what does studying the bible mean?

by RandomNoise 14 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • RandomNoise

    what is the study of the bible? do you go into it knowing its the direct word of god or are you... this is somewhat confusing to me, how can someone who believes it is the literal word of god critically study the bible?

    im atheist and unconvertable but i like to talk about the bible. i excepted a "study" and im not sure who should be teaching who. ill give an example...

    i was asked if i knew about the creation story and i said yes but that i have a hard time making any sense out of it. the "teacher" was curious so i only pointed out 1 problem. how can we have night and day on the 1st day if the sun and stars are only created on the 4th?.. my "teacher" tried to convince me of the craziest physics i have ever heard and i debunked the whole "theory" and "teacher" had the goddam effrontery to say that "i need to understand the basics", i was pretty close to telling the "teacher" to fuck off, but kept it to myself. and "teacher" went home red, probably riled with my understanding of things.

    am i wrong when i think that just by that single conversation we are way beyond the basics? and what the hell does that mean anyways? what useful point of view am i going to get out of this person? what kind of critical thinking is this person using, cause "teacher" never put in question what "teacher" was saying.

    i dont know if my initial question is being understood...?


  • Jeffro

    In general terms, studying the Bible simply means, as you probably expect, studying the contents of the Bible. It generally involves analysis of the various books of the Bible in their historical and literary context. It does not require any particular belief. This is not the way JW "Bible study" works.

    For JWs, a "Bible study" is their indoctrination program to recruit new members. It is not merely an intellectual consideration of the Bible. At the end of the 'study', the 'student' is expected to be making 'progress' to baptised as a member of Jehovah's Witnesses. There is very little critical thinking happening in the mind of the JW 'teacher'. "Critical thinking" and "independent thinking" are viewed by JWs as bad. JWs expect their 'Bible students' to simply accept irrational ideas such as those you've raised, and continue on with the 'study' rather than asking so-called 'deep' questions that they are unable to answer. Their 'study' program is built on various over-simplifications, generalisations, and other poor argumentation.

    The 'creation' story in Genesis is certainly a myth, and even many religious groups consider it to be allegorical or figurative rather than a literal account. Groups such as JWs that insist that the stories in Genesis actually happened run into all kinds of problems when trying to rationalise the story with science.

  • unstopableravens

    when i study i study for truth,not to confirm what i already believe,unlike the jw who make something fit even if it doesnt. im sorry you feel unconvertable,that seems to be almost the same as a jw in thinking,but after research if a person loves truth than they will not be happy with any less. good post look forward to talking with you!

  • Terry

    Think about how you would become a brain surgeon.

    Would you sit down with a book and take notes, meditate and look up references and then hang your shingle out :Brain Surgery Reasonable Rates?


    Yet, people who are rank amateurs think they can sit down with a bible and some reference books and imagine they'll come out enlightened!


    This idea of letting the bible inform you and that's all you need actually has an historical moment in time for its origin!

    For one thousand five hundred years the only "true" christian church was the universal (Catholic) church. Like it or lump it, it was official.

    Along comes a monk named Martin Luther. He had been caught in a thunderstorm as a young man and was terrified of being struck by lightning. He bargained with God in feverish prayers, "Lord, if you will deliver me from this

    storm I shall become a monk!"

    Meet the monk: Martin Luther!

    He got sideways with all the flaws in the way the church was being run. He was critical. He triggered a vast uprising against the church and protests became PROTESTANTISM.

    Luther knew the authority of the chruch was its Magesterium. The leaders of the church could declare what was true and God in heaven agreed to go along with them. Yes, that was the teaching.

    Luther had to replace Magesterium to wean people off of the Catholic institution and priesthood.

    Luther invented a new foolproof way for each individual person to know God's Will for them.

    Luther call this doctrine: SOLA SCRIPTURA. It meant each person could sit down and study their bible and the Lord would make certain His holy spirit guided that study and rewarded it with actual divine knowledge!

    So, thanks to Martin Luther, people like William Miller with no schooling for it and no expertise (he was a Baptist farmer!) sat down in their study and cooked up a batch of END TIMES date predictions! Should we thank him

    for the Tsunami of bullshit that followed? Remember, C.T.Russell and J.F.Rutherford were waves that followed his mind eruptions!

    What does studying the bible mean?

    It means dropping the leash on that vicious dog inside our brain that Freud called the id.

    Each person unleashes a world turmoil, emotions, projections, longing, aspiration and ego when they take a "holy book" into their grip and surrender to a primal impulse.

  • unstopableravens

    martin spoke truth unlike william millar, luther is a huge inspiration to be speaking out against the falsehood of the jdubs

  • unstopableravens

    what william did was against the bible, martin would have spoke out against him as well. bible alone, faith alone grace alone christ alone and god glory alone. its rock solid!

  • wobble

    I am a non-theist who is certain that the Bible is not the word of God, even if a "God" did exist.

    And yet, I study parts of it from time to time, I am interested in such stuff, not just Biblical.

    I approach it as I would any writing from a particular time. I find out what the times and morals and beliefs and political situation was at the time the writing was probably done. I read with interest the latest scholarly views, preferably from scholars with no real axe to grind, especially as to date of writing.

    So , early O.T stuff is approached very differently to N.T stuff.

    With the N.T , I realise that the writings of Paul , and those of deutero-Paul, pre-date the Gospels by some years, divided by the shattering events of 70AD,

    so , the post Temple world of the Gospels must be read differently from Paul or "Paul", and so on.

    I do not see the Bible as a source of Truth or Wisdom to any great degree, though some truth, and some wisdom is therein, as with most scriptures, but each book, and sometimes parts of books (1st and 2nd Isaiah for example) are interesting writings of their time.

  • stillin

    when I started to "study" I felt that I would get a better understanding if I studied with people that respected/believed what the Bible actually says. Unfortunately, that isn't true.

    Thay will tap-dance around passages that are hard to understand in order to fit them to a preconcieved idea. A more objective study would just introduce you to the overall gist of the Bible, some of the stories, and allow you to read independantly and draw your own conclusions.

    Most religious books push an agenda which may or may not be correct.

  • St George of England
    St George of England

    Never try and teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time and pisses off the pig.

    People who believe the Bible, especially JW's, are very difficult to engage in any meaningful discussion that may challenge their beliefs.


  • unstopableravens

    i guess that goes for atheist as well ,never try to get an athiest to have faith?

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