What's your view of the bible?

by JH 29 Replies latest jw friends

  • Terry
    yeah, it gives some excellent advice on living, most religious and philosophical texts do

    Poorly worded advice on living.


  • JAVA

    The Bible is okay if you don't take it religously.

  • jaffacake

    The orthodox Christian view, whether catholic or evangelical, is more biblical than that of JWs or many others that call themselves bible-based. Perhaps for obvious reasons, there seems to be limited awareness on JWD of the mainstream understanding of what the bible is all about - just my observation. Even if folks don't accept it, perhaps it is useful to know how most Christians perceive the bible.

    I will quote/paraphrase from a mainstream theologian who has had access to the best bible scholars in the world.

    The bible contains many diverse things. Histories, laws of a people, proverbs, hyms, stories, dreams, visions, letters, prophecies, allegories.

    The bible is absolutely essential for Christians who believe it is a way for God to reveal truths that God wills to reveal through Christ. It speaks to inspire men and women of every age to new spiritual insights.

    The bible never says it should be taken literally (eg Jonah swallowed by a fish; 6 days of creation; the end of the world).

    The bible does not claim to be inerrant in every detail.

    The bible does claim to be inspired by God. All scripture is God-breathed (2 Tim 3:16).

    That is NOT God spoken, nor even God dictated. Inspiration is not the same as dictation.

    JWs and other modern religions impose upon the Bible a view of revelation that is alien to the Bible, and that the Bible refutes, by its form, its character and by its content.

    That alien view is that revelation consists of a set of clear doctrines uttered by God and put directly, without any human interpretation, onto the pages of Scripture. Fundamentalists select some passages to provide such doctrines, straight from the mouth of God, but have to ignore huge amounts of Bible writing, but they get away with it because most people do not know the Bible well enough to refute them.

    To refute them however, there is no need to deny the texts they cite, but simply instead to point out what the nature of Biblical revelation is. It is not a set of doctrines, and it does not record the thoughts of God without any human interpretation. We need to read it carefully to see just what it is. But once we have seen that, we can never be tempted by fundamentalism again.

    Inspired? God breathed? Genesis says God formed man from the dust and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, so we are God-breathed, brought to life by God. Does this mean God dictates every human action? On the contrary, the breath or spirit of God gives life and freedom but does not dictate.

    There are minor mistakes and contradictions throughout the Bible, the four gospels do not all agree about everything. If the Bible was supposed to be verbally inerrant, and a set of rules and doctrines to follow, why would we need 4 gospels to tell one story? All this teaches that the scriptures represent diverse perspectives, not inerrant in every way, but Christians would argue inerrant in terms of their overall revelation and several levels of spiritual meaning.

    For example, most Christians accept that just as the Bible does not give a literal timetable for Christ’s return, nor does it give a literal description of what it will be like. Such a belief is considered by most Christians to be religiously shallow.

    For example,

    When Christ did not return in the generation of the first Christians, Christians found deeper spiritual insights into what the Armageddon and other teaching really meant. It is only in the last few centuries have a growing minority of Christian religions gone back to the mistaken millennialism of old.

    There are well established scholarly principles to gain a fuller understanding of biblical interpretation, but so many follow sincere amateurs like Russell & his successors...

  • ButtLight
    or thy shall not commit adultery or fornication...

    Does anyone really truely follow by the bible "whole heartedly anyway"

    How many people actually wait till they are married to have sex these days? (besides jw's?)

  • JH
    (besides jw's?)

    I know many JW's who didn't wait. Can't blame them... I was a good Jw, but no more.....

  • JH

    God forgives too, so what the heck...

  • greendawn

    The Bible contains just a tiny fraction of all the things humans were insired to say and do.

    The JW concept that God saved in it everything we need to know is a fairy tale. God never really cared about what exactly would come down to us, it is after all the Paraclete (Holy Spirit) that guides a Christian in the Truth not any book.

    And not everything in the Bible is God inspired and correct but most of it is.

  • jaffacake
    Does anyone really truely follow by the bible "whole heartedly anyway"

    How many people actually wait till they are married to have sex these days? (besides jw's?)

    1. Who says the Bible is something to be 'followed' and what does that mean?

    2. what does it really teach about marriage, homosexuality, and other moral issues? I would argue it often the opposite of what many people generally believe on moral and other important issues.

  • Terry
    That is NOT God spoken, nor even God dictated. Inspiration is not the same as dictation

    The ancient Greeks believed that anything creative was "given" by invisible persons such as the Muses. It seemingly answered the question as to why some people could do things (art, music, poetry, dance) that others couldn't.

    This is a make-believe category of "answer" if you stop and think about it.

    It is like having file folders for each subject and one special folder marked "misc." for anything that doesn't fit the others.

    The concept caught on.

    "Hey, how did you come up with such and so?"

    "Oh, I was inspired by my Muse."

    Imagine a pharmacist being "inspired" to fill a perscription by your doctor without actually reading the specifics or having a conversation with him!

    The medicine would approximate what the pharmacist "feels" the doctor might have wanted you to take.

    Would you find that acceptable treatment?


    Yet, thousands and thousands of seemingly intelligent people who should know better do this very thing by parsing the words and phrases of "inspired" men as though the word choices were critical to understanding.

    The Watchtower Society lives and dies by this insane theory of inspiration of scripture.

    They go one step farther as well!

    Jehovah makes his will known to his son, Jesus, who then makes the will known to the governing body through the anointed who then pass it on IN THEIR OWN WORDS to other anointed and rank and file members.

    What a twisty, zig-zaggy conduit of truth THE TRUTH is!!

    The shortest distance between two points (Jehovah/mankind) is a straight line. So, why is ANY AGENCY required at all?

    When you cut out the middleman the profit disappears. So does the PROPHET. heh heh heh.


  • jaffacake


    Thanks for feedback. Your view is more or less the one I held for most of my adult life.

    Just now, I am keen to point out that even among believers, there are many quite different beliefs about what the bible is, teaches etc. I find it surprising how many see it either as a set of doctrines/rules from God and a way of life, or else it must just be a piece of fiction. I know where you stand on that debate.

    For believers, the most intelligent interpretations reveal it to teach the opposite of what many people generally believe it to be teaching. At one time I believed the only intelligent way was to reject the bible as having no importance at all, other than perhaps to recognise the harm it, or religion, has arguably been responsible for.

    On inspiration, I believe many people have been inspired in many ways, poets, scientists, those within other non-Christian world religions and their own scriptures.


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