jahwitness:

Psalm 87

 1His foundation is in the holy mountains.

 2The LORD loveth the gates of Zion more than all the dwellings of Jacob.

 3Glorious things are spoken of thee, O city of God. Selah.

 4I will make mention of Rahab and Babylon to them that know me: behold Philistia, and Tyre, with Ethiopia; this man was born there.

 5And of Zion it shall be said, This and that man was born in her: and the highest himself shall establish her.

 6The LORD shall count, when he writeth up the people, that this man was born there. Selah.

 7As well the singers as the players on instruments shall be there: all my springs are in thee.

Haile Selassie

Jah Witness:
2nd EsdRAS chap 12, removed from the Bible by the masons….
And the lion, whom thou sawest rising up out of the wood, and roaring, and speaking to the eagle, and rebuking her for her unrighteousness with all the words which thou hast heard;
2 Esdras 12:32 This is the anointed, which the Highest hath kept for them and for their wickedness unto the end: he shall reprove them, and shall upbraid them with their cruelty.
2 Esdras 12:33 For he shall set them before him alive in judgment, and shall rebuke them, and correct them.
2 Esdras 12:34 For the rest of my people shall he deliver with mercy, those that have been pressed upon my borders, and he shall make them joyful until the coming of the day of judgment, whereof I have spoken unto thee from the the beginning.
2 Esdras 12:35 This is the dream that thou sawest, and these are the interpretations.
2 Esdras 12:36 Thou only hast been meet to know this secret of the Highest.

jahwitness:

Psalm 68

 1Let God arise, let his enemies be scattered: let them also that hate him flee before him.

 2As smoke is driven away, so drive them away: as wax melteth before the fire, so let the wicked perish at the presence of God.

 3But let the righteous be glad; let them rejoice before God: yea, let them exceedingly rejoice.

 4Sing unto God, sing praises to his name: extol him that rideth upon the heavens by his name JAH, and rejoice before him.

 5A father of the fatherless, and a judge of the widows, is God in his holy habitation.

 6God setteth the solitary in families: he bringeth out those which are bound with chains: but the rebellious dwell in a dry land.

 7O God, when thou wentest forth before thy people, when thou didst march through the wilderness; Selah:

 8The earth shook, the heavens also dropped at the presence of God: even Sinai itself was moved at the presence of God, the God of Israel.

 9Thou, O God, didst send a plentiful rain, whereby thou didst confirm thine inheritance, when it was weary.

 10Thy congregation hath dwelt therein: thou, O God, hast prepared of thy goodness for the poor.

 11The Lord gave the word: great was the company of those that published it.

 12Kings of armies did flee apace: and she that tarried at home divided the spoil.

 13Though ye have lien among the pots, yet shall ye be as the wings of a dove covered with silver, and her feathers with yellow gold.

 14When the Almighty scattered kings in it, it was white as snow in Salmon.

 15The hill of God is as the hill of Bashan; an high hill as the hill of Bashan.

 16Why leap ye, ye high hills? this is the hill which God desireth to dwell in; yea, the LORD will dwell in it for ever.

 17The chariots of God are twenty thousand, even thousands of angels: the Lord is among them, as in Sinai, in the holy place.

 18Thou hast ascended on high, thou hast led captivity captive: thou hast received gifts for men; yea, for the rebellious also, that the LORD God might dwell among them.

 19Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation. Selah.

 20He that is our God is the God of salvation; and unto GOD the Lord belong the issues from death.

 21But God shall wound the head of his enemies, and the hairy scalp of such an one as goeth on still in his trespasses.

 22The Lord said, I will bring again from Bashan, I will bring my people again from the depths of the sea:

 23That thy foot may be dipped in the blood of thine enemies, and the tongue of thy dogs in the same.

 24They have seen thy goings, O God; even the goings of my God, my King, in the sanctuary.

 25The singers went before, the players on instruments followed after; among them were the damsels playing with timbrels.

 26Bless ye God in the congregations, even the Lord, from the fountain of Israel.

 27There is little Benjamin with their ruler, the princes of Judah and their council, the princes of Zebulun, and the princes of Naphtali.

 28Thy God hath commanded thy strength: strengthen, O God, that which thou hast wrought for us.

 29Because of thy temple at Jerusalem shall kings bring presents unto thee.

 30Rebuke the company of spearmen, the multitude of the bulls, with the calves of the people, till every one submit himself with pieces of silver: scatter thou the people that delight in war.

 31Princes shall come out of Egypt; Ethiopia shall soon stretch out her hands unto God.

 32Sing unto God, ye kingdoms of the earth; O sing praises unto the Lord; Selah:

 33To him that rideth upon the heavens of heavens, which were of old; lo, he doth send out his voice, and that a mighty voice.

 34Ascribe ye strength unto God: his excellency is over Israel, and his strength is in the clouds.

 35O God, thou art terrible out of thy holy places: the God of Israel is he that giveth strength and power unto his people. Blessed be God.

Psalm 68

 1Let God arise, let his enemies be scattered: let them also that hate him flee before him.

 2As smoke is driven away, so drive them away: as wax melteth before the fire, so let the wicked perish at the presence of God.

 3But let the righteous be glad; let them rejoice before God: yea, let them exceedingly rejoice.

 4Sing unto God, sing praises to his name: extol him that rideth upon the heavens by his name JAH, and rejoice before him.

 5A father of the fatherless, and a judge of the widows, is God in his holy habitation.

 6God setteth the solitary in families: he bringeth out those which are bound with chains: but the rebellious dwell in a dry land.

 7O God, when thou wentest forth before thy people, when thou didst march through the wilderness; Selah:

 8The earth shook, the heavens also dropped at the presence of God: even Sinai itself was moved at the presence of God, the God of Israel.

 9Thou, O God, didst send a plentiful rain, whereby thou didst confirm thine inheritance, when it was weary.

 10Thy congregation hath dwelt therein: thou, O God, hast prepared of thy goodness for the poor.

 11The Lord gave the word: great was the company of those that published it.

 12Kings of armies did flee apace: and she that tarried at home divided the spoil.

 13Though ye have lien among the pots, yet shall ye be as the wings of a dove covered with silver, and her feathers with yellow gold.

 14When the Almighty scattered kings in it, it was white as snow in Salmon.

 15The hill of God is as the hill of Bashan; an high hill as the hill of Bashan.

 16Why leap ye, ye high hills? this is the hill which God desireth to dwell in; yea, the LORD will dwell in it for ever.

 17The chariots of God are twenty thousand, even thousands of angels: the Lord is among them, as in Sinai, in the holy place.

 18Thou hast ascended on high, thou hast led captivity captive: thou hast received gifts for men; yea, for the rebellious also, that the LORD God might dwell among them.

 19Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation. Selah.

 20He that is our God is the God of salvation; and unto GOD the Lord belong the issues from death.

 21But God shall wound the head of his enemies, and the hairy scalp of such an one as goeth on still in his trespasses.

 22The Lord said, I will bring again from Bashan, I will bring my people again from the depths of the sea:

 23That thy foot may be dipped in the blood of thine enemies, and the tongue of thy dogs in the same.

 24They have seen thy goings, O God; even the goings of my God, my King, in the sanctuary.

 25The singers went before, the players on instruments followed after; among them were the damsels playing with timbrels.

 26Bless ye God in the congregations, even the Lord, from the fountain of Israel.

 27There is little Benjamin with their ruler, the princes of Judah and their council, the princes of Zebulun, and the princes of Naphtali.

 28Thy God hath commanded thy strength: strengthen, O God, that which thou hast wrought for us.

 29Because of thy temple at Jerusalem shall kings bring presents unto thee.

 30Rebuke the company of spearmen, the multitude of the bulls, with the calves of the people, till every one submit himself with pieces of silver: scatter thou the people that delight in war.

 31Princes shall come out of Egypt; Ethiopia shall soon stretch out her hands unto God.

 32Sing unto God, ye kingdoms of the earth; O sing praises unto the Lord; Selah:

 33To him that rideth upon the heavens of heavens, which were of old; lo, he doth send out his voice, and that a mighty voice.

 34Ascribe ye strength unto God: his excellency is over Israel, and his strength is in the clouds.

 35O God, thou art terrible out of thy holy places: the God of Israel is he that giveth strength and power unto his people. Blessed be God.

Psalm 87

 1His foundation is in the holy mountains.

 2The LORD loveth the gates of Zion more than all the dwellings of Jacob.

 3Glorious things are spoken of thee, O city of God. Selah.

 4I will make mention of Rahab and Babylon to them that know me: behold Philistia, and Tyre, with Ethiopia; this man was born there.

 5And of Zion it shall be said, This and that man was born in her: and the highest himself shall establish her.

 6The LORD shall count, when he writeth up the people, that this man was born there. Selah.

 7As well the singers as the players on instruments shall be there: all my springs are in thee.

azspot:

1) Nowhere does the Bible claim to be inerrant.

That’s right. At no place in its more than 30,000 verses does the Bible claim that it is factually accurate in terms of history, science, geography and all other matters (the technical definition of inerrancy). “Inerrant” itself is not a word found in the Bible or even known to Christian theologians for most of history. Rather, the word was coined in the middle of the 19th century as a defensive counter measure to the increased popularity of reading the Bible as one would other historical documents and the discovery of manifold internal inconsistencies and external inaccuracies.

The signature verse most literalists point to is 2 Timothy 3:16: “All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.” But one can confess that Scripture is inspired by God without resorting to claims that it contains no factual errors. We normally use the language of inspiration in just this way, describing a painting, a performance of Chopin, or even a good lecture as inspired. What binds the various and sundry texts found in the Bible together may be precisely that they are all inspired by the authors’ experience of the living God. There is no hint that the authors of the Bible imagined that what they were writing was somehow supernaturally guaranteed to be factually accurate. Rather, biblical authors wrote in order to be persuasive, hoping that by reading their witness you would come to believe as they did (see John 20:30-31).

2) Reading the Bible literally distorts its witness.

In the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, Jesus drives the moneychangers out of the Jerusalem Temple in the days immediately preceding his crucifixion. In the Gospel of John, he does this near the beginning of his ministry, two years before his death. Similarly, in Matthew, Mark, and Luke, the day Jesus is crucified is named as the Passover, while in John it is the Day of Preparation; that is, the day before Passover. Inconsistencies like this are part of what undermines claims to inerrancy of not just the gospels but also many other books in the Bible.

But if the primary intention of the biblical authors was not to record history — in the post-Enlightenment sense we take for granted today — but instead to confess faith, then these differences are not troubling inconsistencies to be reconciled but rather helpful clues to understanding the confession of the author. So rather than ask who got it right, we might instead wonder why John describes these events differently than the other Evangelists. As it turns out, both of these examples stem from John’s theological claim that Jesus is the new Passover lamb. For this reason, once he begins his ministry there is no need for Temple sacrifice, and he is crucified on the same day — indeed, at the exact hour — at which the Passover lambs were sacrificed on the Day of Preparation.

You can attempt to reconcile these and other discrepancies in the biblical witness, of course, and literalists have published books almost as long as the Bible attempting to do just that. In the case of the different timeframes for the cleansing of the Temple, for instance, one might suggest that Jesus did this twice, once at the beginning of his ministry and then again, for good measure, two years later. But far from “rescuing” the gospels, such an effort distorts their distinct confession of faith by rendering an account of Jesus’ life that none of the canonical accounts offers.

3) Most Christians across history have not read the Bible literally.

We tend to think of anything that is labeled “conservative” as being older and more traditional. Oddly enough, however, the doctrine of inerrancy that literalists aim to conserve is only about a century and a half old. Not only did many of the Christian Church’s brightest theologians not subscribe to anything like inerrancy, many adamantly opposed such a notion. For instance, St. Augustine — rarely described as a liberal — lived for many years at the margins of the church. An impediment to his conversation was precisely the notion that Christians took literally stories like that of Jonah spending three days in the belly of a whale. It was not until Ambrose, bishop of Milan, introduced Augustine to allegorical interpretation — that is, that stories can point metaphorically to spiritual realities rather than historical facts — that Augustine could contemplate taking the Bible (and those who read it!) seriously.

The point isn’t that pre-modern Christians approached the Bible with the same historically conscious skepticism of the Bible’s factual and scientific veracity that modern interpreters possess. Earlier Christians — along with almost everyone else who lived prior to the advent of modernity — simply didn’t imagine that for something to be true it had to be factually accurate, a concern only advanced after the Enlightenment. Hence, four gospels that diverged at different points, far from troubling earlier Christians, was instead seen as a faithful and fitting recognition that God’s truth as revealed in Jesus was too large to be contained by only one perspective. Flattening the biblical witness to conform to a reductionist understanding of truth only limits the power of Scripture. As Karl Barth, arguably the twentieth century’s greatest theologian, once said, “I take the Bible too seriously to read it literally.”

4) Reading the Bible literally undermines a chief confession of the Bible about God.

Read the Bible even for a little while and you’ll soon realize that most of the major characters are, shall we say, less than ideal. Abraham passes his wife off as his sister — twice! — in order to save his skin. Moses is a murderer. David sleeps around. Peter denies Jesus three times. Whatever their accomplishments, most of the “heroes of the faith” are complicated persons with feet of clay. And that’s the point: the God of the Bible regularly uses ordinary people to accomplish extraordinary things.

Why, then, treat the Bible itself differently? Rather than imagine that the Bible was also written by ordinary, fallible people, inerrantists have made the Bible an other-wordly, supernatural document that runs contrary to the biblical affirmation that God chooses ordinary vessels — “jars of clay,” the Apostle Paul calls them — to bear an extraordinary message. In fact, literalists unwittingly ascribe to the Bible the status of being “fully human and fully divine” that is normally reserved only for Jesus.

(via Unsettled Christianity)

4 Good Reasons Not to Read the Bible Literally

azspot:

1) Nowhere does the Bible claim to be inerrant.

That’s right. At no place in its more than 30,000 verses does the Bible claim that it is factually accurate in terms of history, science, geography and all other matters (the technical definition of inerrancy). “Inerrant” itself is not a word found in the Bible or even known to Christian theologians for most of history. Rather, the word was coined in the middle of the 19th century as a defensive counter measure to the increased popularity of reading the Bible as one would other historical documents and the discovery of manifold internal inconsistencies and external inaccuracies.

The signature verse most literalists point to is 2 Timothy 3:16: “All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.” But one can confess that Scripture is inspired by God without resorting to claims that it contains no factual errors. We normally use the language of inspiration in just this way, describing a painting, a performance of Chopin, or even a good lecture as inspired. What binds the various and sundry texts found in the Bible together may be precisely that they are all inspired by the authors’ experience of the living God. There is no hint that the authors of the Bible imagined that what they were writing was somehow supernaturally guaranteed to be factually accurate. Rather, biblical authors wrote in order to be persuasive, hoping that by reading their witness you would come to believe as they did (see John 20:30-31).

2) Reading the Bible literally distorts its witness.

In the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, Jesus drives the moneychangers out of the Jerusalem Temple in the days immediately preceding his crucifixion. In the Gospel of John, he does this near the beginning of his ministry, two years before his death. Similarly, in Matthew, Mark, and Luke, the day Jesus is crucified is named as the Passover, while in John it is the Day of Preparation; that is, the day before Passover. Inconsistencies like this are part of what undermines claims to inerrancy of not just the gospels but also many other books in the Bible.

But if the primary intention of the biblical authors was not to record history — in the post-Enlightenment sense we take for granted today — but instead to confess faith, then these differences are not troubling inconsistencies to be reconciled but rather helpful clues to understanding the confession of the author. So rather than ask who got it right, we might instead wonder why John describes these events differently than the other Evangelists. As it turns out, both of these examples stem from John’s theological claim that Jesus is the new Passover lamb. For this reason, once he begins his ministry there is no need for Temple sacrifice, and he is crucified on the same day — indeed, at the exact hour — at which the Passover lambs were sacrificed on the Day of Preparation.

You can attempt to reconcile these and other discrepancies in the biblical witness, of course, and literalists have published books almost as long as the Bible attempting to do just that. In the case of the different timeframes for the cleansing of the Temple, for instance, one might suggest that Jesus did this twice, once at the beginning of his ministry and then again, for good measure, two years later. But far from “rescuing” the gospels, such an effort distorts their distinct confession of faith by rendering an account of Jesus’ life that none of the canonical accounts offers.

3) Most Christians across history have not read the Bible literally.

We tend to think of anything that is labeled “conservative” as being older and more traditional. Oddly enough, however, the doctrine of inerrancy that literalists aim to conserve is only about a century and a half old. Not only did many of the Christian Church’s brightest theologians not subscribe to anything like inerrancy, many adamantly opposed such a notion. For instance, St. Augustine — rarely described as a liberal — lived for many years at the margins of the church. An impediment to his conversation was precisely the notion that Christians took literally stories like that of Jonah spending three days in the belly of a whale. It was not until Ambrose, bishop of Milan, introduced Augustine to allegorical interpretation — that is, that stories can point metaphorically to spiritual realities rather than historical facts — that Augustine could contemplate taking the Bible (and those who read it!) seriously.

The point isn’t that pre-modern Christians approached the Bible with the same historically conscious skepticism of the Bible’s factual and scientific veracity that modern interpreters possess. Earlier Christians — along with almost everyone else who lived prior to the advent of modernity — simply didn’t imagine that for something to be true it had to be factually accurate, a concern only advanced after the Enlightenment. Hence, four gospels that diverged at different points, far from troubling earlier Christians, was instead seen as a faithful and fitting recognition that God’s truth as revealed in Jesus was too large to be contained by only one perspective. Flattening the biblical witness to conform to a reductionist understanding of truth only limits the power of Scripture. As Karl Barth, arguably the twentieth century’s greatest theologian, once said, “I take the Bible too seriously to read it literally.”

4) Reading the Bible literally undermines a chief confession of the Bible about God.

Read the Bible even for a little while and you’ll soon realize that most of the major characters are, shall we say, less than ideal. Abraham passes his wife off as his sister — twice! — in order to save his skin. Moses is a murderer. David sleeps around. Peter denies Jesus three times. Whatever their accomplishments, most of the “heroes of the faith” are complicated persons with feet of clay. And that’s the point: the God of the Bible regularly uses ordinary people to accomplish extraordinary things.

Why, then, treat the Bible itself differently? Rather than imagine that the Bible was also written by ordinary, fallible people, inerrantists have made the Bible an other-wordly, supernatural document that runs contrary to the biblical affirmation that God chooses ordinary vessels — “jars of clay,” the Apostle Paul calls them — to bear an extraordinary message. In fact, literalists unwittingly ascribe to the Bible the status of being “fully human and fully divine” that is normally reserved only for Jesus.

(via Unsettled Christianity)

4 Good Reasons Not to Read the Bible Literally

4 Good Reasons Not to Read the Bible Literally

4 Good Reasons Not to Read the Bible Literally

azspot:

1) Nowhere does the Bible claim to be inerrant.

That’s right. At no place in its more than 30,000 verses does the Bible claim that it is factually accurate in terms of history, science, geography and all other matters (the technical definition of inerrancy). “Inerrant” itself is not a word found in the Bible or even known to Christian theologians for most of history. Rather, the word was coined in the middle of the 19th century as a defensive counter measure to the increased popularity of reading the Bible as one would other historical documents and the discovery of manifold internal inconsistencies and external inaccuracies.

The signature verse most literalists point to is 2 Timothy 3:16: “All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.” But one can confess that Scripture is inspired by God without resorting to claims that it contains no factual errors. We normally use the language of inspiration in just this way, describing a painting, a performance of Chopin, or even a good lecture as inspired. What binds the various and sundry texts found in the Bible together may be precisely that they are all inspired by the authors’ experience of the living God. There is no hint that the authors of the Bible imagined that what they were writing was somehow supernaturally guaranteed to be factually accurate. Rather, biblical authors wrote in order to be persuasive, hoping that by reading their witness you would come to believe as they did (see John 20:30-31).

2) Reading the Bible literally distorts its witness.

In the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, Jesus drives the moneychangers out of the Jerusalem Temple in the days immediately preceding his crucifixion. In the Gospel of John, he does this near the beginning of his ministry, two years before his death. Similarly, in Matthew, Mark, and Luke, the day Jesus is crucified is named as the Passover, while in John it is the Day of Preparation; that is, the day before Passover. Inconsistencies like this are part of what undermines claims to inerrancy of not just the gospels but also many other books in the Bible.

But if the primary intention of the biblical authors was not to record history — in the post-Enlightenment sense we take for granted today — but instead to confess faith, then these differences are not troubling inconsistencies to be reconciled but rather helpful clues to understanding the confession of the author. So rather than ask who got it right, we might instead wonder why John describes these events differently than the other Evangelists. As it turns out, both of these examples stem from John’s theological claim that Jesus is the new Passover lamb. For this reason, once he begins his ministry there is no need for Temple sacrifice, and he is crucified on the same day — indeed, at the exact hour — at which the Passover lambs were sacrificed on the Day of Preparation.

You can attempt to reconcile these and other discrepancies in the biblical witness, of course, and literalists have published books almost as long as the Bible attempting to do just that. In the case of the different timeframes for the cleansing of the Temple, for instance, one might suggest that Jesus did this twice, once at the beginning of his ministry and then again, for good measure, two years later. But far from “rescuing” the gospels, such an effort distorts their distinct confession of faith by rendering an account of Jesus’ life that none of the canonical accounts offers.

3) Most Christians across history have not read the Bible literally.

We tend to think of anything that is labeled “conservative” as being older and more traditional. Oddly enough, however, the doctrine of inerrancy that literalists aim to conserve is only about a century and a half old. Not only did many of the Christian Church’s brightest theologians not subscribe to anything like inerrancy, many adamantly opposed such a notion. For instance, St. Augustine — rarely described as a liberal — lived for many years at the margins of the church. An impediment to his conversation was precisely the notion that Christians took literally stories like that of Jonah spending three days in the belly of a whale. It was not until Ambrose, bishop of Milan, introduced Augustine to allegorical interpretation — that is, that stories can point metaphorically to spiritual realities rather than historical facts — that Augustine could contemplate taking the Bible (and those who read it!) seriously.

The point isn’t that pre-modern Christians approached the Bible with the same historically conscious skepticism of the Bible’s factual and scientific veracity that modern interpreters possess. Earlier Christians — along with almost everyone else who lived prior to the advent of modernity — simply didn’t imagine that for something to be true it had to be factually accurate, a concern only advanced after the Enlightenment. Hence, four gospels that diverged at different points, far from troubling earlier Christians, was instead seen as a faithful and fitting recognition that God’s truth as revealed in Jesus was too large to be contained by only one perspective. Flattening the biblical witness to conform to a reductionist understanding of truth only limits the power of Scripture. As Karl Barth, arguably the twentieth century’s greatest theologian, once said, “I take the Bible too seriously to read it literally.”

4) Reading the Bible literally undermines a chief confession of the Bible about God.

Read the Bible even for a little while and you’ll soon realize that most of the major characters are, shall we say, less than ideal. Abraham passes his wife off as his sister — twice! — in order to save his skin. Moses is a murderer. David sleeps around. Peter denies Jesus three times. Whatever their accomplishments, most of the “heroes of the faith” are complicated persons with feet of clay. And that’s the point: the God of the Bible regularly uses ordinary people to accomplish extraordinary things.

Why, then, treat the Bible itself differently? Rather than imagine that the Bible was also written by ordinary, fallible people, inerrantists have made the Bible an other-wordly, supernatural document that runs contrary to the biblical affirmation that God chooses ordinary vessels — “jars of clay,” the Apostle Paul calls them — to bear an extraordinary message. In fact, literalists unwittingly ascribe to the Bible the status of being “fully human and fully divine” that is normally reserved only for Jesus.

(via Unsettled Christianity)

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