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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 12/19/2005 2:07:03 AM EDT
As a decidedly non-christian, what always fascinates me is how people wrap their heads around the very things that keep me from believing, and this goes for any religion I'm not singling out Christians. I just happened to have been raised Christian so I know more about it than say Islam.

Anywho, one of the problems I've always had with Christianity is that the text we all learn by is constantly changing, radically, and is so very far from what it was originally.

How do you reconcile this, and still follow the book?

As I see it, you have 2 choices.

1. You embrace the current "version" of the Bible, take it at face value and don't take serious the discrepancies between modern Christianity and the mutations from books past, believing that it's just a book and not literally divine or representative of God's direct influence on us.

2. You believe that God's hand has shaped the Bible all along, and from the first Rabinical council, to the lost books, to the scribes alterations and purposeful omissions, it was HE who changed the Bible so that each generation would understand his word in a way they could accept.

Now, where this gets sticky is, if you're one of the choice 1: people, you have to admit that the Bible is wholly man-made, and probably doesn't in most ways represent a literal history of God and his influence on earth, or else the book would be impervious to constant revision. That's fine by me, btw, I tend to agree with this version, but it does cast the Bible in a less-than-holy light.

If you're a choice 2: person, you have to believe that God shapes the bible through man. But, that leaves open a great hypocricy, wherein you cannot discount ANY revision, as you would have no way of knowing that God wasn't shaping his word in that manner. For instance, you would have to agree that the Mormon additions were also the hand of God. Or, worse, that if I myself decided to revise the Bible, that I was indeed acting in concert with the Big Guy.

So, facing all this, how do you feel about the ever-changing book?
Link Posted: 12/19/2005 2:20:38 AM EDT

you cannot discount ANY revision

There's a way around that. Do what the Baptists do. Believe that the King James translation was divinely inspired so it's the official one and stick with it. For a long time I thought that was strange, but after seeing all of the different versions of bibles in bookstores, I now see the wisdom in that.z
Link Posted: 12/19/2005 2:30:54 AM EDT

Originally Posted By zoom:

you cannot discount ANY revision

There's a way around that. Do what the Baptists do. Believe that the King James translation was divinely inspired so it's the official one and stick with it. For a long time I thought that was strange, but after seeing all of the different versions of bibles in bookstores, I now see the wisdom in that.z



Ok, the obvious question is, why is it divine, but no other revisions? How can you trust that the men who changed it then were divinely inspired yet all along the way everyone else who tampered with it was not?

It's still the same question. Either God shapes it day by day, translation by translation, or it's not quite the literal God Instruction Manual. I don't think you can have it both ways, unless you're willing to trust certain people over other people, with nothing but words as proof. How can you trust a book that's changed, as proof of its own solidity? That make sense?

I guess it would be like saying that at a certain point, the river changed from a straight to meandering path, at the will of God. Yet, if it changes again it's not God's hand....even tho it was before. And, way back before it was straight when it changed from curvy, that wasn't God either.
Link Posted: 12/19/2005 4:06:16 AM EDT

Originally Posted By swingset:

Anywho, one of the problems I've always had with Christianity is that the text we all learn by is constantly changing, radically, and is so very far from what it was originally.



Can you please provide specific examples?



1. You embrace the current "version" of the Bible, take it at face value and don't take serious the discrepancies between modern Christianity and the mutations from books past, believing that it's just a book and not literally divine or representative of God's direct influence on us.



In most cases, a different "version" is just a different translation. Some are paraphrases to try to put the classic language into contemporary vernacular to make it more readable to most people. While phrases may be worded differently, to message remains the same.

I have a parallel Bible, which has four "versions" side-by'side. You can read the same chapter or verse, and directly compare the different wordings. I have not found any contradictions. I find harmony between them and get a better overall understanding of the intent (Hebrew and Greek are very different languages from English).

There are some exceptions, but they are in the distinct minority. An example is the New World Translation, used by the Jehovah's Witnesses. It was reworded to make it fit their theology. Dr. Walter Martin documents this fairly well in his book, "The Kingdom of the Cults."

Overall, if you went into a Christian book store and compared a King James Version, New King James Version, Phillips Translation, New International Version, Amplified Bible, and some of the contemporary paraphrases like the Living Bible, you would see harmony in the Message.



2. You believe that God's hand has shaped the Bible all along, and from the first Rabinical council, to the lost books, to the scribes alterations and purposeful omissions, it was HE who changed the Bible so that each generation would understand his word in a way they could accept.


First, the scribes did not make "alterations and purposeful omissions." The scribe took his job very sewriously, and the accuracy of the copies was phenominal, as proved by comparing the Dead Sea scrolls to contemporary "versions."

Also, as noted above, men have made a multitude of translations from the original languages, but the message has remained consistent.

Thus, your attempt at painting us into a corner based on your misgiven perceptions fails.


So, facing all this, how do you feel about the ever-changing book?


I feel great about this Book because it is not ever-changing.
Link Posted: 12/19/2005 4:55:49 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Brohawk:

Originally Posted By swingset:

Anywho, one of the problems I've always had with Christianity is that the text we all learn by is constantly changing, radically, and is so very far from what it was originally.



Can you please provide specific examples?



1. You embrace the current "version" of the Bible, take it at face value and don't take serious the discrepancies between modern Christianity and the mutations from books past, believing that it's just a book and not literally divine or representative of God's direct influence on us.



In most cases, a different "version" is just a different translation. Some are paraphrases to try to put the classic language into contemporary vernacular to make it more readable to most people. While phrases may be worded differently, to message remains the same.

I have a parallel Bible, which has four "versions" side-by'side. You can read the same chapter or verse, and directly compare the different wordings. I have not found any contradictions. I find harmony between them and get a better overall understanding of the intent (Hebrew and Greek are very different languages from English).

There are some exceptions, but they are in the distinct minority. An example is the New World Translation, used by the Jehovah's Witnesses. It was reworded to make it fit their theology. Dr. Walter Martin documents this fairly well in his book, "The Kingdom of the Cults."

Overall, if you went into a Christian book store and compared a King James Version, New King James Version, Phillips Translation, New International Version, Amplified Bible, and some of the contemporary paraphrases like the Living Bible, you would see harmony in the Message.



2. You believe that God's hand has shaped the Bible all along, and from the first Rabinical council, to the lost books, to the scribes alterations and purposeful omissions, it was HE who changed the Bible so that each generation would understand his word in a way they could accept.


First, the scribes did not make "alterations and purposeful omissions." The scribe took his job very sewriously, and the accuracy of the copies was phenominal, as proved by comparing the Dead Sea scrolls to contemporary "versions."

Also, as noted above, men have made a multitude of translations from the original languages, but the message has remained consistent.

Thus, your attempt at painting us into a corner based on your misgiven perceptions fails.


So, facing all this, how do you feel about the ever-changing book?


I feel great about this Book because it is not ever-changing.



Ok, whatever.

The Bible has never been altered, never had books thrown out, never met with political or cultural conflict which altered teachings, and most certainly has never been willfully misinterpreted or changed by the hands of scribes. I was making all that up of course.

The Devil, as we all know, alters historical and religious history text so as to appear that man has screwed with holy texts many times throughout the ages. It's just a ruse, to test those of true faith, yes?

I should have known this was the kind of disengenuous argument I'd get.

Some Christians I can talk to. Others, well I guess it's like having a debate about which sandwhich bread tastes the best with someone who doesn't acknowledge there is a sandwich.

Anyone who's actually read some history of Western civilization care to comment?
Link Posted: 12/19/2005 5:39:24 AM EDT

Swingset,

This is a good topic you've posted. What do you see that has changed in the bible over the years?? I've often wondered about different translations and even the differences between the Received Text and different codex's. I've looked at the Latin Vulgate and the many english translations.

Other than semantics there is very little, if any, differences between the translations. All english bibles primarily are various literal translations, dyanmic equivalence, or paraphrased. The translations come from the Received Text, Latin Vulgate, and/or other codex's. The differences between these early texts is about 2%, not much at all. So any new english translation done with care and objectivity should be the same as other english translations.


Look at this:

    KJV Mat 2:1 Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,

    YLT Mat 2:1 And Jesus having been born in Beth-Lehem of Judea, in the days of Herod the king, lo, mages from the east came to Jerusalem,

    NIV Mat 2:1 After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, "Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him."


Why does some translations use "wise men", another uses "mages", and another use "Magi"? Is the Bible changing, evolving? NIV and YLT use the untranslated word mages or Magi which means magician. Magician in the first century doesn't mean what it does today. It means scholar, someone very smart and educated. Wise men, mages, and magi are synonymous. What appears to be change is really just difference in semantics so no, the bible is not changing or evolving.

Thanks,

Shok
Link Posted: 12/19/2005 5:49:41 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/19/2005 5:51:19 AM EDT by QShok]

Originally Posted By swingset:

I guess it would be like saying that at a certain point, the river changed from a straight to meandering path, at the will of God. Yet, if it changes again it's not God's hand....even tho it was before. And, way back before it was straight when it changed from curvy, that wasn't God either.



When did it stop being a river? As is the Bible. No matter the semantics or the cover you put on it, it is the inspired word of God.

Shok
Link Posted: 12/19/2005 5:53:14 AM EDT
I can read koine Greek and ancient Hebrew and can squeak by in Aramaic so I don't worry a whole lot about changes in translations.

Changes in the Greek text and Hebrew text as someone else has mentioned are very minor. Changing an alpha iota to an alpha with iota subscript, etc. make up the vast majority of the changes. Also these are very well documented in the margin of a good original language text so you can look and tell what the changes were. See any copy of Biblical Stuttgartensia for example.

One of the greatest benefits of the Dead Sea Scrolls was they revealed how little the Hebrew text changed between 200 BC and AD 800.

Significant changes in the Greek text of the New Testament include John 8:1-11, the ending of Mark and a few others. Interestingly none of these contain any essential doctrine that is not included elsewhere (unless you like drinking poison and playing with snakes).

All in all the Bible itself has gone through remarkably little change (how it's taught is a different story).

For further info see F.F. Bruce, The New Testament Documents


Link Posted: 12/19/2005 6:14:00 AM EDT

Originally Posted By swingset:
As a decidedly non-christian,



So then are you an atheist? It seems that you are at least questioning your atheism........

The way I see it is as follows......Jesus said that the Bible was God' infallible word, both the old and new testament. As I beleive that Jesus died for our sins I also choose to believe the word of God's only son over the word of the non-believers 2000 years later.....HIS word has stood the test of time and is still with us to guide us through after all those years.

Perhaps these contradictions are there simply as an attempt to test your faith or sway you? Satan as we all know is constantly attempting to deceive and trick us, perhaps he has tricked you?

The reality is that whether or not you choose to believe the words in the Bible, it will live on long after you and I are dead. I would rather believe that their is more to life than just living until you die, there is a purpose and God has outlined it for us in His words.
Link Posted: 12/19/2005 9:28:28 AM EDT
I can answer your question with one simple word, and unfortunately it is a word that has tripped up the intelligent and the slow of wit. It has confounded the wise and powerful and has empowered the simple...


FAITH

By faith, I believe that when One reads the Bible, he is led by the Spirit which was promised to us by Christ in John 14:26

26"But the (A)Helper, the Holy Spirit, (B)whom the Father will send in My name, (C)He will teach you all things, and (D)bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.

The Holy Spirit guides all men as they search for truth...but it requires a leap of Faith!

Merry Christmas
Link Posted: 12/19/2005 10:37:24 AM EDT

Originally Posted By swingset:


Ok, whatever.



There's a solid response.


The Bible has never been altered, never had books thrown out, never met with political or cultural conflict which altered teachings, and most certainly has never been willfully misinterpreted or changed by the hands of scribes.


Comparison with ancient manuscripts show that contemporary versions/translations are right on target. Any variations are quite minor and do not change the meaning of the text.


I was making all that up of course.


I don't think so. I think you were expressing an opinion.

However, if you do have specific examples, I'll look at them.


The Devil, as we all know, alters historical and religious history text so as to appear that man has screwed with holy texts many times throughout the ages. It's just a ruse, to test those of true faith, yes?


Do you have examples in which the current printings differ from the ancient manuscripts? The Dead Sea Scrolls confirmed the faithfulness of the copying through the ages.


I should have known this was the kind of disengenuous argument I'd get.


Disingenuous? How?

You came in here with a question loaded with two options designed to paint Christians into a corner of inconsistency and logical contradiction. Rather than label you a troll I answered your points.


Some Christians I can talk to. Others, well I guess it's like having a debate about which sandwhich bread tastes the best with someone who doesn't acknowledge there is a sandwich.


Which ones can you talk to? Those who agree with you or roll over in surrender?

Although we don't agree here, I assure you that you can indeed talk to me.


Anyone who's actually read some history of Western civilization care to comment?


Like me?
Link Posted: 12/19/2005 10:46:59 AM EDT
I am amused by athiests who argue the inaccuracy of the bible in the face of those who have actually studied (not just read a magazine article about) the bible.
Link Posted: 12/19/2005 11:15:41 AM EDT
BTW, Swingset, I'm not your enemy.
Link Posted: 12/19/2005 11:28:26 AM EDT

Originally Posted By fizassist:
I am amused by athiests who argue the inaccuracy of the bible in the face of those who have actually studied (not just read a magazine article about) the bible.



There are plenty of Christians who argue for the human origins and inaccuracies of the Bible.

One of my favorite books on the Bible is "Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism : A Bishop Rethinks the Meaning of Scripture" by John Shelby Spong.

I do think people make too much of things like the sun stopping and other stuff that is simply frame of reference.
Link Posted: 12/19/2005 11:56:08 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/19/2005 12:00:02 PM EDT by QShok]

Originally Posted By Dino:

Originally Posted By fizassist:
I am amused by athiests who argue the inaccuracy of the bible in the face of those who have actually studied (not just read a magazine article about) the bible.



There are plenty of Christians who argue for the human origins and inaccuracies of the Bible.

One of my favorite books on the Bible is "Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism : A Bishop Rethinks the Meaning of Scripture" by John Shelby Spong.

I do think people make too much of things like the sun stopping and other stuff that is simply frame of reference.




Thanks for the recommendation. I will have to find that book.


How is it a frame of reference? In the sight of Israel the sun did stop and the going down of the sun was commanded by Joshua (Joshua 10).

Did Elijah not stop the rain for three years and six months either (1 King 17, 1 King 18, James 5:17)?

Shok
Link Posted: 12/19/2005 12:37:20 PM EDT
swingset -

Jesus is the Christ, teh Son of the Living God.

Typically, You'll need to embrace that truth before God will reveal anything more to you.

Truth is sequential. And God doesn't reveal "sophomore" level truth, when freshment level truth is summarily rejected.

Go back to the beginning.

I'll meet you there. IM me.



Link Posted: 12/19/2005 12:53:15 PM EDT

Originally Posted By fizassist:
I am amused by athiests who argue the inaccuracy of the bible in the face of those who have actually studied (not just read a magazine article about) the bible.



I'm not an atheist, I just happen not to believe in the words of men, or books written by man. If I speak to God, I speak. No intermediary is necessary. I don't believe the Bible is the word of God, or chronicles the creator of life on earth in any way shape or form. I simply believe it is man-made mythology.

The God I happen to believe in is probably very different from what you think God is, and I don't bother to lay it out or define it, but I'm comfortable with my beliefs. I don't ask that you follow my path, and I demand the same of you. I'm not religious, but I'm spiritual. I don't KNOW what the meaning of life is, what God expects of me, what will happen when I die, or anyother of the tough answers, yet I'm at peace with my place in nature, the manner in which I live and raise children, and the unknowing. I don't fear an empty death, nor do I expect reward upon my expiration.

That's as clear as I can make it.

What I'm not comfortable with is people who FEEL instead of think. I don't admire it with anti-gun liberals, I don't like it from Christians. You, for instance, are a smart well reasoned man. You've had education, have in most other areas of your life (judging by your posts) a clear mind and deductive reasoning. Yet, when it comes to FAITH, you shut that analytical mind right off and accept something that in the abstract is utterly absurd and then systematically build up a defense of that belief by taking in only opinions or views that agree with it.

In other words partner, you have lived before. You were telling Galilleo he was a heretic. You told Newton his ideas would destroy God. You chastised philosophers, scientists and anyone else who tampered with the idea of a creator with cold, hard, science that enriched the world.

I have a mountain of history books on mythology, western religion and faith. I inherited quite a collection a few years back. Most are impartial chronicles of religion's influence on Europe and Western society, and that is all. These are the books I read to learn, as well as the Bible.

Instead of sitting here, and playing back and forth with examples which you and the rest of the forum will debunk with theological text that counters it, I'll end this whole thing by admitting complete and utter defeat. It's a tidier method.

I cannot argue facts of history, if the books that contain them are heretical in your minds. I cannot argue matters of fact, if you are operating completely, 100% on faith that the Bible is infallible or unchanging. I cannot argue with close minds, and I won't.

I didn't come here to play back and forth. I questioned how you deal with parts of the Bible that offer a tough choice, and what I'm getting is denial that there is a choice. So, the argument is quite meaningless.

I'm arguing about the course of the river, and again, most folks don't aknowledge the river hasn't changed, and they have faith that it hasn't. How can I argue that? By outfeeling them?
Link Posted: 12/19/2005 12:55:04 PM EDT

Originally Posted By QShok:

Originally Posted By Dino:

Originally Posted By fizassist:
I am amused by athiests who argue the inaccuracy of the bible in the face of those who have actually studied (not just read a magazine article about) the bible.



There are plenty of Christians who argue for the human origins and inaccuracies of the Bible.

One of my favorite books on the Bible is "Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism : A Bishop Rethinks the Meaning of Scripture" by John Shelby Spong.

I do think people make too much of things like the sun stopping and other stuff that is simply frame of reference.




Thanks for the recommendation. I will have to find that book.


How is it a frame of reference? In the sight of Israel the sun did stop and the going down of the sun was commanded by Joshua (Joshua 10).

Did Elijah not stop the rain for three years and six months either (1 King 17, 1 King 18, James 5:17)?

Shok



Of course its frame of reference just like when we say the sun is coming up or goin down. If that event happened what actually occured is God made the earth stop spinning. Some will attack that verse as being in error because it shows a belief that the sun orbits the earth, when it is really just a matter of reference.



Link Posted: 12/19/2005 1:32:36 PM EDT
I haven't listened to it yet (at home on dialup), but a friend of mine sent me this link to NPR's interview with Bart Ehrman, who wrote "The Battle for Scripture and the Faiths We Never Knew". I have read that book, and it's very interesting. He has a new book about misquoting Jesus and the way the scribes interpreted the words of Jesus. I haven't read it, nor heard this interview, but it's something probably along the lines of what I'm referring to (*hopefully).

www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5052156

So you know, I also have read 2 books on why the Bible hasn't changed, one by Alister Mcgrath that is exhaustive. I don't just read opinions I agree with. (ahem)
Link Posted: 12/19/2005 1:33:08 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/19/2005 1:34:18 PM EDT by fizassist]

Originally Posted By swingset:
What I'm not comfortable with is people who FEEL instead of think. I don't admire it with anti-gun liberals, I don't like it from Christians.



Feeling with the glands and feeling with the spirit are veeeery different things.


Yet, when it comes to FAITH, you shut that analytical mind right off and accept something that in the abstract is utterly absurd and then systematically build up a defense of that belief by taking in only opinions or views that agree with it.



I don't need to shut the analytical part off; it is simply insufficient. For 27 years, I let it have its go at trying to explain the unfullfilled longings of my spirit. It failed, as it will fail in all men.
Link Posted: 12/19/2005 1:48:30 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/19/2005 1:52:29 PM EDT by WildBoar]
edited because its not worth the argument that is being propped up.


Its a trap
Link Posted: 12/19/2005 4:44:04 PM EDT

Originally Posted By WildBoar:
edited because its not worth the argument that is being propped up.


Its a trap



It's not an argument, it's a question. IF (and only if) you acknowledge that the Bible has undergone changes, how do you reconcile those with the faith of today? I'm genuinely interested in how people who DO find faith in the good book find answers where persistent questions arise. You're obviously not one of those people. Fine.

If you feel it is a trap, then it is and you've answered my question about your particular view in doing so.

I have Christian friends who don't mind talking about the doubts or conflicts where faith meets real life....and we don't fight or go at it tooth and nail. When I was a younger man, I was a questioning Christian, and had people been a bit more honest about answering my questions instead of pulling a "Garandman" turnabout like "Only if you truly believe can you know the answers, so you must not believe", I might still be a Christian. But, people are conartists, and I know God doesn't send dolts to do his work. At least not if he wants to reach me he doesn't. Afterall, he made me, yes? And he knows better than anyone that you don't send Garandman to reach someone who thinks.
Link Posted: 12/19/2005 4:59:03 PM EDT

Originally Posted By fizassist:

Yet, when it comes to FAITH, you shut that analytical mind right off and accept something that in the abstract is utterly absurd and then systematically build up a defense of that belief by taking in only opinions or views that agree with it.



I don't need to shut the analytical part off; it is simply insufficient. For 27 years, I let it have its go at trying to explain the unfullfilled longings of my spirit. It failed, as it will fail in all men.



Ok, fair enough. You said it yourself. When you used the analytical portion of your brain - the one that lets you function in this life instead of slobbering and running into walls, it didn't come to a meaningful resolution with matters of your spirit. I get it.

That's where you and I differ then. I realized, early on, that the part of my mind that doesn't buy stories from Religious Leader A, and discount Religious Leader B, is the part of my mind that God is using to keep me clear and pure. Instead of shutting that part of my brain down, as you did, I used that portion to seek God out in a non-human way. That part of my mind realized that God gave me this mind precisely so that I would look beyond human folly to find him, and whala....I did.

You, on the other hand, sought God in a TOTALLY human way, through men, through the Bible. You shed reason for faith, faith in a book, faith in a church, faith in man. I sought faith through reason. You accepted the Bible as a holy document. I reject it as man interfering with the pure conduit of God.

Which of us is God happier with? Which is following his directions? If I listen to you, you are right (and heaven bound), and I'm a Satan Worshipping Heathen. If I listen to God, I just keep on living as I do, and things will work out. Gee, tough choice.

I'll get back to you when I make my mind up. Leaning towards God right now, but if I happen to have a sudden lapse of reason, I'll look you up.
Link Posted: 12/19/2005 5:16:39 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Dino:

Originally Posted By QShok:

Originally Posted By Dino:

Originally Posted By fizassist:
I am amused by athiests who argue the inaccuracy of the bible in the face of those who have actually studied (not just read a magazine article about) the bible.



There are plenty of Christians who argue for the human origins and inaccuracies of the Bible.

One of my favorite books on the Bible is "Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism : A Bishop Rethinks the Meaning of Scripture" by John Shelby Spong.

I do think people make too much of things like the sun stopping and other stuff that is simply frame of reference.




Thanks for the recommendation. I will have to find that book.


How is it a frame of reference? In the sight of Israel the sun did stop and the going down of the sun was commanded by Joshua (Joshua 10).

Did Elijah not stop the rain for three years and six months either (1 King 17, 1 King 18, James 5:17)?

Shok



Of course its frame of reference just like when we say the sun is coming up or goin down. If that event happened what actually occured is God made the earth stop spinning. Some will attack that verse as being in error because it shows a belief that the sun orbits the earth, when it is really just a matter of reference.







Oh yeah thats right, duh!

Thanks,

Shok
Link Posted: 12/19/2005 5:29:21 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/19/2005 5:29:55 PM EDT by NavajoGunOwner]
Get this book!
Differences Between Bible Versions. by Gary F. Zeolla
I had a couple Scholary smart educated Greek and Hebrew read types review the text he uses and the referances. They said it checks out.
get a copy at
www.amazon.com/gp/product/0759625018/qid=1135045427/sr=8-1/ref=sr_8_xs_ap_i1_xgl14/103-3816098-3846242?n=507846&s=books&v=glance

You will learn about Critical vs. Recieved vs. Majority text and you will learn difference between formal equivalance vs. dynamic equ. translation methods.

It will answer alot of the discussion on the post!
Link Posted: 12/19/2005 5:44:58 PM EDT

Originally Posted By swingset:
I'll get back to you when I make my mind up. Leaning towards God right now, but if I happen to have a sudden lapse of reason, I'll look you up.



Interesting....

Link Posted: 12/19/2005 5:48:08 PM EDT

Originally Posted By swingset:

Originally Posted By fizassist:
I don't need to shut the analytical part off; it is simply insufficient. For 27 years, I let it have its go at trying to explain the unfullfilled longings of my spirit. It failed, as it will fail in all men.



Ok, fair enough. You said it yourself. When you used the analytical portion of your brain - the one that lets you function in this life instead of slobbering and running into walls, it didn't come to a meaningful resolution with matters of your spirit. I get it.

That's where you and I differ then. I realized, early on, that the part of my mind that doesn't buy stories from Religious Leader A, and discount Religious Leader B, is the part of my mind that God is using to keep me clear and pure. Instead of shutting that part of my brain down, as you did, I used that portion to seek God out in a non-human way. That part of my mind realized that God gave me this mind precisely so that I would look beyond human folly to find him, and whala....I did.

You, on the other hand, sought God in a TOTALLY human way, through men, through the Bible. You shed reason for faith, faith in a book, faith in a church, faith in man. I sought faith through reason. You accepted the Bible as a holy document. I reject it as man interfering with the pure conduit of God.

Which of us is God happier with? Which is following his directions? If I listen to you, you are right (and heaven bound), and I'm a Satan Worshipping Heathen. If I listen to God, I just keep on living as I do, and things will work out. Gee, tough choice.

I'll get back to you when I make my mind up. Leaning towards God right now, but if I happen to have a sudden lapse of reason, I'll look you up.



No, I'm afraid you don't get it. I no more shut down the reasoning part of my brain to find God than I shut down my feet when I need to use a stepladder to change a light bulb. Obviously, my feet are still necessary, but my feet do me no good without something to stand on.

I used to believe as you, that I could know God without knowing his Word. That just being "good" would be enough. Have you read Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis? Give it a try sometime, if you are actually interested in learning something and are not just stirring the shit to make yourself feel better about your god.
Link Posted: 12/19/2005 5:59:14 PM EDT

Originally Posted By swingset:

Originally Posted By WildBoar:
edited because its not worth the argument that is being propped up.


Its a trap



It's not an argument, it's a question. IF (and only if) you acknowledge that the Bible has undergone changes, how do you reconcile those with the faith of today? I'm genuinely interested in how people who DO find faith in the good book find answers where persistent questions arise. You're obviously not one of those people. Fine.

If you feel it is a trap, then it is and you've answered my question about your particular view in doing so.

I have Christian friends who don't mind talking about the doubts or conflicts where faith meets real life....and we don't fight or go at it tooth and nail. When I was a younger man, I was a questioning Christian, and had people been a bit more honest about answering my questions instead of pulling a "Garandman" turnabout like "Only if you truly believe can you know the answers, so you must not believe", I might still be a Christian. But, people are conartists, and I know God doesn't send dolts to do his work. At least not if he wants to reach me he doesn't. Afterall, he made me, yes? And he knows better than anyone that you don't send Garandman to reach someone who thinks.



Sorry , the way you answered Ben gave me the impression that you only wanted to have others hear your opinion rather than to actually learn why other believe as they do. Many people opo up with a question when they had no intention of really wanting to understand the answer, rather to make themselves heard.

Sorry I assumed you were doing that.
Link Posted: 12/19/2005 7:05:17 PM EDT

Originally Posted By fizassist:
I used to believe as you, that I could know God without knowing his Word. That just being "good" would be enough. Have you read Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis? Give it a try sometime, if you are actually interested in learning something and are not just stirring the shit to make yourself feel better about your god.



I've read it.

Thanks, and I'm not stirring shit about my God, or yours. I don't seek to tear down your faith, or anyone else's, but to understand how that faith really works on a gut level. Everyone's different, everyone has different levels of acceptance and questions regarding their meaning and that of God.

Believe me, I question alot of religion, and the foundations of that faith. Don't flatter yourself to beleive I only want to pick on you.
Link Posted: 12/19/2005 7:33:18 PM EDT
Christianity is about a constant and daily relationship with the living Savior, Jesus Christ, NOT about following a bunch of rules.

Try it sometime......

Link Posted: 12/21/2005 12:21:22 PM EDT
Swingset,

Are you suggesting that having faith means leaving the rational mind behind?

I don't want to put words in your mouth, but it appears that you are saying that since there are various versions of the Bible, you have decided that "Christianity" is not for you.


As a decidedly non-christian
.

Is it really that easy to trip you up? I would think that a thinking person, and one as well read as you

I have a mountain of history books on mythology, western religion and faith. I inherited quite a collection a few years back. Most are impartial chronicles of religion's influence on Europe and Western society, and that is all. These are the books I read to learn, as well as the Bible.


that it would take a lot more than that to disuade you...
Link Posted: 12/21/2005 1:48:04 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/21/2005 1:49:05 PM EDT by Belloc]

Originally Posted By swingset:
As a decidedly non-christian, what always fascinates me is how people wrap their heads around the very things that keep me from believing, and this goes for any religion I'm not singling out Christians. I just happened to have been raised Christian so I know more about it than say Islam.

Anywho, one of the problems I've always had with Christianity is that the text we all learn by is constantly changing, radically, and is so very far from what it was originally.

How do you reconcile this, and still follow the book?

As I see it, you have 2 choices.

1. You embrace the current "version" of the Bible, take it at face value and don't take serious the discrepancies between modern Christianity and the mutations from books past, believing that it's just a book and not literally divine or representative of God's direct influence on us.

2. You believe that God's hand has shaped the Bible all along, and from the first Rabinical council, to the lost books, to the scribes alterations and purposeful omissions, it was HE who changed the Bible so that each generation would understand his word in a way they could accept.

Now, where this gets sticky is, if you're one of the choice 1: people, you have to admit that the Bible is wholly man-made, and probably doesn't in most ways represent a literal history of God and his influence on earth, or else the book would be impervious to constant revision. That's fine by me, btw, I tend to agree with this version, but it does cast the Bible in a less-than-holy light.

If you're a choice 2: person, you have to believe that God shapes the bible through man. But, that leaves open a great hypocricy, wherein you cannot discount ANY revision, as you would have no way of knowing that God wasn't shaping his word in that manner. For instance, you would have to agree that the Mormon additions were also the hand of God. Or, worse, that if I myself decided to revise the Bible, that I was indeed acting in concert with the Big Guy.

So, facing all this, how do you feel about the ever-changing book?



By going with choice "C", become a Catholic. In the same way the Church teaches that if faith ever condradicts reason, or reason faith, one of the two is in error and through the use of REASON the truth can be found, so the Church believes that God willed that Scripture, Apostolic Tradition, and Magisterium, be the instruments to teach the faith and reason is to be the guide to settle any apparent contraditions between the three.
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