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Can a Christian be a Taoist or Buddhist??


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Showing 451-475 of 528 posts in this discussion
In reply to an earlier post on Apr 22, 2012 1:58:12 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 22, 2012 10:08:14 AM PDT
Hi CBP

I'm sorry, if you did indeed invite me to provide answers for your list of queries I'm afraid I didn't read it (as you may have noticed, there are periods of silence on my part - when I'm doing other things that are equally enthralling - and I don't read EVERY post.

Having said that, I did notice your recent post to Andrew Cox on this subject and had already decided to suggest some possible answers - though not until I have time to do a proper job.

in the meantime I noted your even more recent post:

"I confess that part of me enjoys putting forward the internal contradictions in the bible (and the logical inconsistencies in conservative arguments) and watching Christians tie themselves in knots trying to explain them away."

Which struck me as genuinely sad. It certainly speaks more of an aggressive attitude towards people you don't agree with that any desire to understand other people's point of view (even if you then still don't agree with them).

I'd also suggest that it makes your involvement with discussions like this rather pointless, even self-defeating, doesn't it?

So what if you can (as you claim) tie Andrew Cox in knots? Does it not occur to you that he may be a relatively young Christian who has yet to develop a broader and deeper understanding of his faith?
Personally I commend him for his adherence to his beliefs in the face of your attacks. And no amount of "clever" arguing on your part is going to make him look bad in the eyes of any fair-minded person.

More likely they might wonder what root cause lies behind this behaviour.

Anyway, though I'm not going to answer your points right now, I will make three overall points on which my fuller answers will be based:

1. What do you think the purpose of the Bible is? Going by your comments I might guess that you think that Christians believe it to be the exact word of God, dictated directly to human beings (as in the case of the "Book of Mormon") and that it must therefore be literally and exactly true on every detail.
Or maybe you don't?
(Clue: Since most people can only read the Bible after it has been translated into their own language the literalist interpretation doesn't really make a great deal of sense.)

2. Do any of your so-called contradictions actually undermine any important element of the message/purpose of the Bible. Or are they all to do with relatively trivial details?
(Clue: No.)

3. What would your attitude be if, for example, all four gospels were absolutely aligned in every detail? Personally I'd find that redundant (why have four matching copies of the same story in the first place?).

(Clue: Try reading up on the psychology of memory and you'll find that the level of agreement between the four gospels is actually remarkably high for four accounts, written by four different people (and in all likelihood) at four different times. And that's ven if we go along with the suggestion that three of them were in any part based on a common source (the much discussed but ultimately hypothetical "Q").

Just something to think about.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 22, 2012 2:13:48 AM PDT
"BTW, as it happens, 30 years ago I was *teaching* religious studies in what I think is referred to in the US as "junior college". "

Lord save us! You mean there are *pupils* of yours out there too??? Heaven send I never meet one - I'd be tempted to (in)humane eradication of pests :-)

We're back to the fact that you and Andrew both claim that you know what "true Christianity" is, and base that claim on your knowledge of the bible, but refuse to engage in any kind of sensible debate about a) whether your interpretation might be flawed, or b) whether the bible's internal inconsistencies suggest, by implication, a different interpretation.

I await your explanation of the errors and internal contradictions I've already posted. If your understanding of the bible and God is as perfect as you claim, then you'll have no difficulty coming up with answers.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 22, 2012 2:36:35 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 22, 2012 2:37:53 AM PDT
"Which struck me as genuinely sad. It certainly speaks more of an aggressive attitude towards people you don't agree with that any desire to understand other people's point of view (even if you then still don't agree with them)."

Oh please! I understand your point of view - I spent years living with it myself. But eventually I found it logically inconsistent and moved beyond it. I did NOT, however, stop being a Christian.

Remember that if it comes to accusations of aggression, YOU began it on this thread. I merely pointed out that your view of Christianity isn't the total compass of Christian thought, for the benefit of the OP. It was you who refused to admit such a possibility.

"So what if you can (as you claim) tie Andrew Cox in knots? Does it not occur to you that he may be a relatively young Christian who has yet to develop a broader and deeper understanding of his faith?"

If that were so, he shouldn't make such absurd and unyielding claims about his knowledge. Incidentally, I didn't claim to tie him in knots - I said I like watching those who argue your kind of arguments tie THEMSELVES in knots trying to rationalise that which can't be rationalised. You can find that sad if you like; what you think really doesn't bother me.

Incidentally, if you're a psychologist (as an earlier post claimed), then what were you doing teaching religious studies?

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 22, 2012 2:44:35 AM PDT
Hi CBP

You seem to know a lot about the scriptures, so you may be able to help me in my puzzlement.

Since any one with sense knows that the dinosaurs co existed with man upon the earth (the Darwinian theory being crap), does that mean that 'The Flintstones' is a kind of documentary?

T Crown

Posted on Apr 22, 2012 7:57:16 AM PDT
AJ has NEVER earned a degree in psychology, and is not registered, as per LAW in the UK, to practice psychology. I already busted him on this topic. He has put me on "ignore" because of it. In fact, he doesn't even have the full credentials to practice NLP either, but that doesn't stop him. He's made MANY grandiose claims about himself, which reveals a LOT about him, on a psychological level, doesn't it? He will avoid answering specific questions and try to steer the convo in another direction soon enough.

TC, you crack me up! YES! I think The Flintstones definitely qualify under your definition! LOL!

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 22, 2012 8:49:14 AM PDT
Thanks ZD, that answers many questions for me and for the first time, I have the beginnings of a new understanding of reality.

Could Fred have been Moses & Wilma; could she have been the wife of Lot? These are deep questions and do require further exploration.

I think I'm beginning to see it all now........

TC

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 22, 2012 9:47:41 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 22, 2012 11:30:05 AM PDT
Hi CBP

Right, I'll start answering your comments/questions, but each one in a separate post (to avoid ending up with some ridiculously long posts.

I don't expect you to necessarily accept any of my answers (you might, or you might not). I am only concerned with refuting your overall point that the Bible is full of contradictions - particularly the ones you think you know about.

In other words, I'm not interested in getting into a long drawn out argument just because you don't like/don't agree with something I've said. I see no constructive point to such behaviour.

So, question #1: "Do you realise there's evidence to suggest the disciples believed in reincarnation?"

answer #1: No, because there isn't.
(a) The point about Elijah is that his death was unproven. He was reportedly swept up in a whirlwind and (seemingly) never came down.

(b) Of course one might argue that being swept up by a whirlwind certainly doesn't prove that Elijah didn't die. But Elijah had been a very powerful prophet, and whereas people might have accepted that any normal person would indeed be killed by such an event, this was not seen as being necessarily true in the case of a prophet - who might have been treated by God in a very different manner.

Bottom line: People weren't EXPECTING Elijah to be re-incarnated, firstly because there is NO CONCEPT of re-incarnation in the Jewish religious teachings, and secondly because they didn't know for sure that he had ever died.
Note that John the Baptist was NOT asked "Are you the re-incarnation of Elijah?" but "Are you Elijah?". In other words, they were wondering if he was the original Elijah come back from wherever he had gone after being carried off by the whirlwind.

(I haven't forgotten about John 13:2, but there's another comment/question I want to answer right away.)

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 22, 2012 11:41:56 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 22, 2012 12:28:01 PM PDT
Hi again CBP,

Second answer, as promised, this time in reply to the first point on your second, more detailed list (using the more succinct version in your first list):

question #2: "Do you realise there are two contradictory versions of the creation account in Genesis?"

answer #2: No. Because there is no such contradiction between Genesis 1 and Genesis 2.

To understand why not it is necessary to have a better knowledge of the language of the original texts, so I'm going to use explanations based on the work of two theological scholars, Dr C. John Collins and Dr Francis A. Schaeffer (whom I did actually study with for a time, many years ago).

And to save any claims that Collins and Schaeffer weren't experts in their field: Schaeffer was a renowned evangelical scholar and teacher with an international ministry up to the time of his death in 1984 - check out his books on Amazon).

Collins, who has his first two degrees from MIT (in the US), and his PhD from University of Liverpool in England, is described thus by one of his academic contemporaries:

"Jack Collins is my kind of guy-a fellow MIT nerd. But he is much more: a brilliant scholar of biblical languages and a keen observer of the interaction between science and the Christian faith. This is a wonderful book, and I recommend it most strongly.
-Henry F. Schaefer III, Professor of Chemistry and Director of the Center for Computational Quantum Chemistry, University of Georgia"

Anyway, here are the two men's thoughts on the question of the compatibility of Genesis Chapters 1 & 2:

According to Collins, who is quoted several times by Professor John Lennox in his book "Seven Days that Divide the World", Appendix C: "Two Accounts of Creation" (2011, pages 156-159), an important factor behind the confusion is certain elements of the Hebrew language. For example, the lack of a pluperfect version of Hebrew verbs.
This is important, for example, in Genesis 2:19 we read something like (depending on the particular translation:

"So out of the ground the Lord God formed every animal of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to the man [Adam] to see what he would call them ..."

This *appears* to directly contradict the account in Genesis 1, where we are told that the birds and animals were created on day 5, and man was created on day six. But as Collins points out, there is actually no contradiction if we recognise that it is equally valid to assume that the (unidentified) pluperfect form of the verb is intended, as in:

"So out of the ground the Lord God had formed every animal of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to the man [Adam] to see what he would call them ..."

Lennox suggests that the Chapter 1 version of the creation is chronological (the sequence of events as they accurred in space and time, whilst the second version is basically logical. Thus in Genesis 2:19, although it may seem that the creation of the animals, birds and Adam are out of sequence, logically the statement makes perfectly good sense in that it would be logical to assume that if the animals and birds were brought to Adam to be named, they MUST already exist.

Schaeffer puts the distinction only slightly differently in arguing that the literary structure used throughout the book of Genesis is to set out the basic details of a given topic in broad strokes and then to go back and fill in the details that are important to the overall message of the Bible.
In this case it might be argued that giving mankind dominion (stewardship) over all other creatures (described in Genesis 1:26-31), but this is to miss the point that naming things/people and knowing the true name of some person or some thing had a very special significance in Judaism (and still does, for all I know).

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 22, 2012 12:57:10 PM PDT
AJB.

All this profound involvement and cogitation with biblical text. We are still, after all, discussing a piece of ancient literature written by man. The accounts are filtered through man's sum knowledge at that time.

Similar interpretations of 'natural' phenomena appear in many other world cultures and they arrive at the 21st century as an interesting account of how man interpreted the world with the knowledge at hand.

However; for individuals living during those times and, through no fault of their own, that interpretation was ultimately driven by a gap in knowledge. This 'gap filler' has always been readily filled by priests, witch doctors and shamans in order that they wrest power for themselves within the community. We know it as - superstition

It still goes on and will continue to while there are those who ignore the massive illogicality of what is being discussed. They will continue to pore over and give credence to, in the case of many established religions, a voice from a distant past.

These 'voices' are interpretations of the day and their content would be vastly different if the phenomena that exited then were to be examined today.

If an indigenous African a couple of centuries ago were to be shown a cigarette lighter, he/she would interpret its effect as 'magical'. The same would apply to any culture presented with something which was 'out of its time'. And still people quote these ancient scriptures with an intensity that beggars belief.

I could say much more without quoting a scrap of scripture, but some of you have your noses into ancient writings instead of lifting your heads up and seeing reality as it really is.

T.Crown

Posted on Apr 22, 2012 4:26:56 PM PDT
AJ can't really see anything, even with his coke bottle glasses on.

He also might be name dropping, but no matter, we are supposed to believe that his "friend" was an expert in the Hebrew language, culture, and texts. Understanding that the Bible's OT is pulled from Jewish sources, not Christian. Funny how the Talmud tells a completely different story than what appears in the Christian Bible.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 22, 2012 6:40:20 PM PDT
Maybe a reality show, T Crown :-)

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 23, 2012 12:12:00 AM PDT
CBP

"Remember that if it comes to accusations of aggression, YOU began it on this thread."

Well, I understand that you think that. But in light of your claim that you are a Christian I think the problem is possibly more likely to be in your interpretation of what I wrote than in my intention.

You *appear* to be very unhappy about any suggestion that Christianity is indeed an "exclusive" or syncretic religion. But I didn't invent that element. When the focus of Christiasnity says things like "no one comes to the Father except by me" I don't think there's much room left for co-opting bits of other religions that happen to appeal to one and still calling what one is doing "Christianity".

But please understand - I know I do not know what actual relationship exists between you and go as two persons. I am ONLY talking about the Christian teachings, NOT about individuals.
If you read personal attacks into what I write that is in your reading of my posts.
Maybe you could look at the situation from another perspective - try to read posts without taking anything personally - even if they appear to be personal. After all, you don't know me, only what I write - and vice versa. On that basis a slanging match is entirely pointless.

Incidently, what makes you think someone cannot be a psychologist AND a teacher of religious studies. The two areas are certainly NOT mutually exclusive.

To demonstrate the point you might take a brief look at my three websites:

www.bradburyac.mistral.co.uk

This is about NLP, an area of psychology. I was using techniques taken from something rather similar (General Semantics) as part of my personal approach to teaching, and moved on from there to use NLP when I subsequently worked as a trainer, training manager, training course designer in the IT industry.

www.bradburyac.mistral.co.uk/tennesse.html

This is about the Scopes "Monkey" Trial, and combines history (which I also taught at one time) and religion. (BTW, the last "e" is missing from Tennessee because the website was set up in the days when file names were limited to 8 characters.)

www.bradburyac.mistral.co.uk/dar0.html

This is a fairly in depth study of Darwin and his work, and again combines elements of history and religion.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 23, 2012 12:17:18 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 23, 2012 1:35:19 AM PDT
Hi TC

"Since any one with sense knows that the dinosaurs co existed with man upon the earth (the Darwinian theory being crap), does that mean that 'The Flintstones' is a kind of documentary?"

[ Huh! Top Cat asking whether The Flinstones is a diocumentary series!!! ;-))) ]

Funny you should say that. I was reading a book called "Biblical Nonsense" recently in which the author claimed he was (as the name suggests) exposing all kinds of nonsense in the Bible.

One of his more interesting claims, I thought, was that the story of Noah's Ark was obviously absurd because he obvious couldn't have gotten all the different kinds of dinosaur into the boat.

Now it *might* have been a leg pull, but the guy writes so earnestly that I don't think he has much time for humour - JMO.

Interesting, huh?

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 23, 2012 12:49:04 AM PDT
Yes, CBS, reality has, most definitely been given a back seat here.

As I stated in my earlier post, I have little knowledge of scriptures. I have a first in chemistry & a PhD in counseling psychology, but alas, no qualifications in folklore or mythology.

I have never had a problem with Christians who have a personal relationship with a loving god. As a Buddhist (Zen), I prescribe (not believe; note the fine distinction) to each sentient being possessing of an innate divinity.

Buddhism does not recognize a state of 'duality', either on the physical or the spiritual plane. There exists no 'them and us', 'you and me' or (and this is my point) God and man. In other words, Buddhists do not believe in a god that is apart from man. To us, God & all beings sentient make up part of the same 'whole'.

I prescribe to this perspective and find my peace in quiet meditation and stilling the mind. I do not state that it is the only path to happiness,peace or any other elevated realization of what is. It's how Buddhists attempt to reach a state of enlightenment and realization of reality.

Buddhism does not attempt to proselytize as it regards each being's quest for inner peace as being its own personal responsibility. Neither does it believe in the need for 'salvation' from an external source; one of its main tenets being that we are all 'perfect' beings who need to come to a point of realization of this fact.

Again, I stress that it is a viewpoint and not presented as an absolute fact.

From my utterances, it must be pretty obvious to the reader that I am an enlightened being.

TC

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 23, 2012 1:10:05 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 24, 2012 10:20:30 AM PDT
Hi TC

"All this profound involvement and cogitation with biblical text. We are still, after all, discussing a piece of ancient literature written by man. The accounts are filtered through man's sum knowledge at that time."

That is YOUR belief, it isn't mine.

"I could say much more without quoting a scrap of scripture, but some of you have your noses into ancient writings instead of lifting your heads up and seeing reality as it really is."

Oh, nice point!

1. Since I believe that the central fiocus of the Bible is to explain to human beings their relationship with God, and since I believe that God is alive and well right now, I cannot think of anything less "unreal" than the Bible message.

2. You talk about "seeing reality as it really is", but what does that actually mean?

(a) This claim perfectly reflects what Professor Martin Seligman (one-time president of the APA) suggests is at the heart of pessimism.

(b) Now I don't mean that as a criticism. Because I think you've gone to the very heart of the atheistic world view - it is a state of pessimism, depression and despair (which varies in degree from person to person).

The more I read of atheistic ideas, both the theory and the practice, the more I see this basic thread running through it all. Indeed, in hindsight it's been there all along. Richard Dawkins, for example, has been cracking on for decades about poor religious people who can't (in his opinion) face reality and need to hide behind their religious beliefs. All of which is pure pessimism.

And of course, from his perspective - and from yours, perhaps? - the description looks reasonable.
Yet he has failed to produce any real evidence to support his claims, just as your post simply makes unvalidated claims.

For example, you wrote: It [I guess you meant superstition?] still goes on and will continue to while there are those who ignore the massive illogicality of what is being discussed.

How do YOU KNOW that what Andrew, Carol, I and others is superstition?
All you're really saying in your post, it seems to me, is "I see myself as a modern person and it doesn't fit my concept of a modern person to have religious beliefs".

Fine. I just wonder how far you have been willing to face and live up to the logic of your belief.
Based on your declared perspective ou have no place in this world. You reject the past, so you have no roots. You don't believe in God so you have no reason for being here. You are, as someone put it, just a part of the fungus that grows on the surface of planet Earth and which is currently destroying.

In fact, if you carry the beliefs you *seem* to hold to their logical conclusion you and your life (and everyone else's, of course) are utterly meaningless. And nothing you do has any value since, in a very literal sense, everything is "maya" - an illusion. Any idea of self-worth or personal significance is likewise, just an illusion. THAT is your "reality".

The Christian reality is that the Earth is here for a purpose, and we exist because the supreme being chose to create us to share the rest of eternity with Him. Thus EVERYTHING we do (and by "we" I mean everyone in the world, not just Christians, nor even just religiously-minded people, but EVERYONE), matters to this creator.
He also gave us free will, so that our choices, likewise, are genuinely significant - and genuinely free.

Genuinely "superstitious" religion is that which believes that a cause and effect relationship exist where in practice none exists. Like praying to a stone in the hope that it will make the rains come when in fact the rains come at a certain time every year, whether the people pray to the stone or not.

I understand that for you, praying to a god whom you cannot directly hear or see may seem to be pretty much the same thing as praying to the stone. But one of the important differences is exactly the sort of thing that you brush aside. There is a basis for Christianity that doesn't exist in any other religion AFAIK. (And anyone who thinks they have no religious beliefs is NOT dealing with "real reality". Denying the value of religious beliefs is just as much a religious stance as having overt religious beliefs.)

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 23, 2012 1:33:09 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 23, 2012 1:35:45 AM PDT
TC

"In other words, Buddhists do not believe in a god that is apart from man. To us, God & all beings sentient make up part of the same 'whole'."

How interesting. Except that in authentic Buddhism the very concept of "God" is nonsense.
You say, correctly, that Buddhism (which is, of course, based on the same kind of "ancient texts" which you affect to despise) holds that we are all part of the same "whole".
But what does that actually mean?
Despite your alleged impartiality you say that "Buddhism does not recognise ..." But what you acrtually mean is that the founder of Buddhism taught - and you believe such and such.
Moreover as someone interested in Zen Buddhism you aren't even adhering to authentic Buddhism but to what Buddhism had become after becoming Ch'an in China, and Zen in Japan.

Do you, I wonder, also belong to the Rinzai school of Zen, or the Soto school of Zen. Both of which have (in my 'umble) sold out the original Zen teaching for the sake of pulling in more followers.
The idea that one could have books of prescribed "answers" to koans, given that koans are supposed to trigger spontaneous insights, is totally bonkers.

There's also the small point that Buddhism ultimately subscribes to the non-existence of any kind of morality. You say you have no problem with Christians, yet you told me in your previous post that we were all wasting our time with ancient texts which were of no value because they didn't deal with reality.

And now you say you are a Zen Buddhist, and as such you are (I assume) "attempt[ing] to reach a state of enlightenment and realization of reality.
Which is going to be quite an achievent since Buddhist teachings say there is NO REALITY, only illusion.
By even mentioning "reality" you are suggesting that duality can be a reality. Oops!

I wish you luck on that one.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 23, 2012 2:05:02 AM PDT
"But in light of your claim that you are a Christian I think the problem is possibly more likely to be in your interpretation of what I wrote than in my intention."

I really don't see what my religious beliefs have to do with interpreting your arrogance. You're the one who continually asserts that your version of Christianity is the only true one (and you've done it again in the post I'm now replying to). That's arrogant. You're the one who refuses to accept that there may be other (equally Christian) ways than yours to interpret various parts of the bible. That's arrogant. My personal beliefs have nothing to do with defining your arrogance (if I believed the same as you, I might not *see* your arrogance, but that wouldn't make it any less arrogant).

It's really simple - the only way that you can assert definitively that your interpretation of Christianity is "the truth" is to deny the possibility of human error in yourself, thereby putting yourself on a level with God.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 23, 2012 9:07:59 AM PDT
AD says:
Ah excuse me, I'm a Christian and NO you can't do anything you want. You do according to what God tells you to do from the Holy Bible. Christians must follow Christ's example, We can not do what we want to do and think it's all good. there is a lot of evil in this world and we have to be ready for what ever comes our way. Did Jesus say it would be easy being a good Christian NO HE DID NOT!

Posted on Apr 23, 2012 10:13:47 AM PDT
I love how AJ insists that NLP is a part of psychology, when it really isn't, and is actually considered "bunk" in psychological circles.

TC, you mentioned that you have your PhD in psychology. How about you ask AJ what his credentials are, and if he is registered to practice psychology in the UK? He has also claimed to be a member of the British Psychological Society at one time, but when I called him on it, he back pedaled and changed his story. AJ is a good talker, but can't back anything up. In other words, a liar.

Posted on Apr 23, 2012 10:15:03 AM PDT
Adam, only you have to follow God's rules, since you are a believer. The rest of us are free to make our own choices. God has no bearing on our lives.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 23, 2012 3:42:36 PM PDT
Adam, you totally misinterpreted the post you replied to. I suggest you go back and read it again. It says, roughly "you can do anything you want and still CALL yourself Christian, but that doesn't make you a true Christian".

But it sounds like you, along with AJ and Andrew, claim to know exactly what God's truth is - another god-claimant!

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 23, 2012 4:57:31 PM PDT
D. DeHart says:
I agree, and Jesus is the only one who conquered the grave by His resurrection from the dead! No other religion claims this! But as you say, no other religion can claim a personal relationship with their god either. Unless you know the whole counsel of God, as taught in the Holy Scriptures, you are following or worshiping a false "jesus". Old and New Testaments are the same God. Everything in the Old Testament points to the coming of Christ. In the New Testament, we see Jesus as fully God and fully human, though without sin. No man can claim that he has no sin. God alone, the Creator, the Alpha, the Omega, Eternal, Savior, the Sacrificial Lamb, who was slain for us, so that those that are His can spend eternity with Him. When the body dies, the soul lives forever. With Jesus as Savior, He has pardoned our sins, without Jesus, everlasting hell is the reality. God's full wrath on those who reject His salvation. Everyone knows or has heard John 3:16, but read through verse 21.

16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,[f] that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son.[g] 19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God."[h] (NIV 1984 version)

Posted on Apr 23, 2012 5:17:44 PM PDT
And you call this a loving, merciful God? I think I'll pass.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 23, 2012 5:50:08 PM PDT
Another god-claimant!

Presumably none of them understand simple logic. I don't mind spelling it out again, though:
1) They refuse to admit the possibility of error in their beliefs
2) Therefore they are claiming to be perfect (at least in this regard).
3) But since they claim only God is perfect, therefore they are claiming to be God.

I think I'd rather the vengeful, capricious God of the OT than any of them!

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 24, 2012 10:19:04 AM PDT
Hi CBP

Another part of my response to your list of claims about the Bible. This time in regard to your claims about 1 Corintheans 14:34-38.

Let me start out of order, because you made a couple of claims which are completely invalid, and apply in general, not just to this passage:

CBP:
If you call it nonsense, then you're calling the bible nonsense ...

AJB:
Not true. There is no reason why we need to call the Bible itself "nonsense" in order to point out that a given criticism is invalid.

CBP:
Words [have been] omitted from all standard translations of 1 Corinthians: The key phrase is politely translated as "utter rubbish", but a closer contemporary translation would be "bull...t".

AJB:
This would be an interesting claim, if true. But you give no indication where this information comes from, and can apparently only identify two places (very close together) where you say it applies.
How, then, can anyone else evaluate your claim?

And now to the actual claims:

CBP:
One example (I'd have to actually look up all the references, and from memory there are 14 instances)

AJB:
No need. Just tell us your source(s) and anyone reading these posts, now or later, can look the information up for themselves.

I could guess what basis there is for your claim, but to be fair I'll hold off until I've seen your source(s) - unless you refuse to give it/them.

CBP:
There are several places that this phrase is omitted from translations,

AJB:
Quite. In fact I cannot find any mention of the allegedly missing words even in the one place where you say they exist (1 Corintheans 14:36). This despite the fact that one of my Bibles is a "cross-referenced" edition which includes numerous examples of the kind "other ancient authorities say ..."

CBP:
... but in each case it makes an incredible change to the import of the passage.

AJB:
It certainly would, if it turns out to be true.

CBP:
... in 1 Cor 14:34-38; Paul is actually *quoting* from the letter the Corinthians sent to him (perhaps you also don't realise there were at least 4 letters from Paul to the Corinthians, of which only the 2nd and 4th are in the canon)

AJB:
Taking the comment in brackets first -
(a) Yes, there were four letters to the Corintheans, but no STANDALONE copies are known to exist of the 1st and 3rd letters.
However, it is widely (but not unanimously) believed that the first letter does exist - in 2 Corintheans, Chapters 6-7, and that the third letter has survived in 2 Corintheans Chapters 10-13.
Either way, thhe existence of two other letters makes no difference either way unless one can know their contents with any certainty.

Next, and this is where your claim starts to come off the rails, you rightly say that Paul was adressing a letter sent bBY THE CORINTHEANS, but the passage you call a quote isn't a quote at all. It is Paul's RESPONSE to something in the letter from the Corintheans.

It is important to know, here, that there was a strong feminist element in the early Corinthean church (possibly carried over from pagan cults some members might previously have belonged to), and that this had almost certainly (it is implied by Paul's reply) led to the church members accepting women as preachers, etc., contrary to what Paul had taught them.

To have a correct understanding of who is saying what, it is necessary to read this passage IN ORDER, that is, AFTER reading Chapter 7.
On that basis it is clear, in 1 Corintheans 7:1, that Paul is answering a letter from the Corintheans, and that in that verse (for example) he is indeed quoting from the letter he has received FROM the Coritheans. In 7:17, however, Paul makes it abundantly clear that the longer passages in his letter are his own instructions TO the Corintheans. Not quotes from their letter to him.

Which brings us to 1 Corintheans 14.

The first thing to note is that in verses 26-33, sometimes subheaded "Orderly worship", Paul is clearly setting out instructions for the conducting of Christian services. There are no "quotes" here, though one might guess that his instructions relate to specific comments/questions in the Corintheans' letter.

Second, note the last sentence of verse 33.
By making this the start of your alleged "quote", CBP, it might be supposed that you think, or want others to think, that this is the start of a quote from the letter FROM the Corintheans. But when taken in context this is clearly NOT the case. On the contrary, it links verses 34 onwards to what has gone before. That is to say, what you claim is a quote from the Corintheans' letter is actually more instructions from Paul.

This sentence also has a second important significance, in relation to your claim. It says (in the version I'm using (NRSV)) the sentence is translated as: "(As in all the churches of the saints ..."

But this makes no sense if it is a quote from the Corintheans. Why would they be telling Paul that something was OK in all the churches if it wasn't - something he would certainly know about? And anyway, how would the Corintheans know what was happening in "all the churches"?
Letters had to be carried everywhere by hand. Which meant that they were comparatively rare (and which is why most of the "letters" in the New Testament are quite long).

Thus the comment in verse 36, contrary to your interpretation, and until you supply evidence about the alleged "missing phrases", should be taken at face value:

"No, women are not free to speak out in church, they SHOULD obey the law (on remaining silent). If anyone amongst you says otherwise, by what authority do they make their claim? Did the word of God orinate in the church at Corinth? Or are you saying that God has changed a rule, but you are the only ones He has told about it so far?"

And lastly, CBP, you might want to note the message in 1 Timothy 2:11-15, where Paul gives the same instruction, AND THEN explains the reasoning behind it.
It would be rather strange for Paul to be describing as "utter rubbish" something he later both recommends AND justifies to younger disciples.

CBP:
I'm not claiming anything that's not in the bible.

AJB:
You may be quoting bits from the Bible, but withouit their context and with inaccurate interpretations.
So you aren't really claiming what is in the Bible in the fullest sense - only your version of what is in the Bible.

I think it would be better to suggest that you are quite simply mistaken rather than calling your claims nonsense - at least until you tell us where these claims come from.
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