[quote=looking4truth]Firstly, I’m posting this in the spirit of reading informed comments of faithful Christians.
If there is a god and a message has been sent to us humans, then I don’t see the message, at least not a clear and unambiguous one.
All I see is confusion, bitter acrimony, contradiction and sometimes just plain nastiness.
Did Moses really part the Red Sea (or even any sea)? Or is that just a bit of folklore?
Did Jesus literally use five loaves to feed 5000 men?
And if the original Bible manuscripts have been lost (as the first website above claims), what confidence (if any) can we have that our versions are accurate?
I know there are lots of questions there, but I think they are valid. How can anyone anyone believe?
Sorry, but I could bang my head against a wall as its so frustrating :banghead:
Hi, and welcome! You’re in the right place. Ask away. We don’t take offense unless the writer intends to be offensive.
I cut your message down and will tackle a little at a time.
For why we should believe at all, I recommend Mortimer Adler’s How To Think About God. It’s out of print, but you can find it at out-of-print book dealers on the Net. Adler was the most influential American philosopher of the 20th century, who became at Catholic (finally) in December, 1999 at the age of 97.
As to why be Christian, I recommend Mere *Christianity *by C.S. Lewis. The guy (now dead) was a brilliant Brit – a former atheist (as I was). You can get the book cheap from a used book vendor.
Yes, the original “books” of the Bible in the author’s own handwriting (called "autographs) didn’t survive antiquity. They were copied by hand over and over again – painfully, laboriously, carefully, by candlelight – by the Catholic Church for 15 centuries until the printing press was invented. It’s a long and complicated history – and utterly fascinating.
I recommend “Where We Got the Bible” by Henry G. Graham available from Catholic Answers (this website).
Much as the Catholic Church reveres the Bible, that’s not the source of her doctrines. The Church learned her doctrines from the lips of the Apostles, and that’s the Faith she teaches. Her doctrines are confirmed in the Bible – either expressly or impliedly – but the Church would teach what she teaches with the Bible or without it. The Church wrote the New Testament – so the Church isn’t bible-based; rather, the NT is based on the teaching Church.
Protestants have the problem – all Protestant churches are based on a different interpretation of the same cut version of the Bible (Luther cut part of the Old Testament).
In the Catholic view, the Scriptures have several “senses.” There is both a literal sense and an allegorical sense to the feeding of the 5,000 and the parting of the Red Sea. A great book, easy to read, is Mark Shea’s Making Senses Out of Scripture, Basilica Press. Shea is a great writer. His blog on the Net is one of the best. He is a former Evangelical, now Catholic.
That’ll give you something to think about. Take a bite at a time.
Ask lots of questions. You’ll have to read a lot. It’s a great journey – for me, it has been the the adventure of a lifetime. I still can’t get enough – can’t learn enough – can’t love God enough – always longing to be in Church, at the Communion rail – I’m always hungry.
Jay Damien (ex-Protestant, ex-atheist)