So a friend of mine who has been struggling with his faith posted this article which has sparked a conversation on Facebook. We have gone many different ways on this but I would like to have other people weigh in on this discussion. However, I totally understand if the long, long facebook discussion turns you off. Thanks for trying.
PamelaWhoa, Daniel. You have intelligent Christian friends, people who have actually read and studied their faith, and act in accordance with those beliefs and tenets. I hope you see a disconnect wth that fact and what you have posted here.
Daniel Oh I know. But there are some seriously messed up parts. The ones that I always had problems with when I was younger. But so many people don't actually read the whole book. I have been pissing off most of my faithful friends. I don;t mean to offend. But I am just sharing the world as I see it.
Glenn Be EXTREMELY careful quoting apocalyptic literature. I tell you what. Don't assume anything about the book of Revelation, easily the most abused book in the Bible, until you spend serious time with the Lamb who is slain in chapter 5. Quoting Revelation as a Jesus quote is an abuse of the book and a misunderstanding of how apocalyptic literature functions. In other words, after one has studied most of the rest of the scriptures, surely the books of the prophets and the Jesus of the gospels, then you might have an initial clue as to reading the very difficult book of Revelation. There's a reason it is at the very end of all the scriptures. In the case of reading the Bible, do not read the end first. Peace.
Daniel It is more Leviticus that gets thrown my way.
Pamela A friend recently asked me if I read the Bible. I answered "it's complicated", because the Bible isn't a rule book, as some would have us believe, and it can't be understood by using a dictionary. Allegory and parable forms are frequently used, and all kinds of other things such as history, politics, ancient languages and such go into figuring it out. There are better people than I to teach these things, but yes, that article is very creepy.
Daniel but so few people seem to grasp that it was written in parable at all.
HeatherAs I was sitting at Synod council, we were struggling with verses taken out of context. I made the comment "I have no problem submitting to my husband, as long as he loves me as Christ loved the church." Tough to find a guy like that though.
Daniel But what do you do when it is a direct quote from Jesus? How does one reconcile those passages that were manipulated So long ago as to be almost meaningless in a modern context?
PamelaI like what Glenn said about spending time with the Lamb. When I remember to do that, things fall into place, fear subsides, my core is strengthened. Bishop Mike led a very informative session on Sex In The Bible. Each participant had to take a page long t/f test at the beginning of the class. Even I got many answers incorrect. And then the class began. I especially liked the session on Leviticus.
HeatherMy reply to most stuff in Leviticus - especially when they talk about my tat's, is where are your for-locks? We are not called to follow blindly and all the rules. Otherwise I would be stoned...and no one is talking about stoning me.
Daniel I just find that my relationship with the universe is far better when I don;t let myself be wrapped up in texts that have been so mangled for so many centuries as to be unrecognizable to the original authers. It just feels like an ongoing game of telephone. And by now, things are so twisted as to be nonsensical.
Daniel and yeah Heather, mine is always the pork and shell food line. I don;t hear any one calling a=it an abomination when they are ponying up to endless shrimp at red lobster.
Pamela I prefer a blend of cotton and silk for summer. Absolutely divine. Linen and silk works, too. But silk and wool for a tux, omg beyond words, in case you wanted to know. Are we still on topic, here?
tangents that are vaguely on topic count in my book.
Pamela Blended fabrics are indeed on topic here. You could be stoned for mixing them. I say go ahead stone me with a 2009 syrah.
Daniel I mean pork in the desert 5000 years ago could totally kill you. But nowadays, it just seems like a ridiculous reason. I have never been one for blind submission to any laws. even if they are supposedly gods.
HeatherOk, silly question how many centuries does it take to distort it? and with the other comparisons?
Daniel when was the first translations? and when were the stories written down compared to when they were writing about? It seems like most of the canonical stories were distorted long before they were even set down.
Pamela I'm thinking that if you are Jewish/Christian, God has only one law--God is God and we are not. I don't know about other religions. Some Christians would have us believe that God has more laws, but they are really more like suggestions. I should ask Glenn about this.
Daniel See, That is the kind of submission that I have a problem with Pam. And the reason why i no longer say that I am christian.
HeatherFirst translations of which...Old testament...New Testament... Earliest New Testament manuscripts date from 175-250AD.
Heather L HelgesonOld Testament is a little different...because of the reasons it was written down...mainly exile...and other reasons.
Danieleither. I mean 175AD is generations after anyone that could have actually witnessed the passion or any of the acts of jesus's life. do you know any of the stories from your great grandparents life? Where they were during the great war perhaps? Even really big things get lost in that much time.
Pamela Don't forget that the Torah is mostly sidenoted with Rabbinacal comments.
Heather Daniel I could agree but we do not have an oral tradition either unlike these cultures.
Danielvery few people, even back in the day could have memorized such things. But the capacity is still there, even now. Don't sell yourself short. it is more that there are different methods for the transmission of information nowadays. people don;t need to memorize things like that in a literate society.
Daniel though it might be a stretch to call modern america a literate society.
Heather Actually how few distortions occur within the Bible from the multiple sources and translations is a miracle.