The Bible?

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The Bible?

Postby Unfa » September 17th, 2019, 11:44:42 pm

Is the Bible trustworthy? Are the statements it makes true? The New Testament versus the Old Testament? The Bible compared to other "religious" books? Are the instructions in the Bible worth following? Is the Bible the Word of God? What do you think? What is your opinion on the Bible?

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Re: The Bible?

Postby MistyoC » September 18th, 2019, 5:12:42 am

My take on the Bible is simple: inspiration by deity aside, it was written by men, hand-copied for centuries by men, "ratified" by men, and translated by men. Many men's personal agendas may have crept into the text over the years whether via a turn of phrase or a subtle difference in how a phrase is translated. Treating it as an overall guide to be kind to one another is fine, but don't try to convince me that every word is exactly what the deity wants on paper.
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Re: The Bible?

Postby Unfa » September 18th, 2019, 6:04:40 am

MistyoC wrote:My take on the Bible is simple: inspiration by deity aside, it was written by men, hand-copied for centuries by men, "ratified" by men, and translated by men. Many men's personal agendas may have crept into the text over the years whether via a turn of phrase or a subtle difference in how a phrase is translated. Treating it as an overall guide to be kind to one another is fine, but don't try to convince me that every word is exactly what the deity wants on paper.

A fair point from our logical perspective, but have you compared current translations to the originals, or tried comparing different translations to each other?
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Re: The Bible?

Postby Sassenach » September 22nd, 2019, 7:01:26 am

I was a military brat growing up and my father didn't get any particularly glamorous deployment locations. Most people get overseas in Europe or in the Pacific Islands; I got backwoods Virginia and the southeastern USA, where the most common kind of Christianity that I run into is the one most likely to try to command every aspect of your life... and how you're somehow supposed to be elbow-deep in someone else's business. I've never been particularly fond of the Bible, as where I ended going to school growing up tended to prioritize memorizing verses over, say, what one would be expected to know coming into a regular public high school. Granted, not the Bible's fault, but the various translations that I spent time studying all had the same overarching guidelines on how to human: it was the interpretation that the majority of pastors and churchgoers chose to follow that soured the whole experience for me. I haven't read the original translations but I've had to compare several copies to other religious texts throughout my time in college, and.. I have to say, I'm fairly convinced that humans have taken to blowing each other to bits over a difference in translation and societal priority.

MistyoC wrote:My take on the Bible is simple: inspiration by deity aside, it was written by men, hand-copied for centuries by men, "ratified" by men, and translated by men. Many men's personal agendas may have crept into the text over the years whether via a turn of phrase or a subtle difference in how a phrase is translated. Treating it as an overall guide to be kind to one another is fine, but don't try to convince me that every word is exactly what the deity wants on paper.


I really like this statement and how it's written. It's one thing to allow religion to inspire you and help you grow, and yet another to allow it to control your mindset without critical thought.
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Re: The Bible?

Postby MistyoC » September 22nd, 2019, 11:04:11 am

Unfa wrote:
MistyoC wrote:My take on the Bible is simple: inspiration by deity aside, it was written by men, hand-copied for centuries by men, "ratified" by men, and translated by men. Many men's personal agendas may have crept into the text over the years whether via a turn of phrase or a subtle difference in how a phrase is translated. Treating it as an overall guide to be kind to one another is fine, but don't try to convince me that every word is exactly what the deity wants on paper.

A fair point from our logical perspective, but have you compared current translations to the originals, or tried comparing different translations to each other?

I don't have access to the original writings, nor the language skills to translate them myself. As far as comparing different translations: many English (my primary language) translations are from the Latin, not the original Aramaic and Hebrew nor even the Greek. There are words that don't translate well, that have multiple shades of meaning depending on the exact turn of phrase, and some of the idioms are lost to time.
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Re: The Bible?

Postby MakuroMythos » February 3rd, 2020, 4:21:46 am

I have a bunch of opinions about the Bible, both for and against, but one of the things that has bothered me for the longest is the idea that women on their periods are "dirty." I took Bible class over the summer between my sophomore and junior years because it was required, and reading that section was just a big "wtf?" Like, first, how would that even work? Assuming each woman past their tweens had their period for a fourth of every month, how the hell did their community function? Not to mention, "ceremonially unclean" women couldn't sleep on their beds or even sit in a seat without contaminating it? Did they stand all day and sleep on the floor? And no one could touch them, either. This seems extremely unreasonable, but maybe that's just me. (Leviticus 15:19-33)

On the other hand, I think it's super cool they found sunken chariots and other things in the same place that Moses supposedly split the Red Sea. I know there are a number of other reasons they could have gotten there, but, what if.

So, I guess I'm saying that I think some messages/lessons/stories in the Bible could be generally meritable, but believing it word-for-word would be completely ridiculous.
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Re: The Bible?

Postby WarriorsRock2010 » March 21st, 2020, 5:30:50 pm

MistyoC wrote:My take on the Bible is simple: inspiration by deity aside, it was written by men, hand-copied for centuries by men, "ratified" by men, and translated by men. Many men's personal agendas may have crept into the text over the years whether via a turn of phrase or a subtle difference in how a phrase is translated. Treating it as an overall guide to be kind to one another is fine, but don't try to convince me that every word is exactly what the deity wants on paper.


Agreed. While it has some admirable points, there are also some...questionable parts. It sometimes sounds like people are things that belong to husbands/fathers and I don't believe in that. It definitely isn't something I'd follow word-for-word and take that as what a God wants done exactly to the letter.
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Re: The Bible?

Postby CreativeTaco1 » July 30th, 2020, 9:13:30 am

Recently over this summer i have began to question if i believe in god, all my life i have just thought ''well all the people im close with are christian so it must be true''. Obliviously that's a bad mindset to have i need to make the choice. Most of my family is extremely convinced he is real. What i dont understand is that some of the bible talks about these great beasts which to me sounds like something out of a sci fi novel. The main reason im unsure if i believe or not is that where did all the animals and planets and stuff come from were they just always here i guess that could make sense. but then again i feel like i remember adam and eves kids were part of a large community of people like how the hell did they get there did god summon them? how come the bible never mentioned that? I think maybe its like what the guy earlier said its past through many generations of men some changing the bible.

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Re: The Bible?

Postby BradTheMad » July 31st, 2020, 7:26:44 am

CreativeTaco1 wrote:but then again i feel like i remember adam and eves kids were part of a large community of people like how the hell did they get there did god summon them? how come the bible never mentioned that?


From what I always have been taught (and not this is very much a minority Judaic/kabbalistic view, the two first people were not the first humans but the ones with a divine essence or "soul". There were other living beings outside of Eden including humanoids but not what we would understand to be the modern humans we descended from.
Adam and Eve weren't clothed in leaves but human bodies when they were expelled from paradise. They were purely spirit-form before that.

If mainstream religions don't seem to make much sense it is because they have the tendency to interpret texts literally. According to the more esoteric branches within such religions the stories are true but you need to learn how to read them properly, as in metaphorical.


Very heavy reading for some but the book More Than Allegory: On Religious Myth, Truth And Belief by Bernardo Kastrup is a wonderful book that delves deep into this. If you dig philosophy. theology and deep thought I cannot recommend this book enough.
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Re: The Bible?

Postby bookrage » August 1st, 2020, 9:08:43 am

I am a skeptic, and I mean that in the true philosophical sense that I believe very little can be known with certainty. I have no way of judging whether something is "inspired," so I do not know and refuse to make a judgement on whether the Bible, or any other religious text, (of which I have studied many) is. What I do believe is one of the two alternatives of why there are some things in the Bible I don't agree with, such as the account in Numbers where the Israelites are allowed to keep girls under 12 of a poeple they conquer to use as concubines, or how the Israelites are charged on multiple occassions to commit genocide. The fact that Saul does not follow this order in first Samulel is the straw that breaks the camel's back and clinches the deal that God takes the kingdom from him and gives it to David.

There are also logistics in the Torah for buying and selling slaves, and even in the book of John, Jesus says some pretty nasty things about women I don't agree with and don't think God as we imagine it would either.

I think if the Bible is inspired, it is inspired with human taint in it where people inserted things that God did not say or want. One may object that this allows the whole Bible to be brought into question. I say, that is actually a good thing. God may have given us the Bible, but he also gave us our brains and the rest of the world to examine too to help us seperate the true from the false.

The other alternative is that the Bible is not inspired and is the work of human beings alone. Even if that is the case, the calls to charity, kindness, and love are no less valid.

I admit I am not a Christian. I believe in a god, believe there is only one, and believe the God is profoundly good and caring, and of the religions I have studied, I think Christianity and Budhism have the most things correct in how we ought to behave and how we ought to live, though I have found merrit in most of the religions I have studied to some extent, which is why I think the world religions are so enduring.

as for the truth of the Bible, again, I am not certain. but a few things in some of the stories make me wonder what should and should not be taken literally.

In the Adam and Eve story, when Adam sees Eve, he says "This is why a man leaves his father and mother and joins with a wife." this does not make sense if they are the only people. Likewise, Even though Cain was one of the first people, he talks of others around when he kills Abel and he also flees to a city, which makes it seem Adam's family and people were not the only ones.

Likewise, Samson has nothing to really recommend him as an israelite teacher and hero if you interpret the story literally. He's a boasting, lying, womanizing jerk for most of it. But the fact that his father's name literally translates to "name" suggests that Samson's story is not of an actual person but is meant to be allegorical.

However, I pride myself on my learning and education, but again, I'm a skeptic and know that I know very little. All the things I said above seem probable to me, but not completely certain and I will not say that I know any of them without a shadow of a doubt.
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