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  1. #121
    Junior Member Pangolin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    Then again, I still have not even figured out how millions of Israelites wandered around a rather small (geographically) desert wilderness for 40 years without leaving a trace of themselves, and had enough resources to survive as a people. (Aside from the obvious, "Oh, it was a miracle!" scenario.)
    Millions?

    My interpretation of that is that the leaders intentionally made them nomadic for that period (as various tribes in that area still are) to wait until all/most of the people who had directly experience the Egyptian captivity had died off so that when they got about to founding a civilization (meaning, cities) that they would not be unduly influenced by Egyptian culture. IIRC this was directly a result of the golden calf incident, which makes it make perfect sense.

  2. #122
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pangolin View Post
    Millions?
    Based on the population in the Bible at that time, and typical population calculations historian use to project ancient populations, I think that's what it was. It was at the very least 625K of them, but I thought I remember the projection being in the millions range. I'll have to look it up again and clarify/correct my statement.

    In any case, the number of people (plus livestock and so on) was extremely large.

    My interpretation of that is that the leaders intentionally made them nomadic for that period (as various tribes in that area still are) to wait until all/most of the people who had directly experience the Egyptian captivity had died off so that when they got about to founding a civilization (meaning, cities) that they would not be unduly influenced by Egyptian culture. IIRC this was directly a result of the golden calf incident, which makes it make perfect sense.
    That's not a bad idea. I don't recall it being in the Bible; the Bible credits the motivation as essentially "punishment from God because the people rebeled."

    And the sort of interpretation you offer doesn't seem to be too much different from how I would read things. For example, even with the Law, I see much of that as NOT "inscribed by God" -- it's all sensible law based on the need to manage a large culture of people, ascribed to God to help it gain credibility in Israel's eyes.
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  3. #123
    Senior Member FallsPioneer's Avatar
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    I see it more as a book of principles, some of which are alright. I don't take the miracles seriously; even if stuff such as Noah's Ark or the Commandments were found I wouldn't feel much different about Christianity.
    Still using a needle to break apart a grain of sand.

  4. #124
    Senior Member wedekit's Avatar
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    Depends on your religion honestly. I'm Catholic. It's a religion based on traditions made by the early Christian church AND scripture (New Testament was compiled by the early church). The Bible to us is more like a reading supplement to give us general guidelines and principles. That's why it's so strange to see other religions based so strictly on the Bible, since that wasn't its original purpose.
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  5. #125
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    Quote Originally Posted by wedekit View Post
    Depends on your religion honestly. I'm Catholic. It's a religion based on traditions made by the early Christian church AND scripture (New Testament was compiled by the early church). The Bible to us is more like a reading supplement to give us general guidelines and principles. That's why it's so strange to see other religions based so strictly on the Bible, since that wasn't its original purpose.
    Which is why, when I grew up in that conservative environment, everyone talked about how the Catholics weren't serious Christians. *eye roll*

    (What a tangled web people weave.)

    Funny how I am becoming more and more catholic in approach nowadays.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

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  6. #126
    Senior Member NoahFence's Avatar
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    It should be interpreted like anything else: with the speaker's limitations in mind.
    "I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use." - Galileo

  7. #127
    Senior Member substitute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wedekit View Post
    Depends on your religion honestly. I'm Catholic. It's a religion based on traditions made by the early Christian church AND scripture (New Testament was compiled by the early church). The Bible to us is more like a reading supplement to give us general guidelines and principles. That's why it's so strange to see other religions based so strictly on the Bible, since that wasn't its original purpose.
    Yes, ditto. I find it really bizarre how a protestant will berate me for putting store by the words of St Augustine, and yet they'll flock to see Billy Graham and buy all his books and totally base their approach to religion on what he says, even though what he says is so obviously just one interpretation of many.

    And I also find it odd how my fundamentalist protestant friend sneers at my reverence for the saints' writings, when really, they're little different from the Bible - just weren't lucky enough to be written before the Nicene Council and so didn't make 'canon'.

    Seems weird to me that two millenia of the finest minds of history putting serious and sincere prayer, thought and meditation into several lives' works, and the gradual evolution of a popular and fully accessible religion that permeated the lives of every human being, can be dismissed so easily and cavalierly... based on some myth that because it was all in Latin, nobody understood it... as if anyone wouldn't pick up a bit of a language that they spent virtually every day listening to from the day they were born to their very hour of death.

    You get 'logical extensions', don't you? I mean that's what Catholicism is full of - it's a case of, well, the canon was closed at that point, but they so hadn't covered everything because y'know, times change and whatever. So... St Paul was basically taking what he understood of Jesus' life and work, and processing it in his head and taking it to the next logical step... and Christians continued to do that for centuries, making the Bible always relevant and accessible. I can't comprehend what's supposed to be gained by abolishing all of that and trying to shoe-horn today's issues and practices back into a template made for the 1st century Roman Empire, as though all the scientific and social-scientific discoveries and advances had never happened.

    It kinda seems like they're throwing the baby out with the bath water, and doing just what they say the popes did in the Middle Ages, which they take great pride in disassociating themselves from - trying to re-close people's eyes that have been opened.

    Speaking of which, have you read Eamon Duffy's The Stripping of the Altars? Very eye opening.
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  8. #128
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    This Evangelical thinks pretty highly of Augustine, actually, but I realize I'm the exception rather than the rule in this case. The older I get, the more historically old my faith becomes. I anticipate that I'm probably a John Knox-style Presbyterian at this stage.

    Go Covenanters!

  9. #129
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiddo View Post
    Why is it that a lot of Christians believe that the Bible is infallible, especially when it has been translated so much? Why is it that they are so sure, that even after it has been translated, and possibly lost much of its original meaning, that each verse truly invokes God's intentions? How can they be willing to literally interpret something that has changed human hands so many times and that they have to say, "well maybe back in those times" in order to justify it for modern thought.

    Ultimately, who are are they trusting more when they put their absolute faith in the Bible, God or the translators?
    I think they're putting their faith in their parents more than anything. They believe that perhaps their family was special, and somehow knew and chose the proper text for them, without questioning why.

    That's probably why most of the people in my family who are Christian believe that the King James Version is the right version, and all the others are wrong. I have to admit, I do like the language and flow better, and I tend to agree it's a agree that it's a better version simply because it expands your vocabulary and gives you insight into language development.

    I'm not religious, but I do like reading the Bible anyway. It teaches a lot of important metaphors that explain how people in our culture tend to think.

  10. #130

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    I think they're putting their faith in their parents more than anything. They believe that perhaps their family was special, and somehow knew and chose the proper text for them, without questioning why.


    I agree that people tend to follow the religious path they have grown up with.

    I believe that the Bible was written by man for man, and so is a good collection of stories. I do believe there is a God, but do not believe in organized religion. I think the closest ideology to how I think and feel would be Deism.

    I was baptised a Presbyterian, went to Sunday school faithfully every week, Awana's, Vacation Bible School and then married a Catholic
    In my mind, I believe that there is one God, one supreme being. The work of God is everywhere you turn, and so is he. I feel that I am very spiritual. I feel that religion and church were created by man to help them express the "knowing in their psyche" that there is a supreme being, express their spirituality, and the church (organized religion) fulfills the need to belong. I think that sometimes when things seem overwhelming, people may feel a need to "turn over the reigns" in trust and love in order to cope. The human mind almost demands a release from the anxiety and uncertainty of life. Sometimes there are things a person can do nothing about, but prayer gives them a focus, and a way to release some of their worries into the care of someone else. I also believe it is very egotistical to think that "God", looks feels or acts like us... which "us" would he/she be like? hmmmm.... Maybe that explains the variety of the many different religions.
    I feel that religion and church brings/gives comfort to many, and in no way am I trying to downgrade it in any one's life, just expressing my thoughts on my own life.
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