The Hubble, Yahweh, the Bible, and faith.

by Nickolas 269 Replies latest jw friends

  • AGuest
    a lot here seemed to feel threatened by something

    Yes, but it wasn't a believer, dear Size (again, peace to you!). For someone who truly is of faith... which faith is not dependent upon some writings, etc., nothing poses a thread ("If God IS for you, who can be against you?"). Nothing to fear. On the other hand, there appears to be those who've moved on from faith who associate ANYTHING even remotely related to the WORD "faith" as something to be feared. Literally threatened, if their responses are any indication.

    I implore you to go back and re-read the thread, from start to now. See where it took a "different" tack... where it veered off from responding to the sincere questions posed by the OP... to the commencement of that p'ing contest you mention. T'warn't none of us what started with the "hoses," dear one.


    A slave of Christ,


  • Awen

    Project against this context the image of Yahweh as depicted in the OT. Against the incomprehensible magnificence of what He is alleged to have created, He appears very, very, very, very tiny and insignificant. Against the reality of tens of billions of years and billions of trillions of planets, the context of the past 4-5,000 years and the central story presented in the Bible is almost immeasurably diminished. Add to that the context provided by other branches of science, genetics not the least of them, and any semblance of credibility in Yahweh and the Bible vaporises. All that is left is faith.

    This is a sincere question posed to sincere people. How does one go on believing in Yahweh and the Bible when the evidence against the legitimacy of either is so astonishingly overwhelming and relentless? Is it just cognitive dissonance, or is there something more to it? How is it possible for you to go on believing what you believe?

    @ Nickolas. Firstly I have nothing but the greatest of respect for you. You've always been kind to me (even when we've disagreed) and are always polite, which to me makes any discourse with you enjoyable.

    Secondly I am somewhat perplexed as to why you see YHWH as being diminished. I can only speculate that you're speaking of the YHWH that is only revealed in the 66 books of the Bible, not the other 550 or so books that have been written, hidden, destroyed, covered up, etc. There is so much that was written and is now lost, forgotten or even not accepted because they're not part of the "official" canon.

    The Gospel of St Thomas is one of my favorites.

    In the Thomas gospel, Jesus is presented as a spiritual guide whose words (when properly understood) bring eternal life (Saying 1). Readers of these sayings are advised to continue seeking until they find what will enable them to become rulers of their own lives (Saying 2) and thus to know themselves (Saying 3) and their legacy of being the children of "the living Father" (Saying 3). These goals are presented in the image of "entering the Kingdom" by the methodology of insight that goes beyond duality. (Saying 22). The Gospel of Thomas shows little or no concern for orthodox religious concepts and doctrines. Scholars have traditionally understood the Gospel of Thomas as a Gnostic text because it was found amongst other gnostic texts, it was understood as being prone to a Gnostic interpretation by the early Church, and the emphasis on knowledge as the key to salvation, particularly in Saying 1. However this view has recently come under some criticism by suggesting that while it is possible to interpret the text in a way that aligns with Gnosticism there is nothing inherently Gnostic about the text itself.
    The Gospel of Thomas emphasizes direct and unmediated experience. In Thomas saying 108, Jesus says, "Whoever drinks from my mouth will become as I am; I myself shall become that person, and the hidden things will be revealed to him." Furthermore, salvation is personal and found through spiritual (psychological) introspection. In Thomas saying 70, Jesus says, "If you bring forth what is within you, what you have will save you. If you do not bring it forth, what you do not have within you will kill you." As such, this form of salvation is idiosyncratic and without literal explanation unless read from a psychological perspective related to Self vs. ego. In Thomas saying 3, Jesus says,
    ...the Kingdom of God is inside of you, and it is outside of you. When you come to know yourselves, then you will become known, and you will realize that it is you who are the sons of the living Father. But if you will not know yourselves, you dwell in poverty, and it is you who are that poverty.

    It must be also recalled that many people on this forum discount the accuracy of the OT and is for the most part intermingled with older myths and legends. It's only as we progress further forward (speaking in measurements of time) do we gain a clearer picture of YHWH than what is depicted in Genesis. Psalm 139:16 seems to speak of the genetic code as David related how God was able to see his innermost being and establish his traits before he was even born.

    On a side note I think the Deluge is a myth or at best a localized flood. One must also take into account who was writing the account and what their worldview was at the time. As far as most people were concerned, at the time the "world" constituted what they could see up to the next village or the limits of their travels. So when they said the entire world was flooded they were saying this from the point of view of what the viewed the "world" to actually be. Quite small actually as history has shown us. It took thousands of years for humans to discover the true size of the earth. It's only been a few centuries since Galileo first gazed through his telescope into the void. I mention the Deluge as a speaking point on the relevancy of Genesis as a whole. While there is valuable information in the text I do think it may have been tampered with, especially concerning the six creative days. I think there might have been an understanding (at the time it was written or even an annotation in the text, but there isn't one in modern translations) that it wasn't literally six 24 hour increments of time but rather a simple explanation of a very complex measurement of time. It had to be simple as higher mathematics hadn't been invented at this time. It was written with the primitive man in mind and we're conveniently forgetting that.

    As far as I can tell genetics hasn't disproved the Bible, quite the opposite in fact. Genesis states that life was created according to it's kind or what we call a "Genus" Evolution shows us that life cannot evolve outside of it's Genus.

    If you click the hyperlink for Hominids you'll see that Apes are in the same Genus as Humans (of course you know this already). I'm merely pointing out that we're related inside the same Genus and didn't evolve independently of them. Genesis says God created man directly, but as I've suggested before this could be a tampering with the text because evolution shows us something quite different. The point about not evolving outside of our "kinds" or Genus shows an undestanding of the genetic evolutionary process that was thousands of years beyond primitive man.

    So how did they know?

  • tec

    Well Tammy . . . a lot here seemed to feel threatened by something . . .

    Yes, well.. what Shelby said here:

    Yes, but it wasn't a believer, dear Size (again, peace to you!).

    No one likes to be condescended to Sizemik.

    On a personal note, I have ignored such things in the past (not speaking of anything/one in particular here). I prefer to ignore it ->turn the other cheek - though I don't think this means you cannot defend yourself or others - just that you can't *hit* back, verbal or physical... but sometimes I call people on it too. Sometimes by returning what they did on them, in the hopes that they will realize what they are doing, and so stop. (sometimes out of annoyance or anger though too, which I believe is wrong on my behalf) Sometimes just by asking them if their 'rudeness' was really necessary.

    In either case, moving on... (hopefully) and thanks for what you said about my post, here and on your thread from a couple days ago.

    Peace to you, and apologies to Nickolas,


  • sizemik

    Thank you AGuest for your explanation . . .

    I guess faith can hold different meanings depending on the context. My use of the word was in the more general sense of 1. and 2. and 4. whereas I can see now you're coming from a 3. based on your personal experience and evidence you have received outside of what can be discerned through the physical senses . . . I think we agree on that?


    n 1. strong or unshakeable belief in something, esp without proof or evidence. 2. a specific system of religious beliefs. 3. (Christian Religious Writings / Theology) Christianity trust in God and in his actions and promises 4. (Christian Religious Writings / Theology) a conviction of the truth of certain doctrines of religion, esp when this is not based on reason If that is your experience, then who am I to deny the basis of your faith? As a possessor of such a faith . . . then the ongoing revelations of the mysteries of the universe will do little to change that. In a kind of reversal of your statement I quoted earlier . . . If I did see and hear him, then I would probably believe as you do . . . but that hasn't been my experience. Thanks unshackled . . . I enjoyed the video . . . discovery always starts with a simple sense of wonder . . . as does religion. Is there such a thing as "pale blue dot syndrome"? Thanks too Tammy . . . I get frustrated at times when discussions are on the point of delving into new ground . . . only to run off the road. Often they fail to pick up from where they left off. If a poster injects a little sarcasm . . . so what? As long as the content is valid . . . why not filter and concentrate on that. What might be rudeness . . . even if it is . . . just doesn't matter to me. Learning is too valuable to keep sacrificing on that altar. Some threads seem to regurgitate what appear to be longer standing differences. Fires ignite too quickly in these circumstances. What happened to "Where there is no wood . . . "? Just my thoughts on that score.

  • AGuest
    I am fascinated, and I would like to know more about the pre-adam days. Perhaps when you have the time, on another thread

    I will see what I can do, dear Jay88 (peace to you!); although, I have posted SO much on this forum over the years... that I am SURE it's out there, somewhere. May I suggest you take a gander at what I've posted thus far? I will also look because I don't really want to take up board space with something already available. BUT... if neither of us (or someone else who might know) find anything, sure, I'll do a repost.

    AGuest, I look forward to you pointing out these scriptures you mentioned. Very interesting.

    No problem, dear PaulaP (peace to you!). If dear Nick (as always, peace to you!) believe it's okay, I'll do so here. If not, I'll put them on another thread... perhaps with the stuff for dear Jay... and post a link.

    Just one thing I'd like to clarify - so what you are saying is Jesus is still communicating with you, and others today, in a literal way?


    And you get this communication how exactly?

    Well, the simple(r) explanation is mostly through my blood and bones (although not always; it can be outside, as well, and I will explain that in a sec). The less simple explanation is "through holy spirit" - which is God's blood (as well as His breath and semen/seed)... which is given to certain ones by Christ. He pours it out on one... and fills them with it. It permeates all the way into their bones... and so "cleanses" the inside of their vessel. This is so that God and Christ themselves can come and reside IN one, make their "abode" IN one... and so dwell IN one... because such one is now part of the "temple" of God. They are "living stones". If you recall the structure of the tabernacle/temple... the was a Holy (in which certain priests could enter)... and a MOST Holy (into which only the High Priest could enter). So reverse that: God, the MOST Holy... speaks to "Israel"... from above the Ark of the Covenant. It is the same today - He speaks from above the "Ark" of one's "covenant" with Him. Like then, however, He spoke THROUGH the High Priest. Same thing today: He speaks through His High Priest: Christ.

    When Christ died, the "curtain" that separated the Holy from the MOST Holy rent in two because the place in the temple at JERUSALEM was no longer a MOST "sacred" place. The Spirit had left that place, however, and entered into Christ, when he rose from the Jordan. Just before Pentecost 30 CE, SOME of the spirit (breath) was blown on and placed in the Apostles. Starting with Pentecost... and since then... the rest of it (as blood) was "poured out" upon and placed in others.

    NOW, such ones can enter into the MOST Holy and before the face of God themselves; however, they must STILL go through the Holy: Christ. There is NO other way to get into the spirit realm... legally. Yes, there are "illegal" ways to get in (which is how psychics, mediums, etc., do it)... but such ones are "breaking in" - they are not entering with permission. They are not going through the front "door", Christ.

    Anyway, that blood... holy spirit... speaks. Actually, ALL blood speaks. Which is why the medical profession relies so heavily on what it "says". They "hear" what it says by reading the results of various tests. However, it literally speaks to the Most Holy One of Israel... and through it, He speaks to US. His blood bears witness in CHRIST... and through him... in US. And so it speaks.

    It usually speaks softy, quietly, mildly, tenderly, lovingly... but quite audibly. But on occasion and under certain circumstances... one can hear it loud and clear... and outside of one's body. But it is the "ears" that are result of having GOD's blood in one's body... that gives such one the EARS to hear. That is what my Lord meant when he said that God had "prepared a body for him." That body was given ears, so as to hear even in the spirit realm.

    My understanding was that Revelation was the end of the sacred writings

    If, by "sacred writings" you mean the "scriptures," you are correct. If you mean Bible writings, then Lazarus' gospel account (erroneously attributed to a "John") was written last of that which is contained in the Bible canon. However, many things were written after the Revelation, indeed after the Bible compilation. That they didn't make it INTO the Bible does not negate their writing, existence, inspiration, or validity. Men compiled the Bible, dear one, not God or Christ.

    but I presume you are saying that the "spirit of the truth" guides you into all things, teaches you other things that are not in the Bible?

    Absolutely! Remember, it was prophesied that "in the last days... young men and women would prophesy." Whenever that occurs (whether previously, now, or in the future), we know such prophesies are NOT in the Bible canon... because there's NOTHING in there after Christ... from a woman. And we can't count the gospel of Mary... because it is an account, not a prophecy by her. Even so, given what I've heard and been shown, I totally understand why my Lord said there were things the disciples weren't able to bear "yet." Again, they would have had a very time hard with what John was given; however, his death and resurrection strengthened them to be ready for "anything." I mean, that was pretty big itself - what could top that?

    Is this referenced anywhere in the Bible?

    Along with the reference given by dear Awen (peace to you!) above, there is 1 John 2:26-69; Acts 2:170, 18; Joel 2:28, 29; Jeremiah 31:33, 34; John 16:13

    Again, genuine questions. I'm intrigued, and even slightly taken aback. :-)

    I perceive them as genuine, dear one... and sorry to have caught you off guard.

    Again, peace to you!

    YOUR servant and a slave of Christ,


  • Twitch

    Awen, a thoughtful and intelligent take on genesis, the flood and evolution. Well articulated and reasonable IMO

  • Nickolas

    Oh but the level of thought expressed in here is impressive, respectful and mature - and I would very much enjoy chiming in. Forgive me but I have overnight guests, old friends whose attention is more pressing than yours, but only because I can slough you all off more easily. The conversation in here is much more interesting. So much food for thought. Thank you all. I will catch up tomorrow.

  • tec

    See you tomorrow, Nickolas :)

  • bohm

    Aguest --


    that you attempt to present a phrase like: "Your PLOS ONE article is entirely irrelevant to the point i made and i am surpriced you mention it." as an attack of a persons intelligence!

    Aguest: It was an attack, dear Bohm. You were treating another with disdain (and you know it; you like doing that) disguised as "Wow, I thought you were smarter than that!" C'mon... I know you're capable of a bit more intellectual "honesty" (pun intended) than that. I have been wrong before, though, so...

    Now i have heard it all! considering how you are totally "over" me and treating me like any other poster, no detail seem to small for you to nitpick

    For the record, i pointed out errors in Awens post. You are the person who is making this about intelligence.

    This is a little gem:

    * or rather, you misspelled idiot and did it in a 3rd person kind of way, my bad,

    Aguest: Actually, no, I didn't misspell it [idiot]- I mean idjit.

    Well good on you. You used a sononyme with idiot, from "Idjit: Idiot" (first, second AND third meaning of the word).

    So basically, in a post where you try to explain i should be nicer to other people and not say awfull, hurtfull, insulting things about a persons intelligence like: "I am surpriced you mention it [a plos-one article]", you do so by calling me an idiot --sorry again, a word sononymous with idiot, explaining why i am not as smart as i think i am and so on.

    Way to go, Aguest, a bit of christian hypocricy. And PLEASE for the love of god either leave your problems with me (by problems i mean your tendency to point out i am an idiot every now and then) alone, or take them to a new topic where they are relevant. It must be very annoying for everyone every other topic i post on eventually turn into this. Surprice me, make your next reply either a PM (which, assuming you really want to explain something to me would seem to be the better medium) or a new topic.i

  • bohm

    Awen -- my bad, didnt know that particular slang.

    It's all conjecture. Occam's Razor states "eliminate all other possibilities and whatever remains, however unlikely must be the truth."

    Actually that was words attributed to a fictional character invented by a person who believed in fairies.

    Occams Razor state that when desiding between two options, we should tend towards the simplest. While occams razor is an important guiding principle in science, it is important to keep in mind it is an element of the scientific method and not a "law" of rationality. specifically, one often end up in the situation where it is unclear what "simpler" mean, and where it is unclear what explaining data mean.

    Furthermore i would recommend the scientific method rather than the principle you sketch as a way of drawing conclusions. To take an example of a pathology, science did not explain lightning in year 800, yet it would still not be reasonable to draw the conclusion it was the work of thor.

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