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Author Topic:   A Problem With the Literal Interpretation of Scripture
GDR
Member
Posts: 3796
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 1.8


Message 256 of 304 (656521)
03-19-2012 2:39 PM
Reply to: Message 255 by purpledawn
03-19-2012 7:51 AM


Re: C.S. Lewis - Rumpled Theology
purpledawn writes:

The belief that the Bible was dictated by God, is just that, a belief. I don't know that it is part of any method of interpretation. One's beliefs will impact their understanding.

Of course.

purpledawn writes:

In Message 236, I addressed the issue of the death sentences and showed that the laws given weren't out of line with the times. I also showed information concerning Jews and stoning. If the text attributes the rules to God, then yes, according to the text God advocates what he supposedly said.

Of course that is what the text says so essentially we can come to one of two conclusions about that.
1/ The author is correct and it could be actually from God or that he accurately discerned Godís will.
2/ The author is mistaken although it might be a genuine mistake or he could be lying.

We have to come to a conclusion about that. If we assume that all of the text is literally directly from God then we donít have to think any further. It is obviously correct. If however we accept that the text is culturally and personally conditioned then we have to consider it more closely. I believe the latter with my degree of confidence in the accuracy of the text increasing as we draw closer to the time that the New Testament was written. The Gospels are written in a manner of someone relating an actual story with details. I accept that the gospels were written later but there is every indication that the gospels are taken from earlier writings and from eye witness accounts. There are details in the Gospels, such as Jesus writing in the sand without any record of what He wrote, such as the failings of one of the primary movers in the early church, (Peter), such as having women as witnesses in a strongly patriarchal society, such as the degree of confusion as to what Jesus meant amongst the disciples etc that gives the Gospels a sense of authenticity.

Paulís writings were earlier and he was a contemporary of the disciples, and so would have close to first hand knowledge of Jesusí message.

purpledawn writes:

My problem with the Lewis method is that there isn't any consistent basis for declaring the OT written by men and not of God, but that the NT is of God even though it is also written by men. His system negates the parts he didn't believe or didn't match his view of God.

The OT isnít written in the style of the new. It is more consistent with other mythologies and legends. The historical accounts are consistent with other histories written by authors from the perspective of a specific nation or culture with the nationalistic bias that comes from that.

purpledawn writes:

If one believes that Jesus is the God of Abraham in human form, I don't see that there is a choice. If one worships Jesus, then one is worshiping a god that advocates genocide.

I donít agree at all. I believe that the man Jesus embodied the God of Abraham but that is not the same as having to believe at face value all that is written in the OT. Jesus came as a climax and fulfillment of the Israel story. With that fulfillment He brought correction. Are you saying that just because some scribe in the employ of Jehu got it wrong that God couldnít have resurrected Jesus. Are you saying because someone in the ancient past abused his position of authority and decreed that someone picking up firewood on Sunday should be stoned to death that God couldnít have used Jesus to give His message of love, justice, mercy and forgiveness that we see in the ďSermon on the MountĒ.

Letís say that I were to come to the conclusion that God really did advocate genocide and the stoning to death for minor offences. I might believe in a god like that but that would not mean that I would have to worship him. Frankly if I believed in that kind of God I wouldnít worship him.

purpledawn writes:

We're supposed to be discussing the Lewis interpretation method. I don't think we need to hit every verse you feel negates the OT. You need to explain why these verses mean the OT is not of God and the NT is. Both are written by men. What makes one of God and one not?

There are many contradictions, a few of which I have pointed out between the NT and the OT and I have already discussed the differences between the OT and the NT earlier in this post.

One other point Iíd mention about Lewisí position is this. In Romans 1 we read:

quote:
20 For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities--his eternal power and divine nature--have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.

I understand that we shouldnít just cherry pick verses from the Bible but it is my contention that we arenít meant to rely solely on the Scriptures. We all have consciences and reason. Of course we are human and are reasoning is flawed so we wonít always get it right, but we do have this innate sense of right and wrong, that is undoubtedly affecting by our relationships and even our mental well being. We know instinctively that the genocide and stoning that we have discussed is wrong. Jesus denounces it but it is sometimes sanctioned in the OT. This life is about choices and I choose Jesus and His way.

In addition the verse from Romans tells us that we can also understand God through what has been made. In that regard I believe that in one way we can look upon science as type of theology. C S Lewis had no problem with any conflict between science and Christianity and in fact, Lewis was a theistic evolutionist and was quite interested in science. Interestingly enough we have Francis Collins, the head of the human genome project who is a devout evangelical Christian who strongly confirms the theory of evolution and calls DNA the ďLanguage of GodĒ.

I suggest that Lewisí view is consistent with both the Gospels and the epistles but I have a hunch youíll disagree.


He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8


This message is a reply to:
 Message 255 by purpledawn, posted 03-19-2012 7:51 AM purpledawn has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 257 by purpledawn, posted 03-19-2012 5:05 PM GDR has responded

    
purpledawn
Member
Posts: 4453
From: Indiana
Joined: 04-25-2004


(1)
Message 257 of 304 (656534)
03-19-2012 5:05 PM
Reply to: Message 256 by GDR
03-19-2012 2:39 PM


Re: C.S. Lewis - Rumpled Theology
quote:
I donít agree at all. I believe that the man Jesus embodied the God of Abraham but that is not the same as having to believe at face value all that is written in the OT. Jesus came as a climax and fulfillment of the Israel story. With that fulfillment He brought correction. Are you saying that just because some scribe in the employ of Jehu got it wrong that God couldnít have resurrected Jesus. Are you saying because someone in the ancient past abused his position of authority and decreed that someone picking up firewood on Sunday should be stoned to death that God couldnít have used Jesus to give His message of love, justice, mercy and forgiveness that we see in the ďSermon on the MountĒ.
I'm saying that your reasoning is inconsistent. What you just wrote is gobbledygook with no evidence or support. Rationalizing is not reasoning.

You're not showing evidence that the Lewis method is viable as a means to understanding the Bible text.

You're not showing evidence to support disagreeing with my interpretations, you just keep adding verses.

I read through this thread and you didn't bring it to the debate, my friend. I agree with Dawn Bertot. Basically you're saying the Bible can't be trusted except for those parts that you feel are true.

All you countered with is that you don't believe it or you disagree. There's no counter argument with evidence to back up your style of interpretation. You are inconsistent when it comes to providing books, verses, or numbers when referencing the Bible Stories.

BTW the story of the adultress in John 7:53-8:11 is considered a later addition.

The scribes were busy messing in the NT also. Textual Discrepancies & How They Could Impact Christianity

So how can we say that the story of Jonah is a myth and the story of Jesus is not.

Typical Myth Characteristics
The main characters in myths are usually gods, supernatural heroes and humans.[9][10][11] As sacred stories, myths are often endorsed by rulers and priests and closely linked to religion or spirituality.[9] In the society in which it is told, a myth is usually regarded as a true account of the remote past.[9][10][12][13] In fact, many societies have two categories of traditional narrative, "true stories" or myths, and "false stories" or fables.

ABE: You didn't answer my question.
Why should one worship any god at all today?

Edited by purpledawn, : ABE


This message is a reply to:
 Message 256 by GDR, posted 03-19-2012 2:39 PM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 258 by GDR, posted 03-20-2012 2:04 AM purpledawn has responded

  
GDR
Member
Posts: 3796
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 1.8


Message 258 of 304 (656561)
03-20-2012 2:04 AM
Reply to: Message 257 by purpledawn
03-19-2012 5:05 PM


Re: C.S. Lewis - Rumpled Theology
purpledawn writes:

Why should one worship any god at all today?

Because I believe it to be true.

Frankly I believe I've answered the questions you asked and obviously you feel I haven't. Why don't we have a go at you explaining to me how the Bible is to be understood.


He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8


This message is a reply to:
 Message 257 by purpledawn, posted 03-19-2012 5:05 PM purpledawn has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 259 by purpledawn, posted 03-20-2012 8:31 AM GDR has responded

    
purpledawn
Member
Posts: 4453
From: Indiana
Joined: 04-25-2004


Message 259 of 304 (656573)
03-20-2012 8:31 AM
Reply to: Message 258 by GDR
03-20-2012 2:04 AM


Re: C.S. Lewis - Rumpled Theology
quote:
purpledawn writes:

Why should one worship any god at all today?

Because I believe it to be true.


So people should worship a god because you believe it to be true?

I wasn't asking why you worship a god. I'm asking why should people worship a god at all? You pointed out that you wouldn't worship a god that advocates genocide, so what is the point in worshiping a god?

quote:
Frankly I believe I've answered the questions you asked and obviously you feel I haven't. Why don't we have a go at you explaining to me how the Bible is to be understood.
You haven't shown us evidence that the Lewis method of interpreting or understanding the Bible is viable.

We've shown you the problems we see with that method. It's inconsistent.

This is not how one reads a book or a compilation of writings.

GDR writes:

To understand the OT it has to be read in context with what has been revealed through Jesus and to fully understand the NT we have to read it in context with the OT. Itís hard to understand the conclusion if you donít have the set up in your head and you certainly are missing something if you only read the set up and donít read the conclusion. Message 145

You already understand that the Bible is not just one book but a collection of books. (Message 31) Each book of the bible has its own literary form and its own history as to how it was developed and preserved.

Writers have a purpose when they address an audience no matter the genre. Their writings are aimed at their audience.

So we need to understand what each author was trying to tell his audience. The OT doesn't need the NT to be understood. It can stand alone. Some NT writers use the OT to support their message.

So we have to understand what they are telling their audience, not what we want to hear. Just like the food issue in Message 253 and Message 255. Neither Jesus nor Paul did away with the food laws. Jesus addressed a traditional ritual and Paul basically was trying to make it easier for Jews and Gentiles to eat together.

The early followers of Jesus still kept Jewish law.

To their neighbors these early followers of Jesus, for they did not yet bear the distinctive designation of Christian, must have appeared another sect of Judaism, predominantly Galilean in membership, distinguished from other Jews by their belief that Jesus was the Messiah and by their expectation of the early return of their Lord. Their leader, James, appears to have been especially conservative in his loyalty to Jewish customs. They continued to use the temple as a place of worship and observed the Jewish law, including its ceremonies, circumcision, and the dietary regulations. Even some of the pharisees joined them. So far as we know, their numbers were recruited entirely from Jews and proselytes to Judaism. --From the book "a History of Christianity" by Kenneth Scott Latourette, 1953.

If you want to discuss the food issue further, I suggest you go to the thread Did Jesus Declare All Food Clean?.

Since we are so far removed from the time, we need some background history to understand what the writer was trying to tell his audience or how they might have understood it. I've listened to a 1943 Red Skelton Show radio broadcast. Some of the humor is lost on me since it is before my time. I can look at history or talk to someone who remembers that time. Since the Bible writers are over 2000 years in the past, we are limited on accessible history.

The other problem is that the Bible is written in languages that became extinct for everyday usage. This makes translation even more difficult.

You have stated repeatedly in this thread that the Bible was written by men who were inspired to write down their stories but they weren't dictated by God. They contain their personal and culturally biases. Message 8

You change horses when you get to the NT.

GDR writes:

However that is another discussion but I will add simply that the Gospel stories do not fit with anything that would be concocted by someone from that era and there is no reason for them to lie, particularly as most of the followers that we know of suffered for their faith. Message 42

You've decided there's no reason for the NT writers to lie, but apparently there is a reason for the OT writers to lie. You have no evidence for either. You simply trust what fits your personal belief system and doubt that which does not.

I agree that all the writings in the Bible were written by men and not dictated by a god. I agree that the writers were inspired by what they knew of their god and by their environment.

The Gospel of John was written for a Greek/Greek speaking audience. The message had to be adjusted. Edgar Goodspeed on the Gospel of John

To meet the needs of this Greek public some adjustment had to be made. Christianity was addressing it in Jewish terms. A Greek who felt like becoming a Christian was called upon to accept Jesus as the Christ, the Messiah. He would naturally ask what this meant and would have to be given a short course in Jewish apocalyptic messianic thought. Was there no way in which he might be introduced directly to the values of the Christian salvation without being forever routed, we might even say detoured, through Judaism? Must Christianity always speak in a Jewish vocabulary?

The only reason you've given for accepting the NT as true is by faith.

GDR to Dawn Bertot writes:

Yes I learn about Jesus from the Bible. How do I know that I can trust what He said in the Bible? I don't know. As I've said it is by faith. I have faith in, and base my understanding of God in the resurrected Jesus, whereas your faith is in an inerrant Bible even with all of its inconsistencies, contradictions etc. Message 102

GDR to Dawn Bertot writes:

You want specific answers as to how I decide what is from God in the Bible and what isn't, and my answer is that I use the words that we have recorded by Jesus, which I accept by faith. I realize that answer doesn't satisfy you but so be it. Message 104

There were no words recorded by Jesus. We have writers who put together a stories decades later based on who knows what: memories, rumors, legends, notes. We don't know.

Edgar Goodspeed writes:

The Gospel of Mark
The undoubted want of cohesion [1] which has been detected in Mark is just what one would expect if the book had the origin suggested by Papias. Peter would ordinarily tell incidents in Jesus' work to illustrate or enforce some point he was making in his own preaching, just as Papias says; these materials, scattered through Peter's discourses. Mark afterward assembles from his memory of Peter's sermons. It is very natural, therefore, for each of the detached items or units into which Mark, chapters 1-12, so easily falls should seem to deal with some problem of early Christian thought or life; it was for that that Peter meant them.[2] It is also probable that Mark colored his material with his own theological views and gave the work a stamp of his own, almost as positively as Matthew and Luke did in writing their gospels.[3]

A valid method of interpretation should lead a person to understand what the text is actually saying to the audience regardless of one's belief or faith.

In the issue with Hosea and Jehu, you need the contradiction to support your belief that your God doesn't condone killings.

The God of Abraham condones killings. Depending on which Gospel one reads, Jesus is not God. Jesus is a man.

If you're making up your own version of the Bible, that's fine; but don't pass it off as a valid method of interpretation.

So what you've shown us is that the problem with literal (P'shat) interpretation of scripture is that it may or may not support personal or current doctrine or tradition.

Although you don't like the belief that the Bible is dictated by God, you seem to treat the NT as though it is dictated by God. The NT is true, but the OT isn't. You method isn't consistent through all the writings of the Bible.

Now can you outline just how the Lewis method goes about interpreting the Bible?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 258 by GDR, posted 03-20-2012 2:04 AM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 260 by GDR, posted 03-20-2012 6:07 PM purpledawn has responded

  
GDR
Member
Posts: 3796
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 1.8


Message 260 of 304 (656660)
03-20-2012 6:07 PM
Reply to: Message 259 by purpledawn
03-20-2012 8:31 AM


Re: C.S. Lewis - Rumpled Theology
purpledawn writes:

So people should worship a god because you believe it to be true?
I wasn't asking why you worship a god. I'm asking why should people worship a god at all? You pointed out that you wouldn't worship a god that advocates genocide, so what is the point in worshiping a god?

OK. The people should worship a god because they believe that god exists and also because they believe that there god is worth worshipping. My point earlier is that one might believe that a god who advocates genocide and stoning exists but they would have to make up their own mind whether or not a god like that is worth worshipping.

purpledawn writes:

You haven't shown us evidence that the Lewis method of interpreting or understanding the Bible is viable.
We've shown you the problems we see with that method. It's inconsistent.
This is not how one reads a book or a compilation of writings.

Yes, it is going to be inconsistent as it is written by a variety of authors.

purpledawn writes:

So we need to understand what each author was trying to tell his audience. The OT doesn't need the NT to be understood. It can stand alone. Some NT writers use the OT to support their message.

Well that is painfully obvious.

purpledawn writes:

So we have to understand what they are telling their audience, not what we want to hear. Just like the food issue in Message 253 and Message 255. Neither Jesus nor Paul did away with the food laws. Jesus addressed a traditional ritual and Paul basically was trying to make it easier for Jews and Gentiles to eat together.

OK so we donít agree about how that scripture is to be understood. I still maintain that both Paul and Jesus were very clear that the food laws were not in effect.

purpledawn writes:

The early followers of Jesus still kept Jewish law.

Well the Jewish ones did as Jesusí followers they didnít consider that they had stopped being Jewish. It was different for the gentile followers of Jesus. Look at the debate between Paul and others such as Peter over circumcision.

purpledawn writes:

Since we are so far removed from the time, we need some background history to understand what the writer was trying to tell his audience or how they might have understood it. I've listened to a 1943 Red Skelton Show radio broadcast. Some of the humor is lost on me since it is before my time. I can look at history or talk to someone who remembers that time. Since the Bible writers are over 2000 years in the past, we are limited on accessible history.

Of course.

purpledawn writes:

You have stated repeatedly in this thread that the Bible was written by men who were inspired to write down their stories but they weren't dictated by God. They contain their personal and culturally biases. Message 8
You change horses when you get to the NT.

Iím not suggesting that the NT was dictated by God but yes I do understand it differently than I do the OT. Early Christianity was all based on the bodily resurrection of Jesus. If it wasnít for that Jesus would have been just another in the fairly long list of failed messiahs. Yes, the only accounts that we have are in the Gospels. If we reject the accounts of the resurrection then I agree there isnít much reason to differentiate between the OT and the NT except that the NT is closer to our time and there is more literature from that era.

If however we come to the conclusion that the resurrection happened as recorded in the Gospels, (I have read and listened to numerous debates on the subject), then we can look at things differently. In the case of the OT if we look at the historical narratives we can assume that the writing is being written with a particular bias. The scribe that wrote the account of Jehu would in all likelihood be paid by Jehu or his descendents and isnít going to be writing something that will upset them regardless of what he actually thinks about the whole thing.

As far as the mythologies go it is hard to say. I agree with Lewis that they are Godís chosen mythologies which also have roots in other ancient texts. As such I contend that there is much to be learned from them but that they arenít to be understood as actual events. In fact, if we have them to learn from it is immaterial as to whether they tell of an actual event or not. The story of the Good Samaritan is accepted as a parable, but the lesson from the story remains whether or not Jesus was telling a story that really happened or not.

When the OT tells of decrees from God we have to be more careful. I believe that God speaks to His people through human imagination, and sometimes they would get it right and sometimes not. (It is no different today IMHO.) Sometimes they were also guilty of abusing their power as we still see church leaders doing in modern times. We are dealing with fallible humans.

Back to the NT. If we accept that Jesus was the embodiment of God we are dealing with a situation where His followers were hearing from God directly. I accept that we donít know if the Gospel writers actually were contemporaries of Jesus or not, but everyone accepts that there would have been written sources from which the Gospel writers drew their information, and there still would have been eyewitnesses around at the time they were compiled. The same is true for what Paul wrote.

There is no motive for any of them that I can see for them to make the whole thing up, nor are they written in a way, (I gave examples earlier) that would give us reason to think that. One reason I didnít mention earlier was that in Paulís letters we can see that there was conflict over circumcision. The Gospels never mention the conflict. It is reasonable to think that if they were going to put words into the mouth of Jesus they would have had Him commenting on the issue. However, they donít do that and I suggest that it is because Jesus never addressed the subject, which gives us more confidence that they honestly and accurately as possible recorded what Jesus said and the narrative that was His life on Earth.

purpledawn writes:

A valid method of interpretation should lead a person to understand what the text is actually saying to the audience regardless of one's belief or faith.

Of course.

purpledawn writes:

In the issue with Hosea and Jehu, you need the contradiction to support your belief that your God doesn't condone killings.

No. The contradiction only gives two points of view. It is what Jesus taught that leads me to the conclusion that God didnít justify the killings.

purpledawn writes:

The God of Abraham condones killings. Depending on which Gospel one reads, Jesus is not God. Jesus is a man.

Some of the OT authors claim that God condoned killing.

Jesus was a man who embodied the return of Yahweh to His people. In my view that message can be gleaned in all of the Gospels although I agree that the disciples didnít understand Him that way until after His death.

purpledawn writes:

Although you don't like the belief that the Bible is dictated by God, you seem to treat the NT as though it is dictated by God. The NT is true, but the OT isn't. You method isn't consistent through all the writings of the Bible.

You have made a few comments on the Bible but you havenít told us how it is that you discern what is to be understood as factual in the Bible. You havenít addressed the question at all.

purpledawn writes:

can you outline just how the Lewis method goes about interpreting the Bible?

In the first place there is no such thing as the ďLewis MethodĒ. I have given you the approach that I take in understanding the Bible. You donít accept that so fine, but I still havenít heard on you to come to your conclusions. How do you decide what you believe about what the Gospel writers have to say? What do you conclude about the accounts of the resurrection?


He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8


This message is a reply to:
 Message 259 by purpledawn, posted 03-20-2012 8:31 AM purpledawn has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 261 by purpledawn, posted 03-20-2012 8:01 PM GDR has responded
 Message 262 by purpledawn, posted 03-20-2012 9:15 PM GDR has responded

    
purpledawn
Member
Posts: 4453
From: Indiana
Joined: 04-25-2004


Message 261 of 304 (656668)
03-20-2012 8:01 PM
Reply to: Message 260 by GDR
03-20-2012 6:07 PM


Re: C.S. Lewis - Rumpled Theology
quote:
OK. The people should worship a god because they believe that god exists and also because they believe that there god is worth worshipping. My point earlier is that one might believe that a god who advocates genocide and stoning exists but they would have to make up their own mind whether or not a god like that is worth worshipping.
Which means you have to make up your own mind. Stop asking us why you should worship a god that advocates genocide and stoning.

quote:
I still maintain that both Paul and Jesus were very clear that the food laws were not in effect.
But you provided no evidence to support your position.

quote:
Well the Jewish ones did as Jesusí followers they didnít consider that they had stopped being Jewish. It was different for the gentile followers of Jesus. Look at the debate between Paul and others such as Peter over circumcision.
We're talking about food. Stop adding new points. Since the Jewish followers still followed the Jewish laws it is clear that neither Jesus nor Paul did away with the Jewish food laws. There's a thread for that discussion. You can take your evidence there.

quote:
In the case of the OT if we look at the historical narratives we can assume that the writing is being written with a particular bias. The scribe that wrote the account of Jehu would in all likelihood be paid by Jehu or his descendents and isnít going to be writing something that will upset them regardless of what he actually thinks about the whole thing.
You're writing fiction and still provide no evidence for your assumption.

quote:
Back to the NT. If we accept that Jesus was the embodiment of God we are dealing with a situation where His followers were hearing from God directly. I accept that we donít know if the Gospel writers actually were contemporaries of Jesus or not, but everyone accepts that there would have been written sources from which the Gospel writers drew their information, and there still would have been eyewitnesses around at the time they were compiled. The same is true for what Paul wrote.
This is about interpretation of what is written, not "ifs". Evidence please!

quote:
There is no motive for any of them that I can see for them to make the whole thing up, nor are they written in a way, (I gave examples earlier) that would give us reason to think that. One reason I didnít mention earlier was that in Paulís letters we can see that there was conflict over circumcision. The Gospels never mention the conflict. It is reasonable to think that if they were going to put words into the mouth of Jesus they would have had Him commenting on the issue. However, they donít do that and I suggest that it is because Jesus never addressed the subject, which gives us more confidence that they honestly and accurately as possible recorded what Jesus said and the narrative that was His life on Earth.
More gobbledygook. You still provide no evidence.
By the time the synoptics were written, I doubt that circumcision was their biggest issue.

Writers have a message they want to give their audience. Interpretation is about understanding their message, not ours.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 260 by GDR, posted 03-20-2012 6:07 PM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 263 by GDR, posted 03-20-2012 9:24 PM purpledawn has responded

  
purpledawn
Member
Posts: 4453
From: Indiana
Joined: 04-25-2004


Message 262 of 304 (656670)
03-20-2012 9:15 PM
Reply to: Message 260 by GDR
03-20-2012 6:07 PM


Afterthought and Fiction
You've mentioned twice concerning the NT that you see no reason for them to make stuff up.

I've brought to your attention that you are making stuff up.

Can you explain the reason you are making stuff up?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 260 by GDR, posted 03-20-2012 6:07 PM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 264 by GDR, posted 03-20-2012 9:25 PM purpledawn has responded

  
GDR
Member
Posts: 3796
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 1.8


Message 263 of 304 (656671)
03-20-2012 9:24 PM
Reply to: Message 261 by purpledawn
03-20-2012 8:01 PM


Re: C.S. Lewis - Rumpled Theology
GDR writes:

OK. The people should worship a god because they believe that god exists and also because they believe that there god is worth worshipping. My point earlier is that one might believe that a god who advocates genocide and stoning exists but they would have to make up their own mind whether or not a god like that is worth worshipping.

purpledawn writes:

Which means you have to make up your own mind. Stop asking us why you should worship a god that advocates genocide and stoning.

I donít recall in the forum guidelines that only PD asks the questions. If you donít have an answer just say so. It seems to me that this is one of the critical questions that we have to ask. It makes a huge difference how we as individuals in a democracy feel about things like war, capital punishment etc. If God advocates genocide and stoning we would very likely have a different POV than we would if we understand God to be what we see in Jesus where we are to love our enemy, turn the other cheek etc.

GDR writes:

I still maintain that both Paul and Jesus were very clear that the food laws were not in effect.

purpledawn writes:

But you provided no evidence to support your position.

I gave you several verses and my rationale for understanding them. There isnít any point in repeating them.

purpledawn writes:

The early followers of Jesus still kept Jewish law.

GDR writes:

Well the Jewish ones did as Jesusí followers they didnít consider that they had stopped being Jewish. It was different for the gentile followers of Jesus. Look at the debate between Paul and others such as Peter over circumcision.

purpledawn writes:

We're talking about food. Stop adding new points. Since the Jewish followers still followed the Jewish laws it is clear that neither Jesus nor Paul did away with the Jewish food laws. There's a thread for that discussion. You can take your evidence there.

You asked a question and I answered it and gave an example to make my point. The food laws werenít the only Jewish laws.

GDR writes:

In the case of the OT if we look at the historical narratives we can assume that the writing is being written with a particular bias. The scribe that wrote the account of Jehu would in all likelihood be paid by Jehu or his descendents and isnít going to be writing something that will upset them regardless of what he actually thinks about the whole thing.

purpledawn writes:

You're writing fiction and still provide no evidence for your assumption.

It isnít fiction. It is literally my position which may be right or wrong or somewhere in between. I gave you the rationale for this position earlier. You donít accept it so thatís fine.

purpledawn writes:

More gobbledygook. You still provide no evidence.
By the time the synoptics were written, I doubt that circumcision was their biggest issue.
Writers have a message they want to give their audience. Interpretation is about understanding their message, not ours.

What would constitute evidence for you?

GDR writes:

In the first place there is no such thing as the ďLewis MethodĒ. I have given you the approach that I take in understanding the Bible. You donít accept that so fine, but I still havenít heard on you to come to your conclusions. How do you decide what you believe about what the Gospel writers have to say? What do you conclude about the accounts of the resurrection?

purpledawn writes:

Nothing

This isnít a discussion or even a debate. I have no idea about what you believe or what point you are trying to make. I have given you my rationale and you donít accept it. Thatís fine by me.


He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8


This message is a reply to:
 Message 261 by purpledawn, posted 03-20-2012 8:01 PM purpledawn has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 265 by purpledawn, posted 03-21-2012 8:51 AM GDR has responded

    
GDR
Member
Posts: 3796
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 1.8


Message 264 of 304 (656672)
03-20-2012 9:25 PM
Reply to: Message 262 by purpledawn
03-20-2012 9:15 PM


Re: Afterthought and Fiction
purpledawn writes:

You've mentioned twice concerning the NT that you see no reason for them to make stuff up.
I've brought to your attention that you are making stuff up.

Can you explain the reason you are making stuff up?

Right. Just what am I making up?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 262 by purpledawn, posted 03-20-2012 9:15 PM purpledawn has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 266 by purpledawn, posted 03-21-2012 1:46 PM GDR has not yet responded

    
purpledawn
Member
Posts: 4453
From: Indiana
Joined: 04-25-2004


Message 265 of 304 (656698)
03-21-2012 8:51 AM
Reply to: Message 263 by GDR
03-20-2012 9:24 PM


Re: C.S. Lewis - Rumpled Theology
quote:
This isnít a discussion or even a debate. I have no idea about what you believe or what point you are trying to make. I have given you my rationale and you donít accept it. Thatís fine by me.
You don't need to know my belief. It has no bearing on interpreting the text.

My point is that interpreting text through a lens of belief is inconsistent. You've spent more time rationalizing your interpretation than providing actual concrete support for a method of interpretation.

You agree with this view from C. S. Lewis, but you have yet to actually show support that this view is credible. Even Lewis admits it is tentative.

My present view--which is tentative and liable to any amount of correction--would be that just as, on the factual side, a long preparation culminates in God's becoming incarnate as Man, so, on the documentary side, the truth first appears in mythical form and then by a long process of condensing or focusing finally becomes incarnate as History. This involves the belief that Myth in general is not merely misunderstood history ... nor diabolical illusion ... nor priestly lying ... but, at its best, a real though unfocused gleam of divine truth falling on human imagination. The Hebrews, like other people, had mythology: but as they were the chosen people so their mythology was the chosen mythology--the mythology chosen by God to be the vehicle of the earliest sacred truth, the first step in that process which ends in the New Testament where truth has become completely historical. Whether we can say with certainty where, in this process of crystallization, any particular Old Testament story falls, is another matter. I take it that the memoirs of David's court come at one end of the scale and are scarcely less historical than St. Mark or Acts; and that the Book of Jonah is at the opposite end. --C. S. Lewis, Miracles

He considers the NT as factual and the OT not so much and you agree.

If I've understood you correctly, you've basically said that the gospels are true because of their biographical style of presentation.

Greeks liked biographies. The Gospel of Mark by Edgar Goodspeed

As we approach the Greek gospels, we naturally turn to Greek literature to see what precedents or analogies it affords for this new literary type. The origins of Greek biography are found in Xenophon's Cyropaedia and his Memorabilia of Socrates (430-350B.C.), and it developed somewhat luxuriantly in the Alexander romance of the later centuries before Christ. Such works no doubt created a taste for biography among the Greeks, as the works of Plutarch (ca. A.D.90) show, but they seem to have had little influence upon the early gospels.

Remember a writer writes to his audience. Biographies of gods and heroes preceded and influenced the biographies of men. Development of Greek Biographies

So the idea that because a piece was written as a biography doesn't make the person real or the story true.

From what you've written, you aren't pulling meaning from the Bible text or at least not consistently. As I said in Message 240: You seem to use eisegesis which means you're putting your own subjective interpretations into the text, but those interpretations aren't supported by the text itself.

Basically, you're preaching your own version of your religion. IOW, your own brand of bias. You have nothing to support that your arguments are right or viable. You could be leading people down the wrong path.

All we've learned from you is that you believe what you believe because you believe it and that's your prerogative, but in a debate on the science side there needs to be more concrete information.

IMO, humans are an aggressive animal. As with any animal some are more aggressive than others. Civilization has changed over time and so has mankind. Some things are better and some things are not. It's the nature of the beast.
Evolution of Human Aggression

Now if we look at the Bible (old and new) as a compilation of human writings inspired by their times and the needs of their people, we see a god that changes as the situation of his chosen people changes.

It's fascinating that you will worship a god that embodies mercy, forgiveness and love; but you can't worship a god that has become a god that embodies mercy, forgiveness and love.

Some Christians ask for forgiveness from God for their past transgressions, but some (like you) can't forgive God for his past transgressions. Haven't learned the lesson yet have they?

Do to others what you would have them do to you. Obviously you don't extend that same courtesy to God.

The point is to understand their message and not try to put our message in their mouth. Interpretation is a means to understanding what the ancient writers were telling their audience.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 263 by GDR, posted 03-20-2012 9:24 PM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 267 by GDR, posted 03-21-2012 10:57 PM purpledawn has responded

  
purpledawn
Member
Posts: 4453
From: Indiana
Joined: 04-25-2004


Message 266 of 304 (656729)
03-21-2012 1:46 PM
Reply to: Message 264 by GDR
03-20-2012 9:25 PM


Artistic License ... Maybe
quote:
Right. Just what am I making up?

GDR writes:

I believe that the man Jesus embodied the God of Abraham but that is not the same as having to believe at face value all that is written in the OT. Jesus came as a climax and fulfillment of the Israel story. With that fulfillment He brought correction. Are you saying that just because some scribe in the employ of Jehu got it wrong that God couldnít have resurrected Jesus. Are you saying because someone in the ancient past abused his position of authority and decreed that someone picking up firewood on Sunday should be stoned to death that God couldnít have used Jesus to give His message of love, justice, mercy and forgiveness that we see in the ďSermon on the MountĒ. Message 256

The bold section is a made up story line because you have no evidence to support it and the text doesn't support it. You are adding to the story.

GDR writes:

In the case of the OT if we look at the historical narratives we can assume that the writing is being written with a particular bias. The scribe that wrote the account of Jehu would in all likelihood be paid by Jehu or his descendents and isnít going to be writing something that will upset them regardless of what he actually thinks about the whole thing.

With a little bit of searching one can find when Bible Scholars feel The Book of Kings was compiled/written. About 625 CE.

From within the book itself (2 Kings 1:18) we find that the information in the book is pulled from another book. The Book of the Annals of the Kings of Israel.

In the book itself we can see that Zechariah was the last of Jehu's line. 2 Kings 15:12.

So the word of the Lord spoken to Jehu was fulfilled: "Your descendants will sit on the throne of Israel to the fourth generation."

Chronology of the Kings of Israel and Judah

So God already put a time limit on Jehu's House before Hosea wrote according to 2 Kings 10:30.

Of course, the book of kings was supposedly compiled/written after Hosea according to scholars.

I wouldn't point at a scribe on Jehu's payroll. I'd point at the compiler. He knew the history. If you're going to make things up, at least make a more plausible tale.

In the same way we can look at the timeline of the gospels and see that they were written shortly after to several decades after the destruction of the temple. Early Christian Writings Since they knew about the destruction it wouldn't have been difficult to write a prophecy that sounded good, just like the compiler might have done for Jehu.

You don't even realize that you're not presenting facts or a reasonable assumption.

So the NT writers could have done the same thing you've been doing. They could take what information they had and created a story. We can only speculate whether they did or not.

The NT is just as vulnerable to artistic license as the OT.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 264 by GDR, posted 03-20-2012 9:25 PM GDR has not yet responded

  
GDR
Member
Posts: 3796
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 1.8


Message 267 of 304 (656766)
03-21-2012 10:57 PM
Reply to: Message 265 by purpledawn
03-21-2012 8:51 AM


What is the true nature of God?
purpledawn writes:

don't need to know my belief. It has no bearing on interpreting the text.


Thatís a cop out. You continually tell me that my understanding of the Scriptures is flawed but you arenít prepared to tell me how it should be done.

purpledawn writes:

My point is that interpreting text through a lens of belief is inconsistent.

Just because you make these broad statements doesnít make them correct. Everyone interprets the texts through a lens of belief. However it should be that the text forms our belief and not the other way around, before going back and interpreting the text. In addition as we gain information and knowledge we should be prepared to adjust our understanding as none of us understand perfectly. I am also a great believer in reading what others who have spent life times studying the Bible and the context in which it was written as well as to whom the message was intended.

purpledawn writes:

If I've understood you correctly, you've basically said that the gospels are true because of their biographical style of presentation.

I would view them as biographical in narrative form. I did not say that makes them true. My point is that the authors wrote them in a form that is meant what they had written to be taken to be as close as possible to what we would see if the whole thing had been recorded. However, just because that is there intent does not prove that they are true. They could be making it up for some unknown reason or they might just have gotten it wrong. Possibly their sources had it wrong.

purpledawn writes:

You seem to use eisegesis which means you're putting your own subjective interpretations into the text, but those interpretations aren't supported by the text itself.

I disagree. I form my interpretations from the text taken in context and then apply that understanding. Iíll be the first to admit that Iím not a theological scholar but I have spent considerable time reading what those who are have to say.

purpledawn writes:

IMO, humans are an aggressive animal. As with any animal some are more aggressive than others. Civilization has changed over time and so has mankind. Some things are better and some things are not. It's the nature of the beast.

Of course.

purpledawn writes:

Now if we look at the Bible (old and new) as a compilation of human writings inspired by their times and the needs of their people, we see a god that changes as the situation of his chosen people changes.

What is your evidence for that? What you are saying is that God is a god that engages in situational ethics. You are saying that because His people were barbaric that it was ok for Him to justify their barbaric acts. By your logic what the west should now do is to nuke every Islamic nation. This would be your god acting with the times and needs of his people in our current situation just as when the text tells us that he did with the worshippers of Baal. How does that fit with loving your enemy and turning the other cheek?

purpledawn writes:

It's fascinating that you will worship a god that embodies mercy, forgiveness and love; but you can't worship a god that has become a god that embodies mercy, forgiveness and love.

Your belief then is that the Christian God who is outside of time as we know it and has existed since the world began is evolving, and that he was a god who advocated genocide and stoning 3000 years ago but has since changed his ways.

I suggest that God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.

How about this from James 1:

quote:
17 Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.

Or this from Hebrews 13:
quote:
The Lord does not change. Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
And just so we donít leave out the OT:
quote:
6 "I the LORD do not change. So you, O descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed. 7 Ever since the time of your forefathers you have turned away from my decrees and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you," says the LORD Almighty

purpledawn writes:

Some Christians ask for forgiveness from God for their past transgressions, but some (like you) can't forgive God for his past transgressions. Haven't learned the lesson yet have they?
Do to others what you would have them do to you. Obviously you don't extend that same courtesy to God.

I am supposed to forgive God? Obviously you seem to be able to generate the unbelievable hubris to believe that you can look God in His metaphorical eye and say I forgive you. As I believe in an unchanging God, (the one described in the Bible), I have to determine which God is most accurately portrayed. If Jesus is the embodiment of God, as I believe, then I think Iím more inclined to go with Him and a God of ďmercy forgiveness and loveĒ as opposed to a God who didnít used to believe in that, but did 2000 years ago and maybe still does today.

purpledawn writes:

The point is to understand their message and not try to put our message in their mouth. Interpretation is a means to understanding what the ancient writers were telling their audience.

Absolutely, and what the ancient writers wanted their audience to know was that their god was behind their barbarism. It didnít go well for the so called prophets who went against their leaders although of course there are exceptions to that such as Micaiah and even he was thrown into prison until he was vindicated.

GDR writes:

I believe that the man Jesus embodied the God of Abraham but that is not the same as having to believe at face value all that is written in the OT. Jesus came as a climax and fulfillment of the Israel story. With that fulfillment He brought correction. Are you saying that just because some scribe in the employ of Jehu got it wrong that God couldnít have resurrected Jesus. Are you saying because someone in the ancient past abused his position of authority and decreed that someone picking up firewood on Sunday should be stoned to death that God couldnít have used Jesus to give His message of love, justice, mercy and forgiveness that we see in the ďSermon on the MountĒ.

purpledawn writes:

The bold section is a made up story line because you have no evidence to support it and the text doesn't support it. You are adding to the story.

Are you saying that Jesus was not the fulfillment of the Israel story? From Matthew 1

quote:
21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins." 22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet:
From Matthew 5:
quote:
17 "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.
From Matthew 21:
quote:
2 saying to them, "Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me. 3 If anyone says anything to you, tell him that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away." 4 This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet:
From John 12:
quote:
37 Even after Jesus had done all these miraculous signs in their presence, they still would not believe in him. 38 This was to fulfill the word of Isaiah the prophet: "Lord, who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?" 39 For this reason they could not believe, because, as Isaiah says elsewhere: 40 "He has blinded their eyes and deadened their hearts, so they can neither see with their eyes, nor understand with their hearts, nor turn--and I would heal them." 41 Isaiah said this because he saw Jesus' glory and spoke about him.

I showed you earlier where in the ďSermon on the MountĒ in particular He brought correction to what was in the Hebrew Scriptures.

purpledawn writes:

Of course, the book of kings was supposedly compiled/written after Hosea according to scholars.


So what? The two writers obviously had different views on what Jehu had done regardless of when it was written.

There are still two verses in the Bible where the writers obviously intend to give us a broad summary of what God wants of us. If we are His agents on Earth it is certainly reasonable to believe that the attributes he wants of His image bearing creatures is that we would reflect His image to the world. So what is that image He wants us to reflect?
Micah 6:8

quote:
8 He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.
Matthew 22:
quote:
36 "Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" 37 Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."

IMHO that is where we can see the true nature of God, a God that embraces mercy, truth, justice, kindness, forgiveness and and an all encompassing love.


He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8


This message is a reply to:
 Message 265 by purpledawn, posted 03-21-2012 8:51 AM purpledawn has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 268 by purpledawn, posted 03-22-2012 7:23 AM GDR has responded

    
purpledawn
Member
Posts: 4453
From: Indiana
Joined: 04-25-2004


Message 268 of 304 (656791)
03-22-2012 7:23 AM
Reply to: Message 267 by GDR
03-21-2012 10:57 PM


Still Inconsistent
quote:
Thatís a cop out. You continually tell me that my understanding of the Scriptures is flawed but you arenít prepared to tell me how it should be done.
This discussion isn't about me or belief. This discussion is about methods of Bible interpretation. I have provided links to methods of Bible interpretation. Message 233, Message 236, and Message 255

More specifically this thread is about the problem with literal interpretation of scripture. Unfortunately, I think you considered literal to mean dictated by God, which it doesn't as the links will show you. Then there are those who believe that all that is written in the Bible happened exactly as written. Those are beliefs and not methods of interpretation (Message 240) and you agreed in Message 242.

Even though this thread is not a step by step instruction manual, you can see the process I use in interpretation by the links I provide to support my arguments. Food Laws Message 253 Message 255

quote:
Just because you make these broad statements doesnít make them correct. Everyone interprets the texts through a lens of belief. However it should be that the text forms our belief and not the other way around, before going back and interpreting the text. In addition as we gain information and knowledge we should be prepared to adjust our understanding as none of us understand perfectly. I am also a great believer in reading what others who have spent life times studying the Bible and the context in which it was written as well as to whom the message was intended.
That's why we are to provide support for our arguments. It shows where one is pulling their info from.

In Message 254, you bring up the issue of Jesus eating in the grain fields, and claim that the laws in the OT aren't from God. You're using the NT to say that the laws aren't from God, but you provide no support for that. Given that his disciples continued to follow the laws in real life, would go against your conclusion. Message 259

You haven't shown evidence that the NT is from God any more than the OT. You're the one saying that the OT is not of God, but the NT is.

quote:
I would view them as biographical in narrative form. I did not say that makes them true. My point is that the authors wrote them in a form that is meant what they had written to be taken to be as close as possible to what we would see if the whole thing had been recorded. However, just because that is there intent does not prove that they are true. They could be making it up for some unknown reason or they might just have gotten it wrong. Possibly their sources had it wrong.
You keep talking as though you understand the fallibility of humans but the only justification you've given for claiming that the NT is of God and the OT is not is faith and belief. Your fruit doesn't match the tree.

quote:
I disagree. I form my interpretations from the text taken in context and then apply that understanding. Iíll be the first to admit that Iím not a theological scholar but I have spent considerable time reading what those who are have to say.
But you aren't showing your work. I'm not a scholar either, but I can provide links that at least show why I have my opinion.

quote:
PurpleDawn writes:

Now if we look at the Bible (old and new) as a compilation of human writings inspired by their times and the needs of their people, we see a god that changes as the situation of his chosen people changes.

What is your evidence for that? What you are saying is that God is a god that engages in situational ethics. You are saying that because His people were barbaric that it was ok for Him to justify their barbaric acts. By your logic what the west should now do is to nuke every Islamic nation. This would be your god acting with the times and needs of his people in our current situation just as when the text tells us that he did with the worshippers of Baal. How does that fit with loving your enemy and turning the other cheek?


Wait a minute! You want evidence? Wow, what a concept. You yourself say that the God of the OT is different than Jesus who you say is the embodiment of God. Remember, mankind did all the writing. That's your whole issue in this discussion! They're different. You answer is that the writers of the OT were "incorrect", mine is that God changed. Mankind changes, why wouldn't the God they write about? Show me that he hasn't changed from the OT to the NT to today. You do some homework this time.

quote:
Your belief then is that the Christian God who is outside of time as we know it and has existed since the world began is evolving, and that he was a god who advocated genocide and stoning 3000 years ago but has since changed his ways.

I suggest that God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.


Show me that God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.

You can't use the OT to make your point, you've already said it isn't of God.

quote:
Are you saying that Jesus was not the fulfillment of the Israel story?
How can he be the fulfillment if the OT isn't of God? It's a made up story.

You really don't get it. When you negate the OT, there's no reason for the NT.

Inconsistent interpretation causes problems.

Edited by purpledawn, : Fix link


This message is a reply to:
 Message 267 by GDR, posted 03-21-2012 10:57 PM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 269 by GDR, posted 03-22-2012 2:15 PM purpledawn has responded

  
GDR
Member
Posts: 3796
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 1.8


(1)
Message 269 of 304 (656850)
03-22-2012 2:15 PM
Reply to: Message 268 by purpledawn
03-22-2012 7:23 AM


Understanding the Scriptures
purpledawn writes:

This discussion isn't about me or belief. This discussion is about methods of Bible interpretation.

Yes, we are discussing our methods of Bible interpretations and as you have outlined your method leaves us with a god that 3000 or so years ago advocated genocide and death by stoning for minor offences and now requires forgiveness for that, in light of the fact that 2000 years ago God as you understand Him gave all of that up and became merciful, loving and forgiving. That of course leaves open the question of what God is like today.

My method of interpretation starts with the Biblical quotes that I gave you that tell us that God is unchanging. My interpretation is that Jesus was the embodiment of God and that we are to understand the OT through the message of the NT which isnít to say that God wasnít speaking to the people then and to us now through the OT. It is a matter of how to understand just what the message is.

purpledawn writes:

More specifically this thread is about the problem with literal interpretation of scripture. Unfortunately, I think you considered literal to mean dictated by God, which it doesn't as the links will show you. Then there are those who believe that all that is written in the Bible happened exactly as written. Those are beliefs and not methods of interpretation (Message 240) and you agreed in Message 242.

Yes I agree with that. I think the term literalist is something like the term creationist. At least on this forum when the term creationist is used it is means someone who believes in reading the story in Genesis as historical rather than as an inspired mythology. I agree that your definition is correct but I used it in the OP in the manner in which I think it is normally understood by others on the forum.

purpledawn writes:

Even though this thread is not a step by step instruction manual, you can see the process I use in interpretation by the links I provide to support my arguments. Food Laws.

But your arguments donít fit the text. Mark even goes so far as to make it crystal clear when he says, (as I quoted earlier), ďthat in saying this Jesus declared all foods cleanĒ.

The disciples didnít follow all of the laws in real life with the eating in the grain fields just being one example and for that matter Jesus Himself healing on the Sabbath being another example. Paul makes it clear that it is about the heart. A loving, merciful and forgiving heart leads one to follow the laws such as not eating meat with someone for whom that would be a problem. (Like drinking in front of an alcoholic.)

purpledawn writes:

You're the one saying that the OT is not of God, but the NT is.


I have not said that. As you yourself have pointed out, the Bible was written by a variety of individuals in different circumstances and in different cultures. I agree with what you said that we have to consider all of that and in addition we have to consider the target audience.

Frankly, IMHO, the story of Jesus and His Kingdom message only makes sense when it is understood through the message of the OT. For example we have the anointed of God being the suffering servant in Isaiah. We see overtones of the divinity of Christ in the ďson of manĒ quotes in Daniel 7.

At one point you asked about the story of Jonah and how to interpret that. I contend that, to use Lewisí phrase it is an inspired mythology. It foretells the Jesus story in that God is reaching out to a sinful people and is determined to do so through death, (3 days in the belly of a whale tends to do that), and then through a message of love and forgiveness which led to repentance by the people of Nineveh. It goes to the very heart and nature of God. Matthew 12:40

quote:
For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

We see through the inspired mythology of Genesis that God has given mankind dominion over our portion of creation. He has chosen to work through us. We have the knowledge of right and wrong and the ability to choose between the two. Even when He returned He did so through the man Jesus.

My favourite theologian is N T Wright He often says in his talks and lectures that probably about a third of what he is telling them is wrong. He says that the problem is he doesnít know which third it is. This is from a man who has devoted his life from a very young age to understanding the scriptures, understanding any other historical data he can get his hands on as well as understanding the writings of all theologians through the ages. The point is that we arenít going to have a perfect understanding of things. IMHO we can build upon our understanding of God just as we continue to build our scientific knowledge, but we have a long way to go in either field.

Let's go back to it being necessary to understand the individual, the culture and the audience when we read the Bible and then combine that with the fallibility of those to whom God has given Earthly dominion to. We can then understand that not everything in the Bible is going to truly represent the true nature and desires of God. As humans we arenít always going to get it right, and we should accept that there are going to be contradictions and human fallibility in the scriptures, but at the same time understand that God does work through people, through their hearts, minds and imaginations to shed light on things.

So, in no way am I rejecting the OT. When you read through a good Bible with the proper references you can see that Jesus was always explaining both who He was and His message through the OT. As I said the story of Jesus only makes sense through understanding the OT, and the OT truths are revealed through the lens of the NT.

Edited by GDR, : Reworded a couple of things to hopefully make it clearer. Had been a bit rushed.


He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8


This message is a reply to:
 Message 268 by purpledawn, posted 03-22-2012 7:23 AM purpledawn has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 270 by purpledawn, posted 03-22-2012 6:53 PM GDR has responded

    
purpledawn
Member
Posts: 4453
From: Indiana
Joined: 04-25-2004


Message 270 of 304 (656878)
03-22-2012 6:53 PM
Reply to: Message 269 by GDR
03-22-2012 2:15 PM


Re: Understanding the Scriptures
quote:
Yes, we are discussing our methods of Bible interpretations and as you have outlined your method leaves us with a god that 3000 or so years ago advocated genocide and death by stoning for minor offences and now requires forgiveness for that, in light of the fact that 2000 years ago God as you understand Him gave all of that up and became merciful, loving and forgiving. That of course leaves open the question of what God is like today.
That's what the text says. We have to look at reality to see if it really happened. The Oxford Handbook of Genocide Studies

As I keep saying, there is a difference between understanding what the text is saying and believing that the events actually happened as written. That goes for the NT also.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 269 by GDR, posted 03-22-2012 2:15 PM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 271 by GDR, posted 03-22-2012 8:20 PM purpledawn has responded

  
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