7
Aug
2011
0

Can you make the Bible make any point you want?

Yes you can!  You can pretty much make anything you read or think to say anything you want.  The real question should be is not “can” but rather “should”.  Should you make the Bible make any point you want?

I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this scroll: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to that person the plagues described in this scroll.  Revelation 22:18(NIV)

I pray that neither I, nor this website, does anything to change or add to anything that is written in the Bible.  I hope that this glorifies God and helps everyone to be sharpened and challenged in the word.

How are you doing with God’s word?  Are you in it?  Are you digging in?  Are you living it?  Are you making excuses?

What are you thinking?

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2 Responses

  1. The Spindrifter

    Listening to NPR yesterday was so very sickening, I finally had to turn the radio off. All the garbage evolution lies aside (“What does ‘Evolution’ want?” — really NPR? really??), the amount of half-truths, misinformation, misinterpretations, bad opinions, and out-right lies was staggering. It seems that we have become a nation, even a whole planet, where somehow people think that opinions matter as facts, and that uninformed and ignorant speculation should be taken as ‘gospel’. The irony of that is that “Gospel” means “Good News”, which always amazes me that people who don’t think that the Bible can be taken seriously, or that you have to “pick and choose” what is factual from it, can ever think that there is any good news left to hear when they don’t believe most of it to be true.

    Here’s the point: it’s either all true, or none of it is. You don’t get to pick and choose the facts or truths of the Bible buffet-style. Unless you have a degree in history, Biblical languages, church history, doctrine, and classical understanding of documents in context (AKA Hermeneutics), you really don’t have a leg to stand on as far as an opinion is concerned. That’s right, you can’t just read the Bible by itself and get to judge if it’s real or not. That’s like saying you can read a computer manual for a computer you have never seen or used and determine if it is a real, functional machine or not. Until you actually get ahold of the reality of said theoretical computer for yourself, you are merely speculating out of ignorance, and any assumptions made in that state are pure fantasy.

    This is relative to the point of “Can you make the bible say anything that you want?” because so very few people who claim to understand the Bible both believers and atheists alike, have ever actually read and studied it whole-heartedly in context. Too many Christians and non-believers alike take 3rd party statements for granted without ever actually finding out the facts for themselves, and then expand on those ideas, philosophies, and even lies without ever really knowing what they are talking about.

    Many of the talking heads on NPR this weekend were all too fond of jumping to conclusions based on invalid arguments, disproved ideas, generalizations and prejudices, and just generally were talking without understanding.

    Christianity has survived for almost two thousand years not because of internally cohesive politics, but in spite of it. By any worldly, materialistic view, it should have died out centuries ago. Why does it keep going? Because it isn’t about a set of rules of what you can and cannot do, or the theories and ideas of some old tribal men from before the bronze age, or because of culture(s), moralities, laws, or other political meanderings, but because of a core idea: that there is a God, that He loves us, and that He has a much better plan for how things should be than we do. The universal themes that run through almost every single book of the old scrolls and new is that 1) we as humans really suck, 2) God loves us anyway, 3) God can still use us for good in spite of ourselves, 4) there is always hope, 5) He wins in the end, even in the face of human nature and free will, and our penchant to use free will for selfishness and destruction and the infliction of pain onto others.

    The Bible may not always be literal, but it is always literally true, and even the most secular of philosophers who aren’t overflowing with bitterness and hate will concede that there is much to be learned from and admired about this book of books, this collection of stories, histories, ideas & philosophies, love poems, cautionary tales, Law, social commentaries, cultural mandates, new & revised commentary and clarifications on the original ideas, and a closing book about how it is always darkest just before dawn.

    Even if someone doesn’t believe in God, they can learn much from the Bible as it is, no revision necessary, but you can’t learn much if you don’t understand context.

    Hermeneutics 101: CONTEXT IS KING!
    Who is the story written to? What is the story about? Why? is there a moral, application, or lesson? is it transferrable, or was it a one-time only deal? Are there subtleties of the original language or culture that do not translate well to a modern audience outside of that time and place, that need to be re-examined in the original cultural and linguistic light? Can we as mere lay persons know any of this? (Answer: YES.)

    Commentaries on the Bible are a good start. Hopefully your preacher(s) strive to use good expository teaching to help the new-comers to the word understand these things that can alter a meaning to a modern reader. Exegesis and Eisegesis are dangerous traps that anyone from a common person to a preacher or priest with Doctorates and other degrees can often make. In plain language, that means that people can either read things into the text that aren’t really there, or get things out of the text that were never, ever intended. A good course on hermeneutics can teach *anyone* how to avoid such traps, and there are many great books available to the seeker to truly be able to understand how the Bible as we know it came to be, and why various denominations have formed or splintered over the years over the matters of these interpretations. But at the end of the day, the core messages have never changed:

    There is good in this world, and there is evil. All good is of God. All evil is the absence of God, much as dark is the absence of light. God wants you to be good. You can’t be good without Him, and any attempts of your own to reach God are FAIL. God knows this, and paid an extraordinary price to fill that gap, because in spite of your daily Fail, God loves you, wants you back, and has a wonderful plan for fixing up the World that includes YOU. God wins in the end. Freedom of choice was supposed to be about choosing the right things; humans consistently chose the bad. God can’t deal with your failures, so He who is without Fail took the penalty for you, and the price is paid in full so that now YOU can be reunited with HIM again, and He can live through you and help you make the right choices again, even with free will.

    Love the YHWH God Almighty with everything you’ve got; He already loves you that much and more. Love your neighbor more than yourself; God showed you how, and continues to do so, and wants to do so through you. Anyone who claims this book as a whole says otherwise is a liar and a bad hermeneut! How do I know? I have studied these things for myself, and I know that you can too. Yes, YOU CAN KNOW that this is real, but only if you actually want to.

    Many people try to twist the Bible to say many different things, but a common-sense approach in context will show the truth every time, and you can know that truth by factual investigation on your own, by the Grace of God who reveals all truth. Seek and you will find. Ask and it will be shown to you. Search this and don’t give up, and you most certainly can know fact and truth, and it is testable and true. Don’t take my word for it, there’s a whole world of data available for you to see for yourself. Two thousand years and billions of people can’t be wrong. Sure, most of them may not have had the ability or resources to go be like Thomas the doubter, but for you in the internet age, there is no excuse. YOU can find out for yourselves how to properly understand what the Bible really says, and why the core of scripture hasn’t changed since the days that Yeshua/Jesus walked the earth.

    Some of you may have heard of a man named Bart Ehrman, a former evangelical Christian who now denies the truth and facts of the Bible, and a man who hides behind several Doctorates and degrees to do so. Many people like to quote his books in attacks against the Bible (such as “Misquoting Jesus”) the interpretation, and its factual nature. For anyone who has questions about his work, I highly recommend the rebuttal published by Timothy Paul Jones, “Misquoting Truth”: http://www.amazon.com/Misquoting-Truth-Guide-Fallacies-Ehrmans/dp/0830834478

    Read one, then the other, and then compare them. Search your mind and heart. Read the “Evidence That Demands A Verdict” series, and then really think about what you have read– there is plenty there that is understandable and demanded by the layperson and scholar alike. YES, it really is possible to know what the Biblios (book of books) actually says, and to find out if these things are authentic. You have the tools. You can make the time.

    The real question is, do you really even want to know, or are you just looking for an excuse to not believe?

  2. The Spindrifter

    Further reading for the true seeker of any Faith who wants to explore the things of Christianity that so very few people seem to actually know or understand:

    http://www.amazon.com/Understanding-Applying-Bible-Revised-Expanded/dp/0802490921/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1312815891&sr=1-1
    This book changed my life, and gave me the answers that I spent ten years looking for.

    http://www.amazon.com/Evidence-Demands-Questions-Challenging-Christians/dp/0785242198/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1312815833&sr=1-1
    This is a book for everyone from lay persons to scholars, people of every education level who wish to separate fact from opinion. Don’t be mistaken, it might have been written by a believer, but he was a former Atheist who writes for the Atheist.

    The internet is your friend! There has never been a greater time in History for being able to access scholarly works of great importance and historical value for yourselves. Things that early searchers throughout the centuries would have killed for (JUST KIDDING) are now available for you for the price of electricity and an internet connection. You can examine the writings of everyone from the very first believers on to the modern day greats like Ravi Zacharias (http://www.rzim.org/) and the former Dr. Francis Shaeffer http://books.google.com/books/about/How_Should_We_Then_Live.html?id=9bR8xRzvNpQC

    Again, I cannot emphasize enough, if you are truly open minded in a search for facts about anything, read these things and learn how to ask the right questions. Reading a book never hurt anyone, but it always changes the world. Are you ready to expand? Be honest.

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