Thanks for all the advice guys.
Rebel 8, that's a pretty good strategy, I'm trying to steer the conversation in that direction.
Here is the latest back and forth between us, I won't repost earlier parts of the conversation, as it will make this post far too long, so for those who want to get up to speed, please see my previous posts. Also, for obvious reasons, I have edited out names and information that has no bearing on the conversation (chatter about family and friends etc).
Firstly well done in attaining these verses let me attempt an interpretation for you. All of Christendom teach that there is a spirit world that the dead hang around in, hence the catholic church for a more obvious example who pray to Jesus's mother Mary [and all the saints as well as though they are capable of helping them]. According to the Bible the dead know nothing,relevant scriptures are, Ecclesiastes9;5 and 10 where it is explained that' the dead are conscious of nothing at all' and also John 11;11 to 14 where Jesus explains to his disciples about Lazarus being asleep and when questioned further Jesus explains Lazarus is actually dead the point being that Jesus compares death to being asleep. The comparison of those that practice spiritism and Babylon the Great being the empire of false religion who practise just that, is what I am pointing to.
Am not sure what the abbreviations NIV and ASV refer to which bibles? However Jehovahs Witnesses did use the Old King James as their study aid until only quite recently 1961 (the girls are laughing at how old that is!) now use the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures which is a more accurate in my eyes translation and a little easier to understand because you know instead of just the word Lord they clarify whether or not it is Jehovah talking or Jesus. The word Jehovah (german translation thankyou Martin Luther,google the man very interesting account, ) or Yahweh was in the original Hebrew text about 7,000 times. Incidentally the pope in 2008 had the last reference to Gods name removed deeming it too holy for us commoners to pass through our lips.
Considering that Jehovah wanted us to know His name Romans 10;13 and I quote "For everyone who calls on the name of Jehovah will be saved" its a bit rough that the churches of christendom conceal this from people.
(Various chatter about family etc) ps keep up your study of the bible i am impressed.
ASV is the American Standard Version
NIV is the New International Version
Both are highly accepted versions, considered to be highly accurate translations.
You probably know a lot of what I am going to say next, but I'm mainly stating it to show you my thinking and how I have arrived at my own personal opinion on the matter, i.e. the name of god.
The superstition surrounding the name of god, the tetragrammaton, is not originally a Catholic teaching, but stems from Judaism, which holds it to be too sacred for common, everyday use. Biblical Hebrew usually does away with vowels, only noting them when they are of the utmost importance, when a pronounciation is unclear etc.
Since they held the word YHWH to be too sacred to say out loud, they would substitute its vowels with that of other words, in order to remind the reader to say this word instead. One of the most commonly used names was Adonai, "Our Lord(s)".
Yahweh is the closest we have to the proper pronounciation of the word (we may never know what it really was), unfortunately most bibles prefer Jehovah, which the large majority of scholars consider a mistake, produced by the substitution practice I mentioned above, compounded by the difficulties of translating from Hebrew to Greek and then to English.
I personally agree with the use of "Lord" and "God". This has nothing to do with the holiness or lack thereof of the tetragrammaton, but simple accuracy.
Some may argue that to have a personal relationship with someone, we must use their name, but this is hardly true. Some of the most personal relationships we have, for example, are with our parents, and how much of that closeness and intimacy would be taken away if our children talked to us on a first name basis?
Furthermore, what if our children didn't even pronounce our name correctly, but rather used a pronounciation that their school teacher insisted was correct?
I know that if I met someone who was in every way, shape and form my superior, I would feel very embarassed indeed if someone later pulled me aside and whispered in my ear "the truth is, you've been mispronouncing their name wrong all these years".
The bible itself warns of arrogance and pride in many places. Two such verses are:
1 Samuel 2:3 ASV
Talk no more so exceeding proudly; Let not arrogancy come out of your mouth; For Jehovah is a God of knowledge, And by him actions are weighed.
1 Samuel 2:3 NIV
Do not keep talking so proudly or let your mouth speak such arrogance, for the LORD is a God who knows, and by him deeds are weighed.
Proverbs 8:13 ASV
The fear of Jehovah is to hate evil: Pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, And the perverse mouth, do I hate.
Proverbs 8:13 NIV
To fear the LORD is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech.
It's a shame that the ASV uses Jehovah instead of Yahweh, or even better, YHWH, but it makes up for this with the accuracy it displays in its translation of actual verses.
Sorry, this is a very long message, and I am going back and forth between points as they come to mind.
But talking about accuracy brings me to your comment about the NWT.
I have heard the name, but never really had a look at it, nor researched how accurate it is. I'll read up on it.
You said, however, that it is used by the Jehovah's Witnesses, and from the way you phrased it, it makes me think that you consider endorsement by Jehovah's Witnesses a positive thing, which leads me to wonder, are you considering becoming a Jehovah's Witness?
I knew you were studying with (old JW woman's name) but was unaware that you had any intentions of joining any particular group/ organisation.
Also, I'm still unsure of where in Deuteronomy 18 it refers to Babylon the Great?
Ah, I didn't see your first message, I accidentally scrolled past it. I can see what you are saying about Deuteronomy condemning spiritism, spiritism, depending on your definition, being a part of many religions.
But this only supports Revelation if you choose to interpret Babylon the Great as religion, and work backwards to find scripture that refers to religion. Essentially, it is coming to a conclusion and then working backwards to find evidence to support it. Almost anyone can do this with almost any interpretation, but I feel it is far better to look at all the evidence we have, and then draw the best conclusion we can from it. We shouldn't ignore evidence simply because it challenges our preconcieved notions, nor should we refuse to cast aside a conclusion we have drawn, should new evidence come to light which proves it wrong.
The bible is actually a bit ambigous when it comes to the dead, as 1 Samuel 28 depicts King Saul requesting a necromancer to channel the Prophet Samuel, who complains about being awoken from his sleep. If we take death to be a sleep like state, then it stands to reason that we can wake from this state. Indeed, Samuel complains about being awoken from his sleep.
I'm not saying I believe in spirits of the dead, or any real ability on the part of humanity to be able to contact and commune with them, merely that reasoning from the scriptures could lead one to that conclusion. Parts of the bible, such as those you mentioned, indicate that the dead are for all intents and purposes unconscious, but other parts of the bible show the dead being consulted with, and then there are the verses about death being like sleep. However, we wake from sleep every morning, and can be awoken by nothing more than a thud in the night, so to my mind, comparing death to sleep actually weakens the death= "permananently unconscious and unaware" argument.
In Samuel 1 however, upon being summoned, Samuel does chastise Saul for his conduct, so I think it we can agree the bible is pretty consistent with its condemnation of spiritism.
I guess the real question is what does "spiritism" actually mean?
Thanks again to all those offering advice and info, and thanks to all those who just took the time to read this huge wall of text.