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What do you do with your Bible(s)?

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Do you own any Bibles? If so, do you read them as literature? Do they just collect dust?

 

I have one Bible, and I have not opened it in years. I treat it like a recovering alcoholic does with drinks in the house. I know how I can get when I open a Bible. That devotional mindset comes right back, and I want to get to the point where I can read the Bible as literature, and have no emotional investment.

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I grew up meticulously reading the bible, as a child. I used to be a devout fundamentalist. During a particularly emotional and transitional moment in my deconversion process, I threw it in the dumpster.

 

Years later when I was able to approach the bible from a neutral, academic, and scholarly perspective I got a new copy of the bible. Now it sits on my bookshelf for reference because it is, after all, a very historically relevant and referential text.

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I had gobs of them. I tossed most of them. Some were ornamental and look good on a shelf. For reference, I use the BibleGateway website.

 

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I kept a copy of the bible because I like to refer back to it when I'm in a discussion with a christian(s). It has no other value to me.

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I have no idea where any of my bibles went.  I prefer the online versions which I can  search and refer to when needed (which isn't often). I am tempted to get an old one and make a collage of all the contradictory verses.

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At one point I had three - a King James, a Catholic one with the Apocrypha, and Hebrew OT scriptures with English translation.  To the best of my recollection, I gave them all away to a thrift store when uncluttering my library.

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21 hours ago, DestinyTurtle said:

I grew up meticulously reading the bible, as a child. I used to be a devout fundamentalist. During a particularly emotional and transitional moment in my deconversion process, I threw it in the dumpster.

 

Years later when I was able to approach the bible from a neutral, academic, and scholarly perspective I got a new copy of the bible. Now it sits on my bookshelf for reference because it is, after all, a very historically relevant and referential text.

 

Were you a Calvinist? 

 

If not then too bad! You were never really christian anyways, regardless of the bible reading. 🤣

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I have a King James version and also the New International Version. It has been a while since I have consulted them.

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I keep mine in a drawer because there are so many notes in the margins.

Notes like "WTF???"

 

So...so many WTF's.

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We have a few on the shelf: a New American Standard and an NIV.  I never open them on principle (just me making a symbolic stand) but if I want to look something up (while reading Robert M Price or Bart Ehrman) I have a couple of translations downloaded to my phone and access to many more.  That’s just me. 

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8 hours ago, Joshpantera said:

 

Were you a Calvinist? 

 

If not then too bad! You were never really christian anyways, regardless of the bible reading. 🤣

I was a Calvinist! It is absolutely not worth it. Will not recommend. Then again, according to my parents it's because I'm one of the unelect and was therefore predestined to not "get it" so... 

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     I have a bible that was a gift from my grandparents that I used since I was a teen.  It's fairly well worn and falling apart.  It's sitting in a box in the garage.  I may have others that I can't recall their whereabouts but that's the only one that I'd actually hang onto and only for sentimental reasons.  I never made notes in my bible, I thought it was disrespectful (no disrespect to those who have done this) so I have no other reason to keep it beyond sentiment.  If it were rare then that would be a good reason but there are bazillions of bibles out there so the loss of mine don't matter.

 

     Whenever I want to look up anything there's any number of places online that I use and are far superior to my old tree based version.

 

          mwc

 

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9 hours ago, DestinyTurtle said:

I was a Calvinist! It is absolutely not worth it. Will not recommend. Then again, according to my parents it's because I'm one of the unelect and was therefore predestined to not "get it" so... 

 

@LogicalFallacy @TheRedneckProfessor @TABA @midniterider

 

Interesting! Do you have arguments against Calvinist doctrine that you could share? 

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1 hour ago, Joshpantera said:

Interesting! Do you have arguments against Calvinist doctrine that you could share? 

The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.  2 Peter 3:9

 

Plain and simple.  god wants everyone saved, not just his "elect."

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I use on-line versions but also the hard copies when I want to spout stuff at my fundamentalist friends - I need to make sure I've remembered stuff correctly. The most recent occasion I have had to consult a Bible was to make sure I'd correctly understood the grounds for divorce from the point of view of my brother's church and pastor (I suspect he is being advised by them): I found that neither of the two (fundamentalist) permitted grounds for divorce apply in his case - although he thinks they do.

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12 hours ago, DestinyTurtle said:

I was a Calvinist! It is absolutely not worth it. Will not recommend. Then again, according to my parents it's because I'm one of the unelect and was therefore predestined to not "get it" so... 

 

...so they have no reason to try to harass you into the faith. Are they consistent with that?

 

Regarding the OP, I still have several Bibles and reference books in case I want to delve back into some studies sometime, but my interest has waned significantly. I used to spend a LOT of time reading, studying & memorizing the Bible, but the longer I'm out of that mindwarp the less I care about it. Part of me would like to read back through it now that I'm far removed from the brainwashing, but there are so many other things that are far more interesting & important than that ancient superstition.

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58 minutes ago, Citsonga said:

 

...so they have no reason to try to harass you into the faith. Are they consistent with that?

....

Fundamentalists are the best at wriggling. 'Consistent' they don't do. That's my experience - and I'm talking about Biblical teaching.

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12 hours ago, Joshpantera said:

 

@LogicalFallacy @TheRedneckProfessor @TABA @midniterider

 

Interesting! Do you have arguments against Calvinist doctrine that you could share? 

 

Just last week I asked some questions about Calvinist doctrine over at Christforums.com, to make sure I understood the basics.  

 

They do believe in Predestination, which is the idea that all human beings, before birth, are either chosen by God to be saved (these folks are the ‘Elect’) or not chosen to be saved.  Saved from what?  From the consequence of Original Sin, which is eternal damnation.  Original Sin being Adam and Eve’s eating of the fruit in the garden, presumably, and the fact that we all inherited this tendency to sin.

 

So we are all bound to be sinners, but only some are chosen by God to be saved.  Those who are chosen cannot resist ‘God’s Grace’ even if they wanted to. Conversely, those who are the Non-Elect cannot stay faithful even if they try.  So for example Elect parents could have a child who is Non-Elect and even if they indoctrinate  that child into Christianity, the kid can’t keep it up and inevitably falls away toward damnation. This would explain the existence of Ex-Christians!

 

Calvinists don’t explain what the ratio of Elect to Non-Elect is, or whether it varies from generation to generation. But it seems to be a pretty small ratio. There seems to be something especially monstrous about a deity who would create people who he chooses not to save from damnation. Generation after generation.  

 

But is Calvinism a particularly unsavory version of Christianity?  Non-Calvinist Christians typically don’t believe in Predestination, but they DO typically believe that God has foreknowledge.  So even if this version of God doesn’t choose not to save most people, he still creates them, or allows them to be born, in the knowledge that most won’t measure up to being saved.  So God doesn’t come out looking any better regardless of which version of Christianity you follow. No wonder so many atheists say they wouldn’t submit to the god of the Bible, even if they were sure he existed.  

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6 minutes ago, TABA said:

 

Just last week I asked some questions about Calvinist doctrine over at Christforums.com, to make sure I understood the basics.  

 

They do believe in Predestination, which is the idea that all human beings, before birth, are either chosen by God to be saved (these folks are the ‘Elect’) or not chosen to be saved.  Saved from what?  From the consequence of Original Sin, which is eternal damnation.  Original Sin being Adam and Eve’s eating of the fruit in the garden, presumably, and the fact that we all inherited this tendency to sin.

 

So we are all bound to be sinners, but only some are chosen by God to be saved.  Those who are chosen cannot resist ‘God’s Grace’ even if they wanted to. Conversely, those who are the Non-Elect cannot stay faithful even if they try.  So for example Elect parents could have a child who is Non-Elect and even if they indoctrinate  that child into Christianity, the kid can’t keep it up and inevitably falls away toward damnation. This would explain the existence of Ex-Christians!

 

Calvinists don’t explain what the ratio of Elect to Non-Elect is, or whether it varies from generation to generation. But it seems to be a pretty small ratio. There seems to be something especially monstrous about a deity who would create people who he chooses not to save from damnation. Generation after generation.  

 

But is Calvinism a particularly unsavory version of Christianity?  Non-Calvinist Christians typically don’t believe in Presestination, but they DO typically believe that God has foreknowledge.  So even if this version of God doesn’t choose not to save most people, he still creates them, or allows them to be born, in the knowledge that most won’t measure up to being saved.  So God doesn’t come out looking any better regardless of which version of Christianity you follow. No wonder so many atheists say they wouldn’t submit to the god of the Bible, even if they were sure he existed.  

 

 

Excellent point!

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On 7/7/2019 at 3:11 PM, DestinyTurtle said:

I grew up meticulously reading the bible, as a child. I used to be a devout fundamentalist. During a particularly emotional and transitional moment in my deconversion process, I threw it in the dumpster.

 

Years later when I was able to approach the bible from a neutral, academic, and scholarly perspective I got a new copy of the bible. Now it sits on my bookshelf for reference because it is, after all, a very historically relevant and referential text.

 

That's my perspective as well. The Bible is basically just Hellenized "Epic of Gilgamesh" fan fiction, plus some pseudo-philosophy from some eccentric people. The kind of stuff Jörg Lanz von Liebenfels would have written if he'd lived in ancient times. 

 

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3 hours ago, TABA said:

But is Calvinism a particularly unsavory version of Christianity?  Non-Calvinist Christians typically don’t believe in Presestination, but they DO typically believe that God has foreknowledge.  So even if this version of God doesn’t choose not to save most people, he still creates them, or allows them to be born, in the knowledge that most won’t measure up to being saved.  So God doesn’t come out looking any better regardless of which version of Christianity you follow. No wonder so many atheists say they wouldn’t submit to the god of the Bible, even if they were sure he existed.  

 

I get the impression that most American Christians believe in "the elect" theology, whether or not they belong to a "Calvinist" sect, or even know what Calvinism is.

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13 hours ago, Joshpantera said:

Interesting! Do you have arguments against Calvinist doctrine that you could share? 

I have a thorough deconstruction and criticism of the doctrine scattered about as comments throughout the site, I think? For one thing the theology is two-faced: believers in Calvinism like to harp about how they believe in an all-powerful God, unlike proponents of free-will (which apparently compromise God's power, according to Calvinists), yet they'll go on and on about what god "won't" do or "can't" do with respect to saving people's souls. Similarly they'll argue about how God's mind is unknowable and then proceed to regurgitate a detailed list of who they believe is or isn't one of the elect.

 

Most of all it's a horribly arrogant, sadistic, and narcissistic world view. I mean c'mon what kind of person wants to claim that most people were created for the explicit purpose of being tortured for eternity to serve the "glory" of a God that apparently enjoys inflicting this suffering-without-purpose-or-end? Add to that the tendency of Calvinists to have a personal, private list of people they believe were created for this purpose and then to privately gloat about how "good" it is to know that these people, who they personally know, will suffer forever. I can't go through life wishing and rejoicing in people (including friends and family) to go to hell.

 

Anyways that was more of a vent than a rigorous argument. Thank you for coming to my TED talk.

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11 hours ago, Citsonga said:

...so they have no reason to try to harass you into the faith. Are they consistent with that?

Yep. Unlike some other people in this forum I don't have any trouble with family trying to re-convert me since they believe that I am impossible to save (because they have decided I am unelect). This does simplify things a bit in some ways. It is also incredibly hurtful and alienating in its own way, but c'est la vie.

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2 hours ago, DestinyTurtle said:

For one thing the theology is two-faced: believers in Calvinism like to harp about how they believe in an all-powerful God, unlike proponents of free-will (which apparently compromise God's power, according to Calvinists), yet they'll go on and on about what god "won't" do or "can't" do with respect to saving people's souls. Similarly they'll argue about how God's mind is unknowable and then proceed to regurgitate a detailed list of who they believe is or isn't one of the elect.

 

No doubt Calvinist's seem to wave of the hand dismiss freewill. If god can not save the souls of the unelect, it would seem that he is not all powerful. If god is all-powerful, but chooses not to save the souls of the unelect, by choice, then it seems we have a contradiction going on here with 2 Peter: 

 

13 hours ago, TheRedneckProfessor said:

The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.  2 Peter 3:9

 

Plain and simple.  god wants everyone saved, not just his "elect."

 

How does god both want everyone to come to repentance, but not only knows good and well that everyone will not come to repentance, the same god predetermined who would and would not come to repentance himself? 

 

The bible is all over the place. Just when people start to think they've found consistent doctrine, bam, something contradictory shows up. What to do?

 

Well, the go to excuse seems to be turning a blind eye to that which contradicts some pet idea you have going along, and then pressing forward with only the selection of verses written by people who more or less agree with the pet idea plucked out of some places. While disregarding the other biblical writers (who were merely scribal priestly types of some other school of thought who would disagree with the pet idea). Toss all these conflicting, contradicting ideas together into one book and shazam!!!!

 

A divinely inspired, inerrant, err, book of self contraction with great appeal to narcissistic, misogynistic, and various other unfavorable personalities.And these generally unfavorable personalities, coincidentally, make up "the elect!"

 

2 hours ago, DestinyTurtle said:

Most of all it's a horribly arrogant, sadistic, and narcissistic world view. I mean c'mon what kind of person wants to claim that most people were created for the explicit purpose of being tortured for eternity to serve the "glory" of a God that apparently enjoys inflicting this suffering-without-purpose-or-end? Add to that the tendency of Calvinists to have a personal, private list of people they believe were created for this purpose and then to privately gloat about how "good" it is to know that these people, who they personally know, will suffer forever. I can't go through life wishing and rejoicing in people (including friends and family) to go to hell.

 

I can only imagine!!!

 

They actually gloat about the dammed in private? And keep private lists? Bravo for standing up to these wankers. Is there some particular translation of the bible they prefer? 

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7 hours ago, Joshpantera said:

 

The bible is all over the place. Just when people start to think they've found consistent doctrine, bam, something contradictory shows up. What to do?

 

Well, the go to excuse seems to be turning a blind eye to that which contradicts some pet idea you have going along, and then pressing forward with only the selection of verses written by people who more or less agree with the pet idea plucked out of some places. 

 

 

This has been the story of Christianity especially since the Reformation.  Before then, the Catholic Church was able to control the narrative, still picking a subset of scriptural dogma, but without any rivals to say otherwise. Once the Bible became available to a wider audience, the splintering began immediately.  And so it continues today.  The Bible, not Satan, is the author of confusion. 

 

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