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Author Topic:   A Problem With the Literal Interpretation of Scripture
GDR
Member
Posts: 6206
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005


Message 1 of 304 (642654)
11-29-2011 7:24 PM


I have been working my way through the OT and came across this story of how Jehu slaughtered all of the descendants and followers of Ahab using deceit and treachery.
Here is the account from 2 Kings 10.
quote:
1 Now Ahab had seventy sons in Samaria. And Jehu wrote letters and sent them to Samaria, to the rulers of Jezreel, the elders, and to the guardians of the children of Ahab, saying,
2"Now, when this letter comes to you, since your master's sons are with you, as well as the chariots and horses and a fortified city and the weapons,
3select the best and fittest of your master's sons, and set him on his father's throne, and fight for your master's house."
4 But they feared greatly and said, "Behold, the two kings did not stand before him; how then can we stand ?"
5 And the one who was over the household, and he who was over the city, the elders, and the guardians of the children, sent word to Jehu, saying, "We are your servants, all that you say to us we will do, we will not make any man king ; do what is good in your sight."
6 Then he wrote a letter to them a second time saying, "If you are on my side, and you will listen to my voice, take the heads of the men, your master's sons, and come to me at Jezreel tomorrow about this time." Now the king's sons, seventy persons, were with the great men of the city, who were rearing them.
7 When the letter came to them, they took the king's sons and slaughtered them, seventy persons, and put their heads in baskets, and sent them to him at Jezreel.
8 When the messenger came and told him, saying, "They have brought the heads of the king's sons," he said, "Put them in two heaps at the entrance of the gate until morning."
9 Now in the morning he went out and stood and said to all the people, "You are innocent ; behold, I conspired against my master and killed him, but who killed all these ?
10"Know then that there shall fall to the earth nothing of the word of the LORD, which the LORD spoke concerning the house of Ahab, for the LORD has done what He spoke through His servant Elijah."
11 So Jehu killed all who remained of the house of Ahab in Jezreel, and all his great men and his acquaintances and his priests, until he left him without a survivor.
12 Then he arose and departed and went to Samaria. On the way while he was at Beth-eked of the shepherds,
13Jehu met the relatives of Ahaziah king of Judah and said, "Who are you?" And they answered, "We are the relatives of Ahaziah ; and we have come down to greet the sons of the king and the sons of the queen mother."
14 He said, "Take them alive." So they took them alive and killed them at the pit of Beth-eked, forty-two men ; and he left none of them.
15 Now when he had departed from there, he met Jehonadab the son of Rechab coming to meet him; and he greeted him and said to him, "Is your heart right, as my heart is with your heart ?" And Jehonadab answered, "It is." Jehu said, "If it is, give me your hand." And he gave him his hand, and he took him up to him into the chariot.
16 He said, "Come with me and see my zeal for the LORD." So he made him ride in his chariot.
17 When he came to Samaria, he killed all who remained to Ahab in Samaria, until he had destroyed him, according to the word of the LORD which He spoke to Elijah.
Jehu Destroys Baal Worshipers
18 Then Jehu gathered all the people and said to them, "Ahab served Baal a little ; Jehu will serve him much.
19"Now, summon all the prophets of Baal, all his worshipers and all his priests ; let no one be missing, for I have a great sacrifice for Baal ; whoever is missing shall not live." But Jehu did it in cunning, so that he might destroy the worshipers of Baal.
20 And Jehu said, "Sanctify a solemn assembly for Baal." And they proclaimed it.
21 Then Jehu sent throughout Israel and all the worshipers of Baal came, so that there was not a man left who did not come. And when they went into the house of Baal, the house of Baal was filled from one end to the other.
22 He said to the one who was in charge of the wardrobe, "Bring out garments for all the worshipers of Baal." So he brought out garments for them.
23Jehu went into the house of Baal with Jehonadab the son of Rechab ; and he said to the worshipers of Baal, "Search and see that there is here with you none of the servants of the LORD, but only the worshipers of Baal."
24 Then they went in to offer sacrifices and burnt offerings. Now Jehu had stationed for himself eighty men outside, and he had said, "The one who permits any of the men whom I bring into your hands to escape shall give up his life in exchange."
25 Then it came about, as soon as he had finished offering the burnt offering, that Jehu said to the guard and to the royal officers, "Go in, kill them; let none come out." And they killed them with the edge of the sword ; and the guard and the royal officers threw them out, and went to the inner room of the house of Baal.
26 They brought out the sacred pillars of the house of Baal and burned them.
27 They also broke down the sacred pillar of Baal and broke down the house of Baal, and made it a latrine to this day.
28 Thus Jehu eradicated Baal out of Israel.
29However, as for the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, which he made Israel sin, from these Jehu did not depart, even the golden calves that were at Bethel and that were at Dan.
When we get to the end we can see that Jehu destroyed all of the places of worship of Baal so if you like it can be argued that Yahweh felt it necessary. Indeed it goes on to say that:
quote:
30 The LORD said to Jehu, "Because you have done well in executing what is right in My eyes, and have done to the house of Ahab according to all that was in My heart, your sons of the fourth generation shall sit on the throne of Israel."
So ostensibly here we have a case of Yahweh applauding a brutal treacherous slaughter as presumably the means must have justified the ends. Not exactly bed time reading for the little ones — is it?
However when we read the book of Hosea chapter 1 we read the following.
quote:
4 And the LORD said to him, "Name him Jezreel ; for yet a little while, and I will punish the house of Jehu for the bloodshed of Jezreel, and I will put an end to the kingdom of the house of Israel. 5 "On that day I will break the bow of Israel in the valley of Jezreel."
Now it seems that although Yahweh was pleased with Jehu for what he did in 2nd Kings, he is now going to punish him for it in Hosea. This does strike me as more than a little odd and definitely un-God-like.
My contention again is that the OT is the story of God’s relationship with His people. It is told with the cultural and personal biases of the individual writers who had been inspired to write their stories. My belief is that when the Bible is read that way, as a narrative made up of numerous styles of writing, then it becomes a much more powerful and meaningful story. God’s message of truth, love, justice and forgiveness, mercy etc is all there if we don’t keep trying to deify the Bible, which IMHO only detracts from the God that the Bible is actually about.
I would like to hear the views of literalists/fundamentalists regarding what seems to me to be an inconsistent view of Yahweh and in the passages I have just cited. If it isn’t viewed as inconsistent it IMHO, makes Yahweh duplicitous, as well as brutal, and I have to wonder why anyone would want to worship a God like that.
Micah 6:8 says the following.
quote:
8 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 ?
How does a person who loves humble kindness and justice, the qualities of Yahweh that we see in Jesus Christ, worship the God that we see in those two passages if we take them as being literally true. Does it not make a whole lot more sense to understand that it is a part of Jewish history where they went off the rails, and then justified it by saying that Yahweh was in favour of what they had done?
I think Bible Study is appropriate if some mod thinks that this passes muster.
Edited by GDR, : As suggested by Admin PD

Everybody is entitled to my opinion.

Replies to this message:
 Message 2 by AdminPD, posted 11-30-2011 3:53 AM GDR has replied
 Message 12 by ICANT, posted 12-03-2011 2:19 PM GDR has replied
 Message 16 by Dawn Bertot, posted 12-11-2011 2:17 AM GDR has replied
 Message 194 by hugenot, posted 02-13-2012 10:14 PM GDR has not replied
 Message 195 by jrchamblee, posted 02-14-2012 6:14 PM GDR has replied
 Message 234 by purpledawn, posted 03-14-2012 1:03 PM GDR has replied
 Message 289 by foreveryoung, posted 12-23-2012 12:42 PM GDR has not replied

  
GDR
Member
Posts: 6206
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005


Message 3 of 304 (642656)
11-30-2011 11:21 AM
Reply to: Message 2 by AdminPD
11-30-2011 3:53 AM


Re: Suggestions
AdminPD writes:
Suggestion concerning the big chunk of scripture you quoted.
Thanks. That was something of a no-brainer.
AdminPD writes:
The Accurracy and Inerrancy thread on the science side says in the description: Is the Bible the inerrant word of God? Or is it the words of men?
You seem to be looking at the reality behind the Bible, which might do better on the science side.
That makes sense. Thanks again.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 2 by AdminPD, posted 11-30-2011 3:53 AM AdminPD has not replied

  
GDR
Member
Posts: 6206
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005


Message 6 of 304 (642674)
11-30-2011 1:33 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by Hyroglyphx
11-30-2011 12:18 PM


Hyroglyphx writes:
It's not possible to believe in a literal interpretation of the bible and for it to remain cogent; and this is after taking into consideration allegorical speech, euphemisms, and metaphors. You will find a plethora of contradictions if you consider the bible to be literal.
There are certainly those that claim they take it literally but in trying to do that it turns, the Christian faith and God for that matter into something that IMHO, is virtually unrecognizable when compared to the God that we can see in the context of the entire narrative and particularly as embodied in the life and message of Jesus.
Edited by GDR, : No reason given.

Everybody is entitled to my opinion.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 5 by Hyroglyphx, posted 11-30-2011 12:18 PM Hyroglyphx has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 7 by hooah212002, posted 11-30-2011 3:21 PM GDR has replied

  
GDR
Member
Posts: 6206
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005


(1)
Message 8 of 304 (642687)
11-30-2011 3:44 PM
Reply to: Message 7 by hooah212002
11-30-2011 3:21 PM


hooah212002 writes:
You mean: "it turns what I believe to be the christian faith into something I don't recognize". Where do you draw the line at what is regarded as literal and what is allegorical? Why is the initial murder not literal? It's not like there aren't a plethora of other verses where the god character sanctions abhorrent violence, rendering this one time into allegory. He told Abraham to murder his own son for fucks sake. What you have is your god character in one instance saying "this is good" but it is something YOU deem to be wrong, and in another instance he is saying "nevermind, that thing is wrong" and you agree.
The thing is that you are only understanding Christianity in the way that a fundamentalist does. The point is 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.
In the account I gave of Jehu it is obvious that the writer of Kings 2 was supportive of Jehu and it is obvious that the writer of Hosea wasn't. It is however part of the whole story. We can see the thread of a loving God through the Hebrew Scriptures but we can also see all of the screw ups of the ancient Jewish people. In one way it would be like looking at the history of the church today told from various view points.
The simplest way to understand the OT is to read it through the filter of the Gospels as well as the epistles, and it is important to read those in context. The majority of the time in the Gospels where Jesus is quoted we can see that what He is saying is rooted in one part or another of the Hebrew Scriptures. Ultimately, Jesus tells us that the whole issue is about the love of God and neighbour. Yes there is the theological side as well which I don`t mean to minimize but that is a separate issue.
What Jehu did is hardly an act of love and bears no resemblance to what Jesus taught when He said that we are to love our enemy. It is clear that what Jehu did was not pleasing to Yahweh.
AbE Compare an account of the Viet Nam war as written in the US to one written in Hanoi. That would be the same type of difference that we would get in the accounts of Kings 2 and Hosea. I don't think it takes any kind of mental gymnastics to sort that out.
Edited by GDR, : Just another thought after posting.

Everybody is entitled to my opinion.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 7 by hooah212002, posted 11-30-2011 3:21 PM hooah212002 has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 9 by hooah212002, posted 11-30-2011 4:32 PM GDR has not replied
 Message 43 by Granny Magda, posted 12-20-2011 6:54 AM GDR has replied

  
GDR
Member
Posts: 6206
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005


(1)
Message 11 of 304 (642755)
12-01-2011 9:40 AM
Reply to: Message 10 by NoNukes
12-01-2011 9:12 AM


NoNukes writes:
Reading the allegories as allegories and the metaphors as metaphors is reading the Bible literally. It is unfortunate that we've allowed a minority sect to determine that reading the Bible literally means something completely different than the reading for comprehension stuff many of us were all taught before we even started school.
I agree with all of that, however the example I used in the OP, and there are many others, is written in historical form. When the writers say that God approved of what Jehu had done in Kings 2 and then wanted to punish Jehu later for doing something immoral, it seems to me that there are a few possibilities.
1/ God was actually pleased by what Jehu had done but it was still an immoral act requiring Jehu to be punished.
2/ God changed His mind about what happened
3/ Jehu himself justified his actions by saying that God was pleased whether or not he actually believed it
4/ The writer of Kings 2 believed that God was pleased either because that’s how he saw it or because that's what Jehu told him, but the writer of Hosea saw it differently
5/ the whole story is a legend and isn't historical at all
6/ something else altogether that you might be able to think of
Personally I go with either 3 or 4. I believe the event is historical and that Jehu justified what he did by claiming God was on his side. He may well have actually believed it as it so often seemed for all people of that era to be about territorial control and they wanted the god(s) to be on their side in battle. (Things haven't changed all that much eh? ) We do seem to keep trying to make God in our image.

Everybody is entitled to my opinion.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 10 by NoNukes, posted 12-01-2011 9:12 AM NoNukes has seen this message but not replied

  
GDR
Member
Posts: 6206
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005


(1)
Message 14 of 304 (642999)
12-03-2011 6:41 PM
Reply to: Message 12 by ICANT
12-03-2011 2:19 PM


Re: Confusion
ICANT writes:
Easy, all you have to do is know what is being talked about and what Jehu was punished for.
You stopped quoting the text at the point that tells what Jehu did wrong that brought about the punishment mentioned in Hosea.
Hi ICANT
You have to read the Hosea quote. It is very clear what Jehu was being punished for. There is no reason to extend the quote. I'll re-quote Hosea.
from Hosea 1:
quote:
4 And the LORD said to him, "Name him Jezreel ; for yet a little while, and I will punish the house of Jehu for the bloodshed of Jezreel, and I will put an end to the kingdom of the house of Israel. 5 "On that day I will break the bow of Israel in the valley of Jezreel."
Jehu is being punished for the "bloodshed of Jezreel", which is exactly my point. The writer of Kings 2 writes that God is pleased about what happened whereas the writer of Hosea says that Jehu is to be punished for it. It is two different writers with two different points of view.
The Bible is a narrative that tells the whole God story from creation through Abraham, through the prophets, through Jesus, through Christ's Kingdom or His church and finally to new creation at the end of time. The Bible chronicles it all and if you keep trying to manipulate it in a vain effort to make it conform to your idiosyncratic views then IMHO so much of what God has for us is lost.
ICANT writes:
Jehu did good in that he destroyed Baal and their places of worship. But he failed to worship God as he departed not from the sins of Jeroboam, which made Israel to sin.
But Hosea isn't saying that Jehu is being punished for destroying the places of worship of Baal or for failing to worship God. He is being punished for the slaughter of the people of Jezreel. Hosea is extremely clear on that.
ICANT writes:
God is kind which most people think he should always be. The general thoughts of humans is that God is supposed to love us so much He will not punish us for anything we do.
But He is a God of justice and sin can not go unpunished. His children receive all their punishment here on Earth and those who are not His children receives punishment here on Earth and in eternity.
So I don't see a problem with God being a God of love or a God of justice, as He is both.
Of course I believe God is a God of both love and justice. The two are not at all incompatible. But it is God's justice and not ours that we are talking about. The writer of Hebrews quotes both Deuteronomy when he says:
quote:
For we know Him who said, "VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY." And again, "THE LORD WILL JUDGE HIS PEOPLE."
as does Paul in Romans:
quote:
Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, "VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY," says the Lord.
The Scriptures are clear that our job is to love God and love our neighbour; it is to humbly love justice and kindness.
Sure we have our human laws where we incarcerate people for the hoped for benefit of society but we are not called to commit mass murder.
Let's just use some basic common sense. Let's assume that God wanted all of the descendents and followers of Ahab dead, because they were evil and were turning the hearts of others away from His desire for love and justice. At the same time he wants Jehu and his followers to turn their hearts to Him. How would we expect a God of love and justice to do that?
If we look at modern history and see what modern wars have done to the hearts and minds of our own peoples we can see that it makes no sense to involve Jehu and his followers in this mass killing. What do you think it would do to your heart and mind if your God told you to decapitate a group of people and then be involved in a mass slaying of presumably men, women and children. Is this what a loving just God does to His followers; the people He loves.
So even if God did want, (which I don't agree is the case anyway), all of the followers of Ahab dead it seems crystal clear to me that He would do it directly and not involve His people in it at all.
We are called to be God's loving agents and as part of that we are to trust that God's perfect will be done, but on His schedule not ours.
I don't mean to sound clever or holier than thou but I suggest that you really try to take a holistic view of the scriptures without preconceptions of what it is you are reading. It is IMHO so much more powerful when you view God's faithfulness through all of our human failings both then and now. The Bible is God's gift to the church but it isn't God or even His representative. That is what Jesus was for.
Edited by GDR, : typos

Everybody is entitled to my opinion.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 12 by ICANT, posted 12-03-2011 2:19 PM ICANT has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 61 by ICANT, posted 12-22-2011 3:51 PM GDR has replied

  
GDR
Member
Posts: 6206
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005


(3)
(1)
Message 15 of 304 (643509)
12-07-2011 3:06 PM


Trying to square mass murder and love.
I find it interesting that the few fundamentalists still left on this forum, (I haven’t seen Iano for quite a while), are more interested in trying to argue against evolution, and other branches of the sciences, than they are trying to explain obvious difficulties in the more mundane problems of trying to find meaning from a literal reading of the Scriptures. (I have to add that I agree with what NoNukes posted above about the meaning of literal.)
It seems to be much less important to argue about how God created the universe than it is to try and discern whether or not God actually approved or even sanctioned atrocities such as the example quoted in the OP. I suggest that the most important thing for a Christian is to understand the nature of God, and just how it we are to serve Him. If He is a God that justifies mass murder it then follows that we would serve him in a very different way than we would the God we see incarnate in Jesus.
From a personal POV, as far as I’m concerned if I actually believed that God was a God could justify genocide, death by stoning for minor misdemeanours etc then I would quit being a member of the church and join the Rotary Club where I could be of use.
I however understand God, as we see Him incarnate in Jesus. There the message is that we are to love God and all of His creation including our enemies, as He first loved us. We are to reflect the love of a loving God to the world. That’s a God I’ll dedicate and give my life to.
Edited by GDR, : typo
Edited by GDR, : typo

Everybody is entitled to my opinion.

Replies to this message:
 Message 17 by Dawn Bertot, posted 12-11-2011 2:59 AM GDR has not replied

  
GDR
Member
Posts: 6206
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005


(1)
(1)
Message 18 of 304 (643778)
12-11-2011 4:18 PM
Reply to: Message 16 by Dawn Bertot
12-11-2011 2:17 AM


Dawn Bertot writes:
Not at all. For example how would you explain the instance in Acts chapter 5 where God immediately and summarily sentenced and executed Ananias and Sapphira, for simply lying about the land and the for the amount of money they alledgedly sold it for
Well right off the bat you aren't translating it literally. The Bible does not say that "God immediately and summarily sentenced and executed Ananias and Sapphira, for simply lying about the land and the for the amount of money they allegedly sold it for".
The Bible tells us that:
quote:
And as he heard these words, Ananias fell down and breathed his last
The same is true for Sapphira.
You are reading into it that God executed them. You are drawing your own conclusions. I could also conclude that because they were so traumatized at the exposing at the fact that they had lied and cheated God that they suffered heart attacks. It could even be a metaphorical telling of what happened with allusions to what happened to Lot’s wife or to the statement that the wages for sin is death. The Bible doesn't tell us.
For the sake of argument let's assume that you are correct in saying that God executed them. (I'm not conceding that point at all.) It is still very different than the account that I used in the OP. In the first place it is about specific individuals with specific sins.
Secondly, it is a very different thing for God Himself to take a life, as opposed to having His own followers participate in the slaughter of another human being, let along participate in the mass slaughter of entire communities including women and children. God loves His children. What would you think of a father who encouraged his own child to participate in such an act? We can look at modern times at look at what war does to our own young people when they return from war. How much more would they be damaged if ordered into a situation, using whatever weapons they had 2500 years ago, where they were required with their own hands to murder women and children?
Dawn Bertot writes:
You seem to think the God of the OT is differnt from that of the NT
No I don’t. God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.
Dawn Bertot writes:
Only a literal translation makes any sense.
IMHO a literal translation makes no sense. In fact it is impossible to work through the Bible trying to understand it literally.
Dawn Bertot writes:
Only and understanding that omniscience can make such judgements in such cases makes any sense
That doesn’t have any bearing on the subject.
Dawn Bertot writes:
If you call God evil in these instances, you now obligated to justify any of YOUR ACTIONS concerning anyother life forms. Especially those you had for supper last night
Are you justified in the slaughter and digesting of other life forms, because you consider yourself superior
I don't see where that has anything to do with the subject but it does raise an interesting question for another thread. I do find it troubling.
Dawn Bertot writes:
You have to proceed logically in such instances. You’ll have to do better than those examples you cited examples to prove that the God of the OT is less or better than the one in the NT
Actually, you missed the whole point of the OP. The point was that in Kings 2 God approves of what Jehu does and then in Hosea God says that Jehu is to be punished for what he did. It is obviously written by two men with differing POV on the question. Please go back and read the OP.
Dawn Bertot writes:
It seems to be an all or nothing proposition when it comes to the translations of the scriptures
That all depends on how you believe that the scriptures should be understood.
Dawn Bertot writes:
Then what is your justification and explanation of Acts chapter five? How many does it take to constitute a genocide?
Dictionary definition of genocide:
quote:
the deliberate and systematic extermination of a national, racial, political, or cultural group.
I have already answered the first part of your question and the definition tells us clearly the difference between genocide and what happens in Acts 5.
Dawn Bertot writes:
Do you consider lying a misdemeamour?
Yes
Dawn Bertot writes:
Was God God justified in this instance or was this just another bible writer popping in and out of inspiration?
It is the author recording the event in his own words, as he either observed the event or had it related to him. Sure I accept that God inspired the writer to record what happened just as Beethoven was inspired to write his music. However, just as Beethoven was given a gift which he was inspired to use does not mean that God gave him the music note by note. In our case the writer was inspired to right down an account of what happened but in his own words and understanding.
Dawn Bertot writes:
Even though we may not understand it GDR, there is always purpose and reason in omniscience
It has no bearing on the subject but omniscience is something that is or isn’t and in itself doesn’t require reason or purpose.
Dawn Bertot writes:
Picking and choosing out of scripture what you like and then dont like, is a failed proposition from the outset. It seems only and only a literal translation makes any sense
It isn’t a case of picking and choosing. It is about understanding the scriptures in the manner that God intends.
Dawn Bertot writes:
I think it is comical that we would bow up at our children if they challenged all our decisions, but expect God to explain his every move
I’m not asking God to explain His every move, nor am I trying to challenge His decisions. I am merely trying to understand Him and serve Him.
Dawn Bertot writes:
Wow, such arrogance
Well that may be your judgement but I think that God has given us the freedom and wisdom, (often called free will), as well as the Holy Spirit to sort our beliefs out. I don’t worship God because I believe He created the universe. Sure I believe that, but I worship God because I believe that He is the God that we see personified in Jesus Christ. IMHO He is a God of love, compassion, mercy, justice, forgiveness etc. The God that we see in Jesus is not a god of genocide. That is who I worship and if I’m wrong then that’s fine because I’m not prepared to worship a God that sanctions genocide anyway.

Everybody is entitled to my opinion.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 16 by Dawn Bertot, posted 12-11-2011 2:17 AM Dawn Bertot has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 19 by Dawn Bertot, posted 12-13-2011 12:06 AM GDR has replied

  
GDR
Member
Posts: 6206
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005


(1)
Message 20 of 304 (643930)
12-13-2011 4:18 AM
Reply to: Message 19 by Dawn Bertot
12-13-2011 12:06 AM


Dawn Bertot writes:
So we have two people, atleast according to the text, that were unaware of the others heartattack and that person also concidentially suffers a massive corinary, upon hearing the news
Does that make sense to you? Or does it appear that God pronounced the same judgement on both for the same reason, at two seperate times, for lying to the Holy Spirit
Now i do not proclaim to know why God did this, but I will trust his omniscience and be glad that he has shown mercy to my sorry worthless behind
I'm just saying that the text doesn't tell us how they died. It just tells us that they did. I just gave a couple of possibilities of what could be the case.
I'm curious why you keep trusting in God's omniscience. Frankly it's a term that has no particular human meaning as it simply means infinite knowledge and power and we have no human conception of infinity. For that matter the term is never used in the Bible. I trust in God because He gave me life and I trust His wisdom, justice and loving nature. I also trust that as a creature made in His image He wants his creatures to reflect these attributes to the world.
Sure, we all need His mercy but that isn't the point. If it is all about me receiving His mercy then all that I've done is to subvert the Christian message making it all about me. The whole point of Christianity is to make it not about me but about my unselfish love for His creation. If it is all about me and my salvation then all I'm doing is loving selfishly, and misunderstanding the kind of love that we are called to.
Dawn Bertot writes:
Therein lies the problem with picking and choosing what is literal and what is figurative. you claim to know things concerning God, Christ and Jewish tradition, but how can we have confidence in Jesus' words, actions and conduct, if they were coming from a human perspective only? You confidently stated that God was the same, yesterday, today and forever. How do you know that and how can we trust the writer verses anyother
Actually I'm not claiming to know these things. I'm expressing my beliefs. That is why it is called a faith. Absolute knowledge doesn't require faith.
It isn't a case of trusting the writer. It is God that I trust. The same God that visited HIs created beings through the man Jesus. As I've said before if we were to read an account of the Viet Nam war in a library in Hanoi and compare it to one in Houston we would no doubt find quite different accounts of what transpired. The Bible often relates the same stories told from different perspectives and we have been given wisdom and the Holy Spirit to work our way through it all.
One of the original reasons that people started to try and understand the Bible literally was simply as a back-lash against the RC church at the time of the reformation. Nowadays I think one of the primary reasons is the fact that we like certainty and by reading the Bible this way it gives some people a sense of certainty and a sense of security.
Why are you so certain that the Bible is to be read literally? What is your basis for doing that? Usually that verse in 2 Timothy is quoted but it only tells us that it is God-breathed or inspired. (The two terms are essentially synonomous.) OK I agree. God has inspired the writers to record their stories and God uses these writings to teach, rebuke, correct and train us in righteousness. It does not mean that we are to read them as a science text or a newspaper. We are to read them with the faith that God will touch our hearts through what has been written.
Dawn Bertot writes:
Actually it not. In both instances you are challenging the omniscience of God, atleast as it is set out in the scriptures. That is if we can trust the writes about Gods omniscience. Can we?
Not at all. I continue to question your use of the word omniscience but putting that aside, it is God in whom I trust - not the Bible itself. The Bible is not a God substitute. The Bible is a gift from God.
Dawn Bertot writes:
Yes but if the writer claims that God has his followers do this and he is fudging or simply believes this and he is incorrect, how can i trust any other words, passages or statements
I suggest that we have to trust the writers to be telling the truth to the best of their understanding. (In some cases in the OT though it does seem that the individual writers do have a bit of an axe to grind.)
You trust by faith. When the Gospel writers tell me that Jesus said that I am to love my neighbour I trust by faith, not certainty that that is what I'm to do.
Dawn Bertot writes:
What criteria, or progression of reasoing would i use to distinguish between what is God wishes and mans interpolations
Here is a quote from the book Miracles by C S Lewis.
quote:
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.
I believe that the Hebrew scriptures are brought to a climax, or are fulfilled by the ministry of Jesus. It is through Jesus that we can understand what is written in the OT. Remember - all of the laws and the prophets hang on the fact that we are to love God and neighbour. Genocide or death by stoning of difficult kids, prostitutes or those that break sabbath laws does not fall under the category of loving God or neighbour. We are called to love our enemy - not slaughter them.
From our perspective it isn't difficult to sort out the message of the Bible. Just because the story of Jonah or Noah isn't literally true does not mean that we should discard the OT message of loving God and neighbour or my favourite verse in Hosea 6 where we are told by Hosea that God wants us to love kindness/mercy, to do justice and to walk humbly with our God.
Remember, God has given us free will. He has not given us certainty. We follow the God as an act of loving faith. We trust by faith not by knowing.
Dawn Bertot writes:
Would you say Jesus was one of Gods followers? Would you say it makes sense for God to take his own sons life, when he could have prevented it
Jesus prayed to the Father. Jesus called Him Father. God didn't take Jesus' life. Men did that. God resurrected Him.
Dawn Bertot writes:
I dont pretend to know why God ordered Joshua to do these things, but the answer is not to become the judge and start deciding which passages we can trust and those we cannot. Even from a logical standpoint, that becomes an exercise in futility
As I've said before if we understand that the Bible is at its most basic a metanarrative starting with creation to Moses to Abraham to the Prophets to Jesus to the Kingdom and finally to New Creation, we can see the whole panoramic history of mankind spread out before us. If we start trying to understand all that is written in a strictly literal sense all we do is diminish God's purposes and the mission He has for us. Trying to twist things around in order to come up with a literal understanding of all that is written is a real exercise in futility. Again as I said before, the example I gave in the OP is a clear example of two different authors with two different perspectives on the same event.
Dawn Bertot writes:
There is a difference in a judge and a single individual. Was Harry Truman evil or wrong for desemating the two cities? if your answer is yes, please tell me the absolute standard you are using to say he was absolutely wrong
That is a human judgement that you are talking about. I believe God suffered along with all of those who died and lost loved ones as a result of those actions. The absolute standard is that we are called to love our enemy. The absolute standard is that we are called to pray to be forgiven as we forgive. As someone who lost a Dad in service in WW II I have some understanding of what Truman did but I think that it is worthwhile to look at the Gospels.
Jesus lived in a land in which His people were brutally ruled and taxed by a foreign power. In spite of that Jesus told His followers to love them, turn the other cheek and even to go the extra mile for them. I guess we will all come to our own conclusions about how things played out in 1945, but as always we are still "looking through a glass darkly".
Dawn Bertot writes:
GDR, even the scriptures you quote disagree with you about wheather God dictated things to these men.
Peter, through inspiration of the Holy Spirit, says concering the Old Testament prophets, "
No prophecy of old was of PRIVATE INTERPRETATION, (or by the will of man)but Holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Spirit"
The story of Joshua for example has nothing to do with prophesy. That is just one of the writers giving his account of what happened. Even as far as prophesy is concerned there are accounts all through the OT Scriptures of false prophets. Just as the characters in the OT stories had to sort out the true prophets from the false ones we are called to still do that today whether it be OT prophets or modern ones.
Dawn Bertot writes:
This follows closely the words used in nearly every passage in the OT. "Thus sayeth the Lord", "And the word of the Lord came to Isa", etc, etc, etc. How many different expressions of this type could I demonstrate? What reason is there to believe they were the perspectives of the men themself? the scriptures do no agree with you.
We still hear people in the church confidently saying that God told them to do something and then it becomes clear later that by all appearances God had told them no such thing.
For example from Deuteronomy 21:
quote:
18 If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son who does not obey his father and mother and will not listen to them when they discipline him, 19 his father and mother shall take hold of him and bring him to the elders at the gate of his town. 20 They shall say to the elders, "This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious. He will not obey us. He is a profligate and a drunkard." 21 Then all the men of his town shall stone him to death. You must purge the evil from among you. All Israel will hear of it and be afraid.
Did this come from man or God? Can you show me anything that Jesus said that would justify this? I think if as Christians we followed this none of our kids would have gotten past the age of 15. (neither would I have for that matter. )
Dawn Bertot writes:
How and why?
The Bible isn’t to be, and can’t be read literally as there are too many contradictions. The example in the OP for one or even something as simple at the genealogies in the Gospels would be a couple of examples.
Dawn Bertot writes:
Its a simple matter of exegesis. there is precedence in scripture. God eixsts, the bible is his word. It tells us he is omnicient. it does not explain all of his actions, or the reasons at times. Sometimes information is missing that would explain appearent contradictions
If the Bible is dictated by God then why is information missing that would explain the contradictions. That makes no sense at all.
Dawn Bertot writes:
For example, lets assume that the information concerning Israels disobedience by keeping some of the bounty after a certain war was not revealed to us and we find God punishing them for what appears he told them to do. Not knowing that they kept some of the bounty, would make it appear as a contradiction on Gods part, when actually we were in that instance fortunate enough to have it revealed
You are doing the same thing that ICANT did in reading something into the story that isn’t there and disagrees with the text. Hosea says the following:
quote:
4 And the LORD said to him, "Name him Jezreel ; for yet a little while, and I will punish the house of Jehu for the bloodshed of Jezreel, and I will put an end to the kingdom of the house of Israel. 5 "On that day I will break the bow of Israel in the valley of Jezreel."
He is not to be punished for keeping some of the bounty, it reads that he is to be punished for the bloodshed of Jezreel.
Dawn Bertot writes:
The point is that we cannot ignore precidence in scripture. In this instance, that God is just and all knowing. I cant explain why God for example had one of his prophets walk naked for three years. Nor am going to question that judgement. Your free to do so if you wish
God did not tell us that we are to stop thinking. It is a man made idea that we are to understand the Bible the way you do. With what we can see of God in Jesus does it make more sense that somebody got the idea somehow that he should run around starkers because either he wasn’t hearing God correctly and was more than a little deranged, or that God actually wanted him to do it.
You seem to view it as a positive that you essentially deify the Bible and don’t actually think things through. If God was to give us a book that He has personally written word for word then Christ becomes redundant. Jesus is the word of God. The Bible only has authority as a reflection of the authority of God.
Dawn Bertot writes:
According to Peter and others, it is the word of God and of no private viewpoint. according to nearly every preface in the Old testament it is "the Word of the Lord"
That is circular reasoning. You start out with the idea that God dictated those words to Peter.
It is men saying that it is the Word of the Lord. We have been given Jesus, we have been given the Holy Spirit and we have been given wisdom to come to our own conclusions about what we believe and even then it is by faith that we live, not certainty. If it was by certainty everyone would believe and the whole concept of freely choosing would go out the window along with the ability to love unselfishly.
Dawn Bertot writes:
The prophets thought is was the Word of the Lord. Peter said it was of no private view point. Could you give me a valid reason to believe you instead of them
Because the various writers don’t always agree with each other. Also because the God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow and the God who gave Moses the ten commandments and the God as we see in Jesus, is not the same as the god who wants to see the people he is supposed to love all getting together and stoning their difficult kids to death.
Dawn Bertot writes:
And that is the most important point of all and it is refeashing to actually be discussing these issues with someone who holds that viewpoint. Just ask yourself however, the logical point of how we ourselves could actually decide what are Gods words, intentions, intimations, desires and wishes
If Peter is wrong in his estimation of how God worked through men, then no amount of reasoning on my part is going to get me any closer. If i cant trust an inspired writer, then it is an exercise in futility
That is your problem. You trust the human writers of the Bible. We are called to trust God. We are called to trust Jesus. We are called to trust the Holy Spirit. The Bible is a gift from God given to us to shine light into darkness. He made us in His image which means that He has given us reason and wisdom so that we can make sense of things. I’ll go back, as I tend to do, to my favourite verse Micah 6:8.
quote:
8 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 ?
The Bible tells the story of how God has faithfully worked through His created beings to bring us to that point and it also tells us in very broad brush strokes that there is an ultimate point and conclusion to all of this.
I am not saying that Peter is wrong. God did inspire these men to write down their stories, which does not mean that He dictated the stories to them. It is like a reporter covering a story for the newspaper. The stories will be conditioned by both the cultural and personal biases of the writer as well as the writer’s understanding of the event.
Dawn Bertot writes:
You seem like a faithful follower of God and Christ which is all that really matters. But try this as well. Trust that his judgements are correct, right and true in comparison with our finite perspective
I suggest that is exactly what I’m doing. My beliefs are actually much more aligned with traditional Christian belief. Read people like Augustine right through C S Lewis. More currently I suggest N T Wright. Even Josephus talks about Moses writing allegorically.
The Bible is given as a blessing to mankind but in trying to understand it the way you do I humbly suggest that you are putting your faith in the Bible instead of in the God of the Bible.

Everybody is entitled to my opinion.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 19 by Dawn Bertot, posted 12-13-2011 12:06 AM Dawn Bertot has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 22 by Dawn Bertot, posted 12-14-2011 12:59 AM GDR has replied

  
GDR
Member
Posts: 6206
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005


Message 23 of 304 (644004)
12-14-2011 3:40 AM
Reply to: Message 22 by Dawn Bertot
12-14-2011 12:59 AM


Dawn Bertot writes:
That was not my point. My point was that allegorical or not, here we are presented with an alleged contradiction of morals on Gods part. In other instances he let rahab live for lying in this instance he did not
One could conclude contradiction or fall back to a greater principle of Gods infinite wisdom. Ill trust that his thought are not my thoughts and his ways are not my ways, or yours. But he must have had a reason for doing it
There is only a contradiction when you understand the Bible as a book dictated by God. If it is written by men, inspired to write down in their own words what they have experienced or what others have experienced and then related to them. It is like the witnesses at a car accident. They will all remember things a little differently but they will all remember that an accident did occur.
You always assume that there is only one way to understand the Bible. I’m suggesting that there is another way where you don’t have to find excuses for God.
GDR writes:
I trust in God because He gave me life and I trust His wisdom, justice and loving nature. I also trust that as a creature made in His image He wants his creatures to reflect these attributes to the world.
Dawn Bertot writes:
How do you know these things concerning God are true? Is this one of the things you decided should be accepted as valid and inspired in the text?
Like I've said before I don't know. I believe and I trust. I believe and I trust because it is consistent with the entire Biblical narrative. It is consistent with my life experience. It is consistent with the message of Jesus and His message of justice, love and responsibility.
GDR writes:
It isn't a case of trusting the writer. It is God that I trust. The same God that visited HIs created beings through the man Jesus.
Dawn Bertot writes:
Again where did you get this information and why do you accept it and not Gods edicts to Joshua?
Because the edict from God to Joshua as told by the scribes is completely inconsistent with God as we see revealed in Jesus. The message through the Bible is that we are to trust God. Again, it is God as revealed through Jesus that I trust. The Bible is an account of God and His people - but it isn't a replacement for God.
Dawn Bertot writes:
So you dont know that its not literal, you just hope it is not. You have no criteria for differintiating, correct?
I don't know in the sense that I know my wife is in the next room. I believe completely in my Christian faith but it is faith. The criteria I use is the gospel message of Christ, and it isn't a case of hoping, it is a case of believing based on understanding the Bible as a whole as opposed to breaking it down into little bits.
GDR writes:
Why are you so certain that the Bible is to be read literally? What is your basis for doing that?
Dawn Bertot writes:
because it claims to be Gods directed and divine word. Because you have not offered any reason why I should not accept it as literal, except to say you dont like it
If the scriptures are not literal and both you and i are led by the Spirit, who is correct, you or I? Many years ago I went to study with a fellow and as we were talking he said the HS told me not to talk to you, to which I stated there must be some mistake, because he told me to be here
Your mistake is believing the Spirit wispers in your ear, whearas the scripture says, "faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God" Youve supplanted the Word with your instincts and intuitions. Just trust what his word says and quit trying to change its meanings with your musings
Yes the Bible is inspired by God and it is a gift to His church. That does not mean that God dictated it. We went through in a previous post what it means when Paul writes that it is inspired/God breathed. The scriptures themselves say that Jesus is the Word of God.
You ask which of us is correct. Frankly I'm quite sure that we are both wrong about some things. None of us have a lock on all truth. The Christian faith allows for mystery. What would be the point of God giving us the ability to reason and then not expecting us to use that gift? It seems reasonable to understand that He wouldn't dictate a book to be given to us that is full of contradictions, not only in a literal sense but in the way it gives completely contradictory pictures of His very nature.
Dawn Bertot writes:
true but it wont happen if we are contiuously changings its context and meanings to suit what we want it to say. Just let it speak
That is what I'm doing. I suggest that you might do the same. Both you and ICANT argued that the reading from Hosea was about something else when it was clear that the writer was saying that Jehu was to be punished for the bloodshed he caused. It is you guys who are changing context and meaning to suit your idiosyncratic views of the scriptures.
Dawn Bertot writes:
When you can show in logical argument form that there is difference between the two, I will accept your premise. Until then you are involving yourself in the worst form of contradiction. Claiming to know truths as you state them from scripture, but ignoring the fact that you reject outright statements from the same source
Tell me. Do you agree that we should stone to death difficult children, adulterers and people who work on Sunday?
I don't reject outright statements but I interpret them by understanding them in the context of the entire scripture. What Joshua did is completely contradictory to the commandment to love our enemies. You seem to choose to worship a god that teaches one thing through Jesus but then at the same time is quite happy to command His followers to behave in a completely contrary manner. Love of neighbour and/or your enemy does not ever mean that God wants you to slaughter them.
Dawn Bertot writes:
And faith according to God comes from hearing his Word, which is contained in the scriptures. But if those scriptures are blanketed with contradictions and inconsistencies, how can I have faith in anything. I suggest there are no contradictions only Gods Word
There are many contradictions and inconsistencies, but that does not mean that you can't have faith in the Bible. Let's start with the resurrection of Jesus. The bodily resurrection is the core belief of the Christian faith. As Paul writes; we are to be the most pitied if that isn't true. I mentioned earlier that when there are several witnesses to a car accident or a robbery each witness will have a slightly different version of what happened but they will all agree that the accident or the robbery happened. There are some slight differences in the gospels in the accounts of the resurrected Jesus but they all agree that Jesus was bodily resurrected. Isn't the fact that Jesus was resurrected the important part? If they writers got the odd detail wrong then so what.
Dawn Bertot writes:
What is your criteria for knowing this writer is telling the truth concerning what God wants and the writer of Joshua is streching the truth to prove a point.
I'm not saying that the writer of Joshua is stretching the truth. He may very well be telling the truth completely as he understands it. It is also quite possible that Joshua claimed that God had told him what to do to justify his actions and so that is how the scribes recorded it.
Dawn Bertot writes:
Eloquent repudiation of Gods Word is no less unscriptural, than a sloppy one. Mr Lewis' time would have been better spent setting out a formal argument instead of musing philosophically
Interestingly enough you accused me of arrogance a little earlier in this thread and here you are claiming greater wisdom than C S Lewis. Hmmmm.... C S Lewis has probably, IMHO, done more to advance the cause of Christianity and brought more people to faith than anyone else in the last century.
Dawn Bertot writes:
I still need an argument set out logically that makes one valid and acceptable and a reason to show why the other should be rejected. Your personal dissatisfaction wont work
I'm not sure what you are referring to unless it is the NT and the OT. I don't reject the OT. The majority of the teachings of Jesus that have been recorded for us employ references to the OT. Jesus Himself can be seen in Isaiah, Daniel and the Psalms in particular. The compassionate, merciful and loving Father is found in the OT. AS I said Jesus was the fulfillment of those scriptures. It is consistent across the entire span of scripture. The idea that God commands genocide and death by stoning is completely inconsistent with the theme of the entire scripture taken in context.
Dawn Bertot writes:
With respect GDR you simply dont get it. You cant just start out assuming those stories are not real and assume that which you choose is valid should be considered as acceptable You first have to provide in logical argument form (not just your opinion) the criteria to accurately distinguish between the two. Saying you have faith wont work.
Simply put and form any logical standpoint it is either the Word of God or it is not. Unless you can show why that is not true from a logical standpoint, not just your opinions and desires. that is where you need to start to be considered as a valid approach
To be frank Dawn I think I have done that over and over. I understand that it is difficult. The Bible has so often become an object of worship that is not to be questioned. It will provide all answers. Your church is likely full of like-thinking people who speak with derision of any opposing views. It is hard to stand up and not be a part of that. We all want to belong. One of the good things about getting older is that it gets to be a lot easier to avoid following the herd. Truth matters.
Dawn Bertot writes:
Actually he has given us both. If John is to be trusted as inspired. "I shall not leave you comfotless, but when he the Spirit of TRUTH is come, he shall guide you into ALL TRUTH and show you things to come" John 16:13
So can i trust what Christ and John said through inspiration, or do I need to wait for someone to tell me what it reallys says in an allegorical fashion?
You keep using the word inspiration to mean dictation. The writer of John was inspired to put into writing the words of Jesus. He was inspired to tell the narrative of the ministry of Jesus but in his own words. There is certainly allegory in the Bible. Jesus taught using allegory all the time. The quote from John obviously isn't intended to be taking allegorically. We believe it or reject it as a matter of faith. I believe it.
Dawn Bertot writes:
"Not one jot or tittle would pass from the law until all was fulfilled" he clearly believed the law, all the law to be from God. He said, sanctify them by thy Word, thy Word is TRUTH"
All was fulfilled in Jesus. Jesus said that we are to love God and love our neighbour and then in the "Sermon on the Mount, the Good Samaritan, the separating of the sheep and the goats etc He showed us how it plays out in life. This is all drawn from the law that came from God. He didn't ever suggest that public stoning for misdemeanours or genocide was a part of the law.
Dawn Bertot writes:
What is that exacally, where is it found, and who should I let interpret that for me? How about we just let it say what it says for starters without altering, streching or bending it. Example, why should I immediately consider Jonah and Noah as not real characters?
It only matters whether they are real characters or not if your faith is dependent on the human based idea that the Bible is to be understood in the literal way that you choose. Just think about it. If Jonah and Noah never existed would it in any way detract from what God did in creating us; would it in anyway detract from God's revelations to Moses and the prophets; would it in anyway detract from what Jesus did on the cross, would it detract in any way from the suffering that Paul and others went through to establish the church; would it in any way prevent you from serving God and Jesus with your life and would it in anyway detract from the message that at the end of time God will bring all of heaven and earth together in a great act of re-creation?
Dawn Bertot writes:
The same scriptures that presents what appears to be a contradiction in your passages, must be understood in light of what the scriptures say concerning Gods makeup and character. (Infinte wisdom) If i cannot trust the passages concerning his infinite wisdom, it matters little if there appears to be a contradiction, correct?
if i can trust them then there is no contradiction, just missing information
I'm sorry Dawn but that just doesn't make sense. The contradictions exists in a book that you believe is dictated by an omniscient God - a book that you accept as inerrant and yet you are quite happy to accept the contradictions on the idea that there is missing information.
GDR writes:
That is your problem. You trust the human writers of the Bible.
Dawn Bertot writes:
First you write the above, then you write:
GDR writes:
The Bible tells the story of how God has faithfully worked through His created beings to bring us to that point and it also tells us in very broad brush strokes that there is an ultimate point and conclusion to all of this.
I am not saying that Peter is wrong. God did inspire these men to write down their stories, which does not mean that He dictated the stories to them. It is like a reporter covering a story for the newspaper. The stories will be conditioned by both the cultural and personal biases of the writer as well as the writer’s understanding of the event.
Dawn Bertot writes:
Do you see any immediate problems there?
Frankly no. You trust the human writers of the Bible to be infallible whereas, I'm just expecting them to be honest. The Bible is to inform and direct us, it is not intended to be the object of worship.

Everybody is entitled to my opinion.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 22 by Dawn Bertot, posted 12-14-2011 12:59 AM Dawn Bertot has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 26 by Dawn Bertot, posted 12-15-2011 1:19 AM GDR has replied

  
GDR
Member
Posts: 6206
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005


Message 31 of 304 (644127)
12-15-2011 11:47 AM
Reply to: Message 26 by Dawn Bertot
12-15-2011 1:19 AM


Dawn Bertot writes:
So which is it, there are contradictions or there are only contradictions if we precieve it to be dictated? Ill let you expalin
I have explained. There are contradictory statements in the Bible with one example in the OP. However, the Bible is not really a book but a collection of books. If you understand that the stories are written by authors with different perspectives, or with different recollections, (like witnesses to a traffic accident), then it makes sense that the fact that there are contradictions as we would expect.
You are left trying to explain away contradictions in a book dictated by an omniscient God. As one made in the image of God which presumably means that you have been gifted with reason, I have to ask; does that sound like a reasonable position to take.
Dawn Bertot writes:
Funny I have never been to the scene of an accident where I said to the cop, "Thus saith the Lord to me", the car pulled out in front of the other car, or The word of the Lord came to Dawn saying", the man ran the stop sign
Did the word of the Lord come to Moses in Duet. The writers that used these phrases were either telling the truth, lying, crazy or very deceptive
How many times and in how many connections do these types of phrases need to be used to indicate the writer in being dictated by God. Peter said "the scripture is of no private interpretation, but holy men of Godspake as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. To the Apostles Christ said, "Do not worry what you will say when you come before kings and leaders, IT WILL BE GIVEN TO YOU IN THAT HOUR" Again he said when the Spirt of truth is come he will guide you into all truth
And again, "whatsoever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven and whatsoever is bound in heaven will be bound on earth"
I'm really sorry Dawn but I have no idea what point it is that you are trying to make and so I have no idea as to how to respond.
Certainly we have been given the Holy Spirit in order to help to illuminate our understanding of things but what has that to do with the topic at hand?
Dawn Bertot writes:
Interseting you believe and trust God but you do not trust him to deal with Jehu from a standpoint of infinite wisdom, so you immediately assign the passage as a contradiction, without considering God may know what he is doing in all situations
We are not discussing the concept of God doing the right thing in regards to Jehu - we are discussing what the right thing was. In one instance in Kings the Bible tells us that He was pleased with what Jehu did but Hosea tells us that Jehu is to be punished for it. Which is it?
Dawn Bertot writes:
Really, would you say that Hell trumps genocide? Im pretty sure Jesus believed and taught that hell exists. he also taught that his father at the end of time would ascribe certain demons and folk to this place.
Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angelsAnd these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life’ (Matthew 25:41, 46).
How does this fit into your teaching concerning Jesus? Will you reject it or recieve it
I haven't denied the existence of hell. Why do you bring that up?
Dawn Bertot writes:
So what will you do now GDR, will you reject the passages concering Jesus' teaching on hell and ascribe them to allegory, faulty writer or what? Is jesus' teaching and believing in a place called hell worse or better than the scribes or Joshua?
Do you see what happens GDR when we assign a non-literal discription to the scriptures, when we start picking and choosing what we want and dont want. First we change one thing, then we have to change another and another and another
Instead of making the Bible fit your theology, why dont you let the Bible shape you theolgy
The Bible is intended to shape our theology but what you are doing Dawn is boxing God up and limiting Him to what you understand about the Bible. God is so much bigger than that.
Frankly it isn't our job to worry about who goes to hell. I'm content to let God worry about that. Our concern IMHO is to get about being the kind of person God wants me to be so that I, in my own small way, can be about the job of contributing to bringing His Kingdom to Earth as it is in Heaven where His loving and perfect will is done.
Dawn Bertot writes:
Loving ones enemies is the way human should act twords human. Gods judgements wheather in Joshua or the Gospels concerning hell is him acting as a judge and that is the understanding of the Bible on a whole, concerning his justice. Dont confuse the two
Then let Him judge. It is through faith that I trust that in the end God's perfect will, will be done and will be seen to be done.
Dawn Bertot writes:
True and he gave the Apostles divine inspiration that led them and the early church and now us into all truth. he is still the Word of God in his Word
That all rolls off the tongue so easily, but just as the church today has its differences, (just look at our discussion ), the early church had its differences. Just look at the disagreements between Paul and Peter. Certainly God can be found in the Bible and God speaks to us through the Bible but that does not mean that we are going to have absolute answers to all the questions.
Dawn Bertot writes:
We are not under the Old Law and what I believe about how children should be corrected has nothing to with the way God chooses to dicipline.
But you are the one that was telling me that Jesus endorsed all of the laws.
Dawn Bertot writes:
So how will you reconcile Jesus agreement and acceptance of the old, his teaching on hell with your supposed world view by Christ.
I'm not at all clear as to why you have brought hell into this discussion or frankly what you are trying to get at with this statement.
Dawn Bertot writes:
If inspiration exists in the form of a witness at an accident, then why cannot your above statement apply to the Gospel writers concerning any event in Jesus' mininstry and life
There are minor differences between the Gospel accounts but the essence of the story is consistent.
Dawn Bertot writes:
Inspiration is not represented the way you present it. It is unmistakablely in the form of "Thus saith the Lord" and 50 other similar phrases. We are assured of the truth by the New Test writers. All of this information disagrees with your perspective on how God has communicated his word
How many times have you heard someone in the church say that God had told them to do something and then subsequently it turns out it was exactly the wrong thing.
I enjoy music and I have heard people say that God had given them a particular song which left me thinking that if God had given them that song the He wasn't much of a song writer. I would say that God had inspired then to write the song but it was up the song writer to make the most of his God given talent, regardless of whether he/she had much of a talent or not.
Dawn Bertot writes:
If we both believe in the Bible, quetioning Gods infinte wisdom is arrogant. Questioning another mans opinion on a issues is not. I dont claim to be more intelligent than CS Lewis, but if I understood his statement correcly he is incorrect and I would argue it, were he still alive
...and while you're at it correct St. Augustine, St. Paul and pretty much all of the great theologians through the ages.
Look at what Paul writes in Galations 4:
quote:
21Tell me, you who want to be under law, do you not listen to the law ? 22 For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the bondwoman and one by the free woman. 23 But the son by the bondwoman was born according to the flesh, and the son by the free woman through the promise. 24This is allegorically speaking, for these women are two covenants : one proceeding from Mount Sinai bearing children who are to be slaves ; she is Hagar. 25Now this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children. 26 But the Jerusalem above is free ; she is our mother.
Paul understood that the great truths of the Bible were not necessarily to be understood in a literal sense.
If the story of the resurrection isn't truth then the whole Christian faith is based on a lie, and frankly IMHO there is no other reasonable explanation for the Christian movement to get off the ground and to take the shape that it did.
Paul writes in 1 Cor 15:
quote:
12 But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?13 If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. 15 More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead.
One question Dawn. If at some point you find that you don't believe something in the Bible what will that do to your faith. Your faith seems to be based on the idea that the Bible is literally the inerrant word of God as dictated by Him. That seems to give you a certainty. What happens if that certainty is gone?

Everybody is entitled to my opinion.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 26 by Dawn Bertot, posted 12-15-2011 1:19 AM Dawn Bertot has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 34 by Dawn Bertot, posted 12-17-2011 12:35 AM GDR has replied
 Message 35 by Dawn Bertot, posted 12-17-2011 1:23 AM GDR has not replied

  
GDR
Member
Posts: 6206
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005


Message 36 of 304 (644389)
12-17-2011 1:02 PM
Reply to: Message 34 by Dawn Bertot
12-17-2011 12:35 AM


Dawn Bertot writes:
Again I will ask, how do you know you were created in the image of God except by the scriptures. And if they are filled with contradictions, how can you have faith in a God that allows that and how do you distinguish the truth of the ressurection from the contradictions and embellishments of men concerning genocide as you call it
Do you do this by your own judgement and what if someone disagrees with you, whos truth should we believe, his or yours
You have not established that contradiction exists. Since both us believe the Bible to be Gods word in some respect, it follows that his infinite wisdom is a part of the scenerio and you have only observed that there are somethings we dont understand from that respect
To establish that contradiction exists, it would be necessary for you know all God knows. When you have infinite wisdom, knowledge of that event entirely and all the facts like he does, then perhaps you can claim contradiction.
Starting to see how it works. I stand amaze that a man such as yourself that claims to have faith in God, over and over and over, would make statements as you do
You keep saying the same thing over and over again without any rationale for it. You just believe that the Bible is to be read as if it was dictated word for word by God and specifically for readers in the 21st century AD.
I've pointed out contradictions and even pointed out where Paul tells us that the BIble is to be understood differently than you do. You squeeze God into this tight little box and then proclaim that you are a Bible believing Christian. That's fine I suppose and I would call myself a Bible believing Christian as well, but first and foremost I am a Jesus believing Christian and my Biblical beliefs flow from that.
You dismiss contradictions in the Bible with no explanation other than that we don't have the big picture but that God does. That's fine except that the fact still remains that Jesus says that we are to love our enemy while in the way that you understand the OT you have God telling the people who are supposed to love their enemy to go down and slaughter every man woman and child. Again, does that make sense that God would author a book for us humans with contradictions that are obvious from a human stand point?
Another answer that is often given is that there was an old covenant and now we have a new one from Jesus. Well that isn't what the Bible says. Jesus came to fulfill the Hebrew Scriptures, not to do away with them. These scriptures were understood differently by the Jews at the time. The Pharisees were the ones that insisted that the law be understood literally and that Jesus was contravening those laws. Jesus said no, that it is all about love - love of God and neighbour. Those among Christians who insist that the Bible be understood literally are going against the message that God, incarnate in the man Jesus, came to bring. Jesus clarified all that had been written. He brought it all into the proper focus but you insist on going back and understanding it the same way the Pharisees did and denying the message of Jesus.
In some ways one might ask the question, so what. I agree that none of us have perfect knowledge of God. We see through a glass darkly. The thing is that it does have ramifications. It very much affects our world view. In the thread Do Christians Worship Different Gods I made the following statement to Iano.
quote:
if you follow through with your view of scripture I suggest we should be seriously thinking of nuking non-Christrian nations.
I was frankly stunned by his reply which was is in this post.Message 45 (You might want to read through that thread as it is on essentially the same topic we’re discussing here.)
quote:
As for nuking non-Christian nations? If God directed it I'd see no problem with it. Doubtlessly he'd have a multitude of goals in so doing. I don't think I'd want to take it on myself however (unless of course, he gave an unmistakable direction).
After thinking about it I came to the conclusion that if the Bible is read in the way that Biblical fundamentalists seem to then his answer makes sense. However in order to do that you have to give the Bible more credence than Jesus. Jesus said love your enemy, turn the other cheek, blessed are the peacemakers etc. It seems pretty obvious that this thinking can bring about a world view that can be dangerous and particularly if it is combined with nationalistic fervour.
Dawn Bertot writes:
Because you said time and time again you would not worship a God that participated in such actions as genocide. because you claimed Jesus would never approve of such actions. Wouldnt you say Hell as discribed by Christ is far much worse. he clearly believed and taught such a placed existed and that his father would consign some to this realm
Paul writes this in 1 Cor 4:
quote:
4 My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me.5 Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men's hearts. At that time each will receive his praise from God.
It is about the hearts of men. We will choose what it is we love. Do we love selfishly or do we love unselfishly. God knows these answers we don’t. We are called to have faith that in the end there will be perfect judgement. C S Lewis wrote the following.
quote:
There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, ‘Thy will be done,’ and those to whom God says, in the end, ‘Thy will be done.’ All that are in Hell, choose it. Without that self-choice there could be no Hell.
We can carry on eternally leading a life that is essentially based on looking out for number one or we can carry on eternally living a life based on the love of God and neighbour. As I believe in the God incarnate in Jesus I have no problem in having the faith that perfect judgment will be done. If I had to believe in a God that sanctioned genocide and stoning for minor misdemeanors based on the judgment of very imperfect humans then I would see no basis for having faith that that there will be perfect judgment in the end.
You keep quoting verses about how we will be guided in truth by the Spirit. The problem is that you simply assume that it is only those who agree with your views that are being guided.

Everybody is entitled to my opinion.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 34 by Dawn Bertot, posted 12-17-2011 12:35 AM Dawn Bertot has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 38 by Dawn Bertot, posted 12-18-2011 12:39 AM GDR has replied

  
GDR
Member
Posts: 6206
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005


Message 37 of 304 (644424)
12-17-2011 8:35 PM
Reply to: Message 34 by Dawn Bertot
12-17-2011 12:35 AM


What is Basic to the Christian Faith
Hi Dawn
I have a couple of minutes so I’ll try to give you a better example of what I trying to explain to you.
Let’s look at two passages from scripture.
First from Matthew 28:
quote:
1 After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.
Second from John 20:
quote:
1 Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance.
Matthew has Mary arriving at dawn whereas John says while it was still dark. There is a minor difference in the secondary details. If it was one author namely God then there is no logical explanation for the difference, however if it is two writers, each writing from their own sources then we would expect minor discrepancies like this. The primary message is that Mary went to the tomb.
Here is another example.
From Luke 24:
quote:
33 They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together 34 and saying, "It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon."35 Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognized by them when he broke the bread.36 While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, "Peace be with you."
From John 20:
quote:
19 On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you!"20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord. 21 Again Jesus said, "Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you."22 And with that he breathed on them and said, "Receive the Holy Spirit.23If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven."24 Now Thomas (called Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came.
In the first case we have Jesus appearing to all eleven disciples but John tells us that there were only 10 because Thomas wasn’t there. I agree that there are explanations for the discrepancies that make sense but the fact is that it can’t be read literally and also demonstrates that it can’t be dictated by God. If the Bible had been dictated by God to each individual author, which in fact would mean that there is only one author namely God, then these discrepancies wouldn’t exist.
Let’s take another example of a different kind. The following is from Matthew Chapter 1.
quote:
1 A record of the genealogy of Jesus Christ the son of David, the son of Abraham:2 Abraham was the father of Isaac, Isaac the father of Jacob, Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers,3 Judah the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar, Perez the father of Hezron, Hezron the father of Ram, 4 Ram the father of Amminadab, Amminadab the father of Nahshon, Nahshon the father of Salmon, 5 Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab, Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth, Obed the father of Jesse, 6 and Jesse the father of King David. David was the father of Solomon, whose mother had been Uriah's wife,7 Solomon the father of Rehoboam, Rehoboam the father of Abijah, Abijah the father of Asa, 8 Asa the father of Jehoshaphat, Jehoshaphat the father of Jehoram, Jehoram the father of Uzziah, 9 Uzziah the father of Jotham, Jotham the father of Ahaz, Ahaz the father of Hezekiah, 10 Hezekiah the father of Manasseh, Manasseh the father of Amon, Amon the father of Josiah, 11 and Josiah the father of Jeconiah and his brothers at the time of the exile to Babylon.12 After the exile to Babylon: Jeconiah was the father of Shealtiel, Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel,13 Zerubbabel the father of Abiud, Abiud the father of Eliakim, Eliakim the father of Azor, 14 Azor the father of Zadok, Zadok the father of Akim, Akim the father of Eliud, 15 Eliud the father of Eleazar, Eleazar the father of Matthan, Matthan the father of Jacob, 16 and Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.17 Thus there were fourteen generations in all from Abraham to David, fourteen from David to the exile to Babylon, and fourteen from the exile to the Christ.
Then from Luke Chap 3.
quote:
23 Now Jesus himself was about thirty years old when he began his ministry. He was the son, so it was thought, of Joseph, the son of Heli, 24 the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, the son of Melki, the son of Jannai, the son of Joseph, 25 the son of Mattathias, the son of Amos, the son of Nahum, the son of Esli, the son of Naggai, 26 the son of Maath, the son of Mattathias, the son of Semein, the son of Josech, the son of Joda, 27 the son of Joanan, the son of Rhesa, the son of Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel, the son of Neri, 28 the son of Melki, the son of Addi, the son of Cosam, the son of Elmadam, the son of Er, 29 the son of Joshua, the son of Eliezer, the son of Jorim, the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, 30 the son of Simeon, the son of Judah, the son of Joseph, the son of Jonam, the son of Eliakim, 31 the son of Melea, the son of Menna, the son of Mattatha, the son of Nathan, the son of David, 32 the son of Jesse, the son of Obed, the son of Boaz, the son of Salmon, the son of Nahshon, 33 the son of Amminadab, the son of Ram, the son of Hezron, the son of Perez, the son of Judah, 34 the son of Jacob, the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham, the son of Terah, the son of Nahor,35 the son of Serug, the son of Reu, the son of Peleg, the son of Eber, the son of Shelah, 36 the son of Cainan, the son of Arphaxad, the son of Shem, the son of Noah, the son of Lamech,37 the son of Methuselah, the son of Enoch, the son of Jared, the son of Mahalalel, the son of Kenan,38 the son of Enosh, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God.
The genealogies are completely different. They are obviously from different sources. The Gospel of Matthew was written more specifically to a Jewish audience whereas Luke, probably a non-Jew himself wrote for audiences that were primarily gentile. They wrote from different traditions. In each case they wind up back with David but they don’t even agree on the father of Joseph. One or both of them are wrong in the details. If your faith is based on the Bible having God as its sole author then your faith is in trouble. If however your faith is Christ based and the Bible is the narrative of God and His people, as told by His people then we would expect discrepancies such as this.
As Christians we should start with the resurrection. All of the NT writers agree that Jesus died on the cross and then subsequently appeared to others in bodily form. They might have been lying which frankly makes no sense IMHO, they might have been mistaken or they might be telling the truth. As there are different writers, although in all probability using common sources in many instances they would all have to be mistaken or lying if the stories aren’t accurate. At any rate we can look at what is written and on faith come to our own conclusions.
If we as individuals come to the conclusion that the story of the resurrection of Jesus is historically accurate then we can start working on understanding scripture from that point. If we come to the conclusion that we can’t accept the basic truths of what the Bible says about the resurrection then all of Christianity is based on either a mistake or a fabrication.
My point in going through all that is that I want to make the point that it is the resurrection of Jesus that is fundamental and essential to the Christian faith and not a literal or inerrant Bible.
Have a very Merry Christmas Dawn
Greg
Edited by GDR, : Realized I made a dumb mistake so corrected it.

Everybody is entitled to my opinion.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 34 by Dawn Bertot, posted 12-17-2011 12:35 AM Dawn Bertot has not replied

  
GDR
Member
Posts: 6206
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005


(1)
Message 40 of 304 (644490)
12-18-2011 10:56 AM
Reply to: Message 38 by Dawn Bertot
12-18-2011 12:39 AM


Dawn Bertot writes:
You dont understand that you have no basis for anything you believe because you have not established a way to distinguish that which is real and that is contrived or just allegorical
You have maintained that the Bible cannot be taken literally, yet suggest people must believe that Jesus was actually raised from the dead.
I agree that you have established a way to "distinguish that which is real and that is contrived or just allegorical". Your way is to declare that every word of the Bible in all of its translations is dictated by God to human writers. That is what you have based your faith on.
So now you can confidently conclude that even though there are contradictory historical statements and contradictory statements concerning the nature of God the Bible has no human failings in its contents.
You receive the belief of Biblical inerrancy on faith, and then tell me that you have a way that provides certainty of understanding the Bible.
I take the resurrection of Jesus as told in the Bible on faith. I frankly harbour very little doubt about it but I agree that I can't know it in the sense that I know I'm wearing a red sweater. It is faith and that is how we receive God.
Dawn Bertot writes:
I have provided you passage after passage where it is made clear that God is actually providing the writer the truth as it exist
In the first place the passages that you have given me are in reference to various statements in the Bible, not to the entire collection of books in the canon.
Also did you ever occur to you that everything in the Bible was written prior to the decision of what was in and what was out of the Bible was ever made.
Also as was pointed out to you the Law and the Prophets is not the same thing as the OT and for that matter the OT did not exist at the time of Jesus in the form we have today.
The dead sea scrolls have also given us new insights as to the formation of the Bible.
This might interest you.
quote:
The biblical manuscripts from Qumran, which include at least fragments from every book of the Old Testament, except perhaps for the Book of Esther, provide a far older cross section of scriptural tradition than that available to scholars before. While some of the Qumran biblical manuscripts are nearly identical to the Masoretic, or traditional, Hebrew text of the Old Testament, some manuscripts of the books of Exodus and Samuel found in Cave Four exhibit dramatic differences in both language and content. In their astonishing range of textual variants, the Qumran biblical discoveries have prompted scholars to reconsider the once-accepted theories of the development of the modern biblical text from only three manuscript families: of the Masoretic text, of the Hebrew original of the Septuagint, and of the Samaritan Pentateuch. It is now becoming increasingly clear that the Old Testament scripture was extremely fluid until its canonization around A.D. 100.
Here is the link;
Wiki on Dead Sea Scrolls
Dawn Bertot writes:
Greg its not just a matter of what you or I believe, it is a matter of simple logic as well. If you believe that contradictions exist in the word of God, the type you suggest in Amos and Hosea, then you need to demonstrate why they should have any good reason for believing anything else it has to say
I'm afraid that your idea of simple logic is simply different than mine. There exists an obvious contradiction and yet if I see it as such then I have no reason to believe anything else in the Bible. You are saying that contradictory statements are not contradictory because if they were it would mean that you can't then believe some other totally unrelated statement and then call that logical.
Dawn Bertot writes:
To demonstrate that my previous points concerning this issue are accurate, all I have to is refer to your above comment. Greg, how do you KNOW that Jesus ever told anyone that he should love his enemy. How do we know that it is not the musings of some first century scribe? How do you know that the alledged contradiction which you say exists in Hosea is any different than the story you have just alledged comes actually from Jesus.
How do you "know" that you are to understand the Bible literally in the manner that you understand literal? We both have faith and there is no one who "knows" the answers to these types of question regardless of what beliefs they hold whether they be Christian, Muslim atheist etc.
We both use the Bible as a fundamental basis for our beliefs but our beliefs are based on a very different understanding of how God wants us to use the Bible.
A couple of questions.
If the Bible is written by God why would He put the story of the 10 commandments in twice?
Out of curiosity are women allowed to speak in your church or go in with their heads uncovered?
Dawn Bertot writes:
When Jesus said that the law and prophets hang on these two principles, he was not suggesting that we should reduce the rest to allegory, mistakes, contradictions or outright lies
I never suggested that.
Dawn Bertot writes:
No, because I do not have or follow any traditions of the elders. Jesus was serious about taking the law seriously. the pharisees had suplanted the literal word of God with thier traditions
Just like we do today. Each church has its traditions. When you read through books like Numbers or Deuteronomy then how do you tell whichj is law and which is tradition.
Is the stoning to death of difficult kids law or tradition?
Dawn Bertot writes:
When you percieve the Word of God as of more important than a world view (whatever that means), it will make perfect sense to you
It is my Christian faith that forms my world view.
The OT contains the revelation of God to mankind. However mixed in with that is the story of those whom He had chosen to bring His message of love, mercy, compassion, redemption etc to the world. The OT tells of story of how that all worked out within the Jewish people with all of their warts showing. It is a story that with all of those warts God still remained as always steadfast and faithful.
In Jesus we see the fulfillment or the climax of that part of the story. In Jesus God the Father brought all the strands of the various Hebrew texts together so that we might understand Him and what He desires of us for the world.
In that light it frankly isn't difficult to understand so that we can have faith that what God wants of us is that we humbly love kindness and mercy, and that we act justly.
Merry Christmas

Everybody is entitled to my opinion.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 38 by Dawn Bertot, posted 12-18-2011 12:39 AM Dawn Bertot has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 41 by Dawn Bertot, posted 12-20-2011 1:51 AM GDR has replied

  
GDR
Member
Posts: 6206
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005


(1)
Message 42 of 304 (644690)
12-20-2011 4:28 AM
Reply to: Message 41 by Dawn Bertot
12-20-2011 1:51 AM


Dawn Bertot writes:
In this instance it becomes a matter of simply how the AGREED upon Word of God (as we do) should be approached. An alledged contradiction propositon, discussion, takes on a different nature for you and I
Yes you’re right. The thing is I have faith in God, the God embodied in the man Jesus. My God is not the Bible. The Bible is the story of God and of the people charged with bringing His message of love, kindness, justice, truth and hope to the world. In Genesis 12 Abraham is told that all the people on earth are to be blessed through him. In reading through the OT we can see that just as in the church today, they failed more than they succeeded. In a way it kinda makes sense as Jesus said in Matthew 9:
quote:
9 As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector's booth. "Follow me," he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him. 10 While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew's house, many tax collectors and "sinners" came and ate with him and his disciples. 11 When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, "Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and 'sinners'?"12 On hearing this, Jesus said, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.13But go and learn what this means: 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice.' For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners."
It makes sense that the church would be full of sinners and so here we are.
The early Jews kept turning away from God’s message and being influenced by their more powerful neighbours around them. They kept seeing God as a God who would give them domination over their neighbours and possessors of the land. (Not a lot has changed has it? ) The OT tells that story and in it we can see the mistakes they made, and as I said earlier, in it we can see God’s faithfulness to His creatures.
Look at all the different authors. Frankly if there weren’t contradictions I would have a lot less faith as it would be obvious that it was contrived. The Bible is a real book, or a real collection of books really. It has more than enough information in it to understand the true nature of God but if we start treating it as a Jesus replacement then we pervert the message. Jesus is the Word of God and the Bible contains the word of God.
Look at some of the discussions that take place on this forum. All this time spent on whether or not the flood happened, was it local or worldwide, was the world created in 6 days, evidence concerning archaeological evidence for OT stories. Just try and put yourself in God’s shoes. Jesus tells us in Matthew 6 that we are to seek first his kingdom and his righteousness’. Do you really think that He would want us to spend the gift of time He has given us arguing about that stuff? What has that to do with His Kingdom or His righteousness?
Dawn Bertot writes:
You have maintained throughout this debate that you believe it to be and contain the message and purposes of God for man. The only valid distinction I have made in this discussion is that it is not possible to decide which is from God and which is not, if we adopt a non-literal perspective and assign contradictions in the nature you have. Also, how do we distinguish
As far as understanding the Bible there is much that doesn’t matter such as whether there was a worldwide flood or not, whether or not Jonah spent 3 days in a whale etc. They are interesting stories and part of the narrative but whether they are factual or not doesn’t matter, just as it doesn’t matter whether the story of The Good Samaritan really happened or not.
As Christians it all has to go back to who was Jesus and was He resurrected. We can read the Gospels and they might or might not make sense to us but we decide on faith what it is that we believe. We don’t have to have a frontal lobotomy to believe as a number of people on this forum would have you believe, because frankly I think that the Gospel stories taken in historical context, while accepting that there are contradictions and no doubt errors, can be shown to be reasonably believed. 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. It boils down to whether or not you believe they were mistaken or not and if you have faith in their observations. I am firmly convinced in the truth of the Gospel message but I don’t know it to be true conclusively. If we knew all these things conclusively it would no longer be faith; our free will would be gone and we would in essence have lost the ability to choose to love unselfishly as we would always know that in the end it will pay off.
Dawn Bertot writes:
Nevertheless and to stay on the topic, should the bible be taken a literally? Were the people that made those statements real people? How do we know they were real? How do we distinguish or conclude real ones from mythical ones? How do we according to your approach, believe God led the apostles into all truth? Is the statement that he would lead them into all truth, true or not, allegorical or real? You have no bases at all for anything that you have faith in
To quote Pontius Pilate — what is truth? All truth boils down to the fact that we love because God first loved us, and we are to reflect that love into the world. Love is real. It can’t be touched or felt but it can be experienced and it is real, not allegorical. When you look at what the lack of unselfish love does in this world it seems to me to be very clear that we have a very sound basis for our faith. The message of Jesus makes sense of the world. Think of what the world would be like if everyone followed the Golden Rule. (Incidentally the concept of the Golden Rule can be found in many faiths and cultures which is just what we would expect if it is real and trustworthy.) That is the world that God wants for us and working for that goal is what we are called to do as human beings made in the image of God. The message of the Bible is that ultimately when time as we know it comes to an end, that in a great act of re-creation God’s Kingdom will come on Earth as in Heaven, God’s heavenly sphere and our earthly sphere will become one and where the Golden Rule will just be as normal as what breathing is for us today. For the time being however I believe that as an article of faith.
Dawn Bertot writes:
Compilation at a later date was a very simple process
I have no problem with that, but it does not follow from that, that the Bible is to be understood as being dictated by God.
Dawn Bertot writes:
Correct? Take for example the one you provided, the alledged contradiction in the two books. here we have an instance where you believe the Bible to be Gods word, then in both instances you are calling into question Gods edicts and judgements. Or, Saying either one or both of the writers is mistaken or that God is actually contradictiory. So which one of your rules of exposition and exegesis do we accept and how do we have confidence in anyother passage about anything?
It is the great truths that God wants understood in both mind and heart. I’ll just go back to the witnesses at an accident; they will disagree on the details but they all agree that there was an accident. Just as the Gospel writers might disagree about details around the time of the resurrection appearances, they all agree that Jesus was resurrected.
Dawn Bertot writes:
because we have already established that you and I agree its the word of God. Then it becomes a simple exercise in common sense, if you dont like the word logic. You are either calling into question the Morals of God for punishing a person for that which he had ealier instructed him to do. Or you are saying that one or both of the writers are mistaken, in which case we would have no basis for believing another writer concerning anyother matter.
Yes, I am saying that one or both of the writers are mistaken. The scribe who wrote 2nd Kings is characterizing a very different god than what we see in Jesus, and as I said earlier I think that there is a very sound basis for believing in Jesus, but it is still a faith.
Dawn Bertot writes:
Now this is where the rubber meets the road. You say the resurrection has to be true for Christanity to be true. The scriptures also say that Jesus said, "No man comes to the father but through me", "Except you believe in me you will die in your sins"
I’m going off topic here but we have to be careful with the word believe. Hypothetically I might say that I believe in, (or for that matter don’t believe in), President Obama. It isn’t a matter of giving intellectual assent to his existence or even to the fact that he is President. It is a matter of trusting and supporting what it is he stands for. Remember this from Matthew 7:
quote:
21"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.
God’s will from Micah 6:8 is that we humbly love kindness and do justice.
Paul writes in 1 Cor 4:
quote:
5 Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men's hearts. At that time each will receive his praise from God.
It is our heart that God is concerned about. He isn’t concerned with our theological understanding of things, and only He knows people’s hearts and it isn’t up to us to judge. (Which incidentally includes Christopher Hitchens.)
Dawn Bertot writes:
How can I confidently preach these things as truth and not contradiction? Why should anyone believe anything I say concerning Jesus, if glaring contradiction actually exists like the one you have alledged. They would say why should i trust the Gospel writers to be anymore honest than the other writers. If God dealt with Jehu dishonestly, why should i believe he wont do the same to me.
This is the crux of the issue. You see Dawn, it isn’t about knowing it in your head, it is about knowing it in your heart. If you want people to know the truth of what you say about Jesus then your job is to live in such a way that they see the love of Jesus reflected through you. Remember the Holy Spirit. You don’t have to convert everyone or anyone — you are just called to love them. If someone becomes a Christian because of them seeing Him working in you then it will be God doing it and not you, so don’t worry about it. Remember, the Bible isn’t God. It is ok for it to have errors.
Dawn Bertot writes:
Im not saying we should take a literal approach because we need to preach Jesus, but because belief in God and his word would make no sense otherwise
Frankly, the Bible understood in a literal sense in the way that you mean it makes no sense to me. The Bible understood as a meta-narrative with many secondary narratives contained in it makes a great deal of sense to me. Remember, God doesn’t give us certainty; He gives us the freedom and free will to choose or reject His way for our lives.
GDR writes:
If the Bible is written by God why would He put the story of the 10 commandments in twice?
Out of curiosity are women allowed to speak in your church or go in with their heads uncovered?
Dawn Bertot writes:
Im not sure i understand the nature of the first question, so Ill let you clarify
Dawn Bertot writes:
Again what i believe or practice concerning womens heads is irrelivent to the fact that we first need to establish Paul was real to begin with. Can I or why should i believe Paul actually made this comment. First things first, on the principle you alledged your OP contradiction
All I was asking in the first part is does it make sense to you that if God was dictating a book to us that he would put the 10 commandments in twice. Wouldn’t once have been enough? There are many stories in both the OT and the Gospels that are repeated. If God dictated it why wouldn’t He tell us something different instead of continually repeating Himself?
You claim that the Bible is to be understood literally in which case women should not be in church with their heads uncovered nor should they speak. I agree that these comments by Paul are taken out of context and are meant to deal with specific problems in specific churches for reasons that we can only speculate on, but the point is that a literal reading doesn’t allow for that understanding.
Dawn Bertot writes:
We have to know he was real and that the apostles were telling the absolute truth. If the bible literally contradicts itself in principle and practice, I have no need to trust anything Jesus' alledges
That answers the question I asked earlier. If you find one thing in the Bible that you just can’t believe that then you discard the whole thing. You want certainty, but certainty isn’t to be had. It is a faith. Paul says in Romans 1:
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.
God has given us the Bible that we may learn about Him and His desires for us but we also learn about Him through His creation. My dogs have taught me a great deal about the nature of God. Science has a great deal to say about how God has worked with His creation. He has given us reason for a reason and He wants us to use it.
If it is necessary for every word of the Bible to be literally factual in order for you to trust the words of Jesus, then I think that more than anything else you’ve said shows that your trust is in the Bible and not in Jesus. I suggest that we should trust Jesus in order to understand the Bible not the other way around.
Merry Christmas

Everybody is entitled to my opinion.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 41 by Dawn Bertot, posted 12-20-2011 1:51 AM Dawn Bertot has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 46 by Dawn Bertot, posted 12-21-2011 1:21 AM GDR has replied

  
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