Many Christians believe that the bible is a sacred text book that guides their lives. This book, sacred to many, is made up of 66 individual scripts from dozens of authors.
From shepherds, to prophets, to doctors, to fishermen, to powerful kings. Each writer, most from different time periods, each had different target audiences, and specific agendas found in their writings. So each book that makes up this bible must be approached in a different way to understand the situation and the times the authors lived in. (1)
If you were to pick one subject to discuss from the bible what would it be?
Christians often accuse others of cherry picking through the book, holding onto verses they agree with, while jettisoning ones they are uncomfortable with. Each time this assertion is made, the one making the accusation conveniently claims objectivity as if they somehow have a firm, dispassionate understanding of the entirety of scripture, without bias or prejudice, and that the other is violating that. In the end, there are many interpretations of scripture as there have been readers of it. Why is that?
To understand, or even believing that the bible is Gods word to humanity is influenced by our upbringing, our level of education, the influence of friends and family, and the areas of the world we have lived in. Because of this bias towards our own interpretation, all of us are guilty of selectively using scripture, or ‘cherry picking’ and promoting our own views.
For example, when you hear Gerald Flurry say one thing, you then you hear Bob Thiel saying something else, know that each has their own bias and self promotion on demonstration. To understand who is correct one just needs to see what “real bible scholars” have to say about a specific scripture. These are people who spent many years studying in order to recognize cultural history, which brings to life a past time and place.
Always keep in mind that the world is filled full of humans that believe they have a insight from God or that God speaks to them. For example, Flurry, and Thiel, neither of these men has a clue about bible scholarship. (2) They have never received any accredited training. They are pretenders. (3)
If one actually believed the bible is from God, then consider that the scriptures repudiates the necessity of outside entities to validate one’s experience with God. Why give your bread to these worthless charlatans? Do something useful and do it from the heart. There are many worthwhile charities where your money could actually do some good, like saving lives.
Can one believe in God but not the bible?
God Is bigger than the bible. The bible is not God. Remember what I wrote above? The bible is 66 books filled with words about God, from men with different backgrounds and from different eras. They are just ideas each author held as “truths.”
Some atheists say that religion is God. They look at the irrationality of religion, and therefore claim that belief in God is irrational. I disagree.
A rational belief in God does not need the bible or any of the hundreds of holy books for validation. What is irrational is believing some ancient religious narrative about God. Narratives about God based on ancient accounts told in stories, myths, and allegories.
The bible doesn’t prove God exists, scientifically or otherwise. While one can accept what they read in the bible as inspired, to do as such ― that is, to state that the bible is Gods handwritten word ― is a total leap of faith. (2)
In this way, while I don’t figure the bible can be utilized as a part of any solid method to really demonstrate that God exists or clarifies how the world was actually made, I do imagine that the universe we live in is hard, physical proof of something genuine and substantial, that we cannot ignore. To believe the universe is a matter of random chance is just as big of a leap of faith.
There seems to be infinite theories about how the universe came into being. This short article cannot possibly attempt to introduce or explain them all. I know that there are some readers here will devise an idea that to attain salvation they need to explore all ideas in order to ‘prove’ the truth. If your one of those delusional types, have a nice quest. You might want to quit your job as you spend the rest of your days chasing after your delusionary ideas.
Do you need the bible or its God?
Most religions, at best, have some kernels of morality that come with a shit load of baggage. Baggage that makes people do or say the most appalling things. The Armstrong religion, which I was part of for far too many years, seems to legitimize the idea that God is in your life by the preponderance of your personal suffering. I recall a letter the WCG sent after I was baptized stating how I will be tried and will suffer greatly for the Lords sake. Everyone got that letter after they hitched their wagon to Armstrong’s horse and pony show. So if you believe suffering is Godly, how do you account for the suffering of innocent children and animals? Of what value is it to a God that even animals suffer?
The most common two arguments for why we “need” God as a personal Saviour or caretaker, and that without him (Place the name of your religion here) we would not know what is morally right and wrong.
Human morality is not brought into existence by God or the bible. Man does not require a commandment to tell us that killing is wrong, and we do not need the threat of eternal damnation to make us do what is right.
One needs only to point out that the Western world operates on the basis of constitutional law. Murdering someone has legal consequences, and most normal people with a conscience regard it as wrong. We don’t need threats from a God to do what is normally right for a human being.
Let me expound on this a little. The believer calls God his father and take his cues on how to live from the ‘good’ book. In addition to the ‘good’ book he has a library of supplemental books that tells him what God says and how to behave and what to do in order to keep in good grace with his God. One day this believer and his wife find themselves with child. Time to reach up into the supplemental library and find out how God wants you to raise the kid.
The Plain Truth About Child Rearing
They pick the child rearing book, another abomination written by Garner Ted Armstrong, that puts the parent into the role of God. If these new parents take this book seriously, they will threaten their child with punishment for every or any infraction. They will treat their own child with the same callous method that the Armstrong’s treated the membership with. They will employ “Positive Traumatic Experience.”
This is the type of trauma that leaves its imprint on the brain that leads to PTSD. This perversion put into practice screwed a lot of church kids up. The parents failed to have ‘turned the hearts of the children to their parents.’ No, instead, the children grew to hate their parent.
If there is a god outside the bible god, then it is outside mankind’s knowledge to know God or any word thereof while we walk this earth. Salvation is not even the issue. It is life itself. Life is a learning experience. Live it and learn. That is logically our only purpose that we can know for sure.
I recall once, a WCG minister saying that God would not have put us on the earth without a owners manual, that of course being the bible. Its was and is a load of bullshit. To the ministry, the bible is their means of control. You control the thoughts of individuals and you control them, and most importantly, you control their money.
I honestly just have to believe that most of these so called ministers are nothing but atheists. Anyone who has thoughts on a higher plain cannot in good conscious, preach armstrongism. Unless of course your without a conscious.
So what are your thoughts on this subject?
In the past 100 years, there have been discoveries, tens of thousand of New Testament manuscripts dating back centuries. And what biblical scholars now know is that later versions of the books differ significantly from earlier ones—in fact, even copies from the same time periods differ from each other.
“There are more variations among our manuscripts than there are words in the New Testament,” says Dr. Bart D. Ehrman, a groundbreaking biblical scholar and professor at the University of North Carolina who has written many books on the New Testament.
Who Wrote the Bible.
This is an excellent book. I would encourage anyone to read it.
For those who find comfort in believing that the Bible as a WHOLE, was written by ” holy men” moved by the Spirit of God, brace yourself.
The main focus of this book, is the Torah, or the first five books of the bible believed to have been written by Moses.
However, after reading this book, the BELIEVER especially, will be encouraged, or forced, to apply critical thinking skills, when reading ALL scripture, Old Testament and New.
-Review from customer
RICHARD ELLIOTT FRIEDMAN is one of the premier bible scholars in the country. He earned his doctorate at Harvard and was a visiting fellow at Oxford and Cambridge, a Senior Fellow of the American Schools of Oriental Research in Jerusalem, and a Visiting Professor at the University of Haifa. He is the Ann & Jay Davis Professor of Jewish Studies at the University of Georgia and the Katzin Professor of Jewish Civilization Emeritus of the University of California, San Diego. He is the author of Commentary on the Torah, The Disappearance of God, The Hidden Book in the Bible, The Bible with Sources Revealed, The Bible Now, The Exile and Biblical Narrative, the bestselling Who Wrote the Bible?, and his newest book, The Exodus. He was an American Council of Learned Societies Fellow and was elected to membership in The Biblical Colloquium. His books have been translated into Hebrew, German, Italian, Spanish, Russian, Japanese, Polish, Hungarian, Dutch, Portuguese, Czech, Turkish, Korean, and French. He was a consultant for the Dreamworks film “The Prince of Egypt,” for Alice Hoffman’s The Dovekeepers, and for NBC, A&E, PBS, and Nova.
(3) Pretenders defined: actor, fake, hypocrite, a person who makes unjustified or false claims.