I understand that allot of christians interpret the bible in there own way, Probably because the questions they get from folk like us are too complex to get into, but in general why does it seem like atheists and agnostic people know more about the bible than the christians themselves, besides the priests and so on...
what do you guys think?
One answer is because a LOT of christians really haven't READ the bible - they've had it read TO THEM. I'd be willing to wager that a great deal of the cherry-picking that happens in some churches comes from the pulpit, from preachers who HAVE seen the whole enchilada and decide to step around the more dicey parts, like the end of Psalms 137 and Judges 19 and ALL SORTS of other stuff like that.
It's amazing what you can learn on your own, eh?
Well said Loren. I think you nailed it. The catholics don't even accept the book of revelation.
Grazie a tutti.
Loren is right. In my personal experience many Christians tell me that they believe in the bible and believe its is the inerrant word of god but when asked if they have read it their answer is no.
Hi Jonathan. I agree with Loren and others in that many Christians have never read their bible. The main reason I read and re-read the bible is so I have the necessary knowledge to argue against the folly within its pages. I think the main problem with Christians, though, is that their personal interpretations come about as a form of faith preservation. They have grown up with bible stories that have been presented as truth from a book allegedly inspired by an all-knowing god. Then they find out there is opposition to the supposed facts of those stories, usually presented in well-reasoned arguments, and so they try to show, from their bible, that there isn’t any real disagreement at all.
Using the bible as proof the bible is factual has a long history-
And Trypho said, "Prove this; for, as you see, the day advances, and we are not prepared for such perilous replies; since never yet have we heard any man investigating, or searching into, or proving these matters; nor would we have tolerated your conversation, had you not referred everything to the Scriptures: for you are very zealous in adducing proofs from them; - Justin Martyr - Dialogue with Trypho
The flood story is an example I come across very often. The Christian will usually acknowledge there is no hard physical evidence for a world-wide flood but then say that doesn’t mean their bible is wrong. It only means it was interpreted wrongly. The Hebrew word for mountains can mean hills, so the flood rose only fifteen cubits (six metres) above the local hills.
I won’t get into the multitude of problems this makes for the amateur apologist except to say they ignore Jesus’ understanding of how cataclysmic that flood was-
37 But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,
39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
The best advice for Christians concerning the truth and its interpretation comes from their own bible. If Christians were to use the meaning of truth as found in the contemporary real world as opposed to biblical ‘truth’ and applied that to the following verse, I’m sure there would be fewer bible-believing Christians. And if you’re a Christian that doesn’t believe what your christ believes, you can’t really call yourself a Christian!
1 Thessalonians 5:21
But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; (or right, true)
Let that, accordingly, be to you Scripture, and Nature, and Discipline, which you shall find to have been sanctioned by God; just as you are bidden to “examine all things, and diligently follow whatever is better.” (or truer, more honest) - Tertullian - On the Veiling of Virgins.
The meaning here is, that they were carefully to examine everything proposed for their belief. They were not to receive it on trust; to take it on assertion; to believe it because it was urged with vehemence, zeal, or plausibility. In the various opinions and doctrines which were submitted to them for adoption, they were to apply the appropriate tests from reason and the word of God, and what they found to be true they were to embrace; what was false they were to reject. - Albert Barnes on 1 Thessalonians 5:21
The doctrines of human infallibility, implicit faith, and blind obedience, are not the doctrines of the Bible. Every Christian has and ought to have, the judgment of discretion, and should have his senses exercised in discerning between good and evil, truth and falsehood. And proving all things must be in order to holding fast that which is good. - Matthew Henry on 1 Thessalonians 5:21