Hello! My name is Hannah and I am currently a student at a Bible college! I'm enrolled in a spiritual philosophy class and one of our assignments is to engage in a discussion with three people and ask them what they believe the basic message of the Bible is.
I'm not here to be ugly or to start up a fight. I know that there are probably many of you who are college students so you understand how these assignments go sometimes. However, even after I give my presentation, I would be more than happy to discuss the subject further. I absolutely love having a productive dialogue with people whose opinions and beliefs differ from my own.
So what do you say? Can I get three volunteers who would be willing to participate in this? It can be done via PM or right here in the forum.
Looking forward to a healthy discussion!
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I promise I'm not gonna bite! Lol.
Hi Hannah! Have you ever thought about your future? Don’t you want to be a nurse or something like that? Maybe a doctor?
Or do you want to be a pastor? I’m just curious why someone would go to bible college.
I spent four years getting a bachelors degree in science and it hasn’t resulted in any pay back. I’m just scared you’re making a similar mistake.
You know. The point of school is to get s good job afterwards!!!
What do you think?
To answer your questions...
Yes, I have thought about my future... like a lot! Lol. I'm graduating this spring and it's coming up way too fast!
I'm also not looking to be anything of those things that you mentioned actually. Lol. I'm currently enrolled in the general studies program. My coming to college had nothing to do with anything job related really. I mean I took some classes that might pertain to what I want to do, but overall I came here for two reasons. 1. I believe that if you don't have a solid foundation for your principles and beliefs that you are setting yourself up for failure in the future. 2. I believe that the college experience doesn't just have to be about the lectures we hear in class. Some of the most meaningful experiences that I've had in college have come from the people that I've met, the critical thinking skills I've developed, and the exploration of my personal identity. For me, these are things that you can't necessarily put a price tag on. (Not to mention it's a really small college so the price tag would be pretty cheap anyway! Lol)
Ummm? Critical thinking skills at a Bible College? Well..... Let's just say, I'm skeptical. It will be interesting to see what you got. A theist capable of critical thinking would be quite an enigma around this place. I really hope you prove me wrong.
"A theist capable of critical thinking would be quite an enigma around this place. "
It'd be a golden unicorn laying golden eggs is what it would be. Anyone capable of objective critical thinking might prefer to have their toe and fingernails pulled than go to bible college.
Welcome to the fighting pits of Atheist Republic!
I'm afraid you may have to be a little more specific when you say you want people to tell you what they think the basic message of the bible is. If you don't, I fear you're going to get many silly and non-helpful answers like:
"Love me or die"
"Love me or die and then be tortured for all eternity"
"You can get away with massive atrocities...As long as you love me!"
"I made you and you sucked so I made another me so he could be killed so I could forgive you for sucking (But you'd better love me or no forgiveness for you, GET IN THE LAKE OF FIRE, HEATHEN!)"
You're also going to find that this forum has more than a few who would probably be able to put up a good showing against most biblical historians and/or biblical scholars and they may go in an entirely unintended direction.
I THINK you're asking people to share what they think the STORY is intended to convey. Is that pretty correct?
Also, I see rat spit commented. Ignore him. Things are liable to go sideways if you engage.
Hey there! Thanks for responding and for the welcome! Lol! I really appreciate it.
I see that I *was* a bit vague with my question, but regardless of the response I get, I still would like to see what people think the general idea is behind the Bible. I'm open to whatever anyone has to say. I've seen far too many people even within my own Christian circles paint atheists with this very broad brush, and it really annoys me. I realize that not everyone's opinions regarding various issues are all the same. But you are correct in that I would prefer for people to share what they believe the overall intended message of the Bible is if possible. I'm sure I'll get some responses I wasn't expecting along the way as well.
Oh and I am definitely counting on the fact the people here know their stuff! I'm not claiming to be this amazing scholar. Just a college student who's not running on nearly enough sleep or cups of coffee. Lol.
A couple of points: When responding to someone, in particular, start your post with @ and their name. It makes it easier for us to know if we're the one being called a filthy heathen.
Also, theists love to paint us with that broad brush. I believe the color is Dutch Boys #666: Filthy Heathen Red.
Maybe this will be a great opportunity to learn about us and our heathen ways.
So, what do I think the basic message of the bible is? When I was a christian I would have told you that the basic message of the bible was one of living a clean and respectful life, how to treat each other, how to make it through the hard times and still be happy, how to live in a way that would be great for each other and to please god so that we could have everlasting life by his side in paradise. Basically, it was a manual describing how we could live the best life possible.
During my journey to atheism, when I looked to the bible from a very objective standpoint, in a search for answers, I started to see other things, though. The more I read, the more the rose color left my glasses and the more my viewpoint on the message changed. By the time all the rose color was gone, I was seeing something different. I was seeing "Obey without question" and "Don't ask for answers" and "Pay your tithes if you want happiness" and lots of other very disturbing things.
At this point (I've been an atheist for over 20 years) my thoughts on the message or meaning of the bible are, to be quite frank, "I don't know."
I'm not sure there is a cohesive message. The book is filled with so many glaring contradictions and logical fallacies and immoralities and failures of reason and outright lies that to come to a real opinion on what the message is...I just don't think it's possible.
If you would like to have some examples of the things I am talking about, PLEASE send me a PM here in the forums and I will he happy to unpack those statements and show you some of the issues I have with the story and how I ended up coming to the conclusions I have about not only the bible but religion itself.
Hope this helps!
@Terraphon: "Filthy Heathen!"
Takes one to know one.
@Terraphon Re: The whole "Love me" spiel
LMAO... Stop, dammit!... LMAO.... You're making it very difficult for me to finish my coffee this morning, asshole!... LMAO....
Still love me?
@Terraphon Re: "Still love me?"
Oh, of course, you little rascal! You're so adorable, how could I NOT still love you?... *smooch*...
Are you including both the old and new testament when you say "bible?"
Hey there! And yes I am! =)
If you are talking about the "bible" as in protestant reformed bible as you know it: the message is obey. God has elected those to rule.
If you are talking about the pentateuch (with apocrypha?) then a story of racial/ethnic conquest and cleansing. Inaccurate and designed to foster the superiority of a particular ethnicity.
If you are talking about the 4th Century CE "New Testament" then you are looking at an Empire edited and censored compilation of legends (pre dating the NT), the absorption of several other religions wrapped in Emperor worship. The meaning of which is "do as you are told and inherit heaven/the earth."
Happy to discuss this and the origins of the documents as much as you like.
@Old man shouts...
Interesting! I can see where you are coming from with some of your assumptions. To be honest, there was a time in my life where I grappled with some of these same themes myself. Especially regarding the Pentateuch/OT.
So I'd love to jump right into a discussion of these documents with you! But first... Would you care if I shared with you the presentation of what *I* am currently being taught that the basic message of the Bible?
It's not really my words, but my assignment is to share what we're learning. Gotta love professors and deadlines! =P
Go for your life. You can do it here or by PM...
There is not a BIBLE. The bible is an anthology of books and the books all give different messages to different audiences. I am going to assume you are not talking about the many books of the Old Testament. Your question, as simple as it seems, would require a scholarly debate. Each of the Gospels has its own interpretation of Jesus and salvation, as does Paul. The basic message heard from most Christians is that the bible is a testament to the existence of a figure called Jesus and his promise of salvation. This is extremely simplistic.
Mark, Matthew, John and Luke all have their own version of Jesus, as does Paul. The Salvation offered by Jesus is also given for different reasons.
The very best advice anyone can give you is to STOP looking at "THE BIBLE" as a book. It's not. It is a collection of books put together over a thousand years. Each book written for a different audience. Each book attempting to perpetuate its own view.
Good Luck with your studies.
Go onto YouTube and listen to Bart Ehrman's lecture, "How Jesus Became God."
I was hoping you wouldn't say that....lol
That's a lot of authors trying to convey many messages , in my opinion. If there is one message throughout the entire book, I don't know what it is.
But if I had to narrow it down to one message I would say it's about contracts...lol. What I mean by that is that throughout the bible God is making promises to the people if they follow his advice in exchange for eternal life, godlike powers and perhaps a better life on earth as well. ..
Wow, y'all are being awesome about this! (And no, I don't have a southern accent, in case anyone was wondering. XD) To be honest, I was a little unsure about what to expect. Scanning through some of the other threads on this forum..l. Well, let's just say it wasn't exactly boosting my confidence. Lol! But all of you are being really respectful and I appreciate that! Who would have thought healthy dialogue can happen in the year 2019?? It's like a scarce commodity these days.
I am really enjoying reading your answers to this question and I can't wait to dive into some discussions with you all about this!
But... Unfortunately. It is pretty late in my neck of the woods and I have classes tomorrow. I promise this is not me bailing out! Lol.
Totally looking forward to continuing this conversation with tomorrow if that's okay with the rest of you! =)
You will never be treated poorly around here for requesting information. No one is afraid of an honest conversation. Frankly the theists on this site who insist on playing games should not be afraid to define the god they believe in and share why they believe it. Unlike them, their God is probably not afraid of logical discussions or a bunch of atheists. The theists you observed are treated poorly for playing games, repeating fallacious arguments, or dishonestly and doggedly engaging in presuppositionalist nonsense. They refuse to respond honestly to inquiries and are generally just here wasting our time and theirs. I'll repeat it. NO ONE will ever treat you badly for posting a serious question.
Come in with respect and questions, leave with honour, and your hide intact.
Do anything else? Well you have read the other threads where theists come to preach and practice their mendacity. They pay the price.
"Bible is God’s Word revealed. God’s self-revelation to humanity. It tells us who we are. It tells us of our sin and of God’s plan of salvation through Jesus Christ."
It actually hurt my eyes to type those lies. If the Bible is God's words, is is an idiot for writing so many contradictions. If he is capable of revealing anything, why not just write one simple book that everyone can understand. He does not reveal himself to humanity but rather picks and chooses. A moronic and ineffective way of doing anything. And the whole idea of salvation through Jesus is about as pagan as you can get. God comes to earth disguised as his own son so he can sacrifice himself to himself and pretend that he dies so he can forgive us for crimes that we never committed but our ancient ancestors committed over 6000 years ago and which this monster still maintains we owe him praise and worship for.
What do I think the message of the bible is? Worship me or suffer in pain and agony for eternity; because I love you.
The Two Best descriptions on the Internet today.
Welcome to the thunderdome. You may not bite but we eat babies and T-Rexes here.
"Hello! My name is Hannah and I am currently a student at a Bible college! I'm enrolled in a spiritual philosophy class and one of our assignments is to engage in a discussion with three people and ask them what they believe the basic message of the Bible is."
So Hannah, or rosedjan, the basic message of the Bible is very simple. It teaches complete obedienece and total loyalty to the Boss (God, the king, the priest, or your family father). It does this through stories based on the real Ten Commandments (Exodus 34:11-28). The biblical miracles are based on Exodus 34:10. So if you don't know that basic fact you will never understand the biblcal stories.
The stories don't have to make logical sense and most of them don't. That is because their purpose is not to teach morality but just total obedience and complete loyalty in all things under all circumstances. The Bible is like a military code of conduct but for the common people. For instance, when the God character says to build a boat or to invade a town and to kill everything in it and burn it to the ground, that is exactly what you are supposed to do without question or a second thought. You simple obey in every detail and question nothing.
BTW, the biblical God characters were simply the series of men who ruled the ancient Middle Eastern empires as emperors or chief priests. There was no celestial deity involved. Some of them were crazier than others but they were all nuts. The biblical God character bit the dust when the Babylonian Empire collapsed around 530 BC and the emperor died. He's not been seen or heard from since and he's never coming back.
The Paul character created the Jesus character to sell his resurrection religion. Paul's disciples and others wrote the back story to show why the Jesus character should be worshiped. They gave him dialogue and action to make him seem real. BTW, do you know who was the only named Gentile who supposedly saw the Jesus character? That is one more than ever saw the Mohammed character.
So dig in and stay around. You may learn how to bite.
As you can see there are multiple opinions and none of them are wrong. That is because the Bible is a complex book that contains a lot of apparent contradictions. But the contradictions are irrelevant to the central message, which is to completely obey orders and to be loyal regardless of the consequences. In fact, that is one of the main purposes of the contradictions. You don't just get to follow the nice things. You also have to do the bad (evil) things as well when you are told to do them.
For example, in 2 Samuel chapter 15 Saul was told to go kill all of the Amaleks, men, women children, nursing child,ox, sheep, camel, and donkey. But Saul got wimpy and spared the best animals and showed mercy to the king Agag. That pissed Samuel off. Saul tried to explain his actions but Samuel wasn't having it. Agag asked Samuel for mercy but Samuel hacked him to pieces. Samuel kicked Saul to the curb and the God character was sorry that he had made Saul king over Israel.
Does that story sound like one that highlights the biblical God as a creature of love and mercy? Hell no, it doesn't. What it shows is that even a king isn't allowed to disobey without suffering major negative consequences. You will notice that it was Samuel, the priest, who directly gave Saul his orders. It was Samuel, who was the Boss, not Saul although Saul was the king.
That is basically a First Commandment story based on Exodus34:11-16 (the real First Commandment).
If you want we can examine any biblical story from the Old and New Testament and show where it is based on one of the real Ten Commandments.
BTW, if you ask your teachers about the Ten Commandments and they list the BS in Exodus chapter 20 or Deuteronomy chapter 5 as the Ten Commandments they don't know their ass from a hole in the ground and you have just wasted your time and money for nothing of value.
The basic message of the bible is to do the will of god or die. This god who never talks to you directly, but only through proxies who preach and write texts in his name, of whom you have no proof of credibility or their agenda's; all based on wild claims by the texts and preachers themselves that they are the word of said god.
If you would have talked to me a few months ago I would have told you the most magnificent spiritual story of love and conquering the flesh, and how god is no part of this world etc. But that time is gone, because chasing truth makes god more and more abstract and spiritual, until he vanishes completely and you arrive at the truth - he does not exist. But we do, and we have motives and needs that require answers especially during our ignorance. *force self to stop rant*
I don't think the Christian bible has a basic message. The mind of the reader is forced to imagine a basic theme if if is searching for one.
Greetings rosedjan, I hope your time in here is not painful.
You talk about critical thinking, yet your original question is very vague. I would appreciate a specific and direct question, not one I can answer a thousand different ways.
I could reply to "what is the message in the bible" as
Love thy neighbor
Murder disobedient children
A reason to form a social club
Make a profit
I stopped at ten, I did this just to display what a vague question can lead to.
Additionally, I hope you linger for awhile to truly learn. If I sat down with one of your family members (for example your mother) for a thirty second interview, I can form an opinion, but most likely because of such a short exposure time, I could easily misunderstand your mother. The longer one is exposed to anything, the more they begin to grok.
What type of "assignment" is this? If you are presenting something, people that respond to you will be bias. Freedom of thought will be contravigned by introduction of your propositions. Your root question, will not be the focus of response, likely eliciting different perceived intent.
Also, why are you targeting an atheist group? Please explain why.