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Comments about ‘Poll: Many own a Bible, but not many read it’

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Published: Tuesday, April 9 2013 7:00 a.m. MDT

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Tyler D
Meridian, ID

The fact that many are not reading the Bible may be a blessing in disguise, at least with respect to the Old Testament.

If you want to convert someone to Christianity, reading books like Leviticus, Deuteronomy, Numbers or Samuel might prove counter-productive.

Now if you are trying to convert someone to the Taliban…

Mukkake
Salt Lake City, UT

Tyler D,

I suppose that's why the 'mini-Bibles' that Gideon's would pass out at my University consisted of only The New Testament, Psalms, and Proverbs.

RedShirt
USS Enterprise, UT

To "Tyler D" but you have to read the Old Testament to fully understand the New Testament.

The Old Testament does have a lot of the "vengeful" god stories in there, but it also has many more stories of faith and compassion from God. IT doesn't sound like you have read the Old Testament since Leviticus, Deuteronomy, and Numbers are part of the Old Testament that established the Jewish religion and their precepts, and the book of Samuel has a wonderful story about the faith of a small boy and his parents.

If you understood what we have in the bible, you would find that it is more about love than destruction. The problem that you and so many others have is that you either have not read it, or else have not looked into ancient middle eastern customs.

Bill in Nebraska
Maryville, MO

Tyler D: One thing that really must be understood is that a lot of the books you mentioned contains the Law of Moses which was fulfilled in the Death and Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. To be a Christian is much more than gaining an understanding of the New Testament. The Old Testament testifies of the coming and divinity of Jesus Christ. It gives us perspective into the Savior and Redeemer of the World. So many Christian Sects fail to really study and understand the Old Testament. For Instance, Isaiah both speaks about the present, the past, the future Messiah but also of the Last Days. Understanding Isaiah is much more difficult than many Christian Sects want to address. It gives clear understanding of the Law of Moses and that law fulfilled by the Christ. Reading it is difficult but very much worth while for anyone really wanting to know and understand the Lord's dealing with the Children of Heavenly Father.

9MM
Murray, UT

“The holy scriptures represent mankind's spiritual memory. And when man's connection with scripture is severed, mortals are tragically deprived of an awareness of spiritual history.” Neal A Maxwell.
Knowledge can only be gained individually. Spiritual knowledge requires study of spiritual things, too bad our society leaves these things to chance.

Tyler D
Meridian, ID

@RedShirt – “IT doesn't sound like you have read the Old Testament since Leviticus, Deuteronomy, and Numbers…”

Well, it’s sort of like going to see a bad movie… if the first half hour is awful, do you stay for the next two?

And holding up Samuel as an example of the “good” found in the Bible is questionable, given that this is the book where God orders genocide (except for the non-virgin girls… definitely don’t kill them).

But I agree (with your implication) that things certainly get better in the New Testament, with some notable exceptions – Revelations is as brutal as anything found in the Old.

@Bill in Nebraska – “the books you mentioned contains the Law of Moses which was fulfilled in the Death and Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.”

Does this mean the Law of Moses no longer applies (i.e., we are no longer “commanded” to stone a Hindu (graven images) or my neighbor when he mows his lawn on a Sunday)?

RedShirt
USS Enterprise, UT

To "Tyler D" so lets get this straight. You have only read part of the Old Testament, and are judging the entire Old Testament on what you read? You should read the entire book before deciding that it isn't any good.

I have have seen some movies where the first part is aweful, but the rest is good. It sometimes takes patients to get to the point where things are good.

Tyler D
Meridian, ID

@RedShirt – “You have only read part of the Old Testament, and are judging the entire Old Testament on what you read?”

Sorry, I was being a bit facetious. I have read other parts of the OT, and all of the NT more than once... but you’re missing my point I think.

My point was this - by reading only the first few books of the Bible, I was left with the unmistaken impression that these people were barbaric, incredibly superstitious, warlike, punitive and amazingly self righteous. And best I could tell they had a god in their image.

I don’t hold this against them… I think this was likely the case for most people/tribes living in the Bronze Age.

But what I definitely did NOT conclude was that this was “the best book ever written” or the “moral/ethical blueprint for a civil & decent society,” and I certainly did not have the impression that it was written/inspired by the Creator of the Universe.

But hey, what do I know… a couple billion people seem to think otherwise.

sharrona
layton, UT

RE; Bill in Nebraska, Understanding Isaiah is much more difficult than many Christian Sects want to address.
Isaiah 53:1-12, describes the Reconciliation the Propitiation which literally means to make favorable and specifically includes the idea of dealing with God’s wrath against sinners. Expiation literally means to make pious and implies either the removal or cleansing of sin.

Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangs on a tree( cross). Gal 3:13,see Deuteronomy 21:23.

Christ’s Sacrifice Once for All,” But those sacrifices are an annual reminder of sins. It is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.”(Hebrews 10:3-4).

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God” (1Cor 1:19).

*At-one-ment, The English word is entirely fanciful. *Thayer’s Greek Lexicon

RedShirt
USS Enterprise, UT

To "Tyler D" so what you are saying is that I was correct in saying that you are judging the Old Testament based on limited reading.

Actually, there are some truthes in the OT that, if everybody lived them, would make for a better wold. Think of the 10 Commandments. If the entire world lived by them, would the world be better or worse?

The blueprint to a better world is there, it is the ignorant that dismiss it.

Tyler D
Meridian, ID

@RedShirt

Just to be clear, I never said that were not “truths” or good parts in the Bible – just that there are also many anachronisms as well, especially in the early books.

And we should also be clear on exactly what a world would look like if we lived by the Laws of Moses. Here are just a few of the actions we would be commanded to do:

1.If a person commits blasphemy, you kill them.
2.If you see a person working on Sunday, you kill them.
3.If your child has the gall to talk back to you, you kill him/her.
4.If you find out on your wedding night that your bride is not a virgin, you kill her.
5.If you see someone praying to a graven (carved) image, you kill them.
6.If you come across a town where people are doing this (pretty much any Hindu village in India), you kill them, their family members, and anyone else who doesn’t stop.

Is this the “better world” you had in mind?

Reached comment limit…

casual observer
Salt Lake City, UT

Reading the OT is different from understanding the OT. Until the contemporary culture and the translated Hebrew words are fully appreciated in their nuances, it is premature to condemn anything in the OT.

Craig Clark
Boulder, CO

The Bible doesn’t have all the answers to everything we want to know. But it provides historic echoes of the spiritual and ethical legacy passed down to us from our distant ancestors.

One of the thought-provoking passages is Proverbs 9: 10: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” I don’t read “fear of the Lord” to mean being terrified of God so much as it means being in awe and reverence for all that surpasses understanding.

"As for man, his days are as grass...." (Psalm 103: 9)

Craig Clark
Boulder, CO

sharrona,

"Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law...."
_____________________________

Do you think that's the authoritative pronouncement on the matter because it’s in the Bible? The contents of the canon were decided by the 5th century church and include Paul’s opinions that are independent of what Jesus taught. Jesus never taught that the law was a curse. On Paul rests the burden of proving that which Paul never did to the satisfaction of countless critics.

Jesus tirelessly argued the law of Moses turning it back on his critics time and again. When asked “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus asked “What is written in the law?” When the man referred to the ten commandments, Jesus said, “Thou has answered right.”

Jesus said, “Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” Today, many Christians read ‘fulfilled’ to mean ‘abolished.’ That’s understandable considering that Paul said the law had ended in Christ. But that’s more than I can refract from anything Jesus said.

sharrona
layton, UT

RE: Craig Clark, The* fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.(Proverb 10:9 NIV).

.… “Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man..” (Ecc 12:13).
*(H3372) fear, terror, fearing(of God) respect, reverence,Context.

But Wrath, (G 3709), …:And he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the Wrath of God abideth on him.(John3:36).

@*Jesus never taught that the law was a curse.
Paul quotes Deut 21:23, “His body shall not remain all night upon the tree, but thou shalt in any wise bury him that day;(for he that is hanged is accursed of God…LORD(*Jehovah) thy God” .

“The law of Moses was unable to save us because of the weakness of our sinful nature. So God did what the law could not do. He sent his own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have. And in that body God declared an end to sin's control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins. Romans 8:3 NLT

msc
CLARKSTON, WA

If families could find the time to read at least one chapter every night before going to bed, and pray as a family, they would strengthen their faith and grow closer as a family and be able to withstand so many of the trials and temptations that face us these days. When you read the scriptures, your perspective changes. You see things in a new light. Your heart softens and you feel so much more love for your fellow man. As for not knowing where to start, start at the beginning, or start in an Old Testament Book that contains favorite stories. Read and ponder with your families. Discuss what you've read. It's a great way to spend quality family time together.

Craig Clark
Boulder, CO

sharonna,

“The law of Moses was unable to save us because of the weakness of our sinful nature. So God did what the law could not do. He sent his own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have. And in that body God declared an end to sin's control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins. Romans 8:3 NLT"
______________________________

Paul’s views on the law are quite clear in his epistles. But I don’t see Jesus through Paul’s eyes. Their views don’t always harmonize despite Christian orthodoxy’s treatment of each as being equally authoritative.

sharrona
layton, UT

RE: Craig Clark, Their views do harmonize.

Be ye perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.(Mt 5:48) Christ sets up the high ideal of perfect love(see vv 43-47). God’s standard is love.

In(Mt 5:17-20) Jesus is not speaking against the law but against hypocritical Pharisaical legalism a hollow sham externally to gain merit before God while breaking them internally. It was following the letter of the law and not the spirit.

By fulfilling( its meaning) the law Christ satisfied all its requirements in our stead. In other words, the 'required' obedience to such laws are accomplished in Him. Therefore, "in Christ" do we keep all the law faithfully, and cannot be accused. In this way, we can no longer be judged by any of the everlasting laws, because those laws having been satisfied, we are now under the Grace of God.

Do you prefer, James 2:10 ,"For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.

Or,” the law was our guardian until Christ came that we might be ‘Justified by faith”(Gal3:24)

Craig Clark
Boulder, CO

sharrona,

Which do I prefer? That kind of choice illustrates perfectly why I distrust polemic extremes.

Salvation by personal effort at least presumes an endeavor to choose right over wrong. Salvation by justification doesn’t even require morals or ethics. A get out of hell free card is issued to those who accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Is it really that simple? Or is that just utter nonsense?

I'm not sure what Jesus meant by the kingdom of heaven but that was the recurring theme wherever and to whoever he spoke. What he meant by it may have been something other than what Paul thought it was about.

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