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Discussing the Bible.

Discussion in 'Personal' started by Mathsteach2, Nov 7, 2018.

  1. Mathsteach2

    Mathsteach2 Established commenter

    This is really intended to be a thread for Christians, but I cannot find a Christian website which runs a forum. I will be comfortable with non-Christians and atheists joining in, even if their posts are eristic.
    When I talk about the Word of God I mean as it is written in English (very odd English) in the KJV version (John 1:1). I am no literalist, once describing the Bible as a collection of dusty old books. Therefore the written words, in any language, are merely an instrument to help us reach out to God, through Jesus of course. Can I still claim to be a Christian?
  2. Mathsteach2

    Mathsteach2 Established commenter

    I forgot to mention the fact the Word in John 1:1 in the KJV is written using an upper case W, therefore can never be confused with the written word which literalists like to talk about. To take the words literally, and then confuse most people that this is the Word of God, is devious to say the least, I think.
  3. hs9981

    hs9981 Lead commenter

  4. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Definition of a Christian is surely ' a follower of Christ'?
    One who believes in him and tries to follow his teachings.
    Clue is in the name. ;)
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2018
    sabrinakat likes this.
  5. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    Go somewhere else
    install likes this.
  6. xmal

    xmal Established commenter

    Why? We discuss all sorts on here so why not theology?
  7. lizziescat

    lizziescat Star commenter

    This is Personal so the op is a perfectly reasonable question to put here. Those who are not interested don’t have to view.

    Re the Bible as Word of God.I thought most Christians, academics and non-believers accept that the Bible is a human construct . That is, it is a selection of writings collated in c. 2nd century (?) from numerous writings from a variety of 1st /2nd century writings of Jews who followed Jesus (who didn’t call themselves Christian until later ) who had themselves different interpretations of what ‘following Jesus’ meant. The reason some writings, out of the plethora that existed, were selected was based on a number of human-selected criteria. Surely it was precisely their interpretation of the Word of God was, which led those early compilers to select some versions rather than others. Later interpretations, of which KJV is just one, make similar judgements eg by the choice of vocabulary etc. Translations are, surely, always an interpretation.
    The early texts were created (and later selected into The Canon) within a particular socio-political-economic context just as later new translations etc were created within the ir particular socio-political-economic context.

    Im rambling now so will await those with more knowledge to correct me.
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2018
  8. Mainwaring

    Mainwaring Lead commenter

    [QUOTE="lizziescat, I'm rambling now so will await those with more knowledge to correct me.[/QUOTE]

    Nothing to 'correct' (except a missed apostrophe which I couldn't resist inserting). Many Christians would argue that the Bible IS the Word of God and those who selected the Canon were guided by the Holy Spirit. (Though of course this raises the difficulty that there is more than one version of the Canon).

    Theologians as varied as William Barclay (my favourite) and Benedict XVI (surprisingly readable) agree with you that translations are unreliable and it is necessary to study the original Hebrew and Greek. As I read neither, I'll pass on that.

    Some argue that Paul invented Christianity. I find the complexity of his Old-Testament-grounded version of Jesus rather daunting. On the other hand, Gentle Jesus Meek and Mild, the simple carpenter of Nazareth is even more of a travesty.

    I asked an Anglican priest to put in a nutshell what he believed about the Bible. He replied 'That it contains everything necessary for salvation...and a lot of other stuff as well'.
  9. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    Of course you (or anyone else) should feel free to discuss the Bible here...But I'll pass:D
    install likes this.
  10. lizziescat

    lizziescat Star commenter

    Ah, but even when people are fluent in a language, there are still different interpretations of what a particular phrase, or even word, means.
    Eg That slogan about NHS spending on That bus.

    (See you can get Brexit even into a thread on 1st century Christianity :eek::eek::oops::oops::oops:;);)
  11. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    it's always baffled me when Christians argue about 'Jewish' elements of Jesus and his teachings. o_O
    He was born a Jew. Followed the religion, even getting lost from his parents whist in a synagogue and never sought to undermine Judaism. In fact if one accepts that Jesus was the fulfilment of OT prophecy, Christianity is rooted in and based on Judaism.
  12. lizziescat

    lizziescat Star commenter

    Isn’t the argument is partly about the early discussion as to whether ‘Christians’ had to be Jews or whether the faith was open to gentiles as well. Or whether all followers needed to follow Jewish law eg circumcision.
    Ie James v. Paul
    monicabilongame likes this.
  13. burajda

    burajda Star commenter

    Jesus lived a Jewish life and died a Jew. He came from a region far from the Temple where innovative Greek philosophical ideas were seeping into Judaism, including possibly the pagan idea of a trinity of gods. He lived at a time of radicalism and occupation where traditions were being eroded. So he inevitably would be challenged as a blasphemer by the old order.
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2018
  14. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    If you can't find a forum discussing the Bible, your internetz is broken.
  15. irs1054

    irs1054 Star commenter

    Yep basic straight down the wall Anglican. The description I remember from ages ago is "The Bible is a resource that can be mined for religious truths", which is an utterly brilliant position to take because it doesn't rely upon anything in the Bible being literally true.

    Yep, not only is there no historical evidence of a Jesus person but there is no evidence of a Nazareth in the 1-33 AD era. Apparently the earliest mention is a few decades after of a tourist trap sporting a hole in the ground.
    EmanuelShadrack likes this.
  16. Mathsteach2

    Mathsteach2 Established commenter

    Many thanks, hs9811, for the links. Here in hospital I only searched for Christian websites, I never thought to include the keyword "forum". However, I will stay here for a while, as a ŕetired teacher it reminds me of my times in a pub in England as a young teacher, when every night colleagues from my own school would meet and have a real set to about anything, but it always ended up about our school.
    I also thank all other contributors to a discussion on the Bible, and although I have read all of this elsewhere, it is really good to read it again from such knowledgeable people. I could not do this myself.
    I have a list of things on what it means to be a Christian. My first is to believe in the supernatural (C. S. Lewis). Another is to study, not necessarily read through and through, the Bible.
    What can we do about the fundamental literalists?
  17. Doitforfree

    Doitforfree Star commenter

    Why the King James? It's more of a nice literary paraphrase them a translation. You certainly need to learn ancient Greek and read the oldest available texts if you're going to consider the New Testament to be the word of God, otherwise you might be getting a quite wrong idea of what the word actually is.

    A lot of what's in the Jesus stories is to prove that he was a prophet and/or was the Jewish Messiah as predicted in the Old Testament. Now you might take the view that he did those things because he was the Messiah, or you might take the view that he didn't do those things but that they became attributed to him because he 'must' have done them if he were the Messiah.

    Sanders' book 'Jesus and Judaism' is a very interesting exploration of Jesus' place in his historical setting. It's a tough read though
  18. Mathsteach2

    Mathsteach2 Established commenter

    Oops it got posted before I had finished! Of course we must fellowship with them as Christians along with members of all denominations (and cults!?) but do we have any chance of opening their minds to the Word of God (upper case!)?
  19. Mathsteach2

    Mathsteach2 Established commenter

    Doitforfree, it was in the KJV that I first noticed the use of the upper case W in John 1:1. Do other English translations use it? How do other languages handle this?
    I agree with you that to really study the Bible we should be learning Hebrew and ancient Greek. That is too much for me now, and reading books is difficult. I can talk and write a little, so here I am!
  20. chelsea2

    chelsea2 Star commenter


    Nazareth dwelling discovery may shed light on boyhood of Jesus

    At the site, Alexandre told reporters that archaeologists also found clay and chalk vessels which were likely to have been used by Galilean Jews of the time.

    The scientists concluded that a Jewish family lived there because of the chalk, which was used by Jews at the time to ensure the purity of the food and water kept inside the vessels.

    The shards also date back to the time of Jesus, which includes the late Hellenic, early Roman period that ranges from around 100 BC to AD100, Alexandre said.

    monicabilongame and Lara mfl 05 like this.

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