Author Topic: Why is there no table of contents or index to the bible?  (Read 2155 times)

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Online relativetruth

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Why is there no table of contents or index to the bible?
« on: April 01, 2011, 08:21:37 AM »
The bible is inspired by God right!!

Why did the ancients not provide a handy reference so we could re-read bits when we did not grasp its meaning the first time?
God(s) exist and are imaginary

Offline velkyn

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Re: Why is there no table of contents or index to the bible?
« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2011, 10:44:02 AM »
we also need a glossary that magically changes according to the beleiver reading it. 

That being said, we've gotten a bout a hundred "concordances" which are all, of course, suer that they alone are right.
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Offline commie_atheist

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Re: Why is there no table of contents or index to the bible?
« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2011, 10:53:39 AM »
those 2 items in the bible would make sense.  that is exactly why they leave them out. 
please forgive my typos, i suck at written English.

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Offline velkyn

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Re: Why is there no table of contents or index to the bible?
« Reply #3 on: April 01, 2011, 11:11:01 AM »
I have another question along these lines, what is the point of the verse numbers?  They don't seem to make a shred of sense and they help little.
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Offline Graybeard

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Re: Why is there no table of contents or index to the bible?
« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2011, 01:14:24 PM »
What you are proposing, sir, is heresy of the worst kind! Imagine allowing the common people to know what they were signing up to! :)

The Geneva Bible http://www.genevabible.org/Geneva.html has hundreds of footnotes that are, to my mind, most helpful. These worried King James and part of the KJV's purpose was to get rid of them, thus allowing the clergy to give their own 'approved interpretations' to verses, most other bibles followed suit.

All the concordances are likewise errant and biased in some way, shape or form. There is really no possibility for the ordinary person to know easily what is in the Bible, what has been added, when it was added and why.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2011, 01:16:05 PM by Graybeard »
Nobody says “There are many things that we thought were natural processes, but now know that a god did them.”

Online relativetruth

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Re: Why is there no table of contents or index to the bible?
« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2011, 01:48:03 PM »
^^^^ Yes , but but .. but why didn't those divinely inspired Romans from Constantine onwards not produce some sort of hypertext linking system that would have helped us all? I thought the Romans were good at documentation and with God's help ....
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Offline Ambassador Pony

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Re: Why is there no table of contents or index to the bible?
« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2011, 01:54:20 PM »
Graybeard, I recently read the Oxford study Bible. It did no suffer, IMHO, from the bias you mention, much.

The notes were very helpful in understanding the mythology and history presented in the text, and related works (such as Herodotus' histories).
You believe evolution and there is no evidence for that. Where is the fossil record of a half man half ape. I've only ever heard about it in reading.

Offline Joecamoe

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Re: Why is there no table of contents or index to the bible?
« Reply #7 on: July 25, 2011, 10:16:55 AM »
Isaiah 28
9     ¶ Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts.
10     For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little.
11     ¶ For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people.
12     To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear. 1 Cor. 14.21
13     But the word of the LORD was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken.


Jesus intentionally spoke in parables that 'seeing they may see and not understand'.  In the same way I believe the Bible is written in such a way that unless you're very familiar with it, there is a possibility that you won't find what you're looking for.


In response to the question about the verse numbers, a monk a long long time ago ---here you go:

The first English New Testament to use the verse divisions was a 1557 translation by William Whittingham (c. 1524-1579). The first Bible in English to use both chapters and verses was the Geneva Bible published shortly afterwards in 1560. These verse divisions soon gained acceptance as a standard way to notate verses, and have since been used in nearly all English Bibles.
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Offline Ambassador Pony

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Re: Why is there no table of contents or index to the bible?
« Reply #8 on: July 25, 2011, 10:47:33 AM »
Joecamoe, through context, it's obvious you are quoting an outside source, however, it is good practice here at wwgha to cite your sources. Please modify your post by adding quote tags to your quote and a link to the source of the words at the end of your post. 
You believe evolution and there is no evidence for that. Where is the fossil record of a half man half ape. I've only ever heard about it in reading.

Offline mram

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Re: Why is there no table of contents or index to the bible?
« Reply #9 on: July 25, 2011, 10:53:11 AM »
HA!    HA!     HA!..... I'll show those morally inferior cretins a thing or two..  :angel:
Imagine gaining favor with "Darwin's"...kind of like praying, huh?

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Offline velkyn

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Re: Why is there no table of contents or index to the bible?
« Reply #10 on: July 25, 2011, 11:10:42 AM »
Jesus intentionally spoke in parables that 'seeing they may see and not understand'.  In the same way I believe the Bible is written in such a way that unless you're very familiar with it, there is a possibility that you won't find what you're looking for.
So, Joe, how does work with the oft claimed notion of free will that Christians use to excuse the inaction of their god? Do you accept the notion of free will? 

Having been a Christian, and having read the bible once completely as a believer and once as a non-beleiver (plus probably a couple of times in pieces) I am quite familiar with the bible.  I find that your argument is just one more version of the “if you don’t believe already, and exactly like I do, you can’t understand the bible”. It's always a lovely circular argument.   It always begs the qeustion that why does God make his bible so hard to understand? Why leave "interpretation" up to supposedly flawed humans?  Why create a work so inept that it causes much confusion, fear and death?   
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Offline mram

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Re: Why is there no table of contents or index to the bible?
« Reply #11 on: July 25, 2011, 11:34:28 AM »
As to the OP I've often wondered the same thing and now that my eyes are crap I also wonder why, if there is some omnipresent, all knowing, all seeing eye in the sky who is also a fortune teller why didn't he just wait till humans got smart enough to invent the internet? What is the point to those tiny skinny pages with small print I can't even read if I wanted to and when I could read it when I wanted to look something up I would often be sitting there for a longgg time trying to find it till I just said fuck it.. It's not really there..
I have my doubts ya know..  :-\
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Offline Joecamoe

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Re: Why is there no table of contents or index to the bible?
« Reply #12 on: July 26, 2011, 10:40:04 AM »
Jesus intentionally spoke in parables that 'seeing they may see and not understand'.  In the same way I believe the Bible is written in such a way that unless you're very familiar with it, there is a possibility that you won't find what you're looking for.
So, Joe, how does work with the oft claimed notion of free will that Christians use to excuse the inaction of their god? Do you accept the notion of free will? 

Having been a Christian, and having read the bible once completely as a believer and once as a non-beleiver (plus probably a couple of times in pieces) I am quite familiar with the bible.  I find that your argument is just one more version of the “if you don’t believe already, and exactly like I do, you can’t understand the bible”. It's always a lovely circular argument.   It always begs the qeustion that why does God make his bible so hard to understand? Why leave "interpretation" up to supposedly flawed humans?  Why create a work so inept that it causes much confusion, fear and death?


Uh, I don't know what you believe about the bible, but all I can do is recommend a relationship with the author to you.  While my beliefs are the best possible based on my convictions and study, I can't tell you it's the highest level of understand, let alone higher than your own. 

as to God being inactive I really don't know what you are referring to.  If God is the personal God of the bible then your personal experience and my own might be quite different.
But, if it sufficeth thee, remember that when you draw nigh to Him He draws nigh to thee.
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Offline pianodwarf

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Re: Why is there no table of contents or index to the bible?
« Reply #13 on: July 26, 2011, 10:53:58 AM »
I don't know what you believe about the bible, but all I can do is recommend a relationship with the author to you.

How is that even remotely possible, considering that:

1)  It was not written by a single person;
2)  Apart from some of the Pauline epistles, we have no idea who the authors were; and
3)  Whoever they were, they're all long dead?
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Offline mram

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Re: Why is there no table of contents or index to the bible?
« Reply #14 on: July 26, 2011, 10:56:44 AM »
I don't know what you believe about the bible, but all I can do is recommend a relationship with the author to you.

How is that even remotely possible, considering that:

1)  It was not written by a single person;
2)  Apart from some of the Pauline epistles, we have no idea who the authors were; and
3)  Whoever they were, they're all long dead?
Joecamoe see's dead people!  :o
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Offline pianodwarf

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Re: Why is there no table of contents or index to the bible?
« Reply #15 on: July 26, 2011, 11:06:33 AM »
[On how kangaroos could have gotten back to Australia after the flood]:  Don't kangaroos skip along the surface of the water? --Kenn

Offline velkyn

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Re: Why is there no table of contents or index to the bible?
« Reply #16 on: July 26, 2011, 03:19:22 PM »
Uh, I don't know what you believe about the bible, but all I can do is recommend a relationship with the author to you.  While my beliefs are the best possible based on my convictions and study, I can't tell you it's the highest level of understand, let alone higher than your own.
Yep, I know that’s all you can do.  You want to come onto this forum making claims that your and only your interpretation of the bible is right and when shown common this nonsense is to all Christians, you can only go back to your baseless claims, now of course trying to equivocate on how “right” you find them to be.  False humility stinks, Joe.  Your claims that “Bible is written in such a way that unless you're very familiar with it, there is a possibility that you won't find what you're looking for” are so much bullshit.  Now tht you know that I’m very familiar with the bible and that I had and tried to keep a relationship with this god, your claims are lies.  It’s rather sad that I have to see Christian after Christian using deceit to try to get people to believe them.  It’s almost as if they don’t know what they are doing. 

You of course failed to answer any of my questions.  It’s a shame when it’s so obvious that you are just like the others, willfully ignorant and under this delusion that no one will notice.

Quote
as to God being inactive I really don't know what you are referring to.  If God is the personal God of the bible then your personal experience and my own might be quite different.
But, if it sufficeth thee, remember that when you draw nigh to Him He draws nigh to thee.

Ooooh, another bible quote. Yep, that will really make me believe. &)  I tried to draw “nigh” to this god.  And again, your bible claims fail miserably since they don’t come true. Do you get that Joe?  Your claims don’t work.  Now what excuses do you have?

Let me explain why I said “So, Joe, how does work with the oft claimed notion of free will that Christians use to excuse the inaction of their god? Do you accept the notion of free will?”  If your god intentionally damns some people and saves others, all without any effort on their part, only a godly whim of keeping some folks from understanding, how does this work with the concept of “free will”?  Many Christians claim that their god gave humans free will and that’s why your god does nothing.  He doesn’t want enforced faith but faith given freely with no evidence provided.  However, this always has the problem that this god had no problem before, per your bible, in interfering with mankind and showing off constantly to get believers.  In this instance, if God intentionally keeps me from understanding and intentionally damns me, where is any ability of a human to act independently?  Where is the choice, Joe?  What you claim is happening is predestination.  Do you believe in that?

And I find it hilarious that you want to claim that that now we must have very different “personal experiences” with this god.  Why is that Joe?  I was a Christian.  I was losign my faith and I prayed to keep it.  And what did this god do?  Nothing.  Why is that? Am I one of the damned without any choice in the matter?  My, doesn’t that make you feel special?  Per your version of your religion, you are so much more important to this god than I am?  Gee, just what I want, a parental figure that shows favoritism. How “just”!  How “fair”!  All the things that this god claims to be and isn’t as soon as Christians and the bible get done with describing its actions.   

Now, Joe, I do expect an answer to these questions: why does God make his bible so hard to understand? Why leave "interpretation" up to supposedly flawed humans?  Why create a work so inept that it causes much confusion, fear and death?
 
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Offline Graybeard

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Re: Why is there no table of contents or index to the bible?
« Reply #17 on: July 26, 2011, 03:24:45 PM »
Jesus intentionally spoke in parables that 'seeing they may see and not understand'.
From a Christian site: http://members.net-tech.com.au/sggram/f664.htm
Quote
The enemies of Jesus were always waiting for him to say something on account of which they might accuse and persecute him (Lke 11:53-54). By speaking in parables, Jesus was making it very hard for them to use his words against him. He could hardly be arrested for telling homely stories!
So all you need do to understand what He was going on about is "think like a Bronze Age superstitious peasant."

The alternative is to have a magic decoding ring and instantly, only you know the truth!

(You would have thought that God would have had some means to get his message across clearly wouldn't you? And if He were all powerful, who would these puny enemies be?)

Quote
In the same way I believe the Bible is written in such a way that unless you're very familiar with it, there is a possibility that you won't find what you're looking for.
Oh! So much for "seek and thou shalt find..." But this really boils down to "finding other people's version of what they think the Bible means."

Anyway, there's a 1001 searchable bibles on line.
Nobody says “There are many things that we thought were natural processes, but now know that a god did them.”

Offline jaimehlers

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Re: Why is there no table of contents or index to the bible?
« Reply #18 on: August 01, 2011, 04:47:43 PM »
Speaking in a literal sense, I read that indexes and tables of contents weren't invented when the Old Testament was originally written.  It's the same general reason that you have ancient books that are missing vowels, spaces, and punctuation - writing has evolved since then, and one of the reasons those were missing is because people were expected to have gained a familiarity from hearing the text out loud before they tried to read it.  In fact, some things I've read indicate that ancient books were supposed to be chanted or sung, thus why the Bible has verses.

Offline Anfauglir

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Re: Why is there no table of contents or index to the bible?
« Reply #19 on: August 02, 2011, 04:30:01 AM »
Speaking in a literal sense, I read that indexes and tables of contents weren't invented when the Old Testament was originally written....

True - but there's an even better reason why nobody has added one since....

Imagine, for example, the index entry for "Jesus, genaeology of", that directed readers straight to the two contradictory passages?  Or the index entry for "Tomb, angels seen at" that points you directly to three or four different accounts?  Just off the top of my head, but a glance at the old Biblical Contradictions thread will explain quite clearly why believers would be desperate to keep any index well away from their book.  THEY may be able to come up with apologies but the casual reader - and particularly for religious studies in schools - an index would be one of the greatest blows to the Bible and religion there could be.

Damn.  Why aren't we compiling one?
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?

Offline velkyn

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Re: Why is there no table of contents or index to the bible?
« Reply #20 on: August 02, 2011, 11:51:33 AM »
because we'd have to do one for each version and it would be this goign round the mulberry bush for Christians to reformat their bibles so the indexes aren't any good.  So we just keep up with the contradictions lists.  :)
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Offline globalvalue

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Re: Why is there no table of contents or index to the bible?
« Reply #21 on: August 02, 2011, 02:05:08 PM »
There are a lot of Bible Study aids.
Strong's concordance Has all the English words showing all the verses that contain each word. [By the KJV usage]
The New Englishman's concordance has all the words shown by Hebrew [OT] and Greek [NT] and their verses.

There is a book with all the verses arranged by topic. I saw it once, I don't have a copy, and I don't remember the name.

There are numerous encyclopededias and Lexicons.

If you want to study there are lots of books to help.
Science Climbs the Ladder of Discovery
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Offline lbaker318

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Re: Why is there no table of contents or index to the bible?
« Reply #22 on: August 02, 2011, 03:02:15 PM »
The bible is not an ordinary book written from just one author. The bible was written by people but God spoke to these people. One reason I know the bible is true is because half of the people in the bible didn't even know other people who wrote some of the bible. But yet they all seemed to write about the same God! How could God not be real then? When God spoke to these people and told them what to write, God told some of them about other amazing people before there time. They never even heard of those people but they wrote about them because God told them about them.
Another reason I know the bible is true is because the word "bible" is not mentioned once in the bible so these people writing this book weren't just writing stories for people to read. They might not even of known who would see it.
If God wasn't real, why have so many people across the nation have so many amazing stories where they've seen God in their lives?

Offline jaimehlers

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Re: Why is there no table of contents or index to the bible?
« Reply #23 on: August 02, 2011, 03:14:23 PM »
The bible is not an ordinary book written from just one author. The bible was written by people but God spoke to these people. One reason I know the bible is true is because half of the people in the bible didn't even know other people who wrote some of the bible. But yet they all seemed to write about the same God! How could God not be real then? When God spoke to these people and told them what to write, God told some of them about other amazing people before there time. They never even heard of those people but they wrote about them because God told them about them.
There's a little something called 'history' that you should investigate.  You know, stories about the past told from generation to generation?  They didn't need God whispering in their ears to know about things in their past, any more than you need God whispering in your ear to know about George Washington or Abraham Lincoln.

Another reason I know the bible is true is because the word "bible" is not mentioned once in the bible so these people writing this book weren't just writing stories for people to read. They might not even of known who would see it.
The term 'bible' comes from Latin, 'biblia', meaning 'books' or 'the books' (you see the same root in words like bibliophile, book-lover).  And they didn't have to be writing stories for people to read.  I can grant that they were largely in earnest about the things they wrote without accepting that they were perfectly (or even especially) knowledgeable about those things.

If God wasn't real, why have so many people across the nation have so many amazing stories where they've seen God in their lives?
I don't know, but perhaps you can answer why so many people across the nation have written so many amazing stories about worlds like Tatooine and Coruscant, or Vulcan and Quo'Nos?

Offline velkyn

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Re: Why is there no table of contents or index to the bible?
« Reply #24 on: August 02, 2011, 03:28:52 PM »
The bible is not an ordinary book written from just one author. The bible was written by people but God spoke to these people.
Evidence please?
Quote
One reason I know the bible is true is because half of the people in the bible didn't even know other people who wrote some of the bible. But yet they all seemed to write about the same God! How could God not be real then?
Noo problem when those people read other people's writings. 
Quote
When God spoke to these people and told them what to write, God told some of them about other amazing people before there time. They never even heard of those people but they wrote about them because God told them about them.
Again, evidence that this happened?  Oh yes, you don't have that.  We have plenty of gospels that were written by people who claiemd the same thing, that God spoke to them.  and those gospels were left out of your bible.  Can you tell us how one picks and chooses what your god "really meant"?
 
Quote
Another reason I know the bible is true is because the word "bible" is not mentioned once in the bible so these people writing this book weren't just writing stories for people to read. They might not even of known who would see it.
ROFL  Oh my.  Yep, it's pretty obvious that these people weren't always interacting since the 4 authors of the "gospels" couldnt' keep their stories straight.  Tell me LB, what did the disciples do after the cruxifiction, a: hide from the authorities or b: celebrate in the temple?  It depends which you read.

Quote
If God wasn't d wasn't real, why have so many people across the nation have so many amazing stories where they've seen God in their lives?
They lie, they suffer from wishful thinking, they want to feel special.  Please do show us any evidence of any action by this god of yours.
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Offline Anfauglir

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Re: Why is there no table of contents or index to the bible?
« Reply #25 on: August 03, 2011, 03:52:00 AM »
The bible is not an ordinary book written from just one author. The bible was written by people .....

Actually, I'm going to stop you there, and ask you this question.

Do you know who wrote each book of the Bible?

If you can't answer that from what you know now, then how can you be so sure about all your other assertions?
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?

Offline kin hell

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Re: Why is there no table of contents or index to the bible?
« Reply #26 on: August 03, 2011, 05:34:53 AM »
Jesus intentionally spoke in parables that 'seeing they may see and not understand'.
From a Christian site: http://members.net-tech.com.au/sggram/f664.htm
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The enemies of Jesus were always waiting for him to say something on account of which they might accuse and persecute him (Lke 11:53-54). By speaking in parables, Jesus was making it very hard for them to use his words against him. He could hardly be arrested for telling homely stories!
So all you need do to understand what He was going on about is "think like a Bronze Age superstitious peasant."

The alternative is to have a magic decoding ring and instantly, only you know the truth!

(You would have thought that God would have had some means to get his message across clearly wouldn't you? And if He were all powerful, who would these puny enemies be?)

...and this from a god who supposedly suffered and died for our sins, too scared to be definite and unambiguous, thus condemning untold millions (of searching but failed-to-get-the-right-meaning innocents) to eternal damnation.

..........yeah that story makes sense.
"...but on a lighter note, demons were driven from a pig today in Gloucester."  Bill Bailey

all edits are for spelling or grammar unless specified otherwise

Offline Aaron123

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Re: Why is there no table of contents or index to the bible?
« Reply #27 on: August 03, 2011, 11:29:09 AM »
The bible is not an ordinary book written from just one author. The bible was written by people but God spoke to these people. One reason I know the bible is true is because half of the people in the bible didn't even know other people who wrote some of the bible. But yet they all seemed to write about the same God! How could God not be real then? When God spoke to these people and told them what to write, God told some of them about other amazing people before there time. They never even heard of those people but they wrote about them because God told them about them.

Let's see if this makes sense by changing a couple of words.

The Star Wars series is not an ordinary book written from just one author. The Star Wars series was written by people but Luke Skywalker spoke to these people. One reason I know the Star Wars series  is true is because half of the people in the Star Wars series  didn't even know other people who wrote some of the Star Wars series . But yet they all seemed to write about the same  Luke Skywalker! How could  Luke Skywalker not be real then? When  Luke Skywalker spoke to these people and told them what to write,  Luke Skywalker told some of them about other amazing people before there time. They never even heard of those people but they wrote about them because  Luke Skywalker told them about them.

Does this make any sense?


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Another reason I know the bible is true is because the word "bible" is not mentioned once in the bible so these people writing this book weren't just writing stories for people to read. They might not even of known who would see it.


I don't even understand this argument.

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If God wasn't real, why have so many people across the nation have so many amazing stories where they've seen God in their lives?

Show some pictures then.  I want to see some pictures of those people standing side-by-side with god.
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Offline Historicity

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Re: Why is there no table of contents or index to the bible?
« Reply #28 on: August 03, 2011, 03:58:30 PM »
The bible is not an ordinary book written from just one author. ... One reason I know the bible is true is because half of the people in the bible didn't even know other people who wrote some of the bible. But yet they all seemed to write about the same ...

Hey, I once read a book called Travelers in Time.  It was first published about 1950.  The introduction noted that the majority of stories in the book were British because time travel was a more popular theme with British scifi and fantasy authors.

Let me expand your vocabulary.  This book was an ANTHOLOGY:

http://education.yahoo.com/reference/dictionary/entry/anthology
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Yahoo Education
an·thol·o·gy NOUN:
pl. an·thol·o·gies

    A collection of literary pieces, such as poems, short stories, or plays.
    A miscellany, assortment, or catalog, as of complaints, comments, or ideas: "The Irish love their constitution for what it is: an anthology of the clerical-nationalist ideas of 1936" (Economist).

http://www.macmillandictionary.com/dictionary/american/anthology
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Macmillan English Dictionary
noun [countable]

    a book containing poems, stories, or songs written by different people. Someone who produces an anthology is called an anthologist.

http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/british/anthology
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Cambridge Dictionaries Online
anthology noun

a collection of artistic works which have a similar form or subject, often those considered to be the best
an anthology of modern quotations/American verse
This Bob Dylan anthology includes some rare recordings of his best songs.
Compare: omnibus
anthologist noun

http://oxforddictionaries.com/definition/anthology?region=us
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Oxford English Dictionary


anthology(an·thol·o·gy)
noun (plural anthologies)

    a published collection of poems or other pieces of writing:an anthology of European poetry
    a published collection of songs or musical compositions issued in one album.

The Bible is an anthology.  If any stories were too far from the theme or the author's thoughts were beyond the fringe, then they wouldn't be included.

I was recently reading the Book of Mary.  it was a book widely read by early Christians and regarded by many as scripture but it was too far outside the general consensus that it was left out of the New Testament.  There are a lot of scriptures like that from the Old and the New.  They were popular for a time but the priests agreed to edit them out.