Senate Understanding Christianity

Discussion in 'Community' started by Ghost, Dec 24, 2012.

  1. Kimball_Kinnison Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2001
    star 6
    That's why it is always important to separate the actual text of the Bible from the translation and/or interpretation of the Bible. Just because (for example) someone thinks that Jesus spoke in Elizabethan English (because that's what they read in the King James Version) doesn't mean that Jesus actually spoke that language.

    Often, you can lose a lot of nuance in a translation. One example is how in Spanish, the word "su" means either "his", "her" or "their", depending on the context, and sometimes that context can be hard to discern, especially when you have multiple possible antecedents. That can completely change the interpretation of a verse.

    Most Christians who have done more than a cursory study of the Bible (including many who are biblical literalists) don't claim that any of the translations of the Bible are authoritative. Instead, they hold that the Bible, as originally written, is accurate, but that translations might have some errors or differences.
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  2. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2011
    star 7
    Oh I know; I was a language major in undergrad. Your points are the reason I don't understand Bible literalism.
  3. Skywalker8921 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 9, 2011
    star 4
    @anakinfansince1983

    http://doig.net/NTC05.htm

    http://www.doig.net/NTC12.htm

    Something else that I didn't realize until now; Tiberius began his sole reign in 14 AD after Augustus' death, but for all intents and purposes he was considered co-Emperor with Augustus from 12 AD according to Suetonius. If the fifteenth rule of Tiberius' rule (when Jesus was 30) is calculated from 14 AD, then that places Jesus' birth around 1 or 2 BC. However, if Tiberius' fifteenth year is calculated from 12 AD, then that pushes Jesus' birth to 3 or 4 BC - when Herod died. It's still not entirely satisfying, though. I believe this articl here has the best explanation of it all:

    http://www.agapebiblestudy.com/documents/dating the birth of jesus of nazareth.htm Take a particular look at the section devoted to Herod the Great near the end.

    Point is, Luke did not error in any way. Don't believe me? Look at Acts 5:37, where he makes mention of a census.
    Last edited by Skywalker8921, Aug 5, 2013
  4. Kimball_Kinnison Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2001
    star 6
    The question isn't literalism itself, but rather according to which version?

    In the LDS Church, one of our Articles of Faith states "We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God." Essentially, we believe that the Bible, as originally written, is correct, but that there may be errors in translation (as well as material that has been lost over time). The Book of Mormon is held to a different standard because its translation into English was done by Joseph Smith through "the gift and power of God". Our other "standard works" mostly or entirely (depending on your perspective) originated in English. The translation caveat applies to them as well when you are talking about translations to other languages.

    There is nothing inherently wrong with a literalist interpretation of the Bible (or a part of the Bible), but you have to keep in mind the original language. For example, the creation "days" mentioned in Genesis 1 use the Hebrew word yom, which actually has multiple meanings: *
    A literal reading of Genesis 1 isn't necessarily incompatible with our current scientific understanding unless you assume that it intended definition b instead of definition d. You can even use multiple meanings in the same passage, such as in Genesis 1:5, where God called the light "day" (yom, definition a), and also called a night and a day a day (yom, definition b).

    On that basis, you can take a literalist approach, believing that Genesis describes 6 creative "days" (although I would argue that "age" or "epoch" might be better words), and still not think that the Earth was created in only 168 hours. Such an interpretation only becomes problematic if you make assumptions beyond the actual words in the text.

    * I'm using this link because it's the best one I could find quickly. It is not an endorsement of the site.
    Last edited by Kimball_Kinnison, Aug 5, 2013
  5. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2011
    star 7
    Um, OK. I don't recall indicating that I had a problem with events listed in the Bible. Jesus of Nazareth's existence has been documented, as has his crucifixion, although the claims of his deeds in the Bible have not been documented by any outside source that I'm aware of, and there is certainly no proof that he was immaculately conceived.

    Not sure where you're going with this. If you're arguing that every word of the Bible should be taken at face value because it got a few events right, I think that one has been refuted already. That would be the equivalent of using Winds of War as a textbook and claiming that Pug Henry was a real person simply because the book mentions Stalin, who was a real person, and got his status as the leader of the USSR correct.

    @Kimball_Kinnison : I agree, and as I mentioned in the YJCC thread, the Bible got the order of events correct for the most part. But I find using any definition other than #4 to be problematic.
    Last edited by anakinfansince1983, Aug 5, 2013
  6. Skywalker8921 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 9, 2011
    star 4
    I'm trying to point out that the census recorded in Luke 2, before Herod died, should not be confused with the later census of 6 AD; Luke would not have mistaken one for the other. He distinguishes the two by using the word "first" in Luke 2. Also, from all accounts, Quirinius had the favor of Augustus and could have been appointed a Procurator Augusti, or a fiscal procurator, among whose duties was collecting taxes; from what I've read on the Internet Augustus attempted unsucessfully to levy a tax on Judea before the 6 AD census, and it is probable that this taxation is what Luke refers to in Luke 2. The same title for fiscal procurator, Procurator Augusti, was also used for the Imperial governors who were appointed directly by the Emperor. Based on this, Luke's mention of Quirinius in Chapter 2 probably refers to him being appointed fiscal procurator for the Syrian Province at the time of Augustus' unsuccessful tax attempt, with his actual appointment to governor (same title for two different offices, remember) coming before the more sucessful 6 AD census.
  7. Skywalker8921 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 9, 2011
    star 4
    @Obi-Ewan, your argument about Luke thinking the census and Herod's death overlapped is not true.

    I'm trying to point out that the census recorded in Luke 2, before Herod died, should not be confused with the later census of 6 AD; Luke would not have mistaken one for the other. He distinguishes the two by using the word "first" in Luke 2. Also, from all accounts, Quirinius had the favor of Augustus and could have been appointed a Procurator Augusti, or a fiscal procurator, among whose duties was collecting taxes; from what I've read on the Internet Augustus attempted unsucessfully to levy a tax on Judea before the 6 AD census, and it is probable that this taxation is what Luke refers to in Luke 2. The same title for fiscal procurator, Procurator Augusti, was also used for the Imperial governors who were appointed directly by the Emperor. Based on this, Luke's mention of Quirinius in Chapter 2 probably refers to him being appointed fiscal procurator for the Syrian Province at the time of Augustus' unsuccessful tax attempt, with his actual appointment to governor (same title for two different offices, remember) coming before the more sucessful 6 AD census.
  8. Obi-Ewan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 24, 2000
    star 4
    http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/richard_carrier/quirinius.html

    Or you can go directly to the part that references Quirinius.

    http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/richard_carrier/quirinius.html#II

    There's also the fact you have not addressed: Herod's campaign to kill Hebrew newborns is unverified by any other historical records, and no Roman census ever would have required a man from Nazareth to travel to Bethlehem on account of Davidic descent. Plus the account of Joseph and Mary returning to Nazareth in time for Jesus's Bris rather eliminates the possibility of them fleeing to Egypt for several years.

    Thank you for not mentioning Jerry Vardaman's unverifiable coin.
    Last edited by Obi-Ewan, Aug 5, 2013
  9. Skywalker8921 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 9, 2011
    star 4
    @Obi-Ewan, you did not pay one whit of attention to what I said. Quirinius was not a Legate Governor of Syria at the time of the earlier census, but more possibly a fical procurator charged with collecting taxes. Look up "procurator" on the Web and you'll see what I'm talking about.

    This tax in Luke was a inheritance tax designed to support the Roman military.

    http://doig.net/NTC05.htm

    This article here provides several possible explanations as to why Joseph and Mary went to Bethlehem for this census.
  10. Sarge Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 4, 1998
    star 4
    What's that famous quote about translations? "Every translation is a betrayal," or words to that effect. I look at multiple translations when I'm considering disputatious passages, and I took a course in Koine Greek so I can slowly muddle my way through the New Testament, with the help of a good Greek/English dictionary. I've never studied Hebrew, so I'm more at the mercy of translators and commentators in the Old Testament. biblegateway.com is a good site for checking different translations and languages.
  11. EvilQ Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 8, 2013
    star 1
    1) Don't mini-mod. 2) This isn't a thread to debate the existence of God.
    Last edited by DarthBoba, Aug 7, 2013
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  12. Obi-Ewan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 24, 2000
    star 4
    you did not pay one whit of attention to what I said. Quirinius was not a Legate Governor of Syria at the time of the earlier census, but more possibly a fical procurator charged with collecting taxes. Look up "procurator" on the Web and you'll see what I'm talking about.

    Maybe you didn't read what I posted. It addresses claims of an earlier census plus arguments of Quirinius's alleged earlier involvement in the area.
  13. Skywalker8921 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 9, 2011
    star 4
    Read my posts again, because you're clearly missing the point. In any case, I'm not participating in these threads anymore, so don't question me again.
    Last edited by Skywalker8921, Aug 9, 2013
  14. timmoishere Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 2, 2007
    star 6
    The "I'm taking my ball and going home" attitude isn't conducive to a productive conversation. My suggestion? Don't take such a rigid stance when it comes to your religion. Accept the fact that some of its claims are erroneous and that there are more ways of looking at things besides through a biblical lens.
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  15. LostOnHoth Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2000
    star 5
    I would find it interesting to know what is your favourite Bible passages/stories/parables, if anyone would care to share?
  16. Sarge Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 4, 1998
    star 4
    I love the Psalms: 23 of course, 46, and 139 are some of my favorites. Romans 8 is one of the best chapters for comfort and reassurance. Isaiah 40:31 could be my tombstone verse, if I don't pick Romans 8:28.
  17. timmoishere Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 2, 2007
    star 6
    Deuteronomy 22:20-21
    Exodus 31: 12-15
    2 Kings 2:23-24
    1 Kings 20:35-36
    Isaiah 13:15-18
    Psalm 137:9

    Just to name a few.
  18. SoloKnight Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 13, 2003
    star 4
    Jeremiah 29:11
    Isaiah 43:1-4
    Psalm 27:14
    Psalm 46:10
    John 3:16 (of course)
    Hebrews 12:1
    And pretty much the entire book of 1 John

    Favorite story is Jesus and the adulterous woman. The whole "let he who is without sin cast the first stone" and I really like the image of Christ getting on his knees in the dirt and writing/drawing something while everyone is just standing around like, "What the heck is this guy doing?"

    But my favorite verse is Zephaniah 3:17- The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.
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  19. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9
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  20. Sarge Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 4, 1998
    star 4
    With the exceptions of Isaiah and Zephaniah, all those are already underlined in my Bible. Great minds, right?
  21. TheBBP Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2012
    star 4
    Wow. Great thread!

    This one has been on my heart lately. Especially when dealing with unsaved folks...

    http://bible.us/59/2pe.3.9.esv

    The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.
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  22. State-Tad_17 Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Aug 15, 2013
  23. LostOnHoth Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2000
    star 5
    The Jesus story regarding the adulterous woman is also my favourite story in the bible. Even though it was added to John much later by unknown scribes it's still a good moral story particularly given the times. As a non-believer most of the bible makes me go cross eyed but that is a stand out.
    Last edited by LostOnHoth, Aug 16, 2013
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  24. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9
    Less well-known is the story where Jesus and a prostitute get sarcastic with eachother...it's pretty hilarious :p Can't remember where it is in the New Testament, though.
  25. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2004
    star 7
    Isn't this just another version of South Park's "look at the monkey" strategy?

    "Look at the terrorist"?