Do you still love the Bible?

by senoj53 43 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • JCanon

    You know, reading some of the responses gives us a good cross-section of how people feel about the Bible. It truly seems a personal thing based upon how involved each are with the Bible. I can appreciate that. And I can even appreciate some doubt because of all the consistent anti-Biblical stuff out there and all the Bible-bashing going on. But at the same time, positioning myself as an aggressive pro-Biblicalist, when I've extensively gotten involved with the Bible and research connected to it, it has increased my faith. So I'm thankful for that. I'm in a position to be more confident that the Bible is accurate and true. But for those with the casual approach, I can also see why they come to the conclusions that they do, simply based upon what they have been fed or exposed to. It's so fundamental sometimes. If someone has misrepretend the Bible's timeline, for instance, and then find conflict with archaeology, then of course, you have reason to doubt the Bible is true. I mean, look at Israel Finkelstein. He's an archaelogist and to the best of his research and ability he absolutely believes during the period most are dating David and Solomon that that land was simply not a great state. He clearly has a basis to believe that say, the Philistine pottery period would have extended "well into the 10th century BCE." Thus he just can't accept the Bible's current dating for David and Solomon, he presumes they were mythical. Even so, he has lots of evidence of what the Bible describes as the buildings of Solomon and acknowledges that Israel was a major centralized state later on during the period of Omri. So of course, he doubts the Bible. But, note that there is a difference between not finding a single great building or palace versus simply finding them at a later time! As a result, if you effective move the timeline for David and Solomon down, then the archaeology not only fits perfectly but you have a confirmation of the palaces Solomon built and the great empire that existed as the Bible describes during Solomon's period. Thus the only thing archaeologist Finkelstein is missing is the correct timeline. The Bible's timeline dates Solomon 54-60 years later than secular history does, which we know was revised. So here is this great archaeologists whose interpretations as to whether the postexilic Bible writers revised their records or not is entirely based upon whether or not he can confirm there were no major revisions by the Greeks to their timeline during the Classical Period; which, of course, he cannot since we have evidence that they did. So how good is his argument? It's not at all about the archaeology at all, but the timeline! But if you're listening to him in either of his books (i.e. "The Bible Unearthed," "David and Solomon") it seems he is an honest archaeologist drawing logical conclusions to the facts. In fact, the only problem that exists in his arguments is that he does not use the accurate Biblical dating for David and Solomon, he uses the secular dating, which is flawed. But how would a novice know that? They wouldn't.

    The Biblicalist, however, that understands the chronology or even simply acknowledges the various Biblical chronologies to at least compare with the archaeologal evidence, will come out with a different concept of the Bible's accuracy.

    So whether you believe the Bible is true or not, is highly dependent upon what someone truly knows or how much research they have done on both sides of the argument. Those who tend to have more faith in the Bible have done more of the hardcore research. Those who have less faith in the Bible have not checked out all the facts and have been perhaps influenced by scholarly theories.

    So all I can say is, I definitely believe the Bible is true and I'm glad I did the research so that I have my own secular evidence that supports my own chronology and own Bible history, regardless of whether others agree with me or not. It's nice to have those things supporting you if you want to believe the Bible. It's very nice and comfortable place to be in.


  • Narkissos

    welcome senoj,

    I deeply agree with you on this topic.

    What I would add, from a more subjective standpoint (I have left JWs -- not the Bible -- over 20 years ago), is that coming back to those texts over and over again, each time from a fresh perspective, has given me a sense of continuity in an otherwise discontinuous life. It's probably a kind of love-and-hate relationship but a very meaningful one nonetheless. It has opened on an ever-growing library of texts (and I don't mean books only) to which it somehow remains central.

  • journey-on

    I never truly appreciated the Bible till I left the Borg and began studying other philosophies. Then

    when I picked it up again and began reading it without my JW rose-colored glasses, I actually

    got a more deeper understanding of it. It seemed as if you could see more layers and feel

    a better connection. It seemed more spiritual than religious and spoke more to my heart

    than my mind. But, I've read the Bhagavad Gita and looked into the I Ching and examined

    some of the Buddhist teachings (not extensively, but enough to get a feel for them). After

    doing this, when I went back to the Bible, much of it seemed to say the same thing just in

    a different way. But you have to remove the religious dogma imo to see this.

    JCanon - if you have done all this Biblical research on your own, I am truly amazed. I do

    read your stuff, not all of it always thoroughly, but I appreciate your sharing your research

    with us.

  • JCanon
    JCanon, you're really got to learn to nutshell, or at least summarize. Your post contains 3,512 words, and I can guarantee you that no one does more than skim it. You are obviously smart enough to narrow your focus and your points, and you would be way ahead to do so.

    I understand. How about this: Yes, the Bible is true and God's word, absolutely, based on my research. JC

  • kerj2leev
    Yes, the Bible is true and God's word, absolutely, based on my research

    Much better, the truth is simple!

  • JCanon

    it seems of late I have only been able to see the really ugly things in the bible

    such as Moses ordering the slaughter of defenseless women and children AFTER the battle had already been won-- numbers 31

    Moses ordering parents to have their own children stoned to death if they got out of line- duet 21

    YHWH murdering a baby because he loved David too much to make him accountable for his own crime- 2 Sam 12

    YHWH throwing a fit of rage and having to be corrected by a human - Exodus 32:13-14

    Jesus telling his follower to slay all those who did not want him as their king -luke 19:27


    Well, at least your honest!!! There are "apologetics" for all that for the Biblicalists out here, but we hear your message loud and clear! JC

  • Gopher

    A few quotes from my favorite writer, Mark Twain:

    "Our Bible reveals to us the character of our god with minute and remorseless exactness... It is perhaps the most damnatory biography that exists in print anywhere. It makes Nero an angel of light and leading by contrast"

    "[The Bible is] a mass of fables and traditions, mere mythology."

    "It ain't the parts of the Bible that I can't understand that bother me, it is the parts that I do understand."

    "Man is the religious animal. He is the only religious animal. He is the only animal that has the True Religion –- several of them. He is the only animal that loves his neighbor as himself and cuts his throat, if his theology isn't straight. He has made a graveyard of the globe in trying his honest best to smooth his brother's path to happiness and heaven."

    "Religion consists in a set of things which the average man thinks he believes and wishes he was certain of."

    "[The Bible] has noble poetry in it... and some good morals and a wealth of obscenity, and upwards of a thousand lies."

  • bigdreaux

    NO, the Bible is false and is not God's word, absolutely not, based on my research

  • sspo

    I used to love and read it many times and lived by it but it's been more than 2 years i have not read it.

    Is it God's word? Doubt it.

    It's just like all the other holy books out there.

  • senoj53

    First of all may I thank everyone who replied to my original posting and say a big thank you to the creators of this site for giving me a voice.

    Well J C, you've certianly given me food for thought. I have read through all of what you said and think I've got the gist of it, but I never did doubt the Bible's historical acuracy and I think you've only got to look at the Genesis creation account to see how remarkable it is. You seem to suggest that Creation took thousands of years though, rather than millions, as we now know was the case, and I can't find anything in the account to suggest that view is correct, as each creative day seems to be an unspecified ammount of time to me.

    On the 1st creative day God said "Let light come to be," but this creative period didn't end on that first "day" but extended through the 2nd, 3rd and ended on the 4th "day" when the luminaries became visible for the first time from the standpoint of someone viewing them from earth. This is in line with modern thinking as it couldn't have been until after the creation of vegitation that the atmosphere cleared enough to make the stars visible from earth.

    My understanding of the words; "And there came to be an evening and there came to be morning," is that this is poetic language in Hebrew, describing the gradual completeion of the task in hand from its hazy start to its glorious, brilliant and perfect completetion. It doesn't suggest a literal day of either 24hrs, or 1000 years as the WTS used to say and when you look at the scripture that led to this understanding it says that a thousand years is as but a day to Jehovah. It doesn't say 1000 years is a day in Jehovah's timescale.

    I was also interested in what you said about feeling as if the Bible is talking directly to you and certain verses lighting up and almost jumping from the page at you, as I have experienced much the same thing during my research. Suddenly something clicks and you find verse after verse seems to back up your line of reasoning. Rather than feeling this is due to some special blessing though, or being annointed, I tend to think its a result of my hard work and diligent study and when other witnesses ask why I think I know better than the FDS, I usually use Isaac Newton's words; "If I can see further than others, its because I have stood on the shoulders of giants."

    I certainly don't think I'm special in any way, but in the words of Proverbs two, I think that if you call out for undestanding and search for it as you would for hidden treasure you will find the very knowledge of God, whatever that might be. The only thing is, I don't think my knowledge is absolute truth and am more than willing to learn by the many mistakes I make. I also think that its only by engaging in discussions like this that we are able to grow.

    With regard to the contradictions I have found in the Bible I'd be more than happy to share them with you and look forward to your reply as I intend to post just a couple of them later, but for now, thanks again for taking the trouble to reply so deeply.

    Yours in the search for truth

    Steve (Senoj53)

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