KaseiJin can you explain what a "non-theist agnostic" is?
My objective in this thread is to present, discuss, and debate some of the main 'players' (or points) involved in discussions on, from, or about this single volume work we call, today, the Bible. These 'players' are involved in much of my applications regarding biblical theology, these religious belief-systems
The author(s) is unprovable. Some writers can be assumed from the text and from historical documents, but historical documents are not always accurate and so only a guess can be made.
When was it thought to have been penned?
I could search the Net for this answer, but this scholarly work is ongoing so the dates can shift from time to time. Plus it seem simply logical that since the material and writing we have is not the original and has been copied many times who can know the exact date, what resources do we have for observing the past and don't you think the past can be obscured by time and material loss?
I should confess that I'm not so much concerned with who penned it, but more concerned with how much of the Bible is tradition.
What is it communicating, and why is it communicating that, and how can we generally understand that it is communicating what we reason it to be?
The Bible is strictly for the theist, or prospective theist, and if one doesn't find anything in the book then this would indicate they don't have the heart to understand it. So to understand it it is necessary to first seek the Divine. If one can't do this then it's pointless on so many levels.
What can be made of any truth values contained in the contents of the document and those attached to the document today?
Hmmm the list is pretty long but I'll list a few:
- The study of ancient text
- The study of religion
- An ecstatic revelation to one's soul
- An iconic symbol of one's religion
- A place to store one's genealogy
- A book to make flower presses with
- A coffee table book (can make for a great conversation piece)
- A collection of dogma to be used to control others with
- A mirror to one's soul
- An avenue into the supernatural (good or bad)
There are hundreds of more things I'm sure, but I'll press on.
My applications do arrive at the conclusion that these biblical texts by far, more so evidence nothing more than mere human activity, and in areas, imagination--a lack of supernatural superintendence--and as such are greatly overrated
The supernatural superintendance is subtle I'll admit, but the future will provide the evidence. If the prophecies prove to be false, and there is no God who will proclaim His glory for all to see, then I'll agree with you, but if the prophecies happen--especially if it turns out that Yeshua reigns as an earthly king for a thousand years--then that too will be proven.
Reading and seeking truth in Scriptures is really not a burden, nor tiring, and often times fun and quite enlightening. It can make my day much brighter and sunnier and the smell of flowers sweeter. If only for those reasons the Bible is a good book to read.
Except for the sake of religion I can't think of a good reason why an unbeliever would want to read the Bible. I'd find it most tedious and a waste of time.
My first steps will be to show how the general and common claim by fundamentalists and/or Bible literalist among the stricter Protestant sects are in error with proofs towards the claim that the Bible is the result of supernatural superintendence.
I commonly fellowship with the Bible literalist and stricter Protestant crowd, and I find that they do not understand 2 Tim 2:15 (Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. - NIV), nor 2 Tim 3:16.
For the John the Apostle states plainly that the person they had constant companionship with was Yashua--Him through which all things were fabricated and came into existence-- (i.e. a Divine Avatar). So it is also true that Scripture is a record of the interaction between a person, or persons, with the Divine.
My point is this, John's point, Paul's point is that Scripture is realized by being connected with the Divine, and this can only happen through Jesus by the power of God as known by the Holy Spirit. When that isn't true then you have a collection of recollections that are bound together in a book and become an idol that is worshiped as Isaiah wrote in 44:16-20
16 Half of the wood he burns in the fire;
over it he prepares his meal,
he roasts his meat and eats his fill.
He also warms himself and says,
"Ah! I am warm; I see the fire."
17 From the rest he makes a god, his idol;
he bows down to it and worships.
He prays to it and says,
"Save me; you are my god."
18 They know nothing, they understand nothing;
their eyes are plastered over so they cannot see,
and their minds closed so they cannot understand.
19 No one stops to think,
no one has the knowledge or understanding to say,
"Half of it I used for fuel;
I even baked bread over its coals,
I roasted meat and I ate.
Shall I make a detestable thing from what is left?
Shall I bow down to a block of wood?"
20 He feeds on ashes, a deluded heart misleads him;
he cannot save himself, or say,
"Is not this thing in my right hand a lie?"
I claim that Bible literalists and many other fundamentals are idolaters, because the Bible is their god. And the Bible clearly states that God won't fellowship with an idolater. Idolatry of many forms is why many "Christians" are powerless (no visible signs of Glory) and lethargic in their performance to do good.
KaseiJin I hope this answers your questions, and maybe provides some insight into why you and others don't see God.