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hippy4christ
Skeptic Friend

193 Posts

Posted - 12/06/2003 :  15:53:22  Show Profile Send hippy4christ a Private Message
Hello board,

I am starting this thread in order to put an end to many of the fabled doctrines that are attributed to the Bible. I will be using the Recieved Texts, which were translated into the King James Version of the Bible. Most other, newer versions of the Bible were translated from the Alexandrian Texts, which I do not hold to be authoritative. Whenever I refer to the Bible, I'm probably talking about the KJV, although I'll use another one when an error in translation occurs.

For starters, I've often met people who couldn't accept the doctrine of eternal hellfire. Eternal hellfire is not taught the Bible. The main confusion is that eternal punishment is believed to be eternally concious. The punishment for the wicked, after the end of the world, is that they are sent to hell(Gehenna) and their soul is destroyed. The wicked will be annihilated, and they will no longer exist, for eternity. That is the meaning of eternal punishment.

Questions?

Hippy

Faith is believing what you are told, whether it's by a priest or a scientist. A person's scientific beliefs are ones based on personal observation and experimentation.

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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 12/06/2003 :  20:00:12   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message
Interesting.

If I remember right, Gehenna was a burning. garbage dump on the outskirts of a city who's name I've forgotten. I got that from my ex-'ol lady, who in turn, got it from a Jehova's Witness (she went on a completly irrational, religion trip for a while).

Like many on this board, I've read the Bible through a couple of times. Indeed, I'm thinking of picking it up again, but for the read rather than inspiration.

But thanks for the offer, none the less.


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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26007 Posts

Posted - 12/06/2003 :  23:06:24   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message
Hippy wrote:
quote:
I am starting this thread in order to put an end to many of the fabled doctrines that are attributed to the Bible.
This is a great idea for a thread. I'd like to thank you for just starting it.
quote:
I will be using the Recieved Texts, which were translated into the King James Version of the Bible.
Okay, first question: the Bible Gateway lists the KJV, the New KJV, and something called "21st Century" KJV. Will you be using the original KJV, or one of the newer ones?
quote:
Most other, newer versions of the Bible were translated from the Alexandrian Texts, which I do not hold to be authoritative. Whenever I refer to the Bible, I'm probably talking about the KJV, although I'll use another one when an error in translation occurs.
Before this thread starts in earnest, you might consider attempting to define how "an error in translation" can be detected. In other words, how do you know that a translation error has occured in the KJV? By outlining the conditions under which an error could be detected, you'll save yourself from having to explain it over and over again: people can instead know for themselves that the KJV is in error, and go to your secondary source (which is what?) without you needing to detail why the KJV is wrong.

For much the same reasons, I would suggest that you name and describe the particular branch of Christianity you practice, so that you won't have to spend time saying, "well, since I'm not a Catholic [or whatever]..." At least, it seems pretty obvious you're not a Catholic, but I could be wrong in that assumption.
quote:
For starters, I've often met people who couldn't accept the doctrine of eternal hellfire. Eternal hellfire is not taught the Bible. The main confusion is that eternal punishment is believed to be eternally concious. The punishment for the wicked, after the end of the world, is that they are sent to hell(Gehenna) and their soul is destroyed. The wicked will be annihilated, and they will no longer exist, for eternity. That is the meaning of eternal punishment.
An excellent place to start, since it seems to me that Jesus does in fact talk about hell and fire in the KJV, in Matthew 18:8,9:
quote:
[Jesus says:] Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire. And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire.
These passages are much the same in the New KJV, the 21st Century KJV, along with the NIV, the ASV, and the ESV.

Is it simply that "everlasting fire" is a metaphor, not to be taken literally, for ultimate destruction?

By the way, the Catholic view of "hell" is:
quote:
The teaching of the Church affirms the existence of hell and its eternity. Immediately after death the souls of those who die in a state of mortal sin descend into hell, where they suffer the punishments of hell, "eternal fire." The chief punishment of hell is eternal separation from God, in whom alone man can possess the life and happiness for which he was created and for which he longs.
The Vatican offers the New American Version (NAV) of the Bible for English readers, and in Matthew 18 (which reads much the same as KJV), one can find a link to their concordance for "gehenna," which leads one to the notes for Matthew 5, which say, in part
quote:
The concept of punishment of sinners by fire either after death or after the final judgment is found in Jewish apocalyptic literature (e.g., Enoch 90:26) but the name geenna is first given to the place of punishment in the New Testament.
I'm not saying the Catholics are correct (or not), of course - I'm just pointing out what they are saying about the topics you've brought up.

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Gorgo
SFN Die Hard

USA
5310 Posts

Posted - 12/07/2003 :  11:03:21   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Gorgo a Private Message
Where does it say in the Bible that souls will be destroyed?

Dave, do those passages say that people will be cast into hellfire, or does it just say that it's better to cut something off than be cast into eternal hellfire?

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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26007 Posts

Posted - 12/07/2003 :  12:03:42   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message
Gorgo wrote:
quote:
Dave, do those passages say that people will be cast into hellfire, or does it just say that it's better to cut something off than be cast into eternal hellfire?
It certainly seems to me like Jesus was saying that if a part of you commits a sin, it's better to eliminate that part (and go to Heaven after you die), rather than have your whole self be doomed to hellfire. The Catholics appear to agree.

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hippy4christ
Skeptic Friend

193 Posts

Posted - 12/08/2003 :  17:13:11   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send hippy4christ a Private Message
Thank you all for coming, and thank you for the excellent suggestions, Dave.

First, let me give some backgrounds on the two bodies of text that Bibles are translated from. I can't be very specific now, but tommorrow I'll have some numbers. The Recieved Texts(RT) are about 20,000 manuscripts in Greek, written a few centuries after Christ, that combined make many copies of the New Testament. These texts are in almost complete agreement. The Alexandrian texts are three copies of the New Testament, written at about 300 to 600 AD, each of them copies of the 27-book New Testament, I think they were in Latin. They were written and approved by the Church, which I belive was already corrupted, I'll explain later.

I have no experience with the new KJVs, so I'll be using the original KJV. The KJV is translated from the RT, but I believe that there were some errors made, some of them intentional. For instance, Hebrews chapter four talks about rest many times, but when verse nine says "There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God" the word translated 'rest' is different from the other 'rest's in the passage. The word in verse 9 is 'sabatismos', sabbath-rest. When I believe there has been an error in translation, I will use the Hebrew-Greek Interlinear Bible, translated by Jay P. Green. This Bible is also translated from the RT, I believe it is more correct. I also use the Strong's Exhaustive Concordance, which gives the definitions of Greek and Hebrew words.

I am not affiliated with any denomination, I don't believe any of them have every doctrine right. I am not aware of any doctrine that I have wrong, but there's probably something that I have wrong, and I welcome input. I believe in studying the Bible yourself, interperting literally unless there's a reason not to, and I probably most resemble a mix between Pentacostals and Seventh-day Adventists, except that I don't damn people.

As to the passage you brought up: I believe that Jesus is speaking in hyperbole, i.e. using extremes to stress the importance of not sinning, not actually commanding self-torture. The reason why I don't interperet this literally is that cutting off your hand won't keep you from sinning. Therefore the point is not self-mutilation, the point is not sinning.

As for everlasting fire: I believe that the term is related to the phrase 'unto the end of the age.' The destruction of Heaven and Earth and its re-creation is a change of ages. I don't have my Concordance with me, so I'll have verses for you tomorrow.

As for souls being destroyed: Mt 10:28 "And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell(Gehenna).

There's another difference in translation: there are two words translated as hell; gehenna, which is the place where souls are destroyed, and hades, which is the waiting place of the dead wicked.

Later

Hippy

Faith is believing what you are told, whether it's by a priest or a scientist. A person's scientific beliefs are ones based on personal observation and experimentation.

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Les
Skeptic Friend

59 Posts

Posted - 12/08/2003 :  19:53:00   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Les's Homepage Send Les a Private Message
Hi Hippy!

I'm really impressed with your knowledge of the Bible.

quote:
Originally posted by hippy4christ

The Recieved Texts(RT) are about 20,000 manuscripts in Greek, written a few centuries after Christ, that combined make many copies of the New Testament. These texts are in almost complete agreement.

The KJV is translated from the RT, but I believe that there were some errors made, some of them intentional.


There are literally hundreds of contradictions in the KJV version of the New Testament. This is an inescapable and profoundly important fact. But I don't think that affects the spiritual validity of the important parts of the Christian faith.

quote:
Originally posted by hippy4christ

I believe in studying the Bible yourself, interperting literally unless there's a reason not to, and I probably most resemble a mix between Pentacostals and Seventh-day Adventists, except that I don't damn people.


What are your reasons for not taking something literally in the NT? For instance, do you think Jesus is also using hyperbole to make a point when, in Luke 10:10-15, He says that entire cities will be violently destroyed and the inhabitants "thrust down to hell" for not "receiving" his disciples?

If so, why? What do you believe Hell is like? It's described as a place of fire and torment in Luke and Revelations. Do you take these descriptions literally?

Or in 12:5 of the same chapter, do you think Jesus means it literally when He says that we should fear God since He has the power to kill us and then torture us forever in hell? Other times He's telling us not to fear, because God is love. I find it really confusing.

Anyway, just more stuff to think about.

Les
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Dr. Mabuse
Septic Fiend

Sweden
9675 Posts

Posted - 12/08/2003 :  20:24:17   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Dr. Mabuse an ICQ Message Send Dr. Mabuse a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Les
There are literally hundreds of contradictions in the KJV version of the New Testament. This is an inescapable and profoundly important fact. But I don't think that affects the spiritual validity of the important parts of the Christian faith.

Regarding contradictions, and other interesting stuff in KJV I give you the Skeptic's Annotated Bible.

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Edited by - Dr. Mabuse on 12/08/2003 20:26:20
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ConsequentAtheist
SFN Regular

641 Posts

Posted - 12/08/2003 :  20:37:57   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send ConsequentAtheist a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by hippy4christ

As for souls being destroyed: Mt 10:28 "And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell(Gehenna).

Feel free to play, but be advised that you had better do somewhat better than you have so far. Ge-Hinnom refers to the Valley of Hinnom outside Jerusalem and has absolutely nothing to do with "the doctrine of eternal hellfire".

For the philosophical naturalist, the rejection of supernaturalism is a case of "death by a thousand cuts." -- Barbara Forrest, Ph.D.
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ktesibios
SFN Regular

USA
505 Posts

Posted - 12/09/2003 :  00:41:10   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send ktesibios a Private Message
Neither Bible study nor theology are my forte, but I thought it worth pointing out that Hippy's take on eternal punishment is, IIRC, remarkably similar to that of the Jehovah's Witnesses.

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ConsequentAtheist
SFN Regular

641 Posts

Posted - 12/09/2003 :  04:23:15   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send ConsequentAtheist a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by hippy4christ

First, let me give some backgrounds on the two bodies of text that Bibles are translated from. [emphasis added]

We begin our discussion with a lesson in counting ...

NT

1) Alexandrian
2) Byzantine
3) Western
4) Caesarean (disputed)

======

Torah

1) proto-Massoretic
2) LXX Vorlage
3) Samaritan

So, hippy4christ, tell us, what is your reason for preferring your "Received Text" over the Peshitta?

For the philosophical naturalist, the rejection of supernaturalism is a case of "death by a thousand cuts." -- Barbara Forrest, Ph.D.
Edited by - ConsequentAtheist on 12/09/2003 04:24:58
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Valiant Dancer
Forum Goalie

USA
4826 Posts

Posted - 12/09/2003 :  07:17:04   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Valiant Dancer's Homepage Send Valiant Dancer a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Gorgo

Where does it say in the Bible that souls will be destroyed?

Dave, do those passages say that people will be cast into hellfire, or does it just say that it's better to cut something off than be cast into eternal hellfire?



It seems to be implied as a possibility here.

Matthew 10:28
"And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell."

But that seems to be the problem with people who quote the Bible and claim some significance to some passages but ignore others that place it in context. This passage actually exists unmodified by the surrounding text.

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hippy4christ
Skeptic Friend

193 Posts

Posted - 12/09/2003 :  13:03:52   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send hippy4christ a Private Message
Les: Whether something is taken literally or figuratively is often the point on which doctrines are made. I see no reason to assume that a passage of Scripture figurative, so I take all Scripture to be literal except when evidence of figuritiveness is found. In Luke 10:10-15 when Jesus speaks of cities being sent to hell, I think it important to know that He is speaking of the residents of the city who committed the offense. I say this because in v. 13 He speaks of cities that would have repented if such mighty works had been done. Obviously stone and brick can't repent, so he's talking about residents. This is all probably obvious, I'm just showing you how careful I am when deciding whether something is figurative or literal. I see no reason not to believe that the inhabitants of the city who committed the offense won't be taken to hell, but is important to note that 'hell' in v. 15 is hades, which is the waiting place of the evil dead.

Hades is described in Luke 16 and people being tormented "in flames." I believe it would be better translated "by flames" because the rich man was having a conversation with Abraham, so I doubt that he was actually on fire. Also, the Greek word used for "in" is also used for "by", "at", et cet. I believe it is a spiritual place where the physically dead wicked people go and are concious. Gehenna is a word used for the final death. The word does come from the Valley of Ge-Hinnom, which was where the trash from Jerusalem was being burned. After the Judgement, at the end of the world, those who are 'sent to hell' are destroyed in Gehenna fire. I don't know how long it will last, but it isn't forever, and probably isn't very long.

In Luke 12:5, Jesus was speaking to a crowd of people, so they weren't His hard-core disciples, they were young in the faith, and hadn't yet been perfected. 1 John 4:18 says "There is no fear in love, but perfect love casteth out fear." When Jesus cleans us from unrighteousness, and manage to stop sinning and are always in His will, then we no longer have need to fear Him.

C.A.: As to Gehenna, I have numerous resources that refer to the word's origins being Ge-Hinnom, and the Greek word "gehenna" is used throughout the New Testament as hell. Could you be more specific?

As to my statement that two bodies of text were used to make Bibles, I was referring to the New Testament, and a book of mine states that the Western and Caesarean Texts aren't considered accurate anymore. The Peshitta is part of the Recieved Texts.

Some corrections: There are over 5,000 manuscripts in Greek in the Recieved Texts, the other manuscripts are of the Recieved Texts, but they're in different languages. Their dates range from after the death of Christ to the 8th or 9th century(uncertain). The Alexandrian Texts (Alexandrius, Siniaticus, and Vaticus) were written approx. 350 AD.

Everlasting: in the Greek, "aionios", related to the word "aion", or "eon". I believe that it should be interpreted as "until the end of the age." This does not neccessarily mean forever.

Gotta go

Hippy

Faith is believing what you are told, whether it's by a priest or a scientist. A person's scientific beliefs are ones based on personal observation and experimentation.

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ConsequentAtheist
SFN Regular

641 Posts

Posted - 12/09/2003 :  20:28:00   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send ConsequentAtheist a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by hippy4christ

C.A.: As to Gehenna, I have numerous resources that refer to the word's origins being Ge-Hinnom, and the Greek word "gehenna" is used throughout the New Testament as hell. Could you be more specific?
Sure. Specifically, Ge-Hinnom refers to the Valley of Hinnom outside Jerusalem and has absolutely nothing to do with "the doctrine of eternal hellfire". Hell is a latter-day concept embraced and evolved by nascent Christianity.

quote:
Originally posted by hippy4christ

As to my statement that two bodies of text were used to make Bibles, I was referring to the New Testament, and a book of mine states that the Western and Caesarean Texts aren't considered accurate anymore.
How nice. Please provide the name and author.

For the philosophical naturalist, the rejection of supernaturalism is a case of "death by a thousand cuts." -- Barbara Forrest, Ph.D.
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hippy4christ
Skeptic Friend

193 Posts

Posted - 12/10/2003 :  14:17:47   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send hippy4christ a Private Message
C.A.

"Today it is admitted that because of their lack of uniformity the Western and Caesarean can no longer be regarded as text types."
Modern Bibles-The Dark Secret, by Pastor Jack Moorman, page 27. He probably isn't an unbiased authority, but considering that I'd never heard of either the Western or Caesarean before he mentioned them, I'm inclined to agree with him until I see evidence otherwise.

From the Strong's Concordance:

#1067 (Greek) gheh-en-nah; of Heb. or. (1516 and 2011 Hebrew); valley of (the son of) Hinnom; gehenna (or Ge-Hinnom), a valley of Jerus., used (fig.) as a name for the place (or state) of everlasting punishment:-hell

On what documents do you say that this is untrue?

Further study on the meaning of 'everlasting,' or 'aionios:' Some scholars say that everlasting can mean either 'unending' or 'from the Everlasting One.' Destroyed with fire from the Everlasting One. For instance, the Bible says that Sodom and Gohmorra were destroyed with everlasting fire (Jude 7). Of course the fire went out when there was nothing left to burn.

Hippy

Faith is believing what you are told, whether it's by a priest or a scientist. A person's scientific beliefs are ones based on personal observation and experimentation.

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ConsequentAtheist
SFN Regular

641 Posts

Posted - 12/10/2003 :  20:46:01   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send ConsequentAtheist a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by hippy4christ

He probably isn't an unbiased authority, but considering that I'd never heard of either the Western or Caesarean before he mentioned them, I'm inclined to agree with him until I see evidence otherwise.
That is a remarkable sentence.

For the philosophical naturalist, the rejection of supernaturalism is a case of "death by a thousand cuts." -- Barbara Forrest, Ph.D.
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