the bible is a wonderful collection of fables, legends,and time-less stories with lessons for a lifetime. it is a beautiful book, and in the king james bible, we have, i believe, a fabulous if not unsurpassed collection of poetry.
the bible is not,however, an inspired work crafted supernaturally, and infallible in all its contents. in short, the bible is not the word of god. instead, it was cobbled together by many men over the course of many years. to prove this, i have seized on evidence provided by the bible itself by and through its many irreconcileable contradictions that can only be explained away by the sorry truth that the bible has many authors, writing in different eras, and for different readerships; they simply did not get their stories streight.
does any body want examples of what i am talking about?
the kjv uses "biblical english" unique to it. i think it is very beautiful. and, the bible, including certainly the kjv, is deeply engrained in western cutlture. people do not like being told their beliefs are wrong--and i do not engage any christians in any debate about it (no body has to read my book if they don't want to). but, in this forum, i think, one is invited to let it all hang out!
Modern apologists (a small slice of christians) deny that the bible is anything other than written by fallible people though inspired to one degree or another by God-stuff. It's a great way to get out of having to justify the endless contradictions, absurdities, conflicts, untruths, horror and immorality in the bible...while still claiming it as an important inspiration for their faith. These appologists are highly deluded into thinking that their post-literalism is somehow common amongst the Abrahamic faith believers.
Just waiting for someone to give a clear and meaningful answer on just how we can objectively determine if we are using the bible as best as possible as inspiration for faith.
But then can't Science be said to have arrived by the same process (Scientific Method is a relatively new development).
All I'm saying is we shouldn't underestimate the usefulness of "endless contradictions, absurdities, conflicts, untruths, horror and immorality." Let's not throw the baby out with the bath water.
Those who have a preference for Scientific Method can be a bit too po-faced about it all and ignore the debacle that is not only historical but also modern academia.
No. The bible hasn't been changed for centuries.
Scientific knowledge has.
The bible was written by diverse people for different reasons and a selection of the final cannon was made by a room full of men centuries ago not to be notably changed. There is simply no way to evaluate the knowledge gained by reading the bible and certainly no way to test which reading is better than another or which gives more reliable information.
The scientific method is simple, clear and there is a method by which we can evaluate the information/knowledge gained through scientific methods. We know who wrote what, the methods they used to investigate, their data and their conclusions.
The Bible includes so many problems, so much information that is clearly not correct in any universe, bad science and claims that cannot be taken seriously.
The scientific method (indirectly) works to filter out all of this as best as faliable humans can.
So no...you cannot arrive at a theory of gravity, or formal logic or genetics or steel bridge building or basic chemistry or explaining the solar system or nutrition or delivering babies safely...by reading the bible. We arrived at this information by a process which is the utter opposite of a bible reading. To think we had would be like suggesting we learnt about optics and motors and penecilan and gravity by reading Shakespeare's plays or Plato's dialogues. We didn't.
No one is calling for the Bible to be burnt on a pyre. It's an essential text of Western civilization and everyone should read it (at least parts of it). There is some (albeit only some) passages worth reading for their story telling, some (flawed but still useful) cultural practices and history, a few moral lessons (that don't involve God murdering everyone) and even some advice that makes sense (often in the parables).
As for choosing the Scientific method over a subjective reading of an ancient foggy confusing text with unknown authors through faulty translations...I'd go with the Scientific method unless we are dealing with purely cultural problems (and perhaps to a smaller extent moral problems). If your safety or well being or standard of living or protection or equality or human rights or economic opportunities, understanding of history, geography, medicine are on the line...you are bonkers if you don't go with the scientific method. The bible simply doesn't offer anything about the creation of the universe or physics or medicine or building things or cosmology or money management or hunting or fishing or city management or party planning or evolution or climate prediction or explanation of wind or clouds or rainbows or waves....of any value (beyond cultural artifacts and cultural analysis).
well put! the thing is, however, that the bible embodies people's beliefs--core beliefs, and core beliefs, even if ill founded, are hard to part with and can blind one from the truth under the delusion that the beliefs are true. i have met christian fundamentalists who believe that the earth is 6000 to 7000 years old (based on the jubilee calendar in leviticus). when i asked these christians how they contend with dinosaur fossils and geology telling us that the earth is millions of years old, they said, "everyone will come to see, when the books are opened (revelation)that the fossils are a hoax perpetrated by satan to lead people astray." how does one deal with that? what i did is write a book about bible contradictions that expose the human origins of that great book. my book is called, "bible follies."
"everyone will come to see, when the books are opened (revelation)that the fossils are a hoax perpetrated by satan to lead people astray."
That is the dumbest thing I've ever read in my life, besides the Adam and Eve story, which is redundant in its own self.
well, you may think it is dumb, and so do i, but the individual who said this to me is a preacher with a following, and he said this with a streight face and conviction--he believes it. and this same preacher, whose name i omit, served in vietnam as a concientious objector (would not touch a rifle), underwent jerring and humiliation by fellow soldiers, but won a bronze star rescuing the wonded from the battel field. in other words, he is a man of character. still, he beleives that dinosaur fossils are a hoax. go figure.
Well, like you said before, there was few scientific knowledge when the Bible was created, how can there be money management when there was no money around at the time? The Bible isn't a psychic, it doesn't predict things.
The 17th century was when Galileo suggested that the Earth wasn't in the center of the universe.
The knowledge gained by the people at the time of writing the Bible was through trial and error and a very weak scientific method for a handful of subjects (architecture, supply management, measurements, plant breeding). And this was learnt from hard work and sources other than the bible. The book didn't then give reliable information on how to handle state wheat storage or how to properly deliver a baby or how to predict when it will rain or which angles to use when building arches for tall buildings.
There is an enormous poverty of reliable knowledge in the bible for people of any century and a lot of advice which is very bad and destructive advice.
"No one is calling for the Bible to be burnt on a pyre."