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The Bible alone
06-15-2010, 07:35 AM
Post: #1
The Bible alone
For some time I have been using various internet message boards and contacting various ministries trying to get a better understanding of the doctrine of sola scriptura. So far I have gotten nothing but confusion accompanies by large amounts of hostility from people that say they are sola scriptura but who won’t make any effort to explain or defend it.

How can the Bible be someone’s final or sole authority in all matters when:

1. The Bible does not tell us what books it is supposed to have and what books it is supposed to leave out (include the Gospel of Matthew and exclude the Gospel of Judas);

2. The Bible does not tell us what manuscripts we should use to prepare a translation and what manuscripts we are supposed to reject (use Textus Receptus but not Codex Sinaiticus);

3. The Bible does not expressly tell us who is right when two people have different (and often mutually exclusive) ideas about what the Bible means?
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06-15-2010, 09:44 AM (This post was last modified: 06-15-2010 09:47 AM by digipixel.)
Post: #2
RE: The Bible alone
(06-15-2010 07:35 AM)jfla Wrote:  For some time I have been using various internet message boards and contacting various ministries trying to get a better understanding of the doctrine of sola scriptura. So far I have gotten nothing but confusion accompanies by large amounts of hostility from people that say they are sola scriptura but who won’t make any effort to explain or defend it.

How can the Bible be someone’s final or sole authority in all matters when:

1. The Bible does not tell us what books it is supposed to have and what books it is supposed to leave out (include the Gospel of Matthew and exclude the Gospel of Judas);

2. The Bible does not tell us what manuscripts we should use to prepare a translation and what manuscripts we are supposed to reject (use Textus Receptus but not Codex Sinaiticus);

3. The Bible does not expressly tell us who is right when two people have different (and often mutually exclusive) ideas about what the Bible means?

It's interesting that, while I was reading your post, there was a Google-sponsored ad underneath your post that read: "How Translations Conceal the Bible's Original Meaning". How weird is that!?!?!

Anyway, my response to all such questions as these is that, when it comes to religion and interpretation of scripture, there are too many humans involved. How many humans are too many? How about just one.

The "Bible" was written by many different people over a period of many centuries. Even many of the books of the New Testament where Christ's words are "quoted" were written by followers who were not even eye-witnesses to the events they attempt to describe. Regardless of the holy book involved, whether the Torah, the Quran or the Bible, they were all written by men. Weak, fallible, mortal, egotistical men. Each with an agenda to push.

As living beings we have many different aspects: intellectual, emotional, physical, and yes even spiritual. Each of these aspects of our being influence all of the others. They all intersect, blend, and color our view of the world and we "interpret" what we see in light of our past experience and knowledge.

For this reason, men will never agree on any holy book as containing the "ultimate truth" of God. It is merely mans feeble attempt to write down their interpretation of what they see and hear, and our subsequent weak attempt to understand their words.
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06-15-2010, 10:24 AM
Post: #3
RE: The Bible alone
(06-15-2010 09:44 AM)digipixel Wrote:  It's interesting that, while I was reading your post, there was a Google-sponsored ad underneath your post that read: "How Translations Conceal the Bible's Original Meaning". How weird is that!?!?!

Likely not weird at all. I've noticed similar coincidences on other boards. My guess is that the board software scans whatever is posted and then displays ad's that have some of the same words found in the posts.

Quote:Anyway, my response to all such questions as these is that, when it comes to religion and interpretation of scripture, there are too many humans involved. How many humans are too many? How about just one.

A supreme, omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient God is surely capable of overcoming any human’s shortcomings.

Quote:The "Bible" was written by many different people over a period of many centuries. Even many of the books of the New Testament where Christ's words are "quoted" were written by followers who were not even eye-witnesses to the events they attempt to describe.

They could still be eyewitness accounts. Tradition holds that the Gospel of Luke is based on Peter’s eyewitness experience with Christ.

Quote:For this reason, men will never agree on any holy book as containing the "ultimate truth" of God.

At some point faith must enter the equation.
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06-15-2010, 10:32 AM
Post: #4
RE: The Bible alone
Quote:jfla
A supreme, omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient God is surely capable of overcoming any human’s shortcomings.
Like with a flood.................lol.........Big Grin

????????????????
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06-15-2010, 11:37 AM (This post was last modified: 06-15-2010 12:59 PM by digipixel.)
Post: #5
RE: The Bible alone
(06-15-2010 10:24 AM)jfla Wrote:  At some point faith must enter the equation.

You are exactly right. Faith has entered the equation, numerous times, and each time using a different equation.

The Jewish faith.
The Muslim faith.
The Christian faith.
The Mormon faith.

I don't mean to pick at you, but you see the difficulty (IMHO) with human involvement. Each religious group has their own interpretation (agenda), and claims they have the moral high ground.

Having been raised as a fundamentalist Christian, then converting to Catholicism, then finally rejecting most "mainstream" religious beliefs, I have a different view of scripture, of belief, and of faith. I don't claim to have the "ultimate truth" on any of it, nor do I claim any divine enlightenment. I just have a very different perspective than most.

My ultimate hope is that my honest pursuit of "truth" whatever that may be, will be recognized by God as an honest motive. I believe that's the best any of us can hope for. There are just too many humans (religions) who want to put my soul on their score card, but I refuse to play their game.

I have no beef with any particular faith, religion or sect. But if any one of those groups use religion or belief as a wedge, tool, or an instrument to insult, injure, condemn or kill others, then in my eyes their belief is already corrupt and devoid of any truth.
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06-15-2010, 04:38 PM
Post: #6
RE: The Bible alone
(06-15-2010 11:37 AM)digipixel Wrote:  My ultimate hope is that my honest pursuit of "truth" whatever that may be, will be recognized by God as an honest motive.

John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

How sincere can your own faith be if you put it on an equal footing with all other faiths? A necessary component of faith is the willingness to tell other people that their faith is wrong.
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06-16-2010, 07:17 AM (This post was last modified: 06-16-2010 07:18 AM by digipixel.)
Post: #7
RE: The Bible alone
(06-15-2010 04:38 PM)jfla Wrote:  
(06-15-2010 11:37 AM)digipixel Wrote:  My ultimate hope is that my honest pursuit of "truth" whatever that may be, will be recognized by God as an honest motive.

John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

How sincere can your own faith be if you put it on an equal footing with all other faiths? A necessary component of faith is the willingness to tell other people that their faith is wrong.

I dislike being trite, but since you went there first....

This is where all religious arguments, regardless of denomination, become circular. To prove they are right, and everyone else is wrong, Christians quote New Testatment scripture, Muslims quote passages the Quran, etc. etc., etc. It proves nothing.

And, I didn't say I put any one faith on an equal footing with all other faiths. Obviously you put your faith in Christianity since you believe the passage from the book of John. Non-Christians look at the Bible, especially the New Testament, as simply another holy book with a different (i.e. wrong) perspective. Quoting scripture doesn't actually prove anything to anyone, other than they know specific scripture to support their faith and point of view.

Also, you are incorrect - a necessary part of faith doesn't have to mean you must be willing to tell others they are wrong. I know as a Christian you feel you must do that, (and so do the Muslims but perhaps with a bit more emphasis). While you may have some success at convincing others they are "wrong", and gain some converts - Muslims become Christians, Buddhists become Christians, Jews become Christian, and so on - however the opposite is also true. Christians become Muslims, Christians become Buddhists, and Christians also become atheists. As I point out frequently in my postings, I was raised as a fundamentalist Christian, later converted to Catholicism, but eventually I settled on a totally different faith which is best labeled as New Thought. New Thought sprang from Christianity, but also borrows principles from metaphysics, psychology, as well as philosophies from other non-Christian faiths.

You see, I have already been where you are, and it simply didn't work for me. Do I feel that I am right and you are wrong. No. It's just that my perspective and relationship with God is different from yours.
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06-19-2010, 08:00 AM
Post: #8
RE: The Bible alone
(06-15-2010 07:35 AM)jfla Wrote:  For some time I have been using various internet message boards and contacting various ministries trying to get a better understanding of the doctrine of sola scriptura. So far I have gotten nothing but confusion accompanies by large amounts of hostility from people that say they are sola scriptura but who won’t make any effort to explain or defend it.

How can the Bible be someone’s final or sole authority in all matters when:

1. The Bible does not tell us what books it is supposed to have and what books it is supposed to leave out (include the Gospel of Matthew and exclude the Gospel of Judas);

The Holy Scriptures tell us what to look for:

"These are to be legal requirements for you throughout the generations to come, wherever you live. "Anyone who kills a person is to be put to death as a murderer only on the testimony of witnesses. But no one is to be put to death on the testimony of only one witness." Numbers 35:29-30 (NIV)

"On the testimony of two or three witnesses a man shall be put to death, but no one shall be put to death on the testimony of only one witness." Deuteronomy 17:6 (NIV)

"One witness is not enough to convict a man accused of any crime or offense he may have committed. A matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses." Deuteronomy 19:15 (NIV).

"The way of a fool seems right to him, but a wise man listens to advice.
A fool shows his annoyance at once, but a prudent man overlooks an insult.
A truthful witness gives honest testimony, but a false witness tells lies." Proverbs 12:15-17 (NIV)

"When men tell you to consult mediums and spiritists, who whisper and mutter, should not a people inquire of their God? Why consult the dead on behalf of the living? To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, they have no light of dawn." Isaiah 8:19-20 (NIV)

"If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that `every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses." Matthew 18:15-16 (NIV)

"In your own Law it is written that the testimony of two men is valid. I am one who testifies for myself; my other witness is the Father, who sent me." John 8:17-18 (NIV)

"This will be my third visit to you. "Every matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses." 2 Corinthians 13:1 (NIV)

"Do not entertain an accusation against an elder unless it is brought by two or three witnesses." 1 Timothy 5:19 (NIV)

"Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much more severely do you think a man deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God under foot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified him, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace?" Hebrews 10:28-29 (NIV)

(06-15-2010 07:35 AM)jfla Wrote:  2. The Bible does not tell us what manuscripts we should use to prepare a translation and what manuscripts we are supposed to reject (use Textus Receptus but not Codex Sinaiticus);

Same reply as to #1.

(06-15-2010 07:35 AM)jfla Wrote:  3. The Bible does not expressly tell us who is right when two people have different (and often mutually exclusive) ideas about what the Bible means?

Same reply as to #1.
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06-20-2010, 04:03 PM
Post: #9
RE: The Bible alone
(06-16-2010 07:17 AM)digipixel Wrote:  And, I didn't say I put any one faith on an equal footing with all other faiths.

Yes you did: "I have no beef with any particular faith, religion or sect."[/quote]

This tells me that you are not sincere in your own faith because you leave open the possibility that any other faith is just as valid as yours is. You are not sure about your faith du jour so you want the option of changing it at your whim.
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06-21-2010, 06:58 AM
Post: #10
RE: The Bible alone
(06-20-2010 04:03 PM)jfla Wrote:  
(06-16-2010 07:17 AM)digipixel Wrote:  And, I didn't say I put any one faith on an equal footing with all other faiths.


Yes you did: "I have no beef with any particular faith, religion or sect."

This tells me that you are not sincere in your own faith because you leave open the possibility that any other faith is just as valid as yours is. You are not sure about your faith du jour so you want the option of changing it at your whim.

Wow. You are smart indeed. From my simple statement above, you have figured out the entire basis for my relationship to God.

You need a lesson in listening, or in logic. I have told you nothing about what I believe nor have I given you a hint regarding the sincerity of my faith one way or another.

Just because I said I have no beef (nothing against) a particular faith, says nothing about how I feel from the perspective of my own personal faith or belief. I don't have anything against sushi, but that says nothing about whether I would care to make it a part of my diet, or whether I enjoy the taste. You cannot see into my heart regarding my relationship to God, but you are claiming that you can do so.

You are the one making absolute claims regarding truth. All I was pointing out is that all fundamentalist faiths make the same assertion, and then point to their particular scripture as "proof" that their claims are correct.

As the Buddhist would say, it is but a finger pointing at the moon.
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