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Featured Is the Bible Trustworthy?

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by thomas t, Jan 4, 2021.

  1. thomas t

    thomas t non-denominational Christian

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    flood? there might not be no evidence at all since it happened on the forerunner of this earth, according to the Bible... see 2 Peter 3:5-6.
     
  2. PureX

    PureX Veteran Member

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    I understand that "is this factually correct" is an irrelevant question if there has been no factual claim. And fictitious "factual claims" are not intended to be taken as actual factual claims. Which is why I asked if you would take such a claim from Shakespeare as a factual claim, or as a part of "the story".
    I assume it was to create a sense of connection between the reader, and the characters. This was a culture that vested all authority in male lineage. Sons were considered the legal, physical, and actual extensions of their fathers. So for the authors of these texts to provide such a lineage (even if fictional) was to imply a direct line of authority from the characters to the readers.
    All of it was written to be read, contemplated, debated, argued, and applied to life's circumstances. This is how the people who wrote those texts used them. Much of what was written was intended cause confusion, and consternation, and bafflement. It was intended to keep the men who read it pondering the nature of their inexplicable omni-God, and how to live in it's shadow. These were not "how to" texts. They were "consider this" texts.
    They were never written to be taken as a factual "history", nor were they used in that way. They were written to inspire contemplation, discussion, debate, and awe. To be used to keep the users mind on their inexplicable onmi-God, always. This is what they meant by calling their God the "living God". It was a God that they related to and struggled with constantly, in the course of their lives.
    From our perspective in the human timeline, we DO have some historical facts from which to try and grasp these ancient texts, and the people who wrote and used them. All we have to do is choose to apply them, appropriately.
     
  3. icehorse

    icehorse Veteran Member
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    Okay. Given that context, I would say that the bible is not terribly trustworthy. But neither is most Abrahamic scripture.
     
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  4. Windwalker

    Windwalker Veteran Member
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    Someone can still be trustworthy, and not be infallible. They may make misstatements from time to time, and you be a good friend and excuse them their mistakes. Or, if they come a half hour delayed, are you going to forever banish them as your friend? Will you be insistent upon perfect accuracy from them, in order for you to find value in a relationship with them? That's kind of what you are saying is your expectation from scripture in your relationship with it.

    Is it best to reject science then when it disagrees with your interpretations of scripture? Is that healthy spiritually? Does that bring your closer to God, to deny other perspectives than what you currently hold as true?
     
  5. TransmutingSoul

    TransmutingSoul One Planet One People Please
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    It is indeed a sure and reliable spiritual guide.

    Regards Tony
     
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  6. Left Coast

    Left Coast Circular File Complaint Analyst
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    There might be no evidence that I'm controlling your mind, but that doesn't mean I'm not!

    What's the difference?
     
  7. blü 2

    blü 2 Well-Known Member
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    Surely it's a simple case of Matthew contradicting Mark, not Jairus contradicting himself?

    But the bible contradicts itself in many little ways eg

    Mark 6:8 He charged them to take nothing for their journey except a staff; no bread, no bag, no money in their belts;

    Matthew 10: 9 Take no gold, nor silver, nor copper in your belts, 10 no bag for your journey, nor two tunics, nor sandals, nor a staff;

    And in big ways. Mark's Jesus is an ordinary Jew until God adopts him as [his] son on his baptism. He's not descended from David.

    The Jesuses of Matthew and Luke are the products of divine insemination and have God's Y-chromosome. They're each descended from David by genealogies which are as fake as each other and completely irreconcilable (and Jesus is not the son of Joseph in those stories anyway).

    The Jesuses of Paul and John pre-existed in Heaven with God, created the material universe (regardless of Genesis 1), and were born into Jewish families which are descended from David.

    And that's just a tiny sample.

    I think the problem arises because of a Christian tradition that the bible must be read so as to tell a single unified story. Since it very clearly doesn't, since it very clearly is written in separate books at separate times and places by separate authors (sometimes more than one author per book) with separate purposes and separate agendas, the tradition of a unified story is untenable when you read the documents impartially.

    That doesn't prevent them from being valuable records of ancient thought, of course.
     
    #47 blü 2, Jan 4, 2021
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  8. MikeF

    MikeF Proponent of RAEism
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    I would have no qualms if scripture were presented as literature, for one can critique literature. This is not how it is presented. Above all, is the overarching unquestionable assertion of a prime mover as fact.
     
    #48 MikeF, Jan 4, 2021
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  9. Jayhawker Soule

    Jayhawker Soule <yawn> ignore </yawn>
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    Of course. Virtually anything can have symbolic meaning. What's more, since symbolic meaning is subjective, the symbolic meaning something might have to me might well be different than the symbolic meaning it has for you. None of this is particularly relevant.

    Where interpretation turns to ignorant mush is when it pretentiously makes baseless claims about the author's 'symbolic' intent.
     
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  10. Jayhawker Soule

    Jayhawker Soule <yawn> ignore </yawn>
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    I will not have this thread turn into a scurrilous attack against @Sunstone .
     
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  11. oldbadger

    oldbadger Skanky Old Mongrel!

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    In my opinion, contradictions don't 'bin' the bible. A lot of the bible entries are most valuable, others are junk, I think.

    So for those who believe that the bible is the inerrant word of God, sadly I cannot agree. For others who think it can be most valuable in many ways, yes.... I think so too,
    :)
     
  12. halbhh

    halbhh The wonder and awe of "all things".

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    For me, my answer was I didn't have to know. I just wanted to try out what Jesus the Teacher said to do in the accounts (without assuming anything!), and see how it worked out, in real life.

    (it's not relevant from that approach how precise the transcription or oral tradition was, etc. one can experience why quite easily: go to a variety of lectures/speakers about how to live better, and then try out their ideas: You learn that having a perfect transcription of their words doesn't make the ideas good ones! Instead, ideas are only good if they actually work better than competing ideas in real life, when you actually do the instructions!)
     
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  13. Moses_UK

    Moses_UK Member

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  14. cOLTER

    cOLTER Well-Known Member
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    No! The Bible is largely human. It wasn't written by historians or philosophers. The heavily redacted Old Testament books were written by Israelites FOR Israelites. The priest class needed to present a powerful God, Yahweh, the nature God of the Sini Volcano and to the common man in the same way the Wizard of OZ kept his kingdom in fear and awe. It has a bias towards the ethno-state of Israel. Its vastly exaggerated with ridiculous claims.
     
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  15. Moses_UK

    Moses_UK Member

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  16. A Vestigial Mote

    A Vestigial Mote Well-Known Member

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    Well, you did sort of speak of "the school of Humpty Dumpty" in a contemptuous light. And that bit you quoted from Alice in Wonderland to flesh out your idea of this "school of Humpty Dumpty" invoked the idea that words can have whatever meanings the "master" ascribes them, regardless what anyone else cares to say on the matter - and yet with everyone thinking they are the master in one way or another, we find ourselves facing a bit of a conundrum.

    So, all of that would lead one to believe that you, instead, believe there to be very succinct, and specific meaning to the texts. By the way... are you the master?
     
  17. cOLTER

    cOLTER Well-Known Member
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    We can glean spiritual lessons from the scripture books but our trust should be in God alone.
     
  18. Jayhawker Soule

    Jayhawker Soule <yawn> ignore </yawn>
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    Perhaps you're simply being led to where you want to go. As to whether there is a "very succinct, and specific meaning to the texts," I suspect it would much depend on the text in question.

    Not even close.
     
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  19. Riders

    Riders Well-Known Member

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    Th trouble is there are tons of contradictions in the bible. another contradiction is the ancestry of Jesus being different in different books. There´s no proof the bible is true.
     
  20. Windwalker

    Windwalker Veteran Member
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    So what are you saying? We are to assume the author was speaking factually about what he believed was to be the truth of the history he is writing about, such as the story of Moses and the Exodus, or Noah's Ark, etc?

    As someone who does not believe the books were written by Moses, but much later authors, I will grant that in a sense the authors may have believed the stories as real history, if that is what you are suggesting. But even acknowledging that, I would make an argument that these were not stories merely about historical facts.

    They were very much intending to communicate other truths within those stories, even as they spoke them believing them to be true. That's how myths work. In other words there was meaning for the stories. Not ever single line on every single page of the scriptures was that, of course, but the mythologies of things like Noah's Ark, or Jonah and the Whale, were very much more than just stories.

    That said, of course you should not err to say "this alone was his meaning", as that misses the point of good, enduring mythologies. They inspire subjective meanings, plural, in the listener. If that is what you are saying, you have my full support.
     
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