For those who do not believe in the Bible: Why don't you?

by Chemical Emotions 47 Replies latest jw friends

  • HBJ

    I can't say that I don't believe in the Bible, but it sure has its many inconsistencies and discrepancies that still have me questioning the contents to this day. I believe that these issues have resulted in many people being becoming nonbelievers, IMO.

    Concentrating in one area of the Bible, The New Testament, there are so many contradictions, even discrepancies throughout its contents, that it can tax your belief in the Bible, if you do believe. Many scholars who were believers have claimed to become agnostics after spending years studying the Scriptures. I've heard some say that the small details aren't as important as the big picture, but the big picture is made up of nothing but small details. I attended a lecture in North Carolina back in 2007 that was hosted by a New Testament Scholar holding a PHD from Princeton Theological Seminary. The lecture was regarding the four Gospels according to Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.

    The following views below were the foundation of this lecture... an additional source that is helping me with my personal search for "the truth" regarding the Bible.

    The original books are all anonymous written in the third person. The followers of Jesus were Aramaic speaking peasants from Galilee. They were lower class men who were not educated. In fact, Peter and John in Acts: Chapter 4: v13 are literally said to be illiterate. They couldn't read and write, they were fishermen, and they didn't go to school. The vast majority in the ancient world couldn't read, let alone write. And there native language was Aramaic. Highly educated, rhetorically trained writers who were skilled in Greek composition wrote these books in Greek. Probably not disciples, and don't claim to be.

    Where did these anonymous authors get their stories from? If they're not disciples of Jesus, they must have heard the stories from somebody, who heard the stories from somebody, who heard the stories from somebody, etc. Stories about Jesus, including His resurrection had been in circulation year after year after year, from the time his disciples knew that he was killed, and believed he was raised from the dead.

    They approved the stories sometimes, and they changed the stories sometimes. The stories got modified in the process of transmission over the course of decades before anybody wrote them stories down. These stories are based on oral reports that have been in circulation for decades. What happens to oral reports in circulation year after year, decade after decade? They get changed. What evidence do we have that the stories about the Jesus' death and the resurrection got changed? Answer: You can read the stories yourself. Simply read Mark's account of Jesus' death, and then read John's account of Jesus death, and make a list of everything that happened in both and compare your list. You will find that there are stunning differences. In fact there are discrepancies.

    Here's a list of some of the examples offered:

    What day did Jesus die on? We're told this in both Mark and John. In Mark's Gospel we're told that Jesus died the day after the Passover meal was eaten in Jerusalem, as Mark explicitly says. John tells us, explicitly, in Chapter: 19 - v14, that Jesus died the day before the Passover meal was eaten, on the day of preparation for the Passover. That's different - He couldn't die both days.

    What about the time? According to Mark, he died at 9 in the morning. According to John he wasn't condemned to death until after noon, (John: 19:14).

    These are accounts that differ from one another. Did Jesus carry His cross the entire way to Golgotha or did Simon of Cyrene carry it? It depends on which Gospel you read. Did both robbers mock Jesus or did only one of them mock him, and the other come to his defense? It depends on which Gospel you read. Did the curtain in the temple rip in half before Jesus died, or was it after Jesus died? It depends on which Gospel you read. .

    Those are just differences about Jesus' death, what about differences in the accounts of His resurrection. Who went to the tomb on the third day: Did Mary Magdalene go alone, or with other women? It depends on which Gospel you read. If with other women, how many of them were there, what were their names, and which ones were they? It depends on which Gospel you read. Was the stone rolled away before the women got to the tomb, or not? What did they see in the tomb: did they see a man, did they see two men, or did they see an angel. It depends on which Gospel you read.

    The speaker's conclusion was that these are not reliable historical accounts. There are too many discrepancies. The accounts are based on oral traditions that had been in circulation for decades. Year after year, Christians tried to convert others by telling them stories in order to convince them that Jesus was raised from the dead. And they changed their stories while trying to convince people. These authors were not eyewitnesses. They are Greek speaking Christians living 35-65 years after the fact. They are telling stories that Christians had been telling during all those years. There was nobody there at the time of Jesus' death writing things down. Some of the stories were invented, and many were changed. For this reason these accounts are not as useful as historians would like, as historical sources.

    I've known for many for many years that there are inconstancies within the Bible. Were the details pointed out by this Scholar, and others, enough to unequivocally debunk the Bible? His views were very compelling, and I still don't know? I continue to have many questions about the Bible that challenge what I have believed most of my life. I'm not sure if my questions will ever be answered? There's where the word "faith" comes in. But you can't ingore some blatant problems and moral issues within the Scriptures that others here have pointed out.

  • wearewatchingyouman

    haha... uncle punky... that was classic!

  • punkofnice

    @watchingyouman =

    No it isnt!

    Yes it is!

    Both right....10 points!

  • jam

    It took Moses and million people 40 yrs. to reach

    the promise land, A distance less then 300 miles.

  • jam

    250 miles is the correct distance.

  • skeeter1

    The Bible is a collection of books. The collection was voted on - which books to keep in (and which books to not allow) - by man. Revelations almost didn't get it. This vote took place a few hundred years after Christ died. The books were in pieces, and the priests assigned to compiling the Bible, "wrote in" some parts. Which parts, I don't know. The books that were left out seem to me to be important.

    So, we have a book that was written 200 years after Christ and now magically "predicts" all the things that happened.

    It is now well postured that we can't be assured that the manuscripts were actually written by the purported authors. In this time, it was common for people to sign a manuscript as a famous person.

    Then, we get from war-monger, baby killer Jehovah to peace & flipflops Jesus who is supposed to be 'one' with his Father. Totally unbelievable.

    I think the whole Jehovah God thing is a recreation of Zeus.


  • clarity

    Punkofnice ... you are either brilliant because you found this very funny video


    you are an apostate because you are so very critical of the bible!

    I think the answer is Yes!


  • skeeter1

    Love that game show!

  • punkofnice

    @Clarity - 10 points!

    I keep an open mind about the Bible but then the further away I get from watchtower indoctrination it seems the clearer things are getting.

    I feel like a fog is clearing!

    "Minds must be cleansed" (Watchtower, June 1, 1953, p. 350 par. 24).
  • Chemical Emotions
    Chemical Emotions
    "Minds must be cleansed"

    That's just lovely.

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