Even if a "scrap" was found, if it was even written 100 years later by someone who had never met Jesus or knew someone who had, not many would believe it without other corroborating information.
The biggest mistake.
I love the Bible. I always have, even as a child reading my book of Bible stories. I love the one story aspect, I love all of the parallels and callbacks, the symbolism, the lessons we can learn and how when I read and learn from it, it literally helps me to love others more. Here is a quote that I love from G.D. Watson in his book "Our Own God" about God
"He makes each of our lives to seem the center of a vast system, and makes us see a significance in his dealings with us which no one else can see, so that reading our lives in the light of the Holy ghost is like the biography of some of the patriarchs, and our individual history is so pervaded with it interferences of our heavenly father and it seems like adding another page to the old testament."
Irridle your wide eyed awe for the religiously sublime is a comfort for you-- and good for you.
My point in posting was to show how humans in the past, in the absence of verifiable knowledge looked to the heavens for guidance and saw divine messages in the stars. The Bible made permanent in text form, ancient religious thinking often based on astronomical realities and pagan superstition. I disagree with you in saying the Bible has an overarching story, that is the overlay of a believer. The Bible is not coherent at all, it is the conflation of a multitude of muddled beliefs over time, given imperial Roman blessing and pronounced sacred. For most of our history this respect for an invisible spirit world has remained a unifying cultural theme giving us hope and consolation for our short and troubled lives.
Times change-- and since the beginnings of a scientific evaluation in the 17th century and the Enlightenment in the following century we humans have been able to pin down realities as they really a are and not simply as they appear to be.
But traditions die hard and colossal institutions with great wealth and influence have continued to persuade governments and the people to support them. The vast momentum from the historical experience of religious belief as an existential anchor has resulted in swathes of humanity clinging to faith rather than listening to evidence based science.
Humans are not programmed robots, we have feelings and choices and we can exercise them as we wish. However what makes us human is our spirit of enquiry and progress and it is this aspect of our collective thinking which finds "belief" or reliance on the numinous or un-provable things; very deficient. Progress, as found in medicine and technology etc, come about by understanding matter at the deepest levels. In contrast nothing of any certainty can be built on religious "belief"-- except more of the same baseless sophistry. The Bible demands submission to this retrograde thinking.
All religions are different, but they are effectively the same discovery - that you can control people if you claim you know things about the sky god and speak on his behalf.
This same discovery was made in different places, without any crossover or influence, because human behavior is so similar across cultures.
It's never really an attempt to explain the world, it's pretending to have an explanation for power and control. The bible is just another book of parables to feign wisdom and dictate behavior. There's nothing in it that is new knowledge or unravels any mystery, it creates mystery for the purpose of confusion and fear.
Michael Heiser has a book, The Unseen Realm and other talks I have seen that agree that a lot of what that culture and writings and belief are based on astrology. Like the vision that Ezekiel saw with the cherubim and the wheels, the story in Revelation about the woman and the dragon...all about stars. It is very interesting, for sure!
Ancient ideas were that the sun, moon and the stars were a representation of realities beyond...kind of like a metaphor. As I learn more about the natural world, it is easy to see that they are metaphors for greater realities of God. Some religions just worshipped the actual creation instead of seeing the beyond.
There is awe and wonder in creation and seeing the beyond. But, I just happened to be wired in such a way that metaphors, similes, connections, callbacks, parallels fascinate me. So, the Bible happens to satisfy my particular brain, which I am really grateful for.
A relationship with my creator is very personal. I may tell you a story about a time that I prayed and then God showed himself to me through what happened after I prayed. You see no connection because you don't see how poetic and beautiful the answer truly was.
I have a handful of stories that just blow my mind to recount of God's faithfulness! But they wouldn't mean much to you. They mean everything to me.
So, it's tough to talk about belief, faith, the Bible with people who don't have that inner eye that sees beyond.
We all have our strengths, though, and it's fun to wrestle with these things!
But, when someone takes the stories of the Bible out of context and uses them to control, condemn, or abuse others, it's wrong.
The whole story of the Bible and what we are meant to do with it is to believe in Jesus, and to take the love that he gave us and love others.
Love is not control or abuse and unfortunately there is a lot of this going on. But, this is not the spirit of Christ.
Ancient ideas were that the sun, moon and the stars were a representation of realities beyond...kind of like a metaphor.
I 80, the modern (better than the ancient) reality beyond , is of course mathematics, physics the sciences that reveal the laws behind those outer bodies. That knowledge is very precise, reliable in stark contrast to wt bible & tracts tactics.
They predict with second accuracy, that on Monday next in 1 666 days, there will be a dark sun over upstate NY. USA
Irridle the danger is that it is very easy to be fooled when we are dealing with matters for which we have no solid evidence i.e.spirit creatures. If you can't measure it or detect it with one or more of your five senses, then we are into the realms of mere belief. You can't build anything on a foundation of beliefs except castles in the air.
Iriddle80 - have you posted about your experiences and stories previously? I hear this so often -- I use to feel the same way myself but realized it was just coincidental -- in my case.
I have posted frequently.
Sure, I believe in coincidence.
It's so weird because let's say I pray for something. Then I will almost immediately forget about that prayer because I can really ramble during a prayer session!
Then, something will happen or a string of events will happen (maybe even years later!) and suddenly out of nowhere I remember the prayer (or prayers) that I prayed and I am just so amazed, really.
It just always amazes me that God loves me enough to not only answer my prayers, but that he reminds me of them so that I will see it!
Answers to prayer almost never go how I want or expect, but I always see the beauty in it! It usually comes with suffering. Heartbreak. Tears.
And as I look back, he protected me, he comforts me, carries me, prepares me for things I didn't see coming, he knows just how I am wired so as to lead me away from things or to things. It's spooky!
And it's not just with me. I have seen him work in other people's lives in the same faithful ways. In my husband's life, too!
It's beyond coincidence. I could probably write a book with my stories and stories I have witnessed from other people. If anyone wants to hear some...I have a really silly one that is special to me involving a cow, but I have better ones, too!