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ruveyn
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18 Jun 2010, 7:42 am

musicboxforever wrote:
ruveyn wrote:
The bible taken literally is a badly done fairy tale. Tolkien is better.

ruveyn


You always say that. :)


Have you read LOTR and The Silmarillion? If you have, I think you ought to agree with me. If you haven't read them and see for yourself.

ruveyn



NobelCynic
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18 Jun 2010, 8:51 am

Dernhelm23 wrote:
Because we're autistic, and one of the trademarks of autism is predominately concrete understanding of an idea, and difficulty with abstract concepts, I would imagine I'm not the only one struggling with interpreting the Bible.

I have never heard that we have trouble with abstract concepts before; what I have heard is that we have a tendency to get obsessed with a concept and are less likely to follow the crowd. This could be an aid in understanding the Bible if we dwell on something it says for ourselves rather than accept what religion says it means.

For example, I don't necessarily accept the omm- qualities of God, not that I want to argue the point. For me, it is enough to see God as a superior being knowing more about life and the universe than man does. He does not have to be supreme to exist; in fact, it is exaggerating his basic nature that gives atheists their strongest arguments in denying the possibility of his existence.


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pgd
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19 Jul 2010, 9:46 am

Dernhelm23 posted (in part): To all the Christians in the forum: Because we're autistic, and one of the trademarks of autism is predominately concrete understanding of an idea, and difficulty with abstract concepts, I would imagine I'm not the only one struggling with interpreting the Bible. There are lots of things we know to take at face value, and there are other things that we should understand are abstract or cultural. How do we know which is which? --- Dernhelm23 - Agree, the Bible can be doublely difficult to interpret for those with autism/related challenges. The most extreme view I currently have is that it's very likely that Jesus Christ and others mentioned in the both the Old Testament and New Testament had undiagnosed forms of subtle brain injuries/concussions/perhaps Complex Partial/Temporal Lobe seizures. That's why they said what they said/thought what they thought. Although many people either like him or hate him, the cartoonist - evangelist Jack T. Chick - as well as the detractors of Jack T. Chick offer a very wide variety of what the Bible may mean/may not mean. There are many contradictory statements about almost everything in the Bible in both the Old and New Testaments. Some statements are clearly poetry, some statements appear factual, and some are in the middle. One of the more interesting books in the Bible (my view) are the Psalms (songs) by King David. Parts of the Psalms appear to be literal, parts of the Psalms appear to be symbolic, part of the Psalms are similes, part of the Psalms are metaphors, and many of the Psalms tell wonderful stories/are examples of good storytelling (my view). The gospel of Mark is a good place to start since it is the oldest of the gospels. Personally I lean toward English translations of the Bible like the KJV or the NKJV also as a good place to start although I am very aware that the original Bible was not written in English at all and that the mindset and how words were used in the middle east/Israel is far different at times as to how translated words into English from the Bible are used today. Because of this, I tend to believe it only possible to understand parts of the Bible at best since the original meaning is hidden within foreign languages, not English. That's my two cents on the topic. - pgd



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21 Jul 2010, 10:54 am

The Bible was constructed to be as convincing as humanly possible at that time, as well as "future-proof" by making them completely open to interpretation. The texts, before the rearrangement, additions and translation, were carried orally by several distinct groups, and for decades were passed back and forth after the events they relate to actually happened, until the most successful stories remained in the form similar to that which is seen today. It was how many followers the stories got and maintained in a religious group that determined it's prevalence, not necessarily it's truth.

All in all it's supposed to be digestable in any manner, so that everyone can, to themselves, be right, regardless of how they interpret it.



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21 Jul 2010, 11:40 am

It should be kept in mind that a lot of the OT (and the Torah, obviously) was aimed at the sort of people who could literally follow the evidence of YHVH day and night for a prolonged period, being led through the desert by pillars of flame and smoke, could camp at the foot of a mountain surmounted by an unmoving cloud generated by YHVH Himself while Moses went to chat with Him - and could, within a matter of weeks, completely abandon their belief and begin worshiping an idol they had constructed themselves. These people needed some very strict guidelines to keep reminding themselves of who they were supposed to be.

Romans chapter 14 addresses the fact that some people need more rules than others in order to remember their faith. This doesn't make one group "better" or "more faithful" than the other - just different.

Try to study the societies in which the books were written, and the people who were supposed to read them. Keep in mind what they knew of the universe (for instance, a tale of creation that spans fourteen billion years would have meant nothing to a tribe of semi-nomadic goatherds for whom any number higher than about twenty was abstract, and whose entire world was bounded by the lands they grazed their flocks upon). Remember that the Bible was intended for moral instruction, not scientific or historical instruction (what we consider historical instruction didn't even exist before the 18th Century - prior to that, myth, legend, and history intermingled freely, such that to a 16th-century Englishman, King Richard II would have been exactly as historical as King Arthur; the famed scientific method didn't begin spreading until the 17th Century, prior to which "appeal to authority" was regarded as a valid tactic in discussions).

I would recommend a "student's Bible" for quite some time, to provide some of that modern historical perspective on the situation.


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21 Jul 2010, 11:58 am

DeaconBlues wrote:
It should be kept in mind that a lot of the OT (and the Torah, obviously) was aimed at the sort of people who could literally follow the evidence of YHVH day and night for a prolonged period, being led through the desert by pillars of flame and smoke, could camp at the foot of a mountain surmounted by an unmoving cloud generated by YHVH Himself while Moses went to chat with Him - and could, within a matter of weeks, completely abandon their belief and begin worshiping an idol they had constructed themselves. These people needed some very strict guidelines to keep reminding themselves of who they were supposed to be.

Romans chapter 14 addresses the fact that some people need more rules than others in order to remember their faith. This doesn't make one group "better" or "more faithful" than the other - just different.

Try to study the societies in which the books were written, and the people who were supposed to read them. Keep in mind what they knew of the universe (for instance, a tale of creation that spans fourteen billion years would have meant nothing to a tribe of semi-nomadic goatherds for whom any number higher than about twenty was abstract, and whose entire world was bounded by the lands they grazed their flocks upon). Remember that the Bible was intended for moral instruction, not scientific or historical instruction (what we consider historical instruction didn't even exist before the 18th Century - prior to that, myth, legend, and history intermingled freely, such that to a 16th-century Englishman, King Richard II would have been exactly as historical as King Arthur; the famed scientific method didn't begin spreading until the 17th Century, prior to which "appeal to authority" was regarded as a valid tactic in discussions).

I would recommend a "student's Bible" for quite some time, to provide some of that modern historical perspective on the situation.


Agreed. The Bible HAS to be understood within the context of the time in which it was written. The descriptions within certain of the psalms of the movements of celestial bodies make perfect sense when you take into consideration that the earth, from the perspective of any human being, does NOT appear to move. I'm not sure it's really possible for us, even though we KNOW the earth moves through space, to really perceive it as such.

I wonder if the Bible had been written today, or if Jesus had come NOW, exactly how differently the parables would have read. Or whether descriptions of the heavenly bodies would have taken contemporary knowledge of astronomy into account. In either case, the sun and the moon still appear to rise and set. And even in modern terms, the description of the heavens as told by any unaided earth-bound observer wouldn't really ever be that much different.



leejosepho
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21 Jul 2010, 12:05 pm

AngelRho wrote:
... the Bible has a dual purpose in how it relates to its readership ...

... an outline to aid in keeping ancient Jewish traditions ...

... to be a timeless sacred text ... in applying Biblical precepts to your own life.


Can you possibly see the conflict between those two statements?

First, Torah is no mere outline. Rather, the Hebrews "got a life" (albeit whatever that life might have been) by applying themselves to it! And with that understood, the idea of applying something to my own life suggests something completely different: religion!

Scripture was never intended to propagate religion, and it cannot be understood in any such light, er, darkness.

Scripture is all about one thing, and one thing only:

"Yahuah wills to be our Elohim, and we can have life by being His people, if we wish."

There is no other message in or purpose for Scripture.


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pgd
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02 Aug 2010, 6:34 pm

Dernhelm23 wrote:
To all the Christians in the forum:

Because we're autistic, and one of the trademarks of autism is predominately concrete understanding of an idea, and difficulty with abstract concepts, I would imagine I'm not the only one struggling with interpreting the Bible. There are lots of things we know to take at face value, and there are other things that we should understand are abstract or cultural. How do we know which is which?

I'll see your knee-jerk answers and then expound a bit.

NOTE: This is a simple, sincere question directed at people who have the same interests and beliefs as I do, not an invitation to argue with those who don't. I will be more than happy to engage in discourse with those of different viewpoints in a non-hostile manner, but I'd like to keep those discussions elsewhere if possible. Just a request based on what I've seen from other topics in this forum. ^_^


---

(continuing)

It can be challenging for anyone to interpret the Bible due to the Bible often talking about the same topic but answering the topic two different (or more) ways (my view).

With autism, it can be even more difficult (again, my view).

---

Abstract vs Concrete

Abstract Concept - A concept or idea not related to any specific instance or object and which potentially can be applied to many different situations or objects. Persons with cognitive deficits often have difficulty undestanding abstract concepts.
...
Abstract Thinking - Being able to apply abstract concepts to new situations and surroundings.
http://www.waiting.com/glossarya.html
---
Concrete Thinking - A style of thinking in which the individual sees each situation as unique and is unable to generalize from the similarities between situations. Language and perceptions are interpreted literally so that a proverb such as "a stitch in time saves nine" cannot be readily grasped.

http://www.waiting.com/glossaryc.html

There is a big difference between thinking that God in the sky (above the city of Jerusalem, Israel) is real

vs

Thinking that the God in the sky is only 100% poetry and as real as Dumbo the Elephant or Zeus on Mt. Olympus or Superman from the comics.

- pgd

---

Words

Simile
Metaphor

Analogy
Story

Allegory

The Pilgrim's Progress book is an allegory.

http://www.pilgrimsprogressthemovie.com/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Pilgrim's_Progress (religious science fiction movie)



Mutate
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06 Aug 2010, 1:54 am

I grew up in a tradition of literal reading of the bible, "fundamentalism", "proof texting theology" etc. I would like to go through the Bible knowing yhe original meanings of the words, stories, their historical context, what they meant to people at the time, (ie, sayings and stories that were understood at the time, but misunderstood at face value by us), the complex meaning of words which have no easy english equivalent.

Saying that, I know a few christians who studied the bible in it's original languages and did secular Theology, and they remained "literalists" and did not have their faith debunked.



ruveyn
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06 Aug 2010, 1:59 am

Mutate wrote:
I grew up in a tradition of literal reading of the bible, "fundamentalism", "proof texting theology" etc. I would like to go through the Bible knowing yhe original meanings of the words, stories, their historical context, what they meant to people at the time, (ie, sayings and stories that were understood at the time, but misunderstood at face value by us), the complex meaning of words which have no easy english equivalent.

Saying that, I know a few christians who studied the bible in it's original languages and did secular Theology, and they remained "literalists" and did not have their faith debunked.


You would have to read the Hebrew portion of scripture (the so-called Old Testament) in Old Hebrew* and Aramaic to find out what the text originally said (and even that is a gloss and interpretation given by the Mesoritic sages of old). Ditto for the Gospels. They have to be read in Koine to get close to the original intended meaning.

Instead people put up with the KJV which is a piss poor translation and misinterpretation of the scripture (at least the so called Old Testament). I have a hint. Read the verse Isaiah 7:14 translated into English. If you see the word "virgin" cast the entire translation into the flames.

ruveyn

*the Hebrew language has undergone considerable mutation and evolution since the Jewish scriptures were compiled and canonized by the Jewish scholars in the Babylonian community during the first Dispersion of the Jews.



Last edited by ruveyn on 06 Aug 2010, 2:07 am, edited 1 time in total.

Mutate
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06 Aug 2010, 2:05 am

Yes, Christians always make a big fuss about that chapter being a supposed prediction of Jesus right? And I thought you were going to give me lecture on studying lord of the rings in its context.



pgd
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06 Aug 2010, 11:38 am

(continued)

Autism and Interpreting the Bible

It appears to me that there is no uniformity as to autism and interpreting the Bible.

There is a very wide range of interpretations given from viewing the Bible/parts of the Bible as fiction only/storytelling to viewing the whole Bible as being perfect, literal, and without error of any kind.

Some of those with autism are believed to have difficulties with symbolic meanings vs literal meanings - the difference between a statement of fact, a simile, and a metaphor - understanding proverbs and sayings like:

A rolling stone gathers no moss.

A stitch in time saves nine.

(etc.)

Personally I feel that the Bible is difficult for almost anyone to understand it correctly all the time for a wide variety of reasons including the fact the Bible was never written in English to begin with so all English Bibles are translations only.

A person living at the time the Bible was written (2,000 to 4,000 years ago/whenever) likely had a better chance of understanding what it really means (my view).

The Bible is an interesting book to discuss and it's the only book I am aware of which often has gold edges - suggesting that some of the ideas in the book of stories called the Bible are worthwhile to read - inspiring - worthwhile.

In my view, the Bible tells about/outlines a little how the word - God - was invented and used by Judaism, later reinterpreted here and there by Christianity.

http://www.bibles.net/

http://www.pbs.org/wnet/secrets/previou ... index.html

http://www.beliefnet.com/



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07 Aug 2010, 3:09 am

My problem with being a Christian was not the Bible and the idea of God but how cruel and hyprocrytical other so called "Christians" were to me and how so many Christians think it's okay to abuse animals and use the "dominon" thing as an excuse.


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ruveyn
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07 Aug 2010, 7:03 pm

countzarroff wrote:
Just accept that The Bible is socialist propaganda directed against the Roman aristocracy. That is what it is.


Most of the Jewish scriptures were created well before there was a Rome.

ruveyn



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18 Aug 2010, 9:59 pm

PunkyKat wrote:
My problem with being a Christian was not the Bible and the idea of God but how cruel and hyprocrytical other so called "Christians" were to me and how so many Christians think it's okay to abuse animals and use the "dominon" thing as an excuse.


They used it to justify slavery and denying women the vote. Why should animal abuse be any different?

:roll:


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