Quote# 141414

(=On a non-literal interpretation of Genesis=)

Oh good, more resources in support of not believing the historical narrative of the Bible, as if it is just yet another book from men (not God? We’ll just ignore 2 Timothy 3:16… and the references Jesus made to both creation and Noah’s flood). Ironic this article is in “Bible History Daily” – hey, it’s not ‘history’ if you don’t believe it. Have you considered the possibility that the Bible is actually true and similar creation/flood stories are found with the Babylonians and other cultures of the time because it is true, though they have twisted the truth to suit their own desires and rejection of the only true God? Broad is the road that leads to destruction, so thanks for helping to pave the way to not believing in the authenticity, the historicity, and authority of God’s word, I think?

Robert, Biblical Archaeology 13 Comments [12/1/2018 8:13:50 PM]
Fundie Index: 7
Submitted By: CC

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Kanna

Since good old Paul wrote that letter to Timothy long after the supposed time of Jesus, you've got hearsay piled on hearsay. If it wouldn't be acceptable in a court of law, why do you think it's sufficiently valid to run your life by it? Sorry, but you can't prove the bible by quoting from the bible, and most of us are not gullible enough to try.

12/1/2018 9:44:28 PM

Anon-e-moose

Have you considered the fact that the writings by the Babylonians - which includes the first historical documents: of the earlier Sumerian civilisation - among other pre-Christian ones were basically ripped off by those Bronze Age goatfuckers with ideas above their stations...?!

Consider that the first pre-Hebrew example of Monotheism was Akhenaten, who rejected the Egyptian pantheon for just the one 'Aten': The Light of the World.

So thanks for helping us to prove that you & all your fundie ilk don't think.

Aren't you lot the ones who say we should think in other ways: be more open minded...?! [/'Teach the Controversy']

What do you have to make us think otherwise? All you have is a book: therefore all other books - including "On the Origin of Species", "A Brief History of Time" and "The God Delusion" - are Truth too, and you can never question them. Meanwhile, we have the Evidence. We win.

12/1/2018 10:02:49 PM

Dunbaratu

I've got no problem with someone who wants to claim the people who wrote the Bible intended the audience to actually believe what it says. (That it really is claiming Jesus is the son of God, that it really is claiming heaven and hell exist, that it really is claiming Jesus rose from the dead, etc, etc, etc) That's sure what it looks like the way it was written. My problem is that when this literal interpretation is incompatible with reality, the honest response should be to then conclude the authors were either ignorant of reality or worse yet were lying. But the fundies never do that. Instead they deny reality itself so that they don't have to conclude the Bible is false. Usually the non-fundies react to this by softening the interpretation of the passages that conflict with reality, to claim they were metaphors, so they can avoid the clash between wanting to believe the Bible's authors were telling the honest truth and wanting to believe reality. (i.e. J.K. Rowling isn't lying when writing about Harry Potter because she honestly chose at the start to have it classified under fiction. I feel like the non-fundies are always trying to do this with the more embarassing passages in the Bible. They accept reality, recognize that a literal interpretation of the Bible conflicts with reality, but then instead of being honest and rejecting the Bible because of this, they choose to believe the problematic part that conflicts with reality was intended metaphorically when the only evidence they have that it was intended metaphorically is that it doesn't work when interpreted literally. (Completely glossing over the possibility that this is because the authors said something that was *wrong* rather than because they actually MEANT you to interpret it metaphorically like a fiction author would be doing.)


12/1/2018 11:52:55 PM

ChrisBP747

@Dunbaratu

I'm an agnostic christian and I always understood it like this: The bible's authors might have believed in what they were writing, and certain metaphysical aspects still hold true for a modern christian believer, but the bible is not to be taken as a historical or scientific document in general. It's not that every passage that clashes with reality is a metaphor, but it's also not true that it has to be taken literalistically (I mean, that's the mistake the fundies make). The interpretation of the bible is not set in stone, it wasn't written by scientists or even people with much knowledge of the general universe, so we have to acknowledge their circumstances and interpret their (for Christians) divine inspirations accordingly. Saying that logical errors in the bible have to lead to rejecting it in its entirety would mean that you accept that the fundamentalist interpretation of an unchanging bible that has literal truth written in it is the only possible one. And that's just not true.

In short: You don't have to believe in anything the bible has to say. But you also can't make people reject it by pointing out logical errors, since non-fundie Christians don't believe that the bible only contains absolute and unchanging truths and should be read like a historical document.

12/2/2018 3:10:59 AM

SpukiKitty

@Kanna
On top of that, Paul of Tarsus likely didn't even write that. 1 & 2 Timothy are among the Pauline Epistles that are spurious in origin (with a few exceptions, most of the Anti-Semetic and Sexist stuff is in the spurious ones). Ignore those and Paul sounds a lot less bigoted and more consistent (he even acknowledges and praises fellow female Church leaders/preachers/teachers/Deacons....one of them an Apostle named Junia).


@ChrisBP747
I feel the same way, here. Also; These are mere humans talking about spiritual things and stuff's bound to get lost in the (mental/cultural/personal bias/imperfect mortal brain) translation. Also; Something can be non-literal or a myth and still contain truths. Various fables come to mind. It's a "Joseph Campbell" sort of thing.

The thing that people like Dunbaratu, James Randi, etc. don't realize is that many people NEED a "higher power" worldview. Spirituality gives peace and meaning and explains the unexplainable and it also removes fear of death. If it wasn't for my spirituality, I'd be a basket case.

Finally; While it can't be tested in a lab and is very rare (hence Randi still keeping his $1 million), there is at least some circumstantial evidence that there's a spiritual reality of some kind. Not all Near Death Experiences can be explained away as hallucinations and dreams and some have even had them while basically brain-dead (such a brain is not going to dream/hallucinate). Some have even described things in their surroundings that they couldn't possibly have known otherwise.

When Marx stated that "religion is the opiate of the masses", he wasn't necessarily disparaging it or comparing it to Heroin or Opium....he was comparing it to medicine (in this case, opiate painkillers). He was stating that it soothed and helped people. True; He clarified that he felt humanity will one day abandon it....but for the here and now, faith is fine.

As long as it's not frummy and hateful, Religion & Spirituality is perfectly fine and beneficial.

12/2/2018 9:06:55 AM

Dunbaratu

Spirituality gives peace and meaning and explains the unexplainable

Correction, a lot of people *believe* it does this, which helps assuage their uneasy feelings.
But making people *think* you've explained something is just not the same thing as actually doing so.

The thing that people like Dunbaratu, James Randi, etc. don't realize is that many people NEED a "higher power" worldview.


All the people you mention, myself included, are perfectly aware of this flaw in human thinking. We just don't follow the common trend of thinking we need to *praise* this flaw and make it sound pretty.

Fundies believe two things (1) The bible is literal, and (2) The bible is true. I don't think attacking (1) gets a lot of traction because plenty of passages don't mess around with wishy-washy metaphor and just come right out and make claims directly. The fundies can tell this and don't tend to listen once someone tries to claim otherwise. I choose to attack (2), and no, I don't think that has less chance to work. You don't need to second-guess the intent of the authors to point out that what they said was false. Whether lying, delusion, flowery metaphor, or just genuinely understandable misinterpretation of events by people who didn't know much about the world, it's still false regardless. You don't need to guess at their intent to point out that it cannot be literally true. Once you show that it's not literally true, Trying to save its reputation by then saying its still true but metaphorically so doesn't seem necessary to me at all. Breaking them of believing (2) is much more important, because then it no longer matters which passages are literal and which are not if the book isn't really the ultimate truth in the universe anymore.

12/2/2018 11:48:30 AM

Dunbaratu

@ChrisBP747

Saying that logical errors in the bible have to lead to rejecting it in its entirety would mean that you accept that the fundamentalist interpretation of an unchanging bible that has literal truth written in it is the only possible one.

False. "it is literal" does not have to mean the only possible interpretation is "it is true". Nor does it even have to mean you take the entire thing in its whole as ALL true or ALL false, so thank you for that dishonest strawman of my position. You can take a passage that's false and just say, "that passage is false" instead of then having to say "that passage is metaphor, phew now I don't have to admit it's false".


12/2/2018 12:04:09 PM

CC

Except the thing is non fundie Christians or more honest ones don't see the Bible as the ultimate source of unquestionable truth or belive in innerancy - that thought process comes from fundies in later centuries as a defense mechanism against the age of enlightenment. Fundamentalism is actually a fairly recent movement in Christian thought and is a minority within Christianity.

As far as the metapor arguments, I cannot and do not claim to know for certain what the writers of the Bible or ancient Jews believe but I do know mataphor was prevelant in New Testement writings; you've got Jesus' constant use of parables (stories that are not literally true but meant to convey a deeper meaning); the historical context of Revelations and it's writings heavily suggest this is symbolic propaganda against the Roman Empire (something that is not only supported in the book of Daniel but in historical Jewish commentaries.) then Fundies came along insisting it was about the end of the world.

12/2/2018 3:26:43 PM

ChrisBP747

"They accept reality, recognize that a literal interpretation of the Bible conflicts with reality, but then instead of being honest and rejecting the Bible because of this, they choose to believe the problematic part that conflicts with reality was intended metaphorically when the only evidence they have that it was intended metaphorically is that it doesn't work when interpreted literally." - Your quote.

"False. "it is literal" does not have to mean the only possible interpretation is "it is true". Nor does it even have to mean you take the entire thing in its whole as ALL true or ALL false, so thank you for that dishonest strawman of my position." - Also your quote.

You state YOURSELF in the first one that a literal interpretation of the bible would be clashing with reality AND that this should automatically (in your opinion) lead to the rejection of the bible in its entirety. So no, I didn't strawman your argument and it's pretty dishonest of you of using a fallacy fallacy against me here. I could accept that somewhere we misunderstood each other, but that's how I took your first argument (which still would not be the same as trying to warp it to better fit mine).

"You can take a passage that's false and just say, "that passage is false" instead of then having to say "that passage is metaphor, phew now I don't have to admit it's false"."
- A fable or tale is not "false" just because it isn't describing reality. Saying "this passage is false" would be kind of strange when talking about any story that's not trying to be a historical, scientific or equivalent document. Is the fable of the scorpion and the fox "false" because it never happened? Now to be fair there are passages in the bible that read like historical documents, but no moderate christian would suppose that this means that they are. Some of them are heavily filtered versions of some events that might have happened, but nothing more. As I said, fundamentalists are the ones who make the mistake of reading the bible as if it was a historical document, which was my point all along.

12/3/2018 12:06:05 AM



Have you considered the possibility that the Bible is actually true and similar creation/flood stories are found with the Babylonians and other cultures of the time because it is true, though they have twisted the truth to suit their own desires and rejection of the only true God? Broad is the road that leads to destruction,



Have you considered the possibility that the bible is fake news written 3500 years ago
and it's similar to Babylonian/Sumerian flood stories the same way Fox broadcasts are similar to real news? Broad is the road that leads to destruction.

12/3/2018 5:38:37 AM

Doubting Thomas

the historical narrative of the Bible


I LOL'ed.

as if it is just yet another book from men


Yes, it is. In this case, a book from a bunch of backwards, superstitious men written in a time when human knowledge was fairly limited compared to today.

and the references Jesus made to both creation and Noah’s flood


Which further discredit Jesus as being divine, since he should have known those stories were myths. Not that this is any sort of evidence, because you're basically just saying that the bible is true because it says so in the bible.

Have you considered the possibility that the Bible is actually true


Yes, and quickly dismissed that when I actually read the damned thing. If you are going to sit there and seriously claim that talking snakes, a worldwide flood, and dead people coming back to life actually happened because it says so in an old book, then there's no way I can take anything you say seriously.

similar creation/flood stories are found with the Babylonians and other cultures of the time because it is true


Similar flood stories exist in many cultures because humans have constantly lived near sources of water and floods are not unknown throughout history. But what you don't address is the fact that there is no evidence of any global flood in the geological strata.

thanks for helping to pave the way to not believing in the authenticity, the historicity, and authority of God’s word


It's not my fault the bible discredits itself.

12/3/2018 8:00:56 AM

Hasan Prishtina

Ironic this article is in “Bible History Daily” – hey, it’s not ‘history’ if you don’t believe it.

If you think everything in any historical account is literally true, then you’re going to have to prepare yourself for a lot of disappointment. Histories can contain many inaccuracies and still be historical.

12/5/2018 9:07:36 AM

Canadiest

I really hate when they claim EARLIER flood myths were taken from them but the worst lie is the con that the Babylonia one, the one where the Hebrews were ACTUALLY slaves of and GOT THEIR WRITTEN LANGUAGE from, is a "copy"

Even Jews don't play that one.

12/6/2018 4:40:35 PM

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