The Bible.... word of God?

Discussion in 'Comparative Studies' started by didymus, Mar 25, 2006.

  1. didymus

    didymus New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2005
    Messages:
    506
    Likes Received:
    0
    This is probably an old arguement to some at this point but continues to interst me for some reason. I used to think that the Bible was the inerrant word of God and that to question it or challenge its authenticity was equal to sin and blasphemy. With that said I am completely certain at this stage in my life that it is not the word of God but rather the word of humans, particularly of the Jewish and later the Greek and Roman cultures. How can we possibly reconcile what is found in some verses of the Bible with our societal views and norms of today? The logic found in the Bible is totally human and subjective. If we attribute what is found in all of the Bible to God we associate God with a vindictive, angry and jealous person, not to mention sexist, the exact opposite personality and character that Jesus spoke of emulating. These controversial passages are found in both the old and new testament.
    Here are a few passages to back my claim:
    Ezra 9, 10 All foreign born wives must be divorced
    Col 3:22, 4:1 Paul speaks of slavery being made kinder and gentler
    1 Timothy speaks of how women should be submissive, forbidden to teach and have authority over menand can be saved by bearing children.
    Lev 20:13 Homosexuals should be executed and that disobedient children should be stoned
    Deut 21:18-21, 6:14,15 8:19, 30:17, 8 people who worship a false God should be made to perish
    Luke 4:35, 39, Mark 2:1-12 sickness is a result of a demon that must be rebuked
    Kings asserts that the loss in battle is the direct result of not keeping Gods commandments (which includes thou shalt not kill) subsequent victories are attributed to God(lots of killing)
    There are many many more where that came from as most of you know. Enough is enough already. Are we going to continue to associate God with this type of angry father figure and for how long? The longer we do the longer we are seperated and the true God presence in all of us which will fully manifest as whole can be revealed to us all.
     
  2. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Admin

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2003
    Messages:
    6,532
    Likes Received:
    10
    I think a big part of the problem is that you appear to be reading on English versions for one, and also applying our own social norms as a yardstick by which to measure ancient cultures.

    I think we've seen it discussed before that "Thou shalt not kill" is more properly rendered as "Don't murder" - also, as for slavery - much as though we have the modern interpretation of slave ships from Africa, slavery was the employment norm of the time - in fact, some people would suggest that modern capitalism has simply replaced physical chains with social, emotional, and economic ones.

    Anyway, just to start the replies. :)
     
  3. taijasi

    taijasi Gnōthi seauton

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2004
    Messages:
    2,640
    Likes Received:
    6
    I want to 2nd that in a sense, and to say something similar: I think we must consider very carefully who is the audience - of any particular Biblical passage. And who was the author? Was it Paul, to the citizens of X city ... or the Prophet Ezekiel to the - ummm, the, umm, Israelites? :p lol, I got no clue. But anyway, the idea the Bible was written in any form or fashion for the common wo/man of today, even as a sound & ready guidebook, let alone as some kind of ultimate answer(s) on every possible question - is patently absurd.

    What we should be able to do, as many (most?) of the inspiring religious leaders in recent decades have been able to do ... is to look across all religions and see what's common teaching, and see what core truths are being emphasized - without lifting them out of context or failing to appreciate their origin, history, etc., of course. This might actually help us to understand, in the case of the Bible, as we discover that various teachings have shown up in every world culture from time immemorial. In terms of a guidebook, or code to live by, Jesus updated the Mosaic Law for us by summing things up in Two Core Rules, and the Sermon on the Mount conveys Christ's message for us beautifully, as does the Bhagavad Gita.

    Let's face it, unless our goal is to scare little children into behaving in the middle of Wal-Mart, or else give them nightmares for the rest of their lives, the wrathful, jealous god figure, fully created in our own worst image ... really just has no place. Even the original Star Trek series was able to address this problem in one of the motion pictures. Oh yeah, they find god alright. And he's plenty powerful, and impressive, and every bit the monster that we might expect - if all we did was apply power to ego. Why is it so difficult to imagine a purely, perfectly loving God? Because there would be no ego. No little ego, at any rate. A definite I am, but we should focus on things like I am Love, I am forgiveness, I am understanding, I am peace, I am cooperation, I am dedication, I am commitment, I am the resolution - to every problem.

    Perhaps like this: Peter Gabriel, In Your Eyes :)

    andrew
     
  4. taijasi

    taijasi Gnōthi seauton

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2004
    Messages:
    2,640
    Likes Received:
    6
    (Mods, I don't think this is copyrighted, apologies if I've goofed.:eek:)

    OMG! The Bill Moyers speech that Kathe just recently posted really strikes home here. The whole thing really, but this part about Jacob in particular:
    ... technically Jacob's adversary was not an angel; it was the local deity who stood guard at the boundary beyond which Jacob was not supposed to venture. Local gods were everywhere in those days, protecting parochial fiefdoms. This one told Jacob he couldn't leave, to turn around and go back.

    But Jacob wouldn't turn back; he had miles to go and promises to keep. He was called to discover his destiny, move out to the great world awaiting him. If he turned back he would spend the rest of his life in a place too narrow, with a god too small. So Jacob had to go to the mat with this presumptuous authority figure and they wrestled all night. It must have been a terrible struggle because when morning came and Jacob had pinned the god for the last time, his leg was on fire with pain.

    He crossed the river and on the other side he got a new name -- now he would be known as Israel -- but for the rest of his life Jacob walked with a limp. Pain comes with freedom -- it's just the deal. The little gods don't want you to grow, learn, think for yourself. But you have to test their truth claims against your own life's experience -- against your own faith and reason. To cross over to freedom you have to show the bogus gods at the border that you have a mind of your own.
    ;)

    andrew
     
  5. didymus

    didymus New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2005
    Messages:
    506
    Likes Received:
    0
    I don't think it matters what language it is in with all due respect. The point being that an all loving God who created all and is all would not impose such manmade legalities on us and would certainly oppose slavery, repression of women and killing in any form.( by the way iI don't see the diffenece between killing and murder) Whether those were the norms from ancient days or today they are clearly human laws that were written down and passed off as God's laws. The fact that that which was written speaks so specifically to the norms of that time and location are even more revealing. Why would God speak only to Israel? There were many different cultures and norms occuring throughout the earth at that time. Why wouldn't God have spoken of the events taking place in North America for example?
     
  6. taijasi

    taijasi Gnōthi seauton

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2004
    Messages:
    2,640
    Likes Received:
    6
    Well there's the neat thing about the Native American Great Spirit. :) He did! :D And God has spoken to many, through many, in literature all around the world ... in many volumes available today in the local bookstore. First editions - some just a few years ago. ;)

    All peoples, all times, all cultures, all places. But the priesthood insists on bangin' out what it wants & needs to maintain power. And every World Savior faces the same old routine. Krishna had opposition from the established order of Brahmins, Buddha meets resistance when he comes as reformer, Christ faces the Sanhedrin and threatens their chokehold on the Jewish people. God is there, even "in person," yet in each case the ministers knew him not. Only the poor, simple folk ... could be reached.

    Were these simple folk so stupid, so degenerate, and so hostile that all they could understand was the brute of a god with human vices and pettiness? I don't think so. Some, yes. But there have been people who knew the gentle God ... since ere this world began, and every step of the way. True? ;):)

    andrew
     

Share This Page