RELIGIOUS QUESTION FOR THE DAY (Open to all readers)

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If Jesus was not born of a Virgin and was not literally the Son of God, would that change the value of his teaching?

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13 Responses to RELIGIOUS QUESTION FOR THE DAY (Open to all readers)

  1. abhi says:

    I think, for some, yes it’ll be a searing challenge to not understand Jesus as the literal Son of God and born of a Virgin.
    I believe Jesus does not need to be unique in every way, to be profound.

    • peddiebill says:

      I have always puzzled about why Christian followers have ignored Jesus’ statements like: Why do you call me Good, only the Father is Good – and Jesus calling himself Son of Man
      …. and why most Churches also insist on the Virgin bit when we now know that reference is to an Old Testament prophecy which was mistranslated. Perhaps it was to make him at least the equivalent of Zororoaster who was also born of a Virgin according to tradition. However I cannot see his qualifications in anyway affect the truth of his teaching.
      Now where did I put my tin hat?

  2. abhi says:

    History is as subjective as anything. We can never discover whether Jesus was literally born of a Virgin, or was he literally the Son of god.
    I believe that we should rather ask different questions such as, What did it meant for people living in the 1st century Palestine where the titles such as the Son of God, born of Virgin, light of the world, prince of peace, and the king of Kings were reserved for Caesar Augustus only. Hence to say that Jesus is the Son of God is to deny Caesar, the emperor. These were not only religious title, rather religio-politico. Religion and politics were inextricably attached.

    Jesus opposed the power structure of his time and its beneficiaries. His teachings invites us to do the same.

  3. Cherel says:

    “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good–except God alone.” Mark 10:18 I think He was using your technique. He was making him think. And asking, “Do you recognize my divinity?”

    He called Himself the son of man out of humility and identification with mankind. “Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross.”

    Christians believe he was born of a virgin because the Bible says the angel Gabriel appeared to the virgin Mary and told her she would bear the son of God. She asked how that could happen since she had known no man. Gabriel told her that the Holy Spirit would overshadow her and her child son would be the son of God. It goes on to say Joseph considered divorcing her when he found that she was pregnant but was told in a dream that her child was the son of God. He then took her to live with him but did not know her until after Jesus was born. It’s pretty clear.

    After Jesus was resurrected He took a walk on the road to Emmaus and explained the Old Testament passages that referred to Him to a couple of disciples. If we can’t trust the Old Testament or the New Testament there’s no reason to trust Jesus at all.

    • peddiebill says:

      Conservative Christians have always seemed to me to be absolutely certain about everything, including the things for which no verification is possible. You are well ahead of me
      in your certainty. Check out my article “Bible Literalism: The Shaping of God” and you will see where I am at in my understanding on the reliability of the Bible. I am amazed for example that anyone would still see the whole Bible as a reliable source of correct information. A flat Earth? How wrong could all of those modern scientists have been!!

    • Bill Peddie says:

      What is clear to you is not so clear to me when I look. Compare the two genealogies of Jesus. Why do they come through Joseph if Joseph was not the father? and more to the point if it is all accurate how come the two lists between David and Joseph dont have the same names in the two lists?(Matt 1: 6-16 and Luke 3:23-31) I find it odd to be told I have to believe it all as reliable – when it patently is not. I also must dissociate myself from your last statement. Believe me I can find numerous examples of inaccuracy in the Bible – but for myself that in no way stops me finding marvellous and helpful teaching in the words of Jesus. For me there is an integrity in these words that does not depend on flaws in the writings of those who put the record together in the first place. On the other hand I would be most uncomfortable if you insist I pretend I must not see the flaws. I would like to think my faith is at least founded on honesty.

  4. Cherel says:

    God sits above the circle of the earth. The people below seem like grasshoppers to him! He spreads out the heavens like a curtain and makes his tent from them.
    Isaiah 40:22

    Thousands of years before modern science, the Bible had it right.

  5. Bill Peddie says:

    I would have thought a circle is a bit different from a sphere myself. Anyway the circle has disappeared in the Psalms where we read of the four corners of the Earth and the pillars on which the Earth is supported. And Jesus taken up to a high place from whence he could see all the kingdoms of the Earth – really… and seeing round the other side of what I still in my quaint old fashioned way think of as a oblate sphere. If he could see through the Earth why did he need to be taken up to a high place?
    If the Stars were conveniently small and close to the earth then the story of a wandering star stopping over a stable as a marker is plausible – but given what we now know….Hmmm…. Without telescopes it is hardly surprising that they should think of the stars as an afterthought by God in those days …. thus: Genesis 1: 16 “He made the Stars also” But look at the order of creation – you have two to choose from!
    Jesus stated plainly that the mustard seed is the smallest seed… well it isnt. Orchids are smaller. Nor does it grow into a mighty tree – it is a shrub. And come to think of it: Leviticus 11:13-19 So bats are an example of fowl. When He-She God dictated this how came it came out wrong?
    If you insist on seeing the Bible as scientifically accurate I cant stop you. Perhaps the fossil record is just a trick to test our faith.

  6. Cherel says:

    PB: I would have thought a circle is a bit different from a sphere myself.
    CJ: Given translation I can’t see being so particular.

    PB: Anyway the circle has disappeared in the Psalms where we read of the four corners of the Earth and the pillars on which the Earth is supported.
    CJ: Moderns use the same expression about the corners of the earth even though they know the earth is round. The pillars of the earth refers to the force that sustains or upholds it. It is not used in a literal sense. Job even said, “He hangs the earth on nothing” indicating God upholds it. (Job 26:7)

    PB: And Jesus taken up to a high place from whence he could see all the kingdoms of the Earth – really… and seeing round the other side of what I still in my quaint old fashioned way think of as a oblate sphere. If he could see through the Earth why did he need to be taken up to a high place?
    CJ: “Then the devil took him up and revealed to him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.” Luke 4:5 It seems, in context, it was a vision the devil showed Jesus “in a moment of time.” There is no explanation for why the devil thought he needed to take Jesus to a high place.

    PB: If the Stars were conveniently small and close to the earth then the story of a wandering star stopping over a stable as a marker is plausible – but given what we now know….Hmmm….
    CJ: There are many explanations considered by moderns: Supernova, conjunction of planets, comet, etc. But accorcing to http://www.christiananswers.net. “It was a temporary and supernatural light. After all, the first Christmas was a time of miracles. God has often used special, heavenly lights to guide his people, such as the glory that filled the tabernacle (Exodus 40:34-38) and the temple (1 Kings 8:10) and that shone upon the apostle Paul (Acts 9:3). Such visible signs of God’s presence are known as the Shekinah Glory, or dwelling place of God. This special light is a visible manifestation of divine majesty.”

    “The great mystery of the first Christmas is not the origin of its special star. It is the question of why the Magi were chosen to follow the light to the Messiah and why we are given the same invitation today.”

    This makes perfect sense to me. I am not hindered by your need to prove everything because I believe in God and His endless abilities. He can do anything He wants.

    PB: Without telescopes it is hardly surprising that they should think of the stars as an afterthought by God in those days …. thus: Genesis 1: 16 “He made the Stars also” But look at the order of creation – you have two to choose from!
    CJ: First, there are not two separate versions of creation that clash. There is the overview followed by a more detailed account of mankinds creation and environment.
    Next, nothing was an afterthought. God spoke everything into existence in the order that He chose. Some have a problem with the fact that He provided light from a non-specified source before He created the sun, moon and stars, but this merely shows that God is the true source of light. It correlates with Revelation 21:23 where John said, “And the city had no need of sun or moon, for the glory of God illuminates the city and the Lamb is its light.”

    PB: Jesus stated plainly that the mustard seed is the smallest seed… well it isnt. Orchids are smaller. Nor does it grow into a mighty tree – it is a shrub.
    CJ: It would seem that in context Jesus was speaking locally, not globally. The black mustard seed is the smallest seed that would be sown by a first century farmer in Israel. It grows to 12 feet in height and birds can indeed nest in it.

    PB: And come to think of it: Leviticus 11:13-19 So bats are an example of fowl.
    CJ: Some of these arguments truly “strain at a gnat.” When Leviticus was written, modern classification systems had not been developed. The Hebrew word used meant simply a winged creature. Your argument should be with the improper translation from the ancient scripture rather than with God’s competence.

    PB:When He-She God dictated this how come it came out wrong?
    CJ: God is never wrong. “Let God be true and every man a liar.” Romans 3:4

    PB: If you insist on seeing the Bible as scientifically accurate I can’t stop you. Perhaps the fossil record is just a trick to test our faith.
    CJ: I do see the Bible as scientifically accurate and the basis for all modern science. If Jesus didn’t keep all things working in a consistent manner there would be no science at all. And the scripture says, “keep that which is committed to your trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called”. 1 Tim 6:20

    The fossil record doesn’t test my faith. It’s an embarrassment for evolutionists. They have very few ancient human fossils to work with and only have those because they were buried quickly and preserved due to Noah’s Flood.

    There have been many attempts through the years to make transitional forms (missing links) by combining animal bones with human bones but it has failed. And the pig’s tooth that was presented as Nebraska man is a pig’s tooth. (I happen to live in Dayton, Tn, the home of the Scopes Trial.)

    Many examples of fraud by evolutionists are documented. More importantly, though there are many animal fossils, there is no proof of any animal becoming a man or even another animal. Stephen Gould finally came up with his punctuated equilibrium theory because of the lack of transitional forms. If evolution happened it should be obvious. We should have animals transforming before our very eyes. (Oh, yea, it takes billions of years! Very convenient argument.)

    It’s sad when evolutionists turn to variations and adaptations within species and claim that’s evolution when it’s obviously change based on built in genetic variables. Dogs are dogs from the tea cup poodle to the St. Bernard. And, humans are humans, no matter how short or tall they are, what shape their head is, or what color their skin is. We are one race with one blood and One Creator.

    This is a big subject. Bottom line. Man’s wisdom is limited. We see through a glass darkly. God knows everything and I’ll take His Word for it.

    • peddiebill says:

      Yes I can see you read creationist texts because I have a few at home myself. I actually prefer the science texts but I guess that is just my training. You say that there is no evidence for plants and animals evolving quickly to other forms. I could give you untold contrary examples but just two for now. A bit over two hundred years ago in Lake Victoria there was a rock slide that cut off a bit of the lake. This new environment was sufficiently different to cause a rapid evolution of a new species of Cichlid fish. In Kew Gardens during a natural breeding trial, a mutation occured which caused a new species of flower Primula Kewensis to suddenly evolve with double the haploid number of genes.
      Complete fossil sequences are found for lots of species tracing their evolution and it couldnt be more untrue to say that there are few fossils. As to your Great Flood statement. This does not line up with the geological record at all. For example there is evidence for the Great Spokane Flood at the end of an ice age inundating the middle of the US when the geologists say a big ice dam broke on the Canadian US border, but there is no evidence for a world wide flood, particularly in the last few million years. I cannot see how anyone with even a modicum of science training could explain away the vast amount of evidence pointing to an ancient earth well beyond the limits of the Biblical story. For example Potassium 40 decays at a fixed rate into the inert gas Argon. So old crystals of Potassium Chloride have a little Argon trapped in the Crystal with missing Potassium in the crystal lattice which tells us how old the crystal is from the amount – because the half life of the Potassium 40 remains the same . Metals like gold diffuse slowly at a fixed rate into adjoining rocks – then the distance they diffuse tells you how old the rock is. Counting varves (annual deposits in lakes give sequential alternate dark and light banding) if you take a core sample and count the bands you can see how long the process has been continuing. The same with bands of melting and cooling in winter and summer in the Antarctic ice. My scientist friends count back several million years by this process. Even counting tree rings takes you past the 6 thousand year Bible story because bristle cone pines live for a few thousand years and the trees in the same area tend to have the same spacing pattern in the rings depending on the conditions for each growing season. By overlapping the tree ring samples from living and fossil pines you can simply count the years the trees have been living in one area from the rings and easily get back 20 thousand years. (There are many more methods of measuring the progress of time in fossils and in rocks.
      Yes I do know of various fake fossil finds. Piltdown Man was one. But you see we only call it a fake because the standard dating methods (like in that case fluorine analysis)and forensic evidence which we use to date and identify things told us the jaw was a different age from the skull (and from a different species)and didnt fit with the evolutionary record.
      If the methods are unreliable or the evolutionary record could not be trusted well I am sorry, without that you cant call the fossils fake in the first place.
      As to embarassment and fossils the leading creationist scientist Rev Dr Dr Dr Carl Baugh with no less than three doctoral degrees purchased from degree mill Universities was trying to prove that humans could coexist with dinosaurs and was looking for human footprints alongside Trilobite footprints in the Paluxy River area. He was caught by his technician manufacturing the human footprints at night by torchlight.

  7. Cherel says:

    Yes, I have read lots of creationist material and the works of scientists as well. In fact, I read secular science magazines frequently. In spite of the evolutionary errors, they can’t help shedding light sometimes because they are looking into the secrets of God’s intricately designed universe and the design leads to truth when they follow it.

    Again, adaptation of species is not evolution.

    If there was no worldwide flood, why do cultures all around the globe have flood stories?

    If there was no worldwide flood, why are there fish fossils embedded in the rock formations in the highest mountains around the world?

    I love to travel and I see evidence of the flood all over the place. The messy, mixed up geological column reveals the sedimentary layers laid down by water action. The huge unusual rock formations all over the west in the USA could have been formed no other way than by water action. The Grand Canyon was not dug by gophers and the tiny Colorado River over billions of years as evolutionists claim. That’s ludicrous.

    When you consider that the great falls around the world, like Niagra Falls here, erode their river bed lip continuously. You have to admit, if it had been going on for millions or billions of years it would have cut it’s way out of the continent by now.

    And I have been to Paluxy and seen the dinosaur and “other” footprints there. Even stood in some of them on the rock riverbank. And could clearly see others in the shallow water near the edge.

    There is no way I believe anyone manufactured those prints. Whether they are human or not does not affect my belief system one way or the other. If they are human– which they look to be– that’s cool! If they are not, it doesn’t change God’s Word.

    In Genesis, God has revealed to us that He created all the animals during the creation week– even the largest of creatures. And in Job, when God is addressing Job in chapters 40&41 He describes the largest aquatic and land dinosaurs (Behemoth & Leviathan) and says He created them along with man. For me that settles it.

    “Take a look at Behemoth, which I made, just as I made you. It eats grass like an ox.
    See its powerful loins and the muscles of its belly. Its tail is as strong as a cedar.
    The sinews of its thighs are knit tightly together. Its bones are tubes of bronze.
    Its limbs are bars of iron. It is a prime example of God’s handiwork, and only its Creator can threaten it.

    The mountains offer it their best food, where all the wild animals play. It lies under the lotus plants, hidden by the reeds in the marsh. The lotus plants give it shade among the willows beside the stream. It is not disturbed by the raging river, not concerned when the swelling Jordan rushes around it. No one can catch it off guard
    or put a ring in its nose and lead it away.” Job 40:15-24

    The Lord’s Challenge Continues

    “Can you catch Leviathan with a hook or put a noose around its jaw?
    Can you tie it with a rope through the nose or pierce its jaw with a spike?
    Will it beg you for mercy or implore you for pity?
    Will it agree to work for you, to be your slave for life?
    Can you make it a pet like a bird, or give it to your little girls to play with?
    Will merchants try to buy it to sell it in their shops?
    Will its hide be hurt by spears or its head by a harpoon?
    If you lay a hand on it, you will certainly remember the battle that follows.
    You won’t try that again! No, it is useless to try to capture it.
    The hunter who attempts it will be knocked down.

    And since no one dares to disturb it, who then can stand up to me?
    Who has given me anything that I need to pay back?
    Everything under heaven is mine.

    “I want to emphasize Leviathan’s limbs and its enormous strength and graceful form.
    Who can strip off its hide, and who can penetrate its double layer of armor?d
    Who could pry open its jaws? For its teeth are terrible!
    Its scales are like rows of shields tightly sealed together.
    They are so close together that no air can get between them.
    Each scale sticks tight to the next. They interlock and cannot be penetrated.

    “When it sneezes, it flashes light! Its eyes are like the red of dawn.
    Lightning leaps from its mouth; flames of fire flash out.
    Smoke streams from its nostrils like steam from a pot heated over burning rushes.
    Its breath would kindle coals, for flames shoot from its mouth.

    “The tremendous strength in Leviathan’s neck strikes terror wherever it goes.
    Its flesh is hard and firm and cannot be penetrated.
    Its heart is hard as rock, hard as a millstone.
    When it rises, the mighty are afraid, gripped by terror.
    No sword can stop it, no spear, dart, or javelin.
    Iron is nothing but straw to that creature, and bronze is like rotten wood.
    Arrows cannot make it flee. Stones shot from a sling are like bits of grass.
    Clubs are like a blade of grass, and it laughs at the swish of javelins.
    Its belly is covered with scales as sharp as glass.
    It plows up the ground as it drags through the mud.
    “Leviathan makes the water boil with its commotion.
    It stirs the depths like a pot of ointment.
    The water glistens in its wake, making the sea look white.
    Nothing on earth is its equal, no other creature so fearless.
    Of all the creatures, it is the proudest. It is the king of beasts.”

    In addition to God’s Word on the subject, around the globe, throughout recorded history cultures have legends and even written records describing living dinosaurs.

    As for dating systems. The biggest problem is verification. No one was around billions of years ago. All longterm dating is essentially guessing. You have to subscribe to uniformitarianism and it’s unproven. Conditions on the earth, no doubt, changed drastically due to the flood; which is why ages dropped for all life forms, etc.

    I have no other motive in sharing with you on this topic than shedding light on the subject because people desperately need to “know the truth” Jesus spoke of that “will set them free.” There is no other name given under heaven whereby men can be saved than the name of Jesus. He left us with the commission to share that “good news” around the world.

    “The heavens are telling of the glory of God; and their expanse is declaring the work of His hands.” Psalm 19:1

    Those stars glisten and sparkle for His glory! And the size of the universe keeps us from feeling like we are confined to a box. What an incredible God to make such provision for us!

    “May the words of my mouth, and the meditations of my heart, be acceptable in Your sight, Oh LORD, my strength and my redeemer.” Psalm 19:14

  8. peddiebill says:

    Sorry I cant answer your comments in a few words because there are so many points of geology which require answer. Can I suggest you look up the evidence for an ancient earth. If I start explaining all the ways in which scientists date rocks it would take pages and non scientists usually need most of the terms explained as well. For example I have yet to meet a creationist who would know how to use a geiger counter to age a rock or know what they were looking at in a geological sample. I accept what you say are your beliefs about the age of the earth and the flood – but I would have to say my own limited knowledge on geology and my PhD study on evolution at least confirms for me that you do not represent the views or understanding of the geologists I have talked with and listened to on the subject. There must be different education on these topics in the US! I must also say I have a low opinion of Creation Science having found numerous mistakes in the creation science literature – but that is a purely personal opinion.

  9. Cherel says:

    I am constantly researching some topic of interest so I’ll keep your advice in mind. I understand we will have to agree to disagree on our viewpoints.

    Although I am fascinated with Creation Science and Science in general, I never find anyone’s viewpoint that I totally agree with on any topic, but all views spur deeper thinking.

    Thank you for your time.

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