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Running The Gauntlet


Centauro
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Some friends invited my wife (she's a fundy) to a bible study. See my other thread on "Book Recommendations for my Fundy Wife".

 

Initially I was put off by it, but decided it might be interesting and an opportunity to really get to know me and where I am at spiritually.

This ain't gonna be a mutual admiration society. I am going to not pull any punches, but I will be respectful and be a gentelman.

I have no doubt this will piss my wife off, but I gave her the option of not participating. The person heading the study knows where I am regarding the bible, but wants me to participate anyway. So be it.

 

We are meeting tonight to discuss the details of the study. I will keep all posted and I am sure I will need some help with things, as I am not biblically knowledgable.

 

So the call is out to my heathen friends to help me counter the onslaught I am sure I will encounter.

Those with "Lions Den" experience, I will need your help!! Thanks in advance.

 

Should be interesting!!

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Some friends invited my wife (she's a fundy) to a bible study. See my other thread on "Book Recommendations for my Fundy Wife".

 

So the call is out to my heathen friends to help me counter the onslaught I am sure I will encounter.

 

Should be interesting!!

If you have specific chapters to study ahead of time, find the contradictions and inconsistencies, ridiculous passages, fake prophecies, etc.

 

Then do your work and itemize them with a bit of detail.

 

Then find the apologies for these verses and the counterapologies.

 

Armed with all of the information, you should be in a better position than if you just show up and say, "That's ridiculous!"

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Thanks for posting Centauro. This is high entertainment as well as a practical workshop for those of us who find ourselves in similar straights. :^)

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I would love to see how this all pans out - kudos for being willing to "take the heat!"

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I will find out which book we will be concentrating on and let all know.

 

I may really enjoy this, and I appreciate the help and kind words..

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First book of John... :wicked:

They are playing it safe. Small book, lots of redundant nicey-nice talk, not a lot of factual claims, but...

 

A little background (possibly biased, but with some facts included):

About the "author"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_the_Evangelist

1 John "Apostle John" An unknown author with no direct connection to the historical Jesus, late 1st century, possibly the author of the Gospel of John

Specifically about the first epistle of John

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Epistle_of_John

 

John 2:18

The last hour? Literally? well, obviously not. Metaphorically, the implication was for the eminent Rapture or something.

----------------------------------------------

John 3:6

This implies that believers do not sin.

6. Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither knoweth him.

 

BUT 1 John 1:9 talks of confessing our sins. And 1 John 1:8 says "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us."

AND 1John 3:8 says

8. he that doeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning.

---------------------------------------------

ASV 1 John 5:7

7. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is the truth.

8. For there are three who bear witness, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and the three agree in one.

KJV 1 John 5:7

7. For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.

 

What kind of trinity is this? What Word is in Heaven as a separate entity?

---------------------------------------------

ASV 1 John 5:14-15

14. And this is the boldness which we have toward him, that, if we ask anything according to his will, he heareth us: 15. and if we know that he heareth us whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions which we have asked of him.

 

Cowardly. How about the promise to actually get what you ask for?

 

New International

Matthew 21:22 If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer."

New International

Mark 11:24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.

ASV John 14:12-14

12. Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto the Father.

13. And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.

14. If ye shall ask anything in my name, that will I do.

 

Ok, that's pretty weak. "having a petition" and getting what you asked for may be the same thing.

 

 

---------------------------------------------------------

Does your library have:

Ernst Haenchen, JOHN 1 and JOHN 2 (2 Volume set)

 

The following link has some contradictions, the apologies, and the counterapologies, so should be a good source for your information.

http://hem.passagen.se/nicb/contradict2.htm

 

Same thing, but in a community forum with debates like you will have:

http://community.logos.com/forums/p/554/5152.aspx

This goes into other "apparent" discrepancies, but it is a strictly christian forum. Still, the objections of "unbelievers" are brought to the table - at least for target practice.

 

An apologist as annoying as LNC:

http://www.ibiblio.org/bgreek/test-archives/html4/1997-09/20897.html

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First book of John... :wicked:

 

 

I didn't have too much time last night to post specifics, but I will now.

 

 

There are 7 couples and the organizer is an elder of my wife's church. I have never heard so many "Praise God" reactions within a 90 minute period in my life. He is intense.

The format was discussed and many wanted to follow a preset organized study. I stated I didn't. I wanted an open discussion where we pick a book, read a chapter and have a round table discussion. Having never participated in a study, I figured an organized study from the church would have an agenda and I wanted more open discussion. In the end all agreed to it. I also stated I wasn't an inerrant literalist, and I would enjoy the exchange of information on the text and stressed the fact it would be a learning experience for all of us. They were polite, but I could feel some tension. My wife was a bit tense, not knowing if I was going to say anything she would be uncomfortable with. I smiled a lot and was very calm when I spoke. It went well.

 

We meet twice a month, starting next week. I will miss the first one, as I will out of town on business. But I want to steer the conversation towards textual criticism, who are the actual authors and their agenda.

 

I am thinking I will need some good questions regarding the first book of John. Nothing confrontational, but ones that would get them thinking. I wish I could be more specific, but at this time it is too early in the game. We have a few weeks before I can meet again with them, so take your time and if anyone can come up with some good ones, please post them.

 

Thanks again for helping me with this.

 

Centauro

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Shyone....thanks for the great post, good stuff for sure. I will review and tuck that info away, as I am sure it will come in handy. Thanks again..

 

Centauro

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Crap, I wrote a long post yesterday, but must have let it sit too long, because when I hit the button, it disappeared!

 

I like to use I John 4:7-8 when discussing the reasons why I began to doubt Christianity.

 

Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and EVERYONE WHO LOVETH, IS BORN OF GOD AND KNOWETH GOD. HE WHO LOVETH NOT, KNOWETH NOT GOD, for God is love.

 

Knowing what this love means should be important to Christians. According to the Bible, what is love and how does it manifest itself?

 

Some of the answers may be circular- only Christians have real love, so only Christians know god. I wouldn't even point out how this is circular or self-defining, because other questions and observations later will call this into question. You don't want to set yourself up as the asshole who knows what everyone else should believe.

 

When the Bible talks about love in several other places, it talks about characteristics of love. I Corinthians 13- Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud... John 15:13- Greater love has no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. Matthew 25:31-46 is the passage about those who fed Jesus when he was hungry, clothed him when naked, visited him when sick, etc. (and those who failed to do so), inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. While this doesn't specifically talk about love, it clearly connects the outward signs of love with knowing god.

 

Now there's a problem. It's obvious that non-Christians display loving behavior. Would your wife go so far as to say your love for her wasn't real love anymore? Many people may have some non-Christian family members who love them- is that love not real or is there some way that god would credit the love to their account (although this would seem to bypass belief in Jesus)? Some Christians are frequently unkind and uncharitable. (Note that it's going to be very unproductive to start pointing fingers at the behavior of specific people. Don't even go there.) Now people might start saying things like "Christians aren't perfect, just forgiven", but keep the focus on I John 4:7-8. Whether people are perfect or imperfect, what does this love mean?

 

I think that people will be feeling some confusion and want to think things over. They may go into mental contortions to explain it away- non-Christians have a little bit of love from God, and it makes the things they do seem loving, but they don't have the fullness of God's love, etc. It'll start to sound a bit foolish. I think that after this you should just let people process their thoughts and let others lead the remainder of the discussion. Again, it's better just to put out something for thought rather than try to dictate what people should think.

 

It's my opinion that this path of thought on its own leads to universalism. For me, it was a big step to realizing that Christians didn't have a special claim on love, and that both love and unkindness is manifested in all groups of people.

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Crap, I wrote a long post yesterday, but must have let it sit too long, because when I hit the button, it disappeared!

 

I like to use I John 4:7-8 when discussing the reasons why I began to doubt Christianity.

 

Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and EVERYONE WHO LOVETH, IS BORN OF GOD AND KNOWETH GOD. HE WHO LOVETH NOT, KNOWETH NOT GOD, for God is love.

Good points. I would bring that up, and I might very well make it personal.

 

There's no point in speculating how they will get around that because it won't make sense anyway. "God is in you. You know God, and so you love even if you deny Him outwardly." Or whatever.

 

Christians feel free to tell people how they feel, what they think and believe (or not), and grabbing ahold of such an inconsistency is like trying to catch fish with your bare hands.

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Man, you just SCORED! 1John contains the most blatant example of text revision in the entire NT.

 

Make sure that there are several different translations in the room. The three you absolutely don't want to be without are the KJV, the NASB, and the NIV. When you get to chapter 5 and read through verses 7 and 8, that's the time to break out the multiple translations. Have everyone look at the footnotes for verse 8.

 

In the New KJV it says "NU-text and M-text omit the words from in Heaven (verse 7) through on Earth (verse 8). Only four or five very late manuscripts contain these words in Greek."

 

In other words, the bolded text in the following was deliberately added later on:

 

For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness on earth: the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and these three agree as one.

 

Make a note of the rest of the footnotes for Chapter 5, which also reference later additions to the text. Once you have established that a number of verses were inserted later on, you can point out that the date of the insertion coincides with some very heated theological debates in the church, specifically regarding the doctrine of the Trinity and gnostic teachings.

 

You can then ask innocently, "why do you think someone found it necessary to add these verses to the Bible?" After everyone is done blustering, you can ask "the Church used the Bible with these additional verses for nearly 2,000 years before the change was discovered. I wonder if there are other verses that have been added or removed, that we don't know about yet? Or even some that we will never know about?"

 

Of course the follow-up is "since people have been meddling with scripture to prove their doctrinal positions, and since none of these books was written down until nearly 200 years after the events, how can we trust that the NT is true? How can we know which verses to trust and which to suspect?"

 

I wish I could be there. They'd kick me out, though - I've studied too much.

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Man, you just SCORED! 1John contains the most blatant example of text revision in the entire NT.

 

Make sure that there are several different translations in the room. The three you absolutely don't want to be without are the KJV, the NASB, and the NIV. When you get to chapter 5 and read through verses 7 and 8, that's the time to break out the multiple translations. Have everyone look at the footnotes for verse 8.

 

In the New KJV it says "NU-text and M-text omit the words from in Heaven (verse 7) through on Earth (verse 8). Only four or five very late manuscripts contain these words in Greek."

 

In other words, the bolded text in the following was deliberately added later on:

 

For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness on earth: the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and these three agree as one.

That is quite true. I noticed that when I was looking at this set of verses, but I thought it was some printing screwup. The whole thing makes no sense to me - three things in heaven, three things on earth, and none of them are the trinity. Weird.

 

Here are the verses from each of the Bibles.

 

KJV 1 John 5:6-7

6. This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth.

7. For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.

8. And there are three that bear witness in earth, the spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one.

 

ASV 1 John 5:6-8

6. This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not with the water only, but with the water and with the blood.

7. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is the truth.

8. For there are three who bear witness, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and the three agree in one.

 

NIV 1 John 5:6-8

6. This is the one who came by water and blood--Jesus Christ. He did not come by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth.

7. For there are three that testify:

8. the Spirit, the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement.

 

LIT 1 John 5:5-8 (Literal bible with Strong's numbers)

5. |5101| Who |2076| is |3588| the |9999| {one} |3528| overcoming |3588| the |2889| world, |1508| except |3588| the |9999| {one} |4100| believing |3754| that |2424| Jesus |2076| is |3588| the |5207| Son |3588| of |2316| God?

6. |3778| This |2076| is |3588| the |9999| {one} |2064| coming |1223| through |5204| water |2532| and |0129| blood, |2424| Jesus |3588| the |5547| Christ. |3756| Not |1722| by |3588| the |5204| water |3440| only, |0235| but |1722| by |3588| the |5204| water |2532| and |3588| the |0129| blood. |2532| And |3588| the |4151| Spirit |2076| is |3588| the |9999| {One} |3140| witnessing, |3754| because |3588| the |4151| Spirit |2076| is |3588| the |0225| truth.

7. |3754| Because |5140| three |1526| there are |3588| the |9999| {ones} |3140| testifying:

8. |3588| the |4151| Spirit, |2532| and |3588| the |5204| water, |2532| and |3588| the |0129| blood. |2532| And |3588| the |5140| three |1519| into |3588| the |1722| one |1526| are.

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Man, you just SCORED! 1John contains the most blatant example of text revision in the entire NT.

 

Make sure that there are several different translations in the room. The three you absolutely don't want to be without are the KJV, the NASB, and the NIV. When you get to chapter 5 and read through verses 7 and 8, that's the time to break out the multiple translations. Have everyone look at the footnotes for verse 8.

 

In the New KJV it says "NU-text and M-text omit the words from in Heaven (verse 7) through on Earth (verse 8). Only four or five very late manuscripts contain these words in Greek."

 

In other words, the bolded text in the following was deliberately added later on:

 

 

For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness on earth: the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and these three agree as one.

 

Make a note of the rest of the footnotes for Chapter 5, which also reference later additions to the text. Once you have established that a number of verses were inserted later on, you can point out that the date of the insertion coincides with some very heated theological debates in the church, specifically regarding the doctrine of the Trinity and gnostic teachings.

 

You can then ask innocently, "why do you think someone found it necessary to add these verses to the Bible?" After everyone is done blustering, you can ask "the Church used the Bible with these additional verses for nearly 2,000 years before the change was discovered. I wonder if there are other verses that have been added or removed, that we don't know about yet? Or even some that we will never know about?"

 

Of course the follow-up is "since people have been meddling with scripture to prove their doctrinal positions, and since none of these books was written down until nearly 200 years after the events, how can we trust that the NT is true? How can we know which verses to trust and which to suspect?"

 

I wish I could be there. They'd kick me out, though - I've studied too much.

 

This is excellent!! This is exactly the approach needed to guide them into how the scriptures were corrupted and changed, and to show it is not the untouched, literal book from "on high" that they say it is. Thanks Davka, keep it coming :woohoo: .

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If somebody throws a dig at you, toss Prov. 14:15 back at 'em. ;)

 

15The simple believeth every word: but the prudent man looketh well to his going.
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If somebody throws a dig at you, toss Prov. 14:15 back at 'em. ;)

 

15The simple believeth every word: but the prudent man looketh well to his going.

 

 

I will note that...excellent!!

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I think I found the "mother lode".

 

I found my wife's copy of Misquoting Jesus, it had not been out where I could easily find it and I did not want to ask her where it was as to not create any negative reaction. I wanted to quietly look something up. I found what I wanted and thought about checking the index under John to see what was there. WOW. A TON of references on changes and additions!!

 

I will be marking my bibles so I can know where to bring up these changes. This is going to make things very interesting.

 

Also, in the back of the book is an interview with Ehrman. The questions that were asked of him are typical of what an evangelical would ask and his answers are excellent. His is to the point and non threatening. I will be able to use that line of answering a lot.

 

I am really juiced to get into this, and this find has really been a gold mine.

I will keep all posted. :woohoo:

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Ehrman is good and has a lot of knowledge to offer. My personal leanings in how I approach the NT is Burton Mack. Understanding the social motivations behind the creation of the texts to support their world views, to me is profoundly significant and insightful to the whole mythology. It's not really so much a case of who is right or wrong, but rather context. The error with the typical evangelical is that they start with the assumption that God miraculously communicates with us poor ignorant, blind folks. But the reality is that it, the Bible, is a creation of humans trying to figure out the meaning of life for themselves.

 

Burton Mack, to me, offers more insights into the sociological psychology and its mechanics that helps aid what insights that Ehrman offers in regards to the textual criticism aspects. The human motive is more relevant to me, but certainly the textual criticism is of value as well.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Update:

 

No real news, as wife and I were out of town for the first session.

 

AM, thanks for the book reference, I will note that for sure.

 

Looks like we will be out of town for the next study also, as it is every 2 weeks.

If there are any changes or news I will surely post them. My wife will miss 5 weeks of church as she will be out of town with friends and family for the next few weeks. It has been nice to say the least.

 

Centauro

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Clearly the Lord has been at work, giving you an extra month to prepare. By the time you go back to the study, you'll be loaded for bear.

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Clearly the Lord has been at work, giving you an extra month to prepare. By the time you go back to the study, you'll be loaded for bear.

 

 

Indeed! And I have my "posse" here to help me!!!

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OK, girls and boys....Sunday evening wife will be back in town in time for us to attend "bible study".

 

We will be reading 2nd book of John. I need some ammo. Thanks..

 

Centauro

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OK, girls and boys....Sunday evening wife will be back in town in time for us to attend "bible study".

 

We will be reading 2nd book of John. I need some ammo. Thanks..

 

Centauro

 

6 And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love.

 

You could always point out what Jesus's commands are and ask them if they actually obey them.

 

Verse 7 is thought to refer to the Gnostics. Point out how Christians eventually hunted them down, tried to burn their texts. (Christian tolerance and love)

 

No authorship is claimed. Ask how they can prove it's written by the apostle John. For more fun, ask why different Church father rejected this book.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Authorship_of_the_Johannine_works

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