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 Questions about the Bible, Jesus and Christianity. 
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Post Questions about the Bible, Jesus and Christianity.
Seems like every thread in here gets derailed and highjacked both from us non-Christians and Christians. Most of it looks like questions and answers about the Bible and Christianity. I propose leaving the thread you are in to keep it on-topic and posting questions in this thread, a collection of different questions and answers from atheists, agnostics, pagans, Jews, Muslims, Pastafarians and Christians alike. Let's actually try to keep it respectful. Just questions and answers.
Rastafarians welcome also.

So I have 2 questions of Christianity and the Bible.

So, from the very first three words of the Bible, it is written in the book of Genesis 1:1. "In the beginning..."
But what the original texts have said is literally interpreted as "In a beginning..."
Is there anything to this? Ancient Hebrews viewed time in a circle and I guess the question is could there have been circles of time prior to Genesis 1:1? It certainly would explain a lot to me.
First word of the bible is "bereshiyt," meaning "In a beginning." Our translation concludes it to be "In the beginning," but it does seem specific. Believing that there were circles of time prior to Genesis 1:1 does not mean you're not a Christian, I don't think. The Hebrews viewed the world as beginning anew and being destroyed over and over again; hence circles of time, hence "a beginning." Anyway, what do you make of it? Can you be a Christian and still believe that things existed, perhaps people and civilizations existed prior to Genesis 1:1?

Second question:
If Jesus was the son of God, why didn't the Jews who had Jesus crucified, who also believe that God has a son but he hasn't arrived to earth yet, believe that Jesus was the son? Seems like not everyone was convinced at the time. What do you make of their doubt?

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August 12th, 2011, 2:52 am
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Post Re: Questions about the Bible, Jesus and Christianity.
I'm not the best person to answer this, but some hypothetical answers shouldn't hurt.

1: I'd say there's a huge difference between in "the" and in "a" beginning - we aren't some kind of end all, be all creation - there were creatures before us, and there will be creatures after us, things exist that are both inferior and superior to us - if the concept behind religion is true, then we're all just pawns in a cosmic game of chess being played by two supreme beings. Our galaxy is our petre dish, as other galaxies are petre dishes to their own inhabitants. In "the" beginning," to me, says we're the only one, but I don't believe that to be the case.. Neither does anyone else, but most think that by agreeing with such a statement they'll be seen as crazy.

2. Kinda hard to convince people you're Jesus.. This kind of ties into my question on the other thread about "Jesus walks among us"
If "Jesus walks among us," would he even know who he is?
Would "angels," both good and evil, subtly coach him into revelation?
Would he have to die and be reincarnated to fulfill his alleged "prophecy"?


August 12th, 2011, 8:38 am
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Post Re: Questions about the Bible, Jesus and Christianity.
I searched for bereshiyt in an online Hebrew/English word translator.

this is the result:

Dictionary:
Word "bereshiyt" has not been found in the dictionary.

So much for it meaning" in a Beginning" Try again to justify your rejection of GOD.

If I were to assign a meaning to your made up word, it would be, " Full of poop !"


August 12th, 2011, 9:04 am
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Post Re: Questions about the Bible, Jesus and Christianity.
BillySims wrote:
I searched for bereshiyt in an online Hebrew/English word translator.

this is the result:

Dictionary:
Word "bereshiyt" has not been found in the dictionary.

So much for it meaning" in a Beginning" Try again to justify your rejection of GOD.

If I were to assign a meaning to your made up word, it would be, " Full of poop !"

Can we at least try to be civil in this discussion? IMO that is a totally uncalled for statement and if this continues I will have no problem locking this and any other 'religious' thread.

Edit to add: Search google and this is the first entry that comes up:

Quote:
Meanings For Prefix

Hebrew Word Lexical Information


(1) in; (2) among; (3) as; (4) within; (5) on; (6) according to; (7) into; (8) by; (9) with; (10) without; (11) against; (12) [away] from; (13) more than; (14) through [by]; (15) for; (16) because of, for the sake of; and (17) when.
Meanings For Root Word

Hebrew Word Lexical Information


[ROOT] (1) head; (2) hair of head; (3) top; (4) beginning; (5) choicest; (6) head, chief, leader; (7) total amount; (8) branch, company.
Meaning of Suffix

Hebrew Word Lexical Information


[Suffix] abstract noun forming suffix.
http://www.biblicalheritage.org/Linguis ... eshiyt.htm

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August 12th, 2011, 9:07 am
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Post Re: Questions about the Bible, Jesus and Christianity.
BillySims wrote:
I searched for bereshiyt in an online Hebrew/English word translator.

this is the result:

Dictionary:
Word "bereshiyt" has not been found in the dictionary.

So much for it meaning" in a Beginning" Try again to justify your rejection of GOD.

If I were to assign a meaning to your made up word, it would be, " Full of poop !"

The first word in the original Hebrew is בְּרֵאשִׁית, transliterated as Bereishit, B'reishit, or Breishis. In Judaism it begins the Torah portion (parshah) Bereishit, which ends at Genesis 5:31. In Hebrew, בְּרֵאשִׁית translates literally as "At/in [a] head [of]," implying "in [a] beginning." The three middle letters of the Hebrew alphabet within the word בְּרֵאשִׁית, Bereishit, are ר, א, and ש, which are pronounced as reish when part of the word, but can also be read as rosh when read without the vowels. Rosh is the word for "head" as spelled and pronounced in Hebrew (as in Rosh Hashanah, ראש השנה, ro'sh hash-shānāh, "the head (beginning) [of] the year".)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genesis_1:1

What say you now, Mr. Sims?

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August 12th, 2011, 9:48 am
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Post Re: Questions about the Bible, Jesus and Christianity.
TheRealWags wrote:
BillySims wrote:
I searched for bereshiyt in an online Hebrew/English word translator.

this is the result:

Dictionary:
Word "bereshiyt" has not been found in the dictionary.

So much for it meaning" in a Beginning" Try again to justify your rejection of GOD.

If I were to assign a meaning to your made up word, it would be, " Full of poop !"

Can we at least try to be civil in this discussion? IMO that is a totally uncalled for statement and if this continues I will have no problem locking this and any other 'religious' thread.

Edit to add: Search google and this is the first entry that comes up:

Quote:
Meanings For Prefix

Hebrew Word Lexical Information


(1) in; (2) among; (3) as; (4) within; (5) on; (6) according to; (7) into; (8) by; (9) with; (10) without; (11) against; (12) [away] from; (13) more than; (14) through [by]; (15) for; (16) because of, for the sake of; and (17) when.
Meanings For Root Word

Hebrew Word Lexical Information


[ROOT] (1) head; (2) hair of head; (3) top; (4) beginning; (5) choicest; (6) head, chief, leader; (7) total amount; (8) branch, company.
Meaning of Suffix

Hebrew Word Lexical Information


[Suffix] abstract noun forming suffix.
http://www.biblicalheritage.org/Linguis ... eshiyt.htm


How was I being uncivil? The word does not exist. The root may exist. But, the word does not. ERGO, it is MADE UP.


August 12th, 2011, 9:54 am
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Post Re: Questions about the Bible, Jesus and Christianity.
BillySims wrote:
TheRealWags wrote:
BillySims wrote:
I searched for bereshiyt in an online Hebrew/English word translator.

this is the result:

Dictionary:
Word "bereshiyt" has not been found in the dictionary.

So much for it meaning" in a Beginning" Try again to justify your rejection of GOD.

If I were to assign a meaning to your made up word, it would be, " Full of poop !"

Can we at least try to be civil in this discussion? IMO that is a totally uncalled for statement and if this continues I will have no problem locking this and any other 'religious' thread.

Edit to add: Search google and this is the first entry that comes up:

Quote:
Meanings For Prefix

Hebrew Word Lexical Information


(1) in; (2) among; (3) as; (4) within; (5) on; (6) according to; (7) into; (8) by; (9) with; (10) without; (11) against; (12) [away] from; (13) more than; (14) through [by]; (15) for; (16) because of, for the sake of; and (17) when.
Meanings For Root Word

Hebrew Word Lexical Information


[ROOT] (1) head; (2) hair of head; (3) top; (4) beginning; (5) choicest; (6) head, chief, leader; (7) total amount; (8) branch, company.
Meaning of Suffix

Hebrew Word Lexical Information


[Suffix] abstract noun forming suffix.
http://www.biblicalheritage.org/Linguis ... eshiyt.htm


How was I being uncivil? The word does not exist. The root may exist. But, the word does not. ERGO, it is MADE UP.

The first word in the original Hebrew is בְּרֵאשִׁית, transliterated as Bereishit, B'reishit, or Breishis. In Judaism it begins the Torah portion (parshah) Bereishit, which ends at Genesis 5:31. In Hebrew, בְּרֵאשִׁית translates literally as "At/in [a] head [of]," implying "in [a] beginning." The three middle letters of the Hebrew alphabet within the word בְּרֵאשִׁית, Bereishit, are ר, א, and ש, which are pronounced as reish when part of the word, but can also be read as rosh when read without the vowels. Rosh is the word for "head" as spelled and pronounced in Hebrew (as in Rosh Hashanah, ראש השנה, ro'sh hash-shānāh, "the head (beginning) [of] the year".)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genesis_1:1

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August 12th, 2011, 9:57 am
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Post Re: Questions about the Bible, Jesus and Christianity.
Thank you for creating a long standing post that can receive all the discussions.

As to your questions I would like to answer from my personal beliefs on both, and it comes from what I've learned and what I've developed through that teaching.

1. God is outside of time, and time is a creation of man to count the seasons, the days, the hours accordingly. Obviously we've perfected it from it's early days, because even as late as teh 1800's time was not needed. When the trains/ or shipping, or other modes of transportation came along, schedules were needed and so time was created. I don't know the specifics, but I do believe our present time schedules are a direct result of the train schedules. I could be wrong and I'm willing to learn on this. Prior to that, when the sun came up, it was time to get up and go about your day, when the sun when down it was time to retire, pretty simple really.

2. In regards to God's son Jesus, the Jews are looking for a Messiah that would come and restore Israel to its former prominence. During the time of Jesus on Earth, the Romans were the occupiers to the Jewish lands, and they were hated very much. The Jews were looking for a Messiah that would overthrow Rome, and establish His kingdom upon Earth and rule from Israel. The book of Daniel is pretty specific to this regards in terms of prophecy, and I'll give you a break down. Actually, there is just too much information to include so here's the link: http://www.aboutbibleprophecy.com/weeks.htm

but from the time of that prophecy in Daniel, there is the original 69 weeks that take you from the call to rebuild the temple to the death of Jesus. Mark 14:58 “We heard him say, ‘I will destroy this temple made with human hands and in three days will build another, not made with hands.’” Jesus is known to have been captured, tried, and judged, then crucified and according to Christianity He rose again on the third day. At this point in time the there is a break in the 70 weeks of prophecy, ushering in the church age. Now the church age is a period of grace in which the gentiles or non-Jews, and Jews alike are now given the opportunity to come to know Jesus for who He is. Sadly this age is coming to a close quickly, and the remaining "week" of prophecy is yet to be fulfilled.

The Pharisee and Saducee were the religious figures of the day, and were also the modern day hypocrites, (do as I say not as I do) and Jesus represented a direct assualt against their way of life. By comparison look at the Catholic Church, from its inception it laid claim that the Scriptures were not for the common man, so they kept it to themselves and developed the concept of what we see today. One man in a pulpit teaching the Gospels. But in truth, the Scriptures are for all, and Martin Luther did us a favor by translating it and releasing it to the common people.

The Christianity that strikes my heart and is the passion of my life, is that of personal evangelism. Make a friend, be a friend, lead a friend to Christ. As Jesus got involved in the lives of those around him, meeting them where they were at and ministering to them, that is what I try to do. The church has long taught that you go and get people to come in to the building, but their not coming. With reasons like, "their hypocrites, all they want is your money, they think their too good, they're cliquish...." and so on. But if the church would get out of the pews and into the public being willing to associate with people in their sphere's of influence, not to beat them with a Bible, but to live their life as Christians before them, then people would be drawn to Jesus by the love represented through His people.

Hope this helps.

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August 12th, 2011, 10:01 am
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Post Re: Questions about the Bible, Jesus and Christianity.
BillySims wrote:
TheRealWags wrote:
BillySims wrote:
I searched for bereshiyt in an online Try again to justify your rejection of GOD.

If I were to assign a meaning to your made up word, it would be, " Full of poop !"

Can we at least try to be civil in this discussion? IMO that is a totally uncalled for statement and if this continues I will have no problem locking this and any other 'religious' thread.

How was I being uncivil? The word does not exist. The root may exist. But, the word does not. ERGO, it is MADE UP.
If its not clear to you where you were being pretentious / snotty / uncivil, then I don't really know what to say. Perhaps someone else can point it out to him?

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August 12th, 2011, 10:08 am
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Post Re: Questions about the Bible, Jesus and Christianity.
Here is the issue, it is the lack of understanding of Hebrew that screws this type of stuff up. When you look at the list of other words it could be translated in you see what you see in any given word in the English language, multiple definitions because words are similar. What you did is you say [a] in the beginning part and assumed the literal translation is "In A beginning." That is really bad misuse of what is presented to you here and likely you picked this up from someone else... so let's dig in.

When they add [a] they are trying to emphasis that it is a "thing" or "event" not a simple time based thing. The [a] in brackets does not represent the "literal" translation, it represents additional information to give us further understanding as to what "beginning" this is referring to. The Hebrew language does not have "a", "the", etc.... it is a totally different language structure. If the authors intent was to symbolize single or multiple events then they would have used a number or used their form of plural denotation. They didn't...

Another clue is the other translations it can be used as: first fruit or head. This clears things up even more because it signifies not just a period of time, but an event with "stuff." Replace "In the beginning" with "The first fruit" and it helps clear it up.

So this indicates clearly that the author intended us to read only that it was the beginning with no regard to # or potential previous beginnings. The Bible clearly indicates angles and God existed well before we were created, so clearly the author writing and believing that would understand that he is only speaking of the creation of this universe. The immediate reply could have easily been, you are reading the person who wrote Strong's Concordance incorrect because you are not versed enough to really use it in depth. But the other stuff helps shed light as to why the translation is so clear. The author is WELL aware of other creations as angels are depicted later in the same text. The author doesn't regard any of that important and simply focuses on the creation of this universe and world.

I'll add, if one wants to believe that God has created more than he has told us in the Bible there is nothing to support NOR refute it. It can only be a personal belief and actually has no bearing on ones salvation. I see type of reasoning a way to find a Biblical reason to support certain views. Simply put, a TON of views are irrelevant to salvation and we cannot think that every fact or truth is mentioned or hinted at i the Bible. People need to stop stretching things to give some assurance that their personal belief is justified through the Bible. The Bible wasn't intended to give us every detail of God and anything he's ever done. It is an instruction book on how to get in relation with God and why.

The idea that God created aliens, other dimensions, etc. have no support nor anything against those ideas. It only points more and more to a need to support ones personal belief with a book highly refuted as God's word.

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August 12th, 2011, 10:13 am
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Post Re: Questions about the Bible, Jesus and Christianity.
WarEr nailed #2, nothing for me to add.

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August 12th, 2011, 10:15 am
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Post Re: Questions about the Bible, Jesus and Christianity.
WarEr4Christ wrote:
Thank you for creating a long standing post that can receive all the discussions.

As to your questions I would like to answer from my personal beliefs on both, and it comes from what I've learned and what I've developed through that teaching.

1. God is outside of time, and time is a creation of man to count the seasons, the days, the hours accordingly. Obviously we've perfected it from it's early days, because even as late as teh 1800's time was not needed. When the trains/ or shipping, or other modes of transportation came along, schedules were needed and so time was created. I don't know the specifics, but I do believe our present time schedules are a direct result of the train schedules. I could be wrong and I'm willing to learn on this. Prior to that, when the sun came up, it was time to get up and go about your day, when the sun when down it was time to retire, pretty simple really.

2. In regards to God's son Jesus, the Jews are looking for a Messiah that would come and restore Israel to its former prominence. During the time of Jesus on Earth, the Romans were the occupiers to the Jewish lands, and they were hated very much. The Jews were looking for a Messiah that would overthrow Rome, and establish His kingdom upon Earth and rule from Israel. The book of Daniel is pretty specific to this regards in terms of prophecy, and I'll give you a break down. Actually, there is just too much information to include so here's the link: http://www.aboutbibleprophecy.com/weeks.htm

but from the time of that prophecy in Daniel, there is the original 69 weeks that take you from the call to rebuild the temple to the death of Jesus. Mark 14:58 “We heard him say, ‘I will destroy this temple made with human hands and in three days will build another, not made with hands.’” Jesus is known to have been captured, tried, and judged, then crucified and according to Christianity He rose again on the third day. At this point in time the there is a break in the 70 weeks of prophecy, ushering in the church age. Now the church age is a period of grace in which the gentiles or non-Jews, and Jews alike are now given the opportunity to come to know Jesus for who He is. Sadly this age is coming to a close quickly, and the remaining "week" of prophecy is yet to be fulfilled.

The Pharisee and Saducee were the religious figures of the day, and were also the modern day hypocrites, (do as I say not as I do) and Jesus represented a direct assualt against their way of life. By comparison look at the Catholic Church, from its inception it laid claim that the Scriptures were not for the common man, so they kept it to themselves and developed the concept of what we see today. One man in a pulpit teaching the Gospels. But in truth, the Scriptures are for all, and Martin Luther did us a favor by translating it and releasing it to the common people.

The Christianity that strikes my heart and is the passion of my life, is that of personal evangelism. Make a friend, be a friend, lead a friend to Christ. As Jesus got involved in the lives of those around him, meeting them where they were at and ministering to them, that is what I try to do. The church has long taught that you go and get people to come in to the building, but their not coming. With reasons like, "their hypocrites, all they want is your money, they think their too good, they're cliquish...." and so on. But if the church would get out of the pews and into the public being willing to associate with people in their sphere's of influence, not to beat them with a Bible, but to live their life as Christians before them, then people would be drawn to Jesus by the love represented through His people.

Hope this helps.

I can appreciate that answer, WarEr. I guess if time is something foreign to god and is completely man-made, then applying man-made timelines (such as the infamous 12,000 year timeline) would be inherently flawed. And I don't believe it makes anyone any less of a Christian to believe that circles of time could have existed prior to Genesis 1:1.

If Sims would pay attention, this could explain a lot that causes the very first misunderstandings of the origin of man and the Bible. It's a way that evolution and God can coexist, combining science and God. It could potentially bridge a gap that Christians and Evolutionists can agree on origins or at the very least, find middle ground without a hard lined conclusion; in effect, leaving the origins open for one's own personal interpretations.

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August 12th, 2011, 10:17 am
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Post Re: Questions about the Bible, Jesus and Christianity.
There is direct conflict of evolution and the author of Genesis' understanding of creation. That doesn't mean the facts cannot be slightly different as the author of Genesis was not an eye witness and God's intent could have been allegory. We have to accept the fact that the author of Genesis absolutely believed he was writing facts down from God. But since the specifics on how God created us is irrelevant to salvation... I find it sad that Christians fight over it.

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Post Re: Questions about the Bible, Jesus and Christianity.
steensn wrote:
There is direct conflict of evolution and the author of Genesis' understanding of creation. That doesn't mean the facts cannot be slightly different as the author of Genesis was not an eye witness and God's intent could have been allegory. We have to accept the fact that the author of Genesis absolutely believed he was writing facts down from God. But since the specifics on how God created us is irrelevant to salvation... I find it sad that Christians fight over it.

NAILED IT!

It is really irrelevant to salvation. We keep going back to evolution, in which we evolved from a single-cell into what we are today... Who created the single cell that evolved into life as we know it? Perhaps the "circles of time" that may have taken place prior to Genesis 1:1 can explain evolution or some scientifically 'proven' theories that are popularly denounced as being "non-Christian." Belief in evolution does not exclude you from being Christian. I'm a firm believer in that.
The specifics of how we were created really are irrelevant, so I don't know why pop-Christianity tries to hard to fight evolution. It does not deny your existence of God and even in the Bible in the verse I pointed to, it leaves it more open than pop-Christianity admits. And I believe it's a major mistake that could help people like myself identify with the book as being more authentic than it would be if it were reduced to hard time lines.

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August 12th, 2011, 10:36 am
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Post Re: Questions about the Bible, Jesus and Christianity.
The issue is that both sides try and create the argument into something it is not. Most of the Christian's fighting evolution would agree it isn't a salvation issue if you ask. Most Christians and non-Christians fighting young earth creationism try and find "tricky" ways to let the Bible support or hint at their beliefs.

I say let's get past that unintelligent BS trying to find tricky ways to leave an open Biblically and realize that the author had no other intent to state what he thought was the facts based on what God told him to write down. It doesn't mean God's intention what such, but to say it was anything other means you have to acknowledge a deviation from the facts on the table to personal belief.

This is DANGEROUS and only should be done when HARD facts arise that give reason to adjust. In this case we have a significant amount of evidence that the facts of creation were different than the story. That hints at a definite possibility that God's intentions were allegory.

Why this is dangerous is that you need really strong facts and reasons to pull something like this off. To flippantly go, well I just believe "X" so I'm going to assume God didn't mean that and the human messed it up is absolutely lazy logic. We must assume a creator of the universe capable of making something from nothing is capable of making sure the right words get written down if he makes the effort to do so. On things regarding NON-salvation issues it really is no big deal. When we start talking about salvation issues, this is where no longer can we use this technique as that would mean a God who is in control of everything gave us false information because he picked the wrong person. That simply makes no sense that a God who one believes has good intentions for all would actually hurt everyone more by giving us false information on salvation. That is just absolutely lazy logic to think that IMO.

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August 12th, 2011, 10:53 am
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