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Author Topic:   Can the Christian God exist without the Bible?
Phat
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Posts: 9430
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 2.0


Message 1 of 106 (245221)
09-20-2005 3:27 PM


Im not sure if we have covered this topic before, but as a Christian who struggles with how literal Biblical interpretation should be, I ask the question: Can Father+Son+Holy Spirit=1 God (The absolute Creator Who is knowable) exist without the Bible? For me, the answer is yes. The question brings up some issues which I propose to discuss, however. Faith and Belief?
Replies to this message:
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Adminnemooseus
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Message 2 of 106 (245293)
09-20-2005 5:50 PM


Thread moved here from the Proposed New Topics forum.
    
jar
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Posts: 29032
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 2.6


(1)
Message 3 of 106 (245298)
09-20-2005 6:02 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Phat
09-20-2005 3:27 PM


GOD, the creator, exists or does not exist. The Christian God, or any God, can never be more than some minor reflection of GOD. Religion is no more than a creation of man and can never equal the actuality.

The Map is not the Territory.


Aslan is not a Tame Lion
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macaroniandcheese 
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Posts: 4258
Joined: 05-24-2004


(1)
Message 4 of 106 (245303)
09-20-2005 6:37 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Phat
09-20-2005 3:27 PM


for one. the god of the bible is one interpretation of a certain entity which may or may not exist.

first, let's assume existence. so. maybe the biblical writers had a right or wrong interpretation of an existing entity.

now. suppose they had a right interpretation of this entity.

sure. the god can exist as they defined him immaterial of the accuracy or usefulness of the book.

perhaps they made him up, but sure he can exist without them.


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Ben!
Member (Idle past 1064 days)
Posts: 1154
From: San Diego, CA
Joined: 10-14-2004


Message 5 of 106 (245306)
09-20-2005 6:48 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Phat
09-20-2005 3:27 PM


From a human's perspective
When approaching PB's question as a simple question of "absolute" existence, I think jar and brennakimi are right on. Since I believe humans have no access to this type of knowledge of the absolute, however, I think the question, and the answer, are meaningless. Further, looking at PB's OP, he says
The absolute Creator Who is knowable

So I want to ask the question again, but from the angle of what is knowable; i.e. from the angle of the human perspective.

Revised question: Can the Christian God be known, in all meanings of the word (i.e. experience in 'meeting' God, in knowing all about God, in knowing what God expects of you, etc), without the Bible?

PB, feel free to let me know if this is far from what you're getting at, and if you think it leads away from the questions and answers you're looking for here.

Ben

AbE: changed subtitle

This message has been edited by Ben, Tuesday, 2005/09/20 03:48 PM


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Larni
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From: UK
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Message 6 of 106 (245409)
09-21-2005 7:32 AM
Reply to: Message 5 by Ben!
09-20-2005 6:48 PM


Re: From a human's perspective
The Bible is a record that has been kept and is used a a source of information. At a basic level humans transmit ideas through time by storing them in some physical medium (books, cds, brains etc). The Bible is just a medium of storage. Remove it from history and you still would have belief in gods or a god. All cultures have myths. If you totally remove the myths of any god, no one will have any knowledge of that god.

Accepting Jesus is no different from accepting the tennets of any faith. Take out the rules and stucture of the faith and what are you left with?


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Legend
Member (Idle past 2448 days)
Posts: 1226
From: Wales, UK
Joined: 05-07-2004


Message 7 of 106 (245416)
09-21-2005 7:42 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Phat
09-20-2005 3:27 PM


my take on this is that the Christian God - i.e. a God who created and loves us and gives us a chance to escape his 'justice' by accepting his son as our saviour - is defined only in the Bible. If the Bible didn't exist (or was proven to be false), then we wouldn't have a chance of salvation. So, even if a loving, caring God did exist in an absolute sense, it wouldn't be the God of the Bible. The Christian God cannot exist without the Bible.


"In life, you have to face that some days you'll be the pigeon and some days you'll be the statue."
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Brian
Member (Idle past 2401 days)
Posts: 4659
From: Scotland
Joined: 10-22-2002


Message 8 of 106 (245424)
09-21-2005 7:58 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Phat
09-20-2005 3:27 PM


Sure It can
God can exist regardless of the Bible.

What you cannot do is use the Bible to 'prove' that there is a God.

Brian.

(too early for a 'cheers' :P)


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purpledawn
Member (Idle past 899 days)
Posts: 4453
From: Indiana
Joined: 04-25-2004


(1)
Message 9 of 106 (245425)
09-21-2005 7:59 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Phat
09-20-2005 3:27 PM


Absolute Creator
quote:
Can Father+Son+Holy Spirit=1 God (The absolute Creator Who is knowable) exist without the Bible?
Since the absolute creator existed for humans before the Bible and in places where the Bible did/does not exist, then I would say yes the idea of an absolute creator would still exist.

But, IMO the Christian presentation of God would not exist without the NT addition to the Bible.


"The average man does not know what to do with this life, yet wants another one which lasts forever." --Anatole France
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jar
Member
Posts: 29032
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 2.6


Message 10 of 106 (245433)
09-21-2005 8:35 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Phat
09-20-2005 3:27 PM


The Bible is a story about folk ...
that came to know the Christian (or Jewish in the OT) God without the Bible.

Did Luke read the Bible? Or Paul? Or Mark? Or Joseph of Arimathea? Or John of Patmos? Or Constantine?


Aslan is not a Tame Lion
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Replies to this message:
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Phat
Member
Posts: 9430
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 2.0


Message 11 of 106 (245436)
09-21-2005 8:43 AM
Reply to: Message 10 by jar
09-21-2005 8:35 AM


Re: The Bible is a story about folk ...
Jar writes:

The Bible is a story about folk...

that came to know the Christian (or Jewish in the OT) God without the Bible.
Did Luke read the Bible? Or Paul? Or Mark? Or Joseph of Arimathea? Or John of Patmos? Or Constantine?

Yes, but if Jesus is God incarnate, how would we ever know what He said apart from what He said to us personally? How would we be able to tell Him apart from any spirit..(some fake ones)

Look at how you and I disagree About the Gospel of John. To me, even though it clearly differs in many ways from the others, it is the same God saying things from the persepective of another writer who doubtlessly experienced Him.

We know that the Gospel of Jar would sound different from the Phatine letters! :) WE know that if Percy ever wrote a book about the inner unctions, he would need Ben to help him define it better.

Would it harmonize with the author within each of us? I know that purpledawn and I disagree over the source of wisdom. She believes that man invented God. I believe that God enlightened man.

Would His revealed nature be relative to the individual or would each of us be able to write a book and theoretically have a part of a Bible with similar morality, declaration, and situations as the one now here? Obviously some see it (Him) or "that feeling" differently than others.

Proponants of the canons generally agree that the 66 or so books agree with each other in spirit and message...while the gnostics and a few others have a different flavor. Imagine if everyone heard from God (without ever having heard of a Bible or religion) and you would have the same disagreements over interpretations that we have now...
only not with any "map" or book to criticize or use to defend a position.

The Bible may well be a map to the territory, but many of the words have been internalized and confirmed by me...stories of Jesus, parables, etc. Without any of that to go by, I am quite sure that God still would have reached me as He did...perhaps not in a church, but perhaps in a mall, or a restaurant, or a school.

How would I know Him apart from internal awareness? If He talked gently to my inner spirit, would He say a whole new group of teachings or would it be what has been written?

Would we folk who felt His inner presence get together, rejoicing initially, then later becoming "human" and serious again...making up rules and starting a religion?

This message has been edited by Phatboy, 09-21-2005 06:52 AM


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jar
Member
Posts: 29032
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 2.6


Message 12 of 106 (245437)
09-21-2005 8:49 AM
Reply to: Message 11 by Phat
09-21-2005 8:43 AM


Re: The Bible is a story about folk ...
That's pretty much how the Bible came into existence, isn't it? Remember, the Bible (or Canon as it should be noted), as an artificial construct. It(they) was(were) voted on and set in stone. It is but a subset of Scripture.

It also places a limit on GOD. Unless one is careful the Bible says "This is all there is; thus ends God's communication with man."


Aslan is not a Tame Lion
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Phat
Member
Posts: 9430
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 2.0


Message 13 of 106 (245439)
09-21-2005 9:00 AM
Reply to: Message 12 by jar
09-21-2005 8:49 AM


No Bible? Know God. Know whatImean?
I think that people would go about writing Bibles, starting churches, and doing the same thing at a much faster pace than folk did back in the day before Constantine up till the printing press.

We would have online church blogs...(kinda like how we talk around here...) I like how we do it...because we all never agree that the topic is done and written in stone..we just start new topics!

Some say that the early "church fathers" were inspired by a common Spirit and all agreed quite readily. Others say that they merely compromised and agreed on a book selection with only certain points of view established. Knowledge and other beliefs have crept in to the human knowledge pool since then...yet if God exists outside of the Bible, surely He would or could impart a common vision and set of inner morals to a group of people,no?


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 Message 14 by Phat, posted 09-21-2005 9:05 AM Phat has acknowledged this reply
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Phat
Member
Posts: 9430
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 2.0


Message 14 of 106 (245440)
09-21-2005 9:05 AM
Reply to: Message 13 by Phat
09-21-2005 9:00 AM


Re: No Bible? Know God. Know whatImean?
Funny how the stories from the fundamentalists about the end of the world mention an evil antichrist who abolishes religion and sets up an inner god within each human...either this is evil to be relativistic or the story was to scare people away from thinking for themselves!

Legend writes:

If the Bible didn't exist (or was proven to be false), then we wouldn't have a chance of salvation.

How would wisdom prove other wisdom false?

Its one thing to dismiss a flood story as a parable or legend. It is quite another to disprove Jesus Christ.

This message has been edited by Phatboy, 09-21-2005 07:08 AM


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jar
Member
Posts: 29032
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 2.6


Message 15 of 106 (245443)
09-21-2005 9:11 AM
Reply to: Message 13 by Phat
09-21-2005 9:00 AM


Re: No Bible? Know God. Know whatImean?
If there is a GOD, He exists regardless of Bible or believers or non-believers.

I think that people would go about writing Bibles, starting churches, and doing the same thing at a much faster pace than folk did back in the day before Constantine up till the printing press.

Again, the Canon or Canons are artificial constructs. Humans said "These are the books we will include, those are extra credit, this pile will be excluded." And so far, it's been impossible to even determine one single Canon that applies to all Christianity.

People have not stopped writing about GOD. All the things you mention exist today.


Aslan is not a Tame Lion
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