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Old 11-25-2009, 11:00 PM #64
270KIDZ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by warbeak2099 View Post
There ARE plenty of Christians who attempt to claim the Bible's story as scientifically credible.
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Originally Posted by VanishPaintball View Post
To be fair, I think that many more people use reason as an argument against religion, it just happens that the scientific method is an explicit mechanism of the principles of reason.
What issues you guys talking about here? Outside of Creation what scientific issues does the Bible even address?
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Old 11-25-2009, 11:41 PM #65
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Originally Posted by VanishPaintball View Post
Um... you mean that God idiot who claims it on page 1?

[The 7 day creation, not the age of the earth.]
'Tis a metaphor, brah. You know, this is the 2000's, not the 1990's. Some people have the sense to distinguish between a story that is presented as fact and allegory used to represent something important.
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Originally Posted by 270KIDZ View Post
What issues you guys talking about here? Outside of Creation what scientific issues does the Bible even address?
As far as I know, not much. Some might claim that "the four corners of the earth" deals with a flat earth. Fact is that these passages are also metaphorical.

How do I determine whether something is literal or metaphorical? Context clues, looking for any signs of poetic devices, using knowledge to assume a passage that contradicts science is... how do you determine such? Clearly, the Bible is not wholly literal and it is not wholly metaphorical. There is no exact science either.

The above was a response to any person [fundamentalist] who might ask me where I get the authority to determine what is metaphorical and what is literal.
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Old 11-26-2009, 01:43 AM #66
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Originally Posted by 270KIDZ View Post
I would encourage the group of "intellectuals" that troll these forums to read up on some of the more prominent Christian scientists in this era. Robert Jastrow and Anthony Flew would be a good start. Yet I doubt that a single one of the "intellectuals" will bother reading something that they don't already agree with (continuing this cycle of ignorance).

Robert Jastrow - "For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountain of ignorance; he is about to conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries"

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- first chairman of NASA’s Lunar Exploration Committee
- Chief of the Theoretical Division at NASA (1958-61)
- the founding director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies in 1968
- Professor of Geophysics at Columbia University
- Professor of Earth Sciences at Dartmouth College (1981-1992)

The Bible is not a science book, and I doubt many claim it to be. But how does that make science an argument against religion? If anyone bothered to actually read the Bible AND their science book you would see that they don't contradict as much as people like to believe.
you do realize that the church started an argument against the entire science community for fear that they would prove their religion wrong? scientists were killed or imprisoned when the church deemed them a threat.
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Old 11-26-2009, 03:41 AM #67
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Originally Posted by ἔρως-φιλία-ἀγάπη View Post
'Tis a metaphor, brah. You know, this is the 2000's, not the 1990's. Some people have the sense to distinguish between a story that is presented as fact and allegory used to represent something important.
Some do....

Many, however, regard the Bible as the inerrant word of an omnipotent deity.

Also, if it's a metaphor or allegory for something important... what's it symbolizing?

As far a I see, it's simply a myth contrived by ancient man to explain away the billions of years of history that he had no means to understand.

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Originally Posted by ἔρως-φιλία-ἀγάπη View Post
As far as I know, not much. Some might claim that "the four corners of the earth" deals with a flat earth. Fact is that these passages are also metaphorical.
Disclaimer: I had typed a thorough response to this with annotated scripture references and everything. Then Windows Vista decided it was a great time to restart my computer for some really important [entirely inconsequential] update, so it all went *poof*.

This version is going to be comparatively brief and much less elegant. Forgive me.


You can't get through Genesis without at least a few dozen. I expect that you will respond that most, if not all, of Genesis is allegorical, so...

In Leviticus rabbits chew cud [they are lagomorphs, not ruminants], some birds (fowls) "go on all four" [all four what? What bird walks on its feet and wings?], bats are birds [fuzzy little bastards, aren't they?], insects have 4 feet; curing leprosy involves killing birds, sheep, and doves and smearing blood and oil all over the place [we have wasted a lot of time studying bacteria].

Elsewhere in the Bible:

Giants exist

So do dragons

God stopped the sun in the sky. Given that we now know the Earth to be spherical and the solar system to be heliocentric, this would mean that god actually stopped the earth from rotating. Wouldn't god have known that? Nevermind the effects of stopped rotation.

Isaiah later makes the sun move BACKWARD

The earth rests on pillars

Skip ahead to the NT

Mustard seeds are the smallest seeds... and mustard is not an herb but a big ol' tree.

The moon produces light

Illnesses are caused by evil spirits or the devil

Only dead seeds germinate

Stars can fall to the earth

Etc., etc., ad nauseum.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ἔρως-φιλία-ἀγάπη View Post
How do I determine whether something is literal or metaphorical? Context clues, looking for any signs of poetic devices, using knowledge to assume a passage that contradicts science is... how do you determine such? Clearly, the Bible is not wholly literal and it is not wholly metaphorical. There is no exact science either.

The above was a response to any person [fundamentalist] who might ask me where I get the authority to determine what is metaphorical and what is literal.
The Bible is obviously and inarguably not 100% factual. If it is to be interpreted figuratively (as a mix between metaphors, allegories, fables, myths, and history) then there must be some kind of framework for determining what parts are literal and what parts are not. This frmework is entirely subjective. Please see my last post re: this problem.
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Old 11-26-2009, 11:22 AM #68
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Originally Posted by 270KIDZ View Post
What issues you guys talking about here? Outside of Creation what scientific issues does the Bible even address?
It certainly makes many claims that can be discussed scientifically and many people claim that it's 100% correct in all of these cases. This is untrue and I'm not arguing that they're right or that they have a point, but you said no one claims the Bible to be scientifically relevant. That's untrue, many people claim that it's the "most scientifically/historically accurate book in the world".
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Old 11-26-2009, 02:18 PM #69
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I picked out a couple of the less vague ones to prove a point. It takes very little thinking to tell that most of those are metaphors and that they all obviously have a meaning behind them. Now I don't believe that you are actually too dumb to understand that.
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Only dead seeds germinate
Seriously now? This is obviously metaphorical. Now you're just being ridiculous.

Referring to John 12: 24-25:

24 Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.
25 Those who love their life lose it, and those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life."

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Originally Posted by VanishPaintball View Post
.
Also, if it's a metaphor or allegory for something important... what's it symbolizing?
"It is interesting that Jesus chose these words. We know botanically that the embryo in the seed is not dead and does not die before it germinates and grows into a mature plant. What was Jesus trying to say? The words of verse 25 tell us that Jesus saw life as a prelude to something better and more enduring"
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Giants exist

So do dragons
Giants:Going to have to be more specific

Dragons: Are you refering to Revelation chapters 12, 13, 16, and 20 which is obviously metaphorical or Job chapters 40-41 which refers to the leviathan and behemoth?

Behemoth:a biblical creature mentioned in the Book of Job, 40:15-24. The word is most likely a plural form of בהמה (bəhēmāh), meaning or large animal

Leviathan: Some propose Leviathan was a Nile crocodile. Like the Leviathan, the Nile crocodile is aquatic, scaly, and possesses fierce teeth. Job 41:18 states that Leviathan's eyes "are like the eyelids of the morning". Others suggest that the Leviathan is an exaggerated account of a whale.

"In the book of Job, both Behemoth and Leviathan are listed alongside a number of other animals that are clearly mundane, such as goats, eagles, and hawks, leading some Christian scholars to surmise that Behemoth and Leviathan may also be mundane creatures."

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Originally Posted by VanishPaintball View Post
.
Also, if it's a metaphor or allegory for something important... what's it symbolizing?
No metaphor to be explained. Just that people called unknown animals by cooler names a couple thousand years ago.

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Mustard seeds are the smallest seeds... and mustard is not an herb but a big ol' tree.
Luke 13:18–9 - It is like a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and cast into his garden; and it grew, and waxed a great tree; and the fowls of the air lodged in the branches of it.

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.
Also, if it's a metaphor or allegory for something important... what's it symbolizing?
Really?
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Old 11-26-2009, 09:16 PM #70
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Originally Posted by 270KIDZ View Post
I picked out a couple of the less vague ones to prove a point. It takes very little thinking to tell that most of those are metaphors and that they all obviously have a meaning behind them. Now I don't believe that you are actually too dumb to understand that.
::sigh::
I know that the Bible is an archaic storybook. I'm not arguing the nothing in it is allegorical or metaphorical or, as in many cases, simply mythical. This discussion is about the people who believe the Bible to be the inerrant word of an omnipotent deity.

I don't know if you don't understand what I said a few posts up or if you chose to ignore it so your argument seems strong, but I'll give it to you again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by VanishPaintball
The level of contradiction between the Bible and science (or reason) is entirely dependent upon the level of flexibility that you afford to the interpretation of the Bible.

If the Bible must be read as the literal and inerrant word of an omnipotent, and eternal deity, the contradictions are staggering.

If the Bible can be read with differing levels of literalism, allegory, allowance of translation error, consideration of cultural relativism, etc., then most of the contradictions can be explained away.

The problem is this: the more flexibly you allow the interpretation of the Bible to become, the more and more meaningless its contents become.
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Seriously now? This is obviously metaphorical. Now you're just being ridiculous.

Referring to John 12: 24-25:

24 Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.
25 Those who love their life lose it, and those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life."

"It is interesting that Jesus chose these words. We know botanically that the embryo in the seed is not dead and does not die before it germinates and grows into a mature plant. What was Jesus trying to say? The words of verse 25 tell us that Jesus saw life as a prelude to something better and more enduring"
Again... I know it's a metaphor. It's an obvious and simple one. But it's wrong. In that time, people almost certainly believed that seeds died, fell to the earth, and sprang to life. The metaphor made sense. If God wrote it, he knew it was wrong and wrote it that way anyhow.

So... it was a metaphor by a man who didn't know any better or it is a poorly thought out metaphor by an omnipotent god who knew it was wrong.
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Giants:Going to have to be more specific
I'm not going to cite all of the verses here. There are many references to Nephilim, sons of Anak, the giants which resulted from the sons of god nailing the daughters of man (angel/human hybrids).

Gen. 6:4
Num. 13:33
Deut 1:28

If you really want to investigate, just go here [http://www.skepticsannotatedbible.co...nce/long.html] and ctrl+F "giant."

Quote:
Originally Posted by 270KIDZ View Post
Dragons: Are you refering to Revelation chapters 12, 13, 16, and 20 which is obviously metaphorical or Job chapters 40-41 which refers to the leviathan and behemoth?

Behemoth:a biblical creature mentioned in the Book of Job, 40:15-24. The word is most likely a plural form of בהמה (bəhēmāh), meaning or large animal

Leviathan: Some propose Leviathan was a Nile crocodile. Like the Leviathan, the Nile crocodile is aquatic, scaly, and possesses fierce teeth. Job 41:18 states that Leviathan's eyes "are like the eyelids of the morning". Others suggest that the Leviathan is an exaggerated account of a whale.

"In the book of Job, both Behemoth and Leviathan are listed alongside a number of other animals that are clearly mundane, such as goats, eagles, and hawks, leading some Christian scholars to surmise that Behemoth and Leviathan may also be mundane creatures."

No metaphor to be explained. Just that people called unknown animals by cooler names a couple thousand years ago.
http://www.biblegateway.com/keyword/... =1&spanend=73

Animals unknown to whom? The bible is the word of god. He made the animals. He led them before Adam to be named. Unless, of course, the inconsistency in nomenclature is a result of the Bible being an archaic storybook written by superstitious men who "called unknown animals by cooler names" or made up tales of dragons, behemoths, giants, leviathans, miracles, and gods... which is the whole point of this discussion.
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Luke 13:18–9 - It is like a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and cast into his garden; and it grew, and waxed a great tree; and the fowls of the air lodged in the branches of it.

Really?
I do appreciate a thorough and articulate rebuttal.

Yes, really. Mustard is an herb. No mustard plant has ever grown into a tree, shooting out branches into which birds went to live.

This error is repeated in Matt, Mark, and Luke.

An error is an error. If it's a metaphor, why not just use an acorn or any of the countless seeds that really do grow into trees?
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Old 11-26-2009, 09:25 PM #71
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Seems like alot of people in this thread could benefit from some college level Anthropology and Biology courses....
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Old 11-26-2009, 09:29 PM #72
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Originally Posted by VanishPaintball View Post
Some do....

Many, however, regard the Bible as the inerrant word of an omnipotent deity.

Also, if it's a metaphor or allegory for something important... what's it symbolizing?

As far a I see, it's simply a myth contrived by ancient man to explain away the billions of years of history that he had no means to understand.



Disclaimer: I had typed a thorough response to this with annotated scripture references and everything. Then Windows Vista decided it was a great time to restart my computer for some really important [entirely inconsequential] update, so it all went *poof*.

This version is going to be comparatively brief and much less elegant. Forgive me.

No problem.
You can't get through Genesis without at least a few dozen. I expect that you will respond that most, if not all, of Genesis is allegorical, so...

In Leviticus rabbits chew cud [they are lagomorphs, not ruminants], some birds (fowls) "go on all four" [all four what? What bird walks on its feet and wings?], bats are birds [fuzzy little bastards, aren't they?], insects have 4 feet; curing leprosy involves killing birds, sheep, and doves and smearing blood and oil all over the place [we have wasted a lot of time studying bacteria].
No idea on the rabbit. I'm no biologist. By the way, Leviticus 11:20 doesn't say birds or fowls. It says flying insects. You are using a bogus translation. About the bats, do you think the ancient Israelites were scientists or something? Or maybe they classified them differently than us. It's not hard to figure out. I'm not even going to comment on that last one, it's just a religious ritual.
Elsewhere in the Bible:

Giants exist
Translational differences?
So do dragons

God stopped the sun in the sky. Given that we now know the Earth to be spherical and the solar system to be heliocentric, this would mean that god actually stopped the earth from rotating. Wouldn't god have known that? Nevermind the effects of stopped rotation.
They sucked at science.
Isaiah later makes the sun move BACKWARD
Above. On this, you don't think it perfectly possible for God to make the earth stop rotating and keep the effects of not rotating contained?
The earth rests on pillars
Clearly metaphorical.
Skip ahead to the NT

Mustard seeds are the smallest seeds... and mustard is not an herb but a big ol' tree.
Um, it's seeds are tiny, maybe smallest in the known world of that time, and mustard is a tree?
The moon produces light
Misunderstanding of science.
Illnesses are caused by evil spirits or the devil
In some cases. Note that "the devil" is not accurate. Satan's followers were also called "devils" or "demons."
Only dead seeds germinate
Really?
Stars can fall to the earth
It's generally accepted amongst scholars that the reference to stars is probably talking about angels.
Etc., etc., ad nauseum.



The Bible is obviously and inarguably not 100% factual. If it is to be interpreted figuratively (as a mix between metaphors, allegories, fables, myths, and history) then there must be some kind of framework for determining what parts are literal and what parts are not. This frmework is entirely subjective. Please see my last post re: this problem.
Yes, it is subjective. How is this a problem?

Alright, let's say you have Revelation. Clearly, not many would say it's 100% literal. If most of the stuff in that book is metaphorical and you come across something that is in question, it is more than likely metaphorical.
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Old 11-26-2009, 09:31 PM #73
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Seems like alot of people in this thread could benefit from some college level Anthropology and Biology courses....
You know I will be taking biology in college!
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Old 11-26-2009, 09:31 PM #74
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Seems like alot of people in this thread could benefit from some college level Anthropology and Biology courses....
Take your logic and get out of this thread, Heathen!
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Old 11-26-2009, 09:35 PM #75
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Take your logic and get out of this thread, Heathen!
Oh, how I do greatly dislike people like you.
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Old 11-26-2009, 09:52 PM #76
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Jealously can do that sometimes. You'll get over it.
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Old 11-26-2009, 09:58 PM #77
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Jealously can do that sometimes. You'll get over it.
You don't even have to worry about me being jealous over you. I am happy to be my own self, thanks.
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Old 11-26-2009, 10:08 PM #78
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Yes, it is subjective. How is this a problem?

Alright, let's say you have Revelation. Clearly, not many would say it's 100% literal. If most of the stuff in that book is metaphorical and you come across something that is in question, it is more than likely metaphorical.
I'm not sure you realize how much we are agreeing with eachother.

I know that most of the factual, chronological, historical, biological, and other errors and contradictions are easily explained by the fact that the Bible is a storybook written by fallible men living in a primitive civilization.

If you acknowledge this and still believe in god, bully for you!

I'm not asserting that any of this means or implies that there is no god.

I am asserting that the errors are proof that the Bible can not be the inerrant word of an omnipotend deity.

My quarrel is with biblical literalists, not rational Christians. I apologize if I did not articulate that clearly.

Notes:

I cite a few entries about giants in a post above. No translational differences, just mythology about hybrid children of angels and people becoming a race of giants. Some passages even give actual figures for the size of the giants. Some say that Goliath was supposedly the last of this race or otherwise descended from them.

I agree that they sucked at science. That's my whole point. If the Bible is literal, then god sucked at science, then he's not god.

The verses which mention the earth resting on pillars are literal descriptions of the physical nature of the earth and the heavens (a la Genesis). Again, they didn't know any better, but god should have.

Thank you for pointing out that "devil" can also mean evil men. Still, even evil men don't cause disease. Viruses, bacteria, physiological anomalies, and toxins do.

I have honestly never heard the argument that "stars" refers to angels. I'll have to plead ignorance on that one. Do you happen to have any decent sources, because I would honestly like to learn more about this interpretation.

The problem with subjectivity is that it conflicts with literalism. If you're not a literalist (which you clearly are not), there's no problem. Keep on keepin' on.

Aside: Thank you sincerely for your insightful, respectful, and articulate discourse. It's the exception to the rule 'round these parts. Know that it's appreciated. I like to disagree with people who can disagree like gentlemen.
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Old 11-26-2009, 10:12 PM #79
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You don't even have to worry about me being jealous over you. I am happy to be my own self, thanks.
I approve of how you can judge my life and personal values over two laughable satirical posts. How very typical of you.
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Old 11-26-2009, 10:32 PM #80
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I'm not sure you realize how much we are agreeing with eachother.

I know that most of the factual, chronological, historical, biological, and other errors and contradictions are easily explained by the fact that the Bible is a storybook written by fallible men living in a primitive civilization.

If you acknowledge this and still believe in god, bully for you!

I'm not asserting that any of this means or implies that there is no god.

I am asserting that the errors are proof that the Bible can not be the inerrant word of an omnipotend deity.

My quarrel is with biblical literalists, not rational Christians. I apologize if I did not articulate that clearly.

Notes:

I cite a few entries about giants in a post above. No translational differences, just mythology about hybrid children of angels and people becoming a race of giants. Some passages even give actual figures for the size of the giants. Some say that Goliath was supposedly the last of this race or otherwise descended from them.

I agree that they sucked at science. That's my whole point. If the Bible is literal, then god sucked at science, then he's not god.

The verses which mention the earth resting on pillars are literal descriptions of the physical nature of the earth and the heavens (a la Genesis). Again, they didn't know any better, but god should have.

Thank you for pointing out that "devil" can also mean evil men. Still, even evil men don't cause disease. Viruses, bacteria, physiological anomalies, and toxins do.

I have honestly never heard the argument that "stars" refers to angels. I'll have to plead ignorance on that one. Do you happen to have any decent sources, because I would honestly like to learn more about this interpretation.

The problem with subjectivity is that it conflicts with literalism. If you're not a literalist (which you clearly are not), there's no problem. Keep on keepin' on.

Aside: Thank you sincerely for your insightful, respectful, and articulate discourse. It's the exception to the rule 'round these parts. Know that it's appreciated. I like to disagree with people who can disagree like gentlemen.
OK, I see what you are saying. I was going to write something about nephilim in there but I forgot. Who honestly knows? Maybe there was an ancient race of giants? Maybe it was just from outside mythology being introduced to Jewish culture and Goliath's features were just over exaggerated?

For the stars, Revelation 1:20 at least hints that stars, at least in Revelation, which is the only place I've seen where stars fall, could be angels:

Revelation 1:20
The mystery of the seven stars that you saw in my right hand and of the seven golden lampstands is this: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.
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I approve of how you can judge my life and personal values over two laughable satirical posts. How very typical of you.
To each his own. Quite frankly, I think you assume way too much. I said nothing of your values or life. My original post in response to your obviously satirical post was to address that while many think that all Christians may be some bigots who stick to a literal translation of the Bible, shun science, reason, and logic, and stick to their own "kind," it is not true. I'm sure some do, many actually, but they should not be a basis for the faith. I and others should not have to say that we are Christians and be ignored and mocked for being anti-science or extremely judgmental.
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Old 11-26-2009, 11:09 PM #81
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Originally Posted by VanishPaintball View Post
Yes, really. Mustard is an herb. No mustard plant has ever grown into a tree, shooting out branches into which birds went to live.

This error is repeated in Matt, Mark, and Luke.

An error is an error. If it's a metaphor, why not just use an acorn or any of the countless seeds that really do grow into trees?
An error is an error and an ignorant person is normally ignorant.

Mustard Plant vs. Mustard Tree
The seed of a mustard plant is small right? Wrong. It's not big but it's certainly not the smallest of seeds. Then what seed do you think Jesus, residing in the middle east, is talking about???

How about the seed of the Salvadora persica? or by common name "The Mustard Tree". We can assume he is talking about this because guess what... It has tiny seeds. Like specks of dust.

Salvadora persica:
Salvadora persica is a tree, normally growing to 6-7 meters tall.
Native : Israel, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, etc
The leaf is somewhat bitter and aromatic, with a taste likened to mustard.


I guess you were right about something there. An error is an error. Maybe this will teach you a lesson. Just because you think you know something is wrong doesn't always make it so.
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Old 11-27-2009, 12:20 AM #82
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You guys seem to both be missing the point.

The Bible has gone through how many translations? Things always get lost in translation, and with metaphors the loss can be particularly damaging to the message.

The question is, can we be taking something which has been translated so many times literally or should we question its text?
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Old 11-27-2009, 01:53 PM #83
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You guys seem to both be missing the point.

The Bible has gone through how many translations? Things always get lost in translation, and with metaphors the loss can be particularly damaging to the message.

The question is, can we be taking something which has been translated so many times literally or should we question its text?
The new testament is written in Greek and is still readable by a large number of people. If there were huge discrepancies between the two, they would have been pointed out and rewritten. The old testament is more complicated but I think it still isn't that far off its intended meaning.

The real problem here is culture not language. People obviously lived way different back then versus now and it causes confusion which leads to ignorant beliefs (seen above in mustard plant vs mustard tree). The only way to really combat those mistakes in logic is to actually do some research and not assume that you know everything.
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Old 11-27-2009, 03:59 PM #84
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Originally Posted by Crede777 View Post
You guys seem to both be missing the point.

The Bible has gone through how many translations? Things always get lost in translation, and with metaphors the loss can be particularly damaging to the message.

The question is, can we be taking something which has been translated so many times literally or should we question its text?
If you have a literal translation, most of these problems are alleviated. Take any version that's translated word for word (so that it is without author or translator interpretation) and it gives you the ability to interpret it however you want. I've been reading Young's Literal Translation lately. It is a word for word translation. Translator's put their own interpretations often in the Bible based on what they think it means and that's why many Bible versions are impure. They should not be interpreted at all by the translators, but only by the readers.
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