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  1. #1 The bible 
    Forum Bachelors Degree Shaderwolf's Avatar
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    How accurate do you think the bible is? It has been translated and retranslated, edited, and added to countless times. Most of it I agree is true, but do you believe that many religions are based on the semantics of incorrect scriptures?


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    I think that the Bible and The Internet have a lot in common.

    There have been that many translations who knows what the heck we are reading.


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    Forum Radioactive Isotope mitchellmckain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by svwillmer
    I think that the Bible and The Internet have a lot in common.

    There have been that many translations who knows what the heck we are reading.
    .......................LOL........................ ..

    And yet the internet is the most powerful tool for research that has ever existed, it is all a matter of knowing how to use it properly. Do you suppose the same might be true of the Bible too???
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  5. #4  
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Quote Originally Posted by svwillmer
    I think that the Bible and The Internet have a lot in common.

    There have been that many translations who knows what the heck we are reading.
    .......................LOL........................ ..

    And yet the internet is the powerful tool for research that has ever existed, it is all a matter of knowing how to use it properly. Do you suppose the same might be true of the Bible too???
    Yea, the problem comes when sifting through the sh!t.
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    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
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    that would put the bible on a par with wikipedia ? full of information, but you're never quite sure which bits are trustworthy ?
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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    Quote Originally Posted by marnixR
    that would put the bible on a par with wikipedia ? full of information, but you're never quite sure which bits are trustworthy ?
    Probably. I'm sure like Wikipedia, the Bible has once upon a time and now and again, had a few bits of information added and the person that added it doesn't actually have a clue what they are talking about :?.
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  8. #7 Re: The bible 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shaderwolf
    How accurate do you think the bible is? It has been translated and retranslated, edited, and added to countless times. Most of it I agree is true, but do you believe that many religions are based on the semantics of incorrect scriptures?
    I have discussed the bible on many sites and my opinion of it is that it is pure 'evil'.

    Reasons?
    It teaches woman as sinners (sexism), separates day and night (racism), promotes the 'one god concept' with the 1st 3 commandments and uses genocide as a means of punishment and promotes chauvinism with the lion as the representative of being a self serving sexist.

    There is one great truth that it does teach and that is that there is an evil spirit and that I believe to be true.

    So what is the alternative?
    My opinion is that Nature is our greatest artist, inventor and therefore, our greatest teacher.
    And Nature does not teach the one god system but instead, the multiple
    God system.
    This way, you can take your choice of which one you want to worship.

    Cosmo
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    Even in the best state possible, the Bible is still a highly subjective piece of writing. The fact that it was written by man, ads man's ability to screw up.

    There's also the problem that various religious groups have hacked the Bible to pieces over time to hide or remove parts that didn't fit in with their current philosophies. So it's probably true to say that the "current" Bible is a disastrous abridged version of the original. Look at all the stuff the Catholic Church supposedly took out of religious texts, simply because it was related to women or sex. And a pretty thorough job was done of destroying a lot of stuff, too, so we may never know what the Bible really said about some things.

    In 1966 the Old Testament was "updated" to try and remove as many inaccuracies as possible and rearrange the language for today's readers. In 1974 the same was completed for the New Testament. I think both have been done again to include things we know now as well.

    I think that there's always going to be an effort to "fix" the Bible, and it's probably never going to be finished. That's just the nature of the beast.

    So is the Bible evil? Well it certainly can be interpreted into evil. But then again, so can a phone book. It's just a book, and if you go looking for bad things, you'll probably find them.

    Then again, as far as we know, the Bible was actually written by a person, and even in its truest form is probably only as good as the interpretive viewpoint of the person who originally wrote it. So the whole end-point direction of the Bible may actually just be one Christian's letter to others. Whether or not that person was worthy of such lofty opinions, who can say...
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    while the bibel has been changed and chopped through out history, it remains the word of God, if you go and read the bibel, the message HE wants you to get, will find you, the truth of it is unquestionable.

    and for the people who actually wrote the bibel and brings with it human faulty... the bibel is God inspired, do you really think the original word of God has been corrupted with human faulty? Why would His children get His word and that word allready corupted? The true message remains..
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    Religion is based on a corrupt organisation in the first place. It was created to control.
    Marriage? Use to be a government thing, but guess what? Priests marry people.
    Christmas? Oh, the christians wanted a holiday around that year so they stole EVERY IDEA CHRISTMAS HAS from pagan beliefs...
    Christians wanted a savior? So they created Jesus. A collection of myths, mainly based on the good, and none of the bad, of Dionysus... who was a greek god.

    Oh, and btw, it's BIBLE, not BIBEL.... Jeese, if you are going to argue for something, atleast spell the name of the book that you READ from... It's even in the name of this thread.
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    OK, my bad for accidently miss spelling bible,

    Religion, I would agree has been corrupted throughout history
    But, religion is not the answer; it’s not about following a certain religion
    A million religion exist many just because some dude got pissed off and left to form his own church
    Stupid dogma’s has infiltrated almost everywhere, and most of them being run like a business
    And many horrible stuff has been done in the name of religion.

    It’s about having a personal relationship with God!
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    It's about having a personal relationship with someone who arguably killed off thousands upon thousands of people and who put fear in the heart of men so that they will believe in him and who supports sexism, racism, slavery, and intolerance? Awesome, where can I sign up!
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    Forum Radioactive Isotope mitchellmckain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nomad
    while the bibel has been changed and chopped through out history, it remains the word of God, if you go and read the bibel, the message HE wants you to get, will find you, the truth of it is unquestionable.

    and for the people who actually wrote the bibel and brings with it human faulty... the bibel is God inspired, do you really think the original word of God has been corrupted with human faulty? Why would His children get His word and that word allready corupted? The true message remains..
    I do not think that God is that distant - i.e. that His involvement in our lives ends with a book written 2000 years ago. Therefore I think that many books are inspired by God. Personally I have found much inspiration and truth in science fiction and fantasy books that I have read. Not that the human authors do not deserve credit also - or the royalties either for that matter. Therefore if you are going to attach some special significance to the Bible in contrast with these other books, then I want you to know that saying that it is inpired by God, just doesn't sound very special to me at all.

    But in fact, Christians do claim a great deal more about the Bible - they call it "the word of God" as if He were the real author. But what can this mean? Well it seems that Christians see God as the ultimate manipulator behind the scenes. This does not necessarily contradict free will because to be truthful people very rarely act with significant consciousness of what they are doing (as would be implied by an exercise of their free will and responsibility) and so imagining them as clay in the hands of such a powerful manipulator is not difficult to imagine.

    Quite often I have had the experience of people speaking to me with one set of intentions and motivations but the message and impact it has had on me was completely different. Surely others have had this kind of experience where someone in authority has tried to teach you something and you learn all right but not what they had intended at all. Perhaps it is just chance or your own determination to learn something meaningful from your experiences but I think that if God speaks to us then it is like this, not depending on people (who think they understand Him) to speak on His behalf, but speaking through people in spite of them.

    So I think, that if the idea that the Bible is the word of God is to be meaningful at all. It must mean something like this. And that is that the message you get from the Bible, whatever that message may be, is the message that He has for you at that time (for the message does seem to change considerably over time). I am put in mind of a time I when I went to a meeting with science fiction authors and one of the fans raised his hand asking about a certain passage in his book. The author was very polite and said it certainly could mean that. But from his tone and expressions I could practically hear him saying, "if that is what I had meant then that is what I would have said". Sometimes authors say things in a particular way precisely because they want us to understand it in different ways according to our own inclinations. Well if that is true of human authors, how more so would it be true of God? And so I think that this must be a part of what it means to say that the Bible is the word of God - that we certainly do NOT need someone going around and telling us what it means.
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    Quote Originally Posted by verzen
    It's about having a personal relationship with someone who arguably killed off thousands upon thousands of people and who put fear in the heart of men so that they will believe in him and who supports sexism, racism, slavery, and intolerance? Awesome, where can I sign up!
    verzen, if man made religion, then God isn't to blame is He?

    Lets condsider (going in today detail here-nudge nudge wink wink a certain person) that religion for the moment is false, wrong and entirely meant to install fear in millions of people and to oppress them. In this modern age how can it be effective anymore if it defies its original purpose (lets talk about Christianity here). If people are brainwashed into religion and are suffering because they have religion, then how about you verzen devise a method of helping these people in suffering by showing evidence against that can be justified and supporting these people instead of insulting them by using sarcasm and ill-wit and self ego inflating comments? Thanks to KALSTER, and TvEye, (and a certain catalyst), I am favoirng agnosticism now, which has been far more effective than you have been, no offense here but maybe more constructive arguments are needed to help these people in trouble (which is your philosiphy, personally having been a Christian they wouldn't (most) hurt a fly), and actually Christianity for one helps a lot of people, even if God doesn't exist , He does in the hearts of people who turn to Him in need, they NEED Him, don't take away their life support machine without supporting them if you do.
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    My sarcasm has a point if he concentrate long enough to understand it's meaning.
    Christianity got all of it's followers, or most, by fear. Fear is a VERY powerful tool in control. Christianity was built to control the population. The organisation is around to try to control the world it seems like. So far it is succeeding, but soon people will realise that christianity has evil connotations in the bible. It's scary really. Then when a good hearted person reads it, they are so infatuated with the religion itself, they pass it off as being, "Metaphorical" because it has to be. No religion they worship could EVER do something bad. Then when they see something good, they automatically assume it is NOT metaphorical or leads to another agenda. People assume things in the bible way too much, and it's sickening. Many people read the bible and become zealots. They preach that homosexuallity is bad, and every other nonsense... Westboro is a prime example, protesting marine funerals.

    Religion takes people, then brings out the worst in them. Yes, there are good people who are religious, but wouldn't they be good without religion?
    I usually picture religion much like a cliq in high school. To christians, if you arn't a christian or support christianity, you arn't one of the cool kids and they insult you, make fun of you, etc...

    Then there are the muslim's.. who are much like the geeks... Some get so fed up with christians picking on them that they use technology and kill themselves in the process while blowing up.

    ETC ETC.
    It's all really childish. Why can't we all just get along? Oh right, because, according to christianity, if you don't believe christ was your savior you were going to hell.
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    Not all Christians believe your last comment.

    It exists all over the world, people are childish, infact what is childish? Lack of understanding? Lack of knowledge right? Politicians do it, spouses do it, family does it, EVERYONE DOES IT. We all can't get along because there are selfish people in the world who look after themselves and don't give two hoots about anyone else. And the only reason people do it is because the predication 'Everybody does it' is the reason EVERYBODY does it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nomad
    while the bibel has been changed and chopped through out history, it remains the word of God, if you go and read the bibel, the message HE wants you to get, will find you, the truth of it is unquestionable.
    What a load of crap. Did you honestly think about that before you wrote it? Come on, please use a little effort...

    Basically you've stated that if I crack the Bible open and it says "Eat crap and die." that I'll get the message God wants? Just because it's a "Bible?" What if I read it and I think it's saying I should hop on one foot every Sunday and say some phrases from the appendix at the back? I don't think I'll get much out of that...other than ridiculous notions.

    And how many people can actually follow the Bible? Any non-translated version reads like lyrical mumbo-jumbo if you don't know how to read it.

    Over half of the problems with religion (and the subject of analyzing religion) is because people read the religious texts and DON'T understand what's going on.

    Hate to say it, but the Bible isn't a magical totem that as soon as you open it you suddenly understand everything. That's like saying you can open a quantum physics textbook and suddenly become Niels Bohr.

    The "word of God" won't show up if what people are looking at is crap. There's about as much truth in saying that someone will find the word of God by just reading the Bible, as there is in saying they will find the word of God by just looking at the cover.


    Quote Originally Posted by verzen
    Christianity got all of it's followers, or most, by fear.
    Which period of Christianity are you referring to?

    If you're referring to the beginnings (and we can put any trust in historical texts), then yer only barely half true.

    If yer referring to the middle periods (dark ages, renaissance, late-period, etc) then you're probably right.

    If yer referring to today, yer only right for some religious groups which means not "all" of Christianity, and the context of "fear" has changed dramatically, too.

    Quote Originally Posted by verzen
    Fear is a VERY powerful tool in control.
    In control of what?

    Quote Originally Posted by verzen
    Christianity was built to control the population.
    Bull. Especially since that statement can be applied to ANY organization, religious or political.

    That statement might have more weight if the Catholic Church was still at the height of its power, running around slaughtering people and putting an iron-fist against the citizens under it, but not today. People today barely seem to notice the controls of the Church except during times of childbirth...

    Quote Originally Posted by verzen
    The organisation is around to try to control the world it seems like.
    I think you'll find the same problems exist in non-religious organizations, too. Most political systems are based on a balance of fear and control, even democracies. How much freedom does anyone really have? You'd be surprised.

    Quote Originally Posted by verzen
    ...but soon people will realise that christianity has evil connotations in the bible.
    Hasn't happened yet. Should we wait another few thousand years? Or is it time to run to the streets with our picket signs to warn people?

    Quote Originally Posted by verzen
    It's scary really.
    Not really. It's only scary when idiots get involved.

    Quote Originally Posted by verzen
    Then when a good hearted person reads it, they are so infatuated with the religion itself, they pass it off as being, "Metaphorical" because it has to be. No religion they worship could EVER do something bad. Then when they see something good, they automatically assume it is NOT metaphorical or leads to another agenda. People assume things in the bible way too much, and it's sickening. Many people read the bible and become zealots. They preach that homosexuallity is bad, and every other nonsense... Westboro is a prime example, protesting marine funerals.
    Wow, you made some actual sense. Then again, we already knew this part. Welcome to the forum! :P

    Although I will ask you to please mind your contexts. Not everyone does things like you say they do.

    Quote Originally Posted by verzen
    Religion takes people, then brings out the worst in them.
    You sound like you're saying it's some kind of magical thing, that if someone gets into religion that they suddenly become bad and all their worst behaviors turn up. Where'd you come up with that?

    Quote Originally Posted by verzen
    Yes, there are good people who are religious, but wouldn't they be good without religion?
    Good question. Maybe. But I think you'll find that, just like any influential facet of life (religious or not) a high degree of that influence is the people involved.

    Take for instance, a gun club. Each uses guns and each has members who have gathered together because they like to shoot and collect or whatever. In one group you have a bunch of folks who like to have fun but enforce safety and have an ethical standard. In another group you have folks who slack on safety, and each weekend try to kill as much as possible. How are people likely to turn out in each club? What are the chances that a safety-minded and ethical gun user will come out of the first club, verses the second club?

    According to the logic train you're riding, it doesn't matter. They'll all turn into back-woods militia lunatics.

    Quote Originally Posted by verzen
    I usually picture religion much like a cliq in high school. To christians, if you arn't a christian or support christianity, you arn't one of the cool kids and they insult you, make fun of you, etc...
    Certainly true in (sadly) a lot of cases, but is it the religion? I don't know about anyone else, but my Christian upbringing never told me I should abuse or harm others who weren't Christians or of my Christian sect.

    Quote Originally Posted by verzen
    Then there are the muslim's.. who are much like the geeks... Some get so fed up with christians picking on them that they use technology and kill themselves in the process while blowing up.
    Different belief system, although they do have their own problems with misinterpretation and zealous-lunatics, same as everyone else.

    Quote Originally Posted by verzen
    ETC ETC.
    When do we get to the part where we apply this same chain of analysis to governments, humanitarian-organizations, and conservation-organizations?

    Quote Originally Posted by verzen
    It's all really childish. Why can't we all just get along?
    People have been asking that since the dawn of time.

    All creatures fight, quarrel, and do what they do. We are probably the most complex, therefore we have the most complex problems.

    It's the way things will always be, even if there is no religion.

    Quote Originally Posted by svwillmer
    It exists all over the world, people are childish...
    I wonder what the ratios would be, if you took the number of people who are idiots, assholes, etc, in relation to the number of people who are good, polite, etc.?

    People are generally of the dumb disposition BEFORE they strap a JATO rocket to their car, not during or after.
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    nomad wrote
    while the bibel has been changed and chopped through out history, it remains the word of God, if you go and read the bibel, the message HE wants you to get, will find you, the truth of it is unquestionable.


    wolf wrote
    What a load of crap. Did you honestly think about that before you wrote it? Come on, please use a little effort...

    Basically you've stated that if I crack the Bible open and it says "Eat crap and die." that I'll get the message God wants? Just because it's a "Bible?" What if I read it and I think it's saying I should hop on one foot every Sunday and say some phrases from the appendix at the back? I don't think I'll get much out of that...other than ridiculous notions.

    And how many people can actually follow the Bible? Any non-translated version reads like lyrical mumbo-jumbo if you don't know how to read it.

    Over half of the problems with religion (and the subject of analyzing religion) is because people read the religious texts and DON'T understand what's going on.

    Hate to say it, but the Bible isn't a magical totem that as soon as you open it you suddenly understand everything. That's like saying you can open a quantum physics textbook and suddenly become Niels Bohr.

    The "word of God" won't show up if what people are looking at is crap. There's about as much truth in saying that someone will find the word of God by just reading the Bible, as there is in saying they will find the word of God by just looking at the cover.


    I agree that many people interpret the bible wrong or take it too literately,
    And no if you open the bible you don’t magically understand everything, far from it
    What I am saying is,,,
    There’s always a message to find, and it comes through a connection with God
    And I know for sure that with that statement I’ve set myself up for ridicule.
    It’s a spiritual connection, a deep in your soul connection,
    And fine this may not be a logical way of looking at something, being that science is a logical area of study, but what’s wrong with having a spiritual experience, when you open that bible, and read from its pages and you receive the message you needed to hear, and this does not always happen.
    And sure many of you may just point out the fact that it’s just my mind looking for that answer and that it’s not really there, I’m just getting what i wanted out of it, no special connection there!!
    Just because you don’t understand something does not mean it doesn’t exist.
    And then comes the rain, people taking the piss with you just because you deem that spiritual connection higher than a scientific way of looking at everything, just like anything people don’t understand they usually ridicule it, and this has happened in the science world too, people being cast out because they have come up with some radical new idea (and that idea sometimes clashing with the church) about something that contradicts everything you think you know! So you throw it out
    Don’t get me wrong I don’t think science is some devil magic or something; I have nothing against logical thinking as long as you don’t disregard every other way of thinking you may come across.

    But emotion does play a roll, and emotion has no business in science right?
    The truth is you cannot apply science methods to that sort of spiritual connection. And many may find it difficult to understand, it’s something you know in your heart to be true.

    I really wish I could explain this away logically but truth is that it is not logical
    But that does not make it less real; it may to you but most certainly does not for me

    ***A religious debate has no business in a science forum, no business at all!!***[/b]
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  20. #19  
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    Quotes from various posters:

    It has been translated and retranslated, edited, and added to countless times.
    There have been that many translations who knows what the heck we are reading.
    Probably. I'm sure like Wikipedia, the Bible has once upon a time and now and again, had a few bits of information added and the person that added it doesn't actually have a clue what they are talking about
    Even in the best state possible, the Bible is still a highly subjective piece of writing. The fact that it was written by man, ads man's ability to screw up.
    So it's probably true to say that the "current" Bible is a disastrous abridged version of the original.
    And how many people can actually follow the Bible? Any non-translated version reads like lyrical mumbo-jumbo if you don't know how to read it.
    All of these comments show a complete lack of scholarly knowledge concerning the Bible and translation technique.

    The English Bibles we have today are not translations of language “a,” to language “b,” to language “c,” to language “d,” and finally, to language “e.”

    Most of today’s Bibles are direct translations from the earliest extent manuscripts available. Some translations which attempt to translate the original language into literal English equivalents. This would be true of the Revised Standard and New American Standard. They, as opposed to the King James, would be translation into today’s English rather than Elizabethan English. In addition to these translations, there are paraphrases which attempt to more freely express the thoughts in modern equivalent terms. But again, they are not translations and paraphrases of other translations and paraphrases – the transcribers work from the earliest known manuscripts.

    The idea that the Bible has been “changed” over the years is without scholarly background. The process of verifying textual accuracy is complex but relies heavily on the number of manuscripts available and the closeness of time to when the originals were prepared. The process is somewhat lengthy to go through here. However, there are many more Bible manuscripts and fragments of manuscripts available than for any other ancient document. The more copies you have, the easier it is to tell what the original said.


    The following link goes to an article that describes textual reliability. This particular type of study has nothing to do with the reliability of the information, just on textual reliabilty. That is, how close to the original document are present documents, and how significant are any discrepancies.
    http://home.earthlink.net/~ronrhodes/Manuscript.html

    I assume the comment about the “non-translated” version means text in the original language. This make no sense. Why would an original version of a Bible text be more complicated to translate than the original version of any other text ancient text? Perhaps whoever posted that can explain.
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  21. #20  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope mitchellmckain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    All of these comments show a complete lack of scholarly knowledge concerning the Bible and translation technique.
    Or these comments may be seen as a result of the fact that posters on this forum tend to use hyperbole beyond all reasonable bounds.

    The objective reader most certainly does not get the impression that the Bible has been freely altered to suit the desires of some organized religion, there are far too many embarassments to those who would like to claim religious authority. If you want to see what a sanitized version of the Bible might look like, I would reccommend reading the Book of Mormon, particularly 3rd Nephi which I think looks exactly like the rewrite of the gospels to satisfy the needs of a religious authority.
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner

    All of these comments show a complete lack of scholarly knowledge concerning the Bible and translation technique.
    Daytonturner has on several occasions been "schooled" in biblical matters, but his post that followed certainly demonstrates the schooling had little effect.

    Wasn't the original model of the bible simply a collection of so-called witnessed events from the gospel of Peter? Later in the early part of the 4th century came the 'Codex' which rejected any gospels that contradicted the divinity of Christ. Later, the Council of Chalcedon put them back in. Revelations has always been under debate. Old Testaments were varying in their messages, as well. The Thomson Chain, NIV and King James were all re-works. Lately, there has been the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Nag Hammadi texts that predate the Nicene Council and give yet another rendition of Christianity.

    Lack of scholarly knowledge, indeed.
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    Quote Originally Posted by (Q)
    Daytonturner has on several occasions been "schooled" in biblical matters, but his post that followed certainly demonstrates the schooling had little effect.
    Heh, yeah...

    I like the whole part about there being no scholarly background of change int he Bible's history. I guess the Catholic Church (for one) never existed. :P

    Ah well...I'm not in the mood to do any long-wind tonight. Cheers.
    Wolf
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    The idea that something written between two and three thousand years ago by authors largely unknown, when slavery, violence and misogynistic views were common practises, with the vast majority of people being illiterate and uneducated in both the elite and peasant classes and reflects only one small societies historical record could be the inerrant word of God is laughable. Especially with the weight of criticism, both literary and scientific, that has been piled onto the bible's assumed inerrancy since the 19th century. This isn't saying that there isn't anything to find in the bible, it's a wonderful look into the history of the Jews and its off shoot Christianity afterall.

    The other thing is too look at the history of how the bible has been interpreted. It's been used for and against slavery, for and against womens/gays rights, for and against particular ideas of God, for and against war, the list could go on. To consider that the interpretation shared by you and your buddies and the internal connection with God you have is the correct one is a major act of arrogance

    Speaking of the deep internal spiritual connection to God which affirms the inerrancy of the Bible is fine and dandy but in no way ads to the truth of the Bible. Consider that somebody living in Saudi Arabia would say they have the same deep internal spiritual connection to God which affirms the truth of the Koran. The only difference between the two of you is the society you grew up in which suggests that the actual religious tradition that someone is involved in is largely the accidental byproduct of where you were born and what circles you move in as you grow.

    So you could say that all religious traditions are paths to God which is to really say that none of them are true in so far as they're temporal components are concerned and when you're talking about things that are supernatural you're only constrained by logic if you want to be as deep internal spiritual connections don't mean much as a form of evidence.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flip McWho
    The only difference between the two of you is the society you grew up in...
    Good (although we kinda already got that ).

    It's been a belief of mine for a long time that nearly all religions are actually concerned about the same thing, despite differing details. It's all about interpretation.

    Somewhere else in this forum I was involved in a discussion about that in further detail, but basically the concentrated version is this:

    If you put a group of people in a room and ask each of them to paint a tree, what is the likelihood that you will get the exact same picture from each person? Sure, there will be similarities, but each person's image will be different.

    If you assume that the subject is (for lack of a better term) God, instead of a tree, what are the various kinds of interpretations you could get?

    Even polytheism and monotheism can be describing the same thing. Where monotheism ascribes all traits to a single figure, polytheism takes those traits and splits them out. The actual source is (at least as far as I can tell/see) unknown, so who's to say which is right? Appealing to the sense is almost the same as appealing to the whole.
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    Wolf,

    My problem with all religions being about the same thing is that many have interpretations that cannot be reconciled with each other, Islam cannot be true if Christianity is true for example. The details are what separates the various religions out from one another. If all are true then none are true. Once the chaff has been separated from the wheat you ain't left with much. I suppose the question I'll put to you is what is that same thing that religions are concerned about?

    My personal view of religion is that it is a byproduct of the normal cognitive functioning occurring in our brains. The religious details or interpretations are all then socially constructed over time and operate as a framework in which we interpret the cognitive byproducts.

    There also appears to me to be a separation between those who interpret religion as involving intentional agents within a distinct ontology and those who interpret religion as symbolic of the human condition.
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    The similarity goes a little higher than the details of the religion itself. The idea is the similarity. The idea that there is something more, that there is an aspect that needs to be determined and explained. A phenomena that is the focus.

    The stories, deities, and religious traditions of the Native Americans don't face for face match with Christianity, but if you ignore the names and compare the legends for what they are in structure, there's a lot of similarities. If the fundamental understandings weren't different, there wouldn't be the divide that exists between the sects. What's the variance in determination between groups of people? What is the likelihood of a certain theological path being determined for one group of people, verses another, when experiencing the same phenomena?

    What is the real difference between the Islamic God and the Christian God? In concept they're very similar. Christianity's internal polytheism (the Trinity) is often seen as one of the key differences (although it should be noted that this is not a universal facet in Christianity). But what is the Trinity, really? Is it the workings of a religious evolution? Or is it an interpretation of the phenomena? If taken as a factual part of the religion, what is the impact when regarding the whole?

    It's as though the Christians are saying "there is the branch, the leaf, and the trunk" and the Islams are saying "no, there's only the tree." What is the difference? Is there only a tree in Islam because they recognize the whole? Or is there a tree in Christianity, although they recognize it by its parts and not its whole?

    (Wow, that's a strange analogy...I need coffee...)
    Wolf
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