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The Inspired Word


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Had a very interesting conversation with a good friend of my this afternoon regarding the Bible being the inspired word. Firstly let me say that I don't agree with his synopses. When I asked him to to clarify which part of the Bible did he consider inspired, his answer was "all of it"

 

I guess we first have to define what Inspired means. Without question the Bible is full of contradiction, yet if its read with an open mind and not interpreted literally many of its wise comments can be life changing and inspirational

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I would go so far as to say that some of it isn't even inspired at all by most anybody's reasonable standard. Some of it is just plain beliefs and opinions of the times by the writer. ie: Paul's letter concerning women.

Joseph

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Yes, I would agree about Paul's comments on Women. His destructive rhetoric clearly displays that he has some very disturbing views on women, almost certainly empowered by his own distorted picture of God and authority. What is clear is that we all interpret information based on our experience and world view. In my opinion Paul was one of the most destructive individuals in the New Testament, It appears to me that his influence over Christianity overshadows Christ. I may stand alone in this but it is my conviction that Paul has derailed what Jesus was attempting to do. In my opinion Christianity is nothing more than a man made religion that has little to do with the teachings of Jesus and more to do with the Pharisaical agendas of Paul.

 

Terry

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It wouldn't matter to me if any of you were a-holes once in a while... it wouldn't mean that everything you say is rubbish. Paul's words about the nature of love to the Corinthians ring powerfully true today. Nothing "truthy" about that.

Edited by fatherman
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Ultimately does not matter who wrote what when.

 

What might be more important is what we do with "Paul's" words today ...

and why fixate on the truthiness of religious texts?

What we do with Paul's words is take what is relevant to the world we live in and toss the rest, this something the fundamentalist cant do.

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What we do with Paul's words is take what is relevant to the world we live in and toss the rest, this something the fundamentalist cant do.

 

Speaking personally I am not overly familiar with Paul's words.

 

So generally I don't do anything Paul's words.

 

I don't know why I reminded of a Morecambe and Wise skit. Eric sits down at a grand piano and ostentatiously announces he is going to play a some famous piano concerto and starts playing chopsticks. Ernie points out he is playing the wrong notes for the concerto. Eric replies they are the right notes but the wrong order.

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Had a very interesting conversation with a good friend of my this afternoon regarding the Bible being the inspired word. Firstly let me say that I don't agree with his synopses. When I asked him to to clarify which part of the Bible did he consider inspired, his answer was "all of it"

 

I guess we first have to define what Inspired means. Without question the Bible is full of contradiction, yet if its read with an open mind and not interpreted literally many of its wise comments can be life changing and inspirational

But I would also add that there is a lot of stuff in the bible that should be considered pure evil these days - like the dozen or so acts of genocide that God calls for in the OT. I think one can take some inspiration from certain parts of the bible, and also accept that a lot of the bible is just somebody's opinion, in that day and age, within the societal norms they are accustomed to.

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I'm not so sure I would credit God with the genocides mentioned in the Bible, more like man with his own selfish agendas. It does seem mesmerising to me that people take the whole Bible as God's word and therefore by definition it all must be true. Just because God permitted things doesn't mean He initiated them or endorses them.

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Terry, throughout the OT there are atrocities, genocides and cruelty that are directly attributed to God - "God commanded this, God commanded that, God said kill every living thing there but keep the virgins for yourself, etc etc". Subsequently I attribute these things to 'Bible God'. Now maybe there's a God somewhere weeping because of man's misinterpretation of his desires, but nevertheless, cruel Bible God is unmistakably the same God that most fundamentals worship (and excuse his tyrannical acts). I think you'll find many instances of this God positively endorsing cruelty and using it as a tool to suit his ends (as described by man anyway).

 

Check out this page for a brief list of some of this God's dirty work - http://infidels.org/library/modern/donald_morgan/atrocity.html

Edited by PaulS
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I think when the bible says "God says do this thing to another tribe"...then there is only way way to interpret it - the author very much intended it as literal. The author is definitely saying in a very literal way "God ordered this to be done". One might believe that God did no such thing, but that isn't anything to do with interpretation of the author's words.

 

Perhaps what you're suggesting, and if so I agree, is that God may have never ordered, ordained, or otherwise encouraged such actions, but that this is purely human work and whether rightly or wrongly, those people attributed their actions to their religious beliefs.

 

Interestingly enough (well, actually it's not all that interesting) most fundamental Christians I speak to cannot bring themselves to acknowledging these difficulties with the bible and instead feel they have to justify God's behaviour, e.g. "That was how things were done back then" or "God gives live and he taketh - who are we to question what he deems fit", etc.

Edited by PaulS
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It seems to me that Osama Bin Laden attributed much of what he did as the work of God, I'm sure that Joshua were he alive today (if he was in fact a real person) would be number 1 on the USA hit list for terrorism related crimes.

 

As a Family Therapist I am becoming more and more convinced that fundamentalists regardless are suffering from some form of disillusionment. I think this is a great definition:

 

What’s a fundamentalist? Someone who looks at all new information to see if it matches their beliefs (or principles) and ignores that which doesn’t match.

 

An interesting read.

 

http://mic.com/articles/45811/religious-fundamentalism-is-a-mental-illness-that-could-soon-be-cured

Edited by apexcone
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