accidents.

Crap. I left a super long comment again. My apologies.

6:37 PM  
Blogger Blogosaurus Rex said...

Of course, SOMEONE is bound to chime in here that the Dead Sea Scrolls and Nag Hamadi are the work of the Devil.

C'mon, you KNOW you wanna....

Another popular fundamentalist argument: Anything that is in opposition to their beliefs is "The Devil".

But he's probably too busy using Led Zeppelin and AC/DC to get his message out in backwards messages.

La Bona, YOu need a blog about THAT hot potato. That's a REALLY HOT subject for me, because of the detrimental effect it had on my life at one point.

6:44 PM  
Blogger Unchained Slave said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

9:54 PM  
Blogger Unchained Slave said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10:03 PM  
Blogger La Bona said...

email comment from Erik Gunderson: -

I am an atheist. Accordingly, I do not believe the Bible is the "complete whole truth." I consider the Bible a work of great historical interest and that the teachings of many of the people described in it, including but not limited to Jesus, to contain much moral wisdom. The Bible also contains a great deal of mythology intended to explain things unknowable to its authors, as well as instructions for performing various magical rituals. These things are not true; I do not believe, as Leviticus commands, that homosexuals should be executed; nor do I believe, as Joshua implies, that the Sun could appear to cease moving along its path in the sky; nor do I believe, as all four Gospels clearly indicate, that a man could be crucified to death, become entombed, and walk around talking to his friends three days later.

10:11 PM  
Blogger La Bona said...

Folks,
Long comments are most welcome for you can't possibly comment so much without substance. Do what you like here, this the very reason why this blog is called an open forum.
As a matter of fact, everyone is welcome to take over this blog, this is after all designed as a public domain and the best part is writing is my biggest handicap. So email me if you have an issue to blog about, I'll publish it in verbatim.

Unchained Slave,
I find your input interesting and I am digesting it slowly but surely.

Gwhiz2k,
You might want to write something about Dead Sea Scrolls and Nag Hamadi for us to blog about?
On your suggest to examine other holy books as the way to get closer to God, I feel your proposal does hold water. However, I am not too sure if it is worthwhile to study Koran as I have some reservation about Islam which I'd blog about soon, meanwhile, you may want to read some comments at FaithFreedom.org, a website established by an apostate of Islam for some clues ...

On Evidence of God Existence ...
Well, I personally have been looking the answer for a long long while, unfortunately, the so called evidence we have today is simply too abstract for the comtemporary souls. I mean without some empirical evidence, God will remain in the coccoon of faith, in another words, an 'unreal' subject to the unconvinced lot whom the faithful call infidels ... Empirical evidence of God existence, anyone?

11:29 PM  
Blogger Jez said...

I don't think citing the similarity between the different 'gods' of the world is evidence of the existence of a supreme being. We are all human beings, after all, so it's hardly surprising we have similar beliefs(which at the same time vary greatly depending on cultural traits). I am not an aetheist, but rather an agnostic. I would be inclined, however, to believe that it is a human trait to worship (a) higher being(s).The similarity among (certain) legends would probably be easily explained by psychologists, of which I am not one, sadly!
La bona, I think you come closest to my thinking when you say the belief in god remains within faith. I have faith. I have faith in human beings, even though I have no hard evidence that they can indeed bring about a 'good' society.

4:18 AM  
Blogger Unchained Slave said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3:04 PM  
Blogger Roxxy said...

Honestly I do not believe in god persay. And I believe that the churches hide more from us them any other corporation out there. We could be so much more advanced right now if the church would let us in on some of the secrets.

And as they say, the whole story of Adam and Eve is to simplify the explaintion, if that's a frawd everything else could be also.

And thirdly where the hell is jesus life from age 18 to 45 they skipped about 20 years, did anyone else notice that?

3:10 PM  
Blogger Roxxy said...

On another comment, Doesn't god accept us as we are, gay or indifferent. Some people have 'powers' I myself have abilities, not completly like harry potter, but i mean, i know when the phone will ring and i see future events. God loves me like I am. So god would approve of harry potter as well. This is just societies way of excluding people, just like the jews in WW2. tsk tsk on all of you.

We are allowed to be different. If god could speak now I think he would be so ashamed of all of us.

3:17 PM  
Blogger Van! said...

I bet your awsome in bed...all bible thumpers are

3:34 PM  
Blogger Pete said...

Who cares? Why waste time debating this. We'll all find out one day...

4:05 PM  
Blogger Adrian said...

I may not be the greatest Christian out there and I'm not extensively educated in theology (in fact not at all), BUT I believe 100% in the bible and in God.

I DO NOT believe in ANYTHING the Pope says however. Many of his teachings are a blatant contradiction of the Bible and others are a warped version of the Truth. I DO believe in the bible though. And the only bible I read is The King James Bible.

I have had far too many experiences that convince me of Gods existence and if He says the Bible is His word, I'm sure not going to argue.

People may believe in whatever they want to believe, but their doubt of the Holy Word is their loss. Not mine.

5:07 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

I'm Catholic and prior to that, I was a member of the United Methodist Church, so correct me if I am mistaken.

Sometimes I feel clueless and am still learning and growing in the faith. I don't feel to badly though. Even the disciples made mistakes.

Part of our Christian faith is our belief that the Bible is the inspired Word of the Lord.

The debate seems to come regarding interpretation of the Bible. Should it be a literal interpretation?

Jesus used parables to get his points across to humanity. Using our Lord's example of using stories to teach, we know that there is a certain amount of interpretation involved that isn't necessary purely literal. Revelation is another example.

As far as abortion goes, we need to provide alternatives so that women aren't forced into the death grip of the abortion industry. Maybe we should consider some form of socialized medical care for pregnant women and paid time away from work during the critical years after birth.

Nobody likes abortion, even all of the abortion providers say that.

Let's work to hard to change society so that women don't have to have abortions because of economic or societial pressures.

Deliberate Chaos

5:43 PM  
Blogger Adrian said...

http://bornagainjon.blogspot.com/

Visit this site for a debate.

7:05 PM  
Blogger Isaac said...

I do not believe in prophecy. Or rather I have no proof of it, have never seen it happen. I think the conscience of the individual, and their reasoning capacities are what is meant by the word prophecy. Maimonides believed that prophets were simply very learned people. By studying God's creation we can receive prophecy.

I believe that God wrote the Bible, but only because I believe that the whole universe and everything in it is written by God, and in fact is a part of God. So, even Harry Potter is "God's book".

Now, as for the authenticity of the Bible (I will not discuss the New Testament because I am unqualified), I believe that it has none in the traditional sense of the concept of authenticity of scripture. The Bible is an English translation of a book written in Biblical Hebrew (a language with some nuances, grammar and vocabulary that are no longer comprehensible, and are often mistranslated into English). I do not know for a fact that the Bible is or is not "God's word," and no one can know that for sure.

However, I think it is ridiculous to believe that God would expect us to trust random stangers when they tell us that they have a book from heaven that has been unchanged for millenia and is God's word. What we need to know is right in front of us. We do not need any magical incantations to get to heaven or whatever else we may seek. Only a ridiculous God would expect us to adopt a text about something we never witnessed.

I believe that the Bible was made by people. Traditional Judaism says Moses wrote it, Maimonides says Ezra wrote it. It seems likely that it was written by many people over many years, incorporating oral legend, law and historical/political events to form a national narrative and constitution.

It is my personal theory that the Bible was composed using the Jewish legal process, in which the majority creates laws (with numerous protections for minority opinion). Thus numerous scholars and representatives may well have gathered to debate and vote on what stories and versions of stories and laws to include. This would account for the numerous contradictions within the Bible. The Jewish legal process allows the individual certain autonomies (of thought, belief and personal practice), but demands adherance to the majority decision of the local community in public matters. Splintering is forbidden. Through persuasion and votes any community may alter previous laws. In this way it serves as a national constitution which may be amended. In my view, the document is simply preserved as a narrative of nationhood and a reference point for debate of law today, not as authority in itself.

The only constants in a legal process of this form are the following:
1) majority rule
2) autonomy of individual in private matters
3) lives must be saved over all other laws
4) peace must be sought and pursued over all other laws.
The core of the constitution would be the Noahide Laws and the Ten Commandments. The rest of the Bible is national narrative and explication, as is the Mishnah, Talmud, and later responsa and commentary. I believe that it is this process of group decision making and careful judicial procedures that are authoritative rather than the text which such a process created.

Each community must formulate its own process and textual constitution in order to properly function. Thus, the Bible only explicitly applies to Jews in my view. Other groups may pick what they wish. Seeing as many have chosen the Bible to form the basis of a Christian communal identity (and also of an Islamic communal identity in a less direct way), it has come to apply to many more people than just Jews.

Now, this is not any where near the traditional Jewish perspectives. However, it is well-rooted within branches of the tradition.

I am a Reform Jew. In Germany in the later 19th century, within the mainstream Jewish community, rabbis with "reform" ideas became active within the congregations of the more "liberal" areas while continuing to follow traditional practice in public matters. They did not seek to leave the community but to work within it. It was conservative reactionaries (soon to be Orthodox) who first split from the increasingly liberal comgregations just as the reformers were becoming the majority (making them capable of re-interpreting law, even according to tradition). This split was itself a violation of Jewish law because breaking from the community was prohibited. Orthodox was born against tradition and Reform was left in charge of many of the original congregations in Germany. The Reformers began to abolish almost all of Jewish law and practice. Conservative then split to make a middle ground between Orthodox and Reform. Over time Reform returned to more traditional practices, making it almost indistinguishable from Conservative. Branches of Orthodox moved to the right throughout the 20th Century. Later, as Reform embraced the practice of ordaining women, Conservative split over the issue, with the progressives forming Reconstructionism and the slower faction remaining. Conservative soon followed and ordained women. However, a conservative faction split to form Traditional Judaism (which also followed suit quickly and ordained women). Now Conservative and Traditional consider Jewish law to be flexible (by their own rabbinic council decisions) but normative upon members of their communities, Orthodox maintains that adherence to Jewish law is mandatory (although many recognize it as flexible as well). Reform effectively nullified Jewish law through use of the Jewish legal process, chosing to favor the autonomy of the individual in all fields. Reconstructionism is perhaps more progressive in religious ideals than Reform, however on issues of Jewish law it walks between Reform and Conservative.

I chose to interpret the Bible as a directionally guiding text. That is, whenever it changes practices relative to its surroundings I usually think that it was only a partial execution of the reform, and that we must continue in the same direction. Child sacrifice is forbidden, and replaced with animal sacrifice in the Bible. The Talmud replaces animal sacrifice with prayer and study, to continue to ween people from senseless practices. I eat "kosher-style" which means I do not eat foods that are in themselves treyf or unclean. I do not look for kosher symbols on my food, because I do not demand that it be produced in a machine cleaned and inspected by rabbis. Nor do I eat food only from "kosher kitchens" or on kosher plated. My own conscience and reason lead me to eat food that is, coincidentally, "kosher-style."
I follow the process of the Bible, not the Bible itself.

Ultimately it all comes down to the balance between how a given community can function healthily and stay together while repecting the conscience and reason of each individual. No one knows what will or won't come if we do this or if we do that. All we can do is live good lives and help one another to do the same. And its not clear what we should do in many cases.

8:56 PM  
Blogger Pope Benedict XVI said...

I'm more upset about Harry Potter's waist size than anything else.

9:13 PM  
Blogger GrumbleGrouch said...

The Bible can't be the complete word because, taken as a whole, it's self-contradictory. There are two different inconsistent creation stories in Genesis, there are contradictions among the Gospels, and as far as morality is concerned, people on oppposite sides of an argument can both quote Scripture to their advantage.

The Bible, as Isaac said, is a translation from languages that are no longer fully understood, so even if it was authentic when written, the Bible as we know it is not. The truth, if it was ever there, is inaccessible.

If, as Isaac wrote, we believe God wrote the Bible only because we believe God wrote everything in the universe, then certainly the Bible is not to be trusted, because so much that has been written is not to be trusted. If we do not believe God wrote the Bible, then it is subject to human error. And if we believe God wrote only certain specific books, e.g., the Bible, through his prophets, then how the ... can anybody be sure which books he wrote that way and which are simply fraudulent? Did He write the Old Testament? the New Testament? the Quran? the Book of Mormon? Do you believe God can compel people to do his bidding? How do we know the prophets wrote his words accurately?

10:43 PM  
Blogger Creationism said...

For once the Pope is making sense.
Let's heed the words from our Holy Father >>> Watch Your Waist Size!

10:54 PM  
Blogger Unchained Slave said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

1:02 AM  
Blogger chinyew said...

ironically i just posted this today.

http://artistcrisis.blogspot.com/2005/07/was-eve-given-choice-to-take-apple.html

-chinyew

1:53 AM  
Blogger GrumbleGrouch said...

"unchained slave" wants to know about the two different creation stories in Genesis. OK.

In chapter 1, God created man on the sixth day, male and female, and told them to be fruitful and multiply.

In chapter 2, after the work was completed on the seventh day, there was no man to till the fields and bring forth the crops, so He made man from the dust of the earth, and then, saying that it was not good for man to be alone, anesthetized him and created woman from his rib.

Was man made in both sexes on the sixth day, or was the male made after the sixth day, and the female from the rib of the male?

"unchained slave" also denies contradictions in the Gospels. I don't have time to review the Gospels now. Suffice it that we have a self-contradiction in the first book of the Bible, and everything thereafter is subject to doubt. Whether or not the original, which we can no longer understand, may have been free of contradiction, the Bible we have today can not be trusted.

11:19 AM  
Blogger Chairman eDog said...

I think it's manifestly obvious that Harry Potter is the work of the devil. There's no other way to explain the popularity of these shitty books. Anything that can make a twelve year old put down either Playboy or Playstation in order to read must be the work of the devil.

Oh, by the way, I heard the headmaster dies in the new book. Warning: spoiler. The fact that the books even have some guy serving as a "headmaster" makes me think it's some sort of recruiting tool for the forces of homosexual witchcraft buggery. There are only so many jobs available working in a salon or waiting tables. We must stop Harry Potter! Pull the books off of store shelves now and replace them with issues of Barley Legal before it's too late.

1:40 PM  
Blogger Unchained Slave said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

2:34 PM  
Blogger GrumbleGrouch said...

Well now, unchained slave, I think you are making my point. You seem to be telling me that the first run through, which is clearly chronological, ends at Genesis 2:3 with the sanctification of the seventh day. The second run through begins at Genesis 2:4 with a reference to "the day."

According to the first run through, the day when the heaven and earth were created was day two, and the day when man and woman were created was day 6. The second run through, which according to you gives the details omitted from the first run through, puts it all in one day, "the day."

This looks like one of those cases when two people with different views both quote Scripture to their advantage. The more I look at these two recitations of the tale, the more they look like two different myths: one in which creation took seven days, and another in which it took one day, each containing details omitted from the other.

In fine: we don't know what the original meant, because the language is lost. Since the original is lost, and the translation is uncertain, the Bible can't be ultimate truth.

4:34 PM  
Blogger Grant said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7:37 PM  
Blogger Blogosaurus Rex said...

I'll add my 2 cents to this:

Something that always bugged me since I was a kid:

"So Cain went out from the LORD's presence and lived in the land of Nod, east of Eden."

Where did those people come from? And where did Cain meet his wife?

"Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the LORD God called to the man, "Where are you?"

Ok... how did the omnipotent God NOT KNOW where Adam and Eve were hiding? Doesn't really sound like the kind of God described in the later Bible does it?

Questions, questions, questions.. Everyone needs to ask more of these...

10:16 PM  
Blogger Unchained Slave said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

1:43 AM  
Blogger Unchained Slave said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

2:04 AM  
Blogger GrumbleGrouch said...

It seems that unchained slave is trying to persuade me of the truth of the Bible by explaining that the English translations are wrong, including the translation that he himself used to quote Genesis 2:4. That proves my point: he says the Bible as we have it, in English, is wrong.

But the translation of that verse is not wrong. Specifically, he says that "in the day" is really plural in the Hebrew original. Now I did say that the original language is lost, by which I meant, not that the language is totally unintelligible, but that some parts of the text depend on grammatical and other conventions that are no longer understood.

But I found my old Hebrew text of the book of Genesis, and I don't see any difficulty in Genesis 2:4. The Hebrew for "in the day" is clearly singular. The word (crudely transliterated) is "b'yom," meaning "in the day" (singular) not "bayomim," which would mean "in the days" (plural).

That says the traditional English translation of Genesis 2:4 is, after all, correct, and therefore we still have a problem in reconciling the two repeats of the creation story.

1:27 AM  
Blogger GrumbleGrouch said...

P.S. My Hebrew grammar is rusty. On rethinking, I decided that "b'yom" in this context means "in the day of," not simply "in the day." The plural would then be "b'ymey," meaning "in the days of." My conclusion is still the same: the Hebrew is definitely singular: one day.

The text I have has various exegeses (which I can't read, lacking the necessary vocabulary) on the same page as the original text, actually taking up more space on the page than the original. I can imagine the sages sitting around a table in their skullcaps and talithim, arguing across the table, in a traditional singsong chant, the same points that we are now arguing in an electronic medium, and coming to the conclusion that "yom" ("day") must be a metaphorical usage and that it really must be plural in meaning.

But if it comes to that, I am forced to the conclusion that the Bible is not the complete truth without the exegeses. And now I think I might be coming to an understanding of our disagreement.

My view is that the Bible by itself is ambiguous, and that the exegeses are new material invented to resolve the ambiguities. An alternative view (perhaps held by unchained slave) is that the Bible, logically followed to the conclusions implied within it, can only lead to an unambiguous exegesis. In this alternative view, the Bible contains the conclusions of the exegeses, just as the axioms and postulates of a logical system contain all the theorems that could be derived from it. Therefore the ultimate truth must be contained within the Bible, ready to be tweezed out by correct reasoning.

I am not, however, convinced that there is only one possible way to resolve the seeming ambiguities within the Bible. I subscribe therefore to the view that the ambiguities are real.

9:48 AM  
Blogger Peter said...

Evidence for a divine creator IS all around us. The odds are that we came from primordial soup or the Big Bang aren't strong enough to hold. Forget all the experiments done trying to "duplicate" the atmosphere and environment, they were proved as weighted trials. If you look at the incredible odds of life being created in an environment THAT perfectly tuned and then all of the nucelotides aligning in JUST the order they needed to for that single-celled organism....it likes to a tornado assembling a Beoing 747 after passing through a junkyard.

Gwiz....God did know where Adam and Eve were hiding. I think he was just playing the fool to test their resove and see if they'd lie or be ashamed. I'm sure the second they ate the forbidden fruit the Fruit Alarm went off in his head.

As for prophecy...what about the whole predictions of the Popes? Malachai prophecies etc. Gloria Olivae! The guy has predicted like all the popes dead on...although then again none of us know when the end is coming...it's supposed to be when we least expect it.

9:35 AM  

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WARNING: Blind obsession with prophecy can be perilous or even fatal, reader discretion is advised! Submitted to God as His worldly Activist on a non-exclusive basis since June 15, 2005 1:00 am ET. “La Bona” is a professional name inspired by God; it means "The Righteous", “The Virtuous” or simply “The Good” in Esperanto (a neutral international language). DivineTalk® is an Open Commentary Forum dedicated to God for His Children to engage in dialogue, discourse and debate on laws, standards and values on morality, lifestyle, ethics, business and just about anything else related to their life. God enlightened to have His Words improvised and updated with the prevailing circumstances so that the divine guidance, dogma and policy will evolve with time and stay relevant to His Children in the very era they live in as the way forward. La Bona is a Truth Seeker, Myth Buster, Freedom Fighter, Cyber Activist, Liberal Animal, Good Samaritan, Messiah Wannabe and in order to serve His Children of diverse backgrounds, La Bona is motivated and aim to eventually multitask as Divine Representative, Contemporary Prophet, Celestial Executive, Deity Clairvoyant, Holy Spiritualist ...

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