Author Topic: Reading the Bible literally or literately  (Read 258 times)

Reading the Bible literally or literately
« on: May 09, 2018, 11:34:15 AM »
I think Rob Bell makes a good distinction in this video of Christians who say they take the Bible literally and those who interpret the Bible in different contexts. I agree with Bell that people who say they take it literally appear to be trying to demonstrate their seriousness and devotion. I certainly see the value in taking meaning from stories in the Bible, as a non-Christian I can do that, but I still have a problem with the Bible as a sacred text. I find some of the teachings of the Bible to be bad ideas, and not just individual stories but foundational elements. The Bible for me is like any other collection of stories, some I find meaningful and some I don't.

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« Last Edit: May 09, 2018, 02:03:30 PM by GSOgymrat »

Re: Reading the Bible literally or literately
« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2018, 11:39:57 AM »
Every christian ever: WHY NOT BOTH?

every time the bible says something that makes sense ITS LITERAL and because ITS LITERALLY describing reality that proves its GODS WORD bro. every time the bible says something that makes no sense, or is downright offensive to any moral persons sensibilities? ugh dude dont take it LITERAL bro thats so philosophically immature of you bro its a METAPHOR the bibles has lots of them because its for SMART PEOPLE like me who can divine info from figurative language bro.

Offline Cavebear

Re: Reading the Bible literally or literately
« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2018, 11:41:45 AM »
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I think Rob Bell makes a good distinction in this video of Christians who say they take the Bible literally and those who interpret the Bible in different contexts. I agree will Bell that people who say they take it literally appear to be trying to demonstrate their seriousness and devotion. I certainly see the value in taking meaning from stories in the Bible, as a non-Christian I can do that, but I still have a problem with the Bible as a sacred text. I find some of the teachings of the Bible to be bad ideas, and not just individual stories but foundational elements. The Bible for me is like any other collection of stories, some I find meaningful and some I don't.

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If you disagree with a single comma of the Holy Bible, thou art a blasphemer and shall surely burn in Hell Forever After.  Never mind that it has been translated by inexpert people many times, the Word Of God In The Current Version Is True And Beyond Question!

Heh-heh...
Atheist born, atheist bred.  And when I die, atheist dead!

Offline Cavebear

Re: Reading the Bible literally or literately
« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2018, 11:45:49 AM »
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Every christian ever: WHY NOT BOTH?

every time the bible says something that makes sense ITS LITERAL and because ITS LITERALLY describing reality that proves its GODS WORD bro. every time the bible says something that makes no sense, or is downright offensive to any moral persons sensibilities? ugh dude dont take it LITERAL bro thats so philosophically immature of you bro its a METAPHOR the bibles has lots of them because its for SMART PEOPLE like me who can divine info from figurative language bro.

So, when the bible makes sense it is literal.  Does that mean when it doesn't it is metaphorical?  To you, probably.  To mean, knowing it was all written WAY after the alleged events by crazed fanatics, I can only laugh.  And I will... 

LOLOLOLOLOLOL!
Atheist born, atheist bred.  And when I die, atheist dead!

Re: Reading the Bible literally or literately
« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2018, 12:04:18 PM »
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dude dont take it LITERAL bro thats so philosophically immature of you bro its a METAPHOR the bibles has lots of them because its for SMART PEOPLE like me who can divine info from figurative language bro.

The problem is even when smart people explain the metaphor, I often agree with their interpretation but disagree with the values and morals the story is demonstrating. Christian: "The real meaning is that if you truly repent, God will forgive you. God's love is limitless." Me: "Yeah, that entire concept is flawed."

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If you disagree with a single comma of the Holy Bible, thou art a blasphemer and shall surely burn in Hell Forever After. 

I've already RSVP'd.

Offline Cavebear

Re: Reading the Bible literally or literately
« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2018, 12:15:07 PM »
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The problem is even when smart people explain the metaphor, I often agree with their interpretation but disagree with the values and morals the story is demonstrating. Christian: "The real meaning is that if you truly repent, God will forgive you. God's love is limitless." Me: "Yeah, that entire concept is flawed."

I've already RSVP'd.

RSVP, Meet you "wherever" and I mean that metaphorically, since we won't.  The parts of the bible that crack me up are the parts the theists never mention.
Atheist born, atheist bred.  And when I die, atheist dead!

Re: Reading the Bible literally or literately
« Reply #6 on: May 09, 2018, 12:18:22 PM »
If there weren't Christians who took the people literally, I probably would have the same amount of curiosity and respect for the Bible that I have for Greek myths. When you don't claim Zeus to be the ultimate, unquestionable authority, the stories where he acts like an asshole are just stories. I think early Christianity was not meant to treat the stories of Jesus so literally either. Many scholars believe that the earliest written Gospel, Mark, was a fictional story for a mystery religion. Mystery religions were all about hidden knowledge, where those on the inside understand the true meaning of their stories. It was the later Gospels which tried to "correct" Mark by adding details to make it more believable, correcting (or attempting to correct) historically inaccurate details. This does explain quite a lot. For example, when Jesus curses the fig tree, that makes no sense from a literal point of view. Jesus finds a tree which is not in season and he curses it when he finds no fruit on it. But if you read it as figurative, the story makes total sense. In the story, Jesus curses the tree just before entering Jerusalem. Then after Jesus leaves Jerusalem, the disciples see that the tree has shriveled up. The tree was Jerusalem.
"Oh, wearisome condition of humanity,
Born under one law, to another bound;
Vainly begot, and yet forbidden vanity,
Created sick, commanded to be sound."
--Fulke Greville

Offline Cavebear

Re: Reading the Bible literally or literately
« Reply #7 on: May 09, 2018, 12:34:08 PM »
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If there weren't Christians who took the people literally, I probably would have the same amount of curiosity and respect for the Bible that I have for Greek myths. When you don't claim Zeus to be the ultimate, unquestionable authority, the stories where he acts like an asshole are just stories. I think early Christianity was not meant to treat the stories of Jesus so literally either. Many scholars believe that the earliest written Gospel, Mark, was a fictional story for a mystery religion. Mystery religions were all about hidden knowledge, where those on the inside understand the true meaning of their stories. It was the later Gospels which tried to "correct" Mark by adding details to make it more believable, correcting (or attempting to correct) historically inaccurate details. This does explain quite a lot. For example, when Jesus curses the fig tree, that makes no sense from a literal point of view. Jesus finds a tree which is not in season and he curses it when he finds no fruit on it. But if you read it as figurative, the story makes total sense. In the story, Jesus curses the tree just before entering Jerusalem. Then after Jesus leaves Jerusalem, the disciples see that the tree has shriveled up. The tree was Jerusalem.

Mind twins!  Almost, anyway.  I take it step further and say the events never happened, there not actually being a historical Jesus, just a composite of various Jewish messiahs.
Atheist born, atheist bred.  And when I die, atheist dead!

Offline Baruch

Re: Reading the Bible literally or literately
« Reply #8 on: May 09, 2018, 01:08:28 PM »
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The problem is even when smart people explain the metaphor, I often agree with their interpretation but disagree with the values and morals the story is demonstrating. Christian: "The real meaning is that if you truly repent, God will forgive you. God's love is limitless." Me: "Yeah, that entire concept is flawed."

I've already RSVP'd.

Smart readers know that the patriarchs and matriarchs aren't to be imitated.  Why?  They aren't paragons of virtue.  Adam and Eve got expelled from Paradise for good reason (double entendre).  Noah got drunk after the Flood and was exposed by his grandson.  Abraham was nearly impotent and lied about his first wife's status to save his own life, and nearly sacrificed his first born son, and then expelled his second wife and first son, to please his first wife Sarah, who wanted her rivals dead.  Lot offered his daughters to the depraved Sodomites, who then had sex with him afterward.  Issac preferred Esau over Jacob.  Rebecca preferred Jacob over Esau.  Jacob robbed his brother's birthright and deceived his father-in-law Laban (who wasn't nice either).  Jacob wasn't equally loving to his 4 wives and preferred just two children against the others.  Jacob's sons massacred the people of Shechem.  Those same sons nearly killed their brother Joseph.  Esau despised his parents (before Jacob robbed him).  Judah had mistaken prostitute sex with his daughter in law.  And that is just Genesis!  For me, the only admirable person was Joseph, but he was a dick to his murderous brothers ... so not as vengeful as he could have been.

Smart rabbis say ... read this ... but it is a warning what not to do.  The Medieval rabbis realized from this that polygamy was a bad idea.
« Last Edit: May 09, 2018, 01:13:22 PM by Baruch »
שלום

Re: Reading the Bible literally or literately
« Reply #9 on: May 09, 2018, 01:45:05 PM »
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RSVP, Meet you "wherever" and I mean that metaphorically, since we won't.  The parts of the bible that crack me up are the parts the theists never mention.
Well, as Mark Twain said, "It ain't those parts of the Bible that I can't understand that bother me, it is the parts that I do understand."
 
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“There are priests who carry out exorcisms on their mobile phones. That’s possible thanks to Jesus”
Cardinal Ernest Simoni
“Life swings like a pendulum backward and forward between pain and boredom”
Arthur Schopenhauer

Re: Reading the Bible literally or literately
« Reply #10 on: May 09, 2018, 01:52:07 PM »
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For example, when Jesus curses the fig tree, that makes no sense from a literal point of view. Jesus finds a tree which is not in season and he curses it when he finds no fruit on it. But if you read it as figurative, the story makes total sense. In the story, Jesus curses the tree just before entering Jerusalem. Then after Jesus leaves Jerusalem, the disciples see that the tree has shriveled up. The tree was Jerusalem.
I've also read that the fig was the symbol of a rival cult, that of Mithras, and so cursing the fig tree was a symbol of Christianity's conquest of that cult. There may have been multiple meanings, since those mystery cults had several layers for the initiates to pass through.
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“There are priests who carry out exorcisms on their mobile phones. That’s possible thanks to Jesus”
Cardinal Ernest Simoni
“Life swings like a pendulum backward and forward between pain and boredom”
Arthur Schopenhauer

Offline Cavebear

Re: Reading the Bible literally or literately
« Reply #11 on: May 09, 2018, 01:53:56 PM »
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Well, as Mark Twain said, "It ain't those parts of the Bible that I can't understand that bother me, it is the parts that I do understand."

Mr Clemens had a fine mind's eye for details of subtle thought.
Atheist born, atheist bred.  And when I die, atheist dead!

Offline Cavebear

Re: Reading the Bible literally or literately
« Reply #12 on: May 09, 2018, 01:59:45 PM »
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I've also read that the fig was the symbol of a rival cult, that of Mithras, and so cursing the fig tree was a symbol of Christianity's conquest of that cult. There may have been multiple meanings, since those mystery cults had several layers for the initiates to pass through.

I did not remember the cursing of the fig tree, but given the similarities between Mithraism and Christianity origin myths, and the way christians strove mightily to take over religious holidays, origins, and symbols as they spread (I will forebear saying "like vermin") I am not surprised.
Atheist born, atheist bred.  And when I die, atheist dead!

Re: Reading the Bible literally or literately
« Reply #13 on: May 09, 2018, 02:02:28 PM »
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Mr Clemens had a fine mind's eye for details of subtle thought.

I'm related to Samuel Clemens. It's probably my only connection to anyone famous.

Offline Cavebear

Re: Reading the Bible literally or literately
« Reply #14 on: May 09, 2018, 02:38:55 PM »
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I'm related to Samuel Clemens. It's probably my only connection to anyone famous.

Well, you sure have an impressive ancestor.    The best I have is (maybe, by family lore) is Barbara Feldon from "Get Smart"  Can't prove it, but the claim is that my great-great-grandmothers were sisters. 

As if that matters for anything...
Atheist born, atheist bred.  And when I die, atheist dead!

 

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