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Why the bible cannot be inerrant.





Bikerman
My aim here is to explain why those who believe that the bible is inerrant (ie it contains no errors) are demonstrably and certainly wrong in that belief.

People often forget that all the early copies of the various epistles, Gospels, Apocalypses and letters were each copied, by hand, from an existing version. It is also easy to forget that, in the first two-three centuries of Christianity the vast majority of people were functionally illiterate. Research puts the figure at around 97%*
In the various early groups of early Christians, each group would have had a small handful of people capable of writing and these would have been the 'scribes' for that particular group. They would make the copies for that particular group. These were not professional copyists and one would, therefore, expect a high number of transcription errors. We know this for sure, because one of the early Church Fathers - Origen - wrote about it:
Origen wrote:
The differences among the manuscripts have become great, either through the negligence of some copyists or through the perverse audacity of others they either neglect to check over what they have transcribed, or, in the process of checking, they make additions or deletions as they please.

The role of scribe was not established in Christianity until the late 4th Century, so for the first 3 centuries all the copies were done by amateurs who just happened to be the literate ones in the group. The originals and copies are all written in Greek.
There are currently about 5700 known Greek copies of the NT in existence. Many of these are just scraps of text. The earliest complete version of the NT dates to the 4th Century and was discovered in the 19th - Codex Sinaiticus. In the 17th Century a theologian called John Mill (no relation to JS Mill) compared 100 different manuscripts and noted the differences. He found 30,000 differences between the manuscripts - and these are only the ones he considered significant. If we consider the 5700 Greek manuscripts there are more differences than there are actual words in the New Testament. Most of these differences are relatively insignificant - spelling or grammatical errors which don't alter the textual meaning in any significant manner. These can be classed as 'accidental copyist errors'.Other errors are much more significant and were introduced deliberately - ie they are basically forgeries.
So we have the original books being written by persons unknown during the end of the 1st century and the 2nd Century CE. These are then copied by hand time after time and distributed, and soon the original texts are lost, worn-out or damaged beyond reading, and all that remains are copies of copies of copies of copies........This continues for centuries.
In the meantime a selection of manuscripts is chosen to be the 'definitive' New Testament for the new official Roman Church at the end of the 4th Century. Many books are omitted because they don't fit with the image that the church has now settled-upon for the new religion. Some of the 27 books which ARE included are doctored to make them more compatible with the new dogmas being established and to harmonise the various different accounts.
This is all accepted by bible scholars and is 'old news'.

Eventually we get into the middle-ages and the English bible is finally produced and, what many regard as THE definitive copy - the King James is produced in 1611.
Since that time there have been significant archaeological discoveries - including the aforementioned Codex Sinaiticus - which mean we can compare texts of bibles produced since the middle ages with the earliest extant copies - and the results show huge differences. Scholars today believe that many of the 27 books of the New Testament are actually forgeries.
Bart Ehrman identifies 11 books which he believes are forgeries:
Acts of the Apostles; First Epistle of Peter; Second Epistle of Peter; Epistle of James; Epistle of Jude; First Epistle of Paul to the Thessalonians; First Epistle of Paul to Timothy; Second Epistle of Paul to Timothy;Epistle of Paul to Titus; Epistle of Paul to the Ephesians & Epistle of Paul to the Colossians

So the notion that any of the current English translations of the NT are inerrant is not just probably wrong, it is certainly wrong and has been demonstrated to be so using different lines of evidence, including archaeological finds and textual analysis.

*Catherine Hezser, Literacy in Roman Palestine (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2001).
deanhills
Great post Chris and I totally agree. Sort of logical that the Bible cannot be accurate to the extent that any "grouping" can claim 100% accuracy. What I like about your post are the facts surrounding once people were able to write and the uncertainty of the early copies of the Bible. That is interesting. At any rate, there are quite a number of Christians who would agree with you. For me the Bible was written by human beings and some of them were not that scrupulous when they put the Bible together, particularly those with vested interests. As a consequence I've never agreed with any group cherry picking from the Bible for defending or attacking it. Both ways seem to be inaccurate as the Bible can't be looked at literally.
Bikerman
Our early manuscripts are very few and far between - scraps here and there. The earliest complete work would be John - enough fragments exist to reconstruct it fairly completely by around 250CE. The huge majority of 'ancient' manuscripts date from around 620CE onwards - this coincides with Monks establishing 'scriptorium' dedicated to producing copies of ancient scrolls and papyri.
From the 4th Century onwards it is even messier - Latin translations first appeared and other translations - including Aramaic (in which language many people erroneously assume the originals were written). So we now have Latin transcriptions of Greek multi-generational copies of books of unknown authorship. Interestingly, but predictably if one considers carefully, the number of mistakes increases as we go back in time - the earliest copies had the most errors. This makes sense when we consider that by the 7th century the Monks formed a skilled 'professional' copying workforce, but before that time copying was pot-luck.

The amazing thing is not that the bible clearly is not inerrant. The amazing thing is that the belief that it WAS became so widespread and so little challenged - even by the supposed 'expert' scholars and theologians who's role it was to know such things. This is one reason for my complete contempt for theology as an academic discipline - I believe it is on a par with alchemy and astrology, certainly no more credible and worthy of no more academic respect.

It is only when we begin to get a combination of sceptical thinkers and archaeological rigour that we begin to see the myths and misconceptions seriously challenged.
Afaceinthematrix
Where I live, almost every word for the Bible is taken literally word for word (as they hear it because I live in one of the most illiterate countries in the world). The problem with this is that, as I just said, they take it literally as they hear it. One of my best friends in this country is a pastor, and he is literate as well as fluent in English. Sometimes I go to church to hear him preach simply because he is my friend (he knows about my lack of belief) and he helps me in many ways and so I don't mind supporting him. He is completely against drinking alcohol (but at least he isn't an ass about it; he never says anything about me drinking and he'll even pick up an alcoholic beverage for me if I ask him to) and the last time that I went to church, I heard him preach the story about Jesus turning water into non-alcoholic wine. Afterwards, I joked with him and asked him to point out the passage where it said that the wine was non-alcoholic.

I can easily see how the passages could become so incredibly different from the original when 97% of the population is illiterate just based on my one example (and it isn't much different here; the literacy rate here in Sierra Leone is only 43% but I live in an extremely rural area where I'd estimate 90% cannot read and the 10% that can read can read at a very low level).

However, back in the U.S., I experienced a very large trend of proselytizers (mostly the ones handing out pamphlets at my University) telling me (after I'd call out all of the crap in the Bible) "Screw religion; screw the bible - that was written by man; I'm trying to help you have a relationship with God; that's what's important". It seems that even many of the religious people back in the States have realized that the Bible is nonsense but they still wanted me to "have a relationship with God." I don't know what the overall trend in most of the first world is because Munich, Germany is certainly different from where I'm from - Los Angeles, California, and LA is certainly different from Backwoods rural wherever, Texas.
Bikerman
The main problem for the religious is once you concede that the bible contains errors, then what, exactly, is special about it?

If it is maintained that the bible still represents the word of God, just with human errors included as a necessary and unavoidable consequence of the method of transmission, then some problems follow:
a) Really? This is the best that an omnipotent entity could do?
b) Given that much of the bible is error, or deliberate forgery, then which bits do we take seriously and which do we not?
c) Why is this omniscient deity apparently content to have us possess a degenerate, inaccurate and, in parts, fabricated version of his message......seems an odd way to behave, given the consequences of getting it wrong...?
Afaceinthematrix
I understand those concerns and I, myself, do not understand.

More many people, they simply do not know. They either are not literate or they lack the skills to critically examine the Bible. For many other people, they do possess those abilities, they have, and then they develop the mindset that I just told you.

I seriously do not understand it. However, it's exactly the same as the Christians that accept and old Earth, evolution, etc. All of those Christians obviously do not accept the Bible as written and so why do they accept that there is a God? That's what my last paragraph was about. I'd point out these contradictions to people and even say similar things to them as what you just told me and their response would be what I said. Screw the Bible. Screw religion. You need a relationship with God.

So yes, I understand you point and no, I do not understand theirs (like you don't either). It probably comes down to what you always say: most Christians (in the West) are "Christian-lights." They want to believe that there is a God but are too intelligent to be Creationists.
Bikerman
Well, we shouldn't underestimate the staggering scale of deception and misinformation that has been allowed to go unchallenged for centuries.
I still regularly get theists telling me (and sincerely convinced that this is fact) that there are no substantial errors in the bible. Until about a generation ago I would go as far as saying that such an assertion was commonly accepted - indeed it wouldn't be far wrong to say it was generally accepted to be so. Yet bible scholars have known of the errors, forgeries and other hocus-pocus for well over a century. A spate of critical scholarly works were published in the latter half of the 19th century - some of which I have copies of. These clearly illustrated many of the problems with the bible. Yet these never entered the public consciousness, which shows the effectiveness of the barrier/defence system that the Christian meme-plex has 'developed' to protect itself.
A few examples of 'common-knowledge' that is simply false and has been known to be so for a long time, and yet continues to be believed true by a huge number - including many who are not believers:
  • Satan, in the form of a snake, tempts Eve in the Garden.
    Untrue. The serpent is never identified as Satan and many scholars think it is a misunderstanding to interpret it that way,
  • Animals entered the Ark 2 by 2.
    Untrue since the bible clearly says that 'clean' animals - the vast majority - went in 7s and unclean in 2s.
  • The OT contains the 10 commandments.
    There is no place where 10 commandments are given. There are a series of 14 or 15 in Exodus which various sects chop and change to make 10. There is also the 'Ritual Decalogue' which actually IS a set of 10 commandments (Exodus 20) but is never called such and is actually unknown to most Christians. These include the memorable
    • You shall not boil a kid in its mother’s milk.
    • No one shall appear before me empty-handed.
      and
    • The first-born of a donkey you shall redeem with a lamb, or if you will not redeem it you shall break its neck. All the first-born of your sons you shall redeem.
  • Mary Magdelene was a prostitute.
    False - a lie deliberately fostered by the early Church leaders to diminish the role of women within the church. Mary was probably a senior apostle and may have been the MOST senior/favoured.
  • The immaculate conception refers to Jesus born of a virgin.
    Nope. It was formulated as a doctrine concerning the birth of Mary, not Jesus. The theological dispute concerned how Jesus could be born of a sinful woman and not, in his human form, inherit original sin - that would be terribly bad form.
    Therefore it was decided that Mary herself must have been born without original sin - the immaculate conception. They really do just make this stuff up as they go......
    In addition, the whole notion of the virgin birth hinges on a mistranslation of the OT (Hebrew) in the NT (Greek). The Hebrew meaning young woman (almah) is rendered into the Greek as parthenos - meaning a virgin. This was almost certainly deliberate and driven by some forgotten motive.
  • Western culture owes its moral codes and development to the Bible.
    Even today a majority of people seem happy to accept this without question. It is surely bollox. There is nothing in our modern moral sensibility that owes its existence to the bible and there is much that the bible would condemn (equality regardless of colour, gender & sexuality for example), and much else that it would certainly offer no support for (abolition of slavery, human rights in general and much else). This canard should be challenged every-time it is used IMHO.
SpaceInvader75
I think that even the Gospels present different stories about Jesus. So it should be fairly obvious that the Bible is not inerrant. This is one my personal indications that the Bible was not "inspired" by God. Because if you tell a theist "God didn't write the Bible" they will admit that, but they claim that God was using men to write it. One reason I don't believe this is the example I gave about the Gospels, and I'm sure there are plenty more examples.

Now, as the Devil's advocate, I could say that the message of the Bible is still true, and that God was limited by the imperfections of man, just to see how you would respond to that. Smile
Bikerman
The idea that an omnipotent entity could be limited by its own creation seems strange, and probably paradoxical. It is like the usual getout offered for serious problems such as the problem of why there is evil. The standard answer is 'humans are given free will'. This is said as if it were somehow an answer to the problem - AND PEOPLE ACCEPT IT!

In fact it is no sort of answer. Preventing tens of thousands of children dying in a Tsunami doesn't need to impact on human free-will in any way whatsoever. Yet God didn't do it.
Come to that, human free-will need not include the urge to rape and kill in disordered individuals - yet it does.

This 'limited by human agency' is an excuse of a similar type - apparently sensible until you look closer when it is revealed to be nothing but verbiage.
nickfyoung
Bikerman
Quote:
It is like the usual getout offered for serious problems such as the problem of why there is evil. The standard answer is 'humans are given free will'. This is said as if it were somehow an answer to the problem - AND PEOPLE ACCEPT IT!


We don't all believe that stuff. There is evil because God created it as he created everything else. So God is the author of evil and because God is good , his creation of evil was good and serves his purposes.


The early copies of the Bible which were probably taken from the original manuscripts were, The Codex Sinaitcus, 4th Cent.

The Codex Alexandrinus, 5th cent.

The Codex Vaticanus, 4th cent.

Then we have ancient texts and versions,

The Septuagint, 250 BC

The Samaritian pentateuch,

Peshitta or syriac, 1st or 2nd cent.

The Vulgate, AD 400

The Masoretic Text, AD 500-950

The King James Bible of 1611 was a re-translation of six or eight earlier versions of the Bible. Modern versions have bypassed all the re translating and have gone back to the earlier copies and original manuscripts and produced a Bible with the added input of the Dead Sea Scrolls. It is remarkable just how very similar they are.
Bikerman
Quote:
So God is the author of evil and because God is good , his creation of evil was good and serves his purposes.

QED

Only the true mental case could write that and mean it. Anyone with the ability to learn and, therefore, form new opinions would instantly recognise it for the complete bollox it is and stop.

How far is it from this level of absurdity to:
God created evil which is good. Flying planes into buildings is the will of God and therefore evil which is good....therefore.... (or substitute whatever gross atrocity seems appropriate). As I said previously, people who buy this are not moral human beings in any meaningful sense.

One of my favourite authors probably sums this insanity up best in 1984 - Orwell actually wrote a grammar and syntax which would be very useful to you called NewSpeak.
For example, this is a good example of blackwhite.
Quote:
...this word has two mutually contradictory meanings. Applied to an opponent, it means the habit of impudently claiming that black is white, in contradiction of the plain facts. Applied to a Party member, it means a loyal willingness to say that black is white when Party discipline demands this. But it means also the ability to believe that black is white, and more, to know that black is white, and to forget that one has ever believed the contrary. This demands a continuous alteration of the past, made possible by the system of thought which really embraces all the rest, and which is known in Newspeak as doublethink.

Read 'believer' for 'party member' and it is perfect.

PS - it is not remarkable and they are very different. As I said, much of the OT is forgery, or later 'correction'. Up to half the books are not genuine.
nickfyoung
We must be careful not to have some thing else being the creator of evil less we end up with some form of dualism.
catscratches
Evil is good. Okay... I've got to say, whereas I've often found the moral scale of religious types a little too black and white, that moral gradient is most impressive (which is quite extraordinary as it comes from a complete lack of moral gradient).

What's so bad about dualism that it's better to completely defy logic?

It seems very contrived to presuppose a condition (there can't be dualism) and then try to explain away any other explanation simply so that you can arrive at your previous assumption, rather than just forming your worldview based on what you logically arrive to. But I suppose that's the basis of all theology.
nickfyoung
Evil is good from God's point of view because he created it. There are examples in the Bible where he used it to determine some point of history.

The Bible and Christianity is based around the premise that there is only one God. To introduce evil created from somewhere else can create a dualism which threatens the premise of only one God.

Mankind may have a freewill toward each other but not toward God. Why would a God of any competence create creatures with the ability to defy him especially when he knows that is exactly what they would do.
Bikerman
More bollox. It isn't even coherent enough to merit a response, but it is worth preserving as an illustration of the sort of tortured twisted thinking that this evil nonsense demands.
nickfyoung
Isaiah 45

21st Century King James Version (KJ21)

5 I am the Lord, and there is none else; there is no God besides Me. I girded thee, though thou hast not known Me,

6 that they may know from the rising of the sun and from the west that there is none besides Me. I am the Lord, and there is none else.

7 I form the light, and create darkness; I make peace, and create evil; I, the Lord, do all these things.
Bikerman
LOL...as I have explained before, quoting the bible to support your contentions is easy and I can play that game better than you, since I know the bible better.
Firstly it is very revealing that you now resort to quoting from the OLD TESTAMENT.
Secondly
a) The notion that Yahweh was the ONLY God is clearly refuted many times. Here's just a few verses which tell us that there were many Gods:
Using the same book of Isaiah we have in 36:
v18 Beware lest Hezekiah persuade you, saying, The LORD will deliver us. Hath any of the gods of the nations delivered his land out of the hand of the king of Assyria?
v19 Where are the gods of Hamath and Arphad? where are the gods of Sepharvaim? and have they delivered Samaria out of my hand?
v20 Who are they among all the gods of these lands, that have delivered their land out of my hand, that the LORD should deliver Jerusalem out of my hand?

b) The notion that God created evil is not controversial. There are many quotes to establish that. It is the notion that evil committed by God is good that is both controversial and morally repugnant.
So when we read in exodus (36:14)
And the LORD repented of the evil which he thought to do unto his people.
It is clear that evil is evil, not some 'good' in disguise. It is also clear, of course, that Yahweh could not be either omniscient not perfectly good since the above quote refutes both notions.
SpaceInvader75
Quote:
Evil is good from God's point of view because he created it. There are examples in the Bible where he used it to determine some point of history.


This still seems like a circular argument to me. If God created evil, then how could it be just for him to punish evil?
nickfyoung
Bikerman
Quote:
The notion that Yahweh was the ONLY God is clearly refuted many times. Here's just a few verses which tell us that there were many Gods:


There has always been plenty of Gods just as there is now. All Israel's neighbors had their own Gods which is why they were not to associate with them. As they got to know their neighbors and inter married with them they began to adopt their Gods too which upset Yahweh. Yahweh always contended that he was the only true God and proved that a few times in Scripture
redhakaw
nickfyoung wrote:
Isaiah 45

21st Century King James Version (KJ21)

5 I am the Lord, and there is none else; there is no God besides Me. I girded thee, though thou hast not known Me,

6 that they may know from the rising of the sun and from the west that there is none besides Me. I am the Lord, and there is none else.

7 I form the light, and create darkness; I make peace, and create evil; I, the Lord, do all these things.


pay attention nick, you are making a grave literal mistake here.

A.
you should brush up your hermeneutics and understand the passage contextually.

if you notice, we see pairs in this passage

look at the verse that says God creates evil.

evil here is the lack of peace, just like how darkness is the lack of light.

and further, the verse says that God "do" all these things

meaning, He can give light, or take it away, can give peace, and take it away.

this is reading the passage contextually

B.
Now reading it with hermeneutics, the word "evil" there is translated from the Hebrew word "Rah".

the word "Rah" is used many times in the Bible, it can mean "ill", "calamity", "harm", and "chaos"

chaos is lack of peace.



Therefore, saying that God created evil, is wrong.

we - create evil, God just allows it.


sometimes we overlook the real meaning of verses, if we learn how to read it, again and again, recite it in prayer, we may actually find the real meaning even without hermeneutics.
Indi
redhakaw wrote:
pay attention nick, you are making a grave literal mistake here.

A.
you should brush up your hermeneutics and understand the passage contextually.

He is making no "grave mistake". He understands it "contextually" just fine. It is perfectly clear what it is saying if you read it honestly, rather than trying silly hermeneutic gymnastics to make it less troublesome to your own theology.

redhakaw wrote:
if you notice, we see pairs in this passage

look at the verse that says God creates evil.

evil here is the lack of peace, just like how darkness is the lack of light.

Evil is not "the lack of peace". That's just nonsense you've pulled out of your ass based on this particular English translation. The word "rah" means flat-out "evil", and if you really knew how it was used in other places in the OT, you would know how silly and dishonest your claim is. For example, it is used to describe the men of Sodom in Genesis 13:13. What, are you going to claim that means the men of Sodom were just a little rowdy? It is also used in Exodus 32:12, when God is thinking about murdering the entire nation of Israel - and again in Deuteronomy 1:35 when God is saying an entire generation is so "unpeaceful" he's going to deny them the promised land. It is also used to refer to people who must be stoned to death for worshipping other gods (17:7), not to mention a few dozen other death penalties. What about "break the arms of evildoers" (Psalms 1:15) - oh, whoops, is that supposed to mean to break the arms of restless people who don't know peace?

The word "rah" means evil, suffering, hardship, troubles... it does not mean "lack of peace". (It even comes from a root that specifically means "bad" - like "that milk has gone bad"... not "unpeaceful".)

And for the record, the word you're interpreting as "peace" doesn't really mean "peace" in the sense of tranquillity - it means a time or state of being that is free from war, hardship, or suffering. The same word is also translated as "prosperity", "health", and so on. (It actually comes from a root meaning "good health".) You're right, the passage is a bunch of positive/negative pairs, but the pair in this cases is between "health, prosperity, and well-being", and "hardship, misery, and suffering". Not serenity vs. chaos.

Furthermore, the word "create" is the same word used "in the beginning" - it means "create" in the sense of "give shape or form to something". So even if one were to buy the torturous logic about evil being "the lack of peace", the verse still says flat-out that God makes it happen. Not sits there and "allows" it while other people make it happen, straight up, active agency: God personally makes evil happen.

Good grief, man, you use the word "context", but it's like you don't even know what it means. Aren't you even aware of the actual context of the passage? It's God boasting to Cyrus and telling him how awesome and powerful he is, basically saying, "I'll make you all tremble in fear of my power!" Not taking credit for causing evil just makes no damn sense in that context! Would you be bragging to someone about your awesome power, demanding they recognize and give credit to you for everything, and then - in the middle of it - randomly divert with, "oh, but that is something i just have no control over." Nonsense. For ******'s sake, just a couple verses later he says: "You people are just clay, and I'm the potter." Yet you're going to argue the verse really means people have responsibility for evil? Complete horseshit, man.
redhakaw
Indi wrote:
redhakaw wrote:
pay attention nick, you are making a grave literal mistake here.

A.
you should brush up your hermeneutics and understand the passage contextually.

He is making no "grave mistake". He understands it "contextually" just fine. It is perfectly clear what it is saying if you read it honestly, rather than trying silly hermeneutic gymnastics to make it less troublesome to your own theology.


you claim and defend that Nick is reading it contextually, but you did not or simply failed to demonstrate how.
I on the other hand gave emphasis on how the 2 sentences were written together in one verse.
so again, since you apparently evaded the obvious context, I will ephasize on it again and give you another chance to refute my argument.

I form the light, and create darkness; I make peace, and create evil; I, the Lord, do all these things.

in the first sentence, light and darkness are opposites, but not only that, here darkness is a lack of light. It may also simply mean that because God formed light, darkness was created, it shows that at first, darkness has no meaning until God formed light. It is also true in our lives, when we do not know God we also think that our lives are full, but then when God was introduced to you, you feel that there is a certain lack in you.

enough of that, let's go to the next sentence, and determine how it is written together with the first.
The way how the words in the 1st sentence were used to convey a message to us, must and should be the same way the 2nd sentence is written in order to find context and regularity. Peace is the opposite of evil, and this evil is adversity or war. In the same manner that darkness is the lack of light, so as adversity is the lack of peace. We can also see this in our practical daily life, usually we tend to do it the other way around, we want to minimize adversity so that to lack in adversity, we find peace. This is practically and spiritually wrong, we must understand that we cant' do anything about adversity except to have peace, there is nothing we can do with the world situation, there will always be wars, chaos, evil around, and the only way for us to have peace is NOT to stop these wars, this hate, adversity, but just let it be and have peace in God.



redhakaw wrote:
if you notice, we see pairs in this passage

look at the verse that says God creates evil.

Quote:

evil here is the lack of peace, just like how darkness is the lack of light.

Evil is not "the lack of peace". That's just nonsense you've pulled out of your ass based on this particular English translation.

[/quote]

yes, only if you cover and neglect the 1st sentence that combines with it.

Quote:

The word "rah" means flat-out "evil", and if you really knew how it was used in other places in the OT, you would know how silly and dishonest your claim is. For example, it is used to describe the men of Sodom in Genesis 13:13. What, are you going to claim that means the men of Sodom were just a little rowdy?


this is false assumption. a red herring
I never gave any indication that "evil" as described in the passage or in the issue has degrees or level of intensity.

please stick to the problem: Did God created evil (noun) in Isaiah 45:7?

evil in Isaiah 45:7 is ra and it means adversity, and adversity is evil-ish. no more no less
evil in Gen. 13:13 is ra-im and it means wickedness, and wickedness is evil-ish. no more no less

how bout Gen. 40:7b

Wherefore look ye so sadly to day?

sadly is also ra-im

so does it mean that just because Pharoah was sad, he is already evil? or his face is evil and is condemned to hell?

please check
http://biblehub.com/interlinear/isaiah/45-7.htm
http://biblehub.com/text/genesis/13-13.htm

Quote:

It is also used in Exodus 32:12, when God is thinking about murdering the entire nation of Israel - and again in Deuteronomy 1:35 when God is saying an entire generation is so "unpeaceful" he's going to deny them the promised land. It is also used to refer to people who must be stoned to death for worshipping other gods (17:7), not to mention a few dozen other death penalties. What about "break the arms of evildoers" (Psalms 1:15) - oh, whoops, is that supposed to mean to break the arms of restless people who don't know peace?


wait, aren't we discussing about whether God caused (or created) evil or not?
why are we switching goalposts now whether God IS evil or not?

classic atheist tactics, it wont' work on me.

but then why not,
It is not surprising that you quote from the OT as there are a lot of references to use.
this is simply because the OT is the Law.

What consist the Law?
First you have the rule, and then you have the corresponding punishment if you break the rule.
Sometimes the punishment is morbidly inhumane, sometimes unexpectedly weird, but usually it's death, that is why the Law is called the Law of sin and death, because if you do something to break the law, you sin, and then you die.

Exodus 32:12, Deut. 1:35, Deut. 17:7, Psalms 1:15, are things that must be done to uphold the Law.

God only gave the Law, men broke it, and since God is a just God, He must fulfill His justice.
and in the OT, the punishment are usually if not always, mundane: death, break, stone, it's all about physical punishment.

God must wipe out an entire race, must break arms, must condemn people, must allow evil inflicted on man, not because He is evil, but because He is a just God. and He hates sin.

In the NT, God gave a new Law, the Law of Life. the punishments are usually no longer physical, but spiritual: spiritual death, eternal fire and all that shebang

Quote:

The word "rah" means evil, suffering, hardship, troubles... it does not mean "lack of peace". (It even comes from a root that specifically means "bad" - like "that milk has gone bad"... not "unpeaceful".)


lack of peace, not the peace which is opposite to chaos, bit peace as opposed to having adversity
like peace opposite to war.

ra': adversity
Original Word: רָע
Part of Speech: Adjective; noun masculine; noun feminine
Transliteration: ra'
Phonetic Spelling: (rah)
Short Definition: adversity

source: http://biblehub.com/hebrew/7451.htm

Quote:

And for the record, the word you're interpreting as "peace" doesn't really mean "peace" in the sense of tranquillity - it means a time or state of being that is free from war, hardship, or suffering. The same word is also translated as "prosperity", "health", and so on. (It actually comes from a root meaning "good health".) You're right, the passage is a bunch of positive/negative pairs, but the pair in this cases is between "health, prosperity, and well-being", and "hardship, misery, and suffering". Not serenity vs. chaos.


yes, thank you for spelling it out in detail.

Quote:

Furthermore, the word "create" is the same word used "in the beginning" - it means "create" in the sense of "give shape or form to something". So even if one were to buy the torturous logic about evil being "the lack of peace", the verse still says flat-out that God makes it happen. Not sits there and "allows" it while other people make it happen, straight up, active agency: God personally makes evil happen.


God personally makes adversity (which is a lack of peace) happen. In Isaiah 45:7 that is

Quote:

Good grief, man, you use the word "context", but it's like you don't even know what it means. Aren't you even aware of the actual context of the passage? It's God boasting to Cyrus and telling him how awesome and powerful he is, basically saying, "I'll make you all tremble in fear of my power!" Not taking credit for causing evil just makes no damn sense in that context! Would you be bragging to someone about your awesome power, demanding they recognize and give credit to you for everything, and then - in the middle of it - randomly divert with, "oh, but that is something i just have no control over." Nonsense. For ******'s sake, just a couple verses later he says: "You people are just clay, and I'm the potter."


that verse asked whether God has no hands?
of course God has hands and knows how to mold His pots or even breaks them if the clay do not meet expectations

so yes, God chooses where we should go, we don't tell Him where we want to go. That's the easiest way to explain it.

Quote:
Yet you're going to argue the verse really means people have responsibility for evil? Complete horseshit, man.


the Law was designed for man to sin. so in a way God is responsible for evil because He expects man to fail Him, but strictly speaking, it's man's doing because they were the ones who failed.
Bikerman
Apologies - I was planning to post a detailed critique of the last posting and locked the thread until I had it ready. Unfortunately work commitments suddenly arose which made this impossible. I have therefore unlocked the thread until I have more time on my hands.
I will leave it to other posters to point-out why the last posting is not simply wrong - it is not EVEN wrong in my opinion - but also disingenuous. Failing that I'll do it myself when I have some time to call my own.
jakler
About this subject that I consider particularly interesting, i suggest the book of Eduardo Arens, The Bible Without Myths. I just know a Portuguese version. But it is very very useful to clarify a lot of doubts about it.
spinout
once upon a time there was a tradition here to do a "confirmation", I don't know the correct word, around the age of 15. And if you got lucky got got a moped or a toolbox as a gift from the parents (i got the toolbox with the super quality BACHO wrenches, today bahco sucks). And you also got the bible from the church... And what interested me was the translation notations in the back - where I read : the number 666 could also be 616, it is not know if it is translated correct....
So what I got from the bible is that both Jesus and Satan are supposingly wrong translated - poor Jesus and poor Satan!

Hm, I borrowed one of the Neale Donald Walsh books from my sister and there God says that the souls had to choose if they was good or bad in an equaly amout if the reality of life would work... Well, like in the schoolyard I suppose, you don't want to be picked last for the teams eh? Smile
loveandormoney
"People often forget that all the early copies of the various epistles"

Do You think those books are boring and wrong? Do You learn more from the newspapers?
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