A Response To The Skeptic's Annotated Bible (SAB) - What The Bible Says About Freewill (or Determinism)
[SAB] God determines who is going to heaven ...
Response: Greek mythology portrayed the three goddesses, the Fates, as those who spun the thread of life and determining the length of it, cut it. The Bible teaches no such thing. Though the language used in modern translations can be somewhat misleading, when looking at this difficult subject it is important that we are careful with language. For example, under the heading “God determines who is going to heaven” it is important to note that that statement is true. God does determine, or decide, who is going to heaven. It doesn’t necessarily imply that God predetermines this. There is no conflict with an accurate interpretation of scripture in the statement "God determines" whereas there would be with "God predetermines."
Acts 13:48 (KJV) uses the term “ordained.” To be ordained in a religious sense is to officially appoint someone to a position such as Priest or Rabbi. Keep in mind that to appoint someone doesn’t in itself determine the outcome of it. It doesn’t dictate their success or failure. To ordain in a legal sense means to establish something formerly as by law. Again, this doesn’t dictate success or failure. The law ordained isn’t necessarily obeyed or followed.
In an attempt to get a better sense of what is being implied, compare the verse with other translations. The NIV, YLT and ESV use the term appointed. To me this is a more appropriate term. It can mean previously agreed upon, and met at the appointed time, but it can also mean decorated in the sense of being well furnished or equipped.
With all of this in mind consider the NWT, which uses the most easily understood and scripturally accurate (supported) terminology. They use the term “rightly disposed.”
So the reader has the choice of leaning towards a fate predetermined like the goddesses of Greek mythology mentioned above, which isn’t supported by scripture, or leaning, instead, to the peoples of the nations hearing the statement given at Acts 13:47: “For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth” they would see themselves as being given the opportunity to meet this appointment quoted from Isaiah 42:6-7. The Christian era had opened the possibility of salvation to the Gentiles; the nations.
The possibility of salvation. There would be no need for repentance of the wicked, nor the need to continue in righteousness if it were all decided for each of us beforehand. (2 Peter 3:17)
The point being that God at some point knew that the Gentiles would have this opportunity but didn’t foreordain the acceptance of those Gentiles of that opportunity, the choice was up to them.
When considering Romans 8:29-30 it is apparent that it isn’t a reference to specific individuals, but rather with a class of people. Jehovah has determined that there will be a group of people - Christians - who would be justified or declared righteous rather than that specific individuals were predestined for it. This is obvious, again as with Acts 13:48, when addressing the same group of possible candidates for this group, Peter warns of the possibility of failing. (2 Peter 1:10) If God had predestined these individuals for either failing or succeeding in being a part of this group there would be nothing they could do to change that. The possibility of failing wouldn’t be for those whom God had foreordained for that position, so that isn't the case.
The King James Version reads the latter portion of 2 Timothy 1:9 as “before the world began.” Various translations differ: YLT "Before the time of the ages" / NIV "before the beginning of time." / Douay-Rheims "before the times of the world." / ESV "before the ages began." What exactly does this term mean? Most people tend to think of it incorrectly as being before the creation of earth and man, meaning that all since then had been foreknown by God. That isn’t the case at all.
The Greek term katabole is used, and literally means a casting or laying down. For example, throwing down a seed. At Hebrews 11:11 the term is applied to Sarah's being given the gift to "conceive" at a late age.
At Luke 11:50-51 Jesus gives us insight on when this term, the founding of the world, began. From the blood of Abel. Abel, of course, was the offspring of Adam and Eve, so this time began when the first human couple conceived and began the race of mankind.
The word "world" is translated from the Greek kosmos, which has various meanings. 1. Humankind as a whole. 2. The structure of the human circumstances into which one is born and lives and 3. The masses of humankind apart from God's servants.
So, in a sense we are all living in the same period as Abel, though he towards it’s beginning and we towards it’s conclusion. The founding of the world, in this sense, then, would be the period of time after Adam’s sin but before Adam and Eve conceived. This is the period of time in which God began to allow for the possibility of salvation from the harmful effects of Adam’s sin. Genesis 3:15, the first prophecy of the Bible, is often overlooked as the beginning of all of this because it is often viewed as strictly a pronouncement upon Adam and Eve and the Serpent. When actually it is the first indication that there would be a division of, in a sense of the word, worlds. Those siding with Satan’s seed; his “offspring” so to speak and those of Jehovah’s seed from the woman, his earthly organization of faithful followers who were proved to be rightly disposed or ordained as a class of people from that moment until the conclusion of the world. Put simply, there would be those for Jehovah and those against.
The same would apply to Ephesians 1:4-5 and 2 Thessalonians 2:13 as with 2 Timothy 1:9
[SAB] and who is going to hell.
Response: First of all, reader, if you haven’t already read The Pathway Machine article which asks the question Does Hell Exist? The answer to which is no, you might want to read that at this point. The Bible doesn’t teach the hellfire doctrine.
At 2 Thessalonians 2:11-12, where the KJV uses the term "a strong delusion" other translations use "working of error," (ASV) "a misleading influence, a working of error," (AMP) "fooled into believing a lie." (CEV) The question is, what does this mean?
In a basic sense it means God will allow them to believe as they will, which in this case, was a lie as it was with King Ahab at 1 Kings 22:1-38 / 2 Chronicles 18. If you prefer the lie there is nothing that God can do to change that except hold you accountable to it. Note that other translations use the term "judged" rather than damned as the KJV uses. Also note that, where most translations, including the KJV, use the term "found pleasure" in unrighteousness literally means in Greek "having thought well." They have given it thought and strive in an intellectual sense, to come to the conclusion they desire.
[SAB] There's nothing you can do about it.
Romans 9:11-22 - Verses such as these are often judged in a predestinarian perspective which is, at best, arbitrary. Fortunately God's perfection isn't so demanding so as to feel the need to measure up completely to the standards of excellence set by those who are not qualified to judge its merits. Put simply, as the Christian would put it, most often without having even the slightest knowledge of why, it amounts to God’s grace. In other words, God’s undeserved kindness. There is nothing we can do to make it so we "deserve" it.
In the case of Jacob and Esau, the firstborn, by tradition, was expected to have a claim on birthright, but Jehovah decided that it would be Jacob. Esau didn't appreciate it. Jehovah would see to Jacob‘s prospering. Is this a case of predestination? No. Even in the womb before they were born the twins struggled, and so then Jehovah revealed to Rebekah the way things would be. (Genesis 25:22-23 / also see Psalm 139:13-16)
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Despite a lot of words, it’s not clear to me, at least, what you’re after by posting this. What is your point?
What I'm after is feedback, discussion or debate if anyone is interested. That's pretty much the case with anything I post. The post is about determinism, predestination and free will. There is often some confusion on that. If you don't see anything in the post that's cool. Ain't nothin' wrong with your eyes, the stuff just don't appeal to you.
What, you didn't get enough feedback the other times you have posted this material, and felt the need to copy and paste it here?
That was a long time ago in other forums, websites. Has it been repetitious to you? Oh! You never heard of it? Hmmm.
I wonder why you felt the need to announce you felt no need.
Here's my advice. When you read something that doesn't interest you that someone else posts . . . move on. Don't respond to it because then you are only wasting your time. It's like you're mama said . . . if you don't have something to say, shut the fuck up.
Like Dark Matter, a thread on the forum right now. Not interested. So I shut the fuck up. Notafinga!
"It's like you're (sic) mama said . . . if you don't have something to say, shut the fuck up."
That must be where you got your mouth? And your is the word you're looking for.
Actually, that was a product of poor editing. Originally I had 'yo not you're, but then I god distracted during the editing process.
I'm not interested!
Stimulating highly intellectual conversation we got going here.
Oh, that was sarcasm in case someone misses it.
You sure? I thought you were being serious...
A theist "god distracted"?
Can't say I'm surprised.
You are posting copyrighted material from a different site to this site. Now that you are aware of the problem; what are you going to do about it?
And yah, let's leave my mother out of this.
Empedocles Here's my advice. When you read something that doesn't interest you that someone else posts . . . move on. Don't respond to it because then you are only wasting your time. It's like you're mama said . . . if you don't have something to say, shut the fuck up.
Mon, 01/28/2019 - 13:12 (Reply to #7)
Sheldon . . . hey! Sheldon! Not interested.
Now that's some hypocrisy on display. Maybe it's time for you take your mama's advice.
Empedocles, you wrote, “Here's my advice. When you read something that doesn't interest you that someone else posts . . . move on. Don't respond to it because then you are only wasting your time. It's like you're mama said . . . if you don't have something to say, shut the fuck up.”
It sure seems to me that Nyar was very interested...interested in protecting AR from a potential violation of the law. His response, imo, was certainly not a waste of time. He actually did have something to say and is sure as hell under no obligation to adhere to your directive to ‘shut the fuck up.’
Nyar wasn't interested in protecting AR from anything other than an opinion that might differ from his. I wrote the material in question on my website. It's mine. The copyright is mine. I can use it wherever I want. And I have. Anyone else who would like to share it, and I see it all over the Internet posted by other people I don't know, are free to use it as well without obligation. That goes for anything I write anywhere.
[From a moderator: do not post large amounts of copyright material on this website, even if you believe you own it. If you feel you need it, instead post a quick summary and a link to the material. Don't argue, just fix the problem.]
"What I'm after is feedback, discussion or debate if anyone is interested."
I come from a very long line of Ammonite bastards so how can I ever get into Jealous's heaven?
Why would you want to get into "Jealous's" heaven?
If you were really interested I would suggest you stop referring to him as "Jealous" for starters.
Petty, vindictive, sadistic, cruel, narcissistic, evil, hypocritical, bigoted, racist, misogynistic, take your pick, that's the deity of the bible. Jealous is being kind.
None of that really matters much in a practical sense, does it? He's either going to burn or preserve you in the end, or he doesn't exist and is just a fictional character. I don't think either way he is terribly interested in your estimation of him.
So it must be for you. Some sort of expression of social and political frustration. If I were a betting man I would bet that you spend more time and energy on the "Jealous" caricature than most of his adherents.
So, are you a former Christian, pissed at all the time you stupidly wasted on this fictional caricature or are you a politically and socially frustrated atheist in a theistic world from the start?
"None of that really matters much in a practical sense, does it? "
Of course it does, if that same deity is being offered as perfectly moral, and the bible an objective moral guide, as AJ777 has done incessantly.
"He's either going to burn or preserve you in the end, or he doesn't exist and is just a fictional character. I don't think either way he is terribly interested in your estimation of him."
Straw man fallacy, I never implied any such claim. Besides it'd have to be real for it to care, and I don't believe it is as there is no objective evidence.
"So it must be for you. Some sort of expression of social and political frustration. If I were a betting man I would bet that you spend more time and energy on the "Jealous" caricature than most of his adherents."
Wrong again, it was merely a factual observation of the content of the bible, and how it portrays you deity, I didn't write it after all. I hope your not a betting man then, and again the irony of theists coming here to preach at me then angrily denouncing me as obsessed is not lost.
"So, are you a former Christian, pissed at all the time you stupidly wasted on this fictional caricature or are you a politically and socially frustrated atheist in a theistic world from the start?"
Neither, atheism is no big deal in the UK thankfully, and that's an utterly transparent and facile piece of ad hominem. Why are so angry?
I don't understand how a deity could be perfectly moral. If morality is subjective wouldn't that depend upon ones own sense of morality? The Bible as a moral guide . . . I don't know . . . it has lots of examples of really bad behaviour, but again, morality being subjective, the adaptation of those morals would depend upon the individual.
I didn't say you made a claim I asked you a question.
If Objective evidence refers to information based on facts that can be proved by means of search like analysis, measurement, and observation. One can examine and evaluate objective evidence, then why wouldn't the Bible be, not an objective moral guide, but objective evidence?
I think that may be the price you pay for posting on a public forum that is, really, like atheism itself, a challenge to the beliefs of someone else.
I'm not angry, I consider what you and I do as play. Roughhousing.
"One can examine and evaluate objective evidence, then why wouldn't the Bible be, not an objective moral guide, but objective evidence?"
I have a better idea. Why can't the bible be a work of woo woo fictions derived from multiple barbaric and cruel tribes? Occam's razor applies.
"If you were really interested I would suggest you stop referring to him as "Jealous" for starters."
The biblical God said that his name is "Jealous". Should I call him "Spot"?
Exodus 34:14 (KJV) = "14 For thou shalt worship no other god: for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God:"
That's not really his name. You know that don't you? You understand the metaphorical application there and what that implies?
"That's not really his name."
The guy who wrote the story has naming rights and that is the name he gave to the deity that is associated with the Ten Commandments.
Other guys who wrote their stories gave their God such names as "Yahweh, the God of the Hebrews and the God of the armies"
Then there was "Adonai, who made earth and heaven" = Genesis 2:4 (CJB) = "Here is the history of the heavens and the earth when they were created. On the day when Adonai, God, made earth and heaven,."
Of course there is the Yeshua character as well as a lot of others.
The word "God" is just a title, it is not a specific name. If I use the word "God" I could be referring to my tight big toe instead of to an unique deity. But when Yeshua returns everyone will be cursing him without letup using every curse word they know and a lot of new ones as well.
Went completely over my head as well; I just assumed that was my failure, but now I'm not so sure.
It sounded like a speech, not a proposition for debate. My preference is usually brevity. Some folks have difficulty embracing it though.
"My preference is usually brevity. Some folks have difficulty embracing it though"
Kudos, diplomatically put.
I did not read the whole OP. I don't need to. If your deities are omniscient, then there is no free will for anyone. Including your deities. Else, everyone has free will and your deities are just a fictional make-believe mythology.