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Old 01-14-2009, 05:08 PM   #1
BigErf
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JOHN 9:

JOHN 9:
As he was walking along, he saw a man blind from birth.
“Master,” his disciples asked him, “why was this man born blind?
Was it a result of his own sins or those of his parents?”
“Neither,” Jesus answered. “But to demonstrate the power of God.
All of us must quickly carry out the tasks assigned us by the one who sent
Me, for there is little time left before the night falls and all work comes to an
end. But while I am still here in the world, I give it my light."


John 9:1-7 is one of the most controversial verses in the Bible. Jesus’ disciples ask, “Was it a result of his own sins or those of his parents?” “Neither,” Jesus answered. “But to demonstrate the power of God.

Many people think this verse means that God displays His power by blinding a man from birth. But what I submit to you may possibly be an error by the translator of this verse. A simple period (.) could be the reason that this passage has been taken so offensively. If you know Gods modis operandi you know quite well that this verse does not fit.

After the disciples ask who the result was from, “Neither” was the answer that Jesus gave. This being the answer, it should have ended the question, right? Remember it says “Neither,” Jesus answered. It did not say, “Neither, but to demonstrate the power of God,” Jesus answered.

So now look what happens if you end that statement and begin the next with Jesus saying, “But to demonstrate the power of God…” Now here’s where the “period” comes into play. Watch this:
Quote:
why was this man born blind?
Was it a result of his own sins or those of his parents?”
“Neither,” Jesus answered.
Quote:
But to demonstrate the power of God,
all of us must quickly carry out the tasks assigned us by the one who sent
Me, for there is little time left before the night falls and all work comes to an
end. But while I am still here in the world, I give it my light.
Now it reads Jesus answering that it was neither the fault of the child or the parents. But to demonstrate Gods love, let us work quickly (to heal the man) to carry out the tasks before night falls (because in those days, work ended at night).

This is how it should read:
Quote:
As he was walking along, he saw a man blind from birth.
“Master,” his disciples asked him, “why was this man born blind?
Was it a result of his own sins or those of his parents?”
“Neither,” Jesus answered.
But to demonstrate the power of God,
all of us must quickly carry out the tasks assigned us by the one who sent
Me, for there is little time left before the night falls and all work comes to an
end. But while I am still here in the world, I give it my light.
What do you think?
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Old 01-14-2009, 05:25 PM   #2
Justin A
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Re: JOHN 9:

Quote:
What do you think?
I think this is a great example of you making the Bible fit your own world views. So far this time in fact that you're saying a passage you don't like is probably a mistranslation.
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Old 01-14-2009, 06:05 PM   #3
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Re: JOHN 9:

Erf didn't you quit 2p2? What happened?
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Old 01-14-2009, 06:10 PM   #4
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Re: JOHN 9:

how about you look at the original text instead of trying to change the ENGLISH TRANSLATION to fit your interpretation/world view?

If you actually brought the original greek into this discussion, then it would be an interesting one, otherwise, we can go through the whole bible adding, removing, changing punctuation however we feel like it, and the end result is rubbish.
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Old 01-14-2009, 06:38 PM   #5
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Re: JOHN 9:

If you want you can look at the original Greek,

CLICK HERE

Erf, It does not translate the way that you are presenting. The fact is, the blind man was a part of God's plan and will. I see nothing wrong with this, and I am sure that up in heaven neither does he.

It is no different than when God had Joseph's brothers sell him into slavery. As Joseph said, it was God's will. This was obviously for the best. The only reason that people do not bring this up is because it is fairly obvious that the ends justify the means.

But because we know very little about the blind man and what happened to him, or about what his life would have been like if he was born with site, people are quick to judge and say that this was God "being a jerk."

But seeing as we do not have the above mentioned information, anyone that makes the statement that God was immoral for doing so, has not a leg to stand on.

Anyone care to disagree with me here?
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Old 01-14-2009, 06:45 PM   #6
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Re: JOHN 9:

I'm not sure I would generalize "the ends justify the means" from the parable, if only because one can find other biblical anecdotes in which the ends apparently do not justify the means. For example, Moses being punished for striking his staff on the rock.

OK, it's a little contrived but that was just off the top of my head. The sermon on the mount passage about thoughts being equally as sinful as their implied deeds also would seem to speak against that kind of view, if indirectly. (If the ends justify the means, and the end is to act justly, and thinking about sinning helps you do it, than it wouldn't be wrong. OK also contrived a little)

I would also note that I would guess many christians who would find arguments from the bible persuasive would also balk at imputing morality to acts of God, since God is the source of morality. That is of course the beginning of a whole other debate.

I think a better generalization of this kind of biblical passage would be that the christian understanding of God's Justice/Mercy is very holistic, rather than being a sum of evaluations of individual circumstances. To the extent that this implies foreknowledge of future events or predestination, and how to balance that sort of belief against a belief in free-will is a bit of a difficulty, but I think that's how most christians view it, albeit fuzzily defined.
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Old 01-14-2009, 06:55 PM   #7
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Re: JOHN 9:

it's possible, but there's still an endless amount of dumb quotes from the bible, so you still have a lot of work to do.
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Old 01-14-2009, 07:07 PM   #8
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Re: JOHN 9:

Quote:
But because we know very little about the blind man and what happened to him, or about what his life would have been like if he was born with site, people are quick to judge and say that this was God "being a jerk."

But seeing as we do not have the above mentioned information, anyone that makes the statement that God was immoral for doing so, has not a leg to stand on.

Anyone care to disagree with me here?
There are thousands of examples where people with horrible disabilities DO have their life ruined. If we go from this logic then it would seem that God was certainly a jerk to them.

I'd probably interpret "demonstrate the power of God" as something a little less literal and more to the side of "sometimes this happens in God's world". Then Jesus's response could easily mean that "It is not for us to judge him for what happened to him is no fault of anyone, we must continue our good work because that is all we can do"
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Old 01-14-2009, 07:09 PM   #9
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Re: JOHN 9:

Quote:
I'm not sure I would generalize "the ends justify the means" from the parable, if only because one can find other biblical anecdotes in which the ends apparently do not justify the means. For example, Moses being punished for striking his staff on the rock.
This is something completely different. The blind man was not being punished at all. Nor was Joseph.

Quote:
I would also note that I would guess many christians who would find arguments from the bible persuasive would also balk at imputing morality to acts of God, since God is the source of morality. That is of course the beginning of a whole other debate.
I agree. that is a different subject. Who I was talking about here were the atheists that would try and use this passage to show "God being a jerk". I believe that was the whole point to the OP, to try and refute that.

Quote:
I think a better generalization of this kind of biblical passage would be that the christian understanding of God's Justice/Mercy is very holistic, rather than being a sum of evaluations of individual circumstances. To the extent that this implies foreknowledge of future events or predestination, and how to balance that sort of belief against a belief in free-will is a bit of a difficulty, but I think that's how most christians view it, albeit fuzzily defined.
I could agree with you on this. I have heard this used to "prove" God's definite foreknowledge, and in my opinion it is a very great stretch. But then again I do not subscribe to the classical view on God's omniscience. For many reason, most of all because I do not think that it is biblically supported. But that is yet another conversation.
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Old 01-14-2009, 07:10 PM   #10
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Re: JOHN 9:

I'm sure the elephant man still won't get laid in heaven. Pretty sure he is raging at God's disgusting method of showing his power. What a silly perverted old jealous bugger the Abrahamic God is.

If only the **** didn't exist we wouldn't need to worry about him smiting our children in order that we are in no doubt of his unflinching reign over us.

Oh wait, there is no evidence he exists? Really? Faith needed?

Thank **** for that. Although now I will have to turn to biology and genetics in order to further understand why some people with various ailments... hmmmmmm.... seems like a lot of work.
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Old 01-14-2009, 07:13 PM   #11
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Re: JOHN 9:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jibninjas View Post
If you want you can look at the original Greek,

CLICK HERE

Erf, It does not translate the way that you are presenting. The fact is, the blind man was a part of God's plan and will. I see nothing wrong with this, and I am sure that up in heaven neither does he.

It is no different than when God had Joseph's brothers sell him into slavery. As Joseph said, it was God's will. This was obviously for the best. The only reason that people do not bring this up is because it is fairly obvious that the ends justify the means.

But because we know very little about the blind man and what happened to him, or about what his life would have been like if he was born with site, people are quick to judge and say that this was God "being a jerk."

But seeing as we do not have the above mentioned information, anyone that makes the statement that God was immoral for doing so, has not a leg to stand on.

Anyone care to disagree with me here?
This is very interesting Jibninjas. But I still might not go so far as to say that this was Gods act purposely. It would be easier for me to present my case if there was a comma after "so" in
Quote:
Jesus answered, "It was neither that this man sinned, nor his parents; but it was so, that the works of God might be displayed in him.
As if Jesus was saying, "It was neither, it was so" as in, "It was just "so"", if you see what I mean. And then it carries off at:
Quote:
that the works of God might be displayed in him.
But either way I see what you're saying. The original does point more towards it being God's will. But still not clear enough to give up completely on my theory.
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Old 01-14-2009, 07:15 PM   #12
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Re: JOHN 9:

Quote:
There are thousands of examples where people with horrible disabilities DO have their life ruined. If we go from this logic then it would seem that God was certainly a jerk to them.
But now you are extrapolating out one situation and applying it to all. There is no reason to believe that any of the other people's horrible disabilities were caused by God. It does not say that blindness is caused by God, but that this specific persons blindness was.

Quote:
I'd probably interpret "demonstrate the power of God" as something a little less literal and more to the side of "sometimes this happens in God's world". Then Jesus's response could easily mean that "It is not for us to judge him for what happened to him is no fault of anyone, we must continue our good work because that is all we can do"
I would not say that you are wrong in saying this. I think that it is a very possible interpretation. But I also do not see anything wrong with the other way to interpret the passage.

What you are getting at was the whole point of the book of Job. In the end when God does come on the scene, he makes a point to say that Job, or anyone else has no idea what is really going on, so do not start to make judgments like him and his friends did.
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Old 01-14-2009, 07:18 PM   #13
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Re: JOHN 9:

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I'm sure the elephant man still won't get laid in heaven. Pretty sure he is raging at God's disgusting method of showing his power. What a silly perverted old jealous bugger the Abrahamic God is.
Again, you are extrapolating out one situation and applying it to all situations where someone is disabled. This clearly does not follow, look at your logic again.

As for the rest of your post, there is not much for me to say as you clearly could care less about logic or evidence. I guess that is why you are an atheist. You fit perfectly into Stu's "I do not believe God exist, and I hate him" category.

This is the last time I will respond to you until you start to act civil.
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Old 01-14-2009, 07:22 PM   #14
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Re: JOHN 9:

Quote:
But either way I see what you're saying. The original does point more towards it being God's will. But still not clear enough to give up completely on my theory.
You do not have to interpret it that same way as I did. I just think that the moving of a period or something as in your OP is unjustified. I am not going to base a doctrine around this one passage anyway.
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Old 01-14-2009, 07:36 PM   #15
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Re: JOHN 9:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jibninjas View Post
Again, you are extrapolating out one situation and applying it to all situations where someone is disabled. This clearly does not follow, look at your logic again.

As for the rest of your post, there is not much for me to say as you clearly could care less about logic or evidence. I guess that is why you are an atheist. You fit perfectly into Stu's "I do not believe God exist, and I hate him" category.

This is the last time I will respond to you until you start to act civil.
I clearly "could care less about logic"? Are you asking me to care less? Are you complimenting me for caring? Also please remember that adjectives are not to be ignored. It would be hard for me to act civil towards anybody. I may be able to present my arguments or points in a more civil manner in order that they do no offend sensitive theists. This would require me to act civilly .
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Old 01-14-2009, 07:48 PM   #16
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Re: JOHN 9:

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Originally Posted by Jibninjas View Post
Again, you are extrapolating out one situation and applying it to all situations where someone is disabled. This clearly does not follow, look at your logic again.
Disciples ask son of God why a man is blind. They go on to ask if it is as a result of his sins or those of his parents. This is an opportunity for the apparently all knowing son of God, Jesus, to enlighten his disciples as to why people are born blind. Blind = Disability. Obviously you feel that Jesus is replying only to this man's case. This was not my interpretation of the text. I was under the impression that one of the great things about the Bible is that one can interpret it any way they want to suit their goals. Obviously I was mistaken.
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Old 01-14-2009, 08:00 PM   #17
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Re: JOHN 9:

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Originally Posted by devilset666 View Post
I was under the impression that one of the great things about the Bible is that one can interpret it any way they want to suit their goals. Obviously I was mistaken.
That is one of the great things about the Bible. When you read it and allow your mind to follow the thoughts that enter your mind, you'd be amazed at the paths that open. The over-all message is the same to all of us. But to each individual reader there is nothing similar about what you and I get from the in-betweens.

But that is of course assuming you don't read it to mock it.
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Old 01-14-2009, 08:06 PM   #18
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Re: JOHN 9:

On a side thought, I wonder what would happen to someone who was blind until middle age and then was able to see. What a shock to the system! Can you imagine your whole life creating an image to everything that was in your mind and then one day seeing it for real?
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Old 01-14-2009, 08:22 PM   #19
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Re: JOHN 9:

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Originally Posted by BigErf View Post
On a side thought, I wonder what would happen to someone who was blind until middle age and then was able to see. What a shock to the system! Can you imagine your whole life creating an image to everything that was in your mind and then one day seeing it for real?
there was a movie made about this
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Old 01-14-2009, 08:28 PM   #20
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Re: JOHN 9:

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Originally Posted by devilset666 View Post
Disciples ask son of God why a man is blind. They go on to ask if it is as a result of his sins or those of his parents. This is an opportunity for the apparently all knowing son of God, Jesus, to enlighten his disciples as to why people are born blind. Blind = Disability. Obviously you feel that Jesus is replying only to this man's case. This was not my interpretation of the text. I was under the impression that one of the great things about the Bible is that one can interpret it any way they want to suit their goals. Obviously I was mistaken.
I see nothing in the text that would lead you to believe that. He was asked about a specific person, and so he answered about a specific person. There is no reason to believe that he was speaking generally at all.

And yes, you were gravely mistaken.
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Old 01-14-2009, 08:56 PM   #21
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Re: JOHN 9:

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Originally Posted by Jibninjas View Post
I see nothing in the text that would lead you to believe that. He was asked about a specific person, and so he answered about a specific person. There is no reason to believe that he was speaking generally at all.

And yes, you were gravely mistaken.
I doubt my interpretation is any less valid than any yours. I feel that Jesus, being the perfect human, would have understood how his reply in this situation would be looked to in order to explain a wide range of disabilities(assuming he realised he was on the record).

I also feel that John's entire account of Jesus life is inevitably flawed in itself and so cannot be replied upon for accuracy. It was after all written many decades after Jesus' death and so cannot hope to accurately portray his exact words. Are you suggesting that I should take the Gospel of John literally and accept it as an exact account not to be interpreted in any other way?

Is one not allowed/encouraged by many respected Theologians to read between the lines when discussing the gospel of John? This is what I have attempted to do and yet you put me down like I am some sort of ignorant pig. This is very discouraging for someone like myself who is trying to gain a further understanding of a Christian viewpoint and indeed the Bible.

Last edited by devilset666; 01-14-2009 at 09:11 PM.
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Old 01-14-2009, 09:28 PM   #22
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Re: JOHN 9:

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Originally Posted by BigErf View Post
John 9:1-7 is one of the most controversial verses in the Bible.
Not as controversial as this one imo:

7I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.
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Old 01-14-2009, 09:31 PM   #23
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Re: JOHN 9:

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lol. i am more than happy to start down this path again if you are up for it
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Old 01-14-2009, 09:32 PM   #24
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Re: JOHN 9:

They should unlock that thread and move it here.
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Old 01-14-2009, 10:22 PM   #25
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Re: JOHN 9:

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They should unlock that thread and move it here.
that was a good thread. but jumbled and side tracked a lot. I think that if we are going to discuss this again we start fresh. imo
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