About The Holy Bible

A man ahead of his time. In the mid to late 1800’s a man named Robert Ingersoll was writing essays against religion, the Bible, slavery and any number of other things that struck him as intellectually or morally wrong.  His wit and intelligence made him popular, but he was reviled by many a pastor, priest, or minister for exposing the many, many wrongs and downright evil things that are promoted in the Bible.

Below are a few short excerpts from his writings “About the Holy Bible.”

“This book is the enemy of freedom, the support of slavery. This book sowed the seeds of hatred in families and nations, fed the flames of war, and impoverished the world. This book is the breastwork of kings and tyrants — the enslaver of women and children. This book has corrupted parliaments and courts. This book has made colleges and universities the teachers of error and the haters of science. This book has filled Christendom with hateful, cruel, ignorant and warring sects. This book taught men to kill their fellows for religion’s sake. This book funded the Inquisition, invented the instruments of torture, built the dungeons in which the good and loving languished, forged the chains that rusted in their flesh, erected the scaffolds whereon they died. This book piled fagots about the feet of the just. This book drove reason from the minds of millions and filled the asylums with the insane.

This book has caused fathers and mothers to shed the blood of their babes. This book was the auction block on which the slave- mother stood when she was sold from her child. This book filled the sails of the slave-trader and made merchandise of human flesh. This book lighted the fires that burned “witches” and “wizards.” This book filled the darkness with ghouls and ghosts, and the bodies of men and women with devils. This book polluted the souls of men with the infamous dogma of eternal pain. This book made credulity the greatest of virtues, and investigation the greatest of crimes. This book filled nations with hermits, monks and nuns — with the pious and the useless. This book placed the ignorant and unclean saint above the philosopher and philanthropist. This book taught man to despise the joys of this life, that he might be happy in another — to waste this world for the sake of the next.

I attack this book because it is the enemy of human liberty — the greatest obstruction across the highway of human progress.”   Robert Ingersoll

IS THE OLD TESTAMENT INSPIRED?
If it is, it should be a book that no man — no number of men — could produce.
It should contain the perfection of philosophy.
It should perfectly accord with every fact in nature.
There should be no mistakes in astronomy, geology, or as to any subject or science.
Its morality should be the highest, the purest.

Its laws and regulations for the control of conduct should be just, wise, perfect, and perfectly adapted to the accomplishment of the ends desired.
It should contain nothing calculated to make man cruel, revengeful, vindictive or infamous.
It should be filled with intelligence, justice, purity, honesty, mercy and the spirit of liberty.
It should be opposed to strife and war, to slavery and lust, to ignorance, credulity and superstition.
It should develop the brain and civilize the heart.
It should satisfy the heart and brain of the best and wisest.
It should be true.
Does the Old Testament satisfy this standard?
Is there anything in the Old Testament — in history, in theory, in law, in government, in morality, in science — above and beyond the ideas, the beliefs, the customs and prejudices of its authors and the people among whom they lived?
Is there one ray of light from any supernatural source?
The ancient Hebrews believed that this earth was the center of the universe, and that the sun, moon and stars were specks in the sky.
With this the Bible agrees.
They thought the earth was flat, with four corners; that the sky, the firmament, was solid — the floor of Jehovah’s house.
The Bible teaches the same.
They imagined that the sun journeyed about the earth, and that by stopping the sun the day could be lengthened.
The Bible agrees with this.
They believed that Adam and Eve were the first man and woman; that they had been created but a few years before, and that they, the Hebrews, were their direct descendants.
This the Bible teaches.
If anything is, or can be, certain, the writers of the Bible were mistaken about creation, astronomy, geology; about the causes of phenomena, the origin of evil and the cause of death.
Now, it must be admitted that if an infinite Being is the author of the Bible, he knew all sciences, all facts, and could not have made a mistake.
If, then, there are mistakes, misconceptions, false theories, ignorant myths and blunders in the Bible, it must have been written by finite beings; that is to say, by ignorant and mistaken men.
Nothing can be clearer than this.

For centuries the church insisted that the Bible was absolutely true; that it contained no mistakes; that the story of creation was true; that its astronomy and geology were in accord with the facts; that the scientists who differed with the Old Testament were infidels and atheists.

Now this has changed. The educated Christians admit that the writers of the Bible were not inspired as to any science. They now say that God, or Jehovah, did not inspire the writers of his book for the purpose of instructing the world about astronomy, geology, or any science. They now admit that the inspired men who wrote the Old Testament knew nothing about any science, and that they wrote about the earth and stars, the sun and moon, in accordance with the general ignorance of the time.

It required many centuries to force the theologians to this admission. Reluctantly, full of malice and hatred, the priests retired from the field, leaving the victory with science.

They took another position;

They declared that the authors, or rather the writers, of the Bible were inspired in spiritual and moral things; that Jehovah wanted to make known to his children his will and his infinite love for his children; that Jehovah, seeing his people wicked, ignorant and depraved, wished to make them merciful and just, wise and spiritual, and that the Bible is inspired in its laws, in the religion it teaches and in its ideas of government.

This is the issue now. Is the Bible any nearer right in its ideas of justice, of mercy, of morality or of religion than in its conception of the sciences? Is it moral?

It upholds slavery — it sanctions polygamy.
Could a devil have done worse?
Is it merciful?
In war it raised the black flag; it commanded the destruction, the massacre, of all — of the old, infirm. and helpless — of wives and babes.
Were its laws inspired?
Hundreds of offenses were punished with death. To pick up sticks on Sunday, to murder your father on Monday, were equal crimes. There is in the literature of the world no bloodier code. The law of revenge — of retaliation — was the law of Jehovah. An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, a limb for a limb.
This is savagery — not philosophy.
Is it just and reasonable?
The Bible is opposed to religious toleration — to religious liberty. Whoever differed with the majority was stoned to death. Investigation was a crime. Husbands were ordered to denounce and to assist in killing their unbelieving wives.
It is the enemy of Art. “Thou shalt make no graven image.” This was the death of Art.
Palestine never produced a painter or a sculptor.
Is the Bible civilized?
It upholds lying, larceny, robbery, murder, the selling of diseased meat to strangers, and even the sacrifice of human beings to Jehovah.
Is it philosophical?
It teaches that the sins of a people can be transferred to an animal — to a goat. It makes maternity an offence for which a sin offering had to be made.
It was wicked to give birth to a boy, and twice as wicked to give birth to a girl.
To make hair-oil like that used by the priests was an offence punishable with death.
The blood of a bird killed over running water was regarded as medicine.
Would a civilized God daub his altars with the blood of oxen, lambs and doves? Would he make all his priests butchers?
Would he delight in the smell of burning flesh?  Robert Ingersoll Reformatted somewhat…no words changed, altered, or deleted

Many of Robert Ingersoll’s works can be found at the link below

http://www.infidels.org/library/historical/robert_ingersoll/.

More details of Robert Ingersoll’s life and more links to his works can be found on Wikipedia at:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_G._Ingersoll

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About the word of me
Interested in family and friends,grandchildren, photography, darkrooms, history, archaeology, scuba diving, computers, software, fast cars, journalism, writing, travel, ecology, news, science, and probably most other subjects you could think of. Did I mention family and friends?? I require iced tea or cold brewed coffee and a internet connection to be fully functional. Sometimes there are just so many words in my head they spill out.

11 Responses to About The Holy Bible

  1. I don’t blame him for his view of the bible given the guy fought in the civil war against the south. However that’s was likely because of a deranged Presbyterian pastor for a father and the Southern Baptist support of slavery based on selected scripture passages.

    Robert Ingersoll was ignorant of scripture and a victim of his time.

    Just as an example an eye for an eye was not unjust at the time. It reduced killing not increasing it. Clans would continue to murder each other and this law stopped it, placing limits on revenge. You have to have context with scripture.

    The static universe was worshiped at your altar for a long time. It took a Catholic priest to demonstrate to Einstein he was wrong and even then didn’t admit it until Hubble.

  2. thewordofme says:

    Hi Qboa, nice to talk to you again.

    In all of his ignorance of scripture he is able to pick out many of the problems that make the bible a work of man and not divinely inspired.

    He also recognized that you can pick out scripture bits to back up just about any position you care to take.

    I was kind of surprised when I started to read his stuff. Even back then the inaccuracy’s and falseness of the Bible was being shown to all who had the guts to read them. Since some blasphemy laws were still on the books at the time, I bet he watched his back pretty closely.

    I wonder if Einstein and Hubble ever met? They were both top of their field in those times, and of course their fields overlapped in many ways.

    twom

  3. Do you really think he thought of anything he came up with anything original what wasn’t already questioned by Jefferson and Thomas Paine in the 18th century.

    However the French Revolution, Russian and Chinese revolts have all caused more blood then all the religious wars combined. Secularism is much more dangerous then bonehead religious leaders in history, except pagan ones.

    But you can go back to Islam who rejected the New Testament because it rejected Jesus as God going further back you can take Julian the Apostate.

    This isn’t something new and certainly not something that historic Christianity hasn’t answered for centuries upon centuries.

    But this age wants a nice neat one paragraph response and that’s not possible. I wish that atheists would do as much background check in the areas of linguistics, literary form, church architecture, and doctrinal development before they place their foots in their mouth.

    Their statements are as poorly conceived on theology and reading the bible as many creationists are in attacking evolution.

  4. thewordofme says:

    Qboa
    Can you be more specific?
    twom

  5. Sure are you asking about why secular atheists are more dangerous then religious leaders?

    The reason I believe this is because the religious leader see increasing violence used by their followers to suppress its views, yet fails to do anything about it, even though it religious grounding should be opposed to such action. Its a clear indication to themselves and their followers that they’ve abandoned all hope (got to get some Dante in there somewhere;>)
    IOW inherent in their system is to reject evil acts against their neighbour, the fault lies not with the system but with the leader and followers who refuse to abide by their own standard.

    The secularist on the other hand never recognizes that what they are doing is evil and the doctrine does nothing to limit their efforts for there is no authority above themselves to appeal to after all God is dead or never existed. Indeed they see themselves as freeing the masses from their ignorance even as the masses may reject their message. The objections simply confirm the secular believers belief system to force “their worldview” on the ignorant as the streets fill with innocent blood. If anything these deeds feed themselves into greater efforts in that the movement itself can not live without them. The a fore mentioned revolutions are examples of it.

    If you mean the ignorance of Robert Ingersoll, I don’t know were to begin. From what you’ve supplied of his work, he has a child like understand of the Old Testament commonly referred to in theology as wooden literalism. Its as if the guy believed that the human authors of scripture were ignorant of or failed to employ literary devices like metaphors. He seems unaware of the field of hermeneutics which is the field of study of the principles of interpretation for the bible. Psalms comprise both lyric and didactic poetry.
    Its like poking holes in Newton’s Principia without knowing how to read latin!

    Perhaps the greatest example is Isaiah 7:14/Matthew 1:23 The Hebrew uses the word “ha-’almah” which is translated in most bibles as “a virgin.”But here the word in hebrew means maiden. Jefferson and Paine both pointed this out in their writtings.
    Granted that a young maiden that isn’t married would likely be a virgin(because if found out they would be stoned), but still the passage is correctly translated as young maiden.
    Given the significance of the passage for Christianity one would think that it matters a great deal. Indeed this is why the Jewish faith finally reject the Greek Old Testament inthe 2nd century to stop conversions, because in that document it does in fact state virgin in Greek and that was written by Jewish scholars over 100 years before Christ.
    Further the Hebrew word “harah” indicates that the woman is already with child (700BC) . So the author of Isaiah likely had someone that lived back in his time “young maiden”where as Matthew recognized it as meaning Jesus in his time. Both are true and God being the true author inspired the author to write something that was true to him and true also for future generations as well.

    If your referring to the apparent discrepancies found in the bible, they have been brought to the attention of Christian writers since the 2nd century, starting with pagan writers all the way up to the present day.

    It’s an interesting thing when people read the bible. Its as if they discover something no one else has ever understood about it before. So itf they can just make it clear to others they will change their view be it for or against belief.
    This happens to believers as well as non-believers. Every time someone points out to me that Matthew and Luke’s narrative on Jesus have a conflict I just smile. I use to look for oblique references myslef in the New testament (Greek and latin) for passages in both the Hebrew and Greek Old testament(yes there is a Greek Old testament if I haven’t mentioned it before) and thought I have found something no one else knew. Then I’d check it out with the early church fathers and it would always turn out that some guy back in the 2,3,4,5, or 6th century already knew about it and wrote comments about it. And someone else wrote a 3 volume piece in the 7,8,9,10,11 or 12th century on that topic by the early church father. I finally gave up thinking I could find anything new and just read the church fathers and learned more about the bible then I would have ever gotten by reading the bible alone cover to cover everyday for 10 years.

    In the end I attempt to live by a rule a grammar school teacher taught me. The only verses of scripture you know are the ones you actually live by in your life. By that standard I’ve never met anyone who knows more then one paragraph including myself.

  6. thewordofme says:

    Hi Qboa, thanks for your reply.

    Sorry to take so long to reply…got busy with day job.

    Qboa: “Sure are you asking about why secular atheists are more dangerous than religious leaders?”

    Twom: Nah, they’re both pretty evil and blood thirsty. Right now the religious leaders in the Middle East are far more dangerous, as they are still bombing civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan. If we could somehow kill off the Mullah’s and dictators in the Muslims world we could all breathe a sigh of relief …but then we would have to start worrying about Benny Hinn, Joel Osteen, Pat Robertson, Robert A. Schuller, etc.

    Qboa: “The reason I believe this is because the religious leader see increasing violence used by their followers to suppress its views, yet fails to do anything about it, even though it religious grounding should be opposed to such action. It’s a clear indication to themselves and their followers that they’ve abandoned all hope (got to get some Dante in there somewhere;>)
    IOW inherent in their system is to reject evil acts against their neighbor, the fault lies not with the system but with the leader and followers who refuse to abide by their own standard.”

    Twom: Muslim Mullah’s if using the Koran seem to be able to find all kinds of “scripture” to back up what they are doing in the Middle East. In other countries such as Burma, Indonesia, the Philippines where they are fighting to achieve ultimate power, I suppose they are applying their religious imperative to take over the world.

    Those secularists are no doubt sociopaths, and of course will not recognize or acknowledge the evil they do; I believe their motto is “The end justifies the means…no matter who gets in the way.” Remember, Hitler was a confessed Catholic…but undoubtedly a sociopath and druggie (amphetamines).

    Qboa: “…Indeed they see themselves as freeing the masses from their ignorance even as the masses may reject their message. The objections simply confirm the secular believer’s belief system to force “their worldview” on the ignorant as the streets fill with innocent blood…”

    Twom: Be careful here Qboa, these words above totally apply to past Catholic and Protestant misdeeds and wars as well. 🙂

    Qboa: “If you mean the ignorance of Robert Ingersoll, I don’t know where to begin. From what you’ve supplied of his work, he has a child like understand of the Old Testament commonly referred to in theology as wooden literalism.”

    Twom: I think I suffer from the same ailment as Mr. Ingersoll. However I will look on the bright side and say to everyone that what I’m doing is the same as Mr. Ingersoll…i.e. passing on the torch to younger generations. This knowledge of the many problems and mistakes of religion is precious, as much of it was gleaned in olden times when various religions would literally kill you if you disagreed or otherwise denigrated their beliefs. As many a preacher has told me…if there is good in the world, there must also be evil. I’m really glad to be on the side of good. 🙂

    Qboa: “If you’re referring to the apparent discrepancies found in the bible, they have been brought to the attention of Christian writers since the 2nd century, starting with pagan writers all the way up to the present day.”

    Twom: Of course they have been…and I suspect that most of them weren’t known to the general populace for quite some time, as the controllers of the ‘canon’ would not speak out about them for fear of confusing the rabble.

    Qboa: “It’s like poking holes in Newton’s Principia without knowing how to read Latin!”

    Twom: I knew I shouldn’t have passed up Latin in high school.

    Qboa: “It’s as if the guy believed that the human authors of scripture were ignorant of or failed to employ literary devices like metaphors.”

    Twom: The bible should come with a guide as to what is metaphor or allegory and what is not. What category would the ‘Flood’ and ‘Adam and Eve’ stories fall under?

    Qboa: “It’s an interesting thing when people read the bible. It’s as if they discover something no one else has ever understood about it before. So if they can just make it clear to others they will change their view be it for or against belief.
    This happens to believers as well as non-believers. Every time someone points out to me that Matthew and Luke’s narrative on Jesus have a conflict I just smile. I use to look for oblique references myself in the New testament (Greek and Latin) for passages in both the Hebrew and Greek Old testament(yes there is a Greek Old testament if I haven’t mentioned it before) and thought I have found something no one else knew. Then I’d check it out with the early church fathers and it would always turn out that some guy back in the 2,3,4,5, or 6th century already knew about it and wrote comments about it.”

    Twom: Boy is that ever true. I have written several posts here on this blog and several days or weeks later I found that the subject I wrote about had already been flogged to death by many other writers. *”(Yes there is a Greek Old testament if I haven’t mentioned it before)” Yes I know…it’s called the Septuagint. Derived from the tradition that seventy/seventy two scholars translated the Torah from Hebrew to Greek.

    Qboa: “the end I attempt to live by a rule a grammar school teacher taught me. The only verses of scripture you know are the ones you actually live by in your life. By that standard I’ve never met anyone who knows more than one paragraph including myself.”

    Twom: I just live by the Golden Rule as proposed by Confucius in about 500 BC: “Never impose on others what you would not choose for yourself.” Or perhaps from the Hindu’s about 800 BC: “One should never do that to another which one regards as injurious to one’s own self.” Christianity however expresses it best I think: “And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.” Luke 6:31, about 100 to 300 AD I think.

    twom

  7. On Islam it’s pretty straight forward. Does a literal interpretation represent what Islam is or not? If the former then its perfectly logical for them to wage war. There is after all only two houses the house of Allah and the house of war. If its the latter then one can denounce these actions, but I don’t see this as the norm or Islam, since you don’t see the worlds Islamic leaders condemning the Iranian gov’t actions against their fellow muslims.

    “Be careful here Qboa, these words above totally apply to past Catholic and Protestant misdeeds and wars as well. ”

    Of course it is, that’s why I mentioned it. There are plenty of individuals that fit that description in my church. That doesn’t undermine the theological view. I mean after all Jesus chose Judas as one of the twelve. That’s a built in 8.3% evil rate;>)

    “The bible should come with a guide as to what is metaphor or allegory and what is not. What category would the ‘Flood’ and ‘Adam and Eve’ stories fall under?”

    There are layers for scripture.
    Historically my church has held 4 meanings of scripture.

    1. Literal Sense: “The meaning conveyed by the words of Scripture” (Catechism, no. 116), the actual event, person, thing described in the biblical text. The literal sense gives rise to the following three “spiritual senses.”

    2. Allegorical Sense: How those things, events, or persons in the literal sense point to Christ.

    3. Moral Sense: How the literal sense points to the Christian life in the Church.

    4. Anagogical Sense: How the literal sense points to the Christian’s heavenly destiny and the last things.

    So for something like the flood we know that Moses was not a eye-witness to the event but the deluge is the most widely support tradition in the world. At last count it has support from eighty-eight different Flood stories independent of the Chaldee and Hebrew tradition.

    So there was a flood, there was an individual called Noah, it occurred because humanity became so evil God protected his family based on Noah’s faith.

    You seem fixed on whether the flood was in all locations on earth, a detailed account of the dimensions of the ark and whether it could hold every land creature on earth in order to survive the flood. I simply don’t use scripture to establish those types of facts. Now if those lines of inquiry provided benefit to the moral ethics and faith then I think I’d be more concern. Additionally I don’t feel compelled to have an answer for every apparent conflict in scripture.

    I can’t recall if I told you I’ve reviewed by take on a given scripture that I always thought that one could only take as figuratively. Rev 9:1-12 But you know the British are mixing Human DNA with animal DNA, so perhaps this may become a literal verse yet, although I hope not.

    Adam and Eve were both real historical individuals. Whether the apple was literal or stood as a symbol for disobedience again is to get fixed on the tree rather then the forest IMO.
    Whether Adam went through an evolution process as its currently understood, a more refined process, or not at all doesn’t matter either. What does matter is that God stepped in
    gave Adam a soul and it was the pairing of the body(evolutionary or not) with the spiritual soul which makes him human. And because of his sin we are all subject to evil inclinations.

    “Yes I know…it’s called the Septuagint.”

    Indeed, you have been reading good for you. I didn’t want to use that term because I thought I’d get to technical. I have an opinion that the Greek strain of the Old testament actually pre-dates the Hebrew version (which I suspect comes after the Babylon captivity and the Greek version comes before it.

    On the Golden rule there is indeed truth contained in other faith traditions. Heck even the Egyptian tradition of the afterlife contains seeds of truth. That doesn’t mean that all faith traditions are true in everything they say. There are only three traditions that make the claim that they are correct in all details – Jewish, Christian and Islam. Your religion is morally relativistic based on the majority opinion at the time.

    I’m am glad that you follow the Golder rule and it will lead you to faith if you continue in its path. Just as those who have faith and fail to follow it lose their faith. Of course that statement isn’t accepted by many Protestants, but their wrong ;>)

  8. thewordofme says:

    I’ve actually known about the Septuagint for a few years. 🙂

    I really enjoy talking with you. More later…its late here.

    twom

  9. thewordofme says:

    Hi Qboa, hope you are well.

    Qboa: “On Islam it’s pretty straight forward. Does a literal interpretation represent what Islam is or not? If the former then it’s perfectly logical for them to wage war. There is after all only two houses the house of Allah and the house of war. If it’s the latter then one can denounce these actions, but I don’t see this as the norm or Islam, since you don’t see the worlds Islamic leaders condemning the Iranian gov’t actions against their fellow Muslims.

    Twom: I wonder how much any Mullah or religious leader in the Muslim world cares about the common man. We know they don’t give a crap about their women, but the way they use their children and teenagers to blow themselves up in the hope of killing the enemy is the purest form of evil I have ever seen. I’m thinking they know there is no Allah; therefore there is no punishment or reward in the (non-existent) afterlife. Life is all about what you can do in the here and now…whoever has the most toys wins.

    Qboa:” Historically my church has held 4 meanings of scripture.”
    “1. Literal Sense: “The meaning conveyed by the words of Scripture” (Catechism, no. 116), the actual event, person, thing described in the biblical text. The literal sense gives rise to the following three “spiritual senses…etc. etc. etc.”

    Twom” So you’re saying that the Bible is in code that you have to decipher in four steps to fully understand? No wonder those evangelical fundamentalists haven’t got a clue. 🙂

    Qboa: “So for something like the flood we know that Moses was not a eye-witness to the event but the deluge is the most widely support tradition in the world. At last count it has support from eighty-eight different Flood stories independent of the Chaldee and Hebrew tradition.”

    Twom: The flood was first called out as a lie in the 1600’s, by the naturalists of the day, when they realized the actual geological evidence did not support the myth. Since that time thousands and thousands of bits of data from ALL the earth sciences have firmly supported the early science. Since no scientists was able to witness a non-event, we have to use circumstantial evidence…and there was no world-wide flood, as there is no evidence for one…Ever.

    There are actually over two hundred flood myths from people all over the world and there are some cultures that have none…they didn’t live near rivers or seas or oceans. The ones that do have myths of flood probably experienced them, but they were never world-wide. All around the Mediterranean and other large bodies of water in the area, as well as the Indian sub-continent are ancient ruins that were submerged by a slowly rising sea-level and inland waters being flooded as the last ice age ice melted (8000 BC +-) and released all that H2O back into our realm. The flood of Noah has only support from the religious right/conservatives and other people who do not do the research…which is admittedly a lot, but those who do the research and don’t have presuppositions about it, realize the reality of the evidence.

    Qboa: “So there was a flood, there was an individual called Noah, it occurred because humanity became so evil God protected his family based on Noah’s faith.”
    And
    “You seem fixed on whether the flood was in all locations on earth, a detailed account of the dimensions of the ark and whether it could hold every land creature on earth in order to survive the flood.”

    Twom: The only thing I have fixated on is that there is NO evidence for a world-wide flood. I don’t care about the dimensions or carrying capacity of the Ark because all the earth sciences say it was a non-event. The Biblical flood story is simply myth, as is the Tower of Babel and Adam and Eve. For all the searching that has gone on for several hundred years there is no real supporting evidence, and I predict there never will be.

    Of course none of this matters to religion, they will just go along telling their stories and not letting on to the parishioners that much of the religious “world” that their church has built for them is founded on quicksand. Does the Catholic Church really believe that the Gospels are written by those whose names are on them? Does it likewise believe those are the actual words of Jesus in the Gospels?

    Qboa: “I can’t recall if I told you I’ve reviewed by take on a given scripture that I always thought that one could only take as figuratively. Rev 9:1-12 But you know the British are mixing Human DNA with animal DNA, so perhaps this may become a literal verse yet, although I hope not.”

    Twom: I think John snacked on the wrong mushrooms while he was writing. I wonder what interesting Franken-flesh the Brits will come up with?

    Qboa: “Adam and Eve were both real historical individuals. Whether the apple was literal or stood as a symbol for disobedience again is to get fixed on the tree rather then the forest IMO.
    Whether Adam went through an evolution process as it’s currently understood, a more refined process, or not at all doesn’t matter either….”

    Twom: I think the myth is too interwoven with the “Garden” and all the other baggage of the story to pull it out of context and somehow insert God giving those 2 individuals (part of a long line of humans…that had art and music and pretty advanced culture 6000+ years ago) a soul or whatever—it just wouldn’t make sense.

    Qboa: “….gave Adam a soul and it was the pairing of the body(evolutionary or not) with the spiritual soul which makes him human. And because of his sin we are all subject to evil inclinations.”

    Twom: I wonder what God was doing with the Neanderthals; were they just an early experiment with protoplasm that didn’t go quit as planned? We have pretty good evidence that they buried their dead with flowers, they probably had art of some kind, their abilities were probably very close to ours…their DNA was close to ours, but not 100%, and they roamed the Euro-Asian continent starting about 250,000-275,000 years ago, whereas we Homo-sapiens didn’t get going till about 200,000 years ago.

    Regarding that “original sin” that Paul theorized…didn’t God say that the children are not to be punished for the sins of the father? I know he also said that he *would* punish the children for the sins of the father till the umpteenth generation…I thought God never changed. I get so confused by those conflicting stories. 🙂

    Qboa: “Indeed, you have been reading, good for you. I didn’t want to use that term because I thought I’d get to technical. I have an opinion that the Greek strain of the Old Testament actually pre-dates the Hebrew version (which I suspect comes after the Babylon captivity and the Greek version comes before it.”

    Twom: I haven’t got that far in OT studies yet, but tell me what you think about this: I have heard that the New Testament was originally written in Greek, not Hebrew or Aramaic, as by the time pen actually hit papyrus Greek was the official language of the land and the authors.

    Qboa: “On the Golden rule there is indeed truth contained in other faith traditions. Heck even the Egyptian tradition of the afterlife contains seeds of truth. That doesn’t mean that all faith traditions are true in everything they say. There are only three traditions that make the claim that they are correct in all details – Jewish, Christian and Islam. Your religion is morally relativistic based on the majority opinion at the time.”

    Twom: The Jews claim that the Messiah has not come yet. Christians claim that the canon was closed way back when. The Muslims claim further revelations of Mohammed. Just WHO is one to believe?

    Qboa: “I’m am glad that you follow the Golden rule and it will lead you to faith if you continue in its path. Just as those who have faith and fail to follow it lose their faith. Of course that statement isn’t accepted by many Protestants, but their wrong ;>)”

    I’m sorry Quickbeam, but I am so far past atheism that they haven’t invented words for it yet.

    Peace
    twom

  10. Twom” So you’re saying that the Bible is in code that you have to decipher in four steps to fully understand? No wonder those evangelical fundamentalists haven’t got a clue.

    Qboa: LOL, no its not in code but but it does take study.
    Twom: Since no scientists was able to witness a non-event, we have to use circumstantial evidence…and there was no world-wide flood, as there is no evidence for one…Ever. ..The ones that do have myths of flood probably experienced them, but they were never world-wide. by a slowly rising sea-level and inland waters being flooded as the last ice age ice melted (8000 BC +-) and released all that H2O back into our realm.

    Qboa: Now wait a minute. 1) if you believe that man was alive around 250,000 years ago then that’s when Adam was around not 6,000 BC. And “all the earth” can mean either the whole globe or the known world at that time (which could be localized). The moral of the story works fine in either case. You haven’t disproved the flood story by demonstrating that there wasn’t one when Creationist say Adam lived. You’ve demonstrated that either the flood was 250,000 years earlier or you’ve disproved that it was local not global. IOW’s your disproved their interpretation of scirpture, you haven’t undermined the bible’s moral story that humanity pays for its sins.

    Twom: Does the Catholic Church really believe that the Gospels are written by those whose names are on them? Does it likewise believe those are the actual words of Jesus in the Gospels?

    Qboa: Again we don’t have the original texts, authorship comes from Oral Tradition and a few church fathers in the 2nd century. Just like there are no chapter and verse in scripture, that’s all a creation of the Catholic church for easy reading. There is no one internal to the documents themsleves to state who wrote which Gospel. On Jesus’ words sure you can always get a red letter bible to read the words of Jesus.

    Twom: I wonder what God was doing with the Neanderthals; were they just an early experiment with protoplasm that didn’t go quit as planned?

    QB: Why are we restricted to thinking it was an expermential process? In fact I’d say that’s a very truncated view of God. God placed all the laws of physics in order and knows ever action that ever was, is or will be. The reason for the Adam and Eve story is in there is because its action required something special outside of the material universe.

    Twom: Regarding that “original sin” that Paul theorized…didn’t God say that the children are not to be punished for the sins of the father? I know he also said that he *would* punish the children for the sins of the father till the umpteenth generation…I thought God never changed. I get so confused by those conflicting stories.

    Qboa: Good ok so we have several bits of information that seem to contradict one another. In order to understand or draw out the meaning we have to reconcile BOTH positions. We can’t ignore either otherwise we become selective and essentially make ourselves the arbitrator.

    1 Corinthians 15:22 “For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all shall be made alive” So here St. Paul is speaking about the fall of Adam and Original Sin. That’s true.
    Exodus 20:5 “You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me,” This is also true.

    I selected this passage because its more difficult then say one which deals with legality aspects within the Jewish court system, which are moot for Christians. This passage deals with the moral law and is binding on everyone for all-time. God is just and requires punishment for our sins. However sin only affect the individuals salvation with God. The penality for an individuals sin is not passed on to others. However the choices made by those individuals does affect or is passed on for generations.

    Example today. A governor of a southern state cheats on his wife. Neither the wife nor his sons will go to hell because he cheated, that would not be justice. However will the wife experience pain and suffering, perhaps it will cause problems with her relationships with her sons. The sons in turn may be scared by their fathers actions and end up treating women they get involved with the same way he did. This continuation of the affects of evil would continue until they reach out for God’s forgiveness. They can in fact end up spiritually stonger because of what happend to the mother as well. It all depends on them. Hope that answers your question.

    Twom: I haven’t got that far in OT studies yet, but tell me what you think about this: I have heard that the New Testament was originally written in Greek, not Hebrew or Aramaic, as by the time pen actually hit papyrus Greek was the official language of the land and the authors.

    QB: The earliest copies of the NT that we have are primarily in Greek. There are Aramaic phrases in some(primarily Matthew) and again based on historical testimony my church believes that Gospel was first written in that language then translated into Greek. SOme of the human authors were Jews and thought in Semitic concepts but wrote in crude greek. So had scribes write it for them.

    Twom: The Jews claim that the Messiah has not come yet. Christians claim that the canon was closed way back when. The Muslims claim further revelations of Mohammed. Just WHO is one to believe?

    Qboa: Well a basic different is that the Jewish people only expected ONE coming of the Messiah. Christians believe in two. So the return of the Messiah by both the Jewish and Christians will be the same event at the end of time. The Jewish religion never attepted to “bring the faith” to the world. That’s a demonstrated historical fact.

    With respect to Islam my belief is that it took concepts from both the Jewish and Christian tradition which they liked and removed what they didn’t and added what they needed. Unlike the Jewish faith Islam expanded rapidly and seeks to convert everyone to their faith. However from its outset it has done so primarily through the sword (all of Northern Africa and the middle east was Christian prior to Islam).

    While Christianity has used the sword as well, its not a matter of doctrine to convert those to their faith by force. The majority of those cases where is was used it was the state using the church as an excuse to maintain politicial stability. That goes for religious wars as well as religious trials.

    Twom: I’m sorry Quickbeam, but I am so far past atheism that they haven’t invented words for it yet.

    QB: LOL very well, stick with that Golden rule & I’ll leave the light on for you any way

    Blessings,

    Tom

  11. thewordofme says:

    QBoa,

    See latest post on home page.

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