To begin with, I belong to the Church of Christ. I have been going there for years, so I know what they say about the issue in question. But I still have doubts. Mainly, the reasoning behind the logic that Jehovah inspired men on what to write. My preacher has pointed to several verses in different books, stuff greatly ahead of its time. The quarantine process for example; first used bliblically in Exodus, just relatively recently being used by doctors. There are many other verses in other books as well. So, what gives?!? were the ancient Isrealites geniuses, or did The Man Above inspire them? And if The Almighty did inspire them, did he inspire ALL of the books of the bible, or just the ones with brilliant commands and observations?
Personally I believe they had some inspiration from God; that’s my religion talking though. It’s also equally probable that mankind at the time had the knowledge of such things that many people wouldn’t give them credit for.
The one thing that gets me is; if the bible was inspired by God, then why was the apocrapha thrown out?
Maybe just the Torah, see Bible Code
Revelations is very curious. Chernobyl means Wormwood. The plant grew in the area and accounts for the name but they could have chosen something else. Revelations says a star fell from heaven poisoning 1/6 of the land and water. It says specifically the name of the star is WORMWOOD.
A star uses nuclear fusion and a reactor fission, but who knew anything about nuclear anything or that it was poisonous 1800+ years ago?
I am not willing to say the entire Bible is written or inspired by God but some things about it are just too wierd to be ignored.
It’s not that I think the Catholic Church is the whore of Babylon but I can’t think of another candidate. LOL
If by “just recently” you mean since the dawn of civilization I wholeheartedly agree with you.
This is the actual excerpt:
So it was called Wormwood because it was bitter, not because it was a nuclear reaction. Chernobyl also couldn’t be Wormwood because the other two trumpets haven’t been blown yet (check the rest of the chapter). This makes no more sense than Nostradamus’s wacky predictions which “came true”. If it said “And their children were born with mutations from the beams the star sent out” or something like that, I’d be a bit more impressed.
All the books were written by men.
Many books of the original Bible are now placed in the Apocrypha, and the process was not something that happened all at once, nor was the division universally agreed to.
Just as Socrates did not write any of his lessens, and the ones handed down to us by Plato must invariably suffer from the “translation” through another’s recollection and retelling.
Re: the Chernobyl/Wormwood thing - too many steps in the logic:
Chernobyl is (supposedly) the name of a bitter herb.
Wormwood is a bitter herb (although probably not the same herb that is called ‘chernobyl’)
The word rendered ‘Wormwood’ in the (KJV)Bible is ‘apsinthos’ - denoting generic ‘bitterness’ - not the name of any specific plant.
I’m afraid it is no better a ‘hit’ than Nostradamaus or Mother Shipton can offer - the correlation is entirely post hoc and in the eye of the reader.
The answer to this question is: No, God did not write nor did he inspire the Bible. When I was a kid, I used to think he did. I would read the Bible and find it confusing and weird, and I assumed that, since I was a kid, it was because I wasn’t bright enough to understand what was going on. In college I took a course in the Old Testament. The professor expressed great respect for the document, it was as a source of historical insight, not as the “Word of God”. Although I had already come to the conclusion that God was a myth, I was still shocked. When we looked at what was actually written, I had to feel that any clergyman who had actually studied this document and still claimed it was the “Word of God” had to be either incompetent or dishonest (I’ll be charitable and assume most were the former).
The Bible not only contains contradictions (Genesis 1 contradicts Genesis 2 about whether man or animals were made first), but it is poorly written, poorly edited, contains much pointless trivia (try reading Numbers) and, together with some decent moral sentiments, lots of horrible moral examples. If there is a God, it is an insult to him/her to say he/she wrote it or even inspired it.
Give a little thought to the Ten Commandments. Supposedly these are so central to law and morality that God had them engraved on sacred tablets. This should be the Big Ten of rules. Is child abuse forbidden? No. How about arson, vandalism, torture, slavery, or substance abuse? None of those. But there is elaboration on forbidding “coveting” and honoring the sabbath. I don’t think a perfect God wrote these. I think they were written by a human, and one that was not too bright at that. The average high school kid could do a better job.
Then there’s Psalms 137:9 “Happy shall he be who takes your little ones and dashes them against the rock!” I don’t think God inspired this. Or in Numbers 15:22-36 where God orders a man stoned to death for gathering sticks on the sabbath. I don’t buy it.
There’s lots more. I don’t think any intelligent person reading this book would believe it was the Word of God unless they were first indoctrinated into that idea, which, unfortunately, most of us are. I think it’s good if people read the Bible, but they should read it to figure out what is really going on, not from a perspective of blind acceptance.
Dear Jimboth, are you satisfied with the answers so far received?
The way I see it, you are asking for help in resolving your doubts.
But I still have doubts. Mainly, the reasoning behind the logic that Jehovah inspired men on what to write.
You say that you are possessed by doubts.
Are these doubts of the same kind of psychological import to you as if you should doubt whether you are the genuinely biological child of your parents?
Or are they just academic doubts, meaning like you are a Martian and you don’t have any certainty one way or the other whether Bush was lying about Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction.
Why am I asking you these questions.
To invite you to examine exactly what your doubts are and the psychological anxiety they stir up in your mind and heart.
People ask questions here with intimate bearings on their psychological equanimity.
One poster here asks whether Catholics do anal sex.
I had the impression from his writing that he was asking a personal question, and seeking reasonable principles for resolving a personal doubt.
It turned out down along the thread that his concern was mere curiosity; and he states that he’s not even a Catholic.
People here ask personal questions, but they in many instances do not have the courage to choose a reasonable line of resolution proffered to them by others who give them sensible and workable suggestions.
The way I see it, you are possessed by personal doubts and you seek help.
So, I will give you some suggestions which might help you, if you have the courage to accept them and practice them.
The Bible is written by God, the preachers tell us.
However, that God that wrote the Bible was a very primitive crude pre-scientific, pre-technological, and pre-critical thinking God.
It was also a very barbarous God, addicted to ethnocentrism, Who delights in sacrifice and blood.
That is what His spokesmen in the Bible itself tell us; and his self-acclaimed spokesmen at present also in many cases still insist on.
It was a God that inspires crusades and jihads, and commands His believers to kill others who believe differently – even the same essential God.
The doubts you are troubled with will never be resolved; because the core of religious beliefs are emotional attachments, not rational conclusions.
But you can go above and beyond these doubts and they will no longer trouble you.
Start from the standpoint of your intelligence, reason, and autonomy.
Think, reason logically and critically, and exercise independence.
Follow reason and hold on to the sovereignty of your self-will.
I can’t insist on reason and free will too much.
On the basis of logic, science, technology, and humanistic values, you can and should reject any Biblical teachings and religious impositions of your religious mentors, if they cannot concord with them.
In sum: If the Bible was written by God some thousands of years ago; it is high time that sensible men ask God to write a new one, or do God the favor of writing one, that will represent God as He should be in the light of reason, logic, science, technological, and very important, humanistic values.
So, will you be courageous?
Susma Rio Sep
I would agree that even a cursory reading of the Bible gives the impression it’s the work of man only.
I’m going to say no for the boring reason: god didn’t write the bible because he doesn’t exist.
But to address the topic a bit more, the ‘hits’ like the Chernobyl thing always involve such HUGE reaches and odd interpretations, just like Nostradamus, that I don’t know how they can be credible. They also, if you note, only predict things that have already happened. If someone had used the Bible and that line of thinking to predict the Chernobyl disaster BEFORE it happened, you might have something. But it’s always post hoc junk.
It’s simple really, like doctrine of churches and leaders, all works of religion are works of man, and moreover, INTERPRETIVE works of man. It boils down to a bunch of people who were beset with visions (hallucinations?) penning text about what they THINK is in the mind of God…huh?
Granted, the crux of most of the religious text means well (with the exception of the old testament and about 1/3rd of the new).
And the big ten are the very first cliffs notes, for those who weren’t really fluent in Aramaic and what have you, but for the most part, the Bible, right along with any other big book of religious information, is chock full of mans desire to control man, period.
Personally, I prefer “If it harm none, then do as thou wilt” as the sum total of my religious text.
It’s easier to remember, you can say it in most langauges, it doesn’t take one persecuted jew and 12 buddies to spread the thing, there’s no music to learn, and no one gets nailed to anything.
Susma, I think you’re on to something…dopers are arguably the most intelligent group of folks around, there’s no reason we cant get the ball rolling on this, let’s write a new Bible, start from scratch, use the lessons learned and hope for the future as our guides…anyone??
Well, it seems to me that God did ultimately inspire the Bible…
he also inspired ‘Das Kapital’ and ‘American Psycho’…
it seems to me there is no reason to expect that the ultimate being of the universe is anything other than morally neutral.
Or extremely complex.
It’s worrying that people still ask this question.
So far, I’ve seen the arguments that this crowd has made as good and valid. I have not been convinced, however, or even swayed by any of your OPINIONS, though. As the great Cecil Adams said during the search for the origin for the whole nine yards phrase,
Susma, you have put in facts and I do appreciate this; but I must deal with the above three paragraphs. (1) & (2) I will deal with together. (Lets assume for just a moment, that God does exist and we're certain of that. I am willing to discuss the existence of God, just not here. Create another topic for that!) I'd like to point out that God did not inspire the Crusades or jihads. That was completely a creation of the catholic church establishment, which I have NO respect for whatsoever. The catholics are by no means the basis of God's will. For paragraph (3) I'd like you to speak to a friend of mine, John Clayton by name. He is a former leader of an atheistic movement, who spent a year attempting to write a book entitled THE STUPID THINGS IN THE BIBLE. I take it that the title explains itself. In the year of research, which was, of course, done by reading the Bible, he changed his mind and became a Christian. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org , and I have informed him that he might recieve a few emails from y'all.
BTW, I’m just ignoring the whole wormwood/chernobyl thing.
The original quote by ** Susma Rio Sep** was “God that inspires crusades and jihads”. Note “crusades” not “the Crusades”. I’m assuming that, given the lack of capitalisation, the word was being used in the sense of “A vigorous concerted movement for a cause or against an abuse” rather than any specific medieval century war. That being the case God has indeed inspired numerous bloody and violent crusades.
How do you know that God didn’t inspire the Crusades themselves? All the participants claim that She did? Can we have a reference for that fact?
Blake, I love you.
You son or daughter of your mother.
Susma Rio Sep
No, The Bible was not written by God firsthand. It was written by flawed human beings attempting to describe God as best they knew how.