Bible-quoters don't fully understand

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There seems to be an increase in attacks on the Bible as indicated in some recent letters to the editor.

The Bible is a book of history; a guidebook to live by; and, finally, God's written Word to the world. It is no wonder that many people cannot properly understand the Bible because it is a complex book and requires much study, even by those who love it. However, the primary reason many people cannot understand the Bible is that it is God's Word, and as such cannot be fully understood by the natural man.

Therefore, most people who want to use the Bible to support their points of view or to criticize the Bible are limited to just a few Scriptures that they think they understand. In most cases these Scriptures are not understood, and therefore taken out of context.

Throughout the Old and New Testament books of the Bible, the underlying theme is that Jesus Christ was the Messiah who was promised for the redemption of mankind. So if anyone wants to really understand the Bible, they must get to know Jesus Christ first. How do you do this? Find a church that has a pastor who preaches the sound doctrine of salvation as found in the Bible.

Tim Austin

Hephzibah

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howcanweknow
2307
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howcanweknow 08/21/10 - 09:26 am
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SoCrates, Not sure I

SoCrates, Not sure I understand all the things you are trying to say. I do find it very interesting that you claim the NT is mostly nonsensical, yet you admit you cannot provide any facts to back up that statement.

As a student of epistemology and science, I think I see the basics of your perspective. I do know that theology was once considered the root of science, and that so many of the great thinkers -- like Newton -- were avowed Christians, and saw absolutely no conflict between the Bible and the pursuit of rational truth. In fact, it aided their research and thought. Newton said as much.

As a child of the enlightenment and scientific rationality, I have to disagree with you that my beliefs are not challenged by facts. In fact, my beliefs are based upon facts -- the historical and verifiable truth of the NT. How could a 21st century, rational being believe otherwise? My faith fears no scrutiny, in fact, my faith welcomes scrutiny. As the NT writers plainly said, it is more noble to test the truth of the scripture than to just accept something at face value.

That's one thing I love about Christianity -- it demands and welcomes critique. It does not demand you believe or die. It quotes God as saying, "Come. Let's reason together." The Apostle Paul exhorts believers to test everything, and hold on to only what is proved to be good and right.

So, based on your comments and what I know the Bible says, I submit that it is the BIBLE that is far more rational and challenging than you, and that it is you who seems to be discarding objective facts and logic, and instead propose that experiential belief/preference is far superior to objective fact.

Could it be that you are hiding behind some concocted pseudointellectualism to avoid the plain truth that the NT really is based upon testable, verifiable facts? Intellectual snobbery is a poor means of hiding from God.

Republicant
3
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Republicant 08/21/10 - 10:14 am
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So the underlying theme of

So the underlying theme of the OLD testament is that Jesus is the messiah?
Really?
So what are the Jews confused about?
You do know that the Torah is the old testament right?
Christianity is basically a cult offshoot of Judaism.

momster59
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momster59 08/21/10 - 10:26 am
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howcanweknow - "It's very

howcanweknow - "It's very difficult to read the drive-by comments of those who really don't know much about the Bible, and not try to point out the simple truths they've never taken the time to investigate for themselves."

I have read the bible completely through multiple times in my life, as many others who give logical reasoning for why they do not believe that it is divinely inspired. The more I read it, the more I see the hand of man, not the hand of God. Couple that with the documented history of how the bible was put together and I absolutely reject that the loving God that Christians worship would have inspired most of what is written there.

The more "christians" validate their hate and intolerance using, misusing and completely taking words out of context, the more firmly I see the truth and wisdom in my own spiritual beliefs.

So crates
0
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So crates 08/21/10 - 10:43 am
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Well, How, I've noted that

Well, How, I've noted that word pseudo-intellectual several times. And I do put on airs, but the humor there (in my presentation) is the contrast to those airs put on by opposing posters. I guess its only funny if you can see both. You could say I mock affectation with affectation.

However, to be as clear as Obama, I do not say the new testament is nonsensical. Most of my remarks specifically target nonsensical ideas of particular types of christians. This is smeared over by claims of victimization by christian responders, but I try very hard to stay targeted on a specific concept. That concept is that what you believe (that is, my responses to stated beliefs I encounter in venues such as this) is a fiction of both the presenter's ignorance and long standing historical mistakes, misattributions, and confabulations.

You see I don't ask you to prove the NT because, like I acknowledged in the challenge you gave me, I know that this is far too complex a task for a newspaper editorial comments section. It is, therefore, a rhetorical technique.

Tigger_The_Tiger
0
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Tigger_The_Tiger 08/21/10 - 10:44 am
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Again....grouse shows great

Again....grouse shows great tolerance and respect for people who's religion is different from his/hers. Way to go.

Tigger_The_Tiger
0
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Tigger_The_Tiger 08/21/10 - 10:47 am
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So it's acceptable to say it

So it's acceptable to say it is fiction and provide nothing to back it up, but it's a rhetorical technique when you are called out on a baseless claim? Common tactic of the pseudo-intellectual.

Pastor Dan White
1
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Pastor Dan White 08/21/10 - 11:06 am
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"It ain't those parts of the

"It ain't those parts of the Bible that I can't understand that bother me, it is the parts that I do understand." - Mark Twain

follower
98
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follower 08/21/10 - 11:25 am
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Whether someone chooses to

Whether someone chooses to believe the Bible is their choice, as Howcan or soldout said. To deny the accuracy [understanding translations with copying error is different from inerrancy] is puzzling.

Do we believe there was a Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, and Alexander the Great? They were in progression, mentor and student. The first two have only 7-10 pieces of antiquity saying they were real. Homer is the most documented person before Christ with 643 pieces of antiquity authenticating his existence. But the OT and NT have over 5000 and 25,000 pieces of antiquity respectively, that have been scrutinized for authenticity and accuracy, and this is before the 40,000 pieces found in the Dead Sea scrolls in 1948 that also verify the before mentioned artifacts. So the material is there.

What of the content? 40/41 writers over 1500 years that don't contradict [yes, it requires study] and the countless prophecies that have come to fruition. The odds of correct prophecies with regard to the Cruxifiction of the Christ being fulfilled to the letter are a staggering 1 in 10 to the 94th.

You don't have to believe it. But the credentials are there.

Republicant
3
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Republicant 08/21/10 - 11:51 am
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I don't have a problem with

I don't have a problem with the history and facts that are presented in the New Testament. I may not believe in some of the more fantastic parts, but there is enough meat there to satisfy.
The Old Testament is where the history gets a little wacky.

follower
98
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follower 08/21/10 - 12:18 pm
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Repub, I understand many have

Repub, I understand many have issues with the OT. From the view of our limited capacity, Jonah and the fish, parting the sea, talking donkeys, I mean, come on. Who could believe that stuff?

But if we're able to believe that creation didn't "just happen", and that there is a "first cause", meaning a Creator, is it any less plausible that He couldn't "make" these things happen?

That there is a God is easy for many folks. If we allow in our minds the power to create the universe, which is beyond our comprehension, why do we have such problems with these "smaller" things?

It's like saying, "OK, you created everything, but I can't believe this part".
Can you see a purpose that some of these things are beyond us?

We will never have a comprehensive knowledge of an incomprehensible God. But He does allow us a meaningful relationship, and with it, suffiicient knowledge. To think we can know all is to elevate ourselves equal to the Devine.

So crates
0
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So crates 08/21/10 - 01:06 pm
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Tigger, I think it is only

Tigger, I think it is only honest to explain that I cannot prove what How has asked in this space. To prove it I would have to answer his every question for every piece of knowledge. I didn't even attempt it. However, it is not like How and I just invented this argument. It has been in vogue since the enlightenment era. Men greater than How and I have been pointing out the merits for centuries, and I have repeatedly argued that the side of reason is winning. People are coming to their senses as the years have passed. That does not mean an end to christianity, just an end to certain types of it.

follower
98
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follower 08/21/10 - 01:30 pm
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So crates, even in

So crates, even in disagreement, I enjoy the expression of intellect. Always impressive, sarcasm and all. lol

The debate has indeed raged for centuries and certainly will continue. Whether one side or the other is winning is also debatable. The points of that debate will differ only in imaginative analogy and the winner and loser identified by individual mental acumen.

May I offer one point that is missing from the other side? "The man with a life experience is never at the mercy of a man with a mere arguement".

I'm not claiming a victory. But a changed life from an unexplainable personal experience is impossible to debate.

Logical questions of empirical adequacy are necessary and must be addressed competently by the Christian. But it only satisfies the mind. What is it that satisfies the heart with regard to the skeptic?

parris109
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parris109 08/21/10 - 01:30 pm
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Tim - great job - it is hard

Tim - great job - it is hard to stand out and write such a letter - you are a loving witness to your beliefs. Great testimony - the Holy Spirit is at work. I love you all.

So crates
0
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So crates 08/21/10 - 01:44 pm
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Follower, but you will see

Follower, but you will see one line through allof my arguments in all of my posts about religion, and it speaks to a very significant experience: education. A proper education can change the perception of any experience.

Boogaloo
1
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Boogaloo 08/21/10 - 02:08 pm
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I think there are many NBA

I think there are many NBA and NFL scouts out there beating the bushes to find the family line or tribe of Goliath. What an impact player he would be.

follower
98
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follower 08/21/10 - 02:09 pm
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So crates, that's not like

So crates, that's not like you. Are you saying that something you experienced personally that seems suspect to another would change your mind if it defied normal logic? "Are you going to believe me or your lying eyes?" If the masses told you, "you're crazy", would you then change your mind?

Education is the transfer of information from observed or proven data.[my own definition, feel free to adjust if it's lacking] Is that always consistent with a life experience, especially if it is personal.
Or, are you saying that the experience itself is a life lesson, and therefore, education?

Tigger_The_Tiger
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Tigger_The_Tiger 08/21/10 - 02:10 pm
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Is that an implication that

Is that an implication that if you are educated, then you won't believe in the Bible?

So crates
0
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So crates 08/21/10 - 02:30 pm
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No Tigger, sadly it is not.

No Tigger, sadly it is not. The implication is that if you seriously believe in the value of something, you will bother to find out the truth of it. Mostly anyone can be trained to perform complex tasks of reason, but very few people bother to pursue knowledge once they can.

Willow Bailey
20605
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Willow Bailey 08/21/10 - 02:31 pm
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We suffer from "either/ or

We suffer from "either/ or ... all/or nothing" thinking.
I believe God gave us both head and heart so that we would not be ruled by either, but guided by both. The head is meant to gather and process information, the heart is made for feeling, experiencing, applying and testing that which we have learned.

Inquiring Lynn
0
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Inquiring Lynn 08/21/10 - 02:36 pm
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sold out, you're selling out

sold out, you're selling out your birthright of skepticism for faith in imaginary Sky Pappy and an anthology replete with false history, contradictions internally and-externally, advocating so much egregious morality!
The Eden myth is worthless literally and -metaphorically as not only did it not happen, no original sin exists! Sin is only a theological concept, meaning doing wrong against Yahweh rather than doing real wrong! To work on the Sabbath is no wrong, not worthy of a punishment, much less the stoning the writers of the anthology just borrowed from their environment. To have slaves is morally wrong, but Biblical righteous! No, our concepts of democracy and such come from the Enlightenment rather than from the Biblical world of horrors!
We do good and we do wrong, but never are we saints or sinners. That concept of original sin means psychological harm to people, except in so far as they are born-again or what other concept that they have. People who really want to be moral should study Albert Ellis's " The Myth of Self-Esteem," Robert Price's" "The Reason-Driven Life" and Michael Shermer's " The Science of Good and Evil."
There were no stay in Egypt and no Exodus! And the idea that Yahweh would harden Pharaoh's heart to load another burden on those wanting to flee slavery and to kill more Egyptians portrays an idiotic Yahweh and idiotic writers!
There was no census and so no need to go to Bethlehem Quirinius held that post only one time.
No rational being would ever require any other being to worship it or else- go to Hell. No rational being even wants worship! None is even due!
We infidels do not hold our lack of belief due to wanting to ignore that imaginary being but rather due to lack of evidence and careful analysis of the term God. no there there!
sold-out, like millions, you claim that the way to that more abundant life is through that misanthropic cult leader, still dead. No, the way to that more abundant life is to follow the presumptions of reason and- honesty.You're advocating self-brainwashing as Blase Pascal does. No, first give evidence for God and Yeshua's credulity!
After thousands of years where there should be mountains of evidence, none ever appears, here then absence of evidence is indeed evidence of absence [Charles Moore's auto-epistemic rule]. And since there is no there there, we ignostics declare that He cannot exist! No traversing space or omniscience requires itself here but rational analysis.
Oh, Bible-thumping is for naught. That anthology made many of us infidels. I had many translations of that anthology to help me with other languages, but that egregious story about Jephthah's daughter made me give all of them to Goodwill!

Willow Bailey
20605
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Willow Bailey 08/21/10 - 03:27 pm
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All I can say to that is,

All I can say to that is, what unimaginable life experiences.

follower
98
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follower 08/21/10 - 03:03 pm
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Inquiring, your right to deny

Inquiring, your right to deny is your right. And even in disagreement, I stand for your right to not believe. I also will not question your intelligence and employ colorful adjectives to describe you in your right to disagree.

Could you explain why that courtesy is denied those who disagree with you?

jtra1n
0
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jtra1n 08/21/10 - 03:17 pm
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"Spare the rod spoil the

"Spare the rod spoil the child" for instance isn't even from the Bible It's from the 16-17th century poet Samuel Butler's "Hudibras" which like his book decries violence against children. What the Bible does say in Proverbs 13:24 is "he who spares the rod hates his son", but people who hate their sons, hit and curse at them anyway, and later in 23:13 “Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you punish him with the rod, he will not die" but unfortunately, thousands of kids die each year from various kinds of corporal punishment and for many who don't develop back or hip problems, the psychological effects can be traumatic. People love quoting the Bible, or think they are any way, but no one can actually live it, especially not in capitalist, shrimp and pork-loving America. Unless, we all want to go back to stoning people...

InChristLove
22485
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InChristLove 08/21/10 - 03:32 pm
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jtra1n, the problem is the

jtra1n, the problem is the interpretation of the verse in Proverbs. The scripture is not endorsing child abuse. It's say that parents are suppose to correct bad behavior, train a child up in the correct way, teach them right from wrong. There is a difference in discipline and abuse.

So crates
0
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So crates 08/21/10 - 04:10 pm
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Inquiring Lynn, you give me

Inquiring Lynn, you give me an opportunity to distinguish something in my own thinking. Because I can imagine a way for a super being to exist, I do not deny the possibility. I do feel that the evidence exists to determine that the judeo-christian-islamic story is only that: a story. However, it symbolizes the continuing effort of mankind to comprehend existence and therefore, to me, has value. When we study how man creates explanations for his world, we perceive the limitations of man, we see what is unseen. I don't belittle the stories of the bible, just the people who lack the facility we call reading comprehension. There is context and history that explicitly makes clear that much of what comes out of the mouths of some christians is patently false. There is evidence that those ideas have origins that start with man, not the bible. There is value in the bible, but it is not in picking and choosing this or that standard of behavior or ritual or habit, and it does not even begin or end with the covers of the bible. The value of the bible is in knowing where it has been in its life, what it has caused, and what it means for us as we, new to the world, face those same questions our ancestors did. Or, as Dr. Phill says, "How's that working for you?"

Willow Bailey
20605
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Willow Bailey 08/22/10 - 09:07 am
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jra1n, It's hard to respond

jra1n, It's hard to respond to anyone without a face to face, because I have no idea where you are coming from? Are you a parent.. a young person? Did you experience abuse in your own childhood? Do you think God is giving license to be abusive? He is not.

The scripture is correct; either we parent them or the law will parent them for us. And the law is much harsher. I didn't want mine to learn at the hands of someone who didn't love her. Praise God for his wisdom in teaching us to set boundaries with our children. It is not His Word, but our interpretation of His Word through life experiences that causes us so much misunderstanding. This is the reason we need the body of Christ, so that others can come along beside us and tell their experiences with the Word. God's heart towards us is always restoration, reconciliation and redemption.

GAterp
2
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GAterp 08/21/10 - 04:17 pm
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Why do people continue to

Why do people continue to write that God wrote the Bible? Some of what Jesus said or did in his life may be in the Bible; but it was written by others and filtered by others who only wanted certain things to make it into particular versions.

Willow Bailey
20605
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Willow Bailey 08/21/10 - 04:43 pm
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GAterp, what do you believe

GAterp, what do you believe about God and Jesus?

thyroxin
0
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thyroxin 08/21/10 - 06:17 pm
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socrates and alexander the

socrates and alexander the great ..have actually been seen by people ..no one has ever seen GOD..or gods....

thyroxin
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thyroxin 08/21/10 - 06:31 pm
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and furthermore ..jesus was

and furthermore ..jesus was clearly a liberal...feed the hungry clothe the poor ...all people are made in gods image lol including mexicans and blacks....the right wing has taken over christianity for very very evil and selfserving reasons...and in that way has provoked many that where on the fence daubting ..agnostics!or even christians and they are becomming increasingly atheist..16% atheist in this nation ....that is actually more than ..black people that make up 12-14%...and that voting block grows by the minute ..thanks to the right wing..and its overtaking of religion..the new enlightenment period has arrived ...LIKE Jefferson said in all ages and all countries the priest/cleric has always been aligned with the despote...and is hostile to liberty....no church will ever see me again i feed stray cats in the park before any chuch gets a red cent from me ...

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