Monthly Archives: September 2012

And Another Thing

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A couple of posts back, I shared some thoughts on a debate I’d had with someone about the Bible. I completely forgot to add that I also think that the New Testament does not tell the complete story of Yahushua’s (aka Jesus’) mortal life. Let me retract the “I think” part of that statement. Factually, it is not a complete story considering that it tells nothing about Him as teenager or a young adult.

I also disagree with people who say that whatever it does not contain is not important. For me, everything that the Messiah did– every move He made and every word He spoke was important. Knowing this information just may also help in contextualizing a lot of what He taught.

One big question, which has caused many a great debate is the subject of whether or not he had a romantic relationship with a woman. Most have heard the rumors and speculations about a romantic relationship with Mary of Magdala (aka Mary Magdalene), which has never been proven, but has often caused controversy and strife among many.

There have even been a number of debates as to whether or not Yahusha had female disciples. Again, Mary of Magdala’s name comes up quite a bit in these conversations.

Well, while I don’t know whether He ever had an intimate relationship with a woman or even if He truly ever had female disciples. Neither would surprise me, though. I mean, come on, He was fully human (as much as He is divine) and wasn’t it God who said that it was not good that man should be alone? So, why would Yahushua not take a wife?

The following NY Times article caught my eye today since it relates to this very subject. According to the article, an ancient document (its authenticity is still in question) makes reference to Him having a wife, as well as having a female disciple:

Historian Says Piece of Papyrus Refers to Jesus’ Wife

Some will become angry at the mere suggestion, whether it’s true or not. Others, myself included, will not only wonder about its authenticity, but will also hope that it is true. Why? Well, in part, because it would just make sense for a thirty-something year old man to have a wife (I mean no disrespect in case He didn’t), but it may also open the door to more “discoveries” as to how He handled marriage, in general. (In case you don’t know, I wrote a book on Marriage, which is a subject that I find to be fascinating.)

Back to my earlier point, though, there is too much that isn’t known about the Bible’s writers, its subjects and those who organized the New Testament for me to regard it as a 100% true text, which I should follow to a tee. Think about it, a lot was written about Yahushua during His physical ministry, yet the majority of the NT is written by people who never met Him in the flesh. He had 12 disciples (maybe more, but let’s just roll with that number for now), but where are their writings? Heck, for that matter, if Yahushua wanted us to have a NT Bible, why didn’t He write (or commission the writing of) it Himself? Or did He and His disciples write things that never made it into the text?

*shrug*

I don’t know the answers to these questions, I just know that it doesn’t add up. Which brings me to more questions. Like did those charged with creating a New Testament have an agenda? How did they determine what made it in and what would never be seen by future generations? Who selected them to be the decision makers in this project? Did any of this come from God the Father? Were there political motivations? I can go on for days, but you get my point.

As I said in the previous point, when all is said and done none of this has any bearing on my faith. None. I believe in God the Father, His Son the Messiah and the power of the Holy Spirit. I believe that Yahushua died due to our sinfulness and that our faith in Him (who He is, what He taught and what He modeled throughout His ministry…which is why ALL details of His life are important) is what saves us from eternal condemnation. I believe that He rose from the dead and ascended into Heaven and that He will return again. Can’t recall if I said this in my last post or not, but I believe in the red letter portions of the Bible without question.

Just wish we had more of the whole picture and not what someone thousands of years ago decided we should know while stifling other writings.

And I won’t even touch on the fact that the text that we DO have is actually a translation of a translation. Ever heard of lost in translation? Couple that with a lot of what we misinterpret just by sheer ignorance about cultural context and reading into scripture what we (or some teacher) think something means.

I’ve got work to do, so I have to end it here, but I found the NY Times article rather interesting and it reminded me of a few things I forgot to add in my last rambling. I’m in rush now, so should anyone ever discover this blog, lol, please excuse an errors.

~L.

Aside

Just realized that I hadn’t blogged in over 2 weeks! Seriously, I have no idea where the time goes. Have been pretty busy with work (both with clients and personal projects) and it just sort of slipped away from me, I guess. Anyway, I promised myself that I wouldn’t let this blog fall by the wayside, again, so here I am. 🙂

Nothing major to discuss other than the fact that I’m extremely grateful for the work that I’ve been blessed to do. I can take it for granted…and I often do, but I don’t know too many people who are able to work from home, set their own work schedule or even not work at all if they choose to. That I’m able to sit in front of this machine and collect money all without even meeting a client face-to-face just astounds me when I think about it. Often, I focus on how much more I want to make or I take for granted what I do accomplish, but this morning I found myself just being plain grateful for the fact that I’m able to do what I do on my own terms.

So, that’s it. Like I said, nothing major going on. I do have some thoughts on domestic violence that I want to share eventually, but right now I’ve got other things vying for my attention. Will be back, though. I promise (myself).

Nothing to See Here

Bible Debate

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Just had a somewhat passionate conversation with someone about my thoughts on the Bible. Our discussion didn’t start on this subject (it actually started with discussing human trafficking), but we were led down that path anyway.

As I’ve said before, I question some of what is in the Bible. This isn’t to say that I don’t believe that truth exists in the Bible, but just that some parts of it give me pause and I wonder if God really said something (or ordered it) or if the men that wrote and assembled the Bible are saying that God said or ordered something, when, really, it was coming from them (in other words, did they seek to justify certain things they felt or wanted to believe by saying that “God said” it was supposed to be that way). This isn’t to say that any of the Bible’s authors outright lied on God or deliberately sought to mislead readers, only that I question if things really went down the way that some of the authors have written certain events and orders.

For example, 1 Samuel 15 describes a situation where Samuel tells Saul that God told him to tell Saul to go kill a particular group of men and all of the women, infant children and animals belonging to that group. Saul went out to kill, based on this directive, but allowed some of the women, children and animals to live. According to the text, God grew angry with Saul because His instructions for murder weren’t followed to the tee.

Now, granted, the people that Saul was supposed to kill were portrayed as sinners and, of course, there was a past beef involved. But this story just doesn’t add up to me for a number of reasons. First, God supposedly loves the world…He teaches us to love and forgive enemies and it’s been reported that He let’s His sun and rain fall on the just and the unjust, alike. So why the major grudge against this group of people? And why would he order the murder of infant children and animals? Also, God the Father is represented in Christ the Son who is full of love and forgiveness. I cannot imagine Yahushua telling someone to kill ANYONE, much less infant children and animals. And, finally, based on how we know mankind to act, it is plausible that the men had issues with one another and, in order to conquer one group, the best battle strategy was to wipe everyone out. Knowing mankind the way that I do, I question how much of this story was based on Samuel and Saul’s own wishes for power or perhaps even their misunderstanding of what God wanted.

Now, since I wasn’t there and God didn’t speak to me on this, I can’t say whether God actually handed the order down or whether it was either a lie or a misinterpretation.

Ditto for the story of Lot and his daughters. It is easier for me to believe a drunk widower made sexual advances on his daughters than it is for me to believe that two virgin daughters got their father drunk in order to have sex with him. Again, knowing mankind the way that I do, stories like these give me pause. I wasn’t there, I don’t know how it really went down, but I do know it sounds oddly convenient for Lot to be the victim instead of the other way around.

I guess if Lot’s telling the story, his daughters were the aggressors. If Saul was the one doing the conquering (in order to become King), of course, the bad guys will be painted in the worst possible light and maybe Saul needed to believe that killing every single living man, woman, child and animal was not only necessary, but commanded from God. Maybe that’s how you sleep at night after doing such a thing. After all, if God ordered it, you bear no responsibility for a barbaric crime, right?

Again, since I wasn’t there, I’m not prepared (or arrogant enough) to call stories like these out as false, but they are very questionable.

Bottom line: when men write their own stories, it’s not uncommon to find them slanted in a certain way.

And this is where the discussion I had earlier this evening took off.

The person that I was talking to cannot understand how I can believe that some of the Bible is true (most of it, actually), but have ‘questions‘ about other parts.

My response is that the Bible is a big text, with lots of stories written by a lot of different authors. Today, if 100 people got together to publish a book consisting of short stories about their lives and experiences, it’s possible to believe some of their stories outright, but question others. Doesn’t make the entire publication false, just means that some individual author’s stories sound more credible than others.

Now, the person that I was talking to was raised in a religious family and the Bible is the cornerstone of their faith. So, for this person, I understand how it’s difficult to hear anyone question the Bible on one hand, yet quote it on another. But, for me, it’s not so much of a stretch.

I tried to explain to them that my faith isn’t Bible-based. My relationship  with God started long before I ever picked up a Bible to seriously read or study it. So, for me, while I read it daily, study it, pray about its contents and rely on its wisdom and guidance, it is less important to me that it is proven to be 100% accurate. My faith is not one bit bothered by whether or not every word in it is true or not.

Anyway, the conversation ended with us deciding that we simply disagree. This person told me that I shouldn’t quote the Bible in a debate if I can’t blindly believe every word of it (blindly, as in not have questions about parts of it). And my response was that I’m perfectly comfortable quoting and living according to the scriptures that I quote, because the truth that they contain resonates with my Spirit. I’m also comfortable with other parts of it leaving me with questions. Either way, God’s still God.

So, I’ve had a long day and it’s quite late. I’m sure this post probably sounds like a barely coherent rambling, but the conversation was interesting, nonetheless.