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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 271 of 304 (656891)
03-22-2012 8:20 PM
Reply to: Message 270 by purpledawn
03-22-2012 6:53 PM


Re: Understanding the Scriptures
purpledawn writes:
As I keep saying, there is a difference between understanding what the text is saying and believing that the events actually happened as written. That goes for the NT also.
Well of course, but what is your point? Are you saying they disobeyed God because they didn't kill everyone, are you saying that God didn't actually tell them to do it or what.
The point you make just confirms my view that the historical writers didn't record events exactly as they happened. If they say that everyone man, woman, child and beast were killed only to find that they weren't, then why should we believe that they got it right when they say that Yahweh told them to do it.
In the NT we can see minor differences in the stories in the Gospels but on the important points there is agreement. It is similar to people witnessing a car accident. They will disagree on some details but they all agree that the accident happened.

He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.
Micah 6:8

This message is a reply to:
 Message 270 by purpledawn, posted 03-22-2012 6:53 PM purpledawn has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 272 by purpledawn, posted 03-23-2012 5:57 AM GDR has replied

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


Message 273 of 304 (656958)
03-23-2012 3:34 PM
Reply to: Message 272 by purpledawn
03-23-2012 5:57 AM


Re: Understanding the Scriptures
purpledawn writes:
Sigh...There's nothing difficult about what I said. It's very straightforward. Understanding what the text is saying is different than believing that the events actually happened as written. If the text said God told them to do something, then that is what the text says. Understanding the reality behind the writings takes more research outside the Bible.
We have long ago agreed with all that and I have shown you how I conclude what I do. You make all these statements but I still have no idea what you would decide. Did God approve of the massacre that was committed by Jehu? How about a simple yes or no answer. My answer is no.
purpledawn writes:
Sigh...just go the next step and ask why should we believe a supreme being inspired or told them anything? You keep saying you understand that the Bible writings contain various styles, but you seem to have issues with exaggeration. You should be happy. Odds are not as much genocide took place as it sounds. More bark than bite.
So it’s exaggeration. It would still seem that there were significant numbers but that isn’t the point. The point is, did God approve it. Yes or no?
purpledawn writes:
Do you really think that Jesus meant that his disciples had to hate their families? Doesn't sound loving.
No I don’t. Read the whole sermon in context for a start.
purpledawn writes:
The accident analogy doesn't apply since the gospel writers weren't eyewitnesses. Even Paul wasn't an eyewitness to Jesus.
Scholars agree that Matthew and Luke used Mark as a source. They can also see where Matthew and Luke altered some of the stories found in Mark. Markan Priority
I understand that. However the writers of the original documents would have been by or from the accounts of eyewitnesses. In addition there would have been eyewitnesses still around when they were written who could have disputed the accounts if they were in error.
purpledawn If you're going to be critical, at least be consistent.
I have been. It is you that comes up with a God whose morality changes leaving us with a deity whose morality is unknowable.
Edited by GDR, : Somehow a previous quote wound up stuck on the end.

He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.
Micah 6:8

This message is a reply to:
 Message 272 by purpledawn, posted 03-23-2012 5:57 AM purpledawn has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 274 by purpledawn, posted 03-23-2012 6:00 PM GDR has replied

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


Message 275 of 304 (656976)
03-23-2012 9:32 PM
Reply to: Message 274 by purpledawn
03-23-2012 6:00 PM


Re: Religious Tradition
purpledawn writes:
One author says yes according to the book and one author says no according to your understanding of the book. Both books were probably written after the House of Jehu was gone. Supposedly Hosea didn't write Hosea and Kings was probably written after the fall of the Northern Kingdom. Based on reality, I would say both authors attributed events to God that had nothing to do with God. Odds are the events were just the cycle of invasion and destruction prevalent in the area.
I think we agree, but I would point out that the question is what God thinks of what. One says that He approves and the other says the opposite. My contention is God always disapproves of genocide.
purpledawn writes:
The OT is useless to most Christians. Christianity went to the Gentiles and became a new religion that assimilated pagan religions. Stop trying to tie the two together. Just go with Christ, because that's your story and you're sticking to it.
I very much disagree with that. Virtually all of the first Jesus' followers were Christians and it was those Jews that took the Jesus message to the gentiles.
Frankly the gospels only make sense when told within their Jewish context. As I said earlier just about everything Jesus talked about referred back to the then Hebrew Scriptures. Jesus was a Jew talking to Jews. Read over the story after the resurrection of the two on the road to Emmaus. Here is a small portion of that from Luke 24:
quote:
25 He said to them, "How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?" 27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.
Jesus’ own method of explaining Himself was to refer them back to their Scriptures. Yes, the Gospels bring clarity to the OT concerning the nature of God and how to understand it, but the OT brings understanding of who Jesus is and what He was about. The OT contains the opening chapters for Jesus who draws the Israel story to its conclusion.
purpledawn writes:
There are some good life lessons in the NT when understood through Judaism. Learn the lessons of the book and graduate. Move on to practical application. Stop whining about being a work in progress. Doesn't take that long to get through school.
Do you really think that the use of condescending language strengthens your argument?

He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.
Micah 6:8

This message is a reply to:
 Message 274 by purpledawn, posted 03-23-2012 6:00 PM purpledawn has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 276 by purpledawn, posted 03-24-2012 4:02 AM GDR has replied

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


Message 277 of 304 (657029)
03-24-2012 8:50 PM
Reply to: Message 276 by purpledawn
03-24-2012 4:02 AM


A Jewish Jesus
GDR writes:
My contention is God always disapproves of genocide.
purpledawn writes:
Whatever helps you hang on.
And what keeps you hanging on is to construct a god whose morality changes over time. Your god approves of having His chosen people commit genocide and these same chosen people he wants to be involved in the stoning to death of, amongst others, difficult children, those who pick up firewood on the Sabbath. However you then have him changing his mind 2000 years ago and not believing in that anymore and that he wants people to love their enemies and turn the other cheek. Can you tell us where your god stands on these issues today?
purpledawn writes:
Christianity still went to the Gentiles.
Primarily yes but it was the Jews who took it to the Gentiles in the first place. Certainly over time I would agree that the gentiles, not having the knowledge of the Hebrew Scriptures that Paul and others did, would lose some of the connections to Christ’s Judaism. Jesus was a Jew, who spoke and ministered to an almost exclusive Jewish audience while explaining His messianic message, as well as His relationship with the Father in terms of the Hebrew Scriptures.
Jesus only makes sense within a Jewish context. As Christians we call Him the Messiah. Outside of Judaism what does it mean to be the Messiah? Where else would we get a concept of Jesus as part of the Godhead, or as a deity without Judaism. Look at this from Daniel 7.
quote:
13 "In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. 14 He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.
Jesus says this in Matthew 5.
quote:
17 "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.
Here is the dictionary definition of fulfill.
quote:
Bring to completion or reality; achieve or realize (something desired, promised, or predicted).
Jesus is saying that He is the fulfillment or climax of the Torah and the Prophets. As I said Jesus only makes sense in a Jewish context. To say otherwise is ridiculous no matter how much the early church was made up of Gentiles.
Look at Matthew’s account of the gospel. He starts right off by writing giving a genealogy to establish Jesus as the fulfillment of the Israel story. In verse after talking about the Virgin birth Matthew refers back to Isaiah in verse 22 when he says, all this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophets. He then goes through the story of John the Baptist as Elijah and so on all through his telling of the Gospel.
Here is Paul in his letter to the Romans. Look how He starts it in Chap 1 vs 4.
quote:
1 Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God-- 2 the gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures 3 regarding his Son, who as to his human nature was a descendant of David,
From Romans 15:
quote:
4 For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.
As I said it is utterly ridiculous to try and understand Jesus by disregarding His Jewish context. Jesus was a Jew preaching to fellow Jews.
purpledawn writes:
You mean Jewish context that supports one's Christian belief. I showed you Jewish context concerning the hand washing and you don't even consider it, IMO, because it conflicts with your beliefs.
I have no problem with it. The hand washing was a law born out of Jewish tradition and not the Torah to the best of my knowledge. I agree that Jesus fulfilled that as well. So what?
purpledawn writes:
No the authors' method of explaining Jesus refers back to the Scriptures and most are incorrect. Notice the author didn't list anything. There's nothing about Jesus in the OT. Luke 24:46-47 is not in the OT. Wouldn't that be evidence that the author made it up?
Most are not incorrect. You have picked out one that does pose something of a problem. One thing to remember though is that the Hebrew Scriptures that Jesus used were not exactly the same as what we call the OT. Even at that we can take this passage from Daniel 7 that I quoted earlier.
quote:
13 "In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. 14 He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.
, and combine that with the story of Jonah as contained in this quote from Matthew 12.
quote:
40 For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
purpledawn writes:
You're interpreting the Bible to fit your beliefs and as I've said before that's your prerogative, but it's rather useless in a debate.
No, I’m using the Bible to form my beliefs. In this discussion frankly it is using who is creating a god to fit your beliefs which is neither consistent with the Bible nor with reason.
Edited by GDR, : typo

He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.
Micah 6:8

This message is a reply to:
 Message 276 by purpledawn, posted 03-24-2012 4:02 AM purpledawn has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 278 by purpledawn, posted 03-25-2012 10:04 AM GDR has replied

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


Message 279 of 304 (657117)
03-26-2012 2:10 AM
Reply to: Message 278 by purpledawn
03-25-2012 10:04 AM


Re: A Jewish Jesus
purpledawn writes:
You really need to be more consistent. You contend that the Bible is written by men and filled with their biases and not dictated by God; but the minute I address the book as if it is written by men you want to know how I could have such a god. You yourself say that the God of the OT is different than Jesus who you say is the embodiment of God. I don't contend that Jesus is the embodiment of God.
I have been completely consistent. It is you who said that because we see god the loving god preached by Jesus that we should be prepared to forgive the god that advocated genocide.
Yes the books were written by men but that doesn’t mean that God’s revelation isn’t in the scriptures. God does, as I said earlier, IMHO speak to mankind through our hearts, minds and imaginations. I unequivocally said that God is the same yesterday today and tomorrow. The God that we see in Jesus is in the OT but so are a bunch of other more human notions. As I said, we read the OT through the lens of the NT, and we gain our understanding of Jesus through the OT.
purpledawn writes:
I didn't write the Bible and a religion that follows the Bible is worshiping that God.
Not if the Bible is misunderstood or misused so that the very image of God is perverted.
purpledawn writes:
The NT doesn't show Jesus doing away with any of the laws of the OT if you understand it within Jewish context. As you pointed out in Matthew 5:17, Jesus did not come to do away with the law. The next line tells us that until heaven and earth disappear, none of the law will end.
The point isn’t that the laws are kept out of fear of retribution but because as Paul says they are written on our hearts. You can’t be commanded to love.
purpledawn writes:
Same word. When we love one another we aren't doing away with the command we are following the command. Our own laws can be summarized that way, but that doesn't do away with the laws.
Again, how can I be commanded to love my neighbour? I can be commanded not to murder my neighbour or I will be punished but I can’t be commanded to love my neighbour. That is the point of Jesus fulfilling the law. He is saying it isn’t about keeping a set of laws like we do for ourselves within a society. It is about loving unselfishly and even sacrificially.
purpledawn writes:
You say Jesus only makes sense within the Jewish context, but what you glean from the writings doesn't reflect that understanding.
Well actually it does. All through the writings of the prophets there is the theme of Yahweh returning to His people. In particular there is the suffering servant in Isaiah and the son of man in Daniel just to name 2.
purpledawn writes:
But you aren't showing me that my facts or logic concerning the understanding of the scripture as understood in Jewish context is incorrect. You've shown me that my position conflicts with what you believe.
Look, the scriptures can be used to make God out to be just about whatever you like. Sure you can use them to depict a god who was evil but then became good if that floats your boat. I am contending that the proper way to understand the nature of God is through what we see in the life and words of Jesus, and Paul for that matter, and through that we gain understanding of what is written in the OT.

He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.
Micah 6:8

This message is a reply to:
 Message 278 by purpledawn, posted 03-25-2012 10:04 AM purpledawn has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 280 by purpledawn, posted 03-26-2012 6:02 AM GDR has not replied

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


(1)
Message 284 of 304 (676724)
10-25-2012 2:35 AM
Reply to: Message 283 by duckybill
10-25-2012 1:01 AM


duckybill writes:
I take the Bible literally, unless there is VERY good reason not to.
What would constitute a very good reason not to?

He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.
Micah 6:8

This message is a reply to:
 Message 283 by duckybill, posted 10-25-2012 1:01 AM duckybill has not replied

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


Message 300 of 304 (686190)
12-29-2012 5:15 PM
Reply to: Message 294 by Faith
12-24-2012 8:59 AM


Re: Hidden Wisdom -- The Literalists' Nightmare
First off I have been too busy to post on this forum for an extended time so I apologise for not replying to unanswered posts.
Faith writes:
But what is your faith IN? God as you think He ought to be? That's a major mistake a lot of people make. God gave us His word so we wouldn't have to be dependent on our own personal notions.
I'm happy to answer your question but I'd like to ask you one first. On what basis do you base your belief in an inerrant Bible? Is it a case that it is entirely by faith or is there some other reason to believe that for all intents and purposes the Bible is dictated to us by God?
Faith writes:
But it's not Bible believers who are following our own intellect, it's those who REJECT the Bible or pick and choose from it who are following their own intellect. Saving faith believes God's word as God's word whether we can figure it out or not.
Would it be the case that you believe that when Jesus corrects the teachings of Moses that God has different desires for different people of different times?
Faith writes:
There is NO way to know ANYTHING about Jesus Christ outside the Bible, none, period. The Bible was given to us so we COULD know about Christ and everything else about the nature of God. Again, God gave us the Book because on our own we can't get anything right about Him, because our minds are fallen. Consider all the different religions in the world. They can't all be right because they all contradict each other. That's what the fallen mind comes up with on its own. It was a great mercy that God gave us His revelation, Phat, we shouldn't prefer our own thoughts over that great gift.
If someone could shake your belief about Noah and a world wide flood would you then reject the whole account of Jesus and His resurrection?

He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.
Micah 6:8

This message is a reply to:
 Message 294 by Faith, posted 12-24-2012 8:59 AM Faith has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 301 by Faith, posted 12-30-2012 12:30 AM GDR has not replied

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


(1)
Message 304 of 304 (686269)
12-30-2012 6:02 PM


I think that the answer that Faith gave to my last post is worth a new thread so at some point I’ll suggest an OP around her response.
First off, I would like to say that I have known many fundamentalist Christians, (those that believe that the Bible is word for word directly from God) in my life, and pretty much without exception my experience with them has been positive. The vast majority of them are busy serving others in their local community and serving others either directly or financially around the world. The point is that even though I applaud their life style I have great difficulty with their theology.
It is my contention that fundamentalist Christians don’t take Jesus seriously enough and instead make the Bible the focus of their faith. As I’ve said before it becomes Biblianity rather Christianity. In reality all monotheists worship the same God. The difference between the different faiths centres on the attributes that we ascribe to the deity that we worship.
It is my contention that Biblianity presents a very different kind of god than does the god that is testified to in Jesus Christ. The god of Bibilianity is a god that is able to command that justice is about an eye for an eye or a tooth for a tooth. This god is able to justify genocide. This god is prepared to harden the hearts of his chosen people by having them stone to death rebellious young people, prostitutes, or those that don’t follow Sabbath laws to the letter. The Christian god that we see incarnate in Jesus tells us that we are to forgive those that sin against us. The god that we see incarnate in Jesus tells us to love our enemies and says that blessed are the peacemakers. The god that we see incarnate in Jesus is a god that wants his people to have their hearts softened in their relations with others - a god that wants us to love and guide our young people in a way that they will grow up to be loving adults themselves — a god that forgave the prostitutes that he encountered and gave them a fresh start in life with a clean slate and a god that tells us that all of the laws are fulfilled by having a heart that loves unselfishly.
Yes, I agree that the Bible is a very special book and that in it we can find God’s testimony for us, spoken through the hearts, minds and imaginations of numerous authors and translators. That does not mean that the authors always got it right or even usually got it right. The entire Bible is both culturally and personally conditioned. If we take the Bible and allow God, through the lens of the teachings of Jesus to lead us through the truth of the whole metanarrative that is the Bible, then we can actually discern the message that God has for us in the Scriptures. If however, we treat it as literally word for word from God then we wind up with a god that is not only inconsistent but often cruel. Frankly, it is my view that Christians could justify a Christian jihad if they were to pull out of the OT some of the things that are attributed to god. Certainly all of the positive attributes are there as well, and Jesus based his teachings on that part of the scriptures. Loving your neighbour and loving your enemy can be found in the OT as well as in the NT.
My life is based on my Christian faith. I don’t pretend to have all the answers and I have no doubt that much of what I believe is wrong. My faith starts with the bodily resurrection of Jesus which gives credibility to the Gospel message that is ascribed to him in the Gospels and expanded on in the epistles. Although, I believe that the case for the resurrection is compelling I have to agree that it is still a faith. If I am wrong then so be it, but I will quite happily go on serving, as well as I can, the God that only asks that I humbly love kindness and act justly. (It sounds easy but I find that putting it into practice isn’t as easy as it sounds. ) That is the God I worship. I don’t worship God because He is all powerful; I worship Him because He is all loving. If I actually had to believe that God is sometimes the equivalent of the world’s worst dictators in advocating genocide and cruel gruesome public executions, then I would just accept that even though he is god I would have no interest in worshipping him and I’ll just accept the consequences. I think many people that understand Christianity to mean believing in an inerrant Bible have rejected Christianity for that very reason. It seems to me likely that they are closer to the heart of God than many Christians, but fortunately it is not up to mean to judge that one way or the other.
Edited by GDR, : No reason given.
Edited by GDR, : typos

He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.
Micah 6:8

  
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