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The Bible was interpreted wrong
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boets Offline
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Post: #1
The Bible was interpreted wrong
I used to think the bible stories are nonsense and made up by prophets/kings to rule the common people, but I remember from Genesis that "God formed the man from the dust". Science tells us that we're all created from the dust(star dust), we have the same minerals in the body that are also present in the earth and animals.

How could the people who wrote the bible know such things, I think there is some truth in the bible, but it was interpreted wrong by all kind of religions.

Six day creation could be much longer than what we consider today as an actual day, each day could be a billion years after the big bang.
(This post was last modified: 11-16-2015 06:25 AM by boets.)
11-16-2015 06:22 AM
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Suits Offline
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RE: The Bible was interpreted wrong
I think you've interpreted the Bible wrong.

The book has a lot of useful wisdom in it. But the creation story should probably be best viewed as a written version of an oral story that chronicled the move from hunting/gathering to agriculture.

I wouldn't read the Bible as something that is compatible with science on all counts. That was never its purpose.
11-16-2015 06:51 AM
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H1N1 Offline
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RE: The Bible was interpreted wrong
There is a school of thought, and this is related to a thread I started the other day on the Perennial Tradition, that most religious doctrine is simply the fossilized teaching of esoteric sages. The idea being that the parables, and the stories, are not intended to be read literally, or turned into some sort of religious cult of crystallized belief. Rather they are intended to be teachings desigined to encourage those with the capacity to obtain enlightenment to think esoterically about their true self. So, to take your example, the 'creation myth' may not have been intended to be taken literally. Rather it may have been intended to allow those with the capacity to meditate on their relation to the universe as a whole, and to understand that within them is a spark of that divine whole.

But certainly, most of the great thinkers appear to recognise that Christianity, and the Bible, were not intended to be taken literally, or even to represent the creation of a new God.

Augustine himself writes, in the Epistolae, that: "that which is called the Christian religion existed among the ancients and never did not exist from the beginning of the human race."
11-16-2015 09:44 AM
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The Beast1 Offline
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RE: The Bible was interpreted wrong
Personally, I find the bible to be an excellent retelling of man's early days. However, much of the bible was told through oral tradition. Remember playing a game of telephone in grade school? The bible is that game times a million. It's very much reads like a distant dream.

Remember, the old testament is a prophecy of God's promise to his people (the jews). The new testament is the answer to that prophecy.

With careful reading, the old testament is a how to manual for maintaining a nomadic tribe's people and culture in the face of many many obstacles (rival tribes, starvation, and disease). The new testament is a how to manual for surviving spiritual diseases.

TL;DR Don't take the bible literally. Analyze it by its allegorical and symbolic content. History doesn't repeat itself, but it definitely rhymes.
11-16-2015 11:06 AM
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Sherman Offline
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RE: The Bible was interpreted wrong
(11-16-2015 06:22 AM)boets Wrote:  I used to think the bible stories are nonsense and made up by prophets/kings to rule the common people, but I remember from Genesis that "God formed the man from the dust". Science tells us that we're all created from the dust(star dust), we have the same minerals in the body that are also present in the earth and animals.

How could the people who wrote the bible know such things, I think there is some truth in the bible, but it was interpreted wrong by all kind of religions.

Six day creation could be much longer than what we consider today as an actual day, each day could be a billion years after the big bang.


They must have observed bodies decomposing and seen that they dissolve into dust. Then they speculated that that is where we come from. The Greek philosophers made similar observations of things pulling apart and decomposing and speculated that the entire world is made of atoms.

Rico... Sauve....
(This post was last modified: 11-16-2015 11:58 AM by Sherman.)
11-16-2015 11:57 AM
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Pride male Offline
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RE: The Bible was interpreted wrong
The Bible is a collection of Jewish fairy tales.

Don't debate me.
11-16-2015 12:18 PM
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The Beast1 Offline
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RE: The Bible was interpreted wrong
(11-16-2015 12:18 PM)Pride male Wrote:  The Bible is a collection of Jewish fairy tales.

You want Jewish fairy tales, check out the Kabbulah. Huh
11-16-2015 05:50 PM
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Mage Offline
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RE: The Bible was interpreted wrong
Bible is an esoteric text.

Whether a person sees Bible as
a)bullshit
b)historical text
c)fairy tales
d)moralistic stories
e)collective memory mythos about agricultural development
f)parables about hidden knowledge
g)book of magick recepies and spells
h)blueprint of the soul
i)other version

is the best personality quiz in the world. Describes the development of that person as a human being. You get from it what you are ready to get from it.
11-17-2015 02:09 AM
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GlobalMan Away
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RE: The Bible was interpreted wrong
(11-16-2015 06:22 AM)boets Wrote:  Six day creation could be much longer than what we consider today as an actual day, each day could be a billion years after the big bang.

Trying to make the bible fit reality is not how the book should be used, if you want it to mean something for you. Otherwise you'll just keep trying to square what it says with what we otherwise know, creating fantastical leaps of imagination and guesses to 'make it fit', such as 1 day = billion years.

Americans are dreamers too
11-17-2015 04:48 AM
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Sooth Offline
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RE: The Bible was interpreted wrong
The Bible has many books that differ hugely in literary style and therefore require reading accordingly otherwise they will be nonsense.

For example the first and last - Genesis and Revelation - are obviously poetic and allegory. The Psalms also.

In John, Jesus says "I am the door". That obviously doesn't mean He's a mahogany door.

Other books are supposed to be read like a dictionary or historical document and are totally dryballs expository style.

I read it cover to cover and the old testament is full of boring lists and "On the 15th day of the 6 month in the xxx year while old mate was king, down by the river between this place and that place about 3 days walk from over there".
11-17-2015 04:59 AM
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Dr. Howard Offline
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RE: The Bible was interpreted wrong
(11-17-2015 04:59 AM)Sooth Wrote:  The Bible has many books that differ hugely in literary style and therefore require reading accordingly otherwise they will be nonsense.

For example the first and last - Genesis and Revelation - are obviously poetic and allegory. The Psalms also.

In John, Jesus says "I am the door". That obviously doesn't mean He's a mahogany door.

Other books are supposed to be read like a dictionary or historical document and are totally dryballs expository style.

I read it cover to cover and the old testament is full of boring lists and "On the 15th day of the 6 month in the xxx year while old mate was king, down by the river between this place and that place about 3 days walk from over there".

I agree, the biggest arrow pointing to this are the books of the new testament recounting jesus's works and crucifixion. They all recount the same events but with different emphasis, wording and perspective because it is through the eyes of different authors.

There is also old testament advice, from king solomon, to the common people. Is that advice meant to enslave them though? No. It is meant as guidance to stay out of trouble. Things like 'stay away from other men's wives, as they'll mess with your mind and convince you that 'no one will know' that you are banging...but everyone will' is straight up practical wisdom, I don't know how it promotes enslavement.

Another point to the poetic vs. literal is in the stories of joseph, where he interprets the dreams of the pharoah with seven withered cows etc. He doesn't say "well, god gave you a dream, so get ready for seven zombie cows to attack you" The dream happened, and there is also a meaning behind it. That is the bible, event occurred but their meanings are often more than their face value.

As for creation being non-literal....there are many other things in the world that are accepted as truth vs. fable with the same amount of personal experience as people have with creation, which is none. Darwin's theory of evolution is just that...or else it would be Darwin's fact of evolution wouldn't it?

At least the teachings of the bible come out and say 'faith is required for belief' as opposed to disguising something which requires faith as fact. There are things written in the bible that can never be empirically proven, or dis-proven and this leads back to Mage's breakdown of the ways that stumbling block can be interpreted.

However, I am always fascinated about the power of the bible. It seems to generate discussion like nothing else. Why, for example, aren't there as many passionate debates about the factual nature and true meaning of the Havamal/Odin's song? Is it factual or allegorical? Something about the bible burns the non believer more than any other text, despite there being a myriad of other religions beyond Christianity.

Why do the heathen rage and the people imagine a vain thing? Psalm 2:1 KJV
11-17-2015 09:31 AM
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RexImperator Offline
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RE: The Bible was interpreted wrong
True spirituality is not "of the mind" so it can only be described in metaphor, parable, etc.

The movie "Life of Brian" is all too apt in some ways.

Bella, horrida bella
et Thybrim multo spumantem sanguine cerno
11-17-2015 10:49 AM
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Pride male Offline
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RE: The Bible was interpreted wrong
Revelations was a book about Jewish revolt under Roman oppression. Now it is story about the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.

The Jesus of the Pauline letters was esoteric not real. Ever wondered why the Pauline gospel never mentions aspects of the life of Jesus.

The four gospels were a response to Jewish militants who had brought about the destruction of Jerusalem. A peaceful Messiah was required.

Don't debate me.
11-17-2015 01:16 PM
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Truth Teller Offline
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RE: The Bible was interpreted wrong
(11-17-2015 01:16 PM)Pride male Wrote:  The Jesus of the Pauline letters was esoteric not real. Ever wondered why the Pauline gospel never mentions aspects of the life of Jesus.

The four gospels were a response to Jewish militants who had brought about the destruction of Jerusalem. A peaceful Messiah was required.

I don't know why people keep repeating this bullshit about Paul referring to an "esoteric Jesus." Paul is referring to a human Jesus. Paul meets Jesus' brother and two of his closest disciples. Paul knows things about Jesus like Jesus is "born of a woman" and "of the line of David." Who cares that Paul mentions little of Jesus' life? Paul IS NOT writing a gospel (in the realm of Greco-Roman biography). Paul is writing his epistles to deal with SPECIFIC issues in the churches.

The gospels are not a response to Jewish militants. The church has vastly expanded and the eyewitnesses are dying. Read Bauckham's Jesus and the Eyewitnesses, rather than the usual crank Humphries/Price/Carrier nonsense.

"For you yourselves are aware that the Day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night" (1 Thess. 5:2)
(This post was last modified: 11-17-2015 05:04 PM by Truth Teller.)
11-17-2015 04:58 PM
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Truth Teller Offline
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RE: The Bible was interpreted wrong
(11-16-2015 06:51 AM)Suits Wrote:  I think you've interpreted the Bible wrong.

The book has a lot of useful wisdom in it. But the creation story should probably be best viewed as a written version of an oral story that chronicled the move from hunting/gathering to agriculture.

I wouldn't read the Bible as something that is compatible with science on all counts. That was never its purpose.

No, the creation story (depending on which one we're talking about, Genesis 1 or 2?) is a polemic against a Babylonian text known as the Enuma Elish. Rather than the sky/sun/stars/etc. being gods, YHWH creates all of them.

It's really an account of why things came to be, rather than how they became.

"For you yourselves are aware that the Day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night" (1 Thess. 5:2)
(This post was last modified: 11-17-2015 05:02 PM by Truth Teller.)
11-17-2015 05:00 PM
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Suits Offline
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RE: The Bible was interpreted wrong
(11-17-2015 05:00 PM)Truth Teller Wrote:  
(11-16-2015 06:51 AM)Suits Wrote:  I think you've interpreted the Bible wrong.

The book has a lot of useful wisdom in it. But the creation story should probably be best viewed as a written version of an oral story that chronicled the move from hunting/gathering to agriculture.

I wouldn't read the Bible as something that is compatible with science on all counts. That was never its purpose.

No, the creation story (depending on which one we're talking about, Genesis 1 or 2?) is a polemic against a Babylonian text known as the Enuma Elish. Rather than the sky/sun/stars/etc. being gods, YHWH creates all of them.

It's really an account of why things came to be, rather than how they became.

Actually, I tend to lump everything from Genesis 1 until the time of Abraham under the term "The Creation Story." I understand that other people do not do this, but given that I think those chapters contain clues about humanities developmental origin, I find it appropriate to do so.

As far as the conventional creation stories, I can only assume that you're right.
11-17-2015 11:16 PM
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Truth Teller Offline
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RE: The Bible was interpreted wrong
(11-17-2015 11:16 PM)Suits Wrote:  Actually, I tend to lump everything from Genesis 1 until the time of Abraham under the term "The Creation Story." I understand that other people do not do this, but given that I think those chapters contain clues about humanities developmental origin, I find it appropriate to do so.

As far as the conventional creation stories, I can only assume that you're right.

Ah, I see. Yeah, I'd probably call Genesis 1-11 "proto-history." The Biblical writers are trying to create a salvation history prior to history, if that makes sense.

"For you yourselves are aware that the Day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night" (1 Thess. 5:2)
11-17-2015 11:27 PM
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RE: The Bible was interpreted wrong
The Bible's value in in its metaphorical interpretations, not in its literal interpretations.

The Creation Myth, for instance, serves to explain that a Supernatural force, beyond our comprehension, created all that we know. This is important in context of Pagan and Shamanic religions having their own creation myths.

The Bible acknowledges the existence of the Supernatural, but in the absence of a Creation myth, people would revert to Shamanic and Pagan Beliefs. Therefore, the Monotheistic (rare at the time) Bible gave believers a comprehensive creation myth to counter the potential for its believers following Pagan and Shamanic myths.

Religious examination is a difficult topic, because some genuinely believe everything their religion has to say, some believe certain supernatural aspects, and some believe only in its non-supernatural aspects.

It is difficult to debate against belief, but belief must be respected, since it keeps most societies in order. I don't believe in a God or in religious myths, but I respect the Gods and myths that others believe in because it gives their lives purpose and meaning.
(This post was last modified: 11-18-2015 12:21 AM by xpatplayer.)
11-18-2015 12:21 AM
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RE: The Bible was interpreted wrong
(11-17-2015 01:16 PM)Pride male Wrote:  Revelations was a book about Jewish revolt under Roman oppression. Now it is story about the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.

The Jesus of the Pauline letters was esoteric not real. Ever wondered why the Pauline gospel never mentions aspects of the life of Jesus.

The four gospels were a response to Jewish militants who had brought about the destruction of Jerusalem. A peaceful Messiah was required.

You mean besides the part where he talks about The Last Supper, refers to Jesus's brother James and also speaks about meeting with Peter who is repeatedly mentioned in the Gospels?

Also strict Biblical literalism is something that only has gained massive currency in the 100 years or so with the rise of Protestant fundamentalism. St. Augustine was already talking about how the Creation story should be interpreted back in the day and allowed the possibility that it's not literal which wasn't a stumbling block to faith for him.

I think a lot of people don't realize that American Christian fundamentalism is something that's only existed for a very short portion of Christian history.

Edit: Saw Truth Teller already mentioned Peter and James. Also I agree that the Bible isn't meant to be a science book nor do I think it's worth any less of it. Sam Harris made a really silly argument in his "The End of Faith" that was along the lines of "If the Bible is so amazing how come it doesn't describe electricity or steam power?" I guess I better go throw my copies of the Platonic dialogues and Russell's "Problems of Philosophy" into the garbage bin too since those books don't deal with empirical science either.
(This post was last modified: 11-18-2015 02:32 AM by Wutang.)
11-18-2015 02:24 AM
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RE: The Bible was interpreted wrong
(11-17-2015 04:59 AM)Sooth Wrote:  I read it cover to cover and the old testament is full of boring lists and "On the 15th day of the 6 month in the xxx year while old mate was king, down by the river between this place and that place about 3 days walk from over there".
Leviticus is downright painful to read.

Ecclesiastes is flipping brilliant.
11-18-2015 03:26 PM
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RE: The Bible was interpreted wrong
(11-18-2015 02:24 AM)Wutang Wrote:  Edit: Saw Truth Teller already mentioned Peter and James. Also I agree that the Bible isn't meant to be a science book nor do I think it's worth any less of it. Sam Harris made a really silly argument in his "The End of Faith" that was along the lines of "If the Bible is so amazing how come it doesn't describe electricity or steam power?" I guess I better go throw my copies of the Platonic dialogues and Russell's "Problems of Philosophy" into the garbage bin too since those books don't deal with empirical science either.

You thought Harris would make a serious argument? Confused

"For you yourselves are aware that the Day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night" (1 Thess. 5:2)
11-18-2015 03:40 PM
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tynamite Offline
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RE: The Bible was interpreted wrong
(11-16-2015 06:22 AM)boets Wrote:  Science tells us that we're all created from the dust(star dust), we have the same minerals in the body that are also present in the earth and animals.

How could the people who wrote the bible know such things, I think there is some truth in the bible, but it was interpreted wrong by all kind of religions.

Oh I don't know! Maybe they buried dead people underground, noticed the body decomposed, and that the nutrients from the body went into the soil and the plants?

(11-16-2015 06:22 AM)boets Wrote:  Six day creation could be much longer than what we consider today as an actual day, each day could be a billion years after the big bang.

This is false. A day means how long it takes for the earth to fully complete rotating all the way round. It means 24 hours. It does not mean 24 hours which can be interpreted as millions or billions of years. If you went back into the past when people thought the earth was flat, you would find that they thought a day was 24 hours, an earth rotation.
(This post was last modified: 11-24-2015 11:35 AM by tynamite.)
11-24-2015 11:01 AM
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RE: The Bible was interpreted wrong
If you can't read the original Hebrew, you cannot commentate with any authority on the text.

"For you yourselves are aware that the Day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night" (1 Thess. 5:2)
11-24-2015 11:16 AM
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boets Offline
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RE: The Bible was interpreted wrong
(11-24-2015 11:16 AM)Truth Teller Wrote:  If you can't read the original Hebrew, you cannot commentate with any authority on the text.

It's more close to Aramaic than the Hebrew that people speak today.
11-25-2015 05:45 AM
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RE: The Bible was interpreted wrong
(11-25-2015 05:45 AM)boets Wrote:  It's more close to Aramaic than the Hebrew that people speak today.

No, it isn't. Biblical Hebrew is remarkably similar to modern Hebrew.

"For you yourselves are aware that the Day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night" (1 Thess. 5:2)
11-25-2015 02:27 PM
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