The Bible is a spiritual book and only when you look at it for spiritual guidance, is it helpful. It was never meant to be used as a weapon between different factions of "believers". Neither was it meant to be worshipped and placed above mercy toward others. It is a personal message to each reader and when you go beyond this and set up strict systems of worship with some trying to rule over other people's faith, you start to idolize the book and lose the message.
for Christians: How did you decide on the Bible?
I had a life changing spiritual experience about 21 months ago. After that I couldn't put the Bible down.
I used to more or less take the whole bible literally as a jw, though there always a few accounts I wasn't quite sure about, and though there are some good principles contained in there, I don't see it as a book I need to consult anymore. I certainly don't believe in the so - called prophecies regarding the future nowadays.
Oh, I decided this because parts of the bible resonate with my innermost thoughts. I have done much investigation into the selecting of the canon and archeological and historical evidence, but all that has little to do with the message. I am speaking of the whole bible, but especially of the teachings of Jesus.
I believe the Bible now more than I ever did as a JW. When I was a JW I just accepted what "they" said.
Before I became a Christian I asked at the church I went to what I should read. The reply I got was "the Bible, just read the Bible". No one studied with me. I just read it. I saw scriptures in a different light to what the JW's taught. I learnt that for 20+ years I had side-lined Jesus.
Honesty and Aniron!!
The same for me exactly.
Once I seperated God from organized religion I read it with a whole new "personal" meaning. Everything was different without wearing those Watchtower Glasses.
It was amazing that the bible was all about Jesus.... and not Jehovah's Witnesses!! As a Witness I see now Jesus was nothing more than a sidekick.
Finding the real truth is what makes grace so amazing! By the way.... I use the NIV version now...but I was saved still using the New World Translation. Even their bible can't hide the truth for those that want it.
Thank you Lt for the link!
Thank you Honesty, Aniron and Gold Morning for sharing your experiences!!!
I remember when I was coming out of the jw fogginess, I read the Bible often. And felt much the same way you have described.
Full of Doubt: I can understand where you're coming from. Good stuff. But past needing a book to tell ya what to do.
Choosing Life: I enjoyed your choice of words:
Oh, I decided this because parts of the bible resonate with my innermost thoughts.
Sixofnine: You can honestly say that No parts of the bible had any bits of wisdom? Even if lets say the bible trickled down from other 'religions'? Like Do unto others etc? And the laws about not making it with a goat?
I don't believe the bible to be inspired but I do think there is some sage old words in it. I don't think it's any greater than other holy books I've read. I do have to say that reading the bible (a different translation than NWT) when I was first exiting the org. did help me tremendously. I read the gospels with an open mind and found beauty in the scriptures that I never saw before. However, that was the beginning of my journey and my journey has not left me a xian by todays standards and definition of xianity. what I mean by this is that I think Jesus was the ultimate apostate, and I dig what he did, or what the bible says he did. So I dig jesus, but I'm not a xian.
The things I have a problem with is this.....Honesty says he had a major experience in life that left him a believer and I've heard countless other xians say the same thing - However, they've never shared what that experience was for them. I'm not saying this to have someone share something they'd rather keep private. If that's the case, that's cool with me - but I am genuinely curious about these experiences I hear about.
cool thread btw.
"...I was saved still using the New World Translation. Even their bible can't hide the truth for those that want it.
I sure am glad to hear you say that, GM (your last sentence) as being a "newbie" at trying to "hear" from the Holy Spirit in response to prayer, that is exactly what I heard from Him one day when I was bemoaning and worrying about all the Bible translations, the "New Age Bible versions" vs. the KJV, etc. etc., including the NWT. (The "controversy" stems from the different manuscripts used, the critical text vs. the Received Text, etc. etc.).
One day I had them all out on the table and I just pointed at them one by one, asking/praying/bemoaning, "OK, Which is it? Which are we supposed to use? I can't stand this any more! They say THAT one has an agenda, and THIS one has an agenda, and THAT one has an agenda, and.... etc. etc. etc." You know, anxiety/frustration-prayer, lol. So when I just shut up and put my head down for awhile, I heard the answer, and it was just like this, crystal clear, these words: "THE HOLY SPIRIT CAN CUT THROUGH AGENDAS!"
:-D (I was as thrilled to have HEARD/Received an answer as I was to HAVE the answer.)
And I said, AMEN TO THAT because That's What I THOUGHT... because... I was given a NWT by a guy at work (this is back in the late 70s) TWO YEARS before I ever picked it up and started reading it. And when I read the Bible for the FIRST time ever, even that NWT, it just blew me away - in a GOOD way. I couldn't believe all these awesome words were in this book and nobody had ever told me (growing up in RCC, etc.). And I LOVED IT SO! I had a photographic memory back then and all these 25+ years later, I was cleaning out file cabinets and ran across a letter I had typed to a friend just TWO MONTHS AFTER reading a Bible (NWT) for the first time in my entire life, and I can't believe all the scriptures I quoted in that letter. It's like they just burned in my brain right from the start. I sure do miss my "memory," lol.
It was ONLY because it was the JWs who had originally GIVEN me that Bible a few years previously that I even went to seek them out several months later. What if I had never hooked up w/the JWs after that? Would I not have "found truth" in the NWT Bible? I say I WOULD HAVE, and actually DID, even w/a "JW" Bible, and, imho, that's what the Holy Spirit's answer was.
(Now, if I had NEVER hooked up with the JWs AFTER that and later been "indoctrinated" into their convoluted explanations for things, who knows where I would have ended up, lol. Coulda been a Baptist all this time, or whatever...)
Part of my prayer that day also had to do with a testimony I heard on TV from the brother who runs the Love Packages website/ministry (they distribute Bibles in Africa, etc.) That brother told about a group of African men that walked FIFTEEN DAYS on bare feet to come to the depot where they would give away these Bibles, but by the time the men arrived, they had run out. So the pastor in that town asked his congregation to all give up their own personal copies of the Bible so the men would not have to go home empty-handed, and the congregation did so. And the men went happily on their way, loaded down with Bibles, 15 MORE days back the way they had come. And in my prayer I was asking the Lord, "Would they not be able to find the truth in THOSE Bibles if they ended up with a "New Age" version and not the KJV, etc.???"
So I am keeping the NWT around a bit longer and using the KJV some of the trying to get used to it. I have an NIV and NASB, and all those others I bought from the WT years ago (Jerusalem Bible, Bible in Living English, St. Joseph's Bible, etc.), but I would like to use one Bible with the Received Text, and one w/the "modern" text, even though it is considered bad-bad-bad by many, especially the NWT.
What I would REALLY love to have is a KJV/NWT PARALLEL Bible! The WT ought to print some up right away, lol. (Never happen 'cuz it would show up all their ERRORS). Even so I really like the way the NWT words many scriptures -- esp. in the OT; and these NWT's were my "First Love" in that I FIRST SAW/learned God's awesome's words with a thrilled heart yes in the NWT. (The TITLE bothers me more than the manuscripts they used, ie, NEW WORLD Translation as in NEW WORLD ORDER. Now THAT is what gives me the willies).
OK, this is WAY LONG ENOUGH.
Sorry about that.
Hey there: It was reading the sermon of the mount.. esp. the part on loving your enemies and doing good to those that hurt you. To me, there is something superhuman about that.