Was the virgin birth allegory?


#62

So you don’t want to discuss what in the Bible causes you to have faith in it?

Basically it’s just because you were raised in it, then.

And if you’d been raised in some Muslim country you’d be just as ardent a believer for Islam, on faith.


#63

No, you haven’t.


#64

I’ll thank you for not speaking for me. OK?

For the record, my faith is MY faith. I’m not here to subject it to your scrutiny.


#65

Most people’s faith is because they were raised in it.


#66

All the same, Tacitus and Pliny the Younger should not be dismissed. Tacitus wrote (about 116):

"Nero fastened the guilt … on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of … Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judaea, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome…*

Pliny writes:

[Christians] were in the habit of meeting on a certain fixed day before it was light, when they sang in alternate verses a hymn to Christ, as to a god, and bound themselves by a solemn oath, not to any wicked deeds, but never to commit any fraud, theft or adultery, never to falsify their word, nor deny a trust when they should be called upon to deliver it up; after which it was their custom to separate, and then reassemble to partake of food – but food of an ordinary and innocent kind.

From the Talmud (Jewish writings) possibly as early as 70: "On the eve of the Passover Yeshu was hanged. For forty days before the execution took place, a herald … cried, "He is going forth to be stoned because he has practiced sorcery and enticed Israel to apostasy."


#67

I would argue the majority of people of faith do exactly this. We are more interested in our personal lives than government and politics.


#68

What kind of people/groups do you want mixed in with the government? Lobbyists? Special interests? Non-citizens (as long as they don’t bring religion in with them)? Pharmaceuticals? Why are we including practically everyone else, but eliminating people of faith from participating in government?


#69
  1. Muhammad could not read or write, so he dictated the Quran in the seventh century. This was destroyed, so it was pieced back together from parts that had been copied, or from what people remembered. It is believed to be as accurate as the copy Muhammad dictated.

  2. Most Christians believe that any new public revelation ended with Christ. All private revelation should be considered suspect if it does not agree with what was revealed in the New Testament.

  3. Christians believe Jesus was not only the anointed, but the Son of God, the second person in the Trinity. The Quran reduces Jesus to prophet. So here we come to a choice: Believe Jesus or Muhammad?

  4. What principles of the Quran appeal to you? Which do not?


#70

Of course its allegory. The entire bible is metaphor, allegory, and creation myths borrowed from other religions.


#71

Too broad and a common misconception. People either retain their faith or fall away from it. People who retain their faith usually have at least one clear reason for retaining it, whereas those who fall away from it simply don’t want to be bothered with going to church, praying, committing time to it. (The latter is broadly speaking, too.)


#72

Your post does not contradict the statement that most people were born into the religion that they follow.


#73

People follow the Bible because it gives accounts of the human race and its relationship(s) with God. It teaches ideals and advises how to live a life that is fulfilling. Yes, some of the points it makes use allegory, parables, metaphor, etc. It is the point that matters, not the method used in presenting those points.


#74

Good. It was not meant to. While people may change denominations, most keep to the faith they have practiced. More people fall away from faith altogether than change their faith.


#75

People “follow the bible” because they were raised in it.


#76

Uh. Yeah. That’s what we’ve been saying.


#78

My parents had eight children, raised us all Catholics. Six of eight fell away, which by the way, matches exactly what we were taught in Catholic school–statistics say three out of every four will fall away from practicing their faith, whatever that denomination may be. This is pretty strong evidence that people don’t follow what they were raised with.


#79

Correction. You said nothing about practicing, you said raised in. I was raised in playing the piano, as were one brother and three sisters. All but one of us who were raised in playing the piano fell away from it. The difference: Four of us didn’t practice playing the piano. One did.


#80

Meh. This is boring. Your irrelevant analogies notwithstanding.


#81

I’m confused:(


#82

How do you read the Bible? For example, do you consider it a book of stories that can be picked apart, or do you consider it a book that teaches a way of life?