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How can we consider the bible credible?

How could we rely on what the bible tells us? Looking at the bible from a historical point of view, it has been translated over and over again into hundreds of different languages. Over the years kings and rulers have altered and manipulated aspects to suit their reign. Even today there are multiple different interpretations. What effects do you think this has on the content?

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    Apr 2 2013: How can we consider the bible credible? or is the Bible credible? is the question at hand.
    Specifically, is the Bible historically accurate ; Is the Bible the word of God etc. According to Theists the Bible is the truthful down to the last period. Historians using another criteria will differ, and so will other people from different religions, or even different "Christianities" .
    The Bible Historical claims should not be considered true or false based on the track record of accuracy among believers or disbelievers. The time to accept a proposition is when reason and evidence supports it, and not before it. Take for example Homer's Iliad are all the events depicted by Homer historically accurate (Mount Olympus and Deities?) , or what about King Arthur's (Merlin?) or Plato's Atlantis or the Epic of Gilgamesh?.

    Just because there are some geographical and historical facts in the Bible does not make the supernatural portions of the narrative true. What I see is the manipulation of a myth to substantiate a world view or philosophical belief, a case of culturally agreed "facts" in order to deliver a "Classic" narrative that will be considered by most in a culture set as the "truth".

    HIST 100- If an otherwise flawless historical book contains one error in it, it still contains error, no amount of truth will reverse one single mistake. The only way to parse fact from fiction (reliability?) is to investigate each claim. And Historically the Bibles thus far fails.The Bible is full of extraordinary claims that are shockingly similar to other ancient text claims,anonymous authorship, ample use of poetic parables to make claims of religious nature, there is no footing to set this claims as truthful. Theists claim that if devoid-ed of God's spirit the Bible will look foolish at prima facie. That to me is a supernatural excuse for faith and the suspension of logical thought.

    I see all these Gods heading for the Mythical retiring home minus some cultural subsets.
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      Apr 10 2013: Carlos,

      The dictionary defines "true" as "in accordance with fact or reality". Even when we deal with physical facts, it's hard to separate them from perceptions and interpretations. But when we deal with issues of morality, there is no such thing as "moral fact".

      I don't think, the Bible is valuable as an accurate account of historical events. Historical accounts may not be accurate. What I find accurate in the Bible is the description of human emotions - suffering, joy, sorrow, lust, greed, etc. E.g. the story of crucifixion and resurrection may not be a historic fact, but it is very symbolic. I think, this story repeats itself over and over in real life - people who preach peace and non-violence die violent deaths: Mahatma Gandhi, MLK, John Lennon; and they continue living among us and change our lives "spiritually". Or, again, take the book of Job. I'm sure, the wager between God and Satan is a metaphoric fiction. But the attitudes of Job and his friends towards the tragic events are painted rather accurately.

      I agree, similar values can be found in other works of fiction - even "Star Wars" and "The Lord of the Rings". Why should we consider Bible the word of God and not other myths? Perhaps, there is a reason why certain myths are canonized and treated with religious reverence. I believe, doing so creates a foundation for nations and cultures. E.g. America, with all the religious and ethnic diversity, is defined and united around the ideas of freedom, human rights, and democracy. There are myths associated with those ideas as well. These myths are imprinted in the minds of young children in public schools. The Soviet Union did the same with ideas of communism. I don't think, we can completely get rid of all myths. Society seems to need myths.
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        Apr 10 2013: Arkady,

        “Qu’est ce qu’une nation?”-Renan

        Myths are necessary as a nation building tool, an instrument of the will to power. Nations foster Myths with selective & even distorted memory of a shared past so they could feast on a narrative with motivating power.
        And Myths just like rights:they are not arranged in heavens but chiseled- usually by blood-, and enforced by the threat of violence, (all the heavy lifting is always done by mankind, isn't?).

        Perhaps life presents us with an optical illusion(after Myth & historical manipulations) that invites to look in the wrong place for a source of values, and custom fitted to every culture in space & time

        It is not in the rather innocuous extrapolations from the Bible,or other religious books that claim to have the "truth", where I think the problem lies, but in leveraging of those so-called core spiritual nation building values to seduce the psyche of a population the way G Lucas Marketing Dept compels us to buy light-sabers.
        That is the proverbial historical marriage of church & state. I wonder how long will it last?, I wonder what will the state is prepared to do to defend it? Or the Church?

        "Myths are public dreams, dreams are private myths"- J Campbell


        Gracias.
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          Apr 11 2013: Couldn't give you more thumbs up. I haven't heard much of Joseph Campbell before. Thanks for the reference.

          "Joseph Campbell explores the concepts of Christ both as a Promethean figure and a Job figure--bringing the fire of redemption, suffering for our sins--and describes the crucifix as a synthesizing symbol, a sign of divinity and humanity alike." http://tinyurl.com/caegyqx

          These parallels between the myths and reality (Job, Christ, Prometheus, Gandhi, MLK, Lennon) are quire amazing.

          Re: "And Myths just like rights:they are not arranged in heavens but chiseled- usually by blood-, and enforced by the threat of violence, (all the heavy lifting is always done by mankind, isn't?)." - I can't agree more. Rights ARE myths.

          Re: "It is not in the rather innocuous extrapolations from the Bible,or other religious books that claim to have the "truth", where I think the problem lies, but in leveraging of those so-called core spiritual nation building values to seduce the psyche of a population the way G Lucas Marketing Dept compels us to buy light-sabers."

          Yes! This amazes me too. It is mind-bending to watch how myths blend into reality as if in a 3D TV commercial. 3D TV and virtual reality are pathetic imitation of the age-old "technology" of mind control. It never stops to amaze me how people listen to the stories about crowd brainwashed by Pharisees chanting "crucify him" and then go out on a crusade, Jewish pogrom, or a violent anti-gay protest. Or how they can watch a movie about mind control techniques of Jedi only to spend millions of dollars on Star Wars paraphernalia. Self-fulfilling prophecies?
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          Apr 11 2013: Forget the translation nuances and some minor unrealistic details. Look at the story as a whole: A man gets brutally killed for going around teaching people to be nice to each other and calling them hypocrites for not doing so. After that, people follow his example and go around teaching other people to be nice to each other and calling them hypocrites for not doing so. And the violent story goes on, and on, and on... While the message remains very simple, basic, and hypocritical: be nice to each other, you, hypocrites :-)

          How can we NOT consider these myths credible? The unrealistic details are not miracles. The miracle is the mind-bending reality behind these myths.
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        Apr 11 2013: “Two wrongs don't make a right, but don't three lefts make a right? Two wrongs don't make a right, but don't two negatives make a positive?”
        ― Andrew Clements, Things Not Seen

        "Pull your rights from wrong"
        -- Bob Marley, One Drop

        As for me Love & compassion are the ultimate mind bending miracles known to mankind.
        Maybe Plato's myth of the cave was dead on: control the collective mind that controls individual perception of reality and interpretation of experience at a subjective level and you just got the monopoly on "Truth".

        "An error does not become truth by reason of propagation, nor does the truth becomes error because nobody sees it"--- M. Gandhi

        I do enjoy the energy and non-conventional wit of your postings. Saludos!
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          Apr 11 2013: Carlos, thanks for your post. You pointed out how inadequate is our language to convey an important message.

          "The continually progressive change to which the meaning of words is subject, the want of a universal language which renders translation necessary, the errors to which translations are again subject, the mistakes of copyists and printers, together with the possibility of willful alteration, are of themselves evidences that the human language, whether in speech or in print, cannot be the vehicle of the word of God. The word of God exists in something else." -- Thomas Paine, The Age of Reason.

          Although, yes, no human language is adequate for "the word of God" and it's easy to criticize the Bible for logical inconsistencies and factual errors, I would not go that path, because, as I said, we also have our "heart" (emotional perception) to see behind the pages.

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