For those of you who love the bible, do you think its been a little overcomplicated?

by TimothyT 8 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • TimothyT

    This weekend I read the Gospel according to Matthew and John.

    It felt lovely as I was simply learning about Jesus and his teachings, which are incredibly easy to understand and which amount to what i feel is a fabulous guide to life.

    But what about the Old Testament... is it just history? Is it important? Should a Christian spend too much time reading it? What about Paul's letters and the rest of the New Testament? Do Paul's words overcomplicate things? Should we just listen to the accounts of Jesus' life and keep Christianity simple?

    For those of you who enjoy bible study etc, please give me your thoughts.

    Thanks, Timmy xxx

  • wantingtruth

    the truth is simple

    but the Bible was written "complicated"

    WHY ?

    answer : Proverbs 25:

    2. It is the glory of God to conceal a thing; But the glory of kings is to search out a matter.

    the shorter (mine) answer - it may be expanded ...

  • Vanderhoven7

    God likes to keep us humble...for our own good. The more we learn from scripture, the more we realize we don't know and appreciate. Well, that's my take anyway. :o)

  • discreetslave

    First off read other translations of the Bible see where the NWT is off. I like doing parallel readings.

    So far these are my conclusions ( I am not claiming they are right & am open to discussion)

    Old Testament is not to be disregarded good lessons in there & historical background.For instance Pro 4:18 " But the path of the righteous is like the bright morning light , growing brighter and brighteruntil full day ." This is a Christians personal journey in truth not an organizations views of prophecy.

    New Testament trumps the Old. The law was abolished.

    When one lives by Jesus words works as mentioned by James comes naturally. Pharisees focused on the external, the law & traditions which is legalism and works. Jesus taught that by Grace of God, faith in him, imitating him one will do what is right or learn what is right.

    Paul did good in explaining how Grace replaced the law, yet he allowed his background as a Pharisee to influence him. Perhaps Jesus warning of the leaven of Pharisees should apply. Eg his setting of some rules & his view of homosexuality ;)

    John found LSD on Patmos (just kidding or am I) I haven't gotten to Revelation yet.Except the first 3 capters to me it reveals the church (Christianity not one denomination) had problems much like today. They lost sight of Christ needed reminders.

    Each congregation has it's own personality & problems. They were not to be identical they took background & locality into consideration.

    In regards to prophecies it's like supplementary material not necessary to understand for salvation. Or you can compare them to puzzles. Fun not necessary.

    When something isn't clear look to Jesus. Above all else believe in God's Grace, have faith in Christ & his dying for our sins which is related to grace, & do all things with love & show love to all.

  • tec

    I wouldn't say that I love the bible. I love the One (Christ) to whom the bible points us toward. But out of the bible, then for me, Christ's words and deeds trump everything else. If there is a conflict, then everything else should be viewed in light of what He - the Truth - taught.

    So yeah... keep it simple :)



  • finallysomepride

    I'm having a Bar-b-q next month & you are all invited, now the directions on the date & how to get there are,.....well, in the bible i've writen

  • transhuman68

    LOL You have two choices: (1) Just read the Bible, and make of it what you will and be happy with simple explanations,

    or (2) read books of higher criticism from authors like Crossnan, Pagels, Spong, etc; and find out just how complicated the Bible really is.

    You have to know what the argument is about before you can refute it, so I would recommend doing as much reseach as you can. Spong has done that and is still a Christian... sort of!

  • Doug Mason
    Doug Mason


    I wish I had your simple, if somewhat simplistic, faith.

    Each writing in the Bible has to be read through the culture of each community that produced it and edited it. This requires understanding each community, looking at each piece through their ancient Jewish eyes.

    The Gospels you find endearing were written from the middle to the end of the first century. Each Gospel was written to counter heresies that had arisen at that time, which need to be understood. For example, to counter the Jewish Jews (as against the Christian Jews), the anonymous writers searched the Hebrew Scriptures to show that they pointed to this person Yeshua (= Joshua). They used Isa 53 and Ps 22, but they had to distort the original meaning. The Jews could not understand how a murdered person, and hence defeated, could be considered the Messiah; they had the concept of a victorious, powerful, military figure who would free them. The Christian's Messiah was defeated and put to death by the occupying powers!

    The Gospel writers took verses that had nothing to do with a Jewish Messiah (=Christ) and reworked them to say that they did apply to him (born in Bethlehem, come out of Egypt, etc.). They wrote stories that made Yeshua the new Moses (invented the Sermon on the Mount, feeding the 5000 = manna story, etc, for example). They wrote miracle stories, not to show his power over nature, but each was written to demonstrate that he performed those same great things performed by the Hebrew heroes (raised the only son of a widow, walked on water, etc.). They were not interested in saying whether these things really happened, they were giving a message to their contemporary Jews that this was the new Elijah, the new Elisha, the new Moses, and so on, all rolled into one.

    If you want to get closer to the time of Yeshua, you are stuck with Paul, since he died before any other NT writing was produced. Paul had to write because he had so many opposers and detractors. We get an idea of their views through Paul's comments. (Remembering which NT writings are genuinely his. So many are not). Then you are compelled to research the writings of the times that were not included in the NT canon -- and then research the canonisation process and the reasons for the selection of those writings by that Pauline section of the 4th century church. The NT would have been so different had the Petrine sector been dominant.

    It's not simple, but the process adds colour, depth and meaning to what we read.


  • Bella15

    I love sticking to reading the bible ... I love the "simplicity of the Gospel".

    Remember that the Old Statement is the "Bible" that Jesus read. Besides, all the Prophets, Moses and The Law prophecied about Jesus. So in my opinion it is important for Christians to get familiar with the OT. The people that advocates for not reading the OT or considers it passe it is because anti-semitic feelings ... when I read the OT I try to see how those stories apply to my daily living. I like for example to know that a trip that was supposed to take only 11 days it took the Israelites 40 years for murmuring, dissobedience, rebelious, etc etc, gosh I see myself in that story when it comes to my goals or start doing things that I have to do like cleaning the house, doing laundry ... God told Israel that he was going to use stories to teach them ... another thing that I've found useful when reading the OT is to find out how the Jewish or Israelies view certain passages of the OT ... they don't take everything literally they find the teaching in it.

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