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Reading Your Bible Through in a Year

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1fuzzi
Jan 3, 2012, 7:49am Top

Have any of you read your entire Bible through in a year?

If not, why not give it a try this year?

As I read this year, I'm going to post my progress and comment on verses that I have read.

Please join me! :)

2fuzzi
Jan 3, 2012, 7:52am Top

All it takes is reading 3-4 chapters per day, on average, to read the entire Bible through in a year!

I did not read any of Genesis on January 1st, but read 7 chapters last night.

Did you know that the first mention of "wickedness" is mentioned in Genesis 6:5, and that it pertains to mankind?

The first mention of "heart" is also in Genesis 6:5, and pertains to the heart of man.

The first mention of "grieved" is in Genesis 6:6, and refers to God being sad at how man is acting.

3baron770
Jan 3, 2012, 3:44pm Top

Why take a year to read the Bible. How about a couple of day's or a week.

Why not read whole Bible book's in one setting? This is much better than a couple of chapters.

4JaneAustenNut
Edited: Jan 3, 2012, 6:26pm Top

fuzzi; thanks for starting this thread, I hope we get lots of people to read through their Bibles this year. Lets try to make 2012 the year of the Bible! I am finishing Heaven is for Real and it has given me renewed interest in doing a complete read thru. I'll also strart reading in Genesis.......... I find that a dedicated slower (year long) read thru gives me extra time to not only read but contemplate and think about what I have read. Please keep me posted on my profile if you see me not following through on my promise to fellow Christians to do a thorough read through this year. It is a great idea!

PS, I'll be posting back on this thread as often as possible, if not everyday then at least every three days!

5fuzzi
Jan 3, 2012, 6:31pm Top

(3) baron, I have a job, a family...don't think I can read that fast! :D

JAN, I agree that reading just a few chapters a day makes it easier to meditate upon what is written there. I could read faster, but then I'd miss so much!

First mentions are fun to find, too.

Onward!

6richardbsmith
Edited: Jan 3, 2012, 6:42pm Top

It is not my approach, but I have a friend who just finished this book One Year Chronological Bible

He really liked it.

7fuzzi
Jan 3, 2012, 6:52pm Top

richard, some people don't care to have a schedule to read, but for some people it helps keep them on track...like the 75 books in 2012 challenge (which I also have joined).

Thanks for sharing. :)

8endpapers
Jan 3, 2012, 6:57pm Top

Hello, everyone - I just found y'all and am reading through my Bible this year, too. I've done this before but not for some years now. I'm using the NKJV in the morning and ESV in the evening. I'll read at least three chapters in the morning, probably just one before bedtime. And I will NOT get bogged down in II Chronicles!

9jntjesussaves
Jan 3, 2012, 6:59pm Top

fuzzi- great topic starter.

I will say that I have read the Bible through three times (in fourteen years as a Christian), so I am certainly not bragging- because it is nothing to brag about.

I think reading the Bible through in a year is commendable and would never discourage it. Not saying I will never make this a goal again, but I believe that we should try and grasp the concept within passages from Scripture, rather than set a goal to finish the Bible in a year (or however long it takes one to finish it). I normally read portions of Scripture in relation to a daily devotional I do, which happens to be Our Daily Bread (produced by Radio Bible Class Ministries). I also read additional verses and chapters as led each day; sometimes, when thinking about a certain subject I might read verses pertaining to that topic. This is in no way to discourage anyone's goal to read the Bible through, that is certainly a very good goal to set.

I will make some comments here and there on verses that I read, also. God bless you all as you succeed at this goal.

10fuzzi
Jan 3, 2012, 7:03pm Top

endpapers, glad to have you. May we all help/encourage each other in order to complete our goal for 2012!

Thank you, John, for your kind commentary.

I've done both routes: the "read it through" and the "read a bit here a bit" sort of thing.

This year I want to do BOTH. I'm planning on reading it through AND studying what strikes me as I read. For example, I spent a lot of time in Genesis 6 last night, just amazed at the 'first mention' words. :)

11jntjesussaves
Edited: Jan 3, 2012, 7:48pm Top

I understand your goal to do both. I will say that one thing many Christians do not do enough of (and that is study God's Word). I stand guilty of that myself. I have done it in the past more than I do now and that is something that I need to change.

I did read Proverbs 2:1-9, speaking of the very important topic of "wisdom." Something we all need more of and to know that we only have to "ask" as the Bible proclaims. God is so merciful. A couple ideas within this devotion that struck me were the following (maybe they will help someone else out, also): First, the author (Anne Cetas) likens the pursuit of wisdom (as a husband pursues her future wife)- he spends much time and effort to gain his wife as we should spend much time and effort to gain God's wisdom. Interestingly enough, as I was typing it made me think that this relates to reading your Bible more- the only way we are going to gain God's wisdom is to "search the Scriptures daily." Secondly, a poem correlating this topic was offered: "What will it profit when life here is o'er, Though great worldly wisdom I gain, If seeking knowledge I utterly fail, The wisdom of God to obtain?" And a quote: "You can acquire much knowledge, but true wisdom comes only from God." Just some thoughts.

By the way, fuzzi, that is something great about reading Genesis: It contains the first occurence of many things (wickedness, heart, grieved (as you mentioned), murder, sin, etc.). Sometimes it is amazing to try and imagine a world where some of these things did not exist- a perfect world! How different the world is today. God bless all.

12jntjesussaves
Jan 3, 2012, 7:46pm Top

8: Congrats, endpapers! I am sure you will succeed at your endeavor this year.

13jntjesussaves
Jan 3, 2012, 7:56pm Top

3/4: God's blessings on both of your pursuits to read God's Word.

14madpoet
Jan 3, 2012, 10:20pm Top

Thanks for starting this thread, fuzzi. Whenever I read the Bible, I find it hard to stop at at just a few verses. I'm one of those people who likes to read in large chunks. Especially the history books, which I really get into (I was a history major in college).

I'll try reading along. Are you planning on alternating between Old and New Testaments, or just staying with the Old Testament first, then the New?

To me, one of the surprising things about human history, as recorded in Genesis, is how quickly humanity goes from the first sin, which doesn't seem so evil in itself (eating the wrong fruit) to murder, the very next sin mentioned. In just one generation. When people start to do wrong, they go very wrong indeed.

15streamsong
Jan 4, 2012, 12:45am Top

I was really inspired to read along with you but scaling the OT just seems daunting right now.

I googled and found quite a few schedules for Bible reading in a year. And when I looked at this one http://www.bible-reading.com/bible-plan.html I heard myself cheering--Yay! Today I get to start out with Romans! So I knew it was the plan for me. I tend to have several books going in my other reading and switch from one to the other. So I really like that this is reading 7 books at a time on a rotating basis.

I'll keep an eye on your thread and know our paths will cross.

16thomashwalker2
Jan 4, 2012, 8:31am Top

Reading the Bible again was one of my New Year's resolutions. Fuzzi, it was meant for me to join you in this new thread. Thanks for asking.

17fuzzi
Jan 4, 2012, 12:21pm Top

(11) that's an interesting way to describe the pursuit of wisdom.

I heard a story once, comparing our relationship with God as an older married couple going somewhere in a car. She turns to her husband, who is driving, and says "Remember when we used to sit against each other in the car?" and his response was "I'm in the same place. Why did you move?"

Woah. Convicted here!

(14) madpoet, I like the history aspects, too, although there are some awfully dry parts of Numbers, Leviticus and Deuteronomy, but I keep on going!

I was planning on doing Genesis - Revelation, but I'm also open to suggestions.

"To me, one of the surprising things about human history, as recorded in Genesis, is how quickly humanity goes from the first sin, which doesn't seem so evil in itself (eating the wrong fruit) to murder, the very next sin mentioned. In just one generation. When people start to do wrong, they go very wrong indeed."

That's true.

I don't see the actual eating of the fruit as the real sin, but the disobedience of Adam and Eve, breaking God's commandment to not eat of it. Whether or not it was good or bad for them to eat, they were told "Don't do that!"

And then the slide from paradise began...

One more thing: what was Eve doing by that tree, anyway? Why was she so close to it, tempting herself?

We could learn a lesson from that: flee sin, don't think upon it, don't go close to it. If you have a tendency to drink, don't live over a bar!

18fuzzi
Jan 4, 2012, 12:23pm Top

(15) streamsong, why not just share what you're reading with us? I think we could handle a couple different chapters at a time.

Romans is a great book. :)

thomaswalker2, you are welcome. I thought someone else might be interested in doing this. :)

19eclecticdodo
Jan 4, 2012, 1:29pm Top

I'd really recommend cover to cover. It really helps put it in perspective reading in chronological order. The great thing is you can also get the "complete" version which has the full text in it, so no flicking back and forth between bible and notes. I read it on my commute to work a couple of years ago. Unfortunately I've not got the time now to read that many chapters a day (with a 1 year old in the house) but I hope to do it again soon.

20eclecticdodo
Jan 4, 2012, 1:31pm Top

ok, that touchstone didn't work. Try http://www.librarything.com/work/845661

21jntjesussaves
Edited: Jan 4, 2012, 5:56pm Top

Welcome madpoet, thomaswalker2, and streamsong.

14: I read from where I leave off before, which probably most do; fuzzi took my thought when she made mention of "obedience" as being the true sin that Adam (and Eve) committed. And I would go a little further to say that God does not want our obedience because He desires us to fear Him. He wants our obedience because He desires us "to love Him." I truly believe when Adam disobeyed (in a sense, He broke the heart of God). God desires us to obey Him, (not mainly out of fear, not mainly out of respect and awe), but out of a true love and devotion for and to Him. I believe this was the real sin that Adam committed in Garden of Eden. For the first time, man (Adam) showed a lack of love, for the One that created Him for that purpose. Just a thought.

You are very correct- it is amazing how quickly man seemed to have leaped into a world of sin.

15: We are all not alike (thank goodness); we all have our likes and dislikes (or maybe a better term would be preferences)- God doesn't command us the read the Bible through in a year, in a month, in a day (boy, that would be tough)! He tells us to meditate on His Word day and night (Joshua 1:8). Reading it through in a year is just one method of "meditating" on His Word. God bless you in your venture.

16: Amazing how like-minded people think alike. God bless you, thomas.

17: I had heard that analogy you gave- and I must say it is a very convicting analogy.

Great words of wisdom on your thoughts to madpoet and your thoughts on temptation.

19: Welcome eclecticdodo.

I like the cover to cover method as well; it seems to keep you more on track like reading a book from cover to cover, however, with the many "reading the Bible through in a year" ideas floating around- there are many methods to choose from.

God bless you for your desire to read God's Word.

22jntjesussaves
Edited: Jan 4, 2012, 6:07pm Top

My devotion for today came from 1 Timothy 4:6-11. Interestingly enough, it spoke about love (and its relationship) to godliness. Just some quick quotes from this devotion that I thought were really good and may benefit somebody else (as they did me). The first was the following: "Godliness may sound dull, scary, or unattainable, but the essence of godliness is simply self-giving love- caring more for others than we care for ourselves. This kind of love is hard to come by, but it's one that grows in the presence of love. We grow loving and more lovely by sitting at Jesus' feet, listening to Him, talking things over- gaining in likeness to the One who is love (1 John 4:8)." And the other is short and to the point: "Love is godliness in action." Just some thoughts.

23fuzzi
Jan 4, 2012, 6:46pm Top

Welcome to our little thread, eclecticdodo!

I think it's reading daily that's most important, not necessarily reading so many chapters or pages. The Bereans searched the Scriptures daily, and I think that it's a good idea for us to emulate.

Tonight I'm back in Genesis, I think 11-14 or so...depends on how I feel and how tired I am.

~~

Hey! Anyone try reading a chapter of Proverbs a day? You can get through the entire book (31 chapters) in a month. I did that for a couple of years and it really helped me remember the verses.

24endpapers
Jan 4, 2012, 7:43pm Top

I just got Abraham through that battle with the four kings. I am struck by what a wuss Lot was and is still called "righteous".

25jntjesussaves
Jan 4, 2012, 8:39pm Top

23: Amen, fuzzi- good point!

I also have read Proverbs through as you mention; Proverbs has so much good applicable wisdom- you will easily be filled by reading a chapter a day.

26fuzzi
Jan 5, 2012, 10:49am Top

(24) That's right, endpapers, Lot kept messing up a lot.

To me that suggests that it isn't our righteousness that makes us "just", but the work of Christ: "it is finished".

27fuzzi
Jan 5, 2012, 12:42pm Top

Oh, read Genesis 11-13.

Genesis 13:13
First mention of "sinners" is used to describe the men of Sodom.

Genesis 13:14-15
After Lot left for the well watered plains and Sodom, then the LORD told Abram (Abraham) how He was giving to Abram (and his descendants) all the land that he saw, a gift forever.

28jntjesussaves
Edited: Jan 5, 2012, 8:52pm Top

26: Good point, fuzzi. Our righteousness is only as righteous as we are "right with God." When we are allowing Him to live in and through us, others will see "our righteousness" (which is truly Christ's righteousness shining through).

27: "After Lot left for the well watered plains and Sodom, then the LORD told Abram (Abraham) how He was giving to Abram (and his descendants) all the land that he saw, a gift forever."

I believe you are making the point that "the land" that God gave the Israelites on that day (was theirs, forever); meaning that land (even in 2012) is still theirs (whether "reality" says different or not). If this be the case, I say "Amen!" Palestine and other parts of that region were given to the Israelites (and their land has been stolen from them).

29jntjesussaves
Jan 5, 2012, 8:51pm Top

I read from James 4:13-17 today. There were several interesting thoughts I had in relevance to these verses. Of course these verses relate how man seems to presume that he has a lot of control in his life. God's Word says, "Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away." None of us can be presumptious with our lives.

It continues with what our attitude should be, "For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that."

The author comments, "Many people used to begin their statement of plans with, "Lord willing." The phrase may have become trite, but the acknowledgment of God's overruling hand is not."

30TRIPLEHHH
Jan 6, 2012, 6:02am Top

Great idea Fuzzi! I am starting Genesis today.

31TRIPLEHHH
Jan 6, 2012, 7:10am Top

29: AMEN!

32fuzzi
Edited: Jan 6, 2012, 7:58am Top

Great to have you with us, TRIPLEHHH!

In regards to post (29), while reading that I thought of Luke 12:18-21 ...

"And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods.
And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.
But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?
So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God."


You DON'T know when your life will end, or what will happen tomorrow, so you should best make plans with that in mind.

Last night I read Genesis 14-16.

Genesis 14:2
First mention of 'war'. Boy, man is sure progressing and evolving, isn't he?

Genesis 15:18
While Abram is asleep, God makes a covenant with him, again, to give Abram and his descendants the land as described.

Genesis 16
Abram doesn't trust God enough to wait for the promise of an heir, but listens to his wife Sarai and conceives a child by Hagar, an Egyptian servant. The child is Ishmael.

33thomashwalker2
Jan 6, 2012, 8:28am Top

> 11: Sorry I am responding so slowly to this post, but was out of town. Seeking wisdom fom God has been a theme in my life and so with that I will expound just a little. “Never mistake knowledge for wisdom. One helps you make a living; the other helps you make a life.” – Sandra Carey

Albert Einstein told his students, “Wisdom is not a product of schooling but of the lifelong attempt to acquire it.”

Knowledge alone teaches us to only know about God, but wisdom enables us to know (understand) God personally. For example, you can read every book ever written about Abraham Lincoln, but you will only know about him. This is not the same as saying that you knew Mr. Lincoln personally. It is the same about our knowledge and understanding of God. Do we know about Him, or do we know Him personally?

God says this about gaining wisdom: “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him” (James 1:5, KJV).

Knowledge of the Scriptures is no guarantee that you will know Jesus personally or be mature enough to receive the meat of the Word. “And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ. I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able” (1 Corinthians 3:1–2, NKJV).

Take the priests and Pharisees as an example. Nobody read and studied the Scriptures more than these two groups of scholars, but when the Holy One of God stood before them (about whom the entire Scriptures were written), they did not recognize Him. Biblical knowledge comes from scanning the surface of God’s Word. The reader who stays at the surface sees the Bible from a historical perspective. When one goes beneath the surface, the Bible’s identity is revealed—the heart and mind of God. That is why the Bible is called “the Living Word.” Beneath the words (skin) and coursing through the passages (arteries), flows the truth (blood) that nourishes the spiritual body.

34lawecon
Jan 6, 2012, 9:08am Top

~33

Although I don't agree with the particulars of your perspective, I am more sympathetic to your orientation than I am to the orientation of the other posters to this thread. Read the Bible through in a year? Ah, why? "The Bible" is a collection of different texts written by different people in different times and circumstances ADDRESSING OFTEN RADICALLY DIFFERENT TOPICS AND CONCERNS. What is the merit in "reading it through" as if it was a novel developing a unitary story?

Particularly, why would one want to "read it through" without spending the time to figure out what questions the various authors are addressing and what background presumptions they assume to be true?

Incidentally, this mental dysfunction is not limited to Christians. Orthodox (of course) Jews engage in a similar ritual of reading the BT through in 7+ years. http://articles.latimes.com/1990-04-29/news/we-269_1_orthodox-jews I am certain that they derive as much intellectual enlightenment from that experience as most of the posters above do from reading the Bible through in a year (i.e., very nearly zip).

35fuzzi
Jan 6, 2012, 10:58am Top

Thank you for your input and opinions, Lawecon.

I personally have found that reading my Bible through every year gives me much more enlightenment than you have suggested. It helps me become more familiar with the Scriptures, and aids me in my daily walk with the Lord.

Feel free to join us if you like. :)

36thomashwalker2
Edited: Jan 7, 2012, 8:22am Top

> 34: "Read the Bible through in a year? Ah, why? "The Bible" is a collection of different texts written by different people in different times and circumstances ADDRESSING OFTEN RADICALLY DIFFERENT TOPICS AND CONCERNS. What is the merit in "reading it through" as if it was a novel developing a unitary story?"

When you (lawecon) discuss in your posts about the Bible, Christianity, and religion it is apparent that you feel certain that you have figured it all out. How can the rest of the world be so blind? You are not the enemy of Christianity, but unfortunately, a victim. You do a good job holding your own in these discussions, but you are no match for the one that has not only blinded the eyes of the world, but of God's chosen.

From reading about Israel in the Bible, I have asked myself, “How could God’s chosen people not see the truth?” Even after all they witnessed and experienced. God had provided for all their needs in a dry and hostile desert. Armies that outnumbered them fell to their swords. Their enemies of every size, shape, race, and creed met death and destruction. God gave them His commandments—written by His own hand. God Himself came to their camps and conversed face-to-face with their leader. God chose their bloodline to bring into the world His Son. The Almighty Son of God and co-creator of the universe stood before them in the flesh and taught. Jesus fulfilled all of the prophecies predicted in the Torah. They witnessed never-before-seen miracles. When Jesus gave up the Ghost, the dead rose up out of their graves and entered into the city. And even after all of those miraculous events, they are still today “blinded: for until this day remaineth the same veil untaken away in the reading of the Old Testament; which veil is done away in Christ. But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the veil is upon their heart” (2 Corinthians 3:14–15, KJV).

Fuzzi, as well as myself and John really do welcome you. We only ask that instead of being so defensive, be a little more opened minded.

37baron770
Jan 6, 2012, 6:43pm Top

> 7 fuzzi what is that 75 book challenge for 2012 about. Does it include any books or just certain books?

>36 thomashwalker2: That's why we need to read our bible. In Exodus 33:3 we see God's answer for thou art a stiffnecked people. Sounds like a lot of us today? We can see by past examples of what is pleasing to God.

38fuzzi
Jan 6, 2012, 6:55pm Top

baron, glad you've joined us here!

The 75 book challenge can be found here:
http://www.librarything.com/groups/75booksin2012
and it includes any and all books.

Not including my Bible reading, I've read 2 and am about to finish book #3.

39jntjesussaves
Jan 6, 2012, 7:35pm Top

30: Welcome TRIPLEHHH! Nice to have you in the thread.

40jntjesussaves
Jan 6, 2012, 7:38pm Top

33: thomas, profound insight my friend! Good words of wisdom.

41jntjesussaves
Jan 6, 2012, 7:42pm Top

34: Welcome lawecon!

42jntjesussaves
Jan 6, 2012, 7:51pm Top

36: Very good thoughts, thomas. I remember when I was blind to God's truth. If you had asked me to give an understanding of God's Word, I would have responded with- "It all seems like a jumbled mess of words on a page." How different you see once "the True Light" (Jesus Christ) opens your heart and mind to understand His Word.

I can remember back in 1997 after God shedding His mercy on my sinful soul and saving me. I would read God's Word (which was the first time in my life I chose to read His Word- I had only read as little as possible the first 26 years of my life) and go to church the following Sunday and the understanding that God had given me (to understand what I read), my Pastor would repeat things that I had read (and thought on the previous week). It might not seem earth-shattering to some, but to a naive person (religiously speaking) back in 1997- I was amazed that I could talk with someone in another state, another country (or listen to someone on the radio) and have the same understanding and interpreation as they did (even though I had been a Christian for such a short period of time).

I am so very thankful when I got saved, God opened the door for me to go to United Baptist Church (in Springfield, MO). It was a small church, but God's Word was preached and taught (and many of my previous misconceptions of Christianity) were answered. Thank God for Bible-Believing churches.

43jntjesussaves
Jan 6, 2012, 7:52pm Top

37: Welcome baron 770!

44jntjesussaves
Jan 6, 2012, 8:01pm Top

34: "Fuzzi, as well as myself and John really do welcome you. We only ask that instead of being so defensive, be a little more opened minded. "

As Thomas stated, lawecon, I do welcome you. As he stated, while we probably all might dissagree with some of your thoughts (or ideas), we do welcome them.

I am saying this as lovingly as I can (if you could see my heart): You make some very good points often, but because they always seem to be done with defensiveness (as Thomas mentioned), it is hard to have a conversation (text) with someone who seems to attack everything. While you may dissagree with most of what any on this thread says, there is still a place for you here.

I can tell you are very intelligent (and knowledgeable) on a variety of topics. While you don't agree with many of our ideas, you can disagree with them without attacking them. I know I can learn from you (and I think you have a lot to teach), but it is hard to learn from someone who seems to always be on the defensive. I hope you take these words as I sent them, in love and sincerity. I hope you are blessed from this thread, lawecon.

45lawecon
Jan 6, 2012, 8:48pm Top

~35

It helps me become more familiar with the Scriptures,

===================================

In what manner are you becoming "more familiar with the Scriptures" merely by reading words concerning which you have no background? Why not acquire the background prior to reading the words? But, again, there is a close parallel in Judaism. Many Orthodox are proud of their ability to recite the Siddur from memory, even though they don't have a clue what most of it means or the circumstances under which a particular passage became a part of the Siddur.

46lawecon
Jan 6, 2012, 9:01pm Top

~36

When you (lawecon) discuss in your posts about the Bible, Christianity, and religon it is apparent that you feel certain that you have figured it all out.

==========================

Let's see. I repeat what no scholar of the Bible would dispute and your charge is that I am arrogant and act like "I have figured it all out." Well, no, I haven't figured it all out, any more than the person who has learned addition, subtraction, multiplication and division has "figured out" all of mathematics. But such a person knows more about that subject than the person who is totally ignorant of those topics and knows only the addition table.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

"They witnessed never-before-seen miracles. When Jesus gave up the Ghost, the dead rose up out of their graves and entered into the city."
=========================

This is a great example of exactly what I'm talking about. You simply read and repeat, without any apparent thought. If such a thing had in fact occurred don't you think that someone other than the writer of this particular Gospel would have recorded it and commented upon it? Surely, at least, the other Gospel writers would have mentioned it, since it is such strong evidence of the historical significance of the death of Jesus.

The dead arose out of their graves and walked among the living. What could be more unique or dramatic? Yet where are the other sources recording this fact? Answer: They don't exist. The logical conclusion is that this claim is factually false or is, at best, some sort of metaphor rather than history. But that isn't an acceptable conclusion to someone who MUST believe every word of a variety of texts assembled by men.

Incidentally, I'm not going to comment on your ignorance of the Tanach other than to say that none of the JEWISH commentators on the Tanach for the last 2,000 years would have adopted such a literalist and simplistic interpretation. But, of course, Christians know much more about the real meaning of the Tanach than Jews ever have known.

47lawecon
Edited: Jan 12, 2012, 7:22am Top

~37

"That's why we need to read our bible. In Exodus 33:3 we see God's answer for thou art a stiffnecked people. Sounds like a lot of us today? We can see by past examples of what is pleasing to God."

Well, thank the Holy One that the textual literalists posting to this thread are not "stiffnecked people." Only those who point out their obvious errors are properly so described.

48lawecon
Jan 6, 2012, 9:04pm Top

~41

Thank you, and Amen !!!

49lawecon
Edited: Jan 6, 2012, 9:09pm Top

~44
"I am saying this as lovingly as I can (if you could see my heart): You make some very good points often, but because they always seem to be done with defensiveness (as Thomas mentioned), it is hard to have a conversation (text) with someone who seems to attack everything."

I agree completely. Anyone who would suggest that the Bible (in its KJV translation, of course) is not the syllable by syllable word of G-d is defensive and stiffnecked and an attack dog and will burn eternally in hell fire, and....... But I forgot, you welcome people with such views..........

50jntjesussaves
Jan 6, 2012, 10:04pm Top

49: "Anyone who would suggest that the Bible (in its KJV translation, of course) is not the syllable by syllable word of G-d is defensive and stiffnecked and an attack dog and will burn eternally in hell fire"

Your second post and you are already getting defensive- I don't know if you know how to respond in any other fashion. I stated my point in my first post (and will not allow you to control the contents of this thread). I never stated that I believe the KJV translation is "the syllable by syllable word of God." I said (in my opinion based on my personal study of it) I believe it to be the most reliable translation. This is what I mean: I never stated that you would "burn eternally in hell fire" by not believing the KJV translation syllable by syllable. I never stated that you would "burn eternally in hell fire" because you are defensive, stiffnecked or an attack dog. The only statement I have made about anybody burning in Hell fire is those who reject Christ in this life (his/her lifetime), and I never directed this viewpoint at you personally. These are not realistic (nor true) statements that I have ever made. I am well aware of your lack of praise for the Holy Bible (no matter what translation), and that is fine (that is your belief), but why do you feel the need to attack what others believe.

If you don't believe it to be true, why do you feel you must try and get everyone else to believe it isn't true? If you are that strong in your beliefs that Christianity is not valid or is false, why are you so troubled when others believe it to be true? I don't believe I have ever attacked what you believe- I have just stated what I believe. I do welcome your views, but I cannot (and will not) verbally argue with you about every thing you find wrong with my beliefs- it's not worth it!

51streamsong
Jan 7, 2012, 12:34am Top

As I said in post 15, I found a reading-through-the-Bible schedule that seemed really fresh and exciting to me. Each day of the week focuses on a different portion of the Bible. Sunday:Epistles; Monday: Law; Tuesday: History; followed by Psalms, Poetry, Prophesy and Gospel the remaining days.

And then I made it a bit more complicated. I have about 40 books in Concordia Publishing House (Lutheran)'s series of People's Bible Commentaries. I decided to read the commentaries I have as I read the scripture. This has turned into a several hour read each night as I make my way through the introductory material in each book.

Fuzzi invited me to share what I'm reading so here's a relevant bit from the first part of the Histories as to why anyone should undertake daily Bible reading--Joshua 1:8. "Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it."

And part of the commentary written by Adolph L Harstad: "When the Torah is still fresh from the hands of Moses, God directs Joshua to it alone for authority and success.

"'Scripture Alone' is not just an idea hatched during the Reformation three thousand years after Moses. It is the Lord's principle set in place for the prosperity of his people as soon as the Bible began to appear."

52johnthefireman
Jan 7, 2012, 12:45am Top

>51 streamsong: I've hesitated before jumping in with a comment on the controversy of the last few posts, but streamsong, you say "scripture alone" and yet you also say that you are reading bible commentaries as part of your reading of scripture. Actually that's what most of us do. When we read scripture we take into account the commentaries of others, learned and holy people who have brought their own wisdom and scholarship to the study of the bible. I had always thought that was the normal thing to do, but it's a concept that seems to be challenged by some.

Never thought I would find myself coming to lawecon's defence (not that he needs my help!), but I wouldn't say he is being defensive. I would say he is (as usual) being aggressive. However the point he makes about understanding the background to the bible is in part what I presume you will find in your Lutheran bible commentaries. Similarly, your division of the bible into genres of literature (epistles, law, history, psalms, poetry, prophecy and gospels) appears to be in line with his point that the bible is not one continuous book.

53streamsong
Jan 7, 2012, 1:01am Top

>51 streamsong: Yup, I noted the somewhat ironic dialectic of a commentator saying 'Scripture Alone".

Since this is a Lutheran commentary, I believe it comes from a very 'Everyone needs to read the Bible for himself' position.

I believe you're right that most of the people on this thread use some sort of commentaries or concordance when they are reading. Several of the people on this thread are very well educated in the Bible. I believe that the population of LT and of the Christianity group are a well read, intelligent group. We're a bookish bunch or we wouldn't have gravitated to LT. And yet I have no doubt that meditating on a chapter or verse can bring wisdom, too.

54johnthefireman
Jan 7, 2012, 1:42am Top

>54 johnthefireman: Thanks, streamsong. No disagreement there.

55lawecon
Edited: Jan 7, 2012, 10:21pm Top

"Never thought I would find myself coming to lawecon's defence (not that he needs my help!), but I wouldn't say he is being defensive. I would say he is (as usual) being aggressive."

Exactly correct. It is not a wholly positive trait which I have admitted to many times in the past. It arises from my philosophic training (as a Popperian) and my professional commitments of the the past 25 years (as a commercial litigator).

I am sorry if it offends people or if they imagine that I am somehow "defensive" (chuckle), but even more basic than the excuses I just mentioned, it has to do with my general orientation that exhaults getting nearer to truth through vigorous debate rather than "being nice."

Many of us have had this discussion before. Some participants in these religious groups and in the political groups on Librarything view this activity as a "chat room" (that is, as purely social interaction not meant to be taken seriously). I view it as very serious exchange over very important topics that are central to way we live our lives and order our society. (I suppose it will not surprise anyone that when I was a very young man and still a Christian, I was a Methodist. Methodists are, of course, humorless and dour - traits that I do not view as completely negative, even today.)

56thomashwalker2
Jan 7, 2012, 9:24am Top

> 42: Thank you John for your testimonial. I am sure there is more to your story, but out of respect for brevity you kept it short. Let me apologize for the length of this post, but to explain why I proclaim that we must seek wisdom from God, I must violate the etiquette of good manners. As brief as I can make it, here is my testimonial:

On a Saturday night back in 1977, my best friend Rick and I were crossing a street in Angola, Indiana, at around 11:00 p.m. Our destination was a nightclub where my band had performed a month earlier. While we were crossing the street, two young men and two young women approached us. They wanted to know if we knew Jesus Christ. Two of them began talking to me and the other two with Rick. Rick decided to go into the nightclub, leaving me alone with all four. Shortly after Rick left, a young lady came from the nightclub to rescue me from my captors. As she approached, she said, “Your friend sent me to get you. These people have been bothering everyone tonight.”

As I turned and looked into the faces of the four strangers, their eyes reflected innocence as pure as that of a newborn baby. They didn’t act insulted or mad at the accusation, but their faces emanated a love that shone brightly that night. I had been playing in bands for many years, and bars and nightclubs were my second home. However, that night I could not go into the nightclub. I turned to the young lady from the bar and said, “Tell Rick that I’m going back to his place,” and with that, I turned and started walking. Before I could take another step, one of the four strangers asked if I wanted to receive Jesus. I said, “Not at this time.” Then one asked if they could pray for me. I said, “Sure.” We gathered in the entry alcove of a retail store, bowed our heads, and each one of them said a prayer. The next day, Rick didn’t say one word to me about the incident, and that night we went back to the club.

Six years later, I found myself on my knees in my home office praying to God to show me the truth. For many years, I did not believe in organized religion, because it seemed that every denomination was claiming that they knew the truth and everyone else was wrong. My brother John and his denominational affiliation was no exception. Although John had been very zealous in his efforts over the years to get me saved, his efforts were of no avail.

Two hours after my prayer for truth, there was a knock at my door. When I opened the door, there were two men dressed in suits and holding Bibles. I invited them into my house and they told me that they were Jehovah’s Witnesses and wanted to ask me some questions. I knew this had to be of God, and I told them that I had just prayed about finding the truth. It was obvious that they were the answer to my prayer. We then set up a time and day to meet and study the Bible.

My brother was a member of a fundamentalist Baptist denomination, and when I called him with the good news, there was dead silence on the phone. I said, “John, are you there?” In a very somber voice, he replied, “Tom, the Gospel of the Jehovah’s Witnesses is straight from the pit of hell.”
This made me angry, so I said, “Well, you know what, brother? There hasn’t been a Baptist or Methodist representative come to my door, and you’re telling me that these people who have taken their time to come to my house are wrong!”

The next words out of my brother’s mouth were without question from God. He told me to pray before each meeting and ask God to give me wisdom and understanding. My brother had given me "The Scofield Reference King James Bible" several years ago, and he was insistent that I use that Bible in the study. In his words, "It is the only authorized version." The reason I said my brother’s response was from God is that my brother would have typically argued for hours, bombarding me with Bible verses to prove his point. Instead, he was eerily quiet and uncomfortably non-combative.

I listened to my brother and prayed before each meeting with the Jehovah’s Witnesses that God would send His Holy Spirit to give me wisdom. After six months of meetings with these two men, I realized that they were not the enemy but were victims of the enemy. God did send these men to my door that day. I understand now that it was part of God’s lesson plan to show me that He is the source for truth, not any person. With God’s help, you can know the absolute truth. Whether you understand Greek and Hebrew, regardless of which legitimate version of the Bible you use, God will open your eyes to His Truth. The greatest impediment to finding the truth is having too much confidence in the flesh.

57thomashwalker2
Edited: Jan 7, 2012, 9:32am Top

Author Tim LaHaye describes more eloquently the point I am making in his book, The Merciful God of Prophecy. Mr. LaHaye addresses a time in the lives of Charles Finney and Charles Spurgeon—acknowledged as two of the greatest spiritual leaders the world has ever known—when they were seeking understanding. According to Tim LaHaye, Charles Finney “knew the gospel intellectually, but it had never made much of a difference in his life”. Charles Spurgeon walked into a small church one Sunday morning seeking the answer to the question, “How might I be saved?” Due to the weather, the regular preacher was unable to make the service. The one who spoke that morning was a man Spurgeon described as “a very thin-looking man, a shoemaker, or tailor, or something of that sort … really stupid.” At the end of this layman’s message, Charles Spurgeon “saw the way of salvation”. God doesn’t need your intellect or oratory skills to reveal His truth.

58jntjesussaves
Jan 7, 2012, 12:33pm Top

51: Great points, streamsong.

59jntjesussaves
Jan 7, 2012, 12:39pm Top

52: "I would say he is (as usual) being aggressive."

I could not disagree with this assessment. And I used the word defensive becasue someone else used that same word (and it seem to fit to a large degree).

60fuzzi
Jan 7, 2012, 12:42pm Top

(57) thomas, thank you SO much for sharing that testimony of salvation!

I love how the Lord works in people's lives, to show them of Him, and what they need to do.

Back in (42), john said "It might not seem earth-shattering to some, but to a naive person (religiously speaking) back in 1997- I was amazed that I could talk with someone in another state, another country (or listen to someone on the radio) and have the same understanding and interpreation as they did (even though I had been a Christian for such a short period of time). "

That is absolutely true! I am sitting here, grinning like a Cheshire Cat, and rejoicing over your story, because I can tell it is from God, the same God, Lord and Saviour that I worship, that saved even ME!

I can't tell you but I think you might know how much of a blessing you people have already been to me, and not me alone I am sure!

61fuzzi
Jan 7, 2012, 12:43pm Top

FYI, I use commentaries, but the final authority is the Bible, God's word.

As a wise preacher once said "The Bible sheds a lot of light on the commentaries..." :D

62jntjesussaves
Jan 7, 2012, 12:47pm Top

55: "Exactly correct. It is not a wholly positive trait which I have admitted to many times in the past. It arises from my philosophic training (as a Popperian) and my professional commitments of the the past 25 years (as a commercial litigator).

I am sorry if it offends people or if they imagine that I am somehow "defensive" (chuckle), but even more basic that the excuses I just mentioned, it has to do with my general orientation that exhaults getting nearer to truth through vigorous debate rather than "being nice."

Thank you for this information about yourself; I realize that we can't explain every one of our traits everytime we meet someone (especially in a thread) where so many people are involved. As I stated in response to johnthefireman: Whether you are described as lawecon the divider, lawecon the great, lawecon the watchdog, lawecon the great debater, matters not to me.

My point is that fuzzi started a post that placed others together who have a desire to read and study God's Word. And while all are welcome, my only concern is that if you don't have that "desire to read and study God's Word," why would you enter a thread such is this one? I am sure others would agree, we welcome everyone but the desire is to discuss what the thread is called- "Reading Your Bible Through in a Year." I just ask you to respect those who come to this thread for that purpose (to be encouraged and edified), and leave your prejudices of the Bible at the (thread) door.

Thank you for your consideration.

63fuzzi
Jan 7, 2012, 12:56pm Top

(51) streamsong, thanks for sharing what you've been reading. I don't think it's necessary to stick to any order of books read, just that you're reading God's word daily.

Joshua 1:8 is one example of God letting us know that we need to read His word on a regular basis.

Jesus spoke about reading/searching in John 5:39 "Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. "

The Old Testament testifies of Christ and His coming.

Another example is of the Bereans, who daily searched the Scriptures (not commentaries) to see if what they were being taught was truth!

"And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews.
These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.
Therefore many of them believed; also of honourable women which were Greeks, and of men, not a few." (Acts 17:10-12)


I read Genesis 18-24 this morning...I read more than three chapters, partly because it was quiet in the kitchen, with just me and the dog and a cup of freshly brewed coffee... and will comment on them a little later.

"Sin keeps me from God's word, but God's word keeps me from sin!"

64jntjesussaves
Jan 7, 2012, 2:45pm Top

56/57: Great testimony and you make some good points!

65jntjesussaves
Jan 7, 2012, 2:48pm Top

60: Amen, fuzzi! What an encouragement it is to be around like-minded people who have had the same experience as I have had. It something that only those who have experienced it (a shared experience) can have.

66jntjesussaves
Jan 7, 2012, 2:51pm Top

63: Amen, great points fuzzi!

67jntjesussaves
Jan 7, 2012, 3:46pm Top

Just general information for all:

I do use commentaries, likewise, as others do within this thread. I believe the comments of myself and one or two others have been misconstrued. When I say (and others who agree can chime in) I believe the Word of God is the final authority; I mean God's words are the final authority. I believe the Bible as we have it today is a reliable translation of the original manuscripts and I believe the KJV to be the best translation. This is not to condemn other versions (while there are some major differences within the more modern translations that I find troubling). I do not want to make this thread to be about what version each individual uses, because even the New Living translation (which was never claimed to be a version) has the true antidote for salvation and how Christians should live.

I believe God's Word is the final authority and most things within His Word can be understood quite clearly without the help of commentaries. I always read God's Word myself (meditating on the meaning of the verses at hand, first), however, after doing so I like to read what others have said about Scripture for two reasons: First, there are many others who have greater knowledge and wisdom than myself (based on experience or God giving them a greater understanding of Scripture than He gives me). I like to learn from others who have wisdom or understanding that I do not have. Secondly, I desire to see if my "interpretation" lines up with others who I have consulted in the past who seem to have a God-given ability to explain things in ways that others may not see. The interesting thing is that it is amazing how I can consult 3-5 different commentaries on the same verse and (while not in 100% agreement on every point), they are very similar with only minor differences on lesser matters of importance. In other words, I like to know that my interpretation is not far-fetched and straying from God's true teaching (because I do respect the men who authored the said commentaries). I believe this is one reason why we have so many cults (and adherents to cults) today. You have one man/woman who reads God's Word and interprets it completely different than it has ever been interpreted on many different topics (and verses); this person takes "his interpretation" and creates a new take on the Bible (and there are always plenty who will follow this type of individual). They speak with authority on a subject which is very convincing (and those who are either weak in their faith, due to their own lack of reading their Bible or someone who isn't a Christian at all) are easily led astray. I don't want my interpretation to be of "a private interpretation" (2nd Peter 1:20-21) and lead me astray.

An example I would give is that let's say that I read a portion of Scripture and interpret it's meaning in a certain way. I then go to a commentary that I respect to see how that person interpreted it (and his metods of interpretation). Let's also say that my interpretation is far off from this commentator (which I must say doesn't happen often), but it has happened at times. I then will seek more help from other's commentaries. If there is consensus in dissagreement for that portion of Scripture I would make that disparity known if I were to speak to someone else about it. I must say that most of the commentaries that I search for better understanding or for confirmation are well trusted by many.

In the end, the possibility does exist that I (and and those who I respect could be wrong in their interpretation), but I trust them to be right. If I use a commentary from someone who I have never used before, the fact that they disagree with my interpretation will not be my basis for using them again or not. If their overall interpretations seem to be in line with the clear verses of Scripture, I will most likely trust them on their interpretation of the harder verses to understand. I would even go so far as to say- If someone does not use commentaries at all they are possibly setting themselves up to be deceived (and led astray) by the Devil.

After all has been said and done, that is why our beliefs in Christianity are called "our faith," because we are trusting in Jehovah God to keep His Word safe and secure from those who want to tear it down, destroy or abuse it. It can be guaranteed when a relatively (seemingly) clear verse of Scripture is completely misinterpreted by a commentary, many others will likely be also. Just some thoughts.

68thomashwalker2
Edited: Jan 7, 2012, 6:25pm Top

> 67 Well said John. You express your thoughts very well.

I have thought for sometime about God's use of the human language to deliver His message. We know that that human language alone is insufficient to explain the spiritual. It is impossible for people to make the mental leap from the mind to the heart using only a grammatical explanation. Human language is elliptic in that it is incomplete. Also, we can agree that nothing human (people, languages, intellect) is capable of discerning that which is spiritual. We talk about different versions of the Bible; how about different dialects? When the Bible is translated to Spanish, German, or to any other language does the message or meaning change?

My conclusion, and I may be wrong, is: God used human language for a delivery system to carry His truth to the world. God wrapped the human language around His truth so that beneath the verses (the wrapping paper) and inside the words (the package) is the truth. Not unlike us humans. We are spiritual beings that God clothed in flesh. Beneath the flesh and blood is where we find the answer to "and in our image God created man"(paraphrased): our soul.

I posted these thoughts on another thread, but felt like I needed to repeat - sorry for being redundant.

69jntjesussaves
Edited: Jan 7, 2012, 5:37pm Top

68: Very well said, Thomas. That is something that I have given some thought to and I must say that it is hard to fully get a thorough understanding of. Actually you came to mind when I was thinking about persons whom God has blessed with an ability to understand God's Word and explain it. You explain your thoughts very well, also. You leave no room for misunderstanding and I appreciate that. God has truly blessed you in sharing your wisdom with others.

70fuzzi
Jan 7, 2012, 7:23pm Top

Good posts, thanks!

Busy day, and I'm out of time, but I'll be back to 'talk' about my current Bible reading.

Anyone else?

71jntjesussaves
Jan 7, 2012, 7:43pm Top

70: We will see (text) you soon.

72lawecon
Jan 7, 2012, 9:48pm Top

~67

I believe the Bible as we have it today is a reliable translation of the original manuscripts and I believe the KJV to be the best translation.

==================================

Presumably you know that those are claims about facts, and it is, thus, not sufficient to say "I believe." If belief were enough we would still be burning and drowning witches. So, on what evidence and reasoning do you base your beliefs concerning those two topics?

73jntjesussaves
Jan 8, 2012, 9:44am Top

72: Actually "belief" does enter this picture, because none of us (you included) were not around hundreds (or thousands) of years ago to know one way or the other. The only way one can truly "know" he/she is right is when we have first hand evidence of the facts. As I have stated before, without going into much detail, in the studies that I have done the KJV was translated from the Textus Receptus (which as I understand based on the sources that I checked) was a more reliable manuscript and did not have the contradictions that other manuscripts contained. Based on this "fact," this is one reason why I believe the KJV is the most reliable; I would also say (this may not always be entirely true, but there is warrant) that the "fact" that the KJV translation was the only translation in the last 400+ years (until around 100 years ago), is also evidence to me that it is not only a reliable (but the most reliable translation); also, when there have been "newer" translations out on the market, the KJV always makes its way back to the top (as far as the number sold). While the last point does not solely mean that it is the most reliable (while I believe it can be attested to that fact), it does show the longevity of the KJV.

74cjbanning
Jan 8, 2012, 9:52am Top

"As I have stated before, without going into much detail, in the studies that I have done the KJV was translated from the Textus Receptus (which as I understand based on the sources that I checked) was a more reliable manuscript and did not have the contradictions that other manuscripts contained."

You say that as if contradictions were a bad thing.

75madpoet
Jan 8, 2012, 9:56am Top

There are many different ways of reading the Bible. The advantage of reading it through, in its entirety, is that you get a broader view. The bible was written over several centuries, by many different authors, and they each had their own perspective. Most of us Christians usually read just a few verses or chapters at a time, or one book. But that gives you only one perspective. Also, we tend to read the same parts of the Bible every time, and skip books like Numbers or Deuteronomy, which seem dull or irrelevant to us. But reading the Bible through in a year forces the reader to read ALL of the Bible.

Each of us has his or her own spiritual journey. Don't disparage others because they choose to study the Bible in a way you don't.

Let's not forget, either, that much of the Bible was not written by great scholars. Many of the prophets were simple shepherds, while Jesus' disciples were, as everyone knows, fishermen and other common men. Neither do you have to be a great scholar to read and understand the Bible. The Holy Spirit inspired the writers of scripture and the Holy Spirit guides the reader, too.

76lawecon
Edited: Jan 8, 2012, 12:31pm Top

~75

Certainly better than many of the other opinions being expressed in this thread - but perhaps a few twicks would be better still. For instance, it wasn't "over several centuries," it was over several millennia. The earliest core of the Torah is probably at least 3,000 years old. The "Old Testament" otherwise was written in Palestine, in Persia, in Babylon and probably elsewhere. The New Testament was probably written outside of Palestine or in the Greek colonies in Palestine. Very little of it was apparently written by those fluent in Aramaic or Hebrew The Jewish Annotated New Testament. Generally, the writers of the books of the Bible and their subsequent redactors had in mind purposes that were much more specific than their purported "inspiration" by G-d.


==============================

Each of us has his or her own spiritual journey. Don't disparage others because they choose to study the Bible in a way you don't.

===============================

Which would be just fine if the Bible were the sort of book that the Muslims claim the Qur'an exemplifies - a book written directly by G-d and only transmitted by his angel and Prophet. The Bible isn't that, and very few Christians would claim such a status for it. Further, most of the posters to this thread want to claim that the Bible is literal history. (E.G., So the dead arose and walked into town when Jesus was crucified. They did? Really?)

So the Bible is not just a "faith document" and not much of anyone seems to be inclined to take it that way. Well, most "not anyone".

77lawecon
Edited: Jan 8, 2012, 12:14pm Top

~73

Actually "belief" does enter this picture, because none of us (you included) were not around hundreds (or thousands) of years ago to know one way or the other. The only way one can truly "know" he/she is right is when we have first hand evidence of the facts. As I have stated before, without going into much detail, in the studies that I have done the KJV was translated from the Textus Receptus (which as I understand based on the sources that I checked) was a more reliable manuscript and did not have the contradictions that other manuscripts contained. Based on this "fact," this is one reason why I believe the KJV is the most reliable

=================================

I think you need to do considerably more reading, and this time include some nonfundamentalist nonevangelical sources. If you will list the sources you are presently relying on, I'm certain we can have a very interesting discussion on them. Hopefully, none of them, this time, include a translation of Ben Hur.

Incidentally, since you seem to be uncertain about the so-called Textus Receptus, this may help: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Textus_Receptus You will note, of course, that there have been literally hundreds of manuscripts of parts of the Bible discovered since this work was compiled, not the least of which are the Dead Sea Scrolls - most of the components of which are much older than any previous manuscripts we have. The texts I'm referring to are in Greek, Aramaic and Hebrew - not in Latin - and they long predate the Vulgate. But, hey, it really all comes down to "a matter of faith," not of fact. At least for some people.

78lawecon
Edited: Jan 8, 2012, 12:35pm Top

~62

My point is that fuzzi started a post that placed others together who have a desire to read and study God's Word. And while all are welcome, my only concern is that if you don't have that "desire to read and study God's Word," why would you enter a thread such is this one? I am sure others would agree, we welcome everyone but the desire is to discuss what the thread is called- "Reading Your Bible Through in a Year." I just ask you to respect those who come to this thread for that purpose (to be encouraged and edified), and leave your prejudices of the Bible at the (thread) door.

================================

Well, it may surprise you, but I regularly "read and study" the Bible. In fact, I would suspect that I read more articles and books on parts of the Bible in one year than you have ever read. (Would you like a reading list of some of the more significant titles? Please visit my library on librarything.)

The difference between my approach and your approach seems to be that I do not confuse the present text(s) we have of the various parts of the Bible with an idol. Nor do I fail to recognize that there is no "the Bible" as a unitary thing handed down from heaven and written by G-d himself. There is, rather, an anthology of texts, each written in a different time and in a different place by persons with widely varied concerns and perspectives. If we want to understand what we are reading, and not just chant and fall on our faces in front of THE BOOK, we have to try to unpack those various aspects of the many and varied parts of the Bible.

Now, of course, we all have prejudices. I have a prejudice, for instance, against idol worshipers. But it is rather over the top to claim that the person advocating for many dimensioned critical study of a text, in the same way that every other historical text has been studied for the last 300 years, is the one who is prejudiced, and the ones whose approach to the text is to worship it and chant it are unprejudiced. You might like this book, which explores similar usages of common terms 1984

Now if you would like to pick a particular book of the Bible to address, I'm sure we can get down to the business of figuring out what it really says, means, and what problems it was written to address, rather than the business of worshiping the idol and trying to burn out the heretic.

79cjbanning
Edited: Jan 8, 2012, 1:32pm Top

76: "For instance, it wasn't 'over several centuries,' it was over several millennia. The earliest core of the Torah is probably at least 3,000 years old."

Since the Torah was clearly already written by the start of the Common Era (i.e., approx. 2,000 years ago), the process of writing it would still probably have taken less than a single millennium. The entire Christian Bible, both Testaments, was compiled by (long before, really) the time of the Council of Chalcedon in 451 A.D. So I don't know where you're getting "several millennia" from.

80jntjesussaves
Jan 8, 2012, 2:16pm Top

75: Amen, madpoet, great points.

81jntjesussaves
Jan 8, 2012, 2:34pm Top

78: You are proving my point. A few Christians who believe reading the Bible on a daily basis get together on a thread on LT to try and discuss what they read and how it is helping them and another comes in just to argue about everything they post.

"Well, it may surprise you, but I regularly "read and study" the Bible. In fact, I would suspect that I read more articles and books on parts of the Bible in one year than you have ever read. (Would you like a reading list of some of the more significant titles? Please visit my library on librarything.) "

First of all, congratulations, you very well have read more than I have in my entire lifetime (in one year). I have commended you on your vast array of knowledge, however, as someone else has stated, it's not all about knowledge (and it's not all about how much you read). Congratulations again on regularly reading and studying the Bible- that's commendable. Do you read the Bible to "find all the contradictions in it" or do you read it to receive help from God? Your motive for reading will greatly effect what you get out of it. This thread was set up in order for those who seek God's wisdom and direction from His Word, not for those who desire to deny it's infallibilty, or deny it's power. If this is what you believe, why don't you start your own thread (and call it something like, "Why the Bible is untrustworthy and full of errors?" Then you others will have a thread that you can criticize the Bible to your heart's desire. Just a question.

Instead of finding fault in what everyone else says, why not just post how the Bible has helped you (and encouraged you), if that be the case.

82jntjesussaves
Jan 8, 2012, 2:35pm Top

74: Yes, cbjanning, I believe contradicitons are a bad thing (in this case).

83jntjesussaves
Jan 8, 2012, 3:28pm Top

Note to all: I came (at the request) to this thread in order to discuss reading the Bible through in a year. I went to the last thread to discuss "What is/isn't a Christian." That thread (and now this one) is discussing everything, but what the stated topic is. As for me, I will only be discussing the current topic of "reading the Bible through in a year." God bless each one who's goal is to read more of God's Word this year and gain something positive from it.

84krolik
Jan 8, 2012, 4:00pm Top

>78 lawecon:

You might like this book, which explores similar usages of common terms 1984

As an avid Orwell reader, I'm curious for you to elucidate this connection. As far as I can tell, Orwell's political and literary usages privilege issues and "terms" other than biblical exegesis. But I'm all ears if you can say more.

85jntjesussaves
Edited: Jan 8, 2012, 4:15pm Top

I read 1 Chronicles 29:1-14 today and the verses were in reference to giving to the Lord's work. Just some thoughts from these verses:

"Then the people rejoiced, for that they offered willingly, because with perfect heart they offered willingly to the LORD: and David the king also rejoiced with great joy" (verse 9).

The Bible teaches that we should be a "cheerful" (2 Corinthans 9:7) giver and to give "willingly." These characteristics are what God desires for His children.

And while the fact that God commands us and encourages us to give in this way- the reason is found in verse 14.

"But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able to offer so willingly after this sort? for all things come of thee, and of thine own have we given thee. "

We should give, not only because God commands us to but because all that we have comes from the "Father of lights" (James 1:17).

The greatest motive for giving is because we "love" Him.

86fuzzi
Jan 8, 2012, 4:40pm Top

Thanks for your input, madpoet.

I want to give, I don't consider it a burden. I believe that when you really seek the Lord and His will in your life, the things that are hard for you (witnessing, tithing, etc) will become easier, a joy and a blessing.

Now, for those who are posting questions that are not about their Bible reading, I would like to point out that this thread is for those who are trying to read their Bible all the way through.

I would gently suggest that if someone has a question about doctrine or manuscript evidence, please start a thread elsewhere in the Christianity group for that purpose. I'm sure all of us who are using this thread as a help in our Bible reading/study would appreciate fewer interruptions and derailments from the original purpose of this discussion.

Thank you. :)

87thomashwalker2
Jan 8, 2012, 8:12pm Top

Then there are the fanatical atheists whose intolerance is the same as that of the religious fanatics, and it springs from the same source . . . They are creatures who can't hear the music of the spheres. (The Expanded Quotable Einstein, Princeton University Press, 2000 p. 214)

In the view of such harmony in the cosmos which I, with my limited human mind, am able to recognise, there are yet people who say there is no God. But what makes me really angry is that they quote me for support for such views. (The Expanded Quotable Einstein, Princeton University Press, p. 214)

What separates me from most so-called atheists is a feeling of utter humility toward the unattainable secrets of the harmony of the cosmos. (Albert Einstein to Joseph Lewis, Apr. 18, 1953)

I want to know how God created this world. I am not interested in this or that phenomenon, in the spectrum of this or that element. I want to know his thoughts. The rest are details. (The Expanded Quotable Einstein, Princeton University Press, 2000 p.202)

When the answer is simple, God is speaking. (Albert Einstein): God gave humanity the answers - the Bible.

88jntjesussaves
Jan 8, 2012, 8:31pm Top

86: Amen, fuzzi!

87: Interesting quotes, thomas.

89jntjesussaves
Edited: Jan 8, 2012, 8:33pm Top

87: I believe you might place Benjamin Franklin in this same category with Albert Einstein; he never claimed to be a Christian (that I am aware of), but he certainly had great respect for Deity (whether he realized it was Jehovah God or not).

90madpoet
Jan 8, 2012, 8:35pm Top

>85 jntjesussaves: Good point, about giving. The Bible emphasizes repeatedly that the spirit and motive of giving to God is more important than the amount (for example, the 'widow's mite'). In Malachi 1:13, the Israelites are rebuked by God for giving the required offerings grudgingly:

"And you say, 'What a burden!' and you sniff at it contemptuously," says the LORD Almighty."

Sometimes I feel that way about giving tithe. I start to think about all the things I could do with that 10%... and then I don't give in the spirit I should. That's something I'm still struggling with.

91jntjesussaves
Edited: Jan 8, 2012, 8:52pm Top

90: Amen, madpoet!

I feel your pain; I believe most Christians at one time or another are hesitant (or grudging) when they give, but it is amazing what God can do for us with the 90% (when we obey Him with the 10%). I also don't think we realize all that God gives us; we often think about the money we make or we have given to us, but so often we overlook the fact that we have a healthy body (and therefore don't have to pay doctor bills as a result) or we are given something that we need and would have had to pay for it had it not been given to us. I believe all Christians can attest to these types of situations where God blesses us so much more than we realize. And to think these blessings are on top of His greatest gift (...salavation). God bless you, madpoet. I always think of Romans 7-8 when I struggle with something, knowing that the Apostle Paul had similar struggles.

92lawecon
Jan 8, 2012, 10:01pm Top

~79

You know, you and Tim must be brothers. Neither of you can read. I said, and you quoted, "The earliest core of the Torah...." Now, read what you wrote in response.

93lawecon
Edited: Jan 8, 2012, 10:11pm Top

~81

"Do you read the Bible to "find all the contradictions in it" or do you read it to receive help from God?"
==============================

You also seem to be having trouble reading. I just told you the manner in which I read the Bible in Post #78, the post you are responding to in your Post #81. You may note, it is neither to worship the Bible nor to "find contradictions in it." It is to actually understand what it says. Apparently that is not included among your concerns when you read the Bible.

====================================

"Your motive for reading will greatly effect what you get out of it. This thread was set up in order for those who seek God's wisdom and direction from His Word, not for those who desire to deny it's infallibilty, or deny it's power."

======================================

Your sense of property rights is, ah, greatly misaligned. Neither you nor Fuzzi own this thread. In fact, you have no ownership rights at all in this context.

My question to you was directly relevant to this thread. Let me repeat: "Why do you want to 'read the Bible through in one year'?" What is the objective of such an enterprise?

So far, you have done nothing to answer that question and everything to just get me to shut up and go away. Find a another way to deal with a question that is difficult for you.

94lawecon
Jan 8, 2012, 10:10pm Top

~84

A third nonreader. Go back to Post #78, the post you are inquiring about, and read it again. Then think about the term "newspeak" in connection with the term "prejudice." (Of course, you may also have to read the post I was responding to in order to figure it out, but see if you can manage.)

95fuzzi
Jan 9, 2012, 7:35am Top



Enough derailments for now...

...let's get back on track!

Genesis 18 is the chapter about the angelic beings that visit with Abraham.

I especially like verse 14:

"Is any thing too hard for the LORD? At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son."

Woo!

More in a few, duty calls...

96lawecon
Jan 9, 2012, 7:38am Top

~95

So, you see "the topic" of reading the Bible as quoting snippets from the Bible without context or meaning? Got it. It is nice to have "faith," isn't it? Things become so simple and clear with faith. http://www.shelfari.com/groups/29350/discussions/76359/Faith-vs-Religion

97TRIPLEHHH
Jan 9, 2012, 7:53am Top

lawecon. Why don't you go back to the Land Of OZ and stay there. Or better yet, start your own thread. You can call it "I AM A MISERABLE LEFT WING GUY".

98fuzzi
Jan 9, 2012, 8:07am Top

TRIPLEHHH, how are you coming along with your Bible reading? :)

Titus 3:9

99Rudth
Jan 9, 2012, 8:19am Top

A few years ago I read it through in a little more than a year. This Jan 01, I started again using Bible Gateway mixing OT and NT. It is much easier that reading straight through and still accomplishes reading it in a year. I am on Gen 23-24 and Matt. 7 today. I like it better because this means I can be accoutable and still work on my Bible Study on another subject without loosing my place. As you read, please add prayers for our leadership and this country on a daily basis.

100cjbanning
Edited: Jan 9, 2012, 9:41am Top

>92 lawecon:

If the earliest core of the Torah, according to you, may be as little as 3,000 years old, then everything else must be more recent. Since the Torah itself was complete long before the rest of the Bible was compiled, we're not necessarily talking about more than a few centuries for the Torah's composition.

101fuzzi
Jan 9, 2012, 10:08am Top

Rudth, glad to have you with us! :)

I agree that prayers for all those in authority are needed, and should be required no matter how we feel about those in leadership.

"I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;
For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty." (1 Timothy 4:1-2)

102johnthefireman
Jan 9, 2012, 11:35am Top

>95 fuzzi: That picture is sacrilege to an avowed railway (railroad to those of you in north America) enthusiast and steam footplateman. At least, fuzzi, you could give us the caption to that picture so we know which poor locomotive came to grief, when, where and how.

103lawecon
Jan 9, 2012, 1:27pm Top

~97

Let's see. My first political association in 1964 was with the John Birch Society. Really haven't changed that much since those days. But I guess what constitutes "left wing" and "right wing" for the real crazies in this society has changed quite a bit.

104lawecon
Jan 9, 2012, 1:28pm Top

~102

Yes, it is clear heresy. I recommend burning of the poster to purify her soul.

105fuzzi
Edited: Jan 9, 2012, 3:42pm Top

(102) John, you can find that picture by going on Google images, and typing in 'derailment'.

My dh is also an enthusiast, and I love trains myself. We have 'N' gauge model trains that have not been set up yet. One day...

Oops, now I'm derailing the thread again, sorry folks... :D

Genesis 19
The men of Sodom were wicked (v7) and when two angels came to Lot's house for the night, the men of Sodom surrounded his house and demanded that he bring out the men so they could "know" them.

God then rained brimstone and fire on Sodom and Gomorrah, destroying the cities and the inhabitants.

Genesis 20
The first mention of 'prophet' is of Abraham, by God. In verse 9 it is apparent that others not chosen of God were aware of 'sin', knowing that doing sin would bring punishment.

Genesis 21
Isaac is conceived and born. Hagar and Ishmael are cast out, but God makes provision for and protects them.

Genesis 22
First mention of 'love', and it is the love of a father for his son.

God gives Abraham a trial, and tells him to sacrifice his 'only son' Isaac (Ishmael doesn't count).

Abraham trusts in God, and does what God tells him to do, but is stopped at the last moment from killing Isaac.

Something I found really interesting is verse 8:

"And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together."

Notice the word 'himself'. This verse can be read two ways: either God will provide a lamb for the offering, or God will provide Himself as the Lamb! And we know He did. :)

Genesis 23
Sarah dies, and Abraham buys land with a cave for a burial place.

Genesis 24
Abraham does not want Isaac to take a wife from the local women, but sends a servant to find a woman for his son. Rebekah agrees to come back to Canaan, and becomes Isaac's wife.

Genesis 25
Abraham sends all his offspring away before he dies, and gives all he has to Isaac.

Verse 8:
"Then Abraham gave up the ghost, and died in a good old age, an old man, and full of years; and was gathered to his people."

First mention of 'ghost' and the context is dying. Ghost is often used to describe spirit, so perhaps 'giving up the ghost' means the spirit leaves, as is apparently described in Ecclesiastes 12:7 "Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it."

I also find the term 'gathered to his people' interesting as well.

Rebekah has twins, Esau and Jacob. Esau is a hunter, but Jacob does not, he prefers to stay close to home. One day Esau comes in from hunting and is very hungry, so he sells his birthright to Jacob for a bowl of beans!

"And Jacob said, Swear to me this day; and he sware unto him: and he sold his birthright unto Jacob." Genesis 25:33

Genesis 26
Verse 2: "don't go to Egypt!"

Esau marries two Hittite women, which grieves his parents.

...to be continued...

106jntjesussaves
Jan 9, 2012, 7:51pm Top

93: "My question to you was directly relevant to this thread. Let me repeat: "Why do you want to 'read the Bible through in one year'?"

You actually quoted my response to your question when you commented on my comment. "This thread was set up in order for those who seek God's wisdom and direction from His Word." I would also add another reason for me reading the Bible is to get to know God (through His Son, Jesus Christ) better.

107jntjesussaves
Jan 9, 2012, 7:51pm Top

99: Amen and welcome, Rudth!

108jntjesussaves
Jan 9, 2012, 7:53pm Top

100: cbjanning, I believe no matter what evidence is produced- our evidence will be wrong (and lacking) according to some.

109jntjesussaves
Jan 9, 2012, 7:54pm Top

101: Amen, fuzzi!

110jntjesussaves
Jan 9, 2012, 7:58pm Top

105: Great synopsis, fuzzi.

111lawecon
Jan 9, 2012, 7:59pm Top

112jntjesussaves
Edited: Jan 9, 2012, 8:22pm Top

I read some interesting verses today, Psalm 33:10-15. The point of the devotion was summed up in the author's comment, "Some of the great advances in God's plans have come through "interruptions" to the normal routine." This is interestingly true. We see many examples of "interruptions" that God allows in our lives that cause us to make corrections, changes of direction, etc. A small poem in relation to this topic goes, "Lord, if I'm feeling rushed today, I need Your eyes to help me see, That when an interruption comes, It is an opportunity" (Sper). And also, "Look for God's purpose in your next interruption."

Two verses that stood out among these I read were verse 12: "Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance."

Rudth, this I believe goes right in line with your comment about our Nation needing prayer and God's mighty hand to lead our Nation. How simple, "Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord." America has seen God's blessing for many years, but if she doesn't change her ways- she will sadly see God's judgment.

The second verse was verse 14: "From the place of his habitation he looketh upon all the inhabitants of the earth."

We see God's omniscience and omnipresence in this verse. Nothing is done, whether good or bad, without Jehoavah God's watchful presence.

113jntjesussaves
Jan 9, 2012, 8:12pm Top

I will also mention a great quote I read today:

Inside the will of God there is no failure. Outside the will of God there is no success. Benard Edinger

God's blessings!

114fuzzi
Jan 9, 2012, 8:18pm Top

Thanks, John, enjoyed your thoughts on the Psalms.

As I read, I thought of a verse from Psalms:

"The LORD is in his holy temple, the LORD'S throne is in heaven: his eyes behold, his eyelids try, the children of men." (Psalm 11:4)

The Lord does indeed see everything, and knows the thoughts and intents of the heart...the inner man in each of us.

I am thankful for His mercy towards me.

"The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good." (Proverbs 15:3)

"For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." (Hebrews 14:12)


What a mighty God we serve! :)

115jntjesussaves
Jan 9, 2012, 8:20pm Top

111: I believe you are making mention of this book to help me see that there are those who don't believe we should take the Bible literally. While this is each person's choice, I choose to accept it as literal. And I believe myself to be in very good company with those who do take the Bible literally.

From now on lawecon, I will be glad to respond back to you with any questions or comments in regards to "reading the Bible through in a year."

116jntjesussaves
Jan 9, 2012, 8:23pm Top

114: Amen, fuzzi. Great additions.

117fuzzi
Jan 9, 2012, 8:24pm Top

"The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.
Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever." (Psalm 12:6-7)


Heading back to Genesis for a few more chapters...see y'all tomorrow!

And I hope to see more people's input on what they are reading. :)

118jntjesussaves
Jan 9, 2012, 8:36pm Top

117: Have a good night, fuzzi.

119madpoet
Jan 9, 2012, 9:49pm Top

>105 fuzzi: I used to think, because of Genesis 19, that the sin Sodom and Gommorah were destroyed for was the sexual perversion of the inhabitants. But then I read Ezekiel 16:49.

"Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy."

While the people of Sodom were sexually depraved, it appears to be just one aspect of a completely immoral and selfish society... Perhaps more a symptom of their moral decline, than the cause of it.

"arrogant, overfed and unconcerned" also hits a bit closer to home... It could be a description of our present society, in North America.

120jntjesussaves
Jan 9, 2012, 9:52pm Top

119: madpoet, great correlation! I agree whole-heartedly with your premise.

121lawecon
Edited: Jan 9, 2012, 11:24pm Top

~115

Several points:

(1) Several people above, and the book I just linked to, are trying to explain to you that it is IMPOSSIBLE to "take the Bible literally". The reason for that is, regardless of the type of text you are talking about in the Bible - a parable, a narrative about a family, a song, etc. - different people will perceive different things in the words - to say nothing about the nuances that, say, exist in the Hebrew, Aramaic or Greek text that do not convey well in some English translations. That has been what has kept the Bible "alive" for so many people through out the ages. It isn't a Dick and Jane reader. It isn't flat. It isn't Joe Friday who wants "just the facts, ma'am." Hence, when you tell such people that you "take the Bible literally," the position of such people is not that they agree or disagree, but that they wonder if you know how demeaning you are being to the Bible text.

(2) My position, although apparently you refuse to read what I've repeatedly said to you, is actually nearer to your position than it is to (1). I find (1) to be a bit overly relativistic, post-rational and literary (the sort of thing that a confused philosopher or an English teacher might say). I think that it is possible, at least in theory, that if we knew enough about the society in which a given Bible writer lived and about the biography of that particular Bible writer that we could really figure out exactly what he was getting at. However, in most instances, our knowledge is very deficient. Hence, the best we can do is make an educated guess.

To say, however, that we don't know everything about those questions is not, however, to say that we know nothing at all and that our guesses are a matter of completely free interpretation. We know enough, for instance, to know that "You shall not murder" is "you shall not murder," not "you shall not kill."

(3) As I've hinted at several times before but will now come out and say, I find the position of many "plain meaning" people that take positions very much like you take to be incredibly arrogant. It isn't that such people make the error in (1), it is that they realize that the Bible text is rich and open to many alternative interpretations, but they also believe that they "talk to G-d" who tells them what THE CORRECT interpretation REALLY IS. I don't recall if the discussion over that attitude (psychosis?) occurred in this thread or another contemporary thread, but it really is a dangerous and incredibly egotistical attitude - hence, the distinction between religion and "faith" in the essay I linked to above.

122TRIPLEHHH
Jan 10, 2012, 5:34am Top

I just started Matthew when I discovered this thread. I have read 16 chapters so far:)
After I finish Matthew, I will start Genesis.

123fuzzi
Jan 10, 2012, 7:35am Top

Please give us your insight on Matthew, TRIPLEHHH.

Reading one's Bible through in a year doesn't have to be Genesis through Revelation.

We're here to encourage and learn from one another. :)

124lawecon
Jan 10, 2012, 7:47am Top

We're here to encourage and learn from one another. :)

====================

ROTFL

125fuzzi
Jan 10, 2012, 7:55am Top

(119) I agree that the people of Sodom were 'not good'.

But let's also remember the next verse in Ezekiel 16 (verse 50):

"And they were haughty, and committed abomination before me: therefore I took them away as I saw good."

See also Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 for what the Lord thinks is abomination.

I totally agree, though, with your thoughts about our present society, here in the USA and around the world. There's too much of "Me! Me! Me!" and not enough compassion.

When we look at sin, we see how it is "Me first, everyone else last (including God)!"

"The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God." (Psalm 9:17)

126lawecon
Jan 10, 2012, 7:59am Top

I totally agree, though, with your thoughts about our present society, here in the USA and around the world. There's too much of "Me! Me! Me!" and not enough compassion.

When we look at sin, we see how it is "Me first, everyone else last (including God)!"

==============================

Amen, Fuzzi, Amen !!! And it is amazing how that starts with most peoples' intellectual preconceptions (e.g., I may not be G-d, but I AM an expert in everything - particularly the proper interpretation of ancient texts - and, of course, I talk with and speak for G-d).

127cjbanning
Jan 10, 2012, 8:19am Top

108: "cbjanning, I believe no matter what evidence is produced- our evidence will be wrong (and lacking) according to some."

Okay, I give. How does that relate to anything I said?

128cjbanning
Jan 10, 2012, 8:27am Top

121: " My position, although apparently you refuse to read what I've repeatedly said to you, is actually nearer to your position than it is to (1). I find (1) to be a bit overly relativistic, post-rational and literary (the sort of thing that a confused philosopher or an English teacher might say). I think that it is possible, at least in theory, that if we knew enough about the society in which a given Bible writer lived and about the biography of that particular Bible writer that we could really figure out exactly what he was getting at."

Scripture, in the Anglican tradition, is considered to contain "all that is necessary for salvation." The intentions of the writers of Scriptures does not.

129eclecticdodo
Jan 10, 2012, 3:21pm Top

Thanks Fuzzi for starting this thread. As I said before, I really don't have the time to read that many chapters a day (well, let's be honest, I do have the time, but wouldn't have the time left for anything else). But I've been inspired to get back to my daily bible reading notes. I may even post a few bits on here...

130fuzzi
Jan 10, 2012, 6:26pm Top

My pleasure, eclecticdodo.

Read as you can (I have to force myself at times, too, life is busy!) and let us know what you find, interesting 'bits', insight, etc.

I'm trying to not let 'the world' dictate how much time I spend in God's word. However, last night I went to bed, and fell asleep before reading much of anything!

See you later!

131fuzzi
Jan 10, 2012, 6:28pm Top

(113) jntjesussaves wrote Inside the will of God there is no failure. Outside the will of God there is no success. Benard Edinger

Oh, that's good.

Have a good evening, brother, and all!

132lawecon
Jan 10, 2012, 7:30pm Top

~128

That is nice, but this thread is about Scriptures and their meaning, not about salvation.

133jntjesussaves
Jan 10, 2012, 7:59pm Top

121: lawecon, you make some very interesting points and you explain your thoughts well.

134jntjesussaves
Jan 10, 2012, 8:03pm Top

122/123: I have read the Bible through before skipping between the OT and NT; it can be a great change of pace. And as fuzzi mentioned- it matters not where you start, but that we do it.

135jntjesussaves
Jan 10, 2012, 8:03pm Top

123: Amen, fuzzi.

136jntjesussaves
Jan 10, 2012, 8:06pm Top

127: Never mind, cbjanning.

137jntjesussaves
Jan 10, 2012, 9:51pm Top

Just a quote from my devotion today:

What we see of God's provisions teaches us to trust Him for what we cannot see of His purposes.

138TRIPLEHHH
Jan 11, 2012, 3:42am Top

Amen, John

139jntjesussaves
Edited: Jan 11, 2012, 7:26pm Top

I wanted to comment on the devotional that I read today; it was on some of my favorite verses in Scripture (Ephesians 2:1-10).

While the obvious implication the author would take was not the way she went, however, I read these verses with added meaning today. Verses 1-3 dealt with what a Christian was like before salvation, before God made him/her "alive" from sin; verses 4-7 deal with God's mercy and great grace that He bestowed upon us in offering salvation; and then you have the crux of salvation:

"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them."

These verses show the fruit of a "born-again" believer; we are saved by faith because of God's grace, not according to what we do (good works, baptism, church attendance, obeying the Ten Commandments, etc.). However, as a result of some one being "born-again," their life will show forth good works- of which God has "ordained" (prepared the for us and commands us) that we should walk in them. I am so thankful God didn't require nothing of me to inherit His free gift other than accepting it (because I would have been eternally lost if that had been the case), but He does desire me (and commands me) to follow His teachings once I am saved.

These verses make it pretty clear (in my mind), that "works" (good works) do not save, but are commanded to be followed by Christians. Thank God for His order (salvation, then works) and not man's order (works, then salvation).

See also Titus 3:8. God's blessings to all.

140cjbanning
Jan 11, 2012, 8:32pm Top

>139 jntjesussaves:

"For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God— not the result of works, so that no one may boast."

All that puts forth, I think, is a robust anti-Pelagianism, and pretty much everybody agrees that Pelagianism is heresy, that we can't earn our grace. It doesn't answer what to my mind is the real question--what is the character of our response to grace which is constitutive of our justification?

141jntjesussaves
Jan 11, 2012, 9:33pm Top

140: Interesting question, cbjanning.

142thomashwalker2
Jan 12, 2012, 10:50am Top

115: I believe you are making mention of this book to help me see that there are those who don't believe we should take the Bible literally. While this is each person's choice, I choose to accept it as literal. And I believe myself to be in very good company with those who do take the Bible literally.

This morning during my devotions I read: God’s promise to Abraham: “That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore …” (Genesis 22:17, KJV).

I also believe the Bible is to be interpreted literally. Jesus did speak figuratively at times when He used parables.

However, what do we do with Genesis 22:17? Now we know God does not lie, and it is a safe bet that He does not exaggerate. Was God speaking literally to Abraham about the number of descendants he would have?

Astronomers venture a feeble estimate that the number of stars in the universe equals the number of grains of sand on all the beaches of the world. This observation by modern astronomers about the number of stars in our universe provides a piece to our spiritual puzzle by connecting the dots between the Word of God and the world we live in.

If Adam and Eve had not sinned and they were being fruitful and multiplying and nobody died, when would earth become overpopulated? Lawecon, you may like this, seeing you are a nuts and bolts, give me the facts kind of person. I submitted to Drexel University and specifically their math department the following.

Calculated the population of the world beginning with the first couple (Adam and Eve) having eight children and their children having eight children and so on until the world was full. Also assumed, was that nobody dies. Here are the mathematician’s calculations and comments:

“Suppose each couple has eight children, so that each generation adds 4 times as many people in the next generation, to keep the numbers simple. I see no reason to take your assumption that all wives would be specially created. Since the population of the world now is about 7 billion, let's suppose that 100 billion would be too much. You didn't define overpopulation, and I'm not sure you could. How long would it take to reach this number (adding all generations together)?
We're looking at a geometric series
2(1 + 4 + 4^2 + 4^3 + ... + 4^n) = 100,000,000,000
where n is the number of generations; so we want to find n for which
1 + 4 + 4^2 + 4^3 + ... + 4^n = 50,000,000,000
The formula for the geometric series1 + r + r^2 + ... + r^n is:
r^(n+1) - 1
-----------
r - 1
so our sum would be
4^(n+1) - 1
----------- = 150,000,000,000
3
Solving this,
4^(n+1) - 1 = 450,000,000,000
4^(n+1) = 450,000,000,001
(n+1)log(4) = log(450,000,000,001)
n+1 = log(450,000,000,001)/log(4)
n = log(450,000,000,001)/log(4) - 1 = 18.36
So after about 19 generations, the world would be "full" by our unscientific definition. If the average generation were, say, 100 years, this would take something like 1836 years.
This suggests, of course, that if Adam had not sinned, God probably did not plan to leave him here as much as 2000 years without making some major changes! I'll leave it to theologians to decide whether there is any evidence what the next planned step was, and whether there was any need for one. Since the current plan is to make a New Heaven and New Earth designed for people who have eternal life, it's reasonable to suppose that the same was available to Adam, much sooner” (The Math Forum).

So, does God have plans when eternity begins to accomodate a forever growing population of people that will never die? Could this be the reason we are going to have a New Heaven or Universe?

143fuzzi
Jan 12, 2012, 12:57pm Top

I left off at Genesis 26, but I've read a bit since then.

Genesis 27
Isaac is feeling old, and decides to bless his eldest son, Esau, before he dies. However, his wife Rachel favors Jacob, the younger, and together they plan to get Isaac to bless Jacob again.

Jacob lies to his father by claiming that he is Esau, that God helped him to get the venison quickly, and then again, that he is Esau.

Esau is upset about Jacob getting the blessing, and he lies as well, saying that Jacob took the birthright, when actually Esau sold it for some food (see Genesis 25:33).

Jacob takes off, as he knows Esau is furious and might plot to kill him.

Genesis 28
Jacob goes to his uncle's home, to find a bride. God comes to him in a dream, and tells him that the land will be his, God is going to give it to him (Jacob) and that he will have many descendants. He makes a vow to God, including a promise to tithe.

Esau sees that his parents don't care for his Canaanite brides, so he marries yet another woman, daughter of Ishmael.

Genesis 29
Jacob meets and falls in love with Rachel, his uncle's daughter. He works for seven years but at the wedding, Laban substitutes his elder daughter, Leah. Jacob is not pleased, but promises to work an additional seven years for Rachel.

Leah bears four sons, but Rachel is barren.

Genesis 30
Rachel has her maid bear children for her, and two more sons are born.

Leah then has her maid bear children for her, and an additional two sons are born. She then bears two more sons and a daughter to Jacob.

Finally, God allows Rachel to have a child, and Joseph is born.

Jacob then tricks Laban into giving him flocks and herds.

Genesis 31
Laban and his sons are not pleased with Jacob. Jacob takes his wives, his children, servants and animals and flees, but Laban catches up to them. A truce is declared, Laban leaves and Jacob's caravans continue.

Genesis 32
Jacob sends gifts of goats and cattle to his brother Esau, who is coming to meet him with a large force of men.

Then Jacob wrestles all night with a man, but neither prevailed. Then the 'man' asks Jacob "What is your name?". Jacob, for once, is honest and says "Jacob". The man blesses Jacob, and renames him "Israel". Jacob/Israel calls the place Peniel, because he has seen God face to face, and is preserved.

Out of time, more later. :)

144johnthefireman
Jan 12, 2012, 1:52pm Top

>143 fuzzi: I can never read the story of Esau without thinking of the old Beyond the Fringe sketch featuring Alan Bennett: "But my brother Esau is an hairy man, but I am a smooth man" - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UOsYN---eGk

145StormRaven
Edited: Jan 12, 2012, 3:09pm Top

95: Is any thing too hard for the LORD?

Healing amputees.

Also iron chariots.

146quicksiva
Jan 12, 2012, 6:05pm Top

>113 jntjesussaves:
Inside the will of God there is no failure. Outside the will of God there is no success. Benard Edinger

==============

Didn't YHVH try to kill Moses, and fail in Exodus?

147jntjesussaves
Jan 12, 2012, 7:24pm Top

142: Thomas, great stuff. I am glad we have the math staff at Drexel University figuring that out, because I know I wouldn't be able to.

There are times we come across verses in God's Word that we just cannot fully comprehend (and I am glad of that), because if I could completely understand God (or His Word), He wouldn't be a very great God. But we know that He is great and His knowledge is so much greater than ours. This is where humanism fails- it has the mistaken belief that if man cannot understand something (or prove something) with his finite understanding- than that makes God irrelevant. As you say, there were times where the Bible makes reference to symbolism (Jesus being "a door" is one). I guess when someone is trying to discount something as untrue, they will attack whatever the can (and anyone can find something to attack). This is proven of God the Creator. He created us, He gave mankind (through Adam) a perfect Earth to live on, and when he fell, He provided a perfect sacrifice for man's sins. For all of this, there are those who attack Him (and His Word). It makes no sense to me, but that is the world we live in.

God bless, Thomas.

148jntjesussaves
Jan 12, 2012, 7:28pm Top

143: There is a lot of interesting stuff in those verses, fuzzi. Genesis is a wonderful book.

149jntjesussaves
Jan 12, 2012, 7:30pm Top

146: Two keys: "In God's will" there is no failure. Failure and success to man is not necessarily the same to God.

150fuzzi
Jan 12, 2012, 8:00pm Top

(148) It's all good, John.

And the Bible isn't like other "religious" books, because in it men, even holy and upright men, are shown for what they are: fallen and sinful, no matter how hard they try to be perfect.

God's word doesn't pull punches, but shows the true nature of mankind.

I hope to hear in this thread from others who are reading through their Bible this year, even if they're not reading the same book at the same time, or even if they've fallen behind. It's okay, just keep trying, don't look back. "...forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before," Philippians 3:13

151jntjesussaves
Jan 12, 2012, 8:07pm Top

Amen, fuzzi. How true that is.

152thomashwalker2
Jan 13, 2012, 7:18am Top

> 147: "This is where humanism fails- it has the mistaken belief that if man cannot understand something (or prove something) with his finite understanding- than that makes God irrelevant. "

Very well said, John. We have seen this happen many times.

153lawecon
Jan 13, 2012, 7:36am Top

~147 & 152

"There are times we come across verses in God's Word that we just cannot fully comprehend (and I am glad of that), because if I could completely understand God (or His Word), He wouldn't be a very great God. But we know that He is great and His knowledge is so much greater than ours. This is where humanism fails- it has the mistaken belief that if man cannot understand something (or prove something) with his finite understanding- than that makes God irrelevant."

So, let me get this straight. In your view G-d gave "us" "a book". The book is presumably for a purpose. What could that purpose be? Well, apparently it isn't to instruct us how to live because then it would be clear and simple and definite. It must be something else? What else?

Ah, it must be to make us humble thorough its obscurity.

Yept, that ought to do it.

And a proper reaction, when it seems obscure, is to praise G-d that he has given us an obscure book. Obviously, only G-d could create an obscure book.

(This is yet another example of what has been pointed out over and over and over again above. And what also infects my People's Haredi. You start out trying to find some way to glorify G-d, and because you have apparently relinquished any rationality or desire to learn things about the world, you end up making claims like the above - or the similar claim that the dead arose from their graves and walked among the living when Jesus was crucified. Do you have a clue about what the above sort of claim sounds like to someone who is not obsessed with this rant and chant?)

154quicksiva
Jan 13, 2012, 8:00am Top

God's word doesn't pull punches, but shows the true nature of mankind.

=============
That's what I keep saying, but I mean something very different by it;)

155StormRaven
Jan 13, 2012, 8:00am Top

This is where humanism fails- it has the mistaken belief that if man cannot understand something (or prove something) with his finite understanding- than that makes God irrelevant.

Your understanding of what humanism is leaves a lot to be desired. But I guess that's to be expected, you revel in ignorance.

156cjbanning
Jan 13, 2012, 8:07am Top

>153 lawecon:

Was anyone actually arguing that the obscurity of Scripture actually proved its authority?

157lawecon
Jan 13, 2012, 8:14am Top

Given that what was being argued was quoted, I suppose that you should judge for yourself.

158cjbanning
Edited: Jan 13, 2012, 8:18am Top

>157 lawecon:

It seems to me to be starting with the assumption that Scripture is authoritative and then going from there.

159thomashwalker2
Edited: Jan 13, 2012, 8:28am Top

In reference to my post 142, I want to be perfectly clear as to my intent with the content. I believe God's word should be taken literally. So, with that being said, what should our conclusion be with “That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore …” (Genesis 22:17, KJV)?

A million years in eternity is just the beginning. What is Genesis 22:17 telling us about the future? Does it explain why God will make a new heaven and new earth? We can understand a new earth due to mess humanity will have made of it from all the wars, but a new heaven. Is God big enough and powerful enough to be the God of more than one planet?

What relevance would this knowledge have for a Christian? Have you ever wondered, with all the people in the world, if God really had time for a personal and intimate relationship with you? David said that God even knew the number of hairs on his head. God is much bigger than our minds will ever conceive.

160thomashwalker2
Jan 13, 2012, 8:46am Top

There is nothing obscure about the Scriptures. Take for instance the understanding of mathematics. When you begin to study math the books on calculus seem incomprehensible. They are not incomprehensible, you are not ready for them. God reveals His truth when a person is ready to receive them. Jesus said, unless you eat My Body and drink my Blood you will have no life in you (paraphrased). Many of His disciples left Jesus after that comment. Few understood at the time the meaning of what Jesus taught. When Jesus washed His disciples feet He said, “You don’t understand now why I am doing it; some day you will”.

161thomashwalker2
Jan 13, 2012, 9:38am Top

“Give a man a fish, feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, feed him for a lifetime.” A master teacher usually never gives the answers directly to the student, because this would limit their ability to learn. Instead, the teacher will instruct the student on how to find the answers. The student’s ability to learn is now limitless.
Jesus and His Father are master teachers.

162johnthefireman
Jan 13, 2012, 10:14am Top

>161 thomashwalker2: Reminds me of Dom Helder Camara: When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist.

163fuzzi
Jan 13, 2012, 1:21pm Top

Thomas, I do understand what you are referring to. When I was a new Christian, I would get frustrated over why I couldn't understand it all, right away!

Growing in love and knowledge of Christ does not happen immediately...like a baby, a new Christian is first given milk (simple doctrine) and then stronger and stronger food until the babe is a mature Christian and can handle strong meat.

It takes time for prayer and study of God's word to grow a new Christian into a mature one.

164JaneAustenNut
Jan 13, 2012, 2:17pm Top

Sorry, everyone, I have recently had some bad wisdom teeth surgery and haven't been on the net. I'm back now, though, my mouth is still sore, I just got the stitches out this morning. Thanks, Fuzzi for the nudge....... Update: I am now on chapter 6 of Gen. I know I'm behind but, I am finding that reading/listening to the Bible in a year gives me a lot of time... I do hope to pick up on my speed now that the surgery is over. Great to be a part of this thread...... I sometimes feel that I do need a little nudge now and then.

165fuzzi
Jan 13, 2012, 6:52pm Top

Woo! Glad to see you, JAN! Sorry to hear about the surgery...and hope you are feeling all better soon.

We all need a nudge sometimes, even I do, hence this thread. But remember, it's not a race or a competition, but a way to encourage and learn from each other.

Onward...

166lawecon
Jan 13, 2012, 7:22pm Top

~159

You know, now I'm really confused.

jntjesussaves opined that the Bible was often not understandable by mere human beings. You agreed. But now you say "I want to be perfectly clear as to my intent with the content. I believe God's word should be taken literally." How can you take something literally that you agree is beyond your understanding?

167lawecon
Jan 13, 2012, 7:26pm Top

~160

Same problem here. jntjesussaves opined that "There are times we come across verses in God's Word that we just cannot fully comprehend (and I am glad of that), because if I could completely understand God (or His Word), He wouldn't be a very great God." You agreed. But now you say "There is nothing obscure about the Scriptures."

Did you understand what you were agreeing to, or was the urge to "Amen" just irresistible?

168JaneAustenNut
Jan 13, 2012, 8:56pm Top

Just a thought, on how I'm going to count the books I have read this year. Since I have committed to reading through the entire Bible with the group on this thread, I think I'll count each Book of the Bible as a separate book in my reading life. I don't think this is cheating ........ I believe if one reads/listens/studies through a book of the Bible then.....that indeed justifys one to include it as a separate book read. Hopefully, I will learn much from this endeavor..... The Bible has much to offer everyone, whether a believer or not.

169jntjesussaves
Jan 13, 2012, 9:07pm Top

159: "God is much bigger than our minds will ever conceive."

Amen, Thomas!

170jntjesussaves
Jan 13, 2012, 9:08pm Top

160: Amen, Thomas!

171jntjesussaves
Jan 13, 2012, 9:09pm Top

163: Good points, fuzzi!

172jntjesussaves
Jan 13, 2012, 9:10pm Top

164: JaneAustenNut, we all do at times. God bless you for your faithfulness.

173jntjesussaves
Jan 13, 2012, 9:13pm Top

168: "The Bible has much to offer everyone, whether a believer or not."

Amen, JaneAustenNut!

174leroylmiller
Jan 13, 2012, 9:35pm Top

Back in 1986 I was challenged to read my bible. I did. I've been reading it every since. I lost track at 8 times through. I now read in rotation as I felt led to. A book from the Mosaic - Psalms beginning, then some Psalms and Proverbs, then the prophets, then the New Covenant. The rotational reading has helped me see things and put things together in an amazing context as God's Spirit has led and taught me. Certainly I was blessed with good teachers along the way but I held them accountable to what I was reading. All in all I have proved all that it says in my life and my walk. There is an intimacy within the words that reveals the true nature of God which few people find. And that is what it says, "Few there be that find the way." (my paraphrase) You have to have a hunger and a thirst that can only be quenched by the truth. And the one who came, walked out the truth because He was the truth (living word) confirmed every jot and tittle of it, as well as fulfilling it so we could go free (free to walk as He did). He does not desire that any should perish. Yet He leaves you free to choose Him or perish. He loves unconditionally, which means you can come to Him just as you are and as many times as you need to until you get it right. But get it right we must and He gives us the power to do that as well. All in all, I cannot stop shouting His praises. Even in the loss of my precious wife He has come and born my sorrows. He has carried me when I could not get up. I started with a written word and it took me to the Living Word. I have joy unspeakable and full of glory! He came to "write" on my life (my paraphrase of the song) and so He has had me do.

175jntjesussaves
Edited: Jan 13, 2012, 9:40pm Top

I want to briefly comment about my devotion I read today.

I read from John 14:15-24. Several times in these verses Jesus relates our love for Him will be shown by our obedience to Him (verses 15, 21, 23-24). They are quite convicting to me. How often we "insincerely" say I love God (or I love Jesus), yet do our actions (our obedience) line up with this standard? I know for myself, I don't always line up, but this verse is still true. May I love Him as much as I say I do. One quote from this devotional that I want to share is the following:

Jesus made it clear to His disciples that He is "the way, the truth, and the life" (John 14:6). He is the only way to the Father, and our belief and commitment to Him results in love and obedience- and leads to an eternal home in heaven."

This is a short coming of Christendom in this day I believe- many say they "believe" in Jesus Christ, but few say they are "committed" to Jesus Christ. When you are committed to someone, you commit your being, your life, your existence to them- many today seem to say "I believe in Jesus Christ," but few say "I am committed to Jesus Christ." Sadly, that may be the reason why Jesus tells us in Matthew 7:22, "Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?" And He sadly continues, "And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it. And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine: For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes" (verses 23-29). Interestingly enough, He said the wise man will build his house upon "a rock" (Jesus Christ) and when floods and winds beat down on the house, he will stand, because his foundation was "a rock." The person who "believes" in Christ, yet has no fruit to show their foundation is "a rock," will not do as He commands. This is certainly one of the true signs that someone is committed to Christ- that they obey the commands of Christ (not perfectly, but "committedly" (I don't think that is a word, but the point is made).

Lastly, some great words of wisdom:

Less of self and more of Jesus,
More and more each day like Thee;
Just to live in full surrender
For my Lord who ransomed me.

God's blessings to each of us as we read and study God's Word.

176jntjesussaves
Jan 13, 2012, 9:45pm Top

174: leroylmiller- first, welcome to this thread; second, God bless you and thank you for sharing your testimony of how God worked a miracle in your heart. God bless you also for your faithfulness in reading (and sharing) God's Word with others. I never tire hearing of the "life-change" others have had when they met the "Life-Changer."

177thomashwalker2
Edited: Jan 14, 2012, 8:12am Top

> 166: "How can you take something literally that you agree is beyond your understanding?"

In post 160 I wrote: "When you begin to study math the books on calculus seem incomprehensible. They are not incomprehensible, you are not ready for them. God reveals His truth when a person is ready to receive them.

Is the Bible the Word of God? YES, but remember that it is the written Word "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth." John 1:14 (KJV).

The reason God made Salvation simple, was so that even a child could receive Christ into their hearts. This is crucial to understanding God's Word because the "Word was made flesh - Jesus" and without Jesus in your heart the world will be “blinded: for until this day remaineth the same veil untaken away in the reading of the Old Testament; which veil is done away in Christ. But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the veil is upon their heart” (2 Corinthians 3:14–15, KJV).

What removes the veil? Jesus. If a person has not Jesus in their heart, the Bible seems foolish. Christians appear to revel in ignorance to those whose eyes are covered with the veil.

The Bible is beyond human comprehension, "But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." 1 Cor 2:14 (KJV).

God does not hide His truth to keep His children from finding it, but He did intentionally make deeper levels of understanding accessible only with His help. When it comes to God’s Word and those things pertaining to the spiritual, God will be your only source for wisdom. There will be no other way to reach the level of spiritual discernment necessary to unlock the mind of God. God says this about gaining wisdom: “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him” (James 1:5, KJV).

178fuzzi
Jan 14, 2012, 1:04pm Top

(174) Leroy, glad to have you with us, and thank you for your testimony.

I can see in your words the knowledge you have acquired through reading God's word: the Scriptures are there, but in your own words. Woo!

(168) JAN, I agree with your idea. Once I finish Genesis, I'll make a note of it in my 75 thread. Right now I'm up to Genesis 40, of which I plan on writing later...I got something out of it that made me go "WOW..." and I'd like to share with y'all. :)

179fuzzi
Jan 14, 2012, 1:10pm Top

(175) Thanks, John. I was reminded of two things as I read your post:

1. Those who don't have the foundation, who do not find themselves committed to Christ, could be likened to the seed that fell on the stony ground: "Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth:
And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away." (Matthew 13:5-6)


They were not founded on a rock, our Rock, Jesus Christ, and when things got hot, they withered.

2. Your words of wisdom reminded me of a hymn:

More about Jesus I would know,
More of His grace to others show;
More of His saving fulness see,
More of His love who died for me.

More, more about Jesus,
More, more about Jesus;
More of His saving fulness see,
More of His love who died for me.

More about Jesus let me learn,
More of His holy will discern;
Spirit of God, my teacher be,
Showing the things of Christ to me.

More, more about Jesus,
More, more about Jesus;
More of His saving fulness see,
More of His love who died for me.

More about Jesus, in His Word,
Holding communion with my Lord;
Hearing His voice in every line,
Making each faithful saying mine.

More, more about Jesus,
More, more about Jesus;
More of His saving fulness see,
More of His love who died for me.

More about Jesus on His throne,
Riches in glory all His own;
More of His kingdom’s sure increase;
More of His coming, Prince of Peace.

More, more about Jesus,
More, more about Jesus;
More of His saving fulness see,
More of His love who died for me.

(177) Thomas, AMEN!

180lawecon
Jan 14, 2012, 1:13pm Top

~177

Try to focus here. We were talking about interpreting the Bible, not about Jesus. You had agreed with a previous statement by
jntjesussaves in which he stated that:

"There are times we come across verses in God's Word that we just cannot fully comprehend (and I am glad of that), because if I could completely understand God (or His Word), He wouldn't be a very great God."

But you subsequently stated that "There is nothing obscure about the Scriptures."

But now you seem to want to claim that, somehow, Jesus allows you to understand with perfection what is written in the Bible. (Apparently you haven't yet seen fit to reveal this great knowledge that has been sought through the centuries to the rest of mankind, but I'm sure you'll get around to it.)

The question is simple: Which is it. Do you in fact disagree with jntjesussaves and believe that Jesus allows you to perfectly understand what is in the Bible? Or do you not agree and believe that the Bible has been clarified for you through the grace of Jesus? It isn't a difficult question. Could you answer it please?

181thomashwalker2
Jan 14, 2012, 2:29pm Top

> 179: Fuzzy - I have sung that song many times, however, it has been many years ago. The words have a deeper meaning now. Thank you for taking the time to write out those lyrics.

182thomashwalker2
Edited: Jan 14, 2012, 4:59pm Top

"Try to focus here. We were talking about interpreting the Bible, not about Jesus. "

You do greatly error in your understanding of the Bible. The Bible is The Word of God. The Word of God is Jesus: "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us". Your problem is that you think that they are seperate entities. "Eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. " Rev 19:12-13 (KJV)

The veil is removed when you receive Jesus as Lord. I know, too simple.

When you reach forth with the hand of faith to receive Christ, you will understand the mystery spoken by Jesus when He said, "Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life" John 6:53-54 (KJV). You see you have to go back to how eternal life was administered in the Garden of Eden - The fruit on the Tree of LIfe. You had to eat it.

Christ is the fruit that hangs on the tree (cross) for a fallen race that wants eternal life (Salvation). It's a great big cosmic puzzle Lawecon. Only with God's help will you find the pieces that connect correctly that reveals the image on the jigsaw puzzle box.

183fuzzi
Jan 14, 2012, 5:43pm Top

Genesis 40
I read this, again, this morning, and I neglected to read any more...there was so much there that was speaking to me.

Joseph, the favorite son of Jacob, is a slave in Egypt. He refuses to be seduced by Potipher's wife, and so she makes a false accusation and Joseph, innocent, winds up in prison.

Two of the prisoners have dreams that they want interpreted.

Joseph points out that only God can interpret dreams (Genesis 40:8 "And they said unto him, We have dreamed a dream, and there is no interpreter of it. And Joseph said unto them, Do not interpretations belong to God? tell me them, I pray you."

So God gives Joseph the interpretations of the dreams: the Butler will be reinstated by Pharaoh in three days, but the Baker will be killed by Pharaoh in three days.

Now, here's where it gets really NEAT and NIFTY:

Joseph is referred to as a type of Christ. He is in prison with two men who are criminals, but he, Joseph, is innocent.

In three days the Butler is reinstated, but the Baker is hanged on a tree.

Who did Jesus have hanging on either side of Him on the cross? Two thieves.

One rejected Christ, and died and went to Hell.

One believed Christ, and died and went to Paradise.

Do you see what I see? Joseph, the Butler and the Baker are a type of Christ, the saved thief and the damned thief.

Isn't that fascinating?

Also, in Genesis 40, Pharaoh has a birthday party. This is the first mention of 'birthday' in the Bible. At this party, someone dies (the Baker).

The second and third mentions of 'birthday' in the Bible are about Herod's birthday party (Matthew 14:6 and Mark 6:21). You know what happens at Herod's party: someone dies (John the Baptist).

I don't think God thinks much of birthday parties...

184fuzzi
Jan 14, 2012, 5:44pm Top

(181) You're welcome, thomas, but I just copied them from the web.

Still, I love that song. :)

185jntjesussaves
Jan 14, 2012, 8:03pm Top

177: Amen, Thomas! Very well said- you have a wonderful way with words.

186jntjesussaves
Jan 14, 2012, 8:07pm Top

179: Amen, fuzzi! So very true are your comments.

187jntjesussaves
Jan 14, 2012, 8:16pm Top

177: Thomas, I understand you perfectly in what you said in response to lawecon- it makes perfect sense to me. It is amazing how born-again believers can understand each other, but those who seemingly are not born-again believers cannot. You have been crystal clear to me.

180: One question, lawecon, what is your goal? Is your goal for Thomas, fuzzi, myself and others who have similar beliefs to forsake all we believe so that you will feel better about yourself? That seems to be the case. You cannot accept the fact that we just believe differently than you. We do not come to threads (that you are on), to try and draw you away from your beliefs. Why do you seem to be inclined to try and cause us to question what we believe? Again, what is your purpose (motive)?

188jntjesussaves
Jan 14, 2012, 8:21pm Top

182: Not to take away from your point, because I agree with your premise (and understand it perfectly). I will say that I do believe that "the Word" (Jesus Christ, spoken of in John 1:1) and "the Word of God" (the written Word) are not synonymous; I believe we run into some issues when we classify them together (as one and the same).

However, I do not want this disagreement to take away from you overall point (which in my mind does not change).

189jntjesussaves
Jan 14, 2012, 8:24pm Top

183: Fuzzi, while I have realized many similarities between Joseph and Jesus (as a type of Christ), I never had put that correlation with the butler and baker together, until now. I see the similarities- wonderful insight.

190lawecon
Jan 14, 2012, 9:11pm Top

~182

""Try to focus here. We were talking about interpreting the Bible, not about Jesus. "

You do greatly error in your understanding of the Bible. The Bible is The Word of God. The Word of God is Jesus: "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us". Your problem is that you think that they are seperate entities. "Eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. " Rev 19:12-13 (KJV)"

As you well know, you are evading a simple and straightforward question. Do your religious beliefs command such evasion of you? Apparently.

Further, your position is ridiculous. Revelations is one of the last of the Christian Scriptures, written somewhere between 70-95 C.E. Yet you would have us believe that it governs the right interpretation of texts that are a thousand years older. Do you really expect anyone to take such a view seriously? But then, again, you are the same poster who believes that the dead arose from their graves and walked among the living upon Jesus' resurrection. Aren't you? It is apparently as impossible to get you to see the absurdity of such a position as it is to get a fundamentalist Muslim to understand that the Qur'an does not teach "the true story" of Jesus.

191lawecon
Edited: Jan 14, 2012, 9:23pm Top

~187

"177: Thomas, I understand you perfectly in what you said in response to lawecon- it makes perfect sense to me. It is amazing how born-again believers can understand each other, but those who seemingly are not born-again believers cannot. You have been crystal clear to me."

==============================

Well, it is good that you understand that the interpretation of the Bible is crystal clear because of Jesus, when it was you who previously maintained that: "There are times we come across verses in God's Word that we just cannot fully comprehend (and I am glad of that), because if I could completely understand God (or His Word), He wouldn't be a very great God."

Yes, anyone reading you and Thomas can see that you do understand each other, and they can see exactly what that means.

=================================

"180: One question, lawecon, what is your goal? Is your goal for Thomas, fuzzi, myself and others who have similar beliefs to forsake all we believe so that you will feel better about yourself? That seems to be the case. You cannot accept the fact that we just believe differently than you. We do not come to threads (that you are on), to try and draw you away from your beliefs. Why do you seem to be inclined to try and cause us to question what we believe? Again, what is your purpose (motive)?"

It is really quite simple. I believe in trying to discover truth. The first aspect of truth is internal consistency. You, however, apparently believe in other goals and act accordingly.

All one has to do, in your world is say "I believe" and anything thereafter is justified. We had a poster on Librarything a while back who was also very strong in her belief. http://www.librarything.com/topic/127481 You probably would have liked her, because she very sincerely believed. And you probably would have admonished those who interfered with her beliefs. Or maybe not.

What is further astounding is that you demand that everyone else say "Amen" when you behave in such a deplorable fashion. You apparently sincerely believe that by behaving in such a fashion what you are doing is admirable. Sad, very sad.

192jntjesussaves
Jan 14, 2012, 11:03pm Top

191: I am not really sure who you are referring to on that thread, because there were 254 posts- who are you referring to?

"It is really quite simple. I believe in trying to discover truth. The first aspect of truth is internal consistency. You, however, apparently believe in other goals and act accordingly."

You believe in discovering your own truth- and to "the bad place" with everyone else. Has Thomas, myself, or fuzzi said anything according to you that is truth? We have stated many things, yet I don't believe you have agreed or commended either of us on any point we have made- you only criticize and accuse us. You act as if you have a hold on truth and when someone else displays something that conflicts with your truth- you criticize.

You say that you are just "trying to discover the truth." I would say that you are are just "trying to get everybody else to agree with your truth."

"You probably would have liked her, because she very sincerely believed."

I don't like and dislike others based on whether they are sincere in their beliefs. You are sincere in your beliefs, I just happen to disagree with your beliefs. But I don't run after you (in every thread you go to) and ridicule your beliefs. While I believe you are sincerely wrong in many of your ideas and beliefs, you do have a right to believe what you believe (even if you are wrong). If Thomas, myself, and fuzzi are wrong- then we will one day find that out. Why are you so determined to convince us of our errors (from your perspective). Why can't you just let us be wrong (if that is the way you feel)? If you are so strong in what you believe, why do you persist in ridiculing us?

I believe the fact that you ridicule us is because you are envious of what we have that you do not have. Instead of accepting in your own heart and mind what you believe you want others to commend your beliefs to be correct. I cannot do so. I have strong beliefs that are not going to be forsaken when someone criticizes (or condemns) them.

"What is further astounding is that you demand that everyone else say "Amen" when you behave in such a deplorable fashion. You apparently sincerely believe that by behaving in such a fashion what you are doing is admirable. Sad, very sad."

When have I asked you or anyone else to agree with what I believe? When have I asked you to "amen" anything I have to say? The answer is never. I've only asked that you be respectful and not ridicule those on this thread for what they believe. You can "discover truth" without ridiculing others.

193johnthefireman
Edited: Jan 15, 2012, 12:54am Top

>192 jntjesussaves: I am not really sure who you are referring to on that thread, because there were 254 posts- who are you referring to?

It became clear to me who lawecon is referring to after reading the first half dozen or so posts. Amazing stuff.

194quicksiva
Jan 15, 2012, 5:49am Top

As a proud Neo Gnostic who knows a little history, I enjoy hearing loud Amens and Hallelujah’s . It tells me that the old Gods are not gone, just hidden. Give me that old time religion.

195thomashwalker2
Jan 15, 2012, 7:57am Top

"He is Arrogant He can blatantly lash out against things and people with an aloofness that is almost humorous. He seems to be absolutely blind to the absurdities of his teachings. The false teachers are very much over confident by nature. They just seem to assume everyone agrees with them and those who do not are only a trashy remnant of legalistic pessimists. They carry an air of being untouchable, irreproachable and infallible and then think everyone sees them as they see themselves. He speaks eloquently but his theology is sloppy and he avoids calm intelligent doctrinal encounters in the Word. "

I thought that this was interesting, so I decided to share it. Don't anyone get paranoid, its application can be used by either side.

196quicksiva
Edited: Jan 15, 2012, 8:47am Top

>195 thomashwalker2:

I'm so vain, I think you are talking about me, thanks.

But true believers need to dwell on this statement I found online:

"It is pretty obvious that fallen angels have attempted to censor Biblical literature over the course of Christian history, in fact wouldn't you expect it? Justin Martyr suggested that fallen angels had infiltrated the highest offices of the church and changed the interpretation and the Books of the Bible. They desired to remove any evidence of fallen angelic activity prior to and after the flood. This is why any book that made reference to the Book of Enoch was immediately censored. The Book of Jude and the Book of 2nd Peter where almost left out due to their specific quotes from the Book of Enoch.

We all remember the scripture that says, "Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels (Hebrews 13: 1)." Most people interpret this to mean "good" angels. However, the Bible is replete with as much evidence of fallen angelic intervention as faithful angelic influence.

The two best examples of censorship that I can give you are: The King James Apocrypha and the Book of Jasher, also known as The Book of the Just. (See 2 Samuel, and Josiah).

The Apocrypha remained in the Authorized King James version until it was taken out of the protestant Bible by the Puritans. King James appropriated his Apocrypha from William Tyndale whom also included the Apocrypha in his original translation.

You can still order the King James Bible and the William Tyndale Bible with Apocrypha in it. All you need to do is ask."

Amen and Hallelujah

197lawecon
Edited: Jan 15, 2012, 10:47am Top

~192

There are so many fallacies in this post that it would be impossible to address them within any brief period of time. Some, as Johnthefireman, points out, are just silly and don't need to be responded to (even if they do constitute yet another unbelievable dodge) Others, however, occur over and over and over again, and probably merit one more response. So, here goes.

No, you don't "have a right to your opinion." You have a right to express your opinion, but when you do so in public, other people also have a right to explain to you why you are completely wrong. You want your right, but you want to deny other people their right.

It doesn't work that way in a free society. But I suspect you favor a virtuous society, not a free society. Like most people who KNOW THE TRUTH with absolute certainty, generally because G-d or the Fuhrer has told them THE TRUTH, every criticism of their TRUTH is a persecution (if they imagine themselves as not in power) or a heresy that must be rooted out for the good of SOCIETY and VIRTUE if they are in power. You, apparently, believe that you are being persecuted and other people are ridiculing you when someone points out internal contradictions in your expressed views and asks that they be resolved.

You, unfortunately, are so unselfaware that you can invite me to leave you to your errors by leaving this thread in one breadth and then claim that you have never asked me to "Amen" what you are saying in the next breadth. You really need to sit down and figure out what you truly believe. Do you demand that everyone agree with you, or are you willing to discuss your views outside of your cult of self-reinforcing fellows? If the latter, what are you whining about?

198fuzzi
Jan 15, 2012, 3:04pm Top

(196) "The Apocrypha remained in the Authorized King James version until it was taken out of the protestant Bible by the Puritans. King James appropriated his Apocrypha from William Tyndale whom also included the Apocrypha in his original translation. "

Actually, the Apocrypha was included in the text, as part of holy Scriptures, by other translations (Vaticanus and Sinaiticus), but the King James Bible included it in between the OT and NT as "supplemental reading material".

No one is keeping you or anyone else from reading it, if you choose, it's just not considered "Scripture".

And btw, the word "apocrypha" means "of questionable authenticity."

199quicksiva
Jan 15, 2012, 3:11pm Top

>198 fuzzi:
Thanks!

BTW, what sort of heathens would dare question God's word?

200fuzzi
Jan 15, 2012, 3:27pm Top

Genesis 41
Pharaoh dreams two dreams, and no one can figure out what they mean. The Butler remembers his broken promise to tell Pharaoh about Joseph, and does so. Joseph is brought before Pharaoh:

"And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, I have dreamed a dream, and there is none that can interpret it: and I have heard say of thee, that thou canst understand a dream to interpret it.
And Joseph answered Pharaoh, saying, It is not in me: God shall give Pharaoh an answer of peace." (verses 15, 16)


Again, Joseph says that interpretations come from God, not from men.

Joseph gives the interpretation of the dreams, which, although are two, are 'one'.

"And for that the dream was doubled unto Pharaoh twice; it is because the thing is established by God, and God will shortly bring it to pass." (verse 32)

Note: when God repeats Himself, or appears to repeat Himself, it's important: it's of Him and it's going to happen soon.

"And when all the land of Egypt was famished, the people cried to Pharaoh for bread: and Pharaoh said unto all the Egyptians, Go unto Joseph; what he saith to you, do." (verse 55)

Compare that last verse, about Joseph, to what Mary said about her son, Jesus:

"His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it." (John 2:5)

Genesis 42
Verse 6: Joseph's brothers come to Egypt to buy food, and all bow down to him, making the prophecy of his dreams come true, see Genesis 37:7-8:

"For, behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and, lo, my sheaf arose, and also stood upright; and, behold, your sheaves stood round about, and made obeisance to my sheaf.
And his brethren said to him, Shalt thou indeed reign over us? or shalt thou indeed have dominion over us? And they hated him yet the more for his dreams, and for his words."


Joseph treats them as if they are spies, and when they are reminded of their missing brother, Joseph, you can see the guilt they feel for what they did to him, verses 21 and 22.

Simeon is bound and kept as a guarantee that Jacob's sons will return with Benjamin, the youngest.

But Jacob will not let them take Benjamin back to Egypt.

Genesis 43
The food runs out, but the brothers cannot return to Egypt without Benjamin. Judah takes responsibility for Benjamin. So, all the brothers go back to Egypt to buy more food.

In this verse we see that the Egyptians were discriminatory against others:

"And they set on for him by himself, and for them by themselves, and for the Egyptians, which did eat with him, by themselves: because the Egyptians might not eat bread with the Hebrews; for that is an abomination unto the Egyptians." (verse 32)

In verse 33, Joseph has his brothers (who still do not know who he is) sit in order of their birth, which amazes them.

...to be continued...

201cjbanning
Jan 15, 2012, 3:33pm Top

198: And btw, the word "apocrypha" means "of questionable authenticity."

That's why I didn't use that word in my comment on the other thread where this was brought up. They're the deuterocanonical books, and personally I like them best mixed in with the rest of the Hebrew scriptures. Who wants to read Daniel or Esther and have to keep flipping back and forth?

202fuzzi
Jan 15, 2012, 4:12pm Top

Some of us don't believe that the Apocrypha belong 'mixed in', but some, like you, do.

So get a Bible that has them 'mixed in'. I'll keep my Bible that does not include them.

:)

203quicksiva
Jan 15, 2012, 4:13pm Top

Are "deuterocanonical"and "Apocrypha" synonyms? If not when and where were the banned books declared "questionable" and on whose authority?

204cjbanning
Edited: Jan 15, 2012, 4:20pm Top

>202 fuzzi:

Well, I have two (well, three, but two of the three are both NAB) with the deuterocanonical books mixed in, two with them kept separate, and countless numbers in which they don't appear at all.

ETA: Actually, my brother gave me his NAB, so I have four with the deuterocanonicals mixed in, three NABs and one The Inclusive Bible. I wish my NRSV was a Catholic edition (as they do make those) but sadly, it segregates the deuterocanonicals.

205fuzzi
Jan 15, 2012, 4:28pm Top

(203) I don't want to derail the thread too much, but in a nutshell, here's the story behind the "deuterocanonical" or "Apocrypha" books:

When the canon of Scripture was compiled and accepted by the early Christians, these other books were not included as they contained anti-scriptural material and therefore were considered not inspired by God.

One website I checked also referred to these as "pseudepigraphal", or "false writings".

These books were never accepted or included in the Hebrew canon.

They contain religious folklore and should not be included with God's word.

FWIW, these books were not accepted by the Roman Catholic church until the Council of Trent in 1546. They were not considered "inspired" by the RCC for over 1300 years.

No writer from the NT quotes from these books.

They contain doctrinal errors and are thus suspect.

If you want to check them out, they are available to read, but should not be considered part of the word of God any more than "The Shack" or "Pilgrim's Progress" should be.

206cjbanning
Edited: Jan 15, 2012, 4:59pm Top

"Pseudepigraphal" just means the author they are attributed to didn't actually write them. Plenty of the letters in the actual canon are pseudepigraphal, including the deutero-Pauline letters and the Petrine letters.

From Wikipedia:
The Council of Carthage, called the third by Denzinger, on 28 August 397 issued a canon of the Bible quoted as, "Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua son of Nun, Judges, Ruth, 4 books of Kingdoms, 2 books of Chronicles, Job, the Davidic Psalter, 5 books of Solomon, 12 books of Prophets, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, Ezekiel, Tobias, Judith, Esther, 2 books of Ezra, 2 books of Maccabees, and in the New Testament: 4 books of Gospels, 1 book of Acts of the Apostles, 13 letters of the Apostle Paul, 1 letter of his to the Hebrews, 2 of Peter, 3 of John, 1 of James, 1 of Jude, and one book of the Apocalypse of John.


And here:
The Synod of Hippo refers to the synod of 393 which was hosted in Hippo Regius in northern Africa during the early Christian Church. The synod of 393 is best known for two distinct acts. First, for the first time a council of bishops listed and approved a canon of Sacred Scripture that corresponds to the modern Roman Catholic canon while falling short of the Orthodox canon (including the books classed by Roman Catholics as deuterocanonical books and by Protestants as "Apocrypha"). The canon was later approved at the Council of Carthage pending the ratification of the "Church across the sea", that is, Rome."
This canon was standard within the Western Church until such time when Martin Luther began trying to kick books out.

207fuzzi
Jan 15, 2012, 4:58pm Top

FWIW, Wikipedia is not a good source of any information, because anyone can edit it.

If you wish to discuss this further, please make a separate thread, as I don't want to derail other people's interest in the topic. Thank you. :)

208jntjesussaves
Jan 15, 2012, 7:05pm Top

It is amazing the similarities we find between Jesus Christ and Joseph as one reads these passages. God's blessings, fuzzi.

209jntjesussaves
Edited: Jan 15, 2012, 7:22pm Top

Many, O LORD my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done, and thy thoughts which are to us-ward: they cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee: if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered.

Thank God for his blessings and mercies day by day! We so often forget to thank our wonderful Creator for all of His blessings to us. The author of my devotional commented with the following:

"It's not hard to remember the bad things you encounter or the things lacking in your life- humans are naturals at that- and society doesn't help much. Your neighbor's new car reminds you of your old one. Your kids don't seem to be satisfied with what you bought them. Commercials tell you that you need to get rid of your gray hair, join a fitness club, lose some weight, grow greener grass...the list goes on."

The bottom line is I know I often don't praise God for His blessings in my life as I should and that is unfortunate- He is such a great God. I will also make mention of the following two verses for meditation:

Psalm 96:2-3:

Sing unto the LORD, bless his name; shew forth his salvation from day to day. Declare his glory among the heathen, his wonders among all people.

Colossians 4:2:

Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving.

God's blessings to all of you who are reading God's Word through this year.

210thomashwalker2
Jan 16, 2012, 9:42am Top

Visit this site: www.jewishvoice.org

Click on the tab "Jewish Objections to Jesus". Read all the sub tabs, but the one I found that applies to many of the posts in this thread is "New Testament Objections".

Jonathan Bernis is a Messianic Jew.

211faceinbook
Edited: Jan 16, 2012, 12:13pm Top

This message has been deleted by its author.

212fuzzi
Edited: Jan 16, 2012, 1:30pm Top

Three day weekend, and I've been trying to not only 'catch up', but 'get ahead' in my reading:

Genesis 42:6
All Joseph's brothers bow to him, as he had dreamed back in Genesis 37:7

42:25
Joseph's brothers are given what they do not deserve, considering their past sins: "unmerited favor = God's grace"

(and if that don't make you wanna shout, something is wrong with you!)

:)

43:32
The Egyptians won't eat with the Hebrews, Joseph's brothers, because it is an abomination to them. So, who's the racist now? Hmm.

44:16
Judah doesn't try to justify anything or make excuses, but admits their iniquities/sins. They submit to Joseph. This reminds me of how an unsaved person acts just before they ask God to save them (I do remember!).

44:31, 34
A picture of someone under conviction, being selfless. Compare to previous acts of selfishness.

45:8
God sent Joseph to Egypt, used that evil for good, He allowed "bad" to happen in order for a greater "good". See Romans 8:28.

45:20
Pharaoh tells the Hebrews to "leave their stuff" behind. Do they? Nope, they bring it, anyway, see 46:1 and 46:6

46:3
God gives Jacob the "okay" to go to Egypt, even though He previously did not want Isaac or Abraham to go there. Compare to Matthew 2:13-15 for a temporary sojourn in Egypt, a type of "the world".

46:19
Interesting observation: only Rachel is described as Jacob's wife, not Leah! (see verse 15)

46:34
Joseph tells his brethren to lie to Pharaoh!

47:3
They do not lie, but tell the truth to Pharaoh (good for them!)

47:9
Jacob does not lie, but is forthright about his past.

47:21
People without land (having sold it to Pharaoh for food) are moved into cities. However, God does not appear to "like" cities, see Isaiah 14:21. (first person to build a city was Cain, the first murderer).

47:24
A 20% tax is levied, see also Genesis 41:34.

47:30
God will bring Jacob out of Egypt (and He does!).

48:17-19
Like in the case of Isaac's sons, Jacob and Esau, Joseph's younger son is blessed over the elder, and it is prophesied by Jacob that the younger (Ephraim) will be greater than the elder (Manassah).

49:33
Jacob yielded up the ghost, and was "gathered unto his people". He doesn't go in the grave for over 40 days, so the connotation is not grave, but something else, perhaps Paradise? See also Genesis 25:8, 17 and 35:29.

Genesis 50:20
See again Romans 8:28: "God meant it for good"

One book, Genesis, completed by January 16th!

213msladylib
Jan 16, 2012, 7:52pm Top

To the OP: no, I have not, and furthermore, I don't see the point in it.

214jntjesussaves
Edited: Jan 16, 2012, 8:18pm Top

212: Congrats, fuzzi!

"Joseph's brothers are given what they do not deserve, considering their past sins: "unmerited favor = God's grace""

Fuzzi, nice analogy. I have also heard the previous in reference to God's grace and mercy. "Mercy" is not getting what we do deserve; "grace" is getting what we do not deserve.

"Judah doesn't try to justify anything or make excuses, but admits their iniquities/sins. They submit to Joseph. This reminds me of how an unsaved person acts just before they ask God to save them (I do remember!)."

I agree. When we try to justify our sin it may be a sign that we are not truly repentant. In the case of an unsaved person, he must be repentant in order to be saved. Good points.

"A picture of someone under conviction, being selfless. Compare to previous acts of selfishness."

Amen, because they recognize themselves as they really are- sinful and without any goodness on their part.

215jntjesussaves
Jan 16, 2012, 8:21pm Top

213: First, welcome msladylib.

Excuse me but I am not up on abbreviations in texting; what does OP stand for? And second, are you saying that you don't see the point in reading the Bibe (or reading it through in a year)? Just checking.

216lawecon
Jan 16, 2012, 8:57pm Top

~213

"To the OP: no, I have not, and furthermore, I don't see the point in it."

Well, it won't do any good to ask questions. The enthusiasts for this program apparently want to keep its merits secret.

217quicksiva
Edited: Jan 17, 2012, 11:35am Top

>212 fuzzi:

The Egyptians won't eat with the Hebrews, Joseph's brothers, because it is an abomination to them. So, who's the racist now? Hmm.
==========

These “racists” had raised Joseph to a role in their government nearly as high as the Pharaoh himself.

The Egyptians considered the Proto-Hebrews to be unclean pig farmers and possible carriers of disease. This may have been racist. They rarely found anything of worth about a people they termed “temporary labor,”

Some people rank Wiki right up there with the Old Testament itself, as a accurate sorce of Egyptian history ;)
See Moses and Akhenaten by Ahmed Osman.

Try to avoid letting Hollywood affect your Hermeneutics.
See Biblical Hermeneutics by J. Severino Croatto

218fuzzi
Jan 17, 2012, 12:18pm Top

(217) The Hebrews of Jacob's time were shepherds, and cattlemen. The Egyptians had low regard for people who were shepherds, as Joseph pointed out in that chapter.

However, I don't see any mention of raising pigs in the text.

219madpoet
Jan 17, 2012, 8:53pm Top

>216 lawecon:, 213

See 75, among other posts.

If you don't consider reading the Bible through in a year to be a worthwhile project, fine. There's more than one way to read the Bible. But this thread is for those who choose to read it that way.

Think of this as a 'book read' thread, if that helps. (yes, we know the Bible is not an ordinary book)

220quicksiva
Edited: Jan 17, 2012, 10:06pm Top

However, I don't see any mention of raising pigs in the text.

There are other texts.

The Nile River floods every year preceeded by the rising of the star Sirius. Moses, Abraham, Joseph and Jesus all bathed and drank from its waters.

Is this concrete fact of Egyptian life ever mentioned in the text?

It was once claimed that Hebrews worshiped pigs as some sort of Seth.
Pigs became taboo among the Hebrews as they had been among the Egyptians.

I believe they still are. See Herodotus for an interesting story of the role of pigs in Egyptian agriculture.

The Egyptians had a low regard for nomads of all stripes. If home is heaven, why leave. I doubt that they called them "gypsies" though.

Cattle were wealth and Apis was an important god.

The geography of the Nile valley makes sheep herding difficult. Egypt's primary crop was wheat.

Eat with shepards, Have you ever smelled sheep manure? After unloading a boxcar full of fertilizer, I didn't want to eat with myself.

221jntjesussaves
Edited: Jan 17, 2012, 9:51pm Top

219: Amen, madpoet!

I read from the book of Jude today and found several interesting scriptures. Just a couple of points gleaned from these verses:

First, in verse 3 we see Jude referring to "the common salvation" and I believe he expounds on this common salvation towards the end of the verse when he states "that you should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints."

Second, in verse 4 we read about "certain men" who "crept in unaware" "who before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ." This is why we as Christians must be aware of those who would deceptively creep in to change the teachings of God's Word (in this verse, Jude refers to changing the "grace" of God into "lasciviousness"- which makes you wonder how they were changing God's grace into lustful (or lewd) thoughts; he also mentions "denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ"). This is running rampant in our world today; I don't believe this was speaking about the denial that Jesus lived (or even God is real), but it is speaking of the denial of the Deity of Christ (and the denial that Jehovah is the one and only true God).

Thirdly, (interestingly enough this topic was touched on by several posts earlier) that Sodom and Gomorrha and the cities about them were "giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh" (which seems to be specifying their sexual sins).

Fourth, verses 17-19 state:

"But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts. These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit."

"Mockers" in this verse is the same meaning as "scoffers" in 2 Peter 3:3 which means those who deride, reproach, or ridicule. So as Christians, we should not be surprised when the unsaved (non-Christians- "having not the Spirit") mock and scoff at what we say and teach, because we have been admonished that it would happen.

God's blessings.

222lawecon
Edited: Jan 18, 2012, 12:05am Top

~219

Mad, as several of us have said several times now, it is not that the project is per se defective. It is just that those who have been advocating this project in this thread seem to have a certain view of what it means to "read the Bible." Specifically they seem to assume that "read the Bible" means that you just open up and read a certain English translation (usually the KJV) for "what you get out of it." This is usually associated with some equally peculiar doctrine that G-d or Jesus, or some being, is going to guide your understanding so that what you get out of it will be holy and profound. (Some of us find that view to be incredibly arrogant and the sort of thing that would get one strangled as a false prophet in another age that was more serious about religion.)

As I'm certain you know, there is another way to "read the Bible." That other way has to do with asking what the Bible probably meant to those who wrote it and their intended audience. But that way requires a great deal more preparation and collateral study then merely opening the KJV and reading away - accompanied by the occasional pause and lay homile on what one believes one has just read. Further, it probably takes considerably more than a year to get through the varied texts that comprise "the Bible." While it is better than nothing, reading a commentary along with reading the Bible is somewhat better (and there are some interesting brief commentaries How To Read The Jewish Bible , How To Read The Bible: A Guide To Scripture ), but one should not delude oneself that even reading the thoughts of a particular scholar on the Bible is "understanding the Bible."

Let me see if I can give you an analogy. Suppose that someone invited you to go out on a clear night and "learn about the Milky Way." Well, he might mean, but probably doesn't mean, just go out and locate the Milky Way in the sky at that time of the day and year. What he probably means is learn what the Milky Way is, as opposed to other star groups, what comprises it, some of our nearer neighbors in it, etc. But that takes a lot of learning, learning that is probably better achieved before you just "go out and look" without having a clue what you are looking at. That is taking the sky seriously. There is also a way of reading that is taking the text seriously, and another way of reading that is turning the text into some sort of idol that one is suppose to "just read" without ever really learning.

I would contend that one way of reading the Bible is objectively better than another, just like "learning about the Milky Way" by "just looking" is objectively worse than learning about the Milky Way by doing sufficient study that you have notion of what you are looking at when you look. Perhaps you disagree, but the response of "get out of my thread, I want to be happy in my ignorance" is not a very reasonable way of voicing that disagreement.

223fuzzi
Jan 18, 2012, 7:26am Top

(221) Thank you, your comments on Jude were a blessing to me, and others I am sure.

(220) quicksilva, if it isn't in the OT text, I don't put stock in the veracity of it.

224faceinbook
Jan 18, 2012, 9:12am Top

OT text ?? Does God speak in texts ?
Wasn't going to say anything.....but lawecon has a point here. The Bible is not a romance novel. The book has been translated and rewritten numerous times.... it is not only a book of history but is philosophical as well....which leaves much open to the interpretation of the reader.

"quicksilva, if it isn't in the OT text, I don't put stock in the veracity of it."

not sure how one goes about "picking" and choosing which text to attribute to the ONE in charge.

If you are merely reading and rereading a chosen text only to form an "agreement" group.....you really are not learning, you are more or less parroting. Parroting the Bible can become an issue since the book contains many contradictions.
It has always been my opinion that those contradictions are there for a reason.....that reason being a reminder that the "word of God" is personal and unless one uses his or her intellegence and reasoning powers, the Bible can be just as destructive as taking a novel by Ayn Rand, or Trotsky, or Marx and making it a code to live by without thinking of the implications.

There is a reason that the Bible has been "studied" for ages. There is also a reason why it has been rewritten at times. To change one word can change an entire meaning....does anyone really have a "mainline" to the BIG guy ? Which "text" does HE/SHE want you to read ? The Bible is a tool to use for one's personal growth....since no two people are exactly alike, it can't possibly mean the same thing for everyone....if it does, one can safely guess that not too much thought is going into the "study" of it's meaning.

My father was a minister...he taught me how to read my Bible...perhaps too well, as his interpretation differed from mine in many ways...but I view that as a gift, he allowed me to make my spirituality personal.
We did not have an "agreement group" he and I...but he gifted me with the freedom to "think" out side of the box.

225fuzzi
Edited: Jan 18, 2012, 10:10am Top

Thank you for your reply, faceinbook.

I am a Bible believer: since I was born again, I have had a desire, a thirst, a ravening hunger for the word of God.

As I read it, it speaks to me of its truth.

Do I have a "mainline to the BIG guy"? I don't like to refer to my Lord and Saviour in that manner, He underwent horrific pain and suffering because I'm a lousy rotten sinner, to give me a chance to clean the slate and start anew. I certainly don't want to lower Him to a caricature of "the big guy in the sky", as many do.

Do I have communication with God? Yes, I do, and anyone who is born again, is a child of God, has that communication available, through prayer and through God's word. It has been said that through prayer we speak to God, and through His word (the Bible) He speaks to us.

It has been written that, as children of God (born again believers of the Lord), we are taught by Him, through His Holy Spirit. See 1 John 2:27 for example: I do not need any man to teach me, as God will give me what I need to learn. I can use what men teach, but ultimately I rely on God and His word to learn what He wants me to learn.

Oh, and the Bible? I believe it is God's preserved and infallible word to His children. Why? Because He has written that He will keep it and preserve it from the corruptions of man, forever. I believe Him, and His Holy Spirit confirms it within me.

Call me fanatic or a freak or whatever you like, but I know Whom I have believed, Whom I believe, and will continue to believe until I go Home.

226fuzzi
Jan 18, 2012, 10:11am Top

I did not start Exodus last night, I fell asleep with the light on, I was that tired... :(

227faceinbook
Jan 18, 2012, 10:55am Top

>225 fuzzi:
"Because He has written that He will keep it and preserve it from the corruptions of man"

The moment a human hand wrote the words...it was corrupted. After which it was translated into various languages by various other human hands
Did you know that the Native Americans, when speaking their languages, have no way to express straight line thinking ? Life was a circle and their language did not allow for straight line discriptions. Telling a Native story in English is often confusing as the intent of the story is hard to translate from the original words. The entire thought process changes from language to language.
Translating any piece of literature leaves that work open to the translator's interpretation as to what is meant by the author.

"Do I have communication with God? Yes, I do, and anyone who is born again, is a child of God, has that communication available, through prayer and through God's word."

What if I were to tell you that I too have communication with HIM....and I do call him the BIG guy...top Kahoona.....Creator of all things holy and not....whatever......I am neither "born again" nor do I adhere to any religious doctrine 100%. Basically, they are all the same.... with a few differences that man has thrown in to make themselves an exclusive club. Don't believe that any of the great prophets meant for the club to be exclusive unto themselves.
HE just speaks to me in other ways.....the written word is NOT his message to me. God speaks to me through nature....the world around me, other people and their deeds or lack there of are all gifts from my Creator. Am I wrong ?

I read the Tao daily...it is simple and all inclusive. I read the Bible when I need to think a bit, as the Bible NOT simple.

"I'm a lousy rotten sinner, "

Well, that is depressing.....and fear based. If as the Bible states, we were created in his image, we need to rethink a few things. Have I sinned ? of course I have....am I a dirty rotten person...I don't think so. Nobody can save me from anything but myself. Christ, as a prophet, spread a doctrine of "goodness" if you will. His WORDS may be one's saving grace but the only person who has the power to adhere to his teachings is me. HE excluded no one. He cannot he save me from myself.... simply believing Christ spread the word of God is not going to save me from the consequences of my actions.

If the Bible is your path to God ..... have at it. Nothing wrong with that. Where it starts to get dicey is when it is assumed that the Bible is the "only" way to God. When those who find their Creator in other ways are looked at with pity or disrespect because they are not members of the club. Maybe some individuals do not need a club ? Not all people are the same Christ preached that all were equal.
Also adhering to a literal interpretation is often confusing since, as I said, the Bible contradicts itself.

Probably would be interesting to pick out all of the contradictions in the Bible and discuss those.....rather than reading the Bible on any given day and agreeing with whatever it is it says on that particular day. Another exercise in really studying the Bible is to read various texts and discuss how and why they may differ in their meaning.
Not too sure how one picks out a certain text and claims that is THE text ?

Sorry... perhaps this should be on Pro and Con.....I just contradicted myself in a big way. Maybe...not sure...are you just "reading" the Bible to each other here or are you discussing the Bible ? Is your intent merely to copy words out of the text or are you studying the words from the text ?? This is rather an odd thread....kind of like taking a novel and writing out the sentences you've read online. Which I suppose is O.K. as well though I am missing the point.
Will disappear now.....

228Joynergy
Jan 18, 2012, 11:38am Top

Hi I have started reading my bible through systematically. I started mid November and am just going to start Leviticus. I find reading it slow like this helps me to ponder on what I have read through the day also. I thought it was interesting Adam's comments in Genesis 2:23 compared with Genesis 3:12. He could have stayed strong and saved his children from sin.

229fuzzi
Jan 18, 2012, 12:36pm Top

Glad you've joined us, Joynergy!

I think the point has been made that it's not necessarily how fast you read your Bible through, but that you do read it all at some point.

Some days I only read one chapter, because I get too busy thinking upon what I read.

About Adam: some say that he loved Eve so much that when he'd realized she'd eaten the fruit, and was going to "die", that he ate of the fruit so that he would be with her, wherever she was. It's a sweet thought. :)

230fuzzi
Edited: Jan 18, 2012, 12:41pm Top

(227) "Sorry... perhaps this should be on Pro and Con.....I just contradicted myself in a big way. Maybe...not sure...are you just "reading" the Bible to each other here or are you discussing the Bible ? Is your intent merely to copy words out of the text or are you studying the words from the text ?? This is rather an odd thread....kind of like taking a novel and writing out the sentences you've read online. Which I suppose is O.K. as well though I am missing the point.
Will disappear now....."


No need to disappear.

I guess what we are doing here is trying to encourage each other to read the Bible, and having some brief discussions of what we are currently reading in the word of God, and what we think of it.

It's my desire, and I think of others here, that we don't turn this thread into a debating one...like with supposed contradictions in the Bible. If you'd like to discuss it, why not start a thread in the Christianity Pro/Con group? :)

But you're welcome to discuss what you're read in the Bible, here. No one is any better than anyone else, we're not Pharisees in this thread (and hopefully not anywhere else!).

Peace.

231jntjesussaves
Jan 18, 2012, 9:37pm Top

225: Amen, fuzzi! I second that.

232jntjesussaves
Jan 18, 2012, 9:42pm Top

228: joyneregy, welcome! God bless you for your desire to read God's Word.

233jntjesussaves
Edited: Jan 18, 2012, 10:38pm Top

230: "I guess what we are doing here is trying to encourage each other to read the Bible, and having some brief discussions of what we are currently reading in the word of God, and what we think of it."

Amen, fuzzi! This is why I am on this thread.

Unlike what certain others have implied, I don't always just open the Bible and read. I, at times, do use a commentary, bible dictionary, concordance, expository dictionary, etc. I use these items when I study the Bible, but when I do my daily reading- I read the Bible specifically. Some passages that I read on one day, I have read (and studied) before. During this process, I meditate on verses that stand out to me. If a verse is confusing- I try to get help from other sources (see examples above). And as fuzzi has stated before, first and foremost I rely on God's Holy Spirit (who was sent for that purpose- John 14:26) to give me insight. I understand the concept of getting a fuller understanding of God's Word by studying the background of those who each letter/book was written to and the purpose of each. I do this, but I don't necessarily do it every time I pick up God's Word.

There are several on this thread who are very intelligent and who seem to have a lot of knowledge about many topics- I am all for knowledge. However, God didn't write (and preserve) His Word so the most intelligent and elite could understand it. He didn't write it in a way where you would have to have a PhD to understand it. He wrote it to the "common man." Thank God He did, because I would be sunk if He hadn't.

The question I have is, why burden those whose goal is to encourage others to read the Bible, by introducing topics that would be better on their own thread? I have only asked politely that those whose goal is not to encourage others to read the Bible to create their own thread. What is so wrong with this idea? I have been accused of not having a copyright to this thread- I agree.

There are some (it seems) whose only goal is to throw a damper on what others are doing. Another thread could be created that says "Reading the Bible Through in a Year for Those Who Desire to Be Encouraged." And still the same individuals who have emerged on this thread to (seemingly) discourage others would also come to that thread. My question all along is, "Why don't you create your own thread and discuss the issues that you are presenting?" If there are those out there that feel strongly as you do about those issues, they will respond. This thread was created to encourage and help others who believe reading their Bible (in a year) is important. There is probably a thread for just about any topic one would pursue (and if there isn't), one can be created. I have conversed with others on this thread (in previous threads) and the same arguments come up everytime relating nothing to the thread topic. The last one I was on was, "Who Is/Isn't a Christian." Many (if not most) of the posts on that thread had nothing to do with the stated topic. Why is this? Because some (it seems) goes from thread to thread arguing the same bullet points. And each thread (that I have been apart of) have no resemblance to the original topic. If I wanted to argue about a certain topic I would have entered that thread or created one for that topic. I didn't come to this thread to argue at all- I came here to be encouraged and to encourage others. I just wonder why others can't respect those who have come here for that purpose.

234ambrithill
Jan 19, 2012, 12:00am Top

Fuzzi, I just came across this thread and wanted to say it was a good idea to start it and also that I appreciate the way you have tried to keep it on track. While I am not doing a read through the Bible in a year plan this year, I have done so in the past and found using a chronological Bible to be very helpful in understanding some of the things that were going on and how they relate to each other. This can be easily missed if we do not understand the time line, especially of the OT, when we just read straight through. Again, great idea, good work, and also may I add, God bless!

235johnthefireman
Edited: Jan 19, 2012, 6:52am Top

>233 jntjesussaves: jnt, I can hear your frustration, and there's certainly nothing wrong with suggesting that people start other threads to cover specific topics.

But your statement that Many (if not most) of the posts on that thread had nothing to do with the stated topic... And each thread (that I have been apart of) have no resemblance to the original topic could be true to a greater or lesser degree of virtually every thread on LT. We're a diverse community where people read a couple of posts and to them it suggest a totally different direction than it does to you (or me), so they pursue that direction, others join in, and generally it is an interesting and creative process. You make it seem like a negative thing: some (it seems) goes from thread to thread arguing the same bullet points. In contrast, many would view it as a very positive aspect of LT.

I would also challenge your assertion that posts have no resemblance to the original topic. They may have no resemblance to your interpretation of the original topic, but they clearly resemble someone else's interpretation of the topic, otherwise they wouldn't be here.

If you really wanted to keep this thread exclusively along the lines that you agree with, the original poster had the option of starting a private group (I think - I've never felt the need to do that myself so I don't know how it works).

236fuzzi
Jan 19, 2012, 12:38pm Top

(234) Welcome, ambrithill! Glad you've joined us here.

I appreciate your input: I have not read the Bible through with a chronological Bible, I might do that in the future.

Last night I started to read Exodus, and fell asleep again!

So after I signed in at the doctor's office this morning (check up), I picked up a Gideon Bible and was about to open it to Exodus, when they called me back to the room!

That's the first time I've gotten back in a room that quickly! :)

237fuzzi
Jan 19, 2012, 12:39pm Top

(235) john, why start a private group? We want anyone and everyone to join in, if the subject interests them.

We just would appreciate people not coming in here to start arguments and debates, when none are necessary. :)

238jntjesussaves
Jan 19, 2012, 7:37pm Top

235: "But your statement that Many (if not most) of the posts on that thread had nothing to do with the stated topic... And each thread (that I have been apart of) have no resemblance to the original topic could be true to a greater or lesser degree of virtually every thread on LT. "

Agreed.

"We're a diverse community where people read a couple of posts and to them it suggest a totally different direction than it does to you (or me), so they pursue that direction, others join in, and generally it is an interesting and creative process."

Again, I agree.

"You make it seem like a negative thing: some (it seems) goes from thread to thread arguing the same bullet points. In contrast, many would view it as a very positive aspect of LT."

To me, it is a negative thing when you can't go to one thread without "certain others" (you may know of the few I refer to), who only seem to go to a certain thread- but to argue/criticize/belittle.

"I would also challenge your assertion that posts have no resemblance to the original topic. They may have no resemblance to your interpretation of the original topic, but they clearly resemble someone else's interpretation of the topic, otherwise they wouldn't be here."

I am very confused. So are you saying that no matter where a topic goes, it is on topic (because, it apparently is relevant to the topic based on the fact that someone says it is). My question then would be, "Why have titles on threads?" If it is all a matter of what one decides to be relevant-based, then there should not be thread names. What would be the purpose of thread names?

"If you really wanted to keep this thread exclusively along the lines that you agree with, the original poster had the option of starting a private group (I think - I've never felt the need to do that myself so I don't know how it works)."

If this is true, I didn't realize it.

I do disagree with you that these threads get way off of the original topic. I think my point can be illustrated by this particular thread.

Thank you, though for you thougtful response.

John

239jntjesussaves
Edited: Jan 19, 2012, 7:40pm Top

237: Amen, fuzzi. Well said.

240lawecon
Jan 19, 2012, 8:11pm Top

~237

"We just would appreciate people not coming in here to start arguments and debates, when none are necessary. :)"

Tell you what, Fuzzi. Since you apparently think that what I and others are doing is "arguing" or "debating," I, at least, will take it to another thread. However, if you and jntjesussaves don't join that thread, I think we are entitled to draw the obvious conclusion, i.e. that reading the Bible is just recreation for you, not something to be taken seriously.

241johnthefireman
Jan 20, 2012, 12:25am Top

>237 fuzzi: We want anyone and everyone to join in, if the subject interests them. We just would appreciate people not coming in here to start arguments and debates, when none are necessary.

With all due respect, fuzzi, I think that's a bit contradictory. People will come here to post what they think is relevant to the topic, which is "Reading Your Bible Through in a Year". For some, that implies posting a record of your reading, with a lot of "Amens" and mutual affirmation. For others, it implies discussing the concept of reading your bible in a year, the methodology of doing so, and issues around interpretation of the bible. Actually you do not want everyone to join in, because you don't want the latter, which you interpret as unnecessary argument or debate. You only want posts which agree with your interpretation of the thread. So perhaps you should have made it private so that only those who agree with your interpretation can post. Then you would not have any unnecessary argument or debate.

242fuzzi
Jan 20, 2012, 7:47am Top

(241) john(thefireman)

The title of the thread is "Reading Your Bible Through in a Year"

The OP reads "Have any of you read your entire Bible through in a year?

If not, why not give it a try this year?"


How is that open to interpretation regarding debating the veracity of the Bible, as has been done here?

How is that open to debate regarding the intelligence of those posting here?

I, personally, want everyone to join in, within the topic, about reading your Bible, which includes posting thoughts about what has been read, and affirmation by others...

..."Amen" for some of us is like saying "ITA" or "Like"... ;)

(and isn't it nice to see people who actually can discuss and agree or disagree with charity? It's such a rarity, anywhere!!!)

Others who have asked questions about why we do it have been answered, politely, and have perhaps learned more about those of us who read our Bible for the joy it brings to us, and the way it brings us closer to our Lord and Saviour.

When one person wanted to discuss a particular topic more deeply, I suggested he/she try posting that topic in "Pro and Con: Christianity", which was consequently done.

If we made this thread 'private', wouldn't that keep others from joining who weren't invited, personally? I don't want that, I, as the person who started this thread, want anyone and everyone who is interested in discussing the topic "Reading Your Bible Through in a Year" to join in.

And that includes you, too, johnthefireman. :)

243fuzzi
Jan 20, 2012, 7:48am Top

Note: I have read up to chapter 12 in Exodus, and will try to post about my thoughts later, perhaps at lunch or tonight. Right now duty calls...

244johnthefireman
Jan 20, 2012, 7:58am Top

>242 fuzzi: How is that open to interpretation

Ask all those who have interpreted it differently. We are not all fuzzi or thomas or jnt. Your interpretation is not the only one, even if you can't see why others interpret it differently.

I, as the person who started this thread, want anyone and everyone who is interested in discussing the topic "Reading Your Bible Through in a Year"

No you don't. You apparently only want anyone and everyone who interprets the topic the same way as you.

245fuzzi
Jan 20, 2012, 8:00am Top

(244) I disagree, but it won't be the first or last time.

Peace to you. :)

246johnthefireman
Jan 20, 2012, 8:04am Top

>246 johnthefireman: We'll agree to disagree then (again!)...

247fuzzi
Jan 20, 2012, 8:04am Top

That's okay, johnthefireman.

Isn't it great that we can do so, and not get rude with each other?

I like LT...

248eclecticdodo
Jan 20, 2012, 8:05am Top

I've started a new thread to discuss different ways of reading and studying the bible
http://www.librarything.com/topic/131314#3182866

249fuzzi
Jan 20, 2012, 8:05am Top

(248) I saw that, and have it starred for later perusal!

Thank you for starting it (but don't abandon us here, either!)...

250johnthefireman
Jan 20, 2012, 10:52am Top

>247 fuzzi: I like LT...

I have to agree with you there! I seem to remember that it used to be even more polite and civil in its earlier days, but maybe that's just nostalgia speaking. But even with the heated disagreements that do occur from time to time, I find it much more courteous than many other internet fora.

251faceinbook
Jan 20, 2012, 11:01am Top

>250 johnthefireman:
IMO....it starts at the top !

252lawecon
Jan 20, 2012, 11:51am Top

~248

Dang, that makes two of us.

253faceinbook
Jan 20, 2012, 11:59am Top

>252 lawecon:
Was going to post to your thread but my first response was "snarky" and probably uncalled for. (not aimed in your direction in the least) So, I did not.

254barney67
Jan 20, 2012, 1:10pm Top

Whoever doesn't like the thread can always move on to something else, instead of trying to rewrite the thread into what they think it ought to be.

255quicksiva
Edited: Jan 20, 2012, 2:17pm Top

Amen and Hallelujah

256jntjesussaves
Jan 20, 2012, 6:17pm Top

242: Amen, fuzzi!

257jntjesussaves
Jan 20, 2012, 6:19pm Top

240: Thank you, lawecon. I promise not to come to your thread and cause any trouble.

258jntjesussaves
Jan 20, 2012, 7:12pm Top

244: "Ask all those who have interpreted it differently. We are not all fuzzi or thomas or jnt. Your interpretation is not the only one, even if you can't see why others interpret it differently."

John, I agree each and every person has their own interpretation. There are threads that cry out for argument and debate- others do not. I am sure many threads are created for no other reason than to cause argument and debate. This is wonderful! However, other threads are not. If fuzzi had created this thread and called it, "Why reading the Bible through in a year determine ones spirituality." I would see how fuzzi would be screaming for argument and debate. This was not the case. She simply and concisely started it with the title, "Reading Your Bible Through in a Year." If I was perusing thread topics and I cared nothing about the Bible and I saw no use in reading it, I would probably continue to other thread titles (without another thought). I certainly wouldn't feel the need to tell those who desire to read their Bible through in a year that they are wrong in how they are doing it. Another example: Let's say I saw a thread entitled, "Reading the Koran Through in a Year." I would pass over this thread without a second thought. Why? Because I would not take part in that venture (as a daily pursuit). As a Christian, I wouldn't feel the need to post why I believe the Koran is evil or why the Koran is not useful for people to read. To Muslims, it is very important. While I would disagree with many teachings of Islam, I wouldn't feel the need to make negative comments to those who believe reading the Koran is important. Now if I came across a thread entitled, "Why Christianity is a religion of hate and Islam is a religion of peace." I possibly would post a comment(s) to defend what I believe. But again, this type of thread title screams out for debate and discussion.

While small discussions will most likely take place on any thread, the thrust of the thread will be about the title. I believe a good way to make the determination of whether a thread stayed on topic (and was effective in its original purpose) is twofold: Were most of the posts "topic related?" And second, if you were to read the last ten to twenty posts, would you be able to have an idea of what the thread was about?

I am just saying that it would be nice that on December 30 of 2012, the last post will not be a chide remark about someone else. I hope that the last ten to twenty posts will be many who are saying, "Hallelujah, I read through the Bible for the first time." Or "Praise God, I finished the Bible and was greatly blessed in doing so." Or maybe even, "While I didn't finish the Bible this year- I read much of it (more than ever) and I am thankful I got invovled with this thread. I don't think I could have done it if I hadn't been encouraged by others." I would much rather read these types of posts rather than, "You didn't accomplish anything because you have no idea about the background of those who the words were originally penned to." Or, "Congratulations on reading the Bible through in a year, but where did it get you? You have no more knowledge now than you did before, as is apparent by previous posts."

What does this banter produce? Nothing except argument and debate. And while there is certainly a place in the world (and on LT) for argument and debate, every thread should not be so.

259lawecon
Edited: Jan 20, 2012, 7:21pm Top

~253

We are all entitled to be snarky occasionally. We have had our difficulties, and probably will have in the future, but I hope that you will join the conversation.

Oh, and, Amen.

260lawecon
Edited: Jan 20, 2012, 7:31pm Top

~257 & 258

jntjesussaves, I get the frequent impression that you think that "argument and debate" are curse words. I don't view it that way, and I trust you can join the thread I started and express your arguments without denouncing me or anyone else as evil. These are really very very important issues for believers and nonbelievers of all stripes. They deserve to be discussed and "debated" (rationally and with citation to evidence).

And I'm curious, have you really heard me say ""You didn't accomplish anything because you have no idea about the background of those who the words were originally penned to." I would "argue" that the better way to read the Bible is to know as much as we can about its background and original meaning, but certainly those who read the Bible know more about it than those who have never read the Bible. It is just that those who study the Bible with reference to what we know about its background and intents may know still more. It isn't a good thing to know as much as you can about a very important book?

261jntjesussaves
Jan 20, 2012, 7:38pm Top

244: One last comment on this discussion: You state that it is all about interpretation. While lawecon started another thread that is more in line with how he interprets this topic (and I appreciate his respect for others on this thread in doing so). Just out of curiosity, I looked back over the first 30-40 posts on this particular thread. Of these, the all but one or two were about others who were glad that this thread was started- they desire to read the Bible more (or through) this year. Then the following post was made:

"Although I don't agree with the particulars of your perspective, I am more sympathetic to your orientation than I am to the orientation of the other posters to this thread. Read the Bible through in a year? Ah, why? "The Bible" is a collection of different texts written by different people in different times and circumstances ADDRESSING OFTEN RADICALLY DIFFERENT TOPICS AND CONCERNS. What is the merit in "reading it through" as if it was a novel developing a unitary story?

Particularly, why would one want to "read it through" without spending the time to figure out what questions the various authors are addressing and what background presumptions they assume to be true?

Incidentally, this mental dysfunction is not limited to Christians. Orthodox (of course) Jews engage in a similar ritual of reading the BT through in 7+ years. http://articles.latimes.com/1990-04-29/news/we-269_1_orthodox-jews I am certain that they derive as much intellectual enlightenment from that experience as most of the posters above do from reading the Bible through in a year (i.e., very nearly zip)."

I specifically call reference to the following examples:

"Read the Bible through in a year? Ah, why? "

"Particularly, why would one want to "read it through" without spending the time to figure out what questions the various authors are addressing and what background presumptions they assume to be true?"

"Incidentally, this mental dysfunction is not limited to Christians."

"Orthodox (of course) Jews engage in a similar ritual of reading the BT through in 7+ years. I am certain that they derive as much intellectual enlightenment from that experience as most of the posters above do from reading the Bible through in a year (i.e., very nearly zip)."

This is how one person felt his "interpretation" was important enough to be stated.

Why? How does this accomplish anything? Does it help, encourage, or in some way change for the better (the person's idea of the importance of reading the Bible through in a year)?

If the poster's goal was to help or educate, why not just post something like the following:

"I also find value in reading the Bible through, but I find it much more meaningful to me when I have a better understanding of the background and setting of those who I am reading about." If this had been the first post by this poster, I would have said a hearty Amen! to him. Or someone else may of commented, "Good point, I have never really realized the importance of that, but I believe that will be one of my goals as I read the Bible this year- to find out more background about those who the Bible was originally written to." Many would have no doubt been helped and maybe the poster would have greatly educated other posters. He then could have developed his thought process in a more helpful way, rather than insulting the persons behind the first 30-40 posts.

LT is a great thing, but I believe when others fail to show proper respect to others- LT becomes a "heated discussion," as you put it. Just some thoughts.

262fuzzi
Jan 20, 2012, 7:52pm Top

I'm still here, and I'm still reading my Bible, as I'm sure others are.

Tomorrow I'll try to put up my thoughts on the first few chapters of Exodus.

:)

263lawecon
Edited: Jan 20, 2012, 8:06pm Top

Now, jntjesussaves, try to go back and reread that one post out of the dozen or so I have authored in this thread with that well known "Christian charity." Also try and read it focusing on the facts and arguments being advanced, without your prejudices about the evil nature of debate or your offense at the "tone" of those who radically disagree with you.

What I said, and said and said, over and over again, so you wouldn't miss it, was (and is) that the objective shouldn't be MERELY to "read the Bible." If the Bible is the Word of G-d, the most important book in history, etc. then, surely, you would want to understand it as well as it can be understood.

Would you advocate that someone who proposes to operate on your brain pick up a manual on how to do brain surgery and "read it through in a day"? Certainly you would not. And I suspect you would be suspicious of the claim that this was a great achievement if your prospective surgeon followed that course of "study" before operating on you. Yet, somehow, you believe it to be a great achievement to "read through" the most important book in the world in a year, apparently just so you can say to others that you have done so. If that is an achievement, why not shorten the period to a week or a month or have a goal of reading through the Bible five times in a year.

This isn't a matter of "feelings," jntjesussaves. Reading the Bible is not psychological therapy or a good massage. It is not a matter of personal gratification. It is engaging with a text and trying to understand what the text is saying. Presumably, some of us, those of us who have bothered to get at least some of the available vast background, can do that more quickly, and others of us will have to acquire the background as we go along (and what a great way to be "inspired" to acquire it), but since none of us are prophets and few of us are arrogant enough to think we "talk to G-d" none of us can just pick up the Bible (which is a translation of very diverse texts bound in one volume) and understand it just by "reading it."

264jntjesussaves
Jan 20, 2012, 7:58pm Top

260: "And I'm curious, have you really heard me say ""You didn't accomplish anything because you have no idea about the background of those who the words were originally penned to." I would "argue" that the better way to read the Bible is to know as much as we can about its background and original meaning, but certainly those who read the Bible know more about it than those who have never read the Bible. It is just that those who study the Bible with reference to what we know about its background and intents may know still more. It isn't a good thing to know as much as you can about a very important book?"

lawecon, I was only giving an example of something that could be said. I never stated that the example I gave did (or ever would come from your mouth- or fingers). (Also please see my comments in post 261 for further clarification of my point). As to your point:

"I would "argue" that the better way to read the Bible is to know as much as we can about its background and original meaning, but certainly those who read the Bible know more about it than those who have never read the Bible. It is just that those who study the Bible with reference to what we know about its background and intents may know still more. It isn't a good thing to know as much as you can about a very important book?"

If you had stated your first post like the above, all I could respond with would be an Amen. Other than your "I would argue," I agree with every thing you stated. I really don't want to argue about this, however, I am open to discussing the importance of what you say- I agree with your premise. I also believe that what you say is important, but this isn't the way you started your first post. Please reread what you first posted (and again, please see my comments in post 261). Without a doubt, lawecon, you have a great deal of knowledge (I, for one, can see it)- but when you post to a thread where (I would presume most are coming to that thread to be encouraged) an argument in your first post, there is bound to be vitriol or animosity by both parties. I believe you have a lot to teach me and others on many topics, but while we may disagree- we don't have to be disagreeable. I, along with everyone else I presume, welcome your comments when done in a helpful and teachable tone (and presentation), because as I said before- you do have a lot of knowledge to impart. I hope this clears up any misunderstanding.

"jntjesussaves, I get the frequent impression that you think that "argument and debate" are curse words. I don't view it that way, and I trust you can join the thread I started and express your arguments without denouncing me or anyone else as evil."

Two comments: I believe argument and debate have their place, but I don't believe every thread should be about argument and debate. Second, I don't believe I have denounced you or anyone else as "evil." (If I have, please give citations as evidence.) I don't remember doing so. I have stated that you seem to be "argumentative" and at times unpleasant as you do so. I don't believe this to be the same as "evil."

265lawecon
Jan 20, 2012, 8:04pm Top

~263

Are you telling us that you have not repeatedly used the terms "argument" and "debate" as very negative terms, describing the activities of nasty people - people who simply "disrupt" Goodness?

266jntjesussaves
Jan 20, 2012, 8:25pm Top

263: "Yet, somehow, you believe it to be a great achievement to "read through" the most important book in the world in a year, apparently just so you can say to others that you have done so. If that is an achievement, why not shorten the period to a week or a month or have a goal of reading through the Bible five times in a year."

While I didn't say it as you did, please read my first post (9). I also believe that reading the Bible through in a responsible manner is important. I also stated in 264 that I agree with your premise (and have never really disagreed with it). You just do not relay your points in a friendly and teachable manner. This is my point- we might disagree with certain ideas or points, but we don't have to become disagreeable.

"This isn't a matter of "feelings," jntjesussaves. Reading the Bible is not psychological therapy or a good massage. It is not a matter of personal gratification. It is engaging with a text and trying to understand what the text is saying. Presumably, some of us, those of us who have bothered to get at least some of the available vast background, can do that more quickly, and others of us will have to acquire the background as we go along (and what a great way to be "inspired" to acquire it), but since none of us are prophets and few of us are arrogant enough to think we "talk to G-d" none of us can just pick up the Bible (or more accurately a translation of very diverse texts bound in one volume) and understand it just by "reading it."

Just a couple thoughts:

I have never stated it be such. My faith is not based on my feelings (while as any human being- I would be dishonest if I said my feelings are not at all involved with my faith). I was saved fifteen years ago, and while I don't claim to have great knowledge of the Bible, I have studied the Bible (yes, backgrounds, concerns, etc.) as you state is important, for many hours. While you may feel your knowledge of the Bible is greater than mine (and it may very well be), I have put forth much time and effort in my own personal study. I am sorry if it doesn't appear as I have to you. I also base my faith on what God did for me, how He changed me- and made me a new person in Christ. I certainly don't always measure up to Christ's standard (believe me, I know this more than anyone other than God), but I know what I use to be and I know what I am now. While I agree with your assumption that what you say is important, I also believe that God's Word helps me (even when I don't know the background or concerns of those who I read about). This is not to say that I don't believe Christians should study the things you mention, but I am saying that there is more to reading the Bible than making sure you have all the knowledge you can about background, concerns, etc.

Excerpted from above:

"Since none of us are prophets and few of us are arrogant enough to think we "talk to G-d".

Here is an example of why I have a hard having a discussion with you. You make this type of a blanket statement, based on your prejudices. This the very thing you have accused me (and others) of doing. lawecon, while you may not "talk to God," this doesn't mean that others do not. And others who talk to God (are not necessarily arrogant). When I say I talk to God, I only do so because of Jesus Christ- not because I am a great person. I have a direct line to God because His Son (along with many other gifts), imparted that gift to me. And yes, I do consider this privilege ("talking to God") as a gift. Just as His gift of salvation saved me when I was in dire need of a Saviour. I hope you noticed, I didn't belittle your idea (or attitude) that you can't "talk to God," I have only stated why I believe you can and the fact that I am able to.

Just out of curiosity (you may have mentioned why in other posts), but I am not aware of the reason. Why do you state "G-d" when you reference Him?

267jntjesussaves
Jan 20, 2012, 8:36pm Top

265: You state: "Are you telling us that you have not repeatedly used the terms "argument" and "debate" as very negative terms, describing the activities of nasty people - people who simply "disrupt" Goodness?"

I just stated in post 264: "I have stated that you seem to be "argumentative" and at times unpleasant as you do so. I don't believe this to be the same as "evil."

I will state, one more time, what I believe in a different way. I believe "argument and debate" are not bad- they are neutral. However, arguing (for arguing sake), which I believe you seem to do- is vain, and not effective. Arguing or debating in a respectful and tactful way can be very beneficial to all those involved. While I have tried to compliment you for your strong points (vast range of knowledge), I also call to your attention what I believe to be a weaker point. I am only saying this, because I would like to have meaningful (and educational) exchanges with you. However, if you willfully choose to respond with negative feedback to everything I say, there is no point. We will just have to agree to disagree.

268lawecon
Edited: Jan 20, 2012, 8:46pm Top

Well, in some ways I think we then have an irreconcilable difference. And it is not a difference in "prejudices," it is a difference in fundamental religious doctrines.

I do not talk with G-d. I read texts that are purported to be "inspired by G-d" (including multiple thousands of pages that are mostly "arguments" about what G-d meant in Scripture). In my religion, which is Judaism, anyone who claims that they talk with G-d is claiming to be a Prophet. Not only did prophesy die out more than two thousand years ago, the traditional punishment for making a false claim to prophesy was death by strangulation. So, you can see, this is regarded as a fairly serious matter (albeit the penalty for the sin has not been carried out for several thousand years).

Frankly, you are the first Christian I have ever encountered who claims to talk with G-d in any but the most loose metaphorical sense. Many persons claim that they pray to G-d and believe that G-d hears them, but they don't generally claim that G-d speaks to them about, for instance, the One Correct Meaning of a Bible passage.

But, whatever turns you on..........

The reason for writing G-d with a hyphen goes back to the prohibition about uttering the name of G-d aloud except in very limited circumstances. There is a collateral point about not destroying writings containing the Holy Name.

269lawecon
Jan 20, 2012, 8:43pm Top

"I will state, one more time, what I believe in a different way. I believe "argument and debate" are not bad- they are neutral. However, arguing (for arguing sake), which I believe you seem to do- is vain, and not effective."

Well, obviously it has not been at all effective in your case, since all you have heard is "arguing for arguing sake," and have apparently not heard the arguments being advanced. Perhaps that is because you have not been taking seriously what is being said rather than because of my "tone"? Naw, couldn't be.

270jntjesussaves
Jan 20, 2012, 8:55pm Top

268/269: Again, lawecon, you make some very valid and interesting points. Thank you also for clarifying your beliefs about why you reference "G-d."

I guess neither of us did a very good job of communicating to the other. That is very unfortunate from my point of view.

271johnthefireman
Edited: Jan 21, 2012, 2:27am Top

>258 jntjesussaves: jnt, your post is full of the word "I" - "I would argue...", "If I was...", "I would see...", "I certainly wouldn't...", "I believe...", "I would probably..." - all of which is perfectly fine - for you. It describes how you interpret this thread. My point is simply that others interpret it differently. You may not understand why they interpret it differently; you may think your interpretation is the obvious one (because it's obvious to you); you may even think they shouldn't interpret it in that way; but the actual reality is that they do. And it's not just a single person - there are several people who have made what I consider to be interesting and relevant posts on the topic of reading your bible in a year which you think have no place here, just as there are several people who take your view. (Here I'm using the word "I" - this is my interpretation, just as the other is yours.) Neither seem to be in a clear majority. I think what it comes down to, in any thread, not only this one, is that you cannot control the direction in which a thread will meander, unless you form a private group where only people whom you have deliberately allowed in can post. Trying to do so is actually only creating more debate and argument, although I agree with lawecon that this is not a bad thing.

272fuzzi
Jan 21, 2012, 12:28pm Top

Now that y'all have had your discussion, here's the latest on my attempt to read my Bible through in a year (psst, the topic of this thread...) ;)

Exodus
1:7 - They are obeying the original command of God in Genesis 9:1
1:12 - afflicted by the world, sort of like the early church in Acts?
2:4 - "Miriam" is Moses' elder sister who watches him while he is in the bulrushes
2:12 - Moses' premeditated murder of an Egyptian. Aren't you glad that God takes even the most vile of sinners, and uses us?
2:14 - the Egyptian is stating what the world often does, "Don't you judge me!" or "Who died and left you boss??"
2:17 - Moses helps Reuel's daughters with the sheep (Reuel is aka Jethro)
2:22 - "Stranger in a Strange Land" (now, where have we heard that expression?)
2:24 - God's covenant with Abraham/Isaac/Jacob (we see this phrase used a lot, could it be a type of the trinity? See also 3:6.
3:1 - Note how it is written "the priest of Midian", to clarify that verses 2:16, 2:18 and 3:1 are referring to the same person?
3:2, 4, 6 - seem to indicate that the Angel of the Lord is God
3:7 - first mention of "my people" to classify the Hebrews in Egypt. God knows their sorrows, which reminds me of passages about Christ, who knew our pain and grief.
3:10 - clarifies that "my people" are the "children of Israel"
3:14 - "And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you. " In all capital letters, God's Name is "I AM". Look ahead to the next use of God's Name in capital letters, Exodus 6:3: "JEHOVAH". Now, put those two together and you get "I AM THAT I AM. I AM JEHOVAH". That's not my thought, but a note in my Bible, but I think it's a great note to point out!
3:15 - God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob = I AM = JEHOVAH = Angel of the LORD. Nifty!
3:16 - First mention of "elders of Israel"
4:3-9 - mention of "signs"for Hebrews who do not believe
4:22 - Israel is the first born son. This made me think of Jesus as being the begotten Son. Jesus is not the "only" son, obviously, but the only "begotten Son". This is also mentioned in the following verses: Psalm 2:7, John 1:14, John 1:18, John 3:16, John 3:18, Acts 13:33, Hebrews 1:5, Hebrews 5:5 and 1 John 4:9. Note: some of these verses in modern translations of the Bible remove "begotten" and spoil the cross references. :(

More later!

273jntjesussaves
Edited: Jan 21, 2012, 2:31pm Top

271: I agree with you to a certain degree (whoops, I said it again). I guess those of us who believe one way can talk to one another amongst ourselves and others can have a different conversation amongst themselves.

I actually believe any topic could be done with more respect to others in a tactful manner and some on this threads do not seem to care about that, but again I realize that is my opinion.

I also believe if you went to most every post on most every thread you would see the pronoun "I" used quite frequently because that is the only perspective we can speak from.

John, I would also add that is why I can discuss these things with you (while it would seem that would disagree about many things), because we are both doing it in a respectful way and I for one, appreciate that.

Take care.

274jntjesussaves
Jan 21, 2012, 2:32pm Top

272: Interesting comments, fuzzi.

275jntjesussaves
Edited: Jan 22, 2012, 9:47am Top

I haven't fully decided whether to just read a devotion each day and post thoughts or read 1-3 chapters each day from the Bible and comment on the corresponding chapters. At least for today, I will comment on what I read last night, 3 John.

There was mainly one verse that stood out to me in this short book- verse 11.

"Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that doeth good is of God: but he that doeth evil hath not seen God."

What a verse; there is much to glean from this verse, but I will give just a couple of thoughts.

First, John here is speaking to fellow Christians ("beloved") and he admonishes us to "follow not that which is evil." Quick and to the point. So often as Christians, just as it is with the unsaved, we can easily get distracted by the world and the things of the world and get caught up in un-Christian activities. We are not immune to the world as Christians, we must keep watch of our minds and hearts as we travel this "earthly road."

Second, he continues "He that doeth good is of God: but he that doeth evil hath not seen God." Albert Barnes in his commentary on this verse puts forth the following words, "There can be no doubt that in this exhortation the writer had Diotrephes particularly in his eye, and that he means to exhort Gaius not to imitate his example. He was a man of influence in the church, and though Gaius had shown that he was disposed to act in an independent manner, yet it was not improper to exhort him not to be influenced by the example of any one who did wrong." Interestingly enough, Christians are not only influenced to do wrong (by the world), but sometimes by fellow believers. While it is not completely wrong to follow other men/women who are following Christ, we must be very careful to not place any man/woman on a pedestal. The potential is always there for them to fall, and when they do if we have too much confidence in them- we will be discouraged, led astray, and possibly fall ourselves. "Caution," I believe John is saying. God's blessings.

Hope all in this thread are staying faithful in reading God's Word each day (whether it is reading a few verses with meditation) or reading the Bible through.

276streamsong
Jan 22, 2012, 11:07am Top

After three weeks, I'm staying fairly faithful--(I"m a bit behind) to reading via the scheme in my post in # 15 above and using a series of commentaries published by Concordia called the People's Bible Commentaries.

I'm still really liking the variety of reading I'm doing and it's bringing me a lot of joy.

-Romans (epistles)--had an insight about agape which I may share later. I find much of Paul's rhetorical style hard going. When I'm done listening to my current audiobook in the car, I'll revisit The Learning Company's course The Apostle Paul by Luke Timothy Johnson to see if it helps me out.
-Genesis (law)--finishing up on Noah. The PBC I am using has such bad science in the first few chapters, that I am struggling to keep on with it. I gave up on this commentary once before.
-Joshua (history)--dividing up the land after the conquest
-Psalms--finished through Psalm 8
-Poetry--Job--finished through Job 6
-Isaiah-Prophecy-Although I thought I had this commentary, it didn't come to hand so I had to order it. The commentary is really dense between historical events in the two kingdoms, Messianic prophecy, the parallel prophecies of Jonah, Hosea & Amos and the quotations from Isaiah in the NT--I am 200 pages behind in the commentary. Will streamsong catch up in Isaiah before a year is out? (God knows). I am a bit overwhelmed in RL right now, so I refuse to be overwhelmed by this--it's a joy to do this even if I never catch up.
-Matthew (Gospel)--Sermon on the Mount.

277jntjesussaves
Edited: Jan 22, 2012, 2:20pm Top

276: streamsong: First, congratulations on what you have read and your faithfulness. Second, just a question out of curiosity- did you say you had or had not read the Bible through before? Third, a nice commentary (especially if you are reading the Bible through in a year) might be the Thru the Bible commentary set by J. Vernon McGee. He does not go into great depth on everything, but he is very easy to understand and as he put it when he was alive- "he liked to place the cookie jar on the lower shelf." You can actually go to Thru the Bible and download his messages/studies in MP3 format. He goes through the entire Bible book by book and is a wonderful teacher. Just an idea. Again, God bless you for your faithfulness.

278fuzzi
Jan 22, 2012, 2:30pm Top

(274) Thank you, John.

Nice to see you in here, Streamsong, and I appreciate your comments.

279jntjesussaves
Jan 23, 2012, 6:03pm Top

My devotion from today was titled "A Full Life." The verses came from Deuteronomy 8:8-18. Several of these verses really stood out to me and I wanted to comment on them. First, verses 10-14 of chapter 8:

Deuteronomy 8:10
When thou hast eaten and art full, then thou shalt bless the LORD thy God for the good land which he hath given thee.

Deuteronomy 8:11
Beware that thou forget not the LORD thy God, in not keeping his commandments, and his judgments, and his statutes, which I command thee this day:

Deuteronomy 8:12
Lest when thou hast eaten and art full, and hast built goodly houses, and dwelt therein;

Deuteronomy 8:13
And when thy herds and thy flocks multiply, and thy silver and thy gold is multiplied, and all that thou hast is multiplied;

Deuteronomy 8:14
Then thine heart be lifted up, and thou forget the LORD thy God, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage;
(KJV)

The Bible says "be careful" not to allow your heart to be lifted up and forget the Lord when He blesses you. God is so good and we should always be mindful of that by showing Him are thankfulness in praise and obedience. These verses go on to say the following:

Deuteronomy 8:17
And thou say in thine heart, My power and the might of mine hand hath gotten me this wealth.

Deuteronomy 8:18
But thou shalt remember the LORD thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day.

Deuteronomy 8:19
And it shall be, if thou do at all forget the LORD thy God, and walk after other gods, and serve them, and worship them, I testify against you this day that ye shall surely perish.

Deuteronomy 8:20
As the nations which the LORD destroyeth before your face, so shall ye perish; because ye would not be obedient unto the voice of the LORD your God.
(KJV)

We must all remember that all that we have comes from a gracious God who showers his blessings on "the just" and "the unjust." We who were made "just" (righteous) by the Lord Jesus Christ should be the first to get in line to show our love and thankfulness to our loving Heavenly Father.

God's blessings.

280fuzzi
Jan 23, 2012, 6:17pm Top

You're correct, John: all we have is from God.

When you don't give your time to reading/studying God's word, when you don't give of your God-given talents to do things for God, you're robbing Him.

A person should give of their income, too. God loves a cheerful giver. :)

"Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings." (Malachi 3:8)

281jntjesussaves
Jan 23, 2012, 6:43pm Top

280: Amen, fuzzi!

282lipisa
Jan 23, 2012, 9:01pm Top

I have read the entire Bible in one year! It is great I need to start again this year!

283jntjesussaves
Jan 23, 2012, 9:05pm Top

282: Congrats, lipisa! We welcome you. Hopefully you will be encouraged to faithfully read God's Word this year. God's blessings.

284streamsong
Jan 23, 2012, 11:15pm Top

..277 I have made several attempts to read the Bible through in a year beginning when I was in third grade almost 50 years ago .... but I've never made it all the way through. I tend to get bogged down somewhere along the way and then slowly peter out. That's why I really like the schedule I'm attempting this year.

Thanks for the recommendation on the commentary, although I think I'll continue with the series I have for a while. It's a bit uneven, since the commentary for each book is written by a different person. If it turns out to big too big of a slog, I'll look for something less in depth.

285fuzzi
Jan 24, 2012, 7:43am Top

lipisa, glad to have you!

You're not too far behind, give it a go!

286fuzzi
Jan 24, 2012, 7:47am Top

Found another site for reading the Bible through in a year:

http://www.bible.com/readinayear.php#

All you have to do is click on the date, and the Bible verses for that day appear! Nifty. :)

287jntjesussaves
Jan 24, 2012, 5:56pm Top

284: streamsong: I understand your dilemma; I know the discipline it takes to stay consistent and faithful to read the Bible through. I guess that is what I would say, don't constrain yourself to reading it in a year- just commit to reading it all the way through (whether it takes a year, two years, etc.). As has been stated before, I believe God is more concerned with us growing and applying what we read (then the fact that we read through His Word in a year). I am sure you will be successful this time around. Just keep plodding away. If you get behind, keep on. If you get bogged down in a certain chapter (or book), move to a different one and come back to that one later. God bless you in your reading.

288jntjesussaves
Jan 24, 2012, 5:58pm Top

286: Interesting, fuzzi.

289jntjesussaves
Jan 24, 2012, 6:17pm Top

I read an interesting devotion today entitled "Gutters and Windows" with it's text verses from Matthew 23:23-31. The author opens with the following interesting paragraph:

"While we were out for a family drive, a spotless white sign with perfect red lettering caught my attention: "Gutters and Windows- Quality Work Guaranteed." The sign was prestine, but I feared the house and barn directly behind it might collapse at any moment. The paint was peeling, the windows were cracked, and the gutters were nonexistent!"

What an interesting analogy to apply to us as Christians.

Matthew 23:23
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. {anise: Gr. dill}

Matthew 23:24
Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.

Matthew 23:25
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess.

Matthew 23:26
Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.
(KJV)

May God keep us from trying to appear "clean" on the outside, yet being "dirty" on the inside. We might be able to confuse or fool the world (and man), but we do not fool an all-knowing Heavenly Father. Verse 26 states it best- "cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also." We must be "cleansed" from within (salvation) in order to be "cleansed" and "made righteous" without.

We also see this same thought in verse 28:

Matthew 23:28
Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.
(KJV)

We need not worry about our outward righteousness if we have been made righteous by the Blood of Christ- because the outward righteousness will follow if we have trusted in Christ to save us (2 Corinthians 5:17; Ephesians 2:10).

290fuzzi
Jan 24, 2012, 6:47pm Top

(284) streamsong, like John said, just read your Bible, don't worry about meeting a deadline, just keep trying.

I tend to get bogged down in Leviticus and Deuteronomy, but I really enjoy both 1 & 2 Kings, and 1 & 2 Samuel.

And we're here to encourage you: that's one of the reasons I created this thread. Don't let the enemy discourage you!

"I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me!"

291fuzzi
Jan 24, 2012, 6:53pm Top

(289) Interesting, thanks John.

As I read I thought of other verses, in the same vein:

"Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out into the draught?
But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.
For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:
These are the things which defile a man
: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man." Matthew 15:17-20


It's the inward parts that need to be cleansed. As you said, once the inward is cleansed, the outward will follow.

292jntjesussaves
Jan 24, 2012, 8:05pm Top

290: Amen, fuzzi. streamsong, don't be discouraged.

291: Nice addition; when I think on these things- I never fail to remember when Jesus healed the 40-year old man in the Bible who had been sick from his birth; the Pharisees did not glorify in the fact that this man had been healed (not only of physical sickness, but also from spiritual sickness), they only ridiculed Jesus for healing him on the Sabbath. I believe at times Christians have Pharisaical tendencies- we also at times judge others solely on their outer appearance, neglecting to see the spiritual work God is doing in their lives.

293fuzzi
Jan 25, 2012, 7:27am Top

Just an FYI: I have read through Exodus 23. No notes to post this morning, sorry, will try to do that in my non-existent spare time... ;)

294fuzzi
Jan 25, 2012, 7:33am Top

(292) John, I agree with your take on the Pharisees. They were more concerned whether or not someone had washed their hands than the important matters. Unfortunately, many people are more interested in how you dress or what school you went to, or even how much you tithe to the church than if you know Jesus as your Saviour, if you are truly a child of God.

Mary chose the more important part...the more "needful" thing:

"And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things:
But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her." Luke 10:41, 42


Woo! :)

295jntjesussaves
Jan 25, 2012, 9:21pm Top

294: Good points, fuzzi.

296jntjesussaves
Edited: Jan 25, 2012, 9:42pm Top

My devotion today came from Psalm 19:7-11; there were several interesting verses here.

Psalms 19:7
The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. {law: or, doctrine} {converting: or, restoring}

Psalms 19:8
The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes.

Psalms 19:9
The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. {true: Heb. truth}

Psalms 19:10
More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. {the honeycomb: Heb. the dropping of honeycombs}

Psalms 19:11
Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward.
(KJV)

"The law" (the Word of God) is perfect, converting the soul. Without the Word of God, a sin-sick soul would never realize their need for a Saviour. The Word of God is perfect (infallible/without error).

The testimony of the Lord is sure (you can trust it), "making wise the simple." This sounds like me; thank God he does not only come to the wise, he comes to the humble and makes them wise.

I love the analogies in verses 8-10: God's statutes (laws) rejoice the heart. We don't often think of them in that way, but to know God's law makes us wise and in making us wise, when we obey- we will rejoice! The "fear of the Lord" is clean and endures forever; God's commands (law) is pure and will enlighten the humble heart. The law is more to be desired "than gold, yea, than much fine gold." It is more precious than anything. It is also more sweeter than honey and the honeycomb.

Lastly, verse 11 says, God's law "warns" us and if we keep His law, we will have great reward. God's blessings.

297fuzzi
Jan 26, 2012, 8:17am Top

I love the book of Psalms!

There are several I turn to when I feel down or in need of encouragement, such as 102 and 103.

And 119 is a fantastic read, as it is all about God's word!

In my own reading, I'm slogging through some of the less exciting parts of Exodus: the descriptions of how to make the candlesticks and the tent, etc. I read through Exodus 27 last night, and am up to the clothing for Aaron and his sons. Not every chapter is like Psalms 119. :)

298lawecon
Edited: Jan 26, 2012, 8:25am Top

Hi, guys. I have a question for you about boundaries. Several of you made it clear that you were disappointed that "outsiders" who did not share your point of view had "invaded" this thread, and you encouraged them to leave. In response, most have left and two other threads have been created, the more popular of which is entitled "Christianity: How do you study your Bible".
In response, fuzzi "invaded" that thread, with the same sort of theological/ideological line she is pushing above. When her presumptions are questioned, she doesn't leave, but puts the questioner on "block" (as she calls it) so that "her joy in the Lord" will not be "diminished."

So, I'm confused, how does this work? You get your own reservation to express your views, but everywhere else is also open for your preaching. And you refuse to engage with anyone else in that other territory as well as this territory, because, well, apparently, because you're RIGHT ABSOLUTELY and no one should question OBVIOUS TRUTH. Seems kinda two faced, doesn't it?

299cjbanning
Jan 26, 2012, 9:47am Top

I don't think I would ever manage to get through the entire Book of Psalms. Or, for that matter, the prophetic books written in verse, like Isaiah and Jeremiah.

300fuzzi
Jan 26, 2012, 12:21pm Top

(299) cjbanning, I never thought I could read through the Bible. However, I just tried and I made it through!

Once you get through it once, it gets easier on the succeeding attempts.

I like reading the major prophets, like Isaiah and Jeremiah. There's so much written about the Messiah in those books, it's almost like a "Where's Waldo"...you say "A ha!" every time a messianic prophecy turns up (well, at least I do)...

301StormRaven
Jan 26, 2012, 12:31pm Top

298: fuzzi's faith is apparently too weak to deal with a dissenting opinion.

302jntjesussaves
Jan 26, 2012, 6:31pm Top

298: lawecon, I can only speak for myself. I haven't "invaded" these new threads. As I stated before, I believe you are very intelligent and have a lot to offer others, but I tried my best to state why it is difficult to communicate with you and I failed. I attempted to explain my position, but no matter how I explained it, I wasn't able to explain it to you in a way that you were able to understand. I wish I had been able to, but I wish you the best.

303lawecon
Jan 26, 2012, 8:43pm Top

~302

Actually, I understood and understand quite well. My method, in both posting to these forums and in life, is to go to "first principles" and question these first principles. I ask for evidence and reason (aka, in this usage, logic).

I have no problem with faith so long as it is acknowledged as faith regarding what we do not or cannot know. I have a lot of problem with purported faith that contradicts what is well known or that demands that one affirms contradictions. (Hence, the repeated example above of the dead getting up out of their graves and walking among the living when Jesus was crucified. You don't really believe that or expect others to believe that, do you?)

I think that pretty much sums up why we were having problems communicating.

As for people invading other topic threads, I trust you noticed the quotation marks in #298. I have no problem at all with you, fuzzi or anyone else participating in any thread in any Group. I would specifically like you to participate in either or both of the threads founded when many of us left this thread.. In fact, it would greatly elevate my provisional opinion of you if you did so.

I do have a problem, however, when people like fuzzi demand a private reservation for "believers" in this thread, so she does not have to put up with the disturbance of discordant thoughts, and then goes to other threads and tries to impose the same standard there. If you guys in this thread don't want to be bothered by contrary thoughts, fine. Go to it. But expect to be bothered when you mix with those not of your cult. Large numbers of people simply don't agree with you, and they are not going to say "Amen" when you assert things that are facially wrong or self-contradictory.

304jntjesussaves
Edited: Jan 26, 2012, 10:02pm Top

303: lawecon, I don't mind being challenged in what I believe- I am just a lot more communicative with others when done with tactfulness. I know we would probably agree on some things and disagree probably on a lot of things. When I desire to argue or debate certain ideas, I will search out those types of threads. When I was invited to this thread, I did not join in to argue or debate. There are some issues that certainly need debating and you will find me on those threads when I feel the urge to do so, but this was not a thread that I thought was going to be about debate- I only came to be encouraged and to encourage.

You mentioned the thread, "How do you study your Bible?" While I might go to a thread such as that to find out how others study their Bible- I wouldn't go to that type of thread to argue, because there are many ways to study the Bible. Certainly some ways are better than other ways, but I wouldn't feel the need to go to this type of thread to argue Bible study methods.

As I stated before, you make some very valid points in relation to studying the Bible of which I believe are very important.

305lawecon
Jan 26, 2012, 10:09pm Top

Once again, your transformation of "argument" into either ill will or something virtually Satanic is deeply mistaken. The Talmud Talmud, which is deeply religious work, is largely argument. You need to look into this fundamental presumption in greater depth Conjectures And Refutations

306jntjesussaves
Edited: Jan 26, 2012, 10:33pm Top

I read some very thought-provoking verses in my devotion today; they came from Revelation 22:1-5.

Revelation 22:1
And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.

I believe verse one speaks of "the river of life," Jesus Christ. This river flows from "the throne of God and of the Lamb."

Revelation 22:2
In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.

When I see the phrase, "tree of life," I think about the first "tree of life" spoken of in Genesis. That "tree of life" allowed all that ate of it to live forever; I believe the tree spoken of here is the same tree and this time those who eat of it will also live forever, but we won't be again cursed with sin during this time. Thank God He doesn't mention the "tree of the knowledge of good and evil." We tried that once and it was found wanting.

Revelation 22:3
And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him:

Revelation 22:4
And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads.

There will be no more curse; there will be no doubt there- we will serve Jehovah God. This is also a true test that we are His now, we serve Him. I love that phrase, "they shall see His face." What a day that will be when we see Jesus- I can only imagine! As Satan's number was stamped on his followers, Jehovah's followers will have "His name" stamped on their foreheads, praise God.

Revelation 22:5
And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.
(KJV)

There shall be no night there- no need for incandesant light bulbs (or energy saving ones, for that matter), no need for candles, no need for the light from the sun. I love the second part of verse 5, "for the Lord God giveth them light." The Light that originally lit the world 2,000 years ago will do so again in that day. And we shall reign with Him forever and ever. We should always rejoice in these truths.

God's blessings.

307jntjesussaves
Edited: Jan 26, 2012, 10:31pm Top

305: lawecon, I don't think I can say much of anything that pleases you. I have tried (and from my part- succeeded). I admit (and have admitted) that I can be wrong on certain things; I don't believe I am, but I could be. This is why communication between the two of us will never happen. Of all the things that I have said, you haven't agreed once. You haven't responded positively to "anything" that I have said. I don't know if I have ever discussed certain issues with others who have ever "totally" disagreed with me on everything- but it seems to be the case with you.

I am not asking you to agree with me, but is there nothing that I have said that bears "the truth" to you?

On the word "argument," I can't be any more clear. I have stated several times that "arguing" or debating is not bad. I just don't want to argue all the time about everthing. It's tedious and depending on the topic, vain. I will leave "arguing" about everything to other people.

308lawecon
Jan 27, 2012, 7:36am Top

Once again, here is the problem: You apparently see The Truth as a matter of intuition. You feel really strongly that something is true, therefore, it is truth. That isn't the way it works. Truth is a property that emerges as different people look at an issue, confronting it with evidence, logic and arguments between one another, over a long period of time.

This is exactly why what you are doing above is fundamentally mistaken. You and fuzzi and others want to take snippets out of the Bible and proclaim "what they mean to me." If you were really interested in what you tell us you believe to be G-d's word, then you would engage in the above process for trying to understand what G-d's word means. But you don't. As you say above, that would be tedious. It would be a bore. What you want to do is what a rock musician wants to do - things that draw attention to YOU, not to the word, things that make YOU feel important, not things that improve all of our understanding.

So, you're right, until you grow out of this childish approach to the Bible, we have nothing to say to one another.

309fuzzi
Jan 27, 2012, 8:03am Top

(306) jntjesussaves wrote: " Revelation 22:1
And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.

I believe verse one speaks of "the river of life," Jesus Christ. This river flows from "the throne of God and of the Lamb."


A good cross reference might be in John 4, where Jesus offers living water to the Samaritan woman at the well.

Also, upon doing a search for "river of life", it is only found three times in the Bible, all in Revelation:

21:6, 22:1, 22:17

"There shall be no night there- no need for incandesant light bulbs (or energy saving ones, for that matter), no need for candles, no need for the light from the sun. I love the second part of verse 5, "for the Lord God giveth them light." The Light that originally lit the world 2,000 years ago will do so again in that day. And we shall reign with Him forever and ever. We should always rejoice in these truths."

That's an AMEN thought!

In my own reading, I read through Exodus 29 last night. Most of what I have been reading the last few days has been about creating the altar and the garments for Aaron and his sons, so "that he (they) may minister unto me in the priest's office"

:)

310cjbanning
Edited: Jan 27, 2012, 9:34am Top

308: " If you were really interested in what you tell us you believe to be G-d's word, then you would engage in the above process for trying to understand what G-d's word means."

It doesn't mean anything, independent of an interpretative community. Texts require readers. (Oddly enough, authors are optional.)

"What you want to do is what a rock musician wants to do - things that draw attention to YOU, not to the word, things that make YOU feel important, not things that improve all of our understanding."

What's wrong with rock musicians?

"Truth is a property that emerges as different people look at an issue, confronting it with evidence, logic and arguments between one another, over a long period of time."

I do actually really like that definition of truth, though, since it privileges the dialectical process over any type of metaphysical correspondence. The questions arises, though: the truth that emerges over n years is going to be subsumed by the truth that emerges over n+1 years, but does it really make sense to berate those who hold to the previous "truth"?

311fuzzi
Jan 27, 2012, 12:31pm Top

If truth changes, then is it really truth?

312eclecticdodo
Jan 27, 2012, 1:11pm Top

I'm with Fuzzi. The truth doesn't rely on people believing it. If a "truth" changes, then either the premises have changed, or one of them isn't true. Many things do change with cultures, but truths are absolute.

313cjbanning
Jan 27, 2012, 1:40pm Top

312: "The truth doesn't rely on people believing it."

Neither lawecon nor I said it did. You're misrepresenting the position.

"Many things do change with cultures, but truths are absolute."

How do we know this?

314eclecticdodo
Jan 27, 2012, 2:00pm Top

sorry, I was writing in a hurry.
What I understand you did say is that the truth is defined by public consensus. Is that right?

315jburlinson
Jan 27, 2012, 2:02pm Top

> 308. You apparently see The Truth as a matter of intuition. You feel really strongly that something is true, therefore, it is truth. That isn't the way it works.

Perhaps that's not the way intuition works. It might be helpful to go back to Henri Bergson, to whom intuition is a kind of experience, called by Bergson “the true empiricism” (The Creative Mind, p. 175). He calls intuition sympathy, which consists in putting ourselves in the place of others. Bergsonian intuition consists in entering into a thing, rather than going around it from the outside, or, as you put it "confronting it with evidence, logic and arguments".

This “entering into,” for Bergson, gives us absolute knowledge. He says we seize ourselves from within – but this self-sympathy develops heterogeneously into others. In other words, when one sympathizes with oneself, one installs oneself within duration and then feels a “certain well defined tension, whose very determinateness seems like a choice between an infinity of possible durations”. A person is moved into the inner being of an object to grasp what is unique and ineffable within it. The absolute that is grasped is always perfect in the sense that it is perfectly what it is, and infinite in the sense that it can be grasped as a whole through a simple, indivisible act of intuition, yet lends itself to boundless enumeration when analysed.

So let's not put intuition down so quickly.

316cjbanning
Jan 27, 2012, 2:07pm Top

>314 eclecticdodo:

Well, it is revealed through the development of public consensus. Whether it has an existence independent of that consensus is a question philosophers have debated for millennia. I'm a pragmatist; I tend to think we're better off recognizing that the question itself is meaningless and to go on with out lives, both secular and spiritual--except that we can't really just pass over that which cannot be said in silence, so conversations like this are inevitable. But at least on one level, if we know how to arrive at the truth, isn't that good enough?

317eclecticdodo
Jan 27, 2012, 2:48pm Top

like I say, I believe in absolute truths. Take an example: The universe either had a beginning, or has always been. Opinion has varied over time and cultures. So the truth revealed through public consensus has changed. However, the fact remains, the universe either had a beginning or has always been, it must be one or the other. There must be a truth independent of what man believes.
Now, what that truth is, and whether it can be proven one way or the other, is an entirely different matter. Wrt the current discussion, I believe the Bible is the truthful word of God.

318StormRaven
Jan 27, 2012, 2:56pm Top

"Wrt the current discussion, I believe the Bible is the truthful word of God."

So, if the truths are constant in the Bible, is keeping slaves moral so long as you do it in accordance with the instructions laid down in it?

319johnthefireman
Jan 27, 2012, 3:34pm Top

>316 cjbanning:, 317 Is it our understanding of truth which develops (and thus changes) rather than truth itself?

320quicksiva
Jan 27, 2012, 3:38pm Top

Didn't god tell the Egyptian woman Hannah to go back and be a good slave for Sarah?

321jburlinson
Jan 27, 2012, 5:00pm Top

> 317. However, the fact remains, the universe either had a beginning or has always been, it must be one or the other.

Not necessarily. Your dilemma is only relevant to a being, like a human being, that is time-based, i.e., constrained by the principles of time. Try as we might, humans just can't get out of our time box. It's built into us (or maybe we're built into it, whichever you prefer.) To a being that is not constrained by or defined within time, your either/or choice just doesn't apply. Do we understand such a being? Can we?

No.

But we can understand that we can't understand it.

322fuzzi
Edited: Jan 27, 2012, 7:25pm Top

Truth...what is "truth"?

"And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me.
And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace.
For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ." (John 1:14-17)

"Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;
And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." (John 8:31-32)

"Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." (John 14:6)

"Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth." (John 17:17)

"Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice." (John 18:37)

"For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe." (1 Thessalonians 2:13)

"For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;
Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth." (1 Timothy 2:3, 4)

"If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us." (1 John 1:8)

"We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Herebyknow we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error." (1 John 4:6)


Jesus Christ is truth.

Jesus Christ is full of grace and truth. Grace and truth come by Jesus Christ, given to those who will hear Him.

Those who know God hear others who know Him, and also know the spirit of truth as opposed to the spirit of error.

The Bible, God's word, is truth.

The truth makes us free.

Those who are of the truth understand God and His word.

To be saved (born again) is to come to the knowledge of the truth.

323jntjesussaves
Jan 27, 2012, 9:35pm Top

309: Well said, fuzzi.

324jntjesussaves
Jan 27, 2012, 9:37pm Top

311/312: Amen!

325jntjesussaves
Jan 27, 2012, 9:41pm Top

317: Amen, very well said.

326jntjesussaves
Jan 27, 2012, 9:45pm Top

322: Excellent, fuzzi. Ultimately, answers to all of our questions must come from the one and only true source of truth, God's Word. Amen and amen!

327cjbanning
Edited: Jan 28, 2012, 12:21am Top

319: "Is it our understanding of truth which develops (and thus changes) rather than truth itself?"

I dunno. Certain religious claims I could make aside, I've never interacted with "truth itself" (which reminds me of Kant's ding-an-sich), only with my/our "understanding of truth which develops." So I don't think I--or any other mere mortal--is qualified to speak about "truth itself" other than to speak elucidatory nonsense about it the way Wittgenstein did in the Tractatus.

328lawecon
Edited: Jan 28, 2012, 1:25am Top

`314

"orry, I was writing in a hurry.
What I understand you did say is that the truth is defined by public consensus. Is that right?"

No, that isn't right. At least it isn't right to me. "Truth" regarding a complex phenomenon like a text isn't "just known" through "common sense" or intuition or whatever metaphor you would like for laziness. (Which, in this context, means reading the text without any regard for the original language of the text, the context in which the writer of the text was writing, etc.) However, it also isn't known by "consensus," unless you mean by "consensus" critical examination and debate by many many people over decades and centuries. (Is Physics known "by consensus"? Only in that same sense of "consensus".)

In other contexts, if this "plan meaning" view of reality were correct there would have been no need for a Newton, or an Adam Smith, or the guys who have critically evaluated and tested their original ideas for hundreds of years, or the guy who repairs your car. You'd just wake up in the morning and know how everything works. You would know everything that it has taken hundreds of years for civilizations to find out, and you'd know with Absolute Certainty without there being any possibility that you are dead wrong.

That is, after all, how you know what the Bible really means. You just look at a translation in a completely different language than the texts were written in, free of any other sorts of background, and you Just Know. G-d, apparently, tells you The Truth. Because, ah, because you are a Very Important Prophet who has Deep True Knowledge beyond the rest of mankind.

Let's just take a very simple example. The translators of the KJV of the Bible were believers in Absolute Monarchy, Slavery, a heaven that was a series of crystalline spheres in which the stars were either puncture holes or lights hung up on one or another of the spheres, that more gold mean more national wealth and a variety of other things that, today, we don't believe to be Absolute Truth. (If they didn't believe those things, they would have been disemboweled by the gracious monarch that commissioned this translation.) Clearly as "great clerics" they believed all of their views to be Biblical. Do you believe that? If not, then you don't even agree with the translators of the text that you venerate as "G-d's word". Would they have known more about the meaning of their translation that you?

329msladylib
Jan 28, 2012, 1:23am Top

:215. Reading it through from cover to cover seems pointless;it's not a single narrative.

OP means original poster -- the person who started this thread.

330johnthefireman
Jan 28, 2012, 1:43am Top

>322 fuzzi: fuzzi, many Christians would agree with you that Jesus Christ is truth, that the bible contains truth, and that God gives us grace in our efforts to understand the truth. But Christians have been struggling to understand this truth for two millennia, have often come to different understandings, and will continue to do so. This truth is greater than we can fully understand as humans. Through the ages, wise and holy Christians, inspired by God's grace, have helped us to make progress in our understanding. They are certainly as wise, holy and inspired by grace as you and me, probably more so. To refuse to acknowledge that does seem a bit like arrogance. It also seems to fly in the face of evidence. For example, it was wise and holy Christians who wrote the NT in the first place; it was wise and holy Christians who discerned which books should form the canon of scripture as we know it; it was wise and holy Christians who made the translations (and chose which earlier texts to use in those translations) that you and I read today, yea, verily, even the KJV. The idea that being "born again" suddenly gives you the truth flies against both the experience and the understanding of truth in the bible of most Christians in the world and in history.

331eclecticdodo
Jan 28, 2012, 8:04am Top

>318 StormRaven: "is keeping slaves moral so long as you do it in accordance with the instructions laid down in it?"
To my knowledge there's nowhere in the Bible that says keeping slaves is the right thing to do. The law, including that regarding slavery, was given to deal with an imperfect world. I see it as the same as the law about divorce which Jesus explains as being because of the sinfulness of the people, not because divorce is in any way right. In the same way, laws were given about the keeping of slaves because it was a reality in that day, not because it was God's intention. It's also interesting to note that those laws dictated a rather different form of slavery to what we think of today. As evidenced by various slaves inheriting their masters land and possessions. The word translated as slave could also be translated as servant or hired labourer, and indeed is in various places.

332eclecticdodo
Jan 28, 2012, 9:42am Top

>314 eclecticdodo: "That is, after all, how you know what the Bible really means. You just look at a translation in a completely different language than the texts were written in, free of any other sorts of background, and you Just Know. G-d, apparently, tells you The Truth"

I would never claim the full meaning of the Bible can be ascertained by simply reading a translation and somehow knowing the truth. But I do believe God reveals his truth to those who earnestly seek it through study of his word. Over the centuries people have misinterpreted the Bible in various ways, to various ends, and we must always be conscious that we don't make the same mistake, though I'm certain we do in ways we are blinded to.

"The translators of the KJV of the Bible were believers in Absolute Monarchy, Slavery, a heaven that was a series of crystalline spheres in which the stars were either puncture holes or lights hung up on one or another of the spheres, that more gold mean more national wealth and a variety of other things that, today, we don't believe to be Absolute Truth."

Unless we speak biblical hebrew or greek, we are reliant on translators to do some of the work for us. Incidentally, I don't rate the KJV as a particularly good translation, for the reasons you say and plenty more besides. It's important that we use a good translation, or, ideally, several, and get as close to the original language as we can. For me, that means using NIV as my primary translation, referring to NLT, NRSV, Amplified version, and sometimes others, as well as using a comprehensive concordance to compare the way a word is translated in different contexts to get a deeper understanding of the meaning. I don't pretend that is the same as being fluent in biblical hebrew and greek, but it's as close as I can get.

333lawecon
Edited: Jan 28, 2012, 1:54pm Top

"I would never claim the full meaning of the Bible can be ascertained by simply reading a translation and somehow knowing the truth. But I do believe God reveals his truth to those who earnestly seek it through study of his word."

=======================

At least you have some regard for the translation you are using, rather than just using the KJV because it is traditional or you "like the way it sounds." One need not compare that approach to the approach of several others who are "reading the Bible through," to, ah, read it through. But I'm sure you know that "even you" could get a lot closer to original meaning if you wanted to exert some additional effort. If you want some suggestions, I'd be happy to be specific.

But I still wonder about the above doctrine. I wonder about it from a Quaker point of view. Now I am not a Quaker, partly because I am somewhat disappointed with how they have evolved over the past 300 years. But they certainly have a doctrine that suggests an alternative to the above. Instead of reading a translation of the Bible, even a much better translation than the KJV and just hoping that the texts in it are the right ones and that you aren't missing too much cultural background, and praying really really hard for inspiration as to the lesson to be taught, they just take the last step. They not only pray, but they listen. And unless someone speaks to them really really clearly, well, they just sit and listen until someone does. No one has to have an expressed opinion about everything, particularly about every verse in a translation of an anthology of ancient texts. One just prays about one's concern and one listens, and one sits still and keeps one's mouth shut unless there is a specific answer - until the "inner light" specifically moves one to speak.

That sounds a lot more straightforward if one truly "believes that G-d reveals his truth to those who earnestly seek it...." doesn't it?

334StormRaven
Jan 28, 2012, 1:31pm Top

To my knowledge there's nowhere in the Bible that says keeping slaves is the right thing to do. The law, including that regarding slavery, was given to deal with an imperfect world.

So, the universal truths that you think are embedded in the Bible say it is okay to keep slaves. At least it isn't worth condemnation. And it is okay to beat them so much that they almost die right away, but not quite. If they die a couple days later that's okay. But that's just to "deal with an imperfect world". It would have apparently been too difficult for the law to say "Holding other people as slaves, that's wrong. Don't do it."

It's also interesting to note that those laws dictated a rather different form of slavery to what we think of today.

Nice prevarications there. How about we reinstitutionalize Biblical slavery and make you a slave? Think that'd be a condition you'd like? After all, it's not like it is real slavery, and it is Biblically approved, so you should be fine with it.

335lawecon
Jan 28, 2012, 1:52pm Top

Actually, if anyone bothers to look at the Bible, which, apparently, few of you have bothered to do. There are laws in the "Old Testament" in at least two places about the treatment of and conditions under which you free slaves. (Which laws have generally been regarded as applying mostly, but not exclusively, to Hebrew slaves) and there are comments by Paul in the New Testament about how slaves should be satisfied with their situation until Jesus comes again. (Long wait, apparently.)

So while the claim that there is nothing explicitly "approving of" slavery is true, there is much that takes slavery as a given and does not condemn it as such.

But electic is right this far: The slavery of both "books" of the Bible is materially different than American slavery was, and different still from Greek and Latin American slavery. Such distinctions are not dismissable out of hand, and to do so simply evidences further ignorance.

336johnthefireman
Jan 28, 2012, 2:14pm Top

>335 lawecon: until Jesus comes again. (Long wait, apparently.)

Not such a long wait for New Testament Christians who expected it to happen pretty quickly.

337lawecon
Jan 28, 2012, 2:30pm Top

And it didn't....... Then what?

338johnthefireman
Jan 28, 2012, 2:37pm Top

>337 lawecon: A lot of subsequent reinterpretation of the New Testament!

339jburlinson
Jan 28, 2012, 4:10pm Top

> 328. Let's just take a very simple example. The translators of the KJV of the Bible were believers in Absolute Monarchy, Slavery, a heaven that was a series of crystalline spheres in which the stars were either puncture holes or lights hung up on one or another of the spheres, that more gold mean more national wealth and a variety of other things that, today, we don't believe to be Absolute Truth. (If they didn't believe those things, they would have been disemboweled by the gracious monarch that commissioned this translation.) Clearly as "great clerics" they believed all of their views to be Biblical. Do you believe that? If not, then you don't even agree with the translators of the text that you venerate as "G-d's word". Would they have known more about the meaning of their translation that you?

You seem to be saying that a reader of the KJV translation of the Bible (or any other document?) must not only have detailed understanding of the Zeitgeist of the era in which the document was created (in this case 17th Century England) but must also agree with the various elements of the then-prevailing general cultural, intellectual, ethical, spiritual, and political climate.

Can it be that I've misunderstood you?

340fuzzi
Jan 28, 2012, 4:15pm Top

(330) johnthefireman, I did not say that the Bible contains truth, I quoted it as saying that God's word/the Bible is truth.

"Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth." (John 17:17)

People come to different understandings when they rely on their own selves and other fallible men and women to tell them what it says.

When we rely on God to reveal His truth to us through His word, He does so.

It's not arrogant, it's just a statement. I'm not saying I'm better or smarter than others, especially those who have studied God's word for a lifetime. I'm saying that God Himself will reveal what each of us needs to know IF we put our self aside, put our education/knowledge/learning aside and listen to Him as a child, with our heart, in faith.

johnthefireman wrote: "The idea that being "born again" suddenly gives you the truth flies against both the experience and the understanding of truth in the bible of most Christians in the world and in history."

But it doesn't fly against what is written in the Bible.

"...ye must be born again" (John 3:7)

"But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him." (1 John 2:27)


I do not need to rely on what men teach, but only in God and what He teaches, through His word and through the guidance of His Holy Spirit.

If I have to choose between men's learning and my Bible, I'll believe my Bible 100% of the time. Why? Because it is God's word, preserved for me and you, and all as per His promise.

If some take that as arrogance, so be it, but it's not meant to be. It just is.

341fuzzi
Edited: Jan 28, 2012, 4:17pm Top

(331) eclecticdodo, very good post.

And let's not forget that if a man had a slave, he had to release him on the seventh year, make him a free man.

(I just read that the other day, somewhere in Exodus!)

342StormRaven
Jan 28, 2012, 4:18pm Top

341: A limitation that only applied to Hebrew slaves. And if you could trick him into getting married during those seven years, he'd be yours forever.

343fuzzi
Jan 28, 2012, 4:24pm Top

(339) jburlinson, it could be that there is a misunderstanding here...

...how terrible it must have been to be a Christian with only a King James Bible to read, no other resources.

I wonder how John Bunyan and others managed.....poor ignorant fools...

;)

344lawecon
Jan 28, 2012, 7:42pm Top

~338

Good answer.

345lawecon
Jan 28, 2012, 7:44pm Top

~342

Now try reading the other set of rules in Deuteronomy.

346johnthefireman
Edited: Jan 29, 2012, 12:20am Top

>340 fuzzi: But it doesn't fly against what is written in the Bible.

Of course the bible has the term "born again". But your interpretation of it does fly in the face of how it is/was interpreted by the vast majority of Christians in the world today and in history. They (we) have a different interpretation of what God teaches, through God's word and the guidance of the Holy Spirit; you and a relatively small number of Christians have your interpretation of what God teaches, through God's word and the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Recognising honestly that there appear to be different interpretations of God's word which God has given to different people who seek God's truth in the bible is not the same as "relying on men's learning". Rather, I would suggest that it is humility. I don't have a monopoly on understanding God's word - but neither do you. I'm not the only Christian in the world to whom God has revealed God's truth in the bible - but neither are you. A Christian community grew up (indeed they wrote the New Testament) and it is not "relying on men's learning" for the Christian community to discern together the meaning of its foundational texts.

347fuzzi
Jan 29, 2012, 1:51pm Top

(346) johnthefireman, with all due respect, I will take what the Bible says over what a vast majority of Christians in the world today and in history have declared it to say.

"you and a relatively small number of Christians have your interpretation of what God teaches, through God's word and the guidance of the Holy Spirit"

I put my trust in the Lord, His guidance and His word. I may be one of a relatively small number, but that does not mean that the majority is right or correct.

"Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:
Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it." (Matthew 7:13-14)

"God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; ..." (Romans 3:4)

348fuzzi
Jan 29, 2012, 2:26pm Top

I finished Exodus last night.

One thing I noticed was what the priests were supposed to wear, and how it compared to other similar clothing requirements in the Bible:

Exodus 28:5-6
"And they shall take gold, and blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine linen.
And they shall make the ephod of gold, of blue, and of purple, of scarlet, and fine twined linen, with cunning work."


The parts of the priestly vestments are:

gold
blue
purple
scarlet
linen

Later on various 'stones' are mentioned.

Compare to what the woman riding the beast wears:

Revelation 17:3-4
"So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.
And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication:"


The parts of the woman named MYSTERY BABYLON are:

gold
purple
scarlet
(stones)

She's not a nice lady, but she shares some of the same colors, however neither 'blue' or 'linen'.

Next comparison is the virtuous woman in Proverbs
Proverbs 31:21-24

"She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet.
She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple.
Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land.
She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant."


Again, we see similar items mentioned here:

purple
scarlet
tapestry & silk
linen

There's the purple and scarlet again, and the linen of the priestly vestments is mentioned again.

Note about "linen": in the Bible:

Christ's body was wrapped in linen
The angels are clothed in pure and white linen
The armies of Heaven are robed in fine linen (Revelation 19:14)
Joseph was arrayed in fine linen when promoted by Pharaoh
The curtains of the tabernacle were made from fine linen
When Aaron went into the innermost part of the temple, near the mercy seat, he had to be arrayed in all linen "He shall put on the holy linen coat, and he shall have the linen breeches upon his flesh, and shall be girded with a linen girdle, and with the linen mitre shall he be attired: these are holy garments; therefore shall he wash his flesh in water, and so put them on." (Leviticus 16:14)
The angels in Daniel's visions were clothed in linen
And the Bride of Christ is also arrayed in fine linen, with an explanation about what "fine linen" represents:

"And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. " (Revelation 19:8)

So, linen represents the righteousness of saints.

Notice that while angels and Heaven's armies and the priests all wore linen, Mystery Babylon did not, she just imitated the robes of the holy priests.

Last thought about these items of clothing:

Proverbs 7:16
"I have decked my bed with coverings of tapestry, with carved works, with fine linen of Egypt."


The harlot-like woman who seduces the simple youth has linen on her bed, but it is from Egypt.

God does not like Egypt, and makes it clear throughout the Bible that it is not a good place to be.
Isaac was told not to go down to Egypt, Abraham and Jacob got into trouble when they went to Egypt, Joseph was sold into slavery in Egypt, and then the children of Israel sojourned in Egypt due to the famine, and were made into slaves.

Both Jacob and Joseph asked that their bones not be left in Egypt, too.

And God led the children of Israel out of Egypt to the promised land. Over and over again He tells them that He was the One Who led them out of Egypt (see the books of Exodus, Leviticus, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, etc.)

And when the children of Israel were removed from their homeland (see book of Jeremiah), they were specifically told not to go to Egypt, but they went anyway, against God's wishes.

Egypt is not a good place, and has been compared to "the world", an unfriendly place for those who love God and try to follow Him.

I wouldn't think highly of someone who had Egyptian linen on her bed. ;)

349lawecon
Jan 29, 2012, 2:44pm Top

~347
" johnthefireman, with all due respect, I will take what the Bible says over what a vast majority of Christians in the world today and in history have declared it to say."

The point has been made to you repeatedlly, fuzzi, that you have very little foundation to know "what it says."

350baron770
Jan 29, 2012, 2:56pm Top

346> John was wondering if you could tell me what was Nicodemus interpretation of being born again or as the New (Jerusalem Bible says: without being born from above). How did Nicodemus understand his conservastion with Jesus. Did he being a Jew understand it? Asking in sincerity.

351johnthefireman
Jan 29, 2012, 3:33pm Top

>347 fuzzi: The point, fuzzi, is not necessarily that a majority is right, but that they are probably as convinced as you are that God has given them the right interpretation of the bible. It's not about what the bible says, it's about how we interpret what it says. You keep referring to taking what the bible says as if there is no interpretative process. In fact you are interpreting it just as much as I or anyone else, but you don't seem willing to acknowledge that dynamic.

>350 baron770: That's an interesting question to which I don't know the answer. lawecon may know more about a Jewish interpretation.

352quicksiva
Edited: Jan 29, 2012, 4:10pm Top

If any reading is as good as another, what of this learned one that finds evidence in the Old Testament for God’s Wife.

".... it may be well to call the attention of the readers to a few quotations from MacGregor Mathers' "Kabbalah Unveiled," which was published in 1888. This work is a translation of Knorr Von Rosenroth's "Kabbalah Denudata." (Sulzbach,1677)

The Kabbalah--the Hebrew esoteric doctrines--is a system of teachings with which only the very learned usually attempt to wrestle. It is claimed to have been handed down by oral tradition from angelic sources, through Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, the Seventy Elders, to David and to Solomon. No attempt has normally been made to commit this sacred knowledge to writing, till, in the early centuries of the Christian era (authorities differ widely as to the date) the pupils of Rabbi Simeon ben Joachi put his teachings into writing; and this in later ages became known as the "Zohar," or "Book of Splendor." Around the name of this Rabbi Simeon ben Joachi, as one scholarly writer puts it, "cluster the mystery and the poetry of the religion of the Kabbalah as a gift of the Deity to mankind." The Zohar, which is only a part of the Kabbalah, is the great store-house of the esoteric teaching of the ancient Hebrews.

Returning to the quotations referred to above, MacGregor Mathers in his preface to the 1888 edition says: "I wish particularly to direct the reader's attention to the stress laid by the Kabbalah on the feminine aspects of the Deity, and to the shameful way in which any allusion to these has been suppressed in the ordinary translations of the Bible, also to the Kabbalistical equality of male and female."{p. 107}

Referring to the Sephiroth (the ten Kabbalistical attributes of God), Mr. Mathers says:
"Among these Sephiroth, jointly and severally, we find the development of the persons and the attributes of God. Of these, some are male and some are female. Now, for some reason or other, best known to themselves, the translators of the Bible have carefully crowded out of existence and smothered up every reference to the fact that the Deity is both masculine and feminine. They have translated a feminine plural by a masculine singular in the case of the word Elohim. They have, however, left an inadvertent admission of their knowledge that it was plural in Genesis iv., 26: 'And Elohim said: Let US make man.'

"Again (v., 27), how could Adam be made in the image of the Elohim, male and female, unless the Elohim were male and female also? The word Elohim is a plural formed from the feminine singular ALH, Eloh, by adding IM to the word. But inasmuch as IM is usually the termination of the masculine plural, and is here added to a feminine noun, it gives to the word Elohim the sense of a female potency united to a masculine idea, and thereby capable of producing an offspring. Now we hear much of the Father and the Son, but we hear nothing of the Mother in the ordinary religions of the day. But in the Kabbalah we find that the Ancient of Days conforms himself simultaneously into the Father and the Mother, and thus begets the Son. Now this Mother is Elohim."

The writer then goes on to show that the Holy Spirit, usually represented as masculine, is in fact feminine. The first Sephira contained the other nine, and produced them in succession. The second is Chokmah (Wisdom), and is the active and evident Father to whom the Mother is united. The third is a feminine passive potency called Binah (Understanding), and is co-equal with Chokmah. Chokmah is powerless till the number three forms the triangle.{p. 108}

"Thus this Sephira completes and makes evident the supernal Trinity. It is also called AMA, Mother, the great productive Mother, who is eternally conjoined with the Father for the maintenance of the universe in order. Therefore is she the most evident form in whom we can know the Father, and therefore is she worthy of all honor. She is the supernal Mother, co-equal with Chokmah, and the great feminine form of God, the Elohim, in whose image man and woman were created, according to the teaching of the Kabbalah, equal before God. Woman is equal with man, not inferior to him, as it has been the persistent endeavor of so-called Christians to make her. Aima is the woman described in the Apocalypse (ch. 12)."

"This third Sephira is also sometimes called the Great Sea. To her are attributed the Divine names, ALAIM, Elohim, and IaHVeh ALHIM; and the angelic order, ARHLIM, the Thrones. She is the supernal Mother as distinguished from Malkuth, the inferior Mother, Bride and Queen. . . . In each of the three trinities or triads of the Sephiroth is a dual of opposite sexes, and a uniting intelligence which is the result. In this, the masculine and feminine potencies are regarded as the two scales of the balance, and the uniting Sephira as the beam which joins them."
In chapter viii. we read: "Chokmah is the Father, and Binah is the Mother, and therein are Chokmah (Wisdom) and Binah (Understanding), counterbalanced together in most perfect equality of Male and Female. And therefore are all things established in the equality of Male and Female; if it were not so, how could they subsist? . . . In their conformations are They found to be the perfections of all things--Father and Mother, Son and Daughter. These things have not been revealed save unto the Holy Superiors who have entered therein and departed therefrom, and have known the paths of the Most Holy God, so that they have not erred in them, either on the right hand or on the left."

In a note in regard to Chokmah and Binah the author says: "Chokmah is the second and Binah is the third of the Sephiroth. This section is a sufficient condemnation of all those who wish to make out that woman is inferior to man."
The Kabbalah also speaks of the separation of the sexes as the cause of evil, or as the author puts it in a note: "Where there is unbalanced force, there is the origin of evil." Further on it is written:

"And therefore is Aima (the Mother) known to be the consummation of all things; and She is signified to be the beginning and the end. . . . And hence that which is not both Male and Female together is called half a body. Now, no blessing can rest upon a mutilated and defective being, but only upon a perfect place and upon a perfect being, and not at all in an incomplete being. And a semi-complete being cannot live forever, neither can it receive blessing forever."{p. 109}
The following is the author's comment upon the above: "This section is another all-sufficient proof of the teachings maintained throughout the Kabbalah, namely, that man and woman are from the creation co-equal and co-existent, perfectly equal, one with the other. This fact the translators of the Bible have been at great pains to conceal by carefully suppressing every reference to the feminine portion of the Deity, and by constantly translating feminine nouns by masculine. And this is the work of so-called religious men!"

A learned Jewish Rabbi, says: "Those who write on the Bible must be very careful when they come to speak of the position of woman to make a clear distinction between the Old and the New Testaments. In the Old Testament, except in the second chapter of Genesis, woman occupies a true and a dignified position in society and in the family. For example, take the position of Sarah, of the Prophetess Miriam, the sister of Moses, and Deborah the Prophetess. They all exemplify the true position of woman in the Old Testament. While Paul, the Apostle of the Gentiles, and the chief writer in the New Testament, condemned woman to silence in the Church and to strict obedience to her husband, making her thereby inferior to the man, the Old Testament gave free scope to the development of the Holy Spirit in woman. To intensify this teaching upon the position of woman, we find even the voice of the Deity telling Abraham: 'Whatever Sarah tells thee, thou shalt hearken unto her voice,' showing that woman in her own home was the guiding power."
In regard to another point this Rabbi says: "The learned Jewish Rabbis of modern times do not take the rib story literally. And this may be said of many of the olden times."{p. 110}

The Kabbalah and its learned expositors may be said to be "the throbbing heart" of the Jewish religion, as was graphically said of the mystic teachings of another occult fraternity. And in view of the Kabbalah's antiquity, and the fact that it is the fountain head of the body of the Old Testament teachings, these quotations as to the real Kabbalistic teachings in regard to woman, or to the feminine aspects of the Deity, are of first-class importance in such a book as "The Woman's Bible." In Kabbalistic teachings "there is one Trinity which comprises all the Sephiroth, and it consists of the crown, the king and the queen. . . . It is the Trinity which created the world, or, in Kabbalistic language, the universe was born from the union of the crowned king and queen."

The rib story is veiled in the mystic language of symbolism. According to occult teachings, there was a time before man was differentiated into sexes--that is, when he was androgynous. Then the time came, millions of years ago, when the differentiation into sexes took place. And to this the rib story refers."

This is not some New Age hocus pocus, whatever it is. Serious people developed these ideas over centuries.

353quicksiva
Edited: Jan 29, 2012, 5:43pm Top

Egypt is not a good place, and has been compared to "the world", an unfriendly place for those who love God and try to follow Him.

============

The Pyramid Texts and before them, the Coffin Texts also contain a wealth of data on early Egyptian beliefs. These indicate that the “Hebrews” took more than just gold and silver when they fled. The Heretic King Akhenaten is often compared with Moses.

Some scholars have claimed that Psalms 104 was largely borrowed from Egyptian sources. Psalm 104 describes the ongoing act of Jah continuously bringing the world into existence.

German philosopher Johann Gottfried Herder remarked, "It is worth studying the Hebrew language for ten years in order to read Psalm 104 in the original’" In his book Reflections on the Psalms, C.S. Lewis compared the Hymn of Aton to the Psalms of the Judaeo-Christian canon.

How manifold it is, what thou hast made!
They are hidden from the face (of man).
O sole god, like whom there is no other!
Thou didst create the world according to thy desire,
Whilst thou wert alone: All men, cattle, and wild beasts,
Whatever is on earth, going upon (its) feet,
And what is on high, flying with its wings.
The countries of Syria and Nubia, the land of Egypt,
Thou settest every man in his place,
Thou suppliest their necessities:
Everyone has his food, and his time of life is reckoned.
Their tongues are separate in speech,
And their natures as well;
Their skins are distinguished,
As thou distinguishest the foreign peoples.
Thou makest a Nile in the underworld,
Thou bringest forth as thou desirest
To maintain the people (of Egypt)
According as thou madest them for thyself,
The lord of all of them, wearying (himself) with them,
The lord of every land, rising for them,
The Aton of the day, great of majesty.

354jntjesussaves
Jan 29, 2012, 8:10pm Top

329: I understand your point and would agree it is not a single narrative; thank you also for your help on what "OP" stand for.

355jntjesussaves
Jan 29, 2012, 8:13pm Top

331: Very good points, eclecticdodo! I for one see the connection.

356jntjesussaves
Jan 29, 2012, 8:22pm Top

340: Well said, fuzzi.

357jntjesussaves
Jan 29, 2012, 8:27pm Top

348: Very interesting comparisons, fuzzi.

358jntjesussaves
Jan 29, 2012, 8:31pm Top

350: Very good question, baron770.

359fuzzi
Jan 30, 2012, 7:33am Top

Last night I wanted a 'quick read' before bed, so I picked up my paperback copy of Psalms and read Psalms 119.

I was not trying to speed read, but wound up reading the entire Psalm in 15 minutes.

What a blessing it was. :)

360jburlinson
Jan 30, 2012, 1:59pm Top

> 359. Psalm 119 certainly contains a lot to appreciate and think about -- it's the longest chapter in the Bible, I think. I wonder, though, how much of it is lost on English readers, who would miss almost entirely the alphabetic acrostic patterning, which is the basis of the entire poem.

361fuzzi
Jan 30, 2012, 7:03pm Top

Psalms 119 is the longest chapter in the Bible, you are correct.

The alphabet 'titles' are preserved in the King James Bible.

And also, Psalm 119 is all about God's word, too. Almost every verse uses a term for scriptures, such as 'statutes', 'law', 'judgments'. For example:

"ALEPH. Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD.
Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart.
They also do no iniquity: they walk in his ways.
Thou hast commanded us to keep thy precepts diligently.
O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes!
Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all thy commandments.
I will praise thee with uprightness of heart, when I shall have learned thy righteous judgments.
I will keep thy statutes: O forsake me not utterly.

BETH. Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.
With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments.
Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.
Blessed art thou, O LORD: teach me thy statutes.
With my lips have I declared all the judgments of thy mouth.
I have rejoiced in the way of thy testimonies, as much as in all riches.
I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways.
I will delight myself in thy statutes: I will not forget thy word.

GIMEL. Deal bountifully with thy servant, that I may live, and keep thy word.
Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.
I am a stranger in the earth: hide not thy commandments from me.
My soul breaketh for the longing that it hath unto thy judgments at all times.
Thou hast rebuked the proud that are cursed, which do err from thy commandments.
Remove from me reproach and contempt; for I have kept thy testimonies.
Princes also did sit and speak against me: but thy servant did meditate in thy statutes.
Thy testimonie also are my delight and my counsellors.

362jntjesussaves
Jan 30, 2012, 7:10pm Top

I have two devotions that I have been doing over the last several months; one is "Our Daily Bread" and the other is "Checklist for Life for Men." Interestingly enough, today I just wanted to share a couple of quotes and a poem from these two sources.

When we sustain a heartbreaking loss,
When grief overwhelms our soul,
The Savior who gave Himself on the cross
Reminds us that He's in control. (Dan DeHaan)

Our greatest comfort in sorrow is to know that God is in control.

There is only one name that means perfect dependability every time, and it isn't followed by a trademark symbol or a clever logo. What is that name? God.

We can rest assured that no matter what happens, God is in control. And secondly, we can be sure that God is perfectly dependable.

363fuzzi
Jan 30, 2012, 7:13pm Top

(362) Amen.

And that not only is the Lord in control, and is dependable, but He knows what He is doing.

And all that He does is for a purpose, and for our good, see Romans 8:28.

364jburlinson
Jan 30, 2012, 8:12pm Top

> 361. It's my understanding that, in the original, within each stanza, each of the eight verses begins (in Hebrew) with the appropriate letter.

So the first stanza would read, with just a little tweaking of the KJV, as follows:

Aleph:
All blessings to those undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD.
And blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart.
Also they do no iniquity: they walk in his ways.
As thou has commanded us: let us keep thy precepts diligently.
Ah, that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes!
Ashamed shall I never be, when I have respect unto all thy commandments.
Always will I praise thee with uprightness of heart, when I shall have learned thy righteous judgments.
Abandon me not utterly: I will keep thy statutes.

However, that still wouldn't be faithful to Hebrew since Aleph has no sound. Yet, Wikipedia tells us that: "Aleph is sometimes used as a mater lectionis to denote a vowel, usually /a/. "

I'm not sure I've ever seen a translation into English that tries to do this. Maybe that's because it probably isn't worth doing?

365fuzzi
Jan 31, 2012, 8:00am Top

(364) The translation would probably not be as correct if they tried to put 'a' at the beginning of each verse.

But it's a nifty thing to know, thanks for posting that. :)

366jntjesussaves
Jan 31, 2012, 7:34pm Top

363: Amen!

367fuzzi
Jan 31, 2012, 7:39pm Top

Read the first three chapters of Leviticus last night. Will try to read at least three tonight (it's a little dry going so far). :)

368quicksiva
Jan 31, 2012, 9:46pm Top

About "The Incident at the Inn": Exodus 4:24-26
After God commissions Moses as His emissary to lead His people into freedom, He tells him that all who tried to kill him are dead. He almost immediately tries to kill him, Himself. The attack is bizarre and seemingly inexplicable. Who does Zipporah think she is talking to?

Does this material belong here, or is it some sort of error?

369jburlinson
Feb 1, 2012, 12:01am Top

> 368. The attack is bizarre and seemingly inexplicable. Who does Zipporah think she is talking to?

This is an odd story, indeed. I've read somewhere that the person Yahweh tries to kill is Moses' firstborn son, because the child is uncircumcised. In other words, the Lord tells Moses to tell Pharaoh to let Israel go because Israel is the Lord's firstborn son. But, the Lord also tells Moses that Pharaoh will refuse, so Moses is to tell Pharaoh that the Lord will put Pharaoh's firstborn to death.

This pronouncement comes in v. 23, which reads, in 3 different translations:
-- "and I say to you, “Let my son go that he may serve me.” If you refuse to let him go, behold, I will kill your firstborn son.’”" ESV
-- "And I say unto thee, Let my son go, that he may serve me: and if thou refuse to let him go, behold, I will slay thy son, even thy firstborn." KJV
-- "I ordered you to let my son go to offer me worship. You refuse to let him go. So be it! I shall put your first-born to death'" Jerusalem Bible

At this point, it seems very clear that the Lord is talking about putting Pharaoh's firstborn son to death.

But then, one of two things happens: (1) either the Lord decides to kill Moses for some reason never explained, or (2) Yahweh, or the author of Exodus (or a later interpolator) gets confused and decides that the Lord tries kill Moses' firstborn son -- presumably because Moses' son is not circumcised. Verse 24:

-- "At a lodging place on the way the LORD met him and sought to put him to death." ESV
-- "And it came to pass by the way in the inn, that the LORD met him, and sought to kill him." KJV
-- "On the journey, when Moses had halted for the night, Yahweh came to meet him and tried to kill him." Jerusalem Bible

The problem comes in with personal pronouns. Who is "him" referring in this verse? It seems that "him" is Moses -- but some claim it refers to Moses' son. This claim is somewhat validated by what happens next, because --

Zipporah circumcises her son with a sharp rock, in v. 25:
-- "Then Zipporah took a flint and cut off her son’s foreskin and touched Moses’ feet with it and said, “Surely you are a bridegroom of blood to me!” ESV
-- "Then Zipporah took a sharp stone, and cut off the foreskin of her son, and cast it at his feet, and said, Surely a bloody husband art thou to me." KJV
-- "At once Zipporah, taking up a flint, cut off her son's foreskin and with it she touched the genitals of Moses. 'Truly, you are a bridegroom of blood to me!, she said." Jerusalem Bible.

So Zipporah is trying to propitiate the Lord by circumcising her son. The ESV and the Jerusalem Bible make it clear that she is addressing Moses with her remark about bloody bridegrooms. The KJV remains ambiguous -- it remains remotely possible that she is referring to her son as a bloody bridegroom.

So, the question is, what is God saying to us with this passage of scripture?

370fuzzi
Feb 1, 2012, 7:51am Top

(369) I don't know what the Lord is saying in this passage.

I don't claim to understand everything that is in the Bible, only those things which have been made clear to me. Sorry.

There are things that I have read and went "huh?". After rereading and study and prayer, I still have gone "huh?" and so left it for later.

And then, later, it is made clear to me. It might be the same with this passage, that someday it will be made clear to me.

Until then, I'll wait. :)

371fuzzi
Feb 1, 2012, 7:58am Top

Back to the topic:

1. I made a mistake, I'd read through Leviticus 6 the day before. Last night I read up to Leviticus 12.

Go! Go! Go!

2. While walking to work this morning (I have to park about a half mile from my office) I was talking to the Lord, and was meditating upon 1 John 1:9, when I thought of another verse in the Bible. Compare, and be blessed:

"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." 1 John 1:9

"All unrighteousness is sin: and there is a sin not unto death." 1 John 5:17

Not only will God forgive our sins, but will cleanse us from ALL unrighteousness, which is also sin.

Think on that for a minute, or hour... :)

372lawecon
Feb 1, 2012, 8:29am Top

~370

"I don't claim to understand everything that is in the Bible, only those things which have been made clear to me."

Is that a tautology, or were you just assuming the "by G-d" at the end of the sentence?

373thomashwalker2
Feb 1, 2012, 9:52am Top

"I never teach my pupils. I only attempt to provide the conditions in which they can learn." Einstein

God uses our experiences—along with the His Word that we place in your heart and mind—to reveal His truths.

The Bible is an instruction book or owners manual for Christians. Few people, if any, have come to a saving knowledge because they studied the Bible for years dissecting every word. Most Chrsitians will admit that they knew little of the Scripture at the time they received Christ. Understanding comes from their walk (experience).

Take the priests and Pharisees as an example. Nobody read and studied the Scriptures more than these two groups of scholars, but when the Holy One of God stood before them (about whom the entire Scriptures were written), they did not recognize Him. Biblical knowledge comes from scanning the surface of God’s Word. The reader who stays at the surface sees the Bible from a historical perspective that is riddled with inconsistencies and mistakes.

Here is a simple analogy:

Lets say that Lawecon read every book on how to fly a 747 commercial jetliner. He also took all of the written exams and passed with flying colors. Lawecon became a professor teaching the law of hydrodynamics and Daniel Bernoulli's fundamental principle for flight—Bernoulli’s principle. However, Lawecon never sat in the pilot's seat nor put into practice his vast amount of knowledge. Who wants to take a ride, with Lawecon in the pilot's seat? Lawecon could prepare a person to take the written test, but the person would still not be able to fly. A seasoned pilot would have a different view of flying than Lawecon, because of the difference between experience versus no experience.

The Bible has to be experienced not just read.

374faceinbook
Feb 1, 2012, 10:53am Top

>373 thomashwalker2:
And would you agree that no two people experience things in exactly the same manner ? Or that the method that works well for teaching one individual may not work on another ?

375johnthefireman
Feb 1, 2012, 11:25am Top

>373 thomashwalker2: Thomas, I think many Christians would agree with you that the bible is not just a dead book to be studied, but is God's living word, with which we interact. It does speak to us today.

However I think you set up a false dichotomy between experience and study. If you have access to both, why not use them both? If God gives me exegetical tools and a wealth of scholarship by wise, holy and learned men and women through the ages, it would seem rather arrogant not to use them but to rely solely on my limited experience.

The Bible is an instruction book or owners manual for Christians

I assume you're using these as analogies, which are necessarily imperfect, but I don't think either "instruction book" or "owner's manual" are particularly good analogies. One of my scripture scholars always used to insist that the bible is not a book, it is a library containing different books of different genres written by different people at different times in different locations, cultures and contexts, for different purposes, aimed at different readers. I find that a better analogy.

I think your lawecon analogy is also flawed. Rather, if lawecon were in fact a pilot, surely it would be useful for him to study the theory as well as knowing the practice? I'd feel much more comfortable with a pilot who has both experience and theory than one who has only his own experience. What happens when the latter comes across certain weather conditions or something else unusual which he has never experienced personally, but he could have learned how to handle it if he had read a manual or two and seen how others had handled the same situation?

376quicksiva
Edited: Feb 1, 2012, 11:44am Top

>370 fuzzi:
(369) I don't know what the Lord is saying in this passage.

I don't claim to understand everything that is in the Bible, only those things which have been made clear to me. Sorry.

There are things that I have read and went "huh?” After rereading and study and prayer, I still have gone "huh?" and so left it for later.

And then, later, it is made clear to me. It might be the same with this passage, that someday it will be made clear to me.

Until then, I'll wait. :)

=============
For some, this is a great response.

Some people however, respond to such WTF moments by looking outside of the box for answers.

Amen and Halleluiah ;)

377cjbanning
Feb 1, 2012, 12:06pm Top

I think I'll try this practice, giving myself permission to skim through Isaiah, Jeremiah, the Psalms, etc.--but also giving myself the opportunity to not skim, if the Spirit so moves me. The Inclusive Bible is 808 pages long, so reading three pages a day will have me having read the whole thing by the end of 2012, even with the month-long handicap.

Of course, I'll be approaching this with my own beliefs guiding me: that " God still speaks to us through the Bible" (as the BCP catechism states) but that the Bible is not literally true (well, not always, anyway) and that the historical-critical best allows us to understand Scripture most fully.

378fuzzi
Edited: Feb 1, 2012, 12:09pm Top

thomas, I liked your analogy.

"Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding." (Proverbs 3:5)

I don't lean upon my understanding, or what other men think they know, I trust only in God to show me what I need to know.

"Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.
Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." (1 Corinthians 2:12-14)


Studying the Bible is good, but understanding comes from God to those who have accepted His offer of salvation.

You can't know without the spiritual assistance of the Holy Spirit.

And without the Holy Spirit's discernment, it's all foolishness.

379thomashwalker2
Feb 1, 2012, 12:27pm Top

>375 johnthefireman:: "What happens when the latter comes across certain weather conditions or something else unusual which he has never experienced personally, but he could have learned how to handle it if he had read a manual or two and seen how others had handled the same situation?"

On January 15, 2009, US Airways flight 1549 took off from the LaGuardia Airport only to lose power in both engines. The quick-thinking pilot, Captain Chesley B. “Sully” Sullenberger, and his crew set the plane safely down in the Hudson River, averting a potentially lethal tragedy. This action saved the 150 passengers on board and prevented any damage or injury to buildings or lives on the ground.

Sitting in the co-pilot’s seat of a corporate airplane, I had the privilege of speaking to the seasoned pilot. The pilot, said, “Captain Sully’s ditch landing in the Hudson River was nothing short of a miracle.” Rex further explained, “If you lose one engine, there is a high probability of a safe landing at the nearest airport. However, if you lose both engines, you are flying a rock. I have the utmost respect for this captain, but it was not as much his quick thinking that put the plane in the Hudson, but the loss of both engines. Captain Sully did not have a choice; he was forced to. Because all the conditions that day were perfect, it worked. If any one of the conditions had been different, this would have been a tragedy.” In other words, January 15, 2009 was the perfect day for a commercial aircraft to lose power in both engines soon after lift off from the La Guardia Airport. Furthermore, Captain Sullenberger was the perfect pilot for that flight because of his experience as an accomplished glider pilot. His interest in flying gliders was not a coincidence. Captain Sullenberger was prepared years in advance for that fateful day by a hero that knows the future. The rescue and protection of 150 lives on January 15, 2009 was perfectly orchestrated by one who seeks to draw all of humanity unto Himself - God.

So you are saying that Captain Sully could have landed the plane if he had only read about flying a glider?

380thomashwalker2
Edited: Feb 1, 2012, 12:54pm Top

375: "However I think you set up a false dichotomy between experience and study. If you have access to both, why not use them both? If God gives me exegetical tools and a wealth of scholarship by wise, holy and learned men and women through the ages, it would seem rather arrogant not to use them but to rely solely on my limited experience."

I agree, you need to use them both which is why I said, "The Bible has to be experienced not just read." I assume by your comment you misinterpreted what I wrote to say: The Bible has to be experienced not read.

381johnthefireman
Feb 1, 2012, 1:08pm Top

>379 thomashwalker2: No, you're once again setting up a false dichotomy using an extreme case. I said it's better to have both experience and theory.

382johnthefireman
Feb 1, 2012, 1:22pm Top

>380 thomashwalker2: Fair enough. But there does seem to be a trend on this thread to play down any sort of academic study of the bible, as if it automatically means that one isn't also reading the bible in the light of one's personal faith journey.

383thomashwalker2
Feb 1, 2012, 1:33pm Top

375:I assume you're using these as analogies, which are necessarily imperfect, but I don't think either "instruction book" or "owner's manual" are particularly good analogies.

"And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness" (2 Tim 3:15-16, KJV).

I don't think I am to far off, I just used modern terminology to say the same thing. Can we use different words but mean the same thing?

384jntjesussaves
Feb 1, 2012, 6:10pm Top

373: Amen, Thomas! Very well said.

385jntjesussaves
Feb 1, 2012, 6:13pm Top

378: Amen, fuzzi.

386jntjesussaves
Feb 1, 2012, 6:15pm Top

379: Again, amen, Thomas!

387fuzzi
Feb 1, 2012, 6:51pm Top

(383) Good Scripture. :)

"And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures ..."

I'm not discounting academic study, not at all. I'm just pointing out that the Bible teaches that one needs the Holy Spirit to teach, and that we should not put our trust in men.

I don't need any man to teach me if I have God's word and His Spirit. "But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him." (1 John 2:27)

Peter and John were unlearned and ignorant fishermen, but they were still used by God. See Acts 4, as an example.

Paul, though educated, did not rely upon his own wisdom to preach, but instead relied upon the power of God, and the Holy Spirit:

"And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God.
For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.
And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling.
And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:
That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God." (1 Corinthians 2:1-5)


Our faith should not be based upon a teacher/preacher/book, etc, but upon God and His word.

"Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.
Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual." (1 Corinthians 2:12-13)


I rely upon the wisdom of God, and not upon the wisdom of men.

388Wemick
Feb 1, 2012, 7:23pm Top

I am new here and have enjoyed this thread immensely. We know that God is all. He is our creator, our redeemer, our peace, ad infinitum. But many people including Christians when thinking of all that God is seldom think of God as an author. Yet He is! And what is the best thing you can say to an author? "Hey, I read your book." God is well pleased when His people read His book.

389lawecon
Feb 1, 2012, 7:34pm Top

~373

This is perhaps the strangest post I have ever read.

Let's see if I understand. First of all, a book that is an anthology that is principally comprised of texts that existed hundreds of years before there was a Jesus or a Christianity is an "instruction book or owners manual for Christians."

Second of all, you recommend reading the Bible so as to "dissect every word," but not, of course, in the original languages in which those words were written and not with any background about the authors writing them or the societies in which they lived.

Third, I'm sorry to break it to you, but the particular parts of the Bible that contain a rant about the Pharisees and Sadducees are apparently just confused, they can't even keep these two enemy groups straight and contradict everything else we know about them from Josephus or the Talmud or other sources referring to them.

One suspects that what you are experiencing is your own history and psychological imagination, not the Bible at all.

390jburlinson
Feb 1, 2012, 7:46pm Top

> 388. God is well pleased when His people read His book.?

And He gives autographs, too -- only He writes His name on your heart. And He doesn't mind taking the time to write a personal message, just for you.

391jntjesussaves
Feb 1, 2012, 8:37pm Top

390: That is very well said, jburlinson. Amen.

392jntjesussaves
Feb 1, 2012, 8:51pm Top

387: Amen, fuzzi.

Fuzzi, the only caution I would add to what you said is the following:

As I have stated before, I also rely on God's Holy Spirit to speak to me through His Word (and as you mentioned, 1 John 2:27) is a good verse supporting this belief. I would only say that I do read what others (many learned men/women) before me have written about God's Word, because I believe there is much to learn from others.

I guess the reason why I am hesitant to "only" rely on my interpretation of what I believe God's says is because I am fallible and I could misinterpret something incorrectly. I also believe this is one of the vital characteristics of cults- one person interprets the Bible a certain way and then he "runs" with his interpretation and leads many in to error. I am just always hesitant when I hear someone's interpretation of something that seems very different from what I have learned (or in some cases, totally contradictory).

However, with this caution in mind, I agree with your interpretation of the mentioned verse- it is certainly something that many Christians do not seem to rely enough on- the Holy Spirit's leading.

393johnthefireman
Feb 1, 2012, 11:26pm Top

>392 jntjesussaves: I am fallible and I could misinterpret something incorrectly

Precisely. So am I. I believe God's Spirit does help me to interpret the bible, but I also believe the same Spirit helps other people to do the same, and therefore there is a lot to be said for finding some sort of consensus. Call me old-fashioned, but I find that Christ's Church is rather a good forum for doing so. If I rely solely on what I think God is telling me personally about the bible, then fallibility and misinterpretation are an ever present danger.

394fuzzi
Feb 2, 2012, 7:24am Top

(388) Wemick, glad to have you with us.

I like your description as God as an author: Amen!

Feel free to let us know where you are in reading God's word, whether or not you're trying to read it through in a year.

Last night I went on a reading jag, and read through Leviticus 22. :)

395fuzzi
Feb 2, 2012, 7:31am Top

(392) John (jnt), I always compare Scripture to Scripture, and compare what I read to what my preacher teaches, and to what I read in other books and on the web.

But the Holy Spirit is the final judge, He convicts me of the truth or 'non-truth' of what I read and hear. And the Bible confirms that, too.

Last night our pastor was teaching/preaching on how God alone can satisfy, the world cannot. He compared it to eating fast food versus cooking yourself a nutritious meal. The former is easy (fast food, watching television, etc.) and the latter takes work (making a salad, studying your Bible). :)

Becoming a Christian is easy, but growing in your faith is much harder than many worldly pursuits, hence the dust on many Christians' Bibles...

396johnthefireman
Feb 2, 2012, 8:05am Top

>395 fuzzi: I don't really think much of your pastor's example in the context of this conversation, fuzzi. We're not talking about backsliders, about people who take the easy way out. We're talking about committed Christians, certainly as committed as you, who believe that God helps us to understand the bible through serious study, and that just as God "convicts" you or me (that's an interesting term which I hadn't heard used in that context - is it part of the evangelical Christian lexicon?), God also convicts a lot of other Christians and it would be rather arrogant for me to assume that my interpretation of what God is convicting me is the only true one.

Of course I suppose one could interpret the pastor's analogy to mean that we shouldn't take the easy way out (waiting for God to convict us) but should put some real effort into studying the bible, using all the tools which God has put at our disposal?

Becoming a Christian is easy, but growing in your faith is much harder than many worldly pursuits...

Almost certainly true, but we're not discussing "worldly pursuits", we're discussing reading and studying the bible.

397eclecticdodo
Feb 2, 2012, 8:34am Top

>396 johnthefireman: "I don't really think much of your pastor's example in the context of this conversation"

I think Fuzzi was trying to move the conversation on to those who don't read/study the bible at all

398StormRaven
Feb 2, 2012, 9:58am Top

I was reading the Bible recently and the spirit told me that everything in it was bunk. In fact, only those who adopt atheism will have an afterlife. Everyone else will just vanish into nothingness. Since the spirit told me this, it must be true.

399faceinbook
Feb 2, 2012, 9:59am Top

From the book "God Laughs & Plays" by, David James Duncan

"Ever since the advent of the printing press, there have been readers who slip from enthusiasm for a favorite text into the belief that the words in that text embody truth: do not just symbolize it, but literally embody it. Not until the past century, though has an American alliance of self-styled "conservative Christians" declared that this slip is in fact the true Christian religion, that a single bookful of words is Absolute Truth, and that this Truth should become the sole basis of the nations's political, legal, and cultural life. The growing clout of this faction does not change the theological aberrance of its stance : fundamentalism's deification of the written words of the Bible----in light of every scripture-based Wisdom tradition in the world, including Chrisianity's two-thousand year old own----is not just naivete': it is idolatry.
Words in books can remind us of truth and help awaken us to it. But in themselves, words are just paint and writers are the painters., Old Testament and gospel writers, bhakti and Sufi saints, Tabetan lamas and Catholic popes included.
There are of course, crucial difference between scripture and belles littres, and between inspired and merely inventive prose. But the authors of both write with human hands and in human tongues."

Political implications aside....Mr. Duncan has an interesting take on the written word. He goes on to say :

"God is Unlimited. Thought and language are limited. God is the fathomless but beautiful Mystery Who creates the universe and you and me, and sustains it and us every instant, and always shall, The instant we define this fathomless MYstery It is no longer fathomless. To define is to limit. The greater a person's confidence in their definition of God, the more sure I feel that their worship of "Him" has become the worship of their own definition. I don't point this out to insult the fundamentalists' or anyone else's God. I point it out to honor the fathomless Mystery."

One of the important points I gathered from this is the fact that when we take the Bible to "embody the truth" we start to worship the "truth" and lose sight of what it is we are supposed to be doing. We are limiting God...creating him in our image rather than the other way around. Perhaps this is a help to some but if taken to extreme, it is no different than any other religious text taken to extreme...the Koran as an example. It is the Islamic "embodiment of truth" . I do not believe any living human being can say whose "embodiment" is the correct one.....my guess would be neither as they have both been touched by human hands and minds.

Nothing wrong with studying the Bible.....the problem, as I see it, comes into play when someone or some group decides that there is no wiggle room.....the Bible is "truth" and the only "truth"....

>395 fuzzi:
"Last night our pastor was teaching/preaching on how God alone can satisfy, the world cannot"

I take exception to that....God created the world.....nature is ALL.....the written word is just as stated above.

"Becoming a Christian is easy, but growing in your faith is much harder than many worldly pursuits, hence the dust on many Christians' Bibles..."

Would you agree that perhaps there are those who are becoming "children of God" without the words of the Bible and that neither way is the "right" way or the "wrong" way ? If we define a "right" way and a "wrong" way than we are doing so using a text that is written by human hands. The Bible is a beautiful collection of the written words....inspired writing, and can lead us to our individual truths but it is limiting.

400johnthefireman
Feb 2, 2012, 10:34am Top

>399 faceinbook: God is Unlimited. Thought and language are limited. God is the fathomless but beautiful Mystery Who creates the universe and you and me, and sustains it and us every instant, and always shall, The instant we define this fathomless Mystery It is no longer fathomless. To define is to limit. The greater a person's confidence in their definition of God, the more sure I feel that their worship of "Him" has become the worship of their own definition. I don't point this out to insult the fundamentalists' or anyone else's God. I point it out to honor the fathomless Mystery.

faceinbook, if I were an "Amen" sort of person I would certainly shout "Amen" to most of your post, possibly even in capital letters. This quote really sums up for me the greatness of God, as opposed to the limited god of our own understanding. God is revealed to us in many ways, including the whole of creation/nature, the Christ, the scriptures and our own experience - but never wholly.

401faceinbook
Feb 2, 2012, 11:43am Top

>398 StormRaven:
Storm cloud alert !!!

402faceinbook
Feb 2, 2012, 12:07pm Top

>400 johnthefireman:
David James Duncan was raised in the Christian faith, his family was Seventh-Day Adventist. Having read all of Mr. Duncan's work, both fiction and nonfiction, he has never to my knowledged disavowed his Christian faith but he does have a huge issue with fundamentalism.

Actually his thoughts about God being Unlimited could be described by the first verse of the Tao
My translation reads as thus :
"The tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao.
The name that can be named is not the eternal Name."

The point made by Duncan is not a disrespect of Chrisitianity, the Bible or any other faith for that matter...it is about the danger of fundamentalism....which leads those who aspire to acknowledge the mystery, to think that they have found the answers.....the answers become the "God" so to speak and in turn are used as a tape measure to judge others.
Obviously, there are Christians who believe much like Duncan, but I would argue that most of those who do, have probably studied many religious texts and have found that the Bible speaks to them personally in the best way.

Not easy to put a finger on when "faith" becomes "fundamental" but there is definately an "aura" around individuals who seem to have a need to take a hold of all that is "fundamental" about a religion and make it "the" religion.

403faceinbook
Feb 2, 2012, 12:43pm Top

IMO, studying the Bible without learning of it's context within all of the Spiritual writings through out history is much like studing the history of the United States without knowing it's place within the history of the entire world.
Something I fear that public schools in this country were guilty of when I was a student.

404thomashwalker2
Feb 2, 2012, 4:42pm Top

>389 lawecon:: "This is perhaps the strangest post I have ever read." comment about post 373.

I actually consider that a compliment from you, Lawecon. Thank you.

405lawecon
Feb 2, 2012, 5:09pm Top

You're welcome.

406quicksiva
Edited: Feb 2, 2012, 5:38pm Top

>398 StormRaven:
I was reading the Bible recently and the spirit told me that everything in it was bunk. In fact, only those who adopt atheism will have an afterlife. Everyone else will just vanish into nothingness. Since the spirit told me this, it must be true.

===========
That might have been some evil Beni Elohim. The Bible makes it clear that you should always be on the alert for them and their kids; those nasty Nephilim.

407jburlinson
Feb 2, 2012, 6:41pm Top

Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
This is the first and great commandment.
And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
Matthew 22:36-40.

If you use all your heart, all your soul and all your mind to do something, then there isn't room left in your heart, soul or mind for anything else, is there?

So, if reading the Bible through from cover to cover in a year helps you do either commandment 1 or commandment 2, great -- more power to you.

If it doesn't, perhaps it would be best to stop and do something that does.

If you're already busy doing commandments 1 and 2 (which would be accomplishing a great deal, I would think), then reading the Bible through would be optional, at best.

The question that Christians who are contributing to this thread might want to ask themselves is -- am I doing commandments 1 and 2 by participating in this discussion?

In my own case, I can't really say that I am -- at least not all the time. But that's my problem.

408jntjesussaves
Feb 2, 2012, 7:12pm Top

395: Good points, fuzzi.

409jntjesussaves
Feb 2, 2012, 7:21pm Top

393: "If I rely solely on what I think God is telling me personally about the bible, then fallibility and misinterpretation are an ever present danger."

I agree, however, I do believe that God leads us to His truth by His Holy Spirit. I, like fuzzi, also am highly reliant on the Holy Spirit in guiding me as I read the Bible; to me, according to the mentioned verses, is the Bible way.

410jntjesussaves
Feb 2, 2012, 7:29pm Top

400: All "amen" means John is you agree with what has been said.

411fuzzi
Edited: Feb 2, 2012, 7:47pm Top

>396 johnthefireman: "I don't really think much of your pastor's example in the context of this conversation"

(397) eclecticdodo replied "I think Fuzzi was trying to move the conversation on to those who don't read/study the bible at all"

Thanks for your input, friend.

The preacher's reference was from Mark 8, about how after Jesus fed the 4000 the disciples were worried about having only one loaf of bread. They were with the Lord Who had just taken seven loaves and fed 4000 people, and they were worried about not having enough to eat? And the Lord could feed them with more than physical bread, as He is the true bread from Heaven, given so that we never have to hunger again (John 6).

No wonder Jesus said "And when Jesus knew it, he saith unto them, Why reason ye, because ye have no bread? perceive ye not yet, neither understand? have ye your heart yet hardened?
Having eyes, see ye not? and having ears, hear ye not? and do ye not remember?
When I brake the five loaves among five thousand, how many baskets full of fragments took ye up? They say unto him, Twelve.
And when the seven among four thousand, how many baskets full of fragments took ye up? And they said, Seven.
And he said unto them, How is it that ye do not understand?"


God meets our needs, physically and spiritually (Philippians 4:19). If we seek first the kingdom of God (that which is within us - Luke 17:20-21), all the things we need will be given to us (Matthew 6:25-34). And we should be content with our food and clothing (1 Timothy 6:8).

Finally, when comparing DVDs to the Bible, keep in mind that we are not to love the things of the world... (1 John 2:15-16)

412faceinbook
Feb 2, 2012, 8:34pm Top

>409 jntjesussaves:
"The question that Christians who are contributing to this thread might want to ask themselves is -- am I doing commandments 1 and 2 by participating in this discussion?"

How is participating in this tread breaking the first and second commandment ? This is a discussion about the Bible and the study of the text, which is bringing up a lot of different aspects of that book and the words/lessons it contains. Guess I don't see how this can be seen as leading one astray from the first and second commandments. We are not discussing a crime or committing evil acts.

>411 fuzzi:
Not sure that anyone actually expressed a "love" for a DVD. If they did, I missed it. Have to admit that I love my "Out of Africa" DVD.
I guess I am guilty of loving the things of this world...nothing more beautiful than a rose in full bloom, a sky before a storm, the sound of a river running, the birds on a spring morning, the first night of spring when the frogs come alive, the wind in spruce trees, animals with all their complexity.....these things of this world I do love. I believe that God made these things and by not loving that which he provided, I would be showing a lack of respect for the beauty he has provided.

Have to admit that I have a love for my books as well. They contain the imaginations of so many children of God.....writers who have been gifted by the Creator and are able to pen to paper in ways that have allowed me to travel, to feel things I may never have experienced other wise, to live life much more fully than I could have without them. Can't imagine a God who wouldn't want me to love and appreciate these gifts.

I love a lot of things I guess.

413johnthefireman
Feb 2, 2012, 11:54pm Top

>407 jburlinson: Good challenge, jburlinson. I suppose I would just say that I find this a fascinating topic of discussion and enjoy exploring it. It's also an opportunity for me to interact with and try to understand a type of Christianity and a way of interpreting the bible which I rarely encounter in real life, in a forum which is relatively civil.

>410 jntjesussaves: jnt, I suspect most of us already knew that. But using "Amen" in this context in a conversation has a particular cultural context. One could also say, "Agreed", "Hear, hear", "I second that", "Bravo" and a host of other things. Only a certain sub-group of Christians use "Amen" in this way (as opposed to using "Amen" as part of prayer and liturgy, or occasionally ironically), and I'm not part of that "Amen" culture.

>411 fuzzi:, 412 I was also wondering where the DVDs fit in with this conversation.

414jburlinson
Feb 3, 2012, 12:12am Top

> 413. a way of interpreting the bible which I rarely encounter in real life, in a forum which is relatively civil.

So, in a way, it's a way of loving God and loving your neighbor. Having read many of your postings over the past few months, I believe you do approach it in this way and I find that quite lovable.

So good on ya'.

415fuzzi
Feb 3, 2012, 7:31am Top

Back on topic:

Finished Leviticus last night.

On to Deuteronomy! :)

416lawecon
Feb 3, 2012, 7:59am Top

~411
"Finally, when comparing DVDs to the Bible, keep in mind that we are not to love the things of the world... (1 John 2:15-16) "

Interesting. You do realize, don't you, that the Bible you are reading from is a technological miracle? It isn't a manuscript created by hand from a previous text that has been used for decades. It isn't written on vellum. It is printed in ink, but not anything like the sorts of inks that were traditionally used - inks that would easily run if wet and that had to be specially dried when first applied. Each version is run in literally tens of thousands of copies on high speed presses that can produce ten thousand copies in a day. They are mechanically bound, using materials that, again, are very modern inventions.

Clearly "a thing of the world." One most of don't appreciate. You might try reading this for another, much more simple, example I Pencil

417faceinbook
Feb 3, 2012, 9:06am Top

>411 fuzzi:
"Finally, when comparing DVDs to the Bible, keep in mind that we are not to love the things of the world... (1 John 2:15-16) "

Another aspect of the Christian faith that tends to leave me a bit befuddled. Certainly not all Chrisitains but many seem to feel that we are here to "endure" this life so as to be rewarded in the next. If God indeed created all that is around us, why then must it be perceived as something to be endured ?
I believe many of the other well known religions follow a different creed, in that, they feel that we are here to enjoy life. I have plenty of Jewish , Native American and a few Buddist friends who shake their heads at the willingness of some Christians to forgo the enjoyment of this precious life. This life is a gift, do you not feel that it is squandered when it is not enjoyed to the fullest ?
Kind of like hiding one's Easter candy for later....only to find that when you unwrap it the chocolate has turned white with age and no longer tastes the same. (speaking from experience)

I think I understand the verse John 2:15-16 But to my way of thinking it doesn't mean that we can not enjoy to the fullest all of the talent, techno abilities and imagination that create our stories, this life and time and who we are now. The very act of sharing one's bounty, be it talent or monetary wealth is supported in the Bible as well. Are we not bound to appreciate these things ?

I have an issue with using the verses of the Bible as a "point maker". It speaks of using the text as a tape measure to judge others. REALLY don't like that !

Simply can not believe in a God who would judge me because I love my "Out of Africa" DVD....to suggest so is pretty judgemental. I understand that this DVD is a thing of this world.
Like to think that John was pointing out that their is love and then there is LOVE....it is important to distinguish between the two and keep one's priorities in order. But, he didn't mean I shouldn't enjoy and appreciate to the fullest that which God has graced us with.

See how one verse can be interpreted in two different ways ? Who is the judge as to which of us is correct ?

>413 johnthefireman:
See the link in post #406
Took me a while to find it and I'm not sure how it was perceived that the DVD was "loved"

418streamsong
Feb 3, 2012, 9:18am Top

Congrats fuzzi for finishing another book!

Following the scheme in my fist post (#15 I think) I have finished my first book..... Joshua. Next week I'm on to Judges.

I still ike the method I'm following with a different book each day, even though it looks like there isn't much progress week to week. I'm still behind in Isaiah and struggling with the commentary on Paul.

Thanks to those who made the suggestions of other commentaries. I think I'll stick with the set I'm using right now. Some of these (like Job and Psalms) I have read several times. Some I had started and given up; others are unread. They are part of my huge TBR mountain (and these weren't even marked in my catalog as TBR). I think I'll continue reading them and then I can decide which to keep and which to let move on to new homes.

419fuzzi
Feb 3, 2012, 12:39pm Top

(419) Thanks, streamsong.

Do your Bible reading as you prefer, whatever works for you. :)

BTW, Isaiah is one of my most favorite books of the Bible, possibly because of all the references to the Messiah and how they match up to the books that describe His first coming. :)

420jntjesussaves
Feb 3, 2012, 6:14pm Top

413: Understood; just wanted to make sure.

421jntjesussaves
Feb 3, 2012, 6:32pm Top

417: You make some very valid points, faceinbook. As someone has said, "Christians are in the world, but they should not be of the world." I would also say that we can (and sometimes) do speak dogmatically about issues when God's Word is not dogmatic. I for one, do not believe watching movies (Out of Africa) in your case is in anyway (in and of itself sinful). I believe God does desire His children to be holy (not holier than thou). I have never viewed Out of Africa, therefore I wouldn't have any opinion on that movie. The only thing I would add would be to say that some movies that contain many things that God does condemn are not the best thing to allow into one's life. I only am speaking from a Christian perspective, because I don't believe God holds the unsaved to the same standard as He holds Christians. We should know better than to allow (or not allow) certain things into our lives that will damage us.

So I am with you, I don't believe everything that is new and advanced is evil (or sinful). I do believe much of the newer technology allows the opportunity for sin more, but it can also allow more opportunity to grow closer to others (and God). I think God uses new technology to advance His kingdom. Many things (new or old) are not in and of themselves sinful, however, they can be if used in an unwise way if Christ's followers are not careful.

She can correct me if I am wrong, but I don't believe fuzzi was saying all new technology was evil and sinful. I apparently did miss something with the "DVD" example- I am not sure what post discussed it. I thought I had read all of the posts, but maybe I missed something in one that mentioned this subject.

422jntjesussaves
Feb 3, 2012, 6:34pm Top

415/418: Congrats, fuzzi and streamsong. Stay faithful. God's blessings.

423fuzzi
Feb 3, 2012, 7:24pm Top

(421) "She can correct me if I am wrong, but I don't believe fuzzi was saying all new technology was evil and sinful. I apparently did miss something with the "DVD" example- I am not sure what post discussed it. I thought I had read all of the posts, but maybe I missed something in one that mentioned this subject."

I won't correct you, because that was not what my preacher was saying, nor something that I believe. If I thought that all new technology was evil and sinful, I certainly would not be using a computer or conversing with people here on LT!

Let me try again:

Eating fast food is not nutritious.
Eating salads and other 'home cooked' food is better for you.

Watching DVDs do not advance your spiritual growth (is not nutritious)
Reading your Bible does advance your spiritual growth (is better for you)

Both eating fast food and watching DVDs is 'easy', and something we tend to do even when we know we shouldn't, or rather, we do it too much and neglect the better part.
Both eating home cooked/nutritious meals and reading your Bible is not easy, but we should do it anyway, for our health, especially more often than we tend to do.

See?

424jntjesussaves
Feb 3, 2012, 7:49pm Top

423: Yep, I missed it because you never said "watching DVD's," but watching television.

Now I have a better understanding of what others were commenting about.

I do agree with you on the point that you were trying to make. If we were watching wholesome television (or dvd's), preaching, or a dvd on the Bible- then we might very well be advancing spiritually, but as I believe you were trying to point out- most do not (even Christians)- which proves your point, that reading the Bible is harder (and therefore done less often). I agree with your analogy.

425jburlinson
Feb 3, 2012, 7:50pm Top

Reading the Bible really isn't that hard. What's hard is clothing the naked, tending the sick, visiting people in prison, etc. This is the kind of stuff that I, for one, do very little, almost nothing, of. And when I do, I find myself congratulating myself for it for years.

426faceinbook
Feb 3, 2012, 9:27pm Top

>421 jntjesussaves:
"because I don't believe God holds the unsaved to the same standard as He holds Christians. We should know better than to allow (or not allow) certain things into our lives that will damage us."

My head hurts ! Happy reading !

427johnthefireman
Feb 4, 2012, 2:57am Top

>425 jburlinson: Well said, jburlinson.

428fuzzi
Feb 4, 2012, 2:14pm Top

Well, what was I thinking! The book after Leviticus is Numbers, not Deuteronomy!



So I read six chapters of Numbers this morning. :)

429fuzzi
Feb 4, 2012, 2:37pm Top

Because of streamsong's excellent suggestion, I've decided to create a ticker/counter for my Bible reading.


430eclecticdodo
Feb 4, 2012, 3:08pm Top

ooh. How do I get me one of them? I'm doing the 50 books challenge and everyone else seems to have them!

431fuzzi
Feb 4, 2012, 3:11pm Top

Go to tickerfactory.com
Scroll down to 'Crafts and Hobbies' on the left side
Click on 'Objects/Actions' Counter
Choose a password, and put in the information you want displayed
You also choose the background for the counter, and the counter itself (my dog)

What I found out is that once you make a counter, you can just click on it in the thread, enter your password and update it. Nifty stuff.

Have fun!

432quicksiva
Feb 4, 2012, 3:52pm Top

fuzzi,
What have you unleashed upon us?

Thanks!

433eclecticdodo
Feb 4, 2012, 4:33pm Top

thankyou!

434jntjesussaves
Feb 4, 2012, 9:17pm Top

425: While I do believe disciplining oneself to read God's Word is hard work, I would also agree with you that the things you mentioned are probably a lot harder to discipline ourselves to do. Great point, jburlison.

435fuzzi
Feb 5, 2012, 3:46pm Top

(432) quicksiva wrote "fuzzi,
What have you unleashed upon us?"


My dog ticker has been "unleashed". :D

436jntjesussaves
Feb 6, 2012, 7:56pm Top

I am not sure if I will read the Bible through all the way or not, but I have started reading the book of Genesis. I have been reading about a chapter a day meditating more thoroughly on passages that I find interesting (or those which speak to me more directly).

I started several days ago and just read chapter 5 today. I will comment some on what I am reading later.

God's blessings.

437lawecon
Edited: Feb 6, 2012, 8:55pm Top

Amen !! Pursuant to #434, you display considerable endurance and fortitude to have to read G-d's word.

438jntjesussaves
Feb 6, 2012, 9:55pm Top

437: How is your Bible reading going this year so far, lawecon? What book are you on? How do you study the Bible? How do you choose which books you will study?

Have a blessed night, lawecon.

439lawecon
Feb 7, 2012, 2:40am Top

I guess you didn't pick this up from the above extensive comments: I don't "read the Bible through in a year." I don't do that because it doesn't make any sense to do so for all the reasons I've mentioned at least a half dozen times now.

How do I choose which part of the Bible to read? Well, there isn't any one way. Sometimes I am reading a book like this one Who Wrote The Gospels? or this one Jesus In His Jewish Context or this one Jesus and Judaism or this one The Jewish Annotated New Testament and I see a reference to the Bible, and then go read the Bible around that reference - trying to figure out if the reference seems to make sense in the context of the surrounding text. Sometimes I then go to a source like this Anchor Bible Commentary and see what scholars have to say about that passage or story.

I almost never "study the Bible" by reading a particular one translation and asking myself "Gee, I wonder what that means for me in terms of my life experience." I guess, if I worshiped the Bible, or considered it as a magic text, rather than trying to understand it, I might do that sort of thing.

440thomashwalker2
Feb 7, 2012, 11:00am Top

>439 lawecon:: To Lawecon:"Gee, I wonder what that means for me in terms of my life experience."

“Experience: that most brutal of teachers. But you learn, my God do you learn.” CS Lewis

“The only source of knowledge is experience” Einstein

"Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards”

"We can teach from our experience, but we cannot teach experience.”

441fuzzi
Feb 7, 2012, 12:32pm Top

Update: Read through Numbers 30 last night. Just six chapters to go until Deuteronomy!

Interesting note: in previous readings of my Bible I thought that Korah's children died with him in Numbers 16:33, but then I noticed while rereading Numbers 26:11 that the children of Korah did not die.

Nice little nugget, there. :)

442jntjesussaves
Edited: Feb 7, 2012, 8:03pm Top

439: Thank you for your answers, lawecon. The Bible gives us some very good verses on the importance of reading, knowing, and making applicable in our lives, Scripture (i.e. the Word of God, the Bible, etc.).

2 Timothy 3:14
But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;

2 Timothy 3:15
And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

2 Timothy 3:16
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

2 Timothy 3:17
That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. {throughly...: or, perfected}
(KJV)

It says it "is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness." All of these things I search for when I read/study God's Word. I read for doctrine (God's teachings), for reproof (to see what God disaproves of), for correction (to learn how to correct my sin/mistakes), for instruction in righteousness (to learn how to live righteously).

And certainly, in reading "the holy scriptures," it will "make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus." It seems the most imortant reason for knowing the Scriptures is to make sure someone "is wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus." It seems like so many fail to see the most important reason why God gave us the Bible- for salvation (hence, having a personal relationship with the God of the Universe, through His Son).

I, along with others, put a lot of emphasis on learning what God desires to teach us and His desire for us to live under His direction. These verses epitomize this belief. You emphasize making sure you understand the correct setting and concerns of those speaking and those being spoken to. What verses in God's Word do you use to validate your idea that this should be our main emphasis?

Keep in mind, I have said numerous times that I believe studying the Bible within context is important, but when I read God's Word- I am looking therein to find out what God has for me. What He is desiring to teach me.

443jntjesussaves
Feb 7, 2012, 8:00pm Top

440: Amen, Thomas! Great quotes.

444jntjesussaves
Feb 7, 2012, 8:01pm Top

441: It is amazing, fuzzi, no matter how many times we read the Bible- we see new and fresh things each time. Great insight.

445lawecon
Edited: Feb 7, 2012, 10:43pm Top

~442

Well, jnt, as you know, I am a Jew. So that isn't a part of my Bible. (And if you are reading the Bible straight through, you surely must be a very great speed reader.)

Even if it were a part of my Bible, however, I would recognize the quotations you give as a part of correspondence by or an appeal by Paul to one of his followers. That is what it says it is. It isn't a letter to you.

I would further recognize that this purported letter by Paul is a particular essay written at a particular time and place, in a particular society, in the a particular context of a leader of what were only small groups who feels abandoned by his former followers. It isn't G-d speaking to you. Paul isn't G-d, and despite what you would like to believe, you aren't that important.

Further, I would take account of the fact that it is clear from this purported correspondence and other correspondence allegedly written by Paul that some of Paul's fundamental assumptions were dead wrong. Jesus didn't come back immediately. It has been 2,000 years now and he shows no sign of coming back. The world hasn't ended. Heaven hasn't descended upon the Earth. Paul was fundamentally wrong about his key assumptions, so why should we believe that he was right in what he says here?

In any case, if G-d wanted to speak to you, jnt, he would simply do so. He doesn't require that you read and wonder about the meaning of a 2,000 year old letter to figure out what he wants. If G-d can do anything and if he cares about you personally, he certainly can speak to you without a purported 2,000 year old text.

Further, jnt, before I went on trying to interpret this text myself I would have found out what scholars, those who have spent their entire lives on this type of question, think about this text. Here is what they think: http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/2timothy.html In short, they think that this text is a forgery that wasn't even written by Paul. It is like that "true translation" of Ben Hur that we talked about before. It is a fraud.

Now if you are truly seeking guidance for your life, jnt, shouldn't those matters make some difference to you in determining whether this is properly the source of that guidance?

446johnthefireman
Feb 8, 2012, 5:56am Top

>445 lawecon: lawecon, some of what you say summarises the exegetical method which is used by most mainstream Christians to interpret the bible.

I agree, of course, that Paul (and probably his whole generation) were "dead wrong" about the end of the world and Jesus' immediate return. Later generations of Christians generally recognise that and it leads to a different interpretation of what was written.

It is also pretty generally accepted by Christians that Paul did not write a number of the letters attributed to him. However whether that makes them "inauthentic" is a different question. They were included in the canon of scripture by the Church and thus their teaching is considered valid regardless of authorship.

447lawecon
Feb 8, 2012, 7:19am Top

~446

That is a worthwhile clarification for a faithful Roman Catholic, John, but I wasn't addressing a faithful Roman Catholic. I was addressing jnt.

Jnt can't fall back on Church teachings when a "plain meaning" approach to his Scriptures doesn't work. He is stuck. The only choices he has are to start reading his Scriptures much more critically or ignore 300+ years of mostly Christian scholarship. With the exception of Spinoza, who was expelled from his Jewish community, and a minority of Jewish scholars writing in the past 50 years, this has been mostly an intraChristian controversy.

I think by what has gone before we know which of those alternatives jnt will chose, chose of his own free will. The sad thing is that he will feel righteous about making that choice.

448thomashwalker2
Feb 8, 2012, 8:46am Top

445: "Further, I would take account of the fact that it is clear from this purported correspondence and other correspondence allegedly written by Paul that some of Paul's fundamental assumptions were dead wrong. Jesus didn't come back immediately. It has been 2,000 years now and he shows no sign of coming back. The world hasn't ended. Heaven hasn't descended upon the Earth. Paul was fundamentally wrong about his key assumptions, so why should we believe that he was right in what he says here?"

“But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day” (2 Peter 3:8, ESV). A thousand years to God is but one day. The Lord speaks in terms that exclude time, because God’s world is timeless. As long as humanity fails to take into account God’s concept of time, we will always struggle to understand God’s intentions. Jesus was crucified two days ago. The seven year tribulation period will take approximately 11 minutes on God's timetable.

"God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die" Gen 2:16-17.

Did Adam die that day? "And all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years: and he died" Gen 5:5. Remember, a thousand years is one day to the Lord.

449lawecon
Feb 8, 2012, 8:52am Top

~448

So, you honestly believe that Paul thought that it was going to be thousands of years before Jesus' return. Honestly? My, I guess some people can convince themselves of anything.

450faceinbook
Edited: Feb 8, 2012, 12:18pm Top

Here is a thought to ponder : I think God sends "Jesus" back repeatedly. I think that we ignore him, assassinate him, degrade him and continuiosly kick him to the crub. I do not think he comes with wings and a shining halo and it is my belief that we are not supposed to recognize him as "the Jesus"......
We are too busy either "waiting" for the "right" Jesus or hating someone for being different, or claiming that we know all about the great mystery and exactly how it works, to pay much attention to what is really important.

451fuzzi
Feb 8, 2012, 12:09pm Top




Finished Numbers last night, on to Deuteronomy!

(446) johnthefireman wrote: "I agree, of course, that Paul (and probably his whole generation) were "dead wrong" about the end of the world and Jesus' immediate return. Later generations of Christians generally recognise that and it leads to a different interpretation of what was written."

Maybe some mainline types believe that Paul was wrong, and the Bible in general is full of mistakes, but not all.

If the Bible has errors in it, how can anyone know for sure what is correct doctrine and what isn't?

The answer is, of course, that you can't know. Either the Bible is without error and to be believed, or it has errors and can be changed and edited to fit the personal beliefs of the editor.

"It is also pretty generally accepted by Christians that Paul did not write a number of the letters attributed to him. However whether that makes them "inauthentic" is a different question. They were included in the canon of scripture by the Church and thus their teaching is considered valid regardless of authorship."

How can the teaching be valid if you think that Paul was wrong about the end of the world and Jesus' return? If Paul, probably the greatest apostle there was, could be wrong, what about the rest of his epistles?

Either the Bible is true, or it isn't. Personally, I believe that God has preserved His word, holy and pure, as He promised. Any so-called "errors" are due to a misunderstanding of what is written in the Bible, and an unwillingness to admit that there is something we don't understand in God's word.

:)

452StormRaven
Feb 8, 2012, 12:17pm Top

"If Paul, probably the greatest apostle there was, could be wrong, what about the rest of his epistles?"

If Paul was an apostle, then anyone can be an apostle just by claiming the title.

453faceinbook
Feb 8, 2012, 12:23pm Top

"How can the teaching be valid if you think that Paul was wrong about the end of the world and Jesus' return?"

End of the world in it's entirety ? OR the end of the world as we personally know it ? The first option keeps us a safe distance from any type of reckoning, while the other could happen on a daily basis.

454johnthefireman
Feb 8, 2012, 12:25pm Top

>451 fuzzi: Well, fuzzi, it does seem fairly clear that Paul, and most early Christians, expected the world to end and Jesus to return within their lifetime (or do you dispute that?). It didn't and he didn't. That doesn't make the bible wrong, and it doesn't mean that there aren't truths that we can find even without a deeper exegesis, but it does mean that it needs interpreting if one really wants to unlock the riches of God's word. In >448 thomashwalker2:, Thomas offers one interpretation, probably not a mainstream one. Others would simply accept that Paul and his generation erred on the date of the end of the world and the second coming of Christ but that nevertheless these writings still have a message for us from God, who inspired them.

455thomashwalker2
Feb 8, 2012, 1:51pm Top

I don't think that Paul placed a specific time on Jesus' return only that it was near. The question is: Did Paul have the same understanding about God's timetable? We know Paul spent a lot of time preaching about Jesus and writing many of the New Testament books. Surely, Paul had some insight into the spiritual world, even if it was limited to the simple fact that things operate differently in the spiritual than in the physical. Paul was not a spiritual neanderthal.

456johnthefireman
Feb 8, 2012, 2:07pm Top

>455 thomashwalker2: Maybe so, but 2,000 years and counting is not normally what is meant by "near". Thus you are interpreting rather than taking the literal meaning of the concept of "near". You are reading something into Paul's writings. All of which I have no problem with, although I would probably read a different interpretation into it.

457thomashwalker2
Feb 8, 2012, 3:34pm Top

456: "but 2,000 years and counting is not normally what is meant by "near".

Near is relative. 2,000 years in relation to the age of the earth, universe is a blink in time. Paul crossed over to the spiritual side when he was taken to heaven. That might change your perspective on space and time.

458jntjesussaves
Feb 8, 2012, 5:57pm Top

448: Amen, Thomas! You took some of my thunder. Great insight.

459jntjesussaves
Feb 8, 2012, 5:57pm Top

451: Amen, fuzzi. Good points.

460lawecon
Feb 8, 2012, 6:20pm Top

~450

This is a prime example of the use of the phrase "It is my belief." It is my belief that many people are controlled by demons sitting on their shoulder and whispering into their ears. Of course, I have no evidence for that belief, but then...........

461jntjesussaves
Feb 8, 2012, 6:22pm Top

445: "Even if it were a part of my Bible, however, I would recognize the quotations you give as a part of correspondence by or an appeal by Paul to one of his followers. That is what it says it is. It isn't a letter to you."

As you state, you are a Jew (not a Christian), therefore you will certainly interpret the New Testament different than myself and others within this thread. Did Paul write 1 Timothy to "me?' No, he literally wrote it to Timothy, however, in a general sense- yes, he did write it to me and to all followers of Christ. Since you, by your own admission, are not a follower of Christ- he didn't write it to you even in a general sense. But, along with the other 65 books making up the Old and New Testaments, He did write to me (and all other Christians) in a general sense.

"I would further recognize that this purported letter by Paul is a particular essay written at a particular time and place, in a particular society, in the a particular context of a leader of what were only small groups who feels abandoned by his former followers. It isn't G-d speaking to you."

Yes, he was speaking to an entire different age and generation of people, living in a particular society (much different than ours). However, Paul's intention wasn't to speak culturally (to one particular generation of people)- his message (Christ's message) transcended his particular time. You look at everything from the perspective of, "If I can't understand it, then it must be false." Your understanding is very limited (especially on Christian things), because your eyes have been darkened to the truth. If you ever allow God to open your eyes to "believe" on His Son, things will become much clearer to you. You would understand God's Word to be speaking to you. No matter how many times you say, "It isn't God speaking to you," it will not change the fact that He does.

"Paul isn't G-d, and despite what you would like to believe, you aren't that important."

I am not sure if you believe Paul is God or not. I am not sure how this came into the conversation. I have not even remotely made this claim. Jesus Christ is God, Jehovah (the Father) is God, and the Holy Spirit is God, period. I can't be more clear than that. I do believe I am important, not based on anything I have done, but because what Jesus Christ has done for me. While you may not place high regards in the New Testament, Christians do and John 3:16 (along with many other verses) are quite clear in God's love for mankind- and that includes me, fuzzi, thomas, johnthefireman, stormraven, and all else on this thread (and in the world). He proved His love for us in sending Jesus Christ to died for us, "even while we were yet sinners." Praise God!

"In any case, if G-d wanted to speak to you, jnt, he would simply do so. He doesn't require that you read and wonder about the meaning of a 2,000 year old letter to figure out what he wants. If G-d can do anything and if he cares about you personally, he certainly can speak to you without a purported 2,000 year old text."

He does speak to me (through His Word). Based on your view, this is why we have terrorists strapping bombs to the children (done in the name of what Allah has told them); this is why we have murder in the name of religion; this is the reason why we have many things done in the name of religion. Because, they have said that God "told them to do so." Unless you have have an authoritative source of truth (which is the Word of God), then you will have these types of ideas. I will continue, but I must go for now.

462lawecon
Feb 8, 2012, 6:23pm Top

~457
"Near is relative."

That is indisputable. It is also indisputable that what it was relative to in this case was the expected lifetimes of those Paul was addressing.

463lawecon
Edited: Feb 8, 2012, 6:37pm Top

~461

Since you can see into Paul's mind, and, indeed, G-d's mind, and I would never be so arrogant as to make such claims, I really have nothing to say in response. I can only read the text and the research done on the text and the context in which it was written. I am not a mindreader. G-d doesn't speak to me personally, as you obviously believe he speaks to you. And I wouldn't imagine how to begin to read the mind of someone dead for two thousand years.

I do, however, find your contention that you are specially privileged to "see" things that those who do not endorse your arrogant cultism cannot see to be just plain ridiculous. (See above comment on demons.) But, enjoy (I certainly am enjoying the spectacle of just how absurd one's positions can become when one has no opposing arguments.)

As for G-d speaking only through texts, I think many terrorists would agree. Most Muslim terrorists, for instance, believe that they instructed by the Qur'an and the Hadith to do what they do. Aren't, for instance, abortion doctors murderers of the innocent? What should be done to murderers of the innocent? What does your text tell you?

464fuzzi
Edited: Feb 8, 2012, 7:07pm Top

(454) Paul knew that the Lord Jesus was going to return "soon" (as has been previously pointed out, for God, "soon" or "quickly" can mean 1000 years) and so Paul taught that we should live each day as if the Lord were about to come back. That keeps all of us on our "best behavior" if we anticipate the Son of God's imminent return. :)

Yes, God's word does need interpreting, but not by us, but by Him, through His Holy Spirit (1 John 2:27, etc. as I have previously posted).

Some people might assume that, since Paul mentions that Jesus Christ will return soon when He hasn't yet (almost 2000 years later) that Paul was mistaken, and the Bible is flawed. I don't assume it, nor do I think that I or any other person alive (or dead) has a better grasp of God's word than God Himself.

I don't hold myself in such high regard that I "know better" what the Bible says than what God says it says. That's why I take it literally.

465jburlinson
Feb 8, 2012, 8:13pm Top

> 447. The sad thing is that he will feel righteous about making that choice.

What's sad about it? The sad thing would be if, somehow, he were convinced by all the people who, for whatever reason, are trying to rain on his parade.

We all need some sort of illusion/delusion to "get us through the night." Whether it's Christianity, Buddhism, Islam, nationalism, meliorism, manifest destiny, scientism, whatever. That wonderful play by Eugene O'Neill, The Iceman Cometh, cometh to mind. The entire roomful of barflies each needs his/her "pipe dreams," including the traveling salesman who tries to convince all the others of the virtue of ridding themselves of their magical thinking.

466jntjesussaves
Edited: Feb 8, 2012, 9:12pm Top

445 (continued): As I mentioned to fuzzi earlier, this is one reason why I do like to consult what others (I respect) have written. While you accuse me of being part of a cult- who is the leader of my cult, Jesus Christ? I have given you verses that give evidence to what I believe. You may not agree with the verses, but I don't believe that is the making of a cult- unless you believe Jesus Christ is the leader of that cult.

I do believe Christians probably use the phrase, "God led me to...," or "God told me to..." way to frequently. Outside of what the Bible clearly says for us to do or not to do- when we say He led us to do something, we come very close (in my opinion) of adding to God's Word. I like to use the phrase, "I believe God is leading me to..." But this is not a blanket way of doing what we want and laying the responsibility on God, because if what we are claiming is something to be "from God," it must line up with His teachings and His Word. If it doesn't line up with God's Word, it certainly wasn't anything He led someone to do. One example that I will give is whether a Christian should marry a non-Christian. I believe God is clear about not yoking up with unbelievers (2 Corinthians 6:14). Therefore, when a Christian says that God is leading him/her to marry someone who is not a Christian- he/she is incorrect to claim it to be so based on this verse of Scripture. That being said- God does lead His children today and He does it through His Word.

"Further, jnt, before I went on trying to interpret this text myself I would have found out what scholars, those who have spent their entire lives on this type of question, think about this text. Here is what they think: http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/2timothy.html In short, they think that this text is a forgery that wasn't even written by Paul. It is like that "true translation" of Ben Hur that we talked about before. It is a fraud."

I have found out what scholars (who spent their entire lives) think about these verses- their intepretation (and mine) apparently are different than yours and other scholars. There were those at the time of Christ who believed Christ's resurrection was a forgery. Also all but one of the original twelve disciples were martyred based on this intepretation of Scripture. You might die for something you believe to be true (but are wrong), but one would not die for something they knew was false. I guess the original twelve and many other Christians through the centuries have been persecuted and martyred (for believing a lie) also. I will stick with these who stuck with Jesus Christ to be my model and not those who desire to tear down God's Word.

Have a blessed night, lawecon.

467jntjesussaves
Feb 8, 2012, 9:14pm Top

455/457: Amen, Thomas. Very good analogy.

468jntjesussaves
Feb 8, 2012, 9:16pm Top

460: I agree with your premise, but those in this thread (myself included) have given evidence for what we believe. It is your belief that we are wrong in our evidence, but evidence has been provided.

469jntjesussaves
Feb 8, 2012, 9:22pm Top

463: 1 Corinthians 2:16 states,

For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ. {may: Gr. shall}
(KJV)

Again this is the evidence I present to counter what you have stated. You can disagree with my assumption (or interpretation), but you can't say I haven't provided evidence. This verse seems quite clear to me.

470johnthefireman
Edited: Feb 9, 2012, 12:18am Top

>464 fuzzi: Paul taught that we should live each day as if the Lord were about to come back

Precisely. That's how later generations of Christians have interpreted it. It's a valid (and mainstream) interpretation, consistent with some gospel passages (eg Matthew 24:36-51), and I have little doubt that it is an interpretation inspired by God. But it doesn't alter the fact that the first generation of Christians expected it to happen in their lifetime; indeed even Matthew has Jesus say, "before this generation has passed away, all these things will have taken place" (24:34, New Jerusalem Bible).

>466 jntjesussaves: all but one of the original twelve disciples were martyred based on this intepretation of Scripture

That's rather a big claim. How do you know exactly how they interpreted it? I suspect they were martyred because they were followers of Jesus rather than for one particular interpretation of scripture.

Edited to add: Without getting into a debate about the exact dating of the various New Testament books, I would suggest that it's extremely unlikely that the aforementioned twelve disciples would have had access to most of the NT texts. Why would they need to read about Jesus, as they themselves were eye-witnesses?

471lawecon
Edited: Feb 9, 2012, 12:02am Top

~465

"What's sad about it? The sad thing would be if, somehow, he were convinced by all the people who, for whatever reason, are trying to rain on his parade."

Yept, those open minded people who can change their opinions in the light of evidence and argument are really a horror! They were clearly responsible for most of the atrocities of the 20th Century. But, thank the Holy One we've got people like you to uphold standards when they are under "assault" by critical thinkers.

472lawecon
Feb 9, 2012, 12:01am Top

~465

"You can disagree with my assumption (or interpretation), but you can't say I haven't provided evidence. This verse seems quite clear to me."

Here's a hint: if you ever get hauled into court hire a lawyer. Lawyers know what constitutes evidence.

473fuzzi
Feb 9, 2012, 8:02am Top

The legal proof for/against Christianity can be discussed here:

http://www.librarything.com/topic/132511

Have fun!

474fuzzi
Feb 9, 2012, 8:02am Top

I only read 3 or 4 chapters of Deuteronomy last night, I was that tired.

475lawecon
Edited: Feb 9, 2012, 8:15am Top

~473

Once again, fuzzi, you entirely miss the point.

jnt keeps claiming that he has "evidence" for his position on doctrines in a previously quoted Bible verse and his reliance on his interpretation of those verses as a guide to conducting his life.

His evidence is other Bible verses. That isn't evidence of the truth or authenticity of an originally quoted Bible verse. Anyone should know that, whether they are a lawyer or not. It is much as if I have just been swindled by someone and their defender, to provide "evidence" of their honesty, asks them "Are you honest?" Or it is like the Muslim "proof" of the truth and authenticity of the Qu'ran ("It says it is true and it says that G-d has preserved its authenticity.") Feel convinced, do you?

My suggestion to jnt was that if he found himself in a context where evidence really mattered to his welfare he might want to hire an expert to evaluate for him what was and was not "evidence." Obviously he doesn't "get it."

476thomashwalker2
Edited: Feb 9, 2012, 8:21am Top

464: Good point!!!

477thomashwalker2
Edited: Feb 9, 2012, 8:21am Top

466: Great response!!!

478lawecon
Feb 9, 2012, 8:16am Top

~474

And what did G-d tell you when you read those chapters?

479thomashwalker2
Feb 9, 2012, 8:20am Top

472: "Here's a hint: if you ever get hauled into court hire a lawyer. Lawyers know what constitutes evidence."

If I need legal counsel I would want you (Lawecon) to be on my side. If I need counsel to help me understand God's Word, I would ask jnt or Fuzzi.

480thomashwalker2
Feb 9, 2012, 8:44am Top

478: "And what did G-d tell you when you read those chapters?"

Lawecon is not unlike my servant Paul. Remember when Paul was Saul of Tarsus and he persecuted Christians even delivering them unto death? I have plans for Lawecon, for he is of the seed of Abraham and I love him.

481lawecon
Edited: Feb 9, 2012, 9:00am Top

~479

Well, here is the problem, Thomas. You want to believe that the Bible is special. You therefore put it in a category all by itself, a category in which whatever you think it says becomes "absolute truth."

The Bible is not special. It was not handed down by G-d to either Moses or Jesus or anyone else. It is an anthology of texts written by various human beings in various times and places, human beings who had various concerns when they were writing.

You may well believe that each of those human beings was being true to what he understood to be The Truth when he was writing. You may well believe that in some sense the authors of these various texts, and the Catholic Councils that selected these texts from among many other texts by majority vote, were "inspired." But that doesn't mean that the Bible therefore becomes exempt from ordinary critical and analytic criteria applied to all other historical texts.

What those critical and analytic inquiries tell scholars about the Bible is that the Bible contains texts that are wrongly and sometimes falsely attributed (not a good start for a flawless and perfect "Word of G-d"). They tell scholars that many of these texts are composites, having been "corrected" or pasted together and cut apart by a number of people over a fairly extensive period of time. They tell scholars that none of these texts were written by personal observers of the facts related or even by contemporaries of those facts.

Now does that mean that there is no truth, including no historical truth, in the Bible? Of course not. Homer was unlikely to have been a personal observer of any of the stories he recited, and his Odyssey and Iliad may have been "corrected" by later story tellers before being written down in an "official text," but at least some of the broad historical details of his tales turn out to be true.

What it does mean, however, is that you and the other "believers" in this thread are simply factually wrong in the way you are approaching the Bible.

Further, as a Jew, I have to point out to you that what you are doing is creating an idol out of the Bible. According to some of the texts you worship, G-d does not like idols and those who worship them. Presumably you remember what he does to idol worshipers?

482lawecon
Feb 9, 2012, 9:03am Top

~480

Thank you Thomas-God I look forward to your plan.

483thomashwalker2
Edited: Feb 9, 2012, 10:40am Top

481: Amazing rebuttal! Seriously, I would hire you in a minute to defend me in court. However, you are using the same methodology to discern issues that are spiritual in nature. I am sure you have experienced times when a different approach was needed to solve a problem because the standard approach wasn't working. Your problem is that you adhere to the strict methodologies for studying God’s Word, understand that these study modus operandi are a manmade invention.

484streamsong
Edited: Feb 9, 2012, 10:12am Top

The dogs bark but the caravan travels on.

So, being both behind and ahead of the majority in your reading, I thought I'd share some of the insights from the commentary I'm reading by John Jeske on Genesis 22--Abraham being called to sacrifice Isaac. This story has always been very troubling to me.

In Genesis 17:21, the Lord said "My covenant I will strike with Isaac." Not with another-offspring-of-Abraham if something happened to Isaac, but with Isaac himself. This is a promise that Abraham could count on.

Isaac, Abraham and the servants had to travel three days to the sacrifice site. Three days! Imagine having three days to contemplate doing the unimaginable. And yet 22:4-5: "On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance. He said to his servants, "Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We Will worship and then we will come back to you."

From the commentary:

"The Hebrew word translated 'we will come back' is an emphatic verb form expressing the speaker's determination. It hints at the answer Abraham had reached to the awful question that was torturing him: 'How can a merciful God cut off the Messianic line?' Abrham's faith answered: 'If God commands me to kill Isaac and I obey him, then God is simply going to have to bring Isaac's ashes back to life and the two of us are going to come back down the mountain." (183-184)

We all know the end of the story, but here is a comment about the ram:

"By providing a ram for the sacrifice in place of Isaac, God illustrated a principle that becomes more and more prominent as the Old Testament unfolds. It's the principle of substitution. When God created the world, he did so by exercising his almighty power. When God redeemed the world, he did so by mercifully providing a substitute, whom he punished in place of the sinner." (p. 186)

The ram illustrating substitution in the OT is new to me. I'm drawing a blank on other incidents in the OT that illustrate substitution. Guess I'll have to look into that.

ETA--I'm familiar, of course, with all the animal offerings--sin offerings and burnt offerings and the scape goat-- commanded by the law. Just wondering if I'm missing something else.

485johnthefireman
Feb 9, 2012, 9:43am Top

>483 thomashwalker2: these study modus operandi are a manmade invention

Reading and writing are man-made inventions. Printing bibles is a man-made invention. The science which enabled the KJV to be read on computers and the internet is a man-made invention. Those of us who can no longer read the word of God without spectacles are using man-made inventions. We use man-made inventions all the time in our pursuit of God's word. Why do you accept the use of some and not others? Those Christians who make use of exegesis and other critical and scholarly tools to understand God's word believe that God's Spirit is inspiring them to do so, just as much as some other Christians believe that God's Spirit is inspiring them to understand God's word without using the tools which God gave us.

486thomashwalker2
Feb 9, 2012, 10:48am Top

Reading, writing, printing, computers, internet, spectacles ... etc.

The above man-made inventions help us to communicate, store data, compute, access information, distribute, market, and see what we are looking at.

Discernment of spiritual truth? Which of the above can do that?

487johnthefireman
Feb 9, 2012, 10:55am Top

>486 thomashwalker2: Discernment of spiritual truth? Which of the above can do that?

Exegesis, scholarship, study, hermeneutics, literary criticism, linguistics, history, etc - all combined with prayer, of course, and inspired by the Holy Spirit. Making use of the gifts which God gave us so as better to understand God's word and discern spiritual truth.

Thomas, you and one or two others on this thread make it seem as if it must be either/or; either the work of humans or the work of God. Most Christians in the world see it as both/and, with the addition that what you describe as man-made is actually also a gift to humanity from God.

488faceinbook
Feb 9, 2012, 11:06am Top

>479 thomashwalker2:
"If I need legal counsel I would want you (Lawecon) to be on my side. If I need counsel to help me understand God's Word, I would ask jnt or Fuzzi."

Hm-m-m-m the second option is kind of like preaching to the choir......the first has the potential of being a true test of one's faith, exercise for the soul if you will !

489quicksiva
Feb 9, 2012, 12:02pm Top

If the Bible has errors in it, how can anyone know for sure what is correct doctrine and what isn't?

The answer is, of course, that you can't know. Either the Bible is without error and to be believed, or it has errors and can be changed and edited to fit the personal beliefs of the editor.

"It is also pretty generally accepted by Christians that Paul did not write a number of the letters attributed to him. However whether that makes them "inauthentic" is a different question. They were included in the canon of scripture by the Church and thus their teaching is considered valid regardless of authorship."

How can the teaching be valid if you think that Paul was wrong about the end of the world and Jesus' return? If Paul, probably the greatest apostle there was, could be wrong, what about the rest of his epistles?

Either the Bible is true, or it isn't. Personally, I believe that God has preserved His word, holy and pure, as He promised. Any so-called "errors" are due to a misunderstanding of what is written in the Bible, and an unwillingness to admit that there is something we don't understand in God's word.
=========
Only a real idiot would attempt to argue with this position?

I'll give it a try.
A. Which Bible ?

490fuzzi
Feb 9, 2012, 12:16pm Top

(489) quicksiva wrote "Only a real idiot would attempt to argue with this position?

I'll give it a try.


I agree with your statement, however, as I'm sure you're not an idiot, instead of arguing, let's discuss!

"A. Which Bible ?""

God's word, as preserved in the King James Bible (but you knew I was going to say that, right?) ;)

Here's a video that might clarify things a bit. I'm sure that Brother Gipp is a lot better at explaining things than I am. I don't take my doctrine from him, but we generally agree:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OIOUN6GJlJI

Go on, give it a watch. It won't bite... :)

491fuzzi
Feb 9, 2012, 12:24pm Top

streamsong, don't worry about the rate at which you read your Bible. Reading it is the most important thing, not how quickly you finish it.

And thank you for your insights.

As far as the commentary goes, I think the writer is correct. Abraham did go up on the mountain with Isaac, stating that he AND HIS SON would return. In order for Abraham to say that, he had to believe that his son would be resurrected somehow.

Abraham trusted God, and was called the friend of God.

About the ram, let me share something that I found really interesting:

From Genesis 22:7-13

"And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?
And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together.
And they came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood.
And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son.
And the angel of the LORD called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I.
And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me.
And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son."


In verse 8, it is written that "God will provide HIMSELF a lamb", (emphasis mine) which could mean that

1. God would, Himself, provide a lamb

or

2. God would provide Himself as a lamb for the offering

Jesus is referred to as the Lamb Who takes away the sin of the world.

So, in this passage, I believe that God not only provided a physical animal for the sacrifice, but also is telling what will happen in the future, when He, God, Incarnate as Jesus Christ, will be our sacrifice for sin!

Woo! Doesn't that make you excited? :)

492thomashwalker2
Feb 9, 2012, 12:52pm Top

487: "what you describe as man-made is actually also a gift to humanity from God."

"Exegesis, scholarship, study, hermeneutics, literary criticism, linguistics, history" as well as electricity, cars, tires, airplanes, etc were invented by God's crowning glory of creation - mankind. These inventions are good and necessary when used where applicable. Otherwise, if used for other than what they were intended, one can be led to wrong conclusions and outcomes. Using scholarship, or deep and penetrating historical, literary, and textual analysis to discern (fathom, probe, divine, understand) the spiritual realm, would be like using a car to bulldoze, an airplane to dig a ditch, a tire to remove a bolt, etc. Yes, those study methods are useful in gaining knowledge, but there is a difference between knowledge and wisdom. It has been said that it is not what you know that counts, but what you understand.

Also, so as not to offend anyone with an advanced degree, you can increase your knowledge and understanding using the different study methodologies for those things that are of this world: science, physics, mathematics, engineering etc. However, these are areas that are in the physical realm. A different approach is needed when we cross over to the other side to the spiritual. The problem is that several of you are not making any distinction between the physical and spiritual world. Let me break the news to you, the spiritual operates differently than the physical.

493StormRaven
Feb 9, 2012, 1:04pm Top

Let me break the news to you, the spiritual operates differently than the physical.

How do you know?

494johnthefireman
Feb 9, 2012, 1:15pm Top

>494 johnthefireman: No, I'm sorry, Thomas, but you're still on the either/or track. You don't appear to recognise both/and; that we can use God's gift of learning alongside the spiritual discernment that we get from God.

495faceinbook
Feb 9, 2012, 1:28pm Top

>490 fuzzi:
Well that clears things up.....as clear as mud.
You are correct, those who follow any other version of the Bible are not ! Good to know.

The Bible contains beautiful passages in all it's versions....one version may be easier to understand than the other based on individual perception ?

Here is the secret answer:
NOBODY really knows anything much about this subject other than well known speculations and theories ! We are ALL guessing. Until someone dies and comes back to tell us either yay or nay.....we simply do not know. We can intuit but that is all we have and since we do not all see things in exactly the same manner, our intuitions will all differ.
Nobody is right, nobody is wrong as the answer is simply not there !

Oh, and we can hope....which I believe most any faith is founded on....HOPE ! All religions seem to have this in common no matter what text they follow.
So then, we all have something in common except for those who do not feel the need to hope for anything beyond the physical.....and that is fine as well. If they are wrong...oops....if they are not, the joke is on us.

I do admire your sense of certainty, however it is important to keep in mind that as certain as you are, so too is someone else in ways that differ greatly from yours. They too deserve respect for their sense of certainty as well.
No winner....just various forms of certainties.

496thomashwalker2
Feb 9, 2012, 1:46pm Top

494: I read, study and meditate on the Word of God. I have even taken study courses and attended many adult Bible study groups. These are good sources to help us in our quest for understanding. "Wisdom is not a product of schooling but of the lifelong attempt to acquire it.” - Einstein

It is necessary to read and study the Bible and it does no harm in using concordances, historical perspectives, or the dozen other methodologies to gain intellectual knowledge. The more we know about God's Word the easier for "God's Word to explain our experiences" so that we can know God personally.

Know about God vs Know God personally. Is there a difference?

497johnthefireman
Feb 9, 2012, 2:29pm Top

>496 thomashwalker2: Know about God vs Know God personally. Is there a difference?

Of course there is. But again, why make it either/or? Why not do both? Know God personally and do everything you can, using all the tools available, to know more about God. The two are not mutually exclusive. Pardon me if I have misunderstood, but I get an overwhelming sense from much of this thread that you and a couple of other posters think they are, and that we cannot do both.

498thomashwalker2
Feb 9, 2012, 3:36pm Top

497:johnthefireman

Doesn't my post (496) say that it is good to do both?

499fuzzi
Feb 9, 2012, 8:09pm Top

(495) Thank you, faceinbook. That was a very thoughtful and polite post.

500jntjesussaves
Edited: Feb 9, 2012, 8:43pm Top

481: "Well, here is the problem, Thomas. You want to believe that the Bible is special. You therefore put it in a category all by itself, a category in which whatever you think it says becomes "absolute truth."

Lawecon, at least be intellectually honest- do you not believe that what you have stated in this thread and elsewhere is- "absolute truth"? Why is so profound to you that Thomas, myself, fuzzi and a few others believe the Bible to be "absolute truth"? I have admitted (which I am sure you overlooked when you were looking for something to criticize me for), that I have stated several times that I could be wrong in my interpretations. I have yet to hear you state the same, yet you criticize Thomas (and others) for believing they are right (or have the absolute truth). It can't be wrong for us to believe we have absolute truth, but you are right when you believe you have it. Thomas and others happen to believe God's Word is reliable (infallible, inerrant, and without error)- hence, it is the "final authority." You apparently believe different.

"The Bible is not special. It was not handed down by G-d to either Moses or Jesus or anyone else. It is an anthology of texts written by various human beings in various times and places, human beings who had various concerns when they were writing."

How did you learn this? Did you learn it from others (who also could be wrong in their interpretations of history, of meaning, of a multitude of other things)?

To quote you from 463:

"Since you can see into Paul's mind, and, indeed, G-d's mind, and I would never be so arrogant as to make such claims, I really have nothing to say in response."

Yet you say, "It was not handed down by God to either Moses or Jesus or anyone else." Please explain yourself. How do you know this, or "can you see into...God's mind?"

You continuously state how much faith you place in what others have written about the Bible, about history, and about numerous other topics, yet you seem to place very little faith in God's Word and what it says. Your faith in "scholars" (that you respect) caused me to think about a group in the New Testament who many placed their faith in their interpretations also. This group was that of the "scribes." I notice many similarities between this group and the group that you describe that you place so much faith in.

You ought to do a study on the scribes in the New Testament. I just read each verse in the New Testament referring to "scribes" and here is what I found:
The scribes were constantly criticizing Jesus and they were some of the greatest proclaimers of their desire for His being killed. They accused Jesus of blasphemy (Matthew 9:3; Luke 5:21); he was to suffer and die at the hands of the scribes (Matthew 16:21; 20:18; Mark 8:31; 11:18; 14:1; Luke 9:22; 19:47; 22:2); they were displeased at the things that He did and the praise that He received (Matthew 21:15); they mocked Jesus (Matthew 27:41; Mark 15:31); they attributed His power to Satan (Mark 3:22); they accused Him of wrongdoing many times (Mark 2:16; 7:5; Luke 6:7; 15:2; 23:10).

The following are a few verses quoted of Jesus' opinion of the "scribes."

He calls them hypocrites (Matthew 23:13, 14, 15, 23, 25, 27, 29: Luke 11:44); they weren't going to heaven (Matthew 23:13); they were keeping others from going to heaven (Matthew 23:13); pretentiously made long prayer (Matthew 23:14); their proselytes were made more a "child of hell" than themselves (Matthew 23:15); they ommitted the "weightier" (greater) matters of the law- judgment, mercy and faith (Matthew 23:23); they clean the outside, but within they are full of "extortion and excess" (Matthew 23:25, 27); they loved to be of high stature (Luke 20:46).

Yet, Jesus is the one that taught with authority (not as the scribes taught) (Matthew 7:29; Mark 1:22). And in the end, the "scribes" proclamation was:

Acts 23:9
And there arose a great cry: and the scribes that were of the Pharisees' part arose, and strove, saying, We find no evil in this man: but if a spirit or an angel hath spoken to him, let us not fight against God.
(KJV)

Your favored scholars seem to be quite in company with the "scribes" of Jesus' time.

"What it does mean, however, is that you and the other "believers" in this thread are simply factually wrong in the way you are approaching the Bible."

That sounds quite "authoritative."

"Further, as a Jew, I have to point out to you that what you are doing is creating an idol out of the Bible. According to some of the texts you worship, G-d does not like idols and those who worship them. Presumably you remember what he does to idol worshipers?"

Is this your opinion of what an "idol" is? And is your opinion "authoritative"? It sounds like you are doing the same thing that myself, Thomas, and fuzzi are doing- you are reading God's Word (and interpreting it based on what you believe God is saying); and I thought you said you never did that- "see...God's mind."

I don't worship the Bible (God's written words), but I do believe His written words are infallible. This might be your interpretation of "idol worship," but to me it is common sense. I do worship Jehovah God, therefore, I do hold His words written within His Word in high regards.

One obvious answer that God does to "idol worshipers" is that He saves them to become Jehovah worshipers. But I presume this is not the answer you were looking for. My thought, based on your continuous trust you place in "scholars" and yourself is that these are possibly your idols, but I will let God be the judge of that.

Have a blessed night, lawecon.

501jntjesussaves
Feb 9, 2012, 8:45pm Top

483: Amen, great points Thomas!

502faceinbook
Feb 9, 2012, 8:47pm Top

>499 fuzzi:
You are welcome.

503jntjesussaves
Feb 9, 2012, 8:47pm Top

Amen, streamsong- great observations. As you read more of the Old Testament you will see many other illustrations of the "principle of substitution." If you keep this principle in mind each time you read- you will spot them (and probably many others that Christians have possibly overlooked).

504jntjesussaves
Feb 9, 2012, 8:48pm Top

486: Another excellent point, Thomas.

505jntjesussaves
Feb 9, 2012, 8:49pm Top

"Exegesis, scholarship, study, hermeneutics, literary criticism, linguistics, history, etc - all combined with prayer, of course, and inspired by the Holy Spirit."

I agree with your statement and have made mention of that fact in previous posts.

506jntjesussaves
Feb 9, 2012, 8:52pm Top

491: Amen, fuzzi. That is exciting and something that I had never noticed before. This is the reason why I don't place complete trust in my own interpretation, because at certain times I just might miss something.

507jntjesussaves
Feb 9, 2012, 8:54pm Top

"Yes, those study methods are useful in gaining knowledge, but there is a difference between knowledge and wisdom."

Amen, and well stated!

"Also, so as not to offend anyone with an advanced degree, you can increase your knowledge and understanding using the different study methodologies for those things that are of this world: science, physics, mathematics, engineering etc. However, these are areas that are in the physical realm. A different approach is needed when we cross over to the other side to the spiritual. The problem is that several of you are not making any distinction between the physical and spiritual world. Let me break the news to you, the spiritual operates differently than the physical."

Amen and amen, Thomas!

508jntjesussaves
Feb 9, 2012, 8:55pm Top

493: God's Word says it, stormraven!

509StormRaven
Feb 9, 2012, 9:01pm Top

508: So, studying a material object gives you information about the spiritual realm? Then why is it that other material objects and other forms of material study do not also do this?

510jntjesussaves
Feb 9, 2012, 9:20pm Top

495: "NOBODY really knows anything much about this subject other than well known speculations and theories ! We are ALL guessing. Until someone dies and comes back to tell us either yay or nay.....we simply do not know."

Praise God, faceinbook, somebody did just that- His name is Jesus Christ!

"Nobody is right, nobody is wrong as the answer is simply not there !"

There is sure a lot of debating going on if no one is right and no one is wrong. I hold that when we have contradictory ideas- one is wrong and one is right. An example is: Is the Bible (as it was originally written by human authors and more so, by God) inerrant? I would say yes, many on this thread would say that it is not. It either is inerrant or it is not. Of course, some might say that it doesn't have to be one or the other- those who say it is inerrant and those who say that it is not are both right. I can't agree with this analogy. This is an "is" or an "isn't."

"Oh, and we can hope....which I believe most any faith is founded on....HOPE ! All religions seem to have this in common no matter what text they follow.
So then, we all have something in common except for those who do not feel the need to hope for anything beyond the physical.....and that is fine as well. If they are wrong...oops....if they are not, the joke is on us."

Again, faceinbook, while I agree most if not all religions have "hope" in common, there are different types of hope. Atheists hope they are right, because if they are wrong (and they are)- they will suffer dire consequences for their false "hope." I also have hope as a Christian, but my hope is not "a hope so" as much as a "precious hope" based on Jesus Christ and what He has done for me (Romans 8:24-25; 15:4; 15:13; Ephesians 1:18; Colossians 1:5 and many more I could add).

Some great verses in relation to my hope can be found in Romans 5:1-6.

Romans 5:1
Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:

Romans 5:2
By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

Romans 5:3
And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;

Romans 5:4
And patience, experience; and experience, hope:

Romans 5:5
And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.

Romans 5:6
For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. {in due time: or, according to the time}
(KJV)

Have a good night, faceinbook.

511jntjesussaves
Feb 9, 2012, 9:21pm Top

Amen, Thomas!

512jntjesussaves
Feb 9, 2012, 9:27pm Top

509: The Bible made up of pages (material object) does not produce the spiritual, the words written on these pages do. Material (man made) objects are used to trasfer the spiritual (God's Word), but they are not the spiritual. I have not stated that material objects do not "transfer" spiritual matter, only that they are not spiritual matter.

Have a good night, stormraven.

513lawecon
Edited: Feb 9, 2012, 10:08pm Top

~500
See below.

514StormRaven
Feb 9, 2012, 9:58pm Top

"The Bible made up of pages (material object) does not produce the spiritual, the words written on these pages do."

Except the words on the page are material, and they operate in exactly the same way as every other material object. Yet you say that the spiritual works differently. How do you know? You are relying on an anthology written by men in material form to make your claim.

515lawecon
Feb 9, 2012, 10:05pm Top

~500
Let me just answer this one part of your rant and see if you yourself can answer the rest:

"To quote you from 463:

"Since you can see into Paul's mind, and, indeed, G-d's mind, and I would never be so arrogant as to make such claims, I really have nothing to say in response."

Yet you say, "It was not handed down by God to either Moses or Jesus or anyone else." Please explain yourself. How do you know this, or "can you see into...God's mind?"
---------------------
I "know this" jnt, because no one (other than you?) has ever been absurd enough to claim otherwise. The Bible is not written in the first person. It was traditionally claimed that Moses wrote the first five books, that other individuals wrote certain of the books thereafter, that the apostles of Jesus wrote the Gospels, etc.

No one has EVER claimed that G-d himself wrote the Bible and handed it down from heaven to, ah, you and fuzzi.

Now since you missed that quite obvious point, jnt, I doubt that these other points are going to impress you, but let me try.

You are not a scholar, jnt. "Reading the Bible through in one year" is not a scholarly endeavor, just because you find it hard to do so. It is particularly not a scholarly endeavor when what you are reading is a translation in a language that is far different than the languages in which the Bible was written.

Do you know anything at all about the structure of Biblical Hebrew or Classical Greek, jnt, let alone anything about the meaning of the Biblical texts in their respective original languages? No, of course you don't. Your attitude is much like that of the man who declares that the Sun goes around the Earth because he sees the Sun do exactly that. You stop at the surface level and then proclaim your deep understanding.

There are those, jnt, who don't stop at the surface level, who are Bible scholars, who spend their lives with the texts of the Bible in the original languages and other texts of the times of the Bible in their original languages, and with the findings of archaeology and anthropology concerning the times of the Bible, and so forth. You do not. You do not, apparently, because you think that you already know The Truth and because you proclaim that G-d speaks to you personally. Either that or because it is important to you that you feel important but not that you put the work into understanding that which you proclaim to be of central importance to you.

You do not even try to seek out such dedicated Biblical scholars or read what they say, ask them questions, and think about the answers. Instead, you quote snippets from your translation of the Bible about scribes and pharisees and presume that you understand something profound and have said something profound. You haven't. Try reading scholarly books like this Scribal Culture And The Making of the Hebrew Bible and the extensive teachings of the immediate descendants of the pharisees The Babylonian Talmud and then come back and let's talk. Until you do, however, all you are doing is displaying your ignorance of what you do not begin to understand.

===================

"Is this your opinion of what an "idol" is? And is your opinion "authoritative"?"

No, jnt, my "opinions" are not anything. Just as your "opinions" are not anything. But there are then the considered, argued for and supported judgments of scholars that are considerably more than my opinions or your opinions. For instance, since you apparently don't know what idolatry is, try this very insightful study of that question. Idolatry
===============
"It sounds like you are doing the same thing that myself, Thomas, and fuzzi are doing- you are reading God's Word (and interpreting it based on what you believe God is saying); and I thought you said you never did that- "see...God's mind."

Surely you do not believe that, after all this time and all the exchanges we have had above. After all of that you believe that I, like you, am reading the KJV of the Bible and saying to myself "Gee, I wonder what that means. Oh, now I know because G-d just spoke to me about what He is trying to teach me in that passage." Are you so deaf in your arrogance that you do not even hear what is being said to you, over and over and over again?

===============

"I don't worship the Bible (God's written words), but I do believe His written words are infallible. This might be your interpretation of "idol worship," but to me it is common sense. I do worship Jehovah God, therefore, I do hold His words written within His Word in high regards."

Let's see if I understand what you have just said. You do not worship the Bible, but you worship the words in the Bible? I stand corrected. Words are for you the idol, not a book, but the words in a book.

I am sorry, jnt, but that distinction doesn't get you anywhere other than where you were going initially. Enjoy.

516jburlinson
Feb 9, 2012, 11:32pm Top

> 510. His name is Jesus Christ!

Firstborn son of Joseph and Mary Christ.

517johnthefireman
Feb 10, 2012, 12:12am Top

>510 jntjesussaves: inerrant

Well, there is at least one other position, which is that the bible is inerrant in that it contains God's truth, but we need to study it properly in order to get at that truth. That's not to say that there isn't a valid message for those who read it in a simple way, just as we can read all sorts of religious and otherwise worthy texts, but for those who have the means and the commitment, I would say we have a responsibility to study it properly.

>516 jburlinson: If I were into smiley faces I would put one here! "Jesus the Christ" would appear to be a more useful (and increasingly popular?) way of writing it, emphasising that Christ is a title rather than a surname. In Arabic prayers, the definite article is always used.

518cjbanning
Feb 10, 2012, 8:49am Top

512: "The Bible made up of pages (material object) does not produce the spiritual, the words written on these pages do."

So it's not the paper, but the ink?

519fuzzi
Feb 10, 2012, 6:27pm Top

(518) cjbanning, not the ink, the "words".

Maybe John or Thomas can explain it so you can understand.

No chapters to report read tonight. I think I'm "coming down" with a cold or something, so I'm headed for bed early (of course, with a book!).

Carry on! :)

520thomashwalker2
Feb 11, 2012, 3:37pm Top

515: "You are not a scholar, jnt. "Reading the Bible through in one year" is not a scholarly endeavor, just because you find it hard to do so. It is particularly not a scholarly endeavor when what you are reading is a translation in a language that is far different than the languages in which the Bible was written."

"Oh how love I thy law! It is my meditation all the day. Thy commandments make me wiser than mine enemies; For they are ever with me. I have more understanding than all my teachers; For thy testimonies are my meditation. I understand more than the aged, Because I have kept thy precepts" Psalms 119:97-100 - King David.

Lawecon, Jnt is a scholar as well as fuzzi!!! They have the same passion for God's Word as did King David.

521jntjesussaves
Feb 11, 2012, 5:57pm Top

515: "I "know this" jnt, because no one (other than you?) has ever been absurd enough to claim otherwise."

That is an interesting way of coming to the truth, lawecon. You know it "because no one other than me has ever been absurd enough to claim otherwise."
There are at least three on this thread that I believe would claim to "see the mind of Christ" in this sense. I guess when you have a belief about something the Bible says, it is the truth, but when others (Thomas, myself, fuzzi, etc.) believe something written in the Bible- we don't really have the understanding needed to come to that conclusion. By the way, along with those mentioned- many throughout Christendom would make this claim. Do I see everything perfectly like Christ does, of course not. However, God has promised to give more wisdom to those who seek it. As Thomas stated earlier, there is a difference between wisdom and knowledge.

"No one has EVER claimed that G-d himself wrote the Bible and handed it down from heaven to, ah, you and fuzzi."

Maybe not in your world, but in the real world- many make the claim that "God Himself wrote the Bible and handed it down from heaven." Our claim is not because we believe we are better than others; our claim is because God chose to hand His written Word (and preserved it) to Christians in this day and age. Thank God He did. If He hadn't we wouldn't have an authoritative "final answer" on anything. It would be what lawecon, jntjesussaves, thomas, or fuzzi said, however, we are able to compare what others say to the "final authority"- God's Word.

Just a couple quotes in your last thread that I bring attention to:

"no one (other than you?) has ever been absurd enough to claim otherwise"- Many others have been that "absurd" according to you.

"You are not a scholar, jnt."- The dictionary terms a scholar "a learned person" and in a general sense, "any student or pupil." I would claim both, even while apparently I am not as scholarly as yourself.

"Do you know anything at all about...No, of course you don't."- I have studied the things you've mentioned, but of course I have much to learn.

"There are those, jnt, who don't stop at the surface level, who are Bible scholars...You do not."- I didn't realize I did until you pointed it out. I guess when God says, "thou shalt not murder," maybe He is trying to get deeper than "you shouldn't murder." I guess when He states "meditate on Thy word day and night," He is trying to get deeper than "you should meditate on His word day and night." You see, lawecon, I believe God has given us rather clear direction and instruction on most things, of which I don't necessarily believe we need to go deeper- however, on those ideas or passages that seem to call out for further study- I do so. Apparently my study is not up to your standard, but I doubt it could ever be.

"You do not even try to seek out such dedicated Biblical scholars or read what they say, ask them questions, and think about the answers."- Interesting how you know this information, but I will say I have sought out "dedicated Biblical scholars" to learn more. I just believe, the ones I have read (or learned from) probably do not match the criteria that you require (of which is, that they must agree with you).

You have an amazing ability to see into other people's minds, lawecon, unlike your previous claims.

"you think that you already know The Truth and because you proclaim that G-d speaks to you personally"

As a lawyer, lawecon, you should at least be aware that it isn't ethical to accuse someone falsely of something that they never said. The above statement has never came out of my mouth (or from my fingers). I do believe I know "The Truth." As fuzzi stated earlier (quoting from God's Word)- Jesus clearly proclaims to be "The Way, The Life, and The Truth" (John 14:6). I have a personal relationship with Him, but I would also claim to know "the truth" because God clearly has given us the truth- His written Word- and my claims are based on His written Word. I don't think you like the fact that Jehovah God speaks to me personally. Just so you will know, lawecon, He desires to speak to you personally (and have a personal relationship with you) if you would allow Him to.

"No, jnt, my "opinions" are not anything. Just as your "opinions" are not anything."

This doesn't seem to be the tact that you have previously taken and it doesn't appear to be the tact that you have taken in this particular thread. If our opinions "are nothing," why do you give them? I believe opinions are important- especially if one learns the truth through other's opinions.

Let me get this straight:

I said- "I do worship Jehovah God, therefore, I do hold His words written within His Word in high regards."

You said- "You do not worship the Bible, but you worship the words in the Bible? I stand corrected. Words are for you the idol, not a book, but the words in a book."

Therefore, I guess holding something in "high regards" (as I do the Bible) is the equivilant of "idol worship." Interesting interpretation.


522jntjesussaves
Feb 11, 2012, 5:58pm Top

Lawecon, on a lighter note:

What is your favorite non-fiction book that you have ever read or if you would like, what is your top five non-fiction books of all-time?

Thanks.

523jntjesussaves
Feb 11, 2012, 6:00pm Top

517: "I would say we have a responsibility to study it properly."

I believe I do, but by the responses of some on this thread- others may know more than myself.

524jntjesussaves
Feb 11, 2012, 6:13pm Top

518: "So it's not the paper, but the ink?"

Let me see if I can explain:

Let's say you have a thought. Let's say you desire to write down that thought. Let's say you then write down that thought on paper with pencil or pen (or you type it on your computer or a typewriter (do people still use them)). In this analogy you have transferred your original thought from your mind to a piece of paper (or your computer screen).

God had a thought (or a declaration if you will). He desired it to be written down- first on a rock tablet, then on scrolls, then on paper with ink. He gave us the means (man's ingenuity and knowledge) to do so. In other words, God transferred His original thought (which is always original with God) from His mind to the things I mentioned previously.

Same concept as I understand it. The "words" I refer to were originally only thoughts in the mind of God until He transferred it to something man could use- rock, papyrus, or paper.

525jntjesussaves
Feb 11, 2012, 6:15pm Top

519: It seems like a clear concept to me, but I tried to clarify my understanding to cjbanning (524), anyway.

526jntjesussaves
Feb 11, 2012, 6:17pm Top

520: Thank you, Thomas, you are kind. Well stated verse I would add. I would, of course, add yourself likewise.

God's blessings, Thomas.

527StormRaven
Feb 11, 2012, 6:19pm Top

"Same concept as I understand it. The "words" I refer to were originally only thoughts in the mind of God until He transferred it to something man could use- rock, papyrus, or paper."

Thoughts are a material phenomenon.

528jntjesussaves
Feb 11, 2012, 6:44pm Top

527: I don't know if I agree with that, StormRaven. Material (according to the dictionary) tends to be "of the body," "sensual," worldly," etc. It states material things are these ideas, "rather than spiritual or intellectual values." The word "spiritual" relates to "the spirit, or the soul as distinguished from the body or material things." While, in one sense- I guess our thoughts could relate to wordly and sensual things (and certainly at times they do), however, I believe when we are discussing thoughts of Jehovah God- they are not worldly and sensual, but spiritual (speaking to the spirit of man). They are only holy, pure and true.

529thomashwalker2
Feb 11, 2012, 6:56pm Top

527: "Thoughts are a material phenomenon."

493: "How do you know?"

530StormRaven
Feb 11, 2012, 8:57pm Top

529: Neuroscience.

531StormRaven
Feb 11, 2012, 8:58pm Top

"While, in one sense- I guess our thoughts could relate to wordly and sensual things (and certainly at times they do), however, I believe when we are discussing thoughts of Jehovah God- they are not worldly and sensual, but spiritual (speaking to the spirit of man)."

You misunderstand. Thoughts themselves are a material phenomenon. They are the result of electrical and chemical activity in your brain. There is no evidence for thoughts that are not the result of purely physical action.

532jntjesussaves
Feb 12, 2012, 9:35am Top

531: Not to get to crazy about all this, because in one sense this has very little to do with my point.

I believe thoughts are in a sense ideas, not just brain activity. I understand, without brain activity there would be no thoughts (or ideas), but I am not sure all of this is relevant when one talks about "the mind of Christ" (the mind of God). In other words, when we are trying to explain Deity, I am not sure if what we understand about the mind (our brain activity) is the same with God's (or even similar).

533quicksiva
Feb 12, 2012, 10:04am Top

>532 jntjesussaves:
Thoughts themselves are a material phenomenon. They are the result of electrical and chemical activity in your brain. There is no evidence for thoughts that are not the result of purely physical action.

Who or what is doing the "thinking"? I say self aware nature. You reduce the process to cans of soup, connected by threads, trying to communicate with each other. Of course, that might be nature's way.

534fuzzi
Feb 12, 2012, 3:03pm Top

"Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth." (John 17:17)

535jntjesussaves
Feb 12, 2012, 9:12pm Top

533: You might be right quicksiva; I do know my brain does not really grasp all the science involved in why it works the way it does. Thank God, at least from my perspective, God doesn't require us to have that understanding to understand what He is saying. Thanks for your help.

536jntjesussaves
Feb 12, 2012, 9:12pm Top

534: Great verse of Scripture, fuzzi.

537lawecon
Feb 13, 2012, 7:44am Top

~535

"God doesn't require us to have that understanding to understand what He is saying."

That is a good thing, given most of this thread.

538thomashwalker2
Feb 13, 2012, 8:42am Top

What was a thought before the invention of language?

539StormRaven
Feb 13, 2012, 8:45am Top

Do you think a thought has to be spoken to be a thought?

540eclecticdodo
Feb 13, 2012, 9:00am Top

There's been some fascinating research on the thought processes of people who developed language late in life. It's particularly of interest in policy making for deaf education. Evidence shows that thought exists without language but is chaotic. Even once a language is acquired the cognitive processes never quite catch up.
Of course there is an obvious flaw in the theory - that language is so entrenched in the way we think that we are unable to investigate thought alone. Our definition of ordered thought is linear thought, which requires language.

541faceinbook
Feb 13, 2012, 9:23am Top

Here is a thought :
"Spirituality is supposed to be felt not spoken"
Once spoken it no longer is "of the spirit". That is why actions speak louder than words.

>535 jntjesussaves:
"God doesn't require us to have that understanding to understand what He is saying."

I am confused.

542thomashwalker2
Feb 13, 2012, 9:55am Top

Heartfelt understanding vs Head knowledge. Is there a difference? Can we think with our heart? What is a gut feeling?

543StormRaven
Feb 13, 2012, 9:59am Top

Heartfelt understanding vs Head knowledge. Is there a difference?

No.

Can we think with our heart?

No.

What is a gut feeling?

Your brain at work.

544fuzzi
Feb 13, 2012, 11:57am Top

(535) "God doesn't require us to have that understanding to understand what He is saying."

(541) I am confused.


Don't be confused. :)

It does not take a college degree or a deep understanding of science or philosophy to understand what God is saying to you, only a willingness to hear Him despite the clamor of the world around you.

Becoming a Christian is not hard, living for God can be.

The former requires a child-like faith in something is ridiculed by those who "know better".

The latter requires a desire to get to know God better despite the efforts of those who would try to make you feel stupid because you have accepted something in faith.

We are to come to Jesus Christ as little children, with the faith of a child, and do not need to be scholars in order to understand.

Jesus said "... Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.
Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein." (Mark 10:14-15)


The kingdom of God is not a place, it is within you:

"And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation:
Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you." (Luke 17:21-22)


We receive Christ within, because we want Him, and ask Him to do so. That's being "saved".

And all the rants and raves by those who despise Jesus Christ can't do a thing about it if that's what someone wants.

545jburlinson
Feb 13, 2012, 1:36pm Top

> 531. Thoughts themselves are a material phenomenon. They are the result of electrical and chemical activity in your brain. There is no evidence for thoughts that are not the result of purely physical action.

So, a thought about God is a material phenomenon, right?

546StormRaven
Feb 13, 2012, 1:42pm Top

Yes. So is a thought about fairies, ghosts, unicorns, and other nonextant creatures. Thoughts are real. But they can be about non-real things.

547jburlinson
Feb 13, 2012, 1:56pm Top

> 546. Thoughts are real. But they can be about non-real things.

No doubt that's true. However, the thought about God (or a fairy or a ghost or a unicorn) is built from the same stuff as the thought of something "real" (like a donkey, or a triangle, or Uncle Ernie). Right?

548StormRaven
Feb 13, 2012, 2:12pm Top

547: Sure. But the original suggestion was that the spiritual operated by different rules than the material, and we know this as a result of the non-material word of God. But words are material. The thoughts that form words are material. So what we are left with is no information at all about anything "spiritual".

549jburlinson
Feb 13, 2012, 2:21pm Top

> 548. So what we are left with is no information at all about anything "spiritual".

No -- what we're left with is information leading us to understand that, for us (physical organisms), "spiritual" things are mediated by material processes. The same would be true of "moral" things, "aesthetic" things, "logical" things and other non-physical entities.

550StormRaven
Feb 13, 2012, 2:24pm Top

549: No, "non-physical" does not mean "non-material".

551jburlinson
Feb 13, 2012, 2:28pm Top

> 550. How so? What "physical" things are "non-material"?

552StormRaven
Feb 13, 2012, 2:35pm Top

551: You're going the wrong direction.

553jburlinson
Feb 13, 2012, 2:44pm Top

> If you're saying that non-physical things are material by virtue of their consisting of brain chemicals and electrical actions, then I'd agree with you, certainly, but it's a little tautological to say something like that. Is that what you're saying?

554faceinbook
Feb 13, 2012, 3:06pm Top

Break out the popcorn and the Ju Ju B's !

555quicksiva
Edited: Feb 13, 2012, 3:41pm Top

But words are material. The thoughts that form words are material. So what we are left with is no information at all about anything "spiritual".
==============

Why is a thought physical? Does it have length, width, height, or mass? If so, how do we take its measure? Brain waves can be changed by meditation or prayer. Does this mean that "prayer changes things"? See The Relaxation Response by Herbert Benson.

Energy and Matter. Words are sounds and sound is energy, not matter; although it may be a dense form of Energy which requires matter (air or something else) to travel through. Speech and song are a special form of breathing (aspirarion) That is why they inspire us to do things like build cathedrals, fall in love, or fight in patriotic wars. Yet even liberal governments pass laws against "breathing together" which is all conspiracy really means.

556StormRaven
Feb 13, 2012, 5:27pm Top

If you're saying that non-physical things are material by virtue of their consisting of brain chemicals and electrical actions, then I'd agree with you, certainly, but it's a little tautological to say something like that.

Yes. It may be tautological to point out that material things are, in fact, material, but it doesn't make it any less true. Going back to this:

The same would be true of "moral" things, "aesthetic" things, "logical" things and other non-physical entities.

Morality is the product of human thinking. We invent it. Aesthetics are the products of human preferences, which are the product of human thinking. We invent that too. Logic is the means by which human minds interpret and understand the universe. We invent that as well. These things are all human constructs that are the product of the material world, and operate according to the limits of the material. But there is no evidence that the "spiritual" is anything more than an imaginary human construct that is also part of the material word, and which also operates according to the limits of the material.

557fuzzi
Feb 13, 2012, 7:33pm Top

Anyone reading their Bible lately? ;)

558lawecon
Edited: Feb 13, 2012, 10:28pm Top

~544

"It does not take a college degree or a deep understanding of science or philosophy to understand what God is saying to you, only a willingness to hear Him despite the clamor of the world around you."

Darn, that is wonderful..... Just imagine, the most important words in the world. Words that previously have been heard only by Moses, David and those few historical others several who speak to G-d (and thus made it into the Bible) are within your grasp!! Just listen (and donate at least 10% of your income to my ministry).

559jntjesussaves
Feb 14, 2012, 5:15pm Top

Great question, Thomas!

560jntjesussaves
Feb 14, 2012, 5:15pm Top

No, StormRaven.

561jntjesussaves
Feb 14, 2012, 5:19pm Top

quicksiva wrote: "Thoughts themselves are a material phenomenon. They are the result of electrical and chemical activity in your brain. There is no evidence for thoughts that are not the result of purely physical action."

I wrote: "God doesn't require us to have that understanding to understand what He is saying."

My point is that God does not require us to have a great knowledge of science in order to communicate with us. This is all I was saying.

562jntjesussaves
Feb 14, 2012, 5:21pm Top

Amen, fuzzi. Well stated. I read your post after responding to faceinbook's response. Again, well said.

563jntjesussaves
Feb 14, 2012, 5:25pm Top

556: "Morality is the product of human thinking. We invent it."

Moral standards were a creation of God, not of man. Praise God!

564jntjesussaves
Feb 14, 2012, 5:27pm Top

Yes, fuzzi. While am reading about a chapter a day; I am up to Genesis 9. I love the book of Genesis; there is so much historical and applicable information included in that wonderful book.

565jntjesussaves
Feb 14, 2012, 5:31pm Top

558: If you only knew, lawecon; due to "your great knowledge" you miss the simple.

1 Corinthians 1:21
For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.
(KJV)

1 Corinthians 2:14
But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
(KJV)

I know these are "just snippets" from Scripture, but how true they still are.

566lawecon
Feb 14, 2012, 5:35pm Top

"558: If you only knew, lawecon; due to "your great knowledge" you miss the simple. "

I really feel deprived. If only I was as insightful as you !! And such a great interpreter of ancient texts.

567jntjesussaves
Feb 14, 2012, 6:17pm Top

566: Interestingly, lawecon, I have not expressed any great insight (or interpretation) for what I believe- you are the one that seems to heave that praise on me (and others of this persuasion), albeit, facetiously. We have tried numerous times to make it clear that any wisdom (or knowledge) we have comes from God, not from ourselves.

1 Corinthians 1:27
But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;

1 Corinthians 1:28
And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:

1 Corinthians 1:29
That no flesh should glory in his presence.

1 Corinthians 1:30
But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:

1 Corinthians 1:31
That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.
(KJV)

Therefore, it is not because of any great knowledge or insight that I have- it is what God has clearly revealed to His children by His Holy Spirit in His Word.

568quicksiva
Feb 14, 2012, 7:45pm Top

>561 jntjesussaves:
quicksiva wrote: "Thoughts themselves are a material phenomenon. They are the result of electrical and chemical activity in your brain. There is no evidence for thoughts that are not the result of purely physical action."

============
No quicksiva didn't write this. 531 is StormRaven's idea.

My response to this line of thought is:

Why is a thought physical? Does it have length, width, height, or mass? If so, how do we take its measure? We know brain waves can be changed by meditation or prayer. Does this mean that "prayer changes things"? What makes one person's thoughts any more important than another's. If thoughts are real
See The Relaxation Response by Herbert Benson.

569lawecon
Edited: Feb 14, 2012, 8:02pm Top

~567

"heave that praise" ?

===================

"We have tried numerous times to make it clear that any wisdom (or knowledge) we have comes from God, not from ourselves.
..............
Therefore, it is not because of any great knowledge or insight that I have- it is what God has clearly revealed to His children by His Holy Spirit in His Word.

=====================

I guess I don't get this. You either have great wisdom or knowledge or insight or you don't. Do you or don't you?

If you do, you certainly can claim that G-d gives it to you, but we've been over those sorts of claims before. They are basically claims of prophesy. Are you a prophet? Or are you merely some guy who thinks that his interpretation of a translation of ancient books is better than that of all the scholars and real prophets of the past 3,000 years?

570jntjesussaves
Edited: Feb 14, 2012, 8:24pm Top

568: Sorry, quicksiva- I didn't mean to imply that it was your idea, the last post it was mentioned on was your post (of which you were quoting StormRaven). I wasn't trying to attribute the quote to you- sorry if it appeared that way, it wasn't my intention. However, I can see how you would make this calculation.

571jntjesussaves
Feb 14, 2012, 8:49pm Top

569: Any wisdom (or knowledge) I have I attribute it to the graciousness of God in giving it to me; it certainly is not because of any thing great in myself. However, I would assert the same to you. I believe you are very intelligent and very knowledgeable about many things and I also attribute these traits to the graciousness of God. The same thing could be said for quicksiva, StormRaven, and others.

James 1:17
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.
(KJV)

I have made no claims of prophecy (other than what God has already revealed in His Word), which in turn is not me prophesying what is or will take place- God has already revealed it. What I do try to do is pass on what God has revealed in His Word. I have never claimed anything that hasn't been proclaimed before, by "scholars" of the past. It may not be the same scholars that you consult, but nevertheless they are well versed in the scholarship of God's Word. And as I have said before, it really begins with where one's journey begins- if someone's main objective is to find contradictions, so called, in God's Word- you are bound to find something that appears to be so. But if your journey begins by taking God at His Word- that His Word revealed in the Bible is reliable and without error, you come to a completely different conclusion.

What so many try to do is make God fit their ability of understanding; others believe God's thoughts are much higher than man's and respond likewise.

Isaiah 55:8
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.

Isaiah 55:9
For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
(KJV)

It is impossible for man to fully understand God's thoughts; God has tried to give man wisdom (and understanding) revealed in His Word with the help of His Holy Spirit, but many reject His help. They try and gain their wisdom through human methods rather than coming to the only source of Godly wisdom- (God, as revealed through His Word).

James 3:13
Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.

James 3:14
But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.

James 3:15
This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. {sensual: or, natural}

James 3:16
For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. {confusion: Gr. tumult, or, unquietness}

James 3:17
But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. {partiality: or, wrangling}

James 3:18
And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.
(KJV)

572jntjesussaves
Feb 14, 2012, 8:51pm Top

By the way, lawecon, I sincerely desire to know what some of your favorite fiction selections are if you don't mind revealing them. Thanks.

573lawecon
Feb 14, 2012, 11:16pm Top

~571

"Any wisdom (or knowledge) I have I attribute it to the graciousness of God in giving it to me; it certainly is not because of any thing great in myself."

You are deliberately evading the questions. Again, I am not asking about the source. You have made clear that you think the source is G-d. I am asking whether or not you believe that you have great wisdom or insights or knowledge (and, presumably are expressing that great wisdom or insights or knowledge in your posts here).

You see, some of us believe that true religion begins in a profession of one's ignorance, but many who are ignorant tout their great wisdom or insights. That is what I see you and fuzzi as doing when you pick up a translation of the Bible and start commenting on what it truly means.

As my Latin teach of many decades ago said to me: "'It doesn't sound right !!!' What do you mean, 'It doesn't sound right'. You don't know how it is suppose to sound. That is what you are here to learn." Perhaps a bit more modesty and a bit less claims of being the conduit for G-d are in order?

"I have made no claims of prophecy (other than what God has already revealed in His Word), which in turn is not me prophesying what is or will take place- God has already revealed it. What I do try to do is pass on what God has revealed in His Word."

You misunderstand Prophecy. Prophets did not just predict the future. They were conduits by which G-d spoke to the Kings and People of their day. As Moses was given to say, and some after him repeated, "Thus saith the Lord God."

"I have never claimed anything that hasn't been proclaimed before, by "scholars" of the past. It may not be the same scholars that you consult, but nevertheless they are well versed in the scholarship of God's Word."

Really, well maybe we should be discussing those scholars and how valid was their research and arguments. I believe that the last time we did that you referred us to an authoritative text of the Bible that no one today considers authoritative and a book of translations that included a translation of Ben Hur.

But regardless, that is the sort of discussion that makes sense - to explore where you and I are REALLY getting our understandings, not to falsely make arrogant claims that what we say is from G-d.

574quicksiva
Feb 15, 2012, 1:52pm Top


In Genesis we read:
18:7 And Abraham ran unto the herd, and fetcht a calf tender and good, and gave it unto a young man; and he hasted to dress it.
18:8 And he took butter, and milk, and the calf which he had dressed, and set it before them; and he stood by them under the tree, and they did eat.

So how come "You shall not boil a kid in its mother milk" in Exodus 23

It is well known that one of the oldest prohibitions in the entire Bible is the injunction against boiling a kid in the milk of its mother. It is repeated three times in identical words: "You shall not boil a kid in its mother's milk."

From these words, the rabbis extrapolated a complex set of dietary laws, which to this day prohibit observant Jews from mixing foods containing milk or milk by-products with foods containing meat. The prohibition against mixing milk and meat is an essential element of the dietary laws of kashrut it is a significant part of what it means to "keep kosher."

How do modern Believers explain God’s acceptance of Abraham’s non- Kosher picnic?

575eclecticdodo
Feb 15, 2012, 2:06pm Top

>574 quicksiva: "How do modern Believers explain God’s acceptance of Abraham’s non- Kosher picnic?"

First I'd point out that this was before the law was given so Abraham was not bound by it.

Second, I'd say my understanding is that this was a practice associated with idol worship at the time - feel free to correct me, but I'm sure I read that somewhere. So, in a similar way to the new testament command not to eat blood that we discussed recently, I believe it is more about the intention than the practice itself.

It's an interesting question though. I'd love to hear others views.

576fuzzi
Feb 15, 2012, 3:06pm Top

(575) Good point, eclecticdodo, you beat me to it. What you have done is what many don't think about doing: rightly dividing the word of God.

Those that were before the Law were not judged by the Law: Abraham was not a friend of God through following the Law, or obeying it, it was not yet given. He believed God, and his belief was counted for righteousness.

In Genesis 18, the Scripture says that milk and meat were set before them, not that the meat was soaked/boiled/seethed in its mother's milk. There is nothing in those verses to indicate that 1. the meat was IN its mother's milk or 2. that the milk provided was that of the calf's mother.

I'm not sure about idol worship, I don't recall hearing that before: for me, the Scripture by itself is clear enough.

Thanks for your input.

577quicksiva
Edited: Feb 15, 2012, 3:44pm Top

"First I'd point out that this was before the law was given so Abraham was not bound by it."

"Those that were before the Law were not judged by the Law"
===========

So what Cain did to Abel was not wrong?

What about the Serpent? She wasn't bound by the law either. Why was YHVH-Elohim so angry?

578fuzzi
Feb 15, 2012, 3:45pm Top

(577) Do you really equate murder with cooking prohibitions given to the Jews?

Do you really think that murder is okay?

579quicksiva
Feb 15, 2012, 3:57pm Top

Do you really equate murder with cooking prohibitions given to the Jews?

Do you really think that murder is okay?
=============
YHVH-Elohim often seems to say so in the Bible. Me I'm only human. I have my doubts.

580thomashwalker2
Feb 15, 2012, 6:54pm Top

It is a reasonable conclusion that Adam and Eve did not fully understand the gravity of their actions when they ate the forbidden fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. On the surface, the punishment (banished and cursed) does not seem to fit the crime – they ate some fruit. If God’s punishment seems excessive, maybe the crime was far worse than just eating the fruit.

Let me give you another example of how God teaches.
“And while the children of Israel were in the wilderness, they found a man gathering sticks upon the Sabbath day. And they that found him gathering sticks brought him unto Moses and Aaron, and unto all the congregation. And they put him in ward, because it had not been declared what should be done to him. And Jehovah said unto Moses, The man shall surely be put to death: all the congregation shall stone him with stones without the camp. And all the congregation brought him without the camp, and stoned him to death with stones; as Jehovah commanded Moses” (Numbers 15:32-36).

What do you think about God’s punishment – death by stoning – for someone who was caught picking up sticks to build a fire on the Sabbath? What was the crime? Was it picking up sticks, building a fire, breaking the law, or was there a deeper spiritual issue about our fate if we rely on our works for righteousness?

The consolation prize for eating from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil was given to Adam and Eve’s descendants. And the prize was a list of good works to perform, and a list of evil deeds to avoid. For the list of good and evil would be needed in order for them to establish their own righteousness. Israel was given the knowledge of doing good, which was communicated in the 613 ordinances you can read about in the first five books of the Old Testament. Then, for avoiding evil, God gave His people the Ten Commandments. You see, the choice to eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil resulted in the establishment of the legalistic system (Mosaic Covenant). Humanity’s objective with this system was to achieve righteousness through works. Compliance to the Law of Righteousness was accomplished using a power not from God, but of people—their willpower: “Handle not, nor taste, nor touch (all which things are to perish with the using), after the precepts and doctrines of men? Which things have indeed a show of wisdom in will-worship” (Colossians 2:21–23).

The following verse is humanity’s proclamation to God about the establishment of their own righteousness: “And it shall be our righteousness, if we observe to do all these commandments before the Lord our God, as he hath commanded us” (Deuteronomy 6:25, KJV). This edict came from a heart and mind nourished by the fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.

God’s intentions for allowing this legalistic system were to prove that:

1. Humanity cannot obey the laws perfectly: “With men this is impossible” (Matthew 19:26, KJV). Only God can, “but with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26, KJV).
2. Humanity is sinful. “Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin” (Romans 3:20, KJV). Therefore, people need a Savior.

God is a master teacher, and He teaches by way of contrast. For hundreds of years, the command from God was that certain people and foods were unclean. After Christ’s crucifixion, God wanted the world to know the powerful significance of His Son’s death. What better way to demonstrate the significance of Jesus’ death than with the giving of a new command. “But the voice answered me again from heaven, what God hath cleansed, that call not thou common” (Acts 11:9, KJV). The Lamb of God was slain for humanity, and the Blood of the Lamb now makes all that had been unclean clean.

"For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect. For then would they not have ceased to be offered? For the worshipers, once purified, would have had no more consciousness of sins. But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year. For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins.
Therefore, when He came into the world, He said:

"Sacrifice and offering You did not desire,

But a body You have prepared for Me.

In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin

You had no pleasure.

Then I said, 'Behold, I have come--

In the volume of the book it is written of Me--

To do Your will, O God.' " Heb 10:1-7

581thomashwalker2
Feb 15, 2012, 7:09pm Top

"For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect. For then would they not have ceased to be offered? For the worshipers, once purified, would have had no more consciousness of sins. But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year. For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins." Heb 10: 1,2

The Jewish people were looking for a deliverer to rescue them from their gentile enemies. The bondage they sought relief from was slavery. The real bondage that Christ came to lead them out of was sin. “knowing this, that our old man was crucified with him, that the body of sin might be done away, that so we should no longer be in bondage to sin” (Romans 6:6, ASV). Israel’s years of bondage, the ceremonial sacrifices, the ordinances, the Laws, and religious traditions were for their instruction, and that was to bring them to an understanding about a more severe spiritual condition they were in, as well as all of humanity.

582jburlinson
Feb 15, 2012, 8:35pm Top

Vote: Were Adam and Eve real people?

Current tally: Yes 3, No 7, Undecided 1

583thomashwalker2
Feb 16, 2012, 8:12am Top

582: "But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes. And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, in meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; and that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will" 2 Tim 2:23-26 (KJV).

"But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain" Titus 3:9 (KJV).

I don't mean to be disrespectful, but spending any amount of time trying to answer your question is an exercise in futility. Example: Can God create a rock so big He can't pick it up? How many angels can stand on the head of a pin?

584johnthefireman
Feb 16, 2012, 8:50am Top

>583 thomashwalker2: Peradventure? Good grief! The KJV may be beautiful archaic English but hardly the best version for understanding.

585jburlinson
Feb 16, 2012, 1:38pm Top

> 583. Let's assume that the question in # 582 was asked by a 5 year old. Would you quote the same set of scriptures to that person?

foolish and unlearned questions avoid

What is a "learned" question? How does one learn except by asking questions, or at least seeking the answers to one's questions?

Or are these also unlearned questions that should be avoided?

How about the question asked in # 486 above? Was that a "learned" question -- and, if so, how so?

Thank you.

586thomashwalker2
Feb 16, 2012, 2:21pm Top

Posts 580,581,583 produced the following responses:

"Were Adam and Eve real people?" by jburlinson

"Peradventure? Good grief! The KJV may be beautiful archaic English but hardly the best version for understanding." by johnthefireman

"Let's assume that the question in # 582 (Were Adam and Eve real people?") was asked by a 5 year old. Would you quote the same set of scriptures to that person?" by jburlinson

No, I would not quote the same set of scriptures to a five year old who asked me: "Were Adam and Eve real people? Why not? Who has the answer?

587faceinbook
Feb 16, 2012, 2:57pm Top

>586 thomashwalker2:
Depends on the five year old. I've known five year olds who if the answer given them is "yes" they will shrug and walk away. I've also known five year olds who, given the same answer would then go on to ask "This means we all have the same mother and father ? Really ? Everyone"

Then there is the "no" answer to consider.
Some five year olds given the answer "no" will shrug and walk away, others not so much, they will want to know why is "says" so in the book. "If the book is supposed to be true, then why does is say that there was an Adam and Eve ?"

Children are best left out of the question business, since many of them can spot a discrepancy a mile away and they are not afraid to point them out. Fear comes later.

588lawecon
Feb 16, 2012, 3:48pm Top

~583
I don't mean to be disrespectful, but spending any amount of time trying to answer your question is an exercise in futility. Example: Can God create a rock so big He can't pick it up? How many angels can stand on the head of a pin?"

You see, Thomas, some of us, when faced with a contradiction in our faith position realize that we have to revise our faith position to somehow address the contradiction.

Some of us, however, apparently think that, therefore, we have to reject logic.

Guess which view is better.

589thomashwalker2
Feb 16, 2012, 4:29pm Top

588: "You see, Thomas, some of us, when faced with a contradiction in our faith position realize that we have to revise our faith position to somehow address the contradiction."

At one time it was a logical assumption that tomatoes were poisonous. Logical, since many people that ate tomatoes got sick. Digging deeper into the issue they discovered that only the wealthy people who ate tomatoes got sick. Digging even deeper they discovered that the difference was in the plates that the tomatoes were served on. The rich people used plates that were decorated with ornate flowers painted on with lead paint. Because tomatoes are acidic, the lead was consumed by the people making them sick.

A contradiction may exist only because you lack all of the vital information.

590lawecon
Feb 16, 2012, 8:23pm Top

I didn't see any need for "information" in the examples you gave. They were straightforward contradictions based on the standard (and wrong) definition of what G-d "must be like."

591jntjesussaves
Feb 16, 2012, 8:37pm Top

573: "You are deliberately evading the questions. Again, I am not asking about the source. You have made clear that you think the source is G-d. I am asking whether or not you believe that you have great wisdom or insights or knowledge (and, presumably are expressing that great wisdom or insights or knowledge in your posts here)."

First, lawecon, if I desired to evade your questions, I just wouldn't answer- that would be the greatest way of evading your questions. It is comments like these that show your disdain, apparently for me. I have honestly answered every question you have asked; granted, not to your liking, but I have answered them all. I believe I have wisdom and biblical knowledge, and I also believe that because spiritual knowledge comes from God- He is the one I attribute it to. I don't know if you read them or not, but again I call your attention to James 3:13-18:

James 3:13
Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.

James 3:14
But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.

James 3:15
This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. {sensual: or, natural}

James 3:16
For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. {confusion: Gr. tumult, or, unquietness}

James 3:17
But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. {partiality: or, wrangling}

James 3:18
And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.
(KJV)

I have gained the wisdom and knowledge I have from reading and studying God's Word, because God's Word is where true wisdom ("heavenly," i.e. from above) begins.

"You see, some of us believe that true religion begins in a profession of one's ignorance, but many who are ignorant tout their great wisdom or insights. That is what I see you and fuzzi as doing when you pick up a translation of the Bible and start commenting on what it truly means."

Not to be desrespectful, lawecon, but I would rather seek what God says about wisdom and knowledge, than you. I have never "touted" my own great wisdom or knowledge; as a matter of fact, you seem to fish and fish for me to do that very thing with your constant questions. I answer that any wisdom I have comes from God; you say, "I just want to know if you think you have great wisdom?" My wisdom comes from God's Word (which makes it God's wisdom, not my own). I would say before I came to Christ, I had no spiritual wisdom; I believe I had "earthly" wisdom (common sense, you might say), but I was completely lacking in spiritual wisdom until God opened my eyes of understanding. That is when so many things became crystal clear, spiritually speaking. I don't really expect you to understand this, because you haven't had a life-changing experience with Jesus Christ. Again, I attest my "spiritual wisdom and understanding" to this life-change in my life, and not because I attained to a position of great wisdom and insight.

The Bible tells us to "cease" from our own wisdom. It also tells us that true knowledge and understanding comes from the Lord.

Proverbs 2:6
For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.
(KJV)

Proverbs 23:4
Labour not to be rich: cease from thine own wisdom.
(KJV)

You see, a Christian's wisdom and knowledge does not come (mainly) from studying the great minds of those who have went before them- it comes from reading and studying God's Word (personally) and allowing the Holy Spirit to guide one into true wisdom and knowledge. In verse 18 it states "let him become a fool, that he may be wise." You stated "that true religion begins in a profession of one's ignorance." Religion may begin with one's profession of this, but Christianity (which is not mere religion, but a personal relationship with Jesus Christ) begins with one's profession of the need of a Saviour.

1 Corinthians 3:18
Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise.

1 Corinthians 3:19
For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness.

1 Corinthians 3:20
And again, The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain.

1 Corinthians 3:21
Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours;

1 Corinthians 3:22
Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours;

1 Corinthians 3:23
And ye are Christ's; and Christ is God's.
(KJV)

592jntjesussaves
Feb 16, 2012, 9:06pm Top

571:

You see, lawecon, true wisdom only comes through Jesus Christ. Just a couple comments about the following verses. In verse 17 we see that the preaching of the gospel is not "with wisdom of words." The gospel is "foolishness" to those who reject the gospel message, but to those who have been saved by it, it is "the power of God." Worldly wisdom (man's wisdom) is destroyed by the gospel- the "wisdom of this world" has been made foolish by God. Man gained in worldly wisdom and cast the wisdom of God aside. You seem to be dumbfounded why myself, fuzzi, and thomas are unified in what we believe. You shouldn't be, because in verse 24 the Bible says, "But unto them which are called (saved), both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God." Jesus Christ is our wisdom, not the wisdom of this world. I see so many who seem to fit under verses 26-31: There are not many worldly wise, not many mighty, not many noble- that are called (saved), because so many in these categories are confounded by the "foolish things" ("preaching of the cross"), the weak things, the base things and despised things, which God chose to confound "the wise." Why is this, lawecon? So that no man, not jntjesussaves, not lawecon, not thomaswalker, not fuzzi, not stormraven or anyone else will glory in His presence (verse 29). Our only glory will be in Jesus Christ and Him alone- "who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption."

You seem to glory in your knowledge and the knowledge of man; I glory in the wisdom and knowledge of Jesus Christ.

Corinthians 1:17
For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect. {words: or, speech}

1 Corinthians 1:18
For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

1 Corinthians 1:19
For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.

1 Corinthians 1:20
Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?

1 Corinthians 1:21
For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.

1 Corinthians 1:22
For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom:

1 Corinthians 1:23
But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness;

1 Corinthians 1:24
But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.

1 Corinthians 1:25
Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

1 Corinthians 1:26
For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:

1 Corinthians 1:27
But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;

1 Corinthians 1:28
And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:

1 Corinthians 1:29
That no flesh should glory in his presence.

1 Corinthians 1:30
But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:

1 Corinthians 1:31
That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.
(KJV)

593jntjesussaves
Feb 16, 2012, 9:07pm Top

580: Excellent commentary and points, Thomas.

594jntjesussaves
Feb 16, 2012, 9:21pm Top

582/583/585:

I answered your question jburlinson, with the affirmitive; I, of course, have no problem with your question. As a matter of fact these types of questions might reveal interesting facts about others.

Having said that, I understand Thomas' question in regards to it's relevancy with the topic (but, go figure, many of the posts have very little to do with the thread title), so I believe that was thrown out the door long ago.

"spending any amount of time trying to answer your question is an exercise in futility"

I believe I understand Thomas' point. What if the final tally of this question is that 80% of respondents say that they were not real people? Does this mean that they are not real people? Does it mean that very few people believe the Bible to be literal? Does it mean too many people believe the Bible to be figurative?

The "fact" that more people say they are not on a LT thread does not make it so. The Bible proclaims them to be real people: He created them, He named them, and based on this they are real people (whether everybody in the world believes different or not). In this sense, I agree with Thomas, these types of questions are "an exercise in futility."

595jntjesussaves
Feb 16, 2012, 9:22pm Top

587: Good points, faceinbook.

596jburlinson
Feb 16, 2012, 10:47pm Top

> 594. these types of questions are "an exercise in futility."

How can trying to understand God's word be "an exercise in futility"?

Jesus, who is God, after all, told stories about characters that weren't real people, didn't he? He even explained why it was useful to teach using parables. What makes you so sure that Adam and Eve aren't like that?

597jntjesussaves
Feb 16, 2012, 10:56pm Top

596: jburlinson, you are right. I apologize if your intent was to "understand God's word" more- I didn't mean it to be degrading.

You are also correct that Jesus (who is God) told stories about characters that weren't real people, however, when He does mention real people (names of people), I believe He does mean them to be taken as real (literal) people.

What parable do you refer to that he uses characters who don't fit this description (named people)?

598jburlinson
Feb 16, 2012, 11:44pm Top

> 597. This is one of many instances where our reliance on translations may create problems for us. Through most of the Genesis account, they are referred to simply as "the man" and "the woman." Sometimes the KJV refers to him as "Adam", but usually it's "the man." (Other translations, like Revised English & Jerusalem Bible, refer only to "the man".) Only at the end of the account does the man name his wife Eve. Later (Genesis 5.2), the KJV says: "Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created" -- which seems to say that the name Adam referred to both man and woman. Once again, other translations render 5.2 as, variously: "And when they were created, he called them 'man.' (NIV), " he blessed them and named them Man when they were created" (ESV), and "He blessed them and named them Man in the day when they were created." (NASB)

Somebody with a good knowledge of Hebrew could probably enlighten us on this.

599johnthefireman
Feb 17, 2012, 12:03am Top

>591 jntjesussaves: You see, a Christian's wisdom and knowledge does not come (mainly) from studying the great minds of those who have went before them- it comes from reading and studying God's Word (personally) and allowing the Holy Spirit to guide one into true wisdom and knowledge

But does it not worry you at all that those of us who study God's word (personally) and allow the Holy Spirit to guide us into true wisdom and knowledge come up with such different answers? And do you not think that God intends us to talk to each other and share those answers? And that here the "us" might include listening to what the great minds of those who have gone before us have said, as well as those who are still with us?

600lawecon
Edited: Feb 17, 2012, 12:25am Top

~591 and 571 and 573

"Not to be desrespectful, lawecon, but I would rather seek what God says about wisdom and knowledge, than you. I have never "touted" my own great wisdom or knowledge; as a matter of fact, you seem to fish and fish for me to do that very thing with your constant questions. I answer that any wisdom I have comes from God; you say, "I just want to know if you think you have great wisdom?" My wisdom comes from God's Word (which makes it God's wisdom, not my own). I would say before I came to Christ, I had no spiritual wisdom; I believe I had "earthly" wisdom (common sense, you might say), but I was completely lacking in spiritual wisdom until God opened my eyes of understanding. That is when so many things became crystal clear, spiritually speaking. I don't really expect you to understand this, because you haven't had a life-changing experience with Jesus Christ. Again, I attest my "spiritual wisdom and understanding" to this life-change in my life, and not because I attained to a position of great wisdom and insight. "

You know, one of the first things I learned as an attorney was "There is something wrong when someone whose billing rate is $400/hr talks as if they have a mouth full of marbles." Now I don't know what you're billing rate is, but the above is the most evasive set of comments I've see in several months.

I am not fishing for you to do anything. I am not trying to trick you. I am trying to point out to you your own verbal behavior, how arrogant it sounds and how inappropriate it apparently is.

You continually quote snippets from a translation of an ancient text and tell us how these snippets answer the deepest questions of mankind. Presumably that answer must be due to your profound interpretation of these snippets, since no one else understands what G-d is telling you from these snippets. Most of us think that they are no more than exhortations by an ancient author to adopt his views, or else.

I just want you to establish the bridge between these snippets and what we all need to know, but only a privileged few of us, like you, do know. Yes yes, I understand, your deep knowledge is only because G-d speaks to you, and all honor is due to G-d, not you. But have pity upon the rest of us who are mere deaf human beings who do not converse with the Maker of the Universe on a daily basis. Tell us what G-d is really saying in the snippets in which you understand great things. At least do what the scholars of the Talmud did. Quote just one of your snippets, state with particularity for we ignorant ones the issue G-d is addressing in this snippet and then give us a sustained discourse "unpacking" its deep meaning.

Amen, jnt !! And I look forward to a tomorrow in which I am much more enlightened than I am today. I, like everyone, want my life changed as your life has been changed - a matter which, I'm certain, all those around you would testify in a moment. Let us all be transformed like jnt !!!

601lawecon
Edited: Feb 17, 2012, 12:32am Top

~598
"Somebody with a good knowledge of Hebrew could probably enlighten us on this."

Probably, but according to the dominate posters in this thread such a discourse on the Hebrew would be entirely irrelevant. It is without importance what the Hebrew means. G-d tells his faithful what they should understand when they read His Word in the KJV.

Unfortunately, his faithful won't share with us what he tells them. Their comments are as densely ambiguous as the "originals" in the KJV (which, of course, were handed down on stone tablets to Moses and later were written for G-d by his scribes as he spoke to them). They exhort we poor ignorant ones to become as wise as G-d has made them, but then won't tell us any of that wisdom, demanding, instead, that we "believe upon Jesus." They refuse to tell us what Jesus has told them, demanding that we go to the source.

It is just plain mean spirited !! If they would only share some of the riches given to them, I'm certain the rest of us would immediately follow their advice on broader matters. But they keep what they have learned to themselves like misers hoarding GOLD.

602eclecticdodo
Feb 17, 2012, 5:18am Top

>600 lawecon: "Presumably that answer must be due to your profound interpretation of these snippets, since no one else understands what G-d is telling you from these snippets."

Actually, I think it's quite clear what these passages are saying.

603lawecon
Feb 17, 2012, 7:55am Top

~602

Really? Do tell.

604thomashwalker2
Feb 17, 2012, 9:56am Top

596: "Jesus, who is God, after all, told stories about characters that weren't real people, didn't he? He even explained why it was useful to teach using parables. What makes you so sure that Adam and Eve aren't like that?"

A parable is an earthly illustration of a spiritual reality – A Window to the Unseen.

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes” (Marcel Proust).

605eclecticdodo
Feb 17, 2012, 11:28am Top

>603 lawecon:

well, I don't have time to go through it all right now, but lets start with James 3:13-18.

I think the CEV is clearer:

13Are any of you wise or sensible? Then show it by living right and by being humble and wise in everything you do. 14But if your heart is full of bitter jealousy and selfishness, don't brag or lie to cover up the truth. 15That kind of wisdom doesn't come from above. It is earthly and selfish and comes from the devil himself. 16Whenever people are jealous or selfish, they cause trouble and do all sorts of cruel things. 17But the wisdom that comes from above leads us to be pure, friendly, gentle, sensible, kind, helpful, genuine, and sincere. 18When peacemakers plant seeds of peace, they will harvest justice.

True wisdom comes from God and is revealed by one's character and actions; it leads to peace and all things good.

606jburlinson
Feb 17, 2012, 12:12pm Top

> 604. A parable is an earthly illustration of a spiritual reality – A Window to the Unseen.

Exactly. Doesn't your definition describe the account of Adam & Eve to a tee?

607fuzzi
Feb 17, 2012, 5:42pm Top

(584) I like to stretch my vocabulary and mind. :)

608fuzzi
Feb 17, 2012, 5:44pm Top

(591) "a Christian's wisdom and knowledge does not come (mainly) from studying the great minds of those who have went before them- it comes from reading and studying God's Word (personally) and allowing the Holy Spirit to guide one into true wisdom and knowledge."

Nicely put, thank you.

609fuzzi
Feb 17, 2012, 5:54pm Top

(596) "Jesus, who is God, after all, told stories about characters that weren't real people, didn't he? He even explained why it was useful to teach using parables. What makes you so sure that Adam and Eve aren't like that?"

Because of how Jesus Christ referred to them:

"And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, ... He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so." Matthew 19:4, 8

Jesus verifies the truth of Scripture here, and elsewhere.

610lawecon
Feb 17, 2012, 6:32pm Top

~605

Actuallly, what I was looking for was you to quote a given verse and explain what you thought was plain and obvious about it. For instance, if this

"True wisdom comes from God and is revealed by one's character and actions; it leads to peace and all things good."

is meant to be an explanation of this

"13Are any of you wise or sensible? Then show it by living right and by being humble and wise in everything you do. 14But if your heart is full of bitter jealousy and selfishness, don't brag or lie to cover up the truth. 15That kind of wisdom doesn't come from above. It is earthly and selfish and comes from the devil himself. 16Whenever people are jealous or selfish, they cause trouble and do all sorts of cruel things. 17But the wisdom that comes from above leads us to be pure, friendly, gentle, sensible, kind, helpful, genuine, and sincere. 18When peacemakers plant seeds of peace, they will harvest justice."

then I have to tell you that I don't see at all how you get from the latter to the former. Perhaps you could trace out the inference?

611thomashwalker2
Edited: Feb 17, 2012, 8:07pm Top

606: "Exactly. Doesn't your definition describe the account of Adam & Eve to a tee?"

Only if the story of Adam and Eve was a parable. Was Moses a real person? Or was the stories about him just a parable?

612jburlinson
Feb 17, 2012, 8:28pm Top

> 611. The story of Adam & Eve seems to me much more meaningful and valuable as a parable than as a factual account of life in a garden.

613jburlinson
Feb 17, 2012, 8:32pm Top

> 611. Was Moses a real person? Or was the stories about him just a parable?

You say "just" a parable as if parables are of little or no significance or value. Once again, I'd submit that parables are more spiritually consequential than news accounts.

614fuzzi
Feb 17, 2012, 9:19pm Top

(602) eclecticdodo wrote: "Actually, I think it's quite clear what these passages are saying."

Me too.

What's wrong with us? ;)

615jntjesussaves
Feb 17, 2012, 10:46pm Top

598: I must agree with you; I have also seen these descriptions before also. At times, the Bible refers to the first man as "Adam," at other times, "the man," and still at other times "male," however, this in know way causes me great concern because these other references are just additional ways of describing the first man, Adam. I will say I have wondered about the verse that says, "and called their name Adam."

I found several interesting tidbits of information in regards to this analogy:

1). In the Geneva Bible Notes, it says- "By giving them both one name, he notes the inseparable conjunction of man and wife."
2). In the British Family Bible, it says- "Called their name Adam, Or Man. The common name to both sexes."

Generally, I would surmise when God specifically mentions someone by name, they are a real (literal) person. I have no reason to believe someone that the Bible names is not real, unless the Bible specifically states so. Are there any other examples of this that you are aware of?

616lawecon
Feb 17, 2012, 11:17pm Top

~614

Indeed, it seems that you see "simplicity" everywhere.

617jntjesussaves
Edited: Feb 17, 2012, 11:31pm Top

600:

"I am not fishing for you to do anything. I am not trying to trick you."

Ah, lawecon, are you not a lawyer?

"I am trying to point out to you your own verbal behavior, how arrogant it sounds and how inappropriate it apparently is."

You are trying to point out my "verbal behavior" and I am the one that's arrogant. I give the answer that "any wisdom I have comes from God," and you call me arrogant. How do you rectify your charge? I attribute my wisdom to God and you accuse me of arrogancy? I am confused, lawecon.

"since no one else understands what G-d is telling you from these snippets"

It seems to me that there are several within this thread whom God seems to communicate with, not just me. I believe it is because we speak the same "spiritual" language, you might say. Our spiritual understanding is the same, therefore, we receive similar (if not the same message)- I believe this is what the Bible refers to as "the unity of the spirit," or "the unity of the faith."

It is interesting, lawecon, even while you disagree with just about everything I say (especially, on "spiritual things"), other Christians I know seem to agree with me on most things. I believe this is because, Christians are to be of "the same mind," unlike non-Christians. At the same time, even people I have disagreed with before have never found fault with everything I say- you seem to be the first. This is one reason why I sincerely desired to know what are some of your fiction favorites, because I believe we must agree on something- I am still holding out that this is the case.

"I just want you to establish the bridge between these snippets and what we all need to know, but only a privileged few of us, like you, do know. Yes yes, I understand, your deep knowledge is only because G-d speaks to you, and all honor is due to G-d, not you. But have pity upon the rest of us who are mere deaf human beings who do not converse with the Maker of the Universe on a daily basis. Tell us what G-d is really saying in the snippets in which you understand great things. At least do what the scholars of the Talmud did. Quote just one of your snippets, state with particularity for we ignorant ones the issue G-d is addressing in this snippet and then give us a sustained discourse "unpacking" its deep meaning.

Amen, jnt !! And I look forward to a tomorrow in which I am much more enlightened than I am today. I, like everyone, want my life changed as your life has been changed - a matter which, I'm certain, all those around you would testify in a moment. Let us all be transformed like jnt !!!"

This type of "verbal behavior" shows me that you don't want to have a mutual and respectful conversation- you seem to have one goal- berate, criticize, and castigate. While I realize you are not a Christian, I am not sure of the need you feel to put down the faith of one he is. You constantly belittle my faith and the faith of those who share these beliefs. I don't ask you to agree with them, I do ask you to show common decency and respect when you respond about another's faith.

I know we would be in disagreement on many things about Judaism, but I would also say- there would be many things we would agree on. However, even though we would have disagreements, I would never belittle your faith for at least two reasons: First, Jews are God's chose people; second, I might share disagreements with you, but I would never belittle you personally for what you believe- you don't seem to have the same shared respect for others (me especially).

You don't have to wait to have your life changed- it only takes you admitting that you have fallen short of God's glory, repenting of your sin and turning to the Saviour of the world, Jesus Christ to be your "eternal" Sacrifice. The choice is truly yours, lawecon.

618jntjesussaves
Edited: Feb 17, 2012, 11:32pm Top

602: I also believe they are quite clear.

619jntjesussaves
Feb 17, 2012, 11:20pm Top

604:

"A parable is an earthly illustration of a spiritual reality – A Window to the Unseen. "

Nicely said, Thomas.

620lawecon
Feb 17, 2012, 11:23pm Top

~617

""I am not fishing for you to do anything. I am not trying to trick you."

Ah, lawecon, are you not a lawyer?"

Very, ah, Christian of you.......

621jntjesussaves
Feb 17, 2012, 11:28pm Top

616:

"simplicity"- a simple state or quality

"clear"- obvious

I didn't realize these were interchangeable.

622jntjesussaves
Feb 17, 2012, 11:38pm Top

620: I apologize! It was actually a joke, lawecon, however, I should not have said it. I am sure you would admit, at times however, lawyers do both of these things.

623lawecon
Feb 17, 2012, 11:39pm Top

They aren't interchangeable. Something that is simple can't be reduced to more basic ideas. Something that is clear isn't subject to ambiguous interpretations. Do you think that either of those labels is true of the Bible verses you and others have been quoting? I don't, but apparently some people do.

624fuzzi
Feb 17, 2012, 11:53pm Top

(618) Nice to see you, John. I'm off to read my Bible... ;)

625lawecon
Edited: Feb 18, 2012, 12:21am Top

~617

"You are trying to point out my "verbal behavior" and I am the one that's arrogant. I give the answer that "any wisdom I have comes from God," and you call me arrogant. How do you rectify your charge? I attribute my wisdom to God and you accuse me of arrogancy? I am confused, lawecon.
....................

"It seems to me that there are several within this thread whom God seems to communicate with, not just me. I believe it is because we speak the same "spiritual" language, you might say. Our spiritual understanding is the same, therefore, we receive similar (if not the same message)- I believe this is what the Bible refers to as "the unity of the spirit," or "the unity of the faith."

"It is interesting, lawecon, even while you disagree with just about everything I say (especially, on "spiritual things"), other Christians I know seem to agree with me on most things. I believe this is because, Christians are to be of "the same mind," unlike non-Christians. At the same time, even people I have disagreed with before have never found fault with everything I say- you seem to be the first. This is one reason why I sincerely desired to know what are some of your fiction favorites, because I believe we must agree on something- I am still holding out that this is the case."

Could I ask a favor of you? Just sit back for a few moments, reread the above and reread what you have said about those who disagree with you.

Now think about how you deal with people in daily life. Think about how you relate to people who are your friends or your business associates or even just are clerks in a store that you are consulting with to determine whether you should buy X or Y. What is the relationship between what you have described above and those more common interactions that you have with most people most of the time?

Most people, most of the time, don't claim to make decisions or have insights based on the Master of the Universe having had a conversation with them or otherwise directing them. They don't choose to associate with X rather than Y because G-d tells them to do so. They don't work for employer X because they are "Godly". They don't choose friends and acquaintances based on mutual "Amen!!"s and they don't think that those who don't "Amen" are trying to trick them or conspiring against them and their clique.

All I've ever asked you or anyone else in this thread to do is translate what you think you "know" into common discourse so that those outside your linguistic clique will be properly impressed and perhaps want to join your clique.

I am not asking what you feel or whether your life has been transformed or anything of that sort. Frankly, what you have said so far in those respects could be said by any addict. They could equally well describe how different and better they now feel, how there is a community of similar addicts who get together and get high, how their "consciousness" has been expanded so they now REALLY understand the nature of the universe, knowledge that is ineffable unless one shoots up, how other people are persecuting them for their addiction, etc, But, what they can never do is explain, beyond that, why anyone else would want to become an addict. They can't reduce it to: addicts are richer (because generally they're not) or addicts are brighter (because no one who is not an addict has ever noticed how bright they are) or that addicts are better people (because, in fact, because of the cliquish self-righteous, their arrogant claim to special insight, and the paranoid mentality that their addiction engenders, they are usually worse people). Despite their self-adulation there is no objective, simple case that can be made for their addiction.

Doesn't it seem to you to be a problem that every time you are asked to translate your wondrous experience into simple straightforward proofs and into specific pluses that would benefit anyone anytime and anywhere that you fall back on this "special knowledge" you have by "talking to G-d" and the special "understanding" of your community of like minded "believers?" Doesn't it bother you that this is the case - or are you just too arrogant to be bothered by the bewilderment of most of those in the world around you? Perhaps they just don't have your special insight, given you personally by G-d, or perhaps they are all just lawyers, or something else you can dismiss out of hand, you think?

626johnthefireman
Feb 18, 2012, 3:11am Top

>617 jntjesussaves: other Christians I know seem to agree with me on most things. I believe this is because, Christians are to be of "the same mind," unlike non-Christians

I thought there were rather a lot of Christians who disagree with you on this and other threads. See my 599, for example.

627eclecticdodo
Feb 18, 2012, 4:32am Top

>610 lawecon:

"True wisdom comes from God and is revealed by one's character and actions; it leads to peace and all things good."

"13Are any of you wise or sensible? Then show it by living right and by being humble and wise in everything you do. 14But if your heart is full of bitter jealousy and selfishness, don't brag or lie to cover up the truth. 15That kind of wisdom doesn't come from above. It is earthly and selfish and comes from the devil himself. 16Whenever people are jealous or selfish, they cause trouble and do all sorts of cruel things. 17But the wisdom that comes from above leads us to be pure, friendly, gentle, sensible, kind, helpful, genuine, and sincere. 18When peacemakers plant seeds of peace, they will harvest justice."

v14-17 contrasts earthly wisdom, which leads to selfish action and causing trouble with wisdom from above (i.e. from God), which leads to various good/Godly characteristics and actions.

There is much more to be gleaned from these verses, but I believe this is the pertinent point to the original message.

628eclecticdodo
Feb 18, 2012, 4:32am Top

This thread is getting seriously clunky to load with over 600 posts. Can I suggest we continue in a new thread?

629lawecon
Feb 18, 2012, 12:08pm Top

~627

So tell us, with specificity what that "much to be gained" is. And while you're at it, tell us why this is "from G-d" but many very similar comments from Stoic authors of the same period are not "from G-d".

630jntjesussaves
Feb 18, 2012, 8:00pm Top

623: Lawecon, I would agree that all verses in the Bible are not clear, but most seem to be so from my perspective.

631jntjesussaves
Feb 18, 2012, 8:54pm Top

625:

"Could I ask a favor of you? Just sit back for a few moments, reread the above and reread what you have said about those who disagree with you.

Now think about how you deal with people in daily life. Think about how you relate to people who are your friends or your business associates or even just are clerks in a store that you are consulting with to determine whether you should buy X or Y. What is the relationship between what you have described above and those more common interactions that you have with most people most of the time?"

We are dealing with spiritual issues, lawecon; this is one reason why I have tried to shift some of our discussions (myself and you) onto a little more of a less engaging topic (what are some of your favorite fiction that you have read?). I truly believe that you are not this cantankerous on every topic. I do have these topics with others when dealing with non-spiritual issues. For instance, I like sports (baseball especially): I discuss sports with others I know and while we may disagree, we are amiable towards one another.

I would also add that as a Christian, I do believe that I am a Christian 24 hours a day, not just when I am at church and not just when I am talking about spiritual things. Therefore, this mindset does carry over into other areas (secular issues, you might say) in which I do filter my beliefs through what the Bible says (or at least, what the Bible says based on my current understanding and knowledge of the Bible). While many issues may not be directlly relevant to my spiritual values, I do try and allow God's Spirit to direct me in how I should think about particular topics, no matter what field it may come from.

"Most people, most of the time, don't claim to make decisions or have insights based on the Master of the Universe having had a conversation with them or otherwise directing them. They don't choose to associate with X rather than Y because G-d tells them to do so. They don't work for employer X because they are "Godly". They don't choose friends and acquaintances based on mutual "Amen!!"s and they don't think that those who don't "Amen" are trying to trick them or conspiring against them and their clique."

I agree, lawecon, "most people" don't claim to make decisions based on God's Word (or how God directs them). I would also comment that "most people" are not Christians, so therefore I wouldn't expect non-Christians to claim to speak to God (or whether He speaks to them). I have never put you down or anyone else because you say you don't speak or communicate with God. I know what I am about to say will be considered "arrogant" according to you, but it is not meant to be (nor do I believe it to be so). God never claimed to speak to those who were not His own; prior to the Holy Spirit dwelling in individual believers, God did lead certain Old Testament saints to do certain things at certain times, but He never indwelt them (constantly) as His does today. Because of this, as Christians we are told that we will know His voice:

John 10:23
And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon's porch.

John 10:24
Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him, How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly. {make...: or, hold us in suspense}

John 10:25
Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father's name, they bear witness of me.

John 10:26
But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you.

John 10:27
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:

John 10:28
And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.

John 10:29
My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand.

John 10:30
I and my Father are one.
(KJV)

You have numerous times said that you wish I would tell you exactly why "that every time you are asked to translate your wondrous experience into simple straightforward proofs and into specific pluses that would benefit anyone." I believe I have done so, but to me these verses relate to giving a "simple straightforward proof" of what I am explaining. These verses do seem clear to me.

You see, lawecon, I am not trying to convince you to become a Christian. I would love you to be a Christian (and God would, too), but I am just trying to share with you what I have experienced and why I believe the way I do. I don't mind explaining and defending what I believe, but sometimes it seems like you are asking me to convince you of what I believe (and I can't). I know what I believe; I know the change that God has made in my life since I placed my trust in Jesus Christ and I can tell you about the change, but I cannot cause you to believe. That is not my job by the way; my duty as a Christian is to tell others about Jesus Christ, but it is not my duty to convince of spiritual truths (or save you). That is the job of God's Holy Spirit, not mine.

I do have friends, acquaintances, and others who are not Christians, but I don't socialize with them as I do other brothers and sisters in Christ. What God tells me in His Word and how He leads me (which is according to His Word) does affect me in the friends I choose and the things I do. In other words, my faith is who I am- it is truly "a way of life." My beliefs do affect me: even discussing spiritual issues with lawecon on LT are based on my faith and my beliefs.

632jntjesussaves
Feb 18, 2012, 9:35pm Top

626: John, I never claimed Christians agree on every topic. I was specifically relating to spiritual matters. Certainly Christians do at times disagree on certain passages, but most of the time they are of like mind.

When you say, "a lot of Christians who disagree with you on this and other threads," who are these people?

I am not sure what you are asking of me. Not to get in another discussion about this because it has been discussed before, but how you define what constitutes "a Christian" is vitally important to this discussion. My interpretation of what the Bible teaches is that a true Christian is one who has been "born again" from above (John 3:1-8). Now I understand probably the majority of "Christians" see no need of this "new birth" and therefore, believe that a Christian is nominal. They believe that because they were raised in a Chrisitan home, because they go to a certain church, because they were baptized, because they are a good person, because they believe in God- that they are a Christian. I reject this belief. None of these things are Biblical for making someone a Christian. If your comment is based on everyone who calls him/herself a Christian, but who don't claim to have a "born again" experience of salvation, then I would say that this is the most likely reason why there is much disagreement by many so-called Christians. Not all who make the claim of being a Christian, are. Again, God's Word seems clear on this point (John 10:1-16; John 16:13; Matthew 7:21-23). I must admit, whether someone has been a Lutheran, Presbyterian, Baptist, Catholic, or or any other denomination when discussing spiritual issues, none who proclaimed salvation by being "born-again," disagreed on any of the fundamental doctrines in the Bible.

Understand what I just said, that even "born-again" Christians will not agree 100% of the time on spiritual matters, but the huge majority of the time they will (and they certainly will agree on the major doctrinal issues). Now you might say, "I disagree with you most of the time on spiritual issues." As I stated before, there are certainly some issues that there will never be 100% agreement on by Christians; the one you make mention of in your 599 post is not a major doctrinal disagreement.

If you and I disagree on major doctrinal issues, such as what constitutes salvation, whether Jesus Christ was virgin born, whether God's Word is inerrant and infallible, whether Jesus Christ is coming again, whether Jesus Christ is God, (among others)- if we disagree on these fundamental issues, then I believe the one who doesn't believe these things is not a Christian. This is my belief (based on God's Word). I am sure many have no issue considering any and every body who makes a Christian claim to be a Christian. If someone desires to have that belief, that is a decision that they will have to give account to God for. I cannot go along with this belief according to what seems clear to me in God's Word.

633jntjesussaves
Feb 18, 2012, 9:36pm Top

627: Amen, eclecticdodo; I agree with your point.

634quicksiva
Feb 20, 2012, 7:54am Top

Jesus said: "I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all the truth: for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak." John 16

635thomashwalker2
Feb 20, 2012, 9:15am Top

613: "You say "just" a parable as if parables are of little or no significance or value. Once again, I'd submit that parables are more spiritually consequential than news accounts."

Let me repeat: "A parable is an earthly illustration of a spiritual reality - a window to the unseen." "Just" was not used to make light of a parable. Wrong word usage.

A parable is truth. If Adam and Eve were fictitious characters, the story of creation would be a lie. The earthly illustration must be true for it to be a window to the spiritual (invisible). You can't explain the spiritual with a lie, fabrication, exaggeration, fairy tale, or myth.

Examine Jesus' parables and you will see that the earthly illustrations He used were factual.

Obviously, the story of Adam and Eve will conflict with your beliefs if you believe in evolution. It is imperative to read without predetermined thoughts. If you do, there is a tendency to overlook essential facts.

636jntjesussaves
Feb 20, 2012, 8:54pm Top

Great verse, quicksiva! I am not sure if you are aware, but this conversation (thread) has continued elsewhere- see below.

637jntjesussaves
Feb 20, 2012, 9:29pm Top

635: Amen, Thomas! You make some really good points. Thomas, I am not sure if you are aware or not, but this conversation continued on another thread- see below. God's blessings.

638Carl_Jones
Mar 9, 2013, 3:32am Top

A CD recording takes about 72 hours to play the Bible through in its entirety, so to read it would take about the same amount of time. I can't say I've read it through that quickly but I did read it in 39 days last year (I didn't read it at all for 8 days, so I guess I can say I read it in 31 days) I have read the New Testament in 8 days.
Presently I am reading a parallel Bible (NASB and Message) a chapter of one then a chapter of the other, then I read the corresponding chapter in the Believers Bible Commentary by William MacDonald. I guess at the pace I am going it will take about 7 months.

639johnthefireman
Mar 9, 2013, 8:27am Top

I'd completely forgotten about this thread until Heavenlies resurrected it today. I've checked the continuations but they seem to have petered out on reaching Psalms around September or October 2012. Did it dry up completely or did it shift to somewhere else with a new title or something? Did those trying to read their bible through in a year do so in the end?

640DollyBantry
Mar 9, 2013, 9:03am Top

3 years ago I bought "the Bible in One Year" Hodder and Stoughton (but there are several out there). It took me two years to read it ;-). This year I am on track so far. But hey, I'm under grace, not law. The thing I like about it is that it has selections from the OT, NT, Psalms or the Wisdom lit. together for each day. I have read the Bible a few times before on my own, but it was hard slogging through Deuteronomy.

641fuzzi
Mar 22, 2013, 12:51pm Top

642jntjesussaves
Mar 22, 2013, 11:27pm Top

I read James 4, today, and continue to be encouraged and helped as I read. I will try and respond with more in the future. God bless.

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