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Thread: Is the Bible Literally True? No, of Course Not!

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    Default Is the Bible Literally True? No, of Course Not!

    If you are a Biblical literalist, as some of you may be, what I've just said most likely bothers you greatly. You believe, not only that the Bible is Divinely-dictated and error-free, but you also believe that whatever it says must be taken as literally and factually true.

    Most people could care less whether it is or it isn't. If you're reading this, however, you probably care at least enough to read this.

    To me, the Bible is important. It is for me the sacred story of the origins of my faith. In light of this, I could no more feel as if it were unimportant than a follower of Hinduism would feel the Bhagavad Gita is unimportant.

    I do not believe, however, that the Bible is a Divinely-dictated book or a sacred text without error.

    If you are a Biblical literalist, as some of you may be, what I've just said most likely bothers you greatly. You believe, not only that the Bible is Divinely-dictated and error-free, but you also believe that whatever it says must be taken as literally and factually true.

    Furthermore, you feel, if the Bible is allowed to be a very human book, instead of a Divinely-dictated one...you would have to "throw the baby out with the bath water," so to speak. That, if you questioned any of it, you'd undermine all of it and the end result would not be good either for you or the future of your faith.

    This also explains why you and other literalists may be among those who are concerned about the recent release of the Hollywood film Noah, starring Russell Crowe. Since the movie's creators have taken liberty to create a movie not tied to a literal reading of the story of Noah, you regard that as objectionable, even a blatant disregard, and perhaps even disrespectful, of a literalist reading of the story.

    As far as I'm concerned, however, I am bothered neither by Hollywood's version of the story of Noah nor whether it conforms to a literalist reading of Genesis. If you've ever actually read the text for yourself, you will know there are actually two flood stories in Genesis, the one most familiar to people where God instructs Noah to preserve two of each species of animals (Gen. 7:15) and the other where God instructs Noah to preserve seven of each species of animals (Gen. 7:2). I am more bothered instead by such sacred stories being made into movies at all.

    Why? Because these Bible stories were interpreted history, preserved for future generations, not for their factual accuracy, but their faith-generating component. When these movies are made, however, they are almost always recreated in a way resembling a literalist reading of the story. Which makes them about as believable as the movies Superman or Planet of the Apes. I can remember, for example, the first time I ever saw Cecil B. DeMille's classic story of Moses. As dramatic as cinematography would permit at that time, DeMille captured a compelling but literalist depiction of the Moses epic. Even as a child, however, I found it unbelievable.

    The real Moses never wielded a staff with supernatural powers, the tip of which, when dipped into the Nile, turned the river into a cesspool of blood. Or, when dipped into the Red Sea, caused it to part so Israelites could pass to the other side on dry, not muddy, ground.

    None of these Biblical stories, including the ones where Jesus is depicted as defying the laws of nature and performing miracles... as in, walking on water or giving sight to the blind or, most amazingly, raising dead people back to life were recorded as factual, or literal, eyewitness accounts. And, even if they were, they cannot be depicted as such today, if you want any of it to be believed... to be respected... or, to be read with any seriousness.

    https://www.huffpost.com/entry/bibli...lism_b_4966852



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    I don't think anyone outside the JPP MAGA and evangelical Protestant communities think the bible is inerrant and historically factual in every detail.

    The New Testament was never a stand alone book. It is a literary compilation of 27 books and epistles written independently by different authors with different perspectives and agendas. They didn't all get together and sit around a table to make sure their writings aligned and matched up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by signalmankenneth View Post
    If you are a Biblical literalist, as some of you may be, what I've just said most likely bothers you greatly. You believe, not only that the Bible is Divinely-dictated and error-free, but you also believe that whatever it says must be taken as literally and factually true.

    Most people could care less whether it is or it isn't. If you're reading this, however, you probably care at least enough to read this.

    To me, the Bible is important. It is for me the sacred story of the origins of my faith. In light of this, I could no more feel as if it were unimportant than a follower of Hinduism would feel the Bhagavad Gita is unimportant.

    I do not believe, however, that the Bible is a Divinely-dictated book or a sacred text without error.

    If you are a Biblical literalist, as some of you may be, what I've just said most likely bothers you greatly. You believe, not only that the Bible is Divinely-dictated and error-free, but you also believe that whatever it says must be taken as literally and factually true.

    Furthermore, you feel, if the Bible is allowed to be a very human book, instead of a Divinely-dictated one...you would have to "throw the baby out with the bath water," so to speak. That, if you questioned any of it, you'd undermine all of it and the end result would not be good either for you or the future of your faith.

    This also explains why you and other literalists may be among those who are concerned about the recent release of the Hollywood film Noah, starring Russell Crowe. Since the movie's creators have taken liberty to create a movie not tied to a literal reading of the story of Noah, you regard that as objectionable, even a blatant disregard, and perhaps even disrespectful, of a literalist reading of the story.

    As far as I'm concerned, however, I am bothered neither by Hollywood's version of the story of Noah nor whether it conforms to a literalist reading of Genesis. If you've ever actually read the text for yourself, you will know there are actually two flood stories in Genesis, the one most familiar to people where God instructs Noah to preserve two of each species of animals (Gen. 7:15) and the other where God instructs Noah to preserve seven of each species of animals (Gen. 7:2). I am more bothered instead by such sacred stories being made into movies at all.

    Why? Because these Bible stories were interpreted history, preserved for future generations, not for their factual accuracy, but their faith-generating component. When these movies are made, however, they are almost always recreated in a way resembling a literalist reading of the story. Which makes them about as believable as the movies Superman or Planet of the Apes. I can remember, for example, the first time I ever saw Cecil B. DeMille's classic story of Moses. As dramatic as cinematography would permit at that time, DeMille captured a compelling but literalist depiction of the Moses epic. Even as a child, however, I found it unbelievable.

    The real Moses never wielded a staff with supernatural powers, the tip of which, when dipped into the Nile, turned the river into a cesspool of blood. Or, when dipped into the Red Sea, caused it to part so Israelites could pass to the other side on dry, not muddy, ground.

    None of these Biblical stories, including the ones where Jesus is depicted as defying the laws of nature and performing miracles... as in, walking on water or giving sight to the blind or, most amazingly, raising dead people back to life were recorded as factual, or literal, eyewitness accounts. And, even if they were, they cannot be depicted as such today, if you want any of it to be believed... to be respected... or, to be read with any seriousness.

    https://www.huffpost.com/entry/bibli...lism_b_4966852


    What a blasphemous Easter post. You deserve everything you have coming, and it will not wait until the next world. Karma says you're gonna get some in this life for your blasphemy.

    God ingrained karma into the world and it works like clockwork. You just got yourself the bad juju. Why be a shithead and do that?

    Bruh, you can't just deny the nature and God of this world without consequences. It does not work like that.

    Seriously, it's going to do what it's going to do, and you and your commie article writer are going to have a bad time of things.

    Sucks to be you. When the bad stuff happens out of nowhere, don't forget what I told you.

    God made this world and karma and everything in it and it runs like clockwork.
    Last edited by Matt Dillon; 03-31-2024 at 09:51 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Dillon View Post
    What a blasphemous Easter post. You deserve everything you have coming, and it will not wait until the next world. Karma says you're gonna get some in this life for your blasphemy.

    God ingrained karma into the world and it works like clockwork. You just got yourself the bad juju. Why be a shithead and do that?

    Bruh, you can't just deny the nature and God of this world without consequences. It does not work like that.

    Seriously, it's going to do what it's going to do, and you and your commie article writer are going to have a bad time of things.

    Sucks to be you. When the bad stuff happens out of nowhere, don't forget what I told you.

    God made this world and karma and everything in it and it runs like clockwork.
    His "clock" should stop on pain and suffering...
    Common sense is not a gift, it's a punishment because you have to deal with everyone who doesn't have it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by signalmankenneth View Post
    If you are a Biblical literalist, as some of you may be, what I've just said most likely bothers you greatly.
    You seem to think the Bible was originally written in English. It was not.
    Quote Originally Posted by signalmankenneth View Post
    You believe, not only that the Bible is Divinely-dictated and error-free, but you also believe that whatever it says must be taken as literally and factually true.
    It is literally and factually true, but it is not a fact with you.
    Quote Originally Posted by signalmankenneth View Post
    Most people could care less whether it is or it isn't. If you're reading this, however, you probably care at least enough to read this.
    I do not believe, however, that the Bible is a Divinely-dictated book or a sacred text without error.

    As far as I'm concerned, however, I am bothered neither by Hollywood's version of the story of Noah nor whether it conforms to a literalist reading of Genesis.
    Hollywood distorts everything they touch. Don't use them as a reference of the Bible.
    Quote Originally Posted by signalmankenneth View Post
    If you've ever actually read the text for yourself, you will know there are actually two flood stories in Genesis, the one most familiar to people where God instructs Noah to preserve two of each species of animals (Gen. 7:15) and the other where God instructs Noah to preserve seven of each species of animals (Gen. 7:2). I am more bothered instead by such sacred stories being made into movies at all.
    Go back and read Genesis 7 again. God clearly delineated which Noah were to gather seven of, and which two of.
    Quote Originally Posted by signalmankenneth View Post
    Why? Because these Bible stories were interpreted history, preserved for future generations, not for their factual accuracy, but their faith-generating component.
    No. The Bible describes literal history, not an interpretation of it. Accepting it as history, is of course, a matter of faith.
    Quote Originally Posted by signalmankenneth View Post
    When these movies are made, however, they are almost always recreated in a way resembling a literalist reading of the story. Which makes them about as believable as the movies Superman or Planet of the Apes. I can remember, for example, the first time I ever saw Cecil B. DeMille's classic story of Moses. As dramatic as cinematography would permit at that time, DeMille captured a compelling but literalist depiction of the Moses epic. Even as a child, however, I found it unbelievable.
    Why?
    Quote Originally Posted by signalmankenneth View Post
    The real Moses never wielded a staff with supernatural powers, the tip of which, when dipped into the Nile, turned the river into a cesspool of blood. Or, when dipped into the Red Sea, caused it to part so Israelites could pass to the other side on dry, not muddy, ground.
    Supernatural? No. Natural. There is nothing supernatural about any of God's laws or capabilities.
    I see you never lived in the desert before either. Rivers that have flowed dry up within hours. Even while the ground is wet is easily walked upon since desert soil is often hardened with stone and sand. I grew up in the desert. I had no problem walking across ground where a river flowed just hours before.
    Quote Originally Posted by signalmankenneth View Post
    None of these Biblical stories, including the ones where Jesus is depicted as defying the laws of nature and performing miracles...
    Neither Jesus nor God defy the laws of nature. Miracles don't defy the laws of nature either. Just because YOU don't understand those laws doesn't mean God doesn't.
    Quote Originally Posted by signalmankenneth View Post
    as in, walking on water or giving sight to the blind or, most amazingly, raising dead people back to life were recorded as factual, or literal, eyewitness accounts.
    Why is walking on water unnatural? Just because YOU don't know how to?
    Why is giving sight to the blind unnatural? Just because YOU don't know how to?
    Quote Originally Posted by signalmankenneth View Post
    And, even if they were, they cannot be depicted as such today, if you want any of it to be believed... to be respected... or, to be read with any seriousness.
    YOU don't get to declare what is 'serious' for everybody. You only get to declare it for you. Omniscience fallacy.

    If you went to a primitive tribe that knows nothing about batteries or flashlights, and showed them a flashlight, it would be considered magick just as you are considering anything God has done as magick.

    Yet the flashlight conforms to all the laws of nature, just as anything God has done conforms to the laws of nature.

    Your problem is that because you don't know what they are, you want to impose your illiteracy upon God.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cypress View Post
    I don't think anyone outside the JPP MAGA and evangelical Protestant communities think the bible is inerrant and historically factual in every detail.

    The New Testament was never a stand alone book. It is a literary compilation of 27 books and epistles written independently by different authors with different perspectives and agendas. They didn't all get together and sit around a table to make sure their writings aligned and matched up.
    Yet they do. NONE of those books conflict with each other in any way.
    "The atmosphere is among the factors that determines the Earth's atmosphere." --ZenMode
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Dillon View Post
    What a blasphemous Easter post. You deserve everything you have coming, and it will not wait until the next world. Karma says you're gonna get some in this life for your blasphemy.

    God ingrained karma into the world and it works like clockwork. You just got yourself the bad juju. Why be a shithead and do that?

    Bruh, you can't just deny the nature and God of this world without consequences. It does not work like that.

    Seriously, it's going to do what it's going to do, and you and your commie article writer are going to have a bad time of things.

    Sucks to be you. When the bad stuff happens out of nowhere, don't forget what I told you.

    God made this world and karma and everything in it and it runs like clockwork.
    He's already paid for it.

    Illiteracy has a cost, and illiterates often don't even realize they are paying that cost.

    Basically, he's trying to deny God; by imposing his own illiteracy upon Him.

    Miracles can and do occur daily. Let's look at a few recent ones (in the last century or so).

    * It was prophesied that the Israel would be re-established. This has come to pass, against all odds.
    * It is prophesied that all nations (at least most) would come to stand against Israel, yet she will prevail. This has not yet come to pass, but it can certainly happen with the help of God.
    * It was prophesied Europe would crack up into many little kingdoms. This was made when the Roman Empire ruled most of Europe. That empire fell, and the crack up into many little kingdoms and nations has come to pass.
    * It was prophesied that Europe would once again unite, but then crack up again. This is currently coming to pass.
    * It was prophesied that some would make to a 'promised land' across the sea overflowing with milk and honey. I can't think of a better way to describe America. The United States became a free nation, and a beacon to the world, against all odds against her.
    * It was prophesied that in the latter days, the elements would 'melt with fervant heat'. This has already come to pass, not only in the tests conducted of the Bomb, but in it's use against two cities in Japan. Will these be the only examples? Dresden, Germany suffered horrendous firebombing, that left the streets as if paved with glass, due to the resulting firestorm.
    * It was prophesied that the Gospel would spread far and wide. A pretty bold prediction considering only a few men believed in the Gospel at the time that prophesy was made. This has come to pass. Christianity can now be found around the world among many people.

    Was Christ able to suffer the sins of all mankind? Yes. In the Garden of Gethsemane and upon the cross suffering even unto death.
    His resurrection is celebrated each Easter. The greatest miracle of all. A demonstration, if nothing else, that escaping the bonds of death is possible. Yes, we will all die. Yet in Christ we all shall live again. Christ showed the way. What is to prevent Him from showing us how to do what he did?

    Nothing. Nothing stands in the way of God and Jesus Christ. They have conquered all, even death, even Satan, even the bonds of the Earth.
    Supernatural? No. All completely in conformance with laws of nature, even if we don't understand them all.

    God violates no law, not even his own.

    Happy Easter. Remember the joy of this glorious message throughout the year and all the years to come. Do not let the sins of the world or the voices of the confused blot it out.
    Last edited by Into the Night; 04-01-2024 at 05:07 PM.
    "The atmosphere is among the factors that determines the Earth's atmosphere." --ZenMode
    "Donald has failed in almost every endeavor he has attempted. " --floridafan
    "Abortion is not a moral issue. " --BidenPresident
    "Propaganda can also be factual." --Flash
    "Even after being vaccinated, you shed virus particles." --Jerome
    "no slavery is forcing another into labor" -archives
    "Evs are much safer from fires" -- Nordberg
    "Abortion has killed no one." -- LurchAddams

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    Wait a minute, you saying the earth ain’t five thousand years old and Jonah didn’t live inside that whale for three days?

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    Quote Originally Posted by archives View Post
    Wait a minute, you saying the earth ain’t five thousand years old and Jonah didn’t live inside that whale for three days?
    The age of the Earth is unknown.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Into the Night View Post
    Happy Easter. Remember the joy of this glorious message throughout the year and all the years to come. Do not let the sins of the world or the voices of the confused blot it out.
    HE IS RISEN!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by archives View Post
    Wait a minute, you saying the earth ainít five thousand years old
    It would actually be six thousand years according to the particular line of reasoning that you're trying to reference.

    This reasoning is related to the Bible verse which says that: "With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day." (2 Peter 3:8, NIV)

    This reasoning also relates to the beliefs that Adam's creation occurred around 4,000 BC and that life here on Earth is playing out in "days" akin to how the Genesis creation account played out in "days". Under such reasoning, Jesus' death marked the end of the 4th day, and nowadays it is very close to the end of the 6th day (2,000 years after Jesus' death). That would conclude the "six days of work", which would then be followed by "one day of rest" (the millennium). Under such a belief system, Jesus' "second coming" is most definitely imminent.

    Of course, the actual age of the Earth is unknown. It could be much older.

    Quote Originally Posted by archives View Post
    and Jonah didnít live inside that whale for three days?
    Jonah lived inside of "a whale" (translation) for three days. It boggles my mind as to how that could happen (as with numerous other recorded miracles), but Jesus himself even made reference to that particular event.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gfm7175 View Post
    Under such a belief system, Jesus' "second coming" is most definitely imminent.
    So what kind of "bribe"do we atheists need to get on Jesus' good side if we should see that you Christians were actually correct and, to our surprise, Jesus makes his second appearance? Would a large meat-lovers pizza fit the bill? Perhaps a Macy's gift card? I mean, what do you get for the man who already has everything? A tie? Don't attack me for asking, but is there a possibility that Jesus, after having been pent-up in heaven for centuries (I presume without any chicks or single-malt whiskey), do you think he might really be looking for someone to help him "paint the town red"? I could do that.

    If all of this is, as you say, imminent, I need to know my options.

    Quote Originally Posted by gfm7175 View Post
    Of course, the actual age of the Earth is unknown. It could be much older.
    I have no idea why nobody speaks in terms of the upper limit of the earth's age. Obviously the earth's age is unknown, so why does everyone pretend to know it to within zero margin of error?

    Quote Originally Posted by gfm7175 View Post
    Jonah lived inside of "a whale" (translation) for three days.
    I'm guessing the whale/great fish had some serious indigestion during that time.
    Global Warming violates the 1st LoT by claiming a magical creation of thermal energy out of nothing, in the form of a temperature increase, which is somehow caused by a magical substance.
    Greenhouse Effect violates Stefan-Boltzmann and black body science by claiming that an increase in earth's temperature is somehow caused by a decrease in earth's radiance.
    Greenhouse Effect violates the 2nd LoT by claiming that the cooler atmosphere somehow heats the warmer earth's surface.

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    Quote Originally Posted by IBDaMann View Post
    So what kind of "bribe"do we atheists need to get on Jesus' good side if we should see that you Christians were actually correct and, to our surprise, Jesus makes his second appearance? Would a large meat-lovers pizza fit the bill? Perhaps a Macy's gift card? I mean, what do you get for the man who already has everything? A tie? Don't attack me for asking, but is there a possibility that Jesus, after having been pent-up in heaven for centuries (I presume without any chicks or single-malt whiskey), do you think he might really be looking for someone to help him "paint the town red"? I could do that.

    If all of this is, as you say, imminent, I need to know my options.
    No bribery needed. No gift needed. You can't buy your way to the favor of Jesus.
    Quote Originally Posted by IBDaMann View Post
    I have no idea why nobody speaks in terms of the upper limit of the earth's age. Obviously the earth's age is unknown, so why does everyone pretend to know it to within zero margin of error?
    Probably for the same reason people claim to know Earth's temperature to a zero margin of error...to thound thmart.
    Quote Originally Posted by IBDaMann View Post
    I'm guessing the whale/great fish had some serious indigestion during that time.
    Probably wasn't very pleasant for Jonah either.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cypress View Post
    I don't think anyone outside the JPP MAGA and evangelical Protestant communities think the bible is inerrant and historically factual in every detail.

    The New Testament was never a stand alone book. It is a literary compilation of 27 books and epistles written independently by different authors with different perspectives and agendas. They didn't all get together and sit around a table to make sure their writings aligned and matched up.
    The Bible was written by men and likely none of the writers (NT) were people who ever met Jesus. It's not divinely inspired. Jesus didn't write anything in the Bible and neither did God. The Biblical writers can't even agree on what day Jesus died, so it's impossible to say it's inerrant.
    "If someone doesnít value evidence, what evidence are you going to provide that proves they should value evidence."

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    Quote Originally Posted by ZenMode View Post
    The Bible was written by men and likely none of the writers (NT) were people who ever met Jesus. It's not divinely inspired. Jesus didn't write anything in the Bible and neither did God. The Biblical writers can't even agree on what day Jesus died, so it's impossible to say it's inerrant.
    Biblical inerrancy and biblical literalism is a Protestant tradition. These days, most likely a fundamentalist Protestant tradition.

    Fundamentalist Protestants are only a minority of world Christianity.

    Whether or not the bible is divinely inspired is the realm of opinion. I don't think a guy in a white robe was telling Luke what to write.

    Disagreement on the day Jesus died seems pretty minor to me. All the authors in the NT seem to convey a Jesus who preached universal love, mercy, and stood on the side of the poor and oppressed. That essence seems authentic, given that multiple independent sources convey it.

    Very little ancient literature that survives records events in real time as events unfolded. The lives and teachings of Confucius and Bhudda were written down centuries after they died. The Histories of Herodotus were written decades after the Greco-Persian wars. Are historical sources for the Mauryan Empire of India post-date the empire by centuries. No writings of the Greek Ionian philosophers survive. We only know about them by the writings of Athenian Greeks more than a century later.

    Saint Paul knew at least two of Jesus' disciples, Peter and Jesus' brother James. Some people think Mark was Peter's companion and Mark's Gospel in a summary of what Peter told him. That is open to debate. As far as surviving ancient sources though, that is pretty decent at getting back to original sources.

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