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MattShizzle
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02 Jun 2009, 2:25 pm

We often hear from Christians when pointing out the evil or absurd things in the Bible that we are reading it wrong. However, wouldn't an all knowing god have be able to write it (or had it written) in a way everyone would understand? As Robert Ingersoll said in the late 19th century, if a man writes something he should write it in a way that his readers will undersatnd - if he knowingly writes it in a way people will misinterpret, then we would say he is intentionall being deceptive with his writing and is not an honest man. If a man's writing is misunderstood it might not be intentional but a god who knows everything could not use that particular excuse. So either the Bible is not the word of God or God himself is dishonest.



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02 Jun 2009, 3:03 pm

Not all Christians (indeed, not even most Christians) believe that God literally wrote the Bible himself. It got filtered through imperfect human messengers.


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02 Jun 2009, 3:16 pm

Well, there are a few issues involved with a book like the Bible.
1) It was written in another language and across cultural contexts, meaning that just reading might not get the intended message, which would have been more apparent in the original language and context.
2) The purpose of the Bible is clearly not to be a textbook, although, I will admit that a textbook would make things easier in some ways. Instead, it is a collection of stories and writings that were considered to be inspired and beneficial to read. Because it is not a textbook though, there are issues of rhetoric involved, as the Bible clearly enjoys the use of forceful overstatement, and there are issues where narrative is used but wouldn't necessarily make sense without recognition of the purposes of it.
3) The Bible wasn't even necessarily written to be clear, as it has to be remembered that parables were used by Jesus for the purpose of actually being somewhat more difficult, so that understanding would be the reward for diligence.

So, I would only claim Ingersoll's point to be absolutely valid if the following things are true:
1) The obfuscation of meaning isn't an effort to drive people to push deeper. This could be used as a test of diligence and mystical readings tend not to be straight-forward to provide a mystical experience.
2) Interpretation of the text is much worse than it could be from a text of this kind of cultural and linguistic background, and that is written in a narrative structure. AKA, it must be shown that the text obfuscates things when there is no other explanatory factor.

Some evidence for this kind of a point though is clearly the fact that large divisions in Biblical teaching have occurred over history, and the large theological changes that have occurred over time, so Ingersoll's skepticism cannot be outright dismissed, as it is not the misreading of atheists that seems problematic, but rather the interpretation issues between various Christians about central doctrines.



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02 Jun 2009, 3:48 pm

I think we should get rid of it, for starters, the sheer number of verisons and edits that have taken place render it a farce of its original self. Second, it contraindicates itself on many passages, third, its a book of morality from the roman times written in Aramaic, needless to say, things have changed (animal sacrifices, SLAVERY beating a child to death for talking back) so why keep around an obsolete book?


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02 Jun 2009, 4:43 pm

The commands of the Bible are stated in a lackluster form and don't even contain logical precision. For instance, "Thou shalt not kill" does not state precisely what it means to be the one who killed someone. What if you do it by accident? How do you tell?

Similarly, 'sinning' is left undefined (gee, thanks, God) and we are left wondering what it is that we're not supposed to do. It seems to me, on the whole, a patronizing religion. If Jesus really treated us as if he were an abusive father, I'd say we should all team up on him, no matter what the consequences.

Well... come to think of it, it depends on his plan. If he wanted to torture retarded babies in Hell, he'd have a fat chance of escaping the rebellion of the more kindhearted of us.


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02 Jun 2009, 4:44 pm

MattShizzle wrote:
We often hear from Christians when pointing out the evil or absurd things in the Bible that we are reading it wrong. However, wouldn't an all knowing god have be able to write it (or had it written) in a way everyone would understand? As Robert Ingersoll said in the late 19th century, if a man writes something he should write it in a way that his readers will undersatnd - if he knowingly writes it in a way people will misinterpret, then we would say he is intentionall being deceptive with his writing and is not an honest man. If a man's writing is misunderstood it might not be intentional but a god who knows everything could not use that particular excuse. So either the Bible is not the word of God or God himself is dishonest.


The Bible is a collection of tales and sayings every last one of which is man (or woman) made.

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02 Jun 2009, 4:47 pm

cognito wrote:
the sheer number of verisons and edits that have taken place render it a farce of its original self.

Evidence please? The Bible has been transmitted quite accurately through the centuries.


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02 Jun 2009, 4:50 pm

Orwell wrote:
cognito wrote:
the sheer number of verisons and edits that have taken place render it a farce of its original self.

Evidence please? The Bible has been transmitted quite accurately through the centuries.


Parts of it have. We don't know how faithfully the entirety has been passed down. Even if it has been passed down accurately it is still mostly nonsense.

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02 Jun 2009, 4:52 pm

Orwell wrote:
cognito wrote:
the sheer number of verisons and edits that have taken place render it a farce of its original self.

Evidence please? The Bible has been transmitted quite accurately through the centuries.

1
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timeline


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02 Jun 2009, 5:14 pm

It is understandable you just have to make the effort to do it right. Your not always going to understand everything and that's okay. But your interpretations shouldn't hurt anyone and be within Gods guidelines.


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MattShizzle
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02 Jun 2009, 5:17 pm

Plenty of people made every effort to understand it and see it in completely different ways. Any way I look at it it's complete bunk. Do you realize how many former Christians became atheists after reading the Bible?



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02 Jun 2009, 5:19 pm

Shadowgirl wrote:
It is understandable you just have to make the effort to do it right. Your not always going to understand everything and that's okay. But your interpretations shouldn't hurt anyone and be within Gods guidelines.

okay, now explain to me why Allah is a false god and yours is not WITHOUT referencing the bible.


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02 Jun 2009, 5:20 pm

MattShizzle wrote:
Plenty of people made every effort to understand it and see it in completely different ways. Any way I look at it it's complete bunk. Do you realize how many former Christians became atheists after reading the Bible?


In my eyes they were never Christians to begin with.
Those are the people who just give up with the going gets tough.
There are so many resources out there that will help these people yet they chose not to even try harder.


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MattShizzle
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02 Jun 2009, 5:23 pm

No True Scotsman Fallacy.



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02 Jun 2009, 5:24 pm

Shadowgirl wrote:
MattShizzle wrote:
Plenty of people made every effort to understand it and see it in completely different ways. Any way I look at it it's complete bunk. Do you realize how many former Christians became atheists after reading the Bible?


In my eyes they were never Christians to begin with.
Those are the people who just give up with the going gets tough.
There are so many resources out there that will help these people yet they chose not to even try harder.

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