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Source: (consider it) Thread: Bible, the word of God?
Frankenstein
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I see the New Testament as the writings of the Christian Community and that the individual authors wrote what they held to be true. But that God ensured the inerrant accuracy of the text, no.
At some time someone, somewhere decided what to include and what to exclude.
St Jerome compiled the Latin vulgate in AD 405.

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Gramps49
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First of all the Bible is NOT the Word of God, it is the cradle which contains the Word of God--per Martin Luther.

Second, the first compilation of the New Testament was around 170 AD

Third, technically the New Testament is not a closed canon.

Four, we are mistaken if we think the Bible is factually inerrant. The message is inerrent, the details are debatable.

[ 25. February 2016, 14:55: Message edited by: Gramps49 ]

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Crœsos
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Traditionally Christians have considered something other than scripture to be the "Word of God". Using the Bible as a kind of "paper Pope" is a relatively recent development contingent upon widespread literacy and moveable type printing (or other methods of mass media production).

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leo
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It is ABOUT the word of God (Jesus) - communicated via fallible human beings.

Note that 2 Tim 3:18 talks about 'inspired' = God-breathed - as he had breathed into fallibe Adam.

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Frankenstein
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quote:
Originally posted by Gramps49:
First of all the Bible is NOT the Word of God, it is the cradle which contains the Word of God--per Martin Luther.

Second, the first compilation of the New Testament was around 170 AD.



Martin Luther might well be right.

I am intrigued as to how you derive 170 AD.

[fixed code and wondered about right place for this thread - Eutychus, Purgatory host]

[ 25. February 2016, 15:41: Message edited by: Eutychus ]

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Gramps49
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There is an indirect reference to the New Testament canon, called the Muratorion fragment which was written an 170 ACE.

Marcion, the heretic, compiled his canon several years earlier, around 140 ACE. Basically, it included Luke and the books written by Paul.

In reaction to the Marcion canon the church fathers began to compile their own canons.

It is safe to say that around 170 most Christians agreed to most of the canon we have today.

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deano
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The Bible isn't a satnav to be followed slavishly to a destination. It's a torch that lights up the road ahead.

It shows the junctions but the choice to take is yours. You have control to follow the road rather than be dictated to.

That way you don't have the excuse that the Bible "says" this or that, therefore it MUST be true, because satnavs are inerrant. You must take responsibility for getting yourself there.

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Alan Cresswell

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Having recently set my satnav to guide me to a building in Glasgow, which I knew where it was but needed a bit of help around the one way systems, I can attest to the fallibility of satnavs.

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LeRoc

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Satnavs really are infallible.

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PaulTH*
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So many have made the mistake of seeing the Bible as a history book-a description of facts. it isn't and was never intended to be. The narrative is interwoven with history, because God is a God who has acted within human history. But few scholars would think Job was a real man, or that millions of Israelites wondered the Sanai desert for 40 years. The Exodus tells a story of the escape from the bondage of this world(Egypt) through much struggle in which faith is the only light, to the freedom of the Children of God in the Promised Land.

When Christ is born, He is the unique Son of God, King of the Jews and Messiah of Israel. In Him rests the fulfilment of the Law and the Prophets. He redeems mankind by His sacrificial surrender to the will of God against Adam's exaltation of his own will. By following His surrender, we can be brought into God's presence for eternity.

This is the Word of God. It doesn't all have to be historical to be true.

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Galloping Granny
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quote:
Originally posted by deano:
The Bible isn't a satnav to be followed slavishly to a destination... because satnavs are inerrant.

/tangent
Satnavs are not inerrant. I waited three quarters of an hour for an AA car that was not far away but his stanav couldn't find me – in a well-estanlished suburban neighbourhood./

Other examples have been recorded.

GG

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Lamb Chopped
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Isn't this a Dead Horse? Not the satnav. You know what I mean.

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Honest Ron Bacardi
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quote:
Originally posted by Lamb Chopped:
Isn't this a Dead Horse? Not the satnav. You know what I mean.

I don't think the canon is, though (is it?)

If I may say so, the discussion seems a distinctly protestant way of looking at the canon. And I speak as a protestant.

Canon means rule - these were the writings of those who knew Jesus or heard from those who had. They guided the church. If there were to be some discovery - say of a document that was likely contemporaneous with the gospels, however flexible you might wish the canon to be, the chance of it being accepted in the canon is effectively zero unless it could be shown it guided the church. In which case we most likely would know of it already.

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Al Eluia

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quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
Traditionally Christians have considered something other than scripture to be the "Word of God". Using the Bible as a kind of "paper Pope" is a relatively recent development contingent upon widespread literacy and moveable type printing (or other methods of mass media production).

I would add that the notion that Word of God = Bible is itself unbiblical. I can't think of a passage where Scripture even uses the phrase "the Word of God" or "Word of the Lord" to refer to itself.

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Enoch
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I agree with Leo and Gramps49. I've a high view of scripture, but in scripture, 'the Word' is Jesus. John 1 does not say, 'and the Word became paper and dwelt among us, and we beheld its glory'.

Scripture is the book about the Word. Unlike with the Koran, the Word of God is not a book, nor a sacred text, but a living person.

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Lamb Chopped
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He is. And yet, the Word of God (person) shows a very high view of the word of God (Scriptures). I'm not going to cross him in that.

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Barnabas62
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Hosts are discussing the right home for this thread.

Barnabas62
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Barnabas62
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Didn't take too long. Any discussion on this topic is bound to feature the Dead Horse of biblical inerrancy. So off it goes.

Barnabas62
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Joesaphat
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It's obvious in the Greek, to call Holy Scripture (hagia graphe) logos theou sounds almost blasphemous.
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Lamb Chopped
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Overstating (and yes, I read Greek too, so do a lot of us). And what are you going to do with all the "And the word of the Lord came to [prophet's name] and he said:" passages?

Better to leave it fuzzy, as the Scripture does. We might even learn something from the fuzziness.

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Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down!

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by Lamb Chopped:
Overstating (and yes, I read Greek too, so do a lot of us). And what are you going to do with all the "And the word of the Lord came to [prophet's name] and he said:" passages?

That identifies one chunk (however large) in the Scriptures as the Word of the Lord. One can't get from there to the whole collection of books as the Word of the Lord without dragging in an enthymeme.

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by Galloping Granny:
quote:
Originally posted by deano:
The Bible isn't a satnav to be followed slavishly to a destination... because satnavs are inerrant.

/tangent
Satnavs are not inerrant. I waited three quarters of an hour for an AA car that was not far away but his satnav couldn't find me – in a well-estanlished suburban neighbourhood./

Other examples have been recorded.

I've been in a car where the satnav told the driver to turn down a dead-end street, then told her to turn back around and drive out of it, turning onto the road we were just on in the direction we were just going. This was no newly-plugged street; it led to a shopping area.

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Nick Tamen

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quote:
Originally posted by Al Eluia:
I would add that the notion that Word of God = Bible is itself unbiblical. I can't think of a passage where Scripture even uses the phrase "the Word of God" or "Word of the Lord" to refer to itself.

And yet we respond to liturgical readings from Scripture with "The Word of the Lord. Thanks be to God."

quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
Scripture is the book about the Word. Unlike with the Koran, the Word of God is not a book, nor a sacred text, but a living person.

Well, the traditional Jewish understanding, which I believe would have been generally accepted in the time of Jesus, is that Torah—particularly the Law as given to Moses—is indeed the Word of God, delivered directly from God to Moses. And as Lamb Chopped notes, "the word of the Lord" came to quite a few prophets.

I really think this idea that in Christianity, Scripture is not the word of God because Jesus is the Word is a false dichotomy. As I said recently in another thread (can't remember which one), like many other words, "word" can mean more than one thing depending on context. That may be especially true in a case like this, where one usage draws heavily on a Greek concept and the other on a Hebrew concept.

I think the appropriate questions are questions like: "What do we mean when we say Scripture is the word of God?" (and many of us do not mean that it is factually inerrant or always be taken literally), "What do we mean when we say Jesus is the Word?," and "How does the idea that Scripture is the word of God relate to and fit with the idea that Jesus is the Word Incarnate?"

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The first thing God says to Moses is, "Take off your shoes." We are on holy ground. Hard to believe, but the truest thing I know. — Anne Lamott

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Joesaphat
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quote:
Originally posted by Lamb Chopped:
Overstating (and yes, I read Greek too, so do a lot of us). And what are you going to do with all the "And the word of the Lord came to [prophet's name] and he said:" passages?

Better to leave it fuzzy, as the Scripture does. We might even learn something from the fuzziness.

Never assumed no one else could read Greek. I still cannot see how 'the word of the Lord' in such passages could possibly mean a book, or even the Torah. I'm happy with the fuzziness, not with a clear identification of the Bible with 'the word of God'.

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lilBuddha
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My comment on a parallel topic on another thread:

quote:

Skips between allegory, history, grocery lists, action stories and morality plays. Changes direction and tone with no proper transition, no consistant voice. It's crap for continuity. As a collection of related works, it struggles, as a cohesive structure it utterly fails. Should have added extensive footnotes at the very least and the publisher should have hired a competent editor.
No modern critic would deign to print a review, much less praise it. It's almost as if it were cobbled together by loads of different authors with different understandings and agendas rather than as the single, coherent narrative that many seen to ascribe.

Said in jocular fashion, but all very real problems in treating the bible as the [thunderclap]Word of God[/thunderclap]

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Lamb Chopped
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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
quote:
Originally posted by Lamb Chopped:
Overstating (and yes, I read Greek too, so do a lot of us). And what are you going to do with all the "And the word of the Lord came to [prophet's name] and he said:" passages?

That identifies one chunk (however large) in the Scriptures as the Word of the Lord. One can't get from there to the whole collection of books as the Word of the Lord without dragging in an enthymeme.
MT, you're talking dirty again. I'm telling Mom.

Given the fact that huge, huge bits of the prophetic writings are introduced with just that phrase, it's very reasonable to assume that prophetic writings/utterances that are NOT explicitly identified with that particular phrase are still "the word of the Lord," particularly when they say things like "I am YHWH your God" & etc.

Now bear in mind the Jewish/OT/NT habit of identifying people like Moses, David, and Samuel also as "prophets." This means that the greater part of the OT is therefore "of the prophets," and by an easy inference also "the word of the Lord." What bits remain (unknown writers?) is I suppose arguable, but I am aware of no ancient Jewish or patristic attempts to devalue those bits as somehow being less "the word of God" than the rest. To the contrary, it all seems to wind up being used the same way, with the possible exception of the Torah, which is pre-eminent--not because it is somehow more "the word of the Lord" than other bits (that formula is more common in the major and minor prophets) but because they are the founding and foundational books on which everything else is built.

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Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down!

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Lamb Chopped
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
My comment on a parallel topic on another thread:

Said in jocular fashion, but all very real problems in treating the bible as the [thunderclap]Word of God[/thunderclap]

This was answered best by BWSmith (Where is that man? He ought to be here to crow in triumph as I'm citing his words of wisdom [Big Grin] ):

quote:
The fact is, God gave us a building of bricks and mortar to serve as His incarnate house. Further, He gave us a 1st-century Palestinian Jew to serve as His incarnate Son. To add insult to injury, He gave us Israel's scriptures (much of which is ancient historiography) and the writings of the apostles to serve as His incarnate Word.

So if you're looking for an unconquerable super-building, God will have to disappoint you with the Temple. If you're looking for an uncrucifiable superhuman deity, God will disappoint you with Jesus. And if you're looking for a perfect book, you'll have to make do with the Bible.



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Er, this is what I've been up to (book).
Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down!

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Nick Tamen

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quote:
Originally posted by Lamb Chopped:
Now bear in mind the Jewish/OT/NT habit of identifying people like Moses, David, and Samuel also as "prophets." This means that the greater part of the OT is therefore "of the prophets," and by an easy inference also "the word of the Lord." What bits remain (unknown writers?) is I suppose arguable, but I am aware of no ancient Jewish or patristic attempts to devalue those bits as somehow being less "the word of God" than the rest. To the contrary, it all seems to wind up being used the same way, with the possible exception of the Torah, which is pre-eminent--not because it is somehow more "the word of the Lord" than other bits (that formula is more common in the major and minor prophets) but because they are the founding and foundational books on which everything else is built.

The traditional Jewish understanding, at least if I understand correctly, is actually the opposite—all Scripture is considered inspired, but Torah is in fact considered more directly the Word of God than the Prophets, and the Prophets are considered to have a higher level of inspiration than the Writings. Torah was believed to have existed before creation and to have been given, word for word, by God to Moses. The prophets were understood to have actually seen or heard their prophecies. The Writings were considered to have been written under divine inspiration, but without directly seeing or hearing the things written.

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The first thing God says to Moses is, "Take off your shoes." We are on holy ground. Hard to believe, but the truest thing I know. — Anne Lamott

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Lamb Chopped
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Have you got a source? I need to do some study...

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Er, this is what I've been up to (book).
Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down!

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lilBuddha
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Originally posted by LambChopped quoting BWSmith:
quote:

And if you're looking for a perfect book, you'll have to make do with the Bible.

I'm not suggesting the bible is, or should be, a perfect book. I'm suggesting quite the opposite. And I am stating that many Christians ignore that it isn't.

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Belle Ringer
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The question of the canon has intrigued me since I learned some churches have books others don't. The apocrypha of course, which is not always separate books but parts of books.

Also 3 or 4 books in the eastern church but not the western.

And wasn't a 151st psalm found in the dead sea scrolls along with the psalms we know?

To me this suggests a fuzziness around the edges of "what is the canon." And surely new songs, poems, true reports of amazing things God does are newly created/inspired today.

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by Lamb Chopped:
Given the fact that huge, huge bits of the prophetic writings are introduced with just that phrase, it's very reasonable to assume that prophetic writings/utterances that are NOT explicitly identified with that particular phrase are still "the word of the Lord," particularly when they say things like "I am YHWH your God" & etc.

I'd say the exact opposite. Why would you go to lengths to say "the following is the Word of the Lord" when it's all the Word of the Lord? It seems to me that you differentiate when there is a distinction to be made; you are calling attention to something different from its surroundings.

But we're both going beyond what is written. Which is the point I was making with the dirty word. You don't get "the Bible is the Word of teh Lord" without bringing in something from the outside, like your assumption that if you call one part of the bible "the word of the Lord" it all must be.

quote:
Originally posted by BWSmith as quoted by Lamb Chopped:
To add insult to injury, He gave us Israel's scriptures (much of which is ancient historiography) and the writings of the apostles to serve as His incarnate Word.

This is blasphemous. Jesus is the incarnate Word. The Bible is not "incarnate" in any sense. Incarnate means "made FLESH" not made into noises that can be represented by marks on paper.

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Lamb Chopped
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Oy. I think the man was attempting to be metaphorical. "Incarnate" has come to mean quite a bit more (or less) than "enfleshed" in everyday talk. I wouldn't use it that way, and nor would you, but I can cut him some slack.

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mousethief

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I'm really not coming up with any other uses. Can you give me an example?

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Gee D
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quote:
Originally posted by Lamb Chopped:
Oy. I think the man was attempting to be metaphorical. "Incarnate" has come to mean quite a bit more (or less) than "enfleshed" in everyday talk. I wouldn't use it that way, and nor would you, but I can cut him some slack.

Does it? I can't say I've ever heard it in any other sense, nor can I think of any other sense to give it.

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Not every Anglican in Sydney is Sydney Anglican

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Lamb Chopped
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I'm pretty sure I've heard coworkers describe a particular project as "hell incarnate", when there is no flesh at all involved--merely paper and electrons. The newer, sloppy sense seems to be much like the misuse of "literally"--the person is looking for an intensifier, and "very" or "really" doesn't seem strong enough. I doubt the user could tell you what "incarnate" actually means.

But then, there's always the possibility that I'm hearing a regionalism, or some misuse of English that hasn't made it to your neck of the woods yet. Or that I'm simply mistaken.

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Er, this is what I've been up to (book).
Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down!

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mousethief

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I can honestly say I have never heard the phrasing "X Incarnate" used of anything but human beings.

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This is the last sig I'll ever write for you...

Posts: 63536 | From: Washington | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Joesaphat
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As Nick Tamen said: the rabbinical thought I know never identifies 'the word of the Lord (who) came to...' with the pre-existing Torah, spelled out letter by letter by the Almighty. I don't believe it myself, but they, and the Fathers, clearly envisaged degrees of inspiration and authority in Scripture. Plus, really, do we need the Most High to reveal to us that 'king Amasa lived for' so many years, or that the Babylonians conquered Jerusalem, or indeed that murder is bad, as is hitting your mum on the nose?

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Opening my mouth and removing all doubt, online.

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Golden Key
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--Long ago, I took a class from a rabbi. He said that the Penteteuch is Torah, the rest of the Hebrew scriptures are Torah, that "everything is Torah". I guess that view is probably from the Orthodox /Hassidic /Kabbalistic part of the Jewish spectrum. Mystical. I very much liked the idea of everything being Torah.

--In my childhood church, the Bible was basically the Word about the WORD. I've sometimes thought of it as an user's/owner's manual.

My current view is along the lines of "It's one culture's struggles with and towards God; some or all of it may be inspired by God, in some sense; and it's where I can go to think about and work out that stuff".

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Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?" (Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon")
--"Oh, Peace Train, save this country!" (Yusuf/Cat Stevens, "Peace Train")

Posts: 18601 | From: Chilling out in an undisclosed, sincere pumpkin patch. | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
Nick Tamen

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quote:
Originally posted by Lamb Chopped:
Have you got a source? I need to do some study...

I was primarily relying on memory of things read and of conversations. I'll do some looking. And I should have been a bit more careful with my words and should have said Rabbinic Judaism rather than "traditional Judaism."

I did find this from Maimonides' Commentary on Mishna:
quote:
The Torah is from Heaven. We are to believe that this entire Torah given by Moshe was entirely from G-d, i.e. Moshe received it from the Almighty . . . He was like a scribe who hears dictation and writes . . . There is no difference between "The sons of Cham were Chush and Mitzrayim" (Genesis 10:6) , "The name of his wife was Mehitabel" (36:39) , "And Timna was a concubine (36:12) on the one hand, and "I am the L-rd your G-d" (Exodus 20:2) , and "Hear O Israel" (Deuteronomy 6:4) . It is all from the Omnipotent; it is all (part of) the "perfect Torah of G-d" (Psalm 19), pure and holy. Whoever says that certain of these passages and stories were told by Moshe of his own accord, is considered by our Sages and prophets as a heretic and worse, for he considers the Torah to contain heart and husk, and that certain historical accounts and narratives are not beneficial, having originated with Moshe. This is the concept of "Torah is not from Heaven" that our Sages have defined as even including the belief that the entire Torah is from G-d, except some specific passage that is not from G-d but from Moshe. This constitutes "For the word of G-d has he shamed" (Numbers 15:31) . Rather, every sentence in Torah contains wisdom and profundity for him who understands.


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The first thing God says to Moses is, "Take off your shoes." We are on holy ground. Hard to believe, but the truest thing I know. — Anne Lamott

Posts: 2833 | From: On heaven-crammed earth | Registered: Sep 2009  |  IP: Logged
Nick Tamen

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quote:
Originally posted by Golden Key:
--Long ago, I took a class from a rabbi. He said that the Penteteuch is Torah, the rest of the Hebrew scriptures are Torah, that "everything is Torah". I guess that view is probably from the Orthodox /Hassidic /Kabbalistic part of the Jewish spectrum. Mystical. I very much liked the idea of everything being Torah.

Hassidic or Kabbalistic, yes. Orthodox, probably not.

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The first thing God says to Moses is, "Take off your shoes." We are on holy ground. Hard to believe, but the truest thing I know. — Anne Lamott

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Golden Key
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The Maimonides quote is very much in line with what I was taught in my childhood fundamentalist church.

Nick, can you tell me where in his commentary that is? Or give me a link? I might want to read further. Thanks.

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Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?" (Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon")
--"Oh, Peace Train, save this country!" (Yusuf/Cat Stevens, "Peace Train")

Posts: 18601 | From: Chilling out in an undisclosed, sincere pumpkin patch. | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
Nick Tamen

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Sorry. I should have provided a link earlier. It can be found in a variety of sources—search for Maimonides and Mehitabel—but I copied it from here.

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The first thing God says to Moses is, "Take off your shoes." We are on holy ground. Hard to believe, but the truest thing I know. — Anne Lamott

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Frankenstein
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quote:
Originally posted by Golden Key:
--Long ago, I took a class from a rabbi. He said that the Penteteuch is Torah, the rest of the Hebrew scriptures are Torah, that "everything is Torah". I guess that view is probably from the Orthodox /Hassidic /Kabbalistic part of the Jewish spectrum. Mystical. I very much liked the idea of everything being Torah.

--In my childhood church, the Bible was basically the Word about the WORD. I've sometimes thought of it as an user's/owner's manual.


My current view is along the lines of "It's one culture's struggles with and towards God; some or all of it may be inspired by God, in some sense; and it's where I can go to think about and work out that stuff".

Inspired by God or not, is the Bible inerrant?

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It is better to travel in hope than to arrive?

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Frankenstein:
Inspired by God or not, is the Bible inerrant?

How does this question even make sense? It gets bits right by accident?

[ 04. March 2016, 15:18: Message edited by: lilBuddha ]

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I put on my rockin' shoes in the morning
Hallellou, hallellou

Posts: 17627 | From: the round earth's imagined corners | Registered: Dec 2008  |  IP: Logged
Frankenstein
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
quote:
Originally posted by Frankenstein:
Inspired by God or not, is the Bible inerrant?

How does this question even make sense? It gets bits right by accident?
I am sorry if some of my posts make less than sense.
I do try to express my understanding of a question,
and hope that someone will correct me.
They usually do.

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It is better to travel in hope than to arrive?

Posts: 267 | From: Scotland | Registered: Jan 2011  |  IP: Logged
lilBuddha
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I post nonsense on a regular basis, so I'm not one who should judge. But if cliffdweller doesn't think all of the bible is inspired, how could it be inerrant? And it is just now twigging that it could be humour.

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I put on my rockin' shoes in the morning
Hallellou, hallellou

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quetzalcoatl
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It could be inspired, but wrong, like my mother a lot of the time.

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I can't talk to you today; I talked to two people yesterday.

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