HomeQ&AThe Alpha and the Omega.

The Alpha and the Omega.

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I know that Jesus meant that he is the beginning and the end with this expression, as the letters of the Greek alphabet clearly suggests...but can this expression also be used to signify no beginning and no end'

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updated JUL 13, 2009
posted by 00b83c38

26 Answers

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Roman Catholic theology teaches that there are no extra-Biblical historical references to Jesus of Nazareth?

It doesn't "teach" it, it simply accepts what historians say. The same way it accepts evolution theory, the findings of archeology and astronomy, the carbon method of dating which shows that our universe is billions of years old, and so on.

Many Catholics are displeased with the Church's attitude towards science and reason, and end up embracing some other religion which accepts biblical teachings more literally.

That we can't be sure he existed?

Now I'm confused. There is no historical record for the vast majority of people who lived on this planet. The fact that historians didn't care much about the life of Christ can probably be best explained by the fact that they usually concern themselves with the life of ruthless dictators and mass murderers.

That if he did, he didn't speak Greek?

I didn't expect so much fuss about my comment. A poster by the alias of EricRPotts, who only posted once, presented an argument that the words "alpha" and "omega" were translated from Hebrew. I said that could not be true, because the New Testament was written in Greek.

No one is "despising Roman Catholic theology" here.

I know. Most of the bad attitude towards Catholicism, or any religion, seems to come from the media. Ordinary people are usually respectful of each other's beliefs.

You made some confident assertions in a religious thread with a religious title, and we are disagreeing with you, and explaining our reasoning.

I apologize if my assertions sounded more confident than they were supposed to. I have religious convictions but I try very hard to keep them to myself. Unfortunately sometimes something slips out without notice.

For the record, there are only two things I'm confident about and willing to defend:

  • The New Testament was written in Greek
  • There is not a lot of references to Jesus Christ in historical documents, apart from the gospels.

I hope that clarifies my position.

updated JUL 13, 2009
posted by 00719c95
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Now this is where the trouble lies. If knowledge of God depends on studying the bible then, to start with, illiterate people are left out. If knowledge of God comes primarily in written form, it is subject to the vagaries and ambiguities of human language. If knowledge of God comes from a book, it will inevitably be distorted by the impossibility of expressing some concepts in some languages.

To me, it is self-contradictory to believe in the concept of "God" and at the same time believe that He has not been able to produce and preserve a perfect book

To me it is self-contradictory to believe in God and at the same time believe that he chooses to talk to us using our stupid, limited spoken languages. That is like saying that God can instantly teleport himself to any place in the whole universe, but instead chooses to limit Himself to walking on two feet at the maximum speed of 20 km/h. I find that notion incredibly foolish.

To start with, no, illiterate people are not left out. How absurd. Are illiterate people left out of the benefits of the wealth of knowledge and information in the field of medicine? Are illiterate people confined to live without electricity in their homes because they cannot read to understand all the science behind it? Many illiterate people have a real and deep relationship with God because there also exists such a thing as the spoken word. I happen to know some of these people.

Now, someone says, what about those who are blind and deaf, or the mentally retarded? Where humans exist, communication exists, in some form or another. And people on that level are only held accountable for what they are capable of understanding. God is not unjust. And as you have alluded to, God is a Spirit, and we as spiritual beings communicate with Him on a spiritual level.

Even with all the difficulties you mention, man has no greater form of expression than language. When God chose to reveal Himself to us as a Man, He did that in the form of Jesus Christ. To me, it is no surprise that when God introduces Jesus Christ to the world, He says:
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. ... And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth." -John 1:1,14

"For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one." - I John 5:7

When God wanted to tell us that the highest and fullest expression of the entirety of all that He is was embodied in Jesus Christ, He chose no other title to do that than the Word!

Come on, He has direct access to our minds, why would He need to "talk" to us at all''?

I not sure what you are getting at here, but be careful where this kind of thinking will lead you.

First of all, God will not force anyone to believe Him; He presents us with the truth and then holds us accountable for how we respond to it. If you read the Bible, you see this cycle repeated from beginning to end. He is not going to seize one's mind and make that person believe in Him, etc.

Second, you are leaving things open for people to say anything they want to about God with the basis of "God told me that in my mind." I'm not saying that God doesn't impress things upon people's minds and hearts today; but who then is right when you say, "God told me He is X," and I say, "God told me He is Y," and X and Y are opposites and mutually exclusive? As you have correctly alluded to in another thread, a lot of people have done a lot of evil things in this world, saying that "God told them to do it," or it was in the Name of God. I'm saying that God doesn't contradict Himself, and He doesn't do anything, or tell/lead anyone to do anything, contrary to His revealed will, His written Word.

I will deal with some of your other statements in another post.

updated JUL 13, 2009
posted by hhmdirocco
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Actually, the New Testament was originally written in Greek, more than a hundred years after Jesus' death. It's impossible to know what Jesus really said or even if he said that at all.

It is correct that the New Testament was originally written in Greek.

But there are varying opinions as to the dates of authorship. In any case, dating them "more than a hundred years after Jesus' death" is an extremely liberal view that supposes that NONE of the NT books were written by the person named on the book (i.e. Luke was not written by Luke, etc.). Indeed in this view none of them were written by anyone with first hand knowledge of the life and ministry of Christ.

Conservative scholarship has always held to first century authorship between 20 and 65 years from the time of Christ. And this is the view that continues to be supported by evidence, as more evidence is found.

For instance, papyrus manuscript P52, containing part of the gospel of John, is dated at 125 AD, less than 100 years after the crucifixion, and only 30 years after the date that conservative scholars have held that gospel to have been written. Since P52 was found in Egypt, and was undoubtedly a copy of possibly multi generations, it is strong evidence that the traditional date of 95 AD is pretty accurate.

Good post, Greg. And accurate information--I have studied it.

Since none of us were there, it is a matter of faith to believe that Jesus said or did anything. Or that He even existed. But who here saw or heard Julius Caesar? Anything in history has to be taken with some degree of faith in the accuracy of the history. It is interesting to me that some people believe every tiniest detail reported in history about Jesus Christ's contemporaries (e.g., Augustus Caesar, Nero, etc.), or even those that lived long before Him (Alexander the Great, for example), but they say that it is impossible to know what Christ did or said.

Either God is real or He is not. It is a matter of faith; you either believe it or you don't. It is interesting that in the Bible God doesn't try to prove or defend His existence; He just starts out saying, "In the beginning God ...." It is assumed that man knows that God exists, since his conscience was created with the knowledge that there is a God.

"Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath showed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:" - Romans 1:19-20

And to those that deny Him, God has very few words.

"The fool hath said in his heart, 'There is no God.' They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good." - Psalm 14:1

If God is real, then He is omnipotent (all-powerful). If He is omnipotent, then He is able to Providentially preserve perfectly for us all that He wants us to know about Himself, and to see that that record survives centuries of attacks and imperial campaigns to exterminate it from existence (read the history of Europe in the Dark Ages).

To me, it is self-contradictory to believe in the concept of "God" and at the same time believe that He has not been able to produce and preserve a perfect book, in spite of His promise to do so.

"The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever." - Psalm 12:6-7

"For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations." - Psalm 100:5

Like I said, it is a matter of faith. The validity of the Bible's accounts will never be able to be completely proven or be disproved, since nobody was there. The Bible's validity in many other areas where it was believed to be incorrect has been exonerated by history and science. It has never been proven to be inaccurate.

The issue is that if we believe in an omnipotent, omniscient (all-knowing) God with an all-accurate Book, then we are in big trouble with God, according to that Book. And we don't want to do what It says we have to do to fix that. So, many choose to discredit It, or to soothe their consciences by doubting if It is really all accurate/true.

updated JUL 13, 2009
posted by hhmdirocco
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Greg and hhmdirocco:

Before this degenerates into another sectarian debate, let me come out and make it clear that I have no interest in biblical debates. I do have some interest in history, which is why I made my first post on this thread.

However, what I said about the New Testament does not come from my knowledge of history, but from a study of Roman Catholic theology. Sometimes I have the feeling that, for those who do not practice it, Roman Catholicism is the most despised religion on our part of the world. So don't expect me to defend an institution that is powerful enough to defend itself. I certainly lack the knowledge and the skills to do it.

Thank you, Heitor. That is respectable. I appreciate you not turning this into a sectarian debate. God is not sectarian. Nowhere in the Bible is there a verse that anyone can claim to say, "Everybody of this sect/denomination is going to Heaven, and anyone outside is not."

He does, and always has, seek to have a relationship with the individual. But it has to be mutual. He will not force Himself on anyone. He is a God of absolutes. It is on His terms, or not at all. Contrary to what many want to believe, God is not wishy-washy. Proverbs 1:20-33 is a personification of wisdom, but it also shows God's response to those who reject His ways and His terms.

Even in an age where professing religion has, for the most part, turned its back on the true and living God, and shut Christ out, He gives this invitation to the individual:

"Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and sup with him, and he with me." - Revelation 3:20

updated JUL 13, 2009
posted by hhmdirocco
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Last time I checked, the world was not created in six days...

Last time I checked, the world was created in six, literal, 24-hour days.

So there. I wasn't there, and neither were you. I can't prove you wrong or myself right, and neither can you. Both of us believe what we believe by faith.

Somebody says, "But according to Mr. Scientist ...." OK, so your faith is in him and what he says he supposedly discovered or proved, because you didn't do it. You're taking his word for it. (No, I am not opposed to science.) It is all just hypothesis; the origin of the universe can not be duplicated or demonstrated in a lab.

If there is a God, then He is capable of having created everthing that exists in six nanoseconds; he didn't need six days. (By the way, the Hebrew word in Genesis 1 refers to a 24-hour period--evening and morning. There are other Hebrew words that refer to general time periods expressed by the word day.) And if He created a man that was already at a mature, adult stage, why couldn't He create an Earth and universe the same way? If you had looked at Adam the day God created him, you wouldn't have said, "I scientifically calculate his age to be 6 hours old." The Earth/universe is no different (see verse below, "things which are seen were not made of things which do appear"). Again, it is a matter of believing God on this or not. I can't convince you; it is a personal decision.

"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. ... Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear. ... But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." -Hebrews 11:1,3,6

As to God, if you don't find Him in your heart, in the beauty and perfection of the universe, in the divine nature of human feelings, in the central importance that love plays in our lives, then you certainly won't find God in a book.

Although I would have stated it a little differently, I agree that God reveals Himself in many ways, including those that you have named. I also agree that if one has rejected the revelation of God in those things, then he probably will not accept His ultimate revelation, Jesus Christ, the Word, as revealed in His written Word. The Bible agrees with us here, Heitor.
"The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth His handiwork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night showeth knowledge. There is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard. Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. ..." - Psalm 19:1-4

'Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath showed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:' - Romans 1:19-20

The problem with throwing off all absolutes and casting off the idea of one unchangeable standard is that you open things up to an "anything goes" existence. If God is anything that anybody wants Him to be or imagines Him to be, then He is nothing at all. If truth is just whatever a person decides it to be for himself, then there is no real truth.

The Bible has to be either believed to be what It claims to be or rejected as such, just as Jesus Christ must be believed to be Who He said He was, or rejected as such. It appears that you have been fed a bunch of bad meat somewhere along the line, my friend, and unfortunately you took it. The only way you are going to know for yourself, and not just blindly believing what someone has told you, is to read the Bible for yourself. I hope you have done that. If not, I suggest you start with the Gospel of John. You could read it in a couple of hours if you go non-stop.

Jesus Christ laid things out black and white, leaving no neutral ground. He left no room for equivocation. He left no doubt as to what He meant. No one ever doubted where they stood with Jesus, and they need not today.
"He that is not with me is against me: and he that gathereth not with me scattereth." - Luke 11:23

"Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." - John 14:6

"Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, 'I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.' ... And he said unto them, 'Ye are from beneath; I am from above; ye are of this world; I am not of this world. I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins; for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.'" - John 8:11,23-24

The apostle Peter was no less exclusive. When speaking of the Name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth (v.10), he said:
"Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." -Acts 4:12

updated JUL 13, 2009
posted by hhmdirocco
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Greg and hhmdirocco:

Before this degenerates into another sectarian debate, let me come out and make it clear that I have no interest in biblical debates. I do have some interest in history, which is why I made my first post on this thread.

However, what I said about the New Testament does not come from my knowledge of history, but from a study of Roman Catholic theology. Sometimes I have the feeling that, for those who do not practice it, Roman Catholicism is the most despised religion on our part of the world. So don't expect me to defend an institution that is powerful enough to defend itself. I certainly lack the knowledge and the skills to do it.

Roman Catholic theology teaches that there are no extra-Biblical historical references to Jesus of Nazareth? That we can't be sure he existed? That if he did, he didn't speak Greek?

I don't think so.

No one is "despising Roman Catholic theology" here. You made some confident assertions in a religious thread with a religious title, and we are disagreeing with you, and explaining our reasoning.

You have to expect that if you speak up.

updated JUL 13, 2009
posted by Goyo
0
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Greg and hhmdirocco:

Before this degenerates into another sectarian debate, let me come out and make it clear that I have no interest in biblical debates. I do have some interest in history, which is why I made my first post on this thread.

However, what I said about the New Testament does not come from my knowledge of history, but from a study of Roman Catholic theology. Sometimes I have the feeling that, for those who do not practice it, Roman Catholicism is the most despised religion on our part of the world. So don't expect me to defend an institution that is powerful enough to defend itself. I certainly lack the knowledge and the skills to do it.

updated JUL 13, 2009
posted by 00719c95
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Easy does it, Heitor. It looks like you misunderstood/misconstrued some things I said, just as I may have somewhat misunderstood your statement. Let's back up.

First things first.

It's not the same thing. Julius Caesar was famous, many people wrote about him the same way people write about Barack Obama today. Many of these writings have been preserved, so we can say we have a 'historical record? of Julius Caesar, Nero, Charlemagne, Adolf Hitler, ...

The historical record for Jesus Christ is virtually non-existent.

The only way I will respond to that is, "Then you haven't read any history." That is even more distorted than saying, "The historical record for Constantine/Mohammed/Alexander the Great is virtually non-existent." Roman history, and even modern secular histories, acknowledge the historical character Jesus of Nazareth.

Now stop and think for a minute: Jesus did not speak Greek so he could not possibly have uttered the words 'alpha? and 'omega'. What did he say then? The names of the first and last letters of which alphabet? Did he actually say letter names, or something that was translated to Greek as 'alpha? and 'omega'? Did he actually say that at all, or did the writer of the Book of Revelation make it up?

Again, your history leaves much to be desired. Greek was the "trade language"/literary language of the Middle East/Roman Empire (rough boundaries here, not geographical exactities)--to most people, the known world--of that day. Do you forget this about Jesus' crucifixion:
"And a superscription also was written over him in letters of Greek, and Latin, and Hebrew, THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS." - Luke 23:38
Even the title Christ is a transliteration of the Greek Christos. To me it is naive to say that Christ didn't speak Greek, when the "uneducated" fishermen that walked with Him wrote their accounts of His life in, what else, Greek.

All of this really misses the greater point, and that is that Christ spoke these words more than 60 years after His resurrection, when He appeared to the apostle John on the isle of Patmos. Being God, He can speak any language He wants!

Either God is real or He is not. It is a matter of faith; you either believe it or you don't.

By saying that the only way to know that God is real is by choosing to believe so, you are making a strong case against His existence.

The sun is real, and even blind people know that. Nobody needs to have faith in the sun. If God is real, He is more real than the sun, and His existence can only be denied by some form of foolishness.

Here is where I think you misunderstood what I said. Yes, each person must choose whether or not He believes God, or believes in God. My point is that some people say that you cannot believe in anybody or anything that can't be proven in a scientific test tube. Although I believe there is an abundance of scientific evidence that proves the existence of God, others will argue with that. Some people deny the obvious--things proven by science--because the truth is painful to them. On the individual level, it is a matter of believing or not believing, because of or in spite of the scientific evidence or "lack" thereof. On this point, I think you and I actually agree, my friend.

More to follow ...

updated JUL 13, 2009
posted by hhmdirocco
0
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It's not the same thing. Julius Caesar was famous, many people wrote about him the same way people write about Barack Obama today. Many of these writings have been preserved, so we can say we have a "historical record" of Julius Caesar, Nero, Charlemagne, Adolf Hitler, ...

The historical record for Jesus Christ is virtually non-existent.

Respectfully, you are grossly mistaken.

First of all you must discount the testimony of the New Testament itself, which is a significant hisorical record of Jesus in it's own right.

Second, the Babylonian Talmud mentions Jesus, as does Jewish historian Josephus and Roman historian Cornelius Tacitus. And those just scratch the surface. The historical record for Jesus is far from "virtually non-existent." It is one of the best, if not the best, of any figure of antiquity.

To start with, the quote was taken out of context. I was referring to the "alpha and omega" thing. Now stop and think for a minute: Jesus did not speak Greek so he could not possibly have uttered the words "alpha" and "omega". What did he say then? The names of the first and last letters of which alphabet? Did he actually say letter names, or something that was translated to Greek as "alpha" and "omega"? Did he actually say that at all, or did the writer of the Book of Revelation make it up?

What makes you think he didn't speak Greek? In all liklihood he certainly did. Greek was the one language that unified the world of that day, and that is likely the main reason that the New Testament was written in Greek, not in Hebrew. It was the langage of commerce, and practically everyone spoke it.

Several times Jesus quotes the Old Testament, and about half the time his quotes are directly from the Septuagint, a Greek translation of the Hebrew scriptures.

Now this is where the trouble lies. If knowledge of God depends on studying the bible then, to start with, illiterate people are left out. If knowledge of God comes primarily in written form, it is subject to the vagaries and ambiguities of human language. If knowledge of God comes from a book, it will inevitably be distorted by the impossibility of expressing some concepts in some languages.

Simple observation should show you that illiterate people down through the ages have had knowledge of God, which comes through faith in Christ, not from studying the Bible. So by your logic we can then conclude that knowledge of God does not come primarily in written form. Correct?

To me it is self-contradictory to believe in God and at the same time believe that he chooses to talk to us using our stupid, limited spoken languages. That is like saying that God can instantly teleport himself to any place in the whole universe, but instead chooses to limit Himself to walking on two feet at the maximum speed of 20 km/h. I find that notion incredibly foolish.

All you are really saying, Heitor, is that if you were God, you wouldn't have done it that way. Point taken. smile

As to God, if you don't find Him in your heart, in the beauty and perfection of the universe, in the divine nature of human feelings, in the central importance that love plays in our lives, then you certainly won't find God in a book.

I think the book itself says pretty much the same thing.

**Romans 1:19 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made.

1 John 4:20- If anyone says, "I love God," and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen.**

The Bible has it's place, and an important one. But God did not limit the testimony of himself to the Bible. I hope you feel better about that now.

updated JUL 13, 2009
posted by Goyo
0
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Revelation 1:8

"I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord, "who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty."

Revelation 22:13

I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.

I agree with Aurino, I don't see how we can use this expression to signify "no beginning and no end" If its clearly suggesting the complete opposite.

I see your point, Yolii, and I'll comment more on that below.

But I think this pair of verses you have quoted beautifully shows both. The first verse really shows God's eternality, and the second, his sovereignty in all ages.

Rev. 1:8 reminds me of Isaiah 57:15:
"For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones."

So in one sense, God is the Beginning and the End of all.

In another sense, He was before the beginning, and He will be after the end. So in that sense, He has no beginning and no end.

However, in agreement with your point, if someone tries to infer from "no beginning and no end," a "lack of existence," then they have sadly erred.

updated JUL 12, 2009
posted by hhmdirocco
0
votes

Since none of us were there, it is a matter of faith to believe that Jesus said or did anything. Or that He even existed. But who here saw or heard Julius Ceaser? Anything in history has to be taken with some degree of faith in the accuracy of the history.

It's not the same thing. Julius Caesar was famous, many people wrote about him the same way people write about Barack Obama today. Many of these writings have been preserved, so we can say we have a "historical record" of Julius Caesar, Nero, Charlemagne, Adolf Hitler, ...

The historical record for Jesus Christ is virtually non-existent.

It is interesting to me that some people believe every tiniest detail reported in history about Jesus Christ's contemporaries (e.g., Augustus Ceaser, Nero, etc.), or even those that lived long before Him (Alexander the Great, for example), but they say that it is impossible to know what Christ did or said.

Since I am the one who wrote "it is impossible to know what Christ did or said", I feel I need to explain myself.

To start with, the quote was taken out of context. I was referring to the "alpha and omega" thing. Now stop and think for a minute: Jesus did not speak Greek so he could not possibly have uttered the words "alpha" and "omega". What did he say then? The names of the first and last letters of which alphabet? Did he actually say letter names, or something that was translated to Greek as "alpha" and "omega"? Did he actually say that at all, or did the writer of the Book of Revelation make it up?

The Bible is not an ordinary book. It's not a scientific book, not a historical book, not a philosophy book, not a novel. It's more than that, and should be read with a different mindset.

Either God is real or He is not. It is a matter of faith; you either believe it or you don't.

By saying that the only way to know that God is real is by choosing to believe so, you are making a strong case against His existence.

The sun is real, and even blind people know that. Nobody needs to have faith in the sun. If God is real, He is more real than the sun, and His existence can only be denied by some form of foolishness.

It is assumed that man knows that God exists, since his conscience was created with the knowledge that there is a God.

Exactly! If God exists then we must all be aware of His existence without knowing how we became aware of it.

It is because we don't know how we learned about God's existence that we have those endless debates about His existence.

If God is real, then He is omnipotent (all-powerful). If He is omnipotent, then He is able to Providentially preserve perfectly for us all that He wants us to know about Himself, and to see that that record survives centuries of attacks and imperial campaigns to exterminate it from existence (read the history of Europe in the Dark Ages).

Now this is where the trouble lies. If knowledge of God depends on studying the bible then, to start with, illiterate people are left out. If knowledge of God comes primarily in written form, it is subject to the vagaries and ambiguities of human language. If knowledge of God comes from a book, it will inevitably be distorted by the impossibility of expressing some concepts in some languages.

To me, it is self-contradictory to believe in the concept of "God" and at the same time believe that He has not been able to produce and preserve a perfect book

To me it is self-contradictory to believe in God and at the same time believe that he chooses to talk to us using our stupid, limited spoken languages. That is like saying that God can instantly teleport himself to any place in the whole universe, but instead chooses to limit Himself to walking on two feet at the maximum speed of 20 km/h. I find that notion incredibly foolish.

Come on, He has direct access to our minds, why would He need to "talk" to us at all''?

Like I said, it is a matter of faith. The validity of the Bible's accounts will never be able to be completely proven or be disproven, since nobody was there. The Bible's validity in many other areas where it was believed to be incorrect has been exonerated by history and science. It has never been proven to be inaccurate.

Last time I checked, the world was not created in six days...

OK, now I'm going to present my point of view so I'm not accused of defending the atheist cause:

I don't know if Jesus Christ existed as a real person, but we do know for sure that the words attributed to him are real. As far as I can tell, it makes no difference if the words were said by Jesus or by someone with a different name. They are real words, and that is all that matters.

As to God, if you don't find Him in your heart, in the beauty and perfection of the universe, in the divine nature of human feelings, in the central importance that love plays in our lives, then you certainly won't find God in a book.

updated JUL 12, 2009
posted by 00719c95
0
votes

Actually, the New Testament was originally written in Greek, more than a hundred years after Jesus' death. It's impossible to know what Jesus really said or even if he said that at all.

It is correct that the New Testament was originally written in Greek.

But there are varying opinions as to the dates of authorship. In any case, dating them "more than a hundred years after Jesus' death" is an extremely liberal view that supposes that NONE of the NT books were written by the person named on the book (i.e. Luke was not written by Luke, etc.). Indeed in this view none of them were written by anyone with first hand knowledge of the life and ministry of Christ.

Conservative scholarship has always held to first century authorship between 20 and 65 years from the time of Christ. And this is the view that continues to be supported by evidence, as more evidence is found.

For instance, papyrus manuscript P52, containing part of the gospel of John, is dated at 125 AD, less than 100 years after the crucifixion, and only 30 years after the date that conservative scholars have held that gospel to have been written. Since P52 was found in Egypt, and was undoubtedly a copy of possibly multi generations, it is strong evidence that the traditional date of 95 AD is pretty accurate.

updated JUL 12, 2009
posted by Goyo
0
votes

Hi Newbie (hermana)
you are obviously an in-depth bible student including the original languages. I have no such knowledge.The LORD saved me in 1997.
Thanks for your input and I'm really glad the LORD is unlimited in His being, actions,greatness....omni,omni,omni. Yet He shows such patience and compassion to us His children, remembering we are but dust.(Psalm103v14)He is so merciful and does not treat us as our sins deserve, as long as we repent and believe.Keep on keeping on.... grin
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updated JUN 17, 2009
posted by Hilary-McLean
0
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Hola Everyone.
1. The phrase alpha and omega denotes infinite, when you leyendo la biblia you'll also see that everything else is created. The idea is similar to time.Want more? please ask

2.Iam that I am is totally diffrent check intlinears in the orginal text and you'll notice it carries the meaning. "I can become what soeevr i please" meaning I can become whatever is needed to get the job done. To illustrate a man can become a judge, father, friend, caretaker. Humans are limited but God is not.Want more? please ask.

updated JUN 16, 2009
posted by krc
0
votes

I'd be really interested to hear about the 7 eternal things from the Talmud. Would you mind explaining these to me please?
Liked your very thoughtful and helpful reply to my post.

updated JUN 7, 2009
posted by Hilary-McLean
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