Can the bible be taken literally?

Discussion in 'Abrahamic Religions' started by Pagan-prophet, Jan 14, 2004.

  1. julienhr

    julienhr New Member

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    another two cents

    Hi, I'm new here and happy to find this site. I'm in the midst of reading Spong's "Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism", Funk (& the Jesus Seminar's) "The Five Gospels:What did Jesus Really Say?", and "Christianity without God" (!) by Lloyd Geering. I'm sure I'm leaving some books out. . .

    Personally, I cannot fathom taking the Bible literally. One, there are too many contradictions. Two, the Bible was written by men, not God, and what is canonical has been seriously effected by politics. Thirdly, as another person in this thread has pointed out, there are so many translations and interpretations. I could go on, but other more educated on this matter have responded and will.

    In my humble opinion, the Bible is a stunning piece of literature, wisdom and "written" oral history.

    Not taking it literally does NOT mean that it cannot be taken seriously. Reading it with an eye and ear for metaphor and within its' historical context can bring one to insight and wisdom. Not taking it literally does NOT mean there is no God.

    I must say that I hesitantly describe myself as atheist. However, I find that in all religions there is a core of the SAME ethical truths.

    As someone who has been a practicing Quaker and Buddhist, I find that when reading Jesus' teachings, I "hear" them more as koans.

    There is a universal beauty and truth at the heart of all religious texts.
     
  2. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    Julien,


    Welcome to the forum and i very like much what you wrote:


    "I find that in all religions there is a core of the SAME ethical truths.

    As someone who has been a practicing Quaker and Buddhist, I find that when reading Jesus' teachings, I "hear" them more as koans.

    There is a universal beauty and truth at the heart of all religious texts."

    That sentiment ties very much in with my own beliefs.

    - Art
     
  3. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Admin

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    Hi julienhr, and welcome to CR. Some interesting points, certainly - it'll be good to see you expound on at least some of these in our discussions. :)
     
  4. Pilgram

    Pilgram New Member

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    In response to your original question (name of your thread): YES!
    The Bible can be taken literally. But why would anyone want to do something that irrational?
    The human race evolved to the point where Galileo pointed out that the church and its teachings (which are derived from the Bible by "experts" i.e. theologians) were erroneous. From that point on the race evolved rapidly in learning but since it could not shake off its irrationality (clinging to superstition and biblical "authority") it is now at a place where its technology far exceeds its rational ability to use it responsibly and safely.
    Take the bible literally and we mix knowledge with insanity. YOU ARE HERE!!!
     
  5. gluadys

    gluadys New Member

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    It makes sense to discard poor translation in favour of good translation.

    But why would identifying a passage of the bible as myth/tall tale/story be a reason to discard it?
     
  6. kcjwriter

    kcjwriter New Member

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    God of the Bible

    Interesting thread. I am amazed myself at how many people who call themselves Christians have never really read the Bible in-depth. There
    is massive cruelty, abomination, savagry, brutality, assault, rape, violence,
    bloodshed, and a mass of contradictions all over the place. It cannot be
    the Word of God, in that "God spoke the Bible". It simply cannot be. I believe that God is Love, pure and simple. The Old Testament God of Wrath and Violence is far from love. He is practically un-appeasable. If I faced such a god, I would ask him "how do you live with yourself? I really do feel sorry for you." Regarding the issue of hypocrisy, this is big. Why would God tell us to forgive (Jesus' request) seventy times seven times (in other words, continuously) if the Bible god continuously smittens peoples and groups with bloody death, violence, and wrath for small offenses? Isn't God supposed to lead the example, here? So, in conclusion, the Bible is a historical document, and is not the literal word of God. If it was, then we have got a big problem...we would have to deal with a Deity of Great Unhappiness, Anger, Wrath, and Jealousy...a True Wretch. I don't then know how the new testament could **ever** say that God is Love. That would be inconsistent.
     
  7. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Admin

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    Hi kcwriter, and welcome to CR. :)

    As for the God of the OT vs the NT - I'm sure we've discussed that somewhere. It's cerainly worth noting the envoroments and cultures that the different books were written from. :)
     
  8. 17th Angel

    17th Angel לבעוט את התחת ולקחת שמות

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    literally?

    Zep 1:2-6 lol would you want to take that literally?
     
  9. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    Re: God of the Bible

    It has to do with the direction and understanding. Yes from the Christian perspective there is this old testament G!d and the New Testament G!d...Jesus brought us the Good News that we don't have to deal with all those laws and ways anymore...unless of course we are a member of a church that wants too...and then it is a different story.

    And it is also a different story if you attend a synagogue and discuss the meanings and information contained in those texts....quite different.
     
  10. Azure24

    Azure24 New Member

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    If you are reffering to the bible where does it say God is Omniscent?
     
  11. Ahanu

    Ahanu Well-Known Member

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    He knows all our ways [Ps. 139: 1-6].

    He needs to consult no one for knowledge or understanding [Is. 40:13-14].

    Christ displays these qualities.
     

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