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Science from the Bible
Posted: 16 December 2010 12:59 AM   [ Ignore ]
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I understand that many religious people argue that there is science to be found in the Bible that accurately portrays its accuracy. Although with what I am about to present suggests this, I want to assure you that even if there is content that should demonstrate any accuracy to reality, this does not prove that the book itself is authoritative on all its content. It merely shows that the there is some information in the book that relates to reality.

As I see it, I theorize that much of the ancient scriptures likely originally meant to convey a secular account of the world as they understood it. Religion was not how we presently perceive it today because myth was intertwined into their fabric of social existence. And they probably recognized much of it as more useful than necessarily true.

The reason I think they didn’t take it so seriously is because they would have been societies that were just becoming civilized from tribal lifestyles which had varying different individual beliefs. In order to come together as a civilization, they had to recognize that not one particular tribe could be correct in the absolute truth. Thus they developed the Temple system to aggregate the tribal beliefs and their property claims using idols to represent both their agricultural lands and their people. [my Temple origin theory]

Here is an example of how I see the secular science in the Bible:

Now originally, one of the first things that all tribal peoples would have learned in any scientific sense would have been the fact that the air seemed to be of some significance to all living humans and animals. They would have noticed that if you withheld air from themselves or others, within a short time, they would convulse and permanently die. They would name this air in our modern translation as spirit. They would also notice through this invisible substance, they could smell things both pleasant and not so pleasant. When they burned things, they noticed that fire would seem to rise into the spirit, consuming things to ash and the rest into smoke which rose within the rest of the spirit.

Since life seems to be aroused by the air, it seemed to have a magical quality to it. It was the bringer of life. Spirits such as fire were destroyers of life. But this spirit that magically sustained life was good as apposed to being bad. And thus, when they first recorded it in such manuscripts as the Bible, they claimed it as the Spirit of God, which to them was indistinguishable in meaning.

So, in the first paragraph of Genesis:

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

meant:

In the beginning God created the skies and the earth. Before there was light, air existed above the water first.

This was their first theoretical rationalization of existence. But I’ll take one other example regarding Genesis 6:

And God said, “Let there be an expanse between the waters to separate water form water.”

Obviously here, they’re referring to the separation of the blue skies from the water below. But why do they assume that water was there first? It was likely that it was well known back then that the hills and mountains had evidence of fossils of ancient sea dwelling creatures. This could only occur if the land was all under water at one time. Many of those fossils were likely dug up and have not survived to see our day.

There are probably a lot more examples. I have not done a thorough exam of the Bible. But I’m sure some of it will prove to show what the ancients believed rationally and with a secular tone. The Bible may be religious. But it shows some of the other common beliefs of its times as well.

[ Edited: 16 December 2010 02:06 PM by Scott Mayers ]
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Posted: 16 December 2010 11:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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If you are saying that by the time the time the Genesis story was included as part of the Hebrew religion any original understanding of the story, such as air/breath being spirit was lost that, is probably true.

However, the Bible is such a hodge hodge collection of religious ideas from different sources I think it’s a mistake to assume any consistency of religious or spiritual message.
Some of the stories maybe the result of the observation of nature which I suppose could be considered science, but I doubt there was in concept of the scientific method that any of these observation could be consider scientifically justified even if later some of these observations can be scientifically justified.

A lot of the Bible is based on visions and dreams which were considered prophetic. In other words absolutely no scientific justification was involved. It was at the time justified by faith alone, even if the resultant concept might accurately describe some aspect of nature.

Even if you can now scientifically justify some of these religious concepts, that doesn’t mean science was involved at the origin of these stories, at least nothing beyond common observations of nature anyone can make.

[ Edited: 16 December 2010 04:54 PM by Gnostikosis ]
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Posted: 16 December 2010 01:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Scott:

As I see it, I theorize that much of the ancient scriptures likely originally meant to convey a secular account of the world as they understood it.

True to an extent, however in the world before approx. 1500 CE there no one had yet conceived the difference between what today we call the religious and the secular.  This fact is what many of us secularists tend to ignore when we are discussing these societies.
Also science did not exist as a separate study.  Anyone trying to claim the Bible is a scientific text hasn’t done their homework, it is not what it was intended for.  The Bible is a collection of various works from a particular, and highly successful, tradition.  Its intention was social organization.  IMO, when people object to the Bible not being taken literally (which by the way didn’t occur until approx. 1910 with the publishing of the Fundamentals by a protestant group) it is because they are concerned that when the limited knowledge of the physical universe contained in the Bible is challenged, that the moral teaching will also be rejected along with it.  The Bible should be read as part of the social history of particular societies, which Western Culture has and still is evolving from.  It is a highly valuable study as the Bible and the religions based in this cultural tradition still have a powerful and expanding place in today’s society.

I hope you continue to read in this subject, as I have been doing for the past several years.  If you are interested in the Christian religion, you may want to read The River of God - A History of God by Gregory J. Riley 2001. Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity at Claremont School of Theology.  This is a fairly short (238 pg.) history of the background and traditions used by the early Xtians to form their religion.  I have just started The Evolution of God by Robert Wright, this a more general and lengthy (483 pg.) study of the basis of religions in general.

Looking forward to ongoing discussion in this area.

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Posted: 16 December 2010 04:18 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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I see that “spirit” does come from Latin spirare meaning breathe.  That’s a clever insight.  But the Jews who wrote Genesis (traditionally Moses?) were older than Latin, so wouldn’t “Spirit of God” be a modern English translation of surviving copies of ancient Jewish texts.  What language would those be, probably not Greek, Hebrew seems too new, certainly not Latin…?  The word being chosen because of its modern meaning, not because of its old Latin meaning?  Interpreting it as breathing air, air being a life-giving substance… that seems to begin with the old Latin meaning, rather than beginning with the modern English senses, like the life-giving force that each creature possesses temporarily…  if you believe in that sort of thing.

Observations of nature are scientific, but observations so simple as what are made at the beginning of Genesis?  Why consider them any more significant than any other creation myth from any other culture?  I don’t see how a Christian can argue that that is a source of any science.

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Posted: 16 December 2010 08:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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How about RELATIVITY?

http://www.quantumcritics.com/20080302438/miscellaneous/general/star-trek-meets-the-bible.html

LOL

psik

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Posted: 17 December 2010 12:08 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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1) In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

Wrong! In the beginning there was light (Big Bang)

2) And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

Wrong! The word earth is a misnomer for Universe. If we assume the word “earth” to be correct here, the entire tale becomes incomprehensible. The Universe is not made of water.

3) And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.

Wrong! Light was not the third part of creation, it was the first part of creation.

4) And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.

Wrong! The light was from a most violent explosion and release of energy, which was neither good nor bad.

5) And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.

Wrong! The sun and planets were not yet formed and there was no day and night as we know it. God’s day must have been many billions of years. Moreover between evening and morning lies night.

6) And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.

Wrong! Whatever shape the Universe has, it is definitely not a dome shaped firmament. And where did the waters come from?

7) And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.

Wrong! This statement is totally false. It makes no sense whatever. Water above the firmament?

8) And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.

Wrong! If the firmament is the Universe, then it cannot be Heaven, which should lie beyond the firmament in the waters above. Second day, another many billions of years. Moreover between evening and morning lies night.

9) And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.

Wrong! The waters on earth were gathered in several oceans (not one place). As I understand it the earth was a molten rock and water came much later. And here the implication is that the firmament (and heaven) was over the earth only.

10) And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.

Wrong! You cannot equate the universal “earth” (in the beginning….) with Earth as dry land.

11) And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.

Wrong! The first living things on Earth were unicellular microorganisms called prokaryotes. The first prokaryotes are thought to be Blue-green algae (also called cyno bacteria).

12) And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

Wrong! Without sunlight (not yet created) flora cannot survive.

13) And the evening and the morning were the third day.

Wrong! Another few billion years (give or take). Moreover between evening and morning lies night.

14) And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:

Wrong! The firmament (universe) has no days or nights. Lots of stars though.

15) And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.

Wrong! The sun and moon were not yet created according to the previous account.

16) And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.

Finally we get to the creation of the sun and moon (day and night). Many stars had already been formed.

17) And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth.

OK, but why?

18) And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good.

OK, but why?

19) And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.

Another several billion years (give or take). Finally we enter the age of earthly days and nights. But between evening and morning lies night.

20) And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.

Quite a stretch from a single celled organism to a flying bird.

21) And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

Wrong! Evolution was creating a great diversity among species and technically speaking we are all of one kind,
Heterotroph: Humans, Mammals, Flowering plants, Predators, Some forms of bacteria, Amoebas

22) And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.

Wrong! Many species of flora and fauna died off from cataclysmic events and during the process of natural selection.

23) And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.

Wrong! The implication here is that god’s day always was 24 hrs, but we know it took another several billion years.

24) And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so.

True! Thank God. Apparently He left that part to evolution.

25) And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

Apparently he did not feel that predation was a bad thing.

26) And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

Obviously God cannot be of flesh, thus the implication here is that he made man intelligent and ability to choose (attributes of god). But man did not become intelligent until after eating from the tree of knowledge.

27) So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

God is hermaphrodite? But again, this statement implies intelligence, which is a convenient circular argument.

28) And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

Humans don’t need god’s blessing to exercise their dominion over life on earth and ruination of our environment.

29) And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.

Vegetarian diet?

30) And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.

Again all life is to be vegetarian. Why would god create predatory carnivorous animals?

31) And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

Ah yes, another few billion years and god’s work week was done and he could now rest with only an occasional whisper in the ears of some of his favorite people. I wonder if the original text was written from right to left. Then the day thing makes sense.. LOL

Scientists are still trying to unravel one of the greatest mysteries of earth: When did “life” first appear and how did it happen? It is estimated that the first life forms on earth were primitive, one-celled creatures that appeared about 3 billion years ago. That’s pretty much all there was for about the next two billion years. Then suddenly those single celled organisms began to evolve into multicellular organisms. Then an unprecedented profusion of life in incredibly complex forms began to fill the oceans. Some crawled from the seas and took residence on land, perhaps to escape predators in the ocean. A cascading chain of new and increasingly differentiated forms of life appeared all over the planet, only to be virtually annihilated by an unexplained mass extinction. It would be the first of several mass extinctions in Earth’s history.
http://www.extremescience.com/zoom/index.php/geologic-earth-history

This sudden explosion of life was possible by what could have been a very simple mutation, caused by natural stresses in one of the great ice ages.

I believe myself to be a generous person with ability to see fundamental truths even when presented as allegory. But I cannot reconcile this account (revealed truth) of Creation with my (admittedly meager) understanding of the natural physical and even a possible metaphysical universe.

I invite any theist to correct me if and where I am wrong in my critique of Genesis as science.

[ Edited: 17 December 2010 01:16 AM by Write4U ]
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Posted: 17 December 2010 12:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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psikeyhackr - 16 December 2010 08:44 PM

How about RELATIVITY?

http://www.quantumcritics.com/20080302438/miscellaneous/general/star-trek-meets-the-bible.html

LOL psik

lol..I love the warning before the body of the post… big surprise

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Posted: 17 December 2010 01:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Gnostikosis:

...the Bible is such a hodge hodge collection of religious ideas from different sources I think it’s a mistake to assume any consistency of religious or spiritual message.

I agree with you. I didn’t propose that matching data in the Bible to reality means that its religious ideas are true. Nor are the secular “scientific” ideas either. The document in parts just suggest that some information appears to be early justifications for reality as they saw it and I’m hypothesizing that since the secular and religious were so intermingled, the original meanings of some of the phases of the Bible were referring to real nature with words that have now evolved into strictly religious meanings.

For instance, whatever their original word for spirit was connoted both a physical phenomena, air, fire, smoke, etcetera, and its magical religious meanings tied together. But for the most part, everyone understood back then that their word for spirit was synonymous with the air. No one in today’s society makes that connection because they translate those words passed down as strictly having only a religious meaning. So spirit gets only a strict translation and loses its original meaning. [This should answer jump_in_the_pit’s first question as well.]

If it wasn’t clear in my original post, I think it should be clear in the above that I agree with you Gary that religious and secular cultures were one and the same. But it is the secular half or mixture that gets missed when you look at the past. Because their words were both religious and secular at the same time, it is hard to distinguish when the context is referring to a secular meaning or a religious meaning even though it would have been very well understood to the people of their day. For example, meanings for Adam is Earth-kind, mankind, or from the Earth. So when using this word in the Bible, they could be using a particular person as a myth to represent an actual secular meaning. But the original meanings got lost to time due to mistranslations and illicit interpretations.

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Posted: 17 December 2010 01:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Write4U:

I invite any theist to correct me if and where I am wrong in my critique of Genesis as science.

Well, I’m an absolute non-theist. But you are missing my argument. You may think I’m thinking the Bible to be accurate. I’m not claiming accuracy. I’m stating that the original writers had different intentions than the religious people think nowadays. They wrote what they thought was true about their society at the time in a language that is ambiguous to us because of their social context. So early interpretations of the world were simultaneously religious and secular, which included their first attempts at scientific understanding as we know it. It doesn’t mean that their ‘science’ was correct!

But observations at the time did rationally lead them to conclude some things in an early ‘scientific’ sense even though they were wrong. It is true that there are fossils in hills and mountains. So they likely assumed that all of that was under water…which turns out to be technically true. But it explains why they thought that the world began with just water. And it shows that they reasoned rationally and in a ‘scientific’ sense.

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Posted: 17 December 2010 03:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Scott Mayers - 17 December 2010 01:56 AM

Write4U:

I invite any theist to correct me if and where I am wrong in my critique of Genesis as science.

Well, I’m an absolute non-theist. But you are missing my argument. You may think I’m thinking the Bible to be accurate. I’m not claiming accuracy. I’m stating that the original writers had different intentions than the religious people think nowadays. They wrote what they thought was true about their society at the time in a language that is ambiguous to us because of their social context. So early interpretations of the world were simultaneously religious and secular, which included their first attempts at scientific understanding as we know it. It doesn’t mean that their ‘science’ was correct!

But observations at the time did rationally lead them to conclude some things in an early ‘scientific’ sense even though they were wrong. It is true that there are fossils in hills and mountains. So they likely assumed that all of that was under water…which turns out to be technically true. But it explains why they thought that the world began with just water. And it shows that they reasoned rationally and in a ‘scientific’ sense.

I agree with you on the origins and evolution of Scripture and the emphasis on moral behavior. Were it suited, the ancient thinkers as Socrates, Plato and several more were incorporated in the texts.
But the title asks if we can trust the bible as an acceptable source of scientific truth and from the biblical account of creation, I can confidently say that it is not.
I do have argument with some theist’s refusal to accept consensus science, without moral consideration of an obligation to truth.
Maybe there is hope, the Vatican has formally accepted the BB and universal evolution as compatible with Creation. They solved the indefensible 7 day creation problem, they accepted and incorporated the science. A small step for man, a giant leap for mankind. Ideally we end up with a Scripture which is spiritually uplifting, secular, and scientifically sound.

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Posted: 17 December 2010 10:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Scott Mayers - 17 December 2010 01:22 AM

Gnostikosis:

...the Bible is such a hodge hodge collection of religious ideas from different sources I think it’s a mistake to assume any consistency of religious or spiritual message.

I agree with you. I didn’t propose that matching data in the Bible to reality means that its religious ideas are true. Nor are the secular “scientific” ideas either. The document in parts just suggest that some information appears to be early justifications for reality as they saw it and I’m hypothesizing that since the secular and religious were so intermingled, the original meanings of some of the phases of the Bible were referring to real nature with words that have now evolved into strictly religious meanings.

For instance, whatever their original word for spirit was connoted both a physical phenomena, air, fire, smoke, etcetera, and its magical religious meanings tied together. But for the most part, everyone understood back then that their word for spirit was synonymous with the air. No one in today’s society makes that connection because they translate those words passed down as strictly having only a religious meaning. So spirit gets only a strict translation and loses its original meaning. [This should answer jump_in_the_pit’s first question as well.]

If it wasn’t clear in my original post, I think it should be clear in the above that I agree with you Gary that religious and secular cultures were one and the same. But it is the secular half or mixture that gets missed when you look at the past. Because their words were both religious and secular at the same time, it is hard to distinguish when the context is referring to a secular meaning or a religious meaning even though it would have been very well understood to the people of their day. For example, meanings for Adam is Earth-kind, mankind, or from the Earth. So when using this word in the Bible, they could be using a particular person as a myth to represent an actual secular meaning. But the original meanings got lost to time due to mistranslations and illicit interpretations.

I’ve found it is easy to read into the Bible meaning that may support your theory however you can’t be sure that the original author had any intent to convey that specific meaning.

Not to say you couldn’t derive a coherent theory that support your concept. Just that you’ll never be able to have any absolute certainty you’ve seperated this secular ideology from the mythology.

I’ve derive what seems to me a coherent ideology from the gospels which fits, seems to answer many of the stories without a need of accepting supernatural concepts to support. However in taken an honest look at it, I have no idea whether the original authors had any intent to convey my “interpretation”.

Words are containers of ideas. The ideas contained by a word may means something different to me then they mean to you. We can use a dictionary and come to a common agreement. However with ancient writers there is no guarantee the words we use contain precisely the same ideas/concepts. Although the may. Your interpretation has the likely hood of be as accurate as anyone’s just it’s very hard to actually justify it as being more accurate.

Personally I’m happy with my interpretation of the Bible, I just don’t expect to convince anyone it is the “correct” interpretation.

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Posted: 17 December 2010 12:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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garythehuman - 16 December 2010 01:08 PM

IMO, when people object to the Bible not being taken literally (which by the way didn’t occur until approx. 1910 with the publishing of the Fundamentals by a protestant group) it is because they are concerned that when the limited knowledge of the physical universe contained in the Bible is challenged, that the moral teaching will also be rejected along with it.

I think that Jesus took the Old Testament literally.  I think he thought the Old Testament was written by God.  He went to great lengths to try to make sure that every prophecy of the Old Testament that referred to the coming of the messiah came true.  He planned his actions according to it to the letter.  If any of his teachings contradicted the Old Testament, he would say that God has a new way of doing things now.  I never remember him saying about the Old Testament “Come on people, they’re just stories.  You’re not taking them literally are you?”  He might criticize other Jews for following the letter of the law and not the spirit of the law.  He might say “This isn’t what God intended when he wrote this passage.”  (I’m paraphrasing)

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Posted: 17 December 2010 03:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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brightfut - 17 December 2010 12:40 PM
garythehuman - 16 December 2010 01:08 PM

IMO, when people object to the Bible not being taken literally (which by the way didn’t occur until approx. 1910 with the publishing of the Fundamentals by a protestant group) it is because they are concerned that when the limited knowledge of the physical universe contained in the Bible is challenged, that the moral teaching will also be rejected along with it.

I think that Jesus took the Old Testament literally.  I think he thought the Old Testament was written by God.  He went to great lengths to try to make sure that every prophecy of the Old Testament that referred to the coming of the messiah came true.  He planned his actions according to it to the letter.  If any of his teachings contradicted the Old Testament, he would say that God has a new way of doing things now.  I never remember him saying about the Old Testament “Come on people, they’re just stories.  You’re not taking them literally are you?”  He might criticize other Jews for following the letter of the law and not the spirit of the law.  He might say “This isn’t what God intended when he wrote this passage.”  (I’m paraphrasing)

Jesus did not directly put anything in the New Testament.  All his sayings were recording of oral histories, in the plural by people, who had mostly never even met the living Jesus, a generation or two after his death. What the xtians call his sayings are recorded oral history, which by its very nature changes to fit the circumstanses of the time they are expressed in. We do not even know for sure if Jesus was a single person or a school of prophets possibly trained by John the Baptist.  Either way they would use whatever exisited in their traditions, within or without what is now considered the Old Testamernt to support their particular political theology.

Scott; None of this means that the Bible did not reflect the Biblical author’s knowledge of the physical world as it exisited at the time, but again recording of scientific development was not the purpose of these traditions and documents, anymore than the purpose of the statements of any of today’s political parties or movements is.

[ Edited: 17 December 2010 03:48 PM by garythehuman ]
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Posted: 17 December 2010 04:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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I was told at church growing up that the New Testament was written by 4 of the 12 disciples of Jesus (Mathew, Mark, Luke, and John) who each gave their account of what they remembered.  I don’t know where your information came from.

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Posted: 17 December 2010 04:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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brightfut - 17 December 2010 04:24 PM

I was told at church growing up that the New Testament was written by 4 of the 12 disciples of Jesus (Mathew, Mark, Luke, and John) who each gave their account of what they remembered.  I don’t know where your information came from.

Are you sure Mark was a disciple? I can find no reference to Mark as one of the twelve.
Found it: http://www.gotquestions.org/Gospel-of-Mark.html

I find it curious that there are so many different names by which the apostles were identified. Seems to me that lends itself to the proposition that there were several more associate apostle/disciples (such as Mark).

[ Edited: 17 December 2010 05:00 PM by Write4U ]
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Posted: 17 December 2010 07:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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brightfut - 17 December 2010 04:24 PM

I was told at church growing up that the New Testament was written by 4 of the 12 disciples of Jesus (Mathew, Mark, Luke, and John) who each gave their account of what they remembered.  I don’t know where your information came from.

There is no evidence that those people actually wrote those books, apart from tradition. Nowhere in the books does it say anything about authorship.

It’s rather like the tradition that Moses wrote the Torah, which includes an account of Moses’s own death ...

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