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Author Topic:   A Problem With the Literal Interpretation of Scripture
NoNukes
Inactive Member


Message 10 of 304 (642746)
12-01-2011 9:12 AM
Reply to: Message 5 by Hyroglyphx
11-30-2011 12:18 PM


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.
At this point we are stuck with a definition of Bible Literalism that is little more than an idiom.
I can imagine a person who decided to follow the collective wisdom described in a collection of obviously allegorical stories, such as Aesop's fables. I couldn't take serious anyone whose criticism was based on pointing out that grasshoppers and wolves cannot really talk.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 5 by Hyroglyphx, posted 11-30-2011 12:18 PM Hyroglyphx has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 11 by GDR, posted 12-01-2011 9:40 AM NoNukes has seen this message but not replied
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NoNukes
Inactive Member


Message 48 of 304 (644849)
12-21-2011 6:57 AM
Reply to: Message 46 by Dawn Bertot
12-21-2011 1:21 AM


If the fella says to you, GDR, its not possible for anyone to rise from the dead anymore than a man can live in the belly of a fish for three days, or that God would order one of his leaders to massacure people. this must be and I believe it to be allegorical? What will you say to him? Is he ok for believing its just allegorical? Can he get to heaven with such a belief?
You are no doubt aware of what it takes to be saved. Your salvation depends on repenting your sins and accepting Jesus as your Lord and Savior and has absolutely nothing to do with with what you believe about Jonah surviving a three day stint in a fish belly or about how long ago the universe was created.
If you want to make being a Christian solely about avoiding God's judgement after death, I wonder what it is you intend to pick out of the Old Testament as there simply isn't much in there about the subject. Is this truly the message you use to evangelize?
I believe you are possibly one of the best people that anyone would want to meet, but your faith is not acutally faith, it is a type of musing and wonderment.
I don't detect any evidence of that. If any man believes Jesus is the Christ and returned from the dead and has not insisted that he place his hands in Jesus side, then the man has faith. If a man operates in that faith, then his faith is not dead. His take on Jonah's fish experience is irrelevant.
With regard to the contradiction GDR points to in Hosea, I don't see a clear cut contradiction. In the King James Version, Hosea 4 reads as follows:
quote:
4. And the LORD said unto him, Call his name Jezreel; for yet a little while, and I will avenge the blood of Jezreel upon the house of Jehu, and will cause to cease the kingdom of the house of Israel
Certainly getting vengeance for the previous massacre is how Jezreelians would see things, and God could have easily used this bad will to punish Israel for their actual crimes, namely those described in Hosea 1:2.
GDR quotes the NIV, and I will agree that it is difficult to gather the same message by reading only Hosea 4 from that translation. But upon reading Hosea 1:1-4, it is pretty clear that God's attitude towards Israel has changed because of the unfaithfulness of Judah to God.
I guess I'm agreeing with ICANT again. Yikes!
Edited by NoNukes, : No reason given.
Edited by NoNukes, : No reason given.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 46 by Dawn Bertot, posted 12-21-2011 1:21 AM Dawn Bertot has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 49 by Dawn Bertot, posted 12-21-2011 8:30 AM NoNukes has replied
 Message 51 by GDR, posted 12-21-2011 2:29 PM NoNukes has replied

  
NoNukes
Inactive Member


Message 50 of 304 (644857)
12-21-2011 8:49 AM
Reply to: Message 49 by Dawn Bertot
12-21-2011 8:30 AM


quote:
My implication was that upon closer examination his faith is found wanting, in that while he believes in Christ he does not actually trust Gods omniscience, either because God acts immorally or we cannot disnguish between the scribes as to who is telling the truth
I understand that, and your implication is nonsense. Nothing that he has said implies any lack of belief in God's omniscience. What you have done here is conflate God's omniscience with your own interpretation of the Bible as having been dictated by God.
I am not implying or saying he is not a Christian or saved.
In fact, you are saying exactly that. Questioning someone's faith IS questioning whether they are a Christian. For by grace are ye saved through faith. You are saying in essence, that GDR is not a true Scotsman.
OFF TOPIC - Please Do Not Respond to this message by continuing in this vein.
AdminPD
Edited by AdminPD, : Warning

This message is a reply to:
 Message 49 by Dawn Bertot, posted 12-21-2011 8:30 AM Dawn Bertot has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 62 by ICANT, posted 12-22-2011 5:06 PM NoNukes has replied
 Message 77 by Dawn Bertot, posted 12-23-2011 8:26 AM NoNukes has replied

  
NoNukes
Inactive Member


Message 52 of 304 (644937)
12-21-2011 4:37 PM
Reply to: Message 51 by GDR
12-21-2011 2:29 PM


If however we understand the passages as 2 different writers with 2 different perspectives and understand it as the ongoing narrative of the people of God then it all fits into place, and we don't have to suspend our God given reason to make sense of it.
Be very careful of agreeing with ICANT.
Believe me. I do check my work when I find myself in agreement with ICANT.
But even given the NSA translation, what it seems to me that you are doing is taking a hyper-literally reading the text, finding a contradiction, and then using the contradiction as an excuse for a much looser reading.
What I see even in the NSA translation is that God has gotten angry at Israel for transgressions other than the bloodshed, and has decided to punish Israel by switching sides.
Quite frankly, what I find more difficult to swallow is God's direction to Hosea to take a harlot wife. I don't get that at all.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 51 by GDR, posted 12-21-2011 2:29 PM GDR has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 53 by GDR, posted 12-21-2011 5:14 PM NoNukes has replied

  
NoNukes
Inactive Member


Message 54 of 304 (644963)
12-21-2011 10:52 PM
Reply to: Message 53 by GDR
12-21-2011 5:14 PM


Certainly I'm taking a literal reading, hyper or not, but that is that is the criteria that Dawn is using. I suppose you can say that God switched sides but does that sound like an omniscient god to you?
God recognizes free will while being omniscient. I suppose that's going to lead to some strange sounding outcomes, but perhaps not so strange if Israel's punishment is going to be a short lived punishment rather than a condemnation.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 53 by GDR, posted 12-21-2011 5:14 PM GDR has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 56 by GDR, posted 12-21-2011 11:08 PM NoNukes has replied

  
NoNukes
Inactive Member


Message 59 of 304 (644992)
12-22-2011 7:35 AM
Reply to: Message 56 by GDR
12-21-2011 11:08 PM


It didn't actually seemed to be short lived at all. The reign of the house of Jehab did last 4 generations and the kingdom of the House of Israel carried on longer than that.
That's pretty short compared to forever.
You might be correct regarding the interpretation of Hosea/Kings 2, but I don't think your reading is forced by an insurmountable contradiction.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 56 by GDR, posted 12-21-2011 11:08 PM GDR has not replied

  
NoNukes
Inactive Member


(1)
Message 65 of 304 (645053)
12-22-2011 6:23 PM
Reply to: Message 62 by ICANT
12-22-2011 5:06 PM


Re: Christian
It just makes you a born again child of the King who is unworthy of being saved by the grace of God.
That makes no sense to me. Grace does not require worth. It is a gift from God.
I'm not going to debate the definition of Christian. I have no problem with your definition, but it does not affect the point I was making with DB. If you have no faith, you are not saved, and in such a case, doing good works doesn't make you a Christian, just a good man.
My definition of a Christian is someone who is living a life like Christ did. He was perfect I can't be perfect yet, and I haven't met anyone in person that is perfect.
So no one is living a life like Christ did, and thus there are no Christians.
OFF TOPIC - Please Do Not Respond to this message by continuing in this vein.
AdminPD
Edited by AdminPD, : Warning

This message is a reply to:
 Message 62 by ICANT, posted 12-22-2011 5:06 PM ICANT has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 69 by ICANT, posted 12-22-2011 6:50 PM NoNukes has replied

  
NoNukes
Inactive Member


Message 66 of 304 (645054)
12-22-2011 6:29 PM
Reply to: Message 63 by ICANT
12-22-2011 5:45 PM


Re: The OT is Not a Christian Document
quote:
Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.
This says nothing about authorship. What says that this statement isn't about the content of the scriptures rather than the authorship?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 63 by ICANT, posted 12-22-2011 5:45 PM ICANT has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 68 by ICANT, posted 12-22-2011 6:41 PM NoNukes has replied

  
NoNukes
Inactive Member


Message 67 of 304 (645055)
12-22-2011 6:35 PM
Reply to: Message 63 by ICANT
12-22-2011 5:45 PM


Re: The OT is Not a Christian Document
Duplicate
Edited by NoNukes, : Operator error

This message is a reply to:
 Message 63 by ICANT, posted 12-22-2011 5:45 PM ICANT has not replied

  
NoNukes
Inactive Member


Message 72 of 304 (645071)
12-22-2011 9:29 PM
Reply to: Message 68 by ICANT
12-22-2011 6:41 PM


Re: The OT is Not a Christian Document
If that was the case then why didn't Jesus say Abraham said, "Law and Prophets" if He didn't mean Moses wrote it?
Regardless of who wrote it, the Torah contains plenty of the words and deeds of Moses. Similarly, the Old Testament contains plenty of the words of the prophets, regardless of who actually wrote the books. The content of the scriptures enough to explain what Jesus said.
To justify the opposite it is necessary to postulate a whole bunch of stuff that is simply not Biblical at all. Dogma that God dictated the story of Adam and Eve to Moses is not Biblical. Nor is it Biblical that Moses knew the circumstances surrounding his own death.
Do you believe Jesus knew who wrote the Torah?
I don't believe Jesus ever said anything about the subject. I'm skeptical that Paul ever said anything about it either. Further, it is pretty clear that Jesus did not always use the powers accessible to Him. I don't know what Jesus would have said if, asked who wrote the Torah.
OFF TOPIC - Please Do Not Respond to this message by continuing in this vein.
AdminPD
Edited by AdminPD, : Warning

This message is a reply to:
 Message 68 by ICANT, posted 12-22-2011 6:41 PM ICANT has not replied

  
NoNukes
Inactive Member


Message 73 of 304 (645073)
12-22-2011 9:34 PM
Reply to: Message 69 by ICANT
12-22-2011 6:50 PM


Re: Christian
ICANT writes:
NoNukes writes:
So no one is living a life like Christ did, and thus there are no Christians.
That sums it up pretty well.
You can use that definition. When I speak of Christians, you can expect that I'll be using a less exclusive one, that includes people who attempt to follow Christ's pattern.
OFF TOPIC - Please Do Not Respond to this message by continuing in this vein.
AdminPD
Edited by AdminPD, : Warning

This message is a reply to:
 Message 69 by ICANT, posted 12-22-2011 6:50 PM ICANT has not replied

  
NoNukes
Inactive Member


(1)
Message 78 of 304 (645113)
12-23-2011 10:54 AM
Reply to: Message 77 by Dawn Bertot
12-23-2011 8:26 AM


Get real, No nuclear weapons, that is not even close to what I am saying or arguing. He is saved or not saved by the blood of Christ. What his beliefs are after that fact has nothing to do with that established fact
You can gloss over what you said. But the fact remains that you claimed that his faith was found wanting based only on his not reading the Bible as you do.
If you are going to represent someone, try and do it with some intelligence, objectivity and all the facts
We're done here. I have to admit that I knew better than to engage you in a discussion, but did so anyway.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 77 by Dawn Bertot, posted 12-23-2011 8:26 AM Dawn Bertot has not replied

  
NoNukes
Inactive Member


Message 84 of 304 (645165)
12-23-2011 10:31 PM
Reply to: Message 81 by ICANT
12-23-2011 8:15 PM


Re: The OT is Not a Christian Document
Actually it is possible that Joshua wrote the last few verses of Deut..
Joshua, but no one else?
In Exodus 17:14 God told Moses to write for a memorial a missive (written message).
If Moses did not write then it's a lie.
That last proposition does not follow from the others. Perhaps Moses wrote the memorial, but the memorial does not form part of the Torah. Perhaps what Moses wrote does form part of the Torah because it was used as a reference by whoever did write the Torah. Maybe Moses did not do as instructed.
Let's take a look at the text of Exodus 17:14 and see what Moses was supposed to write.
quote:
14 And the LORD said unto Moses, Write this for a memorial in a book, and rehearse it in the ears of Joshua: for I will utterly put out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven
Looks like Moses was supposed to write about the victory over Amalek for Joshua's benefit. Well, there are a few verses in Exodus 17 about the battle, but we don't know if those verses or any other ones are the account that God instructed Moses to write.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 81 by ICANT, posted 12-23-2011 8:15 PM ICANT has not replied

  
NoNukes
Inactive Member


Message 92 of 304 (645281)
12-24-2011 10:50 PM
Reply to: Message 91 by GDR
12-24-2011 9:22 PM


The question is which of us is more irrational and I would suggest that mine at least gives a consistent view of God, whereas yours leaves you able to create a god in pretty much whatever way you like.
I don't think this is assessment if fair. DB's position requires God to act exactly as he described in the OT. While holding that position might require God and the universe to be completely inexplicable, DB's kinda stuck with that.
On the other hand, your reading allows a bit more flexibility. I think people of different abilities and backgrounds are more likely to reach different impressions of God using your approach than they are with DB's approach. I don't personally find that to be a problem. The New Testament is directive and straight forward enough about all of the things that Jesus felt was important.
Dawn Bertot writes:
The literal approach is atleast rational, and is consistent with what the scripture has to say overall, especially with what it has to say concerning Gods characteistics and nature
When DB uses the term literal here, what he really means is that the Bible's text is history dictated word for word by God. There is no textual basis for such a belief, so I cannot understand his claim that his approach is rational as it flows from an non-established premise. But in my experience Bertot's arguments are not always (not often?) logical, and it is nigh on impossible to get him to see or acknowledge any error. It is not logical to attempt such a task.
I'd like to see ICANT or someone else take on the examples in your post. Meanwhile...
Merry Christmas to all. Liberal or not...

This message is a reply to:
 Message 91 by GDR, posted 12-24-2011 9:22 PM GDR has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 93 by GDR, posted 12-25-2011 9:53 AM NoNukes has replied

  
NoNukes
Inactive Member


(1)
Message 94 of 304 (645303)
12-25-2011 11:01 AM
Reply to: Message 93 by GDR
12-25-2011 9:53 AM


I suppose but the point is that his/her understanding of the OT makes the NT completely inexplicable and forces a worldview that is inconsistent with what Jesus taught.
I largely agree with you. I've tried to stay out of the discussion for the most part because I want to understand the position of those who disagree.
The whole thing concerns me greatly on all sorts of levels that in the end are mostly political. For example a reading of the OT would support the wide use of capital punishment whereas when we read the words of Jesus and see that he would be opposed.
The OT has been used in this country to justify a lot of things that people find abhorrent. But in my opinion, the problem isn't the Bible.
I don't see my reading as providing more flexibility. IMHO my understanding of how the scripture is to be read prevents the misunderstandings that arise from reading the Bible the way Dawn does. However I realize that is a matter of faith and I'm subject to as much correction as anyone else.
I'm suggesting not that the reading is more flexible for you. You appear to be a decent person who would likely try to live in a decent way regardless of the book you choose to follow. But I've encountered some pretty silly interpretations of the New Testament.
It isn't as if the God that we see in Jesus isn't in the OT. He is all through.
You're preaching to the choir bro'. Turn around pastor and face the congregation.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 93 by GDR, posted 12-25-2011 9:53 AM GDR has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 95 by GDR, posted 12-25-2011 11:20 AM NoNukes has seen this message but not replied

  
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