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What part(s) of the Bible can be considered divine inspiration?

#21Moorish_IdolPosted 3/29/2013 10:41:11 AM
mercuryink posted...
According to the Jewish view, the Torah, or books Genesis-Deuteronomy, were written by the hand of Moses per the instructions of HaShem. The others were written by men for various other reasons. For instance, many books were written/compiled into the Haftarah readings during the period when Torah study was banned.

I've always found it interesting how the Jews believe their own book to be written by man, and then Christians came along and retroactively called it divine.
#22SirThinkALotPosted 3/29/2013 12:58:15 PM(edited)
bratt100 posted...
It's very interesting but the bible as it is today is the result of a few men deciding what should and should not be in it. Man decided what the book contained and man is incredibly fallible.


Eh this isnt exactly right. The OT canon was established before Christianity existed. And while the Councils of Constantinople and Trulio did officially recognize the NT canon as we know it today, it wasnt so much that they were 'decreeing' that the books are inspired, so much as officially recognizing what Churches were already using and even considering inspired. The analogy I like to use is to something like AFI's lists of great movies.

Indeed we see collections of the Gospels and Paul's letters that were being circulated and evidently used as scripture in churches prior then. And indeed those were accepted pretty much without question.

As for the issue of divine inspiration: I think Iamvegito explained it pretty well. I would also add that I dont think that preculudes other books from being inspired in the same sense.
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#23De EvolutionPosted 3/29/2013 1:37:38 PM
SirThinkALot posted...
bratt100 posted...
It's very interesting but the bible as it is today is the result of a few men deciding what should and should not be in it. Man decided what the book contained and man is incredibly fallible.


Eh this isnt exactly right. The OT canon was established before Christianity existed. And while the Councils of Constantinople and Trulio did officially recognize the NT canon as we know it today, it wasnt so much that they were 'decreeing' that the books are inspired, so much as officially recognizing what Churches were already using and even considering inspired. The analogy I like to use is to something like AFI's lists of great movies.

Indeed we see collections of the Gospels and Paul's letters that were being circulated and evidently used as scripture in churches prior then. And indeed those were accepted pretty much without question.

All you've explained is the method by which fallible men chose to decide what the Bible is. bratt was completely accurate in his statement. Your fancy councils and canons was just a bunch of people getting together and using the same books. There's nothing inherently divine or inspired about it.

As for the issue of divine inspiration: I think Iamvegito explained it pretty well. I would also add that I dont think that preculudes other books from being inspired in the same sense.

Iamvegito posted...
Well the Word of God (logos) is masculinized Wisdom (Sophia), and is used to refer to Jesus. The Bible is Scripture, not the "Word."

There is no reason to think that it is an infallible text - all of its authors were human, and nothing humans can write is universal. However, in the sense that all of the books of the Bible were written as a response to a phenomenon, i.e. God, they are all "inspired."


So anytime someone writes something in response to a phenomenon and that phenomenon is (correctly or incorrectly) labeled as "God" it is an "inspired" text? Sounds like a cop out to me. In that case every scripture from every religion that believes in a deity/deities is "inspired".

Again, inspiration does not imply "true for all time." The big theme of the text (God's justice versus humanity's injustice) is probably the biggest thing that we can take away, and should work as our hermeneutical framework for the text, but also for our own experience; a sort of "double exegesis."


What exactly does inspiration imply then? When exactly is inspiration supposed to be true? The theme is the most important part of the book? I can find superior moral themes in Harry Potter.

God's justice versus humanity's justice is really what you base the criterion for your "holy text" on? God's infatuation with genocide, killing babies and infants, and punishing innocent people for the actions of others (Adam & Eve, Pharoah/Egyptian first borns, original sin, Jesus' sacrifice, etc) are not exactly models of justice. If human justice was anything like "God's" justice this planet would be in more shambles than it is now.

If I enacted "God's justice" and YOU committed a crime, would it make sense for me to kill your first born child? Would it make sense for the judge to take their own son, and punish them for the crimes of a plaintiff in a court case? Because that's what Jesus' sacrifice is according to the Biblical interpretation.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VWAUhadJzTk

A short satirical video on Christian Justice. Please watch.

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#24SirThinkALotPosted 3/29/2013 2:02:44 PM
De Evolution posted...
All you've explained is the method by which fallible men chose to decide what the Bible is. bratt was completely accurate in his statement. Your fancy councils and canons was just a bunch of people getting together and using the same books. There's nothing inherently divine or inspired about it.


Did you even read what I said? Because I get the feeling that the point I was making flew over your head.

To be honest, I dont think the Councils are really that important or relevant to the issue of scriptural canon. More important is what was being used and recognized from the beginning of the church, as well as look at what works were actually the products of the Apostles,

So anytime someone writes something in response to a phenomenon and that phenomenon is (correctly or incorrectly) labeled as "God" it is an "inspired" text? Sounds like a cop out to me. In that case every scripture from every religion that believes in a deity/deities is "inspired".


Sure, the real question is, was it actually God that inspired them?

What exactly does inspiration imply then?


I think it means simply this: God prompted the creation of the work in question. In the same way an artist might say he was 'inspired' to create his work by something he saw.
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#25De EvolutionPosted 3/29/2013 2:14:40 PM
SirThinkALot posted...
To be honest, I dont think the Councils are really that important or relevant to the issue of scriptural canon. More important is what was being used and recognized from the beginning of the church, as well as look at what works were actually the products of the Apostles,


The fallacy of appealing to tradition. Something being steeped in tradition doesn't make it true, correct, accurate, valid, or in anyway divine. As for being products of the apostles, how can you prove that? Even biblical scholars suggest that the New Testament wasn't written by anyone who knew Jesus first hand dispute me if I'm wrong.

Sure, the real question is, was it actually God that inspired them?


Yes. That is the real question. Please apply the same intellectual standards to your own beliefs.

What exactly does inspiration imply then?


I think it means simply this: God prompted the creation of the work in question. In the same way an artist might say he was 'inspired' to create his work by something he saw.


What you're saying is meaningless for all intents and purposes. Every writer of every piece of religious literature claims to be "inspired". And the sentence "God prompted the creation of the work" is so vague and bland it could mean anything. If I write about a rock outside it could be reasoned that the rock is part of God's creation and thus my writing was "inspired".

Care to elaborate on this "inspiration"? The way you're presenting it to me just seems really meaningless and vague and easily applied to anything.

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Violence, naked force, has settled more issues in history than has any other factor; and the contrary opinion is wishful thinking at its worst.
#26inferiorweaselPosted 3/29/2013 3:48:38 PM
JonWood007 posted...
..Except most Christians actually don't read the Bible "properly" if you wanna come down to it. The Bible is an anthology of works written over a thousand years, and Christians like to treat it as a single work coming from the same author. They assume it does not contradict, so when they come across a contradiction, they rationalize it away rather than face the fact that there is a blatant contradiction there.


It does not contradict. Either you missed the context, the perspective of said author, or you just failed to understand. Ask rabbi's if they think it contradicts.

Or in the case of ordered genocides, people miss the fact that the hebrews were not killing humans, but the offspring of the fallen angels.
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#27inferiorweaselPosted 3/29/2013 3:52:50 PM
Moorish_Idol posted...
mercuryink posted...
According to the Jewish view, the Torah, or books Genesis-Deuteronomy, were written by the hand of Moses per the instructions of HaShem. The others were written by men for various other reasons. For instance, many books were written/compiled into the Haftarah readings during the period when Torah study was banned.

I've always found it interesting how the Jews believe their own book to be written by man, and then Christians came along and retroactively called it divine.


Many Rabbi's and Jews believe the bible to be divine in origin. Just like christianity, you have people who say they are jews and are not. They are the chaff mixed with the wheat.
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Live and Learn / Forgiveness is Divine.
(Read those. If you still feel the same way.... Well, you are redcount. - Vyyk)
#28SirThinkALotPosted 3/29/2013 5:01:22 PM
The fallacy of appealing to tradition. Something being steeped in tradition doesn't make it true, correct, accurate, valid, or in anyway divine.


I dont disagree, but I would say that if the earliest Christians recognized certain books as scripture(which seems to be the case with the Gospels and Paul's letters), it was probably because they recognized them as teaching what Jesus and especially the apostles taught.

As for being products of the apostles, how can you prove that? Even biblical scholars suggest that the New Testament wasn't written by anyone who knew Jesus first hand dispute me if I'm wrong.


Well this needs to be broken down some. First, I specified Apostles, which would actually include Paul. And while one or two of his letters have disputed authorship, most are considered to be genuinely his. As is 1st Peter(although 2nd Peter is sometimes disputed) and James.

Then there is the Gospels. And its true some scholars(although far from all) doubt that they they were written by the individuals attributed to them, but when you look at their actual reasoning, its really pretty weak.

Here is an excellent video on the authorship of(and source for the material in) Mark's Gospel:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7rcNCB3cqTg&list=FLpllN9azBqdDQZUKTkG_SwA&index=16

What you're saying is meaningless for all intents and purposes. Every writer of every piece of religious literature claims to be "inspired".


And they probably were....the question is, was it God that inspired them?

Care to elaborate on this "inspiration"? The way you're presenting it to me just seems really meaningless and vague and easily applied to anything.


I thought it was pretty clear actually: Something God had done prompted people to write what they did. And yes, it could apply to lots of writings outside the Bible. I already acknowledged that.

Heres something else to consider though: Ultimately, when it comes down to it, it doesnt matter if the Bible is inspired by God or not. What matters is whether or not what the Bible says(particularly in regards to the person and character of Jesus) is true. If Jesus actually rose from the dead, that would raise some serious questions, regardless of what prompted the writing of the Bible.
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