Editor's Note: Rachel Held Evans is a popular blogger from Dayton, Tennessee, and author of “A Year of Biblical Womanhood.”
By Rachel Held Evans, Special to CNN
On "The Daily Show" recently, Jon Stewart grilled Mike Huckabee about a TV ad in which Huckabee urged voters to support “biblical values” at the voting box.
When Huckabee said that he supported the “biblical model of marriage,” Stewart shot back that “the biblical model of marriage is polygamy.”
And there’s a big problem, Stewart went on, with reducing “biblical values” to one or two social issues such as abortion and gay marriage, while ignoring issues such as poverty and immigration reform.
It may come as some surprise that as an evangelical Christian, I cheered Stewart on from my living room couch.
As someone who loves the Bible and believes it to be the inspired word of God, I hate seeing it reduced to an adjective like Huckabee did. I hate seeing my sacred text flattened out, edited down and used as a prop to support a select few political positions and platforms.
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And yet evangelicals have grown so accustomed to talking about the Bible this way that we hardly realize we’re doing it anymore. We talk about “biblical families,” “biblical marriage,” “biblical economics,” “biblical politics,” “biblical values,” “biblical stewardship,” “biblical voting,” “biblical manhood,” “biblical womanhood,” even “biblical dating” to create the impression that the Bible has just one thing to say on each of these topics - that it offers a single prescriptive formula for how people of faith ought to respond to them.
But the Bible is not a position paper. The Bible is an ancient collection of letters, laws, poetry, proverbs, histories, prophecies, philosophy and stories spanning multiple genres and assembled over thousands of years in cultures very different from our own.
When we turn the Bible into an adjective and stick it in front of another loaded word, we tend to ignore or downplay the parts of the Bible that don’t quite fit our preferences and presuppositions. In an attempt to simplify, we force the Bible’s cacophony of voices into a single tone and turn a complicated, beautiful, and diverse holy text into a list of bullet points we can put in a manifesto or creed. More often than not, we end up more committed to what we want the Bible to say than what it actually says.
Nowhere is this more evident than in conversations surrounding “biblical womanhood.”
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Growing up in the Bible Belt, I received a lot of mixed messages about the appropriate roles of women in the home, the church and society, each punctuated with the claim that this or that lifestyle represented true “biblical womanhood.”
In my faith community, popular women pastors such as Joyce Meyer were considered unbiblical for preaching from the pulpit in violation of the apostle Paul's restriction in 1 Timothy 2:12 ("I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent"), while Amish women were considered legalistic for covering their heads in compliance with his instructions in 1 Corinthians 11:5 ("Every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head").
Pastors told wives to submit to their husbands as the apostle Peter instructed in 1 Peter 3:1, but rarely told them to avoid wearing nice jewelry as the apostle instructs them just one sentence later in 1 Peter 3:3. Despite the fact that being single was praised by both Jesus and Paul, I learned early on that marriage and motherhood were my highest callings, and that Proverbs 31 required I keep a home as tidy as June Cleaver's.
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This didn’t really trouble me until adulthood, when I found myself in a childless egalitarian marriage with a blossoming career and an interest in church leadership and biblical studies. As I wrestled with what it meant to be a woman of faith, I realized that, despite insistent claims that we don’t “pick and choose” from the Bible, any claim to a “biblical” lifestyle requires some serious selectivity.
After all, technically speaking, it is “biblical” for a woman to be sold by her father to pay off debt, “biblical” for a woman to be required to marry her rapist, “biblical” for her to be one of many wives.
So why are some Bible passages lifted out and declared “biblical,” while others are explained away or simply ignored? Does the Bible really present a single prescriptive lifestyle for all women?
These were the questions that inspired me to take a page from A.J. Jacobs, author of "The Year of Living Biblically", and try true biblical womanhood on for size—literally, no “picking and choosing."
This meant, among other things, growing out my hair, making my own clothes, covering my head whenever I prayed, abstaining from gossip, remaining silent in church (unless I was “prophesying,” of course), calling my husband "master,” even camping out in my front yard during my period to observe the Levitical purity laws that rendered me unclean.
During my yearlong experiment, I interviewed a variety of women practicing biblical womanhood in different ways — an Orthodox Jew, an Amish housewife, even a polygamist family - and I combed through every commentary I could find, reexamining the stories of biblical women such as Deborah, Ruth, Hagar, Tamar, Mary Magdalene, Priscilla and Junia.
My goal was to playfully challenge this idea that the Bible prescribes a single lifestyle for how to be a woman of faith, and in so doing, playfully challenge our overuse of the term “biblical.” I did this not out of disdain for Scripture, but out of love for it, out of respect for the fact that interpreting and applying the Bible is a messy, imperfect and - at times - frustrating process that requires humility and grace as we wrestle the text together.
The fact of the matter is, we all pick and choose. We’re all selective in our interpretation and application of the biblical text. The better question to ask one another is why we pick and choose the way that we do, why we emphasis some passages and not others. This, I believe, will elevate the conversation so that we’re using the Bible, not as a blunt weapon, but as a starting point for dialogue.
The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Rachel Held Evans.
The reason why I questioned this is, because I seemed to like polygamy.. but woman question if someone like me likes the same. I'm not gay enough for that kind of things.
The guy didn't read the new testament. The old indeed contains behavior as God didn't meant. Jesus told a man and a woman get married and become one in flesh. So not a man who marries a bunch of woman... but one! The old testament might tell otherwise, as cultural interpretation.
you may want to refer to Matt.19:7-9. Jesus explains the reason for divorce and the repercussions. it was not from God. Look it up and understand why some things were allowed, not commanded.
The bible is an instruction manual for MURDER, CHILD ABUSE, AND ABUSE OF WOMEN. Period.
There are (at least) three different groups of people spoken about in the Bible.
1 – Believers/sons of God/Brethern/the faithful/rightous/saints/forgiven, etc
2 – Gentiles/unbelievers/the lost/sick, etc
3 – Heathen/Nephilm/Sons of Cain/Kennites/the enemy, etc.
If you don't understand which particular group is being spoken of at a particular time/place, you will end up with all sorts of confusion...
So you get to pick and choose who is being talked about in any given passage and as long as the abuses and indignities are being done to your enemy, it's all good. Gotcha.
@Damocles, The "pick and choose" method of religion is really the only way it can survive in a modern society. When the truth becomes inconvenient, one must rely on the convenience of selectivity.
You're right was blind, it's perfectly okay to commit murder, rape, and genocide on people, as long as they're "unbelievers". That's because god is pure love.
Is that in any way whatsoever what I said? Answer: No, it is not. What you speak of would only apply to fallen angels, demons, satan's seed, etc. Unbelievers are to be ministered to and led to the Truth. Something that (as you know) is not always easy.
@Damocles, The "pick and choose" method of religion is really the only way it can survive in a modern society. When the truth becomes inconvenient, one must rely on the convenience of selectivity.
Your ilk certainly has that mastered!
Uhhhhh....no. Actually, your ilk gets to choose a verse and pick what group to apply it to in a vain attempt to discredit it. Too bad you will never be able to.
BTW, it's not "my" enemy. It's your enemy as well. That is unless.....well, let's just leave it at that.
You're correct was blind, but now I see. You didn't say that. Unfortunately you didn't have to. Unbelievers have been persecuted, marginalized, indoctrinated, despised, abused, imprisoned, and barbequed at the pleasure of the Christian church for hundreds of years. You didn't need to say it for it to be true.
T H E P E T I T I O N S I T E has one to remove Marco Rubio from the science committee
"it was a shock to the people of the 19th century when they discovered, from observations science has made, that many features of the biological world could be ascribed to the elegant principal of natural selection. It is a shock to us in the 20th century to discover, from observations science has made, that the fundamental mechanism of life cannot be ascribed to natural selection, and therefore were designed. But we must deal with our shock as best we can and go on. The theory of undirected evolution is already dead, but the work of science continues. "
Michael J Behe "Molecular Machines" Cosmic Pursuit,
No one F-cares when the earth was created. Spend the time and money on fixing the problems in the world rather than this non-sensical bs to use later to tear someone down. The very notion that 'leaves the door open to creationism' begs the question of what the writers agenda was. The guy said he doesn't know. Maybe the writers want to weigh on how scientists explain exactly how pyramids were built, or the probability density function of aliens. Bunch of hacks.
Dave, from Australia.
I just got my ex back, we are happily in love just like old times, she left me for another guy 2weeks ago just because i didn't buy her something so expensive on her birthday, she said i dont love her that i could not appreciate her on her birthday.
So she left for another guy who has been asking her out for about 2months now. There was no other way i could prove to her its not what she thinks, i called her phone more than 3thousand times a day but she wont answer my, instead she black list me number that i can no longer call her with my number., this happened for a week, than i found a lady email on line who they say she does spell work to bring back lover, her email is email@example.com, i contacted her and she warned me to that if she brings her back, i should respect and adore her and make her know that she's everything to me. I was so surprise how the spell lady knew that i dont care for her.
Well i learnt my lessons that not until you lose what you have, you wont know its value. The spell lady asked me for some information and pictures and proceed with the spell to return my love back to me, and in 2days later i received a call from her asking to me were i was, it was to unusual because she has not done that for week now.
I was on top of the world when she came back to me and told me that she has broken up with the other guy because she notice that she cant do without me, and that was the exact words the spell lady said that she's going to tell me when she comes back.
I am so thankful like never before for having my lover back, the firstname.lastname@example.org spell lady is the perfect one to meet on problems.
I thought this article was about God, the Bible and Atheism! Is this a solicitation for sorcery or a true story? Oh well...I guess I'll play Ann Landers for a change! You need to get a refund from the "spell Lady." She didn't do you any favors! Let me get this right....your girlfriend dumped you for another guy just because you didn't buy her an expensive gift? And you took her back after that? What were you thinking? What you should have done is found a new girlfriend, one who doesn't cheat, and one who would have been thrilled with whatever you gave her....
Any law of science – the law of entropy for example. Other laws of logic. Those are precepts. And I would argue that apart from God, a personal, transcendent, eternal, absolute, holy, righteous, loving God, these are impossible.
So you're saying it can only be from God, that heat transfers from the material of one object into the material of an adjoining object??
Law means limit and limit means truth absolute, constant, TRUTH ABSOLUTE IS THE LORD AND GOD OF UNIVERSE, nothing can exist without.
todd – the laws of physics are not precepts.
there's no gods – yet...the laws of physics exist. deal with it.
you are trapped in the ugly clutches of delusional thinking.
AnVil: Believe it or not I actually agree with some of what you said. There is no hell.....you are absolutely right! There is a heaven but I don't believe that most shall reside there, unless of course one would like to say that the earth is in heaven. When we die our physical body returns to the dust of the ground and our life force returns to God.....but.....I also believe there will be a resurrection of the dead like the Bible promises there will be."Do not marvel at this, because the hour is coming in which all those in the memorial tombs will hear his voice and come out." John 5:28 "He is a God, not of the dead, but of the living, for they are all living to him." Luke 20:38 Not one sparrow goes forgotten before God. "But even the hairs of your heads are all numbered. Have no fear; you are worth more than many sparrows." Luke 12:7 and Matthew 10:30. Bringing the dead back to life is easy for God.
dissident fairy... the bible and all the faith you and everyone who "believes" has – will never be evidence of a god, an afterlife, or a resurrection.
quoting the bible to someone who rejects it (for very sound reasons) is ridiculous and futile. it is not now, nor will it ever be evidence. never ever.
muslims quote the koran... xians quote the bible.... and none of it matches up with what we actually know.
you can reject science, you can scoff at reason – but it's willful ignorance.
if you were born in greece 3000 years ago – or if you were born in india in the 50's or if you were born in iran yesterday – the chances are very high that you'd believe something completely different.
AnVil: I use lots of logic and reason in my research and I don't disregard science!
You said: "the good news is – you won't care about it... you'll have absolutely no knowledge about it because you'll have nothing to know things with.
you truly rest in peace forever – and you better believe that life and the universe will go on and on without you."
How is that good news? It sounds rather suicidal:)
suicidal? whaaaaaaaaaat??? stop what you're doing right now and go look up the definition of suicidal. go on... i'll wait.
*looks at watch*
no no no no no – it isn't suicidal. if anything the knowledge that this is all you get makes life sweeter and more precious.
you need to spend some time trying to wrap your brain around it – and i don't mean five minutes of shaking your head.
when the brain dies – that's it. you have no awareness of it. you never know you're dead. you never have any awareness of the fact that you've died. you may see it coming. you may feel it wash over you – but you won't know it for very long.
it's not sad. it's not unhappy. it isn't bad. it's just how things are.
Where did God come from? I'll tell you. Human beings invented him. Only creatures with a complex brain could invent God.
The law of entropy sucks, by the way. If I were God, I would eliminate that, along with death and taxes and fecal matter sour strawberries.
AnVil: I thought suicide was highly appropriate:) What else would you call a person who chooses death over life? Just curious, If you knew for a fact that God really existed would you be interested? There are Atheists that wouldn't care even if they had the proof staring them in the face, because they love to argue and play Devils advocate. Then there are the Atheists/Agnostics that would love to believe if they could only be convinced. I was just wondering which category you fall into!
suicide isn't appropriate – it isn't a choice between life or death. it's a choice between believing reality over fantasy.
i always strive to choose truth over fiction – knowing that – you may be able to answer your second question fairly easily.
AnVil: You have a succinct way of phrasing things, and a good mind, a bit of a mental block shrouded in convolution I would say:) but a good mind nonetheless, that's why I sometimes enjoy conversing with you:)
P.S. I love fantasy but I always choose reality when it comes to things of importance.
i hope you had a spiffy day.
in reply to your last post --–
there's no convolution in my mind, doofy head.... my thoughts are as clear and succinct as my written correspondence.
as for a mental block – i think you'll find i am quite open to facts, evidence, the scientific process, and reason.
e.g. pop up tomorrow with substantiated evidence supporting the existence of your deity and we'll have an open, frank, and sincere discussion about it. i'll even post little smiley faces and junk.
i admit – i am resistant to religious dogma – but in my own defense – that is considered a virtue by myself and many others.
One way to prove the existence of God is the Bible itself. The 66 books of the Bible were written over a span of 1600 years, by 40 different writers. The writers lived at different times and came from many diversified walks of life. Some were farmers, others fishermen, shepherds, prophets, judges, and kings, Luke was a doctor. Despite the varied backgrounds of it's writers, the Bible is harmonious from beginning to end. Think about it AnVil, how could you get that many writers, who didn't know each other, who secularly had little in common, who lived in various geographical locations, to be so diligent in their pursuit? Especially when many of them died before others were born, and how could that book be in harmony and in sync like it is today? What I am describing would be virtually impossible without divine intervention by God.
How many writers do you think we could motivate today to write a section of a book that won't be completed for 1600 years, long after they are gone? To even consider such a project they would insist on being paid upfront, or they would have to be convinced that it would be a book of Great Unprecedented Historical Import.
How could we get them interested in writing, 1/66 of a book, where there would be no collaboration or knowledge of what the others would say, no particular subject matter to expound upon, could we really get them interested in such a convoluted project? And lets say that we could by some chance, what kind of a book do you think we would have after the 1600 years were up? Would it make any sense? Would the subject matter be uniform and carry a definitive theme throughout? Of course not! That would be impossible without a collaborative effort. The Bible writers (technically ghostwriters) didn't need to collaborate because they were being individually inspired what to write directly by the Divine author of the Bible himself, by God.
AnVil: I hope you had a good day to. I had to smile over the word "spiffy." The last time I heard that word I was at an Art exhibit and some stranger walked up to me and dramatically said, "My, don't you look spiffy!" I thought it was humorous then, and for some reason it made me smile again:)
you stated: "What I am describing would be virtually impossible without divine intervention by God."
so you admit... it is possible. hahahahaha
- i (and countless others) firmly assert that it's not only possible – it is most likely - and, as a firm answer – the only possibility.
"How many writers do you think we could motivate today to write a section of a book that won't be completed for 1600 years, long after they are gone?"
it's doubtful that i can motivate anyone to write any books – but people do write books about the same subject every year, year after year.
they write those books – often times based on books they've read.
important to note: the bible wasn't written as a book. it is a collection of books. also important to note: different religious groups include and exclude certain books from their bibles.
consider the following:
if you walk into a library and pick out a number of books on the same subject – then bind them together – you've performed the exact same action that was taken to compile the books in your bible.
those who collected various writings about elohim, the hebrews, and the gospels of jebus were no more inspired than anyone who is motivated to write any books about any subjects.
those who compiled those books you call a bible were no more inspired to collate them than any librarian. they may have been inspired to do so by the writings of other men... and in that sense – they could be said to have been influenced by the idea of your imaginary god.
in conclusion – your bible – or any bible for that matter – will never be evidence of the validity of the words written in those bibles – or evidence of the validity of yours or anyone else's claim of the existence of your particular imaginary god.
AnVil: What I meant to say is it would be impossible. The word virtual was just a figure of speech. I see I must choose my words more carefully if they shall be dissected to the ultimate extreme:) The only Biblical translations that I am aware of that add the additional books to their Bibles, are the Catholics. Most Bible scholars are in agreement that the other writings, or books, were written at a much later date and are not meant to be included with the original manuscripts.
Actually if you were to take books on the same subject matter and bind them together from the library you would still have a mess. They wouldn't flow as if they had been written in harmony with one theme and purpose. There would be variations and opinions, possible disagreements, based on each writers perspective regarding the subject being presented.That isn't true with the Bible!
Did you know that Jesus Christ is quoted or is mentioned in every book of the Bible? The theme of the Bible is consistent throughout. There is mention of the Nation of Israel from Genesis to Revelation. The theme of the Bible is the establishing of God's kingdom on earth as it is in heaven. The Bible is full of prophecy that has been fulfilled, and some that we are waiting to see happen.
How do you explain the prophet Isaiah, who lived in the eighth century B.C.E.? God told Isaiah 200 years before it happened that Babylon would be destroyed. (Isaiah 12:19, 23) Details were given to show just how the city would be conquered. Invading armies would dry up Babylon's river and march into the city without a battle, and that's not all, Isaiah's prophecy even named the king who would conquer Babylon-Cyrus. (Isaiah 44:27-45:2)
Keep in mind AnVil, this port city, was the hub of the Middle East, the NYC of ancient times. The city was considered impenetrable, but, 200 years later-on the night of October 5/6 539 B.C.E.–an army encamped near Babylon. Who was it's commander? A Persian king named Cyrus. He set the stage for an amazing prophecy, but, would the army of Cyrus invade Babylon without a battle as foretold?
It just so happened the Babylonians were holding a festival that night, they were drinking wine and celebrating, and felt secure behind their massive walls. Meanwhile Cyrus cleverly diverted the water of the river that flowed through the city. Soon the water was shallow enough for his men to cross the riverbed and approach the walls of the city, but, how would he get past the walls? For some strange reason the doors of the city were carelessly left open that night!
The Bible foretold that Babylon would never be rebuilt. "She will never be inhabited, nor will she reside for generation after generation. And there the Arab will not pitch his tent, and no shepherds will let their flocks lie down there." (Isaiah 12:30) This prophecy did more than predict a city's fall. It showed that Babylon would be permanently desolated. History and archaeology both support this finding and name Cyrus as the conqueror. The uninhabited site of ancient Babylon is located about 50 miles south of Bagdad, and remains a dry and desolate desert to this day! It has never been re-built! Now you tell me AnVil how could Isaiah have known this 200 years before it happened? He takes No credit for his prediction. He gives the credit to God! The book of Daniel also names Cyrus as the conqueror of Babylon, and as predicted the Medes and Persians became the 2nd.World Power!
the asyrian church, the armenian apostolia, the syriac orthodoxy, the ethiopic orthodoxy, the slavic orthodoxy, the greek orthodoxy, the georgian orthodoxy, the roman catholics, and the protestants – all include books, parts of books – as well as exclude books, in all their cannons. they all accept the books of the protocannon, and most except the apocrypha and pseudepigrapha.
~the truth of the perceived mystical elegant flow of the scriptures revealed~
it's a fact that there are common threads that were passed down from the original sumerian epics like the enuma elish and the atra hasis, but keep in mind – the hebrews had a long time to work on the protocannon and form judaism before the books of the new testament were supposed to have been penned. and also – all the authors of the new testament read and used the old testament books.
something else to keep in mind – the five books of moses were also learned/recited orally.
the idea that it all "flows together" is completely alien to me. they all may seem to you, to flow together – but it's only because they're all books written on the same theme, by people who read the books that came before they wrote theirs.
it would seem – that all the authors of all the books were people who "believed" in the same imaginary god, understood the previously written books, followed very strict hebrew laws – and were motivated (inspired) to write.
question for you: there's a reason the books in the bible are in the particular order they're in – do you know what it is? if they were in a slightly different order – would your perception of the flow between them be the same?
i was going to go on about failed biblical prophecies – but they're so numerous i'm going to leave it alone for now.
there's just too many and i can't stop cracking up when i think about it.
with the exception of some small bits out of the books of the prophets – virtually none of the other biblical scribblings were contemporaneous with events described within them, and ALL of the texts were subject to revision for a really long time from people who came along after they were originally written.
there is some speculation on the authorship of the new testament books – namely the piso family/medici conspiracy ideas... which are highly plausible – but even barring that – every account of the jebus was hearsay. what's more – the accounts of the account of jebus were hearsay – and there's absolutely no evidence to support any of it. there's been a lot of faked evidence – like the shroud of turin (which people still insist on believing is real – even after it's been shown ~scientifically~ to be a fake) – and bits of toast with the image of jebus on them – but nothing credible at all in the way of substantiated real evidence.
but that's ok – you have faith. you need it.
as to the inconsistencies and inaccuracies in relation to supposed historical events of your bible, those will only become glaringly, blindingly obvious to you when you use your critical thinking skills and step outside the whole thing.
but before you do – i'd suggest you read more about the bible – and not just the bible. it's a friendly suggestion. go read the books of other sects of xianity. also read the sumerian epics... just don't try to prove the existence of your imaginary god with a book which can and is easily rejected with sound reason.
also – while you did not provide substantiated evidence supporting the existence of your imaginary god – i'm still awarding you 3 smiley faces for trying so hard.
:) :) :)
AnVil: Certainly that isn't the end of my proof that God exists and the Bible is to be believed. I've actually only just begun:) I noticed that you had no comment regarding Isaiah's impressive prediction about the fall of Babylon?
I'm going to have to re-read your letter and give it some thought, so far, I just breezed through it to get the gist of it before writing you back. I will try and answer it sometime tomorrow. Oh, but there is one thing you said that Did absolutely catch my attention, so please Do elaborate on it. I would be most curious. You said, "i was going to go on about failed biblical prophecies – but they're so numerous i'm going to leave it alone for now.
there's just too many and i can't stop cracking up when i think about it"
Now this I've got to hear! I'm serious AnVil. That really got my attention. You could start with one but I'd really appreciate the entire list. I'm sure it will make for some fascinating discussion:) You've actually got me cracking up now because I know you will be very hard pressed to even find one. So please do reply on that one as soon as possible......I can't wait:) In the mean time I'm going to re-read your letter and give some thought to it:)
Isaiah 17:1 / Damascus is still inhabited today with well over a million people and there was never a time where it ceased to be a city.
Isaiah 19:4-5 / The river mentioned here is the Nile which never dried up and is still one of Egypt’s greatest natural resources.
Isaiah 52:1 / There are still uncircu mcised people living in Jerusalem even today.
Ezekiel 30:10-11 / In 568 BCE Nebuchadnezzar tried to conquer Egypt and Egypt survived with no apparent damage. Aahmes ruled for another generation over a prosperous Egypt and lived to see Nebuchadnezzar die. The Egyptians were not scattered or dispersed.
Ezekiel 29:10-11 / Never in its long history has Egypt been uninhabited for forty years.
Matthew 16:28 / Those people have been dead for over 2000 years and the world did not come to an end, neither have all those signs been fulfilled.
Genesis 49:13 / the borders of zebulon never extended to the sea, and never reached to the city of sidon.
Jeremiah 34:4-5 / jeremiah died having his eyes gouged out after watching his children being murdered.
Ezekiel 26:21, Ezekiel 26:14 / tyre was never completely destroyed – it never ceased being a populated city. they even talk about visiting it in mark, the acts, and matthew.
Isaiah 19:23,24 / asyria vanished from the earth around 600bce
Acts 18:9-10 / Paul later admits in 2 Corinthians 11:23-25 that he was actually whipped close to death 5 separate times, beaten on 3 occasions, and stoned once, officially making your imaginary man in the sky the lousiest bodyguard in he history of forever.
luke 21:32 / lol same as matthew 16:28
– enough? need more???
as for the fall of babylon – there has been so much argument about if it's already happened – or will happen...
there are arguments for where babylon was – was it in iraq? was it rome? is it some future city?
so in answer to your question – i didn't think much of it.
i will offer this:
there is something to be said about chance... astrology being as accurate as the bible...
but the vast generalizations, very loose interpretations, inaccuracies in translations.... and the undoubted dubious manipulations.... of all the biblical prophecies that are claimed to have already been fulfilled... and the ones that are believed by delusional people to come.... are still not going to provide the world with substantiated evidence of the existence of your imaginary god.
i am deducting one smiley face for making me write all this cr4p – and one for making copy/paste so much.
i h9 copypasta.
AnVil: You said, "Isaiah 17:1 / Damascus is still inhabited today with well over a million people and there was never a time where it ceased to be a city" The Bible never said that Damascus would be permanently destroyed or never rebuilt. Damascus was generally an opposer to the nation Israel. Damascus was the center of one of the many Aramaean kingdoms of Syria. When David fought and defeated the king of Zobah, "Syria of Damascus" came to help the losers, so, David, defeated them too, and made Damascus tributary to Israel. 2 Sam. 8:3-6–1 Chron. 18:5,6.
During Solomon's reign a fugitive named Rezon gained control of Damascus, setting himself up as king. His hatred for Israel was vented in acts of aggression. King Ben-hadad 1, of Damascus, after making a covenant with the Northern kingdom of Israel, sold out, to Asa, of Judah, and invaded his former allies territory. His coalition led by thirty-two allied kings, and his successor, invaded the northern kingdom of Israel, twice, and were defeated both times.
The history goes on and on, but, I'll try and keep it short to cut to the chase. The prophet Elisha, went to Damascus, and told Hazael, that he would replace Ben-hadad 11, as king of Syria. Hazael continued his aggression toward Israel. King Ahaz, king of Judah, sent a bribe to Tiglath-pileser 111, of Assyria, asking him to divert Syrian pressure away from Judah. With alacrity, the Assyrian, attacked Damascus, captured it, put Rezon to death, and exiled many of the Damascenes. 2 Kings 16:5-9; 2 Chron. 28:5, 16. Therefore fulfilling God's prophecies through Isaiah and Amos. Isa. 8:4; 10:5; 8, 9,; Amos 1:3-5.
Damascus never posed a threat to Israel after that. The city eventually Regained Commercial strength, as indicated in Ezekiel's prophecy. Ezekiel 27:18. Damascus once the "jewel of the desert" did however "suffer distress" as foretold by Jeremiah. Likely relating to the harsh conquest of the Aramaean kingdoms by the Babylonians.
The prophet Zechariah also made predictions regarding Damascus which found fulfillment during the time of Alexander the Great. Who occupied Syria and Phoenicia following his victory at the Battle of Issus in 333 B.C.E. When Rome conquered Syria, Damascus, continued as a Roman city, and is still in existence to this day. The Bible never said that Damascus would be destroyed and never rebuilt. So there is no contradiction there AnVil.
isaiah 17: The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap. (from the kjv)
did not happen. failed biblical prophecy. plain and simple.
damascus is alive and well.
but please – proceed... by all means.
df.. it's a long list... if you intend to write a dissertation in an attempt to refute each one – you'll be busy for some time...
before you get too busy...
let it suffice to say i've already seen all the wiggly interpretations, explanations, and excuses....
it's an old old old argument that has been going on since before either of us were born.
the only thing that changes are the names.
you might as well place your faith on the scribblings of nosrtada mus... it's all spurious, questionable, and moot.
again – all these "scriptures" were translated, re-translated and edited in some sense since their original publish date.
no matter what you pull out of your boot to refute the list of failed biblical prophecies i have provided you with – nothing – and i mean absolutely nothing you can come up with with provide the planet with substantiated evidence of the validity of the words written in those books – or prove the existence of your imaginary god.
i am deducting the 3rd smiley face just because i'm crabby.
and – i'm working on my operator specialization in halo 4 – so i'll be in a "meeting" all day...
have fun with that list, sparky!
AnVil: You said, "Isaiah 19:4-5 / The river mentioned here is the Nile which never dried up and is still one of Egypt’s greatest natural resources"
The Egyptians relied on the Nile for their agriculture. When the waters were low there was drought. When the water ran high it damaged their crops. God had an issue with Egypt based on their idolatry and worship of false gods. The surging of the Nile waters over their banks was used to describe the forward push of marching armies. Jer. 46:7,8; 47:2,3. While the prophet Amos used the rising and falling of the Nile's waters to represent the agitation due to come upon unfaithful Israel. (Amos 8:8; 9:5) Other prophets employed the figure of the Nile drying up to represent the disaster due to come upon Egypt as a result of God's judgement against the nation. The Nile's failure would not only cripple agriculture, and stock-raising, but also damage the fishing industry, and the production of linen. Isaiah 19:1, 5-10; Ezek. 29:9,10, Zech. 10:11.
At one point, in Exodus 7:14-25, the Bible speaks of Moses stretching out his rod and turning the "waters" into blood during one of Egypt's 10 plagues. Although figurative God certainly could have dried up the Nile if he had wanted to. If you read a little further down to verse 6 in the 19th Chapter of Isaiah, it says, "And the rivers must stink; the Nile canals of Egypt must become low and parched." You will notice that it says "low" not dried up, for it to "stink" there would have to be something there other than dry sand, low and smelling would be equivalent to drying up.
As a side note: verse 5 in Isaiah 19 says, "And the water will certainly be dried up from the sea…" I'm sure it's referring to the literal "sea" but, the Bible also refers to the "wicked" as being like the "sea." Another interesting twist could be that God was threatening to cut off water from the wicked. Isaiah 57:20….I pay attention to detail:)
AnVil: You tell me to proceed and then you basically tell me that your mind is closed to whatever I say! So....I shall proceed with extreme caution (which I rarely do) while you enjoy your Halo 4 Sci-Fi "meeting" robotic adventure:)
AnVil: "Isaiah 52:1 / There are still uncircu mcised people living in Jerusalem even today."
Yes, I know....and your point is? That was a law or covenant given to the nation of Israel from God. There was a penalty back then for not abiding in the law. "Any uncircu mcised male, who has not been circu mcised in the flesh, will be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant." Genesis 17:14.
After Jesus Christ, and the acceptance of Gentiles into Christianity, some of the burdens, that were imposed in the OT, on the Jews, were lifted. See Acts 15:6-29.....
AnVil: Isaiah 17: Is Not a failed prophecy! Lots of cities are destroyed and rebuilt and are thriving today. If that scripture said that the city would Never be re-built or inhabited, then yes, you could consider it a failed prophecy, but, it doesn't say that! Babylon however is different! The Bible distinctly says, "it will Never be inhabited" and it hasn't been rebuilt, and I will address it down the line in the order you presented it to me. I will continue to respond but like you I can't spend all day on the computer. So I will answer the rest as soon as I possibly can:)
Imagine there's no heaven
It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today...
Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace...
You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will be as one
Sing this too: when business is bad stage that to save face and taxes too!
At this point God is his only hope....and I'm sure if he is in some cognitive state that he's singing a different tune...
John Lennon who wrote that drivel you are quoting is NOT imagining there is no hell any longer.
Fairy and Stephen,
You're SURE? - and your VERIFIED evidence for this is...?
GTH: What Verified proof do any of us have that we will be alive tomorrow? In contrast, I believe there is overwhelming proof of God's existence!
Stephen: I don't believe John Lennon is in a fiery place of torment. The Bible does not support this doctrine. Fire is often used in the Bible as a symbolic term for cleansing. If you compare various Biblical translations and look up the exact same scripture, the word hell is used in some, sheol, in others, pit, and grave, in others. They all mean the exact same thing....they mean the grave Not eternal torment. The Bible says, "The wages sin pays is death." Not eternal torment. What kind of righteous God would do that? Would make people suffer forever and ever? It's an insult to God for man to even say that about him. It paints him as being a diabolical monster far less sentient than we are. Does our justice system torture convicted felons or as mercifully as possible put them to death? Why would God do any less? As far as that parable with Lazarus goes, think about it....would one drop of water really have quenched his thirst while he was burning in the fiery horrors of hell? No way! It's another symbolic parable not to be taken literally!
As far as the fate of John Lennon goes, it would be a mistake for any of us to pre-judge him, especially if we don't wish to be judged ourselves, only God can do that. Hopefully for John's sake God will see something worth saving in him.
john lennon was murdered. he died – and he no longer exists in any form – other than in the memories of others.
there is no heaven.... no hell..... there is no afterlife.
when you die – that's it. you cease to exist in any form – forever.
there is no soul. when your brain dies and all the neurons decay – the electrochemical energy which once coursed through them causing them to work obeys the laws of thermodynamics and dissipates out into the surrounding system. there is absolutely no mechanism which would allow that energy to remain coherent.
there's no ghosts.... no reincarnation....
there is only the sweet peace of oblivion.
the good news is – you won't care about it... you'll have absolutely no knowledge about it because you'll have nothing to know things with.
you truly rest in peace forever – and you better believe that life and the universe will go on and on without you.
AnVil: My reply to your comment ended up posted under Todd not MS.....I could blame it on the computer but I have a feeling it was me:)
Stephen: F you, F your god, and F the Iron Age sheep molesters who wrote the bible
@stephen............. Yup, he's not imagining any longer.... he's dead, and after death there is nothing.
There is no hell or heaven, just silly mythology and fairytales......
diss,sam,fin,etc; i can not believe that there was not any appreciation for the music. John awaita the resurrection like all the rest of the righteous and unrighteous (see Acts 24:15) also as Jesus went to (hades, sheol, hell) we all go to the common grave awaiting the resurrection. what a great provision compared to man's solution of fear of a burning hell. Whoever thought that up? (see Jeremiah 7:31) for the answer.they are all there if we take time to search. (Proverbs 2:1-5)
J just tried to live a year according to "The Lord of the Rings", but since I couldn't find a ring to make me invisible, I just gave up.
Hang in there kid. It gets better.
In order to understand the Bible, first you must believe what it says AND receive the Holly Spirit through your love for Jesus Christ. "Spiritual thing are spiritually discerned." "To the man without the Spirit things of the Spirit seem foolish". The word of God is intended for followers of God through Jesus Christ, their savior and Lord. Believers have come out from among non-believers even though they love you. The problem with calling things Biblical is that it means nothing to non believers. It's just further confusion to nonbelievers. A small number of readers of this blog will someday be saved by knowing the grace of their creator, through the love of Jesus Christ. I hope you are among them.
The "REAL KING", Elvis is coming back. WHHOOOOHOOOO!!!
First condition to hinduism, ignorance, just drink hindu's ignorant s cow mama's urine and feast on her dung, to be a hindu stupid, first condition to be a hindu, denier of truth absolute GOD.
This is my experience... Thank you.
MY personal testimony.
A thought to consider without an ego response
I Accepted Jesus christ as my lord and saviour. You never know how soon is too late. Transcend the worldly illusion of enslavement.
The world denounces truth....
Accepting Jesus Christ (for me) resulted in something like seeng a new colour. You will see it .....but will not be able to clearly explain it to anyone else..... Its meant to be that way to transend any selfism within you.
Also... much the world arranges "surrounding dark matter into something to be debated" in such a way that protects/inflates the ego.
The key is be present and transcend our own desire to physically see evidence. We don't know anyways by defending our own perception of dark matter.
Currently.... most of us are constructing our own path that suits our sin lifestyle. Were all sinners. Knowing that we are is often an issue. But both christians and non are sinners. Even once we are saved by christs merciful grace we will still experience adversity to mold us to adhering to the truth.
We will slip... But not fall of the ship ...carrying us onward to perfection in christs grace.
We don't like to Let go and let god. We want control to some degree. This is what Jesus asks us to do. "Follow me".
It's the hardest thing to do... but is done by letting the truth of scripture lead you (redemptive revelation)... as I said .
Try reading corinthians and see if it makes sense to you. Try it without a pre conceived notion of it being a fairy tale.
See the truth...
do we do what it says in todays society... is it relevant... so many have not recently read and only hinge their philosophy on what they have heard from some other person...which may have been full of arogance pride or vanity..
Look closely at the economy ponzi, look at how society idolizes Lust , greed , envy, sloth, pride of life, desire for knowledge, desire for power, desire for revencge,gluttony with food etc .
Trancsend the temporal world.
Just think if you can find any truth you can take with you ....in any of these things. When you die your riches go to someone who will spend away your life..... You will be forgotten.... history will repeat iteslf.... the greatest minds knowledge fade or are eventually plagerzed..... your good deeds will be forgotten and only give you a fleeting temporary reward . your learned teachings are forgotten or mutated..... your gold is transfered back to the rullers that rule you through deception. Your grave will grow over . This is truth .
Trancsend your egoism and free yourself from this dominion of satan. Understand you are a sinner and part of the collective problem of this worldly matrix... Repent.... Repent means knowing (to change) The Holy spirit (within) will convict you beyond what you think you can do by yourself. Grace is given to those who renounce the world. That are" in" the world but not "of " the world.
Evidence follows faith. Faith does not follow evidence..... Faith ....above reason in Jesus Christ.
Faith comes by Reading or Hearing the word of god from the bible . Ask Jesus in faith for dicernment and start reading the new testament... You will be shocked when you lay down your preconceived notions and ....see and hear truth ... see how christ sets an example ... feel the truth....
Read Ecclesiastes. Read romans or corinthians.
You cant trancend your own egoism by adapting a world philosophy to suit your needs. Seek the truth in Christ.
Sell all your cleverness and purchase true bewilderment. You don't get what you want ....you get what you are by faith above reason in christ.
I promise this has been the truth for me. In Jesus christ .
Think of what you really have to lose. ...your ego?
Break the Matrix of illusion that holds your senses captive.
once you do . you too will have the wisdom of God that comes only through the Holy Spirit. Saved By grace through Faith. Just like seeing a new colour.... can't explain it to a transient caught in the matrix of worldly deception.
You will also see how the world suppresses this information and distorts it
You're all smart people . I tell the truth. Its hard to think out of the box when earthly thinking is the box.
I'ts a personal free experience you can do it free anytime . Don't wait till you are about to die.. START PUTTING YOUR TREASURES WHERE THEY REALLY MATTER >
Its awsome and It's just between you and Jesus
"If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved
Last eve I passed beside a blacksmith’s door,
And heard the anvil ring the vesper chime;
The, looking in, I saw upon the floor
Old hammers, worn with beating years of time.
“How many anvils have you had,” said I,
“To wear and batter all these hammers so?”
“Just one,” said he, and then with twinkling eye,
“The anvil wears the hammers out, you know.”
And so, thought I, the anvil of God’s Word,
For ages skeptic blows have beat upon;
Yet, though the noise of falling blows was heard,
The anvil is unharmed – the hammers gone.
"Evidence follows faith" – I know that that sounds good in your head, but it's actually not true. Evidence is a by-product of reality. All of the faith in the world that you won't fall off of a cliff if you step off, will not provide you with the evidence that your faith is real. Faith is simply pretending to know things you don't know.
"Truth is exclusive" – This is such a bizarre statement that I'm sure a lot of people will just ignore is, but again, it's false on many levels. First of all the truth does not belong to anyone. Truth is all-encompassing. In quantum states particles can have opposing states simultaneously. Both state even when in opposition are considered true. Reference Schrodinger's cat.
Nicely said "kindness".
As soon as I see the word "satan" ..... that's it... game over..... you've lost touch with reality.
I've always wanted to find an american christian evangelical who believes and follows the quote – that women should hold no dominion over men – and ask them if they voted for McCain.
And if they did vote for McCain – why? Because in doing so – they endorse that a woman would have dominion over a man – specifically 100 men – The Senate. Since the VP presides over the Senate.
not bad wrenn but if they are true Christians why would they take part in this world's politics at all? read John17:14 to start.
Fine, kid. You just stick with your cult's Governing Body.
gth, you were pretty quick to come up with that but have you ever really looked into what we believe or just parroted what others have led you to squawk out? the gov'ts of this world are not solving the problems but losing the battles and the real war is about to begin. the gov. body that i have been listening to and reading about will not bow to this world but will worship and teach the true God Jehovah through the end. check it out seriously, it just may change your life for the greater good.
You should really see an eye doc and have those scales looked at.
@justme......... "have you ever really looked into what we believe"
What "we believe"????... who is "we"??.... talk to a different person, you'll get a different version... all thinking they're a "true christian" when in fact, they are mistaking mythology for reality.
fintastic; I was responding to gt's response about our (Jehovah's Witrnesses) beliefs. and "they" we are united in our bible education and teaching. If you go to jw.org you will see what the bible really teaches and why we believe we follow Jesus Christ as he did in his worship of his father Jehovah. (see his prayer, John chapter 17) for a good reference and start. please keep an open mind and let me know if you are serious in your discussion or just looking to criticize.I will check back and thanks for your response. j
Quoting from a book of mythology won't help your argument. Please provide scientific evidence that your god exists, then we can have a "serious discussion".
fin, just saw your comment from 12/3 and I would respond with a news quote I read recently "one in seven UK based scientists or doctors has witnessed colleagues Intentionally altering or fabricating data during their research or for the purposes of publication" British Medical Journal, Britain. Also from the not so recent past "how is that Piltdown man working out for you science worshippers? Also my evidence for God? just look around and please open your eyes and mind. I hope you look back here and yes we can still have a serious discussion since I really do have other information I would love to share and thanks for your comment. lets keep it peaceful and reasonable. j
sorry fin I forgot to let you know I had to change my moniker "justme" tp james since too many fools seemed to think it humorous to use it for their personal disgusting humor.
I am guessing that a lot of people who refer to this, that, or the other thing as biblical haven't read the bible. I have been reading it for years now and am startled at how much misunderstanding there is about the bible. Even from people who read it! If you go into it with preconceived notions you may come out as confused as when you went in.
If you study BASIC BIOLOGY, and BASIC PHYSICS, and go into the works of Darwin and Newton and Einstein with "preconceived notions" (which you got from bible brainwashing) then you "may come out as confused as when you went in." You will also brainwash children with this biblical nonsense, which is in fact child abuse. You will continue to lower our test scores as a nation, and are in fact a detriment to the well being of the USA and its population. Go to your "heaven" or "hell" already.
@DWN,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, When I read the bible years ago, I went in with preconceived notion that there was some sort of factual evidence, some consistency, ...... all I found was a book of mythology written by man to control man.
Yea, I know.... I'm not "reading it correctly".............. LOL..
@truthbetold, well you should be called ignoranceinplainview, but anyway, Hitler was a Christian, yes a Christian... adhering to biblical values of massmurder. The vatican even held prayers for this great Christian. And he was never excommunicated.
The bible is an instruction manual for MURDER. (Look at the women in Ireland and The Dominican Rep. who died because of being denied an abortion recently) You are SO correct about Hitler being a xstian , google away..................
"Secular schools can never be tolerated because such a school has no religious instruction and a general moral instruction without a religious foundation is built on air; consequently, all character training and religion must be derived from faith . . . We need believing people."
Adolf Hitler (Yes, by quoting this I am implying that we true americans need to do to the religious "wrong" just what we did to the Nazis)
at least two relevant passages in the Bible :
1. I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent
2. calling my husband "master,”
So i will apply these biblical values to every woman of the christian fate... ?
no, no, no, no...... you are taking those statements "out of context" or "misinterpreting" them....
Another clueless CNN Bible "Expert". Sad that they allow them to post this stuff. Sadly the author completely misunderstands the bible...
sad that anyone could fall for a fraud such as religion
So, instead of pointing out where you think she's wrong, you attack the writer. That's so....... helpful.
Anything to let you ignore her and disdain what she wrote.
BTW – nice blinders there.
There are a few things people should keep in mind when discussing what the Bible "really says.," particularly with reference to the "Old Testament" or, better, the Hebrew Bible. 1). Most people read translations of the original, sometimes even a translation of a translation. And these can be misleading. A simple example: In the original Hebrew, Moses did not cross the "Red Sea," but the "Sea of Reeds," a very different place. 2). NO branch of Judaism takes the Bible literally. Even before the written Talmud was written, there was the "Oral Torah," a tradition of interpretation which probably existed for more than a thousand years prior to its codification in the Talmud. It was always understood that many aspects of the text were unclear or ambiguous, thus the need for further discussion and clarification. 3). Even after the compilation of the Talmud in the first centuries CE, there have been continuous commentaries by Biblical scholars from then to the present, including some as widely regarded and respected as Rashi. Such people (and most Jews) would consider the idea that there is one and only one understanding of some aspect of Biblical text and both naive and uninformed.
In the last sentence, that should read, "...AS both naive and uninformed [not "and"]."
Correction #2: There's should only be one "written" with reference to the Talmud in a sentence above.
It must be severely offputting to quite a lot of Christians when they finally realize that there are thousands of years of study commentary and writings on what they consider the 'Old Testament' – written by the people for whom it was their religious writings, first.
To many of the jewish faith, the Christians hijacked part of their religious writings and applied their own interpretations, often own 'translations' which in parts are different from older texts (that Christianity did not control).
Those writings are out there. And it's even easier to find them, now, with the internet. 25 years ago, I had to search through libraries and get permission to see special collections to learn only some of this.
Prayer changes things .
The bible is crystal clear on the major issues of life, there are few things it is not. Every time you see polygamy in the Bible it leads to trouble. The Bible is the most honest book, people are evil, God is the only good. It's not good people vs bad people in the Bible, all are bad God is the hero, as it should be. God uses sinful people to accomplish His work. – religious books try to make people look better than they really are – koran, and all the other texts, that's what they do. It tells everything we need to know, past, present, future, and we will all be judged according to it
the bible is an instruction manual for simpletons and those wish to use the simpletons.
I have a lot of similar questions about BIble, just like the author does. However, Polygamy is something that I don't have confusion about.
Bible did record many polygomy marriages. However, that's what people did, not what bible endorses. In Genesis, God created Adam, then Eve. Did he create Lisa, Elizabeth, Mary in addition to Eve to be Adam's wives? It is for a reason that God created only Eve. Nonetheless, people ignored and disobeyed his law, even if they were otherwise considered good men (such as Abraham and Jacob). When Abraham had child with his mistress Hagar, was it happiness that ensued or trouble and pain.
The clearest evidence that monogamy is God’s ideal is from Christ’s teaching on marriage in Matt. 19:3–6. In this passage, He cited the Genesis creation account, in particular Gen. 1:27 and 2:24, saying ‘the two will become one flesh’, not more than two.
Just because some characters practiced polygamy, it does not mean it is supported by Bible. King David committed both adultery and murder, which were against the Ten Commandments. His sins did not invalidate God's law taught in the Bible.
Karen, perhaps you should read:
Exodus 21:10 (giving rules for multiple wives).
Deuteronomy 21:15 (more rules for multiple wives).
Deuteronomy 25:5 (No exception for being already married, Was also referred to in the NT)
The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.