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Old 05-02-2009, 10:12 AM
juj juj started this thread
 
Location: Too far from MSG
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Many folks claim that they believe in a literal translation of the Bible and those who don't are in grave danger. Some people believe that there are sections which are not to be taken literally and are only meant to teach principles and truth. Explain why you think your position is correct.
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Old 05-02-2009, 10:28 AM
 
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This is the fundamental (no pun intended) rift on these forums. If any offer experiences in God and Christ that differ from a literal interpretation of the Bible, they are asked "Where is that in Scripture??", accused of "apostasy" and "heresy", and their spiritual paths are slandered in the most horrific of ways.

I really immersed myself sometime back in learning whether or not the Bible is true. After studying the history of its creation, the lost scriptures and those not voted to be included in the Bible by the official Church, as well as testing the ideas in the Bible against the wisdom I was gaining from a direct experience with God (i.e. not simply following rules), it became clear to me that there is certainly inspired wisdom in the Bible but it has mostly been co-opted by the ignorance of mankind trying to project what he believes to be God's word over the ensuing centuries.

If you look at people on the planet today capable of experiencing the miracles Christ did - walking on water, dropping one body and taking on another, and raising the dead - they come from many walks of life but share one commonality: they have tapped into the force that binds all of life (what Christians might call the Holy Spirit) and elevated to a state of pure love.

I believe this is what Christ demonstrated and taught we are all capable of becoming, not simply worshipping him. Why, otherwise, would millions have been so compelled by him? Certainly not because he demanded they follow, but because they wanted to follow. As time went on, that faded into the church's demands to follow. But, in the end, only fragile egos need to be worshiped and the God imagined to need our worship was created by kings and rulers who needed worship. True masters and Gods seek to create other masters. From that perspective, you begin to see the wisdom in the Bible and its limitations.
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Old 05-02-2009, 02:25 PM
 
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I believe in a literal translation of the bible.

Even the symbolic portions(like Revelations) is meant to be literally symbolic.

I believe that we have to have a standard of Truth by which we can judge our thoughts and actions to make sure they are in accord with God.

If I simply go on what 'feels' right to me or 'seems' right to me, that's no standard at all.

That is how heresies and false teachings take root and begin to erode or thinking and beliefs from God's way to our way. God's way is MUCH higher than our way and only God's Word, rightly divided, can keep us on the path.

Personal experiences and feelings are ok....certainly part of the relationship I share with God, but God's Word is the litmus test as to whether what I experience or feel is from God or from my flesh or from a deceiving Spirit.
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Old 05-02-2009, 02:39 PM
 
Location: Portland, OR
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Alpha, I'm a little confused by the first couple of lines of your post. If you are willing to say that Revelations is symbolic/metaphorical (my term) but is literal at the same time, how do you judge what sections of the Bible are literal and word for word. Is then Genesis and the creation story symbolic, or are we to take it as word for word truth? Where do you draw the line? HOW DO YOU KNOW where to draw the line?

I ask because this is at the heart of my difficulty with a fundamentalist/literal interpretation of the Bible. At some point, everyone has to admit that all of us INTERPRET the Bible to the best of our abilities (Hopefully guided by the Holy Spirit). Some will be right, some will be wrong. NO ONE will be correct 100% of the time.

To answer the OP. I believe the Bible to be Divinely inspired. I believe that it holds answers for all to find salvation through the Grace of Christ. But it was written and translated through the imperfect conduit of man, and sometimes given to man by the Holy Spirit in a form fit for his understanding (Genesis creation, Revelations), but it can not be treated as literal and word for word as in current form.
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Old 05-02-2009, 02:54 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roneb View Post
Alpha, I'm a little confused by the first couple of lines of your post. If you are willing to say that Revelations is symbolic/metaphorical (my term) but is literal at the same time, how do you judge what sections of the Bible are literal and word for word. Is then Genesis and the creation story symbolic, or are we to take it as word for word truth? Where do you draw the line? HOW DO YOU KNOW where to draw the line?

I ask because this is at the heart of my difficulty with a fundamentalist/literal interpretation of the Bible. At some point, everyone has to admit that all of us INTERPRET the Bible to the best of our abilities (Hopefully guided by the Holy Spirit). Some will be right, some will be wrong. NO ONE will be correct 100% of the time.
Well, all of Genesis is history. It does not bounce around from literal to symbolic.

In Revelations, I believe it will say "I saw this or that" and then give the meaning for what this or that is. To me, it seems pretty obvious but I can see how you might take issue with my view.

As you said, I do feel like I've been led by God Himself into my beliefs and convictions regarding Him and His Word.
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Old 05-02-2009, 04:36 PM
 
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^
When you say all of Genesis is history, do you mean that a literal person named Adam and a literal person named Eve existed in a literal place called Eden?

Or, do you believe Genesis is literal in the sense that Adam and Eve are representative of a culture / people who lived in perfect harmony with God?

If you study creation myths (Joseph Campbell is a good place to start), you find that most creation myths of this nature are understood to be symbolic / representative and all perhaps point in different ways to the same ancient history / beginning.
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Old 05-02-2009, 04:39 PM
 
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Dear Alpha, I too believe it is best to use a literal translation of the Bible. I use the Concordant Literal New Testament.

It is the only Bible that did not translate Aion or Aionion. Rather, it brought those words over in the Anglicized form as Eon and Eonian.

The Authorized Version (K.J.V.) translated or interpreted Aion this way:

age 2X
beginning of the world 2X
course 1X
eternal 2X
ever 2x
for ever 27x
for ever and ever 21x
for evermore 3x
never 7x
world 32x
world began 1x
world without end 1x
while the world standeth 1x

And translated or interpreted aionion thusly:
eternal 41x
everlasting 25x
for ever 1 x
the world began 3x

Anyone can see all the horrid cross-wiring which causes one to miss what God really meant by these two words.

This is why I really think a literal translation is better than some versions out there.
Rotherham's and Youngs Literal are good too.

Alpha I agree with you on Revelation too. Though, a literal sword does not come out of Jesus' mouth and He doesn't literally morph into a small lamb on the throne on the new earth. But those things do stand for something literal for sure. The sword issuing from His mouth shows us the power of His words to slay. The lamb shows us His innocence.
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Old 05-02-2009, 04:48 PM
 
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I just finished a year-long biblical studies course, and the creation of the Bible was far too convoluted, and the translations far too imprecise to lend credence to a literalist view. Heck, the differences between the Latin and Greek translations alone are extensive. Add things like inconsistencies in manuscripts and you really run into problems. For example, Paul's supposed banning of women from the pulpit simply does not appear in some of the earliest texts and, in another text, only appears in the margins--not the text itself.

Considering that Christianity didn't even has the Gospels until 70-80 years after Christ's death, and that there was not a coherent canon of the faith until the fourth century, it's really hard to say that God sat down and scribbled it out, unless you're willing to say that God was a really sloppy writer in some places.
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Old 05-02-2009, 05:39 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluefly View Post
^
When you say all of Genesis is history, do you mean that a literal person named Adam and a literal person named Eve existed in a literal place called Eden?
Yes.
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Old 05-02-2009, 06:47 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alpha8207 View Post

I believe that we have to have a standard of Truth by which we can judge our thoughts and actions to make sure they are in accord with God.
If God wrote His laws upon our hearts, why the need to check them against what the Bible says? Hebrews 8:10-12.
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