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The Credibility Of The Bible


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#1 TelMeDragon

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Posted 17 August 2007 - 12:43 PM

I've read many topics on Religion and see that many people post Bible verses as a source.

My question is, how credible is the Bible?

One could argue that it isn't credible due to the massive amounts of translations that it went through, with a probably mis-translation somewhere along the way,
or one could argue that it is very credible because it was the divine words of God passed down to humans.

Are there any other answers besides those?
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#2 ussr1943

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Posted 18 August 2007 - 11:20 PM

what you really mean is "how credible are religious texts."

cred·i·ble /ˈkrɛdəbəl/ Pronunciation[kred-uh-buhl] P
–adjective
1. capable of being believed; believable: a credible statement.
2. worthy of belief or confidence

Credibility is relative to a persons belief, if you ask a scientist they might say "It's impossible to walk on water", yet a religious believer would say "you're wrong, the religious text says so and this was written by god or by (INSER HERE) who was doing the work of god.
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#3 solaris32

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Posted 19 August 2007 - 12:07 AM

Yea, people act like that because the Bible says it was written by God it must be true... If I made a book about how people's lives should be lived, and I claim the words were divinely spoken to me by my dog in heaven who has achieved ultimate wisdom, would you believe it? (I'm sure somebody would though :thumbsup: ). The point is, there is no proof but opinions supporting the Bible. Personally, that's not enough justification for me to live my life by a book.
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#4 TelMeDragon

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Posted 19 August 2007 - 12:26 AM

Yes sorry, that was too specific.
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#5 DSTM

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Posted 19 August 2007 - 12:26 AM

The Bible wasn't written by God,but rather written by Man whose inspiration to write the Scriptures come from God.
Personally, Given that so many wrote it,and been translated so many times over probably 1500 yrs or so,I don't give it much credence.And the fact some chapters were left out is a worry,as to why.Did they conflict with what was already written?Who knows for sure.If you think it's credible,thats Fine.Other than the 10 Commandments,nothing else interests me.















#6 solaris32

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Posted 19 August 2007 - 12:31 AM

I do agree DSTM, about the interest of the 10 commandments. To me, the 10 commandments are probably the best laws ever written.
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#7 Budapest

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Posted 19 August 2007 - 02:28 AM

I do agree DSTM, about the interest of the 10 commandments. To me, the 10 commandments are probably the best laws ever written.

I don't get this solaris32. You say you don't believe the bible but you think the 10 commandments are probably the best laws ever written. How can you possibly think this - especially seeing as though the first three or four laws concern the worship of god?

You may not know this but there are in fact fourteen (or maybe fifteen) imperative statements in Exodus and that there is no universal agreement on how to reduce these to ten laws. What I mean by this is that the 10 commandments are slightly different depending on whether you are Jewish, Orthodox, Roman Catholic or Protestant.
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#8 seafox14

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Posted 19 August 2007 - 05:41 AM

Take a look at this

MANUSCRIPT EVIDENCE FOR THE BIBLE

TEXTUAL CRITICISM OF THE BIBLE


Seafox14
5 So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you. Have nothing to do with sexual immorality, impurity, lust, and evil desires. Don’t be greedy, for a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world

#9 jgweed

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Posted 19 August 2007 - 10:30 AM

"One could argue that it isn't credible due to the massive amounts of translations that it went through, with a probably mis-translation somewhere along the way,
or one could argue that it is very credible because it was the divine words of God passed down to humans."

In general this summarises two possible and widely held positions, but there are many others that can, and have been taken that form a continuum of possible stances. For example, the status of the OT may certainly be different from that of the NT.
Whether the Bible is creditable or not ultimately depends upon the individual's choice of the criteria of truth, and whether all statements found in the Bible equally satisfy those criteria; approaching the discussion from an historical perspective can lead to conclusions different than those from a theological perspective.

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#10 Ronbo

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Posted 19 August 2007 - 01:49 PM

One could also argue that any document which contradicts itself time and time again also loses any claim to credibility.

http://www.evilbible.com/Biblical%20Contradictions.htm

Could these contradictions be because of all the translations? Maybe so or maybe not but in any case contradict itself the Bible does.

If these contradictions are from the translations then the Bible is no longer as God intended it to be and as such is no longer the word of God. If it has not been bungled in translation, then it is the word of God and please explain all the contradictions inherent in it.



The above link comes from this heathenish (pagan, atheist etc...) website: http://www.evilbible.com/

Rebuttal website for above heathenish website: http://www.therefinersfire.org/evil_bible.htm

Edited by Ronbo, 19 August 2007 - 01:55 PM.

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#11 Budapest

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Posted 19 August 2007 - 03:02 PM

One could also argue that any document which contradicts itself time and time again also loses any claim to credibility.

I do not really see this as a insurmountable problem for christians. It was recognised as far back as Origen of Alexandria (185AD–254AD) that one may take an allegorical interpretation of scripture. I understand that many religious historians consider that literal interpretation of the bible only became popular after the protestant reformation.
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#12 jhsmurray

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Posted 19 August 2007 - 07:00 PM

Excellent point. If you ever have a chance to read "The Battle for God" by Karen Armstrong, she does a good job of illustrating the pitfalls of literal interpretation of the bible. Her main focus is religous fundamentalism.

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#13 solaris32

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Posted 19 August 2007 - 08:40 PM

I do agree DSTM, about the interest of the 10 commandments. To me, the 10 commandments are probably the best laws ever written.

I don't get this solaris32. You say you don't believe the bible but you think the 10 commandments are probably the best laws ever written. How can you possibly think this - especially seeing as though the first three or four laws concern the worship of god?

Ah yes. Well if you take those commandments pertaining to the worship of God and change the meaning slightly, it works. Such as "thou shalt have no other gods before me" you can change to mean something like get out and experience the world and don't be obsessed with one thing. Because what that commandment means is that if you would rather watch football than go to church etc, football has become your "God". So if you get rid of the God part, that commandment means don't do the same thing over and over or your life will not have been lived to its fullest. Get out and do other stuff and don't just watch football all day long etc.

2nd one says to not make an idol and worship it. This could mean to not make one thing your entire life, such as money or another worldly pleasure. Don't limit yourself to one thing and use/worship it.

3rd is to not use God's name in vain. Simply don't cuss as it doesn't help with your manners.

4th is honor the sabbath and keep it holy. Can mean to show up to work and don't blow it off. Same with any other things you have to do.
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#14 jgweed

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Posted 21 August 2007 - 01:19 PM

The problem of translation aside, there is also the problem of how the Canon of scripture was created and the creation of a critical edition(s) of the text itself.

If you have ever translated, for example, something written in more or less modern French prose into English, you have literally thousands of books---whole libraries--- magazines, and dictionaries to consult, and you can ask several Frenchmen for help. How do you not only translate word-for-word and still capture the tone and nuance of the original author?
Then consider on the other hand (for example) translating the NT Koine Greek into modern English. One has one or two dictionaries or lexicons, and the examples to consult barely fill a small alcove in a library. And these examples of usage and word-definitions are derived from the chance survival of contemporary texts.
Confining myself to the NT, we have only contemporary reports not only of Jesus's life but also his words (Jesus himself as far as we know wrote absolutely nothing), so we are dependent on differing perspectives about his life, and the memory of his disciples about his words. I will not mention the problem of the writings of St. Paul who never even heard Jesus. And even within the compass of two generations after the death of his discliples, there was argument about what his teaching meant, and about which books of the Bible were doctrinally authentic.

Cheers,
John
Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one should be silent.

#15 jwinathome

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Posted 22 August 2007 - 09:46 AM

Paul who never even heard Jesus.


Ive heard this argued before, and it holds no weight. His encounter on the road to Damascus, he clearly heard the voice of Jesus.

Then the age old argument says....the stories of his conversion conflict in the book of Acts...blah blah blah. bzzz...sorry, they don't conflict at all. The men with Paul heard the noise but didn't understand the voice. I'm not sure if that's the argument you would use, but that's the one this age-old, beat to death, poor argument has used.




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