I need a show of hands: who believes the Bible and to what extent?

by Terry 206 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • Lion Cask
    Lion Cask

    There are most definitely elements of truth in the Bible, otherwise it would not be credible at all, even to the gullible. But I might liken those elements of truth to the undigested kernels of corn one might see in feces - they're still edible, but I'm not too interested in picking them out before I flush it all down the toilet where it belongs.

  • Heaven

    I find it interesting that the Koran is God (Allah) speaking directly to man without an intermediating consciousness.

    The bible, on the other hand, is the mind and hand of man in some unspecified manner "guided" by God reporting perceptions.

    What possible advantage is there in the bible's methodology as compared to the Koran?

    Terry, my Muslim colleague says that the Qur'an has similar issues to that of the Holy Bible, specifically, that there are multiple interpretations and that the originals no longer exist . He says not all Muslims can read Arabic so they cannot read the actual Qur'an. Their religious leaders have 'interpretted' the word written in the Qu'ran for them. They use the interpretation which 'explains/defines' what is written in the Qur'an.

    Please correct me if I am wrong on this but it is my understanding that the history of the Qur'an starts off with it coming from the angel Gabrielle speaking to the prophet Muhhamad, making him recite it orally to remember it as Muhhamad could not read or write. Later, he orally related the Qur'an to some followers who wrote it down on leaves and bark and paper if available. After Muhhamad's death, Abu Bakr compiled these teachings into the Qur'an. As time went by, differing copies of the Qur'an appeared. This was a huge problem since the Islamic belief is that the word of God could not be corrupted (sound familiar?), and the 3rd caliph after Muhammad's death, Uthman, ordered that all copies of the Qur'an be gathered. They studied each text, and what was deemed as original was compiled to make the Qur'an of today. All of the manuscripts and parchments, bark, and leaves were then destroyed to prevent further corruption. Unfortunately we have no way of performing a textual study to verify the accurateness of today's Qur'an with the original.

  • PSacramento
    A lot of people believe in a Something but it gets culturally informed and nebulus in the details. Look how many versions there are of the Jesus Character right on this Forum. But people need the security of Something or Someone watching over them, we get that.

    I don't buy into that as much as I used too.

    I think to itis valid to SOME degree but not so in regards to hose we are discussing, people that have become Believers because they followed the "evidence" like Anthony Flew for example.

    There are many great thinkers, philosophers and scientists that are believers and to insinuate they have no critical skills are have had to somehow "turned them off" is not only a "cop out" but probably insulting to them and others that have gotten to thepoint of believing based on study and evidence and reason and rational.

    Sure there are many that believe because they were conditionted to, but NOT ALL are like that.

    Dude, while I was never an atheist ( it never seemed and still doesn't seem rational to me), I probably had far more issues with God then MOST atheists do and while I was brought up in a RC unbringing I am NOT an RC and probably never will be.

    To write off believers as people that are culturally conditioned, lack intelligence, lack critical thinking, NEED to believe in something or anything else that is commonly associated with believers by non-believers, is like a believer writing off all atheists as jerks, arrogant and full of themselves because of the likes of Dawkins or Harris or just palin god-haters like Hitchens.

    For what it is worth it is quite correct to question what is written in the bible, but as I have stated before, if one truly cares about the whole argument, studying the bible is probably a good idea.

  • Terry

    Just from the standpoint of God speaking directly, I think the Koran is superior. However, that premise is immediately corrupted by TRANSMISSION problems, naturally :)

    I think we can look to more recent religious invention and immediately detect a pattern.

    Joseph Smith, for example.

    The handwritten original of his translation of the gold plates is kept hidden in the Latter Day Saint vaults. There are photographs of it--many pages.

    The grammar is laughable and the misspellings are legion!

    So, when you receive a copy of the book of Mormon today from your friendly neighborhood missionary what you are REALLY holding in your hand has been TRANSFORMED by apologists into a grammatically altered VERSION.


    For the same reason bible transmission involved an endless stream of honest-minded copyists, redactors and translators HELP YOU UNDERSTAND what THEY BELIEVED the text was TRYING TO SAY. They tidy up and "explain" by adding snippets of comments into the text.

    Eventually, the oral stories have been interpreted and "explained" so many layers deep what is left is more "smell" of onion than onion itself.

    (bible topics.com)The 1830 Book of Mormon - Summary of Changes

    By far the majority of changes between the 1830 and subsequent versions of the Book of Mormon are spelling or grammar corrections. The original text betrays its New England origin in many ways, from inconsistent spelling to incorrect use of tenses and number, as well as incorrect usage of Jacobean English.

    There are a few changes which affect the narrative of the Book of Mormon itself. These are summarised below.

    1) Changes to the Godhead

    It appears that Smith originally had a less than perfect understanding of the Trinity as taught by his Protestant peers. The original Book of Mormon made some startling claims for the divinity of Jesus Christ, much closer to Sabellianism than Trinitarianism. Consider the following -

    I Nephi 11:18 And he said unto me, Behold, the virgin which thou seest, is the mother of God, after the manner of flesh.

    I Nephi 11:21 And the angel said unto me, behold the Lamb of God, yea, even the Eternal Father!

    I Nephi 11:32 ...And I looked and beheld the Lamb of God, that he was taken by the people; yea, the Everlasting God, was judged of the world...

    I Nephi 13:40 ...that the Lamb of God is the Eternal Father and the Saviour of the world...

    In Each of the above instances, the text was corrected by adding the phrase 'son of' in the appropriate places.

    It appears that after beginning this revision, Smith realised that he would have to make a very large number of changes to the text, and thus abandoned the project.

    2) Changing Benjamin to Mosiah

    The original text of Mosiah 21:28 reads:

    And now Limhi was again filled with joy, on learning from the mouth of Ammon that king Benjamin had a gift from God, whereby he could interpret such engravings; yea, and Ammon also did rejoice.

    The problem, of course, is that king Benjamin was dead by this time (Mosiah 6:5). This reference was changed to 'Mosiah' in the 1837 and subsequent editions. However, it appears that this was not the only place where such a change was made. The original text of Ether 4:1 reads:

    ...and for this cause did king Benjamin keep them, that they should not come unto the world until after Christ shew himself unto his people.

    Again, this was changed to 'Mosiah' in subsequent editions. The fact that there are two such changes leads one to speculate that Smith may possibly have had a slightly different course for the narrative in mind. Recall that the 116 lost pages included the story of king Benjamin. It is possible that in this version king Benjamin lived longer. Smith may have got confused between the two versions of the narrative, and inadvertently killed off his protagonist prematurely while rewriting the lost pages.

    3) Introducing Christ

    The original text of I Nephi 12:18 reads:

    ...yea, even the word of the justice of the Eternal God, and Jesus Christ, which is the Lamb of God...

    The problem here is that the name 'Jesus Christ' was not revealed to the Nephites until II Nephi 10:3.

    Wherefore, as I said unto you, it must needs be expedient that Christ--for in the last night the angel spake unto me that this should be his name--should come among the Jews...

    In order to correct this contradiction, the text of I Nephi 12:18 was changed to read 'Messiah' instead of 'Jesus Christ'.

    As an aside, this whole episode reveals a fundamental misunderstanding of the word 'Christ' on the part of Joseph Smith. 'Christ' and 'Messiah' are actually synonymous (see John 1:41), the former being derived from Greek, and the latter from Hebrew. 'Messiah' is used correctly in the Book of Mormon as a title, but 'Christ' is used incorrectly as a proper name, a fairly common mistake among those not fully acquainted with the etymology of the word. The statement in II Nephi 10:3 thus actually makes very little sense.

    4) Baptism in the Old Testament

    The original text of I Nephi 20:1 reads:

    Hearken and hear this, O house of Jacob, which are called by the name of Israel, and are come forth out of the waters of Judah, which swear by the name of the Lord, and make mention of the God of Israel; yet they swear not in truth, nor righteousness.--

    The phrase 'or out of the waters of baptism' was inserted in the 1840 edition.

    5) Seraphim or Seraphims

    The original text of II Nephi 16:2 reads:

    Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly.

    This is a quotation from the King James Version of the Bible, specifically Isaiah 6:2. In a rare grammatical mistake, the KJV has an incorrect plural for 'seraph'. The correct plural, of course, should be 'seraphim', as the later text of II Nephi 16:2 reads. What this indicates is that the Book of Mormon has a much deeper reliance on the King James Version than Mormon scholars would like to admit.

    6 ) Covering up Camorah

    Critics have often pointed out that there is a suspicious link between the hill Cumorah and the angel Moroni, and the Comoros Islands off the eastern coast of Mozambique, the capital of which is Moroni, and has been since before the Book of Mormon. Defenders of the Book of Mormon claim that this is only a coincidence, and that 'Comoros' in fact has very little correspondence with 'Cumorah'. The fact of the matter is that prior to the French occupation of the late 1860's, Comoros was known by its Arabic name, Camora (sometimes also spelled Comora). It is thus more than a little suspicious to note that the 1830 Book of Mormon uniformly spells 'Cumorah' as 'Camorah'. See, for example, the original text of Mormon 6:2:

    And I, Mormon, wrote an epistle unto the king of the Lamanites, and desired of him that he would grant unto us that we might gather together our people unto the land of Camorah, by the hill which was called Camorah, and there we would give them battle.

    As proof of the above assertion, I offer this section of an 1808 map of Africa.

    This is part of the Mozambique channel. Madagascar is the island at the bottom right, and Mozambique is at the left. Roughly in the middle is Camora.

    Although this parallel is compelling, it is not enough to establish a definite link between the Book of Mormon and the Comoro Islands. It has been suggested that "Camorah" in the 1830 version is simply a spelling mistake, caused by Oliver Cowdery's less than perfect handwriting. While plausible, it is hard to see how such a mistake could be so consistently made.

  • thetrueone


    And to extrapolate what they want to exploit to meet their underlying professed doctrines and agenda.

    The WTS. teachings stem from posturing up the circulation their own publications.

    This reminds me I've got to recheck my survival provisions for Armageddon.

    Does anyone know how long food lasts in cans ?

  • PSacramento
    Just from the standpoint of God speaking directly, I think the Koran is superior. However, that premise is immediately corrupted by TRANSMISSION problems, naturally :)

    That is an issue that all historical documents must address.

    I though the Koran was transmitted Via the Angel Gabriel to Mohamed?


    Here is an excellent book about the NT and how it was translated, transmitted, corrupted and restored:


  • Lion Cask
    Lion Cask

    Does anyone know how long food lasts in cans ?

    Not long enough given the time the WTS has been waiting for the Four Horsemen to show up. The GB are wondering if they missed their bus or something.

    The smart End Time theorist (those who don't believe they'll be swept up into heaven in the Rapture, or those who don't believe they'll be "taken care of" while they gather up all the rotting, bird-pecked bodies as part of the Great Holy Cleanup) is stocking freeze dried stuff. That and whiskey. Never goes bad.

  • thetrueone

    they gather up all the rotting, bird-pecked bodies as part of the Great Holy Cleanup

    Thanks Lion Cask, I totally forgot about that, I'll remember to add a couple of shovels and a wheel barrel.

    I think the point that Terry is trying to make on this thread is that words written contextually into holy books

    are not words from the original sources. They have been translated and interpreted by individuals many times over.

    If you were to believe in any of these texts today what your really believing in is revised hearsay from imperfect mortal men.

    Therefore these holy books are really nothing but Divinely inspired hearsay..........amen

  • Lion Cask
    Lion Cask

    You said that far more eloquently than I, thetrueone. We have several Bibles in the house, collected by my wife. I gave back my personal copy of the NWT quite some time ago. I've read the Bible cover to cover once and probably a couple of times over piecemeal. There is actually some very beautiful prose in places and it's entertaining in others in an odd sort of way. The Bible itself is a treasure because it is a vivid linguistic reflection of our primitive past and mankind's enduring modern faith in things that cannot be proven or disproven, but it no longer inspires anything in me other than it being the historical and social curiosity it is.

  • thetrueone

    The Bible itself is a treasure because it is a vivid linguistic reflection of our primitive past and mankind's enduring modern faith in things that cannot be proven or disproven, but it no longer inspires anything in me other than it being the historical and social curiosity it is.

    Exactly my own feelings and well said Lion Cask

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