“Be very sure of this,-people never reject the Bible because they cannot understand it. They understand it only too well; they understand that it condemns their own behavior; they understand that it witnesses against their own sins, and summons them to judgment.” ― J.C. Ryle
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The Bible is a book that exposes it's readers. To ascertain a person's true character and habits just ask them to read a chapter, and then ask them what they got out of it.

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I am not sure I agree with the statement. I would have to accept that “sin” exists in the first place. Christians define “Sin” as an offence against their god. At least they do until I give them that definition -  then they will tell me it also means acting immorally. Of course the definition of what is immoral is based upon their interpretation of what their god says in the Bible anyway, thus making my first definition correct.

It does not condemn my behavior because I really don’t engage in the things it talks about.  My neighbors don’t own anything I desire. They don’t keep oxen or manservants so I can’t covet those even if I wanted to. I don’t worship any idols or craven images. I don’t need instructions on how to look after my slaves as I don’t keep any. Ok, sometimes I do wear clothing of two different fabrics but on the other hand I am not storing up any treasures on this Earth. I detest shellfish. If you saw my neighbors’ wife you would pray for the husband. However I must confess that when I saw the doctor’s wife today I do recall wishing I had a big bucket of apples.

Even if I did go around with such a weak sense of morality that the Bible suggests I should have, I would not be able to use it as some sort of “morality mirror” that I would use in judgment over myself.

I do understand the Bible. I know it better than most of the Christians I know, especially the Catholics. Most of it has nothing to say about Jesus. There are a few books in it that don’t even mention God. I can appreciate what it has contributed to the English language and even Western culture. We have many phrases today from the Bible than Christians don’t even know originated there.

However I condemn the idea that I cannot be a moral person because I will not lower my standards to live as the Bible suggests I should live. I reject the beliefs of those who hold the Bible in such a high regard that they become deluded by it. I reject evangelical puritans like J.C. Ryle who wasted his whole life writing about it and condemning those of us who disagree with him and his book.

I'm not sure we have enough context to really understand what Ryle meant...

By "reject the bible" what does he mean? Just not taking the bible as literal fact? Being a non-christian? Being non-religious? Being an atheist?

What is a "sin"?

The Bible is a book that exposes it's readers. To ascertain a person's true character and habits just ask them to read a chapter, and then ask them what they got out of it.

This quote is a little simpler... it's asserting that reading any single chapter in the bible can tell you about a person's true character. So it's saying the bible is like one of those ink-blot tests used in psychiatry.

Nothing I have every done or thought has been a sin therefore I'm PURE.

I'm pretty sure MANY people rejected the bible because they could not understand it.

Missionaries travelling to foreign lands to convert the heathens ran into this rejection over and over again.

Others rejected it because they DID understand it, and saw that it was a stupid bronze age attempt at guidance, including how to have slaves, etc....and rejected it as immoral.

As to a man's "character" based upon what he got from reading a chapter...there is no chart or algorithm to compare what "character" a man has to what he gets from reading nonsense...and no way to objectively determine this....so, there's no value in the process.

So, essentially, none of the quote is an accurate description of reality, being almost entirely wrong, with no correct parts, and, the neutral parts are too vague/meaningless to be applied.

It might as well say something like:

“Be very sure of this,-people never reject chocolate ice cream because they cannot taste it. They taste it only too well; they understand that it tastes like a unicorn; they understand that it witnesses against vanilla, and summons them to the freezer.” ― J.C, Really?

For a second here I wouldn't believe that Ryle would have said something like that. But I confused J.C. Ryle with Gilbert Ryle (both guilty of writing some rather bad philosophy...with some moments of genius) ... though clearly J.C. Ryle wins a prize for terrible horrible aweful arguments.

“Be very sure of this,-people never reject the Bible because they cannot understand it. They understand it only too well;

On this I couldn't agree more. 

they understand that it condemns their own behavior; they understand that it witnesses against their own sins, and summons them to judgment


This is where he went wrong. I assume that people who read the bible and reject it...do so because so many of its passages and laws are so immoral and oscene...they cannot be taken seriously but instead used as a guide for how not to form a theory of morality.

The Bible is a book that exposes it's readers. To ascertain a person's true character and habits just ask them to read a chapter, and then ask them what they got out of it.

Yes...and if anyone reads it with a critical mind they will find an enormous work of literature with a character in the middle who is presented as a pinnacle of greatness (God) but then does just about everything possible to demonstrate that he is not. It almost sounds post-modern...if it weren't written so many centuries ago in a time where a plough was considering a trending marvel of technology and when doing anything people found slightly suspicious or against the grain had you accused as a witch/devil/demon followed by a chase of torches and pitchforks.

I think he's saying that people reject the Bible because

they understand that it condemns their own behavior; they understand that it witnesses against their own sins, and summons them to judgment.

And

To ascertain a person's true character and habits just ask them to read a chapter, and then ask them what they got out of it.

I agree that people find whatever they're looking for when they read the Bible or Qu'ran. 

I'd like to see the empirical evidence to back this up.

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