Hockeynut! wrote:As I've mentioned before, I consider myself a Christian and I believe in God. I try to live a "moral" life, but I have to admit that I do have some issues with believing the bible verbatim. Many of the books were written by men who were "speaking to God". Today, if someone says they have a direct line to God, we all write them off as a whack a doodle. Why was God talking to all of these guys centuries ago? Why do we just believe those guys weren't crazy and/or writing their own "laws" to fit whatever society believed to be moral and righteous in their day? Take Leviticus, for example. Wouldn't God have better things to do than tell someone, "Hey, I've decided that it's against the law to plant 2 different crops in the same field. Write that down"?
Good post. I will try and answer your questions as best as I can but I guarantee not everyone, maybe not even you, will like the answer or consider it to be a load of crap
I want to start by stating that all scripture is of God. It was written by God via His Holy Spirit through man who put quill to paper. In a nutshell that is how I know that it is the word of God.
Many of the books were written by men who were "speaking to God". Today, if someone says they have a direct line to God, we all write them off as a whack a doodle. Why was God talking to all of these guys centuries ago?
I see you put "speaking to God" in quotes so I'm not sure what you really mean by that. Were these men speaking to God? Yes. Was God speaking to them? Yes. All of that is possible. Moses, the man who put quill to paper to write the Torah (aka the 1st 5 books of the Bible), had many audible conversations with God. Through God's Spirit Moses was able to write down the record of creation through just before his death.
As to why God was speaking to all of these guys centuries ago, I am assuming you are wondering why He isn't doing it today. (If I am wrong on that please correct me) He IS doing it today. God doesn't always speak through a burning bush. It isn't always audible or physical but it is supernaturally tangible. I have regular dialogue with God. No, it doesn't look like I am sitting there having a 1 sided conversation with an empty room. I pray. That is my dialogue with God. I am sure His prophets had a much greater level of conversation with Him but He certainly does speak today. God is not dead, He is alive.
Why do we just believe those guys weren't crazy and/or writing their own "laws" to fit whatever society believed to be moral and righteous in their day?
It is my belief that God does not want His word corrupted beyond comprehension and therefore has not allowed it be. He's God. He can do whatever He wants. To play devil's advocate against myself, some might ask about translation and corruption through time. Let's look at 1 Bible verse from several different translations:
KJV - For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. 10 And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:
NASB - For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form, and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority;
ESV - For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority.
NIV - For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority.
NLT - For in Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body. So you also are complete through your union with Christ, who is the head over every ruler and authority.
Different words in each translation but the message is still the same. That is what is important, the message. It matters not which specific words are used to convey it as long as the same message with the same meaning is brought forth. Some translations are literal (word for word) and some are more dynamic (NLT) which is my favorite. It's easier to read and understand. It is also my opinion that every student of the Bible should spend some time doing word studies on scripture. Find the original Greek or Hebrew version of the passage you are interested in and determine the specific meaning of those words.
Let's take Titus 2:13 (originally written in Greek) for example. "while we look forward with hope to that wonderful day when the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will be revealed." Look forward. The Greek word used there is prosdechomai. Directly translated that word describes one who is waiting for something (in context Someone) with a sense of expectancy. If I wanted to LITERALLY translate this scripture from Greek to English it would, with only literally translating ONE WORD of the text, look like this; ""while we wait with great expectancy
to that wonderful day when the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will be revealed." Does it really matter that, when translated, they decided to use the phrase "look forward with hope" instead of "wait with great expectancy"? Dynamic translators look not only for accuracy (which is of the UTMOST importance) but also for flow (especially with the NLT).
Wouldn't God have better things to do than tell someone, "Hey, I've decided that it's against the law to plant 2 different crops in the same field. Write that down"?
This is more of a spiritual question than of translation. The easiest way for me to answer that is that God gave us 10 commandments and a slew of other rules and regulations that are impossible for man to follow. Yup...I said it. They are IMPOSSIBLE for man to follow to a T. That is why we need a Savior, one who lived a full life and never once sinned. That's the easiest and shortest answer I can give to that.
Like I said, many wont like these answers but these are my beliefs.