I wonder how many of the believers have actually read the book. I mean
seriously read it. From cover to cover, not just a verse here and there.
Amen, Ranch HandAnd what miniscule portion of a lifetime would it
take for one to seriously read it cover-to-cover?What would the
opinion percentages be among those who have actually completed such an
undertaking?What is the relative value of informed opinions vs.
There are a lot of people out there who can cherry pick their way through it
like a law professor, and justify whatever they want. It's a tome that
(somewhat) describes the past, promises the future but mostly is used for to
enable power here and now.
@RanchHand – “I wonder how many of the believers have actually read
the book.”I think the percentage is likely small and of those
who have I’d guess the percentage is miniscule regarding those who have
read it with their critical thinking skills fully engage - as they would be when
reading any other sacred book from a different tradition (which is presumably
why we do not see mass interfaith conversions – intra-faith (e.g.,
Catholic to Mormon) conversions don’t count as they are already primed to
believe in Christian dogma.An interesting question believers should
ask is, “why do other sacred books (say, the Quran) which detail many of
the same claims (word of God), miracles, moral teachings, etc. not inspire
religious awe and belief?”This may provide some insight into
how atheists/agnostics view your sacred books.And for those who are
able to read it critically (vs. in true believer awe) read the 1st five books of
the OT (and 1st Samuel too) and keep the following question in mind:Is everything in here what a perfect, loving God would say and command?
@RanchHand"I wonder how many of the believers have actually read the
book. I mean seriously read it. From cover to cover"I
haven't read the part from the middle of Psalms to Malachi. I've read
the rest of the Old Testament, the New Testament and Book of Mormon (I think my
bookmark is somewhere around D&C 25).
Tyler D, RanchHand, HutteriteI disagree. One must assume that the
sheer ubiquity of Bibles points to a large total readership, however small the
overall percentage. The issue at hand is how the Bible is consumed. On one hand,
if a person of trust is presenting an esoteric concept using a Bible verse or
two, then errancy of Biblical claims is not even under scrutiny. Rather, it is
the relationship of the persons involved that takes the stage. The Bible simply
becomes a tool by which enlightening topics are discussed and any contrary
verses are avoided. Moreover, with contemporary understanding of how we process
information in mind, when priming a person by claiming Biblical correctness, the
reader is simply affirming that which was primed. In most cases, a person of
existing trust has primed the reader by claiming the Bible is the word of God
and what's at stake isn't the readers' intellectual honesty, but
the relationship of trust between the two parties. If one truly reads the Bible
as either an historical text or prosaic life-guide, then it will most likely
disappoint and even, in my own case, horrify the reader.
I can confirm what others have written.I have not only read (cover
to cover) the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the D&C, the Qur'an, and a
number of other sacred texts, but I have also studied Mormon doctrine at BYU and
in weekly Gospel Doctrine lessons and meetings.My atheism is the
outcome of my years of prayerful reading and study. The best arguments against
the divinity of these "sacred " texts are the texts themselves.
I can echo what has been said so far. I've read the Bible cover to cover,
every word. Including all the begats. I've also read the Book of Mormon
,D&C, and Pearl of Great Price - the latter 3 several times. It was reading
this books and other religious texts that led to my rejection of all religion.
Several prominent atheists have said that the best book to read in order to
become an atheist is the Bible. All religions make the exact same
claim: Our god is the only real god, trust us on this. Sure there are millions
of other gods out there but ours is the only one that's real all the others
are make believe. Just trust us okay. Of course Mormonism claims to
be unique because of "Moroni's promise" but all religions tell
people to pray, all tell them they can have a personal witness - and in every
one, including Mormonism, it all rests on a foundation of feelings. And in every
religion you find people who have had powerful personal witness that they have
the one real god. So just trust us.
There is a great Youtube video from the Mormon Channel about the miracle and
blessing of the English translated Bible. A search for "The Blessings of
Scripture-400th Anniversary of the KJV Bible" will bring this video up. It
is a great tribute to William Tyndale. Another great Youtube video
(22 mins) on scriptures is entitled, "Scriptures Legacy -- Extended
Broadcast Version," also from the Mormon Channel. This also mentions
Tyndale, but has more information about the Book of Mormon too. I
highly recommend checking both these videos out.
I like the thought that somebody is looking out for me. So, Ya, I have faith in
RE: Tyler D, Serious Bible study, Biblical Lower Criticism. Which translation
is correct?God The only one,himself God…”John 1:18 NET)
VS God the only begotten Son…(1:18 ASV).The textual
problem(monogenh",“the only God”) versus (o monogenh",
“the only son”) . Only one letter would have differentiated the
readings in the mss, since both words would have been contracted as
“nomina sacra. The anarthrous monogenh theos found in 66 B C*
L pc.. The external evidence thus strongly supports monogeneth theos. Scribes
would naturally change the wording to huios however, since monogenh huios is a
uniquely Johannine christological title (John 3:16, 18; 1 John 4:9).But theos as the older and more difficult reading is preferred.
I am one of those whose exposures to the Bible were characterized by horror.
"Slaughter" seemed to be a favorite word of many authors. I remember
wondering, "Where is the peace? Where is the wisdom everyone keeps talking
about?"I was once manipulated into reading the Book of Esther
when a well-meaning believer appealed to my ego and said I reminded her of this
character. I was horrified to discover what this "hero" thought was
okay to do after securing the freedom of her people. It was yet another story
where "slaughter" was used with apparent relish. It made me wonder what
I'd done to earn such a comparison! Um, thanks?The book I
ended up turning to for solace, wisdom, and peace was "To Kill A
Mockingbird." It has my vote for The Greatest Story Ever Told.
I have read the Bible cover to cover several times and I accept it as the word
of God. The mass killings in the Old Testament are hard for us to understand but
they need to be understood in the context of the Law of Moses - what an eye for
an eye and a tooth for a tooth really means. They help us understand and
appreciate the importance of the Atonement of Christ which fulfilled the Law and
allowed us to live without such violence. This is also symbolic of what would
happen to a sinner - all of us as a matter of fact - without the Atonement.
I am reading the Bible this year. I started in Genesis in January. I am in
Revelations now.What stands out is the uniformity. I've
studied literature originating in stoneage cultures. There is a cultural
uniformity but the deeper message is not unified. It comes out as organized and
structured as Aesop's fables. In the Bible I am seeing a bunch of bronze
age shepherds, and what not, repeating the same message and I see that it
evolves and becomes the New Testament.With regards to the slaughter
I am horrified at the Old Testament stuff. But this was in the middle of the
Late Bronze Age Collapse. What I learned from it is that God is not just a god
of civilized people with rolexes, but he's a god for savages too. If
someone is a tattooed savage from a stoneage culture and he forgives his
brother, or cares for a widow or an orphan or a stranger, he has as much praise
in God's kingdom as someone driving a lexus to go teach a business class in
"Just trust us" or is it more "find out for yourself"? I think
that is an important distinction.
I'm sorry Sasha but there is no context in which genocide can be understood
or justified. There is no context in which human slavery can be understood or
justified. I remember the days when I put my brain through the mental gymnastics
in an effort to explain these biblical issues away. It was all nonsense. Once I
put the Bible in context by placing its writings with the other mythologies of
the time it all started to make much more sense. I now prefer the rational view
of these things. Genocide is wrong, always and without exception. Slavery is
wrong, always and without exception. Period. The end.
I am no scriptorian. But I have read the Bible, Book of Mormon, Doctrine and
Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price several times. In them I find value (yes,
in the OT as well).Tekakaromatagi is correct. God takes us where
were are and teaches us to be better.Someday, folks a few hundred
years from now will think of us as backward and unsophisticated as well.
@ The WraithAgreed. I don't buy that the word of a purportedly
all powerful god must be read "in context." This doesn't sound
very powerful to me. In fact, it sounds very much like the power is in the
hands of the humans. Which is, of course, exactly the case, in my opinion.The Bible is a valuable piece of literature in that it gives us a window
into our past, how our ancestors viewed the world, and the answers they came up
with for the mysteries they could not explain at the time. I think this is the
only context in which the Bible can realistically be read. And keep
it away from children. It'll give them nightmares!
RE: Semi-Strong. The O.T.. Types and Shadows of Christ. a few examples:Adam is a type of Christ in that he was the representative of humanity
in Rom 5:12-21. Adam’s federal headship–together with the guilt,
corruption and death that his disobedience brought on all humanity–is
contrasted with the federal headship of Christ, and justification of believers
through His obedience and substitutionary death. Joshua=(Jesus) His
name in Hebrew, is a type of Christ in that he was the one who would lead
God’s people into the Promised Land. Jesus is the Savior of the covenant
people.Melchizedek was a type of Christ, Jesus is the Prophet,
Priest and King of His church. Melchizedek typified Him in two of the three
offices (Zech. 6:12-13). He was “King of Righteousness” and
“King of Priest.” Jesus is the King in whom “righteousness and
peace kiss” at the cross (Ps. 85:10). Like Melchizedek before Him, Jesus
had “no beginning of days, nor end of life.” He is the eternal
Priest to whom Melchizedek pointed. never will he be, replaced as High Priest
of the Church.
@HamathEvery single religion says essentially the same "find out
for yourself" thing; just pray to our god and you'll know. And every
single religion can claim members who have found out for themselves that their
god is the right one by taking that path. As an example: because I
live in Utah, Mormons always tell me I can find out for myself by praying and
getting a special feeling. Well other religions may not use the same words but
they say the same thing. So if I were to pray to Odin and get a really special
feeling which proved to me beyond any doubt that Odin was the one and true god,
well, what would my Mormon friends think? They would think I was being fooled by
a dark force, that my feeling didn't really come from the true god. As
would every religion but Odin worshipers. So the whole find out for yourself
with special feelings just doesn't work; because it's the same thing
everyone says. It all comes down to "trust us, our special feeling is the
right one all the other ones are wrong."
@ Wraithif you were to pray to Odin and get a special feelings and
believe you got an answer and Odin to be your God. That has NOTHING (caps for
emphasis not shouting) to do with your friends. Your faith has nothing to do
with them. If they want to judge you, that is their unChristlike behavior. So... you've got some friends who you think are trying the Satan
approach to belief.... "Believe me... do what I say....you have no free
will." If they are... they are wrong. It still remains
"find out for yourself". It's still "Come and see". If
it is "come and see" at other religions too. Good for them!
Hamath you've missed my point entirely. My point was that all religions
think they have the only truth. I brought up this pint because of the posts
about how the bible was the one and only truth. In reality the only logical and
rational conclusion is that all religions were created by men. The myths in the
bible are no more true than Norse, Greek, Muslim, Egyptian< or any other of
the countless myths men have created over time.
@Semi-Strong – “God takes us where were are and teaches us to be
better.”That’s an interesting point but it does raise a
question:If God “takes us where we are” – which I
presume to mean he is not going to give us any objective insight beyond the age
we’re in and what we’ve already discovered (why the Bible says
nothing about cosmology, evolution, biology, chemistry, advanced computation,
electricity, DNA, cause of disease, physics, etc., etc., etc…) – how
would an outside observer tell the difference between a society conversing with
the actual creator of the universe and a society that was simply writing down
their own accumulated wisdom, ethics & knowledge of the world (such as it
is)?Another question your point raises is, “at what point does
the information God gave our ancestors become outdated and in order for God to
ensure our progress new insights and revelations are needed?”I
mean, today’s scientists do not look to Aristotle as the end all
authority. Why should religion be any different?
Wraith, I got your point I think. I agree with the following. All
religions (well.. most anyway) think they are the ones with the truth. I also
agree that when someone says "THE BIBLE IS THE ONLY TRUTH" and if you
don't believe me you are just a idiot (or insert other derogatory terms)
that they are being rude, inconsiderate, intolerable, and in my viewpoint evil.
I do respectfully think that you are wrong in your conclusion about these facts
(and others that might be brought up) leading to the conclusion that all
religion is therefore wrong.