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The 'holy' Bible


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I was thinking this morning that one of the reasons that I believed that the so-called 'holy bible' was true - because of the fact that it survived through all the past thousand years and millions of people have believed it through history. (therefore it must be proof?)

 

They still claim that it is the # 1 'best seller'.

 

How did these 'ancient' scriptures survive, that today people still believe it to be the word of god??

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Because people are too wrapped up their their own sensitivities, frailness, and fear of death to take the high road and say it's all a bunch of bullshit.

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There is other ancient literature (even older) that survives today and is still venerated or deemed "holy." The Bible was representative of a religion that took hold by political edict and spread through force. When the printing press first arrived in the West, Christianity was dominant in Europe and the book was able to be more widely distributed than other texts at the time.

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There is other ancient literature (even older) that survives today and is still venerated or deemed "holy." The Bible was representative of a religion that took hold by political edict and spread through force. When the printing press first arrived in the West, Christianity was dominant in Europe and the book was able to be more widely distributed than other texts at the time.

 

This.

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Margee, I find your question very interesting. You may want to look a little closer at just what the bible is and how it came about. When Christianity first started in the first century and for several hundred years thereafter, the religion was not monolithic but was made up by a number different views and hundreds of different texts. Various Christians adopted different texts as their "bible" so to speak. But there was no general Christian acceptance on what constituted the "holy bible." In fact, many of the early christians would not be seen as Christians today. There was one text (I can't remember which off the top of my head) in which Jesus the Christ was viewed as a spirit which merely inhabited the body of a man. And when the man was crucified, the real Jesus withdrew from the man and laughed because those who thought they were crucifying him were wrong since they were merely crucifying a man whose body he had inhabited for a while. There are all kinds of things like that in the non-canonical gospels.

 

What we see in our bible today was the product of several attempts to form an agreement on what constituted the "real" scriptures. And that movement was spearheaded by Constantine during the fourth century who wanted to use Christianity as a unifying force in his Roman empire. But he recognized that for Christianity to be a unifying force, the religion itself first had to be unified. And the beginning point for that was for the bishops to get together and decide what were the accepted Christian texts so the religion could be unified and thus help to unify the empire. It is as a result of that and other similar councils that finally resulted in what we know as the Bible and the Christianity we now see.

 

And there was a real effort by the orthodox christians to destroy the competing texts. That is why until 1945 when gnostic texts were discovered in Nag Hammadi, Egypt, we never had copies of gnostic texts though we knew there had been such a christian sect because the gnostics had been written about by orthodox christians (in disdain, I might add). Had it not been for someone hiding those texts a long time ago, they would have been lost to us for all time.

 

It's a fascinating subject and well worth the time to look into it in more detail. Just the story of how the bible came about can be enough to cast real doubt on its so-called "holy" nature. Most Christians seem to believe that early Christianity was exactly like is portrayed in the bible. But the great variation of views as expressed in the non-canonical texts gives testimony that that is not true.

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I was thinking this morning that one of the reasons that I believed that the so-called 'holy bible' was true - was because of the fact that it survived through all the past thousand years and millions of people have believed it through history. (therefore it must be proof?)

 

They still claim that it is the # 1 'best seller'.

 

How did these 'ancient' scriptures survive, that today people still believe it to be the word of god??

 

You don't see too many people reading hieroglyphics off the walls of Egyptian temples and thinking that message must be truth. Yet some inscriptions would be at least twice as old as the Old Testament. Many of the ideas in the Bible have an uncanny resemblance to ideas in Egyptian religion, such as the worship of one god and the Horus/messiah.

 

Popularity does not make something true. If Lucas sold a few more tickets or DVDs would that mean Star Wars really happened? Of corse it wouldn't just like selling more Bibles doesn't make the Bible stories real. Christian marketing is based on lies and fallacies. Don't feel bad about it though they fooled me too. The fact is that Christians cannot verify any of their claims using objective evidence.

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How did these 'ancient' scriptures survive, that today people still believe it to be the word of god??

People believe these things to be the word of god and that is why they survived.

 

Making copies was time consuming and expensive. So people only made copies of things that were considered important. They didn't have the luxury of mass distribution as we do so someone would want to have a copy and would want to pay for such a copy to be made. Books simply "went away" since sitting on a shelf somewhere would eventually cause them to rot and fall to pieces unless they were copied over and over again (simply for preservation). So only items of "worth" (measured in many, many ways...such as the phrase "beauty is in the eye of the beholder") would be preserved by patrons.

 

The various religious materials were seen to have worth and time and money were expended to preserve them. Secular works of various types were obviously preserved as well. But over time what was important obviously varied even within the same groups and some books were intentionally destroyed (out of malice or, in some cases, the author didn't want them distributed but this usually wasn't the case and censorship would be the norm) while others were left to just rot away and be "lost" (the fate of most books in antiquity).

 

mwc

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