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jugoso

Bishop John Shelby Spong: his views

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You are struggling for a hypothetical excuse for Paul and I don't think it is helping because the evidences are shouting. He was living together with another Hellenistic bachelor Barnabas and teaching the young guys not to marry if they were single and to remain as he was free of wife. Just not to go out in search of wives. (I Cor.7:8,27) Now, imagine preaching such a message in the synagogues! They were looking for trouble as the women were concerned. Yes, imagine the women dreaming every moment to find a marriage partner and these guys telling them not to go looking for a wife! In fact, when they were preaching these ideas in the synagogue of Antioch, the women ganged up against them and expelled them from their territory. (Acts 13:50) Amazing! If Paul was fighting against homosexual cravings why would he advise the young guys not to look for wives? He was lucky that he escaped with his life.

Firstly, can you give me chapter and verse that tells us explicitly that Paul and Barnabas were living together as a homosexual couple?

Secondly, which version of the Bible are you using?

Thirdly, I read 1Cor.7: 8, 27 and it's obvious that he's talking about celibacy not homosexuality! Why? in verse 32 he says single people are 'free from cares' and are therefore able to focus more fully on a spiritual life, 'the work of the Lord' ........ which he considers to be more important, as he himself is celibate.

To be honest, I am more concerned about him thinking it's fine for a father to be 'unseemly' with his 'virgin daugther' and even marry her!!

When all is said and done, Paul was just a man with weaknesses and desires and opinions, like every other man. Just because he chose to pontificate at great length to others DOES NOT MEAN THERE IS ANY VALUE IN HIS WORDS!

Why are you so focussed on the thoughts and opinions of someone who lived in very, very different times to ours? Can you not look into your own heart and find your own answers? That should give you a better answer than a book that has been translated and interpreted so many times ....... each person adding their own bias. If you believe in God, why don't you ask him , not the Bible or your minister or your fellow Christians?

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I dunno. Even Jesus advised not to marry if one could help it. (Matthew 19:10-12)

I think Paul was of the opinion that it is better to marry than to struggle with sexual sin. So, if he was advising people not to marry, it likely has nothing to do with sexual sin. Likely, its because he felt such an urgency about the kingdom of God that he considered marrying a loss to the mission field for such an imperative cause. That may have been what inspired him to say that somebody that isn't married can devote more time to God while a married person is devoted to his or her spouse.

Hey Bluefinger, thank you for that quote of Mat.19:10-12. You have just given me a good evidence that the guy who wrote that text was a Hellenist former disciple of Paul. So much so that if Paul was not the one himself who wrote it, he was the spirit behind the pen of the writer. If you compare it with I Cor.7:1,2 there is no doubt about it. Jesus could have never said that. Besides, evidences abound that Jesus was married himself.

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Posted (edited)

Firstly, can you give me chapter and verse that tells us explicitly that Paul and Barnabas were living together as a homosexual couple?

Secondly, which version of the Bible are you using?

Thirdly, I read 1Cor.7: 8, 27 and it's obvious that he's talking about celibacy not homosexuality! Why? in verse 32 he says single people are 'free from cares' and are therefore able to focus more fully on a spiritual life, 'the work of the Lord' ........ which he considers to be more important, as he himself is celibate.

To be honest, I am more concerned about him thinking it's fine for a father to be 'unseemly' with his 'virgin daugther' and even marry her!!

When all is said and done, Paul was just a man with weaknesses and desires and opinions, like every other man. Just because he chose to pontificate at great length to others DOES NOT MEAN THERE IS ANY VALUE IN HIS WORDS!

Why are you so focussed on the thoughts and opinions of someone who lived in very, very different times to ours? Can you not look into your own heart and find your own answers? That should give you a better answer than a book that has been translated and interpreted so many times ....... each person adding their own bias. If you believe in God, why don't you ask him , not the Bible or your minister or your fellow Christians?

About 2000 years ago two men were living together and you want me to tell you if they were having sex? See how illogical this can be? Even today we can't affirm such a thing about two men living together. Paul and Barnabas were two bachelors. Both were Hellenists. Barnabas had converted and joined the Nazarenes. Paul would persecute the Nazarenes. But somehow, 3 years after the Road to Damascus experience Paul tried to join the Sect and was rejected due to his history of persecutions and his strange way to preach about Jesus. As he was rejected by the Apostles Barnabas for some weird reason stuck to him and interceded with the Apostles to give him a chance at least on a trial basis. (Acts 9:26,27,30) After only 15 days preaching his peculiar gospel in Jerusalem he caused such a havoc that the local Jews wanted to kill him. The Apostles took him down to Caesarea and from there they sent him to Tarsus where he belonged. In the meantime the Cause had peace throughout Judea,

Galilee and Samaria. (Acts 9:31) Since the Nazarene Cause in Antioch was growing too fast the Apostles chose Barnabas and sent him to lead the work in Antioch. Instead of doing what he was told, he went to Tarsus after Paul and invited him to work together. (Acts 11:22-25) Do we have to prove that they were living together? I don't think so. Do we have to prove that they were having sex? I don't think so. They were Hellenists and Hellenists were amoral as homosexuality was concerned. Paul was free to preach his gospel undisturbed by Barnabas who obviously didn't care less as long as Paul was happy. At the end of a whole year the Nazarene synagogue of Antioch had been overturned into a Christian church by Paul. (Acts 11:26)

I am using the KJV translation of the Bible. That's the one I use when studying with Christians.

Edited by Ben Masada

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@ Ben Masada: Shall we agree to disagree?

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I am using the KJV translation of the Bible. That's the one I use when studying with Christians.

So you are intentionally limiting yourself to a version of the Bible that virtually all modern secular scholars understand to be inaccurate, while many Christians prefer modern versions that secular scholars use.

Interesting.

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@ Ben Masada: Shall we agree to disagree?

Definitely! That's the easiest way out.

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So you are intentionally limiting yourself to a version of the Bible that virtually all modern secular scholars understand to be inaccurate, while many Christians prefer modern versions that secular scholars use.

Interesting.

Oh no! I use four versions: An old one in Hebrew, the JPS, a Catholic translation of the NAB and the KJV. Contrary to what you say, the KJV is the most widely used especially in England and America. Due to my frequent use of the NAB many KJV users have complained that many quotes diverge.

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In Australia, the NIV, RSV, and ESV are the most common Bible translations (at least in Protestant churches, I haven't had much to do with Catholics here so I can't tell you their translation of choice). We protestants use these modern versions because they use the most current textual criticism in translating ancient texts. For example, these versions all use a set of texts from the New Testament known as the Novum Testamentum Graece. This contrasts to the KJV which translated the New Testament from the Textus Receptus. All modern academic sources universally agree that the Novum Testamentum is more accurate to the originals than the Textus Receptus. Only KJV-only'ists argue the validity of the KJV over these better versions.

I just think it a bit like shooting yourself in the foot if you're going to use inaccurate translations that many Christians do not use.

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Oh, you can't beat the KJV if you ask me. St John's Gospel or Revelation really doesn't sound right in modern day language that makes God sound like a middle manager who tries to, like, be a regular guy and speak to his subordinates on the same level. Surely if God did speak, He'd say "Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve."

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All modern academic sources universally agree that the Novum Testamentum is more accurate to the originals than the Textus Receptus.

*is puzzled* How does that work then? Why don't these 'modern academic sources' translate straight from the originals and cut out the latin translations? Why do you trust modern academics to be more accurate at translating when, if nothing else, early translators would have a better understanding of how people at the time thought?

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Posted (edited)

*is puzzled* How does that work then? Why don't these 'modern academic sources' translate straight from the originals and cut out the latin translations? Why do you trust modern academics to be more accurate at translating when, if nothing else, early translators would have a better understanding of how people at the time thought?

The oldest complete English translation is the KJV, translated in 1611 (402 years ago now). Since that time historians have made giant leaps in discoveries about the origins of ancient documents, and it has been almost universally proven that the texts used by the translators of the KJV aren't actually the best available. Modern textual criticism has found better and therefore more accurate versions to use.

It's not quite the case that they "translate straight from the originals and cut out the latin translations". They do indeed use these texts to inform their translations (the Septuagint, for example, being the Greek version of the Old Testament is also a common source for both KJV and other modern translations), but in terms of understanding the words involved, the original Greek and Hebrew words aren't necessarily identical. For example, consider that Mark 9:49 in the Textus Receptus (less accuarte): reads - "Everyone shall be salted with fire, and every sacrifice will be salted with salt". In the Novum Testamentum Graece, used by most modern translators, it simply reads: "Everyone shall be salted with fire"! The other half of this passage is not in the more accurate version.

So what can we deduce from this? First, the second half of the passage likely is not part of the original. However, because of its early influence we can use it to study how early Christians may have viewed this concept. I use this specific example because several years ago I was required to write an essay on this very verse. I was attending the local mid-week Bible study of the church I attended, and we were studying Mark 9. We came to verse 49 and it almost went unnoticed, but I asked what it meant. The rules of our study group were that if we couldn't answer the question during the study the person who asked the question was required to do the research during the week and come back the next study with an answer. In short, none of us could actually answer what it was about.

At the time I was a university student so I had plenty of spare time, and came back the next week with a 2,500 word essay. In recent times, I haven't had access to that essay because it is on my PC's hard drive (which is suffering from a simple Power Supply issue), but while packing to leave for my new home I found an old version of the essay and have since typed it onto my laptop. Unfortunately the essay was an older version and I had to do extensive revisions often based on memory, cutting out large chunks of erroneous data here, adding new chunks of data there, that kind of thing. But if you have fifteen minutes to spare I recommend you read it to get an idea of how early Christian thought on a topic can help us understand it better, even if the original text did not actually deal with that issue.

As always, if you have any constructive feedback I'd sincerely love to hear it.

Being Salted with Fire - UM copy.doc

Edited by Paranoid Android

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@ Paranoid Android: I couldn't open the file because it was 'not a supported file type or the file has been damaged'. :(

But I have some thoughts on your post. In the first paragraph: as the modern translators were not around when the original texts were being written how could they possibly say which was 'the best available', which was 'better' and which was 'more accurate'? How can these judgements be made?

In your second paragraph: 'The other half of this passage is not in the more accurate version' ..... how can you assert that? How can leaving something out equate to it being more accurate?

In your third paragraph: why on earth would you deduce that as opposed to any other explanation?

This is the problem I have with the Bible, because we weren't there at the time(s) of writing, we have no idea what charlatans, mad men or simply poor observers were recording actual events or the alleged Word of God. Thousands of years and many translators later, why do we put any value on what is in the Bible? To me, it only makes sense if we take note of the 'advice' in it that rings true for us ...... the bits that help us to live good lives in these times, and will therefore most likely be found in other sources as well, including our own hearts. Translators over the years will have had their own limitations and their own agendas.

p.s. What were you studying at university that meant you had plenty of spare time?!! Most students have a lot of work in term time and then have to get a job in the holidays.

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Posted (edited)

I'm sorry, Oujia Ouija, I've just clicked the Download button and it came through on my end perfectly. I don't know why it's a "corrupted file" for you. It's in a format that should be compatible with Windows 1997-2003.

For the rest, the dating is based on textual criticism. To use an extreme example, if a text from the year 1989 AD included a line that was not available in the exact same text from 389 AD, then that is one compelling piece of evidence that the earlier version is more accurate. Add to this that modern textual criticism also suggests that the writing style of the text from 1989 AD is also not consistent with the text from 389 AD, and the evidence against the extra text grows. Textual criticism can therefore suggest what was likely part of the original and what was not part of the original.

As noted, the example I provided is extreme (1989 vs 389 AD) but it gets the point across. Whether 1600 years, or whether only 200 years, the criticism is the same. Textual criticism exists so that we can reconstruct the original documents with a fair degree of accuracy.

I'm not sure why you are unable to download the link. As noted, on my end I've just downloaded it and it came up fine. It's Microsoft Word, so maybe you're not compatible if you're an Apple user???? I don't know, I've never been tech savvy in that regard.

Edited by Paranoid Android

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I'm sorry, Oujia Ouija, I've just clicked the Download button and it came through on my end perfectly. I don't know why it's a "corrupted file" for you. It's in a format that should be compatible with Windows 1997-2003.

I'm not sure why you are unable to download the link. As noted, on my end I've just downloaded it and it came up fine. It's Microsoft Word, so maybe you're not compatible if you're an Apple user???? I don't know, I've never been tech savvy in that regard.

No, I'm not an Apple user. It's Adobe Reader that's rejecting it. I don't understand these things either but I wonder if it's because it's being sent via UM as opposed to straight from you?

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No, I'm not an Apple user. It's Adobe Reader that's rejecting it. I don't understand these things either but I wonder if it's because it's being sent via UM as opposed to straight from you?

I'm not sure why Adobe is even in the issue, it's a Word document. But I'll send you a PM as soon as I've sent this, copy-pasting the entire thing into a PM for you. I honestly don't know why Adobe is getting involved, it shouldn't be.

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:tsu:

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:tsu:

Ok, just sent. Maybe your download issue is attempting to use Adobe when it should be using Word? That might explain the anomaly. In any case, you can read it in my PM, though copy-pasting it to Word will probably make for an easier read. It does for me :)

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Oh, you can't beat the KJV if you ask me. St John's Gospel or Revelation really doesn't sound right in modern day language that makes God sound like a middle manager who tries to, like, be a regular guy and speak to his subordinates on the same level. Surely if God did speak, He'd say "Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve."

See what I mean PA? The KJV translation of the Bible is the most wanted by Christians almost everywhere. Thanks Colonel.

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See what I mean PA? The KJV translation of the Bible is the most wanted by Christians almost everywhere. Thanks Colonel.

So one person agrees with the KJV being good and I must "see what you mean"? How does that compute? So if someone else here quotes the NIV or RSV, I can quote them and say "See what I mean, Ben"? Surely you can see the folly of that line of reasoning. At the end of the day, the KJV is not the most accurate available translation. It contains additions that are not in the original text, which have since been highlighted by textual study techniques not available to the people in 1611. The Bible is not about a popularity context, from my point of view. The Bible is about being the most accurate translation it can be.
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Hey Bluefinger, thank you for that quote of Mat.19:10-12. You have just given me a good evidence that the guy who wrote that text was a Hellenist former disciple of Paul. So much so that if Paul was not the one himself who wrote it, he was the spirit behind the pen of the writer. If you compare it with I Cor.7:1,2 there is no doubt about it. Jesus could have never said that. Besides, evidences abound that Jesus was married himself.

Evidence abounds otherwise too.

I think you are too quick to form the opinion that all of Christianity was based on Paul's writings and not the other way around.

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So one person agrees with the KJV being good and I must "see what you mean"? How does that compute? So if someone else here quotes the NIV or RSV, I can quote them and say "See what I mean, Ben"? Surely you can see the folly of that line of reasoning. At the end of the day, the KJV is not the most accurate available translation. It contains additions that are not in the original text, which have since been highlighted by textual study techniques not available to the people in 1611. The Bible is not about a popularity context, from my point of view. The Bible is about being the most accurate translation it can be.

Hey PA, don't take me too hard on this matter. I agree with you that the KJV is not accurate. As far as I am concerned there is no Christian accurate translation of the Bible. I prefer the original in Hebrew. I said I like to use the KJV when I am discussing with Christians but to myself only the original in Hebrew. And in English I prefer the JPS.

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Evidence abounds otherwise too.

I think you are too quick to form the opinion that all of Christianity was based on Paul's writings and not the other way around.

If by the "other way around" you mean Jesus, this never had any idea Christianity would ever rise. He probably trusted that his disciples would promote the Sect of the Nazarenes to embrace the whole world.

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If by the "other way around" you mean Jesus, this never had any idea Christianity would ever rise. He probably trusted that his disciples would promote the Sect of the Nazarenes to embrace the whole world.

Judging by the parables, it is unlikely Jesus had something that small scale in mind.

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Hey PA, don't take me too hard on this matter. I agree with you that the KJV is not accurate. As far as I am concerned there is no Christian accurate translation of the Bible. I prefer the original in Hebrew. I said I like to use the KJV when I am discussing with Christians but to myself only the original in Hebrew. And in English I prefer the JPS.

The JPS only covers the Tanakh, though. Unless they've released a copy of the New Testament that I'm unaware of. I actually have a copy of the JPS but to be honest I don't often use it. More often I'll read the ESV and have open the original Hebrew and a dictionary alongside it.

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The JPS only covers the Tanakh, though. Unless they've released a copy of the New Testament that I'm unaware of. I actually have a copy of the JPS but to be honest I don't often use it. More often I'll read the ESV and have open the original Hebrew and a dictionary alongside it.

The JPS is okay with a minus for the lack of the apocryphal books which I like. Hence I use the NAB (Catholic edition) with more frequency for that matter.

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