I'm not going to go into it, because I'm done with religious debates and stuff but I just wanted to point out something about the old vs the new testament. I believe the old testament was to prove how man needed a saviour. The purification the dealing with sin in an imperfect way (cleansing rituals, stoning etc) was to show that no matter what, it was impossible for man to deal with sin and is the reason why we needed a saviour. God didn't change his mind, sin still needed to be dealt with...the wages of sin was STILL death. But he did do was he offered his own Son, who he loved to pay that wage....he died! Thus there is now no need for all the rituals the sacrifices and the stonings (killings) to deal with sin. Christ was made the sacrificial lamb that was slaughtered and bled to wash our sins away, he paid the price (death) so that we don't have to.
The old testament demonstrates to us how much man needed a saviour, how corrupt man could be, how little could be done by man to deal with the corruption. It also showed the faith of those who looked foward to the cross (that hadn't happened yet) like Abraham. Whereas we now look back at the cross in faith.
That's the way I see it anyway.
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09-12-2012 19:01 #41
09-12-2012 19:04 #42Senior Member
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I am sure all these posts will be deleted anyway so Ill get back to the topic now.
09-12-2012 19:10 #43
09-12-2012 19:15 #44Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. Matthew 5:17
09-12-2012 19:23 #45Senior Member
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Question for Christians?
My answer to the OP is that perhaps you should define your own relationship with god, and that it's not necessary to believe the bible literally to have a relationship with god. The vast majority of people in the world who do have a personal belief in an omniscient entity do not believe in the bible. The bible is dominant in western culture, but perhaps it is more honest both intellectually and spiritually not to try and explain away every discrepancy, irrelevancy and contradiction in the bible and to try to come up with your own answers.
Perhaps look at the work of bishop spong who has written some brilliant works assessing the bible and rejecting its claims to historical accuracy.
The bible is written by men, has been interpreted by men, translated by men, heavily edited by men and thus represents the cultural beliefs of men as they change over time. Entire sections of it have been rewritten and even deleted entirely when they didn't suit the political climate of the time. (For example, there was once a book on reincarnation which was deleted by the Romans as it wasn't politically expedient and they preferred that people believe they went straight to hell, no second chances, if they led a less than law abiding life).
As a work of man, it is fallible and can at best be only an attempt to represent the conceptual paradigms of an omniscient entity.
I personally have more sympathy for what deserama said, in which the bible is used as a source through which god provides you with what you need as you need it, however the same can really be said of things like astrology and tarot cards etc
09-12-2012 20:22 #46
The reasons may have been many, remembering they were imperfect men and any that were trying to hold onto the old law would have done so as that had been all they knew.
For one thing, male circumcision had been instituted by God himself, and it was a sign of a special relationship with him. Predating the Law covenant but later becoming part of it, circumcision began with Abraham and his household. In the Jewish mind, for a man to be uncircumcised was to be unclean, contemptible.
It took time for some to get past and accept what was no longer required
Thus, it required faith and humility on the part of Jewish believers to adjust.
Also, If you read the account in Acts... “Certain men came down to Antioch from Judea and began to teach the brothers: ‘Unless you get circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.’” (Acts 15:1)
Whether these “certain men” had been Pharisees before converting to Christianity is not stated. At the very least, they appear to have been influenced by that Jewish sect’s legalistic thinking.
Also, they may have wrongly claimed to speak for the apostles and older men in Jerusalem. -Acts 15:23, 24
Notice it says that Jesus came to fulfill the law, he "Fulfilled" the law at his death, like Deserama explained in her post above. So much of the law was no longer needed but as i previously said the Greek scriptures do re state what was still relevant in the 'new covenant'. So the entire law wasnt replaced, but much of it was,yes
Jesus death and sacrifice signified the new covenant according to the bible.
09-12-2012 20:26 #47Senior Member
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Question for Christians?
No doubt it helped that Romans considered circumcision a hideous disfigurement
09-12-2012 21:22 #48
It is all very well to claim that the Apostolic Decree issuing from the Council of Jerusalem (Acts 15) settled the question of Christianity's relationship to the Mosaic law, but that is clearly not true as a simple historical fact.
Just take the one issue of iconoclasm, which has been responsible for unbelievable destruction of human cultural heritage, from the artworks of pagan antiquity, to Catholic art during the Reformation and beyond, to polytheistic art and texts in both the New World and Africa. This is all based on an interpretation of the "graven images" prohibition in Mosaic law that was supposedly superseded by the new covenant. Or not.
The real point is that the Bible is absolutely no help in deciding such real-world issues since you can prove anything simply by picking the verses you like.
09-12-2012 21:57 #49
Re: Question for Christians?
I agree that so called 'christianity' picks and chooses what it likes yet ignores many other parts of the bible and fails to teach it accurately nor truly follow the teachings of Jesus and obey his commandments.
So true, You cant pick out a verse you have to look at surrounding texts and compare with scriptures on the same subject to get an accurate picture
Idolotary was warned against in the new testament. As in making carved images or 'false gods' and rendering worship to them?
I dont know much about iconoclasm as such tbh so sorry if im missing the point.
Tradition and appealing to the masses comes first tho which is where scripture gets pushed to the side
Mind you Jesus said that false teachers would twist the scriptures so its not surprising.
Anyway i dont want to turn this into a debate as we dont really agree and its such a complex subject.
Has been nice sharing views with you John
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09-12-2012 22:10 #50
Question for Christians?
I also have faith that God has preserved the bible enough for us to be able to glean the key messages for it, if we study it and try our utmost to search for truth in it. I agree that over the ages translations have changed doctrines, which is why consulting several translations and looking at the root or original words is beneficial to study. I don't believe God would provide us with a book that is so corrupted it no longer has any meaning, I have faith that although there is inevitably some errors in translation the key message has not been lost.
I have never really had an issue in believing the bible literally, it just doesn't seen like a big deal to me. I believe God exists, and putting limits on what can or can't be true doesn't make sense to me.
I try and live my life upholding the bible 100%. As Deserama explained, believing the bible literally does not mean you believe in stoning children, the old law was made obsolete with the sacrifice of Jesus. However, the entire old testament is a precursor to the new, and so without it the bible doesn't really make sense. You must be able to understand how they fit together hand in hand.
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