ForumsWEPRThe Religion Debate Thread

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nichodemus
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nichodemus
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So yeah, our threads on religion have long since died out, so I figured it would be time to start afresh here!

Do you believe God exists (I know almost all of you don't)? Do you feel religion is important today? Is it a force for good? Discuss everything related to that here!

I'm going to start the ball rolling:

We all know about the rise of ISIS and the terrible acts it perpetuates. Does that show that Islam and religion in general is an awful concept? Is it the people who twist it? Or is it fundamentally an evil force?

Roping in the WERP frequenters
@MageGrayWolf @Kasic @Hahiha @FishPreferred @Doombreed @09philj

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lozerfac3
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lozerfac3
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Shepherd

The Bible: A vague and heavily modified collection of texts written by several unknown authors before the birth of fact-checking which are even today the subject of considerable disagreement. I'd expect a supreme being of unlimited power to do a lot better.
Hmm what do you expect God to do to preserve his word? It hasn't even been modified that much except for the translations. Even those preserve God's word very well, especially when you compare each translation to each other. That goes with all the variants of the original texts as well; when you compare them, they all say the same thing. There are 200,000-400,000 variants found from the manuscript copies depending on who you ask. Many of those variants are spelling errors meaning that the misspelling of a single word in 2,000 manuscripts counts as 2,000 variants. Then still other variants reverse the order of words such as "Christ Jesus" and "Jesus Christ".

There is no body of text that is definitively His Word.
We have those manuscripts to refer to.

Which one? There are hundreds of recognized variations, and thousands if not millions of contradicting interpretations.
Those contradictions come from the translations. Any contradiction can be resolved using the manuscripts.

Yes, here we are again. A scumbag deity who only saves His very own chosen people under very specific conditions, and is completely oblivious to everyone else.
He saves his people no condition other than that He chose them. By answering this, we are going back into the accountability argument again I feel like.
EmperorPalpatine
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Hmm what do you expect God to do to preserve his word?

For starters, if it needs to be written, He could write it on a medium that cannot be damaged or aged or lost, and can be read in any language directly, such that its meaning is instantly known. Especially not solely using languages that He knows would die out in a few centuries.

It hasn't even been modified that much

There are no original documents to uphold that claim. Even some of the oldest copies have variants to comparable works of their age.

except for the translations.

Then that's His fault for confusing everyone's languages without subverting complications. If His ultimate goal was to spread His message and unite people as followers, he really threw a wrench in it.

We have those manuscripts to refer to.

We have fragments of copies penned centuries later for some sections of books. You seem to think "the manuscripts" are like an Encyclopedia Britannica filed neatly on a shelf, with which to compare newer editions.

Those contradictions come from the translations. Any contradiction can be resolved using the manuscripts.

How many blind people did Jesus heal on the road near Jericho, and was he traveling to or from the city?
lozerfac3
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lozerfac3
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Shepherd

For starters, if it needs to be written, He could write it on a medium that cannot be damaged or aged or lost, and can be read in any language directly, such that its meaning is instantly known. Especially not solely using languages that He knows would die out in a few centuries.
He could, but that's not how the world works. Paper gets damaged or lost and there is no way for people to communicate ideas instantly to different languages. We have developed computers and other technology to store data for a longggg time and we have several translations readily available for many places in the world now. Back then, when the authors wrote it, they didn't have that. That's how God planned it though. He wanted to use his people to document his word so they can tell their own account of God's attributes because the Bible isn't all about laws and how to get saved. It's a narrative of God's works that shows how much He loves us through the experience of those authors. If God wrote it Himself, you can argue that his love is all talk and no action.

There are no original documents to uphold that claim. Even some of the oldest copies have variants to comparable works of their age.
Oh. Well even if it was modified, there is no effect on any major doctrines of Christianity. I like to think about how many manuscripts of the Bible we have found compared to any other ancient document and we already know so much about the Greek philosophers. I would like to think that the Bible has been modified to the same extent if not less than the documents that talk about those guys. Then we have the "testimonia" of early church fathers which can reconstruct more than 99% of the New Testament written within 150 to 200 years after Jesus.

Then that's His fault for confusing everyone's languages without subverting complications. If His ultimate goal was to spread His message and unite people as followers, he really threw a wrench in it.
No, they are being united despite our differences in language so that argument doesn't really make sense. I think there is great success in what He is trying to do.

We have fragments of copies penned centuries later for some sections of books. You seem to think "the manuscripts" are like an Encyclopedia Britannica filed neatly on a shelf, with which to compare newer editions.
What I'm saying is that we have enough information to know what the original writings said and therefore we know God's word the way God intended.

How many blind people did Jesus heal on the road near Jericho, and was he traveling to or from the city?
Each gospel only accounts for a portion of what actually happened and some include more details than others. By glancing at the wiki article, it seems like Jesus healed 2 blind people.
EmperorPalpatine
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He could, but that's not how the world works.

You've said that He's not even bound by logic, so that excuse is irrelevant.

Back then, when the authors wrote it, they didn't have that.

That's the point. An infinite being could've given them any medium imaginable or unimaginable.
"Here's the InfiniBook. Write your thoughts here so that they will transcend time perfectly, without transcription errors, or needing interpretation or translation."

He wanted to use his people to document his word so they can tell their own account of God's attributes

Why not give them something more durable to write on instead of vulnerable materials?

Well even if it was modified, there is no effect on any major doctrines of Christianity.

There are no original documents to uphold that claim. Perhaps some were "too radical" for their time and were modified accordingly. As we've discussed, one of the likely methods for including books was "Does this agree with what I already believe?"

No, they are being united despite our differences in language so that argument doesn't really make sense.

Humans had to undermine God's trickery in order to spread the message.

Each gospel only accounts for a portion of what actually happened and some include more details than others.

These are allegedly firsthand accounts of the same event with directly conflicting information, not dependent on translation errors. It's not a matter of "more details than others," it's direct contradictions within their supposedly divine and perfect writings. If "Those contradictions come from the translations. Any contradiction can be resolved using the manuscripts," then resolve it.

By glancing at the wiki article, it seems like Jesus healed 2 blind people.

To take any stance is to pit 1 author against 2, as though to claim "They're all divinely inspired, but some are more divinely inspired than others."
EmperorPalpatine
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I would like to think that the Bible has been modified to the same extent if not less than the documents that talk about those guys.

The difference is that nobody was trying to insert their own beliefs into, say, Homer's Odyssey, and nobody is basing their entire life on that particular work of historical fiction. But with the books of the bible, people were, and are.
lozerfac3
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lozerfac3
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Shepherd

You've said that He's not even bound by logic, so that excuse is irrelevant.
After reading that one article, I realized I was wrong.

That's the point. An infinite being could've given them any medium imaginable or unimaginable.
"Here's the InfiniBook. Write your thoughts here so that they will transcend time perfectly, without transcription errors, or needing interpretation or translation."
True. An omnipotent God can make everyone bend to his will also but you don't see Him do that.

Why not give them something more durable to write on instead of vulnerable materials?
Because that wasn't available at the time. Or at least that wasn't God's will to.

There are no original documents to uphold that claim. Perhaps some were "too radical" for their time and were modified accordingly. As we've discussed, one of the likely methods for including books was "Does this agree with what I already believe?"
I get what you mean now, but the New Testament carries one of the most radical messages of all time. Additionally, the method is actually "Does it agree with what is already known by previous revelation?" In other words, does it agree with the Old Testament. Another regarding the wisdom of God's people is "Was it accepted by the people of God?" Moses's and Joshua's writings (if it was even refering to the Pentateuch) were put into the ark of the covenant immediately. All of Paul's letters were being circulated within the early churches. Paul's writings include controversial ideas but nevertheless had a clear solution. They could have rejected Paul's teachings immediately but by the will of God they accepted it.

Humans had to undermine God's trickery in order to spread the message.
Or God has to navigate the limitations of humans to achieve his will which He also does when He saves us.

These are allegedly firsthand accounts of the same event with directly conflicting information, not dependent on translation errors. It's not a matter of "more details than others," it's direct contradictions within their supposedly divine and perfect writings. If "Those contradictions come from the translations. Any contradiction can be resolved using the manuscripts," then resolve it.

To take any stance is to pit 1 author against 2, as though to claim "They're all divinely inspired, but some are more divinely inspired than others."
What I'm saying is that the authors purposely chose certain details over others. I say Jesus healed 2 because one of the authors chose not to include the detail where there were multiple blind people and decided to focus on 1 named man.

The difference is that nobody was trying to insert their own beliefs into, say, Homer's Odyssey, and nobody is basing their entire life on that particular work of historical fiction. But with the books of the bible, people were, and are.
Not for historical fiction but for philosophical works maybe. Not to say that anyone changed up "Republic" by Plato in order to make his philosophy fit their own for example, but you just can't. It's too embedded and it already fits together perfectly. If you change one part of it, the entire philosophy comes into question just like God's word.
EmperorPalpatine
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Or God has to navigate the limitations of humans to achieve his will

If He literally forced people's languages to change, that's directly imposing the limitation so that we need translations. "He broke our legs, but we made crutches, so we can still walk, sort of, just like He intended. Glory!"

In other words, does it agree with the Old Testament.

There's no way of knowing the extent to which their copies of the OT were modified as well. Regarding the Dead Sea Scrolls: "some manuscripts of the books of Exodus and Samuel found in Cave Four exhibit dramatic differences in both language and content. In their astonishing range of textual variants, the Qumran biblical discoveries have prompted scholars to reconsider the once-accepted theories of the development of the modern biblical text from only three manuscript families: of the Masoretic text, of the Hebrew original of the Septuagint, and of the Samaritan Pentateuch. It is now becoming increasingly clear that the Old Testament scripture was extremely fluid until its canonization around A.D. 100."

Another regarding the wisdom of God's people is "Was it accepted by the people of God?"

Any potential dissenters risked being marked as heretics or threatened with excommunication, so of course it was accepted. Anyone who didn't agree was removed from the category of God's people, so their views wouldn't count.

What I'm saying is that the authors purposely chose certain details over others.

Was he on his way to or from the city? This is a dichotomy. It's one way or the other. This isn't a matter of details or focus. The directions are in direct contradiction.

I say Jesus healed 2 because one of the authors chose not to include the detail where there were multiple blind people and decided to focus on 1 named man.

Matthew says Jesus healed 2 leaving Jericho.
Luke says Jesus healed 1 toward Jericho.
Mark says Jesus healed 1 leaving Jericho.

If you change one part of it, the entire philosophy comes into question just like God's word.

What's your stance on the ending of Mark 16? That's one of the more controversial sections in terms of the text being considered as either holy or heretical.
lozerfac3
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lozerfac3
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If He literally forced people's languages to change, that's directly imposing the limitation so that we need translations. "He broke our legs, but we made crutches, so we can still walk, sort of, just like He intended. Glory!"
If you think of it like that, it's not us who made crutches, but God. It was people's fault that He changed our languages anyways.

There's no way of knowing the extent to which their copies of the OT were modified as well.
Those modifications would not affect the way we worship God in any way. If we found all the copies and the originals, that would be the case.

Any potential dissenters risked being marked as heretics or threatened with excommunication, so of course it was accepted. Anyone who didn't agree was removed from the category of God's people, so their views wouldn't count.
Those potential dissenters were in the minority then.

Was he on his way to or from the city? This is a dichotomy. It's one way or the other. This isn't a matter of details or focus. The directions are in direct contradiction.
Consider the fact that there were 2 Jerichos. The Jericho from the story of Joshua and the Roman Jericho were separate locations to and from which Jesus traveled.

Matthew says Jesus healed 2 leaving Jericho.
Luke says Jesus healed 1 toward Jericho.
Mark says Jesus healed 1 leaving Jericho.
Oops. *Two of the authors chose to focus on one guy.

What's your stance on the ending of Mark 16? That's one of the more controversial sections in terms of the text being considered as either holy or heretical.
Controversial in terms of its canon status but not much so in terms of doctrine. Whether you include it or not, it doesn't affect a single major doctrine. If it means anything, I don't think it should be included because it was not found in any of our oldest manuscripts.
EmperorPalpatine
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it's not us who made crutches, but God.

The crutches in this analogy are any form of subverting a language barrier. It was God's will for people to be separated and scattered instead of united. To say "[followers] are being united despite our differences in language," is to say "We are united despite God's will."

Those potential dissenters were in the minority then.

Or a majority that kept silent in fear.

Consider the fact that there were 2 Jerichos. The Jericho from the story of Joshua and the Roman Jericho were separate locations to and from which Jesus traveled.

I had a feeling you'd bring that up. Even as a Christian, I didn't accept that response. The authors are very clear about where he is on the road. Either on his way in, specifically without yet entering any Jericho, or distinctly on his way out, while continuing his journey toward Jerusalem. None of the authors said "As he walked between the twin cities of Jericho, going through one on his way to the other..." Since none of them thought it important enough to bother elaborating on which Jericho it was, and that the cities were only a mile apart, they considered that area collectively as Jericho. Any further speculation lacks scriptural support.

Luke says Jesus proclaims to his apostles that he's on his way to Jerusalem (Luke 18:31), makes it clear that he's first on his way toward the city, heals one man on the road, then enters the city, talks to a tax collector (Luke 19:1-2), then heads to Jerusalem (Luke 19:28).
Matthew says Jesus proclaims to his apostles that he's on his way to Jerusalem (Matthew 20:17-18), leaves Jericho, heals two men on the road out, then heads to Jerusalem (Matthew 21:1).
Mark says Jesus proclaims to his apostles that he's on his way to Jerusalem (Mark 10:32-33), comes to Jericho, leaves Jericho, heals one man on the road out, then heads to Jerusalem (Mark 11:1).

This is literally the topic that forced me to concede biblical errancy. Different authors write different details. Sometimes those details are wrong.

I don't think it should be included because it was not found in any of our oldest manuscripts.

If you change one part of it, the entire philosophy comes into question just like God's word.

The inclusion of dubious passages at the least brings the selection process into doubt. Since all scriptural canonicity relies on that allegedly divine and perfect process, everything is brought into doubt. There can't be room for error in terms of what is proclaimed holy. Otherwise, what's the point?
FishPreferred
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FishPreferred
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Those contradictions come from the translations. Any contradiction can be resolved using the manuscripts.
Which manuscripts?

He could, but that's not how the world works. Paper gets damaged or lost and there is no way for people to communicate ideas instantly to different languages.
So what you're saying here is that He could, if not for the fact that He couldn't, and that He couldn't for relatively trivial reasons.

We have developed computers and other technology to store data for a longggg time and we have several translations readily available for many places in the world now.
So?

Back then, when the authors wrote it, they didn't have that.
So?

That's how God planned it though. He wanted to use his people to document his word so they can tell their own account of God's attributes because the Bible isn't all about laws and how to get saved.
Their accounts are vague, confusing, contradictory, and historically inaccurate.

It's a narrative of God's works that shows how much He loves us through the experience of those authors.
Well, here's a selection of things those authors had to say on that subject.

If God wrote it Himself, you can argue that his love is all talk and no action.
Yet, as you can see, I am arguing that now.

Oh. Well even if it was modified, there is no effect on any major doctrines of Christianity.
So all of the apocrypha means nothing?

Then we have the "testimonia" of early church fathers which can reconstruct more than 99% of the New Testament written within 150 to 200 years after Jesus.
On what grounds?

No, they are being united despite our differences in language so that argument doesn't really make sense. I think there is great success in what He is trying to do.
I fail to see where you got that idea.
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/1f/World_religions_map_en.svg

True. An omnipotent God can make everyone bend to his will also but you don't see Him do that.
So? Choosing not to do something terrible does not necessitate doing everything stupid.

Because that wasn't available at the time. Or at least that wasn't God's will to.
And why would that be?

I get what you mean now, but the New Testament carries one of the most radical messages of all time.
. . . What?

Additionally, the method is actually "Does it agree with what is already known by previous revelation?" In other words, does it agree with the Old Testament.
That's saying the same thing. You're just misapplying the term 'known'.

Another regarding the wisdom of God's people is "Was it accepted by the people of God?"
And which, if any, of these are "the people of God"?

Or God has to navigate the limitations of humans to achieve his will which He also does when He saves us.
No He doesn't. That's just Him doing it all wrong. Why is His will not emblazoned on pillars of indestructible stone in every language across the globe? Why is His law not instinctively understood by all human beings? Why is His existence not clearly evident everywhere?

If you change one part of it, the entire philosophy comes into question just like God's word.
Yeah. That's kind of what we're getting at.

If you think of it like that, it's not us who made crutches, but God. It was people's fault that He changed our languages anyways.
1 That's just hand-waving the issue. Having someone to blame for something does not make His response to it any less His doing.
2 Are you seriously trying to give God credit for the act of translation?
3 Did He actually think the tower was going to reach heaven? Just how paranoid is this guy?

Those modifications would not affect the way we worship God in any way. If we found all the copies and the originals, that would be the case.
So your argument is essentially just "the discrepancies don't matter because we have nothing free of discrepancy".

Controversial in terms of its canon status but not much so in terms of doctrine. Whether you include it or not, it doesn't affect a single major doctrine.
Well, in that case, I'm sure you can explain how Mark (or whoever) came to know what they saw at the tomb. Obviously he cannot have imagined or fictionalized the incident if his narrative is to be believed.
lozerfac3
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lozerfac3
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The crutches in this analogy are any form of subverting a language barrier. It was God's will for people to be separated and scattered instead of united. To say "[followers] are being united despite our differences in language," is to say "We are united despite God's will."
Yeah I don't agree with this analogy haha. More on this later.

Or a majority that kept silent in fear.
Well the truth always comes out. Look at Martin Luther and the protestant Reformation. It seems like he was the minority and by the power of God, his Word was proclaimed in truth.

...This is literally the topic that forced me to concede biblical errancy. Different authors write different details. Sometimes those details are wrong.
Maybe Jesus healed a couple on his way to Jericho and a couple on his way out.

Which manuscripts?
All of them I guess.

So what you're saying here is that He could, if not for the fact that He couldn't, and that He couldn't for relatively trivial reasons.
What I should have said was that God could but that's not the way He intends for us to come to know Him.

Their accounts are vague, confusing, contradictory, and historically inaccurate.
Their accounts have never been proven false using archeology and I can understand them pretty well through the teaching and reading of the word. I have also yet to see a prominent contradiction of God between the authors.

Well, here's a selection of things those authors had to say on that subject.
Looks like the author of this article just hates God. I sense bias... I know I'm extremely biased when I choose my sources but this article just seems to miss the big picture. Tell me anything on that list and we can go at it. I'll tell you why I still worship a God who does those things.

So all of the apocrypha means nothing?
Yes. It contains historical errors, none of the New Testament authors alluded to it, and Jesus and his disciples ignored it.

On what grounds?
The quotes they use.

I fail to see where you got that idea.
God's version of success has nothing to do with numbers. Also, you know there's copies of the Bible in hella places of the world and there's people being converted in those places. This map just shows the majority of what people believe in those countries or at least their national religion.

So? Choosing not to do something terrible does not necessitate doing everything stupid.
I'm not saying that creating an "InfiniBook" or whatever is bending people to his will. I'm saying that God will do things and you see no value in them because your wisdom is so limited compared to his.

And why would that be?
Who knows?

. . . What?
That you you don't have to be condemned by the law but rather saved by grace through faith in Christ.

That's saying the same thing. You're just misapplying the term 'known'.
Oh oops.

And which, if any, of these are "the people of God"?
What is your point of bringing this up? So I know what to look for from your link.

No He doesn't. That's just Him doing it all wrong. Why is His will not emblazoned on pillars of indestructible stone in every language across the globe? Why is His law not instinctively understood by all human beings? Why is His existence not clearly evident everywhere?
It's funny to think that God can do something wrong. Often God's way of doing things goes against logic so I understand why you have so many questions.

Having someone to blame for something does not make His response to it any less His doing.
Sure. (Not sarcastic btw)

Are you seriously trying to give God credit for the act of translation?
Well if He helped to write it then He's gonna help to preserve it.

Did He actually think the tower was going to reach heaven? Just how paranoid is this guy?
Nah, God didn't appreciate that his people didn't trust Him. You gotta trust Him or He'll be upset. There's lessons to be learned if you don't rely on what God says.

So your argument is essentially just "the discrepancies don't matter because we have nothing free of discrepancy".
Actually, my argument is if we were able to compare the originals to the variants, they would essentially say the same thing.

Well, in that case, I'm sure you can explain how Mark (or whoever) came to know what they saw at the tomb. Obviously he cannot have imagined or fictionalized the incident if his narrative is to be believed.
I think the people who saw it told Him about it. Maybe it was divinely revealed to him?

The inclusion of dubious passages at the least brings the selection process into doubt. Since all scriptural canonicity relies on that allegedly divine and perfect process, everything is brought into doubt. There can't be room for error in terms of what is proclaimed holy. Otherwise, what's the point?
You're right but those who add to the Bible are obviously not part of the holy processes cuz they are not God's people. Those dubious passages that were added by God's people, like I said, changes nothing about the message so it really doesn't matter.
EmperorPalpatine
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Well the truth always comes out. Look at Martin Luther and the protestant Reformation. It seems like he was the minority and by the power of God, his Word was proclaimed in truth.

Or he's a false prophet and his followers are doomed because salvation belongs to a small group, not a majority (Matthew 7:13-15, 2 Peter 2:1-3). You have no means of differentiating his teachings from Joseph Smith's in terms of objective truth and accuracy.

Maybe Jesus healed a couple on his way to Jericho and a couple on his way out.

This interpretation of multiple healing encounters means that NONE of the authors were accurate in retelling what he was doing. Maybe he went to the moon and fornicated with a lobster. That's not supported by scripture either, but maybe his followers were just really unobservant and missed that too. Why bother listening to them anyway?

The problem is that this is talking about the same event. There is just no getting around that. The stories clearly follow parallels. Otherwise, this would mean that the crowd kept telling the beggars to be quiet, even after Jesus just healed some and the crowd praised the miracle. Not a bright bunch, his followers.

I can understand them pretty well through the teaching and reading of the word.

Evidently not.

All of [the manuscripts] I guess.

Yes. [The Apocrypha] contains historical errors, none of the New Testament authors alluded to it,

FACEPALM
The manuscripts INCLUDE Apocrypha.
So we're back to "All of them, except the ones I arbitrarily disagree with."

and Jesus and his disciples ignored it.

At this point, you're either being dishonest or ignorant and I'm not sure which. They were all dead by the time the NT was compiled. They didn't have a board meeting on what books are acceptable. Jesus didn't leave a memo saying "Keep Luke and Matthew, but Judas was a jerk so throw his book out. And I guess leave the end of Mark in maybe? Not sure, I'll get back to you on that."

You're right but those who add to the Bible are obviously not part of the holy processes cuz they are not God's people.

What is your point of bringing this up? So I know what to look for from your link.

I think he meant, "Which denominations are/were God's People, and how do you know?" Since a requirement is for "the people of God" to accept scripture, there is a lot of disagreement in terms of what books, what sections of books, and what interpretations of books are acceptable. How do you determine who "the people of God" are? (If you say it's all Christians, you can't backpedal into a NTS argument.)

Those dubious passages that were added by God's people, like I said, changes nothing about the message so it really doesn't matter.

There is no objective way to determine which sections of scripture are divinely inspired or not, or if it's all fabrications and forgeries. You keep pulling turnabouts on whether or not scripture matters at all, even though it's directly tied to your beliefs. There are plenty of passages that harshly warn against false teachings and textual additions, so saying that it doesn't matter is truly spitting in the face of God. Going so far as to say that even "God's people" are willing to fabricate the passages is troubling, and certainly not supported by scripture.
FishPreferred
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Archduke

All of them I guess.
So, all of the manuscripts can be used to resolve any contradiction? That is highly dubious at best.

What I should have said was that God could but that's not the way He intends for us to come to know Him.
Well, why the heck not?

Their accounts have never been proven false using archeology and I can understand them pretty well through the teaching and reading of the word. I have also yet to see a prominent contradiction of God between the authors.
1 Nothing will ever be proven false by archaeology. That isn't how it works.
2 Exactly how big a contradiction is needed to qualify? Is the order in which life forms were created prominent enough? Was it plants, animals, then man/woman (Genesis 1), or plants, man, trees and more plants, all the animals, then woman (Genesis 2)?
Which mountain did Moses climb (see here)?
How about the death of Judas? Did he buy a plot of land with the ransom for Jesus's arrest and then (presumably by accident) trip and disembowel himself (Acts 1), or did he throw the money away and hang himself (Matthew 27)?
Did Jesus display signs of his holiness (see here)?
Did he say anything to Pilate during his trial (John 18), or was he completely silent (Matthew 27, Mark 15)?
What were his last words upon the cross? Was it "into thy hands I commend my spirit" (Luke 23), "my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" (Matthew 27, Mark 15), or just "It is finished" (John 19)?

Looks like the author of this article just hates God. I sense bias... I know I'm extremely biased when I choose my sources but this article just seems to miss the big picture.
What? What article? That first paragraph on the page is an arbitrary quote from somewhere. The thing I want you to look at is the list that follows.

Yes. It contains historical errors, none of the New Testament authors alluded to it, and Jesus and his disciples ignored it.
Sure, for the Old Testament's apocrypha. What about the rest?

The quotes they use.
I'm not really sure what you're getting at. Which quotes are these?

This map just shows the majority of what people believe in those countries or at least their national religion.
Right, so if we take the premise that God's plan is successful and add the fact that the majority of the populace cannot agree upon a correct interpretation of His word, having everyone understand His word cannot be a part of that plan.

I'm saying that God will do things and you see no value in them because your wisdom is so limited compared to his.
Sorry, but that isn't going to work. You've established that He's an almighty being, so no matter what obscure roundabout paradoxical way He manages to make it work He's still doing it wrong.

That you you don't have to be condemned by the law but rather saved by grace through faith in Christ.
Merciful deities aren't radical. It's typical of pantheons to have at least one.

What is your point of bringing this up? So I know what to look for from your link.
Each column is a major denomination, each row is a book that is deemed either canonical or apocryphal. Which denomination (if any) is right?

It's funny to think that God can do something wrong.
Well, it's one of only two ways He could plan something like this without doing it perfectly. The other is not wanting it to work.

Actually, my argument is if we were able to compare the originals to the variants, they would essentially say the same thing.
Okay, but that isn't an effective counter to Emp's statement:
"There's no way of knowing the extent to which their copies of the OT were modified as well."

I think the people who saw it told Him about it.
The three people who saw it ran away in fear and told no one. It's explicitly stated in the passage.

Maybe it was divinely revealed to him?
What, like in a dream?

You're right but those who add to the Bible are obviously not part of the holy processes cuz they are not God's people. Those dubious passages that were added by God's people, like I said, changes nothing about the message so it really doesn't matter.
But, see. That wasn't just any dubious passage. It was supposed to be Mark's testament of Jesus's ressurection and appearance to the apostles. As Goldhill puts it:
"For the first time it could be demonstrated without any doubt, to the scholarly mind, that the end of Mark, as people have known it for hundreds of years, was not the ending as Mark had written it. That meant that there was a real doubt about all of the gospels."

Going so far as to say that even "God's people" are willing to fabricate the passages is troubling, and certainly not supported by scripture.
Pretty sure it was a typo, Emp.
EmperorPalpatine
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EmperorPalpatine
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After reading that one article, I realized I was wrong.

Often God's way of doing things goes against logic

So He's both bound and not bound by logic?

Sure, for the Old Testament's apocrypha.

Even the OT likely wasn't solidified in their time.

Pretty sure it was a typo, Emp.

I doubt it, because somebody was allegedly divinely guided and ended up putting false passages into the official canon. The only people with the authority to have decided on what's scripture were "God's people." Therefore, "God's people" are responsible for including it. If it was divinely guided, this means it was God's will to include lies. If it was a typo, and he meant that "God's people" weren't the ones who included it, then heathens and heretics have been meddling in the process from the start, further substantiating the point that the entire process was fundamentally flawed and unreliable.
lozerfac3
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lozerfac3
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You have no means of differentiating his teachings from Joseph Smith's in terms of objective truth and accuracy.
Joseph Smith's teachings are inconsistent with the Bible even though he says he believes in it.

This interpretation of multiple healing encounters means that NONE of the authors were accurate in retelling what he was doing. Maybe he went to the moon and fornicated with a lobster. That's not supported by scripture either, but maybe his followers were just really unobservant and missed that too. Why bother listening to them anyway?
The problem is that this is talking about the same event. There is just no getting around that. The stories clearly follow parallels. Otherwise, this would mean that the crowd kept telling the beggars to be quiet, even after Jesus just healed some and the crowd praised the miracle. Not a bright bunch, his followers.
I'll get back to you on this if I can.

Evidently not.
What makes you say that?

The manuscripts INCLUDE Apocrypha.
So we're back to "All of them, except the ones I arbitrarily disagree with."
Are you suggesting that I take such a flawed book as truth? I know you're going to bring up that all of the scriptures are flawed but not really.

At this point, you're either being dishonest or ignorant and I'm not sure which. They were all dead by the time the NT was compiled. They didn't have a board meeting on what books are acceptable. Jesus didn't leave a memo saying "Keep Luke and Matthew, but Judas was a jerk so throw his book out. And I guess leave the end of Mark in maybe? Not sure, I'll get back to you on that."
We are talking about the Apocrypha here not the NT. Also who actually regards the gospel of Judas as canon?

There is no objective way to determine which sections of scripture are divinely inspired or not, or if it's all fabrications and forgeries. You keep pulling turnabouts on whether or not scripture matters at all, even though it's directly tied to your beliefs. There are plenty of passages that harshly warn against false teachings and textual additions, so saying that it doesn't matter is truly spitting in the face of God. Going so far as to say that even "God's people" are willing to fabricate the passages is troubling, and certainly not supported by scripture.
I was mainly talking about the end of Mark 16 that was added. This part actually adds no new information but because it was added by a scribe it shouldn't be considered canon.

Well, why the heck not?
I don't know. I'll think about this question.

Nothing will ever be proven false by archaeology. That isn't how it works.
Well it can support it can it not?

Was it plants, animals, then man/woman (Genesis 1), or plants, man, trees and more plants, all the animals, then woman (Genesis 2)?
Plants, animals, then man/woman. The meaning seems to be lost in translation.

Which mountain did Moses climb (see here)?
Same mountain. Different names.

How about the death of Judas? Did he buy a plot of land with the ransom for Jesus's arrest and then (presumably by accident) trip and disembowel himself (Acts 1), or did he throw the money away and hang himself (Matthew 27)?
First of all, he didn't trip and fall. He fell after being hanged. His guts and everything fell out because he was decaying. He indirectly bought the field through the chief priests.

Did Jesus display signs of his holiness (see here)?
Obviously He did. Only to those who were seeking a sign to follow Him did not receive one. He never performed a miracle in order to attract followers but rather to extend his grace.

Did he say anything to Pilate during his trial (John 18), or was he completely silent (Matthew 27, Mark 15)?
He says something. He goes silent on the insistence of the Jewish leaders.

What were his last words upon the cross? Was it "into thy hands I commend my spirit" (Luke 23), "my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" (Matthew 27, Mark 15), or just "It is finished" (John 19)?
There are actually 7 phrases that are considered his last words. They are in no particular order.

What? What article? That first paragraph on the page is an arbitrary quote from somewhere. The thing I want you to look at is the list that follows.
The list contains commentary by an author.

Sure, for the Old Testament's apocrypha. What about the rest?
Those were not divinely inspired.

I'm not really sure what you're getting at. Which quotes are these?
The quotes they take from the books of the New Testament.

Right, so if we take the premise that God's plan is successful and add the fact that the majority of the populace cannot agree upon a correct interpretation of His word, having everyone understand His word cannot be a part of that plan.
No one fully understands God's word because God's word is God's will and we are always trying to add our own will into his which distorts it. Fortunately, we as his people are continuously learning his will through the Holy Spirit and proper reading of scripture.

Sorry, but that isn't going to work. You've established that He's an almighty being, so no matter what obscure roundabout paradoxical way He manages to make it work He's still doing it wrong.
It's wrong because He should be imposing his will on anything and everything to achieve what He wants?

Merciful deities aren't radical. It's typical of pantheons to have at least one.
It's not mercy that is radical but rather the fact that we don't have to work for our salvation. Jesus already paid the price for it. Don't bring up a god who sacrificed himself for humanity because those who worshipped that god still offered up their good works and/or own sacrifices in order to gain favor. Nothing I can do can make God love me more or make Him love me less.

Each column is a major denomination, each row is a book that is deemed either canonical or apocryphal. Which denomination (if any) is right?
Protestants for sure. Anglicans and Lutherans could be included I think.

Well, it's one of only two ways He could plan something like this without doing it perfectly. The other is not wanting it to work.
Who are you to say it's not perfect? Your version of what is perfect is probably selfish.

What, like in a dream?
Wait no they told people. Mark 16 says they didn't tell anyone because they were afraid but we know that's only part of the story when we take into account the other gospels and that Mark probably lost its ending based on its abrupt ending. It could have been missing details that the other gospels covered.

So He's both bound and not bound by logic?
No He is certainly bound by logic. God's will for us is not logical for us sometimes because it means giving up something that is normally highly valued by people. Like I might be called to give up my high paying job in order to become a lower paying job as a pastor. Or even giving up the comfort of my home and move to an entirely unknown place to spread the gospel. Maybe I should have said that often God's way of doing things goes against our rationality.

I doubt it, because somebody was allegedly divinely guided and ended up putting false passages into the official canon. The only people with the authority to have decided on what's scripture were "God's people." Therefore, "God's people" are responsible for including it. If it was divinely guided, this means it was God's will to include lies. If it was a typo, and he meant that "God's people" weren't the ones who included it, then heathens and heretics have been meddling in the process from the start, further substantiating the point that the entire process was fundamentally flawed and unreliable.
"God's people" are also responsible for discerning whether it belongs in the Bible or not after the discovery. The process might be flawed but the truth always prevails.
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