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91
Theology Forum / 5 Atheist Questions The Christian Can't Answer?
« Last post by Buster D Body Crab on Yesterday at 02:16:30 PM »
This apparently a topic of interest on an atheist forum at one time. A friend who still receives their member updates despite not being active there for years forwarded it to me as a point of interest.  I'm interested in how it is that atheists who will first argue God doesn't exist would then think to take time to think up questions for those who believe he does.   ::headscratch::

In any case I thought this would be an interesting point of discussion and especially for the more Biblically learned among us. 
Answers can follow with simply referencing the question number to make it easier if you'd like.
I look forward to your thoughts. And who knows? Maybe there are Christians here who have asked themselves these questions from time to time.


1.) Why would God place a forbidden tree in the garden so close to his innocent creation and allow Satan to tempt them into eating from it, all the while looking on without doing a thing to prevent it?


2.)If God is all-just, why does he punish/kill massive amounts of people throughout the Bible for the sins of one?


3.)The Bible tells us that God isn't willing that anybody should perish (2 Peter 3:9), but his holy word has been corrupted through the ages by mankind, so doesn't that mean that God either allowed it to be corrupted, or he was unable to keep it from being corrupted?


4.)Since Adam and Eve didn't know right from wrong before eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, why did God then punish them for something they didn't understand they were doing?


5.)If every complex design requires a designer, who designed God?
92
Theology Forum / Re: Question about sin,hell and marriage
« Last post by Catholica on Yesterday at 01:57:36 PM »
“Mystery” or “Sacred Secret”?

Rotherham’s Emphasized Bible calls the administration that we live in “…the administration of the sacred secret…,” while the NIV says “…the administration of this mystery….”


Ephesians 3:9 (Rotherham)
 And to bring to light—What is the administration of the sacred secret which had been hidden away from the ages in God, who did all things create.

Ephesians 3:9 (NIV)
 and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things.

Why the difference?  Throughout the history of the Christian Church, scholars and theologians have propounded doctrines they considered “mysteries,” and therefore the concept of the “mysterious” things of God has become part of Christian doctrine.  Thus many versions of the Bible translate the Greek word musterion as “mystery.”  This is unfortunate because musterion does not mean “mystery.”  “Mystery” is a transliteration of the word musterion, not a translation of it.   A “transliteration” is when the letters of a word in one language are brought across into another language.  The prefix “trans” means “across,” and the Latin littera means “letter.”  Thus, “transliteration” is literally “bringing across the letters.”  In contrast, “translation” is bringing the meaning of a word in one language across into another language.  If we are going to bring the meaning of the Greek into English, we must translate, not transliterate.

The English word “mystery” means something that is incomprehensible, beyond understanding, unknowable.  Thus it is common in religious circles to speak of things such as the “Trinity” or Transubstantiation [7] as “mysteries” because they cannot be understood.  In contrast, a “secret” is something that is known by someone but unknown by others. [8] A surprise birthday party is a “secret” to the person having the birthday, but known by those who will attend it.  The Greek word musterion means “sacred secret,” that is, a secret in the sacred or spiritual realm that must be made known by God.

It is well documented by scholars that musterion refers to a secret, and not to our standard meaning of “mystery.”


Musterion: In the New Testament it denotes, not the mysterious (as with the English Word), but that which, being outside the range of unassisted natural apprehension, can be made known only by divine revelation, and is made known in a manner and at a time appointed by God. [9]

But whereas “mystery” may mean, and in contemporary usage often does mean, a secret for which no answer can be found, this is not the connotation of the term mysterion in classical and biblical Greek.  In the New Testament, mysterion signifies a secret which is being, or even has been, revealed, which is also divine in scope, and needs to be made known by God to men through his Spirit. [10]

The mystery of the New Testament has been described as an ‘open secret’; matters previously kept secret in God’s eternal purposes have now been or are being revealed (Eph. 3:3-5; 1 Cor. 2:7-8). [11]

Scholars’ assertion that the word musterion does not mean “mystery,” but instead refers to a secret that can be known, is confirmed by many verses of Scripture.  The verses quoted below make two points that the Bible student must know if he wants to understand the Administration of the Sacred Secret.  The first is that the Sacred Secret was hidden from earlier generations and in earlier ages.  The second is that God has now made it known.  God began to reveal it after the resurrection of Christ and completed revealing it when He made it known to the Apostle Paul.  Since Christians can know the Sacred Secret, it cannot be a “mystery” in the sense that most people think of today, i.e., something that cannot be known.


Romans 16:25b and 26a

(25b) …the mystery [musterion] hidden for long ages past,
(26a) but now revealed and made known through the prophetic writings by the command of the eternal God…


more can be read on this here:

http://www.truthortradition.com/articles/biblical-definition-meaning-of-the-greek-word-musterion-the-administration-of-the-sacred-secret


The Catholic Church doesn't use "mystery" in the sense that it is something that cannot be known.  Like I said previously in this thread, the Catholic Church uses the word "mystery" just as explained in this article, for the most part.  "Mysteries" are something that we understand through faith, things that we cannot say *enough* about to *fully describe* them.  They certainly can be known through the eyes of faith; just not fully comprehended.

Thus it is proper to call the Trinity and the Eucharist "mysteries".  Whether you call them a "secret", or a "mystery", as long as the meaning of the word "mystery" is retained there is no problem.  The Trinity is much more than a simple secret that is known to those of faith.  It is something that the human mind can think about forever and ever and not know everything.

Here is the definition of Mystery in Catholic usage, from https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/dictionary/index.cfm?id=35021 :

MYSTERY

A divinely revealed truth whose very possibility cannot be rationally conceived before it is revealed and, after revelation, whose inner essence cannot be fully understood by the finite mind. The incomprehensibility of revealed mysteries derives from the fact that they are manifestations of God, who is infinite and therefore beyond the complete grasp of a created intellect. Nevertheless, though incomprehensible, mysteries are intelligible. One of the primary duties of a believer is, through prayer, study, and experience, to grow in faith, i.e., to develop an understanding of what God has revealed. (Etym. Greek myst_rion, something closed, a secret.)


93
Theology Forum / Re: Rev 20:3 WHY?
« Last post by Star of David on Yesterday at 01:47:34 PM »
Rella wrote to me:

Star of David,

  If you discount any of the book of Revelation then you are taking things out of the Bible. I cannot and will not do that. 


                     ****************************************************

Rella, I just checked my Bible (actually, I really didn't), but rest assured that all of the verses in the Book of Revelation are still intact in my Bible, as they are in the Book of Revelation in all of the Bibles that you own.

I just was able to deduce what parts of the apparent prophecies in the Book of Revelation are meaningful (only Rev. 11:3 & Rev. 12:5, it turns out) and the rest of which can be safely ignored and deemed meaningless.

Of course, I would not be able to do this had I not done my homework during the ages of 9-11 on Christ's instructions to His apostles recorded in Luke 21:25a, Matthew 24:29-30a, & Matthew 24:36a, something that I think is a very safe bet that Rella (and just about everyone else here) has yet to do and will likely never do as few people have any serious interest in astronomy or Christ's instructions to His apostles recorded in Luke 21:25a & Matthew 24:29-30a. 

Oh, but everyone knows Matthew 24:36a and have blown it out of its intended proportion.

94
Theology Forum / Re: Divine names of God:
« Last post by Buster D Body Crab on Yesterday at 01:41:32 PM »
Great informative post here. Especially for the newbies to Bible study and Hebrew language comprehension. Thank you for posting htis.

How ever they occurred, I find it interesting that when it comes to the name and titles of God, when we examine them, some are just descriptive of a certain aspect of God's character while others are titles...but there is only one personal proper name for God which He reveals to Moses for the first time.
All the titles describe aspects of God's character.  It's a grammatical imperative.  YHVH literally means "I AM BEING..." so any word/title you place after it becomes a descriptor.  ::noworries::

Quote
I think most of us would agree to the YHWH would be pronounced as Yahweh...but in any case, the mistransliterated "name" of Jehovah is not God's personal proper name.
I would guess it was originally pronounced as Ye-HaYaH. ::smile::
Actually, to be more precise, it literally means "I am" or "He is" depending upon how it is used. The implication is that He is always present, but the implication isn't part of the base word meaning.
 ::smile::
You have a lot to un-learn.   ::lookaround::

"Being precise" with ancient Hebrew is a fool's errand.  The whole language is geared towards being ambiguous; not precise.  Where multiple meanings are possible, what is intended is ALL OF THEM,  in the form of a mental image.  The reader is meant to visualize and then infer/ascribe meanings according to how they see it.  With that in mind...

Making an implication such as "He is [present]" is allowable in a context, but never to the exclusion of other implications, and certainly not outside of a specific text, in a general sense, as you suggest.

Part of the beauty of THE NAME is its ambiguity - it subsumes words that follow it and appropriates them in such a way that they become part of the picture.  Wherever you put it, it sticks a flag in the following word or phrase and appropriates it.

I AM
HE IS
I AM BEING
I SHALL BE
I BECOME
I AM MADE

Which is correct?  All of the above.  Simultaneously.  Choosing just one is the the only way to get the wrong answer. 

Jarrod
95
Theology Forum / Re: Rev 20:3 WHY?
« Last post by doorknocker on Yesterday at 01:32:26 PM »
Thank you Jarrod,

It is always very encouraging to come across one that has eyes to see and ears to hear.

May God bless you.
96
Theology Forum / Re: Rev 20:3 WHY?
« Last post by Wycliffes_Shillelagh on Yesterday at 12:57:52 PM »
Read between the lines.

What you took as an insult... was not an insult.  If you actually look up Deuteronomy 6:4-5 and read it, a salient point is being made.  What is the greatest commandment, again?

Jarrod

There is nothing in Deuteronomy 6:4-5 to warrant the comment to Rella about reading and studying Revelation.
I guess I'll spell it out.

Deut 6:5 is "Love the Lord your God with all your heart...." etc and so on. 

This is the same verse that Jesus singled out as the "greatest commandment" when asked, and of which He said that "all the law and prophets" hang on this verse.

The comment about "still being on" this verse was not intended to mean that he/she had only read the first 4 or so books of the Bible, as you suggest in your subsequent post.  It was intended to be a subtle reminder that - in terms of practice - this is all we need to do.  He/she is "stuck on" just practicing this verse... because it is all that needs to be practiced!!!

It is not needful to "understand all things" or "speak with the tongues of men and angels."  If you are stuck on a (particularly difficult) verse in a certain (notoriously difficult) book, it might be time to put it down and re-prioritize just what you're doing.  Is this the best way to "love the Lord your God?"

Jarrod
97
Theology Forum / Re: Question about sin,hell and marriage
« Last post by skeeter on Yesterday at 12:54:45 PM »
“Mystery” or “Sacred Secret”?

Rotherham’s Emphasized Bible calls the administration that we live in “…the administration of the sacred secret…,” while the NIV says “…the administration of this mystery….”


Ephesians 3:9 (Rotherham)
 And to bring to light—What is the administration of the sacred secret which had been hidden away from the ages in God, who did all things create.

Ephesians 3:9 (NIV)
 and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things.

Why the difference?  Throughout the history of the Christian Church, scholars and theologians have propounded doctrines they considered “mysteries,” and therefore the concept of the “mysterious” things of God has become part of Christian doctrine.  Thus many versions of the Bible translate the Greek word musterion as “mystery.”  This is unfortunate because musterion does not mean “mystery.”  “Mystery” is a transliteration of the word musterion, not a translation of it.   A “transliteration” is when the letters of a word in one language are brought across into another language.  The prefix “trans” means “across,” and the Latin littera means “letter.”  Thus, “transliteration” is literally “bringing across the letters.”  In contrast, “translation” is bringing the meaning of a word in one language across into another language.  If we are going to bring the meaning of the Greek into English, we must translate, not transliterate.

The English word “mystery” means something that is incomprehensible, beyond understanding, unknowable.  Thus it is common in religious circles to speak of things such as the “Trinity” or Transubstantiation [7] as “mysteries” because they cannot be understood.  In contrast, a “secret” is something that is known by someone but unknown by others. [8] A surprise birthday party is a “secret” to the person having the birthday, but known by those who will attend it.  The Greek word musterion means “sacred secret,” that is, a secret in the sacred or spiritual realm that must be made known by God.

It is well documented by scholars that musterion refers to a secret, and not to our standard meaning of “mystery.”


Musterion: In the New Testament it denotes, not the mysterious (as with the English Word), but that which, being outside the range of unassisted natural apprehension, can be made known only by divine revelation, and is made known in a manner and at a time appointed by God. [9]

But whereas “mystery” may mean, and in contemporary usage often does mean, a secret for which no answer can be found, this is not the connotation of the term mysterion in classical and biblical Greek.  In the New Testament, mysterion signifies a secret which is being, or even has been, revealed, which is also divine in scope, and needs to be made known by God to men through his Spirit. [10]

The mystery of the New Testament has been described as an ‘open secret’; matters previously kept secret in God’s eternal purposes have now been or are being revealed (Eph. 3:3-5; 1 Cor. 2:7-8). [11]

Scholars’ assertion that the word musterion does not mean “mystery,” but instead refers to a secret that can be known, is confirmed by many verses of Scripture.  The verses quoted below make two points that the Bible student must know if he wants to understand the Administration of the Sacred Secret.  The first is that the Sacred Secret was hidden from earlier generations and in earlier ages.  The second is that God has now made it known.  God began to reveal it after the resurrection of Christ and completed revealing it when He made it known to the Apostle Paul.  Since Christians can know the Sacred Secret, it cannot be a “mystery” in the sense that most people think of today, i.e., something that cannot be known.


Romans 16:25b and 26a

(25b) …the mystery [musterion] hidden for long ages past,
(26a) but now revealed and made known through the prophetic writings by the command of the eternal God…


more can be read on this here:

http://www.truthortradition.com/articles/biblical-definition-meaning-of-the-greek-word-musterion-the-administration-of-the-sacred-secret
98
Catholic Forum / Re: PURGATORY
« Last post by winsome on Yesterday at 12:52:16 PM »
All we had was a prayer book and rosary !

No bible...........  never  !  this was starting in the  40's and up till the 50's....  my parents did not even have one !

Well mine did.  You are blaming the Catholic Church for your poor parenting.
99
Theology Forum / Re: Divine names of God:
« Last post by Wycliffes_Shillelagh on Yesterday at 12:47:14 PM »
How ever they occurred, I find it interesting that when it comes to the name and titles of God, when we examine them, some are just descriptive of a certain aspect of God's character while others are titles...but there is only one personal proper name for God which He reveals to Moses for the first time.
All the titles describe aspects of God's character.  It's a grammatical imperative.  YHVH literally means "I AM BEING..." so any word/title you place after it becomes a descriptor.  ::noworries::

Quote
I think most of us would agree to the YHWH would be pronounced as Yahweh...but in any case, the mistransliterated "name" of Jehovah is not God's personal proper name.
I would guess it was originally pronounced as Ye-HaYaH. ::smile::
Actually, to be more precise, it literally means "I am" or "He is" depending upon how it is used. The implication is that He is always present, but the implication isn't part of the base word meaning.
 ::smile::
You have a lot to un-learn.   ::lookaround::

"Being precise" with ancient Hebrew is a fool's errand.  The whole language is geared towards being ambiguous; not precise.  Where multiple meanings are possible, what is intended is ALL OF THEM,  in the form of a mental image.  The reader is meant to visualize and then infer/ascribe meanings according to how they see it.  With that in mind...

Making an implication such as "He is [present]" is allowable in a context, but never to the exclusion of other implications, and certainly not outside of a specific text, in a general sense, as you suggest.

Part of the beauty of THE NAME is its ambiguity - it subsumes words that follow it and appropriates them in such a way that they become part of the picture.  Wherever you put it, it sticks a flag in the following word or phrase and appropriates it.

I AM
HE IS
I AM BEING
I SHALL BE
I BECOME
I AM MADE

Which is correct?  All of the above.  Simultaneously.  Choosing just one is the the only way to get the wrong answer. 

Jarrod
100
Catholic Forum / Re: PURGATORY
« Last post by grams on Yesterday at 12:45:55 PM »
All we had was a prayer book and rosary !

No bible...........  never  !  this was starting in the  40's and up till the 50's....  my parents did not even have one !
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