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Test Your Knowledge of the Bible

GUEST,Blandiver 04 Mar 13 - 10:10 AM
Nigel Parsons 04 Mar 13 - 10:24 AM
gnu 04 Mar 13 - 11:32 AM
Mrrzy 04 Mar 13 - 11:49 AM
GUEST,Blandiver 04 Mar 13 - 12:17 PM
GUEST,Blandiver 04 Mar 13 - 12:21 PM
Jim Dixon 04 Mar 13 - 07:27 PM
gnu 04 Mar 13 - 07:37 PM
Rapparee 04 Mar 13 - 08:54 PM
Wesley S 04 Mar 13 - 09:59 PM
Elmore 05 Mar 13 - 11:14 AM
Bill D 05 Mar 13 - 11:26 AM
GUEST,Blandiver 05 Mar 13 - 11:27 AM
Mrrzy 05 Mar 13 - 12:51 PM
Don Firth 05 Mar 13 - 06:03 PM
GUEST,Peter 05 Mar 13 - 06:21 PM
Joe Offer 06 Mar 13 - 02:23 AM
Nigel Parsons 06 Mar 13 - 03:44 AM
GUEST,CS 06 Mar 13 - 03:56 AM
GUEST,999 06 Mar 13 - 05:49 AM
Bee-dubya-ell 06 Mar 13 - 08:05 AM
Penny S. 06 Mar 13 - 08:07 AM
jacqui.c 06 Mar 13 - 08:22 AM
GUEST,999 06 Mar 13 - 09:45 AM
Airymouse 06 Mar 13 - 08:42 PM
Elmore 06 Mar 13 - 09:25 PM
Bill D 06 Mar 13 - 09:36 PM
Nigel Parsons 07 Mar 13 - 03:45 AM
Elmore 07 Mar 13 - 09:03 AM
Uncle_DaveO 07 Mar 13 - 02:03 PM
Stringsinger 07 Mar 13 - 02:49 PM
Stringsinger 07 Mar 13 - 02:51 PM
GUEST,Stim 07 Mar 13 - 04:32 PM
GUEST,999 07 Mar 13 - 04:37 PM
GUEST,Stim 07 Mar 13 - 05:18 PM
Don Firth 07 Mar 13 - 08:38 PM
GUEST,999 07 Mar 13 - 09:28 PM
ollaimh 07 Mar 13 - 11:26 PM
GUEST,Guest from Sanity 08 Mar 13 - 01:45 AM
Joe Offer 08 Mar 13 - 02:24 AM
GUEST,Blandiver 08 Mar 13 - 04:07 AM
Don Firth 09 Mar 13 - 07:00 PM
Joe Offer 09 Mar 13 - 08:36 PM
Joe Offer 10 Mar 13 - 04:24 AM
Don Firth 10 Mar 13 - 04:04 PM
GUEST,pete from seven stars link 10 Mar 13 - 05:42 PM
Don Firth 10 Mar 13 - 06:01 PM
GUEST,999 10 Mar 13 - 06:59 PM
mayomick 11 Mar 13 - 07:57 AM
GUEST,pete from seven stars link 11 Mar 13 - 02:45 PM
GUEST,Stim 11 Mar 13 - 03:30 PM
Don Firth 11 Mar 13 - 03:30 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 12 Mar 13 - 09:12 AM
GUEST,pete from seven stars link 12 Mar 13 - 02:24 PM
Joe Offer 12 Mar 13 - 03:54 PM
Don Firth 12 Mar 13 - 07:33 PM
Sandy Mc Lean 12 Mar 13 - 08:35 PM
GUEST,pete from seven stars link 16 Mar 13 - 04:23 PM
Don Firth 16 Mar 13 - 10:14 PM
GUEST,pete from seven stars link 17 Mar 13 - 01:13 PM
Don Firth 17 Mar 13 - 03:06 PM
GUEST,Blandiver 18 Mar 13 - 11:33 AM
Bill D 18 Mar 13 - 01:21 PM
Don Firth 18 Mar 13 - 01:36 PM
GUEST,Stim 19 Mar 13 - 09:37 AM
GUEST,pete from seven stars link 19 Mar 13 - 03:52 PM
GUEST,Tunesmith 20 Mar 13 - 09:32 AM
GUEST,pete from seven stars link 20 Mar 13 - 12:51 PM
frogprince 20 Mar 13 - 03:15 PM
Joe Offer 20 Mar 13 - 06:36 PM
frogprince 20 Mar 13 - 07:42 PM
GUEST,pete from seven stars link 22 Mar 13 - 06:58 AM
GUEST 22 Mar 13 - 07:45 AM
Mr Happy 22 Mar 13 - 07:50 AM
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Subject: Test Your Knowledge of the Bible
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 04 Mar 13 - 10:10 AM

Thus said the Advert on Mudcat when I logged on earlier; usually it's some busty bird in a vest advertising adult dating (or whatever). What is this place coming to??


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Subject: RE: Test Your Knowledge of the Bible
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 04 Mar 13 - 10:24 AM

Bit of a let down was it?


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Subject: RE: Test Your Knowledge of the Bible
From: gnu
Date: 04 Mar 13 - 11:32 AM

Jesus hung out with whores.

Other than that, I dunno a whole lot about it.


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Subject: RE: Test Your Knowledge of the Bible
From: Mrrzy
Date: 04 Mar 13 - 11:49 AM

in Kings, I think, they do a lot of dashing babies against stones...

I am also reminded of a Clancy Brothers song where they refer to something happening before something else did "or elviticus had committed deuteronomy."


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Subject: RE: Test Your Knowledge of the Bible
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 04 Mar 13 - 12:17 PM

I know about the Constipated Men anyway. I guess that's all you need to know on this forum - and that they left the best bits out, like The Gospel of Pseudo Matthew, which gives us The Cherry Tree Carol (Chapter XX). Check it out:

http://gnosis.org/library/psudomat.htm


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Subject: RE: Test Your Knowledge of the Bible
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 04 Mar 13 - 12:21 PM

PS - For a sure cure of constipation, there's the anal-sex in the Song of Solomon (5:4) which sounds like a lot of fun but messy I would imagine.


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Subject: RE: Test Your Knowledge of the Bible
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 04 Mar 13 - 07:27 PM

In case anyone came here hoping to find an actual test of your religious knowledge, you might want to take this one:

How much do you know about religion? from the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life.

It's a shortened version of a quiz that was given to "3,412 randomly sampled [American] adults" and then the results were tabulated.

Results are given here.

You might be surprised at which group of people had the highest score. Or not.


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Subject: RE: Test Your Knowledge of the Bible
From: gnu
Date: 04 Mar 13 - 07:37 PM

So... about 66% knowledge was the high score(s) fer yer average respondant. Cool. But that it don't mean shit in the real world. Not a whit.


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Subject: RE: Test Your Knowledge of the Bible
From: Rapparee
Date: 04 Mar 13 - 08:54 PM

Yeshua of Nazareth hung out with whores, tax collectors, shepherds, working folks and riff-raff of all sorts -- like me his (human?) daddy was a carpenter and apparently taught him the trade. Had a lot of parties, too, besides that one at Cana. Seems like a decent sort who's gotten worked over until he's no longer recognized for what he was.


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Subject: RE: Test Your Knowledge of the Bible
From: Wesley S
Date: 04 Mar 13 - 09:59 PM

Y'all DO know the book was turned into a movie don't you? Color and everything.


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Subject: RE: Test Your Knowledge of the Bible
From: Elmore
Date: 05 Mar 13 - 11:14 AM

I did okay on the quiz, for an agnostic.


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Subject: RE: Test Your Knowledge of the Bible
From: Bill D
Date: 05 Mar 13 - 11:26 AM

I did great as an agnostic/atheist. In order to render an opinion about such things, one needs to be reasonably familiar with them.

But the question is: Which bible? I also have a bound copy of this one.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oahspe:_A_New_Bible


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Subject: RE: Test Your Knowledge of the Bible
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 05 Mar 13 - 11:27 AM

I didn't sit it. Next time it comes it I will, if only to see how I do as a Gnostic.


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Subject: RE: Test Your Knowledge of the Bible
From: Mrrzy
Date: 05 Mar 13 - 12:51 PM

There used to be an occasional quiz in one of my puzzle magazine that gave a bunch of well-known phrases, and gave a binary choice: Shakespeare or the Bible? Amazing how often people are wrong on that... even those of us in that we-know-religion group!


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Subject: RE: Test Your Knowledge of the Bible
From: Don Firth
Date: 05 Mar 13 - 06:03 PM

I got fourteen out of fifteen. The question I missed was a bit esoteric. What preacher led the "Great Reawakening?" I think I missed that one, but they don't really let you know.

But then, my knowledge of the Bible per se is pretty good. In the U. of Washington English Literature department, I took a course in "The Bible AS Literature." Read and analysed as poems, short stories, folk tales, and such. NO religious descussion allowed in the class. The Bible as literature.

Most interesting course! We read things in whole chunks, not verse by verse, and I wound up being a real pain in the butt to Bible-thumpers who took verses out of context and tried to interpret them to prove a point. I was able to say, "Hold it! That's not what that means!" and quote it in context. After a few attempts, they usually consigned me to the Nether Regions and went on to more promising targets.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Test Your Knowledge of the Bible
From: GUEST,Peter
Date: 05 Mar 13 - 06:21 PM

Not too bad, I managed to guess the two about the US Supreme Court but I had never heard of "The First Great Awakening" and didn't know if Transubstantiation was still Roman doctrine or not.


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Subject: RE: Test Your Knowledge of the Bible
From: Joe Offer
Date: 06 Mar 13 - 02:23 AM

We read the Jonathan Edwards sermon "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" in high school, so I knew about the Great Awakening.
I got 15 out of 15, but then I was a Theology major.
Bill D, you said you did well, but HOW well? I'd be surprised if you didn't tie me.
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Test Your Knowledge of the Bible
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 06 Mar 13 - 03:44 AM

MRrrzy:
There used to be an occasional quiz in one of my puzzle magazine that gave a bunch of well-known phrases, and gave a binary choice: Shakespeare or the Bible? Amazing how often people are wrong on that... even those of us in that we-know-religion group!

Might some of the correct answers be "Both"
The King James Version, well known in the UK, and from which a lot of the well known phrases come, was a collaberation in translation & making the prose sing. It is quite possible that Shakespeare was a contributor to the final mix.
Often suggested as evidence in Psalm 46 in which (in the KJV)the 46th word is "shake". This may not seem much evidence, but counting back from the end of the same psalm the 46th word is "Spear".
Stangely the online version: http://classic.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm+46&version=KJV makes it the 47th word (counting back).


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Subject: RE: Test Your Knowledge of the Bible
From: GUEST,CS
Date: 06 Mar 13 - 03:56 AM

The test purports to be about 'religious' knowledge, but I'm not sure where knowledge regarding 'rulings of the US supreme court' concerning what US teachers can and can't do, come into that. You could have studied in detail all the major religious works ever written and get those two questions wrong.


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Subject: RE: Test Your Knowledge of the Bible
From: GUEST,999
Date: 06 Mar 13 - 05:49 AM

If they were gonna use Jonathan Edwards' name they shoulda called it the Frontier Revivals. The Great Awakening to me was surviving Gary's 1967 New Year's party which ended on February 14, 1968. I think.


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Subject: RE: Test Your Knowledge of the Bible
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 06 Mar 13 - 08:05 AM

I know there was some guy named "Enos" who makes frequent appearances in crossword puzzles.


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Subject: RE: Test Your Knowledge of the Bible
From: Penny S.
Date: 06 Mar 13 - 08:07 AM

I got 97%! Missed on US teachers being allowed to read the Bible in schools, and only got Jonathan Edwards (Christian triple jumper in the UK) by reading the comments page first.

Penny


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Subject: RE: Test Your Knowledge of the Bible
From: jacqui.c
Date: 06 Mar 13 - 08:22 AM

I got 15 right - had to guess at Jonathan Edwards though. I'm a recovering Methodist.


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Subject: RE: Test Your Knowledge of the Bible
From: GUEST,999
Date: 06 Mar 13 - 09:45 AM

As long as no one thinks you're dancing . . .


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Subject: RE: Test Your Knowledge of the Bible
From: Airymouse
Date: 06 Mar 13 - 08:42 PM

The Pew Center needs to learn something about both English and religion:
"Catholic" is an adjective, not a noun, so it can't be a religion. Even "Catholicism" is not a religion, it's a sect of Christianity.


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Subject: RE: Test Your Knowledge of the Bible
From: Elmore
Date: 06 Mar 13 - 09:25 PM

Catholic is a noun.catholic is an adjective. I'm a recovering Catholic.


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Subject: RE: Test Your Knowledge of the Bible
From: Bill D
Date: 06 Mar 13 - 09:36 PM

Joe.. as another recovering Methodist, I also got them all. I still read 'at' the bible in various situations. (I have even looked at some of the parts that were carefully left out of the bible.)

I have attended services in black Southern Baptist churches, High Episcopalian, Catholic mass (only twice), as well as Methodist and Unitarian. I studied comparative religion in school, and traveled and sang hymns with a car load of Presbyterians. I have also debated with a Jain who thought she was a Buddhist.. *grin*

I am familiar, as noted, with Ohaspe... and with The Urantia Book and the Upanishads and Bhagavad Gita.

Religion is important as part of the fabric of our history, no matter what final opinion one come to about it.... so I try to stay 'relatively' informed.


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Subject: RE: Test Your Knowledge of the Bible
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 07 Mar 13 - 03:45 AM

A guy dies and goes to heaven where St, Peter shows him around. They come to a big, blank wall, and the guy asks, "What's with the wall?

"Ssshhhh," Peter replies," Those are the Catholics on the other side; they think that they're the only ones up here!"


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Subject: RE: Test Your Knowledge of the Bible
From: Elmore
Date: 07 Mar 13 - 09:03 AM

Gosh, Nigel. You mean they're not the only ones up there?


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Subject: RE: Test Your Knowledge of the Bible
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 07 Mar 13 - 02:03 PM

I'm one who resolutely flip-flops between being an agnostic and
an atheist. I regard agnosticism as the more intellectually defensible/respectable of the two, but in mood swings I relapse into a forthright declaration of atheism. Organizationally, I have been Unitarian for many years.

I have to admit that I was unsure on Jonathan Edwards, but I picked him for the role. Whether this was a guess or a vague recollection of something I read at some point, I can't tell you.

The other question in the 15 which made me pause was the majority
religion in Indonesia. I decided Muslim was the best guess, but a guess it was.

Out of the 15-item sample test, I scored 15, two of which were
a little shaky. I wish I'd had the opportunity to take the full survey.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Test Your Knowledge of the Bible
From: Stringsinger
Date: 07 Mar 13 - 02:49 PM

The King James bible was written to appease the warring religions of the time in England.

The Bible has been misquoted and used as a pretext for every backward policy decision in the US such as slavery, war, and dissing the poor.

Constantine had a lot to do with the Council of Nicea which fabricated many
stories about Apostles who never wrote any of the chapters in the Bible; they were all dead by the time these chapters were written.

Scribes were basically illiterate in copying for the earlier additions of the Bible.

Then came the agendas and the made up stuff (mostly all of it is made up).

Bart Ehrmann is the man you need to read to learn about the history of the Bible.
Here's the real story on the Bible


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Subject: RE: Test Your Knowledge of the Bible
From: Stringsinger
Date: 07 Mar 13 - 02:51 PM

Oh and Jesus was never mentioned in "The Dead Sea Scrolls".


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Subject: RE: Test Your Knowledge of the Bible
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 07 Mar 13 - 04:32 PM

I got all the questions right, but they are relatively easy questions (except,apparently, the one about the First Great Awakening), and not really much about religion.

Some good questions to ask would have been about stuff like the different beliefs that groups have about predestination and the Trinity(like, is Jesus God, and what is the Holy Ghost, anyway?), whether the Bible is the inerrant word of God, and the ways that Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism differ on the idea of God...

Also, because this is the internet, it would have been great to be able to "like" the different questions...;-)


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Subject: RE: Test Your Knowledge of the Bible
From: GUEST,999
Date: 07 Mar 13 - 04:37 PM

'Oh and Jesus was never mentioned in "The Dead Sea Scrolls".'

Someone said he was?


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Subject: RE: Test Your Knowledge of the Bible
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 07 Mar 13 - 05:18 PM

Or that he should have been?


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Subject: RE: Test Your Knowledge of the Bible
From: Don Firth
Date: 07 Mar 13 - 08:38 PM

I think one of the big problems in simply reading the Bible is that some nitwit had to go and number all the verses. Now, chapter headings are okay, but all the verse numbers and footnote numbers (concordance) and such that look like they've been fired at every page with a shotgun has people reading it in choppy and disconnected chunks.

What the world needs is a good, modern translation of the Bible (there are, but the fundy churches hate them). And LEAVE OUT THE BLOODY VERSE NUMBERS!!

If you read the poetry, like, say, the Song of Solomon, like poetry and the straight narratives like reading a story, a whole bunch of interesting stuff can leap out at you.

"Oh! THAT's what that means!"

This business of quoting disconnected verses, or putting together selected verses from different parts of the Bible in an effort to prove a point that those who wrote them didn't intend is where the Bible-thumpers stumble way far into left field.

Actually, parts of it are a pretty good read. The whole battle between Moses and Pharaoh and the Exodus are quite an epic adventure. Samson takes on a horde of Philistines in battle single-handed and whups their tails for them; and then there's the seduction scene with Delilah. Jesus says some pretty cool things about the abuses of organize religion in his time, which might very well be quite relevant today.

For those of a non-religious bent, you could always read it as fantasy. I mean, after all, how many people believe there are such creatures as Hobbits, or dragons like Smaug, or elves, or believe in the evil magic of Sauron's lost Ring? This kid Harry Potter is learning to be a wizard? And where the hell is Hogwarts?

Fear not. It won't turn you into a religious fanatic, and if some religious fanatics read it that way, they might learn a whole lot they didn't know before—and become less fanatical.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Test Your Knowledge of the Bible
From: GUEST,999
Date: 07 Mar 13 - 09:28 PM

I always pictured Ezekiel as the village doper. He's dropped a few hits of 'shrooms or taken a few tokes of whatever and there he goes to wake folks up and tell them about the wheel. Imagine the conversation with the village folks.

"Hey, Zeke, what it is?"
"Man, I just saw this really cool wheel in the air. All sparkly and shiny."
(aside in a whisper) "He's been into the mushrooms again. Don't lend him your chariot. (aloud) So, uh, Zeke, was it real high up or more at eye level?"


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Subject: RE: Test Your Knowledge of the Bible
From: ollaimh
Date: 07 Mar 13 - 11:26 PM

there are two prominent characters in the dead sea scrolls, the liar and the teacher of righteousnes. some think jesus was the liar and john the baptist the teacher of righteousness, some think paul/saul was the liar and james the brother of jesus was the teacher of righteousness.

what is clear is that the jesus and the doctrines found in the leters and acts is from a different sect than that in the synoptic gospels.the glosses that try to make them agree were not very successful. john's gospel is influenced by other things again. in the beginning was the word is a cvery hindu/buddhist idea, not very jewish.

speaking of the dead sea scrolls, man now believe that revelation was written by a survivor of the essene community, who still rails and rants against the soft christians. the themes are musch like the community rule and war scroll themes.

so test your knowledge, who remembers the name of he guy who sacrificed his daughter to yaweh in thanks for winning a battle, centuries after abraham and issac.

who built the temple of the male prostitutes on the temple mount opposite to the temple of yaweh?

who sent bears to kill fourty two children(putting the fear of god into douglas adams and inspiring the hikct-hikers guide to the galaxy)


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Subject: RE: Test Your Knowledge of the Bible
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 08 Mar 13 - 01:45 AM

Stim: "Some good questions to ask would have been about stuff like the different beliefs that groups have about predestination...."

When asked once, if I believed in predestination, and free will, answered, "Do we have a choice?"

..and that was that!

GfS


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Subject: RE: Test Your Knowledge of the Bible
From: Joe Offer
Date: 08 Mar 13 - 02:24 AM

Well, Stringsinger, I have my doubts about your Bart Ehrman link. Most of what he speaks of, has been common knowledge among "mainline" scripture scholars since the middle of the 19th century. Ehrman just puts a sensationalistic "spin" on it to sell books.

If you define religion, any religion, solely in fundamentalist terms, it's easy to refute it. But a good number of religious people, really aren't that stupid. They don't buy fundamentalism, either.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Test Your Knowledge of the Bible
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 08 Mar 13 - 04:07 AM

It would be really nice to have a discussion of the literary, historical & folkloric significances of The Bible without bringing religion into it.


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Subject: RE: Test Your Knowledge of the Bible
From: Don Firth
Date: 09 Mar 13 - 07:00 PM

Ah, so, Blandiver! That's pretty much what "The Bible as Literature" course, taught by Prof. Paul Trueblood, that I took at the U. of Washington way back when, was all about.

Prof. Trueblood was very scrupulous about keeping the class on the literary, historical, and folkloric aspects of the Bible and quelling the attempts of a couple of hard-charging students from turning it into a religious discussion.

Excellent course well taught, I thought.

Interestingly enough, some years later, a couple of fundamentalist churches in the area tried to sue the U. of W. for "teaching religion" at a state university in violation of the First Amendment. Due to the scrupulousness of Prof. Trueblood, and later, Prof. David C. Fowler (who also taught a course in "The Popular Ballad" which I also took), the two churches didn't get to first base. It was established that the course was "The Bible as Literature," and that ended that bit of nonsense.

As far as the two fundy churches were concerned, I think their big problem was that the students were having an opportunity to read for themselves what the Bible really said, not having it spoon-fed to them bite by bite by some pastor with an agenda.

In later arguments I had with fundy Bible-thumpers who were trying to "save my soul" (including one pastor!), the thing that made them the maddest was that I knew more about the Bible than they did! Got kinda funny sometimes.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Test Your Knowledge of the Bible
From: Joe Offer
Date: 09 Mar 13 - 08:36 PM

I think it's important to realize that the books of the Bible were written without the baggage of being "Bible." They were the best efforts of the writers to tell the story as they understood it. As time went on, they were generally accepted as descriptive of what people believed, and then were accepted into the "canon" of Scripture.
The books of the Bible weren't written with intention of being authoritative - they just were, what they were.


-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Test Your Knowledge of the Bible
From: Joe Offer
Date: 10 Mar 13 - 04:24 AM

The books of Genesis and Exodus, and many (or most) other books of the Bible including the Gospels, were written in the language of legend. I don't think the writers intended the stories to be understood as "factual" - and I don't think people even attempted to claim them as fact until fairly recent times. These books were written to convey a message of the relationship between humankind and God, not to report factual or scientific information.

If you tried to relate the relationship between me and my wife in "factual" terms, it would be pretty boring- and it wouldn't do justice to how wonderful that relationship is. We met in 1995 and got married in 2002, and we're still married. If you want to understand the impact of that relationship, you have to go into legend. My wife was married to Peter, and I didn't like him, and her life was a mess and I wasn't interested in her after Peter died. Then she married St. Jim, and Jim was an absolutely wonderful man who worshiped his wife and made her whole again. Jim and I were best friends. Three weeks before he died, he asked me to watch over his widow and her son. If anything romantic happened, he thought that would be wonderful. Within a month after he died, we were engaged - and we were married with St. Jim's blessing a year later. And we're still happily married after eleven years.

Now, that's our story, and I've told it a hundred times. No, it's not exactly, factually true. I left out the parts about how hard it was for us to get used to living together, and how angry we got at each other sometimes. Still, it conveys the essence of our relationship far better than a precisely factual account could. Tonight, we had a lovely evening at the symphony together and I am remembering how wonderful it is to have lived with this woman for eleven years. Am I lying if I leave out the difficult parts?


-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Test Your Knowledge of the Bible
From: Don Firth
Date: 10 Mar 13 - 04:04 PM

I've had a number of really good discussions with a Lutheran pastor. Among other things, he said that much of what's in the Bible is in a particular narrative style, a way in which stories of this kind are told.

For example, he said, ALL important figures in the world's many religions entered the world in a miraculous way, and they left the world in an equally miraculous way. Being born of a virgin is one of those miraculous ways, as is ascending to heaven in the body, witnessed by disciples.

As pastor Pond said, "When reading what Jesus taught, what do the gynecological or obstetric details of Jesus' birth really matter? What DOES matter is what He said. Endlessly wrangling over peripheral things having to do with the narrative style of the period divert attention from what's important and obscure what Jesus was all about.   His message gets lost. Not good!"

I have to agree with him.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Test Your Knowledge of the Bible
From: GUEST,pete from seven stars link
Date: 10 Mar 13 - 05:42 PM

dont forget that the bible story is including verifiable historical data-eg dates,chronogeanologies,historical figures,geographical locations.i would be interested to know from you scholars of comparative religion whether the other holy books compare with that.
i also think that the idea of all "fundamentalists" picking bits out of context is exagerated.obviously some do but others delve deeper and some are academics.


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Subject: RE: Test Your Knowledge of the Bible
From: Don Firth
Date: 10 Mar 13 - 06:01 PM

Yes, pete, most of them do.

In the Bible, things like the numerous concordances are an afterthought, and scribes and translators have been adding to and subtracting from the Bible since they first began compiling the scrolls and manuscipts (often arbitrarily including some and excluding others for reasons best known to themselves) in the first place.

The Bible is an anthology, and like all anthologies, what gets included and what is left out depends on the editors. In this case, a whole string of bishops, a pope or two, and a whole army of clerics.

The Bible did not spring into existence spontaneously. Nor was it handed to us by the Angel Gabriel. It (dare I use the word?) evolved over a number of centuries.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Test Your Knowledge of the Bible
From: GUEST,999
Date: 10 Mar 13 - 06:59 PM

When one considers the number of books that could have been included, the editors certainly moved a few things around. The collected manuscripts that make up the Nag Hammadi is an example.


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Subject: RE: Test Your Knowledge of the Bible
From: mayomick
Date: 11 Mar 13 - 07:57 AM

What Uncle Dave O wrote about mood swings reminds me of something Brendan Behan said about him being a convinced atheist during the day , but a good Catholic by night.
Mrrzzy , that bit about "or elviticus had committed deuteronomy" wasn't a song . It was Tom Clancy reading from James Joyce's Finnegan's Wake .

All the guff coming from English-speaking Catholics about God transmitting some essential truth to his people through the poetry of the bible makes little sense when you consider that He has only allowed the book to be available to English readers through the Protestant Wycliffe's translations made at the end of the fourteenth century .I know people will say that the lord is supposed to work in mysterious ways , but surely He isn't supposed to be an outright hypocrite . Catholics see the Pope as God's representative on earth , but it was one of these reps that ordered Wycliffe's bones be dug up, crushed and thrown into the river for his heresy of translating the bible from Latin . Wycliffe's follower John Hus was burned at the stake in 1415, with copies of the translated bible used as kindling for the fire . Where's the poetry in that?

(alright, I got a low score)


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Subject: RE: Test Your Knowledge of the Bible
From: GUEST,pete from seven stars link
Date: 11 Mar 13 - 02:45 PM

well don.seems you have nothing to say to my suggestion that the verifiable historical persons and locations and dates,and the chronogeanologies lift the bible above folklore.if other scriptures lack these [eg mormon]they might with greater validity be consigned to invention.

your answer consisted of assertion and generalization.how about a specific.liberal scholarship assigned at least some ,if not all to the post exilic [i am open to correction if mistaken].
however comparison of ancient hittite treaties with mosaic covenant agree with the suzereign/vassel treaty current to moses day.
the arrangement of the isrealite camp also would be familiar to moses from his stay in egypt.


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Subject: RE: Test Your Knowledge of the Bible
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 11 Mar 13 - 03:30 PM

Are they really "verifiable"? I am not so sure. How much external verification is there for Moses? Or even for the big guy, himself, Jesus Christ?

I don't think that reason we accept the Ten Commandments, for instance, has to do with a real guy named Moses. If that was the case, if someone showed that there was no historical Moses, then Stealing, Murder, Adultery, Idolatry, and Bearing False witness would all be OK again. None of us wants that;-)


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Subject: RE: Test Your Knowledge of the Bible
From: Don Firth
Date: 11 Mar 13 - 03:30 PM

Pete, there are a number of actual historical people mentioned in the Bible. Several Roman emperors during and after the appearance of Jesus. Several of the disciples. Herod.

But other than the Bible, where is the evidence for the existence of Moses? Aaron? Abraham? Ezekiel and his wheel (UFO?)? Jacob and his ladder? Daniel and the den full of lions?

Or, for that matter, an actual living, breathing Adam and Eve?

Where is the Garden of Eden? The Tower of Babel? Any independent archeological evidence?

The Sinai Desert, where Moses and the Israelites are said to have wandered for forty years, shows no archeological evidence for a large group of people wandering around during the alleged period in history when they can find evidence in relatively sheltered areas of 6,000 year old shepherds campfires here and there. But no large groups of people.

Also, recent evidence has shown that the ancient Egyptians, contrary to previous beliefs, did NOT keep slaves. They considered maintaining large numbers of slaves to be economically unfeasible. Believe it or not! (That surprise me, too!)

Sorry. Only in the most diaphanous way can the Bible be considered to be any kind of reliable history, beyond what a folklorist might be able to glean from it.

Note: I seriously question the strength of the religious faith of someone who has to have concrete evidence to support that faith. That's not faith at all!

Most religion, and that includes Christianity, is based on legend, metaphor, myth, and folklore, all of which as meaning in and of itself. Read a bit of Joseph CampbelL.

This does not mean the the tenets being taught are not true. But consider the case of Doubting Thomas, who would not believe unless he had concrete evidence. That is NOT faith!

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Test Your Knowledge of the Bible
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 12 Mar 13 - 09:12 AM

""verifiable historical data-eg dates,chronogeanologies,""

You had better hope, Pete, that these all do appear in the other books, because if they don't, then the only verification of the bible IS the bible.

And, even if they do appear in the other books, that only verifies the existance of a common source.

So you are rather out on a limb, chopping between you and the trunk.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: Test Your Knowledge of the Bible
From: GUEST,pete from seven stars link
Date: 12 Mar 13 - 02:24 PM

don t - methinks you missed my point.eg if book of mormon cites various locations and yet well funded efforts no evidence is unearthed,it seems reasonable to dismiss it.the bible does record locations that have been unearthed and therefore has more to validate its truthfulness.

don firth - there are things to be discovered yet but much that has previously been dismissed by critics has been subsequently shown as historical fact ,hittites ,pilate off the top of my head.i dont accept that faith means believing what you know is not true, and an out of context ref to thomas does not validate that idea.my point is not that every character in the bible can be proven but that the narrative sections are set in historical context.
of course as a believer in the bible ,i say egypt did have slaves but i am not afraid to see your evidence to the contrary if you care to supply it.


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Subject: RE: Test Your Knowledge of the Bible
From: Joe Offer
Date: 12 Mar 13 - 03:54 PM

Most of the "Holy Books" of the world are written within true historical and cultural contexts. Otherwise, they just wouldn't make any sense. But they are spiritual books, and meant to be viewed through the eyes of spirituality. Any attempt to "prove" the historicity of such books is barking up the wrong tree.
On the other hand, there is much to be learned from the historical context of these writings - and these sacred writings will be far better understood when their historical context is known.
I think that a major purpose of most religions, is to appreciate the sacredness and wonder of that which surrounds us. If we can look on our earth and our lives and our loves in awe and a feeling of sacredness, perhaps we will do a better job of protecting them.
The mythology and stories that express religious faith is not so important for its "facts" - it's the messages they teach that have importance.
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Test Your Knowledge of the Bible
From: Don Firth
Date: 12 Mar 13 - 07:33 PM

Pete, you are misinterpreting what I wrote. I did not say that "faith means believing what you know is not true." Faith means believing in something for which you have no verifiable evidence. Those are two different things. If you say that you have faith in something for which there IS verifiable evidence, that is not really "faith," that's knowledge.

Those who wrote the scrolls and parchment or papyrus manuscripts that were later assembled into what we now call "the Bible" were often writing of events that they, themselves, did not experience or witness, but had been told. In essence, folklore.

As to the ancient Egyptians keeping slaves, here are two web sites with some most fascination information about them. Including their use of the word "slave," which included servants who were free to come and go on their own time, and the same word was applied to what later civilizations called "serfs" or "peasants."

CLICKY #1.

CLICKY #2

They did keep slaves, but not in the large numbers previous assumed. They were usually prisoners of war.

An interesting note in another web site about a large number of Hebrew slaves says, "Here the historical record is based on the Old Testament and not on Egyptian records."

Don Firth

P. S. I might mention that the pastor of the church I attend once held up a copy of the Bible and said, "This is NOT 'The Boy Scout Manual!' It is not a book of answers. It is a book of questions!"


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Subject: RE: Test Your Knowledge of the Bible
From: Sandy Mc Lean
Date: 12 Mar 13 - 08:35 PM

I got 14 of 15 on the quiz for 93% and I would call myself agnostic. Sometimes an open mind is an advantage over one that allowed their beliefs to be brainwashed!


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Subject: RE: Test Your Knowledge of the Bible
From: GUEST,pete from seven stars link
Date: 16 Mar 13 - 04:23 PM

don firth,-point taken i may have read more into what you said about faith.but to give an example by way of clarification:-we cannot prove the existence of many historical figures outside of written accounts,sometimes written years after said figures lives, but it is reasonable to accept them.christians consider that they have a reasonable faith on the testimony of the biblical writers.sceptics reject these accounts because they have a purely naturalistic worldview.
thankyou for the clickys.i read most of the material.i note that egyptians did keep slaves[sometimes large numbers]contrary to your origial mention,though i notice that your last post qualified the previous one.and in fairness it was a long article.
.."a book of questions.."care to elucidate?
pilate asked "what is truth".if only we knew if that was mocking,wistful,or searching and sincere.


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Subject: RE: Test Your Knowledge of the Bible
From: Don Firth
Date: 16 Mar 13 - 10:14 PM

Pete, while pondering your question and trying to frame the answer that Pastor Shannon Anderson would have given, I ran across this web site. This provides an answer that I'm sure Pastor Anderson would approved of, and says it far better that I could.

CLICKY.

I know absolutely nothing about Rachel Held Evans, but I do have to agree with what she says in the following:
The Bible is meant to be a conversation-starter, not a conversation-ender.

One reason I think the Bible is such a powerful conversation-starter is that it asks the questions that are most important to humanity without providing neat and tidy answers in response. Instead, it speaks to us through poetry, proverbs, letters, laws, prophecies, philosophy, history, traditions, and stories. God chose not to communicate in bullet points, and I believe it's because he wants to draw us into conversation with Himself and with one another.

As I was thinking about this, I jotted down some of the Bible's most intriguing questions—posed by both God and his creation:

"Did God really say you should not eat from the tree?"
"Who told you that you were naked?"
"Why did you kill your brother? Did you think you could hide your sin from me forever?"
"If I can find but ten righteous men will you spare the city?"
"Who should I say has sent me?"
"Who do you say that I am?"
"An excellent wife who can find?"
"What do people gain from all their labors under the sun?"
"How long will you forget me, O Lord? Will you hide your face from me forever?"
"Who is the greatest in the kingdom?"
"What shall we say the kingdom is like?"
"What do I lack?"
"What is truth?"
"Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase?"
"Eloi, Eloi, Lama Sabachthani? - My God, My God. Why have you forsaken me?"

I was struck especially by that last one, as it was uttered first by David and then repeated by Jesus, revealing something of the degree to which Christ enveloped himself wholly in the experience of humanity. We do such an injustice to the complexity and power of these questions when we reduce the Bible to an answer book.
Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Test Your Knowledge of the Bible
From: GUEST,pete from seven stars link
Date: 17 Mar 13 - 01:13 PM

dont disagree with most of that don.if that clarifies what you meant we have some agreement.however to deny that the bible does contain answers to questions is only true if you deny it,s divine authority.
take for example the age of the earth.if we ask how old it is a study of the bible answers appx 6000 yrs.you of course dont believe it is inspired by God so you believe darwinism.it is nice to have a civil disagreement though!! pete.


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Subject: RE: Test Your Knowledge of the Bible
From: Don Firth
Date: 17 Mar 13 - 03:06 PM

Well, on matters of scientifically proven fact, such as the age of the earth, and matters of evolution, there, Pete, I'm afraid we part company—as do all reasonable, thinking Christians who have not been bamboozled by short-sighted, closed minded fundamentalist beliefs.

Here, for example, is a quote from Richard L. Deem. Deem is an evangelical Christian, and no one who has read his works can reasonable doubt his faith. But he is a thinking Christian, not one who simply accepts what he is told, no matter how far-fetched in relation to observable and verifiable data. He also seems to be aware that most of the supposedly historical data in the Bible is built on allegory and metaphor, not on literal historical fact.
As indicated earlier, the Bible does not fix the age of the earth, contrary to the claims of Answers in Genesis. Historically, their claim comes from the work of James Ussher, Bishop in the Church of Ireland, from 1625 to 1656. Archbishop Ussher took the genealogies of Genesis, assuming they were complete, and calculated all the years to arrive at a date for the creation of the earth on Sunday, October 23, 4004 B.C. Of course, even assuming the method was valid, such an exact date is not possible from the genealogies of the Bible (Ussher assumed all the years the patriarchs lived were exactly 365.25 days long and that they all died the day before their next birthday). There are a number of other assumptions implicit in the calculation. The first, and foremost, assumption is that the genealogies of Genesis are complete, from father to son throughout the entire course of human existence. The second assumption is that the Genesis creation "days" were exactly 24-hours in length. It turns out that both assumptions are false.
To ignore the wonders of science and the immenseness of the Cosmos, including the fact that the sun, the earth we live on, and all the planets in the solar system came into being some 4.5 billion years ago, not a minuscule 6,000 years ago; and that man was sculpted from mud from a river bank in a place called the Garden of Eden instead of gradually evolving from one-celled creatures to more complicated forms, finally to emerge as thinking, (hopefully) intelligent beings such as humans—is to reduce an omnipotent, omniscient, and eternal Deity, capable of starting such a long-term process, knowing in advance what the results would be, to the puny status of a mere Wizard.

Ask yourself:   is it not possible that God is far wiser, more knowledgeable, and more all-powerful than my puny mind is capable of conceiving?

If God created the entire Universe, would He not make use of the very laws of nature that He, Himself, created to make a particular planet and a particular species? Or do you seriously believe that He would simply wave a magic wand?

Learn to question. It's not a sin, it's a virtue.

Don Firth

P. S. I find no contradictions between known science and the Bible--IF one reads the Bible for what it is: an anthology of religious and philosophical writings, containing religious myths, metaphors, allegories, and, yes, folklore, from which much wisdom may be drawn IF read intelligently and thoughtfully.

To call something a "myth" does not mean the it is untrue. It means that it may very well contain a greater truth than the events it purports to describe. To allow oneself to be bogged down with the minor details of the style in which the story is told is to miss the whole point of the story.


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Subject: RE: Test Your Knowledge of the Bible
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 18 Mar 13 - 11:33 AM

is it not possible that God is far wiser, more knowledgeable, and more all-powerful than my puny mind is capable of conceiving?

As it was human minds not so very dissimilar from yours that conceived of God in the first place, I'd have to say not.


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Subject: RE: Test Your Knowledge of the Bible
From: Bill D
Date: 18 Mar 13 - 01:21 PM

pete- Don Firth's explanations and links, when fully explored, show that much confusion and disagreement about the bible and its construction and historical accuracy come from the many, many errors in translation from ancient texts as scholars (some with political agendas) tried to make sense of languages that hadn't been commonly spoken in a thousand years or more.
Of course there are references to actual places and persons in the Bible, and it may well be that the basic persona of Jesus, as described, was based on some actual prophet/teacher/rabble-rouser! But NONE of the 4 gospels which tell his story was written by anyone who was there at the time or who knew any character named Jesus personally. They did not keep accurate records in Jerusalem or Bethlehem in those times. People told stories about events, and like all events, the stories which were mot interesting got repeated and embroidered.... and at some point, the best stories began to be accepted as fact and used to form alliances to promote 'causes'.
   Thus, the biblical stories arrived in Rome and were told in the pidgin Greek spoken in the dockyards, inspiring many of the poor and providing a base for a grass-roots movement to compete with the current religion of Mithras.

If you read all that link on Mithras, it is easy to see that the Christian stories were more 'comfortable' and personal and promising than Mithras, and fortunately for them, Emperor Constantine eventually thought so too!

So, Pete, while one can easily find references to actual people and locations mentioned in the Bible, there is no reason to assume that all names and events mentions were authentic....or that all the metaphysical concepts attributed to them were factual. (Think about it-someone says that someone else named Moses went up a mountain (alone), had a talk with God, and came down with stone tablets with rules carved on them.... and everyone just nodded and believed this!)

As Don F. notes, there were so many writings left out of the Bible because they were either lost for awhile, or just not 'agreeable' to the compilers and translators.

When a traffic accident happens, it is hard to get a clear account from actual eyewitnesses, so Biblical stories written down by those who were not witnesses are even harder to authenticate..... and that's why the word 'believe' is used in religious discussions.


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Subject: RE: Test Your Knowledge of the Bible
From: Don Firth
Date: 18 Mar 13 - 01:36 PM

Blandiver, I am imaginative enough to conceive of a being whose power, knowledge, and intelligence far exceed my own.

But this does not mean that I necessarily believe in the existence of such a being.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Test Your Knowledge of the Bible
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 19 Mar 13 - 09:37 AM

The obvious point, Pete(and the one that Blandiver is hinting at), is that human beings are the ones that gave the Bible "Divine Authority". In fact, the idea of "Divine Authority", just something that a person came up with, probably because he couldn't get people to pay attention any other way.


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Subject: RE: Test Your Knowledge of the Bible
From: GUEST,pete from seven stars link
Date: 19 Mar 13 - 03:52 PM

don- your quote from the compromising mr deem is typical of many who try to marry darwin with bible,as is your assertion that evolution is a proven fact.
i did not say that ussher was exactly spot on,but even if you threw a few more generations into the biblical data you still only have thousands [if you really stretch it ] yrs of humanity . i can also provide ref to hebrew scholars that affirm that day [heb=yom] in gen 1 means exactly as traditionally believed.
mr deem gives more credance to darwin than Gods word but tries to dress it up IMO.YOU,YOURSELF as a liberal christian are more honest - you just dont believe the bible in its historical grammatical meaning as accepted in most of church history.scripture does answer the question of origins and many scientists also believe that-
"only belief in Jesus Christ can open our eyes and give us the correct view of the world.before i was a christian,i never felt really content with the evolutionary world view,which i had adopted.it produced too many contradictions and left open too many questions.only the truth in the word of God is able to give a full comprehensive answer to our basic questions of life and death"
dr markus blietz.astrophysicist


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Subject: RE: Test Your Knowledge of the Bible
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 20 Mar 13 - 09:32 AM

Joe Offer mentioned Jonathan Edwards sermon "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" .
Well, Jonathan maybe the greatest triple-jumper in history but I thought that he rejected religion and was now a confirmed(!)atheist!


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Subject: RE: Test Your Knowledge of the Bible
From: GUEST,pete from seven stars link
Date: 20 Mar 13 - 12:51 PM

wrong edwards and wrong generation though the runner is on the wrong track maybe!
i suspect you were also attempting a little humour!


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Subject: RE: Test Your Knowledge of the Bible
From: frogprince
Date: 20 Mar 13 - 03:15 PM

We have a little daily thingy, printed here locally, titled "Good News Newsletter". Just a few ads, community events, trivia questions, and "inspirational" thoughts and quotes. I'm gonna toss in yesterday's "Thought of the Day", and resist further comment, at least for the moment.

"It is a far, far better thing to have a firm anchor in nonsense than to put out on the troubled sea of thought."


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Subject: RE: Test Your Knowledge of the Bible
From: Joe Offer
Date: 20 Mar 13 - 06:36 PM

Bill, I'm not sure I would agree with your statement about "translation errors." It seems to imply that there is a "correct" way to translate the Bible - which, indeed, might be the contention of literalists. For centuries, many groups believed that the King James (Authorised) Version was the only "correct" translation, and some said that the translation itself was divinely inspired. Certainly, there are errors in any translation, but I don't see that as the crux of the issue.

I think I'd prefer to say that there are a number of ways to translate any document. Some translations are better than others, but "better" is a relative term. Different translations follow different philosophies of translation. Some are more literal (literal equivalence), and some more closely tied to the meaning of the original text (dynamic equivalence). That's a basic difference between translations, whether they should be word-for-word or thought-for-thought translations. A translation meant for oral proclamation might strive for a more literary form of English, than a text meant for reading or study might need. As one who teaches bible study, I can't get by with fewer than about twenty translations, although I mostly use the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) for teaching, the Good News Version for casual reading, and the New American Bible for Catholic stuff since it's the standard bible for American Catholics. My favorite is the NRSV. We used the RSV as a teacher-approved aid in Greek class, and it was very close to the Greek text of the New Testament.
Conservative Christians have gradually abandoned the King James Version. The most popular bible among conservative/evangelical Christians in the U.S. is the New International Version (NIV), and it's a very good translation.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Test Your Knowledge of the Bible
From: frogprince
Date: 20 Mar 13 - 07:42 PM

I had a seminary prof, a real good dude, who worked on the NIV.


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Subject: RE: Test Your Knowledge of the Bible
From: GUEST,pete from seven stars link
Date: 22 Mar 13 - 06:58 AM

good post joe.something that i noticed when i did a very basic gk course a few yr ago was that the king james did seem to follow the order of words in NT gk text.i suppose that gave it a certain advantage in being more memorable.it seems to me that most people that can quote it more extensively are those raised on it.admittedly that may not always be in context .but there did used to be more of an emphasis -it seems to me - to read all the bible,in order to imbibe "the whole counsel of God"
one catholic version i like for passage reading is the jerusalem bible.i use the ESV frequently but otherwise i,m mainly still king james.


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Subject: RE: Test Your Knowledge of the Bible
From: GUEST
Date: 22 Mar 13 - 07:45 AM

There are close to a hundred English translations of The Bible. If ya keep reading you'll eventually find one that agrees with you.


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Subject: RE: Test Your Knowledge of the Bible
From: Mr Happy
Date: 22 Mar 13 - 07:50 AM

frogprince,

"It is a far, far better thing to have a firm anchor in nonsense than to put out on the troubled sea of thought."

Great quote!

Where's the 'like' button on here?


I got 14/15 on the quiz - not the American writer one, never heard of him or q concept


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