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What is the Purpose of the Bible?

Discuss philosophical questions regarding theism (and atheism), and discuss religion as it relates to philosophy. This includes any philosophical discussions that happen to be about god, gods, or a 'higher power' or the belief of them. This also generally includes philosophical topics about organized or ritualistic mysticism or about organized, common or ritualistic beliefs in the existence of supernatural phenomenon.
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jerlands
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What is the Purpose of the Bible?

Post by jerlands » February 7th, 2018, 6:21 pm

The Moaning of The Bedouin wrote:Those who destroy the lie promote Ma'at;
those who promote the good will erase the evil.
As fullness casts out appetite,
as clothes cover the nude and
as heaven clears up after a storm


The reason I'm posing this question is I believe the Bible is misunderstood and it's possible I misunderstand it so I want to explain my view. In a nutshell I see history as "Out of Egypt," we hear the words go forth and populate the earth and the law was condensed and made transportable. At the time of Christ the law was further condensed to two sentences ( Matthew 22:35-40, Mark 12:28-34) and man could go forth simply with the law in his heart. And that takes us to today.


That short version of history requires we fill in the blanks. It's really not in context because the context of the origin of the Bible isn't really understood other than a date estimated around 800 BC. The Exodus however is thought to have been an event occuring between the dates of 1500 BC to 1200 BC but those dates also reflect space time which is in a sense astrological.


So within those dates we have the Phoenicians, the Canaanites, the Israelites, the Greeks, the Romans, the Byzantines and so forth and each step or evolution in time there is establishment of some principles that have become incorporated into our western civilization. So what role has the Bible played in these evolutions? First and foremost the Bible offers man this concept of "God." Secondly I believe the Bible offers man a beautiful rendition of the law in the commandments and, I believe, completely expressed in the new testament. Thirdly I believe the Bible offers man a sense of history, of the past and a sense of evolution in that "one thing leads to the next." The Bible seems to me to have structured our thinking through this exodus in time to the so called promised land.


The Bible is full of contradictory notions however that make it very puzzling. The story of Adam and Eve and the forbidden fruit and the notion of never returning to Egypt. The Bible literally plays with our minds and casts these images of concepts (i.e., "God," Creation, Law) that I question whether or not man would have had if the Bible didn't exist. So why did the Bible come into existence? Was it really to lead man to the promised land?

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Count Lucanor
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Re: What is the Purpose of the Bible?

Post by Count Lucanor » February 7th, 2018, 10:56 pm

There was no captivity in Egypt, no Exodus, no Moses. Those are embellished myths with no grounds in scientific historical research.

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/staks-ro ... 08123.html

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jerlands
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Re: What is the Purpose of the Bible?

Post by jerlands » February 7th, 2018, 11:52 pm

Count Lucanor wrote:
February 7th, 2018, 10:56 pm
There was no captivity in Egypt, no Exodus, no Moses. Those are embellished myths with no grounds in scientific historical research.

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/staks-ro ... 08123.html
That negation doesn't account for the story. So,do you think there might be something other behind it or do you believe the fact the literal interpretation doesn't jive with science disprove the entire work?

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LuckyR
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Re: What is the Purpose of the Bible?

Post by LuckyR » February 8th, 2018, 3:05 am

jerlands wrote:
February 7th, 2018, 6:21 pm
The Moaning of The Bedouin wrote:Those who destroy the lie promote Ma'at;
those who promote the good will erase the evil.
As fullness casts out appetite,
as clothes cover the nude and
as heaven clears up after a storm


The reason I'm posing this question is I believe the Bible is misunderstood and it's possible I misunderstand it so I want to explain my view. In a nutshell I see history as "Out of Egypt," we hear the words go forth and populate the earth and the law was condensed and made transportable. At the time of Christ the law was further condensed to two sentences ( Matthew 22:35-40, Mark 12:28-34) and man could go forth simply with the law in his heart. And that takes us to today.


That short version of history requires we fill in the blanks. It's really not in context because the context of the origin of the Bible isn't really understood other than a date estimated around 800 BC. The Exodus however is thought to have been an event occuring between the dates of 1500 BC to 1200 BC but those dates also reflect space time which is in a sense astrological.


So within those dates we have the Phoenicians, the Canaanites, the Israelites, the Greeks, the Romans, the Byzantines and so forth and each step or evolution in time there is establishment of some principles that have become incorporated into our western civilization. So what role has the Bible played in these evolutions? First and foremost the Bible offers man this concept of "God." Secondly I believe the Bible offers man a beautiful rendition of the law in the commandments and, I believe, completely expressed in the new testament. Thirdly I believe the Bible offers man a sense of history, of the past and a sense of evolution in that "one thing leads to the next." The Bible seems to me to have structured our thinking through this exodus in time to the so called promised land.


The Bible is full of contradictory notions however that make it very puzzling. The story of Adam and Eve and the forbidden fruit and the notion of never returning to Egypt. The Bible literally plays with our minds and casts these images of concepts (i.e., "God," Creation, Law) that I question whether or not man would have had if the Bible didn't exist. So why did the Bible come into existence? Was it really to lead man to the promised land?
When you say "bible", which of the numerous versions are you referring to?
"As usual... it depends."

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jerlands
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Re: What is the Purpose of the Bible?

Post by jerlands » February 8th, 2018, 3:53 am

LuckyR wrote:
February 8th, 2018, 3:05 am
When you say "bible", which of the numerous versions are you referring to?
You'd have to be able to read Hebrew and Greek to get the full gist of it that I agree but I think we can see the complexity in any translated version. Ancient written words are somewhat different than the words we use today in that they not only carried objective meaning but also relayed a subject impression.

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Count Lucanor
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Re: What is the Purpose of the Bible?

Post by Count Lucanor » February 8th, 2018, 8:28 am

jerlands wrote:
February 7th, 2018, 11:52 pm
Count Lucanor wrote:
February 7th, 2018, 10:56 pm
There was no captivity in Egypt, no Exodus, no Moses. Those are embellished myths with no grounds in scientific historical research.

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/staks-ro ... 08123.html
That negation doesn't account for the story. So,do you think there might be something other behind it or do you believe the fact the literal interpretation doesn't jive with science disprove the entire work?
The first books of the OT are a patchwork quilt made from several sources. At least 3 or 4 authors have been identified, having different views according to their religious or political agendas. Around the 6th century they were compiled in a single text to conform a narrarive of national identity in a particular political situation, which required foundational myths. They might rely on some historical circumstances, but they are clearly manipulated or faked to fit the desired narrative. That's how the stories of Moses and other patriarchs came to life.

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Scribbler60
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Re: What is the Purpose of the Bible?

Post by Scribbler60 » February 8th, 2018, 2:19 pm

The bible was our first - and worst - attempt at collectively understanding the nature of mankind and the nature of the world itself.

But, of course, if you used just the bible as a means to understand these things, you would come away with a wildly incorrect view of mankind, of nature, of the universe.

And if you had never heard these stories before, upon reading them you would say, "This is nonsense. A talking snake? A talking donkey? An invisible man in the sky? A global flood? An exodus that never really happened? People coming back from the dead? No. It's nonsense."

As a collection of myths and stories, it's probably unparalleled. But as a book of facts it's not even close.

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Re: What is the Purpose of the Bible?

Post by LuckyR » February 8th, 2018, 2:22 pm

Count Lucanor wrote:
February 8th, 2018, 8:28 am
jerlands wrote:
February 7th, 2018, 11:52 pm


That negation doesn't account for the story. So,do you think there might be something other behind it or do you believe the fact the literal interpretation doesn't jive with science disprove the entire work?
The first books of the OT are a patchwork quilt made from several sources. At least 3 or 4 authors have been identified, having different views according to their religious or political agendas. Around the 6th century they were compiled in a single text to conform a narrarive of national identity in a particular political situation, which required foundational myths. They might rely on some historical circumstances, but they are clearly manipulated or faked to fit the desired narrative. That's how the stories of Moses and other patriarchs came to life.
More important are the numerous mostly unnamed editors
"As usual... it depends."

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jerlands
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Re: What is the Purpose of the Bible?

Post by jerlands » February 8th, 2018, 3:45 pm

Count Lucanor wrote:
February 8th, 2018, 8:28 am
The first books of the OT are a patchwork quilt made from several sources. At least 3 or 4 authors have been identified, having different views according to their religious or political agendas. Around the 6th century they were compiled in a single text to conform a narrarive of national identity in a particular political situation, which required foundational myths. They might rely on some historical circumstances, but they are clearly manipulated or faked to fit the desired narrative. That's how the stories of Moses and other patriarchs came to life.


The Bible is much more than a hodgepodge gathered to create some sort of identity for a group of people. That really doesn't make any sense. It does make sense that it should arise from a situational struggle but that is true for all evolution as all things seek to find their niche and be successful in it. The notions we are given from the Bible such as "God," our relationship with "God," Law and order, are not trivial. They are fundamental philosophical concepts that allow man to establish a purposeful humanitarian civilization. Also, the stories such as Moses are much deeper than simple literal reading might offer. Moses has a symbolic name that reflects the actual function of the event described in the story. You might say you can draw any number of patterns from clouds in the sky but "being drawn from the water" has more connotations when in full context.

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Re: What is the Purpose of the Bible?

Post by jerlands » February 8th, 2018, 4:05 pm

Scribbler60 wrote:
February 8th, 2018, 2:19 pm
The bible was our first - and worst - attempt at collectively understanding the nature of mankind and the nature of the world itself.

But, of course, if you used just the bible as a means to understand these things, you would come away with a wildly incorrect view of mankind, of nature, of the universe.

And if you had never heard these stories before, upon reading them you would say, "This is nonsense. A talking snake? A talking donkey? An invisible man in the sky? A global flood? An exodus that never really happened? People coming back from the dead? No. It's nonsense."

As a collection of myths and stories, it's probably unparalleled. But as a book of facts it's not even close.


Ok... so your view is the Bible is nonsense and the fact western civilization is built upon it implies what?

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Re: What is the Purpose of the Bible?

Post by LuckyR » February 8th, 2018, 5:01 pm

jerlands wrote:
February 8th, 2018, 4:05 pm
Scribbler60 wrote:
February 8th, 2018, 2:19 pm
The bible was our first - and worst - attempt at collectively understanding the nature of mankind and the nature of the world itself.

But, of course, if you used just the bible as a means to understand these things, you would come away with a wildly incorrect view of mankind, of nature, of the universe.

And if you had never heard these stories before, upon reading them you would say, "This is nonsense. A talking snake? A talking donkey? An invisible man in the sky? A global flood? An exodus that never really happened? People coming back from the dead? No. It's nonsense."

As a collection of myths and stories, it's probably unparalleled. But as a book of facts it's not even close.


Ok... so your view is the Bible is nonsense and the fact western civilization is built upon it implies what?
That in simple times there existed a lot of simple folk. For one.

Let's face it. The fact that an old collection of stories that were long on what existed at the time, observational data and bereft in things that didn't exist in it's time, scientific data, should surprise no one. What is a surprise is Modern readers using non-scientific literature to answer scientific questions in the Modern Era. To guide common behavior, great. To explain cosmology, not so much.
"As usual... it depends."

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Re: What is the Purpose of the Bible?

Post by Scribbler60 » February 8th, 2018, 5:20 pm

jerlands wrote:
February 8th, 2018, 4:05 pm
Scribbler60 wrote:
February 8th, 2018, 2:19 pm
The bible was our first - and worst - attempt at collectively understanding the nature of mankind and the nature of the world itself.

But, of course, if you used just the bible as a means to understand these things, you would come away with a wildly incorrect view of mankind, of nature, of the universe.

And if you had never heard these stories before, upon reading them you would say, "This is nonsense. A talking snake? A talking donkey? An invisible man in the sky? A global flood? An exodus that never really happened? People coming back from the dead? No. It's nonsense."

As a collection of myths and stories, it's probably unparalleled. But as a book of facts it's not even close.


Ok... so your view is the Bible is nonsense and the fact western civilization is built upon it implies what?
Western civilization has flourished in spite of the bible, not because of it. It was rejection of religious precepts in preference to scientific principles which has led to the flowering of human intellect and achievement. It started with the Enlightenment and continues to this day.

There has never, ever been an example where biblical information has trumped actual, empirical scientific understanding. Never. Not once. But science has proven biblical information wrong on a consistent basis.

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jerlands
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Re: What is the Purpose of the Bible?

Post by jerlands » February 8th, 2018, 6:09 pm

LuckyR wrote:
February 8th, 2018, 5:01 pm
jerlands wrote:
February 8th, 2018, 4:05 pm


Ok... so your view is the Bible is nonsense and the fact western civilization is built upon it implies what?
That in simple times there existed a lot of simple folk. For one.

Let's face it. The fact that an old collection of stories that were long on what existed at the time, observational data and bereft in things that didn't exist in it's time, scientific data, should surprise no one. What is a surprise is Modern readers using non-scientific literature to answer scientific questions in the Modern Era. To guide common behavior, great. To explain cosmology, not so much.


I can't express how naive this sounds to me. Do you know why man will never inhabit another planet? The reason essentially is because man is the earth. Our biology is bound by the laws of our environment. We require not only the gravitational forces present on earth but the magnetic field, the soil fauna, the specific radiation emitted through our atmosphere, the whole relationship is biodynamic. The earth is our mother in the most profound sense. If we're going to inhabit any other dimension it won't be in bodily form. So.. what has this to do with our discussion? The answer to that question is one of insight. Insight into what man is and how our minds play any role in existence.

When you speak of science today my impression is that you're referring to the tools man uses and not so much the questions posed. Technological differences between now and then only affords different views into the same issues man has always faced.

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Re: What is the Purpose of the Bible?

Post by jerlands » February 8th, 2018, 6:23 pm

Scribbler60 wrote:
February 8th, 2018, 5:20 pm
Western civilization has flourished in spite of the bible, not because of it. It was rejection of religious precepts in preference to scientific principles which has led to the flowering of human intellect and achievement. It started with the Enlightenment and continues to this day.

There has never, ever been an example where biblical information has trumped actual, empirical scientific understanding. Never. Not once. But science has proven biblical information wrong on a consistent basis.


Science is measurement. If you understand the concept of number you'll understand the difficulty in the concept of 1 (one.) You really have no idea how myth expresses science.

Image

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Re: What is the Purpose of the Bible?

Post by Greta » February 8th, 2018, 6:28 pm

I don't see anything in Lucky's post that would contradict the idea that we are part of the Earth.

I do think we need to respect the fact that each generation is keen to pass on their learning to the next, and the Bible, along with numerous other works, is an attempt to pass on information to save the next generation from copying the previous one's mistakes. To that end, we also need to respect the many works produced since with the benefit of more societal experience and learning. The Bible is just one source of information, with perspectives of people in the Middle East, how they lived at that time and what they did (often presented in metaphorical form, especially the OT, which is dated enough to be more of a historical curio than a useful guide for modern humans).

There is no reason to believe that the Middle Eastern mythology was any more tuned into reality than the perspectives stemming from African and islander animism and paganism, the Chinese Tao, Japanese Shinto, the Aboriginal and native Americans' relationship with the Earth. Each group's beliefs were initially shaped by their natural and cultural environments.

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