I have to reject that, I am not making the assumption that the Holy Spirit guided the formation of the Bible in what I write here. If I did make that assumption I would not have bothered to explain that the scriptures declared canonical by the Council where already held to be so by the vast majority of the Church. That is what the evidence suggests.
Let us assume there is no God, does that invalidate the arguments I have put forward already? Certainly not, for they are not based on Divine intervention, rather they are based on the activities of humans. I propose that the Christian Church was a human community which was founded by a man and his followers, further I propose that the first followers of said man wrote down accounts of his life and letters explaining his teachings- as they understood it- those accounts were spread across the Church as early as 90 AD. There is no need to invoke the Divine for that scenario to seem correct, especially when the evidence shows that leading members of the Christian community where quoting and using the texts as early as the date 90 AD.
You're being metaphysical about a very material problem. Let us again assume there is no God. Today we have a collection of books called the New Testament which date from the first to third century. It has been suggested by some posters that these books and letters have been altered over time to help the Church enforce a message. However the evidence suggests this is not the case, for we have very early manuscripts which tie in pretty well with the modern bible. Further we can call such a belief unfounded because it would have to be extended to all other works of antiquity especially those of which there are less original manuscripts than the New Testament...which is pretty much all of them btw.
Another reason to reject the belief that the Bible has been substantially changed in order to reflect a change in the Church's policy is this: The notion of Sola Scriptura, the sole authority of the Bible, is relatively new in the Christian world. Prior to the activity of the Dominican Order in the 1300's the need to "prove" doctrine from the Bible was unheard of. The Catholic Church holds many doctrines and teachings which are not found expressly in the Bible, for example- the Trinity, the Immaculate Conception and Purgatory. By the time of the Protestant Reformation when changing the Bible would be the only way to enforce a new doctrine it would have been impossible to do so- because Bibles from the beginning of the Middle Ages and before existed which would evidently not match up with the changed copies. Indeed, if as some posters suggest the Bible has been changed to fit the Church's policies then why does it not expressly declare the authority of the Papacy? Why didn't the Church put that in? Why didn't the Church insert a section expressly saying God was Triune? Why? Because the didn't need to.
Further, to imply that the Church would just change the Bible as it saw fit (and that would be a mammoth task) suggests that the Christians of the 90AD's up to the Protestant Reformation had no real faith...did they not believe that the Bible was the world of God? It is a huge conspiracy theory that doesn't stand up to the test of historical inquiry.
There is no need to invoke, nor believe in God to reach the conclusion that modern Bibles are pretty much the same as the original texts.
 Oh, and the obvious way to invalidate the "bibles been changed" conspiracy is to just compare...Take the modern RSV, compare it with the Latin Vulgate, the texts of the Church Fathers and the earliest copies of the Gospel texts...they all say the same thing. If they didn't maybe some serious historians would have pointed it out by now and Protestantism would have fallen flat on it's "sola scriptura" face.
Last edited by Grand-Moff-Gav on Jul 27th, 2010 at 03:25 PM
The Bible is what you want it to be. It can be a guideline for your life or just interesting reading material. I see it as a form of history, no different than our history books from high school; a lesson of our beginning.
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There is a big difference between history books and the bible. The bible is a collection of stories that may or may not be historical. To call the bible a history book is like calling Gone with the Wind a history book, because it takes place in the Civil War.
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I have read the bible and while I can't recall the events mentioned actually being historically accurate I can not say that its is an entire work of fiction. For all we know some of its made up and some of its exaggerated stories or some other possibilities. The only thing I know for sure is there is no definite way prove the religion isn't accurate. You can believe or not but either way there is no way to prove such things like the existence of God right or wrong. Which means to me there is no way to prove what/how this possible divine being would want you to worship.
Alan Watts totally takes that Jesus quote out of context.
This is what it says in John 5:38-39 (from where he gets the quote)
"And ye have not his word abiding in you: for whom he hath sent, him ye believe not. Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me."
Jesus was not denouncing the scriptures. Jesus was saying that if the Pharisees thought that in the scriptures could be found eternal life, they would know that those same scriptures testified of HIM! He's basically calling out the Pharisees for being complete hypocrites.
And of course "his word" means the Word of God, which means scripture.
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My uncle's favorite Biblical goof--the one he's told me about half a dozen times-- is the descriptions of the numbers of Israelites fleeing from Egypt in Exodus. Essentially, the number is so massive that if they were moving in the formation described by the Bible, the line of Israelites would stretch from the Nile to the border of Israel.
At the very least Biblical writers had no sense of scale.
It doesn't matter in any case. The Old Testament is basically a ripoff of the Epic of Gilgamesh with less sex and a more episodic narrative structure.
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Last edited by Omega Vision on Jan 2nd, 2013 at 03:22 AM
from what i understand, that number of jews could have never survived wandering the desert for that many years and even if they could, the archaeological evidence points towards the idea that they never invaded canaan as a great army but rather they were natives of that very land.