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Let's Assume The Bible Is Infallible


Foxy Methoxy
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First off, I do not believe the Bible is infallible. However, let's say it was and we were basing our religious beliefs exclusively on what was in the Bible and not using any outside traditions. What would a truly uncorrupted Bible based religion believe?

 

My conclusions are as follows:

 

1. Jesus never commands his followers to worship him and never claims to be God. Jesus should not be worshiped, nor should he be honored as anything other than a teacher. He's not even a prophet as he did not write any prophesies. He taught us to value loving God and our neighbors. And he magically healed people. And he could somehow turn a few fish and a little bread into lots of fish and lots of bread.

 

2. There is no Trinity. God is either one invisible being with multiple names and multiple personalities, or there are a dozen or so gods in conflict with each other. Some are benevolent. Some are malicious.

 

Hmmm.. I've only touched on two points and this is belief system is already resembling Hinduism....

 

Anyway, if you based your beliefs solely on the Bible with no outside interference, what would your religious beliefs be?

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Most definitely there are multiple Gods in the Bible. No question about it. How about "thou shalt have no other gods before me." If there were no other Gods, why would it be necessary to issue this prohibition? Numerous references to Gods occur in the Old Testament - Baal for example.

 

As for Jesus, I am convinced that his own close followers did not understand what he was saying. Then later they put words into his mouth he didn't say. Jesus taught an apocalyptic, end of the world message and liked to speak of the "kingdom of God," the rule of God on earth. He was not claiming himself to be God. Some of the things he said could just as easily have been said by Buddha. In fact I wonder if some Buddhists or Hindus were teaching in the area at the time. Paul's letters are his own understanding and interpretation, they were never meant to be the words of God, yet most of modern Christianity seems to be based on them. This whole idea of Jesus as a sacrifice I speculate came about in an effort to make Jesus the Jewish Messiah, which he clearly was not.

 

I hope more discoveries are unearthed about the other different early Christianities that were around in the first and second century. The gnostics in particular. We need another Nag Hammadi! Some of the scriptures like the Gospel of Thomas are really interesting.

 

So, to answer the question, I am not exactly sure what my beliefs would be solely based on the Bible, because it doesn't hang together as a coherent system. Probably the most I could say was I would be a theist and see Yahweh as a creator - one among many Gods, some good, some evil. Not all powerful or omniscient, thats for sure.

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"So, to answer the question, I am not exactly sure what my beliefs would be solely based on the Bible, because it doesn't hang together as a coherent system. Probably the most I could say was I would be a theist and see Yahweh as a creator -one among many Gods, some good, some evil. Not all powerful or omniscient, thats for sure."

 

I agree. When you add the Old Testament in and the writings of Paul, it all becomes so murky. Believing in the Bible forces you to do one of two things:

 

1. Pick and choose your points of reference and ignore everything contrary.

 

And / Or

 

2. Add outside beliefs to make sense of things.

 

I honestly believe a true bible purist would be either a polytheist or a pantheist and not a monotheist.

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Good question, Foxy. I completely agree with Deva that the Bible itself doesn't hang together as a coherent system. However, if a person could pick and choose different pieces of the Bible that seem to mesh with what life seemingly exists as, then yes, there are parts I still like.

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First off, I do not believe the Bible is infallible. However, let's say it was and we were basing our religious beliefs exclusively on what was in the Bible and not using any outside traditions. What would a truly uncorrupted Bible based religion believe?

 

That we live in a universe that doesn't make sense because feeling confused in this life helps us in the afterlife.

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The afterlife? How do you arrive to an afterlife conclusion using only the Bible?

 

 

If you want exact Bible verses I will take the time to look them up but it's been a while so I don't have them on the top of my memory. It's in the Ball Park of:

 

-Christ on the cross telling the "good" thief that today they will be in Paradise. (That one might be near the end of Gospel of Luke)

-The Parable of Lazarus and the Rich man. (I think that one is in Luke as well)

-The writings of Paul go into the second death and judgment.

-Revelation talks about people being in heaven after they die on Earth.

 

So at some point some New Testament authors were preaching about an afterlife. If we assume that they are infallible then all the contradictions have to be chalked up to "God moves in mysterious ways". Let me know if you need more detail.

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I'm not so sure they were. The old testament refers to sheole, but the new testement refers to ... eh ... ? Kind of a bastardised version of the Greek Hades, maybe? From there, the dark ages further bastardised the concept. I don't believe there is a tangible book of the dead in the Bible. Just some ambiguous mentions of another world which has been assumed to be an after life.

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If we accept the bible as true, this is the sordid story it tells:

 

The Old Testament is about the struggle of various gods to reign supreme in the minds and hearts of people. One god, YHWH, didn't gain much ground since there were so many competing gods in that day. So he tried a completely different approach, going from the ground floor (so to speak). Rather than try to win over the people groups who already had their own gods, YHWH decided to form his own group of people who would worship only him. He approached an old man named Abram who was married to an old woman named Sarai. Since the elderly couple had no children, he decided to use that fact as his catch. So he told Abram to take his wife and go to another land so they would be out of the influence of the other gods, thus gaining their complete allegiance. And to sweeten the deal for them, he promised them that if they would obey him, he would ensure they had a child and would be the parents of a whole nation. Abram and Sarai liked that idea and so bought into the plan.

 

They left and, sure enough, they had a son. And that son had a son named Jacob and Jacob had twelve sons and those twelve sons formed the basis of the twelve tribes who would become the Hebrews. But as the Hebrews grew in number, even they were heavily influenced by the other gods. So YHWH tightened up his control by bringing calamities on them, imposing harsh laws, but also gave them positive incentives by helping them to win battles so they could gain control of lands and form a true nation.

 

As time went by, most Hebrews eventually accepted YHWH as their god even though there was a constant struggle from other gods to win at least part of the control that YHWH had worked so hard to gain. When it became clear to YHWH that a number of the Hebrews seemed to favor other gods, he changed his plans and allowed ten of the Hebrew tribes to be carried off and disbursed through the world and become lost to history. This allowed YHWH to consolidate his control over the smaller group who lived in Judah which was populated by the tribe of Judah, some Benjamites, and some of the Levite priests. This was far more manageable for YHWH and he was finally able to have what he wanted - a group of people who were devoted only to him.

 

The New Testament is a new chapter in the struggle of the gods for control of people. Another god decided he wanted to try to steal the country of Judah from YHWH. I'll call the people of Judah the Jews even though they were composed of Benjamites and Levites in addition to the Jews. So this god (referred to as The Father) tried to use one of YHWH’s promises to fool the Jews. And that promise was that YHWH would send them a messiah. So The Father decided to fake a Messiah and try to fool the Jews into believing that the Messiah had come so they would turn their attention away from YHWH and give their devotion to the false Messiah and thus worship him. So The Father sent his son who was named Jesus through a virgin birth and gave him the power to perform miracles, which Jesus did. But the Jews, being wholly devoted to YHWH by this time and knowing their scriptures extremely well, saw through the ruse and refused to accept Jesus as their Messiah. They even went so far as to have him tried and executed by the Romans for the crime of blasphemy (though the Romans carried out the execution for their own reasons, mainly to maintain order).

 

Anticipating the crucifixion, The Father had Jesus tell his twelve disciples, his main followers, that he would be killed and on the third day he would rise from the dead. Sure enough, on the third day after his death, Jesus did rise from the dead. He appeared to all eleven of his remaining disciples (since Judas had been conscripted to be the traitor and killed himself) and appeared to as many as 500 people. After forty days of appearances, Jesus bodily rose in the air and to heaven as a great show of his divinity. Thereafter, the eleven remaining disciples became hard core believers and went about the task of trying to recruit other Jews to the new religion now referred to as Christianity. They did manage to recruit a number of Jews, but being a thinking people the nation as a whole still rejected Jesus as their Messiah.

 

Seeing that he was not making any real progress with the Jews, The Father abandoned his earlier plans, gave up on the Jews and decided to take the new religion to the Pagans. For this task, The Father recruited Paul, a Jew who had been engaged in persecuting the Jewish converts to Christianity. After all, who better to be a spokesperson for the new religion than the man who had formerly persecuted Christians? The conversion was carried out by The Father having his Son (Jesus) miraculously appear to Paul, temporarily blind him for effect, and then tell him to spread the new religion to the Pagans. Paul bought into it and went about the task of recruiting Pagans into the new religion. And Paul was very successful in his endeavors.

 

Based solely on the number of people under his control today, The Father’s plan was magnificently successful. He completely defeated the pagan gods to the point where they only have a handful of followers today. And best of all for him, today he has more than two billion devotees worldwide and was able to form the world’s largest religion. And YHWH has only been able to keep control of the Jews who number something over thirteen million. But many of them are not even religious so the number of his true devotees is smaller than the thirteen million. Therefore, The Father is the winner among all the gods and his deceit was justified since winning is everything to gods.

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Jewish origins are traced to Canaanite mythology. Judaism shares a deity with the Canaanites. El Elyon (Gen 14:18).

 

If the Ten Commandments are to be upheld then El Elyon, along with his wife Asherah, and the Canaanite pantheon need to be eliminated and not just from Jewish history and culture but from the Bible as well.

 

Anyway, to reply to the OP...

 

I approach scripture not from the literal-factual camp but from the historical-metaphorical camp. Scripture is the human response to God. Both previous sentences are borrowed from Marcus J. Borg and his book Reading the Bible Again for the First Time.

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Am I the only believer posting?

 

Anyway, Jesus did claim to be God.

 

In John 8:58 he broke normal grammar usage to refer to himself as the voice that also spoke from the burning bush in Exodus 3:14, the great I AM.

 

The Jews knew He was claiming to be God, they picked up stones to stone Him for blasphemy(John 8:59).

 

They picked up stones to stone Him again later, He asked them, "Many good works have I shown you from the Father. For which of these works do you stone me?" they replied, "for a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy, and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God." (John 10:32-33)

 

If Jesus was right in HIs claim, then it wasn't blasphemy, but the Jews rejected him because of His claim.

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I noticed that under my name it says I am a doubter. Let me just correct that. There is no doubt in my mind or heart that Jesus is the risen Lord and Messiah.

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Am I the only believer posting?

 

Anyway, Jesus did claim to be God.

 

In John 8:58 he broke normal grammar usage to refer to himself as the voice that also spoke from the burning bush in Exodus 3:14, the great I AM.

 

The Jews knew He was claiming to be God, they picked up stones to stone Him for blasphemy(John 8:59).

 

They picked up stones to stone Him again later, He asked them, "Many good works have I shown you from the Father. For which of these works do you stone me?" they replied, "for a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy, and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God." (John 10:32-33)

 

If Jesus was right in HIs claim, then it wasn't blasphemy, but the Jews rejected him because of His claim.

 

You're using scripture to validate a claim. I'm a Christian as well but I approach it, as I said before, from the historical-metaphorical perspective. The literal-factual is no longer of any concern to me in my theology.

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I noticed that under my name it says I am a doubter. Let me just correct that. There is no doubt in my mind or heart that Jesus is the risen Lord and Messiah.

 

I thought a mistake had been made. Your avatar makes it pretty clear which way you swing.

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Am I the only believer posting?

 

Technically it is your screen name so nobody else can use it. Thumbelina, End3, and Libman are other Christians who have been posting a lot but in other threads. I'm sure there are more.

 

Anyway, Jesus did claim to be God.

 

In literature. If I were to write a story about Jesus then I could make Jesus say anything I want in the story. Remind you of any gospels?

 

By the Second century when the Gospel of John was written Christians had come around to the idea that Jesus was God. Earlier gospels, such as the ones that were written shortly after the temple was destroyed, had Jesus as more of a human. That is because back then nobody could imagine Jesus as God.

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Am I the only believer posting?

 

Anyway, Jesus did claim to be God.

 

In John 8:58 he broke normal grammar usage to refer to himself as the voice that also spoke from the burning bush in Exodus 3:14, the great I AM.

 

The Jews knew He was claiming to be God, they picked up stones to stone Him for blasphemy(John 8:59).

 

They picked up stones to stone Him again later, He asked them, "Many good works have I shown you from the Father. For which of these works do you stone me?" they replied, "for a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy, and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God." (John 10:32-33)

 

If Jesus was right in HIs claim, then it wasn't blasphemy, but the Jews rejected him because of His claim.

 

You're using scripture to validate a claim. I'm a Christian as well but I approach it, as I said before, from the historical-metaphorical perspective. The literal-factual is no longer of any concern to me in my theology.

 

Look at the entire thread again. It's about, If the Bible were infallible, what would it say to us? And someoene said that it would not tell us that Jesus is God. I merely am using the Bible to refute his claim. I can do this since the question is, what does the Bible really say?

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Am I the only believer posting?

 

Technically it is your screen name so nobody else can use it. Thumbelina, End3, and Libman are other Christians who have been posting a lot but in other threads. I'm sure there are more.

 

Anyway, Jesus did claim to be God.

 

In literature. If I were to write a story about Jesus then I could make Jesus say anything I want in the story. Remind you of any gospels?

 

By the Second century when the Gospel of John was written Christians had come around to the idea that Jesus was God. Earlier gospels, such as the ones that were written shortly after the temple was destroyed, had Jesus as more of a human. That is because back then nobody could imagine Jesus as God.

 

The gospel of John is inspired scripture too, with the intent of showing forth the Deity of Jesus. Other gospels had different purposes. Matthew was to win the Jews, Mark to win the Gentiles, and Luke to show forth the humantiy of Jesus.

 

John did not just make up a story, he related his experience of Jesus based on memory. Otherwise, he was a liar, and by his own writings condemned himself to the lake of fire (Revelation 21:8)

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The gospel of John is inspired scripture too, with the intent of showing forth the Deity of Jesus.

 

Inspired by Satan? Inspired by the Easter Bunny? You are just repeating something you wish was true. You have no way to know if any of it was "inspired".

 

Other gospels had different purposes. Matthew was to win the Jews, Mark to win the Gentiles, and Luke to show forth the humantiy of Jesus.

 

John did not just make up a story, he related his experience of Jesus based on memory. Otherwise, he was a liar, and by his own writings condemned himself to the lake of fire (Revelation 21:8)

 

Matthew was most likely a late re-write of the Gospel of the Hebrews with large sections edited to give it a completely different spin. Mark was probably written by a Roman and it originally ended with an empty tomb. The rest of it was added later by someone else. Luke was written by an unknown man who was trying to make Paul look legitimate. The Gospel of John was written by a man who never met Jesus. The Temple of Jerusalem had probably been destroyed before the author of John's Gospel had even been born. The author of John's Gospel did not write Revelation. John was a common name.

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The gospel of John is inspired scripture too, with the intent of showing forth the Deity of Jesus.

 

Inspired by Satan? Inspired by the Easter Bunny? You are just repeating something you wish was true. You have no way to know if any of it was "inspired".

 

Saying the scripture is inspired by Satan may just be blasphemy of the Holy Spirit.

 

He lives, He lives, Christ Jesus lives today. He walks with me, He talks with me, through life's rough, narrow way. He lives, He lives, salvation to impart...You ask me how I know He lives...He lives within my heart.

 

Other gospels had different purposes. Matthew was to win the Jews, Mark to win the Gentiles, and Luke to show forth the humantiy of Jesus.

 

John did not just make up a story, he related his experience of Jesus based on memory. Otherwise, he was a liar, and by his own writings condemned himself to the lake of fire (Revelation 21:8)

 

Matthew was most likely a late re-write of the Gospel of the Hebrews with large sections edited to give it a completely different spin. Mark was probably written by a Roman and it originally ended with an empty tomb. The rest of it was added later by someone else. Luke was written by an unknown man who was trying to make Paul look legitimate. The Gospel of John was written by a man who never met Jesus. The Temple of Jerusalem had probably been destroyed before the author of John's Gospel had even been born. The author of John's Gospel did not write Revelation. John was a common name.

 

So you're not only a blasphemer but a liar. John wrote John and Revelation. Matthew, even Levi(a disiciple) wrote Matthew . John Mark, Barnabas' nephew, wrote Mark (Acts 15:38-39). Luke the physician, who wrote Acts, also wrote Luke. John was some 90 years old when he wrote Revelation and John, and yes, he was born about the same time as Jesus.

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So you're not only a blasphemer but a liar. John wrote John and Revelation. Matthew, even Levi(a disiciple) wrote Matthew . John Mark, Barnabas' nephew, wrote Mark (Acts 15:38-39). Luke the physician, who wrote Acts, also wrote Luke. John was some 90 years old when he wrote Revelation and John, and yes, he was born about the same time as Jesus.

 

Show me objective evidence of this so that I will know my error. I agree with you only on the point of Acts and Luke being written by the same author. Show me the evidence for the rest.

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  • 1 month later...

 

 

1. Jesus never commands his followers to worship him and never claims to be God.

 

Your very first sentence, of your very first point, is flawed. John 10:30 "I and the Father are one." *Here is a few more verses if that one is "misunderstood" - John 14:7-10 John 14:11

John 10:37-38 Matthew 27:43 John 17:11

 

I am guessing that your quesstion following this will be somewhat like this, "When Jesus said 'I and the Father are one' He just mean they are of one accord, they are merely like-minded."

 

The Greek word he used, heis, is the word for the number one. It is a reference to the Shema, the core tenet of Judaism, "Sh'ma, Yisrael, Adonai Eloheynu Adonai echad," which, using Christian terminology is, "Hear, O Israel, Jehovah is our God. Jehovah is one."

 

Jesus very much so on more than one occasion claimed to be God, and throughout the Bible we are told over and over that God is to be worshiped.

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Guest Valk0010

 

 

1. Jesus never commands his followers to worship him and never claims to be God.

 

Your very first sentence, of your very first point, is flawed. John 10:30 "I and the Father are one." *Here is a few more verses if that one is "misunderstood" - John 14:7-10 John 14:11

John 10:37-38 Matthew 27:43 John 17:11

 

I am guessing that your quesstion following this will be somewhat like this, "When Jesus said 'I and the Father are one' He just mean they are of one accord, they are merely like-minded."

 

The Greek word he used, heis, is the word for the number one. It is a reference to the Shema, the core tenet of Judaism, "Sh'ma, Yisrael, Adonai Eloheynu Adonai echad," which, using Christian terminology is, "Hear, O Israel, Jehovah is our God. Jehovah is one."

 

Jesus very much so on more than one occasion claimed to be God, and throughout the Bible we are told over and over that God is to be worshiped.

Yet jesus also says his father is greater then him, sorta of hard to believe when they share the same essence being one in three. You would think they would be equal.

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So you're not only a blasphemer but a liar. John wrote John and Revelation. Matthew, even Levi(a disiciple) wrote Matthew . John Mark, Barnabas' nephew, wrote Mark (Acts 15:38-39). Luke the physician, who wrote Acts, also wrote Luke. John was some 90 years old when he wrote Revelation and John, and yes, he was born about the same time as Jesus.

 

Aww, isn't that cute. The deluded, brainwashed Christian continues to spew forth unsubstantiated claims, without realising that he needs to back them up with evidence!

 

But as for the topic. Well, I'm sure the OP knows that he's asking the impossible. The Bible contradicts itself horrendously on important theological matters, and so constructing a coherent belief system based solely on the Bible is impossible, so you really do have to pick and choose.

 

That said, it would seem obvious to me that all followers of Christ are mandated to abide by all the laws in the Old Testament, because that's what Jesus himself clearly says in Matthew 5:17-20. Yes, if we accept the nonsense story of the resurrection, we have that there are no longer consequences for breaking them (as long as you believe in Jesus) but that doesn't change the fact that God still wants us to follow them.

 

As for the nature of God himself, well he is clearly an incompetent hypocrite. Incompetent because he couldn't think of a better way to get his message to mankind than through an incoherent, contradictory, incoherent, rambling, confusing book, filled with outright nonsense and scientific distortion; and hypocrite because he frequently contradicts his own teachings. We all know the standard examples - God ordering his people to kill, for example. I've also always been amused by Luke 11:40, where Jesus calls pharisees foolish, apparently forgetting that previously in the Sermon on the Mount, as recorded in Matthew 5:22, he had said that to call another person a fool was to put yourself in danger of the fires of hell!

 

Indeed, the logical conclusion of the Bible, if we are to take it all literally, is that we are the play things of a supreme being who, although pretty damn powerful, has the intelligence of Sarah Palin and the morality of the late Kim Jong-Il.

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