What do people mean when they say "the Bible says"?
(I confess I have said it many times in my life; and herein is my public apology for not actually stating who said it, so that we can examine the saying contextually.)
For example: Moses said that it was bad (a sin) for a homosexual man to be unfaithful to his wife by lying with another man in his wife's wedding bed.
V’et zachar lo tishkav mishk’vey eeshah toeyvah hee."
But I hear people saying, "The Bible says homosexuality is a sin, or they say "God said homosexuality is a sin". --
(Moses never came to that conclusion, Jesus never came to that conclusion, Paul, in a personal letter, kind of came to that conclusion. -- So why would someone say, "The Bible proves that God thinks of homosexuality as a sin?"
(If anyone quotes an English translation, I suggest you go to your local college or university and ask a Hebrew speaking religious professor to explain the original verse, before it was mistranslate in 1607.)
Or simply let you heart witness to you. Why would God create a unique person and then condemn that person for being unique?
Dear Mark - You have just quoted Paul's personal letters. But you called it the NT. Paul's words just about completely negated everything Jesus actually taught. -- Are you a Roman Church member in Paul's decision to interpret or reinterpet the actual words of Jesus? (during the first century)
Then why are you following and quoting
Paul's letter to the the Romans during the first century?
Dear Jim Pettis, Your extensive research and conclusions certainly illustrate that once a person is convinced to hate or condemn someone, they will misinterpret the very theme of God, and they will misinterpret the very message of Jesus. And just what is the theme of God and the message of Jesus?
Harmony is harmony; disharmony is the only sin against God.
But Church empires, including several authors in the Bible, have maintained their control over their congregations by defining "sin".
Many Bible authors searched their world for confirmation and justification for their hatred and condemnation of anyone different than them. If you do not see the gross differences between Paul and Jesus, then you have epitomized the expression "a disciples blindspot" (a disciple of Paul, not a disciple of Jesus.)
Since Paul, the Church Empires have had 2000 years to justify their allegience to Paul instead of their faithfullness to the Sermons of Jesus.
- Anonymous1 decade agoFavorite Answer
I think this is when of the best questions I've ever come across in my entire time being here. I am envious because I wish I had thought to ask it. I knew you had read and translated much of the 'original' text rather than going by the Anglicized version and I always wondered what much of it really said. That so many people read the Bible thousands of years later and refuse to recognize it has been extremely altered and made to perpetuate prejudices over time never ceases to amaze me. Throughout time it has been revamped and retranslated. Human beings have taken their own wants, needs and made them applicable. Entire societies have changed the Bible so it is something the governing parties can utilize to further their causes, usually of evil. The English translations hardly touch upon the original Hebrew (O.T.) and Greek (N.T.). I know little of these original works and original languages but it is impossible not to be aware of the depths to which man can take a manuscript and change its stories for personal gain. I know almost nothing of what the 'original' (as original as can be) scripts say but I am aware too that they were written in an entirely different era and perpetuated a set of laws and morals meant to fix the problems of that time. I know you are a Christian and I an atheist, but I utterly respect the fact that you have looked into your beliefs with such depth and kept always in the back of your mind the fact that those of a high position - royalty, despots, lawmakers, tyrants, etc.- have ripped any original scripts apart so as to enforce their often terroristic beliefs upon the masses. Rarely have the majority of people ever had a voice in regard to what they believed the Bible meant. Now most just (and this goes back to your "bossy" question) interpret whatever stunted version they have in a self-serving manner, judging everyone except themselves. I want to ask you personally if you can explain what you believe about God's "free will" to me, Uncle W. Not only does such a concept seem not to be mentioned at all in the Bibles, I have to wonder why someone so ethereal would offer words and laws to a people he's created with such a great bounty of ignorance - and why he's only allowed them to use about 6% of their brain capacity anyway. Why not create us as a peaceful lot and allow us to traverse the vast universes and love and be happy? Why hold that back from everyone? I do not agree at all with the premise that people need to suffer in order to understand how good they have it - although I can somewhat comprehend how that can be in this world. Why not create people to learn about this huge, eternal world by offering it up to them from the beginning? Nobody could ever tire of the experience as it will always be new. I know how sappy this may sound but I do not mean it to be at all. If there is so very much to our world, all of it created by God, then why not give his live creations the means to enjoy it all to their fullest extent? Why limit them so?
Thank you, Wayne, for an excellent and thought-provoking question. It is a shame that more Christians like you don't recognize the fallacies of any human rendering of the possible supernatural. Some do (and I know a number here - hi Rammie, Kerilyn, Bella, etc.) but the majority seem to completely refuse to engage such an idea (probably because they're so... human).
- 1 decade ago
Do you believe all scripture is given by inspiration of God? Because if you don't, then it doesn't matter how many verses I quote, you will never believe what "the Bible says".
Its obvious that you have been doing some research. So by now you must know that we as humans are all sinners; none of us are good. We are born with a sinful nature. What does that mean? The inclination to do what is bad. I don't want to do what is bad but if I get careless I give in. Once converted God's nature takes over and gives us strength to lead the right path. When The Lord returns, our sinful nature will cease to exist and our struggle with sin will end.
Homosexuality is one of the most difficult sins to struggle with. No other sin so clearly affects the body as this one does. Apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthians to run away from sexual sin, for our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit. Paul goes on to say "Those who indulge in sexual sin will have no share in the kingdom of God". He writes that God will "Abandon them to their shameful desires" If homosexuality will not get you to heaven, then it must be a sin. Do you feel that God should apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah? Their sexual sins led them to destruction. If only they had repented and turned from their ways...
Paul writes that sins can be washed away and the person can be made right with The Lord. This is what "the Bible says" and I believe it.Source(s): Romans 1:24-32/1Corinthians 6:9-11/Genesis 18-19
- DawnaLv 44 years ago
I think Christ put it pretty clear in Jn 14:15 as you quoted. But, what I have come to understand in it's full meaning is to keep the Word of God in your heart and on your mind, by seeking first the kingdom [Matt 6:33]. If we center our lives upon Christ, and the Word which is Christ, then we obey and keep His commandments, which are to love God with all our heart, mind, soul, and to love our neighbor. By thinking first of Christ (What Would Jesus Do) [WWJD], then each thought and action is directed by the Spirit, and therefore living in obedience to the will of God. This is how the body of Christ shares it's light with the world. This is the love of Christ in us working through us. This is how we become His hands, His feet, His eyes. This is the power of the cross through His people.
- EagiustiLv 41 decade ago
I completely agree. Today's "Christianity" is basically one of the biggest cults in the world. I believe in the bible as a real, true part of history ... but I also believe that it is constantly being taken out of context, and that it is taken much, much too literally. The English translation of the bible, in many ways, turns a simple suggestion into a religious law ... general guidelines into legalism. I have a boyfriend now, but about a year ago I had an amazing girlfriend for 2 years. She believed in the bible and genuinely loved God, and I couldn't bring myself to go to church even though she wanted to. I stopped going when I started dating her because of how most Christian react to homosexuals ... It it APPALLING that a "Christian" can't accept (never mind respect) someone who is gay as being a good, pure person, who is not a horrible, blasphemous sinner. Even some Christians who say, "I accept it, I just don't agree with it," are just as bad ... because it makes that person feel inadequate around them ... certainly not accepted, anyway. And where did people ever get the idea that masturbation was "against the bible?"
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- Anonymous1 decade ago
1) They usually mean that it is written in the bible.
2) As another answer wrote, you provide no reference. It is Lev 18:22. I have to admit - without even researching - that I consider the various English translation provided by dozens of well-respected scholars who were responsible for the many versions that I have read far more authoritative than yours. I do not recognize your translation in any verse of any English version, including the JPS Tanakh http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Bible/... . Perhaps you consider your skill superior to the (mostly well-respected) ancient language scholars, both Jewish and non-Jewish professors, who have provided English translations for us to date, long after 1607, using modern scholarship (not a 1607 translation).
Here are some of the bible verses that specifically condemn homosexuality, or at least individual types of homosexual acts, with a brief overview of the literal meaning from the original language (source: http://www.religioustolerance.org/hom_bibl.htm )
Lev 18:22 (Moses, specifically against homosexual anal intercourse, despite your self-proclaimed "correct" translation)
Lev 20:13 (Moses, general condemnation of male homosexual sex)
Deu 23:17 (Moses, probably specifically against male homosexual temple prostitution)
Rom 1:26-27 (Paul, although vague in some respects in this verse, is definitely condemning, at the very least, lesbian and homosexual acts under specific circumstances. Some claim that this verse refers only to temple rituals, but neither temples nor religious rituals are mentioned in these verses)
1Co 6:9 (Paul, specifically against male homosexual acts)
1Ti 1:9-10 (Paul, although the translation is not fully understood, is at the very least condemning some specific type of male homosexual act, if not male homosexuality in general)
"Or simply let you heart witness to you. Why would God create a unique person and then condemn that person for being unique?"
He wouldn't, of course. Even if you have put your faith in the (scientifically unproven) theory that homosexuals are born with homosexual attraction, homosexuals are *not* born performing homosexual acts. For most men, desire for beautiful women (not just a wife) is "natural". We can see clearly from reading Paul that it is the act of fornication, not the desire, that is sin.
"Paul's words just about completely negated everything Jesus actually taught."
This is a verifiably erroneous statement. It makes me look on your translation with quite a bit more skepticism. There is no contradiction in Paul's letters with Jesus' teachings - if you actually read them and consider the context.
1) Moses *did* come to this conclusion, after God told him specifically (in Lev 20:13)
2) It is fallacious to claim that Jesus never came to that conclusion. Since we have no definite recording of Jesus' teaching in this matter, we can only say with authority that we do not know what Jesus said specifically concerning this. However, considering Jesus' adherence to the spirit of the Mosaic Law, it is clear what his teaching on this would be, at least in regards to male homosexuality.
3) Paul definitely came to that conclusion - or, alternately, was regurgitating the teachings of Jesus.
Thus, we can clearly see that the bible *does* condemn, at the very least, specific types of homosexuality (both male and female). We can also see that the bible specifically condemns male homosexuality in general. Finally, we can see that in no place is the bible permissive of homosexual acts of any sort. Thus, it is plain that homosexual acts, in general, are opposed and condemned by the bible.
- Purdey EPLv 71 decade ago
People frequently start statements with that when they think what they're about to say came from the Bible. Frequently it's a misinterpretation or not even in there.
- 1 decade ago
Just to answer your question simply - they are stating a fact that God wrote the bible and what He said. It would be like quoting any other author of any other book that was written. Except for the fact that If you don't believe in the bible than there are consequences. Try that with any other religion. Not too many consequences with any other religion.
- alanaLv 51 decade ago
Because what else do they have? Even that reason is becoming weak over time. Maybe eventually we will get to a point where the bible will no longer be a tool to be bigoted and judge mental towards other people.
You can buy bibles where anything god says is in red ink. It is less then %2 of the entire bible.
- Anonymous1 decade ago
because the ones that do that like to take verses and use them to prove their point.
example...i have a jewish friend who told me the verse that says "thou shall not suffer a witch to live" is a mistranslation. it should read "thou shall not suffer a poisoner to live" meaning an assassin. big difference there.
it's very sad.
bright blessings to you and (((hugs)))
- hisgloryisgreatLv 61 decade ago
What does homosexuality have to do with being unique?
Every person born is unique.
All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.
Why do you think that someone who doesn't believe in God has the eyes to see the truth in the bible?