Author Topic: Miscellaneous Bible & Spiritual Questions  (Read 7900 times)  

Offline Suzanne

  • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
  • ****
  • Posts: 836
  • Gender: Female
  • N. Huntingdon, PA
  • No. 336
    • View Profile
Miscellaneous Bible & Spiritual Questions
« on: April 21, 2009, 02:16:15 PM »
Fellow OYB Readers,

This particular section of the Book Klub is for any biblical or spiritual questions that you may have that don't pertain to our daily readings.  It may be something you were just wondering about, something that is on your heart, etc. Please feel free to post them here.

Offline mwvickers

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1139
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
Re: Miscellaneous Bible & Spiritual Questions
« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2009, 02:18:39 PM »
Thanks, Suzanne!   ;D

Offline Suzanne

  • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
  • ****
  • Posts: 836
  • Gender: Female
  • N. Huntingdon, PA
  • No. 336
    • View Profile
Re: Miscellaneous Bible & Spiritual Questions
« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2009, 02:22:13 PM »
You are quite welcome! This will be a great section to have if someone has an issue they are dealing with and want some spiritual input also.

Offline love2read

  • Status: Jane Austen
  • ***
  • Posts: 469
  • Gender: Female
  • Ohio
    • View Profile
Re: Miscellaneous Bible & Spiritual Questions
« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2009, 04:53:14 PM »
I can start with a question.

I know that God is holy and just and can't allow sin in His presence. So why does he allow satan in His presence in the book of Job?

Lynn M

PS: Thanks for starting this section. I am looking forward to learning more.

Offline mwvickers

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1139
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
Re: Miscellaneous Bible & Spiritual Questions
« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2009, 05:24:30 PM »
I can start with a question.

I know that God is holy and just and can't allow sin in His presence. So why does he allow satan in His presence in the book of Job?

Lynn M

PS: Thanks for starting this section. I am looking forward to learning more.

That's a very good question. 

I've never actually thought about it before.  I am now though.  LOL

I think that one difference may be in the nature of being as a difference between Satan and people. 

Satan is a spiritual being.  As such, it doesn't seem that they are able to die. 

This is the main thing that happened to people, however, in the Bible if God's holiness was offended with sin.  In the Old Testament, it was imperative that the high priest be purified before entering the holy of holies.  There is a tradition that says that a rope with bells was tied around the priest's ankle when he entered, and others waited outside the holy of holies.  If they noticed that the bells stopped ringing, it meant that the high priest had died, and they had to use the rope to pull him out.  While that is only a tradition, this seems to be based on facts in Scripture.  At one point in the Old Testament, someone touched the Ark of the Covenant (which represented God's holiness) and he immediately fell dead. 

Satan had already been cast out of Heaven as far as it being his permanent dwelling, I think.  Though he could apparently go back, he had already been punished for his sin.  So, in a very real way (being cast out of Heaven), the sin of Satan still could not stand in the presence of God. 

So, while angels who sinned were cast out, people who sin and met the presence of God died physically.  Even then, the immaterial part of man (the soul) does not die, though it can be cast into hell depending on whether that soul had followed Jesus or not.

This is really kind of off the top of my head.  Does it make sense?

I'm very interested to hear what others think on this question.

Offline Suzanne

  • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
  • ****
  • Posts: 836
  • Gender: Female
  • N. Huntingdon, PA
  • No. 336
    • View Profile
Re: Miscellaneous Bible & Spiritual Questions
« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2009, 06:14:07 PM »
Some of my thoughts on this are that we are talking about universal sovereignty.  God is the universal sovereign, both in heaven and on earth. We think about what happened in Eden with Adam & Eve. They were put there to populate the earth & tend the earth. God was their ruler. He gave them one command - not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good & bad.

The serpent was involved in all this. We know that Satan was behind the serpent. Why he was down there on earth with Adam & Eve is something I don't know. Maybe it was part of his duties, maybe not. But what he did was he lied about God. And we know that Adam & Eve also sinned as a result of this.

Now, God could have at that very instant zapped them all to death. We know with Adam & Eve He had told them in the day they ate from that fruit they would die. But if he instantly zapped them to death, what would that have proved? Just that he was stronger and you don't mess with Him.

Also, at this time what was going on in heaven? What led to Satan doing this detestable thing? I'm thinking he was jealous of God and wanted God's worship for himself. Mind you, that is my speculation. But I don't think that Satan at that very instant he lied to Adam & Eve had turned evil that moment. Something had led up to it. Maybe his lust for God's worship.

Who knows what was going on in heaven?? Maybe Satan was up there doing the same thing he did down here on earth! Challenging God's sovereignty. Well, if God just zapped all the rebels instantly, it just shows He's a more powerful being. But if he lets them exist for a while, we will eventually see what comes from turning our backs on God's sovereignty, both in heaven & on earth.

So maybe God allowed Satan to be present in heaven for a limited time to try to stir up trouble. We know that he certainly did that when we read the book of Job. Satan's insolence there is simply unbelievable. But what effect did his insolence have on the other angels who were there and heard him throwing those taunts in God's face?

One of the things that I most love about God is he gave us all free will. And the angels have it too. And all of this happening had to be (and probably still is) a challenge for them personally. Who do they want to serve?

We learn in Revelation that eventually Satan does get kicked out of heaven and is restricted to the area of the earth. And eventually he gets his due.

But I think that God is allowing all these issues to be settled once and for all.

Just my two cents worth.  :D

Offline mwvickers

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1139
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
Re: Miscellaneous Bible & Spiritual Questions
« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2009, 07:03:05 PM »
Interesting points, Suzanne.  Some of my thoughts are below.

The serpent was involved in all this. We know that Satan was behind the serpent. Why he was down there on earth with Adam & Eve is something I don't know. Maybe it was part of his duties, maybe not. But what he did was he lied about God. And we know that Adam & Eve also sinned as a result of this.

I believe that traditional theology says that Satan and 1/3 of the angels had already rebelled at this point.  I think they take some verses in Revelation to come to this conclusion (Revelation, while mostly prophecy, is not necessarily all for the future).  If this is the case, then Satan had already become evil at this point, and he was already the adversary of God and His creation.  Adam and Eve were kind of like God's representatives on earth (they were to rule and take care of God's creation).  So, to strike back at God, Satan deceived Adam and Eve. 

Quote
Now, God could have at that very instant zapped them all to death. We know with Adam & Eve He had told them in the day they ate from that fruit they would die. But if he instantly zapped them to death, what would that have proved? Just that he was stronger and you don't mess with Him.

Very true.  Many skeptics argue that the Bible is wrong because God said that Adam and Eve would die if they ate of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  They didn't die, so God was wrong.  The fact is they did die, just not physically.  The Bible says we are "dead in our sins" in Ephesians, I think.  That spiritual death came the moment Adam and Eve sinned.  Physical death did follow later. 

It is interesting that God did not immediately strike Adam and Eve physically.  We see God do that in other places in Scripture, so the fact that He didn't with them is interesting indeed.

Quote
Also, at this time what was going on in heaven? What led to Satan doing this detestable thing? I'm thinking he was jealous of God and wanted God's worship for himself. Mind you, that is my speculation.

Not just speculation.  Isaiah 14 mentions the King of Babylon, but many theologians think that there is a stronger, bigger evil behind the king that is also being addressed, namely Satan.  If so, then it says that he did envy God and think that he could be like God.  This would have happened before the fall in Eden, however, according to traditional theology. 

Quote
Who knows what was going on in heaven?? Maybe Satan was up there doing the same thing he did down here on earth! Challenging God's sovereignty.

If the above theology is correct, then that is exactly what happened.  He challenged God's sovereignty and caused 1/3 of the angels to rebel with him.  He truly is the "father of lies" as John says.

Quote
Well, if God just zapped all the rebels instantly, it just shows He's a more powerful being. But if he lets them exist for a while, we will eventually see what comes from turning our backs on God's sovereignty, both in heaven & on earth.

Now that is very interesting.  I don't know that I had thought of it that way before.  I like it.

Quote
So maybe God allowed Satan to be present in heaven for a limited time to try to stir up trouble. We know that he certainly did that when we read the book of Job. Satan's insolence there is simply unbelievable. But what effect did his insolence have on the other angels who were there and heard him throwing those taunts in God's face?

If this was after the rebellion in Heaven, which I think it was, then the other angels had already stood firm through the ultimate test. 

We do learn something interesting, however, in Job.  Satan has to actually get God's permission to actually attack Job.  Some have said that God basically keeps Satan on a leash of sorts.  I don't know if this is true for everyone as opposed to special for Job for some reason, but it is interesting to think about.  God looks after His own, and Satan cannot touch them without God's permission, or so it would seem.

Quote
One of the things that I most love about God is he gave us all free will. And the angels have it too. And all of this happening had to be (and probably still is) a challenge for them personally. Who do they want to serve?

I'm not sure it still is a temptation.  But it certainly was in the past.  Nothing in the Bible seems to imply that angels can still rebel.  Anytime it mentions angels who sinned, it seems to be in the past tense, not in any present or future tense.  I'm in no way positive on this though. 

Quote
We learn in Revelation that eventually Satan does get kicked out of heaven and is restricted to the area of the earth. And eventually he gets his due.

Depending on interpretation, the rebellion seems to have taken place in the past.  Some, however, believe Satan can still access Heaven (as in Job), but that that access will be cut off in the future.  I'm really not sure about this one.  I need to study it more.  That's why I like discussions like this.  It helps me see what areas I need to study further.  After all, theology is a very deep subject. 

Quote
Just my two cents worth.  :D

Definitely worth more than two cents.   ;D

Offline Wheezie

  • Status: Lewis Carroll
  • **
  • Posts: 209
  • Gender: Female
  • Charleston, SC
    • View Profile
Re: Miscellaneous Bible & Spiritual Questions
« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2009, 07:12:00 PM »
A fascinating and wonderful addition to our Book Club. I feel that it will be popular.
Lettie

Offline love2read

  • Status: Jane Austen
  • ***
  • Posts: 469
  • Gender: Female
  • Ohio
    • View Profile
Re: Miscellaneous Bible & Spiritual Questions
« Reply #8 on: April 22, 2009, 04:49:22 AM »
I remember hearing somewhere that when Satan rebelled, he took 1/3 of the angels with him. I may not be remembering that right though.

I don't think that the angels have free will in the same way we do. I also don't think that Jesus' death on the cross covers the rebellion of the angels, only humans.

I think either the angels stayed in fellowship with God permanently, or not, permanently.

Once that decision was made by either Satan or the angels (however that worked) it can't be forgiven or reversed for angels. There will never be a way of redemption for them.

I also know that humans were created in God's image. I'm not sure about angels and if this has anything to do with Satan still given the right to enter into God's presence until the end of the event in Revelation where he will be permanently bound in hell. So maybe since Satan is not created in God's image like humans, somehow God can allow him access for a while.

????? Just a few of my thoughts.

Lynn M.

Offline Chad Winters

  • Status: Dostoevsky
  • ******
  • Posts: 3394
    • View Profile
Re: Miscellaneous Bible & Spiritual Questions
« Reply #9 on: April 22, 2009, 06:06:20 AM »
I think this site gives a pretty orthodox answer:
http://www.gotquestions.org/Satan-access.html

..."Since God is holy and absolutely without sin (Isaiah 6:3), and since He will not even look on evil (Habakkuk 1:13), how can Satan be in heaven? The answer involves Gods sovereign restraint of sin. In Job 1, Satan stood before God to give an account of himself. God initiated the meeting, led the proceedings, and remained in absolute control (verse 7). The result was that Satans power was limited (verse 12) and God was glorified...."

Member since 10/28/2008 | (make your own reading bar)

Offline mwvickers

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1139
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
Re: Miscellaneous Bible & Spiritual Questions
« Reply #10 on: April 22, 2009, 06:46:09 AM »
I remember hearing somewhere that when Satan rebelled, he took 1/3 of the angels with him. I may not be remembering that right though.

I believe this comes from Revelation 12.  In verse 4 it says (NIV), "His tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky...."  The "His" refers to the dragon, who is a symbol for Satan.  Some interpret the stars to be angels in a symbolic way.  I could be wrong on this.

Quote
I don't think that the angels have free will in the same way we do.

The angels must have free will, or there could not have been a rebellion.  Only free agents can rebel. 

Quote
I also don't think that Jesus' death on the cross covers the rebellion of the angels, only humans.

I think either the angels stayed in fellowship with God permanently, or not, permanently.

Once that decision was made by either Satan or the angels (however that worked) it can't be forgiven or reversed for angels. There will never be a way of redemption for them.

This is correct.  The Bible never speaks of angels having the ability to repent.

Quote
I also know that humans were created in God's image. I'm not sure about angels and if this has anything to do with Satan still given the right to enter into God's presence until the end of the event in Revelation where he will be permanently bound in hell. So maybe since Satan is not created in God's image like humans, somehow God can allow him access for a while.

????? Just a few of my thoughts.

Lynn M.

I think there is a clear correlation between man being created in God's image and angels not being created that way.  There is clearly something there, but what, I'm not sure. 

In fact, in the future, the Bible says that Christians (humans who have been saved) will judge angels.  So there is clearly some higher sense in which humans are created in God's image, but angels aren't. 

I don't know if this difference would affect Satan's ability to enter into God's presence or not, but I believe it does have something to do with why humans are redeemable, but angels are not.

Good thoughts!

Offline mwvickers

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1139
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
Re: Miscellaneous Bible & Spiritual Questions
« Reply #11 on: April 22, 2009, 06:47:19 AM »
I think this site gives a pretty orthodox answer:
http://www.gotquestions.org/Satan-access.html

..."Since God is holy and absolutely without sin (Isaiah 6:3), and since He will not even look on evil (Habakkuk 1:13), how can Satan be in heaven? The answer involves Gods sovereign restraint of sin. In Job 1, Satan stood before God to give an account of himself. God initiated the meeting, led the proceedings, and remained in absolute control (verse 7). The result was that Satans power was limited (verse 12) and God was glorified...."

Sounds good.  This is definitely an issue I want to study more now.  LOL

Offline Suzanne

  • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
  • ****
  • Posts: 836
  • Gender: Female
  • N. Huntingdon, PA
  • No. 336
    • View Profile
Re: Miscellaneous Bible & Spiritual Questions
« Reply #12 on: April 22, 2009, 10:40:08 AM »
In fact, in the future, the Bible says that Christians (humans who have been saved) will judge angels.  So there is clearly some higher sense in which humans are created in God's image, but angels aren't. 

I don't know if this difference would affect Satan's ability to enter into God's presence or not, but I believe it does have something to do with why humans are redeemable, but angels are not.

Good thoughts!

Some scriptures on this:

Heb. 2:5-8 says,
"5Now it was not to angels that God subjected the world to come, of which we are speaking. 6It has been testified somewhere,

   "What is man, that you are mindful of him,
   or the son of man, that you care for him?
7You made him for a little while lower than the angels;
   you have crowned him with glory and honor,


 8putting everything in subjection under his feet."

And 1 Cor. 6:1-3 says,

 1When one of you has a grievance against another, does he dare go to law before the unrighteous instead of the saints? 2Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by you, are you incompetent to try trivial cases? 3Do you not know that we are to judge angels? How much more, then, matters pertaining to this life!

So it appears that while we are in fleshly form we are lower than the angels, but eventually we will be in a position where we will judge them.

I wonder what the angels were thinking when they saw the rebellion in Eden? They must have been aware that man was a "special creation" of sorts. And man is put in the garden and given his instructions, and then he rebels. The angels were looking on. Their eyes must have went big as saucers when this happened! They must have been thinking, 'Uh-oh, what will happen now??'

As I said earlier, God could have zapped man right then & there. But it appears he is allowing the case to be worked out and then a precedent will be set. When Adam & Eve chose to eat of that fruit of the knowledge of good & bad, what that says to me is that they were sorta thumbing their noses at God saying, 'We will decide for ourselves what is good & bad; we don't need your help.' It's not like they didn't have any other food there to eat. So it was clearly a case of rebellion against God being their ruler and telling them what to do.

So it seems to me that God in His wisdom is letting man prove his case. Can he fare better on his own? Or would he do better under God's rule?

Offline mwvickers

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1139
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
Re: Miscellaneous Bible & Spiritual Questions
« Reply #13 on: April 22, 2009, 11:01:17 AM »
As I said earlier, God could have zapped man right then & there. But it appears he is allowing the case to be worked out and then a precedent will be set. When Adam & Eve chose to eat of that fruit of the knowledge of good & bad, what that says to me is that they were sorta thumbing their noses at God saying, 'We will decide for ourselves what is good & bad; we don't need your help.' It's not like they didn't have any other food there to eat. So it was clearly a case of rebellion against God being their ruler and telling them what to do.

So it seems to me that God in His wisdom is letting man prove his case. Can he fare better on his own? Or would he do better under God's rule?

Interesting thought. 

I like the way C.S. Lewis put it (and this is a rough paraphrase, as I cannot remember exactly what he said or where he said it): "There are only two kinds of people in the end: Those who say to God, 'Your will be done,' and those to whom God says, 'Your will be done.'"  When Lewis said this, he argued that the people who will be in Hell, though they will suffer, are there because they willed it; they wouldn't have been happy in God's presence anyway.  That is the reference for the part of the quote in which God says to them that their will be done. 

Offline myeugene

  • Status: Dr. Seuss
  • *
  • Posts: 19
    • View Profile
Re: Miscellaneous Bible & Spiritual Questions
« Reply #14 on: April 28, 2009, 09:21:03 PM »
question: where can I find the story of fallen angels or Satan?
I don't think bible has it, or hasn't it?

Offline mwvickers

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1139
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
Re: Miscellaneous Bible & Spiritual Questions
« Reply #15 on: April 29, 2009, 06:42:52 AM »
question: where can I find the story of fallen angels or Satan?
I don't think bible has it, or hasn't it?

As with some things in Scripture, there is no one clear passage on the issue.  There are multiple verses and passages that, when taken together, seem to form a clearer picture, but nothing like one specific story.  I will list some of the verses and passages that are commonly used to form that idea.

Isaiah 14:12-15, which is specifically addressed to the King of Babylon, also seems to be speaking to something even greater, a power behind that evil king, and many believe it is referring to Satan, his pride, and his fall.

Ezekiel 28:11-17.  Again, as with the passages in Isaiah, it is addressed to the King of Tyre, but there are aspects that seem to speak to someone else.  Again, there is this idea of being created good, but falling to pride. 

In Luke 10:18, Jesus says he saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. 

In Revelation 12, there are several things mentioned that people believe to refer to the past.  In verse 4, the dragon's (Satan) tail swept a third of the stars out of heaven.  I think this is where the idea of 1/3 of the angels falling is from.  In verses 7 and 8, the battle in which Satan and his angels are thrown out of heaven is mentioned. 

These are some of the passages.  I hope it helps.

Offline Suzanne

  • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
  • ****
  • Posts: 836
  • Gender: Female
  • N. Huntingdon, PA
  • No. 336
    • View Profile
Re: Miscellaneous Bible & Spiritual Questions
« Reply #16 on: April 29, 2009, 09:18:31 AM »
Thanks for those excellent scriptures, mwvickers.

Also to be considered is the rebellion in the Garden of Eden and Satan taunting God to his face in the book of Job. (Genesis chapter 3 & Job 1:6-12)

Offline Anju No. 469

  • Status: Edgar Allan Poe
  • *******
  • Posts: 7048
  • Gender: Female
  • Lakeside, Mexico
    • View Profile
Re: Miscellaneous Bible & Spiritual Questions
« Reply #17 on: May 02, 2009, 12:48:45 PM »
"As far as your comment on translations, I'm not sure exactly what you are meaning.  Can you explain your question a little better?  I study Bible translation issues, so I may be able to respond if I'm sure of what you are asking. "

MW I moved this over to this thread. 

I have always thought that unless we can find the original papyrus or paper or whatever the NT or OT was written on that everything is infallible.  Also a lot of this is also word of mouth since not many people read in those days.  Translation from the Greek, from the Latin, or whatever language, the words and meanings are not necessarily the same as we tend to interpret in "English".  That is just my humble opinion, really not a question.
Dona
on the shores of Lake Chapala, Mexico

Offline mwvickers

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1139
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
Re: Miscellaneous Bible & Spiritual Questions
« Reply #18 on: May 02, 2009, 07:23:04 PM »
"As far as your comment on translations, I'm not sure exactly what you are meaning.  Can you explain your question a little better?  I study Bible translation issues, so I may be able to respond if I'm sure of what you are asking. "

MW I moved this over to this thread. 

I have always thought that unless we can find the original papyrus or paper or whatever the NT or OT was written on that everything is infallible.

I see what you are saying, and your view is not uncommon.  Perhaps I can give you some things to consider, however.

I want to focus on the New Testament, as I have studied the texts of it a little more. 

For historical writings, the way we can be sure of the accuracy is to consider how many copies we have, how they agree or disagree, and how long after the originals the copies we have date to.  So, for example, I believe for Caesar's Gallic Wars, we have about 10 copies in existence, the earliest of which dates to about 1,000 years after Caesar originally wrote.  Interestingly, no one really questions the accuracy of that writing (I may have the writing and date wrong, but the point remains, and I can try to find the specific examples if necessary).  This is actually one of the best-attested historical pieces we have.  Actually, we have one better...the New Testament.

The earliest fragment we have of the New Testament (a few verses of John's gospel) dates to about A.D. 120.  It was written about A.D. 90.  So, that is only a 30 year gap between the original writing and the earliest fragment.  The entire NT was written between about A.D. 50 and A.D. 90.  The earliest fragment is in A.D. 120, and we have about 20 fragments or so between that time and A.D. 300.  Between A.D. 300 and A.D. 350, we find at least two full copies of the NT in Greek, Codex Sinaiticus and Codex Vaticanus.  In all, we have about 5,000 copies of the NT (in whole or in part) starting in A.D. 120 or so.  Again, this is only 30 years after the last writing, and only 90 years after the events that the writings describe.  So, for the NT we have a little over 5,000 copies, with only a 30-year gap from the writing to the earliest fragment, and only a 90-year gap from the events to the earliest fragment.  Compare that to the 10 copies of Caesar's writings that date at earliest 1,000 years after he wrote them. 

In addition to this, we have early copies of the NT in other languages, such as Latin, Syrian, etc.  These copies raise the total greatly, though I don't remember how much, so I won't try to guess. 

In addition to this, we have the quotes of the earliest church fathers (who started writing in the early second century, the 100s A.D.).  It has been estimated that if one only took the quotes of the church fathers, the NT could be accurately constructed to within 95% of what the NT says. 

Textual critics have studied the NT, and have compared variants (differences in wording, spelling, verses included/excluded, etc.), and have demonstrated that about 98-99% of the NT can be reconstructed with no questions about what it says.  The remaining 1-2% in question doesn't alter a single issue of major doctrine, so it doesn't effect the teaching of the NT at all.

Quote
Also a lot of this is also word of mouth since not many people read in those days.

This is heavily debated as to who could and could not read.  The Jewish people were "the people of the book" to a degree.  Writing (as in the commandments of God) was very important, and many people would have taken turns reading in the synagogue (see Luke 4, I think), so it is possible that more could read than people assume.

Even so, those who couldn't read depended a lot on memory, and studies have shown that their memories were outstanding.  Most could listen to something and quote it back with great accuracy (if not nearly perfect). 

Not only so, but Jesus taught in ways to make His words easy to memorize.  He used metaphors, which stood out, parables, stories, repetition, and other literary styles specifically geared to aid memory.  In addition, Jesus had large numbers of people following and listening, and people at that time were very community oriented.  So they would have gotten together and discussed, quoted, and corrected what was said with each other, reinforcing the accuracy in their own minds. 

That being said, before the gospels were written, the communities would have already been circulating what Jesus said and what occurred with great accuracy, virtually solidifying what was said and keeping it accurate until it was written down. 

Add to this that at least one of Jesus' disciples could have written.  Matthew was a tax collector, and would have had to be literate and able to read and write.  We don't know for sure, but he could have been something of a note-taker for Jesus.  Again, this is not certainty, but it is at least possible.

 
Quote
Translation from the Greek, from the Latin, or whatever language, the words and meanings are not necessarily the same as we tend to interpret in "English".  That is just my humble opinion, really not a question.

Modern translations today go straight from the Greek (for the NT) and Hebrew and Aramaic (for the OT). 

That being said, while it is not perfect, translating from one language to another can render the message exactly as intended, even if the words are not exactly the same. 

I am not sure if you speak another language or not.  I took Spanish for several years, though sadly I have forgotten most of it.  I remember, though, that while translation from one language to another didn't render the exact wording, the translation carried the exact same meaning. 

For example, I remember learning "tengo sueno" for "I am tired."  I think a very specific translation would be closer to "I have tiredness" or something like that.  So, we don't translate it exactly as far as wording is concerned, but the message is exactly the same. 

An example from Greek may help too.  When it refers to Mary's pregnancy with Jesus, I believe the Greek literally says, "She was having it in the belly."  Now, we don't say it that way in English; instead we would say, "She was pregnant" or "She was with child."  So the wording may not be identical, but the message is. 

In addition to this, we have various types of translations in English.  The NASB is very literal (word-for-word), and tries to say exactly what the Greek words say.  The NLT (which we are reading) is more dynamic (thought-for-thought), and tries to convey the message, even if paraphrasing is required.  In addition, you can find interlinear translations, which render the Greek exactly, including sentence structure (which is odd in English).  All of these are helpful, and all serve a different purpose.  Taken together, however, we can rest assured that what we read is virtually identical to what is written in the NT and OT in their original languages. 

I know you weren't asking for all of this information, but I hope it proves helpful to you and others here.

God bless. 


Offline Chad Winters

  • Status: Dostoevsky
  • ******
  • Posts: 3394
    • View Profile
Re: Miscellaneous Bible & Spiritual Questions
« Reply #19 on: May 04, 2009, 01:00:45 PM »
mwvickers:  Excellent summary of the facts
I agree!!

Member since 10/28/2008 | (make your own reading bar)

Offline Anju No. 469

  • Status: Edgar Allan Poe
  • *******
  • Posts: 7048
  • Gender: Female
  • Lakeside, Mexico
    • View Profile
Re: Miscellaneous Bible & Spiritual Questions
« Reply #20 on: May 04, 2009, 03:30:31 PM »
oh WOW - you have no idea how many questions I have had for lo these many years that you have answered!  AND you worded it in a manner I could understand!  How cool is that  :)

Thank you thank you thank you thank you!

I would send you sparklers and chocolate cake but I don't have the talent intinst has!

Dona
on the shores of Lake Chapala, Mexico

Offline mwvickers

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1139
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
Re: Miscellaneous Bible & Spiritual Questions
« Reply #21 on: May 05, 2009, 07:02:12 AM »
Chad, thank you for the compliment!

Anju, I'm glad I have been able to help some.  I hope I didn't come across as lecturing.  Like you, I had questions for a long time (and I had a lot of questions).  I began my own search, in a way, to find the answers, and it makes me very happy if I am able to help others in any way with the answers I have found.  Your thanks is better than sparklers and a chocolate cake.   :)

Offline Linda Cannon-Mott

  • Assignment #118
  • Status: Edgar Allan Poe
  • *******
  • Posts: 5412
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
Re: Miscellaneous Bible & Spiritual Questions
« Reply #22 on: May 05, 2009, 07:55:16 AM »
Mike I am really enjoying and learning from your posts.  :)

Offline mwvickers

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1139
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
Re: Miscellaneous Bible & Spiritual Questions
« Reply #23 on: May 05, 2009, 08:19:39 AM »
Mike I am really enjoying and learning from your posts.  :)

Martin   ;)

Thank you for the encouragement.

Offline Linda Cannon-Mott

  • Assignment #118
  • Status: Edgar Allan Poe
  • *******
  • Posts: 5412
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
Re: Miscellaneous Bible & Spiritual Questions
« Reply #24 on: May 05, 2009, 08:45:30 AM »
Martin   ;)

Thank you for the encouragement.

I don't know why I always call you Mike! Hopefully I will get it right one day but don't count on it.  :) Perhaps I should stick with mvickers. How is your wife, not long now before little Brianna will be arriving.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2009, 08:47:10 AM by Linda Cannon-Mott »

Offline mwvickers

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1139
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
Re: Miscellaneous Bible & Spiritual Questions
« Reply #25 on: May 05, 2009, 09:18:16 AM »
I don't know why I always call you Mike! Hopefully I will get it right one day but don't count on it.  :) Perhaps I should stick with mvickers. How is your wife, not long now before little Brianna will be arriving.

No worries.  Martin is not that common of a name.  Besides, I'm horrible with names myself.  LOL

My wife is doing very well.  We have five more weeks until her due date.  We still have a lot to do to get ready, though.  LOL

Offline Anju No. 469

  • Status: Edgar Allan Poe
  • *******
  • Posts: 7048
  • Gender: Female
  • Lakeside, Mexico
    • View Profile
Re: Miscellaneous Bible & Spiritual Questions
« Reply #26 on: May 05, 2009, 02:08:35 PM »
MW I don't think you were lecturing - if you were I'd have loved to have had you as a prof in some of my classes - economic and finance?   :P  The profs were the worst ever.

You just made everything seem so understandable in such layman terms.

Thank you again and again and again

AND you will keep us updated on the new addition?????????
Dona
on the shores of Lake Chapala, Mexico

Offline Chad Winters

  • Status: Dostoevsky
  • ******
  • Posts: 3394
    • View Profile
Re: Miscellaneous Bible & Spiritual Questions
« Reply #27 on: May 05, 2009, 03:31:37 PM »
if you're ever interested in digging into the nuts and bolts for answers like MW gave, I took the online Theology Program courses (http://www.ttpstudents.com/content/ttp/home/) recently and they were excellent for educating laypeople on the "why we believe what we believe" stuff in a very friendly manner.  Highly reccomended!

Member since 10/28/2008 | (make your own reading bar)

Offline Anju No. 469

  • Status: Edgar Allan Poe
  • *******
  • Posts: 7048
  • Gender: Female
  • Lakeside, Mexico
    • View Profile
Re: Miscellaneous Bible & Spiritual Questions
« Reply #28 on: May 05, 2009, 03:48:32 PM »
if you're ever interested in digging into the nuts and bolts for answers like MW gave, I took the online Theology Program courses (http://www.ttpstudents.com/content/ttp/home/) recently and they were excellent for educating laypeople on the "why we believe what we believe" stuff in a very friendly manner.  Highly reccomended!

Thanks Chad - I just might do that!  I do like studying, just don't like taking tests, I freak out.
Dona
on the shores of Lake Chapala, Mexico

Offline marianneg

  • Status: Dostoevsky
  • ******
  • Posts: 3137
  • Gender: Female
  • Dallas, TX
    • View Profile
    • Mariannerisms: my ramblings about books, TV, and life
Re: Miscellaneous Bible & Spiritual Questions
« Reply #29 on: May 05, 2009, 06:11:11 PM »
Some other good resources are anything by Josh McDowell or Lee Strobel.
Read my blog about books, TV, and my life at mariannerisms.wordpress.com
Follow me on Twitter
Follow me on Pinterest
Friend me at Goodreads

Offline Suzanne

  • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
  • ****
  • Posts: 836
  • Gender: Female
  • N. Huntingdon, PA
  • No. 336
    • View Profile
Re: Miscellaneous Bible & Spiritual Questions
« Reply #30 on: May 05, 2009, 06:27:20 PM »
Thanks, marianner!

Offline Chad Winters

  • Status: Dostoevsky
  • ******
  • Posts: 3394
    • View Profile
Re: Miscellaneous Bible & Spiritual Questions
« Reply #31 on: May 05, 2009, 08:55:23 PM »
and I like www.str.org for just general critical thinking skills

Member since 10/28/2008 | (make your own reading bar)

Offline mwvickers

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1139
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
Re: Miscellaneous Bible & Spiritual Questions
« Reply #32 on: May 06, 2009, 05:49:32 AM »
MW I don't think you were lecturing - if you were I'd have loved to have had you as a prof in some of my classes -

You just made my day!  LOL

Quote
You just made everything seem so understandable in such layman terms.
 

That is one goal I have in trying to share what I have learned with others.

Quote
AND you will keep us updated on the new addition?????????

I will do my best.  Once she's here, I'm going to be even busier than I am now.  LOL

Offline mwvickers

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1139
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
Re: Miscellaneous Bible & Spiritual Questions
« Reply #33 on: May 06, 2009, 05:51:59 AM »
Marianner and Chad,

Great resources to point out!  I would also recommend anything by Ravi Zacharias and William Lane Craig, though their writings lean more philosophical than historical in nature. 

Chad, what was your overall impression of the Theology Program?  I know they lean Reformed/Calvinist, but I hear they are very balanced considering.  Did you do the free path, or did you pay to receive the other books, DVDs, etc.?

Offline Chad Winters

  • Status: Dostoevsky
  • ******
  • Posts: 3394
    • View Profile
Re: Miscellaneous Bible & Spiritual Questions
« Reply #34 on: May 06, 2009, 08:48:00 AM »
Marianner and Chad,

Great resources to point out!  I would also recommend anything by Ravi Zacharias and William Lane Craig, though their writings lean more philosophical than historical in nature. 

Chad, what was your overall impression of the Theology Program?  I know they lean Reformed/Calvinist, but I hear they are very balanced considering.  Did you do the free path, or did you pay to receive the other books, DVDs, etc.?

They were very balanced, gave a very accurate description of each position and why people held it. They did not push a specific belief on the "non-essentials". I thought it was excellent. I learned an incredible amount. I did the paid version, only because it made me complete it and the online classroom discussions were very helpful.

You don't have to buy the DVDs. I watched online and downloaded the free PDFs for the workbook. I did buy Grudem's Systematic Theology (~25.00) which is used through all 6 classes and is very helpful.
« Last Edit: May 06, 2009, 08:50:30 AM by Chad Winters (#102) »

Member since 10/28/2008 | (make your own reading bar)

Offline Suzanne

  • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
  • ****
  • Posts: 836
  • Gender: Female
  • N. Huntingdon, PA
  • No. 336
    • View Profile
Re: Miscellaneous Bible & Spiritual Questions
« Reply #35 on: June 12, 2009, 10:58:24 AM »
This is from a book I am currently reading. I really liked it.

Once asked how he overcame the devil, Martin Luther replied, "Well, When he comes knocking upon the door of my heart and asks, 'Who lives here?' the dear Lord Jesus goes to the door and says, 'Martin Luther used to live here but he has moved out. Now I live here.' The Devil, seeing the nail-prints in His hands, and the pierced side, takes flight immediately.

This is the book I am reading:
 
 


Offline Angela

  • Status: Edgar Allan Poe
  • *******
  • Posts: 5905
  • Gender: Female
  • Texas
  • aka: tx_angel, A Wayt, Babe, Mom, Grandma, Hey YOU
    • View Profile
Re: Miscellaneous Bible & Spiritual Questions
« Reply #36 on: June 13, 2009, 09:08:38 AM »
Leslie - I am/have in the same boat as you. My father has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's, too and my mother is now exhibiting signs of dementia. Having to be parents to our parents is not an easy chore. I pray that God will give you the strength and the wisdom in the days ahead. I know they won't be easy, but I hope you can find comfort in knowing that we are lifting you and your family in prayer.

Sailor - yes, I will pray for your friend. I will also pray for you as you minister to him.

Everyone else - as usual I am praying for you all daily. Hope you all have a wonderful blessed weekend in the Lord!

Angela
 

Offline marianneg

  • Status: Dostoevsky
  • ******
  • Posts: 3137
  • Gender: Female
  • Dallas, TX
    • View Profile
    • Mariannerisms: my ramblings about books, TV, and life
Re: Miscellaneous Bible & Spiritual Questions
« Reply #37 on: December 20, 2009, 02:38:27 PM »
Not a question, but this is something neat that I learned that I wanted to share with y'all:

Quote
Betrothal, or the contractual promise to marry, is not a custom commonly practiced in modern times.  But for ancient Jews, it was the norm and is filled with meaning.

Throughout history God has used stories and symbolism to communicate the truths of His Kingdom.  One of the most familiar symbols, still practiced today, is the Lord's Supper.  It illustrates the covenant God made with us through Jesus.  Though we understand the bread and wine as symbolic of Christ's body and blood, there is yet more symbolism included in the Lord's Supper.  In fact, the Lord's Supper is a betrothal, a marriage contract with us, His bride.

According to ancient Jewish marriage customs, when a young man saw the girl he wanted to marry (or the girl his father had chosen for him), he would approach her with a marriage contract called a ketubah.  The contract stated what the groom would provide in the marriage.  It was legally binding and would become the property of the wife entitling her to all the provisions promised therein.  The most important part of this contract was the "price" he would pay to marry her.  The Bible says, "We are bought with a price."  This may seem old-fashioned to us, but at that time it established the degree of esteem the groom held for his bride and demonstrated his willingness to sacrifice something of great value for her.

It is a common misconception today that a betrothal meant that a woman was promised against her will.  Although the parents may have initiated most marriage, the bride would still decide whether to accept the offer of marriage.  If she deemed the offer to be suitable, she would drink a cup of wine with the groom.  This was a sign of the covenant established between them.  In the same way, Jesus offered his disciples the cup, and each time we partake in the Lord's Supper we accept the covenant offered us and recognize the price he paid for us.

After the cup was shared, the groom would pay the price agreed upon and say, "I go to prepare a place for you..."  He then returned to his father's house to build their bridal chamber, either as an addition to his father's house or a separate house on his father's property.  The idea was that if he had already paid the price he would not likely go back on his word, but would fulfill his promise to prepare a place and come back to "redeem" his bride.  Jesus paid the ultimate price and then sent the Holy Spirit as "deposit" until his return.

Only the father could determine when the bridal chamber was ready.  Typically it took up to a year to complete.  (Some say the decision was left to the father for practical reasons because if it were up to the groom he would be in too big of a hurry to fetch his bride and might build something too hastily.  During this time the bride would ready herself for the upcoming wedding.  She set herself apart and was referred to as consecrated.  She wore a veil in public to signify that she belonged to someone.  Today the Bible says that the Bride of Christ wears a veil and we are to keep ourselves set apart, resisting the offers of the enemy and remaining pure for Christ's return.

I had actually heard the bit about the groom building the house before, but not the bit comparing the Lord's Supper to the betrothal ceremony.  And I think that it's all interesting, and that you all might enjoy meditating on it this Christmas as much as I have!

The whole thing is actually from the program from the First Baptist, Duncanville, TX, Christmas play, called Let There Be Light.  It's unique among the plays I have seen, in that it starts with Mary and Joseph, pre-betrothal, in Nazareth, and incorporates the elements that I talked about above.  They have tried to be historically accurate as much as possible, even having the wise men arrive at a house to see a toddler Jesus, instead of at the stable.  It's a yearly production, and it's free, so if anyone is in the DFW area next year, I highly recommend going to see it!  The talent is all from that church (except a few instrumentalists), and it's a first-rate production as well as a great worship experience.
Read my blog about books, TV, and my life at mariannerisms.wordpress.com
Follow me on Twitter
Follow me on Pinterest
Friend me at Goodreads

Offline Suzanne

  • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
  • ****
  • Posts: 836
  • Gender: Female
  • N. Huntingdon, PA
  • No. 336
    • View Profile
Re: Miscellaneous Bible & Spiritual Questions
« Reply #38 on: December 21, 2009, 11:04:28 AM »
Thanks for sharing that, Marianne. I learned a lot when I read that.

Offline mwvickers

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1139
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
Re: Miscellaneous Bible & Spiritual Questions
« Reply #39 on: December 16, 2016, 10:48:53 AM »
Fond memories looking back over some of these discussions. 

Long time no . . . write.  Hope everyone is doing well!