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  #16  
Old Apr 13, '12, 11:14 am
englishredrose's Avatar
englishredrose englishredrose is offline
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Default Re: Bible stories----which are real and which are tales?

Reading The Bible shows me that

Reading it on its own one can become terribly confused and all mixed up. But reading it with God and being able to ask appropriate people when need that direction then it isn't all so difficult.

That just taking little snippets as some christians love to do to back up their argument confuses what whole message of that scripture may be. People can 'play' with scripture to suit themselves but can they attempt to apply what they are learning in their own lives?

The Bible can be as complicated as we want it to be or we can read it as a pilgrim.
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  #17  
Old Apr 13, '12, 11:38 am
mercytruth mercytruth is offline
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Default Re: Bible stories----which are real and which are tales?

Jesus spoke of Adam and Eve, of Abraham, of Noah, of Sodom and Gomorrah, of David, of Jonah, of Elijah, of Moses, and even of the serpent on a pole. Jesus quotes the Tanakh when resisting Satan in the wilderness, Jesus quotes scriptures when debating the scribes and Pharisees. The apostles of Jesus quote the Tanakh. tCombined,he early church fathers, quoted practically the entire Tanakh and NT in their writings.

They rarely gave an allegorical interpretation, and only as an additional explanation of some spiritual truth. The apostle Paul, quotes the Torah, when he wrote,
"you shall not muzzle the ox that treads out the corn'. His allegorical interpretation is that that the servant of God who teaches the word of God to the nations should be able to receive their livelihood from the hearers of the word.

"Faith comes by hearing, and hearing comes by the word of God."

If one eliminates the veracity of the word of God, then one will be eliminating faith.
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  #18  
Old Apr 13, '12, 12:48 pm
Uzziah1 Uzziah1 is offline
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Default Re: Bible stories----which are real and which are tales?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mercytruth View Post
If one eliminates the veracity of the word of God, then one will be eliminating faith.
These kinds of blanket assertions of total non-falsehood of the Bible tend to be shored-up by tautological exceptions.

Are you Catholic?
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  #19  
Old Apr 13, '12, 1:20 pm
mercytruth mercytruth is offline
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Default Re: Bible stories----which are real and which are tales?

What is so sad among some Catholics is the belief that the living Word in the Eucharist is all that is required of them. It is also sad for Protestants to think that only the written Word of God is all that is required of them.

The very first martyr of the faith, St.Stephen, stood up among the Jewish leaders of his day and gave them a history of their nation from Genesis through Exodus. What was good enough for St.Stephen should be good enough for us.


The kingdom of heaven does not belong to those who think they are wise.
We ought to be very careful in not offending the faith of any of the little ones.

Ps.131, Matt.18:1-4
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  #20  
Old Apr 15, '12, 4:17 pm
RobbyS RobbyS is offline
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Default Re: Bible stories----which are real and which are tales?

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Originally Posted by Uzziah1 View Post
Hi, Robby. What forest do I not see through the trees, friend? I think that you are firing your rifle in the wrong direction from the wrong trenches. The Bible is inspired. It is the true word of God. But many people come to it with a perspecive of excessive simplicity: They think and say, with great gravity, "Every jot and tittle of the Bible is true. If you want to understand Christianity, it's all laid out in the Bible, where it is as clear as glass!"

No, it isn't. The Bible is fabulously complex. We need inspiration of God, and the guidance of the Church, to understand it.

Example: A seemingly simple question: Which is more important, faith or works?

If I am a zealous fundamentalist, I say, "Pooh! Easily proven!" and I get out my concordance, which takes me to Romans 3:27-28 ...

27 What occasion is there then for boasting? It is ruled out. On what principle, that of works? No, rather on the principle of faith. 28 For we consider that a person is justified by faith apart from works of the law.

This motivates the fundamentalist to answer, "See?! See?! Faith is more important! Wasn't that easy?!"

But not so fast! Christ was a big, big "works man"! The story of the Good Samaritan seems to be about "faith versus works." In Luke 10, in the Parable of the Good Samaritan, whom does Christ prefer: The "man of faith," the priest? The "man of faith," the Levite? Or the unbeliver, "Mr. Works," the Samaritan "nonbeliever," who sees the robbery victim laying in the gutter, is moved by compassion, tends to his wounds, transports him physically to an inn, cares for him there, and leaves money?

Clearly, in the Parable, Christ spits on those with faith without works, but prefers him who, lacking "faith," engages in works.

And James is downright nasty on the subject ...

14 What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him?

15 If a brother or sister has nothing to wear and has no food for the day,

16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, keep warm, and eat well,” but you do not give them the necessities of the body, what good is it?

17 So also faith of itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

18 Indeed someone might say, “You have faith and I have works.” Demonstrate your faith to me without works, and I will demonstrate my faith to you from my works.

19 You believe that God is one. You do well. Even the demons believe that and tremble.

20 Do you want proof, you ignoramus, that faith without works is useless?

Wow! "Ignoramus"! That's strong language! The problem arises, I think, when Paul, in Romans 3:27, DISTINGUISHES BETWEEN "faith" and "works." I say that they are not clearly distinguishable. And so the question was not easily resolved by getting out the concordance and finding and reading Romans 3:27.

The Bible is complex, not simple. You may think that I "can't see the forest for the trees," good Christian, but Hansel and Gretel got lost in the forest.

The Bible is complex, not simple.
Yes, the Bible is complex. It begins and ends with two mysterious books. From beginning to end, it tells an amazing story, how God works in the affairs of mankind. Chesterton says that God writes straight with crooked lines. No better proof of that than the Bible.
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  #21  
Old Apr 15, '12, 4:31 pm
RobbyS RobbyS is offline
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Default Re: Bible stories----which are real and which are tales?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mercytruth View Post
What is so sad among some Catholics is the belief that the living Word in the Eucharist is all that is required of them. It is also sad for Protestants to think that only the written Word of God is all that is required of them.

The very first martyr of the faith, St.Stephen, stood up among the Jewish leaders of his day and gave them a history of their nation from Genesis through Exodus. What was good enough for St.Stephen should be good enough for us.


The kingdom of heaven does not belong to those who think they are wise.
We ought to be very careful in not offending the faith of any of the little ones.

Ps.131, Matt.18:1-4
Catholics do understand that the Eucharist lies at the heart of Christian worship. Even Calvin understood that, even though he treated the mass an an abomination.
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  #22  
Old Apr 15, '12, 11:20 pm
RobbyS RobbyS is offline
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Default Re: Bible stories----which are real and which are tales?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mercytruth View Post
Jesus spoke of Adam and Eve, of Abraham, of Noah, of Sodom and Gomorrah, of David, of Jonah, of Elijah, of Moses, and even of the serpent on a pole. Jesus quotes the Tanakh when resisting Satan in the wilderness, Jesus quotes scriptures when debating the scribes and Pharisees. The apostles of Jesus quote the Tanakh. tCombined,he early church fathers, quoted practically the entire Tanakh and NT in their writings.

They rarely gave an allegorical interpretation, and only as an additional explanation of some spiritual truth. The apostle Paul, quotes the Torah, when he wrote,
"you shall not muzzle the ox that treads out the corn'. His allegorical interpretation is that that the servant of God who teaches the word of God to the nations should be able to receive their livelihood from the hearers of the word.

"Faith comes by hearing, and hearing comes by the word of God."

If one eliminates the veracity of the word of God, then one will be eliminating faith.
The modern method of deconstructing the text, and treating it as a blend of fact and fiction, forgets, IMHO, that in the end, we often don;t know what the author had in mind when he wrote, what his sources were, etc.
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  #23  
Old Apr 16, '12, 1:18 am
Jn2027 Jn2027 is offline
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Default Re: Bible stories----which are real and which are tales?

Personally, I do not read the Bible outside of Mass or Divine Office or some other official activity of the Church. Sacred Scripture is just that, it is sacred, it is not to be read or treated or used like an ordinary book. I have found that trying to know the Bible outside of the Church simply cannot be done and should not be done (look how many Protestant sects there are! --that is proof that they are treating the Bible incorrectly, they do not agree about what they read.). Christians are not people of the book, we are People of the Spirit, we are baptized into Christ and His Spirit is in us. Follow in the foot steps of the illiterate saints and you will be very happy, you will know God and love God and your vexations over the Bible will cease.
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  #24  
Old Apr 16, '12, 3:42 pm
Contarini Contarini is offline
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Default Re: Bible stories----which are real and which are tales?

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Originally Posted by RobbyS View Post
The modern method of deconstructing the text, and treating it as a blend of fact and fiction, forgets, IMHO, that in the end, we often don;t know what the author had in mind when he wrote, what his sources were, etc.
No, it doesn't forget anything of the sort. Quite the reverse. It's when folks say "I just accept it as true as written" than they are forgetting how little we know.

Conventional academic scholarship covers a wide spectrum of opinion, and it is indeed highly speculative. Much of it is, of course, wrong. That's true of any scholarship in any field. But for the reason you have mentioned, we can't say with certainty just which bits of it are wrong. So we should take it seriously, precisely because it's an endeavor that respects the limits of our knowledge rather than assuming that the texts as we have them are somehow transparent and that traditions about authorship are to be received uncritically.

Edwin
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  #25  
Old Apr 16, '12, 4:50 pm
ricmat ricmat is offline
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Default Re: Bible stories----which are real and which are tales?

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Originally Posted by coachkfan1 View Post
God never tried to "match up" Adam with lions, tigers, or bears. He brought each animal to Adam and whatever he named then that is what they were called. Maybe before trying to define which stories are "real" and which are not you should read what the story actually says.
I've heard that the reason for this incident is that:

1. God was showing Adam that he is "above" the animals, a steward of creation. Adam "owns" the animals. By naming them, he is taking the prerogative much like a slave owner shows his superiority over the slave by giving the slave a name (and never mind what name the slave thought he had already).

2. God was showing Adam that creation is not complete until woman appears, then things are not just "good" but "very good." We emulate God's love within the Trinity here on earth through the love of man, woman, and child.

In general, I've found that it does no good to focus on whether a part of the Bible is "real" or "fable." Rather, it does a lot of good to understand the reason why those particular parts are in the Bible at all. There is an important message there, regardless of whether or not it is fact or fiction. You don't need to know if it's fact or fiction to get the message.

IMHO.
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  #26  
Old Apr 17, '12, 10:18 pm
RobbyS RobbyS is offline
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Default Re: Bible stories----which are real and which are tales?

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Originally Posted by Contarini View Post
No, it doesn't forget anything of the sort. Quite the reverse. It's when folks say "I just accept it as true as written" than they are forgetting how little we know.

Conventional academic scholarship covers a wide spectrum of opinion, and it is indeed highly speculative. Much of it is, of course, wrong. That's true of any scholarship in any field. But for the reason you have mentioned, we can't say with certainty just which bits of it are wrong. So we should take it seriously, precisely because it's an endeavor that respects the limits of our knowledge rather than assuming that the texts as we have them are somehow transparent and that traditions about authorship are to be received uncritically.

Edwin
Albert Magnus was said to approach Aristotle with such great sympathy for the Philosopher that he treated the text rather lightly. He would draw conclusions based on how HE thought Aristotle would see the matter, even though Aristotle had never even considered the matter, so far as we know. St. Thomas was far more careful, and so would follow him only so far in many matters. Luther, it seems to me, took the approach of St. Albert with regard to the Scriptures.
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  #27  
Old Apr 17, '12, 10:27 pm
RobbyS RobbyS is offline
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Default Re: Bible stories----which are real and which are tales?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ricmat View Post
I've heard that the reason for this incident is that:

1. God was showing Adam that he is "above" the animals, a steward of creation. Adam "owns" the animals. By naming them, he is taking the prerogative much like a slave owner shows his superiority over the slave by giving the slave a name (and never mind what name the slave thought he had already).

2. God was showing Adam that creation is not complete until woman appears, then things are not just "good" but "very good." We emulate God's love within the Trinity here on earth through the love of man, woman, and child.

In general, I've found that it does no good to focus on whether a part of the Bible is "real" or "fable." Rather, it does a lot of good to understand the reason why those particular parts are in the Bible at all. There is an important message there, regardless of whether or not it is fact or fiction. You don't need to know if it's fact or fiction to get the message.

IMHO.
I agree. And speaking of Adam, I am always reminded that when St.Paul speaks of Christ as the second Adam, it tells us we need to think about Christ as we read the Text of Genesis. But no matter how deeply we read, we get only glimpses of the Truth.
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  #28  
Old Apr 18, '12, 7:02 pm
fred conty fred conty is offline
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Default Re: Bible stories----which are real and which are tales?

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Originally Posted by itullian View Post
i see various threads on seperate stories, but what is the church's stance on this?

i mean like Genesis real, Noah tale, Jonah real, Jesus walking on water tale, Sampson, Jericho, etc, etc.

it seems like once you say one is a tale all are subject to the same.
so how to sort it all out?

thanks
First, the pope in an encylical, said that if you want to take the whole bible literally, you are free to do so. Don't ask me what pope in what encylical because you will show up my ignorance. I just know that I read it and I believe it was the late Pope Paul (and my fingers are crossed). Maybe some real intelligent person could help me out on this one.

Secondly, when dealing with stories and figures in the Bible, each incident should be looked at and examined in the light of the churchs teachings, on an individual basis.
It isn't a "one answer" fits all.

Thirdly, many times if you have a good Bible that has good commentaries and footnotes, this could be an invaluable source of information regarding the one or more interpretations that a passage may have to offer. It might be good to have several good Bibles for this reason.

Lastly, there are some great books, even in the public library, that may furnish light on the customs, thinking, maps, cultures, religions, of those days when the bible was written.

It all takes time, and understanding builds on previous understanding.

A lot of thought, a prayer to the Holy Spirit will work wonders.
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  #29  
Old Apr 18, '12, 8:42 pm
Uzziah1 Uzziah1 is offline
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Default Re: Bible stories----which are real and which are tales?

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Originally Posted by coachkfan1 View Post
God never tried to "match up" Adam with lions, tigers, or bears. He brought each animal to Adam and whatever he named then that is what they were called. Maybe before trying to define which stories are "real" and which are not you should read what the story actually says.
Bruce Vawter, one of the chief Old Testament Committee translators of the 1970 version of the NAB for the US Bishops, told me himself about 4 decades ago that that was the meaning. If you look at Genesis 2:23, you'll see that the OTC has Adam saying "This one AT LAST is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh..." Vawter told me that "AT LAST" was an "elegantizing' of the Hebrew term pa'am which meant something like "DISTURBED" meaning "[Adam was] disturbed [by God's Own initial failed efforts]."

Vawter was helping me with a college paper.
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  #30  
Old Apr 18, '12, 8:44 pm
Uzziah1 Uzziah1 is offline
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Default Re: Bible stories----which are real and which are tales?

It's not TEACHING the God errs. The Bible anthropomorphizes God to personalize Him.
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