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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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Re: What is the Purpose of the Bible?

Post by Fooloso4 » April 3rd, 2018, 6:55 pm

Gertie:
The most reasonable guess at Jesus's message imo is that Jesus is proclaiming the imminent coming of God's Kingdom to his fellow Jews, the chosen people who have turned their back on their God. When the Kingdom of God comes, they will be Judged, and thus need to repent.
That is pretty much my take on it, except I’m not sure about the repentance part. Each year for the Jews, then and now,there is a day of judgment, Rosh Hashanah, and a day of atonement, Yom Kippur, that I think would have covered it. As I understand it the messiah was to be a redeemer who freed the people from the political oppression of Caesar. Hence the title “king of the Jews”.
And his chosen disciples did just up and leave their jobs and families to follow him, because if the Kingdom of God was nigh, that took priority.
That is consistent with the Sermon on the Mount.
As I've said, the twist comes after his crucifixion (a very un-messianic fate), and the new post-Jesus story emerges of the resurrected messiah, eventually Jesus as part of the Godhead, and saviour of mankind. Returning any day now…It's this post-Jesus story which is spread to non-Jews. Along with Paul's doctrine of Justification by Faith, rather than by Works. Paul largely shaped the Christianity we've inherited, someone who never heard Jesus preach, and according to Acts was at logger-heads with the disciples who had.
That is how I see it as well. It is really surprising that people cannot see the central role of Paul, but then again, people often see what they want and not what is there to be seen. I talked a bit about the role of John earlier in this topic. After Paul he is the most important early figure in the development of Christianity. One significant fact is that Paul thought he would live to see the end of days. One might say that John did for the failure of Paul’s promise what Paul did for the failure of Jesus’ messianic promise (or what comes down to us as his promise). I mentioned earlier in the thread that Jesus would have been appalled to learn what had become of him.
I think the evidence is strong that Jesus existed, but it's hard to know how much we can know about him. A lot less than most people think
Once again I agree. An interesting book is “The Historical Jesus in Context”: https://press.princeton.edu/titles/8265.html. The context is the world in which he lived, beliefs and stories of the time, and the rhetorical practices that school children learned that informed the writing style of the gospels. It is a scholarly work and some of the contributions are a bit dense but overall quite readable.

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Re: What is the Purpose of the Bible?

Post by Greta » April 3rd, 2018, 11:36 pm

The general theme here is that the writers of the Bible had a worldview that only included a small part of the globe, and so the concerns raised in the Bible were largely local to the place and time and not the universals as posited by many.

For instance, there's considerable evidence gathered by historians that The Beast, rather than being secular society as posited by some here, was actually Nero, who was notable for his persecution of Christians.

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Re: What is the Purpose of the Bible?

Post by Belindi » April 4th, 2018, 5:45 am

Gertie and Fooloso4 wrote:
As I've said, the twist comes after his crucifixion (a very un-messianic fate), and the new post-Jesus story emerges of the resurrected messiah, eventually Jesus as part of the Godhead, and saviour of mankind. Returning any day now…It's this post-Jesus story which is spread to non-Jews. Along with Paul's doctrine of Justification by Faith, rather than by Works. Paul largely shaped the Christianity we've inherited, someone who never heard Jesus preach, and according to Acts was at logger-heads with the disciples who had.
That is how I see it as well. It is really surprising that people cannot see the central role of Paul, but then again, people often see what they want and not what is there to be seen. I talked a bit about the role of John earlier in this topic. After Paul he is the most important early figure in the development of Christianity. One significant fact is that Paul thought he would live to see the end of days. One might say that John did for the failure of Paul’s promise what Paul did for the failure of Jesus’ messianic promise (or what comes down to us as his promise). I mentioned earlier in the thread that Jesus would have been appalled to learn what had become of him.
my underline.

I'd like to read more about the progression from Jesus to Paul to John. Has either of you got a longer essay on the theme?

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Re: What is the Purpose of the Bible?

Post by Fooloso4 » April 4th, 2018, 10:29 am

Belindi:
I'd like to read more about the progression from Jesus to Paul to John. Has either of you got a longer essay on the theme?
I don’t. I have read things over the years on the schism between Paul and the disciples but nothing on John. I do not see it as a progression in the sense of Jesus + time = Paul or Paul + time = John. Things are complicated when it comes to John because the ‘John’ of the gospel, the epistles, and Revelations are now thought to be two or three different authors. Some think the gospel and epistles are written by the same author but others disagree, most think Revelations was written by a different author, and most do not identify any of the authors with Jesus’ apostle.

John, like Paul, appears from his writings to have been educated. The style of writing stands in stark contrast to the simplicity of the synoptic gospels. I touched on John’s use of ‘Logos’ in an earlier post, but I do not know how much of the philosophical use of the term is implied. In the gospel of John Christian and Jewish factions have developed to the point where John identifies “the Jews” rather than the Pharisees as being in opposition to Jesus. According to the gospel of John Jesus tells the Jews:
You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and he stood not in the truth; because truth is not in him. (8:44)
Perhaps the biggest difference is with regard to the ontological status of Christ. The messiah as a son of God becomes the (only) Son of God, and in John perhaps God himself. The issue was “settled” at the Council of Nicea. They are not simply “one” in the sense of being united but one and the same substance.

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Re: What is the Purpose of the Bible?

Post by Belindi » April 4th, 2018, 10:54 am

Thanks Fooloso4. I understand from a previous conversation that you are interested in the meaning which the writer and the editor intended. Like when I read a novel, me, I'm interested in what the story means to me.This is not to say that I regard The Bible as devoid of any primary source material. However historical research into what the various Johns intended now seems very complex do you agree?



I'm friends with a woman who writes short stories that she aims to get paid for if they get to be published in the sort of women's magazines that she aims at. She wrote a story which interests me because, for me, the story rather well describes eternity which as you may recall is one of my pet hobby horses. When I asked my friend the author if that's what she meant she was mystified she did not mean that at all and didn't even know what I was talking about. She is no philosopher.

I can separate my interest in historical truth-seeking from my interest in discovering personally relevant meanings.

When you mentioned The Council of Nicea's same-substance settlement did you yourself intend to mention it as history of religion , or as an interpretation which a seeker like myself might find personally edifying?

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Re: What is the Purpose of the Bible?

Post by Fooloso4 » April 4th, 2018, 1:05 pm

Belindi:
I understand from a previous conversation that you are interested in the meaning which the writer and the editor intended. Like when I read a novel, me, I'm interested in what the story means to me.
We can never know what an author intended unless we can interview the author. I think the attempt to understand an author is an act of appropriation (“I take it you mean”), and so, there is a sense in which it is a matter of what it means to me. But I also think that there is misappropriation (“you mistook what I mean”), and this too may mean something to me. I think there is an interesting dynamic at play. Suppose you are the author. I find what you say to have meaning for me, but you tell me that is not what you meant at all, that I have misunderstood you. I could say that I am interested in what it meant to me not in what you meant, but if we pursued it I might find that when I understood you better I found something else meaningful, and in turn you might say that you had never thought of it as I did and you find that meaningful.

Some authors leave it up to the reader of listen to take from the work whatever they will and that there is no right or wrong interpretation. I do not think that most works of philosophy are written in that way. Socrates was said to have spoken to different people in different ways, and the written word does not change. As a written form the works of a philosopher must address this problem. There are interpretive layers. In the article I mentioned on Spinoza in another thread Leo Strauss points to Spinoza’s own instruction regarding the art of reading and the art of writing. A common philosophical theme until somewhere in the nineteenth century. As inspired works at least some gospels (the canonical gospels are not the only gospels) may have been written in that way, a witnessing of the spirit that may inspire others to find what they will find.

We don’t have the author to speak to but we can speak to the text. We can ask it if this or that is what it meant and look to see what evidence we can find to confirm or deny it. If you tell me what it means to you I might say that I had not thought of it that way and that I now see it in a new light. But I might also ask if the text seems to support it this interpretation. I might conclude that it does not but nevertheless what you have may be of greater interest than what the text itself seems to be saying. It may be that if you had not read the text this idea would not have even occurred to you. On the other hand, my failure to understand the text might mean that it has little or no meaning to me. If I stuck with it, however, as I began to understand it it would begin to have meaning to me. Of course this is only true of texts with sufficient depth.
However historical research into what the various Johns intended now seems very complex do you agree?
I agree, but this introduces another hermeneutical problem, the extent to which historical research helps or hinders our understanding. Suppose an author says something original. That may get lost if we attempt to see what is said as a product of the time. We need to determine whether it is in agreement or opposition to what others have said. In the case of John’s use of Logos, for example, it may be a mistake to impose the history of the term on his usage.
When I asked my friend the author if that's what she meant she was mystified she did not mean that at all and didn't even know what I was talking about. She is no philosopher.
I think that what someone else says can serve as a jumping off point that may take you places they never imagined. That is another reason why the author’s intent is not at issue. Books take on a life of their own.
I can separate my interest in historical truth-seeking from my interest in discovering personally relevant meanings.
As well you should. The New Testament is meaningless to me. Jesus had some interesting things to say, but I am not sure how much of it was unique.
When you mentioned The Council of Nicea's same-substance settlement did you yourself intend to mention it as history of religion , or as an interpretation which a seeker like myself might find personally edifying?
I mentioned it as part of the history of the development from Jesus the man to Christ the God. In terms of interpretation of the texts I think the losing side had the better argument. But it was not simply a matter of interpretation of the texts but of a defense of a belief that had gone beyond what we find in the texts. So too, what we find in Paul goes far beyond what Jesus said (although we ready do not know what he said and but rely on analysis of the synoptic gospels), and the Johannine literature goes far beyond what Paul and the synoptic gospels said.

As to edifying interpretations maybe the work of Elaine Pagels, Karen King, Bart Ehrman, although those opposed to their conclusions think their work is anything but edifying.

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Re: What is the Purpose of the Bible?

Post by Gertie » April 4th, 2018, 6:32 pm

Fooloso

I haven't read the thread, too long! Just jumped in, sorry if I've repeated some of your points.
Gertie:
The most reasonable guess at Jesus's message imo is that Jesus is proclaiming the imminent coming of God's Kingdom to his fellow Jews, the chosen people who have turned their back on their God. When the Kingdom of God comes, they will be Judged, and thus need to repent.
That is pretty much my take on it, except I’m not sure about the repentance part. Each year for the Jews, then and now,there is a day of judgment, Rosh Hashanah, and a day of atonement, Yom Kippur, that I think would have covered it. As I understand it the messiah was to be a redeemer who freed the people from the political oppression of Caesar. Hence the title “king of the Jews”.
You could be right about the 'repent' part, it might well be a post-Jesus reinterpretation, eventually Jesus being seen as the suffering saviour/sacrificial scapegoat upon whom all our sins are placed giving us absolution. It's impossible to know how much post-resurrection reinterpretation of Jesus's life and teaching was inserted into the writings.

But Mark, one the foundational texts, doesn't seem to me to be there yet. His story is that this literal earth changing event has happened, and you'd better listen up. The old order is to be upturned, it didn't work (look around, our god has forsaken us), a new covenant of sorts is happening. The author (probably a Roman gentile around 60 AD) opens not with where Jesus was born or any biography, but with this dramatic miraculous scene. The symbolic ushering in of the new order, as John the messenger, the (heretical?) baptiser who washes away the sins of repenters, introduces the Messiah, the vehicle of the change, and his first words from Jesus are that the Kingdom of God is imminent, repent. (He ends with the empty tomb, a cliff-hanger rather than the story of the risen Jesus, and what that means). Why John the Baptist? If we assume Jesus was a follower of John, or had some association with him, then Jesus probably adhered to John's (this wacky wildman in the desert who'd developed a following) apparently idiosyncratic repentence theory. Maybe...

And perhaps this is the threat which Jesus poses to the Jewish authorities, and peace. He's implicitly saying the Sanhedrin has let the people down (hence Yahweh has abandoned them), the old ways either haven't worked or haven't been properly followed. Change is coming, but it's a different kind of Messiah, a spiritual one, heralding in a new spiritual world. And if Jesus really did enter Jerusalem at Passover with a lot of hoo-hah, the big time of the year where the town was packed and minds were focussed on religion, a potentially volatile day - that could be seen as provocative to many Jews, especially the authorities. The story the Jewish authorities might have given the Romans is hard to know, but for them both Jesus was potential trouble at a volatile time.

Who knows, but it's a story which makes sense to me, anyway. As you say, reading about the times really helps get a feel for how it might have been, but it's impossible to get into the head of the writer, or fully immersed in the world views of that time and place. I've read some Pagels and Ehrman who you mention, very readable authors, and there was a great podcast by some Canadian academic about those times, including all the competing ideas and groups floating around, but I've forgotten who did it now. And having studied the OT prophets in teeth grinding depth (they're all a blur now), I got a feel for how Jesus is part of a tradition when you come to study the NT, both a religious/cultural tradition, and a tradition of people who pop up at desperate times of crisis, when people are open to radical messages, looking for a saviour.
As I've said, the twist comes after his crucifixion (a very un-messianic fate), and the new post-Jesus story emerges of the resurrected messiah, eventually Jesus as part of the Godhead, and saviour of mankind. Returning any day now…It's this post-Jesus story which is spread to non-Jews. Along with Paul's doctrine of Justification by Faith, rather than by Works. Paul largely shaped the Christianity we've inherited, someone who never heard Jesus preach, and according to Acts was at logger-heads with the disciples who had.
That is how I see it as well. It is really surprising that people cannot see the central role of Paul, but then again, people often see what they want and not what is there to be seen.
It's hard to come to the texts with fresh eyes I think, they're so ingrained in our culture, the story already so familiar, usually having been learned as one coherent Jesus Story, with meanings supplied.
I talked a bit about the role of John earlier in this topic. After Paul he is the most important early figure in the development of Christianity. One significant fact is that Paul thought he would live to see the end of days. One might say that John did for the failure of Paul’s promise what Paul did for the failure of Jesus’ messianic promise (or what comes down to us as his promise). I mentioned earlier in the thread that Jesus would have been appalled to learn what had become of him.
Neat :). I re-read Mark a while ago, but I can't recall John so well. It's fascinating to compare their openings tho. John takes the same scene of the baptism, but by now John's Christology is literally out of this world compared to Mark.

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Re: What is the Purpose of the Bible?

Post by Gertie » April 4th, 2018, 6:38 pm

Belindi
I'd like to read more about the progression from Jesus to Paul to John. Has either of you got a longer essay on the theme?
Sorry, no. Ehrman's book How Jesus became God is a good, accessible read (it used to be downloaded as an audiobook on youtube but I can't find it now, he does have some talks on it on there tho.

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Re: What is the Purpose of the Bible?

Post by Fooloso4 » April 4th, 2018, 7:41 pm

Gertie:
… sorry if I've repeated some of your points.
On the contrary, I am always glad to find someone who sees things as I do.
You could be right about the 'repent' part, it might well be a post-Jesus reinterpretation, eventually Jesus being seen as the suffering saviour/sacrificial scapegoat upon whom all our sins are placed giving us absolution.
I think this is right. I would add that people are in more need of being saved since Paul seems to have seen anything to do with the body as sinful. His spirit body vision was to be the solution, until then he had to put up with people doing what comes naturally.
It's impossible to know how much post-resurrection reinterpretation of Jesus's life and teaching was inserted into the writings.
I agree.
He ends with the empty tomb
One wonders how many other gospel stories ended without resurrection. And then there is the difference between bodily and physical resurrection.
Why John the Baptist?
It does fit in nicely with what he thought was written in the Hebrew Bible - a messenger will be sent ahead.
And perhaps this is the threat which Jesus poses to the Jewish authorities, and peace. He's implicitly saying the Sanhedrin has let the people down (hence Yahweh has abandoned them), the old ways either haven't worked or haven't been properly followed.
But they were expecting the messiah as well. I think there was a political aspect to all this. They were political as well as religious authorities and had some kind of agreement with Pontius Pilate, prefect of the Roman province of Judaea. I am not sure how much religion was a factor since it was the messianic age and there were lots of guys running around claiming to be or thought to be the messiah. They may have regarded him as just another false messiah until he seemed to have posed a threat to Pilate, who pressured the Sanhedrin to do something. But why he might have been seen as more than a threat than others I don’t know. Perhaps he was more antagonistic to authorities, both Roman and Jewish. Or perhaps his movement was growing at a rate they were not comfortable with.
And having studied the OT prophets in teeth grinding depth …
What led you to do that?
It's hard to come to the texts with fresh eyes I think, they're so ingrained in our culture, the story already so familiar, usually having been learned as one coherent Jesus Story, with meanings supplied.
Yeah, you’re right. It is not just a matter of willfully ignoring what is there but of what one expects to see there
John's Christology is literally out of this world compared to Mark.
Paul’s was as well, but it is not often seen or is explained away so that it seems less like fantasy. Ehrman talks about Paul’s vision of physical bodies being transformed into spirit bodies inhabiting the new transformed earth.

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Re: What is the Purpose of the Bible?

Post by Belindi » April 4th, 2018, 7:47 pm

Gertie, thanks. I noted the Erman book and will try to find the time to read it.I alsp note what you said about how most people have been told the Jesus story with interpretation provided and find it difficult to see beyond. That describes me. I only scratched the surface of what is beyond the story of 'the very good man Jesus'. I still appreciate the parables though, and find they fit with my socialist leaning.

I just watched a TV archive about Martin Luther King's last speeches and his assassination. He used very effective imagery about having gone up the Mountain and seeing the Promised Land. Biblical imagery is part of the fabric of perhaps several cultures. And the myths are the symbolic carriers of important cultural ethics.

I doubt if a society can survive without myths that symbolise the society's morality. The Biblical myths have taken some beating recently from scholars like you and Fooloso4 (which I welcome) and from literalists, as well as from younger people who are entirely apathetic about religious observance and its archaic lexicon and mythology. What can people make of the word 'Hosanna' ! Is there any sign of a mythology for moderns?

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Re: What is the Purpose of the Bible?

Post by Gertie » April 6th, 2018, 6:46 pm

Fooloso
Gertie:
… sorry if I've repeated some of your points.
On the contrary, I am always glad to find someone who sees things as I do.
A rare treat on the interwebs ;)
You could be right about the 'repent' part, it might well be a post-Jesus reinterpretation, eventually Jesus being seen as the suffering saviour/sacrificial scapegoat upon whom all our sins are placed giving us absolution.
I think this is right. I would add that people are in more need of being saved since Paul seems to have seen anything to do with the body as sinful. His spirit body vision was to be the solution, until then he had to put up with people doing what comes naturally.
Haha yeah. He does come across as a bit of an oddball, umm... intense is how I think of Paul, all his hang-ups sublimated into his religion. The bloke you hope doesn't sit next to you on the bus. My pet theory about his conversion is that he had a breakdown lol.
He ends with the empty tomb
One wonders how many other gospel stories ended without resurrection. And then there is the difference between bodily and physical resurrection.
Yeah, as you point out there's this definite progression from Jesus the holy man, to Jesus the son of God, to Jesus-God, and it's all to do with people's interpretation of what the resurrection means about his nature.
It does fit in nicely with what he thought was written in the Hebrew Bible - a messenger will be sent ahead.
That's a fair point, and there were many stories concocted or framed to tie Jesus into Scripture, give him that legitimacy. And thinking about it, it's a nice fit with Jesus-the-personal-redeemer. I dunno, John still seems like an odd connection to make so central. Hmm.
But they were expecting the messiah as well. I think there was a political aspect to all this. They were political as well as religious authorities and had some kind of agreement with Pontius Pilate, prefect of the Roman province of Judaea. I am not sure how much religion was a factor since it was the messianic age and there were lots of guys running around claiming to be or thought to be the messiah. They may have regarded him as just another false messiah until he seemed to have posed a threat to Pilate, who pressured the Sanhedrin to do something. But why he might have been seen as more than a threat than others I don’t know. Perhaps he was more antagonistic to authorities, both Roman and Jewish. Or perhaps his movement was growing at a rate they were not comfortable with.
We are given the impression his movement was growing outside Jerusalem, and that the Jewish authorities considered him a false prophet (ie being used by Satan not Yahweh), then if he made a Big Entrance to Jerusalem at Passover they might have decided to put a stop to this before it got out of hand. We don't have stories about how they dealt with other potential threats to themselves or the peace, but I expect they'd want to avoid at all costs the Romans taking charge of keeping the peace on the streets. As would Pilate, who'd just want things ticking over and the taxes rolling in.

It's true any militaristic ideas Jesus may have had could have been expunged, but the consistent impression is he saw Yahweh taking care of things, bringing his kingdom to earth, and presumably Jesus would then be the earthly king. So he's still the Messiah. And those who followed him, accepted his message of the different way of being in attunement with God, would thrive in that kingdom, while his enemies would be judged.
What led you to do that?
I got religion around 13 yrs old and got into it big time. Studied it at A Level (16-18) and as a secondary subject at Uni. Quite a test of faith as it turned out! Mostly dry stuff, I enjoyed the philosophy of religion parts tho. And then got interested in early Christianity again a few yrs ago, when Dawkins kicked off a lot of more populist writing on religion. How about you, what got you interested?
Paul’s was as well, but it is not often seen or is explained away so that it seems less like fantasy. Ehrman talks about Paul’s vision of physical bodies being transformed into spirit bodies inhabiting the new transformed earth.
I couldn't recall Paul's version of Jesus and the kingdom, I always found it confusing.

I checked Ehrman who reckoned Paul saw Jesus as a pre-existing divine figure up in heaven with God, but lesser than God, an angel I suppose. Who was incarnated and sacrificed himself, and thus became greater than an angel and more on a par with God. The whole Arian controversy is such an odd paradoxical tangle, I think even now many Christians just accept the language without really parsing it.

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Re: What is the Purpose of the Bible?

Post by Gertie » April 6th, 2018, 7:17 pm

Belindi wrote:
April 4th, 2018, 7:47 pm
Gertie, thanks. I noted the Erman book and will try to find the time to read it.I alsp note what you said about how most people have been told the Jesus story with interpretation provided and find it difficult to see beyond. That describes me. I only scratched the surface of what is beyond the story of 'the very good man Jesus'. I still appreciate the parables though, and find they fit with my socialist leaning.

I just watched a TV archive about Martin Luther King's last speeches and his assassination. He used very effective imagery about having gone up the Mountain and seeing the Promised Land. Biblical imagery is part of the fabric of perhaps several cultures. And the myths are the symbolic carriers of important cultural ethics.

I doubt if a society can survive without myths that symbolise the society's morality. The Biblical myths have taken some beating recently from scholars like you and Fooloso4 (which I welcome) and from literalists, as well as from younger people who are entirely apathetic about religious observance and its archaic lexicon and mythology. What can people make of the word 'Hosanna' ! Is there any sign of a mythology for moderns?
You make good points Belindi (except about me being a religious scholar!).

I too worry that as a culture we've kicked the baby out with the bathwater, and are going through this post-religious and post-modernism period a bit adrift without a unifying narrative. I'm not sure we're collectively mature enough to handle it well. I expect something will emerge, as fractured, untethered uncertainty is an unstable state, and globalism means we need a new 'mythology', but it's hard to see what. I'd like to hope that as we learn more about ourselves and how we work, that a kinder, more forgiving view of our shared humanity (warts n all) will develop. In the UK we have Corbyn sort of modelling a way forward politically with old skool leftist rhetoric combined with a hippy vibe, which I like a lot, but there are many powerful forces globally as well as here which are heading the other way.

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Re: What is the Purpose of the Bible?

Post by Dark Matter » April 6th, 2018, 10:18 pm

Not that anyone cares, but:

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Re: What is the Purpose of the Bible?

Post by Fooloso4 » April 7th, 2018, 11:10 am

Gertie:
How about you, what got you interested?
As a teenager I became interested in eastern philosophy, mainly I think because of the attraction of the possibility of transcendence and the wisdom of those who had transcendent knowledge. In college I read Plato, who appealed to me for the same reason. I also searched other literature dealing with wisdom, including the Bible. I later became disillusioned with the notion of transcendence - if there was such a thing I knew nothing of it and reading about it would not allow me to know it. It was something that had to be experienced and there was nothing I could do to make it happen. I gave up searching for hidden wisdom in books. I was still interested in what various religions and philosophies taught, what they believed, how they saw things, and why, but I was no longer looking for knowledge, wisdom, or guidance.

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Re: What is the Purpose of the Bible?

Post by ReasonMadeFlesh » June 6th, 2018, 11:30 am

The bible is a mystical text which narrates the entire story of Life itself from within. It is The Truth about everything that has happened, is happening or will happen.

It is God giving knowledge of himself to each of us.

It is The Self becoming self-aware through us as its infinite divisions, going away from, and returning to the Godhead, ad infinitum.
"A philosopher who does not take part in discussions is like a boxer who never goes into the ring." - Ludwig Wittgenstein

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