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 Post Post subject: Re: What Not to Read
Posted: Tue Sep 10, 2013 9:11 am 
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To side with Jelly is a frightening task; almost as bad as siding against him. Nevertheless, here goes.

Margaret, let me ask you a question. Even assuming that God had a part in inspiring those writers which wrote the Scriptural texts, do you also believe that each writer had different motives in writing? The Gospels are the clearest examples because they should relate a lot of the same story. However, we can see a definite difference not only in how Jesus is portrayed between the Gospels, but also which roles are emphasized or neglected. For an example, we see women and Gentiles more at the center of Luke's portrayal, but the focus of Messianic prophecies is seen more in Matthew. Mark brings the simplest depiction of Jesus, showing him as the servant, and John writes for the purpose of what many scholars believe to be "filling in" those parts that Matthew, Mark, and Luke missed. Simply because we believe the Bible was inspired by God does not mean that every single word came directly from God.

When you say that God's Word is not limited to any one time or culture, does that mean you believe we should follow all of the dietary restrictions and other laws listed in the book of Leviticus and elsewhere in the Old Testament? Or are those specific regulations "limited" to the time before Jesus died on the cross?

EDIT: And this is probably a conversation best continued in a separate thread.

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Last edited by Monty on Tue Sep 10, 2013 9:12 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post Post subject: Re: What Not to Read
Posted: Tue Sep 10, 2013 10:21 am 
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If every single word didn't come directly from God then what about Biblical inerrancy? Humans make mistakes, if the Bible was a human invention written with human motives then there would be errors, but there aren't. The four Gospels together give us a complete picture of Christ's earthly ministry, it wasn't a case of John filling in what the others "missed" but that God ordained ahead of time what they would write and that they would fit together into the perfect picture.

I don't see anywhere that says we can ignore the Old Testament now. God didn't decide upon those laws willy nilly, there is a deeper universal purpose behind them. They were given to a specific people in a specific time but God doesn't change and He knew that we would be reading the Old Testament today.

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 Post Post subject: Re: What Not to Read
Posted: Tue Sep 10, 2013 12:29 pm 
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If every single word didn't come directly from God then what about Biblical inerrancy? Humans make mistakes, if the Bible was a human invention written with human motives then there would be errors, but there aren't. The four Gospels together give us a complete picture of Christ's earthly ministry, it wasn't a case of John filling in what the others "missed" but that God ordained ahead of time what they would write and that they would fit together into the perfect picture.


Do the Gospels really give us a perfect picture of Christ's ministry?



John tells us that there were a lot of things that, not only his Gospel, but all of the Gospels left out. If these make a perfect picture, does this mean that there are things Jesus did that aren't relevant to us? Or could it be that these things did not fit into the stories that these human writers, with human motives, who were inspired by God, wanted to tell us?

In your opinion, did every word of the Bible proceed straight from the mouth of God to humans who acted as scribes?

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I don't see anywhere that says we can ignore the Old Testament now. God didn't decide upon those laws willy nilly, there is a deeper universal purpose behind them. They were given to a specific people in a specific time but God doesn't change and He knew that we would be reading the Old Testament today.


So what relevance, if any, do the laws regarding sacrifices, dietary restrictions, and other laws mentioned in Leviticus have for us today? Since, according to your point of view, they were written for everyone at every time and not just the Jews at a specific point in human history.

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 Post Post subject: Re: The Bible and Pagan Mythology
Posted: Tue Sep 10, 2013 3:40 pm 
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Margaret Thatcher wrote:
I think your thinking is very messed up if you think those books and religions are similar to Christianity or influenced Christianity.


No, actually, many religions have similar themes across them, particularly creation myths (order from chaos, man being specially created, some form of evil entering the world, a flood for some reason or another, et cetera). Many religions are also similar to Christianity in that they teach things like love, kindness, faith, hope, charity, basic morality, et cetera. However, I would like to point out that "similarity" does not necessarily indicate that the religions were based on or influenced by one another; simply appearing in a time period and place where there were already religions stating similar things does not mean that the religions didn't develop, at least for the most part, exclusively from each other.

Re: divine inspiration and strict vs. loose interpretation of Scripture, methinks some of this falls under the Old-Earth/Young-Earth debate--it really doesn't matter on the specifics, so long as your idea of the specifics matches up with what's actually there. It doesn't matter, at least in my opinion, how exactly God breathed His word to the writers of Scripture; it matters that we acknowledge that it is God-breathed and is therefore relevant to us. Again, how literally relevant or symbolically relevant it is depends firstly on the passage to which you are referring and from there your Scripture-based interpretation of that passage. (To be honest, I don't like to touch Levitical law with a ten foot pole, not because it bothers me or whatever, but because I really don't feel like going through the extremely wordy and tedious book of Leviticus to prove my point. Instead, I shall make popcorn and allow MT and Monty to duke it out.)

Monty wrote:
Do the Gospels really give us a perfect picture of Christ's ministry?


(I recognize that this was not aimed at me, but I'm going to write down my thoughts anyway.)

Not in the sense that they tell us every single thing that Christ ever did, no, because of that verse you just quoted. However, the Gospels give us a perfect picture of Christ's ministry in that sense that, in the vernacular, they tell us what Jesus's life was about--they show His values, His standards, and His relationship with God and with man to show us how to live, and they detail His sacrificial living as an example and as an account of how our redemption comes about.

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 Post Post subject: Re: The Bible and Pagan Mythology
Posted: Tue Sep 10, 2013 4:02 pm 
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@Monty I would agree with Tiger that the Gospels tell us what Christ's life is about and tells us everything that is necessary for salvation. And in my opinion yes, every word of the Bible proceed from God to the scribes. I just don't see how we could have a perfect book unless it was written by a perfect God.

I think Christ is clear when doing away with the sacrifices since He was the perfect sacrifice but I don't see that extending to other Old Testament laws. I think we would live a better life if we followed the laws of the Old Testament.

@Tiger You make some very good points and I agree with you.

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 Post Post subject: Re: The Bible and Pagan Mythology
Posted: Tue Sep 10, 2013 4:15 pm 
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Margaret Thatcher wrote:
I think we would live a better life if we followed the laws of the Old Testament.


Is there any particular reasoning you have for this, aside from obedience to both the letter and the spirit of the Ten Commandments? For example, are we somehow better off for not eating pork, when we were later told that it was clean?

My thoughts on the Jewish laws are that they serve two purposes--to show how dependent the Hebrews were to be on God, showing their need for an ordered society and pointing to the Messiah as the perfect sacrifice to atone for sins, and to relate to us that we are to be set apart from others--not necessarily in never shaving or cutting our hair or dressing a certain way, but in our behavioral patterns, in the media we consume, and in the language we use. I don't believe, however, that we are to follow the letter of every law just because it's there.

EDIT: I said I wouldn't go into Jewish law, but...I totally did. :p Oops.

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 Post Post subject: Re: The Bible and Pagan Mythology
Posted: Wed Sep 11, 2013 12:01 am 
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Quote:
I think Christ is clear when doing away with the sacrifices since He was the perfect sacrifice but I don't see that extending to other Old Testament laws. I think we would live a better life if we followed the laws of the Old Testament.

So are the parts in Scripture regarding the sacrifices not relevant to us because Jesus is our sacrifice? Would you agree that these parts of Scripture had a great deal of relevance prior to Christ's death and resurrection, and maybe do not contain the same relevance for us: causing them to be limited in relevance to that particular age?



So what did I lose by shaving this morning? Are there health benefits to letting my beard (though I hesitate to refer to it as such) grow out?

Regarding the feasts in the Bible, the feast of trumpets, feast of booths, even Passover, do you believe we are supposed to celebrate them?

Finally, the Bible talks about owning slaves, and the procedure for getting them and treatment of them. Since the entire Bible is relevant to everyone, everywhere, everytime, does this mean I should go out and buy a slave?

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 Post Post subject: Re: The Bible and Pagan Mythology
Posted: Wed Sep 11, 2013 6:36 pm 
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Allow me to interject another question...

So let's take that scripture is 100% word by word given from God and transcribed by man...

...how do we know that what we have as the Bible is the "right" Bible with the right books? Historically speaking, there have been books added and subtracted, so someone generations back had books X, Y, and Z that we don't have now and didn't have book W that we accept as part of holy scripture. Even now regions of the world still include the Book of Enoch, others have their Apocrypha, Revelations was often left out, and even if we get past all that, we aren't reading the original text unless we know how to read the original language... a 100% translation to English just isn't possible with how languages work. ...and even if we learn Greek and Hebrew we have multiple scrolls that are used as sources of scripture and there are some discrepancies in how they were transcribed.

tl;dr: Even if the Bible was given word for word 100% by God to man, what we hold in our hand or load on our iPad isn't those exact words.

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 Post Post subject: Re: The Bible and Pagan Mythology
Posted: Wed Sep 11, 2013 11:08 pm 
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Yay top that is pretty much what I wanted to day but never got around to saying

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 Post Post subject: Re: The Bible and Pagan Mythology
Posted: Thu Sep 12, 2013 5:15 am 
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I'm not asking to gang up on Reagan's buddy across the pond. ;) I'm asking because I'm a 31 year old adult who still doesn't have answers to questions like that. >_>

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 Post Post subject: Re: The Bible and Pagan Mythology
Posted: Thu Sep 12, 2013 11:48 am 
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Is obedience to God not reason enough? If pork was unclean in the Old Testament did it undergo some kind of physical change to become clean in the New Testament?

Should we be less dependent on God or have less of an orderly society?

I think they have the same relevance to us today. Sacrifices were mentioned specifically, doesn't that mean they're a special case?

What did you lose by shaving? How about obedience to God? Do God's laws need to pass our approval?

I do think we should keep those feasts, Passover is a great feast.

Slavery is not commanded in Scripture, there are laws for when it occurs but nowhere does Scripture tell us to go out and buy slaves.

Top my answer would be that we do have the right Bible because God would not abandon us by not giving us the right version of His Word. It is the main way He speaks to us after all. This language argument sounds like the argument by the medieval Catholic church that kept the Bible from being translated or from doing services in English. I think Tyndale made it clear that even the lowly plowboy is able to read God's Word in his own language and understand it and have it be the 100% true Word of God. As far as the extra books, simply because some people have fallen into error doesn't mean we can't know what the true Bible is, are you saying the Book of Enoch and the Apocrypha are true?

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 Post Post subject: Re: The Bible and Pagan Mythology
Posted: Thu Sep 12, 2013 1:28 pm 
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Margaret Thatcher wrote:
Top my answer would be that we do have the right Bible because God would not abandon us by not giving us the right version of His Word. It is the main way He speaks to us after all. This language argument sounds like the argument by the medieval Catholic church that kept the Bible from being translated or from doing services in English. I think Tyndale made it clear that even the lowly plowboy is able to read God's Word in his own language and understand it and have it be the 100% true Word of God. As far as the extra books, simply because some people have fallen into error doesn't mean we can't know what the true Bible is, are you saying the Book of Enoch and the Apocrypha are true?


But then why were there centuries of time where believers had the "wrong" Bible if God would not abandon them by giving them the right version of His word? Who are we to believe that WE in THIS point in history finally got it all figured out, and past generations where misled?

In the case of Enoch, there are multiple "Books of Enoch" by different authors and most can be easily thrown out, the first doesn't really have any contradictory information and was quoted by both Jesus and Jude, leading one to believe they were accepted part of OT scripture at the time of Christ... or at the very least considered historically significant.

I'm not particularly well-versed in the Apocrypha... some of it may be downright wrong, but for the most part it seems lots of un-inspired history which may not be EVIL but has no real purpose as inclusion in the Bible... they weren't really written with that intent, but just got folded in later.

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 Post Post subject: Re: The Bible and Pagan Mythology
Posted: Thu Sep 12, 2013 3:04 pm 
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Margaret Thatcher wrote:
Is obedience to God not reason enough? If pork was unclean in the Old Testament did it undergo some kind of physical change to become clean in the New Testament?


You mean, aside from Jesus implicitly introducing the idea that we are to interpret the food laws symbolically (as in the phrase, "Do you not see that whatever goes into a person from outside cannot defile him, since it enters not his heart but his stomach, and is expelled? (Thus he declared all foods clean)" in Mark 7:18-19)? Jesus refers in the next verse to the fact that "What comes out of a person is what defiles him. For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person" (Mark 7:20-23).

The point of the food laws was to keep the Hebrew people from being defiled and to set them apart from the people around them; I believe that we are to interpret that symbolically--instead of abstaining from ingesting pork, we as Christians ought to refrain from ingesting things that would corrupt us spiritually and mentally. It's not about the food you eat; it's about what you're putting into yourself, which does not have to even involve physically ingesting something, and it's also about not giving in to the temptation that is already there because you are a sinful human being.

Aside from all of that blathering, wasn't part of the point of the New Covenant in Christ's blood to free His children from having to adhere to the outward restrictions of the Old Covenant, though the same basic moral code is still present and should be followed?

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 Post Post subject: Re: The Bible and Pagan Mythology
Posted: Thu Sep 12, 2013 8:19 pm 
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I don't believe there were centuries where we didn't have the Bible, first off pretty much all Christians agree on the New Testament it is the Old Testament that is disputed by some. But if we look at the Hebrew Canon at the time of Jesus we can clearly see that they had figured out the Old Testament. It was additions by some Christians, such as the Catholics, who were in error. The correct Old Testament Canon has always been with us.

Yet we are also told in other places to abstain from meat sacrificed to idols. To me divorcing the physical from the spiritual smacks of gnosticism. The moral code includes outward actions, after all the Apostles in Acts gave a list of physical acts Christians were to refrain from.

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 Post Post subject: Re: The Bible and Pagan Mythology
Posted: Fri Sep 13, 2013 4:28 am 
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Margaret Thatcher wrote:
after all the Apostles in Acts gave a list of physical acts Christians were to refrain from.


Correction: Not all Christians were to abstain from sacrifice to idols, but the particular Christians that letter was written to. To eat meat sacrificed to idols was in many cases to cause a Gentile brother to stumble because he had just come out of idol worship. Later, in 1 Corinthians 10, Paul writes that it's fine to eat meat that's leftover from a sacrifice, because the idol doesn't mean anything and God has given us freedom to eat all meat.

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 Post Post subject: Re: The Bible and Pagan Mythology
Posted: Fri Sep 13, 2013 8:58 am 
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First let me echo what others have said before, siding with Jelly, wow, how unusual.

@Thatcher I would say that the Early Church decided upon a Biblical Canon and it didn't use the Hebrew Canon you're referring to, it used the Septuagint. The Septuagint is the translation quoted by Christ and the Apostles. And in 397 the Council of Carthage declared it to be the Biblical Canon, this ruling only confirmed what had already been in use and was quickly accepted by the Church. I would also say that no, the Bible isn't inerrant or error free. It was written by humans, inspired by God of course but not dictated to by Him. It was also written in the context of the Church and needs to be read and interpreted in that context.

Finally as for all these Old Testament rules, we don't need to follow them anymore. Christ came to fulfill them so we wouldn't have to anymore. He didn't abolish them, He followed the Old Testament rules perfectly for us because we couldn't. And whatever is fulfilled in no longer needed.


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 Post Post subject: Re: The Bible and Pagan Mythology
Posted: Fri Sep 13, 2013 9:09 am 
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Margaret Thatcher wrote:
To me divorcing the physical from the spiritual smacks of gnosticism.


Why? It's one thing to live only in a "spiritual" aspect where only the spirit world matters; it's another to recognize that the spirit of the law is ultimately more important than the letter of the law--as in, for example, it doesn't matter if you've never actually killed anyone if you have a hatred for another human being in your heart, and it doesn't matter if you've never cheated on your spouse if you've lusted after someone else. The "spirit" of the law is the meaning behind the law, following it both outwardly and inwardly. The "letter" of the law means only following the words of the law that are on the page.

Following the spirit of the law or interpreting a food law symbolically has nothing to do with gnosticism, which means that you care only for the spiritual realm and reject the physical. It means that you recognize that there is more to a law than simply following an outward rule. We shouldn't interpret things like the Ten Commandments or other straightforward laws that are reinforced in the New Testament symbolically; they mean what they say they mean. But considering what Jesus had to say about it and Peter's vision of food being made clean, why should we continue to interpret the food laws literally?

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 Post Post subject: Re: The Bible and Pagan Mythology
Posted: Fri Sep 13, 2013 9:44 am 
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The Top Crusader wrote:
Margaret Thatcher wrote:
Top my answer would be that we do have the right Bible because God would not abandon us by not giving us the right version of His Word. It is the main way He speaks to us after all. This language argument sounds like the argument by the medieval Catholic church that kept the Bible from being translated or from doing services in English. I think Tyndale made it clear that even the lowly plowboy is able to read God's Word in his own language and understand it and have it be the 100% true Word of God. As far as the extra books, simply because some people have fallen into error doesn't mean we can't know what the true Bible is, are you saying the Book of Enoch and the Apocrypha are true?


But then why were there centuries of time where believers had the "wrong" Bible if God would not abandon them by giving them the right version of His word? Who are we to believe that WE in THIS point in history finally got it all figured out, and past generations where misled?

In the case of Enoch, there are multiple "Books of Enoch" by different authors and most can be easily thrown out, the first doesn't really have any contradictory information and was quoted by both Jesus and Jude, leading one to believe they were accepted part of OT scripture at the time of Christ... or at the very least considered historically significant.

I'm not particularly well-versed in the Apocrypha... some of it may be downright wrong, but for the most part it seems lots of un-inspired history which may not be EVIL but has no real purpose as inclusion in the Bible... they weren't really written with that intent, but just got folded in later.


John Chrysostom wrote:
First let me echo what others have said before, siding with Jelly, wow, how unusual.

@Thatcher I would say that the Early Church decided upon a Biblical Canon and it didn't use the Hebrew Canon you're referring to, it used the Septuagint. The Septuagint is the translation quoted by Christ and the Apostles. And in 397 the Council of Carthage declared it to be the Biblical Canon, this ruling only confirmed what had already been in use and was quickly accepted by the Church. I would also say that no, the Bible isn't inerrant or error free. It was written by humans, inspired by God of course but not dictated to by Him. It was also written in the context of the Church and needs to be read and interpreted in that context.

Finally as for all these Old Testament rules, we don't need to follow them anymore. Christ came to fulfill them so we wouldn't have to anymore. He didn't abolish them, He followed the Old Testament rules perfectly for us because we couldn't. And whatever is fulfilled in no longer needed.


So do you guys believe in the biblical account of creation, the feeding of the five-thousand, the parting of the red sea, the plagues of Egypt, Lazarus being raised from the dead, the resurrection of Jesus, or any of the other miracles recorded in the Bible?

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Posted: Fri Sep 13, 2013 10:01 am 
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I believe in all those things, the only clarification I would give is that I do not believe in the literal seven days of creation, I think the important thing there is not the literalness of the days but the fact that God did create everything.


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Posted: Fri Sep 13, 2013 10:40 am 
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John Chrysostom wrote:
I believe in all those things, the only clarification I would give is that I do not believe in the literal seven days of creation, I think the important thing there is not the literalness of the days but the fact that God did create everything.


So what you're saying is that God can create the whole universe out of nothing, he can raise people from the dead, divide the red sea, and miraculously provide for his people; BUT writing (through men) and preserving a perfect and complete book is beyond him?

_________________
AMDG


I started a comic. \:D/ "And there's no one to stand around looking impressed"....seriously "what is the point of having you all." :x ;-)
NOW AT: https://www.facebook.com/randompiratecomic and http://randompiratecomic.tumblr.com/


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