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What is the "Word of God"?


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On 7/25/2020 at 2:38 PM, thormas said:

And how did they get that off the wind or from people like you (Christ-bearers) or others before you who helped in that positive understanding - sometimes just by your presence (which also carried a greater Presence)?

 

I've been thinking there was one thing that was offered in some of these groups: That was the concept of finding a Higher Power of one's own understanding and to the best of one's understanding. Just that.

It enabled and opened the door to people finding an understanding of God that they could appreciate and truly  believe in, not one that they hated and feared which is what they were brought up with. Many of them actually grew up with their parents using the church and christianity to justify, and condone the abuse that they were perpetrating , and to keep the children quite about it too.

On 7/25/2020 at 2:38 PM, thormas said:

Most hermits were first 'of the world' so bring something with them to their cave to think on.

Often hermits have to unlearn or shed a lot of what they learned in the world. Sometimes they don't have much to bring with them or keep.

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45 minutes ago, Pipiripi said:

The word of God is: " Belief in Jesus and keep God's 10 Commandments. 

That would need to be spelled out in greater detail P. 

Seemingly the Word is spoken and followed by belief or better a faith response to the Word, to Jesus.

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49 minutes ago, Pipiripi said:

The word of God is: " Belief in Jesus and keep God's 10 Commandments. 

Which version of the 10 Commandments? There are three of them

I have an article on the subject. The following are quotes from that article:

"Then there is the very salient question of what the commandments do not say. Is it too modern to notice that there is nothing about the protection of children from cruelty, nothing about rape, nothing about slavery, and nothing about genocide?"

"There are three versions of the Ten Commandments in the Bible. Two of them are very similar, Exodus 20:2-Exodus 20:17 and Deuteronomy 5:6-Deuteronomy 5:21 The third version, in Exodus 34:12-Exodus 34:26 is radically different, and is the only one which the Bible refers to as "the Ten Commandments" "

This is Exodus 34. The only version that the bible refers to as "the Ten Commandments"

  1. Do not worship any other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.
  2. Do not make any idols.
  3. Celebrate the Festival of Unleavened Bread. For seven days eat bread made without yeast, as I commanded you. Do this at the appointed time in the month of Aviv, for in that month you came out of Egypt.
  4. The first offspring of every womb belongs to me, including all the firstborn males of your livestock, whether from herd or flock.
  5. Redeem the firstborn donkey with a lamb, but if you do not redeem it, break its neck. Redeem all your firstborn sons. No one is to appear before me empty-handed.
  6. Six days you shall labor, but on the seventh day you shall rest; even during the plowing season and harvest, you must rest.
  7. Celebrate the Festival of Weeks with the firstfruits of the wheat harvest, and the Festival of Ingathering at the turn of the year.
  8. Three times a year all your men are to appear before the Sovereign LORD, the God of Israel.
  9. Do not offer the blood of a sacrifice to me along with anything containing yeast and do not let any of the sacrifices from the Passover Festival remain until morning.
  10. Bring the best of the firstfruits of your soil to the house of the LORD your God. "Do not cook a young goat in its mother's milk."

https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Ten_Commandments#:~:text=There%20are%20three%20versions%20of%20the%20Ten%20Commandments,the%20Bible%20refers%20to%20as%20%22the%20Ten%20Commandments%22.

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7 hours ago, Elen1107 said:

Which version of the 10 Commandments? There are three of them

I have an article on the subject. The following are quotes from that article:

"Then there is the very salient question of what the commandments do not say. Is it too modern to notice that there is nothing about the protection of children from cruelty, nothing about rape, nothing about slavery, and nothing about genocide?"

"There are three versions of the Ten Commandments in the Bible. Two of them are very similar, Exodus 20:2-Exodus 20:17 and Deuteronomy 5:6-Deuteronomy 5:21 The third version, in Exodus 34:12-Exodus 34:26 is radically different, and is the only one which the Bible refers to as "the Ten Commandments" "

This is Exodus 34. The only version that the bible refers to as "the Ten Commandments"

  1. Do not worship any other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.
  2. Do not make any idols.
  3. Celebrate the Festival of Unleavened Bread. For seven days eat bread made without yeast, as I commanded you. Do this at the appointed time in the month of Aviv, for in that month you came out of Egypt.
  4. The first offspring of every womb belongs to me, including all the firstborn males of your livestock, whether from herd or flock.
  5. Redeem the firstborn donkey with a lamb, but if you do not redeem it, break its neck. Redeem all your firstborn sons. No one is to appear before me empty-handed.
  6. Six days you shall labor, but on the seventh day you shall rest; even during the plowing season and harvest, you must rest.
  7. Celebrate the Festival of Weeks with the firstfruits of the wheat harvest, and the Festival of Ingathering at the turn of the year.
  8. Three times a year all your men are to appear before the Sovereign LORD, the God of Israel.
  9. Do not offer the blood of a sacrifice to me along with anything containing yeast and do not let any of the sacrifices from the Passover Festival remain until morning.
  10. Bring the best of the firstfruits of your soil to the house of the LORD your God. "Do not cook a young goat in its mother's milk."

https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Ten_Commandments#:~:text=There%20are%20three%20versions%20of%20the%20Ten%20Commandments,the%20Bible%20refers%20to%20as%20%22the%20Ten%20Commandments%22.

I don't know from which Bible you have quote this Commandments. Stay at the 10 Commandments that God has wrote with His finger. Exodus 20. Now that I have read Exodus 34, I have understand how you have squeezed the word of God. Here God are given the Israelites a parable how they must keep His LAWS.  My friend the sacrifices was till Jesus come to this world. Now no need the sacrifices anymore. Because Jesus don't die anymore. But the 10 Commandments will stay till Jesus returns again. Matthew 5:17-18.

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7 minutes ago, Pipiripi said:

I don't know from which Bible you have quote this Commandments. Stay at the 10 Commandments that God has wrote with His finger. Exodus 20. Now that I have read Exodus 34, I have understand how you have squeezed the word of God. Here God are given the Israelites a parable how they must keep His LAWS.  My friend the sacrifices was till Jesus come to this world. Now no need the sacrifices anymore. Because Jesus don't die anymore. But the 10 Commandments will stay till Jesus returns again. Matthew 5:17-18.

Do you mean this 10 Commandments?

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Exodus 20&version=NIV 

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What do people think of this verse from the Old Testament?

 Deuteronomy 21:18–21 

18 If someone has a stubborn and rebellious son who does not obey his father and mother and will not listen to them when they discipline him, 19 his father and mother shall take hold of him and bring him to the elders at the gate of his town. 20 They shall say to the elders, “This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious. He will not obey us. He is a glutton and a drunkard.” 21 Then all the men of his town are to stone him to death. You must purge the evil from among you. All Israel will hear of it and be afraid.

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Deuteronomy+21:18-21

Do you think it's "the word of God"?

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55 minutes ago, Elen1107 said:

What do people think of this verse from the Old Testament?

 Deuteronomy 21:18–21 

18 If someone has a stubborn and rebellious son who does not obey his father and mother and will not listen to them when they discipline him, 19 his father and mother shall take hold of him and bring him to the elders at the gate of his town. 20 They shall say to the elders, “This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious. He will not obey us. He is a glutton and a drunkard.” 21 Then all the men of his town are to stone him to death. You must purge the evil from among you. All Israel will hear of it and be afraid.

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Deuteronomy+21:18-21

Do you think it's "the word of God"?

Not the word of God just the time/culture bound 'insight' of the writer and the community at the time.

We are free to disagree given our own insights.

 

 

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59 minutes ago, thormas said:

Not the word of God just the time/culture bound 'insight' of the writer and the community at the time.

We are free to disagree given our own insights.

 

 

I guess no one had heard of the Prodigal Son in those days, though I suppose the PS's parents didn't have to live with him.

It's not what I'd exactly call an "insight" myself.

If people did that in the US today to someone's offspring they would get life in prison. 

Myself I would say that it is not nor ever was "the word of God", not even close.

-------------------------

What do you think of this verse?:

Deuteronomy 23: 2

2 No one born of a forbidden marriage nor any of their descendants may enter the assembly of the Lord, not even in the tenth generation. [b Deuteronomy 23:2 Or one of illegitimate birth]

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Deuteronomy 23&version=NIV

 

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Rather than talk about revelation from God in the writing of the Bible, I have come to consider it the other way around: human insight or discernment regarding their 'experience of the Divine.'

Thus someone at a later date can have a different insight however if they value the Bible or, for example, Christianity they must also be mindful of previous insights. One of my favorite theologians, Gabriel Moran, wrote a book entitled 'The Present Revelation' and there is the idea that one must always have one foot 'planted' in the insights of the earliest community and Jesus as we step into the future with the other foot (our discernment). 

 

Honestly I don't really focus on the Old Testament much at all and consider much of what is written to be time/culture bound and not necessarily relevant for today.

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On 7/30/2020 at 7:03 AM, thormas said:

Rather than talk about revelation from God in the writing of the Bible, I have come to consider it the other way around: human insight or discernment regarding their 'experience of the Divine.'

Thus someone at a later date can have a different insight however if they value the Bible or, for example, Christianity they must also be mindful of previous insights. One of my favorite theologians, Gabriel Moran, wrote a book entitled 'The Present Revelation' and there is the idea that one must always have one foot 'planted' in the insights of the earliest community and Jesus as we step into the future with the other foot (our discernment). 

 

Honestly I don't really focus on the Old Testament much at all and consider much of what is written to be time/culture bound and not necessarily relevant for today.

I think that we can all be filled with Christ, the Holy Spirit, and or God. This enables us to discern and understand what are the right ideas and insights about things. I actually think that this might happen to most people, whether they are aware of it or not at sometime in their lives.

The thing is to get so it doesn't just happen once in a while or once in a rare while. I myself would like it to be a state of being for myself, but I'm def. not there yet. All things take time.

I don't focus on the Old Testament either. It does have some "testament" about the coming of Christ and some of it's saying are good, even inspired. Some other parts, they might be "inspired", but my question is, 'inspired' by what?

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1 hour ago, Elen1107 said:

I don't focus on the Old Testament either. It does have some "testament" about the coming of Christ and some of it's saying are good, even inspired. Some other parts, they might be "inspired", but my question is, 'inspired' by what?

I take that as the early 'Christians' reading back into the OT to try to get a handle on and understand Jesus. 

 

Inspired by their discernment for insight into their experience of the Divine?

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3 minutes ago, thormas said:

I take that as the early 'Christians' reading back into the OT to try to get a handle on and understand Jesus. 

 

I agree

3 minutes ago, thormas said:

Inspired by their discernment for insight into their experience of the Divine?

In the Old Testament, sometimes it really seems to be about insight and experience of the Devine. Other places it really seems to be something negative, harsh and unfair. Not at all what I would call God or, as Spong would say, "Not a god I would be inclined to worship" (or something like that, from his book "Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism) 

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2 minutes ago, Elen1107 said:

I agree

In the Old Testament, sometimes it really seems to be about insight and experience of the Devine. Other places it really seems to be something negative, harsh and unfair. Not at all what I would call God or, as Spong would say, "Not a god I would be inclined to worship" (or something like that, from his book "Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism) 

Every book is different and has its own context.  Jewish scholars sort our OT into four collections, which makes plenty of sense.

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31 minutes ago, Burl said:

Every book is different and has its own context.  Jewish scholars sort our OT into four collections, which makes plenty of sense.

Sorting it into four collections might make plenty of sense, but that doesn't mean that everything in those four collections makes plenty of sense.

I'm not saying that God doesn't exist, or that Christ doesn't exist, or that the Holy Spirit doesn't still exist. Or that they are any less God or Christ or the Holy Spirit.

I'm just saying that parts of the books about them aren't all they could be.

Spong keeps saying, "We have got to stop worshipping a book and making an idol out of it" We shouldn't be worshipping a book instead of God. We should be worshipping and loving God directly, not a book about Em.

Spong says that Christianity has got to change or it will die. It will become useless and inoperative in our lives, and that that is already happening. He says that many of the problems and much of what is causing this is in the bible itself. I don't want to see it die. I don't want to help it die by pushing a bunch of inoperative and dysfunctional ideas that say God is something E isn't ... and more , . . . I could go on...

The Spirit of God is so wonderful! I don't want to see it lost to us because we are so attached to a book that we can't see past it or can't understand what it is and what it isn't. 

The Catholics are lucky. They were never "sola scriptoria' or what ever the phrase is,  though they have their own problems and challenges. 

Sorry for the rant . . . Thanks for reading

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We need the bible.

The bible often used a vinyard as an analogy.

Grapes grow on two year old wood.  Year one just leaves and a new shoot.  Fruit year two, then the branch should be pruned off.

But the stem is maintained and fertilized.  That is the Bible and tradition.  You injure the stem and the whole plant dies. 
 

Spong is wrong.  Protestantism could not have formed except in relation to RC corruption, and PC could not have formed except in dialog with superstitious Christianity.

We should recognize the Hegelian dialectic and use it to encourage new thought and prune the old carefully but leave the central organization.

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9 hours ago, Elen1107 said:

I agree

In the Old Testament, sometimes it really seems to be about insight and experience of the Devine. Other places it really seems to be something negative, harsh and unfair. Not at all what I would call God or, as Spong would say, "Not a god I would be inclined to worship" (or something like that, from his book "Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism) 

But it is their story so their insight of the Divine.

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8 hours ago, Elen1107 said:

Sorting it into four collections might make plenty of sense, but that doesn't mean that everything in those four collections makes plenty of sense.

I'm not saying that God doesn't exist, or that Christ doesn't exist, or that the Holy Spirit doesn't still exist. Or that they are any less God or Christ or the Holy Spirit.

I'm just saying that parts of the books about them aren't all they could be.

Spong keeps saying, "We have got to stop worshipping a book and making an idol out of it" We shouldn't be worshipping a book instead of God. We should be worshipping and loving God directly, not a book about Em.

Spong says that Christianity has got to change or it will die. It will become useless and inoperative in our lives, and that that is already happening. He says that many of the problems and much of what is causing this is in the bible itself. I don't want to see it die. I don't want to help it die by pushing a bunch of inoperative and dysfunctional ideas that say God is something E isn't ... and more , . . . I could go on...

The Spirit of God is so wonderful! I don't want to see it lost to us because we are so attached to a book that we can't see past it or can't understand what it is and what it isn't. 

The Catholics are lucky. They were never "sola scriptoria' or what ever the phrase is,  though they have their own problems and challenges. 

Sorry for the rant . . . Thanks for reading

For us to acknowledge the Bible as we are doing is not to worship a book. I always thought books were important and one can 'meet' God or be surprised by God or be humbled by God in many different books, including the Bible.

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16 hours ago, thormas said:

For us to acknowledge the Bible as we are doing is not to worship a book. I always thought books were important and one can 'meet' God or be surprised by God or be humbled by God in many different books, including the Bible.

I also think that one can 'meet' God and be surprised by God and be inspired by God without a book. By many different things, through nature, through science, through art, through music, and perhaps most importantly, through just tuning into God and E's Light and E's Spirit and E's Grace and that of Jesus too. Living in God and God's energy and love and in Jesus's light and love are for me, the most important thing, book or no book, it's still the most important thing (for me).

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9 hours ago, Elen1107 said:

I also think that one can 'meet' God and be surprised by God and be inspired by God without a book. By many different things, through nature, through science, through art, through music, and perhaps most importantly, through just tuning into God and E's Light and E's Spirit and E's Grace and that of Jesus too. Living in God and God's energy and love and in Jesus's light and love are for me, the most important thing, book or no book, it's still the most important thing (for me).

I agree but, for me, it is the Word that speaks to us, awakens us and surprises us - whether it is spoken by a person in real time or by a person in the past and present in a book. 

Science, art, music and nature - all hold the possibility of 'speaking' to us, surprising us and awakening us to God. 

 

What is E?

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14 hours ago, thormas said:

I agree but, for me, it is the Word that speaks to us, awakens us and surprises us - whether it is spoken by a person in real time or by a person in the past and present in a book. 

 

& also the 'words' of our own thoughts sometimes.

I love words, and I love getting the perfect words to express something. But too often it's not possible to find them and one needs to just come close to what they want to say or what they want to express.

In John 1 the word 'Word' is meant to mean Jesus himself. It's a translation from the Greek word Logos. This would also be an interesting subject to discuss.

I've heard people say that the word 'name' in the bible could or might also be understood as 'spirit'. We say in the 'name' of God, but we don't have the name of God. Could this be better said or understood as 'the spirit of God'. We say "gather in the name of Jesus". Could we also say, "gather in the spirit and name of Jesus" and be meaning more what we really intend to say?

I wish I was a lot better with words, ... hope this communicates something interesting and worthwhile

14 hours ago, thormas said:

What is E?

E is just an gender neutral or non-genderfied pronoun. I use it for God and sometimes for the prenatal when one doesn't know their gender. I don't believe in a physical, gender specific idea of God so I feel it better points to God than the words he or she. I only know a few people who use it, but I like it and even feel it's closer to the truth about God, so I use it.

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9 hours ago, Elen1107 said:

& also the 'words' of our own thoughts sometimes.

I love words, and I love getting the perfect words to express something. But too often it's not possible to find them and one needs to just come close to what they want to say or what they want to express.

In John 1 the word 'Word' is meant to mean Jesus himself. It's a translation from the Greek word Logos. This would also be an interesting subject to discuss.

I've heard people say that the word 'name' in the bible could or might also be understood as 'spirit'. We say in the 'name' of God, but we don't have the name of God. Could this be better said or understood as 'the spirit of God'. We say "gather in the name of Jesus". Could we also say, "gather in the spirit and name of Jesus" and be meaning more what we really intend to say?

I wish I was a lot better with words, ... hope this communicates something interesting and worthwhile

I'm thinking on this but it seems those thoughts first have to get there and for me they get there from our experiences with others and in the world. For me, God always presents himSelf in creation...........but I'm thinking on it 😀 

I agree with what you said about words.

In John also, God does not come to us 'directly' as he is in himSelf (sometimes called the Godhead or God in Himself) but it is in and through his Word that he creates, that he comes 'among us' and he comes in the Word that is Jesus to bring 'salvation.' It is always the Word. Agreed, would be an interesting discussion.

I think of Word and Spirit as two modes of God, i.e. two ways the same God interacts with humanity, with the created. But they are also one.

If you think of it the best, most effective words are those spoken in (the spirit of) love.

 

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14 hours ago, thormas said:

I'm thinking on this but it seems those thoughts first have to get there and for me they get there from our experiences with others and in the world. For me, God always presents himSelf in creation...........but I'm thinking on it 😀 

I agree with what you said about words.

In John also, God does not come to us 'directly' as he is in himSelf (sometimes called the Godhead or God in Himself) but it is in and through his Word that he creates, that he comes 'among us' and he comes in the Word that is Jesus to bring 'salvation.' It is always the Word. Agreed, would be an interesting discussion.

I think of Word and Spirit as two modes of God, i.e. two ways the same God interacts with humanity, with the created. But they are also one.

If you think of it the best, most effective words are those spoken in (the spirit of) love.

 

I keep thinking that you have been very lucky in that God has expressed Emself to you through the words and actions of so many people.

I can't help but feel that God would (or even does) also express Emself to you directly, through your own ideas, thoughts and insights. From the things you write I find it a little hard to believe that this hasn't already happened, and maybe you just don't see it, cause you've had a lot of good things given to you.

---------------------------

I agree that the best words are those that are spoken in the spirit of love.

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11 hours ago, Elen1107 said:

I keep thinking that you have been very lucky in that God has expressed Emself to you through the words and actions of so many people.

I can't help but feel that God would (or even does) also express Emself to you directly, through your own ideas, thoughts and insights. From the things you write I find it a little hard to believe that this hasn't already happened, and maybe you just don't see it, cause you've had a lot of good things given to you.

---------------------------

I agree that the best words are those that are spoken in the spirit of love.

 We differ on how we conceive and speak of God's interaction with man. I simply think that God is always 'incarnating:'  in and through humanity in order to 'express himSelf' to us. I think any 'direct' expression would overwhelm out freedom to respond to him and I think that even the OT speaks of the Godhead (God in himself who is beyond all comprehension) always working through Word and Spirit to create, to call his people, to challenge and judge them (his prophets) and, of course, most intimately expressing himself 'indirectly' in the man Jesus so as not to overwhelm but to 'call' and allow our free response.

So from my perspective, God has been constantly expressing himSelf to me throughout my life - simply not in the way you conceive such expression.

 

 

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11 hours ago, thormas said:

 We differ on how we conceive and speak of God's interaction with man. I simply think that God is always 'incarnating:'  in and through humanity in order to 'express himSelf' to us. I think any 'direct' expression would overwhelm out freedom to respond to him and I think that even the OT speaks of the Godhead (God in himself who is beyond all comprehension) always working through Word and Spirit to create, to call his people, to challenge and judge them (his prophets) and, of course, most intimately expressing himself 'indirectly' in the man Jesus so as not to overwhelm but to 'call' and allow our free response.

So from my perspective, God has been constantly expressing himSelf to me throughout my life - simply not in the way you conceive such expression.

 

 

Have you ever had a piece of intuition or insight that rouse up in you that you felt was or might be from God? Not something overwhelming or over powering but something that you felt was truly inspiring. Maybe it had to do with a question you'd been asking yourself for a long time or it had to do with something you'd been thinking about for a while. 

I think this sort of thing can happen to anyone, though we might have to tune into it and be open to it. It certainly did happen to the earliest Christians. It seems to be that these are the sort of things they were talking about when they met in their churches/gatherings, they didn't have a New Testament, but they were gathering and talking about something. 

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