Joined: July 29th, 2010, 2:32 pm

September 17th, 2013, 3:11 am #21

If the gospels were written years after Jesus death, any of the writers could have made up whatever prophecy they saw fit. Who back then, 30-70 years after the fact, were around to fact check?

Inspiration is a problem: When the Bible records the CIVIL-MILITARY-CLERGY experiences it has VALUE if we can confirm it with secular history. The Bible is written for our learning. If we find that David lusted to bash out infants heads then THAT is what David thought: If he thought it I want to know what he thought but not being clergy I don't look for imitative patterns to follow.

Most of the Bible records what NOT TO DO: if you can learn eternal values from reading those great epics and let them train your spirit, then you can be a DISCIPLE: a disciple does not go to worship rituals but to the School of the Word. The Prophets and Apostles are singled out as the TEACHING RESOURCE for educating people: the result of rejecting those values is proven by a degenerated culture.

The command is to PREACH the Word by READING the Word for comfort and teaching. People have found books full of what they see as contradictions because they pick out a phrase and have no interest in being a Bible student.

Next, Recorded history proves that no ancient event of any significance did not have Scribes (reporters) taking down every word with great skill. We know of people who attended the events--Passover would bring in flocks--recorded what they understand from oral training, had men make many copies and sell them before the ink dried. These accounts existed in pericopes rather than long documents: that is why the New Testament is short on chronology.

When Paul wrote to the churches with documents intended TO BE READ, he does not just then compose the material but backs up to include context because they were intended to be preserved. Men like Peter finished HIS PART and left it for our "memory." When all of the eye- and ear-- witnesses finished their parts then prophetic or inspired material ceased. Luke was a skilled historian and collected what other people knew.

2Timothy 4:10 For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia.
2Timothy 4:11 Only Luke is with me. Take Mark, and bring him with thee: for he is profitable to me for the ministry.
2Timothy 4:12 And Tychicus have I sent to Ephesus.
2Timothy 4:13 The cloke that I left at Troas with Carpus, when thou comest, bring with thee, and the books, but especially the parchments.
2Timothy 4:14 Alexander the coppersmith did me much evil: the Lord reward him according to his works:


How can you read that and not be thrilled? Why would a A Paul and others know that when they took on the job "they went out to suffer and die." No one would do that on the basis of "suffering Servant" with nothing but His validation of His Words to recommend Him.

Jesus makes it clear that there are at least TWO CLASSES of people on the Earth. He came to seek and save LOST SPIRITS: Jesus didn't tolerate a Mega Institution but demanded that evangelists Preach the Gospel which is the Gospel of the Kingdom. Those OF FAITH or OF TRUTH need no convincing. Otherwise, the preacher was to leave and like a fisherman go throughout the world looking for the TINY FEW who were looking for the SIGN that their spirits were being rescued and translated. Those gladly received His Word were baptized and He translated their spirits into a heavenly kingdom: can't see it, smell it, feel it: you can only hear it if you are absolutely silent while searching the Word.

There is no way and no need to wrestle with people to make them HAVE FAITH.




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Scripture
Scripture

September 17th, 2013, 3:18 am #22

Is there any good books on inspiration of biblical writers and the history of the modern Christian bible? I guess my main problem is I see religion as a way to herd the sheep. Without belief tht writers were inspired by God, and God is the Hebrew God, it is a tall tale that was written after the fact to make it work. If the gospels were written years after Jesus death, any of the writers could have made up whatever prophecy they saw fit. Who back then, 30-70 years after the fact, were around to fact check?

So I would like to research the history of the bible, if any of you could suggest any good books, I would appreciate it.
For "Confused":

Since you are wanting to know more about the relation between prophecy and the actual time of the Bible writings, you will want some scholarly commentaries, at least to get into the detail of each book in the Bible.

Your interest is a real plus, since you take the Bible seriously, and I think with some study you will see the great value the Bible has for the moral life. Your skepticism of the relation between prophecy and actual event in time, will as you study recede into the background, and you will see the great value of Bible teaching as well as prophecy. This is my prediction and my prayer.

One good way to do this is to consult some commentaries. There are two general types of advanced commentaries: (1) conservative, evangelical, but scholarly commentaries which accept inspiration and accuracy of the Scriptures but which do discuss historical development of Scriptures. The Word Commentaries are good at this. Perhaps you can consult your library or better to go to a Bible library

(2) A second type would be what is called "critical commentaries" which do entertain development from a historical point of view, but which at the same time say that some prophecies were written after the event had already taken place--these are what you are referring to. Even these commentaries, if they are to be balanced, will discuss the alternative explanation--that the events were prophecies BEFORE they take place. Perhaps the International Critical Commentaries would fit here.

In the end, both types of commentaries will get you where you want to go. They do cost money, so you may want to work for a less costly way to get there.

I believe that both conservative orthodox commentaries will uphold high morals by their very nature. It is likely that the critical commentaries will also support a very moral world view. Either set of commentaries, generally are for high morality and do not trivialize the teachings and prophecies of the scriptures, at least this is our hope.

Seehttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biblical_criticism for a brief view of critical scholarship. These may give some references that can lead you further.
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Confused
Confused

November 25th, 2013, 7:00 am #23

In the initial post, Confused primarily focused on the Old Testament and emphatically said, "I do not believe anything that happened in the Old Testament." As far as Jesus is concerned, Confused implied that it's possible to fabricate what was written in the Gospels 30 years after Jesus died. I just asked if Confused believed that some kind of Messiah (if not Jesus) was still to come, or did Confused think that everthing the Bible said about a Messiah was just a bunch of fables. In another post, Confused said s/he believed that Jesus lived on earth but seemed to doubt that He was divine. So far, Confused has not explicitly stated whether s/he believes some kind of Messiah is yet to come or whether the whole biblical concept of a Messiah is a fable. Maybe Confused has too many doubts to give a definitive answer one way or another. Now perhaps Confused will expound on this if s/he so chooses.
I don't know what to believe. I believe in my heart when I read the bible to my son I am reading him fables that I am telling him are truth (like Santa). I don't know that there has to be a savior. I don't know that when we die we are not just dead. I like most, probably want to believe in belief because without it, life is meaningless. My wanting to believe life is not meaningless does not make it mean anything. I think we all fear death, or fear the death of loved ones we never see again. That gives us motivation to believe things that make no sense. So I part of me wants to believe, but part of me can't.

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Confused
Confused

November 25th, 2013, 7:17 am #24

It's my understanding that Deism died out in the 2nd Great Awakening between about 1810 through 1845. Jefferson and some of the early leaders of the United States are often classified as deists. Apologetic Press in Alabama (Dave Miller & associates) claim they were standard Christians (not deists), even though they were not connected with the Restoration Movement. (There is an irony here.)

Deism was discredit because it gave no hope that God would ever intervene in a person's life. They believed that God created the world like a clock, and just went off and left it. It was up to man to solve his own problems, but God had placed His laws in motion, and man had to use rationale to solve his own problems.

Deism is not the kind of religion that you would want to teach someone in the hospital. There are many who pray "God guide the hands of the doctors", but little is said about God directly bringing a cure. At least the one who prays as such, does believe that God can guide the hands of doctors.

Did you ever think that the New Testament says that Christians are the "children of God." Is there any connection between Jesus being the "son of God" and our becoming "children of God." I just want "Confused" to think about that!
Deism is dead as a religion but not as an ideology if I spelled it correctly. I don't believe in miracles, past or present. If you say God intervenes for you if your child is ill with cancer, but He does not intervene for your brethren's child, did he not pray hard enough? I can't logically grasp why God would step in to save one person and let the one next to him perish. I also can't grasp how all this would be without some Creator that has powers beyond what we can comprehend. So while I think He could intervene, I don't think He would. I don't know that this Creator gives us eternal life any more than a dog or an ant. I do think people over time have written books to suit their needs which is why I am interested in how the bible came to be. I have just been brought up to take it all literally and I guess I have an all or nothing attitude. I am trying to get my head around it so when I talk to my son about this, I don't feel like I am telling him lies.
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Confused
Confused

November 25th, 2013, 7:19 am #25

Are you still looking for the Messiah to come, or do you believe that the Bible's prophecy of a Savior/Messiah is just a fable?
I am not holding my breath for another Messiah. I don't know if Jesus was it, but I don't know that he wasn't.
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Confused
Confused

November 25th, 2013, 8:14 am #26

[color=#0000FF" size="4" face="times]... and hundreds and hundreds more questions similar to the ones you posed above.

Confused listed some 10 questions in the initial post. Can we provide answers to the rest of those questions first?[/color]
The ten are just ten of hundreds I read and never really new until I read it all for myself. Even though a lot of my doubts center on the Old Testament, that is what gives the New its validity.

Probably the most hard to swallow story for me other than what I mentioned previously, is in Judges 19. The story of the Levite and the concubine baffles me. This Levite hands over his wife or girlfriend to be gang raped because he does not have the manhood to protect her. I get it, she was not the most faithful girl. Then he finds her dead and starts a war with the tribe of Benjamin. So for this 1 concubine, all men women and children from Benjamin are killed except for 600 men. Then the rest of the Israelites realize they made a mistake and feel bad for them. So what do they do? Only what any good God fearing people would do, went and killed all the men women and children except for 400 virgins that they took and basically made sex slaves. I don't think these young girls ever thought of themselves as wives. They probably lived in fear and hatred the rest of their lives because they did in fact see their whole families get slaughtered.

Then Samson- caught 300 foxes(how long did that take) tied a torch between their tails 150 time(at least a day of nonstop tail tying) Killed 1000 men with a jawbone(they did not think to rush him at once with swords?) Told Delilah something the night before about his strength and the next morning it happened. Then she basically was mad at him for lying? So he gives in and tells her the truth after the third time of this? Sounds to me like he was either really dumb or wanted to die.

God created day(light) and night(darkness) day 1
Heaven earth and water day 2
VEGETATION, PLANTS, TREES day 3
Sun and Moon day 4(how can plants come before sun?)

All the people in the Bible ascended into heaven or sky(probably because they didn't know that there was an upper atmosphere and then space. They thought up above the clouds somewhere was heaven.

If God knows all and does not change His mind, why is Moses always reminding him of his promises so he does not destroy the Jews?

Tower of Babel- No reason not to let them build a tall building other than to find out that all they would have is a really tall building. They could not build high enough to reach heaven, only outer space where there would not be enough oxygen.

Before the ten commandments, were the Israelites killing each other in the street without any punishment? How many people did they kill afterward?

There is also rules for how to treat slaves. Why not have a rule to not have a slave? They could beat them until near death no problem. They would make a freed slave endure life long enslavement and beatings because he loves his family and does not want to leave his wife and children that are still PROPERTY of the owner.

When one says humanity gets morals from this, so do the Muslims that blow things up for similar beliefs in that of the Old Testament. EXACT SAME THING!
If you are a Christian you do have Jesus, but his legitimacy comes from the Old Testament. Many say that he was right there with God, or is the same one Being as the Old Testament God that dictated some of this.

This is the tip of my iceberg. I would rather think of God as a God of reason, that made this world with perfection and does not have to tinker with it all the time. I would rather think God is love, and mercy, and kindness than One who is quick to pull a trigger. Do these people in the Old Testament not have an equal place in God's heart? If they are so easily destroyed for no reason, why does He care about us?
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Confused
Confused

November 25th, 2013, 8:31 am #27

The issues you discussed concerning Biblical inspiration are not unique to Churches of Christ, but can be found in other church groups. So this is not a specific COC problem, but common to other churches as well. The conservative Baptist churches fail to answer the questions as well, but the "moderate" Baptists reject the literal explanation of the Scriptures. I would recommend that you read literature that deals with the historical process of the collection of Christian Scriptures, if you cannot get answers from the church you attend. Your preacher is failing to discuss the issue more fully, because of the explosive nature of the topic. But I would not trash the COC for this issue, since this issue is dealt with in all the "evangelical" churches as well as the moderate churches.

There are plenty of Bible students who have advanced concepts about how the Scriptures were collected. Yet among them most are Christians of great FAITH. They may not agree with the details about how the Scriptures were collected, nor in the details of the Great Flood, yet they retain faith.

It is a common problem to paste a narrow interpretation on the early chapters of Genesis, and on the basis of that to tell the whole world that one has lost FAITH. Their near-sighted understandings have led to loss of faith, and not the proper handling of the complete Word of God.

Your question about the believability that the persons in the wilderness saw all the powers of God, yet fell from faith, can be answered in various ways, without doubting that they really saw the signs of His power. Today, we see the creation and the blessings of God around us, and yet some doubt. This would be a parallel to the wayward Israelites following Moses. We are also surprised today when we see the wisdom of following God's moral codes is denied by numerous wayward people, who are drunkards, lazy, lascivious, and covetous. We wonder how they can ignore the teachings of God. These are just like the unbelieving Israelites following Moses and Aaron.

The Great Flood strains some people's believability, but what is so hard to believe about preparing for a flood and saving all available animals from the event. The Tigris-Euphrates river valley was a frequent place for flooding, and the failure of people to prepare for those events, is a denial of reality. Noah, in this sense, is a realist who recognizes that Godly people will prepare for the future, accepting the fact that those who shun God's will are likely to pay a high moral cost. That sinful people will reap the results of their disbelief is today's type of the Great Flood of Noah.

That the earth is only 6000 years old is a product of Bishop Usher's calendar, from his detailed calculations of the lineages of the patriarchs recorded pre-Noah. There are pros and cons about these dates, but how does that somehow cause one to lose faith? How does the singular belief that the earth is more than 6,000 years old lead one to general disbelief? It is not necessary to disbelieve God on the basis of a singular belief.

The failure of some sick to recover is not comforting to the sick, since it rules out the attitude of HOPE. Go to any hospital and tell the patients that God cannot heal them. You will be looked at as little better than an atheist. Doctors, those who through scientific methods seek to restore our health, are some of the greatest believers in faith. At the same time, doctors are some of the first to recognize the seeming hopelessness of some situations, and they themselves do not take necessary chemotherapy to cure themselves (less likely than others). But most of these same doctors continue to have FAITH.




The parallel between people seeing the miracles in the desert with Moses and us today is what I hear in class that makes my stomach churn. It is not the same. Not even kind of close to compare. They saw the same miracles that we see today if you want to call the fact that we are here a miracle. They got the added bonus of manna falling from the sky, water from rock, cloud of fire, etc... We get a story that we don't know how for sure we got it, but we want to believe it because we want to believe in meaning and life after death, and you can't prove it wrong until your dead and it doesn't matter anymore. Why does God reveal himself to certain people or in certain times and then expect everyone else to believe their story? How many false religions are out there because of this?

Doctors do not take chemo because they know their chances, and they know what chemo does to you, and they know they don't want to go through it. Some doctors give it to you because they think it might work, others do it because they can charge your insurance company a lot of money on your way out. There are instances where people are healed that are prayed for. But if it happens one out of a thousand times, was it prayer that did it, or just the fact that some people have better immune systems than others.

I am going to continue to read through the previous post and keep searching for now.
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Bill
Bill

November 25th, 2013, 12:28 pm #28

The issues you discussed concerning Biblical inspiration are not unique to Churches of Christ, but can be found in other church groups. So this is not a specific COC problem, but common to other churches as well. The conservative Baptist churches fail to answer the questions as well, but the "moderate" Baptists reject the literal explanation of the Scriptures. I would recommend that you read literature that deals with the historical process of the collection of Christian Scriptures, if you cannot get answers from the church you attend. Your preacher is failing to discuss the issue more fully, because of the explosive nature of the topic. But I would not trash the COC for this issue, since this issue is dealt with in all the "evangelical" churches as well as the moderate churches.

There are plenty of Bible students who have advanced concepts about how the Scriptures were collected. Yet among them most are Christians of great FAITH. They may not agree with the details about how the Scriptures were collected, nor in the details of the Great Flood, yet they retain faith.

It is a common problem to paste a narrow interpretation on the early chapters of Genesis, and on the basis of that to tell the whole world that one has lost FAITH. Their near-sighted understandings have led to loss of faith, and not the proper handling of the complete Word of God.

Your question about the believability that the persons in the wilderness saw all the powers of God, yet fell from faith, can be answered in various ways, without doubting that they really saw the signs of His power. Today, we see the creation and the blessings of God around us, and yet some doubt. This would be a parallel to the wayward Israelites following Moses. We are also surprised today when we see the wisdom of following God's moral codes is denied by numerous wayward people, who are drunkards, lazy, lascivious, and covetous. We wonder how they can ignore the teachings of God. These are just like the unbelieving Israelites following Moses and Aaron.

The Great Flood strains some people's believability, but what is so hard to believe about preparing for a flood and saving all available animals from the event. The Tigris-Euphrates river valley was a frequent place for flooding, and the failure of people to prepare for those events, is a denial of reality. Noah, in this sense, is a realist who recognizes that Godly people will prepare for the future, accepting the fact that those who shun God's will are likely to pay a high moral cost. That sinful people will reap the results of their disbelief is today's type of the Great Flood of Noah.

That the earth is only 6000 years old is a product of Bishop Usher's calendar, from his detailed calculations of the lineages of the patriarchs recorded pre-Noah. There are pros and cons about these dates, but how does that somehow cause one to lose faith? How does the singular belief that the earth is more than 6,000 years old lead one to general disbelief? It is not necessary to disbelieve God on the basis of a singular belief.

The failure of some sick to recover is not comforting to the sick, since it rules out the attitude of HOPE. Go to any hospital and tell the patients that God cannot heal them. You will be looked at as little better than an atheist. Doctors, those who through scientific methods seek to restore our health, are some of the greatest believers in faith. At the same time, doctors are some of the first to recognize the seeming hopelessness of some situations, and they themselves do not take necessary chemotherapy to cure themselves (less likely than others). But most of these same doctors continue to have FAITH.




Scripture implied that doctors are less likely to take chemotherapy if they have cancer. Does Scripture have some statistical sources that provide that information? How many doctors does Scripture know who have refused chemotherapy for themselves?
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Bill
Bill

November 25th, 2013, 12:43 pm #29

The parallel between people seeing the miracles in the desert with Moses and us today is what I hear in class that makes my stomach churn. It is not the same. Not even kind of close to compare. They saw the same miracles that we see today if you want to call the fact that we are here a miracle. They got the added bonus of manna falling from the sky, water from rock, cloud of fire, etc... We get a story that we don't know how for sure we got it, but we want to believe it because we want to believe in meaning and life after death, and you can't prove it wrong until your dead and it doesn't matter anymore. Why does God reveal himself to certain people or in certain times and then expect everyone else to believe their story? How many false religions are out there because of this?

Doctors do not take chemo because they know their chances, and they know what chemo does to you, and they know they don't want to go through it. Some doctors give it to you because they think it might work, others do it because they can charge your insurance company a lot of money on your way out. There are instances where people are healed that are prayed for. But if it happens one out of a thousand times, was it prayer that did it, or just the fact that some people have better immune systems than others.

I am going to continue to read through the previous post and keep searching for now.
Confused is having a difficult time believing the accounts of various miracles in the Bible. If one is willing to believe, the Scriptures provide plenty of proof for all those miracles. Yet doubting Christians seem more likely to believe the miracles in the Old Testament than such miraculous facts as, for example, that Jesus is God, that Jesus is the Word, and that Jesus pre-dated His birth.

So for the doubting Christians, which is more difficult to believe--that manna literally fell from heaven to sustain the ancient Israelites in the wilderness, or that Jesus was the "living manna" Who literally came down from heaven to be born as a man?
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Confused
Confused

November 25th, 2013, 3:09 pm #30

The ten are just ten of hundreds I read and never really new until I read it all for myself. Even though a lot of my doubts center on the Old Testament, that is what gives the New its validity.

Probably the most hard to swallow story for me other than what I mentioned previously, is in Judges 19. The story of the Levite and the concubine baffles me. This Levite hands over his wife or girlfriend to be gang raped because he does not have the manhood to protect her. I get it, she was not the most faithful girl. Then he finds her dead and starts a war with the tribe of Benjamin. So for this 1 concubine, all men women and children from Benjamin are killed except for 600 men. Then the rest of the Israelites realize they made a mistake and feel bad for them. So what do they do? Only what any good God fearing people would do, went and killed all the men women and children except for 400 virgins that they took and basically made sex slaves. I don't think these young girls ever thought of themselves as wives. They probably lived in fear and hatred the rest of their lives because they did in fact see their whole families get slaughtered.

Then Samson- caught 300 foxes(how long did that take) tied a torch between their tails 150 time(at least a day of nonstop tail tying) Killed 1000 men with a jawbone(they did not think to rush him at once with swords?) Told Delilah something the night before about his strength and the next morning it happened. Then she basically was mad at him for lying? So he gives in and tells her the truth after the third time of this? Sounds to me like he was either really dumb or wanted to die.

God created day(light) and night(darkness) day 1
Heaven earth and water day 2
VEGETATION, PLANTS, TREES day 3
Sun and Moon day 4(how can plants come before sun?)

All the people in the Bible ascended into heaven or sky(probably because they didn't know that there was an upper atmosphere and then space. They thought up above the clouds somewhere was heaven.

If God knows all and does not change His mind, why is Moses always reminding him of his promises so he does not destroy the Jews?

Tower of Babel- No reason not to let them build a tall building other than to find out that all they would have is a really tall building. They could not build high enough to reach heaven, only outer space where there would not be enough oxygen.

Before the ten commandments, were the Israelites killing each other in the street without any punishment? How many people did they kill afterward?

There is also rules for how to treat slaves. Why not have a rule to not have a slave? They could beat them until near death no problem. They would make a freed slave endure life long enslavement and beatings because he loves his family and does not want to leave his wife and children that are still PROPERTY of the owner.

When one says humanity gets morals from this, so do the Muslims that blow things up for similar beliefs in that of the Old Testament. EXACT SAME THING!
If you are a Christian you do have Jesus, but his legitimacy comes from the Old Testament. Many say that he was right there with God, or is the same one Being as the Old Testament God that dictated some of this.

This is the tip of my iceberg. I would rather think of God as a God of reason, that made this world with perfection and does not have to tinker with it all the time. I would rather think God is love, and mercy, and kindness than One who is quick to pull a trigger. Do these people in the Old Testament not have an equal place in God's heart? If they are so easily destroyed for no reason, why does He care about us?
I don't expect any of these to be addressed because I know I probably come off as someone that will endlessly throw up every story in the Bible I don't like. I get that in the grand scheme of things, if the God of the OT is the way he is described I am kind of screwed that I didn't put blinders on and blindly believe without thinking about it. My main issue with most Christians is that I can't have an in depth conversation with them because they don't know it well enough, or seem to have the blinders I am talking about on. If I mentioned any of these questions or made any of these statements in church, I would maybe get an answer of sorts, but I would then be the anti Christ. I feel church is a place you just agree or stay quite.

When you look at Christian religions, or even religion in general, it seems to pander to comfort. while the church does do good in the community, how many people would come still service was held outside without a building in order to give everything to the needy? I get this is a bad example but you see my point. How fast did Madison fall apart after Vision 2000? It was believe in belief as long as there was a certain preacher, or comfort. I at least respect the people on here because you have a thought behind the questions I ask. Whether I agree or not does not matter as much as the knowledge I gain from someone else's perspective or thoughts about the same question I have. I also appreciate the fact that in your answers you explain and cite examples and don't give me the one word answer of not enough faith.
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