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post #21 of 62
I do not recommend the King James Version. It is often mistranslated. For more insight, a good study bible such as the Oxford Annotated is much more helpful. It is loaded with notes with alternate translations of difficult passages, essays on life in biblical times, writing styles of the time (pseudepigraphy will blow your mind!), maps, etc, etc.

I read the Strobel book and was not impressed at all. The word for that kind of writing is apologetic.

There is a book out by Doherty that historically refutes nearly every point Stroble makes. Here is a site with excerpts from it:

http://human.st/jesuspuzzle/ctvadvert.htm

Quote:
Review of "Challenging the Verdict" by Lee Salisbury, former U.S. evangelical church pastor:
"Well-intentioned people like Lee Strobel and his ‘expert witnesses’ in The Case for Christ have been inspired to speak half-truths, misrepresentations, and plain absurdities in defense of Christian doctrine. Earl Doherty confutes Strobel and his theologians point for point so thoroughly and convincingly that one is left wondering, how did I not see that before? Christian apologetics’ faith-based thought processes contrast with Doherty’s reasoned refutation and clearly reveal how intellectual integrity is sacrificed at religion’s altar of ‘believe at any price’."
post #22 of 62
I agree with Dary about KJV.

I would recommend reading a couple versions of the Bible for perspective (say, NIV and NASV) and if something doesn't make sense or ring true do a study and get into the original languages.


There's nothing wrong with questioning and wondering, doubting, and questioning are a normal part of spiritual growth.

There are a lot of head games that are played in churches (at least in conservative type churches.) Right now I'm hot and bothered by tithing teaching. What a self serving thing to do to other people.

I'm sick and tired of the patriarchy within the church as well.

None of this, however, seems to be related to Jesus Himself.

Debra Baker
post #23 of 62
In the words of Uncle on the Jackie Chan cartoon..."One mooooore thing!"

It will help if, prior to your research, you know what you are looking for. Are you looking for reasons to remain a Christian and find your way to a more meaningful relationship with Jesus or are you looking for reasons not to remain a Christian and want to blow all the "Jesus freaks" out of the water? If you don't know yet please decide which you want first.

Having been through my own crisis of faith recently, I discovered it was crucial to know this. It helped me focus on what to read--whether to shore up a flagging faith by knowing what I believe and why or to rip the whole thing out, trash it and not look back. And I also started with prayer, even when I thought it was bouncing off the ceiling.

As I said, I don't know what you mean by propaganda but everything you read on the subject is going to have a spin. You need to know what spin you want to choose and focus.

And I too agree about the KJV--I personally use the NIV, NASB and RSV. The online Exegeses Bible is a good Bible resource too.
post #24 of 62
Quote:
I do not recommend the King James Version. It is often mistranslated.
The King James version is not mistranslated. Misquoted, twisted, taken out of context to say what people want it to say for their own alterier motives, yeah. But don't blame the King James version for that. For serious study of Theology, the King James version is a fine choice.

This link has on it the book "The King James Version Defended" by Edward F. Hills TH.D. To find the book, click where it says "Textus Receptus". This is a defense of the manuscript that the King James Version was translated off of, which is called the Textus Receptus.

http://www.oldpathspublications.com

That said, I mean no offence to anyone who chooses to use other versions, and I hope we can all get along without any flaming or anything.
post #25 of 62

Well said...

Quote:
Originally posted by DebraBaker
...There's nothing wrong with questioning and wondering, doubting, and questioning are a normal part of spiritual growth.
..
Well said. I attended a Catholic high school and one of my favorite teachers, a nun, had written above the blackboard, "Doubt is the keystone of faith." I loved her for encouraging doubt and questioning in an enviroment that often seemed to discourage those things.

My favorite quote about a religous life is, A religious life is a struggle and not a hymn. - Madame de Stael
post #26 of 62
Lab,
Sorry you are going through this. Many people do--you are not alone, and you're not bad for questioning or doubting!

I would recommend you visit equip.org, and maybe even call in on the radio program. They are very much focused on the reasoning, logic, and history behind Christianity. If you are trying to figure out who Jesus is, and what part He plays in your life, that's the place to go with your questions.

I second the recommendations to read Josh McDowell's books, as well as to visit the Christian Classics Ethereal library. (Take a listen to thier clips from the Southern Harmony hymnbook while you're visiting--awesome music!!!!!!!!)
post #27 of 62
Quote:
Originally posted by DebraBaker
I agree with Dary about KJV.
and i'll third that sentiment, KJV has too many politically motivated intentional mistranslations.
post #28 of 62
Correct me if I am wrong but I think the New King James Version is a little better translation because with it they corrected some translation errors that were in the King James Version. Could someone back me up on this?
post #29 of 62
Hi,
sorry to hear youre having a crisis of faith; i had a similar one a few years back. mine was not in rejecting any particular one ( was raised lapsed catholic, but it never figured strongly) , but feeling strongly the absence of one.
I sense a lot of guilt and fear in your posts for even having these thoughts; but as other posters have rightly pointed out, its a normal , healthy part of the process. You wont burn in hell for seeking a stronger spiritual connection!
Ill go one further, if I may: I think these crises are often designed as tests or callings by God to get closer to Him, and to find a path to Him that works best for you.
Since Im not sure where the moderators on this forum would draw the line between explaining one's search and what might be misconstrued as proselytizing, i wont post how i resolved my crisis - but may I merely suggest you may wish to examine some non-Christian approaches as well, both within the other Abrahamic traditions ( Judaism, Islam), and/or outside them...There is much wisdom and truth in this world.
best of luck, and I'll keep you and your search in my heart.
best and blessings,
MSD
post #30 of 62
Quote:
Originally posted by MaryKate
Correct me if I am wrong but I think the New King James Version is a little better translation because with it they corrected some translation errors that were in the King James Version. Could someone back me up on this?
quick test is to look at Acts 12:4: if it still says "Easter", it's still mistranslating.
post #31 of 62
Quote:
Originally posted by Elzabet
It will help if, prior to your research, you know what you are looking for. Are you looking for reasons to remain a Christian and find your way to a more meaningful relationship with Jesus or are you looking for reasons not to remain a Christian and want to blow all the "Jesus freaks" out of the water? If you don't know yet please decide which you want first.

Having been through my own crisis of faith recently, I discovered it was crucial to know this. It helped me focus on what to read--whether to shore up a flagging faith by knowing what I believe and why or to rip the whole thing out, trash it and not look back.
This is your way of approaching a spiritual crisis. The violent imagery does not resonate with me. Your choices seem black and white. The OPer (and other seekers) may not have to see it as so either/or.

She may not know what she is looking for. The goal may be unclear. The journey is the thing. IMO.
post #32 of 62
I'm sorry the imagery was to to your liking but IMO it helps to know what you are looking for, don't you think? Without a destination in mind, even a vague idea, one is just wandering aimlessly and while that can be educational it rarely leads one to a goal. So what is the goal, to justify leaving or to justify staying?
post #33 of 62
OK, I did a little more thinking on this. Perhaps you do set goals, vague or specific, but the thing is, the goal can change quite often. And in my case, doesn't need to involve trashing or blowing anyone or anything out of the water.

When I was 13 I found out my mom was an atheist and only took me to (fundie fire and brimstone no less) church out of fear of her parents. So I had a big crisis. I gradually let go of that church. Then I had a brief emotional "born again" experience that faded.

My goal then was just to let go of fear of hell and Satan.

Then I found out about Buddhism and Hinduism in college classes and my goal was just to research and experience the Asian type of God/dess (within you) as much as possible.

Then I found Joseph Campbell and my goal was to research world mythology as much as possible.

(Meanwhile experiencing God within me and in nature as well.)

Then I had children and serious reading and meditation time was over for a decade. But my spirituality grew just from mothering. My goal was to get a shower.

Then I explored Wicca and other neo-pagan paths. Started consciously celebrating some of the sabbats which was/is joyful.

Then I finally had to courage to re-approach Xtianity, which led back to ancient Judaism and into CE Jewish beliefs and that has been enjoyable, altho has not lead to a conversion. I do like seeing how early Xtianity has similarities to Asian (Zen) and Canaanite/Egyptian "pagan" beliefs. (Read Gospel of Thomas for an easy intro to that.) It is all one big circle.

Oroborous: The serpent eating its own tail is one of the oldest Alchemical symbols, representing the return of all things to the source and beginning.
post #34 of 62
We seem to have traveled similar paths--I finally convinced my mom I didn't want to go to church anymore when I was 12 or 13 (she was a believer however). I spent the rest of my middle and high school years not caring one way or the other although I didn't do any heavy duty adolescent rebelling (I still think I missed something).

By the time I got to univesity I was an agnostic but seeking. I didn't know what I was seeking. I met a few rather radical feminist pagan types and practiced wicca with them for a few years, then went solitary. I had a few interesting and unexplainable things happen to me that scared me spitless during that time and I backed away from that although not completely.

After a few months long conversations with some friends and an honest effort to read the Bible without looking for reasons to hate what it said, I became a Christian. It was a thought out as well as an emotional decision.

Recently I've gone through a lot of personal crises and I had to figure out what I was going to do with my beliefs. If I even still believed. Why I believed what I believed. I still question. It's not an easy path but I found that I had to figure out if I was going to be hot or cold because lukewarm was just unfair to God, to me, to my husband and to my son. I'm a hot/cold, black/white sort of girl and even though the pathway might have some interesting side roads those side roads are not my goal.
post #35 of 62
Thread Starter 
I cannot tell you how much all of your posts mean to me. You all have great resources it seems, and I intend to study them all! I'm going to print this thread and head to the library and half.com!

Elzabet - I understand what you mean about having some direction. But I have been reading a lot over the past couple of years and at this point, I really am interested in being more open and accepting of other beliefs. Did I say that right ??? I don't mean that anyone's belief system is closed minded or unaccepting. I just know that in my Baptist upbringing I was told that everyone (EVERYONE) who didn't believe in Jesus was going to hell. I just can't accept that anymore. I am, however, very open to investigating Christianity and learning my OWN way. So I will be on a major journey.

Darylll - Thank you so much for your insight. I love how you just kind of traveled through and didn't force any one thing. That is where I am now. I really want to know, just know, how and why everthing is the way it is. I guess I can't really get into it too much but I just feel so lied to my whole life. And it really wasn't anyone's fault. My mom just didn't educate herself. An example is homosexualty and the way the Christians perceive it. I just can't agree with that anymore. Now see! Once I say that I don't think being a homosexual is wrong, then I have to admit the BIble is wrong ....... Right? Well then the Bible is wrong. (Oh man that is so hard to think, let alone write) I just need to study more.
At this point in my life I want to accept people for who they are and what they do, not what they believe or don't believe.
I do appreciate hearing from other Christians who are accepting and open to other beliefs. It makes me feel hopeful that if in the end if I do stay with Christianity, I don't have to compromise myself. I guess you can really understand my upbringing huh!

I'm rambling now! I appreciate you all so much. I feel so much more hopeful and less wrong! Thank you all again...
post #36 of 62
Enjoy your research! And don't break the bank ordering books! Just keep in mind the Baptist point of view isn't the only Christian one out there--and not necessarily the correct one either! (Don't tell my MIL I said that!)
post #37 of 62
Please look for books by Jean Vanier. Henri Nouwen is another great writer for someone searching spiritually.
post #38 of 62
Hi Lab:

I'd like to second some of the recommendations...

"Mere Christianity" by CS Lewis and "The Screwtape Letters" are two of my favs.

I've enjoyed many books by Frederic Buechner... his autobiographical stuff more than his fiction.

I have to put a recommendation in for BeliefNet.com's Belief-o-Matic quiz. It's fabulous.

Try attending different churches.. that may help. Also, if you're so inclined...other faiths as well. You may enjoy a Unitarian Universalist service... Messianic Jewish service... Muslim service, etc.

The last piece of advice I'd give you is to talk to God about your concerns, questions, etc. Let God know of your doubts, concerns, whatever...and ask God to guide you.

Peace,
Karla
post #39 of 62
Quote:
Originally posted by lab
An example is homosexualty and the way the Christians perceive it. I just can't agree with that anymore. Now see! Once I say that I don't think being a homosexual is wrong, then I have to admit the BIble is wrong ....... Right? ...
I don't want to start a war here...but nowhere in the Bible does it say that homosexuality is wrong. It says that rape is wrong (story of Sodom and Gemorrah -- spelling?) and it says that sexuality that becomes idolotry is wrong.

But I digress...what I REALLY want to say is that I don't think you are going through a "crisis" at all. I think that you are journeying to own your spirituality and that it is a wonderful place to be (albeit challenging).

I myself am in the same place and feeling like I am growing and learning a lot (although I struggle because I feel so isolated).

I congratualte you on this step in your journey and hope that it brings you to a place of peace.

Peace,
Paula (who was a Lutheran pastor prior to parenthood)
post #40 of 62
I must pipe in to agree with Paula. The meaning of the verses can be disputed among Christians. People say spanking is taught in the Bible, too and that is not correct.

In fact people use the Bible to justify all sorts of things, doesn't make it right. Doesn't mean the Bible actually *says* what they say it says either.

Debra Baker
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