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Thread: The Tangent Topic (Currently: Homosexuality and Religion)

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    Default The Tangent Topic (Currently: Homosexuality and Religion)

    Okay, so I figure we could use a little experiment here. This'll be called "The Tangent Topic," and we'll use it as a detour thread, of sorts, for brief discussions that break off from the topics of our main debate threads. This will come in handy if we have mini-topics we want to settle for the purpose of use in another debate that are too indirect to fit the debate, but a thread specifically for them hasn't been opened yet.

    Things we see in here might become full-fledged debates, or they might just get talked about and then get replaced by new tangential topics. So, in order to promote both of those outcomes, the limit for a single topic in this thread will be two pages of Serebii default (specifically, 40 posts). After that, the topic will be changed or closed, whatever suits our needs.

    If this turns out not to be too useful, or not to work the way I envision it, we can scrap the idea. No biggie. =P

        Spoiler:- Topic #1: Biblical Interpretation:
    Last edited by Profesco; 26th May 2012 at 6:50 PM.

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    Is this a thread to combine debates together?
    Jackpot!

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    Quote Originally Posted by marioguy View Post
    Is this a thread to combine debates together?
    He just said what it was for. When people in a debate thread start arguing about something not entirely related to the topic (like what happened in the "Santorum bans porn" thread) they move to here to continue the argument. It's actually a really good idea; people can continue their argument without derailing the original topic.
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    You are a genius Profesco.

    ...if you want though you really could just name it "The 'geez mattj stop spamming up threads every time somebody makes a disagreeable offtopic comment about the Bible' thread." though, just so its clear...

    First off, I want to thank you JDavidC for you well thought out, well organized, on-topic post. Its quite clear that you did a lot of thinking and a lot of research. I appreciate that. Very good work. We need more people like you here in Debate.

    I also can't help but mention that my little step-brother's name is James David (where I get the J in mattJ), and my last name is Carter, so everyone used to call him James Carter, thinking we were natural brothers. So every time I see your username I can't help but think of my little brother James David/Carter. Thanks. :3

    I broke everything down into spoilers because this is a 26,900 or so character post. Every time someone makes a post longer than 12 inches, a baby seal dies. I'm doing my part to save the baby seal population.

        Spoiler:- We agree!! D: :
        Spoiler:- Does the fact that lists of alleged contradictions exist necessitate that the Bible contains contradictions?:
        Spoiler:- Do verses in I Kings 5, I Kings 9, and II Chronicles 8 really, plainly contradict each other?:
        Spoiler:- If the Bible contains at least one error, it likely contains many more.:
        Spoiler:- Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13: Do they condemn homosexual sex or defiling your wife's bed?:
        Spoiler:- Do God's rules have to make sense to you and me?:
        Spoiler:- Does Romans 1:26-27 condemn homosexual acts or lust in general and sex acts that don't feel natural to you personally?:
        Spoiler:- Does the story of Sodom and Gomorrah demonstrate that God condemns homosexuality, or that God condemns rape?:
        Spoiler:- Has the Bible been tampered with or distorted over the years?:


    So, in retrospective, I appreciate your thoughts, I really do. But I cannot help but disagree with several points you made. The Bible quite clearly does condemn homosexuality in multiple places. There is also no evidence whatsoever that the Bible contains errors or contradictions anywhere. In like manner, there is absolutely no evidence that the Bible has been tampered with in any manner beyond the normal evolution of language and the normal limitations of translation, neither of which are serious enough to warrant any concern. And finally, God's rules do not have to make sense to you and me before he puts them into practice.

    Now, off to play more KI:U

    wooooooooooooooooooooooooo!
    Last edited by mattj; 24th March 2012 at 9:51 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JDavidC View Post
    As I've said before. There are MANY things that have happened to the Bible since its creation. Translation from the original languages alone has a massive potential for corruption. That is, it may be hard to translate the text in such a way that it can be easily interpreted in its original meaning. Not only that, but the Bible consists heavily of reports of historical/future events. With historical events, if you don't know your world history around the times that the actual events were occurring, then it's going to make it much harder to understand what's going on. Cultures would have been very different from the ones a lot of people are used to around here. Barbaric laws would probably have been the norm then, God or no God.
    First, I'm going to point out that it is flat-out wrong that translating from an ancient language "has a massive potential for corruption." At least generally, people do not make this claim about ancient Greek historians, mathematicians, philosophers, etc. Many of the people who make this claim tend to forget that people who study ancient languages actually do have knowledge. Their work is not made up of, "Hmm...I'm going to have to just make a huge guess about this chapter, because I have no idea what any of the words mean." (I hope everyone can realize I'm being a bit ridiculous here for effect--I don't mean to imply that anyone on the Debate Forum has recently made any claims about Bible translation being guesswork.)

    I do not deny that there is some potential for error in translation. I believe some translations are better than others (though I am gaining some respect for translations that I had previously heard negative things about). However, the very fact that there are many translations allows us to compare them. Such a comparison shows that corruption has not occurred on any kind of scale. It is not as though the original Christians worshiped a goddess, or that translators added most of Jesus' sayings, or that translators made up many of the miracles in the Bible.


    Quote Originally Posted by JDavidC View Post
    I'm going to look for a very clear-cut contradiction:
    http://bible.cc/1_kings/9-23.htm

    That link I found when looking at one contradiction gives you cross-references to contradicting verses. It seems the number of supervisors cannot be agreed upon in three different places in the Bible. The numbers mentioned vary widely in each case: 250, 550, 3300.

    The fact that at least 1 corruption exists proves that the Bible was corrupted at least once, possibly even as it was being written. It is NOT an error-free document. People need to be very careful when reading it. Simply taking everything any Bible says at face value, without thinking about it critically, is a recipe for disaster.

    At least two out of three of those verses must be incorrect.
    Since I'm not sure what you meant in your post, please bear with me because I'm starting out by responding to something I'm not sure you mean: If you mean that different translations of that verse give different numbers, I just want to point out that all the translations on that page quoted that verse as saying that there were 550 chief officers/officials/supervisors. That would disprove claims that the verse as we now have it has been garbled as a result of translation.

    Now, I will move on to what I'm pretty sure you are saying. For the moment, and for the sake of argument, I'm going to assume these passages are contradictory. This does not prove that any one of them is the result of anything that people should label "corruption." There does not appear to be any manuscript or translation issue here. You haven't shown that these texts got this way by some process of tampering. If I agreed that these verses contradicted, I would have to conclude that they most likely contradicted as long as each text has been in existence. If I believed this were the case, it would be best to label this, not a corruption, but an error in the text.

    However, consider the fact that there are some commentaries on that webpage, and some of them seek to explain that apparent discrepancy. I'm not going to get into the issue, but it is possible that these different texts are counting different things. There are passages in the gospels which confuse me waaaaay more than the ones you cited.


    Quote Originally Posted by JDavidC View Post
    Furthermore, people may write books in ways that are hard to understand. Consider the following:
    Proverbs 26:4-5 (two consecutive verses!)
    Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him.
    Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit.

    Yes, this is going to appear contradictory when you look at it. With some thinking, this can work: Don't answer a fool in the way the fool talks (e.g. don't argue (in the ad hominem sense) with idiots that will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience), but, if you can answer with logic, and without resorting to attacks/trolling, then you can correct said fool, so said fool becomes less foolish (I'm beginning to feel like Franziska Von Karma from the Ace Attorney series here...).
    I really want to thank you for pointing this out. Indeed, those are two of my favorite verses. In any case, I'm glad to be able to say that, even if we don't agree on everything, we agree on some things.

    Quote Originally Posted by JDavidC View Post
    The following is an example of an entire doctrine that seems to have crept in, where it should not have:
    http://www.tentmaker.org/books/hell-...explained.html
    First, I'd like to say that the webpage does not argue that any teachings were, properly speaking, added to the Bible. Take note of what the author does say:
    The author of this book believes that no text of Scripture, properly understood, in any manner traverses the grand central truth of the Gospel: God's triumph over all his foes, converting them to himself; and he has arranged these expositions in a brief and popular style for the purpose of showing that the Threatenings of the Bible are perfectly harmonious with the Promises of Scripture; in fact, that the threatenings are given in order that the promises of Universal Redemption may be fulfilled.
    Here he says, not that people changed the biblical texts, but that they simply misinterpret them. Once again, this is not the same as corruption. If, to take a really bizarre example, Shakespeare's play Romeo and Juliet had never said that anybody died in the end and people simply misinterpreted it as saying that these two lovers died, that would not mean that Romeo and Juliet had been corrupted.

    But to examine some of his specific claims, note a few very important things that he says early on. In the section on Adam's punishment, he rightly points out that the text never specifies an afterlife as the punishment for disobedience. However, note one of the scholars he quotes in the next section:
    Warburton: In the Jewish Republic, both the rewards and punishments promised by heaven were temporal only: such as health, long life, peace, plenty, and dominion, etc.; diseases, premature death, war, famine, want, subjections, and captivity, etc. And in no one place of the Mosaic Institutes is there the least mention, or intelligible hint, of the rewards and punishments of another life.--Div Leg. vol.3.
    Mark these words carefully, for they do not deny simply eternal punishment, but also eternal reward. If we are to take the alleged silence of the Old Testament as evidence against an afterlife with punishment for evildoers, it would also be evidence against an afterlife with rewards for the righteous. Yet the author himself does not wish to take that conclusion. thus his usage of that quote, as well as of that general area of data, is not honest.

    Let's look at another example, from his discussion of "the strait gate". First, he quotes Luke 13:23, which I will not discuss. In any case, he goes on to quote Matthew 7:13-14:
    "Enter ye in at the strait gate, for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: because, strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it."

    As we just said, it is entirely inconsistent for any advocate of endless punishment to quote this language in support of that doctrine, inasmuch as all such believers now teach that the great majority of souls will be finally saved, while only the small minority will be forever lost. The Savior referred, by the Strait Gate, to the exacting nature of his religion. The road was narrow, and difficult to follow, and but few then followed it, while the many avoided it, and pursued the broad road of error and sin.
    It is one thing to point out that this passage doesn't specify any punishment being eternal. Yet it does not allow for everyone eventually being saved. His argument is very much inaccurate. To say that all who believe the wicked will be punished eternally also believe that many will be saved is simply an inaccuracy. In fact, when the author says he believes that few were being saved in Jesus' day, he sets fire to his own argument. Think of all the nonbelieving pagans who lived in Jesus' day. Though extremely few worship the Roman gods today, could we possibly believe that the billions of Hindus, Muslims, and name-only Christians do not outnumber the Christians who are saved? Also, it is entirely arbitrary to take the verse as being only about "the exacting nature of the religion." It doesn't just say that the gate is narrow; Jesus makes it plain that many choose the path of destruction.

    There are just a few more things I'd like to point out. In the section on "The Bad Cast Away," the author makes more erroneous statements. It is amazing that he quotes a scholar presumptuous enough to say that we can know for sure that no Christians died in the 70 A.D. destruction of Jerusalem. Now that is uncritical thinking. Also, he is inaccurate to say that the Bible never says the world will end. Since II Peter 3 and Revelation 20 speak of earth and heaven being completely gone, and new heavens and a new earth replacing them, the Bible does indicate that the world will end, even if the word "world" is not used there.

    Finally, he simply doesn't deal properly with Matthew 25:41. In this section, he argues that the punishment described in most translations as "eternal" or "everlasting" cannot be so because of grammar, despite the fact that many translations agree in using this term. Additionally the author is spouting insane things by arguing that this passage could speak of a remedial punishment, since it expressly says that this fire is prepared for the devil and his angels!



    Quote Originally Posted by mattj View Post
    But what about other alleged distortion? What about the process of replicating texts pre-printing press? What about scheming monks? What about translating a translation of a translation of a translation?

    Bring a single example of any of those and I'll address it. Or better yet, just google "Does ______ really prove that the Bible was tampered with/distorted?" and you'll get the same answer I'll probably provide myself.

    Here's a challenge I'll make right here and I'd be happy to take on anyone who wishes to take me up: Provide a single, physical, textual example of Biblical distortion, either purposeful or unintentional. You can't because they don't exist. There's this ridiculous urban legend/myth that the Bible is a translation of a translation, and that devious monks wrote extra stuff in and erased other stuff and that foolish scribes accidentally mispelled celibate when they were supposed to spell celibrate and therefore changed the meaning of of the text. That's all fine and well. It makes for good "what ifs". But provide a single, physical, textual example of it.

    I personally see the fact that such examples have not been found, over the 3,500 or so years that the books of the Bible have existed as evidence that such examples do not exist at all.
    With apologies for taking this out of the spoiler, I'd like to add that it is one thing for a manuscript, some manuscripts, or even all manuscripts to contain spelling errors somewhere. It just happens. Yet these are easy to detect and correct. However, there are also other scribal errors in many manuscripts, and they can be corrected by the many other manuscripts in existence. In any case, errors in some manuscripts or translations do not mean that the Bible as we know it contains deliberate or accidental alterations that prove it is not the same writing or collection of writings it once was.
    Last edited by TheFightingPikachu; 24th March 2012 at 10:02 PM.

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    Mattj, when you make the distinction between 'natural' and 'natural function' where does it say in Romans 1:26-27 that the natural function of a man and a woman is the same thing natural function of their respective sexual organs? I apologize that I can't understand a majority of this conversation, but I still have a few thoughts, so be patient with me. So if I'm understanding this, women abandoned men for other women and men abandoned women for other men. Is it possible that this passage mourns the division between the sexes in general and how being exclusionary puts their morals at a disadvantage? 'Indecent acts' could refer to the rise of sexism and the pitfalls of having a male-only cabal in charge of society. Think of predominantly male occupations and how they have a reputation of being rude, perverted, and indecent. Men can act in a certain indecent ways when they only stay around their own gender and exclude women. All of the same goes for an exclusively feminine group in different ways, although I hear there are less examples of that historically.

    It seems to me that your answer to this point just took the debate back to the well-established fact that 'natural' is the most vague, fuzzy and subjective term anyone can use, and it doesn't really help to pair it with the word 'function' because function can refer to anything since everything functions. When you jumped to describing the natural function of sex organs, I had de ja vu of some of the posters who come in and don't use any religious support, and jump to 'men and women are supposed to have sex with each other!' and leave it at that. This just seems to validate the reoccuring claim that any devout Christian could be an athiest and still have the same opinion about homosexuality not because they are following their religion, but because of their personal assumptions that they pick up for whatever reasons.

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    @ TheFightingPikachu:
    When I said "the normal evolution of language and the normal limitations of translation" in my conclusion, I should have included "the normal limitations of transmission" i.e. typos. You are 100% correct and I would not want to give the false impression that the transmission of the Biblical texts was 100% flawless all the time. Archaeologists dig up dump sites chock full of typo'd manuscripts all the time over in Israel and thereabout. I don't see this as evidence that the scribes did a bad job though. I see it as evidence that they did a good job. If there were no dumps full of almost finished typo'd manuscripts, and we know they didn't have erasers, that would mean that those inevitable typos would definitely have made it into circulation. The dumps are evidence that they didn't. But yeah. People are fallible and typos did happen.

    @SunnyC:
    I'll be as patient as you need me to be.

    I'm certain that Romans 1:26-27 is speaking of homosexuality and not the division and segregation of the sexes because of the phrase:
    men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another
    . Natural function can really only mean 1 thing here. It doesn't say "camaraderie toward one another". I'm sure you know there are numerous Koine words to describe all kinds of relationships from platonic to loving to lustful. Here it says "burned in their desire/lust (orexis) toward one another". The whole section is chock full of sexuality too; "passion, burning desire, lust of their hearts". These weren't just chums.

    The point I attempted to make was that while JDavidC claimed that Romans 1 condemns "Doing what doesn't feel natural to you personally", the text says "natural function" not "feels natural". A function is not a feeling. The words of the text itself do not support his position.

    My position is that Romans 1 here condems the act of homosexuality. The words of the text themselves clearly back this up.

    Homo: "men abandoned ... wom[e]n and burned in their desire toward one another" "men with men "
    Sexual: "the lusts of their hearts" "their bodies" "degrading passions" desire toward one another" "committing [fn]indecent acts"

    If I'm not making any sense just say so and point out where and how.
    Last edited by mattj; 25th March 2012 at 12:09 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jigglychu View Post
    He just said what it was for. When people in a debate thread start arguing about something not entirely related to the topic (like what happened in the "Santorum bans porn" thread) they move to here to continue the argument. It's actually a really good idea; people can continue their argument without derailing the original topic.
    I guess now that we have the tangential thread, the Santorum porn thread can finally be moved to the debate forum. We can have all the Bible talk here from now on.
    Jackpot!

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    Quote Originally Posted by mattj View Post
    @ TheFightingPikachu:
    When I said "the normal evolution of language and the normal limitations of translation" in my conclusion, I should have included "the normal limitations of transmission" i.e. typos. You are 100% correct and I would not want to give the false impression that the transmission of the Biblical texts was 100% flawless all the time. Archaeologists dig up dump sites chock full of typo'd manuscripts all the time over in Israel and thereabout. I don't see this as evidence that the scribes did a bad job though. I see it as evidence that they did a good job. If there were no dumps full of almost finished typo'd manuscripts, and we know they didn't have erasers, that would mean that those inevitable typos would definitely have made it into circulation. The dumps are evidence that they didn't. But yeah. People are fallible and typos did happen.
    Thanks man! Honestly, it is rather amazing how even some of the greatest manuscripts like the Dead Sea Scrolls have quite a few obvious, easily corrected errors of spelling.

    BTW, I also wanted to mention that the "celibate"/"celebrate" thing is absolutely hilarious, especially because it only makes sense in English!



    Now, to respond to a few more things from JDavidC's post:
    Quote Originally Posted by JDavidC View Post
    I've taken on Leviticus 18:22 in one of my previous posts: The act of two men lying down together in a woman's bed is what is forbidden. It's basically misusing the propery of the woman, almost certainly to commit adultery, that seems to be what is being condemned as a major sin. Going down the homosexual angle instead, given the fact that people, in general, do NOT choose their sexual orientation, means that a fatal logical contradiction occurs with God's character. Now, God is supposed to be omnipotent, omniscient, and perfectly good. When it comes to law, any law must ultimately be for the benefit of the society it is given to (more good than harm done, not necessarily no harm). Stating that engaging in homosexual activity is a sin would require very good reasoning, especially if there are people that are homosexual by NATURE. You need to ask yourself, is there anything ELSE going on that may be a sin? Condemning homosexuality as a sin does not make sense, given that such a relationship may be conducted with the only major difference being the genders of the people involved. The actual activity does not affect other people. Unless it can be proven that it causes significant harm that seriously outweighs the harm of forbidding it, then I don't see any logical reason for it to be a sin. I would like to note I am applying 1 Thessalonians 5:21 explicitly here. When I test to see whether it implies that homosexuality is a sin, I don't see any evidence supporting it, instead, I see evidence suggesting an alternative, which does make sense. In this case, it's a man cheating on his wife with another man, in her bed! Adultery and defilement of her property (which is what it may have been seen as back then) would be an 'abomination' as far as sins are concerned. Furthermore, I have seen, elsewhere, that the word translated to 'abomination' is translated better to 'cultural taboo'. That taboo would, probably, be misusing the bed.
    I'm going to note a few things. First, you have loaded down your argument with beliefs about the goodness of God and the inborn nature of homosexuality. I would agree that God is good, but I would disagree that homosexuality is inborn. In addition, I would not argue that it is right to start translating with the perspective that "we know God is good, therefore we must avoid translations that make Him sound bad." Translation should be done objectively, and if a passage does not square with what people believe about God, then we are left with something difficult.

    To take an example, I don't believe David and Jonathan were gay. However, I facepalm at non-gay Christians who simply argue, "That translation can't be correct because the Mosaic Law condemned homosexuality and we don't hear anything about them being in trouble with the law on that account." Since the meaning of passages in the Mosaic Law is also being debated by just about everyone who thinks David and Jonathan were gay, this is to ignore the basic problem that each text needs to be analyzed without assuming that all these other texts support the traditional view.

    Second, I'd like to see a neutral Hebrew source that indicates that "taboo" is the meaning, not "abomination." With only pro-gay sources, I have strong grounds for believing that this is just a pro-gay revision.

    Third, I'd like to point out that the word that pro-gay Christians like to translate as "bed" is a word that clearly indicates sex. Even with the woodenly literal, hardly English that the pro-gay sites tend to use for that passage, the meaning would be "You shall not lie (sexually) with a man in the lying (sexually) of a woman." The attempt to remove the condemnation of homosexual actions does not work; it is undoubtedly the result of modern people who have a motive for avoiding this conclusion. There is a reason why this claim is proposed by pro-gay websites.

    Regarding your argument about Romans 1, I'm first going to agree with mattj, the passage doesn't say anything about something being "natural for you." When natural is used in that way, the meaning refers to things that are natural for humanity, not for any one human's tendencies. Natural does not mean "something that isn't artificial" (so as to condemn the drinking of canned soda), nor does it mean "existing or taking place in the natural world" (which would mean everything in the world is okay!).

    Also, I'd like to point out that that passage does not say anything about pagan sex orgies. It also fails to say that these God-ignoring people only did these things at certain times, as something like a temple ritual might indicate. It uses the word "abandoned," which very strongly indicates that these people were not just doing all sorts of bad sexual stuff on-again-off-again. They abandoned natural sexual relations, the ones that have been around just about as long as humans have.

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    Whelp, that's about all I had to say for the subject. It was speculation anyway. Interested to see what JDavidC comes back with.

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    OK. This is going to be very long, considering what I have to respond to. I'm not going to put in my entire response at once, as this will take way too long, so I wil be editing this post. BTW, I'm named after King David (and Jonathan), in the Bible. I'm going to have to use spoiler sections myself now.

        Spoiler:- mattj:

    I'll get on to answering other posts at a later time, by editing this one if necessary. I'll get on to TFP's post later, as it's going to take a lot of time to try to respond to it propperly.
    Last edited by JDavidC; 25th March 2012 at 11:17 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JDavidC View Post
    There is something very strange regarding the second commandment (Exodus 20:3 in both cases above). In the Douay-Rheims version, it has been modified to have no strange gods before God, where in many other versions, including the KJV, it refers to have no gods before God, regardless of whether or not they are strange. It seems very suspect to say the least. The only way this could not be tampering would be for all gods except God to be 'strange'. I don't see any amount of mental gymnastics that could be employed in order to conclude, beyond reasonable doubt, that Exodus 20:3 say the same thing in both Bibles. Therefore, as far as I can tell, there is enough evidence, beyond reasonable doubt (the standard used in courts of law), to prove that the Bible has been tampered with. Specifically, the meaning, and any legitimate interpretation of the 2nd commandment at Exodus 20:3 has been altered.

    Furthermore, the Douay-Rheims Bible I mentioned has 7 additional books that do not exist at all in other Bibles. Is this tampering by itself? The end of Revelation contains a passage, however, it appears to concern not modifying the prophecy in Revelation specifically. It's hard to tell whether something like adding 7 books counts as tampering, considering that people would have decided which books belong as an anthology, and people may have decided differently. I don't know the answer to this question myself, and in any case, I'm done with research for the time being.
    What you mention is interesting. First in regard to the different books, it is crucial to understand that the Douay-Rheims Bible is a Catholic translation. Thus it is understandable that they include some books that Protestants do not. (Protestant, just to be clear, means "non-Catholic.") I'm not one to defend the inclusion of these other books, as I believe they are not from God. On the other hand, it should be noted that the original version of the 1611 KJV also contained these books, which is something that very few "KJV Only" Protestants know (but that's neither here nor there).

    Now, I want to avoid making it sound like, since I'm not Catholic, well, I'm just totally suspicious that this Catholic translation is badly done, and full of places where the translators tried to insert Catholicism in the text. While it may have happened, I think it was pretty rare. In fact, I'm glad to have met several Catholics on these Forums who hold so many beliefs in common with me. Honestly, I tend to note that translations can be misunderstood because of being several centuries old, like the one you mentioned and the KJV. But in any case, the way that particular verse is translated hardly seems like an attempt to insert Catholic doctrine, nor like something that is just hard because time has passed. It could be a poor translation--that happens to the best of them, Protestant, Catholic, liberal or conservative. Now, if you note which words are parallel in those two translations, it seems that "strange" and "other" are meant to translate the same word. Those words aren't quite synonyms in English, but there is some connection between them. Maybe "strange" isn't the best rendering, but it doesn't seem like a bad translation either.


    Also, take as long as you need in responding to me! I just want to add that even though there have been plenty of areas about which we have disagreed, you have explained your view calmly, and generally been an enjoyable guy to debate. For that, I give you thanks!

    Sprites ripped by Yoshi Clone of spritersresource.com. Banner by my brother ShinySandshrew.

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    The Bible also indicates that the Universe is ~6000 years old, and that the Earth was created in six days(as God rested on the seventh day).

    Since we know the speed of light, and the distance of stars that we have mapped, this is proven incorrect.
    "He that breaks a thing to find out what it is has left the path of wisdom."
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    Could you post the scripture that indicates that the universe is around 6000 years old so we can all discuss it? I can't seem to find it in my Bible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mattj View Post
    Could you post the scripture that indicates that the universe is around 6000 years old so we can all discuss it? I can't seem to find it in my Bible.
    You need to get the author's definitive issue then. Just kidding. The whole idea that the Bible says that the earth is about 6000 years old comes from some idiots called Young Earth creationists who estimated the Earth's age based on various things in the Bible including the lineage of Joseph located in in Mark. Since, Joseph is like only 40 generations away from Adam, people thought that the Earth could only be a few thousand years old.
    Jackpot!

    I have a theory that the Pokémon world and the Mother world are one in the same. I won't go into spoilers for Mother 3, but think of Black and White's story of the dragon and the twins. Also, chimeras are kind of like Pokémon.

    Werster is without a doubt the Pokémon Master.

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    Quote Originally Posted by marioguy View Post
    You need to get the author's definitive issue then. Just kidding. The whole idea that the Bible says that the earth is about 6000 years old comes from some idiots called Young Earth creationists who estimated the Earth's age based on various things in the Bible including the lineage of Joseph located in in Mark. Since, Joseph is like only 40 generations away from Adam, people thought that the Earth could only be a few thousand years old.
    No, the idea is far older than that. It is based on the estimation of generations until Jesus from Adam, and Eve(four thousand years). The New Testament makes the claim that Jesus lived about two thousand years ago. Viola, six thousand.


    If you want to deny the implications made about the generations from Adam to Jesus, I can always refer you elsewhere:

    -the talking snake
    -the talking, burning bush
    -kill your son Abraham {just 'cause}
    -persecute Job {win a bet with Satan}
    -"virgin birth" of Jesus
    -walking on water
    -rising from the dead
    -faith healing

    I've got more.

    To exist in our Universe, you must obey the laws of science. God(if he/she/it exists) must obey these laws as well. The laws that govern reality do not refute the existence of God, but they do bind the ability to interact in an omnipotent sense on this plane of existence.
    "He that breaks a thing to find out what it is has left the path of wisdom."
    Gandalf to Saruman

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    Time to invoke the power of multi-quote!
        Spoiler:- Response to TFP:
    Last edited by JDavidC; 26th March 2012 at 1:23 PM.
    I will not trade for hacked/cloned pokemon.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zevn View Post
    No, the idea is far older than that. It is based on the estimation of generations until Jesus from Adam, and Eve(four thousand years). The New Testament makes the claim that Jesus lived about two thousand years ago. Viola, six thousand.
    Thank you for not correcting me. If it was the lineage of Jesus, the line would feature Mary, but it instead featured Joseph, Jesus's adoptive dad. It was from Joseph to Adam.
    Jackpot!

    I have a theory that the Pokémon world and the Mother world are one in the same. I won't go into spoilers for Mother 3, but think of Black and White's story of the dragon and the twins. Also, chimeras are kind of like Pokémon.

    Werster is without a doubt the Pokémon Master.

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    Quote Originally Posted by marioguy View Post
    Thank you for not correcting me. If it was the lineage of Jesus, the line would feature Mary, but it instead featured Joseph, Jesus's adoptive dad. It was from Joseph to Adam.
    Not much point in it, the indication of the age of the Universe is clearly implied by the Bible.

    There is only so long someone can live, and even assuming everyone in the line bred at the latest possible time, it's still vastly incorrect.
    "He that breaks a thing to find out what it is has left the path of wisdom."
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zevn View Post
    Not much point in it, the indication of the age of the Universe is clearly implied by the Bible.

    There is only so long someone can live, and even assuming everyone in the line bred at the latest possible time, it's still vastly incorrect.
    "Bob son of Bob," could account for multiple generations. Noah was said to live for 900 years.
    Jackpot!

    I have a theory that the Pokémon world and the Mother world are one in the same. I won't go into spoilers for Mother 3, but think of Black and White's story of the dragon and the twins. Also, chimeras are kind of like Pokémon.

    Werster is without a doubt the Pokémon Master.

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    Quote Originally Posted by marioguy View Post
    "Bob son of Bob," could account for multiple generations. Noah was said to live for 900 years.
    And his one boat full of people had enough genetic diversity to repopulate a world... Without inbreeding!

    So true!

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    Okay, what I'm going to say to Zevn should be noted by everybody in this debate.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zevn View Post
    No, the idea is far older than that. It is based on the estimation of generations until Jesus from Adam, and Eve(four thousand years). The New Testament makes the claim that Jesus lived about two thousand years ago. Viola, six thousand.


    If you want to deny the implications made about the generations from Adam to Jesus, I can always refer you elsewhere:

    -the talking snake
    -the talking, burning bush
    -kill your son Abraham {just 'cause}
    -persecute Job {win a bet with Satan}
    -"virgin birth" of Jesus
    -walking on water
    -rising from the dead
    -faith healing

    I've got more.

    To exist in our Universe, you must obey the laws of science. God(if he/she/it exists) must obey these laws as well. The laws that govern reality do not refute the existence of God, but they do bind the ability to interact in an omnipotent sense on this plane of existence.
    To respond to the last first, God doesn't exist inside the universe. The laws of physics, chemistry, etc. are not the laws of all reality, and in fact, we cannot exclude the possibility of something existing outside of this plane of existence.

    Most of the things you mentioned are expressly indicated as supernatural occurrences. The biblical authors didn't think that virgins could conceive naturally. The resurrection is never presented as a natural event, but instead is an act of God. If you think that everything in the Bible is supposed to be a natural event, you will get the wrong idea, plain and simple.

    In any case (and this is the part that I especially want everyone to hear), the whole issue of the age of the earth caused me to become a sharp critic of creation-science. From the claims I heard in one particular Young Earth Creationist book, I realized that their whole case is far shakier than they most often acknowledged. I still believe that the earth is probably not much more than six thousand years, but I don't attempt to prove it unless one already believes the Bible. I don't know how to reconcile the data with the literal reading of the text. And I don't hold to this belief anywhere near as strongly as I believe the core of the faith, that Jesus gave His life to pay for sins and came back from the dead by God's power. I struggle with this age of the earth difficulty, and will probably continue to for the rest of my time on earth.

    Quote Originally Posted by JDavidC View Post
    In the definition of corruption I used, I included 'error' in it. Errors corrupt the truth, and render logical arguments faulty.
    I'm just going to seriously caution you about this usage: Many skeptics argue that the Bible has been corrupted, whether by translation or by manuscript errors. Also, textual critics (people who study manuscripts) use the term "corruption" to denote errors in manuscripts, places where the manuscript doesn't reflect the original text. Neither group uses the word in the way you are using it, which strongly suggests that your usage will cause considerable confusion.

    In this case, it may be necessary to use different terms. I'm just going to say up front that when I'm talking about whether the Bible has been mistranslated by King James (or something like that), I'm going to use words like "altered" or "changed." (I will still use terms like "mistranslation" or "manuscript error.") When I'm discussing whether the original text of any biblical document contains erroneous statements put there either by the original author or by the God I believe to be behind it all, I will say something like "mistake," "incorrect" or "wrong."

    Quote Originally Posted by JDavidC View Post
    It's still a translation issue that would be confusing, I might have to investigate later to see if strange and other are supposed to be synonymous here.
    I don't know how I forgot, but the Douay Bible is supposed to have been translated from Latin, because Catholics considered the Vulgate the version to use. I think it best to translate from the original; translating from a secondary translation could indeed help add to confusion.

    (Since I'm sure it's obvious, I apologize for taking your post completely out of order!)

    Quote Originally Posted by JDavidC View Post
    http://givesgoodemail.com/tag/toevah/ BTW, I would advise you to analyse the argument on its own merits. You can choose to use potential bias as a means for reducing the probability that it is true, but to go as far as to dismiss it as false is a logical fallacy. Ad hominem arguments are limited to altering evidentiary weight of some arguments, but not for going all the way to definitely true/false. Furthermore, now this is just a guess, I suspect that maybe, you may be quick to dismiss pro-gay sources because there is the possibility that you may have a bias, due to homosexuality being radically different to heterosexuality. There are parts that I would find very different to my own nature too, and I wouldn't want to act in a way that matches their nature, because it does not match my own nature (which is heterosexual). Also, given what I have said previously, I seriously doubt that pro-gay people are like that because they want to choose sin, they would be like that because homosexual nature is part of who homosexual people are, and I don't see any evidence that suggests otherwise.
    I would agree that I should look at the argument on its own merits, and I continually seek to test any such claims against proper linguistic resources. The problem I see is that if these arguments are apparently almost always coming from the pro-gay side, then they have an obvious motive for claiming that these verses don't condemn homosexuality. I don't think this disproves their claim, but it certainly hurts it.

    Regarding the site you linked there, I point out first that they say of Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13, "This particular text was changed during the translation of the King James scribes." The documentation for this bold claim is found where? We should take seriously the Christopher Hitchens quote at the very top of the page: "That which can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence."

    That doesn't disprove the claim, but it suggests carelessness. And examining the evidence shows that the basic claim is also careless. The Hebrew word used in that passage means more than just "non-traditional/against tradition," and we can find this out by comparing usage elsewhere. Good examples include Deuteronomy 7:25; Proverbs 11:1; 12:22; and especially Proverbs 16:22. These positively refute that reductionist definition.

    Quote Originally Posted by JDavidC View Post
    For starters, the passage deals with men lying with other men, what about women? There's something fishy about the law being gender-specific here, if it is supposed to condemn homosexuality. Furthermore, if homosexuality was being condemned, then why not simply say do not engage in homosexual relationships explicitly? Other verses are quite explicit about what is not acceptable, why wouldn't this one be?
    Lesbianism was almost unheard of back in those times. It was still rare at around the time Romans 1 was written, just not quite as rare. (It's still not common today.)

    In a way, I think this helps answer your other question. There was no need for such a judicial command. Additionally, just based on the evidence from the Romans 1 and I Corinthians 6, it appears lesbianism is not condemned as strongly as males lying with males. As you've mentioned, I hope the responses I get won't make me need any brain bleach, but just from what I have heard about the difference between male homosexuality and lesbianism, I don't think that is fishy at all.

    Quote Originally Posted by JDavidC View Post
    Note that Romans 1, there were people exchanging their existing heterosexual relationships for homosexual ones. i.e. People, with the normal nature, goes for an alternative one that is in violation of their own nature. That sounds like a recipe for disaster.
    The passage does not allow for different people to have different natures. This passage discusses what is fundamental to human nature, and not tendencies of individual humans.

    In addition to all of this, you still have passages like I Corinthians 7:2, "But because of immoralities, each man should have relations with his own wife and each woman with her own husband." If God were going to allow homosexual marriage, could He not have said so somewhere? (I'm not sure whether you believe David and Jonathan were a same-sex couple, but one of the very texts used to support this notion actually disproves it.)

    Quote Originally Posted by JDavidC View Post
    I'm not going to claim that everything said by that author is accurate, but some of the points do make sense. As for heaven and earth passing away, is there a possibility that this is symbolic, rather than literal, especially considering Revelation is full of symbology?
    How could statements like, "Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whom earth and heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them." (Rev. 20:11 NKJV), and "Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away." (Rev 21:1) be a symbol representing God keeping the present heavens and earth going?


    Quote Originally Posted by JDavidC View Post
    I'm going to refer to this site again: http://www.tentmaker.org/books/GatesOfHell.html

    OK, why did I link that? I'm aware that it is a very long read, but there are 2 major issues. Translating words such as 'Sheol' and so on into Hell. Not only that, but the greek word aeonian is mistranslated into eternity, rather than an indefinite, or long period of time. Put together, you get Bible verses suggesting an eternity in Hell. Furthermore, people may have their own agendas with going for inaccurate translations, such as scaring people into believing God with threats of eternal punishment, or more sinister people may use it as a tool to control people with a false, modified religion. The entire doctrine of Hell popped up with these translations, and it is by far the most damning doctrine against Christianity today. While it is not possible to understand how the mind of God works, and hence rendering judgment is nigh-impossible, when it comes to matters that deal with effects that last forever, judgment of character is possible. Eternally punishing anyone is inconsistent with the character of a perfect, good, all-powerful being that is supposed to have infinite/maximum love. A lot of the other things God does in the Bible, along with letting evil events happen, may well have hidden reasons that go way into the future that we cannot see, but with eternal punishment, it stops making sense. This sort of mistranslation proves my point that there IS a massive potential for corruption. The doctrine of eternal punishment is an error, and a corruption, of truly cataclysmic proportions. It's brutally defamatory to God. I'm not surprised that people that believe this doctrine is a part of Christianity end up leaving it. Not only that, but this doctrine of Hell corrupts the central doctrine of Christianity. What is Jesus Christ REALLY supposed to be saving humanity from, if not an eternity in Hell? I'd say the answer is sinful behaviour that leads people, and people around them, to ruin, which would mainly be due to ignorance of God's teachings for humans (regardless of whether or not the teachings came from the Bible, or elsewhere).
    There are a few preliminary things I wanted to point out about the site. First and most importantly, I noted the heavy use of emotionally charged language and baseless conspiracy theories. It is just an exaggeration to say that many translations were politically motivated, or that this allowed people to insert doctrines on any scale (from what I've heard, Catholic translations don't even include stuff about purgatory). And to suggest that modern translations are just out to make money distorts the facts. The NET Bible is available on the internet, with the expressed desire to be freely available to all. They include the teaching about hell through no monetary motive.

    The author also needlessly muddies the waters by suggesting that if people don't know the meaning of some passages, this somehow disproves inerrancy. It also uses terms like "fundamentalist" and "Bible Inerrancy Camp" in highly misleading ways. It suggests--wrongly--that only fundamentalists believe in inerrancy, even though this belief is found in non-fundamentalist groups. That page also fails to properly distinguish between people who claim that a certain version is inspired (KJV, Textus Receptus), and "regular" fundamentalists like me who do not assign any special status to versions that are not the original.

    In fact, I have to make one quote of the page:
    The translator's have this to their credit. They noted in the preface to the reader that they only took previous men's work and hoped to make a better one, knowing others would follow them and produce even a better one yet. This preface has been also removed from present day King James Bibles because it does not conform to the fundamentalist's "inerrancy" teachings. That is why the translators preface is no longer printed in current King James Bibles. We have made several tapes dealing with the many misconceptions and untruths proclaimed about the KJV. We mention here, only a few points to clearly show that the teaching of an "inerrant" KJV is a pure myth.
    I agree that "King James Only" Christians are very much mistaken, and it is a shame that most modern editions of the KJV do not include the preface. Yet I do not think the evidence supports his claim that fundamentalists are the ones who removed it.

    Now, I believe he has a good point about the Old Testament. Though I believe it is possible some OT texts indicate a division between the final destiny of the righteous and the wicked, I'm not really concerned about that, because the author is incorrect to take this as evidence that we should not believe in eternal punishment. On the first page that you linked from that site, the (other) author quotes a scholar who says neither hell nor heaven is found in the Hebrew Scriptures. I may doubt whether that is fully accurate, but heaven does not seem to be clearly mentioned. If that doesn't argue against heaven's existence, then it cannot argue against hell's existence.

    Consider further this author's argument along the lines of "If hell is real, why didn't Paul mention it?" This is exactly the sort of argument that would be used by the very inerrantists he argues against. In addition to that hypocrisy, this argument is no more valid than saying, "If heaven is real, why didn't the Old Testament clearly mention it?" Also, this pits Paul against a number of Jesus' statements--an unwise tactic.

    In fact, we can ask the same sort of question about a lot of things. Remember what I said about the age of the earth? Why did God allow the author of Genesis to write something that is so difficult to square with the radiometric data? We can ask similar questions about statements in the gospels: Why did God allow the gospel writers to give different ideas of when the Last Supper occurred? Why did God allow it to be difficult to reconcile Luke's statements about when Jesus was born and what we know of the time period from other historians? Those issues remain difficult to this day. If I just said, "God is not the author of confusion," and apply it the way Tentmaker does, I'd have to dismiss most of the Bible, or most of human history, or both. In fact, how can he say, "But the Father, in His sovereignty allowed the church to fall away"? Not only does that sound an awful lot like the gates of hell prevailing against the Jesus' church, we can legitimately ask, "How is God not the author of confusion?"


    I don't believe it is right to let any preconceptions about God's character influence translation work. The text must speak for itself. Certain verses may seem to contradict something we believe about God's nature, but then again, that gives us no right to impose our view on the text. Since the text is the source from which we are supposed to get our ideas of God's character, imposing our view on the text is circular reasoning, and thus fundamentally dishonest to the text.

    Now is the time for me to respond to Tentmaker's view of Matthew 25:46 and Revelation 20:10. First, I want to point out that the few, generally single-person translations that use "age-lasting punishment/life" do not prove what that author thinks they do. Or, more accurately, they would prove something he positively rejects, for the parallelism would prove that our reward in heaven is of finite duration, just like the "age-lasting" punishment. Thus he has used this evidence selectively, and that is not honest. Basically, the whole problem is that while that Greek word can mean "an age" that is not its most common meaning, and the parallelism of that verse ruins attempts to argue for a limited punishment, since the wicked are punished for the same amount of time that the righteous are rewarded.

    To add on to that, it should be noted that the phrase in Revelation 20:10, "forever and ever" means exactly what most translations think it does. The notes in some that say "to the ages of the ages" do not provide evidence against this. The NET Bible's note on I Timothy 1:17 says, "Grk 'unto the ages of the ages,' an emphatic way of speaking about eternity in Greek." This phrase is applied to God here, and it is elsewhere. Especially important is Revelation 15:7, which speaks of God, "who lives forever and ever" (Greek, "unto the ages of the ages"). If the length of the punishment can be reduced, so can the length of God's life.


    Quote Originally Posted by JDavidC View Post
    Actually, I'm going to disagree here. I feel that the majority of translations are actually incorrect, on the grounds that they fatally contradict God's character. I cannot ignore contradictions, even if everybody else claims it is the truth. However, some of the stuff I see there stops making sense. I don't agree with the part about Jesus's second coming being spiritual, and having already occured in the past. Any punishment that isn't remedial (all of them would have to be, part of the whole point of punishment is to correct the person being punished) does not make sense. As for the fire being for Satan and his fallen angel buddies, they may be there for imprisonment, not simply a remedial punishment. They would be very different from humans, so different measures would be needed to deal with them. BTW, I might not be able to respond to everything right now, please tell me if there's anything I haven't responded to in your next post.
    Quote Originally Posted by JDavidC View Post
    As I said above, I'd have to disagree. The doctrine of eternal punsihment fails to make sense when logically analysed. It contradicts the loving character of a pure good god. It also blatantly contradicts justice as eternal punishment is a supremely disproportionate punishment. Applying 1 Thessalonians 5:21 to the doctrine of Hell causes it to fall apart like a pack of cards.
    Your first quote above touches on something that I at times find difficult. A punishment that lasts forever is hard to fully understand. However, I do not believe it fatally contradicts His character, or that it falls apart like a house of cards, for God's character includes both perfect love and perfect righteousness. And by so many statements in the Bible, it is clear that God plans for people to choose for or against Him. How could a loving God force everyone to spend eternity with Him?

    In response to something else you said, it is true that humans can only commit a finite number of sins, and only spend a finite amount of time sinning on earth. But compare how long it would take to commit murder and how long it would take to steal billions of dollars in change. Do you think the only thing human courts take into account is how long it took to commit the crime? Or how many individual offenses were committed?

    Quote Originally Posted by JDavidC View Post
    I'm sorry if I'm skipping over things a bit too quickly, but it's hard to get at the Bible verses I need at times. A lot of what happens after death, from Adam to the future, would appear to be resolved in the future. I'm not saying I agree with everything on the website I linked, but I am saying that I agree Hell is a false doctrine, and universalism will result in everyone getting saved at the end, so there must be some form of resurrection along the way.
    I was going to ask you some further questions, but this means I do not need to do that. I merely direct your attention to a number of very important passages of Scripture:

    Hebrews 9:27 says that people die once, and afterwards is the judgment. Now consider some of Jesus statements. In Matthew 7, after Jesus talks about the paths that lead to life and destruction (v. 13), He goes on to say, "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father in heaven" (Matt. 7:21). In verse 23, He says He will tell them to depart, saying "I never knew you." Moreover Mark 3:29, in any translation (even Young's Literal Translation which Tentmaker used to support its Universalism) indicates that there is some sin which cannot be forgiven. At this moment, I need not have any preconceived ideas about what this sin is, though it must be exceedingly serious. Clearly, some people will choose to rebel against God in finality.

    Could they be resurrected to choose for God? I doubt it, but in any case, it won't allow all to go to heaven. When Daniel mentions the resurrection (Dan. 12:2), he says that some will gain life, but some receive shame and everlasting contempt. In fact, Jesus mentions that there are two separate resurrections, one "of life" and the other "of condemnation" (John 5:29).

    I realized something important since starting this discussion. Some verses may seem to be interpreted to allow for the annihilation of the wicked, and they have important implications for a debate about Universalism. The end of the first Psalm says, "the way of the ungodly shall perish," and Paul says that the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23). Paul also says that the lawless one (most likely the Antichrist) will be destroyed by the brightness of Christ's appearing. John the Baptist said that Jesus would, "gather the wheat into His barn, but the chaff He will burn with unquenchable fire" (Luke 3:17). These passages do not refute Annihilationism, but they positively refute Universalism. And if you wish, I can provide further evidence against Annihilationism.

    In any case, I am quite certain that hell exists to allow for both human free will and divine judgment. It may not be easy to understand, but the other possibilities bring up difficulties that are, yes, even worse.

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    Wait, so you think the Earth is around six thousand years old?
    "He that breaks a thing to find out what it is has left the path of wisdom."
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    If there was a verse in the Bible that said, "In the 16th year of King Uzziah, the Lord said unto the prophet Jezebel, the Earth was created 4,500 years ago." Then yes, that would be a clear, indisputable example of the Bible making a claim that flies counter to everything science has found. But such a verse does not exist.

    How long ago was creation?
    Was it really in seven, literal, 24 hour days?
    What were the circumstances of creation?
    How did God do it (did he mold everything like a potter or simply will it all immediately into existence)?

    None of these questions are directly answered anywhere in the Bible. And speaking of unanswered questions.

    How long ago was creation?
    How old is the Earth?
    How did life begin on Earth?
    If the static universe model is unlikely, how did all the matter and energy that we see around us get here in the first place?
    What is all this "dark matter" that supposedly makes up 75% of the matter in the Universe?
    Are there other Universes, or existence outside of what we understand to be time and space?

    The most educated men and women, and the most respected scientific organizations do not, 100%, completely agree on these questions either.

    To suggest that science has all the answers and has unquestionably proven the Bible's claims to be false is beyond exaggeration.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zevn View Post
    Wait, so you think the Earth is around six thousand years old?
    Yes. It centers on the belief that the literal meaning is correct, which can only be presented as an argument to someone who accepts the text as a record from God. Although I should add that the genealogies don't allow it to be less than six thousand. Hence, not much more than six thousand. Just from the way some ancient genealogies skipped a few generations occasionally, you might be able to get a few more thousand years, but only a few. It's hard to see the biblical data allowing more than ten thousand.

    As a side note, I've also become a lot more friendly to Big Bang cosmology in recent years. It is a shame how often Creation-scientists label the Big Bang a part of evolutionary theory. This is one of the other things that has led me to become critical of their errors and flawed methods.

    Quote Originally Posted by mattj View Post
    If the static universe model is unlikely, how did all the matter and energy that we see around us get here in the first place?
    Though I may be getting off on a tangent that is not part of the tangent topic (LOL!), it seems most scientists don't view that as much of a problem. I have heard scientists say it that way, even stating the Big Bang in terms of the mass-energy "coming from nowehere." On the other hand, it seems more hold that the mass-energy could have always existed. If it is inactive, that would be (at least effectively) like having no time. Then, the problem is starting it all. With a Bang.


    Quote Originally Posted by mattj View Post
    To suggest that science has all the answers and has unquestionably proven the Bible's claims to be false is beyond exaggeration.
    I agree with this, but I'd advise some caution. Many conservative Christian apologists like to cite a famous biblical archaeologist as saying that no biblical statement rightly understood has ever been controverted by archaeology. As I found out by doing some research, he's no Genesis literalist, so "rightly understood" means nobody can use his testimony to pit Genesis against radiometric dating.

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