General Question

bodyhead's avatar

According to the new testament, how and when was the world made?

Asked by bodyhead (5520points) December 22nd, 2008

Basically, most of the Christians who argue with me about gay rights and creationism will also tell me that the new testament is the one we go by because it’s the one that was written after Jesus in the true spirit of Christianity.

Based on this, if I was a believer, I wouldn’t be able to swallow the creation myth because the old testament was overwritten by the new testament in a lot of places.

What about when it comes to creation?

Since Jesus was a preacher of the old testament, should we accept the old testament as gospel when it comes to the creation story?

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33 Answers

jholler's avatar

I look to the new testament for how I am supposed to live my life, and the old testament for a history lesson. Maybe that’s just me.

bodyhead's avatar

Thanks, jholler. Good insight.

Judi's avatar

They go together. The new testament is the completion of the promises of the old. They are not exclusive of each other.

cdwccrn's avatar

I agree with Judi. We cannot disregard the Old Testament. But, you cannot read it as you would your history book. Read it looking for moral truth rather than historical accuracy.

bodyhead's avatar

I was specifically speaking about taking slaves, beating your family, owning your wife, killing babies and committing genocide. I know I should not look for moral anything in these types of practices.

Thanks to everyone who’s answered. This is a serious curiosity of mine.

If the bible is the word of god (even the old testament), shouldn’t I follow the rules in the bible like stoning adulterers to death?

The old testament also says that ‘shrimp’ is an abomination and should never be eaten. There’s a lot of interesting stuff in there but does it really translate accurately to todays world?

seVen's avatar

Jesus came not to destroy the Old Testament but to fulfill the Old Testament which he did, so we know all been fulfilled in Christ so we must but our faith in him because he’s all in all.High respect is still due to the Old Testament and to be read, studied and commandments as the 10 commandments followed as they are in short stated by this in New Testament Love God with all your mind,might,and soul and love your neighbor(one another) as you love yourself.

fireside's avatar

Every time a manifestation of God (Krishna, Abraham, Moses, Zoroaster, Buddha, Jesus, Muhammed, the Bab and Baha’u’llah) appears on Earth they bring with them an unchanging message about spiritual truth and the path to God.

They also bring with them cultural understandings that help the intended audience to progress socially towards a more globally accepting society. The only things that can be taken as absolute truth are those that have been confirmed by the manifestations. The rest is the inspired word of God, but imbued with human misunderstandings.

Humanity has been making slow progress towards a more open and understanding society and the steps taken along the way based on the words and interpretations of the manifestations intent have helped to provide those lessons.

Jack79's avatar

well, basically you have a point in the last post. And it is a paradox that puzzles religious people. On the one hand you have ideas that are obviously obsolete (and I guess gay rights could also fall into that category, just as slavery does), but on the other you are supposed to take things literally.

My opinion is that you should take the basic idea, such as “love thy neighbour” and not read either part word for word. For me the Bible is nothing more than a series of books written by humans trying to find God, not a series of books written by God. But as I said, it’s an opinion, not the official church dogma.

Comedian's avatar

You will find that in the OT not NT

Mizuki's avatar

Crazy thing about the Bible, it is full of contradictions that are totally irreconcilable without a healthy dose of Lexipro, or something equivalent. This is where blind faith comes in, to try and reconcile the irreconcilable. Keep in mind that the old testiment is bronze age mythology, so getting some context will help understand the mind set.

The question here should be who put together these seperate books whose messages are conflicting, and why?

mrjadkins's avatar

The amazing thing to me about the Bible is that it was written by so many different people with so many different perspectives. Remember, Jesus has 12 disciples. 12 different points of view and opinions with various backgrounds. Some of these went on to write about their experiences and these even contradict in the first four books of the new testament. Contradict may not be the proper word – they describe in different perspectives.

The Bible itself was assembled from so many different authors and then pieced together by the various priests and scribes who could read and write in a time when the average citizen could not. It has over 1000 different translations today.

To be christian and to follow Christ’s teachings is to obey the greatest commandment of all: Love. Love one another. And love as you would want to be loved.

Do this and I think we all will be okay.

cdwccrn's avatar

@mrjadkins: really appreciate the accuracy and sanity of your answer. Thanks.

Mizuki's avatar

So does sponsoring legislation and initiatives that discriminate against other folks, who do not believe as you do, does that fit the definition of “Love”?

Love, and then discriminate—which one first?

laureth's avatar

@Mizuki: The argument I’ve heard against something like that is that they love the people so much, but hate the “sin” – and are keeping good people from hurting themselves, because they know not what they do. At least, I think that’s what it boils down to.

Not sayin’ I agree.

Mizuki's avatar

Laureth—I loved Bernard Maddoff too.

mrjadkins's avatar

@Mizuki – Are you grouping ALL Christians together? It seems that there is a backlash against christians but this group is as diverse as other population groups.

bodyhead's avatar

Other groups usually don’t legislate their ‘religious morality’. i.e. gay rights. Why does the state sanction the religious ceremony between a man and a woman but not a woman and a woman?

The anti-gay marriage movement has a Christian face on it but it’s backed with Mormon money.

If you don’t want me to sin, maybe you should bind my hands and keep me in a church pew for the rest of my life. That’s the only way you will keep me from sinning. Even then, I might occasionally have impure thoughts.

Sometimes I’m lazy and sit around watching TV (sloth). I like having money (greed). I overate on Saturday (gluttony). I’ve wanted my neighbor’s car many times (envy). I’m always proud of the job I do (pride). I told my new neighbor off because he’s asked me for 10 cigarettes and I have never given him one (wrath).

So even though I commit all of the seven deadly sins continually and habitually, I can marry any woman I want… but a gay person who commits none of the seven deadly sins cannot get married because of religious bigotry. Call me crazy but that doesn’t sound very loving.

I’m sure there are a bunch of good Christians. I probably know 300 or 400 total christians. Out of those I would say that 2 or 3 love humanity unconditionally. Most of them are racist/sexist/homophobic etc. That’s less then one percent in my personal experience.

I’d say we can generalize by statistics. If over 50% of a group are good loving people, then it’s a good loving group. Based on this, I do not think that Christans are good loving group.

“I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” — Mahatma Gandhi

mrjadkins's avatar

I am gay and christian. A contradiction I guess. Maybe I get to go to hell in a frilly handbasket.

But I believe differently. I also love the Gandhi quote above because it is so true to apply to many I know who are christian too. But I also know some really good people in life. I am a real cynic and a real skeptic. I have trouble merging my faith with my life each minute of the day. I believe in God some days and other days, it just makes no sense.

I have friends and family who believe that homosexuals are second class citizens and that heaven just isn’t big enough for them. But, they are still my friends and family. I believe in diversity. If I were to exclude them because of their beliefs, then I would be subjecting them to the same discrimination pervasive in our world.

I am sorry you feel so wronged by Christians. Not all of us are bad.

bodyhead's avatar

Naw, mrjadkins. I have no problem with your belief system if it doesn’t involve discrimination. I have no problem with you making legislation as long as it doesn’t exclude people based on religious beliefs. Being a gay Christian, I already like you better then your heterosexual counterparts. I LOVE the open-minded Christians in my life. I know that they aren’t all bad but too damn many of them are.

I know here in Tennessee, it’s a religious, racist place that typically comes from old money. Both of the churches I have been to in the past year (one black / one white) openly spoke out against gays as if they were second class citizens. We were encouraged to pray for them to make them straight. I should have walked out right then but I would have had to wait for my ride both times.

I know a rich older gentleman who is on the board of directors of one the biggest churches in Memphis. A bigger racist homophobic sexist bigot could never be found. He rails on me for not going to church but then turns around and says he lives where he does because it isn’t so dark (as in blacks). This is the type of Christianity that I’m use to.

I do believe in a message of unity and acceptance. If you are a Christian, Athiest, Muslim, etc… if you believe in the same message that I do, then you are in the minority. If you think any different, then you are delusional. Yes, New York and California are very liberal and very pro-active on social issues but there’s a whole country full of bigots that control everything.

On a side note, many Buddhists promote an extremely loving accepting message.

The documentary Jesus Camp sums up rather nicely what I think about Christians (without doing anything other then being a straight documentary – there is zero commentary in the movie)... especially Evangelicals who speak in tongues and have their 6 year old children do the same.

laureth's avatar

@mrjadkins: According to the NT, Jesus didn’t say one word about homosexuality, so it doesn’t have to be a contradiction. It’s the commentary by people who followed (sometimes many years) afterward that condemns homosexuality.

bodyhead's avatar

I know this is crazy off topic and people are probably starting to click ‘stop follow’ any response now but I just can’t help myself.

@laureth: From the new testament.
Romans 1:26–27: “For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence [sic] of their error which was meet.”

as found from a guy I was aruguing with here.

laureth's avatar

Yep. That’s Paul all right. Not Jesus.

miasmom's avatar

@laureth we believe that those are God’s words, He just used Paul as a vehicle to get them written down

cdwccrn's avatar

Laureth is still correct that JESUS said not one word about homosexuality. Now, money and greed, he talked about. More, importantly, Jesus called on his followers to LOVE one another, just as God has loved us.

laureth's avatar

I’m honestly curious. If God has the attitude about homosexuality that Paul espouses in his letter, why didn’t he say something about it through Jesus? It would seem like something important that He’d want people to know about, but instead of sending it as part of the Message, it’s like he wrote a giant Post Script. (“Oh, by the way…”)

Or, perhaps it’s possible that Paul’s letter was to one group of people having one particular problem (being too interested in each other rather than proper worship), and it’s since been taken out of context to cover all situations where homosexuality is found?

bodyhead's avatar

Actually laureth, sympathizers say that Paul was condemning ritual temple worship and not homosexuality. Since homosexuality was a big part of ritual temple worship, it was mentioned.

Are you saying it’s Paul’s words because he wrote that part or because he was quoted? I’m just curious.

I agree with you laureth. If god really didn’t want there to be any homosexuality there would be eight deadly sins (homosexuality among them).

laureth's avatar

Either way, there isn’t that much sexuality-based ritual temple worship nowadays either, at least among groups that the mainstream thinks of as legitimate religions (as opposed to wacky cults).

I’m saying those were Paul’s words because in the Bible, those words are attributed to Paul. Here’s the verse in some context.

Personally, I believe that if God hadn’t intended homosexuality to exist, it would not exist. Period. From what I understand, many Christians see this as “sinful mankind exercising free will.” For me, it’s a compelling reason to believe that there isn’t a God (at least the Judaeo-Christian kind of God), and/or that the priests of this God have said things that are not God-based, but rather more centered on political control of the People and the consolidation of their own power. Either way, it’s not something I can follow.

bodyhead's avatar

Thanks Laureth. You can tell based on my questions that I haven’t really seen that verse in context before.

laureth's avatar

Actually, I couldn’t. I was linking for anyone who wanted context, including silent readers and people who would come along later. I often assume that anyone talking Bible with me has read it themselves, although I am often proven wrong – especially with the people who argue for it most vociferously. Since you weren’t so outspoken about its infallibility, I assumed you had read it.

bodyhead's avatar

Oh no. You have my position all wrong. I do keep a list of bible verses that suit my cause. I think that it’s a great story book and about as divine and poignent as the Arabian Nights. Maybe you can learn morality from it but if focus on the wrong parts, you get an excellent instructional on how to be evil and justify it with religion.

It’s been over 15 years since I’ve read through the bible but I’m going to pick up a copy just so I can keep up with people who use religion to justify bigotry.

I was just being the devil’s advocate up there. It looks like we’re on the same side on this issue.

laureth's avatar

My husband was once (trying to be) a charismatic Christian. During one event, he was staffing a booth for his church. The minister told him, “Don’t argue the Bible with non-believers. Most of the time, they will know more about it than you do, and you don’t want to look foolish like that.”

It’s true, though. And that’s the point I was referring to back there.

bodyhead's avatar

That’s hilarious laureth. Thanks for making my day.

SeventhSense's avatar

You said
“Yes, New York and California are very liberal and very pro-active on social issues but there’s a whole country full of bigots that control everything.”
I don’t think that’s true.
As a New Yorker I can fairly say, any New Yorker who leaves the tri state area(NY, NJ, CONN.) is actually quite shocked by the nature of some of the racism, mega stadium churches and the like in the heartland. But the media (which basically controls everything) is headquartered in NY. And even the Republicans are often liberal on some social causes. On MSNBC Live, Alex Witt referred to Rudy Giuliani as “a pro-abortion candidate.” So I think that as strong and as vocal as these groups are around the country, they are not that effective. We elected a black president, we have much forward momentum in rights for homosexuals and there is much to be hopeful about. Cold comfort I suppose for a homosexual in the heartland but things are moving forward. Most of the country voted in this past election for a black man and just 8 years ago that would not even have been considered possible. Up until quite recently Arizona didn’t recognize Martin Luther King as a national holiday! It’s startling to see how polarized some of these areas are from the NE when I hear rumors of Texas wanting to secede from the union? Now that’s crazy.

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