General Biblical Questions/Theology Discussion Topic

This is a topic for discussing theological topics you may be interested in or questions about the Bible that you may have. Previous questions and topics brought up in such topics include eschatology (a fancy word for what is going to happen in the future, like revelation and Daniel’s beasts), whether the earth is flat (:laughing:), conspiracy theories (those aren’t true :stuck_out_tongue: ), and basically any general biblical questions that you may have that have been puzzling your brain and our suitable for forum discussion (certain questions about the Song of Solomon may have to be redirected to your parents :no_mouth:).

But other than that, go for broke. However, all discussions that escalate into a debate should be taken to our Friendly Argument Topic.

To start us off, I have a couple of questions to ask you all:

  1. What Bible translation or translations do you most commonly use? Do you ever plan on learning to read the Bible in its original languages?
  2. When do you believe the Rapture will occur? Pre-trib, Post-trib (Chicago trib :stuck_out_tongue: ?) or mid-trib? Do you believe that the rapture starts the tribulation? How many fights do you pick with Tim Lahaye, author of Left Behind?

But if you have another question for us to puzzle over that is more interesting (and you probably do, why else did you click on this topic? :stuck_out_tongue: ) Ignore me. Go forth!

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  1. Mostly NKJV, though I used to read NIV a lot. I did start learning Hebrew a few months back and I think it would be cool to be able to read the Bible in Hebrew, but it’s not a huge goal for me.
  2. I have no idea when the rapture will occur…I used to think everything in Revelation was literal, but now I’m realizing that the premise of it relies heavily on symbolism, so now I’m not sure what everything means. Probably sometime I should look into it more, but right now it’s not a huge priority for me—I figure if my heart is right with God, then He will guide me through whatever happens.

Great questions! This is interesting stuff. :grin:

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  1. KJV alllllll the time, m’gel! Ha, It’s be cool to sing the Psalms in Hebrew, but… Maybe. It’d be awesome, but so far, I’d say no.
  2. Pre-trib.

Time-wise, none of us know.

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NIV or KJV. And no. :joy:

Several, haha. :smile: I love these questions, and I’m excited for this topic to bloom!

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Great conversation starters!

  1. I most commonly use the NIV translation, though I have read other translations when reading the Bible online since they’re readily available. I don’t have plans to read the Bible in its original languages, but I would like to at some point to compare the original with its various translations.

  2. Like @LadyGrey mentioned, only the Father knows when the Rapture will occur (Matthew 24:36). However, I do believe there are signs of the end times (2 Timothy 3:1-9), so depending on how you view the current state of the world, you could speculate as to whether the rapture is/is not coming soon.
    I’ve read through Revelation only a couple of times now, so I would probably need to go back over it for this question. I know it’s a hotly debated issue, so my current response is that I hope for the best (Rapture is pre-trib) and expect the worst (Rapture is post-trib). Now that you mention it, mid-trib does seem to fit the order of events presented in Revelation, but I can only guess. I haven’t read the Left Behind books, but BOY has anyone seen the Thief in the Night series? Don’t. Don’t see it. I still get scared when I think about those movies, though God does tell us not to fear (1 John 4:15-18)

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  1. KJV always and forever.
  2. I don’t believe we need to be able to read the Bible in the original language since we have the inspired word of God already.
  3. I believe that the rapture will occur right before the tribulation and it will practically usher in the tribulation. As far as how soon, only God knows, by we are in the last days.
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  1. For school, I use the KJV. I also have a personal KJV Bible I use as well. However, since I bought the Aetherlight Bible, I’ve been reading that just to get a feel of how other versions might sound/be like. I plan to read more versions as time goes on. - - - Possibly.

  2. I really couldn’t say haha. I’m sure it’ll happen when I’m in an incredibly embarrassing situation though, with my luck.

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To be clear, there are no “right answers” to the questions - this is not a test or grading system. I just thought some things were interesting.

To be clear, the Rapture is not in Revelation - it’s in 1 Thessalonians:

Also, the Rapture isn’t specifically mentioned in Revelation either, as to its timing. There is this verse, which people have interpreted to refer to the Rapture:

However, this does not preclude a pre-trib rapture, because they came out of it, thus they aren’t in it in Revelation 7. This crowd could also refer to saints in the tribulation who have died.

For one, his portrayal of the Rapture is off - it won’t be “disappearances”, it will be a loud affair with the voice of the archangel and the trumpet call of God. Which brings us to this…

“For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep.” (1 Thessalonians 4:15) indeed! At least the dead are ready for transport!

But this is probably why the dead are raised first - it should at least give you a few seconds to wash the toothpaste out of your mouth before your newly immortal body punches a hole through the ceiling! :laughing: In fact, that’s probably why the Jesus is shouting and the archangel is talking, because they are probably going to be telling us to get outside and away from aerial obstacles like planes and helicopter blades.

The other bone I pick with Lahaye is that he doesn’t portray the Ezekiel 38-39 battle correctly. The consensus I’ve read is that Magog refers to Russia, and there’s going to be a huge amount of nations invading Israel. And there’s going to be burning of weapons for years. Left Behind has that missing.

The “God preserves his word” form of reasoning. I agree with it up to a point. There is something about how the language you are grown up with affects how you think and what ideas you can express easily. Thus having a English translation that you can read and understand is important, because the Holy Spirit has to impart sanctification to everyone regardless of language or cultural background.

Example: English is one of the languages that has an exclusively male plural pronoun. When we say “men” or “boys” we are referring to a group entirely composed of male human beings with no girls or women. The original Greek and Hebrew appear to follow the same convention as Spanish where male plural nouns refer to a group of both men and women. Thus, while the best literal translation of the word is “men”, the meaning is better expressed “men and women”. The NRSV corrects this error.

The internet has probably granted your wish. Just type in whatever verse you want to compare to the original, and click on Interlinear to see the original language of it. You can swap English versions of comparison. There’s a function that allows you do this for big passages.

If you want to just see all of the English translations of something, my favorite tool/addiction Biblegateway will do the trick. Searching for a verse in any version and clicking on “Other Versions” will show you every English translation of that verse ever made. Except for the secret ones. :stuck_out_tongue:


I’ll answer my own questions for fun:

  1. I’m polyversion. When I post verses on here or Aetherlight, I usually default to NASB. My Bible is NRSV, but I’ve memorized verses in NKJV, NIV, KJV and ESV. My church uses ESV. I’m all over the place.

  2. Pre-trib because most scholars I’ve read tend to back this up, which the “thief in the night” thing, always being ready, telling us about the imminence thing. I read a book (the Footsteps of the Messiah) which suggests that the Rapture will precede the tribulation, but not necessarily start it (there could be a few years in between). I remain neutral on that subject.

Questions for round 2 (:stuck_out_tongue: feel free to break in/ignore me):

  1. Would it make you more comfortable if I posted verses in KJV on here? (The reason I do NASB is that I think it’s easier to understand without translating old English…)

  2. Do you have any opinion on the Ezekiel 38-39 battle or is it way too complicated for you?

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Okay, so I read your post like three times and I believe I know what you’re saying. You’re saying that other versions other than the KJV are more “gender specific” and “easier to understand.”
Please correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe that was what the point you are making.

“I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.” Psalm138:2
“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:” 2Timothy 3:16

I completely understand how it can be a little hard to understand some of the words or word phrases used in the Bible, but there is one thing you have to remember when considering English and translations. What we speak today is pretty far from the actual English Language. The King James Version was translated into the King’s Old English which is the actual English language. Over the years it has evolved into what we speak today. Using your example, gender specifics wasn’t even a problem until about ten years ago. When someone said he, everyone knew what they were talking about. My Mom and Dad grew up talking that way.

You said that the NRSV corrects this “error.”
Anyone who reads the NRSV for any length of time can see that the translators went out of their way to make it gender neutral. To me a lot of their revisions only make things harder to understand. Here is a humorous example that someone pointed out.

In Matthew 4:19 Jesus is talking to his disciples and he made a statement that has become well known.

KJV: “And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”

Here is what the NRSV says: And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fish for people.”

To me the first one is clearly symbolic while the second one makes it sounds like they are going to open a fish and chips restaurant.

But it’s not about one single translation, it is about all translations. I could write a list of what is wrong with translations in general and how they change and downgrade the basic doctrines of the faith.

Please understand, @SierepicaFuzzywalker I am not trying to attack yours or anyone else’s Bibles or beliefs, I am simply answering a statement.
If you want to discuss this more I will be happy to do so.

Oh, and one more thing that I found interesting.
In Psalm 12:6 it says
“The words of the Lord are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.”

The manuscript that is now the KJV was actually translated into 7 different languages.
Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek, Old Syriac, Old Latin, Luther’s Bible, and finally English.
I just found that interesting.

Welp I should probably be heading to bed.
Talk to you all tomorrow, I’m outa here.
I'm_outta_here!

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That wasn’t what I meant by saying what I was saying there - sorry for confusion. That would actually contradict this post I made on the Aetherlight. I wasn’t trying to start a NRSV vs. KJV war, because I know that I will lose that one. I like the NRSV, but just because I like something, that doesn’t make it true.

I agree in some cases the NRSV is a wonky translation - it turns the entire Song of Solomon into string cheese. But the most glaring error in the NRSV is actually Genesis 1:1:

“In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth…”

I love it because it is snarky - you know God created the heavens and the earth already, I don’t have to tell you this, because you know. But it’s not accurate. I get what they were trying to do - make the whole thing flow together with the rest of the thought:

In short, the NRSV guys prioritized English readability over accuracy, to the determent of the authority of the entire Bible. So what I was trying to do there was offer a counterexample against this idea that you don’t need to pay attention to the fact that the Bible is a translation from original languages, using the male/female pronoun thing as a point. Yes, you do need to pay attention, because otherwise you’d think that half of the Bible didn’t apply to girls and women! And the translation that corrects the error has even more problems!

Now I apologize for not being clear. The first paragraph of what I wrote was a defense of your argument (the “God preserves his word so we don’t have to pay attention to the original languages”) which is:

We do need a translation of the Bible into English because we live in an English-speaking culture and language structure and the Bible needs to be placed into a language we can understand. Our language affects our culture and our entire interpersonal reality. I wish I could teleport you into the Spanish class I took last summer - they have an entire different culture and social life than ours - it made me feel like a space alien. :alien: Thus we need English translations to place the Bible into our reality. Therefore:

The original Greek and Hebrew culture to which the Bible was written to is a whole different reality of thought than the one we experience today, and yet our English Bibles are still sharp two-edged swords of truth. However, we still need awareness of the original because of the limitations of our language and translations - that’s what we pay pastors for these days. At least, at my church we get a lot of “In the original…” going on, which can often clarify difficult passages that are difficult in any translation and hard to get.

This doesn’t mean that anyone is obligated to learn the original languages - pastoral guidance and individual study is sufficient for most people’s walk with God. However, if you think the KJV eradicates the need to be aware of the fact that the bible is a translation, I do disagree with that and that would be something for the Friendly Argument Topic.

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Ah, okay. Well sorry for the speech. I still stand by this statement however.

It is true that we need an inspired English translation and we have one… and only one. I will be happy to explain why in the FA Topic if you like. (I just realized what the abbreviation for that topic spells…)

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So are you saying if someone gave you m&ms and some of them are dog poo would you eat the ones that are not? (not trying to put words in your mouth but that is what you’re saying) I do agree that sometimes KJV is hard to understand but if I study it I can usually get what it is trying to say and if I don’t I ask my pastor which happens to be my dad.
@SierepicaFuzzywalker @PlͥⱥgͣuͫeDoctor

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Diddo on that one @Skunindoo. That is a very good point to consider when discussing translations.
What I believe she is saying is that the King James Version is just another translation and that there is no completely inspired, infallible complete word of God.

I hope to discuss this more on the Friendly Argument Topic.

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Wow. Heh, nice analogy.

blink

No harder than Mole-speak in Redwall. You need to learn it. :wink: I’d say Shakespeare is harder.

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And that is another good point. Everyone keeps saying that the KJV is on a high reading level. I could read it and understand it when I was five. It’s really not that hard to understand anyway… unless people have gotten dumber over the years. (Well now that I mention it…)

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I’ve been using it my long life.

No! The “thees” and “thous” all have meaning any way.

Ha, yeah. Definately.

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I’d join the conversation haha, but I just saw @SierepicaFuzzywalker’s chat motion coming up, so it’d be something of throwing a pebble at an avalanche. Let’s see how this all goes haha. :wink:

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No, that’s not what I’m saying, because that contradicts the actual word of God:

I maintain that this is true, regardless of translation, unless you are dealing with a paraphrase. Thus, which Bible translation you use is a matter of preference, not truth - and I actually have no preference as to which translation I use. (as long as it isn’t a paraphrase)

That’s why I asked if people wanted me to post verses in KJV on here. No point in ruffling feathers, yeah?

However, the fact that biblical translation is a matter of preference and that I don’t care opens up the option of using other translations to make it easier to understand a passage. For example, I was trying to memorize Psalm 84 a few months back, and came across this verse:

This is confusing. What? The context is the Psalmist exalting the temple worship, so it seems that he goes from talking about birds to randomly exalting the altar…

No help.

Birds nesting at the altar? Now it makes sense. The psalmist is longing to be back in the temple worshiping God - a temple that was often shut up/wrecked because of idol worship, thus allowing birds to nest at the altar, which would ordinarily be a dangerous place for birds to live.

Now you can look at that and be like #sierepicasdumb and #itotallygotthatfromtheKJV, but whatever. My first Bible (a New Testament/Psalms&Proverbs given to me at my baby dedication) was KJV, and that’s what I had until my parents bought me NRSV in 3rd grade. I memorized verses in KJV when I was in 1st grade. (Including 1 Timothy 3:16) So I’m not going to go with the intelligence argument either. @Skunindoo

In short, if I can’t understand KJV because I’m an idiot…then I understood KJV when I was younger…that implies that using other translations has made me dumber with time.

Which basically boils this whole argument down to: “Sierepica isn’t KJV only, so we don’t have to listen to her. She’s an idiot.” And that’s what this is really all about, because you guys are ignoring the points that I’m trying to make in an effort to insert your own. Thus, there’s no point in taking this to the Friendly Argument Topic because this isn’t a friendly argument. This is a slamfest.

I maintain that, since I have accepted Christ 12 years ago, that I have grown spiritually and used God’s word to overcome some pretty terrible things in my life, and somehow me not being exclusively wedded to the KJV hasn’t stopped me from doing that. But if you aren’t interested in what I have to say here, that’s okay. I’m sorry if quoting scripture or responding to people makes me look proud or arrogant - that’s not what I meant to do at all, inspire resentment.

There are some people out there who make requirements for being heard, “If you don’t agree with me on this thing, I don’t want to even talk to you.” That’s not something I do, but other people do this to me all the time. And when people do that, it is nearly always because that they want to assert that their preference is true and that everyone else who disagrees with their preference is an enemy. This attitude is so bad that when I tell people that I don’t do this, I have to fight to get them to believe me. So there’s nothing I can do about this.

If you don’t want me around, I guess I’ll just have to leave and leave you to enjoy your exclusively KJV only forum in peace.

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Nobody wants you to leave, we can disagre and still be friends @SierepicaFuzzywalker

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Um, okay. What points have you made?
This is not a slam fest. You brought up a question and I answered it. I answered your arguments with my own. This is not about you changing your beliefs, it’s about explaining mine.
I tried to answer your statements the best way I knew how, but each time you said I had it all wrong.
So I’m just wondering what points you have actually brought up?

Of course we don’t want you to leave and what @Skunindoo said is right.
And this is no where near a KJV exclusive forum.
You are apart of this community @SierepicaFuzzywalker and we really want you to stay around.

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