General Question

rockfan's avatar

Realistically, what would happen if we lived in a world where everyone took the words from the New Testament as unbending and absolute?

Asked by rockfan (3295 points ) 1 month ago

Would it be a world that we would want to live in?

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37 Answers

filmfann's avatar

@FlyingWolf Stoning adulterers is Old Testament. Christ said “He who is without sin, cast the first stone.” Same for not shaving.

Treating everyone kindly and loving each other? Sounds good to me.

rockfan's avatar

@filmfann Intolerance and hatred of others wouldn’t be so nice.

kritiper's avatar

We’d still be in the Stone Age.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

stuff like this I guess

elbanditoroso's avatar

Perfectly horrible.

But here’s the real problem. The New Testament contradicts itself all over the place. (See any of Bart Ehrman’s books to read up in it). His link: link

So which particular thread in the NT would be followed? Sometimes they totally disagree with each other.

bea2345's avatar

It would probably be a world very like the one described in The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood. As the author says here,

Like any theocracy, this one would select a few passages from the Bible to justify its actions, and it would lean heavily towards the Old Testament, not towards the New.

Further, in order to reply more fully to @rockfan, like all settled societies, there would be stratification by social class, however determined. To enforce its will, the State would have to be a dictatorship. Through the government agencies, it would control the country’s physical and other resources. By the way, has anyone looked at Leviticus, especially the chapters that deal with the duties and entitlements of the Levites? By the time of the Common Era, it was obvious that the Levites had become corrupted. They controlled a large part of the nation’s resources and no longer answered to the people.

My answer assumes that we are talking about a modern country endeavouring to become an Old Testament state. Such a place would be undemocratic, violent and cruel. It could not be otherwise.

hominid's avatar

Pre-13th amendment U.S.?

jerv's avatar

It could be argued that parts of the world already do; those are the places that make people like me cringe for their barbaric treatment of women and poor people. Places like Texas,Florida…

rockfan's avatar

A friend of mine said the “punishable by death” verses of the bible has no bearing because “We are under a covenant of Grace now. Sin is no longer to be punishable by death because of what Jesus did on the cross.”

Does this make sense?

dappled_leaves's avatar

@rockfan Yeah, but then consider Matthew 5:17

“Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.”

So… the old rules still stood, as far as he was concerned.

dxs's avatar

Many raped women and dead birds/goats/lambs. And don’t forget to crack the heads of the baby infants whose parents aren’t the same religion as you!

LostInParadise's avatar

Slavery would be permitted.
You could be stoned to death for any number of things, including adultery and working on the Sabbath.
Women would be second class citizens.
Corporal punishment of children would be the norm, following the dictate of, “Spare the rod and spoil the child.”

ragingloli's avatar

The middle east. Except much worse.

Darth_Algar's avatar

How could we take the words from the New Testament as unbending and absolute? The New Testament itself doesn’t even take the words of the New Testament as unbending and absolute. Small example: did Judas hang himself, or did his guts rupture in an empty field? It can’t be both.

dxs's avatar

Wow I completely read the question wrong…I thought you said OLD Testament! Well anyways it wouldn’t be as bad a world, but still pretty shitty if you ask me.

dappled_leaves's avatar

@dxs You’re not alone – I read it that way, too, for some reason.

ragingloli's avatar

the NT, specifically jeebus, demands full adherence to the laws of the OT

dxs's avatar

@ragingloli I realize that, but still, the words themselves are less gruesome. But women still be quiet and gays still be abominable.

filmfann's avatar

@ragingloli You are incorrect. Jesus changed a great many things.

elbanditoroso's avatar

@filmfann – maybe. Sort of depends on what you read.

There is no question that Jesus (the man) was a high level Jewish priest and had a significant following. Even I, as a Jew, accept that.

The question is – was Jesus – the Christ – the son of god, miracle doer, ec – real? I think that’s where history meets up with legend. I have a much more difficult time believing in “sitting at the right hand of god” and miracles and so on.

So .. define your terms.

Darth_Algar's avatar

@dappled_leaves *“Yeah, but then consider Matthew 5:17
“Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.”
So… the old rules still stood, as far as he was concerned.”*

Yeah, but then consider his final words on the cross – “It is finished/fulfilled”. His death upon the cross, as the sacrificial Lamb of God, represented the fulfillment of the Old Covenant and the institution of the New Covenant.

ragingloli's avatar

@Darth_Algar
Do not just leave out the rest of the section, which really tells you what he means:
For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. 19Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.

Darth_Algar's avatar

@ragingloli

I did not leave out the rest of the section, the person I was replying to did. Nonetheless it does not alter my point one bit.

ragingloli's avatar

yes it does. it completely contradicts it.

Darth_Algar's avatar

No, it doesn’t. If you read it for what it is, rather than what you want to read into it, you’d realize this.

FFS, I’m not even particularly fond of Christianity and I get this.

dxs's avatar

But did Jesus even exist or was it just Paul using relatable alias to get people to follow him?

ragingloli's avatar

@Darth_Algar
I did read it for what it is.
It is you that reads into it what you want to read into it.

Darth_Algar's avatar

In that passage he is clearly speaking of the fulfillment of the Old Covenant. The Old Covenant ifsfulfilled (and thus the old law passed away) upon Christ’s death on the cross.

ragingloli's avatar

Nope, he is speaking about heaven and earth disappearing.

dxs's avatar

I could be wrong, but isn’t this passage just as completely ambiguous as all the others and partly the reason there are modernized Christians yet also Amish and Mennonites?

dappled_leaves's avatar

@Darth_Algar The point is, it is a contradiction for Jesus to have said “It is fulfilled” if he was referring to the old laws, when he had previously said that they must be upheld “until heaven and earth disappear”.

So, either he was talking about something else being fulfilled, or he spoke with no authority on the matter earlier. Either way, these words (along with the myriad of other biblical contradictions) are all best explained if one keeps in mind that the entire story was written by men not guided by by an omniscient, all-powerful being.

Darth_Algar's avatar

Key words in the passage – “until everything is accomplished”, and thus, again, Christ’s final words upon the cross.

dappled_leaves's avatar

@Darth_Algar In other words, you disregard those comments by Jesus which you feel are contradictory. A fairly typical way of trying to extract a cohesive message from a book which is anything but.

ragingloli's avatar

the keywords in the passage are “until heaven and earth disappear”.
“until everything is accomplished” refers to “until heaven and earth disappear”.

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