The following is a reply to a comment by “the hero and the villain” under another post below.
Dear “the hero and the villain”:
I apologize for taking so long to get back to you. It was not intended as a slight against you, but rather it is an indication of my inability to quickly craft a suitable reply. In reply to your comments, I would like to ask an unexpected question and to make an unexpected statement.
First, the question: Do you really want me to respond? Do you really want me to go through your comments point by point? Your basic thought is that the Bible is unreliable as a source of truth. Is there anything I could say to change your mind? Is there any proof or evidence I could offer to convince you? What is your standard for deciding if the Bible is true or false, reliable or unreliable?
Second, the statement: The Bible is not as important to followers of Christ as you think it is. Ultimately, Christianity is not about the Bible. It is about Christ. What matters most is whether or not you believe Jesus. The goal of the Bible is to introduce you to Jesus. Jesus himself said it to the Jews in his day: “You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life.” (John 5:39-40)
I hope that at some point you will come to trust the Bible as the reliable Word of God, but in the end, what I care about most is whether or not you trust in Jesus. True life is only found in him.
Well…anyone can look that up on a number of religious websites, as well as scholars who have proved with fact the bible has been re-wrote over the years. It’s like this, do you think if there was no bible that people would most likely go crazy in the streets with no moral compass? We inherently know from the beginning even as a child whats right and wrong, These values are also the responsibility of the parents. there are tons of people who claim they follow the rules of the bible, yet make it so it suits themselves to justify their actions. side note, Kim Davis. claiming its against her religion to not issue same-sex marriage licenses. Yet, she has been divorced multiple times. doesn’t this go against the bibles teachings? People like to pick and choose various verses as long as it benefits them. Rant over. I feel lke i could go on and on. I guess the stories are fantastical, embellished, and used as a fear fear mongering tool, similar to the ways news outlets are used today. All I’m left with is questions. Why hasn’t any miracles documented today? Why is god allowing all the violence? Why let people starve? ( Please do note use the excuse, “its gods plan”, well whats the plan then? I want to know, i have follow up questions.) Why is he not stepping to set the record straight? What is the point as humans being a reality show for God? why create a universe with thousands of galaxies to make one small grain of sand in an enormous space? (side note 2)Noah did not take every animal on the ark. There were too many species and that were not indigenous to the area…basically what i gather from your response is…i don’t have time for non-believers because i know you are wrong. Next up, Jesus
Hero and villain,
I was not trying to shove aside your questions, and I apologize if I gave that impression. I am just asking if those questions are really what is holding you back and if you have thought through what evidence for the Bible you would find to be acceptable.
In your further response, you have brought up some additional interesting issues, but for the sake of clear discussion, is it OK if I stick with the questions concerning the Bible for now? Afterwards we can move on to other questions.
First, I am interested in your sources. What are the websites and scholars you turn to for your information? I am relatively familiar with the available research in this field, and it appears that some of the facts and theories you have cited fall outside of the mainstream of scholarship. By “mainstream” I am referring both to people who believe the Bible and people who do not. There was a time when groups like the Jesus Seminar were considered more mainstream, but now many of their core ideas have been discredited.
Second, let me clear up some of the basic facts, and then you can see where things stand. Modern translations of the Bible are not based on the King James Version (KJV). They are translated directly from the original languages of Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic. In fact, many pastors, theologians, scholars, etc. (including myself) do most of their study in the original languages. I could care less how accurate or inaccurate the KJV is. I hardly ever look at it.
The issue here is not with any one translation. There is no chain of translations from ancient times to today. We are looking at original language texts compiled directly from ancient manuscripts in the languages in which the documents were originally written.
The number of manuscripts of the Greek New Testament is staggering. Eight thousand manuscripts is not a small number. It is a huge number. No other ancient document even comes close to having that many copies available. Because we are able to compare so many manuscripts, we are able to reconstruct the original with confidence.
Several of the manuscript copies that exist are very ancient. For instance, there is a copy of a portion of the Gospel of John that dates to about 125 AD, and there is a portion of Mark that has been recently discovered, possibly dating to around 75 AD (if it is confirmed by other scholars when the discovery is released to the public). These are not hundreds of years after the originals. These are mere decades after the originals — unheard of for an ancient document.
You seem under the impression that the manuscript copies are full of contradictions and errors. I have personally seen some of the most important manuscripts of the Greek New Testament, and I have looked at facsimile editions and high-resolution digital images of many others. I have not found it to be the case that the manuscripts are full of contradictions and errors of the kind you are probably thinking. What do you mean by a contradiction or error? Do you know of any examples we could discuss?
Classic. You haven’t followed up on anything i was stating. You tend to go off on a tangent on your own. I’ll keep it simple.(not really).
The stories in the bible are not meant to be taken literally. Can’t do it. Too many contradictions and embellished “words of God” No, all these magical stories and miracles did not happen. There was no Garden of Eden, it would have caused incest. Have you ever seen a talking snake? Nope. dinosaurs? Still don’t have an answer for that in gods plan. No, Noah id not build an Ark and brought every animal aboard it. I have never seen anyone split a river. I have never seen a burning bush talk to me. Lets begin. here’s some research:
Lets start with the first two books of the bible and Genesis.
The first chapter states that God creates Adam and Eve at the same time,
In the 2nd chapter God creates Adam, then Adam wanders around, names the animals does a few things, then he talks to God and Say’s he is lonely, so God says Ok i will provide you with a mate so he takes the Rib and creates Eve.
In the first Two chapters of the book are conflicting Creation stories , so which is true? Now Believers will say “well it’s just two different versions of the same story” this is fine but then don’t say in the next Breath that the Bible is meant to be taken literally and when it says something it means it!! because it obviously does not.
Modern man has 24 ribs. Did Adam have 25, 24 or 23? Did he grow a new rib to achieve 24 or did he have the spare 25th to begin with? If God made Adam, why couldn’t he make Eve in the same manner? Making Eve from Adam’s rib is like cloning, which would make their physical union a variation of incest.Maybe God just forgot the method He used to make Adam? The Bible turns the possibility of God being an amazing scientist and demotes him into being a carnival magician..
THE GREAT FLOOD
The Bible says the Great Flood covered the entire world. The problem with that assertion is that the Biblical writers thought the earth was flat and only knew about a small part of the earth. While this does not in itself preclude a total planet flood, it precludes those writers from having the knowledge to make such a statement. Common sense in the 21st century allows us to infer that the idea itself is preposterous. That would apply even if all the ice on the planet melted.
I think we could all agree that there is no possible way that Noah could have put all 10 billion species on the planet on his Ark and then distributed them in the different regions of Earth that they are native to.
Noah’s tale is probably a mixture of stories about a flood on the Euphrates river, 125 miles south-east of present day Baghdad There is Archeologically evidence that there was a 6 day storm around 2900 Bc and the river rose 22 feet, the river overflowed and a lot of people got killed. a Survivor a Sumerian king named ‘Zuisudra’ got hold of a commercial barge loaded it with merchandise and road the flood, landed safely on a hill top and made a sacrifice in a hill top temple to give thanks for his safe landing.
Sound familiar? great flood, happy landing on hilltop? at least 6 other cultures have a similar flood stories in the region and there is Geological and archaeological evidence to prove this .. Noah’s story no evidence outside the Bible.
MOSES AND THE RED SEA
Thousands of Jews are supposedly enslaved by the Egyptian pharaoh.. We cannot find ANY evidence of this anywhere. NONE, no were outside the Bible is there evidence that any Jews were ever in Egypt. there is also NO evidence of Moses outside the Bible, so Moses go’s to the pharaoh and says let my people go and they escape and spend 40 years wandering around the desert. if thousands of people spent 40 years wandering a desert there would be evidence of them having been there, heck we find evidence of 2 people living in a cave from millions of years ago so thousands of people you would think there would be some.
An ancient Jewish historian name Josephus wrote about Jesus and his followers later a first century Roman historian also wrote about Jesus and the fact he was crucified, at least we do have evidence of this (although written decades or centuries after the fact.)
Jesus was not the only messiah at the time, did you all know this? there were lots of messiah’s. there is documentation of another fellow named ‘ apologias of tyana’ who in the first century was claimed by his followers to walk through walls , heal the sick and raised the dead. He was persecuted for his religious beliefs he was brought to trial by the local roman court and crucified and after he died he rose from the dead.
People always Love to quote the Bible, however they always seem to pick and choose
If you believe the Bible is the word of God you cannot pick and choose which parts to live your life by you must incorporate it all.
conservatives love to quote the famous passage,
If a man also lie with a man-kind, as he lieth with a women, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.
Therefore homosexuality is a sin ….but if you turn to the next chapter it clearly states that you should stone to death disobedient children!!!
So you pick and choose the parts of the Bible that you like and conveniently ignore the parts you do not, this is not just and is not fair after all isn’t it all the word of God?
other classics include it is ok to sell your daughters into slavery, and it is a Sin for a man to have long hair. Ever see a picture of Jesus with short hair? i didn’t think so.
If you believe that your God is infallible you cannot throw out some of the rules because you disagree with them.Whatever you do , do not read the Bible for a Moral code it advocates prejudice, cruelty, superstition and murder.
If your religious and you believe the Bible is true because of faith nothing you read will persuade you otherwise would instantly turn you into an atheist?………. ‘none i have faith’
Organized religion has been responsible for most of the wars on the planet and the big one may yet be to come, the Bible is a form of control so you all work your ass of on this earth because you believe there is a big reward at the end of it all.
A response to your questions about Adam and Eve: https://randallfcurtis.com/2015/10/30/are-adam-and-eve-myths/
Perhaps I was not as clear as I could have been to the context of my statements, but I was not going off on my own tangent. I was responding to your comments here: https://randallfcurtis.com/2015/01/27/what-was-the-first-sin-and-it-may-not-be-what-you-think/comment-page-1/#comment-128. I think if you read over your comments there, you will see that I was responding to your thoughts on the King James Version, conflicting copies and manuscripts, etc.
I have asked you two questions. First, I asked you what your sources of information are (the religious websites and scholars you mention). Second, since you declared that the manuscript copies of the New Testament are full of differences and discrepancy, I asked for examples. If the manuscripts are so full of such discrepancies, then there should be many possible examples. Your questions about Adam and Eve, Noah, Moses, etc. are not examples of conflicts between manuscript copies of the New Testament. I would appreciate answers to these two questions.
As to the statements you have just made, I think it will be easiest to respond in separate posts by topic to allow for easy discussion. Please see above: https://randallfcurtis.com/2015/10/29/why-do-you-doubt-miracles/
I gave you a variety of statements above.
1st – “sources of information” Read history books by actual historians and theologians ( i will gladly email you a list). A lot can be found with a basic google search.
2nd – my questions are not about conflicts, they are statements based on stories in the bible with zero evidence.
What I’m basically hearing from you is “i don”t have an answer so I’ll circle talk”
Randall Curtis says:
October 30, 2015 at 3:27 am (Edit)
Hero and villain,
1) I would love to see a list of sources!
2) Your original comments were here: https://randallfcurtis.com/2015/01/27/what-was-the-first-sin-and-it-may-not-be-what-you-think/comment-page-1/#comment-128. You made the following statements: “There are only eight-thousand old and dissimilar conflicting copies of declared original manuscripts…” and “In summation these holy biblical text aka ‘The Word of God’ are declared and proclaimed to be an accurate and truthful translation from eight thousand paradoxical copies of fourth century writings that are allegedly copies of lost letters composed in the first century, that were assumed to have been written by the last living apostle.” I understood these statements to mean that you felt that the various manuscript copies of the New Testament were in disagreement with each other as to the content of the original texts. Is that not the case?
3) I have no desire to talk in circles or avoid questions. I have responded to your general thoughts about miracles: https://randallfcurtis.com/2015/10/29/why-do-you-doubt-miracles/. I am going to respond to the specific issues that you have raised as well.