question about the bible.

Discussion in 'I Have a Question...' started by black_rose_99, Feb 17, 2011.

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  1. black_rose_99

    black_rose_99 Well-Known Member

    I'm seeking a serious answer from anyone who may be religious out there. I also haven't really read up on Bible teachings, so please excuse my ignorance - I don't mean to be, and I'm not trying to start a flame war, I'm genuinely interested (but it might end up in Soap Box!) and didn't really know who else to ask.

    One thing I never understood was how you can have one book, the Bible, and yet have so many different religions and different "types" of church that spawn from it, each one believing something slightly different. Like for example, that sex before marriage is okayed in one .. branch(?) and yet condemned in another. Like, isn't there Judaism, Catholocism and Christianity that all rely on the teachings in the Bible, and yet believe different things from it and take some rules from it and not others?

    I know there's the overarching commandments and such, but what about the small details? How can one book have so many different ideas from it? Is it then just a matter of perception on what the teachings of the book purport to say?

    Honestly.. how does it work?
  2. LipsOfDeceit

    LipsOfDeceit Well-Known Member

    Different people interpret the Bible in different ways. There is no foolproof method to find out the original intent of the writer so people will have different opinions on the meaning of the Bible.
  3. In Limbo

    In Limbo Forum Buddy

    I speak as a 'Christian' here, although I expect if I sat down in debate with a cardinal he'd have serious disagreements, but the holy books of any religion are written by man - or at least corrupted by him - and should be taken as such, there's a question of interpretation yes, but more pressingly there is the issue of cultural and political ideas of the time. For the sake of argument, the Bible written by monks in the dark ages of Europe abhors homosexuality as a sin, but if a monk were to write that now for publication to the masses, he'd get done for inciting hatred.
  4. dazzle11215

    dazzle11215 Staff Alumni

    this was making the rounds a few years ago, in response to dr. laura calling homosexuality an abomination. kind of points out how ridiculous some of the old testament laws are...

    Dear Dr. Laura:

    Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God’s Law. I have learnt a great deal from your show and try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it is an abomination. End of debate.

    I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some other elements of God’s Laws and how to follow them.

    1. Leviticus 25:44 states that I may possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighbouring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies only to Mexicans but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can’t I own Canadians?

    2. I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?

    3. I know I’m not allowed contact with a woman during her period of menstrual uncleanliness – Lev.15: 19-24. The problem is how do I tell? I tried asking, but got biffed across the chops for my trouble.

    4. When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odour for the Lord – Lev.1:9. The problem is my neighbours. The odour annoys the hell out of them. Should I smite them?

    5. I have a neighbour who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2. clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself, or should I ask the police to do it?

    6. A friend of mine feels that although eating shellfish is an abomination – Lev. 11:10, he feels it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don’t agree. Can you settle this? Are there ‘degrees’ of abomination?

    7. Lev.21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle room here?

    8. Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev. 19:27. How should they die?

    9. I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but can I still play football if I wear gloves?

    10. My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev.19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? Lev.24:10-16. Couldn’t we just burn them to death at a private family affair, like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)

    Your learned expertise in these testing matters would be greatly appreciated. Thank you again for reminding us that God’s word is eternal and unchanging.

    Your adoring fan,
  5. In Limbo

    In Limbo Forum Buddy

    Dazzle I hadn't seen that before and it's just made my day!

  6. hornbeam

    hornbeam Well-Known Member

    I think it may have to do with the tribes -the 12 tribes of Israel.. Im not sure

  7. black_rose_99

    black_rose_99 Well-Known Member

    Hello all,

    Thank you for your replies!

    In Limbo - I like what you said about culture impacting on what's written there - that's an example I can wrap my head around and makes definite sense. And I think what dazzle wrote backs that argument up (and it's very clever - I have seen it before but forgot about it!) :)

    I guess a lot of what was written way back when has changed as society and culture change. Why doesn't the religion change? Or does the religion change and that's how we end up with new titles like "modern day Christian" and such? So then why the reliance (my perceived reliance) on Bible teachings and how to act and how not to act?

    And if it's a book that humans wrote, how come we can't have a "new edition"?

    I'm sort of just musing aloud now. I guess, because I don't know enough about it, I see the different branches of religion as each picking and choosing what they like and what they don't like, and this never really made sense to me if it was all based on the one book. That would kind of like me picking and choose which parts of my job description I chose to perform even though the whole job description is right there.
  8. black_rose_99

    black_rose_99 Well-Known Member

    I have never heard of it? Are you saying that each religion might be based on a different tribe and therefore to separate themselves, they tweaked things slightly differently?
  9. Mortal Moon

    Mortal Moon Well-Known Member

    The phenomenon of a single work having multitudes of conflicting interpretations is pretty common when the work becomes popular enough. Just ask Shakespeare. Or Joyce. Or Tolkien. Or, hell, even J. K. Rowling.

    Lit crit is nothing new, nor are the attendant absurdities. ;)
  10. nolonger

    nolonger Well-Known Member

    When it comes down to it, religion will have to change to survive. Because it's starting to become increasingly rediculous. It's changing at this point in time anyway, with the pope saying it was ok to use contreception etc. Besides, virtually 100% of the 'laws' or what ever that were stated in the bible are extremely petty things....they basically say if you do something so miniscule "you shall die for your sins". Back then, the bible was the law because the people of the time weren't competent enough to enfore laws as the church was tied into the 'local government'(royalty etc). Where as these days, you can't do what the bible stated was right because people are treated as people not animals.

    And LOL @ Dazzle's post :tongue:
  11. Kelsey

    Kelsey Well-Known Member

    I agree in my reading that some of the old testament is a bit out there in its teaching. However if one is to continue reading they would find later on in Ephesians how Christ is quoted as saying I have not come to abolish the old laws but to fulfill them. Meaning that by him dieing for us he took away the need to carry out those laws. All of the Bible is useful for teaching and other things. 2 Timothy states that is useful for teaching, rebuking, corecctiong and training in righteousness and most importantly God breathed. You can not take what is only useful to one situation and disregard the rest. That is selective religion and how a lot of them have come about.
  12. black_rose_99

    black_rose_99 Well-Known Member

    Mortal Moon - yeah I do understand that issue, but I think I understand it a lot more with fiction. I'm not sure, for example, how an autobiography could have different interpretations to it as it's factual (not meaning to get into the whole "bible is fiction" argument, that's for another thread!)

    LongRoad - is it time to rewrite the bible?! :unsure: Surely for religions to be based on a book that is now outdated means something should be updated - and if religions are beginning to change, or need to change to survive, then I guess it's time to update the book they're based - in the same way that laws get amended and updated (if the argument is correct that the Bible was once law)

    Kelsey - I think the selective religion bit is sort of what my original question was based on. To me, that's what it seems - that different religions take different parts of the book to then construct their belief system. Yet all are right because they're only taking snippets.
  13. aoeu

    aoeu Well-Known Member

    It stems back to the writing of the New Testament, for Christians at least. There are FOUR Gospels in most versions; more are out there. Gospels are the stories of Jesus' life, so in the Bible there are at least 4 different FIRST HAND interpretations. Since then, it's been translated thousands of times, each translation producing a separate Bible with slightly different meaning. And then you get to interpretation. Oftentimes people can read the same thing and get a different result. When the writer speaks in riddles and allegories, it's hard to determine what is literal and what is not.

    Then there's another thing among Christians: whether the Old Testament is relevant or not. I say no - Christians should follow the teachings of Christ. One thing that rather disgusts me is the many, many Christians who follow exact one teaching from the Old Testament, while ignoring all others, and that is that homosexuality is wrong. Jesus said to "do unto others as you would have them do unto you", "love thy neighbour" and "not judge lest ye be judged" - this says to me that homosexuality is permissible as it hurts no one, and no one should judge homosexuals for their actions. (Okay, bit of a rant there about MY interpretation of the Bible... Oh well.)
  14. wheresmysheep

    wheresmysheep Staff Alumni

    Dazzel, fucking LOL. That is epic. who wrote that? I want to marry them.

    The reason their are different branches of religion is because its not set. its not real. its a faith. its for people to hold on to to live with and through.
    Also, your just basically asking about christianity, but you could go further than that, and ask; why are their different religions. such as christian, muslim, buddhism.
    If religion IS "real" then their would be one set religion. But from what i can see, is that these were cults set up by people years and years ago, trying to get others to live by what they felt was the correct way to live. when in reality, nothing is the 'correct' way. other than to be respectful, not hurt others.
    but thats subjective.
  15. black_rose_99

    black_rose_99 Well-Known Member

    wheresmysheep - the reason I asked only about Christianity is that I don't know whether the others have different branches based on one book. But yes, you could go further and ask why there are different religions, not just different branches of one religion, so I do see your point :) And I guess it makes sense that if it was a real, set in stone kind of thing, there would be only one. It's an interesting point.

    aoeu - rant permissible, and I know that's one particularly huge controversy for many. Where are the teachings of Christ located? I thought they were in one of the testaments, so then, how can it not be relevant? (please excuse my ignorance!)
  16. Kelsey

    Kelsey Well-Known Member

    The teachings of Christ himself can be found throughout most of the new testament. Aside from the 4 Gospels Paul write a great deal about what Christ taught while on earth. And I have to disagree about homosexuality because it does clearly state that no man should be with another man and same for the women. However Christ took the penalty of that particular sin along with all the others, leaving us with only 1 "unforgivable sin" if you will. That being blashphemy of the Holy Spirit, or how we like to break it down for the younger kids, not accepting Christ into your heart.
  17. Raskolnikov

    Raskolnikov Member

    The main reason that the protestant movement in europe started was do to the corruption in the catholic chuch. Back in those days you did not have the many diffent types of christians we do today. You had Catholics, the pope's flock of european kingdoms, and eastern orthodox, consisting mainly of the Rus (russians) and Baltic peoples. Though much of the baltic has been in and out of muslim hands, the christians in traditionally orthodox lands are uniformly (for the most part) still eastern orthodox. The west however had a different story. The vatican (Washington D.C for the Catholics) was in deep fianchel crisis in the late 1500s. Unlike today back then the church had much political power and many secular obligations to fufill (though the always wrapped it in the guise of Christianity. The final blow so to speak came when the pope authorised the sale of indulgences. What those are is the payment to the church for family members who had died to have their sins washed away and have easy passage to heaven. A man name Martin Luther was not happy with what he saw the Church doing. He posted a pamplet stating manythings that the church was doing wrong and how it should change. It spread like wildfire in what is now northern germany. From there it was largely political reasons why the protestants splintered further. The Anglican Church in England was soely the product of their king who wanted a divorce but was denied by the pope. Calvinists (cough cough Presbiterians) held a belief that People were either going to heaven or hell from birth, which was not held by fellow protestants so they splintered off from churches in France (also big movement in Scottland). The Methodist were unhappy with the Church of England and sought to de rituralize the church. There are many more examples but what I was trying to et across is that the many differnt types of Christianity is 1. a protestant phenomenon and 2. often a product of political motivation rather than idiological. Hope that helps :)
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