Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Literalism


34 comments:

Black Ops Mikey said...

It is our understanding that the Jews have the Talmud for their 'wisdom' and reject the Torah as having any kind of reality or authority.

Moreover, if you follow Jewish Laws of the Torah, how can you be certain that you will be pleasing Jesus and that you have any sort of salvation? It certainly did nothing for the Old Testament Israelites except (if the Promises to them were honored) physical prosperity.

It's all about Herbert Armstrong's magic carpet which manages to levitate and hover in air with nothing at all supporting it.

Anonymous said...

It is very weird how so many people regard the bible as being divinely inspired. The last book of the bible was written over 1900 years ago and the books of the old testament where written hundreds of years before then. No one knows for sure who wrote any of the books of the bible. Many reputable bible historians believe that most if not all the books of the bible had content added or subtracted. Some many times. The bible is filled with so many contradictions that it couldn't be divinely inspired.

Anonymous said...

"It is very weird how so many people regard the bible as being divinely inspired."

I agree. I think it's biological to fill gaps in our knowledge with a host of imaginary supernatural agencies. But to then jump to the conclusion that this or that specific imaginary agency is the "correct" one and that he or she has inspired these books and not those books is almost entirely cultural. Which means that if it were cultural to jump to the conclusion that Dr. Seuss was inspired by the "correct" deity, then billions of people would jump to that conclusion instead, no matter how unreasonable. That's how mormonism keeps going today.

Ralph said...

on September 29, 2015 at 2:23 PM
Black Ops Mikey said..

"(if the Promises to them were honored)"

and I ask:- would you provide scriptural references to "the Promises" you mention?

Are you referring to the promise made to Abraham as found in "Gal_3:29 And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise."

Anonymous said...

There must be some reason why Jesus Christ never wrote a book in the Bible, not even a statement of beliefs. Or even demand a book report from the disciples due by wednesday(nisan 14) just to make sure they were all in agreement.

Half Serious

Ralph said...

on September 29, 2015 at 2:26 PM
Anonymous said...

"The bible is filled with so many contradictions that it couldn't be divinely inspired."

Would you give us a couple of examples?

cheers
ralph.f

Anonymous said...

"Ralph" I recommend that you read the skeptics bible. It is an excellent attempt to clearly show all the contradictions in the bible. Like almost everything it is available online.

Anonymous said...

Any textual criticsm will turn up a trove of inconsistencies that show the seams where various incompatible versions of the same or similar stories were stitched together to form the expanded text we have today. However, most of those, while they demonstrate the bible is definitely not inerrant, don't otherwise directly undermine the core claims of the bible. However, some contradictions do. Here's three examples of ones that pose theological problems.

1) Can salvation be attained by works?

Yes:

Matthew 19:17 And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.

Luke 10:25-28 And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? 26 He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou? 27 And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself. 28 And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.

James 2:24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.

And no:

Galatians 2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.

Romans 3:28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.


2) Does god tempt people?

Yes:

Genesis 22:1 And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am.

And no:

James 1:13 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:


3) Contradictions between Matthew's genealogy of Jesus and Luke's genealogy of Jesus.

A) Luke has Jesus descended from David through his son Nathan; Matthew’s genealogy goes through Solomon.
B) The genealogies converge again at Salathiel, but give him different fathers: Jechoniah according to Matthew, but the otherwise-unattested Neri according to Luke.
C) The genealogies once again diverge after Zerubbabel, with no names in common until Joseph. (It’s particularly problematic that Joseph’s immediate ancestors — father, paternal grandfather, etc. — differ from those in Matthew’s genealogy.)
D) Luke puts significantly more generations between David and Salathiel and between Zerubbabel and Joseph.
E) Luke has two unknown names, Admin and Arni, where Matthew has Aram.
F) Luke has Sala as Nahshon’s son where Matthew has Salmon.

Was Jesus a real person or are both of these genealogies concocted to euhemerize Philo of Alexandria's celestial "Logos" and equate him with Paul's celestial Jesus?

Ed said...

Wasn't the father of Jesus God? Wasn't he conceived by the holy spirit? Why would the geneology list Joseph as the father of Jesus? Huge contradiction here.

Ed said...

Many of the stories of the bible where just myths. A story that comes to mind is Joshua's long day. The story states that the sun stood still in the sky for 24 hours. First of all the sun didn't stand still because we all know that the sun does not orbit around the earth but the earth orbits around the sun. With that "little" error out of the way lets proceed with anylizing the story. If indeed the sun appeared to stand still in the sky the earth would have actually had to stop rotating. If the earth would have stopped rotating the results would have caused huge tidal waves from all the water being slashed out of the ocean basins. It would also have caused huge earth quakes and volcanoes. The fact is that most if not all human life on the planet would have vanished. There is no historical evidence that this ever happened.

If the stories we read in the bible where true and actually happened there should be indisputable scientific proof that they could have happened and historical proof that these events actually happened.

Anonymous said...

The terms "law" and "tempt" have more than one meaning. When "Law" is used, I ask, "which law"? The Law of Moses is meant in some passages, the law of love, the royal law in others, etc. Contradiction? Perhaps not.
Tempt might mean tempt in some passages, in others it might mean "test."
Genealogies also can be different based on which line of the family is being listed.
May I suggest Norman Geisler's book, When Critics Ask?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous Ed said...
"Many of the stories of the bible where just myths. A story that comes to mind is Joshua's long day...."

BUT shared myths with other ancient texts. The similarities are discovered with a golden thread of archeo-astronomy and precession of the equinoxes.

Ralph said...

on October 1, 2015 at 3:52 AM
Ed said...

" If indeed the sun appeared to stand still in the sky the earth would have actually had to stop rotating.........."

I have, on occasion, brought this one to mind and wonder what would happen if the earth would continue to rotate East to West, maintaining gravity etc. but, at the same time, revolve from North to South through a 360 degree turnover. Would this make the sun APPEAR to stand still for about a day in any one location?
I think that the One who created the whole system could cause that to happen.

Ralph said...

WRT so called Bible contradictions I believe most if not all can be refuted by examining the meaning of the original Hebrew or Greek word(s)

cheers
ralph.f

Anonymous said...

"WRT so called Bible contradictions I believe most if not all can be refuted by examining the meaning of the original Hebrew or Greek word(s)"

Key words here: "...I believe..."

Belief can cause virgins to conceive and bear male children.
Belief can cause dead men to rise and walk.
Belief can create the universe in just 6 short 24-hour periods.

There is nothing that belief can't do. A-ma-zing!

Ralph said...

on October 1, 2015 at 11:03 PM
Anonymous said...

"Belief can create the universe in just 6 short 24-hour periods."

Who could accept such nonsense? LOL Where is the evidence? Surely belief must be supported by evidence, bearing in mind that old saying "Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence."

cheers
ralph.f

Anonymous said...

Does belief cause anything? Is belief a "force"? Where is evidence? Science is limited, even in the natural world it is limited in what it can study, it always has been. Before microscopes they had no idea that there was a world of germs out there. With regards to the supernatural, there is no way to "prove" these things. They are not open to scientific investigation. The best anyone can do is to suggest, "Is it more reasonable to believe this or to believe that?"

Byker Bob said...

I agree with Ralph regarding evidence. For depth of belief, a greater principle or deeper concept must be supported by the total package, ie evidence. Einstein had not been born at the time of the original writing of what we call "Genesis" today. Relativity would not have been understood by the largely illiterate sheep-herders who had the scrolls read to them in Temple throughout antiquity. Also, they would have not known to ponder how there could have even been 24 hour days, until mid-creation cycle, when the timekeepers making the 24 hour days possible were said to have been created.

I am certain that a majority of believers are sincere. However, the examples of a lack of sophistication and ability to absorb and incorporate scientific truths into their belief causes the more educated amongst us to stereotype believers as being ignorant fools. People who otherwise might be outstanding examples end up making themselves obstacles to faith.

BB

Anonymous said...

"Surely belief must be supported by evidence..."

No, surely not.

"Belief," in the religious sense, is what is meant when someone accepts something on "faith," specifically because evidence for it is lacking.

For example, christians "believe" that Jesus ascended to heaven, just as muslims "believe" that Muhammad ascended to heaven. But christians reject the claim that Muhammad ascended to heaven, just as muslims reject the claim that Jesus ascended to heaven. One reason why is that there is no evidence for either of these claims, and those who choose to accept them do so upon ideological grounds, not evidentiary ones. So, no one can justify their acceptance of either of these claims. All they can do is either reject them, or blindly accept them.

"Knowledge" is what must be supported by evidence. When someone accepts something because of the preponderance of evidence, this is not mere "belief," except in the imprecise colloquial sense, it is knowledge.

For example, both christians and muslims accept that Pluto has an 11,000 ft. high mountain range near it’s equator. It's a claim based upon evidentiary grounds, and that evidence from the New Horizons probe serves as justification for the acceptance of this claim. To reject the claim, one must first deny the evidence, which, unfortunately, people of "faith" have no problem doing whenever it suits them. This is quite unlike the religious claims about Jesus and Muhammad cited previously, because there's no evidence backing up those claims to be denied in the first place: all there is, is unsubstantiated claims.

The sooner the semantics of words like "belief" and "knowledge" are tightened up so that the denotations of these two words are no longer conflatable so that epistemological errors such as assuming that a "belief" like "Jesus ascended to heaven" is a claim justified by evidence become blatant, glaring errors, the sooner the common man will stop making other epistemological errors, such as accepting unsubstantiated claims without justification.

Minimalist said...

Not to mention the questionable book of Acts in this connection

Ralph said...

ps. In case my last statement seems confusing, it just means that the evidence hasn't been found, yet.

Anonymous said...

Ralph said:

"'Belief can create the universe in just 6 short 24-hour periods.' Who could accept such nonsense? LOL"

Exactly my point. The bible is FULL of such nonsense. And yet the universe IS created in just 6 short 24-hour periods—within the minds of silly believers—nowhere else, of course! Such nonsense indeed! Who could accept it? Why fundy christians everywhere! LOLOLOLOLOL!!!!!!!!

"ps. In case my last statement seems confusing, it just means that the evidence hasn't been found, yet."

And until such evidence is found, what is the reasonable thing to do? Accept a claim dogmatically until the evidence turns up? Or take a wait-and-see approach, provisionally rejecting it?

Ralph said...

on October 4, 2015 at 2:21 PM
Anonymous said...

"..—within the minds of silly believers—nowhere else,.."

I see myself as a 'true blue' believer, not a silly one and I don't accept the topical nonsense.

and "And until such evidence is found, what is the reasonable thing to do? Accept a claim dogmatically......"

From Merriam-Webster: " 'Dogma' = 1 a : something held as an established opinion;"

I would suggest the reasonable thing to do would be to use one's own discretion and either accept or reject such opinion(s). After all it should only be the individual who is to be affected.

cheers
ralph.f

Unknown said...

Point the contradictions out please.

Web Administrator said...

Say what?

Web Administrator said...

Point the contradictions out please.

Ralph said...

ps. If you are a 'true blue' Christian then you too, are an Israelte. See:-

Gal 3:29 And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.

Anonymous said...

Ralph said:

"I see myself as a 'true blue' believer, not a silly one and I don't accept the topical nonsense."

Funny, I thought it was you who scoffed:

"'Belief can create the universe in just 6 short 24-hour periods.' Who could accept such nonsense? LOL"

And yet as a result of your belief, virgins conceive and bear male children, dead men rise and walk, and the universe is created in just 6 short 24-hour periods—but only within your mind—nowhere else! There is nothing that belief can't do. A-ma-zing! QED (P.S. Pick your own adjective to describe such minds.)

"I would suggest the reasonable thing to do would be to use one's own discretion and either accept or reject such opinion(s). After all it should only be the individual who is to be affected."

Translation: "The reasonable thing to do is to be inconsistent in what one chooses to accept or reject, always to the benefit of one's own biases, and employing cherry picking, special pleading, moving the goalposts, no true Scotsman, and other fallacies whenever necessary. Because reality is just an 'opinion'".

Oh, if only the believer were the only one who suffered for the fact his beliefs bear no relationship to reality. If only.

Ralph said...

on October 5, 2015 at 12:06 PM
Anonymous said...

"And yet as a result of your belief, virgins conceive and bear male children, dead men rise and walk, and the universe is created in just 6 short 24-hour periods--"

To clarify, let me qualify that statement viz.:
Scripture, which I believe, tells the story of A virgin birth, not difficult to accept if one believes in a creator God who can cause a female egg to start dividing without the introduction of any kind of sperm cell, scripture does record the resurrection of the dead, scripture DOES NOT record the creation of the universe in just 6 short 24-hour periods.

I believe scripture because I want to, obviously you don't but that's not my problem.

Also:
"just an 'opinion'"

I put it to you that whenever ANY of us offer comments on a topic we are all expressing 'opinions' Opinions that may or may not be relevant to the truth or the facts of the matter. It is for the hearer to decide for him/her self.

cheers
ralph.f

Ralph said...

ps. Reading again:-

"And yet as a result of your belief, virgins conceive and bear male children,,,"

it sounds quite comical. "A RESULT OF MY BELIEF. A RESULT?????"
Do you mean it actually happened?

But then again; "What the mind of man can conceive, and believe, man can achieve. LOL.

cheers
ralph.f

Anonymous said...

Ralph said:

"'And yet as a result of your belief, virgins conceive and bear male children,,,' it sounds quite comical. 'A RESULT OF MY BELIEF. A RESULT?????' Do you mean it actually happened?"

I know, doesn't it sound comical? That's my point exactly. My point exactly!

And yes, exactly as I said, I do mean as a result of your belief it actually happened—but also as I said—only within your mind—nowhere else!

Please note that I was specific about defining the limits of where this "result" retroactively "actually happened." It's kind of like when something "actually happens" in a novel or in a movie.

Within the "comical" mind of the "true blue" believer, belief is soooo powerful that there is nothing that it can't do. A-ma-zing how that works!

Ralph said...

on October 6, 2015 at 4:40 PM
Anonymous said...

"...—but also as I said—only within your mind—nowhere else!"

Oops, I should have read the rest of your text before my impulsive response.

cheers
ralph

Anonymous said...

John Dominic Crossan? seriously??

man, you guys are a hoot!

Anonymous said...

"[about Joshua's long day]I have, on occasion, brought this one to mind and wonder what would happen if the earth would continue to rotate East to West, maintaining gravity etc. but, at the same time, revolve from North to South through a 360 degree turnover. Would this make the sun APPEAR to stand still for about a day in any one location?
I think that the One who created the whole system could cause that to happen."

But then He would have to break His own Law!
How would this encourage mankind to NOT break His other Laws?
Why would God decide to create an apparent past of around 14 billion years for the universe?
Did Adam and Eve have navels?
Did the trees in the Garden have growth rings?
Seeds, eggs, similarily shared fetal development, DNA, and chickens(which came first?).
Would it be blasphemous for FUNdy Christains to entertain the thought that God used at least 'some form' of evolution on this planet?

"Does belief cause anything? Is belief a "force"? Where is evidence? Science is limited, even in the natural world it is limited in what it can study, it always has been. Before microscopes they had no idea that there was a world of germs out there."

LOL! It was mankind's obedience to some of the Laws of God that led to man's creation of the microscope! Which in turn gave us things like medicine and so on. (With an UNsarcastic tone) Thank you Jesus for the Laws that allowed this miracle to take place!

"Science is not only compatible with spirituality; it is a profound source of spirituality"
Carl Sagan
"Science proves nothing! Science only probes for any truth." Gregory Bateson
“Science is not about control. It is about cultivating a perpetual condition of wonder in
the face of something that forever grows one step richer and subtler than our latest theory about it. It is about reverence, not mastery.” from Richard Power’s The Gold Bug Variations


"Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence."

"Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us, yet." anonymous

Very Bored Bump