1. Joined
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    14 Sep '07 13:04
    Before you quote from the Bible, please bear the following in mind...

    The Bible is supposed to be a work of non-fiction.

    However, most things that happened according to the Bible have yet to be substantiated or proved, putting the non-fiction status of the Bible in serious doubt.

    It remains a work of FICTION until the validity of it's contents can be proven.

    So, please refrain from quoting a work of fiction when defending or taking a stance on religion.

    Thanks.
  2. Cape Town
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    14 Sep '07 13:41
    Originally posted by saffa73
    Before you quote from the Bible, please bear the following in mind...

    The Bible is supposed to be a work of non-fiction.
    That is not true. The Bible is a collection of works and we do not no for sure that all of them were originally written as non-fiction. It is abundantly clear that some of it was not intended to be historically accurate.

    However, most things that happened according to the Bible have yet to be substantiated or proved, putting the non-fiction status of the Bible in serious doubt.
    A significant amount of it has been essentially proven wrong (though I personally dislike the word proof when applied to anything in the real world.)

    It remains a work of FICTION until the validity of it's contents can be proven.
    No, assuming that the validity of its contents is unknown then it remains uncategorized. To call it fiction assumes it is known to be fiction which contradicts your claims.

    So, please refrain from quoting a work of fiction when defending or taking a stance on religion.
    There is nothing wrong with quoting from it so long as they do not expect anyone to take that as evidence or proof of anything.


    By the way - I am atheist.
  3. Subscribermdhall
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    14 Sep '07 14:09
    I am not atheist.

    The Bible is not a work of non-fiction, it is an important literary piece for a popular religion that has grown out of Judaism.

    In my theological classes, the professors of theology stressed the importance of understanding that Religious Literature is best read in an allegorical light. Not as a play-by-play historical document.

    Why? Because that's not what they are.

    An allegory is a form of extended metaphor, in which objects, persons, and actions in a narrative, are equated with the meanings that lie outside the narrative itself. The underlying meaning has moral, social, religious, or political significance, and characters are often personifications of abstract ideas as charity, greed, or envy.
    Thus an allegory is a story with two meanings, a literal meaning and a symbolic meaning.

    You will often find young or uneducated or possibly just very stubborn (but educated) people attempting to uphold religious documents as literally true. This hasn't not ever been the case for any major religion in modern circulation, despite desperate attempts by "Apologetics".

    The problem with the constant debating is it's quite useless.
    It tends to ignore and miss the symbolic meaning, which is, in most theological classes, the important part of the stories.

    Clearly most posters I've read here are die-hard fundamentalists and they're not very excited about the idea of giving up their security blanket. Hopefully someday they'll grow out of it, but it's a personal journey most ppl go through (even Atheists).
  4. Felicific Forest
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    14 Sep '07 15:252 edits
    Originally posted by saffa73
    Before you quote from the Bible, please bear the following in mind...

    The Bible is supposed to be a work of non-fiction.

    However, most things that happened according to the Bible have yet to be substantiated or proved, putting the non-fiction status of the Bible in serious doubt.

    It remains a work of FICTION until the validity of it's contents can ...[text shortened]... efrain from quoting a work of fiction when defending or taking a stance on religion.

    Thanks.
    Please, bare in mind that the Bible is a collection of books. Hence there are different kinds of styles or ways of making things clear (genres) that are being used. There are books telling history, there are books explaining theology, there are poetic books, there are books reporting events, there are letters and there are reports of visions.

    Simply stating that the Bible is a book of fiction or non-fiction and jumping to conclusions on the basis of these superficial assumptions is rather one-dimensional, don't you agree ?
  5. Felicific Forest
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    14 Sep '07 15:331 edit
    Originally posted by mdhall
    ..... the professors of theology stressed the importance of understanding that Religious Literature is best read in an allegorical light. Not as a play-by-play historical document.

    Why? Because that's not what they are.[/b]
    As you may understand from my previous post, this depends on which book from the collection of books called the Bible you are reading.

    I hope both you ànd the fundamentalist literalists will show the intelligence and the willingness to tell the difference between the different genres in the Bible and the subsequent ways necessary to interprete their meaning and scope.
  6. Standard membertelerion
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    14 Sep '07 15:491 edit
    Originally posted by mdhall
    I am not atheist.

    The Bible is not a work of non-fiction, it is an important literary piece for a popular religion that has grown out of Judaism.

    In my theological classes, the professors of theology stressed the importance of understanding that Religious Literature is best read in an allegorical light. Not as a play-by-play historical document.

    Why hey'll grow out of it, but it's a personal journey most ppl go through (even Atheists).
    In your own way, you too sound like a fundamentalist.
  7. Subscribermdhall
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    14 Sep '07 16:03
    Originally posted by ivanhoe
    As you may understand from my previous post, this depends on which book from the collection of books called the Bible you are reading.

    I hope both you ànd the fundamentalist literalists will show the intelligence and the willingness to tell the difference between the different genres in the Bible and the subsequent ways necessary to interprete their meaning and scope.
    If you want to start a thread picking apart each book of the bible, be my guest. I think it would be enlightening. Myself, I find the Old Testament a bit dated as a spiritual resource for a modern religion that supposedly focuses on the New Testament.

    For example, why does anyone care about the 10 commandments when in the NT Jesus replaces them with 2. Shouldn't that have been the end of it? Love God and Love your neighbor.

    I suppose that is what frustrates me about Christianity.
    If you read the NT, it's a great basis for a positive spiritual following...
    Yet, all I see here is a bunch of bickering jerks trying to cram their agendas down everyones throat and tell everyone how to live or they'll burn in hell...

    I guess I missed that part in the NT. I know pastors like to rape the line about "feed my sheep" and warp it into some kinda of horrific mission statement to destroy other peoples cultures and ideas, but I've always maintained those types really just don't get "it".
  8. Felicific Forest
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    14 Sep '07 19:031 edit
    Originally posted by mdhall
    If you want to start a thread picking apart each book of the bible, be my guest. I think it would be enlightening. Myself, I find the Old Testament a bit dated as a spiritual resource for a modern religion that supposedly focuses on the New Testament.

    For example, why does anyone care about the 10 commandments when in the NT Jesus replaces them with 2. cultures and ideas, but I've always maintained those types really just don't get "it".
    mdhall:" For example, why does anyone care about the 10 commandments when in the NT Jesus replaces them with 2. Shouldn't that have been the end of it? Love God and Love your neighbor."

    If you think Jesus replaced any commandment you are sadly mistaken.

    mdhall: "Yet, all I see here is a bunch of bickering jerks trying to cram their agendas down everyones throat and tell everyone how to live or they'll burn in hell... "

    Try a pair of glasses, maybe you'll discover posts with more nuance, but maybe it just depends on what you're looking for and want to react to ......
  9. Subscribermdhall
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    14 Sep '07 19:09
    Originally posted by ivanhoe
    [b]mdhall:" For example, why does anyone care about the 10 commandments when in the NT Jesus replaces them with 2. Shouldn't that have been the end of it? Love God and Love your neighbor."

    If you think Jesus replaced any commandment you are sadly mistaken.
    [/b]
    Sounds like someone skipped the book of Mathew...
  10. Felicific Forest
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    14 Sep '07 19:12
    Originally posted by mdhall
    Sounds like someone skipped the book of Mathew...
    It seems someone interprets some biblical statements in a way that is most suitable to fullfill his own needs .....
  11. Subscribermdhall
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    14 Sep '07 19:15
    Originally posted by ivanhoe
    It seems someone interprets some biblical statements in a way that is most suitable to fullfill his own needs .....
    Mt 22:36 “[Jesus], which is the great commandment in the law?” And he said to him, ’You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the law and the prophets.”

    --------
    You be the judge.
    And if you're nit picking on "replaced", then you are far too annoying to continue discourse.
  12. Hmmm . . .
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    14 Sep '07 21:24
    Originally posted by mdhall
    I am not atheist.

    The Bible is not a work of non-fiction, it is an important literary piece for a popular religion that has grown out of Judaism.

    In my theological classes, the professors of theology stressed the importance of understanding that Religious Literature is best read in an allegorical light. Not as a play-by-play historical document.

    Why ...[text shortened]... hey'll grow out of it, but it's a personal journey most ppl go through (even Atheists).
    I pretty much agree with you about the allegory. I would add that I think there is myth and just plain story as well (the fact that some stories may have been told around certain historical places, people and events does not make them history).

    I am not saying there is no historical writing there, but I think there is not a lot that has not been mythologized or allegorized in the telling. For example, I read the whole of Genesis pretty much mythologically, although many of the archetypal figures in the Abrahamic saga might be based on stories handed down about real ancestors. I think much of the narrative tales in the Hebrew scriptures (e.g., Exodus or Kings) fall under what I call “histo-myth.” That does not mean that the allegorical reading is not the most important—indeed, the critical—element, and the primarily intended one.

    The fiction/non-fiction question is not so clearcut. The book of Job, for example, I think clearly falls under the heading of allegory exactly as you describe it. Ecclesiastes, however, seems to be more a work of philosophical inquiry with a heavy existentialist leaning. Technically, I think it best falls under the heading of non-fiction (whether pseudonymous or not). The same for Proverbs as a collection of folk-wisdom sayings.

    Poetry is, of course, poetry—whether predominantly narrative or lyrical. I always hesitate to allegorize the Song of Songs too much (which both the rabbis and Christian exegetes have been wont to do); it is first and foremost a passionate and erotic love poem.
  13. Joined
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    14 Sep '07 23:402 edits
    For Christians like myself:

    Quote the Bible frequently. And witness to its truth in your life and testify to its validity.

    We cannot improve upon the way things are said in the Bible concerning the really important issues of life.

    If people are to come to the truth it will most likely be because the Holy Spirit will remind them of something said in the Bible. They probably will not long remember various human arguments and reasonings.

    Then people's faith will rest in the power of God rather than on the wisdom of man.

    Besides, the Devil is not afraid of our debates. He is afraid of our proclaiming the facts.
  14. SubscriberAThousandYoung
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    15 Sep '07 04:39
    Originally posted by mdhall
    Mt 22:36 “[Jesus], which is the great commandment in the law?” And he said to him, ’You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the law and the prophets.”

    ...[text shortened]... And if you're nit picking on "replaced", then you are far too annoying to continue discourse.
    The way that passage is written suggests that the Ten Commandments are elaborations of those two Commandments rather than alternatives to it.
  15. Illinois
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    16 Sep '07 01:032 edits
    Originally posted by saffa73
    Before you quote from the Bible, please bear the following in mind...

    The Bible is supposed to be a work of non-fiction.

    However, most things that happened according to the Bible have yet to be substantiated or proved, putting the non-fiction status of the Bible in serious doubt.

    It remains a work of FICTION until the validity of it's contents can ...[text shortened]... efrain from quoting a work of fiction when defending or taking a stance on religion.

    Thanks.
    FYI, the prophecies in the book of Daniel have been verified by history. For example, Nebuchadnezzar's dream and Gabriel's 70 weeks: one prophecy accurately predicted the succeeding empires after the fall of Babylon, and the other accurately predicted when the Messiah would present Himself as King of Israel.

    Daniel's predictions also extend into our future, touching on the return of Christ, the rise of the anti-Christ, and the end times. If the bible has been accurate in the past, then it is a sure bet to be accurate in the future.
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