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Posted by: barney ( )
Date: December 11, 2011 04:46PM

Hi! I am very sure about the origin of the BOM and other mormon writings. I wonder about the origins of the Bible. If it isn't the word of a god, who's word is it? How did it come about? I've googled the subject, but the articles are very in depth. Anyone have any easy to understand answers?

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Posted by: Raptor Jesus ( )
Date: December 11, 2011 04:53PM

Some people wrote a bunch of stories. Some good - some painful. Some grounded slightly in reality, and others not so much.

Then, later, a ton of nerds came along and said that anyone who criticized those stories should be burned at the stake and they were ALL equally real and equally genius.

And other illiterate people - being illiterate - didn't question.

The end.

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Posted by: SusieQ#1 ( )
Date: December 11, 2011 04:57PM

The Bible, like all religious sacred books is a collection of books/histories/ that are mostly symbolic, and not literal however, many do believe it's all literal. Personally I don't find any reason to believe it's literal.

They teach principles of human behavior and loyalty to the specific belief system. They are what was left to be canonized by the Nicene Creed. (Read up on that and you'll see why I don't find anything divine about any of it.)

They are all God Myths, most are borrowed from older beliefs and stories, parables, myths, legends, etc. etc. A study of older myths will find many of the themes replay in the Bible.

They all claim to be divinely inspired writings, but one must believe there is such a thing as the divine to believe in them.

The same is true of the Book of Mormon: it's plagiarized fiction from other sources (including the Bible in some places), and ideas and beliefs of the times in the early 1800's in New York.
It's composed of imaginary people, places and things.
The value to the believers as with the Bible, is in it's teachings and how they apply to human behaviors.

That's how I see it, anyhow.

I can find value in the stories. Many teach universal truths such as the Bible -- who doesn't like: Love One Another, for instance.
There are many more, of course.

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Posted by: freeman ( )
Date: December 11, 2011 05:14PM

The BoM and the Bible are similar except in one important regard:

The books in the Bible were written about real places relatively close to the time the events written about were supposed to have occured. The BoM was written about imaginary places, imaginary people, and over 2000 years after the events that were alleged to have taken place.

This gives the Bible some historical value if nothing else, whereas the BoM doesn't even make good toilet paper.

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Posted by: Dave the Atheist ( )
Date: December 11, 2011 05:38PM

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Posted by: elee ( )
Date: December 11, 2011 09:07PM

And Epistemology.

It is part of the canon, after all.

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Posted by: Dave the Atheist ( )
Date: December 12, 2011 02:05PM

Huh ? Please explain.

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Posted by: Dances with Cureloms ( )
Date: December 12, 2011 09:03AM

Therefore, more authentic and believable!

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Posted by: jebus ( )
Date: December 12, 2011 10:17AM

If God wrote a book, what is stopping him from making a movie, a television series, or radio show?

Why does he not send emails or text messages?

With modern communication at his disposal, why does God insist on being so backward?

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Posted by: kolobian ( )
Date: December 12, 2011 10:22AM

And why is it that the so-called god's commandments ALWAYS seem to be in the best interests of the men writing the words down?

I know there must be a good reason. Hmmmmmm... It's on the tip of my tongue. Why, oh why, would the god's commandments always benefit the men writing the commandments down? I know this.. ugh... oh well. I'll have to think about it some more...

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Posted by: Dances with Cureloms ( )
Date: December 12, 2011 12:56PM

Wait, the Living Scriptures are not of God? That is different than what the salesman told me at the mall kiosk.

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Posted by: Brother Of Jerry ( )
Date: December 11, 2011 04:59PM

The Bible came from the same place every other piece of literature that ever existed has come from: the fertile imagination of some human writer.

Why is that not a sufficient explanation? I don't know who wrote the various books of the Bible. Could be an interesting study, but there are millions of books whose authors I am not familiar with. That doesn't make me think a god might have written some of them.

And I'm sure some of those authors could play guitar. But they are not Eric Clapton.

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Posted by: Timothy ( )
Date: December 12, 2011 06:50AM

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Posted by: D. Lamb ( )
Date: December 11, 2011 05:06PM

The Bible was written by men (mostly) with an agenda. It's about forcing people to conform or face a ghastly death (see the old testament).

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Posted by: Greyfort ( )
Date: December 11, 2011 05:18PM

The Church in Rome basically decided which, out of the many old scrolls they had, would go into their book. Their scribes made many revisions over the years, so that the book conformed to their religion.

There are some great videos and books out there which put it all together.

As has been said, they are basically a compilation of old myths from around the region, which have been altered to give them a Hebrew perspective. From their Canaanite nomad beginnings, to the separate people they became, their history was gradually revised to be what we see in the Bible today.

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Posted by: Dave the Atheist ( )
Date: December 11, 2011 05:36PM

The bible was written by unknown MEN in unknown times in unknown places.

And is it REALLY a good guide for your life ?

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Posted by: Makurosu ( )
Date: December 11, 2011 05:54PM

That's an excellent question. What is the source of the Bible? Why should you believe in it to begin with? It's wise not to believe everything you read, and the Bible is quite honestly a bit fanciful to be accepted blindly. Or else why not believe in the Koran too?

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/11/2011 05:54PM by Makurosu.

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Posted by: Greyfort ( )
Date: December 11, 2011 08:12PM

I don't really understand why, just because an author's name is unknown, the book must of course be the word of God.

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Posted by: Dave the Atheist ( )
Date: December 11, 2011 08:14PM

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Posted by: MJ ( )
Date: December 11, 2011 08:47PM

It is up to the people that claim the bible is the word of God and they should be the ones that demand legitimate proof before claiming that it is.

I ask you, barney, is the story of a man offering up his daughters to a crowd of men to be raped then being rewarded by god for such an act the work of your god or of man? Such is the story of Lot from the bible.

There have been thousands of religions know to exist or currently existing, all have claimed or are currently claiming to worship legitimate gods and often having books sacred to their beliefs, so where did those beliefs come from and what evidence do you have that shows that your's is any more legitimate than theirs?

Seriously, why is it that so many Christians believe that Christianity is the default true position that must be disproven when the majority of the population of the world, even now, does not believe Christianity?

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/11/2011 09:40PM by MJ.

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Posted by: Troy ( )
Date: December 11, 2011 09:14PM

In Eastern religions like Hinduism, nobody is concerned about whether the stories in the scriptures are actual historical facts. That point would be irrelevant, since they are intended to teach a moral lesson rather than a historically-factual lesson.

If you went to India and started telling people that the Bhagavad Gita is not a true story, they'd probably just give you a really odd look. It doesn't matter whether it's true or not. It's the principles it teaches that matter. It's not even necessary to believe the gods are real. To accuse an atheist in that society of being non-Hindu would be unimaginable. One never leaves Hinduism. It's more fundamental than religion, it's a whole different way of seeing the world. It's also much more reasonable because to see the scriptures in a non-absolute way is to be more open to new ideas. Let's face it, if you take the Bible literally, you have to deny a lot of modern scientific discovery, like the very backbone of biology: evolutionary theory.

Eastern religions have clung to this idea that religion is inclusionary. To show the meaning of that word, the contrast being exclusionary Abrahamic religions, a Hindu person might be open to converting to Christianity, but the idea of converting is much different. Again, one never stops being a Hindu, but such a person would instead "include" Christianity into the Hindu view, and indeed, millions have done just that. But if you told this person that after converting to Christianity, one is no longer Hindu, she would probably be flabbergasted. You might get a response like "No, I'm Hindu, but now I'm Christian too!" There might be more to it than that. A Hindu person can be Buddhist or Tao or any combination. This is how Gandhi approached the matter.

In a Western, Abrahamic society, just try getting away with saying that you're both Christian and Jewish, or Muslim and Christian too or any combination. These religions are exclusionary. You're either in or you're an outsider.

In a society like India, being atheist is just one way of approaching the world. But what's more, in Hindu society, it is considered offensive to try to persuade someone to abandon their religion in favor of another. It's fine and acceptable to teach others about your own religion, but if you try to get people to give up their native religion to join yours, you'll be crossing the line. You can persuade them to include your religion in their beliefs, but asking someone to abandon Hinduism is a little like asking them to deny their native language is based on Sanskrit. It just won't make sense.

The philosophy that underlies this inclusionary outlook runs very deep and its roots are more ancient than written language.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 12/11/2011 09:19PM by Troy.

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Posted by: bignevermo ( )
Date: December 11, 2011 10:24PM

maybe the Hindus are not delusional...hmmm i will have to meditate on that! :)

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Posted by: summer ( )
Date: December 12, 2011 01:05AM

A professor of mine said the same thing -- that Hinduism has a great capacity to absorb other religions.

I see Shintoism (Japan) and Confucianism (China) in much the same way. They are so deeply interwoven into their respective cultures that it is almost impossible to separate them.

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Posted by: Don Bagley ( )
Date: December 11, 2011 09:16PM

If you can't see any reason for progressing beyond the bronze age, then the "Good Book" is good enough for you.

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Posted by: jebus ( )
Date: December 11, 2011 09:58PM

"You believe in a book that has talking animals, wizards, witches. demons, sticks turning into snakes, burning bushes, food falling from the sky, people walking on water, and all sorts of magical, absurd and primitive stories, and you say that we are the ones that need help?"

- Mark Twain

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Posted by: pruchnicki ( )
Date: December 11, 2011 10:18PM

For a plain English explanation of the Bible

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Posted by: Rebeckah ( )
Date: December 12, 2011 01:07AM

I'm inclined to believe they were just trying to justify some really horrible things and gain some power over other people by wrapping it up in "divine inspiration" myself, but I can't claim to know for sure.

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Posted by: amos2 ( )
Date: December 12, 2011 06:40AM

Simple logic:

Only men write words.
+The bible is words.
=The bible was written by men

Now, that's not to dimune the ancient wisdom of thousands of years of culture. I think there are MANY truisms in the bible that you'd be foolish not to respect.
BUT, the bible can also be so woefully wrong that even the most literal believers have to come up with excuses and apologies for it.

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Posted by: Dave the Atheist ( )
Date: December 12, 2011 02:10PM

So are there many truisms in the koran that you'd be foolish not to respect ?
Are there many truisms in the twelve other holy books besides the bible and koran that you'd be foolish not to respect ?

You certainly come across as being disingenuous.

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Posted by: WinksWinks ( )
Date: December 12, 2011 03:08PM

Frankly, I'm just glad the bible includes some basic good human behavior modelling. Not enough, to my taste.

My mom does this thing to me where she thanks me for being polite about something, "Just like verse such and so says in the bible." with a condescending smirk on her face.

No, it was just good manners, mom. Yes, you taught me those too, but completely independent of anything to do with any scriptures.

I have about had it with her attitude, and I'm going to say so, soon. Yes, mom, thankfully your religion taught you a few good humanistic behaviors.

Somehow the message of inclusiveness and goodwill didn't get emphasized enough, now I am the outsider to be looked down on and pitied. _So_ not Jesus's message. And I am so not a believer, either.

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Posted by: mcarp ( )
Date: December 12, 2011 02:04PM

Search for Bart Ehrman. Try "Misquoting Jesus: Who changed the bible and why" or "Forged: Writing in the name of god -- why the bible authors are not who we think they are."

Bart is mainly focused on the New Testament, but if the Old Testament is older, then all the same arguments (illiteracy, scribal errors, etc.) hold for it, too.

We were all taught that Moses wrote the first 5 books of the Old Testament, but the best scholarly argument is that they are stories and traditions written down during the first Babylonian captivity and used mostly by the priests to ride herd on the common man. Hmm... Just like today.

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