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Truth behind The Bible

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This thread does give rise to an interesting question, what does one need to believe to actually be a Christian?

What one might call the "central theorem of Christianity" is that Jesus died on the cross and then rose from the dead. That proves He was God and has the power to raise you from the dead (or "save" you from death).

If you believe that, you're a Christian. If you don't, you're not.

Of course, that means you can be a Christian, but fail to impress Jesus with your piety, belief and/or good works, and still die (go to hell).

It doesn't really matter whether any of this makes sense or not, because salvation is by faith alone. If you do not have this faith, then you will die.

Doug

Edited by Doug1o29

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This thread does give rise to an interesting question, what does one need to believe to actually be a Christian?

I would say there are two things a person needs to be considered Christian:

1- the belief that Jesus was the son of God, died on the Cross for your sin, was resurrected rose to heaven.

2- the conviction in that belief to change your life to one dedicated to Him, studying the Bible to find out what God wants for you in your life.

Of course, these two points (particularly the second) take a lifetime to master, as we find out about God (who He is, what is His character, his Triune nature, etc) and what God wants us to do in our life (love our enemies, give to the needy, perhaps become a Missionary or a pastor, etc). But assuming both these two points are incorporated into your life, I would say that is the basics of what one "needs" to believe to be a Christian. 8bits mentioned it, but the Apostles Creed is a good start to get an idea of what the Bible actually teaches about God, and that would probably cover the "belief" part of things, but without the conviction in your life to spur that belief into action, it is a dead faith.

Anyway, I just thought I'd share :)

~ Regards, PA

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The attractionof the bible to peole is not in its historicity or otherwise but in its recognition of basic huma truths

Truths like a man named Noah built a boat large enough to house all the worlds creatures with an ample supply of food for said creatures. Not to mention plumbing on this boat to rid itself of the tons of sh!t these animals produce every day for 40 days. Should also mention the truth that Noah had a monopoly or patent of some sort on boat building technology as all other humans seemed to have not built one to save their own asses.

Or how about the truth that a man named Jesus could walk on water, why not huh? Moses truthfully parted the red sea.(archeologists are still combing the area for evidence) pun intended for humor...

Another human truth seems to escape our ability to rationalize how it took god 5 days to create the earth yet took only 1 day to create the billions upon billions of other stars, galaxies, planets, comets etc...

Seems to me the bible is far from containing truth.

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Truths like a man named Noah built a boat large enough to house all the worlds creatures with an ample supply of food for said creatures. Not to mention plumbing on this boat to rid itself of the tons of sh!t these animals produce every day for 40 days. Should also mention the truth that Noah had a monopoly or patent of some sort on boat building technology as all other humans seemed to have not built one to save their own asses.

Or how about the truth that a man named Jesus could walk on water, why not huh? Moses truthfully parted the red sea.(archeologists are still combing the area for evidence) pun intended for humor...

Another human truth seems to escape our ability to rationalize how it took god 5 days to create the earth yet took only 1 day to create the billions upon billions of other stars, galaxies, planets, comets etc...

Seems to me the bible is far from containing truth.

The post that you're referring to with such cutting-edge satire actually said that the attraction of the Bible lies Not in its historicity or otherwise but in its recognition of basic human truths; that's what it's all about, describing the basis of God's relationship with humanity; and to do that, as was the habit of the time, it would be expressed in terms of allegory or parable. The point of the story of Noah [at least, what I reckon] was that mankind had turned away from what God wanted for them, and it was concerned with the starting again of God's relationship with humanity from a clean slate - it was probably never meant to be taken literally. People listening or reading it would have understood that it was a parable, since nearly all of the teachings in the Bible are. It was basically the Hebrew version of a common myth in the Mediterranean region (and so might well have had some historical background, although obviously not literally on a global scale).

Edited by Lord Vetinari
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I believe what Mr. Walker is referring to is "spiritual truth." This is a highly-individualistic sort of thing. One might add that it is not limited to the Bible, but because it is defined individually, can be found most anywhere - a sunset over the mountains, moonrise over the desert (That's in the Bible.), the pages of the Wall Street Journal, or even Playboy. Spiritual truth is where you find it.

Truths like a man named Noah built a boat large enough to house all the worlds creatures with an ample supply of food for said creatures. Not to mention plumbing on this boat to rid itself of the tons of sh!t these animals produce every day for 40 days. Should also mention the truth that Noah had a monopoly or patent of some sort on boat building technology as all other humans seemed to have not built one to save their own asses.

I have studied the issue of Noah, though not an in-depth study. Seems there actually was a megaflood in the Neareast about 2800 BC. The world's first earth-fill dam in Egypt collapsed (The ruins are still there.). This was during the reign of Semerkhet, Sixth Pharaoh of the First Dynasty. There is also a layer of tsunami deposits underneath about 20 feet of flood deposists in the marshes above Basrah. Growth rings in California bristlecone pines record a climatic disturbance from 2807 to 2801 BC.

Was the whole world flooded? Not the way we would define "whole world," but there is an alluvial fan at the mouth of the Karkhum which extends out onto the Tigris-Euphrates flood plain (actually a delta at this point). Heavy rains in the Zagros Mountains that drained down the Karkhum and overflowed on the northeast side of the alluvial fan would add their flow to that of the Tigris-Euphrates. The result: a temporary lake larger than Lake Erie. A boat afloat in the middle of it could not see land in any direction. If that boat were swept through the constriction between the fan and the far side of the valley, at night, it would greet sunrise from the middle of the Persian Gulf and still not be able to see land. Mesopotamian stories (the source of the biblical flood story) say the boat finally landed at "Dilmun" - now Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.

About the boat: it was a scow-shaped barge. Actually, a whole bunch of them tied together. Most-likely it was built originally as a house-boat on the Tigris-Euphrates and became the legendary "Ark" by accident when the flood broke its moorings.

Did the Ark come to rest on Mount Ararat? Napoleon (not to mention many others) claimed to have seen it. What did they see? Mount Ararat is a volcano, a "fourteener" in Colorado-speak. Climbing it would be like climbing Pikes Peak - exhausting. You can't breath and you can't catch your breath. Every step becomes any agony. Then you top a ridge and see a huge boat about four miles away. What would you do? OK. I've seen it. I'm going down.

What visitors see is a giant chunk of basalt. There are several on Mount Ararat. They look like boats and are visible on aerial photos. As glaciers advance or wane, they are periodically exposed to view. Global warming is already starting to expose them again.

Or how about the truth that a man named Jesus could walk on water, why not huh?

Why not? I've walked on water. Of course, it was January and the pond was frozen...

But I've also walked on liquid water. The lake was high, covering a low dock with about a half-inch of water. The water was glassy smooth. Several of us kids walked out on the dock. And my Dad had a movie camera.

I haven't tried to track this story down, but there are two possibilities: a shoal covered by very shallow water, or a man standing in a boat and appearing from a distance to be walking on water - an optical illusion.

Moses truthfully parted the red sea.(archeologists are still combing the area for evidence) pun intended for humor...

The actual site was El Kubrit on what is now the Suez Canal. When the Bible was written (sixth century BC) it was covered by about 20 feet of water. It was during a sea-level high stand. The authors knew this and, not realising that sea levels change, improved the story to get the "Israelites" across. At the time that Egyptian work gangs were using the ford at El Kubrit ("The Exodus" bears an uncanny resemblance to such a work gang.), back during the reign of Ramses III, water levels were much lower, less than six feet. The ford may even have been dry, or almost dry. I have explained in previous posts how a seiche wave and a surge wave could converge at the crossing site to create "a wall of water in their right and a wall of water on their left" - just two converging waves about three or four feet high. I'm not going to repeat the story now.

Another human truth seems to escape our ability to rationalize how it took god 5 days to create the earth yet took only 1 day to create the billions upon billions of other stars, galaxies, planets, comets etc...

That story is not actually in the Bible. It is an add-on. The term used in the Bible, translated as "day" actually is a lot less specific. It means more like "a period of time."

Psalms 98 says that "a thousand ages in thy sight are as but an evening gone." Literalists define an "age" as a year and equate that to a 24-hour day. 1000 yrs = 1 day. It took God six days to create the earth and on the seventh day He rested, so we must now be in the seventh day, making the earth between 6000 and 7000 years old.

There is a second way to obtain an age for the earth using the Bible that gives us 7212 years. As usual, the Bible gives us two ways of doing almost anything.

And then, there's the Jewish calendar....

The people who wrote the Bible did not intend to deceive. They thought they were writing history, but they were trying to do so without the methods of modern science and scholarship. Their writings were garbled and/or "improved" by later redactors (some as late as the early sixth century AD), distorting many of the original stories. The OT still carries the imprints of two different religious schools. And the NT has been filtered through three. Each added its own spin.

Is the Bible the "Word of God?" The redactors and early Christian church didn't think so, or they would never have changed so much of it. We even know of a specific change made by Origen and another made by Justin the Martyr. Obviously, these men didn't think they were reading the "Word of God" - that idea is another modern invention.

At any rate, look upon the Bible as a collection of stories, descriptive of the thinking of their writers, and you will find it fascinating, rather than antagonizing.

Doug

Edited by Doug1o29
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Over many years, I came to realize that no one should take the Bibble (intentional) as the reliable source of actual history. As for the container of the spiritual truth...I don't know, truth can be relative.

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I haven't read of anyone discovering any evidence of Joshua's conquests which created the large Kingdom of Israel. All evidence suggests that Jewish cities existed among cities of other cultures in Canaan but had no power over the region. This is even suggested in the BIble when it refers to cities full of "foreigners" in Israel. Joshua may have been some guy that led an attack on a neighboring city and the story was embellished to become a series of glorious battles.

Joshua did not create the kingdom of Isreal. David did that. Nearly a thousand years later. After solomans death it broke in two.

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Over many years, I came to realize that no one should take the Bibble (intentional) as the reliable source of actual history. As for the container of the spiritual truth...I don't know, truth can be relative.

No, truth is truth.

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Even truth could never know what is truth

It is 'I' that knows

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Joshua did not create the kingdom of Isreal. David did that. Nearly a thousand years later. After solomans death it broke in two.

I date Joshua to around 1145 to 1130 BC. I date David to around 1000 BC and Solomon to about 963.

Joshua would have been the first leader after Moses. "The Exodus," actually the Egyptian mining operations in Sinai, ended when Ramses VI decided he couldn't afford them and pulled their funding. The now-unemployed miners returned home to Caanan, bringing some of their Egyptian compatriots along. Those who didn't have homes to return to had to get some and became bandits, raiding settlements in Caanan - that's Joshua's war - raids by bandits. The First Battle of Armagedon was fought about 1130 BC. According to legend, it marks the beginning of a Jewish state. The second battle is the one feared in the Apocolypse.

Hebron was built "seven years before Zoane." The "building" of Zoane took place during the reign of Psusennes I about 1000 BC when Zoane became the capitol of Egypt. According to the OT, David spent the first seven years of his reign building Hebron. Both cities had been around for 200+ years at the time, so this part is a little vague, but I date the building of Hebron, and thus, King David, by the building of Zoane. So we're looking at David moving his capitol to Jerusalem in about 993 BC. Personally, I doubt we're talking about anything much bigger than a mud hut, here. David was a tribal chieftain, even though he was later styled "king."

Solomon's temple was built three years after Solomon began his reign and 480 years after "the Exodus." One prototype for Moses was the Egyptian priest Djehute. When Thutmoses III took the throne, Djehuti was on the wrong side and had to leave town in a hurry. That was about 1452 to 1446 - dates a little vague here. 480 years later is about 966 BC, putting Solomon at about 969 BC. As this is about 60 years before the oldest known Hebrew writing, it is probable that the legend grew a little before it got written down.

Doug

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I date Joshua to around 1145 to 1130 BC. I date David to around 1000 BC and Solomon to about 963.

Joshua would have been the first leader after Moses. "The Exodus," actually the Egyptian mining operations in Sinai, ended when Ramses VI decided he couldn't afford them and pulled their funding. The now-unemployed miners returned home to Caanan, bringing some of their Egyptian compatriots along. Those who didn't have homes to return to had to get some and became bandits, raiding settlements in Caanan - that's Joshua's war - raids by bandits. The First Battle of Armagedon was fought about 1130 BC. According to legend, it marks the beginning of a Jewish state. The second battle is the one feared in the Apocolypse.:

Hebron was built "seven years before Zoane." The "building" of Zoane took place during the reign of Psusennes I about 1000 BC when Zoane became the capitol of Egypt. According to the OT, David spent the first seven years of his reign building Hebron. Both cities had been around for 200+ years at the time, so this part is a little vague, but I date the building of Hebron, and thus, King David, by the building of Zoane. So we're looking at David moving his capitol to Jerusalem in about 993 BC. Personally, I doubt we're talking about anything much bigger than a mud hut, here. David was a tribal chieftain, even though he was later styled "king."

Solomon's temple was built three years after Solomon began his reign and 480 years after "the Exodus." One prototype for Moses was the Egyptian priest Djehute. When Thutmoses III took the throne, Djehuti was on the wrong side and had to leave town in a hurry. That was about 1452 to 1446 - dates a little vague here. 480 years later is about 966 BC, putting Solomon at about 969 BC. As this is about 60 years before the oldest known Hebrew writing, it is probable that the legend grew a little before it got written down.

Doug

I have a queation. The isrealites and the eyptains practisted circumcision. Why did moses wife have do him.

Your forgetting the judges period.

Edited by danielost

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I have a queation. The isrealites and the eyptains practisted circumcision. Why did moses wife have do him.

It has been a long time since I read this, but there's a midrash story about it. Some sort of inconsistency in the Bible that needed an explanation.

At any rate, Egyptian priests practiced the custom and that's probably where the Jews got it. Djehute and Osar-Seph (Moses prototypes) were priests, thus probably circumcized. Ahmos I and Amenmesses (Pharaohs) were not priests, so I really don't know.

One little piece of trivia: look at Michaelangelo's "David." He's supposed to be the soon-to-be king of the Jews. He's not circumcized.

Your forgetting the judges period.

There's a variety of opinions about the "judges." Some authorities say the period encompassed 110 years. Others say it didn't happen. It's also possible that it overlapped with the periods on each side.

From 1147 to 1007 is 140 years. There's enough time if you want to put it in there.

Doug

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This thread does give rise to an interesting question, what does one need to believe to actually be a Christian? Does one have to believe in all this "sacrifice" concept, which frankly is always something I've never really understood? Does one have to believe that Jesus Died for our Sins, and if so, what does that mean, exactly? Is it enough to try to follow his teachings and his example, or do you have to also take on board all the theology that was added by people like Paul and Augustine?

For me it is much simpler than for 8 bits. I think that one only has to be a follower of christ, and base one's life on his teachings; and to use his life as an exemplar for how to LIVE, to be a christian. In a way this is the purest form of christianity and the oldest. One doesnt need a church, any more than the first followers of christ needed a church to be a follower of christ.

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Truths like a man named Noah built a boat large enough to house all the worlds creatures with an ample supply of food for said creatures. Not to mention plumbing on this boat to rid itself of the tons of sh!t these animals produce every day for 40 days. Should also mention the truth that Noah had a monopoly or patent of some sort on boat building technology as all other humans seemed to have not built one to save their own asses.

Or how about the truth that a man named Jesus could walk on water, why not huh? Moses truthfully parted the red sea.(archeologists are still combing the area for evidence) pun intended for humor...

Another human truth seems to escape our ability to rationalize how it took god 5 days to create the earth yet took only 1 day to create the billions upon billions of other stars, galaxies, planets, comets etc...

Seems to me the bible is far from containing truth.

No the BASIC human truths. The story of the flood and of noah is a combination of myth, racial memory, and deliberate teaching- based story telling. A modern equivalent would be one of Michael Chrichton's novels, where authorities have to decide whether to nuke a milion people to save the world from a new plague, or allow the plague to spread and run its natural course. To the ancient writers, certain human attitudes and behaviours were as destructive and threatening as the ebola virus is today. In the bible stories, god has the same power and faces the same dilemma.

The bible goes to, and adressess basic human truths which go back to when, and became self evident as, humans developed self aware sapience That is why it endures and works for so many modern men and women.

Eg love yourself. Love others as yourself You are not alone in this world. Your life has purpose and meaning. You have natural talents which, when you use them, benefit first yourself and second your community. Put spiritual things before material things if you want true happiness. MAintain a healthy mind in a healthy body. Society is more important than the individual because an individual's rights mean nothing without a strong and safe society to ensure those individuals rights. And so on.

Walking on water is easy. Iv'e done it many times

Either you believe miracles are real demonstrations of physical power or you believe they are techniques added into a story to enhance its interest and make the character more powerful. Ive read every marvel and dc comic character's life story, and many others. I dont believe them, but they are great reading, and as a teenager gave me an alternative good moral and ethical frame work for how a teenage boy should behave. I was a lot like peter parker as a teenager but as a surfer more identified with the silver surfer.

So such heroes can be just that.

As an adult I have witnessed and experinced the physical power/technolpgy of god and angels They can do many things with matter and energy which humans are still theorising about.

But I was speaking about the basic philosophical truths in the bible, and their recognition of the most basic needs of human beings.

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