How true are these holy books?

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Mahala
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How true are these holy books?

Post by Mahala » Sat Dec 08, 2007 9:17 am

I've been meaning to post this for a while, but I wanted to see if I could answer it myself. Not successful, as you can tell. So I present my question and my arguments. I know a lot of it is in the details, but I wanted to really try and scratch this question of my list to get on with my studies.
Check carefully for any editing I do after this is posted, it'll be in italics for easy find and review.
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Just how true is the Bible?

A very tiny percent of that book is available in hard evidence that we can touch. So how do we know it actually happened? For all anyone knows, it could be some random mythical fairytale written by an unnamed writer.
Not much of it can be proved by science (This will appear several times), which to me is like the solid decision. Evolution, where does this fit in? We have ample proof of evolution, none of Adam and Eve.
How does heaven fit in? Scientifically, there is absolutely no proof that heaven exists, anywhere but in the mind, and hell is the same. The only thing above earth is the atmosphere and space.
I find it hard to believe in something blindly. I'm a person that is very strict about getting info before going into battle, so whenever I have a religious discussion with my friend, we meet a moot point.

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Just how true is the Book of Mormon?

The plates mentioned haven't been found to date, and neither has the location they were supposedly discovered at. So how do we know this is even real? Several different materials were mentioned for the plates, among them bronze, gold, and perhaps if I remember right copper.
This is also a fairly newborn religion, created over only 200-300 years. That says *big red warning light* to me, because it's got little or no reputable background. I don't believe Joseph actually saw God either. I believe that he may have been desperate and intelligent enough to create Mormonism on his own.

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Post by Dark Waters » Sat Dec 08, 2007 1:02 pm

All I can answer on the first one is data I've picked up hither and yon.

The first five books of the Bible/Torah were written by Moses after the Exodus. So everything prior to Moses, ie Adam & Eve, Noah, Abraham are all based on previous oral traditions. Since the Muslims are also decended from Abraham, they have similar legends of prior to his time in the Qur'an. Other books of the Old Testament supposedly written by the prophets themselves or those that knew them.

The New Testament is a different story. Written by the various Apostles over a 60 year time frame. The Church in 174 AD decided they needed to consolidate the teachings because too many different Christians believed too many different things because not every one had the same letters and Gospels. At the time there were 30+ gospels from the Apostles but the leader of the Church at the time decided that since there were Four Winds, Four corners of the Earth, and Four pillars of Heaven that there would be only four Gospels. After research it was determined the four that were used were the most popular and most requested. They were also considered to be the "beginning class" level of all of them. Acts and the Letters were written by Peter and Paul/Saul. pretty limited authorship if you ask me.
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Post by Crazy Healer Lady » Sun Dec 09, 2007 8:00 am

Interestingly, some of the stories in the Old Testament seem to have some merit to them.

For example, the Flood. Civilizations the world over all have some major flood in their mythology/history, and scientific study is beginning to confirm. Eden, of course, can be thought of as Africa, a land that was rich and lush. Did you know that Egypt used to be all forest? Deforestation actually is what turned it into desert (They say that the building of King Solomon's Temple was a big culprit, actually).

I cannot remember other studies done, but I seen to remember the lineage of the bible having incredible merit, perhaps not the very first in the line (one man and one woman, for example). For this one I may just be crazy, but maybe not.
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Post by underlilith » Tue Dec 11, 2007 11:33 am

Well, it must be said that no matter how much someone says that a god/goddess writes a piece of work/literature, they still have to conveine it through a mortal vessel (ie: humans) who are known to misinterpret and even make things up to suit their own needs. With that said...
We have ample proof of evolution, none of Adam and Eve
I saw something on the history channel on this. It told the story and the scientific evidence of the 'garden of eden'. The 'garden of eden' was actually taken from an ancient mesopotamian myth that had the same basic layout as the typical bible tale, except for the fact that they worshiped snakes, so the people who wrote the bible decided to 'demonize' the old gods and therefore give them an argument for why theirs was the 'true' version.

The science was kinda confusing, but it was once a tributary area, was affected by a 'great flood' and some of the rivers were destroyed in the aftermath.

They reasoned that them getting cast out of eden was the idea of the transition of hunting and gathering for food to cultivating the land (agriculture) and taking things into their own hands (thus the phrase: "Now that they have become as gods").

Hope that was helpful, good luck :-D
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Post by Mahala » Tue Dec 11, 2007 2:59 pm

That's quite interesting... I had one thing I wanted to edit in, but I frogot what it was so keep your eyes open for a new bit in italics...

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Post by daibanjo » Wed Dec 12, 2007 9:59 am

Sorry guys, I'm going to take issue with all of it.
The bible is nothing more than Hebrew mythology and a middle eastern legend.
Those first five books weren't written by Moses, if indeed such a person as Moses existed. The Egyptians were pretty good historians yet there is no record of the curses. No record of fire and brimstone falling out of the sky. no record of the deaths of all the firstborn and no record of a slave revolt with the army getting drowned in pursuit of them.
As for the "creation" story. Look at it a little differently. When few people were literate, how could you educate the masses? you told them stories. In every culture throughout the ages stories were told as learning tools not as actual historic events but to teach. We in the Pagan community with our legends know this very well. So the creation story is not about how the Earth was made, it's a lesson on how we must move through the elements and experience all of nature to become a perfect and enlightened human soul.
If you read it carefully you'll see that it's not one story either but a collection of them.
I could go on and on about the mythical nature of the "Ten lost Tribes" and the empires of David and Solomon were a part of Palestinian history. The Jews did not become a distinct people until Jeremiah brought 30,000 refugees out of Babylon and claimed the land as their rightful heritage. That did upset the local folk and there's shades of today in that.
As for the New Testament, around the time of Jesus there were many Messiahs going around. They were political in nature, they were trying to get the people behind them to throw the Romans out and create a theocratic state. The "Kingdom of God on Earth" Jesus was one such. He tried to start an insurrection and failed. What made his campaign different was that his followers tried to keep the insurrection going by saying he wasn't really dead and spread rumors of sightings.
The initial persecution of the Christians had nothing to do with religion. The Romans never interfered in a cultures religion until it became a security threat. The Christians were executed as rebels. When Jesus was executed he was crucified. That is a punishment awarded only to insurrectionists. The sign above his head wasn't mocking him, it was a statement of his crime. He had declared himself King without Roman consent.
The Koran arrived on the scene 500 years after Christ and is a collection of middle eastern and Biblical myth compiled by Mohammed.
As for the Book of Mormon, I'm with my Grandpa here. He said that when Joe Smith went into that grove of trees he should have left the mushrooms alone.

Now I'm sure I've upset some good people with all of this. Just understand this is an intellectual discussion, I don't mean to hurt anyone personally..........................Blessings
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Post by Kystar » Wed Dec 12, 2007 10:26 am

You've just hit on the many reasons why my husband and I don't trust those religions built on the bible.
You say "Witch" like it's a bad thing!

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Post by Mahala » Wed Dec 12, 2007 2:47 pm

Well that's a good way of explaining it... I think I've got my answer. I'm pretty sure that such couldn't be true, but parts could be.
It's a myth with true and fake woven together intricately.... almost seamlessly.

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Post by Crazy Healer Lady » Wed Dec 12, 2007 5:00 pm

Daibanjo, you rock!

Certainly a lot of it cannot be truth! However, some events in the bible seem to echo some form of truth. I point to recurring themes in various cultures, such the great flood.

I do not believe the bible (One thing I cannot admit to my SO without a huge fight, bible-goer as he is), but I cannot believe that the history and mythology of a people is entirely myth. I'm a firm believer that much of mythology is based on true events, just tweaked and glorified, regardless of where that people originated.
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Post by Dark Waters » Wed Dec 12, 2007 7:03 pm

Some of the "Alien" spotters claim that the creation story of the Bible depicts a terraforming experiment made by aliens to seed life here on Earth. Not saying anything for or against but it isn't any sillier than other religious woo-haa I've heard.
I'm living in the Shadows and the Night,
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My Path shines by the Moon's fragile light,
It frees my Mind and keeps my Heart pure.

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Post by Crazy Healer Lady » Wed Dec 12, 2007 9:00 pm

I love those stories, Dark Waters ^_^

Did we come from the ocean? Did we come from the heavens? Who really cares - my soul isn't bound to this planet

I just came out of a Reiki treatment, so I am a little weird at the moment.. It was a strange treatment.

I like the creation stories that announce we came from reptiles, mermaid/dragon goddesses who made us.
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The purpose of a relationship is not to have another who might complete you, but to have another with whom you might share your completeness. -CWG

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Post by daibanjo » Thu Dec 13, 2007 9:33 am

Did you know that the Hopi believe that the Kachinas are Star people. The Hopi Shamans are very sincere and believable when they say that the Kachinas come down amongst us from time to time.
Here's the whole deal about Aliens. Our planet and our star system isn't that old in relation to the rest of the universe. So if there is life, and why shouldn't there be, it would have come into existence millions if not billions of years before us. So where are they? I don't have the answer it's just one of those questions.
You are right CHL all cultures do have stories of a flood. But when the Bible says the world was flooded, what do they mean? When mathew speaks of Caesar Augustus decreeing that the world be taxed, he didn't tax America or India or Australia. The "World" just means the world as they new it. There have been floods all over the world at different times and everyone has their story to tell. Most recently New Orleans.
it doesn't mean it all happened at the same time.
Still all of these things make for very interesting discussion. Thank you Dark Waters for raising it.
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Post by underlilith » Thu Dec 13, 2007 10:22 am

Personnally I agree with you daibanjo.

By the way, i think that their "great flood of the world" was the flood of their world (the land that was known to them, not the entire world... remember, they didn't even know the world was a sphere back then!)
"What is a god but a man who weilds the power of chaos?" - Peter Carroll

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Post by Dark Waters » Thu Dec 13, 2007 11:21 am

Could've been a massive Tsunami as like what hit Indonesia a few years back that just got magnified out of all proportion in the retellings over the generations. I remember some of the "Great Flood" stories from the Greco-Roman mythos, but usually it only involved a town or province not "the whole world" known or unknown. I was in Kansas when some areas got hit with massive rains and things reached the 500-year cycle flood marks. It didn't cover the whole town, but there were catfish swimming in the streets. I know it doesn't seem much when compared to Louisiana - but Junction City and Ogden Kansas didn't have levies and was built well above water lines, not below sea level.
I'm living in the Shadows and the Night,
Wrapped in warm darkness, safe and sure.
My Path shines by the Moon's fragile light,
It frees my Mind and keeps my Heart pure.

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Post by daibanjo » Thu Dec 13, 2007 12:07 pm

Ooops! edit time.
I meant to say "Thank you Mahala" for starting the thread. :oops:
It'll be all right in the end. If it's not all right, it's not the end.

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