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Theology

posted by kaptein_kaffe on - last edited - Viewed by 2.2K users

Discussing religion is generally a very bad idea on the internet, but there are a lot of down to earth and rational people on this forum so I decided to give it a go.

I want to hear your beliefs. Also, try to keep an open mind and show respect to other people's opinions. I don't care weather you're a fanatic catholic, fanatic atheist or whatever. Arguing about "who's right" is just a terrible cliche.

Personally I believe that there is a god. I'm not agnostic, I believe in god, but that's just my own spiritual reflection on it. I don't judge other religions and say that "this is right", it's more along the lines of Baruch de Spinoza's take on it where you see god as everything. Maybe there's a word for what that is, I don't know. I prefer to look at everything that is beyond our understanding with humility. Most of my religious knowledge lies within catholicism and I generally agree with the ten commandments, but I also believe that the religion is blurred for the sake of politics, ways of maintaining order and fanatic influences (edit: + things that are lost in translation). In short, I'm a read between the lines kind of guy.

My knowledge on the subject is limited, so it's possible that I won't be able to keep up with the discussion. I'd just like to hear your views :)

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  • If you want a good deconstruction of exactly how the Bible was written, at least as far as the Old Testament is concerned, check out the book, Who Wrote The Bible? by Richard Friedman. Portions of the Bible are actually merged from separate works.

  • @WarpSpeed said: If you want a good deconstruction of exactly how the Bible was written, at least as far as the Old Testament is concerned, check out the book, Who Wrote The Bible? by Richard Friedman. Portions of the Bible are actually merged from separate works.

    Well, yeah. At Babylon. They grabbed all the religious texts, decided which ones should be canon and chucked the rest so they could fit it in one book/scroll thingee.

    Granted, I'm remembering this from a class on Bible history that I took in high school, backed up by skimming a wikipedia article.

  • @dustpuffs said: Please understand that I am a very curious person, this is not a question with any malicious intent: Why was the Bible written?
    My understanding from my church experience was that the Bible was written to spread the word of God. Yet in all of the churches I have attended, and in being lectured by the ultra religious of differing faiths, I have heard the same thing: We believe in the Bible as far as it is translated correctly. Now, I feel that if the Bible were meant to spread the word of God, and you believe that God is all powerful, then God would not allow it to be translated incorrectly. I was taught that his people were to read it and obey it's teachings. So I find it very confusing that people believe some parts and not others. Could someone out their give me their thoughts and ideas on this?

    The Bible is a collection of books/scrolls/letters which were written by various people, but are "God-breathed," which is to say that God inspired these people in writing them.

    Yes, God, who is capable of creating time and space itself, and our universe with all its beauty and complexity, is capable of ensuring that the Bible is written as He thinks it should be as well as translated properly.

    Now, this being said, the context of the culture during the time in which the Bible was written is important to take into account, especially with regard to the Old Testament. For one thing, imagine, if you will, trying to explain the vastness of the universe as we currently understand it and the concept of taking tens of billions of years to get it to be as it is now, when the old Hebrew language doesn't even have a word for "universe" (which is why the Old Testament says "heaven and earth" when referring to it.)

    When Jesus taught people, he used parables as analogies to help them to understand. In my opinion, the same could perhaps be said of the Bible's creation stories (of which there are two: The creation of the world and Adam and Eve are separate creation stories.)


    The Bible isn't just a bunch of nice stories that someone came up with like Jennifer said. I heard a friend in high school claim to believe this. The people who wrote the books of the Old Testament had no idea that their writings would be preserved for thousands of years, and the New Testament books written by Paul are letters to fellow disciples and to churches. Paul himself was not writing specifically to us, at least that was not his intent. But God is capable of using Paul's words to bring us closer to Him, to make known to us how we should live, and to explain why we need a Savior.


    There is a book called More Than a Carpenter by Josh McDowell which discusses evidence regarding the legitimacy of the Bible. I recommend you read it, as I have and found it quite informative.


    (This is a serious response to a serious question made by dustpuffs. Please do not flame me for this post.)

  • I'm not sure Religion is the kind of thing that should be talked about online as it ends up with a few strong religious people and a few blunt Atheists

    I'm personally more on the Atheist side as it makes more sense to me and I prefer to trust on science rather then faith
    I'm pretty sure we'll never know till we're dead although we may not exist to ever know

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    Jennifer Moderator

    @Chyron8472 said: The Bible isn't just a bunch of nice stories that someone came up with like Jennifer said. I heard a friend in high school claim to believe this.


    I didn't say that. In fact I said this: "From a religious viewpoint, the Old Testament is the word of God as told by God and transcribed by men. The New Testament is a recount of the life and teachings of Jesus Christ by those who knew him best."

    I did use the words stories and tales at the end of my post, but I never said that they were just something someone came up with. Whether you believe they are based on the word of God or not, both definitions still fit even if they were based on historical events (which is likely in some cases, such as the recount of the slavery of the Isrealites). Since they are told in a narrative fashion, they would be stories or tales (the definition of the latter: "a series of events or facts told or presented, an account"). The word you're thinking of is fables, and I respect everyone's faith too much to ever refer to the stories in the Bible in that fashion.

  • I did not say I didn't understand how the Bible was written. I asked why you believe the Bible was written. Completely different things.

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    Jennifer Moderator

    @dustpuffs said: I did not say I didn't understand how the Bible was written. I asked why you believe the Bible was written. Completely different things.


    I gave my opinion on your question here and Alcormortis did as well here (back a page in this thread).

  • @Hudomonkey said: I'm not sure Religion is the kind of thing that should be talked about online as it ends up with a few strong religious people and a few blunt Atheists

    I'm personally more on the Atheist side as it makes more sense to me and I prefer to trust on science rather then faith
    I'm pretty sure we'll never know till we're dead although we may not exist to ever know

    Eh, this thread's been around for long enough. And at least it doesn't have Tomp and Pants here to monkey around with it. Which got the last thread closed.

  • I read a book once called the "The last templar", and it really changed my viewpoint on religion in general. I consider myself an atheist (and have been for the past ten years or so). But the book posited that the new testament of the bible was made up of four books selected by the church out of many hundreds that had been claimed to be accounts of events. The church selected these because they made Jesus into a mythical being with strange, miraculous powers. The reason for doing this was to strengthen the attraction of christianity to create unity. They later find a gospel written by the man himself. In which he was but a wondering preacher, teaching about what he saw as a better way of life. None of the son of god, or miracle malarky.

    And that is what I believe happened. Chinese whispers distorting memory of events, and a selective and manipulative church creating a religion (which i accept was probably a good thing at the time) out of it.

    It's hard to put across how persuasive the book was, but I really enjoyed it, and would recommend it to anyone. And the book doesn't try to convert you. In fact, the ending leaves you to pretty much take what you want from it. But I just thought it put across an interesting idea,

    As for my personal views on whether there is a god? I couldn't care less. If there is a god, I am not spending my time worshipping them. Not if they can sit by an allow/cause all the hardships in the world to carry on. Far too many people close to me have died for me to be grateful for his potential existence. If there is a god, he completely ruined my life growing up, leaving deep emotional and mental scars. First my father. Then my favourite nan. And then my gran. And then my aunt. In the space of about 18 months I lost them all. I went from an happy and innocent 8/9 year old to a a shy, withdrawn kid with trust issues. Something I only really recovered from in recent years. In my view, there is no god. Not if something like that could happen to a church going family who hurted no-one.There is no god, no afterlife. Nothing. Religion was a device used to comfort the needs of humanity "Mourning? Don't worry, they've gone to a better place". "Feel useless? Well everyone has a god given purpose." "Confused as to what to do? Follow these moral laws."

    I'm not saying religion is a bad thing. Indeed, the people that went to my old church were really nice people on the whole. If you're in the UK, the Lee Abbey christian retreat in Devon is an awesome place to visit. I just despise what it is based on.

  • @Jennifer said: I gave my opinion on your question here and Alcormortis did as well here (back a page in this thread).

    That comment was not addressed to those of you who gave your opinions, it was addressed at those who suggested reading about how it was written.
    I find it fascinating to see how differently people can view the same body of work, and I really appreciate those who are willing to discuss it. It is a refreshing change from the "we don't question, we just believe" stuff that I heard from Sunday school teachers growing up.
    As for my own religious views, sometimes I am torn. My father and a couple of my siblings are now atheists, and my father is the type to not let you think whatever you want, but to constantly try to convince you to his way of thinking. I get sick of hearing him go off on people whose beliefs he finds foolish, but I am equally sick of being told I am going to hell because I don't go to church. When I read reputable news accounts of things with no explanation other than a miracle, my belief in God is strengthened. When I look at the pain and suffering in the world, and in particular that of my children, it makes me question if there is a God altogether.
    It has always been very important to me to be the best person I can be. I try very hard to treat others with respect and kindness, as that is how I wish to be treated. I am very honest, charitable, and devoted to my family. This has nothing to do with trying to get into Heaven when I die, but simply to make my life the best it can be while I am alive.

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