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

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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


    Parts of the Bible are literal and some arent. So what? They've written books about multiverses which is literally a made up story. So what?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yakuda View Post
    Parts of the Bible are literal and some arent. So what? They've written books about multiverses which is literally a made up story. So what?
    There are no legitimate scientists who claim the multiverse is literally true. It's just speculation.

    There are plenty of fundamentalists who claim the bible is inerrant and factually true in every respect.

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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?
    I think that, with this question, you have already answered your own question.

    Quote Originally Posted by IBDaMann View Post
    Don't attack me for asking,
    No worries. I'm not a Democrat (nor a warmizombie).

    Quote Originally Posted by IBDaMann View Post
    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.
    You've definitely been blessed with an imaginative mind and a great sense of humor!

    As far as The Bible goes, readers of it are told that Jesus is currently busy "preparing a place for [all believers]". [John 14:1-4]

    There are some interesting parallels between how an "ancient Jewish" wedding was conducted and how The Bible describes the relationship between Jesus and "His Bride" (which is most commonly understood to be synonymous with the terms 'The Church' and 'The Body of Christ', although there's a minority viewpoint that exists that 'The Bride' and 'The Church' / 'The Body of Christ' might actually be very similar but separate things, meaning that 'The Bride' might actually be "taken from" 'The Body of Christ' in the same manner that Eve (Adam's bride) was "taken from" the body of Adam).

    First, there needs to be "mutual commitment". Of course, this is also an important part of current weddings of all sorts. Without mutual commitment, there isn't the existence of "two bodies becoming one flesh" (as one body would be at odds with the other body). You could think of this as an "arranged wedding gone bad" in which the Bride is not at all attracted to the Groom (IOW, she doesn't love him and doesn't want to be with him). The same is true with Jesus and His Bride. If you wish to have a relationship with Jesus, then you have to come to him willingly and faithfully (through the guidance of the Holy Spirit). This includes baptism (as Jesus was also baptized).

    Then, there's the betrothal period. Here is where a binding contract gets established (with vows). This period typically lasted around a year. During this period, the bride and groom didn't live together because the groom was to prepare a place for his bride while the bride focused on her personal preparations. She knew that he was coming back for her in about a year's worth of time, but she didn't know the exact day or hour in which he would be arriving for her. The groom's father would be the one to give the groom final approval to go collect his bride. The bride would keep her oil lamps ready (in case the groom would arrive in the night). This all sounds quite similar to how The Bible describes Jesus' relation with his bride, doesn't it? In the same manner, Jesus has gone up to heaven to prepare a place for her. She is likewise aware of the general time in which Jesus is coming back for her, but she does not know the exact day or hour (thus the need for her to always be "imminently prepared for him to arrive").

    Then, there's the marriage itself. The groom comes back for his bride and lifts her up and carries her away to be with him. In likewise manner, Jesus is coming back for his bride and will carry her away to be with him.

    With regard to "being aware of the general time", there are several signs that can be pointed to that point towards Jesus' second coming as happening "imminently soon". One very important sign of this is the re-formation of Israel as a nation.

    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?
    I suppose that people think they thound "thmarter" that way.

    Quote Originally Posted by IBDaMann View Post
    I'm guessing the whale/great fish had some serious indigestion during that time.
    Quite plausible! I imagine that it wasn't a very pleasant experience in any event.
    Last edited by gfm7175; 04-03-2024 at 10:59 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cypress View Post
    There are no legitimate scientists who claim the multiverse is literally true. It's just speculation.

    There are plenty of fundamentalists who claim the bible is inerrant and factually true in every respect.
    So nothing written in a book about multiverse is true? What I posted said nothing about whether or not the Bible was inerrant or factually true.
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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.
    Chanted like a member of the Church of No God.
    Someday you should read the Bible and find out how wrong you are with these statements.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cypress View Post
    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.
    No Protestants own the Bible, Sock.
    "The atmosphere is among the factors that determines the Earth's atmosphere." --ZenMode
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    "Abortion is not a moral issue. " --BidenPresident
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cypress View Post
    There are no legitimate scientists who claim the multiverse is literally true. It's just speculation.
    Because it is not a theory of science, Sock.
    It's not even a valid word. The Universe means ONE. There is no multiverse and universe at the same time.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cypress View Post
    There are plenty of fundamentalists who claim the bible is inerrant and factually true in every respect.
    The books the English translation came from are.
    The English translation has errors.
    "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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    Quote Originally Posted by Yakuda View Post
    So nothing written in a book about multiverse is true? What I posted said nothing about whether or not the Bible was inerrant or factually true.
    Correct, nothing written in any reputable science publication assets the multiverse is true. At best, it's described as conjecture and speculation.

    On the flip side, numerous fundamentalists believe the bible is inerrant and factually true.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cypress View Post
    Correct, nothing written in any reputable science publication assets the multiverse is true. At best, it's described as conjecture and speculation.

    On the flip side, numerous fundamentalists believe the bible is inerrant and factually true.
    So AGAIN nothing in book about multiverse is true. Nothing.

    Prove the bibles not true.
    "Political correctness is fascism pretending to be manners" - George Carlin

    "Education is a system of imposed ignorance" - Noam Chomsky

    "Leftists actually think everyone is as stupid as a leftist." - Yakuda

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yakuda View Post
    So AGAIN nothing in book about multiverse is true. Nothing.

    Prove the bibles not true.
    Prove The Iliad and The Odyssey aren't true.
    "If someone doesn’t value evidence, what evidence are you going to provide that proves they should value evidence."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Into the Night View Post
    Chanted like a member of the Church of No God.
    Someday you should read the Bible and find out how wrong you are with these statements.
    I've read the Bible. That's how I know it's not inerrant and how I know that Mark and John say that Jesus was died on different days.
    "If someone doesn’t 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
    Prove The Iliad and The Odyssey aren't true.
    I didn't make the claim they aren't. You introduce a lot of irrelevant stuff to conversations don't you?
    "Political correctness is fascism pretending to be manners" - George Carlin

    "Education is a system of imposed ignorance" - Noam Chomsky

    "Leftists actually think everyone is as stupid as a leftist." - Yakuda

    "No, Trump isn't a fascist, tatt boy." - moon

  13. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Yakuda For This Post:

    gfm7175 (04-04-2024), Into the Night (04-03-2024)

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    Quote Originally Posted by gfm7175 View Post
    I think that, with this question, you have already answered your own question.
    As a last-ditch effort, what about some loaves and fish? (to that end, WWJP? [what would Jesus prefer] Cod or red snapper?) I can get those from a local market and, while I realize that everything is in the delivery, Into the Night seems to be a pessimistic "stick-in-the-mud" regarding my ability to get in some last-minute schmoozing. He makes it sound like I have "an atheist's chance in heaven". Seriously, he has never seen me schmooze. Oh, regarding the loaves, Italian bread or French?



    Quote Originally Posted by gfm7175 View Post
    No worries. I'm not a Democrat (nor a warmizombie).
    That's how you know God is a conservative, i.e. he didn't create a mindless collective.

    Quote Originally Posted by gfm7175 View Post
    As far as The Bible goes, readers of it are told that Jesus is currently busy "preparing a place for [all believers]". [John 14:1-4]
    Naturally He is allocating space according to the RSVP list. I totally get that, but everybody builds a little cushion into the plans for unexpected last minute additions or change of plans, right? Surely there's a "stand-by list," yes?

    Quote Originally Posted by gfm7175 View Post
    There are some interesting parallels between how an "ancient Jewish" wedding was conducted and how The Bible describes the relationship between Jesus and "His Bride" (which is most commonly understood to be synonymous with the terms 'The Church' and 'The Body of Christ',
    Tell me that there's no vow to forsake all others. If there is then I'm just going to have to wave to you from the other side of the fence.

    Quote Originally Posted by gfm7175 View Post
    First, there needs to be "mutual commitment".
    I could do that at the last minute, sure ... like a Las Vegas wedding. Then you and I will be able to grab some manna at the bar.

    Quote Originally Posted by gfm7175 View Post
    You could think of this as an "arranged wedding gone bad" in which the Bride is not at all attracted to the Groom (IOW, she doesn't love him and doesn't want to be with him).
    In Islamic societies, this is the norm. In fact, it is not uncommon for a woman to be married to a cousin. That's the nature of arranged marriages; the parents do the arranging.

    Quote Originally Posted by gfm7175 View Post
    If you wish to have a relationship with Jesus, then you have to come to him willingly and faithfully (through the guidance of the Holy Spirit).
    I can do this; I'm just asking for a grace period (no pun intended). What can I plead to just get "community service"? I can teach a course or two at Hillsdale College.

    Quote Originally Posted by gfm7175 View Post
    This includes baptism (as Jesus was also baptized).
    Hey, I was baptized. Is that a trump card?

    Quote Originally Posted by gfm7175 View Post
    She is likewise aware of the general time in which Jesus is coming back for her, but she does not know the exact day or hour (thus the need for her to always be "imminently prepared for him to arrive").
    Kind of like a Parusia DEFCON 2.

    Quote Originally Posted by gfm7175 View Post
    One very important sign of this is the re-formation of Israel as a nation.
    So .... this has been "imminent" for over 75 years?

    Quote Originally Posted by gfm7175 View Post
    I suppose that people think they thound "thmarter" that way.
    "Look how thmart I am! I have no conthept of math!"
    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 Yakuda View Post
    I didn't make the claim they aren't. You introduce a lot of irrelevant stuff to conversations don't you?
    My point is that you can't prove that the Bible isn't true any more than you can prove that The Iliad isn't true. You also can't prove that leprechauns and fairies don't exist.
    "If someone doesn’t 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
    I've read the Bible.
    Obviously not.
    Quote Originally Posted by ZenMode View Post
    That's how I know it's not inerrant and how I know that Mark and John say that Jesus was died on different days.
    They don't specify a date, Sock.
    "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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