50 Questions, a measuring stick

Discussion in 'Abrahamic Religions' started by Biggerjohn, Mar 9, 2017.

  1. Biggerjohn

    Biggerjohn New Member

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    Hello,

    The following list of questions is for anyone interested in participating. There is no right or wrong answers. I'm not looking for a debate. I am hoping to validate my belief that each of us have more in common than not. The reason for the number of questions is because I am trying to be as balanced and comprehensive as I can... and 50 is a good round number, great for figuring percentages etc.

    If those who are willing we please answer with A,B,C,D, or E that would be wonderful. A = Strongly agree, B = Agree, C = Neither agree or Disagree, D = Disagree, E = Strongly Disagree.
    Also, if you can identify what faith you are (Christian, Muslim, Jewish, etc.) that would be wonderful.

    Always sincere....
    John B

    50 Questions

    1. God is real.

    2. There are no other gods beside him.

    3. God is the creator of all things.

    4. God is omnipotent, omniscient, and all powerful.

    5. Jesus Christ is the Son of God, Savior, and Redeemer of the world.

    6. Jesus Christ was born of a virgin.

    7. Jesus Christ was a great prophet.

    8. God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit (or Holy Ghost) are members of the Godhead or Trinity.

    9. God hears and answers my personal prayers.

    10. God hears and answers the prayers of others, even those of different faiths than mine.

    11. Heaven is real.

    12. Hell is real.

    13. There are multiple levels or degrees in Heaven.

    14. The Old Testament (Talmud), at least at the time it was originally penned, was inspired of God.

    15. The New Testament, at least at the time it was originally penned, was inspired of God.

    16. The Quran, at least at the time it was first uttered, was inspired of God.

    17. The Bible, both the Old and New Testament, is without major error today.

    18. The Quran is without major error today.

    19. Adam, Noah, Moses, Samuel, Elijah, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, Malachi, and all of the other prophets written of in the Old Testament were true prophets sent by God.

    20. John the Baptist was a prophet sent by God.

    21. Peter, James, John, Paul, and the other apostles spoken of in the New Testament were called of God and were prophets.

    22. It is the Grace, Love, and will of God that saves us.

    23. Faith is a necessary part of obtaining salvation.

    24. Works, especially charitable works, are a necessary part of obtaining salvation.

    25. Tithes and or alms are essential to living the kind of life God expects of us.

    26. I believe in the resurrection of the dead – that our sprits and our bodies will be re-united in perfect form.

    27. After his death on the cross Jesus became the first to be resurrected.

    28. Everyone who has ever lived on the earth will be resurrected to either eternal life or eternal damnation.

    29. There will a day of judgment when all, small and great, will be brought before God to be judged.

    30. We will be judged for our works and whether we repented of our wrongs or not.

    31. Those who died wicked will be wicked still, and those who died righteous will be righteous still.

    32. Those who do not accept Jesus Christ as their Savior before they die will be damned.

    33. Those who do not acknowledge Mohammad as God’s prophet cannot be saved.

    34. Adam and Eve were the first humans on the earth and all people descended through them.

    35. Familial relationships that exist here on earth (husband, wife, son, or daughter) will continue into the next life.

    36. Men and women are equal before God.

    37. Miracles and the gifts of the Spirit spoken of in the scriptures are real; namely: prophesying, healing, casting out devils, raising the dead, speaking and interpreting tongues, etc.

    38. Baptism, both by water (immersion) and by the Holy Spirit, are necessary for salvation.

    39. Our lives start at birth/conception, not some other place before.

    40. Angels, demons (Jinn), and humans are three distinct and separate creations of God.

    41. Satan (Iblis) was either an angel or demon who openly rebelled against God and was thrown out of heaven.

    42. One of the signs immediately preceding Judgment Day will be the Second coming of Jesus Christ.

    43. God is Just and Merciful, and commands us to be the same.

    44. God’s laws permit us to defend ourselves, even to the point of violence; but our reprisals should be equal to the offense (eye for eye, tooth for tooth), never greater.

    45. Those who die while on the path of God will be rewarded in Heaven.

    46. God forgives whom he chooses to forgive, but we are to forgive all (seventy times seven).

    47. People are accountable for their own sins, not anyone else’s (parent, child, or Adam’s original sin).

    48. There are no other prophets outside of the Bible, nor will there be any more.

    49. There are no other prophets outside of the Quran and the Bible, nor will there be any more.

    50. God is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2017
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  2. Biggerjohn

    Biggerjohn New Member

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    My own answers.
    I am Christian by the way.


     
  3. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    Interesting answers... do you believe that others that are members of your denomination of Christianity are similar to yours? Looking particularly at your Ds and Es.
     
  4. Biggerjohn

    Biggerjohn New Member

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    Many are, I am LDS (Mormon).

    These questions are far from perfect, most of the ones I answered "D = Disagree" to could just have easily gone "C = Neither Agree or Disagree."
    For instance question 17. I do not believe in Biblical "inerrancy," I believe that time and man's hand have taken their toll on the scriptures; as for how major or not major the errors maybe I don't know, which is why I said Disagree instead of Strongly Disagree.
    Take also question 18 regarding the Quran: A little over a year ago I finished reading it for the first time, there were many parts of it I felt were inspired, and other parts that didn't agree with me; overall I thought that there was much good in it. However, I believe that the Quran has also suffered due to time and the touch of man's hand.

    Regarding questions 48 and 49. Simply put, I do not believe we have all that the prophets wrote or said nor do I believe that we currently even know of all the prophets that there have been.

    I am interested in your responses to the questions, when you have the time (you do not have to keep it to A-D if you want to offer up more).

    Always sincere....
    John B
     
  5. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    I don't speak or read Arabic, but it is my understanding that the Qur'an was kept in such.a manner that the Arabic has been preserved and is the language to read it in to understand it fully...and any issues from the original are in translation....and the way the OT was aligned both horizontally and vertically made it easy to verify copies were notchanged.
     
  6. Biggerjohn

    Biggerjohn New Member

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    So... you're answer to 17 and 18 would be "A Strongly Agree" or "B Agree"? - :)

    I appreciate very much your replies. I would be happy to talk more about this elsewhere, my love of the Bible and like of the Quran (haven't been familiar with it all that long yet) is great.

    Always sincere....
    John B
     
  7. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    You would have to define "major error".

    Does it mean mistranslated?

    Which version are we speaking? Re bible and Quran there are many tranlations (in many languages)and many interpretations, and of the bible many versions...KJV nrkj, rkjv, standard, RSV, message, llamsa, and dozens more.

    Or you talking insertions, omissions?

    Or historical?

    Scientific?
     
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  8. Biggerjohn

    Biggerjohn New Member

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    With regards to the Bible, I believe it is a mixture of all these different things: mistranslation, insertions, and omissions - especially omissions.

    As for the Quran, I suspect some changes (insertions and omissions) slipped in when it went form being a strictly oral recitation to a written one. I'm not nearly as familiar with the Quran as I am the Bible and only know of one example of this and I would prefer not to get into it here since that is not the intention of this thread... I'm not out to prove or disprove anything, just assessing opinions.

    There is one last thing I want to add related to this (two actually... passages that is)

    John 21:25 "And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written, Amen."

    Sura 18:109 'Say: "If the ocean were ink (wherewith to write out) the words of my Lord, sooner would the ocean be exhausted than would the words of my Lord, even if we added another ocean like it, for its aid."'

    I believe that it is impossible to write too much of the things of the Lord, and I believe that apostles and prophets throughout history wrote down far more than what we now have in our Bible.

    But that may just be me.
     
  9. Biggerjohn

    Biggerjohn New Member

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    Wil, what is your take on questions 17 and 18?

    Also (if you don't really want to answer all the questions... I admit there is a lot) I am most interested in your answers to 9 and 10

    9. God hears and answers my personal prayers.
    10. God hears and answers the prayers of others, even those of different faiths than mine.
     
  10. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

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    With regard to the objections:

    Mistranslations:
    By whom? JWs and the like, and those with an interest in translating the Bible to fit their own ideas, yes, but scholarship has aired the debate over nuance of translation, and while there is and continues to be scholarly debate over interpretations, there's certainly there's not enough evidence to invalidate a text.

    Insertions:
    Again, these have been highlighted by scholars.

    Omissions:
    The absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, as they say.

    People usually receive the evidence of mistranslation or interpolation as 'evidence' of this or that, but really one has to weight that evidence against the practice of the tradition, which was there before the final text of the Bible assumed its form. Christ's exhortation to baptise at the end of Matthew, for example, is a late insertion, but then the Church was a baptismal church, so really it was only affirming what the Church was, before the Bible was written.

    We know that. Papias (c125AD) is supposed to have written 25 volumes (scrolls) on the says of the Lord. We know some of the Pauline letters have been lost...
     
  11. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    9 n 10, I don't believe in a G!d made in our image that "hears"

    17 n 18 based on your clarification if we are talking literal historical, scientific accuracy they both need a lot of stretching of reality to be true.
     
  12. Biggerjohn

    Biggerjohn New Member

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    Thank you for your responses. I have explored some of your other comments on other threads as well as here... I like how you think.

    Always sincere....
    John B
     
  13. Biggerjohn

    Biggerjohn New Member

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    Thank you for your comments. I'm a bit pressured for time (meeting in 4 minutes) but have a few thoughts to add. In the mean time, do you want to answer some of the original 50 questions, I am most interested in peoples opinions.

    Always sincere....
    John B
     
  14. Biggerjohn

    Biggerjohn New Member

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    To break it down succinctly, I do not believe in the "inerrancy" of the Bible, but I also do not believe the Bible needs to be "inerrant."

    As far as mistranslations are concerned some may have been deliberate, there was a great deal of corruption in the Church (as a Theocratic institution) during the Middle or Dark Ages: It is not unfathomable to suppose that some of this corruption didn't effect the Bible. I do, however, suspect that most of the errors would have been un-intentional. I believe that those who recorded and translated did their very best to do so, that they sought the spirit, and genuinely strove to serve God and everyone else with their whole hearts... indeed many served with their whole lives... literally giving them in order for us to have God's word today (William Tyndale comes to mind right now). I do not think that errors such as might have occurred during that time would have "invalidated" scripture. It certainly doesn't invalidate my love for the scriptures. What it has caused, however, are disputations and divisions which we need to overcome.

    Insertions and omissions more or less fall under the same umbrella; although I think omission may not be the best word or label. To omit indicates it was once a part and was removed, I believe that it may be more along the line of things, passages, books, etc. that could have or maybe even should have been included in the first place but were not.

    One thing I hear a lot when talking about the subject of "inerrancy" is that "God wouldn't allow his word to be corrupted by man." It isn't an issue about what God would or would not allow, we are imperfect creatures... God has given us his word and commanded us to do our best, but he has not yet made us perfect (that comes in the next life :)) Any errors are because of the imperfections of man and the things of God should not be discounted because of man's imperfections.

    Always sincere....
    John B
     
  15. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

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    Hi John —

    If I say I am orthodox Catholic, does that tell you how I'd respond to the questions?

    Nor do I. Biblica; inerrancy is not a Catholic position.

    But we have texts that go quite far back to proof-check. And again, the absence of evidence is not itself evidence ...
     
  16. Biggerjohn

    Biggerjohn New Member

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    For the most part, yes; although, I didn't know that "Biblical inerrancy" was not a Catholic position.

    My purposes for creating this survey (for lack of a better word) are long and complicated, but I am looking to quantify some ideas such as "XX% of Christians surveyed believe the Bible to be inerrant." SO...... actual answers will help me a great deal.

    Always sincere....
    John B
     
  17. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

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    OK ...

    1 - 15: A

    16: The Quran. I hold this as part of the world's sacra doctrina, along with Hindu, Buddhist and other texts.

    17: The texts are 'without major error' according to what they are. In the RCC, for example, Scripture is an infallible guide in matters of faith and morals, although our interpretation is not always quite so infallible.

    19 - 23: A

    24 - 25: aspects of love. A.

    26: I believe in the resurrection, but what kind of body remains open to speculation. If we are to be raised incorruptible, I cannot see how our physical body can attain that in its current state, but that is not to say I do not believe in physical resurrection ...

    27 - 29: A

    30: D — I believe the chance to repent at the Judgement, as long as it is real.

    31: A

    32: Acceptance of Jesus, whether known or anonymous ...

    33: E

    34 - 35: E

    36 - 39: A

    40: D — Demons are corrupted angelic intelligences who fell by their own error, they were not created evil.

    41 - 43: A

    44: Huge debate about just response. I don't believe in 'eye for an eye'. Is a drone strike that kills five an 'eye for an eye' response to a bomber who has killed tens, if not hundreds or thousands?

    45 - 48: A

    49: D

    50: A.
     
  18. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

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    It came out of the Reformation under the drive to undermine the priesthood.

    Traditional Christianity has always worked on the principle that the Bible needs informed exegesis, it's not 'wide open' to anyone who reads it. The Bible says so itself — Acts 8:26-40.

    When the Reformers pressed Sola Scriptura it was never their intention to make interpreting the text a matter of individual expression. They simple assumed the authority they had critiqued in the institutional priesthood.

    Much argument is made about the Bible in the vernacular, and much of it is ill-informed.

    Consider:
    A: Large sections of the Bible were already in translation. The venerable Bede had translated a lot into English during the 9th century!

    B: Many people – those who could read – had Psalters, which for centuries was an essential part of the prayerlife of the Christian.

    C: There was the Mass, church architecture, stained glass windows, statuary, art, mystery plays, mummers, feast-days ... the average person was steeped in the Christian Tradition, much more so than many well-read Christians today.

    D: The resurgence of 'witchcraft' in the Protestant states was a clear indicator that the people needed the symbolism that had been stripped from the churches. Contrary to popular (and totally erroneous) opinion, the Catholic states were not big on witchcraft.

    When the Bible was published in the vernacular, the governing states were against its widespread dissemination and totally against populist and personal interpretation. The Reformers were often more inclined the burn the heretic that the Curia they had displaced — generally the Reformers decried any kind of personal expression other than a rather buttoned-up conservatism. Luther, for example, had no scruple about putting down peasant uprisings in the German states when they based their claims on a Scriptural social justice — the people should always know their place.

    The contemporary notion that Scripture reveals itself to anyone who reads it is a nonsense and easily dismissed. Most people can't find their way round a domestic appliance instruction manual. Few read poetry ... why anyone thinks Scripture should be easily accessible alludes me.
     
  19. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

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    Concerning the resurrection of the flesh:

    A profound part of my Christian belief is on the basis that it does not sunder the spiritual from the physical in the way that most other traditions do. Christianity is not 'a flight of the alone to the Alone' as is Platonism; it's not dualistic as the Hellenic and Asiatic traditions are.

    So my belief is that all that is good in the eyes of God, including the physical, participates in the Parousia.

    Having said that, quite what form the resurrected body takes is another question and one of endless speculation. We don't know. It's hard to see how our current bodies can be made eternal and incorruptible and be the same as they are now.
     
  20. Biggerjohn

    Biggerjohn New Member

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    Thank you Thomas,
    Lots of good stuff to digest.
    Quick note: last September my wife and I vacationed in Paris and Rome, I especially loved Rome. We visited the Vatican for our first time, the artwork and the sculpture were amazing, I was greatly impressed by the sheer magnitude of effort, belief, faith, and love that so many artist had put into their devotions to God. It was breath taking! (of course that could have also been my asthma at work :) ).

    Always sincere....
    John B
     

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