Why that bible cannot be taken literally

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    May 23, 2010 3:37 PM GMT
    Because then we could not suffer a witch to live. Salem and the Spanish Inquisition should have taught us that.

    Because "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." would have some pretty twisted individuals delivering all sorts of crap on their fellow men. Some people's versions of self love are pretty nasty.

    Because keeping a woman who's menstruating in isolation for the duration of it would decimate the workforce. You'd also be praying for her 'sin of Eve'. (which means you'd also be busy praying over the sin of every female mammal on the planet, lol).

    Because honour thy mother and father means some people would have to honour the parent that beat them/and or sexually abused them mercilessly.
    Some parents do pretty ghastly things to their kids, even when grown those kids are grown.

    Homosexuality is a sin. Oh boy.
    Because then you'd have to believe this crap without ever having a valid reason as to why. (See menstruation; it's not sin when you know why it happens).


    Feel free to post your own examples here.



  • Akula

    Posts: 130

    May 23, 2010 6:04 PM GMT
    I smell a shit storm coming!
  • denverdev

    Posts: 82

    May 23, 2010 6:21 PM GMT
    meninlove said Because then we could not suffer a witch to live. Salem and the Spanish Inquisition should have taught us that.

    Because "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." would have some pretty twisted individuals delivering all sorts of crap on their fellow men. Some people's versions of self love are pretty nasty.

    Because keeping a woman who's menstruating in isolation for the duration of it would decimate the workforce. You'd also be praying for her 'sin of Eve'. (which means you'd also be busy praying over the sin of every female mammal on the planet, lol).

    Because honour thy mother and father means some people would have to honour the parent that beat them/and or sexually abused them mercilessly.
    Some parents do pretty ghastly things to their kids, even when grown those kids are grown.

    Homosexuality is a sin. Oh boy.
    Because then you'd have to believe this crap without ever having a valid reason as to why. (See menstruation; it's not sin when you know why it happens).


    Feel free to post your own examples here.


    First example: Explain further.

    Second example: Your guttermouth brand of self-love is also condemned by the Bible. That only leaves the kind of love where you take physical and mental care of yourself and don't do anything to outright harm you.

    Third example: Several caveats to this one, actually. Women weren't a part of the male workforce until after the 19th century, some two or three thousand years after the Bible was written. In all that time there would have been no decimation to the workforce. There are also still a handy number of stay-at-home moms in the world, and I'm sure their husbands could manage cooking and cleaning for three days out of every month. Prayer also takes a lot less time than you think; sometimes it's just "Bless this family and the food we are about to receive," not, "And bless me, and my wife Brenda, and Johnny, and Sue, and also the meatloaf, the potatoes, the Coca-Cola, the corn, the dishes, my cleft, the back-right leg of Johnny's chair..."

    Fourth example: Thy mother and father, being bound to all of the laws saying they shouldn't hurt others, would have to also not abuse their children.

    Fifth example: The Bible doesn't literally spell out "homosexuality is a sin." That's an extrapolation made by readers of the Bible, who are therefore not taking the Bible literally when they say, "homosexuality is a sin."
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    May 23, 2010 6:25 PM GMT
    Lots of foods would be off limits. Seafood, pig, dog, rat, cockroach.

    Hipsters would not be allowed to mix fabrics (polyester plaid capris with cotton V-necks).

    Killing and stealing will remain off limits, but no delineated objections to rape, incest, torture, maiming.

    We'd have to accept that dinosaurs either never existed, or that for a few centuries they were a real predation problem until Noah wisely neglected to include them on the Ark.

    We'd be OK with our god killing the first-born of our enemies. Not killing our enemies (which is more pro-active), but their children.

    We'd start pretending we were drunk on water. Oh, and we'd have contests to see who could walk further on lakes without falling in.
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    May 23, 2010 6:26 PM GMT
    The Bible is full of ideas, myths, morals, and stories which were probably just borrowed from other faiths (see. Noah's Flood and the Epic of Gilgamesh. See what Jesus has in common with all kinds of other pagan gods).

    What turned me into a non-believer--the biblical stories which had the greatest impact on my deconversion--were the stories of god-sanctioned genocide and murder of men, women, male children, the unborn, and the rape and enslavement of female children.

    Moreover, what all-loving and all-knowing deity would leave my eternal salvation in the hands of other humans? (My eternal salvation depends mainly on other people convincing me--in one way or another--that THEY know the answers to life's greatest questions, and if I do not follow what they believe, their god will send me to hell.)

    Yeah, sure thing.
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    May 23, 2010 6:29 PM GMT
    TheFreeman saidFifth example: The Bible doesn't literally spell out "homosexuality is a sin." That's an extrapolation made by readers of the Bible, who are therefore not taking the Bible literally when they say, "homosexuality is a sin."


    A man, laying with another man as though with a woman is a stone-able offense (Torah). Homosexuals are not allowed in the kingdom of heaven (St Paul, New Testament).

    Saying the Bible doesn't explicitly spell out that homosexuality is a sin is like saying the Bill of Rights doesn't explicitly say "separation of church and state." Implicitness does not imply license.
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    May 23, 2010 6:31 PM GMT
    Read one hundred other Big Books. Compare The Bible to Works of Fiction. Then, very possibly, you may come to know why this one book, or that one, cannot be taken literally. Paranoid prophets and schizoid would-be saints really come into their own after spending years inside their heads and fending off all matters of hostility and adversity in isolated desert environments. Ah, the delusions! And all the spiritually-starved dupes gobbing the ramblings of love-starved holy fools! Classic.

    It comes in peace (usually only after one falls to pieces. he he ).

    Happy New Year !
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    May 23, 2010 6:52 PM GMT
    Jeez, because it's a bunch of antiquated bull. Or just a random book, not much different from Cinderella, or the Lord of the Rings, or Mein Kampf. At least the Lord of the Rings seems to have a better understanding of what's good and what's evil.

    Why can't people just fucking stop reading that crap and switch on whatever it is they have for brains.

    I say bookburning party at my place icon_twisted.gif
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    May 23, 2010 7:05 PM GMT
    I took a philosophy class in college, and my professor introduced me to Joseph Campbell. I watched the "Power of Myth,” and his one quote, “all religion is metaphor” struck a chord in me. He also touched on common themes and symbols throughout unrelated cultural myths.

    I read commentaries on the New Testament. The oldest known copy of any gospel is dated to 130 AD. Historians admit that much of the New Testament was passed on orally for many years after Jesus’ death. There were many centuries where monks copied texts by hand. I’m sure there were typos, and passages omitted (or changed). There was a purge of unapproved texts that could show consistency with the approved gospels. What criteria did they use?

    Don’t get me started on the Book of Revelation! The late night christian documentaries about the blow-by-blow events of the apocalypse makes me shake my head. How many people take it all literally?

    There are spiritual truths and passages of wisdom in the Bible, but I take many of the events with a grain of salt. There is too much inconstancy with indisputable historical fact.
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    May 23, 2010 7:19 PM GMT
    because a lot of political demagogues who are lying, sexually cheating, bearing false witness, etc would have to stone themselves .. hmmm .. well then again .. was this an argument for or against? icon_lol.gif
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    May 23, 2010 7:20 PM GMT
    Whoever said that the Bible should be taken literally?
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    May 23, 2010 7:21 PM GMT
    ActiveAndFit saidbecause a lot of political demagogues who are lying, sexually cheating, bearing false witness, etc would have to stone themselves .. hmmm .. well then again .. was this an argument for or against? icon_lol.gif


    "He who is without sin may throw the first stone"

    or something like that.

    I'll take your advice: I am getting stoned right now.
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    May 23, 2010 7:28 PM GMT
    Tazo995 said
    ActiveAndFit saidbecause a lot of political demagogues who are lying, sexually cheating, bearing false witness, etc would have to stone themselves .. hmmm .. well then again .. was this an argument for or against? icon_lol.gif


    "He who is without sin may throw the first stone"

    or something like that.

    I'll take your advice: I am getting stoned right now.
    Actually that is one of the verses that is known to have been added after the earlier manuscripts .. here is a good start for people that can be honest with themselves

    Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why (Plus)

    Jesus, Interrupted: Revealing the Hidden Contradictions in the Bible (And Why We Don't Know About Them)
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    May 23, 2010 7:29 PM GMT
    Caesarea4 saidWhoever said that the Bible should be taken literally?


    I can say TOO MANY take it literally.
  • Greygull

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    May 23, 2010 7:36 PM GMT
    Part of the reason im stilla practicing Catholic is that They now teach thet the bible is more of a guide, more or less how to be a good person and treat other people and do works of charity not to condemn others. I like that interpretation of the book.

    The nun that did our confirmation class also did Sodom and Grammorrah and she asked this question

    " Why did god destroy Sodom and Grammorah?"

    " because it was full of Gays?"

    " No, it was because everyone turned the angels away, or tried violence against them, let me ask you this, if God didn't want there to be gay people why did he create them?"


    I loved that Old woman for that.
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    May 23, 2010 7:40 PM GMT
    Now if only women - like that old nun - could become Pope....
  • Delivis

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    May 23, 2010 7:44 PM GMT
    Caesarea4 saidWhoever said that the Bible should be taken literally?


    What world are you living in? Billions of religious people on this planet claim to take anywhere from some to all of their so called holy books to be the inerrant word of the creator of the universe.
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    May 23, 2010 7:52 PM GMT
    Greygull saidPart of the reason im stilla practicing Catholic is that They now teach thet the bible is more of a guide, more or less how to be a good person and treat other people and do works of charity not to condemn others. I like that interpretation of the book.

    The nun that did our confirmation class also did Sodom and Grammorrah and she asked this question

    " Why did god destroy Sodom and Grammorah?"

    " because it was full of Gays?"

    " No, it was because everyone turned the angels away, or tried violence against them, let me ask you this, if God didn't want there to be gay people why did he create them?"


    I loved that Old woman for that.



    Agreed it's cute in a way.

    However, if the only thing religion has been doing over the past 200 years is retreating step by step, talking around these kind of things to make something that's inherently evil a little more acceptable to modern day people, doesn't that tell you enough?

    It's wrong, just ditch it already. It's like buying a freaking Toyota with a malfunctioning accelerator and spend the next 20 years making adjustments on the interior accessories.

    I just don't get it. I really don't.

    Maybe that makes me a fundementalistic atheist.
  • Greygull

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    May 23, 2010 8:06 PM GMT
    Meh for me its really about the emotional connection I have with church. I go when Im feeling stressed or anxious and it puts me back in my mental center.
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    May 23, 2010 8:10 PM GMT
    Greygull saidMeh for me its really about the emotional connection I have with church. I go when Im feeling stressed or anxious and it puts me back in my mental center.


    Talking to a psychologist and looking within myself does the same for me.
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    May 23, 2010 8:20 PM GMT
    meninlove said Because then we could not suffer a witch to live. Salem and the Spanish Inquisition should have taught us that.





    I would like to point out and bring to everyones attention, that witch hunts are still practiced in Africa, leading to brutal maiming and death of innocent females.

    These witch hunts have direct ties to American style Christianity/Catholicism.

    As did the Uganda "Kill the gays" bill.
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    May 23, 2010 8:23 PM GMT
    DoomsDayAlpaca said
    meninlove said Because then we could not suffer a witch to live. Salem and the Spanish Inquisition should have taught us that.





    I would like to point out and bring to everyones attention, that witch hunts are still practiced in Africa, leading to brutal maiming and death of innocent females.

    These witch hunts have direct ties to American style Christianity/Catholicism.

    As did the Uganda "Kill the gays" bill.


    Sadly the laws imposed on Africans in the past are not changing to benefit modern-day society. It annoys me that brutality is acceptable through law in many places.
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    May 23, 2010 8:57 PM GMT
    TheFreeman said
    meninlove said Because then we could not suffer a witch to live. Salem and the Spanish Inquisition should have taught us that.

    Because "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." would have some pretty twisted individuals delivering all sorts of crap on their fellow men. Some people's versions of self love are pretty nasty.

    Because keeping a woman who's menstruating in isolation for the duration of it would decimate the workforce. You'd also be praying for her 'sin of Eve'. (which means you'd also be busy praying over the sin of every female mammal on the planet, lol).

    Because honour thy mother and father means some people would have to honour the parent that beat them/and or sexually abused them mercilessly.
    Some parents do pretty ghastly things to their kids, even when grown those kids are grown.

    Homosexuality is a sin. Oh boy.
    Because then you'd have to believe this crap without ever having a valid reason as to why. (See menstruation; it's not sin when you know why it happens).


    Feel free to post your own examples here.


    First example: Explain further.

    Second example: Your guttermouth brand of self-love is also condemned by the Bible. That only leaves the kind of love where you take physical and mental care of yourself and don't do anything to outright harm you.

    Third example: Several caveats to this one, actually. Women weren't a part of the male workforce until after the 19th century, some two or three thousand years after the Bible was written. In all that time there would have been no decimation to the workforce. There are also still a handy number of stay-at-home moms in the world, and I'm sure their husbands could manage cooking and cleaning for three days out of every month. Prayer also takes a lot less time than you think; sometimes it's just "Bless this family and the food we are about to receive," not, "And bless me, and my wife Brenda, and Johnny, and Sue, and also the meatloaf, the potatoes, the Coca-Cola, the corn, the dishes, my cleft, the back-right leg of Johnny's chair..."

    Fourth example: Thy mother and father, being bound to all of the laws saying they shouldn't hurt others, would have to also not abuse their children.

    Fifth example: The Bible doesn't literally spell out "homosexuality is a sin." That's an extrapolation made by readers of the Bible, who are therefore not taking the Bible literally when they say, "homosexuality is a sin."


    on point number 3 it is actually 14 days. the period of menstruation of the average female is 7 days, then there are 7 days of ritual baths
  • Delivis

    Posts: 2332

    May 23, 2010 9:43 PM GMT
    Greygull saidPart of the reason im stilla practicing Catholic is that They now teach thet the bible is more of a guide, more or less how to be a good person and treat other people and do works of charity not to condemn others. I like that interpretation of the book.

    The nun that did our confirmation class also did Sodom and Grammorrah and she asked this question

    " Why did god destroy Sodom and Grammorah?"

    " because it was full of Gays?"

    " No, it was because everyone turned the angels away, or tried violence against them, let me ask you this, if God didn't want there to be gay people why did he create them?"


    I loved that Old woman for that.


    That's lovely. But here are a few things I would encourage you to consider.

    1. The way you are describing the use of the Bible is no different from how anyone could use any book. Didactic literature is great stuff, but it does relegate the status of that biblical story to the same level as any other work of fiction. Perhaps you realise this rather obvious implication and are fine with it. Many do not seem to realise this.

    In fact a very common trend is to take *some* of the bible metaphorically, as a nice morality tale, but them some of it literally. They just pick and choose which parts they want to believe. Now this is no doubt an improvement over a purely literal interpretation. But it is intellectually dishonest as one no longer has any basis to take anything in the Bible as true or revelatory if you can pick and choose which passages are true and literal and which are metaphorical and symbolic.

    2. You say you are a Catholic. Ask yourself if this is really true. To be a Catholic you first have to be a Christian. Thsi means you need to believe in the existence of a personal, intervening god. It means you must believe he had a human son and sacrificed him to save humanity and that anyone who does not accept his son as their one and only true savior can not, at the very least, be with god after they die.

    Then to be a Catholic on top of that entails further beliefs, particularily about the role of the church as the only medium through which you can get to god, not to mention the inerrancy of the pope.

    I suspect as many moderate religionists do, you still call yourself by the name of the religion but do not actually believe the tennets of the religion, or in so far as you do you pick and choose at will. If that is the case what you mean when you say you are a Catholic is just that you belong to a certain group of people and feel social solidarity with then, but it is no longer about the beliefs. I could be a Catholic while being an atheist if that is the case.
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    May 23, 2010 9:50 PM GMT
    Thanks everyone, as a christian of the thinking contemplative sort, I take great exception to taking the bible literally and broadcasting it as though that's 'the way' to be christian.

    Christianity is for me a helluva a lot more than words. Let's face it, western society has been stewed, marinated, inundated and at times drowned in christian rhetoric. The 'spread the word' stuff is long past. It's better to just be a christian than constantly preach it to the exhausted.

    There are parts of it that are powerful and beautiful, that have nothing to do with the endless rules and jumping through hoops.

    For those christians that I've offended, no intent to do so. Perhaps though, it will make some think before spamming the boards here with doctrine. Something that, interestingly, muslims gays on here are not doing at all, which makes them rather admirable to me.


    Anyway, I will leave you all with this, which I think most literalists would do well to consider, especially when the feeling of righteousness overtakes them.


    1 Corinthians 13 (New International Version)

    1 Corinthians 13
    Love
    If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.

    Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

    Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

    And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.


    -Doug