Agnostics & Atheists with questions welcome here!

I encourage any agnostics or atheists with questions about the Bible or Christianity to post a comment here.

I accept and allow to post any comment that pertains to the subject matter of my post.

I would encourage any who post to consider writing their own comments rather than copying information from other sources, although brief, or relatively brief, quotations for discussion are appropriate.

That keeps the discussions directly on target, and keeps post length to something everyone can comfortably read.

Currently on another site a most interesting discussion has raised the question about whether or not God is a personal God. Questions also arise concerning the Bible–can we believe it? Is it literally true? Is the Bible inerrant?

A very thorny issue raises the question about does God communicate personally with man, or any individual person, now?

When we need God’s guidance, it would really be nice if He would condescend to writing a personal letter to us, sending it by what used to be called “Registered Mail.” I know the Post Office could use the extra first-class mail business!

But it seems God has kept a strange and virtually absolute silence for nearly 2000 years. Now, the “Silence of God” is a very deep subject of study when it comes to Real Bible Study, so I don’t recommend starting there. Sir Robert Anderson wrote a book on the subject titled The Silence of God which I recently downloaded onto my “nook” electronic book reader and I’ve now read it twice. Robert Anderson has written more on the subject than I’ve seen elsewhere, but even after reading his book twice through late last year I see a need for even more direct study of what the Bible itself actually teaches about it.

I am developing a new and much expanded cross reference Bible study tool for eventual publication in electronic/computer software format. I just finished my basic work on the book of Psalms earlier this evening. I’ve spent the past six months going through the 150 chapters of the book of Psalms twice. I spent one whole month just on Psalm 119, the longest chapter in the Bible, adding more cross references tied to more keywords in the Bible. My file grew from ten pages to just over 26 pages in length.

I am convinced that the Bible really is true. One thing the Bible has going for it that the religious books of other faiths do not is historicity. This FACT is why I believe the Bible is much more worthy of belief than any other religious text.

For example, the New Testament records are proven historically accurate down to very minute details. The New Testament contains written eye-witness testimony to the facts of which it speaks. The New Testament bears testimony to the bodily resurrection of Christ with greater detail and the record of more eyewitnesses than any other important incident of ancient history.

New Testament manuscripts are numerous, and the earliest manuscript fragments go back to a time only 40 or so years after the death of the last New Testament writer, John. No other ancient literature of Greece or Rome has anywhere near the amount of manuscript evidence, or manuscripts dating so close to the time of writing as the New Testament does.

So don’t be misled by those who would argue against the New Testament on the basis that all we have is “copies of copies of copies.” The FACT is that the oldest copies we have agree extremely closely with the later manuscript copies we have, testifying to the care and accuracy with which copies were made.

I have studied this subject carefully since the mid to late 1950s, probably longer than anyone who might happen upon this blog and read this post. Scholar friends of mine gave me much assistance by providing copies of rare works on this subject, such that I have a good number of feet of shelf space in my own library devoted to these matters.

As for how do we know which books belong in the New Testament, the answer is the books that belong are all included there now. These 27 books are each written by either an apostle of Jesus Christ or by a person very closely associated with those who were. Older writers, such as Townsend in his Analysis, believed that the canon of the New Testament was established by the Apostle John, the last living apostle, before he died. I like that idea. But whether precisely true or not, the historical evidence is that copies of each book were made and shared widely among the Christian congregations or churches, and copies were made and shared with individuals as well. The Christian community, under the providential guidance of the Holy Spirit no doubt, carefully copied, distributed, and providentially preserved the books of the New Testament.

No church or denomination or council decided which books belonged in the New Testament. They only affirmed what was already accepted by Christians at large.

Some have argued that certain books were purposely “left out.” After hearing a program on the radio affirming such foolishness, I said to my wife and her mother who lives with us, let me show you once and for all how such claims are utter nonsense.

I then retrieved a book of these “Lost Books of the Bible” and the “Apocryphal New Testament” and began reading their content aloud.

My point was instantly clear.

If you are familiar with the books that are in the New Testament, and were you to read any of these other books supposedly left out, you too would immediately sense the difference. They are worlds apart.

Well, I’ve rambled on at some length.

Any one is invited to respond with a comment, pro or con or indifferent, on these or related themes.

Lets have a discussion and shed some light, not generate heat, on these very important issues.

This entry was posted in Apologetics Issues--Agnosticism and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

23 Responses to Agnostics & Atheists with questions welcome here!

  1. A. Way says:

    Historicity? And you are a futurist? That is remarkable Jerry…

  2. Jerry says:

    It helps, of course, to have had a teaching major in the field of history and to have been a history teacher for many years.

    But I have the equivalent of more than an academic triple major in English, with an emphasis in linguistics and grammar, so I’m better equipped in the field of English than I am in history.

    But a good many who have heard of history are not informed at all about the subject area of historicity, which is the study of the evidence that shows our account of history is true and accurate.

    When it comes to asserting the truth of the Bible, one of the strongest evidences of its truth is its careful account of the history it relates.

    The Bible scholar Robert Dick Wilson, who was certainly one of the very greatest scholars who ever lived, spent a lifetime studying Biblical languages, and became fluent in every other language that had any possible bearing upon the Bible. He studied in depth the full history behind every letter and word in the Hebrew Scriptures, and established as beyond any question the historicity of the Old Testament.

    Wilson’s researches demonstrated that the Hebrew Scriptures were accurate down to the minutest detail, including the very spelling of the names of ancient kings and cities as confirmed by a close comparison with ancient monuments erected by the very kings concerned. No other ancient body of literature, even of the classical historians of Greece and Rome, comes close to this accuracy.

    The problem with atheists and agnostics who argue against the truth of the Bible or have serious doubts about its relevance is that they have not studied this evidence carefully in depth, but keep repeating the same objections which have been answered by such scholars as Wilson as if the answers had never been proposed and established as the truth.

    The problem with the vast majority of Christians is that they are just as uninformed about this mass of scholarly evidence as the atheists and agnostics are, and probably more so.

    I overheard a call from the state of Georgia, I think it was, from a former member of Pastor Emery Moss’s church in Detroit, asking how to find an “apologetics church.”

    When Pastor Moss was still a teenager I introduced him to the subject of apologetics. At the time he was a student in my English class at Cass Technical High School, a school for gifted and talented students.

    I don’t know that there are any church ministries, other than the Strictly Biblical Bible Teaching Ministries pastored by Pastor Moss in Detroit, that have this emphasis.

    You can hear Pastor Moss daily on WLQV, AM-1500, from 6:00 to 7:00 pm on Monday through Friday, and on Saturday from 4:00 to 5:00 pm on the same station. His program on the weekdays is called “Bible Talk,” I believe, and can be heard on the Internet, which is how I often listen, since the WLQV station signal is sometimes too weak to reach where I live after dark.

    Do a Google search for WLQV, and I’m sure you’ll find on the home page the “Listen Live” link for Pastor Moss’s program prominently displayed.

    Feel free to call in a question of your own on any question relating to the Bible or Apologetics, and he will give you a gracious but most adequate answer you can be sure!

    I strongly urge anyone here who wants “live answers” to their questions and concerns about the Bible, theology, apologetics, church history, cult apologetics, anything related to the Bible, to give Pastor Moss a call. He announces the toll-free call-in number frequently during the program.

  3. Jerry says:

    It is utterly amazing to me to see how many atheists and agnostics have failed to accept the invitation to submit their comments and questions here.

    They are still welcome!

    Of course, if you don’t want real answers to your questions, you might wish to read and respond elsewhere.

    Otherwise, I am eagerly awaiting your responses here.

    So far, the silence has been deafening!

  4. Gabrielle Nichols says:

    You have all the answers I am looking for.
    Don’t be discouraged by the number of atheist not responding.
    There obviously fearful.
    Your my Idol. I want to become just like you.
    Im only 20 years old…Just saying so i cant be on the same grammatical level as you.
    But Bless you I love your website its such an eye opener thank you so much and please dont give up.

  5. Jerry says:

    Dear Gabrielle,

    Thank you for your comment. It is most encouraging to me.

    If you have any questions you would like me to address, please let me know!

    I have not written any new articles for a while, but some of the discussions in the comments section do get into the Bible more thoroughly.

  6. A. Smith says:

    Hi Jerry,
    I am an Agnostic who grew up in a predominantly christian based family. I came across your page while trying to find reliable and bias-free bible study sources. Your site intrigued me and I too have noticed that no atheists or agnostics have replied. I have nowhere near the education merits that you have accumulated but I wanted to gain some of your insight. I am only 24 years old but I have found that I want to study the bible more in depth and while I have not fully read every single word of bible I still have many lingering doubts as to what I’ve read so far. You seem to be a well spoken, intelligent individual and can be patient and not hostile towards my religious views. Most Christians don’t ever seem to give me that courtesy and I sincerely hope that you do. Glad I came across your site hope to hear from you soon.

  7. Jerry says:

    Dear A. Smith,

    I am delighted that you have found my site and have chosen to post a comment here!

    Please feel most free to raise any questions here that you may have.

    I will be happy to share any knowledge I have.

    I do indeed trust that this is a reliable and bias-free website devoted to what I call “Real Bible Study.”

    I do not expect everyone to agree with what I have written, or with all of my answers to questions. But you won’t find my responses tainted with denominational or sectarian bias. I get my information from the Bible itself, following acknowledged principles of careful interpretation.

    If you read the many discussions that have transpired on this site, you will see that I try to give explicit reasons to support my viewpoints based on evidence.

    Again, thank you for visiting here.

  8. A. Smith says:

    Dear Jerry,

    Yes, I am delighted as well to have found your site. My first question is one that you have already pointed out. I can’t seem to get the same answers from all Christians. The interpretation that so many believers of the bible tend to either explain logical interpretations while others just flat out disagree and then others just completely don’t know. It doesn’t really confuse me as to where certain interpretations come from it’s just astounds me that so many Christians seem to take the bible out of context way too often and don’t make logical sense. Which brings me to the important topic of omnipresence, omnipotence and omniscience. What are your view points on these definitions and how do you logically explain how God can be all of these things? Most passages in the bible don’t seem to add up for a god to exist who can be all of those things. Thank you and I hope you can logically explain my all of my questions.

    A. Smith

  9. Jerome Smith says:

    Dear A. Smith,

    Unfortunately, many Christians who believe the Bible are not really that carefully informed about what it really teaches. They may not have studied it independently for themselves in the manner I advocate here.

    Now to your basic questions. Omnipresence has reference to the fact that God is everywhere present at the same time.

    Proverbs 15:3 The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.

    Taken by itself, the attribute of omnipresence is quite clear.

    Omnipotence has to do with the idea that God is all-powerful. This attribute is subject to considerable misunderstanding and misapplication. The fact that God is all-powerful does not imply that God can do anything. His attributes are all exercised in harmony with his character. So, if one were to ask the question, “Can God lie?” the Biblical answer is that God cannot lie:

    Titus 1:2 In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;

    Now as for God’s omnipotence, this attribute is affirmed by Job,

    Job 42:1 Then Job answered the LORD, and said,
    Job 42:2 I know that thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can be withholden from thee.

    Notice that Job in the same sentence affirms God’s omniscience, too.

    God’s omnipotence is affirmed in the New Testament:

    Rev 19:6 And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.

    The subject of God’s omniscience is very interesting. On this topic we must be very careful not to go beyond what is written in Scripture in a manner to draw unwarrantable conclusions about the subject. The fact that God knows everything does not mean that God causes everything. Those who follow the system of doctrine commonly called Calvinism go astray on this issue. Those who carefully follow what the Bible itself actually says do not make the error that some Calvinists do. The Bible does not teach fatalism.

    Biblical support for the doctrinal claim that God is omniscient will be found at Hebrews 4:13, and as noted above, incidentally at Job 42:2 also.

    Heb 4:13 Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.

    You commented:

    Most passages in the bible don’t seem to add up for a god to exist who can be all of those things.

    Feel free to elaborate further on the conflict you see with regard to these three divine attributes.

    I think that most of the confusion that arises from considering these attributes of God can be answered by a direct appeal to Scripture. Often, when I read the problems alluded to by agnostics and atheists regarding these attributes I see right away where they don’t take into consideration the whole picture that the Bible presents. And I can’t blame them, for who can they ask directly who can provide an accurate answer based upon a fuller knowledge of what the Bible teaches?

    If they would come here, I’d be most happy to address their specific concerns.

    Now I know I have not even begun to answer your questions adequately. But if you can respond with additional comments and questions, I’ll know better which direction to take in helping you get a better grasp of what the Bible says and means.

  10. A. Smith says:

    Dear Jerry,

    I’ve been busy with being in school full-time but at this moment I have time to finally get into detailed analysis and speculation of the scripture and theories pertaining to each of the three definitions I asked of your opinion. First off, let us talk about omnipotent. I’m going to assume that you are have concluded that the notion of omnipotence of God is “essentially omnipotent as He deems necessarily.” My issues w that statement is the omnipotence paradox. Your thoughts on each theory please. I’m not okay w believing in a god who only is omnipotent as he sees necessary. Is this just perhaps only a ruse to get the mass population under the assumption that god “works in mysterious ways”? Which is not a verse in bible just a phrase coined by christian believers. So, just believe in him even if logically it cannot be explained as to why he cannot b all powerful as he says he is in Matthew 19:25 or maybe 26? I’m not convinced and have no tolerance for a being who potentially can be that unstable and not consistent. Which brings me to the commonly used question of his omnipotence. Can god create a rock so heavy that he cannot lift? Some well known people believe that it is just the question doesn’t make logical sense. While others just say no matter how it’s worded language cannot even have words to make it logical sense.
    The logical part of the statement is that if a being can do all tasks he creates then he can create tasks that he cannot accomplish. Thus making him not omnipotent. However, if he cannot make a task that he cannot accomplish then because he can’t means he isn’t omnipotent to begin with either. In summary, which do u agree w and in retrospect is there anything you would like to add or disagree on anything I’ve mentioned?
    Hoping you are well.
    A. Smith
    A. Smith

  11. Jerry says:

    Dear A. Smith,

    You raise some intriguing issues.

    Can God make a square circle?

    Of course not, because the question itself contains a contradiction so is nonsense.

    So with the question, “Can God make a rock so big he cannot lift it?”

    Of course, God is not busy seeing if there are any rocks in the universe He created that He cannot lift! Again, though less obvious, the question is nonsense.

    Now I am not criticizing or belittling you in any way when you ask the question. The question did not originate with you since I’ve heard the question raised since I was in high school, and that is a good many years ago.

    The question is answered by considering the Biblical fact that God always acts in harmony with all His attributes, such that He never contradicts His own character as He has revealed it to us in the Bible, His written Word. Of course, the Bible itself asserts in the first chapter of Romans that God’s character may be deduced from the things that are seen in creation, so that no man is without excuse.

    I mentioned this concept in my last comment when I noted that God cannot lie, because to do so would contradict the attribute of God that He is absolute truth.

    Therefore, to me there is no necessity of granting a so-called “omnipotence paradox,” because my assertion is that the Bible teaches the harmony of God’s attributes, so they never in reality form a contradiction.

    You made reference to Matthew 19:25, 26,

    Mat 19:23 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven.
    Mat 19:24 And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
    Mat 19:25 When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved?
    Mat 19:26 But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.

    Jesus straightforwardly asserts that it is exceedingly difficult for a rich man to enter into heaven. He is not saying that there are no rich people that will ever make it there, but that it is most difficult.

    The difficulty arises in part because often those who are rich are caught up in the things of this life, of this world, and so do not focus effectively on spiritual things, and so miss learning the truth about what God says about personal salvation. There are rich individuals mentioned throughout the Bible that certainly will be found in heaven. Both Abraham and Job were very rich men, and it is certain that they are in heaven. Joseph of Arimithea who furnished the tomb where Christ was buried is stated to be a rich man. And there are many others. The key to the issue is to be found in the story of this rich young ruler who came eagerly to Jesus asking the question, Good Master, what must I do to inherit eternal life? Jesus told him the only one who is good is God, asking, Why do you call me good? But in answer to the man’s question, Jesus said, Keep the commandments. In answer to the question, “Which ones?” Jesus quoted several from both tables of the Law. The young man said “All these have I kept from my youth.” Jesus pinpointed the essence of the man’s problem by giving him the challenge to sell all his goods, distribute them to the poor, and come follow him. The point was the man had not kept all the commandments for he had kept neither the first nor the last of the ten (neither of which Jesus had quoted when answering “Which ones”), and the man went away sorrowful for he had great riches.

    Jesus doesn’t mess around. He knows human character intimately and completely. In fact, the Bible in the New Testament shows Jesus, even while on earth as a man, possessed the attribute of omniscience, not to mention omnipresence and omnipotence. Jesus pinpointed the flaw in the man’s character that needed to be solved for the man to have a right relationship with God. Jesus never approaches individuals formulaicly, to almost invent a word, but tailors his response to make it precisely appropriate for the individual He is addressing. So the directive to the rich young ruler is not the directive Jesus addressed to Nicodemus or Joseph of Arimithea, all of whom were rich men.

    I trust my answer will help address the question you raised at least a little bit. Please continue this conversation!

    By the way, what are you taking up in college?

    When I went to college I took more than a full load each semester so that I took over four years of courses in three and a half years, then went on to graduate school. Those were busy days reading and studying. But I enjoy doing that, so it was not too painful of an experience.

  12. A. Smith says:

    Dear Jerry,

    But of course I will continue this conversation due to my endless curiosity! I do not feel in any way belittled because you and I both know that the question of “can He create a rock so heavy he cannot lift” is only a base question to center concepts and philosophies around. It is absurd to think an entity such as god would waste his time to find matter in which He cannot manipulate but then again we aren’t only talking about the physical. For a being who is not mundane to begin with is probably on a level to such heights that He is not concerned due to His omniscient nature. The main point is to grasp an understanding of the concept omnipotence. It is a very complex word and not easy to just explain away in a straightforward answer. Although I don’t claim to be correct in my pondering or even opinions but what I do know is that the nature in which He is suppose to act according to His nature is highly complex.

    It is a rather disconcerting idea to think none of the rich people make it into the Christians and others concept of heaven, isn’t it?! I do understand that humans who proclaim faith in god must obey and try to not be mundane which is the only part of human nature. Human nature is much easier to explain but I’m not saying that if god as an entity exists would expect or even want such simplistic creatures as humans to understand him on his own level. What would be the point if we could harness even close to what He is supposedly capable of. Humans are not advanced enough to handle such “grandeur’s” of absolute powers. Thus a being like Him would essentially have no purpose.

    I follow you on the omnipotence but I’m not quite sure I can conclude that according to his nature that this is an entity that I would willingly follow again ever. In a nutshell what is his nature relating to omnipotence? I know that He cannot lie but in the gospels it says to shun thy family and hate thy mother and father. Even I don’t pretend to know this might be just to point out the extreme measure in which man must obey to enter the kingdom of heaven but doesn’t one of the commandments say to honor thy mother and father. Is there another hate in which I do not understand that allows for you to still honor thy mother and father? It is according to Jewish doctrine, that Jesus was quoting in Matthew what Micah 7:5-6 had said.

    “Do not trust a neighbor; put no confidence in a friend. Even with her who lies in your embrace be careful of your words. For a son dishonors his father, a daughter rises up against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law–a man’s enemies are the members of his own household”

    And then used it to get his point across that things of this world mean nothing so no one should love anything as much as Jesus? This quoting does not make sense and why would a Jesus misconstrue it to fit his meaning?

    Jews don’t even believe in him so why was Jesus a Jew? I’m getting off subject but I often wonder why Jews and Christians differ so vastly. What is the point in creating such animosity between these two different factions of religion? Jesus does exist it has been proven and I don’t dispute that fact. But what was Jesus exactly because Jews don’t even consider him a prophet? Anyhow, do you believe he was a Jew? Excuse my lame comparison but doesn’t that make Jesus the Santa Claus of religion? Researchers claim that the term “Jew” did not exist when Jesus was living. So why does the term apply to him and how do we know “Jews” are his chosen people if the term didn’t exist supposedly until English translations? What are you thoughts on this conceptualization?

    If the absolute truth implies that since humans have no intellectual understanding to compare god’s supposed type of omnipotence (absolute truth if you will) then it is a statement of fact? Just because we can’t see gravity doesn’t mean it exists and it does. The ozone layer exists but can we really see it and pinpoint where there are holes in it from pollution and various other contributing factors? No, it has not been proven as a fact. The facts like gravity are much easier to grasp and do not allow the slightest room for doubt. How does religion even come close to the orders of scientific laws?

    If I was a Christian I would be of the belief that the omnipotence in Jesus was only sub par to that of God. If god can manifest in different forms maybe he cannot transfer his true self or “absolute truth” even into His son, Jesus Christ. Or are contradictions are just unfounded and not in a literal sense applicable to convey in the human language?

    And I don’t mean to offend you in any way either but I’ve considered the concept of how primitive people used polytheism to explain the phenomenons of nature. Did humans only evolve and since then decided that monotheism and a “personable” god is what advanced civilized humans should believe? Cultures do tend to twist, add, and delete scripture according to how the “times” see fit. That cannot be disputed either. This may be the biggest problem as to why converts to Christianity seem to be declining. Or maybe that it’s just because people (mainly Americans) are not suppressed and don’t risk there lives by opposing the church. Humans fail at interpreting the bible correctly either because they are incompetent and/or purposely mislead to abuse or come into power.

    Though I’m NOT saying any of these things apply to you. It’s just from my experience and observation of this world inhabited by humans. It is not an inconceivable notion but I also often wonder if humanity will ever come to a consensus and become so advanced to be able get to the root of religion. My opinion is that not even one person on this earth has ever provided hard and fool proof evidence as to if he exists or not. Why I should be concerned with how I’m living my life now?

    I’m not in any way accusing you or your beliefs pertaining to god, but wouldn’t the world be better off without religion? I know you do not feel this way but most likely wish people would set better examples to be of contrary to the below mentioned: Wars are fought every day over conflicting views pertaining to differing religions. People feel victimized and less of a human being for not believing in a god(s). Often the view is that atheists and agnostics have no hope or even purpose to live without being devoted to a religion. Should religion have relevance to structures of government? Or do humans in this day and age need it to have an anchor to help them deal with the inevitable fact of death? Or is it used to sustain the very threads that keep the civilized world from unraveling into utter chaos unlike we have ever known in this present day?

    I know that I have a purpose in this life and don’t actually feel any impediment of inevitable doom at the moment. It will most likely happen when I enter my elderly years but I am trying beforehand to come to terms with that now. That is why I strive to not let life get me down. This is the only life I will possibly get, unless the Hindus have it right, then I must live each moment as if I only have today.

    My personal belief is that energy can only be transformed not destroyed. Because energy cannot be, according to the laws of science, created or ever be destroyed. Humans are energy and this law must apply to us as well, so God is not a Being, but must be the Eternal and Infinite power and intelligence of all being and all creation. In other words our understanding of god is not a “personable” one but that of a force of which we have no comprehension of and possibly never will.

    I’ve asked a good deal of questions in this post and proposed plus questioned many concepts. I apologize if I strayed at times from the topic considerably. There are sometimes just too many thoughts jammed in my head that to put into words can be a little overwhelming and difficult to organize. I do my best to summarize and not let my attention stray too much to detract from my original intentions.

    By the way I’m going to school right now to get my basics and my desire to go over the full time hours of 12 is due to work which does not permit for as much study time as I would require. I am not sure what I will major in yet, though I do find I would like to explore the option of psychology.

    A. Smith

  13. A. Smith says:

    *my desire to go over 12 hrs could not be fitted into my schedule due to work* is what I meant to convey.

  14. Jerome Smith says:

    Dear A. Smith,

    You are right to concentrate in college on the basics first. When I started college most of the first two years involved taking required courses with few opportunities for electives. I think that was a good idea back then, though from what I have read, colleges do not follow that practice so much today. May I suggest being very careful that when you do get your degree it is for a field for which there is demand and for which you can earn a living wage. Many college students today get deeply in debt and when they graduate have no actual marketable skills to get a job with enough pay to hope to pay that debt off! It is better to stay out of debt, and pay as you go. I worked before going to college and saved enough to pay for four years of room, board, and tuition. The way prices keep going up, it is harder for young people to do that today.

    As we discussed in a prior posting, there will be some rich people in heaven, and I named two from the New Testament, and could name more, like Zacchaeus in Luke 19. In verse 9 Jesus said, “This day is salvation come to this house.” Of course, Zacchaeus saw the light as reflected by what he said in verse 8. So, there will be some rich people in heaven, but Jesus pointed out that it is very difficult for a rich man to enter into heaven.

    I am glad for you that you have the curiosity to keep asking good questions!

    You remark,

    I follow you on the omnipotence but I’m not quite sure I can conclude that according to his nature that this is an entity that I would willingly follow again ever.

    What you write may indicate you once did willingly follow God. You may feel free to tell me more, if you wish. Many times events in our lives or those of our friends or our family bring about a crisis in faith, or worse. As an English teacher, I required my students to do a lot of writing. One cannot learn to write by osmosis (usually: my two sons are good writers, and I did not require them to do a lot of writing, but they have done a lot of reading, which may be the explanation). We learn to write by writing! Once we have done enough writing, it becomes a very enjoyable exercise to do so. Each week I had my students do a “free writing composition” about anything they wished. I let them know I would not share what they wrote with anyone else without their most willing and freely given permission first. That freed them up to write sincerely about anything they wished. Sometimes students wrote about crises of faith in their lives and asked for direction. I always turned them to the Bible. Those who read the Bible for themselves as a result often thanked me for the suggestion.

    You ask,

    In a nutshell what is his nature relating to omnipotence?

    All of God’s attributes are exercised by Him in a perfect harmony, as I may have mentioned before. But since He possesses the attribute of omnipotence, He is powerful enough to accomplish His purposes. That includes the encouraging fact that He therefore can be trusted to keep His promises. Those promises are found in just one Book, the Bible.

    To demonstrate both His omnipotence and His omniscience, He has made many predictions in the Bible. There are dozens, even hundreds of predictions that have come true exactly as He said they would. Some of the predictions were most unlikely to have come true from a human standpoint at the time they were made, but they have been fulfilled in what is now past history for us, but the events were a good ways into the future at the time the predictions were made. There is a little book called Science Speaks by Peter W. Stoner which gives a good summary of some of the most striking prophecies. As a scientist and mathematician he also discusses the laws of chance or probability and shows that chance cannot explain the accuracy of the predictions in the Bible.

    One of the most remarkable series of predictions are those made in the book of Ezekiel about the ancient city of Tyre. The predictions are so accurate, specific, and detailed, one would almost think they had to be written after the events that were predicted. But in the case of Ezekiel that is impossible. Some portions of the predictions were fulfilled long after the New Testament was written, so nothing written by Ezekiel could possibly have been written after those events for Ezekiel is in the Old Testament. Therefore, Ezekiel predicted the future course of secular history and the demise of a most major city and connected empire long before it took place. There is no secular or rational explanation for the predictive powers of Ezekiel. This really argues for Divine Revelation as the only possible source, and thus argues very strongly for the Divine Inspiration of the prophecies and the Book in which they are recorded.

    I know that He cannot lie but in the gospels it says to shun thy family and hate thy mother and father. Even I don’t pretend to know this might be just to point out the extreme measure in which man must obey to enter the kingdom of heaven but doesn’t one of the commandments say to honor thy mother and father.

    Jesus said:

    Luke 14:26 If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.

    The figure of speech involved here (called Overstatement, used for strong emphasis) is explained in and by the parallel passage in Matthew:

    Mat 10:37 He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.

    The Jewish hearers of what Jesus proclaimed would understand His words instantly. They likely knew their own Scriptures better back then than many Christians, even pastors, do today. They would link what He said to Deuteronomy 21:15,

    Deu 21:15 If a man have two wives, one beloved, and another hated, and they have born him children, both the beloved and the hated; and if the firstborn son be hers that was hated:

    Of course, they were not supposed to have two wives (at least at the same time, though some did). The reference to two wives may legitimately be understood as speaking of one after the other. The reference to “hated” means one loved more than the other, as in the case of Rachel and Leah. In Scripture language that which is loved less is said to be hated.

    You cite the interesting Scripture where Jesus said,

    “…a man’s enemies are the members of his own household”

    That was the very thing Jesus personally experienced. I had never noticed it before until I worked on my present project to expand the cross references available for Bible study. My closer study of Mark 3 shows that Jesus performed a miracle of healing on the Sabbath which greatly upset the Jewish authorities, who were real sticklers about keeping the Sabbath (Mark 3:1-5). Verse 2 tells us “they watched him … that they might accuse him.” Jesus trounced them in argument, and left them silenced (verse 4). It was then that the Pharisees immediately took counsel with the Herodians against him, how they might destroy him.

    Looking further in the narrative of Mark 3, verse 21 tells us:

    Mar 3:20 And the multitude cometh together again, so that they could not so much as eat bread.
    Mar 3:21 And when his friends heard of it, they went out to lay hold on him: for they said, He is beside himself.

    The ever-present scribes and Pharisees which came down from Jerusalem–another example of their tracking and spying on him–argued “He hath Beelzebub, and by the prince of the devils [demons] casteth he out devils [demons]” (Mark 3:22).

    Notice yet further in the narrative at Mark 3:31,

    Mar 3:31 There came then his brethren and his mother, and, standing without, sent unto him, calling him.
    Mar 3:32 And the multitude sat about him, and they said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren without seek for thee.

    The proximity of these elements in the narrative suggests to me that Mary, the mother of Jesus, and his brothers, had been misguided by the Pharisees who apparently sought the cooperation of the family to apprehend Jesus on their behalf.

    This is further confirmed by what is said in John 7:5,

    Joh 7:5 For neither did his brethren believe in him.

    Only the fact that Jesus (on this occasion reported in Mark 3) was sequestered, as it were, in a crowded house so that his family could not get to him physically, avoided a direct confrontation with them, for it appears that their intent was to get him and turn him over to be dealt with by the Pharisees, who clearly were out to destroy him. I suspect this must later have been a matter of deep regret for Mary and her other sons that they had set out to do this to Jesus. We do know that after the resurrection Jesus’s own brothers did then believe in him.

    But this incident surely reveals that Jesus spoke from bitter personal experience when He said “a man’s enemies are the members of his own household.”

    I have not worked very far into your interesting questions in this comment, but I trust that as far as I’ve gone, it will prove helpful and thought-provoking for you.

    I really do appreciate very much the time and effort you have given to share your questions with me to continue this conversation. I plan to return soon to address more of what you have written.

  15. Kay says:

    You mention the passage in Romans that says God’s character can be deduced from his creation. Here is a problem that I have: It seems to me that oftentimes the morality that humanity as a whole (by and large) holds comes into conflict with what God has said or done, according to the Bible.

    The broadest and biggest example to me is eternal punishment in Hell for unbelief. From my Christian education I have concluded that this means that even good people will go to hell and suffer FOR ETERNITY if they don’t believe in and accept Jesus. However, I cannot think of anything, even the most horrendous of crimes, that would warrant never-ending suffering. Much less, simply a lack of religious belief in a person who loves people and does a great amount of good in their lifetime. How can a God that apparently loves us so deeply, especially with a parent-child love, do that?

    I’m not a parent, but there are some children in this world that I love hugely. I discipline them in the hopes that they will be guided towards a path that makes them a good person: thoughtful, hardworking, loving, patient, gentle, selfless, etc. But even simple disciplines are so hard for me to carry out. How could I punish them eternally for anything? I couldn’t bear their suffering.

    Most people could not even bear to punish a stranger for so long. It seems like our instinct is mercy. So then why does what I see in creation (merciful instincts) conflict with what the Bible says God says? Why did he make us to find the idea of this punishment to be wrong, if it is right?

    Lazarus begged for mercy and didn’t receive it. Why is God a god of forgiveness only during our earthly lives? Wouldn’t someone who loves you so much accept your after-death repentance?

    I don’t understand the conflict of love and hell. And I don’t understand why God would make our notions of love to differ from his own.

  16. Jerry says:

    Dear Kay,

    You have posed some very exciting questions!

    Here is a problem that I have: It seems to me that oftentimes the morality that humanity as a whole (by and large) holds comes into conflict with what God has said or done, according to the Bible.

    The best answer I have ever read to this general aspect of your question is to be found in C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity.

    Lewis points out that morality is not diverse nor random in human culture. He points out that it all boils down to the fact that everyone in every culture has this strange sense of guilt–guilt that he or she has not lived up to whatever sense of morality or right and wrong they possess.

    As I recall (having read Lewis long ago!), Lewis concludes that the only reasonable explanation he could offer is that it is God that has given us our sense of right and wrong, and we rightly feel we ought to obey the sense of right. The key theme in Lewis’s discussion revolves around that strange feeling universally shared that we ought to do some things and ought not to do other things, and the amazing associated fact that no one has ever lived up to what they knew or believed they ought to do.

    You nicely pinpointed the issue of the apparent injustice of God who states in His Word the Bible that all unbelievers will suffer eternal punishment for not having believed in Jesus Christ, as well as the issue of punishing eternally what was only done in finite time.

    In Scripture I find that the Bible declares that God is just, that he is loving, that he is merciful, that he is righteous, that he is holy. God will judge each person based upon the amount of light that person had, and the degree to which that person lived up to that light. God will reward or punish each individual justly in a manner that each person judged will fully accept the justice of whatever his or her sentence might be. The Bible speaks of differing degrees of reward and differing degrees of punishment (see, for example, Luke 12:48).

    Luk 12:47 And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.
    Luk 12:48 But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.

    As you might well imagine, this is a vast subject, but I trust my brief answer will help.

    I think Abraham had the right disposition when he responded to God’s justice with this comment:

    Gen 18:25 That be far from thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked: and that the righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from thee: Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?

  17. Tim Smith says:

    Very interesting discussion. Enjoyed reading all of it, and look forward to whatever else is posted! I’m glad to see so many others coming out of the woodwork and posting on this site.

  18. TomB says:

    Jerry (& whomever),
    Here it is Dec. 7 (day of infamy), and I have stumbled upon this discussion which apparently ended in September. I will see if it can be re-started. I will also keep this short in the interest of…well…interest.

    I, too, declare myself agnostic—to be more specific (since there are categories of agnostics), I consider myself an agnostic theist. I will also admit to considerable ignorance with respect to the Bible—although I am currently reading it and compiling a journal, of sorts, to chronicle my experience with it. For your benefit, I will state that at this point in my search for spiritualism, that I find the existence of God as much of a possibility as any other belief I have encountered—including atheism. It is, therefore, no less viable to consider than any other idea people may come up with. My problem, and apparently the problem of others as well, has to do with the Bible. Without getting into specifics (at this point), I have some basic questions and concerns. I will, however, try to limit them to ONE per post.

    The first has to do with interpretation. I believe I read somewhere (above) that you referred to “acknowledged principals of careful interpretation.” I am not familiar with these. It appears to me that the question of interpretation ITSELF is of considerable importance. If the Bible is the “inspired” word of God, how can any mere human dare an interpretation? …unless God, Himself, created us in His image to do precisely that. …in which case our lame and varied and conflicting attempts at interpretation were MEANT to be confusing and, perhaps, fruitless. That calls into question how this “handbook for living”, if you will can be of any value at all.

    Your turn.

  19. Jerry says:

    Dear Tom,

    You certainly landed at the right place on the Internet to ask the question you posed.

    That is a good question, so let me take a stab at providing you an answer.

    The Bible itself tells us that it is an understandable book. That is, it was written to be understood.

    In the field of Biblical theology, that comes under the name “perspicuity.”

    My dear Roman Catholic friends do not accept the Biblical doctrine of perspicuity, particularly my once Protestant now turned Roman Catholic friend Dave Armstrong.

    Here is my bare-bones basic Scriptural argument regarding perspicuity:

    (1) The Bible is and was taught to children, 2 Timothy 3:15,

    2Ti 3:15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

    Timothy’s father was Greek, but his mother and grandmother were Jewish, so he learned about the Bible from a young child from his grandmother and mother, who are named elsewhere in the New Testament. But the point is, if the Bible can be taught to a very young child, it clearly must be understandable.

    (2) The Bible is understandable for it is profitable, 2 Timothy 3:16.

    2Ti 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

    By profitable, it means useful, beneficial, helpful or serviceable. But it could not be that unless it is understandable.

    (3) It equips for every good work, 2 Timothy 3:17,

    2Ti 3:17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

    That is, the Bible furnishes all you really need to know about spiritual things, and how to live a life pleasing to God. But to do that, it must be understandable.

    (4) It is milk for babes, 1 Peter 2:2,

    1Pe 2:2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:

    The Bible is to be desired as spiritual food by the new Christian, compared in this verse to a newborn baby, where the Bible is compared to milk. Therefore, the Bible is understandable or new Christians couldn’t figure it out well enough for it to serve as spiritual food.

    (5) The Bible is instrumental in producing the new birth itself in the individual who will take the time to read it carefully, James 1:18,

    Jas 1:18 Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.

    Jas 1:18 By his sovereign plan he gave us birth through the message of truth, that we would be a kind of firstfruits of all he created. (NET Bible)

    (6) The Bible declares itself to be the source of faith, Romans 10:17,

    Rom 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

    By reading or hearing the Bible, faith comes as the result. This surely indicates it must be understandable or that could not happen.

    (7) The Bible, especially the New Testament, is addressed to ordinary believers, often called “saints,” not to kings, priests, or religious leaders, Romans 1:7 and Jude 3,

    Rom 1:7 To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.

    Jud 1:3 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.

    Paul wrote his most significant letter to the ordinary Christians at Rome, called “saints,” or holy ones (in the Greek text). Jude states that the body of Christian truth was delivered once for all to the “saints,” or ordinary believers in Christ, not to a church hierarchy. This would indicate that the Bible is understandable to ordinary people who will read it carefully.

    (8) The Bible was written in a manner such that it does not require an external source of teaching authority to tell us what it means, 1 John 2:27,

    1Jn 2:27 But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.

    Because the Holy Spirit will guide the careful reader of the Bible into an understanding of its truth, we do not require an external official teaching authority to officially tell us what it means. This means the Bible is understandable. Along this same theme, the Apostle John declared in his Gospel the same truth at John 20:31,

    Joh 20:31 But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.

    One need only ask the question: Can a person come to a true knowledge of Jesus Christ and salvation simply by reading the Gospel of John? The only correct answer is “yes,” for John states that this was his purpose in writing his Gospel. That surely demonstrates that it must be understandable, even to, actually especially for, the ordinary reader.

    (9) The Bible declares itself to be plain, Proverbs 8:9,

    Pro 8:8 All the words of my mouth are in righteousness; there is nothing froward or perverse in them.
    Pro 8:9 They are all plain to him that understandeth, and right to them that find knowledge.
    Pro 8:10 Receive my instruction, and not silver; and knowledge rather than choice gold.

    (10) The Bible is understandable for each individual is held responsible to hear and believe for himself, John 5:24,

    Joh 5:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.

    (11) The Bible is understandable for individuals are deemed competent to recognize false doctrine, Ga 1:8.

    Gal 1:8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.

    False teachers had attempted to mislead the Christians of Galatia with their false doctrine, but Paul addressed the Galatians in his letter in a manner which shows that the Galatians were fully able to discern the difference between truth and error. This could only be true if the Bible is understandable, which of course it is.

    (12) The Bible is understandable for individuals are deemed competent to judge the truthfulness and correctness of the teaching of the apostles by comparing the teaching with the Bible itself, Acts 17:11.

    Act 17:11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

    Notice that the Bereans were commended, not criticized, for checking up on the teaching of the Apostle Paul himself. They checked his teaching against what they found in the Bible. They did that on a daily basis, not just on the Sabbath. As a result, many of them believed. Without question this demonstrates that the Bible is understandable or they could never have done such a thing.

    Critics of my position would be quick to point out that if the Bible is really this understandable, then how is it that so many interpreters of the Bible come up with such contradictory interpretations? And a Roman Catholic would likely object by saying look how many different denominations there are, they surely cannot be in agreement about what the Bible teaches.

    And I would answer right back, often the differences are minimal. Some fail to use proper hermeneutics, that is, they fail to follow carefully the rules of interpretation. I have spelled out in some detail on this site the basic rules of interpretation one must follow to arrive at a correct interpretation of the Bible or any other written work in the October 2010 Archives. Some come to the Bible with a preconceived notion about what it must say, a notion based on influences exterior to the Bible itself, such as Calvinism, Arminianism, the teaching of their own denomination or a favorite or respected teacher. For some readers of the Bible, the well has been “poisoned” by giving heed to biased sources. One needs to go to the Bible itself, and take the whole Bible for their study. When one encounters what appears to be a contradiction, one needs to study further. When one encounters contradictory interpretations and opinions about the Bible, one will soon discover that the Bible is a self-explanatory book. A mistaken understanding will be found “not to fit” with what the Bible says elsewhere. A correct understanding will “fit.” Fortunately, the most important truths to be found in the Bible, and the most necessary to come to understand, are found immediately on its surface, and can be found in the Gospel of John.

    Thank you, Tom, for submitting such a good question. You wouldn’t believe I began typing this answer less than an hour after you posted, for it has taken a while to write.

    Feel free to ask more questions anytime.

  20. ken sagely says:

    hello jerry, the most important question one has to answer is mt 22.42 saying, what think ye of christ? whose son is he? the bible is one theme of jesus christ and his redemption for mankind. have i accepted jesus christ as my lord and savior? jn 1.12, the bible says ro 3.23 we have all sinned and fall short of the glory of god rom 3.23, jesus christ came to die for our sins rom 5.8 and offers salvation to all who will receive him by faith eph 2.8-9. i co 2.12 we have not received the spirit of the world but the spirit from god that we might know the things freely given to us by god. when we have accepted him as our saviour he opens our spiritual eyes to his truth in the bible by the holy spirit. jn 14.16-17

  21. TomB says:

    Thank you Jerry for chiming in this far past the last post in September—and for “being there” at all.

    Please understand that I mean no disrespect in my probings. I simply want and yearn to find something I have come to know was missing in my life. I find myself taking issue with your response a bit. I talked about interpretation—not understandability. They are not the same thing. A dictionary is understandable, but I defy anyone to find a coherent message in it as a book. I also do not happen to think it is valid for people to use the book in question to validate the book in question. If I were to write a paragraph stating that the paragraph I wrote was true, is it?

    I also was rather surprised by your statement, “…And I would answer right back, often the differences are minimal. Some fail to use proper hermeneutics, that is, they fail to follow carefully the rules of interpretation. I have spelled out in some detail on this site the basic rules of interpretation one must follow to arrive at a correct interpretation of the Bible…”. First you tell me that the Bible is “understandable”, then you say differences (in interpretations) are minimal, then you say I fail to follow the rules of interpretation (which I still am not familiar with) after telling me that I don’t need to interpret (because it is understandable). Again, with respect, you seem to be—I mean, you ARE contradicting yourself.

  22. Jerome Smith says:

    Dear Tom,

    You comment:

    I talked about interpretation—not understandability.

    You originally raised the issue of interpretation, indeed.

    I countered with careful evidence drawn from the Bible to show that the Bible is understandable, and makes this claim for itself.

    Now if the Bible is understandable (even Jesus said it was in Matthew 24:15 in reference to a prophecy of Daniel, when He said, “Let him that readeth understand”), then that brings the issue of interpretation within the range of possibility not impossibility. If the Bible cannot be understood, then indeed it would be pointless to frame any interpretation of it. But the Bible expects its readers to properly understand what is written therein, and even says we will ultimately be held responsible for understanding it.

    To suggest we cannot go to the Bible itself to establish a claim it makes for itself is nonsense. I am not seeking to belittle you by saying this. It is a common but irrational argument that is frequently proposed against the Bible.

    Now I did not say at all that you have failed to interpret the Bible correctly. Even Mark Twain commented he was not concerned about what he did not understand in the Bible, but he was very concerned about what he did understand!

    Now, should it happen that you post an interpretation of your own in our discussion of the Bible, then the regular possibilities appear: (1) we agree, or (2) we disagree.

    Now if we disagree, then the options become, should we disagree (in the sense that our interpretations are contradictory), then (1) you are right and I am wrong; (2) I am right and you are wrong; (3) we are both wrong, but (4) we cannot both be right.

    I would again affirm that though there may be many different denominations and other groups within Christianity, the differences between them that arise from differences in their respective interpretation of the Bible are relatively minor: they tend to agree on the “majors” and disagree on the “minors.”

    When such groups and individuals within those groups differ in interpretation, many times those differences could be resolved were the parties concerned willing to sit down and study out carefully just how those differences arose in interpretation. Then, applying the rules of interpretation, many of those differences could be ironed out to the satisfaction of both sides, provided the parties involved were open to amendment of their position.

    You may not be familiar with the rules of interpretation, but I have posted them in the October 2010 Archives. You are always welcome to study them out.

    Don’t let my mention of “Rules of Interpretation” fluster you. In graduate school I had quite a hot discussion with the professor, Dr. Stenrouse, at Wayne State University in Detroit in a seminar. She thought hermeneutics was restricted to religious discourse, and had no validity for the teaching of English. Sometimes professors might find they can learn from their pupils. When interpreting a work of literature, whether a piece of fiction like a short story, or a poem, some interpretations are likely better than others.

    Now just how does one determine which of several available interpretations, say of a poem, is the best one? In general, the interpretation which takes account of all the imagery in the poem will likely be the best interpretation. That is because you cannot leave out evidence in the text, which if included, would make it necessary to adjust the interpretation. The same is true of interpreting a poem, a story, a work of nonfiction, or the Bible.

    So, have at it!

    I, for one, am most willing to be corrected in my understanding of the Bible should I be shown that I am mistaken.

  23. TomB says:

    Thank you Jerry. I am sorry that my responses are not prompt. I do not have access to this computer at all times. And again…I hope you will understand that despite what may be differences in our points of view, I do respect your right to have one.

    Regarding your opening response: I countered with careful evidence drawn from the Bible to show that the Bible is understandable, and makes this claim for itself.
    Now if the Bible is understandable (even Jesus said it was in Matthew 24:15 in reference to a prophecy of Daniel, when He said, “Let him that readeth understand”), then that brings the issue of interpretation within the range of possibility not impossibility. If the Bible cannot be understood, then indeed it would be pointless to frame any interpretation of it.

    First of all, I find it perplexing that people who are “pro-Bible” refer to what they find in it as “evidence”. Evidence, unless I misunderstand the definition, is proof. Statements in the Bible are not proofs—and despite your comment that it is valid to use the Bible to validate itself, I’m afraid I must disagree. The Bible is a handbook of faith, not a book a facts. I do not dispute that there are historical facts in the Bible, but to simply state that something is true because it says it is—is preposterous. I would find it most effortless to write my own version of creation, declare it true, and defy anyone to prove me wrong. You must also understand that my primary issue is with the Bible—not God.

    You said yourself that Jesus referred to a prophecy of Daniel. He could not possibly have said the Bible was understandable since it had not been written yet. Taking a quote from Jesus out of context and applying it to the understandability of the Bible is just wrong. I don’t expect you (as a Bible believer) to be open to my argument (if you will) that the Bible cannot be used to prove what is in it. There isn’t a scientist alive that would get away with that kind of “evidence”. I realize that we are not talking about science per se, but if you can use the Bible to validate the Bible, then I can use my statement that I am right about everything I say to prove that everything I say is right. Its the same thing.

    You also seem to misunderstand my claim that interpretation is not the same as understandability. As I said before, I UNDERSTAND what is in the dictionary, but I simply am unable to interpret the book as having any kind of coherent meaning.

    As far as your comment about the denominations and the “minor” differences in interpretation they have (according to you), you might try explaining that paragraph to the Irish & English. Do you really believe they are killing each other because they simply are unwilling to “study out carefully just how those differences arose in interpretation”. This is very narrow minded. There are real life & death issues between those groups. Likewise, the muslims believe in the exact same God as you do, but you’ll never convince them that the minor differences you refer to are easily hammered out by discussion. They will kill you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Connect with Facebook

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.