Who was the Bible written for?

 
unsmoked
 
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unsmoked
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05 April 2021 10:07
 

We know that nursery rhymes were written for children.  We know that Darwin’s On the Origin of Species was written for literate, educated adults.  Who was the Bible written for?

a)  Literate educated adults

b)  Superstitious, illiterate people who believed in magic, spells, supernatural beings, miracles, demons and ghosts

superstition  noun
excessively credulous belief in and reverence for supernatural beings.

Similar:  unfounded belief, credulity, magic, sorcery, witchcraft, fallacy

Example from the New Testament:  “Deeply moved again, Jesus went to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone covering the entrance. 39 Jesus said, “Take the stone away.”

Martha, the dead man’s sister, told Jesus, “Lord, there must already be a stench. He’s been dead for four days.”

Jesus said to her, “Didn’t I tell you that if you believe, you would see God’s glory?”  So the stone was moved away from the entrance of the tomb.

Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you for hearing me.  I’ve known that you always hear me. However, I’ve said this so that the crowd standing around me will believe that you sent me.”  After Jesus had said this, he shouted as loudly as he could, “Lazarus, come out!”

The dead man came out. Strips of cloth were wound around his feet and hands, and his face was wrapped with a handkerchief. Jesus told them, “Free Lazarus, and let him go.”  (end Bible quote)

Question:  If an event like this had been reported to the Church during the Middle Ages, would the alleged sorcerer have been arrested and accused of being in league with the devil?  Would he have been tortured and forced to name all his accomplices before being burned alive in a public spectacle?

 
 
Brick Bungalow
 
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Brick Bungalow
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05 April 2021 20:46
 
unsmoked - 05 April 2021 10:07 AM

Question:  If an event like this had been reported to the Church during the Middle Ages, would the alleged sorcerer have been arrested and accused of being in league with the devil?  Would he have been tortured and forced to name all his accomplices before being burned alive in a public spectacle?

Yes.

A miracle isn’t a miracle because it happened. A miracle is a miracle because we endorse and validate with our authority. It doesn’t matter what magic powers you have. It matters that you submit to us and only perform the tricks we tell you.

There is no contradiction here. This is clearly explained in the scripture. If you turn a stick into a snake with the blessing of our god it counts. If perform the exact same operation, right in front of me, in the presence of witnesses it doesn’t matter. My snake eats your snake and you lose.

As a teenager I burned gas over the apparent double standard of believing in these implausible stories while applying a self interested skepticism to daily events. Until I realized… the miracles don’t matter. With Jesus everything is a miracle. Without Jesus nothing is. You could rearrange the stars to spell Mississippi. Unless you are in the club all it proves is that you sold your soul to the devil… which they already knew.

 
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unsmoked
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06 April 2021 11:52
 
Brick Bungalow - 05 April 2021 08:46 PM
unsmoked - 05 April 2021 10:07 AM

Question:  If an event like this had been reported to the Church during the Middle Ages, would the alleged sorcerer have been arrested and accused of being in league with the devil?  Would he have been tortured and forced to name all his accomplices before being burned alive in a public spectacle?

Yes.

A miracle isn’t a miracle because it happened. A miracle is a miracle because we endorse and validate with our authority. It doesn’t matter what magic powers you have. It matters that you submit to us and only perform the tricks we tell you.

There is no contradiction here. This is clearly explained in the scripture. If you turn a stick into a snake with the blessing of our god it counts. If perform the exact same operation, right in front of me, in the presence of witnesses it doesn’t matter. My snake eats your snake and you lose.

As a teenager I burned gas over the apparent double standard of believing in these implausible stories while applying a self interested skepticism to daily events. Until I realized… the miracles don’t matter. With Jesus everything is a miracle. Without Jesus nothing is. You could rearrange the stars to spell Mississippi. Unless you are in the club all it proves is that you sold your soul to the devil… which they already knew.

Speaking of authority:  Suppose Darwin wrote in the preface to his On the Origin of Species - “This book tells the truth because I say it tells the truth.”

Question:  Is that why Christians ‘know’ that the Bible is telling the truth?  Or, do they know it is telling the truth because their parents said so?  Or, as in the case of Brother Mario, do they know it is telling the truth because God told them it was?  Or, because when they asked God for a new car they got one?

Mathew 7: 7 -  “Ask, and it shall be given you.”

 
 
Brick Bungalow
 
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Brick Bungalow
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07 April 2021 19:02
 
unsmoked - 06 April 2021 11:52 AM
Brick Bungalow - 05 April 2021 08:46 PM

Speaking of authority:  Suppose Darwin wrote in the preface to his On the Origin of Species - “This book tells the truth because I say it tells the truth.”

Question:  Is that why Christians ‘know’ that the Bible is telling the truth?  Or, do they know it is telling the truth because their parents said so?  Or, as in the case of Brother Mario, do they know it is telling the truth because God told them it was?  Or, because when they asked God for a new car they got one?

Mathew 7: 7 -  “Ask, and it shall be given you.”

Christians contain qualified experts in their community of course. So some proportion of them are able and willing to identify and inoculate that sort of circular reasoning… excepting their own dogma of course. Some believers actually cite circular reasoning as a positive oddly enough.  But again, only in the case of biblical truth.

The most common reason I encounter is personal revelation of some variety. Not simply that that the believer has had a personal experience but that revelation is the proper reference point as a matter of principle and that anyone who is willing can have one any time they like. Which is another neat trick to avoid any kind of scrutiny or useful conversation. “I’m right because you are obtuse and stubborn and refuse to acknowledge the clear evidence available to you” ......

As a former believer my faith, as I recall was based on a combination of things. I was confident that my parents were correct. I was afraid of hell. And I was uncertain enough about the nature of my own subjective experience to allow for the possibility that God was speaking to me. Though I was always worried that I wasn’t praying and worshipping correctly. From what I can tell this is pretty typical of former believers.

 
unsmoked
 
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08 April 2021 10:39
 
Brick Bungalow - 07 April 2021 07:02 PM
unsmoked - 06 April 2021 11:52 AM
Brick Bungalow - 05 April 2021 08:46 PM

Speaking of authority:  Suppose Darwin wrote in the preface to his On the Origin of Species - “This book tells the truth because I say it tells the truth.”

Question:  Is that why Christians ‘know’ that the Bible is telling the truth?  Or, do they know it is telling the truth because their parents said so?  Or, as in the case of Brother Mario, do they know it is telling the truth because God told them it was?  Or, because when they asked God for a new car they got one?

Mathew 7: 7 -  “Ask, and it shall be given you.”

Christians contain qualified experts in their community of course. So some proportion of them are able and willing to identify and inoculate that sort of circular reasoning… excepting their own dogma of course. Some believers actually cite circular reasoning as a positive oddly enough.  But again, only in the case of biblical truth.

The most common reason I encounter is personal revelation of some variety. Not simply that that the believer has had a personal experience but that revelation is the proper reference point as a matter of principle and that anyone who is willing can have one any time they like. Which is another neat trick to avoid any kind of scrutiny or useful conversation. “I’m right because you are obtuse and stubborn and refuse to acknowledge the clear evidence available to you” ......

As a former believer my faith, as I recall was based on a combination of things. I was confident that my parents were correct. I was afraid of hell. And I was uncertain enough about the nature of my own subjective experience to allow for the possibility that God was speaking to me. Though I was always worried that I wasn’t praying and worshipping correctly. From what I can tell this is pretty typical of former believers.

In the main, do you think the Bible was written for people who are afraid of death and want confirmation that they (their memories) are going to live forever?

How do most Christians today explain Alzheimer’s?  (the loss of self while still alive).

In the Bible, Mathew 6:25-34, Jesus’ advice about worry, might he have added, “Don’t worry about your memories lasting forever or not.  Wouldn’t that be a burden, the opposite of springtime and new beginnings”? 

Is it anathema to Christians that the self (one’s identity) may be only a floating bubble of memories? 

Life goes on:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sE6Gme921u8

 

[ Edited: 08 April 2021 10:49 by unsmoked]
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Brick Bungalow
 
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08 April 2021 22:16
 

I’m not an expert but my pass on the bible is that it wasn’t written for anyone. It was compiled and cobbled and adapted and copied and translated and leveraged into the book we have now. If we take the King James Version the the most ubiquitous…which would be true for my formative community… it was presumably written for him.

To try and be more cooperative to what I think is the gist of your question… who were particular verses and stories written for? ... I think there is possibly a meaningful conversation there.

Lots of the bible is fairly mundane agricultural politics. Written for bronze age kings who needed help from the priests to keep the tax coffers full. Old Testament law, while harsh by todays standards does contain some semblance of community preservation. Nothing I’d call justice… but probably a functional code for keeping order in a desert community.

The Gospels which seem to be the core of most faiths are variations on a single account of the supposed life of Christ. I imagine there is probably some original document lost to the sands of time that is an honest (as opposed to accurate) account of ones persons impression. At the time it was written, Or rather, it was likely written down to preserve an oral tradition about events a couple centuries prior.  I would speculate, for the benefit of a bereaved and persecuted band of folks who held dear the memory of their slain messiah. I’ll concede points of order to anyone who made a more careful study of this than I have as long as they aren’t arguing for miracles.

But maybe I miss your point. Are books necessarily written for anyone? I mean, there is certainly a proportion of books that have target markets… but I don’t think the bible is like that. I think its just an accident of history. Like so many other things we hold to be sacred.

 
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09 April 2021 12:21
 

Who was the Bible written for?  TV evangelists, use the Bible to make themselves millionaires.  Leafing through the Bible, they are able to get poor people to send them money for their mansions, Bentleys, yachts and private jets.

Kenneth Copeland is worth $300 million to $760 million -  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ag0-oXl-IDw

Why can’t the Bible protect its readers from scammers?  When people believe made-up stories, are they easy prey for charlatans?

charlatan  noun
a person falsely claiming to have a special knowledge or skill; a fraud.  -  “a self-confessed con artist and charlatan”

If he’s worth more than $300 million, does Copeland have a special knowledge or skill?  Follow his advice and you’ll have it too?

 
 
Balfizar1
 
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10 April 2021 02:42
 

Its is likely that < 3%  of the population of the middle east were literate (thanks to the Greeks) at the time of Jesus and far less at the time of the Hebrew bible I will have to go with:-
Who was the Bible written for?

b)  Superstitious, illiterate people who believed in magic, spells, supernatural beings, miracles, demons and ghosts.

Perhaps an additional question could have been:-
Who was the Bible written By?

(c) Superstitious, literate people who believed in magic, spells, supernatural beings, miracles, demons and ghosts.

Even more relevant is the chronology of the assembly of the bible:-  if you want to see mayhem.

History of the Bible Timeline
• Creation - B.C. 2000 - Originally, the earliest Scriptures are handed down from generation to generation orally.
• Circa B.C. 2000-1500 - The book of Job, perhaps the oldest book of the Bible, is written.
• Circa B.C. 1500-1400 - The stone tablets of the Ten Commandments are given to Moses at Mount Sinai and later stored in the Ark of the Covenant.
• Circa B.C. 1400–400 - The manuscripts comprising the original Hebrew Bible (39 Old Testament books) are completed. The Book of the Law is kept in the tabernacle and later in the Temple beside the Ark of the Covenant.
• Circa B.C. 300 - All of the original Old Testament Hebrew books have been written, collected, and recognized as official, canonical books.
• Circa B.C. 250–200 - The Septuagint, a popular Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible (39 Old Testament books), is produced. The 14 books of the Apocrypha are also included.
• Circa A.D. 45–100 - Original 27 books of the Greek New Testament are written.
• Circa A.D. 140-150 - Marcion of Sinope’s heretical “New Testament” prompted Orthodox Christians to establish a New Testament canon.
• Circa A.D. 200 - The Jewish Mishnah, the Oral Torah, is first recorded.
• Circa A.D. 240 - Origen compiles the Hexapla, a six-columned parallel of Greek and Hebrew texts.
• Circa A.D. 305-310 - Lucian of Antioch’s Greek New Testament text becomes the basis for the Textus Receptus.
• Circa A.D. 312 - Codex Vaticanus is possibly among the original 50 copies of the Bible ordered by Emperor Constantine. It is eventually kept in the Vatican Library in Rome.
• A.D. 367 - Athanasius of Alexandria identifies the complete New Testament canon (27 books) for the first time.
• A.D. 382-384 - Saint Jerome translates the New Testament from original Greek into Latin. This translation becomes part of the Latin Vulgate manuscript.
• A.D. 397 - Third Synod of Carthage approves the New Testament canon (27 books).
• A.D. 390-405 - Saint Jerome translates the Hebrew Bible into Latin and completes the Latin Vulgate manuscript. It includes the 39 Old Testament books, 27 New Testament books, and 14 Apocrypha books.
• A.D. 500 - By now the Scriptures have been translated into multiple languages, not limited to but including an Egyptian version (Codex Alexandrinus), a Copticversion, an Ethiopic translation, a Gothic version (Codex Argenteus), and an Armenian version. Some consider the Armenian to be the most beautiful and accurate of all ancient translations.
• A.D. 600 - The Roman Catholic Church declares Latin as the only language for Scripture.
• A.D. 680 - Caedmon, English poet and monk, renders Bible books and stories into Anglo Saxon poetry and song.
• A.D. 735 - Bede, English historian and monk, translates the Gospels into Anglo Saxon.
• A.D. 775 - The Book of Kells, a richly decorated manuscript containing the Gospels and other writings, is completed by Celtic monks in Ireland.
• Circa A.D. 865 - Saints Cyril and Methodius begin translating the Bible into Old Church Slavonic.
• A.D. 950 - The Lindisfarne Gospels manuscript is translated into Old English.
• Circa A.D. 995-1010 - Aelfric, an English abbot, translates parts of Scripture into Old English.
• A.D. 1205 - Stephen Langton, theology professor and later Archbishop of Canterbury, creates the first chapter divisions in the books of the Bible.
• A.D. 1229 - Council of Toulouse strictly forbids and prohibits lay people from owning a Bible.
• A.D. 1240 - French Cardinal Hugh of Saint Cher publishes the first Latin Bible with the chapter divisions that still exist today.
• A.D. 1325 - English hermit and poet, Richard Rolle de Hampole, and English poet William Shoreham translate the Psalms into metrical verse.
• Circa A.D. 1330 - Rabbi Solomon ben Ismael first places chapter divisions in the margins of the Hebrew Bible.
• A.D. 1381-1382 - John Wycliffe and associates, in defiance of the organized Church, believing that people should be permitted to read the Bible in their own language, begin to translate and produce the first handwritten manuscripts of the entire Bible in English. These include the 39 Old Testament books, 27 New Testament books, and 14 Apocrypha books.
• A.D. 1388 - John Purvey revises Wycliffe’s Bible.
• A.D. 1415 - 31 years after Wycliffe’s death, the Council of Constance charges him with more than 260 counts of heresy.
• A.D. 1428 - 44 years after Wycliffe’s death, church officials dig up his bones, burn them, and scatter the ashes on Swift River.
• A.D. 1455 - After the invention of the printing press in Germany, Johannes Gutenberg produces the first printed Bible, the Gutenberg Bible, in the Latin Vulgate.
• A.D. 1516 - Desiderius Erasmus produces a Greek New Testament, a forerunner to the Textus Receptus.
• A.D. 1517 - Daniel Bomberg’s Rabbinic Bible contains the first printed Hebrew version (Masoretic text) with chapter divisions.
• A.D. 1522 - Martin Luther translates and publishes the New Testament for the first time into German from the 1516 Erasmus version.
• A.D. 1524 - Bomberg prints a second edition Masoretic text prepared by Jacob ben Chayim.
• A.D. 1525 - William Tyndale produces the first translation of the New Testament from Greek into English.
• A.D. 1527 - Erasmus publishes a fourth edition Greek-Latin translation.
• A.D. 1530 - Jacques Lefèvre d’Étaples completes the first French language translation of the entire Bible.
• A.D. 1535 - Myles Coverdale’s Bible completes Tyndale’s work, producing the first complete printed Bible in the English language. It includes the 39 Old Testament books, 27 New Testament books, and 14 Apocrypha books.
• A.D. 1536 - Martin Luther translates the Old Testament into the commonly-spoken dialect of the German people, completing his translation of the entire Bible in German.
• A.D. 1536 - Tyndale is condemned as a heretic, strangled, and burned at the stake.
• A.D. 1537 - The Matthew Bible (commonly known as the Matthew-Tyndale Bible), a second complete printed English translation, is published, combining the works of Tyndale, Coverdale and John Rogers.
• A.D. 1539 - The Great Bible, the first English Bible authorized for public use, is printed.
• A.D. 1546 - Roman Catholic Council of Trent declares the Vulgate as the exclusive Latin authority for the Bible.
• A.D. 1553 - Robert Estienne publishes a French Bible with chapter and verse divisions. This system of numbering becomes widely accepted and is still found in most Bible’s today.
• A.D. 1560 - The Geneva Bible is printed in Geneva, Switzerland. It is translated by English refugees and published by John Calvin’s brother-in-law, William Whittingham. The Geneva Bible is the first English Bible to add numbered verses to the chapters. It becomes the Bible of the Protestant Reformation, more popular than the 1611 King James Version for decades after its original release.
• A.D. 1568 - The Bishop’s Bible, a revision of the Great Bible, is introduced in England to compete with the popular but “inflammatory toward the institutional Church” Geneva Bible.
• A.D. 1582 - Dropping its 1,000-year-old Latin-only policy, the Church of Rome produces the first English Catholic Bible, the Rheims New Testament, from the Latin Vulgate.
• A.D. 1592 - The Clementine Vulgate (authorized by Pope Clementine VIII), a revised version of the Latin Vulgate, becomes the authoritative Bible of the Catholic Church.
• A.D. 1609 - The Douay Old Testament is translated into English by the Church of Rome, to complete the combined Douay-Rheims Version.
• A.D. 1611 - The King James Version, also called the “Authorized Version” of the Bible is published. It is said to be the most printed book in the history of the world, with more than one billion copies in print.
• A.D. 1663 - John Eliot’s Algonquin Bible is the first Bible printed in America, not in English, but in the native Algonquin Indian language.
• A.D. 1782 - Robert Aitken’s Bible is the first English language (KJV) Bible printed in America.
• A.D. 1790 - Matthew Carey publishes a Roman Catholic Douay-Rheims Version English Bible in America.
• A.D. 1790 - William Young prints the first pocket-sized “school edition” King James Version Bible in America.
• A.D. 1791 - The Isaac Collins Bible, the first family Bible (KJV), is printed in America.
• A.D. 1791 - Isaiah Thomas prints the first illustrated Bible (KJV) in America.
• A.D. 1808 - Jane Aitken (daughter of Robert Aitken), is the first woman to print a Bible.
• A.D. 1833 - Noah Webster, after publishing his famous dictionary, releases his own revised edition of the King James Bible.
• A.D. 1841 - The English Hexapla New Testament, a comparison of the original Greek language and six important English translations, is produced.
• A.D. 1844 - The Codex Sinaiticus, a handwritten Koine Greek manuscript of both Old and New Testament texts dating back to the fourth century, is rediscovered by German Bible scholar Konstantin Von Tischendorf in the Monastery of Saint Catherine on Mount Sinai.
• A.D. 1881-1885 - The King James Bible is revised and published as the Revised Version (RV) in England.
• A.D. 1901 - The American Standard Version, the first major American revision of the King James Version, is published.
• A.D. 1946-1952 - The Revised Standard Version is published.
• A.D. 1947-1956 - The Dead Sea Scrolls are discovered.
• A.D. 1971 - The New American Standard Bible (NASB) is published.
• A.D. 1973 - The New International Version (NIV) is published.
• A.D. 1982 - The New King James Version (NKJV) is published.
• A.D. 1986 - The discovery of the Silver Scrolls, believed to be the oldest Bible text ever, is announced. They were found three years earlier in the Old City of Jerusalem by Gabriel Barkay of Tel Aviv University.
• A.D. 1996 - The New Living Translation (NLT) is published.
• A.D. 2001 - The English Standard Version (ESV) is published.

Inerrant word of God inspired by the Holy Spirit and assembled by committee!!!!

NAB pg xxviii   “An additional concern of the editors was the production of a version as accurate and faithful to the original Greek text as possible.  At the same time, special attention was paid to insure that the language chosen not only reflected contemporary American usage, but eliminated all discrimination (Especially against women) whenever possible.”

What does that say about their attitude to women and the bible?

Approximately 80 Gospels ( a gospel is just an account of the life of Jesus Christ)  were found, only 4 made it into the original canon.  Even then they can’t absolutely say that they were written by their namesakes.

Prof Bart D Erhman is the guy of NT studies.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AymnA526j9U&t=4s