Do you ever find it... Troubling?


(Thomas) #1

Does anyone else ever find it troubling that in order to keep the Bible relevant and taken seriously it has to be ‘re-interpreted’ over and over again? Don’t get me wrong, it is amazing that it CAN be re-interpreted over and over for every age but at the same time I find it troubling that it can only continue to be believed as time goes on by doing so. By digging deeper into the text than any average Joe of Today would ever bother attempting, just to make it fit with our current understandings.

At face value, the Bible simply does not pass the smell test. For whoever could believe the extravagant claims without relying on someone more intelligent to help convince them? My personal library is almost entirely made up of apologetic material that I NEEDED just to have a basic level of faith. And still my brain more often than not screams NO! It cannot be!

Whenever a Theist decides to defend the Bible from Atheist charges, they always have to alter something, accept that what is written isn’t actually what is meant. Each time Biblical interpretation must be altered to continue surviving. Tremendous dedication is required to fend off the simplest of charges. People have dedicated their lives to defending it from the most basic of criticisms. Criticisms that are so EASY to come up with.

Will we ever get to a point where it just cannot keep up any longer? Where we have to simply put down the shovels and toss it aside in order to continue living in reality?
Of course, for that to happen there must not be a God. But considering God is seemingly just as absent from the World around us as the Tooth Fairy, does it even matter if He exists or not? We only have this book to go on.

Lately I find myself just giving in to the criticisms. It is far easier and at the end of the Day, more honest than ignoring them and continuing to defend something that is clearly incredibly flawed. Even if that which is flawed is my own interpretation.


#2

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(Dcscccc) #3

hi. i think you will interest in this article:

http://creation.com/is-there-a-universal-way-christians-should-interpret-the-bible


(Jo Helen Cox) #4

This is done to anything. Take fashion. Why does “the world” rely on “those brilliant designers” to tell us what color to wear this year while they insult us for wearing last year’s color? Why does that make so much difference?

Take science. Who would believe from just looking around that the earth is a big ball spinning at incredible speed, rotating at an even greater speed, around the sun, and the sun is speeding around the center of the galaxy which is in a high speed dance with other galaxies? Who would believe that a table is made up of mostly empty space and all the actual bits are moving? We need intelligent people to explain even the basics of reality.

Each generation must assess their understanding. God gives insight to a few. Others run with those visions. Some distort details. What the general population gleans from all those opinions determines how they interpret what they see. If a distortion is easier to accept, a future generation must reassess. Our generation is reassessing a huge number of beliefs at one time. It is not surprising that it makes belief in God difficult.

Smell test? If someone is expecting vanilla and gets a whiff of garlic, does that prove the recipe bad?

Whose reality? We always must choose which “intelligent” person to follow. Your assessment finds God inaccessible. My assessment finds God more accessible every day.


(Jo Helen Cox) #5

A quote from the article mentioned:

A critical difference between methods of interpretation is the difference between exegesis and eisegesis. Exegesis is a method of interpretation that strives to understand the original meaning out from of the biblical text. Eisegesis is an interpretation of Scripture that reads the interpreter’s own ideas or bias into the text. Exegesis says; “This is what the text means”. Eisegesis says; “This is what I want the text to mean.”

I find this very humerus. YEC believe God’s initial creation was perfect but was corrupted by the first sin. However, the Bible never says that. All the scriptures used to defend those beliefs must start with a perfect creation (circular logic). Those beliefs are imposed by human religion.


#6

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(Thomas) #7

You have me pegged ENTIRELY wrong.

Any intelligent, rational and reasonable person NEEDS to study and meditate on Christian apologetic material in order to believe the wild claims of the Bible. And even then they can only be believed when NOT taken literally, mostly.

I see you have no idea who I am or what my position is or you never would have mentioned THAT site…

I own several books by C.S Lewis - The Problem of Pain, The Screwtape Letters and Mere Christianity. I am also familiar with Sayers, Chesterton and Aquinas.

Wow, THAT is offensive. Anyone who has read anything I have written here or elsewhere would never say that my mind is not ‘expanded’. I am also extremely well versed in Christian Theology.
The fact you only mention Richard Dawkins and Ken Ham as people who cause others to question Christianity hints that maybe it is not me that should expand their mind…

And after all of it, my OP is still relevant.

Sorry, I do not subscribe to YEC nonsense. It deserves NO recognition, anywhere, ever. It’s subscribers only cause harm to faith and science and must never be indulged.

The one, true reality we all live and breathe in of course. There is only one… The Bible’s historical claims MUST fit with reality. Otherwise, it must be cast away in search of the truth. I am interested in what the Bible ACTUALLY means. And when I find that out, if it doesn’t match reality, then I can finally end my struggle with it and move on. But I wont just believe something that makes such incredible claims regarding phenomenon that just does NOT ever happen in the World I live in Today. I can’t. I need to test everything.

Personally I believe that anyone who can simply believe Jesus Christ walked on water or rose from the dead without some SERIOUS work in understanding how and why, needs to be locked up.


#8

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(Jo Helen Cox) #9

I total agree. That is why I started with what Genesis 1 actually says, not with what I believed it says, not with what I was taught to believe it said. BIG difference. When viewed as circular poetry and not as a list of a perfect creation, every detail in the creation actually matched standard science. EVERY ONE. I would call that a good start for reality. Removing perfectionism and the myths associated with them from Genesis 2-11 let those texts match science almost completely. Lots more reality.


#10

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(Christy Hemphill) #11

I stopped reading at this paragraph:

News flash. Unless you are reading the original manuscripts you are trusting an interpreter because all translation starts with interpretation. This is so basic it is amazing to me that anyone thinks they can ever just deal with the text. Even if you read Greek, you still have to interpret it for yourself and trust your own interpretation. There is no such thing as “trusting the text itself.”

I just spent two hours doing a semantic clausal analysis of Acts 1:1-5 in the original Greek for a class. Before the text could communicate anything to me, I had to decide what I thought it meant. I had to interpret it. The text without interpretation has no meaning. The Bible doesn’t come close to saying the same thing in every language it is translated into. Ask any Bible translator. We hope it means something similar in every language.

The person who wrote this article doesn’t understand how language works, how interpretation works, or how translation works. It is a total waste of time to read.


(Dcscccc) #12

i think that they talk about regular interpretation. and not something that is seems like a contradiction to the basic interpretation. like the word “yom”.


(Dcscccc) #13

so you are believe in a creator that made evolution?


(Christy Hemphill) #14

There is no real distinction between regular interpretation and basic interpretation. Before you can understand language, you have to decide what you think it means. Before the translators of our English Bible’s put the Greek and Hebrew into English, they decided what they thought the text meant.


#15

Hi Benjamin,
I wish I could write more but I sympathize with you and understand the angst that you are dealing with. It gets overwhelming at times. I am not making a positive or negative appraisal, but try reading, understanding and defending the Chicago Statement on Inerrancy at your local college. I remember talking to an OT Hebrew scholar about Inerrancy and his reply, ‘If there are some mistakes, so what’? I am using this as an example and am not saying anything negative about this topic.


(system) #16

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