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Tue Jun 19, 2012, 09:02 PM

Which part of the Bible is most important?

I was raised being told the Bible was divided into two parts. The Old Testament and The New Testament. But, I alway though The New Testament should be divided also, the four gospels which have the word of Christ in red and the rest of it.

If you will humor me and make the same three divisions which is more important?

I would think the four gospels would be not just the most important but should trump the other two.

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Reply Which part of the Bible is most important? (Original post)
SoutherDem Jun 2012 OP
edhopper Jun 2012 #1
SoutherDem Jun 2012 #3
cbayer Jun 2012 #4
SoutherDem Jun 2012 #10
cbayer Jun 2012 #13
SoutherDem Jun 2012 #15
cbayer Jun 2012 #16
SoutherDem Jun 2012 #18
cbayer Jun 2012 #21
Betsy Ross Jun 2012 #2
SoutherDem Jun 2012 #7
cbayer Jun 2012 #8
SoutherDem Jun 2012 #12
Turbineguy Jun 2012 #5
oldhippydude Jun 2012 #6
randr Jun 2012 #9
Journeyman Jun 2012 #11
SoutherDem Jun 2012 #14
Journeyman Jun 2012 #17
SoutherDem Jun 2012 #19
laconicsax Jun 2012 #23
Journeyman Jun 2012 #26
laconicsax Jun 2012 #27
Journeyman Jun 2012 #30
laconicsax Jun 2012 #32
daaron Jun 2012 #28
msongs Jun 2012 #20
kestrel91316 Jun 2012 #22
SoutherDem Jun 2012 #34
kestrel91316 Jun 2012 #40
madrchsod Jun 2012 #24
laconicsax Jun 2012 #25
SoutherDem Jun 2012 #35
cynatnite Jun 2012 #29
Speck Tater Jun 2012 #31
turtlerescue1 Jun 2012 #33
SoutherDem Jun 2012 #36
dmallind Jun 2012 #37
jeepnstein Jun 2012 #38
laconicsax Jun 2012 #39
mr blur Jun 2012 #42
backscatter712 Jun 2012 #41

Response to SoutherDem (Original post)

Tue Jun 19, 2012, 09:12 PM

1. Which Grimm fairy tale is the most important?

Which of Shakespear's plays is the most important?

I'd say that as with most works of fiction, it is subjective.

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Response to edhopper (Reply #1)

Tue Jun 19, 2012, 09:19 PM

3. Ok, I know but I was trying to play nice.

I didn't want to be accused of shit stirring.

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Response to SoutherDem (Reply #3)

Tue Jun 19, 2012, 09:22 PM

4. I don't understand this post. Are you shit stirring or asking for a legitimate discussion?

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Response to cbayer (Reply #4)

Tue Jun 19, 2012, 09:35 PM

10. I wanted a real discussion.

I understand all democrats do not share my Atheist beliefs.

I wanted a real explanation as to if there is more value in the words of Christ than say the words of Paul or the Old Testament in general.

I was taught the Bible was to be taken in its entirety and somehow the condemnation of the old testament and new testament should be given the same weight as the words of love of Christ. But, I was raised in a conservative fundamental evangelical christian church.

I wanted to hear from those liberals who do believe the Bible is the word of God. I really want to know if they feel one is more important and the other.

Since, it is not being taken that way, I now regret asking the question.

I wanted the same thing which happens when a Jehovah's Witness friend visits. Real discussion.

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Response to SoutherDem (Reply #10)

Tue Jun 19, 2012, 09:42 PM

13. I thought you might want a real discussion, but your replies would indicate something very different

If you regret it, you always have the option of deleting it. Or not.

Some think it's great sport - kind of like going to the "special" school and taunting the children there.

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Response to cbayer (Reply #13)

Tue Jun 19, 2012, 10:02 PM

15. Well,

I know you have asked my intentions. When I laid my cards on the table, you still seem to feel I am not serious.

Do I believe in the Bible? NO.

But I don't have to believe in the Bible to ask a serious question about it since it is used to make serious political decisions.

Honestly, If I would have gotten a real answer at the time your and my exchange started my reply would have occurred.

I simply am asking liberal Christians to tell me if they value the words of Christ more than the words of Paul or an old testament writer. If so fine. If not the follow up would be how do you balance Christ's love with Paul's seemingly lack of love.

As to regret posting, no I don't regret nor won't to delete. I was frustrated. Maybe someone will really answer.

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Response to SoutherDem (Reply #15)

Tue Jun 19, 2012, 10:07 PM

16. I am sorry if I overstepped.

I hope you are able to get the conversation you came here for, then.

There are many here who would value the discussion, but, as you can see, many who do not.

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Response to cbayer (Reply #16)

Tue Jun 19, 2012, 10:17 PM

18. No problem.

I do find religion can be a touchy subject.

I see people here on DU who seriously support the Democratic opinions and are serious Christians. Honestly if I ran into more like them I might still be in a church. I personally struggled with this question my entire life in the church (28 years), I am seeking how those who are Christian Democrats has dealt with this question.

I guess I didn't ask it very well, nor did I handle my first few replies very well and for that I am sorry and do regret. I find if I add to much context to my OPs they get rather long and may restrict the discussion. This time I think more context would have served me better.

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Response to SoutherDem (Reply #18)

Tue Jun 19, 2012, 10:20 PM

21. You will find both very open minded and congenial believers and non-believers here.

You will also find some who are not.

Welcome to the religion group, SoutherDem! I look forward to your participation.

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Response to SoutherDem (Original post)

Tue Jun 19, 2012, 09:15 PM

2. The "Old Testament" is composed of three parts:

Torah - First five books
Neveim - Prophets
Ketuvim - Writings
Taking the beginning of each Hebrew word yields Tanach which is what the Old Testament is called by Jews.
My point being that there is precedence for logical divisions.
The "New Testament" as we know it today has been through many changes. It would be worth your time to look into the history of the Bible and its codification if you are serious.

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Response to Betsy Ross (Reply #2)

Tue Jun 19, 2012, 09:26 PM

7. Yes, I know there are many divisions.

But the vast majority of the Evangelical Christians don't apply theses divisions.
My point was to be if the "savior" of the world said something it should be most important. Also, if this "savior" felt something was not worth his talking about it is rather trivial.

To be honest I feel the Bible is a work of fiction as much as Harry Potter.

For me I find more wisdom from T. S. Elliot's Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats.

Was I serious? Well yes to the point I gave chose to capitalize words such as Bible in my OP, yes. I really don't give a rip. I was just seeking opinions.

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Response to SoutherDem (Reply #7)

Tue Jun 19, 2012, 09:31 PM

8. Ah, there's my answer.

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Response to cbayer (Reply #8)

Tue Jun 19, 2012, 09:40 PM

12. Am I serious, Yes.

But I wanted serious answers from the Christians on DU. The reason I didn't state my being an Atheist was I waned real answers.

But, I wasn't wanting to do an in depth study of the Bible, I still would not know what DU Christians believe.

I did ask to be humored. I wanted to have the question look at simply from Christ vs. the rest.

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Response to SoutherDem (Original post)

Tue Jun 19, 2012, 09:24 PM

5. The

End.

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Response to SoutherDem (Original post)

Tue Jun 19, 2012, 09:25 PM

6. the part that makes it right height to stabilize a wobbly table n/t

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Response to SoutherDem (Original post)

Tue Jun 19, 2012, 09:33 PM

9. From what I have seen

the parts that were not included are the most interesting.

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Response to SoutherDem (Original post)

Tue Jun 19, 2012, 09:37 PM

11. This was answered by Rabbi Hillel before the New Testament was written . . .

Asked to explain the Torah in the time a man could stand on one foot, Rabbi Hillel explained:

"That which is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor. That is the whole Torah; the rest is commentary."

And in the New Testament, when asked to explain the greatest commandment in the law, Jesus explained, in part, "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself."

I hope this provides an answer to whatever it was you sought.

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Response to Journeyman (Reply #11)

Tue Jun 19, 2012, 09:53 PM

14. It is close, if I may ask a follow up.

The first church I was in I thought the Bible was a book of don't. I don't know if I heard one word of the love of Christ, just rules and the only purpose of becoming a Christian was "fire insurance".

The second church I was in was a little better but not much.

The third was about 50/50.

The forth was a church which taught Christian love and quite frankly disregard much of the Bible at least from the point of really teaching from it.

I understand the basic commandment generally called the Golden Rule but I almost never see this practiced, should the commentary be totally discarded?

You may have answered my question but let me rephrase, for verification, the question to if Christ said "take care of the poor" and somewhere else it says "if you don't work you don't eat", does one trump the other? If not how are they both to be taken seriously?

Honestly part of what turned me to Atheism, but certainly not the only, was seeing people use the Bible as a club.

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Response to SoutherDem (Reply #14)

Tue Jun 19, 2012, 10:12 PM

17. I haven't a clue how to answer your questions. . .

they're some of the same ones I wrestled with years ago, before I realized I was -- if anything -- a "Disinterested Agnostic." Didn't know if God exists or not, didn't care.

My advice to you is the same I give everyone I know: Find what works for you in whatever part of life that interests you, and don't let anyone dissuade you from what you accept to be your truth.

Remember: "All you need is love (love is all you need)." ~ Lennon/McCartney

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Response to Journeyman (Reply #17)

Tue Jun 19, 2012, 10:20 PM

19. Thanks for the honest answer.

For me Atheism was the answer, but I want to respect those who are Christians. I know how the Republican Christians feel. I was hoping for Democrat Christians to answer.

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Response to Journeyman (Reply #11)

Tue Jun 19, 2012, 10:40 PM

23. FWIW, the Old Testament is much more than the Torah.

 

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Response to laconicsax (Reply #23)

Tue Jun 19, 2012, 11:05 PM

26. Ah, yes. More commentary . . .

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Response to Journeyman (Reply #26)

Tue Jun 19, 2012, 11:08 PM

27. Actually, it's mostly embellished history.

 

Have you never read the entire Bible?

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Response to laconicsax (Reply #27)

Tue Jun 19, 2012, 11:34 PM

30. Have you never read all three of my posts in this sub-thread? . . .

"Disinterested agnostic." Don't know, don't care.

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Response to Journeyman (Reply #30)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 12:01 AM

32. Then don't complain when you're corrected on factual matters. n/t

 

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Response to laconicsax (Reply #23)

Tue Jun 19, 2012, 11:23 PM

28. Right. Torah's just 1st the 5 books of OT.

 

Though "Torah" used in the more general sense of "Law" is an extensible concept, which can be expanded to apply to a host of extra-biblical Judaic texts, some quite recent. (The Ari is revered, and relatively recent.)

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Response to SoutherDem (Original post)

Tue Jun 19, 2012, 10:20 PM

20. words in red are allegedly by the Jesus character, the christ is the raised by witchcraft one nt

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Response to SoutherDem (Original post)

Tue Jun 19, 2012, 10:34 PM

22. The only parts I ever pay any attention to are Proverbs and the NT's red letter parts.

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Response to kestrel91316 (Reply #22)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 01:39 AM

34. Thanks for the honest answer.

Just wondering. Do you feel the rest are not or should not be part of the Bible or should be deuterocanonical?
When I was in church I struggled with this issue a lot.

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Response to SoutherDem (Reply #34)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 12:53 PM

40. I am not going to presume to tell christianity what to put in its bible. I'm just

saying which parts I find to be full of wisdom, and I say that as someone who isn't officially christian (I was baptized as a child but don't attend church or belong, and celebrate Christmas as Yule and a secular holiday, lol).

I like what Gandhi said about christianity: I like your Christ; your Christians, not so much.

ETA: I will confess to liking traditional religious Christmas music, lol.

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Response to SoutherDem (Original post)

Tue Jun 19, 2012, 10:41 PM

24. the four gospels are the only books that matter to me

the old testament is a history book. the new testament is another history of the founding of roman catholic church.

then there`s the Coptic church which is another take on christianity.

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Response to madrchsod (Reply #24)

Tue Jun 19, 2012, 10:43 PM

25. How do you address the contradictions and factual errors?

 

While they don't really affect the message, I'm curious to know what your take on the contradictions and factual errors is.

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Response to madrchsod (Reply #24)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 01:41 AM

35. Thanks for the honest answer.

I will ask you the same question as I did another post. Do you consider or feel the rest should be part of the Bible?

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Response to SoutherDem (Original post)

Tue Jun 19, 2012, 11:30 PM

29. The index. n/t

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Response to SoutherDem (Original post)

Tue Jun 19, 2012, 11:41 PM

31. The parts made of paper can be important in the outhouse. nt

 

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Response to SoutherDem (Original post)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 12:28 AM

33. Am NOT a Biblical scholar.

But the instruction manual is that of the Four Gospels. These are written from different perspectives, but still the words are the same from the one they followed.

My closest friend of nearly 50 years likes the fire and brimstone kind of preacher. I grew up in that Lutheran School with one that could rattle the rafters, and all it did was make me fearful, would rather run away than stay and willingly feel that. If I want to be beaten I'ld become a masochist or sadist, never got the two correct.

It was on my own decided to see that I could understand, and the version I use is the one banned in the US and Canada in 1968, figures eh? It does contain the apocrypha and other canonicals. It is also easier than the old King James English. I need one for simpler minds, the Jerusalem Bible fits.

The Old Testament is history and biographies. Few authors were "good" and many were "flawed". I also see that cracked vase being carried along a path, dripping water where it is dry and barren. Enough trips with that cracked vase...

There is always debates about whether the books are "story"level; symbolic level, metaphoric, but the one that is hoped for is the spiritually linguistic.

iWhen I was a small child, dad's dental insurance plan came through, so off to the dentist I was dragged. My sister was a dental nurse, so it wasn't severe trauma, EXCEPT the child's dentist-he didn't actually hit me, but he was pretty rough on a little child. Needless to say it took a lot of years before I wouldn't have a panic attack. It took more than one gentle dentist to overcome what only one had instilled. That likely compares to experiences with religions and churches, one you're burned, you dont' go running back for more of the same.

Yes, I believe each of us are born with a soul, an inner being, usually playful and usually kind, or at least aware of what gentleness is, how it feels and how its given. Its part of the twinkle in someone's eye. Its creativity and apprecation. Its what the Christ tried to teach us in the Sermon on the Mount. YES the one that Fundies prefer to ignore! I cannot give someone my faith; cannot demand they have it; can't divide mine with them.
Still in that is the freedom of choice, and that is a blessing as well.

I wasn't a good Missouri Synod Lutheran, my dad was a Mason and a union man, which has much to do with why he was a Mason, and so was his Dad, not sure about Gramps, but since he had three taverns and a plumbing shop in Des Moines, possibly. (yeah a long line of bad livers as well) BUT even though dad paid for my education in that church school plus the public school taxes, dad couldn't be a member of that church, because he was a Mason. I thought that was wrong. So I didn't fit well. Went to the Methodist church a lot of years. Then stumbled over the ELCA...aha! As me fodder used to say "You've got to find the lid that fits your pot."
Its okay to be a progressive liberal Christian, the one the group is named after certainly was both progressive and liberal.

Perhaps the Fundies have more issues with us than any of those they belittle, condemn and berate- we may be the thorn in their paw. BUT I see them as a thorn, period.

Its okay if you attack my simplistic views, my silly ideas-I've spent years working on them, and they fit me, my mind, my perspectives.

There are others at DU who have solid Biblical knowledge. I can pass in a crowd, if its large enough. I don't know if I helped answer your question, but please don't put me in the same group as those I believe are doing more destruction than good works.

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Response to turtlerescue1 (Reply #33)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 01:51 AM

36. Thanks for the sincere, honest answer.

The last Bible I used, which I still own is a modern version and includes the deuterocanonical books, I found it much better than KJV.

I don't feel you have a simplistic view. I think you understood my post better than anyone. Your answer may not have been one of a Biblical scholar, but it was what you feel. Which is what I was hopping for.

Thanks You!

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Response to SoutherDem (Original post)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 10:27 AM

37. to attempt a serious if disinterested answer...it depends

A) on whom you ask. Jewish groups differ somewhat in details obviously, but will usually focus on the Torah, then the Prophets and Writings. Traditionally many look on the NT much like Terry Pratchett views fan fiction. Christians will give primacy to the NT and especially the gospels (although Paul gives more details theologically because he was writing to instruct nascent churches rather than speaking to new and potential converts like JC). In the early church there was much debate on how much the OT meant to Christians - even on whether to jettison it entirely once the new sect abandoned the idea of keeping the Abrahamic covenant. It was eventually settled on as important for two reasons. It prophesied, tortuously in many cases, the messiahship they saw in Jesus, and it was clearly important to his own teaching. From almost the start, as Christianity became gentile, much of the law and ritual was abandoned as unimportant now the "new covenant" was in place. The OT was always a handy compendium backup though to whatever churches and individual Christians cared about. Fred Phelps et al are nothing new in picking out bits from the Abrahamic covenant that suits them. Urban's Crusades, the Council of Trent moneygrab, Vatican I etc all treat as central issues mere verses from others they abandon as swept away by Christ. Christians generally use the OT like a bad golfer who can't stand losing uses the Rules of Golf.

B) on what you seek. A "best of Beethoven" view of Christianity as originally envisaged? The red letters work You'll miss out on the violin and viola duets or Bagatelles in Acts and Timothy etc but you'll get the gist of the big symphonies and later string quartets. An insight into the early church as it wrestled with growing pains as a stateless sect straddling Judaism, paganism and something different altogether? The letters are best here - and not just Paul's. A fascinating look at how different folk tales of different groups with different priorities, seeking anything from a conquering rebel general to an outré guru, got amalgamated and edited into - sort of - one story? Read the gospels not linearly but episodically. Find what each says about the nativity (if it does) and read and compare only that part. Then read what each says about the early ministry, the crucifixion, the resurrection, etc. If you want to see how paganism became henotheism became monotheism, read the Torah - in Hebrew if you can but with a concordance handy if you can't and in a non-bowdlerized version even so. The KJV really is best for this purpose as the modern versions tend to pretend the tell-tale pagan remnant plurals and strange vocatives aren't really there.

I am assuming mostly though what you want to get at is which part is most important, to Christians, for forming politically applicable opinions. Frankly that too depends on the priorities the Christian themself has. Pat Robertson whatever can be said of him else, knows his scripture well. So did Albert Schweitzer. I think both made perfectly sincere decisions about what the Bible told them and what was important in it.

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Response to SoutherDem (Original post)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 12:08 PM

38. It is all equally important.

The problem is you have to read it with an eye towards context and not like some kind of menu. Much of what is said in the New Testament is directly tied to the Old. It's not a book that gives direct answers to anything, which drives some people mad.

Your divisions make some sense, but it's a three legged stool. You have to have them all for it to work.

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Response to SoutherDem (Original post)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 12:19 PM

39. It's the forgotten disclaimer.

 

The characters appearing in this work are fictitious.

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Response to laconicsax (Reply #39)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 03:13 PM

42. ^This^

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Response to SoutherDem (Original post)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 01:34 PM

41. The Golden Rule. n/t

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