March 18, 2008

Editorial: The Human Hand and The Bible


There are two things that all Christians seem to agree about. Firstly, that the Bible is a group of writings divinely inspire by God as an outline on how to live a righteous life. Secondly, God is all powerful, and all knowing, but that he does not interfere with daily life because he has given humanity free will to decide between good and evil. This can be best exampled in the story of Adam and Eve when God gives them the free will to choose which trees to eat from despite being told very specifically which one not to.

So there is this acceptance in the Christian community that humans have free will to disobey God whenever they choose. They also seem to accept that humans by nature do bad things and need rules and structure from God himself. Yet somehow, these same exact Christians feel that all humans who were involved in forming and canonizing the Bible made not one single mistake in it's writing and editing because they were "divinely inspired." But doesn't the word of the Bible, claiming humans are imperfect and often bad by nature proof that the Bible itself is imperfect as well.

Perhaps, God did divinely inspire a work to become the Bible.... but perhaps this work was edited and changed by humans in order to propagate a group of people's own belief system. Perhaps, God did express distaste for homophobia, racism, slavery, and genocide... but because the men who canonized the Bible didn't agree themselves, perhaps they changed it. Or perhaps, they changed everything and left very few actual truths in the Bible. How would the Christian majority feel if they were told that parts of the Bible are bullshit written by humans and other parts are the word of truth from the almighty himself! Would they still follow the entire Bible as the word of God then? What if the real Bible stated that Jesus died for all our sins and that for his sacrifice we are all saved for all eternity whether we accept him as the son of God or not.

Many people are aware of several books of that were almost a part of the Bible often referred to as the Gnostic Bibles. There is no good reason why these texts don't exist in the current Christian Bible except that the Council of Nicaea lead by Roman Emperor Constantine decided so. Why exactly would God allow, possibly inspire, several different books only for a select number of them to make it into a Christian library of texts called The Holy Bible. Some of these books that didn't make it into the Bible represent a far different idea of what and who Jesus was and said. Obviously Christians today do not accept any of these as books as any acceptable part of Christianity... by why? Because the Council of Nicaea decided so? The Apocalypse of Adam tells of alternative Gods. The Gospel of Judas tells of how Judas betrayed Jesus because Jesus told him to. The Gospel of Thomas doesn't even mention Jesus ever being anything God-like. The Gospel of Truth gives a very different story of creation. Why are these books so easily tossed aside while the books that did make it into the Bible considered divine.

I think it is obvious that humans are not perfect. Whether or not the Bible was written by man is not a question, it clearly was. The question at hand is whether or not the Bible was inspired by God and is a work that dictates how humans should live their lives. For me, it is clear that the human hand is responsible for the Bible and that no "ghost writer" was ever present. Even if the Bible was inspired by God, perhaps even written, there was more than enough chance and space for humans, such as Constantine himself or the Council of Nicaea to edit and change the stories of the New Testament to make Christianity fit their idea of the universe. And where there is room or human error and a chance for human corruption, both tend to exist in excess. Whether or you believe that Jesus was the son of God or not, it is clear that the human hand most likely used it's own ability of free will to do what it wanted to ... freely.

13 comments:

Sidharth said...

=)

You have a great site, bro.

I come from the hindu faith and came to know Yeshua when He healed me of cancer of the bone and muscles. My life has never been the same ever since I met Him.

Great to see someone my age here! haha

Love ya

Sidharth

Sidharth said...

Oh so you arent a Christian. I didn't read what you wrote in here. Just assumed you were Christian by the heading... Anyway, I have added you on my gmail. Hope to talk to you.

Roberto said...

Hey, yes, I suppose to those that are looking at what the Bible says from a purely philosophical view would say that the Bible is contradicting when it says that all scripture is God breathed, and yet God will not stop us from sinning. But let me teach how those two ideas work together.

The reason God does not stop us from making our own choices is because to do so would render us robots. If we didn't have a free will our love to Him would be like that of a robot. God never desired that kind of love or He would have made us like that.

"But", you say, "Then how could God work through a human to write His own word if He doesn't control us?"

The thing is, is that He wasn't controlling the person as they wrote the Bible, they were giving themselves to God to allow Him to use them. You can clearly see the personality come threw the writing of the people that wrote different parts of the Bible. They didn't suddenly become robots that wrote what God told them to, like scribes, but rather, they told what they knew and saw from God. And it was infallible because they didn't lie about anything that God showed them. Since they passed on what God told them they were just passing on pure Truth, not as robots, but as witnesses. And yet, somehow every person that wrote a part of the Bible agreed with each other... Hmmm... Maybe because God never changes, and so neither does His Truth.

Phoenix Roepke said...

The issue at hand Robert is the idea that people who wrote these were writing God's word. Clearly they could not have been because I would think that if God was writing a book, he wouldn't have the astronomical amount of contradictions. I would say that the council of Nicaea really should have gone through and got rid of those contradictions, some of which exist in the same page! Jesus himself apparently contradicted his own words over on a number of issues. If God really did inspire this book, he sucks as a writer. Perhaps the God that created God should have proof-read it for him.

Roberto said...

Hey, I forgot to say something =)

I must tell you, that the Lord is ever loving and kind, willing to take a billion of your blows and still love you. Find someone on this earth that is like that, anywhere, and you will find a servant of the Most High. No, I can't prove to you that God exists without a doubt in your mind (I don't doubt in my mind, though I once did), but I ask you to look around; do you see the clouds? The stars, plants, animals, people... There are myriads of life here on the earth, and beauty surrounds us. How can we say there is no God? Because we have been deceived. It's easy to be deceived, for one because we are so gullible, and two because we tell lies ourselves we find it hard to differentiate between the lies and truths that are told to us. Mankind, are you so wise as to rule out a possibility that God exists? Is your brain so large and so accomplished that you KNOW there is no God? Even though you breathe His air and drink His water you curse Him with that same breath and curse Him with your life that is held there by His water. Does His mercy and Long suffering nature make you hate Him so much? Where does your hate stem from? Why does He make you loathe Him so much? You will find in His Word that His talk is only about love and peace, true love and peace, not compromise, but a complete unity between every man, a unity never before accomplished. So, instead of filling your head with ideas planted there by others that hate God, fill your head with what the Lord of all has done, namely, purchased us from a hell we created.

In His love

Roberto said...

Ummm... There are no contradictions, it's just lack of study on our part that would ever give us that thought. The Bible says that every testimony must be established by two or three witnesses, and that includes His own Word. So, if you find something that seems to contradict go and look for the answer to that contradiction, it is somewhere in the Word.

http://www.angelfire.com/mi/dinosaurs/contradictions.html

http://apocalipsis.org/difficulties.htm

http://www.scribd.com/doc/8986/101-Contradictions-In-The-Bible

These are only a couple of people that have studied on alleged Bible contradictions. If you think the Bible contradicts you need to study it more.

Phoenix Roepke said...

Firstly, telling me God loves me doesn't make him any more real, if anything it makes him less real

As for contradiction, you are living a hole if you think there are none. Even the most devout Christian knows to admit that there are contradictions.

How long was Jesus in the tomb?

Depends where you look; Matthew 12:40 gives Jesus prophesying that he will spend "three days and three nights in the heart of the earth," and Mark 10:34 has "after three days (meta treis emeras) he will rise again." As far as I can see from a quick look, the prophecies have "after three days," but the post-Resurrection narratives have "on the third day."

Who is the father of Joseph?

MAT 1:16 And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.

LUK 3:23 And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, which was the son of Heli.

The number of beasts in the ark

GEN 7:2 Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens, the male and his female: and of beasts that are not clean by two, the male and his female.

GEN 7:8 Of clean beasts, and of beasts that are not clean, and of fowls, and of every thing that creepeth upon the earth, GEN 7:9 There went in two and two unto Noah into the ark, the male and the female, as God had commanded Noah.

Insects do NOT have four feet

LEV 11:21 Yet these may ye eat of every flying creeping thing that goeth upon all four, which have legs above their feet, to leap withal upon the earth;
LEV 11:22 Even these of them ye may eat; the locust after his kind, and the bald locust after his kind, and the beetle after his kind, and the grasshopper after his kind.
LEV 11:23 But all other flying creeping things, which have four feet, shall be an abomination unto you.

The shape of the earth

ISA 40:22 It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in:

MAT 4:8 Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them;

Astromical bodies are spherical, and you cannot see the entire exterior surface from anyplace. The kingdoms of Egypt, China, Greece, Crete, sections of Asia Minor, India, Maya (in Mexico), Carthage (North Africa), Rome (Italy), Korea, and other settlements from these kingdoms of the world were widely distributed.

Jesus' last words

Matt.27:46,50: "And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, "Eli, eli, lama sabachthani?" that is to say, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" ...Jesus, when he cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost."

Luke23:46: "And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, "Father, unto thy hands I commend my spirit:" and having said thus, he gave up the ghost."

John19:30: "When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, "It is finished:" and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost."

The GENEALOGY OF JESUS?

In two places in the New Testament the genealogy of Jesus son of Mary is mentioned. Matthew 1:6-16 and Luke 3:23-31. Each gives the ancestors of Joseph the CLAIMED husband of Mary and Step father of Jesus. The first one starts from Abraham(verse 2) all the way down to Jesus. The second one from Jesus all the way back to Adam. The only common name to these two lists between David and Jesus is JOSEPH, How can this be true? and also How can Jesus have a genealogy when all Muslims and most Christians believe that Jesus had/has no father.

Judas died how?

"And he cast down the pieces of silver into the temple and departed, and went out and hanged himself." (Matt. 27:5)

"And falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all of his bowels gushed out." (Acts 1:18)

When second coming?

MAT 24:34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.

MAR 13:30 Verily I say unto you, that this generation shall not pass, till all these things be done.

LUK 21:32 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled.

1 thessalonians 4:15-18

Titto Thomas said...

There is a portion of scripture i like to point to you "Luke 1:3 it seemed good to me also, having traced the course of all things accurately from the first, to write unto thee in order". three fourths of so called contradictions are from the 4 narratives of the gospels.

But even a casual glace at the introduction(gud place to start!) will provide you with the answers. No they may not agree on literal wordings but itz not smart to call that a contradiction.
Also no absolutes are contradicted (ever) in the bible. just instruction and then more specific instructions.
also just take the case of judas, while matthew is specific, acts just gives a passing comment.

You will have to agree with me when i say "Atheism is a contradiction". Becoz as a fundamental rule you cannot negate an absolute in the negative. To say that There is no god is implying that one has traveled the whole universe and haven’t found him anywhere at any point of time. To say that you must be both omnipotent and omnipresent. which you are not. See now that’s a contradiction!!!
basically it runs both ways, so we could waste all our time and energy proving and disproving one point after the other, but it would be wiser if you just consider this " What about all the irrefutable evidences in scripture" Those things that demand a verdict. there is no scholar that can deny the fact that Jesus rose again.
or just look at the heap of subjective evidences. People getting healed, saved, delivered. even babies(so it cant be physiological).
therefore i think itz a wiser decision to try to explain our stand on these irrefutable evidences before we try to prove what is not! Every thing has itz particular proofs. I cant give you chemical proof of ‘Alexander the great’. All I can give you is historical proof. Just the same way u cant ask for scientific or emotional proof of someone who made science and emotions!
And yes the fact that he loves us is paramount. The maker of heaven and earth actually knows you and me by name. he is knocking on your door too.
But I encourage you to ask God yourself!

Phoenix Roepke said...

So you think that the idea of the story not being in order gives reason for such contradictions as who the father of Joseph was and whether or not insects have four legs!!!???

I invite God to not only knock on the door, but to come in. If God is all powerful then he has more than enough power to prove his existence to me. If he chooses not to, then he is evil, not all loving.

Atheism is not a religion, it's a lack of one. You cannot call it a contradiction because all atheism is, is a lack of belief in God. To call Atheism a religion is like calling health a disease.

Titto Thomas said...

When i first commented i was hoping you were honest. But ur comment forces me to think that you are just copying from somewhere. See abt jesus's father...If you were to read that passage yourself you will find that both the genealogies are different all the way from david!! Now it is a very well known fact that Luke writing in historical perspective wrote the line through mary. while matthew writing to the jews wrote through joseph. Also it was customary to write using joseph(mary's husband).Both converge at david.

and atheism being a religion. i did not say that it is! Atheism is from the greek 'a' and 'theos' meaning NO GOD. comon u can't do that to an absolute. the smarter way for u to stand is to say that you are an agnostic "I don’t believe or i don’t choose to know".

anyway we are both wasting time arguing over single facts! if we were to debate the better orator of us would win. But it still does not does away with the truth, ostrich style. i just want to end our conversation here with your second para. If you really think about it ..How can anyone communicate to you! Either by person or by writing. Jesus has done both. he came in person(historically proven) and he has given us the word(bible). i ma sure you agree with me that you don’t expect God to come riding down and writing in the sky "Come back my Child!)

my friend i hope that you will have the privilege of meeting with the HOLY ONE. God has given us a mind so that we can use it. i encourage you to use it! But be honest to yourself.

Titto Thomas said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sidharth said...

There are no contradictions, Phoenix. It's lack of knowledge ;)

Matthew 1 is the genealogy of Joseph. Luke 3 is the genealogy of Mary. According to Jewish tradition, the wives genealogy is mentioned in her husbands name. Thats why we see "as was supposed" in bracket. =)

I shall reply to the rest later.

But remember in the Gospels different writers give parts of the same incident. So the best way to read and study it is combine what they said. =) Like I may see an incident and speak of what really caught my attention, you may talk about something else in the same incident.

Sidharth

Anonymous said...

You say we drink gods water and breathe his air , how are you so sure its his at all. if you look into history religion has been the number one "wild card" used by people in a high position to get people to do what they want all because "god told him so". The world is divided into armed camps just waiting to blow eachother up because they cant decide on which god is the right one, it all seems a little too sketchy to me having all these whimsical stories, you have no hard proof that jesus performed miracles, but then again maybe im just one of those people that will believe it when i see it and other wise wont , you can either call me faithless or logical. another thing, why is it when something that non christians do causes the death of people it was "god showing us that this was not the right path" but if its a christian leading a war in gods name slaughtering sons, fathers and husbands then its totally a-okay. ask yourself if your beliefs are on firm ground.