Those of you who believe the Bible is the word of God ...(32 Posts)
Why do you believe this?
I have been talking to a few people from the church I used to go to about this recently and I still don't understand. The leader of the housegroup I used to go to has given me some books to read but they haven't really made things any clearer.
It's what the bible says about itself.
"All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching,rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so thatthe man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. " 2 Timothy 3.16-17.
That's kind of a circular argument though isn't it? What makes you trust what the Bible says in the first place?
beansmum, I agree with you. Its a circular argument and in the end I think you either believe that the bible is the word of God or you don't. I don;t but that doesnt mean I dont think its a marvellous book in so many ways - in fact I think that the beauty of it is that it can be read in so many ways and on different levels according to where the reader is at iyswim - a bit like Jesus' parables which can speak to different people in different ways.
It's not a rational exercise. You have faith, you read the bible. You do not have to approach it sceptically.
The Old Testament is written by a select group of prophets who wrote songs of praise, or detailed histories, or accounts of their lives. They are considered to be historically accurate and date back to when they say they do. The people who wrote them say that they were instructed to do so by God. Whether you believe that or not is down to faith.
The New Testament was written by/for friends of Jesus, people who were there with him at the time. They are accounts of his life. Then you get the letters sent by various disciples such as Peter and Paul to other groups around the world. Then St. John wrote down his visions which are contained in the Revelations.
There are other books which some people think should make up part of the Bible. But the Church (Christian) decided on the criteria for the texts to be included in the Bible. If the texts are simply historical for instance, with no mention of God, then they don't go in.
Christianity is revealed faith - revealed through the Bible and through Creation.
If you have Christian faith, it is because you are first accepting that there is a true message in the bible. If you accept this, then you come to accept that the bible contains everything we need to know to live a Godly life, and to have a full relationship with God.
If you are starting off with no faith and are not open to faith, you probably won't find it in the bible. The bible speaks to those who have eyes to see and ears to hear.
I have faith, I believe in God and I think the Bible is important for LOTS of reasons. I suppose I'm wondering why/how, unless you had been brought up to believe certain things about the Bible, you would come to accept its authority?
You are filled with the Holy Spirit which opens your eyes to the truths in the bible.
So basically, if you don't believe it's your own fault? Because you don't really want to believe, or because of sin or something?
It could be an unconfessed sin.
I don't have all the answers.
But the Christian faith is a journey and it doesn't happen all at once. You get to know more and more over the years.
What do you think of this?
Depending on your Christian faith tradition you can have very different views of the Bible: as an Anglican I see God as being found in Scripture (the Bible), Tradition, and Reason. I would also add Experience. I suppose I believe that the Bible contains the Word of God but not that it is the Word of God.
Some people come to faith in a church which teaches that the Bible is the literal Word of God and that every word is there because God wants it to be, others come to faith in a church which teaches that the contents of the Bible, while very important, were arrived at by a process which was essentially human, though inspired by God. Depending how those individuals work through how they feel about those positions, they will either remain in that type of church and be happy with that viewpoint, or else feel that it is incorrect and will (probably) seek out a different church which fits more with their own conclusions. To an extent, the details of what we believe depend on the interaction of what we have ben taught and what we conclude for ourselves.
So someone like you, who came to faith in a Biblical fundamentalist church, has the choice of either accepting or rejecting that part of their teaching. Equally, someone like me who came to faith in a liberal church would have the option of looking at that teaching and saying it is flawed.
FWIW I really don't "get" it either, and that's after 17 years of faith, 2 of them studying theology
but are you BORN AGAIN OF THE SPIRIT, have you repented of your sins and dead works and accepted what only christ can do for you. Do you posses the witness of the Holy Spirit within you. Do you feel his guidance daily? When you have this he will confirm within you the scriptures and will provide understanding and peace if you ask for it.
1Jo 2:27 But the anointing (indwelling of the spirit) which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.
Hm not harmful......from someone who used be be caught up in the occult I can tell you it is harmful.
Its the seed that sparks the mind to find out more. It not a game. And its forbidden in the bible to have anything to do with it.
Gal 5:19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are [these]; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness
Gal 5:20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies.
Is Jesus really your Lord while you are having Fun with his enemies. Jesus would not come to your halloween party.
Dont do it
Sorry SqueakyPop and Beeper, but it is perfectly possible to have the indwelling Holy Spirit and not believe in the literal truth of every word of the Bible.
I think you can still be an evangelical and realise that many literary devices are used in the bible - metaphor etc. - and that much of it is not the literal truth. Heck, Jesus taught in "parables*.
Which Bible though?
Different branches of the church take different parts as being canonical. Which translation? I only heard some of it,unfortunately, but there was an interesting radio 4 program the other week about some of the oldest biblical texts which were (I think) hidden away for a long time but now are being studied... one of the people involved had been a 'bible believer' till he saw all the crossings out, different translations, Mark's gospel (the earliest so probably least unreliable) with no real resurrection....
Sigh. I used to do the Timothy quote and not see the circularity.
Point taken Squeaky, calling it "literal" does imply a lack of subtlety in reading the metaphors, parables and poetic language of various parts of the Bible. My issue remains though - any implication that those Christians who do not think that every word of the Bible is there because God puts it there (feel free to suggest a word other than "literal" for this ) somehow have less faith than those who do believe it is frankly annoying and insulting. I guess I react to it particularly because my own return to church was delayed for several years by discussions with Bible-believing Christians who convinced me that because I did not believe the exact same things as them, I could not possibly be a Christian. On that basis, I did not explore Christianity for quite some time, until I met liberal Christians who made it clear just how narrow some people's definitions could be, and just how broad and accepting churches could be while still geing true to the core of the Christian faith.
I believe that 'all scripture is God-breathed', just as it says so. God-breathed means inspired. The actual words are the words of men.
Biblical scholarship evolves over the centuries, and we (the church) may tweak understanding. It is not a static, dead document.
The important thing is no what the bible literally says - it is about the message that it has for us, and how we should live our lives. The message is only fully revealed when you read it in the power of the Holy Spirit.
A good expository sermon will explain what the words say, what they meant in the context in which they were written, and importantly what it means for us in our 21st century western lives.
If you do believe the bible is the literal word of God then I have some excellent bargains that may interest you. Cash only, please.
Fair enough Squeaky, I though you were arguing for the "divine dictation" image of the bible, rather than the "inspired and we have to interpret it" version.
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