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#31 of 47 Old 02-17-2009, 02:31 PM
 
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Yeah that must be hard.

You know, I never realized there were people who took the Bible literally and thought of it as inerrant until I was an adult.

I grew up Catholic, and wento Catholic school from JK to university. The first thing we learned in grade nine religion is that the Bible holds spiritual truth, not literal truth.

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#32 of 47 Old 02-17-2009, 03:09 PM
 
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Well, I'm on to chapter 2, and so far am loving it. I'm also a big history buff, and have always been interested in Church history (as well as anything to do with the Middle Ages....longtime SCAer here!).
One thing, though, that gives me a bit of pause is that I read some of the interviews with the author (and heard him on NPR a while back), and it sort of makes me sad that he is agnostic. For various reasons, it's important to me to have faith in an afterlife. It doesn't have to be the traditional Christian version, in fact, I have a more universal view of the afterlife, and don't discount the possibility of reincarnation. It does seem to me sometimes, though, that when one seriously studies the Bible and the origins of the Christian faith, it becomes hard to hold on to any part of that faith. I think that in some ways, one could even characterize Spong as an agnostic. I hope it's possible to view the Bible and the faith with a well studied and logical eye without losing faith.

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Gene Robinson is the gay Episcopal Bishop, right? He was featured on the documentary "The Bible Tells Me So."
Yes, that's him. I've heard really good things about his book.

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#33 of 47 Old 02-18-2009, 12:12 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Leta, I keep meaning to comment on that story about the author's long thesis on why Mark named the wrong king, and his professor just said "maybe Mark made a mistake." That was really something!

The book I'm reading (which I picked up at the library the day I tried to get Misquoting Jesus, but it was missing from my library) really has my head spinning. : (Liberating the Gospels by Spong) It's also historical, and fits in nicely with MJ. He shows how the first three gospels were written as liturgical material to be read each Sabbath/Sunday and follow the Jewish weekly readings of the Torah. It's pretty impressive! Some of the things he points out I had noticed and wondered about. He makes a convincing case for the fact that the gospels aren't meant to be historical records at all, which is what has my head spinning! Kind of like a rug-yanking for me, but I was ready to have the rug yanked out from under me! It makes total sense! That's a new idea to me, though. He definitely presents the material in a liberating way. Sorry to go on about a different book, but I wanted to mention it!

Kimberly, in love with Hannah Rose! (04/08) EC grad!
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#34 of 47 Old 02-20-2009, 03:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I think that in some ways, one could even characterize Spong as an agnostic. I hope it's possible to view the Bible and the faith with a well studied and logical eye without losing faith.
In the book "Liberating the Gospels" which is the only Spong book I've ever read, he does speak to this idea. What he says is that if you're looking for the Bible to be something that it isn't, for example an actual eyewitness account in some cases when it was not written that way, then finding out it isn't what you thought it was can be a blow to faith. But he says we can keep looking beyond that and try to see what the writers did see, because there's no denying that SOMETHING happened with Jesus' life and death. I hope I summed that up OK.

Suzukimom, as for the originals being better or not, Ehrman does mention that sometimes the changes that scholars discover are changes designed to clarify the original intent anyway. But also some of the changes had a political, theological, or social agenda! And some of course were just mistakes. So interesting!

That Liberating the Gospels book should have come with a warning!!! It just sat there innocently on the library shelf, and I checked it out and read it, and wow!!

Again, sorry to go on about this other book, I just think it goes so nicely with the book we're actually discussing!

Kimberly, in love with Hannah Rose! (04/08) EC grad!
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#35 of 47 Old 02-23-2009, 05:35 PM
 
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I'm back! I spent most of last week at my mother's and I was able to finish the Misquoting Jesus. I liked what he had to say but now I can't remember it!

I did pick up a couple Spong books from my dad's library but unfortunately I don't have the one you're reading Kimberly. It sounds interesting.

For a lighter book on the Bible, I can recommend The Year of Living Biblically. The author shows how people really pick and choose how to follow the Bible based on their beliefs. He visits Applachian snake handlers, Jerry Falwell, talks with Tony Campolo, and references Borg. Two thirds of the book is living the OT and one third the NT. This book made me laugh out loud.

How are others doing on Misquoting?
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#36 of 47 Old 02-23-2009, 09:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi Carol! I thought you might be getting home from your mom's soon! I'll check out that book. I'm re-reading Velvet Elvis, because I finished the other one and I like to read something while Hannah is napping. Reading that book again is good timing for me.

Here's a discussion question- not a very creative one, but a discussion question nonetheless: Has your view of the Bible changed since reading this book?

Here's another: regardless of your answer to the previous question, what were some key elements to this book that spoke to you?

Kimberly, in love with Hannah Rose! (04/08) EC grad!
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#37 of 47 Old 02-24-2009, 11:16 PM
 
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Hi Carol! I thought you might be getting home from your mom's soon! I'll check out that book. I'm re-reading Velvet Elvis, because I finished the other one and I like to read something while Hannah is napping. Reading that book again is good timing for me.

Here's a discussion question- not a very creative one, but a discussion question nonetheless: Has your view of the Bible changed since reading this book?

Here's another: regardless of your answer to the previous question, what were some key elements to this book that spoke to you?
I haven't read Velvet Elvis. I do have Rob Bell's most recent book though but have yet to finish it.

Good questions!
I first read the book last summer and it did confirm my beliefs that were just starting to emerge. I used to think the Bible was "God's holy word" and never really considered how it was "put together." I believed that God wrote the Bible through humans, it was God breathed.

This belief has definitely been challenged. Now I believe the Bible is a human production, not inerrant, but still sacred. It's sacred because it tells a history of a people and of an amazing person - Jesus Christ. I hold the words of the Bible more loosely - not attaching my being to them, if that makes sense.

One thing that I found interesting is the adaptations of the text which were made to counter the various groups such as the adoptionistic. I'm interested to the adoptionists view that Jesus was fully human and adopted to be God's son at his baptism.
It's interesting that there were so many differing views of Jesus in the early centuries after his death.

Another point that struck me was the attractiveness of Jesus's message to women and how countrercultural the early church was to include them in leadership. Yet some scribes felt they needed to inject their viewpoints into the text which has given us some controversial verses such as those found in 1 Timothy 2.

I'm interested to learn more about the books that were left out of the canon.
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#38 of 47 Old 02-26-2009, 12:02 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I thought I might actually pick up my Bible last night and read it a bit! I felt a lot lighter reading it, for some reason. Like the parts that never made sense to me do have some kind of explanation, and I don't need to "take it on faith" that these things are supposed to make sense. When I first became a Christian as an adult (a little over five years ago) I remember SO MUCH of what I was "supposed" to believe just didn't make sense. So to me faith, in a way, was believing things that don't make sense!

Are we ready to pick another book? (We can keep discussing this one if people are still finishing up!) This same author has the book Lost Christianities and also a book about texts that didn't make it into the Bible, it's called Lost Scriptures, something something something. I'm up for either of those, or something by a different author.

I was just on the amazon website and there's a book written in response to Misquoting Jesus, written by a pastor. It didn't get very good reviews, though. I think it's called Misquoting Truth.

Kimberly, in love with Hannah Rose! (04/08) EC grad!
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#39 of 47 Old 03-02-2009, 11:45 PM
 
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I thought I might actually pick up my Bible last night and read it a bit! I felt a lot lighter reading it, for some reason. Like the parts that never made sense to me do have some kind of explanation, and I don't need to "take it on faith" that these things are supposed to make sense. When I first became a Christian as an adult (a little over five years ago) I remember SO MUCH of what I was "supposed" to believe just didn't make sense. So to me faith, in a way, was believing things that don't make sense!

Are we ready to pick another book? (We can keep discussing this one if people are still finishing up!) This same author has the book Lost Christianities and also a book about texts that didn't make it into the Bible, it's called Lost Scriptures, something something something. I'm up for either of those, or something by a different author.

I was just on the amazon website and there's a book written in response to Misquoting Jesus, written by a pastor. It didn't get very good reviews, though. I think it's called Misquoting Truth.
I just wanted to check in. Has anyone made more progress with the book?
I'll look at our original thread to see what other books were suggested. I think I'm ready to start something new.
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#40 of 47 Old 03-05-2009, 12:07 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi Carol! I saw your post and then got sidetracked. Crazy couple of days! I should look at that list, too. I'm up for another book! Should we revive the thread or perhaps start a new one?

Kimberly, in love with Hannah Rose! (04/08) EC grad!
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#41 of 47 Old 03-05-2009, 12:18 AM
 
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Um, I guess reading MJ made view the Bible a little differently, but not much. I just like having some logical ammunition to shoot down snake-handling and sexism. So, of course, those were the elements of the book that spoke to me the most.

This book also had the slightly weird effect of drawing me closer to my distant religious roots. I was raised by lapsed Catholics, so maybe that's why I never really got into sola scriptura. The fact that Catholics have gotten this one right (IMHO) reinforces this feeling that I would love to be a Catholic if I could. I really get their rituals, and they do great works... I just can't get over their doctrines on human sexuality, though. I view sexuality as a gift from God, and I just can't participate in an institution that seeks to penalize people for expressing that.

I'm SO not meaning to offend, and I'm sorry if I did, but that is just my personal feeling on the matter.

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#42 of 47 Old 03-05-2009, 10:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi Leta- That's neat that you feel closer to your roots. There is much about Catholocism (sp?) that appeals to me. A couple summers ago I was going to classes at the Catholic church and would go pray in their little sanctuary.

I don't know where I'm going to end up church-wise!

Kimberly, in love with Hannah Rose! (04/08) EC grad!
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#43 of 47 Old 03-08-2009, 04:27 PM
 
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Hi Carol! I saw your post and then got sidetracked. Crazy couple of days! I should look at that list, too. I'm up for another book! Should we revive the thread or perhaps start a new one?

I think maybe we should start a new thread. I started reading some of my dad's book. I chose Why Christianity Must Change or Die by Spong.
I've only read a bit but so far I really like it.

HEY! Bart Ehrman was interviewed on NPR's Fresh Air Program about his new book. It's really interesting.
Here's a link:


http://www.npr.org/templates/story/s...389895&ps=cprs

Should we start a new thread in the Spirituality Forum - Theologically Liberal Christians - Part 2? In the Spong book I'm reading he deconstructs the Apostle's Creed. It got me thinking we could discuss that - how it was written and if it still rings true today. There are some controversial things - The Fatherhood of God, the creation, the virgin birth, in the creed. We can also see if others want to start a new book.
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#44 of 47 Old 03-08-2009, 04:33 PM
 
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Concerninig Catholicism - I used to look down my nose at Catholics who never read the Bible for themselves. Now I understand maybe why the leaders of the Catholic Church don't necessarily encourage Bible reading.

However, I don't think I could ever be a Catholic. Their treatment of women and not permitting them to lead services is a big downer for me. It seems there is too much of a power structure. Also there are a lot of man made rules - something I'm trying to shed. No offense. If you find your peace within the Catholic Church then I'm glad for you.
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#45 of 47 Old 03-08-2009, 10:08 PM
 
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Yeah, I sort of lump that (not allowing the ordination of women) under the human sexuality rubric. It's a bummer.

As far as the man-made rules thing... I really see both sides of this one. I adhere to no dogma, yet I think there is a danger, as is made pretty clear in Misquoting Jesus, in relying ABSOLUTELY in scripture. I can understand the need, both in society and within a person, for some underlying structure, even though I don't participate in that sort of system.

Just like I can understand a desire to want to figure it out on your own, and a desire to have a guiding hand.

Or maybe I'm just confused.

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#46 of 47 Old 04-01-2009, 01:50 PM
 
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I'm about half way through the book and am really enjoying it.

I'm agnostic. I was raised Catholic, but knew from an early age it wasn't for me. I tried a few mainline Protestant denominations and UU, but have come to the conclusion that I'm just not a believer.

This book has reinforced some the reasons why I'm not religious. I always believed that Jesus was a great philosopher, with wonderful ideas about how we should treat each other. I could never see the point of revering the words of other figures in the NT, however. To me, what was important was what Jesus had to say, and MJ shows that we really don't even know that very well. I never could understand the idea of the bible as inerrant, because of some of the issues discussed in MJ. But I never could get believe the Catholic stance that apostolic tradition is as important as scripture, because it seems to me that that tradition is entirely man-made.

It is interesting to see how politics and theological power struggles have shaped the NT over the centuries. I also never knew that the KJ version was based on one of the most error-ridden editions of the NT.
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#47 of 47 Old 10-19-2009, 11:12 AM
 
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Just saw this thread and have not yet read the misquoting book, but am currently reading Jesus Interrupted. Is there a separate thread on that book?
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