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Heiné de Waal
 
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The Bible - book of facts or fiction?

18 June 2014, 10:00

I often here Christians saying that the bible is the word of God or that the authors where “inspired’ by God. Is this really true?

I have to make it clear that I am not Christian, but was raised in a Christian environment and therefore was forced to study the Bible. Later on in life I worked it out that the Bible cannot be the absolute word of God; anyway that is what I started to believe. However, I was still curious HOW did the Bible happen and WHO created this popular book. I did some research.

The current Western Bible consists of 39 Old Testament books and 27 New Testament books which were written, translated, arranged, edited and selected as a canon over a period of 1600 years by more than 150 authors. The Old Testament, a collection of Jewish scriptures and history (written 1500 to 250 BCE) draws upon an oral tradition that dates back to 1800 BCE. The New Testament, which focuses on the life and ministry of Christ was written 40 to 60 CE. Subsequent revisions, enhancements and translation adjustments have been made over the years to both of these Testaments.

In 325 CE, Pope Constantine called for 14 Apocrypha books to be removed from the original book of 80 at the Council of Nicea, in order for the New Testament to support the story of the mythological Jesus and the Holy Roman Catholic Church. The real purpose of creating this new religion was to unite the states of Rome under one rulebook. He also encouraged the mixing of the Roman Pagan beliefs with Christianity hence the many similarities between the practices.

The King James version of the New Testament was completed in 1611 by 8 members of the Church of England. There were no original texts to translate it from. Even today there are still no original texts to compare the Bible with. The oldest manuscripts available today were written down hundreds of years AFTER the last apostle died. There are over 8 000 of these old manuscripts and no two are alike. The King James translators used none of these, instead they edited previous translations to create a version that the King and Parliament of that time would approve.

The 21st century Christian believes that the Bible is “God’s word”, but it is a book edited in the 17th century from 16th century translations of 8 000 contradictory copies of the 4th century scrolls that claim to be copies of lost letters written in the 1st century. How accurate can Jesus’ history really be? Also, some of the books are letters written by Paul as his opinions on what Christians need to do as followers of Jesus. How accurate could this be to what Jesus was teaching?

This is the book Christians still use today as their “rulebook”, believing it is the exact word of God.

I put it to you that I think this book has become out-dated. For example, only 3 of the 10 commandments are still relevant as good moral values in the modern world: “You shall not murder. You shall not steal. You shall not give false testimony to your neighbour.” Christians say God speaks to them through this book - the authors of the Bible were “inspired” by God to write this book. I feel that there are many other and more modern books inspired by God that are more up to date and with more understandable spiritual messages. I would think if there was a God that had good intentions then He would update us constantly with the latest appropriate information and not except us to rely only on his once-off – and very ancient - speech aka. The Bible. What if God is speaking to us today in his latest voice by intuition, synchronicities, books, people, signs and meditation? Why would Christians rather prefer to listen to a 2000-year old recording? It makes no sense to me!

When we read the Bible with an imaginative mind – like a child – we will accept it as factual. We will believe that a snake in the book of Genesis was really talking and that Adam and Eve were able to populate the earth with their very limited gene pool. We will believe the Ark was able to carry all the species of animals and that Jonah survived inside a fish for 3 days. However when we read the Bible with an open and rational mind, we would understand that it is a book of perception and interpretation. We will realise that some of the context is just fictional - similar to what we will find in a book such as Harry Potter (another best seller). However, it still carries spiritual messages, IF we understand the context in which it was created. To understand the context we really need to read plenty of others books such as books on Biblical history or recent archaeological discoveries.

Over time I have come to realise that it is detrimental to our spiritual development if we base our beliefs on just one ancient book. Even more so if this book tells us this is the only way to go.

Anyway…I was inspired to share this.

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