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Author Topic:   Where/how do believers draw the line and why?
Spektical
Member (Idle past 4263 days)
Posts: 119
Joined: 10-16-2007


Message 1 of 88 (432348)
11-05-2007 1:42 PM


where do believers make the distinction between what parts of the bible to take literally and what parts not to, and why?

My contention is the biblical writings are so open to interpretation that it has caused the many sects within the primary faith itself.

Edited by Spektical, : No reason given.


Replies to this message:
 Message 2 by AdminPhat, posted 11-06-2007 3:49 AM Spektical has responded
 Message 6 by jar, posted 11-13-2007 10:58 AM Spektical has responded
 Message 46 by New Cat's Eye, posted 11-15-2007 3:45 PM Spektical has not yet responded
 Message 88 by riVeRraT, posted 12-03-2007 8:01 AM Spektical has not yet responded

    
AdminPhat
Administrator
Posts: 1922
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-03-2004


Message 2 of 88 (432450)
11-06-2007 3:49 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Spektical
11-05-2007 1:42 PM


This topic is not promotable as written. Perhaps it needs to evolve.

This message is a reply to:
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Spektical
Member (Idle past 4263 days)
Posts: 119
Joined: 10-16-2007


Message 3 of 88 (432491)
11-06-2007 9:28 AM
Reply to: Message 2 by AdminPhat
11-06-2007 3:49 AM


what do you mean it needs to evolve? Its a pretty direct question.

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Admin
Director
Posts: 12631
From: EvC Forum
Joined: 06-14-2002


Message 4 of 88 (433502)
11-12-2007 10:00 AM
Reply to: Message 3 by Spektical
11-06-2007 9:28 AM


Delete the "question to self" portion and I'll promote it.


--Percy
EvC Forum Director

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Admin
Director
Posts: 12631
From: EvC Forum
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Message 5 of 88 (433870)
11-13-2007 9:49 AM


Thread moved here from the Proposed New Topics forum.

    
jar
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Posts: 31485
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 3.0


Message 6 of 88 (433874)
11-13-2007 10:58 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Spektical
11-05-2007 1:42 PM


where do believers make the distinction between what parts of the bible to take literally and what parts not to, and why?

Well, there are some parts that are explicitly figurative, parables, poems, songs. In addition, there are some parts that could have been factual but that have been shown not to be, the Flood, the Exodus, the Conquest of Canaan.

But I would like to talk about the parts that are definitely not factual, but that were written as such. These would include many of the descriptions of the world, as seen by the people of that era. For example, the creation myths, or the concept of waters above and below, with a solid firmament between.

Such things were not simply reasonable, many were actually verifiable.

Consider the idea of the waters above and below. People saw it rain. It rained in some areas at some times and in other areas it was not raining. For water to fall, it had to be up there in the first place, but simply lifting water in your cupped hands and spreading your fingers shows that water does not stay up unless supported. So to explain what was seen it was necessary to have some solid material, the firmament, that held the water back, and it needed holes that could be opened and closed like shutters to allow it to rain sometimes and in some places but not always or everywhere.

The same was true of the waters below. If you dug a deep enough hole it would fill with water. In addition, there were places where water came from the ground. For that to happen there would have to be waters below.

The world view worked, it explained what was seen. It happened to be wrong, but it did explain the evidence.

So is there some method for testing the Bible (or any other work for that matter)?

I think so.

First, those things which have been proven false must be acknowledged as false.

That does not mean they are worthless.

The story of Jack and the Bean Stalk, or Gulliver's Travels are false, but neither is worthless. There are lessons that can be learned from them.

Look at the two Creation myths found in Genesis. In the younger story, the one found in Genesis 1 through the first half of Genesis 2:4 we see a Transcendent God, aloof, creating by will alone, but also one that is outside creation yet overarching. In the older creation myths combined into the tales that begins in the second half of Genesis 2:4 we find a totally different image, a different God, one that is intimate and hands on and immersed in the creation. He is somewhat bumbling, unsure, works by trial and error, but is approachable, considerate, personable.

The question really is, what if ALL of the Bible is nothing more than tales told around a campfire? What if not one word of it is actually literally true?

Honestly, I don't think it matters. The Bible speaks of man's relationships with GOD, of GOD's relationships with man and of man's relationships with his fellow man and the universe he lives in. Those lessons can help guide someones life and behavior and thus have value regardless of whether or not they are literally true.

Like anything else, the Bible must be tested using reason, logic and reality.


Aslan is not a Tame Lion

This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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Spektical
Member (Idle past 4263 days)
Posts: 119
Joined: 10-16-2007


Message 7 of 88 (433876)
11-13-2007 11:19 AM
Reply to: Message 6 by jar
11-13-2007 10:58 AM


The Bible speaks of man's relationships with GOD, of GOD's relationships with man and of man's relationships with his fellow man and the universe he lives in. Those lessons can help guide someones life and behavior and thus have value regardless of whether or not they are literally true.

But what is the concept of GOD? what's the reason for it? and don't you think we need a new concept or allow the concept to evolve to something that suits the zeitgeist?

The story of the tower of Babel puzzles me. How do christians view it (literally/figuratively)?

Maybe that single story is truly the definition of God...that he/she/it is greater than us because as the saying goes ...the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.


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 Message 9 by jar, posted 11-13-2007 11:44 AM Spektical has responded

    
truthlover
Member (Idle past 2346 days)
Posts: 1548
From: Selmer, TN
Joined: 02-12-2003


Message 8 of 88 (433878)
11-13-2007 11:28 AM
Reply to: Message 7 by Spektical
11-13-2007 11:19 AM


What the Bible really says?
don't you think we need a new concept or allow the concept to evolve to something that suits the zeitgeist?

I think this depends on whether God is real or whether god is just a nice concept to base our morals on.

If God is real, then we ought to be able to ask him. He certainly seemed to intervene in both Israel and the Church. Why not now?

My contention is the biblical writings are so open to interpretation that it has caused the many sects within the primary faith itself.

My contention would be that most readers of the Bible have lost any real experience with God, so there's nothing to direct them.

where do believers make the distinction between what parts of the bible to take literally and what parts not to, and why?

The apostles and early churches took it figuratively wherever needed to match their experience with God. The defense of their interpretation was the power they possessed to change lives, to create love, and to obtain intervention from God.


We cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails.

shammah.rcv.googlepages.com

Rose Creek Village

To be great, one does not have to be mad, but definitely it helps. ~Percy Cerutty, Australian track coach, 1952 Olympics

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jar
Member
Posts: 31485
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 3.0


Message 9 of 88 (433879)
11-13-2007 11:44 AM
Reply to: Message 7 by Spektical
11-13-2007 11:19 AM


Topic?
But what is the concept of GOD? what's the reason for it? and don't you think we need a new concept or allow the concept to evolve to something that suits the zeitgeist?

Huh?

What does that have to do with the topic?

The story of the tower of Babel puzzles me. How do christians view it (literally/figuratively)?

This Christian, figuratively.


Aslan is not a Tame Lion

This message is a reply to:
 Message 7 by Spektical, posted 11-13-2007 11:19 AM Spektical has responded

Replies to this message:
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Spektical
Member (Idle past 4263 days)
Posts: 119
Joined: 10-16-2007


Message 10 of 88 (433880)
11-13-2007 11:54 AM
Reply to: Message 9 by jar
11-13-2007 11:44 AM


Re: Topic?
And what do you think the story is about or its moral is?

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 Message 9 by jar, posted 11-13-2007 11:44 AM jar has responded

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jar
Member
Posts: 31485
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 3.0


Message 11 of 88 (433885)
11-13-2007 12:13 PM
Reply to: Message 10 by Spektical
11-13-2007 11:54 AM


Just So Stories
To understand the story you need to move back a ways. Look at Genesis 10.

What we have is a word picture of the world as known to the authors. The genealogies are likely not so much individuals, but rather clans, and the distribution appears to be clan (city-state? territorial?) arranged from north west to south west.

But while Genesis 10 is laying out the political and cultural geography of the areas, some explanation was needed for the different languages. Genesis 11 is that "Just So Story".

The Bible is filled with "Just So Stories". One in Genesis 1 is "Why we take off one day out of seven". In Genesis 2 we find "Why we need to work for a living instead of just foraging" and "Why childbirth seems harder for humans than other animals" and "Why we fear and hate snakes" and "Why we wear clothes".

Edited by jar, : fix sub-title


Aslan is not a Tame Lion

This message is a reply to:
 Message 10 by Spektical, posted 11-13-2007 11:54 AM Spektical has responded

Replies to this message:
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Spektical
Member (Idle past 4263 days)
Posts: 119
Joined: 10-16-2007


Message 12 of 88 (433920)
11-13-2007 3:49 PM
Reply to: Message 11 by jar
11-13-2007 12:13 PM


Re: Just So Stories
huh?

We work for a living because of the the way nature/evolution works ie. adapting to our environment.

We don't like snakes because its ingrained in our brains from birth by people who's ignorant or agnostic ancestors were constantly being killed off by snake bites.

Childbirth seems harder for humans because we have a more complex brain that is more sensitive and oral than animals.

but what does that have to do with the story of babel?


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 Message 11 by jar, posted 11-13-2007 12:13 PM jar has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 13 by jar, posted 11-13-2007 3:52 PM Spektical has responded
 Message 16 by ringo, posted 11-14-2007 1:24 PM Spektical has responded

    
jar
Member
Posts: 31485
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 3.0


Message 13 of 88 (433921)
11-13-2007 3:52 PM
Reply to: Message 12 by Spektical
11-13-2007 3:49 PM


Re: Just So Stories
Please actually read Message 11. It has mostly small words.


Aslan is not a Tame Lion

This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
 Message 14 by Spektical, posted 11-14-2007 8:24 AM jar has responded

  
Spektical
Member (Idle past 4263 days)
Posts: 119
Joined: 10-16-2007


Message 14 of 88 (434063)
11-14-2007 8:24 AM
Reply to: Message 13 by jar
11-13-2007 3:52 PM


Re: Just So Stories
well that was useless.

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 Message 15 by jar, posted 11-14-2007 9:25 AM Spektical has not yet responded

    
jar
Member
Posts: 31485
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 3.0


Message 15 of 88 (434069)
11-14-2007 9:25 AM
Reply to: Message 14 by Spektical
11-14-2007 8:24 AM


Re: Just So Stories
I'm sorry you feel that way. However you asked "Where/how do believers draw the line and why?" and in Message 6, Message 9 and Message 11 I have tried to answer at least showing how this believer does so.

If you feel I have not answered your questions, perhaps if you try rewording them I might have a clue what it is you would like to know.


Aslan is not a Tame Lion

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