Saturday, October 20, 2018

Some Comments On Why I Am Not A Bible Student

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By Kathleen Mitchell

Any student of human history will have to agree that religion has, from the very beginning, played a vital role in the lives of mankind. For some reason humans had to believe in some powerful deity that controls their lives, provide protection and favours and that can punish poor behaviour. To this day religious orders and churches wield great power all over the world, using their Holy books as their justification. This is why I am not a Bible student.

Many people hold the opinion that the scriptures have not been written by God, as theologians would like everyone to believe. Instead, it consists of a collection of letters, stories and books written by humans. Some of these books and writings are even inspirational or entertaining, but they are nevertheless the subjective products of fallible humans that cannot be taken as holy.

Critics also point out that the content of the scriptures were selected by humans, by religious leaders that needed this collection of writings to underwrite the doctrine that they were preaching and promoting. They furthermore point out that there are thousands of other so called holy scriptures that have not been included and that this constitutes a clear sign of extreme bias and manipulative behaviour.

Then there is the fact that so many people simply do not know what to make of the official view of the scriptures. There are those, highly qualified and experience religious leaders, that maintain that the scriptures are holy, inspired by God and totally without error. But then there are also those, equally well qualified and experienced theologians that hold forth that the scriptures are to be seen as cryptic writings that needs expert interpretation.

Another oft repeated criticism is the fact that the scriptures have been translated many times and into many different languages. No translation can ever reflect or convey the original meaning of the text that were penned mostly in Hebrew and Greek. These translations therefore inevitable contain many errors and they furthermore reflect the culture represented by a specific language.

A great many sceptics point out that the scriptures are exclusive in nature. It has no tolerance for any other view or religion. It soundly condemns those that do not firmly believe in the scriptures to hell and damnation. It clearly states that man always has a free choice, but, says the critics, how can this be if the scriptures will not allow any view other than the one it portrays.

Some of the more outspoken critics say that the scriptures are hypocritical. They point out that the vast majority of people are suffering from debilitating poverty and even persecution. This cannot possibly be related to the message that Christianity will set people free, will empower them and will ensure that God Himself will look after them. These people have no reason to believe in these empty promises.

Man does have free choice. It is the right of every person to believe or not to believe the teachings and messages contained in the scriptures. One would hope, however, that those that believe do not show prejudice against those that believe differently.

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