exploring self-realization, sacred personhood, and full humanity
The Bible itself draws distinction between the written
page and "God's word in us." This latter, a personal
perception of Divinity, an individualized tutoring, has
been accessible by all devout peoples, of all cultures,
in all periods of history. Biblical documents are just
signposts directing us to the reality; many people
worship the signpost and ignore the reality. A writing
about "the word of God" is not the word of God.
Editor's Note: This article is part of a series; see the 8 link-icons below - each is best reviewed within a wide corpus of knowledge. My research, for 50 years, attempts to get at what's real and true. Concerning priority of the topics, there's a song-lyric, "love changes everything" - so it is with the scientific evidence of the afterlife; its reality changes everything.
There is a folk-wisdom that suggests, "When we all get to heaven, there won't be separate places for Catholics or Methodists or Baptists - we'll all be together."
This is actually quite wrong.
Those who have identified themselves with a particular group or modus vivendi will, in fact, remain in their own philosophical ghettos and congregate with ones of like mind.
The above street-wisdom is correct, however, as, in a larger sense, unity is the goal, the ideal, toward which all peoples will strive; but, until realization of such, in the disadvantaged "neighborhoods" of Summerland, the true-believer religious will continue to rally behind - each for his own - a "one, true" church with its "one, true" set of doctrines.
- Editor's note: It should be stated that, while doctrinaire views persist on the lower-levels of Summerland, no one is allowed to proselytize or invade the privacy of others - another example of the "Crystalline-Entity Principle."
And one of the most staunchly defended doctrinal-teachings, in this world and among the Summerland denominations, is that of the "infallible" Bible.
Upward Social Mobility: "we're outta here - movin' on up to a better neighborhood!"
Summerland is called the "third" plane of existence; Earth is the second, and the Dark Realms constitute the first.
One of the purposes of Summerland is to help people grow out of their narrow, provincial viewpoints; such as, my church, my beliefs, and my God.
With advancement in consciousness, we begin to leave behind the parochial mindset and move toward a magnanimous perspective of the unity and oneness of all peoples.
"We all realize, automatically, within ourselves..."
This egalitarian spirit characterizes the outlook of the "fourth" level - where Elizabeth Fry, at last report, currently resides. On that more-evolved level, no one adheres to "one, true" churches and doctrines.
Allow me to focus on a segment of Elizabeth's testimony, which becomes important to our discussion of "the word of God within."
There is, in a sense, organization here [on the other side] -- there is a feeling that everything is in its place, but there is no conscious organization here… there is always the realization of greater possibilities… because nothing is static here, everything has the opportunity for change; and when a person begins to seek, begins to change in themselves, begins to desire things of a better order, so, automatically, gradually, they will find those things – it’s all a state of being, a state of mind. Every existence in which one might find himself is a state of mind, a state of awareness, a consciousness…`
There are no actual leaders [here] as such – we have an organization which is so subtle and yet so natural – because, a person here, for instance, does not, in a sense, ‘give orders’; we have groups of souls who do special work, but we all realize, automatically, within ourselves, what our part is, what work we have to do; and we realize that we are all interwoven, one with another – I think it is [that] we are all very conscious of this oneness of spirit. Here, no one glories in being a leader – whereas in your world [in various organizations] you do get this sort of glorification of the individual [leader]; the first thing a person must learn here, if they are to progress, is to lose this idea of self-importance
I think that people will only recognize … what Christ really was, when they begin to discount a lot of untoward creeds and dogmas, tacked on over the centuries by men who desired power and position. I would say to you, above all things, if you want to discover truth, avoid men of power and position, because … God is not found, in a sense, in buildings or places … God is found within one’s soul, within one’s inner consciousness”
Elizabeth speaks of an "automatic" guidance system, an at-the-ready secret compass, an inner-oracle, a private nexus with Deity via "one's consciousness" - all of which will direct one's activities in a natural way; a moment-by-moment quiet sense of direction, a realization, to do this as opposed to that.
It is "the word of God living in us"; it is, so to speak, the real "infallible Bible," the fulfillment of Jesus' ancient promise of the "Spirit of truth," that silent but discernible perception of "God within," the touchstone of what's real, a guidance for which humankind has sought for thousands of years.
During my early years of fundamentalism, when I'd come across a purported discrepancy of the Bible, in my "pathological harmonizing," I'd immediately account for such apparent inaccuracy with the defense of "mistranslation" of the text. But I would come to see that the shield of "mistranslation" could not ultimately save the Bible against charges of errancy. You will notice that, in the main, the nearly-30 points of error below have nothing to do with mistranslation and cannot be answered on that basis. This issue of biblical "infallibility" runs far deeper than any easy armor of "mistranslation" might remedy.
It should also be pointed out that the too-ready defense of "mistranslation" quickly becomes self-defeating. We are told that God has not only given us an infallible book but he himself is "all powerful this" and "omni-that"; but if we claim "mistranslation" as antidote to hundreds or thousands of charges of errancy, then where is the unlimited power of God to get a clear message out to the world? What good are the purported "pure and holy words" of the Bible if no one can get at their true meaning? - buried under interminable layers of copyists' and translators' human error. We are to be judged by every word in a so-called perfect book? - but no one, certainly not the common man on the street, knows what those true, original words are? This is nonsense.
"Mistranslation" devolves to political-spin and soon becomes a farcical answer; just "Snowballs in July, Doc."
bite-sized packets of information
Providing a certain sequence of thought, the following sub-article writings, it is suggested, are best reviewed in the order presented.
Two orders of business will be explored:
(1) further discussion on the "the word of God living in us"; and,
(2) the internal discrepancies of the Bible, plainly revealing that it is a man-made document and not "infallible."
please click on each link-icon
The reason behind the reason for what most people believe.
Why only the virtuous find the truth.
The Bible itself differentiates between the written scripture and the word of God within.
The apostle John said that an "anointing" of the Spirit, which "lives in us," will teach us personally and directly, with no external teacher required.
Jesus promised us the Spirit, guiding into all truth; but, it's often taught, the Bible will do this.
Paul set aside the teachings of scripture and proclaimed his new vision with "we know"! But how did he "know"?
The Scribes and the Pharisees would cite scripture and ancient rabbis. Jesus, however, disregarding external authorities, countered with, "But I say to you..."
Paul would legislate on social issues, albeit, without scriptural backing. His defense? - "I think I have the Spirit of God."
The apostle Paul was mistaken concerning the issue of Jesus' return.
The gospel of Matthew is obviously wrong when it claims that Jesus would return in a just few years.
Paul changed his mind about what happens to us when we die.
The apostles Peter and James did not think that Paul and his writings were divinely inspired and infallible - anything but.
Paul regretted some of the things he wrote in his letters. He did not write with a pompous sense of creating infallible scripture.
The gospel writers edited - even censored - each other and did not view each other's writings as "holy."
The four gospels were written long after the reported events, by non-eyewitnesses, for whom their story constituted hearsay evidence.
The "virgin birth" not only was added to church doctrine many centuries after the time of Jesus, but its basis in Matthew rests upon one mistranslated Hebrew word from Isaiah, which, in all of the Old Testament, is never rendered "virgin."
There is reason to assert that the gospel writers had little first-hand knowledge of the Jerusalem culture; more evidence of the writers' lack of authority to produce "holy" writ.
When Matthew quotes the Old Testament, he mistakenly cites Jeremiah for Zechariah.
The apostle Paul liberally borrows words, phrases, concepts, from the pagan-wise of his day. If Paul's words are "infallible," then, so are the pagan original sources.
Matthew, a "nightmare for literalists."
Biblical documents were edited by church politicians, a re-writing of history, an explosion of fake news, to support a particular church view and political agenda.
Mark 16:9-20: “This ending is not found in our earliest and most reliable Greek copies of Mark… Clement of Alexandria and Origen show no knowledge of the existence of these verses… Eusebius and Jerome attest that the passage was absent from almost all Greek copies of Mark known to them… The language and style of the Greek is clearly not Markan… it is pretty evident that what the forger did was take sections of the endings of Matthew, Luke and John, and simply create a ‘proper’ ending.”
Many biblical documents, among early Christians, were widely regarded as forgeries and fakes, not inerrant, and generally dismissed as political propaganda.
New Testament scholar Dr. Elaine Pagels of Harvard states that the phrase, "except for marital unfaithfulness," was added much later to the Matthew text, an attempt by manipulating churchmen to water down the impact of something they didn't understand - what they considered to be Jesus' too-harsh teaching.
In some cases, the Bible directly contradicts the scientific evidence for the afterlife.
Some Church Fathers taught that biblical documents should be understood allegorically, not literally; that is, not infallibly.
The mashal principle, embedded in the substructure of the Hebrew text, representing the "parable" teaching-style of Jesus, virtually shouts to us, "whatever you do, accept no literal surface meaning as primary; if you do, you will automatically be wrong."
The "other Bible" - the Nag Hammadi scrolls
The "God" of the infallible Bible commands the troops, "Kill everyone - except for the captured middle-school girls. You can keep them aside as your sex-object play-things."
The "holy Ten Commandments," in large measure, protect the property rights of patriarchal tribal-chieftains.
David's "Babylonian" Psalms
Galatians: the first document of the New Testament
I take it all back - some divine messages were dropped from heaven; such as, the Gospel According To Paul.
The Great Psychologists Speak: In Freud's "transference" we see the needy inner-child of a grown person, distorting the world to relieve helplessness and fears, seeing things as he wishes them to be for his own safety.
The peril of infallibility claims according to Einstein: “No amount of experimentation can ever prove me right; a single experiment can prove me wrong." The universal statement “all swans are white” cannot be confirmed, even with a thousand white swans, but a single black swan will falsify it.
"If the Bible is filled with errors, why do you quote it?"
Every people, nation, and culture has been given, quite directly, the word of God: The "central mountain" of Black Elk.
Every word of God is pure. It is the word of God living in us.
"...like da Bible always says - ya
ain't gonna get a second chance"
- Editor's note: Mickey's line from Rocky, stated quite "sinceriously," is funny because it highlights a misconception about the Bible. But then, there's a lotta that going around.